September 12th, 2020
Better Linux disk integration for WSL 2 users, OpenWrt finds a new home, the boss chips in on Ubuntu community representation, more OS options appear for PineTab owners, Mozilla looks to its extension devs for extra funding, plus a whole lot more.
Show Transcript and Links
And rather unexpectedly, I'm going to start by mentioning that the last show provoked some negative feedback, with several of you unhappy about my characterization of Mitchell Baker's words. I had hoped to encourage debate about whether it's appropriate for a browser manufacturer to embrace online censorship quite so enthusiastically. And if so, how that squares with the ability of individuals to "shape the internet and their own experiences on it", as Mozilla's own Manifesto puts it. But it seems as though quite a few people just flat-out agree with Baker, and would rather have views that they personally disagree with hidden away from others online. There's plenty of Linux and open source news to get to in today's show, so perhaps now isn't the best time to discuss why paternalistically removing agency from another adult human might not be the act of kindness some seem to believe. But if anybody wants to reach out, I'll be happy to engage off-air.
• The Mozilla Manifesto Addendum
I also don't want to keep reporting on Mozilla in a negative way, but sometimes the organization makes that a darn hard thing to do. Which brings us to the first real story of today's show, and the news that Mozilla is introducing a paid promotion scheme for Firefox extension developers. The pilot program will see interested devs paying to gain a special badge on their extension listings, and for an additional fee will offer them the opportunity of sponsored placement on the Mozilla Add-ons homepage. While the scheme is entirely voluntary, anyone who works in online retail will tell you that when a platform adopts promoted listings, most everyone is forced to use them, or see their own products buried out of sight. So while it might be reassuring for users to know that certain extensions have been through a more comprehensive and paid vetting process, the main upshot of the scheme will likely be to provide a boost to Mozilla's revenue, courtesy of the selfsame developers that already create much of the value within the entire Firefox ecosystem.
• Introducing the Promoted Add-ons Pilot
Two weeks after the release was first tagged, IBM has formally announced version 14 of its Advance Toolchain for Linux on Power. The self-contained build toolchain helps developers produce code that's optimized for running on IBM's Power hardware, and yields most benefit for CPU-intensive applications. As well as bringing updates to its core utilities, the new version also adds support for the latest Ubuntu LTS release.
• IBM Advance Toolchain for Linux on Power 14.0-0
• Advance Toolchain 14.0-0 release highlights
And speaking of Ubuntu, Project Lead Mark Shuttleworth has jumped into an ongoing debate about community representation. While Shuttleworth appears to share some of the frustrations other Ubuntu users have been expressing, he didn't offer up any pat solutions, but instead asked for further input from the community. And like all of today's other stories, you can find a link to that conversation in the shownotes.
• Mark Shuttleworth comments on Ubuntu community representation (thread above)
Yubico has started retailing a hardware security key that combines USB-C and NFC connectivity. The new fifty-five dollar YubiKey was designed with modern computing devices and mobiles in mind, and offers multi-protocol support on iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and of course Linux.
• Our family is growing! Meet our newest member… the YubiKey 5C NFC
Microsoft is bringing the ability to mount external Linux filesystems to WSL 2. The feature is available in the latest preview build of Windows, but does come with some restrictions. For now, only whole disk mounts are supported rather than partition-level ones, and while the feature will work with USB disks, it currently doesn't support removable flash drives.
• Access Linux filesystems in Windows and WSL 2