IT customers (Re: recommendations for a mini laptop)

Bernhard E. Reiter bernhard at
Mon Sep 23 07:53:40 UTC 2019

Am Mittwoch 07 August 2019 16:20:32 schrieb Paul Boddie:
> Sadly, "more is better" continues to be the dominant theme of the
> technology industry: power consumption benefits (due to more efficient
> circuitry) are typically overturned by vastly increased consumption.

It is a main theme of the vast majority of customers.
Most selling points that convince people are related to "more"
(power, cpu cores, speed).

So this become a topic of educating more people about long lasting
IT hardware (and thus Free Software, which is a good fit.)
As writes for years:

"4. FLOSS can often use older hardware more efficiently than proprietary 
systems, yielding smaller hardware costs and sometimes eliminating the need 
for new hardware."

This is one of FSFE's message that we repeat wherever we can.
One recent example is our booth and participation Bits & Bäume conference

> So, my solution to this is to open the network monitoring development tool
> in Firefox, load a page with a lot of surveillance scripts, save the log as
> a "HAR" format file, and then I have a script which dumps the hosts from
> the log. With that output, after editing to preserve the sites providing
> genuine content, I have another script which assigns the hosts with
> unrouteable IP addresses, and this then gets deployed in /etc/hosts.

> It is remarkable how much difference this makes and how many
> script/image/tracking hosts are involved in serving even those sites that
> have something to say about the ethics of surveillance. 

What you describe is a lot of work that most people cannot or are not willing 
to put up. uBlock origin is a good match for those people (if they know about 
it). Again a majority of people seem to like that they get news and some 
services offered for the attention. They are not willing to pay basic 
services, they'd rather be influenced. Also they like the comfort of online 
storages, suggestions based on statistical data and many buy the promise
of better services if their data is analysed.

As all those advantages exists in small quantities here and there,
this is a gray world. In my view we as FSFE are working for a better 
understanding of what is going on and on the basic ability to inspect code
and change it. LineagesOSMicroG and are examples
where these freedoms have been used to make the situation (a little bit) 

> I guess it is easy to criticise a habit but harder to actually break it.

It is not our habit, it the habit of many people - most of them non-techies.

> Again, leadership from organisations like the FSFE on such matters
> is rather lacking, but that is another topic.

We cannot save the world alone and in all aspects, but at least we can try. :)
(Being bitter and cynical does not help us, as alternatively
 others will shape the future for us.)

Best Regards,

FSFE -- Founding Member     Support our work for Free Software: | contribute
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