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Comment: Stallman's "blessings" are for software freedom (Score 1) 98

by jbn-o (#47436411) Attached to: First Release of LibreSSL Portable Is Available

[...] not everything has to be blessed by Stallmann to be acceptable

Regarding this point, Stallman certainly does endorse Free Software. And so much of what is in OpenBSD is Free Software—software that respects a user's software freedom—and the same goes for OpenSSL. Stallman (and his organization, the Free Software Foundation(FSF)) are known for standing up for a user's software freedom. Non-copylefted Free Software is Free Software. Furthermore, in 2004 the FSF gave Theo de Raadt an award for the Advancement of Free Software, "[f]or recognition as founder and project leader of the OpenBSD and OpenSSH projects, Theo de Raadt's work has also led to significant contributions to other BSD distributions and GNU/Linux. Of particular note is Theo's work on OpenSSH". A free system need not include GNU software or be licensed under a GNU license (such as the GPL) to respect a user's software freedom.

The FSF is quite clear why it doesn't list OpenBSD (or the other BSD distributions) in their list of Free system distributions:

FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD all include instructions for obtaining nonfree programs in their ports system. In addition, their kernels include nonfree firmware blobs.

Nonfree firmware programs used with Linux, the kernel, are called "blobs", and that's how we use the term. In BSD parlance, the term "blob" means something else: a nonfree driver. OpenBSD and perhaps other BSD distributions (called "projects" by BSD developers) have the policy of not including those. That is the right policy, as regards drivers; but when the developers say these distributions âoecontain no blobsâ, it causes a misunderstanding. They are not talking about firmware blobs.

No BSD distribution has policies against proprietary binary-only firmware that might be loaded even by free drivers.

Including nonfree software and pointing users to nonfree software is quite common among those who endorse the open source philosophy, as the FSF has long pointed out (older essay, newer essay). The open source movement's philosophy is a development methodology built to toss aside software freedom for practical convenience in an attempt to be "more acceptable to business". So this philosophical difference sets up a radically different reaction in the face of reliable, powerful proprietary software. Quoting the newer essay:

A pure open source enthusiast, one that is not at all influenced by the ideals of free software, will say, "I am surprised you were able to make the program work so well without using our development model, but you did. How can I get a copy?" This attitude will reward schemes that take away our freedom, leading to its loss.

The free software activist will say, "Your program is very attractive, but I value my freedom more. So I reject your program. Instead I will support a project to develop a free replacement." If we value our freedom, we can act to maintain and defend it.

Comment: Re:Fantastic! Open sourcing will make pwning easie (Score 1) 136

by jkrise (#47374167) Attached to: Microsoft Backs Open Source For the Internet of Things

and the manufacturer says "not our problem--it's old!" Then people might realize what a Pandora's Box this is...

This is exactly what Microsoft is saying about Windows XP. For IOT devices lasting dozens of years, it is better to stay as far away from Microsoft as possible.

Comment: Re:Better way for Microsoft to earn trust (Score 0) 178

My first and subsequent posts, and the article - are all about Microsoft's attempts to earn trust. Many millions of customers have already reposed trust and money with Microsoft for their software. Migrating to open source is not an easy option for most of them; and indeed that is not the point under debate.

If Microsoft wants their loyal trustworthy userbase to continue to trust them, they should adopt different measures than being pseudo-transparent with biggest customers such as the government. I have not written, nor intend to debate upon Microsoft's customers migrating to open source.

Comment: Re:Better way for Microsoft to earn trust (Score 1, Interesting) 178

If you want to buy 20 machines today with a Windows OS, the only choice is Windows 8. Even though almost a billion PCs run XP, it is not possible to get a new machine with a legal licensed copy of XP without jumping through numerous hoops and shelling out loads of cash.

Microsoft wants us to trust their word that it is not feasible to offer or support XP on new machines. This is not believable. Opening up the source code is the only way to prove or disprove Microsoft's version of the facts.

Whether you agree or not is not important. Hundreds of legacy code developed for Windows platform using Windows development tools run only on XP and are not supported by 7 or 8. Customers are left with no choice but to rewrite code at great expense, often impossible since the vendors are no longer in business. In my view this represents a lock-in, whereby customers are forced to shell out large sums of money to obtain support for XP legally on new systems by investing in Enterprise Volume License Agreements and associated costs.

Comment: Better way for Microsoft to earn trust (Score 1, Offtopic) 178

Don't force bloatware on hapless customers. XP was 1.2GB. XP with SP2 was about 2GB. XP with SP3 is about 7GB. And now Microsoft claims XP is so insecure it cannot be patched anymore, so customers have to buy a new OS which weighs in at 20GB.

Cut all the crap and come clean. Release the entire source code for XP if you are not going to patch it. Or keep quiet and prepare to be unbelieved even if you speak the truth.

Comment: Suggestion for a profitable GoDaddy (Score 2) 110

by jkrise (#47201827) Attached to: GoDaddy Files For $100 Million IPO

They should fire all their marketing executives and build a simple website, and try online marketing instead. They can employ tools like, you knoe, Search Engine Optimisation, Website building tools etc. etc.

Whenever I look at the ugly girls dancing in the GoDaddy ads I can see where they keep losing more and more millions.

Comment: Everyone needs software freedom. (Score 1) 307

by jbn-o (#47184551) Attached to: GM Names and Fires Engineers Involved In Faulty Ignition Switch

And why all computer users need free software in all of their computers. I don't want someone I don't trust vetting the software that has the ability to ruin my project or kill me. Those who get to audit code may be expert in someone else's opinion, but I would rather have software freedom.

Comment: Re:Fixing a social problem with technical means? (Score 1) 108

It's not enough, true, but we need to get Americans trained in the practice of being more politically active and to seriously consider the consequences of their consumerism. Today, encouraging people to think of encryption as required for increased secure communications is good. We can't fix anything "once and for all" because any change to anything can be reverted (hence Andrew Jackson's warning "...eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing" applies here too). Software proprietors and others who want to rob computer users of their freedom spend billions training people to think ephemerally (in fact, /.'s chosen "firehose" structure of fast and frequent updates usually from corporate repeaters exists to further that end). We need ordinary people to become more aware of the consequences of ignorance, make better choices, and train future generations that the acceptable social norm is lifelong political involvement. I think failing to meet this need is one of Snowden's fears ("The greatest fear that I have regarding the outcome for America of these disclosures is that nothing will change..."), and why Stallman says things like "I don't want any fans I want Freedom Fighters, who could actually help in his revolution". I have no doubt that whomever follows that murderous war criminal Obama in the US White House will follow the same behavior he both chose to follow from George W. Bush and ramp up. I'm not certain what will stop the horrors of "Terror Tuesday" killings, indiscriminate NSA spying, and more, but I won't object when groups want to raise awareness and help normalize objecting to the loss of our civil liberties.

Comment: More of Eben Moglen's ramifications on Snowden (Score 1) 348

by jbn-o (#47102299) Attached to: Why Snowden Did Right

In case you didn't get to the bottom of the Guardian essay, that essay comes from "Snowden and the Future", a 4-part talk series Eben Moglen gave on October 9, October 30, November 13 and December 4 2013. It is highly recommended reading, watching, and/or listening. Audio, video, and transcripts are available at his website.

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