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Comment Privacy is a prerequsite for liberty (Score 1) 316

Hacking free software continues to prove fruitful. In fact, some people use it and rely on it for their freedoms (such as Edward Snowden). But proprietary software is long known to be untrustworthy by default, no matter who the proprietor is or what excuse they (or their water carriers) have for denying users software freedom. So there's no gain to be had in a capitulation view. Privacy and other freedoms are worth fighting for and there's plenty of good to be had in the fight. Some of those fights take the form of saying "no" to a convenience or trend on the grounds that one values one's privacy more.

Comment "User privacy" coming from a proprietor? How naive (Score 1) 70

Based on what evidence do you conclude that "Apple is pushing for user privacy"? Even if the software ran on one's tracker, the transcript or audio of any call could easily be uploaded wherever a proprietary software developer and distributor wants without the user's awareness or informed consent. Voice transcription is an important part of better indexing people's calls, which better serves multiple interests including targetted retrieval of the kind Snowden has told us organizations have been doing for some time now.

Comment The future of reading before posting? (Score 1) 359

You're unlikely to get the answer you seek because you've framed your question in terms of a movement Stallman is (rightly) opposed to, and in ways that he's already explained many times (even the /. summary points to one of the essays on this) -- why Stallman objects to the open source movement (older essay, newer essay also pointed to in the /. summary). He recommends against using Facebook (and has started every talk in the past year or so with an explanation of why posting pictures of people in Facebook/Instagram is a bad idea). I hope he will point out to you that you don't need these things to avoid "losing connection with the rest of the world" and you should value things the open source movement was designed to never talk about, and privacy these services are designed to deny every user of the web. One can hardly "benefit the users" while advocating against copyleft (as the open source movement does), never talking about software freedom (as the open source movement was designed to do), and maintaining a monstrous search engine (as is at the heart of Facebook). You could have done the slightest bit of research and found any of these things I pointed to.

Comment Re:The Anti-Stallman Brigade rears its head again (Score 1) 75

Slashdot seems to me to be a proponent of the open source movement, the software development methodology that Bradley Kuhn rightly called "greenwashing" (another copy) the free software movement by talking about much the same software and licenses but without the freedom talk in order to placate business interests seeking to proprietarize software. Consider the case in this thread—defending copyleft—this clearly shows the difference between the two movements. The older free software movement wants to preserve software freedom while the younger open source movement was built to not discuss software freedom at all. Kuhn's personal blog post on this topic describes the situation very well and with no punches pulled.

When you come across someone who talks and works to defend software freedom, such as Richard Stallman, in a forum whose participants are (be they a proprietor's shill or genuinely describing their own view) devoted to supporting the kind of power over the user that strongly copylefted licenses, such as the GNU GPLs, were built to withstand you're going to find people using whatever namecalling and misrepresentative tactics they can come up with to try and malign Stallman (as if that would somehow reflect badly on software freedom). The complaints get weaker over time (remember when people used to complain that the GPL wasn't defensible in court?) so the objectors have to find other avenues to try and distract people into not thinking in terms of software freedom. It wouldn't matter if software freedom were proposed and initially championed by someone wholly objectionable; that wouldn't make software freedom a bad thing. Talking about Stallman instead of talking about software freedom is doing that distractionary work because the facts on the ground fail to back the case that we're better off without software freedom.

Comment Critical distinction between HW & SW: user fre (Score 3, Interesting) 193

If the same blob was included in chip's ROM, nobody would think it's different from before right?

Yes, we would think it's different because it is different. When the functionality of that blob is in a ROM chip or circuitry, nobody can update it, including the proprietor, without hardware modification or hardware replacement. When the functionality is in software or any kind of reprogrammable device, the question becomes who is allowed to run, inspect, share, and modify that code. This is an important ethical distinction that the developmental philosophy of the younger open source movement was designed to never raise as an issue because that movement wants to pitch a message of cheap labor to businesses.

All the questions of software freedom enter the picture because you're dealing with software now. All the issues that the open source movement was designed not to raise (older essay on this topic, newer essay on this topic) the older free software movement raised over a decade before the open source movement began.

If this code were distributed as Free Software to its users, this could be great news for all of us (even the majority of computer users who will never fully take advantage of these freedoms because they're never going to become programmers). Programmers can accomplish wonderful practical benefits like putting in interesting features, fixing bugs, learning from the code, all while being friendly with others by giving or selling services based on improving that code, and helping to keep users safe from malware all along the way.

If this code is distributed as non-free user-subjugating software (a.k.a. proprietary software), the proprietor (Intel in this case) is the only party who can inspect, share, and modify that code. And users (regardless of technical ability) are purposefully left out of controlling their own computers, which is unethical.

Comment An inarticulate defense of Apple won't help them. (Score 1, Flamebait) 260

"Apple bashing"? How inarticulate and ultimately blindly supportive of a known repeat bad actor to keep their customers from controlling the iThings they buy. It's hardly far-fetched to see how the company receives bad press. They've made an ugly history for themselves rife with mistreating workers, users, and harming the environment. They found they could get away with non-freedom in software also exploits app developers "mercilessly" as Richard Stallman put it on his reasons why one shouldn't do business with Apple. Apple also uses digital restrictions management on eBooks which is set up so that those eBooks won't work on jailbroken iThings, stuck users with a U2 album and made it hard to delete, censors bitcoin apps for iThings, deauthorized a Wikileaks access application, banned an erotic novel from iTunes because of its cover, left a security hole in iTunes unfixed for 3 years, and more.

Comment Freedom is important in its own right. (Score 1) 321

People should keep that in mind when they argue for non-free browsers over Free Software browsers such as Firefox, GNU IceCat, and others. Being free to control your Internet experience is critical, being free to decide what you want to take in is never totally in your hands when you run non-free (proprietary, user-subjugating) software. The proprietor always has the upper hand even if they don't use that power right away or in ways you don't see or understand.

Comment Re:Corporate media doesn't act in public's interes (Score 1) 113

What you call "the slow way" is called journalism. Journalism, like scientific work or any other work worth doing, takes time to do. There are plenty of examples of independent journalism being done well, some have already been shared in this thread by others. Here are some more that come to mind: Democracy Now!, NOW with Bill Moyers and Bill Moyers Journal were both quite well done and worth watching reruns/archives (moreso the Journal), CounterPunch, Harry Shearer's weekly Le Show, and The Real News. All of these focus on issues of importance, get more deeply into those issues via interviews with those who have studied the topic in-depth via investigative journalism and those who work in the field, and leave you with pointers to more information you can study yourself. I'm sure there are so many more examples of this work being done well I didn't list but don't let that stop you from trying various sources and reading books (paper books, not DRM'd proprietary-driven computer-based readers that track you, threaten to cut off your reading, or deny you the other freedoms paper grants). You won't agree with everything you see, hear, and read but the point isn't to manufacture your consent, it's to get you thinking critically about the world outside the allowable limits of debate so often featured in mainstream coverage.

Comment Corporate media doesn't act in public's interest (Score 1) 113

But the corporate media (including repeaters like /.) are designed to hew closely to the "firehose" reportage which includes drawing conclusions quickly so people stay focused on what's coming next, and anything undesirable that somehow gets reported doesn't stick around in the reported consciousness for long. This is inherently incompatible with real life where, as you say, real change takes far longer to be seen. Adherents to the firehose approach implicitly say their take is a good thing (obviously few would argue they're actively promoting something bad) despite the foreseeable adverse impact on the public's welfare.

Comment Comparing proprietors is not freedom. (Score 1) 531

So you're switching away from a browser that is still Free Software (which provides the ultimate configurability), the basis of variants (GNU IceCat, for example) that make it more convenient to respect your software freedom by only showing you Free addons by default, for a proprietary browser. And then you're getting lost in the weeds by debating the purported merits of one proprietor over another (Google vs. Opera) where you know so little about both such comparisons pale to what you give up by choosing any proprietary software.

I'd rather keep my software freedom, run more Free Software, and enjoy the wide variety of Free Software addons to help me keep browser privacy (NoScript, Priv3+, disabling Javascript-based clipboard manipulations, browser ID spoofing, and so on).

Comment Le Show and The Big Uneasy are both excellent (Score 5, Interesting) 214

By which you're referring to "Le Show" which covers items in the news and his very well researched documentary "The Big Uneasy" which shows how the Army Corps of Engineers made Hurricane Katrina far worse than it would have been and evades responsibility throughout. Speaking of showing, Shearer backs up his points by quoting and interviewing experts in the relevant fields of discussion and by quoting published hypocrisy from those in power. That's far more backing for his points than I see you giving your views which purport to know what he thinks. In short, you apparently don't think he's funny or insightful but "without actual good context" for anyone to see your views as anything but a name-calling accusation.

Comment Digital Restrictions hand in hand with Open Source (Score 1) 371

Quite right about how Digital "Rights" Management is a propaganda term designed to frame the issue as though it's okay to take user/reader rights away from them in the switch from one means of seeing media to another. But Mozilla has always framed its work as "open source". So one should expect with "open"ness -- the open source movement is, as Brad Kuhn pointed out recently, the greenwashing movement it was defined to be. The Free Software Foundation has long pointed out how "open source" differs from "free software" (older essay, younger essay). The younger open source movement accepts proprietary software and the older free software movement does not because open source was defined as a proprietor-friendly response to the user freedom-seeking social movement.

Comment People should not buy into amoral marketplace (Score 1) 612

I think slavery is a part of the market and this reality is why one can't afford to frame issues in the amoral terms of the marketplace. Looking out for one's own interests necessarily includes building a society that provides for all and defends against exploitations many forms. It's high time we seriously build rules that place a barrier underneath us all the theme of which says 'society won't let you become more destitute than this' and then specifies in detail what that level is.

Comment Not easy to fix and we need fewer killings (Score 1) 173

I disagree; knowing that bad evidence was presented (particularly in life imprisonment and death penalty cases where there is no chance to make amends with those falsely convicted) shows more evidence of why the death penalty was never a good idea. Therefore we don't need more death penalty conclusions such as "Willfully hide exculpatory evidence in a capital murder trial? Death penalty.".

Comment Host on your own website, consider (Score 1) 60

You could host the multimedia files on your own website, which would let you move your domain and/or provider to an amenable ISP whenever needed while retaining the same URLs for your visitors. There are ISPs such as that will host email and websites and their accompanying data files at reasonable costs with lots of bandwidth should your show become popular. I don't work for them but I've worked with their hosting and found it to be reasonable.

You could host files on (the Internet Archive) for no fee which will deliver files to all comers also gratis. I'm not aware of IA discriminating against people doing what you're doing.

You could consider delivering pointers to your shows delivered cooperatively via BitTorrent with magnet URLs posted to popular BitTorrent-based sharing sites so the public can keep your shows downloadable even if you find hosting hard to come by.

You could combine these ideas, they're not mutually exclusive. And I hope you'll consider distributing your multimedia in formats that favor free software such as WebM. Finally, be wary of any provider's changing terms of service should you start talking about something they someday consider important. Commercial organizations and nations don't have permanent friends, they have interests which change.

The way to make a small fortune in the commodities market is to start with a large fortune.