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Welcome to Linux Journal 2.0 (linuxjournal.com)
243 points by UtahDave on Jan 2, 2018 | hide | past | web | favorite | 57 comments

Proud to be a paid user of PIA. It's a privacy-protecting just-works VPN with plenty of endpoints, nice chrome plugin, and Android app that does what it says. Thanks for your support of Linux Journal.

Why does their web page heavily use services from Google, specifically for tracking users (e.g. google analytics)?

That doesn't come across as "privacy-protecting" at all to me.

Where is Private Internet Access getting all this money from? They're taking over projects in the FOSS community left and right. It honestly makes me even more suspicious that they're a front/honeypot for someone who wants to keep tabs on 'hacker' types.

VPNs are minting it, mate. Ever since copyright maximalists successfully lobbied for widespread crackdowns across Europe, the market has boomed. Costs are very low and margins are almost up to you.

I’m actually happy that, for once, money is going back to the critical projects that need it so much.

I don't think they release any numbers, but they have to be one of the most popular VPN subscription services available.

They seem to be the choice of everyone I know who is privacy-conscious enough to use a paid VPN but doesn't care enough to shop around and do in-depth comparisons.

Well then, lets hear it.. where do the hoipoilloi boil their fish?

I heard that the CEO was an early investor and holder in Bitcoin and Ethereum.

I'm a long time Linux Journal columnist, and I'm equal parts delighted and surprised by this news.

Thanks to PIA and Carlie for the work that went into this deal.

I've been reading LJ for a long time, although I was never a subscriber. I'm happy to hear this, and I'm going to sign up for a subscription or something shortly. But I am curious about something: what's different for LJ, versus the other Linux magazines I see on the news-stand at B&N, which seem to be doing OK? I'm thinking of Linux Format, Linux Pro, Admin, etc? They seem to show up regularly month after month, with bundled DVDs of new releases, etc.

But LJ seemed to have disappeared from the magazine rack even before recent events. So what's the deal? Is it a distribution problem, or ???

You wouldn't have seen Linux Journal on newsstands in recent years because it discontinued the print edition and went online-only way back in 2011: http://www.linuxjournal.com/content/linux-journal-goes-100-d...

Funnily enough, the article announcing that was subtitled "Introducing Linux Journal 2.0"... so this new one should be 3.0 really. :-)

Linux Format is owned by Future plc, a publicly traded company with more than 200 magazines in their portfolio. Linux Pro is ultimately owned by Marquard Media Group AG, a large swiss media conglomerate. So a lot of those have parents with deeper pockets. Print distribution likely has high fixed costs that are not affordable to single magazine.

Linux Format actually had a mass walkout of their editing staff a year or two back, they started Linux Voice.

Had no idea! Will take more stock of LV and research what happened there.

Don't forget linux journal readers were flagged by the NSA for extra surveillance.

Saved by the readers. This is great news. Maybe they should also find additional funding via something like Patreon or even a Kickstarter campaign?

> Saved by the readers

is actually "specifically, by the hackers who run Private Internet Access (PIA) VPN, a London Trust Media company" which does not sound like a sustaining solution and absolutely not like the community of readers.

Is it really that bad? A sustainable corporate sponsor is likely better than a fickle community. Think about how many corporations also sponsor or own weird side ventures that may or may not actually produce profit, but are there for prestige, status, or just good of the world.

Check out http://www.businessinsider.com/history-of-the-michelin-guide...

How much will PIA influence Linux Journal now? I don't see having a single company responsible for the survival of a journalism outfit as a good thing at all. I hope I am wrong and we are not inundated with PIA spam.

If we are, so be it. LJ was very much dying and would be dead in 2018. This way it gets another chance and if PIA doesn't fuck it up, gets to potentially thrive. If PIA does fuck it up, well, it was going to die this year anyways. We are no worse off, and potentially better off with this situation.

I have no relationship with PIA. I have written two articles for LJ a few years ago, and they very much struggled to pay me afterwards.

I wrote three articles for LJ over the years and always took my fee in trade for an extended subscription.

I'd wonder if there weren't some sort of agitprop with Linux virtualisation, in published articles in the future...

(Long-time subscriber, gonna renew my subscription and tune in and find out just what the PIA to the LWN is gonna mean to .. what I consider .. a Mighty Fine Publication.)

Why are you hostile to this news?

I was a Linux Journal subscriber during the mid-90's until around 2005.

It was a great magazine and one of the few ones with good technical content related to UNIX like OSes.

Lately there was little difference to the pile of Linux Something magazines that are still being printed, or blogs and technical journals scattered around the Web.

So it remains to be seen if the 2.0 changes will be enough to save it. We already lost DDJ and The C/C++ Users Journal.

I started reading it... With issue 4 or so. It introduced me to Qt, which is why I have bread and a roof and so on right now. But around 2008 or so, it went so very, very boring and around that time, or a bit later, digital-only. I stopped reading it.

>We already lost DDJ and The C/C++ Users Journal.

And JDJ and Java Report (AFAIK, last saw them years ago - in print versions).

But! We have things like PoC||GTFO to keep us perfectly well entertained!

/ddj waaa! :(

Its a subscription magazine. So, Patreon will be useful for people who do not really want to read the magazine but donate the money anyway. Not sure how that would work.

It would probably work the same way it got saved: Supporting great work is a good in and of itself.

Why not offer a digital edition through Patreon?

Why not offer a digital edition as subscription?

The appeal of patreon for many is the fact they do not have to manage their support/subscriptions at multiple locations, or have to give out their payment info to multiple sites

You sign up for single site and can support 100's of people and get rewards like a digital subscription.

You would be surprised how much more donations can pick up if you eliminate even one form field let alone the entire form. People are lazy, they are even more lazy when they are giving money, the easier you make it the better

If they are a subscription service anyway; what would the value be?

I can only speak for myself. I have no idea what would make a sustainable business model.

A few years ago I had a sustaining membership to a very popular public radio program. I dunno if it was a dark pattern, an oversight when overhauling their webpage, or what, but when I had to update my credit card number because it changed and I could not figure out how. None of the email contacts got any response. I eventually cancelled the old number and I've been hesitant of reoccurring transactions since.

Conversely, I would use PayPal to manage other reoccurring donations. I've adjusted the amount, updated my credit card, and canceled without issue. I was never a fan of PayPal and closed my account a few years ago, and this activity seems to have migrated to Patreon.

The web is weird and surprisingly still lagging cash and brick & mortar in many areas. People are soured to the experience of buying music and merchandise from a variety of sources and have been funneled to specific retailers like iTunes and Amazon.

Value to who? I already laid out the value to the Subscriber was I unclear?

It is more convenient for the individual subscriber to have 1 Patreon account to support many people, than for them to have many many accounts with many individuals sites. Where they have to manage their CC info, update expiration dates, etc

Even with something like PayPal ask anyone that has ever done Reoccurring translations on PayPal and they will tell you what a nightmare it is to get people to update their CC Info

Any time you can lesson the pain it takes for someone to give you money the better

I generally despise the concept of ~infinity recurring payments, I want giving someone money to be an active thought.

>Any time you can lesson the pain it takes for someone to give you money the better

I see Patreons base model as to get people to sign up and forget about it. Maybe I'm a bit cynical, but it's just.. ick.

>>I generally despise the concept of ~infinity recurring payments, I want giving someone money to be an active thought.

And I generally despise the concept of having to actively think about things like this, I want to sign up for it and forget about it

I also sign up for automatic bill pay, and put most of my bills on a reoccurring schedule when ever possible.

I'm a long time LJ columnist too, and this news makes me all kinds of happy in my heart. There's a freenode IRC channel where there's bunch of chatter going on about the resurrection - #linuxjournal - feel free to jump in and chat with staff there!

Speaking of PIA, I've noticed I get a 403 from Hacker News if I try to connect from my usual endpoint. Does HN have a no-VPN policy? Or they just block abusive domains?

I love the idea to put an IRC chat below the page for more lively comments. Here, it seems to come next to Disqus comments but it could also be a replacement.

I wish it would be replaced with https://kiwiirc.com/nextclient/ as qwebirc is quite dated :)

I've toyed with putting WebSocket-based live chat boxes on pages with various types of more traditional dynamic content (like an imgur clone) because I don't think we've exhausted all the interesting ways that people can interact in real time on the internet, but in practice there's always the problem that there are a very dense super active times and then tons of large super dead times, and it gives way to a group of people with shared interest that wants to turn into a live community but just can't and after a few days of checking in often for other people, they just get back on with their lives and abandon the thing.

I think that's the reason why blogs without comment function gain ground. On the one hand static blog generators are practical, but they also are a confession that not every blog has a lively community.

i just spent some time on their irc, it really should create a quick forum to collect ideas from interested parties, proud to be a long time subscriber here but I have to admit I rarely read its PDFs these days, linux journal needs to reform itself to become something major.

As far as donations are concerned, there's not a company I'm more proud of being a paid user of than I am of being a PIA customer.

Out of a sea of "private, no logs" VPN services, PIA donations to the projects that you might also be interested in makes them really stand out. That (together with Ubuntu support) made all the difference when I was pursing a VPN provider.

On the note of Ubuntu, PIA also sponsors Linux Mint (an Ubuntu derivative) and even has a tool in the distro's repository to generate OpenVPN config files easily.

And Krita, and Inkscape and Blender...

>"Out of a sea of "private, no logs" VPN services, ..."

Has this ever been verified in any way?

Honest question: Short of root-level access to the entirety of their infrastructure, how would you verify it?

I work for an ISP and have toyed with the idea of offering a "private, no logs" VPN service. As someone running such a service, what would it take to convince you that I wasn't logging information that could be used to identify you?

(Obviously, there would be logs of some stuff -- just not the kind of things that would allow you to be individually or personally identified.)

Get a reputable auditor to vouch for you, by giving them access to your infrastructure for a while. Of course it’s not foolproof (you could change everything the minute he leaves) but it’s the best you can do. Bonus points for making it a yearly event.

How exactly would an entity that makes such a claim, as in this case of "we don't log access", be able to allow external parties to verify this without handing over access to their infrastructure for manual inspection?

I've read a little about zero knowledge proofs, but don't really know much about the subject to know if it could be used to verify these sorts of claims.

Well these were kind of my points I guess. It's a service differentiator probably the biggest one and yet it can never be verified.

I don’t know about PIA, but I believe Malaysian vpn provider Hide.me brought in an independent auditor to validate their claims. I expect you could do that in any country.

Interesting I had not heard this. It actually says as much on this page:


Maybe PIA should do the same since that's their biggest differentiating claim.

One issue, is they have an App for every platform, and thus is distributed through .. less than auditable .. means.

As long as you can ignore all of the tracking cookies set on their web page.

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