Veteran technology journalist Dan Gillmor's been using GNU/Linux since 2012, switching away from all the "control freak" services, tools and software that he'd grown used to over decades of computing.
Gillmor describes some of the switching pains and persistent thorns, but also the delight and simplicity he has encountered with Ubuntu, the flavor of Linux he (and I) use. His experience closely matches mine: I've got a few problems, different but no worse (or better) than those I had in years of using proprietary software. The major difference between my years as a Mac and Windows user and my decade (!) now of being a Linux user is freedom, not hassle.
A few months ago, when Apple introduced its iPad Pro, a large tablet with a keyboard, CEO Tim Cook called it the “clearest expression of our vision of the future of personal computing.” That was an uh-oh moment for me. Among other things, in the iOS ecosystem users are obliged to get all their software from Apple’s store, and developers are obliged to sell it in the company store. This may be Apple’s definition of personal computing, but it’s not mine.
Meanwhile, Microsoft’s Windows 10 — by almost all accounts a huge usability improvement over Windows 8 — looks more and more like spyware masquerading as an operating system (a characterization that may be unfair, but not by much). Yes, the upgrade from widely installed earlier versions is “free” (as in beer), but it takes some amazing liberties with users’ data and control, according to people who’ve analyzed its inner workings.
I Moved to Linux and It’s Even Better Than I Expected [Dan Gillmor/Backchannel]
Recent Intel x86 processors implement a secret, powerful control mechanism that runs on a separate chip that no one is allowed to audit or examine. When these are eventually compromised, they’ll expose all affected systems to nearly unkillable, undetectable rootkit attacks. I’ve made it my mission to open up this system and make free, open replacements, before it’s too late.
When Oracle bought Sun Microsystems, they acquired Java, Sun’s popular programming language, pitched from its inception as an open standard for the networked computer.
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Some people say magic tricks are nerdy and best left to your 12-year-old asthmatic cousin. But others see value in perfecting the slight of hand and showmanship associated with a perfectly executed routine. We’re firmly in the latter camp. And now, we’re giving you the ability to put a few parlor tricks up your sleeve with the Penguin […]
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