Episode 071 – Bombardment From Space

Posted by Tony on February 17, 2013 in Show-mp3, Show-ogg |



MP3 format (for Freedom Haters!)
OGG format (for Freedom Lovers!)
Total Running Time: 1:33:40

Un-edited Live session – http://youtu.be/bADUZVqcf9M

Contact Us:

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


Kernel News: Mat
Time: 16:50
Distro Talk: Tony
Time: 19:15
Mary Distro Review
Time: 28:45
Tech News:
Time: 53:45
Is it Alive? – Mary
Time: 1:17:23
Listener Feedback
Time: 1:23:40
Outtro Music
Time: 1:28:30


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

Kernel News: Mat

Time: 16:50

Release Candidate:
There was no release candidate this week.


Stable Updates:
On Mon, 11 Feb 2013 09:44:54 PST
Greg Kroah-Hartman release kernel 3.7.7
With 34 files changed, 351 lines inserted, and 434 lines deleted

On Mon, 11 Feb 2013 09:45:36 PST
Greg Kroah-Hartman release kernel 3.4.30
With 26 files changed, 241 lines inserted, and 362 lines deleted

On Mon, 11 Feb 2013 09:46:16 PST
Greg Kroah-Hartman release kernel 3.0.63
With 18 files changed, 158 lines inserted, and 339 lines deleted

On Thu, 14 Feb 2013 11:12:26 PST
Greg Kroah-Hartman release kernel 3.7.8
With 69 files changed, 536 lines inserted, and 290 lines deleted

On Thu, 14 Feb 2013 11:12:53 PST
Greg Kroah-Hartman release kernel 3.4.31
With 48 files changed, 460 lines inserted, and 283 lines deleted

On Thu, 14 Feb 2013 11:13:23 PST
Greg Kroah-Hartman release kernel 3.0.64
With 27 files changed, 306 lines inserted, and 212 lines deleted

Kernel Developer Quote:
“Too funny…”
–Greg Kroah-Hartman

What he is referring to is the website http://perl8.org/ and the fact that it redirects to http://www.scala-lang.org/.

Distro Talk: Tony

Time: 19:15


  • 2-10 – Chakra GNU/Linux 2013.02 – the project’s brand-new series featuring the KDE 4.10 desktop
  • 2-12 – ROSA 2012 “Desktop Fresh GNOME” – desktop-oriented Linux distribution with GNOME 3.6.2
  • 2-14 – OS4 4.0 “Enterprise” – Ubuntu-based distribution for desktops and servers with special enterprise features
  • 2-14 – Ubuntu 12.04.2 – latest update of the distribution’s current long-term support version
  • 2-15 – DreamStudio 12.04.2 – an updated build of the project’s multimedia distribution based on Ubuntu’s latest long-term support (LTS) release
  • 2-15 – Sabayon Linux 11 – Gentoo-based distribution available in GNOME 3, KDE, MATE and Xfce flavours
  • 2-16 – Zorin OS 6.2 “Lite” – updated release of the project’s Ubuntu-based lightweight distribution (with LXDE) designed for new Linux users
  • 2-16 – Manjaro Linux 0.8 “MATE” – brand-new new community edition which features the increasingly popular fork of the GNOME 2 desktop

Distro of the Week: Tony

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

Mary Distro Review – Linpus Linux

Time: 28:45

Linpus Linux is on this week’s review list. One reason I selected it is the name—Linpus. It’s a distro with a name that only a mother could love…or a Taiwanese company of the same name. While researching this distro, I learned that Linpus is more than a Linux distro or project. Linpus is a Taiwan-based Linux vendor with more than 200 employees split between its headquarters in Taipei, and its branch office in Shanghai.

So would Linpus be as lively as a dancing dragon at a Chinese New Year celebration or would it leave me feeling like it’s last week’s chop suey.

The Vitals:
Name: Linpus Linux
Maintainer: Linpus Technologies, Inc. of Taiwan
Distro Latest Birthday: Linpus Linux 1.9 Lite was announced on 2/9/13
Derivative: Fedora (rpm-based distro)
Kernel: 3.7.2-4 (from uname -a)
Review Desktop: Modified Gnome Shell

Live Environment:

Linpus boots to a polished modified Gnome desktop. Unlike a lot of live environments for distros I have reviewed, the Linpus desktop displays a lot of stuff bu Some people may consider it cluttered and distracting, but everything I saw on the desktop served a purpose.

In the center, a help screen displayed the desktop layout hyper-linked to a corresponding of these areas on the desktop picture. A helpful tip for new users.

On the right side of the screen were several widgets: Weather, calendar, a constantly updating RSS feed, and an analog clock. These widgets were built using HTML 5 and look good on the right side of the desktop. An edit icon allowed me to add or remove from a modest selection of widgets.

Graphics: ( i915)
Wireless:  (iwl3945)

The familiar Gnome panel stretched across the top of the screen, with the system tray icons in their usual position on the right. Battery, Wireless, Power, time, language, and another icon that opens to let you easily adjust commonly used components: a) connection (wifi, airplane), b) display, c) volume (mic, speakers) and d) resolution (only two were available to me)

The Defaults
Browser: Chromium (the Internet menu also displayed an icon for the Chrome Web Store)
Office Suite: None (Libreoffice was installed from application center)
Mail Client: None (Can install Evolution from Application Center)
File Manager: Nautilus (after all, this is Gnome)

Seeing that list, you might think that the pickings are mighty slim with Linpus Linux—but you’d be WRONG. Linpus Linux has an application center that’s as well-stocked as Ubuntu’s. At the top, a list of recommended applications include such stalwarts Firefox, Gmail, K3b, and even ISO Master were available for install. I also expected to see an office suite on the recommended list but instead there was just Emacs Client. Ah yes, perhaps trying to rekindle the vi versus emacs discussions? Office suite options are well-represented, however, with LibreOffice and AbiWord. And I appreciated the ability to only install individual LibreOffice components. More on the Application Center later.

The Install Process:

The install process was slick and well-packaged. Unlike the distro I reviewed last week, Linpus Linux’s install is a two-phased affair– setting up partitions and installing the OS in phase one, then collecting user information, etc. in phase 2. At no time was I confused about the process or what to do next. You can definitely tell that there’s a lot of support behind this distro.

However, I noted one annoyance– no option regarding the install of a boot-loader. It was only during the end-of-install system wrap-up that I noticed a boot-loader was being installed. It was Grub2.

Installed Environment:

It looks just like the live environment. One thing I decided to do is beef up the dashboard, which was extremely easy to do. Just click on any icon in the menu to add it to the dashboard. Any open program also appears there. So I added several to my favorites list until it started to resemble Unity’s left sided tool-bar. Removal is just as easy.

On the the Gnome system settings tool – it still does not allow you to resize the window, a minor complaint of mine when I first looked at Gnome 3. It looks jumbled and is a black eye on an otherwise interesting-looking desktop.

I wanted to see whether I could play movies out of the box. From the application center I installed the media player—totem, in this case—which also appeared to pull in other supporting files and libraries… I loaded a DVD movie and was prompted to open it in the media player…Then the unspeakable…an error! Either the DVD is encrypted and the decryption libraries are not installed. But there was no other information available. And the application manager did not contain any useful information, either. In my opinion, this seemed to be the Achilles Heel of Linpus. Their site has a support link but no forum and I was forced to scour the interwebs in search of a solution.

Videolan’s web site allowed me to download the libdvdcss2 archive and after bunzipping it, I attempted to open a README file, which I assumed was a text file but it had no txt extension. Another road block in typical Windows fashion it told me No application is available to open. I attempted to use libreoffice.

In a final attempt to play my movie, I downloaded and tried to install libdvdcss2.rpm but it was a no-go.

Checked my web-cam– Installed Cheese. Said Cheese. Saw cheese…well, a cheesy picture, anyway.. Then the Application Center crashed without warning. Do you think it was trying to tell me something?

Other interesting Programs:

The application center has hundreds of useful tools…453 but who’s counting, but not many reviews though. All dressed up an nowhere to go. Probably because Linpus normally sits on the lower half of Distrowatch hits-per-day list.

Installing programs was very easy–simply peruse the list and select your preference. The only real annoyance is that I had to install each program individually and authenticate each time. But patches were a different story. I was able to install patches without the need to authenticate.

Linpus conveniently had a category called WebApps which, you guessed it, contained the entire listing from Google’s Chrome Store…253 of them.

ISO Master – This tool lets you read, write, and modify ISO images.

Gentoo File Manager – I thought it would force me to a command line to install but it didn’t. It opens to a two-panel file manager with three rows of buttons across the bottom for common commands like copy, make link, move, delete, make directory, rename, etc. 24 in all. Think of it as a right-click menu on display. More esoteric commands like link clone, SelectRE, and even split are available. On the left are three shortcuts to root, home, and local

Coot – a macromolecular model builder…for macromolecular model builders.

Blue Proximity – Locks/unlocks your desktop using a second blue-tooth device–probably your phone.

Yum Extender — sounds like something you use after full meal with a tight belt. But no–it’s a graphical front end for YUM.



Tech News:

Time: 53:45

New Website Ranks Distributions

The website is called DistroRank and they had their first ranking of the distros’ on 2/14/13. this how they describe themselves in their tagline, “A weekly study of the relative popularity of Linux and BSD operating system distributions.”

The website appears to be the creation of one person, as it is entirely written in the first person. However nowhere on the site does it say who it is. The first ranking is signed with the name “ion”. A whois search on the domain name shows that the registrants identity has been privatized. We can see that the name was registered with melbourneit.com as the whois search redirects there. Since the domain is registered there it is most likely hosted at http://www.melbourneit.com.au making it an Australian website.

Here is how he describes his ranking system:

“Using multiple factors that a reasonable person attributes to the popularity of something, I have developed a point system. The most popular distro in raw points is used as the 100th percentile benchmark. All other distros’ raw points are converted to a percentage of that and ranked accordingly.”

He goes on to list his methodology:

      1. Number of several search engine results


      2. Number of news articles about the distro


      3. Percentage of servers reported running the distro


      4. Percentage of desktop users reported running the distro


    5. The various sources used in the data collection include Google, Bing, Netcraft and DistroRank user data.

He goes on to say he understands that his methodology is not perfect and asks for suggestions to improve it. You can send him an email at distrorank@gmail.com, so let him know.

Is Your Distro Obsolete, According To Chrome Maybe

Chrome and Chromium rely on the version of GTK installed to determine if your Distro is obsolete. The version they are checking for should be at least 2.24. Well whats an enterprise Distro to do, as they tend not to update the versions of things to often. As evidenced by these versions:

      1. RHEL 6’s 2.18


      2. Debian 6’s 2.20


    3. Ubuntu Lucid 10.04 LTS 2.20

The warning message that was originally displayed:

“Google Chrome is no longer updating because your operating system is obsolete”

Has been changed to:

“Google Chrome has stopped updating and no longer supports this version of your operating system”

This does however not alleviate the problem that Chrome and Chromium are no longer going to receive security updates. Hopefully Google will change the way discover you OS version, but they have announced no plans to do so.

Python Name In Danger Of Being Hijacked In The EU

A UK based company is attempting to trademark the name “Python” basically for anything having to do with computers. The company established the website http://python.co.uk appoximatley 13 years ago. At that time no one was really looking at trademark issues. All that domain did originally was redirect to the companies websites, http://veber.co.uk and http://pobox.co.uk. The current information on the Python blog, http://pyfound.blogspot.com/, just says that:

“We contacted the owners of python.co.uk repeatedly and tried to discuss the matter with them. They blew us off and responded by filing the community trademark application claiming the exclusive right to use “Python” for software, servers, and web services – everywhere in Europe.”

However when I went to the site, on Saturday February 16th, it redirected to http://www.python.org/. I don’t know if this is the work of vigilantes or the work of the hijacker. The http://veber.co.uk website would not resolve, maybe due to DDOS attack the http://pobox.co.uk website was up and working. The Python.org people were made aware of threats made against the hijacker and have posted this notice to their blog:

“However, it has come to our attention that the organization with which we are currently involved in a trademark dispute has been receiving messages from our community members, including threats. We ask that no matter who you support in this matter, that you remain civil in your communications and actions.”

So if you want to help here is what you SHOULD do:

What can you do?

      1. Do you work for a company that uses Python?


      2. Are in the EU, do you hire in the EU, or have an office in the EU?


    3. Could you write a letter on company letterhead that we can forward to our EU counsel?

What they want it to sayt:
Just give a brief description of how Python is used at your company. How your company looks for and recognizes “Python” as only coming from the PSF, and your view that another company using term Python to refer to services, software, and servers would be confusing

MS Shoots Itself In The Foot Again

If you thought Windows 8 was bad wait till you hear what they are doing with Office. Office 2013’s license is going to be tied to a single piece of hardware. If the machine dies or you upgrade there is no uninstalling and then installing it on another machine. This makes the new Office license the same as a Windows OEM license. Microsoft has an answer to this however you could go with Office 365. This is tied to the user not the hardware and can be used on five PCs or four Macs. With the payment model being a subscription you will wind up paying more for it than a single copy of regular Office. With models like these OpenOffice and LibreOffice become more and more attractive.

KDE Korner

Transform Tool for Krita

Release of the improved Transform Tool for Krita. Apparently enough donations were received and problems with some complex mathematical algorithms were solved enabling the release. I watched a video of the new and improved transform tool and was very impressed with it.


LTS Update 12.04.2 Released
The current Kubuntu LTS release has had an update, 12.04.2. It includes all the current bugfixes and security updates..

Kubuntu Raring Alpha 2 Available for Testing

Alpha 2 of 13.04 development version is available for download and testing.


Yet another KDE QA failure


Call for Presentations and Registration for Akademy 2013

This years conference occurs over seven days: July 13-19, 2013, in lovely Bilbao España. And Akademy 2013 will also co-host the QT developers summit which will occur in themiddle of the KDE conference. A Qt sandwich I guess you could say…


Converseen 0.5.3 Released.
Converseen is an open source project written in C++ with the powerful Qt4 libraries. Thanks to the Magick++ image libraries it supports more than 100 image formats


Issue with Kate’s Highlight Selected Text Plug-in

Kate’s plugin that highlights all instances of a selected word, i.e. if you select an entire word, all instances of this word are highlighted as well. Not only is it a solid part of of Kate, it also is available for all apps using KatePart (e.g.: Kile, Kate, KWrite, KDevelop etc).
With the release of KDESC 4.10 there was some concern that it had been removed. Good news–that’s not the case! A small bug is pdreventing it from loading. It’s expected to be fixed in the next maintenance release of KDESC – 4.10.1.


The Linux Academy

Is it Alive?

Time: 1:17:23

During this segment of the show, I challenge Mat and Tony to identify whether a Linux Distro is alive or dead? Every other week, I twist the concept for our game show and challenge Mat and Tony to decide if the named entity was a Linux distribution or something else. Previous twists have include whether the distro was French, Ubuntu-based, a super hero, or my favorite twist, a bar drink. I’ll have a Liquid Lemur with my chips, please.

This week is not twist week, so the task is very simple. Is it alive or dead…

Rhino Linux

RhinoLINUX is an operating system, which means it is the software that manages the programs,and data that you use on your computer,as well as manages the hardware inside the computer and peripherals such as USB devices and such that you may attach to the PC.


MAT: dead
TONY: alive


Burapha Linux

Burapha Linux Server is a free Linux distribution. It is a descendant of Burapha Linux 5.5, which in turn was a descendant of Slackware 10.x. Burapha Linux Server does not have any packages taken directly from Slackware; the project builds their own packages and have their own package manager.

“Ajan Tawatchai ordered an unconditional release for tomorrow morning. Testing showed a few files missing from the jedit help system, and the mail icon on the KDE task bar goes to KMail instead of Thunderbird as intended. I will not be able to fix that by morning, so we ship with those bugs. I have had zero testers, so I suspect another release with many undiscovered bugs. If you can email me the repeatable test case, I will do my best to fix things for the next release. I had budgeted one week for testing. I got one day instead. I protested and was overruled. Since nobody uses this distribution anyway, it doesn’t really matter I guess. So here you go, this is the BLCD 5.5 Release.”

MAT: alive
TONY: dead

Beernix Beernix was a linux operating system for desktop use.


MAT: dead
TONY: alive

Itis Linux

Itis Linux is a project actively supported by LinuxLAB.it Information Technology Solutions with the help of our sponsors including mention Open Housing , a division of Web Service Internet Solutions Ltd , and Aruba Spa , our sponsor for the provision of a server (mirror ) for updates of the operating system, thanks to which it will be possible by future versions of Linux Itis, remove packages and upgrade your system in a more fast, safe and organized.

http://www.itislinux.it/ (open in Chrome to translate it.)

MAT: alive
TONY: dead


Mutagenix was a Linux live CD based on Slackware Linux and Linux-Live live CD build scripts. Not released since 2007.


MAT: dead
TONY: alive
VERDICT: Flatlining….(dead)


Athene was a commercial operating system developed by Rocklyte Systems for use in the home and office. It had one release on Distro-Watch back in 2004.


MAT: alive
TONY: alive

Mat won BIG



Listener Feedback:

show (at) smlr.us or 313-626-9140
Time: 1:23:40
Croud Source Is It Alive – Brent Smith email brentsmith@pobox.com

Outtro Music

Time: 1:28:30

I Belive I’ll Dust My Broom by Franck Camu

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