LWDW 201: Wool Driving

The Worst open-source innovations if the decade! Purism launches Librem Server, Google blocks Linux browsers, and a Pi powered virtual assistant.



04:39 Worst open-source innovations of the decade
09:19 Google blocks Linux browsers
12:14 Trinity desktop environment
14:44 Best KDE distro of 2019
18:39 10 years of Tails
21:54 fre:ac v1.1
25:09 Librem server
28:14 Shameless self promotion
31:49 Open-source voice assistant
34:04 Pi powered synthesizer
37:25 Emails

Colour key – Venn Jill Pedro

Worst open-source innovations 

  • Steam Machines were just too expensive and not advertised well.
  • Ubuntu’s Unity desktop took a long time before it became performant.
  • DeX failed because “convergence” has failed to become a thing in any meaningful way. 
  • Distributed social networks will never work. 
  • Steam Machines failed because the software to make them viable was not ready. 
    • Things like Vulkan, DXVK, and Proton. 
  • Canonical gonna Canonical.
  • Only 6 of those 8 can actually be called Open Source.
  • Yes, I realize how petty that is, but that’s what these vapid end of year lists elicit in me.


Google bans Linux browsers 

  • I am sure this will be fixed soon.
  • Google wants all users to be able to login to its services via any web browser and is usually browser agnostic.
  • What if you change your user agent?
  • It’s not like Konqueror or Falkon are actively maintained.
  • Yeah, Konqueror’s last update was June of 2018, so a very slow release cycle. 
  • I think this is less about banning Linux browsers and more about google not wanting to deal with support for those two browsers in specific.


TDE KDE 3 <3

  • The Trinity Desktop Environment maintains the old school look and feel of KDE 3, but with modern applications and drivers.
  • I have always loved using KDE 3 and am so happy that the Trinity Desktop Environment stays true to its user experience.
  • Konqueror, both as a file manager and web browser, I grew to love, and was impressed by its progressive dual workflow.
  • This article is part of a special series of 24 days of Linux desktops.
  • KDE 4.0 was a buggy mess!
  • It wasn’t until they hit 4.9 that it got anywhere near usable.
  • The KDE developers responsible for 4.0 release have only themselves to blame for the existence of Trinity.
  • Much like GNOME 3 developers have only themselves to blame for MATE, and Cinnamon, and Budgie, and Pantheon… You get the picture.


“Best” KDE Distro of 2019

  • I personally am impressed with how slick Manjaro KDE is.
  • KaOS is also a fast and lean KDE distro that is independent and has beautiful wallpapers.
  • I’ve never been a fan of distro “spins” because they are (for the most part) unnecessary, add to the fragmentation myth, confuse new Linux users.   
  • Dedoimedo has compiled a list of his favorite KDE using distros and presented it as the “Best KDE Distros of 2019”
  • Naming your subjective favorite as the “best” is almost me levels of arrogant!
  • But he does bring up the major contenders.


10-years of Tails 

  • Many Linux users got their first start using the privacy focused VPN Tor services because of Tails.
  • Much like all other distros with default amnesiac sessions, I try them on for size and say “neat”
  • And then I go back to the commodity of my insecure OS of choice.


fre:ac v1.1 Beta 1

  • Support for Linux & BSD. 
  • fre:ac v1.1 Beta 1, a free audio converter and CD ripper, has just been released on Linux!
  • fre:ac supports many popular formats and encoders, including MP3, MP4/M4A, WMA, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, AAC, WAV.
  • I used to use this app on Windows to rip CDs in the early 2000s!
  • So happy it is,available on Linux as a Snap, Flatpak or AppImage if you prefer.
  • This is a huge release, and also comes with multi-threaded support for faster processing.
  • Remember those pesky hidden tracks on CDs that were hard to make backups of?  Fre:ac just added support for ripping hidden tracks (HTOA).
  • And now that fre:ac is available on the ‘nixs, added support for reading and writing Vorbis files with .oga extension.
  • Is this Tk widgets?
  • The AppImage launches. 
  • Looks like Audacity with a bunch of extra steps thrown in. 
    • It’s an FFMPEG gui for audio transcoding
    • FFMPEG has a better UI. 
  • This is one of those things you need to have and it needs to work, to get the win-peeps waddling like a penguin.


Purism server

  • Send me one, I’ll give you a t-shirt.
  • This is a smart way for Purism to utilize their PureBoot technology and capitalize on it. 
  • That’s a supermicro case BTW. 
  • Custom firmware with a tamper-evident boot process don’t come cheap. 

Slice of Pi


  • Would you like the power of Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant but don’t want to feel like something is listening to your every word or collecting your data?
  • Then building a Mycroft, open source security focused voice assistant on the Raspberry Pi is just the ticket!
  • This is a project that I have been wanting to setup with one of my RasPi’s for quite some time.
  • Does Mycroft reply if you shout “Hey, Popey”?


Beep-Boop Pi 

  • You’re still dropping around £90 for those two Korg devices, if you want to use them, plus the Pi and cables.
  • Still probably cheaper than most single unit synths.
  • Floyd Steinberg, thank you for keeping the Berlin school of synth music alive, ala Tangerine Dream, using Linux and the Raspberry Pi!



  • Yeah, both Prime and Netflix seem to rely on the TPM chip in Intel systems and the Windows drivers to render at full 1080.
  • There’s an extension for Firefox and Chrome called Netflix 1080p that’ll trick Netflix into showing 1080p on Linux, but I’m not aware of one for Prime.




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