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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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FSFE summit: Call for Volunteers

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.

qtcon-volunteer-overviewVolunteering is easy: You simply need to sign up inside QtCon’s volunteer-portal to self-select your contribution. There are various tasks available:

  • Booth staff
  • Registration
  • Runner
  • Session Chair/Moderator
  • Video Operator

If you are unsure, what to expect behind a task, you get some more description, when you click on a task.

qtcon-volunteer-personal-viewAfter 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.

FSFE summit: Call for Participation – Poster Session

wanted-poster-session-1200 QtCon is the event that brings together five different communities in one place to share and collaborate and the FSFE summit will be one part of it. In the same spirit, we are happy to announce the possibility for other projects or organisations, to present themselves during QtCon in a so called “poster session”. We are looking for personal, smaller and/or non-commercial projects that are Free Software or related and in the spirit of openness and freedom.

On Friday evening, September 2nd, beginning around dinner time, we offer and set up a dedicated space close to the dining area, where chosen projects are invited to present themselves or a contemporary project. This is your chance to reach out for new audiences, contributors or donors. Unfortunately, due to space limitations, we can only offer this opportunity for up to ten different “posters”. If you like to be one of them, please apply by writing to team@qtcon.org and use the tag [poster].

Please be aware that space is limited: Each presenter will just have space to hang up one poster/banner or to put one roll-up with a maximum size of A0 paper size (841 × 1189 mm, upright). Additionally, there will be one standing table in front of each poster, that can be used to put some leaflets or other printouts. Each poster/project is only allowed to be presented by one person.

Deadline to apply is August 24.

Disclaimer: This is a copy of our announcement on qtcon.org