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Linux Outlaws 316 – Sentient Sideburns

1 July 2013

 

Microsoft kicks off its own bug bounty programme, Merkel says the internet is “undiscovered country”, the PS4 apparently runs FreeBSD, Xiph unveils the “next-next-generation” video codec, Red Hat continues to grow, the Ubuntu community donation plans get detailed and the XBox does a 180

Uncut video version of this episode on YouTube

0:01:09 INTRODUCTION

Tony Soprano

0:24:51 SECURITY THEATRE

0:30:19 RELEASES & NEWS

Neuland

1:20:25 MICROWATCH

1:26:34 FEEDBACK

Supporters: Thanks to Ivan PejićJon Kulp and everyone who flattr’d us!

  • Jim Daldry sends us some stuff about the NSA and PRISM
  • Jamie D. writes to us about the show, terrorism and the Red Wings
  • Sergei Van Hardeveld got back to the show after life got in the way for a while; he also sent us an article is about surveillance in Canada by Michael Geist
  • Jon Kulp tells us about Jezra’s blather project — he also wrote a blog post about it
  • Ian Kirk takes his job as the Head of Bad Jokes seriously
  • Bryan Lafferty is of the opinion that we should cut MATE some slack

John McAfee tells you how to uninstall McAfee anti-virus.

Song: Chibi Ninja by Eric Skiff from the album Resistor Anthems (licensed Creative Commons BY 3.0)

19 Comments

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  1. Mike #
    July 2, 2013

    re: Caines Brewery

    The workers should seize the plant and run it themselves as a collective, Argentine style. Hey, they could enlist members of the public to help with the seizure with the prospect of free beer.

  2. fabsh #
    July 2, 2013

    I agree, Mr Lenin! :D

  3. vtts #
    July 3, 2013

    fab,

    when talking about mate you said something along the lines of “mate is not gtk 3 “compatible”, so those who whant a gnome style de should use xfce”.
    but xfce doesn’t support gtk 3 yet http://wiki.xfce.org/releng/4.12/roadmap/gtk3

    I may be wrong on many levels here :) but it would be nice to hear more about it on LO

  4. fabsh #
    July 4, 2013

    Xfce is on its way to a GTK+ 3 port, though. I hear MATE is too, but I have a lot more faith in the Xfce people.

  5. Tobi #
    July 8, 2013

    Not sure if it was in this or the last episode, but Fab mentioned the kilometres of files the Stasi had. Here is a nice visualization that compares the size of the Stasi archive and the size of the NSA archive: http://apps.opendatacity.de/stasi-vs-nsa/ (you will need to zoom quite a bit)

  6. fabsh #
    July 8, 2013

    Well, that is hardly surprising and a bit of a shit comparison, really. This is mostly down to the level of available technology as the Stasi had no computers. Comparisons like that make anybody who has ever studied even a bit of history retch. First rule of historical study: only compare things relative to the actual social, technological and other circumstances of the time.

  7. jabjoe #
    July 8, 2013

    Fab, this time you pushed me to comment!

    PS3 development is unreasonably hard. It’s not “lazy developers”. I don’t think anyone will ever get “all the power of the SPUs” because they are a nightmare (and I’m not sure it’s even possible with their connection to main memory, plus you only have 6 of them to work with). When developing often you have an eye to being cross platform, and so you do what you can to get all the low hanging fruit, and move on. Only if you are doing a definiely definiely only ever PS3 only game (i.e Sony are paying you), will you optimize more for the PS3 as it’s such a time/money sink. At the end of the day, console game development is a hard (and getting harder) business. The last thing a game console game business needs is consoles that cost a lot to develop on. Consoles becoming almost just PCs is welcome. It will make things a little less interesting, but this is business. Plus, we want games to cost less to make not just for game studio’s sake, but so publishers dare to invest in new ideas, and so new players can join the market.

  8. fabsh #
    July 8, 2013

    Well, I think it is also lazy developers. Companies like EA certainly have enough ressources to hire people to optimise games for the PS3, they just don’t care. I wasn’t digging the actual developers, they are as overworked as I am, by “developers” in this instance I meant the general department, including managers etc. I might have not made that clear enough.

    Yes, PS3 development is hard, but in my experience developers usually take stuff like that as a challenge (given enough time to work on it that is).

  9. jabjoe #
    July 8, 2013

    EA is a business. They spend resources to make more money. After getting the low hanging fruit optimization wise, it’s quickly diminishing returns, and thus quickly becomes wasting money.

    Developers like a challenge, but many don’t like things being harder than they should and count that as just having their time wasted. There are some who like the crazy, thus languages like Whitespace, but games is a business, and so they aren’t going to be given much scope to spend twice the time for an extra 10%.

    Odd ball hardware is interesting, but I kind of feel that Sony was tricked by IBM to pay for the Cell. It doesn’t translate well for a game console processor.

  10. fabsh #
    July 8, 2013

    Your point being? Of course EA is a business but that doesn’t mean they have to be total morons about games developemnt. Developing for the PS3 isn’t that hard. But, if you rather had a world were all games standardise on the Xbox, everything looks the same and nobody innovates….. I personally would like more games the push the technical envelope a bit like GT5 and Heavy Rain. The Xbox has precious little of those.

    Not to mention the fact that the Cell was an amazing architecture with so much potential. No self-respecting geek should be happy that the technical inferior architecture won. Don’t get me wrong, as I said on the show, Sony made the right decision. But the fault lies squarely on companies like EA that make good money with shoddy console ports and the stupid idiot consumers who buy these. Yeah! Call of Duty Black Ops Special Dark Special Forces 23!!! Yeah! Get in there!

  11. jabjoe #
    July 8, 2013

    My point is, it’s a business, a sausage factory. EA aren’t being morons, they are doing what makes them the most money at the least risk. It’s just basic profit motive. (Though they do other moronic things that cost them money needlessly.)

    PS3 development is harder than it needs to be and Sony may have finally have twigged this.

    The Cell architecture is very interresting, but it didn’t translate well into a game console in the real world of capitalist game development.

    Microsoft wouldn’t have made the in roads they did during the Xbox 360 era, if Sony had learned the lessons of PS2 vs Xbox. Much as I hate MS, it’s hard to deny that developing on the Xbox or Xbox360 wasn’t way way way less hassel then on the PS2 and PS3.

    The type of geek I am, I’d rather there be any *real* (as in others can make viable implimentations and no single vendor controls it all) standard, no matter how crap , then no standard at all. If games are cultural works we want to keep, they shouldn’t be made to run specially on obscure, one off, hardware. That smacks of looming digital darkages to me. Though even the PS3 seams to have work being done to emulate it now. Maybe we could run PS3 games on the PS4 and Xbox One, once they are cracked of course. ;-)

  12. fabsh #
    July 8, 2013

    My point is, it’s a business, a sausage factory. EA aren’t being morons, they are doing what makes them the most money at the least risk.

    Based on that argument you also support their horrible cloud DRM then? Or all the shooter rehashes? It might be the best strategy in the short term but they are pissing all their customer trust away by just turning out boring dross with horrible DRM instead of innovating. You might be fine with that, I am not. That is why I spent hours every week on this podcast, I care about stuff.

    PS3 development is harder than it needs to be and Sony may have finally have twigged this.

    Well, I am sure we could all make the development even more easier if the only games available on the market were Scrabble clones for the iPhone. That argument is stupid. I don’t give a fuck how easy the development is. My job isn’t easy either. I care about quality.

    Microsoft wouldn’t have made the in roads they did during the Xbox 360 era, if Sony had learned the lessons of PS2 vs Xbox. Much as I hate MS, it’s hard to deny that developing on the Xbox or Xbox360 wasn’t way way way less hassel then on the PS2 and PS3.

    They made those inroads because their PR was better and because of exclusive games (another stupid tactic that only hurts the consumer).

    The type of geek I am, I’d rather there be any *real* (as in others can make viable implimentations and no single vendor controls it all) standard, no matter how crap , then no standard at all.

    Why the hell should there be standards in the way games are written? That is horrible.

    If games are cultural works we want to keep, they shouldn’t be made to run specially on obscure, one off, hardware.

    And by “obscure, one-off hardware” you presumably mean the top-of-the-line chip design sold by the, at the time, second largest silicon manufacturer in the world that sold hundreds of thousands of units into the enterprise channel? You probably have no idea that the Cell wasn’t designed for the PS3 specifically, do you? IBM made a ton of money from that processor in the server market. I know, I used to work for the place that did chip optimisation for IBM Power and Cell.

    Maybe we could run PS3 games on the PS4 and Xbox One, once they are cracked of course.

    No you couldn’t. Seeing as the PS3 is not an x86 architecture like the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One. The only reason Microsoft didn’t go with their own chip design back then is that they couldn’t piss of Intel. Look yup the term “Wintel”.

  13. jabjoe #
    July 8, 2013

    > Based on that argument you also support their horrible cloud DRM then?

    Of course not, and that didn’t make them more money, it was a disaster for them.
    That was moronic.

    > Or all the shooter rehashes?

    Unfortunately that does make them money, so they will keep on doing it.

    > You might be fine with that, I am not. That is why I spent hours every week on this podcast, I care about stuff.

    I’m not fine with the DRM move. That was a really bad, and I was really pleased to see the customers make them pay for it. It was a joy to see. But the endless rehashes, well until it’s not profitable, they will keep doing it. It requires customers to vote with their wallet. Money is all they care about.

    > Well, I am sure we could all make the development even more easier if the only games available on the market were Scrabble clones for the iPhone. That argument is stupid.

    Unfortunately there is a real risk here. Crappy tablet and phone games have a really high profit margin, and it’s getting worse. People keep buying the damn things.

    > That argument is stupid. I don’t give a fuck how easy the development is. My job isn’t easy either. I care about quality.

    If something is making your life unduly hard, and getting in the way, you care. I’ve heard you! ;-)

    > They made those inroads because their PR was better and because of exclusive games (another stupid tactic that only hurts the consumer).

    That all helped a lot. But winning over a great many developers certainly helped. Though to some extend, I agree, it doesn’t matter the pain or crapness of developing on a platform, if stuff sells on it. :-(

    > Why the hell should there be standards in the way games are written? That is horrible.

    The point is so you can run the old games in decades to come. But there are limits. Java makes me cry.

    > You probably have no idea that the Cell wasn’t designed for the PS3 specifically, do you?

    Did you not see my earlier comment half joking that IBM tricked Sony to pay for the Cell?

    > No you couldn’t. Seeing as the PS3 is not an x86 architecture like the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One.

    The Xbox 360 is PowerPC, like the PS3 and Wii. It was the generation of PowerPC. You could emulate a PS3, just like any other machine, if you had enough horse power. Throw a core or two at each SPU, a few at the PowerPC core. Wouldn’t surprise me to see it soon enough. The Dolphin Emulator does a good job on Wii/Gamecube on a reasonable modern machine. On a high end machine, emulating a PS3, now there is a interesting and worthwhile challenge! If not today, maybe not long from now.

  14. fabsh #
    July 8, 2013

    > Based on that argument you also support their horrible cloud DRM then?

    Of course not, and that didn’t make them more money, it was a disaster for them.
    That was moronic.

    It is making them money. It’s not like SimCity was the only horrible DRM scheme EA has cooking. You should start reading around a bit.

    > Or all the shooter rehashes?

    Unfortunately that does make them money, so they will keep on doing it.

    I know that. You completely missed the point of both what I was saying in the podcast and my argument here. Maybe you should reconsider what I said.

    > You might be fine with that, I am not. That is why I spent hours every week on this podcast, I care about stuff.

    I’m not fine with the DRM move. That was a really bad, and I was really pleased to see the customers make them pay for it. It was a joy to see. But the endless rehashes, well until it’s not profitable, they will keep doing it. It requires customers to vote with their wallet. Money is all they care about.

    You seem unaware of the fact that SimCity was a pretty decent commercial success. Nobody made them pay for anything.

    > Well, I am sure we could all make the development even more easier if the only games available on the market were Scrabble clones for the iPhone. That argument is stupid.

    Unfortunately there is a real risk here. Crappy tablet and phone games have a really high profit margin, and it’s getting worse. People keep buying the damn things.

    Again. You miss my point completely. I know what is happening, I do read a lot of gaming press.

    > They made those inroads because their PR was better and because of exclusive games (another stupid tactic that only hurts the consumer).

    That all helped a lot. But winning over a great many developers certainly helped. Though to some extend, I agree, it doesn’t matter the pain or crapness of developing on a platform, if stuff sells on it.

    They didn’t win over any developers. They bought some exclusives with a lot of money, all other games were on both consoles. They were just shit on the PS3 because the developers were slack.

    > You probably have no idea that the Cell wasn’t designed for the PS3 specifically, do you?

    Did you not see my earlier comment half joking that IBM tricked Sony to pay for the Cell?

    Yes, except they didn’t. That is bull. It’s much more true that AMD basically tricked Sony and MS into buying an inferior architecture this time. They must have undercut Intel to a crazy level. They had to, without those two deals, what does AMD have left? Bad for the gamers, though. Shitty boards in both consoles. The only good thing is the low price of both consoles (relatively speaking).

    > No you couldn’t. Seeing as the PS3 is not an x86 architecture like the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One.

    The Xbox 360 is PowerPC, like the PS3 and Wii. It was the generation of PowerPC. You could emulate a PS3, just like any other machine, if you had enough horse power. Throw a core or two at each SPU, a few at the PowerPC core. Wouldn’t surprise me to see it soon enough. The Dolphin Emulator does a good job on Wii/Gamecube on a reasonable modern machine. On a high end machine, emulating a PS3, now there is a interesting and worthwhile challenge! If not today, maybe not long from now.

    I’d like you to back that up with some hard links. The Xbox 360 dev kit allows you to write the gaming code right on an x86 PC without cross-compiling, AFAIK. That is exactly why it is easier to develop for. Hence my original comments on the show.

  15. jabjoe #
    July 9, 2013

    > It is making them money. It’s not like SimCity was the only horrible DRM scheme EA has cooking. You should start reading around a bit.

    It was the one that caught my eye because though I worked in games over a decade, I was never really interested in anything other than the tech. So never got into reading the gaming press, beyond about hardware or graphics. But the SimCity thing was hard to miss.

    > I know that. You completely missed the point of both what I was saying in the podcast and my argument here. Maybe you should reconsider what I said.

    Argh, fine, I’ll listen again. But you can’t blame anyone other than Sony for games on the PS3. Not game developers or game studios.

    > You seem unaware of the fact that SimCity was a pretty decent commercial success. Nobody made them pay for anything.

    You are right, I am unaware of that. That’s sad, I had high hopes after their Amazon review was one of the worse in Amazon history.

    > They didn’t win over any developers.

    Oh no, they did. Lots of them in fact.

    > They bought some exclusives with a lot of money, all other games were on both consoles.

    And it was easier (and cheaper) to do games on the Xbox 360 (and Xbox over PS2 as well).

    > They were just shit on the PS3 because the developers were slack.

    No, because the PS3 was harder, thus more expensive to develop on.
    If you have two game console of similar market share (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Console_wars#Worldwide_sales_figures_6) you are going to give them similar development budget. That goes further when development is easy. When development is hard, corners get cut to come in at least roughly on time and budget.

    Blame Sony. Not developers. Not game studios. This is Sony’s doing.

    What Sony did right though was the BluRay, because at least the PS3 had lots and lots of storage compared with the XBox 360. It also helped them in the physical format war, for what that is worth now.

    > Yes, except they didn’t. That is bull.

    You might think that, but I don’t agree. I don’t think the Cell was a very good chip for a game console. Ditching it was the right move.

    > It’s much more true that AMD basically tricked Sony and MS into buying an inferior architecture this time. They must have undercut Intel to a crazy level. They had to, without those two deals, what does AMD have left? Bad for the gamers, though. Shitty boards in both consoles. The only good thing is the low price of both consoles (relatively speaking).

    I have no idea what is going on with AMD in the new consoles. I did read one thing say NVidia don’t want it as it’s just not very profitable, but I wonder if that is just sour grapes. I struggle to believe this is just about unit price on these vast scales. Unless AMD really are so desperate… hope not.

    > I’d like you to back that up with some hard links.

    Easy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xbox_360_hardware#Central_processing_unit

    As for a PowerPC game console emulator: http://www.dolphin-emulator.com/

    > The Xbox 360 dev kit allows you to write the gaming code right on an x86 PC without cross-compiling.

    No it was cross-compiling.

    > AFAIK. That is exactly why it is easier to develop for. Hence my original comments on the show.

    No, it was easy to develop for because MS really went after making it easy to develop for. Sony, at least up to now, didn’t seam to give a crap. Very much batteries not included. Hopefully this time round Sony are thinking about developers, maybe they could put some money into Unix game development tools! (PS3 was Unix of a form too).

  16. fabsh #
    July 9, 2013

    I think I’ve made my points.

  17. jabjoe #
    July 9, 2013

    You have, I think I have made mine. Hopefully you now don’t put the quality of PS3 games down to lazy developers but to economics and Sony making a hard to develop for console! Game development really isn’t all many think it is. Don’t know if you have seen this, but it’s spot on: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGar7KC6Wiw Glad I left games for open source work. Anyway, all the best.

  18. fabsh #
    July 9, 2013

    No, actually, that was supposed to say that I disagree with you and don’t have time to keep chasing your tail in a discussion that is going nowhere. I have more important things to worry about at the moment, to be honest.

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