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Updated: March 17, 2018 | Category: Linux

Black and white Linux icons

One might say, on a rather philosophical day, that my Moby Dick is finding a nice and elegant monochrome icon theme set that will make me all happy and bright on the inside. So far, my pursuit of happiness has been less than ideal. I had some success doing this with CentOS 7, but not much since.

Sure, there are many awesome icon sets - Papirus, Numix, Moka, Faenza, you name it, full of color and whim. But I want black & white icons. Difficult? Well, I recently came across a series of nice desktop pictures in Gizmo's Freeware forum, asked a few smart questions, and then learned about a set called ACYLS. And thus beginneth anew my quest after monochrome icons. Let me tell you, and show you, how it went. After me.

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Updated: March 16, 2018 | Category: Linux

SwagArch review

If you think SWAG is reserved to teenagers only, step off the cool bus now. Because we're going Archtown, where the Linux is hot and the desktops are pretty. Yup, someone decided to put together a derivative of the labor-intensive Arch Linux into a pretty, modern and hip distro called SwagArch.

Ignoring the hype, perhaps it's actually a good system, right? After all, my expectations from the likes of Manjaro and Antergos weren't high either, but then, they proved to be delightfully clever. So maybe this swagster can also deliver. Testing version 18.02 on my olden LG laptop, what be blessed with an Nvidia graphics card and many years of age. After me.

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Updated: March 14, 2018 | Category: Linux

MATE 1.20 review

Once upon a time, Gnome 2 was the perfect desktop environment. It was balanced. It combined beauty and simplicity in an elegant, bulletproof package. You had everything you needed, plus stability, plus performance. Then, Gnome 3 came along and took most of this away. Fast forward many years, Gnome 3 still hasn't reached the level of friendliness that its predecessor had.

The void created by the demise of Gnome 2 was filled by MATE, a fork that tries to keep the old alive and running. Fast forward many years, it is still around, still relevant, and the recent 1.20 release brings many goodies, albeit nerdy ones, to the proverbial table (or desk if you will). Testing time, excellent!

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Updated: March 12, 2018 | Category: Linux

Plasma mobile

It is not every day that you hear news about Linux mobile. With Android (Linux not Linux) reigning supreme in the touch world, pretty much all and every partisan effort to break through in this space has gallantly and yet miserably failed. Remember Ubuntu Phone and Ubuntu Tablet? Ah, the memories.

But then, a challenger appears. Wearing a Plasma cloak! Now, hold your horses, put the saddle of enthusiasm away and listen. Plasma mobile, in one form or another, has been around for about half a decade, and it is only now that we're getting an alpha version of a mobile product available for testing. Nevertheless, it is an important milestone in the Linux world, in the Plasma world, and in the mobile world. Hence, test we shall.

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Updated: March 10, 2018 | Category: Car reviews

Citroen C4 Cactus

I have always been fascinated with Citroens, even as a child. The likes of DS, GS, CX, and others filled my imagination with their spaceship-like looks, their otherworldly tachometers and steering wheel controls, and their futuristic hydropneumatic suspension. Fast forward 40 years, Citroen is offering more mainstream technology to its more mainstream users, with an occasional spanner of flair and spice thrown into the tumbling spin of car models.

C4 Cactus is a great example. A car that blends retro looks with nostalgia with affordable practicality, without being boring or cheap. It's an elegant vehicle, and when I realized I had an opportunity to test one, I said aye. For two days and change, I drove a low-spec C4 diesel model in a rainy Mediterranean winter, with a chance to sample both its urban as well as highway behavior. So let's see what happened.

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Updated: March 9, 2018 | Category: Media

VLC 3.0

VideoLAN (VLC) is probably the most versatile media player in the world. I've written perhaps a dozen different articles covering this program and its features. There's little it can't do. Anything media-related you can think of, VLC definitely has. Streaming, no problem. DVD playback, check. Subtitles, yes please. Plugins, filters, portable mode. It's cross-platform, and it's free. And now there's a new version.

VLC 3.0 hails a whole range of improvements, including all the fancy new formats that plebs love, stuff like 4K, 8K, UHD, 60FPS, 360-degree video and images, and more. Ask any professional, and they will laugh in derision at the notion of capturing video at soap-opera rates, but plebs love them numbers, and the bigger the better. VLC obliges, with its most ambitious and spectacular release yet. Shall we take a close look?

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Updated: March 7, 2018 | Category: Linux

WINE 3.0

I am always happy to see major releases of open-sources projects, especially when they come loaded with features and enthusiasm. WINE 3.0 hails a significant overhaul of the framework, promising much better compatibility with Windows applications and the much needed support for Direct3D 10/11. Ah yes, if you're wondering, WINE is a software compatibility layer that allows you to run Windows stuff on UNIX-like operating systems.

My experience with this program has waned over the years - in line with the reduced quality and growing complexity of getting Windows applications to run. The last attempt was particularly bad, with lots of dependency problems and errors. Well, fresh version, fresh hope - and dev version 3.3 in the making. This ought to be interesting. Shall we?

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Updated: March 5, 2018 | Category: Virtualization

Amazon Linux 2 login password

You may have heard of Amazon Linux 2. It's an AWS operating system, developed by Amazon. It's offered for free, and you even get virtual machine appliances for testing. Which is what I did, as I showed you in my article on this topic.

The one snag that I hit during the testing was the login. Normally, you use SSH to log into your EC2 instances. But what do you use for an essentially offline virtual machine? I could not find any root/ec2-user combo online, and the usual method of trying to change password in single mode did not work. Hence this guide. It will show you how to manually change the login credentials for your Amazon Linux 2 virtual machine, so you can begin testing. After me.

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Updated: March 3, 2018 | Category: Linux

Plasma digital clock

The OCD demons compel people to do all sorts of weird things. Like keep on tweaking their Plasma desktop setup, for example. Just as you think you've dandied it all up nice and pretty like, the demons cometh and mess up things, and suddenly, you notice a bunch of new issues that need a-fixin'.

This is what happened to me while playing with Kubuntu 17.04 and openSUSE 42.3. I really thought I had everything sorted out, but then I realized the digital clock discrepancy between these two Plasma distros. Zesty had the big clock that just grew bigger with the bottom panel height, but Leap had a small, compact one that fit tidily into the system area. And so, another article was born. This one. P.S. The issue discussed here has been fixed in Plasma 5.12.1, but since most people are still not using a distro running the latest version of Plasma, this little guide has merit and use. After me.

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Updated: March 2, 2018 | Category: Windows

Windows 10 telemetry

After security, the notion of privacy is the most debated topic in the online world, especially in recent years, with the rapid and aggressive proliferation of social networks and mobile computing. Microsoft also got into the crosshairs of public scrutiny, especially with the release of Windows 10 and its supposedly questionable practice of collecting user data, more technically known as telemetry.

While I personally believe the subject to be blown out of proportion, just like computer security, I do understand why it's so important to so many people. Ignorance breeds fear, and fear leads to paranoia. Of course, IT companies are not helping with their casual attitude to using and abusing user data. Microsoft realized that this be a slippery slope, and so they made a change - Windows 10 now comes with far more information and transparency regarding the data collection practices. Let's talk.

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Updated: February 28, 2018 | Category: Office

LibreOffice 6.0 review

There are many free office suites out there, the quintessential among them: LibreOffice. Having taken over the free championship from OpenOffice, Libre stands as the zero-cost alternative to the hugely expensively, hugely popular and excellent Microsoft Office as your desk-and-chair productivity bundle. But wishful thinking aside, LibreOffice never quite managed to replace its commercial rival.

I've written about this time and again - the simple cruel reality is, if people need top notch fidelity in their documents, they must use Microsoft Office to cooperate with other folks. Over the years, LibreOffice has matured, grown better and more accurate in its support for the Office formats, but it never gave a perfect record. Wait now. Version 6.0 has just been released, and it promises to be the best thing ever. Is it?

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Updated: February 23, 2018 | Category: Linux

Intuitive usage article

Our friend William Shakespeare once wrote: To be or not to be, we must rejoice, for our GUI is so well-designed, the user always has a choice. Not really, but if he lived in our modern era, he probably would gaze upon desktop environments with a combination of bemusement, scorn and confusion.

Testing desktops over the years has led me to a number of interesting conclusions. One, the chasm between the ordinary user and the nerd is so vast, it’s almost incomprehensible. Two, there’s such a thing as natural logic, and to deny is to to break the brain patterns we have developed over the past 35,000 years. Three, a good UI is intuitive, and that means is responds to how the user thinks. And so, if you ask, is there a perfect desktop out there, the answer is, let’s talk about KDE some more shall we?

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Updated: February 24, 2018 | Category: Greatest sites

Greatest sites

Two more awesome websites join the list. Number one, Michael O. Church and his blog. Are you or have you ever been employed in the tech industry? Then you probably have watched Office Space and realized the absurdity of your work environment. But that was then, the old Y2K Bubble era. A lot has changed since, and by that, I mean there are many new acronyms and methodologies to make your IT life ever more miserable than it already is. Most people keep silent, suck it up, and enjoy the quiche they get paid. Some do not.

Number two, NewsThump. I do not like politics. But I do like political spoofs. What I call Realpolitik. My top-three favorite TV series is Yes, (Prime) Minister, and it's such a delight to watch, you feel like you've stepped out of a classical music concert, all blissful and serene. So where I'm going with this? NewsThump.

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Updated: February 23, 2018 | Category: Hardware

BQ Aquaris E4.5 phone

Oops, I did it again. I decided to convert (in a nice peaceful way) my one remaining Ubuntu touch device to Android, as it sat there, doing little, collecting memories and dust. Thus beginneth the sad saga of how I stopped hoping for an Ubuntu Phone and learned to love Android.

Anyway, just to bring you up to speed, if you think I be tripping, long time ago, I was really hoping Ubuntu would make it big in the mobile space. First, we had the Edge and then we had Aquaris E4.5, and I ran a couple of contests, trying to promote the idea far and wide. When the Aquaris M10 tablet came out, I bought that one without hesitation, and several months ago, I installed Android there on. Dust versus nostalgia, right. Anyway, it proved to be the right choice, because the tablet has proven its worth since. Can the phone do the same?

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Updated: February 21, 2018 | Category: Linux

KDE neon 5.12

Several days ago, I published a long and detailed review of Plasma 5.12, the new KDE LTS release. It was a very decent experience. Now, Plasma still packs a lot of issues and has some cardinal functionality problems, mostly with network shares and smartphones, but it's a very polished, smart and elegant desktop environment, and the next five years of KDE will have a pretty solid foundation.

But then, the KDE quality does vary between distributions. Kubuntu Aardvark is one example, my last review of KDE neon another. Which is why we must embark on another neon testing journey, off the back of my Plasma test. Some of the stuff will be similar, but now, I will be judging those from the context of an operating system, and the user perspective rather than just looking at the desktop environment in isolation. In other words, if you fancy Plasma, should you neon? After me.

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Updated: February 19, 2018 | Category: Linux

KaOS Linux 2017.11

It has been two years since I last tested KaOS Linux. My last impression was fairly negative, not having been able to complete the installation. All in all, the distro had a lot of beta-quality qualities, and it did not feel robust enough. Two years later, we are testing again.

I decided to deploy KaOS on my Nvidia-powered LG RD510 laptop rather than the newer Lenovo G50. Even though, the IdeaPad is back in action after I successfully managed to fix its read-only NVRAM, I was hesitant trying KaOS in this setup, both because it did not perform back then, and also because I didn't want to risk the Lenovo box going AWOL that quickly after having been healed. It's not that there's anything particularly sinister about KaOS, it's just that I feel like the effort should warrant extra risk, and so far, KaOS has not proven itself. So we start humble, and if it delivers, we test on the Lenovo, too.

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Updated: February 17, 2018 | Category: Linux

Amazon Linux 2

In mid-December, Amazon Web Services have announced the availability of the Release Candidate of their own custom operating system called Amazon Linux 2, based on Red Hat Linux Enterprise, with five years of support and some neat, modern features that should help people test - and hopefully get even more interested - the AWS compute technologies.

AWS also released AL2 as a virtual machine appliance, so it is available for testing outside the AWS domain. Which is where this article comes into play. I downloaded the VirtualBox vdi and set up a virtual machine, to see what, how, where, and when. Let us commence.

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Updated: February 16, 2018 | Category: Linux

Plasma bugs

Call it bias, call it taste, I like the Plasma desktop environment. After many years, I feel KDE is finally regaining some of that solid pro feel it used to have back in the olden days. But then, the feeling of satisfaction is not guaranteed. Quality is a fickle thing in the Linux world, and KDE is not immune to regressions, especially when compounded by distro permutations and hardware dependencies.

Now, one might claim that a great operating system – and a great desktop – are immune to tiny variations in the operation setup. I agree. And so, I’d like to compile a list – with the necessary discussion of course – of some (of the many) things that I currently think are missing in Plasma. Things that could and should and would make it a professional contestant in the desktop world, currently a VIP club mostly reserved to Microsoft and a few other members. Then, some of you have expressed a view that I’m too biased when it comes to Plasma, but the lack of criticism (perceived as such) comes from the fact that Plasma is actually a genuinely good desktop environment. But it’s not perfect. Not yet. And here’s why.

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Updated: February 14, 2018 | Category: Internet

Firefox & Sponsored stories

Well, well, remember when I told you - the more desperate Mozilla gets vis-a-vis its market share, the more aggressive they will get with pushing "quality" content onto its users? I did, I did. Well, the bonfires of the Mr. Robot fiasco have hardly cooled, and now there's a new drama developing. Mozilla will start rolling a pilot that tests sponsored stories in the Pocket recommendations section on the New Tab page.

Since I'm usually a blithely cheerful chap, I'm actively looking for stories to sour my mood, and so I was excited (this is sales lingo, we will get to that) to read this announcement. After all, writing about how everything is peachy and efficient and good in the tech world is boring, we need these little burdocks of greed to make things complicated. After me, pioneers.

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Updated: February 12, 2018 | Category: Life topics

Fake news

Welcome! We shall debate a hot potato today. I am hearing this term "fake news" more and more recently, and for the ordinary homo sapiens out there, it has become synonymous with anything they do not like or agree. Like any pointless trend or fashion, it grips the low-IQ masses with frenzy. But that's only one half of the story.

The more important part is - how is this thing going to affect our lives in the coming years and decades? This has become relevant, especially since we have the chivalrous brigades of Internet morality working hard to make sure people receive filtered information that ought not to upset, challenge or change the masses. But there's another angle. Let us indeed debate some more.

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Updated: February 10, 2018 | Category: Windows

Windows Phone offline navigation

Many a moon ago, I wrote a comparison article between HERE Maps, Microsoft Maps and Windows Maps. This article was rather important following an announcement by Microsoft that they will no longer offer HERE WeGo on WP10. And then, software updates for the same program on WP8.1 would also stop. This mandated a test.

In that article, I did write that my testing was limited at the time, and I never offer any advice without in-depth research. Now that I've finally had a chance to clock several thousand km navigating by foot and car abroad, across several European countries, I can finally offer a proper verdict.

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Updated: February 9, 2018 | Category: Linux

MX Linux MX-17 Horizon & Lenovo G50 laptop

My Lenovo G50 laptop is back in business. After having its UEFI gently bricked by whatever dodgy QA-less mechanism in any which one distro that I've tested in the past year (but definitely NOT Ubuntu 17.10, it happened before), installing a new kernel helped resolve the issue. So we're testing distros on this machine once again, and the first candidate is MX-17 Horizon.

Now, I have already tested the distribution on the old LG machine that I have, and found it to be an excellent performer. Slick, fast, elegant, everything you need for fun and productivity. But will it shine on the G50 box? Let's check.

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Updated: February 7, 2018 | Category: Office

LibreOffice & Plasma fonts

If you're using the Plasma desktop, well you should because it's dope, and you happen to be using LibreOffice, which you most likely are, after all, let's face it, 'tis the most popular office suite for Linux, then you may have come across an annoying bug. Everything looks peachy but the LibreOffice interface has that grainy 2006 feel.

In this short guide, I will show you how you can improve the look & feel of LibreOffice so that it fits more naturally into the Plasma desktop environment. Moreover, the tweak also applies to a wider range of programs, and it should give you ever so slightly better fonts. Having read my Fedora font saga, you know what I'm talking about. After me.

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Updated: January 29, 2018 | Category: Hardware

BQ Aquaris M10 FHD road test

Once upon time, I gleefully purchased a BQ Aquaris M10 FHD Ubuntu tablet, believing this would be one of the technology platforms to take the Linux operating system big and mighty. However this never happened, and I ended up with a device that had little day-to-day use. So I upgraded it to Android, to see if this would make a difference.

However, early tests in the cozy comfort of my home are one thing. Actually using the tablet is another. Luckily, I had a chance to see how well it performs in a real-life situation, hence this article. It will also give us an opportunity to compare to my Samsung Galaxy Note device, which I also recently refreshed for new use. Follow me.

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Updated: January 27, 2018 | Category: Linux

Plasma 5.12 review

Roughly a year ago, I wrote my fairly lengthy State of Plasma article, which examined the KDE’s fifth major desktop environment incarnation in great detail, focusing on the many facets of goodness and badness that imbue it. Fast forward, there’s a new LTS coming, with final touches being added to a largely baked beta release. Styled 5.11.95, it’s what we ought to expect to be the cornerstone of KDE distros in the coming days.

The importance of Plasma is (subjectively) ever so greater these days, as I feel its chief rival in the Linux world is taking more and more steps away from simple, sane ergonomics that people expect in the desktop. Then, the reactions to my article have been rather positive, and I have also seen a lot of traction in the KDE circles, aimed at addressing the shortcomings in the desktop environment. It is with great pleasure and added focus to detail that I’m commencing a renewed examination of Plasma. Has it reached the Utopia state of perfection? Let’s see.

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Updated: January 26, 2018 | Category: Virtualization

VirtualBox 5.2 overview

Every few months, there's a major VirtualBox update, bringing in a range of visible changes and improvements to this handy, free hypervisor product. I'm an old time user, and have written about VirtualBox many times in the past. Recently, I had the chance to test the new version, 5.2 (actually 5.2.2).

The official list of enhancements is quite impressive - the GUI now features revamped virtual media and host network managers, easier snapshot management, and unattended guest installations. Sounds neat. So let us see what gives.

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Updated: January 24, 2018 | Category: Windows

Meltdown patches & performance impact

Several days ago, I showed you how to install the January 2018 Meltdown patches for Windows, even if you do not have an anti-virus installed, as Microsoft decided to blacklist certain non-compatible anti-virus programs for the time being, but didn't bother explaining that this also affects people with NO anti-virus. I guess such radical departure from sheep mentality is unheard of.

Now that the patches are installed and running - I tested this on SIX systems - infinitely more than the "tech media" that simply went about repeating what Microsoft said without actually checking anything, the next thing to examine is performance and stability. Are Meltdown and Spectre patches good for you? Most importantly, do they slow down your computers?

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Updated: January 22, 2018 | Category: Linux

Plasma & multiple version app launchers

Here's a rather unusual problem, if you will. On my most splendid Kubuntu 17.04 Zesty, I use the icons-only task manager. Now, as it happens, while merrily testing the Firefox 57 nightly build and comparing how it worked against the current version (which would be Firefox 55 when I compiled this), I noticed that the system uses the same icon both for the stable build and the nightly build. Well, after all, Firefox is Firefox, right. But I wanted to pin two different launchers to the task manager, one for each different version.

Playing around with what KDE can do, I couldn't find anything simple and straightforward that would let me achieve this. Then I remembered my rather nifty, unique setup with custom WINE applications launchers, which I had successfully added to the list against all odds, and I thought, I sure can figure this one out. Let me show you how you can have multiple icons for multiple versions of the same programs added and pinned to the task manager. To work.

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Updated: January 20, 2018 | Category: Internet

Firefox & Personas import

Here's an odd topic. Let's say you have multiple devices on which you run Firefox, without any sign-in or sync functionality enabled. You also have multiple profiles. But you being you, you still have a certain taste, and you happen to be using a number of personas, or lightweight themes, if you will, in your browser. Some of these are no longer available for download, but you want to migrate them between different profiles.

You tried copying portions of your profile contents, like extensions and such, to no avail. A full profile clone will do the trick, but this is not what you want. You're only after a specific theme. At a first glance, it seems there is no way to do this. What now?

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Updated: January 19, 2018 | Category: Hardware

HP Stream 7 & Windows 10

If you recall, a couple of years ago, I did an impulse purchase of an HP Stream 7 Signature Edition tablet, configured with Windows 8.1, and used it for a brief while, trying to come to terms with its touch nature and its not-so-touch operating system. The experience was somewhat underwhelming.

Then I had the device upgraded to Windows 10 and back - like the Hobbit story, to the Shire and back - because the newest version of the Microsoft flagship operating system was not behaving well. After that, I played with this tablet a handful of times, tried the Windows 10 upgrade again, and then it just sat on a shelf, doing nothing. So I decided to have it donated to an elderly person, with a need for accessibility tools. Hence the Windows 10 again, and this review. Let's see.

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Updated: January 13, 2018 | Category: Linux

MX Linux MX-17 Horizon

From an underdog to a kennel master. That's probably the best, most succinct way to describe MX Linux. While you still may be confused about its heritage, with words like Mepis and AntiX slipping in, it's one of the more refined Xfce distros around, and I have been thoroughly impressed by the last version, MX-16. As it turns out, I proudly crowned it the Best of Xfce 2017 distro. It also notched very high on the overall annual best-of competition.

Now, there's a new version out. I will first conduct the test on the old LG laptop, but now that I've managed to fix the read-only UEFI on my Lenovo G50 machine, I will conduct a second test on that laptop - provided everything works fine in this first review. So we have ancient hardware, Nvidia graphics, dual boot. Commence.

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Updated: January 12, 2018 | Category: Windows

Windows & meltdown upgrades

Meltdown. Spectre. You must have heard of these recent vulnerabilities in Intel's processors. As a consequence, there has been a flurry of security updates everywhere, in an attempt to patch these issues. Microsoft also released its own set, and warned users that they would not receive the updates if their anti-virus software is incompatible.

Hundreds of "tech" websites hurried to parrot this message, including copying the registry key hack that can work around this, in an attempt to scrape an extra click from this would-be drama. Not a single site actually bothered to ask: what if you run NO anti-virus software? I guess in the herd mentality world (the so-called fake news audience), there's no place for critical thinking. In this tutorial, I would like to show you what you need to do to obtain the January 2018 patches for the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities, and how to remain up to date even if you run no anti-virus programs. After me.

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Updated: January 10, 2018 | Category: Linux

Kubuntu 17.04 to 17.10 upgrade

Predictably, Ubuntu Autumn Release was underwhelming, bringing in a whole plate of regressions to the table plus some fresh new bugs and issues to make the experience even less pleasant. It seems inconceivable that there should be several successful distro releases in a row. Consequently, the entire Ubuntu family suffers, and Kubuntu is no exception.

All that said, I decided to upgrade the Zesty instance on my Nvidia-powered Pavilion laptop, to see whether my experience was going to be any different from the afore-linked lukewarm and mediocre product called Aardvark tested on the likewise Nvidia-powered LG RD510 laptop, which also happens to be a year older than the HP box. Let us.

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Updated: January 8, 2018 | Category: Linux

Linux & iPhone 6s (iOS 11)

A couple of years ago, I wrote a detailed tutorial on iPhone mount & use compatibility in Linux across multiple distributions. KDE/Plasma struggled with this the most, not seeing and/or not mounting the device automatically. But we did have a relatively neat solution in the form of idevice and ifuse utilities, with some command line hacking.

With the release of iOS 11 (and possibly one version earlier) things seem to have changed somewhat. And I have only run and tested iPhone 6 with iOS 8/9. To wit, here's another tutorial to help you work around this. At the moment, I have an iPhone 6s model for testing, and I cannot guarantee this method will work well with newer models, but overall, the procedure should be identical for the rest of the Apple smartphone range. Anyway, after me.

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Updated: January 6, 2018 | Category: Car reviews

Lotus Exige S at Spa racetrack

Here's a 12-minute video clip of me driving a Lotus Exige S at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on a track day, in dry conditions. You've already had an article detailed that experience, and now, you also get moving pictures.

For those with foggy memory and/or a lazy finger, a brief recap of what you're about to see: Lotus Exige S is a rather UNSAFE car. The example that I drove had two mechanical failures. Several times, I received WRONG and dangerous directions from my instructor - left instead of right and alike. I was faster in the Megane in the WET than in the Exige in the DRY. The previous time, I was merrily overtaking Porsche 911s. This time, it was nothing more than pointless, expensive frustration. There's a spinout, too.

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Updated: January 5, 2018 | Category: Internet

Firefox & Mr. Robot extension

Countries that feature the adjective Democratic in their official title rarely exhibit the traits you expect from a nation state run in a democratic fashion. Similarly, companies that keep frequently reminding you that they are committed to freedom and privacy probably are not quite as liberal and open-minded as they seem.

Case in point, Firefox and the Mr. Robot shield study fiasco. Several weeks ago, Mozilla pushed a promotional advert for a TV series in the guise of one of its studies to millions of Firefox users, doing all this nice and remote like and without user consent. Now that the dust has settled but the smell of a fresh turd remains, let us debate.

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Updated: January 3, 2018 | Category: Hardware

Lenovo G50 & UEFI/BIOS read-only NVRAM fix

Several weeks ago, I reported that my Lenovo IdeaPad G50-70 laptop, which I mostly use for multi-boot Linux distribution testing, has had its UEFI (BIOS) NVRAM go read-only, refusing to boot from external media. It would also not allow any UEFI settings to be changed.

A few days ago, I finally managed to resolve this issue, by using the mainline kernel 4.14.10, which offered a new set of (affected) drivers that unbricked the UEFI memory. I would like to show you the full sequence of steps you need to undertake to resolve the problem. After me.

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Updated: January 3, 2018 | Category: About

Dedoimedo theme change

Ladies and gentlemen, in the coming weeks, Dedoimedo will undergo a slight to moderate visual theme change. The new looks will include a pure HTML5/CSS3 theme, mobile support, and should prove even easier to read and search for content. Speaking of content, it remains the same. Do not worry, Dedoimedo is not reforming, mellowing down, or anything like that. Same stuff, just a small decor revamp.

During the transition phase, as I slowly and carefully test everything, you may notice different articles sporting different themes, the old and the new one. Do not be alarmed, that's perfectly normal and expected. Thank you for your support, and I hope you will be pleased with the change. If not, start compiling your rants.

Stay tuned ...

Updated: January 1, 2018 | Category: Internet

UMatrix usage guide

For those of you wondering, uMatrix is a point-and-click matrix-based privacy tool, offered in the form of a Web extension for both Firefox and Chrome, and it can be used to control what domains can do while you browse. In essence, it is somewhat similar to Noscript, although the primary focus is not specifically on blocking scripts.

After having written a tutorial on how to use the new WebExtension Noscript 10, I wanted to do the same with uMatrix. The main reasons are: 1) I am currently checking whether this add-on merits further use, also possibly as a backup and alternative to any issues that may arise with Noscript following the migration to the new WebExtensions framework 2) the usage model is not straightforward. So let's see what uMatrix can do. And how.

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