Skip to content

English Planet

Free Software Events in Europe in 2018

Recently, I asked our community to share those upcoming events (conferences / global action days / anything) in 2018 that are or should be in interested for the FSFE community. We now did put all these events in the FSFE-wiki-calendar, to help our community to organise activities (like a booth, talks, meet-ups…) around these events. As an overview, I publish the list of all these events so far in this blogpost.

If you know a Free Software and Open Source Software related event in Europe, happening in 2018, that is not yet listed here but that you think is in interest to the FSFE community, please leave it in this pad or contact me directly. All valid events will be imported from here into our wiki calendar.

Valid events do not need to be a conference, they can be install fests or other activities. But to be in interest for our community, they have to be for the general public and happen in Europe.


Read More →

How to batch geotag your photos using Free Software and OpenStreetMap

If you like shooting and collecting pictures, you might be interested in geotagging your pictures. More and more software can use such geospatial metadata information for categorizing and visualizing these pictures, for example in an interactive map. Today, on I love Free Software day, I show you a way how to batch geotag your pictures with OpenStreetMap and Free Software only.

Geospatial metadata, together with time-stamps, seem to me to be the most important meta-information a picture can have. It is extremely helpful in organizing pictures, for example to cluster pictures that have been taken at the same location but at different times. Personally, I always need this data whenever I upload my pictures to Wikimedia Commons, as it asks me during the process about the geolocation of these pictures. Before, each time I had to look up the data individually on OpenStreetMap and fill in the information manually. Pretty fast, I got bored of this and I was looking for a way to write this information automatically into my pictures even before uploading.

One solution to this is a GPS-recorder built-in or attached to the camera. Unfortunately, very few cameras come with a GPS-recorder built-in and additional GPS-modules are a way too expensive for most hobby enthusiasts. Fortunately, there are software-solutions, that enable you to use just any other device which is able to capture GPS-tracks and then later merge this recorded geo-information with your pictures taken.

For sure, there are multiple ways to do this. In this blogpost, I will show you how you can do this with a smarthphone, OpenStreetMap and Free Software. All you need is:

Read More →

FSFE Assembly at 34C3: Wir taten was

In December 2017, the Chaos Communication Congress moved for the first time onto the Messegelände Leipzig. The FSFE came along and as in recent years, our assembly attracted a lot of visitors. Together with EDRi, for the first time we have been setting up a cluster called “Rights & Freedoms” with our own stage for multiple sessions. Although there have been some organisational issues, this Cluster was a big success and during three days, it has been visited by thousands of people.

I am happy to see the FSFE assembly again growing every year and having the possibility to bring our message of Software Freedom to the people at the Chaos Communication Congress. The CCC is Germany’s biggest annual meetup of hackers and political activists and is “considered one of the largest events of this kind, alongside the DEF CON in Las Vegas” (wikipedia).

FSFE assembly by day

Read More →

Free Software Assembly Europe at the 34C3 Chaos Communication Congress

This year, the assembly of the Free Software Foundation Europe will be integral part of the Cluster Rights & Freedoms. The cluster is formed together with our friends and other civil society organizations. During 4 days the FSFE will offer a public space for and by our members, friends and supporters to discuss, meet, hack and organise. Find an overview of our sessions and other specialties in this blog post. Always find the latest updates on our dedicated FSFE-assembly-page. Let’s put the hacking back into politics!


Location of the FSFE Assembly during 34C3 in Saal3 in the CCL.

The Congress Center Leipzig is huge! You will find our assembly in the Cluster Rights & Freedoms. The cluster itself is filling Saal 3 / Hall 3, which is split half/half into the stage area and the assembly area. You find the FSFE assembly in the assembly area.

On the right side you see a supervision of the cluster with the stage on top and the fsfe-assembly on bottom-left.

Saal 3 / Hall 3 is in the CCL-building, which is the “small” building on top-left in this graphic. In a side view, Saal 3 is on top right of the CCL-building.

Our sessions:

Please note that all sessions will happen on the stage in the Rights&Freedoms-Cluster in Saal 3 in the CCL-building (see above to find the location), except the Free Software song sing-along-sessions that will happen directly at the FSFE assembly and the workshops that happen in dedicated workshop-rooms.

Do not forget to check the the 34C3-wiki page for details and the latest updates!

Read More →

Report about the FSFE Community Meeting 2017

Two weeks ago we had our first general community meeting as an opportunity for all people engaged inside FSFE to come together, share knowledge, grow projects, hack, discuss and get active. Integral part and topic of the meeting was knowledge sharing of FSFE related tools and processes. Find some notes and pictures in this report.

For the first time, we we merging our annual German speaking team meeting this year with the bi-annual coordinators meeting into one bigger meeting for all active people of the FSFE community. Active people in this context means that invited was any member of any team, be it a local or topical one. All together, we met on the weekend of November 25 and 26 at Endocode, Berlin.

Integral part and topic of the meeting was knowledge sharing of FSFE related tools and processes. For this, we have had several slots in the agenda in that participants had the possibility to self-host a knowledge- or tool-sharing session that they are interested in. Or one in that they are an expert in and they like to share their knowledge. In a next step everyone could mark his own interest in the proposed sessions and based on that we arranged the agenda.

Participants of the FSFE community meeting 2017

Read More →

Call for sessions at the FSFE assembly during 34C3

From December 27 to 30, there will be the 34th Chaos Communication Congress happening in Leipzig. As in recent years, the FSFE is happy to host an assembly that includes an information booth, self-organised sessions and a meeting point for all friends of Free Software to come together, share or simply relax. This is our call for participation.

Free Software song sing-along at the FSFE-assembly during 33C3

With the CCC moving from Hamburg to Leipzig, there are not only logistic changes to be done but also some organisational changes. We are still figuring out the details, but in the context of this call, one of the major changes will be the loss of free available rooms to book for self-organised sessions. Instead, assemblies that match with each other are asked to cluster around 1 of several stages and use that as a common stage for self-organized sessions together. To make the most of this situation, the FSFE will for the first time not join the Noisy Square this year but form a new neighbourhood with other freedom fighting NGOs – in particular with our friends from European Digital Rights. However, at this point of time, we do not yet have more information about the concrete or final arrangements.

Crowded room during What makes a secure mobile messenger? by Hannes Hauswedell, one of our sessions during 33C3.

Read More →

Free Software Village Europe at SHA 2017

Tonight, the FSFE team Netherlands will arrive at SHA2017 and set up a village for FSFE. SHA-camp is a non-profit hacker-camp in the the Netherlands, similar to the CCCamps in Germany. During 5 days the FSFE will offer a public space for and by our members, friends and supporters to discuss, meet, hack and organise. Find an overview of our sessions and other specialties in this blog post. Find all details and updates on our dedicated FSFE-village-page. Let’s put the hacking back into politics!

Our curated track:

FSFE assembly on CCCamp15
FSFE village at CCCamp15

Read More →

“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:

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:

Read More →

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)


Read More →