FSFE Newsletter - February 2012
press at fsfeurope.org
press at fsfeurope.org
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
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 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 education team has done solid work in 2011, including our
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 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 theDocument
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, send our country teams
nominations for the Document Freedom Award, help us to gather
information for our Standards Quartet, find street artists to
promote the idea of Open Standards, and contact the DFD team if you
want to become a supporting organisation.
Something completely different
* Time to vote: The 2012 Fellowship election is running until the
end of February. As Fellow you can decide between Albert Dengg,
Gert Seidl, and Nikos Roussos. On 22nd February we plan to have a
chat meeting with the candidates.
* Slovak Copyright Act: FSFE intern Martin Husovec 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
about Free Software. Read more in this month's Fellowship
interview about copyright, Digital Restrictions Management,
kopimism, and activism.
* Richard Stallman's new article "Measures Governments Can Use to
Promote Free Software" is out.
* Two new editions of the legal news cover the US Supreme Court
decision on copyright extension, patent inflation, therelease
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 Fellowship planet aggregation:
+ The new FSFE Fellowship blog theme â€” a name, a first
version. Presenting: Pome 1.0.
+ Interested why Thomas Koch suggests you should stop coding
+ You should demand Free Software in a business context became
it makes sense and saves a lot of money, says Jelle
+ Fellow No1 tells us how much 57 persons in Rwanda can eat
while hacking on Free Software
+ What is the "web trap"? 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: Computer startup aid using a
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 "I love Free Software" - Day.
Get active, buy your favourite developer a drink or give them a hug
(ask for permission first), write an e-mail/letter expressing your
feelings, create nice pictures, donate to a Free Software initiative,
use another 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 our banners, by
e-mail, (micro)blog or in your (distributed?) social networks.
New this year is a 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 Fellows and donors who enable our work,
Matthias Kirschner - FSFE
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