Bad Voltage Season 1 Episode 10: Midnight Throne Travels

Good Listening, Bad voltage

Myself, Stuart Langridge, Bryan Lunduke, and Jono Bacon present a new Bad Voltage, in which we discuss:

  • Tech conferences — which ones are good, which ones are not, and why?
  • Desktop machines versus laptops, and a review of Stuart’s new gorgeous desktop computer from PC Specialist
  • Whistleblowing. In the light of the Snowden and Manning revelations, is whistleblowing a good idea, what’s available to protect whistleblowers from problems, and do we need to protect against those motivated by malice?
  • Miguel de Icaza, head of Xamarin and past founder of the Gnome and Mono projects, talks about why he was singled out as a “traitor”, what he’s doing now, and how to best work in the open source world
  • The winners in the Bad Voltage Selfie Competition! See the forum for more details and all the entrants

Listen to: 1×10: Midnight Throne Travels

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 9: The Starting Pitstop

Myself, Stuart Langridge, Bryan Lunduke, and Jono Bacon wend their troublesome ways down the road of:

  • We weigh in on the upstart/systemd brouhaha in Debian and discuss what happened, why it happened, and whether it was a good thing or not.
  • Bryan reviews the Lenovo Miix 2 tablet and we get into the nitty gritty of what you can do with it.
  • We take a trip down memory lane about how we each got started with Linux, which distributions we used, and who helped us get on our journey.
  • We take a recap and look at community feedback about guns, 3D printing, predictions, Bad Voltage gaming, the Bad Voltage Selfie Competition and more, all making an appearance.

I think Bad Voltage continues to progress nicely and this is probably my second favorite show to date (it may be difficult to surpass 1×07: Life On Mars in our first season, but we’ll certainly try).

Listen to: 1×09: The Starting Pitstop

–jeremy

Happy New Year & Browser and OS stats for 2013

I’d like to wish everyone a happy new year on behalf of the entire LQ team. 2013 has been another great year for LQ and we have quite a few exciting developments in store for 2014, including a major code update that we originally had planned for 2013. This year brought a new ChromeOS related site to The Questions Network, joining AndroidQuestions.org and LinuxExchange. In addition, LQ ISO recently surpassed 30,000,000 Linux downloads.

As has become tradition, here are the browser and OS statistics for the main LQ site for all of 2013 (2012 stats for comparison).

Browsers
Firefox 41.75%
Chrome 40.43%
Internet Explorer 9.63%
Safari 4.13%
Opera 2.02%
Android Browser 0.71%

Firefox usage (as a percentage) continues to decline at LQ, and it appears likely that it will be surpassed by Chrome next year. IE usage has fallen into a single digit percentage for the first time since we’ve posted the annual update.

Operating Systems
Windows 52.24%
Linux 34.77%
Macintosh 9.44%
Android 1.58%
iOS 1.31%

Linux usage is once again down slightly, as is Windows usage. Macintosh is slightly up and both Android and iOS have cracked into the single digit percentages.

I’d also like to take this time to thank each and every LQ member. You are what make the site great; without you, we simply wouldn’t exist. I’d like to once again thank the LQ mod team, whose continued dedication ensures that things run as smoothly as they do. Don’t forget to vote in the 2013 LinuxQuestions.org Members Choice Awards , which recently opened.

–jeremy

Google Nexus 5 Review

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

In this episode I’m going to review the recently released Nexus 5 phone, manufactured by LG. While the 5 in the product name is a reference to the device’s nearly 5 inch screen, it’s also the 5th iteration of the Google Nexus line (the predecessors being the HTC Nexus One, Samsung Nexus S, Samsung Galaxy Nexus and the LG Nexus 4). The exterior of the Nexus 5 is made from a polycarbonate shell, unlike the Nexus 4, which used a glass-based construction. At 5.42 inches tall and 2.7 inches wide, it’s a big phone but is shaped to feel smaller than it looks. It’s surprisingly light for its size, at only 4.6oz, and is 8.6 millimeters thick. The phone feels a bit more solid than a Samsung Galaxy S4, but sitting next to an HTC One it looks a bit, well, plain. But being flashy or ostentatious was never Google’s goal with the Nexus line. It was to showcase the unbridled, unadulterated and bloatware free vanilla Google Android experience. And the phone’s 445 pixel per inch, 4.95-inch, 1080p IPS screen helps a great deal in doing that. At the time of this review the Nexus 5 was the only phone officially running Android’s latest version: Kit Kat. And that’s a big part of the Nexus experience and something no other phone is going to offer. Manufacturers often take many months to port new versions of Android to existing handsets and in some cases ports you think will come never do. Even the new Google Play edition of phones will likely never receive updates as quickly as the Nexus line. If that’s important to you, most of this review probably doesn’t matter. Get yourself a Nexus 5. It’s hands down the best Nexus phone to date. On that note, Kit Kat is the best Android version to date as well, and is a fairly significant change from previous versions of the software. It’s sleeker, cleaner, more refined and more modern looking while being considerably more responsive. Google Search and Google Now are integrated much more seamlessly than in previous versions. And while I’m not personally a fan of Hangouts replacing SMS and MMS, one nice thing about Android is that you can easily change that.

Now, back to the phone itself. Some good: The quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor with 2G of RAM means that the phone is astonishingly fast. By far the fastest phone I’ve used to date. The display is absolutely gorgeous. The battery life has also been better than most Android phones I’ve used. The  overall build quality of the phone is high and the form factor is extremely usable. The Nexus experience is also difficult to beat. Some bad: While battery life has been better, it’s still fairly unpredictable at times. The camera is probably the weakest part of the phone and is considerably worse than other flagship offerings. That said, Google claims that much of the issue is software related so we may see some marked improvement here. The speaker, while fairly loud, is also frustratingly distorted at times. While I like the overall form factor of the phone, it is quizzical that they chose to give it such a large bottom bezel, especially considering the phone has only software buttons. The lack of an SD card slot is also disappointing.

So, what’s the Verdict? If you want the Nexus experience or would like to buy an off contract phone, at $349 for the 16GB model and $399 for the 32GB model I think the Nexus 5 is going to be impossible to beat. I’m certainly extremely happy with the device myself. That said if you’re in a position where you have to buy a phone on contract, the HTC One (which I’ve seen as low as $75 with a 2 year contract) or possibly the Samsung Galaxy S4 are probably better options.

–jeremy
Google+

Bad Voltage Season 1 Episode 4: Fat Drone Backups

Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon and myself (Bryan Lunduke is unable to make it again, although we do of course hope that he recovers from whatever horrific disease he’s contracted) bring you:

  • Open Source Health: are the open source community more unhealthy than most? Perhaps the trend for health-related gadgets will save us
  • Review: Stuart talks about Ender’s Game, the film, the book, and the author
  • Chris Anderson, CEO of 3dRobotics, ex-editor of Wired, and author, talks about his current venture, creating pilotless autonomous “drones” and what they might mean for Amazon Prime Air, agriculture, and society at large
  • How do the team actually back up their stuff? Surprisingly, we all actually do (as should you), but how do we do it?
  • Your feedback: video podcasting, Bitcoin, new phone OSes, and pod love

And now… Bad Voltage.

–jeremy

Bad Voltage Season 1 Episode 3: Hear My Lung

In our third episode, your hosts Jono Bacon, Stuart Langridge, and myself (our compadre Bryan Lunduke is away cavorting around Europe) bring you discussion, argument, and amusement on:

  • We delve into the new Playstation 4 and XBox One consoles and discuss whether this is the next generation of gaming, or a rehash of the same-old-same-old
  • Review: I provide an in-depth review of Google’s new Nexus 5 phone
  • We talk about biohacking and discuss what it is, what people are working on, the implications of the technology, and whether it is a good thing in the first place
  • Interview: in this episode we interview prominent kernel hacker, Greg Kroah-Hartman, about life as a kernel hacker, the pressure of working on such a core piece of technology, and his physical relationship with Linus Torvalds
  • We had a bucketload of letters, so we read out our favorites, and share the very best dirty haikus

Go and check out the show here

–jeremy

Good Listening, Bad Voltage

What do you get when you combine an ardent but realistic Open Source evangelist, a bearded heavy metal community manager, an author/Linux game creator and a raconteur web developer who all have a modicum of podcasting experience? You get Bad Voltage; 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. The show is presented by Jono Bacon, Jeremy Garcia, Stuart Langridge, and Bryan Lunduke. We’ve just released the first show and are keen to get any feedback you may have. We’ve been working behind the scenes on this for a little while now and I think this has the potential to be a genuinely great show. 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

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