Ubuntu 17.10 Update

The amended release of those ISO images had the promise not to brick those laptop computers and it was released this year. It appears that certain brands of laptops like Acer, Dell, etc. were bricked at the BIOS scale in which they were not able to boot.

So much controversial mistakes until now probably came from Intel and the other tech companies after the fact that the patches against Spectre and Meltdown either caused certain computers not to boot or suffer something else like BSOD on AMD computers affected by those faulty patches but that’s an on-going story for another time. Before those vulnerabilities were discovered by the public, there laid a bug affecting the Intel SPI driver which rendered those laptops unbootable. The amended release of Ubuntu 17.10 had disabled the driver and its official warning says that it should not be enabled unless you what you’re doing as doing so can overdrive the SPI flash. The worse thing is that those laptops can be simply bricked with the live boot whether it’s USB or the DVD disc of Ubuntu 17.10 prior to the amended release.

There may be solutions to undo the damage but the worst case scenario is that THE ENTIRE MOTHERBOARD WILL HAVE TO BE REPLACED! So, if you want to update or upgrade something, how can you make sure that none of the patches tampers with the hardware component at the motherboard level? If this is how they make patches or upgrades available like that with motherboard tampering, there will be a serious lawsuit against them and their reputation can be affected! What about Intel? Are they aware of this serious issue?

Another important thing is that Ubuntu 17.04 was already out of support and to upgrade to Ubuntu 17.10 at this time will be no easy feat. I don’t know what the future Ubuntu versions may contain after seeing this news on various tech sites like Softpedia and OMG Ubuntu, etc. The same kind of concern may take place in MacOS and Windows as well in addition to Linux. Not to mention the patches that will require altering something at the motherboard level like the BIOS-level hardware component for instance, are NO PLAYTHINGS. Applying those will be no easy feat even when there’s a serious technical situation that is another story of another time. What about the computer magazines containing Ubuntu 17.10 in the optical discs? Well, the publishers of those magazines couldn’t be blamed when things stated above already happened enough. There may be great things about every future version of Ubuntu but certain versions have already caused controversies and this one has caused a more serious controversy than the other versions of Ubuntu that did so.

Lastly, for the enterprises, if everything is okay with the patches, they should be ready to go level-by-level with the critical-level being the production environment. But before you plan to deploy those patches, you may as well wait to see if there’s any bad news regarding them. It may probably take days, weeks or even months should there be any bad news. The example of a bad news for patches is that they may render the computer unbootable at either the OS-level or even worse, the BIOS-level as if the BIOS itself is tampered with.

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Unity to be dropped in favor of GNOME in Ubuntu 18.04

During the time the netbooks were around, there was a Netbook Remix edition of Ubuntu that used the Unity UI which was eventually brought over to all editions of Ubuntu with Netbook Remix edition being made obsolete. It was a controversial move at the time as if the UI layout and design were different while still bringing in some shiny looking icons until Unity 8 is where all the glassy-ness is gone with solid looking rounded squares. The icons in Unity for Ubuntu may probably look like the Superbar from Windows 7 although the others may compare the Unity UI to the Mac Dock UI. The similarity is that you click on the icons to open their corresponding programs and if you close those programs, the icons in the Unity bar are still intact. However, if you open a different program whose icon is not in the Unity bar, it’s a similar vein to opening a different program in Windows 7 and Mac OSX. Certain programs in Mac Dock have their special menus where else in Windows 7 and Unity for Ubuntu, certain programs have special commands on the menu when you right-click on them on the taskbar.

In the near future starting next year, Ubuntu will be switching back to using GNOME although it uses GNOME 3 whose UI is different than the classic GNOME so if you click on the top left in GNOME 3 and Unity, you get to see many apps on the screen and somehow, GNOME 3 has the similar elements to Unity UI. So, the controversy isn’t over yet when switching back to GNOME like that with GNOME 3 in the future. The workaround is to install the classic GNOME like I already did with Ubuntu on my computer the last time although the UI layout was restored that way, it wasn’t the same from the way it looks in current Ubuntu OSes like everything is going all solid with lack of gradients.

The situation is that Canonical is moving towards cloud computing, Internet of Things along with Ubuntu Core and Snap apps which are applicable to IoT devices. Of course, running their own data center for the sake of cloud computing is energy and money consuming but what will they get is the money from the users running virtual machines in the cloud as part of the monthly subscription. This obviously makes more business sense that way as having to turn a phone into a computer will still give you limited software resources that is if you’re running Windows 10. On Ubuntu Touch for phones and tablets, you’re still sort of limited in the same vein as Windows 10 Mobile but from their demonstration, you should be able to run desktop-like apps stored on those devices when using Convergence.

Needless to say, both Unity and newer versions of GNOME are likely to take up more resources than the classic version. You could have run the other editions of Ubuntu if that’s the case on the old computers.

Privacy issues in Ubuntu 12.10

We’re not sure if Canonical will do their best to increase privacy levels for Ubuntu but it seems that they’re already do so and Android is one these OSes they want to teach a lesson of.

For some reason, switching from Mac OSX or Windows to Ubuntu is not recommended probably due to some privacy issues but there are some workarounds.

You can uninstall the unity-lens-shopping package from the terminal or something and disable Include online search results in the Privacy app. Not enough? Then you can switch to other desktop environments such as KDE, GNOME or Cinnamon. Just install one of them, log off and switch the desktop environment from the login screen and log back in.

Next is the installation of Ubuntu. During the setup screen, you can encrypt the new Ubuntu installation for security purposes. That is, before the installation process begins. Then, you’re given the security key screen to enter your security password. This is probably the disk encryption and if you lose or forget this security key you have made, all data will be inaccesible and lost.

Another thing from EFF to Ubuntu users is that you may need HTTPS Everywhere extension for Firefox and Chrome.

Well, that is more of the summarized news divided into two parts from EFF website. We hope that Canonical can show Google on who’s boss in privacy.