Archive for July, 2010

Ubuntu 10.04 free cd arrives

Canonical is still shipping free CDs. If you haven’t got one yet, place an order via Shipit. An Ubuntu CD is also a great way of getting new users to switch. Now if we could just persuade the forces that be to send us hardware. Think about it, Ubuntu is a collective, a community which produces Free Software, but why not a community which produces open machines?

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One of the great things about Linux are the new kernels.

Although the stable 2.6.34 is available for Lucid, it is unlikely to make its way into the official repos any time soon.

If you’re experiencing issues with your current kernel, or just want a change, then stable 2.6.34 may be for you.

You will need to install 3 packages.

For 32 bit:




for 64 bit:




please install in order listed.

Then run  from a terminal afterwards:

sudo update-grub reboot.

to confirm you are running the new kernel type in a terminal:

uname -a

THANKS: nhasian

Some advice from Sgosnell

Features seldom get dropped from later kernels. It’s perfectly safe to install newer kernels, because you can always boot from any kernel still installed. You can install the .34 kernel, and if you have problems just boot from the default kernel. You can easily remove kernels via Synaptic, as long as you aren’t booted to the kernel you intend to remove. I would advise installing the .34 kernel and trying it out. I like it a lot. If it doesn’t do what you want you can always remove it, and you can also install the .35 kernel over it when it is released. That will just result in the ability to boot to the .35 kernel in addition to the .34 kernel and whatever you already have installed. I tend to remove older kernels after I insure that the newer kernel works ok, just to save space and remove clutter, but I usually keep the default kernel for the OS version I have installed, although I seldom boot to it. It’s just a final safety fallback.

NOTE: If downloading and installing precompiled kernels is not your cup of tea, then try KernelCheck, which will install and build the latest kernel for your distribution from source.

ADDENDUM: I noticed the debs above were compiled with an earlier version of GCC than the one which I am running (gcc (Ubuntu 4.4.3-4ubuntu5) 4.4.3), which resulted in a kernel check message from the nVIDIA installer. I therefore highly recommend using KernelCheck if you want to maintain concurrency with your compiler. If you run into a kernel panic check this posting of mine.

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Seeing as how I am one of the people affected, I am republishing this interesting posting from fuseoptimisation, although in theory only those blogs at the site which had failed to change their default bylines would have been found, I like the can-do attitude.

“After searching around the internet for ways of finding all the 70,000 blogs which have gone missing I stumbled on the piece of text which is added to the page title of all Blogetery blogs (Just another Blogetery.com weblog)  Google is showing 2.8 Million results for this phrase.  So I started to break down the results by industry, here are some of the ones I found

Car Insurance – 218 results
Real Estate – 2,550 results
SEO – 8,360 results
Personal Injury – 7,580
Christian – 3,680
iPod – 1,860

With British phrases such as “personal injury” it is clear that many UK SEO companies have been using Blogetery as an easy way to gain links to their sites.

Using Google’s “inurl:” command…

inurl:Blogetery.com – 287,000 results (This includes some non Blogetery sites)

…we can see that if 73,000 blogs were taken down then on average only 4 pages were being indexed per blog.  Taking the top result for the inurl:blogetery.com command we can see that Smartech had 771 pages indexed.  This can only mean that thousands of the blogs were either not indexed by Google at all, or perhaps just had one page.

“The startling thing for me is that out of the 2.8 million pages that Google lists only a small percentage seem to be optimised for specific industries.  The SEO result above was the highest I could find, even gambling sites and adult sites don’t seem to feature.  I can only assume that the majority of the blogs were personal blogs by real every day people.

NOTE: When I moved content over to the site from this one about a month ago to check the interface, I did notice a slow uptake on google over the first month which might explain the fact individual blogs on the site were probably badly optimised, however the site as a whole, was a real winner when I made my initial search.

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THE unbelievable story about the termination of wordpress site blogetery.com right in the middle of the much vaunted U8UNTU eLXER migration has taken a bizarre new twist.

While this latest news story may squash any theory about the Feds impounding two years of U8UNTU material because of a GPL violation, or worse, a general crackdown on free software, it raises all sorts of questions regarding freedom of the press, in particular the law as it applies to online publishing and blogging.

One would have at least expected a court order before such a draconian move as the shutting down of 73 000 blogs, literally under martial law imposed by the USA Patriot Act, and which have now all apparently been deleted. Attempts to explain away the actions of Burst.Net, as a “voluntary” over-reaction fail to take into account the threat to impound servers and seize assets.

Neither burst.net nor blogetery.com are to blame in this affair. One must place the blame on the Federal Government which has acted in a threatening and undemocratic manner.

Even if the cause was an online publication called Inspire which apparently published a hit list and an article “How to make a bomb in your mother’s kitchen”, there are laws guaranteeing freedom of the press in the US constitution. Bring the alleged perpetrators of hate speech and incitement to war to book in a court of law. Get this out in the open, otherwise we all suffer from a culture of secrecy which is anathema in a democratic country.

Here is how the event unfolded, after TorrentFreak reported the U.S. government may be involved as part of stepped-up antipiracy operations and  conversation  between Blogetery management and the host provider via an online forum appeared to validate  speculation that it was all about copyright infringement, it turns out both copyright and free software have nothing to do with it. According to CNET, “the site was shut down after FBI agents informed executives of Burst.net, Blogetery’s Web host, late on July 9 that links to al-Qaeda materials were found on Blogetery’s servers, Joe Marr, chief technology officer for Burst.net, told CNET. Sources close to the investigation say that included in those materials were the names of American citizens targeted for assassination by al-Qaeda. Messages from Osama bin Laden and other leaders of the terrorist organization, as well as bomb-making tips, were also allegedly found on the server.”

Surely the culprit could have been dealt with in a sane way that avoided alienating so many people and causing loss of confidence in blogs such as this one? We all lose out when Federal agents can no longer distinguish between an al Qaeda recruitment journal and a Free and Open Source Linux blog!!!! I guess as servers become smaller and data gets compressed, we could all end up losing a lot more than the truth.

Al Quaeda Hit List and Bomb Tips Allegedly Linked to Shut Down of Blogetery

Blogetery closure a violation of our blogging rights

CNET:Bomb-making tips, hit list behind Blogetery closure

CNET: Why Web host shut down 73,000 blogs a mystery

SLASHDOT conversation




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This is a useful script for playing di.fm stations with mplayer (requires zenity, curl and mplayer)

1. open a terminal

sudo gedit /usr/bin/zenplayer

2. Add a bash shebang


3. paste this:

zenity --list --width 500 --height 500 --column 'radio' --column 'url' --print-column 2$(curl -s http://www.di.fm/ | awk -F '"' '/href="http:.*\.pls.*96k/ {print $2}' | sort | awk -F '/|\.' '{print $(NF-1) " " $0}') | xargs mplayer

4. Save

5. Make executable

sudo chmod +x /usr/bin/zenplayer

Then to run, just type zenplayer in a terminal and choose a station

otherwise make a new menu entry in your gnome menu and add zenplayer to properties.

If you want notifications when the track changes, add this:

| grep --line-buffered "StreamTitle='.*S" -o | grep --line-buffered "'.*'" -o > mus & tail -n0 -f mus | while read line; do notify-send "Zen Player" "$line";done

THANKS polaco and spiffwalker at commandlinefu.com

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Well it had to happen at some point — the open-core debate has finally entered the Ubuntu community with a bang as a result of Nasa dumping Eucalyptus. If you remember the announcement surrounding “Karmic Koala and its food Eucalyptus ” which gave the Ubuntu platform remarkable “cloud- like properties”, then you may also remember that absolutely nothing was said back then about the new “open-core paradigm”. If you assumed it was all just Open Source, think again. Unbelievably, although not all that surprising considering the high stakes involved, the Ubuntu Enterprise layer is, yes, Open Core.

According to The Reg Nasa engineers attempted to contribute additional Eucalyptus code to improve its ability to scale, but they were unable to do so because some of the platform’s code is open and some isn’t. Their attempted contributions conflict with code that is only available in a partially closed version of platform maintained by Eucalyptus Systems Inc., the commercial outfit run by the project’s founders.

That Canonical has a commercial Redhat edge about it, has always been a rumour, but did we have to find out like this via a licensing violation? Canonical are going to have a lot of explaining to do about their commitment to open source, and while the open-core definitions are only now being resolved by the folks who gave us the Open Source Definition, how does this impact on the GPL? I hesitate to say the Free Software Foundation is going to have something to add, but you have my  two cents, Stallman is going to give Shuttleworth his own particular form of hell.  Check this excellent article summing up the current debate, The Singularity of Free

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Ubuntu festival

Ubuntu is not just an operating system, it’s an idea. The Ubuntu Festival is an event which happened in Cape Town, Sunday, to celebrate Mandela Day.


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Firefox memory hacks

One can set configuration settings to limit the amount of memory that Firefox uses to cache pages and store session history.

You can look at what is currently in Firefox’s memory cache by putting this into the location bar:


Change the available settings. (For each you need to type about:config into the address sbar, in order to add the settings.)


This limits the amount of memory that Firefox will use to store images. Set to the cache size you want in KB. So to set the maximum to 24MB give the number 24576.


This limits the amount of memory that Firefox will use to store old pages. This speeds up going backward and forward through pages.

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Ubuntu Women design

Some great designs from Linux Tips & Tricks

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This could be the start of something big. A  “humane” computer solution for Africa —  an extendable, hackable 8-bit general computing platform, designed for both hobbyists and developing nations, that can be displayed on televisions. The Humane Reader can be used as an ebook reader and comes with a 2GB SD card where you can put about 5000 ebooks or, roughly, the entire contents of Wikipedia. While I don’t think lack of monitors is the problem down here, all we need is a cheap output to some form of LCD screen. The picture shows the device plugged into some kind of portable DVD player. But we get the picture. Since its all open source computing the schematics are readily available. Perhaps our local LUG will oblige by building a few?

From an article in Linux Journal

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