not all change is progress
August 16, 2014
Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg
MEPIS – Jonathan Nadeau interview – HuginIntro
We recorded this show the day after a notable anniversary for the podcast world.
Privacy, security etc.
Ubuntu shopping lens deemed legal by UK data privacy office
Yahoo to roll out end-to-end encryption option for all Yahoo Mail users in 2015
What’s the matter with PGP?
This thumbdrive hacks computers. “BadUSB” exploit makes devices turn “evil” (video of presentation)
Lack of privacy – a good thing (…?)
Google Gives Child Pornography Email Evidence to Police
Microsoft tip leads to child porn arrest in Pennsylvania
Odds ‘n’ Sods
Defragmenting Qt and Uniting Our Ecosystem
Linux Mint Debian Edition move to Debian Stable base confirmed
We looked at the RC back on show #10, now Android-x86 4.4 has been released
Italian City Turin Opts For Ubuntu And Open Office To Save Millions
In Soviet Russia Linux Runs You
Free Software on the final frontier: GNU Radio controls the ISEE-3 Spacecraft (and a nice colour piece on the story)
0:47:05 Seen Elsewhere
IBM SyNAPSE Chip Could Open Era of Vast Neural Networks
it’s all about)
Intel’s Broadwell processor revealed – The 14-nm Core M aims to upend the tablet market
Mile High Milestone: Tegra K1 “Denver” Will Be First 64-bit ARM Processor for Android
0:51:13 First Impressions
Paddy took a look at MEPIS, whilst Joe was handed AUSTRUMI for next time.
A huge thank you to vadis, Jeremy Wootten, DeepGeek and an anonymous donor for the Flattrs, and to our existing Monthly Supporters. With no other PayPal donations this show, you guys helping to keep the lights on really was appreciated.
We had a whole raft of feedback following Joe’s UNetbootin grumbles last show. Thanks to Julian Overall, Steven Rosenberg and Bill_MI for your comments. Easy suggested Joe look at Multiboot, whilst Glen Skiner and Martin Wimpress are both fans of Easy2Boot. Martin also pointed us in the direction of some good instructions on how to setup Easy2Boot solely using Linux.
Glen also told us that he’s joined Joe in experiencing Xfce screen blanking woes. DeepGeek wondered if we’re planning to look at more window managers in the future… yep, next show we’ll be talking about Blackbox, Fluxbox, Hackedbox and Openbox.
And a shout out to Nigel Poulton, Dave Brandt, Rob Mackenzie, Matthew Heinke, Blue Eagle, Will and Ricky Fitts for your Tweets, mails and website comments.
Whilst talking about Joel’s use of a Pebble smartwatch on his motorcycle, Paddy mentioned the very fancy looking Skully AR-1 Android-based helmet.
We rounded off the feedback with comments from 0xf10e, Charles Stell and Jens Stein Jørgensen, all of whom had something to say about the question of trust, which we talked about last show. And taking a cue from Jens Stein, we’ve pencilled in a look at how practical a Google-free Android experience really can be for a future show.
1:19:55 Jonathan Nadeau Interview
We spoke with Jonathan Nadeau about the recent release of Sonar GNU/Linux 2014.1, and about accessibility in the wider Linux world. During the conversation, mention was made of the Accessible Computing Foundation; Vinux, an alternative accessability-focused distro; and the Universal Tux community. Many thanks to Jonathan for finding the time to talk with us, and if you have an unused computer sat at home, why not put it to good use via Jonathan’s Computers For Sonar initiative?
2:04:03 Off the Beaten Path
Jesse told us about Hugin, a free software panorama stitcher capable of producing some gorgeous results, and one of his favourite photo manipulation tools.
On the subject of mp3/video I regularly download mp4 from the net(download helper) and convert to mp3 (sound converter) so I can listen to the content onmy mp3 player at work.
Hi, long time listener, first time writting.
Re: Your comments on Linux Mint.
I don’t think going more stable and conservitive will hurt Mint at all. The Linux world is rife with bleeding eadge distros for those who care about that sort of thing but that is not what I want.
I was attracted to Mint because Clem and team are all about refinement amd stability. Personally I am very looking forward to Mint sliding into the slow lane a bit and working on what has always been a short coming in Linux, very few ideas are refined to the point of excellence because the new shiny comes along and everyone gets distracted.
Particularly in Cinnamon I see the potential for greatness if they stay on course.
Also, Mint moving forward looks to be very flexible. Back ports, kernel updates, all optional for those that want or need them while everyone else can just ignore them if they want.
I guess I am more a Luddite than you in this case. I think going slowly with care a precision is a good path.
First of all I will do my part and spread the word
regarding this podcast. And on this point, I agree, as
you people across the pond say Hoover to mean Vacuum
Cleaner – the word podcast has taken the same type of
We all agree that catching a child abuser is a good thing. No doubt Google, Microsoft and the governments knew that trying this technology to catch child abuser would bring forth few complainers. The next step: Scan email and images to find terrorist – again who would complain. Then next step scan for copyright material. Then on and on – step by step. And last of all I agree with the views regarding KDE.
Great podcast, really enjoyed the interview, I’ve heard Jonathan speak a while ago but interested in his recent projects. Initially I was wondering **why another distro**, but think he made good points.
Would be interested to know if the eye-tracking software needs some special setup (maybe high-res webcam?)… also interested to follow progress of text-to-speech on Linux, writing your own in C/C++ seems quite ambitious, I always assumed this would be totally complicated to get good automated speech.
Joe/Paddy/Jesse – have you considered using GitTip to
accept donations? I do some weekly donations and would be
happy to send some money your way.
If anyone’s curious, its a fascinating project (to run a totally open/transparent company) http://thechangelog.com/123
Hey, also wanted to say I loved the interview with Johathan Nadeau. He has a great attitude and made great points.
Hi Campbell – I’ll follow up with Jonathan about the engine rewrite, and hopefully will be able to give more details on the next show. And on the Gittip front: https://www.gittip.com/linuxluddites/ :)
Done! but am still only donator, tsk tsk.
I noticed they just renamed themselves to `https://gratipay.com`, (probably want to appeal to people who aren’t git users) – just reminder if you mention it on the show not to use their old name.
I hate that there are regulations not allowing anyone to use text over phone if you don’t have hearing disability. I think even if you can hear someone might able to communicate better and be productive if they could get it in text. I want hearing carry over to be on both.
I wonder how hard it will really be for the Mint team to backport newer versions of applications such as Firefox and LibreOffice to both the Ubuntu LTS-based Mint and Debian Stable-based LMDE.
Instead of upgrading all of the dependencies, I imagine they can build the packages and, for the most part, point to the versions of the dependencies and libraries that are already on the system. I really wonder how many times they’ll have, say, a new web browser that uses a library just too old to work in the LTS or Stable repository.
I’m sure there will be edge cases where they’ll have library conflicts (and maybe a newer library won’t break the rest of the distro, but who knows?).
If this gets too arduous, they could go the container route and put applications in something like Docker where those applications can have their own libraries if need be.
As you said either on this show or MintCast, we’ll just have to see what the Mint team comes up with.
Remember, if you want the latest packages and don’t want to go the Arch/Manjaro route, there’s always Fedora.
Another great podcast, so thanks guys. I thought 2 hosts was just fine, but 3’s not proven to be a crowd at all. :D Great work, Jessie.
I find the range and depth of topics covered by the podcast just fine. I’m amazed that I can listen to several FLOSS- and Linux-related podcasts, yet hear about many different topics from all of them. Of course the same topics do occur sometimes, but each podcast usually has a slightly different view, which makes for interesting listening.
Thanks for the interview with Jonathan. For reasons that are too boring to mention, it was indirectly through Jonathan’s work that I was employed at Red Hat, so I will always be a fan. Just one thing I found odd regarding Sonar was the text-to-speech (?) engine, which was written in Java but being rewritten in C/C++. I know Java is not known to be a “sexy” programming language but heck, it’s pretty pervasive. I find it odd to begin rewriting something like that because there is a *chance* performance might be inadequate in the future. Perhaps I misunderstood what Jonathan said on that point.
Some podcasts ago, Paddy described KDE as “twerking”, which I thought was the funniest thing I had heard for a long time. It also left me with a horrible mental picture. :(
I recently installed Xubuntu, to see what all the fuss was about, and I think it’s great. Unlike Joe I can’t help tweaking UI settings until I find a combination that suits me. The attention to detail in Xubuntu’s UI is fantastic and I hope I can recreate it in my usual distribution, Fedora.
Great work as always, guys, so keep up the good work. Although I sometimes find the views a litle dour, that’s the Luddite coming through.
@Russell, regarding Java vs C/C++ for text-to-speech
engine, the same thoughts crossed my mind.
I suspect Jonathan glossed over the details here, while I’m not especially a fan of Java, it seems if anything it will only improve in performance (and computers aren’t getting slower).
I’d be curious to know if how big the project is, I’ve seen it happen before when people not directly involved in a project comes up to dramatic conclusions, when the code is question is some throw away script or… <1000 lines you could write in a weekend or 2. Obviously text to speech is more complex, but at least they have a fallback if the C++ engine proves to be too ambitious.
I think I just got the world-record-hardest Captcha images! Wow… hopefully 3rd times’-a-charm here!
Huge fan, long-time listener, some pent-up comments here re kde, pgp, great interview with Johathan Nadeau, and USB I’ll save my comments about Musix and Ubuntu Studio for another time–what we really need is people to lobby Avid/Pro Tools to release their Linux version to the public!
What do you think of my slogan about KDE?
Along those lines, I wonder what Johathan would say about Jovie (default text-to-speech, etc. on KDE)? My initial reaction to it was that it worked great and had nice choices for customizing the voices.
I don’t understand why people say PGP/GPG is hard–there are GUIs for every system, and if you want to encrypt a message to someone, you chose their key: 1 step. Maybe the bar is getting set a bit too low for what is portrayed as user intelligence?
You made comments about the research re usb by <Karsten Nohl this week. This led you, very generally, to say that USB was insecure. It might be interesting to compare and contrast this with the Congress presentation by Peter Stuge (You can download it on this page, search “Hardening_hardware”. If I understand correctly, he works on among other things coreboot and usb-utils, and as he tears apart the computer in his presentation, he prefers to leave the things connected to the systemboard by usb, as he presents this to be something like the best of all current evils in terms of hardening your system.
link correction for the Peter Stuge video, mentioned
I hereby publicly challenge Joe to use Gnome shell (distro of your choice, I recommend Debian Jessie) for one month. :-)
You’re a smart guy, surely you can make it work. What I suspect you’ll find is that everything you fear and loathe about Gnome shell (and other desktop paradigm-breaking UIs) is really the change, and not anything intrinsicly inferior. *Perhaps* you’ll even find that Gnome shell suits your workflow better. They didn’t break the world just because they wanted to. Gnome (and KDE, and Windows, and Apple, etc., etc.) really believe that the new paradigms are better for user expreience.
So, care to accept the challange and give Gnome shell a whirl for a month?
Not a chance. I’d rather use OS X for a month.
It’s a real shame that free and open source is often referred to in the popular media in connection with a negative story. A good example is TOR and Diaspora – the open-source social network – being used by IS fighters. Another is this year’s SSH scandle. In fact, it’s very difficult to think of any positive reporting on Linux et al in the wider press. Can anyone give an example?
Another gripe is that security firms hack Android devices looking for flaws and get reported by the BBC, etc., but the immensely annoying iPad/iPhone is generally left well alone. Oh, well. It feels better for getting that off my chest. BTW, this is written from a PC running an OS called Luddite. :-)
Not sure its really all that bad, the media is always looking for some excuse to post (mostly) overblown stories on security/exploits… etc.
Bottom Line – stable software chugging along isn’t newsworthy.
The thing that bothers me is I suspect its hard to make informed decisions based on this kind of news.
Recall on lug-radio Ade was trying to talk (his boss
IIRC? or some manager) into switching from IE to
Firefox, because of security flaws in IE… The guy
came back saying he found theres security flaws in
Firefox too, so there was no good reason to
AFAICS regular users ignore these issues unless it impacts them personally.
You talked briefly about chaptermarks/timestamps in the
podcast. Audacity can definitely do it, albeit with
the help of other tools, such as Auphonic.
My work-flow looks like this: create point labels in Audacity at beginning of a podcast segment/chapter/topic.
Export label track as .txt
Import .txt into Auphonic production
Auphonic writes them into the media files
Hope this helps :-)
PS: About the timestamps in your show notes. AntennaPod can use them to jump to those audio positions, but they would need to be in that part of the shownotes that is included in the RSS feed ;-) How about switching to a full feed?
Re. Joe’s UNetbootin grumbles – Ubuntu updated Startup Disk Creator today. I haven’t tried it yet but it might be worth re-visiting. It might solve some people’s problems.
There was a post from the student on the GSoC-project for the systemd replacement
utilities on the OpenBSD Journal clearing some things
up and providing more details:
“[…] The purpose of this GSoC was (is) not to port systemd to *BSD in way, shape or form. Nor is it to replace the existing init(8), boot(8) or rc(8) programs. Systemd and *BSD differ fundamentally in terms of philosophy and development practices and special care was taken to only wrap the functionality of the aforementioned daemons and not create any new systemd-like functionality. […]”
This sure sounds like something some folks would like to have on their Linux-box to keep it free from systemd ;)
Thanks for pointing out Ian Kremlin’s posting. His clarification about exactly what components of systemd were being implemented, and especially the fact that the logind work is incomplete, are important facts that have been omitted in postings I’ve seen elsewhere to the effect that ‘systemd was implemented in OpenBSD this summer by a GSoC project’.
Like Jesse in the show, I too remembered the ‘Rubber Ducky’ USB device being around for awhile and was curious why the BadUSB reports seemed to imply that this threat vector was entirely new. The Rubber Ducky is a h/w modified USB stick, so I speculated that perhaps the revelation was that standard consumer USB sticks had recently switched from ROM to reprogramable ePROMs for their firmware, thereby allowing an unmodified USB stick to be reprogrammed to inject malware. I was unable to find any confirmation of a recent change in manufacturing, although that is not the kind of information that is often revealed by manufacturers. I did however determine that the Rubber Ducky has been around at least since 2010.
Not trying to down-play the seriousness of the BadUSB threat nonetheless.
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