not all change is progress
September 27, 2015
Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg
0:51:27 Linux Advocates
Paddy is taking a month long break from the show but don’t worry, he’ll be back. In the meantime we’ll have a couple of guest hosts filling in. The first is Pete Cannon of TDTRS fame.
In this episode we discuss a plethora of news including some FOSS wins, Amazon’s ridiculously cheap tablet, Android security woes, BBC micro:bit delays and a bit of a non-story about Microsoft. Then we discuss FOSS advocacy over a pint. We ask how we can get more people using Linux and Open Source.0:00:45 Intro
International FOSS wins
Italian military to switch to LibreOffice and ODF
Indian Govt To Launch Own Operating System Named BOSS To Replace Microsoft Windows
Ubuntu Linux-Based Open Source OS Runs 42 Percent of Dell PCs in China
Cuba’s National Ubuntu-Based GNU/Linux OS to Get a Gorgeous Lightweight Edition
Netherlands Fighting to Replace Microsoft’s OpenXML with ODF
Amazon Announces Its New $50 Fire Tablet (With $250 6-Pack Option)
Google further spreads Android One love to European customers
New Android lockscreen hack gives attackers full access to locked devices
Google’s own researchers challenge key Android security talking point
Fairphone ‘Exploring’ Switch to Ubuntu Touch
BBC says Micro Bit rollout will be delayed
It Only Took GM Five Years To Patch Dangerous Vulnerability Impacting Millions Of Automobiles
Mycroft seeks full time developer
Odds and ends
GNOME 3.18 Released: Brings Big Improvements
Microsoft has developed its own Linux
Have a listen to #systemau (but do keep in mind that they swear a fair bit so it’s NSFW). In Joe’s opinion it’s the spiritual successor to Linux Outlaws.
0:51:27 Linux Advocates
Prompted by Pete’s post on G+ and the subsequent discussion, as advocates for FOSS and Linux, what are we doing wrong and what are we doing right? Are we just preaching to the choir?
Lord Paddy we miss you.
Microsoft is ONOS (Open Network OS,onosproject.org) as a
base for their switches’ OS:
I /think/ ONOS is Debian based but I’m not sure. Although
I’m pretty sure Cumulus Linux is which is another OS for
Of course all of those “distros” aren’t really useful without proprietary bits to control the special hardware of switches handling dozens of 10gbit ports at linerate simultaneously (TCAM & ASICs that is).
Nice to hear from Pete again, even if he is wrong.
First, when people talk about a Linux distribution not giving you all the software you need when you switch: Which OS does that? Here we have a usable browser, a real office suite, DC/DVD/BluRay burning software (for people who use legacy hardware), non-crippled media players and other actually useful stuff.
Second, do we have a problem about Linux appealing to the more technical users? Even if it is not real, it offers some extra good things for the people who want to get into the system.
Personally, I am with Steven Rosenberg on the issue:
Interesting piece, Morten. Thanks for sharing. I find myself having to do work and involved with other projects, hobbies, too. I’m sure there are many many more out there who are quietly using some Linux OS and enjoying it.
It was a few episodes ago, but git-annex is awesome. I’m using it to sync files in both directions between my desktop, laptop and external HDD.
It’s basically a git repository where you have symlinks to all you files, and then you use commands to move and copy the actual files’ content between the devices. And whenever you try to delete the content of a file on one device, it needs to check the other sources to see that it’s stored somewhere else.
I, for example, might save a file on my laptop and later sync and move it to my external HDD to save space. And if it’s something that’s important I also copy it to my desktop’s HDD.
It also works in the other direction. If I have a movie on the external drive, I can still see the broken symlink on my laptop, and say that I want it copied from my external drive.
However, I think it’s quite funny to see what file syncing and backup methods people use. For example git-annex, being built on git, seems to attract programmers. While sysadmins might play with filesystems and RAID arrays.
Pete: please start podcasting again. It was great listening to you!
I am not so negative on the Bq Aquaris A4.5 – it has LTE and is Dual SIM, which is fairly rare. Also, the SoC is ARMv8 and thus 64-bit. However, being priced at about 170 € makes it face tough competition, e.g. if one trusts Motorola to supply updates and doesn’t need LTE and Dual SIM, the Moto E (2nd gen) at about 120 € maybe the better choice.
Where you were pretty wrong is that Android update situation. How on earth could Google provide updates on its own, when manufacturers insist on uglifying Android by “enhancing” it and locking bootloaders down? In fact, that bootloader situation is the most important. If the company complies to the GPL and doesn’t lock the bootloader (or enables everybody to unlock it the way Sony do (or did?)) so that it is easy to get a custom Rom or even stuff like Ubuntu touch or Firefox OS running, I am almost fine with them abandoning the device quickly. If they don’t do that, it really makes me angry.
Thanks for your feedback, if I can pick up on the second point I guess we must have put our view across poorly, or been remembering back to when we’d mentioned phone updates previously without specifically referencing the topic, because I agree with you; it’s manufacturers wanting to stick their oar in and faff about with Android that ruin updates for two reasons 1> they add an extra step and hence put a delay in the process 2> they are likely to change some code which may undo the work of the update, or more likely add exploitable areas that aren’t covered by the base Android – and hence not within Google’s remit to test and secure.
As you said – if manufacturers allow users to unlock their phone to enable 3rd party ROMs after the device has been abandoned we could continue using it – assuming someone continues to make a ROM for it, that is! This is where I further like Motorola’s stance as they clearly show you on their site how to unlock the phone. It says it will void the warranty, but after 2 years it’ll be void anyway so who cares! I also have to wonder why all these manufacturers bother ‘enhancing’ android as the Nexus & Moto phones are popular because of their stock Android, and lots of tech people (us, Leo Laporte, MKBHD etc) talk about how much they prefer stock Android. So why are companies spending money to alter the experience!?
Finally if memory serves we did mention how Ubuntu phone’s architecture may get round this issue by having a read only core and apps/interfaces on top of this which the manufacturer can mess with all they want without changing the underlying system.
Not only is Guano a bad name for a distro, but Nova is to, because in Spanish, Nova is “no va”, which means “no go”.
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