Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 2nd Jan 2012 19:12 UTC
GNU, GPL, Open Source Late last year, president Obama signed a law that makes it possible to indefinitely detain terrorist suspects without any form of trial or due process. Peaceful protesters in Occupy movements all over the world have been labelled as terrorists by the authorities. Initiatives like SOPA promote diligent monitoring of communication channels. Thirty years ago, when Richard Stallman launched the GNU project, and during the three decades that followed, his sometimes extreme views and peculiar antics were ridiculed and disregarded as paranoia - but here we are, 2012, and his once paranoid what-ifs have become reality.
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RMS and the free software movement are the most important things to happen to technology.

Proprietary and free is easier for some people to handle because they don't understand why free software matters. Free software should be used first where at all possible, it's that simple. It doesn't matter if It costs more than proprietary software. Free should be the first priority.

After 4 years of pressure from me, my wife still owns an iphone. She complains about it all the time and comes across the most ridiculous bugs. Yesterday her facebook app was upside down and her text messages disappeared every time she sent one and returned when she received a text back.

She can't file a bug or change the software on her phone unless mandated on high from a corporation. Where as Cyanogenmod for example will fix bugs constantly and i don't have to wait for new releases, I can download nighty's each day or when I see the bug is fixed in the changelog. But she just doesn't care and I know that the majority of people don't either.

Proprietary protocols and applications are becoming more prevalent as companies work out that by owning the data and the process is more valuable than the client that connects to them. The reason RMS is still the leader of the free software movement is that there are still not enough people willing to part with phones or operating systems with locked in standards.

The number one complaint I hear about why people don't use free software like Linux et al, is that it's too hard to use. BUT THAT'S THE POINT.

You need to understand to at least some degree about how programs work, why your computer has to do things a certain way or how software of all types can work independently of other pieces. When you start to understand the foundations of computing you have just learn't why free software is so important.

To give up proprietary software you need to be willing to make the jump. It really isn't hard to do once you start, the hardest part is actually starting. You may have to make a sacrifice or two, (foobar2000! ;) ) but that's okay because supporting free software is more important than having itunes on Linux.

Microsoft Windows -> Debian
Microsoft Office -> Libre Office (export to pdf for your resume)
Games -> Support games that support your choice to use free software.

I still live and work with proprietary software every day and I am always conscious of these choices. Right now to live in a truly free software environment you have to live a few years behind the latest trends. That's not an option for some and goes to show that there's a long way to go before free software has reached the tipping point.

Any point you can make that OSX, Windows, IOS, etc is 'better' doesn't actually matter. Whether something is truly free is more important than the quality of the jail you're using.

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