FSFE Newsletter - November 2012
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Mon Nov 5 11:32:17 CET 2012
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= FSFE Newsletter - November 2012 =
== Rooting and flashing your device does not void the warranty in EU ==
Most of the participants in our Free Your Androidworkshops 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."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.
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, in Sweden, and on the
16th of November at SFSCON, in Italy.
== Facts about software patents by the New York Times ==
The New York Times published an article entitled"The Patent, Used as a
Sword"about the patent system. Hugo Roy summaries it. 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
On the same topic, Karsten Gerloff gave a talk about "How Software
Patents Are Delaying The Future", 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
FSCONSin Gothenburg from 9th to 11th November. Karsten Gerloff
will talk about software patents, Erik Albers about the Free Your
Android campaign, 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"and
another about "How to fix public procurement"; and Hugo Roy will
present his project"Terms of Services; Didn't Read". And there are
other interesting talks.
- Chris Woolfrey interviewed Hugo Roy, FSFE's French Team
coordinator and co-founder of the Digital Freedoms association. He
joined FSFE in 2009 as an intern, assisting FSFE president Karsten
Gerloff. In France, Hugo is also active with Apriland the French
- Last month your editor visited Benjamin Mako Hill, John Sullivan,
Richard Stallman, and the FSF office staffin Boston. There was a
lot happening at our sister organisation: They opened
nominationsfor the 15th Annual Free Software Awards; they crashed
the Microsoft Windows 8 launch eventin New York City with a
cheerful GNU; Libby Reinish wrote about the Ada Lovelace Day, 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; and Donald Robertson published a
presentation from Jeremy Allisonexplaining why Samba chose the GNU
GPL version 3.
- A study from Carlo Daffaraconcluded 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.
- From our Fellowship planet aggregation:
- Thomas Løcke wrote about the GNU MediaGoblincrowdsourcing
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, as he wants to have
an alternative to Flickr and YouTube.
- Ana is destroying some myths surrounding Free Software. She also
wrote about the"Social media and the concept of 'freedom'"and her
experiences from changing keyboard layoutsafter 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 predictedin 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.
Currently, we have 1233 supporters, 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, Oskar Wenzel,
- Interested in tablets and phones? Henri looks into how to be
productive with them. Our Finnish Fellows describe how to install
the Meego offspring Mer and Nemo on ExoPC tablet (WeTab)and Timo
wrote about the Bavarian phone OpenPhoenux GTA04and how to hack on
- Sam Tuke described how to install static website generator
webgen(which we use for pdfreaders.org), and how to install
the Android Emulator in Fedora 17, 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. Also, and related to KDE, Torsten Grote
explains how to build Kontact on Debian Sid. 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 Pythonand he
announcedto work one day a week from Cyberpipe, Slovenian's
== 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, 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 letterto 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
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, which uses Ulule platform,
and spread the news about it.
Thanks to all the Fellowsand donorswho enable our work,
Matthias Kirschner- FSFE
Free Software Foundation Europe <http://fsfe.org>
Upcoming FSFE Events <http://fsfe.org/events/events.nl.rss?pk_campaign=e
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Free Software Discussions <http://fsfe.org/contact/community.nl.html?pk_
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