The problem with Apple: if you’re going to have a locked-in ecosystem, you’d better make sure your apps work properly. iTunes is a disaster.
By “Other”, iTunes means “stuff I lost track of, even though my only job is to sync with the iPad”. iTunes, you suck. img.ly/txnt
So, I’ve had a Nexus 4 for a while now … here’s some findings :
Our community is at the heart of how we build Ubuntu. Recently there were some concerns expressed about some aspects of our community and I have been working with various community members and internally at Canonical to resolve some of these issues to make things smoother.
I just wanted to summarize some updates:
I want to get as much feedback on these steps moving forward as well as other ideas and areas in which we can focus. You can always grab me on IRC on freenode (my nick is jono) and I hang out in #ubuntu-community-team. Also feel free to drop me an email and join my regular Q+A session every week. Unfortunately, this week’s Q+A session is canceled as I need to be at an event, but I will be back in the regular slot next week on Wednesday at 7pm UTC on Ubuntu On Air.
There’s something rather swish happened to my wedding photography website. It has a brand new design which I’m really happy with.
So, why the new design? I wanted more space to show off my photographs which is, after all, what it’s all about. Fewer words, more pictures. All the images are now a much larger resolution and I’m pleased with how much better they look. Each image on the home page now links straight to the blog post for that wedding.
I had to produce larger versions of all the images on the site, as I had been rather too efficient when originally uploading them and made images that were too small for the new theme. It was enlightening going back over old images and re-processing them for the new page layouts. I hope you’ll agree that they look even better than before.
The new design is also much more responsive than the old one, so there’s a much better experience browsing the site from mobile devices. The old design worked well enough, but web designers can now do much more for sites viewed on mobile devices. In the last twelve months mobile traffic to my site has increased by over 10%, so I wanted to be sure those users had a great experience.
The site runs WordPress, the open source blogging and content management system. One of the nice things about WordPress is that, for the most part, it separates content from presentation. It’s nowhere near as much work to switch to a new design than back in the good old days of hand-crafted HTML. It’s still not exactly easy, as things like widgets and custom menus need changing when you move theme.
Anyway, I hope you like the new design!Pin It
This script below lets you test changes while continuing to work on code. Let’s say that your test suite takes quite a while to run (hello, libguestfs). You can do:$ test-change make check
The script copies the whole current directory into a temporary directory and runs the check in there. You still have to open a new terminal to run the tests, but the tests can go ahead while you continue working.#!/bin/bash - # Copy current directory to a temporary, # then run the test command on that copy, # and report the results. # by Richard W.M. Jones <firstname.lastname@example.org> # # Usage (from current directory): # test-change command [args ...] # eg: # test-change make check echo "Copying original directory; wait a moment ..." d=`mktemp -d` trap "rm -rf $d" EXIT INT TERM QUIT cp -a . $d cd $d echo "Original directory copied, starting test." echo "You can carry on working now." sleep 1 # Run the test command. "$@"
Eat, Drink and talk LinuxEvent Date and Time: Wed, 20/03/2013 - 19:30 - 23:00
Having a Guinness with @mfifield in honour of Sunday.
Saint Patrick’s Day. sdrv.ms/144DNES
Can you tell what it is yet? sdrv.ms/ZyhUIv
Back in 2007, my Mum and I got a pair of Internet-connected Nabaztag bunnies. Aside from all the online content we could subscribe to using the bunnies, the most fun thing for me was that we could ‘pair’ our bunnies so that they would talk to each other. If I moved the ears on my bunny, the ears on my Mum’s bunny would move to match, and vice versa. The 250 physical miles disappear for a few seconds when you see the ears move and know that it’s because Mum is physically moving the ears of her bunny. I know exactly what she’s doing at that particular pointing in time, as if we’re briefly in the same room. The technical term for this is, apparently, ambient awareness.
The bunny ears experience of ambient awareness inspired my first (and, so far, only) Arduino project: Monitoring electricity using Christmas lights. The red/orange lights indicated the current electricity usage of my house and the blue/green lights indicated the current electricity usage of Mum and Dad’s house. The more electricity currently being used, the faster the lights flashed. Again, it was just that tiny tiny insight into what was happening 250 miles away. Just the mundanity of everyday life shared.
So I was curious about the Kickstarter project for the Good Night Lamp. The Good Night Lamp is a really nice and simple concept. One person has a Big Lamp (shaped like a house) and they give Little Lamps, associated with the Big Lamp, to friends and/or family anywhere in the world. When the owner switches off the Big Lamp (when they go out or go to bed), the associated Little Lamps also switch off. An appealing part of it is that you can collect a Little Lamp from each of your family or group of friends and arrange them on a shelf so that before you go to bed at night, you can see each of them ‘say goodnight’ as their respective lights go out.
The problem I see with the Good Night Lamp is similar to the one with the Nabaztag. While I think it’s great having simple devices that do just one thing well, it doesn’t half clutter up the place. These kinds of devices need shelf-space. And it has to be shelf-space you can see easily in a place you’ll often be or they don’t work. Maybe as people replace all their books with the more easily stored ebooks, living-room bookcases will become filled with ambient devices instead. I got to chatting with Ambient Orb fan Andy Stanford-Clark about it.
While my and my Mum’s’ Nabaztags have now died or gone into hibernation and the Christmas lights never made it as far as the tree, our more lasting providers of ambient awareness don’t even have their own physical forms. Instead, they’re software on our smartphones and tablets, devices that we have around anyway, wherever we are. In particular, SMS updates of my Mum and Dad’s Tweets.
Every morning, my Mum wakes up, has a coffee with my Dad, and reads interesting articles on her iPad. I know this from when I’ve visited them and because when she reads an interesting article, she tweets or retweets it and I receive about half-a-dozen txts in quick succession. Later in the afternoon, after they’ve got home from wherever they’ve been that day (or have found free wifi somewhere while they’re out) and are drinking another cup of coffee or tea, I receive another half-a-dozen txts pointing to interesting articles online. Just receiving the txts gives me an awareness of them waking up or sitting down to read the paper. Clicking the links to the articles gives me an insight into what they’re reading and how they’re probably feeling about the topics of the articles. The fairly mundane, everyday things that we wouldn’t remember, or bother, to talk about on the phone a week or so later.
As drinking coffee or tea seems to play a regular, if side, part in the activities I’m notified about, Andy and I came up with the idea of the Ambient Kettle. In my house, we have a whole house Current Cost monitor that is connected to a server out on the Internet. It was the feed from this server that we used in my Christmas Lights project. Since then, though, I’ve added individual appliance monitors (IAMs) to a few of the appliances around the house, including the kettle. The feeds from these IAMs also go to the server and so can be used by applications that know which data to request.
So Andy hacked up a (private) Twitter account, @ambientkettle, which my Mum follows. Each time the kettle boils in my house, the @ambientkettle account tweets to my Mum:
Without being physically present or explicitly letting her know that I am making a cup of tea, she can get a sense of what I’m doing. The messages in the tweets that @ambientkettle sends are pre-canned and chosen at random but made to be chatty enough that it seems a bit like the start of a conversation. Indeed, Mum sometimes tweets back to it to say that she and Dad are also having a cup of tea or are looking forward to one when they get home, or whatever. As I say, it’s mundane but it’s those kinds of mundane things that make everyday life.
I’ll be interested to see how the Good Night Lamp gets taken up. It was featured in the very mainstream Daily Mail yesterday and its founding team has a good record of startups, product design, interaction design, and Internet of Things creativeness. And there’s something very appealing about having ambient awareness of friends and family when we’re geographically spread apart.
Shopping in Blackheath. sdrv.ms/15SeljV
Back in the day, when I grew up on my Liverpool council estate every member of Liverpool City council was Conservative. The city had eight Conservative MPs.
This is Nadine Dorries writing on Conservative Home a couple of days ago. She should really learn that if she doesn’t check her facts, then someone else will. You’ll be shocked, I suspect, to hear that this information is less than completely true. To me, it looks like Liverpool never had more than six Tory MPs while Dorries was growing up there.
Dorries was born in 1957. So let’s look at the 1955 general election and see which MPs were elected in Liverpool then. Liverpool has nine MPs, six of which are Tory. None of the seats changed hands in 1959. In 1964, however, the Tories lost four seats, taking their total down to two. This number remained constant in 1966 and 1970. The Tories lost another seat in February 1974 and remained steady on only one seat in October. Finally, in 1979 (when Dorries is 22 – so I’m not sure it still counts as while she was growing up) the Tories doubled their number of seats to a rather unimpressive two.
So Liverpool never had more than six Tory MPs – al least not while Dorries was growing up there. But she thinks that she can just throw a fact into an article like that and people will just accept it’s true.
You should never trust a word that Dorries writes. She has frequently been proven wrong on details like this.
p.s. Tim Fenton has run this analysis too and has reached similar conclusions. And, surprise surprise, he finds that her claims about the council are nonsense too.Related Posts:
Lewisham town centre: German sausages! sdrv.ms/YfBDhr
It’s always been possible, but clumsy, to access Network Block Device (NBD) disks from libguestfs, but starting in libguestfs 1.22 we hope to make this (and Gluster, Ceph and Sheepdog access) much simpler.
To show this using guestfish, I’ll start an NBD server. This could be started on another machine, but to make things simple I’ll start this server on the same machine:$ qemu-nbd f18x64.img -t
f18x64.img is the disk image that I want to export. The -t option makes the qemu-nbd server persistent (ie. it doesn’t just exit after serving the first client).
Now we can connect to this server using guestfish as follows:$ guestfish Welcome to guestfish, the libguestfs filesystem interactive shell for editing virtual machine filesystems. Type: 'help' for help on commands 'man' to read the manual 'quit' to quit the shell ><fs> add-drive "" format:raw protocol:nbd server:localhost ><fs> run
The empty "" (quotes) are the export name. Since qemu-nbd doesn’t support export names, we can leave this empty. The main change is to specify the protocol (nbd) and the server that libguestfs should connect to (localhost, but a remote host would also work). I haven’t specified a port number here because both the client and server are using the standard NBD port (10809), but you could use server:localhost:NNN to use a different port number if needed.
Ordinary guestfish commands just work:><fs> list-filesystems /dev/sda1: ext4 /dev/fedora/root: ext4 /dev/fedora/swap: swap ><fs> inspect-os /dev/fedora/root ><fs> inspect-get-product-name /dev/fedora/root Fedora release 18 (Spherical Cow)
The next steps are to:
The obvious [but not yet implemented] way to change the -a option is to allow a URI to be specified. For example:$ guestfish -a nbd://localhost/exportname
where the elements of the URI like protocol, transport, server, port number and export name translate naturally into parameters of the add-drive API.