Linux Luddites

not all change is progress

May 12, 2014

Episode #15

Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg

Interview with Campbell Barton

A slightly different show this time, as we bring you another fascinating long-format interview. Tune in next time to finally hear how Joe got on with KolibriOS, and for all our usual programming.


Richard Stallman’s Slashdot Q&A
Gartner’s predictions for Android sales 2014
Tech-deficit at the US Supreme Court
Relevant episode of Dan Carlin’s excellent Common Sense podcast


Ubuntu for Android runs out of steam in absence of OEM interest; Canonical attempt to contain PR backlash
Canonical Fixes Critical Bugs Allowing Users to Bypass the Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Lock Screen
Top tip, power users – upgrading Ubuntu may knacker your Linux PC

Heartbleed updates:
Cash, the Core Infrastructure Initiative, and open source projects
How I used Heartbleed to steal a site’s private crypto key
Heartbleed used to uncover data from cyber-criminals
How to Prevent the next Heartbleed
When Porting LibreSSL, Don’t Assume Your OS Is As Sane As OpenBSD

Did Mozilla jump the shark with Firefox 29? For Joe, 24.5.0 ESR to the rescue
Chrome URL shenanigans

This Google Motherboard Means Trouble for Intel

Linux desktop environment LXQt achieves first release (LXQt are interestingly planning to introduce Intents, à la Android, using D-Bus; presentation at FOSDEM this year)

KernelCare: New no-reboot Linux patching system

U.S. military UAVs migrate to Linux

Seen Elsewhere

An interview with George Neville-Neil about the network time protocol and the precision time protocol

Techmoan’s Chromecast Review


Thanks to everyone who mentioned us on Twitter, and to the Ubuntu UK Podcast guys for the shout-out.

A huge thank you to Eric Crampton and Brendan MacWade for the PayPal donations and comments. And thanks to johanv, Mikael Inscius, and an anonymous donor for the Flattrs. It really is appreciated, and lets us know that we’re doing something right :)

Paddy mentioned that O’Reilly has just released the OpenStack Operations Guide, which is a print version of the continuously updated online guide.

SonOfNed offered some thoughts on why Chrome OS is such a compelling proposition for so many users, albeit one with freedom-denying ramifications. He’s right, of course, on both counts. So why can’t full Linux distributions learn the lessons from Chrome OS? Are they really just too busy constantly reinventing the desktop UI, which is the least important part of the puzzle…?

Jason told us that he’d unfortunately bricked an Acer C710 Chromebook whilst attempting to install Crouton; see the show notes last time for more details.

Michael Tatum suggested we take a look at Voyager Live, and Morten Juhl-Johansen Zölde-Fejér pointed us towards another talk by PHK. Michael Albertson put Paddy straight on a particular turn of phrase, whilst Mark Smith told us that we’d prompted his escape from the clutches of KDE, and his subsequent move over to the tranquil waters of Xubuntu.

Last show, Joe asked if any listeners could suggest a decent Linux-ready wireless keyboard and trackpad combo. Ian Barton and Stilvoid both suggested the Logitech K400. Matthew Platte and Richard Kline own the slightly newer K400r, but the consensus of opinion there is that the keys may be a tad too small. Richard now owns an Adesso WKB-3000U, but that’s a trackball model, and the Keysonic ACK-540RF as suggested by Charlie Ogier may also be a little cramped. The hunt goes on.

Danny Knestaut, SonOfNed and Rob Mackenzie responded to Paddy’s question as to whether the balance in our News section is about right or not.

As you’d expect, a fair bit of feedback following our look at Ubuntu 14.04 Unity last time. Unlike Joe, Stephen Martinez is a fan of multiple workspaces and has somehow even configured them on his Windows box. Richard Marsh agreed with us that the Ubuntu Software Centre is a load of old bobbins, and was perplexed by having to ‘buy’ the Steam client for free from Ubuntu One.

Nigel Verity said that whilst we probably all owe Canonical for helping to popularise Linux, he doubts that nowadays we need Ubuntu as much as we think we do, as several other good ‘Debian with drivers’ distros now exist. Ghislain Vaillant agrees with us that the Dash doesn’t exactly speed your workflow, that the distro performs really poorly on older hardware, and that the Software Centre is the weakest point of the entire distro. But he does like the idea of web apps.

Nicola pointed out that the volume control noise Joe talked about is very similar to that found in GNOME Shell, so maybe Canonical took their inspiration from there, rather than Apple. James helpfully explained how to get the keyboard hints dialog back once it vanishes, and Thorsen gently chided us for criticising the file manager double-click behaviour. Thorsen also suggested we ought to cut Canonical a little slack, as did Steven Rosenberg, albeit for a different reason.

Cathryne wrote in to point us towards an AntennaPod support thread where anyone who’d like Opus support in that podcatcher can make their views known. She also asked whether crowd-funding and micro-payments are an effective means to fund raise and motivate developers to implement specific features. I know that we have some developers listening, so do get in touch and tell us your experiences.

Larry Bain offered some thoughts on the ‘Unix philosophy’. As we said on the show, if anyone else wants to chime in on this topic, or any other that is also related to The UNIX-Haters Handbook, please do so in the next two to three weeks so that we can include your thoughts in our upcoming discussion on the UHH, 20 years on.

Interview with Campbell Barton

We spoke to Campbell Barton about Blender, one of the pre-eminent successes of the FOSS world. The wide-ranging conversation took in not only what the Blender Foundation has been up to (including Gooseberry, their latest Open Movie project), but also thoughts about UI design and coding tools and practices – and frustrations – within the context of a large software project.

During our conversation, Campbell mentioned the BlenderNation news website and Blender’s Stack Exchange site. He also talked about Cycles, their new render engine; for an idea of what Cycles can do, check out this demo reel. Other examples of how Blender has been used include forensic facial reconstruction, a Coca-Cola advert, making fashion garments, the creation of a craniofacial prosthesis, and several animated films, including this French short.

Thanks again to Campbell for talking to us at such an unholy hour, and we look forward to bringing you more occasional in-depth interviews with really interesting people from around the FOSS world.


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