Just another Students for Free Culture weblog

Who are We?

Free Culture at Virginia Tech is a chapter of Students for Free Culture. We have meetings every Tuesday at 8:00pm in Johnston Student Center (GBJ) North Lounge.

Students for Free Culture is an international chapter-based student organization that promotes the public interest in intellectual property and information and communications technology policy.

For example, we use free software like GNU/Linux, follow RIAA lawsuits, and listen to Creative Commons licensed music. Check out our wiki, join our mailing list, or come by some time to find out more!

Recent Developments

February 07, 2009

Scholar Online

Published by under Uncategorized

https://learn.vt.edu/ Before

https://learn.vt.edu/ Before

https://learn.vt.edu/ After

https://learn.vt.edu/ After

As of January 29th, the URL that originally hosted the Blackboard portal now hosts a new portal that allows everyone to log in to the new Scholar platform. Right now Scholar is only being used for student projects and faculty “Short Courses,” but I have talked with a Scholar developer and he says that Blackboard is planned to be phased out within two years. The old Blackboard portal has been relocated from https://learn.vt.edu/ to https://blackboard.lt.vt.edu/.

No responses yet

October 26, 2008

New VT student journal uses a free license

Published by under Uncategorized

Yesterday, skyfaller (Nelson) brought to my attention that Virginia Tech has a new student journal called Public Knowledge, which promises to use CC-BY for its articles:

Authors retain copyright of their submissions and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work’s authorship and initial publication in this journal.

The journal’s copyright page also says that submissions are non-exclusive, so publications in other journals are allowed as well, provided that they are published in Public Knowledge first:

1. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work’s authorship and initial publication in this journal.
2. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal’s published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
3. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).

One response so far

October 26, 2008

Virginia Tech may replace Blackboard with free alternative

Published by under Uncategorized

This was mentioned in Free Culture News a while ago, but it’s worth mentioning here because it applies specifically to Virginia Tech.

Virginia Tech, after years of using the proprietary Blackboard software, is now working on their own implementation of Sakai called Scholar. Scholar right now is accessible to anyone with a Virginia Tech PID, and hopefully will be set to completely replace Blackboard in the future.

Thanks to kiran for bringing this up.

No responses yet

September 21, 2008

“Copyright vs. Community” now up for download.

Published by under Uncategorized

In honor of Software Freedom Day, we’re posting up the digital recording of Richard Stallman’s speech: “Copyright vs. Community” on our Web site. As per Stallman’s request, we are presenting the speech in the free Speex codec. This speech is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 3.0 Unported.

Enjoy.

Richard Stallman: Copyright vs. Community in the Age of Computer Networks.

PS: Right-click and choose “Save Link As…” to download the file, or stream it with a Speex-compatible media player.

No responses yet

September 11, 2008

Gobblerfest Photos

Published by under Uncategorized

gobblerfest08Gobblerfest was a blast.  A lot of people seemed interested, and we even got the DJ to play Brad Sucks.

Check out the pictures that Patrick took: http://killertux.org/~pbutler/people/

No responses yet

September 05, 2008

Free Culture News is gaining ground

Published by under Uncategorized

Free Culture News is a project of Students for Free Culture, but it was initiated by and is largely maintained by our chapter.  It is starting to gain ground, and I’ve even seen Mike Linksvayer (VP of Creative Commons) make a comment about it.

No responses yet

August 26, 2008

Regular Meetings Scheduled

Published by under Uncategorized

Regular meetings have been scheduled for Tuesday at 7:00 in Torgersen 3180, starting on September 2nd.

Check out the meeting wiki.

No responses yet

August 24, 2008

First Meeting Monday

Published by under Uncategorized

The first meeting of the semester will be held on Monday night. (This will not necessarily be the regular time)

  • Date: Monday, Aug 25th
  • Time: 8:00pm
  • Place Torgersen 3180

See you there!

No responses yet

July 06, 2008

Datamation Dude Interviews Mark Shuttleworth, Uses One of Our Questions

Published by under Uncategorized

Previously, James Maguire visited our chapter to test out Ubuntu.  Recently he interviewed Mark Shuttleworth, and he has used a question suggested by one of our members (Chris Covington).

This question comes from a member of Free Culture at Virginia Tech: Ubuntu is certainly a major step in the right direction in terms of universal usability of Linux for the average person’s desktop/notebook. But the process isn’t complete yet. Are there any fundamental changes being considered to accelerate the release of a perfectly intuitive, out-of-the-box Ubuntu that will single-handedly dominate the world in the name of Free Software?

I think his premise is correct, that Linux has made leaps and bounds. And it’s not just Ubuntu – and Ubuntu certainly can’t take credit for all the progress that’s been made on the usability front. But we certainly champion the idea.

We genuinely believe that Linux can deliver what he’s asking for, and we want to be right in the front of the effort to help make that happen. But there are lots of other groups, upstream communities like GNOME and KDE, and other distributions, and all of us are playing our part.

I do think this [time period] is a unique opportunity for Linux to step up and appeal to, and deliver value for, the ordinary desktop user, or the non-specialist user. I think these Netbooks that we were talking about earlier are a very significant factor in making that possible.

We face an opportunity now, and partly that’s because Vista has not delivered to people’s expectations. Partly that’s because the Web is increasingly how people define the PC experience. It used to be, the PC was what you used to run Microsoft PowerPoint and today it’s what you use to surf the Web. And we can deliver a fantastic Web experience on Linux; I would argue a better Web experience than you get on Windows from a safety-security perspective. So for all of those reasons this is a really important time in the history of Linux.

Read the entire article here.

One response so far

April 29, 2008

Datamation Dude Checks out Sarah’s Ubuntu

Published by under Uncategorized

A couple of weeks ago, James Maguire came by our chapter meetings to check out Ubuntu. He wrote a review, and comments even showed up on the Ubuntu forums!


Update: Check out this Slashdot journal on the article. Thanks twitter!

2 responses so far

« Prev - Next »