Episode #42

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Whilst the tech press continues to tout the under-developed, under-powered and frankly underwhelming Firefox OS as a viable FOSS contender to the crown held by Android, another Linux-based OS seems to have largely passed them by.

After a seemingly interminable serious of launch missteps, earlier this year Samsung finally shipped a phone running Tizen into the Indian market. It’s far from perfect, suffering some minor design niggles and a potentially more serious freedom issue, but the hardware and OS are particularly impressive considering both the cost of the phone and the troubled gestation of Tizen itself.

There’s a lot to Tizen that could make it an appealing choice in the Western market, so stay with us through our usual comprehensive news and feedback segments for a hands-on with this promising platform.

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0:04:26   News

Debian / Ubuntu
Debian PPAs won’t be compatible with Ubuntu PPAs
ZFS coming to Debian? Seems Debian were a little premature
Mark Shuttleworth considering Canonical IPO
Meizu MX4 Ubuntu available in China for ¥1799.00 (~£185)

Mozilla overhauls Firefox smartphone plan to focus on quality, not cost
Mozilla gags, but supports video copy protection in Firefox 38
Adblock Plus gets its own Android browser

Raspberry Pi Model B+ price drops to $25
Neo900 inches closer to reality
Foresight Linux Project announces its retirement

Extremely serious virtual machine bug threatens cloud providers everywhere
Mobile operators plan to block online advertising
Flawed Android factory reset leaves crypto and login keys ripe for picking
Google, Samsung, and 16 others receive post-password certification

As Close to Gaming News as the Luddites Get
MAME is going open source to be a ‘learning tool for developers’
Oculus Rift Suspends Linux Development

1:05:32   Feedback

A huge thank you to our Monthly Supporters, who really do keep the show on the road and enable us to consider undertaking features like our look at the Samsung Z1 this show. Thanks guys and gals!

Thanks to Andy Mitchell for resolving Joe’s long-standing Xfce screen blanking problem. The fix? Simply adding xset s 0 0 dpms 0 0 0 to ~/.profile.

We mentioned Synfig Studio last time, and Klaatu von Schlacker got in touch to let us know how much he rates the product – and how he uses it for titling http://gnuworldorder.info.

Long time listener Morten Juhl-Johansen Zőlde-Fejér echoed Joe’s distrust of HP’s consumer hardware with a story about a laptop that ran so hot it ended up discolouring the hard drive. Caveat emptor.

steph79 got in touch to agree with Драгица Ранковић that we – along with others in the Linux community – spend too much time talking about mobile technology. Steph doesn’t think these devices are real computers, but simply devices that facilitate ‘brainless consumption’. But Nathan D. Smith questioned the validity of the creation/consumption dualism that we often hear about.

A couple of long comments from Johannes Rohr and Dave Firth led to your Luddites chewing over some thoughts around the ease of use, approachability and efficacy of FOSS. Thanks for the prompting, Johannes and Dave.

And staying on the topic of advocacy, we ended the section with an offer to provide (constructive!) on-air feedback to any developer listening who would like us to spotlight their project. You all know how to get in touch, so do so and let’s see if we can’t help the wider community in this way.

1:24:19   Samsung Z1 & Tizen 2.3

Launching a smartphone outside of the European or US market virtually guarantees that the mainstream tech press will ignore or dismiss it. That this has happened to the Tizen-powered Samsung Z1 seems a particular shame, as it’s a quality bit of low-budget kit. And all those articles mocking Tizen as a no-hoper OS? To say that we were very pleasantly surprised is a serious understatement.

Tizen clearly offers much that would appeal to a far broader audience than currently have access to it, and we’ll be watching future developments with keen interest – and hoping Samsung introduce similar devices into our own markets.

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 #41

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With one of the Luddites missing this show, the remaining two decided to fill the void with a look at a piece of namesake FOSS. And whilst Debian may have many strengths, being a newbie-friendly desktop OS has never really been one of them. Has that changed with the release of Jessie?

And what do a home-made CNC router and a musical octopus have in common? They can both be powered by a Raspberry Pi, of course. Bravely venturing outside the confines of the M25, Joe brought us a handful of interviews recorded at the recent Jam event held in Egham, Surrey.

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0:05:03   News

RISCy Business
MIPS quietly bares its processor architecture to universities
PayPal adopts ARM servers, gets mightily dense
ARM: “Microcontrollers Are Better Because There’s No GPL”
CHIP – The World’s First Nine Dollar Computer

Ubuntu laptops available for pre-order with Ebuyer.com
Synfig Studio 1.0
Chromixium 1.0
Debian GNU/Hurd 2015
Introducing Xubuntu core

Mozilla Deprecating Non-Secure HTTP
Dangerous And Ridiculous: Facebook Won’t Let Sites Join Its Internet.org Program If They Encrypt Traffic
Choc Factory finds 84,000 ad injectors targeting Chrome

Microsoft & Convergence
Microsoft brings Android, iOS apps to Windows 10
Why Windows embracing Android and iOS is a bad idea
Windows 10 preview for Raspberry Pi 2 leaps out of the Microsoft oven
Microsoft Launches Visual Studio Code, A Free Cross-Platform Code Editor For OS X, Linux And Windows
Microsoft Shows Off Continuum For Windows 10 Phones
Ubuntu may beat Windows 10 to phone-PC convergence after all

0:43:52   Egham Raspberry Jam Interviews, Part 1

Joe has some photos of the exhibits up on G+.

Raspberry Pi Arduino EEG Hack by Albert M Hickey (aka Winkle ink). Albert also wrote a short blog post about the entire Jam event.
CNC machine by Stephen Cornes.
Matt Sendorek was showing off a Maplin robot arm.

0:55:37   Feedback

A huge thank you to Jeffrey Rollin and Johan Nilsson, the latest recruits to the ranks of our esteemed Monthly Supporters, all of whom we thank for their ongoing support. As we do cocreature and johanv, who kept things ticking over on Flattr. Thanks one and all :)

Following our questioning of Canonical’s claims about Ubuntu user numbers, Nigel Verity offered some thoughts on more accurate ways of tracking those statistics.

We attempted to address a couple of questions posed by Mitlik; and Paddy agreed with Rob Landley that there does appear to be a fundamental difference of opinion between the SFLC and SFC about whether kernel modules constitute legally derived works in licensing terms.

We received a lot of feedback directly, on our website, and on social media about our review of the Entroware laptops last show. Thanks to all who offered their thoughts, and especially to Jerry, Esteban, Cathryne, Neil Wallace and Frank Bell, whose comments we chose to feature as being roughly indicative of the spread that we received. And a special thank you to Anthony Pich from Entroware who, recognising our attempts to be constructive in our criticism, responded in the same vein.

1:11:21   Egham Raspberry Jam Interviews, Part 2

Seven Segments of Pi, the PiTrol and the PiDapter from Nevil Hunt.
Joe spoke to Claire about her knitted musical octopus.

1:21:12   Debian Jessie, Through the Eyes of a New User

Debian makes for a solid server OS, and a terrific base for many other distros. But is it a good choice on the desktop for a new user? Donning our shades of naivety, we attempted to find out.

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 #40

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There’s a growing trend for distros to seek partnerships with hardware vendors, and this show we looked at the fruits of one such deal. After reviewing two laptops from a UK company that ship with Ubuntu MATE pre-installed, we wondered how beneficial this approach really could be in helping foster the greater adoption of Linux we all want to see.

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0:02:54   News

Ubuntu 15.04 released
Can Canonical Count?
Ubuntu Desktop to Eventually Switch to Snappy Packages by Default

Android gets a “Trusted Voice” smart lock
Google Handwriting Input in 82 languages on your Android mobile device
Better presentation of URLs in search results
Reaching and re-engaging users on the mobile web
Ads Take a Step Towards “HTTPS Everywhere”
Google May Offer New Way to Target Ads

First GitHub Transparency Report Published
ZFS coming to Debian proper
Ardour 4.0 released
Vocal 1.0 Now Available
Bringing Tizen to a Raspberry PI 2 Near You

0:35:32   Feedback

A huge thank you to Glen Skiner for the PayPal donation, johanv for the Flattr, and to all of our regular Monthly Supporters – thanks, guys!

Julian Overall, Ivor O’Connor and Pete all added to the debate on customisation, and how welcome (or off-putting) this can be for end users.

Henry Sprog echoed some of our own thoughts on the responsibility of parents concerning the use of technology by their offspring, and Brad Alexander offered an alternative perspective on the topic of political correctness.

Florian got in touch to say that Joe’s experience of poor sound from the RPi2 is, sadly, not unique, and Драгица Ранковић expressed her frustration at the amount of coverage we give to mobile technology.

On the topic of crypto-currencies, John Whitmore wondered why nobody has thought to implement one based on a stamp scrip system modelled after the Wörgl or Iowa experiments? And sticking with financial matters, Daniel had some suggestions for us around transparency and support for our favourite FOSS projects.

1:03:36   Entroware Ubuntu MATE Laptops

With many distros increasingly seeking hardware partners to provide an out of the box Linux experience, we looked at the Apollo and Proteus laptops from UK supplier Entroware, and also chewed over how much such partnerships really help the broader Linux ecosystem.

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 #39

  Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg

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.