Hi all,

Well, I had lost the minutes. But they have been recovered! and they are:

== Topics ==
 1. Picking your battles
 2. Ben Sturmfels' talk on software patents at a recent IP Australia
forum in Sydney
 3. Buggy Browser Blackmail
 4. Fedora and Secure Boot

== Discussion ==
 - Briefly discussed KL's project, Eaterprises [1]. Looking forward to
more discussion on the topic next time she comes to the meeting.
 - AF didn't have time to contact the Astor re: DRM; BG agreed to do it instead.

=== 1. Picking your battles ===
 - Eric S. Raymond wrote an interesting article on determining
importance when pushing for open source products [3].
 - Eric is from the "open source" camp -> emphasis on reliability.
 - The article generally blasted RMS.
 - The categories of harm given in the article are useful, as is the
idea of "importance".
 - Specific examples were not so good.
 - Organisations already do this, e.g. Mozilla has all but given up on WebM

=== 2. Ben's talk ===
 - BS approached IP Australia; offered to be involved in future. They
contacted him and asked him to talk in Sydney to a room full of patent
 - Title: "Software Patents: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly".
 - Ben spoke about "the bad". The talk went well (video [4]). After
the talk, there were a lot of questions from the floor, and a good
 - "The good" was given by the guy who recently won a patent case
against Microsoft for some DRM technology. The impression left for Ben
was that he got a lot of money, but his quality of life suffered
during the long legal battle (10 years, overseas?)
 - "The ugly" was a talk about stats, etc. given by a patent examiner.
 - It was a great learning experience for Ben, especially for how to
respond to questions such as "how will the little innovators survive
without patents".
 - The talk was shashdotted, and appeared on IT news web sites. The
stories included decent quotes from Ben.
 - All in all, it was really good air time.
 - If anyone has ideas about action against patents, talk to Ben!

=== 3. Buggy Browser Blackmail ===
 - The web used to suck. It's better now, but the journey has been
horrible - largely due to IE.
 - Debugging web sites on IE is a huge time drain.
 - If it had been free software, perhaps the situation would have been
better: people could have fixed the bugs (e.g. lack of compliance with
 - We are now heading in an interesting direction, where the major
browsers *are* free. But, if a monopoly is held by a free software
browser, will there be problems similar to when IE dominated?
 - Kogan have an "IE tax": if you're using IE when you check out, you
get charged extra! Some software developers at FSM also have an extra
fee they charge if the customer wants IE to be supported.

=== 4. Fedora and Secure Boot ===
 - If a computer manufacturer wants to display the Windows 8 logo
(indicating compatibility), the computer must have a locked
bootloader. This is supposed to combat malware, however it could stop
a user from being able to install a free software operating system.
 - The user can disable it on Intel platforms, but not on ARM.
 - Fedora is buying a signing key from Verisign via Microsoft.
 - We discussed the implications of this for a while.
 - It seems that a key is not required for user space programs - only
for kernel-space code and things that interact with hardware.
Apparently, this will make it difficult to support features such as
user-space video mode switching.
 - Some manufacturers may not pursue the Windows 8 logo. Vote with your money!

== Action Items ==
 - BG to contact the Astor about their recent problems with DRM [2].
Would they like to come and speak with us, or to BF on his radio show
on RRR?

== Next Meeting ==
Thu 19th of July. Topics:
 - Eaterprises
 - Free software business models, including the use of trademarks
(e.g. restriction of the use of the word "Firefox").

See you there :)

[1] http://www.eaterprises.com.au/
[2] http://astortheatreblog.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/what-happened-last-night/
[3] http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=4371
[4] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzg-h9hXn_I
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