Linux Luddites

not all change is progress


May 25, 2015

Episode #42


Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg

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.

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
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

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

Security
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’
TrueCraft
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.


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