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Comment: Re:I've Seen This Movie Before. (Score 2) 403

I don't want to stop you from running free software, the FSF wants to stop me from non-free software.

That's simply not true. The FSF:

  • * says that it's unwise for users to run non-free software. They also say that a user should be able to use their computer for any purpose (within legal limits, of course).
  • * says that developers of software should use a free license and should provide a copy of the source code whenever they distribute a binary.

Comment: Re:GNU browsers (Score 1) 403

GNOME is indeed a part of the GNU project, which means they have two web browsers (GNOME Web, which is written from scratch and WebKit-based and GNU IceCat, which is based on Mozilla Firefox).

To my knowledge, the developers of IceCat have nothing to do with GNOME Web, and I guess they probably have different priorities for their respective web browsers. Also, I understand that Firefox was chosen as the base for IceCat because of its powerful add-on capabilities, which is important for the developers because they use add-ons for most of the added functionality of IceCat.

Comment: Re:Once again the FSF does not understand (Score 2) 403

Except that RIGHT NOW, TODAY, Firefox supports a plug-in architecture which allows Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight to run and play DRM-encumbered content.

And RIGHT NOW, TODAY, many computers support an x86 architecture which allows Windows to run and play DRM-encumbered content. Except that neither x86, nor NPAPI for that matter, were ever specifically designed to do that.

On the other hand, non-DRM uses for EME are entirely non-existent. Sure, you could have a free EME plugin, but what would be the point if the user has access to the key? Don't fool yourself - unlike NPAPI, EME is specifically designed to work with and proliferate the use of DRM.

Comment: Re:Yawn. (Score 1) 403

Libraries have lent out non-free (in the FSF sense) books forever, without needing a technical mechanism to prevent copying.

A technical incapability does not make print technology "non-free".

On the other hand, digital restrictions management threatens to prevent far more than just copying, e.g. sharing of an e-book between friends and the right to own a book.

Comment: Re:Yawn. (Score 1) 403

Just because it has DRM support doesnt mean you have to use it. Avoid DRM content and this won't affect you.

It's a bit like Facebook saying "if you don't agree to our Terms and Conditions, don't use our service". And their T&Cs are complete bullshit. Believe it or not, some of us actually believe in the freedom to communicate online without corporate surveillance and censorship. In the same way, saying that people who care about their right to fair use (legal in US), personal use of files e.g. transferring between personal devices (also legal), sociable sharing of files with friends (possibly not legal) should simply not have access to public material that can only be encrypted using proprietary DRM software is unfair.

The masses though WANT DRM content

That's a lie used by media companies to excuse DRM, and it's simply not true. The masses want access to their movies, music, e-books and cat memes and they will typically click "Yes" to anything that comes up on their screen to get access to their movies/music/etc. Most users, unfortunately, do not know what DRM is. That does not make them "WANT DRM".

If Firefox didn't support DRM, they would switch browsers to one that did (closed source such as IE

What's the point of a free browser if it encourages the user to give away their freedom? The user may as well use IE, there is no difference.

Comment: Re:Yawn. (Score 1) 403

How can you claim mozilla stood for free software when it started as a closed source proprietary browser?

Your comment is irrelevant, because Firefox is now free software, except perhaps for the trademark license which the FSF considers potentially problematic. Whether the software was once distributed as proprietary software isn't really important at all.

On the other hand, Firefox binaries were once subject to an End User License Agreement, which made the binaries non-free according to the FSF. But they removed the EULA in 2008.

Comment: Take the mobile phone battery out (Score 1) 319

by andrew3 (#45506647) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do You Protect Your Privacy These Days? Or Do You?

I keep the battery out of my mobile phone when I'm not using it, which is 99% of the time. Apparently I am lucky to have a phone which makes it easy to do this. Various court releases, leaks, research papers and other publications suggest that mobile phones can easily be updated remotely by carriers (and maybe adversaries) to act as listening devices on command, which is why I do this.

I also use multiple web browsers for different purposes (e.g. one for normal web browsing when I don't reveal my identity, another for a few logins, etc.), use Tor, avoid using "cloud computing", use only free (-as in freedom) software, use encryption where possible, keep up to date with security updates, encrypt traffic in my local network (I don't trust my D-Link router very much), etc.

Comment: There is always a catch (Score 3, Interesting) 224

by andrew3 (#45352937) Attached to: Microsoft Donates Windows 8.1 To Nonprofit Organizations

Microsoft also gives free Windows licenses to students through various programs. But there is always a catch. In this case, Microsoft wants its users to adopt its own formats and use its network services, essentially pushing users into an endless cycle of relying on Microsoft software and services, allowing Microsoft to push for unreasonable terms, include more privacy-invasive features to gain more information about their users, increased OS reliance on Microsoft's network/cloud computing, and, of course, to make more money. Making money on its own, of course, is not usually a bad thing, but when a company like Microsoft controls a significant portion of the market it is certainly bad. I hear non-profits and governments are also often more likely to adopt free (-as in freedom) software such as LibreOffice and occasionally GNU/Linux, which could explain why they are a target of this campaign.

Remember people: this isn't being done to benefit you, it's done to benefit Microsoft.

Comment: PR stunt (they've been doing it for ages) (Score 1) 115

by andrew3 (#45287945) Attached to: Facebook Testing Screen-Tracking Software For Users

Facebook has been doing this for ages. It started years ago with the hovercards (hovering over a person's face brings up details and alerts Facebook each time) and grew from there. A few months ago I observed using the Firefox Web Developer tools that Facebook was monitoring when a user hovered over a Like button (not necessarily clicked), advertisements, possibly tracking what part of the page the user was on, and more. Quick analysis from a curious user didn't reveal the full details of exactly what they were tracking.

Basically Facebook would rather give the news itself rather than letting someone else spill the beans. It's a cheap PR stunt, no more.

Comment: Re:zero cost? (Score 1) 198

by andrew3 (#45161391) Attached to: Visual Studio 2013 Released

It takes five minutes and none of the info you give them is verified.

Oh, so that makes it okay, does it? Almost all Microsoft services contain a termination clause which allows them to cancel a service for a user, or delete their account at any time.

That's right, the software on your computer is now being tied into Microsoft's services, so that the rights you once had disappear.

Comment: Mandatory registration (Score 3, Informative) 198

by andrew3 (#45161343) Attached to: Visual Studio 2013 Released

Writing a program in Visual Studio requires mandatory registration, or the program will refuse to start up. This also gives Microsoft to arbitrarily deny specific programmers the ability to publish a program.

Oh, and this, from the VS 2010 Privacy Policy, suggests that Microsoft can remotely target your computer after it does error reporting:

In rare cases, such as problems that are especially difficult to solve, Microsoft may request additional data, including sections of memory (which may include memory shared by any or all applications running at the time the problem occurred), some registry settings, and one or more files from your computer. Your current documents may also be included. When additional data is requested, you can review the data and choose whether or not to send it.

It's somewhat disappointing that Slashdot is used to advertise software like this. Fuck that, I'll stick with free (as in freedom) compilers like GCC, MinGW, LLVM etc. and free IDEs.

Comment: DRM = encrypted for Microsoft software (Score 1) 101

by andrew3 (#45105895) Attached to: Would You Secure Personal Data With DRM Tools?

Let's not forget what DRM actually is. DRM-encrypted files are encrypted so that, at least in theory, only one program can read it. That program can arbitrarily impose restrictions on the user. How does that protect the user at all? From themselves and from their friends?

Encryption is a good way of protecting your privacy. Encrypting for Microsoft is a good way of losing control of your data.

Air pollution is really making us pay through the nose.

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