FSM Newsletter 02 November 2008

FSM Newsletter 02 November 2008


Sun, 2008-11-02 17:02 -- admin

Hello readers, and welcome once again to Free Software Magazine 's fortnightly newsletter, keeping you up to date with all things free software... AND the top 10 FSDaily announcements for this week! Enjoy!

General announcements

Top ten Free Software Daily stories this week

  1. Status of FSFE's legal dept: FTF --After 2 years of operation, FSFE's Shane Coughlan has built a legal network of 145 experts, has organised the first European conference for free software legal issues, and worked on GPL enforcement and producing documentation. For the curious, here's a general status report. Read more...

  2. Network traffic & bandwidth monitoring with darkstat on Gentoo --Darkstat captures network traffic, calculates statistics about usage, and serves reports over HTTP. Learn how to get this up and running on Gentoo. Read more...

  3. An idiot's view of open source If he wasn't so utterly wrong and, it appears that he's taken seriously, Andrew Keen's delusion that the economy is about to "Give Open-Source a Good Thumping" would be funny. Read more...

  4. I met Richard Stallman --"Yes, I seriously did have the opportunity to meet him personally, and listen to his speech on the Free Software Movement. Let me attempt to explain the experience, and how it came to be..." Read more...

  5. ASUSTek is committed to meet the requirements of the GNU General Public License --The open source code for EeePC is available here. To download the source code of all open source software packages that are included in the product, follow the steps listed below. Read more...

  6. Ubuntu…Please Don’t Release on Time! --The update process in Ubuntu has …. well it has gotten out of control. There is no doubt that updates are a necessity for security patches and bug fixes…no argument there. However, Ubuntu seems to want to build the operating system as they go… having you download huge numbers of updates, often daily. Read more...

  7. Build It. Share It. Profit. Can Open Source Hardware Work? --50,000 Arduino units have been sold worldwide since mass production began two years ago. Those are small numbers by Intel standards but large for a startup outfit in a highly specialized market. What's really remarkable, though, is Arduino's business model: The team has created a company based on giving everything away. Read more...

  8. free software laptop campaign --"Finally I did it. I decided to point to an higher goal asking Dell to produce a free software laptop. I made a campaign in english and italian inviting all the people to ask Dell for a machine with coreboot, atheros wireless chipset and gnewsense preinstalled. Now I am asking your support..." Read more...

  9. Research on BBC content for GNU/Linux --"This week, we're really happy to be sharing some work we've commissioned to deliver BBC content (mainly radio shows from the BBC Audio & Music team) on demand for users of GNU/Linux..." Read more...

  10. All Russian Schools to Use Free Software --I've often lamented how few schools in the UK use free software, and how difficult it is to break the lock that Microsoft has on the entire educational system. The pathetic state here is highlighted by contrast with Russia, which is making amazing strides in rolling out open source to schools. Read more...

Thanks to ciaran, devnull, Jimbob, can.axis, peacemaker, mogyweb, and switchpin for these stories!

Latest content

Why is The Bizarre Cathedral licence "non-free"? --By Ryan Cartwright. For the past 26 weeks I’ve been producing the Bizarre Cathedral strips for Free Software Magazine. Every one of them is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-commerical-Share Alike (BY-NC-SA) licence. Recently I’ve received a few pieces of mail saying this is a “non-free” licence and questioning my use of it here. Read more...

The Bizarre Cathedral - 27 --By Ryan Cartwright. Latest from the Bizarre Cathedral. Read more...

Updating your system: GNU/Linux 5, Windows 0 --By Ryan Cartwright. The pace of software development — regardless of the licence — is pretty fast these days. The state of your systems need constant monitoring. New features, bug-fixes and (most important) security updates need to be properly managed. Read more...

Supporting your free software? Don't burn out --By Terry Hancock. Not long ago I watched a free software developer totally lose his cool with a user who (admittedly very frustratingly) posted a “bug report” in Spanish on an English-language project that amounted to “it doesn’t work”. He posted a very sarcastic reply in a couple of random languages (one of them through a machine translator). Read more...

Krusader: one file manager to rule them all --By Gary Richmond. I don’t like KDE4. I don’t like the Dolphin file manager either. There, I said it. I’m not trying to start a flame war. Really. But those dislikes are proportional to my concern about the future of Konqueror. For my money, it is just about one of the best things before and since sliced bread. I loved it enough to write about here at length and in depth. Read more...

Fighting the "legacy" reputations of GNU/Linux, seventeen years later --By Ryan Cartwright. Regular readers of this column will know that I’m a fan of education and positive experience as an advocacy tool in place of shouting from rooftops. Winning the mindset of an average computer user — particularly home users — is never going to be a quick process but a recent experience showed me we still have some old and familiar hills to climb. How do we combat legacy reputations of GNU/Linux that are no longer valid? Read more...

Free software tools for designing productive community sites. --By Terry Hancock. These days there’s a lot of buzz about “Web 2.0” and making websites more interactive, but what’s really going on is a reconnection to the community nature of the internet. Collaboration, cooperation, and the information commons are all ideas that pre-dated the world wide web in the form of older internet technologies. In today’s distributed computing environment, though, these technologies have really flourished. Read more...

Freeing your phone with the FIC Neo FreeRunner --By Anthony Taylor. The temptation to compare the FreeRunner and the Apple iPhone can be overwhelming. They both run a Unix-like operating system; they both have GPS, wi-fi, and accelerometers; they are both cell phones. Read more...

OpenStreeMaps: free software's answer to Google and commercially-restricted geo-data --By Gary Richmond. In a recent article on free software and the Large Hadron Collider I mentioned that here in the United Kingdom The Guardian, a national British newspaper, had founded a campaign called “free our data”. They objected to the fact that the Ordnance Survey (and others), funded by the British taxpayer, was charging business and individuals for its cartographic data thus effectively making people pay for it twice. Their campaign is great but until such times as it succeeds an alternative is needed. A free software alternative. Enter OpenStreetMaps. Read more...

Konqueror, The Powerful KDE Browser --By Andrew Min. So far, all of the browsers that I reviewed for this book have been Gnome-based browsers. Epiphany is a Gnome-sponsored project, and Firefox is rapidly moving towards Gnomeization (though at the time of this writing, a Qt port of Firefox is under heavy development). What’s a good KDE user to do? Simple: use the conqueror of the browser market, Konqueror. Read more...

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Latest content continued

Google's Knol: it's a Wikipedia Jim but not as we know it --By Gary Richmond. The launch of Google’s Chrome has created a frenzy of online activity (just Google it and it will return in excess of fifty one million results), including mine. and already the world and his wife has been busy publicising tips, tricks and hacks. There is absolutely no doubt that Google is very serious about its new baby. They hired no less than four Firefox developers—Ben Goodger, Pam Greene, Darin Fisher and Brian Ryner. Enough said. It wasn’t dreamed up on the spur of the moment as another speculative product of the Summer of Code. Can the same be said of Knol? What is it, how does it work and more importantly, does it conform with the principles of free software and is it a serious challenger to Wikipedia? Read more...

Rule #1: Hold On Loosely --By Terry Hancock. In the proprietary production world, what matters about a copyright is who owns it. In the free production world, however, who owns a copyright is relatively unimportant. What matters is what license it is offered under. There is a very simple rule of thumb about the best license to use: use a “free, copyleft license”. Read more...

On-line applications "just work"; why worry about the freedom of the licence? --By Ryan Cartwright. An increasing number of computer users are turning to online applications instead of ones on their desktop. It started with webmail and has moved to productivity/office tools. With the emergence of online applications that have no desktop equivalent, and mobile devices that are browsers in your pocket, things are looking up. But what about free software? If the software we are using is not run on the computer on our desk/lap/hand what does the licence matter? For some time now I’ve been reading predictions where the browser will be the computer. Does this future have space for free software? Read more...

A brief history of computers and free software: where is the money? --By Tony Mobily. The world of computers has changed. Sub-notebooks are becoming immensely popular, mobile phones based on Google’s Android software are about to come out (T-Mobile have just announced their G1 will launch on October 22), and computers are looking increasingly like small devices that fit in our pockets. The end of 2008 might see the dawn of a new revolution in the computer industry and in people’s lives. Maybe 2009 will be remembered as the year when the “world went mobile”. What does this mean for the (free and non-free) software industry? Where will we be, technologically and (more importantly) culturally? Where will the market (and the money) be? Read more...

Epiphany, the ultimate Gnome browser --By Andrew Min. Firefox is a great browser. However, it’s a tad on the bloated side (even though the new version are definitely better!). Also, Firefox is focused on cross-platform compatibility. That’s great, but sometimes that also means that Firefox won’t be able to take advantage of Gnome-specific features, including the unified look, better language support, and HIG-compliant settings. If you’ve been feeling these Firefox blues as well, Epiphany could be the answer. Read more...

Becoming a free software developer, part V: When and where did you learn? --By Rosalyn Hunter. In my last article I talked about how interest leads people to program. Then life rose up behind me like a giant Doberman pincer and bit me on my backside; so, I didn’t think of programming for over four months. However, just this week something happened that made me want to program again. Read more...

Why I choose copyleft for my projects --By Ryan Cartwright. Terry Hancock seemed to raise a few hackles when he presented case recently that “copyleft has no impact on project activity?!)”. I’m not certain why, because it seemed he was just asking a question really (you’ll note the question mark). In that piece he mentions the reasons developers choose a copyleft licence. As a — somewhat small-time — developer of free software this topic interests me. Terry made a few statements about why developers choose a copyleft licence as did Tony Mobily in his editorial for issue 20. So let me tell you why this developer chose (and continues to choose) a copyleft licence? Read more...

Ten easy ways to attract women to your free software project --By Terry Hancock. The gender inequality among developers and supporters of free software is stunning. Less than 2% of us are women, according to studies conducted for the European Commission. Why? The evidence says we’re driving them away. There are even some pretty good published guidelines on how not to drive them away. What’s missing is a practical implementation strategy: here I present ten relatively simple changes in how you run your project, to make it more attractive to would-be contributors—especially women. Read more...

**Rhythmbox, Gnome music awesomeness--By Andrew Min. Amarok sure inspires a lot of KDE-envy for Gnome users. Unfortunately, it doesn’t fit in well in Gnome: it’s written for a different desktop environment, uses a whole different toolkit, and requires a lot of extra libraries to run. Luckily, there’s a great Gnome-based alternative: Rhythmbox. Read more...

Reminders

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