Bad Voltage Season 1 Episode 39: Ambitious but Rubbish

Jono Bacon, Stuart Langridge and myself present Bad Voltage (without Bryan Lunduke who is currently struggling with an attack of Ebola), in which everything needs to be an order of magnitude better. Featuring flying bags of flammable liquid, 120 frames per second, and:

  • What needs to happen so that I can have a drone to deliver my pizza and pick up my shopping? Drawing a line through the technological, regulatory, and philosophical minefield standing between today and Jono’s Glorious Drone-Filled Future (2.40)
  • Tarus Balog speaks about OpenNMS, a network management system for big networks, and some recent changes in the project (27.01)
  • Jono reviews the Go Pro Hero 3+ silver edition extreme sports camera (45.24)
  • Jeremy Clarkson has been fired from Top Gear for hitting a colleague. We draw some fairly obvious parallels between the world of open source and this twin situation of standing up against unacceptable behaviour and whether a project is viable if a leading contributor is dismissed (59.38)

Listen to 1×39: Ambitious but Rubbish

As mentioned here, Bad Voltage is a 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 38: Easy Being Green

Bryan Lunduke, Jono Bacon, Stuart Langridge and myself present Bad Voltage, in which we decide to talk about Linux almost completely for the whole show. Featuring following the dare in the last show a great deal of OpenSuSE (or openSUSE or opensuse or possibly Open SUSE), green-coloured things, and:

  • If you want a thing fixed in an open source project, and you’re prepared to pay market rate for a developer to get it fixed… how do you find someone to pay to fix it? It seems harder than you might think (1.49)
  • We speak as part of this openSUSE-based show to Andrew Wafaa, long-time contributor and member of the openSUSE community board, about why he’s involved and where openSUSE stands with the rest of the free software community (19.30)
  • In the last show Bryan threw down a challenge to the other three to spend time using openSUSE and report back on their findings. We tried Gnome, KDE, and Enlightenment: now we talk about how that went and what we think about openSUSE as a whole (40.42)
  • We review the newly-released Dell M3800 laptop powerhouse (73.12)

Listen to 1×38: Easy Being Green

As mentioned here, Bad Voltage is a 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

The New Yorker: The GNU Manifesto Turns Thirty

I think it’s indicative of how pervasive Open Source has become when a traditional non-technical mainstream publication such as The New Yorker writes an in-depth article about the GNU manifesto turning thirty. A well done, fair, factually accurate, and balanced article at that. You should read the article, but a few quick comments:

* While there’s been a lot of anti-GPL sentiment recently, whether you agree or disagree with the direction GPLv3 took, I think it’s important to remember that the technology and licensing landscapes would almost certainly look quite a bit different if it wasn’t for GNU and the GPL. Stallman was significantly ahead of his time in codifying much of this, so early on it changed perception and perspective, which is easy to forget now. Later on, the GPL served as an extreme left example which helped move where the center was for other more permissive Open Source licenses.

* I had forgotten Stallman was at the M.I.T.’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory thirty years ago. Apropos of a recent Bad Voltage discussion, I think it’s misunderstood just how difficult AI is and how long we’ve been at it.

* If you haven’t read the “ten-thousand-word document [sent] to prepare his hosts for his arrival” you should. That’s all I’ll say about that.

* It’s not just that “Stallman does not own a cell phone, nor does he use Facebook, Twitter, or many of the programs most of us take for granted. ” It’s how he does his computing, especially web and email.

* It is interesting to me how many staunch hardcore Free Software advocates are willing to completely forgo their ethos when it comes to mobile, despite it being such an important part of computing. It’s a testament to how nice some feel the Apple ecosystem is; but it’s also quite worrying IMHO. We’ve fought long and hard to get where we are. It would be a shame to have to start the battle all over again.

It’s easy to forget how important the fundamentals of Open Source are sometimes. Even after doing this for almost twenty years, I continue to think Open Source has the profound ability to change the world for the better. That makes it humbling, fascinating and inspiring all at the same time.

–jeremy

Bad Voltage Season 1 Episode 37: Spooning with Everybody

Bryan Lunduke, Jono Bacon, Stuart Langridge and myself present Bad Voltage, in which we drone about drones, complain about governments, argue about old modem companies, and:

  • Why is OpenSUSE relevant, and why should we use it? Including a challenge to the three non-Bryan members of the team to try OpenSUSE for real (1.51)
  • We speak to Dave Nielsen, founder of Campsite.org, co-runner of CloudCamp, and not at all a money launderer (18.00)
  • Jono reviews the 3DRobotics Iris+ drone and explains what a drone is actually for (29.16)
  • Net Neutrality: the US have brought in some recent rulings which look bright for the pro-net-neutrality world. Are they all they’re cracked up to be? And what’s the deal here? (43.44)

Listen to 1×37: Spooning with Everybody

As mentioned here, Bad Voltage is a 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

Anova Precision Cooker Review

In the latest episode of Bad Voltage, I review the Anova Precision Cooker Sous Vide. While you should listen to the show (which includes discussion of the review), here’s the review text.

Anova Precision Cooker

As I mentioned in my Soylent review, viewing gastronomy as merely about sustenance is anathema to me. To say I enjoy food, food culture and eating is a prodigious understatement. It may come as no surprise then that I also enjoy cooking. While I’ve wanted a sous vide for some time now, there simply hasn’t been an affordable model I liked until a recent round of product launches. The Anova Precision Cooker seemed like a nice confluence of quality, price and technology and was the device that finally convinced me to plunge into the world of sous vide. For those unfamiliar with sous vide, it’s a method of cooking food sealed in an airtight bag in a water bath for longer than normal cooking times at an accurately regulated temperature much lower than normally used for cooking. The intention is to cook the item evenly, ensuring that the inside is properly cooked without overcooking the outside, while retaining moisture.

The Anova Precision Cooker is an immersion circulator sous vide, that has a temperature range of 77-210 degrees Fahrenheit, is accurate to a tenth of a degree and can heat up to a 5 gallon tank for a maximum of 99 hours. The unit is Bluetooth enabled and can be controlled from a smartphone, although at the time of this review neither the iOS or Android official apps have been released.

With the technical specifications out of the way, it’s time to move on to using the device. You may be wondering how easy it is to cook sous vide and more importantly, how does the food actually taste. Operating the Anova is extremely simple. You fill a suitable container with water, plug the device in, scroll the large wheel to your desired temp and hit the start button. Once the water has reached the desired temperature, you place the vacuumed sealed food in and wait. One great thing about sous vide is experimenting with the time and temperature to create an end result that’s ideal for you. Once you have the two variables dialed in to your tastes, you can perfectly replicate the outcome over and over again. To give you an example, a steak cooked for 90 minutes at 136 degrees Fahrenheit results in a Jeremy approved medium rare . As for the taste; well, it’s delicious. But there’s science behind it all. At these lower temperatures, cell walls in the food do not burst. In the case of meat cooking, tough collagen in connective tissue can be hydrolysed into gelatin, without heating the meat’s proteins high enough that they denature to a degree that the texture toughens and moisture is wrung out of the meat. Because of this, it’s not uncommon to cook some cuts, such as pork belly or spare ribs, for 48-72 hours. Additionally, enclosed spices or ingredients added to the sealed bag transmit their flavor more intensely than during normal cooking. The end product truly is amazing. One downside of that process, however, is that the low temperatures used means no Maillard reaction.. and that means no char. That has a negative impact on both texture and taste. Enter the Searzall. Invented at Booker and Dax, the food science lab arm of the Momofuku empire, the Searzall is an attachment secured to the top of a blowtorch to create the perfect searing temperature without the noxious aromas that typically result when cooking with a blowtorch. By forcing the thin flame of the blowtorch through two layers of fine, high-temperature-resistant wire mesh, it produces a consistent, evenly spread flame that provides a professional quality sear. The end result of a piece of steak cooked in the sous vide and then finished with the searzall is one that will rival the finest steak you’ve ever had.

So, what’s the bad voltage verdict? At $179, the Anova Precision Cooker isn’t outrageously priced but do keep in mind you will also need a vacuum sealer, suitable container and optionally a searzall (although a cast iron pan also works quite well). The total all in cost can be significant, especially if you opt for a chamber vacuum. That said, if you consider yourself an epicurean who enjoys cooking and eating, I think you’ll be highly impressed with what this combination puts on your dinner table.

–jeremy

Bad Voltage Season 1 Episode 35: One Plug Per Segment

Bryan Lunduke, Jono Bacon, Stuart Langridge and myself unleash all the Bad Voltage you can handle, this week featuring:

  • Live Voltage! The first Bad Voltage live show, on 20th February at SCALE. Come to it! Be part of the majesty! (2.13)
  • Jeremy reviews the Anova Sous Vide, and discusses the nature of gastronomy and culinary expertise (10.03)
  • We talk to Ilan Rabinovich about the upcoming SCALE conference in LA and the history of how it came to be (26.47)
  • Bryan is Wrong in 60 Seconds about… Wrong in 60 Seconds (42.04)
  • Mir and Wayland: what’s going on there, now? Now that the controversy has blown over, what’s the score with next-generation display servers? (43.10)

Listen to 1×35: One Plug Per Segment

As mentioned here, Bad Voltage is a 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

Android Version Stats for LQ Mobile (2015)

With the recent news that Google will not patch the WebView vulnerability in versions of Android <= 4.3, I thought it would be a good time to look at the Android version stats for LQ Mobile. You can see stats from seven months ago here. Also, a reminder that AndroidQuestions.org is now a part of The Questions Network.

Platform Version
Android 4.4 33.14%
Android 4.1 16.82%
Android 4.2 11.18%
Android 4.0.3 – 4.0.4 10.11%
Android 2.3.3-2.3.7 9.69%
Android 5.0 9.44%
Android 4.3 6.96%
Android 2.2 1.82%

So, how has the Android version landscape changed since the last post and what are the implications of the WebView vulnerability in that context? Android 4.4 is still the most common version, with over a third of the market. Versions 4.2 and 4.3 are still common, but less so than previously. Versions 4.0.3/4.0.3 and 2.3.x are both very old and still fairly popular with roughly 10% each. That’s disappointing. Lollipop adoption among LQ Mobile users is significantly higher than Google is seeing generally (still less than .1%) which isn’t surprising given the technical nature of LQ members. Even with that advantage, however, roughly half of LQ Mobile users are using a version of Android that’s vulnerable. Given that data, it’s easy to understand why Google has broken out quite a bit of functionality/code into Google Play Services, which they can update independently of handset manufacturers and carriers

–jeremy

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