I’d buy that for a dollar

Larry wrote this “Time to Fork the FSF” blogpost a few days ago and it reminded me on why I stopped contributing (economically) to the Free Software Foundation.

You see, I feel their efforts are misguided, in particular, their “Defective by Design” campaign which actually drives me nuts.

Yeah, it’s cute that you’re sending Bricks to Nintendo, calling out Windows’ “7 Sins” and my personal favorite, the “Amazon Swindle“.

I see them raising attention to big problems, but I don’t see them providing an actual solution. And as long as a decent solution isn’t available, Free Software won’t prevail.

Sure, you can whine all you want about how Apple locks down iPads, but I don’t see them selling an “FSF-endorsed” Tablet that is about as good (Hint: They could start by grabbing Android as a base, or even Tizen) and offering a product that’s so awesome, it’ll actually generate revenue for the FSF, to further empower their campaigns.

I hear “Photoshop is bad”, but I think you should say “Gimp is awesome” instead. I hear “Windows is evil”, but I’d rather hear “Use Fedora today!”.

I see FSF at the same level as the PETA nuts or the Green Peace crazies, throwing buckets of red paint on leather coats of celebrities, yelling “MEAT IS MURDER”. This is a pretty bad image, one I do not want to be associated with.

What I’m trying to say is that instead of calling Amazon’s or Barnes and Nobles’ stores “evil”, that energy would be better spent creating a store of your own, with your ideals firmly in place, and advertising it. Instead of ranting how evil Nintendo is, create your own game console, one with Free Software, and advertise the hell out of it.

I’d buy that for a dollar.


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10 comments on “I’d buy that for a dollar
  1. Heck, I’d give $1.50. I think all of the FSF programs have merit, but sometimes the message gets mixed up with the messenger. What the average person remembers is the messenger and not the message. That’s a hurdle the FSF has to overcome.

  2. Matruskan says:

    Gimp is awesome! \o/

  3. Toni Korpela says:

    Juan I agree with you totally. Have had quite a big email conversation about this actually with a friend of mine.

    The problem I see is that they use those “Strong words” and then explain the stuff, but do not provide real solution.

    For one. Think you had IPad and you accidentally browsed to defectivebydesign because your friend linked you to it. Well the first thing you see is IPad is IBad for freedom – sign the petition. Well If I paid hard cash for my new IPad of course I will use it as long as it works and I’m not going to drop using it just because Apple locks it down.

    Anyway there is much better ways to campaign against DRM like researching on a topic such as “DRM raises the activity of piratism.” and then explaining why DRM is bad and offer solutions for it and not go bashing the existing products. Instead suggest to the visitor that next time think what you buy.

  4. Jean-Philippe says:

    Well others in the industry do not hesitate to use FUD all the time, why would the FSF not call those who precisely lies or abuse their users customers ?

    Why do you refuse no room for a larger conversation ?
    Those matters are important, and need to be discussed and not dismissed.

    How will they play in the future ? How will you be able to do what you want do ? Can you just by yourself decide what type of hardware or OS or security or managing your identity, maybe today yes, easy enough right ?
    what about tomorrow ? …

    • Nushio says:

      Oh, but I’m not really against speaking out against the big companies, I just feel that the energy and money would be best used in something that really gets our cause closer to reality.

      Saying “Nintendo bricks your 3DS” is one thing, saying “Nintendo bricks your 3DS, get a GamePark instead!” and making games that people *want* to play is another.

  5. foo says:

    Take your shtuff and go over there: http://opensource.org/

  6. “I don’t see them selling an “FSF-endorsed” Tablet”

    it’s actually quite costly to do that. the NREs are roughly as follows:
    * PCB design: $6,000
    * Case design: $6,000
    * FCC/CE Certification: $7,000 to $15,000

    then, also, the number of SoC processors that are actually FSF-Endorseable are very few and far between. the list is incredibly small:

    * Ingenic’s 600mhz jz4760 (for around $7)
    * TI’s 600mhz AM335x series (around $5 apparently)
    * TI’s 720mhz OMAP3503 series (around $35)
    * TI’s 1.2ghz AM389x series (incredibly expensive and needing $20k development NREs)

    can you see a theme here? if you want an FSF-Endorseable SoC it’s necessary to go outside of the mainstream, and/or to use older technology dating back in some cases to 2008.

    so this means that the number of people who are going to want such lower-performing more-expensive devices is quite small, hence the reason why i called and invited people to help fund an FSF-Endorseable mass-volume processor in december of last year.

    and, because that number will be relatively small, the unit cost of any such product is also going to go up.

    because of that, the NREs must be amortised across a much smaller number of people, meaning that they pay *more* for the product.

    so this is why i created the EOMA-68 initiative, so that the tablet (or any other product) “chassis” can be designed, paid-for and Certified *SEPARATELY*, sold in very large volume so that the costs are reduced…

    … and then a FSF-Endorseable CPU Card, which may be slightly higher pricing but nothing like the cost of designing an entire FSF-Endorseable tablet (or any other device), can also be created.

    If you’re interested to know more, please see http://rhombus-tech.net and http://lists.phcomp.co.uk/pipermail/arm-netbook/

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  1. [...] I’d buy that for a dollar I hear “Photoshop is bad”, but I think you should say “Gimp is awesome” instead. I hear “Windows is evil”, but I’d rather hear “Use Fedora today!”. [...]

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