Emacs GNU/Linux Free Software & Open Source News

Emacs Identica-mode microblogging client v1.0 release logo
GNU logo

I’m very happy to announce the release 1.0 of the Emacs identica-mode microblogging client. Its been a while since the last release, and its been for a good reason! The main improvements are:

– HTTP backend rewrite

The backend that makes the HTTP connections has been completely rewritten to use url.el mode instead of the previous networking calls. This has made a big improvement on speed and reliability. Emacs no longer hangs for a while on crappy or slow connections.

– Free network service URL shortening

Support for the FNS URL shortening services and TightURL have been added, with as the default option. Previous services are also available through M-x customize-group identica-mode. Also added support for Google’s url shortening service.

– Support for group and tag timelines

Now you can follow group and tag timelines, pressing C-c C-g for group timeline and C-c C-t for tag timeline. Also, pressing while the cursor is on a tag, username or group it will switch to that element’s timeline.

– Added support for unicode named tags and groups

Basically you’ll notice a speed and stability improvement overall.

I also want to welcome Jason F. McBrayer and Shyam Karanatt as regular contributors and members of the Emacs Identica-mode project at Savannah. Hope we can get more contributors to get this project further.

Download Emacs Identica-mode v1.0


As always, if you have any ideas for features, patches or bug fixes, please add them to the identica-mode bug tracking list.

You can also help out if you’ve liked Emacs identica-mode and have some spare change. It would be great to support this project by making any kind of donation on the “tip jar” in appreciation of the hours invested on its development and improvement.

Digital rights Law & Freedom GNU/Linux Free Software & Open Source News

More ugly stories about depending on cloud computing

Depending on “the cloud” to provide all software has increasingly shown some of its issues. What’s strange is that not many people are concerned about it.

Google marking all sites as unsafe

Google marked all search results as unsafe websites, and when you clicked on the link, it warned you again and you had to agree to go to the website. This might not cause a big issue for computer savvy people that know where they’re going, but for other people (and that actually read warning messages) this might scared them away. Probably a lot of business was lost from users going for the first time to a site and got this warning.

You can read more about this at:

Youtube’s fair use massacre

Warner music and Youtube have been taking down videos with copyrighted music on this service. If you have a video of your kid dancing to a Warner music song, so someone is whistling one or if its in the background of your birthday video, it might be taken down.

The EFF has called this “The fair use massacre” since these videos are righfully using the material under fair use terms but they are being taken down anyway.

You can read more about this with these links:

It is becoming more and more evident that support for free networking service software is needed before we loose our data and specially our freedom. Support projects like Laconica with Identica being its biggest implementation (follow me on identica”), Wikipedia, Launchpad (now that it will be AGPL licensed), Elgg and many others listed here. Learn more about free network services at the website.

“Before the storm” image is Creative Commons by Steve Wall.
Digital rights Law & Freedom Emacs GNU/Linux Free Software & Open Source News Programming & Web Development

Make Emacs yasnippet work with html-helper-mode

Yasnippet is a great emacs minor mode that lets you have lots of code snippets easily at hand. Also you can create your own snippets in a very easy way without needing to write them in emacs lisp. Basically, like textmate shortcuts for emacs.

I use html-helper-mode to edit all my html code, but yasnippet works with html-mode only out-of-the-box. To make it work with html-helper-mode, add ‘html-helper-mode-hook’ to yasnippet.el on line 121:

It should look like this:

'(ruby-mode-hook actionscript-mode-hook ox-mode-hook python-mode-hook html-helper-mode-hook))

Then make a symlink to html-mode on the snippets folder. Assuming you are on yasnippets snippets/text-mode/ directory, type:

ln -s html-mode/ html-helper-mode

And now all html snippets will be available on html-helper-mode too.

Image is Creative Commons byitspaulkelly
Digital rights Law & Freedom GNU/Linux Free Software & Open Source News

Soviet-like antipiracy campaign targeted at kids in Mexico

vendetta image by hawken.dadako on flickr
The mexican newspaper El Universal published a contest for kids sponsored by IMPI (the organization that in charge of “intelectual property” and patents in Mexico) which invites kids to report to the IMPI for any “piracy” acts their parents, teachers and friends do.

Gunnar Wolf sent an open letter (in spanish) to the newspaper and the chairman of the IMPI about the concerns and attrocities this campaign is doing on kids and society in general.

This technique of making society turn into itself by spying and reporting on each other is a well known tactic used by the Soviet Union (and now in USA). We must not tolerate this kind of education on kids.

Vendetta image is creative commons by hawken.dadako
Digital rights Law & Freedom GNU/Linux Free Software & Open Source News

Chrome license makes Google more than the new Big Brother

Yesterday’s big news was that Google released their own “open source” browser called Google Chrome. They released only the binaries for Windows, and even thought they claim to be open source, I don’t see where I can get the source code yet.

But what really bothers me is the license agreements for Chrome:

11. Content license from you
11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.

This means that if you publish a blog post, upload a photo or release a song or software, Google has the right to use it for whatever they want, royalty-free.
You're being spied on, by WeMeantDemocracy

Photo Creative Commons by WeMeantDemocracy

So this makes Google more than a Big Brother, which only watches your every move. This one can commercialize what you do as well.

I advice you, as always, to read your license agreements when you install software, or better yet, use free software.

I’ll stick with Mozilla Firefox, which besides of a good licence, has major benefits for me with all its extensions. I can forgive a few crashes in exchange of openness and in keeping my data mine.

GNU/Linux Free Software & Open Source News

Firefox to support OGG in

Open source browser Firefox is going to support Ogg Theora video natively without installing plugins and will support the new HTML 5 tag

This is great news since there has been a long debate about the HTML 5

The latest version of Opera browser also supports Ogg Theora videos natively already.