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Submission + - How to block the NSA from your friends list (slate.com)

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.

Submission + - MediaGoblin 0.4.0 released, supports document uploads

An anonymous reader writes: The MediaGoblin folks have knocked out another release. MediaGoblin now can handle document uploads, displaying them in-browser with pdf.js (not just PDFs can be uploaded, but almost any document which can be converted by LibreOffice is supported). Also includes a new expanded plugin infrastructure and Plugin Writer's Guide. Get it while it's still hot off the presses!

Submission + - OpenStreetMap in 3D via WebGL (f4-group.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Most of us know OpenStreetMap just from (IMHO very detailed!) webmaps. The more experienced ones might know, that there had been approaches to bring in a third dimension. Now here is a WebGL app presenting you OSM entirely interactive and with real cute animations, all done just from open geodata.

If your neighbourhood is currently still flat and you like to improve it:
http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/3D

Submission + - Rhythos: a FOSS RPG Builder using Liberated Pixel Cup assets (kickstarter.com)

paroneayea writes: For those who are fans of old RPG game building tools like RPGMaker, Rhythos is running a kickstarter campaign to build a free and open source software RPG builder. They're using the Liberated Pixel Cup assets and have plans to expand that set if they raise enough funds in addition to building the game engine.

Submission + - Conservancy running campaign to write better accounting software for nonprofits (sfconservancy.org) 1

paroneayea writes: The Software Freedom Conservancy is running a campaign to improve accounting software, especially for nonprofits. To keep their books and produce annual government filings, most NPOs rely on proprietary software, paying exorbitant licensing fees. This is fundamentally at cross purposes with their underlying missions of charity, equality, democracy, and sharing. You can help Conservancy fix this problem by donating now!

Submission + - RMS urges W3C to reject DRM in HTML5 on principle (fsf.org)

gnujoshua writes: In a new article, GNU Project founder, Richard M. Stallman speaks out against the proposal to include hooks for DRM in HTML5. While others have been making similar 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:

[...] the W3C cannot prevent companies from grafting DRM onto HTML. They do this through nonfree plug-ins such as Flash, and with nonfree Javascript code, thus showing that we need control over the Javascript code we run and over the C code we run. However, where the W3C stands is tremendously important for the battle to eliminate DRM. On a practical level, standardizing DRM would make it more convenient, in a very shallow sense. This could influence people who think only of short-term convenience to think of DRM as acceptable, which could in turn encourage more sites to use DRM. On the political level, making room for DRM in the specifications of the World Wide Web would constitute an endorsement in principle of DRM by the W3C. Standardization by the W3C could facilitate DRM that is harder for users to break than DRM implemented in Javascript code. If the DRM is implemented in the operating system, this could result in distribution of works that can't be played at all on a free operating system such as GNU/Linux.


Google

Submission + - Google begins blocking 3rd party Jabber invites supposedly to combat spam (fsf.org) 1

kxra writes: Do you have a federated jabber instant messaging account that never gets responses from Google accounts anymore? Or do you have a Gmail account that a friend has been unable to invite from their 3rd party Jabber account? The Free Software Foundation reports, "Google users can still send subscription requests to contacts whose accounts are hosted elsewhere. But they cannot accept incoming requests. This change is akin to Google no longer accepting incoming e-mail for @gmail.com addresses from non-Google domains." This sounds like something Facebook would try in order to gain even tighter control over the network, but they never even federated their Jabber service to begin with. According to a public mailing list conversation, Google is doing this as a lazy way to handle a spam problem.
GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - 3d model support comes to MediaGoblin (mediagoblin.org)

paroneayea writes: "MediaGoblin and LulzBot have teamed up to bring 3d model support to MediaGoblin! The announcement shows off a live demo of the new feature... it uses Blender on the backend to render stills and thingiview.js to show realtime webgl previews. This means MediaGoblin is becoming more useful for 3d artists and people interested in 3d printing, especially those looking for a free-as-in-freedom alternative to Thingiverse."

Comment Re:This is not the Kickstarter model. (Score 2) 35

Heya Karl,

You're right, it isn't the "threshold pledge" system, and it is directed donations in a large way. Even so, when we had the conversations with the FSF initially about the campaign, the conversation was really a "Are we going with the FSF or with Kickstarter?" type of conversation, and what we said was "we'd like to go with you, but there's a whole set of things that Kickstarter does that you don't yet." But the FSF implemented them, retooling a ton of their infrastructure specifically for this campaign: the list of rewards that you can select from, a progress bar that auto-updates as the campaign goes along, the list that you get subscribed to when donating so you can hear updates as the project goes along, and a bunch of other things: these are things that Kickstarter had that the FSF didn't, but the FSF developed those tools so that they can better support campaigns that run in this way for free software projects.

So you're right that it's not an assurance contract system, but there are other crowdfunding platforms that have been on the rise that have been (rightly) lumped together when describing the rise of project crowdfunding. And the campaign that we set out is one that fits the type of patterns that projects fundraising under those systems have been using. So while it's not an assurance contract system, I think it's also incorrect to redcuce Kickstarter and friends to just assurance contracts. And the fact that the FSF did significant retooling of its infrastructure to reflect those changes is I think quite noteworthy.

GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - The FSF Adapts the Kickstarter Approach to Fund-raising 3

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.

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