Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Speak your passion for Freedom, Patent Reform, FOSS, and GNU/Linux!!

So you're passionate about software Freedom, Patent Reform, FOSS, and GNU/Linux? Do something about it!! Demand change from your Government representative!!

Use the link below to find contact information for U.S. Government representatives that represent YOU:
http://www.vote-smart.org/index.htm

Find many newspaper email addresses on this page: http://www.poetpatriot.com/pnewspaperuslinks.htm
Update:
Sent to these addresses to spread the word..
vop@thebeaconjournal.com,
editor@argusleader.com,
letters@azstarnet.com,
azdsopinion@azdailysun.com,
opinions@arizonarepublic.com,
fencepost@dailyherald.com,
yourviews@app.com,
jrnledit@ajc.com,
letters@baltsun.com,
letters@bangordailynews.net,
letter@globe.com,
letters@bfp.burlingtonfreepress.com,
opinion@charlotteobserver.com,
letters@postandcourier.com,
letters@suntimes.com,
publiceditor@tribune.com,
letters@jackson.gannett.com,
Letters@plaind.com,
gtop@gazette.com,
stateeditor@thestate.com,
gtebben@dispatch.com,
letters@gomemphis.com,
letters@cmonitor.com,
online@cctimes.com,
DailySun@mountwashingtonvalley.com,
yourviews@oklahoman.com,
edletter@coxohio.com,
dceditpage@DemocratandChronicle.com,
letters@denverpost.com,
letters@rockymountainnews.com,
letters@desnews.com,
letters@dmreg.com,
letters@freepress.com,
letters@detnews.com,
letters@fresnobee.com,
vop@citpat.com,
letters@courant.com,
irstaff@helenair.com,
HNLetters@northjersey.com,
aleisele@thehill.com,
letters@starbulletin.com,
viewpoints@chron.com,
inquirer.letters@phillynews.com,
letters@thejournalnews.com,
letters@kcstar.com,
letters@knews.com,
letters@reviewjournal.com,
hleditorial@herald-leader.com,
letters@latimes.com,
HeraldEd@herald.com,
jsedit@onwis.com,
letters@dnews.com,
letters@newsday.com,
editor@News-Herald.com,
forum@newsobserver.com,
voicers@edit.nydailynews.com,
Letters@NYPost.com,
letters@nytimes.com,
letters@pilotonline.com,
letters@ocregister.com,
letters@news.oregonian.com,
insight@orlandosentinel.com,
pulse@owh.com,
comments@staff.philly.com,
opinion@tribweb.com,
Letters@plaind.com,
letters@pe.com,
letters@projo.com,
letterstotheeditor@northjersey.com,
letters@timesdispatch.com,
opinion@sacbee.com,
letters@pioneerpress.com,
letters@postnet.com,
letters@sltrib.com,
letters@mercurynews.com,
letters@express-news.net,
letters@uniontrib.com,
eletters@starledger.com,
newsroom@star-telegram.com,
letters@sun-sentinel.com,
tribletters@tampatrib.com,
letters@telegram.com,
letters@tennessean.com,
letters@theblade.com,
Kansasletters@cjonline.com,
letters@cjonline.com,
letters@theunionleader.com,
opinion@usatoday.com,
wsj.ltrs@wsj.com,
letters@washpost.com,
letters@washingtontimes.com,
world@worldtribune.com

Get the word out, the general public needs to be concerned about this!!

Here's what I told my Government representatives and about 25 newspapers recently:

Dear Government Representative,

As a registered voter in your district, a technology professional, a
GNU/Linux/FOSS enthusiast user/enthusiast, and free American, I'm
writing to let you know that I would like for you to take immediate
action in government to correct our current Software Patent System to
prevent profiteering companies and lawyers from obtaining and abusing
patents purely for monetary profit through frivolous lawsuits and
restriction of Free software. See
http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20071011205044141 and
http://www.raiden.net/?cat=2&aid=319&pid=1 for an example of the
previously stated problem.

1.) Our patent system MUST serve and promote the ideal of Free
Software (Free as in Free Speech or as in Freedom of Humanity). See
http://www.fsf.org/licensing/essays/free-sw.html for a more complete
definition.

2.) Software patents should serve to make better software products for
use by all humankind, promote competition, enhance software
innovation, promote freedom of use and sharing of software, and serve
to move us into the future of technology. The Linux operating system
is a fine model for all of the previously mentioned items. See
http://www.linux.org/ for more information. Linux is a FREEDOM and
must not be abused by "Corporate America"!!

3.) Software has effected our lives in ways that are similar to
mathematics, or water. In this view, commonly used software should be
kept freely available to everyone in the nation as it is crucial to
the well being of the people and is part of our country's
infrastructure. Other countries are embracing this idea and moving
ahead of us in the technological realm. See
http://innovations.ziffdavis.com/2007/09/the_inevitability_of_free_soft.html .

4.) The GNU/Linux operating system with its tens of thousands of free
software packages available for all types of people around the globe
MUST become a protected resource as many thousands of students,
professionals, Scientists, organizations, and even whole nations rely
on this software to move them into the future with technology. My Son
attends a school that uses "Edubuntu Linux" in the library, this helps
to give my son the edge in technology. See
http://lxer.com/module/newswire/view/93171/index.html . We are a free
country, therefore it makes sense that we are allowed to use software
that has "Freedom" as its base idea.

5.) Monopolistic practices by market-share leaders to thwart healthy
competition MUST be dealt with per the current laws and our
Constitution! People everywhere and especially our Government should
place the work they do into an open-source format so that no private
company can restrict access to information that MUST be kept available
and accessible far into the future.Please do not allow profits and
lobbying to blind us to what is required and fair. See
http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,136711-c,techindustrytrends/article.html
for more information.

Please act immediately to reform the Patent System in terms of the
support of Free and human-serving software!

Our future as technologically enabled humans depends on you!

Sincerely,

Mr. Shannon VanWagner

Friday, October 5, 2007

Don't use the Linksys SRW2048 (or any product) until they support non-IE web browsers!

Update: The link below will get you nowhere (and was provided to me after my posting was deleted by Maximus).. as it returns "SRW2048 does not have email support available", what gives? Well I guess I'll just have to vote with the company dollar against Linksys at this point.
Note: Linksys very readily censors any posting that suggests improvement to their products so beware! Your non-carefully-worded posts are likely to be deleted by the admins: maximus, daikunzeon, and Vince_02 (and probably others).

Update: Sent a request to Linksys to support other browsers besides just IE:
Feedback URL:
http://linksys.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/linksys.cfg/php/enduser/ask.php?p_icf_3=2
Message Sent:

----------------start quote-----------------------------------------------
Subject: Please remove the "Internet Explorer" only limitation of the SRW2048 switch

Hi,

I was wondering if Linksys has any plans to remove the restrictions of the SRW2048 switch so it can be managed by other web browsers besides Internet Explorer.

AFTER buying your SRW2048 switch and finding out that it can ONLY be managed with Internet Explorer I'm very displeased with Linksys and am switching our company's purchasing preference to Netgear switches instead of Linksys.

Furthermore, I have signed up for a Linksys forums account and have posted my experience with Linksys tech support - only to have 3 of my posts deleted by the "censorship-god" admins of the forum.
See http://forums.linksys.com/linksys/board/message?board.id=Switches&thread.id=331&view=by_date_ascending&page=6
After my latest post, I've been told that I'm on the verge of being banned from your forum.


So since my posts to the Linksys forum are being censored, I've moved my gripes to digg.com where hopefully more people will share their frustration with the idea of a large and prominent company like Linksys only supporting Internet Explorer with some of its products:
http://digg.com/hardware/Don_t_use_the_Linksys_SRW2048_until_they_support_non_IE_browsers

Linksys products can be great, but to limit access to something like a managed switch to only one browser version (and one that is a non-abider in terms of regular web standards) doesn't seem like a good product direction to take.

Please help to prevent Monopoly in the technical world and reconsider your direction with this product by supporting more web browsers besides just Internet Explorer for your products.

Thanks,

Shannon VanWagner
----------------end quote-----------------------------------------------

UPDATE: As it turns out, the "datasheet" for this product shows Internet Explorer as being a "minimum system requirement". Still, sites such as newegg.com and cnet.com don't appear to specifically mention that Internet Explorer is REQUIRED to use this product. We can only hope that Linksys will change their stance on the way their hardware can be accessed.


UPDATE: Linksys keeps deleting my posts that say this device ONLY supports Internet Explorer... what gives? How are IT people supposed to know that this particular switch REQUIRES Internet Explorer before purchasing this hardware? WTF?
If this URL goes nowhere, they have deleted my post again: http://forums.linksys.com/linksys/board/message?bo ...
In which case perhaps more people could post to the topic at:
http://forums.linksys.com/linksys/board/message?bo ...

Shannon


This is a transcription of the trouble I went through after buying a Linksys SRW2048 and finding out the hard way that it doesn't support any other web browser besides Internet Explorer.

The worst part of this whole situation is that the documentation for the switch doesn't even specify that you MUST use Internet Explorer to manage this device. How can technology professionals ensure they buy the right equipment for their systems when manufacturers don't recognize when they cater to monopolistic products.

These types of issues need to be addressed by the technical world as a whole, we can't have hardware companies trying to FORCE us to use Internet Explorer (or any other non web-standards driven browser).

If you have a story of your own that is similar to this please post it.

MAKE NOISE!! It's us IT People that will be the catalyst for other to have choice!!

Technical Support Call to Linksys...
Product: Linksys SRW2048 48-Port Managed Switch
800-326-7114 Linksys Technical Support


me: We have purchased a Linksys SRW2048 managed switch and we cannot access the web management utility because we don't use Internet Explorer. Also, the telnet feature doesn't allow me to configure VLANs so it's pretty much useless to me. Can you confirm that this device cam only be fully managed using the Internet Explorer browser? I don't see in the documentation anywhere where it says we must use Internet Explorer to access the device - this is a BIG problem and I wish we would have known this before making the purchase.

rep: Let me check can you hold for about 2 min?
rep: What version of firefox are you using?
me: 2.0.0.7
rep: (put me on hold for about 10 minutes then came back and asked if I would take a call-back (which came about 20 mins later))
rep: There is a workaround... please use Internet Explorer.
me: So what's the workaround? Oh wait, do you mean I can I ONLY use Internet Explorer to access this device?
rep: Yes, that's true.

me: Do you intend to update the firmware to support other browsers besides only Internet Explorer? The whole world doesn't just use Internet Explorer and Windows!
rep: I haven't heard of any updates from headquarters concerning the SRW2048

me: Please update the device to use other browsers and/or at least post it in the documentation that we MUST use Internet Explorer to access the device so that NON-Windows shops will be able to use from your product
rep: (directs me to the release notes section for completely different switch - the SRW2008 (http://tinyurl.com/yr8fc2))
rep: It says in item #14 "The web management interface is best viewed using Internet Explorer 5.5"
me: This does not apply to my situation for 2 reasons: 1.) We don't have the SRW2008 switch, we have the SRW2048, 2.) This says "best viewed" with Internet Explorer -What is SHOULD say: ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT WORK without Internet Explorer - the web management interface is completely inaccessible with Browsers Other than Internet Explorer
rep: I know (referring to having to send me to a different product area), I'm not sure why the documentation doesn't say this (that to manage the switch you absolutely have to use Internet Explorer)

me: Oh and just for the record Safari web browser shows a completely blank screen and firefox shows a broken and unusable page when logging into the device.

rep: I'm going to close your case now.

me: Please escalate this - There are many customers out there that cannot use Internet Explorer and so this is a MAJOR problem

rep: (agreeingly) I know

----end of call


Note: I've posted to Linksys forum about this problem, let's see if they remove me:
http://forums.linksys.com/linksys/board/message?board.id=Switches&thread.id=331&view=by_date_ascending&page=6

Wow - they deleted me quick (I've since reposted):
--------
FROM: Administrator Vince_02
SENT: 10-05-2007 12:11 PM

Deleted Post

Hi Shannon_V,

We apologize for deleting your post in the switches section. Upon further review, we assessed that your post was not in line with the forum usage guidelines. Please refrain from posting chat transcripts and advertising competitors product. You may just post the details of your chat session.

Thank you for your understanding.

Regards,

Vince_02
Linksys Community Forum Moderator
----------------

Comparable product to use instead: GS748Tv3 48-Port Gigabit Smart Switch
http://kbserver.netgear.com/products/GS748Tv3.asp




Related Links:
http://forums.linksys.com/linksys/board/message?board.id=Switches&message.id=332#M332
http://cmsu2.cmsu.edu/~wwh20610/webview.jpg
http://reviews.cnet.com/switches/linksys-48-port-10/4864-6432_7-31645924.html?ctype=msgid&messageSiteID=7&messageID=2502312&cval=2502312&tag=uolst

Note: Apparently the only possible workaround for Linux is: Install ie4Linux(Internet Explorer) on your Linux machine so you can browse to the web mgmt console. The simple fact is that we still shouldn't be forced to use Internet Explorer to manage this type of device.