Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Dark side of "Ad-supported" web

Techcrunch wrote recently an enlightening article about Scam ads in social games.

Irony is the techcrunch article itself showing scam banners as well:

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Cult of workarounds

Wouters otherwise great document on daily buildd maintainance touches a pet issue of mine. There is a great example of a very, very common behaviour pattern in free software community. And I'm certainly as guilty of as Wouter from this behaviour.

Doing it wrong:

Note the 'tr'; this is to avoid 8bit characters from appearing in the mail, which might otherwise be converted to their quoted-printable version in transit to the buildd; and since buildd-mail (the part that receives that mail) does not understand MIME, this would corrupt the GPG signature. This way, we do lose a few characters from the changelog, but that doesn't really matter -- the source still contains the unmodified changelog entry.

Doing it right.

Why, when we have access to all the sources, we still prefer hacks and workarounds over fixes? We are wasting our biggest advantage over propiertary systems!

Why #2 - do we still have to fight 7bit issues in email? Any mailer deployed in the last decade support passing 8bit mail fine. But, not all mailers (most usually, exim or qmail) support _converting_ 8bit mails to 7bit, and thus don't _advertize_ 8BITMIME capability. And when a properly 8BITMIME supporting mailer needs to pass a mail to a smtp daemon that doesn't advertize 8bit capability, the sending mail daemon will happily convert the mail to quoted printable mime. Graah.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I'm Going to DebConf 9

Turns out TAP is starting to fly Lisbon - Helsinki this summer, and thus offers cheapest flights from Finland to near debconf (at least with my ticket searching magic skill level). And a (night) train from Lisbon to Madrid goes via Cáceres. It appears one can't order the train tickets yet (from renfe.es), the reserving opens 60 days beforehand.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The not-slug: SheevaPlug

popcon lists approximately 1000 arm/armel Debian installations. There is also listed 864 installations of nslu2-utils, letting us estimate that approximately 85% of debian/arm(el) installations are Linksys nslu2's. It is nicked sympathetically as "The Slug", which pretty accurately describes the performance of nslu2. Still, people have found absolutely amazing amount of ways to use their slugs. What would you do with something approximately 10x more powerful with same prize/size range?

Enter the Marvell SheevaPlug

| What | Slug | SheevaPlug |
| CPU | 266Mhz | 1.2Ghz |
| Cache| 32KB | 32+256KB |
| Flash| 8MB | 512MB |
| MEM | 32MB | 512MB |
| Net | 100Mb | 1Gb |

And that's not everything - SheevaPlug comes with SDIO slot and miniusb to be used as a serial console (and JTAG). No soldering needed for hacking.

Some more details on the LinuxDevices article.

For those of you who think that has one port too few of something, or don't like the wall-wart design, Other devices based on kirkwood SoC (which SheevaPlug is based on) are on the way from various ODM/OEM houses.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

obligatory lenny post

In practice for me, this that I finally had to setup stable buildd chroots for armel (ya!). This makes the Debian the first general purpose distribution to release with a ARM EABI port. Thanks for everyone who made this happen, even when the naysayers were claiming that Debian would be too inflexible for another arm port! The list of people who made this possible is simply too long to include in a blog post, and I'm afraid I would still forget someone...

For squeeze, I hope we can keep the name as the release theme and squeeze minimal Debian install into smaller disk and memory than what it takes with lenny :) For more specific squeeze plans on the armel port, we are looking at least into providing optimized versions of various libs (using HWCAP feature) and extending the amount of hardware supported. Not ARM-related directly, but I'd really like to see #206684 fixed finally.