LWDW 138: Schrome Book

Linux dominates Azure, Brave readies a point release, System76 teases a new open-source computer and can you take back code?

Special thanks to:
Michael (increased pledge)
LinuxGNUru: (Paypal donation)


Linux Weekly Daily Wednesday
Linux Weekly Daily Wednesday
LinuxGameCast LLP

A weekly dose of all thing Linux and open source with a slice of Pi for good measure.



Colour key – Venn Pedro Jill

Java 11 #itsatrap

  • It’s really hard to justify using Java nowadays, but I’m sure someone will point out that the alternative (C#) isn’t that much better.
  • And make no mistake, OpenJDK is still based on stuff now owned by Oracle.
  • That’s not a framework I’d bank my commercial product on.
  • I still use IcedTea, Red Hat’s OpenJDK implementation on many of my computers.
  • But IcedTea is based on an older version of OpenJDK 8.
  • Yeah, this sounds like something Oracle would do.
  • The trap is as follows:
    • Download Oracle JDK (because that is what you’ve always done, and it is what the web-search tells you)
    • Use it in production (because you didn’t realise the license changed)
    • Get a nasty phone call from Oracle’s license enforcement teams demanding lots of money
  • All because the new terms say
    • “you may not: use the Programs for any data processing or any commercial, production, or internal business purposes other than developing, testing, prototyping, and demonstrating your Application”


All Systems Go Open Source Thelio!

  • System76 CEO Carl Richell’s dream of creating on open source computer has come to fruition, and Thelio can be preordered this month!
  • A four-part science fiction miniseries of animations will be launched in the coming weeks before the finalized hardware is announced.
  • In the prologue, Zoe ventures out in space to look for Thelio, the alien source of advanced technology.
  • These thoughtful interactive animations will go a long way to teaching the general public exactly what open source and an open source computer even is.
  • They are beautifully created with Blender, Inkscape, Krita and Natron.
  • I am curious to see what System76 will release as an ARM laptop.
    • Me and mfoxdogg in chat are both hoping it’s RISC-V :-D
    • While I applaud the V enthusiasm S76 needs to make something with a bit more mass appeal.  


Revoking Source

  • In theory, yes.
  • But they would need to go to court, justify in exactly what way the platform changed and how it affects their work, and they will need to make it stick if not set a precedent altogether.
  • I think Karen Sandler Attorney and executive director of the Software Freedom Conservancy wrote this best
  • “There’s no effective way to revoke code meaningfully that has been licensed, distributed, and redistributed under GPLv2. While the issue is complicated, the legal structure around copyleft is robust.”
    • To me this is ridiculous and not really a story.
    • All it takes is one troll on the Linux Kernel Mailing List to get the community worried, and for all we know it could be someone who just hates Linux.
    • First off anyone who claims to be a lawyer online is most definitely, not a lawyer.
    • It’s all fun and games until someone attempts to do it and things get wonky.
  • “In the U.S. there is case law confirming that reputational losses relating to conversion of the rights of a contributor to a GPLed project are judicable in law. I do not know the case law outside the U.S., but in countries observing the Berne Convention without the U.S.’s opt-out of the “moral rights” clause, that clause probably gives the objectors an even stronger case.” –Eric S. Raymond
  • Section 6 of the Berne Convention notes that the original author of a work can object to its further use if they feel it has been utilized in a way which “would be prejudicial to his honor or reputation.”
  • While I don’t see how you could prove that I do see someone trying it.


Brave Beta

  • Chromium with as much of the Google stuff stripped out as possible.
  • Everything was implemented to emphasize security and privacy but still retaining the level of functionality you may expect from a modern browser.
  • Except for Widevine on Linux.
  • If you wondering what the hell a Widevine is and why you should care, think without it Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, etc., will not work.
  • But they do say it will come in the future.
  • I’ve been using Brave on mobile as an alternative for Foxfire simply because it doesn’t run like but.
  • As we talked about in July on LWDW with the testing release of Brave, this new beta version of Brave leading up to the 1.0 release, includes the ability to easily surf anonymously with the Tor network by using the “New Private Tab with Tor” option.
  • In the 1.0 beta
    • Private Browsing with Tor support (This is an early implementation still undergoing leakproofing, so users should not rely on it for serious use yet).
    • New design elements and UI differentiations from Chromium (Brave Shields menu inside the URL bar on the right; bookmark bar on the left; URL bar centered and smaller;
    • Differences in tab shapes and colors;
    • Different light theme
    • Dark theme can also be set.
  • It’s running quite smoothly on 18.04 and it’s nice having https everywhere, ad blocking, 3’rd party cookie blocking and script blocking built in.
  • Using it right now for the show notes.


Give Me A Solid

  • A decentralized Internet is the future!  So Mastodon and PeerTube are ahead of the game, and we have BitTorrent created in 2001 to thank for it.
  • In July of 2018 BitTorrent, Inc was acquired by TRON, a company founded by Justin Sun and dedicated to accelerating the decentralization of the Internet through blockchain technology.
  • It will have to happen if companies like today’s ISPs keep running the service into the ground and are subject to other companies’ influence when it comes to the kind of content they can serve.
  • Especially with the EU being on the verge of turning Article 13 into law, that’s the meme banning thing.
  • This needs to become a thing.
  • And not just from the software side but from the infrastructure side, as well.
  • But that has a whole new set of physical issues.
  • Every bit of data created on Solid exists within a Solid pod–which is an acronym for personal online data store.
  • This type of system has been floated about for some time.
  • I could see it working like this.
  • Say you join Facespace and allow them access to your pod and friends / contacts / posts you create there are stored in your Pod.
  • You nope Facespace for Foot Space so you detach your Pod (revoking access to Facespace) and take all the data to the new hotness.


Cloudflare Registrar

  • It’s been a long time since I’ve felt that a company was doing good for the sake of good.
  • Free DDOS protection, DNS, affordable video streaming, and now at-cost domain names.  
  • They are only charging customers the registry cost plus the ICANN fee.
  • Invitations are rolling out slowly, and one way you can move to the front of the queue is by making a donation to Girls Who Code.


Shameless self promotion

  • I made this for the one person in the future searching for information on FireWire interfaces on Linux.


Touchpad gestures

  • Two weeks ago we talked about using and configuring the mtrack driver for multitouch on a MacBook touchpad, now there is an easy to use GUI app called “Gestures” for libinput-gestures that does just that!
  • You know, if people are going to go out of their way to make what I say irrelevant, this is the way to do it.
  • I’m not much of a touchpad user, but if there’s someone out there who can give this a try and let us know how it works, it’d be awesome!


DOS 2.0

  • We were just talking about creating applications in Assembly for the ARM based Raspberry Pi last week.  How about we create a whole new operating system using x86 Assembly and calling it DOS 2.0! Well now you can!
  • I have DOS 2.0 installed on my IBM XT which still boots . . .
  • At this point, DOS 6.22 should be put on github as well ;-D
  • The news here is that it’s now available in Github vs a *.zip file.
  • Did they need to buy Github to feel comfortable about putting it up there?


Feel good story of the week

  • Our penguin army is marching forward and now Linux Virtual Machines dominates Microsoft’s Azure cloud by 50%!
  • Yes, Windows Server will be dead very soon!
  • This story broke and I got Venn’s tweet as the speakers were talking about it at SUSE Expert Days in LA!  This is one of the reasons why Microsoft has partnered with SUSE, because Linux dominates Azure and a lot of their customers are using SUSE.
  • Microsoft is becoming a services company and the profitable Azure is at its core, so since everyone is using Linux . . .
  • Again, there is a part of Microsoft (the part that the rest of the company needs to listen to if they want to remain relevant) that doesn’t care what you run as long as you run it on their services.
  • Linux use on azure
    • 25% 2015
      40% 2017
    • +/- 50% 2018
  • There are now at least eight Linux distros available on Azure.

Slice of Pi

Mini Raspberry Pi Handheld Notebook

  • In Issue 74 of The MagPi: The Official Raspberry Pi Magazine
    • Build a mini laptop that fits in your pocket with the Raspberry Pi!
    • Also gives tips on how to recycle an old laptop to use with Pi.
    • Or if you just want to run a lightweight debian based linux distro on your old laptop you can install Raspbian for x86!
  • This issue of The MagPi can be downloaded for free in the link above!
  • This is the magazine that I recommend to all my students and members of the LinuxChix LA for learning about the RasPi, creating cool projects and learning Linux.
  • Palmtop makes more sense since it sets expectations a bit lower.
  • It’s a bit chunky but gets a solid 7/10 in the TSA acceptance meter.  
  • I want a PiTop but I don’t want that price tag anywhere near my wallet.



  • Pi.GPIO is a front-end language wrapper, it simplifies GPIO setup and usage.
  • It most certainly meets the “easy to read, short as possible” requirement.


Infinity Book



  • One of the reasons for the video was to let people know how well supported FireWire is under Linux.
  • So yeah, you can recover data from old HDDs and DV cams with ease.

Leave Your Reply