Episode #56

Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg

0:01:11 openSuse Tumbleweed
0:32:48 Feedback
0:53:36 OSCON interview

This week Jesse and Joe have a good look at Tumbleweed – the rolling release of openSuse, go through your feedback and then speak to Rachel Roumeliotis, the co-chair of OSCON, an Open Source conference put on by O’Reilly Media. Be sure to listen to the end of the show because we have a valuable giveaway that you won’t want to miss.

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0:01:11   openSuse Tumbleweed

Jesse has been keen for us to look at the rolling release of openSuse for quite a while now. What did we make of it?

0:34:48   Feedback

A huge thank you to Marshall Mason for your PayPal donation, New monthly supporters Jezra and Ian Kelling, all of our monthly supporters and marmai and Rolf Riis Bjørnsen for Flattring us. Also Ian Kelling sent us a Bitcoin donation. Many thanks for that. Is anyone else interested in using Bitcoin to support us? We’d love to know if you are.

Steve Leach questioned our use of “app” to describe Flavio Tordini’s three programs and wondered if it was as interchangeable for software on our PCs in the UK.

Ivor O’Connor wondered why the ability to save videos has has been removed in Minitube and asked if we would cover ways of downloading videos from YouTube. Joe suggested youtube-dl.

Keith Z-G and Helam Sirrine made some excellent points about old and new software.

Aaronb outlined how Chromixium has improved his wife’s laptop and Martin Wimpress suggested that we have a look at Chromium OS.

Jodie Mac pointed us towards an alternative to website paywalls. Alex, Brian Ackroyd and Floyd Wallace also shared their thoughts the subject.

Alan Kerns, linmob and Florian all got in touch regarding the topic of free speech in Germany.

Nathan D Smith was fairly positive about gaming on Linux while pypi and reint both suggested Unison as a solution to Paddy and Jesse’s bidirectional syncing problem.

Matthew Beaven asked the developers of the Mycroft project if the server code would be open source as well, and thought their response might be useful to our coverage of the project.

Rob Landley left a fairly detailed comment on show #53 about the history of Microsoft’s antitrust cases that’s well worth a read.

0:53:36   Rachel Roumeliotis interview (OSCON)

We spoke to Rachel Roumeliotis about OSCON which is happening on 26–28 October 2015 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Giveaway: You can win a free pass to OSCON! All you have to do is email us with with the subject “OSCON pass”. We’ll pick one person at random. Please only do so if you can make your own way to Amsterdam between 26-28 October 2015. The closing date is midnight UK time on 17th October. We’ll email the winner back on the 18th October.

If you don’t win, you can get 25% off a pass with the code LINUX25.

Linux LudditesAs ever, we’d welcome your feedback about the show either here on our website, via a mail to show@, on Twitter @linuxluddites, or over at our Google Plus and Facebook Community pages.

Thanks for listening.

Episode #55

Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg

0:04:52 News
0:51:27 Linux Advocates

Paddy is taking a month long break from the show but don’t worry, he’ll be back. In the meantime we’ll have a couple of guest hosts filling in. The first is Pete Cannon of TDTRS fame.

In this episode we discuss a plethora of news including some FOSS wins, Amazon’s ridiculously cheap tablet, Android security woes, BBC micro:bit delays and a bit of a non-story about Microsoft. Then we discuss FOSS advocacy over a pint. We ask how we can get more people using Linux and Open Source.

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0:00:45   Intro
We explain why Paddy isn’t here and we hear a bit about Pete and his old(?) podcast The Dick Turpin Roadshow (Note that they used to swear a fair bit so it’s NSFW)

0:04:52   News

International FOSS wins
Italian military to switch to LibreOffice and ODF
Indian Govt To Launch Own Operating System Named BOSS To Replace Microsoft Windows
Ubuntu Linux-Based Open Source OS Runs 42 Percent of Dell PCs in China
Cuba’s National Ubuntu-Based GNU/Linux OS to Get a Gorgeous Lightweight Edition
Netherlands Fighting to Replace Microsoft’s OpenXML with ODF

Amazon Announces Its New $50 Fire Tablet (With $250 6-Pack Option)
Google further spreads Android One love to European customers
New Android lockscreen hack gives attackers full access to locked devices
Google’s own researchers challenge key Android security talking point
Fairphone ‘Exploring’ Switch to Ubuntu Touch

BBC says Micro Bit rollout will be delayed
It Only Took GM Five Years To Patch Dangerous Vulnerability Impacting Millions Of Automobiles
Mycroft seeks full time developer

Odds and ends
GNOME 3.18 Released: Brings Big Improvements
Microsoft has developed its own Linux

Have a listen to #systemau (but do keep in mind that they swear a fair bit so it’s NSFW). In Joe’s opinion it’s the spiritual successor to Linux Outlaws.

0:51:27   Linux Advocates

Prompted by Pete’s post on G+ and the subsequent discussion, as advocates for FOSS and Linux, what are we doing wrong and what are we doing right? Are we just preaching to the choir?

Linux LudditesAs ever, we’d welcome your feedback about the show either here on our website, via a mail to show@, on Twitter @linuxluddites, or over at our Google Plus and Facebook Community pages.

Thanks for listening.

Episode #54

Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg

0:01:07 Flavio Tordini’s Apps
0:22:26 Feedback
0:47:50 Chromixium

We often criticise apps over poor functionality and interface design but this week we look at three applications from a developer with a keen eye on what it takes to make nice looking software that works well.

After your feedback, Joe gives us his first impressions of a Chrome OS/Ubuntu mashup called Chromixium that he was less than complimentary about when it came up in the news on a previous show.

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0:01:07   Flavio Tordini’s Apps

We had a good look at Flavio Tordini‘s apps: Minitube – a standalone way to watch YouTube videos without visiting the website, Musictube – a similar app but with a focus on music videos and Musique – a small but functional way to organise and play local audio files.

0:22:26   Feedback

A huge thank you to all of our monthly supporters. You make this all possible.

Another way to help us out is by using our Digital Ocean affiliate link. We are not sponsored by them but if you sign up using our link you can try them out with $10 of free credit, and we get a little kickback by way of thanks if you decide to keep using them.

Also don’t forget about OggCamp – the largest free culture event in the UK. It’s happening in Liverpool this year on 31st October and 1st November. All three Luddites will be attending so come and say hello!


A few listeners got in touch to point out that Jesse probably should have included digiKam in the group test of photo editing software.

Several listeners came up with suggestions for different directory syncing solutions we could look at. These included git-annex, BitTorrent Sync, a couple of votes for FreeFileSync, and the ubiquitous Syncthing. And Ron Houk pointed us towards syncthing-inotify, which uses the inotify kernel subsystem to trigger Syncthing updates in real time.

Will pointed out that Paddy should like tools that use rsync because it follows the UNIX philosophy and Matthew Platte made a good point about the stability of rsync.

Will also got in touch about the Firefox API changes and Bob Long flagged up how much Mozilla really seem to care about what many of us see as another of their core products – Thunderbird.

Isaac Carter asked us whether we only like old software because it’s old and wondered if we’d like the software that’s currently new once it gets old.

Esbeeb sent us a very nice email and also put forward the case for slimming down the number of Linux distros to avoid duplicated effort while Charlie suggested that having to use the command line could be what puts off a lot of Windows and Mac users.

Richard Walker asked if we’d ever reviewed a System76 laptop, and wondered if any listeners had experience of buying one in the UK. We’d also love to hear from anyone who has done business with System76 from outside the USA.

Back on show #51, we mentioned the Linux Foundation Core Infrastructure Initiative’s Best Practices badge program. David A Wheeler, who is one of the key people involved, got in touch to answer some of the questions we had about it. Thanks a lot for that, David.

0:47:50 Chromixium

We covered the release of Chromixium back on show #41. Paddy was impressed at the time while Joe was characteristically negative about it. Version 1.5 was released in July and Joe has been eager to try it out ever since. Find out what he made of this mashup of Chrome OS and Ubuntu when he gives us his first impressions.

Linux LudditesAs ever, we’d welcome your feedback about the show either here on our website, via a mail to show@, on Twitter @linuxluddites, or over at our Google Plus and Facebook Community pages.

Thanks for listening.

Episode #53

Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg

0:02:05 News
0:48:04 Paying for the Web

Although moving to a weekly show has gone down well, we feel that the shorter format hasn’t been too kind to our comprehensive news coverage – a signature feature of the podcast, and something many of you loved. So we’re back on track this week, with over 45 minutes of the latest news from around the FOSS world. And is there any practical alternative to the scourge of advertising for funding on-line content? Let us know your thoughts, after hearing ours.

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0:02:05   News

Births & Deaths
Open-source typeface “Hack” brings design to source code
Trinity Desktop Environment R14.0.1 Released
Raspberry Pi’s official 7″ touchscreen display goes on sale today for $60
WD PiDrive is a 1TB hard drive kit for the Raspberry Pi
Mycroft got funded
Mycroft launch Indiegogo campaign
LILO Boot-Loader Development To Cease At End Of Year
The end of a cycle. The beginning of a new one.

Performance & Security
Snapdragon 820’s custom CPU is twice as fast, efficient as disappointing 810
Qualcomm Steps Up To Fight Android Malware And App Privacy Violations
x86 Systems Will See Some Boot Time Optimizations With Linux 4.3

Steam gamers already use Windows 10 more than all Linux distros combined
Supporting Linux wasn’t ‘worthwhile,’ says creator of one of 2015’s best PC games

Google Antitrust
GRIP: Google’s EU antitrust case now dogged by no-win, no-fee ambulance chasing
Now India probes Google, threatens $1bn fine over ‘biased’ search
CCI charges Google with rigging search results; Flipkart, Facebook corroborate complaints

Corporate Overlords
Report: Google will comply with censorship laws to get Play into China
Facebook must obey German law even if free speech curtailed: minister
Microsoft, Google, Amazon, others, aim for royalty-free video codecs
Google donates €1 million to help refugees in need

Even the Inventor of PGP Doesn’t Use PGP
Now available from GNU Press, the NeuG True Random Number Generator

0:48:04   Paying for the Web

Is on-line advertising a necessary evil? We sat down to chew over the topic for a little while, and a few supporting links for our comments are below. There’s so much we didn’t even get into – the rise of malvertising, for instance – but we didn’t want to dedicate an entire show to the topic. The big question is whether there are alternative revenue generating models out there that could replace advertising, or whether most everything else has been tried… and failed. Or maybe, just maybe, a completely unfunded and amateur web wouldn’t be any bad thing? We’re sure there are strong feelings out there, and we’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic.

The 2015 Ad Blocking Report
Less than half of UK adults are aware ads fund free content online
The Sun now least visited UK newspaper site after paywall
“only 2% of Internet users would be willing to pay the cost that is today covered by advertisement to access information online”
“PageFair… provided publishers a tool to offer visitors to pay for an online content instead of enjoying it for free. The proportion of users who shifted from the free to the paying option was 0.3%”
All of Germany just signed up to this micropayment app that people think is the future of news on the web
Who pays for us to browse the web? Be wary of Google’s latest answer

Linux LudditesAs ever, we’d welcome your feedback about the show either here on our website, via a mail to show@, on Twitter @linuxluddites, or over at our Google Plus and Facebook Community pages.

Thanks for listening.

Episode #52

Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg

0:01:11 Behind the Headlines
0:27:08 Feedback
0:49:42 Simple Bidirectional File Syncing

Having suffered the predictable outpouring of scorn, we go behind the headlines to discuss whether Microsoft’s Windows 10 really poses any greater threat to your privacy than similar offerings from the likes of Google. We also talk Linux on big iron, plus offer some thoughts about a couple of new input devices for your phone or tablet.

After your feedback, Jesse and Paddy try out a selection of supposedly simple bidirectional file syncing utilities. We’d love to repeat this segment with applications that actually work, so suggestions to the usual address please!

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0:01:11   Behind the Headlines

Three weeks ago IBM launches LinuxONE at LinuxCon, announces Open Mainframe Project
Ubuntu on the Mainframe: Interview with Canonical’s Dustin Kirkland
We mentioned a couple of other podcast interviews during this segment:
Bad Voltage 1×38 (NSFW)
Software Engineering Radio Episode 184

Huge savings prompt Italian city to dump OpenOffice for Microsoft after four years
Calls for city that ditched Microsoft for Linux to switch laptops to Windows
Here’s the one ‘major problem’ facing Munich after switching from Windows to Linux
Video of talk about LiMux at DebConf15
Windows 10 now on 75 million devices, says Microsoft
Ten years of Ubuntu: How Linux’s beloved newcomer became its criticized king
Automatic Windows 10 Updates Chewing Through Data Caps
Windows, Privacy, and You
Even when told not to, Windows 10 just can’t stop talking to Microsoft
Updates Make Windows 7 and 8 Spy On You Like Windows 10
fix windows 10

LG Rolly Keyboard rolls up into a stick for easy transport
The Dell keyboard Paddy praised was a re-branded version of the old, but absolutely terrific, iGo Stowaway. Anybody still using one?
This Modular Touchpad May Be the Future of Input Devices

0:27:08   Feedback

A huge thank you to debb1046 and shtrom for the Flattrs, and to our existing PayPal Monthly Supporters.

Topslakr got in touch about Fedora; as did Jed Reynolds, who pointed out some of the valid use-cases remaining for 32 bit distros (support for which Fedora appear to shortly be about to drop).

We spoke about Windows 10 earlier in the show, and brindleoak wrote in to express his concern that since it’s perfectly usable, what incentive is there now to suggest Linux as an alternative…?

Following our recent chat about browsers becoming near-as-damnit full operating systems, 0xf10e reminded us about the impending arrival of WebAssembly.

Moritz oferred further thoughts about GitLab, and pointed us towards a guest blog post by Mike Gerwitz.

Many of us need to sync files between devices, and Lars Falk-Petersen wondered what we thought about Syncthing? Whilst we’ll no doubt look at this applications in a future show, listen on for our views on some (sadly weak) alternatives.

We received a lot of positive feedback on our interview with Ron Minnich about the coreboot project. Thanks in particular to Will and Alex for your comments. And Will also shared some thoughts about recent unwelcome developments with Firefox.

0:49:42   Simple Bidirectional File Syncing

Looking for a straightforward, command-line, bidirectional file syncing utility? After trying out bsync, csync and Bitpocket, so are we. Any suggestions gratefully received.

Linux LudditesAs ever, we’d welcome your feedback about the show either here on our website, via a mail to show@, on Twitter @linuxluddites, or over at our Google Plus and Facebook Community pages.

Thanks for listening.