Linux Tag 2009

Right after the GA there was no time for me to relax. The LinuxTag 2009 in Berlin started right after it. As every year FSFE was present with an own booth and answered many questions by interested visitors. Some people even became Fellows right at the booth and some that were already fellows expressed their desire to organize fellowship meetings in their home town. The LinuxTag lasted four days and after every day was over there were tons of social events. The picture on the right shows the BBQ of Linux Works that was quite some fun. More LinuxTag coverage … Continue reading

Report from FSFE's general assembly

In May, I was elected the first Fellowship representative. In this function I attended FSFE’s general assembly (GA) in Miraflores de la Sierra and would now like to give you some insights in what happened there. The first and probably most important point is personnel changes. This time there were unusually many. A whole new executive team was formed that will give FSFE a new face. After careful deliberations, the General Assembly has elected Karsten Gerloff as President, Fernanda Weiden as Vice-President, Reinhard Müller as Financial Officer and Christian Holz as Executive Director. The former president and founder Georg Greve … Continue reading

Traveling to the General Assembly in Madrid

Tomorrow, I’ll leave for Madrid in order to attend FSFE’s general assembly as the first Fellowship representative. Unfortunately, there haven’t been much feedback from the fellows, so I’m not taking many questions or tasks with me to Madrid. The agenda of the GA will include many personnel changes, one small change of the constitution and a lot of discussion about FSFE’s direction. There will also be a social event where everybody is welcome to get to know the GA people. If you have last minute questions, don’t hesitate to ask. But since I don’t know when I will be online … Continue reading

I won the GA election

Today, I was notified that I won the general assembly elections. This came quite as a surprise, but I am glad the election worked out that well for me. I would like to thank everyone who voted for me or gave me a high ranking. I also would like to thank the other candidates for their candidacy and for their fair election campaign. Right after I was declared winner, people from inside FSFE contacted me to make travel arrangements to the GA that already meets June 19th-21st. After this was dealt with, I was bombarded with new information. It was … Continue reading

Microsoft denies certain countries access to its messenger

My recent blog entries were about Skype and about how companies might eventually abuse the power they have over some of our technology. Many of my arguments against Skype also apply to Microsoft’s instant messenger. Now Microsoft gave one more example that this abuse actually happens. Ars technica writes: Microsoft this week decided to turn off its Windows Live Messenger service for five countries: Cuba, Syria, Iran, Sudan, and North Korea. […] The user is not informed as to the actual reason for the block. Currently, it’s not clear how broad the block is or how long it will last. … Continue reading

Brave New Skyping World Revisited

A vigilant reader of my blog challenged my earlier criticism of Skype thoroughly and even though I felt his remarks could have been tempered a bit, here is my thoughtful response. I am very thankful for all of the comments I receive and encourage more people to express their opinions here. It is only when our opinions are constantly challenged, are we forced to rethink them and are less likely to believe in aged and false dogmas. Below I intend to counter the main points of his argument, but only after I have refashioned and strengthened my main argument. The … Continue reading

Zensurprovider verlassen – aber wie?

Die Petition gegen die Indizierung und Sperrung von Internetseiten hat soeben in Rekordzeit die kritische Marke von 50.000 Zeichnern und Zeichnerinnen genommen. Die Petition und die bisherige Debatte im Netz hat gezeigt, dass sehr viele Menschen ein Problem mit den Plänen der Bundesregierung haben. Für dieses Vorhaben müssen die Zensurprovider vermutlich ihre AGB ändern, um zensieren zu können. Wenn man diese Änderung ablehnt, kann der Provider dies entweder akzeptieren oder vorab kündigen. Vielleicht besteht sogar ein Sonderkündigungsrecht. In beiden Fällen, stünde einem Wechsel zu einem anderen Provider dann doch eigentlich nichts im Wege, oder etwa doch? Hat denn eigentlich schon … Continue reading

Ten Reasons Why You Should Boycott Skype

If you want to understand what Skype actually is, it might help to picture an almighty telephone and mail company. This company can not only spy on your private conversations and has total control over them, but it also forces you to use it. It owns the telephone lines and all mail transportation and does not let other companies use them. At the same time, you are bound to only use their telephone and mailboxes. Despite of these facts, more and more people are using Skype and even begin using the word “to skype” as a general term for talking … Continue reading

Dokumentarkurzfilm über Potsdamer Freifunk-Community

Wer noch nichts von Freifunk gehört hat oder sich für freie Communities interessiert, der sollte sich diese sieben minütige Dokumenation von Alexander Altmann über die Potsdamer Freifunk-Community anschauen. Die Vision eines überall verfügbaren und freien Internetzugangs verdient Unterstützung und wird hoffentlich eines Tages verwirklicht werden können. … Continue reading

Facebook’s outragous Terms of Use

Many of us knew already that Facebook’s Terms of Use are unacceptable and that nobody should ever use Facebook, but work on a free (as in free speech) alternative to Facebook. A couple of weeks ago, Facebook changed their Terms of Use again without notifying its users. It basically grants itself an “irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license” to do anything they want with all our data. This license never expires and all your data will never be deleted, not even when you delete your account. The Blogosphere covers this in many places. Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg defended … Continue reading