Microsoft to discontinue Encarta


News came last week that Microsoft is discontinuing Encarta, they cited changes in the way people seek information and in the traditional encyclopedia and reference material market as the key reasons behind the termination. Wikipedia, written mostly by volunteers and amateurs, is flourishing however, despite the criticism it has received at the hands of the media. Naomi Alderman writing for the Guardian talks about the reversal of the “tragedy of the commons”,

The tragedy of the commons is a term coined by Garret Hardin to describe the way that human populations overuse and undermaintain common resources, leading to their destruction. The evidence of the tragedy of the commons is everywhere, from our over-fished oceans, polluted air and spendthrift use of fossil fuels to the unloved public spaces and graffiti-covered buildings in many cities.

Almost all Wikipedia pages are open to anonymous editing at any time. According to the tragedy of the commons theory there should be nothing but deliberately introduced errors, and fiction in every article. Instead we have seen the growth of a wonderful resource, where people volunteer their time and knowldege and help to maintain and grow it. Of course Wikipedia is always going to be open to vandalism, it is not policed or monitored, but if you are reading an article and you see an innacuracy you can do something about it and make your own contribution.

It is wonderful to see how the world has embraced and grown Wikipedia, this free and expandable knowledge source. It is the responsibility of all of us to maintain it and see it go from strength to strength.

Free Audio

I put together a list of links to sites that contain Free Audio. I get all my music from these sites as well as the sounds for my projects. Most people I know looking for music would probably like Jamendo, I know the bands you listen to might have fancy guitars and tattoos but they really are just a bunch manufactured girl/boy bands. You want real culture then get Free Culture.

Free Audio

Voices Of Freedom – Jono Bacon

Jono Bacon presents his new song.

An acoustic, upbeat, happy tune written about the free software community. It is all about grouping together to make the world a better place. :)


Download the Ogg (5.2MB)| MP3 (4.7MB)


Standing beneathe your drifted bones,
The shining green your thrown,
The will to stand above and say,
I won’t live life this way,

Don’t you want to see, the way,
The way we’d be, the life, the you could lead,
Unchained and roaming free,

I believe,
In everything you say,
Our rights have gone away, and you said,
I believe,
In finding people fair, but the road leads to despair,

As one, we stand, so proud and tall,
For freedom never falls,
Below, the hoarders, stash their things,
Trapped by misery,
Freedom stepped aside, stood tall, took back his broken pride,
Designed, to play the game, to never be the same,

I believe,
In everything you say,
Our rights have gone away, and you said,
I believe,
In finding people fair, but the road leads to despair, won’t you say,
I believe,
In everything you say,
But the rights have gone away, won’t you say,
I believe,
In finding people fair, but the road leads to despair.

Some more info:

I actually wrote this song about free software and the people who make it happen. It is about taking a stand and having an impact on the world. The lyrics are all written about the ethos and spirit of the free software community.

Thanks Jono, I enjoyed the song, check out Jono Bacon website and Jono Bacon on Wikipedia.

Order your copies of Edubuntu today, its free

I wrote a post in my EdNA group about shipit and how to get free copies of Edubuntu for yourself and your students. I orderred 60 copies of Edubuntu so if your near Brisbane and looking for a copy then send me a message. I read Klepas blog and his copies already arrived so you can see what I’m talking about below.

The bird has arrived

Hey, awesome! The Dapper Drake CDs I ordered for free from have arrived. I received the trio of Ubuntu flavours: Ubuntu, Kubuntu and Edubuntu.
I’ll be giving almost all away, so if you live near me, give me a buzz. I’ll also bring them to CLUG next month and Dad has already nicked a copy of each flavour for the next PCUG meetup. I’ve got:

  • Kubuntu (x86 and 64-bit)
  • Ubuntu (x86, PowerPC and 64-bit)
  • Edubuntu (x86)

And of course this entry would not be complete without some photos:


kubuntu closeup



edubuntu closeup

I love the Edubuntu cover. ;)