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Comment Re:Ironic (Score 2) 29

I asked the Slashdot folks to make the video available in a format viewable with Free Software. I've sent an email to ask to make sure that happens. Unlike RMS, I don't necessarily object to videos of me being available in proprietary formats, as long as they are *also* available in a format viewable with Free Software.

I suspect this was just a communication problem between me and the interviewer. It should get resolved.

Submission + - Conservancy running campaign to write better accounting software for nonprofits ( 1

paroneayea writes: The Software Freedom Conservancy is running a campaign to improve accounting software, especially for nonprofits. To keep their books and produce annual government filings, most NPOs rely on proprietary software, paying exorbitant licensing fees. This is fundamentally at cross purposes with their underlying missions of charity, equality, democracy, and sharing. You can help Conservancy fix this problem by donating now!

Comment The EFF was not involved (Score 5, Informative) 225

I cannot figure out why the headline says that the EFF won this case. This case was brought by the Software Freedom Conservancy, with the Software Freedom Law Center acting as the Conservancy's legal counsel. The EFF was not, nor has ever been to my knowledge, involved in anything to do with the GPL.

Also, winning the whole case is probably inaccurate. What's been achieved here is a permanent injunction and judgment against one of the violators. Thus, the case against Westinghouse has been won, but there are other defendants in the case as well.

— bkuhn, President, Software Freedom Conservancy

Comment Re:"overclocking" machines vulnerable (Score 1) 173

It was reported that the paper is to be presented at a peer reviewed conference. Anyway, even if the findings are accurate, it doesn't really impact the security of any productions systems. I've written a more extensive discussion of this issue, and how people jump to bad conclusions about academic articles like this one.

GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - SFLC Files Amicus Brief in Jacobsen v. Katzner

bkuhn writes: "The SFLC filed an amicus brief in the Jacobsen v. Katzer case today. The higher court previously gave a favorable ruling for software freedom, however, upon remand, the lower court held that Jacobsen had not shown sufficient harm to qualify for an injunction against the defendant. Jacbosen is appealing that decision. SFLC's brief calls on the court to give injunctive relief to FOSS developers."

Submission + - Call for more support of FLOSS charities (

bkuhn writes: "I've begun a campaign to encourage technology folk who benefit from Free, Libre, and Open Source software to begin giving back, not just with code, but with dollars. Non-profit structures for FLOSS are essential, and yet the non-profits that exist are grossly underfunded. I believe we could radically change the resources of non-profits in the FLOSS world if everyone who benefits from the community commits to giving just $200/year to 2-4 non-profits of their choice. FLOSS Foundations maintains a great list to help you find ones that match you interests."

Submission + - Breast Cancer Gene Lawsuit Argues Patents Invalid (

bkuhn writes: "The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Public Patent Foundation at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (PUBPAT) filed a lawsuit charging that patents on two human genes associated with breast and ovarian cancer are unconstitutional and invalid. The lawsuit (PDF) was filed on behalf of four scientific organizations representing more than 150,000 geneticists, pathologists, and laboratory professionals, as well as individual researchers, breast cancer and women's health groups, and individual women. Individuals with certain mutations along these two genes, known as BRCA1 and BRCA2, are at a significantly higher risk for developing hereditary breast and ovarian cancers."

Comment Switch fields if you get another degree (Score 1) 834

I'm heavily involved in the FLOSS non-profit world. I have a Master's Degree in Computer Science that has not done all that much for me. I regret getting it.

If you don't plan to teach high school or college, then you would be better served getting a degree in another field. For example, getting an MBA or a law degree might make it possible for you to broaden the range of things you can do. (I'm against getting a law degree, but for other reasons.)

If you want to go into not-for-profit or governmental policy work in computing, getting an MPA (Master's in Public Administration) would be good.

In short, your professors want you to do what they did. Given that B.S. degrees are not as valuable as they once were, it's worthwhile to have some sort of graduate degree, but getting it in another field will expand your horizons and opportunities and also give you more perspective as a computer scientist/engineer.

Comment After all these years, Matt still doesn't get GPL (Score 2, Insightful) 370

Even after years of conversations with us in the FLOSS community, Matt still doesn't get it. He's completely focused on “businesses with a codebase that release it under some license”. He doesn't understand community-driven software that isn't tied to on specific corporate entity.

The GPL is specifically designed for community-driven software that is not tied to one company. Matt could very well be right about the limited, pro-corporate world he occupies; it could very well be better for them to use the Apache license.

However, individuals and very small contracting agencies benefit best when they can be put on equal footing with the big guys. The only types of licenses that do this are copyleft licenses.

Finally, declaring that people's life's work trying to make the world a better place — even if you disagree with their politics — is disingenuous at best. I've spent most of my adult life working to make the GPL and the codebases around it better. I'm sorry to hear that Matt thinks I've been busy dumping radioactive waste on his world.

Comment FLOSS communities can't be tied to one place (Score 1) 306

I think the fundamental problem is that FLOSS community needs diversity and cannot be tied to a single for-profit entity. For a project to succeed with a healthy community, it needs individual developers or a non-profit entity (run by developers) to control it. I've written a blog post about this specific issue in response to Monty's linked in the main article.

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