iPad is iBad for Freedom

by ian
Categories: IT
Tags: , ,
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Published on: January 27, 2010

From the FSF (Free Software Foundation):

*With new tablet device, Apple’s Steve Jobs pushes unprecedented
extension of DRM to a new class of general purpose computers*

Please sign our petition to Steve Jobs at:

SAN FRANCISCO, California, USA — Wednesday, January 27, 2010 — As
Steve Jobs and Apple prepared to announce their new tablet device,
activists opposed to Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) from the
group Defective by Design were on hand to draw the media’s attention to
the increasing restrictions that Apple is placing on general purpose
computers. The group set up “Apple Restriction Zones” along the
approaches to the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco,
informing journalists of the rights they would have to give up to Apple
before proceeding inside.

(images from the action http://i.imgur.com/nUtZK.jpg,

DRM is used by Apple to restrict users’ freedom in a variety of ways,
including blocking installation of software that comes from anywhere
except the official Application Store, and regulating every use of
movies downloaded from iTunes. Apple furthermore claims that
circumventing these restrictions is a criminal offense, even for
purposes that are permitted by copyright law.

Organizing the protest, Free Software Foundation (FSF) operations
manager John Sullivan said, “Our Defective by Design campaign has a
successful history of targeting Apple over its DRM policies. We
organized actions and protests targeting iTunes music DRM outside Apple
stores, and under the pressure Steve Jobs dropped DRM on music. We’re
here today to send the same message about the other restrictions Apple
is imposing on software, ebooks, and movies. If Jobs and Apple are
actually committed to creativity, freedom, and individuality, they
should prove it by eliminating the restrictions that make creativity and
freedom illegal.”

The group is asking citizens to sign a petition calling on Steve Jobs to
remove DRM from Apple devices. The petition can be found at:

“Attention needs to be paid to the computing infrastructure our society
is becoming dependent upon. This past year, we have seen how human
rights and democracy protesters can have the technology they use turned
against them by the corporations who supply the products and services
they rely on. Your computer should be yours to control. By imposing such
restrictions on users, Steve Jobs is building a legacy that endangers
our freedom for his profits,” said FSF executive director Peter Brown.

Other critics of DRM have asserted that Apple is not responsible, and it
is the publishers insisting on the restrictions. However, on the iPhone
and its new tablet, Apple does not provide publishers any way to opt out
of the restrictions — even free software and free culture authors who
want to give legal permission for users to share their works.

“This is a huge step backward in the history of computing,” said FSF’s
Holmes Wilson, “If the first personal computers required permission from
the manufacturer for each new program or new feature, the history of
computing would be as dismally totalitarian as the milieu in Apple’s
famous Super Bowl ad.”

### About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting
computer users’ right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute
computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as
in freedom) software — particularly the GNU operating system and its
GNU/Linux variants — and free documentation for free software. The FSF
also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of
freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at fsf.org
and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux.
Donations to support the FSF’s work can be made at
http://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

Google Wave

by ian
Categories: IT, Linux
Comments: Comments Off
Published on: July 28, 2009

I finally received my Developer Preview account invitation for Googles new communication tool. I have to say this looks pretty dang cool. It is obviously a bit buggy right now but I think it is really promising. Plus the name is inspired from Joss Whedon’s Firefly series. Anyway, if you want to see what it’s about, check out this video.

There and back again…

by ian
Categories: General, IT
Tags: ,
Comments: Comments Off
Published on: October 10, 2008

Ok, so I didn’t go across Middle Earth but I did go across the country.  I had a meeting for work that was in Cambridge, MD.  The meeting was a User Group meeting for Traction Software.  We just started using it at work.  It is an Enterprise blog/wiki/knowledge management package.

Anyway, I am not much of a people person and was going to be travelling by myself so I asked Kami if she wanted to go with me.  Despite her fear of flying she agreed that it would be fun.  We talked to Jake and Carolyn and they agreed to watch the kids for us for 5 days.  We owe them soooo much.

It was really nice to get away for a few days.  We left on Sunday morning, flew to Seattle on a small turboprop, then to Chicago and then to Baltimore.  From there we drove a rental car to Cambridge, about 2 hours away.  It was 1:00am EDT by the time we got to the hotel.

Monday and Tuesday I had meetings until 5 or so.  Kami drove around the town and did some writing.  You can read about it on her blog.  After my meetings we went out and got some food and then back to the hotel to hang out.  Wednesday was a short day so we had some time to see the few sites around the area.

Thursday we drove back to Baltimore and began the trek home.  This time we flew to Denver and then to Spokane so that was very nice.  We also got home by 9:00.  We really missed the kids.  They seemed to have quite a good time with their Aunt and Uncle.  I’m so glad we could work this out.  Thanks Jake and Carolyn.

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