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.

Episode #20

Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg


New Plasma brings a cleaner interface on top of a new graphics stack
Release for CentOS-7 on x86_64
Mailnag Email Notifier Sees New Major Release, Is No Longer Just For Gnome Shell
New Product Launch! Introducing Raspberry Pi Model B+

Odds ‘n’ Sods
​Android’s phone wiping fails to delete personal data
Spotify migrate 5000 servers from Debian to Ubuntu
First Tizen phone postponed indefinitely
Microsoft’s Bing follows Google in offering Europeans the ‘right to be forgotten’

For UK Listeners
Commons passes emergency data laws despite criticism
Amazon Prime video coming for Android

Chromebooks etc.
Dell’s Chromebook sales go crazy, so company halts sales
Microsoft launches a price assault on Chromebooks
Lenovo stops selling small-screen Windows tablets in the US (since denied by Lenovo)
Google launches Chrome Remote Desktop for Linux (beta)
Handwriting recognition coming to ChromeOS

The Fortnight’s Big News
Apple Teams Up With IBM For Huge, Expansive Enterprise Push

Seen Elsewhere

eBay’s Q2 earnings beat estimates despite analyst fears over security breach …what huge data breach?

Speeding up data storage by a thousand times with ‘spin current’

Desktop Containers – The Way Forward

Xubuntu: How To Put Maximized Windows Buttons And Title On The Panel
Xfdashboard: Gnome Shell Like Dashboard For Xfce

First Impressions

Joe gave us his First Impressions of StartOS, and next show Jesse will be looking at RISC OS on the Raspberry Pi.

Google Glass Hands-on

Joe and Jesse recently attended a Google Glass sales/evangelist event in London, and recorded their thoughts whilst they were still fresh in their minds.


A huge thank you to Maxim Kovgan and Nicholas Betson for their PayPal donations, to three anonymous Flattrers, and to Jeroen van Rijn, Brendan MacWade and Isaac Carter for becoming Monthly Supporters.

SonOfNed dropped us a line regarding the scope of systemd, pointing towards a talk Lennart gave at FUDCon Beijing earlier this year. In the absence of video, it’s well worth checking out Lennart’s slides (~200KB PDF) to get a feel for where we stand (and to see how not to make a PDF from slides). In the ensuing comments about systemd, Paddy mentioned a blog post by Rob Landley, and Lennart’s attitude to the increasing difficulty in compiling udev separately from systemd.

Campbell Barton and Rob Landley both left comments BTL at show #19 about why they think that the Go programming language might struggle to gain traction, and those are well worth reading.

Mark, Rob Mackenzie, Nigel Verity, and Dave Allan all got in touch following Joe’s comments about Google last time. Nigel cautioned that there might come a point at which our technology corporate behemoths start to operate outside of national governmental control [start? ed.], whilst Dave Allan took Joe to task for his “nothing to hide, nothing to fear” attitude. Paddy promised to link to a short Techdirt piece that makes the case against that argument more eloquently than we managed on the show.

Thanks to Martin Wimpress for clarifying that MATE will continue to support GTK2 as well as GTK3, to Jeroen van Rijn for some suggestions of topics that we might want to take a look at on future shows, and to Kristian for pointing us towards a kernel patch from Ted Ts’o prompted by work by the OpenBSD guys.

Will asked us about how we go about customising Xfce to our liking, and Joe has added writing a personal blog post on this topic to his to-do list.

Richard Marsh and Muldwych both pointed out that the show can be difficult to find, and Paddy explained what the position was regarding iTunes. And if you are an iTunes user and enjoy the show, why not rate and review it there to make it easier for others to find?

Steven Rosenberg thought that it would be a good idea for us to discuss the pros and cons of the commonly used scripting languages, but your hosts demurred on the grounds of lack of specific domain expertise. It would be a good idea for an expert listener round-table, though, so if any folks out there would be willing to participate in such a group discussion, drop us a line to show@ and we’ll organise the conversation.

Finally, both Rob Landley and SonOfNed pointed us towards Patreon as another potential means for the audience to give the show a little support. We’d be happy to go down that road if it appeals to other listeners, so let us know your thoughts.

Familiar, But Lighter Than LXDE

Prompted by a question from the audience for recommendations on what might provide a suitably light and familiar desktop environment for a typical WinXP refugee and their older hardware, we took a look at IceWM, Joe’s Window Manager (JWM) and the Equinox Desktop Environment (EDE). Though to pitch either IceWM or JWM in those terms really doesn’t do them justice, and nor does how either typically looks and behaves out of the box. To get the most out of either, you’ll need to do some reading and put a bit of work into configuring them, but the results can be be very pleasing indeed.

Sanel Zukan Interview

We spoke to Sanel Zukan, lead developer of the Equinox Desktop Environment, to find out a little more about the history and direction of that project, and the FLTK toolkit which it is based upon. Thanks to Sanel for taking the time to talk with us.

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.