News aggregator

Jono Bacon: Announcing Ubuntu Pioneers

Planet WolvesLUG - Tue, 13/05/2014 - 16:24

Ubuntu has always been about breaking new ground. We broke the ground with the desktop back in 2004, we have broken the ground with cloud orchestration across multiple clouds and providers, and we are building a powerful, innovative mobile and desktop platform that is breaking ground with convergence.

The hardest part about breaking new ground and innovating is not having the vision and creating the technology, it is getting people on board to be part of it.

We knew this was going to be a challenge when we first took the wraps off the Ubuntu app developer platform: we have a brand new platform that was still being developed, and when we started many of the key pieces were not there such as a solid developer portal, documentation, API references, training and more. Today the story is very different with a compelling, end-to-end, developer story for building powerful convergent apps.

We believed and always have believed in the power of this platform, and every single one of those people who also believed in what we are doing and wrote apps have shared the same spirit of pioneering a new platform that we have.

As such, we want to acknowledge those people.

And with this, I present Ubuntu Pioneers.

The idea is simple, we want to celebrate the first 200 app developers who get their apps in Ubuntu. We are doing this in two ways.

Firstly, we have created http://developer.ubuntu.com/pioneers which displays all of these developers and lists the apps that they have created. This will provide a permanent record of those who were there right at the beginning.

Secondly, we have designed a custom, limited-edition Ubuntu Pioneers t-shirt that we want to send to all of our pioneers. For those of you who are listed on this page, please ensure that your email address is correct in MyApps as we will be getting in touch soon.

Thank-you so much to every single person listed on that page. You are an inspiration for me, my team, and the wider Ubuntu project.

If you have that pioneering spirit and wished you were up there, fear not! We still have some space before we hit 200 developers, so go here to get started building an app.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Aq: Some thoughts on soonsnap and little big details

Planet WolvesLUG - Tue, 13/05/2014 - 13:29

I built a thing called soonsnap, and various people said that I should write up how and why.

First, what it’s for.

Here’s the use case. You’re there in the pub, Friday night, and there’s a group of people squeezing themselves together behind a table while one of their number takes a photo of them. So you step up, helpful, and say “hey, let me take that, then you can be in it!” and whip your phone from your pocket and snap a picture of them all pulling faces and drinking cocktails.

Great. You’ve got a picture of them. How do you give that picture to the people in it?

Here are the constraints:

  • You don’t know these people. This is not a surreptitious excuse to obtain the phone number of the attractive one in the group. So you can’t ask for a phone number, or add them as a Facebook friend
  • You’re all in the pub having fun; you’re not at a computer class. You want to get this photo to them as quickly and easily as possible. So if you ask them to do anything complicated to get the photo, such as “install this app”, or “turn on Bluetooth and then tell me your phone’s Bluetooth name”, they’ll just shrug and say “whatever” and ignore you like the sad techie lunatic that you are
  • Either you or they might not have an iPhone, so no AirDrop for you
  • You’re in the pub. So this is primarily for mobile. Obviously it should work on a big wide screen, but that’s not what it’s aimed at
  • Me, the person running the server, does not want to pay for lots of hosting, and people in the pub don’t want photos of them stored forever in someone else’s cloud. Images are not stored on the server; they’re transferred as much as possible device-to-device

Sometimes, the people asking for a photo will hand you a phone to take it with. At that point, you don’t need any technology to assist; take the picture, give the phone back, done. But if they don’t… you need to get that picture to them.

The one huge overriding goal here is complete ease of use. Anything at all which can be construed as a barrier will mean that you’re unsuccessful. “To get the picture, install this app” takes too long and is too annoying. “Turn on Bluetooth” is too annoying. “Turn on Android Beam” is too annoying. This means the solution needs to be on the web, because everybody has that.

But it should feel like an app, because people are accustomed to that and so the sense of familiarity is important. It’s a very simple set of actions: either “take a photo” or “receive a photo”. So the thing I came up with, soonsnap, is this:

  1. You hit this website and it tells you to pick or take a photo
  2. It gives you a simple four-letter code and gives you instructions to read out to them: go to this website, enter the four letters of the code
  3. They do it: it gives them the photo
  4. You say “there you go”, they say “thank you!”, and another little human interaction is improved with technology without getting in the way

So there are two paths through it: the photo taker, and the photo getter. The taker needs to say “take a photo”, then take the photo, then get a nice clear set of instructions and a code to tell to the getter. The getter needs to get to the website itself, say “receive a photo”, type in the code. That’s it.

To this end, all the thinking went into making soonsnap so it’s really hard to screw the interaction up. Take the codes as an example. They’re four characters — long enough that a code isn’t reasonably guessable, short enough that you can say it to someone else in a crowded bar and they’ll hear you. The code does not repeat any characters. This is done so that when tapping a letter of the code, that letter disappears and can’t be used again — this prevents someone accidentally tapping a letter twice. The characters used for the code could have been all 36 letters and numbers, but it’s actually only 20: 0123456789ACFHNRUWXY. This is so that all letters which sound the same are removed; this stops someone saying “did you say B zero one two or P zero one two?”, especially if you’re shouting over the music in a crowded pub.

And it looks simple but colourful and clear to make it easy to see what’s going on even if your vision’s a bit blurry. I wanted it to be attractive partially because of the aesthetic usability effect, and partially just because, well, things should be pretty. I knew I couldn’t do that, so I talked to Sam Hewitt who put together a great visual design for soonsnap. Thank you, Sam!

Technologically, soonsnap is designed so that images aren’t stored on the server. Partially this is for security — there’s no big archive there, and your photos aren’t being kept around by a service you don’t trust — and partially for cost, because it’s not supposed to be a big photo archive. It’s used to send photos. Soonsnap uses socket.io, which is basically a self-hosted version of something like pubnub. So the images go through the soonsnap server, but they’re transmitted from sender to receiver and aren’t kept around on the server. I’d have liked to do that with WebRTC so that it’s genuinely peer-to-peer and doesn’t involve the server at all, but firstly you need to set up a STUN server to do that and that’s complicated, and secondly iPhones don’t do WebRTC yet.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Aq: Nomad CHARGEKEY/CHARGECARD review

Planet WolvesLUG - Mon, 12/05/2014 - 21:40

Recently I received a gift from Nomad, one each of their CHARGEKEY and CHARGECARD products. So I’ve been trying them out. They’re both similar in concept, so I’ll speak of them as one item for now.

Basically, it’s a very very portable charging lead for your phone. The CHARGEKEY is about two inches long, with a slim full USB plug1 on one end and either a micro USB or an iPhone 5 lightning plug on the other.2 And there’s a little place to attach it to your keyring. Basically, the idea here is that you’ll stick this on your keyring and the next time you find yourself somewhere where you’d want to charge your phone you’ll have a way to do so, without having to carry a long USB charging lead around everywhere you go like some sort of arse. The CHARGECARD is a similar idea, and again comes in two flavours, but instead of being a little stick that hangs unimpedingly on your keys, it’s the size and thickness of a credit card and goes in your wallet, or wherever you keep cards.3

So, the simple verdict: if you often find yourself wishing you’d brought your charging lead with you, you’ll find this bloody useful.

Me… I didn’t, so much. I often find myself wishing that I could charge my phone up, but the problem isn’t that I don’t have a lead: it’s that even if I had a lead I’d have nowhere to plug it in. Pub tables don’t have USB ports. Coffee shops don’t have USB ports. If I’m working from a desk in an office somewhere I’ve got my laptop bag, and that’s got one of every lead I ever need in it (hasn’t yours? Why hasn’t it? Go and put a spare one of every lead you need in your laptop bag!).

I do sometimes find myself places where I could charge up. Coffee shops do have wall sockets. But for that I’d need an actual lead and an adaptor. On my desk, where I am all day, I have a charging lead. Interestingly, whenever I’m at a conference there are always tweets in the backchannel asking if anyone has an iPhone charging lead — it’s never any other phone. So I suspect iPhone people who haven’t grasped the idea of having a spare lead in their bag may find this hugely useful. If you’re taking my above advice about buying a spare lead then getting one of these is no bad idea because it’s tiny.  Similarly, if places of entertainment started putting USB sockets on every table, this would be superbly useful.4

Perhaps I’m unusual, though. To find out, I gave the CHARGEKEY to my dad. And, interestingly, he’s already talking about using it at work. Just plug into the computer in the office, and the lead is on your keyring ready for you when you need it. And it’s not bothering you when you don’t. It’s for drive-by charging. For a moment of opportunity. If you hit those a lot, you’ll like Nomad’s stuff.

Me, I’ll wait until they put USB sockets in bars.

  1. one of those flat ones that plugs into the bottom half of a USB socket
  2. It comes in two flavours; one for iPhones, one for every other device on the planet
  3. Well, it’s about the thickness of two or three credit cards, but it’ll go in your wallet fine; it did in mine
  4. If you’re running a political party in England and you add “USB sockets on every pub table by law!” to your manifesto then you’ve significantly increased your chances of getting my vote, and every other tech person in the country too. Unless you’re UKIP in which case don’t bother
Categories: LUG Community Blogs

David Goodwin: WordPress comment spam post fail

Planet WolvesLUG - Wed, 07/05/2014 - 09:08

While trying to block spam posts on a forum, I noticed this gem.

No doubt someone’s spam sending program has failed, just a little….

{ {I have|I've} been {surfing|browsing} online more than {three|3|2|4} hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. {It's|It is} pretty worth enough for me. {In my opinion|Personally|In my view}, if all {webmasters|site owners|website owners|web owners} and bloggers made good content as you did, the {internet|net|web} will be {much more|a lot more} useful than ever before.| I {couldn't|could not} {resist|refrain from} commenting. {Very well|Perfectly|Well|Exceptionally well} written!| {I will|I'll} {right away|immediately} {take hold of|grab|clutch|grasp|seize|snatch} your {rss|rss feed} as I {can not|can't} {in finding|find|to find} your {email|e-mail} subscription {link|hyperlink} or {newsletter|e-newsletter} service. Do {you have|you've} any? {Please|Kindly} {allow|permit|let} me {realize|recognize|understand|recognise|know} {so that|in order that} I {may just|may|could} subscribe. Thanks.| {It is|It's} {appropriate|perfect|the best} time to make some plans for the future and {it is|it's} time to be happy. {I have|I've} read this post and if I could I {want to|wish to|desire to} suggest you {few|some} interesting things or {advice|suggestions|tips}. {Perhaps|Maybe} you {could|can} write next articles referring to this article. I {want to|wish to|desire to} read {more|even more} things about it!| {It is|It's} {appropriate|perfect|the best} time to make {a few|some} plans for {the future|the longer term|the long run} and {it is|it's} time to be happy. {I have|I've} {read|learn} this {post|submit|publish|put up} and if I {may just|may|could} I {want to|wish to|desire to} {suggest|recommend|counsel} you {few|some} {interesting|fascinating|attention-grabbing} {things|issues} or {advice|suggestions|tips}. {Perhaps|Maybe} you {could|can} write {next|subsequent} articles {relating to|referring to|regarding} this article. I {want to|wish to|desire to} {read|learn} {more|even more} {things|issues} {approximately|about} it!| {I have|I've} been {surfing|browsing} {online|on-line} {more than|greater than} {three|3} hours {these days|nowadays|today|lately|as of late}, {yet|but} I {never|by no means} {found|discovered} any {interesting|fascinating|attention-grabbing} article like yours. {It's|It is} {lovely|pretty|beautiful} {worth|value|price} {enough|sufficient} for me. {In my opinion|Personally|In my view}, if all {webmasters|site owners|website owners|web owners} and bloggers made {just right|good|excellent} {content|content material} as {you did|you probably did}, the {internet|net|web} {will be|shall be|might be|will probably be|can be|will likely be} {much more|a lot more} {useful|helpful} than ever before.| Ahaa, its {nice|pleasant|good|fastidious} {discussion|conversation|dialogue} {regarding|concerning|about|on the topic of} this {article|post|piece of writing|paragraph} ....
Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Jono Bacon: Unwrapping ‘Dealing With Disrespect’

Planet WolvesLUG - Fri, 02/05/2014 - 05:28

With the growth of the Internet and the ease of publishing content, more and more creative minds are coming online to share videos, music, software, products, services, opinions, and more. While the technology has empowered a generation to build new audiences and share interesting things, an unfortunate side-effect has been a culture in which some consumers of this content have provided feedback in a form that is personalized, mean-spirited, disrespectful, and in some cases, malicious.

We have all seen it…the trolls, the haters, the comment boxes filled with venom and vitriol, typically pointed at people just trying to do good and interesting things.

Unfortunately, this conduct can be jarring for many people, with some going as far to give up sharing their creative endeavours so as not to deal with the “wrath of the Internet”.

As some of you will know, this has been bothering me for a while now. While there is no silver bullet for solving these issues, one thing I have learned over the years is how to put negative, anti-social, and non-constructive comments and feedback into perspective.

To help others with this I have written a free book called Dealing With Disrespect.

Dealing With Disrespect is a short, simple to read, free book that provides a straight-forward guide for handling this kind of challenging feedback, picking out the legitimate criticism to learn from, and how to not just ignore the haters, but how to manage them. The book helps put all communication, whether on or offline, into perspective and helps you to become a better communicator yourself.

My goal with the book is that when someone reads something anti-social that demotivates them, a friend can recommend ‘Dealing With Disrespect’ as something that can help put things in perspective.

Go and check out the new website, watch the introductory video, and go and grab the PDF, read it online, or get it for your Kindle. There is also a FAQ.

The book is licensed under a Creative Commons license, and I encourage everyone who enjoys it and finds it useful to share it.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

David Goodwin: Automated twitter compilation up to 01 May 2014

Planet WolvesLUG - Thu, 01/05/2014 - 05:00

Arbitrary tweets made by TheGingerDog up to 01 May 2014

  • RT Freelancer travel update.

2014/04/30

  • RT Star Wars humor:
  • 2014/04/30

  • RT mv Picture{,-of-my-cat}.jpg # I find brace expansion very useful for renaming files. Expands to “mv Picture.jpg Picture-of-my-cat.jpg” 2014/04/30
  • RT jmespath.php – Declaratively specify how to extract elements from a JSON document, in PHP https://github.com/mtdowling/jmespath.php 2014/04/30
  • RT I would love to see that at @plazacoffee #Bromsgrove metro.co.uk/2014/04/28/moomin-cafe-offers-lonely-customers-stuffed-animals-to-sit-with-during-lunch-4711473/ 2014/04/30
  • RT “@PigeonJon: Feral Pete has lost a bit of Weight. ”nearly choked on my wine when I saw this.
  • 2014/04/27

    Categories: LUG Community Blogs

    Dick Turpin: You can't make this stuff up!

    Planet WolvesLUG - Wed, 30/04/2014 - 12:49
    Office bod: "Ello mate, is xyz there?"
    Me: "I'm afraid he left the office about fifteen minutes ago."
    Office bod: "Well he sent me an email for a second twin monitor. Thing is I want one the same size as Eric"
    Me: "And what size does Eric have?"
    Office bod: "A big one."
    Me: "A big one? Can you be more specific, what size is it?"
    Office bod: "Umm? 58 inch is it?"
    Me: "I have no idea, measure it diagonally from corner to corner."
    Office bod: "700mil"
    Me: [Deep sigh] "So 28" Inch then?"
    Office bod: "Yeah, suppose so."
    Me: "What size is the monitor you currently have?"
    Office bod: "19" inch"
    Me: "So do you want two 28" inch or just one 19" inch as they usually are the same size?"
    Office bod: "I suppose the 19" inch"
    Me: "So what size is the one xyz quoted?"
    Office bod: "Dunno, I just have an email saying xyz is coming over to fit the new monitor."
    Me: "Hang on! xyz went out with a monitor and a USB dual display adapter?"
    Office bod: "Maybe he's coming here then, lets hope it's a 19" inch"

    WTF?

    Categories: LUG Community Blogs

    Dick Turpin: Sale of goods act.

    Planet WolvesLUG - Mon, 28/04/2014 - 08:38
    I do so love these people who spout "Consumer rights at you" and yet have no clue whatsoever that they're talking out their derrière.

    Just had some moron rant at me that;

    Moron: "By law all new goods must come with 1 years warranty!"
    Me: "How many are you looking for?"
    Moron: "None! I'm just telling you you're breaking the law by giving 3 months warranty!"
    Me: "Lucky they are refurbished goods then?"
    Moron: "What? Aye? Erm?"

    Clearly he had not read the email properly or he would have noticed the range of warranties from three, six to twelve months. And the clear wording "Refurbished" on those that were, but what is even more interesting is this person is such a sad sack that they waste theirs and my time to score some sort of personal success by finding something which actually does not exist.

    I suspect he's a Guardian reader? :-)

    Categories: LUG Community Blogs

    David Goodwin: Automated twitter compilation up to 25 April 2014

    Planet WolvesLUG - Fri, 25/04/2014 - 17:25

    Arbitrary tweets made by TheGingerDog up to 25 April 2014

    I’ll explain via an #atheist‘s convo with a #theist on FB:

    .

    I'll explain via an #atheist's convo with a #theist on FB:

    . - embedded picture" />

    I'll explain via an #atheist's convo with a #theist on FB:

    . - embedded picture" />

    I'll explain via an #atheist's convo with a #theist on FB:

    . - embedded picture" />

    I'll explain via an #atheist's convo with a #theist on FB:

    . - embedded picture' alt='RT "Why don't people believe in #GOD?"

    I'll explain via an #atheist's convo with a #theist on FB:

    . - embedded image'/>

    2014/04/12

  • RT Disclosure: The email and VPN of Belgian intelligence services was exploitable with #HeartBleed until earlier today.

    2014/04/13

  • @wptavern: WordPress 3.8.3 To Fix Quick Draft Dashboard Widget wp.me/pBMYe-5p3 ” <- ah hah. So it wasn’t me doing something wrong 2014/04/11
  • Next up – fix NFS which seems really laggy. 2014/04/11
  • Finally moved back to using a Linux desktop at work. Skype works (thanks Microsoft). Plugins in Thunderbird mimic Postbox (osx mail app). 2014/04/11
  • RT Varnish 4.0.0 released: https://www.varnish-cache.org/lists/pipermail/varnish-announce/2014-April/000696.html #varnish 2014/04/10
  • RT Brilliant – Dilbert’s take on #agile and #prodmgmt

    2014/04/10

  • RT Successful #IrishStateVisit. As luck would have it they had some tarmac left over from a job up the road so did one’s drive for 250 quid. 2014/04/09
  • RT Here’s some really bad Heartbleed bug advice about changing your passwords zite.to/1qycR6Q 2014/04/10
  • Achievement unlocked : pxe/ipxe chain booting with custom installer menu so I can install from remote iso images over http. #linux Bromsgrove, Worcestershire 2014/04/10
  • RT Seeking devop with 2+ years in Heart Bleed 2014/04/09
  • New computer (Intel i5 nuc) should arrive today. Still surprised that Ballicom was £40+(10%) cheaper than Ebuyer. Hopefully they’ll deliver! Bromsgrove, Worcestershire 2014/04/09
  • It seems we are declaring war against next door’s cats – who started tucking into our loaf of bread #cats

    Bromsgrove, Worcestershire 2014/04/08

  • RT Heartbleed Bug In OpenSSL Makes It Worse Than No Encryption At All – www.techdirt.com/articles/20140408/07335926837/heartbleed-bug-openssl-makes-it-worse-than-no-encryption-all.shtml indeed… 2014/04/08
  • RT We found a bug in #OpenSSL heartbleed.com/ #heartbleed Patch now. 2014/04/07
  • RT “Can you fetch me a glass of water please?”
  • *35 mins later*

    “What are you doing!?”,

    “I’m building you a scalable drink delivery system”.

    2014/04/06
  • RT socat -d -d TCP-L:22,reuseaddr,fork SYSTEM:”nc \$SOCAT_PEERADDR 22″ # Confuse people SSHing to your host with a redirect back to theirs. 2014/04/04
  • RT “Singing In The Rain” by @KINGFISHER1972: bit.ly/1dZaABA via @500px #cute

    2014/04/05

  • RT How about setting up a national lottery where all the profits are spent on teaching probability math and statistics to the citizens? 2014/04/05
  • RT Seven reasons why you should swap your screen for a bit of #wildtime this spring bit.ly/1gCne8d

    2014/04/05

  • RT A musician replies to an ad from a restaurant looking for a band to play for free ‘to promote their work’. #genius

    2014/04/04

  • RT Pono: only a man pays for music quality that he can’t hear bit.ly/Pv22Ho 2014/04/05
  • RT Note to self: dont use Opencart RT @ircmaxell: Someone just pointed me out to this. I don’t even know what to think: https://github.com/opencart/opencart/issues/1269 2014/04/04
  • Just to make shopping more fun, the high street is a bit maze like. #bromsgrove

    Bromsgrove, Worcestershire 2014/04/04

  • RT Multiple states investigating breach of Experian database w. 200 million social security numbers: reut.rs/1j5LK1Q via @reuters 2014/04/03
  • Congratulations on being 15 @magma_digital ! Bromsgrove, Worcestershire 2014/04/03
  • “Warning: Using a password on the command line interface can be insecure.” is going to be a popular Google search today #mysql5.6 2014/04/03
  • RT Wow, @GeniusHire – I think you should fire your developers… like YESTERDAY.

    2014/04/02

  • Dilbert has it’s say on MtGox/Bitcoin exchanges etc – www.dilbert.com/fast/2014-04-02/ 2014/04/02
  • “Flappy goat” #sillyPicture

    2014/04/02

  • “Everyone is catching pokeman on Google maps – and I’m just sitting here Goat simulating!”

    2014/04/02

  • RT Anyone using Ubuntu One, grab your stuff now – it’s getting shut down: blog.canonical.com/2014/04/02/shutting-down-ubuntu-one-file-services/ 2014/04/02
  • We appear to have a gardener. Either that or a fairy cut the grass with a pair of scissors or magic. Bromsgrove, Worcestershire 2014/04/02
  • RT I should go to sleep, but I saw that photo of @manytypesoftea earlier so I never will again

    2014/04/02

  • RT @ProfBrianCox Thought you might like this

    2014/04/01

  • RT What Meetings Feel Like For Engineers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg 2014/04/01
  • RT I don’t always change my desktop wallpaper, but when I do I change it to this.

    2014/04/01

  • Every morning I have to reboot my MacMini as it fails to properly wake up. (I just see a mouse pointer on black b/g)

    Bromsgrove, Worcestershire 2014/04/01

  • “How to burn 800 calories in 30 minutes.” #StupidPictures

    Bromsgrove, Worcestershire 2014/04/01

  • RT So, next month is #Port80 2014….how did *that* come about so quickly?! 2014/04/01
  • It’s 8:40am ish. Right ? #myExcuse Bromsgrove, Worcestershire 2014/04/01
  • Categories: LUG Community Blogs

    Jono Bacon: Ubuntu 14.04 Is Out!

    Planet WolvesLUG - Thu, 17/04/2014 - 22:58

    My apologies in advance for the shorter blog post about this, but like many other Ubuntu folks, I am absolutely exhausted right now. Everyone, across the board, has been working their collective socks off to make Ubuntu 14.04 LTS a fantastic release on desktop, server, and cloud, and pull together our next iteration of Ubuntu for smart-phones and tablets. Consequently, when the trigger is pulled to share our final product with the world, release day is often less of a blistering and energetic woo-hoo, but more of an exhausted but satisfying oh-yeah (complete with beer firmly clenched in hand).

    I am hugely proud of this release. The last six months have arguably been our busiest yet. No longer are we just working on desktop and server editions of Ubuntu, but we are building for the cloud and full convergence across the client. No longer are we “just” pulling together the fruits of upstream software projects but we are building our own platform too; the Ubuntu SDK, developer eco-system, charm store, image-based updates, push notifications, app lifecycle, and more. While the work has been intense and at times frantic, it has always been measured and carefully executed. Much of this has been thanks to many of our most under-thanked people; the members of our tremendous QA and CI teams.

    Today, tomorrow, and for weeks to come our users, the press, the industry, and others will assess our work in Ubuntu 14.04 across these different platforms, and I am very confident they will love what they see. Ubuntu 14.04 embodies the true spirit of Ubuntu; innovation, openness, and people.

    But as we wait to see the reviews let’s take a moment for each other. Now is a great time to reach out to each other and those Ubuntu folks you know (and don’t know) and share some kudos, some thanks, and some great stories. Until we get to the day where machines make software, today software is made by people and great software is built by great people.

    Thanks everyone for every ounce of effort you fed into Ubuntu and our many flavors. We just took another big leap forward towards our future.

    Categories: LUG Community Blogs

    Dick Turpin: Hi-Spec

    Planet WolvesLUG - Thu, 17/04/2014 - 09:51
    Customer: "I need a Hi-Spec laptop something really stable for our business."
    Me: "Well we have another customer who is in your line of work, I supplied them yesterday with one for just under £2K"
    Customer: "Yes, the Director was thinking about £1K"
    Me: "OK let me get a quote together for that and the other work you want doing."

    A few minutes later.

    Customer: "The budget for the laptop is £600.00."

    And would you like me to throw in a box of crayons, some play-doh and a painting by numbers book? Hi-Spec pfffft
    Categories: LUG Community Blogs

    David Goodwin: Installing Debian (Jessie) on an Intel NUC D54250WYK

    Planet WolvesLUG - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 10:04

    Product - D54250WYK / boxd54250wykh3 – via e.g. Ballicom or eBuyer

    It’s an Intel i5 4250U processor (dual core, laptop processor). Supports up to 16gb of RAM and the Intel 5000 graphics thing in it.

    The box itself is really small – and silent. A laptop size hard disk can fit into it (2.5″ hdd).

    Issues :

    1. BIOS needs updating before it can be installed (apparently); See Intel’s website – currently here - it’s just a case of downloading the .BIO file and sticking it on a USB stick and pressing F7 on boot and following through the prompts.
    2. Most Linux distros do not yet support the network card (Intel 559/I218-V) – I had to netboot a Debian unstable netboot iso image (from here )

    Good things -

    1. BTRFS root filesystem + booting etc just worked with Jessie.
    2. X configuration just works – even though it’s quite a new graphics chipset.
    3. Boot time is VERY fast – currently <5 seconds.
    Categories: LUG Community Blogs

    Dick Turpin: You rogue!

    Planet WolvesLUG - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 08:43
    Customer: "This laptop you sold me is well dodgy!"
    Me: "What do you mean dodgy?"
    Customer: "There's no Windows 7 licence and when I went to register it someone has pulled the serial number off!"
    Me: "They're under the battery."

    click brrrrrrrrrrrrrr
    Categories: LUG Community Blogs

    Jono Bacon: I Am Hiring

    Planet WolvesLUG - Thu, 03/04/2014 - 16:53

    I just wanted to let you folks know that I am recruiting for a community manager to join my team at Canonical.

    I am looking for someone with strong technical knowledge of building Ubuntu (knowledge of how we release, how we build packages, bug management, governance etc), great community management skills, and someone who is willing to be challenged and grow in their skills and capabilities.

    My goal with everyone who joins my team is not just to help them be successful in their work, but to help them be the very best at what they do in our industry. As such I am looking for someone with a passion to be successful and grow.

    I think it is a great opportunity and to be part of a great team. Details of the job are available here – please apply if you are interested!?

    Categories: LUG Community Blogs

    Jono Bacon: Ubuntu Online Summit Dates

    Planet WolvesLUG - Wed, 02/04/2014 - 23:03

    At the last Ubuntu Developer Summit we discussed the idea of making our regular online summit serve more than just developers. We are interested in showcasing not just the developer-orientated discussion sessions that we currently have, but also including content such as presentations, demos, tutorials, and other topics.

    I just wanted to give everyone a heads up that the first Ubuntu Online Summit will happen from 10th – 12th June 2014. The website is not yet updated (we are going to keep everything on summit.ubuntu.com and uds.ubuntu.com can point there, and Michael is making the changes to bring over the static content).

    We are really keen to get ideas for how the event can run so I am scheduling a hangout on Thurs 10th April at 5pm UTC on Ubuntu On Air where I would welcome ideas and input. I hope to see you there!

    Categories: LUG Community Blogs

    David Goodwin: Automated twitter compilation up to 01 April 2014

    Planet WolvesLUG - Tue, 01/04/2014 - 05:00

    Arbitrary tweets made by TheGingerDog (i.e. David Goodwin) up to 01 April 2014

    (2014/03/31 src)
  • How to stop time: kiss.
    How to travel in time: read.
    How to escape time: music.
    How to feel time: write.
    How to waste time: social media. (2014/03/30 src)
  • I have a 100 metres swimming badge! (2014/03/30 src)
  • “I am a Unix Creationist. I believe the world was created on January 1, 1970 and as prophesized, will end on January 19, 2038″ – @teropa (2014/03/27 src)
  • @JohnEber007 @Buttockus @TheMoralPolice @GSpellchecker Those militant atheists, man…. t.co/X6dSZesylN
  • (2014/03/29 src)
  • UK video-on-demand regulator says 44 THOUSAND schoolkids view pornsites every month. That stat’s total cobblers. reg.cx/2acL (2014/03/29 src)
  • “This could be us …. if we didn’t like cake so much” t.co/S8uOYqclAk
  • (2014/03/29 src)
  • A recent study has found that women who carry a little extra weight live longer than the men who mention it. (2014/03/29 src)
  • Ah some acceptable haribo @moreteadoctort.co/8LLJFwWA3v
  • (2014/03/28, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire src)
  • I CAN SEE IT! I can see comet #67P! (just!) ow.ly/v33Ep t.co/Mzv8hWTubn
  • (2014/03/27 src)
  • Hello, outer space! (2014/03/28 src)
  • Bash #protip: put this in /etc/bashrc. Your sysadmin will thank you.function cat() {
    echo “=^.^=”
    }
  • (2014/03/26 src)
  • Candy Crush addicts come clean: ‘Life’s too short for sliding candies around’ bit.ly/1l4Nb1p (2014/03/26 src)
  • UK Court Says Information Stored Electronically Is Not ‘Property’ – https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140326/04380226685/uk-court-says-information-stored-electronically-does-not-constitute-property.shtml so it can’t be stolen, right? #copyright (2014/03/26 src)
  • This is brilliant : thehawkeyeinitiative.com/post/50432219744/special-guest-edition-the-hawkeye-initiative-irl (2014/03/26 src)
  • A E Housman looks like he will be going on a trip soon. #bromsgrove t.co/RVFQnu9MZS
  • (2014/03/26, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire src)
  • Progress is being made with Bromsgrove’s new high street but there’s not much space left for shoppers. t.co/wsxueW1rvZ
  • (2014/03/26, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire src)
  • It seems like every day I need to reboot this nexus4 to get cellular data to work. #firstWorldProblems (2014/03/26, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire src)
  • BREAKING: Yahoo buys ViewMaster t.co/dbMtDq6rTd
  • (2014/03/25 src)
  • Facebook is really taking its name too literally. t.co/Anqf4RCRnr
  • (2014/03/25 src)
  • Tesco forced short passwords in order to reduce the time you spend on the login page. Right… www.troyhunt.com/2014/02/the-tesco-hack-heres-how-it-probably.html#comment-1301469646 t.co/TWViZDyEcS
  • (2014/03/25 src)
  • Needed to download a 27kb library to carry on work on commute. Watched Gravity in HD instead. @ThreeUKSupport #mad t.co/Wtij0UQg5I
  • (2014/03/24 src)
  • @SciencePorn: Stupid Science t.co/dPSgHKeb6z
  • (2014/03/23 src)
  • Ancient Bridge, Kolpino-Russian Federation. t.co/2UKbzFPiTK
  • (2014/03/23 src)
  • So where is the “long bridge” in Longbridge ? (2014/03/21, Birmingham, Birmingham src)
  • Yes sir! I would love to be on the first page of Google. Your poorly written email and gmail address in no way put me off using your service (2014/03/20 src)
  • @stwater I’ve ran a bath for my baby tonight and seriously NOT impressed!!
    Bromsgrove, sort it out! t.co/WzictwDSIn
  • Bromsgrove, sort it out! http://t.co/WzictwDSIn - embedded picture" />
    Bromsgrove, sort it out! http://t.co/WzictwDSIn - embedded picture" />
    Bromsgrove, sort it out! http://t.co/WzictwDSIn - embedded picture" />
    Bromsgrove, sort it out! http://t.co/WzictwDSIn - embedded picture" alt="'@stwater" src="/images/2014/d1fd3111b6df453d74200acdb1baebe4.jpg" /> Bromsgrove, sort it out! http://t.co/WzictwDSIn – embedded image’/> (2014/03/19 src)
  • *News* BBC iPlayer is launching on Chromecast today. Get more info here: www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/internet/posts/BBC-iPlayer-apps-on-Chromecast (2014/03/19 src)
  • Wow! So resilient! So Safe! So secure!
    The all new £1 dogecoin. t.co/eyKoROAxKP
  • The all new £1 dogecoin. http://t.co/eyKoROAxKP - embedded picture" />
    The all new £1 dogecoin. http://t.co/eyKoROAxKP - embedded picture" />
    The all new £1 dogecoin. http://t.co/eyKoROAxKP - embedded picture" />
    The all new £1 dogecoin. http://t.co/eyKoROAxKP - embedded picture" alt="'Wow!" src="/images/2014/aab4a51e592e9108a436ced196339ac1.png" /> The all new £1 dogecoin. http://t.co/eyKoROAxKP – embedded image’/> (2014/03/19 src)
  • “Mongo lasted one week”. codeinsider.us/i/2.html #realmongofacts (2014/03/18 src)
  • GOG.com To Add Linux Support – beta.slashdot.org/story/199575 #linux #gaming continues to improve (2014/03/18 src)
  • Great image RT @Blakmountphoto: @VirtualAstro last full moon of the winter over the #breconbeacons t.co/IjXOPHVSqR
  • (2014/03/18 src)
  • Threatening to “tell mum” had the desired effect of getting my sister to pay attention. #SomeThingsNeverChange (2014/03/18 src)
  • Hopefully I’ll sleep better once “the boss” returns home from her holi^h^h^h^h work trip abroad. Oh well. Today has started now. (2014/03/18, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire src)
  • A counter-argument. t.co/wqMISHifop
  • (2014/03/18 src)
  • Fill it with foam! (Conservatory roof had a gap). Need more holes to fill now …. #diy #likeAchildWithAHammer t.co/iEUGHUpoUK
  • (2014/03/18, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire src)
  • Here’s some goodies coming up in April @ArtrixArts #worcestershirehour t.co/Ra18PwNJTT
  • (2014/03/17 src)
  • OH: “you’ve got to fall off the wagon to get back on” #schoolYard (2014/03/17 src)
  • A happy range rover. t.co/BTBxm8iMT1
  • (2014/03/17 src)
  • Feeling you must thank (in return) an unknown driver who is thanking you for letting them out / through a gap etc. #BritishProblems (2014/03/17, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire src)
  • #BritishProblems hesitant to use foreign mains sockets (generally lack switches), (2014/03/17, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire src)
  • It seems I’ve not forgotten how to make a den. t.co/L37UJskf4W
  • (2014/03/16, Dudley, Dudley src)
  • “Can we play hide and seek?” t.co/iJc68IYwl2
  • (2014/03/16, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire src)
  • Blustery. But nice and sunny. t.co/lqMkiPvfa1
  • (2014/03/16, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire src)
  • Migrating office NFS server to use btrfs for /home etc. #Geek #Saturday #Workaholics #Debian (2014/03/15 src)
  • Except one. “@lydiadepillis: Richer countries less likely to think you need to believe in God to be moral: t.co/JTEjs6urjW
  • (2014/03/13 src)
  • Hackers defacing a phishing site ? www.p0ison.com/ybs-bank-got-hacked-by-team-anonghost/ #doingItWrong #security #phishing (2014/03/13 src)
  • Chromecast doesn’t seem to work with wifi passwords containing non-alphanumeric characters. #chromecast #weird #fail (2014/03/11 src)
  • Love a sunset t.co/BGHZzBimAF
  • (2014/03/09, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire src)
  • It’s all part of God’s plan. piecomic.tumblr.com/post/78680666729 (2014/03/11 src)
  • They soon learn who is boss… But if they once boss a dog they will be merciless thereafter. Floss knows this. t.co/PdyTnqig0v
  • (2014/03/08 src)
  • Epic group fancy dress! t.co/mIq1FcHOaK
  • (2014/03/05 src)
  • 250% funded with just 13 hours to go! Support us and help send more people to conferences!Get your elephpants now: phpwomen.org/elephpant
  • (2014/03/08 src)
  • After not writing a hand written letter in years (10?) … I’ve written two in one night. #whereIsTheCursor #noSpellCheck #oldskool (2014/03/07, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire src)
  • @ntoll want to see widespread IPv6 adoption? Convince audiophiles a 2^128 bit address space increases sound fidelity (2014/03/06 src)
  • It appears @chordcables wants you to ignore physics and packetised buffered protocols and spend £1,600 on a £1 cable www.chord.co.uk/blog/new-chord-ethernet-cables/ (2014/03/06 src)
  • Mecha Pac-Man has risen! t.co/lrhMVbRlaw
  • (2014/03/06 src)
  • @Joel_Hughes @tboWebDesign Thought you might appreciate this ‘real’ Yellow Pages tagline t.co/LSn8wXYeAs
  • (2014/03/07 src)
  • Lawn mowing season appears to have started t.co/8wt89GgTd8
  • (2014/03/07, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire src)
  • “It is the latest fashion!” t.co/dAJLXDFOm7
  • (2014/03/07 src)
  • @RNLI @Yorkshireimages completed painting, being framed, local #RNLI branch taking care of it shortly t.co/iJfLwRLJY8
  • (2014/03/01 src)
  • “Mr Bitcoin” may have been found. Shame the journalist has pretty much published his address etc. #deception
    mag.newsweek.com/2014/03/14/bitcoin-satoshi-nakamoto.html (2014/03/06 src)
  • Categories: LUG Community Blogs

    David Goodwin: Amavis / SpamAssassin

    Planet WolvesLUG - Fri, 28/03/2014 - 14:58
    SpamAssassin

    Some random bits and pieces related to SpamAssassin and Amavis

    I’ve been looking for additional rulesets to add to SpamAssassin but haven’t found many – the SARE project appears offline (for example). Eventually I found – The SOUGHT SpamAssassin ruleset which despite it’s age (published in 2007) seems to still be maintained.

    See http://taint.org/2007/08/15/004348a.html

    To enable this on Debian Wheezy, I added a cron job (/etc/cron.d/sa-update-sought) like :

    10 */3 * * * debian-spamd /usr/local/sbin/sa-update-sought

    And then created /usr/local/sbin/sa-update-sought which looks a bit like :

    #!/bin/bash if [ $UID != 119 ]; then su - debian-spamd -c "/usr/local/sbin/sa-update-sought" exit 0 fi # See http://taint.org/2007/08/15/004348a.html /usr/bin/sa-update -v --gpgkey 6C6191E3 --channel sought.rules.yerp.org --channel updates.spamassassin.org # so wow, so speed. /usr/bin/sa-compile

    (Don’t forget to chmod 755 the script and also perhaps run it containing ‘set -x’ and/or ‘set -e’)

    Amavis – deal with duplicate headers

    Firstly, Amavis was complaining about duplicated headers for some emails. Typically this would be something useless like MIME-Version, which I don’t care about. So to stop Amavis moaning about duplicated headers – add to your config under /etc/amavis/conf.d/50-user (on debian) -

    $allowed_header_tests{'multiple'} = 0; Amavis – log spamassassin rulsets and generally more

    The default Amavis log file will look something like :

    Mar 23 06:48:18 my.server /usr/sbin/amavisd-new[13368]: (13368-03) Passed CLEAN {RelayedInbound}, [client.ip.addr]:37490 [client.ip.addr] -> <someone@local>, Queue-ID: 3FDEC181A06, Message-ID: <c72c5e1d26a048c0af4be75044e1e80e@bazarchic-invitations.com> , mail_id: d-dsS6ecM4vR, Hits: -9.49, size: 34124, queued_as: 80D4118089F, dkim_sd=20132014:bazarchic-invitations.com, 3203 ms

    Which isn’t all that useful – especially if you need to know WHY it did (or didn’t) score against SpamAssassin (i.e. WHY was it -9.49).

    So, to make Amavis more verbose in logging – so you can see which SpamAssassin tests triggered etc – add to /etc/amavis/conf.d/50-user (debian) -

    $log_templ = $log_verbose_templ;

    Now you’ll see something more like :

    Mar 28 14:33:49 my.server /usr/sbin/amavisd-new[9149]: (09149-05) Passed SPAMMY {RelayedTaggedInbound}, [client.ip.addr]:62696 [client.ip.addr] <some.user@whatever> -> <someone@else.example.com>, Queue-ID: EF4F4180E71, Message-ID: <C46A064E2A2B52469C092EE761AD74602BFCCC@xxxxxx-Exch.xxxxxxx.xxxx>, mail_id: dzG4JS_4jH29, Hits: 6.314, size: 46717, queued_as: BBEB71819B4, Subject: "hello world this is a subject", From: Test_Person_<test@my.domain>, helo=whatever.server, Tests: [HTML_MESSAGE=0.001,LOCAL_SEX=5,URI_HEX=1.313], shortcircuit=no, autolearn=disabled, autolearnscore=6.314, asn=AS57307_188.227.240.0/21, 4714 ms

    Now – you can clearly see why it scored 6.314 – without needing to find the mail and read it’s headers.

    SpamAssassin – some random rules

    Add into /etc/spamassassin into a file named something like ‘local_rules.cf’

    WhatCounts – spammy mailer? # X-Mailer: WhatCounts - seems spammy. header LOCAL_WHATCOUNTS X-Mailer =~ /WhatCounts/ describe LOCAL_WHATCOUNTS Spammy mailer (WhatCounts) score LOCAL_WHATCOUNTS 3.0 Sex

    Often slipped into spammy email; presumably serious email (well, for a business at least) won’t contain such stuff.

    body LOCAL_SEX /\b(sex)\b/i describe LOCAL_SEX Email contains the word sex. score LOCAL_SEX 5.0 PHP Eval’ed code

    I saw quite a few spammy emails which contained a specific header – so this penalises such mail. It’s crude.

    # Saw email headers like : X-PHP-Originating-Script: 10000:sendme.php(3) : eval()'d code header PHP_EVAL X-PHP-Originating-Script =~ /eval\(\)\'d code/i describe PHP_EVAL Eval()'ed PHP code as source score PHP_EVAL 8.0 SpamAssassin – decode short urls

    https://github.com/smfreegard/DecodeShortURLs is a useful plugin to install – allowing you to decode shortened URLs – and hopefully then score/find them in RBLs etc.

    i.e. expanding http://t.co/BLAH to http://blahblah.server.com/something/blah.html

     

    Categories: LUG Community Blogs

    Dick Turpin: When in doubt pull out.

    Planet WolvesLUG - Fri, 28/03/2014 - 11:43
    Customer: "I think our printers broken? I've tried two brand new toner cartridges and it won't print."Engineer: "Do you want us to come out and look at it? As you know it's chargeable."Customer: "You might as well get us a new printer."Engineer: "OK."
    Three days later.
    Engineer: "Hey Pete, you know that printer for xyz? I've installed the new one. I also found out what was wrong with the old one."Me: "What was it?"Engineer: "She hadn't pulled the safety tab off the side of the toner."Me: "Bwahahahaha"

    Categories: LUG Community Blogs

    Dick Turpin: One of them days!

    Planet WolvesLUG - Wed, 19/03/2014 - 10:15
    I run an opt-in mailing list and send out something like 70+ PC's and laptops. As you'd expect there's a brief run down of CPU, Memory etc. So some bright spark sent me and email asking "Can you supply the generations of the CPU's and the CLOCK speeds of all the memory on every unit please."

    Fook Off

    I quoted (Actually I under-priced it tbh) to replace a screen on a laptop, inadvertently I was not making any money on the actual screen but at least was making money on the installation. Had an email. "Do you have a courier service? If I send it to you it will cost money and I would expect a discount on the price you quoted."

    Fook Off
    Categories: LUG Community Blogs

    Dick Turpin: Here we go again ZenCart.

    Planet WolvesLUG - Thu, 13/03/2014 - 11:09
    So I'm doing yet another ZenCart site for a customer. The latest version 1.5.1 requires PHP 5.5 which meant we had to set up a dedicated LAMP server, which actually is about time.

    I did all the usual PITA stuff of changing permissions on folders so it installs and that [supposedly] was fine. Now the default template is pretty nasty to say the least so I had a quick punt around and found a suitable one and installed that. But wait, what's this?

    WARNING: An Error occurred, please refresh the page and try again.

    Really? What kind of error? A hint would be nice? Now your first thought is "This must be a template related error as the default one works?" so after some searching (And time wasting I hasten to add.) I find that supposedly ZenCart does not turn on Layout Boxes by default. You have to go in there and turn them on, but wait!

    WARNING: An Error occurred, please refresh the page and try again.

    WTF now? Oh yes, clicking on Tools--Layout boxes controller bombs out with that very same, ever so helpful message! So off we go again in search of an answer. After losing even more time (And time is money you know.) I find a kinda helpful answer "Check your logs." so off I go to my logs and it says;

    PHP Fatal error: 1146:table 'my.TABLE_EZPAGES_TEXT' doesn't exist

    WTF? Surely that's a core element of ZenCart? After all, there is a button for Layout boxes controller why would there not be a table for it? But no! According to DrByte on this thread http://www.zen-cart.com/showthread.php?200200-Error-on-ez-pages

    "There is no "ezpages_text" table in original Zen Cart code."

    I also had to laugh at Kobra who apparently is a at the Black Belt level for support who asked

    "Table 'XXXX.TABLE_EZPAGES_TEXT'Are the XX's actual or just what you added?" Bwahahahaha

    Tears flowed down my face when I read that, talk about not understanding what your reading? As if they're going to put myxyz.TABLE_EZPAGES_TEXT? You'd still ask "What's myxyz?" I suspect?

    Anyway the thread is about as helpful as a one legged man in an arse kicking competition. Suffice to say supposedly you now have to install Multi-Language EZ-Pages which comes with a database script to add the table[s]. Who's bright idea was that to make an integral function of ZenCart a plugin? Oh and just look at these hoops you have to jump through!

    Step 2.  replace the following two CUSTOM folder with your own folder(template) name
      includes\modules\CUSTOM
      includes\modules\sideboxes\CUSTOM

    Step 3.  Make a copy of the included file
      admin/includes/languages/english/extra_definitions/ezpages_multilanguage_defines.php
    and save it as
      admin/includes/languages/YOUR_LANGUAGE/extra_definitions/ezpages_multilanguage_defines.php
    then edit the two define statements in the file to suit your language.

    And then @tigg wonders why I hate it with a vengeance. :-)
    Categories: LUG Community Blogs
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