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Comment GNOME was launched by FSF (Score 0) 340

GNOME was launched by FSF and RMS spent years promoting it and getting people to work on it. He still does.

You seem to be trying to make GNU disappear by arguing that nothing matters but lines of code, and only the lines written by RMS's hands count as GNU.

The toolkit is a GNU project, born from another GNU project.

Miguel de Icaza was one developer and software architect. He did years of good work and then gave up and took money to promote Microsoft software (via Novell).

Comment Actually, FSF is to thank for the desktop + other (Score 3, Informative) 340

> And none of those things were done by the FSF itself.

We have a GUI desktop because FSF launched four projects to make one.

The first became GNUstep (a success, but not enoughso), the second didn't produce a desktop but did produce Guile.

Then KDE was launched, with the then-proprietary QT toolkit. The problem was so urgent that FSF launched two projects to fix it, GNOME and Harmony. Harmony was a project to replace the QT toolkit, but it wasn't a success.

GNOME was a success. So much of a success that it was, IMO, what lead to QT being freed. So we've FSF to thank for directly making GNOME, and indirectly for licence changes in QT.

(And then there's the fact that FSF made the developer tools and licences which helped a lot of other projects come into being.)

But as usual, people try to avoid crediting FSF, so a lot of people don't know this.

Comment I say there's room for optimism here (Score 1) 340

> I'd take issue with them nominating themselves as the one true source

Who else would you trust? Their self-nomination only works because it's not really contested. Even if some support is given begrudgingly, and not everyone likes every campaign or press release, there is general acceptance that their motives are pure.

But more importantly, I don't think there's reason to be so pessimistic. In 1995 they said we'd never have a decent GUI desktop. In 1997, they said we'd never have a free web browser. Then they said we'd never have a free office suite. Then they said we'd never have specialised applications like video editors...

The trend I see, is that we keep surprising ourselves with how far we're getting. There's room for optimism here!

Comment some will look for even the smallest error (Score 1) 340

So I've got one person replying to me saying FSF is too "fundamentalist", and I've got you saying they're too lax and are letting too much slip through.

The general theme is that some people will look for even the smallest error just to avoid acknowledging good work.

Why do I say "probably" in my previous post? Because you and I don't know what the firmware in our microwaves do. It's probably fine. There haven't been any big microwave firmware scandals that I'm aware of. (And if I didn't say "probably", you'd say "How can you know?!")

Regarding FSF's statement, they said "no proprietary firmware options". Options. Whatever firmware could be removed has been removed.

Is the HDD firmware a problem? I don't know. I don't know personally, and I don't know what FSF's take on it is.

But even if you did find some flaw, the right thing to do is say "Well, FSF is definitely 95%, and well done to them for their effort, but I'd like some discussion on this other 5%".

Comment Re:Harddrive firmware? Probably non-free, no probs (Score 1, Troll) 340

> Is the harddrive running open-source firmware too?

A disingenuous double attack.

First: "Since I can't be perfect, why should I make any effort at all?"

Second: "FSF is has compromised! that makes them insincere"

The answer is that no, the hd firmware isn't open. Like the firmware of a microwave or common wristwatch, it's probably impossible to put new firmware on it, and it's probably not a problem.

A line has to be drawn somewhere, so FSF's line is: if the software (including firmware) can be updated, it must be free. The philosophy is that if it's complex or important, then the vendor will create a way to update the firmware. If the firmware can't be updated, then the code is probably sufficiently mundane as to be ignored, just as circuits are ignored.

Comment FSF does free; they do step one, others step two (Score 5, Insightful) 340

> no understanding of the importances of "just works"

That's not their part of the job.

Various entities can label something as user-friendly. FSF is pretty much the only entity that can label stuff as free.

This is one laptop. Hopefully next year there'll be twenty, and then someone can take on the job of announcing which is the most user-friendly of the twenty free laptops.

Comment If Edward Snowden is a coward, what are you? (Score 1) 242

Dear Girl-in-training,

Here's the thing people don't get about Snowden: He's not a revolutionary, or a hero. He's a coward.

It is entirely too freaking easy to accuse Mr. Snowden as a coward.

But before you point that accusing finger of yours at Mr. Snowden, why don't you ask yourself "What are you" first ?

At the very least, Mr Snowden has exposed the wrongdoings of the power-that-be.

What have you done that can even begin to compare to what Mr. Snowden has done ?

Are you going to join Cold Fjord in becoming NSA's sock-puppet, Ms. Girl-in-Training ?

Comment Shut them down is no longer enough !! (Score 1) 242

The only remedy that will make them stop is to disband them altogether

Shutting down the NSA is no longer sufficient !

They have such control over all the apparatus right now that even if we managed to shut down NSA now they can set up a super-NSA the very next minute - and they can do it totally LEGAL (remember, they have total control over the LAW ) and there is NOTHING we can do about it.

What is required is much more than shut down the NSA - what is truly required is a TOTAL OVERHAUL to the ENTIRE SYSTEM !

Comment An honest POTUS will never live long (Score 1) 242

With an honest president, this crap would have been stopped long before a Snowden would have appeared

America is my country and I know this for a fact - my country is famous for having its own presidents assassinated.

Abe Lincoln and JFK, remember ?

Only crooks can become the POTUS.

Honest ed will never last a day in La Casa Blanca.

Comment NSA could turn your proposal on its head (Score 1) 97

We need proportional protection. Cut the anti-terrorism budget for NSA, DHS, etc. to 1/6th the funding we have for anti-flu, since the flu kills six times more people than a 9/11 scale attack, every year. Give the funds to NASA, or the NRO if you're really scared of your own shadow. Problem solved.

Dear VortexCortex,

I have read many of your comments and I must thank you for the many informative and insightful leads that you have provided.

Now, back to the very thing that I've quoted.

If I were the NSA, I could turn your proposal on its head - that is, I, as the all-knowing spook with all kinds of network throughout the world, could easily import terrorism into the United States of America and create A HELL OF A LOT OF PROBLEMS for the Americans.

And I, as the NSA, could also provide the jihadists some fancy gadgets (mini nukes or dirty bombs, for examples) to aid them to accomplish their "allah u akbar" campaigns by flattening some 2nd-line cities in the U.S. of A.

And when that happened, the Americans will die in the MILLIONS, and everyone, including those who oppose the NSA, will demand to PUT ALL AVAILABLE RESOURCE BEHIND NSA to "fight terrorism".

Want proportional funding? NSA could, in theory, turn that game into their advantage, in a split second.

Treason, you say ?

Treason ? Isn't what NSA been doing right now anti-constitutional ?

NSA dogs DARE to LIE UNDER OATH IN THE CONGRESS. What else is there that they dare not do?

Comment Those are not even recommendations (Score 5, Insightful) 242

There is no change, those are only recommendations

The panel is a dog and pony show.

It's a circus-like entity to fool us into believing that "CHANGE IS COMING" while actually there will be NO CHANGE.

They understand that the people are VERY UNHAPPY about what NSA has done to us.

They understand that they can't go on doing the same old things the same old ways - but they also know that they have to CONTINUE TO DO THE SAME OLD THING, that is why they put up this fucking dog-and-pony panel publicly stating their so-called "82 recommendations" and hope that by doing so people will be "satisfied" and will not pay so much attention to what they do anymore.

I can bet every last penny that I have that at the end of it the SAME OLD THING WILL STILL BE DON and the only difference is that THEY WILL DO THE SAME OLD THING IN A NEW METHOD.

Or to put it another way --- even after Obama approved all the 82-recommendations (even if it's 820,000 recommendations) the end result will be SAME WINE IN DIFFERENT BOTTLES.

The only effective thing that we need right now is to CHANGE THE SYSTEM.

Anything short of that --- ie., keeping the same old system --- will not work, because it's be manned (and womenned) by the same batch of fuckers, and they will be continuing what they do.

Comment Re:Remember TEMPEST? (Score 2, Insightful) 264

The "audio" in question is most likely all below 24 kHz, that being the Nyquist limit for the 48 kHz sampling hardware, unless it happens that some phones can actually sample faster, and have microphones that can respond to higher frequencies.

The instruction rate of the CPUs in question is many times that frequency.

It doesn't sound likely.

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