Valve killing Steam Support for some Ubuntu users

A few years ago the announcement that Steam would begin supporting Linux was a big deal: it meant that anyone who preferred to rock an open-source operating system over Mac OS or Windows 10 would have instant buy-it-and-play-it access to a large catalog of game titles that would have otherwise taken a whole lot of tweaking to get up and running or wouldn't have worked for them at all. For some, at least, the party may be coming to an end.

From Engadget:

If you're a Linux gamer who prefers Ubuntu, you might want to look for another distribution in the near future. Valve is dropping official support for Ubuntu in Steam as of the operating system's upcoming 19.10 release, which will cut 32-bit x86 components. The Steam crew aims to "minimize breakage" for existing Ubuntu users, according to Valve's Pierre-Loup Griffais, but it'll shift its attention to another distribution in the future.

So, in short: no 32-bit support means no Steam support. Given that the many of the games available on Steam can only be had by buying a license, this news sucks in so many ways. That said, as noted by Engadget, at some point in the future, it could be possible to switch to a different distribution that'll allow you to undertake some, glitch-free fragging. However, for the time being, Canonical and Valve haven't made any announcements of which distribution will best serve gamers, moving forward. When that announcement will come down the pike is anyone's guess. Read the rest

Crowdfunder for a free/open phone crosses $1M mark

One of the holy grails of free and open computing is a really great free/open phone; it's been tried many times before without much success, but a new crowdfunder from Purism (who make a pretty great free/open laptop) has just crossed the $1,000,000 mark and is on track to hit its target of $1.5M in the next 18 days. Read the rest

Podcast: Digital failures are inevitable, but we need them to be graceful

Here's a reading of my latest Guardian column, Digital failures are inevitable, but we need them to be graceful, about the social and political factors that make all the difference when choosing technologies. Read the rest

EFF delivers easy full-disk encryption for Ubuntu

Douglas sez,

18 months ago Boing Boing posted about EFF's effort to get Ubuntu to make full disk encryption (FDE) easy upon install. EFF has delivered.

I'm sure many of us have had and continue to have the experience of trying to nudge someone (or ourselves) over from OS X or Windows to GNU/Linux and LUKS full disk encryption, but the process got roadblocked at some point because using the alternate installer to config the partitions and all for FDE was just too much of a hassle for parties involved. Now in Ubuntu 12.10, FDE is just a tickbox in the default installer. How cool is that?

This means it's a good time to donate to EFF. And if you're using Ubuntu 12.10, don't forget to fix the privacy problems for which EFF provides a tutorial (thanks again!).

(Thanks, Doug!) Read the rest