04.03.20

Clear Linux is to GNU/Linux What Clearly Defined is to Open Source

Posted in DRM, GNU/Linux, Hardware at 6:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Clearly proprietary and clearly vague and ambiguous terms (clearing GNU and freedom off the map)

Intel: criminal inside

Summary: The idea that we need Intel to take GNU/Linux ‘mainstream’ is ludicrous; as OSDL co-founder (now succeeded in the flesh of the Corporate Linux Foundation), Intel is more about Linux (with DRM, “secure boot” and everything that lets it be remotely controlled) than about GNU and it’s not too keen on GPL (copyleft), either

“FREE as in Freedom” is the motto or slogan imprinted upon the father of Free software in a famous biography. GNU wasn’t supposed to be just “another system” or “another UNIX” but a free system. It’s a paradigm change, not a branding change. There’s substance to it rather than mere identity. If geeks and nerds wanted to just advocate “not Windows,” then they’d be able to join the millions of gullible fools who voluntarily shill for Apple with its infinite moral deficit. People who look past false choices, buzzwords and ‘lifestyle’-themed marketing stunts understand the unprecedented importance if not urgency of GNU. The COVID-19 crisis shows us how marvelously fast the “security state” can advance with no proper safeguards just because “there’s no time” or whatever. Technical means, not just legal means, become necessary for guarding one’s human rights.

“The COVID-19 crisis shows us how marvelously fast the “security state” can advance with no proper safeguard just because “there’s no time” or whatever.”This morning Phoronix said that “[t]here has been plumbing within [Clear Linux] swupd package/bundle management system to support third-party repositories to expand the [proprietary] ecosystem [sic] and now we’re finally seeing that happen.”

Speaking of Phoronix, please support the site and support Michael Larabel. They really need it right now because they got a baby a few months ago (first-born) and the wife (mother) has just lost her job. Phoronix is a very important site which investigates, benchmarks and digs things no other site does. Michael treated us well over the years; we owe or ought to look after him, too.

Now, back to Intel…

“There’s nothing inherently special about it and Intel likely uses it for optimisations that help sell more of its deeply defective, back-doored chips.”As a reminder, Intel is the foremost pusher of DRM inside Linux (we did analysis of commits last year), with AMD coming not too far behind, working with the likes of Google.

Phoronix has been one of the main pushers or proponents of Clear Linux — a distro which otherwise nobody would bother with or care about. There’s nothing inherently special about it and Intel likely uses it for optimisations that help sell more of its deeply defective, back-doored chips.

The word “Clear” is close to “Pure” (like Purism and PureOS) and maybe even transparency if not freedom. But Clear Linux has nothing to do with any of those things. Like Microsoft’s “Clearly Defined” push, it’s mostly about imposing proprietary software (such as GitHub) on people. It’s not too far from the bogus concept of “ethical” software, wherein “ethics” refer to a reduction in freedom.

“It’s not too far from the bogus concept of “ethical” software, wherein “ethics” refer to a reduction in freedom.”A better term or name for Clear Linux would be “Intel Linux”; but that would not ‘sell’ too well (if they tried it). It’s made by Intel, for Intel, and users of it are controlled by Intel. In the same way that people who choose to host a Git repo in GitHub are controlled by Microsoft.

Nice try, Intel. Take your DRM and shove it somewhere else. The BSD world would likely be even less receptive than the GNU and Linux worlds. As de Raadt put it before he blasted Intel for its defects and security flaws, “Intel [is] Only ‘Open’ for Business”. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with business, Intel’s business practices if not crimes make it clear that Intel is clearly allergic to ethics.

Disclosure: My sister and my brother-in-law worked for Intel, but that never had an effect on my position regarding Intel, based on its ethical and technical behaviour alone.

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