Updates for 2009-09-02

  • It seems yesterday was just the beggining of a Dilbert run on Microsoft and OOXML #
  • O site do PS exige flash para poder enviar um contacto #fail #
  • O site do PSD tem um formulário web. Bem melhor, mas o ideal seria também ter um endereço de email. #
  • O do CDS-PP é tão mau quanto o do PS em termos de flash, mas pelo menos tem um email para contacto. #
  • O do PCP força o redireccionamento para a página do evento Avante 2009. Sem contactos. #fail #
  • No site do BE também não se percebe nenhuma forma de contacto. Estará escondido no flash do topo? #fail #
  • Conclusão: apenas o PSD e o CDS-PP facilitam o contacto electrónico com potenciais eleitores, sendo que o CDS é melhor pois dá um email. #
  • Conclusão: nenhum dos maiores partidos está preparado para usar a Internet como forma de contacto bidireccional com potenciais eleitores. #
  • Pois mesmo no caso do CDS-PP, essa forma de contacto está muito escondida… #
  • @amrlima pois… não faço a menor ideia… não vejo nada… # Updates for 2009-09-01

  • Ahahahaha Dilbert focuses on #standards meetings. Why does this remind me of Microsoft? #
  • Tenho a ligeira sensação que alguns políticos só continuam na política apesar das vergonhas que passam pq não sabem fazer mais nada… #
  • My views regarding Nokia and Free Software, specially WRT Nokia N900 !gnu #
  • @jwildeboer quite different, I must disagree with you. It’s not a matter of firmware running on a seperate chip but of essencial drivers. #
  • @jwildeboer firmware (calypso is gsm in !freerunner) on separate chips isn’t a perfect solution, but is 10^1 better than drivers. #
  • ♻ @hub: Happy mailman day #
  • just love to have lunch at a nice splanade under a shadow and with a moderately warm sunny day 🙂 #
  • oh andthe cafe next door has free Internet so I have another excuse to use !elmdentica he he he #
  • @jwildeboer didn’t understand you, how what works with Android? My PoV or the !freerunner? #
  • @dotslash sometimes that happens with !elmdentica, but I think that it’s an uncaught http error (perhaps 503 on Gotta add debug. #
  • o fdp: deixa máquina avariada por 258 dias, faz-se de herói fazendo de conta que acabou de avariar, reinstala sistema, impedindo meu acesso #
  • Já se foi embora, ufa, mas se ouvirem o nome “Pedro Hugo Vilaça” saibam o estilo de pessoa que estarão a receber: competente, mas fdp. #
  • Facas nas costas é uma especialidade (segundo consta, uma vez que pelos vistos nem fui o único). #
  • @AlbertaMF por muito que goste do Rodrigo Leão, significa que o seu site agora é inacessível para mim (e muitos outros). #
  • @AlbertaMF a Internet é feita de Normas Abertas e não de formatos proprietários, se quiser fazer um programa sobre isso, estou disponível 🙂 #
  • @vitorcosta pergunte lá ao Rodrigo Leão se nos próximos concertos vai exigir o certificado de ter uma licença Microsoft para entrar. 🙁 #
  • @vitorcosta porque é isso que está a fazer no novo site do Rodrigo Leão. #
  • @dotslash that’s great! 🙂 I’m glad you like !elmdentica as well (I still have to implement DM support, though). #
  • @microft só se a gateway => tivesse tido algum problema. #

Nokia’s Free Software bullshit and insults in Maemo

Remember when Nokia wanted to give a lesson regarding software patents to Free Software people? Like «they’re ‘m’kay? We know best, m’kay?»

Well, I was really anxious about the Nokia N900, the 4th Nokia GNU/Linux internet device which now has the ability to make phone calls! It’s an impressive device… cell phone (3G, yay), camera with enough resolution, GPS, wifi, decent graphics card, powerful processor, a half-decent amount of memory, more than decent storage, etc…

It is also being branded as so “open” that software freedom lovers would love it. This seemed like really good news, no? Well, like the saying goes… when it’s too good to be true… it most probably ain’t.

I tried to figure out how “open” the device is, and wasn’t really happy. After more than 70 comments, Quim (who works at Nokia) spills the guts:

Nobody claims Maemo is the 100% free mobile OS and the N900 is the 100% free mobile device. I claim is currently the most interesting combination for a free software lover thanks to its standard Linux stack, possibility to modify the platform and access to the root. The % closed helps Nokia getting a sustainable business model and reaching consumer appeal.

Well, nice claim, but it is the idea that you (and Nokia) are selling. And worse of all, you seem to pretend that in 100% of an operating system, all % are of equal value. They’re not. The minimum percentage that is proprietary is essential for Nokia’s GNU/Linux devices to work. Take it away, and they won’t work, or might even burn in your pocket. Period.

If 100% freedom is your goal Maemo 5 and N900 is a good starting point.

No it’s not. There’s better if you want 100% freedom, what OpenMoko started. The company may now only be selling Freerunners to resellers who want to keep on with the business, but there’s new sources of hardware showing up (thanks go mainly to John ‘MadDog’ Hall who’s been in talks with the University of São Paulo, in Brasil), so no, the phone is not dead. It is actually growing a lot better and faster now it’s free from the corporate strings of OpenMoko, which partly restricted the flow of things.

But I digress, let’s get back to Nokia and its bullshit and insults to the Free Software community (I use Free Software because I prefer to talk about freedom, but these insults and bulshit also apply to you, Open Source guys, so pay attention).

There’s a wiki page in Maemo explaining why there are some proprietary software. That page needs to be passed by the bullshit filter, like I said in my comment, Nokia is far from being friendly to Free Software. They’re actually quite aggressive and strongly lobby for the legalization of software patents in Europe. Don’t be fooled by the sugar coating, they are not your friend. So what is in the wiki page after you pass the bullshit filter?

  • Brand We think that “open source” reduces our brand value
  • Differentiation Proprietary software is much better, just use it
  • Legacy We don’t want to be shamed by the garbage we forcefeed upon you
  • IPR & licensing issues Software Patents are good, just buy the freaking licenses from us.
  • Security Since we sell dangerous products, we take your freedom away so you don’t make the mistake of getting proof they’re crap (like their batteries, which the phones must know the limits of)
  • Third party Just accept that we know best and choose from the best

While the “security” aspect could be of some value for some people, let me give you an example of how much crap it is:

Nokia’s batteries are dumb. So dumb, in fact, that their phones have to know what batteries they carry in order to not overcharge.

What if the battery was smarter, and had a way to tell the operating system it’s full? If a little company like OpenMoko had it, why wouldn’t Nokia have it? It’s one of the most dangerous equipments in the phone, so I guess that’s what they refer to when they talk about security and some of the energy related software is *closed*.

That’s evidence of crappy hardware.

Sorry, disappointing. Will wait for the competition unless this changes.

BTW, someone said that even OpenMoko has some proprietary software… well, as Mickey Laurer explained it

«There’s a difference between closed firmware providing a standard protocol and a proprietary ASIC providing a closed-source binary driver using a proprietary command language to talk to the hardware.

None of the Nxx tablets are fully functional with free software. The FreeRunner is.»

Indeed it is!

root@om-gta02 ~ $ cat /proc/sys/kernel/tainted

So there you go! There’s much better, in terms of freedom, so don’t settle for less just because it’s fancier.

Demand more! It’s your right as a software user, and your power as a consumer.