Atticus Rex writes: The fact that our social networking services are so centralized is a big part of why they fall so easily to government surveillance. It only takes a handful of amoral Zuckerbergs to hand over hundreds of millions of people's data to PRISM.
That's why this Slate article makes the case for a mass migration to decentralized, free software social networks, which are much more robust to spying and interference. On top of that, these systems respect your freedom as a software user (or developer), and they're less likely to pepper you with obnoxious advertisements.
gnujoshua writes: In a new article, GNU Project founder, Richard M. Stallman speaks out against the proposal to include hooks for DRM in HTML5. Whileothershavebeenmakingsimilar arguments, RMS strikes home the point that while companies can still push Web DRM themselves, the stance taken by the W3C is still — both practically and politically — vitally important:
Atticus Rex writes: The Keystone XL pipeline would tap the Alberta tar sands, an exceptionally dirty oil source that contains more carbon than has been released into the atmosphere in all of human history. A broad coalition of scientists and environmental groups agree this must not happen, but the Obama administration has allowed the corrupt approval process to continue, with environmental impact statements commissioned and paid for by the pipeline company, Transcanada.
Taking matters into their own hands, 100 (mostly) young activists held a "funeral for their futures" today at the Transcanada office in Westborough, MA. Singing a funeral dirge at the top of their lungs, they demanded that Obama and Kerry reject the pipeline to reign in climate change and make a livable future possible for themselves and their comrades in communities already ravaged by climate change. 26 activists were arrested when they handcuffed to each other and refused to leave. Throughout the entire action and arrest, they did not stop singing.
Atticus Rex writes: "FSF activists visited a Boston Microsoft store during its "Tech for Tots" session to wish passersby happy holidays with copies of the Trisquel GNU/Linux operating system, a free software replacement for Windows 8. The activists were accompanied by a gnu (free software's buffalo-like mascot) and sported Santa hats in the spirit of the season. The action was part of the FSF's campaign at http://www.fsf.org/windows8. Their action drew smiles from mall-goers who had expected to see costumed people giving gifts, but not quite like this."
Atticus Rex writes: "Reporters and security guards at the event weren't sure how to react when they were greeted by a real, live gnu. The gnu — which, on closer inspection, was an activist in a gnu suit — had come for some early trick-or-treating. But instead of candy, she had free software for the eager journalists. The gnu and the Free Software Foundation campaigns team handed out dozens of copies of Trisquel, a fully free GNU/Linux distribution, along with press releases and stickers. Once they got over their confusion, the reporters were happy to see us and hear our message — that Windows 8 is a downgrade, not an upgrade, because it steals users' freedom, security and privacy."
ChronoEngineer writes: Recently the Free Software foundation launched a new fund-raising system starting with the GNU Mediagoblin project. Rewards from its new tiered donation reward system include physical objects such as a 3d print of the project's mascot as well as digital ones (Rewards List). This gives free software projects an alternative crowd-funding source where all of their contributions go to advancing free software since the administrative cut taken from the earnings goes to the Free Software Foundation. Chris Webber, of GNU Mediagoblin, mentions this as one of the reasons he chose the FSF over Kickstarter for his project.