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<title>FSFE Newsletter - April 2014</title>
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<h1 class="p-name">FSFE Newsletter – April 2014</h1>
<h2>Document Freedom Day: Open Standards explained for grandpa</h2>
<p>Although more entrepreneurs and politicians understand the importance of
Open Standards, people do not see the connection with their daily life. That is
why on 26 March we again organised <a
href="http://documentfreedom.org">Document Freedom Day</a> (DFD). This year we
had a lot of new materials: <a
href="http://documentfreedom.org/promotion.html">new leaflets in different
languages explain Open Standards</a>, and <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/mk/comic-and-quotes-why-you-should-use-open-standards/">a
nice comic shows why you should use Open Standards</a> so you do not have problems
with your files when you are old.</p>
<p><a href="http://documentfreedom.org/events/events.html">There were at least 51 events
in 22 countries</a> organised by a lot of independent groups. FSFE's
volunteers in the UK presented an <a
href="http://documentfreedom.org/news/2014/news-20140324-01.html">award to
The OpenStreetMap Foundation in Birmingham</a>, while FSFE's Werner Koch
participated in an event <a
href="http://www.greenmediabox.eu/archive/2014/03/26/greensefa-4th-document-freedom-day/">
on Open Standards in Cryptography in the Parliament</a>. Our local group in
Linz <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/jzarl/2014/03/29/celebrating-document-freedom-day-in-linz/">organised
an information booth in the city centre</a>, and in the evening they gave a
talk about Open Standards at the university. At the booth in Vienna <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/franz.gratzer/2014/03/28/document-freedom-day-in-vienna-2014/">
our volunteers had some problems with an artist of a
monument</a>, but still handed out a huge amount of leaflets and also informed four
friendly police officers about Free Software and Open Standards. <a
href="http://documentfreedom.org/contact.html">Our DFD team</a> is still
gathering information of what happened during the DFD week, and will publish a
full report during April.</p>
<h2>EU institution acknowledges captivity to Microsoft</h2>
<p>In a <a
href="https://ameliaandersdotter.eu/sites/default/files/andersdotter_annex.pdf">recent
letter to MEP Amelia Andersdotter</a> (PDF), the EC acknowledges that it is in a
state of "effective captivity" to Microsoft. As FSFE has pointed out
repeatedly that this is a persistent problem for the Commission, the Council and
the Parliament. On Document Freedom Day the <a
href="/news/2014/news-20140326-02.html">FSFE and Open Forum Europe sent an
open letter to the European Parliament and the European Commission
highlighting its vendor lock-in with Microsoft</a>.</p>
<h2>Using Free Software in the Netherland's education sector</h2>
<p><a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/guido/2014/03/free-software-in-education-news-collection-february/">The
Free Software in education news for February</a> are out, including an update
from <a href="/activities/nledu/">the NLEdu campaign</a>: Kevin
reports that the commercial director of SchoolMaster, the largest Dutch
ELO/student administration software supplier, confirmed that they will roll out
a platform-independent HTML5 version in April, replacing the Silverlight
version. This would make the NLEdu campaign a success as it will allow Free
Software users to access the course materials with any standard compliant
browser. <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/the_unconventional/2014/03/04/nledu-progressions-and-some-regressions/">Kevin
Keijzer published detailed information about this matter</a>.</p>
<h2>Something completely different</h2>
<ul>
<li>For the European Parliament elections from 22 May to 25, <a
href="/news/2014/news-20140304-01.html">FSFE supports the Free Software Pact
by April, and the WePromise.Eu by EDRi</a>. Our volunteers worked on
translations, and help <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/hugo/2014/03/the-free-software-pact-for-the-european-elections/">to promote
the campaign</a>.</li>
<li>Karsten Gerloff participated in the <a
href="/news/2014/news-20140314-01.html">first meeting of the Asian Legal
Network in Hong Kong</a>. Most of the people there were representatives from
technology companies in Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, and Korea. This is a series
of round tables organised jointly by FSFE, Open Invention Network and Linux
Foundation. Inspired by the <a href="/activities/ln/ln.html">Legal
Network which FSFE has been facilitating since 2006</a>, it has the same goal:
enabling legal experts to share knowledge about Free Software.</li>
<li>FSFE welcomes its <a href="/news/2014/news-20140303-01.html">new
Fellowship representative Stefan "Penny" Harmuth</a> in the the <a
href="/about/team.html#id-general-assembly">General Assembly</a>.</li>
<li>PDFreaders: <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/repentinus/english/2014/03/05/pdfreaders-org-removal-of-sumatrapdf-due-to-use-of-non-free-code/">
Heiki reports why we had to remove SumatraPDF from pdfreaders.org</a>, as it
includes non-free code.</li>
<li>Local FSFE Fellowship meetings: <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/guido/2014/03/report-of-latest-fellowship-meeting-in-frankfurt/">Guido
Arnold reports from the meeting in Frankfurt</a> including the schedule of the
next events in Wiesbaden, Bad Homburg, and of course Frankfurt.
Thanks to Simon Wächter our group in Zürich <a
href="https://wiki.fsfe.org/FellowshipEvents/Zurich%202014-03-06">resumed their
monthly Fellowship meetings after some time of inactivity</a>.</li>
<li>After several years, our education team coordinator <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/guido/2014/03/dieses-jahr-geht-es-endlich-nach-chemnitz/">
Guido Arnold finally visited the Chemnitzer Linuxtage</a>. As in previous
years the FSFE had a booth there, distributing <a
href="/contribute/spreadtheword.html#free-software">our new Free Software
leaflet for beginners</a> which was written by our Vienna Fellowship
group for a vegan festival and which is now available printed in English,
German, French, and to be printed in Finnish. Beside that your editor gave
a talk about the threat to the general purpose computer.</li>
<li>We welcome OSB Alliance's publication of <a
href="http://www.osb-alliance.de/themen-aktuelles/detailansicht/artikel/cebit-kostenloser-praxisratgeber-der-open-source-business-alliance-fuer-beschaffer-der-oeffentliche/">a
guide how to procure Free Software in the public administration for the
German public administration</a>.</li>
<li>During LibrePlanet 2014 <a
href="https://www.fsf.org/news/free-software-award-winners-announced">The
Free Software Awards went to the GNOME Foundation's Outreach Program for
Women and Matthew Garrett</a>, for his work to keep <a
href="/freesoftware/secure-boot.html">"Secure
Boot"</a> Free Software compatible. Dan Fritzmartin documented <a
href="https://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/how-i-made-a-video-for-libreplanet-using-all-free-software">how
he made a video for LibrePlanet using all Free Software</a>.</li>
<li><a href="/activities/android/android.html">Free Your Android</a>: Paul
Kocialkowski of Replicant <a
href="https://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/replicant-developers-find-and-close-samsung-galaxy-backdoor">found
a backdoor in the Samsung Galaxy</a>. Basically, these devices have a
proprietary userspace program which accepts requests from the proprietary
baseband firmware to modify the filesystem. By replacing that userspace program
with a free one, this particular back-door can be closed by Replicant -- of
course the proprietary modem firmware will still have sufficient control over
the device to do many evil things.</li>
<li>South Tyrol will increase its use of Free Software, <a
href="https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/community/osor/news/south-tyrol-increase-use-free-software">announced
their Governor Arno Kompatscher</a>. The European Parliament wants its IT
department to rehabilitate its GNU/Linux desktop pilot. On Tuesday, the <a
href="https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/community/osor/news/european-parliament-covets-restart-linux-pilot">EP's
committee on budgetary control accepted a request by MEPs Bart Staes and
Amelia Andersdotter to restart the GNU/Linux desktop pilot</a>, which had been
shelved in 2012.</li>
<li>From the <a href="https://planet.fsfe.org">planet aggregation</a>: </li>
<ul>
<li>Setup a call for papers, select a few talks, publish a schedule, book a
venue, sell a few tickets - have fun: Essentially all it takes to organise
a conference, isn't it? In theory maybe - in practice - not so much.
Fellow Isabel Drost-Fromm <a
href="http://blog.drost-fromm.de/posts/how-hard-can-it-be-organising-a-conference.html">is
sharing her experience on event organisation so others can learn from
it</a>, e.g. how increasing the ticket price relates to your amount of
sleep. </li>
<li><a href="http://hroy.eu/posts/im-a-turing-complete-user/">Hugo Roy
considers himself to be a turing complete user</a>. He points to a
recommendable <a
href="http://contemporary-home-computing.org/turing-complete-user/">essay
by Olia Lialina</a>. Related to this, if you have not seen <a
href="http://revealingerrors.com/">revealing errors by Benjamin Mako
Hill</a>, it is worth it.</li>
<li><a
href="http://sandklef.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/education-nevermid-what-was-it-anyway-pt-i/">Henrik
Sandklef wrote about what education is</a>, and he <a
href="http://sandklef.wordpress.com/2014/03/04/wanted-a-strategy-for-teaching-programming-to-newbies/">searches
for a strategy for teaching programming to newbies</a>.</li>
<li>Nikos Roussos <a
href="http://www.roussos.cc/2014/03/12/making-things-distributed-is-hard/">wrote
that making things distributed is hard</a>, and why centralisation happens.
But although it takes effort and determination, he argues that we all together can
build an Internet that is distributed.</li>
<li>He also documented <a
href="http://www.roussos.cc/2014/03/21/building-running-popcorn-time/">how
to build and run Popcorn Time from source</a>.</li>
<li>Jens Lechtenbörger <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/jens.lechtenboerger/2014/03/23/certificate-pinning-for-gnu-emacs/">describes
how he pins certificates in GNU Emacs</a>.</li>
<!-- removed as it seems abandoned
<li>Karl runs a crowdfunding for his book <a
href="http://computerfloss.com/2014/03/ideal-gift-computer-illiterate-loved-one/">"The
ideal gift for your computer-illiterate loved one"</a>.</li>
-->
<li>Timo Jyrinki from our Finnish team <a
href="http://losca.blogspot.de/2014/03/qt-521-in-ubuntu.html">wrote about the
problems to switch to Qt 5.2.1 in Ubuntu involving roughly 130 source
packages</a>.</li>
<li>Franz Grazer wrote an article asking the question: <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/franz.gratzer/2014/03/08/do-we-need-drm/">Do
we need DRM?</a> arguing that Free Software should not get involved
with DRM since it is all about locking things down.</li>
<li>Matija documented <a
href="http://matija.suklje.name/how-to-write-your-pelican-powered-blog-using-owncloud-and-webdav">How
to write your Pelican-powered blog using ownCloud and WebDAV</a> and
reports from <a
href="http://matija.suklje.name/the-first-results-of-testing-de-razor-blades-for-shaving-with-oil">his
first results of testing DE razor blades for shaving with oil</a>.</li>
</ul>
</ul>
<h2>Get active: The right not to pay for non-free software</h2>
<p>The revelations from Edward Snowden concerning massive surveillance of
communications demonstrates the need for each person to be able to control
their computers and phones. Yet computer and telephone manufacturers and
retailers typically impose on users programs that jeopardise their privacy.</p>
<p>Each person should therefore have the opportunity to refuse to pay for
non-free software, and be allowed to choose the programs that run on their
telephone and computer, in our case a Free Software operating system and other
Free Software.</p>
<p>We joined <a href="http://no.more.racketware.info/petition/support">other
organisations throughout the world</a> in requesting an unfettered choice of
the operating system on telephones, laptops and other computing devices.</p>
<p>This month we ask you to <a
href="http://no.more.racketware.info/petition/click/en">sign the
international petition</a>, and <a
href="http://no.more.racketware.info/petition/index">help us promoting
it</a>!</p>
<p>Thanks to all the <a href="/contribute/contribute.html">volunteers</a>, <a href="https://my.fsfe.org/donate">Fellows</a> and
<a href="/donate/thankgnus.html">corporate donors</a> who enable our work,<br/>
<a href="/about/people/kirschner">Matthias Kirschner </a> - <a href="/">FSFE</a></p>
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<original content="2014-03-04" />
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