mintCast 358 – The Ethical Ethos

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2:24 Bi-Weekly Wanderings
39:21 The News
1:02:28 Security Update
1:20:20 Announcements & Outro

First up, in our Wanderings, I make a handoff, Joe repairs more stuff, Moss is in the news, Tony Hughes continues the challenge, and Mike the Builder makes a bike.

Then, in the News, Mint sends relief, Ventoy has a birthday, JingPad gets closer, new docs Man up, and AlmaLinux soothes the soul.

In Security, your smartphone is spying on you, Facebook springs another leak, and we disclose our vulnerability.

BI-WEEKLY WANDERINGS: 

  • Leo
    • Dropping FCWN, but it’s not going far.
    • Linux User Space Season 1 is wrapped up.
    • Revising some of my audio editing workflow
      1. The “Compress Dynamics” plugin replaces Audacity’s own AND the Amplify plugin.
      2. The Noise Gate by Audacity, but that isn’t installed by default, is absolutely fantastic
    • Went with a pop filter over a wind screen for this episode. We’ll see if there’s a big difference in sibilants.
  • Joe
    • Well I need to redo one of the two Razers and reverse the connections on one of the 1mores, the Razer I guess I went a bit harsh at first with the soldering iron and I need to get a new 3.5mm connector
    • I also disassembled a couple of mice with my new Pinecil soldering iron.  I like it.  The price is 25 dollars for a good working soldering iron that heats up very fast and is easily portable.  I am still looking for a stand for it that I like.
      1. I took apart the mice for the switches so that I can use them to fix a couple of other M570 mice so that I don’t have to buy more of them.  The M570 seems to have a bit of a short half life.
    • I ordered and received the Dell Latitude 5290, which cost a bit more than I wanted to pay for a tablet but I have to say that it works well.  I also discovered that there may be a good reason to switch to the i7 instead of the i5 version even with the minimal performance gains.  The i7 version has actual Thunderbolt ports instead of just USB 3.1 but I am very happy with the tablet as is.
      1. I first installed Endeavour and then added Gnome because I wanted to give it more of a try
      2. That did not last long and I had the same issues with Steam and my ongoing dislike for Gnome out of the box
      3. Switched to Mint and things started working, other than rotation which had the issue where it would rotate the screen but not the touch.  This was easily fixed by installing screenrotate in the exact same way as with arch.
      4. Steam just plain worked and looked pretty good with Torchlight and Borderlands 2, I would have tried Borderlands 3 but the game takes 112 Gb and that would have fit on the 256 Gb SSD but would not have much left room for anything else.  BL2 was installed using proton so I could use all of the DLC
      5. I will say that BL2 sent the thing from 75 percent battery to shutdown very fast but I am also not done putting the battery through its testing to make sure that it is good
      6. The only thing that I have not been able to get working is the cameras.  Neither of them work.  Didn’t work on Arch or Mint and from what I have found online no one else has been able to get them to work either
    • Ordered a 128 Gb SSD that was supposed to work and it didn’t fit into the WAN port, so I did my research the second time and found out I need a b+m SSD in order to make it work. And it needed to be a 2242 instead of the 2230 that was marked on the board.  But the b+m 128 that I ordered came and did not match the picture or the writing on the front which also said b+m the thing was only an m.  So IDK 
    • I did put a 64Gb micro SD into it but really want the faster m.2 drive either for game storage or for a second operating system.  Maybe I should get a much larger 2280 drive instead.
    • Tried to install Garuda Linux to an external drive to test it out on my tablet but after multiple tries with issues caused by the drives and not the OS I gave up the idea of running Garuda from external media and wiped out Mint on the device and installed Garuda bare bones
    • I have to say that, for Arch, it is extremely robust and takes most of the work out of everything
    • I also found out that the game that I was using as a test case that was not working in steam in endeavour was also not working in Garuda but the reason is because it was a 32-bit game.  So there is an issue with 32-bit libraries needing to be pointed to. 
    • I also should mention that I installed the Gnome version of Garuda but I will get into that in the innards section
    • Also yesterday i picked up a large volume of broken electronics for a decent price.  Lots of bluetooth and wired headphones that need some work.  Already got a couple of them working.  My current favorite is the Razer Nari Ultimate.  I will talk more about them later but some highlights are 2 DT770s, several Shure SE215 and SE315’s and several AT M30, M40, M50
  • Moss
    • In a surprise development, I got a message in Telegram from Ronnie Tucker, congratulating me as the new voice of Full Circle Weekly News podcast. I have only one person to thank for this. Thank you, Leo. Big shoes to fill, but I hope to fill them *weekly*.
    • I had some problems for a week or so with Linux Mint 20.1, the system was locking up or sometimes just the mouse buttons stopped working. A number of other people reported similar issues on the Linux Mint group on MeWe, but nothing made it to the Mint Forum. After a couple more updates, including a kernel update and two systemd updates, my machines are working fine… the Zia800 was locking up when things get plugged into the top USB port on the front of the machine but I think this has been resolved by magic. The Fellowes keyboard I bought on eBay proved to not work so we went to Voldemart and bought her a Logitech keyboard.
    • I plugged Suzanne’s Fellowes keyboard into my computer to test it, and proved it really was not working… but in doing so, I broke off the headphone jack on my nice old Koss headphones. I thought that was all, but when I plugged my other headset into the jack to do Distrohoppers’ Digest Episode 021 on Wednesday, I found I could not hear anyone. Tony Hughes reminded me I had a USB soundcard on my Raspberry Pi 4 and I used it, and continue to do so. Should get a second identical card in the mail in the next couple days.
    • Tony Hughes, Dale Miracle and I recorded Distrohoppers’ Digest Episode 021 last Wednesday and it is out now, following our record-breaking Episode 020 which exceeded 800 downloads. We had a great time as usual, and covered Mageia, Debian Unstable, Endeavour, and others. I’m already working on Episode 022. Episode 020 is at 818 downloads as of this recording.
    • It’s time to get your votes in on Distro Madness, Elite Eight; voting will close this Friday before moving on to the Semifinals. Surprise! Most of my readers come from mintCast listeners, so all four versions of Mint are favored to make the Final Four… but can Solus sneak in?
  • Tony Hughes
    • Lots and lots of walking. Last Monday I did a 12.5 mile walk with my wife along the coast from South Blackpool to Fleetwood to the North of us. I’m regularly doing 5+ miles a day. It is getting quite addictive to complete the virtual walk challenge I’m on.    
    • As Moss has said we recorded Distrohoppers’ Digest last Wednesday and I managed to get it all edited and Posted by Friday so all is good with the world. 
    • During the pre show chat last night I did manage to get Audacity 3.0.0 installed on Endeavor although I have not had a chance to play with it as yet. On my main box I have tried the Snap install and it opens the previous .aup files without a hitch but as it is in a snap it can only see the drive the OS is on so I had to copy a folder from another drive to the PC to try this out. One day I will work out these permission issues with Snap and Flatpak apps.   
  • Mike
    • Proton suite – VPN works very well if you’re comfortable with light CLI usage. Minor adjustments need to be made to work properly (add startup script). Drive is pretty bare bones in its current form but works perfectly, I signed up to beta test iOS app. Mail is mail.
    • Whonix – An operating system designed to help protect your privacy and anonymity. It runs on a VM and forces all programs to connect through Tor network, all clearnet connections are blocked, DNS leaks are blocked.
    • I’ve been wanting to buy a bicycle lately but the prices are so high due to increased demand and the pandemic ($1200 – $1500) that I decided to build a bicycle instead. I found a company that sells a bike partially built for a cheap price, you must complete half of it. City cruiser bicycle. I’m somewhat worried because I’m not mechanically inclined and I’ve never built a bicycle before. [Get the bike tires from Mars next year – Moss]

THE NEWS:

  • Mint News: New Linux Mint notification system. “We designed a notification system which acts as a gentle and welcome reminder and took great care not to turn it into an annoyance.” The notification system will be a desktop popup notification which can be easily dismissed and won’t reappear for 2 days. Default settings have casual users in mind and will show a notification if an update has been available for 7 “logged-in” days or older than 15 calendar days. By default the Update Manager only considers security and kernel updates. The notification system has a grace period, where if you’ve installed ANY updates in any way (update manager, terminal, synaptic) in the last 30 days then it won’t notify you. The notification system is completely configurable for more intermediate to advanced users.
    • Clem on the release for the update changes: This is planned for Mint 20.2 but it could also be backported. We’ve a journalistic slack, we can send you an invite if you contact us by email.
    • Clem noted in the comments that Flatpak will also be controllable through the Update Manager. Clem also notes that a Flatpak update from 1.6.5 to a more current one is on the roadmap.
    • Clem said of Wayland and GTK4: There are no plans to move to GTK4 right now but like anything new this is something we have an interest in and so we’re keeping an eye on it. Regarding Wayland I have no news. We’re investigating the idea of making the latest Cinnamon work with Mutter, there are many pros and cons associated with that, it’s not directly related to Wayland but it could help getting closer.
    • Clem on more Desktop Environments: Not at the moment. We’re very happy with the Cinnamon – MATE – Xfce trio.
    • Clem on usrmerge for LMDE: Although we’re likely to move to a merged system in LMDE 5, in LMDE 4 you don’t need to merge your system. First, our build environment for LMDE is not merged. Second, Debian has been aware of this issue and actively fixed it in their repositories. The Ubuntu version of plymouth produces unreproducible builds, the Debian version does not. Debian detected this issue and already patched it.
  • Londoner reminds us that ventoy-1.0.00 was released on April 5th in 2020.
  • JingOS released v. 0.8 to the public, with a lot of new features, and further announced they were starting a crowdfunding campaign for the JingPad A1 – the world’s first consumer-level Linux tablet. JingOS is intended to be a full-Linux experience for tablet computers, but with an interface that could be mistaken easily for iPad OS. They are designing a product with a 2k+ screen, Gorilla Glass, 4:3 screen ratio, and premium components, with a pen and a keyboard both available. They have Discord, Telegram, Facebook, and other forums to get involved in. It should be pointed out that they got this announcement in under the wire on March 31, there were murmurings about it being a joke.
  • Man-Pages 5.11 released featuring 50,000 line changes and 480 commits by 40 contributors. 950 pages have been changed (more than 90%). The release features various patches and bug fixes. One of the largest man-pages updates in 20 years.
  • AlmaLinux is Official

SECURITY UPDATE: 

  • Your smartphone is spying on you more than you realize. Researchers from the University of Dublin have found that smartphones transmit telemetry data “back home” on average every 4½ minutes, however Android transmits 20x more data back to Google than iOS sends to Apple. This transfer happens even when the device is idle. Currently there are very few, if any, options to prevent telemetry collection. – Mike
  • 533,000,000 Facebook users have their data leaked online – Moss
  • Vulnerability Disclosure Norms
    • What are your feelings on hackers/security researchers dropping their research to the public directly without letting developers know first.
    • Do you think the typical 90-day requirement is enough?
    • Do you think companies should have an indefinite amount of time to fix issues?

ANNOUNCEMENTS: 

Wrap-up:

Before we leave, we want to make sure to acknowledge some of the people who make mintCast possible …

  • Owen Peery for our audio editing, Josh Lowe for all his work on the website, Hobstar for our logo, and Londoner for our time sync
  • Bytemark Hosting for hosting mintcast.org and our Mumble server
  • Archive.org for hosting our audio files
  • HPR for our backup Mumble room
  • The Linux Mint development team for the fine distro we love to talk about <Thanks, Clem!>

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