The GNU Manifesto Turns Thirty: Maria Bustillos profiles Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Movement and author of the GNU Manifesto, which was published 30 years ago this month: The GNU Manifesto is characteristic of its author—deceptively simple, lucid, explicitly left-leaning, and entirely uncompromising… Stallman was one of the first to grasp that, if commercial entities were going to own the methods and technologies that controlled computers, then computer users would inevitably become beholden to those entities. This has come to pass, and in spades… “With software,” Stallman still frequently observes, “either the users control the program, or the program controls the users.”
Twenty years ago tonight, id Software uploaded Doom to an FTP server at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completely changed the video gaming industry. [more inside]
Revolution OS [1h25m Google Video] is a 2001 documentary which traces the history of GNU, Linux, and the open source and free software movements. It features several interviews with prominent hackers and entrepreneurs (and hackers-cum-entrepreneurs), including Richard Stallman, Michael Tiemann, Linus Torvalds, Larry Augustin, Eric S. Raymond, Bruce Perens, Frank Hecker and Brian Behlendorf. [more inside]
R is quickly becoming the programming language for data analysis and statistics. R (an implementation of S) is free, open-source, and has hundreds of packages available. You can use it on the command-line, through a GUI, or in your favorite text editor. Use it with Python, Perl, or Java. Sweave R code into LaTeX documents for reproducible research. [more inside]
In Two Bits (full-book in html) , Christopher M. Kelty investigates the history and cultural significance of Free Software, revealing the people and practices that have transformed not only software, but also music, film, science, and education. The author encourage his readers to modulate the book. [more inside]
Ubuntu has quickly become the number one Linux distro for the desktop. Not only is it free, but it has also made Linux easier to use than ever. Now, Wubi enables Windows users to install Ubuntu just like any other application, so you no longer have to mess around with partitions, burning CDs, etc. [more inside]
Peru goes GNU. And I quote: "You may have heard about this if you watch the free software news, but I just want to repeat it for anyone who hasn't. The Peruvian government has introduced legislation requiring government offices to use free software; Microsoft is unhappy; and a member of the Peruvian Congress has written a response which I highly recommend reading, in which he explains in strong terms why it's out of the question for the government of a democratic nation to use proprietary software."