RichiH writes: "Given the staggering success of the last two iterations, the Humble Indie Bundle just resurfaced for the third iteration. Games included this time are Trine, Shadowgrounds, Shadowgrounds: Survivor, Splot and Jack Claw. You pay what you want, all games are DRM-free, run under Windows, Mac OS X and Linux and, as usual, the Linux users are willing to shell out significantly more. Oh, and you can redirect some or all of the money you pay to the EFF or Penny Arcade's Child's Play. Even if, like me, you don't have time to actually play those games, this is worth supporting."
RichiH writes: Let's face it: If you are reading this, you are the IT guy for your family. That one thing everyone likes to ignore are backups and when things go south, you are the one tasked to restore everything from a recipe to the pictures of your aunt. Alotofpeople are looking for the One True Solution, but no one seems to have found it. While Flickr and the like work for photos, there is more to back up than photos. Solutions like crashplan with de-duplication, encryption, distributing backups to other PCs within your family and online storage are nice, but a closed, self-updating Java application which requires root privileges and stores your encryption key at every(!) backup destination is not exactly ideal, either. Other solutions like git annex are great for tech-minded people like you, but your mom won't touch it. Proper backup solutions like Bacula require static client addresses and open ports on any firewalls in between which is not an option for most home or mobile settings. My plan is to set up a dedicated backup server with RAID or ZFS at a hosting facility. The only question is this: What backup solution is distributed (to minimaize potential loss), supports local, on-site and off-site storage, encrypted at the source, runs automagically (so your mom can not forget, ever), verifies data integrity regularly (weekly; checksum of the container or similar), offers aggressive monitoring of any and all errors and warnings, runs on Windows, Linux and possibly Mac OS X? Oh, and if possible, it would be nice if it was FLOSS.
RichiH writes: Quoth techdirt.com: "A group of companies sent a letter to to Attorney General Eric Holder and ICE boss John Morton today (with cc's to VP Joe Biden, Homeland Security boss Janet Napolitano, IP Czar Victoria Espinel, Rep. Lamar Smith, Rep. John Conyers, Senator Patrick Leahy and Senator Charles Grassley), supporting the continued seizure of domain names they don't like, as well as the new COICA censorship bill, despite the serious Constitutional questions raised about how such seizures violate due process and free speech principles." A full list of companies who you might want to avoid buying from is included, as well.
RichiH writes: Good news everyone! Grml 2010.12, based on Debian unstable, has been released on New Year's Eve. Geared towards the needs of system administrators and power users, it features an ever-improving customization of Zsh, loop-aes, an VNC-enabled boot option, optional auto-configuration via scripts loaded from the network during booting, several comfortable ways to make the ISO boot from USB and just about any tool you could ever want for system recovery, data backup, forensics, security, networking and general system analysis. The full press release can be found here, downloads are here and just fyi, the torrents are seeded by several servers on gigabit.
RichiH writes: You might remember Constable Adam Josephs aka Officer Bubbles, the policeman who threatened and then arrested a woman for blowing bubbles during the G20 protests in Toronto, Canada. YouTube user ThePMOCanada based some comics on this bizarre event which seems to have been deleted, along with the account, by YouTube. While the account has been re-enabled by YouTube only minutes ago, the videos in question are still missing. Not having heard of the Streisand Effect before, Mr. Josephs is now suing YouTube for $ 1.25 million Canadian and the identity of 25 John Does. The Toronto Police Service declined to comment both on the suit and on Mr. Josephs' behavior during the G20 protests.
RichiH writes: According to a twitter post, the HDCP master key has been leaked. Engadget has a minimal story about this. Take it with a sack of salt and if it turns out to be true, print it on a t-shirt.
RichiH writes: There have been severaldiscussions about alternative on-screen keyboards on slashdot over the years. I dimly rememer a discussion about a modified ATOMIK (see latter link) keyboard and a sort of shifting field with an alphabetical, vertical field of letters of different sizes according to their likelyhood of coming next in a given word. Said fork of ATOMIK had two 'e' fields and other modifcations to accomodate the writing of most short, common words in one swipe. With the advent of more and more touch devices, these concepts are becoming more and more important. Trying to help fostering these new methods, I tried to find a reference, name, discussion, homepage, anything regarding said modified for years. Having gone through another iteration of searching just now, I have two questions to to/. crowd at large. 1) Can you point me to what I am looking for? 2) What new, exciting, weird, implemented, barely thought-out and other input concepts for touch devices are you aware of?
RichiH writes: The Grml project is happy to announce the immediate release of Grml 2009.10 aka "Hello Wien". Including lots of new versions and packages, this Linux Live CD is geared towards power users and sysadmins. Coming with a highly tuned Z Shell by default, it includes everything you need for backups, system recovery, network management and much much more. Also included are several light-weigth Window Managers, highly advanced netboot capabilities and Google's stressapptest. The release notes can be found here and the isos live here
RichiH writes: My girlfriend managed to delete her photo directory. After restoring 17783 images with foremost, I do have her data, but renaming and re-sorting that many files would be a huge task. If I remember correctly, FAT 'deletes' by changing the first letter of any given filename to a question mark. Which poses the question of how to restore the files including filenames and directory structure on a FAT32 partition. Several dd images of the partition in question are available so destructive measure would be acceptable. Preferably, I would do this in Linux, but Windows is OK as a last resort. Another interesting question is which other filesystems allow this level of easy restoration. Afaik there are none. Please try to stay on topic, which means no discussion about 'why were there no backups';)
RichiH writes: Games usually need more patches than most other FLOSS software. Sometimes, they are not maintained by their original developers anymore, sometimes upstream does not care about Unix-compatibility or they won't accept the changes that are required to make games work properly. Traditionally, maintainers of every distribution had to create their own patches and fixes to provide similar funcionality. After successful collaboration between several major distributions, we decided to take this to the next level. Well over 50 members of Arch Linux, Debian, Fedora, Fink, FreeBSD, Gentoo, OpenSolaris, PC-BSD, NetBSD, Slackware, SuSE, Ubuntu and Yellow Dog as well as Gnome and KDE have decided to join forces and start working together on firstname.lastname@example.org and #freedesktop-games on irc.freenode.net. Collaboration on upstream level is common these days, but distributions have largely remained islands and it's time to fix that. Thus, we want to invite everyone, upstream, maintainers and anyone else who might be interested to join us in this collaborative effort. To the best of our knowledge, this effort is unique. But if anyone could share experience or even start something like this in their own fields of interest, it would be great:)
RichiH writes: Most of you will be the free IT staff of friends and family, just as I am. One of my largest headaches is backing up their data. What I am looking for allows for off-site storage on multiple server machines running Linux, has Linux & Windows clients that Just Work and require zero everyday effort (largish effort setting them up is just fine), allows for granular access control, is versioned and will, ideally, allow me to grab data automagically, as well (think photo pool for your family where your mother, sister, etc share each other's photos). This is something I have been looking for for years, but never found anything even closely resembling what I want. With the Wall Street Journal handing out its Technology Innovation Award to Cleversafe recently, I was once again reminded of this particular itch which needs scratching. Before I deploy it, I want to ask the/. community about its opinion on that piece of software and on potential alternatives. How do you solve this problem?
RichiH writes: Want to know how much you will pay in taxes once a new president is elected? Quantrix and Jeffrey Gramlich of the University of Southern Maine released an online tax estimator which makes an educated guess based on the positions & statements of the candidates. The short version: Under McCain, you will pay minimally less than under Bush. Under Obama, you will pay noticeably less.
RichiH writes: Off-site, versioned storage is great, but for some things, you just can't beat a thumb drive. While I don't needlessly abuse my gear, I will not pamper it, either. I gave various drives a try, but they all broke within weeks or months, sometimes even days. What I am looking for is an USB thumb drive that will fit onto a keychain and still be able to take a beating. Ideally, this drive has a metal keyring hole, a cap that will not come off too easily and thus protect the USB plug, is not much larger than an actual thumb and has 4 GiB of storage or more. What drives did you use over time and with what results? How long did they survive?