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Ubuntu Kernel Team: Kernel Team Meeting Minutes – May 13, 2014

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-05-13 17:14
Meeting Minutes

IRC Log of the meeting.

Meeting minutes.

Agenda

20140513 Meeting Agenda


ARM Status

nothing new to report this week


Release Metrics and Incoming Bugs

Release metrics and incoming bug data can be reviewed at the following link:

http://people.canonical.com/~kernel/reports/kt-meeting.txt


Milestone Targeted Work Items

I have reservations about BP’s being the appropriate method for tracking
work items as we move forward. I’ve tentatively set up a discussion
point for the team sprint at the end of the month to figure out a better
alternative.


Status: Utopic Development Kernel

We are preparing to upload our first v3.15 based kernel to the Utopic
archive. We’re awaiting some DKMS package fixes before doing so. We’ve
currently rebased to the latest v3.15-rc5 upstream kernel.
Additionally, at a minimum, we will converge on the v3.16 kernel for the
Utopic 14.10 release.
—–
Important upcoming dates:
Mon-Wed June 9 – 11, vUDS (~4 weeks away)
Thurs Jun 26 – Alpha 1 (~6 weeks away)


Status: CVE’s

The current CVE status can be reviewed at the following link:

http://people.canonical.com/~kernel/cve/pkg/ALL-linux.html


Status: Stable, Security, and Bugfix Kernel Updates – Trusty/Saucy/Precise/Lucid

Status for the main kernels, until today (May. 6):

  • Lucid – Verification and Testing
  • Precise – Verification and Testing
  • Quantal – Verification and Testing
  • Saucy – Verification and Testing
  • Trusty – Verification and Testing

    Current opened tracking bugs details:

  • http://people.canonical.com/~kernel/reports/kernel-sru-workflow.html

    For SRUs, SRU report is a good source of information:

  • http://people.canonical.com/~kernel/reports/sru-report.html

    Schedule:

    cycle: 27-Apr through 17-May
    ====================================================================
    25-Apr Last day for kernel commits for this cycle
    27-Apr – 03-May Kernel prep week.
    04-May – 10-May Bug verification & Regression testing.
    11-May – 17-May Regression testing & Release to -updates.


Open Discussion or Questions? Raise your hand to be recognized

No open discussions.

Jono Bacon: Announcing Ubuntu Pioneers

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-05-13 16:24

Ubuntu has always been about breaking new ground. We broke the ground with the desktop back in 2004, we have broken the ground with cloud orchestration across multiple clouds and providers, and we are building a powerful, innovative mobile and desktop platform that is breaking ground with convergence.

The hardest part about breaking new ground and innovating is not having the vision and creating the technology, it is getting people on board to be part of it.

We knew this was going to be a challenge when we first took the wraps off the Ubuntu app developer platform: we have a brand new platform that was still being developed, and when we started many of the key pieces were not there such as a solid developer portal, documentation, API references, training and more. Today the story is very different with a compelling, end-to-end, developer story for building powerful convergent apps.

We believed and always have believed in the power of this platform, and every single one of those people who also believed in what we are doing and wrote apps have shared the same spirit of pioneering a new platform that we have.

As such, we want to acknowledge those people.

And with this, I present Ubuntu Pioneers.

The idea is simple, we want to celebrate the first 200 app developers who get their apps in Ubuntu. We are doing this in two ways.

Firstly, we have created http://developer.ubuntu.com/pioneers which displays all of these developers and lists the apps that they have created. This will provide a permanent record of those who were there right at the beginning.

Secondly, we have designed a custom, limited-edition Ubuntu Pioneers t-shirt that we want to send to all of our pioneers. For those of you who are listed on this page, please ensure that your email address is correct in MyApps as we will be getting in touch soon.

Thank-you so much to every single person listed on that page. You are an inspiration for me, my team, and the wider Ubuntu project.

If you have that pioneering spirit and wished you were up there, fear not! We still have some space before we hit 200 developers, so go here to get started building an app.

Stuart Langridge: Some thoughts on soonsnap and little big details

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-05-13 13:29

I built a thing called soonsnap, and various people said that I should write up how and why.

First, what it’s for.

Here’s the use case. You’re there in the pub, Friday night, and there’s a group of people squeezing themselves together behind a table while one of their number takes a photo of them. So you step up, helpful, and say “hey, let me take that, then you can be in it!” and whip your phone from your pocket and snap a picture of them all pulling faces and drinking cocktails.

Great. You’ve got a picture of them. How do you give that picture to the people in it?

Here are the constraints:

  • You don’t know these people. This is not a surreptitious excuse to obtain the phone number of the attractive one in the group. So you can’t ask for a phone number, or add them as a Facebook friend
  • You’re all in the pub having fun; you’re not at a computer class. You want to get this photo to them as quickly and easily as possible. So if you ask them to do anything complicated to get the photo, such as “install this app”, or “turn on Bluetooth and then tell me your phone’s Bluetooth name”, they’ll just shrug and say “whatever” and ignore you like the sad techie lunatic that you are
  • Either you or they might not have an iPhone, so no AirDrop for you
  • You’re in the pub. So this is primarily for mobile. Obviously it should work on a big wide screen, but that’s not what it’s aimed at
  • Me, the person running the server, does not want to pay for lots of hosting, and people in the pub don’t want photos of them stored forever in someone else’s cloud. Images are not stored on the server; they’re transferred as much as possible device-to-device

Sometimes, the people asking for a photo will hand you a phone to take it with. At that point, you don’t need any technology to assist; take the picture, give the phone back, done. But if they don’t… you need to get that picture to them.

The one huge overriding goal here is complete ease of use. Anything at all which can be construed as a barrier will mean that you’re unsuccessful. “To get the picture, install this app” takes too long and is too annoying. “Turn on Bluetooth” is too annoying. “Turn on Android Beam” is too annoying. This means the solution needs to be on the web, because everybody has that.

But it should feel like an app, because people are accustomed to that and so the sense of familiarity is important. It’s a very simple set of actions: either “take a photo” or “receive a photo”. So the thing I came up with, soonsnap, is this:

  1. You hit this website and it tells you to pick or take a photo
  2. It gives you a simple four-letter code and gives you instructions to read out to them: go to this website, enter the four letters of the code
  3. They do it: it gives them the photo
  4. You say “there you go”, they say “thank you!”, and another little human interaction is improved with technology without getting in the way

So there are two paths through it: the photo taker, and the photo getter. The taker needs to say “take a photo”, then take the photo, then get a nice clear set of instructions and a code to tell to the getter. The getter needs to get to the website itself, say “receive a photo”, type in the code. That’s it.

To this end, all the thinking went into making soonsnap so it’s really hard to screw the interaction up. Take the codes as an example. They’re four characters — long enough that a code isn’t reasonably guessable, short enough that you can say it to someone else in a crowded bar and they’ll hear you. The code does not repeat any characters. This is done so that when tapping a letter of the code, that letter disappears and can’t be used again — this prevents someone accidentally tapping a letter twice. The characters used for the code could have been all 36 letters and numbers, but it’s actually only 20: 0123456789ACFHNRUWXY. This is so that all letters which sound the same are removed; this stops someone saying “did you say B zero one two or P zero one two?”, especially if you’re shouting over the music in a crowded pub.

And it looks simple but colourful and clear to make it easy to see what’s going on even if your vision’s a bit blurry. I wanted it to be attractive partially because of the aesthetic usability effect, and partially just because, well, things should be pretty. I knew I couldn’t do that, so I talked to Sam Hewitt who put together a great visual design for soonsnap. Thank you, Sam!

Dustin Kirkland: The Orange Box: Cloud for the Free Man

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-05-13 13:02
Click and drag to rotate, middle mouse button zooms
It was September of 2009.  I answered a couple of gimme trivia questions and dropped my business card into a hat at a Linux conference in Portland, Oregon.  A few hours later, I received an email on my Palm Pre.  I had just "won" a developer edition HTC Dream -- the Android G1.


While I loved WebOS and my Palm Pre, I couldn't wait to tinker with the G1!  It wasn't so much about the hardware in the G1.  But I was quite anxious to have a hardware platform where I could experiment with Android.  I had, of course, already downloaded the SDK, compiled Android from scratch, and fiddled with it in an emulator.  But that experience fell far short of Android running on real hardware.  Until the G1.  The G1 was the first device to truly showcase the power and potential of the Android operating system.

And with that context, we are delighted to introduce the Orange Box!


The Orange Box

Conceived by Canonical and custom built by TranquilPC, the Orange Box is a 10-node cluster computer, that fits in a suitcase.

Ubuntu, MAAS, Juju, Landscape, OpenStack, Hadoop, CloudFoundry, and more!

The Orange Box provides a spectacular development platform, showcasing in mere minutes the power of hardware provisioning and service orchestration with Ubuntu, MAAS, Juju, and Landscape.  OpenStack, Hadoop, CloudFoundry, and hundreds of other workloads deploy in minutes, to real hardware -- not just instances in AWS!  It also makes one hell of a Steam server -- there's a charm for that ;-)


OpenStack deployed by Juju, takes merely 6 minutes on an Orange Box
Most developers here certainly recognize the term "SDK", or "Software Development Kit"...  You can think of the Orange Box as a "HDK", or "Hardware Development Kit".  Pair an Orange Box with MAAS and Juju, and you have yourself a compact cloud.  Or a portable big data number cruncher.  Or a lightweight cluster computer.


The underside of an Orange Box, with its cover off

Want to get your hands on one?

Drop us a line, and we'd be delighted to hand-deliver an Orange Box to your office, and conduct 2 full days of technical training, covering MAAS, Juju, Landscape, and OpenStack.  The box is yours for 2 weeks, as you experiment with the industry leading Ubuntu ecosystem of cloud technologies at your own pace and with your own workloads.  We'll show back up, a couple of weeks later, to review what you learned and discuss scaling these tools up, into your own data center, on your own enterprise hardware.  (And if you want your very own Orange Box to keep, you can order one from our friends at TranquilPC.)


Manufacturers of the Orange Box
Gear head like me?  Interested in the technical specs?


Remember those posts late last year about Intel NUCs?  Someone took notice, and we set out to build this ;-)


Each Orange Box chassis contains:
  • 10x Intel NUCs
  • All 10x Intel NUCs contain
    • i5-3427U CPU
    • Intel HD Graphics 4000 GPU
    • 16GB of DDR3 RAM
    • 120GB SSD root disk
    • Intel Gigabit ethernet
  • D-Link DGS-1100-16 managed gigabit switch with 802.1q VLAN support
    • All 10 nodes are internally connected to this gigabit switch
  • 100-240V AC/DC power supply
    • Adapter supplied for US, UK, and EU plug types
    • 19V DC power supplied to each NUC
    • 5V DC power supplied to internal network switch


Intel NUC D53427RKE board
The first node, node0, additionally contains:


  • An Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 WiFi adapter
  • A 2TB Western Digital HDD, preloaded with a full Ubuntu archive mirror
  • USB and HDMI ports are wired and accessible from the rear of the box

Most planes fly in clouds...this cloud flies in planes!


In aggregate, this micro cluster effectively fields 40 cores, 160GB of RAM, 1.2TB of solid state storage, and is connected over an internal gigabit network fabric.  A single fan quietly cools the power supply, while all of the nodes are passively cooled by aluminum heat sinks spanning each side of the chassis. All in a chassis the size of a tower PC!
It fits in a suit case, and can travel anywhere you go.


Pelican iM2875 Storm Case
How are we using them at Canonical?

If you're here at the OpenStack Design Summit in Atlanta, GA, you'll see at least a dozen Orange Boxes, in our booth, on stage during Mark Shuttleworth's keynote, and in our breakout conference rooms.


Canonical sales engineer, Ameet Paranjape,
demonstrating OpenStack on the Orange Box in the Ubuntu booth
at the OpenStack Design Summit in Atlanta, GA
We are also launching an update to our OpenStack Jumpstart program, where we'll deliver and Orange Box and 2 full days of training to your team, and leave you the box while you experiment with OpenStack, MAAS, Juju, Hadoop, and more for 2 weeks.  Without disrupting your core network or production data center workloads,  prototype your OpenStack experience within a private sandbox environment. You can experiment with various storage alternatives, practice scaling services, destroy and rebuild the environment repeatedly. Safe. Risk free.


This is Cloud, for the Free Man.

:-Dustin

Brian Burger: Dusting Things Off

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-05-13 07:55

It’s been a surprisingly long time since I actually published anything on this blog, for a wide variety of reasons. A large part of why this blog existed was to talk about my involvement with the Ubuntu project, but I’ve drifted gently over the last four to six years from being a regular contributor to Ubuntu to being just another opinionated user of it. Interests change, projects get bigger and move in unexpected directions (Unity, to pick an old scab…) and things gradually drift apart. I’ve been renewing my hard-won Ubuntu membership mostly out of reflex for several years now, and will probably finally let it lapse when I next get that prompting email from Launchpad.

That said, I am going to be using this blog again, mostly to talk about bicycling (I have a really, really awesome and epic European bike touring holiday coming up this month through June & July!) and other things that interest me, but to keep the “what is this doing on Planet Ubuntu?” whingers happy I’ve finally used WordPress’ excellent category-based-RSS feature to (mostly) feed only actual Ubuntu-related material (should I happen to write any…) to Planet Ubuntu. Hopefully that frees me to write more without worrying if it’s “suitable for Planet U”…

If you want to read occasional postings from a bike ride from Vienna, Austria to Nantes, France starting in a couple of weeks and going through to the third week of July, though, please stick around!

Leo Iannacone: apt-venv — apt virtual environment

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-05-13 07:19

Quickly collect information about packages in different Debian and Ubuntu releases.

apt-venv creates a sort of virtual environments in $HOME/.local/share/apt-venv (one for each release), able to exec bash sessions where apt thinks to be in another distro/release. In these sessions a $APT_VENV variable is set and points out the release name in use.

If you want to customize environment you can modify files in:

$HOME/.config/apt-venv/$release

apt-venv is already available in Debian and Ubuntu utopic unicorn.

Use case

Show which version of some package is in Debian and Ubuntu, simply:

# init apt database for releases for release in unstable stable trusty lucid ; do apt-venv $release -u done # do what you want for release in unstable stable trusty lucid ; do apt-venv $release -c "apt-cache madison base-files | grep Source | tail -1" done

If you do not specify -c option you will entry an interactive shell.

Usage $ apt-venv -h usage: apt-venv [-h] [-D DEBUG] [-v] [-d] [-c COMMAND] [-l] [release] positional arguments: release the debian/ubuntu release optional arguments: -h, --help show this help message and exit -D DEBUG, --debug DEBUG set debug level -v, --version show program's version number and exit -c COMMAND, --command COMMAND exec the given command instead of entry the interactive shell -d, --delete delete venv for release -l, --list list all venv installed in your system -u, --update update the apt indexes

The Fridge: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 367

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-05-13 00:38

Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter. This is issue #367 for the week May 5 – 11, 2014, and the full version is available here.

In this issue we cover:

The issue of The Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter is brought to you by:

  • Elizabeth Krumbach Joseph
  • Paul White
  • Diego Turcios
  • Emily Gonyer
  • Jim Connett
  • Jose Antonio Rey
  • And many others

If you have a story idea for the Weekly Newsletter, join the Ubuntu News Team mailing list and submit it. Ideas can also be added to the wiki!

Except where otherwise noted, content in this issue is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License BY SA Creative Commons License

Stuart Langridge: Nomad CHARGEKEY/CHARGECARD review

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-05-12 21:40

Recently I received a gift from Nomad, one each of their CHARGEKEY and CHARGECARD products. So I’ve been trying them out. They’re both similar in concept, so I’ll speak of them as one item for now.

Basically, it’s a very very portable charging lead for your phone. The CHARGEKEY is about two inches long, with a slim full USB plug1 on one end and either a micro USB or an iPhone 5 lightning plug on the other.2 And there’s a little place to attach it to your keyring. Basically, the idea here is that you’ll stick this on your keyring and the next time you find yourself somewhere where you’d want to charge your phone you’ll have a way to do so, without having to carry a long USB charging lead around everywhere you go like some sort of arse. The CHARGECARD is a similar idea, and again comes in two flavours, but instead of being a little stick that hangs unimpedingly on your keys, it’s the size and thickness of a credit card and goes in your wallet, or wherever you keep cards.3

So, the simple verdict: if you often find yourself wishing you’d brought your charging lead with you, you’ll find this bloody useful.

Me… I didn’t, so much. I often find myself wishing that I could charge my phone up, but the problem isn’t that I don’t have a lead: it’s that even if I had a lead I’d have nowhere to plug it in. Pub tables don’t have USB ports. Coffee shops don’t have USB ports. If I’m working from a desk in an office somewhere I’ve got my laptop bag, and that’s got one of every lead I ever need in it (hasn’t yours? Why hasn’t it? Go and put a spare one of every lead you need in your laptop bag!).

I do sometimes find myself places where I could charge up. Coffee shops do have wall sockets. But for that I’d need an actual lead and an adaptor. On my desk, where I am all day, I have a charging lead. Interestingly, whenever I’m at a conference there are always tweets in the backchannel asking if anyone has an iPhone charging lead — it’s never any other phone. So I suspect iPhone people who haven’t grasped the idea of having a spare lead in their bag may find this hugely useful. If you’re taking my above advice about buying a spare lead then getting one of these is no bad idea because it’s tiny.  Similarly, if places of entertainment started putting USB sockets on every table, this would be superbly useful.4

Perhaps I’m unusual, though. To find out, I gave the CHARGEKEY to my dad. And, interestingly, he’s already talking about using it at work. Just plug into the computer in the office, and the lead is on your keyring ready for you when you need it. And it’s not bothering you when you don’t. It’s for drive-by charging. For a moment of opportunity. If you hit those a lot, you’ll like Nomad’s stuff.

Me, I’ll wait until they put USB sockets in bars.

  1. one of those flat ones that plugs into the bottom half of a USB socket
  2. It comes in two flavours; one for iPhones, one for every other device on the planet
  3. Well, it’s about the thickness of two or three credit cards, but it’ll go in your wallet fine; it did in mine
  4. If you’re running a political party in England and you add “USB sockets on every pub table by law!” to your manifesto then you’ve significantly increased your chances of getting my vote, and every other tech person in the country too. Unless you’re UKIP in which case don’t bother

Serge Hallyn: unprivileged btrfs clones

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-05-12 17:51

In 14.04 you can create unprivileged container clones usign overlayfs. Depending on your use case, these can be ideal, since the delta between your cloned and original containers is directly accessible as ~/.local/share/lxc/clonename/delta0/, ready to rsync.

However, that is not my use case. I like to keep a set of original containers updated for quick clone and use by my package build scripts or for manual use for bug reproduction etc. Overlayfs gets in the way here since updating the original container requires making sure no clones exist, else you can cause glitches or corruption in the clone.

Fortunately, if you are using ppa:ubuntu-lxc/daily, or building from git HEAD, then as of last week you can use btrfs clones with your unprivileged containers. This is perfect for me as I can update the originals while a long-running build is on-going in a clone, or if I just want to keep a clone around until i get time to extract the patch or bugfix or log contents sitting there.

So I create base containers using

lxc-create --template download -B btrfs --name c-trusty -- -d ubuntu -r trusty -a amd64

then have create_container and start_container scripts which basically do

lxc-clone --snapshot --orig c-trusty --new c-trusty-5

Perfect.


Tony Whitmore: Paul Spragg

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-05-12 17:30

I was very sorry to hear on Friday that Paul Spragg had passed away suddenly. Paul was an essential part of Big Finish, working tirelessly behind the scenes to make everything keep ticking over. I had the pleasure of meeting him on a number of occasions. I first met him at the recording for Dark Eyes 2. It was my first engagement for Big Finish and I was unsure of what to expect and generally feeling a little nervous. Paul was friendly right from the start and helped me get set up and ready. He even acted as my test subject as I was setting up my dramatic side lights, which is where the photo below comes from. It’s just a snap really, but it’s Paul.

He was always friendly and approachable, and we had a few chats when I was in the studio at other recording sessions. We played tag on the spare room at the studios, which is where interviews are done as well as being a makeshift photography studio. It was always great to bump into him at other events too.

Thanks to his presence on the Big Finish podcast Paul’s voice will be familiar to thousands. His west country accent and catchphrases like “fo-ward” made him popular with podcast listeners, to the extent that there were demands that he travel to conventions to meet them!

My thoughts and condolences go to his family, friends and everyone at Big Finish.

Pin It

Sergio Meneses: El Material Grafico Oficial de la Ubucon LatinAmerica 2014 Ya Disponible!

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-05-12 14:30

Saludos compañeros!

El comité organizador de la UbuconLatinoAmerica en su edición 2014 y la comunidad de Ubuntu Colombia, se complace de presentar finalmente el material gráfico para esta edición.

Se pueden descargar desde aquí o en su tamaño completo en la wiki oficial.

Agradecemos especialmente al diseñador William Lázaro por tan magnifico trabajo!

Por ultimo recordarles que si tienen algun comentario y/o sugerencia, Se puede contactar la organizacion mediante el mail: info@ubuconla.org


Jonathan Riddell: Kubuntu Utopic Kickoff Meeting

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-05-12 11:43
KDE Project:

A new cycle and lots of interesting possibilities! Will KF5 and Plasma 5 be supreme? All welcome at the Kubuntu kickoff meeting this european evening and american afternoon at 19:00UTC.

Install mumble, get a headset with headphones and microphone, adjust volumes to be sane and join us on mumble server kyofel.dyndns.org
Chat in #kde-devel

Add items to discuss at the meeting notes and review the TODO items on Trello.

See you there!

Ronnie Tucker: Ubuntu AIO DVD Has All Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Flavors on One Disk

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-05-12 04:21

Ubuntu AIO DVD (all-in-one), a collection of the most important Ubuntu 14.04 LTS flavors made available on April 17, 2014, is now ready for download.

The Ubuntu AIO DVD was put together by Milan Rajčić and helps users have all the major Ubuntu spins on a single DVD: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, Kubuntu 14.04 LTS, Ubuntu GNOME 14.04, Xubuntu 14.04 LTS, and Lubuntu 14.04 LTS.

As you can imagine, this is a very large compilation and it holds the official images that you can also download from the Canonical servers. The difference is that users have a single image that holds them all.

Source:

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Ubuntu-AIO-DVD-Has-All-Ubuntu-14-04-LTS-Flavors-on-One-Disk-441202.shtml

Submitted by: Silviu Stahie

 

Andrew Pollock: [debian] Day 103: Today's Debian efforts

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-05-12 02:15

I had a really productive day today actually working on Debian, as planned for my Mondays.

I'm still working through my list of packages, trying to get them all vaguely up to date for jessie. It's mostly just addressing Lintian issues that mostly revolve around old standards versions, with the occasional new upstream release. I've also been doing bug triage where the bugs aren't overwhelming.

Today I made uploads for pssh (a new upstream release), pymetrics (mostly just a rebuild), rcs-blame (mostly just a rebuild) and simpleproxy (mostly just a rebuild).

I need to revisit simpleproxy, because I'm having problems convincing the resulting binary to be linked correctly for relro. It's weird, because I'm doing everything I'm supposed to be doing and I can see all the other hardening flags being passed in except for this one.

I really like simplifying down debian/rules using dh, that really makes things readable. You can see the useful stuff without losing it in all the boilerplate. For some reason I was never a fan of CDBS, but I'm quite liking dh. I think it's because it's less opaque than CDBS.

Benjamin Mako Hill: Google Has Most of My Email Because It Has All of Yours

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-05-12 02:11

For almost 15 years, I have run my own email server which I use for all of my non-work correspondence. I do so to keep autonomy, control, and privacy over my email and so that no big company has copies of all of my personal email.

A few years ago, I was surprised to find out that my friend Peter Eckersley — a very privacy conscious friend who is Technology Projects Director at the EFF — used GMail. I asked him why he would willingly give Google copies of all his email. Peter pointed out that if all of your friends use GMail, Google has your email anyway. Any time I email somebody who uses GMail — and anytime they email me — Google has that email.

Since our conversation, I have often wondered just how much of my email Google really has. This weekend, I wrote a small program to go through all the email I have kept in my personal inbox since April 2004 (when GMail was started) to find out.

One challenge with answering the question is that many people, like Peter, use GMail to read, compose, and send email but they configure GMail to send email from a non-gmail.com “From” address. To catch these, my program looks through each message’s headers that record which computers handled the message on its way to my server and to pick out messages that have traveled through google.com, gmail.com, or googlemail.com. Although I usually filter them, my personal mailbox contains emails sent through a number of mailing lists. Since these mailing lists often “hide” the true provenance of a message, I exclude all messages that are marked as coming from lists using the (usually invisible) “Precedence” header.

The following graph shows the numbers of emails in my personal inbox each week in red and the subset from Google in blue. Because the number of emails I receive week-to-week tends to vary quite a bit, I’ve included a LOESS “smoother” which shows a moving average over several weeks.

From eyeballing the graph, the answer to seems to be that, although it varies, about a third of the email in my inbox comes from Google!

Keep in mind that this is all of my personal email and includes automatic and computer generated mail from banks and retailers, etc. Although it is true that Google doesn’t have these messages, it suggests that the proportion of my truly “personal” email that comes via Google is probably much higher.

I would also like to know how much of the email I send goes to Google. I can do this by looking at emails in my inbox that I have replied to. This works if I am willing to assume that if I reply to an email sent from Google, it ends up back at Google. In some ways, doing this addresses the problem with the emails from retailers and banks since I am very unlikely to reply to those emails. In this sense, it also reflects a measure of more truly personal email.

I’ve broken down the proportions of emails I received that come from Google in the graph below for all email (top) and for emails I have replied to (bottom). In the graphs, the size of the dots represents the total number of emails counted to make that proportion. Once again, I’ve included the LOESS moving average.

The answer is surprisingly large. Despite the fact that I spend hundreds of dollars a year and hours of work to host my own email server, Google has about half of my personal email! Last year, Google delivered 57% of the emails in my inbox that I replied to. They have delivered more than a third of all the email I’ve replied to ever year since 2006 and more than half since 2010. On the upside, there is some indication that the proportion is going down. So far this year, only 51% of the emails I’ve replied to arrived from Google.

The numbers are higher than I imagined and reflect somewhat depressing news. They show how it’s complicated to think about privacy and autonomy for communication between parties. I’m not sure what to do except encourage others to consider, in the wake of the Snowden revelations and everything else, whether you really want Google to have all your email. And half of mine.

If you want to run the analysis on your own, you’re welcome to the Python and R code I used to produce the numbers and graphs.

Aurélien Gâteau: Yokadi 0.14.0

Planet Ubuntu - Sun, 2014-05-11 18:22

You may not have heard about Yokadi. It is a command-line based TODO list manager which I started some years ago and work on with a bunch of fellow contributors.

Yokadi is a side project for all of us, with occasional bursts of development activities when we find an itch to scratch or foolishly think we finally figured out the missing feature which is going to save us from procrastination :), therefore development is a bit slow. We usually run the latest version from the master branch, but not everybody is comfortable with such a way to work, so it is good to have releases. Version 0.13.0 was released 3 (three!) years ago, it was high time we got a new version out. Last week we finally released version 0.14.0.

If you are a command-line aficionado looking for a way to manage your tasks, Yokadi might be the tool you need. Head over to http://yokadi.github.io to learn more and get the latest version. We look forward to your feedback!

Adnane Belmadiaf: How to use Oxide in your Ubuntu QML application

Planet Ubuntu - Sun, 2014-05-11 10:30

Oxide is a Qt5/QML binding based on the Chromium Content API, it's intended to replace qtwebkit for the touch browser, webapps and the UbuntuWebView.

So what does Oxide provide for developers ? It does provide a good chunk a usefull functions :

  • Basic navigation
  • Incognito mode
  • Multiple browser contexts
  • User scripts
  • Message API
  • Dialog support
  • Accelerated compositing
WebView

To declare a Webview using Oxide you need to use to components, WebView from com.canonical.Oxide

import com.canonical.Oxide 1.0 [...] WebView { id: webview width: parent.width height: parent.height Component.onCompleted: { url = "http://daker.me" } }

The WebView comes with a preferences property which allows to set a list of attributes :

  • allowFileAccessFromFileUrls (bool)
  • allowScriptsToCloseWindows (bool)
  • allowUniversalAccessFromFileUrls (bool)
  • appCacheEnabled (bool)
  • canDisplayInsecureContent (bool)
  • canRunInsecureContent (bool)
  • caretBrowsingEnabled (bool)
  • databasesEnabled (bool)
  • defaultEncoding (QString)
  • defaultFixedFontSize (uint)
  • defaultFontSize (uint)
  • fixedFontFamily (QString)
  • hyperlinkAuditingEnabled (bool)
  • javascriptCanAccessClipboard (bool)
  • javascriptEnabled (bool)
  • loadsImagesAutomatically (bool)
  • localStorageEnabled (bool)
  • minimumFontSize (uint)
  • objectName (QString)
  • passwordEchoEnabled (bool)
  • remoteFontsEnabled(bool)
  • sanSerifFontFamily (QString)
  • serifFontFamily (QString)
  • shrinksStandaloneImagesToFit (bool)
  • standardFontFamily (QString)
  • tabsToLinks (bool)
  • textAreasAreResizable (bool)
  • touchEnabled (bool)
Exampleimport com.canonical.Oxide 1.0 [...] WebView { id: webview width: parent.width height: parent.height Component.onCompleted: { url = "http://daker.me" } preferences.localStorageEnabled: true preferences.loadsImagesAutomatically: false preferences.passwordEchoEnabled: true } WebContext

Oxide also provides a WebContext which allow to set other settings

  • acceptLangs (QString)
  • cachePath (QUrl)
  • cookiePolicy (CookiePolicy)
  • dataPath (QUrl)
  • objectName (QString)
  • popupBlockerEnabled (bool)
  • product (QString)
  • sessionCookieMode
  • storageAccessPermissionDelegate
  • userAgent (QString)
  • userAgentOverrideDelegate
  • userScripts

This example shows how you can use the WebContext to override the default UserAgent

UserAgentimport com.canonical.Oxide 1.0 [...] WebContext { id: webcontext userAgent: "Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3" } WebView { id: webview width: parent.width height: parent.height context: webcontext Component.onCompleted: { url = "http://www.whatsmyuseragent.com" } } networkRequestDelegate

You can also override the http request headers by using the networkRequestDelegate, in this example i am adding a Do Not Track (DNT) an HTTP header field on the fly.

import com.canonical.Oxide 1.0 [...] WebContext { id: webcontext networkRequestDelegate: WebContextDelegateWorker { source: Qt.resolvedUrl("dnt.js") } } WebView { id: webview width: parent.width height: parent.height context: webcontext Component.onCompleted: { url = "http://www.browserleaks.com/donottrack" } } /* dnt.js Made by Adnane Belmadiaf <daker AT ubuntu DOT com> */ exports.onBeforeSendHeaders = function(event) { event.setHeader("DNT", 1); }; UserScripts

Oxide supports Greasemonkey-style user scripts, here is an example to do some DOM manipulation.

import com.canonical.Oxide 1.0 [...] WebContext { id: webcontext userScripts: [ UserScript { context: "oxide://" url: Qt.resolvedUrl("oxide_dom.js") incognitoEnabled: true matchAllFrames: true } ] } WebView { id: webview width: parent.width height: parent.height context: webcontext Component.onCompleted: { url = "http://www.ubuntu.com/" } } // ==UserScript== // @name Dom Manipulation // @namespace http://daker.me // @description Oxide UserScript demo // ==/UserScript== function oxide_dom() { var div = document.createElement('div'); div.innerHTML = '<h1>Content inserted using Oxide UserScript!</h1>'; div.style.color = 'red'; document.getElementById("nav-global").insertBefore(div); } window.addEventListener('load', oxide_dom, true); Message API

Oxide does also provide a message API, in this example the script will send a message to Oxide and Oxide will reply back.

import com.canonical.Oxide 1.0 [...] WebContext { id: webcontext networkRequestDelegate: WebContextDelegateWorker { source: Qt.resolvedUrl("message-api.js") onMessage: console.log("Message from Oxide : ", message.msg) Component.onCompleted: { sendMessage({ msg: 'ping' }) } } } WebView { id: webview width: parent.width height: parent.height context: webcontext Component.onCompleted: { url = "http://www.ubuntu.com/" } } /* message-api.js This script will send a message to Oxide on every request */ var response_msg = ""; oxide.onMessage = function(msg) { if ("msg" in msg) { if (msg["msg"] == 'ping') { response_msg = "pong"; } } }; exports.onBeforeSendHeaders = function(event) { oxide.sendMessage({msg: response_msg}); };

Daniel Pocock: Is Uber on your side?

Planet Ubuntu - Sun, 2014-05-11 07:40

Crowdsourcing ventures with disruptive business models are a regular point of contention these days.

In London, taxi drivers are threatening to create gridlock as part of an anti-Uber protest. In Melbourne, Uber drivers have been issued with $1,700 fines for operating without a taxi license. San Francisco city officials, despite being the birthplace of many of these ventures, are debating whether AirBNB should be regulated.

An orderly society or an old-school protection racket?

Just what exactly is it that established players in these industries are trying to achieve through their protests and lobbying efforts?

In the case of apartment rentals, many people have sympathy for respecting the wishes of neighbourhoods over those of individual landlords. In the case of car pooling schemes, the arguments tend to come not from motorists at large but from those who are afraid of competition.

Without competition, could things be any worse?

Melbourne actually provides the perfect backdrop for this debate. Only a couple of years before Uber came on the scene, the government had made a detailed study into the taxi industry. One of Australia's most prominent economic experts, a former chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission spent 18 months studying the industry.

One of the highlights of the incumbent system (and the reason I suggest Melbourne is the perfect backdrop for this debate) is the way licenses are issued to taxi drivers. There are a fixed number of licenses issued by the government. The licenses are traded on the open market so prices can go up and down just like real-estate. Under the rules of Australia's pension scheme, people have even been able to use money from their pension fund to purchase a taxi license as an investment. It goes without saying that this has helped rampant speculation and the price of a license is now comparable to the price of a house.

The end result is that no real taxi driver can afford a license: most of them have to rent their license from one of the speculators who bought the license. These fixed rental fees have to be paid every month whether the driver uses their car or not. Consequently, taxi drivers have cut back on other expenses, they are often criticised for failing to keep their cars clean and the industry as a whole is criticised due to the poor quality of drivers who don't even know their way around the city. The reason, of course, is simple: by the time some newly arrived immigrant has learnt his way around Melbourne he has also figured out that the economics of driving a taxi are not in his favor. Realizing there is no way to break even, they take other jobs instead.

It was originally speculated that the government review would dramatically reduce or abolish these speculative practices but ultimately lower license charges have only been used for the issue of 60 new licenses, barely 1% of the taxi fleet in the city today. Furthermore, the new licenses were only available to existing players in the industry.

Uber to the rescue?

Uber drove into the perfect storm as they launched their service in Melbourne in 2013.

Uber drivers get a significant benefit over their competitors in traditional taxis. In particular, as they don't have the fixed monthly payment to rent a taxi license, they don't have to work every day and can even take holidays or take time to clean the cars. These things may simultaneously benefit road safety and passenger comfort.

Meanwhile, those people who speculated on the old taxi licenses have tried hunger strikes and all kinds of other desperate tactics to defer the inevitable loss of their "investment".

The reality is that crowdsourcing is here to stay. Even if Uber is stopped by bullying and intimidation, the inefficiency of Melbourne's taxi system is plain for all to see and both customers and drivers will continue looking for alternatives. Other car-pooling apps based on barter or cost sharing will continue to find ways to operate even if the Uber model is prohibited.

It is interesting to note that the last great reform of Melbourne taxis, under Premier Jeff Kennett in the 1990s, simply resulted in a change of paint with the aim of making them look like those in New York City. Disruptive services like Uber (with their numerous technology-powered innovations to save time and money) appear to be doing far more to improve the lives of passengers and drivers.

The hidden cost

That said, large scale schemes like Uber do also have a down side for customer privacy. Hailing cabs in the street leaves no records of your movements. This new model, however, is leaving a very detailed trail of breadcrumbs that can be used for both marketing purposes or extracted (lawfully or otherwise) by some third party who wishes to monitor a particular customer's past or future movements. This is the trade-off that arises when we benefit from the efficiencies of any cloud-based service.

Ronnie Tucker: Debian 7.5 “Wheezy” Live CD Now Available for Download

Planet Ubuntu - Sun, 2014-05-11 04:20

The Debian project has released the new Live CD images for the latest version of Debian 7.5 “Wheezy,” that was made available a week ago. When a new point release of Debian is made available, the Live CD version of that distro is not accessible to users right away. It usually takes about a week for the Debian Live CD team to put together the new releases. All the Debian flavors have gotten their own Live Cd, including LXDE, GNOME, KDE, and the Rescue CD. The default implementation is Xfce.

Source:

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Debian-7-5-Wheezy-Live-CD-Now-Available-for-Download-441273.shtml

Submitted by: Silviu Stahie

Paul Tagliamonte: First test deployment of Lenin

Planet Ubuntu - Sun, 2014-05-11 03:16

Hello, World!

I’ve deployed my first instance of lenin to my backup VCS (lucifer.pault.ag), and it’s going great.

(Screenshot of the first few instances for good measure)

I’m excited to see how it develops!

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