LUG Community Blogs

Steve Engledow (stilvoid): Eligarf

Planet ALUG - Thu, 08/05/2014 - 22:56

All week so far, I've gone to bed before 10pm every night and have woken up feeling tired, been tired all day, had difficulty focussing during the day, and have still been tired when home from work. I went to bed at 8pm on Wednesday night. Also, my stomach has seemed unsettled. My wife appears to have some of the same symptoms so I don't think I'm about to encounter renal failure or some such mechanical failure of my parts. A very odd illness though. Also, we're both feeling fairly down.

I blame the management.

Dilos

I made a thing for parsing those stupid calendar files sent by Exchange so I can view them nicely in mutt :) I'll put it up somewhere when I've tidied it up a bit more.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Surrey LUG Bring-A-Box 10th May 2014

Surrey LUG - Wed, 07/05/2014 - 19:37
Start: 2014-05-10 12:00 End: 2014-05-10 17:00

We have regular sessions on the second Saturday of 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 Feathers Pub, Merstham

42 High St, Merstham, Redhill, Surrey, RH1 3EA ‎
01737 645643 ‎ · http://www.thefeathersmerstham.co.uk

NOTE the pub opens at 12 Noon.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

David Goodwin: WordPress comment spam post fail

Planet WolvesLUG - Wed, 07/05/2014 - 10:08

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

Richard Lewis: Refocusing Ph.D

Planet ALUG - Wed, 07/05/2014 - 00:16

Actual progress on this Ph.D revision has been quite slow. My current efforts are on improving the focus of the thesis. One of the criticisms the examiners made (somewhat obliquely) was that it wasn&apost very clear exactly what my subject was: musicology? music information retrieval? computational musicology? And the reason for this was that I failed to make that clear to myself. It was only at the writing up stage, when I was trying to put together a coherent argument, that I decided to try and make it a story about music information retrieval (MIR). I tried to argue that MIR&aposs existing evaluation work (which was largely modelled on information retrieval evaluation from the text world) only took into account the music information needs of recreational users of MIR systems, and that there was very little in the way of studying the music information seeking behaviour of "serious" users. However, the examiners didn&apost even accept that information retrieval was an important problem for musicology, nevermind that there was work to be done in examining music information needs of music scholarship.

So I&aposm using this as an excuse to shift the focus away from MIR a little and towards something more like computational musicology and music informatics. I&aposm putting together a case study of a computational musicology toolkit called music21. Doing this allows me to focus in more detail on a smaller and more distinct community of users (rather than attempting to studying musicologists in general which was another problematic feature of the thesis), it makes it much clearer what kind of music research can be addressed using the technology (all of MIR is either far too diverse or far too generic, depending on how you want to spin it), and also allows me to work with the actually Purcell Plus project materials using the toolkit.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Jono Bacon: Unwrapping ‘Dealing With Disrespect’

Planet WolvesLUG - Fri, 02/05/2014 - 06:28

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 - 06:00

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

    MJ Ray: The Kelly Lessons in About 1555 Characters

    Planet ALUG - Thu, 01/05/2014 - 05:46

    So the Kelly report “of the independent review into the events leading to the Co-operative Bank’s capital shortfall” was published yesterday. During the day, I was putting odd bits from it out in 140 characters with the hashtags #coops #kellylessons. Here they are in one more permanent place. How many of these lessons has your organisation – whether a co-op or not – learned?

    1. “Running a full-service bank… is a complex business… Bank failed to understand the limits of its own capability”
    2. “The most important task for any board is to put in place the right Executive leadership for the business”
    3. “Ownership of a regulated bank…requires a clearly articulated statement addressing…mgmt & gov’nance relationship”
    4. “Failures in board oversight are inevitable if the criteria used to elect… do not require… the necessary skills”
    5. “A bank board must include sufficient numbers of technically competent directors”
    6. “Boards need…good m’gmt info’ and to demand it if it is not forthcoming. Failure to obtain…explains…failings”
    7. “A bank should develop&implement robust risk gov’nce&oversight and an appropriate control framework”
    8. “IT transformation…keep…as simple as poss’, phase delivery.., deploy the right resources, plan for contingencies”
    9. “Bank should have paid closer attention and responded with greater urgency to what the Regulator told it”
    10. “Pay careful attention to the advice of…external advisors. The Group…ignored well-founded…inconvenient advice”
    11. “Postponing dealing with problems is almost never a sustainable solution.”
    12. “Values…need to be translated into meaningful guidance…The Bank’s ethical positioning should be…more apparent”
    13. “Mantras about scale and ethics are no substitute for strategies grounded in a real understanding”
    14. “Talent management is critical… Lack of capability…driven…by weaknesses in its recruitment&subsequent m’gmt”
    15. “Tolerating…culture of underperformance, weak transparency and a lack of accountability, constrains an organisation”

    Are there other lessons that you would add?

    Categories: LUG Community Blogs

    Chris Lamb: Marlon Brando in the Lake District

    Planet ALUG - Wed, 30/04/2014 - 20:14

    Alan How:

    There's an Italian restaurant somewhere in the Lake District in the north of England. And if you can imagine, there are hills, lots of rain, lakes, and so on and so forth. And inside this Italian restaurant is a huge picture—a wall-sized mural—of Marlon Brando.

    Now, I asked my students once: «Why Marlon Brando?»

    «Well he's The Godfather!»

    «I don't think he was a Godfather, you know...»

    «But he was in that film, wasn't he? It was called The Godfather.»

    «Ah, that film from 40 years ago, virtually.. 1970-something?»

    «Yes, yes, but he was The Godfather then, wasn't he?»

    «You mean if was a mafiosi? He was a leading figure in gangsterland in New York?»

    «Well, yes, he was The Godfather,» they keep saying, «... and he was Italian.»

    «Well, no, actually he was American...»

    So you get this regular kind of placing and misplacing of the real, ie. a very large American actor who played in a film called The Godfather about American gangsters, or Italian-American gangsters, nothing to do with godfathers in Christianity, in the north of England, stuck on a huge wall in a restaurant.

    All of which tells us that it's an Italian restaurant.

    And we don't demure, we don't say "no, that's all untrue", we just take it for granted: "Yeah, that's what it means - it's an Italian restaurant". And it's that kind of slippage between the real and the imagined—or the true and the fictional—which Baudrillard thinks is becoming inceasingly characteristic of how our society goes on.

    Categories: LUG Community Blogs

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

    Planet WolvesLUG - Wed, 30/04/2014 - 13:49
    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

    Tony Whitmore: The Worlds of Doctor Who

    Planet HantsLUG - Mon, 28/04/2014 - 18:33

    My friends over at Big Finish are celebrating fifteen years of producing Doctor Who audio drama this year. To mark the occasion, they will be releasing a special box set called “The Worlds of Doctor Who.” The set comprises four stories with a linking story arc, with each story based around one of the Doctor Who spin-off series that Big Finish have been so successful at producing: Jago and Litefoot, Countermeasures, The Vault and Gallifrey.

    I have been doing some of the photography for the box set and it has been a pleasure attending the recording sessions over the past couple of months. I’m sure I will be writing more about it in the future, but the cover for the box set was released yesterday and the central image is one I took of actor Jamie Glover who plays the evil Mr Rees throughout the four stories. His costume was added by a very clever graphic designer though!

    “The Worlds of Doctor Who” is available for pre-order now from the Big Finish website. You might also have seen some of my photographs from Big Finish Day 4 in Vortex #61, with a very nice double spread of my images showing what good fun the day was for guests and attendees.

    Pin It
    Categories: LUG Community Blogs

    Dick Turpin: Sale of goods act.

    Planet WolvesLUG - Mon, 28/04/2014 - 09:38
    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

    Steve Engledow (stilvoid): Laziness

    Planet ALUG - Sun, 27/04/2014 - 23:18

    Over the last couple of days I've been setting up a few things that I've been meaning to figure out for ages. I'm going to note down here what I did so when it all goes wrong, I can find out what I did ;)

    Pretties

    My desktop machine is one of those frankenstein jobs that has been gradually evolving for the past 15 years or so; every single part of it has been replaced at least 3 times but it's still the same machine in my mind. I've recently been treating myself to a little bit of gaming, partially prompted by Steam's recent push for linux. Having bought Portal 2 a few days ago, it became apparent that my graphics card had become the next candidate for replacement so I bought myself a GeForce GT 640 which I'm sure someone will tell me was a terrible choice (I long ago stopped knowing anything about hardware) but it's doing the job just fine so far.

    Wakey wakey

    One of the things I've been meaning to set up for ages is wake on LAN. I always remembered seeing the option in the BIOS but I'd never played with it.

    To my surprise however, the BIOS on my machine's current incarnation has no mention of wake on LAN. So for posterity, here's what I did to sort it out:

    I've installed wol-systemd which basically runs ethtool <interface> wol g on every boot. Seems odd to me that this has to be set every time the machine is turned on but meh, it works.

    I also installed an app on my phone so I can turn the PC on from anywhere in the house.

    Eye sea yew

    To go with the wake on LAN, I added x11vnc -display :0 -forever -many -nap to my .xprofile which means that I can also view the display from my phone as soon as it's up and running.

    Combining the three things I've written about so far, when I got in bed last night, I realised that I'd forgotten to leave the computer on - I was downloading something - so I started it from my phone and then used VNC to get things running. From bed. From my phone. Win.

    Impatience

    After breaking my collar bone a few weeks ago, I finally felt that I'd recovered enough to start playing squash again. Having played tonight, I'm not entirely sure I was right. My shoulder doesn't exactly hurt but it's aching like hell at the moment. I'm sure it'll be fine :S

    Hubris

    Ehh... I've done "laziness" and "impatience", I ought to have a "hubris"...

    Oh, I've started writing a game with LÖVE that's going to be amazing.

    (It probably won't be amazing)

    LÖVE is pretty bloody good though. Very easy to get up and running with and it seems to run fast despite my far-from-optimised (coughmassively inefficient and I know itcough) code. I also rather like lua so far though that might be because it has features that closely resemble features from my three other languages of choice: Python, C, and JavaScript.

    Categories: LUG Community Blogs

    Adam Trickett: Bog Roll: Squeeze

    Planet HantsLUG - Sat, 26/04/2014 - 17:22

    Today I completed the last migration of a Debian GNU/Linux system from version 6.x (aka Squeeze) to version 7.x (aka Wheezy). One system was this server, which I migrated to a new hosting platform, today's migration was an Viglen MPC box that someone was using when the upgrade was initially due.

    The upgrade was painless (as usual) and everything on the new box is working perfectly as expected.

    Categories: LUG Community Blogs

    Adam Trickett: Bog Roll: BigV

    Planet HantsLUG - Fri, 25/04/2014 - 18:32

    My hosting provider Bytemark started to develop a new virtual server technology some time ago. It's marginally cheaper and marginally more powerful than my current solution. It has many scalability advantages as well but they are not as important to me as the fact I was due to upgrade my existing server and migrating to a new box has many advantages over an in situ upgrade.

    I signed up to their free trial and was instantly impressed by both the technology and their customer support. I know there are other good companies so in no way do I want to criticise them, but Bytemark are very good people to work with.

    I built my new Debian box, installed the packages I wanted and ported the bits over from the old server over a few evenings. It took only a few hours, and in the process I was able to improve some of the layout and such of the new box and try out newer packages.

    This week I updated the DNS records updating the box names and other than forgetting to switch my email server from listening local to listening to the network everything went very well. All that happened was email was backed-up for a few hours before it all arrived.

    I've now stripped the old box down to it's minimal running configuration, deleted all my files, and I'm now filling the filesystem up with random junk before deleting the junk and switching the box off so that it can be returned to Bytemark.

    Categories: LUG Community Blogs
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