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Valorie Zimmerman: Good Notes

Mon, 2014-10-06 08:24
Final lovely quote from Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull. Please get the book for yourself if you want to know how to foster creativity in a community or company.
In the very early days of Pixar, John, Andrew, Pete, Lee, and Joe made a promise to one another. No matter what happened, they would always tell each other the truth. They did this because they recognized how important and rare candid feedback is and how, without it, our films would suffer. Then and now, the term we use to describe this kind of constructive criticism is "good notes." A good not says what is wrong, what is missing, what itsn't clear, what makes no sense. A good note is offered in a timely moment, not too late to fix the problem. A good note doesn't make demands; it doesn't even have to include a proposed fix. But if it does, that fix is offered only to illustrate a potential solution, not to prescribe an answer. Most of all, though, a good note is specific. "I'm writhing with boredom," is not a good note.Catmull quotes Andrew Stanton at length explaining the difference between criticism, and constructive criticism, ending with: It's more of a challenge. "Isn't this what you want? I want that too!" [103]

I think this bit is the key: good criticism focuses on the common goal: a great product. It inspires, rather than creating defensiveness.

I read Reviewboard feedback in a sort of random way, and see a lot of "good note" behavior. But that timely part is sometimes missing. We have some Reviewboard requests languishing, along with patches in bug reports. Fortunately, the Gardening project has sprung up to improve this part of the community. Help out if you have time! https://mail.kde.org/mailman/listinfo/kde-gardening and https://community.kde.org/Gardening.

Scarlett Clark: Kubuntu: KDE Plasma 5 beta 1 in next ppa ready for testers. Please read on for known issues.

Mon, 2014-10-06 01:29

We have finished packaging Plasma 5 beta 1 and it is in https://launchpad.net/~kubuntu-ppa/+archive/ubuntu/next
I am pleased that kactivities are once again operational!

Some things to be aware of while upgrade/installing:

I had run into an issue on my desktop, I have a Nvidia card and to resolve this bug:
Bug 1377321

You absolutely have to have lightdm installed or you will end up without nvidia drivers. Resulting in a black or no screen.
Evidently, sddm is not supported yet with nvidia, I filed the bug in hopes this will get resolved..
In order to get a functional system I had to chroot into my system from a livecd and reinstall nvidia-331 and allowing it to install
alot of unity/gnome stuff (apparently for lightdm?) and it then booted fine. I hope it gets fixed soon..
Some good instructions to repair your system via livecd chroot can be found here:
http://www.webupd8.org/2014/01/how-to-fix-non-bootable-ubuntu-system.html

Other users that installed new systems (not upgrades) have run into:
Bug 1377269
You will need to force overwrite with:
sudo dpkg -i --force-overwrite /var/cache/apt/archives/libkf5sysguard5-data_4%3a5.0.95-0ubuntu1~ubuntu14.10~ppa4_amd64.deb
I am completely baffled as to how new installs are affected and upgrades are not.

Please, if you are affected by either of these bugs go to the bug and select This bug affects you. Especially the Nvidia one, as we do not have
any control over Nvidia drivers.

My laptop install was relatively pain free. I had to run individual apt-get install on a couple of held packages.
So with that said, the joys of testing software!
If you would like to assist us in making this a great release, please join us in #kubuntu-devel and help us test!

John Baer: 2014 Chromebook Survey

Mon, 2014-10-06 00:08

Welcome and thank you for your interest in the 2014 Chromebook survey. The goal of this survey is to gather data on the two most discussed Chromebook topics; features and price.

With that goal in mind, the survey is divided into the following six (6) subjects.

  1. Design
  2. Performance
  3. Visual Experience
  4. Usability
  5. Connectivity
  6. Value/Price

A word of caution about about value and price. Manufactures have done a fantastic job in bringing the price of Chromebooks down but lets be real and agree every feature has a cost. In the circumstance where all of the advanced chromebook features and the lowest price are checked the data only states we want everything at the lowest possible price. However, in the circumstance where key advanced chromebook features and a reasonable corresponding price are checked gives real and valuable data. Do not be concerned about setting a price which may exceed the manufacturer sales target? In that scenario the data would show there is an appreciation for quality and paying extra for quality is acceptable.

The survey is valuable for both Chromebook owners and new buyers.

Other links you may find useful in acquiring additional Chromebook knowledge are as follows.

Start Chromebook Survey

The results will be interesting – enjoy!

The post 2014 Chromebook Survey appeared first on john's journal.

John Baer: Chromebook Survey

Sun, 2014-10-05 11:52

Welcome and thank you for your interest in the Chromebook survey. The goal of the survey is to shine some light on the two most discussed Chromebook topics; features and price.

With that goal in mind, the survey is divided into the following six (6) subjects.

  1. Design
  2. Performance
  3. Visual Experience
  4. Usability
  5. Connectivity
  6. Value/Price

A word of caution about about features and price. Manufactures have done a fantastic job in bringing the price of Chromebooks down but every feature has a cost. The circumstance where all of the advanced features and the lowest price are checked doesn’t really tell much other than we want everything at the lowest possible price. In the circumstance where key advanced features and a mid-tier price are checked sets the bar at a level which may be obtainable. But what if we set the bar too high? That is to say we price the Chromebook we want at a price which exceeds the manufacturer sales target? Competition will resolve this scenario.

The survey is valuable for both Chromebook owners and new buyers.

Other useful links.

Take the survey

The results will be interesting – enjoy!

The post Chromebook Survey appeared first on john's journal.

Mattia Migliorini: Ubuntu dual boot: grub doesn’t start

Sat, 2014-10-04 17:47

When you want to install Ubuntu in dual boot with Windows 8, you need to take into account that you can encounter some problems. Today I’ll tell you an anecdote and explain how you can fix the following problem: grub doesn’t start on a Ubuntu 14.04 dual boot with Windows 8.1.

The story

A week ago I installed Ubuntu 14.04, codenamed Trusty Tahr, alongside Windows 8.1 on a friend of mine’s computer. I did not install the available updates upon installation, to make it faster. Everything worked well: UEFI did not cause any trouble, both Ubuntu and Windows started as expected. I then installed the Italian locale packages and postponed the updates.

Today I finally found the time to update the installed packages. Once installed, I restarted the computer in order to apply and test the update. And here comes the surprise: grub didn’t start, the pc booted Windows directly.

Solve the problem: grub doesn’t start

We have a problem, but fortunately Windows is not compromised. So, let’s go and fix the problem.

What you need

If grub doesn’t start, we can’t access Ubuntu directly. Here’s what you need:

  • a live Linux distribution either on a CD/DVD or on an USB stick;
  • a little bit of patience.

Nothing else? Exactly, that’s it.

First try: Boot Repair

The first thing you can do is using Boot Repair to reinstall grub with all the options you need. You can find instructions about how to install and use Boot Repair in the Ubuntu Community Help Wiki.

How to solve the problem

Most probably the first attempt with Boot Repair didn’t solve the problem. But we are Linux users, so we can find a solution by searching in the Web and with a little bit of luck.

Boot into your live Linux distro (from now on we’re going to call it just “Live”) and open GParted or any other partition manager it has. Look for your Ubuntu system partition and write down somewhere its file name (that in the form /dev/sdxn, in my case /dev/sda7) and its filesystem. We’ll call it /dev/sda7, but keep in mind to change it when you type down the commands.

Chroot into your system

First things first: chroot into your system to execute the actions needed to fix the issue. Open the terminal, login as root and mount Ubuntu. Replace /dev/sda7 with your partition, and ext4 with the filesystem of your partition.

sudo su cd / mount -t ext4 /dev/sda7 /mnt mount -t proc proc /mnt/proc mount -t sysfs sys /mnt/sys mount -o bind /dev /mnt/dev

If your /boot directory is on a different partition from your /, you’ll also need to mount that partition with the following command (remember to replace ext4 and /dev/sda2:

mount -t ext4 /dev/sda2 /mnt/boot

Now it’s time to move into the mounted system, which is your Ubuntu installation:

chroot /mnt /bin/bash

If it returns the error chroot: cannot run command '/bin/bash': Exec format error, this usually indicates that you booted with one architecture (e.g. 32bit) and are trying to chroot into another (e.g. x86_64), so you need to use a Live that has the same architecture.

At this point it is useful to add a remainder to the prompt:

source /etc/profile export PS1="(chroot) $PS1"

And make sure /etc/mtab is up to date:

grep -v rootfs /proc/mounts > /etc/mtab Change UEFI boot order

Here the point is to change the order in which UEFI boots the system. First of all, have a look at the current order:

efibootmgr -v

This will output something like this:

BootCurrent: 0005 Timeout: 0 seconds BootOrder: 2002,0004,0000,0001,2003,2001 Boot0000* ubuntu HD(2,e1800,82000,0a543b96-7861-11e2-8d38-d60b12dec0bc)File(\EFI\ubuntu\shimx64.efi) Boot0001* Ubuntu HD(2,e1800,82000,0a543b96-7861-11e2-8d38-d60b12dec0bc)File(\EFI\ubuntu\grubx64.efi)RC Boot0002* EFI Network 0 for IPv6 (7C-05-07-9C-F6-18) ACPI(a0341d0,0)PCI(1c,2)PCI(0,0)MAC(7c05079cf618,0)030d3c000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000004000000000000000000000000000000000RC Boot0003* EFI Network 0 for IPv4 (7C-05-07-9C-F6-18) ACPI(a0341d0,0)PCI(1c,2)PCI(0,0)MAC(7c05079cf618,0)IPv4(0.0.0.0:00.0.0.0:0,0, 0RC Boot0004* Windows Boot Manager HD(2,e1800,82000,0a543b96-7861-11e2-8d38-d60b12dec0bc)File(\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\bootmgfw.efi)WINDOWS.........x...B.C.D.O.B.J.E.C.T.=.{.9.d.e.a.8.6.2.c.-.5.c.d.d.-.4.e.7.0.-.a.c.c.1.-.f.3.2.b.3.4.4.d.4.7.9.5.}.................... Boot0005* EFI DVD/CDROM (TSSTcorp CDDVDW SN-208DN) ACPI(a0341d0,0)PCI(1f,2)03120a00020000000000CD-ROM(1,11a6,1680)RC Boot2001* EFI USB Device RC Boot2002* EFI DVD/CDROM RC Boot2003* EFI Network RC

Here you can identify the names of the devices and operating systems that are recognized by UEFI. In the example above, we want to prioritize shim, which is the first signed bootloader for Ubuntu, the component responsible for loading grub.

How can we achieve this? By simply typing the following command into our terminal:

efibootmgr -o 0000

Be sure to replace 0000 with the number in BootXXXX on the same line of the file directive \EFI\ubuntu\shimx64.efi.

Conclusion

We did it! Exit your terminal, reboot the computer. If all went well, you will now be able to see grub at the startup.

If something went wrong, please report it in a comment below.

 

Sources:

Photo courtesy of ryneslat

The post Ubuntu dual boot: grub doesn’t start appeared first on deshack.

Jo Shields: The unstoppable march of mobile technology

Sat, 2014-10-04 16:23

It’s been more than 2 years since my last post about my smartphone. In the time after that post I upgraded my much loved Windows Phone 7 device to Windows Phone 8 (which I got rid of within months, for sucking), briefly used Firefox OS, then eventually used a Nexus 4 for at least a year.

After years of terrible service provision and pricing, I decided I would not stay with my network Orange a moment longer – and in getting a new contract, I would get a new phone too. So on Friday, I signed up to a new £15 per month contract with Three, including 200 minutes, unlimited data, and 25GB of data roaming in the USA and other countries (a saving of £200,000 per month versus Orange). Giffgaff is similarly competitive for data, but not roaming. No other network in the UK is competitive.

For the phone, I had a shortlist of three: Apple iPhone 6, Sony Xperia Z3 Compact, and Samsung Galaxy Alpha. These are all “small” phones by 2014 standards, with a screen about the same size as the Nexus 4. I didn’t consider any Windows Phone devices because they still haven’t shipped a functional music player app on Windows Phone 8. Other more “fringe” OSes weren’t considered, as I insist on trying out a real device in person before purchase, and no other comparable devices are testable on the high street.

iPhone 6

This was the weakest offering, for me. £120 more than the Samsung, and almost £200 more than the Sony, a much lower hardware specification, physically larger, less attractive, and worst of all – mandatory use of iTunes for Windows for music syncing.

Apple iPhone 6, press shot from apple.com, all rights reserved

The only real selling point for me would be for access to iPhone apps. And, I guess, decreased chance of mockery by co-workers.

Galaxy Alpha

Now on to the real choices. I’ve long felt that Samsung’s phones are ugly plasticy tat – the Galaxy S5 is popular, well-marketed, but looks and feels cheap compared to HTC’s unibody aluminium One. They’ve also committed the cardinal sin of gimping the specifications of their “mini” (normal-sized) phones, compared to the “normal” (gargantuan) versions. The newly released S5 Mini is about the same spec as early 2012’s S3, the S4 Mini was mostly an S2 internally, and so on.

However, whilst HTC have continued along these lines, Samsung have finally released a proper phone under 5″, in the Alpha.

Samsung Galaxy Alpha press shot from samsungmobile.com, all rights reserved

The Alpha combines a 4.7″ AMOLED screen, a plastic back, metal edges, 8-core big.LITTLE processor, and 2GB RAM. It is a PRETTY device – the screen really dazzles (as is the nature of OLED). It feels like a mix of design cues from an iPhone and Samsung’s own, keeping the angular feel of iPhone 4->5S rather than the curved edges on the iPhone 6.

The Galaxy Alpha was one of the two devices I seriously considered.

Xperia Z3 Compact

The other Android device I considered was the Compact version of Sony’s new Xperia Z3. Unlike other Android vendors, Sony decided that “mini” shouldn’t mean “low end” when they released the Z1 compact earlier this year. The Z3 follows suit, where the same CPU and storage are found on both the big and little versions.

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact press shot from Sony Xperia Picasa album. CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

The Z3C has a similar construction to the Nexus 4, with glass front and back, and plastic rim. The specification is similar to the Galaxy Alpha (with a quadcore 2.5GHz Qualcomm processor about 15% faster than the big.LITTLE Exynos in the Galaxy Alpha). It differs in a few places – LCD rather than AMOLED (bad); a non-removable (bad) 2600 mAh battery (good) compared to the removable 1860 mAh in the Samsung; waterproofing (good); A less hateful Android shell (Xperia on Android vs Samsung Touchwiz).

For those considering a Nexus-4-replacement class device (yes, rjek, that means you), both the Samsung and the Sony are worth a look. They both have good points and bad points. In the end, both need to be tested to form a proper opinion. But for me, the chunky battery and tasteful green were enough to swing it for the Sony. So let’s see where I stand in a few months’ time. Every phone I’ve owned, I’ve ended up hating it for one reason or another. My usual measure for whether a phone is good or not is how long it takes me to hit the “I can’t use this” limit. The Nokia N900 took me about 30 minutes, the Lumia 800 lasted months. How will the Z3 Compact do? Time will tell.

Costales: How is the Lubuntu performance into a Cubieboard 2?

Sat, 2014-10-04 11:18
Hi! I did a video for appreciating the performance of Lubuntu into a Cubieboard 2.

Cubieboard Pros:
  • Use as server or desktop.
  • As desktop it'll works really good for watching show TVs & movies, listening music, view/edit documents, web browsing and chat.
  • As server I have one  without a reboot in months.
  • Power: Just 5V & 1A! Have your home server all the year for a few dollars!
  • Price: ~60$.
  • Works with Lubuntu Desktop or Ubuntu Server!
  • Totally silent, no fans.
  • Really small.
  • Really fast, because it uses a NAND memory as hard disk.
  • Connect a SATA hard disk directly to the motherboard (you'll need a more powerful adapter that 1A).
  • 4GB for Ubuntu (2GB free with extra codecs & apps), but you can use a microSD as external storage. I'm using a microSD as /home with all documents.
Cubieboard Contras:
  • It's a little computer. Don't forget it isn't a i7 ;P
  • This is a problem of this distro version: As server it works perfect, but as desktop, when you open an application some times the screen blinks. The cubieez distro fixed this. I can't research this problem yet. But do not bother, it's happen once in a great while, it isn't happen with videos.
You can watch here the Lubuntu performance:


The Lubuntu version is 13.04 from this image.

If you have any question, please, leave a comment :) Cheers!

Extra info:

Forums Council: LoCo Forums

Fri, 2014-10-03 09:41

Up to now we have happily held areas for any LoCo who wishes us to do so.

Some of these are extremely active, notably the Catalan and Argentina teams areas, many though are unused at all and others show no activity at all since the middle of 2013.

Following a discussion with the LoCo Council and in conjunction with other changes we have been making to the forum, many of these LoCo forums have been archived. All of the posts in the archive area are still readable, but no new posts will be allowed in these archived forums.

If the LoCo Contact for any of the closed areas wants to discuss the situation with regard to their own forum we would be happy to do so.


The Fridge: Nominations open for two positions on the Ubuntu IRC Council

Fri, 2014-10-03 03:13

We are opening nominations for two positions on the Ubuntu IRC Council. We are filling in slots opened by resignations (IdleOne resigned last year, and AlanBell just announced to us he is resigning). We felt we could still perform with four members of the council but not with just three.

Details of the IRC Council can be read on the wiki; a summary of the nomination requirements is below (but all are suggested to read the wiki in full):

Elections of new IRC Council members will be held in the following way:

  1. An open call for nominations should be announced in the IRC Community, and people can nominate themselves for a seat on the council. Everyone is welcome to apply.
  2. To apply for a seat the candidate creates a Wiki page outlining their work in the community, and inviting others to provide testimonials.
  3. When the application deadline has passed, the IRC Council will review the applications and provide feedback on the candidates for the Community Council to review.
  4. The Community Council will identify a shortlist for the board and circulate the list publically for feedback from the community.
  5. The shortlist identified by the Community Council will be voted upon by team members as described at CommunityCouncil/Delegation. Members of the Ubuntu IRC Members Team are eligible to vote.
  6. The Community Council will then finalise the appointment of IRC Council members.

The deadline for the nominations will be announced later on.

Originally posted to the ubuntu-irc mailing list on Thu Oct 2 23:15:11 UTC 2014 by C de-Avillez

Raphaël Hertzog: My Free Software Activities in September 2014

Thu, 2014-10-02 16:20

This is my monthly summary of my free software related activities. If you’re among the people who made a donation to support my work (26.6 €, thanks everybody!), then you can learn how I spent your money. Otherwise it’s just an interesting status update on my various projects.

Django 1.7

Since Django 1.7 got released early September, I updated the package in experimental and continued to push for its inclusion in unstable. I sent a few more patches to multiple reverse build dependencies who had asked for help (python-django-bootstrap-form, horizon, lava-server) and then sent the package to unstable. At that time, I bumped the severity of all bug filed against packages that were no longer building with Django 1.7.

Later in the month, I made sure that the package migrated to testing, it only required a temporary removal of mumble-django (see #763087). Quite a few packages got updated since then (remaining bugs here).

Debian Long Term Support

I have worked towards keeping Debian Squeeze secure, see the dedicated article: My Debian LTS report for September 2014.

Distro Tracker

The pace of development on tracker.debian.org slowed down a bit this month, with only 30 new commits in the repository, closing 6 bugs. Some of the changes are noteworthy though: the news now contain true links on bugs, CVE and plain URLs (example here). I have also fixed a serious issue with the way users were identified when they used their Alioth account credentials to login via sso.debian.org.

On the development side, we’re now able to generate the test suite code coverage which is quite helpful to identify parts of the code that are clearly missing some tests (see bin/gen-coverage.sh in the repository).

Misc packaging

Publican. I have been behind packaging new upstream versions of Publican and with the freeze approaching, I decided to take care of it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as easy as I had hoped and found numerous issues that I have filed upstream (invalid public identifier, PDF build fails with noNumberLines function available, build of the manual requires the network). Most of those have been fixed upstream in the mean time but the last issue seems to be a problem in the way we manage our Docbook XML catalogs in Debian. I have thus filed #763598 (docbook-xml: xmllint fails to identify local copy of docbook entities file) which is still waiting an answer from the maintainer.

Package sponsorship. I have sponsored new uploads of dolibarr (RC bug fix), tcpdf (RC bug fix), tryton-server (security update) and django-ratelimit.

GNOME 3.14. With the arrival of GNOME 3.14 in unstable, I took care of updating gnome-shell-timer and also filed some tickets for extensions that I use: https://github.com/projecthamster/shell-extension/issues/79 and https://github.com/olebowle/gnome-shell-timer/issues/25

git-buildpackage. I filed multiple bugs on git-buildpackage for little issues that have been irking me since I started using this tool: #761160 (gbp pq export/switch should be smarter), #761161 (gbp pq import+export should preserve patch filenames), #761641 (gbp import-orig should be less fragile and more idempotent).

Thanks

See you next month for a new summary of my activities.

No comment | Liked this article? Click here. | My blog is Flattr-enabled.

Julian Andres Klode: Acer Chromebook 13 (FHD): Initial impressions

Thu, 2014-10-02 16:10

Today, I received my Acer Chromebook 13, in the glorious FullHD variant with 4GB RAM. For those of you who don’t know it, the Acer Chromebook 13 is a 13.3 inch chromebook powered by a Tegra K1 cpu.

This version cannot be ordered currently, only pre-orders were shipped yesterday (at least here in Germany). I cannot even review it on Amazon (despite having it bought there), as they have not enabled reviews for it yet.

The device feels solidly built, and looks good. It comes in all-white matte plastic and is slightly reminiscent of the old white MacBooks. The keyboard is horrible, there’s no well defined pressure point. It feels like your typing on a pillow. The display is OK, an IPS would be a lot nicer to work with, though. Oh, and it could be brighter. I do not think that using it outside on a sunny day would be a good idea. The speakers are loud and clear compared to my ThinkPad X230.

The performance of the device is about acceptable (unfortunately, I do not have any comparison in this device class). Even when typing this blog post in the visual wordpress editor, I notice some sluggishness. Opening the app launcher or loading the new tab page while music is playing makes the music stop for or skip a few ms (20-50ms if I had to guess). Running a benchmark in parallel or browsing does not usually cause this stuttering, though.

There are still some bugs in Chrome OS:  Loading the Play Books library the first time resulted in some rendering issues. The “Browser” process always consumes at least 10% CPU, even when idling, with no page open; this might cause some of the sluggishness I mentioned above. Also watching Flash videos used more CPU than I expected given that it is hardware accelerated.

Finally, Netflix did not work out of the box, despite the Chromebook shipping with a special Netflix plugin. I always get some unexpected issue-type page. Setting the user agent to Chrome 38 from Windows, thus forcing the use of the EME video player instead of the Netflix plugin, makes it work.

I reported these software issues to Google via Alt+Shift+I. The issues appeared on the current version of the stable channel, 37.0.2062.120.

What’s next? I don’t know.


Filed under: Uncategorized

Kubuntu: KDE Applications and Development Platform 4.14.1

Thu, 2014-10-02 13:10

Packages for the release of KDE SC 4.14.1 are available for Kubuntu 14.04LTS and our development release. You can get them from the Kubuntu Backports PPA.

Bugs in the packaging should be reported to kubuntu-ppa on Launchpad. Bugs in the software to KDE.

Scarlett Clark: Kubuntu: KDE 4.14.1 on Trusty released.

Thu, 2014-10-02 12:44

We are finally catching up! I am pleased to announce I finished backporting KDE 4.14.1 to Trusty Tahr and it is available in the Kubuntu backports PPA.

http://ppa.launchpad.net/kubuntu-ppa/backports/ubuntu trusty main

Matt Zimmerman: Join me in supporting The Ada Initiative

Wed, 2014-10-01 16:36

When I first read that Linux kernel developer Valerie Aurora would be changing careers to work full-time on behalf of women in open source communities, I never imagined it would lead so far so fast. Today, The Ada Initiative is a non-profit organization with global reach, whose programs have helped create positive change for women in a wide range of communities beyond open source. Building on this foundation, imagine how much more they can do in the next four years! That’s why I’m pledging my continuing support, and asking you to join me.

For the next 7 days, I will personally match your donations up to $4,096. My employer, Heroku (Salesforce.com), will match my donations too, so every dollar you contribute will be tripled!

My goal is that together we will raise over $12,000 toward The Ada Initiative’s 2014 fundraising drive.

Since about 1999, I had been working in open source communities like Debian and Ubuntu, where women are vastly underrepresented even compared to the professional software industry. Like other men in these communities, I had struggled to learn what I could do to change this. Such a severe imbalance can only be addressed by systemic change, and I hardly knew where to begin. I worked to raise awareness by writing and speaking, and joined groups like Debian Women, Ubuntu Women and Geek Feminism. I worked on my own bias and behavior to avoid being part of the problem myself. But it never felt like enough, and sometimes felt completely hopeless.

Perhaps worst of all, I saw too many women burning out from trying to change the system. It was often taxing just to participate as a woman in a male-dominated community, and the extra burden of activism seemed overwhelming. They were all volunteers, doing this work in evenings and weekends around work or study, and it took a lot of time, energy and emotional reserve to deal with the backlash they faced for speaking out about sexism. Valerie Aurora and Mary Gardiner helped me to see that an activist organization with full-time staff could be part of the solution. I joined the Ada Initiative advisory board in February 2011, and the board of directors in April.

Today, The Ada Initiative is making a difference not only in my community, but in my workplace as well. When I joined Heroku in 2012, none of the engineers were women, and we clearly had a lot of work to do to change that. In 2013, I attended AdaCamp SF along with my colleague Peter van Hardenberg, joining the first “allies track”, open to participants of any gender, for people who wanted to learn the skills to support the women around them. We’ve gone on to host two ally skills workshops of our own for Heroku employees, one taught by Ada Initiative staff and another by a member of our team, security engineer Leigh Honeywell. These workshops taught interested employees simple, everyday ways to take positive action to challenge sexism and create a better workplace for women. The Ada Initiative also helped us establish a policy for conference sponsorship which supports our gender diversity efforts. Today, Heroku engineering includes about 10% women and growing. The Ada Initiative’s programs are helping us to become the kind of company we want to be.

I attended the workshop with a group of Heroku colleagues, and it was a powerful experience to see my co-workers learning tactics to support women and intervene in sexist situations. Hearing them discuss power and privilege in the workplace, and the various “a-ha!” moments people had, were very encouraging and made me feel heard and supported.
– Leigh Honeywell

If you want to see more of these programs from The Ada Initiative, please contribute now:


Mark Shuttleworth: Exchange controls in SA provide no economic guarantees of stability, but drive up the cost of cross-border relationships for everyone

Wed, 2014-10-01 13:48

The South African Supreme Court of Appeal today found in my favour in a case about exchange controls. I will put the returned funds of R250m plus interest into a trust, to underwrite constitutional court cases on behalf of those who’s circumstances deny them the ability to be heard where the counterparty is the State. Here is a statement in full:

Exchange controls may appear to be targeted at a very small number of South Africans but their consequences are significant for all of us: especially those who are building relationships across Southern Africa such as migrant workers and small businesses seeking to participate in the growth of our continent. It is more expensive to work across South African borders than almost anywhere else on Earth, purely because the framework of exchange controls creates a cartel of banks authorized to act as the agents of the Reserve Bank in currency matters.

We all pay a very high price for that cartel, and derive no real benefit in currency stability or security for that cost.

Banks profit from exchange controls, but our economy is stifled, and the most vulnerable suffer most of all. Everything you buy is more expensive, South Africans are less globally competitive, and cross-border labourers, already vulnerable, pay the highest price of all – a shame we should work to address. The IMF found that “A study in South Africa found that the comparative cost of an international transfer of 250 rand was the lowest when it went through a friend or a taxi driver and the highest when it went through a bank.” The World Bank found that “remittance fees punish poor Africans“. South Africa scores worst of all, and according to the Payments Association of South Africa and the Reserve Bank, this is “..mostly related to the regulations that South African financial institutions needed to comply with, such as the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (Fica) and exchange-control regulations.”

Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeal found administrative and procedural fault with the Reserve Bank’s actions in regards to me, and returned the fees levied, for which I am grateful. This case, however, was not filed solely in pursuit of relief for me personally. We are now considering the continuation of the case in the Constitutional Court, to challenge exchange control on constitutional grounds and ensure that the benefits of today’s ruling accrue to all South Africans.

This is a time in our history when it will be increasingly important to defend constitutional rights. Historically, these are largely questions related to the balance of power between the state and the individual. For all the eloquence of our Constitution, it will be of little benefit to us all if it cannot be made binding on our government. It is expensive to litigate at the constitutional level, which means that such cases are imbalanced – the State has the resources to make its argument, but the individual often does not.

For that reason, I will commit the funds returned to me to today by the SCA to a trust run by veteran and retired constitutional scholars, judges and lawyers, that will selectively fund cases on behalf of those unable to do so themselves, where the counterparty is the state. The mandate of this trust will extend beyond South African borders, to address constitutional rights for African citizens at large, on the grounds that our future in South Africa is in every way part of that great continent.

This case is largely thanks to the team of constitutional lawyers who framed their arguments long before meeting me; I have been happy to play the role of model plaintiff and to underwrite the work, but it is their determination to correct this glaring flaw in South African government policy which inspired me to support them.

For that reason I will ask them to lead the establishment of this new trust and would like to thank them for their commitment to the principles on which our democracy is founded.

This case also has a very strong personal element for me, because it is exchange controls which make it impossible for me to pursue the work I am most interested in from within South Africa and which thus forced me to emigrate years ago. I pursue this case in the hope that the next generation of South Africans who want to build small but global operations will be able to do so without leaving the country. In our modern, connected world, and our modern connected country, that is the right outcome for all South Africans.

Mark

Alan Pope: XDA Developer Conference 2014

Wed, 2014-10-01 10:09

The XDA Developer community had its second conference last weekend, this time in Manchester, UK. We were asked to sponsor the event and were happy to do so. I went along with Daniel Holbach from the Community Team and Ondrej Kubik from the Phone Delivery Team at Canonical.

This was my first non-Ubuntu conference for a while, so it was interesting for me to meet people from so many different projects. As well as us representing Ubuntu Phone, there were guys from the Jolla project showing off SailfishOS and their handset and ports. Asa Dotzler was also there to represent Mozilla & FirefoxOS.

Daniel did a small Ubuntu app development workshop which enabled us to learn a lot from our materials and process around App Dev Schools which we’ll feed back to later sessions. Ondrej gave a talk to a packed room about hardware bring-up and porting Ubuntu to other devices. It was well receieved and explained the platform nicely. I talked about the history of Ubuntu phone and what the future might hold.

There were other sponsor booths including big names like nVidia showing off the Sheild tablet and Sony demonstrating their rather bizarre Smart EyeGlass technology. Oppo and OnePlus had plenty of devices to lust after too including giant phones with beautiful displays. I enjoyed a bunch of the talks including MediaTek making a big announcement, and demonstrating their new LinkIT One platform.

The ~200 attendees were mostly pretty geeky guys whose ages ranged from 15 to 50. There were Android developers, ROM maintainers, hardware hackers and tech enthusiasts who all seemed very friendly and open to discuss all kinds of tech subjects at every opportunity.

One thing I’d not seen at other conferences which was big at XDA:DevCon was the hardware give-aways. The organisers had obtained a lot of tech from the sponsors to give away. This ranged from phone covers through bluetooth speakers, mobile printers, hardware hacking kits through to phones, smart watches & tablets, including an Oppo Find 7, pebble watch and nVidia Sheild & controller. These were often handed out as a ‘reward’ for attendees asking good questions, or as (free) raffle prizes. It certainly kept everyone on their toes and happy! I was delighted to see an Ubuntu community member get the Oppo Find 7 I was rewarded with an Anker MP141 Portable Bluetooth Speaker during one talk for some reason

On the whole I found the conference to be an incredibly friendly, well organised event. There was plenty of food and drink at break times and coffee and snacks in between with relaxing beers in the evening. A great conference which I’d certainly go to again.

Svetlana Belkin: Thoughts on Having a Meta Open Science Community

Wed, 2014-10-01 01:30

Over the last week, I started to think about how to improve the collaboration between the Open Science groups and researchers and also between the groups themselves. One of the ideas that I thought about using simple tools that are around in other Open * places (mainly Open Source/Linux distros). These tools are your forums (Discourse and other ones), Planet feeds, and wikis. Using these creates a meta community where members of the community can start there and get themselves involved in one or more groups. Open Science seems to lack this meta community.

Even though I think that meta community is not present, I do think that there is one group that can maintain this meta community and that group is the Open Knowledge Foundation Network (OKFN). They have a working group for Open Science. Therefore, I think, if they take the time and the resources, then it could happen or else some other group can be created for this.

What this meta community tool-wise needs:

Planet Feeds

Since I’m an official Ubuntu Member, I’m allowed to add my blog’s feed to Planet Ubuntu.  Planet Ubuntu allows anyone to read blog posts from many Ubuntu Members because it’s one giant feed reader.  This is well needed for Open Science, as Reddit doesn’t work for academia.  I asked on the Open Science OKFN mailing list and five people e-mailed me saying that they are interested in seeing one.  My next goal is to ask the folks of Open Science OKFN for help on building a Planet for Open Science.

Forums

I can only think of one forum, which is the Mozilla Science Lab one, that I wrote about last a few hours ago.  Having some general forum allows users to talk about various projects to job posting for their groups.  I don’t know if Discourse would be the right platform for the forums.  To me, it’s dynamicness is a bit too much at times.

Wiki

I have no idea if a wiki would work for this meta Open Science community but at least having a guide that introduces newcomers to the groups is worthwhile to have.  There is a plan for a guide.

I hope these ideas can be used by some group within the Open Science community and allow it the grow.


Svetlana Belkin: Mozilla Science Lab Forums Now Open

Tue, 2014-09-30 22:08

I am pleased to announce that the Mozilla Science Lab now has a forum that anyone can use.  Anyone can introduce themselves in this topic or the category.


Ubuntu Server blog: Server team meeting minutes: 2014-09-30

Tue, 2014-09-30 19:24
Agenda
  • Review ACTION points from previous meeting
  • rbasak to review mysql-5.6 transition plans with ABI breaks with infinity
  • blueprint updating
  • U Development
  • Server & Cloud Bugs (caribou)
  • Weekly Updates & Questions for the QA Team (psivaa)
  • Weekly Updates & Questions for the Kernel Team (smb, sforshee)
  • Ubuntu Server Team Events
  • Open Discussion
  • Announce next meeting date, time and chair
  • ACTION: meeting chair (of this meeting, not the next one) to carry out post-meeting procedure (minutes, etc) documented at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ServerTeam/KnowledgeBase
Minutes
  • REVIEW ACTION POINTS FROM PREVIOUS MEETING
    • re: rbasak noted that regarding mysql mysql-5.6 transition / abi infinity action, we decided to defer the 5.6 move for this cycle, as we felt it was too late given the ABI concerns.
  • UTOPIC DEVELOPMENT
    • LINK: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UtopicUnicorn/ReleaseSchedule
    • LINK: http://reqorts.qa.ubuntu.com/reports/rls-mgr/rls-u-tracking-bug-tasks.html#ubuntu-server
    • LINK: http://status.ubuntu.com/ubuntu-u/group/topic-u-server.html
    • LINK: https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/topic-u-server
  • SERVER & CLOUD BUGS (CARIBOU)
    • Nothing to report.
  • WEEKLY UPDATES & QUESTIONS FOR THE QA TEAM (PSIVAA)
    • Nothing to report.
  • WEEKLY UPDATES & QUESTIONS FOR THE KERNEL TEAM (SMB, SFORSHEE)
    • smb reports that he is digging into a potential race between libvirt and xen init
  • UBUNTU SERVER TEAM EVENTS
    • None to report.
  • OPEN DISCUSSION
    • Pretty quiet. Not even any bad jokes. Back to crunch time!
  • ANNOUNCE NEXT MEETING DATE AND TIME
    • next meeting will be : Tue Oct 7 16:00:00 UTC 2014 chair will be lutostag
  • MEETING ACTIONS
    • ACTION: all to review blueprint work items before next weeks meeting.
People present (lines said)
  • beisner (54)
  • smb (8)
  • meetingology (4)
  • smoser (3)
  • rbasak (3)
  • kickinz1 (3)
  • caribou (2)
  • gnuoy (1)
  • matsubara (1)
  • jamespage (1)
  • arges (1)
  • hallyn (1)
IRC Log

Adam Stokes: sosreport (SoS) version 3.2 released

Tue, 2014-09-30 17:55

The sos team is pleased to announce the release of sos-3.2. This release includes a large number of enhancements and fixes, including:

  • Profiles for plugin selection
  • Improved log size limiting
  • File archiving enhancements and robustness improvements
  • Global plugin options:
    • --verify, --log-size, --all-logs
  • Better plugin descriptions
  • Improved journalctl log capture
  • PEP8 compliant code base
  • oVirt support improvements
  • New and updated plugins: hpasm, ctdb, dbus, oVirt engine hosted, MongoDB, ActiveMQ, OpenShift 2.0, MegaCLI, FCoEm, NUMA, Team network driver, Juju, MAAS, Openstack

References:

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