not all change is progress
August 9, 2015
Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg
A mere seven days later, and we’re back. A couple of interesting hardware add-ons for the Pi kick off our news coverage, and we look behind some recent headlines about Google and Mozilla to see how the balance of power can so quickly change in the tech world.
After your feedback, Jesse gamely attempts to run Android-x86 as a desktop OS. Has it markedly improved in the year since we last span it up, or is it still little more than a curiosity, burdened with a user interface paradigm that simply makes no sense without touch input?0:04:22 News (You Might Have Missed)
Give Your Raspberry Pi Night Vision With the PiNoir
Raspberry Pi gains $35 HAT-based touchscreen
Google+ and YouTube are finally splitting up
The Future of Google+, What New Research Reveals
Chrome tests “discarding” background tabs to save
News Sites Are Fatter and Slower Than Ever
Mozilla whines about Windows 10 – writes misguided open letter to Microsoft CEO
Antitrust: Commission fines Microsoft for non-compliance with browser choice commitments
A huge thank you to johanv for the Flattr, and to Tony Jones for becoming our latest Monthly Supporter. It’s the predictable income that you guys provide that enables us to cover our regular running costs, and help us plan for future review hardware purchases. Thanks for making the show possible!
Moritz got in touch to sing the praises of GitLab as a properly Free source-code management system, that offers both self-hosted and on-line services.
Will’s mobile query from last show prompted further discussion; and both Charles Stell and Brian Hall offered some thoughts about laptops now shipping with pre-installed Linux images. During the discussion, we mentioned the current crowdsourcing by Lenovo, who are seeking feedback to inform their design decisions for a possible new ThinkPad.
0:38:49 Revisiting Android-x86
Back in March last year, Paddy reported on his attempt to live with Android-x86 as his primary desktop OS for a full week. We wondered if things had improved any in the intervening period, and asked Jesse to take a look at the latest release candidate.
I think with 256 MB of ram it is ubiquity the ubuntu installer that ubuntu would not work. This is the reason lubuntu keeps the alternate instaler around. IF you installed from a debian installer you might get ubuntu-mate to work on 256 MB of ram.
Quick feedback on Gitlab: it’s is very nice when you want
a git-centric workflow like on Github.
Like working on stuff going on GH later anyway.
PS: OpenBSD should run fine on 256MB of RAM ;P
Gitlab seems to have a comparable feature set to
Github, I’ve moved most of my personal repos over and
it seems fine.
Though I’d be interested to hear from someone moving a large, active project to Gitlab.
The main thing you miss is Github’s huge user base.
(Disclaimer: we’re using Phabricator for day-to-day development, while open, its not a drop-in Github replacement).
Hi Guys and thanks for the new, shorter version of the show. I’ve no problem with the content, but I usually have to pause and t h e n forget where I paused! We use two HP Chromebooks, the 11 and 14 versions; they work fine for us. Mint Mate is on our other laptops and desktops. Having tried the Android x86 OS before, I decided ‘never again’.
Our experiences of HP laptops is a little different to Joe’s but perhaps most of the HP laptops he sees are brought to him with problems. We’ve had a few problems but then we have used our laptops for quite a while now. ironically the most troublesome laptop we have in our household is the newest which is an Asus. We have 4 HP laptops, one a chromebook, one running Mint Cinnamon, one running Ubuntu Mate and one (cough teenagers for you) running Windows 8/Kali Linux. Also in the family the Asus running Windows 10 (cough again) and an Acer 710 running Ubuntu Mate.
The Asus is nicely designed and stylish but seems to be stuck together and difficult to do anything with, other than memory, hard disk, etc. changes, if you do have problems with. The HP, the oldest about 8 year old Celeron (came with Vista) has had a new cable for the display and a new battery but it screws together and comes apart easily. My son bought the Asus to replace his 5 year old HP but uses the HP more.
So it’s a bit like car buying. Do you buy something cheap and cheerful not so reliable but cheap and easy to repair or something more stylish and expensive which is potentially more reliable but could be more expensive to repair.
Which is best? Answers on a postcard please.
The 4.4-r3 release is now on Sourceforge at http://sourceforge.net/projects/android-x86/files/Release%204.4/ – maybe Jesse had bad luck and happened to try to download it when SF was having server trouble a couple of weeks back? I see that they also have a lollipop branch for testing (you can build from source) but haven’t put out an ISO yet. That’ll be interesting to see how it goes, since KK is getting a bit long in the tooth nowadays.
I was excited to hear about gitlab but after checking it out there appears to be no free options. Probably the biggest reason github has taken off is that it free for all your opensource work. You can even put up free static websites on github with your companies cname pointing there. (Though github’s service is behind closed doors and their policies are mercurial. People have no recourse when github does their evil. And because github handles everything behind closed doors with emails few people realize what crap they sometimes pull.) It would be nice if gitlab offered a real alternative to github.
I like that gitlab exists, but I’m hesitant to support a company that uses proprietary relicensing.
I think GitLab has one of the nicest UI’s of the available open source source code hosting applications (compared to things like Trac and cgit). It is pretty similar to GitHub. The main difference between GitHub and GitLab is that GitHub offers free hosted accounts whereas GitLab offers a free self-hosted application with an MIT license (with a subset of the features in their enterprise application).
In your recent Sourceforge discussion, you mentioned that Sourceforge was open source while GitHub was not but didn’t elaborate more on that point. Was your reason for bringing that up just to point out that by using GitHub you are supporting a closed source service at the expense of an open source alternative? Other than Sourceforge, I think Launchpad is pretty much the only stable, well-supported source code hosting option (there are some other community run sites that require GPL compatibility and might have more downtime than GitHub). I think your point was to highlight the lack of open source alternatives. Were you making a larger point? For remotely hosted services, I don’t know how much emphasis to place on the use of open source technologies since the computing service is out of the users’ control in any case.
I think a large part of GitHub’s appeal (besides having a pretty usable UI) is that it also serves as a social networking site. It’s easy to cross-references bugs and commits from totally unrelated projects. It’s also easy to trace the work of different developers who work on multiple projects which can help in discovering new projects and in finding developers with the right expertise for a new project. It functions like a resume in some ways. If everything were self-hosted, these same kinds of interactions would still be possible, just less convenient.
Hi Will, I think that we meant to go off into a digression about the difficulties of keeping web services ‘free as in freedom’, but forgot. There’s a definite conversation to be had about those issues, and the applicability/desirability of licenses like the AGPL, for example.
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