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15 Devices (Including 6 Laptops) Awarded FSF's 'Respects Your Freedom' Certification (fsf.org) 85

This week the Free Software Foundation awarded its coveted 'Respects Your Freedom' certification to 15 products -- more than doubling the number of certified products (from 12 to 27) since the program began in 2012. An anonymous reader writes: The non-profit FSF certified six different laptops, two docking stations, three WiFi USB adapters and two internal WiFi devices, a mainboard, and their first-ever certified Bluetooth device, the TET-BT4 USB adapter. The products are all from Technoethical (formerly Tehnoetic), a Romania-based company who previously had just one mini wireless USB adapter on their list of FSF-certified products. "In 2014 we started selling hardware compatible with fully free systems in order to fund the free software activism work that we've been doing with our foundation," said Technoethical founder, Tiberiu C. Turbureanu. "Since then, we worked hard to build a hardware catalog that allows free software users to choose what best fits their computing needs, while also helping with the funding of different free software projects."
"We are excited that Technoethical has brought out such an impressive collection of hardware whose associated software respects user freedom," said the FSF's executive director, John Sullivan. "RYF certification continues to gain speed and momentum, thanks to companies like them."
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15 Devices (Including 6 Laptops) Awarded FSF's 'Respects Your Freedom' Certification

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  • Coveted... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Sunday July 02, 2017 @04:43PM (#54731173)

    I don't think the author knows what this word means. The fact that only 15 devices were awarded an award that you get simply by meeting some criteria shows that the certification is not coveted at all. Quite the opposite, it shows that by-n-large people don't give a crap about it.

    • Yeah... I was abut to ask... coveted by whom?

    • Re:Coveted... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Sunday July 02, 2017 @05:17PM (#54731367) Journal

      It's quite remarkable: when twitter announces it's going to give people tools to block trolls and stuff they don't like, the "MAH FREEZE PEACH" crowd comes out in force declaring how it's such an awful violation of their rights to have people not listen to them.

      But when someone actually does something positve for real freedom there's just a bunch of naysayers saying how no one cares.

      Odd that, innit.

      • Re:Coveted... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Megol ( 3135005 ) on Sunday July 02, 2017 @05:30PM (#54731459)

        They aren't saying that - they are pointing out the facts. So it disturbs you people can see that (almost) nobody cares about this certification? Or is it that the same people can comment that the word "coveted" isn't really correct here? Anyway it's ironic (not like rain) given the content of your post...

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          Whoosh.

          serviscope_minor's point was that people only seem to care about things that aren't real freedoms (the freedom to, er, force people to list to you), but when someone does something that actually protects a real freedom for them they just dismiss it.

          It's coveted by people who care about freedom. There aren't enough of them, but apparently plenty of Twitter Free Speech Warriors.

    • by jbn-o ( 555068 ) <mail@digitalcitizen.info> on Sunday July 02, 2017 @07:11PM (#54731881) Homepage

      Coveted by people who value computing in freedom, and not evaluating only by convenience and price as most computer users are taught to do. This is another example of the division between a free software activist and an open source enthusiast as the FSF pointed out years ago in a couple of essays (older essay [gnu.org], newer essay [gnu.org]).

      /. is mostly filled (since years ago) by open source enthusiasts—business-first commenters for whom software freedom is never celebrated for its own sake (sometimes even chastising software freedom should someone dare to bring it up), and where any discussion of software freedom is begrudgingly tolerated only on stories where software freedom is the only way to avoid the calamity described in the story. Otherwise, evaluations come down to convenience and price with virtually no acknowledgement for how things got to be how they are.SaaS [gnu.org], pro-DRM [gnu.org] are the focus (even while virtually every DRM story is about how customers are being treated badly with DRM) with discussions focusing on tinkering at the edges (DRM scheme X is not as painful as DRM scheme Y) which tacitly accepts that DRM is right and proper, and plenty of excuse-making for those in power over computer users. It's sad for those who remember that /. conversations used to be far more insightful. Fortunately there are plenty of other tech discussions around these days and /. loses its relevance as /. has long come off as just another corporate so-called "journalism" repeater site with pointers to readily-available press releases. Interesting like watching a trainwreck, but sad knowing it was better and could be better again if more people were interested in mature discussions without belittling.

      • Coveted by people who value computing in freedom

        So it's the devices which are coveted, not the "award" itself.

        "award" in quotes due to this being the equivalent of a participation certificate in terms of how easy it would be for any technology company to actually get. ... If they cared.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        I sometimes wonder if this is part of a GCHQ/NSA operation to influence influential people and keep systems vulnerable and closed. Many posts could be right out of their guidelines (thanks to Snowden for leaking those).

        Or maybe it's just that the internet is getting more cynical and trolly. It's not just Slashdot, other tech communities have the same thing. Hack A Day had a huge problem with it, where every single project posted would be savaged and the person behind it trolled. They asked people to be nice

    • by epine ( 68316 )

      simply by meeting some criteria

      Colonel Klink couldn't have said it better, nor George Orwell. In the former case, Klink can't eff himself to find out. In the later case, it's guaranteed to be a movable feat.

      Splitting the difference, they once made a feature length movie about this. It was called The Right Stuff, the whole movie about a bunch of guys (fewer than fifteen that I can now recall) who "simply" met some criteria. Not much other plot. Just that.

    • "an award that you get simply by meeting some criteria"

      Name an award that you get other than by meeting some criteria.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        The Softpedia Editor's Choice Award. Someone uploaded a text file that just said "this program does nothing at all" renamed to .exe and it still won this coveted award.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    All products from technoethical so it reads more like an ad.

  • Protip (Score:2, Insightful)

    Product placements like this "story" would be more effective if they included a coupon.

    • Re:Protip (Score:5, Insightful)

      by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Sunday July 02, 2017 @05:20PM (#54731383) Journal

      Product placements like this "story" would be more effective if they included a coupon.

      So FSF awards are no longer news for nerds? I would say that what the FSF does is only of interest to nerds.

      • by Megol ( 3135005 )

        I'm not interested in this nor am I in love in the FSF and their ideas. While I have contributed to GPL software it isn't my favorite license as it removes freedoms compared to other licenses (but I admit the GPL makes sense in some cases).

        This obviously interest you which is good. Expecting others here to be clones of you is however unreasonable.

        • I'm not interested in this nor am I in love in the FSF and their ideas

          Well shit. Don't read storiea about the FSF. Like it or not, though the actions of the FSF are pretty much "news for nerds".

          While I have contributed to GPL software it isn't my favorite license as it removes freedoms compared to other licenses

          Nope, the GPL only grants freedoms, not removes them. It doesn't grant as many as some licenses, but it removes none at all.

          This obviously interest you which is good. Expecting others here to be clo

        • by Vairon ( 17314 )

          In your opinion, what freedoms does it remove and from whom?
          Who or what grants the freedom that it is removing?

    • That was my thought, if there was any company referenced other than Tehnoetic, I might see this as a balanced article.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02, 2017 @05:11PM (#54731331)

    The laptops are refurbished lenovo's. Overpriced, outdated crap. I am all for Free Software, but this is just getting pathetic.

    • Sheesh, the "Apple tax" is nothing compared to the "respect your privacy tax".

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      They are perfectly reasonable laptops. Decent spec, certainly enough for desktop use, nice Thinkpad keyboard, full documentation if you want to strip it down and put it back together, all parts can be ordered direct from Lenovo.

      If you want a really secure, free laptop then they are a good option. I bought one (not from them) and it's more than good enough for web, email and development. What are you expecting from it that it can't do, and why aren't you running that on a non-free workstation where being ful

    • The Thinkpads from those generations are good machines. While Lenovo had started mucking around with them, there's still enough of the old IBM genes in them that the keyboards are still very good and overall build quality is far ahead of what you get now. While dated, throw a SSD in and max out the ram and you'll have a machine that'll run your favorite Linux distro* very well and is perfectly capable machine for many use cases (obviously not all). My Thinkpad is even older and except for gaming there re

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02, 2017 @05:24PM (#54731413)

    T400, T500, X200, etc...

    They're reselling refurbished Lenovos from 2010. This is hardly going to represent a device most people would want to own or invest in.

    • They're reselling refurbished Lenovos from 2010. This is hardly going to represent a device most people would want to own or invest in.

      I would, but not through them. I'd follow their recipe, though.

      I'd love to have a laptop with all the basic features you'd expect like wifi and bluetooth (even if not the most fancy-pants varieties of same) which had zero closed-source binary blobs.

      • I too, would like hardware completely missing 'binary blobs'.

        However, what about the firmware in the embedded controller in the hard drives of these laptops? What about the embedded controllers in the keyboard, the pointing device, etc.? Those all matter too. Replacing some binary blobs in the OS and the top level hardware drivers is not "turtles all the way down."

        • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

          I too, would like hardware completely missing 'binary blobs'.

          However, what about the firmware in the embedded controller in the hard drives of these laptops? What about the embedded controllers in the keyboard, the pointing device, etc.? Those all matter too. Replacing some binary blobs in the OS and the top level hardware drivers is not "turtles all the way down."

          GNU considers "binary blobs" or firmware to count only if it has to be loaded by the OS into the device. Firmware that is contained in some non-v

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        I wonder why they don't sell X230s? Is there some hardware in there that isn't free, like maybe the Intel Management Engine?

        • X230 cannot support Libreboot in it's current form.

          The X230 has an Intel Core i5 (3rd Gen) 3320M / 2.6 GHz CPU.

          This CPU has Embedded Security in the form of the Trusted Platform Module (TPM 1.2) Security Chip.

          'Embedded' means it's literally embedded, built into the same die as the CPU.

          On older Core2 Duo systems like the X200, the Management Engine (ME) is on a separate chip that can be accessed with a chip clamp to read and write data from/to it. When the ME is physically within the CPU, the onl
          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            Coreboot supports it: https://www.coreboot.org/Board... [coreboot.org]

            Doesn't seem too bad, similar to the X200 in terms of there being binary blog microcode and the ME. Maybe it's the GPU.

            • With the X200, you can optionally remove the Intel ME, or just leave it in place. I assume for the price you're paying that they've gone to the trouble to remove the Intel ME. With the X230, you don't have a choice - you must have the Intel ME or it won't boot at all.

              I guess it boils down to just how "free" the laptop must be. If you can't accept the ME, in the long run you've now got a bit of a dilemma. You can still get by today with a Core 2 but they aren't getting any faster and you've locked yourse

    • That's what I was thinking, until I noticed the details say they pre-load the libreboot BIOS and max out all ram banks.

  • When you put it to sleep, it has to be in a coffin filled with dirt from Transylvania.
  • It's just hard to swallow how far behind these machines are technically. Why can't we get a major manufacturer behind us so we can get modern components? I can sacrifice a lot of things—even the slow, dual-core CPU doesn't bother me too much—but 8 GB of RAM is is simply not doable for me. Also the low resolution of all the displays is disappointing. Is there any reason that a manufacturer couldn't take one of these models that support LibreBoot and install a new, high-res LCD panel into them

  • re: https://store.vikings.net/libr... [vikings.net] not to mention the overpriced cpus vikings is trying to hoc on your "freedom" https://www.newegg.com/Product... [newegg.com] lol

Ya'll hear about the geometer who went to the beach to catch some rays and became a tangent ?

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