The time has come that I must speak out against the inappropriate rhetoric used by those who (ostensibly) advocate for FLOSS usage in automotive applications.
There was a catalyst that convinced me to finally speak up. I heard a talk today from a company representative of a software supplier for the automotive industry. He said during his talk: "putting GPLv3 software in cars will kill people" and "opening up the source code to cars will cause more harm than good". These statements are completely disingenuous. Most importantly, it ignores the fact that proprietary software in cars is at least equally, if not more, dangerous. At least one person has already been killed in a crash while using a proprietary software auto-control system. Volkswagen decided to take a different route; they decided to kill us all slowly (rather than quickly) by using proprietary software to lie about their emissions and illegally polluting our air.
Meanwhile, there has been not a single example yet about use of GPLv3 software that has harmed anyone. If you have such an example, email it to me and I promise to add it right here to this blog post.
So, to the auto industry folks and vendors who market to/for them: until you can prove that proprietary software assures safety in a way that FLOSS cannot, I will continue to tell you this: in the long and sad tradition of the Therac 25, your proprietary software has killed people, both quickly and slowly, and your attacks on GPLv3 and software freedom are not only unwarranted, they are clearly part of a political strategy to divert attention from your own industry's bad behavior and graft unfair blame onto FLOSS.
As a side note, during the talk's Q&A session, I asked this company's representatives how they assure compliance with the GPLv2 — particularly their compliance with provision of scripts used to control compilation and installation of the executable, which are so often missing for many products, including vehicles. The official answer was: Oh, I don't know. Not only does this company publicly claim security through obscurity is a viable solution, accuse copyleft advocates of endangering the public safety, they also seem to have not fully learned the lessons of making FLOSS license compliance a clear part of their workflow.
This is, unfortunately, my general impression of the status of the automotive industry.
gnubrunswick, Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠), roy, Dan Scott and 14 others likes this.
der.hans, Benjamin Cook, Benjamin Cook, Douglas Perkins and 13 others shared this.
@MikeLinksvayer, I do think license politics matter. I can't get past the fact that the bifrication of "non-copyleft good", 'copyleft bad" has won and been a great part of the cooption by Open Source of software freedom. But you and I should talk more about how I can modify advocacy to avoid it better so as to succeed in reaching those who are annoyed by such -- I suspect there is a way that I just don't see yet. I've been meaning to call anyway so I will after my current trip. :)
@Richard Fontana, I decided not to call out the specific name of the person who gave the talk. The statements were typical of those made by many different automotive industry representatives and their providers over a period of years. The fact that this particular individual wasn't any better or worse than others I've heard, so there was no reason to single him out. The problem is the general auto-industry rhetoric and talking points, not one person's version of it.
Conservancy's Executive Director Testifies in Favor of NYC Free and Open Source Software Acts
Software Freedom Conservancy's Executive Director, Karen Sandler was invited to offer testimony earlier today to the New York City Council Committee on Contracts. Sandler testified in favor of the Free and Open Source Software Act and the Civic Commons Act, both proposed by Council Member Ben Kallos, which would increase the use of free and open source software by New York City departments and agencies. Sandler made the case for the superiority of free software, pointing out the advantages it would provide the city and society in general. “Companies effectively hold governments hostage with proprietary software,” Sandler explained. A full copy of the testimony is available.
In the audience during Sandler's testimony were dozens of schoolchildren on a class trip, to whom she recommended SugarLabs, one of Conservancy's projects focused on kids. Sandler also took a moment to share her personal perspective on free software, explaining how she relies on proprietary software in her implanted medical device, which generated multiple questions from the Council Members. Sandler ended her participation in the Committee's hearing by providing an informal demonstration of GNU/Linux and in particular the GNOME desktop to the Council Members at their request. Karen concluded her testimony with “as a lifelong New Yorker, I love this city and know that shifting to free and open source software will better keep the city safe.”
Free Software Foundation's Executive Director, John Sullivan, Open Source Initiative's board member, Paul Tagliamonte and Participatory Politics Foundation Executive Director, David Moore also provided testimony in support of the acts.
Conservancy is proud to support municipalities adopting free and open source software!
Outreachy Launches Round with 30 Participants
Now Officially a Software Freedom Conservancy Member Project
Outreachy, a diversity program launched by the GNOME Foundation under the name Outreach Program for Women, launched its current internship round under the umbrella of Software Freedom Conservancy. This week, 30 participants begin their internships with 15 free and open source software organizations, including longtime participating organizations the Linux kernel, Wikimedia, Mozilla and GNOME and newcomers to the program Ceph and GStreamer. In addition, three applicants who applied for both Outreachy and Google Summer of Code (GSoC) were accepted for GSoC with organizations participating in both programs; and one more applicant was accepted for the OpenDaylight Internship Program.
This round of the program — the first under the Outreachy name — has a long list of sponsors. Intel has sponsored the program at the "Ceiling Smasher" level, the first time in the program's history to have a sponsor at the top level. Red Hat joins this round as an “Equalizer” sponsor, in addition to being a supporting partner of Outreachy.
This round signifies the successful transition of Outreachy to Conservancy. As the program moved to Conservancy, Sarah Sharp who has been a key organizer of the Linux kernel's participation has been appointed to the top organizing committee for Outreachy. Sarah serves in this role together with Marina Zhurakhinskaya and Karen Sandler, Conservancy's Executive Director. The GNOME Foundation remains a partner of the program, providing technical infrastructure. GNOME also remains a participant in Outreachy.
One of the metrics for Outreachy's success has been the extent to which many former participants have become involved in supporting Outreachy itself. This round, three Outreachy graduates became organization coordinators with three different organizations. Two of those graduates are also serving as Outreachy mentors. “With each subsequent round of Outreachy, we're seeing more graduates become speakers at important conferences, and find related employment,” said Karen Sandler. “We're excited to see Outreachy make a tangible impact in free and open software communities and provide real opportunities for our participants.”
Mike Linksvayer shared this.
Berlin, Germany May 23 & 24, 2015
“Terra nemo” is a Latin expression meaning “No man’s land”. Data Terra Nemo is a technical conference for discussing the ideas behind systems and protocols without centralized ownership and how they impact the landscape of the Internet.
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I don't recognize anyone/any entity, which could be a good thing: it's in the air.
OTOH and at the same time they could be relatively unaware of what exists.
BTW what to make of so many people/entities using medium for a blog? What is the next genre that seemed relatively safe from mass centralization that will fall to some combination of good UX and notoriety? If you were a VC wanting to make that happen, what would you be investing in? I guess email is so huge there is still lots of loose flesh to claw at. The web generally too, but neither of those is specific enough to be actionable.
Dan Scott likes this.
This is really a weird view of the "distributed" term, as to me it's in the contrary the extreme of decentralisation, while they talk about it as "centralized" ... to me FB is not distributed it's centralized, and a real P2P network is distributed, while Pump.io f.ex. is decentralized as some pods are localy centralizing the connections of the local users...
And yes, funny that this post is appearing on a centralized blog platform... :)
Large parts of Portland's public transit are shut down as POTUS goes from PDX to downtown Portland.
One way we're sure to not be able to make enough progress here is if we're shooting potshots at each other across the federation threaded divide. There's just not enough people here to fall in to infighting.
Stay positive, let's work together, and think about how we can identify problems and build a better fediverse! That's something we all want.
Three years ago, my husband, an open source architect and developer, killed himself. For years, everywhere, we had struggled together against depression, and worked together to try to make our world better. It was always difficult. He succumbed. I did not.
Admitting I needed help wasn’t the hard part. Figuring out how to explain the problem is.
“Yes. But it isn’t really free time. It’s all work. It’s all important. And I have to figure out how to balance the work I can make a living on with the work I can’t, because the work I can’t make a living on is more important.”
This also captures why I'm not really comfortable with people making "haha heartbleed" "haha shellshock" jokes on microblogs (especially popular on Twitter, it seems). They feel about as low as shitty YouTube comments to me. The next time you're tempted to do that to make yourself look cool, maybe think about this article, then consider: at whose expense am I taking this cheap shot to make myself look cool?
Damn, she is a frequent contributor to the hackerspace.be mailing-list, I didn't knew that drama ...
Yes there is a great problem in the way Free Software is not funded, neither from these Giants neither from the states, although our entire "civilisation" now depends on that "thing" (internet==free-software) ... and the coders that maintain it are pressurised by the financial system.
Free Software Developpers, you are heroes ...
I'm super excited for LibrePlanet Ontario. Met with Sergio and Rudolf on Monday night, and we've got a plan to get this thing moving!
If you know any software freedom lovers in Ontario, they should join the mailing list! (The three of us are based in Toronto, but we're hoping to get other teams in other cities running eventually if there's enough interest.)
Some days I just can't believe how much logic (IF THEN ELSE etc) is out there.
That sounds kind of trite, but I was just watching the CPU graph on my work laptop that I'm re-setting up and noticed (for the nth time) that multi-core CPUs pass off long running CPU-bound tasks to other cores on some cadence. You can see the switch happen in gnome-system-monitor. Makes sense, you don't want a CPU to burn out one core while all others are just sitting there (I guess).
<stoner voice>Our lives are controlled by billions of little logic if then statements, maaaan.</stoner voice>
Today I was tripping out on how humans are in a lottery to be have access to a society and technology that allows for them to build mental constructs of reality that aren't based on superstition and counter-intuitive observations of their surroundings, in varying degrees.
That's why I like computers. That's why I dislike religion.
I'm conflicted about computer religions. I don't trust religous computers.
the question is: what's more work for you, chris? your time is quite valuable!
Supporting sqlite has caused more headaches and slowdowns in MediaGoblin's design than anything else. Several months have gone into looking into building a half-our-own migration system, namely because sqlite is so bad at migrations that when we switched from Mongo->SQL, Sqlalchemy-Migrate was nearly dead and Alembic was the clear future of migration tooling in the sqlalchemy world, but we went with a hacked up sqlalchemy-migrate solution with a lot of custom code from me just so we could move forward. Later, Natalie Foust-Pilcher had to write some more custom solutions because certain kinds of migrations were actually not possible because sqlite would explode dramatically. As such, whether you're running postgres or sqlite, we have some hacky code that makes the migration system very slow and require O(n) time migrations where n is number of rows slow for each individual migration. Given our limited resources, supporting multiple clever paths is a bit too hard, so that sucks.
This has also lead to migrations in MediaGoblin being much more precarious and something I fear a lot more than they'd have to be.
This is the also most challenging thing holding up Python 3 support in MediaGoblin. The student who is handling the Python 3 port is having to handle moving us over and investigating how to handle sqlite stuff in Alembic. That wouldn't be a worry if we weren't dealing with it.
ON THE OTHER HAND: sqlite has made writing unit tests a breeze, has made setting up test instances trivial, and many other things. I really love sqlite! If it weren't for the alter table thing, it'd be just stellar.
My blogpost on the subject might have seemed a bit over the top. If you're responsible for dealing with the situation though, it isn't.
Also, regarding the "I don't want to have 20 different databases on my machine running!" I hear ya, that's a really bad situation. My current feeling is actually now that it looks like postgres is going to probably solve 98% of the current "NOSQL" document database cases, maybe the free software network services world should just decide that postgres is the de-facto database. That'd solve a lot of things.