Wikimania 2007

Visit the Wikimania 2007 Wiki. Some of my friends are going, if your involved in Wikimedia Foundation projects you might be able to get sponsorship, be quick about applying.

Deadline: to allow the Scholarship Committee adequate time, applications must be received as soon as possible, but no later than April 1, 2007

Here’s a video from the Truth in Numbers: The Wikipedia Story. I like the design, check out the way they use media on their Wiki. Its hosted on

“Imagine a world where everyone had access to the sum of all human knowledge… that’s what we are doing with Wikipedia”
– Jimmy Wales

FOSS alternatives and video editors

It was a GNU Hurd developer that convinced me that its good to use FOSS on windows, some freedom is better none, even GNU Packages run on windows and most computer users run windows. So here’s a list of links. Some are equivalents to replace software on windows and some are the equivalent on GNU/Linux and some are cross platform so its stupid to call it the “Linux” equivalent. They also make the mistake of saying alternatives to commercial software. The opposite of FOSS is proprietary software.

My friend Archie Moore asked

“Can you recommend any Free (as in freedom) video editing software like premiere.”

I dont know premiere so if its obivous to anyone please leave a comment. All my videos are developed with free software so I think it would better to say “I want to do this, do you know any software that can do that?”

The main one I use is Avidemux, basically you can take a video, chop it all up, apply some filters, resize, crop etc, maybe add some audio and then put it all back together and save it in the format you want. I also use Blender for some things.

I use ffmpeg, ffmpeg2theora and mencoder for converting to different formats. On windows you can use mediacoder.

Probably the most powerful one is Cinelerra but it only runs on GNU/Linux.

The others I look at every now and again are DIva and Pitivi.

Last I heard Archie was in the UK or Europe so I hope he’s having a good time.

There’s also a review of his Depth of Field exhibition, thats the one I checked out.

The Worlds Best Desktop Environment


To enable your computer to play both video (Theora) and audio (Vorbis) files, please select a program from the listings here.

When it comes to designing digital learning environments we need a powerful interactive multimedia system that allows the user to control the experience and pace through self-selected hypermedia. Software Libre operating systems serve the personal needs of the user rather than focusing the user’s attention on the machine. The strengths of the Software Libre desktop for education, research, productivity, or entertainment are that it’s imaginative, making possible various tasks that can not be accomplished in other desktops.

We also need an environment that fosters a culture of cooperation, collaboration and social interaction. The Software Libre learning environment is optimized to provide access to information and communication technologies, express our imagination and creativity, process information which can be freely studied, applied, copied and/or modified, by anyone, for any purpose and distributed through self organising connective knowledge amplification networks for a more productive society and the benefit of humanity.

The video above is a good example of these principles in action, you can:

A big thanks to Noiesmo for his help.

Tux Paint is still the best educational art software for children

Watch the Video.

Tux paint is [[Free software]]. Visit the Tux Paint home page and check out some of Bill Kendricks projects:

  • New Breed Software – Games and stuff for Linux, Windows, Mac, Dreamcast, Zaurus and more
  • Bill’s Games – An award-winning collection of classic games that work with any browser
  • WebFX – award-winning web-based image manipulator

Wikipedia: [[Tux Paint]]

Also make sure to check out [[Mugshot (software)]], its the best community software system. Visit the Mugshot home page.

Eben Moglen: A message about the Free Software Foundation


Watch a video appeal from Eben Moglen, Board member and General Counsel of the Free Software Foundation, covering the Novell and Microsoft deal, GPLv3, the FSF’s campaign against DRM ( and software patents. You can help us save bandwidth by downloading from Internet Archive and Coral Cache.

From the video:

Freedom is more precious than anything else we have and we need to protect it while we still can.

Codev2 and Eben Inspiration

Lawrence Lessig updated his book “Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace“. Download Codev2.

Recenlty we read Eben Moglens speech “Free Software and the Death of Proprietary Culture” and now lets check out his keynote address, titled “Software and Community in the Early 21st Century” presented at Plone Conference 2006 on October 25, 2006 in Seattle, WA. You can read the transcript by Geof Glass on his blog “Eben Moglen on Free Software and Social Justice“.

Heres a look at some of what he said.

We have brought forward now the possibility of distributing everything that every public education system uses freely everywhere to everyone: true universal public education for the first time.

You and I, and the people who came before us, have been rolling a very large rock uphill a very long time. We wanted freedom of knowledge in a world that didn’t give it, which burned people for their scientific or religious beliefs. We wanted democracy, by which we meant originally the rule of the many by the many, and the subjection of today’s rulers to the force of law. And we wanted a world in which distinctions among persons were based not on the color of skin, or even the content of character, but just the choices that people make in their own lives. We wanted the poor to have enough, and the rich to cease to suffer from the diseases of too much. We wanted a world in which everybody had a roof, and everybody had enough to eat, and all the children went to school. And we were told, always, that it was impossible.

In other words, the free world now produces technology whose ability to reorient power in the larger traditional economy is very great. We have magnets; we can move the iron filings around. We can also change the infrastructure of social life. That OLPC has every textbook on earth. That OLPC is a free MIT education. That OLPC is a hand-powered thick-net router. When you close the lid as a kid and put it in the shelf at night, the main CPU shuts down – but the 802.11 gear stays running all night long on the last few pulls of the string. And it routes packets all night long and it keeps the mesh. The village is a mesh when the kids have green or purple or orange boxes. And all you need’s a downspout somewhere, and the village is on the Net. And when the village is on the Net, everybody in the village is a producer of something: services, knowledge, culture, art, YouTube TV.

But a little more political consciousness about it and a more attempt to get other people to understand not just “what” but “why” would help a lot. Because people are getting used to the “what”.

“Oh yeah, Firefox, I use it all the time.”


“Why, cuz Internet…”

“No no no no no. Not why do you use it, why does it exist?”

“Oh I dunno, some people did it.”

That’s the moment, all right, that’s the moment, that’s the one where that annoying Stallman voice should enter the mind, okay. Free As In Freedom, Free As In Freedom, tell people it’s free as in freedom. Tell them that if you don’t tell them anything else. Because they need to know.

We’ve spent a long time hunting for freedom. Many of us lost our lives trying to get it more than once. We have sacrificed a great deal for generations, and the people who have sacrificed most we honor most when we can remember them. And some of them have been entirely forgotten. Some of us are likely to be forgotten too. And the sacrifices we make aren’t all going to go with monuments and honors. But they’re all going to contribute to the end. The end is a good end if we do it right. We have been looking for freedom for a very long time. The difference is, this time, we win.

Visit the Internet Archive to download the video/audio. You have to check this one out.

Mixed News

This is a bit of a mixed bag of news. I decided to join Wikiversity and volunteer to help Leigh Blackall with the Networked Learning topic. Check it out, Wikiversity has come a long way, for a while it looked like it wouldn’t happen.

I was reading WikiAngela and thought you might like this post “Wikimedia Commons prepares to celebrate one million uploads“, I really like the mosaic that represents the Wikimedia Foundation logo, if I manage to collect enough images I’ll make a mosaic on my Wiki. The other thing the Web2.0 heads would probably like is “3B – tour Wikia in 3D”. Sorry to do a bit of news copy but there you go.

From the OLPC Wik LinuxBIOS page:

Here’s a video of LinuxBIOS booting Linux on a rev a board.

Seriously spend some time reading the OLPC Wiki. Here’s the OLPC web badges to add to your website/blog.

Some local edu news, Val Evans has a survey on social software for learning. It closes on 30 November 2006.

The Social Software for Learning Research Project is being funded by the Research and Policy Advice and Knowledge Sharing Services projects of the Australian Flexible Learning Framework.

Some feedback on the new blog/wiki setup would be nice.

My second videoblog

Click on the video below to watch it, if your reading this from a news feed you’ll have to visit my blog. In this video I take a quick look at Blender. There’s links for downloading it below.

Some people are probably like wtf is this windows and mac files, well its to try and say look you can choose from these videos so choose the top one where before they are probably thinking wtf is the Ogg file. Why Ogg Theora Matters for Internet TV.

To enable your computer to play both video (Theora) and audio (Vorbis) files, please select a program from the listings here.

This is the second video I’ve created with Blender, I started with 3 cubes that turned into a building, heres what it looks like on the outside.

Blender Building

The best resources for learning Blender I’ve found so far would be OpenCourseWare – Tufts University – Blender Course and the classroom tutorial book from Blender Animation, 3D Computer Animation Utilizing Free Software . You can browse my bookmarks if you want, there’s a lot of really useful resources for learning Blender on the web.

I’m also using a newer version of the open source flv player so some feedback would be nice.

Free Culture: What we need from you

Make sure you watch this video. Visit LinuxWorld Website.

Lawrence Lessig
Professor of Law, Stanford Law School

In this talk, Professor Lessig describes the Free Culture movement, and the support it needs from Free Software. The struggles and the threats are largely parallel. The solutions need to be parallel as well.

This video is also available as a high-quality version in Ogg Theora format, delivered via the Coral Content Delivery Network. Please see the Theora FAQ for a list of player software.

Download Free Culture: What We Need From You (Ogg Theora, 93.4 MB)

Recorded August 15, 2006