Oh Deere, RMS was Right | LINUX Unplugged 89

Oh Deere, RMS was Right | LINUX Unplugged 89

Manufactures claims software integrated with hardware means the end user never truly owns the device, and simply owns a license to use it. Our panel discusses the real world ramifications of this.

Plus MacBook Linux woes, the quick look at the ThinkPad Yoga 3 running Linux, the biggest systemd myth busted & more!

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Show Notes:


Novena | Crowd Supply

A new open-hardware computing platform, flexible and powerful, designed for use as a desktop, laptop, or standalone board.

Novena is a 1.2GHz, Freescale quad-core ARM architecture computer closely coupled with a Xilinx FPGA. It’s designed for users who care about Free Software and open source, and/or want to modify and extend their hardware: all the documentation for the PCBs is open and free to download, the entire OS is buildable from source, and it comes with a variety of features that facilitate rapid prototyping.

Catch Up:

Elogind is an attempt to rip logind out of systemd. logind integrates with PAM to expose the org.freedesktop.login1 interface over D-Bus. It also integrates with polkit to let polkit know who is logged in at the console. Gnome-session and gnome-settings-daemon both have logind integration of some kind, using the d-bus interface, and actually the logind support is necessary for basic things to work like backlight control and suspend/resume.
Anyway. I forked the systemd repo and removed most of the non-logind parts.

The votes have been tallied and Neil McGovern has been elected as the new Debian Project Leader. Neil McGovern was elected on a platform which promotes the implementation of personal package archives (PPAs) which have been popular in the Ubuntu community for years


Today we count over 25 million users and the numbers keep growing rapidly. The demand is coming both from enterprise and consumer segments.

Because Empathy no longer has any user experience advantages and its development prospects are zero, we’ve been thinking about replacing it with something else. Pretty much the only other GTK+ IM client with support for a wide range of networks is _Pidgin_which used to be the default client before it was replaced by Empathy

LinuxFest Northwest 2015

Bellingham, WA • April 25th & 26th


Linux Academy

ebay Macbook Auction Support Angerz Running Linux


We Can’t Let John Deere Destroy the Very Idea of Ownership | WIRED


  • In a particularly spectacular display of corporate delusion, John Deere—the world’s largest agricultural machinery maker —told the Copyright Office that farmers don’t own their tractors. Because computer code snakes through the DNA of modern tractors, farmers receive “an implied license for the life of the vehicle to operate the vehicle.”

It’s John Deere’s tractor, folks. You’re just driving it.

  • Several manufacturers recently submitted similar comments to the Copyright Office under an inquiry into the Digital Millennium Copyright Act

  • Kerry Adams, hasn’t been able to fix an expensive transplanter because he doesn’t have access to the diagnostic software he needs. He’s not alone: many farmers are opting for older, computer-free equipment.

  • Some companies have even leveraged the DMCA to stop owners from modifying the programming on those products.

  • What does any of that have to do with copyright? Owners, tinkerers, and homebrew “hackers” must copy programming so they can modify it. Product makers don’t like people messing with their stuff, so some manufacturers place digital locks over software. Breaking the lock, making the copy, and changing something could be construed as a violation of copyright law.

  • And that’s how manufacturers turn tinkerers into “pirates”—even if said “pirates” aren’t circulating illegal copies of anything.

  • John Deere: The company argues that allowing people to alter the software—even for the purpose of repair—would “make it possible for pirates, third-party developers, and less innovative competitors to free-ride off the creativity, unique expression and ingenuity of vehicle software.”

  • The pièce de résistance in John Deere’s argument: permitting owners to root around in a tractor’s programming might lead to pirating music through a vehicle’s entertainment system.

  • General Motors told the Copyright Office that proponents of copyright reform mistakenly “conflate ownership of a vehicle with ownership of the underlying computer software in a vehicle.”

  • Other automakers pointed out that owners who make unsanctioned modifications could alter their vehicles in bad ways. They could tweak them to go faster. Or change engine parameters to run afoul of emissions regulations.

  • GM went so far as to argue locking people out helps innovation.

  • This week, Senator Ron Wyden and Representative Jared Polis will introduce the “Breaking Down Barriers to Innovation Act of 2015, which would substantially improve the DMCA process. Lawmakers in Minnesota and New York have introduced “Fair Repair” legislation that assert an owner’s right to repair electronic equipment they’ve purchased. They want equal access to repair information, replacement parts, and security updates.

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