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Posts Tagged ‘fedora’

Celebrate Software Freedom Day

Posted by Laurel L. Russwurm on September 17, 2010

Saturday September 18th is

a graphic sun rises over a green hill

All around the world people will be celebrating Software Freedom Day on Saturday. The idea is of course to both celebrate and raise awareness of Free Open Source Software issues.

I believe the first software freeing license was the GNU General Public License

Free Software Foundation is probably the heart of the Free Software movement which is defined by Richard Stallman’s Four Freedoms.

Free Software Foundations line drawing of the GNU mascott/logo

Free software is a matter of the users’ freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. More precisely, it means that the program’s users have the four essential freedoms:

  • The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
  • The freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do what you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
  • The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
  • The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

A program is free software if users have all of these freedoms. Thus, you should be free to redistribute copies, either with or without modifications, either gratis or charging a fee for distribution, to anyone anywhere. Being free to do these things means (among other things) that you do not have to ask or pay for permission to do so.

GNU: Richard Stallman’s The Free Software Definition

Saturday september 18 2010 softwarefreedomDOTorg Celebrate the day Software Freedom Day
These revolutionary concepts, like any good idea, have crossed over into other areas, such as copyright. As corporations work to lock creative works under increasingly restrictive copyright law, creators of art and music, like creators of software before them, have been offered the chance to achieve freedom from the chilling effects of the repressive copyright through Creative Commons licensing.

Creative Commons licensing is growing. There are branches around the world, like our Creative Commons Canada, which allow creators to license their creations in the way that they want in conjunction with their own country’s copyright law.

Tomorrow I’m hoping to attend the Software Freedom Celebration being put on by KWLUG and Kitchener-Waterloo Chapter of Ubuntu Canada and the the Working Centre being held in Kitchener’s Kwartzlab hackerspace.

Visit the Software Freedom Day website to find out what cool Software Freedom Celebration is happening in your neck of the woods.

Other Important free software links:
Tux the Penguin is the Linux Mascot

operating systems

We’ve all joked about how evil Windows is for years. And now Apple seems to be striving to be the Big Brother their ads used to decry. Is it any wonder that more and more people are switching to GNU-Linux operating systems?

I’m in the process of switching to Ubuntu, which is currently the most popular distribution. But there are scads of them out there. The ones I can name off the top of my head are Debian, KDE, Fedora, Linux Mint, Red Hat and Arch. Naturally Wikipedia can give you a more comprehensive list of GNU-Linux distributions. The safest bet is to select the distro that whoever gives you computer support knows best.


microblogging is a free software microblogging service, based on the StatusNet software. It is possible to connect with the proprietary Twitter service and the data flows into Twitter, but, being proprietary, Twitter does not share well. (For this reason people like me who use both services tend to post from, simply broadcasting to Twitter. The problem for me has been that replies from Twitter don’t reach me, although switching from Windows into the Ubuntu free software operating system allows me to use Gwibber to connect the two services. Because the software is open, people can set up their own StatusNet servers to precisely serve their needs.

In a world of 140 character limites, URL shortening is important too. You can’t go wrong with ur1 generator. The cool thing is that even when your URL is shortened, hovering over it in allows you to see where the shortened URL will take you.

preservation, advocacy & reporting

TechRights is an excellent resource on breaking free software issues. Following Dr. Roy Schestowitz on or on Twitter keeps me up with the latest.

UK Tech Journalist Glyn Moody is one of my best resources for open tech issues. His blog Open … clarifies important issues like ACTA and the UK legislative fiasco known as the Digital Economy Act. I’ve learned about a few Canadian issues first from Glyn Moody, who I follow on and on Twitter

A few other groups advocating for Internet Freedom worth mentioning are:

And since special interest groups are trying to use copyright law to suppress Internet freedom, these are some excellent Canadian copyright resources as well:
NO Canadian DMCA

Anyway, that should do for starters. 😀

Happy Software Freedom Day!

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Ubuntu Release Party Day

Posted by Laurel L. Russwurm on October 29, 2009

No Usage Based Billing!

No Usage Based Billing


Ubuntu, one of the most popular desktop versions of GNU Linux the free operating software, is issuing the new release today.

Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter #114 announced that the new version of Ubuntu will be released on October 29th, 2009.


Looks like these guys are the modern day equivalent of Blank Reg

My Google Search brought me some Pirate Bay results, and being curious I checked it out an learned a little about download mirrors I was going to write about. Unfortunately, I closed the tab and couldn’t get it back again thanks to the DMCA TakeDown notice which compelled Google to remove Pirate Bay from its search pages.

I guess even Google isn’t big enough to fight this bad law. At the time of this writing, Microsofts’s Bing search engine was still allowing Pirate Bay searches. It will be interesting to see if they get a DMCA TakeDown as well.

Guess it pays to have more than one search engine online, what? It is sad to see the absence of due process affecting the civil rights of our formerly free (as in speech) American cousins.

To download Ubuntu, you can go to Ubuntu Complete Download Options page, which will direct you.

Canadian users are directed to the University of Waterloo site, the Canada iweb Technologies site and the Canada Portafixe site.

For those of us who are very new to all this Torrent Freak: Use BitTorrent to Upgrade to Ubuntu ‘Intrepid Ibex’ explains how to do this in human language.

For the best support of all, try to find a local Linux/Ubuntu/Fedora/KDE/etc. users group because they are probably hosting a (free as in beer as well as free as in speech) release party. If you have a laptop bring it along and the folks at the party will most likely help you install it on your computer. If you don’t, by attending the party you can learn how its done, and maybe even come away from the party with a burned CD or DVD.

Here are the Confirmed Canadian Karmic Koala release parties scheduled at the time of writing. To find more or parties in other parts of the world check the main ubuntu wiki party page.

I’m really new to this, but since it seems that almost all the people promoting GNU Linux applications like Ubuntu are private individuals who are not making any money off of this stuff, they do it because they love it and believe in it. (Think about it… getting the world out from under Windows domination? How worthy can you get?)

Part of the whole GNU Linux deal is the community. Everyone helps everyone for the public good. When someone at one of these meetings gives you a burned CD it is unlikely they will charge you for it, but 99 times out of a hundred they have paid for the CDs they give away out of their own pocket.

Although I may get some flack for saying this it seems to me that since economic times are still tough if you can afford it, it would be great if you brought a handful of blank writable CDs along to the party for sharing. Its great that the technical folks are willing to share their expertise, but they shouldn’t have to bankrupt themselves to do it. In a community everybody does what they can. I figure its along the lines of bringing a bottle of wine or a tray of devilled eggs when someone invites you to dinner. It’s sharing, which is very cool.

If you’re not sure about switching to a GNU Linux operating system, its possible to get a bootable live CD so that you can try it out without switching.

I’m horrendously busy as I’m trying to get a few crucial jobs finished up so I can participate in NaNoWriMo, but I’ve only been to one release party which was disrupted by a transit strike, so I might toddle along to the Kwartzlab party tonight.

By the way, this is “breaking news” not the fourth part of the alphabet series.

Linux distributions make extensive LEGAL use of bitTorrent transfers. Of course the downside is that in Canada the CRTC has given Bell Canada blanket approval to “throttle” all dsl Internet BitTorrent traffic under the erroneous assumption that all BitTorrent Internet traffic involves copyright infringement.

Fortunately we don’t have draconian DMCA laws in Canada (yet) or some of our favorite websites could be so easily shut down by unmerited malicious complaints. Sites like this one:
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