Friday, September 20, 2013

Software Freedom Day- A day to unite for freedom in Software

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Sparrow SMS keeps bringing you events that are related to you in with the increasing dependency on different types of technologies, it’s high time that we stop and think for a moment; ponder upon the impact these technologies have on us, on our daily life, on our freedom. While technologies have been built for the betterment of human life, there are times when these very technologies limit us, and even harm us. And, that is where software freedom comes into play. 

Software freedom, what does that even mean? How is freedom even related to software? Well, when you use a software, how fair is that only the developers of the software can hold the rights to change, modify, improve or demand pay for it. When you’re happily browsing through your web browser, how can you be sure that your browser is not logging in and sending your browser history to someone else? How can you be absolutely sure that the software is doing only what it says it’s doing and not more than that? And, this is what Software freedom is; free, transparent and sustainable technologies, which ensure that the “right for freedom” that we tend to emphasize so much on, is being provided to us.
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Software Freedom Day 2013 in Nepal

To highlight the importance and to spread awareness on “Software Freedom”, we celebrate Software Freedom day on the third Saturday of every September. Software Freedom Day is a global, grass root effort to educate the public about the importance of software freedom and the virtues and availability of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). Free and open source software as it can be inferred by its name is both free as well as open source software. That is unlike the proprietary software where the software is under restrictive copyright and the source code is hidden from the users. With FOSS, anyone is  freely licensed to use, copy, study, and change the software in any way, and the source code is openly shared so that people are encouraged to voluntarily improve the design of the software. Free and open source software is linked with “software freedom” not only because it is free, but also because FOSS allows its users to check and modify the software itself to ensure that the software is not breaching any privacy matters. 

The pioneers in the use of Free and open source software in Nepal, FOSS Nepal (Free and Open Source Software Nepal) is organizing Software Freedom Day Celebration this year around too on 21st September. This is the ninth time, FOSS Nepal has organized the Software Freedom Day Celebration and every time, they seem to do it better than the year before. 

FOSS Nepal has been tireless in its effort to promote Free and open source software in Nepal, and celebrating Software Freedom Day is one of the many ways it has been doing so. FOSS Nepal Community has even won Best Event Award for organizing SFD, three times in a row!! So, join the Sparrows and FOSS Nepal community on this big day, and show your support for Software Freedom by attending the celebration. Let us also be responsible for promoting Software Freedom here in Nepal- because its about our RIGHT.




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