FSCONS elation

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
Eleanor Roosevelt- 

Have you realized that, usually, the events that we are looking forward turned to be not as great as we were expecting? As everyone was telling me that I was going to really enjoy FSCONS,   I was a bit  afraid that it was not  going to be as amazing as expected. But, despite I spent most of the time at our booth, the weekend in Gothenburg  (even)  went beyond my expectations.

So, what is FSCONS? It is a Free Software conference organised in Gothenburg yearly. So to say, it is a weekend  for the people from the Free Software community to share their experiences and to improve their knowledge. It is an event so for the one who had been advocating Free Software for years as well as for the new ones and with people from all the ages.

We started FSCONS with a Free Your Android Workshop. So, once again, I tried to learn the most of it. I am not able to free devices but I enjoy watching our participants doing it and helping each other. This is one of my FSFE favourites campaigns:  it takes time to liberate the android phones so it is always a quite social event. I am willing to have an Android phone to be able to free it!

During that afternoon  I met a lot of new people but I also have the chance to talk with some fellows I met in Berlin.  The rest of the weekend was just the same: sending FSFE merchandising, listening to some talks and learning from every single talk!

What can I say! It was great to be in an informal environment, sharing a beer  and surrounded by so so many nice and interesting people! I met some women with whom I exchange some points of view about being a female in this, mainly, male field, and I was also able to discuss a bit about the other two topics I am interested in: education and communication.

The conclusion: A perfect weekend, full of laughs and good vibrations. And, although I was exhausted after it,  I came back even more convinced about Free Software ,  the importance of our (or everyone)  labour and a lot of ideas about what I can do to continue being involved and to do my bit.

So, what is FSCONS 2012? For me, it was the  last  push.

Thanks to everyone who made it possible!

Let journalists do their work; switch to Free Software

Journalism have never (ever) been one of those “well paid jobs”. Or at least, not in some countries.  Now, using the “economic crisis” justification, several media are reducing their firing their staff. These jobs rechentrements” are having a twofold negative effect: more unemployment and worst information quality.

Spain is one of the latter cases. The current situation is harming Spanish media and information quality. El País, one of the main, and most important, newspapers is making a Expediente de Regulación de Empleo, a Spanish  legal term referring to fire staff. While journalists are striking against this process, the company is supporting itself arguing that they do need to cut expenses and this is the only way they have [1]. Controversy aside, I propose a way to only cutting some office costs but also that it is going to be better for the media and it is going to encourage transparency and democracy.


Some reasons:

  1.   To cut expenses: Media business man care, mainly, about their profit [2]. Although pens and notebooks are being changed to computers, there is no need to have the last distribution of a proprietary software, in most of the cases the only tool needed is a text writer. But, in cases of producing videos, radio slots.. there are also Open Source alternatives as efficient (or even better) as the proprietary ones. What does it mean? That there is no need to renew licenses and to buy expensive software.
  2. Transparency & data control: Are not journalists (note I am saying “journalists” and not “media”) fighting pro democracy, transparency and a better world? Is not their role to inform our society? So, why are they using which is not allowing them to control their data? For journalists, controlling their data and being able to send encrypted mails is an important issue not only when fighting against dictatorships but also to avoid leaks and to protect their sources.
  3.  Understanding the tool: Digital society is more than a bunch of social media. Our society needs to be educated and informed about how computers work to get a better understanding of our world. Therefore, journalists should understand these tools to be able to inform the public. The best way to do it is by using these tools. Free Software & Open Source allows you to dig into the software, to understand its processes and how it works. And even more: it allows you to modify it according to your needs.
  4.  Promoting innovation and creativity: Everything you need is already invented. And if not, it will be created soon if we promote innovation. As I stated above, there a lot of different applications and software of which journalists can take advantage. They can be adapted to their specific needs and by using them, they will be promoting innovation too.
  5. Open Standards:in a world more and more global in which freelance journalism and informing from different parts of the world is a daily issue, it is important to have open standards. It will make journalists tasks easier as they will be sure that their articles are news are going to be able to be open by the addressee. They will be able to work worldwide without the need of carrying an specific software with them.


[1] El País journalists are complaining that people are being fired while the newspaper business man salaries are too high. They state that, instead of a job retrenchment the newspaper directives should reduce their salaries instead.

[2]They might believe in “journalists ideals and dreams” (inform our society, fight pro Human Rights and for democracy… ) but their main aim is to seek profit which, most of the time, is in conflict with these previous values and principles.

A run for FS (I): Destroying the myths surrounding FS

The same way  someone who has never run cannot decide to run a marathon, nobody without any software knowledge can write a computer program. Both goals can be reached with training, effort, willingness and time but also you do not need to run a marathon if you just enjoy jogging as well as you do not need to write your software if you want to be a Free Software supporter (although in that case you can be considered a “free rider”).  And, the good news it is that, as well as running,  everyone can (really) do it.

One of the first “stages” is to demystify Free Software. Some people reject running because of stereotypes and misconceptions; the same is happening about Free Software. Here are some of the FS and OS myths.

  • “I do not understand computers and I just need an easy tool”.

Most of the computers available at the market are coming with a specific proprietary distribution (which can, also, raised a question of anti-trust. Check the EU vs Microsoft case for more information about this. Or this article about selling computers without an Operating System)

A lack of information (or to say, of information in the mainstream media) together with a lack of education and a outstanding market campaign have done the rest.

A Free Software distribution can be an easier tool than a proprietary one. It can be easier as it can be adapted to your specific needs but also there are lots of people checking it which are able to fix bugs (bug = a problem, an error in the source code // source code= the commands or computer instructions which allow the program to run ) so it is faster and more efficient to solve its problems.

  • “I am not a nerd”:

EXCUSE ME??. As I stated at the beginning of this post, you do not need to have IT skills or to know how to program to use Free Software. And Free Software is not a black screen with strange words… as well as proprietary software it has different interfaces (and distributions), which means that it is user-friendly and really inductive.

@”basic users”: if you know how to use proprietary software, you can also use Free Software (e. g. if you were a Microsoft user and you changed to Apple, why are you not going to be able to use any of the Linux distributions?).  And I am sure some people are already using Free Software without even realizing it. VLC Media Player, Audacity, Mozilla Firefox, Inkscape… are some examples of the latter.

To be fair, I have to say that I also had this misconception. I thought I had to be able to create code to be able to use a Linux Distribution. I couldn’t be further from the truth

  •  “It cannot be trusted as it is made by collaborative work”

Let’s illustrate this with an example. Wikipedia is based on this collaborative and peer to peer production ideas, the so called crowd sourcing. Several studies (from Nature and other relevant academic institutions) have shown that Wikipedia is more reliable than Britannica (you can find the links to those studies and more information in a Wikipedia  entry about it). So, if you trust Wikipedia, why don’t you trust, for example, LibreOffice?

In fact, Free Software is even more reliable than proprietary one for many reasons. First, you are able to control your data as you can access the source code so you (or someone who understands it) can control that it does not go to any company. But also, as any hacker can improve it, the update time is lower and bugs are repaired sooner.

  • “I would love to change but I need an specific program and it only runs with proprietary software”:

Have you tried to find the same tool? There are a lot of software and apps run by Free Software which can fit your specific needs. From a software that allows you to draw 3D building plans to an app to help you when using references in an academic paper. Of course, there can be some exceptions so you can check if the one you need can be run by a Linux distribution (I bet so!) and get it.

And you can also ask the FS community to help you to make the application you need. Someone might be able to help you.

  • “Free Software is gratis”

Free Software can be “gratis” but that is not the meaning of the term free in this case. We should understand the “free” in Free Software does not refers to free of cost (gratis) but to freedom. So, Free Software can be commercial and proprietary and it is the developer own decision the kind of  licence to commercialize it.

  • “Free Software is bad for the economy”

On the contrary. Free Software can help entrepreneurs and start-ups as it allows to reduce project costs Citing an article about this topic: ” There is a fundamental flaw in the reasoning: software is not a resource like any other resource – it has special quirks attached to it. But before we go into that we must take notice that there is no free software. In many areas, for example, free Linux is a substantially more expensive proposition than Windows. So free software can’t be bad because free software does not exist (at least it hasn’t been invented yet, future might change this).”

Two more interesting articles about this:

Economy to Give Open-Source a Good Thumping

Red Hat CEO: From the economic rubble, open source will emerge stronger





“The proof is in the pudding”, a talk with Anna Morris

During these past months I have not meet so many female fellows, so I was really happy to have the chance to interview Anna Morris, a fellow from UK. Do not misunderstand me: I do not catalogue fellows according to their gender (as I think the gender gap is merely a genetic issue that has nothing to do with our daily performance and that it is a product of our society) but  yet, it is nice to know that women are also having presence in the software community. 

Anna Morris is one of the coordinators of the Manchester Fellowship Group, she is an online EFL (English as Foreign Language) teacher  and since last year, she runs an Ethical pet online shop.  She  helped to found FLOSSIES,”a women only Free Software organisation/conference”, using her words.

Due to the later, she was interviewed by the BBC. ” I was nervous to accept as I hadn’t been doing very much work on the flossie.org project and did not want to seem pushy or steal attention from those doing the hard work. However, I was the only person free to do this interview, so I agree”, explains Anna, who adds that “” the interview was conducted over Skype, which was a little frustrating”.

The podcast of the interview is available on the BBCwebsite or can be downloaded in the Free Software Ogg Vorbis audio format here.  It starts 17 minutes into the podcast version of the show “outriders”. Though Anna complains that she sounds “like a public school girl from the south of England (which I ain’t) but otherwise, it was… okay.” ,  I totally recommend to listen to it. And despite the interview was about FLOSSIES she, citing her, “actively made sure the part about FSFE could not be easily eddied out as I feel that FSFE is an exceptionally fine communicator of Free Software”.

– Your interview by the BBC could be a way to rise people’s awareness and to help to spread the labour of FSFE. Do you think media are informing and giving the right coverage to Free Software?

I think the media are actively avoiding the issue of Free Software. The media is very powerful in shaping how we think, however, this is a cyclical relationship: they also grovel for our approval and attention (usually by resorting to using pictures of naked boobies or scenes of devastation).

One problem is that Free Software, while a sensible and obvious path to take, can be an uncomfortable and intimidating topic to read about. This is partly because aggressive software companies like to keep us afraid of technology, which in turn neuters our ability to cope with change. Our Free Software revolution will require change.

Also Free Software, while causing discomfort for the many who fear change, simultaneously lacks both the appeal of naked boobies and the voyeuristic enchantment of car-crash or war-zone photos. Free Software is also sensible and obvious (ie: lacking in melodrama). Which journalist would want to subject their reader to all that?

This said, it’s not as if Free Software can’t be sexy or interesting in a way that a journalist might appreciate: it’s just choosing the right issue to push at the right time. For example, how hot is raspberry pi right now? And android? Come to mamma! The social and political issues surrounding these devices should be easy fodder for the media just now.

I think FSFE is brilliant at issue based campaigning: this because the Fellows, who have joined an EU wide organisation because they are forward thinking, well rounded and generally hip, are integral to the running of the organisation. Thus campaigns such as “free your android” and “theydontwantyou.to” (so in tune with the public mood) grow organically and with passion.

Since when are you using and advocating for Free Software?

I have been using for longer than I initially realised, as Free Software is all over the place and in many forms. I have been consciously using Free Software for about 3 years and advocating it for about the same amount of time. I found out about Free Software when my iMac blew up because it was full of cat hair, and my dad gave me a laptop with Ubuntu on it. In actuality, my Dad gave me the laptop several months before – but I saw no reason to use it, as I had an iMac… once I had been given the push to use it, I absolutely loved Ubuntu, and while a lot of this love was for the philosophy of Free Software, it was the usability and attractiveness of Ubuntu that inspired me to take my first steps.

This all seems like a long time ago now, but it was certainly a magical time. The answers to so many questions were fulfilled – and a world of choice soon opened up to me. Three years on my rudimentary computer skills have blossomed into a skill set which liberates me, and I see no boundaries when it comes to technology. If I want to do something, I simply learn how to do it. This way of life would not be possible if I was still using proprietary software.

– It seems Free Software and the FSFE labour is a “man” thing. Women usually are not so good with computers so they are not so involved in these topics / issues. Do you think this trend is changing? Have you find any challenge for being a woman?

I think women are generally more computer literate than men (think of all those ladies working in admin!!) and that the factors which cause gender imbalance in the more “involved” areas of IT such as programming and Free Software campaigning are social and social only. Perhaps the fear of looking “clever” is an obvious factor, especially as the computer programmer seems to have been allocated the pedestal just below rocket scientist and brain surgeon… that’s a long way down to fall when people figure out that hacking is a multi-purpose tool used by creative people in general…

– So, is the Free Software community, and above it FSFE, “women- friendly”?

Free Software, like many areas of work and play, is not always welcoming to women. This said, it is no less welcoming than a boozy local pub on a Friday, or even the top jobs in fashion, hairdressing or even primary school teaching (the lower ranks of which are swollen with women, the upper-ranks filled mostly by men). The problems affecting women in Free Software are not to  do with Free Software per se, but to do with society in general. This don’t mean we don’t have to try to make Free Software work more open to women of course, in fact, as people working for social change – it’s vital that we make extensive effort.

I feel FSFE is an organisation very open to women – there are a ton of female “Fellows” (haha) and the positive campaigning, polite language and attractive website design  create an atmosphere in which I (as a female person) feel comfortable and relaxed. It seems to me to be a very gender-neutral organisation, which is a relief. That said…..

Do you think our society is well informed about the different software possibilities?

I believe the majority of people in the UK have no idea that they have a choice when it comes to their computer software. The simply use what comes on the machine – if you buy a Mac, you use Mac OS. If you buy a “PC” you use Windows. Many people don’t even understand the idea of “not Windows” – one example, in a BBC TV crime drama recently, a “computer hacker” had been murdered; they gave his laptop to the techie member of the detective team, and when he switched it on he said “Oh no, its a Unix based operating system” (I assume they meant Linux) – as if he just wouldn’t know what to do at all, as if it would be 100% alien. They had to get a man in from another department.

A second example – A collage teacher said to me recently “so when you switch on your computer… if its not Windows… what’s there?” I think she just envisaged a blank screen, or perhaps some cogs churning… she just couldn’t imagine what a different operating system could be like.

I remember feeling like that: it makes my skin crawl to think how much control Windows and Apple had over my understanding of computers. Once you figure out that an OS usually still had menus and icons and a task-bar, life becomes much more colourful! Once you lean the concept of the general purpose computer, the world is your oyster really!

– Do you think people are aware about the problems of non Free Software? Or quite the opposite, do you think most of the people do not use Free Software because they think it is really difficult?

I think people often experience problems with proprietary software and closed formats, but assume that any problem is down to complex technical issues. It doesn’t cross their mind that anyone would actively try and prohibit them from using their computer freely.

Also, I said before, I think people deeply fear change – a factor not helped by how busy and stressed out people are, how little time most get to spend with their family and friends, and how little meaning people have left in their lives. Fitting Free Software into their lives is a big ask actually.

When the wonder of Free Software is revealed to someone, they often have a spark of excitement, and then return to the glum look of the downtrodden. In suppose some ways, it all sounds too good to be true: how could they be liberated? How could their PC possibly be Free?

Peoples experiences with computing are often so negative, anyway – expense, false advertising, shoddy software, DRM and closed formats – I honestly think its hard for many to envisage software that is good and also free. Again, if people assume all of the above issues are technical and not “legal” or “monetary” issues – why would they trust Free Software?

This is why words are not enough: presentations must be practical, hands on, interactive. People need to feel Free Software. I am beginning to think that every Free Software group and fellowship should have a cupboard of spare pc’s, all running a different OS, that they can cart about and show people. In the North of England we say “the proof is in the pudding.”

–  There is a long way towards a “Free Software society”. What do you think each of us should do to achieve that objective?

I think we need to understand that we represent something much larger than our individual- selves. As t-shirt wearing, sticker flashing, leaflet distributing representatives, we need to be clean, polite and respectful to others. Our target market is everybody and so I don’t mean that we all need to be the same – that would be self-defeating. I guess I think that we all just need to be the best of ourselves, and understand that there is plenty of room in this community for all of us and many many more. Passion can breed arguments, but we have to do everything in our power to make our free-software relationships productive and positive. It’s not always easy, sometimes people are very difficult to get along with – but we must try, because there is no time or room for negativity. Well that’s what I think anyway.


P.S. Unfortunately, I could not meet her personally, so the interview was done per email so I hope I can meet her in the future to discuss these, and other topics.


Social media and the concept of “freedom”

Most of us have been living the advance and development of online journalism and among all, the social media. This tendency that started with blogs and followed with different social media website has been like a volcano. During a couple of years it was growing and growing and then, it exploded and covered and rooted all the media and information society. Most of the journalist, or people who are working using social media, called themselves “community managers”; universities and other high education institutions are offering specialized course based on these tools, there are conferences worldwide about the impact of new technologies on media, the new roles of journalists…. and of course, every single media has at least a social media account. Even, current events are  being analysed depending on the latter (one of the best examples is the Arab uprising). But, is there a real comprehension of these tools?

Journalists and other media experts are using these tools without a complete understanding of them and mainly by presenting them as “free” tool and a way to guarantee freedom of both, information and speech. However,  these tools are not free as they are no free software. It might not be the main media company the one who is telling what to say and what to post but, nevertheless, there is a private company running that software who do can control the information. For example, some days ago, there was a discussion about some pictures published on a main newspaper social media website which were deleted them because they were violating their privacy statements.

This can be considered just another anecdote but it is showing a deeper problem: the lack of understanding of the digital tools by our journalists, who are supposed not only to help to create an informed and educated public society. I am not asking them to start hacking and making their own software but at least, they should have a better knowledge about the different software accessible and the privacy issues of the software they are using.

Let’s explain it with an example. I am journalist and I have all my information in an android device. But the apps on my device are not free. They belong to a certain company, what means that that company can access my data. So, should I trust it enough in case I have to write an important email with, for example “the new Waterloo case”? Wouldn’t it be better if we can have proprietary social media? Then, we will be able not only to submit information without any kind of ahead and back control but also to be able to adapt the social media to our needs.

The latter will be the only way to achieve a real information freedom in our digital society. To ensure that future uprisings could really rely on social media as a way to express themselves, to allow journalists and freelances to inform without any kind of restriction. But, without forgetting if one want to be considered more than a journalist that post on social media and wants to be called “community manager” should understand our Digital Era, the importance of Free Software and Open Source and that the tools they are using might not be as “free” as they think.







Free Sotfware baptism of fire

Recent Ubuntu user, new Debian one and, contrary to what I have always thought, totally computer illiterate. This is how I should define myself in Identi.ca or in the Free Software community.

As I am trying to change the former description and I was not proud of having a laptop that came with GNU+linux under the strains of property software,  I decided  that first of all, I had to “liberate” my laptop. Despite my willingness to learn, I asked for help as I also wanted to have some parts of my hard disk encrypted. And, no sooner said than done, I managed to have not only a free laptop but also a few  good lessons.

The first one is that, if you write a password and then, the keyboard layout changes… you might have a problem (that can be even worse if one of the characters you put in your password is not on the new keyboard layout). But,  this is Free Software! So, you will be able to fix it thanks to (and here comes the other important lesson) the TERMINAL. The terminal is your main basic tool as everything you have to do goes through it.  Of course, you can do it with the graphical screen but, it is faster, and easier, if you know know how to talk to the terminal (to write the commands). And if you do not know it… just find your answer online. So let’s use the Terminal! Or at least, that is going to be my goal.

So, to sum up. My computer is working better and I am starting to understand Software a bit better. But, among all,  I am starting to realize that  not only my colleagues will need a lot of patience with me but also I have to be patience with my poor mother who is trying to understand what her daughter  is doing.




Libre Android, libre knowledge

Take part in a Free Your Android workshop =√

“Did you get an Android?”, most of you might think. Not  yet  (I might have to ask Santa Claus for one) but guided by the “everyday, something new” ideal, I went to the workshop that Torsten Grote organized last Saturday, during the Software Freedom Day to teach and help people to liberate an Android device.

Held annually on the third Saturday of September, this day is celebrated worldwide with the aim to promote people awareness about the importance and benefits of Free Software. And, as I still finding my feet in the Free Software community, it was also a good excuse to check the BeLug headquarters, where the workshop was going to be held, among other events to advocate for the Software Freedom Day.

So, these are my conclusions after spending an afternoon (and evening) surrounded by men who were taking another step towards the freedom of their devices:

  • Cum laude workshop: the room was full and we achieve to free 8 devices. Besides, there were not only phones but also tablets.
  • A well documented and secure process: liberating your device is not difficult. It is very good documented online and if you do it with more people, there will be always someone willing to help you or that can give you a good advice. And it is easier as it seems. Of course, before it you should remember the “golden rule” (and that one I use to forget): always do a back up of all your data.
  • Securing your boot can make it even can work better: not only you will be controlling all your data but also your phone will work faster. Another plus to do it
  • Spending an afternoon with other free software advocates is really fruitful as you will learn new hints or you will just exchange information and knowledge. Anyone can go to any of these workshops to share a coffee and have an interesting chat. (And I guess women are more than welcome in a mainly man community).
  • The BeLug headquarters is a really nice place to stop by.

Last Saturday, I learned the FYA theory. Now, I am totally at the drop of a hat to check my practical skills. Any volunteer?

My first time

As both, a new  Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE)  intern and Berliner, my adventure started in the best scenario possible: the Campus Party Europe. Although I have heard about it (indeed, I share nationality with the events organisers) it was going to be my first participation in one of these events. The  localisation chosen for the first Campus Party Europe in Germany was also outstanding: the former Berlin Tempelhof airport which has been converted in a  park and a conference centre.

FSFE was participating in the event giving some speeches and talks, a key  way to spread our principles, our work and to answer questions about us (and in my case,  to understand and comprehend better our labour, too). Indeed, FSFE was contacted  by the event organisers not only to participate but also to propose several talks and I was going to enjoy the results of the latter,  which was a hard task.

The Campus Party Europe stage named like the ancient philosopher Socrates, was dedicated to Free Software and Operating Systems.  So, considering that stage as my essential and indispensable spot for my campusera experience, a “free mind” (without any other thoughts than learning and enjoying this experience), my notebook and some recommendations about several talks, I was prepared for the next four days.

Besides the keynote speakers, like  Jon “maddog” Hall, Mark Surman (Mozilla  Foundation),  Rainey Reitman (EFF) and Sir Tim Berners- Lee, I knew I was going to improve and consolidate my prior Free Software knowledge with some really interesting speeches by some people close to FSFE, starting with  Hugo Roy talk about Free Software and Neutrality.

Hugo, our French coordinator and a fellowship representative, explained the importance of a neutral network for our society freedom. After it, Matthias Kirschner deepened this idea with his speech about the importance of computers as general purpose machines.

I had enough theoretical background for a day so I was happy when I checked the next speaker. Peter Bubestinger was going to introduce the attenders into professional audio production with free software. Indeed, this FSFE fellow (and Austrian coordinator), is  working to get the raw video files from the Campus Party organizers, encode them in a good formats, and provide them on FSFE’s torrent tracker. Not only I will be able to enjoy these speeches again, also all our FSFE fellows!

Yet, there was one speech I did not want to miss, one about legal and law issues. Again,  Hugo Roy was coming back to the stage but this time to talk about Terms of Service. Is there anyone who really reads the terms of service of any of the apps, software, products that he is buying, getting, downloading? And if so, is there anyone who really understand them? Those were the questions that the creators of “Terms of Service – Didn’t read” asked themselves, ergo they started this project, explained by Hugo, to allow people to understanding better the Terms of Service providing a summary and making it clearer.

Thursday was also a busy day starting with Lydia Pintscher (KDE) conference about the opportunities Free Software is offering to all of us trying to make the world a better place. After those encouraging words, I decide to check Alessandro Rubini,   who promised to write a new Free Software operating system in two hours. He did it and in fact, he wrote a multi tasking operating system in one hour and a half, while explaining it (awesome!). I am a barely computer
illiterate, so I do not think I will be able to do it but at least, as the documentation is available online, I can try.

In 1985 Berlin was still a divided city without freedom but as computers and software was becoming more and more important in our society, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) was founded. Political freedom arrived to Tempelhof airport but still in 2012 there are a lot of challenges against it. Matthias Kirschner went back on the Socrates stage on Friday to get the audience attention about the FSFs, their past and current role as well as their prospects.

In the digital society, the free access to data is one of the key points to guarantee freedom so Daniel Kinzler took charge with an interesting  talk about wikidata, a wikimedia project that is on its beginnings but that will help to get more accurate data for researches, information or just for public knowledge.  And with the sweet taste of a better future, I realized I had only one more day to enjoy Campus Party and a really propitious one!

Saturday arrived with the presence of one keynote speaker, Sir Tim Berners-Lee. After him, there were still three more talks I was interested in, one after the other.  The first one, introduced by Michael Christen, was about one of the
main problems of our current information society: how to seek between almost infinite information and how to guarantee a free and uncensored access to this information? He proposed YaCy, a peer to peer search engine and ultimately his talk went through this problem and search engines, the tool we used to find information. Related to the  later, the next talk by Pablo Joubert explained the Seeks project, as one of his manager and developers, an interesting p2p network to help users to find the answer to their queries.

After four days I had knowledge and I was even more convince about the importance of guarantee the freedom of our network but also of making our society aware about it. So I ended up my campusera participation with the talk about Free Your Android, by Torsten Grote. We can have better search engines, we can understand the terms of  service, we can advocate for a free society but if one of our key tools, our phone, is still not free (or as Torsten was saying it the opposite of smart) and we are letting companies to access our data and our most private information… how can we talk about freedom?

After four days,  my awareness and knowledge about Free Software had improved considerably and almost without noticing it. I guess,  I was  not the only one as it did not only was a  melting pot of information, but also a good way to create community, meet other fellows and people interested in Free Software and a way to encourage their daily labour in search of a free network. But above all, my Campus Party was my first jump into the Free Software swimming pool.