Welcome to LibrePlanet!
Medical devices are expensive and unavailable in many parts of the world despite being essential to care. In this session, Tarek discusses work on the front lines in Gaza to make medical devices accessible by creating free designs and validating them according to medical industry standards. These efforts have been part of a larger initiative to lay a foundation for a post-liberation Gaza in which FLOSS medical devices must compete against proprietary medical devices.
In late 2018, Redis Labs relicensed a number of GNU AGPL-licensed Redis modules with the "Commons Clause" amendment. This talk outlines the history, background, and response to this style of license, and explains how this is ultimately a short-sighted and retrograde step for the companies that are advocating for these licenses.
Wikimedia offers a plethora of opportunities for newcomers to get involved; however, as with many other free software projects, getting involved with the Wikimedia technical community can be a daunting prospect for newcomers. This talk is a gentle introduction to the Wikimedia ecosystem, and gives pointers on how to get involved as a volunteer. I will delve into the various ways newcomers can make successful contributions in areas ranging from design to documentation, from programming to testing, and much more.
This talk is focused on educating front-end developers and others about those impacted by accessibility, and how to design interfaces with this in mind. This will be a general rundown of the most common accessibility issues, the current technologies that are used to mitigate impairment, and new technologies, with an emphasis on free software, that are seeking to better support people with accessibility issues.
This presentation will introduce and examine several software programs written using GNU Guile. GNU Guile is a programming language, and is the official extension language of the GNU Project. We will explore how these software programs make use of Guile, with examples showing how the software is customizable and extensible.
Free software licenses constrain how software can be used, while providing no limits or guidance on how it can be built. As a result, a wide variety of governance structures are used in free software projects, from "one person, one vote" democracy to "benevolent dictator for life," and beyond.
This presentation provides a survey of existing governance structures used by free software projects such as Python, Debian, and others. Together, we'll explore how governance decisions have affected these projects over time, using the Common Pool Resource framework developed by Nobel Prize-winning economist Elinor Ostrom.
Come learn the history of encryption methods, from hieroglyphics to the Caesar cipher to more advanced methods used in the twentieth century. I will discuss modern efforts to crack international encryption standards, as well as some systematic weaknesses that have been deliberately introduced into encryption algorithms by world superpowers. I will talk in depth about the Dual-EC PRNG algorithm, the back door that was discovered in this algorithm, and the weaknesses it caused across the technology industry. Attendees will get a kick out of the colorful history of encryption methods, learn valuable lessons on maintaining security, and gain insight into some of these methods' potential weaknesses today.
Free software is a requirement for privacy and security. At Yale, we've been teaching cybersecurity, facilitating privacy workshops, and analyzing leaky mobile apps using only free software. We'll talk about a new class at Yale Law School, give a summary of this year's Yale Privacy Lab workshops, and provide insight from our collaborations with local makerspaces, Yale CEID, and MakeHaven. Come find out how we emphasize cybersecurity while keeping free software front and center. This session will include a MITM demonstration with a GNU/Linux minicomputer.
Much hand-wringing appears in the press about the seemingly unstoppable ascendance of a few large corporations in computing. Everything seems to be increasingly centralized in such corporations (a trend popularly called the "cloud," although Richard Stallman has repeatedly criticized the use of that buzzword). This presentation will explain why such centralization and the triumph of first movers is facilitated by three technological factors: the end of Moore's Law, compiling complex algorithms into hardware (which may reach its climax in quantum computing), and the value of aggregating large amounts of data.
Witness this awesome Raspberry Pi-powered chicken door using only free software. You can use this knowledge to create your own automated hardware and software systems. I'll cover features like:
Tor is free software for privacy and freedom online; it protects you from tracking, surveillance, and censorship. Over the past year, with the help of a global team of contributors and one-on-one feedback from users around the world, the Tor Project has made major improvements to its software. A handful of Tor contributors will share what progress Tor teams have made, and what challenges they face. They’ll discuss new releases like Tor Browser for Android, usability improvements to Tor Browser, outreach initiatives, Tor network advancements, Tor’s new anti-censorship team, and what’s to come in the next year.
Over the last decade, Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have acted as the pillars of application development. They provide mechanisms which allow applications to communicate with each other. Developers can integrate various APIs into their code to create entirely new applications.
Unfortunately, users of an API are held hostage to the licensing of its creator. If an API is not free software compliant, then none of its users can build free software off of it. Using the Google Maps API as a case study, we will examine the ethical and technological implications of providing open, but not free, access to an API.
We will discuss the Rancho Electrónico Hackerspace, a space that promotes community and offers an educational alternative to scholastic methodologies, and CoAA TV, which is the product of the joint efforts of members of two collectives, Rancho Electrónico and Laboratorio Popular de Medios Libres (Popular Laboratory of Free Media). CoAA TV is a DIY project that forgoes any type of sponsorship or support from government institutions or private companies alike. The channel focuses on experiences, stories, struggles, debates, and thoughts of oppressed and autonomous groups.
The Internet has made it possible for large, decentralized groups of people from around the world to collaborate with each other, but large-scale collaboration is difficult, and the best practices for effective collaboration are still being worked out by organizers, developers, and collaborators. Free software has provided working examples of large-scale collaborative communities, as well as practical tools for those communities to use. Tools like MediaWiki, Loomio, Discourse, Etherpad, and Git all provide functionality useful for decentralized collaboration. In this panel, organizers, developers, and collaborators will discuss best practices and pitfalls of using these and other tools in real-world collaborations.
GPL enforcement is an integral part of software freedom, but we lack systematic evidence on what kind of benefits successful enforcement can provide us. In this session, I discuss a case in which GPL enforcement led to quantifiable benefits for customers: GPL violations by Cisco/Linksys, and the emergence of OpenWRT. In 2003, Cisco/Linksys was found to be in violation of the GPL by distributing GNU/Linux source code with its WRT54G. Successful negotiations by the FSF led Cisco/Linksys to release source code, creating a wide array of custom firmware projects.
In this talk, I collect data on wireless routers, custom firmware compatibility, and match this to Amazon.com reviews. I show that users value routers compatible with OpenWRT, and that these products have higher reviews and sell more. This talk highlights the importance of measuring the impact of GPL enforcement, and shows how GPL enforcement can benefit customers.
While proprietary software remains one of the biggest threats to personal liberty, democracy, and a free future, one simple reality remains: no one takes us seriously. What can free software advocates learn from the successful social movements and revolutions of the past, and how can we apply it to a technological revolution? An experienced grassroots organizer and software developer guided by the principles of Kingian nonviolence will show you what it takes to mobilize communities and generate a social crisis that can no longer be ignored. No technical knowledge required!
Australia passed a law saying it can order anyone, in broad and vague circumstances, to give secret help to the Australian government in decrypting some information. Even people outside Australia can supposedly be ordered to do this. What should the free software community do to defend itself from this threat?
3D printing is now a household phrase, and has cemented its usefulness in the industry over the last forty years. As 3D printing becomes more and more accessible for hobbyists, it has become increasingly connected to the free software and free hardware communities. This talk will discuss the prevalence of free software and hardware in the 3D-printing community by looking at each stage of the additive-manufacturing rapid-prototyping process, and will analyze the success that other fields can learn from to increase freedom in their industries.
Copying files between computers remains an advanced skill, with many people resorting to proprietary software, services as software substitutes, and Internet connections for a task that should be simpler. I will review existing free software techniques for copying files, present a new free software that is intended to facilitate file-copying by laypeople, and assert that this new software would be superior to the popular proprietary software even if the licensing were not a concern.
Announcement of the 2019 Free Software Award winners.