City of Bern starts open desk…

City of Bern starts open desktop proof of concept

Published on: 26/08/2016

The council of the Swiss capital of Bern wants to increase the city’s use of open source software solutions. Last week, the city approved a CHF 843,00 (about EUR 750,000) proof of concept study for a switch to open source desktop solutions. The proposal was supported by a clear majority in the council, with 49 votes in favour and 18 against.

This year and next, the city’s IT department and external open source specialists are to pilot open source desktop clients. The proof of concept will determine how to untangle the dependencies on proprietary PC operating systems and how to run the city’s specialised applications on open source PC operating systems. Bern also wants to find out how to replace proprietary virtualisation tools.

Like the German city of Munich did over a decade ago, the Bern council now wants to switch to an open source desktop, announces the Swiss open source advocacy group CH Open. “An open source desktop will provide the city’s IT department with the expertise needed to reduce IT vendor lock-in”, the association writes, offering its assistance, including that of its members.

More than a desktop

Last June, the city council approved a CHF 1 million (about EUR 900,000) budget for the overhaul of the city’s procurement software. The system is to be built on open source, in order to avoid IT vendor lock-in, and to give the city control over its own data, reports the Swiss trade publication Inside IT.

More information:

CH Open announcement (in German)
Computerworld news item (in German)
Inside IT news item (in German)
IT Reseller news item (in German)
IT Magazine news item (in German)
Linux-Magazine news item (in German)
Pro Linux news item (in German)
ICTK news item (in German)
Computerworld news item (in German)

ICT Journal news item (in French)


Fri, 26/08/2016 - 17:15

This is a huge development.  The universal desktop was designed by three people at CIA in 1986, but was repressed by the military-industrial complex in the USA and not allowed to be considered. The original CIA specifications for Computer Aided Tools for the Analysis of Science & Technology (CATALYST) can be seen in full text (totally unclassified and open to the public) at the link below:


When I created the Marine Corps Intelligence Activity as the senior civilian I went a step further and tried to specify that all incoming sources of information should be Open Access, this also was repressed by the military-industrial complex and my conference on Open Source Intelligence, which briefly had support from the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, was "forbidden" to have a second running, which is what led to my resignation from the US Government and my championship of Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) for the past quarter century.


Now of course we are seeing the value of Open Source Everything Engineering (OSEE) that I pioneered with my book The Open Source Everything Manifesto: Transparency, Truth, and Trust, and the identification, with help from Michel Bauwens of P2P Foundation and Marcin Jacubowski of Open Source Ecology, of over 60 "opens" that are now sorted into nine major categories (software is just one of them) with twenty-seven priority areas of development.  Interested officials can see the wiki page and the memorandum to the Vice President of the United States (also repressed by senior officers who are mentally and morally aligned with the military-industrial complex that favors "divide and conquer" in software, it is a more expensive solution) can be seen below.


Europe recently made two important decisions, the first mandating that all scientific research would be Open Access by 2020, and the second rejecting the idea of a European (secret) Intelligence Agency -- that was the right decision but the wrong question -- what Europe should be doing is creating an Open Source (Technologies) Agency and within that, a European Inter-Agency Decision-Support Centre that is able to confront lies by all parties used to justify war and expense that is not in the public interest.  I predicted the illegal immigrant problem that Europe is suffering today in my book in 2002, The New Craft of Intelligence.


It is now possible to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals in a fraction of the time at a fraction of the cost of the dysfunctional industrial-donor-bureaucracy model, by using Open Source Everything Engineering (OSEE) combines with holistic analytics and true cost economics.  Below is what I presented in Oslo and Copenhagen on this possibiity in April 2016, followed by a link to my collected recent publications on Applied Collective Intelligence and OSEE.


Presumably Europe knows that all American, Chinese, French, German, Israeli, and Russian communications and computing systems are compromised at the hardware as well as the software levels, and that all "isolated" computers can be entered surruptitously via  the electrical system if the device is connected to a public electricity grid. The time has come for an OSEE solution with no backdoors, data at rest encryption, and distributed blockchain storage, processing, and sharing capabilities.


Best wishes to all,

Robert Steele