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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
  2. <html newsdate="2015-01-05" type="newsletter">
  3. <version>1</version>
  4. <head>
  5. <title>FSFE Newsletter - January 2015</title>
  6. </head>
  7. <body microformats="h-entry">
  8. <h1 class="p-name">FSFE Newsletter – January 2015</h1>
  9. <h2>A revolution</h2>
  10. <p>
  11. The Earth has once again completed a full, customarily counted
  12. revolution. Here at FSFE we have been busy throughout 2014, working hard
  13. to ensure that users remain in control of their devices and that Free
  14. Software may once compete on a level playing field for public tenders.
  15. More information, including the extent of our limited success and our
  16. future prospects, on both these issues and our other frontiers may be
  17. found in our <a href="/news/2014/news-20141218-02.html">annual report for 2014</a>,
  18. penned by our President <a href="/about/people/gerloff">Karsten Gerloff</a>.
  19. </p>
  20. <p>
  21. In addition to providing a comprehensive overview of our activities in
  22. 2014, Karsten finishes the report with a sneak peek of the challenges
  23. we are going to face and overcome in revolution 2015.
  24. For instance, we intend to build on the success of the
  25. <a href="http://freesoftwarepact.eu/">Free Software Pact</a> to spread
  26. awareness about Free Software among both the elected representatives of
  27. the European citizenry and the unelected bureaucrats of the executive
  28. branch.
  29. </p>
  30. <p>
  31. We also intend to invest more in our local volunteers and Fellowship
  32. groups. We are hopeful that not only will we reach a wider audience and
  33. have a greater impact with increased local participation, but this will
  34. also be much more fun for everyone involved.
  35. </p>
  36. <h2>Fellowship elections</h2>
  37. <p>
  38. FSFE has a bit less than 1500 <a href="/fellowship/">Fellows</a> or
  39. sustaining members. In addition to receiving
  40. <a href="/fellowship/about/fellowship.html#youget">certain benefits</a>
  41. useful for digital activists, all of them have a say in the governance
  42. of the FSFE. This right is exercised by
  43. <a href="/about/legal/constitution.html#id-fellowship-seats">electing</a>
  44. representatives to the General Assembly, the highest decision-making
  45. body of FSFE. Your temporary editor will have served his term as a
  46. Fellowship Representative by this spring, and hence a new Representative
  47. will be elected by the orderly Fellows from February 20th to March 6th
  48. 2015, 12pm.
  49. </p>
  50. <p>
  51. Your outgoing Representative would like to take this opportunity to
  52. invite all our Fellows to partake in the elections. The General Assembly
  53. is responsible for making all strategic decisions for FSFE, and all
  54. Fellows, whether true idealists or business-minded pragmatists, have
  55. the same right to affect our future growth and direction, so please do
  56. so.
  57. </p>
  58. <h2>EU: the good and the bad</h2>
  59. <p>
  60. On December 17, 2014, the European Parliament adopted the EU budget for
  61. 2015. We are very happy to report that thanks to the efforts of MEPs
  62. Julia Reda (Pirates) and Max Andersson (Greens), the Parliament has
  63. allocated up to a million euros to audit Free Software used by the
  64. European Parliament and Commission. We hope that the institutions
  65. concerned will closely work with upstream developers to best benefit
  66. the public. We also welcome
  67. <a href="/news/2014/news-20141219-01.html">further allocations</a>
  68. that aim to allow equal participation in the digital society.
  69. </p>
  70. <p>
  71. Unfortunately, we must still call upon EU institutions to make use of
  72. Open Standards and Free Software, as a recent study prepared for the
  73. Greens/EFA
  74. <a href="/news/2014/news-20141212-01.html">has found</a> that the EU
  75. Parliament falls woefully short of its democratic obligations to ensure
  76. transparency and openness. Among other shortcomings the parliamentarians
  77. lack access to a standards-compliant e-mail solution.
  78. </p>
  79. <h2>Something completely different</h2>
  80. <ul>
  81. From the planet aggregation:
  82. <li>
  83. Paul Boddie writes about the
  84. ‘<a href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/pboddie/?p=802">unplanned obsolescence</a>’
  85. of early Fairphone devices, justifiedly arguing that Fairphone's
  86. decision to overlook or deprioritize hardware support for Free
  87. Software was unwise considering the abundance of information available
  88. on the lack of hardware support for Free Software.
  89. </li>
  90. <li>
  91. Otto Kekäläinen
  92. <a href="http://seravo.fi/2014/password-hygiene-every-mans-responsibility">writes</a>
  93. about password management while recognizing that people are not
  94. storage media. Otto's piece is an excellent read when taken with a
  95. pinch of salt.
  96. </li>
  97. <li>
  98. Nico Rikken contemplates the right to make bad choices in his piece
  99. ‘<a href="http://nicorikken.eu/blog/optional-rights/">Optional rights</a>’.
  100. </li>
  101. </ul>
  102. <p>
  103. 2015 will bring a new etiquette to our Fellowship Planet. A proposed
  104. draft will be presented to the Fellows for consultation at the earliest
  105. convenience.
  106. </p>
  107. <h2>Get active: spread free software</h2>
  108. <p>
  109. The gift giving season has just ended. No doubt you have a friend or
  110. relative unfortunate enough to have been given a computer bundled with
  111. non-free software as a gift. Help them install a free GNU/Linux
  112. distribution or <a href="http://www.replicant.us/">Replicant</a>.
  113. </p>
  114. <p>
  115. Thanks to all the <a href="/contribute/contribute.html">volunteers</a>,
  116. <a href="https://my.fsfe.org/donate">Fellows</a> and
  117. <a href="/donate/thankgnus.html">corporate donors</a> who enable our
  118. work,<br />
  119. <a href="/about/ojasild">Heiki Ojasild</a><br />
  120. Fellowship Representative, <a href="/">FSFE</a>
  121. </p>
  122. <!--/e-content-->
  123. </body>
  124. <sidebar promo="about-fsfe" />
  125. <author id="repentinus" />
  126. <date>
  127. <original content="2015-01-05" />
  128. </date>
  129. <followup>donate</followup>
  130. <tags>
  131. <tag key="newsletter"/>
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