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<title>FSFE Newsletter - November 2013</title>
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<h1>FSFE Newsletter - November 2013</h1>
<h2>The good experimentation platforms</h2>
<p>At the first glance some devices might look like crap. Why should anyone buy
them? Some people laughed at your editor when he bought his <a
href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Openmoko#Neo_FreeRunner">Open Moko Neo
Freerunner</a>. You could buy cheaper devices with a faster CPU, more RAM, more
disk space, nicer casing, better network connection, better microphone and
speakers at that time.</p>
<p>But devices like the OpenMoko are important for each one of us even if we
are not buying them ourselves. They are crucial because they are hardware
experimentation platforms which help programmers to learn how exactly
computers work -- what the code is really doing -- and therefore enables them to
write better software for all of us.</p>
<p>Paul Boddie <a href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/pboddie/?p=452">wrote about one
of those devices: the Ben NanoNote</a>. This device is completely supported
by Free Software drivers within the upstream Linux kernel distribution. It does
not rely on any proprietary software, including firmware blobs, for
installation or running the device. The "Ben" encourages experimentation: you
can re-flash the bootloader and the operating system with own images, and you
can install programs of your choice.</p>
<h2>The bad restrictions</h2>
<p>The knowledge we, as a community, gain from those devices helps us to
counterbalance IT manufacturers who use many different restrictions with
different technology to take away control from us. On several
devices the manufacturers decide which software we can install or remove from
our computers, they do not want us to learn how the software works, and they do
not want us to change the software. They decide how we can watch DVDs, which
SIM cards providers we can use in our computers, and they want to be able to
remotely delete our data including books, music, or movies.</p>
<p>The questions is: do we let them do this? Do we accept those restrictions?
And if we do not, what else do we need to counterbalance those
developments?</p>
<h2>The pretty local meetings</h2>
<p>In FSFE we believe that a crucial part in this challenge are local meetings.
We have to connect people opposing those restrictions and help each other how
to explain the topics to other people. As mentioned in the <a
href="/news/nl/nl-201310.html">last edition</a> we held the <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/eal/2013/10/08/fsfes-first-european-coordinators-meeting">first
meeting for coordinators of FSFE's local Fellowship groups</a>. Afterwards
the group started to summarise <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/hugo/2013/10/some-nice-tips-for-fsfe-local-meetings-organisers/">
tips for FSFE local meetings organisers</a>, and Lucile Falgueyrac
summarised <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/lucile.falg/2013/10/14/tips-for-afk-meeting-moderation/">good
practices for meeting moderation</a>.</p>
<p>Beside the coordinators meeting, FSFE held its annual general assembly in
Vienna. Jonas Öberg reflected <a
href="http://jonasoberg.net/post/64107423387/reflections-of-fsfe-ga-mission-impact">how
we worked on our mission impact</a> and Hugo Roy <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/hugo/2013/10/2013-ga-in-vienna-day-2">wrote
about the second day with the formalities</a>, including reelection of Karsten
Gerloff as President and Reinhard Müller as Financial Officer. After 2 good
years Henrik Sandklef stepped down as Vice President, and your editor was
elected to take over that position.</p>
<h2>Something completely different</h2>
<ul>
<li>Our Vienna group brought Free Software to a wider public. They organised
<a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/franz.gratzer/2013/10/03/fsfe-booth-on-game-city-fair-2013-in-vienna/">an
information booth at the Game City Fair 2013</a>, receiving a lot of questions
about Valve's steam box. If you want to understand more about this, read <a
href="https://lwn.net/Articles/567112/">LWN's article "Why Steam on Linux
matters for non-gamers"</a>.</li>
<li>Guido Arnold <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/guido/2013/10/fellowship-meetings-rhinemain-an-experiment/">
explains the new concept for local meetings in the Rhine/Main area</a>, and
we have a new local FSFE group in Linz (Austria) which <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/jzarl/2013/10/07/inoffizieller-bericht-zum-grundungstreffen-der-fellowship-gruppe-linz/">published
their second report (German)</a>. So if you are interested in political,
social, economic, or legal questions around Free Software, <a
href="/events/events.html">join the groups</a> and try out
the tips from above.</li>
<li>Our sister organisation, the FSF, held a <a
href="https://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/global-celebration-for-the-gnu-systems-30th-anniversary">global
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
to nominate individuals and projects for for the 16th Annual Free Software
Awards</a> until Wednesday, 6 November 2013.</li>
<li>As usual you will find news about Free Software in education in <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/guido/2013/10/free-software-in-education-news-september/">the
monthly education team update</a>.</li>
<li>The <a
href="https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/news/jamaica-ministry-health-adopts-gnu-health">Jamaica
Ministry of Health adopted GNU Health</a>, and the <a
href="https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/community/osor/news/german-development-ministry-recommends-open-source-smes">German
development ministry recommends Free Software to small and medium
enterprises</a>, as they say it opens up business opportunities for IT
entrepreneurs and offers long-term resources for local ICT processes and
innovations.</li>
<li>Our friends at the EFF wrote about how the freedom to learn the workings
of a program is prevented in the UK in the article: <a
href="https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/08/speculation-trumps-academic-freedom-uk-court-censors-security-researchers-reverse">"Speculation
Trumps Academic Freedom: UK Court Censors Security Researchers for Reverse
Engineering Publicly Available Software"</a>.</li>
<li>And if you have not yet read Ron Amadeo's article <a
href="http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/10/googles-iron-grip-on-android-controlling-open-source-by-any-means-necessary/">"Google's
iron grip on Android"</a>, you should do so and discuss it on <a
href="https://lists.fsfe.org/mailman/listinfo/android">our mailing list</a>.
The article explains current developments in Android such as possible new
dependencies on non-free software.</li>
<li>From the <a href="https://planet.fsfe.org">planet aggregation</a>: </li>
<ul>
<li>Hugo Roy asks himself <a
href="http://hroy.eu/posts/facebook_open-source_company/">why Facebook
should be considered an "Open Source company"</a>, explains <a
href="http://hroy.eu/posts/setup_mozilla-sync/">how to set up Firefox
sync</a> and documented some of your editor's favourite hacks, like <a
href="http://hroy.eu/tips/vim/email-delete-til-signature/">how to delete
text from the current position to your e-mail signature</a> and <a
href="http://hroy.eu/tips/vim/itsalltext/">how to work effectively with
text input fields in your browser</a>.</li>
<li>Otto Kekäläinen <a
href="http://seravo.fi/2013/past-present-future-valo-cd">wrote about the
past and present of the VALO-CD</a>, a project making it as easy as possible
for any average home of office user to start using Free Software, and the
possible future which might be the LibreKey.</li>
<li>What makes Open Data succeed, and how does it fail? Carsten Agger, our
local group coordinator for Aahrus/Denmark, <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/agger/2013/10/05/open-data-how-to-make-it-succeed-how-to-make-it-fail/">
provides a transcript from his talk about these questions</a>.</li>
<li>Jonas Öberg <a
href="http://jonasoberg.net/post/63665105097/with-fuelingthefuture-the-linux-foundation-asks">remembers
how he started with Free Software</a>.</li>
<li>Daniel Pocock wrote about Debian's outreach program for women and the GSoC 2013 projects.</li>
<li>Nikos Roussos participated at the <a
href="http://www.roussos.cc/2013/10/30/mozilla-growing-community-and-reps">Mozilla
Summit</a> and explains <a
href="http://www.roussos.cc/2013/10/20/kickstarting-a-static-website-emberjs-handlebarsjs">how
to kickstart a static website with ember.js and handlebars.js</a>.</li>
<li>If you want to set up a pirate box, <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/t.kandler/2013/09/27/piratebox-some-tipps/">Thomas
Kandler explains this in his article</a>.</li>
<li>Our new intern Max Mehl looked into <a
href="http://blog.max-mehl.com/2013/organising-micro-task-emails-in-thunderbird/">organising
micro task emails in Thunderbird</a>, </li>
<li>and Lucile Falgueyrac summarised <a href="
https://blogs.fsfe.org/lucile.falg/2013/10/23/pre-printing-work/">how to
do pre-printing work</a>.</li>
<li>Beside the planet covered topics like <a
href="http://commonsmachinery.se/2013/10/implementing-user-friendly-default-settings/">implementing
user-friendly default settings</a>, <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/samtuke/?p=644">fixing Fedora 19's "unlockable
lockscreen" bug</a>, and an <a
href="http://bergie.iki.fi/blog/noflo-update/">update from the NoFlo
world</a>.</li>
</ul>
</ul>
<h2>Get active: They don't want you to - but what do you want?</h2>
<p>As explained above we do not want people to accept all the restrictions on
our devices. To gain more transparency we want an easy way to inform a wider
audience about those restrictions, and especially give younger people a way to
show that they do not agree with it. On the 4th of November we go live with <a
href="http://theydontwantyou.to">TheyDontWantYou.To</a> and together with our
partner organisations we start distributing short microblog messages,
highlighting different restrictions using the #theydontwantyouto hashtag.</p>
<p>Help us to distribute the messages, send the messages to your friends, write
about them in your blog, <a
href="/contribute/spreadtheword.html#tdwyt">use our stickers
</a> to raise awareness, and to let us know about restrictions you encounter in
your daily life.</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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