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[gNewSense-users] Re: gNewSense-users Digest, Vol 4, Issue 42

From: Peter Rock
Subject: [gNewSense-users] Re: gNewSense-users Digest, Vol 4, Issue 42
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2007 18:56:15 +0100

Message: 7
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2007 16:26:54 +0200
From: Yavor Doganov <address@hidden>
Subject: [gNewSense-users] Re: [Off Topic] Freedom and webapps
To: address@hidden
Message-ID: <873b5rb7bl.GNU'address@hidden>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII

Peter Rock wrote:
> Could you explain why using gmail and blogger is a poor choice for
> me?

Yavor Doganov responds:

Consider the world in 10 years: we all use free operating systems
consisting only of free components, Windoze is GPLed, as well as Muck
OS X; proprietary Unices do not exist except in SCO's office, which is
turned into a museum.

I don't need to wait 10 years. This is the case for me now.

However, the companies that used to develop
non-free (web)apps in the past days have become mega-corporations.

I don't think it is relevant what the status of the copyright/patent
holder is in this case. True, the more "mega" a company or corporation
is, the more likely they will act unethically, but this is a non-issue
in this context.

computer without Internet connection is literally useless.

A computer without a net connection will always be very useful. Not AS
useful, but not even close to "useless".

possible job involves access to some remotely hosted "service", you
can't even visit a hospital without logging in their web-portal.

You can't visit a hospital without actually physically going to the hospital.

information is the most valuable commodity, much more valuable than it
was in the beginning of the century.  The information is being
processed by the server farms of the "service providers" in a most
obscure way; even the slightest hint for the mechanism/implementation
used is a secret,
needless to say the source code.


mega-coprorations exchange users' profiles just as they exhanged
patent grants in the past.

You've lost me here. A patent grant is not a piece of information. It
is a legal right.

A user profile is far more verbose than a
profile created by the best intelligence agency; it contains
information like the color of the socks you're wearing tonight.

If your point is, "personal information is important", then don't give
anyone personal information you feel uncomfortable giving. If some
organization or government forces you to, then that is a different

People are happy that they have software freedom, but... some of them
feel that they don't actually control part of their lives.

I don't see the connection.

Would that scenario be a success or a failure of the Free software
movement and the ideals we're fighting for?

I'm fighting to have the machine that I own not have a single piece of
proprietary code on it. I now have that, but I do not have all the
options a proprietary-laden machine has. So, I continue to fight. I am
not fighting for anything else in this context.

Now you may think whether your choice is poor, innocent or whatever.

I don't think anything at this juncture as using Google's services
doesn't force me to install proprietary software. Of course, if I woke
up tomorrow morning and found that I HAD to install proprietary code
to do a task I wanted to do, then I wouldn't even think of continuing
to use these services.

It's a personal question that everyone should ask and answer for

That's a given, but I'm still not clear as to your response to my
inquiry. I am definitely open to hearing a reason, but I have not been
presented one as such. To me, I feel like someone gave me a frisbee to
play with and it says "Coke" on it. Now, you can tell me all sorts of
good reasons not to buy/drink coke, but I don't see why I should throw
away my frisbee. Don't get me wrong...I'm not PROUD that I own that
frisbee, but I got it for free and did not give the Coca-cola
corporation any money or ingest any of their poison, so what is the
problem? The closest thing to a valid argument is, "But by throwing
that frisbee around in public, you promote Coke!". And that may be a
fact, but I feel it to be rather negligible in the overall scheme of
things. In fact, given particular circumstances, it can work in one's
favor to have these circumstances. For instance, when someone tries to
call me an extremist who is against Microsoft (perhaps some of you on
this list can relate), I can easily refute that by claiming the fact
that NO, I have nothing against Microsoft per se, I have something
against proprietary software. And just to prove you think I'd
use this Microsoft mouse if it was really Microsoft I was against? Now
that that is settled, wanna play catch with my frisbee?


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