Bad Voltage Season 1 Episode 24: Bunch of Sockpuppets

From the Bad Voltage site:

Myself, Bryan “the Cheater” Lunduke, Jono Bacon, and Stuart Langridge present Bad Voltage, in which we discuss operating systems, magnanimity in defeat, cheating, mendacious donations to charity, fingerprints being rubbish, how to kiss a Red Hat engineer, and:

  • The “reverso” debate: Jeremy and Jono debate whether projects should have a publicly visible figurehead or if that does harm to the project, but (and this is the key point) argue for the position opposite to what they actually believe. You can (and should) vote for who you think was the winner, by going to the poll topic and choosing in the poll! (2.48)
  • We review the Samsung Galaxy S5 phone running Android, and diverge into the nature of phones and way to choose (20.56)
  • Karsten Wade, CentOS engineering manager at Red Hat, talks about the recent partnership between Red Hat and CentOS and why it happened (36.25)
  • Is it possible to create a political party which runs like an open source project? Run as a meritocracy? (54.12)
  • Lots of stuff going on in the Bad Voltage community: we have a round-up (61.12)

Listen to 1×24: Bunch of Sockpuppets

As mentioned here, Bad Voltage is a new project I’m proud to be a part of. From the Bad Voltage site: Every two weeks Bad Voltage delivers an amusing take on technology, Open Source, politics, music, and anything else we think is interesting, as well as interviews and reviews. Do note that Bad Voltage is in no way related to LinuxQuestions.org, and unlike LQ it will be decidedly NSFW. That said, head over to the Bad Voltage website, take a listen and let us know what you think.

–jeremy

Bad Voltage Season 1 Episode 22: Oval Ted Bag

From the Bad Voltage site:

We return to our normal places around the globe and continue to bring you tasty things for your ears. Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, myself and an inexcusable absence of Bryan Lunduke think up a new competition involving things in our houses, and also discuss:

  • Where’s our free culture revolution? Lawrence Lessig predicted a world filled with remix culture and set up the Creative Commons, but little to none of it has actually changed the way people think. Or has it? (2.25)
  • Graham Morrison of Linux Voice answers some of the questions from our discussion in the previous show about their magazine, their process, and why the December issue comes out in June (17.45)
  • Mashed Voltage: we start a new competition. Read about it on the forum and listen to it on the show, and enter before September 10th to celebrate remix culture (36.48)
  • Jono reviews the Samsung Gear Live smartwatch and the team watch, smartly (40.25)
  • Open source projects sometimes decide that they’ll build their own hardware. When they try, they fail. Why? What motivates the decision to do it in the first place? (54.22)

Listen to 1×22: Oval Ted Bag

As mentioned here, Bad Voltage is a new project I’m proud to be a part of. From the Bad Voltage site: Every two weeks Bad Voltage delivers an amusing take on technology, Open Source, politics, music, and anything else we think is interesting, as well as interviews and reviews. Do note that Bad Voltage is in no way related to LinuxQuestions.org, and unlike LQ it will be decidedly NSFW. That said, head over to the Bad Voltage website, take a listen and let us know what you think.

–jeremy

Bad Voltage Season 1 Episode 19: Fedora Murder Trial

From the Bad Voltage site:

The whole team return (remarkably) to speak, weirdly, only about things beginning with the letter F. Myself, Bryan Lunduke, Jono Bacon and Stuart Langridge present Bad Voltage, with the following “F-ing” things:

  • Fire Phone: Amazon release a phone, and we decide whether it’s exciting or execrable
  • Firefox OS: the Mozilla project’s phone OS, reviewed by Stuart and discussed by everybody
  • Freshmeat: the late-90s web store of software for Linux has finally closed its doors. Reminiscence, combined with some thoughts on how and why the world has moved on
  • Fedora Project Leader: Matthew Miller, the newly-appointed leader of the Fedora Linux project, speaks about the direction that distribution is planning, working with large communities, and whether his job should be decided by a Thunderdome-style trial by combat
  • err… our Fabulous community: we catch up with what’s going on

Listen to: 1×19: Fedora Murder Trial

As mentioned here, Bad Voltage is a new project I’m proud to be a part of. From the Bad Voltage site: Every two weeks Bad Voltage delivers an amusing take on technology, Open Source, politics, music, and anything else we think is interesting, as well as interviews and reviews. Do note that Bad Voltage is in no way related to LinuxQuestions.org, and unlike LQ it will be decidedly NSFW. That said, head over to the Bad Voltage website, take a listen and let us know what you think.

–jeremy

Bad Voltage Season 1 Episode 16: Forgotten to be Right

From the Bad Voltage site:

Myself, Bryan Lunduke, Jono Bacon, and Stuart Langridge present Bad Voltage, the greatest podcast in the history of this or any other universe. In this episode:

Listen to: 1×16: Forgotten to be Right

As mentioned here, Bad Voltage is a new project I’m proud to be a part of. From the Bad Voltage site: Every two weeks Bad Voltage delivers an amusing take on technology, Open Source, politics, music, and anything else we think is interesting, as well as interviews and reviews. Do note that Bad Voltage is in no way related to LinuxQuestions.org, and unlike LQ it will be decidedly NSFW. That said, head over to the Bad Voltage website, take a listen and let us know what you think.

–jeremy

Bad Voltage Season 1 Episode 15: Why Dear Watson

Myself, Bryan Lunduke, Jono Bacon, and Stuart Langridge present Bad Voltage, :

  • Bryan gave his yearly “Linux Sucks” talk at LinuxFest Northwest, and the rest of us take issue with his approach, his arguments, his data sources, and his general sense of being
  • The XBox 360: reviewed as a TV set-top box, not as a gaming console
  • The up and coming elementary OS: is it any good, and what do we think of it?
  • Our discussion of elementary OS raised a number of questions: Daniel Foré, leader of the project, talks about the goals of the OS and answers our queries
  • Community recap: your emails and forum posts and happenings in the Bad Voltage community

Listen to: 1×15: Why Dear Watson

As mentioned here, Bad Voltage is a new project I’m proud to be a part of. From the Bad Voltage site: Every two weeks Bad Voltage delivers an amusing take on technology, Open Source, politics, music, and anything else we think is interesting, as well as interviews and reviews. Do note that Bad Voltage is in no way related to LinuxQuestions.org, and unlike LQ it will be decidedly NSFW. That said, head over to the Bad Voltage website, take a listen and let us know what you think.

–jeremy

Bad Voltage Season 1 Episode 14: Cloudy Donkey Mascots

Myself, Bryan Lunduke, Jono Bacon, and Stuart Langridge present Bad Voltage, in which the cloud shows up a lot this week, in the following ways:

  • Personal cloud storage: what do we use, what do we like, and what do we think? Companies, personal clouds, servers, tarsnap and Dropbox
  • Christian Schaller, who manages the team at Red Hat producing their “Fedora Workstation” concept, wrote up what “Workstation” is and now comes to answer questions about it
  • Breaking Down the Bullshit: we look at “the cloud” as a whole. What does it mean? And why?
  • I review the Pebble watch: as one of its original Kickstarter backers, I’ve now had the Pebble for long enough to form an opinion
  • Community recap: your emails and forum posts and happenings in the Bad Voltage community

Listen to: 1×14: Cloudy Donkey Mascots

As mentioned here, Bad Voltage is a new project I’m proud to be a part of. From the Bad Voltage site: Every two weeks Bad Voltage delivers an amusing take on technology, Open Source, politics, music, and anything else we think is interesting, as well as interviews and reviews. Do note that Bad Voltage is in no way related to LinuxQuestions.org, and unlike LQ it will be decidedly NSFW. That said, head over to the Bad Voltage website, take a listen and let us know what you think.

–jeremy

Pebble Smartwatch Review

This review was originally done for Bad Voltage, but I figured it may also be of interest to my general readers.

In Season 1 Episode 13 of Bad Voltage, we covered the topic of wearables. One device that came up in that episode was the Pebble watch. For those who are unfamiliar with the device, it’s a first generation smartwatch that has an e-paper display and an ARM Cortex-M3 processor. It was originally funded via kickstarter, where the project hit over 10 million dollars of funding based on a goal of just $100,000. I was one of the initial backers, who got a Jet Black Pebble for just $99. With its fairly low price point, the watch is admittedly pretty basic from an aesthetics perspective. The rubber watch band, for example, is certainly not my favorite. The watchface itself, while plastic, is sleek and well constructed and the e-paper display is quite usable. The battery lasts for around a week, depending on usage, and the device is even water resistant, meaning it can be fully submerged in water or worn while running in the rain. It connects to iPhone and Android smartphones using Bluetooth and can alert you with a silent vibration and on screen notification to incoming calls, emails, text messages, weather alerts, sports scores, calendar events and more. You can also select from a wide variety of watchfaces. Some of the watchfaces are extremely well done and while simple, this is one of my favorite aspects of the watch.

From a customization perspective, that’s really just the beginning though as the watch can also be loaded with apps. Cyclists can use Pebble as a bike computer, accessing the GPS on their smartphone to display speed, distance and pace data. You can use the music control app to play, pause or skip tracks on your phone with the touch of a button. You can use the device to control your GoPro camera or nest thermostat, and there’s even a Freecaddie app that works as a golf rangefinder.

The Pebble can receive simple alerts and notifications from “if this then that” or via a web-facing RESTFUL endpoint. There is also a C-based SDK. Basically you can send anything that would have been a push notification directly to the device and the device can send data from the accelerometer and buttons back up to the Internet. The app ecosystem is fairly new, but some interesting 3rd party apps are already starting to appear, with services like Pandora, RunKeeper, Foursquare and Yelp jumping into the fray.

For those who didn’t like the look or construction of the original Pebble, which is still available with an MSRP of $150, the next generation Pebble, the Pebble Steel, is already available. As the name indicates, the new device is made of brushed or matte stainless steel and comes with either a leather or metal band. The watchface itself is both larger and higher quality and now comes with Gorilla glass and a notification LED. Overall the new Pebble Steel looks significantly nicer but does so at a higher cost of $250.

So, what’s the Bad Voltage verdict? At $99 I have to say I’m pleased with the device. To be fair, the new app store has certainly had some hiccups, and some of the apps are either a bit buggy or sound more useful than they actually end up being. The largest disappointment is probably that you can only have eight watchfaces or apps on the device at any given time, which is not nearly enough. But, for a first generation device that cost less than a hundred dollars I think it was a bargain. The new Pebble Steel looks to be a nice iteration, but whether it’s worth $250 is likely a matter of personal preference… so I leave that decision to the listener.

–jeremy
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