Story 2014-10-31

Halloween Friday Distro: Ubuntu Satanic Edition

by
in linux on (#2TTH)
When I proposed a Linux Distro every Friday, I'd hoped to mostly avoid distros that are simply "Ubuntu plus a theme and/or windowmanager choice" but this week it's impossible. World, meet Ubuntu Linux Satanic Edition, the most appropriate distro for a Halloween Friday. Linux for the Damned is their subtitle, and if you're planning on going off to hell after this and listening to all sorts of awesome death metal in the afterlife, this is probably for you.

So what is it? It's Ubuntu, with a special selection of wallpapers, and a pre-configured Eternity Screensaver set to play the "Eternal Damnation" ray-traced screensaver when it kicks in. I looked around a bit to figure out if there's anything to Ubuntu Satanic other than the screensaver and wallpapers and found something unique: this distro also comes preconfigured with a ton of metal music! I think preloading a soundtrack on a distro might be unique; at least, I am not aware of any other distros that take this approach. Install U/S and you too can enjoy dozens of tunes by the likes of Severed Fifth, Blueprint for Disaster, Music for the Damned, Frontside, Taste of Hell, Holy Pain, and ScapeGoat. To my surprise, most of the artists are French and all of it is licensed freely via Jamendo.

All of this supports U/S's motto: "Ubuntu Satanic Edition is dedicated to combining the best software with the heaviest music." U/S connects you to Ubuntu's own repos, so no worries about the best software consisting of a reduced subset. To those of you who are offended by the presence of a Satanic distro, no worries: there are Ubuntu Muslim Editions and Christian editions as well, all using the same repos - just think about that for a second.

Happy Halloween, Pipedotters! Next time, we'll go back to distros that offer more than superficial skins (although hopefully we'll find some more distros with awesome soundtracks).

Australia poised to introduce controversial data retention laws

by
Anonymous Coward
in legal on (#2TTE)
The Australian government has introduced data retention laws that are highly controversial. Under the new provisions, all internet data would be retained for two years, leading to additional expenses related to capturing and storing data that would cost Australian internet users $100 to $200 per year each. The data will be used for copyright enforcement and to track the exact location of mobile phone users.

The Australian Pirate Party is incensed, naturally, and states that this policy destroys any semblance of a free society.
“There are far too many flaws in this legislation to enumerate,” said Brendan Molloy, President of the Pirate Party. “There has been no discussion as to why the current retention order provisions are insufficient. This legislation is disproportionate and unnecessary. ‘Metadata’ is ill-defined in such a way as to contain so much information that it is effectively the content of the communication, insofar that it contains the context and location of all communications. This is a massive issue for journalists, whistleblowers, activists, and a whole host of other persons whose activities are in many cases legal but perhaps not in the interests of the state to let happen without some level of harassment.

“There are significant issues relating to cost and security of the data. Steve Dalby of iiNet said yesterday that iiNet would consider storing the data where it is the cheapest, which includes Chinese cloud providers. There will be a significant ‘surveillance tax’ introduced by retailers to cover the costs of storing this data that nobody wants stored.
The data retention laws have been delayed in the legal process, but not stopped. Pipedotter Tanuki64 points out "Sooner or later this bill will go through. It is just a matter of time. Same in Germany. A data retention law was rejected several times, but is reintroduced in almost regular intervals. The interests behind these laws are powerful and they have to succeed only once. Once such a law is enacted, it is almost impossible to repeal it again."