Another sign of the End Times: Free software guru Richard Stallman speaks at Microsoft HQ

Photo When a frantic group of paranormal investigators tried to convince the New York mayor of the impending apocalypse depicted in the 1984 Ghostbusters movie, they described the situation as a disaster of biblical proportions.

Fire and sulfur coming down from the heavens! Boiling rivers and seas!

Forty years of darkness! Tremors! Volcanoes!

The dead who rise from the grave!

Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, collective hysteria!

They could also have warned of the terrible possibility that the founder of the Free Software Foundation, Richard Stallman, spoke at Microsoft.

It was a historical possibility at least, if not likely: Stallman launched the GNU Project, which led to the free software movement, in 1983, at the time the Ghostbusters were being made, although their work at that time was not It was appreciated enough for the reference to make sense. [19659004] On Wednesday, it actually happened (Stallman spoke at Microsoft's corporate headquarters) and Alessandro Segala, Open Source product marketing manager at Azure, recognized the apocalyptic bearing of the event: "If the world ends today, you know why. "

In other places on Twitter, the reaction was similar. Hell has finally frozen, joked IT and operations engineer Ralf Hermsen. There was even ironic speculation that an experiment at CERN has plunged the world into an alternative dimension.

Computer science professor Matt Blaze understood the cinematic significance of Stallman's appearance immediately: "Is that a CC license on the slides? He said via Twitter." Cats and dogs living together. "

Yes, the same Richard Stallman who maintains a list of" Reasons not to use Microsoft "on his personal website, could not gather any reason not to speak there.

This despite from a long list of supposed sins of Microsoft on the Free Software Foundation's website. Here's an excerpt from a blog post by free software developer Matt Lee from a decade ago: "Dining with Microsoft is like dining with Hannibal Lecter , I could provide you with many stimulating and intellectual conversations, but you must ask yourself what was your real motivation to invite them? "

  Nude knuckle fight, photo via Shutterstock

You have a sense of humor from GNU! Difficult & # 39; joke & # 39; of Glibc abortion leaves Richard Stallman upset

READ MORE [19659016] The Registry is curious about it, so we tried to contact Stallman by email, after the Free Software Foundation told us that no one there could explain the situation to us. We do not expect to receive a response immediately. immediate to a request for comments.

Maybe the times are different now. Microsoft, who once referred to the GPL as a cancer, has put the Linux kernel on Windows. And Stallman, who in the past expressed points of Given that some find it controversial, he has not really criticized Microsoft directly in years.

I wish it were so simple: Stallman still seems to have concerns about Redmond. ft AI Greg Yang published a quote from Stallman's presentation: "Satya's book made me realize that Microsoft is a great company … if you ignore what they are doing to users' freedom … unfortunately this is very important "

Microsoft software engineer Pedro Paulo described the presentation as consistent with Stallman's philosophy for the past 30 years, and noted that he had some requests for company, such as pressing GitHub to make developers more aware of software license compliance, encouraging hardware vendors to publish kit specifications and making it easier to avoid safe startup. ®

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