Episode 097 – Tony, come back…

Posted by mary on August 18, 2013 in Show-mp3, Show-ogg |



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

Un-edited Live session – http://youtu.be/GA5aft6aGls

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


Kernel News: Mat
Distro Talk: Tony
Mary Distro Review
Tech News:
Listener Feedback
Outtro Music


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

Kernel News: Mat


Release Candidate:
On Sun, 11 Aug 2013 18:43:11 PDT
Linus Torvalds released kernel 3.11-rc5
Here is what he had to say about it:
“Sadly, the numerology doesn’t quite work out, and while releasing the final 3.11 today would be a lovely coincidence (Windows 3.11 was released twenty years ago today), it is not to be.

Instead, we have 3.11-rc5.

Which is showing signs of calming down, and is noticeably smaller than previous rc’s (both in number of commits and in size of patch). Let’s hope that trend isn’t just a fluke.

There really doesn’t seem to be anything major here. The radeon changes are likely the most noticeable, but many of them are for the dynamic power management that is still off by default.. Other than that, misc media fixes, arch updates, some small filesystem updates etc. Nothing really stands out.”

–Linus Torvalds


Stable Updates:
On Wed, 14 Aug 2013 23:09:05 PDT
Greg Kroah Hartman released kernel 3.0.91
With 10 files changed, 72 files inserted, and 84 files deleted

On Wed, 14 Aug 2013 23:09:33 PDT
Greg Kroah Hartman released kernel 3.4.58
With 18 files changed, 111 files inserted, and 92 files deleted

On Wed, 14 Aug 2013 23:10:14 PDT
Greg Kroah Hartman released kernel 3.10.7
With 74 files changed, 633 files inserted, and 390 files deleted

Kernel Developer Quote:
Comes from Greg Kroah-Hartman
“Pro tip, don’t reply in the middle of an email thread from over 6 months ago, on a mailing list that has hundreds of emails a day, sending it to a developer that gets over a thousand a day, and expecting me to just pick up where things were left off, with the topic being how out-of-tree drivers are trying to abuse existing in-kernel apis.

If I didn’t know better, I’d think that some companies are just trying to sabotage kernel development by doing foolish things like this and making maintainers go and rant on social media sites, wasting time they should have been spent reviewing valid patches..”
–Greg KH

Distro Talk: Tony



Distro of the Week: Tony

Mary Distro Review


Well, show listeners, it’s rather elementary …nearly every week I review a Linux distribution. Sometimes it’s an unusual distro like Alien Section OS (which went off line one week after my review) or an unusually named distro ala Terrible Linux. Other times it’s something like Saluki or Sabayon. This week’s review is of ElementaryOS..

The Vitals:
Name: Elementary OS ( 0.2 “Luna”)
Maintainer: Cassidy James
Distro Latest Birthday: 8/11/2013
Derivative: Ubuntu 12.04 (…ohhh noooo….) 🙂
Kernel: 3.2.0-51
Review Desktop: Pantheon (Gala compositing manager and and GTK+3.3), a desktop environment they’re developing themselves. It has a MacOS look to it—an aspect to it that did not go unnoticed on Slashdot…where the standard zealots complained about another Ubuntu distro, that it was copying Mac, etc. etc.

Live Environment:

ElementaryOS boots to a very clean, crisp desktop. I call it crisp because the resolution is sharp and that can only mean one thing—Yes, my Nvidia graphics adapter was detected and the appropriate Nvidia driver loaded. There’s a top panel that hold the standard Gnome-style icons and notifications on the right. On the left is a single menu category—Applications–which opens a window showing a minimum number of applications. I was surprised at the lack of applications, and we’ll get into that in a few minutes.

Graphics:  (Nvidia)
Wireless:  (iwl4965)

The Defaults
Browser: Midori
Office Suite: None installed but LibreOffice, CaligraOffice, and Abi-numeric Suite are included in the software center, so you’re never too far from productivity tools via the software center that contains thousands of apps
Mail Client: Geary Mail
File Manager: Files

At the bottom of the screen is a centered dock—WingPanel, the underlying technology of which is Plank. For anyone who’s interested, Plank also is the underlying technology for Docky. The application icons on WingPanel cover the standard activities—browsing, email, chat, music and movies, photo-viewer, as well as system settings and software center. I was able to add to the docky by clicking and dragging icons from the applications window.

I am one of those people who likes to have my stuff in one area on my screen—which is why I prefer KDE and its default panel at the bottom. Call me a traditionalist but I also like the application title bar buttons to be on the same side of the application’s title bar. ElementaryOS handles this function differently. The close app button is on the left and the other app functions are located on the upper right, in a drop-down list—if you remember to right click. The default action for left click is maximize/minimize. Splitting these actions seems a little inefficient to me.

The Install Process:

Ubuntu style install. Been there…done that. No problems both during and after the install, aside from having to fix grub because I didn’t catch the grub install portion …

Installed Environment:

Reboots to same rocky shore scene. The install icon is gone from the dock. Earlier I mentioned ElementaryOS provides you with a minimum number of apps—I suspect it’s to keep the iso size down to CD. There may be some who do not like the fact it ships with no office suite installed by default—I prefer to think that it’s leaving it up to the user. However, better way to go is if you’ve checked the box to receive updates during install, the ElementaryOS folks could provide a list of available office suites from the software center and install your selection.

ElementaryOS’ software center is essentially Ubuntu’s although the project’s web page mentions they’re working on AppCenter, a software management center designed to replace Ubuntu Software Center. AppCenter is not installed by default in Luna but they expect it to be installed in the 0.3 release. I tested the currently available software center and installed Cheese to test the web cam. Within a few seconds I was looking at myself onscreen Not a pretty site at 5:30AM.

Next up—how configurable is ElementaryOS. As a KDE user, I like the fact that I can configure the hell out of KDE. No, I haven’t used 75% of the available configuration settings but the fact that they are there means I can if I wanted to. Did you know that there’s a video wall setting which spans full-screen video player over all attached screens to create a Video Wall? Look in Window Behavior, under KWin Scripts.

Updates to ElementaryOS are easy—and that I did not have to provide my password to update already installed software was appreciated. PC-BSD follows this same paradigm. It just makes sense.

A word about “Files”, the default file manager in ElementaryOS. Unimpressive. Disclaimer: This one-word description is coming from someone who uses and loves Dolphin. My right-click menu on Dolphin allows me to perform dozens of functions, some more useful than others. Files, on the other hand, provides a bare bones approach to file management. You can select one of the following available views: icon, list, and columns for which each folder click opens another column to the right. I selected detail view. I got my list but when I right-clicked on the column headers I thought I could choose to display permissions for files or other meta-data. No, there was nothing more to be seen.

Other interesting Programs:

Because of the minimalistic approach to installed software for the default system, it doesn’t come with anything I would consider interesting pre-installed. However, just a few mouse clicks away are thousands of packages in the software center.

I installed LibreOffice and was disappointed to see that was the version I received…the downside of a LTS version. Oh well.


ElementaryOS’ clean simplistic desktop will appeal to those seeking such an environment. And those who strive to mimic the Mac look may like this distro. However, it’s missing some of the conveniences that I like:
no menu with you right-click the desktop (changing wallpaper requires going to the system settings, clicking the Desktop tab.) A seriously underpowered file manager.

Of course Pantheon is still finding its way. I suspect it’s going to improve as time goes on.

2.5 cups of black coffee, straight up.

Tech News:

Feds Threaten To Arrest Lavabit Founder For Shutting Down His Service

The saga of Lavabit founder Ladar Levison is getting even more ridiculous, as he explains that the government has threatened him with criminal charges for his decision to shut down the business, rather than agree to some mysterious court order. The feds are apparently arguing that the act of shutting down the business, itself, was a violation of the order



Samsung Properly Open-Sources exFAT File-System

Back in June, Phoronix was the first to report of a native exFAT file-system implementation for Linux that appeared on GitHub. It later turned out that Samsung accidentally leaked their exFAT source code. The solution has now been corrected with Samsung formally open-sourcing their exFAT source code.



Microsoft warns it’ll hand out zero days for Windows XP

Beginning April 2014, patches will bring new threats. Microsoft has a Windows XP problem: people still like it and aren’t willing to upgrade just yet. So it’s warning users that if they don’t upgrade soon, each new Patch Tuesday will gift a new series of vulnerabilities to the hacking community.



Twitter buys an open source educator.

Twitter says it wants to be the best place in the world for engineers to work, and to that end it announced this week that it was acquiring open source educator Marakana to provide its engineers with additional training. As a result of the acquisition, ZDNet reports that Marakana will no longer be offering its courses to the public. However, Twitter says it will “aim to release some of the Twitter University content online to anyone who’d like to learn.”



ROSA Labs Developer Leaves ROSA Labs, Then Leaves  Linux

An interesting article discussing a post from the a former ROSA Linux developer.




Pipelight: A Way To Get Netflix On Linux
the FDS-Team mainly consists of two persons. We are both students at the university of Heidelberg in Germany and interested in programming and related topics.



Linux Users Have Luxury of Choosing From Diverse Desktop Options


KDE Korner

On Wednesday, 8/14, KDE SC 4.11 was released. Here is the schedule for the point releases in the 4.11 series:

Tuesday, September 3, 2013: KDE SC 4.11.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013: KDE SC 4.11.
Tuesday, November 5, 2013: KDE SC 4.11.3
Tuesday, December 3, 2013: KDE SC 4.11.4

Tuesday, January 7, 2014: KDE SC 4.11.5

Listener Feedback:

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

Outtro Music

Out of it by Brad Sucks



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