LWDW 173: Counting Penguins

Counting penguins with Pi’s! Shuttleworth talks business, profiling GNOME shell, and three new Linux laptops from DELL.

03:57 New Linux laptops from DELL
06:44 Chrome blocks ad blockers
12:01 Krita 4.2
15:50 Profiling GNOME shell
19:06 Hidden Wasp malware
23:45 Shuttleworth talks business
29:17 Best time for Linux desktop
33:17 A case for Mint
43:45 Penguin Watch
46:18 Homekit Pi
48:25 PiBq
50:52 Your emails


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 Jill Pedro

New Linux laptops from DELL

  • The next in the line of Dell’s Ubuntu-based Precision mobile workstations.
  • Honestly been very impressed with the starting price points of these, ranging from $1,100-$1,400, depending on the model.
  • The entry level Dell Precision 3540 released May 1st, starts at just over $700.  I find it amazing that you get a Precision laptop for under $1000 to start.
  • I’d like to see some Ryzens!


Chrome ad blocking update

  • Chrome won market share by providing a better product.
  • That share can be lost just a quickly, ask Microsoft.
  • Changing the way ad blockers work, as in instead of allowing them to block a connection to an ad server before it even loads it’s now going to need rules about what gets displayed, means crappy ads are going to make performance even worse for some sites.
  • Not to mention the fact that Chrome has a bit of a rule limit problem.
  • Yeh, I am so happy there is another option, Firefox.


Krita 4.2

  • Krita is one of those really neat bits of software I wish would get a bit more adoption and, in turn, more funding.
  • One of my favorite open source digital painting applications Krita has just released version 4.2 after almost a year of development!  Over 1500 bugs have been fixed for better stability, and there are lots of new features.
    • The color palette docker has been rewritten.  It is much more flexible and you can reorder swatches via drag and drop, you can group swatches as well, and you can change the number of columns and rows in the color palette.
    • Supports GIMP color palettes as well that can be imported.
    • A new animation python API has been created.
    • There are two new animation plugins, one for loading a video for reference and importing frames to your document and the other for managing sprite sheets for game developers.
    • Much faster drawing with procedural brushes.
    • 50% increase in speed of drawing because Krita is now utilizing multi core CPU processing.


Profiling GNOME shell

  • Better performance and the ability to profile is essential for developing a DE that stays out of your way.
  • If people are noticing your DE and its quirks, you’ve failed.
  • And you really don’t want the average user to have to worry about profiling tools.
  • Honestly, I’m just glad GNOME is doing something about the god-awful performance it had since 3.0.
  • Showing the community how Sysprof is being implemented to debug, benchmark and test the speed in GNOME development will help tremendously in enabling code to improve GNOME.


Hidden Wasp (RTheren)

  • Check if your system is infected, you can search for “ld.so” files — if any of the files do not contain the string ‘/etc/ld.so.preload’, your system may be compromised.
  • The malware is still active and has a zero-detection rate in all major anti-virus systems.
  • Contains code from Mirai and the Azazel rootkit.
  • The big question is how does it get on the target system?
  • That’s the question all these articles coming out fail to answer or even pose.
  • Most of them don’t even acknowledge that is a stage 2 malware.
  • It only gets installed AFTER the system was compromised.
  • But that’s not good shock value, when you can have “New Linux Malware Found – Escapes detection from all known anti-viruses!!1!”


Shuttleworth talks business

  • Mark Shuttleworth:
    • “Lots of businesses that are longstanding VMware and Red Hat customers are now signing up with Canonical for a new projects. They’re not doing a rip and replace. They’re not throwing the other guys out. They’re just essentially preserving that at this stage, while growing a new Ubuntu estate.”
  • Don’t talk smack about Slowaris.
  • Want to know why some people in IT still long for the days of Solaris?
  • Because it worked, (still does) period.
  • It’s called Enterprise Mr. Shuttleworth, a realm where the mention of clouds or moving fast and breaking things will get you busted down to helpdesk.
  • Red Hat, Oracle, and IBM have that business on lock.
  • Not a fan of apple and wrench comparisons.
  • He talks about how they publish a lot of open sauce, but nothing about contributing back directly to the projects holding Canonical’s offerings aloft.
  • That’s important too!


Best time for Linux desktop

  • Linux has been a perfectly serviceable desktop for well over two decades.
  • It’s 2019, the battle for the Desktop ™ is only being fought by a select few online.
  • If you didn’t noticed, Desktop ™ as a whole, lost.
  • And with all the bug fixes and performance improvements with Gnome, it’s ready for prime time.
  • Microsoft has been releasing versions of their Windows desktop for years that have never been ready for prime time.
  • Linux desktop managers are far more stable than what Microsoft has to offer.
  • Been using xfce, Fluxbox, Window Maker for years without a hitch, and Gnome, Mate, Cinnamon and Budgie are running beautifully as well.
  • We talked about Linux Mint earlier, if they focused on actually being the most Windows-like distro they’d have a purpose.
  • People didn’t like the shift from 7 to 8 and 10 hasn’t really done a good job to convince some diehards that it’s time to change.
  • Honestly, if you like the Windows 7 desktop “paradigm” Cinnamon is a very good choice, as are KDE and Budgie.
  • Honestly, if Ubuntu Budgie dropped the MacOS look alike thing it currently does, and set a more Windows-y layout, I’d start telling people who ask about Linux to use that.


A case for Mint

  • James Sanders of TechRepublic says that “Cinnamon makes more sense as a distribution-agnostic package.”  He also states: “Persisting in maintaining Linux Mint as a platform to showcase Cinnamon makes no sense, when the labor of maintaining a distribution is handled—better—by Ubuntu, Fedora, SuSE, and Arch, among a select few others.”
    • I disagree and agree at the same time.
    • I don’t think a Linux distribution needs to be deprecated because it created a unique desktop manager, such as Solus with the Budgie desktop, Ubuntu Mate with the Mate desktop, and elementary OS’s Pantheon desktop.
    • But, I do understand that it would make it easier for the devs and Clem to just focus on Cinnamon and it’s implementation in other distros.
    • The Linux Mint installer is still one of the fastest out there!
    • The Cinnamon desktop has an easy to use Windows like interface, and Linux Mint is one of the distros that I recommend new users to Linux use.
    • It ranks 3rd at Distrowatch, may not be accurate, but still very telling.
  • Regardless of what I think about this article, the fact of the matter is nowadays Linux Mint has nothing really going for it.
  • Not to mention the security issues they ran into in the not too distant past.
  • Honestly, if there was a way for the team to make themselves a distro that is significantly different to Ubuntu, I’d love to see them go down that avenue.
  • But as it is, there’s not much Mint brings to the table.
  • Back in 2006 Mint was the new hotness and like all things hotness fades.
  • It made a name shipping Flash and media CODECS OOTB.  
  • Cinnamon is a neat desktop be it infireror to XFCE and Mate for that matter.
  • Don’t write them off just yet since the team received a total of $24,149 in donations last month, their biggest ever.
  • Speaking of…

Slice of Pi

Penguin watch

  • You can help save penguins lives by counting penguins for Penguin Watch!  Penguin Watch is now working with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and British Antarctic Survey (BAS).
  • Here is an incredible project using Raspberry Pi Zero’s with The Raspberry Pi Camera Module v2 that take photos and timelapse of penguin colonies along the Antarctic Peninsula.
  • All you have to do is go to the Penguin Watch website and a random image of a penguin colony is displayed, and you then label and click on the adults, chicks, the eggs and other animals.
  • “By counting the birds in their colonies, users help penguinologists measure changes in the birds’ behaviour and habitat, and in the larger ecosystem, thus assisting in their conservation.”
  • This can also help scientists understand how the penguins are being affected by climate change and the potential impacts of local fisheries.
  • It’s fun and easy :-D  I created an account, and have already counted several hundred penguins on multiple images.


Homekit Pi

  • We need more people doing this stuff.
  • Not just coming up with interesting and useful ways to put a Pi to use, but people with the ability and capacity to produce the enclosures which turn a simple DIY project into something awesome.



  • Since we were having a BBWQ-off of sorts last Friday.
  • Ever spend the weekend knee-deep in marinade?
  • Yeah, don’t get kidnapped by cannibals, kids.
  • Especially ones that posses HeaterMeter technology, a rather nifty open-source controller for your barbecue, built around a Raspberry Pi.
  • And unlike Machete, heaterMeter texts.


NVIDIa woes


Leave Your Reply