You often hear the terms 'free software' and open source used interchangeably but they're not the same. In fact, true free software zealots launch into a fiery diatribe on the issue should you even utter the words "open source" when speaking of free software. Free software is not related to the amount of money you pay (or don't pay) for software; it is an ideology. Free means freedom. Most writers relate the concept to free speech or free beer, however, neither fully illustrates the concept. Free software, as defined by the [URL="http://www.fsf.org"]Free Software Foundation[/URL] (FSF), comply with the [I]Four Freedoms[/I]. …

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While companies worldwide look for ways to reduce costs, shed dead weight from their labor resources and streamline their businesses, it makes me wonder if Linux will survive the global economic meltdown. Oh, I know it will survive in terms of us geeks who use it and tout its goodness. It will survive in ISP data centers, some cloud-based businesses and as the de facto platform for virtualization. But will businesses such as hospitals, law firms, trucking companies and retail stores adopt it for their productive operating system of choice? The answer isn't easy. The reason is that [URL="http://www.microsoft.com"]Microsoft[/URL] isn't …

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Do you need a reality check? Freedom isn't free. You have to work hard, and possibly even die, for it. Fortunately, free software doesn't require you to sacrifice anything but restrictions. Unfortunately, the powerful marketing machines constantly bombard and tempt you with semi-clever TV commercials, discount offers, inexpensive upgrades or feature hype in order to restrict your freedom. Purchasing proprietary operating systems and applications restrict you without cause. Actually, that isn't 100 percent true. There is a cause. You're restricted with the intent of imprisoning you and making you conform to their version of reality. That's the opposite of freedom. …

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I was talking with my friend, [URL="http://blogs.zdnet.com/perlow"]Jason Perlow[/URL], yesterday and he told me that I should back off of the free software rants because he feels that I'm entering the gray edges of freakdom. We laughed about it but it made me think: When does a strong belief in something become extremism? I've had two conversations with Richard Stallman about free software specifically and freedom generally. My conclusion is that there's a fine line between freedom and freakdom. My goal is to find that line and explore its dimensions. My first conversation with Richard Stallman (RMS) was a tentative discussion, …

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According to an ongoing debate over the GPL version 3, he does. How can this be, since Linus Torvalds, creator and chief architect of the Linux kernel, knows about software freedom and free software? He doesn't have a problem with what Richard Stallman refers to as "tivoization," which is the practice of using software available under the terms of a copyleft license but prevents the user/owner from modifying that code through the use of protections. Stallman believes that this is a blatant violation of your freedom. Linus disagrees. Stallman's argument: [COLOR="Green"][QUOTE]One major danger that GPLv3 will block is tivoization. Tivoization …

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Have you searched for Linux distributions that are 100% free? Did you find more than one that suited your needs? Well, here's a list of nine from which you can choose your favorite. Free means freedom to alter, redistribute, sell or release as a different product with no restrictions on you or your new distribution. [B]1. [URL="http://www.blagblagblag.org"]BLAG[/URL][/B] - Blag is an operating system. Blag has a suite of graphics, internet, audio, video, office, and peer to peer file sharing applications. Based on Fedora, Blag has just about everything you'd ever need for productivity and fun. [B]2. [URL="http://www.dragora.org"]Dragora[/URL][/B] - Dragora is …

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I had the honor and pleasure of speaking to [URL="http://www.fsf.org"]Richard Stallman[/URL] a few days ago while he was in New Zealand on a speaking tour. I had been in an email conversation with him over several days asking about which software programs he uses and I finally connected with him for some clarification and more details. So, if you've ever wanted to get the scoop straight from the man himself, you'll want to listen to the [URL="http://www.frugaltechshow.com/stallman"]podcast[/URL]. The conversation begins abruptly because the phone conversation is a continuation of that email dialog. We also got cut off at one point …

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Like many I'm sure, I'd heard a little of the Free Software Foundation - their petitions to the US Govt recently (and a public march if I remember correctly), brought a bit of a laugh. But I recently stumbled upon a new campaign being run by the FSF, entitled the "Windows 7 Sins"... you guessed it - timed around the release of the launch of Win7. Now granted, the [I][B]full[/B][/I] title of the campaign is [B]"Windows 7 Sins: The case against Microsoft and proprietary software"[/B], but given that noone else even gets a mention in either the body of their …

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The End.