Archive for the ‘Stuff’ Category

כך חולפת תהילת עולם

יצא לא להסתכל לאחרונה ב-Google Analytics של הבלוג, ודי חשכו עיני – החודש התעבורה על האתר ירדה בצורה משמעותית ביותר מהחודש שעבר. בירור יותר מדודק הראה שבמאי היה לי שיא תנועה באתר ומאז היתה ירידה:

הדבר הבא לעשות היה לבדוק למה, ומסתבר שרוב התנועה באתר שלי בחודשים האחרונים היתה מחיפושי גוגל שהובילו למאמרים על Ubuntu12, ובהחלט נראה שהתנועה על המאמרים האלה יבשה: בכל יולי היו פחות מ-500 כניסות לכל מאמר.

זה בהחלט סביר, מכיוון שהמאמרים האלה היו על בעיות די זמניות במערכת ההפעלה, אבל בכל זאת – חבל: לקצת זמן היה נראה שלי שהבלוג שלי אינו זוטה 🙂

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  1. MySQL 5.5 on Ubuntu 10.10 []
  2. VirtualBox on Ubuntu 11.04 []

In case you’re looking for me on Google+

Using the Google+ Nick service you can now find me at http://gplus.to/guss77.

Just wanted to let everyone know 🙂

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Same old Microsoft, at Nortel’s patent sale dispute

As reported on Reuters and Techcrunch, Microsoft is claiming that the sale of bankrupt Nortel’s 6,000 patents to Google (or any other successful bidder) is unfair under the current sale terms that allow the buyer to not carry current licenses to the patents.

Microsoft is understandably concerned, as they currently hold a “perpetual, royalty-free” license to all patents (which means that if the buyer doesn’t get to re-license with existing license holders, then they won’t get any more money from Microsoft on these patents), but what I’m ranting about is not their legitimate concern, but their attempt to color this as “unfair” – quips Techcrunch:

Microsoft says that’s unfair. And while they don’t specifically mention Google, it seems pretty clear who they’re thinking about when they write that a termination of existing licensing agreements “would result in considerable disruption in the development and enhancement of various existing technologies and give the prospective purchaser an unfair competitive advantage”.

This may be unfair, but Microsoft has done this exact same thing in the past, including the very near past where immediately after buying Skype, and just a few days after Microsoft promised that Skype will continue to be offered on non-Microsoft platforms, the “Skype for Asterisk” product was terminated disallowing Digium to sell any more Skype integration module for their successful (and open source) VoIP solution1.

Obviously this is a move perpetrated to allow Microsoft’s competing VoIP product (Lync) an unfair competitive advantage by offering features that Digium can no longer offer – not because of technical issues but because Microsoft will not allow it.

Taking that into account, Microsoft claiming the sale of this patents to Google is unfair is just the pot calling the  kettle black.

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  1. I know that technically they did not stop supporting the module – just not allowing any new sales, but they also put a deadline to stop supporting the Skype-Asterisk integration module: it will not work past July 2013. Cutting this any sooner would have netted Microsoft/Skype a serious law suite so obviously they did the worst they could get away with []

Using Evolution under KDE – GNOME Keyring issues

Lets face it – Kontact is a nice application but its not really a contender if you want integration with your corporate address book and calendar in your PIM application1 and Evolution is the only solution for the feature set one would expect from a corporate friendly PIM solution.

Evolution works great when running under GNOME, but if you hate GNOME 3 as much as I do2, then you are likely to try to run Evolution under a recent KDE 4. And then problems start mounting – there’s the file dialogs which look completely different and don’t inter-operate with KDE’s virtual file system layer (KIO), but the most annoying problem is saving the passwords for your email, address book and calendar services.

Evolution relies on GNOME’s keyring service to store passwords for remote services, and that service is not running when you start KDE. Without the keyring, Evolution will keep asking you for passwords to all your email services when you start up, and for all your address book services when you try to compose an email. Which wouldn’t have been that bad if not for the fact that before popping up the password dialog, Evolution spends minutes (!!) trying to contact the GNOME keyring service. Only after being frozen for a couple of minutes you get asked for the first password, and if you have more then one service then please wait two more minutes while Evolution tries fruitlessly to contact GNOME keyring again!

The solution is simple – have GNOME keyring launch automatically when you log in to KDE, just like it does for GNOME. There are several ways to do this – for example using KDE’s “startup applications” system or writing custom profile scripts (I’ve tried both), but the more elegant solution I found in fedorahosted.org where someone committed a simple script that generates GNOME keyring startup and shutdown scripts for KDE. I’m guessing this is used in the KDE live CD spins for Fedora.

Anyway, this script can easily adapted to generate GNOME keyring integration scripts for your local KDE installation. Just start Konsole, and paste this into the command line:


cat > $HOME/.kde/env/start-custom.sh <<EOF
#!/bin/sh
eval \`gnome-keyring-daemon\`
export GNOME_KEYRING_PID
export GNOME_KEYRING_SOCKET
EOF
chmod 755 $HOME/.kde/env/start-custom.sh
cat > $HOME/.kde/shutdown/stop-custom.sh <<EOF
#/bin/sh
if [-n "\$GNOME_KEYRING_PID"]; then
kill \$GNOME_KEYRING_PID
fi
EOF
chmod 755 $HOME/.kde/shutdown/stop-custom.sh

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  1. also – contrary to popular belief in hacker circles, rich text editing is useful – and Kontact really sucks at that []
  2. if you are a GNOME user and weren’t exposed to GNOME 3 yet, then don’t worry – soon coming to a distro near your, and you’re likely not going to like it []

עוד משהו שמעצבן אותי

ובגלל שזה הולך להציק לי כל היום, אז אני אפיל את זה עליכם:

משקאות קלים

מה קל במשקאות קלים? ממה זה יותר קל, מממשקאות כבדים?1

לדעתי זה מגיע מאנגלית – המונח hard liquor משמש לתאר משקאות אלכוהוליים, ומכאן: “משקאות קשים”.

אבל למה ההפך מ”משקאות קשים” הוא “משקאות קלים”? זה צריך להיות “משקאות רכים”, כמו באנגלית – “soft drink“. 2

  1. בסופו של דבר הכל מורכב ממים ששוקלים קילו לליטר והשוני במשקל בין משקאות שונים צריך להיות מינורי []
  2. באופן עוד יותר מוזר, המקבילה בעברית לערך הוויקיפדי “Soft Drink” הוא דווקא “משקאות תוססים” שהם, אליבא ד-וויקיפדיה, סוג של “משקאות קלים” []

New ice cream flavor

Ok, it might not be new – but it’s new to me: Ben & Jerry’s have managed to make a crunchy peanut butter ice cream! It is called Chubby Hubby and I can totally understand why its called that way – I can eat it all day 🙂

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What kind of personality question you’d be?

While filling in a silly personality questionnaire (you know the annoying type: If you’d have been X, what type of X would you be?), I figure out the most computer geeky personality question ever!

It was obviously way too geeky for the task at hand, so here it is now for you to answer – or better yet: invent your a worst geeky personality question:

If you’d have been a design pattern (or an anti-pattern), which design pattern you’d be and why?

I, for laughs, I’d say I would have been a Duff’s device – complicated and impossible to debug 😉

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Just jumping on the 6692d179032205 bandwagon

As Intel confirmed, the HDCP master key has been leaked (using PasteBin of all things1 ), and have been reproduced2 around the web in blogs and forum posts.

One, more industrious, individual went a step further and reproduced the HDCP master key as a Python program to generate sink and source keys according to the leaked instructions – which is reproduced here fully for the purpose of mirroring (no copyright notice was added so I don’t know who to thank for this). More musings about the meaning and purpose of all this – after the break:

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  1. Where it quickly went out of control, people don’t seem to understand the concept of  “mirror” or “offsite backup” 😉  []
  2. 1890 sources, total for today and not including this one []

Updated Kohana RPMs for RHEL/CentOS

While I’m maintaining RPMs for the Kohana PHP framework, as I discussed here, I thought it will be a good idea to track the stable “upstream” development.

The Kohana project have recently released an update to their 3.0 release, so I’ve integrated this back to the RPM distribution and you can now get an updated RPM package from the RPM repository here and a source RPM is as usual available here.

Got me a new gadget

For all of you who are not up to date on my latest news, I’ve got a new phone last week – a Motorola Milestone running Android 2.1 (I expected more Moto* application with the Motorola brand, but I only got a Media Dock home app and a driving home app – not even the “Motonav” navigation software, not that I mind – I use Waze).

Its a pretty cool device and (to my surprise) it allowed me to abandon all the other phones I was carrying with me, pretty much with in a couple of days (I expected it will take me at least a week to transfer all the things I was doing with mobile connected devices to a new device). So now – probably to the surprise of many of my friends – I carry just one phone instead of 3.

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