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Rianne Schestowitz's blog

Beijing Zoo is No Place for Pandas

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Just talk

Pandas in Beijing Zoo
Photo credit: Nick Hopkins

I am a Panda lover. I work as a support engineer in an I.T company here in the United Kingdom. Most of my spare time is spent watching different Panda videos -- both old and new videos. Basically, it is my therapy; a 'stress release' for me. I find them to be adorable and precious creatures. As a matter of fact, I would like to volunteer to come to Sichuan. I want to experience and feel what it's like to be a Panda keeper, to be able to interact with them for real. The Panda is China's National Treasure, so it's a shame to watch the Panda videos from Beijing zoo, as the place is disgusting and not ideal for Pandas to live in (and for sure for all the rest of the animals who unfortunately got stuck in this prison cell).

The place looks like a ghost town. Lifeless and languished. Knowing that Pandas wear a thick fur on their body, can you imagine what it feels for them in 30C or 35C (summer temperature)? What it probably feels like all the time? Come on, if you really care, you must do something now, otherwise these Pandas will die. Please bring them back to their sanctuary where they really belong.

Winner: Triathlon in The Spa At The Midland

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Just talk

The Spa At The Midland - Rianne SchestowitzI never thought I could win in a challenge of 3 events.

I guess age is not an excuse for giving up... more so in physical fitness; as the saying goes, health is wealth.... consequently, I'll keep doing my routine and even yoga. It is extremely relaxing!

Motivation, hard work, discipline. By-product is triumph... Smile

Acer Chromebook 15 for Linux and Wimbledon

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Reviews

Earlier this month my husband and I needed a replacement for the Chromebook that I had installed Linux on after Christmas because the keyboard developed a fault. This was a good opportunity to get an upgrade and to connect the 28-inch monitor to it, allowing us to watch Wimbledon over the Internet (we don't watch TV).

Unboxing photos:

Setting up the machine:

It comes with Chrome OS, but I don't want that:

Switch to developer mode:

Setting it up to not be so locked down:

With Roy's help, installing Ubuntu LTS:

Nearly done:

Running KDE/Plasma (my favourite):

Running XFCE:

Running Unity (which I still try to use on a daily basis after using KDE for years):

We have since then bought a cabinet for the external screen and Roy finished building it 2 days ago, so now we can watch shows while we work (4 screen combined using Synergy).

Spring in Tux Machines

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Site News

Tux Machines traffic

Tux Machines traffic has been increasing during spring. The DDOS attacks are behind us thankfully, the latest problem is just a lot of spam, which we are deleting as soon as we can.

Happy Easter and Remarkable Spring

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Just talk

Happy Easter

My Chromebook with KDE

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Reviews

I got my new Chromebook... Smile Yes, you've heard me right, but wait before you raise your eyebrows...

HP Chromebook 14

HP Chromebook 14

HP Chromebook 14

HP Chromebook 14

HP Chromebook 14

HP Chromebook 14

I installed Ubuntu on it as my default OS, though I can go back to Chrome OS any time I want. I don't see any point in doing it.

HP Chromebook 14

Roy helped me do the partitioning, configuration and tweaking. We configure it in a way so that I can use it in my work, not just for Facebooking, tweeting and chatting's sake.

HP Chromebook 14

HP Chromebook 14

I am still exploring the machine, basically familiarising with the keyboard and all the function settings on it. The Kubuntu environment which I chose will need some adjustments; also the applications which I downloaded are a bit different from the other laptop's (which I used to work on).

HP Chromebook 14

Change is good, but it requires a lot of patience and adaptation to the new environment.

HP Chromebook 14

I like my Chromebook very much. It is one of the best gifts I have received from my husband. It is more practical, it gives me more confidence to learn and to develop more of my computer skills. Innovation is fast-moving and technology is progressing, so you definitely need to catch up with it. Unless you want to be left behind by choice...

Vacation Photos

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Just talk

Tux and Rianne

Last week we did not post as much news as usual because we went to the south of England with Roy's sister. We did take some photos.

How my uncle became a Linux user

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Linux

It has been a month since my relatives from Bradford visited us here in Manchester. Our usual routine if they come to spend the holidays with us is to go to the gym to work out, to run on the treadmill and play pingpong. The best part of the workout, which we enjoy the most, is swimming afterwards. We get relaxed at the jacuzzi and then get hot and sweaty inside the sauna. It is a good exercise and offers relaxation after a stressful day of work. We have so much fun in the gym.

We arrived home around 8:00 pm after having a good round of walk in Manchester City Stadium. We were lucky to see the Manchester City football team; they had a match against Roma, so crowds were flooding in the streets. There were about a thousand spectators coming to watch the game who walked past us.
At home I prepared the meal. We had candlelights and red wine to enjoy while having our soup, vegetable salad and chicken for dinner; mango smoothies were the final dessert.

After the meal we chatted about the economy, healthcare, jobs, business, and technology in the U.K. I have learned a lot from Albert, my aunt's husband. He is an economist.

Albert explained to me that he was struggling with his PC. It was a brand new PC. It had a touchscreen and the laptop was thin and powerful. Albert's problem was not the laptop. As it turns out, his problem was Windows. The computer came with Windows 8. He already wasted a lot of money because shops exploited him. He did not even have an office suite installed. The computer was useless. He hardly used it. He hardly even had any files on it.

I then explained to Albert about GNU/Linux. I told him about Stallman and GNU. I also told him about the dirty tricks of Microsoft and about the true Bill Gates, including his involvement in GMO. Albert listened to me and he wanted to know more. I hope he learned something from me, just as I had learned from him.

The following morning I asked my husband for help. He was working all night and in the morning he was available to help Albert. Based on Roy's analysis, the machine was full of malware or some other mess. It was almost impossible to do anything with it. Windows 8 was hard to work with and it was hardly even possible to download and install a program like LibreOffice. The interface was confusing. It took ages to do very simple things.

Albert insisted that we should install GNU/Linux, but we didn't have a recent version of a distro at that time. Either way, Albert was so frustrated with Windows that he was willing to throw it all down the drain, along with his files.

This was my first time seeing Windows 8. I usually use Android or KDE. Microsoft Windows has become full of pop-ups, spam, marketing and other garbage. I am glad to use GNU/Linux and Albert will soon join us. By all means, Albert now wants to use Open Source and he already learns how to use LibreOffice.

Tux Claus

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Just talk

Tux Claus

Summer is finally over, but summertime or the climate hasn't officially changed yet. I wonder if I can still do something out of the ordinary, but the weather is disrupting my planned activities outside. Sometimes there is sunlight, but the next minute the dark clouds covers the beautiful sky and it makes the day dull and cold.

Two days ago my husband and I went to stroll inside the mall and ended up buying some personal stuff in a store. While I was in a queue to pay my husband was in a hurry to add this tiny bit of stuff which I didn't recognise at first. I thought of ignoring and not buying that tiny little thing. Then my husband said "look what I found" and then I asked what is it -- it's tux! Tux Claus. Soon I saw a tiny penguin dressed in Santa clothes; the design was simple ,but it was artistically made. I know it is still early, but we're both excited to add Tux under our Christmas tree and be merry.

Tux Machines is under attack

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Site News

My husband has been spending many of his hours fighting blow by blow in the back end, saving Tux Machines from a cyber attacker who really spent his freaking time hammering the website in an attempt to cripple Tux Machines. At first I was bit astonished by how the website behaved while I was posting some articles, I thought of checking the load to make sure the server worked well and to see that every visitor's page request had been served well, only to know that slowness of the website was been masterminded by an attacker. Perhaps this person is so desperate to put the Tux Machines website down, perhaps an enemy of FOSS and Linux advocacy.

We want to reaffirm our visitors and readers and apologise for the slight inconvenience and weired behavior of the website for the previous hours. All we have done is to protect our readers and visitors from this an acceptable gesture even until now he/she has been trying to penetrate the website. My message to this attacker is, leave Tux Machines in peace and go find some games to play with.

June Traffic

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Site News

June traffic

Tux Machines is 10

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Site News

Whois

A lot has happened since Susan started the site and we are grateful for her legacy, which the Wayback Machine can show. In the coming years we will try to make more improvements in the way we pick news quickly and the way the news is presented or organised.

Wayback Machine

Tux Machines Turning 10 on June 10th

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Site News

Is Nokia Really Dying?

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Reviews

Telephone

It was almost two months ago that I wrote about Nokia's most-awaited comeback, for the new designs and innovation of their mobile phones, but it did not happen. In fact, Nokia's ordeal became worse because Nokia is dying. Yes! Nokia is dying as Microsoft once again used their power 'trick' to get a stranglehold on the most influential and trusted company when it comes to innovation and technology. No matter what changes and what Microsoft is doing, there will be no difference. Chances are, only the features and profiles have changed, but the personal interest and infrastructure most likely are the same or even worse than that. Now Nokia has become the new platform of surveillance, it will never be the same again. The trust has been tarnished, the public has become more aware of Microsoft's anomalies and all sorts of devil's advocate games. Doing business with Microsoft is a big mistake. Take Nokia's example. I hope Android and Tizen will not consider deals or any tie-ups with Microsoft, and to all the rest who support and advocate open source, rest assured that FOSS will prevail.

Nokia

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Just talk

It is now the talk of the town. Nokia will be making their own smartphone based on Android. It seems like they no longer want to be in the shadow, under Windows Phone. I would like to think this might be the comeback of Nokia phones after a decade or so. I liked Nokia as a gadget way before this so-called "smart phones" trend started. I remember when SMS became the most convenient tool for communication, like a telegraph type. Nokia phones were once a gadgets giant; only then, when Microsoft bought Nokia, the once cellphone giant was kept and never to be found. I mean, not literally, but I can hardly see Nokia out in the Market along with those cellphone giants like Mac/iOS , Blueberry and Samsung. Nokia's merging into Microsoft has never been good; their tandem strategy never created any new innovation that makes them different from the other competitors. In fact, there were no success stories for Nokia when it was based on Windows Phone.

I expect Nokia to have lots to offer in the next expo. Improvements in software using Android OS, distinct design in hardware which can compete in comparables among the others. The price might be a little less than the existing smartphones to attract potential costumers. Lastly, I wish Nokia well for bravely taking such a huge change. In this road it has many challenges, but it's worth taking.

My Valentine

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Just talk

Rianne Schestowitz

Yesterday was a rainy day. Our plans to go dining and bowling were more or less ruined by that. Manchester has had stormy weather as of late and there is not much one can do to avoid it.

Almost every couple went out to celebrate valentines. In my case, as I am working regular hours at day (and sometimes at night), I don't have much time for planning or thinking of ways to celebrate valentines day.

My dear husband, who had a day off yesterday (after he had worked at night), surprised me in many ways. He prepared a bubble bath for me with glasses of wine and candles lit. Pizza was inside the oven and table setting was quite ready, with many special beverages to mark the special day.

Everything was organised and prepared by him. While we were having our dinner we watched Tom and Jerry (a favourite from my childhood) and we were both enjoying it. Later he wanted to prepare the new mattress he bought to make sure we would have a good night's sleep.

Our own way of celebrating valentines -- so simple but passionately expressed with pure love and tenderness.

Justice

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Just talk

Justice

I was born in a quiet and beautiful town in the Far East together with my cousins. As far as I can remember, we enjoyed watching the sunrise and sunset, bathing and fishing in the river along with other children. My childhood years bring back good memories: Playing hide and seek, flying kites, throwing yo-yo, jumping on Chinese garter and so much more. Life was full of fun and so simple back then. There were times I ate meals in our neighbours' house, treated like family. Sometimes we exchanged food. This you will never experience in an highly urbanised city, as there is nothing like this in the Western world. It's a small town where you almost know every other person. Everybody is like your family. That is how I remember the place that I left 24 years ago. This year my husband and I were planning to visit my beloved town. But I have second thoughts. It's a bit scary to visit a place where people are killing other people like animals.

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Security Leftovers

  • Security updates for Monday
  • Recursive DNS Server Fingerprint Problem

    Our goal is to identify hijacked resolvers by analyzing their fingerprints, in order to increase safety of Internet users. To do that, we utilize data collected via RIPE Atlas (atlas.ripe.net).

  • Online developer tutorials are spreading XSS and SQL injection flaws

    The researchers, from across three universities in Germany and Trend Micro, checked the PHP code bases of more than 64,000 projects on Github and uncovered more than 100 vulnerabilities that they believe might have been introduced as a result of developers picking up the code that they used from online tutorials.

  • BrickerBot, the permanent denial-of-service botnet, is back with a vengeance

    BrickerBot, the botnet that permanently incapacitates poorly secured Internet of Things devices before they can be conscripted into Internet-crippling denial-of-service armies, is back with a new squadron of foot soldiers armed with a meaner arsenal of weapons.

  • Reproducible Builds: week 104 in Stretch cycle
  • Webroot antivirus goes bananas, starts trashing Windows system files
    Webroot's security tools went berserk today, mislabeling key Microsoft Windows system files as malicious and temporarily removing them – knackering PCs in the process. Not only were people's individual copies of the antivirus suite going haywire, but also business editions and installations run by managed service providers (MSPs), meaning companies and organizations relying on the software were hit by the cockup. Between 1200 and 1500 MST (1800 and 2100 UTC) today, Webroot's gear labeled Windows operating system data as W32.Trojan.Gen – generic-Trojan-infected files, in other words – and moved them into quarantine, rendering affected computers unstable. Files digitally signed by Microsoft were whisked away – but, luckily, not all of them, leaving enough of the OS behind to reboot and restore the quarantined resources.
  • How The Update Framework Improves Security of Software Updates
    Updating software is one of the most important ways to keep users and organizations secure. But how can software be updated securely? That's the challenge that The Update Framework (TUF) aims to solve. Justin Cappos, assistant professor at New York University, detailed how TUF works and what's coming to further improve the secure updating approach in a session at last week's DockerCon 17 conference in Austin, Texas. Simply using HTTPS and Transport Layer Security (TLS) to secure a download isn't enough as there have been many publicly reported instances of software repositories that have been tampered with, Cappos said.
  • Security Updates for Ubuntu Phone to End in June
    Security updates for Ubuntu phone and tablet will end this June, Canonical has confirmed. Current OTA updates are currently limited to critical fixes and security updates — a decision we were first to tell you back in January. But after June 2017 Canonical “will no longer deliver any further updates”.
  • Canonical to stop supporting Ubuntu Phone in June
    Canonical had already announced development of its Ubuntu Phone software was ending. Now we know when the final nail goes in the coffin: June.
  • Malware Hunts And Kills Poorly Secured Internet Of Things Devices Before They Can Be Integrated Into Botnets
    Researchers say they've discovered a new wave of malware with one purpose: to disable poorly secured routers and internet of things devices before they can be compromised and integrated into botnets. We've often noted how internet-of-broken-things devices ("smart" doorbells, fridges, video cameras, etc.) have such flimsy security that they're often hacked and integrated into botnets in just a matter of seconds after being connected to the internet. These devices are then quickly integrated into botnets that have been responsible for some of the worst DDoS attacks we've ever seen (including last October's attack on DYN).

GNOME/GTK News

  • The Way GNOME Handles Wallpapers Really Annoys Me
    I love GNOME Shell — and no, not just because I’ve little choice now that is Ubuntu’s default desktop! But the more I use GNOME the more I learn that the desktop environment, like every other, has its own share of quirks, bugs and inconsistencies. Like the following appreciably niche niggle in the the way GNOME handles desktop wallpapers.
  • Drag-and-drop in lists
    I’ve recently had an occasion to implement reordering of a GtkListBox via drag-and-drop (DND). It was not that complicated. Since I haven’t seen drag-and-drop used much with list boxes, here is a quick summary of what is needed to get the basics working.

Containers News

  • How Kubernetes is making contributing easy
    As the program manager of the Kubernetes community at Google, Sarah Novotny has years of experience in open source communities including MySQL and NGINX. Sarah sat down with me at CloudNativeCon in Berlin at the end of March to discuss both the Kubernetes community and open source communities more broadly. Among the topics we covered in the podcast were the challenges inherent in shifting from a company-led project to a community-led one, principles that can lead to more successful communities, and how to structure decision-making.
  • How Microsoft helped Docker with LinuxKit and Moby Project [Ed: Microsoft 'helped'... embrace, extend, coerce; haven't Docker employees learned from history?]
    Today, supporting Linux is as critical to Microsoft as it is to Red Hat and SUSE.
  • How to make branding decisions in an open community
    On April 18, Docker founder Solomon Hykes made a big announcement via a pull request in the main Docker repo: "Docker is transitioning all of its open source collaborations to the Moby project going forward." The docker/docker repo now redirects to moby/moby, and Solomon's pull request updates the README and logo for the project to match. Reaction from the Docker community has been overwhelmingly negative. As of this writing, the Moby pull request has garnered 7 upvotes and 110 downvotes on GitHub. The Docker community is understandably frustrated by this opaque announcement of a fait accompli, an important decision that a hidden inner circle made behind closed doors. It's a textbook case of "Why wasn't I consulted?"

Ubuntu 17.04: Unity's swan song?

For the most part, not much has changed on Ubuntu's Desktop edition in the past year. Unity 7 has more or less remained the same while work was progressing on the next version of the desktop, Unity 8. However, now that both desktops are being retired in favour of the GNOME desktop, running Ubuntu 17.04 feels a bit strange. This week I was running software that has probably reached the end of its life and this version of Ubuntu will only be supported for nine months. I could probably get the same desktop experience and most of the same hardware support running Ubuntu 16.04 and get security updates through to 2021 in the bargain. In short, I don't think Ubuntu 17.04 offers users anything significant over last year's 16.04 LTS release and it will be retired sooner. That being said, I could not help but be a little wistful about using Unity 7 again. Even though it has been about a year since I last used Unity, I quickly fell back into the routine and I was once more reminded how pleasant it can be to use Unity. The desktop is geared almost perfectly to my workflow and the controls are set up in a way that reduces my mouse usage to almost nothing. I find Unity a very comfortable desktop to use, especially when application menus have been moved from the top panel to inside their own windows. While there are some projects trying to carry on development of Unity, this release of Ubuntu feels like Unity's swan song and I have greatly enjoyed using the desktop this week. While there is not much new in Ubuntu 17.04, the release is pretty solid. Apart from the confusion that may arise from having three different package managers, I found Ubuntu to be capable, fairly newcomer friendly and stable. Everything worked well for me, at least on physical hardware. Unity is a bit slow to use in a virtual machine, but the distribution worked smoothly on my desktop computer. Read more