On February 3rd 1998, in the wake of Netscapes announcement to release their browser as Free Software, a group of people met in Palo Alto in the Silicon Valley and proposed to start a marketing campaign for Free Software using the term ``Open Source.'' The goal was to seek fast commercialisation of Free Software and acceptance of Free Software by the companies and venture capitalists of the booming new economy. As a means to this end, they made a conscious decision to leave aside all long-term issues (such as philosophy, ethics and social effects) related to Free Software, feeling these posed obstacles in the way of rapid acceptance by economy. They proposed to focus on technical advantages only1.


Skype is synonymous with video conferencing. Now run by Microsoft, there's a reason our Editors' Choice review says it's "a highly polished, hugely functional service that runs on every platform you can think of and offers more communication options than any of its competitors." (Skype did, however, kill support for apps on smart TVs.) For free, you can make unlimited video calls between Skype users, even with groups of users. Plus, the translation ability is straight out of science fiction.
The first of a few Piriform programs on this list, CCleaner—the first C is for Crap!—is one of the best, and pretty much essential for keeping a system going. What it does is simple: it cleans up extraneous files to keep a system running better. Get it and run it, regularly. It'll even delete some apps you didn't think you could get rid of—like those provided in Windows 10, whether you wanted them or not.
One of the new class of messaging services with an ecosystems of apps, Telegram delivers not only easy communications, but also encryption security end-to-end. It's a stand-out on iPhone, and has native apps on just about every platform available. Send messages, files, photos, animated GIFs (the search is built in), and create channels of up to 5,000 people to broadcast to.
Once a pricey alternative to handling basics for PDF viewing and editing, the latest version is totally free for private and commercial use, but PDFs may get watermarked if you save them (removing the watermark requires an upgrade). They say 85 percent of the features are free, however, including the lite printer to create PDFs with other programs, form filling, multiple language support, OCR, and more.
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Directories pop up across the internet for a number of different industries. A mortgage lender should ensure they are listed on Trulia's marketplace. If you are trying to grow your plumbing business, consider adding you listing to Thumbtack. It may prove worthwhile to invest in getting your business on a curated listing page, like the kind that Product Hunt specializes in producing. No matter the industry, marketers should investigate if online directories exist that cover their fields. Adding a listing to an online directory may only take a few hours and may end up producing leads for years.
Engaging with Hashtags: Pretty much every social media site uses hashtags. You can connect with like-minded strangers and even find high-quality prospects by using the right hashtags in your posts and engaging with others who’ve used hashtags in their posts. For example, if you sell homes, the hashtag #realestate is full of leads and prospects when you search it. 
Fees are usually charged for distribution on compact discs and bootable USB drives, or for services of installing or maintaining the operation of free software. Development of large, commercially used free software is often funded by a combination of user donations, crowdfunding, corporate contributions, and tax money. The SELinux project at the United States National Security Agency is an example of a federally funded free software project.
What if there were a worldwide group of talented ethical programmers voluntarily committed to the idea of writing and sharing software with each other and with anyone else who agreed to share alike? What if anyone could be a part of and benefit from this community even without being a computer expert or knowing anything about programming? We wouldn’t have to worry about getting caught copying a useful program for our friends—because we wouldn’t be doing anything wrong.
The fastest way to create a PDF file is to make it in something you're comfortable with, be it a word processor or otherwise, then print the file out as a PDF. PDFCreator sets itself up as a printer on your system, so when you go to make a "print," you select it and out shoots a PDF to your PC. PDFs with this free tool can be secured, signed, and are automatically saved. The creators at PDFForge promise it will be free forever.
Copyrights are a method of protecting the rights of the creator of certain types of works. In most countries, software you write is automatically copyrighted. A license is the authors way of allowing use of their creation (software in this case), by others, in ways that are acceptable to them. It is up to the author to include a license which declares in what ways the software may be used. For a proper discussion of copyright see https://www.copyright.gov/.
If you don't know or care what a media server is—you just want to stream your videos and music collection around the house—Plex is probably for you. Install it on all your devices, point it at some media, and the media is available on all of them—even remotely over the internet. Plex plans to implement a cloud-based server option on Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive, so you can stream from the Web.
Integrate Copy Handler right into Windows Explorer and you'll be using it to get super-granular control over your moved files in no time. It promises faster speeds than Windows built-in copy function (especially on older versions of Windows) and no useless cached files. The coolest feature of all: you can pause a transfer, reboot the computer, and resume it after.
The Opera browser has been keeping up with the big boys for years, and it does so now by incorporating features no other browser has, in particular a built-in VPN service to keep your browsing secure, as well as ad blockers, a turbo mode, and even a battery saver that lets your laptop run longer than other browsers accessing the same content. It also comes in multiple versions for mobile, including Opera Mini, which compresses pages before you even load them.

Facebook Messenger is built right into the interface on Facebook on the Web, so you can use it without doing anything special. But downloading the mobile clients or using the dedicated Web interface at Messenger.com opens up lots of other options, from voice and video calls, to SMS texting support, to use of stickers, to, perhaps the best part, chatbots that will talk to you and provide info. Like its brother, WhatsApp, it also has a billion users.
When talking about free software, it is best to avoid using terms like “give away” or “for free,” because those terms imply that the issue is about price, not freedom. Some common terms such as “piracy” embody opinions we hope you won't endorse. See Confusing Words and Phrases that are Worth Avoiding for a discussion of these terms. We also have a list of proper translations of “free software” into various languages.
Just like InfoUSA, SalesGenie is an Infogroup product. SalesGenie offers many of the same search options as InfoUSA and the data comes from the same sources. The difference between the two services is that SalesGenie is designed specifically for salespeople, while InfoUSA is designed more for marketing campaigns. SalesGenie also comes with a short free trial, so you can experiment with it even if your library doesn't subscribe.

When talking about free software, it is best to avoid using terms like “give away” or “for free,” because those terms imply that the issue is about price, not freedom. Some common terms such as “piracy” embody opinions we hope you won't endorse. See Confusing Words and Phrases that are Worth Avoiding for a discussion of these terms. We also have a list of proper translations of “free software” into various languages.
No matter if you work online or in the real world, networking can help your business succeed. It might not feel valuable to just keep making new contacts, but you never know how they might help you later down the road. Take the time to meet, greet and get to know people in-person and online. Make sure they understand what your business is all about. They might not become customers, but they can help connect you with free leads later on.

Certain kinds of rules about the manner of distributing free software are acceptable, when they don't conflict with the central freedoms. For example, copyleft (very simply stated) is the rule that when redistributing the program, you cannot add restrictions to deny other people the central freedoms. This rule does not conflict with the central freedoms; rather it protects them.


One of the most popular synchronization services ever: simply put files in your Dropbox folder on the desktop, they get uploaded to the cloud, and are instantly synchronized with any other PC on the account. Files are also accessible via apps or the Web. If you delete a file by accident, you can use the site to get it back. You get 2GB of free online storage, which you can bolster by sharing on social media and downloading the mobile apps.

In the GNU project, we use copyleft to protect the four freedoms legally for everyone. We believe there are important reasons why it is better to use copyleft. However, noncopylefted free software is ethical too. See Categories of Free Software for a description of how “free software,” “copylefted software” and other categories of software relate to each other.


PCMag's top pick for software to take control of other computers is TeamViewer. Almost everything you need is free: desktop sharing, file transfers, even chat with remote users. And the setup couldn't be easier. Take control of a PC over a Web connection and a Chrome browser (even in ChromeOS) with the TeamViewer extension. There is also a Windows app in the Microsoft Store and optional downloads to make installing TeamViewer on multiple PCs even easier—though it's only free for personal use.


Something to always watch for: crapware installers. To make ends meet, many creators of otherwise great free software, or the services that offer the programs for download, bundle in things you don't want. Worse, the installation routine obfuscates the steps, so you provide the unwanted program tacit permission to be installed. For more about how to spot and avoid this problem, see How to Clean Crapware From a New PC, and check out the Uninstaller section of this very free software collection.
Although the term free software had already been used loosely in the past,[11] Richard Stallman is credited with tying it to the sense under discussion and starting the free-software movement in 1983, when he launched the GNU Project: a collaborative effort to create a freedom-respecting operating system, and to revive the spirit of cooperation once prevalent among hackers during the early days of computing.[12][13]
The economic viability of free software has been recognized by large corporations such as IBM, Red Hat, and Sun Microsystems.[63][64][65][66][67] Many companies whose core business is not in the IT sector choose free software for their Internet information and sales sites, due to the lower initial capital investment and ability to freely customize the application packages. Most companies in the software business include free software in their commercial products if the licenses allow that.[18]
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The BSD-based operating systems, such as FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and NetBSD, do not have their own formal definitions of free software. Users of these systems generally find the same set of software to be acceptable, but sometimes see copyleft as restrictive. They generally advocate permissive free software licenses, which allow others to use the software as they wish, without being legally forced to provide the source code. Their view is that this permissive approach is more free. The Kerberos, X11, and Apache software licenses are substantially similar in intent and implementation.
Thus, free software means that computer users have the freedom to cooperate with whom they choose, and to control the software they use. To summarize this into a remark distinguishing libre (freedom) software from gratis (zero price) software, the Free Software Foundation says: "Free software is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of 'free' as in 'free speech', not as in 'free beer'".[22] See Gratis versus libre.
It's been a leading browser since its debut in 2008, especially when it comes to speed and minimalism. Chrome still ranks high as a browser to keep in your arsenal. Especially if you're a devotee to Google products—and it's built right into the ChromeOS on Chromebooks so much that it practically is the OS. However, it's probably not the browser you want if you're a privacy advocate.
And, we should explain publicly the reason for the change. Linus Torvalds has been saying in "World Domination 101" that the open-source culture needs to make a serious effort to take the desktop and engage the corporate mainstream. Of course he's right -- and this re-labeling, as Linus agrees, is part of the process. It says we're willing to work with and co-opt the market for our own purposes, rather than remaining stuck in a marginal, adversarial position.

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