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Tinker @tinker

This is why I only use & support Free & Open Source Software in my personal life. This man is going to prison. Prison.

"A California man who built a sizable business out of recycling electronic waste is headed to federal prison for 15 months after a federal appeals court in Miami rejected his claim that the “restore disks” he made to extend the lives of computers had no financial value, instead ruling that he had infringed Microsoft’s products to the tune of $700,000."


· Web · 220 · 138

Seriously. Fuck Microsoft. Fuck the justice system that allowed this.

The man was actually (and hopefully will continue) making a difference as it relates to ewaste, built-in obsolescence, et al.

@tinker it's pretty brazen of MS. The judge disregarding expert testimony is a whole new dimension of hell though.

“I don’t think anybody in that courtroom understood what a restore disk was,” Lundgren said.

This is key. Most folks don't understand tech. The whole "You wouldn't steal a car!" ad campaign is an example.

If that car was open sourced, and I could download it and print, yes... I'd "steal" a car. But that isn't stealing.

A jury of your peers means your average lay person. They think in a corporate mindset. Arbitrary "losses" equal prison time.

@tinker What's more depressing is that I'd wager that more people understand tech than even basic Chemistry.

We're really feeling the cutbacks to education budgets from the 1990s and it's only going to hurt worse as kids we've failed grow up.

Another big thing...

We say that Lundgren should not have installed Windows. Perhaps he should have installed Linux....

Many of your devices, you don't own. You "lease." Even the act of wiping the original operating system and installing FOSS OS's is illegal.

Look at John Deer. Look at "rooting" cell phones.

We need FOSSH (Software & Hardware) solutions.

@tinker Actually we need laws that protect the user, not the corporation, and make such legal traps, well, illegal.

@tinker i agree this is bad, but isn't the entire issue that he wanted to monetize the restore disks?

he argued the value of the disks was zero, but wanted to sell them for $0.25 per, and he accepted $3,400 for 28,000

use of Windows restore disks isn't illegal (Dell ships them), creation isn't illegal (sysadmins create custom images), but how many things are marked "not for resale"?

yes FOSS is a universal answer. but the issue is exchanging copyrighted code for money (including GPLv3, etc)

@jackiebailz - He wasn't going to make money off of the price of a quarter per disk. That pays for the disk, the time to stamp the image to the disk, and shipping.

In court, they didn't argue (at least according to the article) that they were going after him for him making money off the disks.

Instead, he prevented MS from selling new software with new laptops.

@tinker hmm that's not the impression i got from the article. granted i'm not a lawyer (i just know too many)

im actually really curious about the legal details of this case. i plan to pick some brains and can keep you updated if you want

@jackiebailz - Do so! I'm going off the article so I might be wrong. Let me know what you find!

@tinker @jackiebailz You may find that the 2600.com Radio show "Off the Hook" will get a lawyer's comments on this on the show tomorrow It should appear here after the show on WBAI has aired 2600.com/offthehook/2018/0418.

@jackiebailz @tinker

> but the issue is exchanging copyrighted code for money (including GPLv3, etc)

Nope, FOSS licences, especially the GPL, allow you to charge reasonable fees (for distribution, shipping, service/support) even if someone else did write the the code.

Prohibiting "commercial" use make a license non FOSS, by definition

@tinker The GPL3 does say the software licensed under it must not be used for these user-hostile acts.

And I gather the FSF's position on free hardware is that yes there's more and more need for it. But in a world where hardware manufacturing requires super long and uber clean assembly lines will it really accomplish much?

@tinker while there are some good examples of open source software (Linux, Apache, et al), there really isn’t anything of the sort (at that scale or maturity) in the hardware realm. Even the raspberry pi has a proprietary CPU.

@jerry - Yeah. Beagleboards, HiFive, and some others, but not many.

I might have some german references from easterhegg 2k18:
Libre Silicon, focusing on producing the chips:

And a general call for #FOSH, based on some examples:

About translations I am not sure, so sorry if there are no :S


"He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me."

Thomas Jefferson to Isaac McPherson, 13 Aug. 1813


copyright originally comes from irish brehon law, due to a dispute between 2 saints over a religious manuscript 1 had copied from the other without permission.


@thunder - Love the first quote! Interesting insight on copyright! Thanks!

@tinker jefferson was a smart man. if more people had read this particular letter of his, patent and copyright would arguably not be such a tremendous clusterfuck.

@thunder @tinker Maybe they did, and that's why it's such a clusterfuck.

@tinker I think the description as a corporate mindset fits way too well:
The other day I was talking with someone about linux stuff and their opinion was that there should be only one distribution, one desktop, one solution. What they didn't get was that the #FLOSS / #FOSS movement is not a corporation trying to sell you a product but a movement trying to give you the tools to overcome the digital immaturity. (I also welcome discussion on that view.)

@uniporn @tinker Afterall there are great free desktops. From my experience I think the issue is that we're not good as a community at onboarding people. I've seen too many get stuck at which distro to use.

Personally in terms of desktops I'm very partial to elementary OS's Pantheon, and I'm sure they've outshone both Microsoft and Apple in the design department.

if you want to be left out the discussion speak up, I will keep you in otherwise.

Yeah, I see this as an interesting problem especially since the choice made with the distro has rather small impact on the userXP compared to the DE which only limits first choice when getting "exotic" like something very new or something very few people use.

So using the wording of UI patterns the decision of building "your" linux setup basically lacks consistency to be intuitiv to newbies.

@uniporn @tinker My partial solution is not to recommend “Linux” to newcomers (besides it helps to avoid the Linux v GNU/Linux argument). Instead I recommend particular “distros” as “operating systems” with their default desktops.

@alcinnz @tinker
sounds very reasonable, though I like to point out to people the ability to switch between various DEs and the main reason I see between major distros is the PM and the repos. Wherefor I usually recommend Manjaro since it is quite easy to install, brings sane repos and updates in one command. For the rest I myself am too happy with i3 (which apart from exceptions I know not to be very beginner-friendly) to play around with various DEs :D

@uniporn @tinker True. It depends on who we’re talking to whether the system’s defaults, repos, and/or package managers speaks most to them. Or if they don’t like defaults, Debian’s a good choice.

Personally I find elementary’s defaults just perfect for me, but it’s the software freedom I value recommending to others.

P.S. I wonder how well the GNOME3 or Pantheon apps play with i3? Because I’m aware of a design difference there that’d need to be configured away.

@alcinnz @tinker
> P.S.
Maybe I know / can try when you tell me what flaw / app exactly?

@uniporn @tinker It’s across all their apps (Noise, Epiphany, GNOME Maps, Audience, etc).

And the potential issue (though I might not understand things well enough) is that they’ve decided to merge the title bar and toolbar by leaving rendering of the window controls (minimise, maximise, close, etc buttons) to the app. As I understand i3 these controls could look ugly in i3.

@alcinnz @tinker
As of cheese these UI elements don't exist, neither does the toolbar :s (might be cheese has none, will try something rather light right away)

@uniporn @tinker Weird, but I guess I can see that. To achieve this programmatically GNOME & Pantheon’s toolbar/titlebar’s are added entirely separately from everything else.

This definitely needs to be figured between them.

@alcinnz @tinker
I might have started to type that text as an answere to the msg before the one I pasted it to. so sorry if I fucked up the context with that.

@uniporn @alcinnz - No, ya’ll’re fine. I’ll listen in!

@uniporn @tinker Also as a developer, you’re right. I can’t target my UI design to whatever Linux system the user has cobbled together. But I can target systems like elementary with a strongly defined experience.

And I can read standardised configuration files so my apps can work elsewhere. Maybe a standard like Flatpack will make this even easier for them.

@uniporn @tinker At the same time it’s worth looking at our strengths.

For starters we have standards for our desktops, which allows our apps to work pretty well everywhere. Even if they look best on particular desktops.

And second developers for proprietary desktops tend to be more keen on furthering their own brand rather then embracing the desktop’s experience. We don’t have as much (though still see some on elementary).

@alcinnz @tinker
yeah! I've read in some blog somewhere from an apple-user once about firefox that its UX was very "linuxy" (not the exact word but good enough) which collides with his designed OSX xp.

Where I think FOSS did some astonishing job with branding the UX of vi(m) which you find in really a ton of programms.
And damn is it user-friendly once you overcome the entrance-barrier :)

But I see that this is an issue for people used to windows, whichs UX I don't understand well at all.

@uniporn @tinker Yeah, except for me I find Chrome clashes worse than Firefox on elementary. They both seem to have decided they don’t care what constitutes as a “native” UX, though Firefox has gotten better after Quantum.

And I certainly acknowledge the importance of branding to UX, we need great icons and everything. But a UX issue I find (particularly on iOS and the Web) is that the level branding within apps leaves me needing to learn each one from scratch.

@alcinnz @tinker
Which explains the usecase for standards :)

for FF I find funny how you say quantum improved it: before quantum I think you could just override shurtcuts, now you only can add them which I find very limiting as you shouldn't accidently close your entire FF instead of just a tab... (which lead me to the workaround of disabling C-q on a WM level) and it made me switch to qutebrowser (which is mainly nice when you like vim (defaults :)))

@uniporn @tinker Hmmm, I didn’t notice that lack of configurability.

I’ll look into qutebrowser, but personally I’ve been enjoying developing my own browser. It’s easier, given a preexisting rendering engine, then I expected.

@uniporn @tinker speaking from the corporate mindset: we want one company we can call on when things go wrong. One desktop so our support team knows where things are on every computer.

@tinker The apathetic (almost self-congratulatory) attitude towards tech illiteracy isn't just a harmless quip from your local soccer mom whose win7 install is crippled with malware

Apparently its for Judges, Lawyers now too. Move over knee-jerk policy makers.

@tinker it's not the first time Microsoft was given a pass in court

@tinker Wow. I read that article, and I'm still kinda confused. So, as I understand it, this man was selling people a way to restore Windows on a computer, if they already had a license, right? He wasn't selling licenses at all?

Yeah, given the trouble I've had trying to restore Windows OEM licenses in the past when I've done reinstalls, I can see why they went after him. Microsoft probably makes good money each year selling new Windows licenses to people who (probably) don't need them.

@mdm - Yeah, it appears that MS was angry that he might be digging into sales of new computers and new licenses.

From the article, "Initially, federal prosecutors valued the disks at $299 each, the cost of a brand-new Windows operating system, and Lundgren’s indictment claimed he had cost Microsoft $8.3 million in lost sales."

They then lowered the cost of the "damage" to $25 per CD which is what they charged refurbishers, even though the software was still free on the MS site.

@tinker I remember when he originally got incarcerated. Poor guy.

@thatbrickster - It's fucked up. He was actually trying, and being successful at, addressing many negative issues in today's society. And, sure enough, was cut down.

@tinker Arguments over Microsoft licenses. Its things like this which motivated me to move to GNU/Linux in the 2000s. Fortunately these days there's no reason to run a MS operating system, except perhaps for games.

@bob - And even then, go take a look at Steam's Linux platform and games that work on it. Can play many games on Linux.

For me, the only thing that keeps many of my family on Windows (or a Windows VM) is MS Office. That's why I support LibreOffice so much!

@tinker I’m curious why your loved ones would be so beholden to Office? Is there some especial capability there without a FOSS solution?

I jumped ship to OO, then LibreOffice years before going full Linux. So far, it has been vastly more utilitarian for my needs. And that included organizational office work. What am I missing?


@Shufei - Excel is powerful and smooth. So is Word.

LibreOffice Writer and Calc are very good, but they are not as good as MS Office so far as polish and functionality.

They tried LibreOffice and other "office" suites. Couldn't do it.

We keep trying it out. With LibreOffice 6 out for a bit now, it's time to revisit.

@tinker Ok, makes sense. Glad it’s not a major deficit.

I vaguely recall a few UX issues when I switched to Calc that took getting used to. But eventually I got used to LibreOffice so the problem is on the other hand.


@Shufei - Oh yeah! I'm over to LibreOffice myself. And it's really close. Big reason why I support them. They're almost there for most mainstream folks!

@tinker @Shufei Second this. Unfortunately there’s also a boatload of Excel specific functionality baked into countless spreadsheets powering business

I mean that literally. Entire business, even some large corporations, make critical business decisions off Excel. Until LibreOffice has parity match in features and identical results, this probably won’t change

@cypnk @tinker @Shufei It's depressing that THIS is what FLOSS software is supposed to be aspiring to.

FLOSS should aspire to be so compelling that businesses are willing to put in the effort to switch.

@seanl @tinker @Shufei Microsoft inserts its tentacles early into the chain. When I was still in school, there wasn't a single class on FOSS software for businesses in the office. Everything was Word this, Excel that (emphasis on Excel). There was even "MOS Certification" (Microsoft Office Software Certification)

So we have newer generations entering the workforce already primed to accept proprietary software as the default and virtually illiterate on the alternatives

@seanl @tinker @Shufei Oops, that's "Microsoft Office Specialist". It's like Cisco for word