The snark is strong with this one.

It's one thing to take a product that is already cheap and just fine and replace it with a vastly more expensive version that locks people into exploitative proprietary systems for years in exchange for giving them a 15 second hit of dopamine derived from Going Digital. I mean, Quip and Juicero and whatever Silicon Valley dildo company is selling dongs with DRM-equipped replaceable heads are actually fundamentally selling you a product. It's a horribly, uselessly expensive product that could only be embraced by chumps, but it's a tangible thing. The real next level is just inserting yourself into someone else's transaction and collecting a % while offering nothing. (When this is a job, we call it "consulting.") Why charge a lot for the blades when you can charge a lot for literally nothing?

RentBerry is useful here because the word "rent" is literally in the name. Here's the value proposition that RentBerry offers. For landlords who are already raking in record profits, RentBerry provides a chance at making even more, as potential tenants must set upon each other in a dystopian nightmare auction system that compels them to ask, how much am I willing to pay to avoid sleeping in the park, really? For tenants, RentBerry offers... well, the opportunity to pay more in a pre-existing housing crisis, the chance to make the process of finding an apartment an even more horrific exercise in stress and disappointment, a reason to hate faceless strangers with even more intensity, and more reason to view city life as a ceaseless Nietzschean struggle from which they will never escape. What RentBerry gets in return is, eventually, a % of your already hideously overpriced rent, for the duration of the lease. I bet you can't wait to know a portion of your rent check is going not just to the landlord you hate but also to a company that did nothing beyond giving him the ability to take more of your money! Of course, if you live in New York, your "landlord" might very well be a hedge fund that also funded RentBerry! Sweet, right?

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Posted Fri Apr 28 06:30:25 2017 Tags:

US citizens: call on the senate to pass SJRes 40, which would call on the troll to certify that Salafi Arabia is not arming al-Qa'ida before selling the former any more arms.

I would go further. The US should refrain from meddling in Yemen. By doing so, it has prolonged the civil war there which has since led to famine.

More fundamentally, Salafi Arabia is responsible for the spread of virulent, jihadi forms of Islam, that have reached the point of murdering the believers in civil, neighborly Muslims. It has funded this for decades.

The US has done plenty to inspire Muslims' hostility: first supporting Israel's occupation of Palestine, and since 15 years ago fighting wars of aggression in the Middle East. However, these work together with the spread of Salafism.

Posted Fri Apr 28 00:00:00 2017 Tags:

US citizens: phone your congresscritter at (202) 224-3121 and say, "I urge you to invoke the War Powers Resolution to force a debate and vote before the U.S. helps Saudi Arabia push Yemen into famine by bombing the port of Hodeida."

More info is in this petition, which I suggest signing.

Posted Fri Apr 28 00:00:00 2017 Tags:

I am looking for people to write site-specific Firefox extensions or local scripts to operate specific web sites.

Posted Fri Apr 28 00:00:00 2017 Tags:

Natanyahu gave the German foreign minister an ultimatum: "Cancel your meetings with Israeli human rights groups or I won't meet with you." The minister did not obey.

Posted Thu Apr 27 00:00:00 2017 Tags:

Three journalists have been murdered, one by one, in the Maldive Islands.

It goes with the tyranny that was set up after the overthrow of the only elected president, Nasheed. I suspect that oil interests played a role in the coup that overthrew Nasheed, because he campaigned at the global level to curb the greenhouse gas emissions that will eliminate the Maldive Islands.

Posted Thu Apr 27 00:00:00 2017 Tags:
Posted Thu Apr 27 00:00:00 2017 Tags:

The Tories' intentional delay in welfare support has driven the need for food banks to a record level.

The Tories are lower than vermin — Aneurin Bevan.

Posted Thu Apr 27 00:00:00 2017 Tags:

Due to Tory cuts in support for the poor, 3 million British children can't eat right at the times of year when school is not feeding them.

Posted Thu Apr 27 00:00:00 2017 Tags:

Most of the troll's executive orders don't really change anything. They only start a procedure that might possibly change something.

That doesn't make them harmless. The agencies that will carry out these procedures are run by saboteurs appointed by the troll, and they will do their utmost to take advantage of these opportunities for sabotage.

Posted Thu Apr 27 00:00:00 2017 Tags:

Calling on Disney, Pepsico, and the Gap to quit the US Chamber of Commerce.

Posted Thu Apr 27 00:00:00 2017 Tags:
DNA Lounge update, wherein you really can't guess the code.
Posted Wed Apr 26 22:08:19 2017 Tags:

[ This blog was crossposted on Software Freedom Conservancy's website. ]

I am honored to be a co-author and editor-in-chief of the most comprehensive, detailed, and complete guide on matters related to compliance of copyleft software licenses such as the GPL. This book, Copyleft and the GNU General Public License: A Comprehensive Tutorial and Guide (which we often call the Copyleft Guide for short) is 155 pages filled with useful material to help everyone understand copyleft licenses for software, how they work, and how to comply with them properly. It is the only document to fully incorporate esoteric material such as the FSF's famous GPLv3 rationale documents directly alongside practical advice, such as the pristine example, which is the only freely published compliance analysis of a real product on the market. The document explains in great detail how that product manufacturer made good choices to comply with the GPL. The reader learns by both real-world example as well as abstract explanation.

However, the most important fact about the Copyleft Guide is not its useful and engaging content. More importantly, the license of this book gives freedom to its readers in the same way the license of the copylefted software does. Specifically, we chose the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 4.0 license (CC BY-SA) for this work. We believe that not just software, but any generally useful technical information that teaches people should be freely sharable and modifiable by the general public.

The reasons these freedoms are necessary seem so obvious that I'm surprised I need to state them. Companies who want to build internal training courses on copyleft compliance for their employees need to modify the materials for that purpose. They then need to be able to freely distribute them to employees and contractors for maximum effect. Furthermore, like all documents and software alike, there are always “bugs”, which (in the case of written prose) usually means there are sections that are fail to communicate to maximum effect. Those who find better ways to express the ideas need the ability to propose patches and write improvements. Perhaps most importantly, everyone who teaches should avoid NIH syndrome. Education and science work best when we borrow and share (with proper license-compliant attribution, of course!) the best material that others develop, and augment our works by incorporating them.

These reasons are akin to those that led Richard M. Stallman to write his seminal essay, Why Software Should Be Free. Indeed, if you reread that essay now — as I just did — you'll see that much of the damage and many of the same problems to the advancement of software that RMS documents in that essay also occur in the world of tutorial documentation about FLOSS licensing. As too often happens in the Open Source community, though, folks seek ways to proprietarize, for profit, any copyrighted work that doesn't already have a copyleft license attached. In the field of copyleft compliance education, we see the same behavior: organizations who wish to control the dialogue and profit from selling compliance education seek to proprietarize the meta-material of compliance education, rather than sharing freely like the software itself. This yields an ironic exploitation, since the copyleft license documented therein exists as a strategy to assure the freedom to share knowledge. These educators tell their audiences with a straight face: Sure, the software is free as in freedom, but if you want to learn how its license works, you have to license our proprietary materials! This behavior uses legal controls to curtail the sharing of knowledge, limits the advancement and improvement of those tutorials, and emboldens silos of know-how that only wealthy corporations have the resources to access and afford. The educational dystopia that these organizations create is precisely what I sought to prevent by advocating for software freedom for so long.

While Conservancy's primary job provides non-profit infrastructure for Free Software projects, we also do a bit of license compliance work as well. But we practice what we preach: we release all the educational materials that we produce as part of the Copyleft Guide project under CC BY-SA. Other Open Source organizations are currently hypocrites on this point; they tout the values of openness and sharing of knowledge through software, but they take their tutorial materials and lock them up under proprietary licenses. I hereby publicly call on such organizations (including but not limited to the Linux Foundation) to license materials such as those under CC BY-SA.

I did not make this public call for liberation of such materials without first trying friendly diplomacy first. Conservancy has been in talks with individuals and staff who produce these materials for some time. We urged them to join the Free Software community and share their materials under free licenses. We even offered volunteer time to help them improve those materials if they would simply license them freely. After two years of that effort, it's now abundantly clear that public pressure is the only force that might work0. Ultimately, like all proprietary businesses, the training divisions of Linux Foundation and other entities in the compliance industrial complex (such as Black Duck) realize they can make much more revenue by making materials proprietary and choosing legal restrictions that forbid their students from sharing and improving the materials after they complete the course. While the reality of this impasse regarding freely licensing these materials is probably an obvious outcome, multiple sources inside these organizations have also confirmed for me that liberation of the materials for the good of general public won't happen without a major paradigm shift — specifically because such educational freedom will reduce the revenue stream around those materials.

Of course, I can attest first-hand that freely liberating tutorial materials curtails revenue. Karen Sandler and I have regularly taught courses on copyleft licensing based on the freely available materials for a few years — most recently in January 2017 at LinuxConf Australia and at at OSCON in a few weeks. These conferences do kindly cover our travel expenses to attend and teach the tutorial, but compliance education is not a revenue stream for Conservancy. While, in an ideal world, we'd get revenue from education to fund our other important activities, we believe that there is value in doing this education as currently funded by our individual Supporters; these education efforts fit withour charitable mission to promote the public good. We furthermore don't believe that locking up the materials and refusing to share them with others fits a mission of software freedom, so we never considered such as a viable option. Finally, given the institutionally-backed FUD that we've continue to witness, we seek to draw specific attention to the fundamental difference in approach that Conservancy (as a charity) take toward this compliance education work. (My recent talk on compliance covered on LWN includes some points on that matter, if you'd like further reading.)


0One notable exception to these efforts was the success of my colleague, Karen Sandler (and others) in convincing the OpenChain project to choose CC-0 licensing. However, OpenChain is not officially part of the LF training curriculum to my knowledge, and if it is, it can of course be proprietarized therein, since CC-0 is not a copyleft license.

Posted Wed Apr 26 00:07:00 2017 Tags:
I am really loving what Google Translate does to this article:

Furthroat with a coarse angle:

Older farmers in the countryside have made a trip to Erla and Bjarni to look strangely on the beast with their blinky eyes.

"This furious bump has been named Einhyrningur. We saw what was happening in the sheepfold in the early spring when he came into the world, the horns were already gathered and only at the top. They have grown then straight up from the head of the ram, so now he looks like a monkey. We were really sorry for him when he was in search of retirement shortly before Christmas. As a result, he lived for a longer life, but most of the lamb shrubs that came into the world at the same time last spring, they went to a slaughterhouse this autumn afterwards, "says Erla Þórey Ólafsdóttir, a farmer in Hraunkot in Landbrot, but in the cabins Her and Bjarni Bjarnason, her husband, find the fantasy creature Einhyrning.

Although Unicorn is so pleasant, unusual as it actually shows, it does not make it a living.

"He can not live unless next fall, the gray. He is not a breeding breed, it is clear, he is mostly unclean and does not thrive well enough, he likes to be bad. But he is getting his extra summer now, "says Erla, who has not dug up unhappy stories to read for her children on the occasion of the furious quake on the farm.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Posted Tue Apr 25 20:59:35 2017 Tags:
DNA Lounge update, wherein we still don't have a parklet.
Posted Tue Apr 25 02:48:45 2017 Tags:
DNA Lounge update, wherein I don't know how to promote our Patreon.
Posted Mon Apr 24 05:16:23 2017 Tags:

Planet Debian upstream is hosted by Branchable.