диета рисовая

What do you think about this ? (Google scanning your inbox)

Aashik asked me this question today pointing me to this article on The Verge – Google scans everyone’s email for child porn, and it just got a man arreste

This was my response, (attachment mentioned in the mail is given below)

censorship and free speech

The attached drawing illustrates the situation well. There is always bad guys as a justification of taking away our rights. It changes depending on place and time. When you take examples of bad guys, people stop thinking and emotion takes its place, once you are controlled by emotion, usually fear, you would accept anything that comes in the name of protection. These are nothing new, it is successfully used over the years, only details vary. Old wine in new bottle.

It is only cultural who is bad. Once being a communist was enough to torture you. Another time it was just being a Jew. Now living in Gaza is enough to get you killed.

You’ll need to blindly trust google not to misuse their powers. I don’t think that is a good thing.

When US made a nuclear bomb, no one thought it would be dropped on humans.

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Now it is only child porn, when conditions are favourable, it can be terrorism, any crime, dissent… You cannot expect a profit making company to stand up for your rights. They may do it as long as it is profitable for them.

So in short, it does not make me satisfied it is just child porn.

കേരളീയത്തില്‍ വന്ന ശ്യാം ബാലകൃഷ്ണനുമായുള്ള അഭിമുഖം

സൂരജ് കേണോത്താണു് ആദ്യമായി ജൈവ കര്‍ഷകനായ ശ്യാമിനെ മാവോയിസ്റ്റെന്ന പേരില്‍ അറസ്റ്റ് ചെയ്തതായി എന്നോടു് പറഞ്ഞതു്. നമുക്കെന്തു് ചെയ്യാനാകും എന്ന ചര്‍ച്ചയില്‍ നിന്നാണു് ശ്യാമിനെ നേരിട്ടു് കാണാനും കുറച്ചു് ദിവസം അവരോടൊപ്പം വയനാട്ടില്‍ പോയി താമസിക്കാനും തീരുമാനിച്ചതു്.

ഏകലോക സര്‍വ്വകലാശാല

ശ്യാമും ഗീഥിയും താമസിക്കുന്ന വയനാട്ടിലെ നിരവില്‍പ്പുഴയിലെ വീടു്.

ഒരാഴ്ച അവിടെ താമസിക്കുകയും വളരെ രസകരമായ പല ചര്‍ച്ചകളും അന്വേഷണങ്ങളും നടന്നു. കാടും വിറകും വെട്ടുന്നതു് മുതല്‍ സ്റ്റീല്‍ വേലി അഴിച്ചു് വയ്ക്കുന്നതടക്കമുള്ള പല പണികളിലും ചെറുതായി സഹായിച്ചു. സ്വന്തം പാടത്തു് കൊയ്തെടുത്ത ഓണോട്ടന്‍ അരിയുടെ കഞ്ഞിയും പുട്ടും ഇഷ്ടം പോലെ തേങ്ങയിട്ട കടല-ചക്ക കറികളും മാങ്ങയും തുടങ്ങി ഭക്ഷണം കേമമായിരുന്നു.

ശ്യാമിന്റെ മുറിവു് കെട്ടുന്ന ഗീഥി

ശ്യാമിന്റെ മുറിവു് കെട്ടുന്ന ഗീഥി

അടുത്തുള്ള പുഴയിലെ കുളിയും വെനല്‍ക്കാലത്തും പുതച്ചു്കിടന്നുറങ്ങാന്‍ പറ്റിയ തണുപ്പും സൌരോര്‍ജ്ജം ഉപയോഗിച്ചു് ഊര്‍ജ്ജസ്വയംപര്യാപ്തതതയും നവലോകസൃഷ്ടിയുടെ സ്വപ്നങ്ങളും വീണ്ടും അവിടെ ചെല്ലാനായി മടി വിളിക്കുന്നു.

അഭിമുഖത്തിനു് ആമുഖമായി ശ്യാം അയച്ച ഈമെയില്‍ താഴെ.

പ്രിയ മിത്രമേ,

കഴിഞ്ഞ മെയ്മാസം 20നു, വടക്കേ വയനാട് താമസിക്കുന്ന എന്നെ
മാവോയിസ്റ്റാണെന്ന പേരില്‍ പോലീസ് നടുറോഡില്‍ വെച്ചു കസ്റ്റഡിയില്‍
എടുത്തിരുന്നു. തുടര്‍ന്ന് അന്ന് അര്‍ദ്ധരാത്രിവരെ മുപ്പതോളം പോലീസുകാരും
തണ്ടര്‍ ബോള്‍ട്ട് സൈനീകരും ചേര്‍ന്ന് ഞാന്‍ താമസിക്കുന്ന വീട്
പരിശോധിക്കുകയും അകാരണമായി എന്റെ മൊബൈലും ലാപ്ടോപ്പും കസ്റ്റഡിയില്‍
എടുക്കുകയും ചെയ്തു. അതിനടുത്ത ദിവസവും രണ്ടു ഡി.വൈ.എസ്.പി.മാര്‍ തുടര്‍
അന്വേഷണത്തിനായി വീട്ടില്‍ വന്നിരുന്നു. ഒരു പക്ഷെ, ഈ വിവരങ്ങള്‍
സുഹൃത്ത് ഇതിനോടകം അറിഞ്ഞിട്ടുണ്ടാകാം.

ഇന്ത്യയില്‍ ഒട്ടാകെ അരങ്ങേറുന്ന പല പോലീസ്-സൈനീക നടപടികളുടെ ഭീകരതയുമായി
താരതമ്യം ചെയ്യുമ്പോള്‍ മേല്‍വിവരിച്ചത് അങ്ങേയറ്റം നിസ്സാരമായ സംഭവമാണ്;
എങ്കിലും വല്ലാതെ രൂക്ഷമാകുന്ന ഒരു പ്രതിസന്ധിയുടെ ലക്ഷണവുമാണത്. ഈ
സാഹചര്യത്തെ മാറ്റിത്തീര്‍ക്കുവാനുള്ള ഒരുപാട് പരിശ്രമങ്ങള്‍
നടക്കുന്നുണ്ട്; മുഖ്യധാരയിലും അല്ലാതെയും. എങ്കിലും, വൈവിധ്യമാര്‍ന്ന
പശ്ചാത്തലമുള്ള മനുഷ്യരാശിയുടെ ജീവിതഭാവനകളെ സ്വാധിനിക്കാനും
പ്രചോദിപ്പിക്കാനും കഴിയുന്ന, ചിന്നിച്ചിതറിയ പ്രവര്‍ത്തനമേഖലകളിലുള്ള
നമ്മെ കൂട്ടിയിണക്കി ഒരൊറ്റ മുന്നേറ്റമാക്കാന്‍ കരുത്തുള്ള സമഗ്രമായ
വീക്ഷണത്തിന്റെ അഭാവം നാം നേരിടുന്നുണ്ട്. വാള്‍സ്ട്രീറ്റ്
പ്രക്ഷോഭത്തില്‍ തുടങ്ങി ഇന്ത്യയില്‍ത്തന്നെ നടക്കുന്ന ഇറോം
ശര്‍മ്മിളയുടെ സമരത്തിലും ആം ആദ്മി പാര്‍ട്ടിയുടെ ഇടപെടലുകളിലുമെല്ലാം,
എന്തിനധികം മാവോയിസ്റ്റ് യുദ്ധങ്ങളിലടക്കം ഈ ദാര്‍ശനിക ശൂന്യത
നിഴലിക്കുന്നുണ്ട്. മറുവശമാകട്ടെ, വികസനദര്‍ശനം തരുന്ന അച്ചടക്കത്താല്‍
എണ്ണയിട്ട യന്ത്രം പോലെ പ്രയത്നിക്കുന്നു; അവിടെ മുതലാളിത്തവും ഫാസിസവും
ഭരണകൂടവുമെല്ലാം ഒരേ ലക്ഷ്യത്തില്‍ ഒരുമിക്കുന്നു.

ഈ സാഹചര്യങ്ങളെ അഭിസംബോധന ചെയ്യുവാനുള്ള എളിയ ശ്രമം എന്ന നിലയ്ക്കാണ്
കേരളീയവുമായുള്ള ഈ അഭിമുഖ സംഭാഷണം സംഭവിച്ചത്. ഭരണകൂടത്തെ
നമ്മളോരോരുത്തരില്‍നിന്നും ഒട്ടും ഭിന്നമല്ലാതെയും കുടുംബം, മതം തുടങ്ങിയ
സ്ഥാപനങ്ങളുടെ ഉള്ളടക്കത്തോടു ചേര്‍ത്തുവെച്ചും മനസ്സിലാക്കുന്ന
സമീപനമാണ് ഇതിലുള്ളത്.

വളരെ വിശദമായി നടക്കേണ്ട സംവാദങ്ങളുടെ ആമുഖം മാത്രമായി ഈ
അഭിമുഖത്തെക്കണ്ട് കൂടുതല്‍ പഠനങ്ങളും ചര്‍ച്ചകളും രൂപപ്പെടുത്താമോ?
സുഹൃത്തിന്റെ പ്രതികരണങ്ങള്‍ ദയവായി സുഹൃത്തിനൊപ്പം ഈ കത്ത്
അയച്ചിരിക്കുന്ന എല്ലാവര്‍ക്കുമായി അയക്കണേ..

സ്നേഹം
ശ്യാം ബാലകൃഷ്ണന്‍

അഭിമുഖത്തിന്റെ പൂര്‍ണ്ണരൂപം ഇവിടെ Keraleeyam Interview of Shyam Balakrishnan

പിന്നീടു് ചേര്‍ത്തതു്: ഡയാസ്പൊറയില്‍ നടക്കുന്ന ചര്‍ച്ച

Microsoft Tax Refund

Last Sunday evening marked starting of an important campaign when a casual search for a good laptop for a friend turned into tussle with HP for a refund of unused software bundled with their hardware.

Ishan about to make a phone call

Most laptop vendors ship their hardware with a version of Microsoft Windows preinstalled. Microsoft says we can get a refund for the windows version if we don’t want to use their software (we cannot use it unless we agree to their end user license agreement or eula and their eula denies many rights that we in the Free Software community hold dear).

So we sent this email to HP support asking for a refund.

Hi,

I just brought a new hp pavilion 15 Notebook PC (model number: 15-n259TX) with serial no: 5CDxxxxxx7 and product no: G2H01PA#ACJ. It came pre-loaded with Windows 8 but I don’t agree with the End User License Agreement. There was no option provided without any operating system or with a Free Software Operating System for this model at the HP world shop in Kandivali West (Amgee Computers PVT. LTD).

Microsoft EULA (http://download.microsoft.com/Documents/UseTerms/Windows_8_English_ca383862-45cf-467e-97d3-386e0e0260a6.pdf) states that I can get a refund for the unused license by contacting the manufacturer.

It states “If you do not accept and comply with these terms, you may not use
the software or features. Instead, you should return it to the retailer or other place where you purchased the software license, for a refund or credit.”

How do I collect the refund money?

Thanks

We immediately formatted the machine and installed Ubuntu 14.04 on the machine.
Format entire disk

We called them up the next day and registered an official complaint with HP but they refused to give a refund. When they said they offer other models with Free Dos installed Ishan gave a brilliant analogy. If you go to buy a shirt and you like a Yellow shirt, they tell you have to buy a pants along with it, but you can buy a black shirt without pants, would that be acceptable to you?

HP says they will offer only a refund of the entire product (hardware and software) and not a partial Windows only refund. In France and Italy there is already rulings that forced HP and Acer to refund the Windows license fee. Indian courts have ruled set-top boxes allowing only one particular service provider are illegal.

Prasanth Sugathan from Software Freedom Law Center India has promised to send a legal notice to HP within 2 days.

This is going to be a landmark struggle for Free Software in India.

If you have recently bought a laptop or planning to buy a new laptop, contact us and we can fight this together.

Update 1 (25/06/2014): HP has closed the case without a resolution. Prasanth needs a copy of the invoice to go ahead, we’ll send it by tonight.

Update 2 (25/06/2014): There is a good discussion about this issue on reddit.

The relevant law which HP violates is Competition Act 2002.

“Any agreement amongst enterprises or persons at different stages or levels of
the production chain in different markets, in respect of production, supply,
distribution, storage, sale or price of, or trade in goods or provision of services,
including—
(a) tie-in arrangement;

shall be an agreement in contravention of sub-section ( 1 ) if such agreement
causes or is likely to cause an appreciable adverse effect on competition in
India.
Explanation.—For the purposes of this sub-section,—
(a) “tie-in arrangement” includes any agreement requiring a purchaser of
goods, as a condition of such purchase, to purchase some other goods; ”

Update 3 (25/06/2014): There is precedent in Europe where companies are ordered a refund.

  1. HP must reimburse Italian PC buyer the amount paid for Microsoft software
  2. Lenovo ordered to pay €1920 for making French laptop buyer pay for Windows too

Update 4 (25/06/2014): Acer America has policy of giving refund on unused Windows license.

Update 5 (26/06/2014): Prasanth would need 2-3 days more to complete research on this topic.

Sharing files between gnu/linux and Windows using samba

Install Samba package

# apt-get install samba

Samba configuration file is /etc/samba/smb.conf

You can add directories for sharing at the end like this

[debian]
comment = Debian Cache
read only = yes
locking = no
path = /mirrors/debian
guest ok = yes

If you want to be able to share directories from nautilus file manager install nautilus-share and add your user to sambashare group

# apt-get install nautilus-share
# gpasswd -a <user> sambashare

Log out and login back for group change to take effect.

For mounting a samba share you have to install cifs-utils

# apt-get install cifs-utils

To mount a samba share now run

# mount -t cifs -o guest //<server>/<share> /<mount point>
# mount -t cifs -o guest //192.168.1.3/debian /mnt

Setting up a local package repository with apt-move

apt-move can be used to create a repository layout from /var/cache/apt/archives (which contains all packages downloaded by apt).

1. Install apt-move:

# apt-get install apt-move

2. Setup apt-move:

# apt-move get

3. Create repository layout:

# apt-move move

4. Generate packages list:

# apt-move packages

5. Setup apache2:

apt-move will create repository in /mirrors/debian by default (this can be changed in /etc/apt-move.conf)

5.1 Install apache web server:

# apt-get install apache2

5.2 Create a virtual host:
copy ‘default” in /etc/apache2/sites-available to “repo”

# cd /etc/apache2/sites-available
# cp default repo

Edit repo and change DocumentRoot from /var/www to /mirrors/debian
Also change to

Enable the new site.

# a2ensite repo

# /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

This will give you a repository in your machine.

If you have more than one site in your server you can configure NameVirtualHost.

Add “NameVirtualHost *:80″ in /etc/apache2/ports.conf

and add ServerName for each virtual hosts in sites-available/<site>

If you just want to test your setup without a proper dns server you can edit /etc/hosts file to point your desired domains to repository’s ip address.

If you want to sign your repository follow these steps

1. Create a gpg key:

# gpg --gen-key

(choose RSA RSA, no expiration) or follow these more detailed steps

2: Sign the Release file (apt-move has an option to sign automatically, but it seems to be broken)

# gpg -o /mirrors/debian/dists/stable/Release.gpg -a -b -s /mirrors/debian/dists/stable/Release

3. Export your public key

# gpg --export --armour <key id or pattern> > repo.key.sc
# cp repo.key.asc /mirrors/debian

In client systems download the key with wget and run

# apt-key add repo.key.asc

Everyday rape

I took a while to mark a first reaction to the gang rape of 23 year old paramedical student in Delhi. I watched people screaming for death penalty and the sudden indignation and outrage people felt. First post I shared was Akshi Singh’s post in Sify titled “We are all part of the rape culture“. What amused me is how easily people jump up to taste blood of someone without realising their part in creating and sustaining the rape culture.

Everyday people are exploited, humiliated and violated and they had to wait till they saw the height of this rape culture to wake up. It would have been okay for many if it weren’t this brutal and right in the middle of the city. If you are outraged at least now of the injustice happening around us and want to see this culture end, I have a suggestion and that is not blood of these animals as sacrifice to quench the thirst of revenge, but it included every one, including you and me. Repeat after me.

If you are a male, “I will treat every women with respect and I will not let them be treated like an object or anything less than how I want to be treated”

If you are female, “I will not accept any one treating me anything less than equal and I will fight till every woman can live in respect”.

Take this pledge with me and take this to everyone you know. It is not an easy solution as it means we have to change our ways and not just scream for blood, but it is the only lasting solution I see.

Now this is not a short cut, but an intent of where we should go, ie, not a blood thirsty society but a civilized one.

Another interesting post series was by Vivek Kaul in First Post “Why women would continue to be raped in India” part 1 and part 2.

Update:

To write or to riot?

Sajan Venniyoor wrote in an email discussion list yesterday,

Times of India (21 Nov) lists the charges levelled by Palghar police against those who vandalized Dr. Dhada’s hospital:

IPC 143: Unlawful assembly – imprisonment up to six months, or fine, or both.
IPC 147: Rioting – imprisonment up to two years, or fine, or both.
IPC 336: Act endangering life or personal safety of others – imprisonment up to three months, or with fine up to Rs 250, or both.
IPC 427: Mischief causing damage to the amount of Rs 50 – imprisonment up to two years, or fine, or both.
IPC 451: House-trespass to commit any offence punishable with imprisonment – imprisonment for 2 years and fine.

66A of the IT Act (“causing annoyance”) could get us jailed up to three years with fine. Couldn’t we just assemble unlawfully, riot, break into people’s homes and endanger the life and personal safety of others? It seems so much safer.

I think it is a very important comparison on the quantum of punishment. It also reveals the fear of the people in power – what they fear the most. And it won’t be a surprise if most people would agree to it – we are an intolerant country and we are more worried about how other people say and live than our own situation. And this trend is only increasing. We need more efforts to fight intolerance and also teach people to value freedom over getting offended on their believes.

Another important thing for the netizens to do is reach out to the people who are not on the internet and teach them the virtues of it, tell them that they now have a voice that can reach anyone on the world with a fraction of the cost of any traditional media out there.

Some ideas: Help more people write blogs, teach them about tools of anonymity like tor, understand their fears – I think most of it is the fear of technology itself. We have to make posters, cartoons, videos and use any opportunity to debunk the myths of internet if we want to make a broad movement to protect the internet.

And here is the update about PIL in Madras High Court challenging 66A

Mr. Justice Basha told the petitioner’s counsel A. Rajini “You must remember that even you would not be able to invoke the provision in case you are genuinely aggrieved against some communication made by another individual,” the judge said before ordering notices.

I think this is the common response from anyone who is not using the internet already to speak up. How can we protect ourselves? This is a much tougher struggle to win, something we need a cultural campaign for.

There are many ways your can join the campaign today and make a difference.

One idea we are currently working on in the campaign is a survey on the Internet – how people use internet, how they perceive it, what are their fears etc

Share your thoughts and ideas here or on the campaign page.

Collecting people, some thoughts and ideas

I would like to share some ideas and thoughts about collecting people for social change based on my recent experiences in setting up a computing center in Pandav Nagar Pune. You can see details of each step here.

  1. Don’t restrict yourself to what you currently can. Aim bigger and then you’d see it natural to ask people for help because you can’t do it alone.
  2. Have a minimal backup plan which you can do if you don’t get much help. Things you cannot do should not stop you from doing things you can.
  3. These two may look conflicting ideas at first but they are not. You might already know about the high jump analogy people say – set your bars higher. Sometimes you won’t be able to cross it if its too high, but unless you don’t set it high, you’ll never reach new heights.

  4. Don’t be afraid of the challenges. There will be many, but if you don’t even try, you’ll never overcome those.
  5. When your actions affect others, be open to them. If you’re genuine they would understand.
  6. In this particular initiative there was always a risk that I won’t be able to find enough people to help me. So my backup plan was, I would teach alone if I don’t find people. I actually reached that stage once when no one was ready to commit after many talks. But I was pleasently surpriced and overjoyed when I saw a surge of interest from the Free Software community it Pune. It was really heart warming when you had a new person telling me they are interested every day for almost 2 weeks! We have about 14 people in the team and last Saturday 7 of us went to Hutatma Rajaguru school for our first class and installation session.

  7. You have to ask for help. If you don’t ask people won’t know they can help. Many of the times if you can ask for a specific help, it more likely that it would be done. Make it easier for people to understand and break down the big tasks.
  8. So when I was talking about a computing center people have many things in their minds and they may not understand what it is. But when I broke it down to “GNU/Linux installation in a school”, many people felt they could do it and said they want to help.

I will keep updating this blog as I learn more or get more ideas. Share your thoughts in comments. I would like to hear what you think and your experiences doing similar activities.

Defend your rights NOW!

Aseem Trivedi is in jail fighting for our rights. It is now our responsibility to stand up for him and join this fight to defend our freedoms. He is being silneced because he spoke against the government for the people, for you and me. Our people have fought hard for years to secure our freedoms from British. Now the same freedoms are being taken away from us, by a few of our own people in power. It is now on us how we respond to this. Are you ready to join this fight to protect our freedoms?

I was fortunate to be with him when he was arrested and I met him when he was in police custody. I’m moved by his courage and don’t want to let his personal sacrifice for us, for you and me, to go waste. I need your help, comment here if you can help out any way. Its even better if you organize yourself. I’m sharing Aseem’s note here, which I was fortunate to have personally witnessed. His friend Alok Dixit, Mayank Gandhi from IAC and his lawyer Vijay Hiremat were also present.

This is the letter written by Aseem when he was in the police lock-up at Bandra Police Station in Mumbai.


साथियो, मैं इस देश का एक सच्‍चा नागरिक हूं। कोई देशद्रोही नहीं हूं।

साथियो, अगर सच बोलना देशद्रोह है तो मैं देशद्रोही हूं। हां, मैं देशद्रोही हूं अगर देशप्रेम और देशद्रोह की परिभाषाएं बदल चुकी हैं। मैं भी देशद्रोही हूं अगर गांधी, भगत सिंह और आजाद देशद्रोही थे। दोस्‍तो, मेरा मकसद देश का एक छोटा बच्‍चा भी समझ सकता है। मैं अपने देश के नागरिकों और संविधान के अपमान का विरोध करता हूं और अपने कार्टूनों के माध्‍यम से मैं देश के प्रतीकों और संविधान के अपमान का विरोध करता आया हूं। दोस्‍तो, कला और साहित्‍य समाज का दर्पण है और मैंने अपने कार्टून्‍स में वही दिखाया है, जो अपने चारों ओर देखा है।

दोस्‍तो, भारत माता कोई और नहीं बल्कि हम और आप जैसे भारत के 125 करोड़ नागरिक ही हैं। और हमारा अपमान भारत मां का अपमान है।

मेरी पूर्ण आस्‍था भारतीय संविधान और संविधान निर्माता डॉ अंबेडकर के साथ है। इसलिए संविधान का अपमान होता देख मुझे कष्‍ट होता है। और मैं अपने कार्टून्‍स के जरिये इसे रोकना चाहता हूं।

मैं गांधी के रास्‍ते पर चल रहा हूं और स्‍वयं को कष्‍ट देकर देश की सेवा करना चाहता हूं। मेरे जेल में होने से परेशान न हों। अन्‍ना जी कहते हैं कि देश के लिए जेल जाना तो हमारा भूषण है। इसलिए मैं जमानत नहीं मांग रहा। क्‍योंकि मैंने जो किया, उस पर मुझे गर्व है और मैं बार-बार करूंगा। मैं कोई अपराधी नहीं हूं कि पैसे जमा कर के जमानत लूं। जब तक देशद्रोह जैसा तानाशाही और ब्रिटिश राज का ये कानून नहीं हटाया जाएगा, मैं जेल में रह कर ही 124 (A) और सेंसरशिप के खिलाफ लड़ाई लड़ता रहूंगा।

आपका,
असीम त्रिवेदी
बांद्रा पुलिस लॉक अप, 2:10 PM, 10.09.2012

This is the text of a statement issued by ASEEM TRIVEDI from inside a jail in Mumbai. Trivedi has been remanded to judicial custody till 24 September for displaying and publishing cartoons that are allegedly seditious, insult national honour and, under the IT Act, are “grossly offensive” and of “menacing character”.

Translation by Shivam Vij

Friends,

I am a faithful citizen of this country, not someone who has committed sedition.

If speaking the truth is sedition, then I have indeed committed sedition. If raising one’s voice against injustice is sedition, then I have committed sedition. If nationalism and the definition of nationalism have changed, then you could say I have committed sedition. If Gandhi, Bhagat Singh and Azad were seditious so am I.

Even a small child of this country can understand my motive. I oppose the insulting of the people and the Constitution of India. I have been opposing the insulting of the people and the Constitution of India through my cartoons.

Art and literature are a mirror to society. I have only depicted in my cartoons what I have seen all around me. Mother India is nobody but 1.25 billion citizens of India, people like you and me. When we the people are insulted, India is insulted.

I have nothing but respect for the Constitution of India and its key drafter, Dr Ambedkar. I am pained when I see the Constitution insulted. Through my cartoons I seek to prevent exactly such affront.

I am walking in the footsteps of Gandhi and I want to serve the nation through my own suffering. Do not be disturbed by my going to jail. Anna Hazare ji says that going to jail for the country is like wearing a jewel. That is why I am not asking for bail. I am proud of what I have done. I will say this again and again. I am not a criminal that I will deposit some money to get bail. Until such time as sedition, an authoritarian British Raj law, is not repealed, I shall remain in jail. I will fight against Indian Penal Code Section 124A (sedition) and against censorship from within jail.

Yours,

Aseem Trivedi
Bandra Police Lock-up,
10 September 2012, 2:12 PM

GNUs found grazing at Palakkad Fort

I was supposed to be taking shell scripting session yesterday, but we couldn’t get a hall arranged and we had to cancel it. So I tought of meeting some students if they were interested. Three students from NSS Palakkad – Ashik, Manoosh and Lal Krishna, turned up 4 O’clock as announced. I could reach only at 4.30. We sat down inside Fort above the temple. We started discussing about problems they faced with Free Software. Ashik mentioned about mp3 not working with totem player on Debian Squeeze and codec install option not popping up. I’m not sure what is missing here. As per my information mp3 coded should be installed by default and totem should ask for codec installation. I told him to try wheezy, anyway they are computer science students and they should be the ones fixing these issues.

Ashik asked the often asked question of being rewarded for one’s hard work and being able to support oneself by selling software. I compared it to knowledge and asked them if Newton was asking money for using his third law (every action has an equal and opposite reaction) when launching rockets? Another example I gave was example of custom software, where some one will have to maintain it (like software for a bank). Free Software would not take away jobs in service industry.

Then they said to contribute to Free Software one should have another job. I asked them why someone go to a lawyer when they can argue their case themselves? They said its for expertise. I told them its the same way Free Software service work. Another example was how teachers help when students can read the text book themselves.

Then I asked them what do they know about Free Software. They had some confusion about how Open Source is different from Free Software. I gave up insisting people use Free Software instead of Open Source sometime back itself. I tell them to understand the difference and choose what they feel comfortable associating themselves with. I also told them to look online for the difference and understand it. Let’s see if they come back with more questions.

At 6 they were closing the inside gate to the Fort. The security guy lost a bit of cool and asked us what did we think when he was visling whether he was calling us for food :) We clearly were at fault as we knew they would close at 6, so I didn’t argue and smiled at his words.

Adhil joined us by then and we continued our discussion about difference between Open Source and Free Software. Some one told them Open Source means some part is hidden and Free Software means everything is free!

For explaining the difference I had to ask them about copyrights. We discussed origin of copyrights and how it is different from a patent. Copyright prohibits copying same code (it doesn’t apply when same thing is created independantly) where as patents prohibit implementing same ideas by different people without license from patent holder.

Then we discussed what licenses are and compared it with a driving license. There are certain conditions for a driving license like you have to follow traffic rules. I told them every license has conditions attached to it. Free Software Foundation and Open Source Initiative both maintain a list of licenses which match their definitions of Free Software and Open Source. Except for one rarely used license every other license on both lists match and practically all Open Source Software are also Free Software. The difference is in their philosohies. When people say Open Source they are interested in the practical aspects only and they don’t want to talk about Freedom.

We also discussed about a program on Septermber 29th in memory of first anniversery of losing our dear friend Jinesh to Lukemia. We will publish a book of his writings and also organize an SMC get together. I also told them we would like the new folks to take initiative and conduct this program. They have offered to take session on introducing Free Software and Malayalam computing. They have also offered to promote this event in their college. I have suggested them to use slidify and latex/beamer to make their presentations.

Ashik and Adhil opened their fast and we joined them for lime juice and samosa. We ended the meeting there. Hoping to see more involvement from them. I hope they will contact me when they get stuck somewhere.

Update 1: Added link to Lal Krishna’s blog.

Update 2: Lal Krishna’s post on the meeting

Update 3: Ashik’s post on the meeting