Podcast Season 3 Episode 12


Title: Air Lacquer

In this episode: Chrome might replace Firefox in future versions of Ubuntu. Fedora 16 will make Btrfs the default filesystem. Firefox 5 has been released and Adobe is dropping Linux desktop support for Air. Share our cool discoveries from the last two weeks, hear how we fared installing Linux whilst blindfolded and we discuss your opinions in our Open Ballot.

What's in the show:

  • News:
  • Discovery of the week:
    • Graham:
      • Nvidia's GT520 graphics card works well with Linux, and you can even send audio through its HDMI port.
      • QMC2 is a brilliant frontend to SDLMAME.
    • Jonathan:
      • LifeHacker's report on Google's filter bubbles.
      • ...and why you should consider switching your search portal to Duck Duck Go.
    • Andrew:
      • In the world of football, a female defender for England is paid just £16,000 per year.
    • Mike:
      • There's a server management tool with a more stupid name than GScrot.
      • Ardour's source code download page asks for a $45 donation.
  • You Dare Us:
      One of us actually tried it this time!
  • Speak Your Brains:
      We respond to three more of your emails. If you'd like this section to continue email mike.saunders@futurenet.com today.
  • Open Ballot: Is Ubuntu on the way out?

  • We're still on Facebook! You can join the party here.
  • Special offer: subscribe to Linux Format magazine and save up to 40%

Presenters: Andrew Gregory, Graham Morrison and Jonathan Roberts and Mike Saunders.

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Theme Music by Brad Sucks.

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Your comments


Thanks guys,

You just made my morning, I have something to listen to until lunch time :)

Thanks very much for all the effort you guys put in to do this podcast and the other resources on the site. Giving back to the community is just as much about this as it is lines in the kernel.

What I like to see(or hear?) in a podcast

Downloading now to go with the rest of the collection. I like listening to them and its great to hear about what you have/havent discovered in the last fortnight!

I dare you

I dare you not to give up "You Dare Us".

In other news, I've been an Ubuntu user for about 4 years. Unity annoyed me and Gnome 3 excited me when I installed it through the PPA. Even though it's not quite ready and it should still be beta, I decided to switch to it and watch it grow. I've moved to Arch to brush up on ma skillz and because I love the idea of a rolling release.

Because of Unity, I can no longer recommend Ubuntu to people who ask me to recommend a distro (it does happen) so I've started recommending Mint.

Charging for free software

Just a quickie - there's nothing wrong in charging for GPL software! In fact, it should cost more given it also comes with the source code.

Enjoying your podcast so far!

Another comment...

Gnome 3 on fedora seems pretty solid (cf kde). My other half is using it happily on her laptop at the moment. She thinks its shiny.

Also agree with the mint like xp comment. I don't like it! But I have installed LM debian edition - it seems v similar to normal mint, but runs on much less RAM.

More thoughts....

I think it's a really interesting question as to how you sell free software. To be honest, I don't think you'll ever get widespread free software adoption unless there is a reliable way to get money from the users to the developers, and 'donate' buttons on websites is simply not going to cut it.

Maybe someone could build a charity app into your favourite distribution which divides up the £3 or however much per month you want to donate, to your most-used applications. Did someone mention this before?

As I said before, free software should cost more than closed-source software, as it includes extra 'features' - sourcecode, and the license to modify it.


I think you should ask Paul about what his motivations are for using the donation system he's using.

I think it's easy to download most gpl software without thinking so much about the amount of work that is going into that software.

I think Paul is reminding you that he is CHOOSING to devote himself to this project full-time. Because he believes in the GPL, he is turning his back on development schemes that would be exponentially more profitable for him.

He passionate about the project, he's devoting himself to it full-time, and people that download the software should understand that.

Re: ardour

I've got nothing against donations. In fact, I like to see a big, bright "donate" button on FOSS project websites. Good for them!

But that's entirely different from pestering someone and trying to make them feel guilty. If someone with a collection box in the street pushed a form in your face and said: "Tick the box which explains why you won't give us money" you'd tell them to buzz off.

That's all it's about. Donations = good. Forced guilt trips = bad.


Paying for Free software

Mike - agreed, it is annoying. I remember back in the day of shareware software, and being pestered on a regular basis to pay for it - if anything, it simply put me off the software.

BUT - how does someone go about making money out of software, published on a free software license? In theory you could require that a license be held for the software to be used, but then a fork of that software would not require a license.

Unity and Gnome Shell

They're both outstanding projects, and I believe one of them will bring free software to the masses. Fundamentally, you hate them because they're new; you're the conservative right of the free software world ,and I hope your voices go unheard at large, and mocked in the circles that actually matter.

You Dare Us

I hope you keep You Dare Us - it's just too funny listening to all the feeble excuses you keep coming up with for not even attempting them! ;-)

Well done to J-Rob for giving it a bash though!

Re: Paying for Free software

It's probably very hard to get people to pay for the code itself. If you're giving it away, it's hard to expect money -- just like if you had a stall in the street saying "free candy" you wouldn't expect people to pay for it.

But I think there are other ways you can get money. Sell add-ons such as support, printed documentation or merchandise. Start the project as closed-source and say you'll GPL it after a certain number of donations have been made. Have a "lite" open source version and a "pro" one with closed extensions.

In that way you can support the open source movement in some ways, whilst still getting financially rewarded.


Angry Birds on Chrome

I noticed that it was mentioned that angry birds on chrome doesn't work on a 1.6 atom netbook. I have a 1.6 atom netbook (eeepc 904HA) and angry birds for PC works great under wine.


"How does he order pizza?". I'll probably laf about that at come inappropriate moment at work 2morro. Classic

LOL@ ペンギン

Outstanding projects? Are you serious?

G3 is beta quality at best, while Disunity is BARELY alpha. Neither of them are even remotely as good as Gnome 2.6x, and by their very design, neither even has the potential to be.

Wake up Linux community, and realize that THE EMPEROR IS NAKED!!!

There are literally thousands of "how-to" articles describing how to add panels back to gnome, get rid of Disunity, set up 10.04 Server and add the desktop interface to eke out 4 more years of support in the hope that Canonical comes to their senses, etc. Additionally, I would wager TENS of thousands of users have jumped distros, and as I predicted months ago, Mint is quickly overtaking Ubuntu as the most popular distro.

No one who has a grain of sense would give an 11.04 disc to a new user and just let them go at it. I still give out Ubuntu, but I give either 10.04.2 (with careful instructions so the user does not accidentally "upgrade"), or Xubuntu 11.04.

Unity will fail. It is just a matter of time. It is either a solution to a non-existent problem, or it is a tablet interface made for a device that simply does not exist - take your pick. G3 will likely just evolve, but become less popular - Once bitten, twice shy. The KDE developers can tell you about that...

When Microsoft came up with the concept of the "Start" menu (a radical new design at the time), they did focus groups, had thousands of testers, and got feedback from actual users. While I cannot say for sure, I SERIOUSLY doubt that either the G3 or Disunity camp did this outside of the confines of their own offices. If they did, both would look and behave very differently.

If you do not recognise horrid design when you see it, then just have fun taking eight minutes to get to your email...

XFCE forever, or until they screw THAT up too...

Don't give up you dare us!

It is a good section... you know, when you actually do the dare, natch ;-)!

Unity v's Gnome3

Listened to the latest podcast - good as usual, but it needs Effy. Couldn't agree more with the ambivalence over Ubuntu+Unity, and why-the-heck did they make it the default.

I'll be looking around for a replacement when the next LTS release appears if they insist on Unity - but then again I don't think Unity nor Gnome3 work well on small screens.

Back to Unity - I had the chance to work with two Linux noobs recently (busy converting the heathen from Windows) and both my "victims" actually quite liked Unity. One remarked that it looked kinda like a mutation from the Windows7 UI, which hadn't occurred to me before.

So that seems to be the way - the old Linux folks hate Unity, the noob's like it. Maybe that's what Shuttleworth and co intended all along? Tip for them though - with the next LTS (11.10?) make it an installation choice whether to have Gnome2 or Unity as default and they'll claw back quite a few of the current (prospective) defectors to Mint et al.


12.04 is the next LTS...

You Dare Us Top

How about using your browser of your choice and try to do everything in it, no desktop app, similar to the ChromeOS is setup.

I don't see why people are so vexed about unity

I've been using ubuntu since the first release and have upgraded with each release. I upgraded to 11.04, tried unity, wanted it to work nicely, it didn't, I switched to the classic interface and got on with my life.

I'll try it again with the next release and if it still doesn't work I'll lose about a nanosecond of sleep over it, and get on with my life again.

Thanks from Russia.

For the first time I listened to the podcast I heard DDG as "Doctor Go" and than spent a lot of time googling it :-)

Anyway, thank you for your amazing podcasts, I'm feeling like I'm there with you when listening to it :-) You give many useful advices and the problems discussed by you are really actual. So, thanks a lot, guys.

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