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Date: Sunday, 10 Aug 2014 17:30

THIS MONTH…..
-TRENDS
-EYE CATCHING
-ANNUAL PLAN
-DISCUSSIONS
-EXISTING CODE
-SECURITY
-LASTLY

-TRENDS
The stuff going on in the big picture now…..

United States Electricity Price per KWH
Current and Past

May June Trend % Change
$0.136 $0.143 Increase 5.15%
Year June Trend % Change % Since Difference
2004 $0.099 Same 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
2005 $0.104 Increase 5.05% 5.05% 5.05%
2006 $0.118 Increase 13.46% 19.19% 14.14%
2007 $0.122 Increase 3.39% 23.23% 4.04%
2008 $0.128 Increase 4.92% 29.29% 6.06%
2009 $0.132 Increase 3.13% 33.33% 4.04%
2010 $0.132 Same 0.00% 33.33% 0.00%
2011 $0.134 Increase 1.52% 35.35% 2.02%
2012 $0.135 Increase 0.75% 36.36% 1.01%
2013 $0.137 Increase 1.48% 38.38% 2.02%
2014 $0.143 Increase 4.38% 44.44% 6.06%

 United Kingdom Utility Prices
Current and Past

(OK, we are looking for a pretty picture to put here. Our other picture went away.)

-EYE CATCHING
The stuff that has caught our eye…..

Demand Response

Smart Grid – Consumer

  • An article, addressing a new Congressional Report, explaining the risks present within the United States electric grid.
  • An article, explaining the edge of residential property is where the next Smart Grid growth event will occur.
  • An evaluation, of various Smart Thermostats and their inability to effectively achieve comfort with cost effectiveness.

Smart Grid – Producer

  • An article, explaining electric service outages are driving Smart Grid growth more than the desire to achieve improved energy efficiency.
  • An article, finding the United States electric grid grid is the worst in the industrialized world, having a 285% increase in electric service outages.
  • A press release, announcing India will modify their entire national electric grid to use OpenADR.
  • A decision, enacting full retail deregulation of the Japan electric power system. Electricity supply in Japan is carried out by privately-owned independent regional electric power companies. In 1952, the nine electric power companies established the Federation of Electric Power Companies (FEPC) to promote smooth operations within the industry.
  • An article, stating Japan will restart two of their nuclear reactors.
  • An article, considering why Smart Grid investments fail to produce desired results.
  • An article, illustrating how to successfully transform any Smart Grid from theory into reality. There is nothing in this article about technology standards. This absence demonstrates it is an economic game now, of finding the money to build.
  • An opinion, sharing how electric suppliers can respond to Google in the electricity production market sector.

Smart Grid – Security

  • An article, asserting Smart Meters pose both a security risk and an insurance challenge for the energy industry.
  • An article, identify the insurance challenges involved with providing coverage to energy firms.
  • A report, illustrating the ease of compromising the security of a Smart Home kit.
  • An article, discussing the IEEE approach for accomplishing energy grid security.
  • An article, considering who will control network connected HVAC thermostats.
  • An article, identifying 7 questions utilities should ask their vendors.
  • An article, identifying 7 Smart Meter security threats not involving penetrating a network.

-ANNUAL PLAN
Status Update of our 2014 Plan…..

Demand Response

  • Further discussions with members of the electronics industry.
  • No other work since the April newsletter.

Unattended Server Side Automation

  • No other work since the April newsletter.

Power Line Communication

  • Further discussions with the members of the electronics industry.
  • No other work since the January newsletter.

Talk to us with your comments and suggestions on our plan for this year.

-DISCUSSIONS
The stuff we are talking about now…..

WIRED OR WIRELESS
We are often asked if a network connected HVAC thermostat is best connected to a wired or wireless network. We are asked this question to gain our endorsement for supporting either one position or the other. The answer to this question is quite long and not well suited for a newsletter. It requires proper treatment, perhaps in the form a white paper. It is part of the Cost Benefit Analysis we cover in both the Implementation Cost and Road Map sections of our user manual. There are benefits and liabilities to each option, both independently and when they are used together. Talk to us if you would like for us to develop a white paper on this topic.

It is not a matter of a good tool or a bad tool. A smartphone can easily be compromised, if it is improperly configured. Even well intended help can easily bring disaster. SANS explains how a smart light bulb (a developing technology) exposes the wireless network password used by the bulb. The successful Smart Grid will need both synchronous and asynchronous technologies. A thing is not a technology. Technologies are specified, measured, and validated.

We answer this wired or wireless question by determining whatever is the most suitable answer for the end-user, to NOT expose them to either:

too great of a security risk

OR

too expensive of an operational cost

We are quite concerned about the false perception of using wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) with a computer will bring success from using Wi-Fi with the network connected HVAC thermostat. A network connected HVAC thermostat is a System on a Chip (SoC). A SoC is a much lesser technology combination than a computer, resulting in a much smaller set of capabilities. Not all wireless networking options use the same type of wireless technology. Wi-Fi is not ZigBee, which is not Bluetooth, which is not AMI, which is not cellular. These technologies can sometimes work together, but they are completely different technologies using some form of radio frequency on the radio spectrum.

Again, properly answering this question requires much better treatment than only a newsletter.

OTHER TYPES OF THERMOSTATS?
Many people have asked us about adding other types of thermostats to GNU remotecontrol. There are three questions that need to be answered before we can offer GNU remotecontrol support for any IP thermostat. These questions are:

  • How to CONNECT to it (NETWORK).
  • How to READ from it (CODE).
  • How to WRITE to it (CODE).

It is our hope to have dozens and dozens of thermostat types that work with GNU remotecontrol. Let us know if you designed or manufactured a device and you would like to test it with GNU remotecontrol.

-EXISTING CODE
The stuff you may want to consider…..

BUGS
We have 0 new bugs and 0 fixed bugs since our last Blog posting. Please review these changes and apply to your GNU remotecontrol installation, as appropriate.

TASKS
We have 0 new tasks and 0 completed tasks since our last Blog posting. Please review these changes and apply to your GNU remotecontrol installation, as appropriate.

-SECURITY
The stuff you REALLY want to consider…..

UNIVERSAL SERIAL BUS
A critical flaw has been discovered in Universal Serial Bus (USB). Some HVAC thermostats have USB connectors. This flaw does not mean all technologies using USB are vulnerable to this problem. It does mean any technology automatically enabling a USB device is vulnerable.

REMEMBER
GNU remotecontrol relies on OS file access restrictions, Apache authentication, MySQL authentication, and SSL encryption to secure your data. Talk to us you want to find out how you can further strengthen the security of your system, or you have suggestions for improving the security of our current system architecture.

-LASTLY
Whatever you do…..don’t get beat up over your Energy Management strategy. GNU remotecontrol is here to help simplify your life, not make it more complicated. Talk to us if you are stuck or cannot figure out the best option for your GNU remotecontrol framework. The chances are the answer you need is something we have already worked through. We would be happy to help you by discussing your situation with you.

…..UNTIL NEXT MONTH!

Why the Affero GPL?

GNU Affero General Public License LOGO

GNU remotecontrol LOGO


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Date: Friday, 08 Aug 2014 17:43
The ISEE-3 spacecraft
An original drawing of the ISEE-3 spacecraft from the 1970s.

The International Sun-Earth Explorer-3, or ISEE-3, was launched in 1978 by NASA to monitor activity on the sun. After three years of observation, NASA repurposed the satellite, which soon became the first spacecraft to visit a comet. The mission ended in 1999, when NASA abandoned ISEE-3 to orbit the Sun, despite the fact that twelve of the satellite's thirteen instruments were still working.

In 2008, when it was discovered that the satellite was still transmitting a signal and would fly close to Earth, NASA realized that they no longer had the funding or equipment to reinitiate contact. So a volunteer group of scientists, programmers, and engineers organized the ISEE-3 Reboot Project, which was crowd-funded with over $150,000 in donations, and set out to contact the spacecraft, fire its engine, and bring it closer to Earth to resume its original mission.

To do this, the group turned to GNU Radio, a free software toolkit for implementing software-defined radios and signal processing systems. Modifying the software to communicate in the 1970s satellite protocol, members of the reboot project were able to gain access to the spacecraft and fire its thrusters in early July, and will soon attempt to move the satellite into an orbit close to Earth.

You can support GNU Radio by making a donation through the FSF's Working Together for Free Software Fund. To get more involved, attend the annual GNU Radio Conference, to be held this year between September 15th and 19th in Washington, D.C.

The successes of the ISEE-3 Reboot project demonstrate the importance of developing, maintaining, and promoting free software. With dozens of contributors and thousands of users, GNU Radio is written to be shared, learned, and improved by anyone, anywhere -- unlike the lost proprietary communications equipment used by NASA.

This is the second time we've lauded the use of free software for space exploration in the last two years. Read our 2013 blog post about the choice of GNU/Linux as the operating of the International Space Station.

"This openness to inquiry, collaboration, and 'standing on the shoulders of giants' is at the heart of all science," wrote John Gilmore, a founding member of the GNU Radio project, in an email to the FSF. "The GNU Project has institutionalized those principles in a vast community of software authors and users. And GNU's legalized freedom and sharing [...] enable many people to use it and contribute to it -- such as these volunteers."

This blog post was written by FSF campaigns intern Alex Patel. More information about the FSF's internship program is available on our Internships page.

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Date: Friday, 08 Aug 2014 12:11
The Free Software Movement campaigns for computer users' freedom to cooperate and control their own computing. The Free Software Movement developed the GNU operating system, typically used together with the kernel Linux, specifically to make these freedoms possible.

Richard Stallman's speech will be nontechnical, admission is free of charge, and the public is encouraged to attend.

Please fill out our contact form, so that we can contact you about future events in and around Ogden.

Author: "--"
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Date: Friday, 08 Aug 2014 11:17

Richard Stallman will be speaking at SIGEF 2014 (Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum 2014). His speech will be the keynote address in the plenary session "Science for Better Times." It will be nontechnical and the public is encouraged to attend.

Please fill out our contact form, so that we can contact you about future events in and around Geneva.

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Date: Friday, 08 Aug 2014 10:55

Richard Stallman will be speaking at SIGEF 2014 (Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum 2014. His speech will be the keynote address in the plenary session "Communication Technologies for Socially Oriented Global Interaction." It will be nontechnical and the public is encouraged to attend.

Please fill out our contact form, so that we can contact you about future events in and around Geneva.

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Date: Friday, 08 Aug 2014 04:05

This is a maintenance release correcting a number of bugs---most of which were introduced in v0.2.3---addressing primarily ECMAScript 3 incompatibilities. Users needing to support ES3 environments (notably, IE<=8) should consider v0.2.3 to be broken.

v0.2.3 was released last week on Jul 28.

Changes between 0.2.3 and 0.2.4:

  • [bugfix] method.super references in ease.js and test cases are now ES3-compatible
  • [bugfix] The Global prototype introduced in v0.2.3 used an implementation that IE<=8 did not support; now using an alternative
  • [bugfix] Interface.isInstanceOf now correctly operates as documented in the interoperability section of the manual
    • When passed an object whose constructor is not an ease.js class, it now falls back to Interface.isCompatible (as it should have).
  • [bugfix] Corrected test broken by Node.js 0.10.27
    • See commit cef45cd0 for details on what changed within Node.js.

Trait support is currently under development and will be undocumented until v0.3.0; it is included currently as a preview and is functional and comprehensively tested, but incomplete.

- [preview] [bugfix] Non-argument traits now apply an empty array to `__mixin` instead of `undefined`, which is unsupported by ES3

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Date: Thursday, 07 Aug 2014 18:53

Join the FSF and friends on Friday, August 8, from 2pm to 5pm EDT (18:00 to 21:00 UTC) to help improve the Free Software Directory by adding new entries and updating existing ones. We will be on IRC in the #fsf channel on freenode.


Tens of thousands of people visit directory.fsf.org each month to discover free software. Each entry in the Directory contains a wealth of useful information, from basic category and descriptions, to providing detailed info about version control, IRC channels, documentation, and licensing info that has been carefully checked by FSF staff and trained volunteers.


While the Free Software Directory has been and continues to be a great resource to the world over the past decade, it has the potential of being a resource of even greater value. But it needs your help!


If you are eager to help and you can't wait or are simply unable to make it onto IRC on Friday, our participation guide will provide you with all the information you need to get started on helping the Directory today!

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Date: Thursday, 07 Aug 2014 18:02

Hello,

I am happy to announce that GNU APL 1.4 has been released.

This release contains:

  • an interface to mySQL and Postgres databases (thanks to Elias)
  • two component file systems as demanded by ISO 13751 (thanks to Blake and David)
  • a centralized server for shared variables (APserver)

All bugs reported before 8/6/2014 were fixed.

The GNU APL project lives at: http://www.gnu.org/software/apl
and can be downloaded from: ftp://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/apl/ or any GNU mirror.

Bug reports and other suggestions are welcome at bug-apl@gnu.org.

Have fun!

Dr. Jürgen Sauermann
Author and Maintainer of GNU APL

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Date: Thursday, 07 Aug 2014 15:22

Dear community

GNU Health patchset 2.6.2 has been released !

Priority : Medium

Table of Contents:

  • About GNU Health Patchsets
  • Summary of this patchset
  • Installation notes
  • List of Bugs

About GNU Health Patchsets

We provide "patchsets" to stable releases. Patchsets allow quick bug fixes and updates for production systems.

Patches and Patchsets maximize uptime for production systems, and keep your system updated, without the need to do a whole installation. Some of them, and thanks to the magic of Tryton can be applied to running system.

NOTE: Patchsets are applied on previously installed systems only. For new installations, download and install the whole tarball (ie, gnuhealth-2.6.2.tar.gz)

For more information about GNU Health patches and patchsets you can visit https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/GNU_Health/Patches_and_Patchsets

Summary of this patchset

This is a small patchset, related mostly to reports and wizards.

  • Affected modules (excludes localization / typos) : health, health_lab, health_imaging
  • health : Fix prescription report
  • health_lab :Check for health professional on test request
  • health_imaging : Check for health professional on Dx imaging request

Installation Notes

  • Source the GNU Health profile (source $HOME/.gnuhealthrc) to update your environment
  • This patchset does not require a database update.

List of bugs related to this patchset

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Date: Thursday, 07 Aug 2014 10:32
Debian and the Free Software Foundation, along with its GNU Project, share many goals and ideals. They are two of the most mature and dedicated organizations working in the free software movement.
Debian is not on the FSF's list of endorsed GNU/Linux distributions. Why is this? Should something be done about it, and if so, what?
Much attention has been focused on the question of full endorsement. But there are other opportunities for the FSF and Debian to work together, whether full endorsement becomes a reality or not. Let's review the history of this cooperation, and talk about some future possibilities.

FSF executive director (and Debian Developer) John Sullivan will give a presentation about the current state of things as the FSF sees it, and will leave plenty of time for discussion as well.

Attendees:

John Sullivan, Steve McIntyre, Ana Guerrero López, Brian Gupta, Clint Adams, NIIBE Yutaka, Gerald Turner, Mehdi Dogguy, Matt Zagrabelny, Paul Wise, Paul Tagliamonte, Rene Mayorga, Simon Fondrie-Teitler, Steve Langasek, Stefano Zacchiroli, Zlatan Todoric

Please fill out our contact form, so that we can contact you about future events in and around Portland.

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Date: Wednesday, 06 Aug 2014 02:36

The original author of Net::Gnats has transferred maintainer status to me since it is planned that the next version of Gnatsweb will be leveraging this module.

By using Net::Gnats, we look forward to decoupling the protocol code from the web client.

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Date: Tuesday, 05 Aug 2014 18:55
Micah-Shalom Kesselman

Hello, my name is Micah. I am currently a second-year law student at Suffolk University Law School in Boston. My primary focus has been on the law surrounding copyrights, patents, and trademarks as well as software licensing. At the same time, I am also a returning undergraduate studying Computer Science at University of Massachusetts Boston.

In my life before law school, I was a graduate student at University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee, in my hometown, where I studied Political Science. Prior to that, I completed my BA in Political Science and Philosophy at Purdue University in Indiana. I have always been fascinated by the intersection of technology and society and in law school that interest naturally culminated in a focus on software law and the use of software in the practice of law.

I believe that law and software share the quality of being at their best when developed transparently and collaboratively. This belief drew my attention to software freedom. Exploring the many ways the two fields can support each other has been both rewarding and one I believe to be incredibly important to modern society. I am very interested in how a better understanding of the law and licenses that both developers and users are bound by can foster better software, not only technologically but also socially. On the flip side, I think it is clear that a better understanding of software and its workings has the potential to improve legal reasoning and policy consideration.

During my summer at the FSF, I hope to obtain a better understanding of free software licensing and also a more informed view of the free software movement. As an intern for the Licensing Team, I will have the opportunity to answer licensing questions and assist on FSF projects. My desire is to conclude this summer having not only helped the FSF in its mission of software freedom and helping developers with their questions, but also to have obtained a fuller understanding of the concerns, considerations, and perceptions of software developers and users.

This summer is sure to be a unique and rewarding experience. I am extremely excited to be working with the Licensing Team here at the Free Software Foundation.

More information about the FSF's internship program is at https://www.fsf.org/volunteer/internships.

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Date: Tuesday, 05 Aug 2014 14:50

With the launch of the Libreboot project, users now have an easy-to-install, 100% free software replacement for proprietary BIOS/boot programs. This project is important; currently, many computer-makers notoriously deny free software developers the information they need to develop free replacements for the proprietary software they ship with their products. In some cases, manufacturers do not even share enough information for it to be possible to install a free operating system.

ryf-certification-mark

In order to make it possible to run Libreboot on as many hardware platforms as possible, the project needs your help. Fortunately, there are a lot of simple and easy ways you can start supporting the project today, including buying a computer with Libreboot preinstalled, helping to test Libreboot by installing it on new systems, and directly contributing code and documentation to the project or to its upstream parent, Coreboot.

In December 2013, we awarded the Respects Your Freedom (RYF) certification mark to Gluglug for their refurbished and updated X60 laptops. In order to meet the FSF's RYF certification requirements, Francis Rowe of Gluglug had to be sure that the boot program he was distributing was 100% free software. Fortunately, the Coreboot project solved most of this problem for him. Francis was able to compile a version of Coreboot that ran on the X60 laptop, without requiring any proprietary firmware blobs. However, because Coreboot provides proprietary firmware blobs for several different chip-sets in the source code, Francis was still left with the task of removing those blobs from the source tree that he was distributing. At first, Francis did this deblobbing by hand. This spring, he launched the Libreboot project to formalize the process of deblobbing the Coreboot source tree. Coinciding with the release of Libreboot, Francis also decided to rebrand the laptop, changing the name from Gluglug X60 to Libreboot X60 (the RYF certification applies to the Libreboot X60 as well). You can support the development of Libreboot by buying a Libreboot X60 laptop today. All laptops come preinstalled with Libreboot and Trisquel GNU/Linux, and have been upgraded with a free software-friendly 802.11n wireless card.

In addition to the X60 laptop, Libreboot now supports select models of the ThinkPad T60, the X60 Tablet (with digitizer) and certain models of the MacBook2,1 which use the same chip-sets as the X60.

While we applaud and endorse Francis' work on Libreboot, it is important to note that neither the FSF nor Francis considers Libreboot a fork of Coreboot. The Libreboot project clarifies this fact on its website with the following statement: "Libreboot is not a fork of Coreboot, despite misconceptions of this fact. Libreboot (downstream supplier) is a parallel effort which works closely with and rebases on the latest Coreboot (upstream supplier) every so often." The work done by both Libreboot and Coreboot are important and they need the support of the free software community if we hope to have more laptops bearing the RYF certification mark in the future.

The Libreboot project has begun attracting some much-needed attention and support. "From small patches, bug fixes, feature additions, suggestions for improvement, help with GnuPG (at the time of writing, recent Libreboot releases are now GnuPG-signed) and more. To all those that have contributed to Libreboot, I thank you and appreciate it!" stated Francis Rowe.

If you have questions, or are interested in working on Libreboot, send an email to info@gluglug.org.uk or drop by the #libreboot channel on the Freenode network.

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Date: Tuesday, 05 Aug 2014 10:30

The speech by Richard Stallman will be nontechnical, admission will be free of charge, and the public is encouraged to attend.

Please fill out our contact form, so that we can contact you about future events in and around Georgia.

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Date: Tuesday, 05 Aug 2014 07:25

fisicalab-2

I started the development of version 0.4.0 of FisicaLab. And what better to start with a new icon. I’m not a graphical designer, so I wanted keep this simple. To start I used one of the icons at module of dynamics of circular motion, the icon of final system. The three particles and the lines (I think these are called “kinetic lines” in comics, but I’m not sure) represent a system in movement. The “f” is not only for FisicaLab but also for “final state of the system”.

I will keep you informed about the progress in this new version. Remember you can support FisicaLab trough: Paypal, Flattr or Gittip.


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Date: Tuesday, 05 Aug 2014 00:54

This new release fixes several minor bugs as well as compatibility and compilation issues (notably in darwin systems). Special thanks to Ryan Schmidt, who's maintaining our Macport and helped a lot in fixing those problems.

Author: "--"
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Date: Monday, 04 Aug 2014 16:09

Las actividades cuyo objetivo es la "inclusión" de más personas en el empleo de las tecnologías digitales se basan en la suposición de que ésto sea invariablemente algo bueno. Parecería que así es, si se juzga considerando únicamente la conveniencia práctica inmediata. Sin embargo, si juzgamos también en términos de derechos humanos, es el tipo de mundo digital en el que nos quieren insertar lo que determina si se trata de un bien o de un mal. Antes de luchar por la inclusión digital, debemos cerciorarnos de que las personas estarán en un mundo digital bueno.

Favor de rellenar este formulario, para que podamos contactarle acerca de eventos futuros en la región de la Ciudad de México.

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Date: Monday, 04 Aug 2014 07:59
Wachs M, Oehlmann F, Grothoff C. Automatic Transport Selection and Resource Allocation for Resilient Communication in Decentralised Networks. In: 14-th IEEE International Conference on Peer-to-Peer Computing. 14-th IEEE International Conference on Peer-to-Peer Computing. London. England; 2014.
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Date: Friday, 01 Aug 2014 22:31

Today's Friday Free Software Directory IRC Meeting was energetic and productive -- as IRC newcomer noted: "what is this all about? I feel excited!". And, for good reason: this summer has been an exciting and productive one on the Directory. One of the big reasons for this success is due to contributions of Morten "Jobbe" Jakobsen, who has been helping to run our IRC meetings, as well as to make sure that the many contributions and submissions from other volunteers are handled in a timely manner. Jobbe and the other volunteers and contributors continue to increase as do the number of new entries and updates.

Four of the entries we published today were:

  • Privacy Badger: Browser extension that detects and prevents third-party tracking (License: GPLv3+)
  • Silicon Empire: Program to Burn CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays (License: GPLv3)
  • Motif: Distribution for the Motif user interface component toolkit (License: LGPLv2+)
  • mu: Maildir indexer/searcher + GNU Emacs mail client + Guile bindings (License: GPLv3+)

In addition to publishing and updating entries, we also made some cosmetic improvements to our link icons and templates.

We hope you can join Jobbe and the rest of us, too, next week! You can find out how to attend our Friday Free Software Directory IRC Meetings by checking our blog or subscribing to the RSS feed.

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Date: Friday, 01 Aug 2014 19:09
FSF campaigns manager Zak Rogoff (left) with René Pérez of the New Economy Coalition.

Last month, FSF campaigns manager Zak Rogoff attended CommonBound, a Boston conference for those working towards a more equitable and sustainable economy.

Zak joined René Pérez of the New Economy Coalition on the panel "Opening access to the digital means of production: free software for a more equitable economy." The panel featured an exploration of existing and proposed free software business models, as well as a discussion with participants of varying free software experience, from seasoned hackers to economic justice activists discovering the four freedoms for the first time.

No matter where you are on the political spectrum, free software is important to achieve political autonomy. The FSF is happy to be building bridges to new communities, and exploring the role of free software in social justice and economic change. We look forward to sharing skills and ideas with diverse allies as we continue to foster an inclusive free software community.

If you're interested in a conference experience focused on free software, check out LibrePlanet, the FSF's weekend-long event next spring, and sign up for updates on LibrePlanet 2015.

We'd also be glad to speak at your event if we can make the trip. Send us an email at campaigns@fsf.org to get the conversation started. We also encourage supporters to give talks and host events in their communities. Check out our resources area if you'd like to get started with free software outreach.

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