Life without Windows or OS X

GNU/Linux is quite possibly the most important free software achievement since the original Space War, or, more recently, Emacs. It has developed into an operating system for business, education, and personal productivity. GNU/Linux is no longer only for UNIX wizards who sit for hours in front of a glowing console. Are you thinking about switching to Linux and want to learn how to use it? Have you been using GNU/Linux for some time and want to learn even more? This is the place for you.

Friday, February 08, 2019

Why We Should Use Free Software

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

What GNU means?

GNU is an operating system that is free software—that is, it respects users' freedom. The GNU operating system consists of GNU packages (programs specifically released by the GNU Project) as well as free software released by third parties. The development of GNU made it possible to use a computer without software that would trample your freedom. GNU stands for GNU's not Unix, which makes the term a recursive acronym (an acronym in which one of the letters stands for the acronym itself).


What is Free Software?

Free software means the users have the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software.

Free software is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of “free” as in “free speech”, not as in “free beer”.

More precisely, free software means users of a program have the four essential freedoms: The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose 

(freedom 0). The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs.

(freedom1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this. The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor.

(freedom 2). The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits.

(freedom 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

There are a group of talented ethical programmers from around the world that are committed to the idea of writing and sharing software with each other and with anyone else who agreed to share everything. anyone can be a part of and benefit from this community even without being a computer expert or knowing anything about programming. They dont have to worry about getting caught copying a useful program for for people because they are not doing anything wrong.

With NON-free/proprietary software, there is always an owner of the program, that controls the program and through it exercises power over its users. Proprietary programs are designed to spy on the users, restrict them, censor them, and abuse them. For instance, The Amazon Kindle has a back door that can erase books. Windows, mobile phone firmware, and Google Chrome for Windows include a universal backdoor that allows some company to change the program remotely without asking permission. Last but not least the operating system of Apple iThings does all of that and more. According to media reports Microsoft shows Windows bugs to the NSA before fixing them.

Schools should not use NON-free/proprietary software.They spend huge amounts of money on marketing to acquire the support of educational departments. Educating students is a major revenue source for some of the proprietary software vendors. If a school teaches how to use a proprietary program, the student will be dependent on that program and after he/she graduates he/she will have to pay to use that program. Proprietary software developers use schools to impose permanent dependence on the whole society.

If your computer is running Microsoft's operating system, you cannot to read the source code of the instructions being sent to your computer. The same applies in part even to Mac OSX. There is no way for you to know whats going on. You have no way to call in an independent person to look at whats going on. If you "reverse engineer" Microsoft's compiled code,in order to look at what is going on, then you are both in violation of Microsoft's "End User License Agreement".

Closed source software can be fixed only by a vendor. If something goes wrong with the software, you send a request and wait for the answer from the support team. Solving the problem can take much longer than compared to OSC.

Microsoft has collaborated closely with US intelligence services to allow users' communications to be intercepted, including helping the National Security Agency to circumvent the company's own encryption, according to top-secret documents obtained by the Guardian.

Microsoft collude with the NSA. While Skype calls used to be secure from government or private snooping, changes made by Microsoft have made it possible for the government(s) to do just that.


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