View Full Version : Fantastic Linux\Ubuntu series on Daily Kos blog

June 19th, 2007, 08:34 PM
Hi, everyone. In case any of you are interested, my friend fareast has made it his mission to post one Linux or Ubuntu diary every day. His work is very accessable for newbies, and it has generated a lot of interest. His point of view is that open source dovetails with the foundations of American democracy, and he advocates for the strengthening of both. Sometimes his blog entries are more technical, other times more philosophical, but they're always great.

Here is the body of today's post (I didn't copy the dozens of links in the text, though):


Linux: Victory
by fareast
Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 05:45:04 AM PDT

When you have to resort to threatening to sue potential customers, you know that you are trapped in a failed business model. Witness the attempts by the RIAA, MPAA, Microsoft and the rest.

In the case of the RIAA, threatening to sue: a dead person, a grandma who didn't even own a computer, and trying to force a ten-year-old to undergo deposition in lieu of a dead parent.

The MPAA has now teamed with AT&T to filter all your content for potentially infringing material, opening up everything you send and receive, be it email (forward to NSA), legal torrents (Jamendo, Linux distros, etc.), your internet messaging/IRC (forward to MPAA and/or NSA), pics sent to relatives and so on.

Microsoft has tried to spread fear by accusing the Linux and open source community of infringing on its software patents, and then gone on a rampage scooping up failed or financially shaky Linux vendors Novell, Xandros, and Linspire, offering the customers of those commercial distributions patent protection from any legal action, something that Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth has likened to something close to racketeering.

Though Microsoft has failed to name any of the so-called infringements, they have given a number: 235. The major Linux vendors, such as IBM, Debian, Red Hat, Mandriva, and Canonical have replied in no uncertain terms that they will not make a deal of this nature, as there is simply nothing solid to these charges.

Open source users, i.e., you and me (and millions more) have responded by shunning those who have made these unsavory deals, switching to different distributions to avoid giving any legitimacy to these greedy companies.

And let's not forget the telecommunications companies; AT&T was roundly vilified for agreeing to allow the NSA to use its lines to wiretap (without warrant) normal US citizens without any apparent sign of wrongdoing on their parts, likely as a quid pro quo for allowing them to buy up smaller telcos and re-institute the glory days of Ma Bell, the monopoly.

Now AT&T has found another master to serve: Hollywood. In addition to spying on your phone conversations, they are now going to inspect all your downloads/uploads for potential infringement of intellectual property rights that were granted these media giants in perpetuity. Intellectual property is the new national security.

Media giants have gone as far as suggesting that rape, murder, robbery,theft and muggings are much less significant than the potential losses they may have experienced due to intellectual property infringement, or as they like to refer to it: Piracy!!!!!!!!.

And if you want all the features on that brand new shiny iPhone: forget it. One and only one provider will allow for the service, and they are already removiing features built in to the phone, all so they can tack on more charges and ask you to sign up for the 'premium' service.

These are the same media giants who want everyone to pay them for every view and every listen to anything digital, and will sic their legal hounds on you if you try and resist. The same ones who have refused to report on the real crimes going on in the world, crimes in the Middle East, crimes related to the CIA, crimes related to government cover-ups, all through their subsidiary 'news' divisions.

The media giants, the telcos, and Microsoft have their monopolies in place; if you want another choice, then you may as well move to another country. The US is currently 24th out of 30 nations in broadband connectivity, and sinking further every day. While the rest of the world gets more wired, more open source, and more transparent, the US races in the opposite direction. All for the benefit of a few already ultra-wealthy CEOs and the like.

Moves are under way to restrict even further the internet, the greatest democratizing instrument of all time. How much more restricted can things get? People are paying as much as $2000 dollars a year for cable, and still being asked to pay more, through the classic bait and switch; telcos are randomly shutting off people's broadband connections, if they are suspected of being 'pirates'; what you say on the phone is listened to, what you upload and download is sniffed, what you say online is carefully monitored.

How much longer before trying to log in here hits one of their filters? It would take but a minor adjustment to their 'filters' to refuse to connect you to sites that they deem dangerous, either for reasons of intellectual property infringement and/or national security. Not that there's much difference in that department these days.

When you have sent everything overseas to save on labor costs (manufacturing, food, toothpaste (!!?) and limited consumer choice to one (or at best two), then the only thing left to monetize is intellectual property, just about the only thing left that the US produces of value anymore.

There is another way, one that more and more of the world is following; something that is inevitable, once the fraud that is software patents and intellectual property is rejected by the rest of the world--open source software.

It's time to disempower the monopolies, and step out from their threatening shadows; no more FUD, no more lies, no more succumbing to their scare tactics. As this author so rightly points out:

I think one that far too many Linux fans miss is that Microsoft is surrendering to Linux.

Microsoft dismissed Linux for years. Then, they sneered at it. Now, they're working with it.

Take back your TV. Take back your computer. Take back the internet. Get rid of the chokehold they have on your right to free and open information. Enough with the spying. Enough with the lying. It's time to take it all back, for yourself, for the nation, and for the world.

Isn't that reason enough to learn something new? Enough reason to further green the planet? Enough reason to give more education and information to all the poor in the world (including here)? Enough reason to protect your voting rights? Open source software, the only free choice.

Wow, eh?

All of his blog entries (called "diaries" at Daily Kos) can be found here: http://fareast.dailykos.com/