Linux Luddites

not all change is progress


August 2, 2014

Episode #21


Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg

RISC OS for the Pi – OggCamp preview – Zorin OS 9 – can we trust the software on our computers?

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.


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