You still got some money left after buying all those Christmas presents? How about donating some of it for a good cause:
Wikipedia is entering 2007 as one of the 10 most visited websites in the world. That's a great proof of our success. However, with this success comes a new set of challenges and responsibilities. As we plan for the future of Wikipedia and all of the Wikimedia projects, our two most important goals now are the reliability of our content and the long-term sustainability of every project in which we are involved.
To meet these goals we have a lot of work to do, so I am asking for your help. In the coming year, the Wikimedia Foundation anticipates dramatically increasing spending to keep up with server and traffic capacity demands, add new staff on the organizational level, improve our software and develop methods to better ensure high quality content, all while making progress toward our goal of giving free knowledge to everyone.
-- Florence Devouard, Chair of the Wikimedia Foundation
It's once again time to show your support for Creative Commons. Digital technologies are connecting people in ways that were never before possible – but that network is fragile. Creative Commons needs your support to help enable a participatory culture – a culture in which everyone can actively engage in the creativity that surrounds us. We need your support to assure access to cultural, scientific, and educational content that has been pre-cleared for use by its authors.
Freedom is more precious than anything else we have and we need to protect it while we still can.
-- Eben Moglen in his FSF year end video appeal (OGG, 24 MB)
EFF is a nonprofit group of passionate people — lawyers, technologists, volunteers, and visionaries — working to protect your digital rights.
Tor is a toolset for a wide range of organizations and people that want to improve their safety and security on the Internet. Using Tor can help you anonymize web browsing and publishing, instant messaging, IRC, SSH, and other applications that use the TCP protocol. Tor also provides a platform on which software developers can build new applications with built-in anonymity, safety, and privacy features.
Or how about some organizations not directly related to Free Culture or Free Software?
Amnesty International (AI) is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights. AI’s vision is of a world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards.
The International Red Cross (and Red Crescent Movement) is an international humanitarian movement whose stated mission is to protect human life and health, to ensure respect for the human being, and to prevent and alleviate human suffering, without any discrimination based on nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions.
Looking at my webserver logs, there seems to be a highly increased demand for my 10 + 100 Creative Commons Christmas Songs blog post from last Christmas... I wonder why... ;-)
So I decided to update the list this year, adding a bunch of additional songs; in total there are now more than 230 songs listed.
Of course the list is incomplete, so any further links to Creative Commons licensed Christmas music are very welcome. Just leave a comment here or directly on the old blog post and I'll update the list.
I'll probably also put up some more Christmas-related songs on my Creative Commons music podcast over the next few days...
Hardware sucks. It just totally and utterly sucks.
I purchased a 300 GB hard drive (plus a 3.5" USB disk drive enclosure) roughly 8 months ago which I encrypted using dm-crypt and then used it as a backup medium. And now the disk has died. No, this is not a software problem (that would be easy to deal with), the hardware is simply dead (it's making funny "klck" noises all the time).
Mounting it via USB (using the USB enclosure) doesn't work at all anymore. I connected the disk via IDE in a PC and was able to mount it just fine (with
cryptsetup luksOpen and all). A simple
ls works, too (at least in the top-level directory). So I tried to copy the data over to another medium, but when accessing certain directories or files the system simply hangs and I get tons of funny kernel errors (and the disk makes even more and louder funny noises). Great.
Stupid as I am, I also put data on the drive which I did not have backups of on other media (mostly because the data is huge, e.g. conference video recordings, large amounts of Creative Commons MP3s etc). OK, so I managed to get at least some small parts of my data, but now the disk is completely dead, I fear.
I'll try to convice the vendor to give me a new drive, but I won't let them get their fingers on my data, i.e., I will not send the disk to them (yes, even though it is encrypted; crypto can be broken). Any ideas what else I could do? A professional "data recovery" service is not an option either, they usually cost 1000-2000 Euros (in the best case).
What do you do for storing huge amounts of data nowadays? The only viable option I can think of is a RAID-5 (mdadm) with 3 or more disks in a silent PC which I can leave turned on 24/7. Unfortunately that costs non-trivial amounts of money. CDs are too small and they don't last too long either; the same is true for DVDs.
GNUFI is designed to be a firmware compatible with the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) specification.
At this point there has not been any official release of GNUFI. The version controlled source repository can be accessed using Bazaar:bzr branch http://gnufi.openbios.org/gnufi.dev
The Free Ryzom Campaign that I have mentioned earlier is now officially supported by the Free Software Foundation with a donation pledge of $60.000 (which now makes a total of ca. 134.000 Euros together with the contributions by many other people).
The Free Ryzom campaign was established to purchase the online game and universe known as Ryzom, property of the now bankrupt Nevrax company, and release the entire game as free software.
As stated by Peter T. Brown, Executive Director of the Free Software Foundation, the FSF considers the Free Ryzom campaign "a high priority project for the free software movement". The aim of the campaign is to publish the source code to the entire game under the terms of the
widely-used GPL, as well as publishing all of the artwork and other content under similar free licenses.
The Free Ryzom campaign represents a unique opportunity for the free software movement and the emerging free gaming field. A fully free MMORPG (massively multiplayer online roleplaying game) engine and client/server architecture would allow the development of a myriad of universes, each one evolving its own philosophy and unique content - but sharing in general technical improvements. If successful, this campaign would allow any user to create their own universe and produce their own content based on the Ryzom/Nevrax architecture.
The new goal is now to reach 200.000 Euros in order to increase chances to convince the judge to choose the Free Ryzom project as the new owner of the code and game data.
Pledges must be made within the next few days, since the deadline for the final bid is expected sometime before Wednesday, December 19th, depending on when the judges make their decision.
Good luck to the project!
Update 2006-12-14: Fix the numbers (Euro vs. Dollar messup). Thanks Ward Vandewege!