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FSF Certifies Three More Devices For Respecting Your Freedom

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  • FSF Certifies Three More Devices For Respecting Your Freedom

    Phoronix: FSF Certifies Three More Devices For Respecting Your Freedom

    The Free Software Foundation has announced three more devices that are certified for "respects your freedom" (RYF), including a laptop, motherboard, and USB sound adapter. But don't get too excited quite yet...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...-German-3-More

  • #2
    As interesting as the USB audio dongle is, the ChaosKey USB random number generator (available from the same site) sounds much more useful for my purposes. More bits of randomness, especially from an libre-hardware source, never hurt.

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    • #3
      Not sure why they bother with the USB sound adapter. There are tons of USB DACs out there, new and old, which don't require binary blobs. Seems an odd thing to focus on.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by phoronix
        so for the Vikings price you could always just buy the board and flash it yourself, if you mess up, buy a second board and still make it out ahead financially.
        Please note, like most server and workstation boards this one has the BIOS chip on a socket (down left corner in the image here, near a black pin header) . If you made a backup beforehand with a cheap SPI chip flashing tool and flasrhrom opensource flasher software, you can restore that board to working state for peanuts.
        Or, you can also buy another bios chip for like 20$ tops from a random reseller on Ebay or others and just replace it.

        It's not terribly risky at all to get this thing running Coreboot/Libreboot/whatever-the-new-libreboot-fork-is-called.

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        • #5
          One advantage is that the board is now under warranty with Coreboot/Libreboot installed.

          Pretty sure that ASUS or Amazon will refuse warranty once you tell them that you flashed a custom BIOS onto the mobo.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by chithanh View Post
            Pretty sure that ASUS or Amazon will refuse warranty once you tell them that you flashed a custom BIOS onto the mobo.
            In EU Amazon (or any other seller) cannot refuse that because they need to provide evidence that the issue was caused by the different firmware (because laws).

            But as I said above, you can reflash the chip back to stock firmware easily, and they can't find out that you did this because flash leaves no traces. Nor they usually give a fuck on average, the parts you send in for RMA aren't usually repaired, they just send you a replacement and that's it. Maybe they will send the RMA item to their tech shop to fix it, so they can send the fixed part as replacement for the next RMA, or they outright trash it if it is cheap stuff.

            Due to personal experience in the company I work with (so it's not like we buy 2 PCs at a mall or something), ASUS or any other OEM (and many sellers, Amazon excluded) will usually find a random reason to refuse warranty, and you're fucked.

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            • #7
              It isn't about freedom it is all about marketing the FSF! It is easy to be exploited by the mission here.

              Originally posted by torsionbar28 View Post
              Not sure why they bother with the USB sound adapter. There are tons of USB DACs out there, new and old, which don't require binary blobs. Seems an odd thing to focus on.

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              • #8
                starshipeleven
                Well at least you don't have to lie / hide the truth from them if you want warranty.
                And yes, flashing custom BIOS can mess with voltages and operate stuff outside of spec which has the potential for causing hardware damage.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by chithanh View Post
                  And yes, flashing custom BIOS can mess with voltages and operate stuff outside of spec which has the potential for causing hardware damage.
                  Law in EU (it is done at EU level) mandates that to deny warranty in these cases the seller must provide proof that it was the modded firmware that caused the issue.

                  "providing proof" is usually more expensive than accepting the RMA, so they never bother with that.

                  Besides, especially in my country it's not like they can't just flat-out refuse the RMA with random bullshit reason and get away with it.

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                  • #10
                    I don't think so.
                    Firstly, the EU law only applies to the warranty that is mandated by law, and which only affects the seller and not the manufacturer.
                    Any warranty that ASUS offers is voluntary and they can at any time refuse warranty if they think that you do not meet the warranty conditions.

                    The seller may have a harder time to refuse warranty, but flashing a custom BIOS is such a deep change that I don't think it is impossible.

                    Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
                    Law in EU (it is done at EU level) mandates that to deny warranty in these cases the seller must provide proof that it was the modded firmware that caused the issue.
                    This is only true within the first six months according to directive 1999/444/EC article 5 paragraph 3.

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