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“Join us now” … at SHA2017

Summary: For the good vibe, we are planning another round of Free Software song sing-along-sessions at the FSFE village during SHA-camp in August this year. Thanks to Benjamin Wand we even run a project to bring together a choir that performs on stage and engages the audience to do a public crowdsinging. Read the details in this post, spread the word and join us!
Also read about the other projects and the current status of the FSFE village at the end of this post.

If you have been at the FSFE assembly at 33C3 or the year before, you may have seen or even took part in one of our multiple Free Software Song sing-along-sessions. People gathering at our assembly, bringing instruments, singing together and share their love for Free Software.

“Join us now and share the software. You’ll be free, Hackers!”
Because of this good adoption, we are already planning similar sessions at the FSFE village during SHA-camp in August this year. And we will go one step ahead.

Benjamin Wand was so inspired by our sing-along-sessions during 33C3 to compose a full set of music notation for a choir to sing the Free Software song in four voices. At SHA we like to give it a try and start a project to bring together a choir who performs the Free Software song. We reach out to other assemblies to get a stage and a momentum for this. It’s a 2h workshop and a potential live act. This is your chance: Join us now and sing out your love for Free Software!

In preparation you find Benjamin’s music sheet on imslp and on musescore where you can even listen to it. Please find all the other details and updates on the dedicated project page inside the SHA-wiki.

And now to something completely different

We are still preparing our village at SHA-camp to offer you an exciting and inspiring location, dipped into the mindset of Free Software. Our international team is always up for a short or a long talk and sharing knowledge. We will bring the latest promotion material and offer you the ultimate Free Software challenge.

On day 4, I will speak about How to make use of democratic elections for your own purpose. We also love to self-organize more sessions and reach out to other assemblies to make it happen. If you have some place for us or you are affiliated with the FSFE and like to give a talk/session, then contact us and we might be able to organise it.

In any case, it is worth to check our FSFE village page from time to time for updates.

Google, Autocomplete and “the Germans”

Last night I used Big Google to look for information about Germans and I found it was thrilling to see how variable Google’s Autocomplete feature fills up in different languages if you ask: “Why are there so many Germans … ?”

As I understand, Google’s Autocomplete is using an algorithm that in particular take notes of former search inquiries and offers you the three to four mostly used completions of your sentence. If this is the case, you can see what prejudices seem to exist or are partly reflected in the Autocomplete. Try it yourself and do not write the whole question to the end, just stop after the three first letters of “Germans” in your language.

Here are results based on languages, I know:

English
Well, looks like the English-speaking people hold Germans in high regards. If you ask Google “Why are there so many ger” it will try to autocomplete with German composers, philosophers and scientists:

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Free Software Ergo Sum

Today is “I love Free Software”-day and I made some graphics to say thank you to everyone in and around Free Software. All pictures CC0.

If Rene Descartes would think about the secure foundation of knowledge in the digital communication, then this must be in Free Software. “Free Software Ergo Sum”.

Oil on Canvas:

René Descartes (1596 – 1650)

Sticker:

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Worked for us: Thank you 33C3

Summary: A report of the FSFE assembly and activity during the 33rd edition of the Chaos Communication Congress (CCC), in short “33C3”. It is mainly a visual report along some pictures.

I am happy to see our assembly growing every year and having the possibility to bring our message of Software Freedom to the people at the Chaos Communication Congress (CCC) is priceless. The CCC is Germany’s biggest annual meetup of hackers and political activists that share knowledge concerning the most burning issues in the Internet like data retention and data leeches, hatespeech, whistleblowing or space travel.

What started a few years ago with a single table, some leaflets, Dominic, Eike and me, now has grown into an assembly with 12 members and 21 sessions in three days. Being the host for likeminded organisations, host of noGame and offering workshops, workspace, get together, Free-Software-Song sing-along sessions …

But, as promised in the summary, I will let some pictures speak from here on. If you are interested in more information about our sessions, people and content, get it at the FSFE assembly’s 33c3-wiki-page.

FSFE’s assembly:

CCH turned into CCC

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Push Free Software and Open Science for Horizon2020

Summary: please help us to get the idea about the importance of Free Software as a condition for Open Science into the mind of stakeholders and decision-takers of the Horizon2020 program. You can do so by participating in the interim evaluation and re-using FSFE’s position paper.

What came to my mind the first times that I read “Open Science” was that this term should not be necessary in the first place. In common understanding as well as in its self-conception, “openness” is the elementary part of all science. “Openness” in a sense that all scientific results shall be published publicly along with experimental settings, methods and anything else that leads to their results. It is exactly this approach that – in theory – gives everyone the chance to reproduce the experiment and get to the same results.

But although this approach of openness might still be the noble objective of any scientist, the general idea of a publicly available science is called into question since at least the de-facto domination of publishers over science journals and the creation of a profit-oriented market-design. It cannot be the point of this blogpost to roll out the problematic situation in that nowadays the consumers and the content creators both have to pay publishers for overpriced science journals, financed with public money. Instead, at this point, most important is that these high prices are contrary to the idea of universal access to science as they give access only to those who can afford it.

Send and receive Open Science?

Fortunately, Open Access came up to do something about this problem. Similar to Free Software, Open Access uses free licenses to offer access to science publications to everyone around the globe. That is why Open Access is an important step towards the universal access of science. Unfortunately, in a digital world, Open Access is just one of many tools that we have to use to achieve an Open Science. Equally important is the format and software that is used. Also, Open Access only covers the final publication and misses to cover the steps that lead to there. This is where Open Science steps in.

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Localizing our noCloud slogan

there is noCloud

At FSFE we have been asked many times to come up with translations of our popular “There is no CLOUD, just other’s peoples computers” slogan. This week we started the localization by asking our translator team and have been very surprised to see they already come up with translations in 16 different languages.

In addition, our current trainee Olga Gkotsopoulou and asked her international network and we asked on twitter for additional translations. And, what can I say? crowdsourcing seldom felt so appealing. In two hours we got 8 more translations and after 24 hours we already had 30 translations.

The quickness in that we got so many translations shows us that the slogan is indeed at the pulse of time. People are happy to translate it because they love to send this message out. At the time of writing we now have 36 translations and two dialects on our wiki-page:

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What do political parties in Berlin think about Internet policy issues?

Grumpy Cat builds a GNU Internet (9693327611) This post is for those who who are allowed to vote for the “Abgeordnetenhaus” next Sunday, September 18, but do not speak German and therefore have no clear idea about the different political parties and what they stand for. If you are interested in Internet policy issues, however, I translated the content of a press release by the “Koalition Freies Wissen” (means the coalition of free knowledge) for you, to help you choosing your favorite party.

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10 years of my first Wikipedia article

Today, 10 years ago, I made my first substantial edits into Wikipedia about documentary photography (“Dokumentarfotografie”). It was the same day I started for the first time an article from scratch, about the large passion (“Die große Passion”) by Albrecht Dürer. Looking into the version history of these articles today is interesting from a biographical point of view but also from a technological one.

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Looking back on the first ever FSFE summit

At your service
At your service

Last weekend, September 2nd to 4th, we organised the first ever FSFE summit to bring together our pan-European community and Fellows for a whole weekend. A conference as a gathering, with the potential to build bridges and band together.

The FSFE summit was part of the QtCon, an event where people from different communities – Qt, KDAB, KDE, VLC – and our friends and community from the FSFE came together under one roof to get in contact with each other, to share skills and knowledge. All of this in a welcoming environment that offered a lot of space for all of us.
Looking back, one of the greatest things to hear, multiple times, was about people who came for the FSFE summit and then went to a technical talk about Qt or KDE once in a while. And about Qt developers that came and said it is great to have the chance to hear a political talk and they were joining the FSFE summit from time to time. Mixing our different communities and sharing expertise rarely seemed so easy. Two of FSFE’s local heroes turned out to be KDE contributors, just like one of our current community representatives, Mirko Böhm. Many VLC contributors were joining the FSFE 15 years party and so many stories more that have to be told.
Our initial plan, to bring our communities together at the same event and under one roof, turned out to be happily accepted by the communities and visitors of QtCon. Thanks for everyone who made this event possible, the countless volunteers and the participants. Seeing all of you bringing this event to life was fantastic.

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“Show Europe” and other specialties at the first FSFE summit

With just eight days left, the FSFE summit is very close. This week, we finalized the schedule and herewith I like to point out some specialties of our program and recall the initial idea behind the summit.
FSFE summit header
Let’s go back to the beginning of our thoughts: Initially, the idea of organizing a FSFE summit was to organize for the first time a main event that brings together FSFE members, friends and supporters from all over Europe. It should be free to attend, open to topics and nice to be at. Then, like a coincidence, just some weeks later we were invited to join the QtCon and since then we have been more than happy for this generous offer.
Being part of the QtCon for the FSFE is kind of symbolically as well. It is our chance to be part of a setting in that the FSFE summit is an integral part of a bigger event. An event, that includes four other communities and, with KDE and VLC, two prominent Free Software solutions. Such a setting feels in a way like the offline-realization of how the FSFE feels about its general and political role: an organisation that is deeply embedded inside the Free Software movement.

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