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<html newsdate="2012-12-04" type="newsletter">
<title>FSFE Newsletter - December 2012</title>
<h1>FSFE Newsletter - December 2012</h1>
<h2>UK: Small and major steps towards more Free Software</h2>
<p>On 7th November, several political candidates standing in the Manchester
Central By-election participated in the <a
Digital Debate"</a>, organised by our UK coordinator Sam Tuke and the Open
Rights Group (ORG). The event is part of FSFE's "Ask Your Candidates" campaign, which
aims to provide an opportunity to engage (local) politicians with digital
concerns that they typically do not address.</p>
<p>Besides these important steps at the local level, last month the UK
government has released a new Open Standards policy. In future all UK
Government bodies must comply with the Open Standards Principles or apply for
an exemption.<a href="/news/2012/news-20121101-02.html">FSFE welcomed this
step</a>, and particularly its strong Open Standards definition. It also
includes another long-standing FSFE demand: to take into account the software exit costs.
From now on, when UK government bodies buy a software solution, they
have to consider in the price a calculation of what it will cost them to get out
of this solution, in the future. This means that government bodies could not simply
avoid buying Free Software solutions because they are locked into one
particular vendor's proprietary file formats. FSFE president Karsten Gerloff <a
the new policy in detail</a>.</p>
<h2>Secure Boot: FSFE welcomes German Government's White Paper on "Secure
<p>We want to make sure that you are in control of your computing. This
control is, currently, restricted by "Secure Boot". On 19th November, as the
first government, the German Ministry of the Interior <a
a white paper about "Trusted Computing" and "Secure Boot"</a>. The white
paper states that "device owners must be in complete control of (able to manage
and monitor) all the trusted computing security systems of their devices." This
has been one of FSFE's key demands from the beginning of the debate. The
document continues that "delegating this control to third parties requires
conscious and informed consent by the device owner".</p>
<p>Another FSFE demand is also addressed by the government's white paper:
Before purchasing a device, buyers must be informed concisely about the
technical measures implemented in this device, as well as the specific usage
restrictions and its consequences for the owner: "Trusted computing security
systems must be deactivated (opt-in principle)" when devices are delivered.
"Based on the necessary transparency with regard to technical features and
content of trusted computing solutions, device owners must be able to make
responsible decisions when it comes to product selection, start-up,
configuration, operation and shut-down." And "Deactivation must also be
possible later (opt- out function) and must not have any negative impact on the
functioning of hard- and software that does not use trusted computing
<p>Though all of what the German Government stated, should be self-evident,
unfortunately it is not. FSFE will continue talking to other governments about
this issue, to improve their understanding of the political and economic consequences
of this technology.</p>
<h2>German Cities: Two good news and a bad one</h2>
<p>First the bad news: The city of Freiburg has decided to switch back, from, to Microsoft Office. The study they based their decision on was
published one week before the decision, <a
href="/news/2012/news-20121116-01.html">which we and
other Free Software organisations had criticised before</a>. Unfortunate news,
but as IBM's Rob Weir <a
href="">wrote in
his article</a> in the Free Software community we tend to look at the bad
news, and forget about the good news.</p>
<p>So, some good news: on the one hand, <a
the City of Leipzig has just migrated 4200 working stations to OpenOffice
(DE)</a>, and on the other hand, <a
announced they are saving over 10 Million Euro</a> with Free Software. If you
want to be updated with good news from the public administrations in Europe,
the European Commission's <a
href="">Join-up Portal</a> is a good
place to check out.</p>
<h2>Something completely different</h2>
<li>LWN has a good summary of <a href="">Karsten's
talk "All watched over by machines of loving grace"</a>, which is about
society, power, and control. Besides, Karsten <a
the German authorities to publish the code of mobile phone apps</a>.</li>
<li>Our Finnish team coordinator Otto Kekäläinen and the Danish hacker Ole
Tange <a href="/news/2012/news-20121112-01.html">received the 2012 Nordic
Free Software Award</a>. With this recognition, the Swedish
Association for Free Software and Free Culture (<a
href="">FFKP, Föreningen Fri Kultur och Programvara</a>)
honours people and projects who have made important contributions to software
freedom. Congratulations Otto!</li>
<li>"Fuck you, this is my culture!". This statement ended Amelia
Andersdotter's (Swedish Pirate Party) <a
href="">speech at the Internet
Governance Forum</a> wearing a <a href="">European
Parliament Free Software User Group (EPFSUG)</a> t-shirt.</li>
<li>Matija Šuklje, Jürgen Kneissl, Peter Bubestinger and Martin Gollowitzer
(all FSFE) <a href="">were
interviewed</a> by Radio Orange about Free Software, software patents and
other connected topics. In 2010 Radio Orange <a
href="/news/2010/news-20100324-01.html">was awarded with the German
Document Freedom Award</a>, because they provide OGG Vorbis for all their
radio shows.</li>
<li>Also on software patents, Richard Stallman wrote an interesting <a
on the WIRED</a>, suggesting to change the effect of patents: "We should
legislate that developing, distributing, or running a program on generally
used computing hardware does not constitute patent infringement."</li>
<li>Former KDE president Aaron Seigo pleads to <a
the cults of personality in Free Software</a>.</li>
<li>Mark Lindhout published the default Fellowship blog theme Pome on <a
href="">his Github account</a>, and
invites everyone to contribute!</li>
<li>Do you remember the time of the browser bundling? Or the <a
href="/activities/ms-vs-eu/ms-vs-eu.html">Samba antitrust
case</a>? You might also enjoy XKCD's <a href="">comic strip
named "Microsoft"</a>.</li>
<li>From the <a href="">planet aggregation</a>: </li>
<li>Looking for a self-made Christmas present for your grandmother? What
about a one button audiobook player? Michael Clemens <a
how he build such a device</a> with a Raspberry Pi for his 90 year old
<li>FSF begins to accept scanned <a
assignments</a> from Germany. [Update: Removed one link]</li>
<li>Erik Albers wrote about <a
experience with Ubuntu running on a Nexus 7</a> while he and Torsten
Grote gave a Free Your Android workshop at SFSCON in Bolzano. Albert Dengg
gave talks in Austria, and <a href="/events/">in our
upcoming events</a> you will find upcoming <a
href="">Free Your Android</a> related
<li>Otto wrote about <a href="">the
WOW effect</a>, and a wishlist for future mobile devices while Henri
Bergius wrote an extensive <a
href="">blog post about Jolla's
Sailfish OS"</a>.</li>
<li>How to open computed tomography (CT) scan pictures (DICOM)? Our
president, Karsten Gerloff, <a
href="">broke his
foot</a> just for you to find out.</li>
<li>What can you learn out of the Skolelinux pilot in Rhineland Palatinate?
Guido Arnold <a
a summary about Kurt Gramlich's</a> in English, so more people can learn
what happened after the first euphoria and the reasons why the pilot may be
considered a failure.</li>
<li>There were several reports from events: Erik Albers organised the <a
Your Android workshop during FSCONS</a>, where Fellow Bjarni Einarsson
rescued an (almost) bricked phone. Ana wrote about <a
href="">her high
expectations to FSCONS</a> and how a perfect weekend looks like.</li>
<li>Isabel Drost wrote <a
reports about the ApacheCon Europe</a>,</li>
<li>Mirko Böhm reported (in German) about the summit of Newthinking (<a
1</a>, and <a
href="">day 2</a>),
and about <a
our workshop at an event from the Green party about Internet
<li>And finally, read <a
Simon's blog post</a> to find out why South Park failed on copyright.</li>
<h2>Get active: New year, new donations</h2>
<p>It is the end of the year, and like <a
href="">FSFE's financial officer
Reinhard Müller</a> your editor would like to start 2013 with a good money
buffer. So this month, please help us to fill our war chest:</p>
<li>If you are not yet a Fellow, <a
href="">please join
now</a> and support us with your donation.</li>
<li>Check out our <a href="">support
programs</a> to find out if the webshops you already use for your Christmas
shopping are listed there, and install our plugins. (If you need some
suggestions for books, take a look at your editor's <a
href="">recommended books about Free
<li>And please convince your employer to <a
href="">support us</a>, and join <a
href="/donate/thankgnus.html">our list of donors</a>. (If you do not want
to talk to your employer on your own, please <a
href="/contact/contact.html">contact us</a>, and suggest whom we should
talk to.)</li>
<p>Thanks to all the <a href="">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="/index.html">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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