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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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Lerne ein Werkzeug für Freie Software kennen: FragDenStaat.de

Heute in einer Woche beginnt der Chaos Communication Congress (33C3) und die FSFE-Assembly bietet dir dieses Jahr 21 Sessions. Darunter ist auch Arne Semsrott von der Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland, der dort das Portal FragDenStaat.de betreut und an unserer Assembly einen Informationsfreiheits-Workshop für Einsteiger anbietet.

Wie auf dem FSFE summit dieses Jahr vorgestellt, planen wir in etwa Mitte nächsten Jahres die Kampagne “Public Money – Public Code” zu starten. Wie Katharina Nocun auf dem Summit erklärt, steckt Im Kern der Kampagne die Forderung, dass mit öffentlichen Geldern finanzierte Software(-entwicklungen) wiederum der Öffentlichkeit zur Verfügung gestellt werden.

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Upcycling von Software? Ein paar Gedanken.

Auf der OpenRheinRuhr bin ich mit Frank Lanitz und Wolfgang Romey zusammen gekommen um über verschiedene Aspekte der Nachhaltigkeit von IT und Software zu diskutieren. Frank hat uns zusammengebracht, weil im Eigenbaukombinat in Halle eine Informationsreihe zum Thema Upcycling geplant ist. In diesem Rahmen fragten wir uns ob es eigentlich ein upcycling von Software gibt? Was könnte man darunter verstehen?

Nehmen wir mal die laut Wikipedia erste Definition von upcycling zur Grundlage:

“‚Recycling‘, sagte er, ‚ich nenne es Down-cycling. Sie schlagen Steine kaputt, sie schlagen alles kaputt. Was wir brauchen, ist Up-cycling, bei dem alte Produkte einen höheren Wert erhalten, keinen geringeren.”

Es geht also darum ein gefertigtes Produkt in einer Weise zu verändern, dass es einen “höheren Wert” erhält, folglich geht es darum ein existierendes, in die Jahre gekommenes, Produkt nochmals aufzuwerten, zu verbessern.

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Die neue Berliner Koalition und Freie Software: Zwei Schritte vor, einer fehlt noch

Vertrag steht: Rot-Rot-Grün in Berlin - CC0 via pixabay
Vertrag steht: Rot-Rot-Grün in Berlin – CC0 via pixabay
Berlin hat seit bald zwei Wochen seinen ersten Rot-Rot-Grünen Koalitionsvertrag. Als Bundeshauptstadt und als ein Motor der deutschen digitalen Wirtschaft kommt dieser Regierung zugleich eine bundesweite Bedeutung zu. Das nun entstandene Werk ist durchaus Freie Software freundlich und fortschrittlich. Obwohl die vielleicht weitreichendste Entscheidung leider keinen Eingang gefunden hat: Eine Gesetzesänderung, die fortan verpflichten würde, von öffentlichen Geldern finanzierte Software unter einer Freien Lizenz zu veröffentlichen. Im folgenden eine Analyse des Vertrages unter dem Blickwinkel der Förderung und Verwendung Freier Software.

Text zu lang? Spring zum Resümee

Inhaltsverzeichnis:
Förderung Freier Software
Eigenentwicklung Freier Software
Wirtschaft
Bildung und OER
Wissenschaft und Open Access
Resümee

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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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Call for sessions at the FSFE assembly during 33C3

FSFE assembly during 32C3
FSFE assembly during 32C3
Every year, from December 27 to 30, there is the Chaos Communication Congress. And, as in recent years, 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. We are happy to organise sessions in the name of our assembly and we will book proper rooms or offer our assembly itself. Sessions can be inspiring talks, hands-on workshops, community/developer/strategy meetings or any other public, informative or collaborative activity.

Topics can be anything that is about or related to Free Software. We welcome technical sessions but we also encourage to give non-technical talks that address philosophical, economical or other aspects of/about Free Software. We also like sessions about related subjects that have a clear connection to Free Software for example privacy, data protection, sustainability and similar topics. Finally, we welcome all backgrounds – from your private project to global community projects.

You have something different in mind? For our friends, it is also possible to have informal meetings or activities at our assembly. In this case, get in contact with me and we figure it out.

Formalities

Michał Woźniak hosts a session about Freedom in social networks during 32C3
Michał Woźniak hosts a session about Freedom in social networks during 32C3

If you are interested in hosting a session at the FSFE assembly, please apply no later than

* Sunday, November 20, 18:00 UTC *

by sending an email to me (eal at fsfe dot org) with the subject “Session at 33C3” and use the following template:

Title: name of your session
Description: description of your session
Type: talk / discussion / meeting / workshop …
Tags: put useful tags here
Link: (if there is a helpful link)
Expected number of participants: 20 or less / up to 40 / up to 100
About yourself: some words about you/your biography

You will be informed latest on Wednesday, November 23, if your session is accepted.

Good to know

  • 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 : )
    But this is neither a guarantee for a ticket nor do we take care of your ticket! Check this CCC-announcement and get yourself a ticket in time. If you miss it, there is nothing we can do, even if we accepted your talk.
  • You do not need to be a Fellow of FSFE to host a session.
  • Please share this call with your friends or your favorite mailing list.
  • Related information: Our Sessions in 2015, during 32C3

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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