Friday, July 18, 2014
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) needs to be convinced that Net Neutrality is worth saving. The agency has asked members of the public, along with industry leaders and entrepreneurs, to tell it why Internet Service Providers should be banned from traffic discrimination. This comment window is one of the best opportunities we've had to make an impact. Comments are due tomorrow, July 15, 2014. Submit your statement in support of Net Neutrality right away using the Electronic Frontier Foundation's free software commenting tool.
Net neutrality, the principle that all traffic on the Internet should be treated equally, should be a basic right for Internet users. It's also crucial for free software's continued growth and success. Here's why:
Media distribution giants that use Digital Restrictions Management and proprietary software to control what's on your computer have also been fighting for years to control the network. Without Net Neutrality, DRM-laden materials could be easier to access, while DRM-free competitors could be stuck in the slow lane. Web-based free software projects like GNU MediaGoblin could also suffer the slow treatment while competitors like YouTube shell out big bucks for speedier service. The bottom line--an Internet where the most powerful interests can pay for huge speed advantages could push smaller free software projects right off the map and make it harder
Tell the FCC: Net Neutrality will help free software flourish
Activists have worked for years to get to this moment. Over the last several months, things have really heated up--with Internet freedom lovers camping out outside of the FCC, serenading FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler with a special version "Which Side Are You On?" The comments flooding in to the agency have jammed the phones and crashed the FCC's email servers. And yet, Chairman Wheeler still thinks he can get away with ignoring overwhelming public outrage and wrecking the free Internet. We have to keep up our historic momentum in order to convince a cable-industry sympathizer like Chairman Wheeler to listen to the public and protect Net Neutrality.
The deadline for comments is tomorrow, July 15, 2014. Don't delay--comment now!
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Free Software SupporterIssue 75, June 2014
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Reset the Net with our Email Self-Defense GuideFrom June 5th
This month we joined the Reset the Net day of action by releasing Email Self-Defense, a guide to personal email encryption to help everyone, including beginners, make the NSA's job a little harder. The Email Self-Defense Guide will lead you all the way through the process of sending and receiving your first encrypted mail.
We're excited to announce that volunteers are currently working on translations of the guide and infographic into ten languages. Translations in German, Brazilian Portuguese, French, Russian, Turkish, and Japanese have been published, with more languages coming soon.
Join the FSF and allies: strengthen the Tor anti-surveillance networkFrom June 5th
We're joining our allies at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in kicking off the Tor Challenge, an effort to strengthen the global Tor network that protects Internet traffic from surveillance. Start a relay and register it with the Tor Challenge! It's easy and works on all operating systems, including the best one — GNU/Linux.
US Supreme Court makes the right decision to nix Alice Corp. patent, but more work needed to end software patents for goodFrom June 19th
On June 19, the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled a prominent software patent invalid in the case of Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank, saying that implementing an abstract idea on a computer does not make that idea patent-eligible. This ruling is an important and meaningful step in the right direction, but the Court and Congress must go further.
Introducing Alex Patel, our summer campaigns internFrom June 30th
Alex Patel will be working as an intern with the campaigns team at the Free Software Foundation this summer. In this post, he writes about what brought him to free software, and the goals for his internship.
Recap of Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup: June 6From June 6th
Updates from the Free Software Directory community from the week of June 6, 2014.
"Active Management Technology": The obscure remote control in some Intel hardwareBy Ward Vandewege, Matthew Garrett, and Richard M. Stallman, from June 19th
Intel's Active Management Technology (AMT) is a proprietary remote management and control system for personal computers with Intel CPUs. It is dangerous because it has full access to personal computer hardware at a very low level, and its code is secret and proprietary.
Replicant at the 15th Libre Software Meeting in Montpellier, France this JulyBy Paul Kocialkowski, from June 19th
Replicant will be in attendance at the 15th edition of the Libre Software Meeting (Rencontres Mondiales du Logiciel Libre) from July 5 to 11, 2014 in Montpellier, France. Replicant will present the project through a few talks as well as a workshop. In addition, Replicant developer Paul Kocialkowski will present about various freedom issues on ARM devices: ARM devices and your freedom.
US Supreme Court reining in software patentsBy Ciarán O'Riordan, from June 20th
"Reining in." It wasn't easy to find a term that was both accurate and also vague enough to describe what just happened. The US Supreme Court today published its decision on Alice v. CLS Bank. It's too early to say exactly what the effects will be, but the news is certainly all good: The Court in no way extended patentability nor did it affirm patentability for any sub-category of software; and a certain category of software patents has definitely been invalidated.
GCC 4.7.4 releasedBy GCC, June 12th
The GNU project and the GCC developers are pleased to announce the release of GCC 4.7.4. This release is a bug-fix release, containing fixes for regressions in GCC 4.7.3 relative to previous releases of GCC.
Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software DirectoryTens 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. 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.
The next meeting is Friday, July 11 from 2pm to 5pm EDT (18:00 to 21:00 UTC). Details here:
LibrePlanet featured resource: IBM Thinkpad X60Every month on LibrePlanet, we highlight one resource that is interesting and useful -- often one that could use your help.
For this month, we are highlighting the IBM Thinkpad X60, which provides information about making the IBM Thinkpad free software friendly. You are invited to adopt, spread and improve this important resource.
GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry: 23 new GNU releases!23 new GNU releases in the last month (as of June 28, 2014):
This month, we welcome Bernd Paysan as the new maintainer (though the long-time author and developer) of gforth and vmgen, and Ruben Rodriguez (long-time developer of Trisquel) as the new maintainer of IceCat. Thanks to all.
Also, please consider attending the GNU Hackers' Meeting https://www.gnu.org/ghm/ in Munich this year, August 15-17; attendance is free of charge, but pre-registration is essential.
A number of GNU packages, as well as the GNU operating system as a whole, are looking for maintainers and other assistance: please see https://www.gnu.org/server/takeaction.html#unmaint if you'd like to help. The general page on how to help GNU is at https://www.gnu.org/help/help.html. To submit new packages to the GNU operating system, see https://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 updateFrom June 22th
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.
This month features improvements to GDB, G++, and GCC.
Richard Stallman's speaking scheduleFor event details, as well as to sign-up to be notified for future events in your area, please visit https://www.fsf.org/events.
So far, Richard Stallman has the following events in July:
Other eventsOn the weekend of August 15 to 17, 2014, people responsible for the GNU operating system will gather in Munich, Germany at the eighth GNU Hackers' Meeting https://www.gnu.org/ghm/. The meeting is open to developers, users and all people interested in GNU. It is an opportunity to share ideas and for social interaction within the GNU community.
Attendance is gratis, but prior registration is necessary. More details here: http://www.gnu.org/ghm/upcoming.html.
Thank GNUs!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.
GNU copyright contributionsAssigning your copyright to the Free Software Foundation helps us defend the GPL and keep software free. The following individuals, and eleven others, have assigned their copyright to the FSF in the past month:
Take action with the FSFContributions from thousands of individual members enable the FSF's work. You can contribute by joining at https://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! https://www.fsf.org/jf?referrer=2442
The FSF is also always looking for volunteers (https://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 (https://www.fsf.org/campaigns) and take action on software patents, DRM, free software adoption, OpenDocument, RIAA and more.