Arbitrary tweets made by TheGingerDog (i.e. David Goodwin) up to 01 December 2013
Today was my last day working at Bytemark, and I found it a lot harder than expected.
For better or worse I finished earlier than expected; having been gradually removing my accounts and privileges over the past few weeks I'd revoked my OpenVPN key this morning.
Mid-afternoon my openvpn connection tried to renegotiate session keys, or similar, and failed. So I stopped work a few hours early. That meant I managed to avoid sending my "goodbye world" email, which is probably for the best - after all a lovely company, lovely people, and a good environment, what can you say besides things that are lovely?
I think I largely wrapped things up neatly, and I'm pleased that one of my photos is hanging on the office wall. (I look forward to seeing that actually, I've only rarely made canvas prints.)
The only other thing of note this week has been the sharp rise in blogspam I've detected. Black Friday alive and well, on the internets ..
1. See http://github.com/palepurple/policyd-weight - I’m trying to make some changes to policyd-weight (something I’ve been using for ages) to make it more configurable and add in a GeoIP patch which I’ve seen floating around.
2. See https://twitter.com/excommunicado and http://blog.hinterlands.org/2013/11/an-update-on-communicado/ - for a DNS Blacklist you might want to use – using excommunicado.co.uk as a RHSBL has stopped about 700 spammy emails for me already
Yesterday I received an email from the Open Rights Group asking me to sign an on-line petition set up in collaboration with nearly 300 other organisations. The email said:
In 2013, we learned digital surveillance by governments across the world knows no bounds.
Their national intelligence and investigative agencies capture our phone calls, track our location, peer into our address books, and read our emails. They often do this in secret and without adequate public oversight, violating our human rights.
We won’t stand for this anymore.
Over the past year, 300 organisations have come together to support the International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance.
Today we’re launching a global petition supporting the 13 International Principles alongside a range of international NGOs including Access, Chaos Computer Club, Digitale Gesellschaft, Electronic Frontier Foundation, OpenMedia and Privacy International.
These thirteen Principles establish the human rights obligations of governments engaged in communications surveillance. 
They’ve been developed over months of consultation between internationally-recognised technology, privacy, and human rights experts.
Can you join people from around the world to lend your name and support to the Principles?
Unfortunately, the link given in the email went to a page on the “necessaryandproportionate” website which sought signatures from persons signing on behalf of NGOs rather than individuals wishing to add their own voices to the campaign. Today I received a new email pointing to an amended page where I might actually sign up as me rather than me qua some officer representing an organisation.
A brief investigation of that website shows the following “idiosyncracies”. Firstly, the website on IP address 22.214.171.124 appears to be hosted by Silicon Valley Web Hosting out of San Jose in California (see below – click for a full sized image – note the “ShowIP” popup info bottom left).
There is nothing inherently wrong with that (though of course the hosting company is subject to US law). After all, lots of websites I use are hosted in the US, and there are many US based organisations appearing as signatories to the petition. However, the SSL certificate used appears to be both woefully weak and incorrectly signed – note in particular the CN (common name) assignation is a wildcard for “trollingeffects.org” whilst the actual website is called “en.necessaryandproportionate.org”. Again, see below:
So the organisation has re-purposed a certificate produced for another domain rather than getting a nice shiny new (strong) one for itself. And frankly, a 128 bit RC4 cipher with a SHA-1 MAC is just laughably daft given that the page in question says:
Join the global movement demanding the protection of human rights and an end to mass surveillance. Let the world know: Privacy is a human right. Endorse the Necessary and Proportionate Principles.
Whilst I may have no problem in people knowing that I have signed such a petition (after all, if it is to be effective, then the petitioners’ names (and where applicable, affiliations) must be public, I’m not that keen on using a website run by a supposedly privacy conscious collective which is so woefully inadequate in even the basic protection it offers.
“C minus – must do better.”
(Oh, and for comparison, the Open Rights Group’s own website is hosted by ByteMark Consulting (Hi Guys) and uses a 256 bit AES cipher.)
During the 13.10 development cycle we worked with the community to create a set of Core Apps for Ubuntu Touch. This resulted in a set of apps delivered in the image we build every single day.
For the 14.04 cycle we’ve got more work to do! During his keynote, Mark Shuttleworth identified some areas of focus for the next 6 to 12 months. For the existing Core Apps we’ll be working on refinement, expansion, ensuring apps work in the sidestage and adapt accordingly when resized. We’ll also look at getting the Core Apps running on the tablet (Unity 8) and desktop (Unity 7).
In addition to those improvements and evolutions we’re also working on new apps for this cycle. David Planella has already blogged about the Reminders App (powered by Evernote), and I just wanted to post an update to that.
There’s been a flurry of activity on Reminders App over the last couple of weeks. We’ve started work on an backend which connects through the Online Accounts API to Evernote.
Once authenticated to Evernote the app can access notes, notebooks and reminders stored in Evernote, and display them. We worked with the Canonical Design Team to come up with some draft wireframes for the various screens in the Reminders App. Some of the screens will require SDK changes because they introduce new design patterns which are still in progress.
The first of those are Notes & Notebooks views, both of which are still very much in progress, but the basics are working.
The reminders view is still in progress:-
It’s possible to navigate your notes and display them, and again this is in progress, but it’s exciting to see the basic display of notes working!
We’ve added Reminders App to our continuous integration setup which automatically builds click packages and Debian packages for the app and the plugins and runs tests before pushing the packages to our PPA.
Next we need to built the other views and start building the rest of the Reminders App. Part of that includes building a small team to create and maintain the Evernote API QML plugin as detailed in David’s blog post. I’ll be reaching out to some core apps developers to gauge interest, but volunteers always welcome, see David’s post for details.Tweet
Five years ago I noted that sometimes I get sent PDF contracts where I need to add a little bit of text, or maybe add my signature (which I have as a PNG), and I suggested a long-winded approach of converting to PS and editing in OpenOffice. Fortunately, this is a lot easier now: install Xournal (Dash > Applications > Xournal > install), and that has “add text” and “add image” tools. Add the text you want; add the image(s) you want; save as PDF. And Robert’s your mother’s brother. Much easier. Well done.
Update: actually, Libreoffice Draw, as recommended by a couple of people, is even better. It can happily open multi-page PDFs, it can edit the actual text in them rather than just overlaying, and Xournal did seem to create a PDF where my annotations weren’t readable on some devices, presumably owing to Font Issues. So, I rescind my above advice and change it to this: use Libreoffice Draw. Well done Libreoffice people.
We were ushered into something the size of an aircraft hangar, surrounded by fezzes, buzzing sonic screwdrivers and a variety of Amy Ponds. I have never seen so many Doctor Who fans in one place, and I was only seeing half those at ExCel for the “Doctor Who Official 50th Celebration”. It was similar in feel to the convention in Cardiff last year, but turned up to 11. Only the BBC can bring together so many actors, directors, special effects people, costume designers and so on in one place. People who are actually working on the show now, demonstrating their craft.
Although the main sessions were pretty distant and not really revelatory (although Nick Briggs did a superb job wrangling four Doctors at once), there were so many other events going on in stages and screens that it was impossible to see everything in one day. At 5:15pm the whole convention stopped to mark the moment when, 50 years ago, the opening titles of “An Unearthly Child” appeared on tiny TV screens around the country. I had been speaking to Carole Ann Ford herself just beforehand. While I did spend a fair amount of the day queuing and would have liked to have had more time to spend in the side stages, I am glad that I got the chance to meet some legends of Doctor Who.
As someone who grew up in the wilderness years, I learnt to hide my fandom. It was fantastic to see so many kids running around waving screwdrivers, acting like Daleks and generally revelling the show. There was a small group of teenage girls on the tube discussing Verity Lambert. It reminded me just how far Doctor Who has come since 1989. I hope they go on to take over TV like she did.
How better to watch the 50th anniversary episode than at the BFI, where I have watched screenings almost every month this year? Well, with Matt, Jenna, Steven and John Hurt in the audience. Yup, they were all there for the screening, having also hot-footed it over from ExCel. If you haven’t seen “The Day of the Doctor” go and watch it on iPlayer now.
And if you haven’t seen “The 5(ish) Doctors Reboot”, go and watch that straight afterwards. It it one of the highlights of the anniversary year for me. Superb performances from Messrs Davison, Baker and McCoy and a script worthy of “Extras”.
The BBC 3 after party was held in one of the bars at the BFI right after the screening, but if you weren’t inside the bar area, it was impossible to tell what was going on. Although the twitter commentary showed that perhaps I wasn’t missing very much!
You can hear the podcast we recorded straight after the screening over at The Doctor Who Podcast site. You can also hear our review of “An Adventure in Space and Time”, the superb drama recreating the early days of the show that I wrote about last week, on The Doctor Who Podcast too.Pin It
Eat, Drink and talk LinuxEvent Date and Time: Wed, 27/11/2013 - 19:30 - 23:00
Niamh’s in the local paper! She is the best at drama in the whole of Leicestershire, yes she is. The Coalville Times published an article summarising the 2013 Leicester Competitive Festival of Music and Dramatic Arts, with Niamh’s picture in it. Fame, oh yes!NIAMH TAKES FIRST PLACE AT FESTIVAL School received fantastic results By LAURA EDGAR
STUDENTS at a Coalville dance school have achieved outstanding results at a recent festival.
Elle’s School of Dance and Drama, based at Coalville’s Marlene Reid Centre, competed in the Leicester Competitive Festival of Music and Dramatic Arts.
The school received fantastic results from everyone [who] competed at the festival, which took place on Saturday, November 9 .
In the class Verse Speaking from Memory, age nine years and under, second place went to Harriet Worth, with Tamzin Johnson achieving third place.
Placed first in the Solo Acting class, age 12 to 14 years, alongside winning the Sydney Hickling Memorial Cup, was Niamh Langridge. Niamh, who has been attending drama classes every Tuesday since June, took on the role of Miss Hanigan, performing an extract taken from the musical Annie.
Chantelle Ridout, the principal of the school said: “I am very proud of all the students that competed in the festival. It was the school’s first year competing and we achieved first, second and third place from two of the classes.
“All the students had worked extremely hard to achieve the results they got and they should all be very proud of themselves.
“The students are now looking forward to their LAMDA Drama exams that take place at the end of November.”
For more information regarding the classes that are available in Coalville and Swadlincote, call: 07940999500.
Just a quick note to say our November meeting will be on Wednesday night at 7.30pm, usual place the Courtyard in Hereford on the mezzanine floor.
If you attended our Software Freedom Day event, please feel to come along on Wednesday
The meeting will start at 7:30pm as usual.
Items to discuss :-
We have regular sessions each month. Bring a 'box', bring a notebook, bring anything that might run Linux, or just bring yourself and enjoy socialising/learning/teaching or simply chilling out!
This month's meeting is at the Red Hat offices in Farnborough, Hampshire. Our thanks to Dominic Cleal for hosting us. Note that it is on 23rd November, rather than the usual 'second Saturday'.
I've now completed all my KVM migrations. Moving my personal virtual machines from one host to another.
There were a few niggles, for example I didn't have a working IPv6 allocation at the time I moved things so I had to set that up post-migration.
I've also joined each of the hosts into a VPN which makes cross-guest communication secure and simple.
Finally I've overhauled my firewalls and service lists.
I installed a couple of extra guests, using libvirt and booting from the Debian ISO. The Debian installer continues to impress, though it did make me think I should overhaul my PXE setup at home.
It wouldn't be hard to have a Raspberry PI running as a TFTP + DHCP server. You could plug it into a network, reboot your desktop, and then have it boot into the imager. At the moment I run DHCP + TFTPD + etc on my main desktop, and that allows me to reimage any of the hosts in the flat easily, except itself obviously.
The last time I reinstalled this system I had to reconfigure DHCP + PXE + TFTP on another host. I think the next time I need to reinstall any system I'll "waste" an SD-card on an image-server host.
Finally I've recently read the Rick Cook Wizardy Series:
Fun idea. Horrible puns. Some of the books were too long, or left plot elements dangling, but on average they were more good than bad. Albeit a little predictable and "simple".