quarta-feira, 23 de setembro de 2009

an important hidden text at windows7sins.org

Recently i found a text from http://windows7sins.org, which i found too important to be hidden in the "Learn more" link - since i can't link it anywere, i'm copying it to my blog post here:

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." -- Lao Tzu

Increasingly, computers are expected to be useful tools in our children's education. But today, most children whose education involves computers are being taught to use one company's product: Microsoft's. Microsoft spends large sums on lobbyists and marketing to procure the support of educational departments.

The education of children represents a major revenue stream for Microsoft, and a strategic opportunity to embed their products into the lives of future adults. By enticing schools to teach their students using Windows and associated software, Microsoft can also make parents feel obliged to provide the same software at home. Where else do we see one corporation able to put their marketing and corporate branded materials in front of children as requirements in this way?

Many US states even boast about how they are cooperating with Microsoft, either ignoring or not understanding the corrupting influence that accepting freebies from this huge corporation has on their government. Because Microsoft's software is proprietary, it is incompatible with education. Users are simply passive consumers in their interactions with Windows. They are legally forbidden from adapting the software to solve a particular problem, or from satisfying an intellectual curiosity by examining its source code. An education using the power of computers should be a means to freedom and empowerment, not an avenue for one corporation to instill its monopoly through indoctrination.

Free software, on the other hand, gives children a route to empowerment, by encouraging them to explore and learn. Nowhere was the promise of an educational platform using free software more significant than the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project. Launched by MIT professor Nicholas Negroponte in 2003, OLPC was designed to lead children around the world to an advanced education using the combination of information technology and freedom. The project aimed to produce low-cost devices (starting with one called the XO) so that millions of children could have access to them, and free software, so they would [have the critical freedoms to explore and share their software][1].

Then [under pressure from Microsoft] [2], Negroponte backed the project away from its commitment to freedom and announced that the machine would also be a platform for running the nonfree Windows XP operating system.

Microsoft is now targeting governments who are purchasing XOs, in an attempt to get them to replace the free software with Windows. It remains to be seen to what degree Microsoft will succeed. But with all of this pressure, Microsoft has harmed a project that has distributed more than 1 million laptops running free software, and has taken aim at the low-cost platform as a way to make poor children around the world dependent on its products. The OLPC threatens to become another example of the way Microsoft convinces governments around the world that an education involving computers must be synonymous with an education using Windows. In order to prevent this, it is vital that we work to raise global awareness of the harm Microsoft's involvement does to our children's education.

"To create educational opportunities for the world's poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop with content and software designed for collaborative, joyful, self-empowered learning. When children have access to this type of tool they get engaged in their own education. They learn, share, create, and collaborate. They become connected to each other, to the world and to a brighter future."




segunda-feira, 21 de setembro de 2009

Microsoft quando abusa, passa dos limites

A um tempo atrás, publiquei uma mensagem neste blog sobre o EULA do ms-Windows Vista.

E uma parte do EULA simplesmente diz: "The terms of the Vista EULA, like the current EULA related to the “Windows Genuine Advantage,” allows Microsoft to unilaterally decide that you have breached the terms of the agreement, and they can essentially disable the software, and possibly deny you access to critical files on your computer without benefit of proof, hearing, testimony or judicial intervention."

O pior que pode acontecer realmente aconteceu: a Microsoft remotamente formatou o disco do computador de uma amiga minha, apagando todos os ficheiros do computador incluindo trabalhos de investigação muito importantes, e deixando o Vista como se tivesse sido acabado de instalar. Situação muito estranha, que só merece indignação e revolta.

Ainda estou muito chocado com o que se passou, é mesmo surpreendente. E se querem mesmo continuar a usar o Vista, ou acreditar que algo vá mudar com o Windows 7, é por vossa conta. Só sei que um abuso a este nível é inadmissível, e acho que não sou só eu a ter esta opinião.