Encountering Libre in various Technological sector

29
Apr 2012

Having scribbled about  freedom which was more to do with two legged mammalians in general sense, it was on its way to how this have its impact on Technology and its various sectors. The mere unraveling was the most humbling experience.

The slogan "freedom synonymous to responsibility" when applied to technology.
The existence of life until now has shown disturbing trend of people not willing to take responsibility(freedom) to learn(self-teaching/directed/interest) new stuff, instead are happy to be in the zone of "Ignorance is Bliss" as long as it satisfies the senses/gratifies their senses. Very often when the 4 wheels of freedom are mentioned in GPL
    1. freedom to use
    2. freedom to learn
    3. freedom to modify
    4. freedom to distribute
Mortals forget that it takes extreme sense of responsibility to undertake such freedom. To mention some of it are
self-directed
self-motivation
self-learning
self-realized form of action(all sounds same and same they are)
The reason why every +ve aspect is self-* is because there won't be any sort of external factor involved/influencing the self(i.e it is purely based on internal incentive).

To setup an infrastructure that supports almost all of the below mentioned technology is cool, let alone having developers knowledge of all the technology specified. Without doubt it touches every aspect like electronics, software, microcontroller, embedded, Radio frequency etc etc and inquisitive mind will always find way to get in touch with what's is enthusiastic in nature no matter what.

* desktop software
* Hardware design schematics
* FPGA design
* GSM modem firmware
* smartphone stack or palmtop (userland)
* radio frequency

How is that some(in fact very few) feel that their freedom is encroached while others(very many) go as if its defacto  standard. Its the Independent men of learning who feel the constriction at the same time the dogmatist/mindless followers who are enthralled with the UI/superficiality, shallow thinkers, for them its about how simple the product is for them to handle even if they are made to pay more or buy an upgrade/new product even when the so called outdated product(Hardware as well as software) is in working condition, meeting their requirement.

How is freedom surrendered?
* price factor
* obscuring the product
* not making available the developers view
* more crude view is making people believe that "Ignorance is bliss"
 
As mentioned earlier in the post i.e freedom is synonymous to responsibility, it feels/suits/appropriate for technology sector too. Some think that with this kind of freedom, anarchy is the fallout.  The men of learning feel that its their own responsibility to learn such technology (almost feels like metaphysics) and on other hand that its for only good use such endeavors are undertaken.

Based on what have been written about and extraordinary effort in understanding the not so common knowledge are the accounts which reflects the outburst of constricting bubble.
1* In the desktop world its obvious who is doing what, if one doesn't have a clue of what have been pointed to then all of the underlying matter doesn't make sense to such souls.

2* In the world of hardware or equipment manufacturers, its their prerogative to obscure what they want and is done purely for pecuniary gains. The open hardware is one such unit which releases whatever they have done. The hardware schematics are made available
Other enthusiast are also included like
http://en.qi-hardware.com/wiki/Main_Page
www.goldelico.com

www.openmoko.org - community driven
https://sharism.cc/ are some I can quote
one gaming console based on linux  is also released openpandora.org it is more than a gaming console.
cann't wait for cool guys to come up with add on chips for smartphone :). golden-delicious have already started the trend of upgrading the old board with new board, even the openpandora group have done the same by providing the upgrade boards for the old console boards.

3* The IP(Intellectual property) or patent act as a barrier in most cases but one cannot leave aside the pragmatic approach but the question is how pragmatic is being pragmatic? In FPGA world the design is kept closed by IP which could be used for experimental purpose and no commercial use of design is allowed which is logical and ethical.

4* BP (Baseband processor) is a chip having its own RTOS and GSM stack which is released in the market through mobile manufacturers and no individual have access to such components. Such information was divulged by independent men/man of learning in this case it was laforge who with his exposure in various sectors made an effort in opening up what he knew which is extremely helpful in understanding what smart phone comprises of.

5* smartphone stack or palmtop edition - wanted to name it as smartphone userland app but in the situation where smartphone is non-existent, the BP have its own userland(rudimentary) application
In this era of smartphone it is without doubt that anyone/everyone would have used applications that make use of AP(not a feature phone). Very many smartphone stacks are available, like
- Qtmoko/Qtopia/QtExtended
- Android
- SHR(stable hybrid release)
- OPIE(no phone stack available)/GPE
- bada (samsung)

6* RF related -  Radio spectrum which was unregulated once is now regulated keeping in mind the interference it was causing to commercial units. In the name of order the unregulated spectrum is regulated to put the control in the hands of tyrants.
The wireless network most often used for communication like GSM which in the hands of commercial firm don't opt for solutions which are not profitable to them even when the solution exists, another excuse they give is what will happen to the existing setup, i.e how to get the money back that has been invested.

OpenBTS which allows to implement GSM network(different from commercial ones) using USRP(universal software radio peripheral) makes use of astreisk to define the air interface(um)[MS ---> BTS]
MS => Mobile station
As earlier mentioned BP based osmocombb allows to learn more about the developers view of how things are at the lowest level.
Mesh network(GSM) involves communication among MS which will require above knowledge to implement what is needed.
Cognitive network which involves deregulation of RF.

There are many other projects which are taken up by the Independent men of learning which are out there to be found. There are many others who are behind such acts, so credit goes to all those brave hearts.