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My first impressions using Firefox OS 2.6

FirefoxOS - PR logo
Update: After feedback from the community I updated some information using quotes.

Thanks to @ensowhat, I am now taking part in Mozillas Foxfooding program with a Sony Xperia Z3 and Firefox OS 2.6 by Mozilla. While I am testing Firefox OS, I will share my experiences in dedicated blog posts.

Here is some general feedback after my first hours:

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FSFE assembly during Chaos Communication Congress #32C3

FSFE assembly on CCCamp15
FSFE assembly on CCCamp15
On December 27 to 30 there will be the 32nd Chaos Communication Congress happening in Hamburg, Germany. FSFE will be there with an assembly. This assembly will be a booth where you can pass by, have a chat, inform yourself or get some merchandise. And it will be a space for and by our Fellows, friends and supporters to meet, share and organise. There will be a bunch of self-organised sessions, mainly about specific Free Software projects, about encryption and decentralized, federated social networks. Also, check out our special activities: the Free Software song sing-along and the GNU/Burger. Finally, we will bring all kind of up-to-date information material and the latest merchandise, including our “NoCloud”-Shirt.

About our place:
We will offer an information booth with our promotion material and merchandise equipment. Behind that booth there will be some chairs and tables to meet and discuss. If you like to meet our community, staff and GA members, the FSFE assembly is the best place to do so.

It is planned every evening to have 2 hours of “GNU/Burger” – burgers with a GNU brand on top and a GNU FDL-licensed receipt. Pass by and use, study, share and improve it.

On the second day, on Monday 28.12., at 14:00 we will have a spontaneous Free Software song sing-along choir. Everyone is invited to help singing. If you like Free Software, then “join us now and share the so-o-ftware”

Self-organized sessions:
Below is a list of our self-organized sessions as is the state on 20 December 2015. Please check our assembly page for updated information

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#ECS21 – the campaign that did not happen

The economy of knowledge in the 21st century

Our economic and social development has always been based on the freedom to use, study, share and improve common knowledge and information. Since entering the digital era, the freedoms to access and use knowledge is strongly linked with the access to technology and software. Furthermore, access and use of our cultural heritage, economic development, as well as our social and political organisation, is increasingly based on technology and software. In the 21st century, access to software determines how we can participate in our society.

Read more …

This is the introduction text of a campaign I wanted to run for the upcoming General Elections in Spain, accompanied with some theory, how Free Software increases autonomy and helps to grow local economy. Following this background, in the very heart of the campaign there are some clear demands, a “Freedom Pact”, that should help to put theory into practice. Candidates that run for office can sign this Freedom Pact to show that they care and to promise to

  • promote the use of Free Software in all areas of public life, public administration, and public education
  • promote legislation to make Free Software the first choice in public procurement
  • promote policies in favour of Free Software and oppose policies that discriminate against it
  • ensure a legal requirement, that all software developed with public funds is released as Free Software, so other administrations, and the public, can benefit from it
  • promote the widest possible use of Open Standards in the public sector, as well as the publication and archiving of all public data and documents in formats based on Open Standards

The concept is in the family of other Ask Your Candidate campaigns like the European Free Software Pact or the Swiss FreedomVote.

01 eibarUnfortunately, the campaign never came alive and given that the elections will already happen in 4 weeks, the campaign will not get alive for the 2015 elections. However, I think the work that has been done is worth sharing and that is why I aset put a simple wp-page that includes the pact, the campaign texts and the translations we have done:

This way, I hope it inspires someone else in the wild to take it up and run a campaign, to share it, to talk about it or to simply do whatever you like. Everything public domain (CC0). The text is available in Spanish, Gallic, Catalan and English.

Finally, I especially like to thank Juan Antonio Zaratiegui Vallecillo for working on the multilanguage page that never went online, to Eukelade for the translations and for Asa Ritz for his contributions.


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Call for sessions at the FSFE assembly during 32C3

Spontaneous"Free your Android" session during 31C3
Spontaneous”Free your Android” session during 31C3

From December 27-30 2015, there will be the 32nd Chaos Communication Congress (32C3) in the Congress Center of Hamburg where FSFE is happy to host an “assembly”. Such assemblies are community organised spaces inside the congress and the FSFE assembly will offer an information booth, self-organised sessions as well as a sitting corner for all friends of Free Software to come together, meet or simply relax.

To foil the title of this years CCC (“Gated Communities”), we are delighted to offer our community some self-organised sessions at our assembly and we look forward to your contributions. Depending on your session they will either take place directly at our assembly or in a dedicated workshop room. These sessions can be hands-on workshops, inspiring talks, community or developer meetings or any other public activity.
Topics can be anything that is related to Free Software, from your private project to global communities. We welcome technical talks as well as we encourage to give non-technical talks to address philosophical, economical or other thoughts about Free Software. We also like sessions about related subjects with a clear connection to Free Software like privacy, data protection and alike.

If you are interested in hosting a session, please apply no later than
* Sunday, November 22, 18:00 UTC *

by sending an email to me ( with the subject “Session at 32C3” including a short description and/or slides that you like to use so we have a rough idea what your session is about.

If your session is accepted we happily take care of its proper organisation, publicity and everything else that needs to be done. You are then welcome to simply come and give/host your session : )

BTW: You do not need to be a Fellow of FSFE to host a session. Please feel free to share this message with your friends or your favorite mailing list.

New Palmyra

Palmyra was Syrias best known archeological site, influenced by ancient Greek, Roman and Persian arts and culture. Bassel Khartabil, Free Software developer, started with a 3d virtual reconstruction of Palmyra but is put in prison by the current regime of Assad. In recent months, Palmyra became known around the world due to its deconstruction by the Islamic state, ISIS.

Now the #NewPalmyra project was launched to “create a online community platform and data repository dedicated to the capture, preservation, sharing, and creative reuse of data about the ancient city of Palmyra”

The idea is to go on with Khartabils work, to give and use the power of the commons: “3D modelers, archaeologists, artists, curators, developers, educators, journalists, researchers, wikimedians and everyone else is invited to participate and the collected data will be released into the public domain under a Creative Commons Zero license at”.

I was lucky to visit Palmyra before the outbreak of the civil war. Now happy to share my pictures and geo locations with via Wikimedia Commons under CC0. Hopefully helps.

Funeral temple No 86, Palmyra

Columns and tombs in Palmyra

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I(ra)nternet – Internet censorship and sanctions in Iran

This is not an in-depth blog post about the internet censorship in Iran. If you look for that you find better stuff ‘out there’ or maybe start with the dedicated wikipedia page, instead. This is mere a simple story about my own experience, using the internet in Iran.

Recently I was in Iran for educational purposes (the thing other people call vacation). I directly came from Bucharest where I was at FSFE’s General Assembly and where I used Airbnb to find a proper accommodation. For those who do not know: Airbnb is a service that offers private accommodations, provided by local people. To prove reliability of the hosts, it comes with a built-in recommendation system. So I was in Iran now and I wanted to write a recommendation about my host in Bucharest inside Airbnb. But, when I tried to log in, I was facing this:

Airbnb as seen inside Iran

Own translation:

Why can I not use Airbnb from my location?
Airbnb has to keep to the law of the United States, that says that people of distinct countries are not allowed to use our service. That is why our service is not available in Cuba, Syria, Iran and Sudan.

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European Coordinators Meeting 2015

Last weekend, July 24-26, FSFE invited it’s coordinators all over Europe to the European Coordinators Meeting 2015 (ECM15) in the Unperfekthaus in Essen. Unfortunately, we had a bit less participation then in the previous edition due to some short-time cancellations. Fortunately, this did not spoil the good mood of all those present and we look back on a very exciting and productive coordinators meeting. In this post, find a report of our weekend.

participants of ECM15

Participants of the ECM15

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How I learned to love the IAU (update)

Ever wondered about the brilliance of the sky you’re looking at night?

Update: Thanks to Michal I realized that it is the International Astronomical Union (IAU) that is the “recognized authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies”. All NASA references have been changed accordingly. However, I still love the NASA for producing and offering royalty-free content.

This week, I encountered something that made me love the International Astronomical Union (IAU): “9882 Stallman”. A main-belt asteroid that is named after Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software movement, the GNU project, the GPL and much more. He, aehm, it was discovered on September 28, 1994.

But #RMS is not the only person who is the name-giving patron of an asteroid. So, I digged a bit deeper and found the IAU as friends and supporters of software freedom. In chronological order of their discovery, I also found “9965 GNU” (Discovered 1992-03-05), “9885 Linux” (Discovered 1994-10-12) and “9793 Torvalds” (Discovered 1996-01-16).

After all, I think this is a nice tribute to Free Software and its importance for the technological infrastructure everybody uses every day – including science, business, society as well as space discovery. And in contrast, I was not able to find any asteroid who is named after non-free software systems or prominent people out of the non-free software world: There is no Apple, no Windows, no Jobs, no Gates, no Ballmer, no Zuckerberg … Now, I love the outer space!
And I hope that other scientific areas also understand the importance of Free Software just as the IAU does.

Ah, maybe I missed some asteroids? In case you find any interesting name in their database that I do not list here, please leave a comment.

there is also “13926 Berners-Lee”. And his asteroid was discovered and named after him already on 2nd Dececember 1986. That’s visionary.

Free Software, local economy and its political realization

Last week, I was invited to talk for the “Concurso Universitario de Software Libre (CUSL)” in Zaragoza, Spain. The objective of this “concurso” is to promote the use and development of Free Software by organising an annual contest among various universities inside Spain. My objective was to get to know the contest and to use this occasion to promote the idea of a Free Software campaign for this years national elections in Spain.

When it comes to Free Software, Spain is different than many countries in Europe.

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The outcome is unpredictable but your contribution is priceless

Tomorrow is Document Freedom Day and this is the time when I am happy to see people around the world engaging on a local level to highlight the importance of Open Standards. All of them in their very own way and all of them together, spreading the word about document freedom. They do it although no one knows about the particular impact or outcome of their specific local activity to the big story. And no one can measure it. However, this impact can be really big. I know, because recently I was lucky to see such an effect. And today I like to share this story for your inspiration and motivation.

Since two months we have a new participant in our local FSFE group.

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