FSFE Newsletter - February 2012

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Sat Feb 4 14:19:24 CET 2012

                         FSFE Newsletter - February 2012

Reclaim your smartphone!

    Smartphones are small computers that we carry around all the time.
    Unfortunately, most smartphones are not controlled by us, the users,
    but by the manufacturers and the operators. Even Android phones are
    being shipped with non-free software and proprietary add-ons that
    usually do not work in the full interest of us. Software updates will
    only keep to be available if the manufacturer still has a commercial
    interest in your device. The applications available from the official
    market are most of the time non-free. Nobody is allowed to study how
    they work and what they really do on your phone. Sometimes they do 
not work exactly as you want, but sometimes they might even contain
    malicious features.

    Running only Free Software on your device puts you in full control.
    Even though you might not be able to directly exercise all of your
    freedoms, you will benefit from a vibrant community that can do it

    FSFE [1]is collecting information about running an Android system as
    free as possible. We try to coordinate the different efforts, but we
    need your help with it. Join our mailing list, update the wiki and
    thereby enable more people to use Free Software on their everyday

Lesson 1: Learn how to programme!

    Our [2]education team has done [3]solid work in 2011, including our
    [4]NL edu campaign. Free Software permits children to learn how
    software works and thus to understand the concepts underlying a whole
    category or type of software. They are then prepared to adapt to any
    environment, which is a key skill nowadays. In addition, we believe
    that the possibility to tinker does motivate children easily to learn
    autonomously. Finally, Free Software allows them to understand
    computers in a more depth.
   Sam Tuke was [5]asked by the BBC to comment about suggestions that the
    British Government may add basic programming skills to the national
    curriculum, and whether this would have a political impact on society
    in terms of how we interact with technology. The education team will
    have a brief meeting at the upcoming FOSDEM, at the 4th and 5th of
    February. You are welcome to join.

Already plans for 28th of March?

  Open Standards make it easier for individuals, companies and the public
    administration to switch to Free Software. The goal of the[6]Document
    Freedom Day is to raise awareness for Open Standards so people have
    more freedom. This year your editor is in charge of DFD and he will
    bluntly promote it in this and upcoming newsletters. At the moment,
    please save the date 28th of March, [7]send our country teams
    nominations for the Document Freedom Award, help us to gather
    information for our [8]Standards Quartet, find [9]street artists to
  promote the idea of Open Standards, and [10]contact the DFD team if you
    want to [11]become a supporting organisation.

Something completely different

    * Time to vote: The [12]2012 Fellowship election is running until the
      end of February. As Fellow you can decide between [13]Albert Dengg,
        Gert Seidl, and Nikos Roussos. On 22nd February we plan to have a
        chat meeting with the candidates.
      * Slovak Copyright Act: [14]FSFE intern Martin Husovec [15]sent
      letters to four members of Slovak Parliament that proposed a highly
      awaited amendment, but later faced its dismissal due to preliminary
      * Heiki Ojasild joined the Free Software Foundation Europe in 2011,
        undertaking the task of translating fsfe.org into Estonian. He is
        currently developing an XChat add-on, a website for free SVG and
        JavaScript games, and asked [16]Estonian politicians questions
        about Free Software. Read more in [17]this month's Fellowship
        interview about copyright, Digital Restrictions Management,
        kopimism, and activism.
    * Richard Stallman's new article [18]"Measures Governments Can Use to
        Promote Free Software" is out.
      * Two new editions of the [19]legal news cover the US Supreme Court
        decision on copyright extension, patent inflation, the[20]release
        of the Mozilla Public License version 2.0 which is GNU
        GPL-compatible, and more.
      * During the January 18th protest against SOPA, we blacked out our
        website joining other organisations to protect the Internet.
      * Here a selection from the [21]Fellowship planet aggregation:
           + The new FSFE Fellowship blog theme — a name, a first
             version. [22]Presenting: Pome 1.0.
         + Interested why Thomas Koch suggests you should [23]stop coding
             for money?
           + You should demand Free Software in a business context became
             it [24]makes sense and saves a lot of money, says Jelle
          + [25]Fellow No1 tells us how much 57 persons in Rwanda can eat
             while hacking on Free Software
           + What is the "web trap"? [26]Heiki Ojasild argued to treat
             HTML, SVG and CSS as tools that should be as accessible to
             everyone as software in general should be.
           + And a nice hardware hack: [27]Computer startup aid using a
             LEGO train.

Get active: More love reports instead of bug reports!

  Let us admit it, the Free Software community is often very critical. We
    write bug reports, tell others how they can improve the software, ask
    them for new features, and to not spare with criticism. Sometimes we
   forget to say "thank you, for all your work". As in the last years, we
    want to change this, at least for one day. So on Tuesday the 14th of
    February we will celebrate the [28]"I love Free Software" - Day.

    Get active, buy your favourite developer a drink or give them a hug
   (ask for permission first), write an [29]e-mail/letter expressing your
    feelings, create nice pictures, donate to a Free Software initiative,
    use another [30]of our suggestions or be create yourself to show how
    you appreciate people, working hard to enlarge or defend our freedom.
    Beside that help us to promote the activity with [31]our banners, by
    e-mail, (micro)blog or in your (distributed?) social networks.

    New this year is a [32]whole day event in the Unperfekthaus in Essen
    (Germany) and that all our Fellows automatically get an
    login at ilovefs.org e-mail alias.

    Thanks to all the [33]Fellows and [34]donors who enable our work,
    [35]Matthias Kirschner - [36]FSFE


    1. http://wiki.fsfe.org/Android
    2. http://fsfe.org/projects/education/education.html
    3. http://blogs.fsfe.org/guido/2012/01/edu-team-2011-summary/
    4. http://fsfe.org/campaigns/nledu/nledu.html
    5. http://blogs.fsfe.org/samtuke/?p=255
    6. http://documentfreedom.org/
    7. http://fsfe.org/news/2012/news-20120110-02.html
    8. http://blogs.fsfe.org/mk/?p=881
    9. http://fsfe.org/news/2012/news-20120130-01.html
   10. http://documentfreedom.org/contact.html
   11. http://documentfreedom.org/news/2012/news-20120127-01.html
   12. http://fsfe.org/news/2012/news-20120131-01.html
   13. http://wiki.fsfe.org/FellowshipElection_2012
   14. http://fsfe.org/contribute/internship.html
   15. http://fsfe.org/news/2012/news-20120110-01.html
   17. http://blogs.fsfe.org/fellowship-interviews/?p=521
   18. http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/government-free-software.html
   19. http://fsfe.org/news/2012/news-20120126-01.html
   20. http://www.fsf.org/blogs/licensing/mpl-2.0-release
   21. http://planet.fsfe.org/
   25. http://blogs.fsfe.org/mario/?p=167
   26. http://blogs.fsfe.org/repentinus/english/2012/01/04/the-web-trap/
   28. http://ilovefs.org/
   30. http://fsfe.org/campaigns/ilovefs/2012/ilovefs.html
   31. http://fsfe.org/campaigns/ilovefs/2012/banners.html
   32. http://fsfe.org/campaigns/ilovefs/2012/unperfekthaus.html
   33. http://fellowship.fsfe.org/join
   34. http://fsfe.org/home/alessandro/Documents/donate/thankgnus.html
   35. http://fsfe.org/about/kirschner
   36. http://www.fsfe.org/
   37. http://fsfe.org/index.html
   38. http://fsfe.org/news/news.rss
   39. http://fsfe.org/events/events.rss
   40. http://planet.fsfe.org/en/rss20.xml
   41. http://fsfe.org/contact/community.html

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