Archives par mot-clé : Non-Free

La nouvelle application La Presse+: une attaque à la liberté de presse

Aujourd’hui le quotidien québécois La Presse annonçait en grande pompe le lancement de son application La Presse+.

Cette application et l’approche de La Presse sont un net recul de tout ce qu’on voit sur l’approche libre et ouverte aux données, à l’information et à la technologie.

Je veux bien monnayer des contenus, mais je considère que c’est un recul incroyable et ça prouve au contraire un manque de vision et un mépris direct pour la liberté technologique et la transparence que recherchent les citoyens québécois.

C’est l’affirmation de l’ère de l’information à deux vitesses: ceux qui auront les moyens de se payer le dernier « iMachin » et le reste.

Apple est tout sauf un exemple d’ouverture ou d’audiences « larges », cette entreprise contrôle tout de ses appareils et imposes ses règles aux éditeurs. Bien sûr, c’est du « business as usual ». C’est ça la liberté de presse? Je suppose que tous les articles seront méticuleusement vérifiés pour respecter les règles d’Apple à ce sujet.

Dans son billet à ce sujet, Michelle Blanc célèbre cet accomplissement… même si elle est incapable d’y accéder avec son « vieux iPad » déjà désuet. D’autres parmi nos « visionnaires numériques » québécois comme M. Robert Gérin-Lajoie commentent à ce sujet […] [La Presse a] surtout compris que l’avenir réside dans l’ouverture. C’est simple les publicitaires veulent et exigent une audience large![…].

Suite à mes commentaires, Michelle commente sur G+:

Le problème n’est pas d’avoir une application Android, gageons que si il y en a une équivalente elle serait disponible uniquement sur Google Play, ce qui est tout aussi inacceptable.

La Presse a manqué une belle occasion de faire une API ouverte avec un accès libre à ses informations – plusieurs modèles d’affaires pourraient aider à monayer ces accès. Ça permettrait entre autre à n’importe qui de développer d’autres services connexes, de s’alimenter, d’analyser, croiser ces données… les archiver? Il n’est pas trop tard, mais Michelle se borne à m’accuser de prêcher pour une « religion ».

Quelle tristesse. C’est ça les leaders d’opinion qui enseignent à nos informaticiens et artisans de l’information.

Il ne faut pas s’étonner si on se fait fourrer, comme on dit en bon québécois, si même pour lire le journal il faudra acheter un iBidule.

Vive la liberté pour les audiences « larges ».

Quel gâchis.

Note: Pour commenter l’annonce de La Presse sur G+, c’est par ici.


Ubuntu Spyware: What to Do?

One of the major advantages of free software is that the community protects users from malicious software. Now Ubuntu GNU/Linux has become a counterexample. What should we do?

For the full original English version, see here.

Voici un texte de Richard Stallman. La version originale en anglais est ici.

Update: Une traduction en français est disponible sur Framablog.



Ubuntu Hardy gets Brother printers drivers

Well, it seems Brother printer drivers will make it into Hardy (Ubuntu 8.04, coming up next month), under GPL and Brother Software Open License Agreement – all driven by the community and with some help from Canonical.

Although I’d rather have 100% free Brother printer drivers, it’s still nice Brother has made their license clear about what can be done with their drivers, effectively opening the door to packaging by anyone:

This Agreement provides terms and conditions for license grant from Brother Industries, Ltd (« Broher »). Brother, who owns all copyrights to the software that is distributed with this Agreement (« Software ») to recipients thereof (« User »), for use of the Software. User shall have the right to use the Software only in accordance with the terms and conditions of this Agreement. Any use by User of the Software shall be deemed as its agreement hereto.

Please click on « I Accept » while holding down « Shift » or right click on « I Accept » and select « Save Target As,,, » from the menu.

Brother retains any and all copyrights to the Software. In no case this Agreement shall be construed to assign or otherwise transfer from Brother to User any copyrights or other intellectual property rights to whole or any part of the Software.

Brother grants User a non-exclusive license: to reproduce and/or distribute (via Internet or in any other manner) the Software. Further, Brother grants User a non-exclusive license to modify, alter, translate or otherwise prepare derivative works of the Software and to reproduce and distribute (via Internet or in any other manner) such modification, alteration, translation or other derivative works for any purpose.

Even nicer is actually seeing the first mention of these drivers a bit over two years ago and the path and work leading to its final packaging and testing just hours ago by many community people and even Canonical through the bug report on Launchpad and a corresponding wiki page.

I hope this raises the importance of supporting Linux properly for Brother and, who knows, perhaps they will be more visible for scanner and PC to Fax support in Ubuntu (and generally, Linux) in the near future. I would bet increasing Ubuntu + Brother customers would already justify this.

I do own an MFC model at home and it makes me think of the same comparisons I hear about the  » readiness of the Linux Desktop « . Compare this to all Hewlett-Packard does to support its printers under Linux, there still is a lot to do before both can be compared on equal grounds. Or is it ?


No, really, Nokia does NOT want Ogg Theora

Sheesh… I take a break from RSS feeds and blogging few weeks and all hell breaks loose.

« Nokia and Apple have privately pushed to give Ogg the noose treatment (and so far succeeded) in HTML5.« .

I told you so!

Now I am almost confused. I am hoping I will help improve the community support for open formats on the N810 as apparently starting next week they will be available to Canadian customers (and devs).


Contribute to the Free and Inexpensive Adaptive Technology Database: get Ubuntu listed

I got an email from the FACIL « forum » mailing list telling me about Dawson College in Montreal putting together a Free and Inexpensive Adaptive Technology Database through the Adaptech Research Network.

The Adaptech Research Network consists of a team of academics, students and consumers. We conduct research on the use of computer, information, and adaptive technologies by Canadian college and university students with disabilities. We are based at Dawson College and are funded by both federal and provincial grants.

Our work is guided by an active and enthusiastic cross-Canada bilingual Advisory Board. Our goal is to provide empirically based information to assist in decision making that ensures that new policies, software and hardware reflect the needs and concerns of a variety of individuals: college and university students with disabilities, professors who teach them, and service providers who make technological, adaptive, and other supports available to the higher education community.

I am not the usability and accessibility expert for software in Gnome or KDE that is included in Ubuntu, but I am going to contact them and make them aware of it. I’d also like to ask anyone more knowledegable about this to also contact them. Here’s the quick explanation of what this resource is:

One concern that has been repeated throughout all of our studies has been the issue of the high cost of adaptive software and hardware. In response to this, we have undertaken the compilation of a list of free and/or inexpensive hardware and software alternatives that might be useful. Some of these are long-running demos, while others are fully functional.

We in no way are suggesting that these replace the higher end hardware and software currently on the market. However, as a short-term solution, or for the purposes of trying out different adaptive technologies, we think they are a good place to start.

How can you help? If you use or know of software that is either free or inexpensive ($200 or less) that you feel would be beneficial to students with disabilities, we want to hear about it. Please send the name of the software and, if you have it, the name of the company which makes it and a web site to Read more about Adaptech’s search for free and inexpensive software. View our Free and Inexpensive Computer technologies video (WMV support required).

Most of the listed software has no clear indication on its licensing or is clearly non-free/open-source, which I believe would be another way to help them.

And I know the videos are not in any open format. I’ve already contacted them offering help in transcoding them. 🙂