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Comment Try GNU/Social (Score 1) 91

Unlike the other replies, I'd like to point you to an ACTUAL twitter-like service.

GNU/Social is a PHP-based microblogging platform that you can install and maintain yourself. It uses OStatus to communicate between instances, and has a small following already.

If you'd like to try it out, you could most definitely find an instance (like Quitter) that you could try. :)

Submission + - Lavabit shuts down citing legal interference 2

guises writes: Lavabit, originally envisioned as a privacy-conscious alternative to Gmail, has shuttered. Ladar Levison, the company owner, offers this explanation:

I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit. After significant soul searching, I have decided to suspend operations. I wish that I could legally share with you the events that led to my decision. I cannot. I feel you deserve to know what’s going on--the first amendment is supposed to guarantee me the freedom to speak out in situations like this. Unfortunately, Congress has passed laws that say otherwise.

Submission + - MIT's report on Aaron Swartz is out - MIT claims neutrality

gavron writes: Mit has released their report on the Aaron Swartz incident. They also include an MD5 fingerprint. Sadly for MIT's great cryptography genius, having the signature on the same page as its reference and the same site as the file means nothing. More on MD5 hashes here. Noted crypto researched Bruce Schneier said MD5 had to go almost ten years ago.

Submission + - Lawmakers Who Upheld NSA Phone Spying Received Double the Defense Industry Cash ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: The numbers tell the story — in votes and dollars. On Wednesday, the House voted 217 to 205 not to rein in the NSA’s phone-spying dragnet. It turns out that those 217 “no” voters received twice as much campaign financing from the defense and intelligence industry as the 205 “yes” voters.

Submission + - Epic Online Space Battle (

nusscom writes: On July 28th, as has been reported by BBC, a record number of players participated in a record-breaking online battle between two alliances. This battle, which was essentially a turf-war was comprised of over 4,000 online players at one time. The load was so large that Crowd Control Productions (CCP) slowed down the servers to accomodate the massive amount of activity.

Submission + - Another Kickstart failure? (

DataWiz writes: The project posted on Slashdot under "Stephen Fry and DVD Jon Back USB Sniffer Project" on Friday November 26, 2010 @11:25AM was successfully funded in December 2010. They project had a goal of $17,500 and took in over $80,000.00. 2-1/2 years later the project has not materialized and the last of very few updates was 5 months ago.
Is this another case of Kickstart being more a donation site and showing that crowd source funding is just donating to a cause you hope will succeed. Would love to see the stats on how many crowd funded projects actually deliver.

Submission + - Why are Facebook, IBM, Microsoft and Oracle Backing a Fight Against the Blind? ( 1

Glyn Moody writes: The world's blind have been trying to obtain the right to access books in other formats like Braille for 30 years, but the publishers have been fighting hard to stop that happening, claiming that copyright would be harmed if exceptions were made. Last month, the MPAA joined in, seeking to weaken even further the text of a proposed UN treaty on copyright exceptions for persons who are blind or have other disabilities. Now it seems it's the turn of computer companies to attack the blind. A Brussels-based corporate lobby group known as Business Europe has sent a letter to the European Commission opposing the treaty. What's interesting is some of the well-known computer companies in the Business Europe's Corporate Advisory and Support Group: Facebook, IBM, Microsoft and Oracle. So the question is: do they support Business Europe and its attempt to block copyright exceptions for the blind? If they don't, they need to speak up against the move; if they do, we will know how much weight to put on future claims that they are compassionate, caring organisations...

Submission + - Electronics Made From Hemp (

MTorrice writes: A low-cost chemical process can turn hemp fiber into carbon nanomaterials. Researchers used the materials to make devices called supercapacitors that provide quick bursts of electrical energy. Supercapacitors made with the hemp nanosheets put out more power than commercial devices can.

Comment Re:theme != distro. (Score 1) 106

Who mentioned Hurd? I didn't. That's not even a good strawman.

You mentioned Crunchbang used a stock Debian kernel as a seeming downside, so I picked a facetious example of a non-stock kernel. You may commence your giggling.

Why is the comparison point a netinstall? And why, on a system that can be upgraded from version to version, does anyone care very much about configuring it the first time? You only have to install once, not repeatedly. How hard is a netinstall anyway?

Because that's how I've set up my Openbox desktops previously? I tend to distro-hop, so I end up reconfiguring quite a bit. If you're upgrading the same system for years, you're right, it probably doesn't make that much of a difference to you.

As for the website not giving you a bulleted list of features... who cares? There's no Crunchbang copywriters, no marketing department, etc; just the guy who makes the distro. If you're mortally offended by the About page, then by all means, don't download an ISO - or, hop on over to the Crunchbang forums and offer to help them out with their website.

There are plenty of great distros to use out there, including vanilla Debian. If Crunchbang doesn't qualify as an officially blessed, fully-qualified Linux distribution in your eyes... I think we'll find the will to go on living & using it ourselves. ;)

Comment Re:theme != distro. (Score 2) 106

Your right, Crunchbang is essentially Debian with a dark theme - that's one of the reasons I like it so much.

The reason I use it over vanilla Debian is that all of the manual configuration and package selection that I'd do with a Debian netinstall is already done in Crunchbang. A couple config tweaks, and my system's fully-configured. They do add a lot of helper bash scripts and they add some custom packages in their repo, but mostly I use it because it's a Debian + Openbox installation with sensible defaults.

Saying that it's not a distro just because they don't include a custom compiled GNU/Hurd kernel and a fully reimplemented software repository is a little short-sighted. Half the Linux distros in existence are mostly Debian at their core.

Comment Re:Crunchbang is pretty decent (Score 3, Insightful) 106

I think the main reason Crunchbang stands out for me as a distro is how well it suits the way I use my computers, and how little tweaking it needs to fit my preferences.

The Crunchbang "dev" - I'm pretty sure it's just Philip - has customized the GTK and Openbox themes, as well as the Openbox menu and the tint2 theme, without inextricably linking them together. If you want another panel, it's easy to swap out tint2 for your favorite. Honestly, I usually leave the defaults because they look awesome.

Philip has also pre-defined keyboard shortcuts so that you can launch your main applications without going through a menu system or leaving the keyboard. There's a cheat sheet built into the desktop via conky that lists the most useful shortcuts there. If you want to tweak the configurations, there's a in-depth right click menu that points you to all of the config options/files.

All of this attention to detail leaves a very minimal system that does exactly what I want, and then gets out of my way. It's like getting the best aspects of a desktop environment with the memory footprint of a barebones window manager.

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