It's because I'm black, isn't it?
Digital data rape.
May 26 2016 Note:
After getting a reply from Richard Stallman (yes he actually replied to me), I have noted that I have used "open-source" where I should have used "free software", as the terms are different and are not interchangeable. I have not read into the subject, though please understand that if I have miscommunicated some ideas, this is probably why.
Richard Stallman is one of the few human memes alive today, along with Macklemore and Tommy Wiseau. While most would use that reputation to cash karma on 9Gag like Neil Tyson on Discovery Channel, Stallman uses it to spread ideas about copyright and free software, saying that closed-source software is malicious and cannot be trusted.
He shook up our industry, as when he demands free software, we concede, as it is better. More eyes on the product means less fuck-ups and more trust. Nobody can pull a fast one, as you'll be banned if you do. And if it's free, more people can use it, as if it's free, it will be spread.
Stallman also has a list of companies which must not be trusted, as they violate your privacy and use unethical business practices, such as Apple's child slavery, or Apple's blatant censorship, or Apple's patent whoring, or forced labour, or factory suicides, or spying with the NSA, or environmental apathy, or planned obsolescence, or all the other evil they spread on the world for money.
And Apple's hatred of free speech, human life, and fair business can only exist so long as customers are willing to spend money on their products, use their software, and post about them. A company only exists when its fans do, and the unfortunate thing about our society is that their fans will support these actions because they're apathetic to the consequences, much like a few good Germans in the wake of the Nazi atrocities.
The point is that companies like Apple do not care one bit about you, and will fuck you every way they can until they can squeeze the final nickel from your stained corpse. Don't take this like a grunge band from the 2000's saying "fuck society", as I'm not getting paid to peddle propagandaist bullshit to your computer. I'm doing so because I care, and if you consider it propaganda instead of considering my point of view, you might be part of the problem I'm describing.
Having established that for-profit companies (generally) do not give a single damn about you or your life, what's the alternative? Simple: trust no company.
The Black Box conspiracy:
A black box system is a data prison: your input goes in, it's input comes out, and inbetween you don't have a single fucking clue what happened. If you were to run iTunes on your computer, just as a convenient example, you would have no way to verify what was actually happening with the program, because it's closed source and thus nobody can verify the inner workings of the program.
How would you know if iTunes is secure? How do you know if it isn't sending data to Apple, or the Government? How would you fix these problems if you can't even access the program's source code? The answer: you can't. And Apple knew about iTune's problems, for three years, letting the NSA snoop its users for three years, including spying on other programs like Skype (another black box), e-mail clients, and social media accounts.
"I wonder how many people were beaten and tortured because this 'flaw' was left unpatched for so long?"
And that's what the black box does - you literally cannot tell what's going on inside a program that doesn't let you view it's source code. There's no way to tell if a program is spying on you, or has a fatal security flaw, or is installing malware to your computer without your consent. And there's no way for anybody else to verify this, too, and they can't fix it, and the only way they have the opportunity to is if they have the expertise and the tools to deconstruct and test a black box program (which takes a long, long time to do), and they have the desire of the program's makers to fix their fatal flaws. And if they want to, they'll keep treating you like shit, because it's profitable to them.
Paranoid? Fuck you. Justify to me how it's acceptable for Microsoft to spy on your Skype calls. About how Google can gather information about where you've been, even when your phone is off. About how Uber can have secret passenger ratings, and have your service affected if you don't fit a certain profile. And they can do all of this whenever they feel like it, because nobody else but them can look at and change the code. Are all 3.5 billion of us terrorists and child rapists? They don't need your permission, they don't want your input, they don't need a reason, and they'll lie their asses off if it meets their bottom line.
By using black box programs, you trust all of your personal information to whoever wants to manipulate and take advantage of it, and this includes whatever data they could possibly get. Even though antiviruses can scan the program for signs of suspicious behaviour (while logging whatever files they want to), they aren't 100% secure. The only way to know that a program is giving you exactly what you asked for and nothing else, is to have its source code disclosed and audited by the very same people who use that program.
Why would a company keep their code private? Because they want power. They want the power to be able to do whatever they want to your computer without your knowledge, alter the program on their terms (and their terms alone), and restrict the rights of people who use (and in some cases, pay for) their products. You do not own the black box, and it is a fair statement to say that it owns you.
What's the solution? Scrub and FLOSS. Scrub the proprietary programs from your computer, and replace it with FLOSS - Free, Libre, Open Source Software.
And if for some reason you can't, just keep reading my blog until you can. Perhaps I will inspire you, someday.
The FLOSS doctrine:
The practice of free and open-source software is such that everybody benefits in every way except for monetary. There is no profit in FLOSS - there are ideals, much like that of the Spartan ideals of doing things out of satisfaction and not money. FLOSS may not make you rich, nor might it even make you famous, it will develop ideas that will spread among people who matter, and change the world as a result.
If you aren't sufficiently impressed at my ideals, then feast your eyes on these words: FLOSS simply works better. It's more secure, more private, and is updated more often than closed-source software. The Dolphin emulator has been updated multiple times a day for the past few years, and it's one of the greatest emulators to have ever graced the world. It has a whole team's worth of expertise working on it, and what the experts are too skilled to do, the unskilled volunteers work on and make better. It is a small anarchy, but as we know from the Internet, digital anarchy works so good, babe.
The way most open-source software works is that you make a request to change the code through a program, and the other users snoop the change and approve it if it's good enough. Has code ever gotten fucked up because of this? Not to my knowledge, though websites have been nuked off the Web because of a lack of idiot proofing. The chances that some asshole would maliciously alter an open-source project is slim due to the continual checking and proofreading of the code, as well as casting suspicion on everybody who isn't already involved in the project.
You can contrast this with the closed-source system where people you don't know push code you have no idea about in arbitrary updates decided by a committee with all the power. It is the monarchy of development, an outdated form of power, which contrasts greatly with the egalitarian and cooperative form of government that open-source projects use. The monarchy is dead, as we know, though dictatorships still pop up, and open-source aims to kill our masters and fuck their wives.
The constant eyeball peering of FLOSS code, much like that of their wives, means that any vulnerabilities are quickly sniped out of the program and replaced with a handy ban to the culprit. Because anybody, software experts included, can inspect the code, it means that anybody can judge whether or not the program is sufficiently secure for their uses. You just don't get that guarantee with the black box. You just don't know if your computer is compromised.
Yes, you're very clever for thinking hackers can look at the code too. The rapid development cycle of open-source programs means that any exploits they find will have been documented and fixed shortly after their discovery. You're very clever for thinking that the "issues" list standard on FLOSS would be a prime target for hackers to find vulnerabilities. Any program that fails to fix these issues before a hacker can take advantage of is a program with authors so exceptionally lazy that it should have never been published in the first place.
The black box model does not even allow users to be aware of issues and vulnerabilities, putting all your faith into a company which may or may not have already received a fix for the update, three years in advance, and failed to implement it because the update conflicts with their business model. FLOSS is transparent, and as a result is not likely to be unfixed without a riot by the dedicated authors and users of the open-source program, who are completely aware of the issue and will be pissed off if it is not fixed in a timely manner.
If you'll remember from literally two minutes ago, there's no profit in FLOSS, and therefore no external desires to change your program just because it suits the needs of your profit model. The only reason to change your program is to make it better, damn it, and as a result be the best fucking program on the market, so good that other competitors eat shit and die in your presence. This is what competition is supposed to be like, not a pussy-footing plutocratic monopolist pissing contest that we see in today's software marketplace. You can market, you can brand, but at the end of the day, if your program is shit, you'll lose customers to a better developer.
And that is the killer principle of FLOSS - there is no incentive to change a program beyond that which makes the program better based on the desires of what the users want. There's no iTunes monopoly where updates that nobody asked for are inserted into customer's devices and forced down their throats like Steve Job's cancer-ridden cock and knot. The only updates that are applied to a program are the updates that the users and developers insist on, creative a positive cycle of user-developer interacting that ends up creating a better program for everybody involved. No money, just a sincere desire to be great.
And all of this isn't even mentioning the desire to share FLOSS with whoever wants to take advantage of them. It is very rare to find an open-source program that has a restrictive license, as the fundamental values of open-source software require than anybody can use it however they like, and be able to manipulate and distribute the program and its code in whatever way the users wants. Not only is this essential for speedy development, but it also spreads those liberties to the users by allowing them to, with some non-commercial restrictions, use the program however the fuck they like. Mod it, spin it, remix it, distribute it. The amount of programs that have come into this world based on the code of other programs is countless, and this spreading of ideas is only possible with a permissive license, much like the permissive license of my blog, which you can share with whoever you like, if you want to whore me out like that you fucking ho-slanger.
Closed-source software does not offer any of the liberty that open-source software does, and as a result of which, is obsolete in the cooperative and network-based globalised future, where people demand media that is not just free, but libre, where they can do what they want with it because it's their goddamn right to. FLOSS is spearheading a cultural revolution, and the black boxes are stuck in Congress. The only reason that companies can still get away with spreading this cancer on us, is that their customers are apathetic to it, using their software even though it has complete control over their system. That includes Windows and the Microsoft Band of Money-Hoarding Elves.
So what the fuck mate? What do I do?
What can you do? Stop fucking standing for proprietary software, that's what. Even if in a gun-to-head situation of "you have to use this", then don't give any money to any company which produces closed-source software, and instead support the development of superior, open-source alternatives. Yes, this even includes programs which have no alternatives, as a program that does not exist today will exist within a few years, and when those years come, it will have the wisdom of the present combined with the experience of the past, making a better program for the next generation.
Too hard? Anybody who desires to make a change in the world without causing an inconvenience is like expecting to plant a tree without digging a hole. You can only make change if you have the courage and the wisdom to break out of your old habits. I have absolutely no respect for people who fail to put in the effort to make society a better place to live.
Yes, I get it. Sometimes there are extraordinary circumstances which are hard to break out of. But that doesn't mean you can't try. Even if you are faced with a problem which seems insurmountable, the ability to take small steps to create something big is a skill that separates the truly great men from the shitty ones. The ability to take steps is what also creates truly bad things in the world, too, and so the sooner you manipulate this ability for good, the better off you'll make the world.
Either do good in the world, or get out of it. Support FLOSS, or support those people who would rather control it for the worse. You can support the same companies who will fuck you, take your money, and run when the heat's on, or support developers who sincerely want to make good products (and make a good resume, but there's no money in FLOSS).
And that can include you, if you really want to.
Back to Froghand for updates.
Today's page was updated on May 26, 2016.
All that's required for evil to spread is that good men do nothing.