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User Journal

Journal: Main stories with personal comments/questions = BAD 1

Journal by mahdi13

I've been noticing more and more that a lot of the posts stories lately have either stunk of personal bias or the preview ends with a personal question from the submitter. Do we really need this?

I read Slashdot for the articles, the news stories and the peeks at future technology. NOT for some punk trying to be witty to hundreds of thousands of geeks. I read the feedback for that.

It's getting to the point where almost every story is submitted with one of these wise-crack comments, making the submitter look like a whack job and the editors look like they don't give a rip. (Most will agree that the editors ARE the whack jobs AND don't give a rip)

How do we tell hundreds of thousands of geeks to stop being idiots? Hell, they still make 'jokes' of 'All your base are belong to us', 'Imagine a Beowulf cluster of...', 'In Soviet Russia...' and several other LAME wanna-be-jokes.
I fear that the personal comments and silly bias questions will continue and worsen...it won't take much longer for Slashdot to become TOTALLY useless at this rate, but we can hope that people will wise up and start posting intelligently (or more to the point, submitting articles intelligently)

User Journal

Journal: Software "Sharing" 1

Journal by mahdi13
Very often on Slashdot you see P2P stories and people arguing over the legitimacy of "sharing" software and music.
One of the biggest arguments is that it is a 'copy' of the original and it can not technically be called theft.

Theft: The wrongful taking of the property of another. It is a broad term and includes larceny, pilfering, hold-up, robbery and pick-pocketing.

With theft being defined as 'taking property' people get the idea that copies are not property, which is incorrect. The definition of property does not limit it to physical items

Property: In legal terms, property defines anything that can be owned: either an object or a right.

A company owns the property rights to all of their software, and are free to enforce it how they wish. If they do not want it 'freely distributed' they have the right to prosecute anyone that has violated their rights as they feel fit. Most software companies include a TOA (Terms of Agreement) or EULA (End Users License Agreement) that they force the user to read before installing the software, this is the part that most people hit "I Accept" and continue without reading a single word of the agreement. Within this agreement is usually their 'acceptable use policy' which may go into detail on making copies and how openly the software can be distributed. Normally this includes an install on a single machine and the ability to make 'backup copies' of the software. Many times they specifically state that the software can not be 'passed along', installed on more then one machine or copies made for distribution. A copy includes ISO data images and/or physical copies of the media.

When it comes to the use of P2P networks, most people feel that it is acceptable to download software off of these and use them as they feel. Many times the defense to such actions is that they are using it "on a trail bases" and will remove it and purchase the actual product if they "feel" that it is worth it. Even if this is true, it is still using stolen property. Justifying it by saying that the retail product will be purchased is on the lines of me saying "I'm just borrowing your girlfriend, if I find that she is worth having I'll go get my own...don't worry, she's still yours"
I didn't 'steal' your girlfriend, I just wanted to 'try' her.

Most software offers a trial copy of their products just for this reason, so a customer can use it to see if it meets the customers needs. True, many times these trials are 'crippled' with features removed disallowing full use of the software. This is done to 'persuade' the customer to purchase the full product so the customer does not get by with using a trail version forever. That is also detoured by the use of 'trial periods', but in these cases the software is nearly fully functional and the customer can get a full feel of what they are going to get.
Sometimes a company will not even have demos or trial versions for testing, IMO they probably do not have a product worth purchasing if they have to hide it. Find an alternative.

There are many opinions (which this is one of) and arguments on this subject, I would like for you to post a comment, complaint or troll on this entry about Software Piracy and Illegal Copying of Property.

Linux

Journal: Linux is free as in freedom, not beer

Journal by mahdi13
Yes, Linux is a free operating system that you can download for free from literally hundreds of places. But there is a very common, and threatening, way people think about Linux. You can get, use and distribute Linux for free...so many people get the idea that the software should also be free.

GNU does not mean "I give this to all and ask nothing in return"...
This is the thinking that contributed (partially) to the death of Loki games (that and a very very poor business model, and an owner that didn't pay his employees). Granted, Loki probably would of gone out of business if everyone bought their products. But there are many other companies that are making a profit by making Linux software.
CodeWeavers.com is a company that sells a couple versions of Wine to allow Windows applications to run on Linux (from Shockwave to MSOffice), for a small fee.
Transgaming is another company that works with a modified version of Wine to support the DirectX applications mostly used in games. They ask for a small monthly fee in return for official binary releases (which include the 'secret copy protection' schemes for most games, which can not be distributed freely), monthly voting to point Transgaming in the direction most of their subscribers wish them to go and online support.
Transgaming also distributes their source code openly via CVS, this is constantly updated and sometimes breaks as it is mostly untested. They allow anyone to download, use and modify this as they wish.
VMware is an application that allows you to install and run an entire Operating System in a virtual environment on any platform. With VMware you can run Windows in a window on your KDE desktop...or even via versa.

Along with many other applications, this additional software is not free. Because the OS is free does not mean everything is free, it means you are free to use it how you like, or not at all. These companies are not run by some Average Joes from their basement, but are full companies with offices, cars, houses, bills, expenses and families. They work for their money just like everyone else.
DO NOT insult these people by stealing their software! Getting these pieces of software from a P2P network or a copy from your friend is not only morally wrong, but you are stealing from the people that created it for you.
Show your support and purchase the software you use, donate to those that distribute it for free and for the love of Linux...buy your distro and pay the hard working kernel hackers and coders the money they deserve for their hard work!

BTW...free beer tastes like crap, why do you think it's free?

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