The *Nixed Report

unix and overlooked pop culture

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?

Also, we have an official Patreon Page. Pledging just $1 USD to us each month will get you exclusive access to our newsletter, where you can have a behind the scenes look at our operation.

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.

In the meantime, feel free to share our Patreon page, and become a patron today.

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.

Unexpected Powerhouse

HP Desktop

This was found at the local Salvation Army store.

Thomas Holbrook II | The *Nixed Report

Last year, a used system was purchased from the local Salvation Army store in Warrensburg, Missouri. For several months it sat inside of our world headquarters.

It was either a system that could be salvaged for parts or something that could be put to good use.

Early Tuesday morning, it was plugged into a TV via VGA and powered on. It turned out that spending approximately $5 USD was going to yield a pleasant surprise. Preliminary specs are as follows:

  • AMD Phenom quad core CPU
  • 7 GB of RAM
  • AMD Readon HD 5340 with 1 GB of RAM
  • 500 GB Hard Drive

The system itself currently has Windows Vista Home Premium. It seems it was set up for World of Warcraft. Whether it can handle a Linux distribution at this point with the precarious situation regarding AMD graphics will remain to be seen.

Though it’s not the most that has ever been had, this desktop has the most memory out of all the desktop systems in a long time.

Further research will be needed to see if it can hold more memory. Depending on what it can handle, it may very well replace the main desktop.

The Electoral College is Necessary

Thomas Holbrook II | The *Nixed Report

This article will be brief and to the point. There has been drama surrounding the electoral college, and it is certainly understandable that many are hoping for a rebellion against President-elect Trump. For full disclosure, I did not vote for him.

Before we drone on about the “will of the people,” a timely reminder is in order; we are not a democracy, nor were we meant to be one in these United States.

All one has to do is read Article 4, Section 4 of the US Constitution. It reads:

The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and on application of the legislature, or of the executive (when the legislature cannot be convened) against domestic violence.

There are elements of democracy, which does include voting. However, the majority can not run roughshod over the entire country. There’s a reason it’s called Tyranny of the Majority.

Our representative form of government has checks and balances not just in the three branches but all throughout the country. The electoral college was designed to prevent Tyranny of the Majority.

It’s an unfortunate shame that faithless electors are not able to rebel against that of the blind masses should the need arise.

The idea is supposed to be about having checks and balances to prevent anyone from having too much power over others. In other words, the electoral college is not the real problem, though giving electors more autonomy would make things a bit better.

Regardless of what happens, we need to focus on the real problem with the election cycle and that’s the fact that two political parties do not want other party to come to the table or be involved in the process.

We need to change the conversation about the fact that there are only two perceived choices in any given election cycle, and push for more than three.