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Comment Only the proprietors know the details. That's bad. (Score 2) 120

This sounds like another instance of proprietary malware to add to the list. And nobody should trust a proprietor to "roll back" their malware (just as some of the Twitter.com followups suggest), regardless of whether they say this was a mistake. There's no reason to trust unvettable, uncorrectable, unsharable code and there's no reason why people should have to live with months-old backdoors while the only programmers allowed to inspect or fix the code apparently don't fix that code.

Comment No, censorship takes practice like any other skill (Score 1) 196

"Getting it right" depends on what they're trying to get right. TheIntercept.com tells us "Facebook Is Collaborating With the Israeli Government to Determine What Should Be Censored" and Glenn Greenwald told us about these problems before as did Richard Stallman and Eben Moglen before Greenwald (the latter two rightly calling Facebook "a monstrous surveillance engine" and the like). As Moglen points out in every one of his speeches in the past few years (if not longer) that "Stallman was right". But back to your point about how Facebook should stop trying to "get it right" as Facebook's rep says: These are precisely the problems any censor faces when trying to figure out the details of what should be censored; the implicit assumption being that censorship is right & proper to do, and is merely a matter of haggling over price (be it money or favors with the powerful) as the old joke goes.

Comment What you call something describes your values (Score 1) 160

Fine, call it GNU. It's a shame not to give the major components fair credit as the GNU Project asks, so Linux does deserve a mention too. But by calling the OS only GNU you'll also miss out on an opportunity to clearly distinguish between GNU on various kernels (due to GNU's portability): GNU runs on kWindows, kFreeBSD, HURD, and Linux and the choice of kernel means different features. For example, systemd is highly dependent on Linux kernel features so I wouldn't expect to find systemd features on GNU running on any other kernel.

Comment You mean you still do business with Sony? (Score 1) 467

I chalk it up to youth not knowing their history—Sony (multiple divisions) has treated their customers badly for years. This is merely the latest chapter of this ongoing saga of mistreatment. The Sony fake film critic David Manning, the audio CDs that came with Windows Digital Restrictions Management, and related Windows rootkit (including apparent infringement of copyright) should have been enough to simply decide not to do business with Sony (again, I see no reason to distinguish between divisions; let them suffer the consequences of their "branding" choices and bad behavior).

It's time to add this episode to the list for the next time people forget the lesson.

Comment Ensuring freedom requires enforcement (Score 2, Informative) 238

Just as we come closer to ensuring no murders when we enforce laws against murder, we come closer to ensuring the software freedom described in the GPL when we enforce the GPL.

It's telling that Linus Torvalds said "I really think the license has been one of the defining factors in the success of Linux because it enforced that you have to give back, which meant that the fragmentation has never been something that has been viable from a technical standpoint." and hates enforcement ("Lawyers: poisonous to openness..."). The fork of the Linux kernel Torvalds distributes contains the "fragmentation" he claims isn't viable—Torvalds' variant of Linux contains proprietary binaries in it. These blobs of code are removed in the fully-free GNU Linux-libre kernel.

Linus Torvalds' position is more easily understood when you consider that Torvalds is a fan of the right-wing, proprietor-friendly open source movement which is a reaction to the older free software movement. The difference between the two movements has been described in writing (older essay, newer essay) and in every RMS speech for years.

You can see that difference playing out in Linus Torvalds' dig against GPL enforcement. Brad Kuhn, President and Distinguished Technologist of the Software Freedom Conservancy talked about the value of GPL enforcement in his most recent talk on the issue at linux.conf.au in 2016 in his talk "Copyleft For the Next Decade: A Comprehensive Plan", "Copyleft is not magic pixie dust; you don't sprinkle it on some code and then suddenly your code is liberated forever. I wish that were true but that's not how the world works." (9m2s). The way Torvalds talks about the GPLv2 you'd think the GPLv2 were magic pixie dust because that's what he wants Linux kernel copyright holders to believe—an unenforced GPL is fine—because Torvalds, like any good sycophant for proprietary software, knows what Kuhn reminds us of in Kuhn's talk, (around 13m1s), "If a copyleft license is not enforced it's indistinguishable from a non-copylefted license in practice.". But where Torvalds takes that as an instruction to not act in defense of the GPL, Kuhn says that as a warning against software proprietarism. Conservancy is the group doing that enforcement work to help assure all computer users actually get the freedoms of free software the GPL describes. That work includes GPL enforcement, specifically a coordinated compliance effort across multiple Conservancy projects.

Comment Proprietary software is unsafe building material (Score 1) 227

As well you should have, and so should have every car owner have the means to get complete corresponding source code with build instructions. Software freedom gives car owners the means to help themselves and prevent more outbreaks of this ridiculousness as Eben Moglen pointed out when we saw the first round of this.

Comment Trump asks for what US has long done (Score 1) 1017

As Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept reminds us, "Governments do spy on each other and do try to influence events in other countries, certainly the U.S. government has a very long and successful history of doing exactly that.". So hearing Americans, particularly Democrats, complain about Trump's request here reminds us the US has unclean hands and about far more important things than distracting us away from the ugliness the Democrats apparently sic on each other to win political races. Some of that increased ugliness includes voter shenanigans (possibly voter suppression) to make it harder for would-be Bernie Sanders voters to vote in the Democratic primary, collusion with news outlets to suppress unfavorable stories, and possible illegality from the DLC. These strike me as far more interesting considering the veracity of the DLC emails remains unchallenged.

The last thing the Democrats really want is people thinking about Hillary Clinton's voting record, or campaign funding sources. That analysis won't go down well with anti-war, pro-universal health care, pro-organized labor, anti-fracking, anti-TPP voters the Democrats seem to be losing. Such discussion might lead these voters to notice that the Democrats are apparently as interested as the Republicans in using a distractionary fear-based campaign against the only competition they're willing to admit to (no talk of Greens or Libertarians, for instance, people might defect or demand inclusive debates).

Comment Democratic Party lying? (Score 1) 704

A video edit comparing what Hillary Clinton claimed to what James Comey claimed after the FBI investigation highlights the distance between the two quite well and puts a fine point on the part where Comey says that if this had been anyone else who did what she did they might not get the same cushy response from the FBI she got.

And keep in mind that the US has very unclean hands here, according to Edward Snowden, former NSA contractor who would know what tools the NSA has available to look into this.

But of course the veracity of the documents leads us to the real story. Nobody claims the DNC emails were faked, just like nobody said the Snowden revelations were untrue. This helps us focus on what those documents show: Bernie Sanders was not lying to us when he said, "I told you a long time ago that theâ"that the DNC was not running a fair operation, that they were supporting Secretary Clinton.", and that he requests far too weak of a solution to remedy the problem (getting rid of Debbie Wasserman Schultz as chair of the DNC). And the emails show us that the DNC were telling amenable media outlets (such as NBC, if I recall correctly) which stories to not publish because they made someone they cared about look bad. Julian Assange's interview on Democracy Now is worth reading, it's quite revealing about how nasty the Clinton campaign is, sourcing the unnamed "experts" who told Robby Mook, Clinton campaign manager, that "Russian state actors broke into the DNC, stole these emails" and "are releasing these emails for the purpose of actually helping Donald Trump".

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