NSA: Please Turn off the Lights When You Leave. Nothing to See Here.

Linux Advocate Dietrich Schmitz shows how the general public can take action to truly protect their privacy using GnuPG with Evolution email. Read the details.

Mailvelope for Chrome: PGP Encrypted Email Made Easy

Linux Advocate Dietrich Schmitz officially endorses what he deems is a truly secure, easy to use PGP email encryption program. Read the details.

Step off Microsoft's License Treadmill to FOSS Linux

Linux Advocate Dietrich Schmitz reminds CIOs that XP Desktops destined for MS end of life support can be reprovisioned with FOSS Linux to run like brand new. Read how.

Bitcoin is NOT Money -- it's a Commodity

Linux Advocate shares news that the U.S. Treasury will treat Bitcoin as a Commodity 'Investment'. Read the details.

Google Drive Gets a Failing Grade on Privacy Protection

Linux Advocate Dietrich Schmitz puts out a public service privacy warning. Google Drive gets a failing grade on protecting your privacy.

Email: A Fundamentally Broken System

Email needs an overhaul. Privacy must be integrated.


Cookie Cutter Distros Don't Cut It


The 'Linux Inside' Stigma - It's real and it's a problem.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Turn a Deaf Ear

Linux Advocate Dietrich Schmitz reminds readers of a long ago failed petition by Mathematician Prof. Donald Knuth for stopping issuance of Software Patents.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

ChromeOS in the House at CanSecWest Pwn2Own 2013

Let it not be said that Linus Torvalds has any difficulty getting his point across.  We have witnessed his sharp, caustic, sometimes quite harsh 'shock jock' exchanges with both awe and respect many times over.

Charlie wins Apple via pwn2own
Charlie wins Apple via pwn2own (Photo credit: ggee)
Very recently, a 'chit chat' was had regarding SecureBoot routines possibly becoming part of the Linux Mainline Kernel which was met with a strong rebuttal from Linus who made it clear in no uncertain terms--no secureboot signing code in the kernel will ever happen.   NEVER!

Recalling another incident, a few years back, and this one is a 'classic', Linus Torvalds wrote:

DroidBooks: When will Android hit the big screen?

Forget ChromeBooks. I'm waiting for a DroidBook
By +Pete Mazzaccaro

With all the recent talk of touch optimization, from Ubuntu's tablet test runs to the new and wildly priced Chromebook Pixel, I can't help but wonder when someone will try to take Android to a larger form factor, a Pixel-sized notebook that can take the mobile OS to yet another form factor – a form factor that I think would work really well.

You could call it a DroidBook.

If you've used Android on your phone or a Nexus 7, you probably think putting it on a touch enabled notebook won't work. It's a mobile OS suited for slates not the more traditional notebook form. But having owned and used an AsusTransformer Infinity -- the closest thing on the market to a real Android notebook -- for more than four months now, I can tell you that I'd be much more eager to buy an Android-powered notebook than one running Chrome OS for a number of reasons, but primarily because I still think Chrome OS is a lot more about promise whereas Android can do more right now. And it's only going to get better.

Pay it Forward: Make a Small Donation. Make a Big Difference.

Pay It Forward
Pay It Forward
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By +Dietrich Schmitz 

From the imdb movie summary of 'Pay it Forward' (2000):

"Young Trevor McKinney, troubled by his mother's alcoholism and fears of his abusive but absent father, is caught up by an intriguing assignment from his new social studies teacher, Mr. Simonet. The assignment: think of something to change the world and put it into action. Trevor conjures the notion of paying a favor not back, but forward--repaying good deeds not with payback, but with new good deeds done to three new people. Trevor's efforts to make good on his idea bring a revolution not only in the lives of himself, his mother and his physically and emotionally scarred teacher, but in those of an ever-widening circle of people completely unknown to him."

You can make a difference.  Small gestures, acts of kindness, generosity to people you don't even know, like me, are virtuous and blessed.  

A small donation of $5 dollars will indeed make a difference and the effect of doing so will be your own reward.  

I shall, in turn, give my pledge to pay it forward and make this website the best that it can possibly be by promoting exclusive, original, high-quality content with a focus on Linux Advocacy.  

Please help me reach my funding goal by making a donation today here.

Make a difference.  Pay it forward.

Thank you.

Dietrich T. Schmitz, Site Owner

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Guest Writer Jeremy Allison on Deck

As part of a regular weekly series, +Katherine Noyes and I will be having Guest Writer appearances on Linux Advocates.

We are pleased to announce that +Jeremy Allison,  has kindly and graciously accepted an invitation to write and will be making a 'Guest Writer' appearance this coming week.

Jeremy Allison
From his Wikipedia bio:

"Jeremy Allison is a computer programmer known for his contributions to the free software community, notably to Samba, a re-implementation of SMB/CIFS networking protocol, released under the GNU General Public License.
Other contributions include the early versions of the pwdump password cracking utility."

Jeremy is Linux Evangelist for Google and worked previously for Hewlett Packard on The Samba Team.  He is a member of the Software Freedom Conservancy.

On behalf of Katherine Noyes, myself, and staff, I would like to extend a special thank you to Jeremy for donating his time to Linux Advocates.  


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Google Pixel Chromebook: A Marvel of Technology or Oddity?

Chromebook Pixel
Chromebook Pixel
(Photo credit: Stratageme.com)
By +Dietrich Schmitz

If you happen to already be a Linux enthusiast, then likely you have been following any and all developments around the growth of Google's Chromebook with great interest.

Unlike Canonical's Ubuntu Linux, Google have succeeded, on a broad scale, in getting shelf space in the U.S. and Canadian retail 'brick and mortar' setting.

And, as witnessed over the past year, 2012, we have seen a series of OEMs making their first Chromebook SKUs.  Samsung (now with several), Acer, Lenovo, and most recently Hewlett Packard all have entered the ring.  It's a vote of 'confidence' for Chromebook in several respects:

Freedom on Buses, Computers and Everywhere

English: Photograph of Rosa Parks with Dr. Mar...
Rosa Parks (ca. 1955)
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, I watched the president of the USA speak at the installation of the statue of Rosa Parks. She was an icon of the US movement for civil rights when I was just a child.

He said,
"Whether out of inertia or selfishness, whether out of fear or a simple lack of moral imagination we so often spend our lives as if in a fog, accepting injustice, rationalizing inequity, tolerating the intolerable like the bus driver but also like the passengers on the bus. We see the way things are, children hungry in a land of plenty, entire neighbourhoods ravaged by violence, families hobbled by job-loss or illness and we make excuses for inaction. We say to ourselves that's not my responsibility. There's nothing I can do. Rosa Parks tells us there's always something we can do. She tells us that we all have responsibilities to ourselves and to one another. She reminds us this is how change happens. Not mainly through the exploits of the famous and the powerful but through the countless acts of often anonymous courage and kindness and fellow feeling and responsibility that continually stubbornly expand our conception of justice, our conception of what is possible. Rosa Parks' singular act of disobedience launched a movement. "

Linux Distro Survey 3 - Interim Results

Here is a quick bar chart interim results for the Linux Distro Survey, 3rd Time is the Charm:

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Support Linux Advocates with Your Donation

Update: Summary of Enhancements to the Linux Advocates Website

I'd like to update all of you on the status of the Linux Advocates website and the ongoing work being done thereto on your behalf.

The website is a 'work-in-progress'--and I sincerely appreciate all the good work that +Pete Mazzaccaro and +Jonathan Hutson have lent to the start-up process that began the last week in January 2013.  It's a testament to just how quickly one can deploy a site these days that it took roughly a week to set up and begin posting.

Following the opening, February 1st, I have applied the following site enhancements to date:

View Progress of Linux Distro Survey


Bsdusage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
You may view the ongoing results of the Linux Distro Survey, 3rd Time is the Charm here.

I'd have included the link when I opened the survey, only the feature was buried--found it today. :?

Thanks again for your participation (Survey Closes Friday March 1, 2013).

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Linux in Mobile: World Domination Complete

By +Katherine Noyes 

It seems fair to say that most Linux fans have already become accustomed to Linux's dominance on supercomputers and servers, as well as Linux-based Android's ever-growing success in the mobile realm.

What's going to take some getting used to, however, is the fact that, even beyond Android, Linux is increasingly dominating mobile computing.

Yes, there's iOS, which has enjoyed undeniable success; the same can hardly be said, however, for Windows, while BlackBerry is in a state of uncertain transition. Just about all the other winning or up-and-coming platforms, however, are based on Linux.

Let's take a look at some of the leading contenders.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Guest Writer Mladen Mijatov on Deck

As part of a regular weekly series, Katherine Noyes and I will be having Guest Writer appearances on Linux Advocates.

We are pleased to announce that +Mladen Mijatov,  passionate Open Source/Linux Advocate, Programmer, has kindly and graciously accepted an invitation to write and will be making a 'Guest Writer' appearance this coming week.

Mladen Mijatov, Programmer
From his G+ bio:

"I am a 'self-taught' programmer with passion for open source software. One of those guys who just like playing with computers and tinkering with code. 

Huge fan of Linux operating system to which I contribute any way possible. Giving back to the community all the goodness I was able to enjoy thanks to them.

Over the years I had my fingers in a lot different areas of programming, from server, micro-controllers through mobile devices, desktop and web."

On behalf of Katherine Noyes, myself, and staff, I would like to extend a special thank you to Mladen for donating his time to Linux Advocates.  --Dietrich

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Guest Writer Benjamin Kerensa on Deck

As part of a regular weekly series, Katherine Noyes and I will be having Guest Writer appearances on Linux Advocates.

We are pleased to announce that +Benjamin Kerensa internationally recognized open source evangelist, community manager, author and speaker, has kindly and graciously accepted an invitation to write and will be making a 'Guest Writer' appearance this coming week.

Benjamin Kerensa, Open Source Evangelist
From his G+ bio:

"Hi, I'm Benjamin Kerensa and I am a Open Source Evangelist and Mozillian who has a unending passion for Free and Open Source Software. I'm a Contributing Columnist for Technorati and IntenseBlog. Additionally I'm heavily "Active" in the FOSS Community both Locally and Internationally and have recently become a Mozilla WebFWD Scout.

I live in the Pacific Northwest."

On behalf of Katherine Noyes, myself, and staff, I would like to extend a special thank you to Benjamin for donating his time to Linux Advocates.  --Dietrich

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Linux Distro Survey - 3rd Time is the Charm

English: paid survey related photo
English: paid survey related photo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Good grief.

It seems as though I am survey-challenged.  Really, I'm not.  I promise this time we'll keep the survey open.

Previously, over the weekend, I had launched a Linux Distro Survey using two separate survey tools.  Regretfully, I had to close each as I discovered post 'Launch' that there were deficiencies that precluded their use in obtaining more than 100 responses.

This tool, eSurv, should allow us, hopefully, to gather a substantially larger set of responses.  The survey is set to close on Friday, March 1st.

So, please, accept my apology for the prior 'snafus' and I hope you will take a minute to give your feedback (see survey below).

[Edit: 2/26/2013 - View the results in real-time here.]

Guest Writer Leah Rosin on Deck

As part of a regular weekly series, Katherine Noyes and I will be having Guest Writer appearances on Linux Advocates.

We are pleased to announce that +Leah Rosin,  experienced Writer and Editor, has kindly and graciously accepted an invitation to write and will be making a 'Guest Writer' appearance this coming week.

Leah Rosin, Writer & Editor
From her G+ bio:

"Well versed in SEO, social media and web content management and strategy, Leah works as a freelance journalist, writer, editor and web content manager in Eugene, OR.
For almost five years, Leah worked at TechTarget, working on a total of six sites within the Data Center and Virtualization media group. Prior to that, she worked as an editor on BioProcess International, a print magazine focused on biopharmaceutical manufacturing. 
Leah is a 2003 graduate of Oregon State University with a B.S. in Natural Resources Communications, Cum Laude."

On behalf of Katherine Noyes, myself, and staff, I would like to extend a special thank you to Leah for donating her time to Linux Advocates.  --Dietrich

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Following The Freedom

By +Robert Pogson

One of the beauties of GNU/Linux is the freedom to change things. A couple of years ago, I converted most of the PCs in my home to GNU/Linux but another family member converted some to Ubuntu GNU/Linux while I used Debian GNU/Linux. At first there wasn't much difference in the user-interface so we got along well enough. Mostly the Ubuntu GNU/Linux systems just ran a browser or a multimedia application so users were interacting with that rather than the OS. Lately, Canonical has been "innovating" a little more than I like and recent versions are a jarring experience for the user of Debian GNU/Linux or that other OS:

  • sluggish, jerky performance,
  • slow updates,
  • windowing widgets in top-left instead of top-right...,
  • various problems with audio and video

Disqus for Linux Advocates Added Today

Image representing DISQUS as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

A short note to say, I have decided to switch from Blogger's comment system to Disqus, a third-party comment service--and a good one in my experience.

Note: You may not see your previously-posted comments for as much as 24 hours as Disqus converts them to their format.

Please be patient and Thank You!

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Vision of the Future of FOSS Collaboration

By Guest Writer +Aaron Seigo 

The Collaboration Pyramid
The Collaboration Pyramid
(Photo credit: oscarberg)
Participation and open access are key themes in Free software. It encourages dynamic community structures that blur the line between technology consumer and creator. This has been so successful that echoes of it can be found throughout the technology world from mobile app user engagement to game community content creation. Bringing such interaction patterns into the mainstream is perhaps one of Free software's great social accomplishments. That is not to say that all is well: the topic of user empowerment and participation in Free software is often a contentious one. Depending on the day of the week and whom you ask, you may hear that Free software is an empowering agent for users with low barriers and high levels of interaction with developers .. or that there is a growing disconnect between users and the technology projects. Reality lies somewhere between those two poles, but few doubt that improvements could be made. How to do that is a question that floats in the air without many compelling answers. It turns out that there is another challenge facing Free software which could become a terrific opportunity for improving and even redefining user-developer interaction.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Does Linux Matter to You?

By Katherine Noyes

Click Image to Donate!
Linux now powers 94 percent of the world's top 500 supercomputers and has been widely embraced by governments and enterprises far too numerous to list here, but whose ranks include Google, the U.S. government and Amazon.com.

In the form of Linux-based Android alone, Linux's mobile dominance is equally indisputable.

Accurate desktop statistics are tougher to come by, but current market-share estimates range from 6.44 percent at Wikimedia to 10 percent at O'Reilly to 25.36 percent at The H. Here on Linux Advocates—obviously a self-selected audience—our percentage is about 30 percent.

The data is endlessly arguable, of course, but the point is that Linux is either dominating or making significant inroads in every facet of computing today.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Linux Advocates by the Numbers

by Jonathan Hutson

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Over the last week we have been working very hard to make Linux Advocates as amazing as possible. In between strangling the rainbow juices out of unicorns and threatening cupids for enough arrows to enslave mankind we have been gathering a lot of information about what types of people are using our site.

One of the things we've looked at is what operating systems are used to view our material? After all, if it was 100% Linux,  then it would probably mean either that our work was already done, and we’d enslav.... converted the world to Linux or else it would mean we were preachers before the choirs, as it were.

Here is a breakdown of OS stats:

Not so fast: The notebook market still has room for disruption

Acer C7 Chromebook
Acer C7 Chromebook
(Photo credit: Ready Set Monday!!!)
by Pete Mazzaccaro

Since 2013 began, all the buzz in the Linux community has had to do with mobile. FirefoxOS is going to market on Chinese handsets soon. Ubuntu announced a phone version and developer images for Galaxy Nexus phones are due in a matter of days. Android, which many of us proudly count in the Linux fold, has continued to gobble every open corner of the mobile mar
ket as even tablets from Asus and Samsung (including the Nexus 7 and 10) gain popularity

But with all this mobile buzz, I continue to feel like there’s a real important segment of the market that those focusing on mobile continue to miss -- the light weight and productivity oriented notebook PC.

Wait, I thought this was the post PC era?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Support Linux Advocates - Donate!

Donations (Photo credit: Matthew Burpee)
Who Am I?

My name is Dietrich T. Schmitz. I am a Linux Advocate and have been so for several years. My first computer was an IBM PC/XT in 1983 and it was connected to an IBM System/34 over 5250 Terminal Emulation. From there, I went on to enjoy a successful career in health-care IT, including considerable use of Linux and publication of an O’Reilly Publishers ‘Perl Success Story’ for managing Batch Eligibility and Service Authorization X12 transaction sets with the New York State Department of Health.

What Is Linux Advocates?

Linux Advocates, the website, was born out of a passion for Linux and Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). My colleague, respected tech journalist Katherine Noyes (aka “Linux Girl”), and I have felt for a long time that there was an unmet need for a news and opinion site dedicated to Linux Advocacy. I've successfully run a Google+ community called “Linux Advocates” for several months already, and in January I acquired the domain name as well. On February 1st, we launched Linux Advocates the site in the hopes of advancing the use of Linux and FOSS throughout the world.

Friday, February 15, 2013

LA Sundry Website Analytics

Blogger Web Analytics
By Dietrich T. Schmitz

Well, this is interesting.  Some Blogger analytics which are perhaps not what you'd expect.

Check them out and tell me what you think.