Category Archives: OSS

FSFE needs your support for 2015!

“Use, study, share, improve” – these four freedoms are the definition of Free Software for contributors all around the world. The focus of their communities is to produce content and code that can be shared freely, and to have fun and satisfaction on the way. But there is a whole other, non-technical side to the success of Free Software:

  • These freedoms need protection, as they may conflict with the interests of some states and some businesses.
  • These freedoms need explaining, as the benefits they contribute to society and their relation to basic liberties are not always obvious and easy to understand.
  • And these freedoms need organizing, to give the various Free Software communities and contributors one voice where they are usually not heard – for example in capitals, in Brussels, in trade associations, or in research.

The Free Software Foundation Europe does all that, transparently and consistently, so that we don’t have to do it and can concentrate on creating great things. For that, FSFE deserves our support. FSFE is independent and financed by people like you, mostly through donations.

FSFE Logo

For 2015, FSFE is fundraising to secure the budget that finances it’s work:

Free Software Foundation Europe is a pan-European charity, established in 2001 to empower users to control technology. To enable the organisation to intensify its work with the European Commission and to let more people know about Free Software, the FSFE needs another 190,000 Euro for its work in 2015. Next year, the FSFE will push harder than ever to weave software freedom into the fabric of our society.

Donate!

There are multiple ways to take part in this and become a supporter, for example you could sign up as a fellow (like I did). Or your company could become a sponsor. There is also the option for a single, one-off donation. Every small donation helps:

To continue its work in 2015, the FSFE will need 420,000 Euro in total. The organisation has already secured 230,000 Euro thanks to existing sustaining members, regular donations, and merchandise sales. The FSFE requires another 190,000 Euro to underwrite its work in 2015.

FSFE is the one organization in Europe that have software freedom as it’s main focus. If to create general understanding and support for Free Software and Open Standards in politics, business, law and society at large is important to you, please consider supporting this mission in one of the ways described above.

Endocode is hiring an Assistant to the Board

If you are a recent or about to graduate in a Bachelor’s or Fachhochschule degree in business studies, Endocode might be looking for you! We are hiring an assistant to the board. Admittedly, the job is quite a challenge. It gives a sneak peek into all aspects and functions of managing a company. It does not require much experience, but it requires good training and a passion for learning and problem solving. The responsibilities include supporting management processes like board meetings and negotiations, and also some administrative work for relaxation.

Endocode

One interesting detail about the job is that it is ideal for gaining management and leadership skills before beginning a Master’s degree. I was told not many companies are offering interesting jobs for Bachelor graduates – well, we do! If you are interested, the details are on Endocode’s job page. Feel free to pass it on to your student and graduate friends. The deadline for applications is December 7.

Configure your gaming mouse on Linux

Or: Configure XInput properties for USB devices on Linux dynamically
Using gamer mice with Linux occasionally turns out to be problematic, because their high resolution combined with the default X server settings makes the mouse pointer incredibly fast to a point where it is unusable. I am using a Razer Taipan mouse at 4000 DPI, a good speed for gaming, but not for work.

USB devices on Linux are of course configured dynamically. Their X windows properties like mouse pointer acceleration are managed through the XInput tool. The basic desktop settings tools allow configuring the mouse pointer speed, but not much more. This is insufficient when using multiple devices (in this case, the built-in laptop trackpoint and an external mouse) that require different settings. Also, there is no way to disable mouse pointer acceleration, the most useless default setting ever invented :-) One solution which is described below is to script configuring the settings using XInput and Python. There is an open question at the end in case anybody is able to help.

Continue reading

KDE Akademy 2014 – Welcome, new KDE board!

Akademy 2014 is still in full swing in Brno in the Czech Republic with the traditional hack week that started on Monday. At about 200 participants it was well attended and organized. This years conference will very likely mark a milestone of change for KDE – a new board was elected, and a strategy discussion was started that will affect the direction and development of the KDE community for a decent amount of time. When I traveled home from Akademy 2014 on the train from Brno to Berlin, I personally felt a sense of satisfaction, because the community has managed to steer clear of the dangers of bike shedding about the board succession, and is accepting the change imposed by a shifting environment as a positive force.

Akademy 2014

Continue reading

The KDE Randa 2014 meeting, in easy-digestible video format!

In case you were wondering what was going on in Randa, here are some first hand impressions. The video was produced by Fran├žoise Wybrecht (alias Morgane Marquis) and Lucie Robin, and the people in it are the actual participants of the event. It was also created using KDenlive, one of the awesome Free Software tools a team has been working on at the Randa meeting itself. The video introduces the faces and personalities of the contributors and their different backgrounds and origins. Many thanks to our brand new ad-hoc media team for producing this video!

(In case the embedded video does not show up, see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yua6M9jqoEk)