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<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
<html newsdate="2011-02-04" type="newsletter">
<title>FSFE Newsletter - February 2011</title>
<h1>FSFE Newsletter - February 2011</h1>
<h2>Drop a container to free web videos</h2>
Videos on the internet often prove to be literal nuisance to Free Software users. Several websites required the non-free flash video plugin to view videos. Perhaps also your friends were wondering why you are not able to watch youtube videos within your web browser, and thought you are a freak when you started downloading videos with <a href="">youtube-dl</a>. With <a href="">gnash</a> and other programs which are able to play flash video directly the situation improved. But flash is still a pain annoying both for Free Software users and developers.
Developing HTML5 turned out to be a chance to purge this problem. It enables the user to play audio and video directly in your web browser. But there was disagreement which video container format should be used: H.264, <a href="">WebM</a> or <a href="">Ogg Theora</a>? MPEG LA organisation requires developers who implement H.264 to agree to a patent license which is incompatible with Free Software. So we might have ended up depending on non-free software again to watch web videos.
But now <a href="">Google</a>
announced to suspend support for patent-encumbered codec H.264 and support free codecs only instead. Being the biggest provider of web videos Google's decision is a huge step to dispose of non-free video software. Our sister organisation FSF issued a <a href="">press release on this topic</a> and I (Matthias) was <a href="">interviewed by Dradio Wissen</a> about it (in German).
Now time has come to help adopt WebM as free video format: get in contact with website operators and ask them to distribute videos in the WebM format to get rid of H.264.
<h2>New clothes for FSFE</h2>
For many people their first contact with FSFE is via website. After months of work by <a href="/contribute/web/web.html">FSFE's Web Team</a> a new website design has been launched including a fresh look, improved infrastructure, and new features. Here is a list of our new features:
<li><a href="webcal://">iCal feed</a> of FSFE events and
<li><a href="/news/newsletter.html">Option to subscribe to FSFE newsletters</a> in multiple languages</li>
<li>Tagging of news and events, allowing dynamic generation of information feeds
for specific topics (useful for country pages, and topic homepages such as
"EU News"); <a href="/contribute/web/tagging.html">documentation added</a></li>
<li>Improved <a href="/contact/local.html">country teams contact
page</a>, including more information and links to team member profiles</li>
<li>Improved <a href="/about/team.html">people page</a> with
avatars of team members</li>
<li>New meta-data storage and display system for
<a href="/freesoftware/standards/eifv2.html">published articles</a> which
consistently presents important article information</li>
<h2>Something completely different</h2>
<li>We have written to German competition authorities in order to share our concern about the sale of Novell's patents to a consortium called CPTN made up of Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and EMC. Read the details in <a href="/news/2011/news-20110113-02.html">our press release</a> and
<a href="">Karsten's blog article</a>.</li>
<li>Fellowship Election for GA seat: In February Fellows may choose their candidate for the Fellowship seat in FSFE's General Assembly. <a href="">Check out the candidates </a> and choose your candidate. If you are not a Fellow yet <a href="">join now</a>, and you can pick your choice, too. </li>
<li>Fellowship interview: Political veteran <a href="">Anne Østergaard discusses</a> new ways to influence European legislation, the scale of Free Software support in developing countries, and the importance of local culture in community campaigning.</li>
<li>There is a lot of <a href="">good things to read</a>.
Patents are definetely not something you'll enjoy. If this warning doesn't
keep you from reading them, Matija wrote a blog article
<a href="">"Reading patents made easier?"</a>.</li>
<li>Do you want some fries together with FSFE? Like every year we will have a strong
booth presence at <a href="">FOSDEM</a> with several
volunteers, project coordinators, our president and vice-president. We are
looking forward to having discussions at our booth after <a href="">Karsten's</a> and
<a href="">my presentation</a> as
well as while eating fries, or having a beer with you.</li>
<li>Links on Free Software and Law; FTF team member Matija started publishing
legal news on Free Software: <a href="">Free Software &amp; law related links</a> (<a href="">part 2</a>).</li>
<li>You can do a lot of (nice ;) ) things with handcuffs: Richard wrote about <a href="">practical advantages</a> of not being handcuffed in your daily life.</li>
<h2>Get active - Join the Web Team</h2>
FSFE's Web Team needs help! We need new ideas and suggestions as well as
<a href="/contribute/designers/designers.html">designers</a>, and
<a href="/contribute/translators/translators.html">translators</a> to
improve even further.
<li>Sign up to the <a href="">Web Team's
mailing-list</a> to read discussion about current and future changes, and submit
your own queries and comments </li>
<li>Submit bugs with the website to the <a href="">Web issue
tracker</a> (you can create a new account, and remember your usename will
end in -guest) </li>
<li>Ask questions in real time in the Web Team's IRC channel:
<a href="irc://">#fsfe-web</a> on freenode</li>
<a href="/about/people/kirschner">Matthias Kirschner </a> - <a href="/">FSFE</a></p>
<p>-- <br />
<a href="/index.html">Free Software Foundation Europe</a><br />
<a href="/news/news.rss">FSFE News</a><br />
<a href="/events/events.rss">Upcoming FSFE Events</a><br />
<a href="">Fellowship Blog Aggregation</a><br />
<a href="/contact/community.html">Free Software Discussions</a> </p>
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