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  • #16
    Originally posted by Vim_User View Post
    So how is implementing the firmware into a ROM (which according to RMS magically removes the non-free tag) hindering the guys from #2 to have a backdoor in the firmware, or how is it enabling the hardware suddenly to do things not implemented in the firmware (your #3)? And how is having to load a firmware (with the possibility of actually getting bugs in it fixed) instead of having it in a ROM magically give you more control about your machine?
    That is one of the most controversal example one could find. And I even think that even RMS dont belive that there would somebody develop a nsa-backdoor into that microcode. It should be difficult if not just straight impossible what I heard now.

    The Problem is more about the updateability. If you have microcode in a rom thats not updateable it is more or less the same as hardware. If its updateable, and u dont have the source of that microcode, it can have regressions, or just it can change. so developing a driver to a blackbox aka reverseengineering is hard enough, but reverseengineer to a moving blackbox target is a problem.

    Even if Kernel-devs or distributiors try to only update the blob if no regression is there u could maybe not see the regressions because of stuff users only rarely see.

    But its a very small case u can argue both ways. For me thats good enough too.

    But the picture not randomly says (dont buy from ati) and not (from amd) because ati really sucked with their linux support and amd more or less fixed it. At least 99% of the problem and the clear bad boy is nvidia at the moment.


    UPDATE:

    there are some problems, distros have to make their hands dirty and burn non-free software on their cds or in their downloads, with roms they dont. so they distribute non-free-software. with roms they dont. Then another problem lets say one distro ships the firmware version x and the other version x+1. Now suddenly u have bugs because of that in one distro. Now the users say ohh this linux devs cant write good drivers even its amds fault.
    Last edited by blackiwid; 06-10-2014, 08:39 AM.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by blackiwid View Post
      The Problem is more about the updateability. If you have microcode in a rom thats not updateable it is more or less the same as hardware. If its updateable, and u dont have the source of that microcode, it can have regressions, or just it can change. so developing a driver to a blackbox aka reverseengineering is hard enough, but reverseengineer to a moving blackbox target is a problem.
      Great. So what you actually are saying is: Because there might be a regression or a change in an update we totally remove the possibility to upgrade the firmware (to possibly fix bugs) for anyone, even the firmware developers, and call that freedom.
      In that case: Sorry, but no. If the removal of the possibility to fix bugs is called freedom I pass. Please keep the freedom to fix bugs.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Vim_User View Post
        Great. So what you actually are saying is: Because there might be a regression or a change in an update we totally remove the possibility to upgrade the firmware (to possibly fix bugs) for anyone, even the firmware developers, and call that freedom.
        In that case: Sorry, but no. If the removal of the possibility to fix bugs is called freedom I pass. Please keep the freedom to fix bugs.
        I just cant get how people get so excited about such a small corner case. Its like people thinking of one case in that tortule sounds a good thing. If u agree to any of the 1 billion other cases with stallman just agree to not agree on that one position. Nobody forbits u to have a small different opinion on that matter.

        So if you are not a hardware vendor employe just use gplv3 for your software anyway.


        the updatability per se I think would not even the problem, else so a cdrom-drive that you can update the firmware is also allowed, the problem is that without such a blob loaded at every boot it doesnt work. So every distro have to desite which version they deliver, and the user dont get when a problem is that it could have to do with that. If they have to flash a different version and then after that something dont work anymore, they should know that the blob did made a regression, at least the changes are way higher.


        BTW the updatability itself makes nothing proprietary, but if linux distros are then degraded to blob-loading bitches, thats a problem.

        Its like sex is sex, but if you pay for it, its something different.

        For me its not that important because no nsa-spyware can be included, and a free bios would be much more important. BTW another problem could be lisenses, lets say amd changes his lisence that the blob can no longer be loaded with linux. Because Microsoft pays them money.

        With flashable firmware its impossible to do that, with such loadable firmware it would be doable at least for newer versions.

        Maybe rms has even more reasons but I can think just easily some reasons myself.

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        • #19
          https://libreplanet.org/wiki/When_sh...rmware_be_free


          I think the point is that, every firmware that has malicious code in it, is bad and even if it would be released under gplv3 it would be bad, but because of that lisence you have the freedom/possibility to fix it.

          So a good example here is the firmware of the modem. its gets not loaded like the radeon driver on boot time as far as I understand it? Maybe I am wrong. But still it cant be accepted because it could be used (and is used most likely) to use it against the user.

          On other stuff, even backdoors cant hurt the user, because as long as they dont have a evil firmware in the modem they cant send that data out to the world, or cant write down logs because there is no evil firmware in the harddisk.

          And at the moment u find such features a firmware is not acceptable and its more than simple hardware. So you can make that desition over a hardware/firmware combination is it only stupid software-circuts that does not more than pure hardware ever would or does it more. But u cant do that against a allways changing target.

          And another thing is as far as I understand that gpus also write into shared memory so it could trick the linux os. to do stupid things,


          Again I find it ok that they see that as problem, when nvidia tomorow releases its complete driver as gpl and dont have this problem I will buy nvidia from then on. If amd does not react.

          I could use Intel of course, but there we have another problem with monopolism and stuff. and yes I really mix here and there some intel hardware in.


          having monopolies is also a loss in freedom so its harder to choose. rms freedom views are for me also to one-dymensional. Its true but u cant ignore that we live in a world of forced labor therefor I fight for the BIG (basic income grant).

          its even a more fundamental freedom the freedom to work what u want and not to have to choose between that freedom and the freedom to not sleep under a bridge.

          And yes for me fedora is free enough, but again its still good to have higher goals even if you miss them. If you follow rms ideas you could not even a replicant cell phone. he does not use one... so its good to have such people and they have a point, and its also good to see how they can live without if something goes even worse. Lets say usa starts also here the terrorism with drones they do on other places in the world. then yes its good to know how to live without cell phones.


          BTW the termology in that link is "it can be ignored" they are not 100% happy even with such "good" firmware blobs but they can ignore it. its a compromise. if they would be more radical like all think rms is they would say we only accept hardware with free firmware.
          Last edited by blackiwid; 06-10-2014, 12:20 PM.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by blackiwid View Post
            So if you are not a hardware vendor employe just use gplv3 for your software anyway.
            Sorry, also no. I prefer BSD/MIT style licenses, they give people true freedom, not forced freedom.
            the updatability per se I think would not even the problem, else so a cdrom-drive that you can update the firmware is also allowed, the problem is that without such a blob loaded at every boot it doesnt work. So every distro have to desite which version they deliver, and the user dont get when a problem is that it could have to do with that. If they have to flash a different version and then after that something dont work anymore, they should know that the blob did made a regression, at least the changes are way higher.
            And if the newly flashed blob has a regression that makes a new flash impossible you are done with your hardware, while hardware that uses loadable blobs can simply switch to an older version (or a newer fixed one).

            It is simple as that: Putting software into a ROM does not magically make it hardware, regardless how much RMS is wishing for that. This whole "de-blobb your software and put the blobs in ROMs" thing is nothing more than a marketing move to make it possible for libre/GPL fanatics to actually use a computer without violating their own believes.

            Don't get me wrong, it definitely would be better if all firmware would be open source, but putting a closed source software into a ROM and claiming that it is not software anymore so that you can use it is pure non-sense.

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            • #21
              That article talks about features not yet implemented and suggests helping to contribute a missing feature.

              Taking *away* firmware-loading capability is an antifeature, work was done to deliberately make it harder for somone to do something freely (requiring that someone figure out how to undo the change and recompile themselves). Running a libre kernel sounds like more of a status symbol for those who are able to manage with it.

              Giving someone a GNU/Linux sampler with this crippled kernel sounds like it would be really poor in persuading users of the 100% non-free OS to start migrating over to F/OSS.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by coder111 View Post
                2. Do you know what is in these blobs? How many backdoors by NSA, or chinese, or disgruntled employee of the manufacturer, or anyone else is there? Or how buggy are they and if they'll mess up your system at the worst possible moment.
                How is a blob running on graphics card hardware going to phone home?

                OTOH a binary driver runs *in* the kernel on the host system's CPU. I'd happily accept a free driver using non-free microcode as being an improvement. I'm sure the schematics of the GPU itself are not open-sourced and see no reason why the manufacturer has to do so.
                Last edited by stevenc; 06-10-2014, 02:05 PM.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Vim_User View Post
                  Sorry, also no. I prefer BSD/MIT style licenses, they give people true freedom, not forced freedom.
                  There is no such thing as "true freedom". The difference between GPL and BSD/MIT is that BSD/MIT emphasizes the programmer/developer's freedom while GPL emphasizes the user's freedom. You can't say that one is "truer" than the other; BSD-like limits users' freedom, that is, the source code might not be available at all or the manufacturer might be just a huge dick and give away the source code without any means to put modified binaries back on the system; GPL-like limits the developer's freedom because they have to give the source code to the users and let them upload their own binaries.

                  From the perspective of a user that is highly annoyed by a certain feature/bug in his shiny new device that he would really like to fix but can't because the device is totally locked down even though it runs free software. The GPL way sure would feel like "true freedom" to that user, the freedom he doesn't have.

                  Originally posted by Vim_User View Post
                  Don't get me wrong, it definitely would be better if all firmware would be open source, but putting a closed source software into a ROM and claiming that it is not software anymore so that you can use it is pure non-sense.
                  You don't seem to know anything about hardware design. Not that anyone would put ROM in their designs in this day and age (it just doesn't make any sense cost-wise, and RMS and co. know that), but assuming they would as they did a few decades ago, the thing would not be software, contrary to what you're trying to claim.

                  First and foremost, a real ROM chip is read-only not because it's somehow artificially locked down, but because it's either a plain old electrical circuit no different than what's inside your CPU, or it's programmed by destroying parts of the chip so that you'll get the pattern of zeros and ones you want. So no, stuff in ROM is not software. If it would, well, you could claim that your CPU is software. And let me also remind you that every CPU today is actually synthesized from software; somewhere out there exists the source code for your CPU, just as there exists the source code to Firefox! Would you also claim that calling your CPU hardware is nonsense?

                  Secondly, as far as I know, RMS never encouraged anyone to proactively put software in ROM! But of course, biased anti-RMS people like you will grab at any staw and twist it as much as they can just to discredit RMS and his "freetards".

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by kiputnik View Post
                    There is no such thing as "true freedom". The difference between GPL and BSD/MIT is that BSD/MIT emphasizes the programmer/developer's freedom while GPL emphasizes the user's freedom. You can't say that one is "truer" than the other; BSD-like limits users' freedom, that is, the source code might not be available at all or the manufacturer might be just a huge dick and give away the source code without any means to put modified binaries back on the system; GPL-like limits the developer's freedom because they have to give the source code to the users and let them upload their own binaries.

                    From the perspective of a user that is highly annoyed by a certain feature/bug in his shiny new device that he would really like to fix but can't because the device is totally locked down even though it runs free software. The GPL way sure would feel like "true freedom" to that user, the freedom he doesn't have.


                    You don't seem to know anything about hardware design. Not that anyone would put ROM in their designs in this day and age (it just doesn't make any sense cost-wise, and RMS and co. know that), but assuming they would as they did a few decades ago, the thing would not be software, contrary to what you're trying to claim.

                    First and foremost, a real ROM chip is read-only not because it's somehow artificially locked down, but because it's either a plain old electrical circuit no different than what's inside your CPU, or it's programmed by destroying parts of the chip so that you'll get the pattern of zeros and ones you want. So no, stuff in ROM is not software. If it would, well, you could claim that your CPU is software. And let me also remind you that every CPU today is actually synthesized from software; somewhere out there exists the source code for your CPU, just as there exists the source code to Firefox! Would you also claim that calling your CPU hardware is nonsense?

                    Secondly, as far as I know, RMS never encouraged anyone to proactively put software in ROM! But of course, biased anti-RMS people like you will grab at any staw and twist it as much as they can just to discredit RMS and his "freetards".
                    It doesn't matter at all if you use ROM, EPROM EEPROM or Flash (without the possibility to flash by the user), it doesn't matter if it is a harddisk that is not accessible by the user (probably due to encryption/signing), software still remains software. Just because software is stored on an inalterable medium it does not suddenly become hardware, it is just software stored on an inalterable medium.
                    By the way, ad hominem does not make your argument more valuable.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Vim_User View Post
                      Sorry, also no. I prefer BSD/MIT style licenses, they give people true freedom, not forced freedom.
                      That says it all, u just search a cornercase to bring people to hate the idea of freedom like the gpl defines it.

                      Therefor u search the one case that most people would agree to. To proove that gpl is shit in every case.

                      Its like people that make a scenario that can in reality happen where somebody dies if you dont torture the prisoner. But what u want then in reality is that torture is allowed in general.

                      if you think people should not use gpl because it makes them more unfree in your cracy mind, proove that the 99% software are wrong not try it on the 1% corner case.

                      The problem with bsd/mit is that we live in a world in there proprietary software and antifeatures and emprisioning users is allowed because of that, rms writes this "virus" called GPL to at least give authors the possibility to make that happen for their work.

                      Of course in a perfect world were ideas cant be patented and software cant be sold without the source code, bsd lisense would be just enough.

                      Again u will see that not like me, but dont try to pick such a cornercase. I am shure u used in your life a "illegal" copy at one point of a proprietary software, so does that proof that proprietary software rights are wrong? No, they are wrong but thats no proof of it.

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