Here's what I have already on them:
swpat.org is a publicly editable wiki, help welcome.
While verifying my sources just now, I found that Tim is, since February 2010, against software patents. Glad to hear it.
I've updated the wiki.
Tim's critical of software patents, but his position is that there's just an implimentation problem - with good tweaking it could work. Kinda disappointing that he's not pushing for abolition. Surprising too given his experience in web dev and XML. Related info:
swpat.org is a publicly-editable wiki - help in expanding this info would be very welcome and useful.
Multi-touch has been invented many times. It was even publicly documented in 1985:Multi-touch prior art.
Sorry to criticise people who are clearly on our side. The Wikileaks folk are great, and the job they were doing was great, and it will be great again when they start back up...
...but it was not a good idea for them to take all the leaked documents offline without notice in order to show their value so that people will donate. It was last year, probably December, and everything's still offline
For one example, they published the only (at the time) big ACTA leak. (There's since been a bigger one, hosted elsewhere) Everyone was pointing to them, and they took their copy offline. To my amazement, no one had a back up, so us anti-ACTA campaigners simply lost the only leaked draft.
At the implementation level, it was a bad idea to simply cause all pages to give error 404. A page of "We need donations, we'll be back up when we get them" would have been better.
Lesson: take backups of important docs, even ones published by groups of good people.
> To say the ruling class owns the politicians is a circular statement.
You're assuming the politicians aren't puppets.
Look at ACTA. There's nothing in there for the citizenry.
And what do our representatives think is worth debatin? A: Whether instruments of infringement should be destroyed "promptly" (US/EU/Mex), or "without delay" (Canada), or whether a time shouldn't be specified (Aus). Wow, thanks guys.
This sort of thing will not be considered in Europe or North America, and us residents of those places will pat ourselves on the back for our love of liberty...
The difference between Venezuela and our countries is that in our countries, the ruling class own both the media and politicians. In Venezuela, they just own the media.
Chavez has some bad policies, and we're right to criticise those policies, but the context is important for forming an accurate opinion rather than a knee-jerk chauvinist one.
If they do that, then any student can disable it, and every student can then use that one student's non-spying version.
The perfect solution would be to have no spying in the first place, but since you haven't offered any way to do this, having software freedom is indeed the next best solution.
There's no proposal that can solve everything. Of the proposals that exist today, free software is just far and away the best situation life's offering.
It's not about *you* being free to read and change the source or distribute modified versions, it's about *all users* being able to do this. "freedom 3" makes this clear:
"The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this."
It's about allowing people to help each other, building an empowered community. If the situation is serious enough, anyone can take a look, or find/pay someone else to take a look. And even if the situation doesn't seem serious, there's still the possibility that someone will be taking a look at the code anyway. And once one person does this, then all users can benefit from that person's exercise of their freedoms.
The possibility of these things happening is usually enough to dissuade software publishers from putting nastyware into free software in the first place.
So, you're theory just predicts a problem that's possible but which is non-existant or practically non-existant in reality.
Hopefully this situation will be a stepping stone to help the public understand the role that computers play in our personal lives.
I switched to GNU/Linux in 1998 because lights on my external modem flickered each time I used RealPlayer to play files that were on my own computer.
> it's not a practical concern.
According to the references linked from that en.swpat.org page, it seems the developers of the free software Mesa project think it's indeed a practical concern.
UNIX was not designed to stop you from doing stupid things, because that would also stop you from doing clever things. -- Doug Gwyn