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Archive for July, 2010

Clean searches

If you’re a little concerned about the Google monolith, especially the way the company has infiltrated every facet of our lives with often meaningless searches, and raw data which grows increasingly less useful as the famous page algorithm becomes ever less relevant in a semantic and heuristically challenged world, then you will pleased to find Duck Duck Go, a  search engine showing some promise. Yes, unlike the closed behemoth of Google, it is based on open source, not simply page popularity.

Among the  strengths touted by the developers of DuckDuckgo are
  • No tracking- guaranteed  privacy.
  • Relevant results- they claim to eliminate over 60m useless sites for some searches.
  • The DuckDuckbot, the name of their crawler, identifies sites automatically without you needing to add your site to their index like Google.
  • Encrypted search using “https”
  • In addition to their DuckDuckbot, they also get their results from “many sources including crowd-sourced sites,  BOSS & Bing.

Some neat stuff you can do with DuckDuckGo

!amazon bags searches Amazon.com for bags, directly. We call this search syntax “!bang”, and it works for 100s of sites:

  • Most big sites work, e.g. !youtube
  • Most generic keywords work too, e.g. !images
  • There are also shorter versions, e.g. !g !i !yt
  • Just ‘! ‘ will take you to the first result.
  • more about this here

THANKS Ghabuntu

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rsget downloader

rsget.pl is a powerful perl application designed to retrieve files from download services (like RapidShare, MegaUpload and many more).
It has a long list of features implemented already and even longer TODO list.

If you already know you want it, grab latest tarball from downloads and read where to start.

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FFUU theme

lassekongo83 has created a mod of my favourite theme — ffuu is based on Zuki

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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:

http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa…020634_all.deb

http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa…20634_i386.deb

http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa…20634_i386.deb

for 64 bit:

http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa…020634_all.deb

http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa…0634_amd64.deb

http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa…0634_amd64.deb

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

PCWORLD

BBC

DAVID ICKE

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