Tuesday, 31 December 2013

News: Full Circle #80 is released into the Wild

Full Circle #80 is released into the Wild
That’s right folks. The last issue (of 2013) is OUT!

This month:
* Command & Conquer
* How-To : Python, LibreOffice, and Use VLM.
* Graphics : JPG to PDF with ImageMagick, and Inkscape.
* Review: USB Microscope
plus: Q&A, Linux Labs, Software Showdown, Ask The New Guy, My Story, and soooo much more!

Get it while it’s hot!


Friday, 27 December 2013

How-to: Guest Additions for VirtualBox 4.3 - Debian 7

Back to installing the Guest Additions for VirtualBox on Debian 7.0 ("Wheezy"). We've moved up some versions and the Debian 7.2 guest inside VirtualBox 4.3 once again requires Guest Additions for more than just mouse integration.

I'm running the Oracle VirtualBox, not the OSE version that's in the repos, just to add some spice.

Debian will run, but you have to run the guest VM under Gnome Classic since the 3D Acceleration or, more importantly, screen resizing, doesn't work natively. It's Gnome Shell - what did we expect?

Thursday, 26 December 2013

News: 1972 Look Ahead with 'The Sketch'

Our thanks to Brenda Beaumont for this press cutting from UK tabloid paper The Daily Sketch. This article, which, in the absence of a print date, we believe to originate between 1964 and 1969, is a perfect time-capsule of predictions from 60's Britain, a far-off foreign land from today.

As usual with any kind of 'futurology' many innovations took far longer than predicted to enter the mainstream in conservative Britain; indeed, some are only just with us. Some of the new fads simply co-exist with the old ways; patio or garden? It's your choice. Some haven't made it yet, more than thirty years on; glasses-free 3-D cinema?

Thursday, 19 December 2013

A New Page

It was an offer that was too good to refuse, and so from the end of November, yours truly has once more taken a proper job.

It's week four here at the Social Justice unit at Dartington Trust , where I am now Web Systems Co-ordinator for Research in Practice and Research in Practice for Adults.

As soon as I work out what that job description means I'll let everyone know. Meanwhile...

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Full Circle #79 – The HDDisaster Issue is out NOW

Full Circle #79 – The HDDisaster Issue is out NOW! 

This month:
  • Command & Conquer 
  • How-To : Python, LibreOffice, and Use BOINC. 
  • Graphics : Blender, and Inkscape. 
  • Book Review: Mind Mapping With Freemind 
Q&A, Linux Labs, Ask The New Guy, My Story, and so much more!

Saturday, 23 November 2013

How-to: Convert JPG to PDF using ImageMagick

It's a common enough task, trying to convert multiple jpg files into one pdf, particularly when I don't need these to be converted with such high quality, I just want the black and white text readable.

I can scan, crop, and monochrome in a graphics program but compiling them into a single PDF booklet was always tricky. Which is how I started using ImageMagick.

ImageMagick is a command line conversion program that is capable of so many more batch operations than this - resizing, compression, format conversion - and it's available on all platforms - Linux, Windows and Mac.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

How-to: Hashtags [Guest Post]

Originally from Educare’s Random Subjects Made Simple No. 70 – Hashtags, you know, those weird off-balance wire frames?

Over the last decade the hashtag has rocketed to fame, revolutionising the way we communicate on-line. From business to politics, leisure to activism, it is difficult to remember the humble roots of the hashtag.

The origins of the hashtag date back to the 14th century with the introduction of the Latin abbreviation ‘lb’, for the Roman term libra pondo (pound weight). In line with the grammatical formalities of that period, a line was placed through the word to indicate its abbreviated status. It was the time constrained scribes that progressively changed the barred ‘lb’ to the abstract.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

How-to: Install TOR on Debian

You may recall I talked about privacy matters a while ago, and about the use of TOR in particular  to preserve your anonimity on line. Now that we've had the whole Snowden/NSA snooping scandal, it seems like our privacy is precious enough to take another look.

Enter the TOR Project: https://www.torproject.org/, in full, The Onion Router, which is a network of volunteer servers through which encrypted traffic is randomly routed so as to be (mostly) untraceable back to the originator.

It prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location, and it lets you access sites which are blocked.

This may not be the most elegant way to install TOR on Debian, but it works for me so here goes...

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Review: Google Play Music All Access [Guest Post]

Review: Google Play Music All Access by Kevin O'Brien originally appeared in Full Circle Magazine issue 78, October 2013.

Like many people, I enjoy listening to music, and having my music with me everywhere is important - and I have a large music collection to draw on.

Trying to have everything with me at all times is a bit of a problem, though, considering how much music I have. Right now I own a number of portable MP3 players, two of which are full of music that I carry with me. My pockets can get very full that way, though, and while I like listening to tracks I own, what about finding new stuff? My MP3 players have never suggested anything to me. This is where the cloud services come in.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Opinion: Go Fischer-Price with Flat Design

No, not flat-pack design, what do you think this is? IKEA? No, software design. The user interfaces for years have been Skeuomorphic and 3D; Apple went for hand stitched and patina'd leather finishes, Windows 7 was Aero'd, glassy and transparent. Buttons were pop-up, pop-out, marbled, reflective and lozenge-shaped.

Well forget all that, the future's flat, and it's all Windows 8's fault.

Design trends come and go in waves of fashion, like flares, platform shoes, the Poodle Perm; there was a time when each generation of higher resolution graphics cards demanded more and more detailed widgety-do-dads, just to show where the money went. Now touch screens on tablets and smart-phones need bigger controls for stubby sausage fingers, 'flat' design is suddenly everywhere.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

News: Full Circle Magazine Issue 78 Out Now

Full Circle – the independent magazine for the Ubuntu Linux community is proud to announce the release of our seventy-eighth issue.

This month:
* Ubuntu News * Command & Conquer
* How-To : Python, LibreOffice, and Install Linux via PXE.
* Graphics : Blender, and Inkscape.
* Review: Google Music All Access
plus: Q&A, Linux Labs, Ask The New Guy, My Story and soooo much more!

Also available via Issuu: http://issuu.com/fullcirclemagazine

Monday, 21 October 2013

Opinion: Windows XP - Not Dead Yet

Windows XP desktop
Updates for Windows XP will end in April 2014. Yet the venerable operating system that first appeared in 2001 still has a user base counted in the millions, thanks to Microsoft's own ineptitude and miscalculation.

After Vista's spectacular failure cost credibility with enterprise customers and retail consumers alike, even Windows 7 couldn't overcome the resistance to upgrade.

With the legacy of all those stable and mission-critical enterprise applications demanding compatibility, stability, and low cost maintenance, corporate customers refused to budge. Meanwhile in economic hard times, home users took one look at Windows 7 (and 8), found no compelling reason to shell out for another expensive software license and said 'meh.'

So what happens next?

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

How-to: Facebook Debugger Tool

Facebook: s'horrible. Even if you can work out where they've put everything this week, chances are when you post from other sites, it won't show up how you want it. Broken thumbnail links are my biggest bugbear. I don't call it Facepunch for nothing.

Welcome the Facebook Debugger tool; it’s a handy little tool for developers that’s been around for awhile, but is equally useful for the rest of us.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Humour: Social Media Explained

Social Media explained...

Via Twitter: @BruceVH: Here's the best infographic I've found that explains the differences between FB, Twitter, Pinterest etc.


With thanks to Ben Corbridge for the retweet. RC

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Review: Linux Lifestyle Podcast

Podcast Season 1 Episode 1: All ends with beginnings

A very British podcast from ex-Linux Format / TuxRadar geeks

"In this episode: A famous Linux magazine has some staffing issues. GNU celebrates its 30th anniversary and Valve has announced a nifty controller for SteamOS. There’s also some things we found out in a week, a section where people ask us to do other things, and the not quite internet famous (yet) Voice of the Masses."

Sound familiar? It should do...

Friday, 4 October 2013

News: Default Wallpaper in Ubuntu 13.10

Wallpaper. Love it or hate it, as the first thing that users see on the desktop, it's a tough choice.

Over recent releases, Ubuntu has gone with a continuous thread. You could call it visually appealing and easily identifiable, tied into Ubuntu’s overall design colours. You could also describe it as bland, non-descript and inoffensive.

So now that the new default wallpaper of Ubuntu 13.10 has been identified in a merge request, you can rest assured that same thread continues. The new wallpaper is: a slightly different coloured smudge.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

News: Full Circle Magazine Issue 77 has Arrived

Full Circle Magazine #77 has Arrived

Full Circle – the independent magazine for the Ubuntu Linux community is proud to announce the release of our seventy-seventh issue.

This month:

  • Ubuntu News
  • Command & Conquer
  • How-To : Python, LibreOffice, and Lazarus.
  • Graphics : Blender, and Inkscape.
  • Review: Elementary OS
  • Book Review: Instant XBMC
  • plus: Q&A, Linux Labs, Ask The New Guy, My Story, and so much more!

Get it while it’s hot!

Friday, 6 September 2013

News: What Was Ubuntu Edge [Guest Post]

Ubuntu phone concept Article by Copil Yáňez originally appeared in regular column Ask the New Guy in Full Circle Magazine issue 76.
Q: I've been hearing a lot about the Ubuntu Edge. Is that something that can help me with my golf game?

A: No, the Ubuntu Edge isn't something you get when you chug a can of Linux-fortified energy drink. It's a non-existent device that may (or may not) see the light of day, and could (or could not) revolutionize computing in the mobile era, and might (or might not) give you enough geek street cred to land you a speaking role on The Big Bang Theory.

Let's back up. A few weeks ago, Canonical posted a teaser campaign to the Ubuntu homepage. It was all very coy, talking about the point at which a line meets space, or an irresistible force meets an immovable object, or chocolate meets peanut butter, or something meets something else, and I had no clue what they were talking about, but it was very, very exciting.

Monday, 2 September 2013

How-to: Install Firefox 23 on Debian

If you run Debian, you will know that the default browser is a Firefox derivative, IceWeasel (see what they did with the name, there?). While the Weasel is good, it still isn't the Fox, so after a few weeks trial, I took it out in favour of the latest Firefox release, 23.0.1.

This is an old-fashioned, hokey-looking manual install that doesn't involve package managers, PPA's or compiling from source code. At first I thought this was rather too simple...

You can download the release from the official Firefox channels page:www.mozilla.com/firefox/channels/. Alternatively a 64-bit build is also available in the x86_64 directory of Mozilla's FTP server.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Full Circle Magazine Issue 76 Out Now

Full Circle Magazine #76 is out now.

This month:
  • Ubuntu News
  • Command & Conquer
  • How-To : Python, LibreOffice, and Spring Integration.
  • Graphics : Blender, and Inkscape.
  • Review: Google Docs/Drive
  • Book Review: Blender Master Class
plus: Q&A, Linux Labs, Ask The New Guy, My Story, and much more!

Grab it fromhttp://fullcirclemagazine.org/issue-76/

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Mindswipe Summer Wind-down

Arley Railway Station by Matt Buck via Wikimedia CommonsGreetings to all; hope you are enjoying your Summer.

You may have noticed I'm on a bit of a Summer recess; it’s been a busy year so far and August is fast disappearing in a blur of driving Wales and the South-West of England.

There is more to publish, particularly now I've got Debian working smoothly on all the machines here (as in, it's been smooth from the start, not lumpy, buggy and crashy like Ubuntu).

Do keep reading and commenting meanwhile. RC

Friday, 2 August 2013

News: Full Circle Magazine 75 – Better Late Than Never

Full Circle the independent magazine for the Ubuntu Linux community is proud to announce the release of our seventy fifth issue.
This month:
  • Ubuntu News
  • Command & Conquer
  • How-To : Python, LibreOffice, and Tasks, Command Line & Conky.
  • Graphics : Repairing Photos in GIMP, and Inkscape.
  • Review: OUYA Console
plus: Q&A, Linux Labs, Ask The New Guy, My Story, and so much more!

Monday, 29 July 2013

Opinion: Losing the Phoney War

Image credit: Great Wall of China at Mutianyu by Ahazan. In an attempt to assuage the moral outrage of Daily Mail (it's all their idea, you know) and Daily Telegraph readers, David Cameron "wants to declare himself the first prime minister to win the war on on-line porn"

What war? The one against the legal, tax-paying industry that successive governments have relaxed restrictions year by year? Oh, the war against child pornography? No that's the one that police forces across the country are fighting, despite the budget cuts. The war against children seeing pornography? Now we're talking.

Only we're not. The government issued a fraudulent and hypocriticial set of demands to Internet Service Providers demanding "a commitment to fund an 'awareness campaign' (currently undefined and open-ended) for parents" and to change the language they are using to describe the net safety filters they will be offering to Internet users. Instead of talking of "active choice +", they are urged to use the term "default-on." All, the letter says, "without changing what you're offering".

Saturday, 20 July 2013

How-to: More VirtualBox Cloning

There's one important thing I didn't stress enough in the previous cloning article, and that's the handling of networking and MAC addresses.

In the graphical tool in VirtualBox for cloning machines you need to be alert to the MAC addresses of your virtual machines and re-initialise the MAC address of any clone that's going to run alongside the original.

Not an issue if the two are never running side by side, critical if they are, as your network can't handle duplicate MAC addresses, so neither will register.

It's a one-click operation that's easy enough to do when you create the clone or at any time after. RC

Friday, 5 July 2013

News: Full Circle Magazine Issue 74 Hits the Streets

Full Circle Magazine issue 74 coverFull Circle - the independent magazine for the Ubuntu Linux community - is proud to announce the release of our seventy fourth issue.

This month:
  • Ubuntu News
  • Command & Conquer
  • How-To : Gpodder, LibreOffice, and Connecting With IPV6.
  • Graphics : Blender, and Inkscape.
  • Review: Clementine
plus: Q&A (NEW & Improved!), Linux Labs, Ask The New Guy, My Story,and so much more!

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Opinion: Debian - It Just Works

I will preface this little cheerleading session with a couple of comments:
  • if you can run Linux, you can run Debian.
  • if you understand the basic Linux 'way of doing things' - that is, package managers, installing software, going to the community for answers to questions, a bit of terminal magic in the odd sticky moment - then you can run Debian.
Why would you? It's Linux. It's Open source. It's non-commercial. It's community supported. It just works.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Opinion: The End of the Affair

The affair that began with Dapper Drake in 2007 is over. The big switch-over is complete. I no longer have a machine running Ubuntu. Everything is now running Debian 7 Wheezy.

The disillusion has been a while brewing, but the truth became apparent early this year: Ubuntu as a distro no longer has anything I need.

I can't say it's been any one thing. Lord knows (although I am an atheist - I don't believe in Mark the Apostle) I tried to love Unity; I really did. The neat idea that began in Ubuntu Netbook remix as a cool small-screen interface just never matured in the way I wanted. Unity kept getting in the way. Unity kept making me type stuff. Unity was never as configurable as I wanted. It wasn't finished or ready back then and now the quick menus and live icons have arrived too late for me.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

How-to: Clean Up Video Soundtrack using ffmpeg, Audacity and Openshot

Clean Up Video Soundtrack using ffmpeg, Audacity and Openshot
Let's say I have some HD video shot on my Samsung Galaxy SII: for a phone it's a good video camera and ordinarily picks up pretty good sound, but, thanks to the venue (your typical tin-shed sports centre) and the other activities (toddlers on bouncy castle, bless 'em) the sound quality was terrible.

I'm not planning to broadcast this in HD any time soon, but as it's educational material, it would be good if folks could hear what the instructor has to say. Most video editors (certainly on Linux) have limited capability for sound. You can chop it, splice it, remove it - but clean it? No. But it is possible to clean up the sound track using a sound editor.

I believe in using the right tool for the job, so I lifted out and cleaned the audio track in Audacity, then put it back with the original visuals using Openshot.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

News: The WordPress.com Reader (Re-post)

Originally posted on the Official Worpdress blog .

As you may have heard, Google Reader is shutting down on July 1. As readers ourselves, we understand the importance of a go-to space on the internet for your daily feeds and regular reads — and a place to discover new finds. If you’re looking for a new reader (or are not using it already), we hope you’ll take the WordPress.com Reader for a spin. Check out what you can do.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Opinion: From tumblr to Tumbleweed - I Give It a Year

One Billion Dollars!! If, like me, you were surprised to hear that this is not Dr. Evil splashing the cash, but Internet dionsaur Yahoo, your first reaction might have been: wow, Yahoo has still got a billion dollars?

Second surprise; they just spent it on a cash acquisition. Yes, cash. This is not one of those debt-laden stock-for-control deals we got used to in the tech sector.

Third, Yahoo just bought tumblr.

tumblr is the vowel-deficient blogging service that all the cool kids use. I don't. I am not a cool kid. All the lively Internet memes and viral pictures that tumblr hosts have passed me by.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Opinion: Respect in Community

Having just read Respect in Community Discussion and Debate by Ubuntu Community Manager Jono Bacon (May 20, 2013), I couldn't let it lie. Expect Jono to run for office sometime soon. I won't be voting, however.

Recently there was yet another storm in a teacup (several storms in the bay, actually) that distracted us from creating and sharing Ubuntu and our flavors with others... at the heart of this case was a concern around the conduct in which some folks engaged around something they disagreed with.

'With which they disagreed', JB! And no, the heart of several coinciding issues is Canonical's behaviour which, rightly, has annoyed a lot of people)

Sunday, 19 May 2013

How-to Install Ubuntu 12.x On Older Hardware

Ubuntu on non-PAE Capable Hardware

From version 12.x onward, many Ubuntu users thought they had hit the end of the line on their older hardware; the adoption of PAE kernels as standard without any non-PAE processor support put new versions beyond the Celeron and Pentium chips.

But you can install a version of 12.04 - remembering that's an LTS or Long Term Support release that has another two years life in it for software patches and updates.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Review: Firefox Download Manager

Firefox Download indicator
Since early April, the Firefox web-browser comes with a new Download Manager; with the indicator and progress icon now embedded in the Firefox toolbar, you get an aggregate view of what's currently downloading and how long is the remaining time to completion.

Click on the icon and you get a Show all downloads button. Hit that and the Library window opens onto your download queue and history.

I hardly see how Mozilla believes "you can monitor, view and locate downloaded files without having to switch to another window..." since that's exactly what you need to do!

Monday, 13 May 2013

News: Ubuntu 13.10 ‘Saucy Salamander'

With a self-confessed lack of inspiration or deep thought, Mr Spaceshuttle has announced the codemane for the next release of Ubuntu (13.10) will be:  'Saucy Salamander.'

Oh well, at least its; not in the realms of Fedora's 'Beefy Miracle.'

How long before it becomes know as 'Spicy Salami'?

The release schedule and milestones are up on the Ubuntu Wiki.

Monday, 6 May 2013

How-to: Create a Multi-Photo album on Facebook

You all know how I DON'T do Facebook?  Well I look after the FB page for a sports club and finally found a reason for uploading photos there that I didn't want anywhere else. Only it didn't work...

The Help page makes it really simple:

To upload photos:
    Click Add Photo/Video at the top of your homepage.
    Pick Create Photo Album.
    Pick the image files you want to upload.

Where I and a lot folks get stuck is selecting multiple photos to upload - you would think holding the shift key and arrowing down or mouse-clicking each image would make a selection - like it does in most programs, especially Windows. But no. Shift-select appears to work but does nothing when you hit the OK button - it just goes back to the main page.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

How-to: Deactivate Wordpress Plugins on a Broken Site

Worpdress logo
You try to login to a Wordpress site and you get the really helpful 500: Internal Server Error and can't access the WP-admin panel.

Wordpress plug-ins can be a common point of failure - particularly if you upgrade plug-ins and the new release has compatibility issues.

One of the common troubleshooting tips for Wordpress is to deactivate all plug-ins and activate them one by one. Which is fine if you can access the site. Fortunately there is a method to disable your plug-ins using FTP.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

YouTube Help Fail

For better results, adjust your Quicktime settings to prepare videos for Internet streaming. For more information, visit our Help Centre.

Which would be great, except I'm using Linux and I don't have Quicktime. Duh.

But out of interest, I hit the Help link and got this:

Help home: The information you've requested isn't currently available in your language, but you can select from the list below to view this help topic in another language or download Google Toolbar, which can instantly translate websites in 42 languages.

Double fail.

YouTube. Bleeaagh! RC

Friday, 26 April 2013

Ubuntu 13.04 Released

The Ubuntu team is very pleased to announce the release of Ubuntu 13.04 for Desktop, Server, Cloud, and Core products.

Codenamed "Raring Ringtail", 13.04 continues Ubuntu's proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution...

To get Ubuntu 13.04
In order to download Ubuntu 13.04, visit:

Friday, 19 April 2013

How-to: Find Other Messages in Facebook

Other Messages in Facebook"Why didn't you reply to me messages? Didn't you see the notification? You rude son of a -"

As a friend of mine reminded me last month, Facebook filters your messages all the time, so you may not get a notification. It may not be that obvious to you. Go to the messages pane and you'll see the headings for Inbox and Other.

Didn't realise you even had 'Other'?

"Your messages get filtered automatically so you mostly see stuff from friends and people you may know in your inbox."

The keyword is 'mostly.' As in "they mostly come at night. Mostly." (Aliens, 1986)

What is the "Other" folder in my messages?

Friday, 12 April 2013

How-to: Fix No Host only adapter selected in Virtualbox

After my last upgrade of Oracle VirtualBox, I got a strange message unseen previously:

"no host only network adapter selected"

This is when I try to configure my vritual machines.
In VirtualBox terms, this is a standard and expected bit of virtual kit, and the application complains if it doesn't find one.

Usually, this message means the virtual host-only network wasn't set up. This operates at system-level, not individual virtual machine so it looks like a serious breakage in virtualbox. It isn't.

You can set this up manually yourself:

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Ubuntu: Can't Organise a File Manager in a Brewery

Yes, it's that time again. I've loaded the Ubuntu 13.04 Raring beta and guess what Canonical's decided to break this time? The tree view is gone in the Nautilus: the file manager can no longer display an expanded or collapsed of the file hierarchy. Which means that Nautilus is pretty well crippled if you want to use it for moving or copying files around different levels of folders.

Unfortunately, Ubuntu is based on Linux, not the iPod: it is still firmly hierarchical and you need to do a lot moving and categorising collections of files when tidying up your file system hierarchy. Which I do a lot.

Perhaps I'm a dinosaur for using Tree view, but just setting up a new install and bringing data across and I'm finding it difficult to manage the file system without it. So why remove it?

Monday, 8 April 2013

Full Circle Magazine 69 Audio Edition has Landed

Hello World. And welcome to… oh, this is not the podcast.

But it is our first bold experiment in producing an audio edition of Full Circle Magazine.

We decided, after editor Ronnie’s attempt to put the magazine through a screen-reader, that an entire edition sounding like a cross between Stephen Hawking and Donald Duck would be bad for everyone’s sanity.

Somewhat later than billed, you will find here the audio edition of Full Circle Magazine issue 69.

Our thanks go to the volunteers who managed deliver their readings.

So listen, enjoy and do please give us some feedback. Use the magazine website for comments and let us know what you thought of our efforts. RC

Listen now!

Try the MP3 audio edition: http://ubuntuone.com/23lhsOrnviLFxbGh2VIekr

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

What is Ubuntu Touch? [Guest Post]

Ubuntu TouchFrom Command & CONQUER: Ubuntu Touch by Lucas Westermann from Full Circle Magazine issue 71.

I originally wanted to write this article on my first impressions for the developer preview of Ubuntu Touch. However, as I couldn't get the work-in-progress version working on my TF101 (Asus Transformer), and as I wasn't willing to sacrifice my brand new Nexus 7's warranty (and data) to test a very basic version of Ubuntu Touch, I had to head back to the drawing board.

Monday, 1 April 2013

News: Full Circle Magazine Issue 71 Has Arrived

Full Circle Magazine Issue 71Full Circle Magazine Issue 71 is available now from the main site.

This month:
  • Ubuntu News.
  • How-To : Programming in Python, LibreOffice, and Using PAF.
  • Graphics : Blender, and Inkscape.
  • Book Review: Python for Kids.
  • Review: Chrome OS
plus: Q&A, Command & Conquer, Linux Labs, Ask The New Guy, My Story, and soooo much more! Get it while it’s hot! Magazine PDF and EPUB edition.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Opinion: Canonical's Mir Moment of Madness

With time to let the dust settle and reflect on the bust-up between Canonical and some parts of the Ubuntu community, what can we really say about the state of relations between the sponsor and its contributors?

Last month Canonical caused some upset by unveiling its' Project X, the new compositing and rendering engine, Mir, turning away from Wayland, which Mark Shuttleworth had been supporting for the best part of two years.

Mir will be a substantial technical prop for Ubuntu across devices and platforms, as Canonical seeks commonality of code and toolkits for development. However, not only is Mir looking somewhat proprietary, but the nature of the announcement and the revelation that Mir was developed secretly under wraps for nine months has caused some friction within the community, to say the least.

News: Ubuntu Releases - End of Life UPDATED

A reminder from the Ubuntu Quality mailing list:

...just so everyone knows. The up coming EOL dates were a little bit staggered on the exact dates. To bring everything together, the Release Team have decided upon the following.

The following releases will all reach End Of Life on May 9th 2013:

Thursday, 28 March 2013

The Golden Record - Voyager's Message in a Bottle [Guest Post]

Voyager's Golden Record 

The Voyager spacecraft has recently left the orbital limits of our solar system. It is now the furthest any made-made object has travelled from Earth. If you're not old enough to remember the launch, Voyager left carrying a golden record containing a sample of sounds and images from Earth.

So should any extraterrestrial life encounter Voyager in deep space, those beings should be able to listen and view the sounds of our civilisation.

If you go to the Golden Record web-site http://goldenrecord.org/, you can see exactly what NASA placed on the golden record, "a kind of time capsule, intended to communicate a story of our world to extraterrestrials."

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Opinion: Why Ubuntu Phone Will Fail [Guest Post]

Ubuntu Phone 2013Guest post by Ed Hewitt

Earlier this month, Canonical held its first press event to unveil its phone operating system, Ubuntu for Phone. This is a product many have speculated would happen after the launch of Unity, providing a touch interface, as well as Canonical bringing Ubuntu to Android devices.

While Ubuntu for Android allows the Ubuntu desktop to run on a smartphone device via a computer dock, Ubuntu for Phone is a complete smartphone OS to challenge iOS and Android. I believe Ubuntu for Phone is dead on arrival; it will fail.

Friday, 22 March 2013

How-to: Check Privacy Settings in Facebook

Facebook privacy settings menuI know we've covered this previously, but that was before Facebook revamped the controls!

It courteously sent us a 'reminder' earlier, which usually means they're feeling gulty and getting emailed like topsy because no one can find the settings any more...

Helpfully, all this stuff is now in one place: on the left of the search box beside your user ID and Home buttons, there's a funny icon which is meant to represent security - a padlock over a set of bars.