Doing some Free Software Sniffing

Hello everyone! What a great day for Open Source, although the weatherman says a storm’s coming, especially for those of us in the United States.

On FSF/EFF, I stumbled upon a bill trying to be passed through the United States legislative branch called the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. In it, there are some interesting bits of information, such as an impending attack on file-sharing and P2P protocols including the ever-popular BitTorrent protocol, or the globalization of DRM in saleable music (meaning, no music can be sold without DRM, not in music stores, on the Internet, or through software such as Napster or iTunes). Frankly, I agree with the intentions of eliminating digital music piracy, but honestly I believe this is a step in the wrong direction, as this will light more fires than it puts out.

Also, according to FSF’s DefectiveByDesign.org website, an advocacy site fighting DRM and DRM-based software (link: http://www.defectivebydesign.org/blog/j-…-ple-iphone):

“Apple seems to have missed that last part – just like you can do on any other computer and many other cell phones already. Instead, they claim that users removing the DRM system are criminals, who should be prosecuted. They say that if you can modify your own phone – as in, if you install an application from anyone but Apple – you might deliberately bring down the whole cell network or make anonymous phone calls to arrange drug deals. You might also break your phone.”

This nice bit of news is extrapolated from Apple’s lawyers’ responses to a set of questions reproducible from here: http://www.wired.com/images-blogs/threa-…-sponse.pdf

The article has some quite interesting links to software being developed that runs counter to Apple’s intentions while oddly being similar to their products. Hmmm… Is this what happens when you add millions of dollars into a software development environment?

Whatever the case, it led me to some other interesting projects aimed at mobile device development. Some, like Symbian (http://www.symbian.org/), are more well known than others, while I haven’t personally heard about Openmoko (http://www.openmoko.org), a hardware and software initiative to create a phone platform, bootloader, OS, and application development community for mobile devices, all of which is completely open-source. There is also a major mobile phone OS platform being developed under that intiative by the name of Project Paroli (http://www.paroli-project.org/). Well, that’s all for now, but be sure to stick around for more in the future. One more thing: Is it just me, or do I smell the possibility of an OpenMoko/OpenFrameworks power pairing in the future? If you see their phone, you might have some similar visions. Bye everyone!

~ Shotgun Ninja