Blue skies on Saturday morning

September 22, 2012

When someone suggests I live in Santa Cruz, I’m quick to correct them. I live a little more than six miles northeast of that town; six twisty miles north of Surf City on Highway 9 in the town of Felton. At home, I get to look out one window facing a ridge that separates this valley from the Pacific, while looking out another and see a bunch of redwoods doing what they’ve been doing for, oh, centuries.

So on a Saturday morning filled with a blue sky that is almost painful to look at and with a couple of items worth noting — assuming I can tear myself away from staring out the window — these should be on your radar this week.

Hello, Columbus: Ohio Linux Fest 2012 is next weekend in Columbus, and for a growing show — growing in size and importance — this is one that is wrapping up the year nicely.

Of all the interesting presentations at this year’s OLF, there are two that are completely, make-sure-you-get-there, no-miss talks that you should attend. The first is Todd Robinson’s talk on his “31 distros in 31 days” project, which seemed to go off without a hitch in August — you’ll find out more if you attend the talk.

The other not-to-be-missed talk would be Joe Brockmeier’s “How to Create Your Own Cloud.” The reason I bring this up is because you’ve heard me rail in the past about what’s nebulously called “the cloud” (pun definitely intended), and how your data, important or otherwise, belongs in your physical possession always. Having your own cloud covers both these bases and puts the best of both worlds — having your data and eating it, too — at your fingertips.

So if you’re within a day’s travel on whatever vehicle you might choose — car, bus, rail, plane, spaceship — you should make it to Columbus this weekend.

Commodities, not users: Those who plan to use Ubuntu 12.10 “Quantal Quetzal” when it comes out next month have a chance to go though an interesting transformation. Those who opt for the new version next month will go from merely being Ubuntu users to Ubuntu products.

Or so says Slashdot in this article here. So some Canonical sales flack armed with charts and graphs is pitching some corporate giant — do you really think this model is going to stop with Amazon? — to put their name in front of you when you fire up your computer, whether you like it or not.

To be fair — and in anticipation of an onslaught of comments from the Ubuntu Apocalypse pointing this out, among other things — there’s a very simple way to remove having Amazon involuntary make its presence known on your chosen operating system, assuming it’s Ubuntu, by merely using this command:

sudo apt-get remove unity-lens-shopping

Also, to be even more fair, apparently this is a Unity thing which does not apply to the other *buntus, like Xubuntu, Kubuntu, Lubuntu, etc., on down the line, which you should probably be using in the first place.

But here’s the 2,000-pound elephant in the middle of the room: Perhaps I missed the memo when I started with Linux and Free/Open Source Software six years ago, but I can’t remember ever seeing anything anywhere about the practice of building a community around profit rather than advancing the FOSS paradigm, let alone forcing advertisers, wanted or not, on unsuspecting users. But again, I could have missed something somewhere along the line.

Have a great day.

This blog, and all other blogs by Larry the Free Software Guy and Larry Cafiero, are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND license. In short, this license allows others to download this work and share it with others as long as they credit me as the author, but others can’t change it in any way or use it commercially.

(Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and develops business software at Redwood Digital Research, a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment.)

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Eliminate DRM!

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