[Dev] Misleading information in EOMA68 news

Christopher Waid chris at thinkpenguin.com
Fri Aug 26 03:13:06 GMT 2016

On 2016-08-25 10:03 PM, Tiberiu-Cezar Tehnoetic wrote:
> On 26.08.2016 02:18, Christopher Waid wrote:
>> On 2016-08-25 05:59 AM, Tiberiu-Cezar Tehnoetic wrote:
>>> On 25.08.2016 11:42, Christopher Waid wrote:
>>>> I'm having a hard time taking you seriously. Wake me when you've
>>>> actually contributed something of significance and aren't just 
>>>> trying to
>>>> undermine those working on solving these problems. For some of us it
>>>> isn't about financial gain. We actually want to see 100% free 
>>>> hardware.
>>> I don't need you to take me seriously. I'm merely stating the facts 
>>> and
>>> drawing logical conclusions. I could be just a new free software user
>>> with no contribution what so ever.
>> No. Your selectively quoting with the clear intent to mislead. You are
>> doing exactly what you propose we're doing. There is a difference
>> between accidentally misstating something technical and selectively
>> pulling quotes that make it sound as if I was misleading people.
> Freedom is not a technicality, but I've been told this before by people
> who do librewashing. Of course you're misleading people. You've been
> doing this for several years and you're getting better and better at 
> it.
> Also, I'd like to mention that English is not my mother tongue (that is
> Romanian) and I don't have the language skills to express my ideas as
> well as a native, nor I have or desire to have your manipulation skills
> to do brainwashing with gigantic replies. Moreover, I'm not getting 
> paid
> for my activism work, so if I'm spending time raising awareness on
> freedom issues, I do it sacrificing hours I should be spending to be
> able to support myself and in the process serve people hardware
> compatible with fully free operating systems.

I never said freedom was a technicality. You're intentionally 
misunderstanding what I'm saying. Your understanding of English isn't 
that bad.

>>> If you believe that what I'm doing is undermining your projects, then
>>> you might be do something wrong in your projects. Like claiming your
>>> proprietary BIOS laptops and desktops are OK in regard to software
>>> freedom as your WiFi adapters.
>> I never made that claim. You are twisting words around as if that is
>> what I was saying. It was clear from the video and I'd encourage 
>> anybody
>> who believes this to watch it.
> I will repeat the arguments and the logic once more. I hate that you're
> wasting my time by making me do this over and over again, while instead
> you could read again my arguments and logic and see if they make sense.
> Okay, here is another attempt to prove that I'm not falsely accusing
> you. This time I will break it into small baby steps.

You are quoting ancient text that was pulled from our about page I think 
from a very very long time ago. The actual about page hasn't included 
this for years. Yes- it was imperfect and has LONG ago been 
fixed/improved upon.

Get lost.

> Quoting:
> "ThinkPenguin, Inc. is currently the only company with a significant
> catalog selling free software friendly hardware. From wifi adapters and
> printers to desktops and laptops. For more information on free software
> friendly hardware check out the Free Software Foundation's Respect Your
> Freedom web site at: fsf.org/ryf."
> https://www.thinkpenguin.com/gnu-linux/short-interview-christopher-waid-about-thinkpenguin-linux-action-show
> I'm now breaking this paragraph into logical sentences:
> S1: ThinkPenguin has a significant catalog of free software friendly
> hardware.
> S2: ThinkPenguin's catalog of free software friendly hardware is
> significant because it ranges from wifi adapters and printers to
> desktops and laptops.
> S1 & S2 => S3
> S3: The free software friendly hardware at ThinkPenguin ranges from 
> wifi
> adapters and printers to desktops and laptops.
> S4: So far ThinkPenguin has provided you information on the free
> software friendly hardware at ThinkPenguin.
> S5: For more information on free software friendly hardware, check out
> FSF's RYF web site.
> S4 & S5 => S6
> S6: ThinkPenguin's free software friendly hardware is the same as the
> hardware FSF says it respects your freedom.
> S3 & S6 => S7
> S7: ThinkPenguin's hardware ranging from wifi adapters and printers to
> desktops and laptops respect your freedom.
> This is basic logic any visitor reading the paragraph would apply and
> reach the same conclusion.
> (S)he couldn't find ThinkPenguin's laptops listed as certified on the
> FSF's RYF page, but couldn't find listed some of ThinkPenguin's wifi
> adapters either. Or some other hardware at ThinkPenguin, like printers,
> for instance.
> (S)he could think that ThinkPenguin has decided not to submit the
> laptops for FSF's RYF certification, the way some of the ThinkPenguin's
> wifi adapters haven't been submitted for certification, although all
> their wifi adapters are respecting user's freedom. Or (s)he could 
> simply
> think that ThinkPenguin's laptops are currently under evaluation at 
> FSF.
> In any case, (s)he looks for the laptops at ThinkPenguin and find the
> two product pages:
> https://www.thinkpenguin.com/gnu-linux/korora-penguin-gnu-linux-notebook
> https://www.thinkpenguin.com/gnu-linux/penguin-adelie-gnu-linux-laptop
> (S)he's now looking at the notes below the product pictures and finds
> the list of supported operating systems. After reading a list of 
> several
> common distros which ship nonfree software (Linux Mint 18, Ubuntu 
> 16.04,
> Slackware 14.2, Fedora 24, openSUSE Tumbleweed, Debian Testing, Arch),
> (s)he finds listed free distros like Parabola and Trisquel. (S)he's
> happy (s)he can run a fully free operating system on ThinkPenguin's 
> laptop.
> (S)he scraps the product pages of the laptops, then takes a closer look
> at the specifications, and finds *no* warning these laptops have *big*
> freedom issues such as proprietary BIOS. Happily (s)he orders one and
> tells everyone (s)he has a ThinkPenguin laptop which respects her/his
> freedom. If (s)he's lucky, a free software activist will tell her 
> different.
> If someone thinks only that page at ThinkPenguin throws their wifi
> adapters and laptops in the same freedom category without warning about
> the proprietary BIOS, (s)he's wrong. Their About page does the same
> thing. A lot of pages at FSF about ThinkPenguin do the the same thing,
> including:
> *
> https://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/fsf-members-now-get-5-off-thinkpenguin-free-software-friendly-devices
> * https://fsf.org/associate/benefits/
> * https://my.fsf.org/
> When FSF approached me for including the Tehnoetic S2 preinstalled with
> Replicant in the 2015 Giving Guide, I agreed. When I read the text they
> prepared which was entirely positive, I asked them to include the
> warning that the modem runs a proprietary system. And the Tehnoetic
> devices preinstalled with Replicant have product pages filled with
> warnings about the freedom issues. I've also integrated in the text
> suggestions from PaulK (Replicant developer) and Tehnoetic customers to
> make the warnings more clear.
> https://www.fsf.org/givingguide/v6/
> https://tehnoetic.com/mobile-devices
> Below are more attempts of ThinkPenguin to brainwash people.
> Like stating that they don't need to provide the PCB design sources
> before the campaign ends, even though all this time they have falsely
> claimed and fooled a lot of people into backing the campaign on the
> premise that their project is "libre hardware right from the 
> beginning",
> making a lot of people including the Parabola developers (the free
> distro they preinstall on their computer) to fall in the trap and
> propagate this big lie. Like saying everything about a computer is
> "libre hardware", err... with one exception... the *computer* itself!
> Err... "every bit of firmware on our laptops is free software, except
> for the BIOS which is... outside". "Libre" computer err... except the
> computer. Every bit of firmware is free software, err... except the 
> most
> important firmware, the BIOS! But that's... "outside".
> And other things. Like claiming a publicly available *not* self-hosting
> *free* operating system doesn't have to include the config file (the
> allegedly modified u-boot *bootloader* wasn't/isn't included either!) 
> in
> the sources for users of that *free* operating system to actually be
> able to run that free system on a supported router, not necessarily
> bought from ThinkPenguin.
> Back and forth from LibreCMC project to ThinkPenguin and Software
> Freedom Conservancy, I've been asking for the LibreCMC config file for 
> a
> target and free u-boot sources, with no success. Only few ThinkPenguin
> customers on Trisquel forum have provided that:
> https://trisquel.info/en/forum/thinkpenguins-heavily-modified-version-u-boot
> Does for instance Replicant, another *not* self-hosted *free* system 
> not
> provide config files for targets along with the source code? Or the
> bootloader for any new target that can have a free bootloader? It does
> provide, because Replicant is a *true* free system, following the FSDG:
> https://www.gnu.org/distros/free-system-distribution-guidelines.html#complete-distros
> And many, many other lies and manipulations. I've spent again too much
> of my time to raise awareness on the freedom issues of ThinkPenguin, so
> I'll stop now because it's almost morning and no one pays me for my
> activism work except my business Tehnoetic.
>>> Like claiming EOMA68 board is libre
>>> hardware although no one has access to the PCB CAD files under a
>>> free/libre license.
>> Everything is already available with one exception that was clearly
>> stated and the reason why. Luke was upfront about everything:
>> "The only exception to this rule to release everything in advance is 
>> the
>> PCB CAD files for the Computer Card. We’re planning to release the PCB
>> CAD files for the Computer card once sufficient units are hit that
>> ensures any third party manufacturing runs will not undermine the
>> project’s development or stability."
>> I also already explained that someone has already attempted to 
>> undermine
>> the project. The decision to withhold this is temporary, and nobody 
>> said
>> it was beholden on the success of the campaign even, and given that we
>> have already released everything else our intent is clear.
>> It's also unusual to release this kind of thing if it is released at 
>> all
>> prior to the shipping of the rewards. It's not even wrong to release
>> nothing until after the crowd funding campaign is done or the rewards
>> ship. The fact it is being done prior is in spirit with the philosophy
>> and a mark of good will toward the community.
>>> Like not guaranteeing EOMA68 campaign backers that
>>> they will receive the PCB CAD files under a free license along with 
>>> the
>>> EOMA68 product when shipped.
>> It's already abundantly clear that it's going to be released. We're at
>> $145,300 of $150,000 as of this moment. That is 97% and there is still
>> 25 hours to go. There is zero chance we won't hit that target and
>> technically we already surpassed the number needed for us to proceed
>> because the # we estimated could not be 100% determined until we knew
>> the ratios of rewards. Given that I don't see any reason Luke won't 
>> post
>> the files soon. If he doesn't though it still won't matter from an
>> ethical stand point because they will be released well before anybody
>> gets these devices and it will be within the statements/promises made.
>> Nobody is breaking a promise here.
>>> Like claiming EOMA68 board is a
>>> breakthrough in the line of software freedom. Like undermining 
>>> Libreboot
>>> project and spreading FUD about it (that Libreboot is only for old
>>> x86-based laptops).
>> While it supports a newer ARM laptop or two it's not any better
>> ethically speaking from a freedom stand point than using free versions
>> of Uboot. These Chromebooks are actually hostile to users freedom and
>> I'd highly discourage people from going this route. The older X86
>> LibreBoot laptops don't depend on proprietary firmwares for the wifi
>> chips. With the older X86 laptops you can replace the internal wifi
>> cards with free ones. That's not possible on the newer Chromebooks. 
>> This
>> is just one great example of why EOMA68 matters so much.
>> LibreBoot's value when you talk about freedom is on older X86 laptops.
>> This is not FUD, just fact. There may be other features that are
>> desirable and therefore support of EOMA68 devices makes sense. However
>> it is not an ethics or freedom issue.
>>> Like not providing config file to build LibreCMC.
>> You are flat out lying. We ship it with every router on CD.
>>> Like LibreCMC not building at all lately.
>> This is nonsense. There are better directions for building LibreCMC 
>> than
>> just about any other project and we are frequently complimented on how
>> easy it is to get working. The Software Freedom Conservancy even used
>> our routers as an example of how to do GPL compliance properly:
>> https://copyleft.org/guide/comprehensive-gpl-guidech22.html. If there
>> are issues building LibreCMC it's not something we did explicitly. It
>> could be any number of problems.
>> This is telling:
>> "If an investigator of average skill in embedded firmware construction
>> can surmise the proper procedures to build and install a replacement
>> firmware, the instructions are likely sufficient to meet GPL’s
>> requirements."
>> Given they were able to build an image independent of us and are not 
>> the
>> only ones it's reasonable to state you are full of it. We even 
>> improved
>> the directions to make them better in the one area that they indicated
>> improvement could be made (it was still completely GPL compliant 
>> despite
>> this).
>>> Like corrupting FSF to recommend your proprietary BIOS laptops and
>>> desktops.
>> Is anybody here buying this? The FSF is a totally independent
>> organization that we have zero effective influence over. There is
>> insignificant amounts going to the FSF relative to the donations and
>> monies coming from other sources. It might not have been a good idea 
>> for
>> them to word this as they did. However I did not have any involvement 
>> in
>> this wording and there is no money being exchanged here.
>> Here is the disclaimer: 10% of our regular eBay sales go to the FSF.
>> This amount is donated via proxy and therefore I don't even think the
>> FSF is aware that said donations are coming from us. I have an 
>> associate
>> member subscription with the FSF. I have purchased a lot of t-shirts
>> from the FSF over the years. We have sponsored Libre Planet for a 
>> number
>> of years. I was once in a bidding war for a GNU stuffed animal and a 
>> GNU
>> 30th cup at the GNU 30th b'day party that resulted in less than $600 
>> USD
>> going to the FSF. These were less than $50 and you could buy them 
>> before
>> and after the auction. During the holiday one year we did contribute
>> some amount from each sale to the FSF during the holiday promotion
>> guide. So did others I believe.
>> Now we do contribute to the Trisquel project 25% of the profits from 
>> any
>> user purchasing through http://libre.thinkpenguin.com. This is the 
>> link
>> that the FSF uses, many freedom conscious bloggers, Trisquel/FSF
>> members, and so on. We have also sponsored Ruben's (Trisquel founder)
>> accommodations or travel in the past when has come to Libre Planet. 
>> This
>> pre-dates Ruben's employment with the FSF.
>> I think that sums it up. Nothing of significance relative to the 
>> million
>> dollars they have (https://www.fsf.org/about/financial).

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