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Journal Journal: I Can't Leave Well Enough Alone 10

My desktop machine at work is now running Fedora 19. It just came out, I'm busy - what the heck is wrong with me?

So something about how stuff works regarding the nvidia drivers, the kernel and what not changed. So that saga continues. Getting both my monitors working was a real exercise in pain. I tried a lot of stuff before I ended up with it working and I went down so many different trails that I don't remember for sure how I got here so I'm not even help to anyone else. Stand out moments were that lots of paths that included just plugging in the card and both monitors led to lock ups at various points in the booting up or getting KDE going process. So while I don't remember specifics I can say that in general- I did the main install using the on board video (intel) and a single monitor. When I got that all working (mostly) then I put in the Nvidia card and hooked it up to a single monitor. Then I installed the nvidia drivers. All was fine (mostly) and it was hooking up that second that made everything go square shaped.

What fixed it? I don't freaking know. The order of how things went? What was hooked up first and then second? I really don't know. I just know now that the nvidia drivers are working and it is using both screens and they look rather nice. That's all I know.

Oh but get this -- I posted a lot about my struggles with Firefox. Well right at this moment Chrome crashes X and kicks me back to logging in. Firefox works fine - and google hangouts works fine with Firefox. What?! I don't know. I can't explain it. It just is what it is. Starting Chrome makes SELinux complain - maybe that's related. Maybe the Google folks will fix it at some point. They update Chrome pretty regularly. I like Fedora better anyway. And Opera works fine. Konqueror too of course. Oh man - there were some early attempts where Konqueror was all that worked and those were fun times.

I've got the new kscreen deal for setting up screens. And it's so much better than the old stuff but frankly I'm terrified to go anywhere near it right now. I'm sort of scared of messing stuff up. The nvidia x server settings program runs and that seems sufficient. I had fun earlier when using either of them locked up the system and it wouldn't take input from the keyboard. That went away do to some amazing, smart thing I did without knowing it.

It's not all that crazy different from my F18 setup. Oh - I've got MariaDB now instead of MySQL and they don't have the MySQL workbench (data modeling is still borked) in the repos any more. I can't say I'm totally on board with this decision. Now I've got to keep track of it and update it when appropriate. And I get that Oracle is the evil - but whatever. If I'd been running the world back in the when it would be PostgreSQL everywhere and I wouldn't even have to worry about this.

Here's a fun error message that apparently doesn't really matter - "A start job is running for Wait for Plymouth Boot Screen to Quit." Have fun parsing that puppy.

User Journal

Journal Journal: I need a new browser 7

At least until I put Linux on this notebook. FireFox 21.0 is wierding out like IE6 on a lot of sites, including slashdot. I can't even change my sig.

What browser are you using?

United States

Journal Journal: Obama's Soft Totalitarianism 10

Obama's Soft Totalitarianism: Europe Must Protect Itself from America

A Commentary by Jakob Augstein
Is Barack Obama a friend? Revelations about his government's vast spying program call that assumption into doubt. The European Union must protect the Continent from America's reach for omnipotence.

On Tuesday, Barack Obama is coming to Germany. But who, really, will be visiting? He is the 44th president of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. He is an intelligent lawyer. And he is a Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

But is he a friend? The revelations brought to us by IT expert Edward Snowden have made certain what paranoid computer geeks and left-wing conspiracy theorists have long claimed: that we are being watched. All the time and everywhere. And it is the Americans who are doing the watching.

On Tuesday, the head of the largest and most all-encompassing surveillance system ever invented is coming for a visit. If Barack Obama is our friend, then we really don't need to be terribly worried about our enemies.

It is embarrassing: Barack Obama will be arriving in Berlin for only the second time, but his visit is coming just as we are learning that the US president is a snoop on a colossal scale. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that she will speak to the president about the surveillance program run by the National Security Agency, and the Berlin Interior Ministry has sent a set of 16 questions to the US Embassy. But Obama need not be afraid. German Interior Minister Hans Peter Friedrich, to be sure, did say: âoeThat's not how you treat friends.â But he wasn't referring to the fact that our trans-Atlantic friends were spying on us. Rather, he meant the criticism of that spying.

Friedrich's reaction is only paradoxical on the surface and can be explained by looking at geopolitical realities. The US is, for the time being, the only global power -- and as such it is the only truly sovereign state in existence. All others are dependent -- either as enemies or allies. And because most prefer to be allies, politicians -- Germany's included -- prefer to grin and bear it.

'It's Legal'

German citizens should be able to expect that their government will protect them from spying by foreign governments. But the German interior minister says instead: âoeWe are grateful for the excellent cooperation with US secret services.â Friedrich didn't even try to cover up his own incompetence on the surveillance issue. âoeEverything we know about it, we have learned from the media,â he said. The head of the country's domestic intelligence agency, Hans-Georg Maassen, was not any more enlightened. âoeI didn't know anything about it,â he said. And Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger was also apparently in the dark. âoeThese reports are extremely unsettling,â she said.

With all due respect: These are the people who are supposed to be protecting our rights? If it wasn't so frightening, it would be absurd.

Friedrich's quote from the weekend was particularly quaint: âoeI have no reason to doubt that the US respects rights and the law.â Yet in a way, he is right. The problem is not the violation of certain laws. Rather, in the US the laws themselves are the problem. The NSA, in fact, didn't even overreach its own authority when it sucked up 97 billion pieces of data in one single 30-day period last March. Rather, it was acting on the orders of the entire US government, including the executive, legislative and judicial branches, the Democrats, the Republicans, the House of Representatives, the Senate and the Supreme Court. They are all in favor. Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, merely shrugged her shoulders and said: âoeIt's legal.â

A Monitored Human Being Is Not a Free One

What, exactly, is the purpose of the National Security Agency? Security, as its name might suggest? No matter in what system or to what purpose: A monitored human being is not a free human being. And every state that systematically contravenes human rights, even in the alleged service of security, is acting criminally.

Those who believed that drone attacks in Pakistan or the camp at Guantanamo were merely regrettable events at the end of the world should stop to reflect. Those who still believed that the torture at Abu Ghraib or that the waterboarding in CIA prisons had nothing to do with them, are now changing their views. Those who thought that we are on the good side and that it is others who are stomping all over human rights are now opening their eyes. A regime is ruling in the United States today that acts in totalitarian ways when it comes to its claim to total control. Soft totalitarianism is still totalitarianism.

We're currently in the midst of a European crisis. But this unexpected flare-up of American imperialism serves as a reminder of the necessity for Europe. Does anyone seriously believe that Obama will ensure the chancellor and her interior minister that the American authorities will respect the rights of German citizens in the future? Only Europe can break the American fantasy of omnipotence. One option would be for Europe to build its own system of networks to prevent American surveillance. Journalist Frank Schirrmacher of the respected Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper recommended that over the weekend. âoeIt would require subsidies and a vision as big as the moon landing,â he argues.

A simpler approach would be to just force American firms to respect European laws. The European Commission has the ability to do that. The draft for a new data privacy directive has already been presented. It just has to be implemented. Once that happens, American secret services might still be able to walk all over European law, but if US Internet giants like Google, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook want to continue making money off of a half-billion Europeans, then they will have to abide by our laws. Under the new law, companies caught passing on data in ways not permitted are forced to pay fines. You can be sure that these companies would in turn apply pressure to their own government. The proposal envisions setting that fine at 2 percent of a company's worldwide revenues.

Government

Journal Journal: If You Still Believe You Live in a "Liberal Democracy"? 34

You're just not as bright as you like to congratulate yourself.

It is very simple. Follow the money. Years ago the wealthy needed a strong middleclass. Henry Ford even commented that a strong middleclass bought the products of the wealthy. But the wealthy no longer make products. Money is earned through money games. And the economy is global.

The goal now is the destruction of the middleclass. Why? So that we'll work for nothing. A sort of coal mining economic theory. Work for nothing and then give what little money you have back when you buy life's necessities at the company store.

As the wealth gets concentrated and the middleclass destroyed there might be some uprisings. The Corporate Government will be able to get the leaders very quickly and thereby diffuse the uprisings literally before they start. Like arresting the persons behind "Occupy Wall Street" before the occupation.

With indefinite detention being the law of the land there will be no need for trials.

And with all that anti terrorism security money going to crowd control weapons like sonic beams that make you burn those crowds that do assemble will be quickly dealt with.

It is always about the money.

Posted by: Ray | Jun 29, 2013 9:27:54 PM

User Journal

Journal Journal: MySQL Workbench on Fedora 18 64 bit - Updated

Update -- The query and admin functionality all seem fine. It's just the modelling portion that tanks.

Not sure what happened but the data modeling portion (maybe more - haven't checked) of MySQL workbench is completely unusable on my Fedora 18 machine. I've tried everything I can think of and Google doesn't turn up anything - so I don't know what the cause is, but I can't use it. Which is too bad. I like the tool a lot. I get it up and going but pretty quickly it becomes slow to the point of appearing unresponsive. Later when I feel like messing with it more I'll try to dig around and see if I can figure it out. I don't have to use it - I can just write out everything but sometimes visual tools like that help me process - and I could draw it on paper but it's nice to make my picture and then just get my sql with it automagically.

And while I'm here - in somewhat related news - I reported earlier that swing fonts were looking better on my system and I wasn't sure why. I can now confirm that if I don't use OpenGL as my compositing type they don't look so good. The java options for font rendering seem to have no impact but if I switch compositing to XRender the font appearance become crappy. This is with the NVidia driver. So that feels a little bit like less of a mystery.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Stuff Stoolpigeons Like 2

I finished the new season of Arrested Development on Netflix and I liked it. I'm almost done with Eureka and have started watching Longmire, which I really enjoy so far. (I think I'm 7 episodes in.) I have fun spotting BSG people when they pop up in stuff - caught a couple in the new Superman movie over the week-end. My family really liked Man of Steel. I've never been able to really get into Superman as a super hero.

I'm driving down to Vlora, Albania in a couple weeks to work at an English camp. Then we are going to take a ferry to Italy and drive home up through Italy with a stop to check out Pompeii and the area around there. Should be a lot of fun. We'll drive down through Serbia and Macedonia. All new places for me so I'm looking forward to it.

We've had a really strange spring and summer here, weather wise. It was cold, then it was flooding, then it got hot. Now it's nice again. Due in large part to the flooding (my guess) we have a lot of mosquitoes about so it makes it more difficult to enjoy the very pleasant evenings that have arrived. I'm so picky. I'm enjoying the weather though (and I never would have guessed this) I find myself looking forward to fall and cooler weather. I don't like bitter cold but fall and winter here are pretty mild and that I like a lot.

AWOLNATION - it's not life changing music but Sail is a fun song. I'm not afraid to like pop stuff.

I enjoy watching StarCraft replays. I pretty much only watch stuff produced by HuskyStarcraft. The guy is a great broadcaster. He has a series - Bronze League Heroes. I highly recommend it. A lot of fun to watch and makes me feel less bad about my StarCraft skills - or more appropriately the lack thereof.

Croatia is in the EU now. Just need to get it in the Schengen and I'll be a happy camper. Beautiful, beautiful country and not having to stop at the border will make it just that much more of an easy choice when we have some time off. GIS Split or Plitvice and you'll see what I mean.

I've enjoyed reading about the new consoles coming out - but it's funny - we have our wii and mostly still play gamecube games on it. We play a couple wii games but the most popular are the older games. By the time the consoles after these new consoles come out my son will be a teenager and we'll probably upgrade then. Though he plays a lot of minecraft - so that's newer so maybe we'll just stick to pc stuff. I dunno. He really wants a tablet - so we are waiting to see what the new Nexus 7 looks like.

Myself - I'm a casual gamer right now. I just don't have the time to dig into something that takes more commitment. I never even got very far into Skyward Sword. And that's just messed up. In fact if I did have time, that's probably what I would play.

All right - that's the current state of the entertainment world for the stoolpigeon. I'm not reading anything for fun right now - so no books. Maybe later.

User Journal

Journal Journal: News that matters 2

With latest Debian sid 3.9 kernel, tv card works if I manually modprobe cx88-dvb.

I will be offline for a considerable period possibly weeks soon while I get temporarily and until I have stuff sorted out. Internet will be way down the list of stuff.

Move is because I am waiting on a formal offer of employment in a faraway city by myself for crap pay. But it is employment..

User Journal

Journal Journal: PackageKit and Apper

Fedora has yum for installing packages and I am a big fan. In front of yum is PackageKit. PackageKit checks for updates and does some work on my behalf. As I use KDE - the gui provided for interacting with PackageKit is Apper. Apper has been around for a long time and it's a nice way to look for packages and software that I might want. I like to browse through it sometimes and see what is up. When it installs updates for me it lets me know if I need to log out or reboot for everything to be in effect.
 
The down side is that Apper absolutely sucks at letting me know what is going on. During a normal update what it presents as information to the user is usually completely disconnecting from what is actually happening. It will, for example, say it is downloading and sit at 10% for a long time and then suddenly jump to cleaning up and some much higher percentage. If there is a problem it will fail without really giving any meaningful feedback on what went wrong.
 
It's interesting because I would assume the point is to make it easier for people but in reality it does just the opposite. I really need to stop using it for updates and stick to only using yum from the command line. If I open up console and run a 'yum update' I get constant feedback of exactly what is happening. I never have the issues I have with apper. If it fails it tells me why and often gives me very useful suggestions on what to do to fix things. I love yum and how friendly it is. Apper on the other hand is just a way to cause myself grief.
 
I'm thinking about this especially today because it made my morning difficult. I haven't been in the office in quite a while. I knew I'd have a lot of updates waiting for my desktop system. Sure enough the little notifier icon was there. Now - I didn't initiate the updates from there. KDE now has a little panel widget that will let you start updates without opening apper up - but it sucks too. It gets ahead of itself and tells you that you need to log out/reboot before the updates are even all applied. So when I see the icon there, I just opened apper to the updates tab. I looked over what was available and told it to start.
 
It chugged along for quite a while and ultimately just sat there - doing nothing that I could tell. There was no disk activity - I couldn't see anything going on but it hadn't finished either. Eventually I killed it and restarted the machine as there was a kernel update.
 
Well - that created quite a mess. With yum I was eventually able to get it all cleaned up. I had some duplicate packages, some unfinished transactions and some other nonsense. So as I said, my new promise to myself is that all future updates take place in bash with yum.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Fedora 17 and Scanning from HP All-in-One 3

I have an HP Officejet J6480 All-in-One that we use for printing and scanning stuff. It works pretty well. I had managed to avoid inkjet printers until the kids got to school age and then we needed color. So the ink thing is crazy (and I can't find the cartridges here in Hungary - which is really annoying. I think HP limits what they sell in different regions to control pricing. Stupid.) But other than that, I've been pretty happy with it.
 
When I moved our PC in the office out to the living room and hooked it up to the TV - I put my old laptop running Fedora 17 in its place. I'd never used that machine with a scanner before so I had to figure out how to set it up. I googled around a bit and found a few things I needed to install but the various parts were spread around, so here it is all in one spot.
 
I probably didn't need to install all these things. But I figured some might be helpful so I grabbed them anyway. Disk space is cheap. The packages I installed were

  • sane
  • sane-backends-drivers-scanners
  • xsane
  • simple-scan
  • skanlite
  • hplip
  • hplip-gui

Now I think if I'd done hplip-gui it probably would have pulled hplip as a dependency. As it was this took very little time. Just quick "yum install" and the package name. Once I had them all I ran hp-setup and walked through a little wizard that made it all work. It was very easy. Skanlite is the main KDE scanning application I guess and since I use KDE that's what I went with. It works pretty well and does what I want. I have just scanned stuff as images. I haven't tried messing around with OCR. I haven't used simple-scan. I just grabbed it to have other options if I needed to trouble shoot any issues.
 
The printer/scanner is on the network and not connected to the computer via usb. The HP setup program handled this without issue. The whole thing was just very, very painless and I love sharing stories of when Linux works so well.

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