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Submission + - LugRadio S5E5 - "A Quality Production" (

Adam Sweet writes: "In LugRadio Season 5 Episode 5 — "A Quality Production", Jono Bacon, Stuart Largefridge, Chris Proctor and Adam "Err..." Sweet interview Havoc Pennington and Colin Walters from Red Hat about the Gnome Online Desktop project, discuss whether we need rockstar programmers when there is hard, unglamorous work to do, consider whether the weirder side of Second Life is inhabited by freaks, electrocute themselves again in another quick distro round-up, behave smugly because LugRadio was chosen as the best Linux podcast in the Linux Format magazine Christmas issue and read out a dazzling array of emails to the show, with the best winning a limited edition LugRadio T-shirt, at last. You, my friend, can avail yourself of too much excitement to handle by downloading it from"."
Operating Systems

Submission + - Ubuntu vs Fedora vs OpenSuSE vs Mandriva (

An anonymous reader writes: Its been a good few weeks for distro releases with Ubuntu, OpenSuse, Fedora and Mandriva all releasing new versions but which ones best? The Lugradio team talk to Adam Williamson from Mandriva then don asbestos suits and put all four through a series of real world tests. Find out which came out best and which just suck here

Submission + - Interview with LugRadio Team (

mrBen writes: "With the end of Season 4 reaching it's climax next week with the 3rd LugRadio Live event, I thought it would be interesting to hear some thoughts from some of the LugRadio team about Linux, LugRadio, past and future, so I spoke with Jono Bacon and Stuart "Aq" Langridge, 2 of the presenters.

Tell us a bit about the history of the LugRadio podcast?
Jono: LUGRadio was an idea conceived at a Wolverhampton Linux User Group meeting back in 2003 between Stuart Langridge, Matt Revell, Steve Parkes and Myself. The idea was to create a fun, loose and social audio show (this is before the term 'podcast' become so widely known). We wanted it to look at a range of issues and have the atmosphere of a bunch of guys chatting in a pub with all the irreverence, joking and passionate discussion associated with it.
Aq: Jono, being a musician, had microphones and mixing desks and so forth, which made it a lot easier to get off the ground. We put out the first episode, complete with renditions of the Free Software Song, and the rest is history...

Has its popularity and longevity surprised you?
Jono: Totally. We half-expected people to not listen because it is so typically English in its humor and at times controversial. We never expected its level of success and that so many people around the word listen to it.
Aq: Yep. Long-time listeners to LugRadio will know about a chap called Peter Oliver, one of the crew at LRL2007 and Wolves LUG member, who was highly scornful that we'd ever actually record a show at all. I'm sure the reason we did the first one was at least partially to spite him. Why we're still going after four seasons, though, can't be just to annoy Peter.
Jono: It is so cool to meet LUGRadio fans all over the world. We are also so incredibly thankful for having such an incredible LUGRadio community and for them helping the show grow and scale so much. LUGRadio is not just us four on the show, it is the community mirror network, the forums, the ninjas (our sysadmins), the gaming clan, #lugradio and the hashlugradio community podcast.
Aq: We always wanted to do the sort of show that *we* wanted to listen to; not formal, not dry-as-dustest reviews of the latest kernel point revision, but something like the conversations we all had about Linux, free software, philosophy, and the people involved. That there's an audience for that doesn't surprise me too much: most people I talk to are really more interested in that sort of thing than in what's new in the latest revision of Gnu Emacs!

How do you think podcasts fit in with the overall Linux/OSS community?
Jono: I think they work pretty well on the whole. The key thing is that different people look for different things, and that is the ethos behind Open Source.
Aq: There's a pretty big overlap between the sort of people who use free software and the sort of people who aren't believers in Big Media spoon-feeding us the latest "approved" music and films. We're iconoclasts, to some extent, and podcasts (along with other "user-generated media", if I can use such a horrible perversion of a term) fit in with that quite well. The fun part there is finding the balance; there comes an epiphany where you realise that the big media companies don't *just* drain money out of the market, and the expertise that they bring does take effort. I'm pretty proud of how good LugRadio sounds (which is pretty much entirely down to Jono as sound editor), and we do put in some effort to keep the quality high; people appreciate that, I think.
Jono: As such, some people will love LUGRadio, but other people will prefer their podcast in the form of other great shows such as The Linux Action Show or The Linux Link Tech Show — there is room in this tiny fishbowl for everyone.
Aq: In terms of the wider community, now that the hype around podcasting being something revolutionary has died away we're seeing it take a place along with weblogs and wikis and mailing lists as another way to get information out and to bring people together. I'm all in favour of that; anything that helps our community work better together, and stand on its own feet more without support from others who don't care about the ideals we share, is a great thing.

What prompted the decision to move to a live event?
Jono: We wanted to take the ethos and soul behind LUGRadio and produce a very fun, social and interesting event that is different and entirely community focused. This was partially inspired by one of the evenings of the annual UK Linux expo when the UK Linux community would congregate in a pub in Olympia in London. We wanted to take that seedling and grow it into a full weekend with fascinating talks, interesting things to see and do, a consistent humor and a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. We are really pleased with how it has grown and taken off, particularly as none of us had really organised events before.
Aq: LugRadio Live is a capturing of that spirit but running for a whole weekend. Every time I see someone with a smile on their face there I mark it as a success!
Oh, and getting to walk out on stage when everyone cheers. Ego, yes, but...there's no feeling like it.

Describe how you think the event has evolved in the last 3 years?
Jono: It has just grown and grown. The first year was an experiment with one day, 14 speakers a small exhibition, all crammed into a tiny venue. We expected about 45 people and around 230 showed up. Stunned and surprised, we organised the next event with two days, over 35 speakers and a full exhibition and this time had around 400 people show up. For the 2007 event we have two days, over 40 speakers, a full exhibition, BOF sessions, special events, live LUGRadio recording, social events, and more. The event has grown, but we have been keen to always keep it community focused and be a really special experience for everyone who attends.
Aq: It's got bigger, and we've got better at doing it. We've learned quite a few things about what you need to do this sort of event, like how much time it takes to set up all the microphones, how many people we need in the crew, that sort of thing. As LRL's got bigger we've also been seen by speakers as a good place to come to; the first year we chased most of the speakers to ask them to talk, but this year we had most of the speakers approach us.

What's the most exciting thing (that isn't a secret) about this years event?
Jono: I am really looking forward to Adam Sweet's Gong-a-thong Lightbulb Talk Extravaganza [Aq: it's a succession of three-minute talks; what other conferences call "lightning talks"]and also looking forward to a bunch of LUGRadio Live virgin speakers such as Nat Friedman, Alan Cox, Chris diBona and Aaron Seigo. Should be a blast!

You've released 2 promo videos this year (Freedom March and Don't Listen Alone) — what was the thinking behind these?
Jono: We wanted to help jack up the event in the blogosphere and Linux community in the build up to the big weekend, so we decided to do a few promo videos. We were very keen to have two very different videos to get people thinking and talking about different things.
Aq: We can say "come to LugRadio Live" as much as we like, but something to capture the imagination or make people laugh is going to get attention a lot more than a post on a weblog. We've talked about making videos for a while (although there's no LugTV in the pipeline, so don't get your hopes up), and this seemed like the perfect opportunity!

'Freedom March' in particular has received some mixed reviews/criticism — any thoughts on this?
Jono: When we were brainstorming ideas, I came up with the idea of Freedom March and Aq had the idea of Don't Listen Alone. I wrote the script for Freedom March and was keen to project a very different side of LUGRadio. Most people know LUGRadio for its raucous discussion and comedy, but we often spend a lot of time on the show discussing serious subjects in a serious and passionate way. I quite liked the idea of us pushing out this side of us and trying to write as rousing a script as I could for it. I love the fact it caused a chunk of discussion and I knew it would not be everyone's cup of tea, but I love the fact that both videos caused such a reaction.
Aq: The Freedom March was designed to inspire people who might be new to free software, who are interested in becoming part of our community, and maybe just a little for those of us who are a bit jaded with the whole thing. It's difficult sometimes, in between wars about whether the GPLv3 is a good idea and which desktop environment to use, to remember how far the free software movement has come and what the goals that we all share are. That's what The Freedom March tries to embody.
Don't Listen Alone was much more the fun side. Just the idea of throwing a laptop off a tall building made me laugh so much that we had to make a video out of it! The two videos should, between them, cover most of our audience, I think. If you didn't like one, hopefully you liked the other!

Last year saw the event double in size — are you expecting any more growth?
Jono: We hope so, but it is so difficult to tell. So long as the event feels busy and has a buzz, we will be happy. We are not bothered about everyone and their dog showing up, we just want a fun, electrifying atmosphere on the weekend, and we are looking forward to it this year. It is certainly not something to be missed.
Aq: I imagine it'll be a little bigger this year, but I don't think we'll double in size again. On the other hand, the number of people that turn up is always a bit of a guess, even after the event; most of the people who come to LRL pay on the door and don't pre-register, so we have to stick our fingers in the air and guess numbers a lot. If five thousand people show up then it'll be pretty exciting. We can't put that many people in the venue, mind!

What's next for LugRadio / LugRadio Live?
Jono: (With) LUGRadio Live, we hope to keep running it and bringing new and exciting features to it while always retaining its key community ethos. We want LUGRadio Live to be *the* community free software and Open Source event that people want to get along to each year.
Aq: We've got a few ideas for the (next) season. One of them is that we'd like to do more things involving the LugRadio community: we're very proud that so many cool people have joined the LR community and we want to get more people in to that. We've also talked about LugRadio on tour, which would be a deeply fun week or so of doing live shows around the country (and other countries?) On a more mundane note, I'm rewriting the scripts that underlie the website so that we'll release at a more predictable time, to make things easier on our mirror maintainers! We want to hear ideas from everyone about what they'd like to hear LugRadio do: tell us!
Jono:We are always trying to keep the show fresh, and we are always keen to get ideas and views from our listeners. We love trying new things out and seeing if they sink or swim.

LugRadio Live 2007 is this weekend, 7th and 8th July, at the Lighthouse Centre in Wolverhampton, UK. Tickets are £5 for the whole weekend.
LugRadio is a fortnightly podcast covering all topics of interest to all levels of Linux users"


Submission + - 5 Nokia N800s to be won at LRL 2007 (

mrBen writes: "The LugRadio team have announced that Nokia have donated 5 of their N800 internet tablets as prizes at LugRadio Live this year.

Also up for grabs are bundles of O'Reilly books, Make Magazine subscriptions, and one of the Defective by Design Hazmat suits.

LugRadio Live is on the 7th and 8th July in Wolverhampton, UK. Tickets are £5 from here or on the door."


Submission + - Freedom March - open source viral marketting (

mrBen writes: "The team behind LugRadio in the UK have produced a short viral-type video as a call-to-arms for all those who value freedom in software, information, ideas, and thoughts. Check it out here or on YouTube.

"...Freedom is my pillar, my story, my way, but to taste real freedom, we need to join arms and march towards a future in which we free information, people, thoughts and ideas. I am one, we are one, and together we stand united by vision, defined by diversity, alive with potential....""


Submission + - Freedom March video promo for LRL07 (

mrBen writes: "The LugRadio team have produced a short video The Freedom March (YouTube) to announce the open of registrations for the 3rd annual LugRadio Live — the premier open source community event in the UK. This year's event (7th-8th July, Wolverhampton) boasts over 40 speakers, hundreds of people, dozens of exhibitions and the all important beer. Sign up here"

Submission + - Speakers for LugRadio Live 2007 Announced

mrBen writes: "The LugRadio team have announced the feature list for the 3rd annual LugRadio Live, the community focused UK conference (7th-8th July, Wolverhampton). This years highlights include Chris DiBona (Google), Alan Cox, Nat Friedman (Novell), Aaron Seigo (KDE), Christian Schaller (Fluendo) and Michael Sparks (BBC) among the speakers (full list here) and Ubuntu, Novell, O'Reilly, Senokian and MythTV among the exhibitors (full list here). In addition there will be Birds of a Feather sessions, lightning talks, and, of course, lots of beer drinking.

This is the premier community event in the UK, with over 500 attendees from all over the world last year, and at only £5 a ticket for a 2-day event it isn't to be missed."

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