not all change is progress
October 18, 2015
Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg
0:01:07 Raspbian Jessie
0:53:53 Encryption backdoors
In the last show before Paddy returns, Joe and Jesse look at the new officially supported distro for the Raspberry Pi, have a good look at your feedback, and then speak to Andrew again; this time about government backdoors in encryption.0:01:07 Raspbian Jessie
A new version of the officially supported Raspberry Pi distribution that’s based on Debian has been released. It may be updated and refined but is it bloated? See what Jesse and Joe make of it.
A huge thanks to new monthly supporter Michael Keen and of course to our existing monthly supporters. It’s very much appreciated.
Lots of you wrote in to tell us how much you missed Paddy while lots of other people thanked us for having Pete on the show. Morten Juhl-Johansen Zölde-Fejér did attempt to set Pete straight on a couple of points.
The subject of user-friendliness and whether Linux should appeal to new users featured heavily this week. Dennis Wickman, Lynne Dixon and Keith Z-G all made good points and esbeeb gave us his top 5 ways to advocate Linux and Open Source.
Moritz told us about a German event called Linux Presentation Day and linked to a list of participating cities.
Moonshine is of the opinion that Linux isn’t for non-technical users and deux3x wondered why we all use Ubuntu flavours and derivatives.
Keith Z-G and Wes Mason told Jesse that if you use apt instead of apt-get you get a progress bar and gabriel_3 pulled us up on a number of openSUSE related points.
Ian Kelling asked that we avoid confusion regarding software licences in the future and Helam Sirrine pointed out that he is a man.
0:53:53 Encryption backdors
Through the magic of editing, Andrew Gregory joins us again for a pint and a discussion. This time Joe asks if governments can really ban encryption. Have they already pretty much done so by forcing companies to have backdoors? Is moving everything to https really going to help, especially when certificate authorities are being centralised?
There is an English web site for the Linux Presentation Day, too:
But this is currently only a summary. The first (big) LPD is mainly a German event but there are several participating cities in Austria and Switzerland, too.
Debian the “red-headed stepchild” of distros? That’s precious! :-)
More like grandfather, I suppose.
Jesse, the method of ad injection that you described is practiced by some ISP’s and secondary internet providers (like wifi hotspots), but the standard method is to use tracking cookies to follow you around the web. When you load a page with Google ads that have been included by the web page’s owner, the page gets the appropriate cookie from you and sends it to Google and then Google sends back some ads to insert into the page. This can all be done through https. The ad injection that requires http is when you request a web page, the server sends that page back, and a third party intercepts that page, inserts its own ads and then sends the page on to you. This kind of injection does not work with https because the third party can’t see where to inject the ads. Google is a big proponent of https, and this is one of the reasons why — their ads are already getting loaded and they don’t want anyone else diluting their ads with additonal ads or replacing their ads entirely.
additionally, I suppose ad vendors like google would prefer if the information in the cookies used to track users behaviour would not be transparent in transit so it could not be used by others watching the line.
apart from that, if you are reliant on using unencrypted protocolls, you deserve the Stallmannesque ‘we should make these businesses fail’ attitude.
Exactly, they don’t need to snoop on your traffic when you provide all the info they need on you in your search queries and posts and comments and even clicks!
I’d also like to stand-up for Gentoo! I installed it a few years ago “as a technical challenge”. As a long time KDE 4 user – that was what I first tried to setup. My first steps where very faltering (cough). It took me 2 weeks, of off-on attempts, just to get my trackpad and keyboard working on the KDM login screen! Later on times would be I would break my install and use another distro for a few weeks – but I do always seem to come back to Gentoo (eventually knuckle down – chroot in and the fix the problem).
Slowly over the years I got sucked in to the “ecosphere”. The community is mostly super geeky – but not unfriendly like the Arch guys. Installing Gentoo takes proper geek cred – unlike that required for Arch. In addition although both distros follow a rolling release model. With Gentoo you get to choose your base layer (glib, etc.), gcc version, and desktop environment/applications – to a much greater degree than Arch. Arch does tend to force you roll into stuff that is broken from time to time (e.g. Plasma 5). Opensuse Tumbleweed also has quite a lot of issues (e.g. OBS packages built with older versions of gcc, total supported packages available, etc.) With Gentoo you get much less breakage than other rolling release distros – because applications are all recompiled and linked against your chosen compiler version(s).
If you take your car (/bike/Segway) into the shop then Gentoo isn’t for you!! But if you like to tinker under the hood and be able to fix your own problems…
Anyway just a rambling comment to say Gentoo does have it’s place on the Linux Desktop Landscape! :-)
I expect to be a Slackware enthusiast for ever.
Anyway, as for the beginner-friendly distributions: I still feel that Deepin is one of the best offerings for Linux beginners. Luddites covered it about a year ago, and it has improved. It has an integrated control center for the settings, which is also important for beginners. If you have to chase down the settings, it is a bit of a dealbreaker.
I think you missed a pretty obvious point regarding any laws pertaining to encryption. The point being that governments would put violators in the same class as terrorists and child molesters. In this US it would be a homeland security issue. I’d wager penalties would be stiff enough that 99% or more of the population wouldn’t consider violating them. Nearly certain they’d make it a felony.
Comparing it to speeding which is normally just a civil issue is a fail really.
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