Since few days ago, GitLab is restricting Iranians from accessing its services and is also banning Iranian users’ accounts. A GitLab Support employee confirmed this.

GitLab Support message about banning Iranians
GitLab Support message about banning Iranians

Sadly, United States doesn’t stop its terrible and ridicules laws and sanctions. I remember talking about this a lot. Restricting Iranian software developers from using a git service is totally ridiculous and unbelievable.

Iranians are an important and very efficient part of the free software community. Restricting them can only harm the community and progress and success of the free software community.

More importantly, the law is discriminatory. Banning people from using a service because of the bad their government did is discriminatory and inhumane.

United States have done very awful stuff during years but nobody bans Americans from using European and/or Asian services. It’s hard to believe that these sanctions are only targeting the Iranian government. Even if it was targeting the government only, the sanctions should be on officials and/or certain range, not on the nationality.

There are great free software alternatives for GitHub and GitLab. Codeberg.org for example is one of the bests. We should encourage people to use decentralized and non-discriminatory services instead of GitLab and GitHub.

Update: I deleted my Telegram account. My main messengers will be IRC and Matrix.

Pavel Durov, founder and CEO of Telegram messenger announced in a recent post in his Telegram channel that Apple is forcing Telegram to shut down three channels used by the people of Belarus to expose the identities of their oppressors.

Apple is requesting that we shut down 3 channels used by the people of Belarus to expose the identities of their oppressors.

@karatelibelarusi
@chatpartizan
@belarusassholes

Their concern is that publishing the personal information of law enforcers and propagandists may incite violence.

I think this situation is not black and white and would rather leave the channels be, but typically Apple doesn’t offer much choice for apps like Telegram in such situations. Unfortunately, I assume these channels will end up getting blocked on iOS, but remain available on other platforms.

P. S. Everyone is welcome to express their views and comment on this post provided they stay on-topic and use English. Thanks!

If Telegram complies with Apple and shuts down these channels which are for protecting people of Belarus, I’ll delete the app and won’t use it again. One of the reasons I was on Telegram was that it’s a great platform for people when it comes to free speech and fighting dictators, like Lukashenko.

I know Apple is one of the important places for apps to be published but it is not more important than people. Apple is requesting a thing that can hurt the revolution and protests of people of Belarus.

If Telegram complies with this, it’ll be start of complying with dictators and other powerfuls like Apple, Google, Amazon, etc.

Telegram is free software but the server is still proprietary. There are alternatives to that such as Matrix or IRC. I’ll use them instead, in case Telegram complies with what Apple (and most likely Belarus dictator Lukashenko) wants.

FSF35 celebration image

Today, on October 4th, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) celebrates its thirty-fifth year of fighting for software freedom. Our work will not be finished until every computer user is able to do all of their digital tasks in complete freedom — whether that’s on a desktop, laptop, or the computer in your pocket. The fight for free software continues, and we wouldn’t be here without you.

To celebrate, we have a full week of announcements and surprises planned starting today, and we will end in an online anniversary event featuring both live and prerecorded segments this Friday, October 9th, from 12:00 EDT (16:00 UTC) until 17:00 EDT (21:00 UTC). We’d love for you to join in celebration of this amazing community by submitting a short (two-minute) video sharing your favorite memory about free software or the FSF, and a wish for the future of software freedom. We’ll be collecting the videos all week and airing a selection during the birthday event on October 9th. Please follow the instructions linked below on how to successfully (and freely!) submit the video via FTP.

If you are able to, please make a donation of $35 or more to help keep the fight for user freedom going another 35 years, we’ll send you a commemorative pin as pictured in this blog post.

Image of FSF35 anniversary pin
Image of FSF35 anniversary pin

Uploading a video

We’d love to have you submit a video for us to show during this week’s festivities. Please follow the instructions we’ve posted to the LibrePlanet wiki to upload your video, and write to us at campaigns@fsf.org when you’re finished. Please keep your comments on the topic of free software and the FSF, and your video length under two minutes.

There’s no better way to commemorate the FSF’s 35th anniversary than to spread the free software message. We’ve come up with a few more ways you can do so, and ideally encourage your friends to do the same. The best gifts we can ask for are the individual contributions that keep this movement going.

Ways to celebrate

  • Try a fully free distribution of GNU/Linux, which can be run “live” without making any permanent changes to your computer’s hard drive.
  • Take an hour to follow our Email Self-Defense Guide guide, and learn how to opt out of bulk surveillance.
  • Download and experiment with one of the oldest parts of the GNU operating system, the GNU Emacs text editor. Try the tutorial by launching the editor and typing Ctrl-h + t (C-h t), or see if you can make it through some of the games included with Emacs, such as Alt-x (M-x) dunnet or M-x tetris.
  • Make the commitment to replace one nonfree program that you use with one that respects your freedom, such as using LibreOffice instead of Microsoft Office.
  • Petition the administrators of your favorite Web site to free the proprietary JavaScript lurking on their page that many users run and download without ever realizing it.
  • Contribute to the Free Software Directory by writing or updating the entry for a freely licensed program you enjoy, or join us on the Freenode IRC channel #fsf Fridays from 16:00-19:00 UTC for our weekly meetings on how to improve the Directory.
  • Help support the FSF’s important work by buying manuals, apparel, and other GNU gear at the GNU Press shop! You could upgrade your skills with a GNU/Linux command line manual, or just get an adorable stuffed baby GNU as a companion for late-night hacking. Also, keep your eyes peeled for special items related to our 35th anniversary. The pin you see here is just one of them!
  • Watch and share the videos from our animated series, as well as the keynotes, presentations, and panels given at LibrePlanet, the annual conference dedicated to defending computer user freedom.
  • Have an Android phone? Install F-Droid, a repository with hundreds of fun and useful free software apps.
  • Share a message on social media about the FSF’s thirty-fifth anniversary! Feel free to adapt the text and use it with the #fsf35 hashtag and the included image.

Join me in celebrating #fsf35 with the free software community and the @FSF this Friday, October 9th by tuning into fsf.org for the live anniversary event.

We’re another year older, but that doesn’t mean we’re slowing down our efforts to bring software freedom to users around the globe. Stay tuned for more information on how we plan to ring in the FSF’s next year, and the vital role each one of us plays in ensuring free software’s success for the future. We hope that you’ll be able to take part in our festivities this week!

(original post)

I have been using Gravatar as a service for a long time. A lot of libre services and software, such as WordPress, use Gravatar to show users’ avatars. There’s also a free software for such matter named Libravatar which is federated and I prefer it but I use Gravatar too.

Now, Bleeping Computer, an infosec and technology news publication has reported that a user enumeration technique discovered by security researcher Carlo Di Dato demonstrates how Gravatar can be abused for mass data collection of its profiles by web crawlers and bots.

While data provided by Gravatar users on their profiles is already public, the easy user enumeration aspect of the service with virtually no rate limiting raises concerns with regards to the mass collection of user data.

If you want to consider leaving Gravatar and using a federated free software which you can self-host, you may want to check Libravatar. It works great.

Edge is the chromium-based web browser of Microsoft. Now, Microsoft is planning to publish its proprietary web browser for GNU+Linux. It’s OK and also somehow good news but the problem is that Microsoft won’t publish it free (as in freedom).

True support for GNU+Linux requires supporting users’ freedom and rights. Publishing a proprietary software for GNU+Linux operating system is just violating users’ rights in more platforms. Many people who use GNU+Linux are ones who care about free software philosophy and their rights over software.

Sadly, Microsoft doesn’t care about people’s rights over their computing. It’s needless to say that Microsoft is one of the worst companies when it comes to users’ rights and freedom along with Big Tech.

No thanks Microsoft. We don’t want your web browser as long as it disrespects us and violates our software freedom.

Microsoft’s source code for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 has leaked online. Torrent files for both operating systems’ source code have been published on various file sharing sites this week. It’s the first time source code for Windows XP has leaked publicly, although the leaked files claim this code has been shared privately for years.

It is time for Microsoft to show the world how much it really cares for free software (and open source) and how much they really regret calling open source “cancer”.

While ago, when Microsoft announced that they won’t support Windows XP anymore, the Free Software Foundation sent them a hard drive and asked them to liberate the Windows XP so people would have the benefit of software freedom.

So far, Microsoft didn’t respond to FSF and refused to liberate the software. Now, after the source codes are leaked, Microsoft has the second chance to just give the OS a free license (such as GNU GPL) and show us how much they care about open source (and more importantly free software).

Microsoft is one of the least favorite companies in free software communities and by liberating the Windows XP operating system, it can make the situation and its public face better.

Who would have thought that Microsoft, a company that once branded Linux “a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches” have condescended to adding its browser software in GNU+Linux?

This means free software world has definitely won, doesn’t it?

Ignite Microsoft will release its Edge browser for GNU+Linux next month, initially through the browser’s Dev preview channel.

The Windows giant, which has warmed to GNU+Linux in recent years, made the announcement at its Ignite 2020 conference, conducted virtually this week on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our mission to bring Microsoft Edge to the platforms our customers use daily takes its next step: starting in October, Microsoft Edge on [GNU+]Linux will be available to download on the Dev preview channel,” said veep Liat Ben-Zur in a blog post. “When it’s available, [GNU+]Linux users can go to the Microsoft Edge Insiders site to download the preview channel, or they can download it from the native [GNU+]Linux package manager.”

Initially, Microsoft will provide Edge for GNU+Linux through Debian and Ubuntu distributions, with others to follow.

I don’t know what will be the license of the browser and if Microsoft releases the software under a proper license like GNU GPL but I’m not optimistic about it. Microsoft doesn’t like the free software world as we threaten its interests in violating people’s rights.

However, it’s still good news. It means Microsoft now knows more people are informed and interested in their rights.

One thing I should mention is that we are surrounded with proprietary software and companies. Almost all of the major tech and publishing companies are proprietary ones. Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, IBM, and Amazon (Big Tech) are constantly working to protect the proprietary software and patents of theirs.

Sadly, the majority of people use almost only proprietary software and these companies are benefiting from them. Now, what we do (supporting the free culture) is against their benefit so they have to advertise against it and target people with false accusations against free software world.

For instance, the Google page about the AGPL details inaccurate (but common) misconceptions about the obligations of the AGPL that don’t follow from the text. Google states that if, for example, Google Maps used PostGIS as its data store, and PostGIS used the AGPL, Google would be required to release the Google Maps code. This is not true.

These companies don’t like free software. This is actually one of the reasons that they use the term Open Source instead of free software.

Now, if they have to pretend to like a free software, they prefer the ones they can control, the ones like MIT that can be used proprietorially. An example is BSD. One of the major developers of BSD is Apple which benefits a lot from the weak BSD licenses.

Copyleft restricts big tech from benefiting and not giving back to community so these companies don’t like it and do everything they can to weaken the copyleft culture so they can survive on benefiting from our community and violating people’s freedom and rights.

ThinkPad have been GNU+Linux users first choice for years and now Lenovo is released a ThinkPad with a ready-to-run GNU+Linux. And, not just any GNU+Linux, but Red Hat’s community, Fedora.

Red Hat Senior Software Engineering Manager Christian Schaller wrote:

This is a big milestone for us and for Lenovo as it’s the first time Fedora ships pre-installed on a laptop from a major vendor and it’s the first time the world’s largest laptop maker ships premium laptops with Linux directly to consumers. Currently, only the X1 Carbon is available, but more models are on the way and more geographies will get added too soon.

First in this new Linux-friendly lineup is the X1 Carbon Gen 8. It will be followed by forthcoming versions of the ThinkPad P1 Gen2 and ThinkPad P53. While ThinkPads are usually meant for business users, Lenovo will be happy to sell the Fedora-powered X1 Carbon to home users as well.

The new X1 Carbon runs Fedora Workstation 32. This cutting-edge Linux distribution uses the Linux Kernel 5.6. It includes WireGuard virtual private network (VPN) support and USB4 support. This Fedora version uses the new GNOME 3.36 for its default desktop.

I personally love Fedora. I’m currently a Trisquel user after I found out about Fedora’s discriminatory act (rule) but Fedora is actually one of the best.