Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Just talk

Logo Concepts

Filed under
Just talk

More below...

Secret Back Doors in Android

Filed under
Just talk

I am everything but a Google basher and I spent a lot of my life descending deep into research of Google foes, Google smear campaigns, lawsuits by proxy, and antitrust actions by proxy. I also advocate Android, but in recent years I have been increasingly concerned about the direction it is taking. I wish to share my latest concern. It relates to what the media characterises as "anti-theft" but is actually a facility to kill phones in a protest or convert them into hostile listening devices. Technology impacts human rights and those who control technology can be tempted to control humans.

Google habitually updates my tablet. It is a Nexus 7 tablet which Google invites itself to update remotely (shame on me for not installing Replicant, but this device does not support it yet). It is not a 3G tablet and it does not have two operation systems (unlike mobile phones) or even a carrier tracking its location all the time. It's a purely Android device with no network tying. It is network-agnostic. I only bought it because in order to replace my PDA (for over a decade) I wanted a device that is not a tracking device. Phones were out of the question.

Networks don't track the tablet. Google, however, is always out there, fully able to identify the connected user (latched onto a Gmail address because of Play), modifying the software without even the user's consent (the user is sometimes prompted to boot, without being able to opt out of the core update itself).

The update in itself is not a problem. What's problematic is its effect.

Following the latest Google update (which I was given no option to reject) I noticed that Google had added a remote kill switch as an opition. It was enabed by default. "Allow remote lock and erase" is what Google calls it and it is essentially working like a back door. Google and its partners in government are gaining a lot of power not over a smartphone but over a tablet.

The significance of this is that not only phones should be assumed to be remotely accessible for modification, including for example additional back doors. What's more, some devices that were sold without this functionality silently have it added. According to the corporate press, the FBI remotely turns Android devices into listening devices and it is getting simpler to see how.

NSA and PRISM destroy our computing. We definitely need to demand Free software, but we should go further by asking for audits, rejecting user-hostile 'features' like DRM, 'secure' boot, and kill switches. I gradually lose any remaining trust that I had in Google and even Free software such as Android.

Manchester and Computing

Filed under
Just talk

Manchester's role in the history of computing is not widely recognised. I spent several years working in Manchester Computing and I studied where the first programmable computer was built (by Kilburn, whom the building was later named after). One of my colleagues at Manchester Computing (MCC) was the person who was first to build and distribute a GNU/Linux distribution (combining both GNU and Linux) and yesterday I met and spoke to one of the earlier PC distributors from across the road (supplier for Manchester Computing). Right here at the centre of Manchester a lot of the early milestones of computing took place (Turing also), but Manchester became better known for the splitting of atoms, the football teams, famous bands like Oasis, and the industrial revolution. A few days ago Rianne and I visited the local museum which demonstrates the industrial revolution (photo above from this album); what we really need here, however, are more museums documenting Manchester's role in modern computing. This city deserves more credit.

Nokia

Filed under
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

Filed under
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

Filed under
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.

Windows 8.1 "The Worst Ever"

Filed under
Just talk

I've taught High School Computer Science for 25 years--Computer Programming, Web Page Design, Word Processing, Database Processing, and Spreadsheet processing. I have Linux on all my home computers with a dual boot into MS Windows 7 on my main computer. I don't use Windows 7 very often--but, I can find my way around in Windows 7. Since I have no experience with Win 8, I've thought all the recent hoopla about Microsoft's Windows 8 and 8.1 was just inexperienced grousing.

Why is Security not Turned on by Default?

Filed under
Just talk

This isn't a Windows thing, Linux as well should be more secure than the assumption that the OS with elevated privileges is secure enough, there is so much more Desktop Linux could be doing to make the users experience more secure.

Read more

Sometimes the Tech pres just gets it wrong..

Filed under
Just talk

While I know this is a Linux site, i feel that Windows RT is getting the same bad rap Linux gets from the Tech press in many areas. A lack of true understanding of just what they are dealing with or just a huge need to present some form of being part of the crowd. I'm not sure just what it is however it needs to change. It's the same thing that happens when some people review Ubuntu PHone for example and claim it's not a viable platform.. and it annoys me..

Why Everything you've read in the tech press about Windows RT is WRONG!!

Head to head the best of class, the Lumia 920 and the Nexus 4

Filed under
Just talk

With the tenuous link of Linux/android I take a look at just how googles flagship device stands up against the top WP8 phone

read more

Syndicate content

More in Tux Machines

Kernel: Linux 4.13 Features, ZFS On Linux 0.7, EdgeX, and AMD Graphics

  • 4.13 Merge window, part 2
  • [zfs-announce] v0.7.0 released
  • ZFS On Linux 0.7 Released With New Features
    A new release of ZOL is available for running the ZFS file-system natively on Linux. This ZFS On Linux v0.7 update does bring a number of new features. ZFS On Linux 0.7 introduces resumable send/receive support, compressed send/receive, multiple import protection, scrub pause/resume capabilities, delegations, large dnodes, cryptographic checksums, JBOD management, and a wide array of performance improvements.
  • Open source group adds members to forge edge computing standards
    The open source EdgeX Foundry group gains new members as it begins to sculpt standardized software building blocks for intelligent edge computing. In April, The Linux Foundation launched the open source EdgeX Foundry project to develop a standardized interoperability framework for Internet of Things (IoT) edge computing. Recently, EdgeX Foundry announced eight new members, bringing the total membership to 58.
  • Radeon GPU Profiler Should Help Vulkan Game Developers
    Besides yesterday evening marking the embargo expiration for the new Crimson ReLive / AMDGPU-PRO 17.30 details, AMD also announced the public availability of the Radeon GPU Profiler. Radeon GPU Profiler is a new open-source initiative within the GPUOpen space for allowing more analytics and low-level optimization details to be explored by game developers running on Radeon GPUs.
  • AMD Releases Crimson ReLive 17.7.2, Linux Gamers Get AMDGPU-PRO 17.30

today's howtos

GNOME: Evince, GNOME Recipes, Gedit, and GUADEC 2017 in Manchester

  • Evince 3.26 Will Let You View Adobe Illustrator & CBR Files
    Evince, the default document viewer on Ubuntu, is adding support for more file formats. The next stable release, Evince 3.26, due in October, will allow you to view Adobe Illustrator files on Linux without needing to install any additional software. “But wait!”, I hear you cry, “Evince can already do that!”
  • GNOME Recipes 3.26 Cooks Up a Batch of Improvements
    GNOME's Mathias Clasen has dished up an update on GNOME Recipes, the desktop cookery app for Linux, bringing news of several improvements.
  • Wait, Gedit Text Editor is Unmaintained?!
    Gedit is the default text editor on Ubuntu and just about a bajillion other Linux distros — but it’s also unmaintained. Did you know that? I didn’t. Not until a reader mentioned it to me earlier today. And, sure enough, head over to Gedit page on the GNOME Wiki and you can see for yourself that the project is “no longer maintained” and is “looking for new maintainers”.
  • Going to GUADEC 2017
    This year I am also giving a presentation about the application story in Endless OS. Our infrastructure, our changes to GNOME Software, our heavy use of Flatpak, etc. Hopefully you’ll find it interesting.

Red Hat and Fedora: CollabNet and Carahsoft. SteelCloud, Fedora 27 Schedule, 32-Bit x86 Support

  • CollabNet and Carahsoft to Host Value Stream Mapping Webinar Featuring Red Hat August 2, 2017
    CollabNet (www.collabnet.com), a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, announces a new webinar, "Monitoring your DevOps Tool Chain for Continuous Delivery & Feedback in Red Hat OpenShift," that will be co-hosted by CollabNet partner Carahsoft. The webinar will take place on August 2, 2017, at 10 a.m. PDT/ 1 p.m. EDT.
  • SteelCloud Adds Red Hat RHEL 7 STIG Automation to Boost DoD's RMF Readiness
    SteelCloud LLC announced today that it has enhanced ConfigOS, its patented STIG remediation software, to comprehensively support Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. ConfigOS dramatically reduces the time and effort to build, test, and deploy STIG-compliant Linux and Windows application environments. This new RHEL 7 support adds to ConfigOS existing automation for RHEL 5 & 6, CENTOS and SUSE Linux.
  • 32-Bit x86 support in Fedora
  • Running Wayland on the Nvidia driver
    I know many of you have wanted to test running Wayland on NVidia. The work on this continues between Jonas Ådahl, Adam Jackson and various developers at NVidia. It is not ready for primetime yet as we are still working on the server side glvnd piece we need for XWayland. That said with both Adam Jackson looking at this from our side and Kyle Brenneman looking at it from NVidia I am sure we will be able to hash out the remaining open questions and get that done.
  • Fedora 27 release dates and schedule
    With the recent release of Fedora 26, the Fedora 27 release schedule is falling into place. Also worth noting, starting with Fedora 27, there is no longer an Alpha release. As of now, the current Fedora 27 release schedule is as follows.
  • My first year in the Fedora Project
    Yesterday I completed an incredible first year in the fedora project, I noticed it because I was awarded with one badge for it (egg badge). I arrived a month ago through whatcanidoforfedora, who told me that it was a good idea to go to ambassadors, commops and infrastructure, I tried first in ambassadors and immediately I was kicked :P. being member of any major parts of the fedora project requires a lot of patience and work. that was my first learning about the the project.