Happy Rescatux 2016 April Fools’ Day

(Note: If you are looking for the Super Grub2 Disk April Fools Day just check: Happy 2012 April Fools’ Day .)

The Rescatux 2016 April Fools’ Day joke in action

He, he, he! XD

If you have tried Rescatux 0.40b6 yesterday you will have noticed different than usual.

First of all a full screen window will tell you that you are doing something against the U.S.A. law. Yes, you are using a GNU GPL licensed software ! And it is forbidden, not this year actually but next year, but your computer is going to be blocked anyway. Who would have thought that the law agent would be ahead of their time! Because, yes, Software Industry jobs.

Here’s an snapshot of what I am saying:

Rescatux 2016 April Fools Day Screen 1
Rescatux 2016 April Fools Day Screen 1

Which I transcript (as it’s seen in 2016) here as:

Your computer has been locked!

This operating system is locked due to the violation of the federal laws of the United States of America!

(Article 2, Section 9, Clause 9; Article 303; Article 320 of the Criminal Code of U.S.A.

provides for a deprivation of liberty for one to four years.).

Following violations were detected:

* You are using Rescatux which its license is: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE.

GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE has been totally forbidden since 2017

in order to protect our Software Industry jobs.

This computer lock is aimed to stop your illegal activity.

To unlock the computer you are obliged to pay a fine of $100.

You have 48 hours to pay the fine, otherwise you will be arrested.

Please click this text anywhere to learn about the different payment methods available.

This text has an FBI seal at the bottom of it to make it more credible. As you might have guessed this joke mokes up many ransomware virus that pretend to be your country police while acussing you of having child pornography (or alike) in your computer.

So if you click anywhere on the text in order to learn the different payment methods you get a HA HA screen which features the current year april fools day:

Rescatux 2016 April Fools Day - Screen 2
Rescatux 2016 April Fools Day – Screen 2

which I will also transcript for you:


Happy 2016 April Fools’ Day !!!

Click anywhere to use Rescatux / Rescapp.

Some more facts about the joke:

  • In some screens the FBI seal gets cut. Unless someone submits a patch I’m not fixing it. Additionally, I think that a wrong implementation of the seal image adds to the joke. You know… We pay too much to the IRS so that the FBI can fight terrorism but, somehow, they are unable to pay someone so that their seal fits ok on any computer screen.
  • GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE is not forbidden but might be forbidden in a distopic future. Richard Stallman wrote The Right to Read around 1997 which describes a distopic world where it’s not so obvious to be able to read some books. If you check the article author’s notes you will notice that we might be living in such distopic world (or going towards it). If reading a book is in danger, why the GNU GPL won’t it be in the future? Think about it.
  • I wanted to make a joke about the Article, Section, Clause thing. You know, as if you opened the Laws book (not sure what it’s exact name) you could find Digital Millennium Copyright Act or a similar law, but I’m not sure what to put there. If you have any idea for this your feedback is welcome.
  • I tried to make the text to appear as legal as possible but if you know to improve it so that sounds like written by a lawyer please leave a comment.
  • You might know that, nowadays, many Software Industry jobs now are based around free software and open source. So it’s not likely that the Industry leaders will complot to forbid GNU GPL but, well, we have been reluctant about Microsoft embracing free software all of these years… why don’t just add another year?
  • Whenever the Tails greeter will be included I will try to feature 28 December (AFD for Spanish people) if you select an Spanish based language or country. Guardia Civil or Policia Nacional will be featured instead of the FBI in such case.
  • If you have an special AFD day in your country or a more official authority than FBI for you country please leave here your proposal.
  • AFD in AFD scanning technology stands for April Fools’ Day scanning technology. The only part of the computer system which it’s being scanned it’s the clock for the current date so that it can be compared to 1st of april.

Being serious

The pace of new media journalists

Once thing I have learnt (that I also learnt when releasing the AFD boot technology to the world) it’s that current technology journalists do not check the facts they are given.

But it’s not their fault actually. Our way of consuming new pieces of news has increased its pace. Sometimes, everything begins with a tweet, then a teaser article and finally an article.

If we swallow information how are we going able to taste it?

Great old paper magazines

Somehow, if you want something serious you need to gather the old paper based (or no longer paper based) monthly released GNU/Linux magazines where people are paid for writing articles.

These magazines might also make some errors (as a Rescatux 0.30 iso which was unbootable, so, nobody tried to boot it) but, usually, their articles are read by the author and the magazine editor.

Sometimes the article writer is the program developer too.

Rescatux 0.40 beta 6 was released two weeks ago

So, around two weeks ago (so that it was not so AFD obvious) I released Rescatux 0.40 beta 6 which among other features it had:

We also add AFD scanning technology to reduce user interface time based interactions while scanning the computer system.

This AFD scanning technology also had an image next to it.

AFD Scanning technology in action
AFD Scanning technology in action

it was the AFD Scanning technology in action. So… yes, I am trying to improve user interface time based interactions and I go lurking in the hard disk to show an image to the final user ? No way!

It’s a pity that nobody from the open source world has been interested in this new technology. A question on what this technology was about in the  mailing list would have been ideal.

If you take a look at the image you will see the FBI seal circumference copied several times with its yellow converted into blue (opposite colour).

Softpedia and their Rescatux 0.40 beta 6 article

So, I have a great relationship with Softpedia because not only they update my Super Grub2 Disk or Rescatux releases in their software directory. But usually they write articles about them.

The last one of them fits perfectly here because they only not picked the best title for it: Rescatux 0.40 Beta 6 System Rescue Live CD Introduces AFD Scanning Technology but they also copied the image where the AFD Scanning technology in action was shown.

So, they did not only check what they were publishing (a quick look at the commit would have been enough), but, also, were fooled by a rather stupid image of concentric spiky circles.

If you are used to debates you will find here an special appearence of the argument ad verecumdiam (argument of authority). So, the Softpedia guys could defend themselves by saying:

It was said by the Rescatux official webpage, so it had to be true!

As I said above, it was not actually their fault, they cannot double check everything they post online. Either they are the first ones on publishing the piece of news or other webpage will get the visits.

Not to say that many twitter accounts and media aggregator sites just reused the piece of news without checking or modifying it.

And who knows, maybe they were improving on the joke on purpose thanks to their authority on GNU/Linux news.

Actual impact

I have not found any mention of anyone mentioning this joke on social media. The Super Grub2 Disk one yes. So, probably Rescatux 0.40 beta 6 is not used so much. So, probably we will have to wait for next year (with a probable stable release) to find such reactions.

If you come from an April Fools Day from the future please leave your comment on how you lived the joke here so that we can have all of them in the same place.

4 thoughts on “Happy Rescatux 2016 April Fools’ Day

  1. After reading a bit of this post and seeing the screenshot, I started to think it was a virus until I noticed that it’s open source. I’m still a bit skeptical as I don’t feel like pouring through the source code to see if it’s sketchy or not, so I won’t install your program. However, the screenshot that you’ve posted is very popular with viruses. Hopefully you’ll get someone to investigate it and review it on Linux.com or the like.

    1. You make up your decisions based on images and not after reading the text next to them.
      I cannot blame you many other people do the same more often and often.
      Hopefully I will be able to release new versions of SG2D and Rescatux and this ‘confusing’ post will be buried out of the main page.

  2. I was 100% sure that my harddrive was encrypted and I started to think I downloaded it from some sketchy website. People really don’t read text in situations like these. Lol, might be the best April Fools joke I’ve ever seen!

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