Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Daily Archives / Saturday, January 8, 2011

  • Jan 08 / 2011
  • 9
technology

Intel: That Other OS is a Slow Dog

No, Intel did not say that but they did implied that other OS on ARM will give a disappointing experience.
“In Salvator’s view, ARM may be just fine for such consumer experiences as those provided by Apple’s iPhone or any one of a squillion Android smartphones, but at low power-consumption levels it can’t have the oomph to provide what customers expect when it comes to a Windows-based machine.”

I think M$ and partners will compensate for that by developing more complex ARMed devices but they will then be more expensive and power-hungry. Of course, GNU/Linux on ARM already gives a great experience.

With the biggest “partner” of Wintel criticizing the developments of the mother-ship, how long can the Wintel monopoly last? Intel will find that GNU/Linux runs well on Intel as on ARM and Intel will find it profitable to be partner of GNU/Linux. It’s all good.

  • Jan 08 / 2011
  • 4
technology

Clouds and Freedom

RMS warns that clouds (Software As A Service) can be non-free. SaaS can essentially subvert Free Software by exploiting Free Software but because software is not distributed, cloud services are exempt from freeing the modified source code. For example, Google, which uses and contributes a lot to Free Software, does not reveal its code for search, kernel tweaks etc. So, using Google’s services switches us to using what is essentially non-free software, all the modifications Google has made to Free Software but has not been forced to reveal by the GPL.

Free Software has an answer to this problem, a cloud made of Free Software, OpenStack. The idea is to make a completely open cloud that reveals its source code and permits modification and distribution. There is no reason that the FLOSS model cannot also succeed in the cloud. Here, NASA, RackSpace and NTT have set up a FLOSS project for cloud services. So far they have a compute cloud and a storage cloud, a great start for anyone, even schools, to develop private or public clouds.

RMS writes, ” If you must use a server, use a server whose operators give you a basis for trust beyond a mere commercial relationship.” OpenStack writes, “Why open matters: All of the code for OpenStack is freely available under the Apache 2.0 license. Anyone can run it, build on it, or submit changes back to the project. We strongly believe that an open development model is the only way to foster badly-needed cloud standards, remove the fear of proprietary lock-in for cloud customers, and create a large ecosystem that spans cloud providers.” I hope these viewpoints converge on a model of Free Software for the cloud because using servers is vital to IT. The power of a network does vary as the square of the number of nodes and IT needs clouds.

GNU actually discourages the use of the term “cloud” as lacking specificity, hiding the threat to Freedom.

  • Jan 08 / 2011
  • 6
technology

Matt Asay Does Not Get Freedom

“In sum, while it can certainly be profitable to initially focus on commoditizing an old market, successful open-source vendors will be those that learn to enter newly minted markets or innovate their own. Otherwise they’ll be left standing on the charred remains of a dead or dying market, losers even as they win.”

According to Matt Asay setting the world Free amounts to “losing”. My pet market is the desktop. It may be a mature market but forever there will be a market for personal computing where individuals partake of creating, finding, modifying, storing and presenting information. Freedom in that market is important for billions of humans and their software and hardware. How is freeing that market losing? It is lazy business that insists on operating in a growing market only. Real businesses that work for a living can succeed in a mature market.

So, we see where the leadership of Ubuntu is going. They are trying to become the new M$, locking-in customers, persuing the mighty dollar at all costs to Freedom and abandoning the desktop to the dinosaur monopoly. How weak is that leadership that is so easily lead astray by the next shiny thing while abandoning human values? I will choose leadership with real values any day.

see “If you open source an old market, are you doomed to fail?/
Going down with a closed ship”