Make a difference in 2009

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As we wave goodbye to 2008 I thought now seemed as good a time as any to look back at the work done by the Free Software Foundation over the past year.

The FSF celebrated the 25th anniversary of the GNU Project this year with a breakthrough film from the English comedian Stephen Fry, who gave us an important reminder of the alternative vision for the technology we use, a vision where people don’t trade freedom for convenience but instead support development of tools that create a better society. More than 1 million people have watched the film and it has been translated into 32 languages.

Current campaigns include:

  • ACTA — the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is an imminent threat to the distribution and development of free software. 
  • DefectiveByDesign.org: FSF’s campaign to eliminate Digital Restrictions Management (DRM). DefectiveByDesign.org is a broad-based anti-DRM campaign that is targeting large media companies, unhelpful manufacturers and DRM distributors. The campaign aims to make all manufacturers wary about bringing their DRM-enabled products to market. DRM products have features built-in that restrict you and spy on your activities. These products have been intentionally crippled from the users’ perspective, and are therefore “defective by design”. We aim to make it clear that DRM is an anti-social technology and practice.
  • PlayOgg.org: FSF’s campaign to promote Ogg, a free alternative to proprietary formats like MP3 and AAC
  • Today, there are many questions that the free software community needs to tackle — Does your employer or school require you to use Microsoft software? Are you required to use proprietary formats to interact with your bank or local government? Are your children being trained to use Microsoft or Apple rather than learning how to be in control of the computers they use?

    If you would like to support the FSF in 2009  — become a member or make a donation.

    I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year.

    Online Blender 3D Design Course

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    Neil Hirsig has developed an online course to offer students an introduction to the world of computer generated 3-D modeling and animation.

    As an introductory course, it provides a basic understanding of the skills and techniques employed by 3-D designers in a wide range of applications. In this online course we will explore basic mesh modeling, applying textures and materials to 3-D objects, lighting, animation and rendering. This course should provide a good basis for further independent study in architectural, engineering and theatrical modeling and game design.

    The sequence of Learning Units are a suggested path of learning Blender but you are welcome to use this material in any way that suits your purposes.

    Anyone interested in participating can email nhirsig@tufts.ed

    Example of student work

    Chris: An amazing thing about the resources on the site is copyright.

    Copyright Notice
    All material on this site may be freely distributed without restriction


    MobilizeThis 2008

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    MobilizeThis 2008 is being held next week, from the 22nd-24th Oct. It is a yearly event which provides a snapshot of a cross-sectorial range of contributions to discussion involving the practical and constructive use of ICT’s in the education and related industries.

    This year it is being held at Charles Darwin University

    The purpose of MobilizeThis 2008 is to bring educators, e-learning technologists, managers, tech-heads and cross-sector organisation representatives together in a program that fosters conversations, workshops and online experiences to inform practical examples of employing ICT’s in an open and global context.

    Chris will be presenting this year his theme being; A Brief History of Free Software and Free Network Services, take a look at the website for further information on the scheduled events.