1x43: Got The Om On

Jeremy Garcia, Jono Bacon, and Stuart Langridge present Bad Voltage, in which Bryan is sadly unavoidably absent, we discuss relationships between the Ubuntu and Kubuntu community councils, we ask you to tell us which bits you like, there are once again accusations that eating yoghurt is a bad personality trait, and:

  • 00:01:57 Bad Voltage Fixes the F$*%ing World: we pick a technology or company or thing that we think isn't doing what it should be, and discuss what it should be doing instead. In this first iteration, we talk about Mozilla
  • 00:28:40 Meditation is reputedly a good way to relieve stress and stay centred, and we look at HeadSpace.com who offer a purchasable digital set of meditation tapes and guidebooks, as well as some brief diversions into the nature of relaxation and the voice of Jeff Bridges
  • 00:44:45 Rick Spencer, Canonical's VP of Ubuntu engineering and services, talks about Canonical's focus, the recent announcements around phones and "internet of things" devices, and how community feelings about Ubuntu's direction dovetail with Canonical's goals
  • 01:06:12 We've talked about 3d printers in the past, in the context of you owning one, but there are online services which allow you to upload a 3d design and then will print it in a variety of materials and send it back to you in the post. Could this be the way that 3d printing really reaches the mainstream?

Download the show now!

I was interested by the discussion on HeadSpace.com. I registered for the service last year, and found the initial sessions useful, but I can’t justify the hefty price tag. In the UK it’s £4.99 per month if you buy an annual subscription.

In comparison, there’s a service call calm.com which has a freely available guided meditation on their website, as well as both iOS and Android apps (which I personally find more appealing).

Calm.com offers a 7-day program of meditation for free, and an annual cost of $39.99 ($3.33 per month) / £32.36 annual equivalent to £2.69 monthly. This is half the price of HeadSpace which is far more palatable.

The idea of Jeff Bridges whispering sweet nothings is both frightening and alluring in equal measure!


Hey, calm.com seems great. And you can just do a guided session on the website, free of charge! Nice.

Annoyingly the website redirects to mobile app stores on mobile, presumably so they can hassle you for payments :smile:

Obviously, to me, anyway - the next episode needs to be STEAM.

For example, where’s my STEAM-jetpack debate i.e. Where’s my Steam-box with SteamOS ?

What would you look for in e.g. the gamepad design and other things ?

And is Gabe Logan just a microsoft Xbox hack - that’s just to full of himself ?

Source: imgur.com
Also, Ack’s prediction was that Steam machines would come out this year, plus stat’s in B.V.1x33,
six minutes into the podcast.

Great show!

+1 for Valve and Steam to get a review. But I have to say, as a Linux user and heavy gamer ultimately I think they walk on water.

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I actually have moved away from firefox but not to chrome but to qupzilla which uses webkit and is open but it has even less marketshare but I quite like it and seems to be getting better instead of firefox becoming worse and I wish more people were behind this to make a good browser. I think the network effects would be quite helpful from more people on this and this is a cross platform browser. Although there are problems with certain specific sites. I like the integrated rss reader.

Also do you know how much pyschcriatic medicines cost in copays each month in the United States can be much more than 12 dollars a month.

Oh great Games workshop ip lawyers actually made me lose interest in warhammer because of how aggressive they are. I mean they have a bad reputation about that.

I have thought about making custom pci slot covers with an ubuntu or lubuntu logo would be nice. Although model railroading can be quit expensive as well. I mean a group of people sharing them would be nice.

On Johnathan Riddel I don’t think there is really one clear cut smoking gun that was over the line but he has been critical of the council for some time. Here is an example of him being critical although discussing things himself at fosdem over a year ago. I also wonder how would you release logs and things showing that many messages over the years. I mean is having the whole kubuntu community looking over that much communication good for kubuntu as a product moving forward. Is having all the kubuntu member reading a wall of text trying to defend Johnathan riddel productive. Also is a single point of failure of needing one person really that good in the long run because Johnathan riddel did make a pretty remarkable recovery from brain injury as he said 90 percent of people don’t go back to work after a tramatic brain injury this is an interesting talk with some bits critical of canonical. I actually watched this video before but watched it a second time after all the drama exploded.

There have been indications that meditation can help with memory loss, perhaps even helping with Alzheimer’s.

There are many meditation techniques, a person would need to find one that he is comfortable with.

I’ve not tried much guided meditation but I’ve done quite a bit of Self Hypnosis. It uses binaural beats, tones, white noise and repetitive phrases to induce various effects in the brain.

There’s a great FLOSS app called Gnaural which lets you create your own binaural beat sequences and share them.

You asked for feedback of people who used Shape ways etc.
I have designed a bead (for troll beads) for my wife.
We have a son with Down Syndrome (trisomy 21) and the bead that I designed symbolizes this, I traced an electron microscope image of chromosome 21 in Blender, extruded this to make it 3D, then I strung 3 of them together to create a circle.

To make sure it was correct, I first printed it using a cheap material. Then I tested the dimensions.
I then had it printed in silver. Actually, they print wax, which they use to create a mold in which the final object is cast.

I put it in a store on Shapeways as well, but no one bought it, yet. But I guess the target market is small. :smile:

You can have a look here:

The cool thing is that no one would ever do this commercially, because the target market is so small. And another thing, the version that my wife has is extra special, it includes the first letter of out sons name. So it will always be unique.


Very cool! How was the experience of designing it, sending it to Shapeways, creating a store, and so on?

If, on the show, it was shown that one could meditate on electrical resistance, would the title of the show be “Got The Ohm On”?


Next show we are debating doing live on location from the Persian Gulf. It will be called “Got The Oman”


The experience was great.
Designing it using Blender was the hardest part, but there are many great tutorials out there.
Uploading was a breeze, my model was good the first time. It is a solid object, which is easier.
Creating the store was trivial, you basically select the items you want to publish and assign prices. The rest is taken care of.

The only down side I could see is that they only pay out after you have earned 50 dollars, which would probably take a while in my case. :smile:

They keep 3.5% of your markup, to cover transactions, but I think that is quite reasonable.

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A little late to the party due to not having had the time to listen to it upon release …

This is a “reply” to the “fixing Mozilla” topic:
What surprises me to no end is that you guys (the Bad Voltage team) don’t seem to see the reason why Firefox, and not so much “Mozilla” as in “the Foundation”, is “enacting the Titanic”. The reasons why Firefox is on a steady decline are sooo painfully plain obvious if you would actually ask a few “power users” (yes, I got the memo of you guys that we are a “unwelcome mob” in your eyes). Here are just a few key elements why I can’t stand Firefox anymore:

Sidenote: I’m still using Firefox from time-to-time as a “portable” installation that doesn’t integrate with the system at all whenever I need a decent laugh.

  • Firefox? More like a LameDuck
    I have about the same amount of extensions on Chrome (5) which I used to use on Firefox (7 - “Omnibar” is not needed with Chromium/Chrome and same goes for “NoScript”). Chrome loads-up in “an instant” (2 secs? 3 secs?) while Firefox takes at least trice the time. Even with the “Prefetch” (Windows) cache cleared Firefox loses to Chromium/Chrome in terms of startup-speed at about the same launch-time difference.

  • Crashing here, crashing there, crashing, crashing everywhere
    I’m actually using Chrome across the board (Linux and Windows - without a “Google Sign-in”) because for as long as Adobe Crash… err… Flash “matters” (not talkin’ YouTube) it happens to be the only browser on Linux that runs a recent version of Flash thanks to Google’s integrated “pepperflash”. While I know about the existence of the flash pluggie (and pepperflash-wrappers for Firefox) for Linux the Linux version Adobe themselves offers is not only “EoL since eternity and two more days” but also as old as a proverbial IBM PC XT is nowadays. Also, Flash is just crash-happy in Firefox while I yet have to see Chrome giving me any trouble in this regard. Apart from that, with Chrome I don’t have to do anything to have and update “Flash” … with Firefox I need to download and install it and “import” the Adobe Updater bloatware along with it for updating the plug-in because it can’t be deselected (thank you, Crapdobe).

Another thing is that Firefox is horribly buggy (and I don’t mean the memory-leak Mozilla obviously can’t fix). For example … many months ago I browsed a wallpapers site in the search for a few new wallpapers, and at some point Firefox began to behave odd. I later on found out that once I browsed “enough” images (didn’t really bother counting how many) the browser would suddenly start crawling until being restarted.

  • Browser spam
    The “advertisement spam” Mozilla added into the Firefox startpage is THE reason why we (read: a lot of my friends and myself) bid Firefox a “GDIAF” (Go Die In A Fire - for the ones not familiar with Urban Dictionary ;)). WHY in the ninth circle of hell would I want totally retarded animations spam (which are loaded off the net!) on the Firefox startpage bug the living hell outta me? WHY in hell’s rock-bottom do I want that idiotic “Messages from Mozilla” (meaning the “Did you know? Firefox is the browser not giving a single F about not annoying you to hell-and-back” message, and related messages, below the search-bar on the Firefox startpage) spam (also loaded off the net!). Thank you, Crapzilla, for feeding my “hosts” file and enjoy your ban.

  • Countless, moronic, side-projects - more than I care to recall
    If there’s one thing where Mozilla really excels then it is “losing themselves in countless side-projects which are either totally irrelevant or are of no value at all”. As an example about “time perfectly wasted for something totally irrelevant” just see the “Personas” thing … I yet have to meet someone being older than 9 years to have ever used that “feature”. Same goes for a lot of other things Mozilla “stuffed” into the browser over the years … in most cases it was a “nice try, but no one ever cared about it”.

Instead of focusing on their “core values” (a sleek, fast, browser) all they really came to care about is to stuff the duck as hard as they can (see “Hello” (why would I need a “IM” in my browser? There’s Pidgin…) or “Save on Pocket” (WHY? WHY has this to be a integral part of the browser? I don’t need that. IF I would need something like that I would install a “Save to OneNote” or “Save to Google Keep” or “Save to Evernote” or similar add-on. This is not “inovation”, this is just yet another case of “stuffing the lame duck even more”.

  • "Not invented here"
    Speaking about “stuffing the duck” … Mozilla isn’t really inventing anymore, all they really do is try to keep up with the competition. “Auralis”(?) is just Mozilla copy-catting the looks of Chromium/Chrome (and please note that I don’t have any problems with the new UI - I actually like it to some extent) instead of coming up with their own genuine design (on a quick glance you can’t tell if it’s Chromium/Chrome or Firefox … you need to have at least a second look on the screen to spot the difference). I feel the same way about that totally needless “Hello” thing … this feels like a attempt to catch up to “Hangouts” from Google (which, on Chrome, is a plug and not a integrated part of the browser.

  • 64-Bit is for poor people
    One really needs to applaud Mozilla’s epically lacking efforts to get a 64-Bit browser out of the door (on Windows, that is). Contrary to Mozilla’s “PR wank” from the past (“you don’t gain anything from having a 64-Bit browser”) projects like Waterfox or Palemoon do actually ship STABLE working 64-Bit versions for YEARS now (eat that, Crapzilla!). Internet Explorer was available as a 64-Bit version starting with Windows Vista (or had XP x64 Edition also a 64-Bit IE version? Can’t recall.), Chrome is available as a 64-Bit version, Waterfox and Palemoon are also already available as 64-Bit for years now. Well, guess who still hasn’t realized the times we live in? And yes, I remember some statement from Mozilla about "we look forward to ship a x64 version of Firefox with version 38/39 - back in the days of the early 30’s - which now got “slightly” redacted to "maybe with version 41/42… maybe 43… maybe 44… maybe 45… […] maybe Googolplex^Grey’s Number).

Seems like hobbyists, at least on Windows because Firefox on Linux “amd64” was always a native “amd64” binary, are doing a better job at delivering “what the unwashed mob” wants than the coding monkeys at Mozilla.

To wrap it up… while there a tons and tons more reasons why Firefox turned into the Titanic (slow but steadily declining) it mainly comes down to a totally “headless” management. Which brings us to the conclusion about “How to fix Mozilla”…

Quite easy: Pull a “Ubuntu Community Council” and fire the morons in charge of the project because they obviously lost oversight and direction quite some time ago and replace them with guys (or gals) having a vision to where Firefox should go and put the wreck back on track.

Delivering a “state-of-the-art” browser (and not just talkin’ hot air about it) browser and maybe modifiying the misson statement from “keeping the web open” to “keeping the web open and secure” (by making Firefox THE reference browser to protect you from “secret service perverts gone totally wild and beyond control”) would be something to make Firefox a hot topic again … things like stuffing the duck and enforcing signed add-ons and annoying one with startpage spam (is there a MozillaBlock Plus already?) and pestering me with “New Tabpage” suggestions" and thinking about turning evil and eating up the user telemetry data to sell it off to advertisement companies (read: turning into a Google-ish datamine) isn’t helping regain adoption … and while we power users, who once helped to spread the word and therefore make Firefox popular, are no longer a welcome mob … win us back and you could gain traction again… you won’t make due with your fanboys (that are the ones which are a “unviable business model”, not us power users who actually adopt new tech first <— at that annoying Brit of the Bad Voltage crew which name always escapes me. Learn to speak clearly and understandly first, Sir, before trying to insult the ones who once were dumb enough to help the project for which you deem them “unviable” become popular).

Anyway, that are just my somewhat lengthy two cents to the topic - not that it would matter at all or that I wouldn’t have my “pet peeves” with Chromium/Chrome as well.

EDIT: For clarification…
The “startpage animations” are loaded off the net and cached locally - though every new animation sequence they push upon you will, yet again, waste your bandwidth for the sole reason of annoying you.

Some goes for the “The more you know” messages… loaded off the net and cached locally, though the fact remains that they are using my data for something I don’t even want to see in the first place… if I would want a lecture I’d happily go and read up one of the PR webpages.

Yes, I’m aware that both could be prevented by “about:blank”, but that defeats the “Restore previous session” button of the startpage (unless I’m blind and the features hides someplace else) in case the Duck had keeled over again and needed resurrection via a expensive restoration spell - hence why I ban their spam domains via “hosts”.

Anyone who wants to get into 3d modeling, I suggest taking a look at OpenScad. It lets you ‘script’ your model using a programming language, which is really nice since you can use variables in the script for easy customization of the model.

I used an OpenScad script I found on Github to generate herringbone gears for a raspberry pi project: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rhinoceraptor/16198184980/in/datetaken/

Another great show guys!

Firstly, the “Bad Voltage Fixes the F$*%ing World” was an excellent section, which I hope gets some air time in future shows again. I know some of the panel have only recently left Canonical, but a similar discussion about them would be great.

On the topic of Mozilla, I was amazed to hear their revenues and their expenditure on software development. However my thoughts about what should be done are a little different:

They should prioritise the browser, that is still their main product in the eyes of most, other companies such as Google have not forsaken their primary product (search) but have continued to strengthen. How to do this, is through some of the thoughts you guys had about fighting chrome on a number of fronts:

  1. On overall performance, security and browser experience. They are doing lots of “experiments” around the rust language and developing servo. Trusting in them that that is the correct route they then need to have actual products using this technology with roadmaps of when it can be seen in mainline Firefox.
  2. On the things that Google cannot do. This was touched upon. Its a nuanced thing, which will require more thought + time than I (or indeed the bad voltage team) can likely put into it. Privacy was mentioned, which I think could potentially see some gains, but also a far more liberal approach to interactivity with other rival technologies. (i.e Google will not support Apple products + services in their software).
  3. Openness, sure the html standard may have be more open and the world is more aware that having open standards which are across browsers is good for everyone. However, I’ve been noticing more and more recently that we have replaced a world of propreitary offline applications with just as closed online applications. Sure I can open google docs on Firefox, but it feels very much like a second class citizen. It doesn’t have copy and paste without using Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V for goodness sake.

On point 3, Mozilla can be the innovators in this field. They should be pioneering the idea of the users data being their own, and exportable from service to service. Mozilla is a company who I would get behind with this sort of an effort where the other companies (amazon, facebook, google) have too many conflicts of interest to take them seriously.

And lastly, with regard to Firefox OS, it would make a lot of people angry, but I would rather see them bin the whole thing. If they insist on trying to be an offering in the mobile space, I would like to see them pivot completely, look at offering Cyanogenmod with mozilla products on top.

They are just too far behind, and against companies with much bigger pockets and market share.

Wow, slag the warhammer and try to sell me on some random psycobabble. Warhammer is the awesomeness. Wish I still had the time and effort to do it. If I get 10 minutes a day freed up il put it towards the warhammer not headspace. The science behind it seems mostly the same as placebos, as in, if you think it will work then you will get some of the benefits of it, just the same as if you’re convinced bathing in manure helps you focus it probably will – but you’ll still stink of cow shit. That said there’s a certain amount of argument for ignorance just being bliss in that I suppose.

The 3d printer thing sounds really interesting, something to keep in mind incase I ever specifically need one. Obviously the idea of being able to make replacement parts etc is great but never been worth the investment in a decent printer for most people I think.

Ubuntu interview, I wish people would stop giving them the pretty easily deflected “Why are you doing your own thing, we must all be bland and identical” stuff. I’m very supportive of them writing their own stuff to solve the problems as they see them, I’m more interested in the specifics of why they want to do their own project with a damn near identical use case which will be such a pain for everyone else to try support both, by which I mean Mir and Wayland. In lugradio you bitched endlessly, Stuart particularly, about why the hell KDE even exists. I think KDE has a more specific and unique use case against GNOME than Mir has against Wayland. Seriously I just want a technical explanation of real technical reasons that Mir is better suited to Ubuntu’s goals than Wayland, and the analysis of whether those benefits are worth all the pain these competing systems have caused and will cause in the future.

I have no issue with snappy on the server or the mobile because they both have great use cases. I just don’t see what the advantage over deb’s are for desktop usage. I wish someone would answer that question for me, because as far as I can see its taking most of the advantages of the linux package management system, which despite people whining about I just think is objectively a superior system than the common alternatives like windows installers and just throwing them in the bin.

Already had a lengthy discussion about Mozilla in a previous thread. I switched from chrome to firefox recently purely just because I want to do whatever small thing I can do to keep firefox relevant. Honestly I’m suffering. Firefox has a list of things that just annoy me and feel cumbersome which don’t seem to have good solutions. I don’t think chrome’s success on the desktop is down to anything more than being the least cumbersome tool for web browsing, not google services etc like Jono mentioned.

I’ll mention a couple of annoyances and dislikes, if anyone knows any fixes for them please tell me but I think this. I appreciate these aren’t all Mozilla’s fault but yea…

  • We all hate flash but I have to say, even despite getting a hacky workaround to the discontinued Adobe flash on linux in freshplayer, flash feels worse on firefox than any other browser. Not only do things go wrong with annoying regularity and for seemingly random reasons but it has other annoyances, for example yesterday I was doing some stuff in firefox and watching the simpsons, in a flash video player in a tab. Any time I was on the simpsons tab I couldn’t use browser hotkeys, to switch tab or create a new tab. May sound minor but its actually just insanely frustrating.

  • The UI. I want it to be smaller. I want information to be available but compact. I remember installing the windows 7 pre alpha developer thingy. First thing I noticed was the iconified task bar and I was in love. It was just a simple condensing of information into a more usable form. Some people disliked it, but a) they are wrong and b) there are options to disable it. Chrome was the same with the way it manages tabs. When you have too many tabs open it manages that well, it condenses them down to just the thumbnail, which is brilliant. The other thing that I love about chrome tabs is the audio icon that pops up on the tabs when they are playing audio and (with the flag enabled) the ability to mute a tab just by clicking on it. I’m religious about using adblock anytime I browse the net but that feature has saved me so many headaches.
    What is there on firefox? Damn arrow sliders to go down the tab list nor any audio feature. Just unusable after chrome sorry.

  • The customise UI feature is brilliant… except I can’t really do anything. I like the direction its going but I just wish I could do anything beyond deleting the Hello icon from the panel. Also where did the hotkey configuration go in firefox? I use alt for switching between desktops which pops up the menu bar on my firefox window and annoys the crap out of me, from what I can see the hotkey config was pulled out of firefox in some UI overhaul and hasn’t reappeared. In the episode it was mentioned about firefox perhaps betraying its legacy as a power user browser. Considering after numerous google searches and about 5 hotkey addons I couldn’t disable that damn alt functionality, id say I agree with that. That said I still love most firefox addons + about:config.

  • Please again… I just want a smaller, cleaner UI. I used epiphany on gnome a while ago. I absolutely loved some of the ideas it had. Obviously as a browser that isnt firefox or chrome I had to stop using it once I wanted to actually do real stuff but I loved the way it cleaned up the top of the browser, for example I really like the way it made the URL bar and the website title the same thing, just click on it and it becomes the URL, or a right click option if you dislike it.
    The drawback is just the tabs system isnt too great either. However considering the GNOME schema is pretty bulky imo, this is a great example of trying to slim the browser down. I want as little browser around my web content as possible while still being usable.

I could go on but yea. I just want firefox to be less annoying, the UI particularly. Never had any issues with getting actual web stuff to work except flash related stuff and ofc netflix.

For bad voltage fixes the fucking world: KDE would be my suggestion.

From reddit a while ago: http://i.imgur.com/vGVPUWH.png

KDE hasn’t been top dog on the desktop in a long time. It’s losing popularity and developers. That said I think a lot of what they have achieved is absolutely amazing. While GNOME has always had a nice coherent platform of quality applications I have always thought the amazing one shot applications have come from KDE, then been let down by the platform been utterly chaotic and incoherent. For example I think kdenlive is pretty much essential for video editing on linux, amarok has a stunning history, plenty of forks, KDevelop, KHTML ofc being the basis of webkit and thus somehow managing to worm the term KHTML into the browser agents of half the planet. Not to mention KDE just has tonnes of random specialised tools which are just really good at the one or two things they were designed for. There are undeniably some really smart people involved in the project.

Anyway now all the KDE projects are being spun out again like they used to be out of the KDE framework itself to be semi independent. This seems to be the same as the argument Stuart made about on-board graphics and the endless cycle of integration then separation. From when I tried KDE5 (which I shall continue to call it no matter the KDE people’s opinions on it being the kde frameworks 5 applications collection) it was a massive pain and while some like plasma are already several releases into the 5.x series, plenty haven’t even entered it. Equally plenty of people complain that KDE 4.x finally hit some real maturity and the KDE developers have decided to brutally cut away at reverse compatibility, leaving people to migrate to an immature desktop for the latest security and features.

I’m just interested what the presenters think about any possibility of changing the direction KDE is headed. Lots of people dislike GNOME and Unity for taking away options and choice. Plenty have gone to XFCE for example, not because they want a lightweight desktop but they want something without the bonnet welded shut. To KDE’s credit it has always been a desktop with full power user potential. I just wish it would pull itself together.

I’ve just listened to the show this morning and I have to say that I’m really surprised that nobody responds to the “Bryan Lunduke is erased from BV history” prank, wtf?!

After the previous episode, I more or less panicked, because I worried he would be no longer on the team. Don’t get me wrong here, I tend to agree with Ack in most discussions, so from my point of view Bryan has some pretty strange ideas and is usually plain wrong, but heck… this guy is entertainment gold!

In short, I really hope you’ll be back with the full crew for the next episode, because it’s really not the same without Lunduke.

To be fair…Warhammer is bollocks and meditation does work. :smile:

I don’t believe that is how we asked the question, at all.

I believe that the reasons for Mir - more focused, more lightweight, convergence ready - have been repeated and discussed enough in the past. We wanted to ask new questions, not just tread old ground.

Please respect our code of conduct which is simple: don't be a dick.