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Comment What about the drone war? (Score 1) 107

Will the US play along with this and not expand the extrajudicial assassination by drone program to Sweden? There's a high likelihood the next US administration will continue the drone war (which the US would call "state-sponsored terrorism" if any other country were doing has been doing). Terror Tuesday is coming up fast but we all know murder-by-drone is lighthearted humor except for its victims and anyone who thinks killing is wrong. Like Obama said, "Turns out I'm really good at killing people. Didn't know that was gonna be a strong suit of mine". Paving the way for the next war criminal, Hillary Clinton, to take over the role.

Comment Re:Illusion of secure encryption on an insecure OS (Score 4, Insightful) 71

Indeed; there are many reasons not to do business with Apple and many reasons to never use proprietary, user-subjugating software. Contrary to one of the follow-ups to the parent post, this has everything to do with TrueCrypt, VeraCrypt, and any other free software to which one entrusts their sensitive information. There's nothing these programs can do to fix the real problem. The user has to switch operating systems to a fully free software, user-respecting OS and install only free software on top of that to do the best we can do to avoid the aforementioned problems. So while nobody can blame these free software programs for leaked keys, passphrases, and other leaked information there's no reason to trust the underlying proprietary software these free programs rely on to do everything they do when running on non-free OSes.

Comment Proprietary control is the trouble with Windows (Score 1) 285

The problem isn't the trouble of having to read and modify so much, it's that even if you do all that you can't trust what you have; you can't be sure those "41 pages of switches, GPOs, and reg hacks" will grant you the privacy you seek even on the Enterprise variant of Windows. Anyone who tells you otherwise is speculating from ignorance. You can't stop any variant of Windows from tricking users into "upgrading" to some more recently-released variant (like the trouble Windows users had with Windows 10 "upgrades" recently). That's the thing about proprietary software; you're never in charge of what it does. Even if you think you've set the switches the right way, programmers can make a UI that looks like it is doing what the user wants but actually does something the user does not want and does this without the user's permission or control. No configuration of switches can fix this. Users need software freedom to fix this.

Satya Nadella and Bill Gates before him focused on what's important for modern proprietors—spying on the user because that's profitable and secures powerful friends. Consider that Microsoft tells the NSA about bugs before fixing them. This doesn't help most Windows users, but it helps the NSA know to devalue those bugs. And it tells you to devalue proprietary software. With proprietors, you're the product: all the data you generate including what you run, when you're using the computer, and where you take the computer (for computers with cell phone capability or GPS units) can and is spied upon. You don't get out of that trap without software freedom either.

Comment Re:Whatever it is, it's out and not "Linux" (Score 1) 163

Thanks for the clarification. Are people meant to run other OSes but GNU atop Windows Subsystem for Linux? I've not heard of anyone doing this nor have I seen any announcement this was intended.

So GNU doesn't come with this, but one runs ELF binaries (Ubuntu's 14.05 release, for instance) on Microsoft's Windows Subsystem for Linux to effectively get GNU. Since this ostensibly doesn't include the Linux kernel this wouldn't qualify as GNU/Linux either.

Functionally, however, I don't see a great deal of difference between this and Cygwin as in both cases one ends up with a lot of the same programs running atop Microsoft Windows.

Comment Whatever it is, it's out and not "Linux" (Score 2) 163

MS has stated that this is very new and very buggy but that they are working on it. It is not yet for public consumption.

Apparently Microsoft released it to the public.

MS has been embracing Open source minus the extinguish part for some time now.

Time will tell.

Linux (okay so not the kernel but still) on Windows outside of a virtual machine is everything a lot of people have wanted but never thought would happen.

This tends to confirm the view that the GNU/Linux misnaming as "Linux" is really about denying credit where credit is due (particularly noteworthy amongst people who are sticklers for technical accuracy and in need of a clearer distinction for what one has). This project includes some parts of a system but without the Linux kernel and yet you're still giving that project credit. What Microsoft has released might be a GNU/kWindows (akin in naming to Debian GNU/kFreeBSD, meaning GNU running atop the kernel of some other system—Microsoft Windows or FreeBSD, respectively) but whatever it is, it is certainly not "Linux" and it contains no Linux kernel code. Also, Cygwin has delivered some variant of comparable functionality for years.

Comment Corruption? How about killing people? (Score 1) 394

If Hillary Clinton wins the presidency, she'll be entering office as a war criminal having achieved that status well prior. She has backed possibly every war the US is engaged in and shows no signs of pulling the US out of its many occupations. Her belligerent stance on Syria, for instance, is to push for a "no-fly zone" which she acknowledges (to her bankster friends who also bankrolled Pres. Obama's candidacy) will "kill a lot of Syrians". Patrick Cockburn disagrees any US president would actually do this, but that doesn't stop her from making it known she is fine with the bombastic talk. She'll continue all of Obama's wars just as Obama continued and expanded G.W. Bush's wars. We don't know precisely where she'll expand US wars to, but it's likely to be some other poor country just as Obama expanded wars into Yemen. She'll continue the extrajudicial assassinations of Obama's drone wars (which Obama engaged in far more than Bush, making the drone wars a hallmark of Obama's presidency).

The drone strikes deserve some special attention because so few people seem to know about them. If any other country did this the US would have no problem identifying them as "state-sponsors of global terror" or calling them "terrorists". Each of these wars kill a lot of women and children (putting into perspective how much Clinton cares about women), including Americans (as we've seen with the Al-awlakis, such as killing a father and son 2 weeks apart in separate drone attacks) without due process. And the drones kill completely unsuspected innocent passers-by (such as one infamous wedding party attack. The US kills so many civilians they can't keep track of them all but are clearly ashamed by the deaths so they released (on a Friday before a holiday weekend when mainstream corporate media are least likely to carry the story) an internal assessment of civilian killings in U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya (including those killed including during Clinton's stint as Secretary of State). In that assessment we find an undercount due to the US reclassification of any military-age male as an "enemy combatant" in a desperate attempt to reduce the civilian death toll. There's every reason to expect more of the same from Hillary Clinton should she become president.

Domestically, Clinton's anti-poor/anti-working-person policies are bound to worsen the plight of women. Taking so much money from global banks ensures a continuation of no prosecutions for global banksters, no matter what fellow Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren says. Global trade pacts will help the US more efficiently exploit the poor. The TPP is a fine example of this: the TPP was known to, and does, receive massive international disapproval hence the TPP negotiations and early drafts were done in secret even keeping US congresspeople in the dark. Regardless of what Clinton says or hints to the US public, Clinton picked a pro-TPP vice presidential candidate in Tim Kaine and Clinton picked TPP boosters in her cabinet setup committee. It's hardly surprising that in April 2015 TheIntercept.com reported that "TPP Proponents Close to Clinton Remain Optimistic About Her Support". "The Gold Standard" remark from Clinton is no suprise given her history with Wal-Mart, an organization famous for their anti-unionization stance in the US (but tolerance of unionization in Germany where Wal-Mart couldn't avoid dealing with labor unions). Her stance against universalizing the US single-payer healthcare system Medicare (no doubt due to her taking so much money from HMOs who don't stand to benefit from a proper universal single-payer system) add to the misery acutely affecting the poor, including women who are often left to raise children. Where poverty continues to be allowed to go you can expect more needless suffering and death.

As I've pointed out before, she may be more gentle-toned than Trump but she's the more lethal choice than Trump too. Donald Trump's wide ignorance and many bigotries, as ugly and reprehensible as they are, are being pitched loudly to distract one from considering Sec. Clinton's lethal record of injustice. Fortunately, as I'm sure the Democrats will be happy to attest to should Clinton lose again, there's more than 2 choices for US president.

Comment More honestly, it's a "tracker". (Score 1) 21

You're thinking correctly in that, it's right in line with why we commonly call liberating a device to run software the owner wants to run without the approval of the device's proprietor(s) "jailbreaking"—a clear acknowledgement that the device shackles the user. The real harm comes from the inequity making the owner of the computer (typically the user) subservient to whatever proprietors are involved in making and selling the device. But the device's true purpose is spying on the user's movements and discussions, tracking and recording what the user does in real-time.

Comment Hillary Clinton means more war. (Score 3, Insightful) 396

Her long history with Wal-Mart and being the wife of former Arkansas governor Bill Clinton, and the namecalling you brought up notwithstanding, are virtually sideshows compared to war with Russia. This war will probably take the form of her promised "no-fly zone" and "safe zone" in Syria which even she (privately, to her bankster funders) admits will "kill a lot of Syrians" and require ground troops. What is a no-fly zone? Dr. Jill Stein, also running for US president, has clarified what that means:

Hillary Clinton has said she would like to impose a no-fly zone over Syria, which basically means we are going to war with Russia, because that's what you do when you impose a no-fly zone, is you shoot down people that are in that airspace. And remember, we have 2,000 nuclear weapons now, between us and the Russians, on hair-trigger alert. So, this is certainly a very dangerous territory, where Hillary Clinton has continued to beat the drums of war with this idea that we are showing strength and leadership, but leading us in exactly the wrong direction and a very dangerous direction.

Hillary Clinton's hawkishness is bound to cost the US trillions. Continuing Obama's wars (which are all of G.W. Bush's wars plus more wars via drones in a couple countries Bush didn't attack) would do that without adding new wars. But Clinton's belligerency is why the Intercept notes "Robert Kagan and Other Neocons Are Backing Hillary Clinton". A vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for more war, more extrajudicial assassination, and that includes killing women and children whom Clinton is so keen to convince us she cares about. This merely builds on the wars she's voted for or otherwise supported (Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, etc.). She may be more gentle-toned than Trump but she's the more lethal choice than Trump too. Donald Trump's wide ignorance and many bigotries, as ugly and reprehensible as they are, are being pitched loudly to distract one from considering Sec. Clinton's lethal record of injustice. Fortunately, as I'm sure the Democrats will be happy to attest to should Clinton lose again, there's more than 2 choices for US president.

Comment Don't favor minor cache savings over tracking. (Score 1) 175

Storage is cheap and plentiful these days; the caching argument doesn't convince me and minor improvements strike me as possibly nice conveniences but nothing significant. I'd rather promote not centralizing the web and not encouraging doing work with known trackers including Google.

Comment Re:Why trust one or two people? (Score 1) 83

That said, using software which voting device owners are free to run, inspect, share, and modify (free software) is critical because of other advantages. Voting districts should be free to make the software accommodate their needs as their laws change, and as unexpected situations develop. Proprietors know that voting districts are dependent on them and can easily reject modifications, raise the price of modifications beyond what the customer was initially planning to pay, and exact other kinds of harsh penalties for modifications. Free software lets customers hire their own programmers or use in-house programmers to make the needed modifications as per the customer's choice.

Comment Only the proprietors know the details. That's bad. (Score 2) 126

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.

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