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Richard Stallman: 'Apple Has Tightest Digital Handcuffs In History'

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the taking-applications-for-digital-houdini dept.

DRM 515

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

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Handcuffs are a good thing... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42195545)

...if they stop you from eating the scabs on your feet.

Re:Handcuffs are a good thing... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42195601)

YES YES YES YES YES.

I'm sorry, but after watching Stallman eat his own foot-candy *while giving a presentation*, I can no longer take *anything* he says seriously.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I25UeVXrEHQ

Re:Handcuffs are a good thing... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42195731)

YES YES YES YES YES.

I'm sorry, but after watching Stallman eat his own foot-candy *while giving a presentation*, I can no longer take *anything* he says seriously.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I25UeVXrEHQ

WTFF!!???

Re:Handcuffs are a good thing... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42195757)

Great minds are often deficient in other respects. Just look at the general assortment of autists, schizophrenics, bipolars and other weird individuals we thank for modern science and art.

Re:Handcuffs are a good thing... (1, Funny)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | about a year and a half ago | (#42195837)

I don't think there is any danger of /. deciding not to respect someone who posts a rant against Apple :)

Re:Handcuffs are a good thing... (2)

jc42 (318812) | about a year and a half ago | (#42196053)

I don't think there is any danger of /. deciding not to respect someone who posts a rant against Apple :)

Wait; I thought /. was controlled by Apple fanboys who down-modded anything that criticised Apple (or didn't criticise Micro$oft).

So which is it?

Re:Handcuffs are a good thing... (5, Informative)

morcego (260031) | about a year and a half ago | (#42196187)

Wait; I thought /. was controlled by Apple fanboys who down-modded anything that criticised Apple (or didn't criticise Micro$oft).

So which is it?

It kinda is/was. The problem is, Apple pulled so much shit, that even fanboys are pissed at them.

Re:Handcuffs are a good thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42195965)

When you're the front man and spokesperson of a movement which is trying to win supporters, maybe you have a balance between passion and presentation.

Re:Handcuffs are a good thing... (1, Insightful)

partyguerrilla (1597357) | about a year and a half ago | (#42195937)

Nice argumentum ad-hominem you got there, champ.

Re:Handcuffs are a good thing... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42196129)

Nice lack of humor you got there, faggot.

Re:Handcuffs are a good thing... (2, Insightful)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year and a half ago | (#42196147)

Wow, that video started making me nauseous - and THEN I saw what you were talking about! Best comment: "Stallman only obtains his food from open sores."

Still - don't take someone's opinion less seriously because they are physically disgusting. Take them less seriously because they are pompous, arrogant, and have no interest in listening to anyone else's point of view on a subject.

Though to be honest, I actually mostly agree with his comments on Apple's "handcuffs", at least. Though I don't think telling people they are being "herded" is going to win over anyone...

Freedom (5, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year and a half ago | (#42195593)

Most people don't really care about being free. They'd rather be safe and feel secure even if it's only an illusion.

Re:Freedom (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42195747)

On the flip side, there are those who trade safety and security for freedom even if it's only an illusion.

Re:Freedom (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42195793)

Most people are idiots as well which leaves me wondering about:

Windows has all three. Microsoft can install software changes without asking permission.

Is he referring to Windows Update? Well when Stallman can get people to properly configure and update their software I'll join in the irrational OSS circlejerk.

Re:Freedom (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42195795)

Most people don't really care about being free. They'd rather be safe and feel secure even if it's only an illusion.

The malware I clean up day after day is not an illusion. Freedom isn't free. It requires constant vigilance. The freedom to tinker has no value to me, and the cost in my time is absurd. I would have to be an idiot not to use a locked down device.

Re:Freedom (3, Insightful)

bjwest (14070) | about a year and a half ago | (#42196217)

The malware I clean up day after day is not an illusion. Freedom isn't free. It requires constant vigilance. The freedom to tinker has no value to me, and the cost in my time is absurd. I would have to be an idiot not to use a locked down device.

And this malware you speak of is on which platform? Is it an open or closed platform? I've been using Linux for well over 15 years, and I've never, NEVER had a virus or malware on my system. I've also been using an Android phone since the original Droid which has also never had malware or a virus on it.

Perhaps its because, as they say, Linux isn't mainstream enough to become a target, but I don't think so. I think it'd due to the openness and community support of the code. No one is trying to hide the security flaws - anyone can look though the code - so they get found and fixed quickly.

There are malware on the Android platform (no more so than on ios or win moble/8/whatever it's called this week), but it's relatively new and not as polished as the rest of the Linux distros. Also a lot of venders add custom, proprietary code. Just don't click on every link you see and you'll be fine.

Re:Freedom (1, Insightful)

vikingpower (768921) | about a year and a half ago | (#42195831)

Even if I fully agree with Stallman, I agree with you, too. The 2 opinions do not exclude eachother. Where are my f*****g modpoints ?

Removing my privacy is not about inproved security (2, Informative)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#42195871)

Most people don't really care about being free. They'd rather be safe and feel secure even if it's only an illusion.

Its not true in the slightest; everybody want freedom and privacy, admittedly most do not realise either how much they have given up, or have not noticed it being taken away...and have not sacrificed these things anything as astute as security [that does not make sense anyway ] they have done it for old fashioned *convenience*.

It only the massive marketing campaign by Apple/Microsoft that they fuck you over for your own good. Its not good you being fucked. I find it offensive that you repeat there insane propaganda.

Re:Removing my privacy is not about inproved secur (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42196083)

You're wrong. Most people wants the freedom to be comfortable. Privacy is just part of personal comfort.

True freedom isn't comfortable, it's messy as well as a shitload of work. Most people don't care for it.

RMS doesn't promote true freedom, he simply promotes his own version of it.

Re:Freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42195975)

I disagree. I think that people more likely don't think about what not being free means. They wouldn't like the repercussions, but they don't consider them.

The idea that you could denied opportunities or freedoms because of information gathered about you without your knowledge is something that anyone could be against, but it's a lot more abstract and hard to conceptualize than having your children blown up by terrorists.

The thing is that the former is already happening quite commonly, and the latter is not really affected by the increased "protections".

Re:Freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42196011)

They don't care when they don't understand the issues. Just like people don't care about backwards compatibility until they have some program that doesn't run.

Re:Freedom (1)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | about a year and a half ago | (#42196297)

Most people don't really care about being free. They'd rather be safe and feel secure even if it's only an illusion.

Isn't the freedom to chose safety itself an exercise of choice?

BULLSHIT! (Re:Freedom) (5, Interesting)

killfixx (148785) | about a year and a half ago | (#42196299)

Wrong. Just patently wrong. People care about safety after a host of different attributes, such as: convenience, sex appeal, price, social status, etc...

People don't buy Apple products because they're safe, but because they fit into one of the above mentioned categories. Who would purposely purchase shackles when presented with a "shackle-free" alternative, ninety-nine percent of the (American?) population.*

My favorite science teacher in school told me this, "Life is lazy". Everything wants to do the least amount of work possible. Why would people be any different. I'm not excusing this behavior, just illuminating the cause. Like I tell my students, "If you strive to fit in, you're aiming for the bottom. Be better."

Now, if you had said, "Most people don't really care about being free. They'd rather do the "popular" thing", then I would be inclined to agree with you.

We (people in general) have become "fat and happy" and don't want to be hassled with the responsibility of making our own decisions. "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." -Edmund Burke

"Do not go gentle into that good night" -Dylan Thomas

All great minds have railed against the "popular opinion". Why? Because as a people, humans are notoriously unreliable at making good decisions. As individuals, we have made magnificent strides in science, art, literature, etc...

Please, consciously decide against the tyranny of corporate control. They will never have your best interests at heart.

*I can only speak from an American point of view.

Straightjacket and RMS... (0, Troll)

raydobbs (99133) | about a year and a half ago | (#42195595)

...seems pretty appropriate, given what this guy is like...

I get the impression he hates on Apple because it's popular to hate on them in particular - but they aren't doing MORE than what everyone else in the industry is doing. That's not excusing it, of course - but the real problem with the "Just run Linux" solution is that non-Computer Science people want to do things like answer e-mail, write correspondence, and buy software from the store that has a nice, easy installer. We geeks don't have trouble with the idea of tinkering under the hood when we don't like something - but I am driven to drinking when I think of my grandmother or father trying to use OSS for anything useful when they hit their first problem.

Freedom is nice, but when it involves having to become a computer engineer to exercise it - most people will take the padded handcuffs. Just the way most 'mundanes' are, sad to say. Since I am not drinking the Apple hate-eraid, I imagine I will be modded into oblivion.

Re:Straightjacket and RMS... (2, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42195635)

Have you seen the ubuntu app store?

You can't get easier and all the stuff you are talking about is even free.

Re:Straightjacket and RMS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42195675)

I've used ubuntu, I'll take handcuffs over an enema any day,

Re:Straightjacket and RMS... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42195699)

Have you seen the apps in the Ubuntu app store?

The crusty, lazily hacked-together, barely-works-for-anyone-but-the-developer monstrosities that pass for "apps" in that ecosystem are more than enough to make me embrace the idea of a walled garden where things are thoroughly tested and verified working.

Re:Straightjacket and RMS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42196141)

You realize that what you described is pretty much true on every modern system, right? Developers got really lazy over time.

Re:Straightjacket and RMS... (2, Insightful)

jonnythan (79727) | about a year and a half ago | (#42195763)

Yes, and it's full of an incomprehensible jumble of hundreds of apps that do the same thing, with a distinct lack of the super-common apps that most people (and the computer kid down the street) know how to use already.

Re:Straightjacket and RMS... (2)

tsa (15680) | about a year and a half ago | (#42195969)

Yes, and most games you want to play are not on there.

Re:Straightjacket and RMS... (1)

idontgno (624372) | about a year and a half ago | (#42196037)

Hold it. When did we suddenly transition to talking about the iOS app store?

The decision paralysis problem caused by having too many choices is pretty common. It's pretty much your prototypical "first world problem". And any product marketing itself as a consumer product is prone to it. "All things to all people" effectively winds up "too many things for any given person".

RMS is more about freedoms most consumers will never notice they don't have. "The freedom to examine and modify"? Sheesh. Most consumers don't even want to know how to open the hood on their car. Read, edit, compile, and deploy software?

Free Software is an awesome notion, but for the overwhelming majority it's as irrelevant as the freedom to rebuild you car's engine. If Ford welded hoods shut and promised convenient lifetime service at authorized service centers "for free" (i.e., already in the price of the vehicle), a huge number of consumers would jump on it.

Expect the proliferation of "No user-serviceable parts inside" stickers on software and firmware.

Re:Straightjacket and RMS... (2)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#42196173)

If Ford welded hoods shut and promised convenient lifetime service at authorized service centers "for free"

LOL thats the worst automotive analogy I've ever heard about that topic.

If Ford welded hoods shut and used their money and power as a multinational megacorp plus all the force and power of the federal government to hunt you down like a dog and destroy you if you dared to open the hood of "your" car

Re:Straightjacket and RMS... (4, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#42196061)

Yes, and it's full of an incomprehensible jumble of hundreds of apps that do the same thing, with a distinct lack of the super-common apps that most people (and the computer kid down the street) know how to use already.

Just to clarify, are you talking about Apples app store, the ubuntu app store, or a 3rd app store like the google play app store or the amazon app store or ?

What you've described is pretty much the inherent characteristics of every bbs file section / ftp site / shareware cdrom / gopher site / file download web site / app store that's ever existed.

Re:Straightjacket and RMS... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42196125)

Like every app store?

How exactly is it ever going to have the windows apps you want?

If you want that you're stuck.

Re:Straightjacket and RMS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42195905)

Have you seen the ubuntu app store?

You can't get easier and all the stuff you are talking about is even free.

Yes, because I can install Ubuntu. When Ubuntu ships pre-installed on hardware a normal human might buy, the quality of the app store might matter. In case that ever happens, please put some apps normal people might want to use in there. I notice that there are no Microsoft Office applications, and normal people can not be expected to use anything else.

Re:Straightjacket and RMS... (1)

partyguerrilla (1597357) | about a year and a half ago | (#42195981)

They're free as in free beer, not free as in freedom.

Re:Straightjacket and RMS... (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year and a half ago | (#42196235)

Except that's exactly the meaning of free that RMS and the FSF, etc are NOT talking about.

Those apps don't cost money, but a lot of them are closed source. RMS/FSF has no problem with charging money for apps, they just want the source to be available in that case.

Re:Straightjacket and RMS... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42195783)

Do you think your grandparents are going to be any more fit to handle problems on Windows? No. Seriously: managing a Windows (or malfunctioning Apple) is a job for an IT person, not the layperson. This is like saying a car is not fit for someone because the mechanics who service another kind of car cannot fix the other. Your criticism that they'd like to "buy software from the store" is valid, but the rest is not. The only real argument against GNU/Linux distributions at this point is "it doesn't run software X." Sound, graphics, performance, filesystem support, networking, etc. are good enough, or better than the alternatives. A correctly installed stable (good) distribution of Linux will work fine for anyone as long as the software they want supports Linux.

Re:Straightjacket and RMS... (1)

macraig (621737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42195797)

I get the impression he hates on Apple because it's popular to hate on them in particular....

Your impression is malformed. Back to the drawing board with you.

Re:Straightjacket and RMS... (1, Offtopic)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#42195805)

why don't geeks spend hours and hours tinkering with cars? I mean everyone should know how to do all the things needed to keep their car running.

what is so useful about spending all your time tinkering with computers but not other things you use in your life?

Re:Straightjacket and RMS... (1)

geek (5680) | about a year and a half ago | (#42196181)

Who says we don't? I rebuilt my 1978 Camaro myself. A buddy of mine builds motorcyles for fun and sells them. I have another friend that converted his car to electric. I also put a computer in my Camaro so I have some overlap there.

Re:Straightjacket and RMS... (4, Interesting)

wierd_w (1375923) | about a year and a half ago | (#42196219)

What are you talking about? Many engineering students make modifications to vehicles, purely for pleasure.

The issue is simple:

If I WANT to tinker, *I CAN*.

THAT is the freedom being discussed here. I can't just decide one day that I am dissastisfied with the windows file copy dialog box's estimated time to completion algorithm, bust open the source code, and tinker on it.

I *CAN* do that on linux. (Moreover, if my reimplemetation is superior, the linux community eagerly wants my changes!)

If I *want* to modify my fuel injection system on my vehicle, I can. The hood isn't welded shut, and the ECM isn't designed to kill itself when tampered with. Compare that with say, an xbox360 with efuses, and tamper tape.

Stallman is definately a crackpot in a large number of ways. (Harvesting fresh footfungus in front of an audience and all that..) however, arguing about this level of freedom, even if people choose not to make use of that freedom, is definately to the betterment of mankind, and should be supported.

Re:Straightjacket and RMS... (2)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#42196269)

why don't geeks spend hours and hours tinkering with cars?

Does not match

I mean everyone should know how to do all the things needed to keep their car running.

I have a 15 year old domestic car with about 140K miles and (un-)fortunately "tinkering with the car" means pretty much changing the oil every quarter and checking/replacing certain other fluids roughly annually.

hours and hours ... per decade?

Also there's no optimization left. In my grandfather's time cars were so poorly engineered that you could slap on a higher flow muffler and gain 75 HP and adjust the "points" every weekend to regain 10 HP lost over the course of the week or whatever. Those optimization failures are history other than the most extreme hot-rodders. All thats left is boring maintenance, and theres not much of it.

In contrast give me something that boots Debian amd64 or i386 and I can keep busy for an infinite amount of time doing interesting "stuff".

Re:Straightjacket and RMS... (2, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year and a half ago | (#42195817)

Why put him in a straightjacket? Crowds gather to listen to him rant and rave -- does that bother you? Why not let him opine for hours until he's hoarse if it fits his fancy?

but the real problem with the "Just run Linux" solution is that non-Computer Science people want to do things like answer e-mail, write correspondence, and buy software from the store that has a nice, easy installer.

I'm sorry, I didn't see anywhere in this actual article where he urges people to "Just run Linux" as you quoted, could you help me find it here? Whether or not he rambles about how people should use Linux seems a separate point from his (in my opinion) valid criticisms of Apple, wouldn't you say?

Or are you just trying to get to the talking points that you've learned to parrot ...

Freedom is nice, but when it involves having to become a computer engineer to exercise it - most people will take the padded handcuffs.

OH! Okay, I see you have little to say about what was discussed in the article so you fall back on the same old boring bullshit. Carry on. Let me help you with that quote:

Freedom is nice, but when it involves having to become a civil engineer or economist to exercise it - most people will take the oppressive government.

Freedom is nice, but when it involves having to become a biological engineer to exercise it - most people will take big pharma.

Freedom is nice, but when it involves having to become a radio engineer to exercise it - most people will take the FCC.

Do I need to keep going or are you done with your "Freedom is nice but I'll totally trade it for some trivial shit" statements?

Re:Straightjacket and RMS... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42196145)

Linux

What you're referring to as "Linux" is in fact "GNU/Linux" or as I've recently taken to calling it "GNU plus Linux".

Re:Straightjacket and RMS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42195839)

I get the impression he hates on Apple because it's popular to hate on them in particular

You mean, you don't think he's had a consistent position on non-free software over decades? The iPhone is locked down compared to most other general computation devices (maybe WP7 was more locked down).

but the real problem with the "Just run Linux" solution is that non-Computer Science people want to do things like answer e-mail, write correspondence, and buy software from the store that has a nice, easy installer.

Then get an Android, you can do all that. You are correct that people don't care about freedom.......until it hurts them. And it will.

Re:Straightjacket and RMS... (3, Informative)

nathana (2525) | about a year and a half ago | (#42195861)

I'm not sure why you say "they aren't doing MORE than what everyone else in the industry is doing." They were one of the (if *not* THE) first to come up with a general computing platform that has a digital distribution mechanism for client apps full of DRM *that happens to be the only way to install third-party software on the platform*. By Apple's mandate, there is no sanctioned sideloading of apps. And jailbreaking/rooting doesn't count because that's simply people exploiting security holes in the system that Apple constructed to keep non-App Store apps off the platform.

Sure, everybody else is doing it now, but Apple pioneered that trend. The others followed suit after they saw the success of their platform.

Even if you want to develop a little utility of your own to run on your own device and not sell or distribute to anyone else, you *still* have to pay Apple $99/year for the privilege of loading *your own* software on *your own* device.

-- Nathan

Re:Straightjacket and RMS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42196247)

One could argue game consoles pioneered this kind of absolute DRM for software way before Apple even tried. The earliest I can think of is the lock-out chip in the NES, and all consoles since the 5th generation include some form of DRM to stop unlicensed software from running on them.

Re:Straightjacket and RMS... (5, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year and a half ago | (#42195885)

I get the impression he hates on Apple because it's popular to hate on them in particular

RMS doing something becuse it's popular? Huh? Are we discussing the same RMS?

the real problem with the "Just run Linux" solution is that non-Computer Science people want to do things like answer e-mail, write correspondence, and buy software from the store that has a nice, easy installer

When will this lie end? Modern distros are far more useable than Windows, and possibly Apples as well (I wouldn't know). The only thing you got right was the "buy software" part. You don't buy software with Linux, you download it from the distro's repository. It takes one click and no reboots.

Since I am not drinking the Apple hate-eraid, I imagine I will be modded into oblivion.

Apple fans get mod points, too, as seen by your "+3 interesting" comment that's almost 100% incorrect.

Re:Straightjacket and RMS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42196111)

Give your grandma $500. Tell her to transform that money into an email machine.
I bet she will go to BestBuy and ask for help for someone to do that for her. I bet they'll also sell and help her setup an ISP to get internet. Then Windows/ Apple annoying prompts will facilitate in her creating an email.

She won't know what Linux is. Or how to procure such things from the internet. Your statement "You don't buy software with Linux, you download it from the distro's repository. It takes one click and no reboots." is an oversimplification for most people.

Is the rest of the world idiots? No, they just have different priorities, just as you don't know every tax loopholes but a seasoned accountant will, and think you're a dolt for missing such obvious holes printed in black and white on a public domain (irs.gov).

Re:Straightjacket and RMS... (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year and a half ago | (#42196155)

Modern Distros still have some major rough edges. I cant even get ubuntu to stop turning off the monitor, and there is nowhere in the UI that even offers it. I tried 7 different vectors at the command line before i gave up. It shouldnt be that hard.

Re:Straightjacket and RMS... (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year and a half ago | (#42196207)

Modern Distros still have some major rough edges. I cant even get ubuntu to stop turning off the monitor, and there is nowhere in the UI that even offers it. I tried 7 different vectors at the command line before i gave up. It shouldnt be that hard.

Not sure what a vector at the command line means but after 10 seconds of clicking through their help guide [ubuntu.com] :

Click the icon at the very right of the menu bar and select System Settings.
Click Brightness and Lock.
Change the value in the Lock screen after drop-down list.

Richard Stallman says something inciteful . . . (1, Redundant)

InvisibleClergy (1430277) | about a year and a half ago | (#42195625)

. . . and in other news, the sky is still blue and Moore's Law continues to be a marketing ploy.

Re:Richard Stallman says something inciteful . . . (0)

Tim the Gecko (745081) | about a year and a half ago | (#42195935)

Your "inciteful [grammarphobia.com] " could relate to incitement or insight.

Re:Richard Stallman says something inciteful . . . (1)

macbeth66 (204889) | about a year and a half ago | (#42196223)

hmmmm...

accidental, on purpose, typo?

Inciteful. Yeah, that he is.

Insightful. Yeah, I hate to say it, he is that too.

Yup. (2)

nathana (2525) | about a year and a half ago | (#42195631)

Perhaps this is Richard Stallman already answering my Ask Slashdot question?

https://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3278789&cid=42118329 [slashdot.org]

Given what I've been through recently with Apple on my iPhone (http://www.anderson-net.com/~nathan/apple-broke-my-phone), and also recent stories such as this one (http://www.telecoms.com/54319/apple-vetting-operators-on-lte-network-performance/), I'd have to say, "yup."

-- Nathan

Apple Spyware?! (4, Informative)

the_B0fh (208483) | about a year and a half ago | (#42195639)

WTF? If anything it was shown that the silly monitoring application had the spyware pieces *DISABLED* on iPhones whereas Android phone sellers had it enabled. Google's original bits did not have it, since Google have their own way of tracking users :)

So how I am supposed to take Stallman seriously?

Re:Apple Spyware?! (1)

nathana (2525) | about a year and a half ago | (#42195671)

Pretty sure he's referring to this:

http://blog.chpwn.com/post/13572216737 [chpwn.com]

-- Nathan

Re:Apple Spyware?! (4, Insightful)

the_B0fh (208483) | about a year and a half ago | (#42195739)

As was I. CarrierIQ, as implemented on iOS, *DID NOT* have the spyware pieces enabled. If there was no spyware, how can you justify calling it spying?

Remember, at its core, CarrierIQ is simply a monitoring solution. That you can turn it into spyware means that someone was doing stupid things.

Re:Apple Spyware?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42196043)

It's still spyware, and could be enabled at any time. Why would you want any sort of malicious software on your devices, even if it's "disabled"?

Re:Apple Spyware?! (1)

phayes (202222) | about a year and a half ago | (#42196049)

RMS makes good points in general but in this instance I thing he's mistaken & just scratching a very old itch of his by habit.

He has been anti-Apple since the days of the look&feel process that Apple won against Digital research for copying the Mac UI in Gem.

Re:Apple Spyware?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42196201)

how can you justify calling it spyware? ... CarrierIQ is simply a monitoring solution

When reading something like the above, rendered without any apparent self awareness or irony, the only possible way to describe it would be "Newspeak". I'm genuinely saddened, even more so in that it's no longer even surprising.

Some of us are grown-ups (5, Insightful)

Joehonkie (665142) | about a year and a half ago | (#42195669)

"And therefore they can be herded into giving up their freedom by a combination of convenient features, pressure from institutions and the network effect." Or, perhaps, they judged what they want and what they are giving up and chose something of their own accord because they don't care about the same things in their computing experience that RMS does. Crazy, I know.

Re:Some of us are grown-ups (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42195875)

I can install any software on my iPhone that I want, provided I can write it.

Isn't that the sort of freedom that would appeal to Mr. Stallman?

Re:Some of us are grown-ups (1)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#42195949)

but you need a Mac and XCode

I mean how evil is that. you need a computer from the same company that made your phone to write software for it

Re:Some of us are grown-ups (3, Informative)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year and a half ago | (#42196085)

And a certificate from Apple or Jailbreaking your phone (which they try to make harder and even illegal as time goes).

Re:Some of us are grown-ups (5, Insightful)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year and a half ago | (#42195895)

Mostly because they can't see what waits them in the end of the road if they keep on this path. RMS has a very good point. Most users would abhor, if they could see a bit ahead, the dystopia companies like Apple and MS want to create where they have absolute control over what we can or cannot do with the devices we buy. If they don't it is mostly because of ignorance.

Re:Some of us are grown-ups (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42195897)

How does that make you a grown up?

I don't care for GNU philosophy, but you just made an ad hominem. Try something that would get the audience on your side. Or are you preaching to the choir?

Re:Some of us are grown-ups (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42195947)

Your view leads to endentured slavery. In any other situation to date this was deemed unacceptable regardless of the views of the participants.

PR genius (2, Informative)

paiute (550198) | about a year and a half ago | (#42195711)

I am as much for free and open software as the next nerd, but having its spokesman say about potential users that "they can be herded into giving up their freedom by a combination of convenient features, pressure from institutions and the network effect...." is extremely counterproductive. He is admitting that free software is inconvenient, that it isn't going to be supported by your workplace or school, and - what? What the heck is the "network effect"?

Re:PR genius (5, Informative)

pr0nbot (313417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42195851)

The network effect is where you need to use (random example) Skype because everyone else you need to talk to uses Skype, and Skype is not built on open standards in a way which would allow you to use an alternative.

Re:PR genius (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42195879)

Telling them it's all freedom, sunshine and eagles and then having them find out it's not all that isn't a good way to keep people in your corner either.

Re:PR genius (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42195927)

What the heck is the "network effect"?

You're not exactly showing off your superior knowledge by asking that kind of question [wikipedia.org] . Use Google next time.

Re:PR genius (2)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year and a half ago | (#42196001)

He is just saying that convenient features, and peer and institutions pressure force people into non open standards. He didn't say a thing about all convenient features being exclusive to closed source. Currently Apple has inferior products, with far less convenient features than the competition and still it sells as if it was good, due to it being fashionable and a symbol of status. MS products have mostly infuriating features, but people are used to them and learning new things is inconvenient to many.

Re:PR genius (5, Interesting)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year and a half ago | (#42196031)

And yet, he's absolutely honest and correct. Any marketing spin would be slightly dishonest and manipulative, and he won't stand for that.

Humans are biased to our own detriment. We'll take immediate payoff (the "convenient features") over a bigger long-term benefit (Linux's flexibility). We'll trust recommendations ("pressure") from authorities as being absolute, rather than re-evaluating solutions to find what's best for us. When surrounded by others doing something, we'll assume that we must do the same (allowing the "network effect [wikipedia.org] ")

Humans just suck. Not saying that outright is being nice.

Re:PR genius (1)

swan5566 (1771176) | about a year and a half ago | (#42196105)

Yeah the "herded" comment could come across as being rather conceited. I've seen this guy talk at a gathering before in person, and let's just say I think he's pretty used to preaching to the choir.

Fuck him. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42195755)

Nice try, RMS. Open Source is a movement that Free Software charlatans and cultists like to leech off of to serve their own demagoguery. As someone who contributes code and advice to multiple open source projects (although I'll only contribute to BSD or similarly-licensed projects: Absolutely no GPL3), there are few things that make me want to stop and just focus on my traditional-closed-source programmer day job than RMS being given so much as a single breath of air.

Time to grow up and move on, Slashdot. You'd be surprised how many of us in the Open Source movement have.

Liberate users? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42195785)

I was going to write something sardonic until I read his wiki entry for "personal life."
He reminds me of a LARPer, but instead of being invested in fantasy quests, he's obsessed about privacy.

Don't get me wrong, I worry about privacy, but he just takes it to a whole different level. Personally, I worry about diet and exercise, something he doesn't seem to prioritize. But, to each his own.

Seriously? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42195799)

This man's views are totally ridiculous. "Digital handcuffs"? You might as well argue that because you can't install Linux on your Craftsman screwdriver it's taking away your freedom.

Stallman, here's a hint: it's phone. A phone. You may pick it up and put it down at your leisure. It's not taking away your freedom. More importantly, the restrictions the manufacturers put in place help make it stable and reliable. Nobody should have to understand the technology to make use of it.

Go get laid.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42196035)

"It's not taking away your freedom."
Some people are slaves to their phones, this is not a joke. You are ignoring our changing culture.

Re:Seriously? (2)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year and a half ago | (#42196265)

ITS NOT JUST A PHONE. It is a pocket computer with more storage and horsepower THEN MY COLLEGE IRC NODE/WAREZ SITE, a plethora of sensors and its backdoored all to hell. It is a phenomenally powerful device, and you would reduce it to voice comms and fart apps. No one is saying we dont want secure devices, only that we should be able to take off the restrictions if we choose as intelligent human beings.

Liberating computer users? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42195807)

Machine guns may help.

What Happens When You "Liberate" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42195835)

So what if you liberate someone who doesn't want liberating? Most people, even me depending on the device, don't feel like tinkering. That's different than not having the option available to anyone.

Different strokes for different folks.

Users to blame as much as corporations like Apple (2)

kheldan (1460303) | about a year and a half ago | (#42195869)

People, especially the current generation, have been indoctrinated to the concept that "privacy" is an outmoded concept, and in some cases that a lack of privacy is the normal, natural order of things. This, of course, is wrong and needs to be corrected before the problems with corporations and governments can be corrected. As always, the free flow of information and education of the masses leads to what's best for people.

Re:Users to blame as much as corporations like App (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42195939)

Privacy is a myth, it always has been a myth, and you are wrong. But by all means, waste your life trying to get that genie back in the bottle of you really think it's a problem. You may as well work on getting rivers to flow uphill while you're at it.

On the mention of Windows... (1)

yuhong (1378501) | about a year and a half ago | (#42195881)

"Microsoft can install software changes without asking permission."
Is RMS referring to Automatic Updates?

Re:On the mention of Windows... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42196109)

Not necessarily.

Richard Stallman: 'I Has Smallest Cock in History' (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42195909)

AP, Dec 5, 2012. For immediate release.

Unbathed "open source zealot" Richard Stallman came out today announcing that he "has [sic] smallest cock in history" and that it's received absolutely no attention from anyone besides himself. "My cock is a virgin in every sense of the word," he confidently and proudly proclaimed. "In fact, no other human has even seen it! I stroke it lovingly every day. Mine. It's mine. And it's small."

A dictator's dream to represent freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42195921)

Could a dictator ask for a better representative for freedom? In other words, if freedom means being like Stallman, not too many people will want to be free. Like it or not, personality matters. It also matters that some of the ideas he espouses have nothing to do with freedom and more to do with his obsessions. Stallman is the poster child for advocates who seek to remove us from the fascist frying pan by throwing us into the communist oven.

What you don't get is that they WANT to be slaves! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42196003)

Ever tried to free them? They'd rather bash *your* head in than to do anything for their freedom.

Psychology and Neurology agree, that the majority of people are *not* individuals. They are more like body parts of a larger body. Cattle. Drones. NPCs.
This has a very specific reason: Imagine everybody having their own mind... being their own leader... It would be *chaos*. And endless wars. Nothing would get done.

So praise the cattle! For if you are full enough of yourself, they might serve *you* some day!
And don't whine just because it's not you right now. *Make* it you!

Dell Computer Scandal? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42196047)

There is a powerful Dell computer which thousands of people are havinga field day hacking... The IP Address is: 67.79.145.146

Joint Apple/Microsoft Commercial (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42196067)

*Fade in. Hip young man is sitting and typing away furiously on unbranded laptop. Two noticeably older gentlemen wearing Apple and MS shirts walk up, sit down on opposite sides, and open their own laptops. Start typing as well.*

Older Gentleman 1: *Looks over at hip young man* What are you doing?
Hip Young Man: *Beaming smile* I'm using Linux!
Older Gentleman 2: Oh, neat. What are you doing on Linux?
HYM: ...I'm using it.
OG1: But what do you use it for?
HYM: Anything! Linux is free. You can do anything you want! It's powered by the community! I can even look at the source code if I want to!
OG2: Do you want to?
HYM: Not particularly.
OG2: I see... interesting. *Resumes typing*
HYM: *Looks at OG1* What are you doing?
OG1: Stuff that matters.
*OG1 and OG2 high-five over HYM* *Fade to black.*

Nothing to see here (0)

moonwatcher2001 (2710261) | about a year and a half ago | (#42196115)

If you've read one Stallman interview you've read them all.

'convenient features' (3)

rbprbp (2731083) | about a year and a half ago | (#42196123)

"And therefore they can be herded into giving up their freedom by a combination of convenient features, pressure from institutions and the network effect."


Convenient features, such as stuff actually working well and doing what it's supposed to without needing tinkering. Pressure from institutions and network effect, aka '90% of my peers use the same software, it works well for our needs and it would be a major undertaking for them to migrate just to satisfy my whims'.

No, RMS (1)

A bsd fool (2667567) | about a year and a half ago | (#42196127)

MS cannot "install software changes without asking permission" -- unless you give it permission to do so. Derp harder. After you take a bath.

powering the cloud (2)

faustoc4 (2766155) | about a year and a half ago | (#42196153)

Shills get a life. Even your bosses use open source software to power the cloud and to surveil and record all of us. The only difference is that they don't redistribute the code because they sell it as a service.

Come on RMS, iOS isn't all that bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42196177)

Why?
    It does not use Flash.

See, Apple can't be all bad now can they?

Sorry Richie (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42196205)

Gadgets are there to get things (not necessarily work) done.
They are not a political instrument to convince everyone of your narrow-minded world-view.
And they certainly not a tool for tool's-sake.

If OSS can get do the shit I need to to in a convenient, easy and fun way without causing eye-sore, fine. Sign me up.
If not, get lost.

There is a mentality problem. But NOT on the side of closed source software users, but on the FSF side.
OSS ist not better just because it is OSS. You can't expect people to use OSS just because it is OSS, despite being a pile shit (hard to use, fugly, not documented, needs maintenance, needs compiling, etc).

The last 25 years, OSS has catered the nerds (notable exceptions like Firefox, Android and (hidden!) Linux on routers aside). Unless OSS is truly mainstream, and that means being as polished as commercial Software, like Apple's for instance, he can talk as much as he wants. No one, except some acolytes of him, will listen to him and do what he says. And rightly so.

Car (5, Interesting)

ckhorne (940312) | about a year and a half ago | (#42196253)

I wonder what kind of car Stallman drives. Seriously. Does he update the firmware controlling the engine timing and fuel injectors?

What's that? The car manufacturers have digitally handcuffed him so that he can't go mucking around with things? Oh - it must be a safety issue. OK, well, surely he can update the firmware for other things in his car, such as the radio display?

People aren't hearded in to giving up their freedoms. There are certain freedoms that those people just don't *need* to begin with. My mother, who has an iPhone, isn't handcuffed - if anything, the device liberates her into using technology that she wouldn't otherwise use in in the modern world.

There are products across the spectrum that address the balance between usable and the freedom to do whatever you'd like. Just because manufacturers lock down their devices doesn't mean there's not a suitable audience that doesn't benefit...

ZOMG! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42196263)

Does he mention precious bodily fluids? Oh, no! The Flash plugin is reporting me to the Fringe Division. The NSA knows I bought Nutella! I am undone! Or something.

ProTip: Safety and freedom are both illusions. Sleep tight.

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