almost libre

welcome floss and freedom lovers and hobbyists, to a place somewhere in the middle. this is not an “open source” site but lets not call it “free software” unless you want to. its “almost libre.” (its mostly about free software though.)

i was once an open source guy, now i love free software. but i also love free culture, so i left the fsf.

free software is the one with integrity, the one thats most honest and the one that drives the hardest to be free. without those guys, we could never get there. but its also the digital equivalent of being vegan and (while i recommend a fairly constant move in their direction) i am interested in giving people a hand moving up, not just being there at the top.

open source is like… eating a salad with chicken and calling it “vegetarian.” thats just nonsense, its not really vegetarian, is it? open source makes compromises which appeals more to the masses, though it makes too many. however “libre” you are trying to be, staying ahead of the open source “movement? group? initiative?” seems like a better place to start. even osi co-founder bruce perens seems to think so. im with that guy!

but while i am sometimes critical of the fsf, they dont deserve the smear tactics and propaganda attacks theyve received over time. they are the good guys, and they have a terrible habit of being right. no ones perfect and no ones right all the time, but if youre going to malign the free software movement, its time to get fair and informed. theres a lot of nonsense out there, and thats not what “almost libre” is about…

except when it is! this site is about:

  • stupid things happening in the floss world
  • wonderful things happening in the floss world
  • free software
  • a debate with more honesty and more info, less misinformation (we hope.)


a bonus would be a censorship-free aspect to the whole thing. look around the net these days, everything is censored for your safety, for your feelings, for compliance, for whatever. sadly this is not the platform to be free of censorship. but if you can recommend some legal means of being less censored, thats an important issue as well. if this were a censorship-free zone, it wouldnt use 3rd-party hosting.

like so many places that try to make promises about fairness, this one tries to cover some issues that have fallen through the cracks or been ignored too long. its biased, its imperfect, it will hopefully be fun and/or useful. enjoy– and if you really like it, chime in!


special thanks go to:

stallman perens torvalds

richard stallman, bruce perens, linus torvalds,

free software founder– free software lover– free software author

what, no love for torvalds? its alright, he has none for us: http://archive.is/opTBG yet he has made enough contribution to the free software world to deserve a place of significant honour. sincere thanks for the kernel, mr. torvalds.




image credits:

  1. stallman: author– Thesupermat from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Richard_Stallman_-_F%C3%AAte_de_l%27Humanit%C3%A9_2014_-_010.jpg
  2. perens: author– Friprog from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:3541705843_f896546bec_o_crop.jpg
  3. torvalds: author– Krd from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linus_Torvalds#/media/File:LinuxCon_Europe_Linus_Torvalds_03_(cropped).jpg
  4. hearts: author– from https://openclipart.org/detail/21389/red-heart-shaped-border-with-little-hearts



wtf? using the reader on wordpress is starting to be like living in the south again

i grew up in the bible belt– not a week went by without someone trying to push their beliefs on me in some ham-handed, inbred fashion. lately wordpress has turned into something just as stupid.

religion is fine with me– im agnostic, and i respect your beliefs, generally speaking. however, i grew up around a lot of really tired cliches about how “anything is possible” with our religion, and “you should really convert to this” because its the best, and “im so glad that my religion”



the thing that irks me the most is that none of these people wanted a real discussion, they only wanted to preach– that, and they really didnt have anything to say. id heard all that before.

lately, the “recommended posts” feature of wordpress is so full of crap like this, im about to stop using wordpress.com as a reader and just find (or put together) an rss reader instead.

as usual, nothing changes on wordpress except for the worse. i used to be able to put pre-tags on code (and change very little else,) and spent 10 minutes today trying to do that with a little snippet of code. all they do is break stuff on wordpress.

heres another idiotic change: when i used to hit update, it just said “your site is updated” or something like that at the top– i used to edit and click update, then go to another tab to look at the changes (and i still do.) now they immediately show me a different page-

i cant “keep editing,” i have to reload the editor after every update, for no reason. this is a useless anti-feature. and thats the only kind of feature they add to wordpress anymore. the only thing that doesnt make this site completely joyless to use is the people on wordpress– not including the boring religious freaks!

and when theyre not breaking things, theyre spamming me with religious garbage. if i wanted to read that crap, id subscribe to it! i mean, most recently it was an anti-abortion article. REALLY GUYS? im not even subscribed to anything similar that would explain why im getting all of this CRAP in recommended posts– what kind of crack are you developers smoking, anyway?

this site is turning into a big pile of shit– i looked for a userscript that would filter this out, but userscripts arent as easy to write as they used to be. they used to be so simple that anyone could write a filter for a site that was being stupid like this. not so much these days.

and the recommended posts section is turning into the bible belt. i do not want your recommendations, wordpress. theyre absolutely worthless recommendations– just put ads there instead! id rather you put spam there for hair loss treatments and generic pharmacy scams. if this doesnt stop, i wont be using the wordpress reader anymore. seriously, **** this shit. its getting ****ing ridiculous.


  • license: public domain


in “celebration” of hr4174 and s2046, a relevant novel by cory doctorow

cory doctorow has triple citizenship: in england, canada and the united states. if this isnt suspicious enough, he also enjoys writing stories like “little brother”:


which ive read myself, and fully confess to enjoying personally. i had help from others, which included the admins of craphound.com who did not tell me their names, and i can also name a librarian who promoted the book in the “ya” section of her library. i was also directed to the book by the creative commons website– but other than that, i acted alone.

as to those who taught me how to read this book, i name big bird and cookie monster.

if you would like your name on a list, you can download little brother (which is still legal, but definitely suspicious) at this secret location: http://craphound.com/category/littlebrother/

you can read more about paul ryan spying on your children like a chinese government boss here: https://seattleducation.com/2017/11/12/congress-suspending-the-rules-to-rush-through-bill-for-national-citizen-data-system-hr4174/

and please dont mistake this unamerican absurdity for a partisan effort– you just finished 8 years with the principal author of the patriot act as vice president.





  • license: public domain


twitter sucks, thats nothing new

thought id give twitter another try because its 280 characters now.

signed up, confirmed email, skipped phone number, selected a few people to follow, tweeted about fig– no urls or attachments in the post.

immediately got locked:

You’re seeing this warning because there has been some unusual activity from this account.

yeah it was unusual, it was the first tweet.

but i can unlock it by giving twitter my phone number!

i think i will just give twitter the bird instead. you still suck, guys.

its alright, i felt a little dirty being there anyway.




i actually never assume its a bug

when it comes to software i never assume its a bug first, because 9 times out of 10, its not.

9 times out of 10– something that looks like it HAS TO BE a bug is just a bad design or a misinformed user, or both. so i always consider a bug last. its way more fun to talk about design anyway.

ive tried reporting bugs, but half the time theyre either already fixed (this is a design problem with updates, and the responsibility actually lies elsewhere because we are talking about different means of distribution.)

or its a misunderstanding over a confusing design– which is sometimes worth fixing, but its not a bug if its intended/known/disputed/”wontfix”. …so i actually never assume an issue is a bug– even though sometimes it is.

in my own code its another matter though. i know what i meant, and if its doing something else, thats a bug and im usually happy to say: “it is not doing exactly what i wanted it to do.”




one parents experience with basecamp

Original Title: Tech for Good and Not-So-Good. Reposted with permission from Real Chicago Mama. Recently, I was asked about my experience as a parent with Summit PLP . This post is an attempt to capture the extent that I engaged my children’s school administrators about the program over the year that we were all part […]

via One Parent’s Experience with Basecamp, Summit’s Personalized Learning Platform — Seattle Education

america needs more people like judge robert e. morin

the department of injustice is at it again!


from https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/10/11/trump_protest_website_privacy_latest/

DreamHost went public with its concerns and told The Register the request was “unlike anything we’ve seen before in 20 years of web hosting.” It refused to hand the details over, sparking a motion to compel from Uncle Sam’s lawyers, which DreamHost refused.


while no one is suggesting that violence in protests is legal, the doj wants to scour an entire websites private user data to pick out any protestors that talked about violence. judge morin tells them just hold on a minute…

the judge introduced a “minimization plan” in which the government had to name the investigators that will have access to the data, and list the methods they will use.


honestly, it would be great if the judge went on to write this sort of process into law and it actually went through (also, unicorns.) granted, the reason he can do this is a lot of this “due process” stuff is law already, its just that no one seems to care anymore.

The order then lists a series of protocols designed to protect netizens “to comply with First Amendment and Fourth Amendment considerations, and to prevent the government from obtaining any identifying information of innocent persons.”

The DoJ will have to tell the court precisely what it will search for in disruptj20.org’s files – rather than just asking for it all – and must gain court approval before obtaining that data.


the bill of rights is probably crying tears of joy right now, knowing that someone out there still loves it.

its worth pointing out that things have only made it to this point because the operators of the website actually care about their users rights. you dont think this would ever happen on behalf of facebook users, would it?



  • license:
  • quotes are fair use, taken from a copyrighted article written this year, 2017
  • the rest of this article is in the public domain

has windows finally outdone their dumbest feature ever?

and thats clippy, probably… but if you have a laptop, theres probably one nice little key between your “ctrl” and “windows” key (or super key, if it doesnt have the windows logo.)

on a full-size keyboard, you may have the super key right next to ctrl.

so what? ahhh, “cloud clipboard”: http://news.softpedia.com/news/first-windows-10-redstone-4-feature-leaked-cloud-clipboard-517951.shtml

ctrl-v is the standard shortcut for “paste.” super-v is the shortcut for “copy to the cloud.”

so they put the hotkey for “upload to microsoft” RIGHT NEXT TO “paste.” im sure you wont regret any of things the things your clumsy fingers share with microsoft. just as a bonus: “at this point there are no other options available, such as deleting items or clearing clipboard content.” im sure theyll fix that on your side! lets hope the softpedia description is off and they require confirmation. though admittedly, thats almost as bad as the alternative.