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Software Freedom Day serves online democracy

Software Freedom Day serves online democracy

Media Release: Software Freedom Day Team Christchurch, New Zealand

19 September, 2014

The Christchurch Unix community has its annual technical show this weekend, as part of international Software Freedom Day celebrations. Personal Computer operating systems derived from Unix offer an alternative, to Microsoft desktop security issues and costs, and are maintained by a large international community. Main variants of Unix are GNU/Linux and Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) operating systems. BSD is the core of Apple Computer's OS-X. Licensed free software installation discs, install help and tuition are made available to the public on Software Freedom Day.

The event is held at South Learning Centre in the South Christchurch Library. Talks, demonstrations and videos make the day focused on educational sharing. It is a family-friendly day of fun for all, with computers and related technology as the platform, community driven. Safe use of telecommunication devices is the strong emphasis here, helping people become independently secure in their online lives.

Other types of free and open-source software (FOSS) can run on Microsoft Windows, providing user choice in programs. The Firefox web browser and Libre Office suite are popular examples. Firefox has a quarter of the desktop browser market alone, to which other browsers such as Apple's add to make big competition for Microsoft's Internet Explorer. But the industry playing field is not level in what gets promoted, hence the need for Software Freedom Day, user support, and publicity around FOSS alternatives. is holding an open day as prelude to SFD celebrations, at 314 Selwyn Street on Friday 19 September: a drop-in session demonstrating FOSS programs. The Christchurch Software Freedom Day team was the first to get going in New Zealand, at the event's global inauguration in 2004, and is the last one still standing in 2014 – the eleventh year.

“We want to focus discussion this weekend on solving the problem of secure online voting,” team leader Rik Tindall says. “With Christchurch a technical innovation capital for New Zealand, we can make an important world contribution here - this way especially.”

Tindall believes that just as people have secure online banking accounts they can rely on now, very soon everyone will have voting accounts the same way. He is calling together a mini-conference to set some parameters at SFD this weekend, for New Zealand to leverage its honest broker reputation to initiate a global democracy service much needed today - using transparent process and technology.

Software Freedom Day takes place Saturday 20 September, from 10am to 4pm at the South Learning Centre, South Christchurch Library, 66 Colombo Street, Cashmere.


Refer: Zealand/Christchurch

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