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FSFE Newsletter - September 2012

Like in the 90s but with phones: First Free Your Android installation parties

More and more people start using mobile phones with Android. But in order to be in full control over your phone, you have to install another Android firmware on them. To make this phone liberation easy we started the Free Your Android campaign.

In the last newsletter edition we asked you in our "Get active" section to help us with Free Your Android installation parties, like the GNU/Linux installation parties some years ago. Thanks to all of you, who contacted us about it, and who offered their help for the future.

This month some of us already started with those installation parties. First, Torsten Grote taught Erik Albers and your editor how to free their phones, which is documented quick and dirty on your editors weblog. Second, on August 26th, 13 people from Austria, France, Germany, Slovenia, and Spain participated at FSFE's workshop. To summarise it in the words of Silke Meyer, one of the trainers: "The workshop had two goals: To help people install free software on their phones and to develop/document some guidelines that trainers for such workshops could use." Result: We liberated 4 phones, updated 3 to a newer version, documented what we did including our internal workshop documentation, and thought about stickers for liberated phones. Beside Silke's blog post, there is also a Spanish article with instructions, and this article including some pictures of happy participants.

We will have other Free Your Android workshops on 4th September in Katowice/Poland, on 9th September Pristina/Kosovo, and on 15th September in Berlin/Germany, Paris/France, and Ljubljana/Slovenia. The campaign team's goal is also to make the update process easier. There is the Free Software "OTA Update Center" which can achieve easy updates, but as Torsten explains, there are still some problems with it. Perhaps you, or someone you know can help with it?

Standardisation Absurdity: Still No OOXML

Office suites have one of the strongest network effects: it is often difficult to use another word processor than Microsoft Word. If something does not work, you as a Free Software user are blamed by the others when the document exchange is not working. So one of the reasons, why we are promoting Open Standards is to make it possible for Free Software users to communicate with others, who are using non-free software.

Because most decision-makers now understand, that Open Standards are crucial for a fair market, Microsoft pushed its own standard called Microsoft Office Open XML (OOXML), claiming it is an Open Standard. FSFE questioned the ISO certification starting in 2007, and when ISO approved it we were concerned about the quality of standardisation process.

Recently Microsoft announced that the next edition of Microsoft Office 2013, will support the OOXML document standard. Karsten Gerloff is analysing this public admission by Microsoft that they have not implemented OOXML until now – despite everything their sales people have apparently been telling clients in business and the public sector.

Something completely different

Get Active: Contribute to Free Software news!

Your editor always tries to cover important and interesting news about FSFE and Free Software. So shameless house advertising: if you read or hear interesting Free Software news, please write an e-mail to your editor, with a short note why this news is particularly interesting or important in your view.

Thanks to all the Fellows and donors who enable our work,
Matthias Kirschner - FSFE

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