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16th Feb Meeting - Rosie Williams and FSM playtest SnitchHunt

Hey there Free Software Melbourne, we're kicking off a new year with a bit of serious fun, we'll be joined by Rosie Williams from the Little Bird Network. Rosie is an Open Data Consultant, programmer and one of the new generation of journalists covering issues like #CensusFail and #NotMyDebt

SnitchHunt is a game that teaches the public about metadata: what it is and how it can be used to identify and track individuals. Come and test the open source beta version of SnitchHunt with Free Software Melbourne so the developer can see how different people handle the game. Numbers will be limited. Please bring your own laptop & internet connection to play although some may be accommodated by teaming up with others. https://whistleblower.network/snitch/index.php

After our playtest of SnitchHunt we'll be having our regular Gnews review of the last couple of months. Hope to see you at 6:30PM on Thursday 16th at Electron Workshop (31 Arden Street, North Melbourne) for the monthly Free software Melbourne meetup followed by our usual stroll down Errol st to find somewhere for dinner and continued chatter


Event details
Thursday 16th Feb, 6:30-8:00pm
31 Arden St, North Melbourne, Victoria, 3051
Map: http://osm.org/go/uG4HWyqEz?m=&node=2556615434
Travel tips by Electron Workshop
Running late or can't find us? Call Ben on 0419 390 496

2016 - FOSS Show and Tell wrapup

Hello Freedom Lovers,

Earlier this month we had our "Free Software Show and Tell" session at FSM. As usual there was a bunch of really great software on show and just I wanted to put together a post wrapping up some of the highlights for "Best FOSS Software of 2016"

First off the blocks we had L.D.A.P. or the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol which had helped a business integrate new (or was it old) hardware into an existing infrastructure with a mixture of Windows and Linux software

I mentioned that HtTrack was my best hope for empowering government with a tool for web scraping on account of it having an Android client and the departmental restrictions on software is less strict for the time being

Ben S. talked about Riot which is a team based communications platform built on Matrix. Apart from all the usual benefits of a team communications platform, Riot has the added benefit of allowing connections to an old school IRC chat but with all the added benefits of persistence we have come to expect with IRC bouncers and modern web apps

Ben S. also mentioned an often missed benefit of OwnCloud/NextCloud which is the ability to use it as a data store for large email attachments. Just install the ThunderBird add-on and the next time you try to email a large file Thunderbird/NextCloud will offer you the opportunity to upload the file to NextDrive and include a link in the message

Michael showed us a website he's been passionately working on over the past weeks: Boycot Amazon, take a look if you want to support local businesses and tell this conglomorate "Not here!". You could even support local growers by buying local too

Damien demoed a new tool he's been working on to create a very specific kind of binary image. He's been developing and utilising this tool to create binary images based on templates specifying which bits should be set. The software is still in development but Damien is planning on releasing it once it's up to snuff and will be of use to others

Paul also noted that SQLAlchemy had been of great use to himself and someone mentioned a friendly tutorial that was available. I'll have to take the readme at it's word when it says that it's "suite of well known persistence patterns, designed for efficient and high-performing database access, adapted into a simple and Pythonic domain language". Which I think is the long way of saying "It makes databases behave like Python" and in Pauls case this translates to shareable and reproducible results in scientific research

You can also check out the Gnews presentation to look closer at any of the issues we discussed at the meetup or SIGN the PETITIONS!

Hope I haven't missed anyone out almost as much as I hope to see you all in a couple of weeks for our December Holiday Dinner

20th Oct Meeting - Michael Verrenkamp on the Paradoxes of Free Software

It is that time of the month again! 6:30PM on Thursday 20th at The Electron Workshop (31 Arden Street, North Melbourne) it is time for the monthly Free software Melbourne meet up

Software Freedom Day 2016

It doesn't matter how much you directly participate in software
freedom or what operating system you run, all that matters is that you
would like to live in a world of software freedom where every
individual can control the code that runs on their computer and the
conditions under which it executes. It's that time of the year for all
of us who compute to celebrate our freedoms in technology and indulge
in the finer details of keeping our increasingly digital lives under
our direct control.

Free Software Melbourne, in conjunction with Linux Users Victoria, is
celebrating the 13th annual Software Freedom Day. With a variety of
talks and workshops helping everyone to get the most out of the
Free/Libre and Open Source communities and the free software they make
available


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Venue
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Our gracious hosts this year are:

Electron Workshop co-working space
31 Arden Street, North Melbourne
Map: https://www.openstreetmap.org/node/2556615434

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Time Table
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A (data) array of wonderful talkers have been so kind as to help
spread the word or just give you a tour of some great programs that
respect you.

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FSM 18/08/16: Democracy the open source way and more Gnews than you can statisticaly sample

What does the Australian democratic system have in common with Eurovision?

No. It's not the wigs and over the top singing... No not the ongoing controversies and backstabbing...

It's the backroom dealings over the voting, that and Paul Foxworthy. While it's too soon to fully understand the ramifications of the updated senate voting it's never too soon to start talking about Eurovision. This month Paul will discuss his ongoing auprefs.info project and how similar techniques might be applicable to other (more entertaining) voting systems

We'll also be having our regular Gnews segment where we hope to discuss something other than the census, but we'll have to see about that, and as usual we'll end the night with a stroll down Errol st to KL Bunga Raya. Doors at  Electron Workshop (31 Arden Street) open at 6pm with the event kicking off at about 6:30pm and drinks are available at EW member prices!