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04.03.14

Ubuntu is Becoming More Privacy-respecting With Ubuntu One Shutdown

Posted in GNU/Linux, Ubuntu at 5:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Canonical is abandoning a Fog Computing service which was a bad idea all along and has become even worse in the age of NSA espionage

CANONICAL is on a roll. The company is improving its stance on privacy not just by cutting some Amazon links (Amazon works very closely with the CIA now) but also by fighting against ACPI (which NSA likes to exploit for back doors) and now dropping Fog Computing. Ubuntu servers can still be set up to power Fog Computing services, but users of Ubuntu will not be pushed to upload their personal files to remote servers, and that’s a fantastic development!

A few days ago FOSS Force appropriately wrote [1] that “Richard Stallman has been trying to warn us for years that when it come to “free” online services such as cloud hosted email accounts, we’re not customers. From the moment we signup we become inventory.”

More people should have listened to Stallman. He just got some much-deserved credit in [2] and Snowden’s leaks (for which Stallman is thankful) proved him correct rather than “paranoid”. Perhaps more people will stop using ‘customer’-hostile hosted E-mail services such as GMail, Yahoo, and Hotmail, which on the face of it does not even support Windows users anymore [3] (not so well anyway). It’s all just a datagrab and people should reject it. The business model is based on privacy infringement.

So, the latest news says that Ubuntu One will soon be history [4-16]. Users should immediately get their files out of there and we strongly urge nobody to use DropBox or other such ‘alternatives’ (don’t spread personal files to yet more servers). DropBox wasn’t just on the PRISM timeline; it also changed its terms and conditions recently, supposedly to rid itself from liability for snooping. We shared dozens of links about it earlier this year and last year. A lot of the corporate press did not pay attention or even cover these serious matters, which had mostly gone under the radar while people clicked “I agree” without reviewing the changes. We don’t need an “alternative” to Ubuntu One just as we don’t need an “alternative” to Facebook. These are fundamentally bad ideas. Media hype (propaganda by repetition) somehow convinced people — even some rational people — that Fog Computing (surveillance-friendly) is a good idea and those who reject it are “Luddites”. Now we know better and we have leaked documents to prove it.

Canonical is a British company, which means that it shares space with GCHQ (the NSA’s other big brother, which helps the NSA spy on US citizens and even Europeans). It’s nothing to do with terrorism! Data on Ubuntu One should never have been assumed “private” or “secure”. Based on one of Snowden’s most recent leaks, the NSA systematically goes through files of sysadmins (news links were posted here last month), looking to harvest their passwords which they sometimes store outside work (in plain text) in order to crack networks in many countries. It’s about espionage. Many Ubuntu users are technical people who are also sysadmins, so hopefully they never got lured into Ubuntu One.

Store locally, encrypt, use only Free software, and avoid all blobs (including drivers) where possible. That’s the only way to stay secure these days. If you are a sysadmin, then you are already an “enemy” because in the NSA’s mind you help ‘guard’ the “Bad Guys” (people like Merkel) on your network.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. ATMs Might Go Linux, MS DOS Source Released & More…

    Remember, Richard Stallman has been trying to warn us for years that when it come to “free” online services such as cloud hosted email accounts, we’re not customers. From the moment we signup we become inventory.

  2. Widows XP DOA on Apr 8th: FREE THIS ORPHAN !!!!

    Richard Stallman is the guru of computing freedom –and a great source. He started the “hack” movement as an outsider inside MIT during the Vietnam protesting era, and founded both the GNU software movement and the Free S/W Foundation.

  3. The Hotmail Runaround

    People who complain that “there’s no tech support for Linux” should discover that there’s even less support for Microsoft products.

  4. Shutting down Ubuntu One file services
  5. Canonical kills Ubuntu One cloud file storage service
  6. Canonical to close Ubuntu One file services, says competing in ‘free storage wars’ was unsustainable
  7. Canonical shutters Ubuntu One cloud services
  8. Canonical: we can’t afford to keep Ubuntu One
  9. Canonical Shuts Down Cloud Storage Service Ubuntu One
  10. Canonical admits failure — shuttering Ubuntu One cloud services
  11. Canonical closes down Ubuntu One cloud file services
  12. Canonical to close Ubuntu One cloud-storage service
  13. Canonical Shutters Ubuntu One
  14. Canonical shutting down Ubuntu One file services
  15. Canonical to Shut Down Ubuntu One, Start Saving Your Data Now
  16. Ubuntu to shut down Dropbox competitor Ubuntu One as storage wars heat up

    Aside from being a distraction, Canonical says the service is being shut down because “free storage wars aren’t a sustainable place for us to be, particularly with other services now regularly offering 25GB – 50GB free storage.” Interestingly, this departure also marks Canonical’s departure from music streaming services; One offered a music streaming feature for songs stored on the service.

04.02.14

No More Opposition to Ubuntu Over Spyware

Posted in GNU/Linux, Ubuntu at 3:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Spying

Summary: Canonical did the right thing by removing a controversial behaviour which was facilitating remote user profiling by Amazon, demonstrating yet again that users’ feedback counts

Our coverage regarding Ubuntu's departure from Amazon search in Dash (by default, in future versions) was followed by a lot of articles in general news sites [1] and a lot of blogs or GNU/Linux-oriented news sites which say “it seems that the online search paradigm in Unity is about to end.” Actually, this is pretty much confirmed now. Back in the days when Ubuntu had Mono (we lobbied hard to remove it, by default) and Ubuntu was about to have a Yahoo (Microsoft) search bar we found that Canonical does listen to its users; it’s just that when it takes action accordingly (corrective action) it never admits that it is due to users’ pressure. The bottom line though, Canonical listens. Just before Christmas of 2012 I contacted Stallman and asked him to address the issue of Amazon spyware, whereupon he wrote an article and started to tackle this issue (in his public talks too). He called it “malware”, but I advised him to call it “spyware” instead. 16 months later Canonical took action and a lot of people are exceedingly happy about it. Pressure from users acted as a moral compass, or a regulator. This is the power of Free software. We no longer rely on derivatives of Ubuntu (none of which had this behaviour) to give Canonical a run for the money.

I can happily install Ubuntu again. The weak attempts [2] to describe the end of Windows XP support as a “Bad for Linux and Open Source” [3] don’t quite correspond to what I am seeing. At this moment, after setting up Puppet to mass-remove Amazon from search in Dash (upon request), I know of a company (client at work) that is right now moving hundreds of desktops from Windows XP to Ubuntu (due to XP EOL). Let’s hope this is one example of many. Let’s also hope that Canonical keeps taking users’ needs seriously. It is apparent that even large companies did not like Amazon search in Dash; it’s not just to do with a bunch of opinionated Free software proponents.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Ubuntu to ditch Amazon product suggestions from its search results
  2. Death of XP Bad for Linux? Nope.

    Christopher Tozzi wrote, “The sad reality is that everybody needs to run a Windows app now and then” in an article about the increasing difficulty of virtualizing that other OS on a GNU/Linux system. He’s right about the RAM/CPU/storage burdens of that other OS increasing but he’s wrong that this is bad for GNU/Linux and FLOSS.

  3. Why Windows XP’s Demise Is Bad for Linux and Open Source

04.01.14

Canonical Breaks Up With Amazon Over CIA Connections

Posted in Ubuntu at 4:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mark Richard Buranov Shuttleworth
Photo from Space Facts

Summary: Future versions of Ubuntu omit linkage to Amazon are are illegal to host in AWS, as per Mark Shuttleworth’s new vision

“WE have lost confidence in Amazon,” said Mark Shuttleworth at a press conference in London this morning. “Not only is its owner now running the Washington Post to cleanse the reputation of the CIA but Amazon is also the CIA’s partner of choice.

“We cannot maintain a relationship by which Amazon is harvesting the IP addresses of Ubuntu users and what they are searching for, let alone host their data and playlists on Amazon’s servers. Effective immediately, we break up with Amazon and we will no longer enable Amazon to host Ubuntu virtual machines, to which they have back door access inside the datacentres.”

“Putting Ubuntu in virtual machines hosted by Microsoft makes as much sense as putting Huawei routers inside the Pentagon.”
      –Mark Shuttleworth
Mark Shuttleworth recently experienced or at least witnessed what it's to be abused and witch-hunted by secret services and police and he then made the first step towards the goal of abolishing Amazon, but these latest moves sure are likely to cause controversy, for fears that Mr. Shuttleworth is becoming radical and Amazon-hostile like Richard Stallman.

Bloggers, however, have welcomed Shuttleworth’s policy, noting that “the controversial ‘search everything’ home scope is gone which was sending data to Canonical servers and instead it will become the ‘Application scope’ which will show applications. It will show installed apps as well as apps available for download – makes perfect sense.”

In other news, Shuttleworth is beginning to consider removing all Ubuntu instances from Azure by rewriting software licences. “PRISM,” he said, “has shown us that Microsoft is not just complying with the NSA; Microsoft is leading the NSA towards a state of mass surveillance. Putting Ubuntu in virtual machines hosted by Microsoft makes as much sense as putting Huawei routers inside the Pentagon.”

Happy April First news.

03.29.14

Canonical Removes Amazon Search From Ubuntu (by Default)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Ubuntu at 3:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Ubuntu has removed Amazon results from local search, according to Canonical staff

BASED on this thread which started from yesterday's article, Canonical has removed the controversial behaviour that the EFF and the FSF criticised (to the point where Richard Stallman advised people not to recommend or use Ubuntu). This is great news. Perhaps we are indeed seeing a reformed/reforming Canonical. Let’s hope for more of the same.

03.28.14

Mark Shuttleworth With a Beard Starts Sounding More Like Richard Stallman

Posted in GNU/Linux, Ubuntu at 6:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mark Richard Buranov Shuttleworth
Photo from Space Facts

Summary: Ubuntu’s founder Mark Shuttleworth explains that his beard is grown as a political statement while he orders the elimination of ACPI, which is favoured by the world’s biggest back doors proponent, the NSA (and GCHQ)

Mark Shuttleworth is a fascinating and charismatic man. At a very young age, equipped with Free software, he was able to make his dreams come true and he is still very good at business [1]. In recent years many tried to portray him as a greedy exploiter — a narrative we rejected and fought back against. As a man who grew up in South Africa, he is aware of discrimination (sometimes to the extreme) and now that he lives in the UK he must be seeing some of the same symptoms, which is why he is growing a beard [2] (to make a statement).

“If Shuttleworth rejects ACPI, then he should also reject UEFI and Amazon (especially the Fog Computing aspect of it).”To be politically expressive sometimes contradicts and interferes with business. Just look at what’s being done to Mozilla right now. We are not going to entertain the politics of intimidation and blackmail (into conformity, by threatening one’s job and free speech), but a lot of readers may already know what we refer to. Either way, earlier this month, in response to NSA revelations, Mark Shuttleworth made it quite apparent that surveillance software like Skype won’t return into Ubuntu’s front page (in the Web site) any time soon. Shuttleworth seems to be grasping the fact that we are moving in a bad direction in technology, where surveillance and back doors are becoming somewhat of a norm. Earlier today a reader send us this news link [3] about US legislators wanting to require back doors not just in phones but also desktops/laptops (call it “Back Doors by Law”). This is seriously messed up!

Now, taking into account monopoly abuser‘s promotion of UEFI, which enables remote destruction of computers (the NSA helps validate this) we should definitely avoid it. Given what Amazon does with the CIA, we should avoid it too, not put Amazon spyware inside Ubuntu (in my job I was writing puppet config files to remove this spyware from hundreds of federated desktops). On the bright side of things, despite Canonical supporting Amazon and UEFI, Mr. Shuttleworth now declares war on ACPI [4], which is deemed a proprietary security threat (possible hijacking or remote bricking, like UEFI). There was press generated to that effect thanks to Mr. Shuttleworth [5-7], raising awareness among many.

Shuttleworth is not typically techno-political, except perhaps when it comes to software freedom. So his stance on ACPI is hopefully the start of more such stance changes. If Shuttleworth rejects ACPI, then he should also reject UEFI and Amazon (especially the Fog Computing aspect of it).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Vendors “looking seriously” at Ubuntu – Shuttleworth

    Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical, said that he is “very confident that large manufacturers are looking seriously at Ubuntu as the new open platform of choice”, following the recent announcement that it is working with two small players – bq and Meizu – to bring the first smartphones using the platform to market.

  2. Here’s why Mark Shuttleworth is growing beard

    “There is a slightly serious angle to beard. One of my colleagues was stopped and held by transport police in UK. He was questioned for hours. There was no justification to it and so while he was leaving, he asked them the reason and they said it was the beard. This is disgusting. A society should be civilised enough to not judge people on the basis of how they look.”

  3. Feds want an expanded ability to hack criminal suspects’ computers

    The United States Department of Justice wants to broaden its ability to hack criminal suspects’ computers according to a new legal proposal that was first published by the Wall Street Journal on Thursday.

    If passed as currently drafted, federal authorities would gain an expanded ability to conduct “remote access” under a warrant against a target computer whose location is unknown or outside of a given judicial district. It would also apply in cases where that computer is part of a larger network of computers spread across multiple judicial districts. In the United States, federal warrants are issued by judges who serve one of the 94 federal judicial districts and are typically only valid for that particular jurisdiction.

  4. ACPI, firmware and your security

    If you read the catalogue of spy tools and digital weaponry provided to us by Edward Snowden, you’ll see that firmware on your device is the NSA’s best friend. Your biggest mistake might be to assume that the NSA is the only institution abusing this position of trust – in fact, it’s reasonable to assume that all firmware is a cesspool of insecurity courtesy of incompetence of the worst degree from manufacturers, and competence of the highest degree from a very wide range of such agencies.

  5. Linux Bugs but Proprietary the Threat Says Shuttleworth
  6. Mark Shuttleworth Calls For An End To ACPI
  7. Proprietary firmware poses a security threat, Ubuntu founder says

02.21.14

Ubuntu Makes Many Headlines Again, This Time Because of Real Phones

Posted in GNU/Linux, Ubuntu at 7:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Canonical’s latest marketing effort brings awareness of Ubuntu, Linux and even GNU/Free software to a lot of people all around the world

WHILE we may not agree with Canonical on everything, the company does have a positive effect on GNU/Linux adoption and many distributions are derived from it. When Canonical tried to kickstart the “Edge” we defended Canonical and criticised negative coverage which called “Edge” vapourware (a self-fulfilling prophecy). Well, now we know, based on the words of Canonical’s founder [1], that Apple played a role in making it hard to get screens for the “Edge”. CNET/CBS did not cover it properly (it seems more like Apple marketing), but it’s a serious issue which is at least being put out there right now.

Canonical and Ubuntu have not been making headlines for a while (except when Canonical was left with not much choice but to abandon its project, Upstart [2-5], as well as some non-news about Ubuntu Touch [6-8], Ubuntu desktop [9,10], convergence of those two [11-13], and servers [14]), so we were delighted to see a press release [15] followed by aggressive marketing by Canonical staff like Jono Bacon [16-17] really flooding the news/Internet with articles that mention (GNU/)Linux and the role it has in phones. This is not only good for Ubuntu; it’s probably good for Free software as a whole. It wasn’t just covered in FOSS sites or even technology sites; even general news sites covered it [18-55], bringing the message to a lot of people all around the world, even in poorer nations like the Philippines [56,57].

Well done, Canonical.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Apple ‘snapped up’ sapphire displays, says Canonical founder

    “Apple just snapped up three year’s worth of the supply of sapphire screens from the company that we had engaged to make the screens for the Edge,” he said (at roughly the 30:45 mark linked to above). The report about the sapphire display comments first appeared at Gigaom.

  2. Ubuntu Will Switch To Systemd Abandoning Their Own init System Upstart
  3. Systemd dominates and Debian, Ubuntu, Git updates – Linux Snippets
  4. Linux init-system shocker: Mark Shuttleworth announces that Ubuntu will follow Debian and adopt systemd
  5. Canonical Drops Upstart for systemd in Ubuntu Linux
  6. Ubuntu Touch x86 emulator improves security, OpenGL
  7. Canonical Confirms Arrival Of VLC, Spinlet, Mapbox & Other Third Party Apps For Ubuntu Touch
  8. Canonical gets support from major app developers for Ubuntu Touch

    Canonical has announced that the company has got support from major app developers for Ubuntu Touch—the mobile version of the Ubuntu operating system.

  9. Ubuntu 14.04 brings back menus in application windows

    Ubuntu users, I tell you this: good things come to those who wait. For all of you cheerful Ubuntu users, come 14.04, you’ll be able to choose whether or not you wish your application menus to appear globally or locally. With Locally Integrated Menus (coined by Unity Desktop member JohnLea), that will become possible.

  10. Mesa 10.1 Should Make It Into Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

    Mesa 10.1 brings many new OpenGL features, new hardware support, and as with most Mesa updates is a very worthwhile upgrade for users of the open-source Linux graphics stack. There’s been many articles about Mesa 10.1 on Phoronix while there’s also the Mesa 10.1 feature overview. Mesa 10.1 itself is in a release candidate stage but should be officially released later this month on 28 February.

  11. No Mobile Support for Ubuntu store apps until version 14.04

    Running an app simultaneously on your PC, tablet and mobile is the apex of technology nirvana, right? If you are a user of Ubuntu and into the news, you must have heard that there is a thing called “Karma app” into the market, which has been marketed up by Ubuntu Community Manager Jono Bacon this week showed off Karma Machine, a reddit client built by a third-party developer using the Ubuntu SDK. What Karma does is that it allows you to enjoy the apps both on your PC, tablet and mobile but, strangely enough, it does not support Ubuntu Center in it. You ask why? Because there won’t be any cross platform support until Ubuntu 14.4.

  12. Jono Bacon demos Ubuntu complete convergence with Karma Machine

    Canonical aims to unite the code base for all of their operating systems–for desktop, mobile, TV, and server–somewhere between the releases of Ubuntu 14.10 and Ubuntu 15.04. And the developers are pretty close to achieving this complete convergence.

  13. This is what Ubuntu convergence is all about – a single app running across different devices
  14. Joyent Partners with Canonical on Customized Ubuntu as a Cloud Service

    Joyent, well-known on the cloud computing scene and a growing player in Big Data analytics, announced a partnership with Canonical today to provide customers with optimized and supported Ubuntu server images in the Joyent Cloud. Effectively, users will be able to leverage a Canonical-customized Ubuntu in the cloud. The two companies also want to enable developers and enterprises to create mobile, big data and high-performance applications on Ubuntu and Joyent’s OS-Virtualized cloud platform.

  15. Canonical Announces First Partners to Ship Ubuntu Phones Around the Globe
  16. You’ll NEVER guess who’s building the first Ubuntu phones in 2014

    The first smartphones running Ubuntu will ship this year, Canonical now says – although the Linux vendor’s hardware partners are hardly the first companies you might guess.

  17. Today’s Ubuntu News

    I am sure that you have all seen the exciting news about the first partners to ship Ubuntu smart-phones.

  18. Two Ubuntu phones to hit market this year

    The wait is over, Ubuntu phones are coming. Canonical today announced that Meizu of China, and BQ of Spain, will start selling Ubuntu powered phones by the year end. While the company claims that these devices will be made available globally, it seems that the phones will be targeted at the local market of the two players as Ubuntu doesn’t hold enough weight to break the dominance of Android and iOS in stronger economies like EU and the US. Mozilla knows the reality and despite being much bigger than Canonical chose to focus on emerging markets for the same reason.

  19. Ubuntu Touch gets grip on its first phone makers
  20. Canonical, Partners Promise First Ubuntu Phones This Year
  21. Is there still room for Ubuntu smartphones on the market?
  22. Canonical announces first partners to ship Ubuntu phones around the globe
  23. Daily Roundup: Ubuntu’s first phones, Lumia Icon review and more!
  24. Ubuntu phones arriving in 2014 from Meizu and BQ Readers
  25. First Ubuntu smartphones to debut in 2014
  26. Canonical confirms partners for first Ubuntu phones
  27. Canonical announces manufacturers of Ubuntu phones
  28. Video: Did this Ubuntu superphone concept inspire the upcoming iPhone 6?
  29. Canonical names first Ubuntu Touch smartphone makers
  30. Ubuntu Phones from Meizu and bq Coming This Year
  31. Ubuntu Touch Finally Has Hardware Partners
  32. Ubuntu-based Smartphones Available In 2014
  33. Ubuntu desktop moving application menus back into application windows
  34. Linux Extends Its Mobile Empire With Ubuntu Phones

    Today, Canonical — the company that develops Ubuntu — announced partnerships with Spanish hardware designer bq and the Chinese mobile device company Meizu, saying that both would introduce phones over the next 10 months. The news is part of wider movement towards Linux phones across the world and particularly in Asia, where the open source OS can feed the enormous market for inexpensive devices.

  35. Meizu And BQ To Roll Out Ubuntu Smartphones
  36. Canonical announces BQ and Meizu as first Ubuntu phone partners
  37. Meizu, bq to sell Ubuntu phones in 2014, platform a ‘credible alternative’ to Android
  38. Two small manufacturers will release Ubuntu phones this year, Canonical says
  39. Canonical announces Ubuntu phones for release in 2014
  40. First Ubuntu phones coming this year from China’s Meizu and Spain’s Bq
  41. First Ubuntu phones to launch in 2014
  42. Canonical To Ship Ubuntu Smartphones From bq And Meizu Later This Year
  43. Ubuntu phones from Meizu and bq in 2014 Canonical promises
  44. Canonical announces first Ubuntu smartphone manufacturers
  45. First Ubuntu phones to launch in 2014
  46. Ubuntu smartphones coming later this year, Canonical reveals
  47. Ubuntu phones to ship this year from two manufacturers
  48. Meizu, bq to launch Ubuntu smartphones in 2014
  49. First Ubuntu phones on track for 2014 as handset makers jump on board
  50. Canonical details first Ubuntu smartphone partners, devices due to arrive later this year
  51. Meizu and BQ Readers will ship Ubuntu phones this year
  52. First Ubuntu Phone manufacturers announced
  53. Canonical announces first Ubuntu smartphone manufacturers
  54. Two Ubuntu phones with top apps in 2014
  55. Ubuntu phones arriving in 2014 from Meizu and BQ Readers

    Canonical is finally poised to enter the mobile market. After years of teases, promises and demos, the company has locked up the first two manufacturers of Ubuntu phones. Meizu and BQ Readers will be releasing handsets with the Linux-based OS installed on them sometime in 2014. Details about release date, price and specs are still to be determined, but we were told to expect more info at Mobile World Congress (which kicks off this weekend). The list of supporting carriers also remains a mystery, but at least we know that there will be consumer-ready Ubuntu phones on the market before the end of the year. Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical’s founder, is keeping things close to his chest, but he did say that two more manufacturers with “household names” should be coming on board in 2015.

  56. PHL among countries to get first crack at Ubuntu smartphones

    Filipinos may be among the first to get a first crack at using smartphones powered by the Linux-based Ubuntu operating system.

    Canonical said Smart Philippines will be among its first partners to ship Ubuntu smartphones manufactured by China-based Meizu.

  57. Smart joins telco global leaders supporting Ubuntu

02.17.14

Linux Deepin/Ubuntu in the Future of China, Showing the Great Power of Debian

Posted in Asia, Debian, GNU/Linux, Ubuntu at 8:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Debian 7
Debian 7 supports numerous Chinese languages

Summary: The Far East is gradually moving to Debian-derived distributions of GNU/Linux, creating its own localised versions

ACCORDING TO numerous reports, China is moving to GNU/Linux and its home-bred GNU/Linux distribution, Linux Deepin (recently reviewed in [1,2]), is sort of replacing an old one which was based on Red Hat. Linux Deepin is based on Ubuntu and it represents Canonical’s special partnership and new major source of income (as Canonical recently reported it). Linux Deepin may one day outpace the growth of Ubuntu because China has a vast population and it is the largest base of Internet surfers.

One report says [3] that “China switches on to Ubuntu in hunt for Windows XP successor”, but a lot of media focuses on the demise of Red Flag Linux [4-7], which is basically a loss to Red Hat. It seems like the Debian camp is starting to gain more ground in China (same in North Korea and South Korea) — a promising trend which will probably be debated in the media for a long time to come. China also has COS in he making (Linux-based but focused on mobile).

Debian 7.4 was recently released [8] and despite some hostilities [9,10] (nothing new to Debian) related to the Systemd debate [11,12] there are signs of strength and leadership in the GNU/Linux world. As for Ubuntu, it is following Debian for the most part [13] (although Debian follows Red Hat in this case) and with reduced interest from developers [14] due to controversies [15] such as Canonical’s demand for licence-signing by derivatives (noted the other day and covered here months ago) it will have to work hard on restoring confidence [16], not just by letting the “community” use an SDK [17] or vote on wallpapers [18] but also by opening up the development process, as Debian does. When Ubuntu turned to mobile it notoriously shunned community participation, not just when it comes to development but also voting/steering.

Ubuntu is gaining elsewhere in east Asia [19], so let’s hope it will improve privacy policies. In some Asian countries surveillance by the government can lead to imprisonment and even death.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Linux Deepin is a fringe Linux distribution that could steal your heart

    Jack Wallen digs into Linux Deepin and comes out impressed. See what this fringe Linux distribution has to offer, and discover if its your next platform.

  2. Linux Deepin, Ubuntu systemd and Licensing, and Red Flag Scuttled
  3. China switches on to Ubuntu in hunt for Windows XP successor
  4. Chinese software pioneer Red Flag bites the dust
  5. Chinese Linux Distributor Red Flag Software Disappears Overnight
  6. China shutters Windows ‘rival’ Red Flag Linux
  7. Linux distributor Red Flag Software disappears overnight
  8. Debian 7.4 Rounds Up Stable Updates
  9. Debian Tech Committee Falling Further Into Disarray

    While it was clear that systemd overtook Upstart in this weekend’s Debian init system voting by the Debian technical committee, some fits are still being had over the results. Some committee members are now calling for resignations.

  10. Fake Debian Developers Try To Get Free Linux Games
  11. Debian inches towards new init system decision amid fallout
  12. An Exploit In GNOME Shell With Systemd?

    It looks like there might be a big bug in systemd-using GNOME Shell Linux systems.

  13. Shuttleworth says Ubuntu will switch to systemd

    The head of Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution and the creator of the upstart init system, has announced that it will switch its init system to the Red Hat-developed systemd.

  14. Ubuntu Is Short On Developer Membership Board Nominations
  15. Ubuntu and Privacy and how it really works now.

    Firstly the Amazon lens is nothing special, and it is perhaps the internet connected lens I am least worried about. I trust Amazon to do what I expect them to do, I am a customer so they know what I bought, sending them random strings like “calcul” and “gedi” and “eclip” does not give them valuable data. It is junk. I am much more concerned about stuff like the Europeana, jstor, grooveshark lenses which do exactly the same thing but I have no idea who those organisations are or what they do. Even things like openweathermap, sounds good, but are they really a trusted organisation?

  16. Why do you need license from Canonical to create derivatives?
  17. Ubuntu Planning For HTML5, SDK Improvements

    Jono Bacon of Canonical has shared some new details after a developer sprint was held last week in Florida for the platform, SDK, and security teams along with desktop and design stakeholders. Those developers focusing upon Ubuntu’s next-generation platform can find all of the details in full via Jono’s blog post but some of the key takeaways include:

  18. Everybody Can Submit Wallpapers For The Trusty Tahr Wallpaper Submision Contest

    The wallpaper contest for Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr is taking part right now, everybody being able to submit their photos until the 5th of March 2014.

  19. After Vodafone, Smart Communications Has Also Joined The Ubuntu’s Carrier Advisory Group (CAG)

    Recently, Smart Communications, a mobile carrier from Philippines, has joined Ubuntu’s Carrier Advisory Group (CAG), in order to support Ubuntu Touch, the mobile version and Ubuntu, and sell phones with Ubuntu for phones pre-installed.

02.15.14

Historical Week for Debian and Ubuntu (a Look Back)

Posted in Debian, GNU/Linux, Ubuntu at 6:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A roundup of news about Debian, Ubuntu, and derivatives of Ubuntu

Debian

  • Updated Debian 7: 7.4 released

    The Debian project is pleased to announce the fourth update of its stable distribution Debian 7 (codename “wheezy”). This update mainly adds corrections for security problems to the stable release, along with a few adjustments for serious problems. Security advisories were already published separately and are referenced where available. Please note that this update does not constitute a new version of Debian 7 but only updates some of the packages included. There is no need to throw away old “wheezy” CDs or DVDs but only to update via an up-to-date Debian mirror after an installation, to cause any out of date packages to be updated.

Systemd in Debian

  • Systemd Is The Future Of Debian

    Since this weekend we have known that systemd was winning the Debian init system battle, but now it’s official: systemd has prevailed over Upstart in Debian.

    After a very heated fight between the Debian technical committee and also Debian stakeholders, Bdale Garbee as the chairman of the tech committee has announced systemd will be used in Debian 8.0 Jessie.

  • Finally, Debian chose* systemd as default init systemd, bye bye upstart

    systemd already has a wide adoption withing the GNU/Linux distribution with all major distros including openSUSE, Fedora, Arch Linux, etc using it as their default init system. Upstart was either way not getting much support from the free software community due to the restrictive CLAs Canonical requires which is often criticized by the community. With Debian going* for systemd, it will get even more developer power whereas Canonical will be left alone to deal with Upstart along with many more project that it’s trying to do on its own – including the recently discussed File Manager which may replace Nautilus (Files).

Systemd in Ubuntu

Systemd

  • Broken by design: systemd

    My view is that this idea is wrong: systemd is broken by design, and despite offering highly enticing improvements over legacy init systems, it also brings major regressions in terms of many of the areas Linux is expected to excel: security, stability, and not having to reboot to upgrade your system.

  • systemd analysis: a personal perspective

    As usual in these cases, not just Lennart, but many of those who supported him, also those who sponsored these efforts, has suffered all kind of attacks. Sadly not just for technical, I mean ATTACKS. Even journalists have been involved. Yes, Free Software is also mature enough to have “yellow (technical) press” associated, political and business interests and people in different communities willing to use them against anybody who threaten the current status quo.

Mobile

Licence Agreement

Valve

LTS

Development

  • Forward Momentum in the Ubuntu App Developer Platform

    Last week I was in Orlando sprinting with my team as well as the platform, SDK, and security teams and some desktop and design folks. As usual after a sprint, I have been slammed catching up with email, but I wanted to provide a summary of some work going that you can expect to see soon in the Ubuntu app developer platform.

  • The Next Ubuntu Developer Summit: 11-13 March 2014

    The Ubuntu Developer Summit is the primary place where we discuss, debate, and plan the future of Ubuntu. The entire event takes place online, is open and accessible to all, and every session is recorded so everyone can see how decisions are made. It is a useful, fun, and rewarding event to join.

Ubuntu Variants

Bodhi Linux

  • Interview: Jeff Hoogland Talks About Bodhi Linux

    We are huge fans of Jeff Hoogland’s work as a Software Developer and his efforts with Bodhi Linux. So we invited Jeff for a quick chat with Unixmen Australia. We were privileged when Jeff accepted our invitation. Here is what he had to say.

Linux Mint

  • Why Did Linux Mint Ax mintConstructor?

    It’s no great secret that our organization Reglue uses Linux Mint on many of our outgoing computers. I run Mint on one of my work computers and at home as well. Linux Mint has given us the opportunity to create a respin for educational purposes within our non profit, largely due to an app named mintConstructor. It provides a fairly simple method of making custom systems using Linux Mint as the base.

  • Revisited: Linux Mint 16 “Petra” KDE + Xfce

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