FSFE Newsletter - September 2012
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Tue Sep 4 16:10:34 CEST 2012
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= FSFE Newsletter - September 2012 =
== Like in the 90s but with phones: First Free Your Android installation
More and more people start using mobile phones with Android. But in
order to be in full control over your phone, you have to install another
Android firmware on them. To make this phone liberation easy we started
the Free Your Android campaign.
In the last newsletter editionwe asked you in our "Get active"
section to help us with Free Your Android installation parties, like the
GNU/Linux installation parties some years ago. Thanks to all of you, who
contacted us about it, and who offered their help for the future.
This month some of us already started with those installation parties.
First, Torsten Grote taught Erik Albers and your editor how to free
their phones, which is documented quick and dirtyon your editors
weblog. Second, on August 26th, 13 people from Austria, France, Germany,
Slovenia, and Spain participated at FSFE's workshop. To summarise it in
the words of Silke Meyer, one of the trainers: "The workshop had two
goals: To help people install free software on their phones and to
develop/document some guidelines that trainers for such workshops could
use." Result: We liberated 4 phones, updated 3 to a newer version,
documented what we did including our internal workshop documentation,
and thought about stickers for liberated phones. Beside Silke's blog
post, there is also a Spanish article with instructions, and this
article including some pictures of happy participants.
We will have other Free Your Android workshops on 4th September in
Katowice/Poland, on 9th September Pristina/Kosovo, and on 15th September
in Berlin/Germany, Paris/France, and Lubijana/Slovenia. The campaign
team's goal is also to make the update process easier. There is the Free
Software "OTA Update Center" which can achieve easy updates, but as
Torsten explains, there are still some problems with it. Perhaps
you, or someone you know can help with it?
== Standardisation Absurdity: Still No OOXML ==
Office suites have one of the strongest network effects: it is often
difficult to use another word processor than Microsoft Word. If
something does not work, you as a Free Software user are blamed by the
others when the document exchange is not working. So one of the reasons,
why we are promoting Open Standardsis to make it possible for Free
Software users to communicate with others, who are using non-free
Because most decision-makers now understand, that Open Standardsare
crucial for a fair market, Microsoft pushed its own standard called
Microsoft Office Open XML (OOXML), claiming it is an Open Standard. FSFE
questioned the ISO certificationstarting in 2007, and when ISO
approved it we were concerned about the quality of standardisation
Recently Microsoft announcedthat the next edition of Microsoft
Office 2013, will support the OOXML document standard. Karsten Gerloff
is analysingthis public admission by Microsoft that they have not
implemented OOXML until now – despite everything their sales people
have apparently been telling clients in business and the public sector.
== Something completely different ==
- Software patents and rounded rectangles: Samsung should pay more than
a billion US dollars in damages for Apple. Karsten Gerloff takes a
look if this decision matters( German version on netzpolitik).
- Digital Restrictions Management: For the visitors of the Consumer
Electronics Unlimited (IFA), FSFE's German team together with
"Digitale Gesellschaft e.V." has published a German DRM booklet,
based on the one we made together with EDRi (PDF). Our sister
organisation published a "DRM-Free" label, and there are offers to
get DRM-free ebooks and music in pay-what-you-want bundles!
- Wistleblower software published as Free Software: The weekly German
newspaper"Die Zeit" published a whistleblower program, as Free
Software. Now security experts have the opportunity to analyse the
software, and improve it to provide good technology for more
- Free Software in your holiday destination: Joinup reports, that the
Canary Islands' government is increasing and encouraging Free Software
use, especially for their telephone system and their office suite.
They expect 25% reduction of non-free software license costs.
- Not directly connected with Free Software, but Fellowship
representativeand former FSFE internHugo Roy is all over the
news with his project"Terms of Service - Didn't Read", e.g.
Wired, Techcrunch, Die Zeit, Time, Stern, Die
Welt, Le Monde, and many more. Thanks Hugo for your good work!
- A selection from the Fellowship blog aggregation:
- Clean Your Android: Mark Lindhout is writing about annoying phone
problems. This time it is fixed by cleaning your micro USB port and
headphone jack, but this is not as simple as it sounds.
- Distributed Free Software: Bdale Garbee reports that Freedom Box 0.1
was released, and Sam Tuke wrote about Secure Share, which
aims to become an ultra-secure social network
- Are you still using paper maps, or are you using map programs on your
phones (e.g. OSMAnd+)? Ali Gündüzloves old maps, and he wrote
about his three old maps from 1764, 1872, 1859.
- Fellow Number 1, Mario Fux informs youabout the donations for the
Free Software meetings in Randa.
- One of the rarely bloggers, Mr Rainer "Merchandise" Kersten, wrote a
comment about competence, and digital dementia (German).
- On a more technical side: Werner Koch, author of GnuPG and GA member
writes about beta release numbering with GIT, and Myriam
Schweingruber asked people to participate in a kmail
bugsprintwhich took place on August 18th.
- Do you know Nyancat? Your editor apologises, if you did not want
to be reminded about it. But now there is a GNU version of it: the
- finally, if you are interested in playing ukulele, Guido Arnold,
explains how he tuned his ukulele using Free Software and
== Get Active: Contribute to Free Software news! ==
Your editor always tries to cover important and interesting news about
FSFE and Free Software. So shameless house advertising: if you read or
hear interesting Free Software news, please write an e-mail to your
editor, with a short note why this news is particularly interesting
or important in your view.
Thanks to all the Fellowsand donorswho enable our work,
Matthias Kirschner- FSFE
Free Software Foundation Europe
Upcoming FSFE Events
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