Presidential Candidate Website Survey Update

The race is now down to 5. (From 21!)

What’s changed in their website setups?

Donald Trump got rid of Flash, otherwise everything else appears to be the same.

Ted Cruz went from a A+ rating to just an A (lost HSTS?).

Nothing changed for John Kasich.

Hillary Clinton went from an inconsistent server setup with many IPv4 addresses to just 1 IPV4 address.   The www. redirect behavior (from without to it) does mess up HTTPS Everywhere and ssllabs tests.     A major plus is she added HSTS to her site, so her ssllabs rating is now A+.

Bernie Sanders added IPv6 support and HSTS to the main site.  Unfortunately a sha2 intermediate certificate prevents his site from going from A to A+.  And his donation provider has HSTS setup correctly and get’s an A+.

At this point in the campaign, only A ratings (ssllabs) are left!  The Democrats seem to have prioritized implementing HSTS, but neither appears to have gone for the preload list.

HSTS – Means you tell the browser to enforce SSL

You can find the raw data in this spreadsheet

I also included sub domains in this list, but it wasn’t as interesting as I hoped.

Lead (Pb) in the USA

Live in the US?  Did you know that we put Lead (Pb), a known neurotoxin, in:

  • Garden hoses (that have been shown to leak Lead into the water)
  • Power cords (including laptop cords)
  • Carseats (mostly to the base, some other toxins have been found in the seat itself)
  • Likely more, it’s apparently not uncommon to be added to plastic…

In the EU you aren’t allowed to put Lead in the above.  I think it’s time we joined them!

  • Sign the petition on the White House We the People site.
  • Donate to this Indiegogo campaign to test carseats for toxic chemicals. (They are only asking for $10,000! ~ mostly to buy the carseats)
  • Share this post / the above with friends, family, and any celebrities you happen to know on Twitter, etc.  #NoSafeAmountOfLead.
  • Bonus: Watch episode 7 of the new Cosmos which ends with Neil deGrasse Tyson saying there is no safe amount of lead.

Please let me know if you have trouble doing any of the above..

Ubuntu Community in Trouble?

I am looking at alternatives to Ubuntu, in particular I like:

  • Fedora  –  Gives me a cutting edge open source graphics stack. I really have been enjoying their implementation of Gnome Shell (with Tweaks)
  • Linux Mint – Great for everyday users and it comes with a very innovative and user friendly desktop, without trying to be “revolutionary”, it’s just evolutionary
  • LXDE – as far as lightweight and friendly environments go, LXDE rocks (Lubuntu, Linux Mint LXDE, and Fedora LXDE are all good products)

I know the biggest reason I’m searching for alternatives is “Unity”, which I think is a perfectly ironic name for something that is dividing the ordinary users into two more desktop camps, Unity vs. Gnome Shell.   If you asked users what more they want from Linux, they would say polish and a better office suite, not more desktop choices.  [To be fair to Canonical, they are investing more into LibreOffice, which I am very happy about 🙂 ]

The graph below is from Google Trends.  It tells the story of Ubuntu rising from obscurity and the predictable releases pushing the “buzz” higher and higher. 11.04 has had the weakest showing in recent releases and the drop after the release doesn’t seem to be a good sign either.  It will be very interesting to see how the release fairs tomorrow.

The worst part for me is that Unity and Gnome Shell aren’t very different from the user’s point of view.   They both are revolutionary in some of the same ways, and both make some stupid choices.  I think it’s mostly the stupid things that have forced the separation (along with the usual politics), these are the things I would like to see removed from both.

Gnome on Ubuntu has served as the flagship desktop environment for Linux for at least the last few years.  Gnome provided a solid usable desktop and Ubuntu provided an amazing amount of polish and things like OEM installs, etc. (along with everything else a distro does).  I will be very impressed with both Ubuntu and Gnome if they are able to compromise and reunite.

United we stand, divided we fall.

Mindshare: Focus Gaming

What does the Linux platform lack that Windows or Mac has?   Mind share.   Which is like Market share but instead for how people perceive the brand.   Apple has the “Mind share” that they are user friendly and easy to use, it doesn’t matter if they actually are!16 – 17

Don’t just take my word for it.  Test it! Find someone who has never used any Portable Music Player before.  Load some music on both of them.  Put the volume too low.  See which one is easier for that person (without any instruction) to turn the volume up.

The takeaway is that we need to do some redefining.  Let’s start with Gaming.  Many people don’t believe there are Linux Gamers.  Let’s get out there and make our presence known.

Introducing Linux Gaming Weekend

When? April 16 – 17Date changed from before. Tentative Schedule Below.

Two goals of the weekend.  Showcasing Linux Gaming demand to Valve (and their gamers) and Showcasing Great Linux games!

  • Showcase Linux Gaming demand in Valve’s Steam Platform (you could run in Wine or in Windows but the key is to spread the idea of Linux Gaming)
    What to do?  

    1. Play Multiplayer games with the gamer tag/name LinuxGamer.   Focusing on popular or beta games might help.  Perhaps these (don’t buy them! – skip to #2 if you don’t have any Valve games):
      • Counter-Strike: Source  (or Beta)
      • Left 4 Dead
      • Team Fortress 2

      If every server anyone connects to this weekend is filled with LinuxGamers this affects the other gamers Mindshare.  I also think the Beta servers are more monitored by Valve, so better chance of being noticed there.

    2. Sending feedback to Valve through their email address contact@valvesoftware.com
      Guidelines: Be respectful.  Offer to beta test a Linux Version.  If you have those games already say so.  If you don’t (and are interested in their games) say that you’d buy them if there was a Linux version.
  • Showcase  a couple Great Linux Games (that offer similar gaming to the Windows only ones above)

Tentative Schedule

Saturday

  • 2PM – 1 Hour of Counter:Strike Source (or Urban Terror or another Valve multiplayer game)
  • 3PM – 2 Hours of Urban Terror
  • Walk Outside! / Snack/ Dinner
  • 7PM – 1 Hour of Left 4 Dead (or Tremulous or another Valve multiplayer game)
  • 8PM – 2 Hours of Tremulous

Sunday

  • 7PM – 1 Hour of Team Fortress 2 (or Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory  or another Valve multiplayer game)
  • 8PM – 2 Hours of Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory

At the very least it should be fun!  And feel free to suggest better matches for the Valve games.  I’ll try to post getting started on each of the free games before the Linux Gaming Weekend, so that everyone will have a better idea of how to play.  I’ve switched my name to LinuxGamer in all the games I play (having lots of fun in UrbanTerror right now) and you could always make that switch before the weekend too….

Bonus Points:
Test an unstable distribution (Ubuntu RC of 11.04 should have just come out), run Steam Beta, or the Beta of one of the games.