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GNU is Not Unix Software Hardware

FSF Announces Hardware Endorsement Criteria 273

sveinungkv writes "The Free Software Foundation has announced criteria for the hardware endorsement program 'Respects Your Freedom.' From the announcement: 'The desire to own a computer or device and have full control over it, to know that you are not being spied on or tracked, to run any software you wish without asking permission, and to share with friends without worrying about Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) — these are the desires of millions of people who care about the future of technology and our society. (...) With our endorsement mark and the strong criteria that back it, we plan to bridge that gap and demonstrate to manufacturers that they stand to gain plenty by making hardware that respects people's freedom instead of curtailing it.' While it currently contains some requirements that many may find broader than what they personally need, the remaining criteria would make the FSF endorsement a useful tool when looking for devices that give the owner control over the device they have bought and paid for. The criteria are still open for feedback."
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FSF Announces Hardware Endorsement Criteria

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  • by Toe, The ( 545098 ) on Friday October 15, 2010 @02:24PM (#33910846)

    Just saw a semi-related post in the firehose: Scary USB marketing device [slashdot.org].

    So would a marketing gimmick/keyboard emulator which pretends to be a USB flash drive count as free hardware? :/

  • by Tekfactory ( 937086 ) on Friday October 15, 2010 @02:42PM (#33911064) Homepage

    Wonks are always going about how the Cloud is going to kill the PC, and how Smartphones and Netbooks are replacing the traditional PC market.

    If they are even close, which I doubt (were' just at the mainframe of the mainframe / PC cycle) then people who want more than a Smartphone or Netbook will need something.

    Catering to the market of tinkerers left over after everyone else has moved to the "it just works" appliance crowd, they are exactly the kind of people who will want machines they control 100%.

  • DoD and NASA? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tekfactory ( 937086 ) on Friday October 15, 2010 @02:46PM (#33911146) Homepage

    I'm just wondering if there are any traditional control freak agencies that would welcome such an endorsement?

    The theory being they could access all the specs giving them more faith in the system itself.

    Maybe the FSF needs to find a congresscritter who is scared of pre-hacked computers/servers/routers/switches with components made in China.

  • by natehoy ( 1608657 ) on Friday October 15, 2010 @03:32PM (#33911706) Journal

    I agree. While I like this movement overall, I don't think they should be shooting for this kind of exclusivity.

    "Works with Windows" and "Made for Mac" are marketing stickers. In fact, they are exactly the same kind of marketing sticker the FSF wants to use.

    It's the hardware inside the box that should count for the FSF endorsement, not the labels on the box. If I can hack the hardware and do what I want with it, why in hell would I care that the manufacturers have entered marketing agreements with Microsoft or Apple?

  • by TheNucleon ( 865817 ) on Friday October 15, 2010 @04:22PM (#33912348)
    There is a lot of criticism in the comments - for instance:

    Hardware mfgs won't go for this
    Consumers won't care
    There aren't enough people who _do_ care to make a difference

    Some of this may be true, stark reality. But if that's the case, then I ask, what do we do instead?

    A lot of us feel strongly that the rise of constrained, "walled garden" computing, especially in mobile devices (phones, iPad, etc.) is a Bad Thing(tm). These mobile devices, along with increasingly complex embedded systems, may well be the future of computing. These days, computing = access to information. Do you really, really want your information device to be nothing more than a puppet for someone else to control? We've all read the books and seen the movies - we know where this road ends. I don't want to go there.

    Already, the corporate-owned and operated consolidated media is doing its best to spoon-feed everybody the daily ration of irrelevant crap or pre-digested "here's what to think" news stories. And due to the trend we're discussing, soon the only place we'll be able to get any information at all is with our fully-controlled, censored, happy happy joy joy goodcitizendevices.

    But this gets worse, because once the corporations control everything, it's only one small step away from government abuse. Been paying [go.com] attention [eff.org] to the trends [eff.org] lately? Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-law enforcement, but there must be balance. When all tech is locked down and we have no choices, it will be too late to wonder if we should have just allowed it to happen.

    So, honestly, if this FSF effort isn't the answer, what is? Because as long as we want to remain a free people, we can't just stand by and watch, if not facilitate, as a select few take full control of the systems we rely on for our information.

  • by Required Snark ( 1702878 ) on Friday October 15, 2010 @04:51PM (#33912706)
    You are a socialist. Nobody has the "right" to make money. You have the opportunity to start a business and succeed or fail, but engaging in legitimate business is the fundamental right that you have. To assert anything else means that you expect a system that automatically generates profits for you. That would be socialism for business.

    The "right to make money"/socialism for business is at the center of the corrupt economic regime that dominates Wall St. It is standard practice to commit fraud because being profitable trumps the rule of law. The latest "robosigning" scandal is a classic example of how things really work. If you signed a fraudulent affidavit as part of a real estate transaction then you would go to jail. When Bank of America does it to save money then it is a "paperwork error". There is one law for big corporate American and another law for individuals. That means there is in effect no rule of law at all. And it goes back to people like you who think that making profit is a right. You are pro-corruption. It is this attitude and it's real world effect that are destroying the US and world economy.

Loose bits sink chips.