I get my hands on an iPod Touch

Generally, I don’t want to even look at products from Apple. But hearing about all the free software developed as 3rd party applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch, I had to see what all the buzz was about.

While I won’t be buying one anytime soon, unsurprisingly, there is a ton of great free software that you can put on it once you ‘jailbreak’ it. In other words, yes, you have to hack the thing to pieces so you can make it better…

Unfortunately there’s no automated jailbreaker for GNU/Linux like iJailBreak (licensed under the GNU GPL v2… I recommend they update to v3) for the Macintosh, and if I’m not mistaken, the frameworks used to jailbreak and unlock the iPod Touch and iPhone (interestingly called iPhuc) aren’t even available for GNU/Linux. But someone told me that they are working on it.

EA finally realizes that DRM broke its game

A recent expansion pack to the Sims 2 called ‘Bon Voyage‘ was released about 5 weeks ago. The pack comes with a ‘copy protection’ system by Sony called SecuROM.

Since the pack came out 5 weeks ago, hundreds (if not more!) of buyers have been having issues where the ‘copy protection’ has just basically broken the game and made it unplayable. As a matter of fact, EA has said that at least 100,000 copies have already been bought since its release. It took EA this long to realize that maybe, just maybe its brilliant restrictions manager had made a flaw? Ridiculous!

They’ve now posted instructions on how to remove the SecuROM.

Hopefully a new batch of unsuspecting consumers will now learn about the serious problems with using this DRM (digital restrictions management). If you are still unsure of what DRM is, and what’s so wrong with it, I encourage you to read the article I wrote for the FSF’s Defective By Design campaign to eliminate DRM.

Oh, and one final note: there were cracked versions on the Internet available for download within 24 hours after the game’s release.


My answer to: Flash or Silverlight?

My first response obviously is ‘neither’ but I realize that some of you need to use it for whatever reason, and need to make the choice between Adobe’s Flash and Microsoft’s Silverlight.

Both are very proprietary, however, I do recognize that Adobe has taken a few (baby) steps towards freedom. Sprinkled throughout Adobe.com are articles and such about Adobe’s latest free software (though they call it open source) projects, and I appreciate that.

Microsoft, on the other hand, needs no description when it comes to their stance on this issue.

Both extend support to GNU/Linux, though through a proprietary plug-in, however it should be mentioned that Adobe does this in-house while Novell had to get Microsoft to do this plug-in for GNU/Linux.

While I can’t speak on behalf of any efforts ongoing to make a free implementation of Silverlight, none of which I am aware of, we have been hard at work with Gnash, a free implementation of Flash Player. We’ve had some pretty good successes, and I’m hoping to more as we continue its development.

Plus, are you really asking me whether or not to use a Microsoft product?


Apparently the ‘GNU/Linux Patent Wars’ have begun

I think you’ve all heard about Microsoft’s phony statements concerning GNU/Linux and free software’s violation of 235 patents? Yeah, well, now ‘IP [intellectual property] Innovations LLC’ and ‘Technology Licensing Group’ which are by far the most obvious names for patent squatters have sued Red Hat and Novell for, uhh, making use of multiple workstations (desktops).

Have you seen or heard  that in many GNU/Linux GUI desktop environments, there are multiple desktops for applications to be visible in? Yes. That somehow was patented. And if I’m not mistaken, I’ve also found the patent for the graphical user interface in itself.

In their complaint, not only didn’t they use the term GNU/Linux, but they wrote ‘Linex.’

Oh, and here’s something interesting. IP Innovations, LLC is owned by Acacia, which is also a patent squatter. In July, a senior Microsoft manager left Microsoft for Acacia. October 1 (just two weeks ago), another senior Microsoft manager left to work for Acacia. On October 9, the suits were filed.

Hmm… something smells fishy about it, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this turns out to be a Microsoft-Acacia conspiracy.


Categories or tags? Neither.

I happen to think that tags very much outweigh categories. If you are a big blogger, it’s difficult not to make your categories too specific. If they are too specific, you’re already tagging, basically.

Here on the blog, I’ve been facing this dilemma: block out some of my creativity and my want to make things very organized by using categories, or, use tags and when clicked have my users not see all of my posts under that tag, but every post by every blog on WordPress.com under that tag.

It’s a real catch-22. And I don’t know what to do, other than to just use neither.

This brings up a real issue with WordPress.com. Even though your blog runs on a free platform, you don’t have complete control over it. I’m not asking for that much control here. I just want to have the tag links go to my blog’s local tag page, not WordPress.com’s public tag page… heck, even a simple option in the Admin Panel to control such a thing would do! I realize and totally understand that allowing certain customizations may come with unintended security risks for the entire WordPress.com blog network.

Of course, I’m not too happy with this. But I suppose I’ll live with neither, at least until there’s that option. Maybe I’ll contact WordPress.com about adding such an option.

Now Accepting E-mails

I was thinking about taking a stroll around MIT after writing the initial entry, but I decided instead to come with a follow-up post and mention that if you so desire to email me personally, you should send messages to rmspersonalemail at gmail period com.

Have a good evening.


Hello world!

I think that title is appropriate.

Hi everyone. My name is Richard Stallman, but you can call me rms. I am the founder of the GNU Project, which, launched in 1983, is a project to successfully program a free software replica of the UNIX operating system. Two years later, in 1985, I started the Free Software Foundation (more commonly referred to as the FSF) both to sponsor the GNU project and harbor more free software.

I use a computer running GNU/Linux (incorrectly referred to as just Linux, as Linux is just the kernel), and live and work in the Boston-area.

Unlike Steve Ballmer and Steve Jobs, I have chosen to write on the WordPress platform, which is completely, 100% free, using their WordPress.com service. I appreciate being able to use totally free software to write into and read this ‘blog,’ as this type of thing is commonly known.

Fear not, I will have lots to write about, as there is just so much going on (good and bad) in the free software/GNU/Linux communities that I feel the need to comment on.