Older blog entries for mattl (starting at number 671)

Coreboot, the campaign for a free BIOS

In many cases the BIOS is the only thing standing in the way of a person running their system using exclusively free software (learn more about the FSF's Campaign for a Free BIOS). Visit http://www.coreboot.org to learn more about the development of Coreboot, supported systems, and how you can get started running a free BIOS.

Ways to help. One of the biggest ways you can help the Coreboot project is to encourage vendors to release their specifications so that the Coreboot software can be made to run on those systems. If you wish to learn more about becoming a Coreboot developer, visit the #coreboot channel on irc.freenode.net, or join the Coreboot mailing list to talk with the current developers. One additional area where there is a need for development and attention is in the development of a free software VGA BIOS on graphics cards. We encourage you to pressure graphics card manufacturers to release their VGA BIOS as free software. If you'd like to begin development on a free software VGA BIOS, a good starting point would be the Geode LX chipset by AMD, for which full documentation is available.

Syndicated 2012-03-02 20:51:49 from Free Software Foundation

Free software replacement for Skype

Donate to this project

The Chinese government, for example, was found to have been spying on Skype conversations already, and they are probably not the only ones. We do not want to encourage the creation of a Skype compatible client, but instead, we want to encourage you to create, contribute to, or promote the use of free software replacements for Skype, such as Ekiga, and to encourage adoption and use of free VoIP, video, and chat protocols such as SIP and XMPP/Jingle.

Ways to help. The easiest way to help is to not use Skype and to encourage the use of a free software replacement instead. There are a number of programs, such as Ekiga, Twinkle, Coccinella, QuteCom, and Jitsi that are working replacements for Skype. The Mingle project builds on Jabber to provide multiparty calling, and is supported by a grant from the NLnet Foundation. NLnet also supports the openMSRP project in this area. Users of such programs should file bug reports and feature requests to the projects. If you are not a developer, you can consider contributing to documentation and tutorials for such projects, as well as filing feature and bug requests. Developers should consider helping free software VoIP and video, chat, and multimedia communications projects.

Syndicated 2012-03-02 20:51:49 from Free Software Foundation

Free software video editing software

More and more everyday computer users are becoming amateur videographers, and we need to make sure that their operating systems come complete with free software to meet their needs.

Ways to help.There are a number of quality, free software video editing programs, such as Kino, Cinelerra, AVIDemux, Kdenlive, LiVES, Lumiera, as well as PiTiVi, Blender, and the Open Movie Editor. Along the way, the easiest way to help is to use these editors and to encourage others to do the same. You can help these projects directly by submitting bug reports, adding features, improving usability, and creating tutorials, guides, and documentation.

Syndicated 2012-03-02 20:51:49 from Free Software Foundation

LibrePlanet 2012 registration is now open!

LibrePlanet 2012 -- March 24th/25th at the University of Massachusetts, Boston

  • Don't delay, registration is now open, and as always, FSF associate members can attend for no extra charge as part of their membership -- excluding food and t-shirt costs.


  • Registration closes on March 7th. Anyone who wants to come after that can come on the day and pay, but we can't guarantee a shirt will be available and there might not be any lunch for you.

  • We have all the information you need about hotels, getting to Boston and getting around Boston on the LibrePlanet wiki. There's also a mailing list for coordinating room sharing and carpooling.


The conference so far...

  • Everything starts at 9am, on Saturday March 24th at the University of Massachusetts, Boston -- a stunning campus on the waterfront, with glorious views of the Massachusetts Bay.

  • We're going to have a dedicated space on Saturday afternoon for Lightning Talks -- these will be limited to people who aren't otherwise speaking at the conference, so if you fancy talking for a few minutes about absolutely anything related to our community, this is your opportunity.

  • If you're looking to get some work done while you're here, we have a dedicated space for collaboration and hacking on projects -- the ideal place to hang out with your laptop and relax between talks.

Confirmed speakers

We're still putting the finishing touches to the schedule, but you'll be pleased to see the following speakers are already confirmed:

  • Richard Stallman
  • Eben Moglen (Freedom Box Foundation, Software Freedom Law Center)
  • Karen Sandler (GNOME Foundation)
  • Evan Prodromou (StatusNet, identi.ca)
  • Matthew Garrett (Linux)
  • Allison Chaiken
  • Eben Upton (Raspberry Pi Foundation)
  • Richard Fontana
  • Bradley Kuhn
  • Mike Linksvayer
  • David Sugar
  • ginger coons
  • Chris Webber

All speakers will be listed on our website: http://libreplanet.org/wiki/LibrePlanet2012/Speakers

Food at LibrePlanet 2012

Lunch is available for a reasonable $10 on both days -- we have healthy options for everyone. We all benefit from having everyone together at lunchtime, so we've done our best to make food options as cheap as possible. Breakfast and coffee/tea/soft drinks will also be provided on both days.

The LibrePlanet 2012 t-shirt

We have a new shirt for this conference, incorporating the conference logo, in stylish yellow print on a dark-grey shirt. We've also made it easier to find staff at the conference -- we'll all be wearing off-yellow shirts with black print, with the same design. If you want one of these limited-edition yellow shirts, we're looking for a small number of volunteers during the conference who'll also get one for each day they volunteer.

But that's not all

For those of you in town a day early, there's a small open house at the Free Software Foundation office, so you can come meet the staff and the volunteers working behind the scenes to make the conference into a success. Come see where we work, and have your photo taken with the GNU Project mascot! Details will be posted on the wiki.

If you're hanging around after the conference, we're also planning a post-conference lunch at the office on Monday, a chance to reflect on the conference.

And with social events on Saturday and Sunday evening already up on the wiki, there's plenty to do outside of the conference.


Looking forward to seeing you at the conference, and we hope you'll bring a friend and introduce them to free software!

Matt, Jasimin, Donald, Brett, Josh, John, Peabo and Ward Your friends at the Free Software Foundation

Syndicated 2012-02-22 23:03:27 from Free Software Foundation

18 Feb 2012 (updated 27 Feb 2012 at 21:10 UTC) »

Tell the US Trade Representative that strong-arming countries into US law isn't what you want

Recently, as they do every year, the US Trade Representative compiles a list called the "Special 301 Report" -- essentially a list of other countries who aren't trying hard enough when it comes to enforcing American copyright laws locally.

Where does this list come from? Well, the big media companies and trade organizations such as the RIAA and MPAA tell the USTR which countries they think should be added, and why, and the USTR seems to take these comments at face value, despite opposing comments from not-for-profit organizations that seek to redress the copyright balance.

We've seen recently what laws like SOPA and PIPA would do to a free internet, and if passed, documents like the "Special 301 Report" could be used to enforce those kinds of regulations on other countries.

Take action, sign the petition!

Syndicated 2012-02-17 23:24:54 (Updated 2012-02-27 21:10:31) from Free Software Foundation

European ACTA protests this weekend

We alerted you to this last week. This weekend is when all the protests are taking place.

Syndicated 2012-02-10 21:33:04 from Free Software Foundation



Download Stallman design pack version 1.0

Made a poster for a Stallman event using free software? Email your SVG or other source files to info@fsf.org for inclusion here.

Posters can be modified using Inkscape, and SVG sources are provided.

Poster designs (and cartoon RMS) under Creative Commons License, thanks to Lojoco for Stallman cartoon.

Richard Stallman photograph under Creative Commons License

Syndicated 2012-02-03 21:43:15 from Free Software Foundation

1 Feb 2012 (updated 3 Feb 2012 at 20:40 UTC) »

Stop ACTA in Europe, February 11th

Last week we told you of the ongoing move in Europe against ACTA — now coordinated protests are taking place across Europe on February 11th, and here's how you can get involved.

Read 'Signed, not sealed' and contact your country's Members of the European Parliment

Get involved!

If you're not in Europe, please help spread the word to people who are. Defeating it in Europe is the first step to ending it once and for all.

For a refresher on why ACTA threatens free software, see http://www.fsf.org/campaigns/acta and the impact of ACTA on medicines.

Thank you for speaking up against ACTA,

Matt, Josh and John

Syndicated 2012-02-01 17:05:55 (Updated 2012-02-03 20:40:54) from Free Software Foundation

Free Software Supporter, Issue 46, January 2012

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 http://www.fsf.org/free-software-supporter.

Multilingual? Send translations of the Supporter to campaigns@fsf.org.


  • Stop ACTA in Europe
  • GNU Project renews focus on free software in education
  • The Mozilla Public License version 2.0 is out--and GPL-compatible!
  • Apple's ebook sales restrictions: the newest reason to use free software
  • Measures governments can use to promote free software
  • Stallman's Law
  • Learn more about who we are and what we do
  • And now for some completely different ways to give to the FSF
  • LibrePlanet featured resource: Group:GNU Generation
  • GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry
  • LibrePlanet sign-up reminder
  • Richard Stallman's speaking schedule
  • Other FSF and GNU events
  • Take action with the FSF!

Stop ACTA in Europe

We've been hearing a lot lately about SOPA and PIPA in the United States. In the meantime, ACTA has been creeping along under the radar, and last week it was signed in Japan by the EU and its member states.

But it's not over yet! Read about how you can help defeat ACTA:

For a refresher on why ACTA threatens free software, see:

GNU Project renews focus on free software in education

The newly formed GNU Education Team is being led by Dora Scilipoti, an Italian free software activist and teacher. Under her leadership, the Team has developed a list of specific goals to guide their work:

  • Present cases of educational institutions around the world who are successfully using and teaching free software.
  • Show examples of how free programs are being used by educational institutions to improve the learning and teaching processes.
  • Publish articles on the various aspects involved in the use of free software by educational institutions.
  • Maintain a dialogue with teachers, students and administrators of educational institutions to listen to their difficulties and provide support.
  • Keep in contact with other groups around the world committed to the promotion of free software in education.

The new effort is based at http://www.gnu.org/education.

Dora writes:

We invite people who share our goals and our views to join us. We need help to spot special cases of schools and free programs, write reports, talk to schools, edit and convert audio visual materials to free formats, do graphic design, and more. Our contact address is education@gnu.org.

Learn more about the GNU Education relaunch:

Press release:

Blog post:

The Mozilla Public License version 2.0 is out--and GPL-compatible!

The Mozilla Public License (MPL) version 2.0 is a major update to Mozilla's flagship license, which covers most of the Foundation's own free software projects, as well as others'. The FSF was engaged throughout this process, especially on questions about compatibility with GNU licenses.

Apple's ebook sales restrictions: the newest reason to use free software

Last week, Apple announced ebook authoring software called iBooks Author. As you would expect from Apple, the software is completely proprietary--but the license includes some terms that are so restrictive, they shock even Apple's fans. Fortunately, there is free software to do the same job.


The FSF is proud to have participated in the January 18th protest against SOPA by blacking out all of our public web sites, including fsf.org, gnu.org, DefectiveByDesign.org, and directory.fsf.org. We thank everyone who joined us and supported us during this effort! We will continue to participate in the amazing coalition of organizations working to protect the Internet.

Measures governments can use to promote free software

This new article published by Richard Stallman suggests policies for a strong and firm effort to promote free software within the state, and to lead the rest of the country towards software freedom. Adoption of the measures outlined in the article would help a country recover control over its computing, and lead the country's citizens, businesses and organizations toward control over theirs.

Stallman's Law

"While corporations dominate society and write the laws, each advance in technology is an opening for them to further restrict its users."

Learn more about who we are and what we do

This year we decided to use our annual fundraiser as an opportunity to share with the world a more detailed look at the work we do here at the FSF. So we wrote a four part series, We want to do more for you.

Part 1 of the series provides an overview of some of what we accomplish with a staff of "ten dedicated and effective individuals, working with a global network of volunteers and supporters of the free software movement."

Part 2 shares with you the heroics of staff member Jeanne Rasata who in addition to helping to coordinate and plan Richard Stallman's grueling travel and speaking schedule, also acts as front-line of communication for nearly all email sent to the FSF, as well as being the virtual front-desk for questions and requests from FSF associate members.

Part 3 provides a glimpse into the work of our campaigns team of Matt Lee and Josh Gay, who carry out our advocacy campaigns, as well as a large share of our public relations, fundraising, web development, and graphic design at the FSF.

Part 4 reveals the surprising discovery that the FSF's licensing and compliance engineer, Brett Smith, is in fact a GPL Ninja!

And now for some completely different ways to give to the FSF

Campaigns manager Matt Lee reviews some of the more unusual ways you can give to the FSF. Learn how you can make micro-donations, transfer bitcoin, give us your used car (or brand new one!), and more!

LibrePlanet featured resource: Group:GNU Generation

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 featuring the Group GNU Generation, an ongoing community and competition to involve pre-university and high school students (approximately age 13-18) in free software. This is a great project that is in need of a little rejuvination. Get involved today!

Do you have a suggestion for next month's featured resource? Let us know at campaigns@fsf.org.

GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry

autogen-5.14 gnutls-2.12.16 parallel-20120122 coreutils-8.15 gnutls-3.0.12 recutils-1.5 cppi-1.16 goptical-1.0 sipwitch-1.2.1 ddrescue-1.15 help2man-1.40.5 source-highlight-3.1.6 ed-1.6 inetutils-1.9.1 stow-2.1.3 freeipmi-1.1.1 libidn-1.24 tramp-2.2.4 gdb-7.4 libmicrohttpd-0.9.18 ucommon-5.2.0 global-6.2 mediagoblin-0.2.0 gnu-ghostscript-9.04.1 octave-3.6.0

To get announcements of most new GNU releases, subscribe to the info-gnu mailing list: http://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/info-gnu. Nearly all GNU software is available from http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/, or preferably one of its mirrors (http://www.gnu.org/prep/ftp.html). You can use the url http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/ to be automatically redirected to a (hopefully) nearby and up-to-date mirror.

In addition to the usual releases, a new installment of the Lilypond Report has been published: http://news.lilynet.net/?The-LilyPond-Report-23. It includes release news, an interview, Prelude #1 in Scheme, and more.

Several GNU packages are looking for maintainers and other assistance. Please see http://www.gnu.org/server/takeaction.html#unmaint if you'd like to help. The general page on how to help GNU is at http://www.gnu.org/help/help.html. To submit new packages to GNU, see http://www.gnu.org/help/evaluation.html.

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

LibrePlanet sign-up reminder

March 24th-25th, 2012 -- Boston, MA, USA -- LibrePlanet

Richard Stallman's speaking schedule

For detailed information for each of the events below, see: * http://www.fsf.org/events/rms-speeches.html

  • Jan 31, 2012 04:00 PM -- Ghaziabad, India -- Event Free Software and Your Freedom
  • Feb 01, 2012 11:30 PM -- Delhi, India -- Event Free Software and Your Freedom
  • Feb 02, 2012 03:00 PM -- Kolkata, India -- Event A Free Digital Society
  • Feb 03, 2012 05:00 PM -- Guwahati, India -- Event The Free Software Movement
  • Feb 04, 2012 11:00 AM -- Guwahati, India -- Event Copyright vs. Community
  • Feb 06, 2012 01:00 PM -- Chennai, India -- Event Free Software, Freedom, and Education
  • Feb 07, 2012 11:15 AM -- Tiruchengode, India -- Event The Free Software Movement
  • Feb 07, 2012 06:00 PM -- Coimbatore, India -- Event Free Software in Ethics and in Practice
  • Feb 11, 2012 11:00 AM -- Mandi, India -- Event Copyright vs. Community
  • Feb 21, 2012 06:00 PM -- Avignon, France -- Event For a Free Digital Society
  • Feb 28, 2012 02:00 PM -- Braga, Portugal -- Event Copyright vs. Community
  • Feb 29, 2012 02:00 PM -- Lisbon, Portugal -- Event Free Software and Your Freedom

Other FSF and GNU events

"Is copyleft being framed?" -- John Sullivan February 4th, 2012 -- Brussels, Belgium -- FOSDEM

"Libre.fm and GNU.FM, supporting artists with free software" -- Mike Sheldon

Take action with the FSF

Contributions from thousands of individual members enable the FSF's work. You can contribute by joining at http://www.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! http://www.fsf.org/jf?referrer=2442

The FSF is also always looking for volunteers (http://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 campaign section (http://www.fsf.org/campaigns) and take action on software patents, DRM, free software adoption, OpenDocument, RIAA and more.


The Free Software Supporter is edited by FSF volunteer Osama Khalid.

Copyright © 2012 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/us/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.

Syndicated 2012-02-01 04:07:02 from Free Software Foundation

GNU spotlight with Karl Berry (January 2012)

In addition to the usual releases, a new installment of the Lilypond Report has been published. It includes release news, an interview, Prelude #1 in Scheme, and more.

To get announcements of most new GNU releases, subscribe to the info-gnu mailing list. Nearly all GNU software is available from ftp.gnu.org, or preferably one of its mirrors. You can use the URL ftpmirror.gnu.org/ to be automatically redirected to a (hopefully) nearby and up-to-date mirror.

Several GNU packages are looking for maintainers and other assistance. There's also a general page on how to help GNU, and information on how to submit new packages to GNU.

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

Syndicated 2012-02-01 04:06:57 from Free Software Foundation

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