URGENT: Unlimited Software Patents In New Zealand. Act Now!

Logo of End Software Patents website

NZ government is about to pass a new Patents Act.  In the 8-year review, they seemingly forgot to consider the impacts of patents on computer software!  Submissions on the bill are being accepted till 2 July, so we need to move fast.  Make a submission now

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Where will your grandkids be 60 years from now?

It is not often I blog off topic, so I hope that you can appreciate how important this is, and spare a few minutes to save your own future, your children's and grandchildren's futures and home planet.

Photo of a desparate man helplessly watching his home burn downWould you just stand around and watch as your home burned down with your children and pets inside? No? So please don't stand around and watch while we destroy our home planet.

This December, world leaders, including New Zealand prim minister John Key, will meet in Copenhagen to decide what the world should do about climate change. John needs our support in order to do the right thing in Copenhagen. Please Sign On today. This is a great chance to make a difference.

Over 50,000 New Zealanders have already Signed On, from Lucy Lawless, Stephen Tindall and Cliff Curtis through to Rhys Darby and of course, me too!

If you don't live in NZ, find out what you can do locally. Write to your local politicians, heads of state or ask Greenpeace in your country what you can do.

Don't sit around and do nothing. How are you going answer to your children when they ask why you didn't do anything about climate change before it was too late?

There is an edition of the International Herald Tribune published 6 months in the future which demonstrates the importance of having a voice NOW.

Click the following link to sign on now http://www.signon.org.nz/join-me/77782406

Our unborn children and grandchildren are saying thank you.

UPDATED: Can't Add CSS, JS, RSS Icon Or Set Title Or Messages In Preprocess Page?

UPDATE: Due to recent changes to our website the code snippet (the valuable part of this blog post) got accidentally lost. If you read this already, please come back to see the sample code. Thanks!
Often you want to add CSS files, scripts, feed icons or even set Drupal's page title from the theme layer. The most obvious place to call Drupal's functions for these tasks is probably in a page preprocess function. However calling the following Drupal API functions from a theme or module's NAME_preprocess_page() function often doesn't work;

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SignOn.org.nz, By Greenpeace NZ

Earlier this year Jenn, Owen and I worked on a proposal for Greenpeace NZ. CivicActions didn't win the contract, but the website has just launched.

Sign On.  THE WORLD NEEDS US. There is no Planet B, Lucy Lawless. The shit is hitting the fan, Harry McNaughton. 4 all our kiddly-winks =), Keisha Castle-Hughes. Do it for your kids, Francesca Price. 'cos we care, Emily Barclay. The Science is Bloody Obvious, Jim Salingary. It's now or never! Toni Potter. Just Sign On, Bunny McDiarmid. It's everyone's issue, Stephe Tindall. It's time to be a good global citizen, Sarah Thomson. No regrets, Bonnie Soper.

SignOn.org.nz – a Drupal site – was implemented by Catalyst IT, a FLOSS software shop in Wellington New Zealand which employs Josh "fiasco" Waihi, Drupal 7 PostgreSQL maintainer and NZ IT Rockstar 2009 winner and Brenda "shiny" Wallace, Drupal contributor.

Catalyst has done an excellent job and the campaign was featured in NZ's national Sunday newspaper a couple of weeks ago.

They've got many Kiwi celebrities on for the campaign, some which are known internationally too; Most notably Lucy Lawless (Xena Warrior Princess) and Keisha Castle Hughes (From Whale Rider and award-winning other films).

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Accessibility For Humans; Usability Of Websites For Screen Reader Users

A graph from the article showing disabilities reported: Disabilities Reported Read the full article

I recently read a fascinating survey of 1000 blind and visually impaired internet users. It's a long article but is largely graphs and data tables – so is easily consumed. If you want the short version, check out the comments and conclusion.

The most surprising parts for me were;

  • Websites that auto-play music (MySpace most notably) are extremely difficult because the sound makes it hard for the user to listen to screen readers. Further, the flash music player is usually inaccessible for screen reader users, so the music can not be stopped and the page is completely unusable.

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New Zealand Government Rejects Microsoft

The NZ SSC has rejected Microsoft's offers for a new licensing contract. This is a big loss for Microsoft (Though I'm sure MS would have you believe otherwise and try to paint the picture back to front) and big win for NZ Government and NZ's IT industry.
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