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FSF Attacks Windows 7's "Sins" In New Campaign

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the a-long-way-to-absolution dept.

Windows 926

CWmike writes "The Free Software Foundation today launched a campaign against Microsoft Corp.'s upcoming Windows 7 operating system, calling it 'treacherous computing' that stealthily takes away rights from users. At the Web site Windows7Sins.org, the Boston-based FSF lists the seven 'sins' that proprietary software such as Windows 7 commits against computer users. They include: Poisoning education, locking in users, abusing standards such as OpenDocument Format (ODF), leveraging monopolistic behavior, threatening user security, enforcing Digital Rights Management (DRM) at the request of entertainment companies concerned about movie and music piracy, and invading privacy. 'Windows, for some time now, has really been a DRM platform, restricting you from making copies of digital files,' said executive director Peter Brown. And if Microsoft's Trusted Computing technology were fully implemented the way the company would like, the vendor would have 'malicious and really complete control over your computer.'"

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And we should attack the FSF... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29213551)

for this stupid "sins" campaign.

There has already been some uproar about this being a stupid campaign, it'd be nice to see more.

It's time to tell the FSF to stop being stupid about this, stop spreading FUD, and instead *promote* free software instead of just bashing windows.

Re:And we should attack the FSF... (4, Funny)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213629)

There has already been some uproar about this being a stupid campaign

Sure there has. I hear Steve threw some chairs around again.

Re:And we should attack the FSF... (4, Insightful)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213773)

One thing is spreading FUD. A very different thing is spreading the truth in a blatantly sensationalist manner.

Re:And we should attack the FSF... (0, Troll)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213931)

You mean like "Richard Stallman is fucking insane so he shouldn't be left alone with children!"

Your right. Thats a fucking badass way to spread the little irrelevant nuggets of truth.

Re:And we should attack the FSF... (4, Insightful)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213775)

Exactly. Those which often cry "freedom" often forget that my freedom includes the freedom of choosing the choices they dislike. I have chosen Windows 7, and I'm damn happy I did so.

Re:And we should attack the FSF... (0, Flamebait)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213943)

At the risk of being yelled at for a Godwin, remember that Hitler was bought to power in an election as legitimate as some recent US ones.

Point is not that MS are Nazis (Such comparisons diminish the horrors of Nazism), but that certain free choices diminish choice further down the line. The FSF aren't telling people Windows 7 ought to be banned; they are trying to warn people that choosing Windows 7 will impact on their choices further down the line.

Re:And we should attack the FSF... (4, Insightful)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213863)

The Slahsdot crowd is not the target audience, and I do think this campaign does a few things right:

- trying to take the moral high ground... the use of "sins" is even funny. Sinners vs hackers ?
- being back-to-basics... most people are not aware at all of the issues, and not well equipped to understand them. So yeah, maybe this campaign is stupid... maybe it needs to be ?
- negativity... I personnally don't like that, but we've seen time and time again that negativity just works. It's not like MS's took any sort of moral high ground that's make us want to behave like gentlemen...
- the actual point they make are not actually bad. I'd have gone for more in-your-face, practical stuff though.

I'm sure the FSF would welcome any better ideas. As the French say: "La critique est aisee, mais l'art est difficile".

I personnaly may suggest a 1984ish dystopia, with someone and someone's grandchildren trying to acces photos, music, videos, even journal, only to be denied again and again, then punished out of proportion. The issue with that is that 1984 is a "liberal" reference, we want something conservative.

Re:And we should attack the FSF... (2, Insightful)

Lundse (1036754) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213923)

I am not sure it is FUD if it is true...

And certainly one should promote FS more than bash windows - but most everyone will compare against windows (and Mac), so maybe talking about the limitations and problems with Windows and Mac is not such a bad place to start to talk about Free Software...?

Slogan time (1)

initialE (758110) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213969)

I said it before, I'll say it again.
"The all-new Windows 7! What's in the box? "

Re:And we should attack the FSF... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29214043)

Parent is right.

Okay, I might not be a GNU/linux user, but I've regarded what I know of the FSF with respect. That respect is now gone.
Come on, you're going to spend the money people give you (the FSF) on trolling and bashing?

I thought the FSF was about spreading the good, rather than fighting the bad.

These people are delusional. (4, Insightful)

dnaumov (453672) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213563)

And then they wonder why noone is taking the FSF seriously. Thankfully, they are not representative of the open source movement.

Re:These people are delusional. (3, Insightful)

BerntB (584621) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213607)

I understand your irritation -- FSF present Microsoft's standard behavior as if it were news. Wasted my time checking it out, too.

Re:These people are delusional. (4, Insightful)

shentino (1139071) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213717)

On the other hand, why should we let microsoft get away with being evil even if it's the status quo?

Would you let a polluter who has polluted for years get a break when you catch them doing something?

In short, what I'm saying is, that evil shouldn't be protected by a grandfather clause.

Re:These people are delusional. (4, Insightful)

impaledsunset (1337701) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213751)

Not everybody is aware of the "Microsoft's standard behaviour", and not everybody is realizing it is an issue. So FSF are starting a campaign that raises awareness of the issues. It might have wasted _your_ time, but that doesn't matter. It's not aimed at you.

Re:These people are delusional. (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213877)

newsflash... it's news to most people.

Re:These people are delusional. (1, Interesting)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213647)

These people are delusional.

If you have can point to some part of their argument that's flawed, then do so. Otherwise, stop the smear campaign. I half suspect you're being paid to attack the FSF by the one organisation that has something to lose from the truth getting out.

Re:These people are delusional. (4, Funny)

dnaumov (453672) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213655)

Otherwise, stop the smear campaign.

Oh the irony,

Re: smear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29213765)

pap

Re:These people are delusional. (4, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213711)

The delusion is thinking that screaming terms like "abuse" (repeated over and over), "poisoning education" (think of teh childraaan!) and "bribing officials" (libel ahoy!) is going to win hearts and minds.

Throwing shit at Microsoft is just going to get the FSF's hands smeared in crap. If they do persuade anyone to come off the Microsoft teat, they're more likely to drive them to MacOS than to a FOSS system.

Do you understand that? I typed it really slowly to make it easier.

Re:These people are delusional. (2, Insightful)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213921)

- is your point that negative advertising doesn't work ? are you really sure ?
- yep, "think of the children" never ever worked at all
- no, we should never ever use legal references to smear a convicted felon's character. Unfair, and uneffective
- please, feel free to contribute better ideas...

this, typed even more slowly

Re:These people are delusional. (1)

Lundse (1036754) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213953)

So we should not tell the truth about Microsoft, because the truth is so bad it looks like a smear campaign?

Wow!

The guys in marketing will stand in awe of that logic.

(I do believe, though, that when the truth looks this bad, one should be very careful with ones sources. So I definitely think the FSF should have been better at having a few simple links to the existing proof of wrong-doing).

Re:These people are delusional. (4, Insightful)

dnaumov (453672) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213745)

If you have can point to some part of their argument that's flawed, then do so.

Are you for real? Here is just 1 gem from their "campaign":

4. Lock-in: Microsoft regularly attempts to force updates on its users, by removing support for older versions of Windows and Office, and by inflating hardware requirements. For many people, this means having to throw away working computers just because they don't meet the unnecessary requirements for the new Windows versions.

Are you insane? Removing support for older versions?

Windows 2000 (released on Feb 17, 2000) is supported until 13 July 2010.

Windows XP (released in Aug 2001 is supported until April 8, 2014

Now please, list for me, the free software OS distributions that are provided with security fixes for 10-12 years after release?

Re:These people are delusional. (0, Flamebait)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213801)

The argument from the freetards runs probably in the direction that you need to be current on software assurance to go from XP to 7, but going from Debian 2.x to Debian 3.x is free.

Re:These people are delusional. (4, Funny)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#29214037)

Wow. You made a portmanteau of the words 'free' and 'retard'. Well, thats me converted. I'm going to format my Linux box, spend a few hundred on Windows and install it today!

Re:These people are delusional. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29213829)

The source for those older free distro is available in repositories... get some one to compile it and zingo, it's 2000 again.

What they were really talking about is constantly f*sking with their file formats so that when a user with a new system sends a document to a user with an old system the recipient can't open it... even if the document does not use any of the new 'features' of the updated software... and they then suffer the social shame of *still* being on last year's s/w? There is no reason for it other than to trap people into upgrade cycles that are spurious.

FWIW, read up on how MS put the pork sword to an entire nation of school kids here in Australia... words like 'abuse', 'corruption' and 'fuck' are about the only things you can say when it comes to this little gem of policy designed to get every kid aged 13 and above to do their homework on MS and Adobe products... a purported $5500 worth of 'value' in software alone... who wouldn't want that?

-cb

Re:These people are delusional. (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213835)

Agreed, I wonder when is the RedHat Linux 6 support going to end? or what about Linux-Mandrake 8? Or Debian is 2.2r2., all released around the same time that Windows 2000, or even later.

Re:These people are delusional. (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213999)

1- with free software, updates are ... free. so being forced to upgrade is not quite as bad as with Windows.
1b- even then, anyone can offer support+update for OSS stuff. I'm sure someone somewhere still supports 10-year old versions of linux.
2- traditionnally, they are not as vital either. I''m fairly sure a properly configured linux pc can be left as-is for more than a year, even a handful of years. a Windows PC sure can't.
3- MS removes older versions form the sales channel, forcing you to not only buy the new ones, but to upgrade all your PCs to maintain coherency, then also removes support, and with bad security to start with, you can't live without updates. Ever heard of the term "upgrade treadmill" ?
4- the idea is they're going to do the same, not with your OS, not with your apps, but with your content : Imagine having to buy Windows 2025, just because if you don't, all your photos and videos of little Jimmy will be gone !

Re:These people are delusional. (3, Insightful)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213757)

If you have can point to some part of their argument that's flawed, then do so.

One of the more egregious examples of their FUD:

Microsoft regularly attempts to force updates on its users, by removing support for older versions of Windows and Office, and by inflating hardware requirements. For many people, this means having to throw away working computers just because they don't meet the unnecessary requirements for the new Windows versions.

But, really, the whole article is swimming in it. Another gem:

With Windows Media Player, Microsoft works in collusion with the big media companies to build restrictions on copying and playing media into their operating system. For example, at the request of NBC, Microsoft was able to prevent Windows users from recording television shows that they have the legal right to record.

In fact, _Microsoft_ does not apply any DRM restrictions to content. They merely provide a system where the restrictions put in place by the content owners, are enforced. The only time the DRM systems in Windows do anything, is when the owner of content tells them to.

Oh, and let's not forget presenting standard software licensing practices like this:

Microsoft is up to their usual tricks again -- only this time, they're also inserting artificial restrictions into the operating system itself. While not the first time they've done this, this is the first release of Windows that can magically remove limitations instantly upon purchasing a more expensive version from Microsoft.

As if they were something pioneered by - or even unique to - Microsoft.

Re:These people are delusional. (4, Insightful)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213677)

Thankfully, they are not representative of the open source movement.

Indeed. They're representatives of the Free Software movement; the clue's in the title.

However, while we know this, and in spite of all Stallman's protests over nomenclature, there are still many, many geeks who don't know about (or even care about) the distinction. What chance they have with Windows users (even geeky Windows users) should be minimal to the point of insignificance.

Re:These people are delusional. (2, Insightful)

Epsillon (608775) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213935)

Why the hell is the parent marked troll? He (apologies, gender doesn't convey well in handles) is quite right that the Free Software and Open Source movements are two separate entities, although their communities often overlap. RMS himself tries his hardest to disassociate the two. And yes, some of us can see past the MS hatred to the zealotry that lies beneath, then end up questioning what the FSF's real motives are.

WGA DOES NOT examine the contents of your hard drive. It simply compares the installation time product key and hardware hash with a list of known bad keys and stored activation data, distinct from activation since this can happen at any time, such as a Windows update session.

On the security front, MS has made some important in-roads, particularly the old problem of running as root all the time. UAC may not be perfect, but it's a damned sight better than anything they've come up with since Windows 2000, which was *almost* perfect when set up correctly.

With such rebuttals being rather simple to come up with for someone with an open mind and few preconceptions, even without recourse to web searches, one wonders how much of the rest of this tirade against MS is accurate. Admittedly their business practice descriptions seem to be spot-on, especially with regards to pre-installation of Windows (you get it whether you want it or not), but those like myself running non-Windows based OSen would be foolish to buy a pre-built machine in the first place, given the hardware compatibility complexity and the quality of the rubbish they build "standard" PCs with these days. Yeah, yeah, laptops and netbooks, the usual response to this assertion. Well you can, if you know what you're doing and who to deal with, spec these yourself with equal facility.

As you can probably tell by now, I couldn't care less about market share figures. They're for the economists; I'm a technologist and I'd much rather deal with technical issues than political and economic.

don't forget sloth (2, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213565)

Thanks Microsoft.. I hope Win7 is as successful as Vista.

Nobody expects the Microsoft inquisition! (0, Redundant)

Psychophrenes (1600027) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213573)

Amongst our weaponry are such diverse elements as: Poisoning education, locking in users, abusing standards such as OpenDocument Format (ODF), leveraging monopolistic behavior, threatening user security, enforcing Digital Rights Management (DRM) at the request of entertainment companies concerned about movie and music piracy, and invading privacy.

Is any of this new? (4, Insightful)

Shrike82 (1471633) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213577)

Hasn't every previous version of Windows been guilty (or at least accused) of these very same "sins"?

Besides, I would imagine that the majority of Windows users won't ever see or hear of this campaign anyway, your average PC World customer won't have a clue what free software is, what DRM is, and most probably don't even know that there are alternative operating systems available anyway. My parents, parents-in-law, my siblings.....hell just about everybody I know that doesn't work in IT. Perhaps if the FSF could get some TV advertising...

Re:Is any of this new? (1)

Kocureq (1191079) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213663)

Thanks to Firefox some users do know what a free software is, but right - they don't get a clue about DRM. Either their movie "just works", or they download a pirated copy

Re:Is any of this new? (0, Offtopic)

polar red (215081) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213823)

with "just works" do you mean : jumping through a series of loops first ?

Re:Is any of this new? (1)

Kocureq (1191079) | more than 5 years ago | (#29214001)

No, I don't know what loops do you mean. Any regular DVD bought in a store starts automatically after being inserted into a DVD drive - at least with win7.

Re:Is any of this new? (4, Insightful)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213725)

It is an awareness campaign, isn't it? Yes, Windows has always been guilty of these things to some extent - but most Windows users don't know about them. The fact is, the FSF are still a very marginal voice within the whole community of PC users (outside professionals and nerds, most people don't know who they are or what they stand for). If they want to raise their profile, they are going to have to repeat a lot of things that may be obvious to you or I, and keep repeating them lots. I believe PR types call it 'staying on message'

Re:Is any of this new? (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213839)

So what?

In my book, evil doesn't get a grandfather clause.

"Teach a man to fish" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29213579)

I like that quote. It doesn't work in the computer context, though, because from the perspective of functionality and quality, Linux users are the most famished of any individuals doing computing these days.

Re:"Teach a man to fish" (3, Interesting)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213735)

And often, going fishing will result in you coming back with no fish whilst at most supermarkets you can pretty much be sure to get a fish.

The difference is, in one case you can get your own fish and the other you keep having to pay every time you want to eat fish.

Re:"Teach a man to fish" (3, Insightful)

tompeach (1118811) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213845)

In terms of a CIO he just wants to eat, he doesn't care if it's fish, burgers or bread. The FSF completely miss the point here, sending what amounts to basically a hate letter to fortune 500 companies is really damaging to free software, it makes FSF look like lunatics which as a knock on effect makes things more difficult for the sales teams of people like Novell and RedHat. If you they are going to send deranged letters at least send a positive message with a clear and honest comparison of the benefits of both open and proprietary software. I wish we could make this windows7sins website go away.

Re:"Teach a man to fish" (2, Funny)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213899)

CIOs are generally smart people with the capacity to plan for the future. I sincerely doubt anybody likes vendors lock-in.

Re:"Teach a man to fish" (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 5 years ago | (#29214041)

I like that quote. It doesn't work in the computer context, though, because from the perspective of functionality and quality, Linux users are the most famished of any individuals doing computing these days.

You're right, the quote doesn't work at all in the context of computer monopoly. Here are some that might apply:

Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.
George Bernard Shaw

After we have calmly stood by and allowed monopolies to grow fat, we should not be asked to make them bloated.
John Griffin Carlisle

We must not tolerate oppressive government or industrial oligarchy in the form of monopolies and cartels.
Henry A. Wallace

Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.
Aldous Huxley

Big Brother is watching you.
George Orwell

I don't try to describe the future. I try to prevent it.
Ray Bradbury

Knowledge is power. Information is power. The secreting or hoarding of knowledge or information may be an act of tyranny camouflaged as humility.
Robin Morgan

And here's my favorite:

If you can't make it good, at least make it look good.
Bill Gates

Leopard Can't change its spots (1)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213581)

It's business and usual... because it is profitable to do these things, and so fulfilling MS obligations to their shareholders. Users of the OS are secondary, as long as they keep buying it of course.

Re:Leopard Can't change its spots (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#29214045)

No, but they can apparently become 64-bit for a small fee.

I've always wonderded... (4, Insightful)

NervousNerd (1190935) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213601)

I've always wondered if the FSF was actually somehow on Microsoft's payroll. They' sure as hell aren't doing free software/open source any good. If anything, they're making people want to avoid using open source thanks to Rick Stallman's antics.

No Good? What About Their BSD Is Dying Trolls? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29214019)

Don't they get points at least for putting in the effort for posting in every BSD related thread their AC "BSD Is Dying" trolls?

And what about the GNU Logo:

http://www.gnu.org/ [gnu.org]

No open source project ever has to worry about having the Worst Project Logo Ever Created. GNU has it covered.

FUD FUD FUD and more FUD (5, Insightful)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213615)

Poisoning education

Wrong. Children learn to work on the platform that's mostly used in Businesses today, giving them the necessary skills to obtain a job.

Invading privacy - WGA

Wrong. WGA does not "inspect" the users hard drive, it checks the Windows license. It's mostly used to combat fraud done by computer vendors which sell illicit copies for money. Users at home will purchase Windows with their PC and use OEM Activation, which does not need any user interaction. Enthuasiasts upgrading their PC will need to enter a key, but Activation is also quick and painless.

Microsoft dictates requirements to hardware vendors, who will not offer PCs without Windows installed on them

Not true. Microsoft requires vendors to only sell computers with an operating system to qualify for a discount. You can purchase laptops with Ubuntu from Dell, you can purchase ThinkPads running FreeDOS or SLED.

Vendors may also opt to purchase OSB copies at standard pricing, which has zero restrictions.

Microsoft regularly attempts to force updates on its users, by removing support for older versions of Windows and Office

Support for old software is discontinued everytime, by every vendor. Every Linux vendor and even free distributions like Ubuntu have a support lifecycle.

Microsoft has attempted to block free standardization of document formats

Well, i'll give them this point. But Microsoft has added support for ODF in Office 2007 SP2, however it was the ODF guys who weren't even able to spec out something basic as formulas in a spreadsheet specification.

Enforcing Digital Restrictions Management (DRM)

If you purchase DRMd content, you know exactly what you're in for. Windows just supports it. It's like a car that can lock the rear doors to children can't open the doors while on the road. Yes, some people may use that feature to kidnap someone, but that doesn't mean that locking rear doors is bad.

Threatening user security

This was true until Windows XP SP2, but Microsoft has really improved security since then.

All in all, it's a bunch of stupid FUD by hippies that eat their gunk from their toes.

Re:FUD FUD FUD and more FUD (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29213709)

Poisoning education

Wrong. Children learn to work on the platform that's mostly used in Businesses today, giving them the necessary skills to obtain a job.

not that i'm supporting this campaign, but it would be better if children learn to work with computers in general, not one specific platform or product, so that they can also use whatever will be used in businesses tomorrow. give a man a fish etc.

Re:FUD FUD FUD and more FUD (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213797)

I'll agree with that in principle, but most people are so completely uninterested in anything that has to do with technology that this approach is hopeless.

Re:FUD FUD FUD and more FUD (2, Interesting)

cbhacking (979169) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213987)

Out of curiosity, how does Windows do any better or worse at this than any other OS? Unless you're referring to the ability to edit the source code (and face it, the *vast* majority of computer users have no interest in doing this, and most don't even know the interest between a kernel and a desktop environment, nor dot hey care to know), Windows is an OS much like any other, from the user standpoint. It stores files, runs programs, communicates with other computers, connects with peripherals, handles multiple user accounts, and provides a UI. In fact, the perspective of the average user is even simpler - a computer has to be able to open documents and photos, connect to printers and cameras, install and run tax software (or whatever), browse the web, and download / manage music libraries.

I'll grant you taht the Windows way of doing these things is different from that of other OSes, but then, so is the OS X way, the GNOME-on-Debian-based-LInux way, the KDE-on-RPM-based-Linux way, the custom-configured OpenBSD way, and so on. There's no OS that the average person can use that will teach that average person about computers in general rather that system-specific knowledge. Nor does this surprise me; when people say that they view computers as tools, they don't usually mean the hardware, they mean the software they use and the devices connected to it.

Re:FUD FUD FUD and more FUD (2, Insightful)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213763)

Wrong. Children learn to work on the platform that's mostly used in Businesses today, giving them the necessary skills to obtain a job.

Nope, you are wrong. Children shouldn't be receiving a vocationally focused education, especially when given their age the software of the moment will likely be surpassed by the time they enter the workplace. Children deserve a proper education on computers, not just a limited set of skills on one vendors software.

You are wrong elsewhere in your post, but frankly I don't have the time to feed the MS trolls that much.

Re:FUD FUD FUD and more FUD (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213815)

Nope, you are wrong. Children shouldn't be receiving a vocationally focused education, especially when given their age the software of the moment will likely be surpassed by the time they enter the workplace.

Even if it's still called the same name. Microsoft Windows (and office) as sold by Microsoft 10-15 years ago is not the same thing as they sell now.

Re:FUD FUD FUD and more FUD (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213861)

tell me how windows 7 will be better than windows 2000 again.

Re:FUD FUD FUD and more FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29213817)

I'm sorry I modded you redundant. It was supposed to be insightful. Done too many modes elsewhere to erase by posting.

Re:FUD FUD FUD and more FUD (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213847)

So I should tell my kids' school to get rid of all the Macs and replace them with "KIM-1"s so they can get a proper education on computers?

Re:FUD FUD FUD and more FUD (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213893)

Yes, because what I just said was that schools should dump modern computers for 8-bit antiques.

Ever heard the phrase 'strawman'?

Re:FUD FUD FUD and more FUD (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213963)

You said "Children deserve a proper education on computers, not just a limited set of skills on one vendors software."

To satisfy that need I suggested a platform that can be used to teach about computers without a particular vendors software. What do you suggest as an alternative?

Re:FUD FUD FUD and more FUD (0, Flamebait)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213989)

A modern PC can be used to do that, which makes you a lying sack of shit. If you can only make some petty jibe by completely misrepresenting my point, you've lost the argument already.

Re:FUD FUD FUD and more FUD (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 5 years ago | (#29214031)

I'll take that as "I don't have an alternative", so I'll just call you names.

Re:FUD FUD FUD and more FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29213875)

I think he is a lot more right than wrong. I see only two valid points on the list: The poisoning of education and the neglecting of open standards. The rest is bullshit. As if you could copy your DRMed shit with any other OS. As if Windows doesn't allow you to play stuff without DRM. As if Linux doesn't have a track record of quite stupid security bugs. And the lock-in argument is really laughable. From all that could be said about vendor lock-in they chose the most laughable one, that Microsoft stops supporting software after about 10 years. As if anything in the Free world could compete with that. As if people wouldn't constantly bitch about Microsoft still supporting IE6.

Re:FUD FUD FUD and more FUD (1)

Zonnald (182951) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213961)

In principle you are correct.
The issue is to give students standardized environment to work in to achieve measurable outcomes.
Since most students are not aspiring IT techies, there is no need to give them the 'proper' education on computers.
The question is how do the education department decide, or should the let school make the decisions?

Re:FUD FUD FUD and more FUD (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213977)

I hate to break it to you, but most students aren't aspiring office drones either. This touches a philosophical debate at the heart of education; is the point to open minds or just to train people for jobs? Most teachers I know in the UK (and I know a lot, including my mother and my wife) want to teach, rather than train.

Re:FUD FUD FUD and more FUD (2, Insightful)

zwei2stein (782480) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213867)

Actually, there is a point with poisoning education.

Considering lifecycle of products, any 'education' tied specifically to commercial software product is only good for several years. After that it becomes obsolete and wasted. And regardless of huge spread, it is still one product focus.

Education which instead teaches about concepts and underlying structures will on the other had continue being useful much longer and applicable to wider array of situations.

Do you think is is worth it using school-time to do job training that will be obsolete pretty much right after they get a job?

Re:FUD FUD FUD and more FUD (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213933)

This is why education tools should be web-based and thus, not locked to one system. Like the DOWNLUDING IS ILLEGUL! thing the gumbyment have

Re:FUD FUD FUD and more FUD (0, Troll)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213981)

I don't know, they've been teaching more obsolete skills for many years. Public education was originally designed to teach children the skills they needed to work in a factory. It hasn't changed all that much.

we want nakedness (2, Funny)

dominux (731134) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213907)

Microsoft requires vendors to only sell computers with an operating system to qualify for a discount.

this is anti-competitive and discriminates unfairly against Naked Computers

Re:FUD FUD FUD and more FUD (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213973)

"Wrong. WGA does not "inspect" the users hard drive, it checks the Windows license"

Actually, you're wrong, it sends much more than just the Windows license, it sends hard drive serial number, computer make and model, language settings, OS version, Office version amongst other things.

It also sends them regularly. If it was just a case of checking your key was valid was a lot less people would probably have a problem with it, but the fact Microsoft are basically using it as a hardware audit and audit of users locations and so forth on a regular basis then yes it crosses the line into being unacceptable.

I'm quite pro-Microsoft, hell, I paid for a legitimate version of Vista Ultimate, and Office 2007. I like a lot of their products, I don't think they're as bad a company as many like to make out, certainly they're no less ethical than companies like Apple. Things like WGA though, are simply not acceptable, it is just not acceptable that my resources, that my network security should be compromised because Microsoft wants to avoid a bunch of pirated copies of Windows that people just pirate and crack, or use MSDN or VLK keys or similar for anyway. WGA establishes an outbound connection that is out of my control, it sends data outside of my control and to me that is a big deal.

I've refused the license agreement on my new Eee PC, will be collecting my Windows tax refund and installing Linux. This is not what I want to do because IMO Linux offers and inferior experience, when it breaks it breaks royally and in recent times it even seems to break more than Windows does. The programs for it are not as good, MS Office is simply that much better than Open Office, Visual Studio is simply that much better than Eclipse etc. but what am I to do? I'm certainly not going to pretend WGA is acceptable and lie to myself and suggest it isn't that bad and doesn't really cause much of a problem, because it does. I want full control of all data that enters and leaves my system, Windows can not offer me that whilst it makes use of WGA.

I m waiting for google operating system (1)

IAmKidding (1623797) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213617)

I do support FSF here..windows is killing the total charm of operating system..with forceful updates+comupter inspection without warning..microsoft is loosing it everyday.

I was fan of windows once...but off late i m loosing it..they have lost it.

so...lets hope google has something good to offer us.

Re:I m waiting for google operating system (3, Insightful)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213807)

ChromeOS will just be another way of controlling you really; Google is, in a very MS-like move, intending to use their operating system to leverage people onto their cloud services. How free or not their OS will be irrelevant because its goal is to have you shove all your data off to Google.

To be blunt, you want a free OS you download and install Linux. Yes, Linux can be an absolute pain in the arse, you sometimes need to faff around to get the simplest things to work whereas a whole bunch of features you don't need work out of the box, but no matter how much of a mess it gets, it is always YOUR mess.

As G. B. Shaw said, "Liberty means responsibility, that is why most men dread it"

If you want to be free, be prepared to spend Saturday screwing around on the command line. If its too much hassle, go ahead and place your data in the hands of Google or MS.

Re:I m waiting for google operating system (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#29214003)

Flamebait? Really? The MS workers must've got up early today.

This is what most fortune 500 companies want! (2, Insightful)

pugdk (697845) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213627)

.... complete control of their employees computers. More lockdown features present in the OS = more power to the IT department = easier for BOFH IT administrators to take away any and all "freedoms" you may think you have when using equipment provided by your workplace.

In other words: What a waste of time sending letters to these companies!

FSF turning into RIAA (4, Insightful)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213645)

They're sounding ever more rabid, proclaim bizarre things that anyone with a clue can see right through and are frankly counter productive to whatever they are trying to achieve. Once upon a time I had a lot of respect for them in many areas but these days, just seeing FSF in a headline is usually a clue you need to jump to the next new article.

... And also lacks Web designers (1)

readthemall (1531267) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213707)

And their page surely is not user friendly ... I left it after previewing it for a few seconds, was not tempted to read it at all.

Guys at FSF, if you want your message to reach the public, take some web design lessons. For example, take a look at your friends at Mozilla [mozilla.org] .

Re:... And also lacks Web designers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29213753)

what do you expect, they have to use GIMPed tools. ;)

Back in them good ol' days... (4, Insightful)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213853)

Guys at FSF, if you want your message to reach the public, take some web design lessons.

Do you know and remember the old gnu.org site? You know, the one with black text on white and blue links [probably because that was the browser default]? Where the only document structure was h1 and p, with an em or two thrown about for, well, emphasis?

That was actually a good design (for a particular subset of parameters). It was viewable with any browser (almost including netcat :D), it handled just about any window size well [as well as possible, at least], it was friendly for the colorblind, the structure was quite simple with no sidebars, no top-bars... no clutter.

But then someone went and changed it, and now there are all the colors, and double-column layout (with long columns), and... meh.

Re:FSF turning into RIAA (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213747)

Yeah, I stopped donating to them right at the point where they started filing thousands of baseless lawsuits.

Re:FSF turning into RIAA (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213819)

[Citation needed]

Which bit sounds rabid? They are making a bullet point argument focusing on technical issues, and mounting a fairly calm protest (the policeman on horseback in the video looks bored to shit, in fact).

What exactly have they said makes them raving ideologues as opposed to people with a rational opinion about technology?

sins, eh? (3, Funny)

Trepidity (597) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213649)

Windows may be guilty of 7 sins, but its main competitor on the desktop is derived from an OS with a daemonic mascot.

digital copies? (5, Insightful)

msormune (808119) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213689)

I don't know about you, but I can still copy CDs and other DRM-free content pretty fine with Vista.

Re:digital copies? (1, Redundant)

cbhacking (979169) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213891)

Indeed. I can also rip CDs (and, with the right software, DVDs), record TV (built-in with Media Center), stream music and video (Media Center), share media with other computers (Homegroups, a vastly simplified form of Windows Networking added in Win7)... need I really continue? I've yet to run into anything that I could do in XP but can't with Vista (or Win7) due to DRM, and I've been using Vista since its beta.

On the flip side, my new computer has a Blu-Ray drive (I wan't planning to get one, but it was a hell of a package deal with the other features I wanted). I'll probably get some Blu-Ray media at some point, and you know what? I'll be able to play it out-of-the-box. If I decide to crack the encryption and rip it, I'll be able to do that too (third-party software, but the OS won't stop me).

Great strategy (5, Insightful)

rennerik (1256370) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213693)

Those same "sins" can be applied to any proprietary piece of software; heck, some of them can be applied to certain open-source software as well. Now, putting Windows aside, people use proprietary software all the time -- and for some of it there is no FOSS equivalent. Whether it's Windows itself, or Photoshop, Visual Studio, AutoCAD, Mastercam, Office, VMWare, or any of the slew of proprietary pieces of software out there, it's a bad idea to sit there and categorically attack something that many people are either fine with, don't care enough to be against, or ignorant about whether or not they should be against it.

In fact, that's probably the least likely way those people will end up listening to you, and after all, those are the people you're trying to convince.

A lot of people like Windows very much, and even if they could afford an alternative, like a Mac, they choose not to, because they like Windows. Hardcore industry people, like professional photographers using Photoshop, graphic designers using Illustrator, computer-aided manufacturing engineers using things like Mastercam or AutoCAD are so dedicated to their tool-of-trade that they will take umbrage to anything that tries to insult it. After all, doing so may be taken as an insult to their very profession, and thus, to themselves.

So what I'm trying to say is, the strategy of attacking Windows, and proprietary software in general, in order to help bring people to FOSS is going to have the exact opposite effect -- it's only going to solidify people who use proprietary software and alienate them from any thoughts of an alternative. After all, you wouldn't listen to someone telling you you suck, the software you use sucks, and you're an idiot for using it. Now, I'm not saying that's what they outright said, but that's how it's going to be taken by people reading it.

Maybe FOSS should stop being like PETA and, instead, tell people why it's *good* to use FOSS. Why Linux is *better* than Windows, GiMP is *better* than Photoshop, OpenOffice is *better* than MS Office. And maybe people will listen. But if you insult their software and tell them to use something else, they won't be very open to the idea.

Just a thought, anyway.

Re:Great strategy (5, Insightful)

AnarkiNet (976040) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213917)

Maybe FOSS should stop being like PETA and, instead, tell people why it's *good* to use FOSS. Why Linux is *better* than Windows, GiMP is *better* than Photoshop, OpenOffice is *better* than MS Office. And maybe people will listen. But if you insult their software and tell them to use something else, they won't be very open to the idea.

Too hard, and in some cases impossible. Anyone who has used both 3D Studio Max and Blender will laugh in your face if you try and tell them Blender is an overall better piece of software to use.

Re:Great strategy (1)

JPortal (857107) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213947)

Honestly, let's just stop at telling people why it's *good*. If someone asks how it's better than Windows, okay. Otherwise, why bother? If you mention Cool Feature XYZ and they realize Windows/Word/Photoshop doesn't do that, hasn't the point gotten across?

Not very smart (1)

Clarious (1177725) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213697)

IMO, this isn't a very smart move of FSF, from what I have heard, Windows 7 is a big improvement over Vista (from an user end of point), do they really think they can convince people to think different? I'm sure that people who really care about those 'sins' would have already switched to another OS long ago.

Doesn't make sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29213713)

Doesn't make sense. Why keep blaming an existing product instead of fixing your own product? Why cant the FSF spend these valuable time and money in making Linux more desktop friendly?

And what does a fortune 500 have anything to care about DRM shit? They want a computer with a os that they could give to their employees isn't it?

Really? (5, Insightful)

Arainach (906420) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213715)

They could at least try. Every single claim they make is laughable. They make overarching claims such as "inspect users' hard drives", which carries a heavy implication of looking through user data when no such looking occurs. Most of the others (vendor lock-in, security holes) are a decade out of date. Then they use terms like "proprietary Word formats" when all Word formats - both OOXML and DOC - are fully documented, as mandated by federal court.

Finally, they talk about DRM and removing support for older versions when you'd be hard-pressed to find an Open Source vendor supporting products for even a quarter of the lifecycle Microsoft supports its products for and the DRM exists solely to allow playback of HD content (and is nonexistent when such content isn't being played), something with OSS can't do.

Really, the FSF is almost as much of an embarassment to the Open Source community as RMS. If we ever want to see the day of the Linux desktop, we'll have to muzzle both of them first.

Is Computerworld confused? (5, Insightful)

Seriousity (1441391) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213749)

From TFA:

Founded in the mid-1980s by hacker-activist Richard Stallman, the FSF argues that free software and source code is a moral right. It takes pains to distinguish itself from the open-source movement, which advocates sharing of source code but tolerates charging for software.

I find this point rather interesting, as Richard Stallman gave a speech at Otago University here in small old New Zealand last year, and he was quite adamant that there was nothing wrong with charging for software, and took great pains to make the distinction between "free as in freedom" and "free as in beer".
Is Computerworld confused?

Re:Is Computerworld confused? (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213813)

I find this point rather interesting, as Richard Stallman gave a speech at Otago University here in small old New Zealand last year, and he was quite adamant that there was nothing wrong with charging for software, and took great pains to make the distinction between "free as in freedom" and "free as in beer".

He might say that, but his actions demonstrate otherwise. The GPL is a license that makes it practically impossible to charge for software.

Re:Is Computerworld confused? (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213897)

There are no contradictions in fantasy land.

Re:Is Computerworld confused? (2, Informative)

stuartdb (1590329) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213925)

Yes, Computerworld fails to understand what they are talking about.

I too am from New Zealand and attended a speech RMS gave at Auckland University. I have also read almost all of his essays. 99% of the people (geeks included) that speak of Free Software and RMS fail to grasp important concepts of the Free Software movement.

Thats not to say I support this riduculous FUD campaign against Windows 7. It is as bad as Microsofts "Get the facts" crap they pulled. I believe in Free Softare, and have supported other campaigns that the FSF support, such as Defective By Design, but the FSF should be focusing on the strengths of Free Software, the community and the potential it has in the educational sector. Spending effort talking crap about Microsoft is time and resources wasted which could be better spend else where.

On the rhetorical skills of the FSF (5, Insightful)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213785)

I think the FSF is using some ineffective rhetoric.

The first sin:

1. Poisoning education: Today, most children whose education involves computers are being taught to use one company's product: Microsoft's. Microsoft spends large sums on lobbyists and marketing to corrupt educational departments. An education using the power of computers should be a means to freedom and empowerment, not an avenue for one corporation to instill its monopoly.

I think this rhetoric only works if the reader already is at least somewhat suspicious of Microsoft.

To someone whose only experience with non-MS OSes is watching 90's movies (remember the Apple product placement) and maybe using a Mac at a friend's house once or twice; to someone whose only complaint about Microsoft software is that it crashes a bit too often and thinks this is just the way computers are; to someone who thinks that Windows and Office is the "standard" software and that it's useful to use what everyone else uses; to someone who doesn't think (rightly or wrongly) that the MS monopoly is causing bad things to happen to them---

What is the FSF saying? That schools should teach children how to use another OS that very few people use, and that might not work well together with what everyone uses? "Yeah, sure, monopolies aren't great, but I want my kids to learn something useful instead of what some ideologue thinks is right."

I don't agree with "the common man"'s interpretation, but I think that's what it is.

I think a much more powerful message could be sent by pounding (hard) on the fact that Microsoft is costing you more money that they have to. But they don't make a big fuss out of that:

4. Lock-in: Microsoft regularly attempts to force updates on its users, by removing support for older versions of Windows and Office, and by inflating hardware requirements. For many people, this means having to throw away working computers just because they don't meet the unnecessary requirements for the new Windows versions.

That really hasn't been my experience when I was using Windows: I wanted faster boxes such that I could play better games. How many people have upgraded computers to run newer versions of Windows/Office? In any case, why doesn't the FSF say in big, nasty, red letters: "Microsoft is making you spend money (excessively)!"? [add an OMGBBQROFL and exclamation marks if you think it makes the message more convincing].

Oh well... I think it's good of the FSF to try*, although I doubt the effectiveness of their methods.

[* I happen to use (GNU/)Linux, but if the FSF was advocating Haiku or OpenVMS or $NOT_LINUX as their main Windows alternative, I'd still be happy: I want more competition in the OS market, and a more fragmented platform base that'll encourage software vendors to write portable code; when you ignore 40% of the market instead of 5%, you might rethink not porting. Maybe this'll just shift apps even more onto the web, though...]

FSF does not have any concrete arguments... (1)

master_p (608214) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213789)

From the seven sins, only three of them have any real value (monopoly, lock-in and standards), but the last two are the same topic actually.

Education is not harmed by using commercial closed source software. It's a mono-culture, no doubt, but it would be exactly the same if anyone was using free software only.

DRM does not restrict what people can do with their computers, it restricts them to infringe copyright.

Security is a Windows problem, largely due to its legacy. But it is no way a sin, because if a user secures its Windows machine, then he has no problem.

WGA does not violate privacy.

It's too bad FSF has gotten to that...instead of being a beacon for free thinkers, they have become worst then communists...

The 90s called... (5, Funny)

xtracto (837672) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213793)

... They wanted their web-design pages back.

Is that a BLINK tag I am looking at? Just that makes FSF or whoever else uses it E.V.I.L. (c)

Re:The 90s called... (4, Funny)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213905)

They probably wrote it using a combination of Emacs macros and LaTex.

Re:The 90s called... (1)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213937)

It's an inline style tag. You know.. the basic structure is fine. It wouldn't take much to tweak it to look good.

They already have control (0, Flamebait)

VShael (62735) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213859)

I'd imagine it's impossible for the average user of a Windows machine to avoid automatic downloading of updates, which can also automatically reboot your machine even if you're in the middle of work but happen to have left the machine alone a bit.

Re:They already have control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29213991)

Uhm.. Right click on "My Computer" (or "Computer" in Vista/Win7), select properties. Under the 'Automatic Updates' tab, change the option to suit you ("Notify me but don't automatically download or install them"/"Turn off updates" is what you might want).

Click Apply, Click OK, and tada, Windows updates is now dictated by you, not by MS.

While I'm a diehard linux fan... (5, Interesting)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213883)

... I'm frankly getting sick of the FSF. This latest stupid campaign reads like it was written by some petulant teenager without the first clue as to the realities of life and it tars the rest of us who support (and in my case actually write) OSS with the same idiotic uncompromising brush.

Message to Stallman - close source will be around after you've retired from your cosy ivory tower paid-by-the-taxpayer college job so get over it, learn to live with it and stop making other OSS advocates look and sound like immature fools.

All I want? (1)

oDDmON oUT (231200) | more than 5 years ago | (#29213993)

Is a 600+ DPI version of the file needed to print the trashing-Windows®-logo. It'd make an interesting conversation piece in my office. ^_^

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