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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
  2. <html newsdate="2013-11-04" type="newsletter">
  3. <version>1</version>
  4. <head>
  5. <title>FSFE Newsletter - November 2013</title>
  6. </head>
  7. <body>
  8. <h1>FSFE Newsletter - November 2013</h1>
  9. <h2>The good experimentation platforms</h2>
  10. <p>At the first glance some devices might look like crap. Why should anyone buy
  11. them? Some people laughed at your editor when he bought his <a
  12. href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Openmoko#Neo_FreeRunner">Open Moko Neo
  13. Freerunner</a>. You could buy cheaper devices with a faster CPU, more RAM, more
  14. disk space, nicer casing, better network connection, better microphone and
  15. speakers at that time.</p>
  16. <p>But devices like the OpenMoko are important for each one of us even if we
  17. are not buying them ourselves. They are crucial because they are hardware
  18. experimentation platforms which help programmers to learn how exactly
  19. computers work -- what the code is really doing -- and therefore enables them to
  20. write better software for all of us.</p>
  21. <p>Paul Boddie <a href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/pboddie/?p=452">wrote about one
  22. of those devices: the Ben NanoNote</a>. This device is completely supported
  23. by Free Software drivers within the upstream Linux kernel distribution. It does
  24. not rely on any proprietary software, including firmware blobs, for
  25. installation or running the device. The "Ben" encourages experimentation: you
  26. can re-flash the bootloader and the operating system with own images, and you
  27. can install programs of your choice.</p>
  28. <h2>The bad restrictions</h2>
  29. <p>The knowledge we, as a community, gain from those devices helps us to
  30. counterbalance IT manufacturers who use many different restrictions with
  31. different technology to take away control from us. On several
  32. devices the manufacturers decide which software we can install or remove from
  33. our computers, they do not want us to learn how the software works, and they do
  34. not want us to change the software. They decide how we can watch DVDs, which
  35. SIM cards providers we can use in our computers, and they want to be able to
  36. remotely delete our data including books, music, or movies.</p>
  37. <p>The questions is: do we let them do this? Do we accept those restrictions?
  38. And if we do not, what else do we need to counterbalance those
  39. developments?</p>
  40. <h2>The pretty local meetings</h2>
  41. <p>In FSFE we believe that a crucial part in this challenge are local meetings.
  42. We have to connect people opposing those restrictions and help each other how
  43. to explain the topics to other people. As mentioned in the <a
  44. href="/news/nl/nl-201310.html">last edition</a> we held the <a
  45. href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/eal/2013/10/08/fsfes-first-european-coordinators-meeting">first
  46. meeting for coordinators of FSFE's local Fellowship groups</a>. Afterwards
  47. the group started to summarise <a
  48. href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/hugo/2013/10/some-nice-tips-for-fsfe-local-meetings-organisers/">
  49. tips for FSFE local meetings organisers</a>, and Lucile Falgueyrac
  50. summarised <a
  51. href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/lucile.falg/2013/10/14/tips-for-afk-meeting-moderation/">good
  52. practices for meeting moderation</a>.</p>
  53. <p>Beside the coordinators meeting, FSFE held its annual general assembly in
  54. Vienna. Jonas Öberg reflected <a
  55. href="http://jonasoberg.net/post/64107423387/reflections-of-fsfe-ga-mission-impact">how
  56. we worked on our mission impact</a> and Hugo Roy <a
  57. href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/hugo/2013/10/2013-ga-in-vienna-day-2">wrote
  58. about the second day with the formalities</a>, including reelection of Karsten
  59. Gerloff as President and Reinhard Müller as Financial Officer. After 2 good
  60. years Henrik Sandklef stepped down as Vice President, and your editor was
  61. elected to take over that position.</p>
  62. <h2>Something completely different</h2>
  63. <ul>
  64. <li>Our Vienna group brought Free Software to a wider public. They organised
  65. <a
  66. href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/franz.gratzer/2013/10/03/fsfe-booth-on-game-city-fair-2013-in-vienna/">an
  67. information booth at the Game City Fair 2013</a>, receiving a lot of questions
  68. about Valve's steam box. If you want to understand more about this, read <a
  69. href="https://lwn.net/Articles/567112/">LWN's article "Why Steam on Linux
  70. matters for non-gamers"</a>.</li>
  71. <li>Guido Arnold <a
  72. href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/guido/2013/10/fellowship-meetings-rhinemain-an-experiment/">
  73. explains the new concept for local meetings in the Rhine/Main area</a>, and
  74. we have a new local FSFE group in Linz (Austria) which <a
  75. href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/jzarl/2013/10/07/inoffizieller-bericht-zum-grundungstreffen-der-fellowship-gruppe-linz/">published
  76. their second report (German)</a>. So if you are interested in political,
  77. social, economic, or legal questions around Free Software, <a
  78. href="/events/events.html">join the groups</a> and try out
  79. the tips from above.</li>
  80. <li>Our sister organisation, the FSF, held a <a
  81. href="https://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/global-celebration-for-the-gnu-systems-30th-anniversary">global
  82. celebration for the GNU system's 30th anniversary</a>, and <a href="https://www.fsf.org/news/free-software-foundation-opens-nominations-for-the-16th-annual-free-software-awards">ask you
  83. to nominate individuals and projects for for the 16th Annual Free Software
  84. Awards</a> until Wednesday, 6 November 2013.</li>
  85. <li>As usual you will find news about Free Software in education in <a
  86. href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/guido/2013/10/free-software-in-education-news-september/">the
  87. monthly education team update</a>.</li>
  88. <li>The <a
  89. href="https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/news/jamaica-ministry-health-adopts-gnu-health">Jamaica
  90. Ministry of Health adopted GNU Health</a>, and the <a
  91. href="https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/community/osor/news/german-development-ministry-recommends-open-source-smes">German
  92. development ministry recommends Free Software to small and medium
  93. enterprises</a>, as they say it opens up business opportunities for IT
  94. entrepreneurs and offers long-term resources for local ICT processes and
  95. innovations.</li>
  96. <li>Our friends at the EFF wrote about how the freedom to learn the workings
  97. of a program is prevented in the UK in the article: <a
  98. href="https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/08/speculation-trumps-academic-freedom-uk-court-censors-security-researchers-reverse">"Speculation
  99. Trumps Academic Freedom: UK Court Censors Security Researchers for Reverse
  100. Engineering Publicly Available Software"</a>.</li>
  101. <li>And if you have not yet read Ron Amadeo's article <a
  102. href="http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/10/googles-iron-grip-on-android-controlling-open-source-by-any-means-necessary/">"Google's
  103. iron grip on Android"</a>, you should do so and discuss it on <a
  104. href="https://lists.fsfe.org/mailman/listinfo/android">our mailing list</a>.
  105. The article explains current developments in Android such as possible new
  106. dependencies on non-free software.</li>
  107. <li>From the <a href="https://planet.fsfe.org">planet aggregation</a>: </li>
  108. <ul>
  109. <li>Hugo Roy asks himself <a
  110. href="http://hroy.eu/posts/facebook_open-source_company/">why Facebook
  111. should be considered an "Open Source company"</a>, explains <a
  112. href="http://hroy.eu/posts/setup_mozilla-sync/">how to set up Firefox
  113. sync</a> and documented some of your editor's favourite hacks, like <a
  114. href="http://hroy.eu/tips/vim/email-delete-til-signature/">how to delete
  115. text from the current position to your e-mail signature</a> and <a
  116. href="http://hroy.eu/tips/vim/itsalltext/">how to work effectively with
  117. text input fields in your browser</a>.</li>
  118. <li>Otto Kekäläinen <a
  119. href="http://seravo.fi/2013/past-present-future-valo-cd">wrote about the
  120. past and present of the VALO-CD</a>, a project making it as easy as possible
  121. for any average home of office user to start using Free Software, and the
  122. possible future which might be the LibreKey.</li>
  123. <li>What makes Open Data succeed, and how does it fail? Carsten Agger, our
  124. local group coordinator for Aahrus/Denmark, <a
  125. href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/agger/2013/10/05/open-data-how-to-make-it-succeed-how-to-make-it-fail/">
  126. provides a transcript from his talk about these questions</a>.</li>
  127. <li>Jonas Öberg <a
  128. href="http://jonasoberg.net/post/63665105097/with-fuelingthefuture-the-linux-foundation-asks">remembers
  129. how he started with Free Software</a>.</li>
  130. <li>Daniel Pocock wrote about Debian's outreach program for women and the GSoC 2013 projects.</li>
  131. <li>Nikos Roussos participated at the <a
  132. href="http://www.roussos.cc/2013/10/30/mozilla-growing-community-and-reps">Mozilla
  133. Summit</a> and explains <a
  134. href="http://www.roussos.cc/2013/10/20/kickstarting-a-static-website-emberjs-handlebarsjs">how
  135. to kickstart a static website with ember.js and handlebars.js</a>.</li>
  136. <li>If you want to set up a pirate box, <a
  137. href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/t.kandler/2013/09/27/piratebox-some-tipps/">Thomas
  138. Kandler explains this in his article</a>.</li>
  139. <li>Our new intern Max Mehl looked into <a
  140. href="http://blog.max-mehl.com/2013/organising-micro-task-emails-in-thunderbird/">organising
  141. micro task emails in Thunderbird</a>, </li>
  142. <li>and Lucile Falgueyrac summarised <a href="
  143. https://blogs.fsfe.org/lucile.falg/2013/10/23/pre-printing-work/">how to
  144. do pre-printing work</a>.</li>
  145. <li>Beside the planet covered topics like <a
  146. href="http://commonsmachinery.se/2013/10/implementing-user-friendly-default-settings/">implementing
  147. user-friendly default settings</a>, <a
  148. href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/samtuke/?p=644">fixing Fedora 19's "unlockable
  149. lockscreen" bug</a>, and an <a
  150. href="http://bergie.iki.fi/blog/noflo-update/">update from the NoFlo
  151. world</a>.</li>
  152. </ul>
  153. </ul>
  154. <h2>Get active: They don't want you to - but what do you want?</h2>
  155. <p>As explained above we do not want people to accept all the restrictions on
  156. our devices. To gain more transparency we want an easy way to inform a wider
  157. audience about those restrictions, and especially give younger people a way to
  158. show that they do not agree with it. On the 4th of November we go live with <a
  159. href="http://theydontwantyou.to">TheyDontWantYou.To</a> and together with our
  160. partner organisations we start distributing short microblog messages,
  161. highlighting different restrictions using the #theydontwantyouto hashtag.</p>
  162. <p>Help us to distribute the messages, send the messages to your friends, write
  163. about them in your blog, <a
  164. href="/contribute/spreadtheword.html#tdwyt">use our stickers
  165. </a> to raise awareness, and to let us know about restrictions you encounter in
  166. your daily life.</p>
  167. <p>Thanks to all the <a href="https://my.fsfe.org/donate">Fellows</a> and
  168. <a href="/donate/thankgnus.html">donors</a> who enable our work,<br/>
  169. <a href="/about/people/kirschner">Matthias Kirschner </a> - <a href="/">FSFE</a></p>
  170. <p>-- <br />
  171. <a href="/index.html">Free Software Foundation Europe</a><br />
  172. <a href="/news/news.rss">FSFE News</a><br />
  173. <a href="/events/events.rss">Upcoming FSFE Events</a><br />
  174. <a href="https://planet.fsfe.org/en/rss20.xml">Fellowship Blog Aggregation</a><br />
  175. <a href="/contact/community.html">Free Software Discussions</a> </p>
  176. </body>
  177. <tags>
  178. <tag key="newsletter"/>
  179. </tags>
  180. </html>
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