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GNU is Not Unix

Nick Moffitt Interview 146

Swedish hacker-wannabee writes "Nick Moffitt is in an interesting interview at Gnuheter. Moffitt: 'I want to see a future where when I buy something, I own it. I don't want corporations and governments telling me how I may or may not use my own private property in my own home or among my friends. I want the ability to take apart my toaster or my alarm clock and see how they work, or combine them into something new. I don't think this future is possible without some serious effort on the part of hackers.'"
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Nick Moffitt Interview

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  • knowledgeable buyers (Score:2, Interesting)

    by SuperDuG ( 134989 ) <(kt.celce) (ta) (eb)> on Friday July 19, 2002 @01:49PM (#3917882) Homepage Journal
    Who here doesn't know what they're buying? And if you don't know and you don't like it, you can return it to where you bought it from (most of the time). If you own something, can you destroy it? Yes. If you own something is it anyone elses responsibility to make it better or fix it when it's broke? No. This is why we have consumer awareness groups, so you know what you're actually buying. You can't buy a car and whine because it's not a convertable, but you want to easily make it a convertable.

    Basically this is a whiner article if you ask me.

  • Amen! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ajs ( 35943 ) <ajs AT ajs DOT com> on Friday July 19, 2002 @01:55PM (#3917926) Homepage Journal
    You know, I think we need to start thinking of the hackers of years gone by. This sort of clear, concrete idea of what's at stake will really help get through to the baby-boomer engineering crowd and explain, "You know that radio you took apart when you were a kid? For the next generation, it will come with an EULA and be protected from tampering by at least 4 fedral laws that carry fines and prison terms."

    There is a generation out there, most of whom have no idea what this generation think, but who will feel compelled to action if they think future engineers and tinkerers will be disuaded from early experimentation.

    How can we get that message out? Where do we tell that story? Certainly there are media outlets like Popular Science, Scientific American, etc.

    Anyone out there a well credited sociologist and want to take on the comparison of 1950s/60s egineering boomers with the early 2000s hackers and the threats to their future that boomers never had to worry about?
  • by Digitalia ( 127982 ) on Friday July 19, 2002 @01:59PM (#3917965) Homepage
    I missed his point at first, as I believe you have. he does not care about the ability to destroy his property, nor does he desire the manufactures to make it easier for him to hack his property. His desire, I believe, is to protect that very right to hack, which is so quickly disappearing. Some may scoff, but the trend in software--of protecting intellectual property so greatly as to render any consumers impotent to hack--can very easily be caried over into the "physical" world. These laws, such as the DMCA, pose a serious threat to the hacking of other, non-computer items. This is the threat which hackers must take seriously.
  • by bons ( 119581 ) on Friday July 19, 2002 @02:17PM (#3918094) Homepage Journal
    "I want to see a future where when I buy something, I own it."

    As nice and simple as this sounds, I find that I end up not really understanding it. If I buy the toaster and the alarm clock and take them both apart and put them together in a new way, I should also be able to sell my creation.

    Ok. I'm fine with that. And I can see where licenses, patents, and other legal entities get in the way of this.

    Unfortunately, the Open Source community depends on a number of licenses that completely prevents this. If I actually buy a copy of Linux I can tear it apart and modify it, but I don't have the rights to simply resell my new creation. There are a number of requirements I have to meet before I can do that. I have to essentially provide a free copy of my changes in raw form to Big Brother and everyone else in order to do that.

    Hmmmm. This has just gotten a lot more complicated. Do I want other people tearing apart my work and distributing the new creations as theirs? Do I want to tear apart other people's work and distribute the new creation as mine?

    I think that's a question we need to ask ourselves. Do we want everyone to have these freedoms and are we willing to accept how these freedoms can be abused by corporations and individuals?

  • by nickm ( 1468 ) on Friday July 19, 2002 @02:26PM (#3918167) Homepage
    Actually, no. We were, however, neighbors for at least a year and didn't even know it. I'm actually in his new home town right now, and may drop by to see him this weekend.
  • by mwigmani ( 558450 ) on Friday July 19, 2002 @03:56PM (#3918804)
    This? []

Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming