Free Software Supporter
Issue 62, May 2013
Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation’s monthly news digest and action update — being read by you and 68,736 other activists. That’s 268 more than last month!
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Software Freedom Conservancy launches fundraising campaign for nonprofit accounting software
- Google abandons XMPP for instant messaging
- With interns from GNOME Outreach Program for Women and Google Summer of Code, MediaGoblin is in for a summer of awesome
- GNU/Linux flag at the top of the Americas
- GNU/Linux chosen as operating system of the International Space Station
- GNU Hackers Meeting 2013: August 22-25 in Paris, France
- The W3C’s soul at stake
- “Oscar” awarded to W3C for Best Supporting Role in “The Hollyweb”
- Show your friends you care about freedom from DRM; use a banner on your social media profile
- International Day Against DRM 2013 sent a message
- Stepping it up as W3C takes the next step towards the Hollyweb
- Help needed documenting events of May 2013 — End Software Patents campaign
- Single-board computers and software freedom
- Emacs chat: Bastien Guerry
- Illegal procurement favoring Microsoft killed in Portuguese court
- Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory
- LibrePlanet featured resource: List of free software webmail systems
- GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry: 19 new GNU releases!
- GNU Toolchain update
- Richard Stallman’s speaking schedule
- Other FSF events
- Thank GNUs!
- Take action with the FSF
From May 29th
Software Freedom Conservancy launches fundraising campaign for nonprofit accounting software
By Software Freedom Conservancy, from May 1st
The campaign seeks to raise $75,000 to fund a full-time developer for one year to first reevaluate existing Free Software solutions for their viability as a nonprofit accounting system, and then improve and augment the best available system to create a new solution that will help nonprofits around the world manage their finances better. Please donate generously to this important cause!
Google abandons XMPP for instant messaging
By Parker Higgins at the EFF, from May 22nd
In several places around the Web, the company is replacing the existing “Talk” platform with a new one called “Hangouts” that sharply diminishes support for the [free] messaging protocol known as XMPP (or sometimes informally Jabber), and also removes the option to disable the archiving of all chat communications. These changes represent a switch from [free] protocols to proprietary ones, and a clear step backward for many users.
This comes in light of our recent blog post commending Google for reinstating federation on their Talk platform, after they took it down as a crude security measure.
With interns from GNOME Outreach Program for Women and Google Summer of Code, MediaGoblin is in for a summer of awesome
By Chris Webber of MediaGoblin, from May 27th
MediaGoblin just announced all the students they’re accepting. It’s quite a few in quite a few awesome areas!
GNU/Linux flag at the top of the Americas
From May 30th
GNU/Linux enthusiast Sebastian Satke has taken GNU/Linux to new heights — literally. He summited Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Americas, with a GNU/Linux flag in tow. Check out these incredible pictures from his ascent.
GNU/Linux chosen as operating system of the International Space Station
From May 22nd
Gnus now join astronauts of many countries in humanity’s biggest space station.
This is a wise choice for the space station, and a high-profile victory for software freedom. It brings good publicity for free software, demonstrating its respected position in the world of science and technology.
GNU Hackers Meeting 2013: August 22-25 in Paris, France
From May 21st
We are happy to announce the seventh GNU Hackers Meeting, which will take place from August 22 to August 25 2013 in Paris, France. The GNU Hackers Meetings are a friendly and informal venue to discuss technical, social and organizational issues concerning GNU and free software.
The W3C’s soul at stake
From May 2nd
Richard Stallman’s latest piece calling on the World Wide Web Consortium to save its own soul: “Now is when the W3C should use the influence it has built up, saying, “DRM: Not in our name!”
“Oscar” awarded to W3C for Best Supporting Role in “The Hollyweb”
From May 3rd
In celebration of International Day Against DRM today, we rolled out the red carpet at W3C to deliver your petition signatures. Internet freedom’s most stylish gathered to present W3C with an award for “Best Supporting Role in ‘The Hollyweb’”, accompanied by over 22,500 verified signatures from members of the public who oppose a proposal that would weave Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) into the fabric of the Web.
Here’s our blog post with photos from the petition delivery:
Our press release:
Show your friends you care about freedom from DRM; use a banner on your social media profile
From May 2nd
By posting the banner, you’re helping raise awareness of the problem and rallying your networks in this fight. The more people know about it, the harder it will be for Hollywood and its tech allies to slip this through. Let’s stop the Hollyweb!
International Day Against DRM 2013 sent a message
From May 20th
The seventh annual International Day Against DRM featured a glamorous petition delivery, awareness-raising events on three continents, and ebook sales from prominent DRM-free publishers.
Free Software Foundation Europe participated with an in-depth post about the ideas behind the Day Against DRM:
Stepping it up as W3C takes the next step towards the Hollyweb
From May 9th
On May 3rd, we made a powerful statement to the W3C by delivering the verified signatures of over 22,500 people against Encrypted Media Extensions (EME), Big Media’s proposal to incorporate DRM support into HTML. Today the W3C advanced EME one step further in their approval process, to “first public working draft.” This doesn’t mean we’ve lost, but it shows that the media and software companies behind EME are not giving up, and that we need to keep pushing. Here’s Defective by Design’s blog post:
And our press release:
Help needed documenting events of May 2013 — End Software Patents campaign
By Ciarán O’Riordan, from May 23rd
May brought exceptionally good pieces of news for campaigns against software patents, but I’m stuck studying for law exams. If anyone would like to help, it would be great to have better write-ups about these recent events on the ESP wiki:
Single-board computers and software freedom
From May 23rd
Single-board computers (SBCs) are computers delivered as one circuit board that are powerful enough to run a real operating system. SBCs are typically inexpensive and versatile. However, all of the SBCs currently available have major flaws — hardware that doesn’t work without running a nonfree program.
Emacs chat: Bastien Guerry
By Sacha Chua, from May 20th
In this video interview, blogger Sacha Chua chats with GNU Emacs Org mode developer Bastien Guerry. Org mode is a popular Emacs extension for planning, writing and organizing. Bastien tells stories about getting started in Emacs, reading his mail/news/blogs in Gnus, and hacking his life with Org.
You can listen to just the audio from the conversation in Ogg format here:
Illegal procurement favoring Microsoft killed in Portuguese court
By the Free Software Foundation Europe, from May 2nd
On April 27, the administrative court of Almada, Portugal, declared a 550,000 Euro contract between Microsoft and the municipality of Almada to be illegal. The technical specifications of the competition launched by the municipality prevented any company other than Microsoft and their partners to submit a proposal.
Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory
Tens of thousands of people visit directory.fsf.org each month to discover free software. Each entry in the Directory contains a wealth of useful information, from basic category and descriptions to version control, IRC channels, documentation, and licensing. The Free Software Directory has been a great resource to software users over the past decade, but it needs your help staying up-to-date with new and exciting free software projects.
To help, join our weekly IRC meetings on Fridays from 3pm to 6pm EDT (20:00 to 23:00 UTC). Meetings take place in the #fsf channel on irc.gnu.org, and usually include a handful of regulars as well as newcomers. Everyone’s welcome.
After this meeting, you can check http://www.fsf.org/events to see the rest of June’s weekly meetings as they are scheduled.
LibrePlanet featured resource: List of free software webmail systems
Every month on LibrePlanet, we highlight one resource that is interesting and useful — often one that could use your help.
The Free Software Webmail Systems page is a place to find and share resources for people interested in doing their email on the Web without compromising their freedom. You are invited to adopt, spread and improve this important resource.
Do you have a suggestion for next month’s featured resource? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry: 19 new GNU releases!
New GNU releases this month (as of May 28, 2013):
To get announcements of most new GNU releases, subscribe to the info-gnu mailing list: http://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/info-gnu. Nearly all GNU software is available from http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/, or preferably one of its mirrors (http://www.gnu.org/prep/ftp.html). You can use the URLhttp://ftpmirror.gnu.org/ to be automatically redirected to a (hopefully) nearby and up-to-date mirror.
Last month I erroneously gave Jeffrin Jose as the author of the new GNU package guile-sdl. Its author is actually Thien-Thi Nguyen, who also maintains GNU RCS and GNU Alive. Sorry, Thien-Thi! However, I can now welcome Jeffrin as the new maintainer of GNU Gleem, so no one is left out :). I’d also like to welcome Michael Petch as a new co-maintainer of gnubg (GNU Backgammon).
I’d also like to mention the GNU Hackers Meeting for 2013, scheduled to take place from August 22 to August 25 in Paris, France. More information athttp://www.gnu.org/ghm/2013/paris/.
A number of GNU packages, as well as the GNU operating system as a whole, are looking for maintainers and other assistance. Please seehttp://www.gnu.org/server/takeaction.html#unmaint if you’d like to help. The general page on how to help GNU is at http://www.gnu.org/help/help.html. To submit new packages to the GNU operating system, see http://www.gnu.org/help/evaluation.html.
As always, please feel free to write to me, email@example.com, with any GNUish questions or suggestions for future installments.
GNU Toolchain update
From May 20th
The GNU toolchain refers to the part of the GNU system which is used for building programs. These components of GNU are together often on other systems and for compiling programs for other platforms.
Read about updates to binutils, GAS, and GCC.
Richard Stallman’s speaking schedule
For event details, as well as to sign-up to be notified for future events in your area, please visit http://www.fsf.org/events.
So far, Richard Stallman has the following events in June and July:
- June 02, 2013, 11:00 AM, Puebla, Mexico, Copyright vs Comunidad
- June 03, 2013, 02:00 PM, Ciudad Serdán, Mexico, El movimiento del software libre
- June 05, 2013, 08:15 AM, San Miguel, El Salvador, El movimiento del software libre
- June 06, 2013, 01:00 PM, San Miguel, El Salvador, Copyright vs. Comunidad
- June 08, 2013, 06:00 PM, Mexico City, Mexico, Richard Stallman to inaugurate Hackerspace
- June 10, 2013, 11:00 AM, Chihuahua, Mexico, Richard Stallman to speak in Chihuahua
- June 13, 2013, 10:00 AM, Torreón, Mexico, El movimiento del software libre
- June 28, 2013, 10:00 AM, Caracas, Venezuela, El software libre en la ética y en la práctica
- July 01, 2013, 07:30 PM, Passo Fundo, Brazil, A Free Digital Society
- July 05, 2013, Porto Alegre, Brazil, Richard Stallman to deliver keynote speech at FISL14
- July 10, 2013, 02:00 PM, Brussels, Belgium, Richard Stallman to speak in Brussels
Other FSF events
June 7, 2013, San Francisco, CA: FSF members and friends will be gathering for a social hour to discuss FSF campaigns, with FSF campaigns manager Libby Reinish. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 5th if interested.
June 8-9, 2013, San Francisco, CA: Libby Reinish will be participating in AdaCamp
We appreciate everyone who donates to the Free Software Foundation, but we’d like to give special recognition to the folks who have donated $500 or more in the last month.
This month, a big Thank GNU to:
- Markus Schaldach
- Julian Eden
- Walter Lain
- Giacomo Castellano
You can add your name to this list by donating at http://donate.fsf.org.
Take action with the FSF
Contributions from thousands of individual members enable the FSF’s work. You can contribute by joining at http://www.fsf.org/join. If you’re already a member, you can help refer new members (and earn some rewards) by adding a line with your member number to your email signature like:
I’m an FSF member — Help us support software freedom! http://www.fsf.org/jf?referrer=2442
The FSF is also always looking for volunteers (http://www.fsf.org/volunteer). From rabble-rousing to hacking, from issue coordination to envelope stuffing — there’s something here for everybody to do. Also, head over to our campaign section (http://www.fsf.org/campaigns) and take action on software patents, DRM, free software adoption, OpenDocument, RIAA and more.
Copyright © 2013 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
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