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 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 Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Drawing the line
by cyrilleberger on Tue 13th Dec 2011 07:59 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 Parent Score: 11

RE[2]: Drawing the line
by KLU9 on Tue 13th Dec 2011 17:07 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 Parent Score: 6

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 Parent 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 Parent Score: 3

RE: Drawing the line
by reez on Tue 13th Dec 2011 18:22 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 Parent Score: 3

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 Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Drawing the line
by WorknMan on Tue 13th Dec 2011 19:18 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 Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Drawing the line
by ameasures on Wed 14th Dec 2011 21:11 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 Parent Score: 2

RE: Drawing the line
by wannabe geek on Tue 13th Dec 2011 23:13 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 Parent Score: 2