Posts Tagged ‘freedom’

Technology one big freedom trap – Drop off technology to live true life

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

Reading Time: 2minutes

I'm lately thinking over technology and the way, we interact a lot. I've thought over that so many times and most of the times I get into the conclusion technology is not liberating us as we're told everywhere on the contrary it makes us weak and dependable. Try to switch off your mobile and live without a mobile for instance. This is almost unthinkable for probably over 3 000 000 of people around the globe. Also this Mobile Phones and Computers and all this technology surrounding, us make us servants of technology. Technology used to be invented to serve us but what is happening is we're starting to serve it as more and more people are included in supporting technology equipment. The internet is also a big illusion as it is just something stored on electronic signals somewhere. The world is starting to get mixed too much as a result of the huge globalization the internet impose on us. The magical and non-Christian teachings has multipled many times as a result of the internet boom. Nowdays most of people are spending big part of their life in one illusionary world (the internet). This desire for multiple virtual realities make us desire something that is not real. The more we stay on the internet the more busy, we're loosing time in non-sense. Since so many people have plenty of free time, they put their time on the internet in all kind of empty things from spiritual point of view.  The worst thing from the digitalization of society is it makes us void and digital like. The structure of language is being changed by a hype words not meaning anything as they only relate to an idea to have physical dimensions. We better go back to our roots and drop technology. I'm starting to think people should start rejecting technology and live a free life like our forefathers and mothers used to have. The ancient life was harder but more real. I'm wondering if more people are sharing my ideas. Why don't we quit technology why don't we decide to live again a real life?
 

Free Software Songs and Videos Collection – (Anthem of Free Software) various interpretations

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Reading Time: 2minutes

Richard Stallman picture

I've gathered a collection of 15 Audio and Video songs dedicated to the Free Software / Open Source movement . All of the songs are based on the The Free Software Song Anthem written by Richard Mathew Stallman in the year 1991. The motive of the song is a Traditional Bulgarian song called Sadi Moma Bqla Loza – translated to bulgarian to something like Maid is Planting white Vines
The original Free Software Song symbolizes all free software and the Free Software Movement and GNU and is in the Bulgarian unique / specific folk rhythm of 7 / 8 beats .

Most of the songs which I post hereby could also be found and downloaded from GNU's official Free Software Song page
However some of the songs were only available from Youtube in the non-free format Flash Video (flv) . Hence, since the songs were dedicated to Free Software and apparently were being spread in a non-free format they either was missing any licensing or licensed under GFDL free music / art GNU like license.
To fix up this irragularity and add some freedom in terms of audio format of spreading, I've downloaded them and used ffmpeg2theora to convert the songs to the Free / Open Standard format Ogg Vorbis
I'm quite sure that many people, who use Ubuntu or Linux Mint are pretty much unfamiliar with the Free Software Songs existence, also many people most likely have never heard the Free Software Songs or even those who heard it have rarely heard more than 2 or 3 of the song variations.
Hereby, I'm sure many people who are lovers of Free Software will highly benefit and get inspired to continue in the Free Software by listening to these post shared little Free Software Song Collection .

The covers of the Original version publicly sang by Richard Stallman are in different musical genres, some of the song performances are in Folklore, played on Piano other covers are performed by musical bands in pop / punk en popular music styles, there are one person performances, cheerful christmas like soundings, 8 bit free software song, Metal free software variations etc. In the collection I've included also few other nice songs which are propaganda on free software, even though not a cover of the Free Software Song , I found them myself worthy to be included in the collection..:

Herein you can download or listen all the Free Software Songs version (Enjoyment is guaranteed! 😉 ):















Fenster-Free-Software-Song.ogg
Free_Software_Song_en_español.ogv
Free_Software_Song_feat._Flat_Eric.ogv
Jono_Bacon_-_-Free_Software_Song_2_Metal_Version.ogv
Markushaist_piano_-free-software-song.ogg
Metal_Free_Software_Song_v2.0.ogv
Stallman_Free_Software_Song_Video_320x240.ogv
The_Gnu_Song.ogv
The_Pink_Stainless_Tail_Free_Software_Song.ogv
free-software-song-herzog.ogg
free-software-song-rhythmic.ogg
free_software_song_sunnata.ogg
freesoft.ogg
jonobacon-freesoftwaresong2.ogg
pjj-and-hairyone-freesoftwaresong.ogg
I've also prepared a bundle containing all the 15 Free Software Songs which you can download from here
Enjoy the nice music! Don't forget to share it with everyone you could among with educating the people how important it is to value their freedom in this age of technological human enslavement 😉
 

How to convert OGG Vorbis .ogg to MP3 on GNU / Linux and FreeBSD

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Reading Time: 2minutesI’ve used K3B just recently to RIP an Audio CD with music to MP3. K3b has done a great job ripping the tracks, the only problem was By default k3b RIPs songs in OGG Vorbis (.ogg) and not mp3. I personally prefer OGG Vorbis as it is a free freedom respecting audio format, however the problem was the .ogg-s cannot be read on many of the audio players and it could be a problem reading the RIPped oggs on Windows. I’ve done the RIP not for myself but for a Belarusian gfriend of mine and she is completely computer illiterate and if I pass her the songs in .OGG, there is no chance she succed in listening the oggs. I’ve seen later k3b has an option to choose to convert directly to MP3 Using linux mp3 lame library this however is time consuming and I have to wait another 10 minutes or so for the songs to be ripped to shorten the time I decided to directly convert the existing .ogg files to .mp3 on my (Debian Linux). There are probably many ways to convert .ogg to mp3 on linux and likely many GUI frontends (like SoundConverter) to use in graphic env.

SoundConverter Debian GNU Linux graphic GUI environment program for convertion of ogg to mp3 and mp3 to ogg, convert multiple sound formats on GNU / Linux.

I however am a console freak so I preferred doing it from terminal. I’ve done quick research on the net and figured out the good old ffmpeg is capable of converting .oggs to .mp3s. To convert all mp3s just ripped in the separate directory I had to run ffmpeg in a tiny bash loop.

A short bash shell script 1 liner combined with ffmpeg does it, e.g.;

for f in *.ogg; do ffmpeg -i "$f" "`basename "$f" .ogg`.mp3"; done.....

The loop example is in bash so in order to make the code work on FreeBSD it is necessery it is run in a bash shell and not in BSDs so common csh or tcsh.

Well, that’s all oggs are in mp3; Hip-hip Hooray 😉

Richard Stallman explaining Why IPads and Cell Phones are bad for freedom

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Reading Time: 3minutes

It is a public secret that Mobile Phones which does us very good and generally makes our daily lifes way easier are also a big enemy to our natural ihnibited freedom. Life has become such that it is almost inevitable to do any business or do a daily simple jobs without using Mobile Phone. There is almost none practically today that has wilfully rejected to use the mobile phone on any basis, almost anyone except some strangers like Richard Stallman and probably few others security freaks.

I've been shocked to find out the Father of Free Software (Richard Mathew Stallman), well known in the hacker dome as RMS does not own and didn't use any mobiles. The concerns he pointed are very much logical and rightful. Owning a mobile is a great security hole in personal privacy (mobile phones can be easily sniffed by Mobile Operators) as well as anyone wearing a mobile can be tracked up to 5 to 2 meters to the exact location where he is based on the mobile phone cells to which the mobile is connected.

Many people are not aware actually of the severeness of the issue of constant tracking of people everywhere through this call "goodies". Many mobile operators are already running a software which is building place behaviour patterns of every user of their mobile network. In other words, as we're used to bring and use the mobile everywhere in automated program is creating a map for each number assigned in some of the mobile operators. The gathered data about our location going habits can then be easily used as a indicator for predicting our future behaviour, bying habits (how many times we go to super-market), how many times we go to cinema, what kind of interests we hold etc. etc.
This combined with Google, account monitoring could possibly create a system similar to the old movies Big Brother, where all people goods and even attitudes or desires is monitored, influenced and controlled ….

The severeness of the future implications of this constant "personal surveillance and tracking device" as Stallman use to call it is very dangerous for our freedoms.

I tried to live without a mobile phone, just like Stallman for about months, and to tell you the truth the world around seems completely different when you decide not to use 'em. The time I lived wihtout a mobile, clearly show me we have come to the point we cannot any more live without GSM. We fall the trap of dependanding the little "talk box" communication for absolutely everything, obviously sacrificing privacy and freedom for convenience.
Mobiles are just one side of the coin, as the non-free software which is ruling the software market and the use of computers puts another treat and takes away many foundamential freedoms we used to have in the less technological world.

Apple as a vendor of software and hardware also denies and breaks our freedom very badly, as the company tracks everyone who owns anything created by apple connected to the internet. Besides that non-free software producers, could change the user software with a press of a button giving them the opportunity to decide what is good and bad for us, leaving us at a state of a helpless dependable users.

The topic of technological little-by-little enslavement, we're going through nowdays and the denying freedoms, we experience while being convinced by companies that we became more free by each next mambo-jambo gadget or by owning the latest smart-phone is very huge and complex but unfortunately underseen in society. I don't understand why, is it due to the low technical skills of mass users is it due to a "not-care what will happen in future" attitude, but obviously people openly discussing or protesting the technologization taking away our freedom is almost zero ….

Here is the video I found in youtube in which Stallman is asked few, questions on Ipads (IBADS) and Mobile Phone use. I believe his short explanation synthesizes the problem quite well ;;;;

I just wonder after you check the video, Would you still accept an Ipad as a birthday gift ? 🙂
Do you still think cell-phones are "good" freedom safe and reliable ?

My First hitch-hiking experience – travel notes on a hitch hiker trip from Dobrich to Pomorie Monastery

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Reading Time: 6minutes

My first hitch hiking experience travel notes of a hitch hiker Dobrich Varna Pomorie Monastery

I've been 28 years old and for good or bad never travelled hitch hiking. Today however with a friend of mine Kimba thx God I lived to experience what it is like to stay on the road "begging" people to take you on their way to somewhere.

I always wanted to hitch-hike as a youngster but my restrictive controlling parents was too vigilant not to let me have my personal freedom and try hitch hiking. Now as I've grown "old" I have the freedom to do it and I'm glad I could. For sure it is better to do something you always wanted later than never 🙂

We took the "STOP" from a place few meters away from the "scratching sign" indicating the end of Dobrich city area – located about 4 / 5 km from Dobrich center. To come to the well known hitch-hiker's place (which my friend Kimba) knew pretty well since he travelled probably more than 20 times hitch-hiking.

To reach the hitch-hiker place we walked about 1 hour which in the early morning (07:50 to 09:00) came to be quite refreshing.
About 09:00 we started doing the well know hitch hiker gesture to beg traveller to take us 🙂

It felt quite unconfortable and a bit like begging to be on the road waiting for somebody to pick you up on the other hand it felt very challenging as it seemed to be a good "exercice" to raise up self-confidence. We were lucky and we didn't met any drivers to mock us with gestures or car beep. Besides that we only had to wait less than 20 minutes (probably 18 mins) until a car stop and ask her for our direction.
The driver seemed had to travel close to Aksakovo (a small village like town 1 km far from beginning of Varna and just few km away from the city center).

He pick us up and as we go he happened to be a familiar person which I've seen many times in the (International College Albena) where I previously studied.
The guy happened to be a merried for the librarian of the college. We had a nice chat in his car about Bulgaria before in communism and now and who is doing what (which I guess is quite normal) for hitch-hikers. As he drived a very funny scene appeared as we saw a donkey leading a cart full of wood running on the road. Now you might wonder what would be funny of a rural donkey with a cart full of wood, well the cart didn't have any person leading it. It seemed the donkey run away scared by a truck or a noise so the person leading the cart either fall somewhere on the road or the donkey had untight itself and took the direction to its home place 🙂

… Our hitch-hiking plan was to travel from Dobrich to Varna (if possible or the closest village or suburb), then we aimed to take a bus from Varna or somewhere nearby to the city center and from the city center to Travel to the so called (Asparuh's bridge / (Asparuhovia Most) – which is a common hitch-hike waiting and pick-up destination).

As we were left in Aksakovo by the driver, we were lucky to have a close bus stop near us. We went to the bus stop and we only had to wait about 8 minutes until the next bus driving to Varna city center arrived. We pick up a bus number 207 and travelled 'safely' to the city center (on the price of 1 lv per ticket). So our overall travelling for both of us instead of 10 lv (5 lv per person bus tick) costed only 2 lv 🙂 Along with the low price for travelling the hitch-hiking was also very healthy as we had a long walk to the place to depart from and after that had a small walk to pick up the bus to Varna. We made a mistake to not go out of the 207 bus near Varna city center Cathedral but two stops earlier, so we also had a small 15 minutes walking to the Cathedral. As we were not sure which bus we need to take to go to Asparuhov's bridge, we asked few people on the city center. We were told we need to pick bus number 2 or 17 (IIRC).

Eventually as we're waiting near the bus station where the bus-es leading to Asparuhovo stopped, we came to meet a taxi driver driving people to Asparuhovo on the price of a bus ticket (1 lv). In 5 minutes time, again obviously by God's might intervention the driver was able to collect 2 more people so he offered that we all immediately travel. The taxi-st left us on a place a bit after Asparuhovo's bridge which was the common place for hitch-hikers. We had to climb a little hill like place and walk a bit on the highway on (the car damage and wreck area). Very near us was a police car waiting to catch violators of speed limits. I didn't know about this very moment that Hitch-Hiking in Bulgaria is considered illegal!, happily I found this sad fact not by the police man but from Kliment (Kimba). The policeman did not stop us as we found a way to walk through a place which is bit far from them. Kimba choose a place and we started doing the hitch-hiker "PLEASE STOP AND TAKE US" gesture once again (actually the as Kimba was a professional in hitch-hiking he was mostly doing the hitch-hike sign.

There we had to wait about 40 minutes or so until, a good man with a small bus carrying some paper palettes stop and took us.
Thanks God he had to travel to Jambol to deliver the palettes so his travel route passed by near Bourgas (and respectively Pomorie). We had a an intimaditing chat with the person by which I found out he seem to be having many money issues and a lot of debts (just like many of the people in BG nowdays). Unfortunately he shared that just like a lot of us the common people in Bulgaria he is underpaid and often even though he works extra in Saturdays and Sundays it is almost impossible for him to pay his rent, food and family expenss …..

As the conversation progressed, he asked us where are we going if we're going to find a work and I told him we're going to be guests and pilgrims to Pomorie Monastery and in the mean time help the monks if there is work to be done….

It was a pleasure for me to meet such an honest bulgarian middle aged man, which also was good enough to pick us up. The time passed quite quickly as we shared some of common living joys and griefs. The bus quickly approached pomorie so we left us and we split. As I was thankful to the guy and felt pity for his bad life misfortunes and I wished in my mind that God bless, help him and return him for the good deed he done to pick us up.

We were now only 2 km from Pomorie entrance so to the monastery we had to walk only about 4 or 5 more kilometers. On the gas (oil) station, where we were left a fun story happaned as the computers counting the gasoline stopped working. People who filled the car tanks with Gasoline had to wait until someone comes and fixes the computer, neither nobody can purchase anything from the station (a snacks, a coffee, even a bottle of water) was impossible to buy. We stayed on this little station (Petrol) located just 2 km from Pomorie for 20 or 25 minutes and in this time this people who couldn't pay for the gasoline had to just hang up there loosing their time waiting for someone to fix the BUGGED PC ,,,

This scene has once again confirmed my theory that computerization is not always necessery a good think and the over-computerization of everything as the trend is nowdays could create a lot of time lags in many places and often create a great havoc if systems somehow reject working as planned ….

Anyways to be sure which way to walk to Pomorie Monastery we had to consult few local people. Nicely the road leading to Pomoriiski Manastir was easy we just had to walk straight and then turn right. Actually the monastery bell tower is visible on the way so it is not likely that anyone walking straight will not notice the tower which is taller than other one or two stage housed highed buildings.

We came to the monastery and by Gods grace as we asked previously the abbot for a blessing to come to the monastery, they were expecting us.
Immediately one of the persons serving in the monastery gave us a room. I asked for the abbot and we found him in his Abbot place and gave us a blessing. That's the over of my first and hopefully not last great hitch-hiking adventere. The moral from my trip is:
 

To sum it up, if you never tried stopping on a highway give it a try! 🙂

  • hitch-hiking is a great must experience in a life-time thing;
  • Obviously we were lucky and it is always a great think to travel with an Abbot blessing
  • Hitch-hiking in Bulgaria is illegal, so there is thrill in doing it 🙂
  • hitch-hiking could be a very healthy initiative
  • Hitch-hiking is a great raise up and experience new random people self-confidence exercise 🙂

Barcodes are dangerous for human freedom! Technology not trustable!

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Reading Time: 2minutes

This post will be short as I'm starting to think long posts are mostly non-sense. Have you people all wondered of barcoding?
All world stores around the world have now barcoding. Barcode numbers regulations are being orchestrated by certain bodies, we people have no control over. Barcoding makes us dependent on technology as only technology can be used to read and store barcodes. It is technology that issues the barcodes. We have come to a point, where we humans trust more technology than our physical fellows. Trusting technology more than the close people to us is very dangerous. What if technology is not working as we expect it to?
What if there are hidden ways to control technology that we're not aware of?

Technology concepts are getting more and more crazy and abstract.
Thinks about the virtualization for a while. Virtualuzation is being praised loudly these days and everyone is turnning to it thinking it is cheap and realiable? The facts I've seen and the little of experience I had with it were way less than convicable.
Who came with this stupid idea, oh yes I remember IBM came with this insane idea some about 40 years ago … We had sanity for a while not massively adopting IBM's virtualization bulk ideas and now people got crazy again to use a number of virtualization technologies.
If you think for a while Virtualization is unreality (unexistence) of matter over another unreality. The programs that makes computers "runs" are not existent in practice, they only exist in some electricity form. Its just a sort of electric field if you think on it on a conceptual level …
As we trust all our lives nowdays on technology, how do we know this technological stored information is not altered by other fields, how we can be sure it always acts as we think it does and should? Was it tested for at least 40 years before adoption as any new advancement should be.
Well Of course not! Everything new is just placed in our society without too much thinking. Someone gives the money for production, someone else buys it and installs it and its ready to go. Or at least that's how the consumers thinks and we have become all consumers. This is a big LIE we're constantly being convinced in!
It is not ready to work, it is not tested and we don't know what the consequence of it will be!
Technology and Genetically Modified Food are not so different in this that they both can produce unexpected results in our lives. And they're already producing the bad fruits as you should have surely seen.
You can see more and more people are getting sick, more people go to doctor more people have to live daily with medication to live a miserable dishealthy I wouldn't say live but "poor" existence …
Next time they tell you new technology is good for you and will make your life better, Don't believe them! This is not necessery true.
Though todays technology can do you good, In my view the harm seriously exceeds the good.

People Just Pretend

Sunday, January 28th, 2007

Reading Time: < 1minute
I’m starting to realize that there is no actually friendship in life. I’m starting realize, ppl use you time after time. I’m sick of existence. I want to go out of this Hell. Why I’m Here Why? What makes the difference with or without me? Nobody cares in general. I’m so disappointed of this miserable existence here on earth even. My life is not so bad but with or without God it’s so meaningless. I want out of this body and this universe. I want Freedom in the END. I want real things I’m sick of all this. As Buddha says everything is chaning nothing seems to be static, he is right about this! I never imagined I’ll be the person which I’m now. I hate my life. Please take my life Lord. Let me out of this miserable Place Please! Body My holding Cell …

Poderosa a tabbed Terminal Emulator (PuTTY Windows Alternative)

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

Reading Time: 2minutes
Even though, I rarely use Windows to connect to remote servers using SSH or Telnet protocols in some cases I’m forced to do that (in cases I’m away from my Linux notebook). I’m doing my best to keep away from logging anywhere via SSH using Windows as when using Windows you never know what kind of spyware, malware or Viruses is already on the system, not to mention Microsoft are sniffing a lot if not everything which is typed on the keyboard… Anyways, usually I use Putty as a quick way to access a remote SSH, however pitily PuTTY lacks an embedded functionality for Tabs and each new connection to a server I had to run a new instance of PuTTY. This is okay if you need to access a single server but in some cases where access to multple servers is necessery lacking the tab functionality and starting 10 times putty is really irritating and one forgets what kind of connection is present on which PuTTY instance.

Earlier on, I’ve blogged about the existence of PuTTY Connection Manager PuTTY add-on program which is a PuTTY wrapper which enables PuTTY to be used with Connection Tabs feature, however installing two programs is quite inconvenient, especially if you have to do this every few days (in case if travelling a lot).

Luckily there is another terminal emulator free program for Windows called PodeRoSA which natively supports a tabbed Secure Shell connections.
If you want to get some experience with it check out Poderosa’s website , here is also a screenshot of the program running few ssh encrypted connections in tabs on a Windows host.

Poderosa Windows ssh / telnet tabs terminal emulator screenshot
Another good reason that one might consider using Poderosa instead of PuTTY is the Apache License under which Poderosa is developed. Currently the Apache License is compatible with GPL free software license which makes the program fully free software. The PuTTY license is under BSD and MIT and some other weird custom license not 100% compatible with GPL and hence PuTTY can be considered less free software in terms of freedom.

What is the Pirate Party / Interview with Peter Sunde – The co-founder of ThePirateBay on CeBIT 2011

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Reading Time: 3minutes

The Piratebay website logo

Many people are using ThePiratebay to get all kind of data and share Movies, Games, Programs etc.)

ThePirateBay has become like a standard media for file sharing and still not many people are aware of who is behind ThePirateBay.
This is why I thought, by posting this article I can "rant" on the existence of the Swedish Pirate Party
The Pirate Party – Is a party fighting on behalf of information sharing freedom (or in other words a party fighting for our freedom as individuals in the digital era).

Swedish Pirate Party Official Party mascot
Pirate Party (Sweden) party official mascot

The Pirate party are swedish political party established in 2006, its members are activists lobbying on freedom of information as well as pointing at threats to our human freedoms imposed by new legislations and anti-freedom agreements like the recent ACTA treaty.

Since there creation in 2006, they have grown from a local Swedish party to an international party, locally existing in 33 countries arount the world.The ideology behind the Swedish PirateParty as well as the rest of existing Pirate Parties international is as I prior said Freedom of Information on the internet. PP is a party phenomenon, as they are neither a left or a right oriented party (on the traditional left-right scale). PP are independent bloc pursuing their political agenda colabborating with all mainstream parties, which stand behind the ideologies the party fights for.

After last European Parliament elections, PP received 7% of all Swedish votes for a country EU representative.
As of today according to Wikipedia , the party holds 2 EU deputee seats in EU parliament.

I've a friend who is taking membership in the Pirate Party and from him I know the PP party are big supporters of Free Software.

One major key figure part of Pirate Party is the swedish Peter Sunde. He is a front person who is behind ThePirateBay project as well as holds a very interesting revolutionary ideas. Many of his ideas are close to "the father of all free software" – Richard Mathew Stallman (RMS). Therefore the PP would be probably of interest to anyone who is interested in Free Software. Here is an interview with Peter Sunde's taken in Cebit 2011:

As long as I know the Pirate Party are along the only few organizations in the whole world, who are trying to fight on behalf of human freedom.I'll be glad to hear if someone know about other ornigazations apart from Pirate Party the Free Software Foundation – (FSF) lobbying on present worsening conditions of invidual human freedom.

Here is few curious facts proving how BIG and important thepiratebay.org is, the text below is again quote from Wikipedia

Currently ThePirateBay.org is ranked as the 80th most visited website in the world and 20th in Sweden by Alexa Internet, has over 5.5 million registered users and, as of February 2012, hosts more than 4 million torrent files.

According to the Los Angeles Times, The Pirate Bay is "one of the world's largest facilitators of illegal downloading" and "the most visible member of a burgeoning international anti-copyright or pro-piracy movement"

If you want to further check on what is today the Pirate Party standing for be sure to check ThePirateParty.Com – PP’s official website .

What is the real development costs of Debian GNU / Linux – How much costs the development of a Free Software projects

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Reading Time: 4minutes

Free Software (FS) is free as in freedom as well as free as in price. Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) is developed by geek hobbyist which voluntarily put their time and effort in writting, testing and sharing with anyone for free million of lines of programming code. This doesn't mean however the price of free software costs is 0 (zero). Though the "end product" –  Free Software developed is FREE, "real" software costs as with any other product costs huge money.

I've recently read on Jeb's blog an estimation on how much is the cost of one of the major Free Software project efforts – Debian GNU / Linux
According to James E. Brombergerthe whole Debian project was estimated to be at the shocking price of $19 billion – $19 000, 000, 000 !!!

Here is how JEB got the $19 billions, a quote taken from his blog:

"By using David A Wheeler’s sloccount tool and average wage of a developer of US$72,533 (using median estimates from Salary.com and PayScale.com for 2011) I summed the individual results to find a total of 419,776,604 source lines of code for the ‘pristine’ upstream sources, in 31 programming languages — including 429 lines of Cobol and 1933 lines of Modula3!

In my analysis the projected cost of producing Debian Wheezy in February 2012 is US$19,070,177,727 (AU$17.7B, EUR€14.4B, GBP£12.11B), making each package’s upstream source code worth an average of US$1,112,547.56 (AU$837K) to produce. Impressively, this is all free (of cost).

James has done incredible job with this great research and he deserves applause.
However I believe the numbers proposed by his research are slightly different if we speak about realistic cost of Debian GNU / Linux.
The real costs of the working software ready to install on a user PC are way higher, as according to Jeb's research only the software cost based on code line count is considered.

Hence James software estimation calculates only the programming costs and miss many, many factors that constitute the software end cost.
Some of the many, many REAL COST / expenses for developing a huge Free Software project like Debian GNU / Linux to be considered are:
 

a) bandwidth costs for hosting free software (on the server side)b) bandwidth cost for developers or FS users downloading the software

a) Time spend to spread the word of the great added value of Debian and bundled software (Mouth by Mouth Marketing)

b) Time spend to advertise Debian and its free software components on blogs, social networks (identi.ca, facebook, twitter) etc.(Voluntary online Marketing, SEO etc.)

c) Time spend on generating ideas on future program versions and reporting them to Debian FS community

d) Time on evaluation and feedback on software

e) Time spend on managing free software repository (download) servers voluntarily (by system administrators)

f) Time spend by users on Bug Tracking & Bug Reporting

g) Time spend on research and self-actualization by software developer)

h) Time spend on software Quality Assurance

This are most of the multiple factors which should probably influence the cost of any non-free (proprietary software) project. No matter this costs apply for non-free software, it perfectly applies for free software as well.With all said if if we assume the non-programming costs are equal to the programming costs of $ 19 000 000 000 (suggested by Jeb). This means the real cost of Debian will presumably be at least $32 000 000 000. Putting $ 19 billion for all this long list of "additional" costs (besides pure source) factors is probably still very under-scored number.
 

  • the developers use of their own computers (hardware depreciation)
  • electricity bill of the volunteer (developer) working on the program or project
  • electricity bills for servers where free software is stored and available for download
  • volunteer developer IT skills and tech knowledge (KNOW HOW)
  • Internet, network, dial up bandwidth cost
  • personal time put in FS development (programming, design, creativity etc.)! here the sub costs are long:
  • Costs for Project Management Leaders / Project Coordination
  • The complexity of each of the projects constituting Debian

Very interesting figure from Jeb's research is the Programming Languages break down by source code figure.
Jamesresearch reveals on the 4 major programming languages used in the 17000+ software projects (part of Debian GNU / Linux):

 

  • ANSI C with 168,536,758 – (40% of all projects source code)
  • C++ at 83,187,329 – (20% of all projects source)
  • Java 34,698,990 – (lines of code 8% of sources)
  • Lisp – (7% of all projects source code)

  His research also provides a general idea on how much the source code of some of the major FOSS projects costs. Here is a copy of his figures
 

Individual Projects

Other highlights by project included:

ProjectVersionThousands
of SLOC
Projected cost
at US$72,533/developer/year
Samba3.6.12,000US$101 (AU$93M)
Apache2.2.9693US$33.5M (AU$31M)
MySQL5.5.171,200US$64.2M (AU$59.7M)
Perl5.14.2669US$32.3M (AU$30M)
PHP5.3.9693US$33.5M (AU$31.1M)
Bind9.7.3319US$14.8M (AU$13.8M)
Moodle1.9.9396US$18.6M (AU$17.3M)
Dasher4.11109US$4.8M (AU$4.4M)
DVSwitch0.8.3.66US$250K (AU$232K)

 

As you can imagine all the source evaluation results, are highly biased and are open for discussion, since evaluating a free software project/s is a hard not to say impossible task. The "open" model of development makes a project very hard to track, open source model implies too many unexpected variables missing from the equation for clear calculation on costs. What is sure however if turned in money it is very expensive to produce.  At present moment Debian Project is sponsored only through donations. The usual yearly budget 5 years ago for Debian  was only $80 000 dollars a year!! You can check Debian Project annual reports throughout the years here , for year 2012 Debian Project budget is as low as $ 222, 677 (US Dollars)! The output price of the software the project provides is enormous high if compared to the low project expenses!

For us the free software users, price is not a concern, Debian is absolutely free both  as in freedom and free as in beer 😉