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Mobile Interfaces, Internet, Devices and UX

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A mobile phone

Summary: Visitors who use mobile phones get a subpar experience, but that's an issue that boils down to preservation versus novelty

TUX MACHINES is turning 15 later this year. Longtime readers may very well know that the appearance or the layout of this site barely changed over the years. The key components have been in place since the very start. We still use node IDs as URLs (not ideal, but that works), mobile devices are barely supported (they were barely used on the Net at the time the site started), and due to SPAM we can no longer allow new user registrations (they overwhelm the site with a flood of SPAM submissions, i.e. noise such as pornographic comments, abusive blog posts etc.) within hours. We know because we tried opening up these registrations several times in the past. Any loosening of these restriction means a complete and utter mess.

"Mobile users who struggle with the site contact me routinely and my best suggestion for them is an RSS reader (many exist for mobile devices), which overcomes these issues and bypasses all the 'cruft'."

So-called 'UX' (buzzword for user interfaces/experience) in Tux Machines is far from ideal, especially for those who use a phone. We are aware of it, but the overhaul required to change that would be truly massive because of the number of pages, images, and the underlying framework, which was heavily modified and tailored for the existing user experience. I spent a lot of time making things work as they do. Susan had also invested a great deal of effort.

Mobile users who struggle with the site contact me routinely and my best suggestion for them is an RSS reader (many exist for mobile devices), which overcomes these issues and bypasses all the 'cruft'. Taking all the implications into account (endless work associated with a change), we don't plan a site redesign/overhaul. Maybe in the distant future, but not any time soon. The RSS feed is already used by a lot of people, even desktop/laptop users. We have no ads and no surveillance in this site, so RSS feeds don't impact some "business model" or whatever. In fact, it helps lower the strain on the server.

More in Tux Machines

Software, HowTos and Storage

  • Pause Music When Locking The Screen And Resume On Unlock For Spotify, Rhythmbox, Others

    When you lock your computer screen (without suspending the system), most desktop audio players continue playback in the background, sometimes not emitting any sound ¹. Due to this you may unintentionally skip parts of podcasts or songs in a playlist, etc. Enter pause-on-lock, a Bash script that pauses your music player when you lock the screen and resumes playback once the screen is unlocked. pause-on-lock works on Unity, GNOME, Cinnamon and MATE desktop environments, and by default it supports Spotify and Rhythmbox. With the help of playerctl (a command line controller for controlling media players that support the MPRIS D-Bus interface), this script can extend its supported music players to many others, including Audacious, VLC, Cmus, and others.

  • Easy Way to Screen Mirroring Android on Ubuntu!

    Screen Mirroring is one of the features found on smartphones, one of which is on Android. This feature serves to display the smartphone to a computer. This is very useful for example when used for demo applications that you make, or maybe for other things related to smartphones. In Ubuntu, we can do screen mirroring with applications available on Android, for example is AirDroid which can be used for screen mirroring through a browser. But I feel less optimal when using this instant method. Because there is a lag between activity on the smartphone and on the monitor screen on the computer, and the results are less than optimal. What might be the cause because it is opened through a browser and uses wi-fi? (Personal question). I am looking for another application for screen mirroring on Ubuntu, and one of the very good applications is Scrcpy. This application can be used for screen mirroring without a root device.

  • Command line quick tips: Searching with grep
  • How to Install Cezerin on Debian 9
  • How to Create a Bootable USB Stick from the Ubuntu Terminal
  • How to Install Git on Debian 10
  • How to Copy/Move a Docker Container to Another Host
  • Six practical use cases for Nmap
  • The Next Stage of Flash Storage: Computational Storage
  • NAS upgrade

    At some point in the future I hope to spend a little bit of time on the software side of things, as some of the features of my set up are no longer working as they should: I can't remote-decrypt the main disk via SSH on boot, and the first run of any backup fails due to some kind of race condition in the systemd unit dependencies. (The first attempt does not correctly mount the backup partition; the second attempt always succeeds).

  • Storage Concepts And Technologies Explained In Detail

Fedora: Dropping i686 and Flock Reports

  • Approved: Fedora 31 To Drop i686 Everything/Modular Repositories

    The month-old proposal for the upcoming Fedora 31 Linux distribution release to stop with their i686 repositories for Everything and Modules was voted on today by the Fedora Engineering and Steering Committee. The FESCo group gave their formal approval today for permitting these i686 repositories to be removed beginning with Fedora 31. This also goes in-step with Fedora 31 having already decided to stop with their i686 kernel builds.

  • Living my best 4 days: Flock to Fedora 2019

    Months of waiting came to an end and finally, it was time to meet people with whom I have been working for the last 4 months, being on the other side of the screen. Things seemed different when our last Wednesday conference call ended with “Meet you soon” instead of a “Good Day”. The excitement of attending Flock to Fedora, was not only because the virtual interaction is turning to the real meeting but also, it was my first ever International trip. With approaching the 6th of August, the fear of travelling solo was getting on the peak, and at one moment I started questioning if all the trouble I underwent during last month was even worth it. But the time I met Shraddha(another intern working on the same project)at Bangalore airport, we happened to click so much at our first conversation that it was certain that at least my journey will not be me, and my headphones all the time. Since I reached Budapest a day before when everyone arrived, I got a handful of time discovering places, getting to know their culture and try on things we never tried before. The excitement of being at such a beautiful place did not make me realise that I was sleep-deprived, I had a jet lag of 4 hours and I was hungry. I spent the entire day roaming the streets, enjoying a breath of fresh air and exploring the city and ways of commute as well. Next day we shifted to the hotel that was booked for us and where the conference will be held. The ambience of the whole place was really nice and we met other fellow attendees at the conference.

  • rpminspect Presentation at Flock 2019

    Flock in Budapest was a great event. There were a lot of talks I wanted to attend, but could not make it to all of them. I did give one talk on my project called rpminspect. rpminspect is a project I started as a replacement for an internal Red Hat tool. I am working on integrating it in to the build workflow for Fedora but also allow package maintainers to use it locally as a build linter of sorts. Here is a link to the presentation I gave. I think there is video, but I am not sure where those are.

Security: Patches, IPFire 2.23 Core Update 135, Kaspersky in the Middle

  • Security updates for Monday

    Security updates have been issued by CentOS (kernel and openssl), Debian (ffmpeg, golang-1.11, imagemagick, kde4libs, openldap, and python3.4), Fedora (gradle, hostapd, kdelibs3, and mgetty), Gentoo (adobe-flash, hostapd, mariadb, patch, thunderbird, and vlc), Mageia (elfutils, mariadb, mythtv, postgresql, and redis), openSUSE (chromium, kernel, LibreOffice, and zypper, libzypp and libsolv), Oracle (ghostscript), Red Hat (rh-php71-php), SUSE (bzip2, evince, firefox, glib2, glibc, java-1_8_0-openjdk, polkit, postgresql10, python3, and squid), and Ubuntu (firefox).

  • IPFire 2.23 - Core Update 135 is ready for testing

    after a little break with many things to fight, we are back with a brand new Core Update which is packed with various bug fixes and cleanup of a lot of code.

  • Wladimir Palant: Kaspersky in the Middle - what could possibly go wrong?

    Roughly a decade ago I read an article that asked antivirus vendors to stop intercepting encrypted HTTPS connections, this practice actively hurting security and privacy. As you can certainly imagine, antivirus vendors agreed with the sensible argument and today no reasonable antivirus product would even consider intercepting HTTPS traffic. Just kidding… Of course they kept going, and so two years ago a study was published detailing the security issues introduced by interception of HTTPS connections. Google and Mozilla once again urged antivirus vendors to stop. Surely this time it worked? Of course not. So when I decided to look into Kaspersky Internet Security in December last year, I found it breaking up HTTPS connections so that it would get between the server and your browser in order to “protect” you. Expecting some deeply technical details about HTTPS protocol misimplementations now? Don’t worry, I don’t know enough myself to inspect Kaspersky software on this level. The vulnerabilities I found were far more mundane.

Replicating Particle Collisions at CERN with Kubeflow

This is where Kubeflow comes in. They started by training their 3DGAN on an on-prem OpenStack cluster with 4 GPUs. To verify that they were not introducing overhead by using Kubeflow, they ran training first with native containers, then on Kubernetes, and finally on Kubeflow using the MPI operator. They then moved to an Exoscale cluster with 32 GPUs and ran the same experiments, recording only negligible performance overhead. This was enough to convince them that they had discovered a flexible, versatile means of deploying their models to a wide variety of physical environments. Beyond the portability that they gained from Kubeflow, they were especially pleased with how straightforward it was to run their code. As part of the infrastructure team, Ricardo plugged Sofia’s existing Docker image into Kubeflow’s MPI operator. Ricardo gave Sofia all the credit for building a scalable model, whereas Sofia credited Ricardo for scaling her team’s model. Thanks to components like the MPI operator, Sofia’s team can focus on building better models and Ricardo can empower other physicists to scale their own models. Read more Also: Issue #2019.08.19 – Kubeflow at CERN