Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

Ubuntu Global Jam

The Ubuntu Global Jam is an event held on the weekend of 27 to 29 August in which the Ubuntu community comes together to work together and think about improvements. Ubuntu Global Jam used to be called Ubuntu Global Bug Jam, but since we took the bug out, the event is now more of a social than a bug jam.

Everyone can participate in the Jam and is welcome and encouraged to participate If only to meet with other members of Ubuntu who contribute on a weekly and daily basis.

The Ubuntu Global Jam will include events that are planned around the world on staple topics such as: Bugs, testing the new version and reporting on it, upgrading to Maverick Lucid, information about how to use Ubuntu and join the community, translation or packaging. I would also suggest some fresh topics, such as focusing on making Ubuntu a great sound platform as opposed to being mediocre. ( If you’re a musician, now is your time to literally jam), also using Ubuntu in real-life situations as opposed to server-client networks.  Exactly how plug ‘n play is Ubuntu in a home office environment? Another pet project is to implement drag-n-drop more uniformly across applications (see Appearance applet for an example of drag ‘n drop)   and to have greater application interoperability. We should be able to create new applications like lego blogs, without ever having to see a line of code!!!

Although the wiki already has a few Global Jam logos, Bognarandras , has created an awesome universal logo for Ubuntu Global Jam which is really refreshing. Why keep repeating the same old designs?

Just another word on the Global part of the Global Jam, raised at last year’s Jam event. Videoconferencing and/or IRC communication between Jam events is encouraged. We should be communicating, not simply eating pizza!!! Throw us some skypes, plug in some sounds, make it a real jam this year. This probably means creating some form of roster for linkups and testing links with kit, so that when the general public arrive at your local event, they are not simply greeted by a dark screen running code.

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Doomed to obscurity

Great Open Source Comic

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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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Patrick L Archibald of hacker public radio interviews his sister Wynn Godbold who recently starting using Ubuntu Linux. She is a kindergarten teacher in South Carolina. They talk about her experience as a new Linux user. The also discuss open source adoption in the education field. At times it sounds unintentionally like an Ubuntu promo but there are some good snippets in the interview.

Go to this episode

FROM: Binary Revolution

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Increasingly, as programming becomes a national past-time, and the human interface with the machine produces, ever greater information processing yet less time to enjoy the fruits of our “labour saving devices” while our unmediated communications amongst each other erodes and begins to play a secondary role to the communication which is now mediated online and via computers. there arise various problems in expressing ourselves, which persist in our daily lives and which cannot be ignored.

Firstly, machines do not cope with all the qualities that make human language what it is —  human commmunication is the result of an organic world in which the inate logic of syntactical structures are not immediately obvious. We do not all speak like we think, or think like we speak. Furthermore, we are often wrong, deploy private logic, non-general semantics and create irrational categories based upon first hand experience, not official text-books or dictionaries.

The inevitable clash arises. Suppose one expresses the desire to frag somebody. Next thing you are being locked up for wanting to “kill a process”.*
( *I have a brother who did exactly that, and still believes the world is one large teenage paint-ball game)

Enter Lojban, an attempt to create an entirely logical language

Lojban is a carefully constructed spoken language designed in the hope of removing a large portion of the ambiguity from human communication. It was made well-known by a Scientific American article and references in science fiction(external link) Lojban has been built over five decades by dozens of workers and hundreds of supporters.

Lojban has a number of features which make it unique:

  • Lojban is designed to be used by people in communication with each other, and possibly in the future with computers.
  • Lojban is designed to be culturally neutral.
  • Lojban has an unambiguous grammar, which is based on the principles of logic.
  • Lojban has phonetic spelling, and unambiguous resolution of sounds into words.
  • Lojban is simple compared to natural languages; it is easy to learn.
  • Lojban’s 1300 root words can be easily combined to form a vocabulary of millions of words.
  • Lojban is regular; the rules of the language are without exception.
  • Lojban attempts to remove restrictions on creative and clear thought and communication.
  • Lojban has a variety of uses, ranging from the creative to the scientific, from the theoretical to the practical.

Interested? See and hear an example of spoken Lojban(external link). You can also see this page written in Lojban.

Lojban software in Ubuntu

jbofihe — A Lojban parser

This is available in Debian simply by installing the jbofihe package through apt-get. Ubuntu users might first need to enable universe. Google knows how.

lojban-common – Lojban word-lists

This package installs the standard Lojban word lists into /usr/share/lojban-common. It’s available about the same way as jbofihe above.

camxes — A better Lojban parser, written in Java

This package isn’t yet available from Debian/Ubuntu.

However, it is available via apt.

Add the following lines to your /etc/apt/sources.list: deb http://www.lojban.org/debian/ custom main deb-src http://www.lojban.org/debian/ custom main

Then apt-get update and install away.

Note: That apt-repository is signed by Ted Reed’s GnuPG key. You may get warnings about it.

In order to tell apt that you trust Ted, do the following: gpg –recv-key D18C1C64 –keyserver wwwkeys.pgp.net gpg -a –export D18C1C64 | sudo apt-key add –

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Canonical, the sponsor company behind the popular Ubuntu Linux OS  have become the first member to sign up to the Open Invention Network’s new associate membership program. According to OSnews, The Open Invention Network exists to acquire patents and license them royalty free to entities which, in turn, “agree not to assert their own patents against Linux or Linux-related applications.” Current well-known companies involved with the OIN include Sony, IBM and Novell.

Not sure what to think about this very un-GPL move, but there’s bound to be a lot of conversation in the ensuing days as the community gets to grip with reality. In a patent war, its sue or be sued.

Perhaps, Canonical should rather be putting more efforts to bolster the work of the Free Software Foundation, since this really just acts to legitimise  patent law as far as computer software is concerned. Then again, you probably know the ham sandwhich was patented by the Earl of Sandwhich, and you owe somebody a lot of money for school lunches, don’t you?

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Found this a week ago, and forgot to note down who did it. It is hilerious because of the juxtoposition of authority figure forcing us to use FOSS.

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