Episode 033 – Memorial Day / Tony was late

Posted by Tony on May 27, 2012 in Show-mp3, Show-ogg |



MP3 format (for Freedom Haters!)
OGG format (for Freedom Lovers!)
Total Running Time: 1:29:10


Mat Enders, Tony Bemus, and Mary Tomich
Intro Sound bite by Mike Tanner


Kernel News: Mat
Distro Talk: Tony
Mary Distro Review
Tech News:
Is it Alive? – Mary
Listener Feedback
Mat’s Soapbox
Outtro Music

Kernel News: Mat

Time: 9:16
As of 07:00 EDT on 05/27/2012

Release Candidate:
There is no rc this week.

On Sun, 20 May 2012 17:00:21 PDT Linus Torvalds released kernel 3.4
3.4 has been released as stable lets see what Linus had to say about it:

“Nothing really exciting happened since -rc7, although the workaround for a linker bug on x86 is larger than I’d have liked at this stage, and sticks out like a sore thumb in the diffstat. That said, it’s not like even that patch was really all that scary.”

Stable Updates:
On Mon, 21 May 2012 15:02:23 Ben Hutchings released kernel 3.2.18
There where 58 files changed, 408 files inserted, 240 files deleted

On Mon, 21 May 2012 13:35:42 PDT Greg Kroah-Hartman released kernel 3.0.32
There where 61 files changed, 450 files inserted, 233 files deleted

On Mon, 21 May 2012 13:36:44 PDT Greg Kroah-Hartman released kernel 3.3.7
There where 50 files changed, 423 files inserted, 289 files deleted

Kernel Developer Quote:
This weeks quote comes from Greg Kroah-Hartman who is galavanting around Southeast Asia this week:

“46 hours between hotels, 30 hours between two different talks on two different continents, 14 hours on a plane, 6 hours on a train, and only 26 hours spent in Korea. Its been a long 3 days so far on this 11 day trip.

Coming up on a few hours, japan, back to korea, and then china.

If I had a manager, they would be so fired right now..”
–Greg Kroah-Hartman

Distro Talk: Tony

Time: 19:45


  • 5-22 – siduction 12.1 – a desktop Linux distribution with a choice of KDE, LXDE and Xfce desktops, based on Debian’s unstable branch
  • 5-22 – Mageia 2 – community distribution originally forked from Mandriva Linux
  • 5-23 – Linux Mint 13
  • 5-24 – KANOTIX 2012-05 – Debian-based desktop distribution and live DVD featuring the latest KDE desktop
  • 5-25 – Webconverger 13.0 – a specialist Debian-based distribution for Internet kiosks and other web-only deployment scenarios
  • 5-27 – SME Server 8.0 – specialist server distribution based on CentOS 5
  • 5-27 – Snowlinux 2 “MATE” – Ubuntu-based distribution featuring the GNOME 2-like MATE desktop

Distro of the Week: Tony

  1. Fedora – 1815
  2. LuninuX – 1834
  3. Ubuntu – 2534
  4. Mageia – 3194
  5. Mint – 5157

Mary Distro Review

Time: 29:58

Review of Extix Linux 10 ( The Ultimate Linux System)

When I hear the word “ultimate” I have to admit my mind fills with lofty expectations about the item associated with the word. As I discovered when working with ExTix, what you get is not always what you think you’re going to get.

The ExTiX project site notes: “previous versions of ExTiX were based on KNOPPIX/Debian. Version 7.0 of ExTiX was based on the Swiss Linux System, Paldo. Version 8 of ExTiX was based on Debian Sid. Version 9 of ExTiX 64bit was based on Ubuntu 11.10. VERSION 10 of ExTiX … is a remaster of Ubuntu 12.04…” Hmmm…this project likes to switch distros…reminds me of someone I know.

So, last week I burnt the 1.5GB iso image to a DVD.

Running ExTiX from the live DVD was not without its quirks as far as my laptop is concerned. While booting—actually this happened every time I booted ExTiX, it threw a Zram: unknown parameter ‘num_devices’ error –and it continued to happen even after I finally got ExTiX installed.

The ExTiX project replaced Unity 5.8. with Gnome 3.4, Gnome Shell and Razor-qt. They also apparently configured ExTiX to detect Nvidia cards and install the Nvidia driver because that is what happened during testing of this distro.

After loading the Razor-qt desktop, I selected one app, PPA Manager, and opened it. So far, so good. I clicked on the Settings button. Extix then threw an error: You-are-not-using-a-compatible distro. But the second sentence was perplexing: Your distro must be based on at least Ubuntu 9.10. Was my laptop stuck in a wormhole between Ubuntu12.04 and Ubuntu 9.10? I clicked OK to close the error notice. All PPA manager buttons, when clicked, threw this error. A short while later, ExTiX proceeded to have a meltdown: “Sorry, Ubuntu 12.04 has experienced an internal error.” Hmmm…Perhaps it was experiencing a identity crisis: Am I 9.10 or 12.4…

You have two install options for ExTiX—from the Grub menu or as an icon on the live DVD desktop.

When you have an option to install a distro directly from the grub menu, I think it’s reasonable to expect you’d be able to do that. However, the first two times I attempted to install ExTix from the Grub boot menu, it booted to a black screen with a lonely little cursor. I could have worked to get the graphical installer to appear and I did attempt to bring up a console just to see if I had gotten that far—but without success. The direct-install failures surprised me because the version of ExTix I was using was based on Ubuntu 12.4, the most recent release. Maybe

Install from the desktop icon was only marginally better—but it seemed to skip the create user screen. I only knew this because when I clicked “Next” the message it displayed an error, telling me that I had to create a user first. But it did not let me do that!

I decided to run a quick test just to see if I would experience the same situation, so and installed the 64-bit version of Ubuntu 12.4. I first ran it from the live CD and booted into the Unity desktop. Have I said 12.04 sports a nice-looking desktop? I installed the 64-bit Ubuntu 12.04 without a hitch.

Back to ExTiX—The third attempt to install was successful. However, at the ExTiX the login screen, the user I created was not listed. Nor was there any way that I could use to change to it. But the live DVD user was still listed and so I used that to log in.

ExTiX was the ultimate frustration for me….

Tech News:

Time: 37:05

OpenMoko Giving Away Free IDs

Since OpenMoko is defunct these days they are giving away their unused IDs. OpenMoko still has large quantities of USB IDs from their vendor ID and MAC addresses from their block. Registering for these can be costly to small Open Source projects as the cost is about $2000 for a USB vendor ID and around $1600 for a block of MAC addresses. So if you are a small OS project and need either or both of these the you can apply to OpenMoko for one that they are not going to use. Their are more details on Harald Welte’s, Linux kernel hacker, GPL Enforcer, and Lead System Architect for Openmoko, blog (http://laforge.gnumonks.org/weblog/2012/05/21/#20120521-open_registry_for_usb_and_mac_addrs).

Apple, Microsoft, Research In Motion, Sony, and Ericsson Create Patent Troll Company

Rockstar Consortium is a 32 person company formed by the above mentioned tech companies to enforce their patents. Of the 32 employees 10 are reverse engineers actively looking into products to determine if they are infringing on any of the companies patents. John Veschi, Rockstar’s CEO, had this to say about the practice:

“Pretty much anybody out there is infringing, I would think. It would be hard for me to envision that there are high-tech companies out there that don’t use some of the patents in our portfolio.”

What makes this type of consortium established company so dangerous is they can’t be counter sued. Since they don’t create any thing they can’t be counter sued for infringement by the company they are suing. However that would not be the case if say Apple or Research In Motion where to bring suit. Another benefit is that since they are an independent company they do not have to worry about antagonizing partners or potential partners. Since they are an independent company they are also not bound by any “we won’t sue you” agreement that any of the tech companies involved made.

Things like this make me sick. They do nothing to advance innovation and in fact tend to stifle it. This system needs to be revamped to eliminate this kind of thing.

OSI Has New President

Earlier this year the OSI had filled the three open directors positions with, Mike Milinkovich, of the Eclipse Foundation, and Luis Villa, nominated by the Mozilla Foundation, along with Deb Bryant, a well-known government community advocate. Which only left the presidency open.

Well this week they announced that they had filled the presidency with Simon Phipps. They made this appointment during a recent OSI meeting in Chicago. Phipps had this to say about his focus for the coming year:

“focus for the year is to enable that transformation into an organization fulfilling the first paragraph of OSI’s mission and led by those it seeks to represent”

The first paragraph reads like this:

“The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is a non-profit corporation with global scope formed to educate about and advocate for the benefits of open source and to build bridges among different constituencies in the open source community.”

Phipps is already pushing OSI reform in order to make the organization more open. This reform process has led to the creation of the Open Source Initiative affiliation program. By which these other illustrious organizations have joined the OSI as affiliates:

  • The Linux Foundation
  • The FreeBSD Foundation
  • The Apache Software Foundation
  • The Mozilla Foundation
  • The Plone Foundation
  • KDE
  • Creative Commons
  • Drupal
  • Joomla
  • The Sahana Software Foundation
  • The Eclipse Foundation
  • The Wikiotics Foundation
  • The Debian Project

In recent times Phipps has been integral in getting OSI more involved in open source community policy issues, such as the Novell patent acquisition they actually worked alongside the FSF in making submissions to US and European regulators. Phipps has previously worked for Sun Microsystems as Chief Open Source Officer. While at Sun he oversaw the transition of Java and other Sun properties to being licensed under an open source license.

Open Source Memo From 2009 Does Not Mandate A Support Vendor

Back in October of 2009 the Defense Department issued a memo that was supposed to lift road blocks to using open source software. It however created a new one in that it stipulated that program managers had to ensure that software support be adequate to the missions need. This has led to the misconception that any open source tool with out a support contract is forbidden. This misconception has been propagated by proprietary software suppliers convincing military leadership that that is what the memo says. This has lead to instances where even a simple tool like a compiler have been called into question due to a lack of a support service contract.

Dan Risacher, primary author of the October 2009 memo and a “net-centric evangelist” within the DoD office of chief information officer, Has come out this week with some clarification on this portion of the memo. He said it was not the intention of the memo to require all open source software have a support contract. All that was intended was that they ensure that they can support it themselves if necessary. The robustness of the support plan wold be dependent on the use of the software. A piece of software that is mission critical is going to have to have a different support plan than a compiler.

Chrome Tops IE In Browser Share

IE has been on a fairly steady decline in use since 2008. In the same time frame Chrome has seen a significant rise in use. these statistics are not definitive but do give a fairly solid overview. They are based on based on StatCounter Global Stats for week 27 of 2008 through week 20 of 2012. They were taken from a sampling of three million websites. For the last week of the stats they show Chrome with a 32.76% share while IE had only a 31.94% share. That is almost a full percentage point and the trend appears to be continuing. It also appears that Firefox’s decline has ended and they are back on the rise with their share up to 25.47% for the same week.

IPv6, Nmap Says Bring It On

Nmap v6.0 has been released only two years and ten months since Nmap 5.0 was released in July of 2009. In case you are not familiar with Nmap it is a utility for scanning and mapping network ranges and to extract information about the systems attached to the network. With this release they have included full IPv6 support. Also in this release they have enhanced Nmap’s scripting engine, web scanning, mapping GUI and scanning performance. There is also a new tool called Nping, it can be used as a simple ping utility to detect active hosts, it can also be used as a raw packet generator for network stack stress testing, ARP poisoning, Denial of Service attacks, route tracing, etc. Nping’s novel echo mode lets users see how packets change in transit between the source and destination hosts. That’s a great way to understand firewall rules, detect packet corruption, and more.
Nmap has included basic IPv6 support since 2002. However with IPv4 address exhaustion right around the corner the Nmap developers worked hot and heavy to ensure that this release of Nmap had full IPv6 support. This support includes a new IPv6 OS detection system, host discovery and raw packet port scanning.
Nmap includes the Nmap Scripting Engine that uses Lua scripts to automate tasks. The popularity of this feature has exploded recently with v6 having 348 built in scripts to v5’s 59. This includes 44 new protocol information query scripts for information gathering from, for example Hadoop, Bitcoin and VNC. They also have added 27 scripts for adding new targets to the scanning queue.
They also enhanced Nmap’s web scanning abilities with the addition of new techniques for brute force authentication cracking and web site spidering. The number of scripts for website scanning is up from 6 to 54. Further information is available in the change log and the documentation. Nmap 6.0 is available to download as source code or executable packages for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and several UNIX platforms and is licensed under a clarified GPLv2.

Microsoft Throws New Obstacle At Open Source

Visual Studio Express will no longer support creating full desktop style applications. You will only be able to create Metro applications with it. As it sands right now a large number of open source developers use Visual Studio Express 2010 to create their applications as it includes a full and free compiler. If they want to write full featured desktop applications for Windows 8 they will have to buy the full version of Visual Studio 11 for around $499. To ensure that developers can not work around this restriction MS has removed the compiler infrastructure from the Windows 8 SDK. This is only going to increase the the problems already reported with the limitations of Metro enabled applications on Windows 8. Many projects will not be able to develop a Metro version of their application due to the constraints imposed by Metro’s sandboxing. this does make clear that MS is trying to force as many developers as possible to make their applications run on Metro. This intention has been repeatedly stated by MS officials during development.

Why Wall Street Hates Open-Source
NEW YORK (TheStreet) — Wall Street has two reasons to hate open-source software. One makes sense, one makes none.
The reason that makes sense is that open-source software companies don’t make much money.

KDE launches Partner Network for Vivaldi Tablet, other devices



Facebook IPO could still be a good thing for Open Source
Facebook’s IPO has been hammered in the mainstream press as a disaster because of NASDAQ troubles as well as a precipitous decline in the value of the stock. While that’s kinda/sorta interesting, I’m an open source guy, so I’m interested in other stuff.


Canonical Makes Rare X.Org/Wayland Contribution
While Canonical is known — and commonly criticized — for not investing in making heavy, low-level upstream Linux contributions, today a set of patches intended for upstream were published by a Canonical engineer concerning XWayland support.


Is it Alive?

Time: 1:04:08

During this segment of the show, Mary challenges Mat and Tony to identify whether a Linux Distro is alive or dead? The distros for the May 27 show:

Epidemic GNU/Linux – A Brazilian desktop Linux distribution based on Debian GNU/Linux. Its main features are the KDE desktop, easy-to-use installer, 3D desktop features, , and support for a variety of media codecs.

Tony: DEAD
Verdict: ALIVE

Kademar Linux – A complete operating system which includes the essentials to operate fully in any and all computer programs to perform necessary tasks comfortably at home and office. Kademar is based in Argentina.

Verdict: ALIVE

Source Mage GNU/Linux – A source-based GNU/Linux distribution based on a Sorcery metaphor of ‘casting’ and ‘dispelling’ programs, which we refer to as ‘spells’

Tony: DEAD
Verdict: ALIVE

Tuquito – An Ubuntu-based distribution and live CD made in Argentina. It features automatic hardware detection, excellent support for scanners, web cams and digital cameras, and compatibility with MS Office file formats. It is designed for beginners and intermediate Linux users.

Verdict: ALIVE

gOS or “good OS” – Was an Ubuntu-based GNU/Linux distribution created by Good OS LLC, a Los Angeles-based corporation.

Verdict: DEAD


Mat: 1 (Loser)
Tony: 2 (Winner)

Listener Feedback

Time: 1:12:05
Door to Door Geek – Help Mary root her phone
Brad – OpenOffice IBM contributions and Libra Office
Pagal – We are on Stitcher! Here

Mat’s Soapbox

Time: 1:18:30

Outtro Music

Time: 1:22:06

From Archive.org

Works published before 1923 are now in the public domain and also in countries that figure copyright from the date of death of the artist (post mortem auctoris in this case John Philip Sousa March 6, 1932) and that most commonly run for a period of 50 to 70 years from December 31st of that year.

Performed by The U.S. Marine Corps Band, Generally speaking, works created by U.S. Government employees are not eligible for copyright protection in the United States. See Circular 1 “COPYRIGHT BASICS” from the U.S. Copyright Office.

Stars and Stripes Forever Performed by The U.S. Marine Corps Band

This content is published under the Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.


  • I fear Mat managed to talk quite along time in his rant without ever coming to grips with the main point. How good any license is, whether it is GPL v3, BSD, MIT, or whatever, can only be assessed in terms of how well it accomplishes the purposes for which it is written. Since Mat never addresses what those purposes are, it is not surprising that he misses the essential point.

    Any software license is about specifying rights, and the key is to understand just whose rights are being protected. In software (as in so many things), the dividing line is between the rights of end users and the rights of software companies. The GPL was designed to push this in the direction of protecting the rights of the user to the maximum extent feasible. GPL v3 was a response to companies finding a way to use GPL’d software while removing end user’s rights, and plugged the hole that had been revealed. In that, it is quite successful, and many projects are using GPL v3. I recently read an interview with Michael Meeks regarding the Libre Office project, and he attributed the huge increase in activity and energy over OpenOffice.org the the adoption of the GPL v3. It would appear that a lot of developers are motivated to doing their best work by knowing that it will remain forever free.

    Open source is a different thing, and has different aims. It was developed mainly by Bruce Perens and Eric Raymond to promote the use of open source software by companies. Other then the source code being freely available, it does not particularly try to protect user’s rights, or even the rights of developers. In the push to commercialize this software, they have promoted such “innovations” as copyright assignment, dual licensing, and “open-core”. To people in this camp, GPL v3 is called a “restrictive” license, but you have to be clear that this means the license restricts the ability of companies to take away rights from the end user. And where this leads is to cases where software that is not subject to restrictive licensing gets taken over by companies and locked down. A prime example of this is the Apple OsX. This was based on software licensed under the extremely non-restrictive BSD license. Apple said “thank you very much”, and turned it into the most closed and restrictive platform in existence.

    • mat says:


      You are entirely correct about what the software license is supposed to be, and GPLv3 does do what it set out to do. I however believe that it is a bad choice, along with Linus and the vast majority of the kernel developers (they took a poll). I believe as they do that it would be bad for business. I also have come down repeatedly in the Open Source camp as opposed to the Free Software camp. The FSF represents an ideological stance that is great in theory but in the real world falls flat. The perfect example of that is when Richard Stallman said it would be better for Bryan Lunduke’s children to starve rather than for Bryan to write proprietary software. The FSF is just as much a trampler of my choices and rights as MS or Apple.

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