Danish Team Re-Approved

As Amber already has pointed out yesterday a selected number of Ubuntu LoCo teams got approved and re-approved as official LoCo teams.

The Danish Team was one of the lucky teams to be re-approved.

As was pointed out during the meeting, the (re)approval process shouldn’t be so much about the technicality of being approved (although that is also be important), but just as much about sharing good ideas between LoCo teams. So I would like to use this blog post to direct the attention of Planet Ubuntu to something the Finnish teams has done, that I saw on their re-approval application, and then share an idea that we hope to carry out next month here in Denmark.

Write your parliament!

The Finnish team has written every member of the Finnish parliament about free software and included an Ubuntu CD in the letter. I think this is a great idea, and I think / hope that when Ubuntu 10.04 comes out we will do the same here in Denmark.

It also seems like a obvious thing to do on a higher level. What if every EU-based LoCo team promised them selves to mail their members of the European parliament in May or June, and make sure to send them a brand new 10.04 CD? To raise awareness among our elected officials and maybe get some press attention as well?

Of course similar actions can be taken in other parts of the world – get to it :)

Ubuntu Boot-Camp

Here in Denmark we are planning an Ubuntu boot-camp in May (or June). The basic idea is to meet in person and plan out the next 6 months of LoCo work (and of course have fun while meeting up!). You could think of it as a mini-UDS, just for out LoCo team.
Although many things can be planned by mail and irc meetings, you do get another connection and another feeling of ideas and the sharing of these, when you are face to face with people for a longer time period.

It is the first time we have this planned, so hopefully it will work out great! We will keep you posted of our experiences – good and bad alike. Feel free to get in touch if you are curious as to the more specific details of the plan.

Share ideas

Hopefully all the different fun and interesting ideas that pop up from all the Loco teams going through the (re)approval process will be placed on a wiki page somewhere, but until that happens I think we can all be better at sharing our ideas, plans and news of the work we do, either on the planet or the LoCo contacts mailing list.

… and congratulations again to all the teams that go (re) approved yesterday.

LoCo teams around the world

If you have been following the loco-contacts mail list you may have seen the recent hint that the coming LoCo Directory will be using the ownership of loco groups on Launchpad as a source of information about who is the LoCo contact for that group. This got me thinking.

How do different teams around the world organise themselves?

The assumption that the loco contact is always the same as the owner of the Launchpad group seems a bit simple. As teams evolve beyond a certain size, tasks get split, and the administration of the Launchpad group and the task of being Loco contact don’t necessarily go hand in hand.
So I’m curious – how do other teams get around delegating tasks and assignments?

In the rest of this blog post I shall try to give a short introduction to how we are currently doing things in the Danish team. I hope people from other LoCo teams will share their experience and ways of doing things as well. And of course pointers as to how we may organize the Danish team even better are very welcome!

Danish Team

Twice a month (except during holiday season) we have an IRC meeting. Everyone is welcome at the meeting, and this is where we discuss our future plans and events. If need be and we can’t come to a consensus on a topic, we have votes. One person, one vote. In essence, this is how the Danish team works currently.

To take care of financial issues we have a board of trustees, including a treasurer. This makes handling money issues and making agreements with third parties a lot easier. Most people here (sponsors to make an example), will feel much safer donating money to an association, as opposed to some private person.

One a year (during spring) we have a general assembly, where we elect the board and the LoCo contact.

Of course this adds a bit of bureaucracy. We had to write some by-laws and we have to go through the entire hassle of having elections once a year. But it also secures that the board and the LoCo contact have a mandate from the community, and it makes it easy for the community to replace a LoCo contact or a board member, if they themselves can’t seem to realise that it’s time to step down.

That is how it works for us. Needs in other teams may be different, but I like the idea that once a year the position as LoCo contact is brought to debate and a vote, to make sure that (hopefully) the best person for the job is actually doing it.

So, how does everyone else do this?

Fight Irans internet censorship

Much of the news about the situation in Iran concerning the 2009 election and following protests have been reported by regular people in Iran, not by news agencies.

As the government in Tehran tightens the grip on the internet access for the people of Iran, the natural question for people living outside Iran becomes:

Is there some way I can help the people of Iran get uncensored internet access?

(Inspired by Carsten here.)

If you know your way around a computer, and have access to a stable internet connection, there is.
One option is to set up Tor. Tor uses onion routing. Onion routing secures that you may know that I sent (or received) a message on the network or you may know the content of a message, but never both.

As discussed here the number of Tor users from Iran has increased quite a lot since around June 13, so it would seem like Tor is actually being used in Iran.


Tor can be downloaded here, but does require a bit of configuration after install.

If you want to benefit from the anonymity provided by tor, you need to start sending your internet traffic through Tor, and in general familiarize your self with the pitfalls that may break your anonymity.

If you have a fairly decent internet connection you might want to consider becoming a relay from the Tor network to the outside. Information on that can be found here.

There are of course many other ways of fighting censorship (both in general, and in Iran in particular). Feel free to share info about other ways or projects in the comments below.

Warning! Running Tor may be illegal, depending on what laws apply to you. Also notice that while running a relay can help people, who suffer under censorship, communicate freely, you may as well be helping route data for people with less noble goals.


Søndag d. 7. juni er der folkeafstemning om tronfølgeloven.

Ved første øjekast bør det vel være en no brainer. Ligestilling mellem kønnene (også i kongehuset) ser jeg som en selvfølge og den nuværende signalværdi at drenge er mere værd en piger er selvfølgelig tåbelig.


Jeg ser dog en fare for at en stemme for ændring af tronfølgeloven kan tolkes som en støtte til kongehuset – en institution jeg finder dybt latterligt. Nogen har foreslået at man stemmer blankt, netop for at give udtryk for en modstand mod kongehuset.

Der findes selvfølgelig også de få der anbefaler et nej…
Konservativ ungdom, repræsenteret ved formand Rune Kristensen. Jeg kan ikke helt følge logikken, der får dem til at anbefale et nej, men jeg kan sagtens følge deres kritik af statsstøtte til en kampagne, der ikke er neutral.

I sidste ende stemmer jeg nok for ændringen af tronfølgeloven – ikke som en støtte til kongehuset eller monarkiet, men fordi ligestilling bør være en selvfølge…

(og så stemmer jeg selvfølgelig på Søren Søndergaard fra Folkebevægelsen mod EU når der samme dag er valg til Europa parlamentet)

Kan man være politisk uden at være partipolitisk?

Foreningen af danske Ubuntubrugere havde på vores IRC møde i søndags et forslag om at vi som forening skulle underskrive underskriftsindsamlingen mod softwarepatenter i Europa på http://stopsoftwarepatents.eu/.

Mødet endte med at beslutte ikke at skrive under som forening, men at opfordre vores medlemmer til at skrive under (referat af mødet). Så hvis du er medlem af foreningen – eller sympatiserer – så er opfordringen hermed givet videre!

Men forslaget viser også at vi har en udfordring foran os. På den ene side skal vi gerne være poltisk neutrale og undgå at blive rodet ind i noget parti-politisk fnidder. Vi skal ikke skræmme nye brugere væk ved at fare voldsomt frem med politisk stillingtagen. På den anden side er der nogle vigtige emner til debat for tiden, som på den ene eller anden måde markant kan påvirke det vi arbejder med, nemlig software og brug af computere og internettet. Softwarepatenter er et emne. Overvågning, logning og blokering af hjemmesider er andre. Der er snart valg til Europaparlamentet og hvordan anbefaler man de rigtige kandidater uden at falde i den gamle fælde at få skudt i skoene at Linux (og Open Source) er ren kommunisme?

(Billede fundet her.)

Hvor langt kan man som politisk neutral forening tillade sig at gå? Hvordan klarer andre foreninger derude balancegangen mellem parti-politisk neutralitet på den ene side og ønske om at påvirke vigtige beslutninger på den anden?

Naomi Klein at CBS

I saw Naomi Klein talk about her latest book, The Shock Doctrine today.

Naomi Klein

Her focus during the talk today was mostly on recent events in South America, Iraq and Sri Lanka and not so much on the historical background.

The auditorium at the Copenhagen Business School was completely packed and given the limited time for general questions and comments at the end of the talk I found it strange that relatively long time was used for introduction and promotion of the specific institute that had managed to get Naomi Klein to stop by the CBS and give her talk.

I haven’t yet had the pleasure to actually read any of her books, but I did find the talk she gave today very interesting – although a bit scary. But I guess it is better to be informed and scared than live on in the bliss of ignorance – if you are informed you are harder to bring into shock.

The Donnas – Bitchin’

I went to Stengade 30 Monday night to see The Donnas live. I have been enjoying their music for quite some time, so when I saw they were coming to Copenhagen I got my ticket and went to see them.
They played a mix of both tunes from their new album (titled Bitchin’) and a few older numbers. They did fire up the party, the lead singer knew how to get the crowd going and all in all it was a great concert!

We also had an election here in Denmark yesterday. At the end of the day the present government seems to keep its support in parliament. I’m not happy with that, but I did see it coming, so I didn’t get my hopes up. Which is good, no one, especially me, likes to have their hopes crushed.