151: Audacity Responds, FragAttacks WiFi Flaws, System76 Keyboard | This Week in Linux

On this episode of This Week in Linux, we’ve got a lot of great news to get to. We’ll first check out some Hardware News as Pre-Orders are now available for the Framework Modular Laptop and System76’s new Keyboard. KDE announced the Beta release for Plasma 5.22 and I personally have given it a test run already and can easily say I am very excited about this release. Then we’ll jump to the Linux Mobile market to check out the latest release for Ubuntu Touch with OTA-17 and we’ve got some updates for the JingPad A1 Linux tablet. Later in the show, we’ve got an update for the Audacity Telemetry topic we discussed last week and we’ll check out some Wi-Fi Security Flaws that were revealed this week. All that and much more on Your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

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  1. Thanks, @MichaelTunnell - lots of interesting news as usual!

    Framework Modular Laptop is definitely intriguing though for me too pricey right now and I agree I’d like to see AMD options!

    Always good to hear Ubuntu Touch is progressing and really pleased about Audacity listening and responding to community concerns. I hope FB’s compression software isn’t finding it necessary to send telemetry info, location and what-not to them every time it’s used :wink:

  2. I will wait until there is a Coreboot motherboard available.

  3. I have kind of an unusual take on that Framework laptop…

    1. I like that it comes with Windows because it makes resale super easy. You just remove the Windows M.2 the moment you get it and put it back in when it’s time to sell and you get a muuuuch larger sale audiance plus the ability to say the OS is fresh from the factory.

    2. It’s very frustrating that this laptop’s only special feature is fancy USB-C docks considering it’s mission statement and being built from scratch. It’s like they’re fighting a strawman because there’s plenty of basic upgradeable/modular laptops and we’re yet to see how long the chassis will be supported (feels like those game studio “roadmap” promises).

      An example of doing something creative might be making a lapdock that’s also a laptop. It’d solve one of the major drawbacks and e-waste problems with laptops because it’d allow their screen and peripherals to be plugged into other devices reducing the user’s need to buy more and extending the useful life of the laptop possibly way beyond the laptop’s motherboard.

  4. they dont do this right now but the way it is built it is theoretically possible to do that because they have it with a socket system with the switches.

    it is a bit pricey but not insane considering all they are doing with it. Though yea really want an AMD option

    that’s not a worry because it is being audited and used by a ton of stuff and a lot of distros are using it so even if they did it would be instantly forked or that crap would be ripped out by the community. Since they did it as open source though I highly doubt they would be dumb enough to try that lol but Google did it in Chromium so who knows.

    I think coming with Windows is fine and smart to do in regards to selling it in a mass market but I have zero interest in getting Windows and since this laptop is meant to be upgraded and modified selling it would not be on my mind since the life span of the overall thing can be so long.

    Where did you get that is the only thing special? Every piece is replaceable even the motherboard and the screen. It is made so everything is relatively easy to replace and they even have QR codes on each part inside the machine to make it easy to find the manuals and the replacement order options. The USB-C isnt the only part of the modules, they have tons of various options and based on using USB4 there can be a TON of other modules in the future.

    not with every piece of the machine unless you could the god awful monstrosities that are out there based on ancient hardware.

    They are based in California and there is a law in California that requires them to support it at least for 7 years. I saw them say this themselves so 7 years is a guarantee and they also said they plan to support it longer but aren’t sure just yet for how long.

    You can use various modules to make it possible to connect all kinds of peripherals so I dont see why a dock would benefit much and as for the “beyond the motherboard” . . . you can outright replace the motherboard at some point if you want to.

  5. What i’m getting is repair and modularity.

    Repair:
    I should rephrase what I wrote, it’s special that parts replacement will be easy for a brand new product.

    This doesn’t apply to screens. Of the X-many i’ve repaired they tend to be cross-brand generic (usually Samsung or similar) and easy to buy from the serial numbers on the back even when the laptop model is new. Some high end laptops will perma glue them but that’s an exception to the norm.

    As for parts they tend to be available used in 1 to 3 years and there’s usually a few “perfect” quality options for each, i’ve never bought a laptop worrying about spare parts. I don’t see this as an industry problem but it does apply to low-sale qty laptops.

    There’s also a really counter-intuitive issue of more e-waste being produced with spares because companies are forced to order them in bulk in order to:

    1. Make them affordable.
    2. Get a factory to even be willing to make them.

    So instead of used parts becoming spares, you gets lots of spare part overstock. Hard problem to balance especially for smaller companies.

    Adapters:
    USB-C adapters are laptop agnostic, it’s not a special feature to supply a technology every modern+ laptop can get. What they’re selling is a form-factor that’s flush with the chassis once it’s plugged in. I find that very cool.

    This is probably going to be a great laptop and I could level the same criticisms against any laptop… but they’re dialing the hype to 11 and crowning themselves as an e-waste solution by shipping a cool gimmick. If I can just chuck out a lapdock idea which wouldn’t be hard to implement, just think of all the ways they could have earned their own hype.

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