Ubuntu 14.04 is Here!

Ubuntu 14.04Ubuntu 14.04 is here.  I’ve been running it since last night and it’s quite amazing.

Got the WebGL drivers running in Firefox and everything is fast and snappy.

Grab a download now!

My first 5k

runI’ve begun my journey into the Couch to 5k program once again.  I believe this is my third attempt.  Unlike previous attempts I am armed with a secret weapon that will make me unstoppable: Peer Pressure!

Not only do I have +JohnTurney sharing his Tracks data with me, but a friend from work is doing the program at the same time as me.  So far guilt has proven to be a huge motivator.

Childishly I’ve already signed up for the Shoreline Village and Long Beach Shoreline Marina 5k Run / Walk on the 27th of this month.

Am I ready for this?  No!  Is it for a good cause?  Yes!  Will I run the whole way?  Hell no!  Will attempt to?  Yes!  Will I eat pizza afterwords?  Very likely!  Can you help out?  Yes!  Visit AAMDS.org!

Chrome OS Needs More Open Source Applications

Terrible Chrome OS ApplicationsThere are a lot of terrible applications in the Chrome Market.  The image I attached to this post is an example.  Some dude just stuck a bunch of VERY tacky advertisements to someone else’s website and called it an app.

IT’S NOT EVEN A CLEVER ATTEMPT TO HIDE THAT IT’S FAKE!

Seriously.  We need to get some open applications for Chrome OS.  I’ve been using it for a week or so without Ubuntu and it’s a damn good system.

Today Microsoft’s Office Online apps showed up in the Chrome store.  It’s nice to see the Office applications even if they are simply launchers for the website.

Google/Starbucks WiFi is a Pretty Big Deal

Google Wifi

WiFi from a Long Beach Starbucks

It seems like a small thing but there is a huge difference between a terrible internet connection, like the kind you’ll find at the average McDonald’s, and a powerful connection like the kind that Google is rolling out to Starbucks.

I had my first taste of Google’s newest step in global domination and it comes in the form of free WiFi with (Gasp!) decent speeds.  If you’ve ever used most free WiFi spots they have become somewhat of a slow and sometimes unusable mess.  Most of the time I just connect to my cellphone and tether.  Even in a poor connection area it’s still generally faster than what most establishments offer.

I know there is no requirement for a business to give me access when I visit.  Even McDonald’s terrible free WiFi is a perk that we didn’t have until a few years ago but the internet requires much more bandwidth than it did years ago.  Even though a lot of places try to encourage people to disconnect for at least a little while it has proven to be a valuable asset that a lot of us look for.  Free WiFi is good for business.  I will actually seek out this Starbucks for the access if possible.

The only thing left to do now is to cycle off that unhealthy processed muffin and sugary drink knowing that without the overpriced good I have consumed Google’s WiFi allience would not be possible.

You’re welcome.

Manual control for Logitech c920 in Ubuntu

logitech c920I recently bought a Logitech c920 and I decided to show everyone how to get the best usage out of it in Ubuntu 14.04. I recently found out that Cheese records videos again. Because of the level of integration with PulseAudio this makes Cheese the best tool for recording video directly from the web cam and gives you the flexibility of having Pulse at your disposal.

The best part about this camera is that it’s essentially plug and play. No fussing around with drivers or modules. In low light it handles like a boss though you might want to get into manual mode to get any kind of quality picture out of it at that point. The best way that I’ve found is to run guvcview in control mode.

guvcview -o

control

This let’s control the focus and exposure manually. That level of control can add a lot to your videos. For those who don’t know, WebM is an open video format that is compliant with the HTML5 specification. The output of Cheese can be seamlessly embedded into any webpage. The video below was shot and uploaded without any modification.

This webcam is almost flawless. It works in Skype, Google Hangout, and even in YouTube for direct upload without breaking a sweat. It clips easily to any monitor and even has a tripod mount on the bottom. I also tested it in ChromeOS on my Chromebook and it worked just as smoothly there. In my humble opinion there is no better webcam for Linux.

(Amazon has a full spec list and better images than I took for those who are curious.)

Pulling my head out of my ass and being involved

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Terrible picture of me taken from the Pizza shop with my laptop webcam. But it’s an image…

For reasons that totally escape me I’ve been terrible as of late keeping up with my social media presence.  There once was a time when I was posting YouTube videos constantly.  Granted this was during an unemployed point in my life but I was connected to the community.  YouTube has changed.  Media has changed.  Like a dying relationship we grew apart.

Starting tonight I think I’m going to challenge myself.  For the next 7 days I plan on posting media on this site in one way or another.  Now matter how terrible the content.  I think for the sake of science terrible content might actually be better than well thought out and coherent nothingness.

YouTube’s social framework is part of Google+’s framework now.  I’m doing pretty good there so that will be my focus.  I will cross post the next 7 days there.

I know no one is reading this.  I plan on making this site worth reading soon.  At least that’s the goal anyways.

I hate you, 90s kid

Once I was sitting with a friend going through old pictures. In the mix of old traditional photo paper photo there was group of terrible ink-jet printed photos. For those too young to remember there was a time when digital cameras were popular and people still needed to print those images from their home printers to share them. This is before social media and most people didn’t have their email accessible on their mobile phone. In fact most didn’t have mobile phones at all.

Upon finding these photos my friend mentioned to me that in the future people will know when these photos were taken only by the crude ink-jet quality and budget office paper stock. It really was a very small window of time during the late 90s and early 2000s.

We as superior creatures like to think of dogs as simple creatures without even the slightest understanding of time. I’ve heard that if you leave a dog for 5 minutes or 5 hours they might not really understand the difference. Whether or not that is true about dogs doesn’t matter when you think about your own perception of time. Looking through my old photographs (Thanks to the scary powerful Picasa/Google+ archive I’ve built) I realize just how fast time gets away from me. We truly have no idea how much time has gone by until we look back. Take time to look at your auto-backup photos and it’ll blow your mind that things you think of a just a few months ago might actually be a few years ago.

TL;DR
You’re older than you’ve ever been and now you’re even older.

Bitmessage

Is the NSA all up in your business?  Tired of Obama personally listening to your voice mail?  Me neither.

We all care about privacy.  And just because you “got nothing to hide” doesn’t mean you want just anyone snooping around your meta-data.

bitmessageI recently started playing with one of the possible future solutions for private communication.  Bitmessage uses code from Bitcoin and is completely decentralized.  Unlike Bitcoin there is no meta data between addresses.  It’s virtually untraceable communication.

Addresses are generated on the fly and are totally disposable.  Messages only live in the network for about 3 days.  If you only check your messages once a week you’ll likely miss something.

In my tests it seems to be just as fast a regular email.  Missing from the client is the ability to attach files (not sure if it’ll even be implemented) and formatting.  I never really liked stylized email anyways but I’m sure that will be a feature people want.

If this application will have the same type of disruption that Bitcoin had is to be seen but for the time being it’s an impressive proof-of-concept that works fairly well (When the app doesn’t crash that is).

Feel free to give it a download and try it out and let me know how you like it.

My Address:
BM-2cTJg688yAFgquGumy31ogwm5YnSdsLUq