June 2009

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Find out what's happening in the free software world.


June 30

50 Million Students in Brazil Use GNU/Linux

  • "With Microsoft software licenses costing up to 1000 percent more in Brazil than in the US, the ProInfo program launched by the government of president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva reduces dependence on costly foreign software just as the sugar ethanol program for cars reduces dependence on expensive foreign oil. " Full Story

Unlocking Android

  • A manual published all about Google's android" Read more

FSF new Intern

We're happy to welcome Max Shinn, joining us as part of our newly launched internship program. I am very excited to announce that I will be interning with the Free Software Foundation this summer. Since I am going into my junior year of high school, the FSF has assigned me a project that is long overdue: figuring out a way to get young people involved in Free Software. Read More

June 29

How to completely remove Mono from Ubuntu

"A Simple straight forward steps by step guide to completely remove Mono." Full Story

Microsoft and Novell Still Fight for .NET Inside GNU/Linux

"Yesterday we gave a sample of responses to Richard Stallman’s advice against Mono and C#. The SFLC and FSF are absolutely behind him. It is around the same time that we also find Linux developers scrambling to avoid Microsoft’s VFAT patent. It is a timely reminder of reasons to avoid the software from Microsoft. As Bradley Kuhn from the SFLC put it this year, “Microsoft is unique among proprietary software companies: they are the only ones who have actively tried to kill Open Source and Free Software. It’s not often someone wants to be your friend after trying to kill you for ten years, but such change is cause for suspicion.” Full Story

June 28

RIAA Defendant Moves For Summary Judgment

  • "One thing you don't see too much of in RIAA litigation is a defendant moving for summary judgment, but that is what just occurred in federal court in Westchester, in Lava Records v. Amurao II. The RIAA had brought suit against Rolando Amurao, a middle-aged man who knew nothing about file sharing. After haranguing him for 2 years, they dropped the case and sued his daughter, Audrey, who had used LimeWire years ago." Full Story
  • Why the FSF cares about RIAA lawsuits

GNOME 3.0 may have more Mono apps

"The next major version of the GNOME desktop environment, version 3.0, may contain more than the one Mono-dependent application than it currently does, according to GNOME Foundation member Dave Neary.

In response to a query as to what extent Mono-dependent applications would be present in GNOME 3.0, which is planned as a major overhaul of the desktop environment, Neary said: "The only Mono app which is already part of the GNOME desktop release set is Tomboy. There are other popular Mono applications among GNOME users, including F-Spot, Banshee and GNOME Do, but for the moment, Tomboy is the only one that has been included in a release set. Between now and GNOME 3.0, however, that may change." Full Story

Study Claims Point-of-Sale Activation Could Generate Billions In Revenue

"Benefit denial is the concept of shipping products to a store in a disabled state and only activating them at the point of sale, cutting down on loss from theft. Now, the EMA claims a study they commissioned has indicated that employing such a system for video games, DVDs, and Blu-ray products would generate an additional $6 billion in revenues each year." Full Story

Judge Thinks Linking To Copyrighted Material Should Be Illegal

"Of all the misguided schemes put forth lately to save newspapers (micropayments! blame Google!), the one put forth by Judge Richard Posner has to be the most jaw-dropping. He suggests that linking to copyrighted material should be outlawed. [Of all the misguided schemes put forth lately to save newspapers (micropayments! blame Google!), the one put forth by Judge Richard Posner has to be the most jaw-dropping. He suggests that linking to copyrighted material should be outlawed." Full Story

FreeDOS 15th Birthday!

"The goal of the FreeDOS Project is to create another implementation of MS-DOS. DOS is a popular system, and there is plenty of PC hardware already available that is ready to support it. Microsoft will not develop DOS forever, and one cannot count on third-party commercial entities to continue DOS. I feel it is then up to those on the Internet to develop their own DOS (FreeDOS) and I feel there is a lot of support for this type of project." Read More

Ubuntu, the first OS that doesn't need to be rebooted for security updates

"Ksplice has started offering Ksplice Uptrack for Ubuntu Jaunty, a free service that delivers rebootless versions of all the latest Ubuntu kernel security updates." Full Story

June 27

Update on Munich's switch to GNU/Linux

"When the third-largest city in Germany rebuffed Microsoft, even people in the US were talking about it. The Munich city council’s decision some years ago to gradually banish Microsoft software from City Hall computers made news in American newspapers. In the meantime, while the software revolution has quieted down, the change goes ahead with zeal." Full Story

June 26

Richard Stallman: Why free software shouldn't depend on Mono or C#

"Debian's decision to include Mono in the default installation, for the sake of Tomboy which is an application written in C#, leads the community in a risky direction. It is dangerous to depend on C#, so we need to discourage its use." Full Story

Many companies are still putting DRM on their products, even though it has repeatedly been shown that it does not prevent filesharing

An empirical study done by Patricia Akester, a professor of law at Cambridge, found that DRM does more harm than good on an individual basis and in one instance even led the consumer who otherwise would not have to obtain an illegally shared copy. Full Story

June 24

Introducing FSFE's New President, Vice President, and Executive Team

The members of FSFE elected new coordinators for several of the organization's activities, including strategy, legal and executive coordination. Full Story

June 23

Please, Don’t Replace the GIMP With F-Spot (Mono)

"There is a brand new proposition that GIMP should be removed from the default installation of Ubuntu, the most ubiquitous desktop distribution of GNU/Linux. The justification for this was that a Mono-based application can serve as an acceptable replacement." Full Story

We're happy to welcome Sarah, joining us as part of our newly launched internship program

I am one of the Free Software Foundation's newest interns, which is a little surprising because less than a year ago, I didn't even know what an operating system was. While interning here, I hope to help myself and others to become more educated about free software. I also hope to introduce free software as something that is very accessible, easy to use, and most importantly, as something that does not restrict users' freedoms. Full Story

June 22

Who's Liable: FOSS Users or Developers?

Who should be responsible for the infringement of copyrights and patent claims, the user or developers? "Should FOSS users be concerned about the software they use, in case it opens them up to copyright, trademark or patent claims? Or should such concerns be left exclusively to developers?" Full Story

Introduction to the Command Line

Over the course of two days, the FSF and FLOSS Manuals collaborated together on a Book Sprint at the LibrePlanet event in Boston. Together, and with the help of many contributors, a new textbook entitled "Introduction to the Command Line" was produced for GNU/Linux newbies to learn how to use the command line. Full Story

June 21

Iran Uses Novell and Microsoft Software to Make Bombs

"There is an old slur about GNU/Linux being the operating system for “terrorists” (or something along those lines). Why does Microsoft get a free ride?" Full Story

June 20

Open Video Conference

"The main focus of the Royalty Free Codecs session seemed to be around Ogg Theora. Also present though were Sun, speaking about their new Open Media Stack, and David Schleef to represent his work on the Schroedinger Dirac library" Full Story

June 17

Introducing RDF for GNU Licenses

For the past few months, the Compliance Lab has been working with Creative Commons on a new project, and it'welcome Sarahs just been released. I'm happy to announce that the Resource Description Framework (RDF) metadata now accompanies all of the GNU licenses. Full Story

No, Amazon did not release all of the Swindle's source code

It was unfortunately reported yesterday by a number of sources (including one pointed to by the New York Times) that Amazon had released the source code for the software running on the Kindle DX. Not all of the Kindle source code was released. It’s a selection released in order to comply with the license requirements of the code originally written by other people (like the GNU Project) which Amazon modified for its own purposes. The Kindle is afflicted with Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) and is tivoized, blocking your ability to put modified code back on your own device. Full Story

June 6

FSF at the Connecticut Film Festival

On June 6th, FSF's John Sullivan gave a workshop titled "Copyleft and the War on Sharing" at the Connecticut Film Festival in Danbury, CT. There was a discussion about the history and experience of GNU, the FSF, and the free software movement; and about some of the different fronts in the War on Sharing that is being waged against the public by groups like the RIAA, MPAA, BSA, Microsoft, and Apple. Full Story]

June 8

Microsoft Office tries to break ODF

Just a quick update to our OpenDocument campaign, with news that Microsoft Office has added support for ODF, but in a state that leaves it incompatible with every other ODF capable application out there, including OpenOffice.org and KOffice. Full Story

June 2

FSF welcomes AdBard network for free software advertising

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today welcomed the launch of AdBard a new advertising network for technology-based websites based upon the promotion of free, libre and open-source software (FLOSS) friendly products and services. The AdBard Network has been created by Tag1 Consulting to serve websites dedicated to free software ideals, helping them connect with companies selling products and services targeting a FLOSS audience. AdBard solves the problem that more generic advertising has led to the display of proprietary software products on sites that otherwise promote computer user freedom. [FSF welcomes AdBard network for free software advertising Full Story

The Truth Behind the Death of Linux On the Netbook

"If you have been having trouble finding Linux on a netbook, you can stop wondering why. I suspected it was being monopoly-crushed.“ In our association, we operate as a consortium, like the open-source consortium. They want to promote open source and Linux. But if you begin from the PC you are afraid of Microsoft. They try to go to the smartphone or PDA to start again.” Taiwanese OEMs would love an alternative to Windows, but the sale comes first, before production. The chicken comes first. And since the chicken belongs to Microsoft, the penguin is helpless here." Read more Here Here and Here