Podcast of the Day

PODCAST OF THE DAY

Linux Outlaws 312 – Bullshit off the Starboard Bow
Linux Outlaws

I’m listening to this podcast at work, and generally I’ve tried this particular podcast show before, and previously it just didn’t engage me.

However this time, this particular episode they are discussing items I’m familiar with such as Linux Mint vs Ubuntu. Cinnamon vs Mate, and the general look at the Linux Desktop options /environment.

Based on their review I’m actually going to download and try Linux Mint after a hiatus of several years.

You can download Linux Mint 15 here. (Going along with my previous post, if you are sick of Windows, then here is another Linux Distro you have as an alternative to Microsoft)

I’m also loving their take on Youtube ‘Youtube is the sewer of the internet… should turn comments off.” as well as their view of Microsoft’s X-BOX “X-Box needs to die”. Viewpoints I entirely agree with, and the reason I don’t use or frequent YouTube or own an X-Box or Wii.:).

And on a funny note… “the house that looked like Hitler”?

Just found this podcast episode informative and even fun listening. Take a listen and see if you agree,

Tech Tip of the Day: Using the Keyboard to easily take a snapshot in VLC

Tech Tip of the Day: Using the Keyboard to easily take a snapshot in VLC.

If you’re reading this you probably know VLC stands for Video Lan Client and started out as an open-source project to create a cross platform (ie works under all operating systems, Windows, Mac, Linux, etc), versatile, ‘it just works’ software video player. And I’m pleased to say VLC does what the name says on the tin… it just works.

Get latest version of VLC here.

I say started out open-source due to Microsoft buying their way into all things open-source in the last few years. I remember the first browser wars, when there was tons of variety out there and the big dog on the web browser scene, before ie, was the then, unstoppable, Netscape Communicator.

Microsoft started throwing their money around, and that ended up with Netscape Communicator going the way of the dodo and IE being the only man (web browser) standing when the dust settled. For years before the coming of Firefox, IE was the only game in town.

I see a lot of similarities in Microsoft’s buying their way into open-source projects such as VLC, and various Linux distros. Microsoft has a history of buying things to burgle and then bury them.

So I have my doubts about the future of VLC, though hopefully my fears are unwarranted, but either way that is a story for another day.

This article is about helping you the user, be more effective at using VLC, specifically being more effective taking snapshots and screen-captures, something I do when I review DVDs. Using the mouse to try to initiate a screen-capture can be a hassle, particularly when you’re trying to capture the perfect frame of video, and that’s where keyboard shortcuts come in.

So Today I thought I would share my research into better screen captures with VLC.

Well quick searching with your favorite search engine, will suggest using the following kybd combination (for Windows/Mac/Linux) in VLC to take a screen-shot of whatever you’re watching:

Alt+Ctl+S (hold down all three keys, and tada snapshot)

However I find the default command in Linux VLC versions is not the above, but rather:

Shift+S (hold down those two keys, and tada… Snapshot!)

So one of those two should work for most of you using VLC. And of course you can designate/change which keys you use to take screen-captures by clicking TOOLS/PREFERENCES and then choosing INTERFACES and editing the HOT KEYS to your liking.

Okay, that’s today’s Tech Tip!

If you found it of help leave a like! And support this blog by swinging by my WEDNESDAYS WORDS column and purchasing something through the handy-dandy links!

Thanks!

FAVORITE Website & Program OF THE DAY: CELESTIA?!

FAVORITE WEBSITE OF THE DAY: CELESTIA

I’m kinda double-dipping here because this is not just my favorite website of the day, it’s one of my favorite programs to use on the computer.

Just addictive as well as being fun and educational. How often does that happen?!

I’m speaking of a mad open-source astronomy project called Celestia.

You can see what I’m going on about here!

As well as here andhere!

It’s like having an endlessly configurable planetarium on your computer. The idea of creating simulations of voyages through the stars, and sampling amazing voyages and scripts that other users create… well all that functionality makes Celestia pretty close to great. :)

You can get download links for the program and user created voyages/scripts from the link above. Okay need to go do some Celesting now! :)

(Yes. it’s geeky but it’s also pretty… [wait for it]…stellar! You see what I did there? :))

TECHNOLOGY ALERT: FLASH is dead, and reasons why HTML5 should join it!

For years I’ve been warning what an insecure, privacy obliterating piece of crap Adobe’s FLASH plug-in was. And finally people are agreeing with me, in their defense of a new technology to replace it… HTML5.

The only problem with that is HTML5 is a cure that’s more deadly than the sickness. It’s all the vile privacy obliterating backdoors and insecurity of Flash, but instead of being built into a plug-in you can disable, it’s part and parcel of your browser and every web-page you visit.

It’s a better way for content providers to control content of what you see, browse, and when you see, browse it, as well as creating detailed profiles to allow better targeted marketing and advertising.

In short HTML5 is a more comprehensive bloated version of FLASH, with no disable or off switch. All control, and all tracking. and no privacy all the time. Only way to defeat HTML5 is for reputable websites to offer basic HTML alternatives (which they should do anyway for backward compatibility) and for users to leave Javascript turned off except where absolutely necessary.

Here endeth the lesson. You can take it or you can leave it alone. But don’t say you haven’t been warned. Yall take care now.

Linux, Cloud Computing, Trusted computing, Gnome and other technologies to be concerned about!

As much as previous posts have lambasted Microsoft, Linux is not without its faults.

The major one being Linux distros, following in Microsoft’s Footsteps to a degree with the instant on technology, and integration of the web into the desktop experience.

Jumping on the idiotic ‘Cloud’ bandwagon, which is really if you think about it, a process to reduce your desktop to the thin client paradigm of yesterday.

The difference being that rather than trusting a centralized server for serving applications and storage of your sensitive information, the cloud is you trusting the entire internet with access to your desktop and your data. It’s the evolution of this inherently moronic Youtube, Facebook, twitter idiocy where the bulk of people blithely surrendering privacies to strangers at best, and corporations at worst.

Everyone moving to reduce the desktop experience to the same thin client style interface as the mobile experience. Hey it that’s your cup of tea, you want the entirety of your life freely roamed and stored on the internet, well more power to you, though every week brings news of one online database after another being violated and hacked.

Not to say a desktop can’t be hacked, but you’re looking at one point of failure, as opposed to having via peer to peer, and facebook, and gnome, and numerous other sites, now potentially thousands of points of failure, and entry to your sensitive data.

Ubuntu, a great Linux distro, unfortunately is also embracing this ‘no-desktop’ paradigm, as is Gnome with their latest update.

It is not for me.

I want to decide when and if my computer connects to the internet, with this new instant on/cloud push, being shoved down peoples’ throats, you don’t turn on the internet, the internet turns you on… and that is a dangerous and insecure place to go.

Trusted Computing, another Microsoft word game, doesn’t mean you can trust your computer, it means Microsoft and its partners can trust you, because they have every bit of information about what you are doing with your computer.

So Ubuntu, you’re going in the wrong direction. Gnome, you’re going in the wrong direction. And Microsoft … well that goes without saying.

I would suggest people avoiding any version of Gnome later than 3.0, (3.0 has a lot of issues, but it’s a lot to like about it as well, and with a little work you can clean up most of its garbage and built in insecurity) and I do find many Linux distros are heading toward this cloud idiocy, and becoming problematic because of it (example being Opensuse 11.2? very good, 11.3? not so much, 11.4? pretty darn broken. However Gnome 3.0 on top of 11.4 does resolve many of 11.4s issues).

So, in summation, just research your computing options with care, and realize that ease of use, at some point becomes ease of abuse.

Word to the wise.

Just Say No to WINDOWS 8!!! or Star Trek, Al Capone, Linux, Apple and Terrorism!

The snazzy logo courtesy of LinuxBird here.

“The acquisition of wealth is not our prime motivation, we seek to better ourselves.”

That paraphrasing of Patrick Stewart’s dialogue from the film STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT, is central to Gene Roddenberry’s enduring mythos, his conceit of a world… beyond greed.

I think as mission statements go, as core beliefs go… that is as good a one for the human race as I can think of.


“The acquisition of wealth is not our prime motivation, we seek to better ourselves.”

However with the move to an industrial society at the launch of the 20th century, and the gutting of the previous agrarian/barter model, the acquisition of wealth, the consolidation of wealth, became the driving theme of the 20th century.

And it’s no coincidence that the 20th century also became the bloodiest in the history of the world, though clearly the 21st century is on fast track for supplanting it. Never in the history of the world, have so many, died so quickly, from nuclear weapons, to biological weapons, to push button wars, and all of it driven by the 20th century deification of money.

Not to say money is not felt throughout other centuries, but not to the global, and near religious personification, that the pursuit of wealth became with the 20th century, it has become idol absolute of an entire world.

But the 21st century with concepts such as peer to peer, open source, social networking, was poised to create a model for the 21st century. A model that akin to Roddenberry’s dream, could very much usurp the industrial model, just as the industrial model had usurped the Agrarian model.

The age of technology, open technology, had it, and has it in its grasp, to bring us more in line with this slightly Utopian concept, of life lived for improvement and discovery, rather than accumulation and subjugation.

But the dinosaurs, The Microsofts, the RIAAs, the Sonys, the Disneys, have co-opted, and outlawed, and sued, and bullied and terrorized the new hope, all so they may maintain… the old terror.

Scared Dinosaurs, holding humanity back… from visionary new days. Companies,courts, and politicians… and their paid enforcement arms, all working so hard to hold onto the bloody old, all working so hard not to evolve.

Microsoft and their setting up of the DMCA, and their last couple of years of buying their way into the open-source movement, worming their way into ‘helping’ with the open-source movement, particularly Linux, all so they could destroy and extort the movement from within.

You see this on the mobile side, where their various mobile Window initiatives cannot compete with Apple or Android. They now are extorting money from companies that do utilize Android on the basis of ridiculous and innovation killing software patents.

(It’s largely recognized that Software Patents are a lunacy that need to be done away with)

It is the act of a gangster and a thug, and if IBM was allowed to act like this in the 80s there would have been no Microsoft and no Apple, because these actions exterminate free enterprise and innovation.

Microsoft has spent the last twenty years burning every bridge and every freedom, that they themselves utilized in order to be innovative and initially successful, and now completely outlawing those liberties, indeed those necessities, for companies other than themselves.

Microsoft’s time has passed. They are a dinosaur using terror and intimidation to extort customers they can no longer earn with quality. They are no different than a 20th century Capone, selling liquor and protection at the barrel of a gun.

And Windows 7 was an improvement over Vista, they had ‘borrowed’ enough of the concepts and look from other operating systems to make it one. But that said, Windows 7 was and is still inferior to any half decent Linux Distribution.

So just as they are committing extortion against Android on the mobile front, on the Desktop/Server front they are dealing with the brilliance and the growth of Linux, that is now ready for prime-time, ready to be the next big thing, to replace the sick, twisted, decaying, and immoral dinosaur that Microsoft has become…. they are dealing with this fresh beautiful new thing, by basically collaborating with hardware vendors to KILL the very ability to install Linux operating systems on your computer. They are so afraid of Linux they want to make it impossible for you to even install it on YOUR computer.

It is so sad and pathetic, that it is almost funny.

Again what if IBM had done that to them, Microsoft and Apple? We would, as a society, be the poorer for it. And we are going to be the poorer for it if we allow Microsoft to continue to get away with dismantling any innovative idea or company they can’t compete with.

Can you understand? For Microsoft to do this, for a tech, for a software person, for someone with a rudimentary concept of how companies like Microsoft and Apple came to be, it is a betrayal of not just everything that is the technology movement, it is an attack on innovation and free enterprise that must stand as one of the most blatant and disgusting that I have ever witnessed.

It is a crime. As great a crime, in its way, as US drone airplanes killing indiscriminatingly in darker lands, so that a white press can gloat about another bounty collected, another arab, another nigger dead.

Though they don’t dress it, this 21st century crusade, in those crude terms, any more then Microsoft dresses its actions as what it is, a bloody monopoly committed to eradicating your option to choose.

“Pay us or else!” That’s how business talks to consumers in the 21st century. And it is a form of war. Less bloody to be sure, but the repercussions of what it can mean to freedoms subtle and gross… is staggering.

And I… am not having it.

I haven’t used Windows in my personal computer in 3 to 4 years. I fix Windows machines and work on them for other people, but for myself Linux is the only OS/distribution I deal with. I love the freedom of it, the very thing Microsoft is working so hard to legalize and sue and intimidate away.

I’m not going back to Microsoft. And to those companies that they are intimidating, extorting, bullying, I can only tell you what I would tell anyone being bullied… you start letting people push you, and they are never going to stop.

You have to stand against them.

And maybe you win, and maybe you lose. But you teach them to pay for every foot of ground. You give them a bloody nose, and win, lose or draw… it will give them pause.

Microsoft is a pathetic, barren, immoral, and worst of all inferior and scared technology company, and they are standing in the way of a better life…for everyone.

They are protecting the rotting, diseased old, when what it is time for… is the new.

And if you’re a company, and have been on the Microsoft merry-go-round it’s scary to consider getting off of it, but it is infinitely scarier to stay at the mercy of an immoral monopoly.

There are viable open source alternatives to Microsoft’s over priced crap.

Explore them.

Not only for your own sake, but for something companies start out believing in, but lose along the way, for the sake… of progress.

That’s an idea that Microsoft gave up on, a long time ago.


“The acquisition of wealth is not our prime motivation, we seek to better ourselves.”

It’s the only goal, that will save us from all this blood.

If you’re a subscriber to this blog and want help ditching Microsoft and finding something that works for you, reach out to me… and we’ll find an answer that works for you.

We’ll be a new age Untouchables, facing the tyranny that is Microsoft’s Capone.

And maybe we win, and maybe we lose. But my God, we’ll give them reason to pause.

Here endeth the Lesson.