I'm Matt Lee, Campaigns Manager at the Free Software Foundation. Here
with another month of news from the world of GNU and the FSF.
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In this issue:
- Why free software and Apple's iPhone don't mix
- Play Ogg!
- Pizza Party for friends of the FSF in San Francisco
- Portland associate membership meeting recap
- Give Apple the iPhone Challenge
- Help defeat Microsoft's OOXML format!
- Atheros releases free software wireless driver
- Yahoo Music -- the bad dream of DRM continues
- GNU spotlight with Karl Berry
- Richard Stallman's speaking schedule
- Take action!
Why free software and Apple's iPhone don't mix
This is the second in a series of articles detailing threats Apple's
iPhone poses to free software and user freedom.
For many years, we have been suffering from Microsoft's PC
platform that has allowed Microsoft to inflict untold harm on computer
users and the computing industry. The free software community has been
working for many years to give people an opportunity to escape to
GNU/Linux from Windows, but the iPhone would allow no such escape
route. We will be treating this new proprietary platform as another
threat to user and developer freedom, in the same way that we have
worked to counter the threats posed by every other proprietary
operating system, from Microsoft Windows in all its forms, to Apple's
OS X and other proprietary Unix variants.
Are you fed up with seeing new gadgets that only use incompatible and
restrictive audio and video formats? Did you know that it's not a lack
of technological know-how that causes this, but software patents and
other legal restrictions?
Increasingly proprietary software companies like Microsoft, Apple and
Adobe are pushing video and audio formats that restrict access and
restrict software developers, but there is an alternative that can be
played on all computers without restriction — Ogg.
Pizza Party for friends of the FSF in San Francisco
The Free Software Foundation is hosting a pizza party for FSF members
software supporters in San Francisco on August 5th between 6:30PM and
Richard Stallman will be attending.
Portland associate membership meeting recap
Fifty FSF members and free software activists gathered at a haunted
pizza palace in downtown Portland. After we got a chance to catch up
with each other or meet for the first time, we settled down to hear
what's happening at the FSF.
Joshua Gay, one of the FSF's campaigns managers, talked about some of
the campaign actions we've been working on lately.
Give Apple the iPhone Challenge
Defective by Design organized people around the world to make
their local Apple Store "Genius Bar" to ask questions in person about
has flip-flopped on DRM with release of its iPhone.
Help defeat Microsoft's OOXML format!
The OOXML fight continues: here's one way you can help.
The fight against the adoption of OOXML as an ISO standard is
continuing in many countries. In the UK the UK Unix & Open Systems
User Group (UKUUG) unsuccessfully sought a judicial review of the
British Standards Institute's decision to vote yes. UKUUG are now
seeking to appeal against that rejection of a review and you can help
Atheros releases free software wireless driver
Atheros Communications has announced the release of free software
wireless drivers for ath9k. The ath9k driver requires no proprietary
binary blobs and works on several chipsets and over a dozen wireless
"This increased support of wireless drivers by Atheros is a major
toward our vision of a laptop that runs only free software and that
boots on top of a free BIOS," says Peter Brown, executive director of
Yahoo Music -- the bad dream of DRM continues
Yahoo! has announced that its music store will be going offline
end of September, taking with it the authorization keys for any music
purchased. This appears to be something of a trend lately, with
Microsoft announcing similar plans, only to go back on its original
plans a few days later.
While CNET is now reporting that customers will be offered refunds or
DRM-free downloads, the issue of the dangers posed by Digital
Restrictions Management should not be forgotten.
GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry
Notable GNU releases for July 2008 include icecat, the GNU web
based on Firefox 3; it includes privacy features and other fixes, as
well as completely supporting free software. Precompiled
binaries for GNU/Linux are available. See
The complete list:
GNUnet-0.8.0a aeneas-1.2 archimedes-0.8.0 aspell6-mn-0.06-2
aspell6-pt_BR-20080707-0 cgicc-3.2.7 clisp-2.46
gnunet-gtk-0.8.0a gnusound-0.7.5 guile-clutter-0.8.0
icecat-3.0.1-g1 libextractor-0.5.20c libsrcinst-2.5
mifluz-0.24.0 plotutils-2.5.1 shtool-2.0.8
sipwitch-0.2.6 source-highlight-2.10 sourceinstall-2.5
sovix-0.0.1.5 tramp-2.1.14 ucommon-1.9.5
See the packages' announcements, web pages
(http://www.gnu.org/software/PKGNAME) or the distributions themselves
for details. Nearly all are available from http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/, or
preferably one of the mirrors: http://www.gnu.org/prep/ftp.html.
To get announcements of most new GNU packages, subscribe to the
mailing list (http://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/info-gnu),
publicly archived (http://lists.gnu.org/pipermail/info-gnu).
Several GNU packages are looking for maintainers.
Please see http://www.gnu.org/server/takeaction.html#unmaint.
Finally, I'd like to give a warm thanks to the other newly-dubbed GNU
maintainers this month: Giuseppe Scrivano (myserver), Micah Cowan (teseq
and screen), and Sergey Poznyakoff (dico). They all already maintain
other GNU packages, so double thanks.
Please feel free to write to me, firstname.lastname@example.org, with any GNUish
questions or suggestions for future installments.
Richard Stallman's speaking schedule and other FSF speeches
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
I'm an FSF member -- Help us support software freedom!
The FSF is also always looking for volunteers
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
and take action on software patents,
DRM, Vista, OpenDocument, RIAA and more.
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Copyright © 2008 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
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