Cuba launches its own Linux variant

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Cuba, long the subject of a trade embargo from America, finds it difficult to get its hands on Microsoft software legally. Given that MS Office formats are the global standard, it makes things rather difficult for the island nation, so the country has decided to put its eggs in the Open Source box.

Cuba has developed its own variant of Linux, called “Nova”. It was introduced at a Havana computer conference on “technological sovereignty”, the Cuban government’s desire to become more technologically independent from America.

About 20 percent computers in Cuba currently run Linux – but sales of computers to the public only started last year. The dean of the School of Free Software at Cuba’s University of Information Sciences, Hector Rodriguez, says “I would like to think that in five years our country will have more than 50 percent migrated (to Linux)”.

(via Reuters)

HD DVD owners in Switzerland can trade for Blu-ray players, sez Sony

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Bless the Swiss. Not only do they give the rest of the world chocolate, Swiss cheese, and beautiful people, but they’re also offering HD DVD owners the opportunity to trade in their obsolete format for a Blu-ray player.

Surprisingly, it’s Sony who’re offering the trade, marking Switzerland as the first country on the map to do so. When buying the BDP-S500…