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You are here: Home Free Software Supporter 2019 Free Software Supporter - Issue 137, September 2019

Free Software Supporter - Issue 137, September 2019

by Free Software Foundation Contributions Published on Aug 02, 2019 12:56 PM
Welcome to the *Free Software Supporter*, the Free Software Foundation's (FSF) monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 211,363 other activists. That's 1,098 more than last month!

Join us for the International Day Against Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) on October 12

From September 4

Defective by Design is calling on you to stand up against digital restrictions management and join us in celebration of the International Day Against DRM (IDAD) on October 12th, 2019. Keep an eye on defectivebydesign.org for further announcements.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Alexandre Oliva joins Free Software Foundation board of directors
  • Early registration open for FSF's licensing seminar on October 16 in Raleigh, NC
  • RMS travels in May 2019: Photos from Aalborg and Copenhagen
  • US National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden wants to help combat surveillance
  • Your car talks to the manufacturer. Advocates want it to talk to you, too.
  • Poland brings the fight against upload filters to the European Court of Justice
  • Things you didn't know about GNU Readline
  • HOPE needs your help
  • Amazon really doesn't give a (bleep), huh?
  • Everything you need to know about Ring, Amazon's surveillance camera company
  • Crowdfunding campaign for "Hacking for the Commons" or "La bataille du Libre"
  • ActivityPub Conference is being held this September in Prague, Czechia
  • GNOME West Coast Hackfest 2019 summary
  • So-called "smart" ovens have been turning on overnight and preheating to 400 degrees
  • GCC 9.2 released
  • FSF hosting a mirror of ProteanOS
  • GNU Emacs text editor version 26.3 now available
  • August GNU Emacs news
  • Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory
  • LibrePlanet featured resource: Group:IceCat/Links to distributions
  • GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: 15 new GNU releases!
  • FSF events and other free software events
  • Thank GNUs!
  • GNU copyright contributions
  • Translations of the Free Software Supporter
  • Take action with the FSF!

View this issue online here: https://www.fsf.org/free-software-supporter/2019/september

Encourage your friends to subscribe and help us build an audience by adding our subscriber widget to your Web site.

Miss an issue? You can catch up on back issues at https://www.fsf.org/free-software-supporter.

Want to read this newsletter translated into another language? Scroll to the end to read the Supporter in French, Spanish, or Portuguese.


Alexandre Oliva joins Free Software Foundation board of directors

From August 28

A longtime free software activist and founder of FSF Latin America, Oliva brings decades of experience in the free software movement to the FSF board. In the community, he is held in especially high regard for being the chief developer of the GNU Linux-libre project, a version of the kernel Linux that removes all nonfree bits from the kernel's source code, enabling users around the world to run fully free versions of the GNU/Linux operating system, and is a program of vital importance in the cause for software freedom. For his deep commitment and tireless work in free software, Oliva was the recipient of the 2016 Advancement of Free Software award given annually by the FSF.

Early registration open for FSF's licensing seminar on October 16 in Raleigh, NC

From August 29

The Free Software Foundation's (FSF) Licensing and Compliance Lab is proud to announce that registration is now open for the continuing legal education (CLE) seminar on GPL Enforcement and Legal Ethics, which will be held on Wednesday, October 16, 2019, at the Raleigh Convention Center in North Carolina.

RMS travels in May 2019: Photos from Aalborg and Copenhagen

From July 31

Free Software Foundation president Richard Stallman (RMS) was in Denmark in May 2019. After a visit to the beach in nearby Slettestrand the day before, RMS went to Aalborg, where he delivered his speech “Free software and your freedom” at Aalborg University (AAU), on May 6.

US National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden wants to help combat surveillance

From August 3 by Aaron Kesel

Whistleblower Edward Snowden is back in the news, announcing plans for a memoir as well as his opposition to corporate surveillance by proprietary software and Service as a Software Substitute companies like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. This is a good time to revisit his LibrePlanet 2016 keynote speech at https://media.libreplanet.org/u/libreplanet/m/libreplanet-2016-the-last-lighthouse-3d51/.

Your car talks to the manufacturer. Advocates want it to talk to you, too.

From August 6 by Adrian Ma

If your car is less than a decade old, chances are it’s equipped with “telematics”-- basically, computers that let the manufacturer wirelessly track a car’s performance and send notifications when something needs fixing. In some cases, these notifications may even recommend a nearby dealership to make those repairs. The Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition is proposing that automakers be required to give car owners access to their real-time car data, which is a great idea -- except that their proposal is to do this through a nonfree mobile app. Yuck!

This is part of the oppressive practice of the Internet of Stings (our improved name for the "Internet of Things"): making you communicate with the products you own via the manufacturer's server. The right thing to require is that the car offer a data-only interface, like a slot to put a memory chip into and the car will write the data on it. Then you could show that data to an independent repair shop when you want to, even if you disconnected the cellular data antenna and the GPS antenna just after you bought the car. We applaud any effort toward user freedom, but let's make sure it's done the right way!

Poland brings the fight against upload filters to the European Court of Justice

From August 26 by Étienne Gonnu

Poland is challenging in the European Court of Justice (EUCJ) the legality of Article 17 of the Copyright Directive, which was voted in March 2019 by the European Parliament. More specifically, the member state is arguing that the provisions imposing upload filters are contrary to Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. In other words, the provisions disproportionately infringe on freedom of speech, a stance that April has regularly defended, along with many other organizations.

Things you didn't know about GNU Readline

From August 22 by Chet Ramey

GNU Readline is an unassuming little software library that I relied on for years without realizing that it was there. Tens of thousands of people probably use it every day without thinking about it. If you use the Bash shell, every time you auto-complete a filename, or move the cursor around within a single line of input text, or search through the history of your previous commands, you are using GNU Readline.

HOPE needs your help

From August 1

The HOPE conference -- Hackers on Planet Earth -- needs your help! Hotel costs are making it prohibitive to host the conference, and they need your suggestions to make sure this event can keep happening. Email hope@hope.net with your suggestions.

Amazon really doesn't give a (bleep), huh?

From August 2 by Adam Clark Estes

Yes, actual people are listening to what your voice assistant records, including your most private moments, and the extent to which Amazon, Apple, and Google will let you opt out varies. Microsoft contractors are also listening to your Skype calls. And of course none of this is remotely transparent -- because you're not allowed to examine how the proprietary software that controls how these devices work.

Everything you need to know about Ring, Amazon's surveillance camera company

From August 8 by Caroline Haskins

How does Ring partner with police? Are there privacy concerns with Ring doorbells? What is the Neighbors app? What functions are hiding in the Ring's proprietary software that you can't examine or control? Learn what Motherboard discovered when they perused 1,800 pages of public records.

Crowdfunding campaign for "Hacking for the Commons" or "La bataille du Libre"

From August 14

At the heart of technology, two rationales are now clashing: since the 80s, the emancipatory principles of free software movements and free culture movements began to attack the exclusive and “private” ones defending intellectual property rights. Free software, free seeds, free medicines, free knowledge: focusing on freedom, cooperation and sharing, these movements aim to restore the user’s autonomy and power, leading to a world free of patents, for the benefit of the common good.

The documentary "Hacking for the Commons" or "La bataille du Libre" addresses all of these issues, but they need your help: to find out how to contribute to their crowdfunding campaign without using proprietary JavaScript, email contact@labatailledulibre.org!

ActivityPub Conference is being held this September in Prague, Czechia

From July 22 by Christopher Lemmer Webber

ActivityPub Conference provides you with an opportunity to discuss the present and future of ActivityPub, the world's leading federated social Web standard. This two-day event will include presentations of prepared talks on Saturday, followed by a loosely structured "unconference" on Sunday.

We're told that all tickets have been booked, but if you're interested in learning where ActivityPub is headed, keep an eye on their Web site: sessions will be recorded, and may also be streamed live.

GNOME West Coast Hackfest 2019 summary

From August 14 by GNOME Foundation

The West Coast 2019 Hackfest, which took place in Portland, Oregon, US between July 18-21, gathered members from several teams including coders, members of the documentation team, and the engagement team. The 2019 West Coast Hackfest was generally agreed as an successful event by the participants. Links to blogs with more details about the work done can be found on the West Coast Hackfest wiki page. The GNOME Foundation wants to thank all the individuals who made the event such a success!

So-called "smart" ovens have been turning on overnight and preheating to 400 degrees

From August 14 by Ashley Carman

At least three "smart" June Ovens have turned on in the middle of the night and heated up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Given that 33 percent of home fires are caused by what the New York City Fire Department calls "unattended cooking," this is no small danger!

Of course, practical snafus are only one reason why we oppose proprietary software in "the Internet of Things." The fact that owners aren't permitted to tinker with these "smart" ovens and fix the problem on their own isn't just an annoyance, or even a danger to their homes and lives: it's a violation of their rights.

GCC 9.2 released

From August 12 by GCC

The GNU Project and the GCC developers are pleased to announce the release of GCC 9.2. This release is a bug-fix release, containing fixes for regressions in GCC 9.1 relative to previous releases of GCC.

FSF hosting a mirror of ProteanOS

From August 7

We are now hosting a mirror of ProteanOS at https://mirror.fsf.org/proteanos. ProteanOS is one of the free GNU/Linux distributions listed here.

GNU Emacs text editor version 26.3 now available

From August 28 by Nicolas Petton

Version 26.3 of the GNU Emacs text editor is now available. You can retrieve the source from your nearest GNU mirror at https://ftpmirror.gnu.org/emacs/emacs-26.3.tar.xz or https://ftpmirror.gnu.org/emacs/emacs-26.3.tar.gz. You can get the PGP signatures at https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/emacs/emacs-26.3.tar.xz.sig or https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/emacs/emacs-26.3.tar.gz.sig.

August GNU Emacs news

From August 26 by Sacha Chua

In these issues: the latest on GNU Emacs configuration, Emacs Lisp, EmacsConf 2019, Emacs development, and more!

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, August 6, from 12pm to 3pm EDT (16:00 to 19:00 UTC). Details here:

LibrePlanet featured resource: Group:IceCat/Links to distributions

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 Group:IceCat/Links to distributions, which provides information about distributions of GNU IceCat, the GNU version of the Firefox browser. 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 August 26, 2019):

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.

FSF events and other 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:

  • John Sullivan (not our executive director)
  • Judicaël Courant
  • Marinos Yannikos

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

GNU copyright contributions

Assigning your copyright to the Free Software Foundation helps us defend the GNU GPL and keep software free. The following individuals have assigned their copyright to the FSF in the past month:

  • Anders Kalør (GNU Radio)
  • Charles Jackson (Emacs)
  • Felix E. Klee (Emacs)
  • Gustaf Waldemarson (Emacs)
  • Jorge Navarro (Emacs)
  • Dr. Matthias Kretz (GCC)
  • Nicholas Strauss (Emacs)
  • Nick Wynja (Mailman)
  • RT-RK Computer Based Systems LLC (Binutils)
  • Štěpán Němec (Emacs)

Want to see your name on this list? Contribute to GNU and assign your copyright to the FSF.

Translations of the Free Software Supporter

El Free Software Supporter está disponible en español. Para ver la versión en español haz click aqui: https://www.fsf.org/free-software-supporter/2019/septiembre

Para cambiar las preferencias de usuario y recibir los próximos números del Supporter en español, haz click aquí: https://my.fsf.org/civicrm/profile/create?reset=1&gid=34&id={contact.contact_id}&{contact.checksum}

Le Free Software Supporter est disponible en français. Pour voir la version française cliquez ici: https://www.fsf.org/free-software-supporter/2019/septembre

Pour modifier vos préférences et recevoir les prochaines publications du Supporter en français, cliquez ici: https://my.fsf.org/civicrm/profile/create?reset=1&gid=34&id={contact.contact_id}&{contact.checksum}

O Free Software Supporter está disponível em português. Para ver a versão em português, clique aqui: https://www.fsf.org/free-software-supporter/2019/setembro

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}

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, and more.

Copyright © 2019 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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