OpenTV – Free and Open Source YouTube TV

opentv
Yet another great Free and Open Source offering from Xstreet SL Marketplace. The OpenTV enables you to play videos from YouTube on parcels that you own in Second Life. It is simple, easy to use, and powerful. It is also Open Source so feel free to modify and distribute it under the terms of the GPLv3.

Features:

  • Load URLS from YouTube
  • Customizable list of Channels
  • Set Screen Size (4:3, 16:9, … )
  • Full Permissions
  • Completely Free and Open (GPLv3 Licence)

Instructions on how to use the TV can be found here.

Make a difference in 2009

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As we wave goodbye to 2008 I thought now seemed as good a time as any to look back at the work done by the Free Software Foundation over the past year.

The FSF celebrated the 25th anniversary of the GNU Project this year with a breakthrough film from the English comedian Stephen Fry, who gave us an important reminder of the alternative vision for the technology we use, a vision where people don’t trade freedom for convenience but instead support development of tools that create a better society. More than 1 million people have watched the film and it has been translated into 32 languages.

Current campaigns include:

  • ACTA — the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is an imminent threat to the distribution and development of free software. 
  • DefectiveByDesign.org: FSF’s campaign to eliminate Digital Restrictions Management (DRM). DefectiveByDesign.org is a broad-based anti-DRM campaign that is targeting large media companies, unhelpful manufacturers and DRM distributors. The campaign aims to make all manufacturers wary about bringing their DRM-enabled products to market. DRM products have features built-in that restrict you and spy on your activities. These products have been intentionally crippled from the users’ perspective, and are therefore “defective by design”. We aim to make it clear that DRM is an anti-social technology and practice.
  • PlayOgg.org: FSF’s campaign to promote Ogg, a free alternative to proprietary formats like MP3 and AAC
  • Today, there are many questions that the free software community needs to tackle — Does your employer or school require you to use Microsoft software? Are you required to use proprietary formats to interact with your bank or local government? Are your children being trained to use Microsoft or Apple rather than learning how to be in control of the computers they use?

    If you would like to support the FSF in 2009  — become a member or make a donation.

    I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year.

    Online Blender 3D Design Course

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    Neil Hirsig has developed an online course to offer students an introduction to the world of computer generated 3-D modeling and animation.

    As an introductory course, it provides a basic understanding of the skills and techniques employed by 3-D designers in a wide range of applications. In this online course we will explore basic mesh modeling, applying textures and materials to 3-D objects, lighting, animation and rendering. This course should provide a good basis for further independent study in architectural, engineering and theatrical modeling and game design.

    The sequence of Learning Units are a suggested path of learning Blender but you are welcome to use this material in any way that suits your purposes.

    Anyone interested in participating can email nhirsig@tufts.ed

    Example of student work

    Chris: An amazing thing about the resources on the site is copyright.

    Copyright Notice
    All material on this site may be freely distributed without restriction


    MobilizeThis 2008

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    MobilizeThis 2008 is being held next week, from the 22nd-24th Oct. It is a yearly event which provides a snapshot of a cross-sectorial range of contributions to discussion involving the practical and constructive use of ICT’s in the education and related industries.

    This year it is being held at Charles Darwin University

    The purpose of MobilizeThis 2008 is to bring educators, e-learning technologists, managers, tech-heads and cross-sector organisation representatives together in a program that fosters conversations, workshops and online experiences to inform practical examples of employing ICT’s in an open and global context.

    Chris will be presenting this year his theme being; A Brief History of Free Software and Free Network Services, take a look at the website for further information on the scheduled events.

    Cloud computing trap

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    Richard Stallman has spoken out about cloud computing and what he believes is a trap aimed at forcing people to buy into proprietary systems.

    Cloud computing is basically where you store data online or run your servers via remote. Millions of people now upload personal data such as emails, photographs and, increasingly, their work, to sites owned by companies such as Google.

    Stallman sees cloud computing as nothing more than a sales ploy;

    “It’s stupidity. It’s worse than stupidity: it’s a marketing hype campaign,”

    “One reason you should not use web applications to do your computing is that you lose control,” he said. “It’s just as bad as using a proprietary program. Do your own computing on your own computer with your copy of a freedom-respecting program. If you use a proprietary program or somebody else’s web server, you’re defenceless. You’re putty in the hands of whoever developed that software.”

                                                                                                                         The Guardian
    If we choose to store data online we have to accept that we could lose it at anytime, either through a mistake, hacking or some other disaster.
    Insightful and thought provoking stuff from Stallman.

    Free Open Source Software comes to UK schools

    EDU_OSDC_BYU_520x292_FINALIt is great to hear that at least one Open Source company has now made it onto Becta’s official list of suppliers to the UK education sector. 

    As usual it’s all about money. The Open Source community has always advocated that schools in the UK adopted Free Open Source Software (FOSS) on the grounds that there were considerable cost savings to be had which would directly benefit schools and the taxpayer alike.

    As long ago as 2005 a report from Becta strongly supported this assertion. However this was a time when huge amounts of a cash-rich Government’s money were being poured into developing school ICT and value for money was not really on the agenda. As a result the incumbent proprietary vendors enjoyed a feeding frenzy and Open Source solutions were ignored. Indeed it was impossible, despite persistent lobbying, to get an Open Source company on the official school suppliers list. As I said, how times change. If we revisit school’s ICT finances 2008 we see a different picture.                         

                                                                                                         Sirius

    As Becta suggested two years ago, the current UK ICT structure requires a level of funding which is unsustainable, adopting Free Open Source Software could directly benefit schools and tax payers alike.

    Jokaydia Unconference

    The Jokaydia Unconference will be held this weekend in Second Life. Everyone is welcome to come along and participate, for further information click here

    Newbies Please Note: We have planned a number of sessions especially for educators who are interested in gaining some Second Life skills! Join us to ask questions, learn about the Second Life interface and find out more about the Islands of jokaydia!

    Looking forward to it!

    One Laptop Per Child

    fuseproject2
    Ok well perhaps that should read, half a laptop per child.  News just in from The Inquirer, the first batch of Classmate PCs has been delivered to Portuguese schools. 3000 of an approximate 500,000, due to be distributed over the next three years. Current student to PC ratios stand at about 5:1, this should be reduced to 2:1 hopefully. So they cannot boast to having one laptop per child, but its at least a vast improvement.

    Delivering on a promise made just a couple of months ago, first- through fourth-graders throughout Portugal received yesterday the new lappies for next to nothing (€50) or for free in the case of low-income families.

    I think that giving children the opportunity to have access to a PC from an early age is really important, they can learn through doing, and can have access to educational games, and the internet.

    Eee PC – gadget of the year

    The Stuff Gadget Awards was held on wednesday night in London at the Dorchester Hotel, and the big winner of the night was Asus winning the gadget of the year award for the Eee PC 901.

    This great little laptop has helped to kick off the netbook craze and has offered a really affordable way to be online and mobile, as well as offering people the Linux operating system, which we here at superuser.com applaud. Well done Asus.

    Need help with your new Eee PC? Checkout Superusers Computer Repairs Brisbane.

    asus1215B_02

    Social Networking Vs Porn

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    Bill Trancer from internet tracking company Hitwise has been focusing research on social networking. He has information on more than 10 million web users, and has discovered that the number of 18-24 year olds searching for porn sites has decreased dramatically.

    Searches for porn have decreased to only 10% a huge reduction  from 20% as it stood ten years ago. Trancer has noticed this shift stating that “young users spend so much time on social networking sites that they don’t have time to look at adult sites”. 

    Its really interesting to see how the growth of social networking sites has changed our online habits.