Sunday, 31 October 2010

UDS Orlando Keynote

Well worth watching Mark Shuttleworth's opening keynote to the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Orlando last week. Mark outlines the roadmap not only for the 11.04 version, but positions Ubuntu in the software landscape in general. Clearly still a man with ambition and vision.

Always an engaging and entertaining speaker, Mark addresses a room with the kind of confidence that few people can muster. This is a man who has actually seen the Earth from space.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Meerkats United

(...was the name of a BBC wildlife show a few years ago that popularised the Meerkat over here)

I have now made the jump to Ubuntu 10.10 on the main machine. I have to say its the smoothest upgrade I've ever done in my entire Linux life.

Bear in mind that I have a disk partitioning scheme with 11 partitions including a separate /home partition, so all I had to do was format / and /usr and specify the same mount-points for everything else. Happily, no configuration file clashes...

Sick PCs should be banned from the net says Microsoft

At least that's what the BBC's poorly headlined article said...

Virus-infected computers that pose a risk to other PCs should be blocked from the net, suggests Scott Charney of the firm's trustworthy computing team, in an attempt to tackle botnets - networks of infected computers under the control of cyber-criminals, which can contain thousands of machines. Running Microsoft Windows. All of them -  as far as I know. 

Charney's proposal is based on lessons from public health, 
"Just as when an individual who is not vaccinated puts others' health at risk, computers that are not protected or have been compromised with a bot put others at risk and pose a greater threat to society,"

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Full Circle Side-pod Episode #5: It's only a trademark

Full Circle Side-pod Episode #5: It's only a trademark is available from the main Full Circle site.
In this episode, Linux Mint Debian Edition and the Open Learning Center.

News: Back-to-Mac announcements include something called Launchpad... which happens to be a Canonical Trademark.
Interview: Alan Lord of the Open Learning Centre
Review: Linux Mint Debian Edition

Download MP3 Audio  
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Podcast Running time [50:09m]

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Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Motorola vs Apple in Battle of the Bulge

Motorola launches pre-emptive strike against Apple patents.

Motorola may yet come to HTC's rescue by seeking to invalidate the very patents with which Apple is currently suing HTC.

As explained in the brief, Motorola believes that it will face a patent infringement suit from Apple covering the same patents cited in the HTC case. If the best defense is attack, the Motorola is seeking to overturn the very basis of the case before it can be brought against them.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Tangled Web of Social

Just wanted to highlight this wee diagram I came across while I was scouring the news sites for nuggets.

It's a high-level chart of interfaces and API's that exist between various social networking/collaboration/blogging/sharing sites. Send it, suck it, scrape it,  or shake it, all our collective words pictures videos are constantly on the move. As a snapshot, it's not new and it's certainly not complete. But it does illustrate a couple of things...

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Releasing Full Circle Podcast #12

This week, real life got in the way of the blog. Again.

So no time to reflect on the release of Episode 12.

The segment edits for #12 went ok; very fast. Either I'm getting better or less fussy (or less patient, which amount to the same). But I think I lost the plot assembling the segments Friday night. Which Ed queried, as it was a short recording...

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Friday, 15 October 2010

Review: Linux Mint Debian Edition

There is now a rolling release Linux Mint distro. It's been in the pipeline for a few months. Linux Mint Debian Edition or LMDE is based on the Debian Unstable branch, as an experiment for 32-bit machines only.

The Mint team retains the objective of making it an easy-to-use Windows replacement, question is, does the change under the hood keep it on track or de-rail the thing completely...?

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Google Android to Overtake Apple iOS

Developers see Google's Android operating system surpassing Apple's

A majority of developers believe Google's Android operating system - not Apple's iOS - will be the dominant platform in the future to power everything from smartphones to touch-screen refrigerators, according to a recent survey.

While independent software writers are enthusiastic about creating apps for Apple's iOS mobile operating system, and see it as the most financially viable platform now, they view Android as the long-term winner in terms of market share...

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Global Stuxnet Apocalyspe

More on the Stuxnet worm, which was apparently designed to steal industrial secrets and disrupt operations  at industrial plants, using Siemens equipment has infected systems in the UK, North America and Korea, however the largest number of infections, by far, have been in Iran.

The Stuxnet worm was programmed to take advantage of a zero-day vulnerability in Microsoft Windows operating system, allowing it to spread through USB devices. Once installed on a PC, Stuxnet uses Siemens' default passwords to seek out and try to gain access to systems that run the WinCC and PCS 7 programs — so-called PLC (programmable logic controller) programs...

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Editing the Full Circle Podcast Part 4: Assembly

So, the individual segments are edited, post-processed and allocated in the running order. All the theme and incidental music, trailers, bumpers beds and stingers are lined up. It's a big model kit laid out ready to put together. It's time to assemble the show. 

I assemble the episode as a multi-track project in Audacity...
(Screencast of this post on YouTube)

Monday, 11 October 2010

Full Circle Podcast on YouTube

In a bold (and some say rash) experiment, the Full Circle Podcast is on YouTube.

We've created a YouTube channel for the Podcast with two episodes.
  • Podcast Episode #11 in individual segments as audio-with-banner, 
  • Side-Pod #4 in two parts: Part one is the news/opinion section, part 2 is our first Screencast of sorts with some visuals on using Audacity to assemble the podcast.
The reasoning of this is to audition some screen-casting tools (Kazam) and try out PitiVi and Openshot video editors (reviews to follow in the podcast/blog and maybe the magazine). I have a feeling we may be heading back to Cinelarra.

We'd like to do more screen-cast reviews and how-to's if the interest is there.  RC


Sunday, 10 October 2010

Ubuntu 10.10 is Here

The Maverick MeerKat has arrived!

The waiting is over. The count-downs have finished.

The download link is live on Ubuntu 10.10.

Go get it!


Google and Schmidt in the Dock

French court convicts Google and boss of defamation

PARIS — A Paris court has convicted US search engine giant Google and its chief executive Eric Schmidt of defamation over results from its "suggest" function, a French legal affairs website has revealed.

The new function, which suggests options as you type in a word, brought up the words "rapist" and "satanist" when the plaintiff's name was typed into the search engine, reported.

The plaintiff in this case had been convicted on appeal to a three-year jail sentence for corruption of a minor. He discovered the results on entering his name in a Google search...

Friday, 8 October 2010

LibreOffice Fork Breaks for Freedom

Nobody in the Open Source community  was happy when Oracle bought Sun Microsystems. That unhappiness has led directly to LibreOffice, the provisional name of a community-led fork of OpenOffice, to be developed under the umbrella of a European based non-profit organisation named the Document Foundation.

The main focus seems to be to free OpenOffice from the oversight of any single commercial company...

Thursday, 7 October 2010

LibreOffice default office suite in Ubuntu

Future Ubuntu Releases Will be Shipped With LibreOffice, Says Mark Shuttleworth

In a related LibreOffice story, Mark Shuttleworth has apparently announced the switch, although so far all instances of this story originate with Techdrivein.

Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth announced that, future releases of Ubuntu will be shipped with the new OpenOffice fork. He said, "Office productivity software is a critical component of the free software desktop, and the Ubuntu Project will be pleased to ship LibreOffice from The Document Foundation in future releases of Ubuntu."


Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Faenza Desktop Makeover

It seems that everyone loves the Faenza icon set. If you like glossy, square tiled icons in candy-colours, this could be the desktop-makeover you're looking for.

I wasn't especially looking to change until I came across this set, only to realise I've been staring at the standard icons for a long time and needed a bit of visual pizazz...

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Full Circle Side-Pod 4 Global Stuxnet Apocalypse

Full Circle Side-Pod #4: Global Stuxnet Apocalypse is available from the main site.

In this episode: LibreOffice, Android domination and Google Defamation

This episode is by way of a place holder until we get Ubuntu 10.10 next week. Until then, a little news, opinion and shameless plugging.

News: Lawsuits of a different kind, little green robots and… we’re all doomed!

Expert Spot: Editing the Full Circle Podcast pt. 4: Assembly

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Sunday, 3 October 2010

Mobile Phone Upgrades

Something to think about if you're on anything other than pay-as-you-go.
Why should I?
  • You want a new phone, more features, new call plan, different mix of airtime or a cheaper tariff?
  • Is your current contract ending within the next month?
Don't assume your provider will remind you; they'll be making money on you on the old tariff for as long as you let them. Free and subsidised phones cost the providers money, they need to recoup that on tariff plans over as long as they can.

If you're switched on, however, you can get your new toys and and more airtime for the same money or less...

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Professional Cheapskate

Cheapskate: "a person unwilling to give or spend money; stingy person."
Frugal: "not wasteful; not spending freely or unnecessarily; thrifty; economical."
"A cheapskate is someone who takes frugality to the extreme. Instead of trying to make the most of his or her resources, the cheapskate refuses to spend money at all..." (Love-to-know)
To you, cheapskate may be an insult. To the Professional Cheapskate, it's a badge of honour, particularly when applied to utilities, toys (computers, software and phones), financial products...

Friday, 1 October 2010

User Desktop Identity Crisis

Macbuntu. Why? Just... WHY?
As if it's not enough that Ubuntu is itself going for a Mac look-and-feel - I direct you to recent releases in which features to go Mac-like include:
  • Icons
  • Button Placement
  • Light 'brushed aluminium' themes and purple wallpapers
but some people seem to need to go the whole hog and re-style their entire desktop as Mac-buntu...