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FSF and FSFE: Showcase and Community Meeting in Bolzano, Italy

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  • The FSF tech team: doing more for free software

    At the Free Software Foundation (FSF), we like to set big goals for ourselves, keeping a relatively small group of dedicated activists determined to cover a lot of ground in a short time.The FSF tech team, for example, has just four members -- two senior systems administrators, one Web developer, and a part-time chief technology officer -- yet we manage to run over 120 virtual servers. These run on about a dozen machines hosted at four different data centers. These include many public-facing Web sites and community services, as well as every single IT requirement for the staff: workstations, data storage and backup, networking, printing, accounting, telephony, email, you name it.

    We don't outsource any of our daily software needs because we need to be sure that they are done using only free software. Remember, there is no "cloud," just other people's computers. For example: we don't outsource our email, so every day we send over half a million messages to thousands of free software hackers through the community mailing lists we host. We also don't outsource our Web storage or networking, so we serve tens of thousands of free software downloads -- over 1.5 terabytes of data -- a day. And our popularity, and the critical nature of the resources we make available, make us a target for denial of service attacks (one is ongoing as we write this), requiring constant monitoring by the tech team, whose members take turns being ready for emergency work so that the resources our supporters depend on stay available.

    As hard as we work, we still want to do more, like increasing our already strict standards on hardware compliance, so in 2020, we will finish replacing the few remaining servers that require a non-free BIOS. To be compliant to our own high standards, we need to be working with devices that are available through Respects Your Freedom retailers. We plan to add new machines to our farm, so that we can host more community servers like the ones we already host for KDE, SugarLabs, GNU Guix, Replicant, gNewSense, GNU Linux-Libre, and FSFLA. We provide completely virtual machines that these projects use for their daily operations, whether that's Web hosting, mailing lists, software repositories, or compiling and testing software packages.

    We know that many software projects and individual hackers are looking for more options on code hosting services that focus on freedom and privacy, so we are working to set up a public site that anybody can use to publish, collaborate, or document their progress on free software projects. We will follow strict criteria to ensure that this code repository hosts only fully free software, and that it follows the very best practices towards freedom and privacy.

  • Report from the 2019 FSFE Community Meeting in Bolzano, Italy

    Report from the 2019 FSFE Community Meeting in Bolzano, Italy
    This year's FSFE Community Meeting took place from Friday 15 November to Saturday 16 November 2019 as part of SFSCon - an annual Free Software event in the city of Bolzano in South Tyrol, Italy. As in previous editions, embedding our community meeting in another event gave us the opportunity to meet different parts of our own community as well as to connect with people from other communities.

    On Friday, SFScon started officially and the NOI Techpark transformed into the interim capital of Free Software with talks and booths. Of course, the FSFE booth was also part of it and the booth team commandeered the whole area by installing a balloon chain and putting up posters. The rumours that the booth team gave away free pizza (not as in freedom) to gain more attention, are highly exaggerated, though.

What's new in the GNU Press Shop

  • What's new in the GNU Press Shop

    Greetings from the GNU Press Shop! This is an update on what's new and exciting at the Free Software Foundation's (FSF) online store, your source for GNU apparel, programming manuals, and more. We know at this time of year you'll be looking for GNU gifts for your favorite free software enthusiasts, and we have some terrific new picks for you to choose from! For holiday gifting, shipped within the US, we recommend placing your order before December 17th.

    For starters, we've got just the thing for the chilly season: we have replaced our extended selection of hooded sweatshirts with a single, user-friendly zip-up design. It still comes in our signature maroon color, but with an all-new "happy computer" graphic by the FSF's superstar 2019 intern Valessio Brito. Between this sweatshirt and the satisfying feeling of helping spread the word about software freedom, we think you'll be quite warm and cozy this winter.

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