[smc-discuss] Fwd: Free Software Supporter Issue 146, June 2020

Pirate Praveen praveen at onenetbeyond.org
Tue Jun 2 01:52:10 PDT 2020

It mentions SMC and our work.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
 From: Free Software Foundation <info at fsf.org>
Subject: Free Software Supporter Issue 146, June 2020
Date: Mon, 01 Jun 2020 19:27:18 -0400
To: praveen at onenetbeyond.org

Read and share online: 

Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's 
(FSF) monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 
227,711 other activists. That's 315 more than last month!

FSF gives freedom-respecting videoconferencing to all associate members
 From May 28th

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is now offering all FSF associate 
members free "as in freedom" videoconferencing via an exclusive FSF 
Jitsi Meet instance as an additional associate member benefit. In order 
to be able to provide a sustainable and reliable service, we are 
offering the ability to create conversations on the server exclusively 
to associate members. Members can create a channel using their member 
credentials, but then any person or group can participate in the 
conversation. Nonmembers can be invited, but cannot start a channel.

Information about how to use the FSF videoconferencing instance for 
associate members

This is just one of many efforts we've made in the past months to push 
back against increased societal pressure to use nonfree software to 
communicate with collaborators, friends, and loved ones during the 
COVID-19 pandemic, and after.

Don’t miss your chance to win fabulous prizes: Get your friends to 
join the FSF! Remote education does not require giving up rights to 
freedom and privacy A roundup of recent updates to our licensing 
materials: November 2019 to April 2020 Microsoft Build: Same old 
recycled stuff, no upcycling A new way to enjoy LibrePlanet 2020 
sessions: Podcast format FSFE nudges emergency ventilator project 
towards a free software license Apple whistleblower goes public over 
"lack of action" Introducing Amin Bandali, intern with the FSF tech 
team Patent case against GNOME resolved (and more GNOME news) 
MediaGoblin 0.10.0 released Introducing Inkscape 1.0 This free software 
collective is taking Malayalam computing to the next level GCC 10.1 
released SeaGL going virtual due to COVID-19 aka novel coronavirus HOPE 
2020 will be an online event: Call for sessions open May GNU Emacs news 
Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory 
LibrePlanet featured resource: Activism Guide GNU Spotlight with Mike 
Gerwitz: 12 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: 

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Want to read this newsletter translated into another language? Scroll 
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Don’t miss your chance to win fabulous prizes: Get your friends to 
join the FSF!
 From May 26th

The LibrePlanet 2020 Virtual Raffle has been extended to June 7th! In 
order for you to qualify to win a prize, new members have to sign up 
using your referral link. You will find your personal referrer link on 
the dashboard after logging in at https://my.fsf.org/. To see the prize 
list, and find out how many referrers you need for each prize, check 
out our original announcement of the raffle at 

Remote education does not require giving up rights to freedom and 
 From May 14th

The increased use of proprietary test-administering software and other 
proprietary educational software is a dangerous development, both 
because of the software's proprietary nature, and because of its 
inherent purpose of exposing a student's, or in some cases a family's, 
data to the proctor. In schemes like these, the user ends up 
sacrificing both personal information and biometric data. Because the 
software is proprietary, there's no possibility of understanding how it 
works -- besides leaking personal data, it could also create security 
concerns or deliver bad quality tests (and results). Requiring students 
to cede control over their entire computer to a test proctoring company 
is fundamentally unjust. Worse, we cannot be sure that any of these 
nonfree software dependencies and their accompanying surveillance 
techniques will be rolled back after social distancing guidelines are 
no longer enforced.

It is important that decisions made in the education sector are first 
and foremost ethically motivated. Here at the FSF, we have started a 
free communications working group. Initiatives include a remote 
communication email list, as well as a collaborative resource page for 
documenting and sharing free communication tools to help spread 
awareness of the ethical choices that can be made. We have also been 
assisting educational professionals in offering their classes online 
using only free software. And we have been reading many stories about 
activism in education from the larger community, and want to share 
those with you. They have inspired and motivated us. We need more 
people like this around the world to be vocal and critical about 
infringements on user freedom in the area of remote learning.

A roundup of recent updates to our licensing materials: November 2019 
to April 2020
 From May 7th

We recently added a new license to our our list of Various Licenses and 
Comments about Them, as well as a few other minor updates to that page. 
We also revamped our materials on seminars on free software licensing 
and GPL compliance. What follows is a brief rundown of those changes.

Microsoft Build: Same old recycled stuff, no upcycling
 From May 21st

Often, a proprietary software company's silence can speak as loudly as 
their latest campaign against a computer user's right to freedom. This 
is the case with Microsoft's developer-centric "Build" event. While 
Microsoft announced a few more welcome additions to its free software 
output, it missed the opportunity to demonstrate a real commitment to 
user freedom by upcycling its recently abandoned Windows 7 operating 
system under a free software license.

A new way to enjoy LibrePlanet 2020 sessions: Podcast format
 From May 8th

Looking for some audio entertainment to get you through a slow 
afternoon, or to accompany you on a walk through the park? LibrePlanet 
2020: Free the Future sessions are now available as audio files! We 
have uploaded them in conjunction with an RSS feed you can import into 
your favorite podcasting app or RSS reader, enabling you to discover 
new talks and catch all of the ones that you might have missed using a 
free podcast app like AntennaPod via Android, or gPodder, if you are on 
your desktop computer.

FSFE nudges emergency ventilator project towards a free software license
 From May 14th by Nico Rikken

After a nudge by the FSFE, the Dutch OpenAIR initiative has provided 
licenses on their material to support reuse.

In the Netherlands, the OperationAIR initiative was started to cope 
with COVID-19 by developing an easily producible emergency ventilator 
for which parts could mainly be sourced locally. This project was 
started on March 16 by Professor Jaap Harlaar and students of the 
Department of BioMechanical Engineering of Delft Technical University 
in order to ensure enough ventilator capacity for treating COVID-19 
patients. The team intended their design to be publicly available for 
reuse. All documentation, technical design, and source code was 
published in a coherent fashion on their Web site.

Apple whistleblower goes public over "lack of action"
 From May 20th by Alex Hern

A former Apple contractor who helped blow the whistle on the 
company’s program to listen to users’ Siri recordings has decided 
to go public, in protest at the lack of action taken as a result of the 

In a letter announcing his decision, sent to all European data 
protection regulators, Thomas le Bonniec said: “It is worrying that 
Apple (and undoubtedly not just Apple) keeps ignoring and violating 
fundamental rights and continues their massive collection of data."

“I am extremely concerned that big tech companies are basically 
wiretapping entire populations despite European citizens being told the 
EU has one of the strongest data protection laws in the world. Passing 
a law is not good enough: it needs to be enforced upon privacy 

Continual, flagrant privacy violations are far from the only reason to 
avoid Apple products: read more about how Apple routinely tramples user 
rights at 

Introducing Amin Bandali, intern with the FSF tech team
 From May 29th

Hi there, I'm Amin Bandali, often just bandali on the interwebs. I wear 
a few different hats around GNU as a maintainer, Web master, and 
Savannah hacker, and I'm very excited to be extending that to the Free 
Software Foundation (FSF) as an intern with the FSF tech team for 
spring 2020.

Patent case against GNOME resolved (and more GNOME news)
 From May 20th by the GNOME Foundation

The GNOME Foundation, Rothschild Patent Imaging, and Leigh M. 
Rothschild are pleased to announce that the patent dispute between 
Rothschild Patent Imaging and GNOME has been settled.

In this walk-away settlement, GNOME receives a release and covenant not 
to be sued for any patent held by Rothschild Patent Imaging. Further, 
both Rothschild Patent Imaging and Leigh Rothschild are granting a 
release and covenant to any software that is released under an existing 
Open Source Initiative approved license (and subsequent versions 
thereof), including for the entire Rothschild portfolio of patents, to 
the extent such software forms a material part of the infringement 

Neil McGovern, executive director for the GNOME Foundation said 
“I’m exceptionally pleased that we have concluded this case. This 
will allow us to refocus our attention on creating a free software 
desktop, and will ensure certainty for all [free] software in [the] 

It's been a big few months for GNOME, and there are several exciting 
initiatives afoot, including funding for a new campaign in Africa. 
GNOME also welcomed their Google Summer of Code students, including 
Free Software Award winner Clarissa Borges.

MediaGoblin 0.10.0 released
 From May 1st by Ben Sturmfels

We’re pleased to announce the release of MediaGoblin 0.10.0! It’s 
been a while between releases for MediaGoblin, but work has continued 
steadily. Highlights of this release include a new plugin for 
displaying video subtitles and support for transcoding and displaying 
video in multiple resolutions. There have also been a large number of 
smaller improvements and bug fixes which are listed in the release 

After enabling the new subtitles plugin, you can upload and edit 
captions for your videos. Multiple subtitle tracks are supported, such 
as for different languages. This feature was added by Saksham Agrawal 
during Google Summer of Code 2016 and mentored by Boris Bobrov. The 
feature has been available for some time on the master branch, but it 
definitely deserves a mention for this release.

Introducing Inkscape 1.0
 From May 4th by the Inkscape team

After a little over three years in development, the team is excited to 
launch the long awaited Inkscape 1.0 into the world. This 
volunteer-built free software vector editor is used and recommended by 
the FSF.

Built with the power of a team of volunteers, Inkscape represents the 
work of many hearts and hands from around the world, ensuring that it 
remains available free for everyone to download and enjoy. In fact, 
translations for over 20 out of all 88 languages were updated for 
version 1.0, making the software more accessible to people from all 
over the world.

A major milestone was achieved in enabling Inkscape to use a more 
recent version of the software used to build the editor's user 
interface (namely GTK+3). Users with HiDPI (high resolution) screens 
can thank teamwork that took place during the 2018 Boston Hackfest for 
setting the updated-GTK wheels in motion.

This free software collective is taking Malayalam computing to the next 
 From May 6th by Azmia Riaz

Swathanthra Malayalam Computing (SMC) is a free software collective in 
India that was created with the intention of enabling the use of 
Malayalam script in computers and mobile devices. Set up in 2002 by 
Byju Muthukadan, a graduate of NIT Calicut, it espouses the ideology of 
the FSF. The idea is not to simply make software free of cost, but also 
to uphold the freedom behind how the language is incorporated into 
technological devices. And SMC wants the community of Malayalam 
speakers involved in the solution. (Malayalam is one of 22 scheduled 
languages of India, spoken by nearly 2.88% of Indians; it is also 
spoken by linguistic minorities in neighboring states.)

GCC 10.1 released
 From May 7th by GCC

The GNU Project and the GCC developers are pleased to announce the 
release of GCC 10.1.

This is a major release, containing new features (as well as many other 
improvements) relative to GCC 9.x.

GCC is one of the oldest programs in the GNU operating system, having 
released its first version more than 33 years ago.

SeaGL going virtual due to COVID-19 aka novel coronavirus
 From June 1st by SeaGL organizers

We have made the exciting decision to take SeaGL entirely virtual. We 
are happy to follow in the footsteps of other terrific open source 
conferences who also want to keep our communities together during this 
time. The coronavirus has outlasted early predictions, so we are taking 
steps to ensure the longevity of SeaGL as a community in the event that 
we are still (or again) under shelter-in-place orders or need to avoid 
gatherings. The conference will be held online on November 13-14, 2020.

HOPE 2020 will be an online event: Call for sessions open
 From May 19th by HOPE organizers

The 2020 Hackers On Planet Earth conference (HOPE) will take place 
online from July 25 through August 2, 2020. Hackers from around the 
world will convene virtually for nine days of online presentations, 
workshops, collaboration, and entertainment.

Health risks in 2020 make large gatherings and travel impractical for 
attendees. Simultaneously, there is tremendous need for the creativity 
and skill that hackers offer. HOPE 2020 will showcase the efforts 
hackers are making to seek solutions to today's biggest challenges.

Shifting to an entirely online format means HOPE attendees from around 
the world will convene from wherever they are to experience the same 
types of great presentations and workshops that HOPE is known for. This 
is a different way of doing things, and the HOPE community will be 
there to help presenters do a good job.

Check out the link below to find out how to submit a talk!

May GNU Emacs news
 From May 25th by Sacha Chua

In these issues: the state of Emacs Lisp on Guile; GNU Emacs raison 
d'etre; analyzing data science code with R and Emacs; and more!

2020-05-25 2020-05-18 2020-05-11 2020-05-04
Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory
Tens of thousands of people visit directory.fsf.org each month to 
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Every month on the LibrePlanet wiki, we highlight one resource that is 
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For this month, we are highlighting the Activism Guide, which is a 
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Do you have a suggestion for next month's featured resource? Let us 
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GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: 12 new GNU releases!
12 new GNU releases in the last month (as of May 26, 2020):

bison-3.6.2 denemo-2.4.0 emms-5.4 freeipmi-1.6.5 gcc-10.1.0 gdb-9.2 
gnuastro-0.12 gnuhealth-3.6.4 mediagoblin-0.10.0 nano-4.9.3 nettle-3.6 
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 from 
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