Linux For Cynics One user's experiences with Linux


Linux Unplugged: Linux’s Amazing Year

Linux had a great 2015, and Linux Unplugged summarized it very well in this episode. Worth a watch!

Let's hope for an even better 2016.

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ESR Thinks SJWs are Targeting Prominent Open Source Developers

Are SJWs (Social Justice Warriors) targeting prominent open source figures in an attempt to destroy their lives?

This blog post comes from Eric S. Raymond (ESR), a very prominent open source software developer. If you have a device capable of gps, then you might be using software written by him (gpsd).

Excerpts from the post:

The short version is: if you are any kind of open-source leader or senior figure who is male, do not be alone with any female, ever, at a technical conference. Try to avoid even being alone, ever, because there is a chance that a “women in tech” advocacy group is going to try to collect your scalp.

The MO was to get alone with the target, and then immediately after cry "attempted sexual assault".

Linus is never alone at any conference. This is not because he lets fame go to his head and likes having a posse around. They have made multiple runs at him.

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Linus Torvalds at DebConf14


Lavabit Closed Rather Than Comply with Government

Lavabit, an encrypted email service believed to have been used by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, has abruptly shut down. The move came amidst a legal fight that appeared to involve U.S. government attempts to win access to customer information. In a Democracy Now! broadcast exclusive, we are joined by Lavabit owner Ladar Levison and his lawyer, Jesse Binnall. "Unfortunately, I can’t talk about it. I would like to, believe me," Levison says. "I think if the American public knew what our government was doing, they wouldn’t be allowed to do it anymore." In a message to his customers last week, Levison said: "I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people, or walk away from nearly 10 years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit." Levison said he was barred from discussing the events over the past six weeks that led to his decision. Soon after, another secure email provider called Silent Circle also announced it was shutting down.

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NSA Happenings


The FISC creating troves of new secret law, not interpreting standing statute

GCHQ hoovers every single bit that's routed through the UK

US fucked themselves by making their pawns ground Bolivian head of state plane out of suspicion, sending extradition requests before he's even in the country

Venezuela's extradition treaties with the US contain clauses that allow it to reject requests if it believes they are politically motivated.

NSA recruiters struggle to justify their bullshit

Snowden has been offered asylum by Venezuela, Nicuragua, and Bolivia, seems that private chartered jet from the Datacell guy who supports wikileaks will come in handy:

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Richard Stallman inducted to the Internet Hall of Fame


Free Software Foundation founder Richard Stallman today joins the ranks of notable individuals who have been inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame for their significant contributions to the advancement of the global Internet.

Isn't it strange that just a few months ago, every mention of RMS was accompanied by voices decrying what many termed his paranoia and mistrust of government, yet now, if anything, his warnings seem almost innocently naive compared to what was truly going on.

Congratulations RMS, the honor is well deserved.

Full story here:

Other inductees listed here:

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PRISM Gives Duck-Duck-Go Its Best Week Ever

I've you been following all this NSA leak insanity, you're probably looking for a way to replace Google as a search engine. I recommend Duck-Duck-Go.

Here's an article about how the leaks have contributed to DuckDuckGo's continued success.

Thanks to the National Security Agency leaks and some well-timed media appearances, the private search engine is having its best traffic week ever. Visitors to the site made a record 2.35 million direct searches on Wednesday — a 26 percent increase over the previous week.

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Virtual Richard Stallman

vrms is a package that will analyze the set of currently-installed packages on a Debian-based system, and report all of the packages from the non-free and contrib trees which are currently installed.

Just run this command and you can find out what software you have on your system that doesn't respect your freedom!

$ vrms

Here's the output on my Debian laptop:

                Non-free packages installed on x200

firmware-iwlwifi                    Binary firmware for Intel PRO/Wireless 3945 and 802.11
skype                               Wherever you are, wherever they are

                Contrib packages installed on x200

flashplugin-nonfree                 Adobe Flash Player - browser plugin

  2 non-free packages, 0.2% of 1164 installed packages.
  1 contrib packages, 0.1% of 1164 installed packages.

It's like having a little rms right on your command line!

To find out more about Richard Stallman and his political views, go to his personal page:


How to Bring Linux to Mainstream Use



Fork the kernel and install all sorts of proprietary garbage in it (more than what it currently contains). That way you'll please all the hardware OEMs.

Create your own display server, one that isn't as convoluted and as picky as X, but make sure it's got enough security holes for OEMs to abuse.

Hide all that under some bloated Java VM. That way you'll effectively have a Java OS running a Linux kernel, not a GNU/Linux OS. That way, you can piss off both Oracle and Stallman at the same time. Brilliant.

Create a repository, but forget the review process. Just let every Tom, Dick and Harry developer put their fart apps on it for people to download and use. Screw security. Only worry about an application after a few thousand users have been conned by it, not before. Also, give those con-men ways to monetize, since they need to eat.

Again, screw security. It's been proven that users don't want that. They've grown too accustomed to Windows and want something similar. At the same time, give them multiple avenues to pirate stuff, because it's what they did when they used Windows and they love it like that. Hey, if you let devs and OEMs do what they want, you gotta give users that same right too, you know. That's what 'freedom' is all about; Wild-West, baby!!

It won't hurt to include a crapload of bloated widgets. Users seem to love that sort "bling", even if it is about as useless as a Hollywood socialite.

Skeuomorph everything. Aesthetic/design consistency is overrated!


Oh wait, didn't Google do all that already. Darn!!

(Reproduced from:

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SlashGeek: What it’s like being an Ubuntu user

There's an article at SlashGeek that claims that tech writers get flak for using Ubuntu or recommending Ubuntu over other Linux distros. I've never experienced that myself, outside of 4chan's technology board. Does the same thing happen to Fedora users? Are we all supposed to be using gentoo or something?

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