Should there be a free software app store?*
Since free software "is a matter of liberty, not price", developers and distributions are allowed to ask users to pay for free software (though most users can easily choose not to). Musicians like Radiohead have experimented with asking, but not requiring, users to pay for music (by choosing their own price, which could be $0). What would happen if we did this for free software?
Since free software “is a matter of liberty, not price”, developers and distributions are allowed to ask users to pay for free software (though most users can easily choose not to). Musicians like Radiohead have experimented with asking, but not requiring, users to pay for music (by choosing their own price, which could be $0). What would happen if we did this for free software?
I’ll consider what developers like about the extraordinarily restrictive environment of the iPhone app store (it’s not just the money) and whether an app store would be a useful funding model for some free software projects. Since Canonical is exploring app store-like functionality in the Ubuntu Software Centre, this may happen soon anyway. Will such an app store solicit “donations” or “purchases”? Will it confuse users about their rights and obligations, or about the difference between free and proprietary software? How will it change free software developers’ incentives?
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Seth Schoen is a Senior Staff Technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. He has worked at EFF for eight years, helping other technologists understand the civil liberties implications of their work, EFF staff better understand the underlying technology related to EFF’s legal work, and the public understand what the technology products they use really do. He helped create the LNX-BBC live CD and has researched phenomena including laser printer forensic tracking codes, ISP packet spoofing, and key recovery from computer RAM after a computer has been turned off.
- Title: Fixing SSL security: Supplementing the certificate authority model
- Track: Hacks
- Room: Steel
- Time: 1:30 – 2:15pm
The most common way of using SSL/TLS encryption relies on a public-key infrastructure that puts near-absolute trust in a large number of entities around the world, any one of which could accidentally or deliberately empower anyone to impersonate any site or service and spy on all of our communications. We’ve seen that these certificate authorities can make mistakes. We need new mechanisms to meaningfully double-check that they’re doing the right thing.
- Speakers: Seth Schoen