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October 13, 2015

Dozen of one, half dozen of the other: the 6th Google Code-in and 12th Google Summer of Code are on!

Since 2005, our Open Source Programs Office has enabled 11,000+ students, ranging in age from 13 to 56, to explore open source software development. They’ve worked hands-on with over 515 projects across a variety of disciplines.

If you’re a student looking to learn new coding skills that can help make a difference, check out our upcoming programs: Google Code-in for students 13-17 and Google Summer of Code for university students.

Google Code-in - Program starts for students December 7, 2015

For the sixth year in a row, Google Code-in will give 13-17 year old pre-university students an opportunity to dive in and explore the world of open source. Students with many different skills -- coders and non-coders alike -- will find opportunities to learn by doing and earn prizes. It’s easy to get started: just choose an interesting task from our participating organizations’ lists and complete it under the guidance of a mentor.

GCI-logo generic no border.pngGoogle Code-in is for students asking questions like:
  • What is open source?
  • What kinds of stuff do open source projects do?
  • How can I write real code when all I’ve done is a little classroom work?
  • Can I contribute even if I’m not really a coder?

With tasks in five different categories, there’s something to fit almost any student’s skills:
  • Code: writing or refactoring
  • Documentation/Training: creating/editing documents and helping others learn more
  • Outreach/research: community management, outreach/marketing, or studying problems and recommending solutions
  • Quality Assurance: testing and ensuring code is of high quality
  • User Interface: user experience research or user interface design and interaction
GCI 2014 Grand Prize Winners on the Google Campus

Over 2,200 students from 87 countries have taken part in Google Code-in, and we’re excited to welcome many more into this year’s edition. We’ll be announcing this year’s participating organizations on November 13th, so stay tuned.

Google Summer of Code - Student applications open on March 14, 2016
GSoC logos from the last 10 years
Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is an innovative program dedicated to introducing students from universities around the world to open source software development. The program offers student developers stipends to write code for a wide variety of carefully selected open source projects while under the guidance of mentors. Our goal is to help these students pursue academic challenges over the summer break while they create and release open source code for the benefit of all. Over the past 11 years, over 8,300 mentors and 8,500 student developers in 101 countries have produced a stunning 55 million lines of code.

500+ GSoC Students and Mentors

We’re proud to continue this tradition for another year: we’ll be welcoming another batch of students into Google Summer of Code 2016. We’ll be accepting applications from open source organizations in February and student applications from March 14 - 25, 2016 so it’s not too early to start thinking about proposals.

Spread the word to your friends and stay tuned for more details coming soon!

By Stephanie Taylor and Carol Smith, Open Source Programs Office

From the Foundation: Celebrating Ada Lovelace Day and an Update on Outreach

Today, October 13, is Ada Lovelace Day and we’re joining people around the globe in celebrating the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. There are a number of events taking place today. See here to find an event in your area.

In keeping with today’s celebration, we’d like to share more about the Foundation’s efforts to recruit more women to the Project. If you’ve attended any of the Foundation presentations over the last few months you’ve heard us talk about this, and we’re currently working with other members of the community to further these goals.

As we mentioned in our last newsletter, we sponsored and presented at WomENcourage 2015 in Uppsala, Sweden. The first day of the conference was a job fair, and we were the only open source project to participate. Even though this was a women in tech conference, there were many men who attended the conference too, and we had both women and men stop by our table to talk about opportunities in the FreeBSD Project. Though we weren’t there to offer jobs or internships, we did showcase how the FreeBSD Project offers great opportunities to gain job skills by working on a software project as a developer, coder, writer, administrator, and other areas that someone might want to get involved in. We focused on the fact that working on the Project allows you to work on what interests you; have great mentors to help you; find your own niche; and offers the opportunity for your work to be publicly available for companies to see.

The second day of the conference we were on a panel covering Careers in Open Source, All the panelists and the moderator were members of the FreeBSD community. We had a great turn out, and could have talked about the opportunities on an open source project way past our allotted hour. After our panel, we had a table in the conference hall, so people could stop and talk to us. Professors were interested in the FreeBSD curriculum and a few wanted to host FreeBSD events at their universities.

This week, we’ll be joining thousands of other women in computing at the Grace Hopper Conference in Houston, TX. I’ll be joined by former FreeBSD Google Summer of Code student, Shonali Balakrishna, who will help me introduce attendees to the Project and share with them her experiences and the benefits of being involved with this community.

In addition to attending conferences, we’re also working with Dru Lavigne and others in the community to create a FreeBSD Bootcamp aimed at introducing FreeBSD to young women ranging from middle school to college age. This follows on the heels of our first FreeBSD middle school class, currently being taught by Justin Gibbs and me in CO.

We’re very excited to take these first steps towards reaching our recruitment goals. We will continue to work with others (both women and men) within the Project and outlying communities to discover more areas for outreach, improvement, and growth to help make working on the Project a positive experience for everyone involved. Stay tuned for more updates from the Grace Hopper Conference as the week goes on.

Finally, thank you to everyone who has donated to the Foundation to help us move forward with our goals. Your support allows us to continue our mission to advocate for, improve on, and grow the FreeBSD Project.

Deb Goodkin,
Executive Director
FreeBSD Foundation

October 12, 2015

FSFE convinces 1125 public administrations to remove proprietary software advertisements

FSFE convinces 1125 public administrations to remove proprietary software advertisements

After six years of activity, the PDFreaders campaign is coming to a close this month as one of our most successful campaigns.

The campaign began in 2009 with the intent of removing advertisements for proprietary PDF reader software from public institutions' websites. To start it all off, volunteers submitted 2104 "bugs", or instances of proprietary PDF software being directly promoted by public authorities, and the FSFE listed them online. Since then, hundreds of Free Software activists took action by writing to the relevant public institutions and calling for changes to their websites. We received a lot of positive feedback from the institutions thanking us for our letters, and to date, 1125 out of the 2104 websites (53%) edited their websites by removing links to proprietary PDF readers, or adding links to Free Software PDF readers.

In addition to writing letters, FSFE also collected signatures for a petition calling for an end to advertisement for proprietary software products on government websites. 90 organizations, 63 businesses, and 2731 individuals signed this petition.

Furthermore, we were able to push for change at both national and international levels.

In Germany, national parties gave statements in favor of free PDF readers and the German Government itself has recommended the usage of our text snippet in their migration guide. FSFE's coordinator for Germany, Max Mehl, covers it in more detail on his blog. In the EU: the European Parliament directly asked the European Commission what were the reasons for advertising a specific software and which steps were taken to solve this problem. In 2011 one of our pdfreaders.org coordinators, Hannes Hauswedell, was in contact with Google, asking them to release the PDF reader included in their Chrome browser as Free Software. Finally, in May 2014, the pdfium sources were published openly, and while FSFE's enquiry might not have been the only reason they were released, it marks an important change for the widespread adoption of Free Software PDF readers.

"This success would not have been possible without the help and hard work from our volunteers and the support from our donors. Thank you! While many public and private web-sites still promote proprietary readers, the level of awareness has changed significantly during our campaign and now it should be much easier for you to approach the remaining web-site administrators. Also most internet users today already use Free Software when they open a PDF file in their browser -- a huge difference from 2009!" says Hannes Hauswedell who started the campaign. "Of course work still remains and we invite you to keep on reminding (public) administrators to use Open Standards and not recommend proprietary software. And with your support, we too, will continue to fight for a web that respects its users' privacy and freedom!"

To get involved you can use our sample letter to send to the relevant public administration, or you can write one of your own. Just make sure to include where to find a list of Free Software PDF readers that could replace the link from their website.

A special thanks again to the activists, volunteers, and donors who helped make this campaign a success!

Support FSFE, join the Fellowship
Make a one time donation

Interview with FSFE Fellow Isabel Drost-Fromm

Today is Ada Lovelace Day, a day that aims to raise the profile of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. FSFE happily joins the celebration of Ada Lovelace Day by interviewing Isabel Drost-Fromm - long time FSFE Fellow, member of the Apache Software Foundation and co-founder of Apache Mahout as well as the Berlin Buzzwords conference. Read about Free Software migration, free search engines, Java, Berlin and her advice for your personal contributions.

Support FSFE, join the Fellowship
Make a one time donation

Angel O’ Death T-shirts



Available until December 3 2014 April 13 October 18 here! There’s a pull-down menu that lets you choose between men’s and women’s crew necks, v-necks, and unisex long sleeved shirts. Teespring worked great for the Passover Satyr shirts – I was pleased with the quality of both the screen printing and the shirt stock. This is a much easier way for me to produce shirts than trying to figure out demand in advance and paying for everything up front.


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October 09, 2015

Google Summer of Code wrap-up: HPCC Systems

Our wrap-up post this Friday features HPCC Systems, another organization new to Google Summer of Code 2015. HPCC aims to solve big problems around big data. Read below to learn more.
HPCC Systems was designed to solve “big data” problems. It can process, analyze and find links and associations in high volumes of complex data at high speed and with incredible accuracy. While it was originally created by LexisNexis and is still used in-house, the HPCC Systems Project went open source four years ago. Free downloads of the software, documentation and training materials are available from our website.

This is the first time we participated in Google Summer of Code (GSoC) and it has been a great success. As a first-time organization, we were allocated two student slots. It was quite hard to choose which proposals to accept because there were many high quality contenders. We selected two projects that highlight areas of specific interest not just for us but for our community and the world of big data.

Add Statistics to the Linear and Logistic Regression Modules - Sarthak Jain

Machine learning statistics are important to the big data world, providing a way to drill down into data using complex queries and produce meaningful results to help businesses maintain their competitive edge in the market place. The HPCC Systems Machine Learning Library has been around for a while now and we are always looking for ways to improve it. The new statistics added as part of this project give vastly improved results about the models created.
Slide taken from Sarthak's presentation describing some of the tasks completed
The statistics Sarthak added provide metrics which indicate the “goodness” of the model created. He completed the tasks associated with these statistics in very good time and also added three stepwise functions to the same modules which find the best model by adding or taking away independent variables. A goodness metric was also added to these features to select which independent variables are added to or taken away from the model. The three functions he added were forward, backward and bidirectional.

Expand the HPCC Systems Visualization Framework (Web-Based) - Anmol Jagetia

Currently the HPCC Systems Platform has very little support for visual analytics. While there are plenty of “off the shelf” visual analytic tools and dashboard creators, none are really suitable for big data because they typically work with local datasets (think charting with a spreadsheet). The HPCC Systems Visualization Framework aims to solve the issue by bringing together existing “best of breed” visualizations as well as bespoke HPCC Systems visualizations into a consistent framework.

Anmol’s project involved adding unit tests and linting as well as adding new visualization widgets and enhancing existing ones. He used his knowledge and experience to enhance our build quality infrastructure and has also added a range of new features to the existing framework including the addition of a time lapse capability and a number of features which enable bar charts to be used as Gantt charts. The work he has done, which is already being used, significantly improves the user experience.

Below is an illustration of the work Anmol did to add range support in a column chart where there is both an upper and lower bound.

We’ve really enjoyed participating in GSoC this year and we will definitely apply to be accepted again next year. Our thanks go to the students for contributing to our project. We hope they enjoyed working with us.

By Lorraine Chapman, HPCC Systems Release Manager and GSoC Org Admin

EuroBSDcon 2015 Recap

Photo courtesy of iXsystems
We just returned from another successful EuroBSDCon, which was held in Stockholm, Sweden, October 3-4. There were around 250 attendees from around the world, representing the major BSDs. The Foundation was proud to be a Platinum Sponsor for the conference.

The FreeBSD Developer Summit was held two days prior the conference. The developer summit was very productive and successful. Foundation board member, Benedict Reuschling helped organize the summit. Init AB, sponsored the whole event. We had over 60 people attend. There were many great sessions and smaller groups working together. In fact, Deb ran a session on Recruiting to FreeBSD. We had 28 people attend this session, and almost everyone in the room contributed to the discussion on what we, as a Project, need to do to attract more people to FreeBSD. There were a lot of great suggestions, and the Foundation will be working with the Project to continue this momentum of making some positive changes, helping us to move forward and grow.

Photo courtesy of iXsystems
As usual, we had a table at the conference for taking donations, handing out swag, and talking to people about the work they are doing and where we can help with. We also talked to a few companies about making donations, as well as, providing testimonials. We accomplish so much when we attend these conferences, because we have the opportunity of talking and working with people face-to-face. We know it's the same for the attendees. During the day, people attend different talks on subjects that interest them. At night, everyone hangs out in the hacker lounge socializing, but mostly working together solving problems. It's pretty amazing to watch the collaboration going on.

From the Foundation, we had Dru Lavigne, Deb Goodkin, Kirk McKusick, Erwin Lansing, Ed Maste, Hiroki Sato, and Edward Napierala attend the conference. Deb and Ed gave a presentation on how the Foundation supports a BSD project. Kirk gave a presentation on "a Brief History of the BSD Fast File System," and he taught the two-day tutorial "Introduction to the FreeBSD Open-Source Operating System."

We had over 70 people stop by our table to make a donation. NetGate generously donated a NetGate RCC-VE 4860, which is a low-cost, low-power modern communications platform. Michael Dexter was the lucky winner!

Photo courtesy of Ollivier Robert
In the closing session, we recognized people who have made significant contributions to help further FreeBSD. The people we recognized were:

Dr. Colin Percival: For his contributions as FreeBSD Security Officer 8/2005 - 5/2012, tools he authored that are used daily by thousands of FreeBSD users to keep systems up to date (FreeBSD Update and Portsnap), and his efforts in having FreeBSD supported on Amazon's EC2. 

Michael Dexter: For his FreeBSD advocacy work and support of bhyve and Xen into FreeBSD, and for advocating for FreeBSD at the many conferences he's attended and presented at outside the usual BSD ones.

Shteryana Shopova: For her development work on the SNMP agent, as a GSoC mentor, and organizer of major BSD conferences.

Allan Jude: For his advocacy of FreeBSD and BSDNow which highlights work being done in the FreeBSD and other BSD Projects. Many people have joined FreeBSD because of this program. He has also contributed to ZFS advocacy, documentation, and polishing the FreeBSD end-user experience.

Paul Shenkeveld (Posthumous): For his commitment to the BSDs by co-founding and chairing the EuroBSDCon Foundation in 2011 and being one of the biggest BSD advocates, including running his own consultancy company that supported FreeBSD for 25 years.
Photo courtesy of Ollivier Robert

We look forward to EuroBSDCon 2016 in Belgrade, Serbia!

Fedora at LinuxCon Europe 2015

This week, another edition of LinuxCon Europe took place in Dublin and as always Fedora was there. The Linux Foundation confirmed our booth quite late, just two weeks before the event, so we didn’t have a lot of time for preparation. On the other hand, we got the stand and three passes for free which was big help because the conference is otherwise very expensive (the standard pass was ~$1000). And I’d like to thank the Linux Foundation for the support.

2015-10-05 10.39.38

Giannis and Jon at Fedora booth

Because we had little time for preparation, our booth was only basic: we had standard swag (Fedora logo stickers, Fedora product stickers, badges, case badges, pens), a stand-up banner, and a laptop showcasing Fedora Workstation 23. Unlike last year, the stand didn’t have the best location, but we still got a reasonable number of visitors. Here are some of my notes from the event:
  • One guy from Fujitsu Finland told us they were using Fedora on mission-critical servers and it turned out to be working fine. They’ve got the latest and greatest, they can adapt to changes earlier (he specifically mentioned systemd), and upgrading from one version of Fedora to another is much easier than to upgrade from one version of RHEL/CentOS to another.
  • A developer from Intel told us that their whole Linux development team was using Fedora. They also ran Fedora on their booth (another booth that ran Fedora was some UEFI organization). I was looking for someone from Intel who has something to do with the Intel video driver development because Retrace Server is full of false positives from the driver, but Intel was mostly represented by embedded Linux team.
  • Some developers asked what laptops we could recommend to run Fedora on because there is no compatibility database. I recommended ThinkPads because I think they still have the best Linux support and they’re still the most popular laptops among Linux developers.
  • Quite a few people asked us why we have two booths at the conference. That was because there was also a booth of Red Hat. A lot of people apparently think that Red Hat and Fedora Project are the same things. Having a separate booth sends a strong message that Fedora is not Red Hat-only thing and it’s, in fact, the most independent among the Red Hat-backed community projects.
  • Even at LinuxCon there are people who have no awareness of Fedora, so paciently kept explaining what Fedora is about and what has to offer. Building awareness in the enterprise ecosystem is IMHO one of the main benefits of being at LinuxCon.
  • It was a bit saddening to see so many Macbooks at LinuxCon. I saw more of them this year than any other year before. Even people from the Linux Foundation were promoting their Linux certifications from Macbooks with OS X.
  • Many visitors asked about the new Fedora products (Workstation, Server, Cloud). Evergreen question was why we have Fedora Server if there is already CentOS. A lot of people apparently associates Workstation with something for developers and serious work only and ask if we have something for end users. Yes, our core target audience are developers, but Fedora is still very much useful for other end users, too. Maybe we should say that more clearly and loundly in our marketing messaging.
2015-10-06 14.10.57

Fedora running at Intel booth

At the end, I’d like to thank the Fedora Project for sponsoring my travel and lodging and Jon Archer and Giannis Konstantinidis for staffing the booth with me.

October 04, 2015

Happy birthday to the Free Software Foundation

A cake with the FSF30 birthday logo on it On 4 October 1985 Harold Abelson, Robert J. Chassell, Richard M. Stallman, Garald Jay Sussman, and Leonard H. Tower, Jr. incorporated the Free Software Foundation, Inc. The application included also the GNU Emacs General Public License, the GNU Manifesto, a list of software which was already written (Bison, MIT Schema, Hack, plus a list of several Unix utility replacements). In the application they wrote:

We believe that a good citizen shares all generally useful information with his [!sig now Richard would write "her"] neighbors who need it. Our hope is to encourage members of the public to cooperate with each other by sharing software and other useful information.

One of the major influences currently discouraging such sharing is the pratice where information is “owned” by someone who permits a member of the public to have the information himself only on condition of refusing to share it with anyone else.

Our free software will provide the public with an alternative to agreeing to such conditions. By refusing the terms of commercial software and using our software instead, people will remain free to be good neighbors.

In addition, the virtues of self-reliance and independent initiative will be furthered because users of our software will have the plans with which to repair or change it.

The documents at that time still focused on non-commercial software. Later it was clarified that Free Software can also be commercial software.

But else the mission did not change much. What changed is that nowadays we have much more computers around us than people in 1985 could have imagined, and it is deeply involved in all aspects of our lives. It is even more important today than at that time that this technology empowers rather than restricts us.

Free Software gives every person the rights to use, study, share and improve software. During the years we realised that these rights also help to support other fundamental rights like freedom of speech, freedom of press and privacy.

Today computer owners are often not allowed to modify hard- and software of their computers anymore, and people often use other people’s computers for a lot of daily tasks, it is now more important than ever that we have organisations like the FSFs, who work for computer users’ right.

As the President of its European sister organisation I am happy to congratulate: Happy birthday dear Free Software Foundation!!! (Now we can sing that song again.)

And thanks to all of you out there who support the software freedom movement and thereby giving us the strength we need for our future challenges!

October 03, 2015

Gitstats – the easiest way to see stats.

Hi all, This will be a shortish take on an application called gitstats which I found few months back. First of all apologies for not communicating enough. Have just been behind with work and stuff and hence haven’t had dedicated time to write and share stuff which I liked. So some months back I had […]

October 01, 2015

FSF, Conservancy publish principles for community-oriented GPL enforcement

The FSF and Conservancy each lead worldwide efforts to ensure compliance with the GPL family of licenses. The principles they follow are designed to make copyleft license enforcement first and foremost serve the goal of protecting user freedom, which includes assisting companies to correctly distribute free software. This means carefully verifying violation reports, approaching companies privately rather than publicly shaming them, treating legal action as a last resort, and never prioritizing financial gain over defending the freedom of users.

"GPL enforcement is mostly an educational process working with people who have made honest mistakes, but it must be undertaken with care and thoughtfulness. Our goal is not to punish or censure violators, but to help them come into compliance. Abiding by these principles aids our work in bringing about that outcome," said FSF's licensing and compliance manager, Joshua Gay.

The FSF does license enforcement for programs that are part of the GNU Project, when their copyright is assigned to the FSF, and actively encourages developers to apply for their programs to become part of GNU. License violations can be reported by email following the instructions at http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-violation.html.

"These principles have guided our efforts in defending the rights of computer users since at least 2001. We wanted to collect them and write them down in one place both to bust some myths about our GNU GPL enforcement work, and to help other individuals and organizations get started with their own processes," said FSF's executive director, John Sullivan.

Conservancy has also released an announcement and will host the document on its website.

Conservancy's executive director Karen Sandler will be joining FSF licensing & compliance manager Joshua Gay and FSF copyright and licensing associate Donald R. Robertson, III, on Saturday, October 3rd for the User Freedom Summit in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where they will be running a workshop session titled Community Licensing Education & Outreach.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA. More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.

About the GNU Operating System and Linux

Richard Stallman announced in September 1983 the plan to develop a free software Unix-like operating system called GNU. GNU is the only operating system developed specifically for the sake of users' freedom. See https://www.gnu.org/gnu/the-gnu-project.html. In 1992, the essential components of GNU were complete, except for one, the kernel. When in 1992 the kernel Linux was re-released under the GNU GPL, making it free software, the combination of GNU and Linux formed a complete free operating system, which made it possible for the first time to run a PC without non-free software. This combination is the GNU/Linux system. For more explanation, see https://www.gnu.org/gnu/gnu-linux-faq.html.

Media Contacts

Joshua Gay
Licensing & Compliance Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

September 29, 2015

Brno will host LibreOffice Conference 2016!

So I can finally share publicly that Brno will host LibreOffice Conference 2016. After GUADEC 2013 and Akademy 2014, it’s the third major desktop conference that will take place in Brno. The venue will be the campus of Faculty of Information Technologies of Brno University of Technology which is one of the major computer science universities in the country with a lot of open source participation. That’s also where GUADEC 2013 and DevConf.cz 2015 took place.

I was one of the initiators, but most of the work done on the bid was done by Jaroslav Řezník and OpenAlt group which will also provide the event organization with a legal entity.

The conference will take place in the second week of September, looking forward to meeting everyone interested in the open source office suit in Brno!

September 28, 2015

Taurinus X200 laptop now FSF-certified to respect your freedom

This is the first product of Libiquity to achieve RYF certification. The Taurinus X200 has the same architecture and certified software as the Libreboot X200, which was certified in January 2015. The Taurinus X200 can be purchased from Libiquity at https://shop.libiquity.com/product/taurinus-x200.

The Taurinus X200 is a refurbished and updated laptop based on the Lenovo ThinkPad X200, with all of the original low-level firmware and operating system software replaced. It runs the FSF-endorsed Trisquel GNU/Linux operating system and the free software boot system, Libreboot. Perhaps most importantly, all of Intel's Management Engine (ME) firmware and software has been removed from this laptop.

The FSF has previously written about Intel's ME, calling attention to how this proprietary software introduces a fundamental security flaw -- a back door -- into a person's machine that allows a perpetrator to remotely access the computer over a network. It enables powering the computer on and off, configuring and upgrading the BIOS, wiping the hard drives, reinstalling the operating system, and more. The functionality provided by the ME could be a very useful security and recovery measure, but only if the user has control over the software and the ability to install modified versions of it.

"With a rise in manufacturing of treacherous computing chips and each successive version of Intel's Management Engine becoming more treacherous than the last, it would seem that the public is being inundated with hardware that is defective by design. Therefore, it is refreshing to have companies like Libiquity making strong commitments to computer user freedom. The FSF is excited to be able to award the use of the RYF certification mark on yet another laptop," stated FSF's licensing & compliance manager, Joshua Gay.

Libiquity (a portmanteau of "liberty" and "ubiquity") defines its mission as "freedom everywhere, in personal electronics and embedded systems." In addition to providing hardware that respects your freedom, Libiquity also leads the development of ProteanOS, an FSF-endorsed distribution, and they work in partnership with and contribute to Libreboot.

"Libiquity is proud that its first hardware product, the Taurinus X200 subnotebook, has been certified by the FSF to respect its users' freedom and privacy. We are honored to be the first US company with an RYF-certified laptop product, and we look forward to further working with the FSF and the free software community to develop and offer additional freedom-respecting products and services in the future," stated founder and CEO, Patrick McDermott.

To learn more about the Respects Your Freedom hardware certification, including details on the certification of the Taurinus X200, visit http://www.fsf.org/ryf. Hardware sellers interested in applying for certification can consult http://www.fsf.org/resources/hw/endorsement/criteria.

Subscribers to the FSF's Free Software Supporter newsletter will receive announcements about future Respects Your Freedom products.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.

About Libiquity

Founded by CEO Patrick McDermott, Libiquity is a privately held New Jersey, USA company that provides world-class technologies which put customers in control of their computing. The company develops and sells electronics products, provides firmware and embedded systems services, and leads the development of the innovative and flexible ProteanOS embedded operating system. More information about Libiquity and its offerings can be found on its Web site at http://www.libiquity.com/.

Media Contacts

Joshua Gay
Licensing & Compliance Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Patrick McDermott
Founder and CEO
Libiquity LLC
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

September 20, 2015

SFD Phnom Penh 2015 roundup


It’s the second time I organize Software Freedom Day in Phnom Penh! I would like to thank everyone who volunteered, joined and/or presented yesterday. We had a great event and a nice turnout. It seems we managed to have a better focus on our audience this year.

What is coming out of the event is a multirotor course with free and open source software with the National Institute of Posts Telecommunications and ICT (NIPTICT) and more regular PPLUG meetings, a few planned events with specific schedules, e.g. Sirko Kemter from Fedora already committed to help us to host our very first Fedora release party and installfest in Phnom Penh in November. NIPTICT’s President also mentioned that they are having a new building under renovation at the moment and we will be able to host a bigger event with 200 people capacity for Software Freedom Day in 2016.

Here are some of our great moments to share with you:


Preparation before the event


Mozilla Local Team


Thanks to Sirko Kemter, we had a Fedora booth!


Opening speech by NIPTICT’s President


Free Software: what’s it and what can I do with it? by Fred


Building multirotors with free software


Localizing free software by Khoem Kokhem


Fedora.next for everybody by Sirko Kemter


Contributing to Mozilla community by Vannak Eng


Open Source Mapping by Nhiep Seila


Understanding virtualization by Sok Leap

We finished the event by playing drones together!

We finished the event by flying quadcopters together!

September 19, 2015

Celebrate Software Freedom Day today!


Free and Open Source Software has come a long way since its inception and while we’re celebrating SFD for the twelfth time, the FSF is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Every software company now tends to use Free and Open Source Software but unfortunately that has just set the Software more as a commodity with very little benefit for advocacy, education or awareness. And so, in a world with Free Software used almost everywhere very few people notice or even care.

Software Freedom Day is here to tell people why we need to remind ourselves of the importance of Software Freedom and to get all the communities together to celebrate and introduce their philosophy to newcomers. Probably more than ever we need to go out and demonstrate the great many things that Free Software has done and enables everyone to do.

As usual events are listed on the SFD Map and should there be no event in your area you can always get together and run one in the upcoming few weeks. On top of all the good things Free Software brings we would also like to remind people that a good way to get started can be through Outreachy, a remote internships in Free and Open Source Software open to everyone regardless of their origins or differences. The next round of internships is from December 7 to March 7 with applications deadline on November 2. This is of course ideal for students in the south hemisphere as the program requires you to be available 40 hours a week but also for anyone either looking for a career change or applies what he/she has learned in a real software environment.

With all these years of experience we are sure your events will shine. And if you’re a little short of ideas you can always refer to our resources. One of note could be the latest Blender movie released end of August maybe followed by a discussion of how the Blender Foundation has been so successful over the years.

Finally we would like to thank all the people making SFD possible and that is our sponsors like the Google Open Source Programs Office, Linode, the Free Software Foundation and our various supporters in the media and community arena. But of course more importantly all the various Free Software communities from Google Developer Groups to Free Software Groups, GNU/Linux User Groups and the various universities interested in Free Software among them.

So, Happy Software Freedom Day to all of you!

Celebrate SFD with us on 19 September 2015!

Celebrate Software Freedom Day today!

Free and Open Source Software has come a long way since its inception and while we're celebrating SFD for the twelth time, the FSF is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Every software company now tends to use Free and Open Source Software but unfortunately that has just set the Software more as a commodity with very little benefit for advocacy, education or awareness. And so, in a world with Free Software used almost everywhere very few people notice or even care.

Software Freedom Day is here to tell people why we need to remind ourselves of the importance of Software Freedom and to get all the communities together to celebrate and introduce their philosophy to newcomers. Probably more than ever we need to go out and demonstrate the great many things that Free Software has done and enables everyone to do.

As usual events are listed on the SFD Map and should there be no event in your area you can always get together and run one in the upcoming few weeks. On top of all the good things Free Software brings we would also like to remind people that a good way to get started can be through Outreachy, a remote internships in Free and Open Source Software open to everyone regardless of their origins or differences. The next round of internships is from December 7 to March 7 with applications deadline on November 2.

Finally we would like to thank all the people making SFD possible and that is our sponsors like the Google Open Source Programs Office, Linode, the Free Software Foundation and our various supporters in the media and community arena. But of course more importantly all the various Free Software communities from Google Developer Groups to Free Software Groups, GNU/Linux User Groups and the various universities interested in Free Software among them.

So, Happy Software Freedom Day to all of you!

September 07, 2015

Moses Brings THE LAW


Moses returning from Mt. Sinai, about to open a can of holy whoop-ass on those goddesses.


flattr this!

September 04, 2015

Upcoming Events

Check out where we’ll be over the next few months. Find us at any of these events to talk to our team and get your hands on Linode swag and credit!

PennApps XII
Philadelphia, PA | September 4-6pennapps

PennApps XII is going to be bigger and better than ever! It’s taking place at the Wells Fargo Center (that’s right, they rented out a professional sports arena) over Labor Day weekend. You can expect a record-setting 2,000 attendees. Our mentors will be on site for the duration with exclusive swag that you can’t find ANYWHERE ELSE. Use Linode for your projects and each member of your team could win a Samsung Galaxy Tablet!

MHacks 6
Ann Arbor, MI | September 11-13
We’re thrilled to be a part of MHacks this year! We are sending several mentors to the University of Michigan. They will be hanging out all weekend, doling out tons of advice and Linode swag. Stop by our booth and enter to win a Moto 360 Smartwatch!

Hack the North
Waterloo, ON, Canada | September 18-20
We are sending our mentors across the border for Hack the North in September. They’ll be hanging out all weekend, helping with projects and spreading good vibes and swag.

PuppetLabs & Linode Meetup
Philadelphia, PA | September 29
On September 29th at Industrious Philly (203 S. Broad St.), Jeremiah Sullivan from PuppetLabs will be giving a high-level talk about Puppet Enterprises along with a demo using Linode servers. Come by to grab some free beer and snacks and hang out to network and ask Jeremiah any questions you may have. RSVP on our meetup page: http://bit.ly/1hHkB98

Asbury Agile
Asbury Park, NJ | October 2
We’re glad to be a part of Asbury Agile this year! Asbury Agile is an informal conference intended for web professionals and students. We’ll be there to talk cloud hosting and attend sessions. Hope to see you there!

New Brunswick, NJ | October 3-4
We are heading to New Brunswick again this year for HackRU. Come by the Linode table to chat with our mentors and see how Linode can power your projects.

New England DrupalCamp
Providence, RI | October 10
Join us on October 10th for New England DrupalCamp in Providence, RI! Our team will be there, giving away Linode goodies and answering all your cloud-hosting questions.

Central PA Open Source Conference (CPOSC)
Lancaster, PA | October 17
We’re heading to Lancaster for the Central PA Open Source Conference. It starts at 8 a.m. and we’ll be there all day. See you there!

San Francisco, CA | October 23-25
Join us in San Francisco for the World’s Largest Education Hackathon! With over 1,000 attendees, this 36-hour hackathon will be one to remember. As always, our mentors will be on site, hanging out and sharing technical advice.

HackNJIT | Newark, NJ | November 7-8
HackNJIT is a 24-hour hackathon running November 7-8th at NJIT in Newark, NJ. This is our first year sponsoring and we can’t wait to see all of the projects.

HackPrinceton | Princeton, NJ | November 13-15hp-orange
We are very excited to return for HackPrinceton again this year. In November, we will spend 36 hours working with all of the hackers on their sure-to-be-amazing projects. We will also have a prize on hand for “Best Use of Linode Services,” so make sure to stop by and get some Linode credit for your project!

Philly Codefest | Philadelphia, PA | February 20-21phillycodefest
We will be finishing up our hackathon tour at Philly Codefest, February 20-21. Hosted by Drexel University, this hackathon will draw in hundreds of students to participate. We will be sending mentors and even hosting a side event prior to the hackathon, so stay tuned for details.



September 02, 2015

Birthday party in Berlin: 30 years Free Software Foundation

On 3 October 2015 Free Software Foundation Europe invites you for the 30th birthday party of the Free Software Foundation. While the main event will take place in Boston/USA, there will be several satellite birthday parties around the world to celebrate 30 years of empowering people to control technology, and one of them will be in Berlin.

FSF 30 year birthday graphic

The Free Software Foundation was founded in 1985 and since then promotes computer users’ rights to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. It also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software.

The birthday party in Berlin, organised by FSFE, will take place from 15:00 to 18:00 on 3 October 2015 at: Endocode AG, Brueckenstraße 5A, 10179 Berlin.

To make sure that FSFE’s donor Endocode can provide enough birthday cake and coffee, please register before 15 September 2015 for the event by sending This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with the subject “FSF30″.

Join us on 3 October, celebrating 30 years of working for software freedom!

August 24, 2015

Books I wanna read before I die – A sort of bucket list

Hi all, Before sharing the list of books I wanna read (and this will be an ever-growing list I know) I wanna share few of the reasons I enjoy reading :- a. It is one of the greatest stress-busters anybody needs – You had a hard day at work/office or whatever and are feeling down […]

Kolab Now: Learn, live, adapt in production

Kolab Now was first launched January 2013 and we were anxious to find out: If someone offered a public cloud service for people that put their privacy and security first. A service that would not just re-sell someone else’s platform with some added marketing, but did things right. Would there be a demand for it? Would people choose to pay with money instead of their privacy and data? These past two and a half years have provided a very clear answer. Demand for a secure and private collaboration platform has grown in ways we could have only hoped for.

To stay ahead of demand we have undertaken a significant upgrade to our hosted solution that will allow us to provide reliable service to our community of users both today and in the years to come. This is the most significant set of changes we’ve ever made to the service, which have been months in the making. We are very excited to unveil these improvements to the world as we complete the roll-out in the coming weeks.

From a revamped and simplified sign-up process to a more robust directory
service design, the improvements will be visible to new and existing users
alike. Everyone can look forward to a significantly more robustness and
reliable service, along with faster turnaround times on technical issues. We
have even managed to add some long-sought improvements many of you have been
asking for.

The road travelled

Assumptions are the root of all evil. Yet in the absence of knowledge of the future, sometimes informed assumptions need to be made. And sometimes the world just changes. It was February 2013 when MyKolab was launched into public beta.

Our expectation was that a public cloud service oriented on full business collaboration focusing on privacy and security would primarily attract small and medium enterprises between 10 and 200 users. Others would largely elect to use the available standard domains. So we expected most domains to be in the 30 users realm, and a handful of very large ones.

That had implications for the way the directory service was set up.

In order to provide the strongest possible insulation between tenants, each domain would exist in its own zone within the directory service. You can think of this as o dedicated installations on shared infrastructure instead of the single domain public clouds that are the default in most cases. Or, to use a slightly less technical analogies, between serial houses or apartments in a large apartment block.

So we expected some moderate growth for which we planned to deploy some older hardware to provide adequate redundancy and resource so there would be a steady show-case for how to deploy Kolab into the needs of Application and Internet Service Providers (ASP/ISP).

Literally on the very day when we carried that hardware into the data centre did Edward Snowden and his revelations become visible to the world. It is a common quip that assumptions and strategies usually do not outlive their contact with reality. Ours did not even make it that far.

After nice, steady growth during the early months, MyKolab.com took us on a wild ride.

Our operations managed to work miracles with the old hardware in ways that often made me think this would be interesting learning material for future administrators. But efficiency only gets you so far.

Within a couple of months however we ended up replacing it in its entirety. And to the largest extent all of this was happening without disruption to the production systems. New hardware was installed, services switched over, old hardware removed, and our team also managed to add a couple of urgently sought features to Kolab and deploy them onto MyKolab.com as well.

What we did not manage to make time for is re-work the directory service in order to adjust some of the underlying assumptions to reality. Especially the number of domains in relation to the number of users ended up dramatically different from what we initially expected. The result of that is a situation where the directory service has become the bottleneck for the entire installation – with a complete restart easily taking in the realm of 45 minutes.

In addition, that degree of separation translated to more restrictions of sharing data with other users, sometimes to an extent that users felt this was lack of a feature, not a feature in and of itself.

Re-designing the directory service however carries implications for the entire service structure, including also the user self-administration software and much more. And you want to be able to deploy this within a reasonable time interval and ensure the service comes back up better than before for all users.

On the highway to future improvements

So there is the re-design, the adaptation of all components, the testing, the migration planning, the migration testing and ultimately also the actual roll-out of the changes. That’s a lot of work. Most of which has been done by this point in time.

The last remaining piece of the puzzle was to increase hardware capacity in order to ensure there is enough reserve to build up an entire new installation next to existing production systems, and then switch over, confirm successful switching, and then ultimately retire the old setup.

That hardware has been installed last week.

So now the roll-out process will go through the stages and likely complete some time in September. That’s also the time when we can finally start adding some features we’ve been holding back to ensure we can re-adjust our assumptions to the realities we encountered.

For all users of Kolab Now that means you can look forward to a much improved service resilience and robustness, along with even faster turnaround times on technical issues, and an autumn of added features, including some long-sought improvements many of you have been asking for.

Stay tuned.

August 13, 2015

FreeBSD 10.2-RELEASE Available

FreeBSD 10.2-RELEASE is now available. Please be sure to check the Release Notes and Release Errata before installation for any late-breaking news and/or issues with 10.2. More information about FreeBSD releases can be found on the Release Information page.

August 10, 2015

LinuxCon North America in Seattle

I’m excited to be at LinuxCon North America in Seattle next week (August 17-19 2015). I’ve spoken at many LinuxCon events, and this one won’t be any different. Part of the appeal of the conference is being able to visit a new place every year.

MariaDB Corporation will have a booth, so you’ll always be able to see friendly Rod Allen camped there. In between talks and meetings, there will also be Max Mether and quite possibly all the other folk that live in Seattle (Kolbe Kegel, Patrick Crews, Gerry Narvaja).

For those in the database space, don’t forget to come attend some of our talks (represented by MariaDB Corporation and Oracle Corporation):

  1. MariaDB: The New MySQL is Five Years Old & Everywhere by Colin Charles
  2. MySQL High Availability in 2015 by Colin Charles
  3. Handling large MySQL and MariaDB farms with MaxScale by Max Mether
  4. The Proper Care and Feeding of a MySQL Database for a Linux Administrator by Dave Stokes
  5. MySQL Security in a Cloudy World by Dave Stokes

See you in Seattle soon!

August 08, 2015

Enhanced commit privileges: Marcelo Araujo (ports, src)

August 05, 2015

Your opportunity for a front row seat: The economics of the Roundcube Next Indiegogo Campaign

Bringing together an alliance that will liberate our future web and mobile collaboration was the most important motive behind our launching the Roundcube Next campaign at the 2015 Kolab Summit. This goal we reached fully.

There is now a group of some of the leading experts for messaging and collaboration in combination with service providers around the world that has embarked with us on this unique journey:










The second objective for the campaign was to get enough acceleration to be able to allow two, three people to focus on Roundcube Next over the coming year. That goal we reached partially. There is enough to get us started and go through the groundwork, but not enough for all the bells and whistles we would have loved to go for. To a large extent that’s because we would have a lot of fantasy for bells and whistles.

Roundcube Next - The Bells and Whistles

But perhaps it is a good thing that the campaign did not complete all the way into the stretch goals.

Since numbers are part of my responsibility, allow me to share some with you to give you a first-hand perspective of being inside an Indiegogo Campaign:


Roundcube Next Campaign Amount



Indiegogo Cost



PayPal Cost



Remaining Amount



So by the time the money was in our PayPal account, we are down 8.15%.

The reason for that is simple: Instead of transferring the complete amount in one transaction, which would have incurred only a single transaction fee, they transferred it individually per contribution. Which means PayPal gets to extract the per transaction fee. I assume the rationale behind this is that PayPal may have acted as the escrow service and would have credited users back in case the campaign goal had not been reached. Given our transactions were larger than average for crowd funding campaigns, the percentage for other campaigns is likely going to be higher. It would seem this can even go easily beyond the 5% that you see quoted on a variety of sites about crowd funding.

But it does not stop there. Indiegogo did not allow to run the campaign in Swiss Franc, and PayPal forces transfers into our primary currency, resulting in another fee for conversion. On the day the Roundcube Next Campaign funds were transferred to PayPal, XE.com lists the exchange rate as 0.9464749579 CHF per USD.



% of total

Roundcube Next Campaign Amount


SFr. 97,998.96


Remaining at PayPal


SFr. 90,008.06


Final at bank in CHF


SFr. 87,817.00


So now we’re at 10.39% in fees, of which 4% go to Indiegogo for their services. A total of 6.39% went to PayPal. Not to mention this is before any t-shirt is printed or shipped, and there is of course also cost involved in creating and running a campaign.

The $4,141.64 we paid to Indiegogo are not too bad, I guess. Although their service was shaky and their support non-existent. I don’t think we ever got a response to our repeated support inquiries over a couple of weeks. And we experienced multiple downtimes of several hours which were particularly annoying during the critical final week of the campaign where we can be sure to have lost contributions.

PayPal’s overhead was $6,616.27 – the equivalent of another Advisor to the Roundcube Next Campaign. That’s almost 60% more than the cost for Indiegogo. Which seems excessive and is reminding me of one of Bertolt Brecht’s more famous quotes.

But of course you also need to add the effort for the campaign itself, including preparation, running and perks. Considering that, I am no longer surprised that many of the campaigns I see appear to be marketing instruments to sell existing products that are about to be released, and less focused on innovation.

In any case, Roundcube Next is going to be all about innovation. And Kolab Systems will continue contribute plenty of its own resources as we have been doing for Roundcube and Roundcube Next, including a world class Creative Director and UI/UX expert who is going to join us in a month from now.

We also remain open to others to come aboard.

The advisory group is starting to constitute itself now, and will be taking some decisions about requirements and underlying architecture. Development will then begin and continue up until well into next year. So there is time to engage even in the future. But many decisions will be made in the first months, and you can still be part of that as Advisor to Roundcube Next.

It’s not too late to be part of the Next. Just drop a message to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

August 03, 2015

Introducing Linodes in Frankfurt!

Achtung baby! Linodes in Deutschland!

grmcloud-300x300We’re excited to announce our newest European datacenter located in Frankfurt am Main, Germany! This new facility will better serve the growing tech communities in Germany, greater Europe, and surrounding areas.

This marks our eighth datacenter worldwide, and complements our other Europe-based datacenter in London. Both our Frankfurt and London deployments are located in TelecityGroup facilities.

Frankfurt is an important financial and Internet hub for Europe, with a third of Europe’s Internet traffic going through it. Frankfurt is home to DE-CIX, the largest Internet exchange in the world in terms of traffic. DE-CIX will no doubt provide abundant peering access opportunities for us, over time.

Linode customers can now be compliant with Germany’s Federal Data Protection Act (a.k.a., Bundesdatenschutzgesetz or BDSG) by hosting their data on German soil.

Frankfurt supports all Linode features and services, and same great hardware including datacenter-grade SSD storage, E5-2680v3 CPUs, DDR4 ECC SDRAM, full-stack redundant networking and 40 GbE to each hypervisor host. Linode Frankfurt is KVM only.

Now is the time when we dance.

Check out our speedtest, or go straight into the Linode Manager to add a Frankfurt Linode!


August 01, 2015

SFD 2015 registration is on!

The Digital Freedom Foundation is very happy to announce that registration of the twelfth edition of Software Freedom Day just opened. While the wiki has been ready for some times and a few teams started to create pages registration was another story. In fact our infrastructure needs updates and we still haven't found way to do that easily.

Now as far as Free Software is concerned while we see more projects adopting Free Software licenses we also feel end-users still struggle with their proprietary operating systems. At the same time both hardware and software seems a lot more integrated and in some fields it seems that you can just print something with your Free 3D printers, order some kind of Free Hardware controllers online, flash them, hack them and get a complete and finish product running (or flying, or...). We're involved here with people who had no special interest in Free Software or Hardware and discovered it through pursuing their hobbies, and they just love it!

On the sponsorship side we have unfortunately lost Canonical financially but they are still providing the mailing list infrastructure (snif snif.. they were our first sponsors). Google and Linode are still supporting us luckily and we are exploring new ventures (though nothing confirmed at this stage).

So as usual registration happens after you have created your event page on the wiki. We have an exaustive guide here for newcomers and for the others who need help, the SFD-Discuss mailing is probably the best place to get prompt support. As usual we will come back with more details things to do or worth mentioning to bring inspiration and motivation to the celebration on the sfd-discuss mailing list.

So get ready to celebrate and happy preparations to all!

July 31, 2015

How to extract a dts from an Android Phone

How to extract a dts from an Android Phone

1) Get its boot.img

    $ adb pull /dev/block/bootdevice/by-name/boot boot.img

2) Find out which dts is the device using

    $ adb logcat # the device's boot process, watch the first few lines.
3) split the boot.img in its components

    $ # wget http://www.enck.org/tools/split_bootimg_pl.txt -O split_bootimg.pl
    $ split_bootimg.pl boot.img
4) Look for the correct dtb on the boot image

    a) hexdump -C -v boot.img-dtb |less
    b) On this hexdump, search for "d0 0d fe ed"
    c) there are probably several occurrences, choose the one matching what the device is using (point (2))
    d) take note of the address where it is
5) convert the address from hex to binary

    $ # https://github.com/ARivottiC/aliases.sh has conversion aliases
    $ hex2dec address

6) extract the correct dtb from the bunch

    $ dd if=boot.img-dtb of=correct.dtb bs=the_result_from_5 skip=1

7) convert dtb to dts

    $ # look for dtc on the $OUT of an android build
    $ dtc -I dtb -O dts -o correct.dts correct.dtb

July 15, 2015

Clarification on IP Rights Policy

We are updating our Intellectual Property Rights Policy to clarify the relationship between this policy and the licences of the constituent works in Ubuntu.  Specifically, we are adding a single clause which states:

“Ubuntu is an aggregate work of many works, each covered by their own licence(s). For the purposes of determining what you can do with specific works in Ubuntu, this policy should be read together with the licence(s) of the relevant packages. For the avoidance of doubt, where any other licence grants rights, this policy does not modify or reduce those rights under those licences.”


We are proud to choose the GPL as the default licence for the software that Canonical writes, and we do that because we believe it is the licence that creates the most freedoms for its users.  We have always recognised those rights in this Policy, and over the course of a long conversation with the Free Software Foundation and others, we agreed to eliminate any doubt by adding this new language.

We would like to thank the Free Software Foundation and the Software Freedom Conservancy for their suggestions in this regard over the past year.  We’ll continue to evolve our policies, in consultation with the very diverse groups that make up the open source community, to reflect best practice and the needs of Canonical and the Ubuntu community.

July 09, 2015

#PerconaLive Amsterdam – schedule now out

The schedule is out for Percona Live Europe: Amsterdam (September 21-23 2015), and you can see it at: https://www.percona.com/live/europe-amsterdam-2015/program.

From MariaDB Corporation/Foundation, we have 1 tutorial: Best Practices for MySQL High Availability – Colin Charles (MariaDB)

And 5 talks:

  1. Using Docker for Fast and Easy Testing of MariaDB and MaxScale – Andrea Tosatto (Colt Engine s.r.l.) (I expect Maria Luisa is giving this talk together – she’s a wonderful colleague from Italy)
  2. Databases in the Hosted Cloud Colin Charles (MariaDB)
  3. Database Encryption on MariaDB 10.1 Jan Lindström (MariaDB Corporation), Sergei Golubchik (Monty Program Ab)
  4. Meet MariaDB 10.1 Colin Charles (MariaDB), Monty Widenius (MariaDB Foundation)
  5. Anatomy of a Proxy Server: MaxScale Internals Ivan Zoratti (ScaleDB Inc.)

OK, Ivan is from ScaleDB now, but he was the SkySQL Ab ex-CTO, and one of the primary architects behind MaxScale! We may have more talks as there are some TBD holes to be filled up, but the current schedule looks pretty amazing already.

What are you waiting for, register now!

May 25, 2015

Vivid release party in Terrassa

Catalan LoCo Team celebrated on May 9th release party of the next Ubuntu version, in this case, 15.04 Vivid Vervet. Sorry abaout the delay reporting.

This time, we went to Terrassa, near Barcelona, thanks to our friends of the Nicolau Copèrnic School.

As always, we started explaining what Ubuntu is and how it adapts to new times and devices, along with speeches from the school director and a Terrassa Councillor really understanding the Ubuntu meaning.



Quite a lot of people registering for the party.


Raspberry Pi and Open Source Hardware on Ubuntu were both present at the party.


And in another room, LibreOffice.


And, of course, Ubuntu Phone as well.


A lot of time passed since we offered a speech on Gimp.


Local TV came and made a report for the evening news.

May 13, 2015

Ubuntu Security Update on VENOM (CVE-2015-3456) [UPDATED]

A buffer overflow in the virtual floppy disk controller of QEMU has been discovered. An attacker could use this issue to cause QEMU to crash or execute arbitrary code in the host’s QEMU process.

This issue is mitigated in a couple ways on Ubuntu when using libvirt to manage QEMU virtual machines, which includes OpenStack’s use of QEMU. The QEMU process in the host environment is owned by a special libvirt-qemu user which helps to limit access to resources in the host environment. Additionally, the QEMU process is confined by an AppArmor profile that significantly lessens the impact of a vulnerability such as VENOM by reducing the host environment’s attack surface.

A fix for this issue has been committed in the upstream QEMU source code tracker. Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, Ubuntu 14.10, and Ubuntu 15.04 are affected. To address the issue, ensure that qemu-kvm 1.0+noroms-0ubuntu14.22 (Ubuntu 12.04 LTS), qemu 2.0.0+dfsg-2ubuntu1.11 (Ubuntu 14.04 LTS), qemu 2.1+dfsg-4ubuntu6.6 (Ubuntu 14.10), qemu 1:2.2+dfsg-5expubuntu9.1 (Ubuntu 15.04) are installed.

For reference, the Ubuntu Security Notices website is the best place to find information on security updates and the affected supported releases of Ubuntu.  Users can get notifications via email and RSS feeds from the USN site, as well as access the Ubuntu CVE Tracker.

April 23, 2015

Event about Copyright in Águeda (Portugal), next May

A workshop about Copyright and Digital Rights Management and a monkey on the poster? Are you lost? Here's an explanation... this famous monkey is a pro in taking selfies. If you want to know more, the rest of the story will be told next 9th of May!
I'll be talking about DRM on an event next to Paula Simões (Portuguese Education Freedom Association) who's going to talk about copyright levies, and Teresa Nobre (Creative Commons) who's going to talk about free culture.
It promises to be a great afternoon, I hope you'll be able to join us!

April 13, 2015

Presentation – Crash Course Cloud 2.0

Presentation on the current state of cloud computing and the role that open source, containers and microservices are playing in the cloud.

Presented to Florida Linux Users Exchange on April 9th, 2015

[Link in case embed doesn’t work].


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March 31, 2015

OpenSource.com – Open source and DevOps aren’t mandatory, but neither is survival

I recently wrote an article for OpenSource.com – Open source and DevOps aren’t mandatory, but neither is survival This article is part of the Easy DevOps column coordinated by Greg Dekoenigsberg, VP of Community at Ansible. Share your stories and advice that helps to make DevOps practical—along with the tools, processes, culture, successes and glorious/inglorious failures from your experience by contacting us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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January 22, 2015

FLOSSK mbështetë Wiki Academy Kukës

FLOSSK do të mbështesë Wiki Academy-n e cila mbahet më 22 dhe 23 mars në Kukës. Akademia e Wikipedia-s përfshinë trajnimin e të rinjëve për të kontribuar në Wikipedia duke përfunduar me një vikend të plotë dedikuar shkrimit të artikujve në Enciklopedinë e Lirë Wikipedia.

January 20, 2015

Smart things powered by snappy Ubuntu Core on ARM and x86

“Smart, connected things” are redefining our home, work and play, with brilliant innovation built on standard processors that have shrunk in power and price to the point where it makes sense to turn almost every “thing” into a smart thing. I’m inspired by the inventors and innovators who are creating incredible machines – from robots that might clean or move things around the house, to drones that follow us at play, to smarter homes which use energy more efficiently or more insightful security systems. Prooving the power of open source to unleash innovation, most of this stuff runs on Linux – but it’s a hugely fragmented and insecure kind of Linux. Every device has custom “firmware” that lumps together the OS and drivers and devices-specific software, and that firmware is almost never updated. So let’s fix that!

Ubuntu is right at the heart of the “internet thing” revolution, and so we are in a good position to raise the bar for security and consistency across the whole ecosystem. Ubuntu is already pervasive on devices – you’ve probably seen lots of “Ubuntu in the wild” stories, from self-driving cars to space programs and robots and the occasional airport display. I’m excited that we can help underpin the next wave of innovation while also thoughtful about the responsibility that entails. So today we’re launching snappy Ubuntu Core on a wide range of boards, chips and chipsets, because the snappy system and Ubuntu Core are perfect for distributed, connected devices that need security updates for the OS and applications but also need to be completely reliable and self-healing. Snappy is much better than package dependencies for robust, distributed devices.

Transactional updates. App store. A huge range of hardware. Branding for device manufacturers.

In this release of Ubuntu Core we’ve added a hardware abstraction layer where platform-specific kernels live. We’re working commercially with the major silicon providers to guarantee free updates to every device built on their chips and boards. We’ve added a web device manager (“webdm”) that handles first-boot and app store access through the web consistently on every device. And we’ve preserved perfect compatibility with the snappy images of Ubuntu Core available on every major cloud today. So you can start your kickstarter project with a VM on your favourite cloud and pick your processor when you’re ready to finalise the device.

If you are an inventor or a developer of apps that might run on devices, then Ubuntu Core is for you. We’re launching it with a wide range of partners on a huge range of devices. From the pervasive Beaglebone Black to the $35 Odroid-C1 (1Ghz processor, 1 GB RAM), all the way up to the biggest Xeon servers, snappy Ubuntu Core gives you a crisp, ultra-reliable base platform, with all the goodness of Ubuntu at your fingertips and total control over the way you deliver your app to your users and devices. With an app store (well, a “snapp” store) built in and access to the amazing work of thousands of communities collaborating on Github and other forums, with code for robotics and autopilots and a million other things instantly accessible, I can’t wait to see what people build.

I for one welcome the ability to install AI on my next camera-toting drone, and am glad to be able to do it in a way that will get patched automatically with fixes for future heartbleeds!

January 19, 2015

Komentet e FLOSSK-ut ndaj ligjit për përgjimin e komunikimeve elektronike në Kosovë

Më 19 janar, përmes një letre dërguar Komisionit Parlamentar për Integrime Evropiane, FLOSSK-u ka reaguar ndaj Projektligjit për përgjimin e komunikimeve elektronike në Kosovë. Në këtë letër numërohet arsyet pse ky Projektligj në formën e tanishme është i dëmshëm për privatësinë e qytetarëve të Kosovës dhe si rrjedhojë i papranueshëm për ne.

December 23, 2014

GNOME Builder copr now for Rawhide only

GNOME Builder is under heavy development. This usually implies that such an application might require very new versions of its dependencies.

Upstream recently bumped their dependencies, and now require things that are only in Rawhide.

I have no intention to provide development builds of Gtk3 (among other things) in a Fedora 21 copr, as that might imply either breaking half of the distro, or having to rebuild it.

As a result, the GNOME Builder copr will from now on be Rawhide-only.

I have dropped the Fedora 21 repos, they won't be updated any more.

If you were using it on Fedora 21, please delete it:

# rm -f /etc/yum.repos.d/_copr_bochecha-gnome-builder.repo

If you still want to try GNOME Builder on Fedora 21, you'll now have to go the jhbuild route.

November 27, 2014


I successfully updated my Nexus devices with Android 5.0 aka Lollipop earlier this week. Finally. After 3 tries with the download failing the first time, the install failing the next time and then it finally going through. Here is what I’m impressed with: * Look and feel polish – the visual change using new material […]

November 22, 2014

Release party in Barcelona


Another time, and there has been 16, ubuntaires celebrated the release party of the next Ubuntu version, in this case, 14.10 Utopic Unicorn.

This time, we went to Barcelona, at Raval, at the very centre, thanks to our friends of the TEB.

As always, we started with explaining what Ubuntu is and how our Catalan LoCo Team works and later Núria Alonso from the TEB explained the Ubuntu migration done at the Xarxa Òmnia.


The installations room was plenty from the very first moment.


There also was a very profitable auto-learning workshop on how to do an Ubuntu metadistribution.



And in another room, there were two Arduino workshops.



And, of course, ubuntaires love to eat well.


15615259540_76daed408b_z 15614277959_c98bda1d33_z


Pictures by Martina Mayrhofer and Walter García, all rights reserved.


November 08, 2014

OpenStack on a diet, redux

Subhu writes that OpenStack’s blossoming project list comes at a cost to quality. I’d like to follow up with an even leaner approach based on an outline drafted during the OpenStack Core discussions after ODS Hong Kong, a year ago.

The key ideas in that draft are:

Only call services “core” if the user can detect them.

How the cloud is deployed or operated makes no difference to a user. We want app developers to

Define both “core” and “common” services, but require only “core” services for a cloud that calls itself OpenStack compatible.

Separation of core and common lets us recognise common practice today, while also acknowledging that many ideas we’ve had in the past year or three are just 1.0 iterations, we don’t know which of them will stick any more than one could predict which services on any major public cloud will thrive and which will vanish over time. Signalling that something is “core” means it is something we commit to keeping around a long time. Signalling something is “common” means it’s widespread practice for it to be available in an OpenStack environment, but not a requirement.

Require that “common” services can be self-deployed.

Just as you can install a library or a binary in your home directory, you can run services for yourself in a cloud. Services do not have to be provided by the cloud infrastructure provider, they can usually be run by a user themselves, under their own account, as a series of VMs providing network services. Making it a requirement that users can self-provide a service before designating it common means that users can build on it; if a particular cloud doesn’t offer it, their users can self-provide it. All this means is that the common service itself builds on core services, though it might also depend on other common services which could be self-deployed in advance of it.

Require that “common” services have a public integration test suite that can be run by any user of a cloud to evaluate conformance of a particular implementation of the service.

For example, a user might point the test suite at HP Cloud to verify that the common service there actually conforms to the service test standard. Alternatively, the user who self-provides a common service in a cloud which does not provide it can verify that their self-deployed common service is functioning correctly. This also serves to expand the test suite for the core: we can self-deploy common services and run their test suites to exercise the core more thoroughly than Tempest could.

Keep the whole set as small as possible.

We know that small is beautiful; small is cleaner, leaner, more comprehensible, more secure, easier to test, likely to be more efficiently implemented, easier to attract developer participation. In general, if something can be cut from the core specification it should. “Common” should reflect common practice and can be arbitrarily large, and also arbitrarily changed.

In the light of those ideas, I would designate the following items from Subhu’s list as core OpenStack services:

  • Keystone (without identity, nothing)
  • Nova (the basis for any other service is the ability to run processes somewhere)
    • Glance (hard to use Nova without it)
  • Neutron (where those services run)
    • Designate (DNS is a core aspect of the network)
  • Cinder (where they persist data)

I would consider these to be common OpenStack services:

  • SWIFT (widely deployed, can be self-provisioned with Cinder block backends)
  • Ceph RADOS-GW object storage (widely deployed as an implementation choice, common because it could be self-provided on Cinder block)
  • Horizon (widely deployed, but we want to encourage innovation in the dashboard)

And these I would consider neither core nor common, though some of them are clearly on track there:

  • Barbican (not widely implemented)
  • Ceilometer (internal implementation detail, can’t be common because it requires access to other parts)
  • Juju (not widely implemented)
  • Kite (not widely implemented)
  • HEAT (on track to become common if it can be self-deployed, besides, I eat controversy for breakfast)
  • MAAS (who cares how the cloud was built?)
  • Manila (not widely implemented, possibly core once solid, otherwise common once, err, common)
  • Sahara (not widely implemented, weird that we would want to hardcode one way of doing this in the project)
  • Triple-O (user doesn’t care how the cloud was deployed)
  • Trove (not widely implemented, might make it to “common” if widely deployed)
  • Tuskar (see Ironic)
  • Zaqar (not widely implemented)

In the current DefCore discussions, the “layer” idea has been introduced. My concern is simple: how many layers make sense? End users don’t want to have to figure out what lots of layers mean. If we had “OpenStack HPC” and “OpenStack Scientific” and “OpenStack Genomics” layers, that would just be confusing. Let’s keep it simple – use “common” as a layer, but be explicit that it will change to reflect common practice (of course, anything in common is self-reinforcing in that new players will defer to norms and implement common services, thereby entrenching common unless new ideas make services obsolete).

September 18, 2014

TL;DW for Clojure Data Science

Edmund Jackson talked at the 2012 Clojure/Conj, and you can see his talk here.

I took these notes as I watched it:
  1. What is "data science"?
    1. "That realm of endeavor that requires, simultaneously, advanced computational and statistical methods."
    2. Some people aren't sure whether "data science" is a thing, or just data analysis dressed up with a fancy name. That question amuses me.
  2. What's new, such that everybody suddenly cares about data science?
    1. widely available computing resources, open source tools such as R, and large amounts of data available in private companies and in public
    2. Compares to early days of Linux, when there was a bunch of new stuff that everybody could hack on
  3. Interactive tools aren't enough; you're not taking some data, analyzing it, and coming back with the answer. You need platform features like native language speed, data structures, language constructs, connectivity, and QC in order to embed your analysis in business processes.
  4. The tools with better analysis features (e.g., R, Mathematica) lack the platform features, and the tools with better platform features (he focuses primarily on C++ as his example here) lack the analysis features.
  5. Python is in the sweet spot, with platform features and (via numpy, scipy, and pandas) analysis features. But:
    1. It's full of mutable data!
    2. The mode of expression in imperative languages poorly matches the content of expression when you're dealing with maths.
  6. F#, Scala, and Clojure are all functional, and therefore (immutable data, more natural expression of maths) better alternatives than Python.
  7. Clojure yay! points:
    1. Native: Incanter, Storm, Cascalog, Datomic
    2. JVM: Mahout (ML on Hadoop), jBLAS, Weka (Java lib with many ML algorithms)
    3. Interop: Rincanter (call out to R), JNI
  8. From here he goes into calculating the entropy of a distribution, and the relative entropy of different distributions.
  9. Demonstrates using relative entropy fns in Datomic queries

September 11, 2014

Mozilla Webmaker at Olivarez College Tagaytay a success

2014-09-05 09.48.21

The Mozilla webmaker party at Olivarez College Tagaytay is a success last September 5, 2014. Which was attended by different department from Olivarez College Tagaytay at Computer Laboratory 2.  Since they only have 20 system units on their laboratory they created a two batches of participants, one in the morning and the other is in the afternoon. The event discussion is about Introduction Mozilla which was discuss by Me, The second lecturer discussed and demo “Thimble” by Mr. Ian Mark Martin and lastly Mr. Leo Caisip which  discussed  about “Popcorn Maker“, Both  attended the Mozilla PH orientation for web maker mentor last August 16, 2014  at Mozilla Community Space Manila. The event ended at exactly 4:00pm as mostly in afternoon participated by the nursing department.


2014-09-11 12.59.54

We also distributed some Mozilla Swag (Bollard, Mozilla Sticker, Mozilla Tatoos and Mozilla Pins) for participants after the event. As part of the successfull event, based on their survey they are requesting for another event semilar to this.  but internet on the school is not that stable during that day but still we managed to make the event successfull.



Pictures can be found here:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/83515207@N04/sets/72157646987948838/

September 04, 2014

TL;DW for "How To Design A Good API and Why it Matters"

Josh Bloch's Google Tech Talk video How To Design A Good API and Why it Matters is about an hour long, and well worth your time. It's focused on OOP, but has lots of good principles that can be followed elsewhere.

In case you don't have an hour right now, here's a summary/index kind of thing that points out the bits I thought were most important.
  1. 6:27: Characteristics of a good API:
    1. Easy to learn
    2. Easy to use, even without documentation
    3. Hard to misuse
    4. Easy to read and maintain code that uses it
    5. Sufficiently powerful to satisfy requirements
    6. Easy to evolve
    7. Appropriate to audience
  2. 7:52: Gather requirements, but differentiate between true requirements (which should take the form of use cases) and proposed solutions.
  3. 10:02: Start with a short spec; one page is ideal.
    1. Agility trumps completeness at this point.
    2. Get as many spec reviews from as many audiences as possible, modify according to feedback.
    3. Flesh the spec out as you gain confidence.
  4. 15:10: Write to your API early and often
    1. Start writing to your API before you've implemented it, or even specified it properly.
    2. Continue writing to your API as you flesh it out.
    3. Your code will live on in examples and unit tests.
  5. 17:32: Write to SPI [Service Provider Interface]
    1. Write at least three plugins before your release.
    2. Application in Clojure-land: Not sure...
  6. 19:35: Maintain realistic expectations.
    1. You won't please everyone.
    2. Aim to displease everyone equally.
    3. Expect to make mistakes and evolve the API in the future.
  7. 22:01: API should do one thing and do it well.
    1. Functionality should be easy to explain.
    2. If it's hard to name, that's a bad sign.
      1. Example of bad name that I can't leave out of this summary: OMGVMCID
  8. 24:32: API should be as small as possible but no smaller
    1. "When in doubt, leave it out." You can always add stuff, but you can't ever remove anything you've included. (The speaker calls this out as his most important point.)
  9. 26:27: Implementation should not impact API.
    1. Do not over-specify. For example, nobody needs to know how your hash function works, unless the hashes are persistent.
    2. Don't leak implementation details such as SQL exceptions!
  10. 29:36: Minimize accessibility of everything.
    1. Don't let API callers see stuff you don't want to be public, and that includes anything you might want to change in the future.
  11. 30:39: Names matter: API is a little language.
    1. Make names self-explanatory.
    2. Be consistent.
    3. Strive for symmetry. (If you can GET a monkey-uncle, make sure you can PUT a monkey-uncle, too.)
  12. 32:32: Documentation matters.
    1. Document parameter units! ("Length of banana in centimeters")
  13. 35:41: Consider performance consequences of API design decisions.
    1. Bad decisions can limit performance -- and this is permanent.
    2. Do not warp your API to gain performance -- the slow thing you avoided can be fixed and get faster, but your warped API will be permanent.
    3. Good design usually coincides with good performance.
  14. 40:00: Minimize mutability
    1. Make everything immutable unless there's a reason to do otherwise.
  15. 45:31: Don't make the caller do anything your code should do.
    1. If there are common use cases that require stringing a bunch of your stuff together in a boilerplate way, that's a bad sign.
  16. 48:36: Don't violate the principle of least astonishment
    1. Make sure your API callers are never surprised by what the API does.
  17. 50:03: Report errors as soon as possible after they occur.
  18. 52:00: Provide programmatic access to all data that is available in string form.
    1. Rich Hickey makes a similar point here.
  19. 56:15: Use consistent parameter ordering across methods.
    1. Here's a bad example:
      1. char *strncpy (char *dst, char *src, size_t n);
      2. void bcopy (void *src, void *dst, size_t n);
  20. 57:15: Avoid long parameter lists.
  21. 58:21: Avoid return values that demand exceptional processing.
    1. Example: return an empty list instead of nil/null.

August 22, 2014

GNU hackers unmask massive HACIENDA surveillance program and design a countermeasure

After making key discoveries about the details of HACIENDA, Julian Kirsch, Dr. Christian Grothoff, Jacob Appelbaum, and Dr. Holger Kenn designed the TCP Stealth system to protect unadvertised servers from port scanning.

According to Heise Online, the intelligence agencies of the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand are involved in HACIENDA. The agencies share the data they collect. The HACIENDA system also hijacks civilian computers, allowing it to leach computing resources and cover its tracks.

Some of the creators of TCP Stealth are also prominent contributors to the GNU Project, a major facet of the free software community and a hub for political and technological action against bulk surveillance. Free software is safer because it is very hard to hide malicious code in a program anyone can read. In proprietary software, there is no way to guarantee that programs don't hide backdoors and other vulnerabilities. The team revealed their work on August 15, 2014 at the annual GNU Hackers' Meeting in Germany, and Julian Kirsch published about it in his master's degree thesis.

Maintainers of Parabola, an FSF-endorsed GNU/Linux distribution, have already implemented TCP Stealth, making Parabola users safer from surveillance. The FSF encourages other operating systems to follow Parabola's lead.

The Free Software Foundation supports and sponsors the GNU Project. FSF campaigns manager Zak Rogoff said, "Every time you use a free software program, you benefit from the work of free software developers inspired by the values of transparency and bottom-up collaboration. But on occassions like these, when our civil liberties are threatened with technological tools, the deep importance of these values becomes obvious. The FSF is proud to support the free software community in its contributions to the resistance against bulk surveillance."

The Free Software Foundation works politically for an end to mass surveillance. Simultaneously, the Foundation advocates for individuals of all technical skill levels to take a variety of actions against bulk surveillance.

About Julian Kirsch, Christian Grothoff, Jacob Appelbaum, and Holger Kenn

Julian Kirsch is the author of "Improved Kernel-Based Port-Knocking in Linux", his Master's Thesis in Informatics at Technische Universitat Munchen.

Dr. Christian Grothoff is the Emmy-Noether research group leader in Computer Science at Technische Universitat Munchen.

Jacob Appelbaum is an American independent computer security researcher and hacker. He was employed by the University of Washington, and is a core member of the Tor project, a free software network designed to provide online anonymity.

Dr. Holger Kenn is a computer scientist specializing in wearable computing, especially software architectures, context sensor systems, human machine interfaces, and wearable-mediated human robot cooperation.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

About the GNU Operating System and Linux

Richard Stallman announced in September 1983 the plan to develop a free software Unix-like operating system called GNU. GNU is the only operating system developed specifically for the sake of users' freedom. See https://www.gnu.org/gnu/the-gnu-project.

In 1992, the essential components of GNU were complete, except for one, the kernel. When in 1992 the kernel Linux was re-released under the GNU GPL, making it free software, the combination of GNU and Linux formed a complete free operating system, which made it possible for the first time to run a PC without non-free software. This combination is the GNU/Linux system. For more explanation, see https://www.gnu.org/gnu/gnu-linux-faq.

Media Contacts

Zak Rogoff
Campaigns Manager
Free Software Foundation
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

"Knocking down the HACIENDA" by Julian Kirsch, produced by GNU, the GNUnet team, and edited on short notice by Carlo von Lynx from #youbroketheinternet is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NoDerivatives 3.0 Unported License.

August 13, 2014

SFD Tagaytay 2014 at Olivarez College

I am now again an official organizer for SFD 2014, but this time I will organized the event in Tagaytay City which will be hosted by Olivarez College in Tagaytay. The said event is scheduled on September 27, 2014.


The venue is on their “AMPITHEATER” where it can hold more than 500 participants. Here are some pictures of the exact venue.

cpdc-20140804131542221  cpdc-20140804131124356We also launch the online registration feel free to register using the this URL : https://www.eventbrite.com/e/software-freedom-day-2014-at-olivarez-college-tagaytay-tickets-12455543867

August 12, 2014

websites on this server

June 30, 2014

Scancation - Scanning the Standing Stones of the Outer Hebrides

I just came back from a vacation where Kio and I went and visited most of the megalithic monuments on the islands of the Outer Hebrides in Scotland. Stone circles are all over the place on these islands and the biggest one is the Callanish Stone Circle. One of the cool things about these places is that there is very little history known about them and so all you can know about them is from your experience of being around them. Most of them all taller than me and you get the sense that these places were the sacred spaces of 5000 years ago.

One of the things I say a lot at MakerBot is that they really make the most sense when you connect your MakerBot to your passion. Since I'm into rocks. I scanned a few of my favorite stones and ran them through 123D Catch which makes a 3D model from up to 70 photos of the object. It’s pretty cool to think that yesterday I was walking among these stones and today I’m printing them out on the MakerBots in my office. 

It’s interesting to note that this feels a lot like the old days of vacation film photography. The process of processing the photos into a 3D model feels a lot like when I used to develop celluloid film after a vacation.

Someday, printing 3D models will be normal for everyone, for now, it’s just normal for all the MakerBot operators in the world.

If you decide to go on your own scanning vacation, aka scancation, here’s my process and tips for acquiring models. I use a Canon S110 camera and then upload my photos later to the 123D Catch site and then upload all the models and a zip file of all the photos to Thingiverse because the photogrammetry software will get better someday and I want to have an archive of the photos so I can make better models later.


  • Lighting conditions matter. A cloudy sky is much better than a sunny one so that you can get all the details of your subject. 
  • Fill the frame, but make sure to leave some area around the object in the picture. 123D Catch uses reference points in the object to make everything fit together. 
  • Use all 70 pictures allowed by the software. The more pictures, the better the scan. 
  • Scan weird things. Sometimes the most iconic stuff of a location isn’t the most obvious. Some friends of mine scanned all of Canal St. in NYC and said the interesting parts were the giant piles of trash bags which are one of the local overlooked pieces of landscape art.
  • Don’t forget the top view. If you are capturing a subject that is tall, do your best to get above it and take a picture. A quadcopter could be handy for that
  • Fix it up with Netfabb. After I upload the photos into the 123D Catch online portal, then I use Netfabb basic to slice off all the weird parts and cut a flat bottom onto the object.
  • Make sure to upload your scans to Thingiverse. We can all make models of your SCANCATION. 


Do you have any other scanning tips for those that would like to experiment with vacation scanning? Leave them in the comments!

June 22, 2014

the meaning of a word

i learned the word "feminist" at my first job. I was 15 and a trainee engineer in a hydro power scheme. I recall one young man I worked with asking me urgently if i was a feminist. I asked what that was. he said, "women who hate men". oh.. i'm not one of them....

why would i get a job as the only woman deep in a power station if i hated men? It was a long long time before i heard any other definition of feminist.

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