Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts published in “Mobile”

Android: The Glass Teat of the 21st Century

Have you been trying to put your finger on exactly what it is you don’t like about Android and iOS? Maybe this will help.

I’ve finally defined what it is I don’t like about Android — or about any mobile device for that matter. I’ve grappled with this issue for several years, boiling my dislike of Google’s operating system down to “it’s always trying to sell something.” But that wasn’t quite it, and I knew it. The selling thing is a symptom, not the disease, so to speak.

Then, one day last week I finally had my aha! moment and realized precisely what it is I don’t like about mobile devices. I was reading a pretty good article by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, his take on the death of computing as many of us know it, when I came across a line that was basically meant as an aside, and suddenly I understood why I don’t like Android or iOS and never will.

Our ‘Breaking Encryption for the Man’ Poll

First it was the NSA, the FBI and every big city cop shop on the planet insisting we need legislation to force safe, secure and for their eyes only back doors in damn near every device on the planet, presumably including light switches, garbage disposals and dishwashers. Eventually they came to see that doors, hidden or not, are merely temptations for hackers to break on through, and just decided to go on the down low for a while so they could pull a sneak attack later when we least expect it, which is a favorite trick of government types.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Verizon Case Illustrates Why We Need a Linux Phone

There are plenty of reasons to be anticipating the arrival of GNU/Linux phones and tablets. Verizon Wireless has given us another.

On March 7, the FCC slapped a $1.35 million fine on Verizon in a privacy case, a move that’s being hailed as a victory by some privacy advocates. If so, it would seem to be a hollow victory. For starters, the fine is too low to be much of a deterrent against a company which last year had annual gross income of over $63 billion. But there is much more wrong with the agreement the carrier reached with the FCC than merely the price tag.

Verizon logoVerizon logoThe case revolves around Verizon’s use of a supercookie — a cookie that uses a variety of techniques to make it nearly impossible to remove or disable — which the carrier began placing on its customers’ phones in 2012. The cookie gathered information that combined a person’s Internet history — whether through browsers or apps — with their unique customer information. The company ran afoul of the law because of the way it shared the information it gleaned with third parties.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

More Linux Phones, More Mint Hack & Just Plain More…

FOSS Week in Review

As Linux Mint scrambles to get security back on track, numerous prototypes of Linux phones are on display and Ubuntu gathers awards at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona.

What a week in the FOSS world. So much has happened since our last Week in Review that I think I’ll skip the idle chitchat about the weather and such and get straight to business. Well, I will take the time to tell you that it’s been damned cold in these parts and I’m more than ready for spring…

Linux Mint LogoLinux Mint LogoThe Great 2016 Linux Mint Hack: The hack at one of the crown jewels of Linux distros has undoubtedly been the biggest story this week. I’ll not bore you by repeating details which most of you have probably already read by now, but will direct those of you who don’t know to FOSS Force’s coverage on Sunday, and to our report on Monday in which Freedom Penguin Matt Hartley helps me take a look at the nature of the crack/hack.

The good news is that things are slowly — very slowly — returning to normal for the Mint team. By midweek, things were under control enough that the switch could be flipped on Mint’s server, putting the website back online. On Thursday I had a very brief email discussion with the distro’s project leader Clem Lefebvre — “very brief” because Lefebvre was more than little busy at the time. He and his team are in up to their elbows, working to make sure that everything works and plays well with the hardening they’ve done to Mint’s server, as well as working overtime to find any niggling security issues. In other words, they have it all under control, even as they work to get it more under control.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

#codeforaubrey, WebKit Linux Risk & More…

FOSS Week in Review

The good news this week is that the latest Linux vulnerability finally scared me enough to take the time to fix the issues I’ve been having with the updater on the Linux box we use here at the office and get our machine up-to-date with all the latest patches. Other than that, it’s just been the usual, which can be summed-up as waiting for Godot, who so far remains a no show…

Now for this weeks roundup:

Often the best place to find hope is in the middle of despair. I think somebody famous once said that; if not, I’ll take credit for it. Anyway, there’s been an example of that adage this week which has me feeling…well, full of hope, and at the same time, concerned for someone I’ve never met.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Poll: You Say, ‘Ship Ubuntu Tablets by the Boatload’

The FOSS Force Poll

Our latest poll indicates that many FOSS advocates will end up purchasing a Ubuntu tablet when they become available in March.

Granted, you’re a special audience with a special interest. For the most part you use Linux, and not because you’re a mooch and it doesn’t cost you anything, but because you recognize it as the best that’s available. Certainly it doesn’t hurt that it’s free and open source software. Indeed, you probably think that’s what makes it best, as you most likely see FOSS as the best software development model.

You use GNU/Linux on your desktops and laptops, and most likely use Android on your mobile devices, mostly because it uses the Linux kernel and at least claims to be open source. But you know the difference between OSS and FOSS and would like nothing better than to be able to run GNU/Linux, real honest-to-goodness FOSS, on your phone or tablet — especially now that Firefox OS has been removed from the shelf.

That’s what we figured going in with our latest poll. It was an educated guess, for sure, but it turned out to be correct.

Latest FOSS News: