Episode #39

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Back with more news, reviews and general grumpiness, this time out the Luddites looked at several flavours of Ubuntu which promise to transform the Raspberry Pi into a functional desktop machine, and Jesse had a bone to pick with Jony Ive.

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0:07:10   News

UK’s Plans to Regulate Bitcoin Revealed in Treasury Report, whereas Australia decides it’s not worth the cost
UK IP Chief Wants ISPs to Police Piracy Proactively
Hollywood star Stallone thanks police after man arrested at Leeds workplace in movie piracy probe
Hate DRM? Tell the world on May 6th
Porn websites will be blocked unless they introduce age controls, Tories say
Microsoft adds ODF 1.2 to Office 365 to adhere to government demands
Infamous “podcasting patent” knocked out

Firefox 37 released, with begging and opportunistic encryption; oops, maybe not
Coherent UNIX clone goes Open Source
Lots of Ubuntu tablets hit the street; general European retail availability of bq Ubuntu phone
Ubuntu versions of Dell XPS 13 available
Ubuntu MATE on hardware

The Shape of Things to Come
GNOME 3.16 runtime SDK
Microsoft unveils Hyper-V Containers and Nano Server, a tiny version of Windows Server

Security Gubbins
Google Chrome will banish Chinese certificate authority for breach of trust, Apple not so much
China’s Man-on-the-Side Attack on GitHub; China’s Great Cannon
Linux Foundation to Host Open Encryption Project

0:55:20   Ubuntu on the Raspberry Pi

Intrigued whether Ubuntu might offer better performance than Raspbian, Joe lost countless hours of his life spinning up basic Ubuntu 14.04, a 14.10 image and the well regarded Ubuntu MATE 15.04 community edition.

1:14:39   Feedback

A huge thank you to marmai for the Flattr, and to all of our Monthly Supporters for keeping the lights on. As we mentioned on the show, all donations really are used to make the show better for you, the listener. We think that we’re holding up our end of the value-for-value bargain pretty well, but always welcome ideas on how we can improve as well as funding.

PhilNC and John Horan both picked up on the topic of Secure Boot and, in John’s case, ran quite far with it – thanks, guys.

John Montgomery got in touch with a pragmatic view regarding browser media consumption; and a post by our very own Jesse on G+ again prompted a brief digression into the differences between products and projects.

Charles S and Ivor O’Connor offered differing views on the latest ruse to force out Linus new kernel Code of Conflict.

Ronald Houk, Patrick Hogan, Charles, Zachary Robbins and SonOfNed all enjoyed our interview with Doug Hill; and Cathryne, Campbell Barton, Isaac Carter and Will offered further thoughts arising from the piece. Ivor O’Connor was the sole obvious dissenting voice who got in touch regarding the interview – and this is as good a time as any to remind everyone that we do welcome all feedback, whether positive or less so. Finally, and in response to Doug’s lack of a prescriptive way forward, Torin Doyle and Glen Skiner both suggested a technocratic resource based economy model – so I guess Doug didn’t win them over, either?

1:38:37   Over a Pint

The topic of choice was back to the fore, prompted by Jesse bristling at Jony Ive’s suggestion that designers know better than consumers when it comes to design.

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 #38

  Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg

A quiet fortnight for Linux offered up the ideal opportunity for us to step back and think about some broader trends in the world of technology.

In the news, we looked at Microsoft’s attempts to regain traction following missteps with Windows 8 and in the mobile space, wondered whether we should simply give up on trying to make our systems secure at all, and discussed how Google is moving from knowing all that we do towards determining all that we can we think.

After your feedback, we talked with journalist and author Doug Hill about some of the issues that rarely get an airing in a technological society where every new change is automatically viewed as progress.

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0:02:54   News

National Videogame Arcade opens in Nottingham, UK

Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory?
Microsoft Hints at Windows 10 IoT SKUs
The Windows 10 free upgrade for pirates: More confusing than it seems
Windows 10 to make the Secure Boot alt-OS lock out a reality
Microsoft Expansion: Subverting Android One App at a Time
Cyanogen receives $80 million in funding from Qualcomm, Twitter, and others

Meet Cyanogen, The Startup That Wants To Steal Android From Google
Ubuntu phone ‘app’ creator launched
Firefox OS now running on a MIPS-based reference tablet

Security: the Give Up and Go Home Edition
X.Org Security Advisory: March 17, 2015
Google warns of unauthorized TLS certificates trusted by almost all OSes
BIOS Hacking (full presentation, 47MB PDF)
Everything is insecure and will be forever says Cisco CTO

Information Intermediation
Build your own Siri: An open-source digital assistant
Google now offering to proxy for Chrome on all platforms
Google wants to rank websites based on facts not links

0:53:05   Feedback

A huge thank you to Dave Allan for becoming our latest Monthly Supporter, and to HenrySprog for keeping our Flattr account ticking upwards. Thanks guys!

As we mentioned when flagging up LinuxFest Northwest 2015, if anyone has Linux or FOSS events that they’d like us to plug, do drop us a line. Whilst we turn the show around fairly quickly we do only record every fortnight, so 3-4 weeks’ notice prior to an event would be ideal.

A comment from Brad Alexander got us thinking about drive encryption again; and plenty of feedback – including from Glenn Skiner and Dave Allan – had us reconsidering prior comments on renewable and nuclear energy.

Jezra got in touch regarding the apparent ‘corporatisation’ occurring at the Linux Foundation, a concern that we all share.

Following some criticism from ourselves both of Firefox and the Mozilla Foundation in general, Matthew Beaven, klaatu la terible and Joel Ewing chipped in with some useful information and opinions of their own – thanks, guys.

Wrapping up the feedback this show, Mister Sterling echoed our own sentiments and hopes that FOSS development will remain open and welcoming for all – regardless of gender or other differences in identity.

1:09:46   Doug Hill Interview

We chatted with American journalist and author Doug Hill about some of the issues raised in his book Not So Fast: Thinking Twice About Technology. As Doug mentioned during the piece, he’s currently discussing alternative publishing arrangements which means that his book isn’t available to purchase right now. However, a review published on the LibrarianShipwreck website last year will give the reader a feel for the ground covered by the book, as will Doug’s own blog.

We’d like to occasionally run other pieces that aren’t strictly Linux related, but that encompass wider themes that we feel would be of interest to our tech-oriented audience. Do let us know if you have strong feelings either way about us somewhat stretching the remit of the show like this.

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 #37

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With the Software Freedom Conservancy leaping into a legal battle that coincidentally supports the MPAA/RIAA, and Linus’ employer and underlings seemingly looking to ease out the grumpy old coot, our news segment this show reflected the old adage that where there’s people, there’s politics.

After your feedback, we revisited the subject of self-hosted cloud products, kicking the tyres of ownCloud, Pydio and Seafile. Each has its positives, but did any match up to the standards set by Drive and Dropbox?

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0:06:21   News

Conservancy Announces Funding for GPL Compliance Lawsuit
A GPL-enforcement suit against VMware
VMware Update to Mr. Hellwig’s Legal Proceedings

​NCC Group to audit OpenSSL for security holes
Lenovo Only Made Up To $250,000 From Nightmare Superfish Deal, Say Sources

BBC gives children mini-computers in Make it Digital scheme
Linux adopts conflict resolution code
Linux Foundation begins clampdown on Torvalds

Dead Cat Bouncing
Why I won’t mourn Mozilla
Mozilla Webmaker: Empowering the next billion citizens of the web

Our Imperious Overlords
Google to close Google Code open source project hosting
Chrome OS Switches To “Freon” Graphics Stack To Replace X11

The Ubuntu podcast has returned, at a new home.

0:38:02   Feedback

A huge thank you to Nigel Green for becoming our latest Monthly Supporter, and to johanv for your continuing support on Flattr.

Further discussion on the topic of energy efficiency was prompted by an email from John O’Brien – thanks, John.

And thank you to Daniel, Will and Pete, who all got in touch to give us their perspectives following our ruminations last show on the frequently inadequate state of GUI free software.

Jezra continued to bang his drum for web-based apps, and both SonOfNed and Will offered some thoughts on ‘secure’ email services. Sticking on the security topic, Topikissa wondered what our thoughts were on hard disk encryption?

And, finally, Brian was concerned by something that he’d heard on a JoeRess podcast.

1:02:41   Self-hosted Cloud Services, Redux

With version 8 of ownCloud recently being released, it was high time for us to revisit the topic of self-hosted cloud services. We set up a server running ownCloud, the attractive Pydio and the utilitarian Seafile, and used them all for a few weeks. Did any prove to be real contenders to the dominant Dropbox and Google Drive…?

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 #36

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Time was when KDE looked like something created by a hyperactive child let loose with a box of crayons. Whilst still offering a befuddling array of configuration options, aesthetically it’s now all grown up – and actually surprisingly attractive. We kicked the tyres on a couple of recent KDE distros that aim to offer the user quite contrasting experiences.

Just why is proprietary GUI software often better than the FOSS alternatives? Hear our thoughts on this after our usual coverage of the news, your feedback and our excursion into KDE-land.

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0:05:35   News

Bodhi Linux 3.0.0 Release
OpenStreetMap now has A-to-B routing built in to the homepage
Symple Introduces the $89 Planet Friendly Ubuntu Linux Web Workstation

Samsung’s Linux-Based Tizen Phone Proves an Unexpected Success
Pebble Time – Awesome Smartwatch, No Compromises

Odds ‘n’ Sods
Internet of things starter kit unveiled by ARM and IBM (official IBM link)
Congratulations to Martin for Ubuntu MATE gaining official status for 15.04; and now listing on DistroWatch
The truth about Purism: Why Librem is not the same as libre

How hackers could attack hard drives to create a pervasive backdoor
Lenovo PCs ship with man-in-the-middle adware that breaks HTTPS connections
Some notes on SuperFish
Thought Komodia/Superfish Bug Was Really, Really Bad? It’s Much, Much Worse!
Lenovo’s Promise for a Cleaner, Safer PC
It’s Not Just Superfish – Your Computer Blindly Trusts Hundreds of Sources
The Great SIM Heist: How Spies Stole The Keys To The Encryption Castle
Did NSA, GCHQ steal the secret key in YOUR phone SIM? It’s LIKELY
Gemalto presents the findings of its investigations into the alleged hacking of SIM card encryption keys by Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA)
SIM hack scandal biz Gemalto: Everything’s fine … Security industry: No, it’s really not

0:44:45   Feedback

A huge thank you to Jonathan Spriggs for joining our Monthly Supporters, whose ranks largely keep this little ship afloat. And, as ever, thanks to johanv for his continuing support on Flattr.

Paddy mentioned that you can now find us on Stitcher, if that’s your kind of thing. He also grovelling apologised for a minor RSS snafu, which meant a broken audio feed for half a day. Yes, he’ll be running Fedora for the next week as an act of penance.

Dave Allan and Daniel Rossbach both offered further thoughts on our recent Over a Pint about social media, with Daniel flagging up the supposedly secure and ephemeral Pond.

And, speaking of secure messaging, Ivor O’Connor was one of several listeners who mentioned the Switzerland-based ProtonMail to us.

Richard Norton-Hall told us that the BBC is moving away from Windows Media streaming; whilst James Chappell made some observations about Joe’s recent First Impressions of the Pi 2. And also Pi related, Arold wondered if we’d tried the ODROID-C1?

The debate around ISOs vs scripts for derivative distros continued with some input from Esteban.

Thanks to Isaac Carter, Will, Steven Rosenberg, MikeF and Firefoxfan2702 for your comments on Ubuntu Touch and the bq phone. The Nielsen statistics that Paddy mentioned can be found here.

And thanks to everyone else who left us feedback on our website or elsewhere. Your views are always an important part of this show, and will remain so :)

1:06:01   Two Distros, Two Versions of KDE

We took a look at Linux Mint 17 KDE and the more aesthetically pleasing – but application challenged – KaOS.

1:53:28   Over a Pint

Our occasional discussion segment made a welcome return, albeit with a slightly controversial topic, as Joe wondered why it is that proprietary GUI software is frequently better than the FOSS alternatives?

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 G+ Community page.

Thanks for listening.

Episode #35

  Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg

Last fortnight was dominated by two releases: the new Raspberry Pi 2, and the first Ubuntu mobile. With one of our number having got his hands on both of these, we report back on the Cray-like performance of the Pi, and how the Ubuntu phone could finally be a challenger to the legendary Wasp T12. Or not.

In the news, we talked about the sad demise of CrunchBang, the UK’s headlong rush into a surveillance state befitting our humble status as Airstrip One, a mysterious disappearing anti-FSF campaign, and much more. And with a first impressions of the Pi and a deep-dive into Ubuntu Touch topping and tailing your feedback, that’s the show. We hope you enjoy it.

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In or around London on February 26th? Like to meet up with Joe and Jesse, Scott from mintCast, Matt from TDTRS and Popey from UUPC? See Joe’s blog for further details.

0:03:13   News

Distro News
CrunchBang: The End
LMDE going rolling

Android 5.1 is out, already shipping on new phones
Android Lollipop: meet the UK team behind the world’s biggest mobile operating system
The first Tizen smartphone isn’t an “Android killer” – it’s a bad Android clone

FSF adds Guix System Distribution to list of endorsed distributions
Where did occupygpl.org go?
Happy 10th anniversary, Nathan Barley
Xfce 4.12 Release date
LXQt 0.9.0 released
ownCloud 8 released

GCHQ intelligence sharing ‘was unlawful’, tribunal rules
‘Innocent people’ on police photos database
New Linux backdoor carries extensive payload
US Publishers Are Responsible for Most Malicious and Risky Apps, Putting Everyone with a Smartphone at Risk (~250KB PDF)
Executive Director Andrew Lewman Answers Your Questions About Tor and Privacy
‘Google search on steroids’ brings dark Web into the light
Once-starving GnuPG crypto project gets a windfall. Now comes the hard part
Answering the Call for Werner Koch’s Everywhere

0:37:18   First Impressions

We found out whether Joe had any regrets about his impetuous eBay purchase of the new Raspberry Pi 2.

0:50:44   Feedback

A huge thank you to Simon Raffeiner for the PayPal donation, and to Simon Lewis – our newest Monthly Supporter. And thanks to keithzg and an anonymous listener for the Flattrs.

Elisha Montgomery posted on our G+ Community to detail setting up Easy2Boot under Linux – thanks, Elisha.

Less positively, Steven Rosenberg took Joe to task for his description of the Bombono DVD user interface as ‘intuitive'; and David Wolski queried how luddite we Luddites really are.

Sean Andreas and Daniel offered some thoughts about the direction Cyanogen is taking; whilst Jonas Kalderstam reminded us how much of core Android is now reliant upon the (closed-source) Google Play Services. Some comments on the unprofitability of the Android space for hardware manufacturers by SonOfNed presaged us sharing some shocking statistics about the mobile market-space.

The costs of our computing – both environmental, and those incurred to power companies – was a topic raised again by Tony Molloy, SonOfNed and Steven Rosenberg.

Finally, Daniel and Keith Z-G both chipped in with some thoughts following our piece last show about social media. Thanks to you both, and to everyone else who got in touch over the last fortnight.

1:09:57   Ubuntu Phone

Long discussed, Canonical finally unveiled an Ubuntu phone in conjunction with Spanish supplier bq (yes, bq – ignore the paid tech press who don’t bother checking things like capitalisation <sigh>). Joe managed to briefly get his hands on the bq Aquarius E4.5, whilst Paddy and Jesse had to make do with flashing the Ubuntu Touch OS onto their Nexus 7 tablets for a gander.

I think that it’s fair to say we were pleasantly surprised, if not bowled over; which seems to have been the general consensus of the unboxing reviews so far. It’ll certainly be interesting to watch this platform develop, particularly if Canonical can rustle up some decent and full-featured native apps…

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 G+ Community page.

Keep it dusty.