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Re: Leverage in licensing discussions

Tzafrir Cohen wrote:
> Up until 1968 the same reasoning wasused to present people from 
> connecting anything but phones provided by Bell to the Bell telephone 
> network. You were not even allowed to connect a modem through an
> accustic coupler.

If I recall correctly, back in the old days, it was possible to phone
someone up, so making a physical copper connection between your
telephone and theirs, and then send a high voltage pulse down the line
and fry their phone (and possibly injure them). So there would have been
a certain amount of sense to the restrictions. The acoustic coupler
business was sheer lunacy, though...

> If the networks that the operators are that badly designed, I worry
> about how easy it would be when someone would actively try to DoS them.

That's one of the problems with fragile mission-critical systems --- at
a certain point it becomes too risky to try and fix them because of the
risk of downtime. Opening (and hardening) the GSM protocols would
probably result in a much more robust mobile phone network, but would
also probably cause short-term breakages... comp.risks is full of
stories about such systems. For example, datacentres where the cost of
downtime is so great they can't afford to test the power failover
systems, in case they fail!

Anyway, in an attempt to try and steer the discussion back on track, I
believe we were at:

1. Some devices require firmware blobs with no source available. Because
of this, such firmware can't be distributed in Debian.

2. For at least some of these devices, even if the source code was
available it would add no value, because of legal restrictions governing
which firmware blobs can be used on that hardware.

3. These devices tend to be quite common and cheap, therefore it would
be nice if Debian could somehow support them.

Therefore, is there a case for having a non-Debian but associated
archive of firmware images, which Debian could optionally refer to at
the user's discretion, in the interest of making life easier for the user?

┌─── dg@cowlark.com ───── http://www.cowlark.com ─────
│ ⍎'⎕',∊N⍴⊂S←'←⎕←(3=T)⋎M⋏2=T←⊃+/(V⌽"⊂M),(V⊝"M),(V,⌽V)⌽"(V,V←1⎺1)⊝"⊂M)'
│ --- Conway's Game Of Life, in one line of APL

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