It’s been a long week, so in the interest of time, I paired this week’s report down to four links. Life has its own way of interfering with progress, but it’s better to give something than nothing at all.
That said, some classic systems were purchased.
One will become a gift and the other will become a regular on the website. With that said, let’s get this done.
What a big surprise usual announcement of a new iPhone! Apple is known for coming out with new phones on a regular basis. The announcement includes a mini version of said phone.
There’s a reason some parts of the US have substituted Columbus Day for Indigenous People’s Day. Suffice it to say, I was fortunate to have a teacher in middle school who said that he wasn’t the one who discovered America.
Suffice it to say, Mark Zuckerberg was correct in warning that they can’t act as arbiters of truth. The attempt to stop disinformation was fuzzy and ineffective. People wound up talking about the story anyway.
That’s all for this week, and I will take a break from pushing our Patreon page.
As opposed to writing something every day I’ll be doing a weekly wrap up every Saturday night. This week’s report comes courtesy of my Librebooted ThinkPad T500. The keyboard is a dream to type on and this system actually has 8 GB of DDR2 memory.
This fine machine can still hold up to this day and is currently running Linux Mint 20.
Each section will follow the flow of the magazine itself. The Unix section covering Unix-like operating systems and related technology will be followed by the Overlooked Pop Culture section, which covers a variety of popular things that are often overlooked, misunderstood, or both.
Even though Apple’s OS X is based on BSD, it still has security vulnerabilities. It turns out the T2 Chip is vulnerable to exploits that would let someone take control of a user’s Mac. This would require physical access to a Mac, so it won’t impact most users.
Maybe Louis Rossman can utilize this exploit for data recovery purposes.
In cloud computing news, Nextcloud’s capabilities are increasing as well. Not only can you collaborate with their tools, you can integrate Microsoft Teams, Slack, Github, and more. It’s a good thing that software is updated from time to time, because legacy software has its limits, which can become dangerous depending on the situation.
Play stupid games, win stupid prizes; that’s all for this week.
While you’re here, would you be willing to become one of our Patrons on Patreon? Doing so will get you access to the magazine for much cheaper than purchasing from the website while allowing us to grow. With enough resources, we’ll be able to have more content available throughout the week. Thank you so much in advance for your time.
This week’s Distrowatch Weekly is now available, and it highlights some new OS releases that use a Linux, *BSD, or POSIX-compliant kernel at its core. They’re a great resource for Linux/BSD-related news.
In this week’s issue, they talk about:
LinuxFX, a.k.a. WindowsFX.
The Ars article talking about Lenovo going all in by offering Ubuntu-based systems.
Full Disclosure: Thomas owns a fraction of a share of Microsoft via SoFI Invest. He was also a Walmart Associate until December of 2016.
In the past, Ubuntu’s Unity Desktop was designed to work on mobile devices and desktop computers. When Canonical changed plans and moved back to GNOME 3 as their desktop environment of choice, the mobile variant all but disappeared.
Thanks to UBports, however, Ubuntu Touch is still being developed and works on several mobile devices.
Their newest release includes but is not limited to:
QtWebEngine 5.14: Now allows more flexible text selection and opening of multiple file types (PDF, MP3, images, text).
Icon-based System Settings Menu.
Newer backend components that will allow Ubuntu Touch to be based on Ubuntu 20.04.
Revamps of Messages, Dialer, and Contacts
Better compatibility with IPv6.
Their official release announcement can be read here.
It’s nice to be able to have progress without dealing with political theater, which TikTok has fallen victim to, according to media mogul Barry Diller.
“It has now morphed into a ludicrous game-match between tossing ownership here, control there. … Its original aims are out the window. It has just come a whole political mismash.”
–Barry Diller on CNBC’s Squawk Box
Microsoft was initially going to attempt a deal with ByteDance until China placed more export restrictions on computer-based algorithms. Now it’s Oracle and Walmart. World politics will continue to impact e-commerce in 2020, especially in the age of COVID-19.
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As this is being written, the rain has been pounding the pavement in spurts. One moment, it’s a calm flow of droplets. Then comes the rapid torrent.
This week’s roundup has been like that with its various ups and downs.
With Canonical’s announcement of switching back to GNOME for Ubuntu’s default desktop, the question of how they would go about it remains. OMG Ubuntu sheds some light on this and even links to a survey asking for input.
Developers are considering some tweaks to ease the transition.
On the other hand, the idea of promoting from within has been brought up assuming interest in the field of software development exists.
Time will tell the tale on that one.
Overlooked Pop Culture
There’s a reason many are either captivated and/or aggravated by politics. Though campaigns may portray otherwise, things are rarely black and white. Nothing demonstrates this more than with the firing of James Comey by President Trump.
Though there has been suspicion as to the President’s actual motivations, Trevor Aaronson of The intercept reminds readers that Comey himself did some things during his tenure as the head of the FBI that were questionable at best.
With the so called “government shutdown” delayed until next week, the roller coaster of 2017 is still building momentum, which brings us this week’s Friday Roundup.
FOSS Force announced the improvement of their news wire. In addition to headlines and authors, excerpts are now included. DistroWatch Weekly has a review of Ubuntu 17.04, the final series that will use Unity for the desktop environment before switching back to GNOME in the next LTS release. Jesse Smith noted an issue with Snap packages in conjunction with DEB packages.
I think it is worth mentioning that to install Snaps from Ubuntu Software, we need to have an Ubuntu One account. Sometimes, when trying to install Snaps, I would encounter authentication errors with my Ubuntu One account and I found closing Ubuntu Software and then re-opening the software manager and trying to install the Snap again would work around the issue.
I also feel it worth pointing out that Ubuntu’s three software managers (Ubuntu Software, Snap and APT) each work with a subset of the available packages. Snaps, for example, cannot be managed using the APT utilities. Likewise, we cannot use Snap to manage traditional Deb packages. The Ubuntu Software application tries to bridge this gap and works with desktop applications provided by both Snaps and Deb packages. However, Ubuntu Software does not work with non-desktop software or some games, requiring a trip to the command line to manage those items. This situation may get better in the future and we may get an all-in-one software manager, but for now we need three different utilities to manage software on Ubuntu and that makes for an awkward situation.
The CEO of Thinkpenguin Inc was arrested for filming the police at a police checkpoint and may face up to a year in jail. Christopher Waid had this to say:
I was essentially arrested for filming a police checkpoint in Manchester, New Hampshire (police invoked non-existent law to interfere with recording, made multiple contradicting and confusing requests, and were quick to obstruct and damage video recording equipment). Papers please. I don’t think I’ll be posting this to the ThinkPenguin blog as its irrelevant to free software / the company / etc. However I thought people here might be interested in following the case. The entire trial will be highly publicized, recorded, etc. One of the officers humorously threatens me with a motor vehicle violation. To be clear I was not drinking, not driving, had no car nearby (got there via another driver which had his car parks two or three blocks away), and in no way under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The Debian Project is shutting down their public FTP service, though developers won’t be affected. According to SoftPedia:
This means that the upload queues for both the main (ftp://ftp.upload.debian.org) and security (ftp://security-master.debian.org) archives will be accessible to them. The rest of the world won’t be able to access ftp://ftp.debian.org, nor ftp://security.debian.org starting November 1, 2017.
Overlooked Pop Culture
Comic book fans may have a reason to rejoice with the upcoming Marvel Legacy one shot. It includes multiple characters telling a story of the glory days. The story will relate to future of the Marvel Universe going forward.
Podcast co-host Stephen Kelley has a review of the 2017 release of Ghost in the Shell. He does pose a warning to the Internet Outrage Machine before the review is underway:
Let’s get this first part out of the way:
If there is one thing I’m tired of in the realm of film and television, it’s pre-emptive complainers trying to de-rail everything before it even comes out. with any review of this live action American/Chinese Ghost in The Shell film, everyone has drawn battle lines in regards to the elephant in the room of “Hollywood whitewashing”; in fact, I would say you were almost expected to take a side, and if you took a side that many didn’t like you’d get lectured by the other. It’s annoying that folks are getting in fights and “unfriending” each-other because of opinions over a goofy sci-fi film, but that’s our modern society I guess. Some popular reviews from major sites didn’t even talk about the film, they just reviewed everything that was in some way perceived as racist to stoke the outrage fires, this honestly comes across like they never actually watched it.
I’m not going to dwell on this topic too much because I can see both sides and don’t think arguing over whether or not Scarlett Johanson should or should not be cast as The Major actually addresses the actual problem that Hollywood has with representation. The internet witch hunts and rage were nearly identical to what people attempted to do with both recent Star Wars films, and even last years re-boot of Ghostbusters, and I honestly don’t care anymore. I’d rather discuss a film based on an anime/manga property that I’ve loved for upwards of 20+ years, and how it turned out.
On a lighter note, Causecon has started today and will run through Sunday. All proceeds will go towards the local Women’s Resource Center in Beckley, West Virginia.
Political underground radio talk show host Jack Blood has made his return after a lengthy hiatus. He has a Patreon page for those who have followed him over the years and want to support him. On said page, he indicated the following:
At this time, the show is 100% commercial free! It will be up to you if it stays that way.
That ends this week’s Friday Roundup. We’ll be back next week.
Once again, they’re way off the mark, and this is part of the reason why so much trust has been lost regarding these established outlets.
The issue at hand is that he uses certain shock jock tactics which are really not that different from that of Rush Limbaugh or Howard Stern. He has an audience to build and maintain. The sense of urgency that he has always displayed has been a part of his viral marketing.
There’s a reason he kept encouraging his followers to copy his films and give them away for free.
However extreme and paranoid and downright cartoonish his unending stream of alarm can be, Jones believes every word he says and can prove it with a personal stash of food big enough to last three years. And if they bothered to look without prejudice, these righteous leftists would see that Jones covers issues like the drug war, the growing security state, and Monsanto’s genetic modification of food exactly the way they do, just as many of his themes were echoed by the Occupy movement. –John H Richardson for Esquire Magazine
Jones has since changed tone since Trump was elected as President of the United States, but he did cover a lot of points of view that the anti-war crowd would have agreed with during George W Bush’s time in office. As for further evidence that Jones believes what he says, look no further than Joe Rogan.
This isn’t to say that I entirely agree with Jones or his tactics that are used. What I find irritating is the mindless group think that keeps echoing each other when a misleading headline comes across the eyes of the masses.
If people are to oppose Jones and those similar to him, they need to have all their facts straight and be able to back up what is being argued.
When one digs deeper, they find the story of an individual who doesn’t like competition and who may very well have sold out depending on the point of view. Those are points in which criticism would be valid as opposed to saying he doesn’t believe in what he’s selling.
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.
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.