Episode #23

Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg

0:05:23   News

Ten years of OpenStreetMap and GParted
Debian’s 21st birthday

Linux on the desktop
Munich to ditch Linux, return to Microsoft?
Ditching Linux for Windows? The truth isn’t that simple, says Munich
Five big names that use Linux on the desktop
Linux Founder Linus Torvalds ‘Still Wants the Desktop’
OS Battle – Porn by the Platform (caution: content safe for work, but visiting domain may not be!)
Can we please stop talking about the Linux desktop?
Linux Has Run Out of Time

Linux Foundation announcements
Linux kernel source code repositories get better security with two-factor authentication
Linux Foundation introduces new Linux certifications (2 minute video pitch)

Distro news
Operating System U on Kickstarter
The future of SolydXK (later clarification via a Q&A)

Seen Elsewhere (aka the speculative hardware section)
lowRISC open-source SoC

And finally…
Simplenote want developers to make a GNU/Linux implementation

0:39:31   First Impressions

Joe looked at AUSTRUMI Linux, and Jesse was handed Slackel for next time.

0:46:28   Feedback

Thanks to johanv, perlist, mikaelinscius and defascat for the Flattrs, and to our current PayPal Monthly Supporters – you guys are keeping the lights on.

At the request of Campbell Barton, we’ve also signed up with Gratipay (the recently renamed Gittip); and thanks to Campbell for funding us that way.

Thanks to Charlie in Oklahoma, Iain McKeand, Rob Mackenzie, Esteban Martinez and Brendan Perrine for their mails, tweets and comments.

Danny Knestaut, apache9, Campbell Barton and Russell Dickenson all got in touch following our interview with Jonathan Nadeau last time. As Paddy explained, we’re hoping to hear back from Jonathan to better understand his desire to rewrite the speech server for Sonar.

Our new CAPTCHA system has caused problems for a few folks; we’ll keep an eye on the situation. We’ll also have a look at podcast chapter marks following Cathryne’s remarks, but no promises from Joe on that score. And thanks to Torin Doyle, SirTomate and Dale Visser, all of whom got in touch about podcasting-related matters.

Arold told us that he’d discovered the Xfce terminal’s ability to act in drop-down mode, and Andrew Turner pointed us towards Ubuntu’s Startup Disk Creator as a possible UNetbootin replacement.

Thanks to apache9 for the link to an interesting CCC presentation on hardening hardware. And staying on the security theme, Secret Squirrel wondered if the media are more harsh on FOSS projects than proprietary ones when reporting vulnerabilities?

A comment from Gregor prompted a brief discussion around Amazon affiliate links.

Daniel got in touch to share his (decidedly lukewarm) impressions of the Linux Foundation’s ‘Introduction to Linux’ course. We’d love to report back other people’s opinions, and also of the new certification exams that we talked about in the News segment this show, so do get in touch if you’ve been through the process.

Pariah and Steven Rosenberg got in touch regarding the Mint team’s plans to move to Debian Stable as a base for LMDE.

Wrapping up, Nathan D. Smith’s challenge for Joe to run GNOME Shell for a month received the response we probably all expected. Worth a shot, though, Nathan ;)

1:15:29   Boxing Clever?

They may be perennial favourites with lightweight distro users, but how practical are Blackbox, Fluxbox, Hackedbox and Openbox as standalone Window Managers?

1:46:35   Off the Beaten Path

Risking the wrath of traditionalists, Paddy introduced a simple console text editor that doesn’t require you to memorise a bunch of arcane and finger-contorting keystrokes to be useful. We talked about the Sanos editor, and mentioned Tilde in passing. And to get stared on configuring xterm into something more usable, you could do a lot worse than reading these three posts, which should give you the confidence to delve into the actual man page itself.

Linux LudditesAs ever, we’d welcome your feedback about the show either here on our website, via a mail to show@, or on Twitter @linuxluddites.

Thanks for listening.

Episode #22

Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg


We recorded this show the day after a notable anniversary for the podcast world.

0:07:01   News

Privacy, security etc.
Ubuntu shopping lens deemed legal by UK data privacy office
Yahoo to roll out end-to-end encryption option for all Yahoo Mail users in 2015
What’s the matter with PGP?
This thumbdrive hacks computers. “BadUSB” exploit makes devices turn “evil” (video of presentation)

Lack of privacy – a good thing (…?)
Google Gives Child Pornography Email Evidence to Police
Microsoft tip leads to child porn arrest in Pennsylvania

Odds ‘n’ Sods
Defragmenting Qt and Uniting Our Ecosystem
Linux Mint Debian Edition move to Debian Stable base confirmed
We looked at the RC back on show #10, now Android-x86 4.4 has been released

Italian City Turin Opts For Ubuntu And Open Office To Save Millions
In Soviet Russia Linux Runs You
Free Software on the final frontier: GNU Radio controls the ISEE-3 Spacecraft (and a nice colour piece on the story)

0:47:05   Seen Elsewhere

New IBM SyNAPSE Chip Could Open Era of Vast Neural Networks (and what it’s all about)
Intel’s Broadwell processor revealed – The 14-nm Core M aims to upend the tablet market
Mile High Milestone: Tegra K1 “Denver” Will Be First 64-bit ARM Processor for Android

0:51:13   First Impressions

Paddy took a look at MEPIS, whilst Joe was handed AUSTRUMI for next time.

1:01:05   Feedback

A huge thank you to vadis, Jeremy Wootten, DeepGeek and an anonymous donor for the Flattrs, and to our existing Monthly Supporters. With no other PayPal donations this show, you guys helping to keep the lights on really was appreciated.

We had a whole raft of feedback following Joe’s UNetbootin grumbles last show. Thanks to Julian Overall, Steven Rosenberg and Bill_MI for your comments. Easy suggested Joe look at Multiboot, whilst Glen Skiner and Martin Wimpress are both fans of Easy2Boot. Martin also pointed us in the direction of some good instructions on how to setup Easy2Boot solely using Linux.

Glen also told us that he’s joined Joe in experiencing Xfce screen blanking woes. DeepGeek wondered if we’re planning to look at more window managers in the future… yep, next show we’ll be talking about Blackbox, Fluxbox, Hackedbox and Openbox.

And a shout out to Nigel Poulton, Dave Brandt, Rob Mackenzie, Matthew Heinke, Blue Eagle, Will and Ricky Fitts for your Tweets, mails and website comments.

Whilst talking about Joel’s use of a Pebble smartwatch on his motorcycle, Paddy mentioned the very fancy looking Skully AR-1 Android-based helmet.

We rounded off the feedback with comments from 0xf10e, Charles Stell and Jens Stein Jørgensen, all of whom had something to say about the question of trust, which we talked about last show. And taking a cue from Jens Stein, we’ve pencilled in a look at how practical a Google-free Android experience really can be for a future show.

1:19:55   Jonathan Nadeau Interview

We spoke with Jonathan Nadeau about the recent release of Sonar GNU/Linux 2014.1, and about accessibility in the wider Linux world. During the conversation, mention was made of the Accessible Computing Foundation; Vinux, an alternative accessability-focused distro; and the Universal Tux community. Many thanks to Jonathan for finding the time to talk with us, and if you have an unused computer sat at home, why not put it to good use via Jonathan’s Computers For Sonar initiative?

2:04:03   Off the Beaten Path

Jesse told us about Hugin, a free software panorama stitcher capable of producing some gorgeous results, and one of his favourite photo manipulation tools.

Linux LudditesAs ever, we’d welcome your feedback about the show either here on our website, via a mail to show@, or on Twitter @linuxluddites.

Thanks for listening.

Episode #21

Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg

Note: this show and the next will be out a little early; we expect a return to our usual Monday release cycle from show #23 onwards.

0:05:36   News

openSUSE Factory moves to Rolling Release Development Model
Sonar GNU/Linux 2014.1 released

EFF Release Open Wireless Router Firmware
Privacy Badger released

Geneva class-rooms switching to free software
Toulouse migration to LibreOffice
Open document formats selected to meet user needs
FSF congratulates UK Government on choosing Open Document Format

GOG.com Now Supports Linux! (and accidentally gave away thousands of games)

Trend Micro Opens Mouth, Inserts Foot After Falsely Claiming That The Play Store Is Full Of Malware
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems

Android crypto blunder exposes users to highly privileged malware
Another day, another sensationalist, unfounded security story

Old Apache Code at Root of Android FakeID Mess
Popular Android apps inherit bugs from recycled code

0:29:42   Seen Elsewhere

App Grid Ubuntu Software Center Alternative Gets Stylish New Look

Next-generation lithium cells will double your phone’s battery life

Secure microkernel that uses maths to be ‘bug free’ goes open source

And finally, cool-old-term. To borrow one of Joe’s catchphrases, it’s folly; but glorious folly, and guaranteed to evoke feelings of nostalgia in those of us of a certain age.

0:35:09   First Impressions

Last show, Jesse was handed RISC OS for the Pi, which made for a more interesting First Impressions than some. DistroWatch’s Random Button gave Paddy Mepis to look at next time.

0:52:30   OggCamp

October is closer than you might think… Joe and Paddy spoke to Mark Johnson about the impending arrival of the UK’s premier free software and free culture event.

1:00:35   Feedback

A huge thank you to fwbd, vadis, johanv, defascat and four anonymous Flattrers; and to Michael Albertson, somebody who wished to remain anonymous, and all of our current Monthly Supporters for their PayPal donations. And a special welcome to Chris Atkins who joined our Monthly Supporters program – good to have you on board, Chris!

Like all of these fine folk, you too can help us out by using the links in the sidebar, or simply by telling someone you know how much you enjoy the show.

And thanks to SonOfNed, Jonathon, Michael Albertson, Isaac Carter, Jason, Danny and Joel for their thoughts following Jesse’s arrival on the show last time. Look’s as though he’s going to become a permanent fixture!

Kicking off the feedback proper, Jonathon pointed out that the window snapping we mentioned last time whilst talking about IceWM is actually pretty standard in most modern WMs.

Both Jason and Russell Dickenson expressed an interest in hearing about what customisations Paddy and Joe apply to their Xfce setups, and Paddy admitted to recently cheating on his long-standing desktop of choice.

Torin Doyle got in touch to say that whilst Xfce is awesome, it’s not as good as “the mighty MATE”. OldNerd and Paddy had a brief email exchange; and Ian Barton was surprised to see nobody using a Chromebook whilst he was on a recent trip to New York. Jason – and our very own Jesse – told us that they’ve enrolled on the Linux Foundation sponsored Introduction to Linux course, and will let us know how they find it.

Issac Carter suggested a WINE-based solution to viewing Netflix and Amazon Prime videos on Linux, which prompted Paddy to give Pipelight a whirl; and Norm Morgan had some complimentary things to say about Stella, a CentOS-based distro.

Mark from Pompey got in touch regarding the slothful nature of software updates, and Emil said that system monitors can be useful in identifying misbehaving applications.

We had a touching email from Australia that spoke of how Linux had helped somebody going through some tough personal times. You know who you are; and we’re grateful for you sharing your story with us :)

As we’d done, Jason wondered whether the race to the bottom that Microsoft appears to be stoking in the ‘netbook’ space might benefit those of us wanting cheaper portable hardware; and perhaps Microsoft weren’t so far off-base with the Surface after all?

Joel pointed out that smartwatches can be a practical proposition – in his case, for checking notifications whilst riding a motorcycle.

We wrapped things up with a plea for help from Rob Mackenzie. Rob only runs Linux, and is struggling to find a method to root his Galaxy Tab3 10.1″ tablet that doesn’t rely on Windows. Can anyone listening help?

1:11:02   Zorin OS 9

We took a good look at an Irish distro that potentially offers a painless gateway for Windows users coming over to Linux. The big question is whether three guys with fairly Spartan tastes could get past the accursed spinning cube to give the distro a fair crack of the whip. Listen on to find out…

1:37:30   Over a Pint

Partly prompted by our recent look at a Chinese distro, Joe kicked off the conversation by wondering how much we really can trust the software on our computers – even if it is Free and Open Source. Along the way, we mentioned Ken Thompson’s speech Reflections on Trusting Trust, David A. Wheeler’s Diverse Double-Compiling, a 2005 blog post from Jeff Atwood, the 2009 Delphi virus, efforts by the Tor Project to facilitate deterministic builds, and how a dedicated hacker put in the leg-work to show that Windows TrueCrypt binaries could be obtained from the published source code.

We’d really love to hear your thoughts on this or any other topic that we’ve talked about during the show. Drop us a mail or, better yet, leave a comment below the line. That way, other listeners will be able to contribute to the discussion as well.

Linux LudditesAs ever, we’d welcome your feedback about the show either here on our website, via a mail to show@, or on Twitter @linuxluddites.

Thanks for listening.