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New Talk: Richard Stallman Explains His Problem With Rust (Trademark Restrictions), Openwashing (Including Linux Kernel), Machine Learning, and the JavaScript Trap

Video download link | md5sum 750dda35e5a1c938a6b961483896da2b RMS Pre-LibrePlanet Talk (Richard Stallman Gave a Talk Hours Ago) Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0



Summary: Richard Stallman's talk is now available above (skip to 18:20 to get to the talk; the volume was improved over time, corrected at the sender's end)

The video above is a recording of the talk Richard M. Stallman (RMS) gave some hours ago. It was a live stream, broadcast by the Free Software Foundation. He founded it many years ago (the GNU Project turns 40 later this year and he turned 70 yesterday). The talk itself starts about 20 minutes into the video above; I had started recording about 15 minutes before the scheduled time of the talk.



At the start, Dr. Stallman notes that he cannot comment much about technical aspects of Rust, but he remains concerned (for a year already) about the trademark aspects. He is still receiving no clarification or assurances on the matter. Previously he suggested forking it and calling it something like "crust" (in a talk or a session he did with several Brazilian hackers).

"Openwashing" is not alluded to by that name. But he explains why Linux (the kernel) is non-free. He then comments on Debian including blobs in the installer (as of months ago). He mentions "Respect(s) Your Freedom" and alludes to various peripherals with code inside them. He suggests not being too judgemental of such microprocessors. Cameras, keyboards, and memory sticks, he says, typically have some small computers in them. "Our ultimate goal is that all those should contain free software also," he stresses. To quote: "We hope to hope that in the future we'll be able to [...] replace the non-free programs at a lower level of the products."

He asks for a distinction between software coming inside a piece of hardware and stuff the user adds to it later. These are growing challenges.

He speaks of Machine Learning and rejects the term "AI" ("Hey Hi!"). He compares it to "dissociated press" -- a very old term, not a buzzword or a misnomer. It's not just the name of Zonker's site (Joe Brockmeier -- formerly of Slashdot, Novell, Red Hat and more). He says that accuracy matters less in the case of art (like images) so generative algorithms may be OK, but he rejects chatbots the way Microsoft does that and hypes it up. He's not impressed by the idea and warns about privacy aspects. He refers to Uber as "Guber" because it gives drivers "peanuts".

"He says that visa or passport applications in the US require proprietary software on the site (JavaScript)."About 25 minutes into his talk the subject of "apps" (for so-called 'smart' phones) is brought up. He explains that many "smart" things are "full of malware" and "locked down", designed to "attack freedom". He cites the "war on drugs" to explain that prohibiting things that hurt society may lead to negative consequences. He wants to "divert society away" from proprietary software without it becoming oppressive (like bans). Governments should offer "freedom-respecting" ways of doing things, he says. He contacts some sites and public organisations by telephone, complaining about sites that impede Free software users, e.g. for a bus schedule. JavaScript is among his concerns. Days ago he explained to me that he was moving away from SearX due to JavaScript being harder to avoid.

He says that visa or passport applications in the US require proprietary software on the site (JavaScript). "I cannot sent a message to my congressional representatives," he notes. He does not like how academic conferences are often done over Zoom. "I push on this whenever I have the opportunity to," he says.

"He cautions against becoming "a society of sheeple"."He complains about "thought monitoring" systems and schools that use FUD to prevent students using GNU/Linux -- pupils who are connecting to the network with GNU/Linux-running devices. He gives some examples of the FUD he has heard of. He wants to encourage people to compete over comebacks -- or ways to overcome such FUD tactics.

He cautions against becoming "a society of sheeple". He says that visa or passport applications in the US require proprietary software on the site (JavaScript).

He finally (towards the end) makes a call for speaking invitations. He wants to be invited to speak and he repeatedly recommends a site which debunks defamatory claims about him.

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