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Free Software Supporter - Issue 126, October 2018

Автор: Free Software Foundation Published on 2018-09-07 12:21
Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's (FSF) monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 193,513 other activists. That's 660 more than last month!

Submit your talks for the LibrePlanet 2019 conference, announced for March 23-24, 2019

From September 5

The FSF announced the dates of the eleventh annual LibrePlanet free software conference, to be held March 23-24, 2019, in the Boston area. The call for proposals is open now, until October 26, 2018. General registration and exhibitor and sponsor registration are also open.

LibrePlanet is an annual conference for free software users and anyone who cares about the intersection of technology and social justice. For a decade, LibrePlanet has brought together thousands of diverse voices and knowledge bases, including free software developers, policy experts, activists, hackers, students, and people who have just begun to learn about free software.

LibrePlanet is defined by its combination of technical talks with non-technical sessions on free software activism, culture, and current events. We are especially interested to see proposals from people who use free software or apply its values for social benefit, from academic research to community organizing, education to medicine and the arts.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • FSF took international day of action for a Day Without DRM on September 18th
  • It’s always DRM’s fault
  • Hill-climbing our way to defeating DRM
  • Digital handcuffs: How DRM disempowers consumers
  • DRM is still here, and it still sucks
  • New copyright powers, new "terrorist content" regulations: A grim day for digital rights in Europe
  • Highlighting some of our leaders in the kernel Linux
  • Software freedom ensures the true software commons
  • W3C sells out the Web with EME: 1 year later
  • How Tutanota replaced Google’s Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) with their own notification system
  • US Patent and Trademark Office initially rejects Google’s application on ANS coding
  • Secret messages for Alexa
  • Major US insurance company to sell only health-tracker backed life insurance
  • What happens when Facebook mistakenly blocks local news stories
  • Sonali's internship work on the Free Software Directory, part 2
  • David's internship work on the Free Software Directory, part 2
  • The 2018 SeaGL schedule is now available!
  • GNOME 3.30 released
  • FSF job opportunity: Business operations manager
  • Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory
  • LibrePlanet featured resource: Defective by Design/Ideas/Guide
  • GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: 15 new GNU releases!
  • GNU Toolchain update: Support GNU Toolchain
  • Richard Stallman's speaking schedule and other FSF events
  • Thank GNUs!
  • Take action with the FSF!

View this issue online here: https://www.fsf.org/free-software-supporter/2018/october

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El Free Software Supporter está disponible en español. Para ver la versión en español haz click aqui: https://www.fsf.org/free-software-supporter/2018/octubre

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Le Free Software Supporter est disponible en français. Pour voir la version française cliquez ici: https://www.fsf.org/free-software-supporter/2018/octobre

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O Free Software Supporter está disponível em Português. Para ver a versão em Português, clique aqui: https://www.fsf.org/free-software-supporter/2018/outubro

Para alterar as preferências do usuário e receber as próximas edições do Supporter em Português, clique aqui: https://my.fsf.org/civicrm/profile/create?reset=1&gid=34&id={contact.contact_id}&{contact.checksum}

FSF took international day of action for a Day Without DRM on September 18th

From September 18

FSF's Defective by Design (DbD) campaign held the 12th annual International Day Against DRM (IDAD) on Tuesday, September 18th, 2018. IDAD is a day to take action against Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), while imagining what the world could look like without DRM.

For 12 years, we've celebrated IDAD -- making, organizing, protesting, and taking action to support the demolition of DRM -- and 2018 was no different. This year we continued the fight against DRM and celebrated the work of activists, artists, and technologists who create DRM-free media and technology.

Some of the excellent articles created by organizations participating in IDAD follow below.

It’s always DRM’s fault

From September 18 by John Bergmayer

There was a recent viral story about Apple "deleting" purchased movies from someone's library. As always with these stories, there's a little more to it, but I'm here to tell you that the details don't really matter. And because this is being published on the International Day Against DRM, I'm here to tell you that it's DRM’s fault.

Hill-climbing our way to defeating DRM

From September 18 by Cory Doctorow

The hill-climbing metaphor is not just applicable to computer science: it's also an important way to think about big, ambitious, fraught policy fights, like the ones we fight at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). Our Apollo 1201 Project aims to kill all the DRM in the world inside of a decade, but we don't have an elaborate roadmap showing all the directions we'll take on the way.

Digital handcuffs: How DRM disempowers consumers

From September 18 by Slavka Bielikova and Javier Ruiz Diaz

This report examines issues arising from DRM technologies and the legislation protecting these technologies. The report looks at how the use of DRM can impact on users’ security, privacy, and right of access, while also exploring how DRM stifles innovation and competition. Furthermore, the report looks into the phenomena of obsolescence and vendor lock-in facilitated by DRM.

DRM is still here, and it still sucks

From September 18 by Creative Commons

Here we are, another International Day Against DRM, and of course there are still countless stories about how DRM  continues to frustrate users who should be able to access, enjoy, and repurpose the media they’ve already paid for. DRM consists of access control technologies or restrictive licensing agreements that attempt to restrict the use, modification, and distribution of legally-acquired works.

New copyright powers, new "terrorist content" regulations: A grim day for digital rights in Europe

From September 12 by Danny O'Brien

Despite waves of calls and emails from European Internet users, the European Parliament voted to accept the principle of a universal pre-emptive copyright filter for content-sharing sites, as well as the idea that news publishers should have the right to sue others for quoting news items online – or even using their titles as links to articles. Out of all of the potential amendments offered that would fix or ameliorate the damage caused by these proposals, they voted for worst on offer.

There are still opportunities, at the EU level, at the national level, and ultimately in Europe’s courts, to limit the damage. But make no mistake, this is a serious setback for the Internet and digital rights in Europe.

Highlighting some of our leaders in the kernel Linux

From September 20 by Karen Sandler

Earlier this month, following an article in the New Yorker that pointed out that abusive behavior in the Linux project had created an unfriendly and unwelcoming environment for underrepresented groups, Linus Torvalds, leader of the Linux project, admitted that his past behavior was problematic and announced that he would be taking time off from the project. While this is a step forward, it's only the beginning of the changes necessary to make the free software world more inclusive, and so the Conservancy is using this opportunity for dialogue to highlight some of the talented mentees in their Outreachy program, which helps people from groups underrepresented in free software get involved.

Software freedom ensures the true software commons

From August 22 by Bradley M. Kuhn

Proprietary software has always been about a power relationship. Copyright and other legal systems give authors the power to decide what license to choose, and usually, they choose a license that favors themselves and takes rights and permissions away from others.

The so-called “Commons Clause” purposely confuses and conflates many issues. The initiative is backed by FOSSA, a company that sells materiel in the proprietary compliance industrial complex. This clause recently made news again since other parties have now adopted this same license.

W3C sells out the Web with EME: 1 year later

From September 18

It's been a year since the the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) voted to bring Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) into Web standards. They claimed to want to lead the Web to its full potential, but in a secret vote, members of the W3C, with the blessing of Web creator Tim Berners-Lee, agreed to put the copyright industry in control of media access. The enshrinement of EME as an official recommendation is not how we envision the full potential of the Web at the FSF.

How Tutanota replaced Google’s Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) with their own notification system

From September 3 by Ivan

Tutanota is now on F-Droid! In this special post, Ivan from Tutanota tells us the story of how Tutanota replaced Google’s FCM with their own notification system.

US Patent and Trademark Office initially rejects Google’s application on ANS coding

From September 9 by Jakub Kulas

The US Patent and Trademark Office initially rejected an application submitted by Google, which concerned a solution by Ph.D. Jarosław Duda, an employee and lecturer of the Jagiellonian University (UJ). A year ago the scholar together with UJ demanded the withdrawal of Google’s application, and Duda wrote about his case for our End Software Patents blog.

Secret messages for Alexa

From September 24 by Julia Weiler

A team from Ruhr-Universität Bochum has succeeded in integrating secret commands for the Kaldi speech recognition system -- which is believed to be contained in Amazon’s Alexa and many other systems -- into audio files. These are not audible to the human ear, but Kaldi reacts to them. The researchers showed that they could hide any sentence they liked in different types of audio signals, such as speech, birds’ twittering, or music, and that Kaldi understood them.

Major US insurance company to sell only health-tracker backed life insurance

From September 20 by Rob Beschizza

Earlier this month, Apple announced a redesigned smartwatch that could track heart data, run EKGs, and even detect atrial fibrillation, promising that it would save lives. A week later, one of America's biggest insurers killed its traditional life insurance policies, replacing them with "interactive" insurance that encourages users to use such devices and share the data with them to get perks. This is just another example of how Apple products routinely trample users' rights, with the added risk that insurers might use this data to select the most profitable customers and hike rates for those who do not participate.

What happens when Facebook mistakenly blocks local news stories

From August 30 by Louise Matsakis

Facebook is a hub for news collection for millions of users. So, what happens when their mysterious, hidden algorithms and processes suddenly start censoring news, intentionally or not?

Sonali's internship work on the Free Software Directory, part 2

From September 21 by Sonali Singhal

I made the licenses section of the Directory mobile-friendly, and I took up the task of upgrading the Free Software Directory from MediaWiki version 1.27 to 1.31. In the coming weeks, I plan to modify the Vector module further to obtain correct arrangement of content in the wiki, and add semantic MediaWiki extensions to the new installation.

David's internship work on the Free Software Directory, part 2

From September 21 by David Hedlund

Over this period, I worked on various GNU IceCat related issues. IceCat's new API for extensions, called WebExtensions, means that many legacy extensions will soon no longer work on a supported browser and will be for historical reference only.

The 2018 SeaGL schedule is now available!

The 2018 Seattle GNU/Linux Conference is scheduled for November 9th and 10th at Seattle Central College, with four amazing keynotes, fifty-six spectacular talks, and a full schedule available online. Go check it out!

GNOME 3.30 released

From September 5 by GNOME Project

This release features some significant performance improvements. The entire desktop now uses fewer system resources, which means you can run more apps at once without encountering performance issues. Other highlights include a new reader mode in the Web application, search enhancements in the Files application, and improvements to screen recording and screen sharing. The Settings application now has a Thunderbolt panel to manage devices and dynamically shows hardware-related panels only when relevant hardware is detected.

FSF job opportunity: Business operations manager

From August 9

The FSF seeks a motivated and talented Boston-based individual to be our full-time Business Operations Manager. We are looking for a hands-on and detail-oriented professional who is comfortable working independently and with multiple teams, including some remote coworkers. Ideal candidates will be proactive and highly adaptable, with an aptitude for learning new tools and coming up with creative solutions. Applicants should have at least three years of experience with bookkeeping and nonprofit operations; human resources experience a plus. Click the link below to learn how to apply!

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. Meetings take place in the #fsf channel on irc.freenode.org, and usually include a handful of regulars as well as newcomers. Freenode is accessible from any IRC client -- Everyone's welcome!

The next meeting is Friday, October 5, from 12pm to 3pm EDT (16:00 to 19:00 UTC). Details here:

LibrePlanet featured resource: Defective by Design/Ideas/Guide

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 Defective by Design/Ideas/Guide, which provides a place for you to suggest items to add to Defective by Design's DRM-free living guide. 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 campaigns@fsf.org.

GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: 15 new GNU releases!

15 new GNU releases in the last month (as of September 26, 2018):

For announcements of most new GNU releases, subscribe to the info-gnu mailing list: https://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/info-gnu.

To download: nearly all GNU software is available from https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/, or preferably one of its mirrors from https://www.gnu.org/prep/ftp.html. You can use the URL https://ftpmirror.gnu.org/ to be automatically redirected to a (hopefully) nearby and up-to-date mirror.

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.

If you have a working or partly working program that you'd like to offer to the GNU project as a GNU package, see https://www.gnu.org/help/evaluation.html.

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

GNU Toolchain update: Support GNU Toolchain

Donate to support the GNU Toolchain, a collection of foundational freely licensed software development tools including the GNU C Compiler collection (GCC), the GNU C Library (glibc), and the GNU Debugger (GDB).

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 https://www.fsf.org/events.

So far, Richard Stallman has the following event next month:

Other FSF and free software events

Thank GNUs!

We appreciate everyone who donates to the Free Software Foundation, and 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:

  • Adam Ymeren
  • Eric Brown
  • John Poduska
  • Kevin Fleming
  • Peter Rock
  • Siva Dharmalingam

You can add your name to this list by donating at https://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 https://my.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://my.fsf.org/join

The FSF is 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 campaigns section (https://www.fsf.org/campaigns) and take action on software patents, Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), free software adoption, OpenDocument, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and more.

Copyright © 2018 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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