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Old 08-15-2017, 02:25 PM   #1
Mr. Macintosh
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Apple Find My Friends


My family and I use Find My Friends for tracking each other. However, you can't use it on Linux without keeping a browser tab open for it. On MacOS, Find My Friends is part of Notification Center - you just click on the Notification Center icon in the menubar at the top of the screen and Find My Friends is revealed. I'd like to have that kind of integration on Linux. Is there a way to do this?
 
Old 08-15-2017, 07:43 PM   #2
frankbell
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I would be pessimistic. Apple has a really high wall around its walled orchard, and it's actively hostile to Linux. There is, for example, no iTunes for Linux, even though there is one for Windows.
 
Old 08-16-2017, 01:41 AM   #3
ondoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Macintosh View Post
However, you can't use it on Linux without keeping a browser tab open for it.
...and you should be glad it does that at least.
 
Old 08-17-2017, 08:13 AM   #4
Mr. Macintosh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankbell View Post
I would be pessimistic. Apple has a really high wall around its walled orchard, and it's actively hostile to Linux. There is, for example, no iTunes for Linux, even though there is one for Windows.
Yeah, I was just hoping maybe there was a way to make a GNOME extension or something. I'm used to the convenience of being able to click on the Notification Center icon on the far right side of the menu bar (at the top of the screen) and having Find My Friends right there.
 
Old 08-17-2017, 08:21 AM   #5
Mr. Macintosh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ondoho View Post
...and you should be glad it does that at least.
Yeah, Apple's nice enough to allow it to work on Linux. I'm sure that if they really wanted to, they could add some code to iCloud.com which prohibits its use on Linux. I actually tried to use the web version of Find My Friends on a relative's Android phone, and I got an error message that said the phone's browser was not supported by the site.

I guess Apple doesn't consider Linux to be much of a threat, or at least not nearly as big a threat as Android. Either that, or because Linux is a family of desktop operating systems and Apple seems to be a little more interested in mobile devices. To an extent, you can use iOS devices with Linux. Though, I have yet to get Shotwell to grab photos from my iPhone.
 
Old 08-17-2017, 08:26 AM   #6
Mr. Macintosh
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I thought it would be a long shot, but I though it was worth asking - just in case there actually was a way to make it work and have the kind of integration I'm used to having on MacOS.

Man, it's hard to get used to saying/typing MacOS instead of Mac OS X. And that's only after having a Mac since 2011. It must be an even harder adjustment for folks who've had Macs since the beginning.
 
Old 08-17-2017, 08:43 AM   #7
sundialsvcs
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Although I disagree with the very concept of a computer-company tracking your whereabouts all the time, it is my understanding that all of the data which is exchanged is properly encrypted, and no, don't expect them to let you in on it. These are, after all, people's whereabouts that we are talking about, and that's very sensitive stuff – too sensitive, if you ask me. (But, you didn't.)
 
Old 08-17-2017, 08:49 AM   #8
Mr. Macintosh
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Originally Posted by sundialsvcs View Post
Although I disagree with the very concept of a computer-company tracking your whereabouts all the time, it is my understanding that all of the data which is exchanged is properly encrypted, and no, don't expect them to let you in on it. These are, after all, people's whereabouts that we are talking about, and that's very sensitive stuff – too sensitive, if you ask me. (But, you didn't.)
While I might prefer to use an open-source tracking app - and yes, some exist - that's not really an option for me. The relatives with whom I use Find My Friends are neither OSS fans nor techies. They'd rather just stick with what they know will work.

Last edited by Mr. Macintosh; 08-17-2017 at 09:43 AM.
 
Old 08-18-2017, 01:24 AM   #9
ondoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Macintosh View Post
open-source tracking app - and yes, some exist -
http://alternativeto.net/software/fi.../?license=free
a free license is NOT the same as open source!
I will smack you with my staff! Hard and repeatedly!

Last edited by ondoho; 08-19-2017 at 10:51 PM. Reason: you shall not take the name of the lord in vain
 
Old 08-18-2017, 09:20 AM   #10
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Philosophical Difference Between Open Source and “Free” (RMS Definition) Software

Quote:
Originally Posted by ondoho View Post
http://alternativeto.net/software/fi.../?license=free
a free license is NOT the same as open source!
RMS will smack you with his staff! Hard and repeatedly!
When talking about free software, Richard Stallman says that Open Source and his idea of free software are different. In practicality, they’re the same - they both advocate that open-source software is better than closed-source software because the source code is available to anyone.

Stallman’s problem with the Open Source movement is that it focuses on practicality rather than his extreme philosophy of only using “free” software. Instead of insisting that companies must make their source code available, the Open-Source movement requests that companies make their software open-source, saying it’s in the company’s best interest. So, the real difference is that the Open Source movement goes about it with a nicer, more practical approach, while Stallman’s “free” software movement takes a more hard-nosed approach, saying that all software must be "free" and that people should only use “free” software.

The reality is, you often have to use proprietary software. It’s just impractical to insist that everyone must use “free” software. The entire world only using “free” software is certainly a desirable end goal, but it cannot be achieved - at least not instantaneously. In the meantime, you have to be able to use proprietary software because that’s what the entire world is using. If you’re going to work with other people, the extreme “free” software approach is going to cause many problems for you.

Most folks don’t know or care that most commercial software is closed-source, especially if they’re not programmers. They’re more concerned with functionality and collaboration. Most people have to work with others, and the people they’re working with are likely using proprietary software. For example, if I were to use only open-source software, I would run into issues with not being able to use any video chat, VOIP, or instant messaging program to communicate with my coworkers. I would also not be able to play any MP4 files that they sent me. I would also have to worry about the possibility that the “free” fonts I used won’t display properly when they open documents I’ve sent them. Sure, you’ll say that they can accommodate me by installing “free” software on their computers and converting MP4 files to “free” formats for me. The problem is that it’s highly unlikely that they’re going to do that, because it’s very inconvenient. My coworkers would be more likely to just refuse to work with me unless I use the proprietary software that they're using. I would rather use proprietary software than to be unable to function or work with others. Unless you’re a programmer who is either on their own or working with people who are all using “free” software, you cannot escape the use of all proprietary software. The best you can do is to use Linux.

If you’re not a programmer, FOSS isn’t as important because you don’t have the skills to understand and edit the code in the program. Also, only a programmer with a lot of time on his hands will actually read a program’s whole source code, much like how only a very small number of people actually read entire End User License Agreements (EULA) - most folks just click on “Agree” and move on with their lives. Unless you’re going to read through a program’s source code, the primary benefit of “free" software is that you can be confident that the “free” software does not contain any malicious code because the program’s source code is freely available and anyone could read the source code to find any malicious code if any is contained in the program - that’s the real, tangible benefit of FOSS for most users. I’m a bit of a programmer, and yet I’m not going to read through a program’s source code unless I want to fix a bug or add a feature. Otherwise, I just don’t care enough to read it all. Many programs simply are too big for me to read all of their source code. Modern programs, especially ones with GUIs, can contain tens of thousands of lines of code, which is equal to hundreds of pages. Reading a program’s source code could be of the magnitude of reading a large book. Personally, I’d rather read a large book than to read a program’s source code as it would be a better use of my time and I would be able to discuss the book with a much larger amount of people than if I had read a large program’s source code. Really, the advantage of FOSS is not that you can read the source code, but that it’s less likely to contain any malicious code because anyone can read it.

Last edited by Mr. Macintosh; 08-18-2017 at 12:51 PM.
 
Old 08-19-2017, 10:52 PM   #11
ondoho
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tl;dr - my fault for bringing RMS into it.
redacted now.
 
Old 08-19-2017, 11:26 PM   #12
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You could try asking your family and friends where they are? Slightly more work than having a third party track them for you, I know, but such is life.
 
Old 08-20-2017, 05:32 AM   #13
IsaacKuo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Macintosh View Post
My family and I use Find My Friends for tracking each other. However, you can't use it on Linux without keeping a browser tab open for it. On MacOS, Find My Friends is part of Notification Center - you just click on the Notification Center icon in the menubar at the top of the screen and Find My Friends is revealed. I'd like to have that kind of integration on Linux. Is there a way to do this?
I don't really understand the problem. I'm not familiar with GNOME3 so I don't know ... is there not an option to have a taskbar or Window Menu button? I use a vertical taskbar in XFCE4 and it makes it really easy and efficient for me to simply pull a tab (such as Google Hangouts) to a separate window. Then, it appears on my taskbar all the time. Its window button will flash if it demands some sort of attention.

I'm not a big fan of a Window Menu button, but that sounds more like what you want. Personally, I like Window Buttons - especially the way XFCE4 handles them on a vertical taskbar (very compact on a widescreen display while also providing useful rotated text information identifying each window). A Window Menu button may be even more compact, but it requires going there and clicking on it to get any information at all about other open windows, and it takes a lot longer to switch to another window due to the extra click and the time taken to visually take in the pop-up and "aim" at the desired entry.

While XFCE4's vertical taskbar seems to be almost unique, most DEs and WMs have horizontal window button functionality.
 
  


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