Linux Luddites

not all change is progress

March 17, 2014

Episode #11

Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg

Interview with Rob Landley

A slightly different format this episode, due to our in-depth interview later in the show. For anybody waiting to hear Paddy’s First Impressions of Bridge Linux, tune in next time when normal service will be resumed.


Critical crypto bug leaves Linux, hundreds of apps open to eavesdropping; some specific detail

Valve Asks Users to Disable SELinux to Play Portal 2, Linux Community Reacts (apparently now fixed, after we recorded our audio but before we released the show)

Red Hat Intros Kpatch For Dynamic Kernel Patching

Gartner Says Worldwide Tablet Sales Grew 68 Percent in 2013, With Android Capturing 62 Percent of the Market

Why Firefox — yes, Firefox — will become the mobile OS to beat

A closer look at Facebook’s motives in acquiring its fleet of Titan drones

Are there enough users for Linux Mint Debian Edition to survive?

Debian Developers Are Preparing an LTS Version for “Wheezy” (a little speculative…)

X.Org Foundation Loses Its 501(c)(3) Status

Linux Foundation to Build Massive Open Online Course Program with edX, Increase Access to Linux Training for All

Google Replacing GTK2 With Aura In Chrome 35

Mark Shuttleworth: Mir By Default In Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (and about that beard of his…)


Thanks to Dale Visser for the mention on Linux Outlaws, and to Andrew Gregory for the one on the Linux Voice podcast.

Here on the website, dogbert0360 asked if we’d have a look at antiX. Yes, happy to add to our list of future reviews. Also here, Brian36 expressed some doubts about Android-x86 as a replacement desktop, and outed himself as being of a similar vintage as Paddy ;)

Via email, Glen Skiner picked up on Paddy talking about Markdown editors, and recommended ReText. Glen also pointed us towards the LinuxBBQ website, which has a frightening number of Debian sid based variants to download.

Dave thanked us for previously looking at Semplice, which he is thoroughly enjoying using. He also asked about our non-existent IRC channel; would anybody else be interested in us setting one up?

Jack Dennahower gave us his initial impressions of his new Galaxy Note 10 – thanks, Jack.

Jezra had a few unflattering words to say about Firefox OS, which doesn’t bode well for Joe’s in-depth look at that platform in an upcoming show. Ray Woods experienced some unrelated Firefox woes, but managed to resolve matters.

Chris Leffelman asked if we could recommend a good general guide to Linux server set-up and management. If any listener has a book that they’ve found particularly helpful in this regard, please feel free to plug it in the comments below. Let’s see if we can’t come up with some distro-agnostic as well as distro-specific suggestions. Chris also became the first person to donate to the show via our new PayPal button – many thanks, Chris.

Brendan Perrine queried why we have recently had so much coverage of mobile devices, whilst Jonathan Groll told us about installing Sven-Ola’s Debian Kit on his phone, and running a Tomcat server on it! As we mentioned on the show, we appreciate different folks have different interests, and we’ll continue to attempt to provide reasonably balanced coverage of all the platforms where Linux is found – from the data centre, across the desktop, and down into your pocket.

Interview with Rob Landley

Kicking most of our regular programming off-air this show was an interview that we recently recorded with Rob Landley.

Rob is a former maintainer of BusyBox, and we wanted to speak with him about his Toybox project, which he hopes will move Android towards becoming the self-hosting environment it needs to be in order to displace traditional desktops. Along the way we talked about the origins of open source software and the Free Software Foundation, Rob’s experiences of GPL enforcement, the rise of public domain software, the evolution from mainframes to minis to PCs and beyond, why the fabled ‘Year of the Linux Desktop’ will never happen, why GUI projects benefit from being run by a dictator, and how he sees Android as the 900lb gorilla in a mobile marketplace that looks set to disrupt how we all interact with computers.

Thanks again to Rob for spending so much time with us, and for giving us an interview that proved to be informative, thought provoking, and – no doubt to some – controversial. If you have any comments on what Rob had to say, please add your thoughts below the line.


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