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¡Software Libre Para La Libertad!

Nice Bruce Sterling article in the current issue of Wired about the ongoing transformation of open source software (Linux, in particular) from techie darling to catalyst for regional technological opportunity. He focuses on Extremadura, in Spain:

The features may be mundane, but they add up to something quite new: a patriotic regional operating system. The emailer's logo is a stork, Extremadura's most beloved bird. The word processor is named after a famous local poet. The desktop is crammed with hallowed symbols of the homeland. Extremaduran schoolkids could stand up and pledge allegiance to this thing.

Free software has always been free for the sake of technologists, providing open range for code wranglers and server farmers. Now Extremadura is claiming it for the campesinos. Here, open source isn't about the process of collaborative development or objections to intellectual property. It's about power to the people. The LinEx stork is a direct connection to the global economy.

Unsurprisingly, the proliferation of Linux in the poorer parts of Spain bears a connection (at least in spirit) to the rise of Lula...


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