Category Archives: On the web

Seen on the web

AndNav2 is now Open Source

Wow this is quite a nice suprise. Nicolas gave in and released the source of AndNav2. So I can now spend my time hacking that instead of reverse-engineering it 🙂 I rooted my HTC Hero so I actually don’t need to do that anymore, but that is really beside the point. With the source available there is no ends to what can be done 🙂

As I have said before, I really think this is a killer app for Android. Google released their navigation which is nice, but I’m not sure how well it works in offline mode.

The OpenBSD Releases Process

Theo de Raadt talks about the OpenBSD Releases Process.  It’s short but sweet little interesting talk that touches a lot of different aspects about releasing software and doing development. I hightly recommended to anyone who cares about this field, that ought to mean any people doing software. They have a different way about thinking about a lot of things, of course their focus on security is special which also shows off in their release management. What I really liked was that they import stuff into their tree and then they take ownership of it. That way, I think, they avoid a lot of the problem that plague e.g. Ubuntu, like crappy intel drivers in latest Jaunty, the thrashing hell failure, unstable tracker in Jaunty. Of course all that comes at a certain cost, they are running ancient version of some pieces of the tree,  but at least they know that it works.

Random Ubuntu notes

There’s an annoying problem in Ubuntu 9.04 that if you have set your machine to automatically login, but have a password on gnome keyring manager, then it will prompt you for the password before wireless is enabled. There is a bug about it here on launchpad. And as usual the Ubuntu guys doesn’t seem to want to take responsibility for the software they are providing. Reminds me of this thrashing bug reported over 3 years ago and it’s still open. It’s actiually the first result on google (out of 544.000) if you search for thrashing hell 🙂

Another thing I noticed was that I was looking through the system messages and found the following wierd message.

Jul 17 16:46:35 arj-laptop pulseaudio[3290]: main.c: Called SUID root and real-time and/or high-priority scheduling was requested in the configuration. However, we lack the necessary privileges:

Jul 17 16:46:35 arj-laptop pulseaudio[3290]: main.c: We are not in group ‘pulse-rt’, PolicyKit refuse to grant us the requested privileges and we have no increase RLIMIT_NICE/RLIMIT_RTPRIO resource limits.

Jul 17 16:46:35 arj-laptop pulseaudio[3290]: main.c: For enabling real-time/high-priority scheduling please acquire the appropriate PolicyKit privileges, or become a member of ‘pulse-rt’, or increase the RLIMIT_NICE/RLIMIT_RTPRIO resource limits for this user.

Which was easy enough for me to fix (sudo addgroup arj pulse-rt), though it still would have been nice if this was done properly. This might help some people who has been getting skipping music.

The right medium

Just finished reading Jeff Jarvis book What Would Google Do. It’s an interesting study of applying google thinking to a wide range of other businesses. In the book he mentioned the Is google making us stupid article, which mulls over what happens if we can just search for everything, do we even need to remember anything anymore? And what happens if we shift our reading from books, to blog posts, to 160 letter twitter posts. Does that make us more stupid? Of course not! The only thing that twitter, blogs and facebook is making us better at, is choosing the right medium to convey our message. That is to say, in a more effecient way.  Some ideas are best presented in a book, some in a blog post and some in twitter. Too often books could be cut in half (anyone else noticed that the sweet spot for books seems about 200 pages?) and sometimes a blog post might as well have been a twitter status update. It’s all of matter of choosing the right medium.

Luckily ideas can start out as a simple twitter post or idle chat in the hallway and then turn into something bigger. We often play around with ideas at the IOLA office. Sometimes they end at the drawing board, either discarded or put into the ever growing stack of fun ideas to try out when we got time, and sometimes they turn into sometimes bigger, like Nemo or YayArt. The interesting part of course is always what happens when you show your ideas to the world. That is often the litmus test, will people take the idea and run with it, or was it dead before it even started.

Spank my monkey part 2

This is a list of scripts that I have been collecting over a long period of greasemonkey use. The extension to firefox just keeps getting better and better all the time.

Flickr

  • Allsizes+ – Now with nag screen galore, but still very nice to snatch bigger resolution pictures.
  • Cross recommendations – This really makes browsing random pictures on flickr much more interesting.

Last.fm

IMDB

Google/Gmail

The pirate bay declared illegal in Denmark

This is a major blow to anyone who cares about the future of media and distribution. I’ll just say that there is precedence for this already with the VCR. The motion picture studies at the time argued that it will kill them off because of the ability of the VCR to pirate. Today it’s one of their biggest sources of income. Those who don’t remember the history is doomed to repeat it, badly.

Bridging the gap between web apps and desktop apps or virtual homedirs

As anyone working on different machines know, keeping files in sync between different computers is really a pain. But it’s not only files, its as much the settings, bookmarks etc. that change when you shift to another machine. Not to mention backup. In large organizations this is solved using central servers where your stuff is stored remotely and synced to your local machine when you log in. This works fairly ok, except the whole centralized approach, but its a major pain to set up if you’re a small company or a dude with two machines at home. Especially considering your want access to your data anywhere you have an internet connection.

For a long time I had no great solution for this, but recently a very neat piece of software has surfaced. Dropbox hides the central server away in the cloud and more or less just gets out of your way and lets have a virtual home directory. They provide 2gb storage for free (as in beer), enough to store the most important stuff. and the software works is cross platform (Mac, Linux and Windows).

What has this to do with web apps? For a long time, one of the great advantages of web apps has been the ubiquitous access to your data. And with a virtual homedir you can getmost of that for normal applications as well.

Interesting statistic

I was looking at my del.icio.us account the other day and noticed that I have more tags than I have bookmarks there. Not a whole lot more, but still. 197 against 185. Not really what I was expecting. Many of the tags are only used on a single bookmark, so one can’t really easily navigate using the tags, but instead it makes the search that much more functional when it matches a tag. Anyone else got some numbers to compare?