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

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) 260 260

"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) 321 321

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) 113 113

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) 113 113

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) 531 531

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) 214 214

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) 371 371

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) 612 612

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) 173 173

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 archive.org (Score 1) 60 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 Dreamhost.com 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 archive.org (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.

Comment: Microsoft "personal promise" deemed dangerous. (Score 1) 178 178

EndSoftPatents.org makes multiple relevant points very clear in their warning against relying on Microsoft's "promise" for .NET core listing the limits and foreseeable risks in Microsoft's offer. It seems to me there's enough there to make anyone wary of relying on .NET and instead heed what the Free Software Foundation said in 2009 warning against developing in C#.

You asked:

Burz, I wonder if you'd say the same about all OSS software that's licensed under MIT or BSD but which lacks a patent promise? Because such software would be in an even weaker state from your perspective than Microsoft's OSS .NET.

I don't speak for Burz and I don't argue for anything "OSS", in fact this issue is one reason why looking at this from the perspective of the open source movement is so dangerous. But it seems to me that the FSF has explained this well as they point out in their aforementioned article, Microsoft is "the only major software company that has declared itself the enemy of GNU/Linux and stated its intention to attack our community with patents" which makes Microsoft more of a threat. Also, there's more than one BSD license and it's better to be clear about what you're referring to.

EndSoftPatents.org and the FSF both manage to make their points referring to specifics, linking to their sources, and without using the word "Chinese" to denote confusion or incomprehensibility. So it seems to me that EndSoftPatents.org's conclusion, "This patent licence looks fine for users of the code published by Microsoft, but its protections disappear very quickly for those who wish to modify or re-use the code." is entirely sensible and hardly worthy of your offensive dismissal.

Comment: RMS's ego isn't as big when one examines evidence (Score 4, Interesting) 165 165

Looking at the kerfuffle around LLVM/Clang you can find more of the same attitude from RMS—he doesn't have the ego invested in the work as his detractors claim he does (often without examples cited at all, sometimes as with the grandparent poster with wrong examples cited):

For GCC to be replaced by another technically superior compiler that defended freedom equally well would cause me some personal regret, but I would rejoice for the community's advance. The existence of LLVM is a terrible setback for our community precisely because it is not copylefted and can be used as the basis for nonfree compilers -- so that all contribution to LLVM directly helps proprietary software as much as it helps us.

Those aren't the words of someone who places ego above the good of the project or the public. For software freedom seekers, software freedom and defense of software freedom is the goal and good for the public.

Comment: Software freedom for all software. (Score 2) 120 120

Firmware is software and computer users still need software freedom for all published software. This hasn't changed since Richard Stallman reached conclusions about the ethics of software over 30 years ago. Changing what device the software is loaded into or the form it takes when loaded doesn't change any of the underlying issues that all have to do with how people treat each other. This is also not an issue to be properly understood by "open source" focus on convenience, caving into business desires, or developmental methodology.

"Can you program?" "Well, I'm literate, if that's what you mean!"

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