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FSF's "Defective By Design" Targets Apple Genius Bars

timothy posted about 6 years ago | from the win-friends-and-influence-people dept.

Cellphones 838

mjasay writes "At OSCON this year, MySQL's Brian Aker made this bold statement: 'Microsoft is irrelevant ... We're more worried about Apple.' The Free Software Foundation appears to have caught the hint, and has turned its attention to all-things-Apple with a 'denial of service' attack on the Apple Genius Bars. The idea is to completely book all Genius Bars and then ask the 'geniuses,' over and over again, a few questions about Apple's proprietary ways (while, apparently, real customers with support issues are left to flounder). Lost in this anti-Apple fervor, however, is the Free Software Foundation's complete and conscious failure to protect the web. Richard Stallman has long felt that software that doesn't sit on his desktop doesn't affect his freedom, but isn't the opposite true? Why is the FSF focused on Apple when the bigger concern should be Google, Yahoo!, Amazon, and other web players, a point made by Tim O'Reilly recently at OSCON?" Defective by Design is just one of many FSF projects, remember; it hardly seems fair to say that the FSF has been ignoring the implications of software as a service.

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Mean-spirited? (5, Insightful)

SultanCemil (722533) | about 6 years ago | (#24350297)

You know, this isn't cool - its just damn annoying to anyone who actually *needs* to use the genius bars. This will just cause the general public to hate the FSF.

Re:Mean-spirited? (4, Insightful)

Pluvius (734915) | about 6 years ago | (#24350345)

They don't already?

Actually, no, they don't; they don't know who the FSF is. And they still won't after this stupid publicity stunt.


Re:Mean-spirited? (5, Interesting)

Paradise Pete (33184) | about 6 years ago | (#24350731)

They don't know who the FSF is. And they still won't after this stupid publicity stunt.

Well I will. I've sent several donations already this year, but I won't be sending more.

Re:Mean-spirited? (1)

maxume (22995) | about 6 years ago | (#24350349)

It strikes me as childish. Somebody should give them some Kool-Aid or something.

Re:Mean-spirited? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24350503)

This will just cause the general public to hate the FSF.

Isn't that Richard M Stallman's job?

Re:Mean-spirited? (5, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 6 years ago | (#24350505)

They might want to take a long and hard look at how well the RIAA campaign of "pissing off the people you are trying to convert" is working.

Re:Mean-spirited? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24350519)

This will just cause the general public to hate the FSF.

No. Just Apple Fanboys who can't see past the obvious.

doesn't it "just work"? (1, Funny)

speedtux (1307149) | about 6 years ago | (#24350603)

I don't understand. I have been told the Macintosh "just works". How is it possible that anybody "needs" to use the Genius bar? I thought the Genius bar was just, I dunno, for the coffee and the light conversation with attractive, well-dressed people.

Re:doesn't it "just work"? (1, Funny)

Leftist Troll (825839) | about 6 years ago | (#24350643)

When the battery in your iBrator dies, you need someone with that special touch to replace it. Users can't be trusted to replace parts, that would be chaos.

Re:doesn't it "just work"? (1)

kkiller (945601) | about 6 years ago | (#24350695)

Say, your iPod isn't working well - the battery is worn out and you're having to recharge every two hours. If you go to an Apple store, you will have to book an appointment at the 'genius bar' to sort it out. It's their tech support.

Re:Mean-spirited? (5, Funny)

antime (739998) | about 6 years ago | (#24350655)

I propose we call up the FSF and ask for help getting HURD running.

This is why they will never be taken seriously (5, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 6 years ago | (#24350323)

by large segments of the population. Immature bullshit like this. You have a point, you can advertise it on your web site, but grow the fuck up. Doing shit like this will only turn people AWAY from your message.

Re:This is why they will never be taken seriously (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24350513)

The free software movement has never been very good at PR/communication. It's really a testament to the strength of the idea, that it has made the progress it has.

No offense, but it is as though the whole movement has Aspergers syndrome, in the sense that they have zero intuitive understanding of how they will be perceived.

Re:This is why they will never be taken seriously (4, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | about 6 years ago | (#24350659)

Advertising on their website has not worked. For years, it hasn't worked.

Going from "no one notices" to "everyone hates you" can't be bad -- it's worth a shot, anyway.

This is harassment (0, Flamebait)

Quattro Vezina (714892) | about 6 years ago | (#24350331)

I don't care what you think about Apple or the FSF's goals, but this is blatant harassment and possibly borderline terrorism.

Maybe Apple should have guards outside every Apple store requiring everyone who enters to sign an oath swearing under penalty of perjury that they are not associated with the FSF.

I hope Apple sues the FSF into the ground for this.

Re:This is harassment (5, Insightful)

mordenkhai (1167617) | about 6 years ago | (#24350377)

While I agree that the concept used here is very silly and could likely do more harm than good, I think perhaps the moniker of "borderline terrorism" is a bit overblown. Perhaps there needs to be a Godwin v2.0 with terrorism as the focal point.

Re:This is harassment (3, Insightful)

Fex303 (557896) | about 6 years ago | (#24350383)

this is blatant harassment and possibly borderline terrorism.

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Re:This is harassment (1)

yammosk (861527) | about 6 years ago | (#24350465)

this is blatant harassment and possibly borderline terrorism.

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

You quoted 8 words. Perhaps it would be more constructive to identify which word you are referring to.

Re:This is harassment (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 6 years ago | (#24350629)

"this is blatant harassment and possibly borderline terrorism."

--You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

---You quoted 8 words. Perhaps it would be more constructive to identify which word you are referring to.

If you can't tell which word is being used improperly in the above sentence, then having it explained to you won't help.

Re:This is harassment (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24350639)

bawwww macfag cry moar go ride your fixie and slobber on jobs's tool before jacking it to your star wars expanded universe faggotry

that's harassment

donkeypunching your mother and fucking her ass with a white-hot tire-iron while you helplessly watch from the front lawn wrapped in extension cords and a mouth full of my month-old gym socks

that's terrorism

n/t (1)

jthill (303417) | about 6 years ago | (#24350683)

(replying to undo mouse-o'd mod)

Re:This is harassment (1)

twatter (867120) | about 6 years ago | (#24350483)

I agree that this will be a form of harassment.

But the term 'terrorism' is out of place here.

Other than that, I agree with your sentiment.

The FSF seems to justify things like these because they believe in their cause. Many good things have come from people who acted that way. But in this case, they're interfering with free choice, with people's choice to buy Apple products. Just to make a statement on an aspect of commerical law they don't like.

That's wrong.

Re:This is harassment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24350615)

Why is the parent modded troll? It's completely accurate.

All this plan does is harass employees at Apple Stores, piss off people who actually need tech support, and make the FSF look like assholes. Great fucking job, guys.

Re:This is harassment (0, Troll)

antime (739998) | about 6 years ago | (#24350699)

Having people standing around with soap and buckets of water should be enough to keep the FSF at bay.

Here's what they will accomplish: (5, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 6 years ago | (#24350333)

(1) Interfere with people who need tech support.

(2) Piss off Apple customers and turn them away from F/OSS.

(3) Absolutely no change in Apple policy.

I'm glad to use F/OSS on my Mac, including a great deal of software produced under the FSF umbrella, and I have released software, developed on the Mac, under the GPL. The success of OS X has created a huge new market for those who develop on Unix-type systems. Braindead stunts like this really don't help.

Re:Here's what they will accomplish: (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24350417)

We (Free Software Developers and Activists) don't care about Developers like you. Freedom is more important than prettyness and the fact that in the prettyness-vs-freedom debate you choose the former shows we cannot expect much from you.

What you say is bullshit. Stay in your Borders-and-Walls-BSD and let us deliver freedom to the users.

Re:Here's what they will accomplish: (0)

Redfeather (1033680) | about 6 years ago | (#24350451)

I love how people who hate Slashdot spend enough time here to make inane and pedantic comments like this.

Way to go, lurker. Way to go.

Re:Here's what they will accomplish: (1)

yammosk (861527) | about 6 years ago | (#24350497)

Stay in your Borders-and-Walls-BSD and let us deliver freedom to the users.

Whom have you (or the FSF) freed by this stunt?

Re:Here's what they will accomplish: (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about 6 years ago | (#24350555)

If you care so much and have done so much, why are you posting anonymously?

Re:Here's what they will accomplish: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24350437)

while i agree with you i do want to point out that apple users in no way, shape or form care about foss in a progressive way. the eight or so guys here who do, please, don't respond about it. the truth is that you represent an insanely small slice of the apple pie. this same pie is largely built of people who don't give a fuck about propriety matters and vendor lock in. if you did you wouldn't have bought an apple in the first place.

Re:Here's what they will accomplish: (4, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | about 6 years ago | (#24350445)

No kidding. This reminds me when those Truth ad people who go to some quiet neighborhood with a megaphone and make loud obnoxious asses of themselves in the middle of the night. Because one of the houses, supposedly, was owned by someone who made money from tobacco. Michael Moore uses this tactic all the time, also-- you can't talk to the CEO of the company, just harass their receptionist and security guys. Great thinking, there.

Re:Here's what they will accomplish: (1)

wumpus188 (657540) | about 6 years ago | (#24350533)

Actually, as Mac OS X has its userland derived from BSD, there's not much FSF software on a Mac. The only big exception currently is gcc and that's gonna change soon when Xcode will switch to LLVM.

Re:Here's what they will accomplish: (1)

larry bagina (561269) | about 6 years ago | (#24350727)

initially, they'll probably use llvm-gcc (in fact, it's included with XCode now).

sounds good to me (1)

speedtux (1307149) | about 6 years ago | (#24350545)

(1) Interfere with people who need tech support.
(2) Piss off Apple customers and turn them away from F/OSS.
(3) Absolutely no change in Apple policy.

Given that the majority of Apple's operating system consists of FOSS, does that mean that Apple customers will stop buying Apple? Good!

Re:sounds good to me (4, Insightful)

LihTox (754597) | about 6 years ago | (#24350725)

does that mean that Apple customers will stop buying Apple? Good!
If you're a Microsoft fanboy, then I have nothing to say to you.

If you're a UNIX/Linux supporter, however, you need to realize how important Apple has been to you. By maintaining a just-large-enough marketshare during the past two decades, Apple has kept alive the idea in the general public that Windows isn't the only possible operating system, keeping the door openn for Linux. Every ad for MacOS is also an ad for "not Windows" and therefore an ad (in part) for Linux and Unix, an ad which the Linux/UNIX community can't afford to run by itself. Everytime a group of Apple fans force a company to support a second operating system in their organization, they make it easier for Linux users to force them to support three.

Apple products aren't perfect, but they are good enough to hold off the behemoth, and that's been worth something.

Re:Here's what they will accomplish: (5, Insightful)

kithrup (778358) | about 6 years ago | (#24350571)

(3) Absolutely no change in Apple policy.

I disagree -- it'll make it clearer to Apple executives that open source people are ungrateful jerks who should be ignored at least, and possibly actively campaigned against.

I can find plenty of fault with Apple's open source policies... but they do have some, and they have made some pretty significant offerings. Yes, they could do more, and I'm sure there are plenty of Apple engineers who argue for that every day.

And those arguments get a lot harder to make with stunts like this.

Re:Here's what they will accomplish: (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 6 years ago | (#24350583)

This makes me think of Transmission. [] It started on the Mac, came to linux, and is now a default Ubuntu package. Of course it spurns the FSF and uses an MIT license. [] I wonder if it is because of bone headed stunts like this?

Re:Here's what they will accomplish: (2, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 6 years ago | (#24350713)

I'm not sure it didn't help. This is the first time I've heard of the Apple "Genius Bars" and just the fact that Apple has something called "Genius Bars" for Mac users reinforces my commitment not to use Apple products.

If the billboards with the silhouettes of cool people dancing wasn't enough, the "Genius Bars" confirms my suspicions that Apple jumped the shark when they came out with the iPod and then did everything they could to lock it into their own music store. Pity, too, because they make a nice operating system.

I admit that the problem is mine and not Apple's. It's just that everything about Apple's approach to marketing their products creeps me out and causes me to experience an anxious nausea whenever I come into contact with their products or with dedicated users of their products. It's hard to bask in the cultural phenomenon that is Apple when you're nauseous.

Whatever (4, Insightful)

hansoloaf (668609) | about 6 years ago | (#24350337)

Whatever happened to the concept of freedom of choice? Some may not like Apple or Microsoft but to act in a manner that denies others freedom to choose the product they want does not make sense.

I would go through the education route - educate people why buying from Apple/Microsoft is bad. Also would teach about the differences of open and proprietary software etc.
Best way to deal with the proprietary companies is by the bottom line of the companies not interfering with individual rights.

Re:Whatever (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24350521)

The FSF does support complete freedom of choice. Just so long as the set of items you're choosing from are the ones they've given you.

Re:Whatever (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 6 years ago | (#24350637)

A.K.A. the Henry Ford color palette.

Avast! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24350339)

Aren't there whaling ships these doofuses could be badgering?

DoSing is OK now? (4, Insightful)

Fex303 (557896) | about 6 years ago | (#24350343)

Will the FSF complain when Apple releases a software update that makes every Apple machine hit the FSF servers every couple of minutes?

I mean, if you're going to start a DDoS fight, don't complain when someone steps up and gives you the same treatment.

Re:DoSing is OK now? (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about 6 years ago | (#24350499)

Umm, they are trying to spread the word via activism.

What you're referring to is illegal.

If Apple had people try to poke hole's in FSF';s theories through spam the difference is that it'd be easier to sort through and would hold apple accountable.

Re:DoSing is OK now? (2, Interesting)

m0rph3us0 (549631) | about 6 years ago | (#24350557)

So is public mischief.

Re:DoSing is OK now? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24350657)

What you're referring to is illegal.

I'll bet what they're proposing is, too.

Re:DoSing is OK now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24350705)

Going around harassing random tech support guys while preventing people who need help from getting it isn't exactly "activism". I'd say it's "harassment".

Re:DoSing is OK now? (1)

HappySmileMan (1088123) | about 6 years ago | (#24350515)

No they won't complain, they'll get about 8 new visitors to their site, almost doubling their reach

Re:DoSing is OK now? (3, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | about 6 years ago | (#24350709)

This is just like any protest. You'll get tons of people defending "freedom" of protesters to deny freedom to other people.

If your software is really FREE, then why shouldn't Apple be FREE to say no to it without any consequences?

Re-read the GPLv3 (1)

shareme (897587) | about 6 years ago | (#24350351)

ah re-check the GPLv3 it addresses the web as service point..I think a few folks forgot to read it..

Brilliant (5, Insightful)

Nimey (114278) | about 6 years ago | (#24350353)

Waste the time of large numbers of people who have nothing to do with making decisions for Apple, and also the time of those people who actually need help with their Apple equipment.

That'll win hearts and minds for sure.

Re:Brilliant (-1, Flamebait)

AllIGotWasThisNick (1309495) | about 6 years ago | (#24350573)

(Score:5, Insightful)


Waste the time of large numbers of people who have nothing to do with making decisions for Apple

Since they are not the decision makers at Apple, what negative affect does wasting their time have on the alleged "attackers"? Since the target effect is to spend Apple's money (something the real decision makers WILL notice), your implication that "hearts and minds" (whose?) should be relevant is just silly. Apple's pocketbook is what they're aiming for -- hearts and minds belong to people, not companies. Do you think these Apple users will stop buying "Free Software" because of this?

and also the time of those people who actually need help with their Apple equipment.

Why don't they book a time slot? Or is the web server slow from all the new bookings? Or do you imply the inflammatory interpretation in TFS is correct? Have you RTFA? Your /. ID suggests you might not have.

As a mac using free software supporter... (5, Insightful)

John Allsup (987) | about 6 years ago | (#24350369)

I'm appalled that the FSF could resort to such negative tactics.

They need to be setting a good example if they are to have any chance of convincing people of the importance of free software. This just plays straight into the hands of those that wish to paint free software advocates as over-idealistic zealots with no concern for practicality -- the exact opposite of what a group like the FSF should be doing.

IRL trolls FTL (5, Insightful)

snarfies (115214) | about 6 years ago | (#24350371)

While trolling online can be entertaining, trolling IRL sucks. The guys working at these places are probably just trying to get by in this world - they have nothing to do with Apple's corporate decisions. They don't need this kind of harassment. And while they don't need that kind of harassment, the other people who are locked out of actually getting, you know, actual legitimate support REALLY won't appreciate this move - if anything, it'll make them hate the FSF.

The Best Way... (2, Insightful)

Redfeather (1033680) | about 6 years ago | (#24350379)

The best way to make anyone else look bad, is to suceed and make yourself look better.

FSF Fails.

DOS attacks? What on earth? (4, Insightful)

Calibax (151875) | about 6 years ago | (#24350381)

In the past I've supported the FSF. This is not what I expect from such an organization.

Denial of Service attacks (of any kind) should not be perpetrated by honorable people. Does this have the general support of the FSF? What the hell do they think they are playing at?

Shut Up and Make Something Better (5, Insightful)

SteveM (11242) | about 6 years ago | (#24350393)

Want to make Apple irrelevant?

It's fucking simple.

Make something better. Something that users want to use more than Apple products.

DOS attacks on genius bars is pretty infantile. And certainly won't endear the FSF to the people they are trying to reach.

Maybe FSJ was right, they are freetards.


Re:Shut Up and Make Something Better (3, Insightful)

Daimanta (1140543) | about 6 years ago | (#24350431)

"Want to make Apple irrelevant?

It's fucking simple.

Make something better. Something that users want to use more than Apple products. "

1. Linux is better than Windows
2. ?????
3. No profit?!

Hey, it doesn't work! Because the better things aren't always the most popular things. That's reality, tough shit.

Re:Shut Up and Make Something Better (2, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | about 6 years ago | (#24350477)

There are many tasks (and segments of the population) for which Linux is not better than Windows. So you haven't hit condition one there, yet.

Re:Shut Up and Make Something Better (4, Insightful)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about 6 years ago | (#24350647)

It doesn't work because #1 is false for most people.

Re:Shut Up and Make Something Better (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | about 6 years ago | (#24350715)

MS has a monopoly to abuse and is constantly taking actions to break interoperability with competitors. It doesn't matter if Linux is better than Windows, because that still won't allow it to gain market share.

What are you proposing Apple has a monopoly on and what actions on their part are abusing said monopoly to prevent competing free software from gaining market share?

Re:Shut Up and Make Something Better (1)

gblfxt (931709) | about 6 years ago | (#24350443)

free software already does make something better, and apple is using it.

Yeah, that's pretty typical... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24350397)

Act like complete jerks and make everyone's life difficult. Then, complain when people don't listen. Stallman is outdoing himself.

Oh cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24350399)

Maybe it will turn out like everybody's favorite troll's alleged experience [] at an Apple Store. Judging by the discussion here [] started by one of his sockpuppets, that probably won't fly very well.

I considered for a bit the kind of person who will actually join the FSF in this stupid little stunt. Remember, this does not require the anonymity of the internet. They probably share twitter's unique worldview and thought process. Afterwards they'll claim they were insulted and yelled at. They'll claim Apple is evil and their "behavior" is just proof of that. They'll call anyone who uses Apple products is a moron. They'll write blogs about it and link to the "official" postmortem analysis for years to come when arguing about the perils of companies who dare keep their commercial advantages to themselves.

In the end, as usual, they'll just prove they're completely out of touch with reality and painfully wrong. Unfortunately no one on the outside ever seems to be willing to notify them. Too many sacred cows wrapped in too many sacred mantles.

I think I'm coming if they do this in my city. I'm a projection masochist and wouldn't miss it for the world.

Stupid Eejits (1)

sjf (3790) | about 6 years ago | (#24350407)

Apple's not perfect by any means, but this is just going to piss people off: not Apple, so much as Apple's customers and towards the FSF I imagine.

Sure DRM sucks, but in my opinion it was the price Apple had to pay in order to get the record industry to begin to see sense.

Any, while we're at it, Apple stores suit me just fine. I've bought Apple equipment in three continents and gotten over the counter warranty replacement twice at genius bars on the other side of the planet. Show me another consumer electronics company that can do that.

(Not Sony Ericsson, they won't touch my Euro cellphone in the US)

Perhaps the point here is to piss off some overzealous security guards into escorting them out of Apple stores and turn it into an "Apple hates civil rights as well as fair use rights" scandal ?

Draco Dormiens numquam titilllandus

Re:Stupid Eejits (1)

kemushi88 (1156073) | about 6 years ago | (#24350599)

I agree. Apple has, with iTunes plus, shown that it is more than happy to distribute DRM-free music. I believe it is the record industry that it forcing the copy protection on the music. Apple has, at least in some sense, done a lot by changing the status quo and working against the wishes of the recording industry (like keeping prices at a somewhat reasonable 99 cents and allowing people to have content indefinitely instead of renting).

Geniuses are not Company Spokesmen (4, Interesting)

codeonezero (540302) | about 6 years ago | (#24350419)

Having previously worked at an Apple Store several years back (and even if I hadn't). I can tell you most people will probably get a "I'm sorry I can not answer that question. Please call corporate to get answers to your question."

Unless Apple has noticed this and given an internal memo of detailed responses to give out, this is the response you will get even from a store manager or supervisor.

Some geniuses may actually give you their own personal view on things but they wont represent Apple, nor will Apple necessarily stand behind said responses.

The only benefit of this is perhaps making more Apple customers aware of what the issues are, if they happen to overhear the conversation.

If you will be participating in this, I'd recommend staying polite. Being a stuck up customer trying to stick it to the man via a part-time, full-time non-corporate employee is not going to win you many friends or make people willing to listen to your cause.

Re:Geniuses are not Company Spokesmen (0, Flamebait)

NaCh0 (6124) | about 6 years ago | (#24350605)

Thank you for being honest and pointing out that "genious" is a misnomer at the mac store. Corporate Pawn would be a much more accurate job title.

Re:Geniuses are not Company Spokesmen (2, Insightful)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about 6 years ago | (#24350613)

The assholes doing this don't care about that. They think they will impress Apple by wasting time and money. They think they will influence Apple's customers and bring the customers to their side.

Basically, the people doing this are self-righteous, arrogant, stupid assholes.

And, unlike so many who support them, and some of those who oppose them, I am willing to stand behind my words because I am not a coward, anonymous or otherwise.

What a joke (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24350423)

LOL, enjoy your crap QT Mobile interface. I will continue enjoying my slick new iPhone. The quality of applications that have already been released far exceed that of (most) open source applications. Not talking about the kernel it self, which is an amazing beast. Talking about g.

I agree that Apple is too restrictive on what applications they allow, however they have a contract with AT&T they need to protect. They also have contracts with like 77 other carriers. People kind of forget this, those agreements are put in place to protect the mobile networks. Can you imagine a bot net running on it ?

DRM in music ... I totally 100% agree, it needs to be done with. However, until the remaining 90 y/o, fat, grossly overpaid music executives die off, there isn't going to be a change here. How much have I spent on iTunes ? Over $400. Why ? I hate going to music stores, I stopped doing that MANY years ago. I have a choice, steal the music off P2P or download it legally from iTunes.

For the Nth time... (5, Informative)

Space cowboy (13680) | about 6 years ago | (#24350441)

Apple does NOT [] (repeat that, NOT [] ) prevent people from developing open-source applications. The FSF's rant was just that, an uninformed screed directed at a company that doesn't play ball with the FSF's politics.

Proof: Read the first link. I downloaded some source from the 'net, I compiled it, I modified it and compiled it again, then I installed it on my phone and it works just fine.

I had an email exchange with the author of the FSF's rant, and pointed out his errors. I think he and I still disagree, but to not even acknowledge the possibility that FOSS s/w is just fine and peachy on the iphone is intellectually dishonest. Not that that will stop the crazies from apple-hating... [sigh]


Re:For the Nth time... (5, Insightful)

DeadChobi (740395) | about 6 years ago | (#24350577)

Crap like this stunt are what make it difficult to have any kind of serious discussion of the merits and drawbacks of using open source software without being branded a Luinix Zealot. Seriously, if you're going to advocate freedom you should at least understand what the word means. It shouldn't mean that everyone is required to produce and use exclusively modifiable software. It should mean that everyone has the right to choose the best software for their intended outcome.

For example, there are Linux distributions which don't carry any kind of closed-source or proprietary software in their package managers. I respond to that by choosing not to use those distributions. I don't campaign vehemently against them and ignore other possibilities. Right now I'm on Windows because it works for me and what I want to accomplish. The FSF sounds like an organization which would desperately like me to not be free to choose Windows. I tried Ubuntu, and it just wasn't my thing.

Can these zealots at least acknowledge that it's possible for more than one opinion to exist in the world?

It's like Critical Mass... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24350457)

...only nerdier!

Re:It's like Critical Mass... (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about 6 years ago | (#24350625)

That reminds me. I need to run over some Critical Mass bike riders on Friday.

At least they're consistent (3, Insightful)

sheldon (2322) | about 6 years ago | (#24350469)

Most of the /. crowd isn't really into free software, they just hate Microsoft. So it's funny watching the responses to this.

Harassing retail workers, now? (1)

Legion_SB (1300215) | about 6 years ago | (#24350475)

Apple "Genius Bar geniuses" are retail workers, no matter how gussied up an Apple Store may be.

What kind of complete morons think they will accomplish something by harassing poor retail workers that have not one iota of control over what they're being harassed about?

Well... you've got no chance of making me use the stupid "GNU/Linux" name NOW.

what a bunch of douchebags (1)

larry bagina (561269) | about 6 years ago | (#24350489)

Maybe all the 4chan guys should come here and post pro-hitler/anti-jew comments!

Re:what a bunch of douchebags (1)

DwarfGoanna (447841) | about 6 years ago | (#24350611)

Or alternately, call Apple stores asking when they can pre-order Battletoads [] for the Mac.

Doomed to failure... (1)

actionbastard (1206160) | about 6 years ago | (#24350495)

""and then ask the "geniuses", over and over again, a few questions about Apple's proprietary ways..."
This will only get them thrown out of the store. Apple still has the right to refuse service to anyone in their stores. The managers of the Apple stores will see this as a disruption to their operation and those that refuse to leave when asked, will be forcibly removed. Count on it.
If the FOS community wants to compete with Apple, make the software better. Make it easier to use for the average person. Make it available to more people by getting it installed on new machines or as the default installed OS from major manufacturers, not just as a hard-to-find option from Dell. Competing on a business level will yield better results than conducting a one geek jihad against a corporation that has used free software to it's advantage. Business is tough thing for most FOS geeks to get, but if you don't 'smarten-up', throw in the towel now.
As for Microsoft being irrelevant, that sounds like desperate talk. I've heard that before from companies that were doomed by their own hubris and failed to see the looming precipice. Ignore them and they will roll over you when you least expect it.

Maybe later they can join up with PETA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24350527)

And harass some cashiers at McDonalds. I'm sure whatever OS those machines are running isn't free.

Way to bite a hand that feeds you FSF. (3, Interesting)

plasmacutter (901737) | about 6 years ago | (#24350529)

I'm getting really tired of people bashing apple as "locked down" with DRM.

Last time I checked, it was the other guy who spent upwards of a decade re-engineering their entire os with the specific purpose of DRM, causing massive GFX and audio card driver instability and feature stripping which goes on to this day.. but back on topic here: apple isn't "locked down".

Their kernel is OSS, they allow the development of third party "haxies" for their OS and official apps (see chax, synergy, etc), and their unix based system serves as a large "main-stream" market for many products which would otherwise have a much smaller user base.

This is the reason why I use osx.. it combines the benefits of OSS with the benefits of proprietary, while retaining very few of the drawbacks.

FSF just jumped the shark (1)

SteeldrivingJon (842919) | about 6 years ago | (#24350541)

Now we watch them fade into irrelevance.

Oh, their software will still be used. But they're no longer going to be ideologically influential.

It's no wonder (0)

coolgeek (140561) | about 6 years ago | (#24350547)

with such juvenile tactics that the free software movement continues to fail in its efforts to gain wider acceptance.

Time to rename the FSF to the Fascist Software Foundation. BSD License FTW!

Those who do and those who complian (1)

fermion (181285) | about 6 years ago | (#24350553)

In every pressure group there are going to be jerks that are just in the group to garner attention by pissing people off. Because they want attention, the get attention, and make it looks like that is the primary goal of the pressure group. The people actually doing work, and fighting for arguably reasonable changes by arguably legitimate means get locked out.

Another issue in such groups is the distinction between the workers and the bitchers. A few in such groups actually keep the thing going, either through in kind goods and services or direct monetary payments. Most are just idle supporters. A few just like to complain about those who do the work. If a person is creating a useful product that is consistent with his or her cause, what gives anyone the right to complain about it. That is how that person wishes to express his or her beliefs. If you think another line of action is appropriate, do it, but do something constructive, and don't just complain or throw a party. That does not solve anything any more than Woodstock prevented babyboomers from sending a new generation to an ineffective conflict. It might be fun to disrupt Apple stores, but that will not get rid of Apple. Just like MS, a useful product must be developed to dislodge MS. For instance, Amazon has DRM free music, so Apple will presumable have a harder time selling DRM music, and the iPod lockin that is the purpose of such DRM will be diminished p The google lockin will be broken by a better search engine. MS cannot do this. Apple has no reason to do so. Those who want to dislodge much do so. Some will say it impossible, but look at the crap that investors are supporters. The difference between this crap and new search engine is that a search engine that can dislodge google will be hard to create, and so people just choose to complain instead. It was the same with MS. MS was the simple solution, so most would pay the tribute, then complain about it. As far as I can tell, firms like Apple and the FSF were the only ones will to endure the discomfort necessary to get us to the place where MS might be vulnerable.

What will actually happen (3, Funny)

coolgeek (140561) | about 6 years ago | (#24350587)

Genius: do you own an Apple Product?
Moron: uh, um, no.
Genius: Next!


Genius: do you own an Apple Product?
Moron: yes, here's my iPhone 3G. Why don't you guys support XYZ
Genius: Use the source, put your app on the AppStore

Why Screw the Rest of US? (1) (745855) | about 6 years ago | (#24350591)

Don't those jerks from FSF have anything better to do? Here are a couple suggestions:

1) Write better documentation for your open source apps.
2) Create better installers that don't require me to re-complie your software to get it to work right.
3) Spend some time trying to explain what your apps do to people who DIDN'T write them.
4) Get that "Mac killer" desktop you keep talking about done.
5) Take a shower and get a girlfriend.

Actually read the text of the email... (4, Interesting)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | about 6 years ago | (#24350607)

A link [] that I got in my email, to the full text of what the FSF is doing here.

From TFA:

Because this is the only way to get the entertainment industry to agree to allow its content to be distributed as openly as it has with Apple, and because Apple wants to make sure it makes money.

From the link:

Jobs is the largest individual shareholder at Disney, and he could insist that its films be DRM-free.

From TFA:

As to the third question, no one cares where you go. Get over it.

Anyone who believes this, where are you right now? Boxers or briefs? How long is your penis / how big are your tits?

If you feel uncomfortable sharing these details with me, keep in mind, you at least have some idea [] who I am. You have no idea who's tracking you at Apple or AT&T.

What's the recourse if this douche is wrong?

The fourth question? It's not a question. At least put a question mark at the end to pretend.

That's only because you didn't read the whole question. Again, from the FSF:

If Jobs really wants to see open formats, why doesn't the iPhone play Ogg Vorbis, Ogg Theora video and FLAC?

Anyone who says "because it would cost money" is a moron. All of these formats have free implementations -- in fact, as far as I know, all of them have free, patent-free, royalty-free, and MIT license at worst, which means if iTunes is at all pluggable, it should take one engineer maybe two hours to add support for them, if that.

I think this is kind of an extreme action, and I can't really support it. But then, maybe extreme actions are exactly what's needed. (And maybe that's just Dark Knight rubbing off on me.)

Wow. (1)

chaz373 (671243) | about 6 years ago | (#24350609)

Amazing, in ten years MSFT has gone from being a monopoly with its 90% OS market share, to becoming irrelevant with its 90% OS market share. I really love the new math.

What a bunch of loons (1)

willmc (167287) | about 6 years ago | (#24350631)

It's sad to see this target the part of Apple (geniuses) that is filled with people who genuinely want to help people. Worse yet, geniuses are specifically instructed to not deviate from pre-written answers to a lot of these questions, thus making any sort of discussion impossible. Instead of all these fools going through all the effort of making appointments, trekking to a store, waiting for their appointment, making their speech, then trekking home, why don't they just send a letter to Or write the record labels that put these restrictions into place at the beginning? At least then it'll be directed towards someone who can actually effect change, and it won't be at the cost of keeping tech support from people who actually need it. As long as the Defective By Design project continues to prefer showboating to actually effecting change, I'll continue to not take them seriously. Unfortunate, given that I'm on the same side as them.

Apple Genius Bars (1)

ettlz (639203) | about 6 years ago | (#24350633)

Do they contain nuts?

Brevity, Please (1)

pipingguy (566974) | about 6 years ago | (#24350645)

There should be more links in the submitted article in order to guarantee that NO ONE RsTFAs. Not that RTFA is a tradition around here.

Google thrived with the web, webmasters. (1)

unity100 (970058) | about 6 years ago | (#24350667)

yea. in case you forgot, back in late 90s, while all big ad agencies were crooking their nose in regard to small webmasters, site owners, google have accepted them and started adwords/adsense with them. as you can remember, this was the final sling that catapulted google to the level that it can compete with microsoft. then all big boys, who were shunning small webmasters, site owners have fired up adsense/adwords like services. this is how we came to this point.

the point of this is, actually not google, but most of the web depends on such small webmasters, content producers, publishers - ie, basically 'the people'.

its not a good idea to upset them. especially if youre dependent on them.

i dont think anyone on google would be stupid enough to do anything that would damage the web and its freedoms as we know it, for it would be a very, very bad move in regard to PR with bazillions of small webmasters/community leaders/publishers out there.

Tags... (1)

NemosomeN (670035) | about 6 years ago | (#24350669)

Why hasn't this article been tagged 4chan yet? Yeah, that's how immature they are being. I haven't seen anyone on here agree with what they are doing yet. Go back to /i/ and stop breaking things people legitimately use, just because they don't want to use yours.

Microsoft Irrelevant? Hardly... (4, Insightful)

PocketPick (798123) | about 6 years ago | (#24350677)

Microsoft "irrelevant"? Those are odd words for a company that still maintains a 90% operating system market share, an equivalent market share percentage for office and productivity software, and what was (till a few weeks ago) the top selling current-gen video game console in the United States.

And that's not counting Microsoft Exchange Server, SQL Server, their development platforms such as Visual Studio and a host of other profitable and well known product lines.

I agree that some of their attempts at breaking into new markets (see Zune, Windows Mobile, Live) have been failures or mixed successes at best, but to regard MSFT as "irrelevant" because headlines about them are not plastering your favorite blogs seems to demonstrate a high disregard for the facts.

FUCK THE FSF!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24350679)



So when you grow up, and stop acting like children, and deliver a desktop that doesn't suck you will convert more, now I just don't care.

You are all a bunch of whackjobs, I will now form my own FSF like organization, yup, it is time to fork the project.

kinda like critical mass promotes cycle commuting. (1)

dotmax (642602) | about 6 years ago | (#24350689)

fsck-up things for everyone else to make a "point".. kinda like critical mass gridlocks drivers on their way home on random fridays to show how fun bike riding can be. Thanks for the assist, NOT.

utter douchebaggery (2, Insightful)

pohl (872) | about 6 years ago | (#24350691)

What a brilliantly-conceived suicidal PR campaign. I can't wait until clang/llvm reaches the point where Apple can kick the FSF's stagnant compiler to the curb. Cut that weed off at the roots.

If Microsoft was the victim.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24350703)

...most of the replies would be of the "LOL" variety.

Face palm (1)

phuul (997836) | about 6 years ago | (#24350733)

The FSF has laudable goals. I don't dispute that.

However stunts like this will only get them lumped in with other organizations that have used their good intentions to help build a couple of super highways to hell like PETA and Greenpeace. The only reason that the FSF is targeting Apple is because anything having to do with Apple gets press. Period.

Congratulations FSF! You are now the annoying guy on the corner shouting about the end of days.
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