FSFE Newsletter - November 2012

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Mon Nov 5 11:32:22 CET 2012

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= FSFE Newsletter - November 2012 =

[Read online:

== Rooting and flashing your device does not void the warranty in EU ==

Most of the participants in our Free Your Android[2]workshops are
concerned whether rooting your device (e.g. an Android phone) and
replacing its operating system with something else voids your statutory
warranty as consumer. We asked our legal coordinator Matija Šuklje and
FSFE legal council Carlo Piana to analyse the problem. Their answer is:
No.[3]"Just the fact that you modified or changed the software of your
device, is not a sufficient reason to void your statutory warranty. As
long as you have bought the device as a consumer in the European Union."
Read throughout their analysis[4].


We hope these news will encourage people to flash their devices with
Free Software. Next opportunity to attend on of our Free Your Android
workshop is on the 9th of November at FSCONS[5], in Sweden, and on the
16th of November at SFSCON[6], in Italy.

6. https://2012.sfscon.it/en/program

== Facts about software patents by the New York Times ==

The New York Times published an article entitled"The Patent, Used as a
Sword"[7]about the patent system. Hugo Roy summaries it[8]. It is about
how Apple and Google were spending more on patents than on research and
development in 2011. Among other issues, it focuses on the number of
lawsuits filed each year in the US, which has tripled from 1990 to 2010,
and how 70% of patent applications are approved after the applicant
altered claims.

8. http://blog.hugoroy.eu/2012/10/10/some-facts-about-the-us-patent-system/

On the same topic, Karsten Gerloff gave a talk about "How Software
Patents Are Delaying The Future"[9], on a discussion panel organised by
the European Patent Office. "Currently, a lot of policy on patents (as
well as copyright) is made on the basis of faith and rather dubious
argument. We urgently need to move on towards evidence-based policy
making", concludes Karsten.


== Something completely different ==

- FSFE will have a track focused on general purpose computing at
  FSCONS[10]in Gothenburg from 9th to 11th November. Karsten Gerloff
  will talk about software patents[11], Erik Albers about the Free Your
  Android campaign[12], Sam Tuke will give a preview about a new
  campaign FSFE will launch soon, and your editor gives a general
  overview about general purpose computing. In other tracks, Otto
  Kekäläinen gives two talks, one about"Dirty tactics against
  LibreOffice in public administration and how to overcome them"[13]and
  another about "How to fix public procurement"; and Hugo Roy will
  present his project"Terms of Services; Didn't Read"[14]. And there are
  other interesting talks[15].
- Chris Woolfrey interviewed Hugo Roy[16], FSFE's French Team
  coordinator and co-founder of the Digital Freedoms association[17]. He
  joined FSFE in 2009 as an intern, assisting FSFE president Karsten
  Gerloff. In France, Hugo is also active with April[18]and the French
  Data Network[19].
- Last month your editor visited Benjamin Mako Hill, John Sullivan,
  Richard Stallman, and the FSF office staff[20]in Boston. There was a
  lot happening at our sister organisation: They opened
  nominations[21]for the 15th Annual Free Software Awards; they crashed
  the Microsoft Windows 8 launch event[22]in New York City with a
  cheerful GNU; Libby Reinish wrote about the Ada Lovelace Day[23], a
  day to celebrate women's contributions to science and technology; the
  LulzBot AO-100 3D Printer was awarded the first "Respects Your
  Freedom" (RYF) certification[24]; and Donald Robertson published a
  presentation from Jeremy Allison[25]explaining why Samba chose the GNU
  GPL version 3.
- A study from Carlo Daffara[26]concluded that Free Software is
  contributing 450 billion Euro per year to Europe's economy. You are
  contributing to it!
- The European Commission's joinup portal is listing different national
  and regional Free Software repositories[27].
- From our Fellowship planet aggregation[28]:
- Thomas Løcke wrote about the GNU MediaGoblin[29]crowdsourcing
  campaign. Its goal is to improve posting, sharing and commenting on
  media, with Free Software and with keeping more control of your data.
  Oskar Welzl also donated to GNU Media Goblin[30], as he wants to have
  an alternative to Flickr and YouTube.
- Ana is destroying some myths surrounding Free Software[31]. She also
  wrote about the"Social media and the concept of 'freedom'"[32]and her
  experiences from changing keyboard layouts[33]after setting up an
  encrypted hard disk. In general she concludes "My computer is working
  better and I am starting to understand software a bit better".
- Karl Beecher reports, that in 1974 Arthur C. Clarke predicted[34]in a
  video that by 2001 we will all have small computers that can fit on a
  desk in our own home, and they will even be inter-connected with other
  computers across the world. (While watching your editor noticed how
  picky he is about fan noise.)
- Erik explained why you should become a supporter of FSFE[35].
  Currently, we have 1233 supporters[36], and if the growth continues at
  the same pace, we will have 5733 in a year. Thanks also to all of you
  promoting the supporter, like Lionel Montrieux[37], Oskar Wenzel[38],
  and others.
- Interested in tablets and phones? Henri looks into how to be
  productive with them[39]. Our Finnish Fellows describe how to install
  the Meego offspring Mer and Nemo on ExoPC tablet (WeTab)[40]and Timo
  wrote about the Bavarian phone OpenPhoenux GTA04[41]and how to hack on
- Sam Tuke described how to install static website generator
  webgen[43](which we use for pdfreaders.org[44]), and how to install
  the Android Emulator in Fedora 17[45], that lets you to test
  applications without having an Android phone.
- Do you want to know why Telepathy is awesome? Read Daniele
  Domenichelli's blog post[46]. Also, and related to KDE, Torsten Grote
  explains how to build Kontact on Debian Sid[47]. In fact, KDE became
  16 last month. Congrats and thanks to all Free Software hackers in
  KDE! Continue being awesome.
- Our legal coordinator Matija is learning to program Python[48]and he
  announced[49]to work one day a week from Cyberpipe, Slovenian's
  biggest hacklab.

14. http://tos-dr.info/
15. https://fscons.org/2012/schedule/
17. http://www.libertesnumeriques.net/
18. http://www.april.org/
19. http://www.fdn.fr/
20. https://blogs.fsfe.org/mk/?p=1017&pk_campaign=enewsletter&pk_kwd=201211
23. https://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/happy-ada-lovelace-day
27. https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/software/federated_forge
28. http://planet.fsfe.org?pk_campaign=enewsletter&pk_kwd=201211
30. http://oskar.twoday.net/STORIES/169431527/
36. https://fsfe.org/support/stats?pk_campaign=enewsletter&pk_kwd=201211
37. http://lionel.montrieux.eu/2012/09/26/become-a-supporter-of-fsfe/
38. http://oskar.twoday.net/stories/156263488/
39. http://bergie.iki.fi/blog/tablet-productivity
41. http://losca.blogspot.de/2012/10/openphoenux-gta04.html
42. http://losca.blogspot.de/2012/10/uds-gta04-hacking.html
44. http://pdfreaders.org
48. http://matija.suklje.name/understanding-how-python-counts
49. http://matija.suklje.name/fsfe-legal-office-hours-in-cyberpipe

== Get active: Every buck, fixes a bug! ==

A lot of you already signed our Petition For The Removal Of Proprietary
Software Advertising On Public Institution Websites[50], and now we ask
you for your support to enhance this campaign.


With the example of PDF readers we raised general awareness of
proprietary software advertisements on public administration's websites
since September 2010. Until today our Petition was signed by 80
organisations, 58 businesses and 2438 individuals. We contacted 2104
public administrations, and managed to close 552 bugs (26%). So 552
federal government departments, municipalities, and other
administrations removed the advertisement, or added additional
references to Free Software PDF readers. And we will continue fixing the
remaining bugs. Just last month twenty Italian civil society
organisations wrote a letter[51]to the President of the Authority for
the Protection of Personal Data, asking the agency to ensure that all
documents published on its website can be read and used with Free
Software programs.


However, we also received a lot of feedback from the public
administration and other institutions and political entities. One big
task is to improve the PDF readers website, as it is one of our key
tools in this campaign. With your donation, we will be able to implement
the planned new features for the website until the 1st of February and
after it, for its maintenance.

Please donate on the fundraising page[52], which uses Ulule platform,
and spread the news about it.

52. http://www.ulule.com/pdfreaders/

Thanks to all the Fellows[53]and donors[54]who enable our work,
53. http://fellowship.fsfe.org/join?pk_campaign=enewsletter&pk_kwd=201211
54. donate/thankgnus.it.html

Matthias Kirschner- FSFE

Free Software Foundation Europe <http://fsfe.org>
Upcoming FSFE Events <http://fsfe.org/events/events.it.rss?pk_campaign=e
Fellowship Blog Aggregation <http://planet.fsfe.org/en/rss20.xml?pk_camp
Free Software Discussions <http://fsfe.org/contact/community.it.html?pk_

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