Linux Luddites

not all change is progress

January 18, 2015

Episode #33

Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg

Linux. It’s now ubiquitous, and powering the devices we use everyday – and some we’d never contemplate owning. With the dying embers of CES 2015 being stamped out in the wider tech press, we also focus on the use of Linux away from our daily desktops and servers.

After a gadget-friendly news segment, we’ve a truly mixed bag of your feedback. And, having spoken about it for months, it was great to finally to get our hands on an official Firefox OS phone – but just how long did our initial enthusiasm last?


In the last fortnight, Joe started a personal podcast project, Jesse upgraded from Mint 17.0 to 17.1 and, shockingly, found little had changed, and Paddy has been looking into OpenSMTPD, which may well offer an escape route from the ridiculously over-featured likes of Exim and Postfix for the Linux sysadmin.

0:06:36   News

Odds ‘n’ Sods
OpenMandriva Indiegogo
Introducing the MintBox Mini
Moving steam’s .local folder deletes all user files on Linux

Gogo Inflight Internet is intentionally issuing fake SSL certificates
Netflix Cracks Down on VPN and Proxy “Pirates”
‘Silk Road Reloaded’ Just Launched on a Network More Secret than Tor
Did David Cameron Just Say He Wants To Undermine All Encryption In The UK?
Secret US cybersecurity report: encryption vital to protect private data
Google No Longer Provides Patches for WebView Jelly Bean and Prior

Google’s plan to become your phone company
Cyanogenmod nightlies for 31 phones drop
Mobile Industry Generated $3.3 Trillion Last Year, Created 11 Million Jobs
Samsung debuts its first Tizen phone – the Z1- in India

CES 2015
Snail Games introduces 3D gaming smartphone
The Linux penguin in your TV
Three ex-Google engineers have created a Microsoft Surface clone
Linux-based gadget charges mobiles wirelessly at up to 15 feet
Intel introduces Compute Stick with Atom quad-core CPU

And, with so many products of dubious value featuring at CES this year, we had a brief chat about the apparent backlash against tech ‘progress’ that’s starting to become more vocal. During the conversation, mention was made of the Microsoft/Nokia 215 Internet-ready phone.

1:10:56   Feedback

A huge thank you to klaatu la terible for the PayPal donation, and to Daniel Lowe and Stilvoid for becoming our latest Monthly Supporters. On Flattr, spacecowboy, M3kbK1, johanv and an anonymous donor kept the wheels turning. A huge thank you from Joe, Paddy and Jesse to all of you!

Thanks for your emails and comments on our website; and also to everyone on Twitter and Google Plus for your feedback.

Herg returned to the topic of Wikipedia’s annual fundraising drive, and made the astute observation that rather than cash, the contributions best able to secure the quality of content there would be our time and effort in keeping the site up to date and accurate.

Nigel Verity suggested that the commercial use of quadcopters for delivery purposes would likely lead to the rise of a new urban sport of “drone-jacking”; and klaatu seemed to totally buy-in to our thoughts last time on alternative means of derivative distro distribution.

Florian and Ian Barton chipped in with comments on network configuration in the shell, and Joe was positively glowing following Fin’s complimentary words about the music used in the show.

Nathan D Smith and Joel offered some real-world perspective on live kernel patching; and Joel had some thoughts about Chromebooks, a topic also referred to by Daniel, who kindly linked to a website with alternative firmware for many common models.

Brindleoak wondered if perhaps Arch is the “one distro to rule them all”, and thanks also to Will for fleshing out some of Jesse’s thoughts on that subject.

We wrapped up with another comment from Will, who is keeping his fingers crossed that Mozilla’s Firefox OS might become a practical and free mobile platform. But Will had also some doubts on that score; to find out if they were justified, listen to our next segment ;)

1:27:56   Firefox OS Phone Review

At the time of recording, the ZTE Open C was the only mobile phone shipping in the UK with Firefox OS as the factory installed image.

Whilst a decidedly shonky bit of kit, Mozilla clearly believes this £40/$60 phone is a suitable platform to showcase its operating system – so how does it stack up? And does FFOS compare favourably against Android on the same hardware? Listen on to find out.

Paddy is keeping hold of the ZTE, so as and when Mozilla push out any future major release of FFOS he’ll be able to report back on the progress they’ve made.


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