Oct

27

Posted by : Arun | On : October 27, 2009

I didn’t know the bullet points before, until I stumbled upon this BBC article.

  • The French national police force runs its operations on Ubuntu
  • Computer systems supporting Spanish schools run on Ubuntu
  • Wikipedia runs hundreds of its servers on Ubuntu
  • San Francisco International Airport computer system is based on Ubuntu
  • Dell China has more than 40 models with Ubuntu available
  • 12 million active users

That’s cool. There might be more. Let me know. I’ll add it to the list.

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Feb

02

Posted by : Arun | On : February 2, 2009

Google has released Google Earth 5.0 with 3D Ocean view and Mars mode. The ocean imagery are now 3D terrain. According to Google Earth blog

Move your mouse over the ocean and you’ll see below sea level elevations (negative numbers). But, the real surprise is when you first start flying towards the ocean and tilt your view. You now see an ocean surface! And, if your graphics card is new enough, you see wave motion on the surface.

The real pleasure comes when you fly under sea surface. You can both see the 3D bathymetry and see the surface above you for a real submarine-like experience!

Under the Layer pane in the lower left you’ll see a new “Ocean” layer folder. The folder contains a number of interesting new layers including material from National Geographic, Cousteau Society, BBC, NOAA, and more. There are locations of shipwrecks, tracks for ocean expeditions, GPS tracks of sea animals, and lots of information about the ocean environment.

Regarding the MARS mode, Google Earth blog states

Mars mode is not obvious when you open Google Earth. After loading Google Earth you look for the little planet icon at the top center of the view. Click on it and you will see a menu. You now can switch between Earth, Sky, AND Mars.

Once you select this, Google Earth transforms itself in a view of Mars instead of Earth. This is NOT just an image overlay on top of Earth! Its a complete simulation of the planet Mars just like Google Earth.

Google shows satellite imagery just like with Google Earth of the martian surface. Not only that, but they have 3D terrain as well!

There are very high resolution satellite images from the HiRISE imaging system on the Mars Reconnaissance Observatory satellite. You’ll see strips of HiRISE imagery overlayed in Google Mars. These images are just as high resolution as those you often find in Google Earth.

Open up the Mars Gallery->Rovers and Landers. Then double-click on MER Opportunity Rover layer folder. This will fly you to the place where the robotic explorer known as “Opportunity” moved across Mars. You can see its track, and as you zoom in you can see where it went.

You can download Google Earth 5.0 from here.

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Jan

23

Posted by : Arun | On : January 23, 2009

People are going insane. A man murdered his estranged wife after becoming “enraged” when she changed her marital status on Facebook to “single”. Is life so cheap?

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Oct

16

Posted by : Arun | On : October 16, 2008

The British Association of Dermatologists says prolong use of mobile phone causes rashes on face and ears due to nickel on the handset. Nickel is often found in the handset casing or buttons. The BAD said women who reacted to nickel in jewellery were at a higher risk of a rash from their phones.

Women are particularly prone to “mobile phone dermatitis”, as they are
more likely to have been previously sensitised to the metal following
an allergic reaction to nickel-coated jewellery, the experts say.

In addition, a US study published earlier this year tested 22 handsets
from popular brands for nickel, and found it in 10 of them. Go buy a nickel free phone, if you can find one. ;)

Source: BBC.

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Oct

03

Posted by : Arun | On : October 3, 2008

Ubuntu team has released the first beta of Ubuntu 8.10 code named Intrepid Ibex. There are couple of issues I’m having with Ubuntu 8.10.
The 1st one is the ATI proprietary driver fglrx which is not compatible with the new Xorg, so Ubuntu will default you to open source driver which is quite slow in my system. Using GMail in Firefox is also terribly slow. I’m not sure if it’s due to the driver issue or Firefox issue or installation issue on my laptop.
The 2nd one is webcam. Ubuntu 8.10 detected my webcam as usb camera (It’s a built in webcam). Ubuntu 8.04 and previous version correctly detected it as Logitech Quickcam and the video worked fine on AMSN, Skype etc. The video doesn’t work with AMSN in Ubuntu 8.10 and with Skype, I get only green color with my face outline. I’m not sure if it’s a known bug.
The reason why I’m still with 8.10 is the wireless network. It’s works much better and detects and connects to the network much better. Again there is an issue here. Network manager doesn’t store the key. You have to enter the key each time.

The beta version also adds support for digital contents from BBC in Totem. To enable it, start Totem  Applications -> Sound & Video -> Movie Player), enable the plugin (Edit -> Plugins -> BBC content viewer) and select “BBC” from the drop-down labelled “Playlist”. The feed is fetched from a staging server at the moment so there may be a delay while it is downloaded.

Here are some issues published by Ubuntu with 8.10:

  • The fglrx and two of the older nvidia binary drivers are not available for X.Org 7.4 yet, so users of these drivers will be automatically switched to the corresponding open source drivers.
  • A problem that could result in corruption of the firmware on Intel GigE ethernet hardware has led to the disabling of the e1000e driver in the Linux kernel included in Ubuntu 8.10 Beta. Ethernet devices that use this driver cannot be used with Ubuntu 8.10 Beta; support for this hardware will be re-enabled in daily builds immediately after Beta and this issue will be resolved for the Ubuntu 8.10 final release.
  • Clicking on links in GNOME programs, such as evolution, will not launch firefox automatically due to a bug in a wrapper script used by the firefox-3.0 package. As a workaround, users can launch firefox manually and copy and paste links into the location bar.
  • NetworkManager 0.7 as included in Ubuntu 8.10 Beta is not compatible with static network configuration in /etc/network/interfaces. New installations are not affected by this issue because NetworkManager will manage all interfaces by default. Users upgrading from previous Ubuntu releases can work around this issue by disabling NetworkManager at startup.

Kubuntu also released their 1st beta version of Kubuntu 8.10. Here are some new features in Kubuntu.

  • Intrepid Ibex Beta brings with it KDE 4.1.2.
  • Intrepid Ibex comes with an all-new KDE 4 version of the Adept Package manager, Adept 3.0.
  • Desktop effects enabled by default.
  • The all new update-notifier-kde serves as an update-notifier and an apport crash notifier for Intrepid Ibex.
  • In Intrepid Ibex beta, KMix now supports the multimedia-button functionality that various keyboards offer.

Source: Ubuntu, Kubuntu.

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Mar

06

Posted by : Arun | On : March 6, 2008

BBC is moving to Linux for tapeless TV production. The current process of copying to digital tapes is expensive and error prone, so BBC research team developed Ingex for tapeless TV production using Linux.

Ingex is used to get the TV footage from the studio into the post-production editing suite by intercepting it via the Serial Digital Interface (SDI), a digital broadcast standard, rather than from tape. SDI capture card does software encoding with ffmpeg and writes MXF files, which can be stored on a NAS server or a USB drive. USB drive can be physically transported to post-production.

Once the USB drive arrives at post production, the AAF (Advanced Authoring Format) and MXF files are copied to the Avid editing “bin” for post-production. The team set up two dual quad-core Intel systems with 4Gb of RAM and
4Tb of disk storage with the XFS file system. OpenSUSE Linux is the operating system.

Source: ComputerWorldUK.

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Dec

05

Posted by : Arun | On : December 5, 2007

I wanted to watch the video of my school’s football match on ESPN 360. I logged into my desktop (I use Ubuntu), opened Firefox and went to ESPN 360 website. I was shocked to see that ESPN 360 supports only Windows and Mac OSes (Screenshot below). It sucks. The same thing happened with BBC‘s iPlayer. The player was initially released only for Windows, but BBC later changed tracks after the pressure from the corporation’s (BBC) regulators. BBC Trust said that the iPlayer was approved on the condition of platform neutrality. BBC then said they would support the online video streaming for all platforms by the end of 2007 and also a downloadable player for all platforms soon. I hope ESPN will learn from BBC‘s experience and offer ESPN 360 for all platforms.

Espn360dotcom

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