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Free Software Awards winners announced: CiviCRM, Bradley Kuhn, and Alyssa Rosenzweig

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The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today announced the recipients of the 2020 Free Software Awards, which are given annually at the FSF's LibrePlanet conference to groups and individuals in the free software community who have made significant contributions to the cause for software freedom. This year's recipients of the awards are CiviCRM, Alyssa Rosenzweig, and Bradley Kuhn. As the ceremony was conducted virtually this year, each winner selected the person they wished to present them the award.

The awards are presented in three categories, each recognizing exemplary achievements in the field of free software.

The 2020 Award for Outstanding New Free Software Contributor went to Alyssa Rosenzweig, a young developer who was previously a keynote speaker for LibrePlanet 2020. This is the second time this award has been given, after Clarissa Lima Borges won the first annual Outstanding New Free Software Contributor Award at LibrePlanet 2020.

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LibrePlanet 2021 day one: Taking action to empower users

  • LibrePlanet 2021 day one: Taking action to empower users

    As you may be aware, this isn’t the first LibrePlanet conference that has taken place entirely online: in 2020, the timing could hardly have been worse, with coronavirus shutdowns in Massachusetts starting the very week that the conference was scheduled. With only a week to scrap plans we had spent most of a year making, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) still managed to pull off a full, vibrant schedule, and livestreamed using only free software thanks to our wildly talented and dedicated tech team, but we knew that with a bit more time to plan, we could do even more.

    So when it became clear, last fall, that an in-person conference in Boston was still not going to be feasible for spring 2021, we sprang into action trying to find extra ways to make this conference special and memorable.

    An all-online conference had a few advantages and a few disadvantages: on the one hand, scrapping the need to travel meant that many talented voices from all over the globe could submit talks without worrying about plane fare or accommodations. Even better: while the FSF has always made an effort to make LibrePlanet activities available from afar, a fully-online conference could welcome attendees from absolutely everywhere with an Internet connection. Which meant that this conference featured speakers from everywhere from the United States to India, France, Spain, Turkey, and more, with the first count in the morning showing attendees from thirty-two different countries! It also meant that registration for the event has been sky-high, with over 1,100 registrants by this morning (the most ever).

In LWN today

  • 2021 Free Software Awards announced

    The Free Software Foundation has announced the recipients of its 2021 Free Software Awards. Alyssa Rosenzweig received the award for outstanding new free-software contributor, the CiviCRM project won the award for social benefit, and Bradley Kuhn received the award for the advancement of free software.

Mali GPU free driver project leader gets top FSF award

  • Mali GPU free driver project leader gets top FSF award

    Alyssa Rosenzweig, leader of the Panfrost project that aims to reverse engineer and create a free driver for the Mali series of graphics processing units, has received the Free Software Foundation's 2021 Award for Outstanding New Free Software Contributor.

    The award was presented at the 2021 LibrePlanet conference, an annual event staged by the FSF. Held on Saturday, it featured 63 speakers whose talks were streamed using free software.

    FSF founder Richard Stallman, who presented the award in virtual ceremony, said: "For decades I've told people that the most important free program to write is something that we can't do with free software. [..]

    "This year's award for a New Outstanding Free Software Contributor goes to somebody who went straight for the most important possible project: reverse-engineering the specs of the Mali GPU."

    Rosenzweig said, "I believe free software is key to environmental sustainability and protecting civil liberties in a digital world.

Here's how you can get all your day-to-day computing done...

SecureDrop Workstation: Handling unsafe documents safely

  • SecureDrop Workstation: Handling unsafe documents safely

    SecureDrop is a whistleblowing platform originally created in 2012 for journalists to accept leaked documents safely from anonymous sources. It's used by dozens of news organizations including The Guardian, The Washington Post and The New York Times. This talk (at LibrePlanet 2021) introduces the SecureDrop Workstation, the next-generation platform aimed at helping journalists communicate with sources in a high-security environment.

A couple more talks

  • Ingestum: A libre NLP document ingestion library

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  • Remote education: My children's freedom and privacy at stake

    "During COVID-19 confinement, I saw how all teachers were choosing proprietary video conferencing programs over free software for the continuation of online lessons. I had two options: do nothing about it and let proprietary video conferencing tools spread among my children and their classmates, or try to fight back against this injustice."

Two more talks

  • Richard Stallman: Unjust computing clamps down

    Honorary Doctor Richard Stallman elaborated on the growing injustices in computing in a 46 minutes long talk at LibrePlanet 2021 on March 21st, 2021.

  • Informal chatter to formal decisions: How-to

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3 more talks encoded

  • Care about your users: don't minify your JS!

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  • Labor movements and the free software community

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    "Over 100 teams attempted to create free/libre solutions to address the shortage of ventilators caused by the COVID-19 pandemic; we created a large spreadsheet evaluating all of them along many coordinates."

Ten years of empowering activists AND everyday people....

  • Ten years of empowering activists AND everyday people through free mobile software

    "From bringing OTR, Tor, GnuGP, FFMPEG and SQLCipher to Android, to developing and supporting apps like Orbot, Tor Browser for Android, Onion Browser, F-Droid, ChatSecure, Haven and more, we at Guardian Project have been pretty busy for the last decade. Through ups and downs, iterations and improvements, we have a lot of interesting stories to tell about where we've been, and where we are headed." From LibrePlanet 2021.

Three more

  • An information theoretic model of privacy and security metrics

    "An information theoretic model of privacy and security metrics - or - how I learned to stop worrying about password meters and love the dice." From LibrePlanet 2021.

  • Empower users by asking them for money

    "I've always been a free software programmer, a contractor to the rich and already powerful so they could use free software to its fullest. But, users, normal everyday users, are left out, and their needs are often different from business, universities and other large organizations who can afford to pay developers."

  • How to make more users love free software: Double the love, double the freedom

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LibrePlanet day two: Empowering users in real and virtual space

  • LibrePlanet day two: Empowering users in real and virtual space

    The second day of the LibrePlanet 2021 conference is generally a calmer time for us here at the Free Software Foundation (FSF), because while there are still a lot of moving parts to manage (and here’s where I ask you to give a big round of applause to our tech team!), we’ve gotten to test out most of our plans and find, with relief, that everything is running smoothly and our guests are enjoying themselves. The Web sites work, the talks are running with not too much in the way of technical difficulties, attendees from all over the world are having a grand time socializing on LibreAdventure, we’ve given out Free Software Awards and announced a new ebook initiative, and now we can take a deep breath and just enjoy attending the conference a little.

    It’s also been nice to get feedback about how well the all-online conference has gone, and how much people are enjoying the opportunity to watch and participate all over the world. The morning keynote speaker, digital fabrication expert and University of Washington assistant professor Nadya Peek, started off her talk by mentioning that she had attended LibrePlanet in past years, which was convenient because she lived in Boston, but this year, it’s quite convenient to attend from elsewhere as well. Free software programmer Martin Owens, who gave the talk “Empower users by asking them for money” today, told me that the LibreAdventure setup has him “looking forward to the future of the online conference,” and suggested that we use a similar social program again in future years alongside in-person attendance.

A couple more

  • Making dollars and sense of free software funding's future

    "Sustainably funding public goods is hard, just ask your local government. We know free software benefits everyone, whether or not users contributed to its development. How then can we reach the world of everyone working on software they love while making a livable wage?"

  • A dispatch from the front lines of right to repair

    "FUD fighting on the front lines of right to repair: As our homes, workplaces and public spaces fill with Internet-connected "smart" stuff, a digital right to repair is critical to protecting consumer rights, property rights and civil liberties. Despite that, electronics giants like Apple, Samsung, LG and General Electric have snuffed out scores of proposed state laws seeking to create such a right. How? By scaring legislators with tales of device hacking, cyber stalking and identity theft."

In/from France

  • "Logiciel libre, société libre": Free software activism in France and Europe

    Founded in 1996, April is the main French advocacy association devoted to promoting and protecting free/libre software. Since 1996, it has been a major player in the democratization and the spread of free software and open standards to the general public, professionals and institutions in the French-speaking world.


    Free software cannot develop fully without a benevolent political and legislative environment. That is where April plays a crucial role in France and Europe, along with allied organizations. Its actions, thanks to its volunteers and its staff, are precious for everyone who produces and/or uses free software. It is the organization's small contribution to the free software movement. Étienne Gonnu, an April staff member, will present on how it operates, the current French and European issues April is working on, and share future perspectives, strategies, successes, and challenges.

Beyond "learning to code"

  • Beyond "learning to code": How Tech Learning Collective merges IT training with emancipatory political action

    "What good is a pen if the paper it touches can refuse to show its ink? What good is your app when your API key is revoked? Through metaphor and with a unique apprenticeship-based pedagogy, Tech Learning Collective (TLC) is empowering users by doing exactly what code boot camps and corporate-funded "learn to code" programs don't: TLC tells students to ignore new Web frameworks and focus instead on the lowest layers of an IT stack like physical network and hardware storage devices."

Free Software Foundation Announces Support For Local...

  • Free Software Foundation Announces Support For Local Free Software Groups

    At the 2021 edition of its annual conference on free software and social justice, LibrePlanet, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) formally announced its plan to lend support for local free software groups and meetups through its LibrePlanet network for free software advocacy.

    These groups raise awareness on issues relating to software freedom, and encourage adoption of free software in local communities.

Many more talks...

  • Libre designers do exist (and survive)

    "Libre designers do exist (and survive). Let's explore the pros and cons, experiences, job opportunities and more, from experiences gathered for over 15 years in the field."

  • Usable security for end-users: How Tor improves usability without compromising user privacy

    The Tor network, used by 2.5 million users every day, protects their privacy via “onion routing,” which directs Internet traffic – email, instant messages, online posts, Web form visits, and more – through a multilayered network that obfuscates who the user is, thus concealing their identity and location.

  • IFixit: The Right to Repair

    What if everyone had free access to a repair manual for everything they owned? Making repair accessible to everyone is the best shot we’ve got at reducing e-waste and starting to make our high-tech lives sustainable.

  • A European Open Technology Fund: Building sustainable public funding for free software

    Julia Reda, former European Parliament member, and cofounder of the European Union's Free and Open Source Software Audit (FOSSA) project, argues that it is the governments responsibility to invest in the maintenance and improvement of free software - and that it is possible to make that happen.

  • The state of software in schools and what to do about it - LinuxReviews

    This talk will briefly addresses why free software is important in education and provide examples of how proprietary software is rapidly deployed in schools.

  • Freeing networks where we need freedom most - LinuxReviews

    The struggle for the freedom of Internet is ever growing. Corporations, and their partner in crime, governments, come up with new clever ideas to restrict free flow of information. Overlords of the truth are trying to recover old control, which the Internet has eroded everywhere in favor of the people.

  • User Respecting Software - free software development driven by users - LinuxReviews

    Why is it that some free software projects, although started at the same time as comparable propriety projects, are still playing catch-up in terms of number of users and desired features? Features comparisons as well as the network effect and how well known a piece of software is play into this, but what features do users find most important? We can’t make “better” software until we know what features users actually care about.

  • Openwifi project: The dawn of the free/libre WiFi chip - LinuxReviews

    In past decades, free software has played a key role towards the free and trusted Internet. In recent years, free software processor projects like RISC-V have pushed forward to construct free devices and computers. However, the radio connectivity of the device still relies on the black box silicons (WiFi, BLE, cellular chips).

  • Machine agency: Infrastructure for creative automation - LinuxReviews

    Keynote at LibrePlanet 2021: "How can we harness the precision of machines for the creativity of individuals? Automation and computer control of machines is increasingly widespread. However, it's often employed for dull, dirty, or dangerous tasks. This is partially because setting up these systems is complex and time consuming."

  • Plom: Paperless Open Marking - LinuxReviews

    We present Paperless Open Marking (Plom), a software system for giving tests on paper, but marking and returning them online. We (undergraduate students) worked on this software as a summer project.

  • REUSE: Simple steps to declare your copyright and licenses - LinuxReviews

    Free software licensing can be tiresome. But setting the conditions for the use and reuse of your code is extremely important. To make developers' lives easier, there is the REUSE initiative. This presentation explains simple yet powerful best practices for defining licenses and copyright holders.

More talks

  • Critical Free Software: The High Priority Projects Lists

    An update from the Free Software Foundations High Priority Projects committee at LibrePlanet 2021. The High Priority Projects initiative, first launched in 2005, draws attention to a relatively small number of projects of great strategic importance to the goal of freedom for all computer users.

  • The defense of the GNOME Foundation

    In August 2019, GNOME was notified that it was being sued in the state of California over a broad patent which allegedly covered Shotwell, a photo management application. The plaintiff? A prolific filer of patent suits, and a patent assertion entity. This was the first time that a free software project has been sued for patent infringement.

  • Lessons Framasoft has learned

    Framasoft is a small, French nonprofit, made up of only thirty-five members and ten employees. We've been promoting free/libre software and its culture for more than fifteen years.

  • The Free Software Foundation Keynote At LibrePlanet

    The Free Software Foundation keynote speech at LibrePlanet 2021 featuring FSF President Geoff Knauth, FSF Executive Director John Sullivan and others. The video is one hour and six minutes long.

  • Introduction to CiviCRM

    CiviCRM is free constituent relationship management software that empowers thousands of nonprofits around the world. This video provides an overview on what CiviCRM is, what it can do, and how organizations can use it to achieve their mission.

  • Jami and how it empowers users

    Jami is free software for universal communication which respects the freedoms and privacy of its users. Jami is an official GNU package with a main goal of providing a framework for virtual communications, along with a series of end-user applications for audio/video calling and conferencing, text messaging, and file transfer.

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