Inside the Electronic Frontier Foundation


Inside the EFF

Mike Saunders investigates how the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is protecting us from dodgy megacorps and surveillance-happy governments.

Our freedom to share information, speak our minds, come up with new ideas and keep our lives private is being threatened. Governments are continually seeking new ways to monitor what we’re doing, while big businesses are constantly trying to lock us into their products. Bit by bit, our freedoms are being eroded.

Podcast Season 5 Episode 11


Title: Hong Kong Phooey

In this episode: Where in the world is Edward Snowdon? Richard Stallman is now internet famous. Adobe and Citrix open source their stuff. Canonical's Ubuntu Phone now has its own club. Eben Upton gets a Silver Medal and the Ouya games console is available now. Hear our discoveries, the sound of people's brains, and your own mindvoices in the Open Ballot.

Open Ballot: Desktop Wars


It's a really simple open ballot this fortnight: What's your favorite desktop environment for Linux? Are you using the latest Gnome 3 or a kustomised KDE? Do you like desktop bling or a black and white CLI? Do you use a mainstream choice or an esoteric option? Let us know your thoughts and we'll read them out in our upcoming podcast.

Linux Format 173 On Sale Today - Escape Google!


Create your own cloud, migrate to your own email system, maybe even build your own social network: a lot of us have been thinking about doing it for a while, but we've lacked the incentive to make the effort for relatively little gain.

Well, we now have all the incentive we need, as it becomes clearer every day that our 'private' information is a commodity for sale like everything else. Follow our guide to online freedom and you'll never be sold to advertisers (or the NSA, or GCHQ) ever again.

On a lighter note, we hear from Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton about his plans for the future, learn about the sterling work of electronic freedom fighters the EFF and take a peek into the murky world of KDE development. There's also brain fodder in the shape of Lisp, MariaDB , Ruby On Rails, Cuda, Raspberry Pi and LibreOffice tutorials, along with the healthy dose of insight, love and passion that characterises Linux Format.

On the DVD: Debian 7, Mageia 3 and Sabayon. Plus: Tutorial code, answers, a complete copy of Linux Format issue 64, and more.

Beat the CIA


Beat the CIA

The World Wide Web is the greatest system for sharing information ever created – but how do you stop it sharing too much? Ben Everard investigates.

You’re not paranoid – they really are watching you. Criminals, web companies and governments all have a reason to spy on your online life, and the methods that they use are becoming increasingly sophisticated. 2011 was the most dangerous year to be an online citizen, particularly if you happened not to agree with everything your government said.

Podcast Season 5 Episode 10


Title: PRISM schism

In this episode: It looks like Rockwell was right - somebody was watching him (and us). There's a great new Raspberry Pi installer called NOOBS and the President of the US promises action against patent trolls. Ubuntu's 'bug one' has been fixed and the EFF objects to DRM in HTML 5. As ever, hear our discoveries and your opinions in this epic length podcast.

Open Ballot: Big Brother

Open Source

America's National Security Agency has come under fire for demanding data from many phone and web-based companies. This side of the pond, things aren't much better. Though the "Snooper's Charter" looks like it won't come through, EU law still requires all communication providers (e.g. ISPs and telephone companies) to:

  • trace and identify the source of a communication;
  • trace and identify the destination of a communication;
  • identify the date, time and duration of a communication;
  • identify the type of communication;
  • identify the communication device;
  • identify the location of mobile communication equipment.
for all communications and store this for up to two years so they can make it available to national authorities. What the national authorities do with it is up to them.

Podcast Season 5 Episode 9


Title: Araminta Station

In this episode: Mint 15 is here! There's a new Fedora-based respin for the Raspberry Pi. The city of Munich and the country of Australia make great progress in moving towards open source and there's a new Humble Bundle. Hear our discoveries and your own Open Ballot opinions, plus, we welcome a new member to the team.

Open Ballot: Abandon ship?


If you're reading this then the chances are you use Linux. It's most likely that you use it quite a bit.

The Open Ballot this fortnight is: Do you ever see yourself switching back to Windows or Mac OS X (or BSD, Solaris, MikeOS or any other OS) and leaving Linux behind?

Are there some problems that just don't get solved? Are the problems getting worse? Or is everything just peachy as you bask in the warm glow of software freedom?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and we'll read out the best on Thursday's podcast.

Linux Format 172 On Sale Today - Has Ubuntu lost it?


With its Distrowatch ranking falling faster than Man Utd now that Sir Alex Ferguson has departed, Ubuntu is no longer the all-conquering force that it was. So what's happened? Has it, in fact, lost it, or is there a more subtle game afoot? We answer this conundrum (sort of) in the latest Linux Format.

We also invite you discover the ethos that's powering Trisquel, the freeest distro of all named after a Gaulish God; learn the fundamentals of programming with Scratch and Coding Concepts; and get acquainted with your ancestors without travelling through time with the excellent Gramps genealogy application. All this, plus Hotpicks, Sysadmin, tutorials and more, in Linux Format!

On The DVD: Our own Privacy Enhanced remix of Ubuntu and regular versions of Kubuntu and Xubuntu. Plus Manjaro, free (as in speech) books, software and more.

Podcast Season 5 Episode 8


Title: Final Frontier + 1

In this episode: There's a critical vulnerability in the kernel. But relax, it's been fixed. The International Space Station is switching from Windows to Debian. But not Debian 7, which has just been released. The beginner's programming environment, Scratch 2.0, is out and the Raspberry Pi gets a super-light camera module. As always, hear our discoveries, our reports on the challenge and your own opinions in the Open Ballot.

Open Ballot: The final frontier


Linux has long been one of the key operating systems in space. It powers all manner of satellites and such like, but now it's taking over space desktops as well. NASA has announced that it's migrating the International Space Station (ISS) laptops from Windows to Debian 6 (

Podcast Season 5 Episode 7


Title: Kernel Saunders

In this episode: Firefox OS phones go on sale and promptly sell out. Ubuntu 13.04 has been released. There's a new alternative to Dropbox from BitTorrent, although its licencing isn't yet clear and the BeagleBone Black is slightly cheaper than a Raspberry Pi. Hear our particularly good discoveries, our report on last episode's KDE challenge and your own opinions in the Open Ballot.

Privacy Enhanced Ubuntu remix

Today, Canonical have released Raring Ringtail, the latest version of their Ubuntu Linux distribution. Here at Tuxradar, we like Ubuntu, but we don't like the way they send all your desktop searches to Amazon. We want to be able to use our computers without Jeff Bezos seeing all our data. So, we've created Privacy Enhanced Ubuntu. It's exactly the same as Raring Ringtail, but doesn't return Amazon results for searches in the default lens. There's still an Amazon shopping lens there if you want to use it (click on the shopping bag icon in the dash).

Download the torrent here

TuxRadar Distro Picker


Announcing the TuxRadar Distro Picker!
To celebrate the cover feature on the latest Linux Format, we've built a web app that helps you find out which Linux distro is right for you. Just enter details of what you're looking for, and it will pick your perfect distro match.

Get started here

Linux Format 171 On Sale Today - 50 Distros Tested!


A Double DVD Spectacular! Choice is natural. Choice ensures competition. Choice is good. But sometimes there's too much choice, and we need a helping hand through the forest of indecision. Take the act of choosing a Linux distribution, for example: of the hundreds that are out there, all with their slightly different goals and values, how do you know which one is going to be right for you? You could try every single one of the top 50 ranked Linux flavours on Distrowatch, or you could let us do it for you – brilliant!

Open Ballot: Would you pay for Linux?


Depending on how you pay for it, you'll probably have to part with at least fifty quid for Windows 8, and double (or more) for OS X, and they come with almost no software compared to the average Linux distribution. Yet almost all Linux distributions are free as in zero-cost.

This fortnight we've got a simple question for you: would you (or indeed, do you) pay for Linux?

Podcast Season 5 Episode 6


Title: The Sultans Played Creole

In this episode: We've got oodles of Google news, Nvidia's new Optimus driver, Dell selling Ubuntu games PCs and our own discoveries. Plus a new podcast challenge and the Open Ballot.

Open Ballot: Do Microsoft understand irony?

Open Source

Microsoft (along with Nokia, Oracle and a host of other outdated tech companies) have lodged a complaint with the European Commission saying that Google is unfairly abusing its dominant market position:

Digital back issues of Linux Format half price until Tuesday!


Need some reading material this weekend? Our digital back issues are currently half price! This goes for both our Google Play store and the magazines on Apple’s Newsstand. Google Play is UK, US, Canada and Australia only, whilst the Apple Newsstand offer is global and the offer expires Tuesday morning.

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