Skip to content, sitemap or skip to search.

Personal tools
Join now
You are here: Home Free Software Supporter 2024 Free Software Supporter -- Issue 189, January 2024

Free Software Supporter -- Issue 189, January 2024

by Free Software Foundation Contributions Published on Jan 03, 2024 02:40 PM

Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's (FSF) monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 232,236 other activists.

FSF staff Miriam Bastian and Devin Ulibarri standing on stage speaking to an auditorium full of students.

Recently, the FSF has participated in many education initiatives, such as visiting Everett High School and speaking about free software.

Boost the FSF's advocacy for free software in education: Help us reach our stretch goal

From January 2

We're thankful for the support we've received so far in our current fundraising campaign. Since the start of our fundraiser, free software supporters like you have raised $339,156 to fuel free software education. During this time, more than 120 new associate members have joined the FSF community! Program manager Miriam Bastian shares some of the FSF's recent efforts in education, the theme of our current fundraiser, and announces a new stretch goal of raising $425,000 to boost free software education.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • LibrePlanet 2024: May 4 and 5, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston, MA
  • A message from president Geoffrey Knauth: Reflecting on the origins of software freedom
  • New friends-tier associate membership: Enjoy certain benefits and support the FSF from $35
  • Free software in education and free software education
  • Licensing & Compliance Lab updates and why we need your support to educate, serve the free software community
  • Our work isn't over: Keep fighting for the freedom to learn
  • Share this holiday fairy tale with your loved ones
  • Thanks to overwhelming support, we were able to meet our December 14 matching campaign goal!
  • Presenting this season's online FSF bulletin
  • Jitsi Meet: An often-overlooked member benefit
  • US Federal employees and retirees: Contribute conveniently through the Combined Federal Campaign
  • A Jami Manifest to keep the freedom of your communications
  • Polish hackers repaired trains the manufacturer artificially bricked. Now the train company is threatening them
  • December GNU Emacs news
  • Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory
  • LibrePlanet featured resource: Teaching Materials
  • December GNU Spotlight with Amin Bandali: Eleven new GNU releases!
  • FSF 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/2024/january

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

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.

LibrePlanet 2024: May 4 and 5, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston, MA

From January 2

We have exciting news: we found a venue we think will be great for LibrePlanet: the Wentworth Institute of Technology (WIT) at 550 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115, USA, and we also have a new date! LibrePlanet: Cultivating Community will be held at the WIT on May 4 and 5, 2024. We look forward to having LibrePlanet at this place of learning and are sure that the conference will benefit from it.

A message from president Geoffrey Knauth: Reflecting on the origins of software freedom

From December 28

In his year-end message, FSF president Geoffrey Knauth reflects on the Foundation's mission to protect software users everywhere. Knauth says, "the FSF is the firmament created to protect and develop the GNU Project, and, these days, other free software initiatives as well. Today, GNU is the gold standard of what free software should be: unambiguously devoted to your computing freedom and rigorously maintained to provide maximum power and extensibility to users." Read this and other inspiring words.

New friends-tier associate membership: Enjoy certain benefits and support the FSF from $35

From November 9

We would like to highlight a membership tier that was recently introduced called friends. This new tier grants certain FSF associate member benefits, such as the USB membership card with Trisquel GNU/Linux, access to the member forum, use of our XMPP (Jabber) server, and more for an annual payment of $35. This new tier is part of an overall restructuring of our membership levels that was announced to members in early November via email. Our hope is that this will help even more people, in particular those on a tighter budget and those for whom exchange rates may pose an additional barrier, participate in the FSF's efforts as associate members.

Free software in education and free software education

From December 26

Free software is vital for education, and free software education is vital for a free society. In an outreach effort to bring free software philosophy to schools, FSF staff Devin Ulibarri and Miriam Bastian visited Everett High School (EHS) in December and talked with approximately sixty cybersecurity and robotics students about free software. It was thrilling to meet all these students and to learn what interests them. The teens asked us questions like "Is it safe to use free software?" "What are examples of GNU software that is widely used?" and "How can a high school student or someone who is just starting college get involved with free software projects?" Read the article, review our newest school handouts, and participate in our efforts to bring free software into education.

Licensing & Compliance Lab updates and why we need your support to educate, serve the free software community

From December 21

The newest member of the Licensing and Compliance Lab shares his background as well as some of the work he's been a part of since he began working at the FSF. With licensing and compliance manager Kris Siewicz on board, the FSF has been able to more actively defend free software. For example, the Lab took action against a practice of adding contradictory terms to GNU licenses. In addition to this, the FSF has had an 11% increase in copyright assignments in the 2023 financial year; has been able to answers questions sent to licensing@fsf.org, which often inform updates to the public FAQ and other publications; and has now reached nearly 17,000 free software packages listed in the Free Software Directory (FSD).

Our work isn't over: Keep fighting for the freedom to learn

From December 19

Thanks to digital media, and for the first time in history, free (as in freedom), universal education for all is within reach. Corporate greed, however, is what stands in the way of this goal. OverDrive and Follet have used the millions of dollars and incredible engineering talent they have at their disposal to develop new ways to restrict readers and spy on them, all while claiming to uphold core educational principles like universal access and freedom from censorship. IDAD may be over for this year, but our work against DRM continues. We invite you to join us in campaigning against DRM in whatever way interests you.

Share this holiday fairy tale with your loved ones

From December 12

A company offers you a tool to make your life easier, but, when you use it, you find out that the tool forces you to use it only in the way the tool's manufacturer approves. Does this story ring a bell? It's what millions of software users worldwide experience again and again, day after day. It's the story of Wendell the Elf and the ShoeTool.

Watch the fairy tale of Wendell the Elf and the ShoeTool to remind yourself why you shouldn't let your tools tell you how to use them.

Thanks to overwhelming support, we were able to meet our December 14 matching campaign goal!

From December 11, updated December 15

Thanks to overwhelming support, we were able to meet our matching campaign goal. However, the fundraiser is still in full swing. Help us reach our goal of $425,000: https://www.fsf.org/appeal/

Presenting this season's online FSF bulletin

From December 7

In this issue of the Bulletin, you'll read and learn about: the reasons why we stand firm in our resolve for freedom; how to properly license your program under a free software license; an examination of trends toward investing in machine potential in lieu of human potential; what JShelter is, how it protects your online privacy, and how you can help improve it; and the challenges to buying a house in freedom.

Jitsi Meet: An often-overlooked member benefit

From December 6

With an associate membership, you can start a Jitsi room and invite whoever you please, whether or not they have an FSF account. You're not handing over your credentials to Apple or Google by proxy, only the bare minimum required to authenticate you -- to a small nonprofit that cares so strongly about your and our digital autonomy that we work harder than organizations at twice or ten (or more!) times our size, against the combined might of just about every major tech corporation on the planet.

US Federal employees and retirees: Contribute conveniently through the Combined Federal Campaign

From December 4

US federal employees and retirees can support the Free Software Foundation (FSF) in its mission to protect computer users' freedoms through the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). Pledges to support the FSF through the CFC can be made by designating the FSF as the beneficiary charity. The FSF's CFC ID is 63210. There are four options to give: giving through payroll deduction, credit/debit card, e-check, or pledging volunteer hours. Donors can pledge until the end of the campaign period on January 15, 2024.

A Jami Manifest to keep the freedom of your communications

From December 13 by Cyrille Béraud

Free Software Award-winning project and GNU package Jami is asking for your support. Cyrille Béraud, president of Savoir-faire Linux Inc. the company behind the Jami project, tells us about the work that goes into its development, the importance of privacy in communication, and how the free/libre tool helps people communicate confidently in freedom. Jami's mission is to provide everyone with free, secure communication software that respects their privacy. Please share the word, and consider making a contribution to their cause.

Polish hackers repaired trains the manufacturer artificially bricked. Now the train company is threatening them

From December 13 by Jason Koebler

At the junction of DRM and Right to Repair, we learned this month about Polish trains that stopped working after they were brought to an independent repair shop for maintenance. It turns out that the trains were programmed to stop working when such "unauthorized" repairs are attempted and became useless. Fortunately, hackers were called upon to fix these trains. The hackers shared their methods in a talk recorded later in the month. For devices -- whether they be laptops, phones, cars, or trains -- to truly have a right to repair, the four freedoms of free software are a necessity.

December GNU Emacs news

From December 25 by Sacha Chua

In these issues: The essentials of Emacs Bookmarks, advanced Org literate configuration, many new packages, 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 Libera.Chat, and usually include a handful of regulars as well as newcomers. Libera.Chat is accessible from any IRC client -- Everyone's welcome!

The next meeting is Friday, January 5 from 12:00 to 15:00 EST (17:00 to 20:00 UTC). Details here:

LibrePlanet featured resource: Teaching Materials

Every month on the LibrePlanet wiki, we highlight one resource that is interesting and useful -- often one that could use your help.

For this month, we are highlighting Teaching Materials, which provides information about educational materials that can be used in classrooms to teach youth about free software and why it's important. 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.

December GNU Spotlight with Amin Bandali: Eleven new GNU releases!

Eleven new GNU releases in the last month (as of December 29, 2023):

For a full list with descriptions, please see: https://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/december-gnu-spotlight-with-amin-bandali-eleven-new-gnu-releases

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 most reliably from https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/. Optionally, you may find faster download speeds at a mirror located geographically closer to you by choosing from the list of mirrors published at https://www.gnu.org/prep/ftp.html, or you may use 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 me, bandali@gnu.org, with any GNUish questions or suggestions for future installments.

FSF and other free software events

  • February 3-4, 2024, ULB Solbosch Campus, Brussels, Belgium, FOSDEM
  • February 6-7, 2024, London, UK, State of Open Con
  • March 14-17, 2024, Pasadena, CA, SCALE
  • May 4-5, 2024, Wentworth Institute of Technology, LP 2024
  • July 12-14, 2024, St. John's University, Queens, New York City, HOPE XV

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:

  • Alessandro Vesely
  • Andrew Gaul
  • Benjamin Lovy
  • Bob Proulx
  • Bob Summerwill
  • Boone Gorges
  • Brewster Kahle
  • Charlie Ebert
  • Christian Probst
  • Colin Strasser
  • Cristian & Andreea Francu
  • David Chapman
  • David Ignat
  • David Kirby
  • Dean Ujihara
  • Dock Williams
  • Donald Craig
  • Douglas Hauge
  • Fumitoshi UKAI
  • Inouye Satoru
  • Jared Flatow
  • Jason Prince
  • Jean-Francois Blavier
  • John Rakestraw
  • Julie and Gerald Sussman
  • Kyle McCormick
  • Lukas Hais
  • Marcus Pemer
  • Mark Boenke
  • Michael 'Mac' McDaniel
  • Morten Lind
  • Nardy Pillards
  • Nicholas George
  • Nicodemus Paradiso
  • Nicolas Avrutin
  • Paul Morris
  • Pedro Brito
  • Peter Kunze
  • René Genz
  • Ron Horrell
  • Steve Tuyizere
  • Steve Wickert
  • The 2A Foundation Inc
  • The Kuckelheims
  • Uday Kale
  • Vermont Community Foundation
  • Viraj Navkal
  • Wayne Chapeskie

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 (and allowed public appreciation) in the past month:

  • Andriy Gapon (GDB)
  • Augustin Chéneau (GNU Emacs)
  • Mekeor Melire (GNU Emacs)
  • Rahul Juliato (GNU Emacs)
  • Sergei Kostiaev (GNU Emacs)
  • Zeck S. (GDB)

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 aquí: https://www.fsf.org/free-software-supporter/2024/enero

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/2024/janvier

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/2024/janeiro-pt

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 associate 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. 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 and take action on software patents, Digital Restrictions Management, free software adoption, OpenDocument, and more.

Do you read and write Portuguese and English? The FSF is looking for translators for the Free Software Supporter. Please send an email to campaigns@fsf.org with your interest and a list of your experience and qualifications.


Copyright © 2024 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/.

Document Actions

The FSF is a charity with a worldwide mission to advance software freedom — learn about our history and work.

fsf.org is powered by:

 

Send your feedback on our translations and new translations of pages to campaigns@fsf.org.