Podcast Season 1 Episode 22


Title: The Sound of Fail

In this episode: Google releases the source code to its new operating system, Chrome OS. The Fedora 12 distribution makes its way onto the mirrors and The Gimp is too powerful and too complex for Ubuntu 10.04. We present the results of our two-week Bing research project and ask whether we'd switch to Bing if it was the only place to find News Corp. coverage.

What's in the show

  • News: Google releases the source code to its Chrome operating system. Fedora 12, Constantine, has been released and The Gimp might be dropped from Ubuntu 10.04.
  • Hot Topic: The results from our Bing challenge.
  • Discovery of the week:
    • Mike: The futility of libgwenhywfar's name.
    • Graham: Conky, for ultra-cool system monitoring.
    • Paul:
      • If it wasn't for a conflict of interest, it would be Brain Party on Apple's iPhone.
      • ...otherwise, it's that tar xvf works for both .gz files and .bz2 files automatically.
    • Andrew:
  • Open Ballot: Microsoft/News Corp deal - would you switch to Bing?
  • Special offer: subscribe to Linux Format magazine and save up to to 55% - that's just $7.62 an issue!

Presenters: Andrew Gregory, Paul Hudson, Graham Morrison and Mike Saunders

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Your comments

The Gimp

powerful, feature still shite.

Da iawn, Paul!

Paul, I finally got caught up with the podcasts and heard your Welsh, it was excellent! Well done!

Now to listen to this one. :)

My 2 cents

Good podcast, and yes Conky is cool. I also want to put my 2 cents into the whole GIMP issues, and I agree with Canonical, I hardly use that program, and if I do need it's a click away in the Software Center.

(Chandler) Bing

Why did Microsoft choose to name their search engine after the funniest character in Friends? What next, an online app called Geller?

I have not yet listened to the podcast, but thanks for continuing to make these, I enjoy listening to them on the way to work.


Couldn't think of a good title.

1. Good podcast. I wish there had been more Fedora 12 talk, though I agree that it's good and solid and wonderful and that's really all there is to say.

2. TAG THE BLOODY OGG FILES CORRECTLY PLEASE. "Podcast" is not a good Album/Show name, in case you didn't realize.

3. I love Conky. I'm too lazy to configure it well.

4. Moblin in Fedora 12 is rather interesting. I couldn't find a shutoff button.

Keep the bloody open topic the same!

It's the same thing every podcast that you have an open ballot. You ask one question on the ballot and answer another one on the podcast. At least this time you dwealt on the asked question for a while, but it's annoying to answer one question and reading the discussion and then hear you guys discussing something else.

BTW if different sites start charging search engines to index them, then the first search engine I am going to go to is one that refuses to pay, on principle. It would be dreadful to have to go to one site to search amazon, target and sears, and to have to go to another site to search home depot, jcpenny and kohls ( to pick one example ). I don't need it and I would want to see it oput down as soon as possible.

PS if you don't clean up your act by the time...

I distinguish your personalities, I just might post a paradoy of you guys discussing your changing topics on open ballots in one of your podcasts.

Paul: it's just so bloody annoying...
Graham: Andrew what do you think?
Andrew: If they would just stick to the topic, it would be such an interesting feature.
Mike: Yeah it makes me want to stop listening.


I was beginning to wonder why no one noticed! I think that's about as close as we're going to come to recording the whole podcast in Welsh ;)


Well, in the last month or so I've gone out and found one of those "job" things so I can't just listen to the pods as soon as they're posted any more. :(

At least now I have something to do on the train...


I agree to excluding GIMP as standard equipment on Ubuntu (I dont use Ubuntu so whoe cares really :)
What I dont get is people saying it is confusing? I am obviously missing something (or have used it enough to not see the obvious issues)
Can someone please, in short, describe the issues they have with the interface.

GIMP (and some other stuff)

I recall reading an article on interface stuff with GIMP and it basically came about because someone asked "How do I draw a circle?!" ;)

Regarding Bing results. I noticed that Google's results page has a "Personalized based on your web history." disclaimer down at the bottom. Did you compare results between the two search engines when signed in? I've clocked up 13268 searches via Google since Feb 2007 so, assuming their algorithms work (heh), I find it hard to believe Google could get it wrong. If I search for 'Python', I expect results on the programming language and not our reptilian friends.

Does Bing keep and/or tailor results based on historic information? Was it a fair comparison between the two? It didn't seem very scientific although I was interested to hear more about the differences between other features on offer (I've not used Bing at all, other than to look at the humorous links posted around, e.g. Windows keys being available via Bing search, etc...)

Also, I use conky myself (monitor get_iplayer downloads, folding progress, system stuff) but I've never figured out how to stop the damn thing appearing on top of other windows during startup since upgrading to Karmic. It works if started manually, sits behind other windows but during log on it sits above everything else (except the panels).

Any ideas (or a mag feature?)

I will give you another go

This is the first time I have listened to your podcast. I hope the next one is better or it will be the second and last time. I do not want to listen to pro Murdoch propoganda. If it was not for other people who had recommended your podcast I would not even be giving you a chance and listening again.

A few inaccuracies

1. MSN messenger was around before Google Talk
2. Hotmail was around before gmail

Therefore it would seem it isn't just Microsoft making rivals for Google - Google has done the same to Microsoft for years!

Google entered a crowded search engine market and produced a better algorithm. What's to stop Microsoft doing the same?

(And Google's services have either been bought from other people or borrowed from rivals such as Zoho. Wave just integrates existing web features into one protocol, so is it really innovation?)


@satipera: I think you have misplaced your dictionary. go find it and look up the word "humor" and "sarcasm."

Now listen to the podcast again and tell me that they are pro-Murdoch with a straight face. Crank up your radio and listen to everyone snickering in the background.


@BubbaT: I actually wish they'd be more random and flippant. The best podcasts I've ever heard just pick a topic and talk about it without a structure.

Not one of the best

I understand that you guys were just trying break down Microsoft's business plan and to decide what direction Google might have to go in to combat it, but you guys seemed to eager to switch sides if Microsoft manages to pull together a decent product.

I would hate to think the only reason you guys use Linux and open source products is because they are better. Microsoft only knows how to do business one way, and that is to have a monopoly so they don't have to compete with anybody else. Throwing money at news organisations in order to facilitate that with their search engine is no less evil than anything else they have every done. I won't use Microsoft products on principal. They haven't shown any inclinations that they are going to change.

Microsoft is evil, bottom line.


Very, very well said, Paul. That's exactly why I used the term Morton's Fork in answer to your open ballot (I wasn't aware of the history of the phrase though, you get 5 points for that!).

I don't think Google are a particularly pleasant organisation. I don't think they're much better than Microsoft in many respects. It's frightening how big a picture than can build of a user who's just innocently doing whatever it is they do on the internet if they happen to use a few of Google's services. And their privacy policies and methods of implementing them are hardly reassuring.

I use their search engine but that's it, and I take reasonable precautions to ensure that I'm just an IP (or twelve) to Google, nothing more.

At the same time, I can't stomach the thought of Microsoft and News Corp being in a similar position. Oh, how I wish Cuil actually worked...


Apparently you can't read because I never said anything positive or in defence of Google in my post, yet you spent a long time and went to a lot of effort to refute points that weren't made.

In fact all you did was semi-agree with me in your first short paragraph and then continued on a rant arguing against a position I never made. Why should I take anything you have to say seriously. You say that calling Microsoft evil is silly; well I say that ranting and raving with wild non sequiturs is also silly.

I don't use Google docs, because it sucks. The only Google service I use are search and maps. I don't have any problems with businesses trying to make money for their shareholders, but their are evil ways to do this and not. The day Microsoft actually tries to compete on the merits of their products is the day I give them a fair chance. As long as they continue their anti-competitive, monopolistic, and dare I say ... evil practices, I'll have nothing to do with them. Lucky for me it's easy because their products suck anyways. If you have something to say, please try reading and comprehending my post this time before you start typing.

@Andrew Cole

Apparently you don't have any sense of logic. Are you new to this internet thing?

You attacked them for swapping from Google to Microsoft, and embracing Microsoft's platform because they're evil. He pointed out that Google is just as bad as Microsoft, so your argument is fruitless, and that "evil" is a foolish term to use. Even if you didn't take into account that to go from one provider to the other you have to have a starting point (and that the starting point in this case is Google) doesn't mean he has to ignore the idea.

Trying to label it as a fallacy just highlights the fact that you don't want to talk it or have nothing to defend yourself with. It's the hands-up-in-the-air "whoa whoa whoa!" defense. Way to go.

@Nobody Important - which is the truth

Don't try to bring logic into this, friend.

Let me see if I have correctly extrapolated the logic from my post the way you see it.

(A)Switching from Google to Microsoft IFF (B)Google is good.



(A)Microsoft is evil IFF (B)Google is good


I never took a positive proposition on anybodies side, except for that of freedom, which does not automatically include Google, and in my second post I made it clear that I am not a Google fanboy.

"Even if you didn't take into account that to go from one provider to the other you have to have a starting point (and that the starting point in this case is Google) doesn't mean he has to ignore the idea."

Ok, so he doesn't have to ignore the fact that you have to switch to Bing from another search engine, except that I never mentioned Google did I? Even if I did, you still seem to think that A<->B, which it does not.

Do me a favour and learn something about logic before you run your mouth and attack other people and claim they have faulty logic.

Shower curtain...

More importantly, did someone mention a periodic table shower curtain? Fans of the Big Bang Theory sit com will know, from the very first episode, one is installed in the guy's bathroom.

I'm amazed the Tux Radar crew are not already fans...!

Chrome OS

After having compiled, built, and played with ChromeOS myself, I agree with all the comments made on the podcast. The web docs were painless to follow in building an image leaving me paranoid in given painful experience in the past building/compile other stuff.

Windows Server?

Am I halluzinating or is there an ad for "10 Reasons for Windows Server 2008 R2" next to the podcast notes?


OK, now it changed to HP. Still weird to see MS advertising on a Linux Website.


I agree with all said in podcast about GIMP; although personally, I like it a lot.
Having made that transparent attempt to appear "on topic", here is the real reason for my post: Can someone tell me what is the music that's played at the end of the podcasts? Thanks.


I don't recall the name of the song but it's by Brad Sucks.


Thanks, Huw -- or should I write [SOLVED]? Got it.

Netcraft; Brad Sucks

Bing doesn't run on Linux, sadly. What you're seeing there is that Akamai - a worldwide bandwidth provider that several big companies such as Microsoft use - runs Linux.

The song is called Dropping Out Of School from the album Out Of It by Brad Sucks - see bradsucks.net.

output volume

any chance of getting the output volume increased on the podcasts? i usually download them and listen to them on my phone when i have a spare moment but even at full volume on the phone i don't get to hear half of what is said. surely it is better to increase the output levels and let people reduce the volume rather than not to listen to it in the first place


GIMP = great program, rubbish name. We need a new name for GIMP and a more Photoshop-like interface. But it is not that difficult to use though. But it does take a while to get used to.

Even smarter tar

At the risk of flogging not one but several equine corpses (simultaneously), I feel it should be pointed out that the latest version of GNU tar is even smarter than has heretofore been indicated. Not only can it decompress tar.gz and tar.bz2 files without specifying a decompression option, it also "just knows" how to decompress tar.lzma and tar.xz files, so

$ tar xf some.tar.lzma

will "just work".

And as if that were not enough, it also determines the appropriate compressor to use when you give the "a" option, e.g.:

$ tar acf some_other.tar.xz some_other/

Uncanny, eh?

I use photoshop at work and

I use photoshop at work and find gimp a great program. possibly too complex for average joe, but if you know what you are doing it is great. The only problem I have is I am too used to photoshop layout so sometimes have problems finding facilities.


There is a port of the GIMP which is eredesigned to look and feel like photoshop, although I haven't used it myself, I believe it is called "GIMPShop" or something like that, and don't forget that the GIMP now has support for Python-Fu as well as Script-fu, so you can write your own plugins should you so desire. Finally I can recommend a brilliant multi-filter called MathMap for the technically minded, it's like a matrix filter on steroids with a language built-in.

Anyone interested in trying out free software should be strongly recommended to the GIMP which has a windows port, and the sheer number of tutorials online and on video are enough to get anyone started.

Love the podcast, guys, keep up the excellent work.

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