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Hacker Public Radio

Your ideas, projects, opinions - podcasted.

New episodes Monday through Friday.

Call for shows

We are running very low on shows at the moment. Have a look at the hosts page and if you don't see "2014-??-??" next to your name, or if your name is not listed, you might consider sending us in something.

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The 4th Annual HPR New Year 26 hour show

Yes it't that time of year when HPR opens it's hands and welcomes all the Tech podcast community to gather and chat. Meet old friends and make a few new ones. This is the 4th Annual show that is streamed live and then podcasted via the Hacker Public Radio feed. While it is enabled by HPR Volunteers, it is put on for the benefit of the FLOSS, Tech, Security podcast community in general.

We would kindly ask as many people as possible to spread the word

  • Starting:
    • 10 in the morning New Years eve, UTC, 2014-12-31T10:00:00Z
  • Ending:
    • Noon New Years Day UTC, 2015-01-01T12:00:00Z
  • Latest Shows

    hpr1645 :: 42 - LibreOffice Calc - Data Manipulation 2: Standard and Advanced Filters

    A look at the more advanced filtering options for manipulating data in Calc.

    Hosted by Ahuka on 2014-11-21 and released under a CC-BY-SA license.
    Listen in ogg, spx, or mp3 format. Series: LibreOffice | Comments (0)

    You can set a Standard Filter from within the AutoFilter drop-down, or you can go there through the Data menu by selecting Data>Filter>Standard Filter. Now lets look at the question we ended the last tutorial with: How many females over the age 40 had a case in 1978. We saw we could get this by manually putting checkmarks in every age that was greater than 40 using AutoFilter, but how do we do this using Standard Filter? - For more go to

    hpr1644 :: Benetech, OpenStack and Kumusha

    Benetech CEO opens up, the challenge of OpenStack product management, and Kumusha Takes Wiki.

    Hosted by semioticrobotic on 2014-11-20 and released under a CC-BY-SA license.
    Listen in ogg, spx, or mp3 format. Series: NewsCast | Comments (0)

    In this episode

    Open source product development most effective when social

    Benetech started out in the 90s without even understanding the meaning of the term open source. They just "needed an easy way to interface with different voice synthesizers" to develop readers for people who are blind and "shared the code to be helpful."

    Sound familiar? started covering stories like in 2010 and they recur more often than you might think. Stories of people sharing the code to help others—but sharing code to get help developing better code. When code is open, a community has the opportunity to form around it.

    Read this interview about what Benetech CEO Jim Fruchterman learned by adopting open source philosophy and furthering technology-for-good.
    Read more:

    OpenStack product management: wisdom or folly?

    Two recent, excellent, blog posts have touched on a topic I've been wrestling with since May's OpenStack Summit: What is the role of the Product Management function, if any, in the OpenStack development process?

    The first article, "Calling all 'User Landians' to lead OpenStack above the cloud," by Evan Scheessele, talks about the "real user" of OpenStack—those people that need to deliver a solution that brings some sort of value to their organization. The other article, "Who's In Charge Here Anyway?…," by Rob Hirschfeld, speaks to the dynamics of how decisions—which OpenStack features are in in or out—get made in the OpenStack ecosystem.
    Read more:

    Giving Sub-Saharan African communities an online presence

    People in Sub-Saharan Africa face hurdles to get online. Despite some progress, the region lags behind in Internet connectivity due to the high costs of service and poor infrastructure, according to a recent World Economic Forum report.

    This digital divide means some African communities are underrepresented on the web. Without a well-developed online presence, misinformation about them can spread relatively unchallenged.
    Read more:

    hpr1643 :: Unison Syncing Utility

    Review of the Unison graphical Syncing Utility

    Hosted by FiftyOneFifty on 2014-11-19 and released under a CC-BY-SA license.
    Listen in ogg, spx, or mp3 format. Comments (0)

    Unison is a file syncing/backup utility, similar to SyncBack on Windows, available in most repros.

    1. The graphical interface requires the installation of unison, and unison-gtk.. Unison may be installed w/o the graphical component, but all operations must be initiated from a system running the GUI.
      • Network backups require RSH or SSH to be installed on both machines
    2. The standard wisdom seems to be the rsync does not do a true 2 way sync, i.e., to sync to the newest file version going both ways you would have to do rsync ~/LocalFolder you@server:/home/you/RemoteFolder then turn around and do rsync you@server:/home/you/RemoteFolder ~/LocalFolder. Add that to the fact that like cp, or scp, rsync requires separate commands for files with extensions, files without, and hidden files, creating a bash script for syncing files is more complex than creating a Unison profile.
    3. Step One: If, like me you are syncing only Documents, make your subfolder structure the same on both machines, ergo, if one PC has /home/you/Documents/recipe and second PC has /home/you/Documents/Recipes, edit your folder structure to be the same on both PCs to avoid duplicate files and folders
    4. Launch Unison and create a backup profile First use, create a profile
      • Name of profile
      • Synchronization kind (Local, SSH, RSH, TCP)
      • "First" Directory (you can browse your mounted volumes)
      • "Second" Directory, if you chose Local
      • Host Machine Name (or IP Address)
      • User Name (If you haven't registered SSH keys, you will be prompted for a password on every synchronization.
      • Check whether you want to use compression, (on fast networks or slow processors, compression may create more overhead than it's worth).
      • Target directory (If it's on a remote server, you will need to type the full path, there is no browsing to the folder.)
      • Tell Unison if either folder uses FAT (say an un-reformatted USB stick)
      • If you are backing up to another system, Unison needs to be installed on both. If you are backing up to a server with no GUI desktop manager, you can install just the unison package without unison-gtk, but all the syncs will have to be initiated from the machine with a GUI. (Of course, if you back up to a remote volume that is mounted locally, it should be completely transparent to Unison). If you choose to sync via ssh (recommended), you will need ssh and ssh-server installed appropriately on each machine.
    5. Select and run your profile.
      • The first time, expect to get a warning that no archive files (index files that speed up the synchronization scan) were found. They will be created on the first sync.
      • Unison will look for differences between the files in the two selected directories. The differences will be displayed graphically, with arrows pointing left or right, indicating which directory contains the most current version of the file (by modification date). You can choose to merge files either left or right (a conventional backup), do a merge (i.e., Unison itself decides how to combine data from files with the same name (obviously, that could be messy), or to do a sync (ergo, the most current version of a file overwrites older version, regardless of location). Click "Go" to do a true sync.

    hpr1642 :: Frist Time at Oggcamp

    Join Al and Jerry where we discuss are first visit to oggcamp

    Hosted by Al on 2014-11-18 and released under a CC-BY-SA license.
    Listen in ogg, spx, or mp3 format. Series: OggCamp | Comments (1)

    This episode is about how Al and Jerry Meet at Oggcamp. What we enjoy about the event,what to expect and encourage people to attend next year.

    This is my second HPR episode after beni recorded a interview with me at oggcamp and said I should submit my own episode


    hpr1641 :: The real reasons for using Linux

    The real reasons for using Linux

    Hosted by johanv on 2014-11-17 and released under a CC-BY-SA license.
    Listen in ogg, spx, or mp3 format. Comments (1)

    I am a Linux user since the end of 1999. Which is 15 years already. I've also been trying for almost 15 years to convince other people to try Linux. And I must confess that I very often used wrong arguments doing this. After 15 years it is time to ditch some fake arguments, and to tell you the real reasons why you should switch to Linux. :-)

    I apology for the bad audio quality. A full transcript of this episode can be found on my blog.

    hpr1640 :: Symmetric vs. Asymmetric Encryption

    This episode looks the two kinds of encryption keys, and why to use each one.

    Hosted by Ahuka on 2014-11-14 and released under a CC-BY-SA license.
    Listen in ogg, spx, or mp3 format. Series: Privacy and Security | Comments (2)

    Previously we looked at Public Key encryption, which is also called Asymmetric Encryption because it uses two different keys for the encryption and decryption. This allows us to solve one of the biggest problems in secure encrypted communication, which is key distribution. Because the public key can be freely distributed, you dont need to maintain security around the process of distributing keys. Symmetric encryption, on the other hand, relies on a shared key that is used for both encryption and decryption. An example of this is the one-time pad, where you printed up a pad of paper that contained various keys, and each one was used only once. As long as no one can get the key, it is unbreakable, but the big weakness was key distribution. How do you get the one-time pad into the hands of your correspondent? And you would need to do this with separate one-time pads for each person you needed to communicate with. These are the kinds of problems that made asymmetric encryption so popular. Finally, symmetric key crypto cannot be used to reliably create a digital signature. The reason should be clear. If I have the same secret key you used to sign a message, I can alter the message, use the shared secret key myself, and claim you sent it. - For more go to


    hpr1639 :: Ken Starks at Ohio Linux Fest 2014

    Ken Starks builds computers for kids who need a hand.

    Hosted by Ahuka on 2014-11-13 and released under a CC-BY-SA license.
    Listen in ogg, spx, or mp3 format. Comments (0)

    Ken Starks gave the closing keynote at Ohio LinuxFest 2014 on 10/25/14. In this talk he discusses his work with the REGLUE project (formerly the Helios Project) which bulds computers to give to disadvantaged kids in Texas. And if you look there may be something like this in your town that you can help with. And if not, why not start one? This talk was recorded by Randy Noseworthy, and he asked me to post it to HPR.

    hpr1638 :: Surviving A Roadtrip: Food

    A few tricks about food and eating that can help you survive a roadtrip.

    Hosted by Windigo on 2014-11-12 and released under a CC-BY-SA license.
    Listen in ogg, spx, or mp3 format. Comments (0)

    As we are all human to some degree, we require sustenance. When on a roadtrip, this can prove to be challenging - but it is also an opportunity to save money and enjoy yourself!

    Bringing Food
    - Buying all your food on the road is a good way to empty your pockets
    - Convenience stores do not have your health in mind; their food is generally
      over-salty or over-sugary
    - Stopping for snacks can add lots of extra time to a trip
    - A quick stop at the grocery store before your trip is not a bad idea
            - Stock up on non-perishable snacks
            - Nuts and trail mix are a classic for a reason. They're full of protein and
              fiber, and easy to munch on in a vehicle
            - Fruit are sweet, healthy, and also usually easy to eat in a vehicle.
              Apples and grapes are super easy, bananas less so, and oranges are tricky.
              You can pre-peel fruit to make it more accessible, but it won't last as long.
    - Water is important. Make sure to have a gallon jug with you, and refill as
      necessary. I don't mind tap water, but if you're picky, there are water
      filters designed for camping that are compact and quick. Keep yourself
    - Your options for variety of food increase a lot with a cooler
            - Things like cheese and sandwich meats should do fine
            - Make sure to fill it with ice or freezer packs when you set out in the
              morning, and maybe during the afternoon depending on weather
            - Check to see if your lodgings have refrigeration; your cooler will be
              useless if you don't have something more substantial to use in-between
              legs of your journey.
    Stopping To Eat
    - Saving money and being efficient is all well and good, but roadtrips are not
      all about getting from point A to point B.
    - A great way to experience an area is by ingesting a small part of it
    - Add an hour or two to your travel time for a meal stop
    - Pick lunch or dinner
            - Lunch may suit your timetable better if you are an early riser
            - Lunch menus often offer slightly less food for a reduced price
            - Restaurants may be less crowded for lunches
            - Dinner might be a better choice if you like waking and driving late
            - Dinner menus are more comprehensive, but often more on the expensive side
    - Avoid chain restaurants all the time, but especially on a roadtrip
    - Local restaurants and eateries are usually found in downtown areas, away from
      highways. They are well worth the diversion.
    - Different areas have vastly different cuisines, and trying new things can be
      very rewarding. Crawfish: who knew?
    - Find something on the menu that you don't recognize, and eat it.
    - If you are a picky eater, try not to let your preconceptions stop you from
      trying something. For instance, coconut soup is surprisingly unlike any other
      coconut dishes that I've had.
    - Be polite, be patient. Many tourists are rude, and there is a chance that
      the person helping you gets to deal with those tourists frequently.
    - Do not be afraid to ask questions. Figure out what you can, but ask for
      clarification if something on the menu is unusual.
    - If you have food-based allergies or special dietary requirements, these might
      not be accommodated in all areas. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, or are 
      allergic to gluten, peanuts, or dairy, your options may change drastically
      depending on the region you are in.
      - A little research into local restaurants  could help you determine which
            places you can eat without stopping at each restaurant in town.
    - Overall, try to enjoy yourself. Roadtrips can be high-stress affairs, and a
      meal break can do wonders to relieve some of the stress that's built up over
      the day. Relax, and give yourself plenty of time to eat

    hpr1636 :: How I make coffee

    I'm a great lover of coffee. This is how I make mine

    Hosted by Dave Morriss on 2014-11-10 and released under a CC-BY-SA license.
    Listen in ogg, spx, or mp3 format. Comments (3)

    My Coffee History

    I'm a coffee lover. I have tried many ways of making coffee.

    When I was a child my parents made their coffee in a percolator on the stove top. I remember how great it smelled though it tasted awful to me at that age.

    I have owned a variety of filter machines over the years, and these have also been available at the places I have worked. They seemed to do a reasonable job, but nothing special.

    One time I owned an all-glass Cona coffee maker, which was very fancy and expensive. It was too fragile for me and eventually met its end while being washed. I don't recall it making particularly wonderful coffee, but it would also make tea, which was a novelty.

    I made a number of visits to Indonesia several years ago. There are a lot of pretty good coffee beans available there but the way of making a cup of coffee is not really to my taste. A good dollop of ground coffee in a large cup with boiling water added and large quantities of sugar. Straining those coffee grounds out through your teeth is not a pleasant experience.

    As the fashion for the Cafetiere or French Press developed I acquired a number of these. Until recently these were all glass. I found I invariably broke them either by being over zealous when pressing down the plunger or being clumsy when washing them up. It's not a bad way of making coffee, but I have an alternative that I much prefer - the Moka Pot.

    Moka Pot

    A few years ago I bought a Bialetti Moka Pot. I had never heard of these before, but my son, another avid coffee drinker, pointed me to them. I bought a three-cup pot to start with. This is a small pot; the three refers to three 50ml espresso cups. I also bought a 9-cup pot which is much bigger.

    My Bialetti 3-cup and 9-cup pots
    Picture: My Bialetti 3-cup and 9-cup pots

    The pot consists of three main elements: a base which holds the water, a funnel which holds the ground coffee and the top which holds the coffee once made. There is a gasket and a metal filter on the underside of the top part to prevent coffee grounds entering.

    A disassembled Bialetti
    Picture: A disassembled Bialetti

    The Bialetti is heated on a gas or electric stove and forces boiling water through ground coffee under steam pressure. It makes coffee similar to but not the same as espresso coffee.

    The base is filled with water just under the level of the pressure release valve.

    Bialetti filled with water
    Picture: Bialetti filled with water

    I use Italian coffee for the Bialetti since it seems to taste better than any others I have tried.

    My current favourite coffee
    Picture: My current favourite coffee

    Once opened I keep my coffee in a vacuum container.

    Coffee in a vacuum container
    Picture: Coffee in a vacuum container

    The funnel is placed into the water-filled base.

    Bialetti ready for coffee
    Picture: Bialetti ready for coffee

    The funnel takes about two scoops of coffee

    Bialetti being filled with coffee
    Picture: Bialetti being filled with coffee

    The pot is placed on the stove. I have a gas stove and so I use a trivet for stability. I have to take care that the gas flame is not too high or the handle will melt, as has happened in the past!

    Bialetti in action
    Picture: Bialetti in action

    You need to listen out for the bubbling sound the pot makes when the water has passed through the coffe into the top compartment. Letting the remaining steam pass through will over-heat the coffee which you do not want to happen.

    Coffee is brewed
    Picture: Coffee is brewed

    I make a cup of coffee consisting of one part coffee, one part cold milk and one part boiling water. This makes a large cup of pretty strong yet very smooth coffee which helps to wake me up each morning.

    A comforting brew in the wrong cup!
    Picture: A comforting brew - in the wrong cup!

    The Bialetti usually gets one use per day, after which it is washed up. Some purists say that it should only be rinsed out so that the coffee residues on the inside are not removed. I have not noticed any difference personally.