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Please, Interweb, no more top-down coffee, notepad and pastry photos.

Planet SurreyLUG - Fri, 26/02/2016 - 00:40

If I see just one more clichéd, top-down  image of a coffee cup, notepad, laptop and pastry, I’m gonna … I’m gonna … be miffed. And maybe write a letter.

The post Please, Interweb, no more top-down coffee, notepad and pastry photos. appeared first on life at warp.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Steve Engledow (stilvoid): Digital Subscriber

Planet ALUG - Thu, 25/02/2016 - 22:37

Maybe it's just me, but I reckon DSLs are the next (ok ok, they've been around for ages) big (ok, hipster) thing. I know I'm by no means the first to say so it's just that I'm increasingly bemused at seeing things squeezed into data structures they've outgrown.

In general, as everyone's finally warming to the idea that you can use code to describe not just your application but also how it's deployed, we're reaching a state where that code needs to be newbie-friendly - by which I mean that it ought to be easily understandable by humans. If it isn't, it's prone to mistakes.

A few months ago, I experimented with creating a DSL for writing web pages and I was fairly happy with the result (though there's lots more work to be done). I'm thinking of applying the same ideas to CloudFormation.

resources: db: type: rds engine: mysql size: c3.xlarge app: type: ec2 ami: my-app-image size: t2.micro scale: min: 1 max: 10 expose: 80 security: db: app app: 0.0.0.0:80

Obviously I've put little to no thought into the above but it shouldn't be too hard to come up with something useful.

Maybe some day soon ;)

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Monthly Meeting 29 Feb 2016

West Yorkshire LUG News - Wed, 24/02/2016 - 21:40

What’s this ? What’s this ? a monthly meeting of West Yorkshire Linux Users Group. Come to the Lord Darcy on Harrogate Road for around 7:30 ish next Monday, the last day of February. Look for some people huddled round a laptop(s) trying to plumb the eternal verities and have fun at the same time.

Sonos Review

Planet SurreyLUG - Sat, 20/02/2016 - 13:06

I've been aware of Sonos as a premium wireless speaker solution for a long time, but the price always seemed excessive for what, on the face of it, offers little more than a simple Bluetooth speaker. But after Subsonic needed its database rebuilding for the third time and I was unable to play music for a dinner party, enough was enough. I was willing at last to pay the premium for something that was purported to work.

Background

My music collection is mostly comprised of purchased Audio CDs that I have ripped under Linux. Currently I have a Music folder on our MythTV system, and have installed Subsonic to share our music to our many tablets and phones, using the excellent Subsonic Android App. If I want to play from Subsonic to my music system then I have a Logitech Bluetooth Audio Receiver Adapter that receives the audio and plays it through my old-school Sony amplifier.

The main issues with this set-up is that the music only plays in the living room and not elsewhere in the house. We have bought an additional Creative D80 Bluetooth Wireless Speaker, but of course each can only play independent streams.

I also find Bluetooth a frustrating technology where you don't have a simple 1:1 paradigm. In our case we have probably a dozen tablets and phones, each determined to pair with the Bluetooth receivers and then prevent other devices from connecting.

Choosing Sonos Speakers

The Sonos range comprises of the small Play:1 at £155, a medium-sized Play:3 at £229 and a larger Play:5 at £413. On the Goldilocks principle of the middle one being "just right", I opted for two of the Play:3 at £229 each - one for the living room and one for the kitchen. The plan was to move those elsewhere at a later stage and hopefully upgrade the living room system to a pair of Play:5 speakers.

The important thing to understand is that neither the Play:1 nor the Play:3 speakers have a Line-In. This means that you can only play from on-line content. If you currently subscribe to one of the supported Sonos Services, then that is fine, but if you're wanting to play content from a CD or other input source - then you can't. The Play:5 does have a Line-In, as does the Sonos Connect at £264.

A word about the Sonos Connect. A simple way to imagine it is that it is basically a Play:5, but without the speaker. In other words it has the same Sonos interface with Line-In but no speaker. If you have an existing music system then this is potentially ideal and with hindsight I wish that what I had done was to purchase one Play:3 for the kitchen and one Sonos Connect for the living room. The opposing view is that a pair of Play:5 speakers complete obsoletes an existing music system - so why not do away with the legacy equipment.

Amazon Prime Music

One great disappointment was that, whilst Sonos supports Amazon Music, it does not support Amazon Prime Music. One of the main reasons we had bought Sonos was to play Amazon Prime Music, so this was a major problem. At the time of writing it is available in the US as a Beta service and has been for a few months. One can only hope that it will trickle across to the UK in due course.

Google Play Music

Hoping that the Amazon Prime issue would be resolved, we signed up to a 30 day free trial with Google Play Music. This worked extremely well, except for the recommended playlists which do not appear as a Sonos Queue. The main issue we found was that our children would choose a song and click "Play Next" and this would interrupt the playlist - very irritating if you were enjoying a particular song. We assumed that this was a feature of Sonos, but Spotify does not work like that (see below).

Spotify

We then subscribed to the 30 days free trial with Spotify. You only need the individual member subscription to work with Sonos, but the ongoing cost is the same as Google Play. The only advantage of Spotify is that the recommended playlists appear as a proper Sonos queue, enabling you to save it as a Sonos Playlist, or add a song into the queue.

Subsonic

One delight was that we were able to play our local music via Subsonic. This is a Beta service and I did have a small problem getting it working. Unfortunately I cannot remember the nature of the problem, other than an Internet search solved it.

Conclusions

Obviously we were disappointed at the lack of Amazon Prime Music. I was also a little disappointed at the abrupt handling of music changes - if you click "Play Now" the music stops instantly and the next track starts. I do feel that with a premium set-up like this that music transitions should be handled more smoothly.

We also have had issues with our children messing about with Sonos - as the interface is open to all. We have sufficient control of our children that this isn't a significant problem, but knowing some families this could be a serious issue. I do feel there should be some security, to enable clients to be de-authorised, or limited only to a subset of features.

Will I continue to invest in Sonos? Undoubtedly yes, but I think the next purchase will be a Sonos Connect followed by a better set of audio speakers.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Debian Bits: I love Free Software Day 2016: Show your love for Free Software

Planet HantsLUG - Sun, 14/02/2016 - 01:10

Today February 14th, the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) celebrates the "I Love Free Software" day. I Love Free Software day is a day for Free Software users to appreciate and thank the contributors of their favourite software applications, projects and organisations.

We take this opportunity to say "thank you" to all the Debian upstreams and downstreams, and all the Debian developers and contributors. Thanks for your work and dedication to free software!

There are many ways to participate in this ILoveFS day and we encourage everybody to join in and celebrate. Show your love to Debian developers, contributors and teams virtually on social networks using the #ilovefs hashtag and spreading the word in your own social media circles, or by visiting the ILoveFS campaign website to find and use some of the promotional materials available such as postcards and banners.

To learn more about the FSFE, you can read their announcement of this campaign or visit their general website.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Gravity waves detected. This will change everything.

Planet SurreyLUG - Fri, 12/02/2016 - 11:45

Scientists have successfully detected gravity waves, 100 years after Einstein predicted them.

“It would have been wonderful to watch Einstein’s face had we been able to tell him.”

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/02/11/gravitational_wave_detected

#science #gravity #future

The post Gravity waves detected. This will change everything. appeared first on life at warp.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Debian Bits: Tails installer is now in Debian

Planet HantsLUG - Thu, 11/02/2016 - 14:30

Tails (The amnesic incognito live system) is a live OS based on Debian GNU/Linux which aims at preserving the user's privacy and anonymity by using the Internet anonymously and circumventing censorship. Installed on a USB device, it is configured to leave no trace on the computer you are using unless asked explicitly.

As of today, the people the most needy for digital security are not computer experts. Being able to get started easily with a new tool is critical to its adoption, and even more in high-risk and stressful environments. That's why we wanted to make it faster, simpler, and more secure to install Tails for new users.

One of the components of Tails, the Tails Installer is now in Debian thanks to the Debian Privacy Tools Maintainers Team.

Tails Installer is a graphical tool to install or upgrade Tails on a USB stick from an ISO image. It aims at making it easier and faster to get Tails up and running.

The previous process for getting started with Tails was very complex and was problematic for less tech-savvy users. It required starting Tails three times, and copying the full ISO image onto a USB stick twice before having a fully functional Tails USB stick with persistence enabled.

This can now be done simply by installing Tails Installer in your existing Debian system, using sid, stretch or jessie-backports, plugging a USB stick and choosing if one wants to update the USB stick or to install Tails using a previously downloaded ISO image.

Tails Installer also helps Tails users to create an encrypted persistent storage for personal files and settings in the rest of the available space.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

The end of Moore’s law

Planet SurreyLUG - Thu, 11/02/2016 - 12:06

Moore’s law is at an end.  It was good while it lasted

http://arstechnica.co.uk/information-technology/2016/02/moores-law-really-is-dead-this-time/

The post The end of Moore’s law appeared first on life at warp.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Bring-A-Box, Saturday 13th February 2016, Merstham

Surrey LUG - Mon, 08/02/2016 - 12:58
Start: 2016-02-13 12:00 End: 2016-02-13 12:00

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

Steve Kemp: Redesigning my clustered website

Planet HantsLUG - Sun, 07/02/2016 - 11:28

I'm slowly planning the redesign of the cluster which powers the Debian Administration website.

Currently the design is simple, and looks like this:

In brief there is a load-balancer that handles SSL-termination and then proxies to one of four Apache servers. These talk back and forth to a MySQL database. Nothing too shocking, or unusual.

(In truth there are two database servers, and rather than a single installation of HAProxy it runs upon each of the webservers - One is the master which is handled via ucarp. Logically though traffic routes through HAProxy to a number of Apache instances. I can lose half of the servers and things still keep running.)

When I setup the site it all ran on one host, it was simpler, it was less highly available. It also struggled to cope with the load.

Half the reason for writing/hosting the site in the first place was to document learning experiences though, so when it came to time to make it scale I figured why not learn something and do it neatly? Having it run on cheap and reliable virtual hosts was a good excuse to bump the server-count and the design has been stable for the past few years.

Recently though I've begun planning how it will be deployed in the future and I have a new design:

Rather than having the Apache instances talk to the database I'll indirect through an API-server. The API server will handle requests like these:

  • POST /users/login
    • POST a username/password and return 200 if valid. If bogus details return 403. If the user doesn't exist return 404.
  • GET /users/Steve
    • Return a JSON hash of user-information.
    • Return 404 on invalid user.

I expect to have four API handler endpoints: /articles, /comments, /users & /weblogs. Again we'll use a floating IP and a HAProxy instance to route to multiple API-servers. Each of which will use local caching to cache articles, etc.

This should turn the middle layer, running on Apache, into simpler things, and increase throughput. I suspect, but haven't confirmed, that making a single HTTP-request to fetch a (formatted) article body will be cheaper than making N-database queries.

Anyway that's what I'm slowly pondering and working on at the moment. I wrote a proof of concept API-server based CMS two years ago, and my recollection of that time is that it was fast to develop, and easy to scale.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

2015 Christmas Get-Together

Wolverhampton LUG News - Sat, 06/02/2016 - 20:59
Event-Date: Wednesday, 17 February, 2016 - 20:00 to 22:00Body: Red Leaf World Buffet 28-32 High Street West Bromwich Birmingham B70 6JT They have a wide, varied menu with plenty of dietary information (Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, etc.)
Categories: LUG Community Blogs

How To: Fix USB Keyboards Missing the First Keypress in Linux

Planet SurreyLUG - Fri, 05/02/2016 - 12:06

I use my laptop as a desktop with an external monitor, mouse & keyboard, and found that recently the keyboard would keep missing the first character of input – and it was driving me nuts.…

Source: How To: Fix USB Keyboards Missing the First Keypress in Linux

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Andy Smith: Your Debian netboot suddenly can’t do Ext4?

Planet HantsLUG - Fri, 05/02/2016 - 10:50

If, like me, you’ve just done a Debian netboot install over PXE and discovered that the partitioner suddenly seems to have no option for Ext4 filesystem (leaving only btrfs and XFS), despite the fact that it worked fine a couple of weeks ago, do not be alarmed. You aren’t losing your mind. It seems to be a bug.

As the comment says, downloading netboot.tar.gz version 20150422+deb8u3 fixes it. You can find your version in the debian-installer/amd64/boot-screens/f1.txt file. I was previously using 20150422+deb8u1 and the commenter was using 20150422+deb8u2.

Looking at the dates on the files I’m guessing this broke on 23rd January 2016. There was a Debian point release around then, so possibly you are supposed to download a new netboot.tar.gz with each one – not sure. Although if this is the case it would still be nice to know you’re doing something wrong as opposed to having the installer appear to proceed normally except for denying the existence of any filesystems except XFS and btrfs.

Oh and don’t forget to restart your TFTP daemon. tftpd-hpa at least seems to cache things (or maybe hold the tftp directory open, as I had just moved the old directory out of the way), so I was left even more confused when it still seemed to be serving 20150422+deb8u1.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Monthly meeting December 2015

West Yorkshire LUG News - Fri, 25/12/2015 - 15:37

Those of you who are still active after the weekends festivities can come to the last meeting of 2015 and share in the WYLUG year end. Monday 28 December 2015 at 7pm in the Lord Darcy.

Monthly meeting November 30th

West Yorkshire LUG News - Thu, 19/11/2015 - 19:53

Our regular once a month meeting this November will be on the last Monday of the month, 30th Nov 2015 at 7pm, at The Lord Darcy, as usual.

David Goodwin: Automated twitter compilation up to 16 June 2014

Planet WolvesLUG - Mon, 16/06/2014 - 16:22

Arbitrary tweets made by TheGingerDog up to 16 June 2014

2014/06/15

  • RT Proud my 8yo girl failed this worksheet. Wish she had failed it even “worse.” #GenderBias
  • 2012/11/03

  • RT #PHP devs. Please satisfy my curiosity and let me know about the frameworks you’ve used recently. Ta. https://twtpoll.com/gw7zecvn991qaxj (plz RT) 2014/06/15
  • RT Best banner at the World Cup so far
  • 2014/06/14

  • RT RT if you believe in freedom & democracy. #Falklands #LiberationDay
  • 2014/06/14

  • RT WordFriday: crosspathy
  • Attempt to pass homeopathy off as credible by combining it with empirically valid medicine.

    https://www.facebook.com/WordFriday/posts/637531733001454

    2014/06/13
  • And back home. Zzzz. Bromsgrove 2014/06/12
  • And now. Time to catch a plane. #snackTime Cyprus 2014/06/11
  • Thankfully I don’t use tweetdeck. Cyprus 2014/06/11
  • RT “US invasion and occupation cost Washington close to a trillion dollars ” – www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/11/mosul-isis-gunmen-middle-east-states enough to address climate change… #iraq 2014/06/11
  • RT #Iraq army capitulates to Isis militants in four cities – www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/11/mosul-isis-gunmen-middle-east-states what a disaster…well done, Bush and Blair… 2014/06/11
  • RT Twitter worms are so 2011. 2014/06/11
  • RT Tweetdeck XSS flaw leaves users vulnerable to account hijacking bit.ly/1lcEUK8 2014/06/11
  • RT HOW MUCH PIZZA AND COKE DO I HAVE TO FEED YOU NERDS BEFORE YOU SHUT UP ABOUT 80 HOUR WEEKS 2014/03/26
  • RT If one searches for CityLink on Google right now, you get this rather marvellously off message cartoon.
  • 2014/06/10

  • This morning we saw some Roman ruins and a Byzantine castle (mosaics etc)
  • Cyprus 2014/06/10

  • Oh Jesus. It’s raining men ! Cyprus 2014/06/08
  • It’s fun to stay at the YMCA …. You can get yourself clean. You can have a good meal …. Cyprus 2014/06/08
  • Wedding time.
  • Cyprus 2014/06/08

  • RT
  • 2014/06/07

  • The sun lounger things have already been stolen.
  • Cyprus 2014/06/08

  • It is dark early here. #landed Cyprus 2014/06/07
  • Our trusty steed for the next few hours.
  • Solihull 2014/06/07

  • RT Did… Did MongoDB just kill itself because it couldn’t rotate its log file? It did! It fucking did! 2014/06/07
  • Trying to scan this qr code causes my phone to reboot. #nexus4 #android #bug
  • Solihull 2014/06/07

  • Great weather this morning.
  • We woke to continual thunder.

    I think it is time to leave the country.

    Solihull 2014/06/07

  • Airport grammar fall. #bhx
  • Solihull 2014/06/07

  • RT HTTP/1.1 just got a major update. – Evert Pot feedproxy.google.com/~r/bijsterespoor/~3/padm6aekKhA/http-11-updated 2014/06/07
  • RT I love cycling, but it does really piss me off when cyclists cruise through red lights with an arrogance & nonchalance that boils the blood! 2014/06/06
  • RT Burnout.io – Help build a resource for the IT community to combat burnout: buff.ly/S1nWmk 2014/06/06
  • It has arrived ! (@TheMikeBennett‘s awesome book).
  • Bromsgrove 2014/06/06

  • RT But for the sacrifice of many, we may not have been born free. Think of that today if nothing else. #DDay70 #DDay #LestWeForget East, United Kingdom 2014/06/06
  • RT At turned midnight 6/6/2014 my biggest worry is getting home tomorrow. 70 yrs ago many didn’t, I doubt my day will be as life changing #DDay East, United Kingdom 2014/06/06
  • Categories: LUG Community Blogs

    Jono Bacon: FirefoxOS and Developing Markets

    Planet WolvesLUG - Fri, 13/06/2014 - 00:40

    It seems Mozilla is targeting emerging markets and developing nations with $25 cell phones. This is tremendous news, and an admirable focus for Mozilla, but it is not without risk.

    Bringing simple, accessible technology to these markets can have a profound impact. As an example, in 2001, 134 million Nigerians shared 500,000 land-lines (as covered by Jack Ewing in Businessweek back in 2007). That year the government started encouraging wireless market competition and by 2007 Nigeria had 30 million cellular subscribers.

    This generated market competition and better products, but more importantly, we have seen time and time again that access to technology such as cell phones improves education, provides opportunities for people to start small businesses, and in many cases is a contributing factor for bringing people out of poverty.

    So, cell phones are having a profound impact in these nations, but the question is, will it work with FirefoxOS?

    I am not sure.

    In Mozilla’s defence, they have done an admirable job with FirefoxOS. They have built a powerful platform, based on open web technology, and they lined up a raft of carriers to launch with. They have a strong brand, an active and passionate community, and like so many other success stories, they already have a popular existing product (their browser) to get them into meetings and headlines.

    Success though is judged by many different factors, and having a raft of carriers and products on the market is not enough. If they ship in volume but get high return rates, it could kill them, as is common for many new product launches.

    What I don’t know is whether this volume/return-rate balance plays such a critical role in developing markets. I would imagine that return rates could be higher (such as someone who has never used a cell phone before taking it back because it is just too alien to them). On the other hand, I wonder if those consumers there are willing to put up with more quirks just to get access to the cell network and potentially the Internet.

    What seems clear to me is that success here has little to do with the elegance or design of FirefoxOS (or any other product for that matter). It is instead about delivering incredibly dependable hardware. In developing nations people have less access to energy (for charging devices) and have to work harder to obtain it, and have lower access to support resources for how to use new technology. As such, it really needs to just work. This factor, I imagine, is going to be more outside of Mozilla’s hands.

    So, in a nutshell, if the $25 phones fail to meet expectations, it may not be Mozilla’s fault. Likewise, if they are successful, it may not be to their credit.

    Categories: LUG Community Blogs

    Jono Bacon: Community Management Training at OSCON, LinuxCon North America, and LinuxCon Europe

    Planet WolvesLUG - Wed, 11/06/2014 - 18:55

    I am a firm believer in building strong and empowered communities. We are in an age of a community management renaissance in which we are defining repeatable best practice that can be applied many different types of communities, whether internal to companies, external to volunteers, or a mix of both.

    I have been working to further this growth in community management via my books, The Art of Community and Dealing With Disrespect, the Community Leadership Summit, the Community Leadership Forum, and delivering training to our next generation of community managers and leaders.

    Last year I ran my first community management training course, and it was very positively received. I am delighted to announce that I will be running an updated training course at three events over the coming months.

    OSCON

    On Sunday 20th July 2014 I will be presenting the course at the OSCON conference in Portland, Oregon. This is a tutorial, so you will need to purchase a tutorial ticket to attend. Attendance is limited, so be sure to get to the class early on the day to reserve a seat!

    Find Out More

    LinuxCon North America and Europe

    I am delighted to bring my training to the excellent LinuxCon events in both North America and Europe.

    Firstly, on Fri 22nd August 2014 I will be presenting the course at LinuxCon North America in Chicago, Illinois and then on Thurs Oct 16th 2014 I will deliver the training at LinuxCon Europe in Düsseldorf, Germany.

    Tickets are $300 for the day’s training. This is a steal; I usually charge $2500+/day when delivering the training as part of a consultancy arrangement. Thanks to the Linux Foundation for making this available at an affordable rate.

    Space is limited, so go and register ASAP:

    What Is Covered

    So what is in the training course?

    My goal with each training day is to discuss how to build and grow a community, including building collaborative workflows, defining a governance structure, planning, marketing, and evaluating effectiveness. The day is packed with Q&A, discussion, and I encourage my students to raise questions, challenge me, and explore ways of optimizing their communities. This is not a sit-down-and-listen-to-a-teacher-drone on kind of session; it is interactive and designed to spark discussion.

    The day is mapped out like this:

    • 9.00am – Welcome and introductions
    • 9.30am – The core mechanics of community
    • 10.00am – Planning your community
    • 10.30am – Building a strategic plan
    • 11.00am – Building collaborative workflow
    • 12.00pm – Governance: Part I
    • 12.30pm – Lunch
    • 1.30pm – Governance: Part II
    • 2.00pm – Marketing, advocacy, promotion, and social
    • 3.00pm – Measuring your community
    • 3.30pm – Tracking, measuring community management
    • 4.30pm – Burnout and conflict resolution
    • 5.00pm – Finish

    I will warn you; it is an exhausting day, but ultimately rewarding. It covers a lot of ground in a short period of time, and then you can follow with further discussion of these and other topics on our Community Leadership discussion forum.

    I hope to see you there!

    Categories: LUG Community Blogs

    Dick Turpin: Old Tom

    Planet WolvesLUG - Thu, 05/06/2014 - 12:58
    So most of you will have heard my complaints about the difficulty in simply being able to order fish and chips from the chip shop? Well it would seem there are many other opportunities out there to eat up your lunch hour when trying to buy something.

    A well known UK car accessory outlet.

    Me: "Hi there can I have a Tom Tom Start 25 UK & ROF @ £99.99 please?"
    Assistant: "Do you want the maps for life?"
    Me: "Oh Christ, here we go! No thank you."
    Assistant: "Do you want the European maps?"
    Me: [Sobbing gently] "Could I just have the Tom Tom I asked for please?"
    Assistant: "OK I'll go and fetch one."
    Categories: LUG Community Blogs
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