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Stallman Attacked by Ninjas

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the imitation-is-the-sincerest-form-of-flattery dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 524

vivIsel writes "When RMS took the stage to address the Yale Political Union, Yale's venerable parliamentary debate society, it was already an unusual speech: instead of the jacket and tie customary there, he sported a T shirt, and no shoes. But then he was attacked by ninjas. Apparently some students took it into their head to duplicate an XKCD webcomic before a live audience — luckily, though, Stallman didn't resort to violence. Instead, he delivered an excellent speech about DRM."

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this guy is a liability to the community (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21061077)

he sported a T shirt, and no shoes.

Way to go, Stallman. Way to show respect for your audience.

Re:this guy is a liability to the community (0, Flamebait)

dreddnott (555950) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061083)

Like it or not, that's just one of the man's idiosyncracies. I think he just likes to project the "dirty commie hippie" aura wherever he goes.

T-shirts are communist? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21061131)

Uh, are t-shirts considered "dirty", "commie", or "hippie"? Whatever.

John Gilmore [harvard.edu] has been known to wear interesting clothing, too, but I don't think anybody would claim he's any of the above.

Q: "Do people have a hard time paying attention when you are not in a suit and tie?"

JG: "... At an international conference, I would not expect cultured people to stare at unfamiliar costumes. ... I can never figure out the singular fascination that people have for what fibers other people wrap around their bodies. It gives small minds something to gossip about, and provides endless simple fun in tweaking them."

Re:T-shirts are communist? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21061157)

I can never figure out the singular fascination that people have for what fibers other people wrap around their bodies.

Either he is a retard, or he is mimicking one. It's just a matter of common respect for your audience. Yeah, you can dress like a jackass, but all that says is either 1) you don't give a fuck about the people you are speaking to or 2) you are, on purpose, dressing like a fool in order to be somehow "outrageous".

Re:T-shirts are communist? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21061193)

Dunno why, but an image of a retard in a glasshouse just popped into my head.

Re:T-shirts are communist? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21061215)

I think you've illustrated JG's point nicely.

Does wearing a suit and tie make what you have to say more important?

Also, if we judge our fellow humans respect for us on the quality of clothing they wear, would you then fault him for wearing a suit from a mass retailer instead of a custom tailored one? Or is it merely that the configuration of his clothing isn't to your liking?

Re:T-shirts are communist? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21061295)

The flip side of the coin - if you wear a suit, lots of engineers won't trust you. And why should they? You're telling them you hope they'll respect you because of what you wear, instead of what you say.

Re:T-shirts are communist? (4, Insightful)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061603)

Be careful doing what others expect of you. It's habit forming.

Re:T-shirts are communist? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21061401)

Uh, are t-shirts considered "dirty", "commie", or "hippie"?
All of the above. Or is that not shaded enough between black and white for you?

At an international conference, I would not expect cultured people to stare at unfamiliar costumes. ...
I wiggle my dick at your female leader conference attendees.

I can never figure out the singular fascination that people have for what fibers other people wrap around their bodies. It gives small minds something to gossip about, and provides endless simple fun in tweaking them.
If it was singular, it wouldn't be all that fascinating, now would it?

Just to confirm that *you're* a script, my verification word is "minimize".

Re:T-shirts are communist? (2, Insightful)

l33t_f33t (974521) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061495)

And its that exact attitude which projects the smelly hippy feel about Open-Sourcerers. It is a sign of respect to conform to this one little request of the hosts.

While the medium does not affect the message it affects the impact. Not conforming to a dress code, that I'm sure they informed him about makes him just seem rude. Can you honestly say that you are just as receptive to someone who is rude as to somebody who is polite, and listens to you?

Re:this guy is a liability to the community (3, Insightful)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061143)

Too bad he doesn't care about his cause enough to project an aura of professionalism and courtesy. There are certain expectations when you're a GUEST speaker in a professional setting, an academic setting.

Re:this guy is a liability to the community (5, Insightful)

mikkelm (1000451) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061207)

One would think that any assembly styling themselves as being open-minded and advocating open debate would be above something as petty as a dress code.

Dress codes anywhere but where the dressing is essential to the event is pointless. How is a uniform going to inspire creative thought? If what matters is what people have on their minds, why care about what they have on their bodies?

"You're infinitely more insightful than me, but you aren't wearing the special clothes, so you can't join my discussion group."

Sounds like something straight out of an elementary school playground.

Re:this guy is a liability to the community (4, Informative)

fgaliegue (1137441) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061287)

> One would think that any assembly styling themselves as being open-minded and advocating open debate would be
> above something as petty as a dress code.

The saddening truth is that dress code pettiness is to be obeyed when you want to address people that count (their money).

Free software wouldn't be anywhere close to where it is today if its only promoters wore only jeans and T-shirts.

He pays both a financial price and a social price. (2, Interesting)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061379)

"The saddening truth is that dress code pettiness is to be obeyed when you want to address people that count (their money)."

Stallman pays not only a financial price, but a social price, also. He probably does not accurately evaluate the social cost of acting differently, otherwise he would not want to pay such a high social price.

In some ways he is extremely intelligent, but socially he is a lost puppy.

Re:He pays both a financial price and a social pri (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21061551)

In some ways he is extremely intelligent, but socially he is a lost puppy
Like the Industrial Revolution?

He probably does not accurately evaluate the social cost of acting differently, otherwise he would not want to pay such a high social price.
Is that the justification of aristocratic rule or just good 'ole down home dictatorship? Unless garbage was just relative to treasure.

Re:He pays both a financial price and a social pri (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21061619)

No way. Lost puppies are cute.

Re:this guy is a liability to the community (1)

Craig Davison (37723) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061315)

I don't care about this either way, but here's an explanation for you:

It's impolite, just like picking his nose is impolite even though it doesn't detract from his message. Dressing appropriately is so easy to do, people are going to assume that if you don't, you're disrespecting them. He's not some kid with little control over his wardrobe, he's an adult dressing in the laziest way possible.

Re:this guy is a liability to the community (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21061441)

who are you to say what is appropriate? fuck, i feel a suit is completely inappropriate for this kind of thing and all those fuckwads dressed in suits are disrespecting the whole thing

Lazy vs. Wasteful (5, Insightful)

foreverdisillusioned (763799) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061489)

He's not "dressing lazy"; IIRC he simply does not own a suit. He does not believe in wasting wealth on non-essential items; this enables him to live on a relatively small income while spending most of his time pursuing the ideals he cares about. In my opinion, this attitude is much more noble than your "Hey, there's a guy with a cheap wardrobe! What a disrespectful jerk!" attitude. Expecting someone to waste hundreds of dollars to dress up like a penguin (insert Linux joke here) just to show that they "respect" you is extremely childish. Respect is a quality of interaction between people--material goods have no inherent 'respect'.

And don't try to hide behind social custom. Just because some people are (by common custom) materialistic, elitist assholes doesn't mean you have to be too.

Re:Lazy vs. Wasteful (1, Insightful)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061541)

He does not believe in wasting wealth on non-essential items; this enables him to live on a relatively small income while spending most of his time pursuing the ideals he cares about.
Um, aren't computers non-essential items? Seeing as he's a hacker, I'm willing to bet that Stallman owns at least one.

Re:Lazy vs. Wasteful (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061621)

Sure, as long as you're OK with being stuck on a planet that can only support a few billion people.

Re:this guy is a liability to the community (3, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061539)

Yes, lazy is the point...
He's spending his time and effort on things that do matter ie his talk, and doing the bare minimum on things that don't matter (ie clothes).

Suits and ties are uncomfortable...
The shoes that go with them are uncomfortable and bad for your feet
Such clothes are overpriced and a horrendous waste of money

Not only that, but dressing in a suit and tie strongly suggests you need to try and use your appearance to give some credibility to what your saying because it can't stand on it's own.

How you dress usually has no effect on your ability to complete a task, and as such you should be evaluated based on that. Obviously there are some tasks where what you wear actually has an impact, like diving.

As for "impoliteness" and "disrespect" there is nothing impolite or disrespectful about wearing a tshirt and shorts, not unless the tshirt sports an insulting slogan anyway. The idea that you need to wear particular clothes to show respect is completely contrived and totally ridiculous. It is purely down to conditioning and sheep-like herd behavior... People don't know *why* its supposed to be polite to wear a suit, they just think that it is because thats what they've been told. It's a meme that does more harm than good.

Re:this guy is a liability to the community (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21061327)

You're infinitely more insightful than me, but you aren't wearing the special clothes, so you can't join my discussion group.

But you're already a 5 dude. That's like the highest number!

Re:this guy is a liability to the community (0, Troll)

Osty (16825) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061549)

Dress codes anywhere but where the dressing is essential to the event is pointless. How is a uniform going to inspire creative thought? If what matters is what people have on their minds, why care about what they have on their bodies?

Nobody's saying he should put on a suit and tie or anything. Jeans and a t-shirt would be perfectly acceptable. However if he wants to be taken seriously, he needs to do a couple things:

  • Take a bath! A shower would suffice, but he probably needs hours of soaking to remove the years of neglected hygiene.
  • Shave and a haircut. Or at least a trim of each. If he wants to wear a full beard and long hair, good for him. At least keep them neat.
  • Use a brush or comb. Having long hair doesn't mean it has to be a rat's nest. Brush it out. This goes well with the first two (bathing will make the hair more manageable, as will trimming it).
  • Put on some damn shoes. If you don't want to wear socks, that's your choice. Even flip-flops would be better than nothing. We're not hobbits, it's no longer the 15th century, and he can afford $5 for some Wal*Mart shoes.

Sounds like something straight out of an elementary school playground.

Would you say the same thing if he showed up to a presentation naked, or covered in feces? If you're incapable of managing your own persona hygiene, how in the hell are you going to manage something global? RMS can be as much of a hippy as he likes, but unless he cleans himself up at least a little bit nobody's going to take him seriously besides other hippies. There's a reason why RMS is a laughing stock, and it's partly due to his insistence on "Free Software" above anything else. For every one person who is actually interested in hearing RMS speak at a presentation like this, there are 50 who are there to laugh at the smelly, delusional hippy.

Re:this guy is a liability to the community (4, Insightful)

Plutonite (999141) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061585)

Sure, ditch the suit and tie. After all, it's not like Steve Jobs wears them to special events. But why go barefoot? The guy probably wears shoes outside his home, so why take them off to get on stage and deliver a speech to respected academics?

Respectable/serious attire are necessary not to convince your audience that you are right, but to convince them that you are "normal" by everybody else's standards. It's a big part of the fight right now.. to show that crippled, proprietary code is not the norm and that it is possible to have a system based on free - or at least open - code in the "real world". To show that it's not an outrageous idea. And it doesn't help when your leaders are barefoot lunatics who dislike shampoo and don't cut their hair.

Re:this guy is a liability to the community (4, Insightful)

Epsillon (608775) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061263)

Therein lies another insight into the self-effacing brilliance of RMS. He doesn't need a suit. He's proved his worth by making his vision work, not by using the usual tricks of the trade and flim-flamming with long words, suits and "presence". Actually, that last he has in spades but it's a natural thing, not a put-on to cover up cluelessness. Whilst I don't fully agree with all of his ideals, I can't help admiring the man for his principles and ability to make things work against all odds.

It's just another part of his character: "Here I am, as asked. I'm not going to lie to you or try to make my ideals look appealing. I won't dress up the message or myself to try to divert your attention from the downsides of the issue. I'll just tell it like it is." He's 100% consistent in this and it's one of the reasons people respect the man. In my opinion this does more to help the movement than hinder it.

As for XKCD, how long until some misguided lawyer (yes, Thompson, I'm looking at you) starts to spout off about webcomics encouraging ninja attacks?

Re:this guy is a liability to the community (5, Insightful)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061413)

Seems like by not dressing as other people do he's just adding more nonsense to the mix. Instead of delivering his message by speaking he's causing other people to focus on what he's wearing; generating controversy or trying to give himself a "look", instead of just giving a speech he's giving everyone other things to focus on.

e.g. Here we are, talking about his stupid dress choice, and not about his speech. If he just dressed like everyone else we would be talking about what he said, not how he dressed, but he's taking away from what he said by dressing inappropriately.

Re:this guy is a liability to the community (2, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061569)

The point is, he's not getting all worked up about ridiculous things like what people wear...

You may be blindly following a herd of sheep who believe (but don`t know why) that wearing a suit and tie makes you respectable... And your therefore willing to sacrifice comfort, practicality and money to conform to that ridiculous expectation.

RMS on the other hand will wear what he finds comfortable, because he isn't willing to sacrifice anything for a ridiculous social meme.

Re:this guy is a liability to the community (1)

PietjeJantje (917584) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061485)

I don't think you're right. Everyone who has met Stallman seems to have to write something about being impressed by his physical appearance. This article is no exception. He is not wearing the uniform of others, but he is trying to intimidate people with his own styled appearance. If you have this hairstyle [lightwerk.com] and are wearing these colors [fsfe.org] , then this somewhat reminds me of Dirk Gently [wikipedia.org] , self-styled holostic detective, sporting an utterly unfashionably collection of garbs, but still, self-styled and cultivated and consciously so because of the effect it creates and has on people.
But I like Stallman for being self-styled and his own man. It's much better than a lot of nerds who are just wearing another uniform, the carefully cultivated nerd look. Yet they're dressing as they think they're supposed to, conforming to how others look. As someone who likes to think he's self-styled, all I've left to say is: 1) be your -own- man, 2) for the love of god, it is OK to have some style and class. Really! I won't condemn you as a lousy programmer for wearing good shoes.

Re:this guy is a liability to the community (1)

gravyface (592485) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061527)

Unfortunately, there are people who matter in life that care about your appearance. Why not put on a suit and a pair of shoes and get that out of the way so you can focus on the harder things?

Re:this guy is a liability to the community (1)

cammoblammo (774120) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061615)

Fair enough, but this particular forum doesn't seem to mind a bit of informality creeping in. I mean, what sort of professional, academic settings have ninjas attacking their guests?

Re:this guy is a liability to the community (1)

cammoblammo (774120) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061623)

Further to that, if you look at this picture [yale.edu] you get the impression that RMS was the best dressed person in the place.

Re:this guy is a liability to the community (4, Insightful)

glwtta (532858) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061199)

If he didn't have the annoying tendency to be right all the damn time, I think I might care about his footwear.

Wow (5, Funny)

Naelok (1162515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061085)

This is perhaps the greatest thing anyone has ever done, ever. Though it would've been better if they'd come down from the ceiling.

Re:Wow (4, Funny)

arivanov (12034) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061321)

Have you seen the comic. I would suggest nobody to do the next steps.

A raid on ESR is likely to have look like a gameplay video from "Soldier of Fortune 2" (with the Ninjas being used for target practice).

Well (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21061103)

If Richard Stallman wants everything to be free, maybe he should create a whole bunch of decent stuff and give it away. Without license. Without license. Without license.

In a perfect world... (1)

Eco-Mono (978899) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061147)

I've always thought of the GPL as an overlay network... sort of a "we don't like having any license at all, so we'll pretend there's no need for it if you do too". If Stallman wasn't worried about other people taking his decent stuff and doing what he thinks are wrong things with it, I'm sure he wouldn't need copyleft in the first place.

Then again, I've charitably misinterpreted the man before. *shrug*

Re:In a perfect world... (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061343)

But that's not true. They still have the freedom the original author gave them. They can easily modify the orginal public domain piece of code. The fact that someone else has a copy doesn't detract from this ability.

Re:In a perfect world... (5, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061477)

But that's not true. They still have the freedom the original author gave them. They can easily modify the orginal public domain piece of code. The fact that someone else has a copy doesn't detract from this ability.
Not necessarily. In many cases, one version of a piece of software (or anything else, for that matter, you see it with books, pieces of music, lots of things) will become popular and drive previous versions into obscurity until they're nearly impossible to find.

E.g., if I created a little piece of software and dumped it into the public domain, and someone picked it up, made a slight improved version, and marketed it widely, it might eventually take over, to the point where people forgot about its origin. (Which the 'improved' version's author might not even need to disclose.) Or something could happen by random chance to knock that one source for the original version offline. From that point on, users would have lost the freedom to look at the original version.

Think of how hard it can be to find very old versions of common software projects (or old/first editions of a book) -- sometimes they're nearly impossible to find, because they're buried in references to newer versions. Newer versions tend to subsume the old. (And this ignores the rather obvious case where a party making use of some public domain code might try intentionally to expunge the original from public sources, to protect their proprietized version.)

You can't simply assume that once information is made available, it will always be available. If not maintained and copied and actively disseminated, information dies; it fades away, for a myriad of reasons. The GPL prevents this from happening by making sure that the freedom in the original version is carried forward to all downstream variants and copies.

Re:In a perfect world... (1)

gomiam (587421) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061521)

As I see it, having no copyright (as in copyright law not existing) allows tinkering with the software legally, never mind whether the author likes it or not. Since there is copyright, the only way to have something like no copyright is to make sure no one can decide what software uses are acceptable. Of course, such a thing can't be imposed on everyone just because, but authors can decide to make sure that their software stays available for all to tinker with (whether in original or modified form).

It's counterintuitive: copyleft requires restricting the ability of people to hide their modifications, which sounds bad (I said restricting, didn't I? I must be agains all that is free:-). But that restriction is a countermeasure against the real restriction (the real bad idea according free software advocates), the restriction of the ability of people to learn and better themselves through culture. It's up to each one to decide whether restricting this common good is a good measure in the long run. I think it isn't.

Re:In a perfect world... (1)

muuh-gnu (894733) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061591)

> But that's not true. They still have the freedom the original author gave them.

But only if they got the work _directly_ from the original author. In a worst case scanario the original author may have given up distributing his own work, and only proprietary middlemen left, so a new user has no way to obtain the original free code but only the proprietary modifications. It might be possible that someone will keep on distributing the original or modified code under the same free licence, but you have depend upon their good will. He doesnt even have to disappear, it suffices that users get proprietarized code from middlemen and do not know that there is equivalent free code out there. Either through distributory circumstances or by his own ignorance, this user suddendly would have to play by proprietary, profit maximizing rules for code that once was free and unencumbered. The GPL ensures that, if anybody is distributing the work at all, it will be under a free licence, and that the code will remain free as long as there is _any_ interest in it, not only proprietary.

> The fact that someone else has a copy doesn't detract from this ability.

The one who _denies_ someone else a right, isnt "playing nice", so shouldnt have gotten this right in the first place.

I doubt that providing an ability is the major imperative of the GPL. It does accomplish this, but I think only as a secondary effect. The primary one is to create, by locking out proprietary predators, some kind of a secure GPL subspace, where in effect you dont have to care about copyrights at all, since everyone else also uses the GPL. And the more this space grows, the less dependant its inhabitants are on the "outer space", and the less they have to care about some licencing and copyright bullshit and can breathe completely freely. The only reason they would have to get out of the GPL space from time to time is to prevent outside hyenas to grab code from the prescious GPL space and proprietarize it, making it unavailable to the inhabitants of the GPL space and any other people. A self defending ecosystem.

Re:In a perfect world... (5, Insightful)

HBI (604924) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061165)

No, his purpose is to make it so all software has its source code available for modification. That's what he's here for. Think what you like of the guy, he's never veered from that purpose.

why can't he just die already? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21061105)

fucking useless twat, way to make everyone think hackers are unkempt, unprofessional hippies

Ninjas... (5, Funny)

Tuoqui (1091447) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061109)

But where were the pirates? Clearly someone has to defend RMS against the ninjas...

Re:Ninjas... (2, Funny)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061127)

But where were the pirates?

They're too busy downloading stuff :P

Re:Ninjas... (2, Funny)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061613)

No, no, Comcast kept sending fake messages to the pirates to say their packets had never arrived, so the pirates would think their packets had never arrived and be afraid to take on the Ninjas without their cutlasses and cannons. For more details, check out old Slashdot articles or some notes from the EFF at http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2007/10/eff-tests-agree-ap-comcast-forging-packets-to-interfere [eff.org] .

Re:Ninjas... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21061229)

But where were the pirates?

They are working to fight global warming [venganza.org] .

Who knew? (4, Funny)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061411)

But where were the pirates? Clearly someone has to defend RMS against the ninjas...
Unfortunately, global warming wiped them out last year.

Yale Political Union web design (5, Funny)

colourmyeyes (1028804) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061135)

Apparently no one told web designers at Yale how to resize photos so they don't have to use a full size, 1.6 Meg picture that's scaled down in the HTML.

Re:Yale Political Union web design (3, Informative)

The New Andy (873493) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061187)

They also provide the minutes as a word document.

Re:Yale Political Union web design (2, Funny)

Plutonite (999141) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061607)

Their web page is also incorrectly rendered in firefox - check out the google search button that gets hidden behind the banner.

A webpage made only for internet explorer showing a talk by RMS. Why is he even trying.

Re:Yale Political Union web design (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21061467)

What do you expect from a bunch of spoiled rich kids? Talent? Skill?

Ninjas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21061171)

Don't call Muslim women ninjas!

Re:Ninjas? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21061395)

Heh. My 8 yr old son did just this last time we went to Bradford. "Hey dad, theres a Ninja!" he said excitedly, filling me with typical middleclass anxiety that we might deeply offend the muslim lady in question. Still. Wierd outfit for shopping IMHO, and you've got to wonder how many have to wear it not out of fear of offending whatever diety they believe in, but out of fear of a getting a good hiding if they don't.

Re:Ninjas? (1, Flamebait)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061455)

It also serves as a great disguise for someone wishing to commit a crime, especially in today's world of CCTV everywhere.
A man in a balaclava would get arrested immediately, but muslims can walk around equally hidden and cry foul if anyone says anything.

I see, I see, I get the picture ... (5, Insightful)

udippel (562132) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061185)

If you ever go to the link pointed out (I know, we are in /., and RTFS is for weaklings only) ...
Instead, he delivered an excellent speech about DRM
you'll find a beautiful Minutes of the Debate [yale.edu] in WORD.

Richard, your message was lost !

Re:I see, I see, I get the picture ... (2, Insightful)

onion2k (203094) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061421)

As horrible as Word's proprietary format is, there isn't any DRM involved in it. A closed format* that lets you do what the heck you like with it contains no DRM; it's plain irritating for people who prefer openness but it exerts no control over the data contained within. It would be preferable for Yale to release the minutes in plain text, or nicely formated HTML, or something.

DRM is much more evil. DRM tries to control how you use your data. Or, if you believe the vitriol spewed forth from Microsoft, Sony, Apple etc, DRM tries to control how you use their data that they've only issued you a license to use within certain limited parameters.

* Closed in terms of free-as-in-speech. Anyone can use the format in a free-as-in-beer sense under a covenant which Microsoft promise not to sue ... http://support.microsoft.com/kb/840817/en-us# [microsoft.com] ... If you believe them. ;)

Re:I see, I see, I get the picture ... (5, Funny)

Neoncow (802085) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061445)

Click.

Open in Microsoft Word.

Plink!

"Could not open 'Steve:Applications:Microsoft Office 2004:Templates:My Templates:ypu minutes.dot'."

Pure fucking genius. WTG Steve.

Re:I see, I see, I get the picture ... (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061457)

Well technically speaking, not using open standards isn't a DRM issue (especially seeing that non-MS software such as OpenOffice and Pages can open most Word docs fine), but I share your sentiment.

tshirt and no shoes? (-1, Troll)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061189)

I've always wondered about the mans professionalism. now it's confirmed.

the only thing you'd buy from a guy like that is weed.

Re:tshirt and no shoes? (4, Insightful)

Fizzl (209397) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061231)

Good thing he's not selling anything.

Re:tshirt and no shoes? (2, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061255)

he is selling ideals. much more dangerous then anything you exchange money for....

Re:tshirt and no shoes? (0)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061363)

Free weed?... Forget about this software thing, I want Free Weed!

Re:tshirt and no shoes? (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061237)

And gcc. And Emacs. And the GPL.

Have you ever read his code? It's fascinating stuff, and quite brilliant.

Re:tshirt and no shoes? (0, Troll)

Osty (16825) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061611)

And gcc. And Emacs. And the GPL.

That's nice, and 20+ years old. What has he done lately to keep himself relevant? His personal web page [stallman.org] is full of political propaganda and tripe (figures RMS would support the Green Party). It doesn't even have a section on software he's written, outside of the "Serious Bio" portion. His blog [fsf.org] is nothing more than a listing of speaking engagements. And doesn't he have some sort of RSI that prevents him from actually typing (using speech commands instead)? As a developer, he's notoriously difficult to work with (why emacs has forked so much, for example). He's pretty much marginalized when it comes to code, and is nothing more than a figurehead for the FSF. A statue of a hippy would work just about as well.

Re:tshirt and no shoes? (4, Insightful)

mikkelm (1000451) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061247)

Considering how much more successful than yours his career has undoubtably been, without having had to conform to arbitrary standards of professionalism, I think it's safe to say that denouncing his work because of what he wears constitutes an almost criminal ineptitude on your part.

Re:tshirt and no shoes? (0, Offtopic)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061293)

Without knowing a single thing about me, denouncing how successful i am constitutes almost criminal ineptitude on your part.

If you judge success by money, happiness and respect among peers then i'm very successful.

The man doesn't wear shoes, fuck even the crazy homeless meth addict down town knows shoes are a good thing. what happens when he stands on a boondie or kicks his toe?

his constant grandstanding and absurd demands of the rest of the software industry detract from the good work he has done.

Re:tshirt and no shoes? (1)

FunWithKnives (775464) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061439)

Stallman does not obsess over what he wears. Obviously, you have a problem with that. Feel free to wear your collared shirts and brown loafers, but please, spare the rest of us from your moronic ideal of what a "normal person" should be.

... The man doesn't wear shoes ...

And so we should all ridicule him. Fuck his message (which you either don't understand or just hate), he doesn't wear shoes on occasion.

Excuse me, I think that the sky may be falling.

Re:tshirt and no shoes? (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061471)

I understand his ideals perfectly well.

your the moronic one if you think running around in a formal setting without shoes doesn't speak volumes about him.

Re:tshirt and no shoes? (1)

FunWithKnives (775464) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061555)

Your idea of "formal settings" is humorous to me. I think that anyone should feel quite justified in wearing whatever the hell they feel like wearing to absolutely -any- function or "setting" that they want. Clothes have become some sort of weird gauge for the fundamentalists, both socially and economically, and it's simply an extrapolation of racism and classism. You can wear what you want to wear, my friend, but that doesn't mean that you are rich or successful, nor does it mean that you are poor or stupid. Please understand that.

Re:tshirt and no shoes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21061517)

Without knowing a single thing about me...
Well, we can tell by reading your posts that you're a douchebag, and not nearly as smart as you think you are. But other than that, we know nothing about you. Yes, I think we can safely say that we know nothing about you except that you're a stupid pompous douchebag.

Re:tshirt and no shoes? (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061479)

Considering how much more successful than yours his career has undoubtably been

You really know nothing about the parent poster - a lot of people have had success and have never had to pretend that the work of others is their own when it looks like things are flagging a bit. The "advertising" prefix of gnu on linux is well described in several of the old gnu newsletters. It may all be in a good cause but it really looks to me like MIT staffroom oneupmanship escaped to where we can see it in response to some jab about how the hurd is going.

That aside, from what I've heard (feel free to contradict), RMS is not the sort of person you would want to invite to your conference unless it is very informal and certainly does not have the much hated name tags (it's an old hate that predates RFID). It would be best if the people on the door can identify him by sight if there is any form of restricted entry (eg. if people have to pay to attend) in case he decides to put on a bit of a show to make a possibly valid point and that those asking questions know his personal interpretations of "free" and "open" beforehand and avoid the linux naming question at all costs.

The licence is good, the gnu tools are good, he's put a lot of personal work into emacs and gcc at times and done a lot of good with the FSF but we really do not need a hero to follow blindly. He's a human being with good things to say - listen to those but do not worship.

Re:tshirt and no shoes? (1)

jake_fehr (469788) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061253)

Well, what bugs me about Stallman's professionalism is his insistance on other people using his terms (ie. using the terms "free software" instead of "open-source software" and not using the term "intellectual property"), while he insists DRM stands for "digital restrictions management."

I think Stallman's done some great things for the computer world, but I wish he wasn't such a hypocrite in matters like this.

Re:tshirt and no shoes? (3, Insightful)

sg_oneill (159032) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061337)

He's just trying to make a point. And I think he makes a great one with DRM.

Keep in mind, Stallman comes from a generational philosophy that , following Wittgenstein, notes that words have the ability to confuse, so precise language ensures your being understood. (Wittgenstein famously argued that all problems in philosophy are problems of language. Ambiguous language makes logical problems where in reality none exist. I think he backed away from the strong form of that position later on however.)

Stallman, DOESNT argue for opening up source for the utility of it, he argues for what he believes is the freedom dividend of it. Consequently, he'd like people to keep talking about freedom, and not be so distracted by the marketing.

I personally think that this tactic hasn't helped his cause an awful lot, but I certainly understand why he does it.

Re:tshirt and no shoes? (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061409)

the problem with stallman, is he tries to argue that everyone should be free, free as long as they embrace the GPL.

That's not actually freedom. People should be free to choose their license of choice, but in a stallman world that's not an option.

Re:tshirt and no shoes? (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061469)

In a Stallman world the GPL wouldn't be required, you could release your code into the public domain and people wouldn't rip it off and sell you back proprietary versions of it.

Re:tshirt and no shoes? (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061497)

if you couldn't make a living selling your code, what incentive is there to write it. People should be able to choose their own licenses.

if you want to write code and give it away fine, but why does he have a problem with what the rest of us do with our own work?

Re:tshirt and no shoes? (1)

FunWithKnives (775464) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061515)

Here we go with the Ayn Rand objectivist point of view, as always.

"Everyone should be free, as long as they embrace the tenet that their freedom ends where another person's freedom begins.."

"No, wait! That's not actually freedom, you see. People should be free to choose whether or not to allow someone else their freedom.. But in Stallman's world, that's not an option, which means that he's one of those horrible socialists. We don't want socialists in good old reactionary America, now do we?"

Please come to terms with your own argument. It is one thing to critique the GPL. It is quite another to imply that the software movement would be better off without it.

Re:tshirt and no shoes? (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061605)

holy fuck cut the dose of what ever your on.

i never suggested the world was better off without GPL, i said CHOOSE YOUR OWN LICENSE.

if that means GPL that's fine. my point, was that stallman doesn't want that kind of freedom.

Re:tshirt and no shoes? (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061533)

Keep in mind, Stallman comes from a generational philosophy that , following Wittgenstein, notes that words have the ability to confuse, so precise language ensures your being understood.


So basically, he's against corporate double-speak. I too refer to DRM as "digital restrictions management", as the typically-used word "rights" implies that it's there to protect mine - which, as we all know, is most certainly not the case. Truth be told, I usually just call it copy protection, seeing that's the most frequent way it'll cause something to stop functioning as you'd think (the notable major exception of late being that thing where Google shut down their video store and killed all of people's purchases).

Re:tshirt and no shoes? (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061561)

It seems a lot of US academics use this sort of technique of redefining words to personal meanings or for emotional manipulation. One radio interview recently with a US academic talking about the harmful effects of pornography had them reveal ten minutes in after much confusion that they had redefined the word pornography to mean only images that showed harm or led to harm - makes it a bit difficult to have a conversation that can be followed when the dictionary definitions no longer apply.

RMS changes meaning for emotional effect - the "free" redefinition, inventing "copyleft", adopting the silly redefinition of "operating system" proposed by Microsoft in the antitrust trial that we all laughed about but is convenient if you want to redefine a gnu operating system, talking about "treacherous computing" - bad certainly but nothing less than high treason is it Mr Stallman!

This sort of thing is probably quite common but in a global context it looks petty, silly and is bound to confuse both those with english as a second language and those of us unfamiliar with whatever US slang is fashionable.

"His" terms? (1)

uuxququex (1175981) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061449)

The fact that the unwashed masses are clueless about the terms is not his fault. You can blame the industry spindoctors for that. "Open Source" is not equal to "Free Software", not even close.

For Stallman there is a real need to be precise about the terms, to avoid adding to the confusion.

If you ever have the chance to visit one of his speeches, do yourself a favor and go. Stallman is a really great speaker. Just don't make the mistake of asking why "he decided to do open-source". I garantee he will ride your ass about that one! I doubt the clueless French guy at Fosdem2006 will do that again... ;-)

Re:"His" terms? (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061597)

The "clueless" French guy was going by the dictionary or the definition from a few years ago and not by the RMS redefinition. Being cruel to what he sees as newbies certainly makes him a character but it makes it hard to commmunicate.

Irony... (5, Insightful)

CaPn Corelian (575148) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061205)

Because the minutes of the debate are in .DOC format.

Metabolic syndrome (-1, Offtopic)

messner_007 (1042060) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061227)

This Stallman guy clearly has a metabolic syndrome [wikipedia.org] .

Perhaps Stallman should have asked....... A NINJA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21061307)


Was he hiding any pancakes in his beard?

Mistakes in article (1)

paulproteus (112149) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061339)

I just sent in this note to the author (using the Contact the author form; who knows if that gets bitbucketed or what):

Possible mistakes in article

At http://www.yaledailynews.com/articles/view/21889 [yaledailynews.com] , the photo caption reads, 'Political activist Richard Stallman spoke against the resolution "Digital Restrictions Management should be illegal" at a Yale Political Union debate Wednesday night.'

Yet from reading http://www.yale.edu/ypu/blog.html [yale.edu] , it appears that he spoke in *favor* of the resolution.

Also, you wrote at the end, "comic depicting a failed assassination attempt on Stallman by four masked men from Microsoft". According to http://xkcd.com/225/ [xkcd.com] , there are only *two* masked men, and they are not necessarily from Microsoft.


Honestly, this is extremely sloppy.

Ask a Ninja? (1)

FoolsGold (1139759) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061341)

Ninja: Thanks for the speech Dick - I look forward to killing you soon!

/disappears

Stallman: WTF?

Where is the video of the talk? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21061355)

Hello Yale University

Where is the video of the talk?

Btw, it's a real shame to offer the minutes of the RMS's talk in the Microsoft Word format. If the that is the level of the Yale students, I'm not sure they understood what RMS said.

He's used to it. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21061371)

He used to get beat up in Central Square every other month so I'm sure the ninjas were no big deal. . .

Please confirm (4, Funny)

beders (245558) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061405)

Please tell me that wasn't all that he was wearing

Re:Please confirm (3, Insightful)

aliquis (678370) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061545)

He let it all free ;)

It's the new open! You are allowed to use it aslong as you share!

Re:Please confirm (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061563)

... enough of this DRM bullshit, let my media flow thru any hardware! Let's share it with everyone in the world!

Re:Please confirm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21061609)

Apparantly one of the *gasp* female ninjas in the second picture was wearing a bit more *ahem* under her arms. Being a ninja must be sweaty work!

The concept (2, Informative)

Cosmic AC (1094985) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061501)

This sounds like something that's a lot funnier when you're reading xkcd and imagining it in a marijuana-induced state than when you're actually carrying it out. Even the photos look awkward ("We're attacking you, Stallman, get it?"). And the ninja suits, sheesh.

Blooming bearded hippie (3, Funny)

threaded (89367) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061559)

Blooming bearded hippie ought to get a job. ;-)

Too bad... (1)

YutakaFrog (1074731) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061617)

...he didn't bring his katana [xkcd.com] .
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