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[News] Free Software Imperatives; Kenya Rewards Free Software Developers

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The new economic imperative for open source app dev

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| With open source platforms, developers can access technology and community 
| feedback free of charge. "I'd say open source is more economical for all 
| types of development," says Caleb Houser, a software specialist 
| professionally, as well as a student at Spokane Community College. Open 
| source saves money that could be going for other things, he adds.    


New Kenian Open Source awards announced

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| The nominations for the first ever Kenya Open Source awards, to be held on 
| the 27th May 2009, has been declared open. 
| The awards recognise information and communication industry developers, 
| system administrators and end users who have made notable contribution to 
| Open Source technological advancement.   



Kenya hosts first Open Source Awards

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| The Linux Professional Association of Kenya and ICT Consumers Association of
| Kenya will be hosting Kenya's first Open Source Awards. The ceremony will be
| held at the Panafric Hotel, Nairobi, on 27 May 2009.


Open source software cheaper option for government bodies

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| Linux Professional Association on Kenya,  a group of local software
| developers, has embarked on a sensitisation programme among government bodies
| with the aim of wooing them to use Free Open Source Software (FOSS).
| Among government bodies targeted are the Public Procurement Oversight
| Authority (PPOA) and the Kenya ICT board. PPOA is mandated to enforce and
| oversee the implementation of the Public Procurement and Disposal Act. An Act
| which the organisation says is being flouted, thus locking them out of public
| tenders.
| Linux says the use of open source software will not only save the Government
| lots of money, but also create employment for small and medium entrepreneurs
| engaged in software development locally.


Linux and Us Kenyans - Part II

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| Also in stock are the following;
| 1) Linux Mandriva 2007 DVD (for both 32-bit and 64-bit platforms)
| 2) PCLinux OS (tiny me) for 32-bit and 64-bit platforms), superlight weight
| (only 190MB) which can be loaded into RAM and the OS runs from there. Basic
| resources, Opera browser, audio player, photo viewer, excellent graphics,
| best distro for a quick “What is Linux” demonstration, one can install all
| the stuff they want and then remaster the system i.e create an installable CD
| with the installed applications already therein.
| 3) Zenlive 5 (32-bit and 64-bit platforms), another lightweight Linux CD but
| with much more than PCLinux OS (tinyme). It includes browsers, DVD/CD
| burners, an Office suite, pdf reader, media players, basic hardware support
| etc.
| 4) Ubuntu 8.10(64-bit platform)
| 5) Mandriva 2008.1 CD (for both 32-bit and 64-bit platforms)
| 6) Mandriva 2009.0 CD (for both 32-bit and 64-bit platforms)
| 7) Zencafe Linux, the perfect solution for cybercafes. This is an operating
| system specifically tailored to provide and manage services(for the client
| and server machine respectively),efficient accounting system, maximum
| security, efficient deployment of services, and excellent network
| adminstration at the servers end.


Kenya: Copyright Board Takes Piracy War to Cyber Cafes

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| Cyber café operators within Nairobi are torn between legalising their
| Microsoft software operating system, shifting to Open Source Code or closing
| shop all together following the crack down on illegal software.
| [...]
| According to Mr Kasani, the software will manage all aspects of cyber café
| billing such as Internet time, printing, items, accounts, discounts, the
| programme will be across platform , it will be possible to run it on both
| Linux and Windows computers connected on the same cyber works.


Linux cutting software costs in Kenya

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| Entrepreneurs in Kenya are putting Linux to work to cut costs and maximise
| profits as they look for new ways to bring computing to users.One of these
| entrepreneurs is Patrick Mathenge, CEO of Mullard Electronic Limited, a firm
| trading in hardware and software from its Mombasa Road offices. The company
| is distributing Linux software that can turn a single computer into up to 10
| workstations.


Open source opportunity on the road to Nairobi


Microsoft Denies Threatening to Withdraw Funding

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| However, the denial was a contradiction to comments by Bitange Ndemo,
| permanent secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communication, who
| said that Microsoft may have made comments regarding funding, though not
| directly or in writing.  
| "They may have said something to that effect though not directly and not in
| writing. Microsoft cannot threaten us. In any case, our policy is very clear,
| we encourage people to use open-source software and those who want to use
| proprietary software are at liberty to do so" Ndemo said.  
| There was heated debate in Kenya's technology sector before the decision to
| abstain. The decision was made by a 12-member committee. Some experts felt
| that the committee was comprised of a majority of Microsoft partners.  


Kenya: How Software War Will Hurt Consumers

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| Rather than buy Microsoft software or pay royalty fees to the company, most
| cyber-cafes around the country are choosing to instal free, open source
| software.
| This follows the start of an aggressive campaign by the software giant in
| October last year, which targeted cyber-cafes that are illegally using its
| software and denying it the right to benefit from many years of research.


Kenya Linux Group Challenges Procurement Policies

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| After losing out on many software tenders to the government, the Linux
| Professional Association (LPA) will engage the Public Procurement Oversight
| Authority (PPOA) in Kenya over procurement rules, according to the
| association chairman.
| The association members have been locked out of government tenders because
| the requests for proposals are usually skewed toward Microsoft products,
| therefore locking out open-source software developed locally, says LPA
| Chairman Evans Ikua.



Africa: 'Microsoft is Imperialistic' Says Open Source Advocates

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| Microsoft Corporation's products have been locked out of the
| on-going World Social Forum (WSF) in Nairobi Kenya.
| With over 300 computers provided for participants and the press,
| organizers of the WSF have preferred to provide open source
| software products and blocked all Microsoft related products for
| the forum's usage and its related activities.
| [...]
| Activists at the forum also believe that since Microsoft is a
| corporate brand from the United States of America, a country
| they believe has intentions of maintaining the status quo of
| a unipolar world over which it is above international law and
| the UN, the brand should be locked out.
| [...]
| "The open source movement is providing Linux, a robust free
| software. Everybody owns it and it can be shared. And this
| is what WSF is all about - a free society, a movement
| fighting for ownership of free resources" he adds.


Swahili Blogosphere: State of education in Tanzania, M-Pesa and Open Source
Movement in Kenya

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| Maitha, who blogs at Mawazo na Mawaidha, writes about M-Pesa and open
| source movement in Kenya. Recently, he, used M-Pesa service. He points
| out an incorrect Swahili phrase used by the service and wonders why
| they did not consult a Swahili linguist.
| He posts links to three Kenyan websites dedicated to the promotion of
| open source software. He believes that the websites will contribute to
| the growth of open source movement in Kenya.

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