tobias_platen's blog

Tobias Alexandra Platen's software freedom blog

Back from FUxCon

As a fellow that lives inside the Rhein-Main* area I went to the first FUxCon* where I met Guido Arnold at the FSFE booth.
I don’t own an iPhone because it is Defective By Design. Instead I use a 3 years old Android phone that plays Ogg Vorbis out of the box. The device isn’t fully free but you can run many free software applications if you install F-Droid. If you buy a new smartphone than I can recommend the GTA04 or the Fairphone.

I found that the keynote by Cornelius Schumacher from KDE e.V about Open-Source-Communities [sic] was interesting. The people at KDE beginning with Matthias Ettrich do care about software freedom. Their aim is to make free software usable to the general public. I use LyX, because I think that it is easier to use than LibreOffice Writer. I don’t own a tablet computer, because most vendors ship with nonfree distributions of Android. The Flying Squirrel will run GNU/Linux, it’s WiFi chip is compatible with free software.

I also met the DARC* ham radio group. With ham radio you can fetch your email without using a commercial internet connection. People in China use this technology to break censorship. I do not use services that practice censorship such as Facebook and Google+/Youtube, instead I support PageKite and FreedomBox. With a free software defined radio such as GNU Radio it should be possible to connect freedomboxes together using a censorship ham radio channel. If you and your friends use GNUnet to encrypt your network traffic, nobody will be able to eavesdrop or censor your private communications.

People from CCC-FFM* showed me how to hack a chipcard* that is used in TAN generators. These devices might be useful for other puposes. As I prefer bitcoin over proprietery payment services, it might be possible to implement a bitcoin smartcard that people can use with such a device. The only think that you will need is an empty chipcard that you can fill with your own software. Most empty chipcards require the use of nonfree software, but there are chipcards that one can hack with the free avr-gcc compiler. You can get a the things need for smartcard hacking from here*. I try to avoid PayPal for micropayment, as they blocked wikileaks. For this reason I do not use flattr anymore.

At the end of the FUxCon there was an Audacity workshop. As I use GNU/Linux to make music, I often use Audacity. I learned how to use the labels feature of Audacity that allows one to export multiple files. The workshop was done by from AUGE e.V (Apple User Group Europe). I had to name a free programm called LMMS (Linux Multimedia Studio) when somebody recommended the nonfree software Cubase for multitrack recording. There are many other free programs that you can enjoy when you switch to GNU/Linux. Rosegarden is one of them.

Recently I started writing a free replacement for MBROLA. MBROLA is a diphone synthesizer that had been able to sing ten years before Crypton Future Media released KAITO. For diphone-segmentation I use Audacity. The first MBROLOID will be called Mikulas Lenzo. In 2010 copies of Ubuntu were be distributed at Anime Boston. This year I will distribute copies of a custom Trisquel GNU/Linux image that contains a lot of free programs that Anime fans and Cosplay Photographers will find useful, including my free SingerBot, at the CosDay convention. For most music that I listen to I know that the producers use nonfree software, so it is time to teach people who want to make music how to use a free program that does do the same thing.

* this link points to a German page, you can translate it into English using Google Translate. Apertium does not support German yet.