Last week I gave a talk about threats for the universal computer (e.g. non-free software, Digital Restriction Management, and secure boot) at the Cyber Security Day. There are still a lot of people whom we have to convince about Free Software there. One of the participants there asked, why I focused on software, and if we don't need the same control over our hardware.

[Novena open hardware

It is true, in my talk I focused on how we lose control through software over our machines and how we can protect this freedom. I did that mainly because I work for the Free Software Foundation Europe, and I focus on software. But I agree that our society will be in a better position if we also control our hardware, which is the basis for our software. The right to learn how the hardware works, the right to modify and extend the hardware, will help us to understand our technology, this will help us to limit the concentration of power, and -- for the topic of the event -- it will enable us to secure our data.

I was very happy to learn from Bunnie that the Novena project, which looks really promising, already has enough funding to build an open-hardware computing platform, which should fit hacker's needs, designed for use as a desktop, laptop, or standalone board. The project also reached their financial goal to contract Jon Nettleton to write Free Software drivers for Open 2D/3D Graphics on Novena. Those drivers will not only help future owners of the novena hardware, but also Free Software users who use i.MX6 CPUs, such as the cubox, pandaboard, or wandboard.

The Novena project is still looking for community members to support the project. For example, they are 35 devices short of hitting a goal of getting SDR boards to all the backers. So if you want to support open hardware and Free Software drivers, do so until tomorrow, May 18.