Sure, he is cherry picking examples, but there are a lot of examples to choose from.
I used mostly Linux at home for about 15 years, then switched to a decade of MacOS. My new laptop is a Linux laptop and I think I will go back to Linux as my main driver.
I am really conflicted about cellphones. I was unhappy with the crap ware preloaded on my Verizon Android phones. I am happier with a Verizon iPhone, as far as not having a lot of junk preinstalled. I am reading Cal Newport’s new book Digital Minimalism that is making me realize that I need to be more focused in how I spend any screen time.
I really like the iWatch and if/when it becomes possible to use one independently of an iPhone (now my iWatch with a data plan needs the phone for app installation and configuration) I would like to either ditch the phone or mostly keep it turned off.
Still, I differ from Richards opinions in that I think that Apple and Google do have some good privacy policies in place. I feel fairly OK using a personal G Suite account and Apple has a fairly good track record for privacy.
It also solves the planned obsolescence issue, because my Galaxy S4 is screaming-fast on a version of Android from three years after its last manufacturer update.
First, apt install adb heimdall-flash. These are the basic tools for interacting with Samsung phones and Android devices in general from a Linux machine.
From there, follow the instructions I linked below, which basically amounts to getting root and unlocking the boot loader using Heimdall, then flashing TWRP, which is a recovery program, then flashing LineageOS from within TWRP. It’s not hard, but be sure to follow the right set of instructions, because the files for the Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint phones are not compatible.
Assuming you have the Verizon model: https://wiki.lineageos.org/devices/jfltevzw/install
You should expect to face some issues initially and will have to go through the forums/comments to trouble-shoot broken features etc., especially if you are picking the latest ROM.
Sadly stock Google phones also violate your privacy and the privacy of those around you. Stock Android is not a great solution either.
We can have it both ways! Check out https://github.com/hashbang/os
I'm definitely looking for an OS to move to from Android. I suspect Librem will have its own flaws, but they inspire more confidence in me than my first impressions of LineageOS from their website.
To this end I am launching an email service that sends and receives messages once a day. The idea is that with one delivery each day, you don’t need to regulate or discipline yourself as much, and you get a lot more space to think and enjoy your communication. It’s called Pony https://www.pony.gg
1. Does your service create a new email address for the user (something like <emailaddress>@pony.gg), requiring users to update all their contacts with this address so that correspondence gets sent here? Or does it work with existing mailboxes?
2. What is the business model and pricing? I couldn't find any pricing links or any FAQs talking about whether it's free or paid or has free and paid tiers.
3. Please copy some of the content from your About page into your homepage to make it clearer. The homepage should have more information so the potential user knows what it does.
1. Yes, each Pony account is a new email address @pony.gg. I think of this as a feature. You start with a brand new space separate from your existing world of instantaneous messaging. Of course you can use it for anything, but the idea behind Pony is it provides a special place for your correspondence, so starting blank and with a fully fledged, separate email account is what made sense to me. There are other services that let you do similar things with existing email providers but that didn’t make sense to me: if you can still get and send mail at any time by circumventing these wrapping services, you need to exercise mental discipline to obtain the sort of experience Pony provides without any cognitive load at all (which is the whole point).
I considered adding a contact import feature but decided to collect feedback first.
3. Improving and expanding the home page. Thank you for this feedback.
> but I don’t know if I could do once a day email.
Maybe you’d be surprised? There is a notification you can get if you get anything in our daily delivery, so you don’t completely forget about it.
And thanks for asking. Just swapped home pages yesterday and the contact part got dropped. Bringing it back today. In the mean time it’s:
- dminkovsky on twitter
The problem is there have been a lot of scandals as of late of SV companies violating the trust you place in their 'policies'. A policy only works if it's being adhered to also when it's not convenient.
I have a HomePod, but with the mics disabled, (I just wanted a decent wireless speaker that can stream lossless audio). The problem is there's no hardware cutting off the mics, it's only software and considering there run full iOS, it's one OTA away from violating my privacy, without me ever knowing.
There's been the Alexa stories, the smart TV stories - it's a real prospect.
I think that's a relatively scary prospect with these sort of closed systems, especially as 'smart homes' are becoming smarter.
I personally prefer SIM-free Android One smartphones, which come without any bloatware and with monthly security updates.
Not only they offer the best price / performance ratio, but they are also easy to keep private by uninstalling / disabling those few apps that come with the device.
SIM-free sounds like something you are given in oppressive regimes with one state-controlled telecom actor.
Can’t see why anyone would want it.
If I can’t insert a SIM card of my choice, how do I choose or switch provider? Is it hard coded to whatever Google prefers?
I’m open to lot of things with phones, but you can take the SIM-slot from my cold, dead hands. That thing is not going.
"What is a SIM free phone?
SIM free phones are sold without any SIM card or network attached to them. Normally, people buy the phone and then choose a SIM only deal for their calls and data. All SIM free phones come unlocked, so you can choose whichever network you like.
What are the benefits of buying a SIM free phone?
Normally, people buy a SIM free phone when they want to own the handset outright and take out a SIM only deal. This reduces the cost of a monthly plan as you are only paying the network for your minutes, texts and data allowance. SIM only deals aren’t only less expensive but they can be more flexible, as 1-month rolling contracts and 12-month contracts are common place."
As such SIM-free is a terrible and confusing name making it sound like they are taking SIM-based freedom away (Kind of like Apple’s headphone jack-free phones).
"SIM-free" means "bought without a contract". In my country, even devices with contracts come unlocked, making this term useless.
Tip: uninstall any app with gratuitous notifications on the spot. Move off the main page notifying apps that you can’t uninstall: mail, calls, messages. Check notifications on your schedule [once a day], not on the app developer schedule [three times a minute, yay engagement]
I think most people, given enough explanation, would recognize that Stallman and the FSF are 100% correct in their extremism and zealotry - but most aren't able to live without the convenience they've come to know and love.
It's important to have him on his end, so that him and those like him can balance out the other end, and that most people can reasonably fall more towards the middle. Can't have shadows without bright light.
Oh, yes, I'm very much of the opinion that they are right; the only reason I'm not joining them is because my Mac works well ;) I have nothing wrong with their "extremism"–the issue I have is that their attacks come across as childish, especially when they give things stupid names, and often they are pieced together by people who aren't actually experts in what they're complaining about and so they end up with evidence like "$NEWS_WEBSITE says this is bad", when the actual issue is something much more fundamental.
I wish he would tone it down sometimes, for lack of a better phrase. He doesn't have to compromise on his ideology to polish up his essays with less polarizing style. His arguments are already controversial, and he doesn't convince anyone who doesn't already agree with him by insisting on writing this way.
EDIT: Well apparently this is a controversial comment...the score just keeps going up and down.
I just don’t see him as the type that needs to be publicly polished. Why does he have to be? He’s a character, I like it.
It's a bit like women finding reasons not to like a man (or men in general) or vice versa. 
It shows (and I don't know the psych term for it) a very rigid 'good or bad' way of thinking. Life in general is a series of tradeoffs and thinking the way Stallman does just leads to unhappiness. And no question when you become that bitter (in that particular way) you are not happy.
 Not sure if Stallmen mentioned or not how Apple and Jobs in particular (at least as reported and popular culture) treated those around him. You know what? I don't care at all about that.
Edit: Note he says 'reasons not to use' he doesn't say 'things that I don't like about Apple'. For that matter he doesn't even say 'reasons I don't use Apple' he is clearly implying that he thinks people in general should not use Apple.
It's worth remembering that if one carries a mobile telephone, and it is not fully powered off, TPC always knows where you are, and the powers that be do not need to go to Apple for that information. A mobile telephone broadcasts to let the world know where it is, and the mobile telephony system only works in the first place if the system knows how to route incoming calls and SMS messages to a person's telephone.
Like every other messaging system. Because you know, in order to send a message you need to know where...
in the Wiretap Act of 1968 (Title III), it explicitly defined what is a wiretap and who is authorized to perform them and what the legal procedure is. if you read the Wiretap act in the most literal fashion, you will conclude that Title III applies to any communication device which is connected to a network via a physical wire, such as a landline telephone.
would you like to know what NSA's interpretation is of the Title III? well, you can't, because it's Secret Law. but I'll give you a hint: cell phones don't connect via wires, therefore, Title III does not apply, therefore NSA can just "read the air" any damn way it pleases, and it doesn't have to tell you, nor tell a Judge, nor tell anybody. NSA just does it. NSA records the entire radio spectrum going over the air. technically, it's not a "wire" tap, since there is no wire. the closest i recall this little legal loophole fib almost coming out during the peak of the Snowden leaks was when (traitor neocon) Sentator Wyden was challenging the NSA in open hearings by giving hints that the NSA was spying on the GPS locations of all cell phones in the US. but nothing ever came of it, Wyden never followed through with leaking any documents nor holding a public hearing.
if you have any doubts, just read the NSA AURORAGOLD slide deck:
i don't even know what "IR.21" is, some kind of telco protocol thingy like SS7, but NSA targets it and surveils it on every "Mobile Network Operator" (MNO) on the planet. Slide 10: "We Monitor the Industry." NSA spies on the GSM Association in Switzerland. NSA spies on the entire technical staffs of every "MNO" on Earth.
scroll towards the end of the slides where there is a map "network coverage." the whole fucking world of cell phones is "covered" by NSA surveillance. notice anything funny about the map? the US and most FVEYs countries are orange, meaning 1%-20% wireless "coverage." but Africa, inner Asia, and desolate countries are green, which means over 80%.
gee, that's funny. why would NSA's "wireless collection" be so much higher in countries who are marginal American allies and all of whom are rapidly developing economies which went from pre-industrial agrarian, to skipping over industrial, which means they never built a national phone network of wires, and skipped straight to national wireless networks.
it means NSA basically data rapes wireless. it is infinitely easier for NSA to spy on wireless than wired.
but wait! it gets worse. you may ask yourself "okay, fine, NSA steals the air, but i'm a hacker and by flying spaghetti monster i can come up with a technical counter measure. i will develop my own decentralized system to defeat NSA as the global passive adversary."
a few days or weeks later, after you study Mixnets and Meshnets and Delay Tolerant Networks (DTN) and RFC 5050 and after you start prototyping your own off-grid Internet, you come across this slide from the Snowden leaks:
Moving Data Through Disconnected Networks
you slap yourself in the forehead.
shit. NSA has already covered new forms of sneakernets too. of course they have. undetecable decentralized sneakernets are the perfect method of exfiltrating all of the data which NSA is stealing from everyone else in the world, and doing it using their own private off-grid network is ideal because nobody will notice exabytes of your data being siphoned through your fleet of "smart" e-lighbulbs used as a hop point back to Bluffdale.
those NSA slides about DTNs are from around 2011, and it clearly shows NSA had several DTNs operational. they even had a partner program with NRO to develop "CubeSat" nanosatellites to act as nodes in their global exfiltration DTN. and if we know one thing about NSA it's when they're 10 years ahead of everyone else in inventing new defensive tactics, they also invent the offensive tactics to attack that defense, in order to cripple anyone else who might use the same weapons. so of course NSA already has ways to destroy DTNs, in order to prevent anyone else from gaining an advantage over NSA. remember "NOBUS"? Nobody But Us.
you HN nerds outta recognize that map. look familiar? see the Lat/Long coords at the bottom. it's the Richmond district in SF. you'd think NSA would be careful to not use US locations as the examples in its surveillance programs, since NSA is not chartered for domestic spying. but you'd be wrong.
'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors...and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do'.
An exceptionally well written and chilling quote I thought. I looked it up to see what book or potentially movie/series this might be from:
"Karl Rove. American Republican political consultant and policy advisor."
How can creative writers possibly compete with this caliber of actual villain dialogue?
2. Other consumer electronics devices aren't built in factories that are any different or better than those of Foxconn. While it doesn't absolve Apple from taking some responsibility, RMS should have called for avoiding mobile devices altogether if he's so worried about personnel abuse.
3. Fortunately or not, digital platforms aren't exempt from real world rules and laws. If something is prohibited in some territory, we can't seriously expect foreign companies who do business there to ignore local laws and regulations. Would you be so lenient towards a Chinese company which operates in USA disregarding all intellectual property laws? About a Japanese media company operating in Europe that markets material that would constitute underaged pornography?
4. We need to respect sovereignty and local customs. If there's a lesson to be learnt from the Arab Spring uprisings and their incredibly bloody outcomes is that freedom of information requires a certain societal foundation, and can't be thought of as an absolute universal value. Even the Western world is in a disarray following the information propagation offered by online platforms; to expect a society with much weaker civil institution and foundations to face the same challenges is wrong. Therefore, when Apple is asked to block content in China by the local authorities and complies, it's not any more than respecting the rule of the land.
The alternative to that is that the Chinese would create their own Apple (which they of course do), and that's worse for everyone at the end. It leads to a bisected global economy in the style of the Iron Curtain. I'd much rather have Apple operating in China and constantly pushing against government regulation than see the Chinese setting up their own Apple run by government cronies which would pipe user data right into the agencies of Beijing.
5. That aside, some of Apple's behavior (as illustrated by Spotify lately) is downright predatory, intended to lock Apple users to inferior alternatives. I don't like that one bit. On the balance though, I support Apple's discretion with my dollars, because I feel they are selling to me rather than selling me, and because their devices are great.
2. He does call against mobile devices altogether (see the Cellular Phones section ).
3. A company can choose where to conduct business. RMS's opinion is that companies should not conduct business where the laws impose said company to routinely act in ways that are harmful to society.
4. "I know better than them (so I choose what to censor)" and "I do it because otherwise someone else will" are poor defenses from a moral standpoint. RMS is all about morality, not pragmatism. His stance is that bit by bit, slight compromises become landslides.
5. You are free to do as you please, just like RMS is free to disapprove of your support to apple ;)
For instance, you must have an apple account (that includes your personal details) just to get MacOS security updates. Why is that necessary if you don't intend to buy any software from the store?
I don't think this is true anymore since they decoupled system updates from the App Store again in Mojave
If that was accepted as necessary data collection, GDPR wouldn't have made any fuss whatsoever: big techs would keep collecting all the data they wanted because "it is necessary to reduce the chance that we won't earn buckets of money".
And Apple seems to be the only company to be quite open about this and taking active steps to improve working conditions throughout the entire supply chain.
They might, but for the most valuable company in the world, they had plenty of mishaps recently, from logging APFS encryption password to allowing anyone to log in as root without a password.
If it were only that simple, sigh. Google is much worse. Apple at least lip sync's privacy, I suspect when it is to their advantage.
I believe Apple just has no clue as to how to create products any more. How much money are they sitting on and and this is the best they can do?
You say that, but you most likely do. Even if you absolutely don’t, the vast majority of users still do, even if they don’t know it.
The whole point of software is to at least partly obfuscate what the hardware does, to the benefit of users. Making things easier to use and understand and hiding unnecessary complications is not arrogance towards users, it’s acting in their interest.
And Apple did not lie about your battery, it kept your phone from spontaneously restarting when your battery declined to a pout where it couldn’t generate adequate voltage for the system. Apple just did a poor job of communicating what iOS was doing to prevent this.
Apple has distributed over 300M downloads of Spotify to iOS users, since Spotify is a free app it hasn’t paid a cent for over 30 Petabytes of bandwidth costs.
You have to pay every year to be in the appstore.
I imagine that for an iOS store there is more.
Let's not act like its philanthropy.
Yes they do, publishing on the App Store isn't free. Also, they favor some apps they don't compete with, (Uber), while handicapping others, (Spotify). Hardly fair.
> Apple's mail service silently censors the mail people send.
Is based on this article:
Where one user was unable to send one email via the MobileMe web interface because of an outgoing spam filter. The Mail app worked btw, and was not "censored".
From this Stallman extrapolates censorship of all users who use Apple email.
Give me a break.
The problem that I see is (inputs welcome from others on this) there are no mass produced goods (hardware and software) that are also easy to use and secure and private that conform to his requirements (leave alone cheap or being friendly to the environment, to workers, against censorship, and many other factors). It would take quite a bit of effort (to set things up) even for technical people to live as he does.
> quite powerful and forces lots of safeguards about how exactly data can be used.
Apple recommends apps based on other apps I've downloaded. So does Google. Apple recommends music based on other music I've played. So does Google. Apple recommends books and movies as well based on similar data. So does Google. Apple keeps track of every placed your Apple devices have been. So does Google. Apple doesn't share this data. Neither does Google.
If you don’t enable those things (which are not automatically enabled) then Apple does not know the location of your phone.
The iPhone certainly does keep track of where it has been. There was even a scandal about it a few years back. It may not upload it to Apple's servers yet, but that's only a matter of shifting strategy and a software update away.
"Comments should get more civil and substantive, not less, as a topic gets more divisive."
Since you don't seem to want to use this site as intended, I've banned the account. If you don't want to be banned, you're welcome to email firstname.lastname@example.org and give us reason to believe that you'll follow the rules in the future.
It says encrypted and cant be read by Apple, who knows, this data creeps me alone.
But I dislike their enforced prudery. Unless something is considered illegal (e.g. CP), it should be up to the users to decide. At worse, implement age restrictions when shopping.
It's almost like he can't change his principles either, because at this point his livelihood depends on it.
1. Their new keyboards are terrible, and are buggy.
2. Lack of headphone jack on phones.
3. Vast price increases for relatively little new features.
4. Constant upgrading of the OS which breaks half of the software you use.
My new iPhone XR needs to be charged only once or twice per week.
For development, I get a certified UNIX machine with an excellent user interface, best of both worlds for the vast majority of tasks we need using computers.
Apple makes money off me because I buy their products. I am myself not the product, their hardware is. This has so many natural side effects that benefit users, that it scares me to go in the direction of android.
The iPad is truly a revolutionary best in class device, I’ve not seen anything else that comes anywhere close to its quality for what it does.
It's not the only phone that does that and it's not a new feature. Even with older phones, you can simply get a battery case.
> with an excellent user interface
The user interface is terrible and all the core features are extremely limited with no extensibility whatsoever. Just about every other desktop OS has a better user interface.
> Apple makes money off me because I buy their products. I am myself not the product, their hardware is.
Actually, their iProducts are not even yours after you buy them. If you want to build an app for your own device you have to give Apple $100 every year just to be able to install it. So that puts them into a malignant category of their own.
> The iPad is truly a revolutionary best in class device...
...but only if you think iOS is any good or you don't value your own freedom.
I believe this line of reasoning also explains your other points satisfactorily.
My second point was that you can also extend the life of any phone with a battery case. And yes, after you install a batter case that uses pass-through charging there's essentially no difference.
> I believe this line of reasoning also explains your other points satisfactorily.
OK and I'll assume that your misreading, your misunderstanding and your incomplete response to my points stem from an intentionally weak interpretation.
FYI this has not been true for years.
Personally, I'm not really into Apple but I love the new keyboard, and I use it as my main tool every day. It really bugs me when people make use of personal opinions as facts.
You demand a phone that has all these services and qualities to it. Or websites or apps that you like. What system have you come up with that provides a viable alternative to what exists? All these social media companies thought they could create a self-policing, open, free place for discussion. Surprise, turns out every country/government wants to put restrictions on these capabilities, in a different flavor. Or people want to be paid for things, while others want them for free.
Almost every one of the things on his list is a result of people, users like you and me, doing things that weren't intended to be done. And they had to come up with rules to take care of. Or are what's needed to reach this many people.
Not saying there aren't things on there that couldn't be changed. (and by the way, some of his examples are 10 years irrelevant)
But you're mad at Apple because it reaches more people, and does so while ignoring these (let's face it, minor) concerns that most people don't care -- at all -- about. Ask any of your friends to identify / name even 2 of these issues?
So go invent something different. See how long it is before you come under similar constraints and start having to make rules that someone, somewhere disagrees with.
The actors in a system are servants of the things we want (or can't resist wanting) them to do.
(only for preorder, but the devkit already exists and looks fine)
That's been our problem, and remarkably, there's been little concentrated and little continuous discussion, let alone successful remediation, in all of these years.
And so I've had to avoid all of the alternatives ... far from ideal!! I'd sure choose to use a service with much less sophistication, many fewer options, much less 'slick' presentation, but was forthright, dependable, and adequate. Shouldn't that much easier to create, fund, and maintain? And yet ... no show.
WHY? HOW did these terrible practices become thinkable, let alone acceptable? With all the spirit, spunk, and can-do sophistication of the pioneers in our community ... WHY?
Choosing a tech over another tech for technical reasons and ignoring other aspects is a political choice.
We’ve gone from “not choosing is a choice” to “every choice is political”.
I’m sorry but the latter doesn’t immediatly follow from the first.
You can and are totally free to not use a technology or buy from a particular company for political reasons, but that does not mean that others are making a political choice when doing so.
Similarly you should argue that eating meat is a religious choice, since some religions prohibit meat consumption.
I find this kind of reasoning bogus at best.
That's why I use Firefox and not google chrome even though at some points one is better than the other.
> We’ve gone from “not choosing is a choice” to “every choice is political”.
> I’m sorry but the latter doesn’t immediatly follow from the first.
Nobody said or implied that.
> Similarly you should argue that eating meat is a religious choice, since some religions prohibit meat consumption.
Now that's a bogus reasoning and I don't see why you twist the analogy like that since it loses relevance.
I am not sure this reasoning is bogus. Let me try to pick up on the analogy and develop it further:
Situation 1: I (hypothetically) am shopping for a laptop. I am used to Unix, dislike Windows, and couldn't get desktop Linux work for me. I am impressed by battery life of the latest Macbook Pro, as well as by its glorious screen, decent sound, and responsive touchpad. After certain deliberation I decide to buy a Macbook Pro. Apple’s corporate track record doesn't even enter into the calculation. And yet, I am told that my choice is political.
Situation 2: You (hypothetically) are about to order a burger. You are hungry and like burgers, and the animal suffering involved in the production of that burger does not even cross your mind. Yet you are told that you have made a moral choice. (Alternatively, you are told that you’ve made a religious choice, because in Jainism meat is not allowed; and obviously you couldn’t care less about Jainism.)
What I, as the previous commentator, find so objectionable is that it shouldn't be said of you that you are making a political choice if you are not involved in an act that you recognize as political. I can’t imagine that it is reasonable to expect of everyone to be constantly engaged in political activity, or to put political considerations before any other. I think it’s quite possible to be vaguely supportive of democracy, freedom, workers’ rights or the rule of law (and thus to be politically on one side of the spectrum), and at the same time not care that a corporation complied with undemocratic demands of an authoritarian regime or used legal loopholes to avoid taxes (and thus is on another side of the political spectrum).
But you're right that's just a couple on a long list.
I love ubuntu server, but cannot do Linux desktop. Maybe you can provide some thoughts-
>Mouse acceleration is not the same as Windows Mouse Acceleration. Too much starcraft... sure... but I could not get my perfect mouse settings.
>Stuff doesnt work. From Netflix needing a weekend worth of googling to work, to other things that required additional commands, things take longer than Windows.
>Things break. I used to say, an Ubuntu Desktop install has 9 lives. Everytime you reboot you spend one of them.
Anyway, would love to go to Linux, but I found the Microsoft Desktop experience better. (and apparently worth 100$)
Let's take Slack as an example: what strategies are there to convince people to make the switch to an alternative product? From the perspective of users (who may not always care about the things RMS cares about), a switch just involves a lot of time and effort.
Any suggestions or hints how to approach this?
Maybe not precisely that, but https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/university.html
How bout that prism 5 privacy phone? Hope it's successful and provides the needs which we all grown accustomed to with all these apps. Over all even tho I dislike there practices and absurd prices. And just putting out there I know my way around the phone then the average because both views are different, I'd rather stick with Apple a hardware company than a software company like google 2 different agendas. And to just be flat out real & honest where can you go? Everything is doing F*ckery everyone decided to wait to damn long to say anything when I know majority of us here knew about it all way back but the sheep heard didn't budge till recently to damn late they grew to powerful and google no longer needs you to have there device or any on you to track you. Plus everyone just welcomes all there products into there home already. If they are gonna farm my data I at least expect it to be handled like it's gold. And they could offer a paid version that we can choose to use that will keep our data off limits since we are paying for it. They still get there money. I personally think if we are paying outta pocket our data is off limits. The isp sells our data so why do we still pay for cable? Sometimes I think a solar flare would be nice and reset everything but I doubt people will learn.
4th line on that page is
What's bad about: Airbnb | Amazon | Amtrak | Ancestry | Apple | Discord | Ebooks | Eventbrite | Evernote | Facebook | Google | Intel | LinkedIn | Lyft | Meetup | Microsoft | Netflix | Patreon | Pay Toilets | Skype | Slack | Spotify | Twitter | Uber | Wendy's |
...is not the Internet
Edit: All right so this website is meant to make a library of opposition against big corporations. I understand now
Stallman has been the leading proponent of software freedom for many, many decades. He isn't inherently against big corps, he is against what a lot of big corps do.
IE: I only see it as Apple having extreme upfront costs, keeping poor people away from developing.
1. Do they limit the freedom of the developer to keep source code private?
2. Do they make it harder to sustain a living wage through the labor of writing software?
I’m fully supportive of “attribution” licenses like MIT, BSD, Apache 2. But, I don’t think Stallman considers those “free software”.
The (A)GPL aim is to retain the freedom of the user to view, modify, compile, and redistribute their changes. They explicitly limit the freedom of the developer to close their source would that the user has those freedoms.
To use an extreme example that I'm not using as an example for moral equivalence, but as a procedural one: laws against any (e.g. theft, murder, trespassing, &c) limit the abilities of one party for the benefit of another.
Licenses like the MIT and bsd license take the opposite approach: they give the developer the freedom to use the code as they want, including closing it from inspection and modification by the end user.
Both allow someone to be constrained in some way. It's just a matter of who.
> 2. Do they make it harder to sustain a living wage through the labor of writing software?
I mean, RedHat seems to be doing OK? The recent kerfuffle about mongo and elastic search seem to be because they chose more permissive license at the start, and not a copyleft.
So, who knows? Business is hard and no one factor makes or breaks your chances?
There's a clash between user's and developer's freedoms: if a developer is free to keep the source code private, then said software's users are not free to study, change it, and distribute those changes.
The free software movement prioritizes user's freedoms (the 4 essential freedoms ) over developer's freedoms. You seem to do the opposite.
Your wording makes it hard to answer the question. If you get paid purely to write software, it doesn't matter if said software is free software or not. If you sell software copies/licenses to pay for your development, then it is objectively harder to earn as much.
He does, though they arent copyleft.
Of course if Spotify is able to win its suit, iOS development will become far more costly, Apple won’t be able to distribute free apps at no charge anymore, like it does for Spotify.
All philosophies are inconsistent?
> (See the paradox of closed source microwaves)
That's not a paradox. Binary blobs are okay if, and only if, there is no way to update them anyway. This means there is no way for the copyright holder of the software to force a user to cede their software freedom, so the point is moot.
> software should be libre because libre software provides the most value to the most people due to the 0 marginal cost of software
Software should be libre because it allows users to not be beholden to anything but their own interests. Value and cost are very secondary considerations.
> even if it's less profitable to the creators
That's not a criterium.
> due to the security benefits of closed platforms
Citation very much needed.
> Stallman formed his views when he was working at MIT, with his material support from donations
No. He was working, at MIT, you just stated that.
> The economics of his philosophy are tainted by that foundational flaw.
I think you might want to get better acquainted with "his philosophy", the economics of it, before diving head first into an argument based on nothing but ad-hoc analysis of shaky assertions.
Apple’s business model also aligns with user privacy (so far).
It’s also worth considering Apple’s CEO personally values privacy because he had to keep his sexuality a secret his entire life until he reached such a prominent position he felt safe to speak out.
I agree that the strongest evidence is the source code, compiler code, and electronics schematics. However, there are other forms of evidence.
It indicates that Apple software is secure, it doesn't indicate that it is secure because it is closed-source. It might be even more secure if it were open source, because then many more people would be looking for vulnerabilities in it.
I think Apple’s products would be more secure if they were more open. I appreciate that the core is open (Darwin, WebKit, Swift, LLVM).
The other (perhaps more compelling) argument is that Apple is only able to invest this level of security in its products because of its spectacular profits, which would likely be much lower if iOS were open source.
That's basically the gist of it.
EDIT: To whoeever downvoted this, I'm just relaying the argument.
The only difference between universal food and universal toilets seems to be the cost - i.e. it would be much more affordable for government to supply free toilets than free food for everyone. In this view his argument makes sense - both the need to eat and the need to pee when in public are fundamental, so if we can take care of at least one of them (toilets), then it's still better than nothing.
> I have concluded that the least we can do, to eliminate pay toilets, is to avoid giving them money. Instead of paying them, I go to great lengths to find some other toilet.
> Please join me in rejecting pay toilets firmly.
Usually they're pretty nice compared to the free toilets.
Content control is different from political censorship. Every company has the right to policy their content and choose their customers. It sucks, but it isn't evil.
Those are pretty old arguments, because Apple does allow Bitcoin related apps now, and has been for many years.
edit: This last page update was 2018 according to the copyright. The OP didn't put (2018) in the title.
HN urgently needs to address the flagging problems, this has been the case for many important but controversial topics recently and leads to a degraded quality of frontpage submissions in my view.
Many of the points he is specifically isolating for Apple are quite true of most of the big tech firms.
> from a personal bias he has against Apple. Many of the points he is specifically isolating for Apple are quite true of most of the big tech firms.
He bashes all big techs for most of those points too. See the links at the top where he complains about Airbnb, Amazon, Amtrak, Ancestry, Apple, Discord, Ebooks, Eventbrite, Evernote, Facebook, Google, Intel, LinkedIn, Lyft, Meetup, Microsoft, Netflix, Patreon, Pay Toilets, Skype, Slack, Spotify, Twitter, Uber and Wendy's.
If there are missing companies there it is probably because he didn't have the time, not because he does't want to complain about something regarding that specific company ;)
I see he's using a >10yr old Intel CPU, presumably to avoid the Management Engine, so presumably he thinks it's OK to pay money to these companies in certain circumstances?
> I use a Thinkpad T400s computer, which has a free initialization program (libreboot) and a free operating system (Trisquel GNU/Linux). It was not sold that way by Lenovo, however; small businesses buy them used, recondition them, and install the free software. This is one of the computers endorsed by the FSF.
Of course I'm pretty sure he would also approve buying and using any open hardware product  (provided it can run using only free software). There are some initiatives popping up in this space, such as:
- The siFive HiFive's  (Risc-V based), that can get you a fully open, slow system for $3k (1k for the base board + 2k for the PCIe-and-others expansion board).
- The Talos™ (Power9-based) systems , that give you 2019-grade performance at ~2-3x the usual price.
All in all, not a pleasant stance to make, but definitely doable for some folks.
If a piece of hardware contains unmodifiable software, RMS considers it an "integral part of the hardware". It is no different to him than a cog or any other physical piece in that thing.
In contrast, if said software (firmware) is replaceable, it means that it can be copied at no cost, modified, used on other hardware, etc.. It is a fine line, but I can see some difference.
As soon as a piece of software is replaceable, the one who provides you with the software can use its distribution to make you promise to ignore the four software freedoms.
If a piece of software is not replaceable, that point is moot, since the one who provided you with the software has no sway over you regardless. They have no control over you or the device.
When they're behaving in what he considers an ethical manner, or at least offering some ethically designed products, I think so. He's hoping to help catalyze a revolution of sorts regardless, and AFAIK is still waiting for the hypothetical ideal entity to arrive (which probably isn't going to happen any time soon).
I look at Stallman's lifestyle as a form of performance art at this point. It's more than this, for sure, but that's the best way to describe its immediate impact much of the time. However, we will likely be chewing on the thoughts he has brought forth for generations to come.
The fact is though many of the modern day benefits we have as a society came as a result of the less than pure pursuit of money and power.
I have no side in this game (no affiliations to either Google or Apple) but this points about Apple are both true and relevant and thus imo no reason to flag. You can still just ignore the topic.
Flagging just kills the discussion and during recent times this often happened to legit but controversial topics (e.g. OpenAI for-profit announcement was heavily flagged and buried as well).
I am an apple fan myself, but this is not true. He isn’t “singling out” apple. Apple is the subject of this article.
Perhaps there should be other posts about other tech companies, perhaps there already are, it doesn’t matter.
The discussion is the ethical behaviour of companies, and This post is specifically about Apple.
Apple has not been pro consumer or pro developer in my lifetime. They do advertise a lot.
Their stance on user privacy, especially with iPhone in comparison to android, is certainly a good example of very pro consumer attitudes.
(did you read the article?)
Proprietary connectors, overpriced hardware, high cost barrier to entry, closed ecosystem.
And when you use your computer 2,000 hours a year the extra cost of Macs per hour of work is trivial and the benefits are great.
>it’s cheap and easy to become a Mac or iOS developer,
Its the most expensive system to develop for. So you literally lied.
His positions are extremist and I don't know what's gained by divulging them
He’s cherry picking things here that really don’t have anything to do specifically with Apple. Amazon paid zero taxes last year and they had more income than nearly any company in the world. Google is also quite famous for the loopholes it finds. I’m not sure it’s fair to single out Apple specifically for this.
This article was about Apple, go on the top of the page and you can navigate to other companies complains.
Edit: Posted incomplete comment on the first try. Also wanted to add that I look up to Stallman as a role model and advocate for open source & contributing back to open source.
I realize that requires a MacOS computer, which costs money, but the “free” in free software principles is about the freedom to share the code, not the price of the code. Free software is allowed to be sold.
Increasingly, it is also possible to run Swift code on Linux without Xcode or MacOS (recognizing the GUI would need to be rewritten).
For instance, macOS is a stable, supported Unix on slick hardware. That's great! But only at the cost of all the core desktop functionality being complete fucking garbage. The global menu is colossally stupid and it sucks, the Window management sucks, the Finder sucks and the Dock sucks. Everybody knows this except for the people who have made their computing hardware and software choices part of their identity.
That last one was also infamous internally for sucking at the time it came out except in one respect: It marketed well. Oh and that slick hardware that you're being forced to buy is probably outdated before it left the store. Also, you were probably steered directly to the most expensive version of that hardware due to the skimpy lineup that you have to choose from and the lack of upgrade-ability.
Same thing with iOS - you get some great stuff like long battery life and stability, but only at the cost of this little thing we call "freedom" to do what the fuck I want without having to ask my Apple parent.
Seriously - Fuck Apple. They've always been a smug bunch of assholes. If you have to use their products (since they have just enough market share to be annoying) - just buy it used from a non-Apple source. Don't give these assholes your money.