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.

Alert! Buy Linux Format on Google Play.

What's in the show:

  • News:
      A critical vulnerability has been detected and patched in the Linux kernel, so you should probably update your distribution. The International Space Station is switching from Windows to Debian 6. After two years of development, Debian 7 has been released. Antergos is the new name for Cinnarch, and consequently, stops defaulting to the Cinnamon desktop. Scratch 2.0 has been released and includes a version that runs in a web browser. Blender 2.67 gets a 'freestyle' non-photo realistic rendering engine. And the Raspberry Pi gets a native camera module.
  • Discovery of the week:
    • Andrew:
      • Canaima is the official GNU/Linux distribution for Venezuela.
    • Effy:
      • Font support in Linux is much better than it used to be.
    • Ben:
      • IRC is awesome. Specifically, #linuxformat on Freenode.
      • KDE's text editor, Kate, is good.
    • Graham:
      • BitTorrent Sync is a great alternative to DropBox that stores the data on your own severs.
      • Open an application remotely through SSH (on the remote X server - not X forwarding) with:
        export XAUTHORITY=/home/graham/.Xauthority
        export DISPLAY=':0'
  • Speak Your Brains:
    • If you think you can help with the backup problem, leave a comment or send your responses to graham.morrison@futurenet.com. Feel free to get in touch with your own suggestions/questions too.
  • Challenge Us:
    • Hear how we get on with randomly distributed distributions and count_jocular suggests a new challenge for next time!
  • Open Ballot: Where would you like to see Linux adopted next?

  • Our scripts are updating Facebook again.
  • Special offer: A subscription to Linux Format magazine might stop us complaining about the British weather.

Presenters: Ben Everard, Efrain Hernandez-Mendoza, Andrew Gregory and Graham Morrison.

Subscribe to the TuxRadar Podcast. Choose between Ogg Vorbis and MP3.

USA listeners can subscribe to Linux Format magazine from here, http://tinyurl.com/lxfoffer1, whilst then rest of us can use the following link - http://www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk/content/lp/linuxformat.

Digital Editions: Linux Format is now available on Android and Chrome with Google Play Magazines, from just £3.99 per issue. It's also available on both Apple's iPhone/iPad/Touch and Android devices through Zinio. You can also purchase individual copies from the Ubuntu Software Centre.

Only print subscribers get access to our complete collection of DRM-free PDFs and early access to the latest issue.

Theme Music by Brad Sucks.

You should follow us on Identi.ca or Twitter

Your comments

Blender tutorial

Yes please!

In this podcast, you asked if anyone would be interested in a tutorial article, and I would be interested. I have tried to use Blender, but struggled with the user interface.

Thank you

Factual error regarding Scratch 2.0


You should be aware of a factual error in this podcast relating to Scratch 2.0.

Your reviewer incorrectly described the Scratch 2.0 web editor as being HTML5. It is in fact Adobe Flash powered.

There is a suggestion that an HTML5 client for mobile may be introduced in the future but it doesn't exist right now.


My vote on blender tutorial :
blender tutorial for Tuxradar page [yes]
blender tutorial for Linux Format [NO]

My vote for more Script tutorial:
Script v2 tutorial for Linux Format [yes]

My tutorial suggestion :
GnuPG tutorial for hard disk & files and Emails encryption
Tuxradar or Linx Format [yes]


Had a look at the Canaima site, very informative about how to use usb_modeswitch with broadband dongles. Beautiful place too (Canaima) if you get a chance to visit.


Instead of copying and pasting the font to the fonts directory you can now just double click on a .ttf file. Then click install.

Nice and easy! :)

Silly me...

^ as you can see the above comment has the title and name in the wrong places.

This is what happens when I don't finish my cup of coffee before posting stuff online in the morning.

Since there is no way to edit I hope someone can swap it around for me.

+1 for Blender Tutorial

Yes please! I've been thinking about getting into blender, especially as Openshot uses it as a backend to producing some of their special effects. I'd love to know some of the basics, and perhaps be able to edit existing blender files (such as those provided in Openshot) so I can customise to suit what I want. I've tried loading up blender, but I was a bit bamboozled by all the options. Perhaps a guide of what to ignore rather than what every function does, and then show us how to produce a little video where we can move a 3D object (rotate, zoom etc) that will teach us the basics.

Font creation

Font creation is actually kinda hard. For unicode fonts, the amount of time that has to be spent first creating all the glyphs, then checking that the kerning is right for every combination of glyphs is really big. Add to that the fact that sales tend to be cannibalized by established fonts such as Helvetica, and new font creators really are hard pressed to earn a living. The absurd license fees are a by-product of those factors. If the demand for couture fonts were to rise, or font creation were to become magically easier somehow, fonts may be able to duck to more reasonable costs, but that isn't the case just yet.

Font creation

Font creation is actually kinda hard. For unicode fonts, the amount of time that has to be spent first creating all the glyphs, then checking that the kerning is right for every combination of glyphs is really big. Add to that the fact that sales tend to be cannibalized by established fonts such as Helvetica, and new font creators really are hard pressed to earn a living. The absurd license fees are a by-product of those factors. If the demand for couture fonts were to rise, or font creation were to become magically easier somehow, fonts may be able to duck to more reasonable costs, but that isn't the case just yet.

The effort of designing a font

In the podcast the effort of designing a font were estimated to be a few weeks work. Creating a font will cost a few man year of work.

When designing a font you have to take the limitations, or characteristics, of the specific medium in consideration. A font which look great on paper can be useless on a screen.

Fonts consist of far more than numbers from 0 to 9 and characters a to z. And each character has variants like upper-case, bold, cursive, underlined and more. Fonts have to scale from small to huge. All combinations of characters must be well readable and look 'clean'.

For us, believers in sharing everything, the question can be how we can work together on something like wikifont.

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