So I'm looking at the various new operating systems... Windows 7, OS-X 10.7 (Lion? I can't do arithmetic with large cats), iOS, Android (Honeycomb? I can't do arithmetic with desserts either). And the big consistent "feature" is signed code, trusted boot, it won't run "unauthorized" software.
So the big feature is apparently the ability to refuse to execute software. The big feature is Not Working.
I kinda like my general purpose computers... The ones I can program. Sure, I can get a "developer key" for IOS (and now OSX). I already paid for the computer, actually using it costs extra? And it must phone home? So I don't have an Apple. Didn't OSX used to come with all the development tools for free?
Windows 7, more of the same. It won't run unsigned drivers without ranting and raving, but you can disable it. For now. I emphasize the "For Now". Its called "test mode". So I don't have a Windows box. (Haven't since 1993.)
iPhones must be "jail broken". Android phones must be "rooted". So I have an OpenMoko (and it sucks, but at least I know who it works for.).
How much longer will I be able to buy computers which just run software? I feel its safe to assume that FreeBSD's kernel will never be signed. How soon before the BIOS will only load signed kernels? ("Who would need to write an operating system? Only Microsoft needs to be able to do that!")
Richard Stallman is blown off as an insane crank and an extremist. I wish he was. I wish he was wrong more often.