Issue 3, May 2008
Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's monthly news digest and action update.
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In this issue
- Free Software Supporter exclusive: WBUR is streaming Ogg Vorbis!
- DBD Action Alert - Libraries: Eliminate DRM!
- Get DeltaH, gNewSense 2.0
- Get your next machine with gNewSense
- Silicon Mechanics to ship servers with free BIOS preinstalled
- Can we rescue OLPC from Windows? by Richard M. Stallman
- End Software Patents: the Bilski hearing, heard.
- O Canada -- action alert!
- Libraries: Eliminate DRM!
- GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry
- Richard Stallman's speaking schedule and other FSF speeches
- Take Action with the FSF
Free Software Supporter exclusive: WBUR is streaming Ogg Vorbis!
We haven't blogged about it yet but we wanted to let our Free Software Supporter subscribers know that one of the nation's largest NPR stations, WBUR.org, is now streaming in Ogg Vorbis:
- Listen now: http://www.wbur.org/listen/
This follows our action and meeting with WBUR from last month: http://www.fsf.org/blogs/wbur-playogg-update.
Robin Lubbock, WBUR's Director of New Media said, "WBUR has a great schedule of news and information programming 24 hours a day, which we are very happy to make available to Ogg Vorbis listeners. It's exciting to work with the Free Software Foundation to give a new audience the chance to listen to WBUR's award winning programing as well as the wonderful programs from NPR and the BBC Worldservice that you can find daily on WBUR."
DBD Action Alert - Libraries: Eliminate DRM!
Sign the open-letter http://www.defectivebydesign.org/LetterToLibraries
Customize your own letter from our template. http://www.defectivebydesign.org/Library-Letter-Template
Recently, we took action against the Boston Public Library (BPL) demanding that they embargo the use of DRM technology on their collection and create a policy that respects the motto that hangs above their door: "free-to-all." To send a message to all libraries that they too should respect their patrons' freedom, we urge you to sign our open letter. To take action against your local library, we urge you to customize a letter from our template.
Please, let us know (email@example.com) if you have contacted or written your local library, and please let your friends and fellow patrons know about the open letter.
Read the blog post about our previous action at the BPL: * http://defectivebydesign.org/blog/1120
Get DeltaH, gNewSense 2.0
The all-free GNU/Linux distribution gNewSense has shipped its second major release, named DeltaH. The gNewSense project dubs itself as "A free as in freedom GNU/Linux distribution, that takes all the non-free blobs out of a rather popular distribution." Read our press release:
Or get a copy of the new distribution:
Get your next machine with gNewSense
Los Alamos Computers is selling laptops, desktops and servers preinstalled with gNewSense. They are interested in selling free BIOS machines as well, and they are donating a portion of their sales from each free GNU/Linux system to the FSF -- find out more on our blog:
Or visit the GNU/Linux Computers page at:
Silicon Mechanics to ship servers with free BIOS preinstalled
Silicon Mechanics, a manufacturer of server hardware, has committed to shipping servers with coreboot, a free BIOS, preinstalled. Find out more at:
Can we rescue OLPC from Windows? by Richard M. Stallman
RMS posted an appeal to One Laptop per Child asking that they continue making a strong commitment to freedom and to not ship the XO laptop with Windows XP, as many are speculating is going to be the case. He has urged the community to step up its efforts in helping OLPC and asked OLPC to make it easier for the community do so. Read more:
End Software Patents: the Bilski hearing, heard.
The en banc hearing for the Bilski case occurred on Thursday, May 8th. We hope that over the coming months the amicus brief filed by the End Software Patents campaign will help lead to the elimination of software patents. We will likely not hear back from the courts until the second half of this year. You can find out more about the case and the brief we filed in our blog post:
Or, check-out Groklaw's summary of the hearing:
O Canada -- action alert!
We made a call to action urging Canadian citizens in Ottawa to attend the Public Policy Forum symposium, on April 28. This call came as a result of finding from Cory Doctorow that, "The lobby for US-style copyrights in Canada has gone into overdrive, recruiting a powerful Member of Parliament and turning public forums on copyright into one-sided love-fests for restrictive copyright regimes that criminalize everyday Canadians." Find out more at:
GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry
As mentioned last time, GNU is participating in Google's Summer of Code program. We were very appreciative of both the quality and quantity of student applications. We had to select just 10 out of the submissions, which was difficult as always, but the result covers a wide array of GNU packages. The list of accepted proposals is at http://code.google.com/soc/2008/gnu/about.html.
In addition, quite a few GNU packages participated in the GSoC as separate organizations, rather than under the generic GNU umbrella above: GCC, GIMP, GNOME, gnucap, Hurd, Gnumeric, and GNUstep. Links for those packages' GSoC pages are at the very end of http://www.gnu.org/software/soc-projects/ideas.html.
Notable GNU releases for April 2008 include tar (now with lzma support), coreutils, and the first release of GNU's C reference manual. Here's the complete list:
aspell-0.60.6 autoconf-2.62 commoncpp2-1.6.2
coreutils-6.11 gama-1.9.05 gengetopt-2.22.1 gjdoc-0.7.9 global-5.7.1 guile-gnome-platform-2.15.98 gnu-c-manual-0.1 gnuit-4.9.3 libextractor-0.5.20a libidn-1.8 libmicrohttpd-0.3.0 libtool-2.2.2
libzrtpcpp-1.1.0 m4-1.4.11 octave-3.0.1
sipwitch-0.1.1 swbis-0.951 tar-1.20
See the packages' announcements, web pages (http://www.gnu.org/software/PKGNAME) or the distributions themselves for details. Nearly all are available from http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu, or preferably one of the mirrors: http://www.gnu.org/prep/ftp.html.
To get announcements of most new GNU packages, subscribe to the info-gnu mailing list, http://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/info-gnu, which is publicly archived at http://lists.gnu.org/pipermail/info-gnu.
Finally, I'd like to specially welcome two new packages to GNU: zile (http://www.gnu.org/software/zile) and libmicrohttpd (http://www.gnu.org/software/libmicrohttpd), and their maintainers, Reuben Thomas and Christian Grothoff, respectively. Welcome and thanks also to other newly-appointed maintainers: Debarshi Ray (inetutils), Daniel Baumann (spell), Joel Granados (parted), Jim Meyering (idutils), and Jose Maria Gomez Vergara (ddd).
A number of GNU packages are still looking for maintainers. Since this note is already longer than usual, let me just point interested readers to http://www.gnu.org/server/takeaction.html#unmaint.
Please feel free to write to me, firstname.lastname@example.org, with any GNUish questions or suggestions for future installments.
Richard Stallman's speaking schedule and other FSF speeches
05/14 Hsinchu, Taiwan -- "The Danger of Software Patents." Info: http://www.fsf.org/events/20080514hsinchu
05/15 Hsinchu, Taiwan -- "The Free Software Movement." Info: http://www.fsf.org/events/20080515hsinchu
05/24 Shanghai, China -- "Free Software in Ethics and in Practice" Info: http://www.fsf.org/events/20080523Shanghai
05/28 Xi'an, China -- "The Free Software Movement" Info: http://www.fsf.org/events/20080528xian
05/30 Beijing, China -- TBA Info: http://www.fsf.org/events/20080530Beijing
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, Vista, OpenDocument, RIAA and more.
Copyright (c) 2008 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
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