tobias_platen's blog

Archive for May, 2012

Hardware freedom

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Ten companies that do support free software, in some cases the hardware is free too:
1    Lemote sells netbooks with a free BIOS
2    ThinkPenguin sells Hardware with GNU Linux-libre support
3    Via makes Mainboards compatible with coreboot
4    Qi hardware makes  Copyleft hardware
5    XESS makes Hard and Software licensed under GPL and Creative Commons licenses
6    Fritzing Fab allows you to create your own hardware
7    Golden Delicious Computers is not Defective by Design
8    OLIMEX makes Arduino Clones and embedded GNU/Linux hardware
9    Make Play Live makes GNU/Linux based tablets
10   Archos sells Android and GNU/Linux tablets

No free Software (except some HID devices)
1   Apple iPad is Defective By Design
2   Nintendo DSi is Defective by DESiGN
3   Microsoft has it’s Windows 7 Sins
4   Sony PlayStation 3 is incompatible with free software and ran Open Source Linux
5   OpenPandora is incompatible with free software and runs Open Source Linux

Instead of using Open Source Software with Open Hardware, it is better to use copylefted free hard and software.

Reasons to avoid HD+ and Blu-Ray

Friday, May 4th, 2012

On April 30th, 2012 the analogue transmission of TV and radio programs via satellite reached its end.
With digital TV it is now possible to watch HDTV, but most products support Digital Restrictions Management

To watch private TV programs in HDTV an HD+ enabled receiver and a smartcard is needed. Your TV set must support HDCP to be able to watch DRMed HD content. The smartcard will cost you 50 Euros per year. The DRM is used to prevent users from skipping advertisings.

Because DRM-free Blu-ray movies do not exist, you should not buy a Blu-ray player such as the PlayStation 3.
TV sets that are HD ready do support DRMed HDTV, and some have a build-in HD+ receiver. Be carefull when buying a new TV set.

But DRM-free HDTV also exists. In Germany the public legal TV programs (such as ARTE and 3SAT) decided not to use DRM.
You can watch them with free software such as mplayer without using proprietery plugins. Without DRM you can skip advertisings, but there are no advertisings in ARTE and 3SAT.