Episode 052 – Season Finale?

Posted by Tony on October 7, 2012 in Show-mp3, Show-ogg |



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

Un-edited Live session – http://youtu.be/-aPY85Mrfsw

Contact Us:

show (at) smlr.us or the Contact us page


Kernel News: Mat
Time: 18:38
Distro Talk: Tony
Time: 20:54
Mary Distro Review
Time: 30:46
Tech News:
Time: 46:17
Is it Alive? – Mary
Listener Feedback
Time: 1:20:58
Outtro Music
Time: 1:36:41


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

Kernel News: Mat

Time: 18:38
Kernel News

Release Candidate:
No release candidate.

3.6 is released
Here is what Linus had to say about it:

“The shortlog below is obviously just the log since -rc7, the changes in 3.6 since 3.5 are too many to list. There haven’t been any huge new architectures or filesystems, it’s all “solid progress”. That may not sound all that exciting, but the devil is in the details, and there’s a lot of small fixes all over.”
–Linus Torvalds

Stable Updates:
On Tue, 2 Oct 2012 11:16:25 PDT
Greg Kroah-Hartman released kernel 3.5.5
With 283 files changed, 2763lines inserted, and 1499 lines deleted

On Tue, 2 Oct 2012 11:17:13 PDT
Greg Kroah-Hartman released kernel 3.4.12
With 235 files changed, 2304 lines inserted, and 958 lines deleted

On Tue, 2 Oct 2012 11:17:47 PDT
Greg Kroah-Hartman released kernel 3.0.44
With 139 files changed, 1031 lines inserted, and 544 lines deleted

Kernel Developer Quote:

“I wish there were more people in the legal profession like Judge Posner. The man has his head screwed on right!”
–Linus Torvalds

Distro Talk: Tony

Time: 20:54


  • 9-30 – Hanthana Linux 17 “LXDE” – “LXDE” edition, a lightweight live CD built from Fedora 17 and featuring the LXDE desktop environment
  • 10-1 – Fuduntu 2012.4 – rolling-release distribution forked from Fedora
  • 10-2 – OS4 13 “OpenDesktop” – “OpenDesktop” edition, an Ubuntu-based distribution featuring the Xfce desktop
  • 10-2 – Absolute Linux 14.0 – lightweight desktop distribution based on Slackware Linux and featuring the IceWM window manager
  • 10-3 – CAINE 3.0 – Ubuntu-based live DVD offering a complete digital forensic environment in a friendly graphical interface
  • 10-5 – Cinnarch 2012.10.01 – Cinnarch is an Arch-based Linux distribution featuring the user-friendly Cinnamon (a fork of GNOME Shell) as the graphical desktop
  • 10-6 – AriOS 4.0 – Ubuntu-based Linux distribution with a highly customised and enhanced GNOME Shell

Distro of the Week: Tony

  1. OpenSUSE – 1616
  2. OS4 – 1806
  3. Ubuntu – 1983
  4. Mageia – 2591
  5. Mint – 3052

Mary Distro Review

Time: 30:46
Absolute Linux Review

This week’s review is of Absolute…Linux. Not to be confused with the vodka maker, Absolut, but I have to admit I wondered wondered how an Absolut-designed vodka bottle would look. Tux on the rocks, anyone?

OK enough of that. On to my review.

The Vitals:
Name: Absolute Linux
Maintainer: Paul Sherman
Distro Latest Birthday: 14.0 was released 10/2/2012
Derivative: Slackware
Kernel: 3.2.29
Review Desktop: IceWM

Live Environment:

There is no live environment for Absolute Linux. You boot to the installer menu.

The Big Three
Default Browser: Chrome
Office Suite: Abiword (the key with this distro is light-weight)
Mail Client: Mail notification Setup window—for Gmail or other mail client but no email client is installed by default.
Default File Manager: SpaceFM 0.8 (GTK-based app so it has a nautilus look to it. It’s a tri-panel file manager with directory tree, device list, and navigation panel.)

The Install Process:

The install process starts with this notice: Remain calm while your machine is assimilated. So, I followed that instruction and my machine was indeed assimilated into a no-frills install process. The standard options are available during install, partition management, keyboard, root user, etc. I installed Absolute Linux across the entire disk of my test machine.

I installed it a total of three times, not because I didn’t like the first one but because I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss something. The third time was needed when LILO threw an error that prevented me from proceeding.

the install process—you can opt for a mostly automatic install that uses your hard disk or you can take the manual approach and work through partitioning if you like.

During install, the install window showed each package being installed plus the package description and compressed/noncompressed size. Informative but in many cases too fast to be completely readable.

Generated public/private key pair during boot.
The installer never asked me to create a regular user.

Near the end of the install process, you’re prompted to install LILO for boot management.

Upon reboot I logged in as the root user because, as I noted above, there was no option during install to create a regular user. And there was no reminder upon reboot. However listed on Absolute Linux’s web site are the Things To Do Right Away.  Second on the list was the “add user accounts” task. Seems to me it would have been better to have this be more proactive, rather than expecting someone to go to the web page, read and complete the tasks…that would be following directions. On another location on the site, the maintainer admits to running as root all the time. He does this because he backs up his system fanatically and the second reason for being a root runner is that he’s hacking and tweaking constantly.

Update: After a re-install the first time the browser, opened to a page with a list of ‘things you should do right away’, including creating a regular user. Two other browser tabs: Chrome Youtube Downloader was installed, and a Docs/PDF/PowerPoint Viewer options (a series of checkboxes listing files to be handled and other settings.

Installed Environment:

Absolute boots to a grunge-looking washed-out grey desktop. That may sound unattractive but I actually liked it. A single IceWM panel at the bottom of the screen.

My standard module checks were met:
Graphics: ( i915)
Wireless:  (iwl3945) Initially it appeared the WEP encryption was the only method available (a reboot gave me WPA2 )

Later I noticed strange doings with the network icon in the system tray. It appeared to be frozen and then when I refreshed the desktop the icon’s artwork disappeared. I could still see a little square in the system tray—and all the network manager functionality was still there—but no tiny picture.

Control Center – Contains the typical categories for system management—software, hardware, etc. A place where you can tweak your system—apparently everything but change mouse buttons. I searched high and low for that setting and could NOT find it.

Package Management: Absolute Linux uses Slackware’s gslapt/slapt-get. There’s also an Add/Remove Packages utility which appears to be a front end to slapt-get, that allows you—as the help file states—brows your system for TXZ and TZG packages to install. I tested this utility by downloading and installing VLC. The utility performed as advertised.

Other notable/interesting Programs: Absolute Linux included a few interesting menu items:
Kill Application – clicking this entry turns your cursor to a skull and crossbones. Any window you click, closes immediately. Wow…what power!
Force Close Firefox – which closes any running instances of the Firefox browser.
A shooter game called Spooky – you can shoot witches pumpkins and other assorted Halloween denizens.
CD and DVD ripper is included along with players for both mediums (SMPlayer for videos and I could not open the CD player in the menu—the link appeared to be dead.)
AbsGamma 3.0 – Ascreen resolution and set-up utility. This could be a useful utility.
Pie chart (abChart) – which opened to a generic pie chart.

Multi-media Installer Allows you to install multi-media codecs that might not be legal in your locale. Strangely enough it was located in the System menu rather than Multi-media. I installed it.without a problem

Screenshot program Compared to others I have used, this one is downright primitive: it takes the shot and and automatically saves a bitmap file called screenshot.bmp. There’s no prompt to name it, so if you happen to not notice that and take a second one, your first screenshot is over written without notice.


1.5 cups with slightly under-roasted beans. Although Absolute Linux had a few interesting items, I was a disappointed in the ‘lack of polish’ that some features had. The three installs were needed to check on possibly missing items.

Tech News:

Time: 46:17
CityCamp Colorado

The third annual CityCamp Colorado will be held Friday, October 26, 2012. The purpose of this unconference is to bring people together in order to enhance government transparency, citizen participation, and accountability. With the goal of enhancing the citizen experience and foster a more healthy, livable community. This years unconference will build on the success of the recent Code for Communities Hack-a-thon along with many developments of the technology and civic communities in Colorado. At an unconference, participants create and organize the content. This format provides an excellent opportunity for an active, creative, open exchange geared toward action.

While Apple Clings To Rounded Corners Samsung Actually Contributes To The Advancement Of Technology

A team from Samsung has contributed a new file system to the Linux kernel. This new file system, f2fs (flash-friendly file system), is designed for NAND flash memory devices like SSD, eMMC. and SD cards. It is a logging file system designed with flash storage in mind from the ground up. They have eliminated the issues with logging and flash storage such as the snowball effect of wandering tree and high cleaning overhead. Initial tests show that this fs is orders of magnitude faster on flash storage and shows better wear as the leveling algorithm is much improved. As for Apple I say shove that up your ass!

Here is a link to the post on the LKML:


Open source equals software freedom, not free software

Vivek Ranadive, CEO of Tibco, is one of the industry’s big thinkers, complete with a profile in Esquire. So why would a smart guy like him dismiss open source as “fool’s gold”? And why do some software vendors believe they can justify “FRAND terms” on software standards and permit patented capabilities to be inserted into software standards?

These anachronisms and more arise from the “price frame” surrounding open source software. A result of misunderstanding the meaning of the word “free” in “free software,” the price frame has been the Rosetta Stone for decoding open source for the past decade. But that’s ending, now that we’re able to see the true power of open source in ecosystems like OpenStack, where the price of a license is barely relevant.


Dreamlinux is no more

Dreamlinux has been added to the sad list of the dead distributions today. The Brazilian distribution had released version 1.0 in 2006 and version 5.0 that was released this January was apparently the last one to exist.


The history of OpenOffice shows why licensing matters

The course of open-source software does not always run smoothly, especially when the development of software becomes entangled with broader corporate strategies.

Indeed, the complicated history and confusions of OpenOffice development, and the divisions between LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice, provide a salutary lesson.

They show that however fine the intentions of a governing organisation such as Sun Microsystems might be, consistency and transparency of governance and licensing are vital to the long-term health and success of any free and open-source project.


How To Secure Your System

… In general, just type proxy.yourisp.com in your web browser’s proxy settings and port 8080 to use your ISP’s proxy server for web browsing. Although it will not protect you from all of the internet’s nasties, it does add an extra layer of security before anything reaches your own system. It will also hide your real IP address from websites and provide the proxy server’s IP address instead. And in many cases, it can actually speed up your web browsing experience…

… I’ll be honest and upfront; if you’re using Microsoft Windows and Internet Explorer for access to the internet, you’re using probably the most unsafe software combination available…

…If you’re using Ubuntu, you can easily activate your software firewall by entering the following command in to a terminal:
sudo ufw enable
Your firewall should now be active. If you are using Windows, then using the built-in Windows Firewall is more than sufficient for protecting your home computer….

4.5 million routers hacked

Fabio Assolini from Kaspersky Lab described how criminals in Brazil managed to compromise 4.5 million DSL routers for months without being noticed. For their attack, the criminals first used two Bash scripts…
… Once compromised, the PCs were redirected to specially crafted phishing domains that mainly targeted users’ online banking credentials; the attackers had set up 40 DNS servers to handle this redirection. The attack was limited to large parts of Brazil’s IP address space.

From Gerjon de Vries Google Plus feed:
There Really Is a Smartphone Inside ‘EW Magazine’ [VIDEO]

Google terminates Apple patent suit
Google has unexpectedly dropped the first patent lawsuit it launched against Apple after the search giant’s $12bn acquisition of Motorola Mobility in May.



KDE Korner
KDE 4.9.2 SC Released

On October 2 the KDE project released KDESC 4.9.2, with updates for its Workspaces, Applications, and Development Platform. These updates are the second in a series of monthly stabilization updates to the 4.9 series. 4.9.2 updates bring many bugfixes and translation updates on top of the latest edition in the 4.9 series and are recommended updates for everyone running 4.9.1 or earlier versions.

Significant bugfixes include improvements to the Kontact Suite, bugfixes in Dolphin, Plasma and many more corrections and performance improvements all over the place


Dolphin Bug Fixes available in 4.9.2

KDE 4.9.2 also is available for Kubuntu

Dolphin’s Frank Reininghaus Interview
Interesting Interview with Frank Reininghaus who took over the Dolphin maintainer’s reins from Peter Penz.

rekonq 1.2 Released
Andrea Diamantini announced the immediate availability of rekonq 1.2, the KDE web browser based on webkit & kde technologies .

Apt-fast is a script that can “drastically improve APT download speed” by using command line download accelerators such as Axel or Aria2 with multiple connections per package.


Is it Alive?

Time: 1:13:20

Is It Alive (or is it dead)?

During this segment of the show, Mary challenges Mat and Tony to identify whether a Linux Distro is alive or dead? There’s no twist this week…just straight up alive or dead! The items for the October 7 29 show:

WHAX (formerly Whoppix) was a stand-alone penetration-testing live CD based on KNOPPIX. 

MAT: Dead
TONY: Dead

Shabdix GNU/Linux was a live CD based on the KNOPPIX live CD distribution with modifications for the Iranian user.

MAT: Dead
TONY: Alive

Insert Linux
INSERT is a complete, bootable linux system. It comes with a graphical user interface running the fluxbox window manager while still being sufficiently small to fit on a credit card-sized CD-ROM.

MAT: Alive
TONY: Alive

Red Ribbon Linux
Red Ribbon GNU/Linux for PS3 is a new PPC64 GNU/Linux distribution with support for Cell/BE. It is based on Debian, completely free and open source software. No proprietary source of any kind is used in this distribution.


MAT: Dead
TONY: Alive



Vulnix is a vulnerable Linux host with configuration weaknesses for security and pen testing. The host is based upon Ubuntu Server 12.04 and is fully patched as of early September 2012. The details are as follows:
The goal; boot up, find the IP, hack away and obtain the trophy hidden away in /root by any means you wish – excluding the actual hacking of the vmdk


MAT: Alive
TONY: Alive

Matriux – alive

The Matriux is a fully featured security distribution consisting of a bunch of powerful, open source and free tools that can be used for various purposes including, but not limited to, penetration testing, ethical hacking, system and network administration, cyber forensics investigations, security testing, vulnerability analysis, and much more.


MAT: Dead
TONY: Alive

Tony beat Mat by one point

Listener Feedback:

show (at) smlr.us or 313-626-9140

Baxter – Is there any way you can normalize the volume for when Matt laughs? He’s scaring the parrot.
Benjamin D. Moser – Mary’s new phone instead of SDA6
David Ellis – Talk on UEFI
Door to Door Geek – Voicemail, OLF was good!
Gerjon de Vries – Like the show and like Unity ” *foot steps rapidly fade away in the distance while running for cover*”

Outtro Music

Desire For Trance by Sk8n

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


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