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Press Releases

OPEN SOURCE "OPENS UP" TO THE WORLD WITH LIVE, INTERACTIVE STREAMING OF TORONTO CONFERENCE

POTENTIALLY CATASTROPHIC EFFECTS OF COMPUTER ERROR TO BE DEBATED THIS MAY AT UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO CONFERENCE

LULU.COM CEO, TICATS OWNER AND RED HAT CO-FOUNDER TO DISCUSS INNOVATION IN DIGITAL MARKETPLACE

OPEN SOURCE AND FREE SOFTWARE CONFERENCE TO BE MOST COMPREHENSIVE EVER

OPEN SOURCE CONFERENCE TO SHOWCASE PIONEERS

OPEN SOURCE CONFERENCE TO EXAMINE FUTURE OF INNOVATIONS


March 31, 2004 - Toronto
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Open Source "Opens Up" to the World
WITH LIVE, INTERACTIVE STREAMING OF TORONTO CONFERENCE

ARCHIVES AVAILABLE AFTER THE EVENT

Persons can participate in Toronto's Open Source conference, scheduled for May, without actually being there.

Titled "Open Source and Free Software: Concepts, Controversies and Solutions," the meeting is being hosted by UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO. It is scheduled for Sunday, May 9, to Tuesday, May 11, at Convocation Hall, 31 King's College Circle. Open source refers to the practice of making public the code that makes software work.

"As far as we know, this is the first open source conference ever to be webcast live, making it the most open 'Open Source' event ever held," says conference chair Ron Baecker.

Live streaming will be delivered by the university's innovative "ePresence" system. Viewers will:

* See a high-resolution image of speakers' slides and other audiovisual aids
* Watch and hear the presenters themselves and the audience
* Chat online, send each other private messages, and ask questions to presenters
* Review previous slides without interrupting the flow
* Browse other sites at the speaker's suggestion.

After the event, Webcast registrants can:

* View an archive of each presentation
* Find topics using a two-level table of contents
* Find topics using a local search engine
* Participate in threaded discussions about the presentation.

Details on ePresence may be found at Web site http://epresence.kmdi.toronto.edu. This technology will soon be released to the public as open source software.

Persons may register for the Webcast at the conference Web site, http://osconf.kmdi.utoronto.ca, for CDN$95. The full conference costs CDN$495 until April 30 and CDN$595 thereafter. Tickets will be available at the door. Single-day and discounted volume registrations are also available.

The event is unusual in addressing social, moral, legal, political and business, as well as technical, issues. The conference is the first and only of its kind in Canada and the most comprehensive ever held anywhere.

============================================================

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION

The webcast can be received on personal computers running the Linux, Windows 98/2000/2003/XP, and Mac 9.x or OS/X operating systems, and the Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, Mozilla, Opera and Safari 1.2 browsers, and using either Real Media or Windows Media streaming.

The conference is presented by the following organizations within the UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO: Knowledge Media Design Institute, Connaught International Symposia Fund, Centre for Innovation Law and Policy, Citizen Lab of the Munk Centre for International Studies, Department of Computer Science, Information Policy Research Program, the University of Toronto Libraries and their Resource Centre for Academic Technology.

The support of these organizations is hereby acknowledged: Communications and Information Technology Ontario, IBM Centre for Advanced Studies, Linux Professional Institute, Seneca College, Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, The City of Toronto, Caseware International, Novell, Openflows Networks Ltd. and The Commons Group.

- 30 -

Please contact:

Ron Baecker, Conference Chair
(416) 978-6983, rmb@kmdi.utoronto.ca

Kelly Rankin, Conference Coordinator
(416) 946-8512, kelly@kmdi.utoronto.ca

 
March 23, 2004 - Toronto
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Potentially Catastrophic Effects of Computer Error
To Be Debated This May at University of Toronto Conference

FIRST AND ONLY "OPEN SOURCE" EVENT OF ITS KIND IN CANADA

Potentially catastrophic effects resulting from computer error will be among topics discussed at a conference to be held this May at UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO.

Titled "Open Source and Free Software: Concepts, Controversies and Solutions," the meeting will be held Sunday, May 9, to Tuesday, May 11, at Convocation Hall, 31 King's College Circle. Open source refers to the practice of making public the code that makes software work.

The event is the first and only of its kind in Canada and the most comprehensive anywhere. The conference Web site is http://osconf.kmdi.utoronto.ca.

"Computer error" has been a catch phrase since the technology was invented. The issue, however, received widespread attention March 10 when Belinda Stronach published on her Web site a letter from her campaign director to the national executive director of the Conservative Party of Canada. "Legitimate, paid-up members are being disenfranchised," wrote campaign director John Laschinger, attributing many of the problems to the "manner in which the Party has arranged its computer system."

The text of the letter was originally published on Stronach's Web site, www.belinda.ca, but has since been deleted.

According to Laschinger, at least 7,000 members "are losing the right to vote" for the leader of their party. "The computer does not recognize that two or more different people in the same province can have the same name," adds Laschinger.

In addition, he lists six other examples of computer error. All of them come under the heading of "reliability," one of the technical issues to be discussed at the UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO conference.

"The kinds of error described by Laschinger are common to many computer systems" says UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO computer science professor Steve Easterbrook. "At present, the code that drives the majority of software applications is accessible only by the person who wrote it. Only the designer knows how the application works," adds Easterbrook.

"Advocates of open source argue that computer systems could be made much more reliable if their inner workings were made public. Then, instead of having to design each one from scratch, software companies could build on and adapt one another's solutions," says Easterbrook.

According to the National Post, on March 19 "Ms. Stronach's campaign blunted its criticism of the party's central membership list." The newspaper quoted Laschinger as saying, "I think all of us will respect the outcome. We have to."

"As it turned out, Stronach's opponent Stephen Harper won a decisive first-ballot victory," says Easterbrook. "But imagine the consequences had the race been extremely close, as was the 2000 US presidential election. There is much speculation that Canada might face a minority government, in which case the conservative leader could wield considerable influence," adds Easterbrook.

"Problems with software reliability are a threat to the integrity of our electoral system, and it is at our peril that we fail to address them," warns Easterbrook.

Other technical issues to be discussed at the UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO conference include customizability, usability and security.

THE BIG PICTURE

The Open Source conference will be attended by decision-makers, policy-makers and academics seeking to know the future of information technology, computer software and related intellectual property. Participants will come from the business, government, education and health care sectors.

"This event brings together the most knowledgeable and diverse set of speakers on these topics ever assembled under one roof," says conference chair Ron Baecker. Presenters will include computer scientists, political and social scientists, journalists, lawyers, business executives, entrepreneurs, industry analysts, educators and library information specialists.

Examples are Bob Young, co-founder of Red Hat, the world's most successful Linux company; Eben Moglen, Columbia law professor and general counsel, Free Software Foundation; Berkeley political economy professor Steve Weber whose Harvard University Press book on open source will appear in April; Brian Behlendorf, co-founder of the Apache Web Server Project; and Professor Derek Keats, recently chair of the first major African conference on open source.

Special discounted registration, at CDN$495 for the full conference, is available until April 30. The price after April 30 and at the door is CDN$595. Single-day and discounted volume registrations are also available.

The conference is presented by the following organizations within the UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO: Knowledge Media Design Institute, Connaught International Symposia Fund, Centre for Innovation Law and Policy, Citizen Lab of the Munk Centre for International Studies, Department of Computer Science, Information Policy Research Program, the University of Toronto Libraries and their Resource Centre for Academic Technology.

The support of these organizations is hereby acknowledged: Communications and Information Technology Ontario, IBM Centre for Advanced Studies, Linux Professional Institute, Seneca College, Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, Caseware International, Novell, Openflows Networks Ltd. and The Commons Group.


March 15, 2004 - Toronto
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Digital Entrepreneur Bob Young To Deliver Keynote at Toronto Open Source Conference
LULU.COM CEO, TICATS OWNER AND RED HAT CO-FOUNDER TO DISCUSS INNOVATION IN DIGITAL MARKETPLACE

  Bob Young, CEO of Lulu.com, new owner of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and co-founder of the world's most successful alternative software company Red Hat, will deliver the keynote address at the Open Source Conference May 9-11 at the University of Toronto. Young will address how the open exchange of information stimulates innovation in the marketplace in both the software and publishing industries.

  Titled "Open Source and Free Software: Concepts, Controversies and Solutions," the conference will take place Sunday, May 9, to Tuesday, May 11, at Convocation Hall, 31 King's College Circle. Bob Young will deliver the keynote address May 10.

  "It is a myth that successful businesses have to maintain proprietary control of their product and marketplace in order to be successful. Innovation is ultimately the key to success for any business. Closed systems actually discourage innovation," says Young.

"At Red Hat we were not in the software business, at least not in the same sense that Microsoft is in the software business. Instead we succeeded by giving more power to our customers and responding to their needs. We are doing the same thing now with Lulu.com, an on-demand publishing tool that provides consumers with access to an open marketplace for content. Lulu.com challenges the assumptions of conventional publishing the same way that Red Hat challenged the assumptions of the software industry." Red Hat is the largest distributor of Linux, the most popular open-source operating system.

  A graduate of the University of Toronto, Young is truly an open-source visionary according to conference chair Ron Baecker. "He is an imaginative and successful entrepreneur, as well as a thoughtful and entertaining communicator. We are honoured he will be participating as our keynote speaker and as presenter at our 'business models' session."

Full details on Young's role in the conference are available at its Web site,
http://osconf.kmdi.utoronto.ca/.


  SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION

  Topic of Young's address: "In a free-market-based democracy the consumer and citizen are one." The speech will be an autobiographical journey through issues that include open source, free software, open content, public domain, public good, entrepreneurship, business, free markets, democracy, customer service and profit.

Young will explain how understanding 18th century philosophers, from Adam Smith to Ricardo and Mill, can help identify business opportunities that are not only highly profitable, but extremely beneficial to society. Young studied philosophy at UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO.

Named one of BusinessWeek's top entrepreneurs in 1999, Young also founded The Center for the Public Domain, a foundation that supports the growth of a healthy, robust domain of knowledge and the arts. He is currently CEO of Lulu.com, a marketplace for digital content.

  Conference registration: a discounted fee of CDN$395 for the entire event is available until March 19, after which it increases to CDN$495. Price at the door is CDN$595. Single-day and discounted volume registrations are available.

The conference is presented by the following organizations within the UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO: Knowledge Media Design Institute, Connaught International Symposia Fund, Centre for Innovation Law and Policy, Citizen Lab of the Munk Centre for International Studies, Department of Computer Science, Information Policy Research Program, the University of Toronto Libraries and their Resource Centre for Academic Technology.

The support of these organizations is hereby acknowledged: Communications and Information Technology Ontario, IBM Centre for Advanced Studies, Linux Professional Institute, Seneca College, Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, Caseware International, Novell, Inc., Openflows Networks Ltd. and The Commons Group.


March 2, 2004 - Toronto
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Open Source and Free Software Conference
To Be Held at University of Toronto This May
THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE EVER HELD WORLDWIDE

A conference entitled "Open Source and Free Software: Concepts, Controversies and Solutions" will be held Sunday, May 9, to Tuesday, May 11, at Convocation Hall, 31 King's College Circle, University of Toronto.

Open source refers to the practice of making public the code that makes software work, so that others are encouraged and empowered to review, critique and improve it. Open content, a similar approach used with intellectual property like encyclopedias and electronic journals, will also be discussed.

The conference is the most comprehensive of its kind ever held worldwide. Other such events are almost all strictly technical. This one treats open source as a social movement. It integrates technical with legal, political and business issues. It discusses implications for health care, education and dissemination of public knowledge.

The conference Web site may be viewed at
http://osconf.kmdi.utoronto.ca.

The meeting will be attended by decision-makers, policy-makers and academics seeking to know the future of information technology, computer software and related intellectual property. Participants will come from the business, government, education and health care sectors.

"This event brings together the most knowledgeable and diverse set of speakers on these topics ever assembled under one roof," says conference chair Ron Baecker. "The ability to predict technology trends is critical to wealth creation and industrial growth. We have therefore included some of the world's foremost thinkers in high technology, intellectual property, and knowledge creation and transfer," adds Baecker.

Presenters will include computer scientists, political and social scientists, journalists, lawyers, business executives, entrepreneurs, industry analysts, educators and library information specialists.

Examples are Bob Young, co-founder of Red Hat, the world's most successful Linux company; Eben Moglen, Columbia law professor and General Counsel, Free Software Foundation; Berkeley political economy professor Steve Weber, whose Harvard University Press book on open source will appear in April; Brian Behlendorf, co-founder of the Apache Web Server Project; and Professor Derek Keats, recently chair of the first major African conference on open source.

Special discounted registration, at CDN$395 for the full conference, has been extended to March 19, after which the fee increases to CDN$495. Price at the door is CDN$595. Single-day and discounted volume registrations are available.

The conference is presented by the following organizations within the University of Toronto: Knowledge Media Design Institute, Connaught International Symposia Fund, Centre for Innovation Law and Policy, Citizen Lab of the Munk Centre for International Studies, Department of Computer Science, Information Policy Research Program, the University of Toronto Libraries and their Resource Centre for Academic Technology.

The support of these organizations is hereby acknowledged: Communications and Information Technology Ontario, IBM Centre for Advanced Studies, Linux Professional Institute, Seneca College, Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, Caseware International, Novell, Inc., Openflows Networks Ltd. and The Commons Group.

Contact
Bernie Hogan, Publicity Chair
416-898-7630
Bernie.Hogan@utoronto.ca

Kelly Rankin, Conference Coordinator
416-946-8512
Kelly@kmdi.utoronto.ca



OPEN SOURCE CONFERENCE TO SHOWCASE PIONEERS


February 17, 2004

The May 9 to 11 University of Toronto conference on Open Source and Free Software: Concepts, Controversies, and Solutions is pleased to announce its keynote session featuring three leading thinkers and practitioners.

Eben Moglen, Columbia law school professor and legal counsel to the Free Software Foundation, has recently described "free software" as "a social movement with specific political goals which will characterize not only the production of software in the twenty-first century, but the production and distribution of culture generally". In addition to winning the Electronic Frontier Foundation's 2003 Pioneer award for his work with the FSF, he has helped ensure the viability of the pioneering GPL free software license.

In this panel, Moglen will be joined by Apache Co-Founder Brian Behlendorf. Open Source Apache web servers are currently the world's most popular choice, outnumbering all other competitors combined two to one. Behlendorf is also the founder and CTO of Collabnet and was one of the original engineers of Wired Online and HotWired magazine. Behlendorf notes that Open Source technology is on the "tipping point" between useful strategy for some business and a crucial part of the business world's day-to-day business.

Rounding out this panel is Rishab Aiyer Ghosh, founding editor of First Monday, the world's most widely read online peer-reviewed journal, with over 100,000 articles download per month. Additionally, Ghosh is programme leader at the International Institute of Infonomics, University of Maastricht, where he was lead author of the European Commission-sponsored FLOSS study on Free Software / Open Source.

More information on the conference can be found at http://osconf.kmdi.utoronto.ca/ . Other sessions deal with legal, political, and policy issues; business models; technical issues; applications to health and medicine; and open access and open content. Early bird registration continues until the end of February.

The Conference is brought to you by the University of Toronto Knowledge Media Design Institute, Connaught International Symposia Fund, Center for Innovation Law and Policy, Citizen Lab of the Munk Centre for International Studies, Department of Computer Science, Information Policy Research Program, and the University of Toronto Libraries and its Resource Centre for Academic Technology. We acknowledge the support of Communications and Information Technology Ontario, the IBM Centre for Advanced Studies, the Linux Professional Institute, Seneca College, the Ontario Ministry of of Economic Development and Trade, Caseware International, Openflows Networks Ltd, and The Commons Group.


OPEN SOURCE CONFERENCE TO EXAMINE FUTURE OF INNOVATIONS


January 28, 2004

Industry leaders, Academics, IT Professionals, hospital and health care administrators and government officials will peer into the future of software innovation at a groundbreaking conference on open source peer-production models from May 9 to 11 at the University of Toronto's Convocation Hall, 31 King's College Circle, Toronto, Canada.

The conference, Open Source and Free Software: Concepts, Controversies, and Solutions, will debate the future of open source models of development in software and beyond, addressing how this movement will affect the way we work, learn and stay healthy. Open source, a way of producing and sharing computer code freely between industry, government and developers, has achieved widespread success in many areas of information technology. The conference will look at the growth of open source methods and ideas in several institutions. Panelists will discuss current legal issues, public policy concerns and business models as well as technological issues, uses in health care and its current and future role in education via concepts of open content and open access.

Among the 30 confirmed speakers for the event are Robert Young, founder of Red Hat, the world's largest commercial Linux distributor; Brian Behlendorf, Apache, co-founder; Steve Weber, author, political scientist at University of California at Berkley; David McGowan, Professor, University of Minnesota Law School and Dr. Yuri Quintana, creator of Cure4kids, a developing world-oriented pediatric support network.

The conference is organized by UofT's Knowledge Media Design Institute(KMDI). For more information, please visit the conference website at: http://osconf.kmdi.utoronto.ca or the KMDI home page: http://kmdi.utoronto.ca

The Knowledge Media Design Institute is a research community of over 60 University of Toronto faculty involved in the design use and evaluation of digital media that support human communications and learning. Members come from 25 different disciplines including computer science, sociology, engineering, law, political science, medicine education and architecture.