Episode 021

Posted by Tony on March 4, 2012 in Show-mp3, Show-ogg |



MP3 format (for Freedom Haters!)
OGG format (for Freedom Lovers!)
Total Running Time: 1:19:50


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

Kernel News: Mat

Time: 6:46
Kernel News

Release Candidate:
On Sun, 4 March 2012 02:57:31 UTC Greg Linus Torvalds announced the release of Kernel 3.3-rc6

Nothing much to say about this -rc: it really is all small fixes and cleanups. In fact, it’s been calm enough that this *might* be the last -rc, but we’ll see how the upcoming week goes.

–Linus Torvalds

Stays 3.3-rc6

Stable Updates:
On Mon, 27 Feb 2012 20:45:57 UTC Greg Kroah-Hartman announced the release of Kernel 3.2.8
There were 9 files changed, 269 files inserted, and 129 files deleted
This update only fixed one bug. A floating point issue with new x86 processors
running in 32bit mode.

On Thur, 1 March 2012 00:38:35 UTC Greg Kroah-Hartman announced the release of Kernel 3.0.23
There were 85 files changed, 1061 files inserted, 612 files deleted

On Thur, 1 March 2012 00:39:27 UTC Greg Kroah-Hartman announced the release of Kernel 3.2.9
There were 98 files changed, 891 files inserted, 533 files deleted

Kernel Quote:
Not really kernel related but since it is Linus I am putting it in anyway.

“If I can get 4000 upvotes for a rant on security people, just imagine what a picture of a cat could do…

Mwahahaahaa… I’ll get millions of +1’s! Isn’t that how these things work?”

–Linus Torvalds

Distro Talk: Tony

Time: 10:30


  • 3-03 – Oracle Linux 5.8 – the latest update in the 5.x series of the distribution built from source packages for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.8
  • 3-03 – Linux Deepin 11.12.1 – one of the most active community distributions from China, released its version 11.12.1 on the leap day as an upgrade from its New Year release.
  • 3-03 – Linux From Scratch 7.1 – Linux From Scratch is a book of instructions on how to compile a base Linux system from scratch, either from an existing Linux installation or a Linux live CD. It is intended primarily as an educational exercise for those wishing to get an understanding about how a Linux system works under the hood.
  • 3-02 – BackTrack 5 R2 – Ubuntu-based distribution with a collection of tools for penetration testing and ethical hacking
  • 3-02 – Plop Linux 4.2.0 – a utility live CD or DVD (with Fluxbox and GNOME 3) designed to rescue data from a damaged system, backup and restore operating systems, and automate common tasks
  • 3-01 – FreeNAS 8.0.4 – the latest update of the project’s FreeBSD-based operating system which provides free Network-Attached Storage (NAS) services
  • 2-29 – MINIX 3.2.0 – a free and open-source operating system based on a tiny microkernel architecture
  • 2-29 – SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 SP2 – commercial enterprise-class Linux distribution for desktops and servers
  • 2-28 – Network Security Toolkit 2.16.0 – a Fedora based live DVD providing easy access to a large number of open-source network security applications
  • 2-27 – wattOS R5 – Ubuntu-based distribution featuring a clean and simple user interface in a customised LXDE desktop

Distro of the Week: Tony

  1. openSUSE – 1474
  2. whattOS – 1518
  3. Fedora – 2286
  4. Ubuntu – 2454
  5. Mint – 4039

Tech News:

Time: 30:57
Keep The ARM Architecture Open

Back in December when the fecal matter really hit the fan over UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) commonly known as Secure Boot, or as it is better known to the Open Source community Restricted Boot. Microsoft apparently backpedaled and changed the specification for the Windows 8 logo certification stating that user must be able to control (and disable) the Secure Boot feature on any Windows 8 computer that is not based on ARM. This is still not an acceptable situation because the ARM processor is the de facto standard on small portable devices e.g. phones, tablets, and netbooks. If these devices ship with Windows 8 on them they will be locked into only Windows 8. In the future these are going to become more and more the computers people are using as the desktop market becomes obsolete. The need is now for the word to get out about this to the general public. We need to let them know that there freedom to a device they purchased however they want to is being usurped.

You can help do this in a fun and entertaining way. The FSF (Free Software Foundation) is running a Restricted Boot Webcomic Contest. Entries must be submitted by March 17th by emailing campaigns@fsf.org. See complete details on their website (link in the show notes) http://www.fsf.org/campaigns/secure-boot-vs-restricted-boot/comic-contest.

You should also sign the petition while your motivated (link in the show notes) http://www.fsf.org/campaigns/secure-boot-vs-restricted-boot/statement. Do be aware that this is going to sign you up to receive a news letter on Restricted Boot from FSF.

Fastest Growing Desktop Linux Up 64% In 9 Months

Even the biggest Linux fanboy would have to admit that at best Linux desktop market share is in the very low single digits. First Ubuntu then Mint have had very good success on the desktop. Still Linux has yet to break out into the mainstream on the desktop.

This could be changing however. If you look at the numbers generated by NetMarketShare, over the last nine months Linux has beat Windows 7 in growth. Linux has been putting up a fight for the desktop but it has been hanging at just under 1% market share for many years now. In terms of total market share even OS X kicks our ass. There is hope however as if you look at the last 9 months Linux desktop use has grown about 64% from 0.9 to 1.48 market share. Over the same time period Windows 7 has only grown about 37%. The number of Linux desktop installations is obviously currently very small but if our growth continues on this pace we will overtake Windows in about 59 years. Whooo Hooo we are a force to be reckoned with.

Azure Goes Down! Azure Goes Done!
(But Will It Be For The Count)

This is only Open Source related in the fact that it is what they should have been running in the first place..

If your human every once in a while you are going to screw the pooch. But if your Microsoft this sort of thing seems to plague you. Lets face it sometimes they do release something that is usable, like Windows 2008 R2 and Windows 7 SP1. then sometimes they release something that just makes you go WTF were you thinking, like Windows ME and Windows Vista. But every so often they blow it so spectacularly that you have to wonder why anyone would ever even consider using them for mission critical applications. As an example the LSE (London Stock Exchange) went down for over 6 hours back in September of 2008. Here is a link to the whole story, if you don’t want that here are the CliffsNotes version. They had a boat load of servers running Windows 2003. On top of that they had a proprietary software suite called TradElec running, this was a custom set of applications written in C# and .NET. Now wait for the good part the back end databases were running on Microsoft SQL Server 2000. From the Practical Technology website:

“Sorry, Microsoft, .NET Framework is simply incapable of performing this kind of work, and SQL Server 2000, or any version of SQL Server really, can’t possibly handle the world’s number three stock exchange’s transaction load on a consistent basis.”

Well they have done it again. The Windows Azure platform went down for over 8hrs with full functionality not restored for about 36hrs, according to sources. you may be wondering what actually caused the whole thing to blow up. Well this is MS and closed source so we will most likely never know for sure. It appears to have been a simple mistake. Leap year who needs leap year; it only comes around every 4 years. This is what Bill Laing, Corporate VP Server and Cloud, had to say on the Windows Azure team blog:

“Yesterday, February 28th, 2012 at 5:45 PM PST Windows Azure operations became aware of an issue impacting the compute service in a number of regions. The issue was quickly triaged and it was determined to be caused by a software bug. While final root cause analysis is in progress, this issue appears to be due to a time calculation that was incorrect for the leap year. Once we discovered the issue we immediately took steps to protect customer services that were already up and running, and began creating a fix for the issue. The fix was successfully deployed to most of the Windows Azure sub-regions and we restored Windows Azure service availability to the majority of our customers and services by 2:57AM PST, Feb 29th.

However, some sub-regions and customers are still experiencing issues and as a result of these issues they may be experiencing a loss of application functionality.”

That went on for almost 36hrs. How is it even possible for this to happen? Well let me tell you what I think. To few eyes on the code. If this had been Open Source software I doubt that this could have happened, and if it did the fix would be in way sooner than MS was able to implement it. This type of beginner programming mistake is inexcusable. Anybody out there who even considers using Azure for mission critical operations after this ought to loose his job.

Assault On The Fifth Amendment Won’t Get Its Day In Court

Here in the US we have a little thing called the constitution and within that quaint little document we have a section commonly referred to as the Bill of Rights. Part of the Fith Amendment, which is in the section referred to as the Bill of Rights, says this “nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself”. Well Judge Robert Blackburn, of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, does not think this applies to encrypted hard drives. Back in January he issued an order to force a defendant to decrypt her laptop for authorities.

The encrypted Toshiba laptop was siezed by federal authorities from Ramona Fricosu back in 2010 with valid court warrants. The case involves a large mortgage fraud scheme. The judge’s order demanded that she decrypt the laptop by the end of Febuary. He also refused to stay his order to allow the defendant to appeal his ruling.

The whole question became moot this week as authorities were able to get into the laptop with out the assistance of the defendant. It is believed that her co-defendant, Scott Whatcott, gave a list of possible passwords to authorities and one of these worked. A copy of the material had been delivered to the defendants attorney, Philip Dubois, on Wednesday February 29th.

All of this came to a head a week after another circuit court ruled that a cr00iminal defendant can not be forced to decrypt a hard drive. This was the first appellate court to take this stance. The Supreme Court has never heard a case on this matter. This all transpired in the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, so judge Blackburn would not be bound by their decision anyway as he is in the 10th Circuit. Maybe the judge’s decision from 11th circuit will be appealed so this could still get its day in front of the Supreme Court.

The Real Numbers For Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV)

The enterprise server virtualization market has basically been owned by three players, VMware, Microsoft and Citrix, using three hypervisors, vSphere, Hyper-V and Xen. The result is that we all forget about the RHEV platform. Even though RHEV 3 was released back in January. We talked about that on the show in a kind of sideways manner as we were making fun of them for requiring IE7 to run the web based management console.

Even though they have introduced some real big time features like Live Migration, support for 160 cores, and 2TB of RAM. They have only been able to achieve a very small market share, less than 2%, as a primary virtualization platform, using the V-Index numbers.

The V-Index number is most likely skewed as it only takes into account what besinesses are claiming as their primary or first virtualization solution. According to Red Hat 80% of RHEV deployments are are being run to compliment an existing VMware solution. This is due to companies getting their feat wet by virtualizing the not-so-mission critical Windows servers on VMware. Then after they have become comfortable with the concept of virtualization they start Migrating their more mission critical Linux servers to a virtual environment on RHEV.

So in conclusion those numbers putting RHEV in fourth place maybe a little skewed. It would appear that the total number of RHEV deployments out there could be much higher.

White House, Consumers in Mind, Offers Online Privacy Guidelines

Even before Congress approves privacy legislation, the Federal Trade Commission will have the ability to enforce compliance with a code of conduct to be developed by the Commerce Department or with advertising industry guidelines that companies would adopt voluntarily, Jon Leibowitz, the chairman of the F.T.C., said during a call with reporters on Wednesday.

The Linux Convention Scene for March 2012
Droidcon 2012 March 13th-14th, 2012 – Berlin, Germany

droidcon is the world’s largest independent, community-run Android developer gathering, It will go back to its origins for the fourth time: on March 13 and 14, 2012 at the Urania in Berlin. (Microsoft is listed as a platinum sponsor)

Chemnitzer Linux-Tage 2012 17th–18th March 2012 in Chemnitz Germany
Chemnitz Linux Days is a conference that deals with Linux and Open Source software. This event is organized by IN Chemnitz, CLUG, computing centre and Faculty of Computer Science of Chemnitz University of Technology in Chemnitz Germany.

AsiaBSDCon 2012, 22 – 25 March, 2012 Morito Memorial Hall, Tokyo University of Science, Tokyo, Japan

AsiaBSDCon is a conference for users and developers on BSD based systems. The conference is for anyone developing, deploying and using systems based on FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, DragonFlyBSD, Darwin and MacOS X.


CE Linux Forum Japan Technical Jamboree March 23 2012 Nakano Sunplaza Hotel Tokyo Japan

The Japan Technical Jamboree is a forum-wide technical meeting of the CE Workgroup of the Linux Foundation. This meeting will be located conveniently in Japan and use Japanese as the native language of the event.


ABLEConf March 24 – Tempe AZ
The annual Arizona Business Liberty Experience Conference (ABLEconf) brings together technology experts and business leaders to discuss how open technologies can help transform Arizona businesses. It will occur at the university of Advanced Technology in Tempe AZ


LibrePlanet 2012 March 24-25, 2012 University of Massachusetts, Boston. MA
LibrePlanet 2012 is part of the LibrePlanetConference series. LibrePlanet is host to a weekend of talks by some of the most influential people in free software. Speakers include FSF founder Richard Stallman, Raspberry Pi developer Eben Upton, and several key lawyers behind the GNU GPL and other free software rights.


March 27-29, 2012 Palmetto Open Source Software Conference (POSSCON) 2012 Columbia, SC POSSCON 2012

IThe Palmetto Open Source Software Conference will once again bring a world-class lineup of speakers and content to the Southeast to discuss the latest open and open source issues for technologists, business and government IT leaders, and educators.


Document Freedom Day 2012 28 March 2012

The Document Freedom Day (DFD) is the global day for document liberation. It is a day which is dedicated to promote the importance of Open Document Formats and Open Standards in general. Various kind of activities are planned by a grassroot movement all over the world. If you like to participate, look how you can get involved.


Northeast Linux Fest
March 17, 2012 · Worcester State University · Worcester, MA 01602

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