Why we can’t regulate Google, etc:

Because of useful idiots like @conservancy legitimising them by being sponsored by them.

Me: Google is a surveillance capitalist that makes billions tracking and profiling you. They are a threat to our human rights and democracy. We just regulate them.

Policymaker: you must be mistaken, they’re the good guys. Look, here they are allowed to sponsor CopyLeft Conf with the FSF logo displayed proudly next to theirs.

Some of the foundations not only take Google's money, but also let Google dictate what to do. GNOME has this rule for the Board of Directors:
"Keep confidential discussions private. This includes legal discussions or conversations with the Advisory Board." Google is in the "Advisory" Board.


@aral @conservancy

I don't think Google uses GNOME in any of their products.
But GNOME Desktop has an option to integrate Google services into the desktop environment. For example automatic syncing user's GNOME calendar to their Google calendar. Also it can sync email, contacts, documents, photos and even printers.


Also, GNOME Desktop has native Google Drive integration.


@bob @aral

@neoncipher @bob FFS! (I’m sick of this crap. Seriously. Every stone you turn over, something new…)

@aral @neoncipher @bob well yeah, that's what you get when a company becomes big, rich and powerful enough: it puts its tentacles everywhere. It's just capitalism, nothing surprising here.

Terrible, yes; but not surprising.

@mathieu @bob @neoncipher @aral it's also not like Google gets any special treatment in this - GNOME also supports IMAP/SMTP and free providers for other services as well, such as Nextcloud for contacts, files, calendar, and notes.

The unfortunate truth is that if you want the average person using free software, that software will need to have the ability to connect to common services until we can make them less common.

@brainblasted @aral @neoncipher @mathieu @bob

Exactly. Not supporting Google's products simply means that people who use them will not use you app/desktop/whatever. Supporting proprietary services and libre services equally well provides a means for people to migrate from the former to the latter.


@mjog @aral @bob

When I was using GNOME I could easily access my Gmail account from a browser. You don't need a standalone app for that. The reason why I stopped using GNOME is that it keeps pushing some hidden corporate agenda, using corporate money. I care about my privacy and freedom more that I care about interface usability because I know how dangerous surveillance capitalism is. Exploiting non-tech-savvy people who have no idea about how modern tracking works is a shame.


I've commented on your use of youtube before.

It's less I fault you or @neoncipher or @aral (Apple) for using these centralizing FAANG/GAFAM companies, especially if you're working to move people away from them. 1/2


@deejoe @mjog @aral @neoncipher Moving away from YouTube is complicated by the copyright situation. It is possible to mirror a YouTube video or channel on PeerTube, but unless it's Creative Commons then there's legal liability to deal with. Google has a lot of lawyers to rebuff the vultures, but self-hosting non-CC content is a lot more risky.

Another thing to remember is that after the p2p wars laws were introduced against "pirates". In the UK there was the now totally forgotten Digital Economy Act of 2010, rushed through because these things always are. It allows for copyright infringers to be disconnected from the internet either at the ISP level or just by cutting the cable. So far I don't think that law has been used, but it's there waiting for the appropriate moment of political expediency.

Sorry @bob it looks like there is a lot you have to say there, but all I see is "my rationalizations are the only valid ones".

@neoncipher @aral @mjog

@deejoe @mjog @aral @neoncipher There are a few possible approaches. I could just stick to archive.org and the existing PeerTube sites.


I wasn't challenging your purity so much as your compassion, but ok, sure, that could work too.

At least, from here on out. The lesson about the broader struggle remains.

@aral @neoncipher @mjog

@deejoe @mjog @neoncipher @aral I've never claimed to be pure. In fact, I wrote a lot of proprietary software in the past, although it was typically for industrial systems rather than more common use cases.

It's the call-out culture, purity-politics, very much outrage-driven, circular firing squad (and thus *very* FAANG-like in its engagement qualities) to which you are subjecting @conservancy and GNOME that hurts.

We're supposed to be doing better than that, here. Please do so.



@mjog @aral @bob

@neoncipher @mjog @aral @bob :

So now you don't use GNOME to access your Gmail account?

(I thought that this toot was a parody)

@neoncipher @mjog @aral @bob I don't understand. I don't use GNOME's UIs much, but how do you see them "pushing a corporate agenda"?

@alcinnz @mjog @bob

There was a long discussion about that 5 days ago:

In short: GNOME has Google in their “Advisory board”. Their conversations are strictly private (GNOME has that as a rule). Google gives money and GNOME implements integration with Google services, refusing to include alternative privacy-friendly solutions. All that goes without any warning about privacy violations for the users.

@aral mentioned it in his article:

@neoncipher @mjog @bob @aral Yeah, I've seen that. I guess compared to what I see from Mac and Windows this is nothing, and passes by quickly once you've got everything set up.

And the reasoning for not integrating Fastmail specifically is that they want to do something a bit more generic with it. Because they're one of the few eMail providers which implemented for allowing them to download these settings.

If you want something more privacy protecting then that, it requires more effort.

@neoncipher @mjog @bob @aral Then again, I would prefer some more subtlety in how these services are integrated into the UI, so that integration doesn't become promotion.

But I don't think it's because of Google's influence or a desire to push an agenda that we have this. If it was, GNOME Web would be very different.

GNOME's simply trying to deliver what they think people expect.

@alcinnz @neoncipher @mjog @bob Can we agree that GNOME does not think Google is harmful or they would not be on their advisory committee?

Thus, can we agree that GNOME will not protect people from Google (because why would you protect people from a thing that isn’t harmful and is – moreover – advising you?)

Can we agree that that is a problem?

@aral @neoncipher @mjog @bob I can agree that the GNOME foundation doesn't appear to see Google as (at least too much) of a problem. Though I hear they really don't have that much off an influence over their projects.

And that I prefer an approach of using standards to improve your experience BEFORE you resort to integrations. Let that heavily influence your designs. But I won't vilify anyone for doing otherwise.

@aral @bob @mjog @neoncipher @alcinnz Aral, GNOME is not the GNOME Foundation. The GNOME Foundation is disconnected from every day development on GNOME, and it does not represent the views of every contributor to GNOME.

Many people working on GNOME are vehemently against surveillance capitalism - that's why a lot of us are working on it: to provide an alternative platform to those created by surveillance capitalists. It is a problem that the Foundation receives money from Google, but it certainly doesn't mean that we don't care.

I wonder if the anonymous donor who pledged $1M donation to the GNOME Foundation is aware that “The GNOME Foundation is disconnected from every day development on GNOME”. They must be pissed right now. 😮


@brainblasted @alcinnz @aral @mjog @bob

@brainblasted @alcinnz @aral @neoncipher @mjog @bob sorry for all the @‘s; this has been bothering me.

1. services (e.g. hosting) cost money
2. contributors to OSS should be paid
3. many horrible corporations are built on top of OSS
4. these corporations are told they “owe” the OSS projects they’ve leveraged
5. some of them write checks to “support” the thing that helped them generate profit
6. if the OSS project takes the money, their morals have been compromised

how does this make sense?

@Shamar @brainblasted @alcinnz @neoncipher @mjog @bob @aral i agree with this entirely. users need to have accurate information presented in the proper contexts in order to make informed decisions. integration with the insecure 3rd party can’t be presented as equivalent to the privacy-respecting option.

@Shamar @brainblasted @alcinnz @neoncipher @mjog @bob @aral we need a way to reliably fund OSS that isnt pity payments from corporations. much thought has been given to that (see the list at github.com/nayafia/lemonade-st). github also hosted a meeting related to the topic which has a forum: discourse.sustainoss.org/ . i would also caution against assuming a board or advisory seat = a great deal of influence. not only are there bylaws etc, their competitors are sitting at the same table.

@Shamar @brainblasted @alcinnz @neoncipher @mjog @bob @aral (don’t get me wrong: i don’t like the current way of doing things at all. i just have a little bit of insight from seeing the way the linux foundation works with its OSS projects.)

@Shamar @brainblasted @alcinnz @neoncipher @mjog @bob @aral unfortunately i don’t. it’s extremely corporate. there is tremendous emphasis on sales and market penetration. it seems entirely in the service of capitalism and “enterprise software”. if i could think of anything positive to say, it would be that they have facilitated the long-term stability of some important things that nobody else wants to pay for.

@Shamar @alana @brainblasted @neoncipher @mjog @bob @aral I haven't been following The Linux Foundation (or most others foundations TBH), but for the Linux kernel last I studied it I'm quite happy with.

It does a great job making sure all our hardware just works, and any privacy concerns would be due to misconfiguration that typically doesn't occur.

@alcinnz @aral @mjog @neoncipher @brainblasted @alana @Shamar

There are much bigger kernel level privacy issues coming if Fuchsia starts shipping.

@xj9 @bob @aral @mjog @neoncipher @brainblasted @alana @Shamar

Personally I'm happy to continue using the Linux kernel as long as my favourite operating system (even if that's no longer elementary OS) still likes it. As long as they don't enable the network file systems by default, they can be extremely useful if they're opt-in.


We all had that insight when we saw the Linux Foundation president used MacOS for the presentation at the Open Source Summit. Hypocrisy among open source foundations is off the scale.

@brainblasted @alcinnz @mjog @bob @aral

@neoncipher @brainblasted @alcinnz @mjog @bob @aral 😂 ha; well — why should he use anything but what he likes? if your priority is demonstrating the linux desktop’s consumer viability, plugging into various hotels’ AV systems would backfire badly.

Okay, , please raise hands who can help the Linux Foundation president handle a Linux-operated laptop at the open source summit. Some people here think it’s impossible and he should use MacOS.

@alana @brainblasted @alcinnz @mjog @bob @aral

@neoncipher @alana @brainblasted @mjog @bob @aral

Should he be willing, I think I could.

I find that's the big problem, with people being willing to make a switch.

@alcinnz @neoncipher @brainblasted @mjog @bob @aral folks, it’s not an issue of teaching grampy zemlin to use the linux; its an issue of being able to plug into that jack on the podium and have your presentation come up on the overhead looking how you’d expect it to look. even windows can scarcely manage to do that.. there’s a whole bunch of users like that who just buy macs. who cares, honestly

@alcinnz @neoncipher @brainblasted @mjog @bob @aral oh lord, thankfully no. it’s the hell of their audio visual setups, and the technicians who they assign to your event, and so on. it’s miserable and, since it’s the LF CEO’s main requirement, i think him not using linux is not so important. if i made a pie chart of the types of people i think the linux desktop should target as users, jet-setting executives who do a lot of public speaking wouldn’t really be a significant group

@neoncipher @brainblasted @alcinnz @mjog @bob @aral quick note, you can only respond if you actually have any experience with hotel AV systems; otherwise your perspective is just wishful thinking 😂

@alana @neoncipher @brainblasted @mjog @bob @aral I don't understand, where does the comment of hotel AV systems come from? What exactly is the issue?

@alana @neoncipher @brainblasted @alcinnz @mjog @bob @aral I do presentations like once a quarter with my Linux laptops with no issues (I usually bring a dongle for DVI but now I'm on USB-C/HDMI and a DVI fallback). I feel like it's really on devices to be more friendly/open

@jalcine @alana @neoncipher @brainblasted @alcinnz @mjog @bob @aral Just looked it up to verify myself; I thought Darwin is BSD-licensed, but I was wrong. It’s under the Apple Public Source License. It is FSF and OSI approved, though. 😀

@neoncipher @alana @brainblasted @alcinnz @mjog @bob @aral

install lxrandr
plug in thing
run lxrandr
it works.

This has never failed me in my life.

@brainblasted @aral @alana @neoncipher @mjog @bob @alcinnz

oh no, I have to make an active choice to do something! THE HORROR!

@popefucker @neoncipher @alana @brainblasted @mjog @bob @aral

This leads me to think that the lxrandr code should become part of Linux. Or maybe XOrg, I don't know.

On a related note: I wonder if Wayland makes these AV peripherals work better or worse in general?

@alcinnz @neoncipher @alana @brainblasted @mjog @bob @aral randr is already part of Xorg. lxrandr is just lxde's frontend for it.

@alcinnz @neoncipher @alana @brainblasted @mjog @bob @aral I think if you run lxde it opens whenever you plug something in, too

@popefucker @neoncipher @alana @brainblasted @mjog @bob @aral Cool! I didn't know what that command was.

I was just thinking that if it tends to fix the problems, it should be just part of the computer's process for connecting a new display. Which you're saying to some extent it is.

@alcinnz @neoncipher @alana @brainblasted @mjog @bob @aral yeah the (worst and best) thing about linux is that there are widely varying configurations. My system is totally different from your system, and a lot of the times stuff that works on one linux installation won't work on another for a variety of reasons.

It's nice for those of us who like to tinker but sucks for people who just want to install the OS and use it. Then you get Ubuntu and whatnot, which are nice but don't always have what you want.

@popefucker @neoncipher @alana @brainblasted @mjog @bob @aral Personally I don't like to refer to it as a singular OS, for pretty much that reason.

Drop "Linux" (or "GNU/Linux") from the names of all the distros that have it. Drop the expectation that they are configured in pretty much the same way.

Because to most people they look widley different, and impressions shouldn't transfer.

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