Québec government sued for buying Microsoft products without any public call for tender

As per the original press release:

In Quebec, access to public markets is the rule while contracts attribution without invitation to tender is the exception. A public market should be transparent, fair and most importantly, open to all. The solutions as well as the propositions must be evaluated objectively on known and accepted criteria. Furthermore, the regulation implies that public markets have to enhance the local economic development as well as the Quebec technologies.

From February to June 2008, FACIL has noticed sales of proprietary software for more than 25 million dollars. These purchases were made for products offered by large multinational enterprises, with no regard to suppliers in Quebec.

Much to my surprise, news about this lawsuit have spread as far as Vietnam! Something tells me that this court case might have lasting repercussions...


Dear Lazyweb: constructive homelessness

Dear Lazyweb,

I'm a permanent resident of one country, but I'm representing the interests of another one as a part of my job. Anyhow, I'm constantly traveling, so I cannot consider myself as having a residence anywhere in particular.

Still, the health insurance and taxation offices of the country where I'm registered as a resident are constantly annoying me with requests for additional clarifications about "working abroad" (trying to imply that I might have relocated to the country where my employer has their head office), which is a complete waste of my time, because the previous explanation is never good enough for them and they keep on twisting every word I say.

I was thus wondering if someone ever found a way to not have any official place of residence anywhere and still be able to get visas for the countries they need to visit and also be able to rent apartments in the countries that they visit the most frequently without ending up with residence permits for each of them, so as to avoid the above mess with multiple jurisdictions?

This question is not about evading taxation. It's about finding a solution to avoid wasting time constantly filing paperwork just because the bureaucracy cannot understand a situation where someone's lifestyle doesn't fit the traditional model of living and working in exactly one city.


brainstorm: new LPC dongle design

One of our most popular products at the dayjob has been our Programmable LPC Dongle. It has seen widespread use as an embedded hardware development and debugging tool and is particularly popular among Coreboot developers as a ROM emulator, because of its low price and because we publish the FPGA code under the LGPL.

Unfortunately, our current LPC Dongle product is nearing end of life, because some components are no longer available.

We're currently designing a brand new Programmable LPC Dongle and, noticing the plethora of improvement ideas we already received from the Coreboot community, we decided to widen the scope and invite a larger group of hardware developers to tell us what features they want to see in our next-generation Programmable LPC Dongle.

Anyone interested in participating in this brainstorm is welcome to send me their ideas to first-middle.lastname@artecgroup.com by September 1st 2008. While we cannot guarantee that every idea submitted will be used, we will definitely be reading all the feedback we receive.