April 2007 Archives

Carlow Wifi Followup

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Due to the lack of online information about the Carlow Wifi project, I did a quick drive around Carlow with a laptop and USB GPS dongle. Using Kismet I was able to pick up six networks with the essid of "Carlow Town low cost WiFi Access".

I was lacking an external antenna for the laptop wireless so I could have missed more than a few, however I did manage to pick up eighty three wireless networks in a ten minute drive around town!

I have created a quick Google Map with the locations of the six Carlow Town access points which can be accessed here. When I manage to find my wireless card with external antenna, I'll do a proper drive around the town and put up the results.

As Damien has already mentioned, E|Net announced a new Wifi network in Carlow today. According to the article Brisknet, Aptus and Bitbuzz are going to be the initial providers of Wifi access in the town.

I have been fairly unimpressed with the details available online about the wireless network though. There is absolutely no information on the E|Net site that I can see, not even a mention in the News sidebar.

Brisket's coverage maps only cover Roscommon, Mayo and Galway. There is no mention of Carlow on their site at all.

Bitbuzz is a bit better. They mention the Fairgreen shopping centre in their list of hotspots, but that's it.

Aptus (What a site!!) have nothing on their site about coverage in Carlow, or about anything for that matter!

The whole project to get Wifi in the town is a great idea, and I look forward to when it is actually useful. However the announcement that it has gone live seems to be very premature, one hot-spot in a shopping center is not a municipal WiFi network.

It's often handy to send email from the command line using mail, however it isn't very obvious how to attach files to the resulting email. To do it, you just require uuencode. In both Debian and Red Hat based distributions, this will be in the sharutils package. To send attachment with the email run the following command:
(echo Email Body Text; uuencode ~/file1.zip file1.zip;) | mail -s "Email Subject" recipient@example.com
This will attach file1.zip to the email and send it to recipient@example.com.
While browsing round Easons in Blanchardstown yesterday, I came across "The Best Software Writing I", strangely enough in the Fantasy section. There are some brilliant gems in there, and it does achieve Joel's goal of being interesting to read. The funniest I have come across so far has been Excel As A Database by Rory Blyth. It's a fairly old post, but it goes a long way towards explaining why I regularly see Word documents with just one picture in them.

Dave posted "stealing flash videos" in Windows, so I decided how simple it would be to do the same in Linux. A quick search found a bash script for doing exactly what I want. It also had the added bonus of converting it into an Mpeg video.

The only requirements are bash, wget and ffmpeg. An application to play the mpeg might also be handy. The version of the script that I'm using is:

#!bin/bash
# by Crouse - Program name ytr = YouTube.com Ripper
clear; baseurl="http://youtube.com/get_video.php?";
mkdir -p ~/YouTube ; mkdir -p ~/YouTube/tmp ; cd ~/YouTube/tmp ; echo " ";
read -p "What is the youtube.com url you want to rip ? " urltorip ;
read -p "What would you like to name the video (no spaces in the name) ? " nameofvideo ;
wget ${urltorip} -O urlsource.txt ; fullurl=${baseurl}`grep player2.swf urlsource.txt | cut -d? -f2 | cut -d\" -f1` ;
rm * ; wget "${fullurl}" -O temp.flv ; ffmpeg -i temp.flv -ab 56 -ar 22050 -b 500 -s 320x240 ${nameofvideo}.mpg ;
mv ${nameofvideo}.mpg ../ ; rm -Rf ~/YouTube/tmp ; exit

My Humps

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Black Eyed Peas were doing a great job until they came out the excuse for a song known as "My Humps". With inspiring lyrics such as "I'ma get, get, get, get, you drunk, Get you love drunk off my hump." and "You love my lady lumps, My hump, my hump, my hump" it was by no means a masterpiece.

It was ultimately just an excuse to have the lovely Fergie gyrate around the place. Why they had to pollute the world with such bad lyrics in the process is a mystery.

All is not lost for the song though. Alanis Morrisette is just after coming out with a brilliant cover/parody of it. Here's the youtube video:
W91sqAs-_-g

Hardware And Linux

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It looks like instead of getting easier for Linux to support hardware, there are more obstacles being thrown in the way. I came across two stories today which do not bode well for people wanting to use Linux on commodity hardware.

First of all, seemingly Phoenix are now creating a crippled BIOS which will only support Windows Vista. My own view on this is that the BIOS should only be responsible for getting the PC ready for whatever Operating System the user chooses. A four year old article mentioned in the post seems to suggest that Microsoft are "embracing" Phoenix. If this is true, is it not the same anti-competitive behaviour that Microsoft have already gotten in trouble for? I know there is LinuxBios, but I haven't been brave enough to try it yet, so I can't comment on how good it is.

AMD also don't seem to be getting it. MythTv and Beryl are two popular projects. Yet if you want to use accelerated 3D on ATI cards with either of the these projects, you are out of luck. AMD are a hardware company, they shouldn't give a toss about the drivers as long as they work. I know the 3D graphics market is highly competitive, and there is lots of proprietry tricks used in the drivers to get the last ounce of perforance. I would still rather if they would give the specs to someone like Dave Airlie and let him do nice open source drivers without NDAs hanging over him. I don't care if I loose a couple of frames per second. I'd rather have decent drivers.

How many more hardware makers are shooting themselves by placing such obstacles to using Linux? Hopefully with the likes of Dell commiting to use Linux friendly hardware, AMD and Phoenix might begin to see sense.

Logitech Flash Game

I'm not a fan of Flash when it's overused, however it does have it's uses. I came across Jelly Jumper on Digg earlier, and it's very very addictive. It seems to be sponsored by Logitech, as when you get past a certain level you get vouchers for Logitech equipment.

Overuse Of Flash

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The little Coffee machine in the office is beginning to suffer under the strain, so I went onto Google and did a quick search for Coffee Machine. One of the sponsored links at the top was for Cafe Express. I duly clicked on it as it seemed seemed to be an Irish site, and got presented with a blank page with a play button in the centre.

EURid Going Against EU Guidelines

Since ICANN Lisbon, EURid has been taking lots of abuse from all corners due to their business practices. Michele has talked about the conduct of EURid Staff during their session at Lisbon and John McCormac also has plenty to say about EURid Incompetence.

One older post that was pointed out to me has really caught my eye. It is by Phill Parker and is simply entitled EURid Are Pure Evil. One of the EURid registrar rules is that you may only have one connection to the EPP server at any given time. However, certain registrars are gaming the system by getting "Registrars" accredited who haven't even got a website or any trading presence. These virtual accredited registrars are then used for additional connections to the EPP server giving those who follow the rules no chance.

A quick bit of Googling led me to Commission Regulation (EC) No 874/2004 of 28 April 2004 available here. To quote the second paragraph of Article 4 of the above document:

The procedure for the accreditation of registrars shall be deter-
mined by the Registry and shall be reasonable, transparent and
non-discriminatory, and shall ensure effective and fair condi-
tions of competition.

I'm by no means a legal expert, but what Phill describes seems like a very clear cut breach of the above paragraph. This only took me a couple of minutes to find, and I'm betting that it's only the very tip of the iceberg. What other EU Regulations are EURid breaching on a daily basis?

It has become fairly obvious that EURid are totally incapable of handling a gTLD, I'll let Michele tell of why multiyear registrations are out :) Why are the European Commission not stepping in and asking serious questions of EURid?

Linux Is A Woman

Novell have bought out some parodies of the Apple "Get A Mac" campaign which feature Linux as a woman. One of the comments underneath is priceless:

Of course linux is a woman. It is generally stable, but ever so complicated, some would say impossible to ever really figure out. It requires a fair amount of attention and learning when starting out, as well as continued attention to keep up, as standards, layout and deployments change..

Thanks for this gem Tracker1 :)

Just For The Cuteness Factor

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Pup-Small

Unfortunately they don't stay that small and cute for long. Duke is now a lot bigger than his mother, and definitely a lot bolder :)

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This page is an archive of entries from April 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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