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Alan Pope: Sprinting in DC

Planet Ubuntu - 4 hours 37 min ago

For the last week I’ve been working with 230 other Ubuntu people in Washington, DC. We have sprints like this pretty frequently now and are a great way to collaborate and Get Things Done™ at high velocity.

This is the second sprint where we’ve invited some of the developers who are blazing a trail with our Core Apps project. Not everyone could make it to the sprint, and those who didn’t were certainly missed. These are people who give their own time to work on some of the featured and default apps on the Ubuntu Phone, and perhaps in the future on the converged desktop.

It’s been a busy week with discussion & planning punctuating intense hacking sessions. Once again I’m proud of the patience, professionalism and and hard work done by these guys working on bringing up our core apps project on a phone that hasn’t event shipped a single device yet!

We’ve spent much of the week discussing and resolving design issues, fixing performance bugs, crashers and platform integration issues, as well as the odd game of ‘Cards Against Humanity’ & ‘We Didn’t Playtest This At All’ in the bar afterwards.

Having 10 community developers in the same place as 200+ Canonical people accelerates things tremendously. Being able to go and sit with the SDK team allowed Robert Schroll to express his issues with the tools when developing Beru, the ebook reader. When Filippo Scognamiglio needed help with mouse and touch input, we could grab Florian Boucault and Daniel d’Andrada to provide tips. Having Renato Filho nearby to fix problems in Evolution Data Server allowed Kunal Parmar and Mihir Soni to resolve calendar issues. The list goes on.

All week we’ve been collaborating towards a common goal of high quality, beautiful, performant and stable applications for the phone today, and desktop of the future. It’s been an incredibly fun and productive week, and I’m a little sad to be heading home today. But I’m happy that we’ve had this time together to improve the free software we all care deeply about.

The relationships built up during these sprints will of course endure. We all exchange email addresses and IRC nicknames, so we can continue the conversation once the sprint is over. Development and meetings will continue beyond the sprint, in the virtual world of IRC, hangouts and mailing lists.

Kubuntu: Kubuntu Shirts are Back

Planet Ubuntu - 6 hours 4 min ago
Kubuntu T-shirts and Polo Shirts are available again. This time our supplier is HelloTux who are working with the Hungarian Ubuntu LoCo. $3 from each shirt goes to Kubuntu and $1.5 to the Hungarian LoCo team.

Thomas Ward: NGINX Webserver Admins: Don’t Use SSLv3 in Your SSL-Enabled Sites!

Planet Ubuntu - 7 hours 59 sec ago
The SSLv3 “POODLE” Vulnerability.

Most of us are aware of the recent protocol flaw vulnerability in SSLv3. Officially designated CVE-2014-3566, it is more commonly referred to as the “POODLE” (Padding Oracle On Downgraded Legacy Encryption) vulnerability.

The vulnerability is a result of a flaw in the way that the (now old) SSLv3 protocol behaves and operates. There is a Ubuntu-specific question on the POODLE vulnerability on Ask Ubuntu (link) which answers common questions on it. There is also a more general question on the POODLE vulnerability on the Information Security Stack Exchange site (link) with more general details on the POODLE vulnerability. If you would like more details, you should refer to those sites, or read the OpenSSL Whitepaper on the POODLE vulnerability (link).

As this is a protocol flaw in SSLv3, ALL implementations of SSLv3 are affected, so the only way to truly protect against POODLE is to disable SSLv3 protocol support in your web application, whether it be software you write, or hosted by a web server.

Disable SSLv3 in nginx:

Since the recommendation is to no longer use SSLv3, the simplest thing to do is disable SSLv3 for your site. In nginx, this is very simple to achieve.

Typically, one would have SSL enabled on their site with the following protocols line or similar if using the example in the default-shipped configuration files (in latest Debian or the NGINX PPAs, prior to the latest updates that happened in the past week or so):
ssl_protocols SSLv3 TLSv1 TLSv1.1 TLSv1.2;

To resolve this issue and disable SSLv3 support, we merely need to use the following instead to use only TLS:
ssl_protocols TLSv1 TLSv1.1 TLSv1.2;

Note that on really old implementations of OpenSSL, you won’t be able to get TLSv1.1 and TLSv1.2, so at the very least you can just have TLSv1 on the ssl_protocols line. You should probably consider updating to a more recent version of OpenSSL, though, because of other risks/issues in OpenSSL.

Update OpenSSL to get TLS_FALLBACK_SCSV Support:

More importantly than just disabling SSLv3, you should definitely update your OpenSSL, or whatever SSL implementation you use, to receive support for TLS_FALLBACK_SCSV. There is an attack vector that would make you vulnerable to POODLE by starting a TLS session, but then falling back to SSLv3, and then open you to the POODLE vulnerability. By updating, and then having the use of TLS_FALLBACK_SCSV, you will be protecting yourself from protocol downgrading attacks which would also make you vulnerable to POODLE.

Ubuntu Users: OpenSSL:

Fortunately for all users of Ubuntu, the OpenSSL packages were updated to protect against SSL downgrade attacks. This is detailed in “USN-2385-1: OpenSSL vulnerabilities” (link). Simply running sudo apt-get update with the security repositories enabled should get you the OpenSSL update to address this.

nginx from the Ubuntu Repositories:

Due to the vulnerability, and Debian already having these changes done, I was able to get in a last-minute update (courtesy of the Ubuntu Security Team and the Ubuntu Release Team), into the nginx package for the Utopic (14.10) release, which happened officially yesterday (October 23, 2014). In Utopic, the nginx package’s default config does NOT have SSLv3 on the ssl_protocols line. All other supported versions of Ubuntu do not have this change (this means that Precise and Trusty are both affected).

PPA Users:

Of course, many users of Ubuntu and nginx like the newer features of the latest nginx Stable or Mainline releases. This is why the nginx PPAs exist. Originally maintained by some of the Debian maintainers of the nginx package, I’ve taken primary responsibility of updating the nginx packages, and keeping them in sync (as close as I can) to the Debian nginx packaging.

As of today (October 24, 2014), both the Stable and Mainline PPAs have been updated to be in sync with the latest Debian packaging of the nginx package. This includes the removal of SSLv3 from the default ssl_protocols line.

Debian Users: OpenSSL:

Fortunately, like Ubuntu, Debian has also updated the OpenSSL packages to protect against SSL downgrade attacks. This is detailed in “DSA-3053-1 openssl — security update” (link). Like in Ubuntu, this can be fixed by running sudo apt-get update or similar to update your packages.

nginx in the Debian Repositories:

If you are on Debian Unstable, you are in luck. The Debian package in Unstable has this change in it already.

If you are on Debian Testing or Debian Stable or Debian Old Stable, you’re unfortunately out of luck, this change isn’t in those versions of the package yet. You can easily do the aforementioned changes, though, and fix your configs to disable SSLv3.

Oli Warner: Hey Paypal, why do you need access to my microphone, camera and photos?

Planet Ubuntu - 7 hours 58 min ago

Who actually checks the permissions of applications they're installing? A little while ago a Paypal update stalled because it required extra permissions. This is what happens if an app you have already installed wants more power. I was more than a little surprised with what I found.

It's easy to overlook app permissions. After all, you want something, and if there's no tangible sacrifice attached to it, people don't see the problem.

I do. I run a few servers so security is something that's always in or around my consciousness. The prime tenet of data security is to only give access to things that need it.

The Paypal app can, as it turns out, do a raft of things that include your peripheral hardware. Like magnetic stripe readers, scanning credit cards and ORCing cheques. I've still no idea why it needs SMS/MMS, calendar, location and app inspection access... So answers on a postcard.

That isn't really the point. My first problem comes in that Paypal are normalising applications doing a permission land-grab at install time. Something that was installed to let me do lightweight management of my account (and get notifications) has blossomed (or mutated) into this beast that can now inadvertently --I'm sure-- act as a particularly effective tracker and wiretap.

Now, you can probably trust Paypal; they've only been shown to be moderately evil in the past... But who is to say that will always be true. They could change their Terms and Conditions (if they even need to) and start snooping on you. Or they could get hacked. The Paypal app could be a vehicle for other malicious software to escalate its own privileges. In either case the result is the same. You've installed a bug. It can track you, it can watch you, it can hear you and it can smuggle data off your phone without you ever realising.

Paypal should have considered this before adding more and more and more to the same application. It isn't hard to split functionality out to plugins that have separate permissions, leaving cranky old users like me with their simple access and giving coffee-shop-hopping Alice and Bob super-quick access to all that naff stuff they like to do.

The wider problem --as comments are highlighting-- comes in how developers attribute these permissions and how users grant access to apps in Android. This is all handled when we install or update. We see a screen like that on the right and have three choices: give Paypal a ton more privileges on my device, ignore it indefinitely, or remove it.

If an iOS app wants to use the camera, you're asked when it wants to use the camera. That might seem like Vista's UAC all over again, but that's the call here... And I think Apple have it a million time more right. Android needs to start thinking about permissions in an interactive sense.

And all this does start to highlight one of the broader problems with resource access control like that implemented in Android. Access control is great when it's used for things that applications need to do. The model falls apart when one application gets all its permissions up-front, regardless of your usage. iOS seems to allow for in-app permission requests which mean you won't give it camera permission until it needs it and even then you can refuse it. It's up to the application to handle its lack of authorisation. This is a million times better.

Another aspect to this is that because I've been unwilling to grant Paypal all this access, I've had an old version mouldering away for some time. Avoiding old, unmaintained code is the second tenet of security.

Given I only use the Paypal app to manage my Paypal account, I think I'll uninstall it.

There has been a great discussion following this on Hacker News. Feel free to kick in your two cents there or here.

Nicholas Skaggs: Sprinting in DC: Thursday

Planet Ubuntu - 14 hours 25 min ago
This week, my team and I are sprinting with many of the core app developers and other folks inside of Ubuntu Engineering. Each day I'm attempting to give you a glimpse of what's happening.

Today started with some UOS planning which is happening in a couple short weeks. If you haven't yet put it on your calendar, please do so! And plan to not only attend, but consider submitting a session as well. The users track might be just the place for your session. Session topics can be about anything ubuntu related you might want to share or discuss with others.

As the week has progressed I've enjoyed getting to know the core apps developers better. Today we met with all of them to hear feedback on how the projects have been going. Lots of good discussion was had discussing how things like meetings and reviews work, individual project needs and actions that could be taken to improve all of the projects. It's wonderful to have everyone in the same place and able to talk.

After lunch the QA team discussed manual testing and proposed utilizing moztrap for some of the manual testing they are undertaking as part of the CI process for ubuntu touch images. While it is too early to say what implications this will have on manual testing from a community perspective, I'm happy to see the conversation has begun around the current issues facing manual tests. I'm also happy someone else is willing to be a guinea pig for changes like this! For image testing, the qatracker has served us well and will continue to do so, but I hope in the future we can improve the experience. In fact, we have done work in this area recently, and would love to hear from anyone who wants to help improve the qatracker experience. So, whether or not a migration to moztrap occurs at some point, the future looks bright.

The core app developers also got a chance to both get and receive feedback from the SDK and design teams. The deep dives into applications like calendar were very much appreciated and I expect those suggestions will filter into the applications in the near future. As usual the core apps developers came prepared with suggestions and grievances for the SDK team, as well as praises for things done well.

Finally to end the day, we discussed developer mode on the device. Rather than talk about the history of how it was implemented, let me share with you the future. Rather than locking adb access via a password, we'll utilize certificates. The password based solution already will ensure your locked device isn't vulnerable to nefarious humans who might want to connect and steal your data or reflash your phone. However, things like passwordless sudo will be possible with using certificates. In addition if security is the bane of your existence, you will be able to enable developer mode without setting a password at all.

Whew, today was very full!

Ubuntu GNOME: To Upgrade Or Not To Upgrade?

Planet Ubuntu - 15 hours 50 min ago

Hi everyone,

With each and every cycle, the same question is being asked over and over again:

Should I upgrade to the latest release? or should I keep my system as it is?

Well, luckily with Ubuntu GNOME, you don’t need to worry much or be confused at all. We shall make life super easy for you so relax and read this post

As of this very moment, Ubuntu GNOME has ONLY two main releases:

  1. Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 (Trusty Tahr) LTS.
  2. Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn).

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS has been released in April, 2014 while Ubuntu 14.10 has been released yesterday.

The answer to the endless question is very easy, more than what you may think:

  • If you would like to run and use the latest packages/software we are offering with our latest version of Ubuntu GNOME – that is 14.10 Utopic UnicornAND you do not mind a short term support release (9 months only) THEN go ahead and upgrade – please read this.
  • If you would like to run and use a rock solid system with long term support (3 years) AND you care less about using the latest packages/software THEN do not upgrade and stick to Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 LTS.

Tip: a side from upgrading, of course you can always do a fresh new install but please do NOT forget to backup your files – either way. Better safe than sorry.

So, mystery is solved. You need to ask yourself before asking anyone:

What do I need?

Run the latest release? or run the Long Term Supported release? you are the only one who knows the answer to that question and we have tried to make life easier for you. Now, you know what to do with each and every cycle

If truth to be told, Ubuntu/Canonical Team has made life easier. It is either you keep and use the LTS version that is supported for 3 or 5 years (depends on which flavour you are using) OR you use the latest release and keep upgrading (or do fresh new installation) each 6 months.

You need to understand there is NOTHING wrong to keep the old version and there is NOTHING wrong to upgrade to the latest one. This is entirely up to the user to decide based on his/her needs.

By the way, this applies to Ubuntu and all its official flavours. Starting from 14.04 (Trusty Tahr), all Ubuntu and its official flavours have LTS releases. Every two years, there will be an LTS release and every 6 months, there will be a Short Term Support Release that is supported only for 9 months.

Hope this will help many who are confused and keep asking

Thank you for choosing and using Ubuntu GNOME!

Ali/amjjawad
Non-Technical Leader of Ubuntu GNOME

Jono Bacon: Bad Voltage Turns 1

Planet Ubuntu - 17 hours 16 min ago

Today Bad Voltage celebrates our first birthday. We plan on celebrating it by having someone else blow out our birthday candles while we smash a cake and quietly defecate on ourselves.

For those of you unaware of the show, Bad Voltage is an Open Source, technology, and “other things we find interesting” podcast featuring Stuart Langridge (LugRadio, Shot Of Jaq), Bryan Lunduke (Linux Action Show), Jeremy Garcia (Linux Questions), and myself (LugRadio, Shot Of Jaq). The show takes fun but informed take on various topics, and includes interviews, reviews, competitions, and challenges.

Over the last year we have covered quite the plethora of topics. This has included VR, backups, atheism, ElementaryOS, guns, bitcoin, biohacking, PS4 vs. XBOX, kids and coding, crowdfunding, genetics, Open Source health, 3D printed weapons, the GPL, work/life balance, Open Source political parties, the right to be forgotten, smart-watches, equality, Mozilla, tech conferences, tech on TV, and more.

We have interviewed some awesome guests including Chris Anderson (Wired), Tim O’Reilly (O’Reilly Media), Greg Kroah-Hartman (Linux), Miguel de Icaza (Xamarin/GNOME), Stormy Peters (Mozilla), Simon Phipps (OSI), Jeff Atwood (Discourse), Emma Marshall (System76), Graham Morrison (Linux Voice), Matthew Miller (Fedora), Ilan Rabinovitch (Southern California Linux Expo), Daniel Foré (Elementary), Christian Schaller (Redhat), Matthew Garrett (Linux), Zohar Babin (Kaltura), Steven J. Vaughan-Nicols (ZDNet), and others.

…and then there are the competitions and challenges. We had a debate where we had to take the opposite viewpoints of what we think, we had a rocking poetry contest, challenged our listeners to mash up the shows to humiliate us, ran a selfie competition, and more. In many cases we punished each other when we lost and even tried to take on a sausage company.

It is all a lot of fun, and if you haven’t checked the show out, be sure to head over to www.badvoltage.org and load up on some shows.

One of the most awesome aspects of Bad Voltage is our community. Our pad is at community.badvoltage.org and we have a fantastically diverse community of different ideas, perspectives and viewpoints. In many cases we have discussed a topic on the show and there has been a long and interesting (and always respectful debate on the forum). It is so much fun to be around.

I just want to say a huge thank-you to everyone who has supported the show and stuck with us through our first year. We have a lot of fun doing it, but the Bad Voltage community make every ounce of effort worthwhile. I also want to thank my fellow presenters, Bryan, Stuart, and Jeremy; it is a pleasure getting to shoot the proverbial with you guys every few weeks.

Live Voltage!

Before I wrap up, I need to share an important piece of information. The Bad Voltage team will be performing our very first live show at the Southern California Linux Expo on the evening of Friday 20th Feb 2015 in Los Angeles.

We can’t think of a better place to do our first live show than SCALE, and we hope to see you there!

Sean Davis: Xubuntu 14.10 “Utopic Unicorn”

Planet Ubuntu - 19 hours 9 sec ago

After six months of development, the latest version of Xubuntu has been released! Xubuntu 14.10 “Utopic Unicorn” features the latest in Xfce development and is the first step towards the next Long Term Support release in 2016.

Here’s 10 new things to look for in the latest release.  For a more comprehensive list of changes and a list of download links, please see the official release announcement and release notes.

Appearance Updates
  1. The login screen received a minor visual refresh and greater customization options.

    LightDM GTK+ Greeter with the latest Greybird theme.

  2. The new wallpaper for this release adds a splash of pink to the Xfce mouse.

    The new default wallpaper for Xubuntu 14.10 “Utopic Unicorn”

  3. To celebrate the 14.10 codename “Utopic Unicorn”, pink highlights have been added.  These highlights can be reverted or easily changed to another color with the installed “Theme Configuration” utility.

    Using “Theme Configuration”, you can easily change Xubuntu’s colors to match your mood.

Xfce Updates
  1. Xfce Power Manager 1.4 sports several improvements over previous releases. Brightness controls have been extended to better support backlit keyboards and new laptop displays. The updated panel plugin shows device charge status, adds display brightness controls, and fixes “Presentation Mode” — letting you disable automatic screensavers.

    Xfce Power Manager replaces the Power Indicator for Xubuntu 14.10

  2. With the latest Xfce Display Settings, managing multiple monitors is no longer a hassle. Just drag and rearrange the displays to your liking.

    The new drag-and-drop display settings greatly improves multihead support.

  3. With the updated Xfce window manager, the Alt-Tab switcher has been updated with a refreshed appearance and the ability to select windows with your mouse or by touch.

    Even minor features like the Alt-Tab switcher have been improved.

  4. With the latest Whisker Menu and changes to the default configuration, applications in the Settings Manager are now searchable.

    Quickly find and launch any application with the Whisker Menu.

Application Updates
  1. With Catfish 1.2, previewing files has been greatly simplified. Easily switch between details and preview mode. When the search index becomes outdated, Catfish will also notify you to update.

    Catfish makes searching for images easier with the latest release.

  2. Parole 0.7 introduces a new Clutter-based backend and finally supports video playback in Virtualbox. The media controls are now contained in a slide-over overlay (with a configurable timeout).

    Parole’s interface is further refined with each new release.

  3. Light Locker Settings has been improved, further integrating with Xfce Power Manager to handle screensaver settings.

    Light Locker Settings can now integrate with other screensaver managers.

 
That’s it for this release, now to get ready for 15.04 “Vivid Vervet”!

Benjamin Kerensa: Such a Utopic Unicorn

Planet Ubuntu - 19 hours 13 min ago
I want to congratulate the Ubuntu Teams on releasing another solid release of Ubuntu. I would like to take a moment to encourage those installing and upgrading to Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn to enable Telemetry and Firefox Health Report on Firefox. If you are feeling adventurous, we can always use testers of Firefox Nightly not […]

Joe Liau: Thank You Ubuntu: 10 Years Towards Freedom

Planet Ubuntu - 19 hours 15 min ago

Outrageous Birthday Photo (Source)

I have just upgraded to Ubuntu 14.10 and the first thing that I wanted to do was thank Mark Shuttleworth, the Canonical team, and the rest of the Ubuntu community. You have turned my world on its head (and that’s a good thing).

10 years of Ubuntu is worth mentioning and celebrating. I have known and supported Ubuntu for 8 of those years (so far). To put things in context, outside of liking Star Wars and following my personal beliefs, there have been nearly no other things that I have participated in consecutively for that long.

Ubuntu has changed the way that I think about technology, and the way that I interact with people in my community. That’s right; Ubuntu is not just software. I learned this from one of my good friends that I met through Ubuntu. In addition to the new friendships that Ubuntu has fostered, it has also strengthened some of my older friendships.

Ubuntu is about learning, sharing, and growing together. And that’s why I look forward to the many more years to come. Congratulations, Ubuntu!

John Baer: 2014 Chromebook Survey Results

Planet Ubuntu - 21 hours 4 min ago

Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete the 2014 Chromebook survey. Certainly not exhaustive but the numbers do indicate what folks are evaluating when considering a Chromebook. Take a look to see if you agree or disagree.

Survey Synopsis

Design

  • Build Design: Clam Shell
  • Build Material: Polycarbonate Plastic
  • Build Finish: Faux Metal or Black

Performance

  • Preferred SoC Architecture: Intel x86
  • Acceptable Octane Score: 9000 to 10000
  • Minimum RAM: 4GB
  • Minimum Storage: 32GB
  • Smooth Performance: @ 5-10 open tabs

Visual Experience

  • Touch screen: Not required
  • Resolution: 1920×1080 Full HD
  • Screen Panel: IPS
  • Screen Surface: Matte
  • Screen Size: 13.3″

Usability

  • Keyboard: Backlit
  • Touchpad: Enhanced with pinch to zoom
  • Battery: 8 HRS minimum typical operation
  • Battery: Full Charge in less than 2 HRS
  • Speakers: Enhanced upward facing
  • Webcam: 720p
  • Microphone: dual noise cancelling
  • Memory Card Reader: Standard SD

Connectivity

  • USB Ports: USB 2 & USB 3
  • Thunderbolt Ports: None
  • Bluetooth: Advanced v4
  • WiFi: 802.11 a/b/c/n & 802.11 ac
  • Video Out: HDMI

Value

  • Target Price: $400.00 US
Survey Details

 Design

I was surprised how few votes the hybrid design received (7%). Although heavily marketed in the Windows ecosystem a quick look at the best selling laptops on Amazon’s confirms the dominance of the clam shell design. The Lenovo Yoga design was voted as the next best alternative to the clamshell.

Although Apple prides itself on its metal designs many folks are saying polycarbonate is acceptable in the Chromebook ecosystem.

I will admit this question is entirely subjective and founded on personal tastes but it is a very important consideration when designing a product. Some designers would state black and white are conservative and colors more daring. A faux metal finish honed from polycarbonate is an interesting choice. The Toshiba Chromebooks are a good example of this and early reviews of the Chromebook 2 are generally favorable. The obvious middle ground to color is to offer covers/skins which cater to those who want something more.

 Performance

Intel’s dominance in the laptop space has to be respected. Although ARM is gaining in performance the real competitive advantage to ARM is price. The new Nexus 9 certainly speaks volumes about Google’s commitment to ARM but for this survey folks expressed a preference for Intel by a three to one margin.

Using Google Octane as the yardstick to measure acceptable performance, about half of the respondents stated a value of 9000 to 10000 would be acceptable. None of the current ARM SoCs meet this standard and only some of the Intel. My observation is folks with a Chromebook or a Chromebox powered by an Intel Celeron 2955U are satisfied with its performance. Some may argue with the right mix of features and price an Octane score of 8000 is sufficient.

Hands down folks want and will spend extra for 4GB of RAM.

Not typically offered in Chromebooks, but respondents voiced the desire for 32GB of local storage. The driver for this may be the ability to store off line content.

Where is all of this horse power going – 10 to 15 open tabs.

 Visual Experience

This was another surprise to me. Touch screen is heavily marketed but most folks said no thanks.

  • 1920×1080 Full HD

  • IPS Panel

  • Matte Finish

  • 13.3 Inches

 Usability

Back lighting is the most requested keyboard option. I believe what folks are really asking for is a keyboard which can be seen in low lighting. There may be other ways to achieve this result without back lighting.

A touchpad with pinch to zoom makes perfect sense without a touch screen. This may be a Chrome OS software enhancement.

  • Eight hours or more of battery performance is today’s standard.

One of the early complaints of Chromebooks was the amount of time required to recharge the battery. With today’s longer battery life this may not be much of an issue.

The Chromebook Pixel set the design standard for speakers and for best quality they need to face up.

  • HD webcam is today’s standard.

If you are going to hang out with your friends noise cancelling microphones are pretty much a requirement.

  • I agree, a standard SD card reader is very convenient.

 Connectivity

Another surprise for me. Folks want USB v2 & v3 ports. Maybe the real answer is USB v3 with backward compatibility to v2.

  • No thanks

Got to have bluetooth and make it v4.

As Chromebooks depend upon WiFi so heavily, leveraging the fastest possible WiFi makes perfect sense.

  • Without question, HDMI is the new standard for video out.

 Value

Here is the million dollar question – can a Chromebook be manufactured to these specs and sold for $400?

The post 2014 Chromebook Survey Results appeared first on john's journal.

Svetlana Belkin: Ubuntu 14.10

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 2014-10-23 23:33

Today was the release day of Ubuntu 14.10, code-named “Utopic Unicorn” and my only thoughts are going to this gif from the movie, Despicable Me:

Really, I do think it’s fluffy and awesome!  The only  two features that I noticed that I was able to upgrade from 14.04 to 14.10 without any issues on both of my computers.  That is a first for me.  The other one is the updated icons for the folders of the videos and downloads.  Those do look better than the old ones.

The only thing that I don’t like is that the Unity notifications for new messages is too small.  I hope there is a way to tweak that.

P.S. I did go to the Online release party but I didn’t really enjoy my time since there was too much chatter but it was still fun nagging the bot with !isitout. ;)


Lubuntu Blog: Lubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn is out!

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 2014-10-23 19:59
A new version of our operating system has been released. You won't notice many cosmetic changes, as this version is considered as a "bug fix release", preparing the way to meet LXQt. Here are some changes:

  • General bug fix release as we prepare for LXQt.
  • Many LXDE components have been updated with bug fix releases.
  • An update of the artwork (more icons, theme update, more compatibilities ...)
  • The Ubuntu 14.10 release v3.16 based kernel
  • Firefox is updated to version 33
  • Gtk updated to version 3.12
  • Xorg 1.16 has better support for non-pci devices

Please, be kind to read the Release Notes before install. Download it now while it's hot!

Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S07E30 – The One at the Beach

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 2014-10-23 19:30

We’re back with Season Seven, Episode Thirty of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Laura Cowen and Tony Whitmore bring you this episode whilst Mark Johnson is on a sun-lounger somewhere.

 Download OGG  Download MP3 Play in Popup

In this week’s show:

  • We discuss Mark’s blog post about diversity at OggCamp

  • We also discuss:

  • We share some Command Line Lurve which saves you valuable time and regret: rsync --partial --progress --rsh=ssh user@host:remote_file local_file
  • And we read your feedback. Thanks for sending it in!

We’ll be back next week, so please send your comments and suggestions to: podcast@ubuntu-uk.org
Join us on IRC in #uupc on Freenode
Leave a voicemail via phone: +44 (0) 203 298 1600, sip: podcast@sip.ubuntu-uk.org and skype: ubuntuukpodcast
Follow us on Twitter
Find our Facebook Fan Page
Follow us on Google+

The Fridge: Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) released

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 2014-10-23 19:04

Codenamed "Utopic Unicorn", 14.10 continues Ubuntu’s proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution. The team has been hard at work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs.

Under the hood, there have been updates to many core packages, including a new 3.16-based kernel, a new AppArmor with fine-grained socket control, and more.

Ubuntu Desktop has seen incremental improvements, with newer versions of GTK and Qt, updates to major packages like Firefox and LibreOffice, and improvements to Unity, including improved High-DPI display support.

Ubuntu Server 14.10 includes the Juno release of OpenStack, alongside deployment and management tools that save devops teams time when deploying distributed applications – whether on private clouds, public clouds, x86 or ARM servers, or on developer laptops. Several key server technologies, from MAAS to Ceph, have been updated to new upstream versions with a variety of new features.

The newest Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, Ubuntu Kylin, and Ubuntu Studio are also being released today. More details can be found for these at their individual release notes:

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UtopicUnicorn/ReleaseNotes#Official_flavours

Maintenance updates will be provided for 9 months for all flavours releasing with 14.10.

To get Ubuntu 14.10

In order to download Ubuntu 14.10, visit:

http://www.ubuntu.com/download

Users of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS will be offered an automatic upgrade to 14.10 if they have selected to be notified of all releases, rather than just LTS upgrades. For further information about upgrading, see:

http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/upgrade

As always, upgrades to the latest version of Ubuntu are entirely free of charge.

We recommend that all users read the release notes, which document caveats, workarounds for known issues, as well as more in-depth notes on the release itself. They are available at:

http://wiki.ubuntu.com/UtopicUnicorn/ReleaseNotes

Find out what’s new in this release with a graphical overview:

http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop

http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop/features

If you have a question, or if you think you may have found a bug but aren’t sure, you can try asking in any of the following places:

Help Shape Ubuntu

If you would like to help shape Ubuntu, take a look at the list of ways you can participate at:

http://www.ubuntu.com/community/get-involved

About Ubuntu

Ubuntu is a full-featured Linux distribution for desktops, laptops, netbooks and servers, with a fast and easy installation and regular releases. A tightly-integrated selection of excellent applications is included, and an incredible variety of add-on software is just a few clicks away.

Professional services including support are available from Canonical and hundreds of other companies around the world. For more information about support, visit:

http://www.ubuntu.com/support

More Information

You can learn more about Ubuntu and about this release on our website listed below:

http://www.ubuntu.com

To sign up for future Ubuntu announcements, please subscribe to Ubuntu’s very low volume announcement list at:

http://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-announce

Originally posted to the ubuntu-announce mailing list on Thu Oct 23 18:32:11 UTC 2014 by Adam Conrad, on behalf of the Ubuntu Release Team

Zygmunt Krynicki: Update on python-glibc

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 2014-10-23 18:09
My pure-python bindings to glibc are progressing at a nice rate. I've made some interesting changes today that I'd like to share.
  • First, there is a clear difference between the raw glibc functions (all in the glibc module) and anything else. You can use them directly just as you would have from C. There's no magic going on and it's all there.
  • Second, we now have a growing collection of python wrappers (in the new pyglibc package), that give low-level primitives nice, high-level, pythonic API. Some of those are straight out of Python 3.4 (but are not a code copy), those include selectors.EpollSelector and select.epoll, some are custom (there's nothing to based this on) like signalfd and pthread_sigmask. More are on the way.
  • Third, and this is pretty interesting. I've decided to build a PEP3156 compatible event loop API. This is paramount for how this code can be consumed. It should roughly work out of the box as a drop-in replacement for the Python 3.4 only asyncio module. Did I mention that it works on Python 2.7? A lot is still missing but I am making progress. This ultimately means that once my contraption makes it into plainbox it won't have to be supported forever (aka job security) and can be discarded once we can depend on Python 3.4. It also means there's a clear, well defined API, a reference implementation (and some others if you look hard enough.
All of that is coming in the 0.6 release that I plan to make later today. The API is stable as I don't like changing my examples over and over so if you want to give it a try, please do so.
My ultimate goal is to scratch my itch. I want to build a reliable test launcher that does monitoring and cleanup. My only constraint is support for Python 3.2 on Ubuntu 12.04 that I have to support. I'm doing a little bit more by supporting Python 2.7 (since it's not costing me anything) on anything that is running the recent enough glibc.

If you're interested in discussing this, using it, adding patches or the like, ping me please.

Randall Ross: Happy 10th Birthday Ubuntu!

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 2014-10-23 16:41

Ubuntu is 10 today! That's reason to celebrate.

I encourage everyone who's ever enjoyed or contributed to Ubuntu to find the most fun, outrageous, and outlandish birthday photo you can and show it to three people you know who have never heard of (or tried) Ubuntu. Then post it to Planet Ubuntu (or to your favourite place if you can't post here). (If you're not a Planet Ubuntu author, please link to your post in the comments so others can find it here.)

Here's my favourite birthday photo:

Put Orange Candles on Your Head and Celebrate Ubuntu!

10 years may seem like an eternity in the tech world, but I like to remind people that we're only part way along the journey to create technology that respects humans, doesn't treat them as "users", and gives them a voice in the decision-making process. Look around you. Is your technology serving you, or are you part of a predatory business model? Are your friends and family enjoying Ubuntu yet?

I once heard that the path to widespread Ubuntu adoption would be a 20-year journey. I can't remember who to attribute this to, but if you're reading, please chime in, and please accept my thanks for setting realistic expectations. This is a struggle that won't be over soon, but we're well on our way.

I am honoured to be part of the Ubuntu family, and I'm looking forward to the next 10 years. When we have our 20th, the world will be a *much* better place, thanks in part to the wonderful people who make Ubuntu.

And, finally, no Happy Birthday message for Ubuntu would be complete without thanking Mark "sabdl" Shuttleworth. Thank you Mark for being the change you want to see in the world and for inspiring so many (myself included) to work on something meaningful.

--

image by Bart
https://www.flickr.com/photos/cayusa/

Ubuntu GNOME: Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 is released

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 2014-10-23 15:38

The Ubuntu GNOME Team is proud and happy to announce the release of Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn).

Ubuntu GNOME is an official flavour of Ubuntu, featuring the GNOME desktop environment. Ubuntu GNOME is a mostly pure GNOME desktop experience built from the Ubuntu repositories. Two years ago, Ubuntu GNOME has started as unofficial flavour to Ubuntu – see the release notes of 12.10 – and 6 months after that, Ubuntu GNOME has become an official flavour. So, 13.04, 13.10, 14.04 LTS and today, this is our 5th version and the 4th official one. Let’s find out more about Ubuntu GNOME 14.10

Release Notes

Please read the Release Notes before Downloading Ubuntu GNOME 14.10:
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UtopicUnicorn/ReleaseNotes/UbuntuGNOME

Get Ubuntu GNOME 14.10

There are important steps you need to be aware of before installing Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 so please read carefully: Download Ubuntu GNOME 14.10

Support

Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) is supported for 9 months only. This is our Non-LTS Release. If you seek stability and long support, please consider Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 (Trusty Tahr) LTS Release. If you seek the latest software/packages that we can offer, then go ahead and use Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn).

Contact Us

Please, see the full list of our communications channels

Thank you everyone

To each and everyone who participated, helped, supported and contributed to Ubuntu GNOME this cycle; big thanks to all of you. Special thanks to our testers who did a unique great job to make Ubuntu GNOME better.

Thank you for choosing and using Ubuntu GNOME.

Ali/amjjawad
Non-Technical Leader of Ubuntu GNOME

Xubuntu: Xubuntu 14.10 released!

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 2014-10-23 12:39

Xubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn

The Xubuntu team is pleased to announce the immediate release of Xubuntu 14.10!

The release is available for download by torrents and direct downloads from http://xubuntu.org/getxubuntu/

As the main server will be very busy in the first days after the release, we recommend using the Torrents wherever possible.

For support with the release, navigate to Help & Support for a complete list of methods to get help.

Highlights and Known Issues

To celebrate the 14.10 codename “Utopic Unicorn” and to demonstrate the easy customisability of Xubuntu, highlight colors have been turned pink for this release. You can easily revert this change by using the theme configuration application (gtk-theme-config) under the Settings Manager; simply turn Custom Highlight Colors “Off” and click “Apply”. Of course, if you wish, you can change the highlight color to something you like better than the default blue!

Starting with Xubuntu 14.10, you should use pkexec instead of gksudo for running graphical applications with root access from the terminal for improved security. The Xubuntu team has prepared and shipped the necessary pkexec policy files for all default applications in the Xubuntu installation that we deemed necessary.

Please note that changes in the default configuration affect all users who haven’t changed the default configuration. Read more about the default configuration changes in the release notes.

Highlights

  • New Xfce Power Manager plugin is added to the panel
    Note: Upgraders from Trusty will not see the new xfce4-power-manager panel plugin by default, but instead stick to indicator-power. This can easily be resolved by uninstalling indicator-power and adding the “Power Manager Plugin” to the panel.
  • Items in the newly themed alt-tab dialog can now be clicked with the mouse
Known Issues
  • com32r error on boot with usb (1325801)
  • Virtualbox can start with a black screen (1378423)
  • Black background to Try/Install dialogue (1365815)
Workarounds for issue in virtual machines
  • Move to TTY1 (with VirtualBox, RightCtrl+F1), then back to TTY7 (with VirtualBox, RightCtrl+F7) and proceed

For a more complete changelog between Xubuntu 14.04 and 14.10, please refer to the release notes.

Nicholas Skaggs: Sprinting in DC: Wednesday

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 2014-10-23 12:37
This week, my team and I are sprinting with many of the core app developers and other folks inside of Ubuntu Engineering. Each day I'm attempting to give you a glimpse of what's happening.

To kick off the day, I led a session on something that has been wreaking havoc for application test writers within the core apps -- environment setup. In theory, setting up the environment to run your test should be easy. In practice, I've found it increasingly difficult. The music, calendar, clock, reminders, file manager and other teams have all been quite affected by this and the canonical QA team and myself have all pitched in to help, but struggled as well. In short, a test should be easy to launch, be well behaved and not delete any user data, and be easy to setup and feed test data into for the test process. I'm happy to report that the idea of a permanent solution has been reached. Now we must implement it of course, but the result should be drastically easier and more reliable test setup for you the test author.

I also had the chance to list some grievances for application developers with the QA team. We spoke about wanting to expand the documentation on testing and specifically targeted the need to create better templates in the ubuntu sdk for new projects. When you start a new project you should have well functioning tests, and we should teach you about how to run them too!



Just before lunch the community core app developers were able to discuss post-RTM plans and features. A review of the apps was undertaken and some desire for new designs or features were discussed. Terminal is being rebuilt to be more aligned with upstream. Music is currently undergoing a re-design which is coming along great. Calculator is anxious to get some design love. Reminders potential for offline notetaking as well as potential name changes were all discussed. Overall, an amazing accomplishment by all the developers!

After lunch, I spent time confirming the fix for a longstanding bug within autopilot. The merge proposal for fixing this bug has been simmering all summer and it's time to get it fixed. The current test suites for calendar and clock have been impacted by this and have already had regressions occur that could have been caught had tests been able to be written for this area. Having myself, the autopilot team, and the calendar developers in one place made fixing this possible.

To end the day, I spent some time attending sessions for changes to CI and learning more about the coming changes to CI within ubuntu. In summary the news is wonderful. CI will test using autopkgtest, and all of ubuntu will come under this umbrella -- phone, desktop, everything. If it's a package and it has tests, we will do all of the autopkgtest goodness currently being done for the distro.

The evening closed with a bit of fun provided by a game making hackathon using bacon2d and the hilariously horrible "Turkish Star Wars". We could always use more games in the ubuntu app store, and I hear there might even still be a pioneers t-shirt or two left if you get it in early!

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