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January

by Matt Lee Contributions Published on Dec 06, 2011 05:24 PM

Issue 34, January 2011

Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 37,446 other activists. That's 1,054 more than last month!

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Technological power should be held by all users of a technology
  • OSI and FSF Send Joint Position to Department of Justice
  • No double standards: supporting Google's push for WebM
  • New High Priority Project: PowerVR drivers
  • Call for IceCat developers
  • The advantages of free software
  • The Free Software Compliance Lab needs your help
  • GNU spotlight with Karl Berry
  • Featured GNU Status Report: GNU FreeFont
  • Richard Stallman's speaking schedule and other FSF events
  • Take action with the FSF!

Technological power should be held by all users of a technology

FSF board member Benjamin Mako Hill urges people who understand the important of software freedom to join the FSF as associate members.

As our lives become increasingly mediated by technology, the question of who controls technology becomes another way of asking "Who controls us?"

OSI and FSF Send Joint Position to Department of Justice

The Open Source Initiative (OSI) and Free Software Foundation (FSF) have sent a joint position statement to the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), urging it to scrutinize Novell's proposal to sell patents to the newly-formed CPTN Holdings. Both organizations believe that CPTN Holdings may use these patents to attack free, libre, and open source (FLOSS) software.

No double standards: supporting Google's push for WebM

We've signed up as a supporter of the WebM Project, and we encourage other foundations and organizations to join us -- write to webmaster@webmproject.org to learn how. Today, we're also urging Web site operators to distribute videos in the WebM format, and abandon H.264

New High Priority Project: PowerVR drivers

We've added a new project to our High Priority Projects list: Writing free software drivers capable of 3D acceleration for the PowerVR engine.

This is a critical project, because PowerVR is being used in many new and popular platforms, such as Android/Linux tablets and phones, and netbooks. Currently it requires proprietary drivers in order to access many video features.

Call for IceCat developers

The GNU IceCat project is a web browser built to deal with the influx of threats to freedom and privacy on the web from traps such as nonfree plugins and nonfree JavaScript.

The advantages of free software

People outside the free software movement frequently ask about the practical advantages of free software. It is a curious question. Richard Stallman gives an insightful -- and entertaining -- answer.

The Free Software Compliance Lab needs your help

Brett Smith is the lead compliance engineer in the Free Software Foundation's GPL compliance lab. He helped coordinated the GPLv3 drafting process and has handled enforcement cases against Apple's App Store. He talks about his work at the Foundation and the important connection to support from FSF members.

New associate members who support the Compliance Lab through this appeal and join online will receive a set of GPLv3 stickers. They're great ways to start a conversation about free software, and your support for the FSF.

LibrePlanet featured resource: LibrePlanet 2011 conference

Every 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 LibrePlanet 2011 conference page. The conference date and location have just been set -- March 19, 2011 at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston, MA, USA. Stay tuned to the wiki page for information about speakers, schedules, and event surrounding the official conference. We hope to see all of you there!

Do you have a suggestion for next month's featured resource? Let us know at campaigns@fsf.org.

GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry

autoconf-archive-2011.01.02 libosip2-3.5.0 ccaudio2-2.0.0 libzrtpcpp-1.6.0 ccrtp-1.8.0 mcsim-5.4.0 coreutils-8.9 moe-1.4 ddrescue-1.14 ocrad-0.21 freeipmi-1.0.1 parallel-20110125 gnuchess-5.08 swbis-1.9 gnupg-2.0.17 ucommon-4.1.0 gnuprolog-java_0.2.6 xnee-3.08 guile-ncurses-1.2 xorriso-1.0.0 libmicrohttpd-0.9.6

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 url http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/ to be automatically redirected to a (hopefully) nearby and up-to-date mirror.

This month we welcome Adam Dutko as a new co-maintainer of GNU Fontutils (with me, so personal thanks to Adam), and Antonio Ceballos as the new maintainer of GNU Chess -- check out the new GNU Chess 6 pretest at http://alpha.gnu.org/gnu/chess/.

A revived GNU Status Report bulletin was published a few days ago, http://www.gnu.org/bulletins/. It has news and information on a few GNU packages: GCC, Hurd, Coreutils, etc. (We hope the next installment will include reports from many more packages.)

Several GNU packages are looking for maintainers and other assistance. Please see http://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 GNU, see http://www.gnu.org/help/evaluation.html.

As always, please feel free to write to me, karl@gnu.org, with any GNUish questions or suggestions for future installments.

Featured GNU Status Report: GNU FreeFont

Starting this month, to give insight into the full breadth and depth of the GNU Project, we will be periodically choosing a GNU program to feature with some extra info.

This month, we highlight GNU FreeFont. GNU FreeFont is a free family of scalable outline fonts, suitable for general use on computers and for desktop publishing. It is Unicode-encoded for compatibility with all modern operating systems.

The fonts are ready to use, downloadable in TrueType and OpenType formats.

In GNU FreeFont release 20100919, several language scripts were added:

  • Cherokee, Osmanya, Unified Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics, Tifinagh, Armenian (serif), Vai, Kayah Li. Coptic, Glagolitic.
  • Buginese and Persian were patched.
  • Many characters were added to old Cyrillic ranges.
  • In addition, Sinhala was replaced by a version taken from the TeX font sinh by Yannis Haralambous.

Several of the symbol ranges were expanded, and a few glyphs were corrected.

Several technical improvements were made to font tables, some of which should improve display.

For more information, see https://savannah.gnu.org/forum/forum.php?forum_id=6518.

Thanks to Steve White for the info!

Richard Stallman's speaking schedule

2011-02-06 Copyright vs. Community Chennai, India

2011-02-18 Copyright vs. Community Lecce, Italy

2011-02-23 Qu'est-ce que le logiciel libre? Lille, France

2011-02-26 The Danger of Software Patents Istanbul, Turkey

2011-02-27 Free Software and Your Freedom Ankara, Turkey

2011-03-01 Free Software and Your Freedom Cambridge, England

2011-03-02 A Free Digital Society Preston, United Kingdom

Other FSF and free software events

2011-02-16 Churchill Club Panel Discussion on Software Patents Mountain View, CA, USA

2011-03-19 LibrePlanet 2011 Boston, MA, USA

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.

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The Free Software Supporter is edited by FSF volunteer Osama Khalid.

Copyright © 2011 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/us/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.

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