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:
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:
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The FSFE summit, as part of the QtCon, is in need of volunteers. Make your mark and be part of the QtCon-team to facilitate the overall conference experience for everyone. There are interesting positions available and after all you will receive a t-shirt and it is said to receive some good karma.
If you are unsure, what to expect behind a task, you get some more description, when you click on a task.
After signing up, you can fill your account with some details and self-select the tasks you like to help us with. The system will count each commitment, so other volunteers can easily see where there is still need for contribution and which tasks are already taken. Also, you can have an overview of the tasks that you have assigned to you.
In the time of writing, most tasks still lack a lot of volunteers. Please consider contributing and make it yourself an extraordinary experience by becoming part of the QtCon team.