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Bringing Free Software To a Street Near You

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the first-hit-is-free-but-so-are-all-the-others dept.

GNU is Not Unix 78

Blug_fred writes "It's that time of year again; the nights are drawing in, the leaves are beginning to turn, and literally hundreds of teams of dedicated F/OSS enthusiasts from around the world are preparing to hit the streets in celebration of Software Freedom Day 2012. In an effort to increase awareness of free and open source software among the general public, SFD teams will be standing around town centers and shopping malls, holding talks at schools and universities, giving demonstrations and handing out GNU/Linux and FOSS collections for Windows on CD. With money being tight and paranoia about malware and viruses at an all-time high, the time is right to help consumers switch to the myriad of quality open source applications available. If you would like to check for an SFD team in your area and consider attending, be it to help out or simply learn more about free software for yourself, there's an interactive map to help you find your way."

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paranoia about malware and viruses (5, Funny)

frovingslosh (582462) | about 2 years ago | (#41348015)

With money being tight and paranoia about malware and viruses at an all-time high, the time is right to accept free discs from total strangers and install them on your computer.

Re:paranoia about malware and viruses (3, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#41348083)

Ironically, that is actually the cure for the illness. Sometimes life is counterintuitive.

Re:paranoia about malware and viruses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41348127)

I'm going to burn discs full of malware and hand them out around these guys.

Re:paranoia about malware and viruses (2)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 2 years ago | (#41348515)

Awesome!!! ... because I'm going to be taking pictures of people from whom I grab disks, checking them for malware, and then hunting those people who hand out malware down with baseball bats, so I really hope to see you there!

Re:paranoia about malware and viruses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41348945)

You better bring more than just a baseball bat if you don't want to get your ass handed to you, little man.

Re:paranoia about malware and viruses (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 2 years ago | (#41349467)

Only one of us hides behind an AC post, so don't kid yourself. If you're a straight pussy on the internet, then you are even more so face to face.

Re:paranoia about malware and viruses (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41349673)

Just as you hide behind an alias you mean?

You talk a lot of shit, but you're no different than any other out of shape, Cheeto eating piece of shit neckbeard. You wouldn't want to meet me because I'd break your fucking neck.

Re:paranoia about malware and viruses (1)

fisted (2295862) | about 2 years ago | (#41349695)

What the fuck did you just fucking say about me, you little bitch? I'll have you know I graduated top of my class in the Navy Seals, and I've been involved in numerous secret raids on Al-Quaeda, and I have over 300 confirmed kills. I am trained in gorilla warfare and I'm the top sniper in the entire US armed forces. You are nothing to me but just another target. I will wipe you the fuck out with precision the likes of which has never been seen before on this Earth, mark my fucking words. You think you can get away with saying that shit to me over the Internet? Think again, fucker. As we speak I am contacting my secret network of spies across the USA and your IP is being traced right now so you better prepare for the storm, maggot. The storm that wipes out the pathetic little thing you call your life. You're fucking dead, kid. I can be anywhere, anytime, and I can kill you in over seven hundred ways, and that's just with my bare hands. Not only am I extensively trained in unarmed combat, but I have access to the entire arsenal of the United States Marine Corps and I will use it to its full extent to wipe your miserable ass off the face of the continent, you little shit. If only you could have known what unholy retribution your little "clever" comment was about to bring down upon you, maybe you would have held your fucking tongue. But you couldn't, you didn't, and now you're paying the price, you goddamn idiot. I will shit fury all over you and you will drown in it. You're fucking dead, kiddo.

Re:paranoia about malware and viruses (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41349897)

Shut the fuck up.

Re:paranoia about malware and viruses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41349905)

Well that escalated quickly.

Re:paranoia about malware and viruses (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 2 years ago | (#41351263)

"Just as you hide behind an alias you mean?"

This is Slashdot. Posting with your valid SlashID isn't hiding, posting as an AC is hiding. If you weren't a gutless moron you would be smart enough to figure that out on your own.

"You talk a lot of shit, but you're no different than any other out of shape, Cheeto eating piece of shit neckbeard. You wouldn't want to meet me because I'd break your fucking neck."

Yeah. I'm pretty scared. Tough guys always sabotage people's systems for no good reason with an almost 100% certainty that nobody will know it was them, and then run off at the mouth from behind the curtain. That's how you can tell they are really tough.

Re:paranoia about malware and viruses (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | about 2 years ago | (#41350911)

I have my real first name in my sig, meaning that I can almost certainly bench press more than you or most other people here. *flexes*

Re:paranoia about malware and viruses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41348197)

No, installing software from a non-trusted source is not the cure for the illness.

Re:paranoia about malware and viruses (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 2 years ago | (#41348529)

"No, installing software from a non-trusted source is not the cure for the illness."

I agree, but alas a lot of people don't know there is another option besides Microsoft :-(

Re:paranoia about malware and viruses (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#41348557)

Your mistake is believing in an absolutely trustworthy source. There is no such thing.

Re:paranoia about malware and viruses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41348225)

Ironically, that is actually the cure for the illness. Sometimes life is counterintuitive.

"I'm sorry sir, you have terminal cancer. But there is a cure!"
"Wait, I thought you said it was terminal. How can their be a cure?"
*shoots patient*

Re:paranoia about malware and viruses (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | about 2 years ago | (#41349833)

Ironically, that is actually the cure for the illness. Sometimes life is counterintuitive.

More ironically, thinking people who just want to get on with their life instead of fiddling with mundane(to them) things are ill and diseased is a sure way to connect with them. I am sure there are car geeks who think anyone who can't take apart a car and put it back is a moron for taking a car to a service center.

Re:paranoia about malware and viruses (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#41349939)

The notion of anthropomorphizing the PC, and treating malware as a metaphor for disease isn't mine. I'm guilty of pointing out these past years that within that metaphor the Windows environment is akin to living in a pestilent cesspool equivalent to the middle ages, beset by endless plagues and cursed with an understanding of their operation so poor that quack nostrums, leeches, bloodletting, self-flagellation, witch-burning, driving off evil spirits and exorcism are the only known treatments - and they are no cure.

But I didn't invent the metaphor. Blame somebody else for that.

Re:paranoia about malware and viruses (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | about 2 years ago | (#41350255)

>..the Windows environment is akin to...
Windows isn't stuck on XP anymore, as Slashdot posters seem to be.
How do you explain the malware problem on Android then, there is no Windows code there?

Google news search for Android malware [google.com] .

Not to mention the increasing malware problem on OS X. Also, why is there pretty much no malware in iOS?
Perhaps there is a bigger problem with user run software than just blaming Microsoft for all the ills in the world?
http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2005/07/the-dancing-bunnies-problem.html [codinghorror.com]

Want to take a guess at the malware infection rate of Windows RT vs. Windows 8?

Re:paranoia about malware and viruses (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#41350339)

Dude, you're way out of your depth here. I'm feeling generous and I'm going to let this one go for now unless you post some stupid challenge reply. You probably will, and I'll have to draft the same tiresome reply I've put here a hundred times. I'm feeling perky tonight, so maybe I'll craft a special one just for you.

Windows RT and Windows 8 are still unreleased operating systems irrelevant to the discussion. Unreleased operating systems often have claims of mystical powers unbefore known. But then they come into the real world and the grease hits the skillet.

Re:paranoia about malware and viruses (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | about 2 years ago | (#41352661)

No, you're the one out of your depth. I love how you ignored my points and picked on the fact that Windows 8/RT are not released.
  Or you wouldn't characterize Windows as you did, but give Android a free pass on the malware. Android runs on the Linux kernel, so why is it malware infested compared to iOS? Are you going to answer now or beat around the bush like a politician?

Re:paranoia about malware and viruses (2)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 2 years ago | (#41348153)

With money being tight and paranoia about malware and viruses at an all-time high, the time is right to accept free discs from total strangers and install them on your computer.

Hey if money's tight, I hear one an make money building a botnet by getting strangers to install trojans on their machines...

Re:paranoia about malware and viruses (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41348165)

With money being tight and paranoia about malware and viruses at an all-time high, the time is right to accept free discs from total strangers and install them on your computer.

"Here you go sir, all this software is free. I have no idea what your interests are or if anything here will be useful to you but i think you're going to love open source and become a convert after running 700 shitty installers and discovering not one piece of the software you've installed does what you need"

Spoken like a software enthusiast that will install and try out anything because they can. People find software a hassle to install and a hassle to learn. The payoff has to be something THEY want to do.

Re:paranoia about malware and viruses (-1, Troll)

RicktheBrick (588466) | about 2 years ago | (#41348937)

I have given up on free software. I have downloaded programs that are suppose to be free and after executing them they come up with a list of problems your computer has and then states that you will have to send them some money to correct them. It is like going to a doctor and having the doctor tell you that you are sick. The doctor says that even though you do not have any symptoms yet you must take this expensive medicine to prevent and cure your illness. Most of them are scams. I used Microsoft's Security Essential but it did not warn me when I downloaded the program "windows web commander". So the only time one test the software it fails, I would think it is mostly useless. I also blame my ISP because I would think that it would know most of the malware and not allow any of them to be downloaded or at least give a warning. I downloaded a screen saver and after every time I would shut down the screen saver, I would get a screen begging me to pay for it. After just a few times, I got so tired of their begging that I uninstalled the program. Free means free with no begging for money and the software must do all it is suppose to do without having to send them any money. Since that is not the definition of free, I will not bother to download any of them anymore.

Re:paranoia about malware and viruses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41349109)

You obviously don't comprehend the usage of "Free" as it is used here, meaning "freedom" and "open source." This isn't the same thing as a "free" application supported by ads or similar ilk.

Re:paranoia about malware and viruses (1)

fisted (2295862) | about 2 years ago | (#41349713)

Troll harder

Re:paranoia about malware and viruses (3, Interesting)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#41348977)

Is it really paranoia or is the malware really out to get me, or at least my computer and my money? Anyway, I agree. If some anonymous dude hands me a free disk, I'm going to trash it.

Re:paranoia about malware and viruses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41350341)

What could be done is to have a service provided by a trusted website in which
the prospective software user sends a password (or random string) and the website
sends back a secure hash of the file of interest with the password appended to it
(the appending could be virtual, not actual). This would guarantee that no one could
have tampered with the file in a way which would make it harmful while still matching
the publicly posted hashes.
  This process should all be automated by software of course.

Post the Date (3, Insightful)

Pete Venkman (1659965) | about 2 years ago | (#41348033)

And when is Software Freedom Day 2012? Isn't that what the summary is supposed to be about?

Outdated news (4, Informative)

rbprbp (2731083) | about 2 years ago | (#41348043)

From their web site: "Celebrate SFD 2012 on Saturday, September 15th". Too late for lots of people.

Re:Outdated news (1)

Pete Venkman (1659965) | about 2 years ago | (#41348065)

Yeah, I read the website too. It just seems like that's one of the important things to put in the summary.

Typical (1)

frovingslosh (582462) | about 2 years ago | (#41348251)

Pretty typical of /., but a good reason not to include the date in the summary.

Re:Outdated news (1)

Mafia$oft (717004) | about 2 years ago | (#41371693)

So damn right. Put that URL in my ToDo list to check on later, only to then realize that SFD had happened on that very day.
Thus no possibility to even visit it, not to mention actively help out. Why is it that such events frequently are so poorly advertised for?

Uh (1)

cultiv8 (1660093) | about 2 years ago | (#41350585)

It was yesterday.

Has this been going on for a while? (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 years ago | (#41348061)

This post makes it sound as if this is a big deal; but I can't think of a time I've ever seen even a single person - let alone a team - doing this in my city in general or at the university where I work.

Unless these are the guys in shirts and ties that accost people on UW's Red Square every so often... but I'm pretty sure those folks are either Mormons or Larouchees.

Re:Has this been going on for a while? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41348295)

Umm that's simply because there aren't enough technical people in the world to actually do this. Most “technical” people can't install Microsoft Windows.

Re:Has this been going on for a while? (0)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 2 years ago | (#41349325)

Unless these are the guys in shirts and ties that accost people on UW's Red Square every so often...

You'll be lucky if these guys are wearing deodorant and a clean shirt.

Hmm (1)

philofaqs (668524) | about 2 years ago | (#41348079)

See how well the windows 7 sins campaign worked?

Re:Hmm (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | about 2 years ago | (#41349845)

On the plus side, it's easy to update the 7 sins of Windows 7 for Windows 8. The Metro UI makes a pretty good 8th sin, though normal people are not going to care as usual and buy an iPad or iPhone which don't even have a choice of manufacturer to buy from.

Handing out physical media? (1)

FaxeTheCat (1394763) | about 2 years ago | (#41348219)

Why handing out physical media? Any software these days require an internet connection for updates (which come in more or less daily, it seems), so why hand out physical media? I bet some people would not know how to use a CD for installing software anymore. I have not installed from physical media for at least two years now...
If you absolutely must rely on old-times technology, print information on a sheet of paper and hand it out. Those who can be bothered will look it up on the net. The rest... you have lost them anyway. A CD will not change that.

Re:Handing out physical media? (1)

antdude (79039) | about 2 years ago | (#41348459)

Not everyone has fast Internet connections. I know a few people still on dial-up! :O

Re:Handing out physical media? (1)

FaxeTheCat (1394763) | about 2 years ago | (#41348879)

So put in a link on the paper to somewhere they can order the collection on CD. Then both of those who may want it can have it without the geek squad needing to hand out hundreds of CDs to those who don't need them.

The need fpr physical media (1)

frovingslosh (582462) | about 2 years ago | (#41348511)

Well, I've read through their site, looking for what was being given away and a link to download it all. Can't find it. So I huess the physical media is needed, or at least you have to be a lot better than I am at finding the link!

Re:The need fpr physical media (2)

FaxeTheCat (1394763) | about 2 years ago | (#41348833)

The fact that they do not provide a list of software with related download links does NOT mean there is a need for physical media. It simply means they need to get their act together and put that information on their website.

As for finding whatever they are giving away: I really really do not care exactly what titles they give away. If I need a piece of software for some task, I go out and find it. I do not wait for some geek to come around handing out CDs with arbitrary software collections. And I assume that is how it works for most people these days.

Re:The need fpr physical media (1)

Score Whore (32328) | about 2 years ago | (#41349365)

Hope the discs they are handing out include full source for all GPLed software. Because if they don't provide a location to get the source for what they are distributing they are in violation of the license.

Re:The need fpr physical media (1)

FaxeTheCat (1394763) | about 2 years ago | (#41350877)

GPL does not require that you include the source. It is sufficient to provide some way for the user to get it. That means it must either be published somewhere (like on a website), or the distributor offer to send the source code on request. Most GPLed software will most likely include information on how to get the source code in the software itself (like my Samsung TV does on one of its help screens).

Re:Handing out physical media? (1)

Threni (635302) | about 2 years ago | (#41348525)

I would never install any software given to me by some random person on the street. I'll go to a reputable site, check out a file with an MD5 checksum, then install it. The idea that you'd take this stuff, install it then use it to do home shopping/banking etc is just hilarious.

This stunt sounds like something a security firm would to do show how stupid people are when it comes to anything related to computers.

Re:Handing out physical media? (2)

anubi (640541) | about 2 years ago | (#41348885)

I find it puzzling why in this day of common gigabyte flash, why our machines aren't shipped with a basic OS in flash already loaded with minimal and thoroughly tested code for at least internet browsing Kinda like the old Commodore used to ship with Basic preinstalled - all you did was turn it on and it "woke up" at the BASIC prompt displayed on the screen before it ever began to look for disks or other peripherals.

I want my off-the-shelf machine opening up a browser window pointed at 0.0.0.0 upon power up without needing a disk. If no TCPIP addresses are found, then all I can see is my own machine. I think 0.0.0.0 [wikipedia.org] would be perfect for accessing one's own machine as no-one would put this address onto the web. 0.0.0.0 would be my desktop. It should quite happily surf the web - until it has to deal with some proprietary content or save something - and even then it should be smart enough to display blanks where the proprietary content is and indicate what the problem is, never hanging up.

Pull the disk completely, and the machine should still run fine, albeit no flash, no movies, no additional capabilities, and a lack of saving anything. It won't need anything like a special "boot" disk or special sectors. If it even as much as finds a USB stick out there, it would offer it as a storage option. With the size of USB sticks these days, I could keep any drivers, extended code, data, whatever, on USB drives. In the event I do have some unforseen malcode which makes its way onto my removable media, there is nothing saying I can't remove everything, come back up with a virus killer program running from a known and trusted USB stick - once that program has control, plug my problem drive in and let the virus program examine the problem drive.

The ROM routines should include a TCPIP stack, at least a WAV, MP3, MPG, JPG, GIF, PNG, and BMP display routines and a rudimentary windowing system library callable from a resident C++ ( processing ? ) compiler. ( it would program like a big Arduino ).

You want special stuff that runs on top of it? Go buy it. Whoever made the special stuff takes responsibility for its behaviour ( or misbehaviour ). I can't trust any executables on rewritable media any more than I can trust contracts written in pencil. At least ROM is like a contract written in ink. ( Hint to the BSA: ROM is a physical product, and its easy to identify if you sold it or not. If you find your code in someone else's ROM, you have someone to go after. No use going after someone else's machine - there's nothing in it )

My own personal belief is that the write be disabled to the boot ROM at the factory, so no software can overwrite it. If one HAS to, he can disassemble his machine down to get physical access to the board and install a jumper plug in just the right place if he wants to reflash his ROM, but at least make it hard enough one has to deliberately go out of his way to do so. And of course, all obligations of the manufacturer regarding the security of their machine would be voided.

I hate all this malcode as much as the next guy, and I am all for cleaning up all these piles of muck everyone keeps stepping in. This muck is much like the problem a lot of us Arduino folks have where some layout guy ten years ago decided to put two pin connectors offset by .160 inches. They won't fit into 0.1 inch protoboards neatly. To this day they still build the boards with that frustrating offset because ten years ago some layout guy at his PCB workstation did not forsee people trying to use Arduinos with the 0.1" vectorboards and CSC socketboards.

I think Google ( Android ) is closing fast on this dream.

Re:Handing out physical media? (1)

FaxeTheCat (1394763) | about 2 years ago | (#41350847)

I think 0.0.0.0 [wikipedia.org] would be perfect for accessing one's own machine as no-one would put this address onto the web.

There is already an address for that. It is 127.0.0.1 and it is called the "loopback" address. Any computer can talk to itself using that address, whether it has been assigned an IP address or not.

Re:Handing out physical media? (2)

Kalriath (849904) | about 2 years ago | (#41358845)

Actually, the loopback is 127.0.0.0/8 - even 127.13.4.1 will resolve to localhost.

Re:Handing out physical media? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 2 years ago | (#41350915)

I find it puzzling why in this day of common gigabyte flash, why our machines aren't shipped with a basic OS in flash already loaded with minimal and thoroughly tested code for at least internet browsing Kinda like the old Commodore used to ship with Basic preinstalled - all you did was turn it on and it "woke up" at the BASIC prompt displayed on the screen before it ever began to look for disks or other peripherals.

The Asus Express Gate software is something like that.

Re:Handing out physical media? (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 2 years ago | (#41352053)

I agree that the BIOS flash should be expanded to a few GB, and the entire OS - be it Windows, Linux, OS-X or whatever - should be resident there, rather than put on a hard drive. It would seem to make it a lot more secure.

Re:Handing out physical media? (1)

anubi (640541) | about 2 years ago | (#41356833)

In my old DOS days, I had a floppy drive I had deliberately modified so any attempt to write to it would just trigger a piezo beeper. I had diagnostic disks loaded in it, and the beeper came in handy to let me know when some rogue program had identified the floppy and was trying to infect it.

At that time, the "boot sector infectors" were common, and I wanted assurance that when I did a FDISK and FORMAT, I was re-initializing the target with good clean code. I could not trust anything that could be written to.

I had no idea at the time what kind of mischief was in the target machine and often all I could do was boot up into DOS with the known good copy in my butchered floppy drive, then under control of that DOS, using LapLink, transfer all the target's data files onto another disk through the printer port. Then I would re-FDISK, re-FORMAT, re-install the executables from the original purchased diskettes, and hope the virus writers had not infected the data files.

I still rant and rave about mixing code with data for that reason. I can't for the life of me see executing stuff in a data file as much as I can't see storing gasoline in a switchgear room. Just asking for grief.

One thing I would love to see is a USB stick that will accept programming only if a jumper plug is removed. I can then get my USB stick, pull the jumper, load in my secure system boot and troubleshooting diagnostics when I know I am in a clean environment, reassemble the stick, then I can insert my USB stick into the most hostile of virus environments and know nothing can mess up my diagnostic programs. Any attempt to write to the USB just flashes a LED on it and lets me know something out there is trying to write to me. A program on the USB stick will be running to let me know what process is trying to write to me. As for now, I use CDR's for this as I have yet to hear of viruses that would open up a CDR and successfully rewrite it with modified viral code.

Re:Handing out physical media? (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 2 years ago | (#41358673)

I've actually seen a few such sticks, from MicroCenter IIRC. I'm not sure about the flashing LED part, though.

Just read the damn comment, FFS. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41348223)

> F/OSS enthusiasts
F or OSS enthusiasts? What does F stand for?

> myriad of quality open source applications
Yeah! Now I'm gonna edit some video in... um... uh... :-(

Re:Just read the damn comment, FFS. (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#41348619)

> F/OSS enthusiasts
F or OSS enthusiasts? What does F stand for?

Free. F/OSS = Free/Open Source Software

Why was this posted so late? (1)

PatMcGee (710105) | about 2 years ago | (#41348257)

Did no one who planned SFD submit a post about it? Did it get hung up in the approval process? It would be nice to know so that someone will know how to do this better next year. When I hope there's a post in time for me to actually attend.

Stop Trying to Convert People to Your Religion (2, Insightful)

reallocate (142797) | about 2 years ago | (#41348297)

You're stil trying to convert people to your religion so they will use the software you like. People don't care. Stop playing missionaries and start marketing software that's either better than Windows/Apple or does something people want to do that they can't do with Windows/Apple.

Re:Stop Trying to Convert People to Your Religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41348321)

Po-tay-to:Po-tah-to::missionary:marketing

Re:Stop Trying to Convert People to Your Religion (0)

reallocate (142797) | about 2 years ago | (#41348427)

Bogus. FOSS or whatever you wanna call it keeps trying to persuade people to believe in something so they then go out and use FOSS software. That's nuts.

Re:Stop Trying to Convert People to Your Religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41348681)

Bogus. FOSS or whatever you wanna call it keeps trying to persuade people to believe in something so they then go out and use FOSS software. That's nuts.

I could replace the word "FOSS" in your sentence with the word "Apple", and the sentence would be equally valid.

Re:Stop Trying to Convert People to Your Religion (1)

reallocate (142797) | about 2 years ago | (#41349185)

No, it wouldn't. Apple isn't trying to convince people to do anything other than buy Apple products. Apple doesn't care what its customers believe. FOSS, RMS, et al, insist on touting the benefits of adhering to their belief system. They are seeking converts. That takes precedence over the quality and innovativeness of FOSS software. They won't even use the word "customers". They insist on attempting to get people to use FOSS products by first converting them to a belief in the virtues of FOSS. We are told we should use FOSS because it is morally superior to do so.

Besides, let's pretend that Apple does it, too. So what? Because someone else is also doing something stupid, is that a defense for your own stupidity?

Re:Stop Trying to Convert People to Your Religion (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 2 years ago | (#41352169)

Actually, RMS and his minions not only eschew the term 'open source', they don't even use the word 'FOSS'. Previously, they used the term 'Free', and now, slightly better, they use the term 'libre'. Actually, the best description of their software is 'Liberated', which jives w/ Leftist movements that RMS loves dearly (just visit stallman.org and look), but like all Leftists, he's too fraudulent to use that. FOSS is actually better - it underscores the open-source meaning of the term, and the term 'free' here means free to distribute.

Re:Stop Trying to Convert People to Your Religion (1)

Guy Harris (3803) | about 2 years ago | (#41348497)

Po-tay-to:Po-tah-to::missionary:marketing

Yup. Both flavors of m-word suck.

Re:Stop Trying to Convert People to Your Religion (1)

afgam28 (48611) | about 2 years ago | (#41348951)

Installing it for free is something that people want to do but can't do with Windows/Apple.

Re:Stop Trying to Convert People to Your Religion (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 2 years ago | (#41349331)

If they've bought a PC, they almost certainly already have Windows or OSX.

Re:Stop Trying to Convert People to Your Religion (1)

afgam28 (48611) | about 2 years ago | (#41350137)

OK, updating it for free is something that people want to do but can't do with Windows/Apple.

XP is only going to be supported until 2014, and Snow Leopard is already out of support. The kind of people who need a free (as in beer) OS are likely to be running older hardware and will only have access to an older version of Windows/Mac OS.

'Free' as in mediocre (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 2 years ago | (#41352131)

Fully agree. And there's nothing that makes me more sick than using words like 'Free software' and 'software freedom', when the FSF does not believe in your freedom to use proprietary software. Their jihad is all about demonizing non-GPL licenses, and their software is synonymous w/ lame features that hardly do anything. As an example, one would think that GNU Network [gnu.org] is actually a GNU tool that implements and enables all networking tools needed by a GNU system into that system. It's not - it's just RMS's dream to 'to encourage the development of free network services and web applications that are free software that can replace existing, proprietary services and create new ways for people to communicate in freedom'. Whatever that means.

Except maybe GNU Cash and GNUSTEP, I've yet to see any examples of any good GNU software. Whenever I see a software w/ the GNU name on it, I think of poor quality software whose only 'advantage' is that it's under GPL 3.0. In addition to shitting on that brand name, it's brought down the image of those poor wildebeests.

Re:'Free' as in mediocre (1)

Pav (4298) | about 2 years ago | (#41358859)

You may dislike it on aesthetic, functional or even ideological grounds, but if you work in the tech industry it's helping to keep a floor under your wages and conditions even if you're working on proprietary and/or non-GPL software. If it wasn't for this "militant jihad" (as you put it) the big players would be sitting on stagnant monopolies closing out new competitors and we'd have an IE6 situation. Why do the big players even collaborate with competitors and the community on BSD code? It's a defence against the FOSS community and associated players... they know what it's like to ignore the GNU patent-and-cost-free zone after Google, Amazon etc...

I can't understand the complete negativity towards everything GNU. It's like Hollywood fans raging against independant film, or agribusiness hating on permiculture. GNU/FSF is more successful than those examples so perhaps that's the problem? It certainly has been an equaliser for the little guy, and the incubator for more than a few successful companies. I'm sure a lot less inhouse development would happen outside the software industry without GNU also.

As a sometime contributor and beneficiary of the GNU ecosystem I send my thanks, and an intention to provide more contributions in future. :)

Re:'Free' as in mediocre (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 2 years ago | (#41359407)

I disagree. A lot of the adaptation of Open Source, not 'Free Software', has been the result of the OSI convincing companies that it's a better development methodology, and working w/ them in addressing their concerns about protection of their IP. RMS doesn't even believe that there should be such an entity as Intellectual Property.

What spurred it was a demonstration of its success by companies like Netscape in making the browser Open Source and seeing it recover some of its marketshare. As well as the success of other projects, such as Apache. It was these demonstrations that convinced a lot of businesses that Open Source (not Free Software, mind you) is a good thing. OTOH, the FSF, if anything, turned off companies against it - the bulk of them in the market are willing to play w/ Open Source licenses, but they won't touch GPL3 w/ a bargepole. That ought to tell you something. Best example being TiVo - here was a company that used Linux in its DVRs, and didn't violate the GPL. So what did the FSF do? They created GPL3, w/ an 'anti-Tivoization' clause, that declared that those who prevent the software inside from being altered are guilty of violation. Which company would want to deal w/ them after being so demonized?

A perusal of the GNU, FSF and RMS websites would convince one (who's not already a die hard Leftist) that the FSF is not about enhancing the computing experience of people, but rather, undermine anything in the computing industry that's commercially successful. That's where the hatred of GNU comes from.

I'm not gay enough to participate. (1)

Luke727 (547923) | about 2 years ago | (#41348301)

But I am a virgin with a neckbeard; don't live in my parents' basement, though. Hmmm...

handing out CDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41348335)

We handed out a couple hundred CDs to people on the street. Guess what? It works!

Re:handing out CDs (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about 2 years ago | (#41348407)

It is your CD. You should have tested whether it works before giving them out to couple hundred people, not after.

USB flash is cheap (1)

Legion303 (97901) | about 2 years ago | (#41349097)

I just found an awesome new vector for Switchblade distribution in corporate parking lots. Thanks!

GPL does not represent the ideal of Free Software (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41349519)

This story summary uses the GNU logo [wikipedia.org] as if it's synonymous with "software freedom". I hold a somewhat different [copyfree.org] definition of this concept, which I believe to be more rational than the guiding philosophy of GNU and the FSF. The main point of contention is the use of irrational anti-market restrictions in "copyleft" licenses like GPL.

My vision of "software freedom" recognizes the role that proprietary software has played (and continues to play) in the software sector of the economy. Since the early days of computing, it was proprietary software that was able to organize the best development efforts, and created the software that later movements like GNU attempted to imitate. While much imitative success has been reached, and even some innovation in certain specific fields has come from open source software, proprietary software continues to remain quite innovative and competitive, and economically empowers many individuals to later contribute to FLOSS projects as well.

Real "software freedom" is a marketplace, not an anti-capitalist theocracy that many GPL proponents (and especially Stallman) envision. Competitive market forces naturally create free software as price eventually falls down to the cost of distribution (which in the modern world is zero), and qualities like access to the source code become very important. Proprietary and FLOSS software evolve to exist in a symbiotic relationship, with innovating programmers being free to write proprietary components if they so choose, but which are quickly imitated and either an open source alternative emerges or they become open sourced themselves. For-profit companies like Google, Oracle, IBM, Apple, Adobe, and countless others (and now even Microsoft!) have contributed many great things to the FLOSS movement, which would have been impossible in Stallman's utopia where all proprietary efforts are outlawed. Without proprietary software to stimulate innovation and fuel programmer salaries, free software would have been a decade behind!

So please don't equate "software freedom" with copyleft restrictions, and give proprietary software the respect that it deserves. Please strongly consider switching your projects to a real free license, like BSD, MIT or CC0. Those licenses are ideal for the aforementioned symbiotic relationship, since anyone can copy this software for whatever purpose (without diminishing the original, and without depriving the original authors of the credit that they deserve). Free software came about not because of GPL, but in spite of it!

--libman

PS: This post was written on a "gnushit free" UNIX system: FreeBSD-current (everything compiled with Clang), running X, TTF fonts copied over from Windows, wmii, etc - and no copyleft software of any kind! I'm proudly using Opera (running in a jail), because it's a great light-weight browser that can run on pure X (w/o GTK or GNUpendancies of any kind).

Would make a nice change (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41350901)

Bumping in to someone doing this would be far more interesting than what I currently have here.

Each day the charity collectors are out, trying to get people signed-up. Of course it's difficult to avoid being accosted several times, and the fuckers seem oblivious to my wearing headphones and carrying some pretty heavy bags.

Then we have guy who wears bin bags, on to which he's used masking tape to write a sample from Thessalonians. At a safe distance, we have the rather elderly bunch who routinely build a little shrine of Mary statuettes (some of them pretty big), and pictures of Jesus, so they can mumble magical words to their statuettes in the hope of being saved from this terrible world.

Then we have the occasionally visiting Pentecostals, being generally younger and not as odd looking as the idolators, only appear sane because they don't do their speaking in tongues skit.

Some guys handing out discs would be a welcome change from the above. Fucking strange town.

Would have loved to have gone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41353545)

If I'd known about it BEFORE it happened!

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