Open Source Computing

Week 11, Apr 6

Discussion of RMS

Richard Stallman originally stepped down from the FSF because of some remarks he made regarding the Jeffrey Epstein revelations, back in 2019. MIT AI researcher Marvin Minsky -- onetime head of the MIT AI lab -- had been accused of having sex with one of Epstein's 17-year-old victims, and RMS objected very specifically to the description of this as "assault". In some 75% of US states, including Massachusetts, 17 is above the age of consent. RMS did not in any way deny the egregious inappropriateness of Minsky's actions.

This might (or might not) be forgiven as "tone-deafness" on Stallman's part. However, Stallman also has a long history of unwanted and at least somewhat manipulative sexual advances within the MIT community. Some of this is documented at He has also a long history of statements that others have found offensive, and has not responded to objections.

Stallman is remarkably outspoken about a range of human-rights issues.

He is also widely described as being on the "autism spectrum", though I am not aware of any actual medical diagnosis.

See also Defend Richard Stallman at

Zombie SCO FUD!

Remember the SCO lawsuits against Linux users, on the theory that they owned "Unix"? It turns out that SCO was bought by Xinuos, who is now suing IBM and Red Hat (owned by IBM).

Most interesting point in the ZDnet story: SCO (with partner Caldera) should have been a serious Red Hat competitor in 2001.

Also, SCO sold their Unix interest in 2007 to UnXis, who decided to re-spell their name as Xinuos. At the time of the purchase, UnXis announced they had no interest in the lawsuit, but hard times lead to changed standards.

The lawsuit also claims that IBM and Red Hat conspired to eliminate "competition" in the Linux market. Which is really really odd.

Cathedral v Bazaar  


Linux security

    Apple TLS

Open-source security issues:

But let's not forget the structural reasons why MS Windows security has been so difficult: hard-to-audit settings, license restrictions on backup installations, compromises to address user revolt