Bad Voltage Episode 70 Has Been Released: Delicious Amorphous Tech Bubble

Jono Bacon, Bryan Lunduke and myself bring you Bad Voltage, in which the wisdom of naming children for your favourite restaurant is debated, Stuart and his daughter Niamh Chipotle write the show notes from a New York cafe, and also:

  • 00:01:58 Is the tech industry in a bubble? is the tech industry ever not in a bubble? More importantly, what shape is the bubble? What can we do about it?
  • 00:17:20 Jeremy and Jono tag-team a further review of Google’s Pixel C laptop. Warning: contains gushing
  • 00:36:50 After discussing Nextcloud in previous episodes, we talk to Frank and Jos from the new project about their plans as a company and where they’re headed
  • 01:01:00 A catch-up on the current status of the Global Learning X-Prize

Listen to 1×70: Delicious Amorphous Tech Bubble

–jeremy

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.

Android Version Stats for LQ Mobile (2014)

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

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+

2011 LinuxQuestions.org Members Choice Award Winners – Thoughts

The polls are closed and the official results are in. You can view the detailed results here, but I’ll include a list of winners at the end of this post for convenience. We also have a nice visual overview of all categories on a single page, new last year, available here. This was the eleventh annual LinuxQuestions.org Members Choice Awards and we’ve set a record for participation each and every year. We once again had some extremely close races, including multiple categories decided by a single vote and our first ever tie. If you have feedback on how we can improve the Members Choice Awards, let us know.

My thoughts on a few of the categories:

Browser of the Year – I’m fairly surprised how handily Firefox beat Chrome here. It’s significantly more skewed than our actual browser stats are.

Desktop Environment of the Year – After a multi-year run, Gnome has been unseated by KDE. Xfce had a very strong showing, while it’s clear many are still not happy with Unity.

Desktop Distribution of the Year – Ubuntu squeaked out another win, but Mint is definitely coming on strong. Note that as LQ is the official Slackware forum, we tend to skew toward that distro more than the general Linux community. I’d say that one of the only places where we’re not indicative of the general community consensus though.

NoSQL Database of the Year – Our first ever tie and the next runner up was right in the race. It’s clear that this nascent category of products is going to be a very competitive landscape for the time being.

Database of the Year – Despite the acquisition by Oracle, MySQL still easily won this category.

Office Suite of the Year – The same can’t be said for OpenOffice.org, however, which got crushed by LibreOffice in a category it has easily dominated for years.

The complete list of the winners is as follows (percentage of votes received in parentheses):

Desktop Distribution of the Year – Ubuntu (21.83%)
Server Distribution of the Year – Debian (31.15%)
Mobile Distribution of the Year – Android (69.43%)
Database of the Year – MySQL (49.54%)
NoSQL Database of the Year – Cassandra and MongoDB (26.23% each) <- first MCA TIE
Office Suite of the Year – LibreOffice (81.01%)
Browser of the Year – Firefox (56.60%)
Desktop Environment of the Year – KDE (33.01%)
Window Manager of the Year – Openbox (15.90%)
Messaging Application of the Year – Pidgin (53.57%)
VoIP Application of the Year – Skype (59.67%)
Virtualization Product of the Year – VirtualBox (61.13%)
Audio Media Player Application of the Year – amaroK (19.52%)
Audio Authoring Application of the Year – Audacity (77.46%)
Video Media Player Application of the Year – VLC (60.92%)
Video Authoring Application of the Year – FFmpeg (34.32%)
Graphics Application of the Year – GIMP (72.08%)
Network Security Application of the Year – Wireshark (24.35%)
Host Security Application of the Year – SELinux (50.42%)
Network Monitoring Application of the Year – Nagios (64.71%)
IDE/Web Development Editor of the Year – Eclipse (22.14%)
Text Editor of the Year – vim (31.21%)
File Manager of the Year – Dolphin (24.63%)
Open Source Game of the Year – Battle for Wesnoth (18.70%)
Programming Language of the Year – Python (29.48%)
Revision Control System of the Year – git (58.73%)
Backup Application of the Year – rsync (37.35%)
Open Source CMS/Blogging Platform of the Year – WordPress (48.62%)
Configuration Management Tool of the Year – Puppet (54.55%)
Open Source Web Framework of the Year – Django (32.38%)
Media Center of the Year – XBMC (47.76%)

–jeremy

Happy New Year & Browser and OS stats for 2011

I’d like to wish everyone a happy new year on behalf of the entire LQ team. 2011 has been another great year for LQ and we have quite a bit of exciting developments in store for 2012, including a major code update. 2011 also marks the year that we expanded on the LQ vision to launch The Questions Network along with LQ’s fist sister site, AndroidQuestions.org.

I’ve once again posted to this blog far less frequently in 2011 than I’d have liked to, and I’m going to work to change that this year (I do post to twitter fairly often, for those interested).

As has become tradition, here are the browser and OS statistics for the main LQ site for all of 2011 (2010 stats for comparison).

Browsers
Firefox 53.07%
Chrome 24.79%
Internet Explorer 13.50%
Safari 3.59%
Opera 3.05%
Android Browser 0.26%
Konqueror .23%

The Firefox decline at LQ continues, while one in four now use Chrome to access the site. For the first time, a mobile browser has broken into the top 10.

Operating Systems
Windows 52.68%
Linux 38.55%
Macintosh 6.99%
Android .44%
iPhone .35%

Windows and Macintosh use are slightly up from last year, while Linux use is actually slightly down. While Android and iPhone use are both up, Android surpassed iPhone for the first time.

I’d also like to take this time to thank each and every LQ member. You are what make the site great. Don’t forget to vote in the 2011 LinuxQuestions.org Members Choice Awards, which recently opened.

–jeremy

Happy New Year & Browser and OS stats for 2010

First, I’d like to wish everyone a happy new year on behalf of the entire LQ team. 2010 has been another great year for LQ and we have quite a bit of exciting developments in store for 2011, including a major code update. I’ve posted to this blog far less frequently in 2010 than I’d have liked to, and I’m going to work to change that this year (I do post to twitter fairly often, for those interested).

As has become tradition, here are the browser and OS statistics for the main LQ site for all of 2010 (2009 stats for comparison).

Browsers
Firefox 57.11%
Chrome 16.44%
Internet Explorer 16.40%
Safari 3.43%
Opera 3.25%
Mozilla 2.21%
Konqueror .47%

Firefox is now on a multi-year slide while Chrome has passed IE to move into the number two position. Safari made some significant gains while Konqueror use was cut in half.

Operating Systems
Windows 51.71%
Linux 41.33%
Macintosh 5.78%
iPhone .21%
Android .15%

Windows use is slightly down this year while both Linux and OS X use are slightly up. As expected both iPhone and Android are up significantly. While Android saw more significant gains, it’s still a bit behind the iPhone. The iPad, for reference, is at .06%

I’d also like to take this time to thank each and every LQ member. You are what make the site great.

–jeremy

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