[Gta04-owner] Status GTA04 EA

Bob Ham rah at bash.sh
Mon Sep 19 14:10:47 CEST 2011


On Mon, 2011-09-19 at 13:24 +0200, Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller wrote:
> Am 19.09.2011 um 12:23 schrieb Bob Ham:
> 
> > On Mon, 2011-09-19 at 11:06 +0200, Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller wrote:
> > 
> > Surely the best approach, in terms of freedom should be increasing
> > everybody's freedom by using a free firmware, 
> 
> The real problem is that there are no really small WiFi/Bluetooth combo chips
> on the market where the source code of the firmware is open.

Right, that is the problem.  At present, it is not possible to produce a
phone that uses 100% free software and firmware.  The FSF wants you
(Golden Delicious) to obey the Wi-Fi chip manufacturer's restriction of
your freedoms so that they can ignore those restrictions and endorse the
instructions running on a different semiconductor within the phone.

This isn't going to help freedom.  It won't help anyone produce a phone
with 100% free software and firmware.  It isn't going to free up the
Wi-Fi firmware or the modem firmware.  In fact, the FSF's suggestion
actually prevents anyone who may want to implement free firmware for the
Wi-Fi chip from doing so using the GTA04.  Not only that but the extra
cost of implementing the FSF's suggestions (including the time spent
arguing about it here) works to impede the GTA04's development.  It is
successors to this project that are the best hope for a genuinely free
phone.

So in effect, the FSF wants to reduce the likelihood of a genuinely free
phone in future in return for gaining increased brand value through a
partially free phone now.  This looks suspiciously to me like short-term
politics taking precedence over more important long-term goals.

-- 
Bob Ham <rah at bash.sh>

for (;;) { ++pancakes; }
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