Linux Luddites

not all change is progress


December 26, 2016

Episode #94


Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg

00:01:25 2016 in Review
01:12:29 Thanks, and the Future
01:18:26 Prediction Scorecard

In our last show of 2016 we looked back over the events of the year, plus rummaged through the entrails to see whether the last twelve months had turned out how we’d previously predicted. And whilst one thing we didn’t see coming this time last year was the end of Linux Luddites, we talked a little more about Late Night Linux, the new show that Joe and Jesse are putting together with Ikey Doherty and Félim Whiteley. Have a peaceful Christmas, a great New Year, and thanks for sharing the journey with us.

00:01:25 2016 in Review

In Memoriam
* Ian Murdock, founder of Debian, died (at the end of 2015) aged 42 in circumstances thought suspicious at the time, but later ruled a suicide
* Richard Sapper, designer of the iconic ThinkPad, died
* Seymour Papert, father of the use of technology in education, died

Milestones
* Linux turned 25
* Red Hat became the first $2b open-source company, and announced a no-cost RHEL developer subscription plan

Platforms
* Weak desktop sales helped push Intel into a restructuring and the killing off of some Atom chips
* Whilst tablet sales are expected to have fallen over the year, October marked a turning point as more people accessed the Internet using mobile phones and tablets than desktops for the first time ever
* Chromebooks continued to thrive, for the first time outselling Macs in the US; Google also announced that the Android Play Store would be coming to Chrome OS
* By summer, Steam Machines were declared dead in the water, and don’t look like recovering

More Endings, Some Beginnings
* Mozilla killed Firefox OS, and told devs to fork Boot to Gecko if they wanted to keep it alive
* Cyanogen entered a period of uncertainty, and CyanogenMod is being reborn as Lineage
* The Linux Voice team failed in their crowdfunding of Beep Beep Yarr!, and later folded their publication into Linux Magazine
* Solus 1.0 was released, and at FOSDEM Jonathan Riddell launched KDE Neon
* Frank Karlitschek left ownCloud and launched Nextcloud, and had his motives questioned

Legal
* Canonical’s decision to ship ZFS with Ubuntu 16.04 provoked ire from the FSF and SFC, and a more measured response from the SFLC
* The Kernel Summit mailing list became an unlikely venue for an involved discussion around GPL enforcement
* Christoph Hellwig’s case against VMware was dismissed, and an appeal announced
* Google beat Oracle with a ‘fair use’ defence over Java APIs in Android, an appeal will follow

Packaging & Versioning
* Canonical stole a march on the GNOME community by announcing snaps before Flatpak got a public airing
* On the versioning front, GNOME attempted to bring some predictability to their release cycles

Boards & IoT
* July saw the announcement that Japan’s SoftBank would buy Arm Holdings for over £24bn
* The PINE A64 crushed its Kickstarter goal, and the company is now planning a budget Linux laptop; this to compete with devices that mate a smartphone and dumb laptop shell
* In February, the Raspberry Pi Foundation launched the Pi 3, and later in the year announced that 10 million Pis have been shipped in total; OS refreshes for the Pi included the introduction of SLES
* The BBC finally released the micro:bit to schools, then to the UK general public, and finally worldwide
* IoT devices started to get a lot of bad press due to companies dropping support and the ease with which they could be hacked or even herded into a botnet; fortunately, Google rode to the rescue with its wondrous new Android Things platform

Security
* Linux Mint showed us how not to run a secure website, as did FossHub
* Millions of Android users were hit with another another Stagefright exploit, but did gain some much needed privacy with WhatsApp taking end-to-end encryption mainstream
* Mozilla pitched into the audit funding business, and along with Apple led the way in killing off competition to Let’s Encrypt, which has since seen a massive uptick in use
* Ubuntu got into the kernel hotfixing business, which was clearly needed as the kernel seems as buggy as ever

Embrace, Extend, Extinguish
* Google continued to push folks towards AMP
* The Linux Foundation introduced more free courses and continued to absorb existing projects; they also stopped individual members voting in board elections, and accepted Microsoft as a Platinum member
* Microsoft bought Xamarin, rolled out a beta of SQL Server on Linux, and with Canonical’s help introduced Bash on Ubuntu on Windows

01:12:29 Thanks, and the Future

A final and heartfelt thank you to everyone who helped support the show over the last three years and ninety-four episodes. Thanks also to everybody who has contacted us with kind words since we announced that this would be our final outing. We’ve been genuinely touched.

And whilst this is an ending, it’s also a new beginning. As we announced, Joe and Jesse will be back, along with Ikey Doherty and Félim Whiteley, in a brand new show called Late Night Linux. With the first episode due to drop 10 January 2017, you won’t have long to wait to hear (most of our) voices once again, so subscribe to the MP3 or Ogg feed to keep the Linux chat coming in the New Year.

01:18:26 Prediction Scorecard

To wrap up the episode, the year, and indeed this entire podcast series, we took a look back at our predictions for 2016 to see how well our powers of prognostication had fared.


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