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28/12/2019 23:42:11  

Long-time Slashdot reader twocows writes: Hyperbola GNU/Linux, a FSF-approved distribution of GNU/Linux, has declared their intent to fork OpenBSD and become HyperbolaBSD..." The news came earlier this week in a roadmap announcement promising "a completely new OS derived from several BSD implementations" (though Hyperbola was originally based on Arch snapshots and Debian development). "This was not an easy decision to make, but we wish to use our time and resources to create a viable alternative to the current operating system trends which are actively seeking to undermine user choice and freedom." In 2017 Hyperbola dropped its support for systemd -- but its concerns go far beyond that: This will not be a "distro", but a hard fork of the OpenBSD kernel and userspace including new code written under GPLv3 and LGPLv3 to replace GPL-incompatible parts and non-free ones. Reasons for this include: - Linux kernel forcing adaption of DRM, including HDCP. - Linux kernel proposed usage of Rust (which contains freedom flaws and a centralized code repository that is more prone to cyber attack and generally requires internet access to use.) - Linux kernel being written without security and in mind. (KSPP is basically a dead project and Grsec is no longer free software) - Many GNU userspace and core utils are all forcing adaption of features without build time options to disable them. E.g. (PulseAudio / SystemD / Rust / Java as forced dependencies....) HyperbolaBSD is intended to be modular and minimalist so other projects will be able to re-use the code under free license.

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27/12/2019 13:42:01  

dryriver writes: The 2010s were not necessarily the greatest decade to live through. AAA computer games were not only DRM'd and internet tethered to death but became increasingly formulaic and pay-to-win driven, and poor quality console ports pissed off PC gamers. Forced software subscriptions for major software products you could previously buy became a thing. Personal privacy went out the window in ways too numerous to list, with lawmakers failing on many levels to regulate the tech, data-mining and internet advertising companies in any meaningful way. Severe security vulnerabilities were found in hundreds of different tech products, from Intel CPUs to baby monitors and internet-connected doorbells. Thousands of tech products shipped with microphones, cameras, and internet connectivity integration that couldn't be switched off with an actual hardware switch. Many electronics products became harder or impossible to repair yourself. Printed manuals coming with tech products became almost non-existent. Hackers, scammers, ransomwarers and identity thieves caused more mayhem than ever before. Troll farms, click farms and fake news factories damaged the integrity of the internet as an information source. Tech companies and media companies became afraid of pissing off the Chinese government. Windows turned into a big piece of spyware. Intel couldn't be bothered to innovate until AMD Ryzen came along. Nvidia somehow took a full decade to make really basic realtime raytracing happen, even though smaller GPU maker Imagination had done it years earlier with a fraction of the budget, and in a mobile GPU to boot. Top-of-the-line smartphones became seriously expensive. Censorship and shadow banning on the once-more-open internet became a thing. Easily-triggered people trying to muzzle other people on social media became a thing. The quality of popular music and music videos went steadily downhill. Star Wars went to shit after Disney bought it, as did the Star Trek films. And mainstream cinema turned into an endless VFX-heavy comic book movies, remakes/reboots and horror movies fest. In many ways, television was the biggest winner of the 2010s, with many new TV shows with film-like production values being made. The second winner may be computer hardware that delivered more storage/memory/performance per dollar than ever before. To the question: What, dear Slashdotters, will the 2020s bring us? Will things get better in tech and other things relevant to nerds, or will they get worse?

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25/12/2019 21:41:29  

This post contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Jason Koebler, writing for Motherboard: Emperor Palpatine is back with a fleet of planet-killing Star Destroyers, the masses are scared to fight the Final Order, and the last glimmer of hope for the rebellion is nearly stamped out by ... overbearing DRM? The Rise of Skywalker is an allegory for the dystopian nightmare we are quickly hurtling toward, one in which we don't own our droids (or any of our other stuff), their utility hampered by arbitrary decisions and software locks by monopolistic corporations who donâ(TM)t want us to repair our things. In Skywalker, C3PO, master of human-cyborg relations, speaks six million languages including Sith (spoken by the Dark Side), but a hard-coded software lock (called Digital Rights Management here on Earth) in his circuitry prevents him from translating Sith aloud to his human users. Presumably, this is to prevent the droid from being used by the Sith, but makes very little sense in the context of a galactic war that has relied so heavily on double agents, spies, and leaked plans and documents. The only explanation that makes any sense is a greedy 3PO manufacturer that sells the Sith language pack as a microtransaction and a galactic Congress that hasn't passed strong right to repair laws for the junk traders, droid mechanics, and droid users of the galaxy. C3PO's software lock is a major plot point in Skywalker as he's unable to translate a Sith passage that could lead our heroes to the Sith planet that the aforementioned Palpatine is hanging out on.

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08/12/2019 21:29:57  

"Linux users can now stream shows and movies from the Disney+ streaming service after Disney lowered the level of their DRM requirements," reports Bleeping Computer: When Disney+ was first launched, Linux users who attempted to watch shows and movies were shown an error stating "Something went wrong. Please try again. If the problem persists, visit the Disney+ Help Center (Error Code 83)." As explained by Hans de Goede, this error was being caused by the Disney+ service using the highest level of security for the Widevine Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology. As some Linux and Android devices did not support this higher DRM security level, they were unable to stream Disney+ shows in their browsers... Yesterday, Twitter users discovered that Disney+ had suddenly started working on Linux browsers after the streaming service tweaked their DRM security levels... Even with Disney+ lowering the DRM requirements, users must first make sure DRM is enabled in the browser. For example, Disney+ will not work with Firefox unless you enable the "Play DRM-controlled content" setting in the browser.

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04/12/2019 19:29:11  

As of this week, players who owned a legitimate copy of Tron: Evolution they paid for but never played it, no longer can. From a report: Tron: Evolution, a tie-in game for the 2010 Tron: Legacy film, used SecurRom, a form of digital rights management (DRM), and publisher Disney hasn't paid its bill. This means Disney can no longer authenticate purchases and "unlock" copies of the game that people bought but haven't used yet. Players first noticed they couldn't play the game after purchasing it in October, but a thread on Reddit today brought more attention to the issue. "I often buy games on sales, but don't play them immediately," user Renusek said on Reddit. "Yesterday I decided to play Tron: Evolution, maybe even practice speedrunning it, so I install the game, try to activate it (game still uses SecuROM DRM) and... the serial key has expired (?!)." SecurROM is DRM software that companies attach to video games to make sure they aren't downloaded illegally. It was popular among big game publishers some years back, often causing havoc and annoyance to players.

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