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Free Software Foundation Announces 2013 Holiday Giving Guide

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the rewarding-good-behavior dept.

Christmas Cheer 104

An anonymous reader writes "On Cyber Monday, millions of Americans will take to the Internet in search of the newest gadgets to bestow upon their loved ones. Most of these 'gifts' are trojan horses that will spy on their recipients, prevent them from doing what they want with their device, or maybe even block access to their favorite books or music. The Free Software Foundation is proud to introduce a map through this minefield: our 2013 Giving Guide. The Giving Guide features gifts that will not only make your recipients jump for joy; these gifts will also protect their freedom."

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104 comments

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Cumfarting crunch (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45548619)

A yummy-yummy time for a spectacular moment !

What awful gifts... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45548629)

Think Penguin laptops are garbage. A FSF membership? Any zealot who wants that already has one... A phone running Replicant? Gimme a break.

Re: What awful gifts... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45549799)

I thought for sure they would be promoting printed copies of the GNU Emacs manual and 1/2" tapes with the source of GCC on them.

Re: What awful gifts... (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 9 months ago | (#45555367)

Or a Lemote Yeedong laptop running Libre-Linux from GNewSense ;-)

Re: What awful gifts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45549957)

I instead bought a larer generation netbook. For $300 at Radio Shack of all places. It has a dual core AMD processor, not an anaemic Atom, and cane with 4 gb of RAM which I replaced with 8.

Its not particularly speedy but with VirtualBox on top of the Windows 7 it lets me install a full real (BSD) Unix, not some Mach derived kludge with a BSD userland grafted on.

And it cost in total about what the average Apple customer spends on the addons and accessories for their new shiny.

Re: What awful gifts... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 9 months ago | (#45551485)

Its not particularly speedy but with VirtualBox on top of the Windows 7 it lets me install a full real (BSD) Unix

Do I see a problem right there? What about simply installing "a full real (BSD) Unix" onto the hardware? Wouldn't it become slightly speedier?

Re: What awful gifts... (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 9 months ago | (#45556185)

Given that we're discussing the FSF, they'd want a libre-Linux - preferably Trisquel or GNewSense to any BSD, and certainly over any Windows

Re:What awful gifts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45551121)

Ask and ye shall receive...

break;

Re:What awful gifts... (2)

exomondo (1725132) | about 9 months ago | (#45551139)

They really aren't trying very hard. Seriously who is actually going to prefer an FSF membership over an iTunes giftcard? You can download DRM-free music that you can play anywhere from iTunes so how is it the FSF is so opposed to that? I'd prefer a donation be made in my name to The Human Fund than an FSF membership.

Re:What awful gifts... (1)

RR (64484) | about 9 months ago | (#45552265)

You can download DRM-free music that you can play anywhere from iTunes so how is it the FSF is so opposed to that?

You didn't read the FSF's reasoning, did you. They object to how the only way to download those DRM-free tracks is with that annoying proprietary bloat-ware, iTunes.

They didn't mention, but the DRM-free tracks from Apple are also patent-encumbered AAC and violate your privacy, by including your account details in the file.

Re:What awful gifts... (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 9 months ago | (#45552547)

They object to how the only way to download those DRM-free tracks is with that annoying proprietary bloat-ware, iTunes.

That is really lame, if you're ultra-paranoid just run it in a VM and delete it once the tracks are downloaded. The upshot is you can get DRM-free music and not be beholden to Apple at all.

They didn't mention, but the DRM-free tracks from Apple are also patent-encumbered AAC and violate your privacy, by including your account details in the file.

Being DRM-free you can convert those tracks to whatever format you want. I do understand them not endorsing such products due to the process to get the media but the fact that the media is DRM-free and therefore can easily be converted to any format you want means the result is achievable and desirable.

Re:What awful gifts... (1)

fgouget (925644) | about 9 months ago | (#45554689)

That is really lame, if you're ultra-paranoid just run it in a VM and delete it once the tracks are downloaded. The upshot is you can get DRM-free music and not be beholden to Apple at all.

iTunes does not run on open-source operating systems (even with Wine [winehq.org] ) so VMs don't help one bit. Running iTunes requires buying Windows or an Apple computer

Re:What awful gifts... (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 9 months ago | (#45566149)

iTunes does not run on open-source operating systems (even with Wine [winehq.org] ) so VMs don't help one bit. Running iTunes requires buying Windows or an Apple computer

errr...a VM is a Virtual Machine, you don't have to buy a Windows or Apple computer, you can run Windows in a VM on a linux system if you like, or thanks to the lack of DRM you can use any Windows or OSX system to download the songs and then copy them to wherever you want.

Re:What awful gifts... (1)

fgouget (925644) | about 9 months ago | (#45567425)

errr...a VM is a Virtual Machine, you don't have to buy a Windows or Apple computer, you can run Windows in a VM on a linux system if you like

Sigh. Virtual Machine don't come with an operating system preinstalled. So to run Windows in your VM you will have to buy a Windows license. Even if your computer came with Windows preinstalled, it's likely that it will refuse to run in your VM due to the different hardware, or because it's tied to your specific computer brand through some string in the BIOS. As for Mac OS X, AFAIK Apple forbids you from running it in a VM if that VM is not running on an Apple computer, hence why I said that you needed to buy either Windows, or an Apple computer. Or you could pirate the OS but then why not cut the middleman and pirate the music directly...

or thanks to the lack of DRM you can use any Windows or OSX system to download the songs and then copy them to wherever you want.

If you're allowed to install iTunes on your work computer, and access to these non-work sites is not blocked; or if you have friends who let you use their computers to download stuff. Otherwise that "any Windows or OSX system" will be one you bought which brings us back to the above.

Re:What awful gifts... (1)

rioki (1328185) | about 9 months ago | (#45553821)

Yet they miss the point totally and fully. They should compare the iTunes giftcard with a giftcard from a mustic service that is DRM free. Likewise the comparison of YouTube to MediaGoblin is stupid. It is like saying you should not buy a Mercedes SLK, instead use this open source motor block. The list is pretty lame, but it unfortunately falls in line with much of the FSF communication: "trying to improve the work, but slightly missing the point". Why am I a FSFE fellow again?

Re:What awful gifts... (1)

J. J. Ramsey (658) | about 9 months ago | (#45552307)

If you're going to claim that the ThinkPenguin laptops are "garbage," could you at least say why they are garbage, e.g. build quality, feature set, whether one can replace some parts oneself, and so on? Otherwise it just looks like a dumb flame.

Re:What awful gifts... (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 9 months ago | (#45552619)

Did you bother to look at them?

Really? (1, Insightful)

Spritzer (950539) | about 9 months ago | (#45548665)

After reading through the list it seems they want me to give my non-techie family a bunch of shit they'll never figure out or have no use for anyway. How cute

Re:Really? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45548679)

So give the gifts to your techie friends. Or give the list to your non-technie family and say 'buy something from that list for me for christmas, family'.

Who wouldn't want a 3D printer, libre laptop, or non-NSA-compatable internet file storage?

Re:Really? (0, Flamebait)

BitZtream (692029) | about 9 months ago | (#45548919)

Because your techie friends would much rather pick the shit out themselves and not be bound to whatever limited version of some product you pick out because you had to push RMSes politics on your 'friends'.

You're a pretty shitty friend from the sound of it. You don't seem to know much about techies and you seem to think projecting your own personal views/hippie ideology on others is something a friend would do.

Pretty much makes you a selfish jerk pretending to be something other.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45548939)

You're a pretty shitty friend from the sound of it.

Given your attitude, you sound much worse.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45549495)

Given your attitude, you sound much worse.

No, he's right on the money.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550577)

I suggest giving gifts or giving gift ideas, you call me a shitty friend and selfish jerk.

Merry christmas to you too, asshole.

Re:Really? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45548735)

Exactly; the guide should be called, "How to make your family hate you and cause even more tech support calls for yourself." Those gadgets are not something that the "normals" would want or ever get working.

Re:Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45548769)

ThinkPenguin laptops are like bottom of the barrel. Touch pads that make Dell seem good, creaky bulky chassis from a decade ago. Default 80GB non-SSD hard disks!? in 2013?

Re:Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45548815)

But it is FSF approved lol so that makes usage of modern hardware requiring firmware impossible...

Re:Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45548847)

Yeah. I was quite excited when first clicking the link, but the specs and photos made me puke. This doesn't make Dell seem good, this makes $200 chinese knock-offs seem good.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45549235)

Dude, you're getting a Dell!

Sorry about that. :[

Re:Really? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 9 months ago | (#45549333)

none of their gifts constitute as good gift ideas.

FSF membership as a gift? wtf. yeah, you sure that will make my mom part of your community?

give a 3d printer to someone who has no idea how to use it? bad idea and their choice isn't that cheap either(taz2 is fucking TWO GRAND on sale! you can get fucking three mendel90's style machines that are the thing they took the design from for that money! but it's oooh so open as if the other cheap bots weren't! fucking link to reprap.org at least... and just maybe, just maybe to something a bit cheaper).

and I mean what the fuck how the fuck do you consider something you download a "gift"? yeah my gentoo brother is going to be really happy when I send him a debian cd as a gift!? or should I just send him the link in email and say "happy birthday bro I hope you liek your gift!" and furthermore LIKE WHAT THE FUCK GIVE MEDIAGOBLIN TO MY SISTE TO REPLACE YOUTUBEA?"!#O"!=IRO FASDAsdfjadsoimf, kosadpÃcvklafÃsj mkalsdfj asdfasdf sadjfia I think I'm going to give a box of ice to my grandpa to replace his refrigator too. it's open source you see, from his porch and he could have some ice content then next winter!

I like fsf and all but hey get your fucking heads out of your ass.

fuck, give a gift certificate in paypal. at least that show some thought. defective thought but not as defective as theirs...

I'm sorry but this is just the shittiest attempt at "give us monay" I've seen from them in a long while.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45557427)

I must agree that they have insofar failed to provide on their promises, in fact piggybacking on a young college student to gain the vast majority of their recognition - the BSDs don't touch GNU.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45549473)

Your post should be called, "How to be a doormat and let family walk all over you."

Seriously, stop doing tech support for family. It ain't worth it.

Re:Really? (1, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about 9 months ago | (#45548749)

This is a list for your paranoid delusional friends and family. I have a few of those.

Re:Really? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45548767)

I'm going to shoot my dick down your asshole!
Each and every one of you bend over for me so I can shove my dick deep into your asshole's!
My creampies are magical!

Re:Really? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 9 months ago | (#45548801)

That's another gift idea I'll have to keep in mind.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45548841)

Calm down Stallman.

Re:Really? (1)

Grisstle (2798631) | about 9 months ago | (#45549851)

Is that it? Really? Throwing a string of vulgarities together does not a troll make. Try again. The vulgarities could work if you could redo that post as a Haiku. Can you handle a haiku? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haiku). Or a Jeopardy post! This act entails taking a dick up the ass and allowing the person ramming your butt to ejaculate in your arse. What is an anal creampie? Honestly, it's like you're new at trolling or don't understand the concept of trolling as an art.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550087)

Looks like your snap became something 100% different! Also, Hillbilly Mutt 20 became an existentialist Armageddon upon reading your comment; that doesn't bode well for its accuracy...

Re:Really? (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 9 months ago | (#45548903)

What used to be considered "paranoid delusional" is more frequently being considered "informed" these days.

Re:Really? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 9 months ago | (#45552757)

Heh, yeah, just because you are paranoid doesn't mean someone isn't after you.

Re:Really? (3, Interesting)

Rozzin (9910) | about 9 months ago | (#45548829)

After reading through the list it seems they want me to give my non-techie family a bunch of shit they'll never figure out or have no use for anyway. How cute

Maybe your non-techie family members are different than everyone else's, but in general those non-techie family members will never really figure out their Windows or Macintosh PC, or their iPhone, or Google servicesâ"they're going to lean heavily on their family's designated techie for tech support regardless of what they're using (for learning how to do new things, for remembering how to do things they've done before, and for cleaning up the messes they get themselves into). Might as well give them something that's easier for you to support.

Re:Really? (1, Insightful)

Spritzer (950539) | about 9 months ago | (#45548915)

The non-techies in most families who actually use computers and smart phones are typically already accustomed to a particular OS/device. It's much easier to support their occasional need than to spend countless hours explaining how to make this new thing do what the old thing did. Now, if the FSF membership came with tech support for FSF supported items, I'd buy them one of those in a heartbeat.

Re:Really? (1, Flamebait)

BitZtream (692029) | about 9 months ago | (#45548947)

... You're an idiot.

Maybe your non-techie family members are different than everyone else's, but in general those non-techie family members will never really figure out their Windows or Macintosh PC, or their iPhone, or Google servicesâ"they're going to lean heavily on their family's designated techie for tech support regardless of what they're using (for learning how to do new things, for remembering how to do things they've done before, and for cleaning up the messes they get themselves into). Might as well give them something that's easier for you to support.

Uhm, you do realize reality is pretty much exactly the opposite of what you just said right ...

Thats why our non-techie family members and friends use those things in the first place.

Grandma and grandpa may have tech issues since they were born before 30 years before the Internet even existed, but pretty much everyone else has figured out the popular products ... that is why those products are popular.

Re:Really? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 9 months ago | (#45548987)

Might as well give them something that's easier for you to support, isn't what their friends and much of the rest of the family use, limits their software choices, and makes them further dependent on you.

There, fixed that for you.
 
I don't know about your family or that of the OP... but mine would not be grateful for such a 'gift'. It's like giving them clothes that fit me, in my favorite colors, or CD's of all my favorite music - with complete disregard for their tastes.

Re:Really? (1)

westlake (615356) | about 9 months ago | (#45551367)

Maybe your non-techie family members are different than everyone else's, but in general those non-techie family members will never really figure out their Windows or Macintosh PC, or their iPhone, or Google services...

Stop. Right. There.

The geek's friends and family have made a big investment in hardware, software and services that meet their particular requirements ---not yhis.

The geek's friends and family may struggle now and again with a particular problem.

But in their millions and hundreds of millions they have somehow managed to get through most of the year without him.

How quickly the geek forgets that successful changes in core systems, software and procedures in any environment demands a massive, long term commitment from technical support! You enlist for the duration or you have no business getting involved at all.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45548839)

Least Authority seems cool but at $50/mo?! No way. Cheaper to buy a bunch of VPS' and crypt the filesystem in a loopback. Media Goblin? Yea cause everyone wants their own private Youtube* that nobody else will visit.... *Not nearly as usable or as high quality as Youtube...

Re:Really? (1, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | about 9 months ago | (#45548909)

The reality of it is, anyone who uses this guide to give gifts doesn't actually have any friends.

Its a list of crap that is wrapped entirely around RMS's silly political agenda.

Anyone who gives Linux as a gift is a such a douche that I can safely say they don't have ayn friends. Well, they may think they have friends, but no one thinks of them as such.

Anyone who would use that Linux distro ... isn't going to want the one you're giving them, and can just go download it themselves ... and to make matters worse, they're going to know that you as such a fake fuck that you didn't even put any effort into getting them a gift. Its not price, its thought, and giving Linux shows you put no thought into it.

The AC above me says 'give the gifts to your techie friends'.

No, asshole, I will not force RMS's silly political agenda on someone else. I will not presume to be able to determine which techie gift my techie friends want because I'm smart enough to know that my friends will want very specific techie gifts in specific configurations that I'm not going to know so the best I can do is give a gift certificate so they can pick something out themselves ... in which case, I don't need this retarded list from RMS.

Re: Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45549613)

ANGRY NIRDS!

Re: Really? (1)

fizzer06 (1500649) | about 9 months ago | (#45552203)

Are you using that open source dictionary?

Re:Really? (4, Insightful)

exomondo (1725132) | about 9 months ago | (#45551267)

I can see what they're getting at but every single choice there is only better if you value "software freedom" above all else, and even in some cases they seem to be acting deliberately obtuse. For example you can install GNU/Linux on a Macbook Pro and not only will you have far superior hardware than the thinkpenguin solution but you have the choice to use whatever OS suits you for a particular task.
Then there's Google Drive, sure it's free and your data is accessible to Google but if you want "cloud storage" you can't guarantee that data will always be private no matter who you host it with and if need further protections you will obviously encrypt it anyway.
And what does mediagoblin vs youtube have to do with "gift giving"?

The idea that most people will value software freedom above all else is idiocy so instead they need to focus on making good products, products that appeal to most people and compete with non-free products. At the moment many (not all) things in that list are examples of free (as in freedom) resulting in a crappier product. "Free" needs to result in an equal or better product in comparison but also have the advantage of being free.

Re:Really? (1)

fgouget (925644) | about 9 months ago | (#45554749)

if you want "cloud storage" you can't guarantee that data will always be private no matter who you host it with and if need further protections you will obviously encrypt it anyway.

Wrong the solution is client-side encryption [wikipedia.org] . the FSF did mention it on their page: "Client side encryption to prevent snooping".

The idea that most people will value software freedom above all else is idiocy so instead they need to focus on making good products, products that appeal to most people and compete with non-free products.

Given that most people value brand above all else, competing on features is far from sufficient.

Re:Really? (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 9 months ago | (#45566177)

Wrong the solution is client-side encryption [wikipedia.org] . the FSF did mention it on their page: "Client side encryption to prevent snooping".

My statement didn't preclude client-side encryption, in fact if you read the passage I quoted I explicitly said you would encrypt it anyway.

Given that most people value brand above all else, competing on features is far from sufficient.

I didn't say you have to compete on features, you need to compete in all areas to build products that people actually want to use, or you can just continue the defeatist attitude and lament your view that even if you did build something decent nobody would use it...maybe that's why those products suck so much.

Re:Really? (1)

fgouget (925644) | about 9 months ago | (#45567485)

My statement didn't preclude client-side encryption, in fact if you read the passage I quoted I explicitly said you would encrypt it anyway.

You said "you would encrypt it anyway" which as stated implies a manual operation, while client-side encryption is transparent. Furthermore you did say "if you want "cloud storage" you can't guarantee that data will always be private no matter who you host it with" which is wrong: if your cloud storage solution performs client-side encryption then that's a garantee your data will be private.

I didn't say you have to compete on features, you need to compete in all areas to build products that people actually want to use, or you can just continue the defeatist attitude and lament your view that even if you did build something decent nobody would use it...maybe that's why those products suck so much.

You did not say they "have to" but you said they "need to", pretty much the same, and implied that would be sufficient (and that they are idiots and somehow not doing so (I cannot really blame you if you sometimes get that feeling)). All I'm doing is pointing the harsh reality which is not the same as being a defeatist (I would not be working on Wine [winehq.org] if I were).

Bah (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45548667)

Hum, none of the presents I would really like actually.

That's the irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45548689)

When the software or content is given away for free, then the apparent value as a gift seems to be approaching zero, as well. "It looks like a cool game, but can't I just (legally) download this from the Internet for free?" That's probably why several of the FSF's recommendations are hardware/software packages.

And remember . . . (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45548755)

it's GNU/Linux, not Linux.

Re:And remember . . . (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45551249)

No, sorry, the economy is bad these days, so all I'm giving this year is the kernel. The user land will have to wait till next year.

"Give a membership to Free Software Foundation" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45548783)

Isn't there a law against cruel and unusual punishment?

Suggestion (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45548785)

Can someone please buy Richard a bar of soap?

Urgh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45548833)

I wouldn't wish most of the items on that list upon my worst enemies.

No strings attached (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 9 months ago | (#45548849)

In fact, no ties, nor chains neither. You can be the the owner of those gifts, not being owned by them.

Re:No strings attached (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45548863)

In fact, you'll be the keeper of those gifts.

I'm maintaining my own Linux distribution and not even I feel nerdy enough for this bullshit.

Block access to their favorite music? (4, Interesting)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 9 months ago | (#45548853)

Most of these 'gifts' are trojan horses that will spy on their recipients, prevent them from doing what they want with their device, or maybe even block access to their favorite books or music.

1. trojan horses that will spy on their recipients: Xbox 360, Xbox One, all cellphones, Smart TVs.

2. block access to their favorite books: Kindles, iPads/iPhones.

3. block access to their favorite music: iTunes hasn't used DRM on their music files since April 7, 2009 [wikipedia.org] and as far as I know Amazon sells plain MP3 files so I'm not sure what they're talking about in the case of music.

Re:Block access to their favorite music? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45554119)

You're behind the times if you're still buying MP3s. The "new" way to do things is to buy a subscription service that plays whatever you like... until they decide it shouldn't exist any more and then you can't. Spotify, Google, and Apple all sell such a service.

Many years ago the band Negativland released an EP called "The Letter U and the Numeral 2". That's the exact title. It had a picture of the American U2 bomber on it. SST Records sued them (on behalf of the band U2), and was successful in getting unsold copies on shop shelves destroyed. If that happened today your copy of "The Letter U and the Numeral 2" would vanish from your online subscription service. Poof! Gone.

The tracks on that EP are, well they weren't going to set the world on fire but some of them are kinda fun. But you wouldn't get to find that out in the future foreseen by these products, because you would never own the music and thus it could be taken away at a moment's notice.

Hahah what? (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 9 months ago | (#45548855)

Jump for joy? Sure, if the jump is leading up to them roundhouse-kicking you in the face for buying them a shitty gift.

Re:Hahah what? (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 9 months ago | (#45548875)

Roadhouse.

An anonymous reader? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 9 months ago | (#45548887)

An anonymous reader, eh? I reckon it's Bennet Haselton.

Re:An anonymous reader? (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 9 months ago | (#45548893)

Can't be Bennett. It's not 10000 words long and rambling about how he's being persecuted for running a spam list.

Is it April 1st already? (0)

PNutts (199112) | about 9 months ago | (#45548933)

If you are unable to make your point without flat-out lying then perhaps you should reevaluate your... Wait, it's RS. Never mind.

"MacBook Pro: Planned obsolescence: business model forces you to buy new devices frequently." I'll mention that to my friends carrying various laptops that aren't worth enough to sell but completely functional and in use. My wifey uses a MacBook and she's never been forced to upgrade.

"iOS: The company claims to take away your freedom". I'm sure RS can tie that back to something that makes sense to him, but damm.

Re:Is it April 1st already? (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 9 months ago | (#45549145)

The macBook isn't that much worse than other laptops, but iOS most definitely takes away your freedom. It has a single software source with no option to install something Apple doesn't approve of. They've blocked children's programming apps, political statements, and magazines relating to their competition.

Re:Is it April 1st already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45549193)

So the Cydia apps on my phone don't exist?

Re:Is it April 1st already? (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 9 months ago | (#45549867)

I'd love to know what their definition of "buy new devices frequently" is in relation to the MacBook Pro - mine is 3.5 years old and its still going strong. I envision getting another 2 or more years out of it yet, probably more. Its already older than the Dell it replaced.

Lulzbot TAZ 2.0 3D printer (3, Informative)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 9 months ago | (#45548943)

Get yourself a Lulzbot TAZ 2.0 3D printer

From the Lulzbot webpage:

-------------

LulzBot TAZ 2 3D Printer
SKU: 817752014304
$2,395.00

Pre-Order: All current orders are pre-orders. Pre-orders are expected to start shipping before the end of the year (this does not include the Fundable backers, which will start shipping sooner). Expected lead times for shipment are currently 7-8 weeks.

-------------

So not only are they suggesting that people BUY a 3D printer instead of making their own [reprap.org] in the true open hardware/open source spirit, they're listing one of the most expensive 3D printer out there and it's not even going to start shipping until after Christmas/early next year.

free as in beer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45549007)

sorry, i just had to type that. lol

Propoganda at its best, more RMS lies (2, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | about 9 months ago | (#45549037)

When you can't beat them ... lie.

Why is it half the shit on that list of comparisons is flat out lies or exaggerations beyond acceptable?

Even if you take the GNU fanboy side, its just full of flat out lies.

Pretending Linux some how magically doesn't even need upgrading ... but windows does.
Pretending this 3d printer is open source/libre ... when it isn't even actually available.
Pretending a Mac can't run Linux for some reason, and that somehow Apple laptops are prone to planned obsolescence but magically the Linux laptop isn't because?
Pretending everything on iTunes is DRM'd ... EXCEPT the biggest part of the iTunes store. (not that there isn't plenty of DRM on there in all the other stuff)
Giving the gift of a donation to the FSF? WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU SMOKING? Thats about the most fucking selfish thing you can 'give'. You aren't even fucking giving anything, just tell the person you don't give a fuck about them, you're more concerned with getting your chance to suck RMS off next year. (its a long line)

Re:Propoganda at its best, more RMS lies (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45549761)

Giving the gift of a donation to the FSF? WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU SMOKING? Thats about the most fucking selfish thing you can 'give'. You aren't even fucking giving anything, just tell the person you don't give a fuck about them, you're more concerned with getting your chance to suck RMS off next year. (its a long line)

That didn't strike me as a great gift idea, but in some affluent households where people have pretty much all the material goods they need, sometimes a charitable donation is made as or in lieu of a gift. Besides, you pretty much expect that plug in a piece like this.

For those under 35, it's worth repeating what a tremendous service Richard Stallman has done over the course of his career. The GNU project he founded produced commercial quality development toolchain, including C/C++ compiler, linker, debugger, and shell utilities - that enabled Linux and the BSD projects to concentrate on kernel development, probably saving 5-10 years of calendar time (not just man-months). Instead of being like Don Knuth, where they had to put down their main project so they could spend a few years developing the necessary tools, GNU gave them that for free, including the source code and license to modify it as they saw fit.

And this is in addition to work Stallman has done on emacs and in free software advocacy.

(And no, I'm not RMS... in fact I use vi!)

Re:Propoganda at its best, more RMS lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45551971)

I don't know why you got modded down...

in fact I use vi!

...but I'm gonna bet that's why.

Re:Propoganda at its best, more RMS lies (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 9 months ago | (#45553343)

Pretending everything on iTunes is DRM'd ... EXCEPT the biggest part of the iTunes store. (not that there isn't plenty of DRM on there in all the other stuff)

I figured apps were the biggest part of the iTunes store, but who knows?

Target Acquired. (5, Interesting)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 9 months ago | (#45549127)

Many of the comments here seem to insinuate you have to be delusional to enjoy and desire 100% free software. I'd like anything on that gift giving guide. I'm not a paranoid delusional. My paranoia is based on plenty of evidence, and is tempered by practicality. However, that's the tiniest of concern compared to the other benefits offered.

I wouldn't necessarily gift that stuff to folks who wouldn't appreciate it, but I'd recommend the guide to folks looking to allocate resources on my behalf. I also know several young folks that would appreciate the gifts. My niece really loves tinkering with technology, and is always "pestering" me to play with our toy languages, toy OSs and electronics and robotics projects. She wouldn't have known where to begin if it wasn't for the gift of free software.

Having an OS and supporting software that's fully free and open source has been a huge benefit in our learning and teaching endeavors, especially as references to how stuff works. Doesn't anyone remember the joys of discovering how to code? While some kids took apart dad's drill, I took apart my boot sector and had no one to look to for help. I wasn't lucky enough to have a mentor or access to an open source OS -- or even a free & open compiler -- when I was trying to learn how the CS wheels were invented. I was amazed when I discovered I could just use the DTR pin of a serial port (instead of the then incomprehensible to me RS232) to control switch on a model train set. I'd have been ecstatic to have working source code for something like LIRC or blown away by a 3D printer, and I know my niece will love them too. I know for a fact she's get plenty of enjoyment demonstrating to her friends her creations via her own portable OS shaped like a key.

What's best is knowing that unlike on proprietary systems, when I'm asked, "but how does it do that?", I can always say, "Hmm, I don't know. Let's see!"

Re:Target Acquired. (1)

westlake (615356) | about 9 months ago | (#45551667)

Many of the comments here seem to insinuate you have to be delusional to enjoy and desire 100% free software.

You don't have to be delusional to enjoy free software.

But a Maker Bot can be purchased off the shelf from Amazon.com. Windows 8.1 has a 3D printer API which supports it and an entry level 3D Builder app which supports STL, OBJ, and Windows 3MF files.

Re:Target Acquired. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 9 months ago | (#45553001)

Many of the comments here seem to insinuate you have to be delusional to enjoy and desire 100% free software. I'd like anything on that gift giving guide.

You'd like a new and relatively untested Linux distribution? That'd be a great thing to saddle a relative with. You have any relatives you're planning to spend a grand on? Then you can buy them that 3D printer. Better spend another grand on doodads and consumables. FSF membership card? Nobody in my family would want one. Laptop with a premium for coming with Linux installed? Also expensive. Project Gutenberg? This holiday, give the gift that your family already has access to 24x7. A wacky fork of Android? Yes, that's what I need in my life. Hmm, you have to get to the last items in the list before there's anything all that interesting, and those things are also free.

This is not a gift giving guide. This is a propaganda guide.

Give yourself the gift of a support nightmare! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45549249)

Top of the list of suggested gifts:

"Help your parent or sibling upgrade to a laptop that comes preinstalled with GNU/Linux. "

Why would I want to give myself an endless tech support nightmare for the next several years (or until the user gives up) for the holidays?

They forgot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45549259)

Give GNUCoin, the community currency by the full faith and power of the GNU developer's council

-and not-

Bitcoin, which is backed only by one Nakamoto-san, who hasn't been around much or seen since... well, ever actually.

a laptop that comes preinstalled with GNU/Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45549335)

Believe me, I tried. I scoured the Internet for a Linux laptop that did not run Ubuntu but ran Fedora. No luck. Maybe I wasn't looking in the right place, but I could not find a laptop that had Fedora preinstalled. I definitely don't want Ubuntu, for a long list of reasons.

You just can't build your own laptop from parts at Newegg the way you can a desktop, and the Mac is an awesome UNIX development laptop that needs no setup. You buy the thing, and it's a fully working UNIX laptop out of the box with no drivers crashing it and so on. (Unlike Linux.) I don't use 99% of the Mac stuff like the movie editing and so on, don't give Apple a penny for their iTunes content, and don't buy software. I use the Mac as a software development machine. If I'm going to have to learn something new (because I can't use Fedora), I might as well learn BSD, not Ubuntu.

Laptops are not desktops, and probably will never be upgraded. Frankly, the Mac is good value for your money. I've never wanted to upgrade one. I have a 17" MBP from many years ago that still works great. I got a 15" retina MBP just to have a lighter-weight laptop. You get what you pay for, and these machines seem to last a long, long time. By the time the machine stops functioning, the new ones are much more powerful.

I'm very happy with the value I'm getting from my MBP, and don't think my freedom has been affected at all.

Gutenberg thinks the world ended after 1922 (1)

tepples (727027) | about 9 months ago | (#45549725)

From the Giving Guide [fsf.org] : "Project Gutenberg over Amazon". The problem with relying exclusively on Gutenberg is that you'll end up with an impression that nothing happened after 1922 because that's the cutoff for U.S. perpetual copyright. This means, for example no World War II to spur the development of electronic computers in the first place.

Re:Gutenberg thinks the world ended after 1922 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45549837)

Yeah, but the literature was better back then. Many of the great European and American novelists, essayists, and poets lived in the 19th century. Of course, people don't have time to read that stuff nowadays, and even if they did, the 7 inch screen isn't a very good medium for taking it in. Especially when you have to text your friends and update your FB page every few minutes.

Re:Gutenberg thinks the world ended after 1922 (1)

tepples (727027) | about 9 months ago | (#45550037)

the 7 inch screen isn't a very good medium for taking it in

I don't see how not. The screen of a Kindle Fire or Nexus 7 tablet is about the same size as a paperback book.

Especially when you have to text your friends and update your FB page every few minutes.

I don't get Internet on the city bus anyway, so notifications for text messages and status updates won't reach me until I get to the destination.

Re:Gutenberg thinks the world ended after 1922 (1)

westlake (615356) | about 9 months ago | (#45551441)

From the Giving Guide: "Project Gutenberg over Amazon". The problem with relying exclusively on Gutenberg is that you'll end up with an impression that nothing happened after 1922

The problem with Project Guttenberg is that its century old or older texts are too often no longer readable or trustworthy.

It is enough to make you appreciate the difficulties facing any editor or translator.

Still trying to be relevant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45549847)

I'm not going to bother looking because the FSF is essentially a cult of narrow-minded extremists, but I can imagine that it's full of suggestions like giving sticks and rocks and other things which don't contain anything proprietary in them.

Make a decent list (0)

Kwyj1b0 (2757125) | about 9 months ago | (#45549875)

Seriously - why on earth are you suggesting half those products? While I respect and am aligned with the goals of the FSF, half those "products" are going to change nothing (at best), or backfire (at worst). If you gave a list of decent products, that would be different - I can feel good about giving gifts that people (who don't care about FSF) can appreciate. This just seems like a set of gifts that make me feel good, while my non-techie friends spend hours trying to return the gift for refunds. And what is the point about "free, secure" software, when my family is just going to log on to Facebook and give up their details voluntarily?

Seriously, if this is the best FSF can do, it illustrates the problem: Non-techies really don't care about privacy. Instead, maybe an educational book could be offered? I'd pay for that. These gifts are going to either increase my tech support work or be ignored - the problem is, I want my family and friends to want to use these products; without education, that won't happen. A good reference for the dangers and fixes of proprietary stuff would be useful.

Breakdown of what the page offers:
Trisquel: Modifiable is a selling point? No one in my (or most) family are going to modify the OS in any (significant) way - changing desktop background doesn't count. And I have a intel web-cam from early 2000s that is supported in Windows, but I couldn't find out how to get it to work on my Linux box.
3D printer: Can't comment, so I'm not sure what the free vs. proprietary debate on the printer is about - is it the 3D print file format? Or is it just because the company is evil (hint: my friends don't care, so long as it works. They shop in Walmart and Amazon)
Gift card: This doesn't seem to be a gift card - 20% discount on other merchandise using the membership card? Why not give an apples-to-apples comparison and offer a gift card instead?
Laptop: Well, this is a fair enough. If my friends could use Linux, I might just save the Windows/Mac tax and give them a PC with Linux.
E-book: Again, a fair enough point. But I can give them an Amazon card that will allow my family to get books directly from Amazon and read it on their Kindles. I will not gift them a Kindle, but if they have one, they already don't care. And how do I get Gutenberg books onto a Kindle without having access to their device?
Phone: This is a shot at Apple. Seems like the Android will still tie them to Google's store.
Online storage: Hmm... Can't find any phone app or client application (hint, most non-techies aren't going to use SSH/SFTP - they want something like dropbox or SkyDrive mount).
Media hosting: Most people I know use XBMC, which is open source.

Re:Make a decent list (2)

quitte (1098453) | about 9 months ago | (#45550831)

Intel webcam from the early 2ks? What a blast from the past. Does it have a composite video output per chance? If it does it works perfectly well with a cheap bt8xx tv card.

Re:Make a decent list (1)

Kwyj1b0 (2757125) | about 9 months ago | (#45553027)

Nope, it is a USB camera - Intel CS110. A quaint old camera; I was shocked that it worked with Windows 8 actually. My primary camera got busted, and I dug this out of my garage. Oddly enough, it works with Skype in Desktop mode, but the turd that is Metro Skype refuses to believe I have a camera.

hilarious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45549911)

Under youtube
Imposes advertising on your uploads and polices copyright harshly

You decide on ads, they are not forced.
Policed copyright? Oh no, one of the largest tech companies in the world actively obeys the law?

Why do *you* read slashdot comments? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550645)

Seriously.

While there is the occassional comment pointing out some actual problems, most of the commnents are from people who apparently hate freedom and whose comments can be summed up "free software/open hardware means: it's terrible" with exactly zero justification for their "opinion" or just "trolls" who aren't even trying and go straight to spewing insults for no reason.

Is there a reason to keep reading the comments here or is it just a waste of time nowadays?

Re:Why do *you* read slashdot comments? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45551395)

Just because you don't agree with most of the comments doesn't mean they're wrong.

Seriously, I like free software, but these gifts are so detached from reality it burns. If I received a "thinkpenguin" laptop, I'd probably end up selling it on ebay for 1/4 of the original price, if even that. I could only imagine the reaction if it were given to someone who wanted a macbook. They'd be better off recommending printed copies of GCC source code.

Re:Why do *you* read slashdot comments? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45558447)

Wow, you'd sell a haswell quadcore with a 180 gigabyte ssd and 16 gigabyte ram and a 1920x1080 screen for ~$350?

I think I would buy that.

Well, it's a start... (1)

Dr.Dubious DDQ (11968) | about 9 months ago | (#45551959)

As I see it, the FSF's biggest problem is that their obsession with "not-proprietary" actually seems to overshadow their focus on "legally free".

However, at least this list has a couple of actual things on it that actually would be generous gifts (Heck, yeah, if somebody bought me that 3D printer, I'd cope with waiting a week or two after christmas to get it, and a nice laptop computer would always be appreciated). I was half-expecting it to be ALL "Give the FSF money and tell then you did it for them!"

Optimist that I am, I actually clicked hoping for a list of hackable routers, toys, phones, etc. Silly me.

You really don't want RMS's fruitcake for Xmas (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45552401)

It tastes like toejam.

Lets use this as a learning experience (1)

RanceJustice (2028040) | about 9 months ago | (#45554853)

As a great proponent of software freedom, digital (and other) privacy etc... I can applaud the FSF for bringing to light the issues with common software and hardware and offering alternatives. However, from a practical standpoint, as others have said - these items are only alluring to those who value software freedom above all else. Why? These items typically will be less functional, easy to use, or are otherwise encumbered for all but those who see the value of software freedom and are willing to put in the effort to use it despite the above.

While I know the FSF needs to have uncompromising ideals and push for them - , I do think this can be a starting point for the Linux, FOSS, privacy/security etc... community to use as a learning experience for how to mate the ideals we value to the pragmatic needs of others, especially non-gurus. Taking the items provided as a basis, perhaps we can go a little further..

OS: The FSF suggests Trisquel and an alternative for Windows. While the idea of submitting a Linux distro as a substitute OS is a good one, the difference in experience between Trisquel and Windows for a Windows user may be staggering. This is a distro that does not include, even as an option, anything with a license that doesn't meet FSF standards of freedom. Thus, you're losing a lot of things there even compared to other Linux distros. Telling someone "Oh hey, try this new OS out on your laptop, it respects your freedom and privacy. But uh... your wireless card may not be supported. Sorry. Here's a list of additional dongles you can buy that are supported, through!" isn't going to go very far. There are many distros that may be a better compromise out there. Linux Mint Debian Edition for instance (or even plain Debian) protects a user's freedom/privacy (something Ubuntu sadly, does not), but gives many more options including things like the use of 3D binary GPU drivers etc.

3D Printer - While I'm not versed in depth regarding the state of 3D printing comparisons, it seems like the Lulzbot is a great alternative to the Makerbot; competitive in cost and functionality, while being Free hardware and software. However, it does not seem to be currently available, instead being on backorder. Hard to consider a holiday gift item that may not make it by the holidays! The bigger issue with this item instead is that a 3D printer is a very niche device, especially one as expensive as this. There could probably be a lot of other options for this entry instead; I'll go into that later.

Gift Cards - This was just a missed opportunity. While I do think that a FSF donation/membership gift could be mentioned, this is again a very niche community that is best sought out by those who are most interested. Those without the technical interest and know how, will probably think "gee...thanks" and look at it the same way as if someone bought them one of those "congratulations, someone has purchased a cow for some impoverished people somewhere in your name!" - unless the person is very into the "cause", its not so much a gift for them as it is spending money on something the buyer values but the recipient may not. However, there are tons of alternatives for an iTunes giftcard that would be a good FOSS analog. How about one of the DRM-free media stores, like Magnatune or 7Digital? Even FSF's own Defective By Design campaign lists many of them - http://www.defectivebydesign.org/guide/audio [defectivebydesign.org] - wouldn't this be a better alternative, showing people that they can buy music unencumbered by DRM elsewhere?

Laptop - This is where I get a little frustrated. I'd love to go out of my way to buy a Libre laptop, or even just one that comes with Linux installed and supported natively. However, so many of the Linux system integrators..well, just don't cut it. Consider that we're increasingly pushing towards "tablet convertible" laptops, ultrabooks, and even luxe power/aesthetic balanced models. 10 point multitouch screens, glass trackpads, high resolution and color gamut displays, new GPUs from both AMD and Nvidia a well as Intel in certain models, backlit keyboards, premium metal chassis and construction, magnetic power adapters and wireless charging. . By comparison, the hardware offered by ThinkPenguin and many other Linux system integrators seem positively antiquated and cheap-feeling. (Admittedly, System76 does seem to take a step above and offers some models with backlit keyboards, a full GPU etc). Big black hunks of thick plastic, typically Clevo rebrands, lacking many features from the aesthetic to the performance related isn't going to show the greatness of Linux. I know I'm a minority who searches for "luxe" laptops that offer high quality features, aesthetics and the best performance/form factor ratios available and have been saying for years, I'd love to buy a laptop that had pretty much all the features and more, plus the aesthetic level of the MacBook Pro (or the Razer Blade Pro) but built with Linux and FOSS compatibility in mind. However, even Joe User isn't going to want a heavy, blocky, plastic laptop that lacks the neat features they could find elsewhere. This, moreso than any other entry in the guide is something I think the Linux and FOSS community should consider planning an endeavor to design and have high quality laptops with Linux in mind available for sale.

Ebook - Another missed opportunity. While Project Gutenberg is a great resource for those wanting copies of public domain works as DRM free Ebooks, Joe and Jane user who is thinking of picking up a Kindle, Nook, or another Android tablet isn't likely to be interested in classics. You're not going to be able to get Harry Potter on Project Gutenberg! There are two great recommendations for this category. First, the FOSS software "Calibre", a perfect example of FOSS that is the best in its class. Calibre can manage pretty much any hardware or software Ebook reader application, act as a great virtual library, and convert ebooks between just about any common file types. With the correct plug ins, it can even strip existing DRM (which of course have to be installed separately for legal reasons). It also has a ton of built-in links to ebook stores, many of which are DRM free. Why not suggest some of these? Baen Books for instance offers inexpensive, DRM free ebooks for hardcore science fiction fans. Again, the DefectiveByDesign campaign has as list of its own - http://www.defectivebydesign.org/guide/ebooks [defectivebydesign.org] . Project Gutenberg is great for what it is, but it isn't going to hook users who are otherwise thinking of purchasing bestselling Kindle ebooks from Amazon.

MobileOS: While I certainly would suggest that Android is superior iOS in terms of freedom, focusing exclusively on Replicant is very limiting. Replicant only works on a few, mostly older, Android hardware. It would be better to focus on Android, which can be configured to use as much AOSP data as possible, and ROM customizations like CyanogenMod, Paranoid Android, and PACMan, that give the user the option to reject Google applications if they wish. How about suggesting the use of F-Droid as an alternate repository, and why it is beneficial? How about talking about The Guardian Project and its applications for protecting privacy on Android? Giving them other alternatives and allowing them to choose (and yes, some of them will choose Google Play and Angry Birds) will encourage them to see the benefits of Android FOSS that apply to them (Hey, this Open Street Map app is really cool. I like it more than Google Maps) without limiting their choices of the games and apps they may wish.

OnlineStorage: Tahoe-LAFS is by far an enthusiast-only solution. Go ahead, check out LeastAuthority and look at the setup steps and then tell me that the average Dropbox or Google Drive user is going to be interested or capable of using it? This just isn't being realistic. Why not look to something a bit more realistic yet still FOSS, like Kolab and OwnCloud, which are user friendly and have options to purchase a pre-configured hosted instance through a variety of vendors like MyKolab and OwnCube, many of which contribute money, time, and code to the projects!

Media Hosting: This isn't actually a bad idea, but a little expansion would be better. Right now, a user can go to YouTube and immediately upload a video and have a link to post on Facebook or give to their friends and family. MediaGoblin isn't quite that easy; when they have complete federation up so that users can seamlessly run their own instances or rent a configured instance hosted for them, that will be a nice alternative. Right now however, it still requires users to have the skill to deploy MediaGoblin on a web-facing server of their own, or find one of the few websites that already offer it. I'd expand to MediaCrush as well, which is ready to use immediately with a public-hosted instance as opposed to just a run-your-own deployment.

In summation, the FOSS community, if not necessarily the FSF, needs to realize the needs and wants of users cannot all be handwaved away just by answering "Well no, you can't...BUT FREEDOM". Yes, software freedom, privacy etc.. is important and we'd live in a better world if these elements were the norm. However, it has to be up to an individual user how much compromise they're willing to put up with to attain these ideals and, perhaps pessimistically, the average response will be "not much". Thus, if we want to make any headway at all besides tiny niches, we need to offer the things people actually want and provide them in an ethical manner. Firefox is a great example of FOSS for instance - Free and Open Source, made for the user not for advertisers or other 3rd parties, extensible and customizable, has tons of great features, and can be used with relative ease by both novices and gurus to do what they wish. It would not have made it to such prominence if all the average and novice users weren't able to find it preferable to other options; the fact that it is FOSS acts as a bonus. These kind of successes each advance the cause of FOSS an openness in general, as users vote with their dollars and clicks. This is what will bring about a future for FOSS beyond just niche tools for niche developers and gurus, realizing that the pragmatism of average users needs to be taken into account!

Kindle-can't install free apps without credit card (1)

itsme1234 (199680) | about 9 months ago | (#45556999)

I ignored the guide (well I didn't know about it at the time) and got a Kindle Fire. Guess what, you can't even install the free apps without a credit card. And is not like it comes with a lot of apps, it is basically unusable without a credit card!

Very funny (1)

chanio (321367) | about 9 months ago | (#45557119)

:) I enjoy the way that 'anonymous reader' writes this review.
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