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[News] FSF Figures Warn About Server Lock-in at SCALE

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Addressing software freedom in cloud computing

,----[ Quote ]
| Is the freedom torch passing from Richard Stallman to the next generation? 
| Bradley Kuhn of the Software Freedom Conservancy opened the Southern 
| California Linux Expo this year with a keynote about software as a service 
| and user freedoms.   
| Richard Stallman, a man who has done much in the way of heavy lifting for 
| software freedom, is taking a pass on the issue of software freedom with 
| software as a service. Calling cloud computing “worse than hype,” Stallman 
| has basically thrown in the towel on SaaS, presumably with the expectation 
| that users will continue to rely primarily on compute power and services that 
| reside on their computer.     



Avoiding Ruinous Compromises

,----[ Quote ]
| The free software movement aims for a social change: to make all software
| free so that all software users are free and can be part of a community of
| cooperation. Every non-free program gives its developer unjust power over the
| users. Our goal is to put an end to that injustice.
| [...]
| It's no use going faster by taking the wrong road. Compromise is essential to
| achieve a large goal, but beware of compromises that lead away from the goal.


Do 'Clouds' Get in the Way?

,----[ Quote ]
| No one would accuse IBM senior vice president and group executive Steve Mills
| of having his head in the clouds.
| IBM's top software honcho heads up a $20B operation at one of the world's
| foremost IT players. Still, Mills maintains that clouds are getting in his
| way. More precisely, Mills was speaking this week about cloud computing --
| and the casual way most companies and users throw around the term to describe
| anything and everything that has to do with Web-based activities and
| applications.


Stallman warns against cloud computing

,----[ Quote ]
| In an interview reported by The Guardian, he said, "It's stupidity. It's
| worse than stupidity: it's a marketing hype campaign."
| Stallman warns that cloud computing is simply a trap to entice users' into
| entrusting their data and computing applications to proprietary systems that
| are beyond their own control and which service providers could make more and
| more expensive for users over time. He doesn't trust the vendors.
| "Somebody is saying this is inevitable -- and whenever you hear somebody
| saying that, it's very likely to be a set of businesses campaigning to make
| it true," Stallman said.


Cloud computing is a trap, warns GNU founder Richard Stallman

,----[ Quote ]
| Web-based programs like Google's Gmail will force people to buy into locked,
| proprietary systems that will cost more and more over time, according to the
| free software campaigner


Cloud Computing: Perilous Pitfall or Panacea?

,----[ Quote ]
| "I think Richard is right," Kevin Dean, a blogger on Monochrome Mentality,
| told LinuxInsider. Dean recently posted an article supporting cloud
| computing.
| "I sit here and type this out on my Gmail interface, but the truth is you DO
| give up some control when you place your data in the hands of other
| companies," Dean explained. "Your data is on their servers, but it's
| inaccessible if their servers crash, if they have a routing problem or --
| even worse -- vanish like several Web-driven services providers have, and
| your data is just gone. We place our trust in Web service providers to give
| us constant access to our oh-so-important data, yet we're fundamentally
| limiting ourselves by doing so."


Stallman vs. Clouds

,----[ Quote ]
| Still, I think that RMS is onto something. The core promise of computing,
| even on a vast network that connects us all, is autonomy and independence.
| It's being free (as in freedom) to operate on your own, and to share what's
| meant to be shared in ways that nobody else can control, and to improve
| useful goods in ways that work for everybody. There are, in those core
| values, imperatives that seem at odds with the dependencies that "cloud
| computing" can sometimes involve.

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