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Re: [gNewSense-users] Re: gNewSense-users Digest, Vol 5, Issue 5

From: Robert Vogel
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] Re: gNewSense-users Digest, Vol 5, Issue 5
Date: Sat, 03 Feb 2007 22:09:08 -0500

Gnewsense is working very well for me, and I wouldn't be using it if it
was not for the proliferation of problems that now are routine in
proprietary software. 

I bought a Microsoft Media Center Edition about a year ago.
It was loaded with advertisements, trial versions that time out, and
applications which needed to be cleaned out.

(It was a mistake to use the 60-day trial of MS Office. Because when I
uninstalled it, I lost files including email.)

As anybody would I installed a number of applications including Norton,
Google desktop, Yahoo put a new toolbar on, and others.

For one thing, doing this means there is considerable redundancy in the
processing because I now had a firewall from MS and one from Norton, I
have popup blockers from IE, from Norton, from Yahoo, and actually the
applications are doing functions that I would never have agreed. For a
long time, I didn't know.

Additionally these programs (like the MCE, or MS Office, or even MS XP)
phone home. I would not install the MS application which verified the
origen of my copy of XP.

One day, for reasons that are still not clear to me, the machine would
not boot up. I was still under warranty, so I brought it back. The hard
drive got replaced. (So okay, I would need to reload everything.)

Reload I did. But I won't bother you with the new registration
procedures, the long EULAs, the new subscriptions, the lost email rules,
the get the idea. My MCE is an expensive TIVO, and not much

Then Connecticut decided to go to Diebold voting machines. The
possibilities for abuse of Diebold machines are incredible. (See )

That's when it became clear to me that software needs to be open,
similarly hardware needs to be transparent, and there ought to be some
basic diagnostics so that you know if that audio CD that you are playing
has a root kit on it and that you can continue to use your DVD writer
without concern that it will hang your machine. 

I now staunchly agree with RMS that DRM is evil, that the BIOS needs to
be open, that hidden (i.e. proprietary) software cannot be trusted, and
personally I am going to patronize only hardware that is open.

In spite of that...we may be just a few years late getting to 1984.


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