Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Interview: How a hacker became a freedom fighter

Filed under
Interviews
OSS

One of the founding fathers of "free software" and an esteemed elder of the hacking community, Richard Stallman has made defending people's freedoms his life's work. That usually means supplying hackers with software and attacking copyright law. But as he tells Michael Reilly, his advocacy of personal freedoms extends to the protection of true democracy and of the human rights increasingly being trampled on in the US and elsewhere

Is it true you used to live in your office?

Yes it is. I lived there for half of the 1980s and most of the 1990s.

What made you do that?

It was convenient and cheap. To walk home to another place when I was sleepy was a very bad thing: first of all, if I was sleepy, it might take a couple of hours before I could get it together to put on my coat and my shoes and so on. And after that, walking home would wake me up, so when I got home I wouldn't go to sleep either. It was so much better to just be able to go to sleep where I was.

What does "hacker" mean to you?

A hacker is someone who enjoys playful cleverness. I know many people think it means security breaker, but since "hacker" is what we call ourselves in my community, I won't accept a derogatory meaning. If you want to refer to security breakers you should call them "crackers". You can be a hacker in a lot of different media, it doesn't have to be with computers. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology there's an old tradition in which people "hack" buildings and public spaces, by putting up the famous "Nerd Crossing" road sign, for example. It didn't involve breaking any security and it was playful and clever.

On playfulness, when did you start saying "happy hacking" as an alternative to goodbye?

more here




More in Tux Machines

AndEX Puts Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 64-Bit on Your PC with GAPPS and Netflix

GNU/Linux developer Arne Exton has released a new build of his Android-x86 fork AndEX that leverages Google's Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 mobile operating system for 64-bit PCs with various updates and improvements. Read more

today's leftovers

  • Future Proof Your SysAdmin Career: Advancing with Open Source
    For today’s system administrators, the future holds tremendous promise. In this ebook, we have covered many technical skills that can be big differentiators for sysadmins looking to advance their careers. But, increasingly, open source skillsets can also open new doors. A decade ago, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst predicted that open source tools and platforms would become pervasive in IT. Today, that prediction has come true, with profound implications for the employment market. Participating in open source projects -- through developing code, submitting a bug report, or contributing to documentation -- is an important way to demonstrate open source skills to hiring managers.
  • FreeType Improvements For The Adobe Engine
    With FreeType 2.8.1 having been released last week, a lot of new code landed in the early hours of today to its Git repository. The code landed includes the work done this summer by Ewald Hew for Google Summer of Code (GSoC 17) adding support for Type 1 fonts to the Adobe CFF engine. Type 1 is an older, less maintained font format.
  • Are You Fond Of HDR Photography? Try Luminance HDR Application In Ubuntu/Linux Mint
    Luminance HDR is an graphical user interface that is used for manipulation and creation of High Dynamic Range(HDR) images. It is based on Qt5 toolkit, it is cross-platform available for Linux, Windows and Mac, and released under the GNU GPL license. It provides a complete workflow for High Dynamic Range(HDR) as well as Low Dynamic Range (LDR) file formats. Prerequisite of HDR photography are several narrow-range digital images with different exposures. Luminance HDR combines these images and calculates a high-contrast image. In order to view this image on a regular computer monitor, Luminance HDR can convert it into a displayable LDR image format using a variety of methods, such as tone mapping.
  • Opera Web Browser Now Has Built-in WhatsApp and FB Messenger, Install in Ubuntu/Linux Mint
  • Enterprise open source comes of age
    In the age of digitalisation and data centre modernisation, open source has come of age. This is demonstrated by the growth that enterprise open source software provider SUSE has enjoyed over the last months. “SUSE is in good shape,” says Nils Brauckmann, CEO of SUSE. “In the last year, revenue grew at 21%, and it was profitable growth.” Business is positive going forward, he adds, with SUSE now part of the larger mothership Micro Focus group following the completion this month of the HPE Software spin merger. “Micro focus is now the seventh-largest pure-play software vendor in the world, with revenues approaching $4,5-billion,” Brauckmann points out.
  • Red Hat, Microsoft Extend Alliance to SQL Server
  • UbuCon Europe 2017
    I’ve been to many Ubuntu related events before, but what surprises me every time about UbuCons is the outstanding work by the community organising these events. Earlier this month, I was in Paris for UbuCon Europe 2017. I had quite high expectations about the event/location and the talks, especially because the French Ubuntu community is known for hosting awesome events several times a year like Ubuntu Party and Ubuntu install parties.
  •  

today's howtos

Korora 26

  • Korora 26 is Here!
  • Linux Releases: “Lightweight” Tiny Core 8.2 And “Heavyweight” Korora 26 Distros Are Here
    Korora Linux distro is a derivative of popular Fedora operating system. It ships with lots of additional packages that are provided by Fedora community and helps the users to get a complete out-of-the-box experience. The developers of Korora Linux distro have just shipped Korora 26 “Bloat.” Bloat codename has been derived from the characters of the movie “Finding Nemo.”
  • Based on Fedora 26, Korora 26 Linux Debuts with GNOME 3.24, Drops 32-Bit Support
    Korora developer Jim Dean announced the release and general availability of the Korora Linux 26 operating system for personal computers, a release based on the latest Fedora Linux version and packed full of goodies. Dubbed "Bloat," Korora Linux 26 comes more than nine months after the release of Korora 25, it's based on Red Hat's Fedora 26 Linux operating system and ships with the latest versions of popular desktop environments, including GNOME 3.24. Also included are the KDE Plasma 5.10, Xfce 4.12, Cinnamon 3.4, and MATE 1.18 desktop environments, all of them shipping pre-loaded with a brand-new backup tool designed to keep your most important files safe and secure from hackers or government agencies.