Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 9th Nov 2010 22:24 UTC, submitted by koki
GNU, GPL, Open Source Now this is interesting. We see what is at its core a very valid concern, in practice not a problem to anyone, and, thanks to the tone of the press release, close to trolling. The Free Software Foundation Latin America is complaining about something that has been known for a while - there is some non-Free code stuck in the Linux kernel (mostly firmware). A valid issue of concern from an idealogical viewpoint, but sadly, the tone of the press release turns this valid concern into something close to trolling.
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I'm a practical guy, but...
by amadensor on Tue 9th Nov 2010 23:29 UTC
amadensor
Member since:
2006-04-10

I would really prefer if the source to this firmware was available. This is for two practical reasons:

1) If the hardware company folds, we have a plan B.
2) I can see if they are doing secret things with my data in there.

That said, I understand that it may not be possible, so I'll just buy hardware that doesn't need them whenever possible.

Note to hardware vendors: If you want me to buy your stuff, release proper open drivers and firmware source.

Reply Score: 5

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Just because the device does not need firmware uploaded it doesn't mean it doesn't contain closed-source firmware. In fact, your computer is already full of closed--source firmware.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: I'm a practical guy, but...
by phoenix on Wed 10th Nov 2010 00:10 in reply to "I'm a practical guy, but..."
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Uhm, every single device in your computer right now, from the harddrive, to the NIC, to the graphics card, to the optical drive, to the mouse, to the keyboard, everything, is already running a binary firmware blob.

The only difference is that most firmware is "burnt" into the chip on the hardware at the factory. Some devices support loadable firmware, and that's the firmware that gets shipped on floppy, or as part of the driver, or with the OS, or with the kernel. Regardless of how its shipped, it's all the same.

Reply Parent Score: 8

RE: I'm a practical guy, but...
by vodoomoth on Wed 10th Nov 2010 12:41 in reply to "I'm a practical guy, but..."
vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

That said, I understand that it may not be possible, so I'll just buy hardware that doesn't need them whenever possible.

No such thing as computer hardware that doesn't need and have firmware. It being not being flashable or changeable in any way doesn't mean it's not there.

Reply Parent Score: 2