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Less freedom is no freedom

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From the beginning, when people started talking about Secure Boot some warned about the treat to Free Software, but they were pretty much dismissed by many as a bunch of hippies following the smelly RMS, we'll surely find a way around when will get to it. Now, after mjg wrote a long technical pieces about the struggles of making Fedora boot on UEFI with Secure Boot enabled, we can the alarmists were right and Microsoft managed to give a fatal blow to Free Software on the desktop with the help of many hardware manufacturers.

The problem is Free Software won't be able to co-exist with Windows and keep its freedom, people will have to make the choice: break-up totally with Windows (really hard in the computing landscape of today) or give away one of the fundamental freedoms granted by GPL (modify and distribute the software). Sure, this is not a problem in the server world, where you can safely turn Secure Boot off and live happily (boot malware does not affect Linux) as this is not a problem in the enterprise desktop in the places where the game is Linux-only. It is a problem in the hobbyist space, where people play with different stuff all the time and is a problem with adoption, when new potential users will have their computers locked to Windows. It is also not a Linux problem, is a Free Software problem, if you give away freedoms, you can still run Linux.

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today's leftovers

today's howtos

Android Leftovers

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    Welcome to the age of Google Hardware. Apparently tired of letting third-party Android OEMs serve as the stewards of Android handsets, Google has become a hardware company. (Again). Earlier this year Google, launched a hardware division with former Motorola President Rick Osterloh at the helm. With the high-ranking title of "Senior Vice President," Osterloh doesn't oversee a side project—his group is on even footing with Android, Search, YouTube, and Ads. The hardware group is so powerful inside Google that it was able to merge Nexus, Pixel, Chromecast, OnHub, ATAP, and Glass into a single business unit. The group's coming out party was October 4, 2016, where it announced Google Home, Google Wifi, a 4K Chromecast, the Daydream VR headset, and the pair of phones we're looking at today: the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL. The arrival of the Pixel phones marks the apparent death of the Nexus line; Google says that it has "no plans" for future Nexus devices. With the new branding comes a change in strategy, too. The Pixel brand is about making devices that are 100 percent Google, so despite Google's position as the developer of Android, get ready for Google-designed hardware combined with exclusive Google software.
  • Hands-on with the LeEco Le Pro3: services first, Android second
    LeEco’s flagship Le Pro3 smartphone isn’t trying to compete with the Google Pixel, which puts modern Google services in front of a stock Android backdrop. After playing with the Le Pro3 at the company’s U.S. launch event in San Francisco today, I’m left feeling that it’s an easy, low-cost way to get the full experience of LeEco’s applications. There are proprietary LeEco utility tools like the browser, email, calendar, messages, notes, and phone apps, along with bloatware like Yahoo Weather, but mostly the Pro3 is a means of distribution for the LeEco apps, like Live, LeVidi, and Le. There is also a standard-issue My LeEco app for managing services like EcoPass membership. Under it all is the EUI custom user interface. If you swipe left from the home screen, you see videos that LeEco recommends you watch — not Google Now.
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