Linux Luddites

not all change is progress


June 22, 2015

Episode #44


Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg

Stepping out of the studio, this show Joe and Jesse bring us some interviews from the floor of the recent OpenTech 2015 conference in London. Plus, we take a Luddite Look at a suite of apps developed by one of our very own listeners.

0:05:35   News

Empires Rise, Empires Fall
The Linux Foundation opens scholarship program – will you apply?
Linux Foundation Launches Node.js Foundation
GPL-Violator Allwinner Joins The Linux Foundation
Apple’s Decision to Open Source Swift Met with Developer Applause (Swift? What?)
Rebasing Ubuntu on Android?
Wine: Migrating away from Sourceforge
SourceForge grabs GIMP for Windows’ account, wraps installer in bundle-pushing adware
SourceForge commits reputational suicide
SourceForge Past, Present and Future: Working to Maintain the Integrity of Our Open Source Backbone
Project mirroring policies will be revisited with our Community Panel, existing mirrors removed
GitHub to Seek $2 Billion Valuation in Latest Funding Round

With Linux, Size Doesn’t Matter
HP kills The Machine, repurposes design around conventional technologies
Reuters: BlackBerry may launch Android device with a hardware keyboard (or maybe not)
Free embedded Linux training materials demystify Buildroot
Librem 13: A Laptop That  Respects Your Rights
Power over Ethernet for your Pi
Official Raspberry Pi case launches for £6

0:42:17   A Luddite Look

Following our offer a couple of shows ago to spotlight and provide constructive criticism on projects that listeners are working on, Kevin Hausmann bravely stepped forward and asked for a Luddite once-over of his Android GPLv3 Podcatcher Deluxe app.

0:57:40   Feedback

A huge thank you to Kelly Price, Anthony Griggs, Daniel Biskup, Félim Whiteley and Jonathan Glossop for your PayPal donations, and to all of our Monthly Supporters. And thanks also to johanv and an anonymous person for your Flattrs.

Following our discussion on the latest spat in Ubuntu-land, Jonas Rullo and Dennis Wickman got in touch to offer differing points of view. An anonymous listener posted what they claimed was a breakdown of the funding that the Kubuntu project had received from upstream, and some social media detective work on our part suggested that the commenter is indeed a member of the Community Council. But, as Esteban said, posting anonymously doesn’t do wonders for your credibility.

Thanks to Joel Tomfohr for pointing out that Jesse gets to enjoy background YouTube playing on his phone because of his subscription to Google Play Music All Access – that’s one mystery solved. And also to charlesay, who again flagged up Thomas Taschauer’s OpenDocument Reader as a viable ODF viewer for Android.

With Joe still bemoaning changes to Firefox, a number of you chipped in. Kelly Price suggested hand compiling for a speed boost, whilst David Stark kindly provided details of how to use Chrome’s PepperFlash on Firefox. But geekymcnerdypants has clearly had enough of the hand-wringing, and suggested Opera a viable drop-in replacement.

When somebody uses a turn of phrase like “elementary OS is a beautiful farce. It is a horrible piece of junk” you wonder if maybe they’ve been listening to this show for too long ;) Thanks for that, Enzro Greenidge; and also to Robert Orzanna, whose original email prompted our look at elementary OS, and who gamefully got back in touch.

A massive thank you to everyone who contacted us to say how much you enjoy the show, and how we go about producing it. We really were overwhelmed by the level of feedback we got on this topic, and read out just a couple of brief comments from Toby Slight and Brian as being indicative of the feelings many of you have expressed – thanks guys, it makes it all worthwhile.

We briefly revisited the question of show length with comments from Will and MikeF, then wrapped up a rather self-referential segment with a question from Tom Hardy.

1:26:32   OpenTech 2015

We mentioned on a recent show that Joe and Jesse were planning to attend OpenTech 2015. They found time in between sessions to speak to several of those presenting, so sit back and enjoy a flavour of the conference.

Bill Thompson
Bill is a journalist and pundit, and can be found writing on his personal blog and presenting Click on the BBC World Service. Bill’s talk at this year’s conference firmly put the onus on those of us who are tech-savvy to educate and inform, so that when public policy positions are espoused, a broad spectrum of the population will hopefully understand the issues well enough to rationally debate their merits.

Kat Matfield
Kat spoke about the trade-offs we’re willing to make in order to obtain ‘free’ on-line services in return for our data, and also about security theatre. You can find her on Twitter, at her personal blog, and working for Adaptive Lab.

Ellen Broad
Ellen is the Policy Lead for the Open Data Institute, who sponsored the OpenTech 2015 event. She spoke about encouraging and supporting the growth in use of open data within the public and private sectors.

Jim Killock
Jim is Executive Director of the Open Rights Group. Whilst talking about site blocking and ISP filtering, Jim mentioned Blocked!, an ORG website which allows users to check the block status for specific domains. The Anderson review that Killock spoke about can be found here. Some background – and further criticism – of Scotland’s plans for a national ID system can be found in a Guardian article from earlier this year.


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