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Poll
Question: What type of software licensing is the most compatible with your philosophy?
Closed source - 7 (17.9%)
Open source - copyleft - 11 (28.2%)
Open source - permissive - 21 (53.8%)
Total Voters: 24

Pages: 1 2 3 4 [5] 6  Go Down Print
Author Topic: Software Philosophy  (Read 29055 times)
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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #60 on: July 29, 2010, 01:40:31 pm »


What really boggles my mind is that the SQLite Web-site, after repeatedly explaining that it's "public domain", links to a place where people can "purchase an explicit license" for $1000! 


Yeah, that's the key -- put out really cool and useful software, and people will beg you to accept money for it! Defies all logic, but hey -- far be it for me to turn away money if freely offered!
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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #61 on: July 31, 2010, 09:46:32 pm »

CopyFREE software news roundup:

  • GhostBSD version 1.5 has been released [SS] [DL] [BT] [DW].  Though this project is still new and unpolished, GhostBSD aims to be an Ubuntu-like easy-to-use installable LiveCD of FreeBSD packaged with X, GNOME 2.30, some proprietary drivers, Compiz, Firefox, Thunderbird, AbiWord, Gnumeric, Pidgin, Gstreamer plugins, etc installed by default.  It borrows the installer and several other features from the more stable PC-BSD project, which for some reason decided to use that dying dinosaur called KDE.  I think it makes more sense for copyFREE fans who have to make the tactical compromise of using some copyLEFT desktop software to use GNOME instead of KDE, because GTK+ is something that we can't yet entirely get rid of anyway, as it is required for otherwise-copyFREE desktop components like Chromium, Ultimate++ (the version in ports), SciTE, etc.  The GTK+ realm also excels with some essential copyLEFT apps for which copyFREE alternatives are not yet available, most notably GIMP.


  • Computerworld UK has an article called If Oracle Bought Every Open Source Company, which seems to have been intended to attract readers who resent "evil corporations".  It discourages the rational cure of using copyFREE licenses by saying "clearly, that is less satisfactory from the point of view of preserving users' freedom".  What that article seems to recommend is transferring copyright to an "independent" organization like the FSF, which would most likely lock the piece of software into the latest version of GPL, and the author would not be able to liberate it to a copyFREE license once he realizes his mistake.  I guess the defining feature of every idiotic movement is that when they find themselves in a hole, they cut their rope and begin to dig harder...


General information freedom news roundup:

  • There seems to be increasing talk about "enforcement" of the "creative commons" "non-commercial" / "share-alike" / "no derivatives" "licenses", especially in situations when the downstream reflections of that information happen to be hosted by for-profit companies or individuals with advertisements on their Web-site.  This "license" is commonly used on all forms of Web-based content, and what exactly constitutes an advertisement is a vague issue susceptible to perpetual restriction-creep, so its use and enforcement inevitably creates a "chilling effect" that reduces the utility of the Internet as a whole.  If you see any otherwise-reasonable Web-site using a restrictive license for their context (ex. HomelandStupidity.us), then please nag them to change it, especially by pointing out their philosophical hypocrisy if they things like MPAA, RIAA, BSA / Microsoft, DRM, etc.

  • Stalinman's Web-site is now promoting a deceptive contest called "America's Got Net", which asks contestants to upload a YouTube video about how much they love the Internet.  In reality this is a propaganda stunt pushing for greater government control of the Internet, which will result in anything but openness and freedom!  In framing the question as "love Internet" == "love government control", the tactics of this Orwellian-named "Open Internet Coalition" are identical to those used by the Nazi party, which attracted youths by asking if they "loved Germany".

  • A small hint of things to come with greater government control of the Internet is evident from DOJ considering pushing ADA regulations for the Web.  Mommy Government will get to decide if your Web-site is "accessible" enough for them, reminiscent of similar barriers that were used to control publishing rights in places like the Soviet Union, and this is obviously a stepping stone toward more Orwellian-named bullshit like "search neutrality", "social network neutrality", "fairness doctrine", and eventually complete elimination of free speech.
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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #62 on: August 21, 2010, 08:16:37 am »

CopyFREE software news w/ views roundup, August 20th 2010:


  • Google Chromium [WP] is in my opinion the most important copyFREE(ish) project that exists today, because it is unique, hyper-innovative, and has been the driving force of everything that is now in the process of liberating the modern Web-centric desktop from the forces of both copyRIGHT (i.e. Microsoft and Apple) as well as copyLEFT (i.e. Mozilla, GNOME, KDE, etc).  It is also a leading innovator in the field of online security, with new sandboxing techniques (including R&D like a new capability mode on FreeBSD), and gradually escalating rewards for bug bounties ($10,000 just paid out).  Its funding and development by Google is not without controversy, with a lot of people keeping an eye on the code to make sure there is no "Big Brother" activity going on behind the scenes, but the only things found so far have been understandable mistakes and false alarms (ex).  Unlike with GPL or EULA's, Google has no claim of any legitimate use of force against people who use their code downstream from them, so if they ever start misbehaving a freer fork will immediately emerge.

    Chromium has been developing at breakneck pace, while following the "release early, release often" philosophy at the same time.  It jumped up to version 7 release numbering on Tuesday, which includes hardware-accelerated graphics and other major performance improvements.  Version 7 should be considered "alpha"-quality, while version 6 had its status upgraded to "beta" a week earlier, which makes version 5 the "stable" version that most less adventurous people will want to use.  Those stable / beta / alpha numbers will shift by one and a new version 8 alpha will be released by the end of the year.  The latest versions available for copyFREE operating systems are: 6.0.495r56147 on FreeBSD to hybridsource.org subscribers, 5.0.375.125 via FreeBSD ports, and 5.0.359.0 on OpenBSD [OP].  There is no interest in porting Chromium to Haiku OS, due to their focus on GUI toolkit consistency, but many of the same technologies will eventually be imported into their WebPositive browser.


  • Node.js [WP] version 0.2.0 has been released earlier today, incorporating Google's V8 JavaScript engine [WP] version 2.3.8.  It is an update and bug-fix to what seems to be the most successful copyFREE project utilizing the CommonJS [WP] standard, the long-overdue effort to standardize and enhance Server-Side JavaScript.

    Implementations of this poorly-named language (i.e. it has nothing to do with Java) have been called many things over the years (ex. ECMAScript, JScript, ActionScript, QtScript, TheScript, DMDScript, etc), and if taken together it would definitely be the most popular scripting language on earth, present in just about every modern Web browser since ~1996.  With competing implementations by Google, Apple, Microsoft, Opera, Mozilla (in both C and Java), KDE, Digital Mars, etc, JavaScript is the most "synergized", dependable, and free (as in choice) language there is - if one or two top projects go sour the rest will surely pick up the slack.  (You would only be able to say that about C/C++ and Java once there are stable modern copyFREE implementations, while both Clang and Harmony are still lacking.)  Being able to use it outside the Web-browser for tasks that are typically done with languages like PHP, Python, Perl, Lua, Tcl, AppleScript, Lisp, Java, VBA, etc would be a huge step for un-bloating the modern software stack, and simplifying programming tasks for everyone, newbies and experts alike.  (Remembering inconsistencies between various library wrappers is a major pain in the butt!)  JSON would also make a much more efficient alternative to XML.  I would even like to see UNIX shells, Makefiles, configuration files, etc all be based on JavaScript - one scripting language is all you need!


  • The VIM (vi improved) text editor [WP] version 7.3, after two years of development, has finally been released.  Described as a "major" minor release ("minor" as opposed to 8.0), it includes a large amount of small changes / bug-fixes, support for Lua and Python 3 scripting (both copyFREE), Blowfish encryption (public domain), and persistent undo / redo.  I found that the move from Linux necessitated adding "set nocompatible" and "set backspace=2" to my vimrc.

    Love it or hate it, vim arguably remains the closest thing the copyFREE software stack has to a decent code editor (though if you use GTK anyway you might as well use SciTE [WP]), and if you're a serious UNIX user then you really need to know at least the basics of vi.  I personally question whether vim's "CharityWare" license [WP] qualifies as pure copyFREE, but clearly it's not copyLEFT either.  The intentions might be honorable (or not), but there are much more appropriate places to encourage people to donate to charity, like a Web-page or a regular text-file that isn't purported to be a legal document.  Licenses are not about giving the author his two minutes of microphone access to talk about whatever he wants, they are threats of violence backed by the guns of state!


(((CUT OFF)))
« Last Edit: August 21, 2010, 08:21:48 am by Alex Libman » Logged
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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #63 on: August 21, 2010, 08:17:59 am »

(Continued from above - stupid 10K byte limit...)



  • Yesterday's BSD Talk podcast featured an interview with Mike Larkin [MP3] [OGG].  Covered topics included ACPI and OpenBSD.  It's probably not the most interesting episode for people not trying to run OpenBSD on their laptops, but it's nice to know improvements are being made.  Although FreeBSD is by far the biggest copyFREE OS project, hardware support innovations often come from OpenBSD and other smaller projects as well, from where they can quickly diffuse to any *BSD OS, as well as Haiku, Linux, and most importantly - proprietary systems that can't accept GPL.


  • The copyLEFT lobby is perpetually looking for ways to expand its power as its market share increases, with too many recent examples for me to list them all.  Their legalistic aggression against Westinghouse [/.] has been a smashing success, which will further strengthen the "chilling effect" that copyLEFT software presently has over the IT industry.  The Linux Foundation, which owns the "intellectual" "property" "rights" to the popular kernel, has started an "Open Compliance Program" to help guide the GNU sheep toward the slaughterhouse on their own four hooves!

  • As I predicted earlier, the copyLEFT lobby is now gradually beginning to push for government funding of "free software", starting with the area where their argument would be easiest.  In his recent interview with reddit (question #7), Stalinman said: "tax software can and should be released by the state".  All efforts to forestall this government expansion are spun as "lobbying" by "evil corporations".  In the same interview (question #11), Stalinman criticized libertarian and laissez-faire philosophies in favor of "liberalism" (meaning socialism).  He then expressed his support for "regulations", "consumer protection laws", unions, rent control, and abolishment of free trade!  Clearly government funding of tax software is just a snowflake compared to the avalanche that'll follow as the GNU movement gains ever-more political power!

« Last Edit: August 21, 2010, 08:28:51 am by Alex Libman » Logged
lordpoee
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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #64 on: August 22, 2010, 02:17:17 am »

I am glad you gave multiple options in this poll.

Take the GNU GPL for example, a perfect icon of copy left, designed to protect the openness of the source code from its originator all the way down to the the last guy to revise it buy insuring all derived code also be released under GNU GPL.

BSD which is an icon of permissive, allows people to incorporate BSD licensed code into proprietary code...though I question the wisdom of that, though useful it might be. I use PHP as my primary scripting language, I use it for pretty much everything, not just web based.

The PHP license is a BSD styled license.

Either way, open source is a good thing.
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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #65 on: August 22, 2010, 10:58:24 am »

[...]  GNU GPL [...] designed to protect the openness of the source code  [...]

That isn't accurate.  When someone copies open code into a closed project, they are doing exactly that - copying.  It does not diminish the open project except for the loss of potential contributions, but those contributions are not theirs to "protect".  The only closed parts are the parts written by the new author, who has the Right to keep his work closed if he so chooses, and to distribute it on whatever terms he sees fit.  There are plenty of ways proprietary developers can make money without any government-backed "don't copy that floppy" nonsense.  If source access is of value to the customers of a proprietary software developer, then they can create market pressure for contractually limited source access (one can even see Microsoft's source code that way), time-limited hybrid source, etc.  What copyLEFT does is use government force to limit people's options, no differently from how it is used by BSA, RIAA, MPAA, etc - or probably even worse, because those organizations are not lobbying for software, music, and movies to be paid for by the state!


The PHP license is a BSD styled license.

I look at software freedom as a scale, not a matter of black and white.  The PHP license [TXT] is slightly less free than the BSD license, mainly because of the restriction on use of the PHP name.  The CC0, BSD, MIT, and ISC licenses (in that order - the shorter the better) are in turn less free than WTFPL and "public domain", although the last two could create difficulties in some countries.  I consider it debatable whether the Apache license, vim's license, and especially the perl's "Artistic License" are really copyFREE.


Either way, open source is a good thing.

Not when it's paid for at tax-victim expense, and not when it comes with government-enforced strings attached, written in pages of legalese.
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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #66 on: August 24, 2010, 10:02:24 pm »

An update on the above - anyone can download Chromium 7.0.502 r57001 for FreeBSD right now at chromium.hybridsource.org.

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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #67 on: September 08, 2010, 11:33:36 pm »

[...]  GNU GPL [...] designed to protect the openness of the source code  [...]

That isn't accurate.  When someone copies open code into a closed project, they are doing exactly that - copying.  It does not diminish the open project except for the loss of potential contributions, but those contributions are not theirs to "protect".  The only closed parts are the parts written by the new author, who has the Right to keep his work closed if he so chooses, and to distribute it on whatever terms he sees fit.  There are plenty of ways proprietary developers can make money without any government-backed "don't copy that floppy" nonsense.  If source access is of value to the customers of a proprietary software developer, then they can create market pressure for contractually limited source access (one can even see Microsoft's source code that way), time-limited hybrid source, etc.  What copyLEFT does is use government force to limit people's options, no differently from how it is used by BSA, RIAA, MPAA, etc - or probably even worse, because those organizations are not lobbying for software, music, and movies to be paid for by the state!


The PHP license is a BSD styled license.

I look at software freedom as a scale, not a matter of black and white.  The PHP license [TXT] is slightly less free than the BSD license, mainly because of the restriction on use of the PHP name.  The CC0, BSD, MIT, and ISC licenses (in that order - the shorter the better) are in turn less free than WTFPL and "public domain", although the last two could create difficulties in some countries.  I consider it debatable whether the Apache license, vim's license, and especially the perl's "Artistic License" are really copyFREE.


Either way, open source is a good thing.

Not when it's paid for at tax-victim expense, and not when it comes with government-enforced strings attached, written in pages of legalese.


Make any argument you like "Open Source" IS good.  And I am not clear on what you mean by "Tax Victim", I don't feel victimized by Open Source, if anything Open Source is an attempt to BREAK away from control, not marry to it.

Open Source software, at least in my opinion, is one hallmark of a  truly free society, allowing everyone to profit(or not)from collaborative works and expand the functionality of any program or system.

Then again: If there were one single definitive opinion on the subject of open source, I guess there would not be so much debate.

Change of subject.

There seem to be two kinds of Libertarians. Those concerned more with "Money" and those more concerned with "Liberty".

Both types usually are concerned with both Money and Liberty but they tend to lean strongly toward the importance of one or the other. I personally find money to be a very dangerous invention, the world hasn't been right since.
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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #68 on: September 12, 2010, 08:13:30 am »


There seem to be two kinds of Libertarians. Those concerned more with "Money" and those more concerned with "Liberty".

Both types usually are concerned with both Money and Liberty but they tend to lean strongly toward the importance of one or the other. I personally find money to be a very dangerous invention, the world hasn't been right since.

I tend to lean strongly towards both. The truth is that we need both money and liberty, and one feeds the other. You simply have more choices with more money, so the money aspect cannot be ignored, alas.
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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #69 on: December 01, 2010, 01:48:40 pm »


There seem to be two kinds of Libertarians. Those concerned more with "Money" and those more concerned with "Liberty".

Both types usually are concerned with both Money and Liberty but they tend to lean strongly toward the importance of one or the other. I personally find money to be a very dangerous invention, the world hasn't been right since.

I tend to lean strongly towards both. The truth is that we need both money and liberty, and one feeds the other. You simply have more choices with more money, so the money aspect cannot be ignored, alas.


The real problem with money is this:

Those that have LOTS of it tend to dictate to those that have little of it how much freedom they are allowed to have...either directly or indirectly.

Lets take copyright for example.

Copyright holders of lucrative properties (movies and music) bulk millions. Now, by paying for lobbyist and using their money to influence politicians, they were able to have laws passed to further protect their copyright interest. Now, the FedGove is attempting to get a strangle hold on the internet under the guise of protecting copyright holders. (S. 3804, Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act.) think of it as the "Commerce Clause" of the internet, granting broad vaguely defined powers to the government with the "stated" intention of protecting copyright holders.You can thank Patrick Leahy (D-VT for this one.

It is also called "The Internet Blacklist" I wrote my senator and representative urging them to vote against this damnable bill.

My point being: The wealthy influence the law. If there was no money to be made from copyright then you can be assured no laws would be made to protect it.

Copyright Infringement should be a civil matter not a criminal one. 

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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #70 on: February 18, 2011, 03:12:46 am »

I tend to agree.  Intellectual property rights as we now exercise them are a pragmatic economic construct to encourage technological development via research. 

There is naturally a kind of temporary ownership in place when someone has an idea, simply because it hasn't been communicated yet and nobody else has access to it.  Once it is shared (or implemented), the value of that property undergoes a kind of "spoilage" just like everything living in nature.  The idea becomes common knowledge (or "public domain") and is made obsolete as new, better ideas come in to replace it.  A patent, or copyright simply slows this natural process down so companies can have time to reap a profit on their research investment before the knowledge goes to it's resting place in the archives of humanity. 

Notice that in the age of ever-accelerating communication we now live in, the real value of intellectual property evaporates more and more quickly because the flood of new ideas keeps making old ones obsolete (for better or worse).  I don't think the State can keep up with the process anymore.
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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #71 on: February 21, 2011, 05:32:13 pm »

Hardware is the stuff you can hit with a hammer and software is the stuff you can only swear at.


Cheers.
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Alex Libman
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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #72 on: March 04, 2011, 04:34:51 pm »

The "Copyfree Software News Roundup" is back!


  • The big news for the past month is obviously the release of FreeBSD version 8.2.  Changes in the core OS include improved Xen virtualization support, LZMA (7z) compression support in tar, stronger crypto, ZFS file system improvements (though that part is restrictively licensed and still far behind Solaris 11), a few new drivers, and bug-fixes.  New release package versions include: Gnome 2.32.1, KDE 4.5.5, Firefox 3.6.13, Gimp 2.6.11, Python 2.6.6, perl 5.12.3, PHP 5.3.5, Apache 2.2.17, and PostgreSQL 9.0.3.  The KDE-based distro of FreeBSD issued a simultaneous PC-BSD 8.2 release with improvements to the installation procedure (particularly partitioning and ZFS support).  The analogous Gnome-centric FreeBSD distro called GhostBSD v2 is still in beta.

    The most exciting FreeBSD features, however, are still being held back for version 9.  What might finally compel me to switch from "Copyfreer" OpenBSD is the addition of the permissively-licensed Clang/LLVM compiler infrastructure as a viable alternative to the restrictively-licensed GNUopoly of GCC.  The core system and many key ports (including Chromium) make it through the transition unharmed.  Another great addition will be the ability to finally run FreeBSD on Amazon's cloud framework, which should be stable by the time v9 is released (although, as with most platforms, NetBSD got there first).  Other v9 improvements will include: significant TCP/IP stack improvements, tickless (dynamic tick) mode, and other performance optimizations, as well as USB 3.0 support.  PC-BSD v9 will be the breakthrough release that finally moves away from just KDE and offers users a choice of any desktop environment, as well as better handling of PBI packages with pbi_add.  Progress is also being made in replacing (and eventually removing) the remaining GNU commands from the core system, most of which are rather trivial: cpio, ar, ranlib, bc, dc, find (the BSD version of that command is reaching feature parity with GNU), etc.  But be warned - the current alpha testing versions of 9 are still very unstable, and it's also slower than the production release will be due to the debugging compiler settings and other debugging-related overhead.






  • The February TIOBE programming language popularity index reports remarkable gains for Python, which is still remains my favorite server-side scripting language, as it has been for a very long time.  Python is now at the #4 spot, behind only C/C++ and Java, leapfrogging PHP and making the PHB's who've made me code Perl instead of "that obscure snake language" a decade ago hang their heads in shame!  (Well, not really, and I doubt they'd remember.)  The current stable versions of Python are 2.7.1 and 3.2 (just released), but most UNIX distributions are still on 2.6.x (OpenBSD -stable is mostly still on 2.5.4, although later versions are available, and the most popular Web server OS CentOS is on 2.4.3).

    Python's Copyfree status remains imperfect, as is PHP's, but it's definitely Copyfree-er than Mono, Ruby, or Perl.  Not all of Python's components and packages share the same license, however, so a Copyfree purist (and anyone who just wants to avoid confusion and potential legal liabilities) will want to avoid modules like: Git, Paramiko, PyQt, PyGTK, wxPython, PyMedia, Plone, web2py, CubicWeb, SQLObject, Lupy, SimPy, PyMT, Conio, etc, etc, etc.  Be sure to check around and pay attention to licenses for every package you use - there are plenty of Copyfree alternatives available.

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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #73 on: March 04, 2011, 04:35:32 pm »

(Continued from above - that darn 10,000 characters per post limit gets me yet again...)


  • The TIOBE index also shows Java further solidify its #1 spot in programming language popularity, and Java continues to improve in terms of performance as well, but the potential for a viable Copyfree Java stack is looking increasingly grim.  The one project on which I've placed all of my Java-related hopes for the past few years was Apache Harmony, even though it was being developed at a snail's pace, with FreeBSD support being rather lame and support for other BSD's non-existent.  Oracle obviously abandoned that project after acquiring Sun, and in October it was announced that IBM is disengaging from Harmony to back Oracle's restrictively-licensed Java stack instead, which leaves Google as Harmony's sole major backer.  Given the recent legalistic aggression used against it, Google would be wiser to focus its long-term plans on own technology stack, including Native Client and Go.  Now there's something called "IcedRobot" endeavoring "the GNUlization of Android" and moving things from Harmony to the GPL'ed OpenJDK.  So this is the time for Java programmers to strongly consider a plan to move on to something else...


  • When jumping between exotic OS'es on bare hardware (i.e. not in virtualization), hardware compatibility becomes a major issue, and the biggest problem usually tends to be wireless connectivity.  Some operating systems support very few (if any) wireless adapters, especially if you need to use the newer 802.11n standard - even Linux and Solaris are often a pain in the butt, much less OS'es like *BSD, MINIX, Haiku, House, QNX, etc.  And the drivers that are present are often buggy, incomplete, offer limited encryption features, etc.  Fortunately all those problems have a simple hardware solution - use a "universal" wifi adapter like NetGear WNCE2001 (currently $59.44 if you search for it on Newegg or Amazon).

    This device connects to a standard Ethernet port and doesn't require your operating system to know anything about wireless - all configuration is done via a simple Web-based interface served by the device.  It will work with anything that has an Ethernet port - old computers without USB, Macs, video game consoles (you may need to hook it up to something with a Web browser first to configure it), DVR's, routers (use your old cheap wired hub to set up a wireless bridge), etc.  Ethernet also offers the possibility of using a much longer cable than USB, so you could more easily place it closer to a window, on a car roof, or wherever else the signal is best.  Plus you'll never have to worry about losing the driver CD and not being able to reconnect after reinstalling the OS, as often happens with Windows.  So if you're thinking about buying a USB wifi adapter, I would strongly recommend getting an Ethernet one instead.


  • "Free Software Hero Attacked by Communist Fanatic" - that should have been the headline of this article covering Stalinman's bashing of Google Chrome OS.  And, needless to say, his site is still an endless torrent of calls for government violence - unions, taxes, regulations, luddism, government control of media...  Don't let the parts you agree with fool you - all tyrants initially claim to support "freedom", which they define as them being in control.  Sample quote: "evidence shows Obama's economic stimulus worked - and that right-wing budget cuts will cause disaster".  When you use GNU software and don't speak out against it, this is precisely the kind of philosophy you are endorsing!  Silence implies consent!






And, in conclusion...  More DevilettesWink


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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #74 on: March 04, 2011, 05:37:16 pm »

lulz.  So, does anyone else have an opinion on this thread's actual topic - the morality of government-based restrictive software licenses like GPL?


I dislike the GPL license. It's a leftist push for communistic software. If I use any GPL software then they want me to make all my code available to everyone for free. If they want free software then they just need to put their code in the public domain. While some of the GPL users might have trust funds to allow them to give away their software for free, I need to pay my bills so I need charge for my software. From a user's point of view does it matter what the license is as long as the software works?
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