Open Ballot: Do you trust the "cloud"?

TuxRadar

Cloud storage: everyone's talking about it. Dropbox is all the rage, Apple has got into the game with iCloud, and we Linux users have Ubuntu One. But as we gear up for our next podcast, we want to know: do you feel safe with your data in the cloud? Is it the future of storage and backup, or just a fad that'll disappear after a few major security incidents? Maybe all your data is in the cloud, and you think everyone else is being paranoid.

Whatever the case, we'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences. Tap your musings into the comment box below, give yourself a way neater name than Anonymous Penguin, and we'll read out the best in our podcast.

Linux Format issue 146 is on sale now!

LXF


A new Ubuntu release always generates a certain amount of chatter in Linuxland, but nothing compares to the impact of Ubuntu 11.04. This signals a new direction for Canonical, with the familiar Gnome 2.x desktop being replaced by Unity, which significantly alters how we interact with our computers. In our cover feature we show you how to master Unity, we talk to the developers behind the desktop, and also probe Mark Shuttleworth for his thoughts too.

Open Ballot: Should Gnome become Linux-only?

TuxRadar

Here's a thought. The Gnome desktop currently runs on a wide variety of OSes, including Linux, the BSDs and Solaris. One hacker has proposed making Gnome Shell dependent on systemd, a boot and services system that only runs on Linux. This would require that all distros that use Gnome also take up systemd, and limit the desktop to one OS - and as expected, it has generated a huge amount of discussion in the free software world.

As we prepare to record our next podcast, we want your opinions for our Open Ballot: should Gnome become a Linux-only project? Would tighter integration with Linux-only technologies produce a more streamlined, coherent OS? Or would dropping support for more esoteric platforms be against the spirit of freedom and free software?

Let us know in the comments below, but please don't commit a name-fail and call yourself Anonymous Penguin.

The full story: Friday's IRC chat

TuxRadar

Missed our Internet Relay Chat event on Friday? Bursting to find out what happened, what was said, and how much Mike talked about Frontier? Well, we've put online the whole log of the two hours and 25 minutes of action...

Don't miss our IRC session on Friday

TuxRadar

Just a quick note for those who didn't listen to the last podcast recording (naughty, naughty): on Friday 20th of May, at 15:00 British Summer Time, the team behind Linux Format magazine and TuxRadar will be on IRC for chat japes galore. Log into irc.freenode.net and join the channel #linuxformat to ask us questions, tell us what you're thinking and chat with other LXF/TuxRadar readers. If you've never used IRC (Internet Relay Chat) before, we recommend X-Chat as a good graphical client, and Irssi if you're a command-line kinda guy or gal. See you there!

Send us your desktop!

LXF

That is, a photo of your actual, physical desktop (not a screenshot). You may remember that, long ago, we use to have "Anatomy of a Geek Desktop" on the back page of Linux Format magazine. Well, it's coming back, and we'd love to feature awesome reader/listener desktops. If you want to take part, send us a high-quality JPG image of 1600x1200 pixels, preferably no more than 4MB, to Mike Saunders along with some text describing your computer, the surroundings and any other interesting bits 'n bobs you have lying around. If we like it, we'll print it in the mag!

Open Ballot: What is Linux's killer feature?

TuxRadar

As we rev up our podcast engines for the next recording, we want to hear your words: what do you think is the killer feature of Linux? What's its strongest selling point, the thing that makes it better than its competitors? Perhaps you reckon the kernel's rock-solid stability is key, or maybe you think the plethora of desktop environments gives it an advantage.

Let us know in the comments below, and remember that leaving your name as boring old Anonymous Penguin will make kittens cry.

Open Ballot: Has desktop fragmentation gone too far?

TuxRadar

First there was TWM. Then we had multiple window managers. Then KDE came along, and Gnome started as a result of licensing issues. Xfce grew up. And now, after a decade of the three big desktops slugging it out, it's about to get a whole lot more complicated with the addition of Unity and Gnome (3) Shell. Some distros are talking of forking Gnome 2.x to keep the older desktop alive.

Podcast update

TuxRadar

Just to let regular listeners know: we won't be putting up the podcast today, as we're busy finishing Linux Format magazine (the deadlines are a bit earlier than usual because of Easter). Rest assured, we'll be back to normal next week though! So, go out and enjoy the sun, and we'll be with you again very soon...

Linux Format issue 144 is on sale now!

LXF


MythTV usually conjures up two thoughts amongst Linux users: it's a brilliant digital TV platform, but it's also notoriously difficult to set up correctly. Fortunately, then, this month's cover feature teams up with the mighty Mythbuntu (on the DVD) and helps you configure a powerful, attractive and feature-laden personal video recorder. You can watch TV over the web, cut out annoying adverts and never miss your favourite shows again.

Open Ballot: is Android's success good for Linux?

TuxRadar

There's no doubt that Android is a storming success, with 37% of the North American smartphone market share in January, and over 150,000 applications available. At its core is a customised Linux kernel. But there's a big question here: is all this success actually good for Linux? Millions of people now have Linux in their pockets and are using it every day, but will this ever help Linux in its more familiar server and desktop settings?

New podcast section: Speak Your Brains!

TuxRadar

Are there things you want to tell us? Perhaps you've got a question about choosing a Linux netbook, or you've written a limerick about KDE. Maybe you want to announce a funky new project you're working on, or just rant about Microsoft. Either way, we have a shiny new section of the podcast for you.

It's dead simple. Email Mike with the subject line "Speak Your Brains" and we'll read out our pick of the best in the next podcast. Think of it like a traditional magazine letters page, but with more sound atoms involved. And the possibility to ask Effy to say things in Spanish.

Open Ballot: is Canonical good for free software?

TuxRadar

Love them or hate them, the folks behind Ubuntu have changed the Linux landscape. Many users have discovered Linux thanks to Canonical's marketing efforts and free CD programmes, but recently we've see a lot of controversy such as the Banshee affair and spat with the Gnome team.

Open Ballot: does free software need a figurehead?

TuxRadar

We're prepping up for our next podcast, and having just returned from interviewing Richard Stallman (coming to an issue of LXF soon!), we want to ask you: does free software need a figurehead? We all talk about the freedom and democracy that FLOSS brings - but does it also help to have a strong character at the top keeping us on the right path?

Let us know what you think in the comments, and we'll read out the best musings in our podcast. This does not apply to grey, soulless drones who call themselves Anonymous Penguin, of course.

Linux Format issue 143 is on sale now

LXF

At heart, we're all system administrators. That doesn't mean we all have big beards and spend our time reminiscing about punch cards - it just means we all have to do things like securing our networks, accomplishing tasks at the command line and so forth. With this in mind, this month's cover feature is all about sysadmin secrets: tips from the pros to make your Linux box faster, safer and smarter.

Ask Richard Stallman anything!

LXF

Well, within reason. In a few days we're going to meet up with the great man, the founder of the GNU project and free software movement as we know it. Never one to mince his words, RMS has strong views on software freedom and has campaigned rigourously to stop us being locked into a world of proprietary code and DRM.

We'd love to put a selection of your questions to Richard, so please drop them into the comments. We'll pick the best and print his responses in a forthcoming issue of Linux Format. Fire away!

Open ballot: does Qt have a future?

TuxRadar

Nokia's recent bombshell announcement that it would team up with Microsoft has generated much brow-furrowing in the free software community. The Finnish mobile giant claims that it still plans to launch some kind of MeeGo-related product this year, and that Qt has an important role to play in it. But can we really believe that? Will Qt be alive and healthy 12 months from now, or is it really destined for the dustbin when the Micronokia deal gets into full swing?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments, and we'll read out the best in our upcoming podcast. Unless you call yourself Anonymous Penguin of course, which is so Web 1.0.

Subs gifts: you decide!*

LXF

You've seen LXF binders, stickers, USB keys, pint mugs and more, and now we want to offer our latest subscription gift: pin badges.

Er, but the thing is, we're not sure what to put on them. So we thought we'd ask the people who know best: you. So please, tell us what sort of design you'd like to see on an LXF pin badge and we'll take the four most popular ideas to the Big Budget Boss and make it happen**.

* Kind of.

** The MikeOS kitty already has one vote.

Open Ballot: will you attend a Linux event this year?

TuxRadar

From friendly little LUG gatherings at the pub, through to massive conferences sponsored by technology giants, there are loads of Linux events taking place throughout the year. We want to know: will you be attending anything this year? If so, what sort of event is it, and what do you plan to do there? If not, why not - is it due to time limitations, or distance, or reluctance to get into a whopping great KDE vs Gnome debate?

Please let us know in the comments, and we'll read out the best bunch in our upcoming podcast. Don't be a square and just call yourself Anonymous Penguin though - you're an individual.

Linux Format issue 142 is on sale now!

LXF

Some things make us cry: kittens with sad faces, chopping onions, and the cost of rail tickets in the United Kingdom. But nothing makes us cry as much as losing a file, especially when it's a prized photo or piece of writing that can't be reconstructed without vast effort. So in this month's cover feature, we show you how to never lose a single file again. Our tips, tools and strategies for making backups will ensure that your data never goes walkabouts and you always have a spare copy, just in case.

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