The week that everything changed

Last Wednesday, I felt an urge to carefully write out a list of all the possible characteristics that would make communications technology genuinely free. I felt this was important for a number of reasons: for example, to follow up on my earlier claim that free software does not always provide free communications, it is necessary to be able to measure the shortcomings against a perfect (although possibly unachievable) benchmark.

Interrupt-free computing

On debian-devel, there has been a discussion about the security issues of "spontaneously" appearing popups demanding the root password to make immediate security updates.

There is a much more general issue related to this: computing without interruptions.

"Do as we say, not as we do"

The Gold Standard in Free Communications Technology

In a previous blog entry, I posed the question whether open source communications software is really free and came to the conclusion that additional principles need to be defined for free communications, above and beyond the normal expectations of free software.

VoIP federation: another milestone

Slashdot recently picked out Federated VoIP as one of the compelling features in the upcoming Fedora 19 (Schrodinger's Cat) release. The same capability was recently part of the Debian 7 (wheezy) release and it is in Ubuntu too.

Is open source communications software really free?

Does every communications technology based on open source and open standards enable free communications? Or is something more necessary?

The FSF's campaign for a Skype replacement gives some indication that existing free software solutions have shortcomings.

Comments are back, spammers are not

After a few more queries, I've tried enabling blog comments again, so please jump in and feel free to make a contribution.

Thanks to the earlier feedback from Gunnar Wolf, I'm trying a combination of the Drupal modules CAPTCHA, Blogspam and moderation to keep out those pesky spammers.

Debt, Liberty Reserve, Bitcoin and beyond

Russ Allbery has provided an insightful review of The Making of the Indebted Man