back to article Stallman: Did I say Jobs was evil? I meant really evil

As if Richard Stallman's first pot shot at Steve Jobs didn't cause enough outrage, the founder of the Free Software Foundation has decided to clarify his stance – with some more criticism. Apple products digitally handcuff their users, Stallman observes. And the fact that they are pretty just makes it worse. According to the …

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Stop

You mean by installing 3rd party plugins or filters that let iTunes (or perhaps windows media player) do exactly this?

How about proprietary codecs out of box in linux? Or can I not apply the same logic there?

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Ugh

20 years ago I could see where Stallman was coming from, but IT has changed. These days he's about as relevant as Arthur Scargill, but with less charm.

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Devil

-Charm

Is negative charm even possible?

(former mining engineer)

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Anonymous Coward

Exactly. He may as well be walking about socialism and 4 day weeks rather than proprietary software.

These days the world is rights mad, DRM, copyright, patents and so on. The Internet has made Stallman's arguments rather weak as it has shown that when the masses have total freedom they tend to abuse it.

The real "freedom" failure is nothing to do with Jobs, it is to do with politicians sucking up to big business and imposing so many laws on Internet freedom.

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There is an anti-charm quark so I don' t see why not.

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when the masses have total freedom they tend to abuse it.

when the masses have total freedom they tend to exercise it.

there fixed it for you

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Anonymous Coward

Stallman is backing Android now?

Has he tried requesting the source code for Honeycomb, or actually most of the hardware drivers for any version? Not to mention the source code for all Google Apps that actually make the platform desireable. Oh, oops none of them are available.

It's a shame to see someone who has contributed so much to IT ending up as nutcase.

Hope he got that recipe for the Pepsi he likes, wouldn't want him being contaminated with non-open source drinks. I'd think he would carry his own cans of OpenCola.

That list of demands for the speaking tour is a true gem.

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Anonymous Coward

"It's a shame to see someone who has contributed so much to IT ending up as nutcase"

So he & Boy Wonder DO have something in common.

BOTH a couple of "nutcases" who did good things for the computer industry...then went all wacko on us.

Richard...time for your meds now. You just have to remember to take them regularly. You know how irrational you get when you miss a dose.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Stallman is backing Android now?

"Has he tried requesting the source code for Honeycomb, or actually most of the hardware drivers for any version? Not to mention the source code for all Google Apps that actually make the platform desireable. Oh, oops none of them are available."

Stallman doesn't dispute this which is why he points out that "Android is not entirely free software". The real world is more complicated than God versus Satan, you know.

"It's a shame to see someone who has contributed so much to IT ending up as nutcase."

It's a shame to see people not bother to read the words of those they criticise.

It's easy to snigger and use terms like "nutcase" when the object of derision actually sticks to his principles and doesn't pack up and go home when "enough shiny" has been parcelled out by everybody's favourite corporation of the month.

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Joke

OpenCola

wouldn't that go flat rather quickly!

yuk

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Anonymous Coward

Its the good old: Cant beat him.. well i can always call him names....

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Childcatcher

stall man

there's no such thing as free lunch

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Linux

Whats the problem?

The boy speaks the truth.

The only thing he probably doesn't want to accept is that those being handcuffed probably don't care, don't know any different or most likely both.

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Anonymous Coward

"The only thing he probably doesn't want to accept is that those being handcuffed probably don't care"

What is worse is that those who like being handcuffed squeal and whine when anyone points it out, in case the gods of shiny deny them their new shiny for even longer than their attention span, all because the gods must surely want to spite the naysayers. (This being an old trick from that tome of collective punishment known as The Holy Bible, of course.)

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Just like socialists speak the truth too, we probably should spend less time working and more time enjoying life. Except it is pretty unworkable in reality.

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"The only thing he probably doesn't want to accept is that those being handcuffed probably don't care, don't know any different or most likely both."

I am sure he accepts it, that is probably he main worry.

If people go along with being handcuffed then it does make life easier for developers in a lot of ways and it should mean you can guarantee that the limited software you let run will work perfectly. Now market forces will mean that the company which can guarantee 100% uptime will end up with lots more customers (think of all the Macs that ended up in media in the 90s). More market share for them means less for everyone else & a greater chance that other people will copy their business model and lock down their own systems too. This will mean that more and more lock down happens while less and less market is left for those who do not lock down until all the non-lockdown crowd go bust.

That is why he cannot stop campaigning and why he also does not support Open Source because what he wants is Free/Libre/Lunch/Beer Software not just software that you can have the code for.

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Freedom from responsibility

Completely understandable. There is another type of freedom that many don't like: freedom of choice.

Most people don't want a lot of options--it's an effort just to get through a day without hurting themselves. Thinking abstractly to arrive at reasonable conclusions is usually not possible. Ergo, follow the herd. Be a fanboi. Ahhhh, now isn't that easier?

Perhaps Mr. Stallman doesn't fully appreciate that the second you attempt to argue with idiots you become one.

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TINA

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/2011/09/the_curse_of_tina.html

what was that you were saying?

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@Giles Jones

"Just like socialists speak the truth too, we probably should spend less time working and more time enjoying life. Except it is pretty unworkable in reality."

Partly because more than half our money goes to taxes to fund socialism.

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Boffin

Become An Idiot?

"Perhaps Mr. Stallman doesn't fully appreciate that the second you attempt to argue with idiots you become one."

This is possibly true if your definition of an idiot is someone who cannot open his mind a crack to reconsider one of his conclusions about the nature of reality when someone with excellent credentials suggests reconsideration might be in that person's better interest. The problem is the non-idiot must determine, first, if he is dealing with such an idiot and, second, it is extremely unlikely any non-idiot in need of the same reassessment will now or in the future encounter this particular instance of the argument.

RMS is not an idiot and cares more about reaching the non-idiots in need of reassessment than conforming to social norms to the max so people will "like" him more. Indeed, that nonconformance can and actually has helped the message get more ink for decades. The fact the article we are discussing was published shows his eccentricity still gets the message out. He clearly reasoned long ago he must sacrifice likability as needed to get the message out. I presume he has inferred anyone who needs to like him before they can open their minds a crack is unlikely to make the reassessment anyway.

Meanwhile he endures the continuing marginalization efforts of so many who do not want him to succeed for whatever reasons. The ultimate marginalization tactic is the favorite in RMS' case (because he makes it so easy): persuade those he would attempt to reach that he is a lunatic and "obviously" nothing he says is worthy of consideration.

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Facepalm

"and it should mean you can guarantee that the limited software you let run will work perfectly"

Possibly one of the most rediculously miss-guided statements ever posted in an IT related forum...

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Unhappy

actually, some of us DO care

I am handcuffed by this stuff and it will be a massive factor in which smartphone I purchase next.

At the moment, it won't be another iPhone, nice and shiny though it is.

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Anonymous Coward

Haters.....

Stallman obviously likes an argument but not actually constructing valid ones.

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zb

Non-diet Pepsi

Wow!! The bastard. Thanks El Reg for that brave bit of investigative reporting. I will never think of RMS in the same light again.

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Meh

Tea and Pepsi?

Hardly outrageous demands. He even says he has his own tea bags.

He's a man of principles, and I admire him for it.

Hmmm... Tea...

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Thumb Up

He may be a bit raving, but I have to agree with what he says.

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Anonymous Coward

Stallman,

"You are in more dire need of a blowjob than any white man in history" (Adrian Cronauer)

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Anonymous Coward

But from his usual type of bird

I think that could hurt quite a lot.

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Breakfast?

"I do not eat breakfast. Please do not ask me any questions about what I will do breakfast. Please just do not bring it up."

Wow, what's the big deal with breakfast?

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poor taste comment - feel free to skip

'"Please just do not bring it up"

Wow, what's the big deal with breakfast?'

Bulimia?

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Health issue?

Perhaps he has a dicky tummy, and doesn't eat breakfast because he doesn't want to bring it up?

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Windows

RMS (Richard Matthew Stallman)...

...is the initials on all the drain covers on my way home from the shop whilst buying my tin of breakfast tramp-juice (Actually, the initials are the same the way to town, but inverted)..

Fitting, what??

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Mushroom

What?

Is this man mental? I gave up after the first few paragraphs. I'm sure he certainly knows how to spell jealousy.

If open source was the answer to all problems, we would of all bought into it.

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Mushroom

...would HAVE all bought...

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Anonymous Coward

Slap this man with a wet fish,

Looking at my iPod now, there are free programs, that I chose to install. On my Mac, I am running quite a bit of free stuff, some of which I wrote myself. Can't see how his reverse-RDF applies here.

Stallman is a complete anachronism. Get back to your eighties wonderland beardie.

Anon, because I choose to be free of his twuntery.

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Headmaster

Fatal mistake

You think that "free" means you did not pay for it. For that man, "free" has a very different definition.

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Anonymous Coward

Free

Oh yes, I am aware his dictionary has free meaning "must include source code and the ability to f*ck around with the application if I so choose, and be publicly available, and also not cost anyone a penny". I choose to disregard this bearded twunts definition as pointless as my programming skills are not up to designing an entire OS and application suite myself, so I choose to allow someone to do that for me and pay them for it. And at the same time, use their shiny OS on a nice shiny computer which has lasted perfectly well for 5 years so far.

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Anonymous Coward

"and also not cost anyone a penny"

Please just read the FAQ for the copyleft licences and be done with it.

"my programming skills are not up to designing an entire OS and application suite myself, so I choose to allow someone to do that for me and pay them for it"

But you'd like someone else to maybe have the chance to fix your OS and applications on your behalf should the need arise, all because the developers let you have the source code? Oh right: you didn't think of that.

The world doesn't end at the end of your nose, you know.

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Anonymous Coward

On Stallman

Really? Is that REALLY the case? Do you know what goes on in that man's brains? Unfortunately GPL is not really commercial friendly and that man cannot care less for developers who wants to support open source but wants to protect the monetisation of their products. (If he does, there should've been a commercially friendly GPL)

I spent over a week of my time looking into it and just no - the only real monetisation model for opensource projects is 'support' and 'licensing'. Which really won't work when you're building a good piece of software that won't get much updates or need much support. (Hall marks of a good developer)

I can argue as well that free(dom) software breeds incompetent coders. I'll leave you guys to ponder why.

Another point I want to make is, his free software movement is the same as asking record artist to give out every individual tracks on their song so that listeners can mix it to their taste and/or create Karaoke versions.

While it's great for the consumers, if you put yourselves into the shoes of the artist. I for one wouldn't want to release what rightly belongs to me where I can make the Karaoke version properly for audiences to enjoy.

I was once an advocate of opensource before I left Uni, then I turned to business and the real world.

On the topic of Steve Jobs. In a cut throat corporate environment, that is the type of character that can succeed, and if you're a technologist wanting to share your ideal world to the real world, the only way to do so is to succeed. I for one cannot care less if Steve Jobs was a bastard, at the very least, in my books he is way better than one Mr. Gates and respect should be paid to the dead.

Of course, I don't expect Stallman to ever understand the concept of monetisation, because his sense of freedom is very much tied with free beer, and until Stallman or someone from the opensource community makes the distinction clearer. I have little respect for Mr. Stallman even if he did create the precursor to Linux. Because he's the root of my problems and the problems faced by software and web developers today who are struggling hard to monetise.

If the economy is now heading in the direction of technology and depends on tech companies on growth, well here's one reason why it ain't gonna grow as quickly as previous boon industries.

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Big Brother

I accept licenses because...

I accept licenses because...I believe that artists, programmers, and hardware makers should be compensated for the time they take doing what would take me far too long to do on my own (assuming I could do it at all on my own). I believe compensating people for their time gives them the FREEDOM to pursue their dreams. Not having to do everything for myself gives ME the FREEDOM and the TIME to pursue my own goals.

If Richard creates a structure that lets all that happen without beggaring everyone I'm happy to consider it.

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my programming skills are not up to designing an entire OS and application suite myself

<cough>xerox<cough>

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Anonymous Coward

really

I do not want to worry unduly about the operating system. I certainly feel uncomfortable with the idea that I should rely on some amateur, who may or may not be a good engineer, to design and implement "fixes". I worked with someone like that - did not trust his shell scripts, let alone complex code.

No, I am happy to pay for professionals whose job it is to know, understand and maintain the most critical part of my computing environment (I used to be one of those myself and fully appreciate the difference between a part time fixer and a professional engineer doing his job). Even Google expects its programmers to be full time professionals.

If you want to pick up free scraps at any real cost to avoid any risk of spending money, carry on. I am too busy to waste time hunting around the internet for half-right solutions to bad implementations.

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Anonymous Coward

BS

"No, I am happy to pay for professionals whose job it is to know, understand and maintain the most critical part of my computing environment"

That would be understandable in a world of well-made, eternally supported software produced by a hyper-talented elite group of honest and dedicated programmers and designers.

In our world, on the other hand, it's pretty infantile. Much of the Internet runs on the "free scraps" you're not interested in, including all the networking on both Windows and Mac. A large section of the world depends on complex code written by amateurs for their compilers. Indeed, a great deal of real work is done in languages designed by those amateurs.

I doubt very much that you could in fact get your work done (assuming you have any work) without the contributions of the multitude of unpaid men and women who stand behind the state of computing as it is today.

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Headmaster

Free as in freedom

Are you free to change those programs if it doesn't quite work the way you want it to? Are you free to write your own programs for it.

No. You have to get Apple's permission before you can run anything on your iPod, or alternatively you have to jailbreak it.

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Anonymous Coward

Journalistic Balance?

Stallman rants (many Open Source fans think he has lost the plot)

Jobs can't respond.

Talk about a one sided article. Did they teach that at the school for El Reg Hacks?

Personally, I have a lot to thank Mr Stallman for but I have to say he is past his 'sell by date'.

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Re: Journalistic Balance?

What makes you believe a journalists job is to present balance? Their job is to either;

A) Report the truth; or

B) Present their opinion

Nothing to do with balance. Indeed, "balance" has become the shield of lazy and/or insecure journalists. "I can't (be arsed to) check whether or not what I'm reporting is the truth so I'll just put the exact opposite at the end to cover my arse and call it "Balance". ".

And are you SERIOUSLY suggesting that once someone has died they are beyond criticism because they are unable to respond? What a claustrophobic, narrow little world that would be. It would pretty much put an end to the study of History, too.

Truly Bizarre.

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justified ranting?

Maybe you could *thank* him for the some of those things by finding out the difference between open source and free software, which is one of his favourite 'rants'.

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Bah

It's amazing how many people who give no sign of ever having set foot in a newsroom still feel qualified to lecture journalists about how to do their jobs. Mostly this seems to come down to thinly-veiled assertions that any story that doesn't fit the carping lecturer's preconceptions and general hobby-horses must be some kind of gross breach of journalistic ethics, 'balance' etc.

You seem to be suggesting that hacks shouldn't report people being critical of the dead, because the dead can't respond to defend themselves. Applied consistently, this principle would have some interesting implications for the media's ability to cover all kinds of things. Obviously it ain't going to happen, and Jobs deserves no more protection than anyone else.

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Anonymous Coward

!!

But we read their stuff everyday. It is supposed to be written for us. So, as the reader, the customer, as with any other sevice, we are perfectly right to criticise their output if we feel the need. Have you, as a customer, never complained about some fault in some device or food or building, that you had no ability to produce yourself? Your are a long suffering saint.

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Spot the difference

What's the difference between Richard Stallman and Steve Jobs?

One's a megalomaniac who believes that he's aways absolutely right about everything.

And the other is.... oh, wait.

The problem is that they both had utterly different and incompatible views of what a computer should be.

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