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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
  2. <html newsdate="2012-12-04" type="newsletter">
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  4. <head>
  5. <title>FSFE Newsletter - December 2012</title>
  6. </head>
  7. <body>
  8. <h1>FSFE Newsletter - December 2012</h1>
  9. <h2>UK: Small and major steps towards more Free Software</h2>
  10. <p>On 7th November, several political candidates standing in the Manchester
  11. Central By-election participated in the <a
  12. href="">"Manchester
  13. Digital Debate"</a>, organised by our UK coordinator Sam Tuke and the Open
  14. Rights Group (ORG). The event is part of FSFE's "Ask Your Candidates" campaign, which
  15. aims to provide an opportunity to engage (local) politicians with digital
  16. concerns that they typically do not address.</p>
  17. <p>Besides these important steps at the local level, last month the UK
  18. government has released a new Open Standards policy. In future all UK
  19. Government bodies must comply with the Open Standards Principles or apply for
  20. an exemption.<a href="/news/2012/news-20121101-02.html">FSFE welcomed this
  21. step</a>, and particularly its strong Open Standards definition. It also
  22. includes another long-standing FSFE demand: to take into account the software exit costs.
  23. From now on, when UK government bodies buy a software solution, they
  24. have to consider in the price a calculation of what it will cost them to get out
  25. of this solution, in the future. This means that government bodies could not simply
  26. avoid buying Free Software solutions because they are locked into one
  27. particular vendor's proprietary file formats. FSFE president Karsten Gerloff <a
  28. href="">analysed
  29. the new policy in detail</a>.</p>
  30. <h2>Secure Boot: FSFE welcomes German Government's White Paper on "Secure
  31. Boot"</h2>
  32. <p>We want to make sure that you are in control of your computing. This
  33. control is, currently, restricted by "Secure Boot". On 19th November, as the
  34. first government, the German Ministry of the Interior <a
  35. href="">published
  36. a white paper about "Trusted Computing" and "Secure Boot"</a>. The white
  37. paper states that "device owners must be in complete control of (able to manage
  38. and monitor) all the trusted computing security systems of their devices." This
  39. has been one of FSFE's key demands from the beginning of the debate. The
  40. document continues that "delegating this control to third parties requires
  41. conscious and informed consent by the device owner".</p>
  42. <p>Another FSFE demand is also addressed by the government's white paper:
  43. Before purchasing a device, buyers must be informed concisely about the
  44. technical measures implemented in this device, as well as the specific usage
  45. restrictions and its consequences for the owner: "Trusted computing security
  46. systems must be deactivated (opt-in principle)" when devices are delivered.
  47. "Based on the necessary transparency with regard to technical features and
  48. content of trusted computing solutions, device owners must be able to make
  49. responsible decisions when it comes to product selection, start-up,
  50. configuration, operation and shut-down." And "Deactivation must also be
  51. possible later (opt- out function) and must not have any negative impact on the
  52. functioning of hard- and software that does not use trusted computing
  53. functions."</p>
  54. <p>Though all of what the German Government stated, should be self-evident,
  55. unfortunately it is not. FSFE will continue talking to other governments about
  56. this issue, to improve their understanding of the political and economic consequences
  57. of this technology.</p>
  58. <h2>German Cities: Two good news and a bad one</h2>
  59. <p>First the bad news: The city of Freiburg has decided to switch back, from
  60., to Microsoft Office. The study they based their decision on was
  61. published one week before the decision, <a
  62. href="/news/2012/news-20121116-01.html">which we and
  63. other Free Software organisations had criticised before</a>. Unfortunate news,
  64. but as IBM's Rob Weir <a
  65. href="">wrote in
  66. his article</a> in the Free Software community we tend to look at the bad
  67. news, and forget about the good news.</p>
  68. <p>So, some good news: on the one hand, <a
  69. href="">
  70. the City of Leipzig has just migrated 4200 working stations to OpenOffice
  71. (DE)</a>, and on the other hand, <a
  72. href="">Munich
  73. announced they are saving over 10 Million Euro</a> with Free Software. If you
  74. want to be updated with good news from the public administrations in Europe,
  75. the European Commission's <a
  76. href="">Join-up Portal</a> is a good
  77. place to check out.</p>
  78. <h2>Something completely different</h2>
  79. <ul>
  80. <li>LWN has a good summary of <a href="">Karsten's
  81. talk "All watched over by machines of loving grace"</a>, which is about
  82. society, power, and control. Besides, Karsten <a
  83. href="">recommended
  84. the German authorities to publish the code of mobile phone apps</a>.</li>
  85. <li>Our Finnish team coordinator Otto Kekäläinen and the Danish hacker Ole
  86. Tange <a href="/news/2012/news-20121112-01.html">received the 2012 Nordic
  87. Free Software Award</a>. With this recognition, the Swedish
  88. Association for Free Software and Free Culture (<a
  89. href="">FFKP, Föreningen Fri Kultur och Programvara</a>)
  90. honours people and projects who have made important contributions to software
  91. freedom. Congratulations Otto!</li>
  92. <li>"Fuck you, this is my culture!". This statement ended Amelia
  93. Andersdotter's (Swedish Pirate Party) <a
  94. href="">speech at the Internet
  95. Governance Forum</a> wearing a <a href="">European
  96. Parliament Free Software User Group (EPFSUG)</a> t-shirt.</li>
  97. <li>Matija Šuklje, Jürgen Kneissl, Peter Bubestinger and Martin Gollowitzer
  98. (all FSFE) <a href="">were
  99. interviewed</a> by Radio Orange about Free Software, software patents and
  100. other connected topics. In 2010 Radio Orange <a
  101. href="/news/2010/news-20100324-01.html">was awarded with the German
  102. Document Freedom Award</a>, because they provide OGG Vorbis for all their
  103. radio shows.</li>
  104. <li>Also on software patents, Richard Stallman wrote an interesting <a
  105. href="">article
  106. on the WIRED</a>, suggesting to change the effect of patents: "We should
  107. legislate that developing, distributing, or running a program on generally
  108. used computing hardware does not constitute patent infringement."</li>
  109. <li>Former KDE president Aaron Seigo pleads to <a
  110. href="">end
  111. the cults of personality in Free Software</a>.</li>
  112. <li>Mark Lindhout published the default Fellowship blog theme Pome on <a
  113. href="">his Github account</a>, and
  114. invites everyone to contribute!</li>
  115. <li>Do you remember the time of the browser bundling? Or the <a
  116. href="/activities/ms-vs-eu/ms-vs-eu.html">Samba antitrust
  117. case</a>? You might also enjoy XKCD's <a href="">comic strip
  118. named "Microsoft"</a>.</li>
  119. <li>From the <a href="">planet aggregation</a>: </li>
  120. <ul>
  121. <li>Looking for a self-made Christmas present for your grandmother? What
  122. about a one button audiobook player? Michael Clemens <a
  123. href="">described
  124. how he build such a device</a> with a Raspberry Pi for his 90 year old
  125. Grandma.</li>
  126. <li>FSF begins to accept scanned <a
  127. href="">copyright
  128. assignments</a> from Germany. [Update: Removed one link]</li>
  129. <li>Erik Albers wrote about <a
  130. href="">his
  131. experience with Ubuntu running on a Nexus 7</a> while he and Torsten
  132. Grote gave a Free Your Android workshop at SFSCON in Bolzano. Albert Dengg
  133. gave talks in Austria, and <a href="/events/">in our
  134. upcoming events</a> you will find upcoming <a
  135. href="">Free Your Android</a> related
  136. events.</li>
  137. <li>Otto wrote about <a href="">the
  138. WOW effect</a>, and a wishlist for future mobile devices while Henri
  139. Bergius wrote an extensive <a
  140. href="">blog post about Jolla's
  141. Sailfish OS"</a>.</li>
  142. <li>How to open computed tomography (CT) scan pictures (DICOM)? Our
  143. president, Karsten Gerloff, <a
  144. href="">broke his
  145. foot</a> just for you to find out.</li>
  146. <li>What can you learn out of the Skolelinux pilot in Rhineland Palatinate?
  147. Guido Arnold <a
  148. href="">wrote
  149. a summary about Kurt Gramlich's</a> in English, so more people can learn
  150. what happened after the first euphoria and the reasons why the pilot may be
  151. considered a failure.</li>
  152. <li>There were several reports from events: Erik Albers organised the <a
  153. href="">Free
  154. Your Android workshop during FSCONS</a>, where Fellow Bjarni Einarsson
  155. rescued an (almost) bricked phone. Ana wrote about <a
  156. href="">her high
  157. expectations to FSCONS</a> and how a perfect weekend looks like.</li>
  158. <li>Isabel Drost wrote <a
  159. href="">11
  160. reports about the ApacheCon Europe</a>,</li>
  161. <li>Mirko Böhm reported (in German) about the summit of Newthinking (<a
  162. href="">day
  163. 1</a>, and <a
  164. href="">day 2</a>),
  165. and about <a
  166. href="">
  167. our workshop at an event from the Green party about Internet
  168. Policy</a>.</li>
  169. <li>And finally, read <a
  170. href="">Leena
  171. Simon's blog post</a> to find out why South Park failed on copyright.</li>
  172. </ul>
  173. </ul>
  174. <h2>Get active: New year, new donations</h2>
  175. <p>It is the end of the year, and like <a
  176. href="">FSFE's financial officer
  177. Reinhard Müller</a> your editor would like to start 2013 with a good money
  178. buffer. So this month, please help us to fill our war chest:</p>
  179. <ul>
  180. <li>If you are not yet a Fellow, <a
  181. href="">please join
  182. now</a> and support us with your donation.</li>
  183. <li>Check out our <a href="">support
  184. programs</a> to find out if the webshops you already use for your Christmas
  185. shopping are listed there, and install our plugins. (If you need some
  186. suggestions for books, take a look at your editor's <a
  187. href="">recommended books about Free
  188. Software</a>.</li>
  189. <li>And please convince your employer to <a
  190. href="">support us</a>, and join <a
  191. href="/donate/thankgnus.html">our list of donors</a>. (If you do not want
  192. to talk to your employer on your own, please <a
  193. href="/contact/contact.html">contact us</a>, and suggest whom we should
  194. talk to.)</li>
  195. </ul>
  196. <p>Thanks to all the <a href="">Fellows</a> and
  197. <a href="donate/thankgnus.html">donors</a> who enable our work,<br/>
  198. <a href="/about/people/kirschner">Matthias Kirschner </a> - <a href="/">FSFE</a></p>
  199. <p>-- <br />
  200. <a href="/index.html">Free Software Foundation Europe</a><br />
  201. <a href="/news/news.rss">FSFE News</a><br />
  202. <a href="/events/events.rss">Upcoming FSFE Events</a><br />
  203. <a href="">Fellowship Blog Aggregation</a><br />
  204. <a href="/contact/community.html">Free Software Discussions</a> </p>
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