Podcast Season 4 Episode 11


Title: Shineness

In this episode: Linus doesn't like Nvidia. The Unity 4 games engine is coming to Linux. There's an Ubuntu app developer contest and Microsoft unveils surface computers and Windows phone 8. Hear our discoveries then your own opinions in the Speak your Brains section. And our Open Ballot is now the 4th result in Google when you search for 'open ballot'.

What's in the show:

  • Lightning News:
  • Discovery of the week:
  • Rants and Raves
      Jon and Andrew create both dark clouds and shineness.
  • Speak Your Brains:
      Many thanks for sending us your thoughts. Get yours read out (or played) next episode by sending an email to graham.morrison@futurenet.com.
  • Open Ballot: Is the command line a crusty old relic?

  • We're updating Facebook again.
  • Special offer: subscribe to Linux Format magazine and save lots

Presenters: Andrew Gregory, Efrain Hernandez-Mendoza, Graham Morrison and Jonathan Roberts

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Your comments

Nvidia has been very very good to me...

I have had 3 different Nvidia cards on desktops, and one on my laptop, and they have been fine. I could care less if a driver is open source, as long as it works. While I have installed the Nvidia binary driver on a few installs, I like the way Ubuntu does it. It is much easier to simply tell it to install the restricted drivers. There are even PPAs out there if you want cutting edge beta drivers.

It seems to me that Nvidia is also a new member of the Linux Foundation, so give them some time.

They make superb cards.


I have been a subscriber to your esteemed publication for several years, and look forward to the podcast as and when it appears. You have helped me in many ways. I now have my entire house running Linux: my work PC, which also runs a LAMP stack for several apps; a PC multimedia setup for TV/music; and a Bubba server which serves the lot. Magic.

I appreciate your openness with regard to 'free', ie as in beer or speech. I agree that choice is the answer.

So what on earth is going on with Mr Roberts and his political rant? Have you merged with Marxism Today to boost your circulation?

There are many reasons to support FOSS. I'm sure your readership covers all parts of the spectrum. I don't think sanctimonious preaching about the morality of taxation helps any of us. Tell him to apply for a spot on Thought For the Day.

All the best.


Thanks for pointing out Duolingo Jon

I'm now having a go at learning basic German and it seems like a worth project too.

GUI rouge killer

Recently I've been playing around with Mint Cinnamon, I'm an opensuse KDE user. Perhaps it's my ignorance, but gnome doesn't seem to have a GUI way to kill rouge apps, as stated in the podcast, however in KDE you can just press ctrl+alt+esc, then click on the frozen window. Of course there are times when even that doesn't work.

If Linux Format merged with

If Linux Format merged with Marxism Today (defunct as of the CPGB's abandonment of Marxism-Leninism in the early 90s I believe - so a great topical remark, well done!) I'd be the happiest lefty Linux user ever. Also, despite Jon's degree, I don't think he was actually framing his argument in a spiritual context, so the producers of Thought for the Day probably wouldn't have him on.

GUI way to kill rogue windows

Just wanted to suggest that there is at least one
GUI way to kill stalled or unresponsive apps, although
somewhat inelegant.

If you have your system monitor running you can track
down stalled apps and kill them with a right-click on
the task that has stalled. Of course you need to be sure
that the task itself has actually stalled and isn't simply
taking a bit longer than you might have expected.

Yes, it's kind of round-about, but it is at least using the GUI. I run the task-monitor app in the taskbar which indicates CPU busy-ness and other things (memory usage).

That way, I right-click on that applet to open system moniter (or whatever it's called? task manager equivalent in windows, if that helps) and study that to see which apps are stalled, or "zombified". Be wary of killing just *any* process, especially sleeping ones! I'm sure Tuxradar had a special article on using the task manager somewhere?
once again best regards everyone, and the podcasts are still excellent - but I have to say I also miss Mike, just for the ponies!

There is no such thing as a problem
without a gift for you in its hands


It was bizarre to hear John, main perpetrator of the "I'm choking on my gerund" pronunciation style correct someone else for doing the same: "followingk, not followiNGK".

John got me thinking...

John's comment about the command line being great because you can chain the commands together to produce a scripted "super command" got me thinking.

I remember a couple of systems (OpenInventor being one) where you had "blocks" that did defined jobs. You could then assemble these blocks into "programs" in a purely graphical manner.

In which case why hasn't someone tried doing "Visual Bash" - where each VB "block" encapsulated a command. Best of both worlds as far as I see because us command line fans get to continue to use that, but GUI fans aren't disenfranchised either.

If I wasn't so busy (sounds better than "plain idle"!) then I'd have a go myself - sounds easy to define and at least get a basic level done. It wouldn't necessarily need a huge level of control structures either.

We should have our own open clone of duolingo.

I've been using Duolingo for a while now and it works well. I'm learning both German and Spanish fairly rapidly (I think). But the community cannot choose what texts to translate, which new languages to add or anything else. We should have an open duolingo-like clone where we could translate applications, man pages and other documents central to the gnu/open source world.

Re: Leftist Political Ideas

Cripes! Looks like you young hobbits are a long way from the Shire!

What's with the people above

What's with the people above getting bent out of shape by a mention of politics? Kind of sad that they can't handle an opinion that doesn't jibe with theirs!

P.S. Marxism is not a policy of tax increases. As a Marxist, I would be very sad if that was the revolutionary "alternative" to capitalism.

Also, BSDGames is a pretty neat package. If you ever browse the source cod for the original BSD unix and, like, OpenBSD, it's pretty neat to see how little is changed in 30 years!

Re: politics arguments

"This is why public sector unions are banned in Texas."

Yeah, great argument. We all want to be just like Texas, don't we.

Get a grip. The best solution is mixture of approaches. There's no silver bullet, no magical system to make everything perfect.

Thanks for mentioning Salix

Salix is a really great distro, I've used the RatPoison edition, and found that it took a great base (Slackware) and turned it into a pretty polished desktop, I'll be sure to try out the Mate edition.

Re: liberalism etc.

It's funny that for all this rhetoric, the most successful and happiesy societies (eg Scandinavia) are largely social-democratic.

Nice theories and book lists, but in practice, you need a mixture. I'd rather live in Denmark than Texas any day of the week.

Re: liberalism etc.

Oh, and give up the histrionics about total collapse and war etc. Shows how extreme you are. Humans will muddle through with a mixture of approaches, just like they've done for millions of years.

Sorry an' all

I think I owe a big apology to the guys at Linux Format for setting this political hare running.

My original point was that there is danger in politicising FOSS. Looking back at my original post I see that it was clumsily done. I certainly wasn't intending to spawn the various rants and raves that have appeared since.

I say again: there are many reasons to support Linux/FOSS. I would be appalled if anyone stopped being involved for any political reason. I think the whole wide community is a shining example of what can be achieved by people doing good stuff for the sake of doing good stuff.

Next time I'll keep my big mouth shut.


Re: History vs Histrionics

I think you pretty much lost the argument by linking to the Daily Mail. If that's a source of your political opinions, you should really get out more :-)

The Daily Mail

Not the source of my political opinions but an excellent catalogue of the errors of central planning.

I know that if I put NHS into the Daily Mail search it will present me with a list of errors. When I'm looking for errors I go to the database that has the biggest list of errors in it.

Re: The Daily Mail

Right, because private companies run everything efficiently and smoothly, yes? Protip: both private and public operations make mistakes and screw things up.

It must be nice for you to use the (often totally inaccurate) Daily Mail website to find little stories to support your theories, but then you fail to see all the things that the NHS does well. Try reading about its success stories too, sometimes.

Protip 2: While it's not perfect, the NHS provides a very good value (per head) service, is well liked and shows that sometimes, despite the political rhetoric, a public service can be pretty good.

I know that doesn't fit in with your libertarian dream, but then like I said, the world needs multiple systems and solutions.

Long live Comrade Roberts

Jon is correct.
Jon has always been correct.
Jon will always be correct.

Monopolies are the Problem

Win8 certified motherboards are designed to lock Linux out!

If we aren't careful monopolistic motherboards will take over the world!! (Even Hayekians don't like monoplies.)

If I buy a mobo that ties me into Win8 (and with a fudge Fedora and Ubuntu) do I own it?

If I can't boot TinyCore, Slitaz, Instant WebKiosk, or even the US Dept of Defense excellent Lightweight Portable Security (LPS) why not?

Mobo manufacturers? Do they really have much cause to produce Non-UEFI boards as well as the "Market Leader" boards.

We stand at great risk of losing the ability to find hardware to run Linux by default.

Less politics, more Anti-Monopoly

Linux Marxist Capitalist?

This is an easy one for me.

I tell Marxists that Linux is socialist revolutionary software built by a global collective community working to overthrow the monopoly capitalist software produced by Microsoft, Apple, Adobe etc.

I tell conservative pro-capitalist types that Linux is about freedom of choice in a global free market for products and ideas that make business more productive and cost-effective.

Either way, I win ;)

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