August 16, 2011
--> LJ Talk Problem Solved
I like LJ Talk. It's an instant messaging service which uses Jabber, an open protocol also known as XMPP, meaning you're not locked in to particular software like you are with MSN. Yes, I know that a lot of software has reverse-engineered the MSN, ICQ etc. protocols, but they still break when the owners change the rules. I use bitlbee to talk to people on LJ Talk; others use Pidgin, Kopete, Psi and lots of other software.
It's also tied in to your LiveJournal - your LJ friends are automatically added to your IM list. However, as an example of this lovely open protocol, LJ Talk isn't all that great. It doesn't integrate into the LJ website like Facebook Chat does (though the inability to turn FB chat off irritates the crap out of me), it's not well publicised like Google Talk is, and it seems to have gone back to being a walled garden where you can't add non-LiveJournal contacts. If you want a Jabber account to play with, I suggest jabber.org.
Recently greyeyedeve has been having real trouble with LJ Talk. It seems that the encryption certificate used for LJ Talk has the wrong hostname (www.livejournal.com rather than livejournal.com) and hence some IM clients such as Kopete will refuse to connect. Most Jabber clients will let you specify a server, and connecting to www.livejournal.com (though keeping the Jabber ID as firstname.lastname@example.org) will fix the problem.
--> Debian Turns 18
So the Debian project, home of Debian GNU/Linux and other great software distributions, has turned 18. That's impressive for a free software project (the GNU project itself is only 27), and makes Debian the oldest extant distribution except for Slackware (which is just one month older).
Debian wasn't my first introduction to the world of free software and GNU/Linux, but it was the one that stuck. Debian was good enough for me to ditch Windows for over five years ago (after a few years of dual-booting), and it's only improved since then. Other distributions have come along since, but I've tried many and none match Debian's vast collection of high quality-assured free software.
Debian's focus on freedom is commendable, especially while still supporting people who want to use proprietary software, and avoiding the knee-jerk refusal to encourage proprietary creators towards freedom. Its support of as wide a range of architectures and kernels as possible is impressive. All this against a background of a democratic, community-driven volunteer project. For those of us interested in international community organisation, in projects pursuing ethical goals working with commercial organisations, and in co-operative enterprises where the contributors have equal say in the direction of the project, Debian stands as a great example of good practice and high-quality results.
So thanks to the entire Debian community, some of whom I'm happy to call friends, for the hard work they've put in over the last 18 years. While I've never been a Debian developer, I've spent a lot of time supporting users on IRC, and met lovely people like resiak that way. I'll go on using, supporting and advocating Debian, and look forward to the 21st birthday!
August 15, 2011
--> Riots Are Over, Problems Are Not
urial of one’s problems is not the solution to these problems. Burial of a state’s problem is not the mass arrest of the symptom of this problem. Last week there was a lot of unrest in the UK. It was only the rioters whom the media chose to focus on. It was intentional. Allow me [...]
--> The Sunny Days of GNU/Linux
e are fortunate enough to live at a time when many (if not most) phones run Linux and the overwhelming majority of Web servers do too. Those who say that GNU/Linux is “not ready for the desktop” hardly exist anymore. So for those who insist on running it on their desktop/s, there is rarely a [...]
August 14, 2011
--> Review of Puppy Linux on an Old Server
uppy has become familiar to many as a Live CD option for aging PCs that sit on people’s desktops at home, maybe even at some offices. Puppy recently became more of a derivative of Ubuntu (arguably, depending on the definition of “derivative”), but its legacy and/or its strength was mostly associated with its version that [...]
--> Wikileaks Makes the World More Civilised
arlier on in the day, Wikileaks’ official account echoed my tweet to over a million followers, which is rare (I have posted over 50,000 tweets and never was I mentioned by Wikileaks). For whatever reason, people still associate Wikileaks with crime, even though its only connection to crime is that it helps expose crime. In [...]
August 12, 2011
--> My Tweets from 2011-08-06 to 2011-08-12
- Off to London again…. 07:34:24, 2011-08-08
- think there must be correlation between warm weather and riots, totenham, Egypt 15:43:18, 2011-08-08
- Sitting @ Angel tube and seen loads of cop cars going North + fleet of huge f450 riot vans #riots #itskickedoff http://t.co/75QoKJx 19:01:34, 2011-08-08
- sitting in my travelodge room watching bbc news looks like looting is going to move throughout london – woolwich looted now. #riots 23:02:27, 2011-08-08
- if i had my car with me would be very tempted to drive to riots and run over a bunch of rioters #scum #londonriots 23:59:14, 2011-08-08
- time to declare martial law? #lockdownlondon #londonriots 00:55:11, 2011-08-09
- no water canons? just get a pump and plumb it into the sewer and spray them with s#*t #londonriots #giverhemwhattheydeserve 09:47:49, 2011-08-09
- still in London on way home though – must be still kicking off lots of sirens everywhere #londonriots 17:44:40, 2011-08-09
- told them before how to deal with #ukriots hook up a pump to sewers and spray them with shit 19:54:52, 2011-08-09
- call in the farmers to deploy the silage speaders to deal with the chavs #ukriots 20:17:46, 2011-08-09
- home now – watching bbc feed on telly with julie, girls in bed #notacareintheworld 21:50:56, 2011-08-09
- Turkish community defending their property – http://t.co/BV9mKeA via @youtube #londonriots 21:57:19, 2011-08-09
August 11, 2011
--> Oppose Attempts to Censor the British Public
or those who have not heard, the government looks into censorship of the Web as miserable and counter-productive means for suppressing real grievances. The Prime Minister surely learned nothing from Egypt, which had this famous cartoon produced. I decided to do some GIMPing of the original to show the equivalence.
--> Topic Exhaustion
here is this thing about blogging which almost everyone who blogs has experienced at one stage, especially after blogging a lot (in the past 5 years I wrote over 15,000 blog posts). There is an understandable reluctance to write about something which was covered before and can therefore be addressed by linkage, unless things have [...]
--> Social Networks/Content Hosting Always Evolved
ack in the days, people created Geocities-hosted Web sites. Well, Yahoo! has axed it, shortly after getting abducted by Microsoft in fact, so Geocities is no more (although many sites similar to it still exist). I created my site there in 1997/1998 and a few years later I got interested in Open Diary, which in [...]
August 10, 2011
--> Caught Up and Running a Server at Home
INALLY, after nearly a week since taking and returning from a break, I received the server I have been waiting for. It arrived on Monday afternoon and today I finished configuring it, running alongside the triple-head workstation which I will use to do computer vision jobs and other development/admin work. The research requires a lot [...]
August 09, 2011
--> At Times of Unrest
he United Kingdom has come under a wave of violence. For those who are living under a rock, financial markets all around the world are trembling yet again, just like in October of 2008. A stampede-like motion away from the markets in every country characterises this seemingly-irreversible trend. Here in Manchester we don’t have riots, [...]
August 07, 2011
--> GNU/Linux on the Server Side Helps ‘Desktop Linux’
The Network Effect in action he myths about “desktop Linux” are mostly associated and tied to “easy of use”. Many people, mostly ones with next to zero experience when it comes to GNU/Linux, have blindly decided that the slow growth of GNOME and KDE is due to an inherent problem other than marketing. But perceptions [...]
--> Radiation and Smoke in the Workplace
aving discussed the subject with half a dozen people over the past week or so, it seems clear that the threat of radiation is underplayed by companies that make business out of it (X-ray for the most part, if not nuclear energy too). The crux of the argument is that, just as people are increasingly [...]
August 06, 2011
--> Last Time in My 20s
am well past my prime time (shown in the linked post is 2005, even though the prime was around 2002 when I was 20), but while I’m still in my 20s I manage to find time to do exercise, currently with a folding keyboard and a PDA on my lap (between sets). The above photo [...]