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Survey on Chip implants in Germany

According to a survey carried out by German IT industry lobby group BITKOM, 23% out of 1000 German respondents would accept to have a microchip implanted in their body if that would bring concrete benefits from it.The survey was meant to show the increase of the division between real life and the virtual world, as one of the themes of the CeBIT technology fair having taken place in Hanover between 2 and 6 March 2010.However, the study findings are debatable as the respondent sample was not only small but also taken from a special pool (CeBIT visitors who are probably IT inclined anyway). And one must not overlook the fact that 77% of the study respondents were, in fact, against the ...

EU Data protection regulation stalled again

On 6 December 2013, the EU justice ministers took again a step back in adopting the EU Data Protection Regulation.The day was considered by EU commissioner for justice, Viviane Reding as a disappointing one for data privacy. What was this time? “The ministers did not want to make hasty decisions,” Lithuanian Justice Minister Juozas Bernatonis told reporters. The issue having caused the delay seems to be the so-called one-stop shop principle which harmonizes decision-making across the EU.Hubert Legal, head of the legal service for the European Council said the one-stop shop rule undermined citizens’ human rights. “The problem is the results you get in terms of respecting the ...

‘Open’ one of keywords in Hungary’s ICT strategy

Open standards and free and open source are central to Hungary's approach to ICT, says Gábor Fekete, deputy secretary of state, in his opening address to the conference organised by the government's resource centre on open source, on 27 November in Budapest. The government wants to strengthen the domestic IT sector, become less locked-in by IT vendors, lower the cost of its ICT solutions and make sure its electronic government services are interoperable.Achieving interoperability is a central principle for the government's 2014 - 2020 plans for local and state public administrations, Fekete says. Design of the government's ICT systems still has to overcome a "fifteen year-old debt", Fekete....

European Commission launches pilot to open up publicly funded research data

Valuable information produced by researchers in many EU-funded projects will be shared freely as a result of a Pilot on Open Research Data in Horizon 2020. Researchers in projects participating in the pilot are asked to make the underlying data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications and other scientific information available for use by other researchers, innovative industries and citizens. This will lead to better and more efficient science and improved transparency for citizens and society. It will also contribute to economic growth through open innovation. For 2014-2015, topic areas participating in the Open Research Data Pilot will receive funding of around ...

Interim ruling by European Court condemns massive storage of communications data

The Advocate General of the European Court of Justice issued a devastating Opinion on the European Directive that requires European telecommunications providers to store details of all electronic communications for between six months to two years.
The case was brought before the Court by EDRi-members Digital Rights Ireland and AKVorrat.at in close cooperation with Austrian EDRi members IfNf and VIBE.The Advocate General’s Opinion states that the Directive “is as a whole incompatible with Article 52(1) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union”. In particular, the measure is not necessary and does not “genuinely meet objectives of general interest recognised by the ...

‘Turkey deliberately ignoring open source’

Public administrations in Turkey are neglecting free and open source ICT solutions, says Hüseyin Tolu, a PHD student at the University of Bristol.
Causes include institutional inertia, vendor lock-in and corruption. Part of his thesis appeared as a case-study earlier this week in the International Free and Open Source Software Law Review.Tolu writes that the country lacks ICT policies and the authorities do not attempt to strike a balance between open and closed source alternatives. However, the need for an approach on free software has come up multiple times, Tolu summarises. Between 2004 and 2006, two government action plans argue in favour of free and open source and the government ...

Horizon 2020 launched with €15 billion over first two years

The European Commission has today for the first time presented calls for projects under Horizon 2020, the European Union's €80 billion research and innovation programme. Worth more than €15 billion over the first two years, the funding is intended to help boost Europe's knowledge-driven economy, and tackle issues that will make a difference in people's lives. This includes 12 areas that will be a focus for action in 2014/2015, including topics such as personalised healthcare, digital security and smart cities.European Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said: "It's time to get down to business. Horizon 2020 funding is vital for the future of research and ...

Regional conference POINT 2.1 “Accountability of government, civil society and new technologies”

On Saturday, Nov 23., The Friedrich Ebert Foundation, in cooperation with UG Zašto Ne held a regional conference entitled 'Accountability of government, civil society and new technologies – POINT 2.1'.The event was held in addition to the annual 'POINT' conference has been organizing since 2012 by UG Zašto Ne with the aim of exchanging civil society experiences in the context of the use of new technologies for democratization of public life and for promotion of accountability and transparency in government as well as for civic activism.

Panel’s speakers and participants represented civil society organizations from the region, and recruited from the first two editions of POINT. Among...

Council of the EU discusses OER, but is vague on details

The Council of the European Union, comprised of Ministers of member states, debated last week on the topic „Open Educational Resources and digital learning.”. The debate was held during the meeting of the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council on the 25-26th of November.The meeting was related to the Commission’s "Opening Up Education" initiative, which was launched at the end of September and in which the development of OER policies plays a key role. Yet the scope of debate at the Council meeting was broader, and didn’t seem to be well connected to the “Opening Up Education” project. The Council did not provide a written conclusion on the matter. Based on limited available ...

Regional Microsoft Education Conference – Real Impact for Better Education

Microsoft Macedonia and Public Sector Microsoft CEEIt in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science of Republic of Macedonia is organizing a Regional Microsoft Education Conference that will be held on December 4th, 2013 at the Aleksandar palace Hotel.
This is an opportunity to learn how to use technology to help improve education and learning, create opportunity, and raise living standards for people in the country.
 
Please join us for an event showcasing solutions and best practices that bring learning to life in and out of the classroom allowing education leaders to reimagine how technology can modernize learning and improve outcomes.The event organizers believe ...