Very cool. I hope the quality of the video conference is reasonable.
I am more interested in the first topic. My problem with the second two is
that, for now at least, software patents are a fact of life. I agree that they
are nonsensical and offensive (You're granting a monopoly on mathematical
constructs, good idea!) but I don't see what can be done in the short term.
Yes, yes, donate to the EFF, write to people, I know. I'm not interested in
politics, I'll vote in the interest of sanity but I can only do so much.
On the other hand, there is the SCO debacle which is rife with opportunities
for clever quips (always a good opener). There's also a good deal of
potentially useful information. I'd like to know more about the development
details, the structure of lieutenants and foot soldiers that pour through the
mountains of messages that must be aimed at Linus. Beyond that level, if it's
to be considered an OS not just a kernal, tell me more about GUI unification,
making Linux "ready for the desktop".
So that's my vote and that's why. I'm up for debate.
Quoting dvanhorn <[log in to unmask]>:
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> The University of Vermont Computer Science Student Association will present
> Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation (fsf.org), in
> Lafayette 403 on October 14, 2003 from 6:30 - 8:30pm via video conference
> feed. The talk will be open to the public and free of admission, however
> room seats only 50 people so the CSSA will have an RSVP period (TBA) for
> people to reserve seats.
> The subject of the talk however has yet to be determined. We have 3 options
> outlined below. Please read the following abstracts and if you have a
> preference, send me an email ([log in to unmask]) by next Monday (9/15)
> indicating which talk you would like to participate in. I will tally the
> responses and announce the talk with the appropriate abstract shortly after.
> 1) The Free Software Movement and the GNU/Linux Operating System
> Richard Stallman will speak about the purpose, goals, philosophy,
> methods, status, and future prospects of the GNU operating system,
> which in combination with the kernel Linux is now used by an
> estimated 17 to 20 million users world wide.
> 2) Copyright vs Community in the Age of Computer Networks
> Copyright developed in the age of the printing press, and was designed
> to fit with the system of centralized copying imposed by the printing
> press. But the copyright system does not fit well with computer
> networks, and only draconian punishments can enforce it.
> The global corporations that profit from copyright are lobbying
> for draconian punishments, and to increase their copyright powers,
> while suppressing public access to technology. But if we
> seriously hope to serve the only legitimate purpose of
> copyright--to promote progress, for the benefit of the
> public--then we must make changes in the other direction.
> 3) For Against Software Patents, you can use this abstract:
> Richard Stallman will explain how software patents obstruct
> software development. Software patents are patents that cover
> software ideas. They restrict the development of software, so
> that every design decision brings a risk of getting sued. Patents
> in other fields restrict factories, but software patents restrict
> every computer user. Economic research shows that they even
> retard progress.
> If you have any further questions about the CSSA Speaker Series, don't
> hesitate to contact me or any other CSSA officer; the CSSA welcomes all
> comments. Also, if you are a student or faculty member who would like to
> a talk in this year's series we would be delighted to host such an event.
> look forward to a great year full of engaging CSSA activities!
> Thank you,
> David Van Horn
> Public Liaison Officer of the CSSA
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