Hacktoberfest 2020 with TeleIRC

October is here! If you contribute to Open Source projects, you might know that October is the month of Hacktoberfest. DigitalOcean teams up with different partners each year to send a t-shirt (or plant a tree on your behalf) for anyone who makes four GitHub Pull Requests in October. And guess what? TeleIRC is a participating project for you to get your Hacktoberfest t-shirt or tree!

This post identifies specific tasks the TeleIRC team identified as “good first issues” for Hacktoberfest hackers. They are in order of least difficult to most difficult. Golang developers especially are encouraged to participate!

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Your Software Freedom is not my Software Freedom: A reflection on Chadwick Boseman

Trigger warning: Grief, police violence, death.

This blog post was first written on August 28th, 2020.

Today is a sad day. Chadwick Boseman is dead. At 43 years old, he lost a terminal battle with stage IV colon cancer. As his great light dims, I am left to wonder what loss will happen next in 2020.

But like the ashes of a phoenix, we will rise. His death reminds me of the fierce urgency of now, as said by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. That in the moment of darkness that follows death, a new bright light will emerge. It is just so human for us to cling to the embers of hope, in the fear that we will one day be delivered from suffering.

Boseman was a social leader and source of inspiration for many. His life and many roles championed racial equity on the Hollywood screens. Boseman was passionate about what he did. He led a committed life.

Boseman’s death caused me to reflect on the definition of Freedom in the movement I am embedded within: the Free Software movement. Yet in this community I value, there are seeds of discontent. The fierce urgency of now has revealed that systemic social injustices continue to exist in our society, as they have for centuries. The generational question we must answer as witnesses to this moment is: will we continue to tolerate the systemic faults within our society? Or must we imagine a more fair society? A more just society? I know we can because we have to.

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Tergiversate: El Ten Eleven self-titled debut

This El Ten Eleven article is part of my Tervigersate column on my blog, where I review albums by musicians spanning multiple genres. Articles introduce an album and give my interpretation of their meaning.


El Ten Eleven is a duo consisting of Kristian Dunn on strings and Tim Fogarty and drums. Plus several loop pedals! El Ten Eleven’s debut self-titled album released on September 20th, 2005 (even though Dunn says the album released in late 2004). This makes 2020 the 16th anniversary of their debut album in the twenty-first century post-rock scene.

This entry in Tergiversate reviews the history and background of the album and offers a personal perspective on one of my favorite music albums. Let’s take a look at El Ten Eleven!

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A reflection: Gabriele Trombini (mailga)

Trigger warning: Grief, death.

Two years passed since we last met in Bolzano. I remember you traveled in for a day to join the 2018 Fedora Mindshare FAD. You came many hours from your home to see us, and share your experiences and wisdom from both the global and Italian Fedora Community. And this week, I learned that you, Gabriele Trombini, passed away from a heart attack. To act like the news didn’t affect me denies my humanity. In 2020, a year that feels like it has taken away so much already, we are greeted by another heart-breaking loss.

But to succumb to the despair and sadness of this year would deny the warm, happy memories we shared together. We shared goals of supporting the Fedora Project but also learning from each other.

So, this post is a brief reflection of your life as I knew you. A final celebration of the great memories we shared together, that I only wish I could have shared with you while you were still here.

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Facilitation, collaboration, and webcams: A story about Principles of Authentic Participation

This is the story about the facilitation of the Principles of Authentic Participation.

This post does not describe what the Principles are (click that link to learn more about them). This post describes the story behind the Principles, and how our Sustain Working Group worked together over three months of virtual facilitation during the COVID–19 crisis to build these Principles.

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What’s new in TeleIRC v2.0.0

TeleIRC v2.0.0 is the latest major release of our open source Telegram <=> IRC bridge. Download the latest release and read the release announcement for the full story.

There are several new and noteworthy changes in TeleIRC v2.0.0. This post walks you through the major changes and differences for TeleIRC v2.0.0. Read on for the highlight reel of this release.

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TeleIRC v2.0.0 is officially here!

After almost eight months of work, the TeleIRC Team is happy to announce General Availability of TeleIRC v2.0.0 today. Thanks to the hard work of our volunteer community, we are celebrating an on-time release of a major undertaking to make a more sustainable future for TeleIRC.

Download TeleIRC v2.0.0 now!

If you want to skip the text and get to the software, head to the GitHub v2.0.0 release for more info. If you want the story behind this release, read on!

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Take the 2020 #HappinessPacketChallenge!

In this brave new COVID-19 world, we have to watch out for each other. These times are unusual and not normal. This year in 2020, I challenge you to join me and others in the Happiness Packets Challenge from Monday, 27 April to Sunday, 3 May! This is the same challenge I made in 2017. Can you say thanks to someone different every day for one week?

When I was a kid, one of the most important lessons I learned was saying “thank you” when someones does something nice for you. So, a few years ago, I learned about this awesome little website called Happiness Packets. Its purpose is simple but powerful. Happiness Packets are open source thank-you cards you can send over email. You can send Happiness Packets to anyone for anything. Your message can be as short or as long as you like. You can put your name on it or keep it anonymous. The choice is yours. And now, I want to challenge you (yes, you) to the 2020 #HappinessPacketChallenge!

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FOSDEM 2020, pt. 2: Can Free Software include ethical AI systems?

This post is a follow-up to FOSDEM 2020, pt. 1: Play by play. This post summarizes the talk given by me and my colleague, Mike Nolan, at FOSDEM 2020.


FOSDEM 2020 took place from Saturday, 1 February, 2020 to Sunday, 2 February, 2020 in Brussels, Belgium (shortly after Sustain OSS 2020 and CHAOSScon EU 2020). On Saturday, together with my colleague and friend Mike Nolan, we presented on a topic he and I have co-conspired on for the last six months. What are the intersections of Free Software and artificial intelligence (AI)?

What is a rights-based approach for designing minimally safe and transparent guidelines for AI systems? In this talk, we explore what a Free AI system might look like. Then, taking research and guidelines from organizations such as Google and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, we propose practical policies and tools to ensure those building an AI system respect user freedom. Lastly, we propose the outlines of a new kind of framework where all derivative works also respect those freedoms.

Freedom and AI: Can Free Software include ethical AI systems? Exploring the intersection of Free software and AI
Video recording from FOSDEM 2020

This post is an abridged summary of the key ideas and thoughts Mike and I presented at our FOSDEM 2020 session.

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Hannah/Honor Loeb: A reflection on death and forgiveness

[tw – death, grief, gender discrimination]

Grief is a strange emotion. One text message read early in the morning can send your day into a long walk down the beach of your own memories. Memories flood back, making us conscious that these lost moments of time were never really lost to us, but locked under deep layers of interlocking memories and contexts that only had to be connected back together, like a broken circuit. Today, my memories and heart are on my former summer camp roommate and friend Hannah/Honor Loeb. (I knew her as Hannah in her life, but at time of death, she identified as Honor, so that is the name I will use for this post.)

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