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<title>FSFE Newsletter - February 2012</title>
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<h1>FSFE Newsletter - February 2012</h1>
<h2>Reclaim your smartphone!</h2>
<p>Smartphones are small computers that we carry around all the time. Unfortunately, most
smartphones are not controlled by us, the users, but by the manufacturers and the
operators. Even Android phones are being shipped with non-free software and proprietary
add-ons that usually do not work in the full interest of us. Software updates
will only keep to be available if the manufacturer still has a commercial
interest in your device. The applications available from the official market
are most of the time non-free. Nobody is allowed to study how they work and
what they really do on your phone. Sometimes they do not work exactly as you
want, but sometimes they might even contain malicious features.</p>
<p>Running only Free Software on your device puts <strong>you</strong> in full
control. Even though you might not be able to directly exercise all of your
freedoms, you will benefit from a vibrant community that can do it together.</p>
<p>FSFE <a href="https://wiki.fsfe.org/Android">is collecting information</a> about running an Android system as free as possible. We try
to coordinate the different efforts, but we need your help with it. Join our
mailing list, update the wiki and thereby enable more people to use Free
Software on their everyday computers.</p>
<h2>Lesson 1: Learn how to programme!</h2>
<p>Our <a href="/freesoftware/education/education.html">education team</a> has done
<a href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/guido/2012/01/edu-team-2011-summary/">solid work
in 2011</a>, including our <a href="/activities/nledu/nledu.html">NL edu
campaign</a>. Free Software permits children to learn how software works and
thus to understand the concepts underlying a whole category or type of
software. They are then prepared to adapt to any environment, which is a key skill
nowadays. In addition, we believe that the possibility to tinker does motivate children easily to learn
autonomously. Finally, Free Software allows them to understand computers in a more depth.</p>
<p>Sam Tuke was <a href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/samtuke/?p=255">asked by the BBC
to comment</a> about suggestions that the British Government may add basic
programming skills to the national curriculum, and whether this would have a
political impact on society in terms of how we interact with technology. The
education team will have a brief meeting at the upcoming FOSDEM, at the 4th
and 5th of February. You are welcome to join.</p>
<h2>Already plans for 28th of March?</h2>
<p>Open Standards make it easier for individuals, companies and the public
administration to switch to Free Software. The goal of the <a
href="http://documentfreedom.org">Document Freedom Day</a> is to raise
awareness for Open Standards so people have more freedom. This year your
editor is in charge of DFD and he will bluntly promote it in this and upcoming
newsletters. At the moment, please save the date 28th of March, <a
href="/news/2012/news-20120110-02.html">send our
country teams nominations for the Document Freedom Award</a>, help us to
gather information for our <a href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/mk/?p=881">Standards
Quartet</a>, find <a href="/news/2012/news-20120130-01.html">street artists
to promote the idea of Open Standards</a>, and <a
href="http://documentfreedom.org/contact.html">contact the DFD team</a> if
you want to <a
href="http://documentfreedom.org/news/2012/news-20120127-01.html">become a
supporting organisation</a>.</p>
<h2>Something completely different</h2>
<ul>
<li>Time to vote: The <a href="/news/2012/news-20120131-01.html">2012
Fellowship election</a> is running until the end of February. As Fellow you
can decide between <a
href="https://wiki.fsfe.org/FellowshipElection_2012">Albert Dengg, Gert
Seidl, and Nikos Roussos</a>. On 22nd February we plan to have a chat
meeting with the candidates.</li>
<li>Slovak Copyright Act: <a href="/contribute/internship.html">FSFE
intern</a> Martin Husovec <a
href="/news/2012/news-20120110-01.html">sent letters to four
members of Slovak Parliament</a> that proposed a highly awaited amendment,
but later faced its dismissal due to preliminary elections.</li>
<li>Heiki Ojasild joined the Free Software Foundation Europe in 2011,
undertaking the task of translating fsfe.org into Estonian. He is currently
developing an XChat add-on, a website for free SVG and JavaScript games, and
asked <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/repentinus/english/2012/01/10/estonian-political-landscape-1-lauri-luik-from-estonian-reform-party-answers-our-questions/">Estonian
politicians questions about Free Software</a>. Read more in <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/fellowship-interviews/?p=521">this month's
Fellowship interview</a> about copyright, Digital Restrictions Management,
kopimism, and activism.</li>
<li>Richard Stallman's new article <a
href="http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/government-free-software.html">"Measures
Governments Can Use to Promote Free Software"</a> is out.</li>
<li>Two new editions of the <a href="/news/2012/news-20120126-01.html">legal
news</a> cover the US Supreme Court decision on copyright
extension, patent inflation, the <a
href="http://www.fsf.org/blogs/licensing/mpl-2.0-release">release of the
Mozilla Public License version 2.0</a>
which is GNU GPL-compatible, and more.</li>
<li>During the January 18th protest against SOPA, we blacked out our
website joining other organisations to protect the Internet.</li>
<li>Here a selection from the <a href="https://planet.fsfe.org">Fellowship
planet aggregation</a>:
<ul>
<li>The new FSFE Fellowship blog theme — a name, a first version. <a href="
https://blogs.fsfe.org/marklindhout/2012/01/the-fsfe-blog-theme-%E2%80%94-a-name-a-first-version/">Presenting:
Pome 1.0</a>.</li>
<li>Interested why Thomas Koch suggests you should <a
href="http://koch.ro/blog/index.php?/archives/154-Stop-coding-for-money.html">stop
coding for money</a>?</li>
<li>You should demand Free Software in a business context because it <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/jelle/2012/01/09/demanding-free-software-in-a-business-context/">makes
sense and saves a lot of money</a>, says Jelle Hermsen.</li>
<li><a href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/mario/?p=167">Fellow No1
tells us</a> how much 57 persons in Randa can eat while hacking on Free
Software</li>
<li>What is the "web trap"? <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/repentinus/english/2012/01/04/the-web-trap/">Heiki
Ojasild argued</a> to treat HTML, SVG and CSS as tools that should be as
accessible to everyone as software in general should be.</li>
<li>And a nice hardware hack: <a
href="http://fl0rian.wordpress.com/2012/01/06/computer-startup-aid-using-a-lego-train/">Computer
startup aid using a LEGO train</a>.</li>
</ul></li>
</ul>
<h2>Get active: More love reports instead of bug reports!</h2>
<p>Let us admit it, the Free Software community is often very critical. We
write bug reports, tell others how they can improve the software, ask them for
new features, and to not spare with criticism. Sometimes we forget to say
"thank you, for all your work". As in the last years, we want to change this,
at least for one day. So on Tuesday the 14th of February we will celebrate the
<a
href="http://ilovefs.org">"I love Free Software" - Day</a>.</p>
<p>Get active, buy your favourite developer a drink or give them a hug (ask for
permission first), write an <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/thomaslocke/2012/01/18/why-i-love-free-and-open-source-software/">e-mail/letter
expressing your feelings</a>, create nice pictures, donate to a Free Software
initiative, use another <a
href="/activities/ilovefs/index.html">of our suggestions</a> or be
create yourself to show how you appreciate people, working hard to enlarge or
defend our freedom. Beside that help us to promote the activity with <a
href="/activities/ilovefs/index.html">our banners</a>, by e-mail,
(micro)blog or in your (distributed?) social networks.</p>
<p>New this year is a <a
href="/activities/ilovefs/index.html">whole day
event in the Unperfekthaus in Essen (Germany)</a> and that all our Fellows
automatically get an login@ilovefs.org e-mail alias.</p>
<p>Thanks to all the <a href="https://my.fsfe.org/donate">Fellows</a> and
<a href="donate/thankgnus.html">donors</a> who enable our work,<br/>
<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="https://planet.fsfe.org/en/rss20.xml">Fellowship Blog Aggregation</a><br />
<a href="/contact/community.html">Free Software Discussions</a> </p>
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