Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Richard Stallman’

RMS Speaks Out Against Ubuntu

December 7th, 2012 12:39 admin View Comments

Ubuntu

An anonymous reader writes “In a post at the Free Software Foundation website, Richard Stallman has spoken out against Ubuntu because of Canonical’s decision to integrate Amazon search results in the distribution’s Dash search. He says, ‘Ubuntu, a widely used and influential GNU/Linux distribution, has installed surveillance code. When the user searches her own local files for a string using the Ubuntu desktop, Ubuntu sends that string to one of Canonical’s servers. (Canonical is the company that develops Ubuntu.) This is just like the first surveillance practice I learned about in Windows. … What’s at stake is whether our community can effectively use the argument based on proprietary spyware. If we can only say, “free software won’t spy on you, unless it’s Ubuntu,” that’s much less powerful than saying, “free software won’t spy on you.” It behooves us to give Canonical whatever rebuff is needed to make it stop this. … If you ever recommend or redistribute GNU/Linux, please remove Ubuntu from the distros you recommend or redistribute.’”

Source: RMS Speaks Out Against Ubuntu

Richard Stallman: ‘Apple Has Tightest Digital Handcuffs In History’

December 5th, 2012 12:27 admin View Comments

DRM

jrepin points out a discussion with Richard Stallman in which he talks about how the Free Software movement is faring in light of companies that have been successful in the long term with very different principles, like Microsoft and Apple. Stallman had this to say: “I would say the free software movement has gone about half the distance it has to travel. We managed to make a mass community but we still have a long way to go to liberate computer users. Those companies are very powerful. They are cleverly finding new ways to take control over users. … The most widely used non-free programs have malicious features – and I’m talking about specific, known malicious features. … There are three kinds: those that spy on the user, those that restrict the user, and back doors. Windows has all three. Microsoft can install software changes without asking permission. Flash Player has malicious features, as do most mobile phones. Digital handcuffs are the most common malicious features. They restrict what you can do with the data in your own computer. Apple certainly has the digital handcuffs that are the tightest in history. The i-things, well, people found two spy features and Apple says it removed them and there might be more. When people don’t know about this issue they choose based on immediate convenience and nothing else. And therefore they can be herded into giving up their freedom by a combination of convenient features, pressure from institutions and the network effect.”

Source: Richard Stallman: ‘Apple Has Tightest Digital Handcuffs In History’

Ask Richard Stallman Anything

November 28th, 2012 11:31 admin View Comments

GNU is Not Unix

Richard Stallman (RMS) founded the GNU Project in 1984, the Free Software Foundation in 1985, and remains one of the most important and outspoken advocates for software freedom. RMS now spends much of his time fighting excessive extension of copyright laws, digital rights management, and software patents. He’s agreed to answer your questions about GNU/Linux, free software, and anything else you like, but please limit yourself to one question per post.

Source: Ask Richard Stallman Anything

Patent System Not Broken, Argues IBM’s Chief Patent Counsel

November 9th, 2012 11:05 admin View Comments

Patents

New submitter TurinX writes “Unsurprisingly, IBM’s Chief Patent Counsel, Manny Schecter, thinks the patent system isn’t broken. He says, ‘Patent disputes like [the Apple-Samsung case] are a natural characteristic of a vigorously competitive industry. And they’re nothing new: Similar skirmishes have historically occurred in areas as diverse as sewing machines, winged flight, agriculture, and telegraph technology. Each marked the emergence of incredible technological advances, and each generated similar outcries about the patent system. We are actually witnessing fewer patent suits per patent issued today than the historical average.’” Regarding software patents, he argues, “If patent litigation caused by the U.S. patent system stifled innovation, U.S. software companies would not be the most successful in the world.” His recommendation is that we should be patient and “let the system work.” Schecter’s editorial at Wired is one of a series of expert opinions on the patent system; we’ve already discussed Richard Stallman’s contribution.

Source: Patent System Not Broken, Argues IBM’s Chief Patent Counsel

Richard Stallman: Limit the Effect of Software Patents

November 2nd, 2012 11:50 admin View Comments

Patents

An anonymous reader writes “We can’t get rid of software patents, says Richard Stallman, but we could change how they apply to creating and using software and hardware. In an editorial at Wired, he advocates for a legislative solution to the patent wars that would protect both developers and users. Quoting: ‘We should legislate that developing, distributing, or running a program on generally used computing hardware does not constitute patent infringement. This approach has several advantages: —It doesn’t require classifying patents or patent applications as “software” or “not software.” —It provides developers and users with protection from both existing and potential future computational idea patents. —Patent lawyers can’t defeat the intended effect by writing applications differently.’”

Source: Richard Stallman: Limit the Effect of Software Patents

Stallman On Unity Dash: Canonical Will Have To Give Users’ Data To Governments

October 13th, 2012 10:40 admin View Comments

Privacy

Giorgio Maone writes “Ubuntu developer and fellow Mozillian Benjamin Kerensa chatted with various people about the new Amazon Product Results in the Ubuntu 12.10 Unity Dash. Among them, Richard Stallman told him that this feature is bad because: 1. ‘If Canonical gets this data, it will be forced to hand it over to various governments.’; 2. Amazon is bad. Concerned people can disable remote data retrieval for any lens and scopes or, more surgically, use sudo apt-get remove unity-lens-shopping.”

Source: Stallman On Unity Dash: Canonical Will Have To Give Users’ Data To Governments

Richard Stallman Speaks About UEFI

July 17th, 2012 07:55 admin View Comments

DRM

An anonymous reader writes “Despite weaknesses in the Linux-hostile ‘secure boot’ mechanism, both Fedora and Ubuntu decided to facilitate it, by essentially adopting two different approaches. Richard Stallman has finally spoken out on this subject. He notes that ‘if the user doesn’t control the keys, then it’s a kind of shackle, and that would be true no matter what system it is.’ He says, ‘Microsoft demands that ARM computers sold for Windows 8 be set up so that the user cannot change the keys; in other words, turn it into restricted boot.’ Stallman adds that ‘this is not a security feature. This is abuse of the users. I think it ought to be illegal.’”

Source: Richard Stallman Speaks About UEFI

RMS Responds To NPR File-Sharer’s Blog

July 14th, 2012 07:52 admin View Comments

Piracy

New submitter UtucXul points out that Richard Stallman has penned a lengthy response to NPR intern Emily White for her post on the organization’s site about how she failed to pay for a significant amount of recorded music, acquiring it instead through Kazaa, friends, and CDs owned by the radio station at which she was employed. (We previously discussed musician David Lowery’s response; quite different from RMS’s, as you might expect.) Stallman wrote, “Copying and sharing recordings was not a mistake, let alone wrong, because sharing is good. It’s good to share musical recordings with friends and family; it’s good for a radio station to share recordings with the staff, and it’s good when strangers share through peer-to-peer networks. The wrong is in the repressive laws that try to block or punish sharing. Sharing ought to be legalized; in the mean time, please do not act ashamed of having shared — that would validate those repressive laws that claim that it is wrong. You did make a mistake when you chose Kazaa as the method of sharing. Kazaa mistreated you (and all its users) by requiring you to run a non-free program on your computer. … However, that was in the past. It’s more important to consider what you’re doing now, which includes other mistakes. You’re not alone — many others make them too, and that adds up to a big problem for society. The root mistake is treating a marketing buzzword, ‘the cloud,’ as if it meant something concrete. That term refers to so many things (different ways of using the Internet) that it really has no meaning at all. Marketing uses that term to lead people’s attention away from the important questions about any given use of the network, such as, ‘What companies would I depend on if I did this, and how? What trouble could they cause me, if they wanted to shaft me, or simply thought that a change in policies would gain them more money?’”

Source: RMS Responds To NPR File-Sharer’s Blog

RMS Robbed of Passport and Other Belongings In Argentina

June 10th, 2012 06:18 admin View Comments

Crime

New submitter Progman3K writes “Richard Stallman, father of the FSF, had his bag containing his laptop, medicine, money and passport stolen after his talk at the University of Buenos Aires on Friday, June 8.” Adds reader jones_supa, excerpting from the same linked story: “As a result of this occurrence, he was forced to cancel his talk in Cordoba, and it’s still unknown how this will impact the rest of his speaking engagements throughout the world.”

Source: RMS Robbed of Passport and Other Belongings In Argentina

Evaluating the Harmful Effects of Closed Source Software

June 9th, 2012 06:12 admin View Comments

Open Source

New submitter Drinking Bleach writes “Eric Raymond, coiner of the term ‘open source’ and co-founder of the Open Source Initiative, writes in detail about how to evaluate the effects of running any particular piece of closed source software and details the possible harms of doing so. Ranking limited firmware as the least kind of harm to full operating systems as potentially the greatest harms, he details his reasoning for all of them. Likewise, Richard Stallman, founder of GNU and the Free Software Foundation, writes about a much more limited scope, Nonfree DRM’d games on GNU/Linux, in which he takes the firm stance that non-free software is unethical in all cases but concedes that running non-free games on a free operating system is much more desirable than running them on a non-free operating system itself (such as Microsoft Windows or Apple Mac OS X).”

Source: Evaluating the Harmful Effects of Closed Source Software

YOYOYOOYOYOYO