The *Nixed Report

unix and overlooked pop culture

Friday Roundup: April 21, 2017

Thomas Holbrook II | The *Nixed Report

StarCraft Map Editor in Wine

Though Starcraft currently doesn’t run in Wine, the map editor does.

This week has been an interesting one to say the least. Ubuntu continues to get noticed due to Canonical’s change in direction while other interesting developments in the land of make believe are on the horizon. Still, it’s time to get our nerd on.

Here’s this week’s Friday Roundup.

Unix

Canonical’s announcement of moving back to GNOME and no longer using Unity starting with the next LTS release has had some exploring their options. The conclusion of one blog post is that GNOME 3 can’t replace Unity and that there will definitely be a learning curve for those who aren’t used to it.

Luís de Sousa writes:

The take home message of this exercise is that Unity 7 and Gnome 3 are markedly different desktop environments, designed with different – sometimes almost antagonistic – goals. Gnome 3 is a low visual feedback environment, meant for a small number of workspaces and highly reliant on mouse input. In its turn, Unity 7 is far more open to keyboard interaction, embraces workspaces as a cornerstone of desktop interfacing and overall offers far more modes of interaction and features. Unity 7 comes across as a transparent environment, providing immediate visual feedback on what may be happening with each of the programmes it manages; by contrast Gnome 3 opts to hide many visual cues, preferring a clean desktop, focused entirely on the current foreground programme.

(Bolding added for emphasis)

With the switch to GNOME will come the obvious switch to Wayland as well. X11 is network oriented, while Wayland is focused on individual systems, thus cutting down on overhead and improving graphical performance.

Speaking of Ubuntu, System76 is now starting to move production and design in-house. Phase Three will be long term. Carl Richell writes:

We’re starting with desktops. There’s a lot to learn and the form factor is easiest to work with. Both design and CAD work are well along their way. We’re prototyping with acrylic and moving to metal soon. Our first in-house designed and manufactured desktops will ship next year. Laptops are more complex and will follow much later.

Last but not least by any means, Solus has a new release. In addition to the in house Budgie Desktop, MATE and GNOME editions are available. Their release notes are available here.

Overlooked Pop Culture

Apparently, there may be a mini version of the Nintendo Switch on the horizon, if analysts are correct. If true, one can only speculate what will happen to the DS line of portable consoles in the near future. In a surprising turn of events in WWE, Jinder Mahal has earned a number one contender spot for the WWE Champtionship.

Seeing as how the product is now less predictable, it may become more entertaining. Only time will tell.

In a piece that shows a lack of understanding, NBC is among the latest to pick up the story regarding Alex Jones and his performance artist defense. Jones is currently in a custody battle over his kids.

A note of correction: They claim he pushed that the moon landing was faked. That is not entirely true. There will be a future article regarding Jones and his custody battle to further explain this.

StarCraft fans have cause to celebrate this week as the original has been released for free in lieu of the Remastered Edition. Those who want to run into under Wine may be disappointed as it doesn’t work.

The good news is that the map editor still runs.

So if you’re a Windows or OS X user, you’ll be able to run this classic game and compete with your friends.

Cool Links of the Week

Lemonade is not your traditional renter’s insurance company. They operate to keep costs down and premiums low. Mozilla Thunderbird is also an amazing e-mail client, and they could use your help.

That wraps up this week’s interesting, weird, and cool news. We’ll see you next week.

The Frustration of Injury

Thomas Holbrook II | The *Nixed Report

Finn balor with inverted grays calendar colors.

Unfortunately, The Demon King is out again.

The WWE is often seen as the hallmark of Pro Wrestling careers, but it can also be frustrating and disappointing. If a star with potential doesn’t get a big break, then one who is about to gets injured instead.

Such is the case with Finn Balor.

After coming back from an injury, he apparently suffered a concussion at the hands of Jinder Mahal. This could mean that he’s out of action for even longer before being able to come back.

The reason fans get frustrated with situations like this is due to the fact that potential feuds are passed over due to such circumstances.

It further illustrates the reason why there needs to be more intermediary organizations that are organic so that more training grounds exist. The unfortunate reality of the NWA diminishing is that such training grounds went away.

Though the likes of Jim Cornette and others have tried to re-create these environments, they don’t always last either due to finances or behind the scenes politics.

Though NXT is a great start, that brand only holds those who have already been in the indy promotions and aren’t far from the twilight of their careers. Look at AJ Styles and Bobby Roode as they are practically in their 40’s.

What companies like the WWE need are more home grown talent and in order to accomplish this, they will have to franchise other brands in order to do so.

Otherwise, they’ll keep running into the issue of a diminishing main roster plagued with injuries and frustrated fans.

Friday Roundup: April 14, 2017

Thomas Holbrook II | The *Nixed Report

This is the first in a weekly series that rounds up the week for those who were busy with the daily grind. Here’s what you missed over the week.

Unix

Open Source luminary Eric S Raymond along with Susan Sons have been blending concepts from martial arts and hacking. They are identifying what they call different Hacker Archetypes.

… Susan Sons reports having found it very effective for motivating young and newbie martial artists. “It gave them their first glimpse of what they were trying to become,” she reports, “They both knuckled down not just in the obvious physical parts of training, but in the mental aspects, far more than they had before and far more than their age/experience peers.”

So, Susan had the idea that it might be a good idea to develop a parallel gallery of hacker archetypes to help motivate newbies. We brainstormed this on IRC for a while. One thing that had been blocking Susan is that, by her own report, she sucks at naming things. I, on the other hand, am pretty good at that; I was able to come up with names that helped the archetypes develop more definition.

The different archetypes are listed and kept up to date on ESR’s blog.

System76 has recently updated their Galago Pro line of notebook computers. It’s extremely portable and can have as much as 32 GB of RAM. They are available for pre-order and they have an offer for $50 off.

Speaking of Ubuntu, Ubuntu Mate Edition 17.04 has recently been released. Martin Wimpress had the following to say:

We’re totally over the bloody moon to announce Ubuntu MATE 17.04. This is our favourite release of Ubuntu MATE so far and, we believe, a real return to form. Ubuntu MATE 16.10 was a transitional release, in every sense, and 17.04 concludes the upheaval of migrating to GTK3+. This has been a release focused on refining the distro and sweating the details. As always, we’re never finished and eager to start work on 17.10 to bring you further improvements and refinement. But for now, we hope you enjoy Ubuntu MATE 17.04 as much as we’ve enjoyed making it for you.

Their release announcement has more details on updated features.

Overlooked Pop Culture

Tim Berners-Lee has been going back to the drawing board regarding the web. He argues that spying has taken place, while mean ideas have proliferated. Ironically, the only way to address the latter is to enable the former.

In spite of President Trump’s recent actions regarding the Middle East, Paul Joseph Watson of PrisonPlanet is still defending him.

Trump’s response to the alleged chemical weapons attack allowed him to look decisive and was a show of strength towards China and North Korea. It also served to temporarily silence the repeated accusations that he is in collusion with Russia.

Trump’s aim with the air strike was to destroy Syria’s remaining chemical weapons to make Assad follow through on the deal. If he didn’t act, Trump would have been eviscerated by his critics as being equally as weak as Obama.

Watson ends the article by claiming that if Trump were to manipulated by neo-conservatives that he would have a legacy equivalent to George W Bush’s.

To end the week with weird stuff, Tony Ortega has the latest on celebrities and their involvement with the Church of Scientology.

Have an excellent weekend and we’ll be back next Friday.

Our Return

Thomas Holbrook II | The *Nixed Report

I haven’t been keeping up my end of the bargain. I promised more content, and I haven’t delivered. This changes starting now.

On Tuesday, the podcast feed will be updated so you’ll be able to enjoy the next episode.

Each Friday, there will be a weekly report to bring you news on Unix and Overlooked Pop Culture. After all, that’s the purpose of the site. As time allows, more content will be posted.

Starting in the middle of this month, there will be more free time to do so.

Entertain yourself, educate yourself, and empower yourself.

This is The *Nixed Report, where we cover Unix and Overlooked Pop Culture.

When Legacies Become Legends

Thomas Holbrook II | The *Nixed Report

I remember watching the X-Men growing up. Even in the 1990’s, things were changing. After all, one could not expect the official comic book storyline to remain the same forever.

Logan in his legacy years.

Wolverine has been a staple character of the X-Men for quite some time.

Times were changing.

Peter Parker went from being married to Mary Jane and about to start family to starting all over after Mephisto reset the universe. As times change, so must the story line it seems.

Even with his healing factor, it was going to be evident that Wolverine would perish. Even the cartoon indicated that he would die at the end of one episode in which Bishop traveled to the past.

I apologize for the spoiler.

The story is set in the future where it’s illegal for mutants to exist. A debilitating brain disease turns the brain of Charles Xavier into a deadly weapon while having seizures.

Logan protects Xavier while his own power is turned against him due to his adamantium skeleton poisoning him. He side hustles while attempting to acquire medicine for Xavier’s condition.

A new mutant comes along who is chased by dark forces and Logan is dragged along for the ride.

Though the movie had plenty of action, the surprising part is how much of a tear jerker it was. Despite Wolverine being the hardened tough guy, he still cared enough about the old Professor to protect him from outside forces.

Xavier would eventually die at the hands of the ones chasing the young mutant and Logan would eventually lose his life due to his healing factor no longer existing. The young mutant and her friends would eventually escape to the Canadian border to start a new beginning.

The sadness reminds me that nothing lasts forever, no matter how much we want them to.

Remixes and remakes will always exist, but the ending reminds me that there must come a time when all good things must come to an end so that new things can arrive from beyond the horizon.

Blind Patriotism Is Unacceptable

Thomas Holbrook II | The *Nixed Report

“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”  –Theodore Roosevelt

Today is President’s Day, a holiday in which

Donald Trump tweeting that the "fake news" media is the enemy of the American People.

Though we don’t always talk about politics, there are times when things like this make it necessary to do so.

we celebrate and appreciate US Presidents from history’s past. Originally George Washington’s Birthday, it was turned into a general holiday to celebrate all Presidents. One of the things that we appreciate the most as American citizens is criticism in addition to praise.

After all, no one official is supposed to have all the power and for good reason.

President Trump has referred to media that he disagrees with as the enemy of the American People. This goes beyond the simple accusations of bias, which all venues have regardless of how they try to downplay it or eliminate.

In reality, objectivity doesn’t actually exist; the only way for it to do so is if somebody were to live in a vacuum.

With that said, today is as good as any to call the President out for his foolhardiness. Not all aspects of media is inherently evil. Yes, major venues have made huge mistakes, and these companies and entities have themselves to blame for losing a tremendous amount of trust.

Whether it was not truly giving the full story regarding the Gulf War until well after the fact, pushing No Child Left Behind while taking money from the Department of Education, or falsely claiming that Kevin Mitnick was on the FBI’s Most Wanted list, there is plenty of blame to go around.

That is why competition actually exists in the realm of free thought and free expression.

The problem with Trump referring to certain media venues as an enemy of the American People is that it bolsters this “us vs them” mentality to the point where we become even more divided than ever.

When a major player of Fox News is balking at such a statement, it’s time to pay attention.

If it weren’t for any media that operates freely in this country, we wouldn’t know certain unpleasant truths. One of those truths is the fact that Trump is using an outdated Android Phone to tweet, thus leaving him vulnerable to those who want to obtain state secrets.

The additional problem is also two fold. For starters, it can potentially create an adversarial divide between the people and media in general. The other issue is that it could potentially cause independent venues to be blamed for this, whether they had a hand in it or not.

In other words, what Trump is doing is attacking the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution. This is not a good sign, no matter who is inside the Oval Office.

Mr President, that was not an acceptable statement.

Lesnar Humiliated Yet Again

Lesnar looking defeated and humiliated.

Goldberg quickly eliminated Lesnar after another spear.

Thomas Holbrook II | The *Nixed Report

If at first you don’t succeed, try again. That’s how the old saying is supposed to work, but unfortunately, Brock Lesnar rushed Goldberg like a fool.

He was quickly eliminated after being speared.

When Paul Heyman told Michael Cole that it was one of those things that could either make a person even better than they were or even destroy them, it appears that Goldberg is the one person who can cause the Beast Incarnate to lose his cool and ultimately lose a match. Could Goldberg be the man who Lesnar can’t overcome?

That seems to be the question as far as this year’s Wrestlemania is concerned.

If the man with the spear and Jackhammer can manage to beat Lesnar with one more encounter, then that would make him legendary. It would also put him in the Hall of Fame. The reason why Goldberg didn’t win the Royal Rumble is because he honestly doesn’t need another title reign.

After all, he’s the man who put a stop to the Beast Incarnate in less than two minutes.

If the man who humiliated Lesnar can be the one who got away, that could be one story that’s reminisced over for decades to come.

At The *Nixed Report, we try to help out causes that we believe in. The Reglue Project is doing their annual fund raiser to get computers into the hands of kids whose parents can’t otherwise afford one. The one thing that is hard to fund is fuel so that the machines can be delivered. This fund raiser has some good perks and hopefully, with enough people chipping in, they’ll meet their goal for the year. Won’t you take the time and check them out, even chip in if you can?

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The Next Level

Become one of our patrons.

Visit our Patreon page and become a patron today.

One of the things that has become apparent in the last several months is that we live in interesting times. The things that we thought weren’t possible have become the inevitable.

It feels like we’re living in a real life Twilight Zone.

As we continue the new year, new challenges arise. In order to better cover the topics that fascinate us and hold our passion, we need to be able to step it up. That requires money.

The first goal is to make sure the web hosting can handle the files and traffic we throw at it. The reason why we host each episode ourselves is because we also want our site to get more traffic.

That won’t happen if the podcast is hosted off the site.

If we reach $100 a month, hosting will be upgraded. With better hosting, we’ll be able to have more traffic. From there, further goals will include upgrading our recording equipment and even investing in a dedicated studio.

The studio is a long term goal and won’t be reached for a while.

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Podcast Pushed Back Until Tuesday

Thomas Holbrook II | The *Nixed Report

There will be a slight delay of the latest episode of the podcast. The original plan was to have it published on Friday. Due to a second part time job and the current work schedule, I will be pushing it back to Tuesday.

I will be having the podcast published on Tuesday from here on out.

At some point, Friday will have a video show that summarizes the week. Mondays will also have regular posts that are more Unix and tech related. For tgose who are in the midwest, please have a safe and wonderful weekend.

Icy weather is never fun.