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Chime instead of Zoom, a modest proposal


Mark Atwood
 

Hi Kate and other SPDX folk,


We have been using Zoom to provide teleconference for SPDX meetings.  In light of recent events, Zoom has  gotten very popular, and also been failing many security audits, and so many companies and governments have started banning its use.


Amazon has a service very similar to Zoom, called Amazon Chime.  Amazon Chime has 1) it's got much better security, 2) it doesn't give your personal, login, and meeting info to the adtech tracking industry, 3) it is gratis with all professional features to the end of June, and 4) as an Amazonian and this being part of my work, I can provide gratis usage to the SPDX group even after the end of June.


Chime has clients for Win, and for Mac, it runs in Browser on Firefox and on Chrome on all OSes, it has clients for mobile OSes, and also has local and tollfree telephone dialin in most countries.


So, what do you think?  Switch to Chime?  It's especially a win if we are paying for Zoom.


..m


-- 

Mark Atwood <atwoodm@...>

Principal, Open Source, Amazon


Kate Stewart
 

Hi Mark,
     Thanks for the generous offer.  :-)  We're not paying for zoom, however I'm definitely up for doing an experiment during our spdx-tech meeting tomorrow, and if it works for the regular attendees, changing to a system with better security.

Can you send  me the details for the account to use,  and we'll do an experiment during the tech call,  and feedback to the wider group.

Thanks again!
Kate

On Mon, Apr 13, 2020 at 3:31 PM Atwood, Mark <atwoodm@...> wrote:

Hi Kate and other SPDX folk,


We have been using Zoom to provide teleconference for SPDX meetings.  In light of recent events, Zoom has  gotten very popular, and also been failing many security audits, and so many companies and governments have started banning its use.


Amazon has a service very similar to Zoom, called Amazon Chime.  Amazon Chime has 1) it's got much better security, 2) it doesn't give your personal, login, and meeting info to the adtech tracking industry, 3) it is gratis with all professional features to the end of June, and 4) as an Amazonian and this being part of my work, I can provide gratis usage to the SPDX group even after the end of June.


Chime has clients for Win, and for Mac, it runs in Browser on Firefox and on Chrome on all OSes, it has clients for mobile OSes, and also has local and tollfree telephone dialin in most countries.


So, what do you think?  Switch to Chime?  It's especially a win if we are paying for Zoom.


..m


-- 

Mark Atwood <atwoodm@...>

Principal, Open Source, Amazon


Jeremiah C. Foster
 

One of the benefits of using Zoom is its native Linux client. Does Chime offer a Linux client?

If not, I think it is kinda weird (given the year of the Linux desktop) to use something that isn't available on Linux.

Cheers,

Jeremiah

On Mon, 2020-04-13 at 15:50 -0500, Kate Stewart wrote:
Hi Mark,
     Thanks for the generous offer.  :-)  We're not paying for zoom, however I'm definitely up for doing an experiment during our spdx-tech meeting tomorrow, and if it works for the regular attendees, changing to a system with better security.

Can you send  me the details for the account to use,  and we'll do an experiment during the tech call,  and feedback to the wider group.

Thanks again!
Kate

On Mon, Apr 13, 2020 at 3:31 PM Atwood, Mark <atwoodm@...> wrote:

Hi Kate and other SPDX folk,


We have been using Zoom to provide teleconference for SPDX meetings.  In light of recent events, Zoom has  gotten very popular, and also been failing many security audits, and so many companies and governments have started banning its use.


Amazon has a service very similar to Zoom, called Amazon Chime.  Amazon Chime has 1) it's got much better security, 2) it doesn't give your personal, login, and meeting info to the adtech tracking industry, 3) it is gratis with all professional features to the end of June, and 4) as an Amazonian and this being part of my work, I can provide gratis usage to the SPDX group even after the end of June.


Chime has clients for Win, and for Mac, it runs in Browser on Firefox and on Chrome on all OSes, it has clients for mobile OSes, and also has local and tollfree telephone dialin in most countries.


So, what do you think?  Switch to Chime?  It's especially a win if we are paying for Zoom.


..m


-- 

Mark Atwood <atwoodm@...>

Principal, Open Source, Amazon




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Kyle Mitchell
 

I've used the Linux Zoom client nearly every day for a few
weeks now, and less often for several months before that.
It's been seamless for all the core talk-and-watch
functionality.

It does lag a bit behind on lesser features. For example,
some of the call-recording options on Windows and Mac still
haven't made it over to Linux. So it goes.

I don't usually attend SPDX calls, so this is just FYI. If
I do end up joining in again, I can always use a phone.
Which had sprouted six or seven different apps for VoIP,
last I checked.

Others have more religious affinity for the Linux desktop.
But I haven't seen any libre option that stacks up to Zoom's
reliability. Other closed competitors---Hangouts
especially---never met that bar, either.

--
Kyle Mitchell, attorney // Oakland // (510) 712 - 0933


 

Jumping in randomly: would be super interested in exploring this for OpenChain if that’s on the table.

Shane 

On Apr 14, 2020, at 5:31, Mark Atwood via lists.spdx.org <atwoodm=amazon.com@...> wrote:



Hi Kate and other SPDX folk,


We have been using Zoom to provide teleconference for SPDX meetings.  In light of recent events, Zoom has  gotten very popular, and also been failing many security audits, and so many companies and governments have started banning its use.


Amazon has a service very similar to Zoom, called Amazon Chime.  Amazon Chime has 1) it's got much better security, 2) it doesn't give your personal, login, and meeting info to the adtech tracking industry, 3) it is gratis with all professional features to the end of June, and 4) as an Amazonian and this being part of my work, I can provide gratis usage to the SPDX group even after the end of June.


Chime has clients for Win, and for Mac, it runs in Browser on Firefox and on Chrome on all OSes, it has clients for mobile OSes, and also has local and tollfree telephone dialin in most countries.


So, what do you think?  Switch to Chime?  It's especially a win if we are paying for Zoom.


..m


-- 

Mark Atwood <atwoodm@...>

Principal, Open Source, Amazon


James Bottomley
 

On Mon, 2020-04-13 at 20:31 +0000, Mark Atwood via lists.spdx.org
wrote:
Chime has clients for Win, and for Mac, it runs in Browser on Firefox
and on Chrome on all OSes, it has clients for mobile OSes, and also
has local and tollfree telephone dialin in most countries.
So no app for Linux then? As you can appreciate, a lot of us have now
been evaluating a whole range of video conference technologies and one
of the empirical rules I've been seeing is that solutions that don't
provide a Linux client usually can't provide app equivalent
functionality on the web either ... and actually there are several
solutions (cough, bluejeans, cough) that allegedly provide a linux app
but not with the full range of capability and have similar problems on
the web.

One of the things I will give zoom in the pantheon of proprietary crap
for meetings is that they have a full range of supported linux clients,
for almost every distribution you can think of, with functionality
equivalent to windows and mac.

James


Alexios Zavras
 

The good folks at FSFE maintain a wiki page with Free Software alternatives:
https://wiki.fsfe.org/Activities/FreeSoftware4RemoteWorking

I should point out that in the SPDX calls we don't actually use video -- it's audio and screen sharing.

-- zvr

-----Original Message-----
From: Spdx-legal@... <Spdx-legal@...> On Behalf Of James Bottomley
Sent: Tuesday, 14 April, 2020 06:35
To: Kyle Mitchell <@kemitchell>
Cc: @MarkAtwood; Kate Stewart <kstewart@...>; Spdx-legal@...; spdx@...
Subject: Re: Chime instead of Zoom, a modest proposal

On Mon, 2020-04-13 at 20:55 -0700, Kyle Mitchell wrote:
Others have more religious affinity for the Linux desktop.
Wow that's a blast from the early part of this millenium. Since Linux now runs over 80% of the world's computing resources, I thought we'd got over stigmatizing people who actually run it on their desktops.

It's not for want of others trying: my workplace keeps sending me windows laptops, but they aren't really useful for my daily activities and it turns out that if you don't switch them on very often, they simply stop working and eventually the capital expense isn't worth it.

But I haven't seen any libre option that stacks up to Zoom's
reliability. Other closed competitors---Hangouts especially---never
met that bar, either.
Well, I'm glad you asked ... so far the most promising fully open trial is this one:

https://bigbluebutton.org/

But the trials are still ongoing so that's by no means the final answer. It's actually somewhat obvious: bigbluebutton was developed for teaching remotely in under resourced schools, so of course they brought it up on a free (as in beer) OS because everything else was cost prohibitive. No one's heard of it because their advertising budget matches the available resources ...

James






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James Bottomley
 

On Mon, 2020-04-13 at 20:55 -0700, Kyle Mitchell wrote:
Others have more religious affinity for the Linux desktop.
Wow that's a blast from the early part of this millenium. Since Linux
now runs over 80% of the world's computing resources, I thought we'd
got over stigmatizing people who actually run it on their desktops.

It's not for want of others trying: my workplace keeps sending me
windows laptops, but they aren't really useful for my daily activities
and it turns out that if you don't switch them on very often, they simply stop working and eventually the capital expense isn't worth it.

But I haven't seen any libre option that stacks up to Zoom's
reliability. Other closed competitors---Hangouts
especially---never met that bar, either.
Well, I'm glad you asked ... so far the most promising fully open trial
is this one:

https://bigbluebutton.org/

But the trials are still ongoing so that's by no means the final
answer. It's actually somewhat obvious: bigbluebutton was developed
for teaching remotely in under resourced schools, so of course they
brought it up on a free (as in beer) OS because everything else was
cost prohibitive. No one's heard of it because their advertising
budget matches the available resources ...

James


John Sullivan
 

"James Bottomley" <James.Bottomley@...> writes:

Well, I'm glad you asked ... so far the most promising fully open trial
is this one:

https://bigbluebutton.org/
Yeah, FSF is running an instance that is being used to successfully
teach classes at MIT right now. We'll post more about it soon, but can
confirm that it works for 20+, with video and screen sharing. Also have
quite a bit of info at
https://libreplanet.org/wiki/Remote_Communication.

-john

--
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GPG Key: A462 6CBA FF37 6039 D2D7 5544 97BA 9CE7 61A0 963B
https://status.fsf.org/johns | https://fsf.org/blogs/RSS

Do you use free software? Donate to join the FSF and support freedom at
<https://my.fsf.org/join>.


Jeremiah C. Foster
 

On Tue, 2020-04-14 at 16:45 -0400, John Sullivan wrote:
"James Bottomley" <James.Bottomley@...> writes:

Well, I'm glad you asked ... so far the most promising fully open
trial
is this one:

https://bigbluebutton.org/
I've used Jitsi meet a bit and it is pretty decent too;
https://github.com/jitsi/jitsi-meet

One caveat with tools that use WebRTC - there is no E2E encryption yet
in the protocol. Matrix however does have this and I've used its' video
and audio and that works quite well.

Yeah, FSF is running an instance that is being used to successfully
teach classes at MIT right now. We'll post more about it soon, but
can
confirm that it works for 20+, with video and screen sharing. Also
have
quite a bit of info at
https://libreplanet.org/wiki/Remote_Communication.
Awesome list and it should hold everything needed for most folks to
fully participate in SPDX discussions.

Cheers,

Jeremiah

________________________________

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Jonas Smedegaard
 

Quoting Jeremiah C. Foster (2020-04-15 18:57:24)
On Tue, 2020-04-14 at 16:45 -0400, John Sullivan wrote:
"James Bottomley" <James.Bottomley@...> writes:

Well, I'm glad you asked ... so far the most promising fully open
trial
is this one:

https://bigbluebutton.org/
I've used Jitsi meet a bit and it is pretty decent too;
https://github.com/jitsi/jitsi-meet
For the pragmatic angle of "does it work reliably" I agree that Jitsi is
a viable option.

Any conferencing service _can_ become unreliable when stressed.
Stability for all improves when a) fewest possible participants use
their camera, and b) use newest release of a Chromium-based web browser
(i.e. best to avoid¹ Firefox or Safari or GNOME Web).


One caveat with tools that use WebRTC - there is no E2E encryption yet
in the protocol. Matrix however does have this and I've used its'
video and audio and that works quite well.
True, no general-purpose web browser support E2E encryption for WebRTC
calls, so if you want the convenience of "calling from your browser"
then you cannot have the strongest of security.

That said, WebRTC security is still _better_ than that of non-WebRTC
services like Zoom².

For conferences crucially needing it, WebRTC with E2E encryption _is_
possible, using a dedicated tool (i.e. not a web browser) and the
advanced WebRTC+MLS service at https://wire.com/en/


- Jonas


¹ Because Jitsi until next release (expected few days from now) only
reliably supports Chromium-based web browsers -
https://github.com/jitsi/jitsi-meet/issues/4758 - and Firefox is known
to cause trouble not only for themselves but also for other participants
- https://github.com/jitsi/jitsi-meet/issues/5439 and
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1164187

² Because Zoom is known to jeopardize security and even practice
newspeak by advertising that they support "e2e" (meaning something else
by that term than the rest of the world):
https://onezero.medium.com/zoom-is-a-nightmare-so-why-is-everyone-still-using-it-1b05a4efd5cc

--
* Jonas Smedegaard - idealist & Internet-arkitekt
* Tlf.: +45 40843136 Website: http://dr.jones.dk/

[x] quote me freely [ ] ask before reusing [ ] keep private


Bradley M. Kuhn <bkuhn@...>
 

This would be a good time to note that folks who care about their software
freedom cannot effectively participate in SPDX, and not only because the
conferencing solution is proprietary software (although in the past I was
able to join non-video via a phone number using PSTN line -- this thread
indicates to me that feature might go away now).

In particular, the mailing lists silently one night a year or two ago changed
from GNU Mailman to a proprietary software service with almost no notice. (I
discovered later SPDX was apparently the "test list" that LF used when they
switched all their mailing lists wholesale from a FOSS solution to a
proprietary one, which is why SPDX switched first.) That new service
requires agreement to a proprietary license to interact with its web
interface at all (including to just manage subscription requests), which of
course installs proprietary Javascript on one's computer while using it [0].

I have invited FOSS licensing folks to the SPDX list who refused to join the
mailing list because they didn't want to agree to this proprietary license.
There are thus non-hypothetical examples of SPDX's lack of inclusivity
discouraging participation.

Meanwhile, with the slow move to GitHub for more and more SPDX items, SPDX
has slowly begun to cross the line into using proprietary-access-only GitHub
features. The CLI GitHub clients that use the API can interact with GitHub
issues somewhat. I think (although I haven't checked in about a year) that
GitHub doesn't require you to agree to a proprietary license just to make an
account and use the API. However, the standard web interface to most GitHub
features requires the installation of proprietary software.

So, while James' "must work on Linux" is of course a must, I think this would
be a good moment for SPDX to consider if it wants to dig even deeper into
being a project that has been for some time fundamentally unfriendly to FOSS
enthusiasts. The trend has been in a FOSS-unfriendly direction, and this is
a factor in why I've reduced my volunteer time substantially for SPDX in the
last 6-9 months. I noticed and read through this thread because the subject
line was related to that very issue, and it confirms that I should be
recommending that folks who care about software freedom will probably just
need to avoid the SPDX project.


[0] The only reason I'm still on this mailing list is that the GNU Mailman
subscriptions were auto-imported to the proprietary system, and I since
was a founding member of the inaugural FOSS-Bazaar-Package-Facts list
that became the SPDX lists eventually, I'm still on it. As such, I've
never actually agreed to Linux Foundation's new proprietary license for
its mailing list software, now LF is just sending me (now-unsolicited)
email that I happen to find in my inbox.
--
Bradley M. Kuhn - he/him

Pls. support the charity where I work, Software Freedom Conservancy:
https://sfconservancy.org/supporter/