Welcome at PUBLIC VOICE Lab. Here is
a collection of answers to frequently asked questions, when collaborating
or working with us.
- Q: What is PUBLIC VOICE Lab good for?
- Providing research and services to our members and
to the general public in the fields of:
In particular, PUBLIC VOICE Lab develops and manages innovative research
and software projects for communication needs which are not yet satisfied,
realizing new means for the information flow within communities.
- Digital Empowerment
- streaming media
- Q: Which licensing models do you apply for software?
- Open source promotes software reliability and quality by supporting
independent peer review and rapid evolution of source code. In our experience,
building solutions with open source modules permits fast deployment, better
maintainability, and gives security to our users and customers about quality
and extensibility. Hence we seek collaboration and support the work of open
source development teams, such as dyne.org. Most of
our softwares are published under the GNU/GPL license agreement.
- Q: Where does PUBLIC VOICE Lab get money from?
Despite the fact that PUBLIC VOICE Lab does high profile research we do
not get any socket-subsidiaries from anybody. We usually manage the co-financing
of our research work with consulting services or from revenues from spin-out
companies or partner organisations, such as webforus or Team Teichenberg.
- Partial project costs reimbursement from the Commission of
the European Union
- EC-project co-financing support from Bundesministerium fuer
Bildung, Wissenschaft und Kunst and Bundesministerium fuer Verkehr, Innovation
- Member Fees & Services
- License fees
- Mission critical warranty charges
- Q: Why is PUBLIC VOICE Lab a NPO (non-profit organisation)?
- Being a non-profit organisation forces us to focus on work, which
is of relevance for the greater public. It combines the flexibility of an
association with the right of every member, to participate in the decision-making
process. As such, it keeps the lab vital without being dependend on shareholders'
wish to generate profit for them, as the earnings cannot be taken out. Being
non-profit as a research lab also means, that we have easier access to some
funding sources for doing research. Still, we are able to make investments
and form startegic alliances.
We have shown in a number of commercial projects, that PUBLIC VOICE
Lab performs like any other for-profit organisation. Even better: without
the pressure to generate profits for investors, we did not have to fear being
striked by an IT-depression.
- Q: What relation does PUBLIC VOICE Lab have to the PUBLIC VOICE books?
- In 1994, both a PUBLIC VOICE limited company and a research lab
have been founded. The one was successful with producing books (a business
which has been outsourced in 1998 to PUBLIC VOICE Report VerlagsgmbH &
CoKG), the other with doing research and software development. Both organisations
are independent from each other, and there is no special personal or financial
relation from the publishers to the lab or vice versa, except that we share
the name for historical reasons and sometimes do projects together e.g. the
Senior Online handbook and package.
Q: I am really annoyed about the SPAM in my mailbox, what may i do...?
You can get rid of unsolicited email by configuring a SPAM-filter for your email-client
- Q: Which kind of services does PUBLIC VOICE Lab provide to external
- We offer a broad range of services for individuals, small and
big cultural and political organisation with two service levels (with / without
live human support). For details see the table at our membership section.
- Q: How can I become an external member of PUBLIC VOICE Lab?
- Read more about membership and
fill out the form. You will get an account and
a password to access our extended services.
- Q: Iwant to have my own domain, how does that work?
- We can host name services for all top-level domains (unless a national domain registrar has specific rules about the geographical location of nameservers). You can register your domain with any registrar, giving the following nameservers:
You will need to set up the domain using our Self Admin. After entering that information in Self Admin, your domain is live as soon as the registrar updates their database.
- Q: I want to move my domain from another provider to you. What do I have to do?
- This is a little tricky, because the rules are different with each registrar. If you want to move a .com, .org or .net domain, you will in most cases simply need to fill a webform with the new nameservers. With .at domains you need to fill and fax the transfer form to nic.at. Without those faxes we cannot do anything. So the steps are:
Important: All domain changes can take up to a week to propagate through the internet. All over the internet, other nameservers cache the data for requested domains. These caches may hold outdated data for quite a while. If you can work with your old provier, ask him to reduce the expiry values for your domain data. This way most caches will update more quickly.
- Set up your domain in Self Admin.
- Fill out transfer forms or data change forms at your registrar.
- In case of .at domains fax the relevant forms to nic.at.
- Q: How do I configure my computer to dial in to the Internet via PUBLIC
- Use PUBLIC VOICE Lab's configuration
data together with the dial-in FAQ from
our backbone provider. Here are special tips for Windows
users. Tips for configuring a proxy service can be found here.
- Q: Whom do I contact at PUBLIC VOICE Lab for:
- Support: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note, that we charge any additional human service that we provide
to you, which is not covered by your service package (except fixing a problem
which is caused by malfunction of our infrastructure).
- Q: Which additional rights do I have as an external member of PUBLIC
- You have the right to participate at all our events, including
the general assembly for which you can make suggestions to the agenda.
- Q: Which contract do I have and do I have to pay social security and
- In Austria, you can have six different types of work relations,
and for each the rules are different:
For all work relations, we use as a basis for calculations the total
employee costs per year.
- "Konsulentenvertrag / Framework Agreement": You issue invoices
according to your contract or based on your "Gewerbeberechtigung" (Business
Allowance). You are responsible for paying taxes and health insurance yourself.
For the latter, we may need to have that proofed, so please provide us with
a copy of your registration with a health insurance organisation. Send your
invoices to email@example.com as pdf or (preferred) give them to the office manager
(Natasa) on paper personally (this may speed up payment ;-). Payment
is done usually within 14 days.
- "Freier Dienstvertrag": You issue invoices according to your
contract. You are responsibly for paying taxes. We pay your social security
(health & pensio insurance). You have no right to get money when becoming
- "Dienstvertrag": You get a monthly salary. We pay all taxes,
health and pension insurance and city-related taxes, such as the subway-tax.
As a citizen of Austria, you may get an unemployment fee after you were employed
- "Geringfuegige Beschaeftigung": You get a small monthly salary
(max EUR 250.-); there is no obligation to pay taxes, and health insurance
- "Akademikertraining": You get a salary from the state, we usually
continue the employment after the training-on-the-job period; there is no
obligation to pay taxes, and health insurance is covered.
- "Vorstandsentschaedigung": Members of the board may decide
to pay themselves EUR 100.- per month, which is a tax free income in Austria.
No other fees are granted to the president or the cashier or other members
of the board; however they often have a contract related to specific project
work, just like all others.
- Q: What are the office hours?
- Monday to Friday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. (= 8 hours)
- Q: To whom do I have to report when being late, abroad working in a
remote office or when planning my holidays?
- Please put all known days in advance on the table
on our blackboard, it really makes life easier for those working in the office
to see at a glance who will show up during the day. Or send an e-mail to
firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office manager at 9:30 the latest, if your plans
for the day change. Reporting where and when to be reachable is also required
for staff working at a remote office. When you plan to have some days off
or your world-round-trip, tell it at one of the staff meetings or notify
us on the staff mailing list. As a pragmatic rule, we report our absence
at least twice the period of absent days in advance.
- Q: How many hours do I have to work and do I have to record them?
- If you are not ill and there is no holiday, 40 hours
per week for a full-time contract. The basis for our project calculations
is that you work 8 hours per full working day for 210 days a year, which
sums up to 1680 hours per year. If we simply say, that personal and national
holidays and festivities (including Easter and the time between X-mas and
New Year) sum up to 7 weeks of total holidays, you are obliged to report
an average of about 37 hours per week, so that you reach the 1680 hours at
the end of the year. Time sheets are required for most of our projects and
you will need to fill into Excel sheets (template is on file server) the
hours worked per day and what you have been working on.
- Q: Why is Roland leaving at 12:30 and sometimes again in the afternoon?
- He shares responsibilty for child caring with his
wife, who is also working in a management position. He loves his children,
so he often cooks for them for lunch and may organise an afternoon program
for them and their Au-Pair. However, you may have noted, that he also sends
e-mails early in the morning or late in the evening ...
- Q: How do we maintain our external contacts data?
- We use FileMaker (get your copy from email@example.com).
It is not perfect, cannot sync to Outlook, but works, also from abroad. It
is very important, that we all use the same database. When launching the
program, just open the host copyshop.pvl.at, select kunden.fm3 and enter
the password. Use the "Kunden" file for looking up organisations and people,
you can get more data on people on the "Personen" file, or enter any important
contact detail to "Kontakte". You can also very easily write standard (1-2
pages) letters or an agreement, when adding a subject at the bottom and clicking
- Q: Where do we store our software code?
- We have our own sourceforge based code management
system running at www.groupsource.net.
It supports release management, bug-fixing, task planning, and has a built
in cvs gateway.
- Q: How do we co-ordinate the schedule for meetings?
- We agree on meeting dates at meetings or by e-mail.
Everybody has to take responsibility to put the dates into his/her
personal calendar. There is no additional notification, and it is
not good for the team atmosphere, if somebody does not whow up. Probably
we will have a groupware calender in the future, if we once agree on clients
to be supported and "social rules" to be followed (e.g. the issue, if everybody
will be forced to open the personal diary, etc).
- Q: Where do I find a list of the phone extensions of the staff members
and hints for using the PBX?
Another promising source for staff members' phone numbers is our
To call outside, dial 0 first.
To make a phone call outside of Vienna, dial 01003 first.
- Q: Where do I find corporate design guidelines and logos?
Letterhead is on the file server or get it (600kB) here with / without Logo (and use
the pre-printed letterhead).