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.

Episode #19

Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg


Google I/O 2014 Keynote Highlights
REVEALED: Google’s proposed indie music-killing contract terms
Google Domains
Google Invests $50 Million to Close the Tech Gender Gap
Flashing Back to 2004 As Orkut Fades Away a Decade Later
Google terminates Quickoffice apps on Android, iOS

Google’s BoringSSL Latest OpenSSL Fork to Surface
OpenSSL speeds up development to avoid being “slow-moving and insular”

The NSA thinks Linux Journal is an “extremist forum”?
NSA targets the privacy-conscious
IRS policy that targeted political groups also aimed at open source projects

In Road To Qt, Audacious Switches From GTK3 Back To GTK2

elementary OS Isis is now Freya
“Won’t Freya be free?” – The cost of software

Time for the emperors-in-waiting who run Facebook to just admit they’re evil
Facebook Added ‘Research’ To User Agreement 4 Months After Emotion Manipulation Study
British and European data cops probe Facebook user-manipulation scandal
EPIC says Facebook ‘messed with people’s minds,’ seeks FTC sanctions
CEO of European publishing giant accuses Google of downgrading rivals’ search results

Mint 17 KDE and Xfce released

Seen Elsewhere

Police Story: Hacking Team’s Government Surveillance Malware

What’s Next For Fedora?
Where KDE is going – Part 1, Part 2

First Impressions

Paddy took a look at Frugalware, and next time Joe will be checking out StartOS.


A huge thank you to Jake Lauritzen for his PayPal donation, and to Kevie and an anonymous donor for their Flattrs. Peter Kidd became our first Monthly Supporter – it really is much appreciated.

Check out the links in the sidebar for all the ways you can support the show. And if you enjoy what we do, tell somebody else about it!

Martin Wimpress and Alan Pope both left comments BTL to follow up on our words about Ubuntu MATE Remix last show. Martin let us know that the website at ubuntu-mate.org now has some content for people interested in the project, and an ISO of their first Alpha – based on Ubuntu 14.10 – is also available on the site.

Thanks to Scott Dowdle and Steven Rosenberg for leaving comments relating to Fedora.next.

SonOfNed pointed out that Ken Thompson and Rob Pike developed the Go programming language at least in part to address some of the shortcomings in C (and C++) that we’ve periodically discussed on the show.

Both Krayon and Will are happy users of Pentadactyl, a Firefox add-on that seems to offer a lot of functionality, especially for keyboard warriors.

Nathan D. Smith suggested Paddy take a look at the Rails-based Feedbin project, and Arold asked if Paddy had considered using an RSS feed reader from a shell.

Jens Klün and kalei wrote in regarding the effects of the Snowden revelations, and Cae suggested a potentially audience-shredding tactic for increasing PGP adoption. In the ensuing commentary, Paddy briefly mentioned miniLock.

Randal L. Schwartz

Legendary Perl hacker and host of FLOSS Weekly, Randal Schwartz, joined us for a chat. Randal has a number of books to his name, and was the original co-author (along with Larry Wall, the creator of Perl) of the definitive Programming Perl. Randal runs a Perl consulting and training business, and you can also find him on Twitter and Google+. A huge thank you to Randal for taking the time to speak with us, despite his jet-lag.

Deepin 2014RC

We took a long, hard look at the Release Candidate for Deepin 2014, and found much to like. If you’ve never thought about trying a Chinese distro, this one could well come as a very pleasant surprise.

Update: the final version of Deepin 2014 was released the day after our recording. Changes from the RC which we looked at include the replacement of Kingsoft Office with the more familiar Libre Office suite, and the complete removal of Google Play Music. It also now correctly recognises Paddy’s Vista partition.

The question of ‘trust’ raised its head a few times during our review. We’ll come back to this topic in an Over a Pint segment in a couple of shows’ time; if you have any thoughts on how much we can really trust any software, or even our hardware, do drop us a line or leave a comment below, and we’ll include your thoughts in that upcoming discussion.

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 #18

Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg


RHEL 7 release buzzword bingo
A big step forward in business Linux: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 arrives
Docker 1.0 released
Docker libcontainer unities Linux container powers
Docker container breakout proof-of-concept exploit
Lennart watch continues

Traffic Snarls in Europe as Taxi Drivers Protest Against Uber
Uber registrations ‘increase 850%’ as black cab drivers stage London protest
Taxi medallions have been the best investment in America for years. Now Uber may be changing that.
How does Uber make money?
Indie Labels Face YouTube Block Over Unsigned New Terms For Paid Service

HP starts a memristor-based space program to launch … THE MACHINE
Dell exec: HP’s ‘Machine OS’ is a ‘laughable’ idea
Alienware Steam Machine now a Windows PC for the living room
Intel will offer a customizable chip to keep data center clients happy
Microsoft Supercharges Bing Search With Programmable Chips

Microsoft eggheads publish JavaScript crypto code for devs

Amazon launch their mobile cash register

All your Android are belong to us; not fixed in the 4.4.4 update

Ubuntu Looking To Bring Click Packages To The Desktop; Click Packages 101
MATE 1.8 has now fully arrived in Debian

Seen Elsewhere

LinuxBBQ Cream: 500MB ISO, 76 Window Managers to try out
Thanks for nothing, jerkface
How to mend … a slow computer

First Impressions

Joe took a look at Puppy Linux, and Paddy will be firing up Frugalware next show.


A huge thank you to Jeroen van Rijn and SonOfNed for their PayPal donations, and to an anonymous Flattrer.

We had a large amount of feedback to talk about, most of which can be found BTL of our last show notes. Thanks to everyone for contributing, and our apologies for having to be selective about what we included in the show.

Martin Wimpress told us a bit more about his plans for Ubuntu MATE Remix, and we’re looking forward to having him on the show to talk about that project when it gets little nearer to release. Martin is working with Popey at Canonical, who – as Tsukasa Buddha pointed out – seems to have a slightly schizophrenic view on the benefits of traditional desktops like MATE.

Jeroen van Rijn and Rob Landley had an exchange in the comments about user interface design and change for change’s sake, with specific reference to Unity and systemd; whilst Joel told us why he’s a huge fan of Unity’s HUD.

Will thought that we’ve underplayed the usefulness of clouds, at least in a business environment; and Paddy and Jeroen van Rijn had an email exchange about the costs and benefits of fixed release cycles for corporate Linux users.

Jason, Joe and Jeroen van Rijn had a back and forth about what constitutes ‘a gamer’.

Gregor got in touch asking for advice on what distro might suit a Windows XP refugee. The key thing he was looking for was the ability to run a familiar looking desktop on very weakly powered hardware. We’ll be taking a spin around the sub-LXDE desktop environment field on a future show to see what the state of play really is.

Joel wanted to understand why Paddy thought that Btrfs might not quite be ready for use yet, and Paddy mentioned a presentation Dave Chinner gave back at linux.conf.au 2014.

Tsukasa Buddha asked if we had any ideas about what was coming from the Fedora.next project, and Mark Walton had further wireless keyboard feedback for Joe.

Danny got in touch to explain how the Snowden revelations had changed his approach to computing, and Jason and Warren also pitched in on the same topic.

Andy Jesse gave us an update on his data recovery story and, along with Henrik, endorsed the Testdisk suite of data recovery tools. Both the Arch Wiki and the online Ubuntu documentation provide a reasonable starting place for folks looking to understand what data recovery tools are out there.

Rob Landley, Ian Barton, Campbell Barton and SonOfNed all offered thoughts on the issue of software quality.

Jens asked what language might be a good starting point for a beginner, and Nathan D. Smith suggested Python. Paddy and Ian Barton pointed Jens towards a couple of different free online Python courses; Campbell Barton chipped in to endorse one of them, and Cathryne’s first impressions of one seemed really positive.

Eric and Ian Barton were prompted to get in touch following our piece on the UHH; both were of the view that yes, thankfully, things have improved an awful lot since the book was written.

Jezra told us why he doesn’t think that Tizen will gain traction, whilst Henrik, arold, Brian Hall and Jenny offered thoughts around syncing or file transfer from Android devices to desktop machines.

We got a mixed, but mainly positive, response to our suggestion last show that we were looking for additional hosts. Thanks to everyone for giving us your thoughts on the matter – especially to Dhalgren, who offered us some sensible advice. If anyone is interested in putting themselves forward who hasn’t yet got in touch, please send us a few minutes of audio to show@ explaining a bit about your background, and what you think you could bring to the show – thanks!


An independent offering with a strong and vibrant community is a welcome sight in these days of increasing corporate-funded distro dominance. But is it any good? We took a look at the LXDE and MATE versions of PCLinuxOS.

Off the Beaten Path

Thinking about self-hosted RSS aggregators to reduce your exposure to unreliable cloud services? Tiny Tiny RSS, selfoss and KrISS Feed may be good places to start. And if anyone does knock up a good mobile theme for KrISS Feed, at least one of your hosts would like to know about it…

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.