GNU+Linux desktop

One of the advantages that GNU+Linux distros have is that you can install various desktop environments on your computer at your will. I personally like Cinnamon a lot but for using Cinnamon DE, I’m not limited to a specific operating system. This is a problem when you’re using macOS or Windows.

To get Windows desktop environment, you have to install Windows OS. Same goes for macOS. To get Aqua (or whatever it is right now), you have to buy an Apple device running macOS. However, we see Apple Mac devices and Microsoft Windows OS dominating the computer industry and one of the reasons is of course the user interfaces.

Working with Mac and Windows devices is very easy and enjoyable for people. Most users prefer using Windows and macOS because working with them is super easy. The can install an app by dragging the file to Applications folder or just by double-clicking on its installation file.

They can update their apps just by opening Update Center and clicking on “update”, without seeing hundreds of codes appearing on a terminal emulator. Also, on macOS or Windows, you don’t need to manually install 10 – 15 dependencies to run a software.

Of course there are a lot of apps and software available that are easy to use on GNU+Linux but it’s needless to say that majority of apps are having mentioned problems. I believe one of the biggest problems for widespread use of GNU+Linux is the user interface and user experience of the DEs.

Most users are afraid to install even famous and user-friendly distros such as Ubuntu and Fedora. If we want GNU+Linux operating system to dominate the computer world and give users software/computer freedom, we should indeed find a solution (or use current solutions) to fix these problems.

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Regarding my previous conversations with Canonical, they responded this:

Hi Ali,

Thanks and I hope you are well too!

Thanks for the additional information. We are looking into it.

This would be an issue of trademark law, the goal of which is to protect consumers from “passing off” (essentially). The test for trademark infringement is whether there would be ‘likelihood of confusion” for the consumer of the goods on which the trademark is used. Copyright has to do with the creation of creative works, the goal of which is to incentivize innovation. The test for infringement has to do with copying without permission (at its heart). Of course, the interplay between trademark and copyright in the realm of free and open source software makes for interesting questions!

Cheers,

Jilayne Lovejoy
Legal Counsel | Canonical
Ubuntu – Linux for Human Beings
www.canonical.com

The new law for imposing stricter restrictions on social networks in Turkey was voted on Turkish Parliament today.

The new law requires companies to introduce an official representative, provide requested user information within 48 hours, imply restrictions on requested accounts. In case of violation of this law, the punishment includes financial penalties and bandwidth censorship.

Turkey sent more than 600 requests for information to Twitter in the first six months of 2019 alone; Second country in terms of volume of applications.

By the end of 2019, Turkey had blocked 408000 websites, 130000 Internet addresses, 7000 Twitter accounts, and 10000 YouTube videos.

There are many protests against the new laws. People and freedom activists are worried about the situation.

Update: Canonical responded.

Regarding my email to Canonical about possible misuse of Ubuntu’s logo, I got this reply/questions from them which I answered.

Canonical’s response:

Hi Ali

Thank you for getting in touch. We really appreciate you taking the time to report the following matter to us.

When we get reports like this, we generally look into it further to determine, what appropriate trademark protection should be taken, if any. Do you have any further information on where you found these examples? The logo examples alone is not enough to look into it.

Thank you very much for your support of Ubuntu!

Jilayne Lovejoy
Legal Counsel | Canonical
Ubuntu – Linux for Human Beings
www.canonical.com

I answered this to their email message:

Dear Jilayne,
I hope you’re well.

You can see logos I sent being used on websites “baadraan.ir” and
“seba.ir”. I don’t know about ‘seba’ but ‘baadraan’ heavily advertises
for itself in Iran. For example, there a lot of baadraan ads/banners in
subway stations in Tehran (which I saw myself) and they all use their
logo (which I believe is a violation of Ubuntu’s copy/trademark rights).

Google is one of the biggest violators of net neutrality and, sadly, a lot of services worldwide are hosted on Google servers. This has caused a lot of problems for various people around the world as Google discriminates between users.

No matter Google is forced to do this by U.S. Government or it’s done by free will of Google, it’s discriminatory and should be stopped.

Google blocks access to its servers for some people in some countries (such as Iran) and this made a huge problem for other companies as well. For example, some of the services launched by Mozilla are hosted on Google servers. Now, an Iranian user (as an example) can’t access to those services.

I know what Google did is legal inside United States but it shouldn’t be outside of it. Even inside the U.S. it should be stopped as it’s a violation of human rights and it’s an obvious discrimination.

One of the things I have problem with in software libre communities is that a lot of older or more experienced folks have a really violent behavior in confronting with criticism of their ways. I see a lot of experienced people in software libre communities, specially GNU and FSF mailing lists, that support the movement and have some logical reasons for their actions but the way they express them only makes people keep their distance from softwarer libre and its communities.

One of the reasons that proprietary software are dominating the world is that many of these companies/software have a really nice way of treating people. Many users forget their digital freedoms and rights because they see (at least ostensibly) that they are treated with respect.

In the last few days I’ve seen at least three unnecessary insults and violence in FSF and GNU communities. I and some other people mentioned that such behavior only makes people keep their distance from us.

Some people forget that our self-assigned mission and goal is to bring knowledge about users’ freedom and rights to people and not all people are technical or experienced about computers. If we’re going to criticize people who have less experience or knowledge about computers or software, then all we did till now is worthless.

If software libre is only for software developers and programmers then we should rephrase it to something that shows the goal. Software libre is not only for programmers. It’s for everybody. Software libre is to bring users freedom. We should repeat it frequently to remind it to advocates.

You don’t need to understand code or every matter in computers to support software libre. If you care for software freedom and digital rights, you have every right to talk, express opinions, act, and be active in software libre communities and nobody can stop you.

Turkey’s parliament is preparing to vote on a bill that would effectively block sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube unless they comply with strict new regulations, as Ankara significantly steps up its efforts to control social media content.

The draft legislation would force social media companies with more than 1 million daily users in Turkey to establish a formal presence in the country or assign an in-country representative who would be legally accountable to the Turkish authorities.

As much as I oppose those services and social networks, I’m opposed to internet censorship too. Good or bad, those services/social networks are a huge part of information flow and censoring them is an obvious violation of human rights and freedom of speech.

I encourage everybody to join software libre services such as Mastodon and Pixelfed which are decentralized and freedom-respecting but this doesn’t mean that I’m down for censoring internet; no matter it can help software libre or not.