Linked by David Adams on Tue 13th Dec 2011 03:12 UTC
Editorial I was reading today about how Linux Mint developers altered the Banshee music player source code to redirect affiliate revenue from Amazon music orders to them instead of Banshee. They've reportedly made less than $4, which has caused a kerfluffle among those paying attention to that corner of the world. But it raises a larger point that has been swirling around for a couple of decades: an OS vendor has a lot of power to influence, and even monetize their user base. Where should they draw the line?
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Drawing the line
by WorknMan on Tue 13th Dec 2011 04:34 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

The tricky question with anything is, where do you draw the line? For example, we may say that censorship is a bad thing, but we really don't want people uploading child porn and such, so obviously some amount of censorship is in order. Question is, where do you draw the line?

As for OS vendors, I've said before and I'll say it again... even with a totally open source OS, I think it is important that you have somebody (a benevolent dictator, or a panel of some sort) calling the shots in order to keep it from becoming a fragmented mess like Linux is on the desktop and (to a lesser degree) Android is on phones. And I'm speaking from the perspective as if you were interested in gaining any sort of marketshare. But if you don't care about that, then I guess it doesn't matter.

Some people may think the above paragraph is flame-worthy, like how DARE I try to limit choice; I just don't think it's very good for an ecosystem if people have 900 different variations of a thing to choose from or to install. In other words, we have to strike a delicate balance between making sure the user has enough control to modify the OS to his desires, while at the same time trying not to break compatibility to the point where developers can't write apps and expect them to work on every system, without the user having to go fetch libraries and/or resorting to voodoo and sacrificing live chickens to get the f**king thing to work right.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Drawing the line
by kragil on Tue 13th Dec 2011 06:59 UTC in reply to "Drawing the line"
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

BS!!
I stopped reading after the first paragraph. Censoring the internet is _NEVER_ OK. Child porn has to be DELETED and the people who put it there need to be prosecuted. Just censoring can always be circumvented and it generally makes the push for deletion really weak.
It is an ugly myth that there are countries that allow child porn. There aren't, so asking for deletion and prosecution is always the way to go.
I get really angry when I hear these "Think of the children" reasons to allow censorship, mostly narrow-minded conservative politicians use them and they generally have no fucking clue.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Drawing the line
by cyrilleberger on Tue 13th Dec 2011 07:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Drawing the line"
cyrilleberger Member since:
2006-02-01

Censoring the internet is _NEVER_ OK. Child porn has to be DELETED and the people who put it there need to be prosecuted.


And exactly how "deletion" is not censorship ? Censorship is not a synonym of "blocking". Censorship means preventing access to some information, which can be done by deleting or blocking.

Reply Score: 11

v RE[3]: Drawing the line
by kragil on Tue 13th Dec 2011 08:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Drawing the line"
RE[4]: Drawing the line
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 13th Dec 2011 15:54 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Drawing the line"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Then censoring it is ok?

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Drawing the line
by kragil on Tue 13th Dec 2011 16:15 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Drawing the line"
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

I don't get it. When everybody agrees that child porn is a crime then the pictures have to be deleted from the net anyways. So ensuring that that happens ASAP should be a priority. It is just using the laws that are already in place everywhere. I don't see using the current laws as a new form of censoring. All major censoring proposals are about blocking or filtering, which is either ineffective or a privacy nightmare and history has shown that persecution gets neglected once filtering and blocking are in place.
And I am not talking about some fictional cartoon hentai here. I am talking about media of real child abuse.

Are you people against that?

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Drawing the line
by mtzmtulivu on Tue 13th Dec 2011 17:01 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Drawing the line"
mtzmtulivu Member since:
2006-11-14

I don't get it. When everybody agrees that child porn is a crime then the pictures have to be deleted from the net anyways. So ensuring that that happens ASAP should be a priority. It is just using the laws that are already in place everywhere. I don't see using the current laws as a new form of censoring. All major censoring proposals are about blocking or filtering, which is either ineffective or a privacy nightmare and history has shown that persecution gets neglected once filtering and blocking are in place.
And I am not talking about some fictional cartoon hentai here. I am talking about media of real child abuse.

Are you people against that?


Sometimes its best to start with definitions. How do you define "censorship"?.

Here is one definition from wikipedia

Censorship is the suppression of speech or other public communication which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient to the general body of people as determined by a government, media outlet, or other controlling body.


by that definition, blocking uploading and deleting uploaded kiddie porn is censorship. Its just that it is a kind of censorship the society agrees is a good one. It being a good one does not make it "not censorship".

If the law says saying "ABCD" online is illegal and subject to criminal prosecution, preventing people from saying "ABCD" by deleting all mentions of "ABCD" does not mean its not censorship because the law demands it.

If consistency is to be expected based on your writing, you will also say the great firewall of china is not censorship because it is done according to the current laws of that country. I think most people will disagree with you.

Reply Score: 4

RE[7]: Drawing the line
by kragil on Tue 13th Dec 2011 17:12 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Drawing the line"
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

Well, if you take a definition out of context you are right.
But let's be honest here, when people talk about censoring the internet they talk about changing the rules and currently all rules are already against child porn, because it highly illegal everywhere, so no more rules needed IMO.
And your China analogy is not what I am talking about. I was talking about a law that the whole world agrees on. I don't think Chinas great firewall has that kind of backing.

Reply Score: 0

RE[6]: Drawing the line
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 13th Dec 2011 17:17 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Drawing the line"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

No, I'm actually pro-censorship of these things. I just find it interesting that you refuse to call it censorship.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Drawing the line
by Gone fishing on Tue 13th Dec 2011 17:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Drawing the line"
Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

I think kragil argument is that censorship is the blocking and removal of information, simply for being information and is wrong. On the other hand if information is linked to a real crime that exists in the non-virtual world, than it should be removed for its association to events crimes etc in the physical world, i.e. the world that courses pain and suffering to real people.

For example child porn should be removed for being linked to human trafficking, the rape of minors, etc and those involved prosecuted on those grounds, rather than being simply blocked virtually for being information (which child porn certainly is). So it would be unreasonably to block Lady Chatterley's lover or the Story of O as it is linked to no crime in the real world.

This argument has some merit – however, I'm not comfortable with the idea of virtually created images of child porn etc being acceptable because they are not linked to crimes in the real world, however, if we ban these then should you ban The story of O, Lady Chatterley's lover, Harry Potter etc where do you draw the line?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Drawing the line
by KLU9 on Tue 13th Dec 2011 17:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Drawing the line"
KLU9 Member since:
2006-12-06

BS!!
Censoring the internet is _NEVER_ OK. Child porn has to be DELETED

BS!!!
I stopped reading after you contradicted yourself IN CAPS within the FIRST TWO sentences.

!!!

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: Drawing the line
by kragil on Tue 13th Dec 2011 17:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Drawing the line"
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

Touche!
I admit, for me internet censoring was blocking and filtering. Maybe it is because in Germany the discussion is very centred around blocking, but currents laws demand the deletion anyways, so the blocking is just stupid added step that would give the government a new censoring tool that wasn't there before.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Drawing the line
by zima on Tue 20th Dec 2011 23:44 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Drawing the line"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

"Just delete" isn't really that plausible, with the way how the internet works (blocking and filtering probably makes 'deleting' more swift, at least)

The effectiveness of laws differs throughout the world, even assuming they are synchronised (drawings can be treated very differently from place to place, I believe)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Drawing the line - fragmentation nonsense
by jabbotts on Tue 13th Dec 2011 18:03 UTC in reply to "Drawing the line"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

This claim of fragmentation keeps coming up. Linux based distributions and Android devices are not really comparable though.

Manufacturers customize Android in an effort to differentiate while still claiming to ship Android. What you get from some manufacturers is clearly not Google Android but a fork based on the original. The problem is Motorola-Android and Samsung-Android claiming to be the original Google Android when incompatibilities have been added.

The only Android based device retailer doing it right outside of the Nexus line of devices is Amazon. When they customized Android to differentiate themselves, they didn't claim it was still Android and even setup there own separate repositories; just like a general purpose Linux based distribution fork does.

With Linux based distributions, you have separate products being represented as separate products though they use similar commodity parts in assembly. Red Hat and Debian represent themselves as separate products though they both happen to use the same commodity kernel. the product is the Red Hat distribution not what kernel it happens to run just like the product is Debian not what kernel it happens to run. Debian does not magically stop being the Debian distribution if one uses any of the other OS kernels available for it. Debian with the BSD is still Debian. Unlike Android, the distributions that happen to use the Linux kernel represent themselves as separate distributions.

Linux based distributions and the Android quagmire are not comparable in terms of fragmentation.

At the distribution level, developers need only target the parent distribution and let child forks inherit support if they're not going to allow distro maintainers to build packages from source. If the child forks make themselves incompatible then that is the responsibility of the child fork.

At the kernel level "Linux" has been remarkably successful given the number of products, including various OS distributions, which it has been included into as one of many commodity parts. The OS kernel isn't the defining attribute though. It's not Linux which happens to be Debian flavored but Debian which happens to be using a Linux kernel down below everything that makes it Debian.

Complaining that there are too many Linux distributions is like complaining that there are too many icecream flavors. Yeah, they are all built on top of semi-frozen dairy cream; focus on the flavors that fit your preferences and get over yourself.

Reply Score: 2

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

The only Android based device retailer doing it right outside of the Nexus line of devices is Amazon. When they customized Android to differentiate themselves, they didn't claim it was still Android and even setup there own separate repositories; just like a general purpose Linux based distribution fork does.


Except that people know that the Kindle Fire is based on Android at its core, so then it obviously must be an Android tablet. And the media re-enforces this by continuously referring to it as an Android tablet:

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Desktops-and-Notebooks/Kindle-Fire-King-of...

So whether we like it or not, the Kindle Fire IS an Android tablet for all intents and purposes, and will be used as yet another example of Android fragmentation.

Similarly, you can claim that various Linux distros are like separate products all on their own and shouldn't be considered fragmented under the Linux moniker, but just like 'the Kindle Fire is not really an Android tablet', we all know that's a bunch of happy horseshit. The fact is that, whether you like it or not, Debian, Redhat, Ubuntu, etc are all just Linux on the desktop. You can continue to insist otherwise, and most of us will continue to insist on not using any of them.

Reply Score: 3

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Amazon clearly states that the Fire points back at it's own "app market" repository and content sources. They don't claim it's Android running off Google's market place.

I also find it interesting that the media is reporting on the recent hack to install stock Android on the Fire replacing Amazon's distribution fork.

As for seporate distributiosn being seporate product that happen to run the same kernel; are you seriously suggesting that Backtrack, Mint and Debian are all the same product? They are clearly different products produced by different manufacturers though they happen to be assembled from similar commodity parts. Maybe Ford and Toyota are the same product because they happen to both include engines? No? We recognize that the different manufacturers produce different models of product though they compete in the same product category?

Why is it ok for different manufacturers to produce different products in every other product category but when it's a general purpose OS suddenly the kernel is the most important commodity part and having more than one competing product is just the very definition of insanity?

Reply Score: 3

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Maybe Ford and Toyota are the same product because they happen to both include engines? No? We recognize that the different manufacturers produce different models of product though they compete in the same product category?

Why is it ok for different manufacturers to produce different products in every other product category but when it's a general purpose OS suddenly the kernel is the most important commodity part and having more than one competing product is just the very definition of insanity?


Well, speaking of Ford, if it wants to compete with Toyota, GMC, etc, it may make several different models of cars and trucks, but it's not going to release 30 different kind of cars that are mid-sized sedans in the $20,000 range. For one thing, it's a waste of resources. Also, it's bound to cause a lot of confusion in the marketplace. Plus, if these cars were made in different plants, there's no guarantee that parts made for one of these models will work on the other without heavy modifications, even if they technically use the same engine.

Maybe I'm just missing the point, but I thought the purpose of Linux on the desktop was to compete with Windows and OSX, not having an assload of distros competing with each other. (In other words, like Ford competing with itself.)

This kind of situation works somewhat better for Android because most of these phones use the same app repository, so it's generally understood that an app written for one phone should be able to run unmodified on any of the others, so that (in theory) I can take a .apk file and run it on whatever Android phone I want. But with Linux, it's just a mess.

Edited 2011-12-13 22:10 UTC

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I think you are indeed missing the point. You understand that though there are more than 30 models of product in the "car" category and that they are not all produced by the same company, you fail to accept that Red Hat and Novell are as destinctly different as Ford and Toyota; all four are blatantly and legally seporate companies.

In terms of competing with Windows and osX; that is only if the distribution manufacturer's intention is to compete. Red Hat and Novell do compete in the server OS product category and to different degrees they also compete in the desktop OS product category. Backtrack does not primarily compete against Windows and osX; it's a model of distribution with a different target customer.

WindowsXP is a distribution.
Windows7 is a distribution.
osX is a distribution.
Debian is a distribution.
Red Hat Enterprise is a distribution.
Suse Enterprise is a distribution.

Linux is the os kernel that happens to be used under three of those products listed above. Just like NTkernel happens to be the OS kernel in two of those products. Only two in the list are produced by the same company; one produced as a product meant to replace the other.

Debian, Red Hat and Novell do not claim to produce the same product. They each produce there own model within the same product category.

With Android, you have destinctly different companies producing products which all claim to be the same product not models within the same product category. They are all claiming to be "Android" yet they customize it to differentiate themselves from each other enough that what the end user recieves is not stock Android but Motorola-Android or HTC-Android. Functionality differs between them as does how the device is managed and manipulated. They are reconizably different distributions based on Google Android; child forks.

Why do they not all get updates from Google's repository? Why are there apps in Google's repositories that run on some Android forks and not others? Why do the user interfaces and settings controls differ from device to device? Blur does not ship on HTC devices just as Sense does not ship on Motorola devices; why? Because they are all different distributions based on Android. The only products that one can currently trust to run the Google's parent distribution of Android is the Nexus models.

Red Hat's distribution is not fragmented. They produce a select few models focused at there target use. The only claim to produce and support the few current Red Hat Enterprise and Red Hat Desktop models. Unless you can show otherwise, the distribution is the product not what kernel it may or may not include deep down under the hood.

Reply Score: 2

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

With Android, you have destinctly different companies producing products which all claim to be the same product not models within the same product category. They are all claiming to be "Android" yet they customize it to differentiate themselves from each other enough that what the end user recieves is not stock Android but Motorola-Android or HTC-Android. Functionality differs between them as does how the device is managed and manipulated. They are reconizably different distributions based on Google Android; child forks.


Right, and what you're describing is part of the problem. If you don't understand why something with the name 'Android' on it not offering the same experience from phone to phone is a bad thing, imagine if every McDonalds restaurant you went to had a different selection of food items on the menu. If you still don't understand, I don't know what else to tell you.

And, if you want to insist that these desktop Linux distros are completely different products like Windows and OSX and shouldn't be considered fragmented, I'm not going to argue with you. At least I don't have to use any of them, and most developers will continue not making apps for any of them, so I don't really give a rat's ass. Like I said before, if you don't care about marketshare, then it's fine the way it is. Every year has been 'the year of the Linux desktop' since like 1997 - it hasn't taken off yet, and probably never will.

Edited 2011-12-14 19:19 UTC

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06


If you don't understand why something with the name 'Android' on it not offering the same experience from phone to phone is a bad thing


That is the point I've made from the very beginning. Android has become very much fragmented.

- vendors introduce incompatibilities between Android installs through device and vendor specific customizations. They ship a child fork of Android while claiming to deliver the original parent distribution. This affects the user expectation and interaction with the device.

- vendors cause further incompatibilities through orphaned versions and patch levels. They all claim "Android" with a bazillion apps available from Google's software repository yet not all software in the repository will run on all devices. Updates and patches must first go from Google to the vendors who must then ship a customized version.

So far, Amazon is the only vendor who is doing things properly. When they diverged from Google's Android distribution, they created a clear separation in market representation and software/content repositories. The Kindle Fire draws from Amazon's software repository where anything listed can be expected to run on the device. They market it as "Kindle Fire" a device which happened to have an OS derived from Android not an Android device which happens to be called "Kindle Fire". That is why I recognize them separately from the other vendors.


if you want to insist that these desktop Linux distros are completely different products like Windows and OSX and shouldn't be considered fragmented, I'm not going to argue with you


If one does not understand the market or product category then how can one provide any soft of accurate analysis of that market including. Without understanding the market there is no basis for claiming that it is fragmented. A claim of fragmentation without understanding what is allegedly "fragmented" is what I take issue with here.

You made the claim of fragmentation; "Android, like Linux [distributions]...". I simply pointed out that the claims of fragmentation does not have a basis in how distributions actually work and provided an explanation for why that is.

Unlike Android, the Linux based distribution vendors claim to ship there own branded distributions. They provide there own distribution and version specific software repositories. They managed there own customizations and updates within the distribution. CentOS is basically Red Hat Enterprise with the branding stripped out of it yet CentOS does not point back at Red Hat's software repository; it provides it's own software repository and clearly separate branding.

Fragmentation happens within the limits of a single distribution because that is the product level. That is the level where the vendor/manufacturer controls assembly of the product being delivered to the end user. That is the level that the vendor's resources affect. That is the level where the product's target customer and design goals are decided. Apple does not dedicate resources to or decide how Windows7 will be; Microsoft does. Novell does not dedicate resources to or decide how Red Hat Enterprise will be; Red Hat does. Red Hat's goal of delivering a retail product does not dictate that Debian can not be a non-profit organization delivering a non-retail product.

For the claim of fragmentation one would have to show it happening within the limits of a single entity. Debian would have to be shipping multiple incompatible version 6 distributions claiming all of them to be the same item. The Linux kernel developers would have to be working on multiple OS kernels with incompatibilities between them while claiming them all to be the same kernel.

There are examples of where fragmentation has happened. In the early days of Ubuntu there where all kinds of customized remixes by third parties. Canonical had to eventually say "We think it's great to see what you are building based on our work but unless it is an official Canonical managed version, you may not represent your derived work as ours."

Claiming Linux based distributions are all one horribly fragmented thing is like claiming that everybody who lives on your street are the same dysfunctional household just because there homes are all on the same block and they don't all get along.


At least I don't have to use any of them, and most developers will continue not making apps for any of them, so I don't really give a rat's ass.


I don't really question if you use any particular distribution. I question your experience and basis for providing a valid opinion on the subject.

As for developers, there does seem to be quite a few who do make apps for "any of them" either out of personal motivation or paying job requirements. I'm thankful for the one's who do and don't begrudge the ones that don't for lack of paid motivation to do so. Who develops for what and why is really a more complicated topic outside of the scope of distribution differentiation and product fragmentation though.

In your specific case, I hope your OS of choice and developer tools continue to treat you as well as my several OS of choices continue to treat me. Whatever supports your needs. And the "nobody writes for the OS group I don't like" parting shot; your adorable.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

It's possible that I understand the situation incorrectly. I thought of that after the last post so here I'll simply ask some questions. I'll focus on two retail distributions to keep things simple.

Do you have evidence that Red Hat and Novell are actually the same company? The papers of incorporation showing as much would be fine if you have them handy.

Do Red Hat and Novell market RHE and Suse as the same product?

Do Red Hat Enterprise and Suse pull software packages from the same repository?

When you need support for your Red Hat Enterprise server, do you call Novell? Does your Red Hat support contract suggest calling Novell?

When you need support for your Suse Enterprise Server, do you call Red Hat? Does your Novell support contract suggest calling Red Hat?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Drawing the line
by reez on Tue 13th Dec 2011 18:22 UTC in reply to "Drawing the line"
reez Member since:
2006-06-28

For example, we may say that censorship is a bad thing, but we really don't want people uploading child porn and such, so obviously some amount of censorship is in order. Question is, where do you draw the line?

I disagree. Actually I don't give a f--k[1], but about some sick guy watching child porn as long as he leaves alone any kids. Data does not hurt children, rapists do.

I am always worried about people saying they want to censor the internet to protect kids instead of taking measure that prevent people in various from being alone with kids. That would prevent child pornography in first place and you don't have to censor material that doesn't exist.

Instead what I see is less money in educational institutions, less money for police, no psychological institutions to probably heal pedophiles (or people with psychological problems/trauma that are likely to become pedophile), etc. Child abuse should not happen and not just become invisible.

One doesn't undo things by hiding them. It doesn't work with pedophiles or any other kind of abuse, racism, terrorism or anything else. Bring stuff to the surface and solve them!


Maybe it's similar with the topic. As long as the Mint people don't hide these changes and everything happens transparently everyone can decide on his own whether he is fine with it.

I am a bit skeptical about integrating these things in first place. On the other hand everyone needs some money to live. I am just not sure how a bigger project shares it. There can be a lot of ways to contribute and another question is whether money is a good motivator in first place.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc

[1] Well, maybe that's not completely true. I think it would feel better if this wouldn't happen, but I explain that anyway.

Edited 2011-12-13 18:24 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Drawing the line - how is it made?
by jabbotts on Tue 13th Dec 2011 18:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Drawing the line"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06


Actually I don't give a f--k[1], but about some sick guy watching child porn as long as he leaves alone any kids


Where do you think the content came from in the first place? Some sick guy (or girl) watching child abuse has the pictures or video to watch because some child was abused.

I would personally care very much if I knew such a person because they are supporting the original abuse by coveting the products of that abuse and are premoting further abuses by providing a market for it. If it is a mental illness that motivates them then they are also premoting the condisitons to abuse a child themselves.

Indirect abuse (watching) does not exist in a vaccume all on it's own with no direct abuse (doing) to support it.

If what you mean is simulated content like porn actors of age pretending to be underage or freaky hentai then that does say quite a bit about the audience buying the content and could still fuel abusive compulsions. (though, if one has to find any sort of silver ligning, at least it wasn't produced through abuse though it may lead to abuse.)

Granted, the this is really not the place for discussion of such a vile topic and marching it out as an example for a discussion on cencership seems like sensationalization if not blatantly accessive.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Drawing the line
by WorknMan on Tue 13th Dec 2011 19:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Drawing the line"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I am always worried about people saying they want to censor the internet to protect kids instead of taking measure that prevent people in various from being alone with kids.


What, like their parents? You DO realize that the parents are the ones pimping these kids out in a lot of cases, right?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Drawing the line
by ameasures on Wed 14th Dec 2011 21:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Drawing the line"
ameasures Member since:
2006-01-09

Actually I don't give a f--k[1], but about some sick guy watching child porn as long as he leaves alone any kids. Data does not hurt children, rapists do.


Whilst data does not hurt kids; the in depth studies into offender behaviour indicate that for most offenders there is a progression which starts with mild child porn and progresses to the more extreme material. Having desensitized their own thinking: there is only a small step to start actually interfering with real children. In their mindset, they wouldn't even think it was harming the child. Having reached the stage of believing it is a reasonable thing to do; it becomes a question of opportunity.

The resources put into tracking online child porn in a desparate attempt to address this dilemma. The imperative to avoid censorship must, in my view, be tempered a little with the need to protect the vulnerable.


Instead what I see is less money in educational institutions, less money for police, no psychological institutions to probably heal pedophiles (or people with psychological problems/trauma that are likely to become pedophile), etc. Child abuse should not happen and not just become invisible.

One doesn't undo things by hiding them. It doesn't work with pedophiles or any other kind of abuse, racism, terrorism or anything else. Bring stuff to the surface and solve them!


Here, I agree. With child porn; the abusers are sometimes grownups who were abused as children and have never come forward for help or justice. Just maybe tracking the data will allow some of these to get the much needed support, much earlier and thus wreak far less havoc into young lives.

My suspicion is that real money has be invested in real research about what actually works on the ground; because I don't think it is yet understood.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Drawing the line
by wannabe geek on Tue 13th Dec 2011 23:13 UTC in reply to "Drawing the line"
wannabe geek Member since:
2006-09-27

but we really don't want people uploading child porn and such, so obviously some amount of censorship is in order. Question is, where do you draw the line?


I don't see the need to draw a line. From a moral point of view, the actual crime is not the uploading, it's the creation of child porn by using children. The distribution of such content is arguably a crime inasmuch as it contributes to its creation. I don't think anyone has a right to prohibit, say, manga child porn.

It's like snuff movies. If someone uploads a snuff movie, they should be arrested, interrogated and possibly punished, not because the movie is offensive, but because someone was killed, and they failed to report to the police.

When people complain about censorship they usually mean the criminalization of some idea, picture or message, assuming no one was harmed in its creation.

Reply Score: 2

roger64
Member since:
2006-08-15

Why without telling us, Clem?

“Linux Mint altered the Banshee Amazon MP3 Canonical referral code to that of its own, taking 100% of all profits made in the process.

In ‘standard upstream’ Banshee all 25% of the money raised through the sale of MP3s via the plugin goes to the non-profit GNOME Foundation – which, as of September 2011, has raised some $9200.”

Edit by Clem: Link removed (assimilated to FUD). Already answered in the comment section of http://www.glasen-hardt.de/?p=1474 and I also added a comment on the blog you mentioned. There’s nothing secret and there’s nothing of interest here either. It’s a code change, we modified the patch on this package so that instead of replacing the Banshee code with Canonical’s, it now replaces it with ours. It’s written in plain English in the changelog, like any other package change. We’re happy to share with Banshee, and to give them more than 25% (that’s what they get from Canonical), just to make it clear to everyone involved, that when it comes to the revenue Mint users generate, Canonical isn’t in a position to decide on revenue sharing. For info, this particular revenue stream represents $3.41/month at the moment and we do not make a blog post about every package change out there. We’re also changing the Yahoo code (even though we do not monetize it) and any other affiliate codes present in Linux Mint, some to our own versions, others we simply remove. Just like branding, we are not using other people’s codes, unless we have an agreement with them. Previous versions of Mint used the Canonical code in Banshee (simply because we never really looked into it before), in Linux Mint 12 this was flagged as a bug and we changed it to our own. If we didn’t have a code we would have changed it back to Banshee’s (maybe) or removed all codes and linked directly to Amazon. Either way, when it comes to monetizing the traffic generating by Mint users, we make these decisions, not Banshee, and certainly not Canonical. As I said before, I’m happy to share upstream, but don’t expect to see 3rd party codes running affiliates in Linux Mint.

Edited 2011-12-13 04:57 UTC

Reply Score: 7

f0dder Member since:
2009-08-05

Hm, a post edit instead of a reply? How distasteful.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Tue 13th Dec 2011 06:37 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

Short Answer: They should "own" just the OS.

The long answer:

An unfortunate trend that is happening with software is that a major component of purchased software has become a platform for selling more software or services. This is has happened with MacOS X, with the inclusion of the app store. This is happening with Windows to an even larger degree, as all indications are that a certain OS feature (the ability to run Metro apps) is only accessible through Microsoft's store. This is also happening with games, where even boxed copies of games purchased at a store sometimes require installation of the publisher's own storefront.

This has the side effect of making a piece of software's ability to sell more software nearly as important as the software itself. Which is a bigger success: Windows 8 being a huge step up from Windows 7, selling millions and millions of copies, but the app store gets ignored? Or, Windows 8 is a mediocre upgrade, sells one third the number of copies by comparison, but everybody that buys one relies exclusively on Microsoft's app store?

The way trends are going, the latter scenario is preferable, at least for Microsoft. People that want or depend on better software take a back seat to the requirements of the sales staff.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by curio on Tue 13th Dec 2011 08:11 UTC in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
curio Member since:
2010-05-03

Short Answer: They should "own" just the OS.

The long answer:

An unfortunate trend that is happening with software is that a major component of purchased software has become a platform for selling more software or services. This is has happened with MacOS X, with the inclusion of the app store. This is happening with Windows to an even larger degree, as all indications are that a certain OS feature (the ability to run Metro apps) is only accessible through Microsoft's store. This is also happening with games, where even boxed copies of games purchased at a store sometimes require installation of the publisher's own storefront.

This has the side effect of making a piece of software's ability to sell more software nearly as important as the software itself. Which is a bigger success: Windows 8 being a huge step up from Windows 7, selling millions and millions of copies, but the app store gets ignored? Or, Windows 8 is a mediocre upgrade, sells one third the number of copies by comparison, but everybody that buys one relies exclusively on Microsoft's app store?

The way trends are going, the latter scenario is preferable, at least for Microsoft. People that want or depend on better software take a back seat to the requirements of the sales staff.


Your long answer, however correct, smartly (for your sake) omits the other all important vested interest in this currently trending software distribution model. "The developers". Apparently, many love the potential exposure and convenience of these walled-gardens. They don't seem to care about the customers being corralled into platform specific monopoly Apps stores if it suites their own needs.
As a result and consequence, they are accepting becoming willing participants with Apple, Microsoft and to a lesser extent Google (because Google doesn't lock their garden gate) etc... in bending all their customers over. All the while assisting in creating even stronger, ever more oppressive and controlling gargantuan monopolies with every sale.
Problem too is, everybody else wants their own walled-gardens too. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Archos, etc.. So much for one stop convenience to market their wares or that desired one place for potential customer's eyeballs....

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar - amazon
by jabbotts on Tue 13th Dec 2011 18:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I think they are at least doing it right. They didn't modify Android them claim it to be the original. Instead, they modified Android and pointed it at there own repositories. If one is not going to use Google's stock Android then they shouldn't be using Google's stock repositories. Amazon also has the media and software content to provide a full feature repository source and the device is blatantly marketed as consumer window into Amazon's garden so fair enough there too.

Granted, i don't know the developer side of it. Is it just the same app submitted to Amazon's repository under it's terms of use or does the app actually need to be written differently than it would for Google's repository. If it's just a seporate submission or package format then suck it up or don't publish for it. If, however, the difference is in the program language required for some strange reason then developer uproar seems justified. Somehow I don't think it's the latter though.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Wed 14th Dec 2011 07:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

The trouble is, the extra exposure isn't really worth anything if everybody gets it. Since you have to jump through hoops to get your software into the store, as more people rely on the store, you become unwilling participants.

A fine example is the app BBEdit by Bare Bones Software. To get the latest version of BBedit in the Apple store, they had to remove certain features that simply cannot be implemented within Apple's sandboxing APIs that were added to MacOS X a few versions back. Now, they must sell an inferior product to satisfy Apple's requirements, while maintaining a separate, feature complete version for people who buy directly.

It's easy to look at the success of smaller indy developers, and point to app stores as a major component of that success, but being featured on a good indy review site could be just as effective, nearly as accessible, and without having to compromise on features or your ability to provide full and proper support for your customers.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by cyrilleberger
by cyrilleberger on Tue 13th Dec 2011 08:14 UTC
cyrilleberger
Member since:
2006-02-01

It would be relatively trivial, technologically, for Microsoft or Apple or Google to silently demand a cut of some or all commerce transacted on their platform, as Linux Mint did.


And because they don't ? We are in 2011, not 2006. And since then, Apple has launched the appstore, first for iphone, and now for all their computers. And Apple is restricting purchases on their device to purchase made on the appstore. They have not taken the step to firewall web shops, but they do block application that allow to buy directly from the application instead of using the appstore: http://www.splatf.com/2011/07/kindle-screenshots/ .

And Microsoft is taking that road. Google does not (yet), because google's revenue model is based on advertisement.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by cyrilleberger
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 13th Dec 2011 15:56 UTC in reply to "Comment by cyrilleberger"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Yeah, that's what I was thinking. At least there is little to no lock-in.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I could bare to see a little more curation under Google's watch though. Apple's heavy handed marketing vetting and lacking security vetting is too much but Google's cavaleer "upload keys to the kingdom" aproach is far too unregulated given the amount of malware being pumped into repositories. Something closer to how Maemo repositories where managed would due; software was not blocked in the basis of competing with a Nokia/Maemo build function bit it did have to wait in the development repository until proven stable and unmalicious.

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I was referring to the replacement of one linux distro, with another. With MS/Apple I'd be stuck if I wanted to change companies but stick with the same platform.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by cyrilleberger
by David on Tue 13th Dec 2011 22:23 UTC in reply to "Comment by cyrilleberger"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

You can buy from Amazon using Amazon's app, and Apple doesn't take a cut, however.

Reply Score: 0

sgtrock
Member since:
2011-05-13

You said:

"In fact, the internet took everyone by surprise, and it really only exists as a marvelous accident of history. If our political and business leaders had been able to truly imagine its impact, it surely would have been strangled in the crib by attempts to control and monetize it. It's no accident that the chaotic, free version of the internet came to the fore, because all of its non-free, controlled predecessors were indeed killed by the control,short-sightedness, and greed of those that held a little leverage over them. Only a free network that "interprets censorship as damage and routes around it," will continue to grow and thrive."

All closed systems were doomed to failure by their very nature. Alvin Toffler understood this in 1970 when he wrote Future Shock. He wrote more about the phenomenon in 1980 (The Third Wave) and 1990 (Powershift).

In other words, something like the Internet was inevitable. We just happened to have been around to see its birth. :-)

Reply Score: 1

It is their software
by lucas_maximus on Tue 13th Dec 2011 18:37 UTC
lucas_maximus
Member since:
2009-08-18

If it is your software, you can do make it do what the hell you like. Whether people will use it, is another thing.

Edited 2011-12-13 18:38 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Well spoken
by bram on Tue 13th Dec 2011 19:16 UTC
bram
Member since:
2009-04-03

Well spoken!
And spot on in your analysis.

Apple broke the carrier crap.
Let's never go back to the old situation.

Bram Stolk
http://stolk.org/HoverBiker/

Reply Score: 1

Censorship
by Lorin on Wed 14th Dec 2011 06:53 UTC
Lorin
Member since:
2010-04-06

The question of kiddie porn and censorship is easy to solve, make possession the crime, that way the owners of the servers are held accountable, they will then be quick to delete the material keeping Government monitoring out of it. If the product does not exist on a server, the perverts can't get it.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Censorship
by unclefester on Wed 14th Dec 2011 09:10 UTC in reply to "Censorship"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Kiddie porn is very rarely stored on public servers. It is nearly always distributed via filesharing networks (eg bittorrent) to trusted recipients.

Reply Score: 2

karunko
Member since:
2008-10-28

The main reason why mobile computing was hobbled for years after we had sufficiently advanced technology to make it possible was because of the stranglehold the carriers held over the OSes on their phones.

David, could you please stick to the topic or, failing that, at least the facts rather than insert drivel like this in an otherwise interesting post?

Maybe you are referring to how things used to be in the U.S.A. (assuming this was actually the case) but I can assure you that this wasn't the situation in Europe, not to mention that I've never had any crapware pre-installed on the Nokia Communicators I owned over the years-- but for sure I wrote and installed quite a few craplets myself (and I didn't have to resort to jailbreaking/rooting either).

But, even assuming Apple were the hero you and many other make it out to be, how is Apple's stranglehold any better than the carriers'?


RT.

Reply Score: 2

mantrik00
Member since:
2011-07-06

Carrier's software on phones is typical of the US. In most parts of the world, people buy the phone independently and then buy a separate data plan from the carrier of their choice. That's how it is in India, one of the largest markets in the world with 14 telecom players.

Reply Score: 1

The Revisionist
by westlake on Thu 15th Dec 2011 18:41 UTC
westlake
Member since:
2010-01-07

Famously, Netscape looked poised to make Microsoft irrelevant and make the browser the "new desktop." Microsoft used its control of the OS and its tremendous sway over computer makers to foist its browser on the general public, and changed the course of computing history.

I remember IE being introduced with the sale of a CD and a substantial paperback book, a novice's guide to the web and the web browser.

IE4 launched with an Internet Suite on CD that sold for about $5.

I also remember IE and mIRC as two programs that worked well with AOL. In the days when flat-rate billing and the toll free number made dial-uo service easy to budget and very affordable.

In 2011 anyone packaging a OS distribution for the masses without including a default browser would be considered mentally deficient.

That is the true legacy of Internet Explorer.

Reply Score: 1