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Debian: Tails 3.2 RC, Debian Policy, and Mini-DebConf 2017 Conference

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Debian
  • Tails 3.2 release candidate has been released for testing

    The LiveUSB Linux distribution, Tails (the amnesic incognito live system), has received a new release candidate for the upcoming 3.2 update that’s due out on the 26th of this month. The update comes with some big under-the-hood changes to the system which should improve hardware support and the email experience.

    If you’ve ever decided to try Tails on newer hardware, you may have had some driver issues; with this release, Tails ships with the Linux 4.12.12 kernel which is one of the latest. With it, users will get a better hardware experience; for example, the NVIDIA Maxwell series of graphics cards are now supported.

  • Debian Policy call for participation -- September 2017
  • Mini-DebConf 2017 Debian Conference to Take Place November 23-26 in Cambridge UK

    Debian developer and leader of the debian-cd project Steve McIntyre announced the official dates and schedule of this year's Mini-DebConf conference for Debian developers and users.

    The Mini-DebConf 2017 conference will take place for four days, from Thursday, November 23 until Sunday, November 26, and it will be hosted at Arm's office in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Arm is Steve McIntyre's employer and the industry's leading supplier of microprocessors for embedded and IoT devices.

    "I'm organizing another mini-DebConf in Cambridge this year. Again, my employer Arm is going to host the conference for four days in November," said Steve McIntyre in the mailing list announcement. "I'm also hoping to find sponsors again to cover some other costs for the conference for things like food - please contact me if you can help!"

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today's howtos

Linux - The beginning of the end

You should never swear at people under you - I use the word under in the hierarchical sense. Colleagues? Well, probably not, although you should never hold back on your opinion. Those above you in the food chain? It's fair game. You risk it to biscuit it. I say, Linus shouldn't have used the language he did in about 55-65% of the cases. In those 55-65% of the cases, he swore at people when he should have focused on swearing at the technical solution. The thing is, people can make bad products but that does not make them bad people. It is important to distinguish this. People often forget this. And yes, sometimes, there is genuine malice. My experience shows that malice usually comes with a smile and lots of sloganeering. The typical corporate setup is an excellent breeding ground for the aspiring ladder climber. Speaking of Linus, it is also vital to remember that the choice of language does not always define people, especially when there are cultural differences - it's their actions. In the remainder of the cases where "bad" language was used (if we judge it based on the approved corporate lingo vocab), the exchange was completely impersonal - or personal from the start on all sides - in which case, it's a different game. The problem is, it's the whole package. You don't selective get to pick a person's attributes. Genius comes with its flaws. If Linus was an extroverted stage speaker who liked to gushy-mushy chitchat and phrase work problems in empty statements full of "inspiring" and "quotable" one-liners, he probably wouldn't be the developer that he is, and we wouldn't have Linux. So was he wrong in some of those cases? Yes. Should he have apologized? Yes, privately, because it's a private matter. Definitely not the way it was done. Not a corporate-approved kangaroo court. The outcome of this story is disturbing. A public, humiliating apology is just as bad. It's part of the wider corporate show, where you say how sorry you are on screen (the actual remorse is irrelevant). Linus might actually be sorry, and he might actually be seeking to improve his communication style - empathy won't be part of that equation, I guarantee that. But this case - and a few similar ones - set a precedence. People will realize, if someone like Linus gets snubbed for voicing his opinion - and that's what it is after all, an opinion, regardless of the choice of words and expletives - how will they be judged if they do something similar. But not just judged. Placed in the (social) media spotlight and asked to dance to a tune of fake humility in order to satisfy the public thirst for theatrics. You are not expected to just feel remorse. You need to do a whole stage grovel. And once the seed of doubt creeps in, people start normalizing. It's a paradox that it's the liberal, democratic societies that are putting so much strain on the freedom of communication and speech. People forget the harsh lessons of the past and the bloody struggles their nations went through to ensure people could freely express themselves. Now, we're seeing a partial reversal. But it's happening. The basket of "not allowed" words is getting bigger by the day. This affects how people talk, how they frame their issues, how they express themselves. This directly affects their work. There is less and less distinction between professional disagreement and personal slight. In fact, people deliberately blur the lines so they can present their business ineptitude as some sort of Dreyfuss witchhunt against their glorious selves. As an ordinary person slaving in an office so you can pay your bills and raise your mediocre children, you may actually not want to say something that may be construed as "offensive" even though it could be a legitimate complaint, related to your actual work. This leads to self-censored, mind-numbing normalization. People just swallow their pride, suppress their problems, focus on the paycheck, and just play the life-draining corporate game. Or they have an early stroke. Read more Also: Google Keeps Pushing ChromeOS and Android Closer Together