Ubuntu Linux: More than just a Desktop OS

Will Ubuntu Linux lead the IoT market?

With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the disruptive technologies it brings, it is only natural that many tech companies around the world would try to take their stake in it and reap the profits in the near future. While hardware companies have already been hard at work improving their products in order to account for it (especially with 5G technologies), there is also another matter to take into account: what is going to run it?

IoT doesn’t really come embedded into the hardware. All of the information gathering and processing, along with the AIs commonly used alongside it, require programming, testing, data storage, and enough processing power. And all of this needs to run on some kind of operating system, in order to make the interface between hardware and software. But, which one would be the best option for that?

That’s where Canonical’s Ubuntu distribution of Linux may come in.

More than just a desktop OS

For some time now, Canonical, the company which maintains and publishes Ubuntu, has been hard at work branching out into other ways of using Linux, adapting its operating system to different applications and doing the necessary changes. Ubuntu Server was one of the first, and has been highly successful. More recently, they also rolled out Ubuntu Cloud, designed to be run on cloud servers such as AWS and Google Cloud, and also Ubuntu for IoT.

Ubuntu for IoT is an operating system designed to be run on small programmable hardware, such as the Raspberry Pi. Its objective is to be fast and flexible: contain just what is necessary to run programs on it, and maybe some quality-of-life improvements, and also interface seamlessly with whatever hardware it is on, being able to connect to whatever other hardware may be interfacing with it, such as lights, buttons, sliders and similar peripherals.

All this being done professionally: while you can just download the OS and try it for yourself, Canonical also offers continuous support and maintenance of your boards for a fee, in case you have a company which plans to depend on it.

Highly flexible and controllable

Ubuntu, like other Linux distributions, comes with the advantage that it is highly flexible. Being open source, you are able to change whatever you want so that it better fits your purposes. You are even free to change the kernel, the part of the OS responsible for accessing the hardware. And also, using a familiar OS instead of a completely new one means that it is easier to develop programs to it, even considering it is not going to be placed inside a desktop. Changing the source code too much may make it impossible for Canonical to give support for it, though, so it should be considered with care.

Even better, Linux is one of the best development environments out there. Many programs and libraries are developed in Linux distributions, being Ubuntu the most popular one, and made with Linux in mind. Linux’s easy access to the command console, configuration files and incredible customization makes it much easier to use for programming than Windows, and it is also distributed for free. Being basically a professional conspiracy theorist, he has already delved into many different subjects along his journey, laying them out in his own website, InfoWars, or through live rants and podcasts of something. Below is a selection of some interesting conspiracy theories of his which involve technological advances which are, well, a bit beyond those which we are used to. You May Also Know: Fungi-based Computers

The future of Windows

Still, a hard-hitting competitor may be emerging soon. With Windows 10, Microsoft already rolled out IoT support – part of its idea of making Windows 10 run everywhere, including phones and tablets. Windows is the standard OS today, most enterprise solutions are developed with it in mind, and Microsoft has certainly many more resources than Canonical in order to make this work.

And now, Microsoft has also unveiled Windows 10’s successor, Windows 11, which aims to be an improvement in every way, starting with better integration to the Microsoft Store and what seems to be a design with mobile devices in mind. An IoT suite is expected to follow it, along with Microsoft’s direct support of it and even hardware developed with IoT in mind – like the HoloLens, which also runs its own version Windows 10.

The IoT scene is sure to see a lot of action in the near future. Ubuntu has been shaping up to be the go-to OS for development and technology, but Windows 11 has the chance to change everything – provided Microsoft does it right. We’ll have to wait and see.

How Do Crime Syndicates Use Technology To Do Their Bidding?

Two Sides Of the Coin.

Technology is limitless. It knows no boundaries, becoming better and better with every passing day. It also enlarges our boundaries: because of it, we can do things today that no one would’ve thought possible a few decades ago, such as having millions of books available at our fingertips and the ability to cheaply and instantaneously talk with anyone anywhere in the world.

But that had its price. The ability to do a lot of good also comes with the ability to do a lot of evil. While modern technology gives the police and some vigilante groups the power to discover and do a lot in a small amount of time, it also gives criminal organizations unprecedented power to expand their reach and strengthen their grasp over their sphere of influence. Let’s talk a bit about how they do that:

Embracing Cryptocurrencies

While cryptocurrency’s decentralization and anonymity could lead us to greater levels of economic freedom, those same features also make it the perfect currency for criminal activities.

Cash, credit and bank transactions are very traceable. They were designed to be this way, both by banks and governments, in order to track criminal activity and enforce tax payment. Notes have serial numbers and credit cards and bank transactions are linked to the users’ identities. Records are stored for years, and can be retrieved with a warrant. Accountability is key.

With decentralized cryptographic currencies, however, things are different: transactions happen between public keys instead of individuals. Creating new wallets is quick and easy, and they aren’t necessarily linked to your identity. The ledger may be public, but that doesn’t make things a single bit easier if you know what you’re doing. And crime syndicates sure do.

Deep Web Activity

The existence of the deep web also gives those organizations a new layer of safety and money making. Remember Silk Road? It was the biggest marketplace inside the deep web. Too big, even, considering it became public knowledge during the deep web craze some years ago. It was the place to go to buy illegal drugs and fake documents, along with other legal stuff, anywhere in the world. All of this has been powered by Bitcoin since the website’s inception (in 2011).

While both Silk Road and its successor, Silk Road 2.0, have been shut down, there are other illegal marketplaces hidden throughout the world, some much less restrictive than those two were (Silk Road didn’t allow selling child pornography and weapons through it, for example). Illegal gambling sites are also spread out throughout it, giving a greater degree of adrenaline to its users (as they are illegal and riskier) and also more earnings to its owners (deep web websites are infamous for suddenly disappearing, taking the money they were holding onto with them).

And now, with the Bitcoin price soaring, this has become more lucrative than ever before.

Enforced Anonymity

Crime syndicates also managed to weaponize anonymity in order to do their bidding more safely and more effectively.

One of the ways they do so is by running their organization almost anonymously. While the people that are part of the inner circle probably know each other in some way, the relationship to their “employees” can now be completely anonymous, but in a one-sided way: they know who they all are, but the employed do not know their employers. They are just expected to follow their instructions, or face the consequences.

Another way they take advantage of anonymity is for human trafficking and grooming new hirelings. They are able to find people on the internet that fit the profile they are looking for, and lure them into their traps using direct advertising, such as by posting fake job ads in legitimate websites or directly talking to them and promising a job in another country, such as by using a fake social media profile. All of this without revealing themselves and their true intentions until it is already too late for the victim.

Technology is incredible, but in the wrong hands it can also be very scary. While criminal organizations adapted very well and very quickly to these new possibilities, the police worldwide are still scrambling to keep up, so things are going to stay bleak like this for a while. But with the development of new advanced security systems, we are hoping for a brighter future. Being basically a professional conspiracy theorist, he has already delved into many different subjects along his journey, laying them out in his own website, InfoWars, or through live rants and podcasts of something. Below is a selection of some interesting conspiracy theories of his which involve technological advances which are, well, a bit beyond those which we are used to. You May Also Know: Fungi-based Computers