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GNU is Not Unix Linux

Bringing Free Software To a Street Near You 78

Posted by Soulskill
from the first-hit-is-free-but-so-are-all-the-others dept.
Blug_fred writes "It's that time of year again; the nights are drawing in, the leaves are beginning to turn, and literally hundreds of teams of dedicated F/OSS enthusiasts from around the world are preparing to hit the streets in celebration of Software Freedom Day 2012. In an effort to increase awareness of free and open source software among the general public, SFD teams will be standing around town centers and shopping malls, holding talks at schools and universities, giving demonstrations and handing out GNU/Linux and FOSS collections for Windows on CD. With money being tight and paranoia about malware and viruses at an all-time high, the time is right to help consumers switch to the myriad of quality open source applications available. If you would like to check for an SFD team in your area and consider attending, be it to help out or simply learn more about free software for yourself, there's an interactive map to help you find your way."
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Bringing Free Software To a Street Near You

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  • by frovingslosh (582462) on Saturday September 15, 2012 @03:56PM (#41348015)
    With money being tight and paranoia about malware and viruses at an all-time high, the time is right to accept free discs from total strangers and install them on your computer.
    • by symbolset (646467) * on Saturday September 15, 2012 @04:10PM (#41348083) Journal
      Ironically, that is actually the cure for the illness. Sometimes life is counterintuitive.
      • Ironically, that is actually the cure for the illness. Sometimes life is counterintuitive.

        More ironically, thinking people who just want to get on with their life instead of fiddling with mundane(to them) things are ill and diseased is a sure way to connect with them. I am sure there are car geeks who think anyone who can't take apart a car and put it back is a moron for taking a car to a service center.

        • by symbolset (646467) *

          The notion of anthropomorphizing the PC, and treating malware as a metaphor for disease isn't mine. I'm guilty of pointing out these past years that within that metaphor the Windows environment is akin to living in a pestilent cesspool equivalent to the middle ages, beset by endless plagues and cursed with an understanding of their operation so poor that quack nostrums, leeches, bloodletting, self-flagellation, witch-burning, driving off evil spirits and exorcism are the only known treatments - and they ar

          • >..the Windows environment is akin to...
            Windows isn't stuck on XP anymore, as Slashdot posters seem to be.
            How do you explain the malware problem on Android then, there is no Windows code there?

            Google news search for Android malware [google.com].

            Not to mention the increasing malware problem on OS X. Also, why is there pretty much no malware in iOS?
            Perhaps there is a bigger problem with user run software than just blaming Microsoft for all the ills in the world?
            http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2005/07/the-dancing-bunni [codinghorror.com]

            • by symbolset (646467) *

              Dude, you're way out of your depth here. I'm feeling generous and I'm going to let this one go for now unless you post some stupid challenge reply. You probably will, and I'll have to draft the same tiresome reply I've put here a hundred times. I'm feeling perky tonight, so maybe I'll craft a special one just for you.

              Windows RT and Windows 8 are still unreleased operating systems irrelevant to the discussion. Unreleased operating systems often have claims of mystical powers unbefore known. But then th

              • No, you're the one out of your depth. I love how you ignored my points and picked on the fact that Windows 8/RT are not released.
                  Or you wouldn't characterize Windows as you did, but give Android a free pass on the malware. Android runs on the Linux kernel, so why is it malware infested compared to iOS? Are you going to answer now or beat around the bush like a politician?

    • by MrEricSir (398214)

      With money being tight and paranoia about malware and viruses at an all-time high, the time is right to accept free discs from total strangers and install them on your computer.

      Hey if money's tight, I hear one an make money building a botnet by getting strangers to install trojans on their machines...

    • by Shavano (2541114) on Saturday September 15, 2012 @07:06PM (#41348977)
      Is it really paranoia or is the malware really out to get me, or at least my computer and my money? Anyway, I agree. If some anonymous dude hands me a free disk, I'm going to trash it.
  • Post the Date (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pete Venkman (1659965) on Saturday September 15, 2012 @03:59PM (#41348033) Journal
    And when is Software Freedom Day 2012? Isn't that what the summary is supposed to be about?
  • This post makes it sound as if this is a big deal; but I can't think of a time I've ever seen even a single person - let alone a team - doing this in my city in general or at the university where I work.

    Unless these are the guys in shirts and ties that accost people on UW's Red Square every so often... but I'm pretty sure those folks are either Mormons or Larouchees.

    • Unless these are the guys in shirts and ties that accost people on UW's Red Square every so often...

      You'll be lucky if these guys are wearing deodorant and a clean shirt.

  • by philofaqs (668524)
    See how well the windows 7 sins campaign worked?
    • On the plus side, it's easy to update the 7 sins of Windows 7 for Windows 8. The Metro UI makes a pretty good 8th sin, though normal people are not going to care as usual and buy an iPad or iPhone which don't even have a choice of manufacturer to buy from.

  • Why handing out physical media? Any software these days require an internet connection for updates (which come in more or less daily, it seems), so why hand out physical media? I bet some people would not know how to use a CD for installing software anymore. I have not installed from physical media for at least two years now...
    If you absolutely must rely on old-times technology, print information on a sheet of paper and hand it out. Those who can be bothered will look it up on the net. The rest... you have
    • by antdude (79039)

      Not everyone has fast Internet connections. I know a few people still on dial-up! :O

      • So put in a link on the paper to somewhere they can order the collection on CD. Then both of those who may want it can have it without the geek squad needing to hand out hundreds of CDs to those who don't need them.
    • Well, I've read through their site, looking for what was being given away and a link to download it all. Can't find it. So I huess the physical media is needed, or at least you have to be a lot better than I am at finding the link!
      • The fact that they do not provide a list of software with related download links does NOT mean there is a need for physical media. It simply means they need to get their act together and put that information on their website.

        As for finding whatever they are giving away: I really really do not care exactly what titles they give away. If I need a piece of software for some task, I go out and find it. I do not wait for some geek to come around handing out CDs with arbitrary software collections. And I assum
        • Hope the discs they are handing out include full source for all GPLed software. Because if they don't provide a location to get the source for what they are distributing they are in violation of the license.

          • GPL does not require that you include the source. It is sufficient to provide some way for the user to get it. That means it must either be published somewhere (like on a website), or the distributor offer to send the source code on request. Most GPLed software will most likely include information on how to get the source code in the software itself (like my Samsung TV does on one of its help screens).
    • by Threni (635302)

      I would never install any software given to me by some random person on the street. I'll go to a reputable site, check out a file with an MD5 checksum, then install it. The idea that you'd take this stuff, install it then use it to do home shopping/banking etc is just hilarious.

      This stunt sounds like something a security firm would to do show how stupid people are when it comes to anything related to computers.

    • by anubi (640541)
      I find it puzzling why in this day of common gigabyte flash, why our machines aren't shipped with a basic OS in flash already loaded with minimal and thoroughly tested code for at least internet browsing Kinda like the old Commodore used to ship with Basic preinstalled - all you did was turn it on and it "woke up" at the BASIC prompt displayed on the screen before it ever began to look for disks or other peripherals.

      I want my off-the-shelf machine opening up a browser window pointed at 0.0.0.0 upon p
      • I think 0.0.0.0 [wikipedia.org] would be perfect for accessing one's own machine as no-one would put this address onto the web.

        There is already an address for that. It is 127.0.0.1 and it is called the "loopback" address. Any computer can talk to itself using that address, whether it has been assigned an IP address or not.

      • I find it puzzling why in this day of common gigabyte flash, why our machines aren't shipped with a basic OS in flash already loaded with minimal and thoroughly tested code for at least internet browsing Kinda like the old Commodore used to ship with Basic preinstalled - all you did was turn it on and it "woke up" at the BASIC prompt displayed on the screen before it ever began to look for disks or other peripherals.

        The Asus Express Gate software is something like that.

      • by unixisc (2429386)
        I agree that the BIOS flash should be expanded to a few GB, and the entire OS - be it Windows, Linux, OS-X or whatever - should be resident there, rather than put on a hard drive. It would seem to make it a lot more secure.
        • by anubi (640541)
          In my old DOS days, I had a floppy drive I had deliberately modified so any attempt to write to it would just trigger a piezo beeper. I had diagnostic disks loaded in it, and the beeper came in handy to let me know when some rogue program had identified the floppy and was trying to infect it.

          At that time, the "boot sector infectors" were common, and I wanted assurance that when I did a FDISK and FORMAT, I was re-initializing the target with good clean code. I could not trust anything that could be writ
          • by unixisc (2429386)
            I've actually seen a few such sticks, from MicroCenter IIRC. I'm not sure about the flashing LED part, though.
  • Did no one who planned SFD submit a post about it? Did it get hung up in the approval process? It would be nice to know so that someone will know how to do this better next year. When I hope there's a post in time for me to actually attend.
  • by reallocate (142797) on Saturday September 15, 2012 @04:51PM (#41348297)

    You're stil trying to convert people to your religion so they will use the software you like. People don't care. Stop playing missionaries and start marketing software that's either better than Windows/Apple or does something people want to do that they can't do with Windows/Apple.

    • by afgam28 (48611)

      Installing it for free is something that people want to do but can't do with Windows/Apple.

      • If they've bought a PC, they almost certainly already have Windows or OSX.

        • by afgam28 (48611)

          OK, updating it for free is something that people want to do but can't do with Windows/Apple.

          XP is only going to be supported until 2014, and Snow Leopard is already out of support. The kind of people who need a free (as in beer) OS are likely to be running older hardware and will only have access to an older version of Windows/Mac OS.

    • Fully agree. And there's nothing that makes me more sick than using words like 'Free software' and 'software freedom', when the FSF does not believe in your freedom to use proprietary software. Their jihad is all about demonizing non-GPL licenses, and their software is synonymous w/ lame features that hardly do anything. As an example, one would think that GNU Network [gnu.org] is actually a GNU tool that implements and enables all networking tools needed by a GNU system into that system. It's not - it's just RMS

      • by Pav (4298)

        You may dislike it on aesthetic, functional or even ideological grounds, but if you work in the tech industry it's helping to keep a floor under your wages and conditions even if you're working on proprietary and/or non-GPL software. If it wasn't for this "militant jihad" (as you put it) the big players would be sitting on stagnant monopolies closing out new competitors and we'd have an IE6 situation. Why do the big players even collaborate with competitors and the community on BSD code? It's a defence a

        • by unixisc (2429386)

          I disagree. A lot of the adaptation of Open Source, not 'Free Software', has been the result of the OSI convincing companies that it's a better development methodology, and working w/ them in addressing their concerns about protection of their IP. RMS doesn't even believe that there should be such an entity as Intellectual Property.

          What spurred it was a demonstration of its success by companies like Netscape in making the browser Open Source and seeing it recover some of its marketshare. As well as the

  • I just found an awesome new vector for Switchblade distribution in corporate parking lots. Thanks!

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