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Adobe deactivates all Venezuelan accounts (adobe.com)
998 points by sndpsy on Oct 7, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 519 comments

What makes this even worse is that this is only a huge issue because Adobe moved to the whole 'Creative Cloud' thing rather than the old 'buy each product outright' model. With the old model, it wouldn't hurt these creators all that much if their accounts got deactivated, since the software would just not get updates.

Now on the other hand... they're screwed. It's a 'brilliant' example of how these 'cloud' based services are a bad deal for the user, because it puts them at the risk of getting locked out their own purchases due to legal hassles like this.

And if you've just paid your yearly prescription last week, you aren't even getting what you paid for:

> You’ve charged me, when will I get my refund?

>We are unable to issue refunds. Executive order 13884, orders the cessation of all activity with the entities including no sales, service, support, refunds, credits, etc.

So no refunds either. Renting stuff in the cloud is just waiting to be screwed if the country you're in is on the hit list of the US government. And that's not a short list either, btw.

The website changed:

>If you purchased directly from Adobe, we will refund you by the end of the month for any paid, but unused services. We are working with our partners on the same.

I wonder what caused this. Did something important change, or did Adobe just overreact at first?

Even that doesn't fix it. Sure they got their money back. But they aren't allowed to subscribe again so all of the files are locked away in proprietary formats.

That's something credit card chargebacks can be used for, at least in the US.

Aren't both Visa and Mastercard US-based and thus subject to the same executive order? So chargebacks are probably also at the whim of the US.

Credit and debit cards are specifically exempt from sanctions. That said, the card organizations may use sanctions as an excuse to not go forward with the chargeback process (as in, we will gladly take your money, but refund none of it because sanctions).

Chargebacks are initiated with the issuer's bank, which presumably would be in Venezuela.

That's kind of a two-way wammy.. If anyone owned money to VISA or Mastercard in Venezuela, the creditcard companies would not be able to collect those debts either?

I bet your bottom dollar they will be allowed to collect.

VISA and Mastercard don't (AFAIK) lend money themselves, unlike Amex for instance.

Consumer fraud lawsuits, and they don't want Venezuelan cash on their balance sheets.

This true. They have all discovered that the SaaS model is the best model for software sales —which is why the big players are all pushing everything into the SaaS model, which while convenient (financially and administratively), have drawback such as availability and of course the recurring nature of billing where you can’t choose to stay on an old version either because it’s good’nuff or because of compatibility reasons.

Yet, when google mail for business came out everyone hailed the idea; sigh... no more CALs, etc. which is true but now you have to pay recurringly (and msy have to keep former accounts live for compliance reasons)

> best model

I wonder how much recurring revenue Adobe just had wiped off their books.

What about when your government sanctions your biggest market?

I don’t see how shrinkwrapped SW would be a better revenue model. Whatever the sold already are in the books. At least with SaaS once sanctions are lifted they potentially have the market opened again. Also SW piracy isn’t unusual is places strapped for money. They surely wouldn’t get away with paying for Adobe SaaS with Petros (crypto currency).

Yeah, I got sick of Adobe's subscription model. Every release it seems like PS gets slower and slower without adding any features of value to me. I hate that if I want to have a certain combination of 2 or 3 apps I have to pay for basically everything which includes 80% of stuff I don't need. Paying $600/yr for something I only occasionally use a few times a month is a joke. I've since switched to Affinity.

Photoshop/Lightroom are $100/yr combined (sometimes less if you can get a deal on the subscription card). At that price, you're still looking at significantly less than if you used to upgrade your old software every 5 years.

If you wanted both Photoshop and Lightroom, yes. For those of us that just used Lightroom, and could use GIMP for any light editing, it's a significant increase. I'm still using my perpetually licensed copy of Lightroom 6, and I see no reason to upgrade any time soon. (I'll probably use the Adobe DNG converter as a free translator if I ever get a new body)

Capture One is another alternative to Lightroom. I've since switched to that after Apple abandoning Aperture. I still vastly prefer Aperture's UI, but it's barely usable anymore after several years of OS updates.

The new Dehaze and Texture sliders, plus improved highlight recovery are highly worth it. Also, the latest version is finally optimized and about 2-3x faster than all prior versions.

It's going to take more than some new features to make $100/yr worth it over $0/yr, but I see your point. I don't shoot as much as I used to; if I buy a new body at some point, I'll bite the bullet and do it.

Have you tried Darktable?

I've used the website photopea as an alternative to Photoshop, I find it much more similar and convenient than GIMP.

Tell me about it. I use only Lightroom for my personal needs, but I need to pay for PS as well even if I’ve never used it. I contacted their support a couple time about that and the chat person always become silent at some point.

You get the subscription offered by Adobe for 30 if you cancel the subscription.

How do you like the competitor offering so far?

I'm not parent but I'm still looking for a vector graphics replacement for Illustrator.

Sketch, Designer, etc, are all pretty crippled when it comes to working with groups instead of layers. Many people have asked for group isolation mode in Designer for years, but it's not really a priority for Serif.


I tried developing a script for Sketch but the SDK doesn't provide the needed API to implement it properly and quite frankly Sketch is super slow once you work on complex projects.

The only software I've found that does groups well is a little software called Amadine, but it's still not very mature.

The team that develops PixelMator promised a vectors graphics software but are too busy with PixelMator Pro.

I haven't used Corel Draw in almost 20 years but now that they have a mac verson I will give it a try.

Affinity Photo is a great replacement for Photoshop though.

I've had a horrible time with finding good vector software for my needs, especially since my requirements tend towards needing it to create physical assets in the real world (laser cutting) or the basis for game assets.

There isn't any good constraint based / procedural vector software. Best I've able to find for my needs is Fusion 360 but it's really for 3D not for 2D. I want things to reflow automatically based on parameterized constraints and nothing does that except for Fusion 360 and/or OpenSCAD but those are both horrible for 2D vector.

I've even resorted to use React and SVG to dynamically generate vectored laser cut designs. https://github.com/brennancheung/lasercut-react-svg/blob/mas...

If anyone has any recommendations I'd love to hear them.

All the laser cutting job shops seem to use CorelDraw.

I do my designs in qcad, submit as a vector PDF, and the laser guys get that into Corel somehow. There might be some trickiness to the conversion due to how curves are represented in the PDFs? Maybe not. All I know is my parts come out fine.

I believe some people use Inkscape, but I found it unusably clunky. YMMV.

Laser cutter operator here.

Going from vector graphics to laser cut product is fucking painful when the design isn’t simple.

Parameterised constrains with sub-millimetre precision in a vector graphics app is the holy grail.

I do quite lot of laser-cutting (and a bit of mostly-planar CNC), and find FreeCAD to be quite practical for that. It is similar to Fusion360, in that it is a 3D CAD software - but primarily driven by 2d sketches with constraints. If your creations are rather "mechanical" in shapes, their constraint system should get you pretty far. Unfortunately the more "graphical" aspects, like text, Beziers etc. are not good. So I tend to use Inkscape for that, and import the vectors into FreeCAD. Would looove if FreeCAD got Inkscape-level usability for those workflows.

One can also do cross-object relationships using mathematical expressions. This can also be used to make eerything can driven form a single spreadsheet of input values.

Note that in FreeCAD you can always jump down to the Python scripting layer when you hit limits. Either directly (open View -> Panels -> Python console, then do an action in the UI), or using CadQuery: a OpenSCAD like eDSL for FreeCAD models in Python. For over 150 models I have done this twice.

Note that (semi)automated layout of a sheet for production, there is no good solution in FreeCAD right now. I am quite interested in plugging that hole, but don't have the resources for it at this time...

I'm quite happy with Autodesk Inventor. Though I get it a the student rate (for free), and would not pay for it since I just design simple things for 3D printing.

What is the process by which one goes from a cad file to actually something that can be 3d printed?

I recently got a new ipad pro and got this app sketchr3d and I was blown away by how intuitive it is to design really sophisticated structures. I tried blender on and off like 4 times over 5 years and found it basically impossible to use.

After making some really cool designs in s3d I started to wonder how easy it is to just print it with some kind of decent 3d printer model.

Is it really plug and play/drag and drop your file?

I didn't use Blender, but the way I understood it, it is more like modelling. Opposed to that, Inventor is technical drawing.

E.g. I could: Draw 2D plane 10x10 mm; extrude; on one surface, create a diagonal helper line; put three circles on that line; define diameter of one circle to be 2.5mm; constraint diameter of the other circles to be equal to the first; split the helper line at every circle intersection; constrain all line segments to be equally long - now all things are fully constrained. Negative extrude the circles (e.g. make holes into the first volume).

Should produce something like this:

   |o  |
   | o |
   |  o|
You can now change values (e.g. make the base plate 20x50mm and adapt the diameter to 4mm) and the program will keep rearrange everything according to the constraints, if possible.

(I don't have a 3D printer but I have been reading up on it recently.)

As sibling comment says, the design is saved as an STL file, a format they all use, which basically describes the shape of your print in a (variabally sized) load of triangles.

However, most use 'slicer' software on the computer as an intermediate step between the STL export from whatever CAD software your using before actually sending (specific instructions for your model) to the printer.

So, if you wanted to print directly from an iPad, my guess is that you'd need a model of printer that 'slices' STL itself, without desktop software. Even then, you'd probably need (a Lightning <-> USB adapter and) a USB drive to actually get the file from iPad to printer.

I haven’t played with 3d printers in a while, but my understanding is that they’ve pretty much standardized on the STL file format to describe prints. CAD packages should be able to export it, and printer software can read it.

Other than that, there’s likely a bunch of parameters that control the actual printing process— there are a lot of tradeoffs to make between print speed, material usage, part strength, etc. The printer software will ask you about these before starting a print.


> I haven’t played with 3d printers in a while, but my understanding is that they’ve pretty much standardized on the STL file format to describe prints.

Not quite. The STL is the model. A slicer “slices” the model into tens to thousands of layers and creates a GCode file that tells the printer exactly what to do.

Generally speaking, the CAD software will output an STL file (surface geometry), then you import that into "slicing" software that takes the geometry and generates .gcode that is targeted specifically for your 3D printer.

I made a video about it here.


As others have said you export an STL file from your design software. This goes into a slicer (Slic3r, Cura, etc.) If you set up your printer with OctoPrint running on a Rasberry Pi you could do the slicing there, but you quickly run into the limitations of auto-slicing.

It depends.

I personally use Inventor, and there's a nice easy way to convert to STL's in the application.

You then take your slicer of choice (Cura is popular) and toss the STL in there, and click print.

Pretty close to plug & play.

This is what I use as well, plus repetier printing server on my old raspi B.

I've setup everything once about 2 years ago, and should probably update the toolchain (klipper is awesome).

I use Solvespace. http://solvespace.com/

Thanks for the recommendation. I'll check it out.

> I want things to reflow automatically based on parameterized constraints

Can you expand on that?

You mean like having a UI solver for drawing gears?

Not quite that detailed but along those lines. Usually it's simpler like resize a dimension based on another shape that is supposed to be in a fixed location. Vectors should snap and/or resize to other vectors based on midpoint, center, tangent, concentric, etc.

Other times there is constraint based solving going on. And other times there are simple formulae based on the dimensions of other vectors (think spreadsheet style reactive).

Not PS, but I use Affinity Designer now rather than Illustrator, and it is awesome. I love it.

But how to open old projects once one switches to non-Adobe applications?

Affinity does a pretty good job with .ai .ps and other Adobe formats.

Designer will import Illustrator files (.ai) and PDF files. It can also export to PSD and PDF (but not to .ai).

Photo imports (and exports) to PSD file format.

Some Photoshop features that aren't available in Photo (e.g. smart objects) won't be editable in the same way when opening a PSD in Photo, but you'll still be able to open the PSD file.

If you have a lot of Illustrator and Photoshop files, best to try them out in the Affinity apps to see if you're happy with the import feature.

It's pretty impressive. I wish there was scripting support though.

Funny enough, there is another issue with exactly this on another thread on the front page right now — Mac OS Catalina, which got released today, is killing the last remaining perpetual Adobe CS6 licenses available.


Bad day for Adobe. Or a good one? I'm not sure, but definitely an interesting one.

Good thing Microsoft is big on backwards compatibility. Hopefully CS6 will keep working on PCs for awhile longer. Sucks about Mac, though.

> Good thing Microsoft is big on backwards compatibility.

Well, was. They're pushing pretty hard on this evergreen "windows-as-a-service" thing.

This is just a different deployment and pricing scheme, you still get the same OS with same backwards compatibility.

Besides i do not see how they could do a "windows-as-a-service" offer without an OS, unless they convince every computer manufacturer to make their PC BIOSes a thin client for Microsoft's servers and you rent computing time/power from their datacenters running Windows (though even then, it'd still be Windows with the same backwards compatibility).

(of course all that sucks for us who want to buy a thing and keep it forever - or at least as "forever" as activation servers will allow you to - but i'm trying to ignore that aspect in this comment here)

Microsoft is so big on backwards compatibility they keep trying releasing new products locked to Store UWP software.

It also shows that Stallman was right from the beginning, it's just most people didn't believe such things could happen. The very basic right, the right to run the software, can be limited in an arbitrary way.

Honestly, it's not enough to just be able to run it. You need to be able to see it's source, and make modifications to it.

Not all software developers can handle all use cases that will be needed, and it's unrealistic to say, "if the use case is needed enough there would be market forces to implement it".

This comment says "Stallman was right" regarding the cloud. Not "Stallman was right about Marvin Minsky."

This is an argument people can't distinguish the man from the idea, or his software, or his organization, etc.

Well let's talk Minsky since you wanted to bring it up. Minsky and Stallman were long term friends. Minsky is dead and can't defend himself. Stallman, when directly asked about Minsky, said he didn't believe Minsky knew the girl was a sex slave, and Minsky believed the sex was consensual. It's a fair comment by Stallman. Legally it's also irrelevant since believing sex is consensual when it's not doesn't matter. Also there's the issue of it being statutory rape as well, age of consent in Virgin Islands is 18. But Minsky's dead so he can't be prosecuted for either charge anyway. Did Minsky know he was a rapist? Maybe not, Stallman points out. Fair enough. Was Minsky legally a rapist? Almost certainly so. Would have been a good follow up question to Stallman so he could clarify his thoughts. Are Stallman's opinions here objectionable? I don't find them so. Worth annihilating the reputation and life of someone who is possibly the most productive software developer in history? I think not.

I don't particularly want to engage further with what I consider a pure smear campaign, but it seems fair to at least take the time to share the information with you that the woman's deposition mentions she was 'directed to' have sex with Marvin Minsky, but not that she actually did, and there is an eyewitness testifying that Minsky turned her down.


I don't find anything objectionable about Stallman's opinions here either. Quite the contrary in fact.

So all this sad show is based on false reporting about something that Stallman didn't say about something that Minsky didn't even do.

I don't know how the people who caused this can look at their reflection in the mirror with a straight face.

I wonder how many people even know what Stallman said about Minsky. Most of the media I read reported incorrect summaries that leave out critical details.

Unless I'm missing something your comment (and the replies to it) are the only mentions of Minsky in this entire thread?

I'm guessing the comment had initially started to fade, but people have voted it back up since then?

It’s own vs rent and the internet has enabled tech firms to operate as rent seekers. I personally think owning is the way to go for important things, but many people don’t see the distinction any more.

Hence the benefit of open source products. Imagine if everyone who bought a photoshop subscription supported some great open source software. They’d get dividends on their investment as equal owners of the software!

This is particularly brutal because for many Venezuelans, online freelancing work is their only way of accessing US dollars, which is their only way of accessing basic necessities. The quantities of dollars here are so low they would make your head hurt -- so places like Fiverr, while seeming like a place to do garbage work to someone in San Francisco, can be a near-literal lifeline to people with no access to other means of income. Fuck you Adobe

To be fair, and whether you agree with it or not, the point of the executive order was to screw them in this manner. So, it's a feature not a bug as far as the government is concerned.

That's parent's point. Cloud software puts you at the mercy of the vendor's government on an ongoing basis.

Cloud software has mostly been for the benefit of the company compared to the end-user.

Cloud software (especially iOS apps) has resulted in a huge decline in time I spend doing tech support for family/friends. It’s nice when stuff just works. Although, I agree, the subject of this thread is a huge drawback.

There are always benefits to sweeten the pill :-P

Exactly. People don't understand why I want to buy boxed software and deadwood books and have all my music downloaded (after legal purchase) only.

Well you can still buy downloadable DRM-free software and DRM-free (or DRM-freed :-P) ebooks just like your music (which i thin it is much easier and space effective).

That is what i do myself - i avoid anything with DRM (exceptions are some games that i wait for price drops to around the price of a coffee) and store everything on my external HDD.

Yeah, like how Microsoft's HUP program used to let me buy full offline office through work for $15. Awesome deal.

A few months ago they discontinued that model and now I can get Office 365 at a discounted annual price. The enraging part was the email where they spun it like this change was great for me and that HUP is way better than it was before. What a crock, SaaS for consumers is cancer.

Other little things too. A long standing bug/limitation of PowerPoint Mac is that you can't embed fonts in a presentation. So you literally can't create a presentation on a Mac and know that it will display correctly on another machine.

The ticket was closed as 'fixed/implemented' with the launch of the most recent version of Office - but you can only embed fonts if you have an Office 365 account.

Its becoming 'subscribe to unlock basic features'.

You can also wait for three years for Office 2021 ;)

I agree with your core point, but I think it would be unfair to avoid noting some of the clear ways that SaaS has benefited users.

Accessibility: Individuals/businesses who couldn't afford a large, upfront expenditure for software but can afford the smaller, monthly expense now have access to the best tool for the job.

Flexibility: for sporadic consumers ("I use Photoshop/Illustrator once a year to make my Groundhog Day card"), the ability to subscribe for the one month of the year they use the product and subsequently cancel is incredible.

The only benefit is in their marketing department and Adobe's bottom line. If you wanted to use photoshop once a year, you could download the trial version. (Let alone that adobe's apps are no easy to learn toys - you can't just use them once a year). I 'll give it 1 year before we start looking back at SaaS as the abomination that it is.

The I use this software once a year use-case was handled with free trials.

For the limited number of companies who need to spread out a 1000 dollars or less over a year putting it on a credit card would be the cheaper option over the year.

The only groups that benefits is those who want to access the product from many locations/computers or the one who doesn't want to install anything.

Those are two big groups.

Yep, it's the flip side of the cloud coin: you're no longer in control [of the thing you just bought]. Average users don't fully appreciate the distinction, until events like this underscore it.

> Now on the other hand... they're screwed.

No, it just means adobe created a whole new fleet of pirates.

We should've listen to RMS about Free Software huh?

they're not screwed if they know how to use thepiratebay. this isn't a hard problem to solve for the technically competent.

am I being blithe about this? I don't think I am, but feel free to inform me if I'm missing something.

The issue now is everything associated with their "Creative Cloud" account; artwork layers saved to use throughout the programs, etc. – not as catastrophic as the update itself, but redundant for sure. Publicly, their Behance profile going down is probably where it hurts most.

And this is why I stopped using Adobe. Unfortunately, they've made so much more money milking their users than the customers they've lost so cloud stays.

Yes, we buy access only in many cases, not the actual product that can be used offline. You rent e-books, games, movies, songs, and even photos. In many cases if your account gets deactivated (please, do not assume that it will not, it can for arbitrary reasons, be it political or anything else), you will not be able to use the product. You cannot even play single player games without running Steam. Jeez.

Yep. I haven't upgraded since CS6. It still does everything I need it to do. I probably would have upgraded by now though if it was even possible to just buy a newer version, as there are some nice-to-have features the newer versions have. But at least I don't have to worry about dumb crap like this.

On the other hand if you wanted to get in the business as a freelancer you had to put all the money in upfront.

Being able to pay as you go with no long term commitments can be liberating as well.

So you might have both options...

But companies do not seem to realise this.

> It's a 'brilliant' example of how these 'cloud' based services are a bad deal for the user

It's a brilliant example of why proprietary software is bad for the user - how do users make sure their software doesn't have a kill switch? How do they ensure it doesn't phone home to validate their license?

not true, every adobe aplication have "portable" version and is installed on the host machine not cloud, they will loose cloud assets but apps will be fine

Or if the company goes bust or discontinues the product.

I mean these ‘cloud’ based services are also a good deal for users, too. Don’t overlook that.

Everything’s a trade off.

"It's a 'brilliant' example of how these 'cloud' based services are a bad deal for the user..."

I've understood the whole point with SaaS software is that corporate buyers prefer operational expenditure to capital expenditure. It's not about an evil plot to screw consumers more. It's a strategy to charge corporate clients in a way that they like.

I thought the point was that the software was already so good that people would want newer versions less and less, so they had to change the business model to get a steady revenue.

You are correct, but they force the same purchase type on all consumer, rather than let people decide.

Back in high school, my best friend wanted to have a legal copy of Photoshop (we were broke kids and pirated everything back then). He eventually found a copy of Photoshop 2 on eBay for cheap, got it and it's CD key and then purchased the upgrades to eventually get to Photoshop 5. I think he was able to pull it off for under $100 or pretty close (I think it retailed for like $300~$400 back then?).

I too miss when you owned a copy of the software, licensed to a single machine, that was on a physical transferable medium. Jetbrains at least allowed a fallback license, which Adobe doesn't have (and honestly that's because Jetbrains couldn't get away with that shit with a tech focused customer base).

Take about crippling certain business in Venezuela. All this is going to do is encourage piracy (and potentially malware).

> I too miss when you owned a copy of the software, licensed to a single machine, that was on a physical transferable medium.

I only purchase music on CDs and vinyl. In each case I legally have the right to listen to the music forever, and even can sell the album if I tire of it.

Digital downloads are not that way at all and because of that I will never buy one. Likewise with ebooks.

I also will never personally purchase software on a subscription model.

Why are digital downloads not similarly 'forever'? Do WAVs and MP3s have DRM capabilities? Asking legitimately - for any new vinyl that I buy I use the download codes that come with albums rather than ripping them manually, as it's very convenient for e.g. listening at work.

There’s nothing wrong with digital music from a “keep it for life” perspective, as long as you’re on top of your backups.

WAV and MP3 do not have DRM capability. Even music purchased through iTunes has been available DRM-free for a decade [1].

For example, I’ve got a lot of albums, bought through Bandcamp, which I downloaded as FLAC and burned to CDs. Same quality as a retail CD, and no one can take it from me without physically stealing it.

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITunes_Store#Digital_rights_ma...

>Same quality as a retail CD

Not the same "overall" quality, to be honest. Burned CDs have much shorter life.

but since he owns the 100% digital copies this ain't a concern, he can burn them again (not very ecological TBH, I've would rather put it on some big storage player)

In each case I legally have the right to listen to the music forever

In many jurisdictions, you still have that right. You just have no legal way to exercise that right.

If he bought it off eBay, it's not a legal copy in the USA. Software is licensed, not sold; and software licenses are nontransferrable.

That doesn't seem to be the case since 2009: https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=148be5c9-c0d4... (or at least it was properly tested then)

Has anything changed since then? It seems Adobe CC was created not long after, so... maybe not a coincidence?

That decision was overturned on appeal. Vernor v. Autodesk was the specific case I had in mind.

Thank you for the reference! It was quite eye-opening.

This is the Wikipedia page about the case (to make it easier for others):


A (somewhat) serious question: since Autodesk, Adobe, etc. can use Shrinkwrap/Clickwrap/Browserwrap to distinguish between a sale and a license what's stopping users from doing it right back?

What if my browser sent custom headers to Adobe saying that by serving me a webpage Adobe has agreed to sell me, not license, a copy of each new edition of any software they release for $1 in perpetuity and that a breach of contract would result in liquidated damages of $10,000 per undelivered copy.

If I'm bound by Adobe's Terms of Service before I've had a chance to read them by nature of the my browser's request then surely Adobe would be similarly bound to my Terms of Servers(TM) by nature of their response?

Wouldn't work, as custom headers are not reviewed by a person at any point.

If I'm bound by Adobe's Terms of Service before I've had a chance to read them by nature of the my browser's request then surely Adobe would be similarly bound to my Terms of Servers(TM) by nature of their response?

You're not bound until you have had the opportunity to review the TOS. Meaning that merely accessing a page from somewhere else (i.e., a link or url) isn't enough--but once you're on (or revisiting) their website, if you interact with it in any matter beyond visiting the TOS page the TOS would apply even if you chose not to read it.

Right of first sale overrides that, though.


Of course, the person selling the software would be in trouble if they put the physical media up for sale without deleting all local copies.

Vernor v. Autodesk essentially removed the right of first sale for shrink wrap licensed copywritten works.

Adobe licenses are transferable. Here is their support page for people who want to transfer software licenses from one person to another:


It might have been an unopened box... I did something similar with an old copy of Adobe Premiere that I got on clearance for a couple of bucks, then upgraded.

> (we were broke kids and pirated everything back then)

Why brag or joke about that? And why does it matter if you were 'broke kids'?

> Take about crippling certain business in Venezuela. All this is going to do is encourage piracy (and potentially malware).

Do you understand what is going on here? Adobe is complying with a government order. And the government issued it in order to achieve an objective in a country where I believe (I only know what I see and read) there are significant problems.

> All this is going to do is encourage piracy (and potentially malware).

Apparently they have no supplies in hospitals and rampant inflation. They have much bigger issue than piracy and malware.

> Why brag or joke about that? And why does it matter if you were 'broke kids'?

You may have been reading too far into this. It sounds to me like a statement of fact, not a brag or a joke.

> Apparently they have no supplies in hospitals and rampant inflation. They have much bigger issue than piracy and malware.

Having a job is part of the solution, and the use of software is part of many jobs that have international value (i.e. from countries whose currency is not inflating rampantly).

Don't pretend like the US government has a good justification for this. It's purely another attempt to destabilize the country even more.

The entire purpose of these sort of sanctions is to hurt the public enough that they start putting pressure on their government to make a change that the sanctioning government wants. In this case the US wants Venezuela's government to be replaced with one who would be more friendly to US oil companies taking all of their oil and paying a small portion of it's value to the politicians who allowed them in.

The main reason Venezuela has been solvent up til now is that they have a lot of oil, which the government sells and uses to pay for social programs. But since the price of oil went down they've been having some money trouble. Combine that with the fact that Maduro knows as much about monetary policy as Trump knows about tariffs and you've got a deflating economy that's only made worse by sanctions, which again, is their entire purpose. They are specifically trying to ensure that Venezuela's government collapses so that US companies can move in and rob the region of it's resources.

Don't get me wrong, the best thing Venezuelans could do is probably throw Maduro out on his ass, but replacing him with some US-friendly bootlicker is worse than no solution.

As a Venezuelan I disagree, I can tell you that the people here dream of the day when a US military intervention takes place and the US(or really anyone not communist) take the country.

Mh that is not really my experience of talking with Venezuelians in Colombia. At all. They sure want Maduro out but certainly don't want the US in, that would be the recipe for ending up like El Salvador in 10 years.

What a coincidence I'm in Colombia too, Anyway I'm not saying that everybody wants to be a US colony but that is a better alternative than the status quo.

I can tell when you don't have electricity, gasoline, water or food anything is an improvement.

Worth noting that there's a decent alternative to Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign from Affinity:


Affinity is European, and thus not affected by the executive order. Also, all of their products are buy-once-own-forever.

And if you want an alternative to Adobe Premiere, I highly recommend DaVinci Resolve. Free for most features, then just a one off payment of $299. One of the industry leaders in colour grading and has a composition suite (acquired from DFX Fusion) built right in.

I started using Davinci Resolve a few years ago and its fantastic! It seemed too good to be true, and I kept waiting to find some dark secret or "catch" but nope, it's just really good software priced reasonably.

DaVinci Resolve by Blackmagic Design. Such a pretty sounding set of names. It feels a lot more like the future I was hoping for.

I love Resolve/fusion, plus it has a Linux client

Thanks. I didn't know about DaVinci yet. It looks impressive (including their website).

Thanks for the hint! Any experience with high FPS footage? My old Premiere version I still have around works fine for regular 30/60 fps footage, but 240 FPS stuff it just can't handle properly.

Good question, but sadly I don’t know. I know there a way to optimise your clips for editing to keep performance up. A bit like Proxies but I think simpler. Not sure if that applies to high FPS footage.

Since it doesn’t cost anything, it might be worth giving it a test.

Gave it a try and it works really good (though my old computer seems to reach it's limits). Thanks again!

Resolve is pretty nice. It still has 4k/HighDPI scaling issues (it's based on QT5 under the skin) that make things too large on some screens, but other than that it's pretty solid.

Yup. Davinci is what we use for our VR video production part.

Seconded, I am not at all knowledgable about video editing but had to do some stuff which was beyond the capabilities of iMovie and was impressed by Resolve. It’s fairly complex and the UI is pretty non-standard (true of many “creative”/media applications) but fairly logical and there’s loads of help online. Plus it’s free if you don’t need larger than 4K export!

I would love a real alternative to Lightroom. I'm stuck on version 6, since I refused to go to the rent it model.

I think Capture One Pro is superior to Lightroom in everything but the library system that is offered with Lightroom, though what is provided in Capture One Pro is still very good.


I always found the library system in Lightroom to be painful only because of how slow it is. It's hard to imagine enough features to make up for a UI that routinely takes >1s to render images onto the page.

That's what got me to switch off Lightroom, and Capture One's excellent other features kept me on the latter. Highly recommended.

I never got into the catalogs/sessions way of managing my library but Capture One is my favourite processing tool. So I use digiKam to manage my library and Capture One to process the individual photos.

Interesting. Capture One is a non destructive photo editor: how does that not force to use Capture One for managing your library as well? Is digiKam able to access the post-process images from Capture One?

I don't care as much about seeing the unedited thumbnail previews in digiKam as long as I can find what I'm looking for, and then edit and print from Capture One.

Capture One looks great but it's way more expensive than Lightroom. Lightroom is $120 a year. Capture One is $500 and $150 for an upgrade between versions or $240 a year.

Note that you can buy edition that are limited to one maker (Fujifilm or Sony) for quite a bit cheaper than the whole package. Combined with semi-regular sales/promo code (check the fujirumors or sonyrumors website), you can get a perpetual version for very interesting price: I reckon having bought the Fujifilm edition for about 125$.

You do have to commit to camera brand though.

This. I got my Sony license for $50.

I was just about to post Capture One!!

Same, recently heard about Darktable, planning to give it a shot now that I don't have Lighroom anymore


Darktable is abysmal, sadly. It is my go-to example for the failure of f/oss to fulfill common professional software needs.

Affinity is "thinking about" a digital asset management tool.


If they do make one, it may or may not have editing features built in (vs shipping you out to Affinity Photo).

But I'm in the same boat. Stuck on CS6, couldn't stand DarkTable, haven't bothered trying any other alternatives.

(I'm building a DAM: check my profile if you'd like to be part of the closed beta!)

I'm interested, but whatever DAM I eventually move to will in large part be driven by how well it can import my years of Lightroom library (including edits out of the xmp sidecar files and at least approximating Lightroom's RAW rendering). I know that's a big ask, don't suppose it's on your roadmap?

The current version added support for importing sidecar metadata. It does not apply LR edits to the previews it shows, though (which would require re-implementing swaths of LR...).

If you see something you want when you try the beta, please tell me!

I imported a 70k item library into mylio and it ingested it fairly well, along with the xmp sidecar files. I try to avoid doing edits on my images, so I haven't tested how well it imports throughly although.

I can't quite recommend Luminar over Ps/Lr because i've never used the latter, but Luminar seems good enough, and it also seems to be getting better.

I've been getting into photo editing recently, and searched online for a few hours to learn about the differences between the various options. From what i gathered, Luminar (which is a pay once for a lifetime license that you can have installed in up to five machines at a time) is a serious contender to Ps/Lr even at the professional level, let alone at the amateur/occasional user level.

I moved from Lightroom to Capture One Pro and eventually settled on Darktable.

It took a bit of getting used to (still not a fan of the UI and its obsession with "film rolls" every time I import something) but once I did it's quite nice. Images come out looking good and it has a handy Lua scripting environment and CLI with which you can automate many tasks.

Have you tried AfterShot Pro by Corel? I don't use it, but that's just because I still use (and love) Bibble 5 from 2011, which is the software that was bought by Corel and turned into AfterShot Pro. I had a quick glance at the manual of the latter, and it seems like the batch processing and other things are still intact, so I'm hopeful it still might be worth checking out.

I actually feel Adobe’s Photography Plan is pretty good value. LR Mobile on iPad is excellent, worth it for that alone

Indeed. I used to use LR Classic on my Mac, but since the new LR got more and more features I switched to using my iPad almost exclusively. I don't think I used LR on my Mac in months.

Have you tried ON1 Photo Raw?

Have you considered Polarr?

That appears to be just the editor part. The asset management in LR is really what I use most.

There's also a sale currently on Affinity Photo if you go to https://www.ephotozine.com/article/50--off-affinity-photo-so...

They usually do a black friday sale but you can get it here for half price.

Hmm. How good are they with the "grunt work" stuff for professional print design? Color profiles, PDF export, scripts for text formatting, files loading a gigabyte worth of photos, etc? I'm desperately waiting for a proper Adobe replacement but they're sitting on that segment, not with flashy, new features but with a solid-as-hell base of tried and tested background functionality.

Affinity convert on Windows here.

Profile support is fine, compatible with ICC profiles, does soft proofing and black point compensation. You'd have to go into more depth about your use cases as I know Adobe let some wild stuff happen, but if you just need to use and embed profiles and soft proof, you can do that.

Its PDF export is good, not great—again, Adobe allows for extreme granularity in PDF settings so I'd need to know specific use cases to advise. PDF import and placing PDF docs is surprisingly good, in some case shockingly so. If you're publishing books built from scratch in Affinity Publisher, there's nothing off the top of my head that I had to fundamentally change about my workflow in shipping 4-color books with layered artwork and columnar text with sidebars to prepress. If you're editing PDFs or converting from INDD, you can get away with a lot but you need to be careful since there are a few feature gaps (see the next paragraph in particular) that don't convert well or at all.

What you'll miss the most falls under what I think you mean by "scripts for text formatting". Publisher doesn't do grep styles or anything similar enough to replace that. It's the biggest feature I miss regularly. You'll miss the level of automation complexity and droplets in Photo too if you use those regularly in Photoshop.

I don't have any problems with large or complex layouts loading huge amounts of data for artwork, or massive text docs.

What I get that I didn't have in Adobe, and especially InDesign: pretty much full access from any of the component apps to vector drawing tools, raster and vector brushes, and shape tools, all of which behave consistently across the suite. No more having to flip my brain from Illustrator's vector drawing to Photoshop's to InDesign's, they all just work with each other and the same way, copy and paste across each other without any fuss, edit within each other easily when necessary, etc.

I miss some power features, especially around styles and Photo automation, but I've adapted, and I appreciate the hell out of how well-integrated the three apps are with each other in interface and functionality.

The forums are a good place to ask about or research feature implementations and requests, especially https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/forum/52-feature...

I use Affinity Designer all the time. I bought Affinity Photo but when I actually had to do real work a small nit made me go buy a Photoshop license. That nit was I had several hundreds PNG files I needed to edit. In PS I double click the PNG in the Finder/Explorer, the file opens in Photoshop, I edit, if I added layers I Ctrl/Cmd-Shift-E to collapse them then Cmd/Ctrl-S to save and it saves back to the .PNG. Affinity can only save to non Affinity file formats via "Export" which is brings up one or more serial dialogs and save as file selector. That minor difference was enough to make it worth it for me to pay Adobe $120 to save me from hours of tedium. I mean $120 is not "that" much money and so it was worth it for me to save me even a little frustration. Others have complained about this workflow issue to Affinity but I think so far it's fallen on deaf ears.

I know it's a minor nit and few people will probably care but it's annoying enough for people used to being able to more quickly edit screenshot .PNGs and or .JPGs that I hope Affinity listens eventually. Because of that though I've never gotten used to Affinity Photo where as I'm pretty happy with Affinity Designer

Agreed, across the board it's the automation features that I miss the most. Macro recording is about all they offer, and while you can do some batch runs I haven't been able to replicate anything but some pretty simple actions.

They seem to be focused on Photoshop plugin compatibility over other features at the moment, which is good for some specialized workflows, but I really want better automation in the whole suite.

I'll at least say the lack of automation has finally pushed me to learn more about what I can do with the likes of imagemagick, but the feature-specific use cases like you bring up will be a gap until they fortify those automation features.

Thanks! I'm starting to warm up to the idea of actually giving this a try!

Been using both designer and photo for about 2 years, to replace Photoshop mainly. While mostly great, some features are missing for vectors which makes layers broken down into tiny bits instead of groups.

The only way to solve it is to open the file in illustrator and save it as an .ai file to fix it. I've been told it works in Corel draw as well.

Not affected now, but being non-US is not a guarantee. Many European companies would like to trade with for example Iran, but can't since they also have a big market in the US, so they can be targeted.

If only it ran on Linux... I hate having to reboot to Windows to edit photos.

If you are on a desktop, you can dedicate a graphics card to windows and run it with PCIe pass through into a VM. Best of both worlds.

What's wrong with GIMP? Are there special abilities and features in Photoshop GIMP does not have?

Yes, there's a lot of stuff the GIMP doesn't have, but mostly it's just the annoying UX. I'm sure half of it is just that I'm used to Photoshop, but I'm also pretty sure the other half is GIMP.

I'm not sure how I haven't seen these before. Those apps look great! I've tried sketch, but it just feels too far from the adobe world I'm used to, especially for raster graphics work.

I own a copy, but it doesn’t handle plugins not nearly as nice as photoshop.

Have you tried Publisher? How does it compare to InDesign?

I bought it and use it, yes.

It's missing some features that InDesign has and is a little slower, but it's a solid workhorse for laying out books and documents. I don't miss InDesign at this point.

Interesting. The near universal use of Microsoft Office--along with the later various SaaS products--really hollowed out the publication layout market between word processors that were pretty mediocre at layout and high-end design tools that mostly meant InDesign.

(And Scribus always seemed a steep learning curve too.)

I don't have a need at the moment but good to know there are still some tools that may make sense for more casual users.

Disagree. Designer doesn't hold a candle to Illustrator. I'm still on CS6, the last version before CC. Even that version, released in 2012, is superior to today's Affinity Designer.

I haven't explored the other ones as deeply but from what I have done, the features seem quite limited. For example, there's a translator for Photoshop plugins to work on Affinity Photo. Very very few plugins work with this translator. Why is there even such a middleware? Because the Affinity plugin ecosystem is very weak.

It's an alternative, not a "decent" alternative. It's the equivalent of Google Docs vs Microsoft Word. If you need something barebones, it gets the job done, and there are a few things it does better. But if you need just one feature of the better software, forget it.

I have Affinity Designer and Photo and disagree with your assessment. You're right that Affinity apps do not match all the features of Adobe's apps, but Designer and Photo are well above "bare bones" in comparison. I'd say that Photo's biggest missing feature is an equivalent to Photoshop's smart object feature.

As a former user of Illustrator, there's nothing I miss from that app, certainly not the clunky Illustrator UI. (Unfortunately, Designer also has some clunky aspects to it's UI.)

Anyone, who wants to make up their own mind about the Affinity apps can download a free trial from their website - the apps work on both Windows and Mac.

Also, take a look at the 'spotlight' section of the Affinity website to see some of the work possible with the apps.


> Anyone, who wants to make up their own mind about the Affinity apps can download a free trial

Because the discussion is not whether Affinity apps are good or not, but whether they are good relative to Adobe, anyone that wants to make up their own mind also can download a free trial of CC apps.

> Designer doesn't hold a candle to Illustrator

Where does it fall short for you? Out of interest.

Pantone swatches, image trace, artboards, plugins are the 4 biggies. Especially plugins, of which I have a large variety and many custom scripts.

One other thing that stands alone and is absolutely critical, that would seem to work in Designer but doesn't, is export for embroidery. It is a quirk of my local shop but there is no vector export format from Designer that my shop can use. They end up importing ("digitizing") a jpeg. This causes many more steps in the approval workflow. With Illustrator I just export an eps and they import that and it comes out perfect basically the first time. Obviously Designer can export eps but the software on the other side doesn't like it. (And even though their software can handle native illustrator, import of that doesn't work either. Has to be eps, from Illustrator, not Designer.) I'm 100% sure it's their crap embroidery software (I mean, they are using win95 if that indicates anything), but it is what it is. It's especially odd because embroidery is very low resolution. jpeg should be perfectly fine!! I just get way better final results with the eps flow.

That embroidery issue doesn't come into my evaluation of the goodness or not of Designer as a standalone tool. I just mention it because it does affect me and I think it's an interesting point to bring up. I'm sure many many people are dependent on Illustrator for similar workflow/pipeline issues. It doesn't make the software good or bad, but does create the dependence.

I think the issue people have is they get insulted when you say the software they enjoy to use is not very good. But there are 2 kinds of good. Absolute and relative. Relative to Illustrator, Designer doesn't compare. That is my critique.

There are some things I do like very much about Designer. Personas. Slices. SVG support is much better (keep in mind tho I'm stuck on CS6). These things, however, do not begin to challenge Illustrator.

I understand why Serif would want to stand apart with their own feature set, but now I find myself using 2 tools. Oh how I, and many other non-professional users, would love to replace Illustrator.

Keep in mind, I believe I am in the target demographic for Designer. I am an occasional user, not a daily use professional. The price and pricing model is perfection. The ease of use is perfection. I dare say that the online userbase/forums and free tips and help you can get are much much better. But the lack of features is saddening.

It's interesting because Serif (the company) does not compete with Adobe (the company), even though at a surface level they would appear to. The cost difference between Illustrator and Designer is worlds apart. Maybe this is why they don't work on feature parity. They don't want to be on Adobe's radar.

With Catalina, I'm soon going to have to bail on Illustrator. I'll probably have to invest some time in Inkscape. I could pirate CC or I could use CS6 in Windows VM (again, technically pirating although many would justify it), but I'm not that person.

Inkscape is one of the best examples of open source done well (make sure to use the latest version if your distribution bundles an old one); even when I still had (pirated) versions of Adobe I preferred Inkscape over the Adobe offerings.

Audacity is another great program from experience, and the success of Blender speaks for itself.

Gimp, on the other hand, is a UX nightmare. There's a tutorial on how to draw a line, and you'll need it, because it requires a non-discoverable keyboard shortcut. Its feature set is either ages behind Photoshop, or there but non-discoverable due to bad UX, and the UX makes basic tasks excruciatingly painful.

Photoshop and IrfanView are the two tools I miss most from Windows, the latter even more than the former. Trivial tasks like "crop picture in clipboard and put it back on the clipboard/into a file" are pure pain on Linux, because the only thing that at least works reliably is Gimp with its horrible UX. One of the "lighter" (Paint.NET equivalent) tools left parts of its UI in my saved image. Others don't support the clipboard. IrfanView with Wine just isn't the same either.

> Gimp, on the other hand, is a UX nightmare.

I always wondered about Gimp. I use it all the time, but for VERY basic things. But anytime I want to do ANYTHING, even like just add a word to an image or draw a line, I need to go Google how to do it. The newest version seems better, but the UX is just crazy.

I'm starting to think GIMP's problem is that it is too similar to Photoshop. People open GIMP, see a different dialog for the exactly same thing in Photoshop and go "this UX is a nightmare". They don't approach it as a new piece of software that they have to learn how to use effectively.

As a counterexample to all the GIMP bashing in this thread, I'm using it extensively, don't find its interface crazy and in rare occasions that I use Photoshop or PaintShop Pro I find that my experience in GIMP translates reasonably well.

I have never, ever used Photoshop, and have used Gimp since one of its earliest versions (but not frequently) and I'd still pull out Gimp as the textbook example of a non-intuitive UI with poor discoverability. It's gotten better, but it took many years for it to add the hint of pressing shift to draw lines, for example.

The point is that a paint application is not something most of us expect to have to spend time learning how to use effectively for the most basic features, because conceptually painting is very simple.

A lot of people expect the simplicity to be the default, and for the complexity to build from that.

A very simple way of making Gimp far more approachable would be to have a "basic" toolbar with a simplified sets of tools and dedicated tools for things like drawing a line, and ask on first startup if you want the basic toolbar or "advanced" toolbars, and tell you how to access additional toolbars.

But there are many other warts as well, such as the Save vs. Export distinction which gives you an error and tells you to use Export if you try to Save with another extension, instead of just bringing up the export options and maybe warning on the first go. 90% of the time when I use Gimp, I have no interest in saving as xcf, and I'd expect that to be the case for a lot of users. Yes, I understand it's worth warning users if they risk losing information, but to then instead telling people effectively "I can see what you're trying to do - it's very obvious, so I'll tell you how to do it instead of doing it" is just annoying.

I've only used Photoshop very rarely but always disliked its UI. On the other hand i used PSP since the Win3.1 days up until PSP7 and then switched to GIMP which i used for 15+ years.

I never really had an issue on doing anything with GIMP, but in terms of UX i vastly prefer PSP7 which IMO is the last good version of PSP. After many years of using GIMP alone, i reinstalled PSP7 on my PC and i immediately felt much better using it than GIMP (even though GIMP is better on a technical level - faster filters, better alpha support, etc).

I still cannot use Photoshop - or Krita for that matter since they copy Photoshop a lot.

I was a GIMP/Inkscape user first. I have access to the full Creative Cloud Suite but I usually reach for GIMP or Inkscape first because (for me) they are simpler.

I think one area where GIMP/Inkscape are far better is in the export options. Photoshop & Illustrator barely give you any options for jpeg compression or PNG output. GIMP's JPEG export lets me control color subsampling, optimization, and more. Photoshop just gives me 0% - 100% quality.

> Photoshop & Illustrator barely give you any options for jpeg compression or PNG output

It may have been in a different submenu, but the Photoshop JPEG/PNG optimizer was the most powerful/configurable that I've ever seen. Down to letting you configure the palette for PNG.

I looked it up, and it's under "Save for web". It doesn't seem to provide direct chroma subsampling control for JPEG, but the PNG tooling is insane.

IrfanView is truly one of the greatest softwares ever. IMHO, it's the VLC for images.

Anything comparable on Linux?

Nomacs. Not quite there, but feels comparably lightweight. https://nomacs.org/

MyPaint is also an Amiga painting app for kids


There's also a Sega CD version

I'm attempting to switch to many of these. Learning a new interface is a much bigger barrier to entry than the actual feature set.

I've been very impressed with the UI redo in Blender 2.8 I would love to see a similar rethink in a few of these other apps.

Yesterday I tried to apply a soundtrack to a video (cut video, cut audio, join together). Latest blender allowed me to add two sources to the timeline, but stutters and freezes killed my i7-8700, so I was unable to match timecodes or do anything. I could not even find play button to preview any sensible result. Resorted to cli ffmpeg -ss -t, which did it well.

I don’t know blender (nor any adobe video editing sw), but as a power user noob in it I expected at least something.

I've used Photoshop so much that the GIMP interface is unusable. It is close enough that I think I know what to do, and far enough that I am always wrong about what to actually do.

The executive order[1] targets the Government of Venezuela [2] not all Venezuelan companies and individuals. But I guess it's easier to deactivate everyone than try and verify if the account is related to the Government of Venezuela.

[1]https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/... [2] the term ‘‘Government of Venezuela’’ includes the state and Government of Venezuela, any political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including the Central Bank of Venezuela and Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA), any person owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by the foregoing, and any person who has acted or purported to act directly or indirectly for or on behalf of, any of the foregoing, including as a member of the Maduro regime. For the purposes of section 2 of this order, the term ‘‘Government of Venezuela’

There are 2.8m[0] government employees out of a work force of 13m[1].. that's over 20% of the entire work force.

And that's just current active employees. From what you quoted, it includes past employees too.

They also own at least 500 companies that operate in a diverse number of industries[2]. And that wasn't found by disclosure from the government.. it required someone to research each of those companies. The actual count is almost certainly much higher. This is important because Adobe needs to know which of these companies are government owned, and the government does not make it easy to determine that. (I'm also not sure if employees of those are in the count above or not... I think not, except maybe the prominent ones like PDVSA.)

I think the fault here is Venezuela's... the government is so intermingled with the economy it's impossible for any reasonable person to determine where the government's reach ends.

0. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-worker...

1. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-economy/we-all-...

2. https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas...

USA total full time employees: 128.5 million. Total USA government employees (federal, state and local) 20~ million.*

I've seen stats from several countries and they varied from 15-40%. So 20% is not only relatively normal, it's on par with the USA's 17-18%.

* https://www.statista.com/statistics/192356/number-of-full-ti... * https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/21955...

Wow, this is quite surprising to me that so much of the population is employed by governments.

This little sideline made me look it up, since I had seen a comparison of only a few countries and it was many years ago.


Most of the countries on the list I would consider living in are in the 20-30% range.

Most of the low range countries tend to be poor and underdeveloped, with the odd exceptions of Japan and South Korea with 10%.

Also interesting to see some of the countries with the highest quality of life are generally in the 30% range.

The few countries over 40% (Cuba Belarus China Kuwait Russia) aren't ones I'd personally favor for living.

thanks for the link, what about section 1.c

  The  prohibitions  in  subsections  (a)–(b)  of  this  
  section  apply  except  to  the  extent  provided  by  
  statutes,  or  in  regulations,  orders,  directives,  or  
  licenses  that  may  be  issued  pursuant  to  this  
  order,  and  notwithstanding  any  contract  entered  into  
  or  any  license  or  permit  granted  prior  to  the  
  effective date of this order.

> not all Venezuelan companies and individuals.

Er, given the structure of the socialist system in Venezuela, which companies or individuals can a US entity be sure are neither “owned or controlled, directly or indirectly” by the government or any instrumentality or agency thereof, including the central bank or national oil company, nor have ever acted directly or indirectly for or on behalf of any of those things?

What are the expected consequences for a private US firm applying the order too broadly? Too narrowly?

In Venezuela you never know, when a company is owned by the state. In the US, on the other hand, we know that the state is owned by the companies. Much easier this way.

> What are the expected consequences for a private US firm applying the order too broadly? Too narrowly?

Broadly, you lose customers. Narrowly, you’re fighting criminal charges for sanctions evasion.

Right: to make the implication of the (most rhetorical) question more clear: the nature of the situation and the structure of the order and it's consequences very much encourage exactly what Adobe did, even if one might argue it is strictly not required.

And my music library slowly disappears from Apple Music (or Spotify) with every passing beat.

And my chat service (iMessage) won't let me talk with outside people... yes I know SMS still works.

And my photos slowly become fuzzy, surely this is a bug when it happens, right!?

And my backups are in proprietary encryption file systems. Well I changed that by moving off macOS at this point.

What's next, I don't even want to imagine anymore.

Along with the free software movement, I would be here with a movement that allows us to return to self-hosted, native and peer-to-peer services. There seem to be a smattering of them out there but they are disorganized and not united under one banner like FOSS is.

Without building and running your own full-blown PC at home, I think the best option is a consumer NAS. Which are great; I love mine.

But they don't seem to advertise and very few people know it's a really good option (with phone apps to replace the cloud ones, even).

It's possible to run server software on HW that costs $10-$15 + a cost of a SD card ($6 for 32GB). Power bill is negligible and there's no noise.

It's very cheap to run self-hosted these days even on your own HW. 1GB/20GB VMs cost $1-$2 per month.

Really, this should be an age of self-hosted if the cost was ever a limit.

Been wanting to start try nextcloudpi[0] but I need the time to learn and set it up (even if it's an hour of reading). My point is for someone not as willing to learn as me, it's at least harder than signing up for OneDrive, Dropbox, etc.

[0] https://ownyourbits.com/nextcloudpi/

I've been thinking of getting a Nextcloud instance at Hetzner maybe. It's fairly easy, and managed.

It's the software support and maintenance that's hard. Replacement apps and configuration. Especially if you want to do email...

You can't really do e-mail from home anyway, unless you get some tunnel to a fixed IP address that can build trust.

But it's possible to run all kinds of other stuff, if you know how. All kinds of scratch your itch apps, monitoring, backup, small web apps, file sharing, audio server, seedbox, databases, etc. Stuff you'd not find a service for, because it violates copyright when it's not done for personal use, etc.

It's especially useful if there are multiple people in the household.

Most of what you list are or can be one-time costs. And most of it can be automated in a run-a-script, check for errors and forget about it in 1 minute, or deal with some failure in 15minutes.

The main benefit of running your own is that there are almost no ongoing costs. Lot's of the SaaS prices are really overblown, so running your own is appealing there.

And people spend time and stress on dealing with SaaS issues too from time to time, so it's not like you just pay and use without any additional costs.

It just needs a serious consideration.

Also running your own can be fun/fulfilling in its own way, because you now have more control and you're allowed more creativity. For some people that may ba a benefit too.

I picked up a Synology, it has replacement apps for photos (the big one) and others. Super easy, and it'll run docker images.

Aren't consumer NAS expensive?

Less than a cheapish laptop, generally. More depending on storage and CPU/ram.

The "Fediverse" is close, but I think we need to go a step further and build a community of self-hosted, peer-to-peer services. While federation is a great first step, it still requires _someone_ to manage a server of N users...

The problem with pure peer-to-peer, is privacy. While now only one server knows what you do, in a peer-to-peer it changes to almost everyone who are connected.

You can can indeed improve privacy, but it normally means giving up speed (like Tor).

Additionally, there are other issues of p2p as a main solution. For example, phone battery or often being blocked in routers of public spaces etc.

I think that a mix between Fediverse and P2P would be nice.

A power user can choose to be a node, knowing the price. But the common user would use some server/service to access it. But those must be planned such that switching is easy.

Your music library doesn’t disappear - if you bought music from iTunes. The music you bought would/could be on your computer. If you bought it within the last decade, it would be DRM free.

iTunes has had bugs that try to remove duplicates and end up deleting peoples' own remixed material.

Amazon discovered they didn't have the rights to a book in Canada and deleted it off people devices. The book? 1984.

I think the iTunes issues have been fixed, but it's still stupid to not have your own backup independent of stuff accessible by "cloud" services.

I buy everything I can off bandcamp and download it to my machine. I occasionally buy off Amazon music, but I really hate it when that's the only option an artists has and would prefer to buy/rip a physical CD at a show. I keep my music on a 512GB microSD card (crazy these things exist now) and I always keep my own backups of my own content; buy DRM free whenever I can on Gog/Humble over Steam.

I prefer to have things I own, not licenses to software and content that can be revoked at any time.

Amazon’s books contain DRM. iTunes music that you bought within the last decade was DRM free and could be played and backed up anywhere. Apple couldn’t “revoke” DRM free music that you backed up.

not all of Amazons books contain DRM. There's a big movement (mostly authors of Baean Books, afaik) that ask that the books be published DRM-free.

The people who publish books on Amazon have the option of them being DRM-free or not. The books I publish on AMZN are DRM-free.

Anything published by Tor Books as well. (Us sci-fi fans are lucky!)

Generally, if the book I'm looking for is sold DRM-free, I'll buy the ebook for convenience. Otherwise, I'll go look for a used paper copy.

When I last installed itunes on a new computer, not all my past purchases showed up as available for download anymore.

I talked with support and they explained that as I had bought them when I was living in another country I could no longer download them.

And that’s the whole part about downloading the DRM free music you bought and keeping a local backup.

Sure, I do have a local backup. But restoring from backup is inconvenient, and an important part of why I bought on itunes instead of ripping my own cd's was to reduce hassle and make my life more easy.

EDIT: And to restore from backup you have to know you're missing it. They never gave me any errors or warnings. Just a few things were missing. They're basically gaslighting their users.

The knowing it's missing is a great point! I was going crazy because I felt like my music was changing but I couldn't really tell, since I mostly play on shuffle. Took a little while to notice what was going on.

Seems like people didn’t know. Legitimate users didn’t know, while experts did.

More seriously, what prevented an Apple user from uploading it on Torrents? Was it watermarked so Apple would find the culprit?

No watermarking besides the standard AAC tags saying who the owner is.

Steve Jobs argued for DRM free music as a means to interoperability instead of licensing FairPlay way back in 2007 in his “Thoughts on Music” post. He argued that most music was already DRM free and easily copied and only a small percentage of music on most iPods was bought from iTunes.

Funny how it's so easy to forget this when you're the big player now.

Apple was the big player for digital downloads and music players then.

Fair point. I was thinking more around the era of 2004.

Ah yes my music! You mean songs that have been overwritten by whatever match they decide is close enough (in some cases). Or you mean my music, that I've listened two maybe 200 times each. Or do you mean my music, that the artists themselves gave to me.

I don't much care for your argument, even if you're legally correct.

This would be less of an issue if the way people actually acquired music was still by buying the album, but that's not the case in the vast majority of people's experiences.

No, I mean music that you purchased from iTunes and downloaded onto your computer and hopefully backed up.

As opposed to music that is part of a subscription where you explicitly knew was being rented.

I'm sorry, when was the last time you rented something to put into your "library".

The way they sell these subscription services doesn't make it at all clear to the users what they are buying.

P.S. plus think about who this model helps the most. It's surely not the artists themselves, especially if the songs I know and love can't be played anymore. What artist would want their work to become inaccessible to those who love it?

Are you really saying that most users don’t know when they stop paying for Apple Music or Spotify they will lose access to their music?

The iTunes Music Store where you buy music and pay a one time cost has been around since 2003 and has been completely DRM free since 2009.

That’s like saying people don’t know content isn’t on Netflix forever.

No of course we know they would go away if we stop paying, that's not my top issue. I've committed to paying $10/m (hoping prices don't change to much). Of course this isn't perfect, since it's not unimaginable that I'd need to stop paying for music monthly at some point.

What really offends me when music disappears while I'm paying monthly for the service.

TLDR; the entire subscription model is user hostile in most cases, like this one. And I'll argue it's also rather hostile to the artist here too.

Do you also get offended when you pay for any of the subscription video services and content is removed?

If you don’t like music going away, especially with Apple Music, just buy the music you don’t want to lose and add it to your library. It integrates with the subscription service.

I don't like seeing content just disappear from netflix. One of the worst features.

If I rent from the store I know how long I have. If I find something on netflix it could disappear while I'm still trying to get through it. If I save it chances are it won't be there in a few months.

And that’s been true for premium TV like HBO forever where movies would be in heavy rotation for a few months and then not available.

Let me make up a story to help explain.

In a far off land of yesteryear, you live happily and healthfully in a small settlement. Despite not being a farmer yourself you own a rooster who wakes you up in time for work every morning.

After years of being awoken by the same rooster, a salesman comes to you telling you of a fancy device which will wake you up at ANY time you wish, not just when the sun rises. You think, this is great! I'll buy one, and wake up later on the weekends (ironically forgetting you still own a rooster...) Of course you knew how to feed the rooster, but this magic device needs power and breaks sometimes... and the only person around to help is, of course, the same salesman. He goes way out his way for you at first, offering free power, and quick repairs. But as time goes on, and as the masses make use of these alarms, he's unable to keep up the same level of service to you. Well that and he's too busy spending all the coin you've given him.

Finally you find yourself with a dead rooster (oops) and a broken alarm clock, with the only repairman out on vacation, while you're missing work in the mornings. Sadly rooster alarm clocks have fallen out of style, and the thought of owning one sounds as crazy then as it does to us now.

That's a very inaccurate story. Let me correct it.

First of all, you don't buy an alarm clock, you rent one and pay a monthly subscription. The salesman is all happy to elaborate on the benefits of this arrangement - you won't have to worry about batteries and repairs and such. You're a smart farmer, in your head a CEO of a farming corporation, so you buy the "capex vs opex" argument.

Secondly, the alarm clock doesn't break. You pay the fee, and it works. Except they replace it every two weeks with a slightly different one. Prettier, the salesman says. Over time it loses all the ergonomic handles and knobs, and becomes a flat pane of glass. Better UX, the salesman says. Sometimes weird things happen - you have an impression that it never shows 4:20 PM, or that alarms only fire on even numbered minutes. This may have to do with some contractual kerfuffle between the alarm clock provider and their "partners", because apparently time is intellectual property now.

Then one day you notice that the alarm clock has a camera and a microphone. When cornered, the salesman admits it had one from the very earliest model, and defends themselves by asking how else would they know how to make the product better (and no big deal about the 180 advertising partners; all they care about is making sure your day is even better by getting right products to you). Disgusted, you cut the microphone and tape up the camera (and get accused of stealing revenue from "honest companies").

Then one day your alarm clock bricks itself, because your government said or did something wrong in relation to oil prices and the US government decided your country can go to hell - and since your alarm clock is provided by a US company, it gets stuck forever showing 6:66 AM.

Don't forget no longer being able to watch your favourite movies, when the studios decide the service you subscribe to is no longer profitable for them.

If it has DRM, your mistake was thinking of it as a purchase rather than a rental.


I’m glad they called it Apple Music to avoid confusion: iTunes is stuff you own, Apple Music is a rental library.

looks for an app named iTunes...

Your books start disappearing from your ereader?


>And my photos slowly become fuzzy, surely this is a bug when it happens, right!?

What are you referring to here? The switch to retina display which makes all the old photos seem fuzzy if displayed at the same "resolution" ?

As unpopular as it is in general-subject tech forums, the solution is data stores that provide decentralization and censorship resistance through distributed consensus enabled by crypto-economics, namely the blockchain.

One day, the provision of every electronic service in the world could be coordinated in a censorship resistant manner on the blockchain. Before that happens, the cryptoasset/blockchain space's software suite needs to be improved, with solutions to problems like stolen and lost private keys, and scalability needs to improve a few orders of magnitude, but seeing all of the development on dApps and smart wallets, and all the work happening to enable layer 1 sharding and to develop layer 2 scalability mechanisms like zk roll-up, I suspect it's inevitable.

I think I agree with you, at least in principle. But there's a lot of ground to cover, and powerful forces who would like to remain in control, and new bad actors looking for new ways to gain control. Nothing's going to be as clean and easy as we'd like it to be :(

>>Nothing's going to be as clean and easy as we'd like it to be :(

Very true. I often gloss over that harsh aspect of reality.

Why do you need consensus at all?

For markets to operate, you need a global consensus on the state of ownership.

I don't think it'll help with anything except perpetuating the artificial scarcity.

The most basic proof of ownership is the fact of having that something, and there being no party claiming that you took it from them. Copying bits is so cheap everyone can get a copy from someone else who volunteered their copy and there's no point in even metering that. There's arguably little sense to have a market for digital data, yet we persist at trying. What you're seeking with blockchain is proof of compliance with a complex and somewhat arbitrary set of regulations.

Bandwidth and storage are both scarce resources and metering them out so producers are compensated is necessary to enable an economically sufficient quantity of both to be produced.

I agree that intellectual property rights might reduce overall efficiency due to the artificial complexity and friction it adds.

I don't understand what point you're trying to make. Half of these aren't even problems?

Move on. It is just a popular rant.

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