Archive for the ‘freedom’ Category

a technoxymoretaphor

October 12, 2011

Android is one of the most free prisons of this day and age.

a beautiful and “important service announcement”

April 28, 2011

Flattr (or more precisely, the email I received from them today) now seems to say something like, “if you feel you contribute, then let people shower you…even pennies, if they are so generous”. If one (or a corporation of) artist(s) and/or engineer(s) believes they contribute, they’d be wise to allow themselves flattery. Hell, even if you make things you don’t believe contribute, you might as well with this change:

we decided to drop any rules that made the service restrictive or outright complicated

And you want to put him and his helpers in jail?

p.s. I think one more restriction should be waived. Payment. It would be good to be able to flattr things for zero money and/or ideally, with an “appreciate” count (e.g. “like”, “+1”, etc.). What if we can’t afford even pennies at some time of our life, yet want to contribute by showing a way of support by tally?

p.p.s. If you (or “you”) liked this post, you can flattr it here. If you like this (more than 5 years now!) blog in general, you can flattr it here.

Freedom Box

February 22, 2011

Today I decided to support Freedom Box. Funding for the project is hosted on Kickstarter. I encourage contributions but if that’s not possible, please read the following excerpt below explaining why this software is being written.

Why Freedom Box?

Because social networking and digital communications technologies are now critical to people fighting to make freedom in their societies or simply trying to preserve their privacy where the Web and other parts of the Net are intensively surveilled by profit-seekers and government agencies. Because smartphones, mobile tablets, and other common forms of consumer electronics are being built as “platforms” to control their users and monitor their activity.

Freedom Box exists to counter these unfree “platform” technologies that threaten political freedom. Freedom Box exists to provide people with privacy-respecting technology alternatives in normal times, and to offer ways to collaborate safely and securely with others in building social networks of protest, demonstration, and mobilization for political change in the not-so-normal times.

Freedom Box software is built to run on hardware that already exists, and will soon become much more widely available and much more inexpensive. “Plug servers” and other compact devices are going to become ubiquitous in the next few years, serving as “media centers,” “communications centers,” “wireless routers,” and many other familiar and not-so-familiar roles in office and home.

Freedom Box software images will turn all sorts of such devices into privacy appliances. Taken together, these appliances will afford people around the world options for communicating, publishing, and collaborating that will resist state intervention or disruption. People owning these appliances will be able to restore anonymity in the Net, despite efforts of despotic regimes to keep track of who reads what and who communicates with whom.

free speech, not free пиво

September 12, 2010

Russian authorities are using the pretext of copyright enforcement to suppress dissent. Unfortunately, the dissenters are often using Microsoft’s proprietary software for their activity, giving the police an excuse to hassle them. To solve this problem, the activists should use Free software like the GNU/Linux operating system. While Free software can’t ensure the Russian police won’t forcibly stop acts of free speech, it would serve well to defeat this ostensible reason.

Steve Jobs’ porn distraction

July 1, 2010

Steve Jobs wants to convince the public that Apple’s anti-feature-filled devices take some sort of moral high ground. He goes further to say that Free software-based Android devices should be bought by those who want pornography. What Jobs really wants is the profit for Apple when they control what software you can or can’t have on your device. Like a mufti justifying a fatwā on forced veiling or a government justifying unwarranted wiretapping, Jobs aims to convince us that Apple is doing society a service. In reality, he is distracting us from the actual problem. That is, that users are not in control of their computing. Whether we find pornography appealing or repulsive, we should reject his attempt to play moral police.

The beauty of Free software device is not that it can be used to access sexual imagery, but that it gives users the freedom to make their own decision.

stupid nerd turf wars

May 21, 2010

xkcd original source

diaspora

May 14, 2010

Today I decided to support diaspora. I hope you will consider doing so too. The best explanation why has been made by Eben Moglen.

and how freedom can work

March 4, 2010

Check out “WHY DRM DOESN’T WORK“.

Note that step #6 (which is closely coupled to step #5) is required for DRM to have its intended effect. I recommend running a Free system (e.g. GNU) and if you must, skip straight to step #20.

More of the above will encourage the popularity and development of services (for example) that offer win-win possibilities. Such services are examples of how freedom can work.

Creative Commons licensing for Utah educators

January 2, 2010

Tom got me thinking about this here and here. Some great progress in Utah public schools comes in the form of Rule R277-111. In short, teachers have the right to share their lessons under Creative Commons licenses.

Of course, teachers should have the freedom to share the resources they author. Denying this freedom runs counter to progressive practice. It is good to see this right explicitly stated. Hopefully this will catch fire.

Via Luke and David Wiley.

Google says: if it’s private, it’s probably illicit or illegal

December 8, 2009

If you install proprietary software on your computer, you’re putting your privacy at risk. This is but one of several reasons not to. It’s possible however, to run a completely Free system yet forfeit the protection Free software offers. All one needs to do is use “cloud” computing. Essentially, this means crunching your data while it resides on another’s server. In the case of Google (and others), this appears to be an inevitable trend in the coming years.

The idea of having one’s data in another’s hands is nothing new…mainstream Internet users have been doing so with email clients like Hotmail and Yahoo for years. It’s the ubiquity that’s alarming. We’re not talking only of email. We’re talking everything. At least that’s the early idea behind something like Google’s Chromium OS.

It’s alarming (though not surprising) then, to hear Google CEO Eric Schmidt claim that:

If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.

This makes clear that Google’s obligation won’t be to take a stand for free speech or privacy rights. It doesn’t take much imagination to think of just uses of cloud storage that certain governments through corrupt law will deem harmful to society and demand the “perpetrators” be outed. Google being a corporation, doesn’t care at all about anyone’s rights or spreading the freedom that comes with Free software (despite many individuals within the organization that may). Google’s top priorities will be to serve local laws (not out of respect for law, but to do business) and their bottom line. Schmidt’s quote is a stark reminder that while systems like Chrome OS help steer us successfully away from the chains of proprietary software, it’s still important for society to have viable, Free, local computing environment options for the sake of privacy rights.

If we do this…if we enable this environment and promote systems like Chrome in tandem, then perhaps we will be working toward something of benefit to computer users around the world.