Twitter RSS Feeds

Now that Twitter has totally killed their V1 API there is no official way to get Twitter feeds via RSS. Which is a real shame as RSS is a well accepted Open Standard for this type of information :-(   by  Jurgen Appelo  The Twitter REST API v1 is no longer active. Please migrate to API v1.1. SHAME ON YOU TWITTER ! Currently there seem to be very few third party sites providing RSS services and it appears unlikely many will as Twitter will just kill them with changes to their API and/or terms & conditions as soon as they gain traction. Here is one I found to get a Users Timeline (which is not all that useful). However Hashtag or Search to RSS services are harder to find and will need a lot more work to implement Please use the comment section if you are aware of others !

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Remove Ubuntu Webapps integration features

One of the most annoying features in Ubuntu from 12.10 onwards are the pesky notifications popping up asking if you want webapps support everytime you visit a supported webpage? Whilst you can disable this in Firefox's browser options: Firefox > Preferences > General: Uncheck "Prompt integration options for any website". However I prefer to remove the browser extensions entirely. sudo apt-get remove xul-ext-unity unity-chromium-extension NOTE: Take care - unfortunatly you can not remove the following as their removal will cause Unity to fail ! unity-webapps-common unity-webapps-service

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Quick ‘manual’ Eclipse install on Ubuntu

Since I always had trouble with the Eclipse version that is avaialable via the Ubuntu repositories I often need to install Elcipse on new machinery. Hence I am documenting the process for myself and hopefully it might help others as well.   by  jah~  If you haven't got the Java dependencies Java dependencies install sudo apt-get install openjdk-7-jre openjdk-7-jdk icedtea-7-plugin Eclipse download Note: download link needs to be updated - current as of 2014-01-27 cd /tmp wget tar -xzf eclipse-standard-luna-M4-linux-gtk-x86_64.tar.gz sudo mv eclipse/ /opt rm -f eclipse-standard-luna-M4-linux-gtk-x86_64.tar.gz Create symlink ln -s /opt/eclipse/eclipse /usr/bin/eclipse Create application launcher NOTE: (Edit 2014-01-27) as of Ubuntu 13.10 you need to change the 'exec' line in the desktop launcher to include "env UBUNTU_MENUPROXY=0" as you otherwise will not see any of the menu items in the top nav-bar. sudo touch /usr/share/applications/eclipse.desktop sudo echo "[Desktop Entry]" >> /usr/share/applications/eclipse.desktop sudo echo "Version=4.2" >> /usr/share/applications/eclipse.desktop sudo echo "Name=Eclipse" >> /usr/share/applications/eclipse.desktop sudo echo "Comment=Integrated Development Environment" >> /usr/share/applications/eclipse.desktop sudo echo "Exec=env UBUNTU_MENUPROXY=0 /opt/eclipse/eclipse" >> /usr/share/applications/eclipse.desktop sudo echo "Type=Application" >> /usr/share/applications/eclipse.desktop sudo echo "Icon=/opt/eclipse/icon.xpm" >> /usr/share/applications/eclipse.desktop sudo echo "Terminal=false" >> /usr/share/applications/eclipse.desktop sudo echo "NoDisplay=false" >> /usr/share/applications/eclipse.desktop sudo echo "Categories=Development;IDE" >> /usr/share/applications/eclipse.desktop sudo update-desktop-database

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Simple conky system monitor configuration

Just a quick note on install and configuration of Conky. Installation sudo apt-get install conky conky-all hddtemp curl lm-sensors sudo chmod u+s /usr/sbin/hddtemp sudo sensors-detect vim ~/.conkyrc This is the content of my config file. use_xft yes xftfont Ubuntu Condensed:size=9 xftalpha 0.8 override_utf8_locale yes update_interval 5.0 total_run_times 0 own_window yes own_window_transparent no own_window_argb_visual yes own_window_argb_value 155 own_window_colour 081100 own_window_type normal own_window_class conky-lgaggl own_window_hints undecorated,below,sticky,skip_taskbar,skip_pager #background yes #out_to_console no double_buffer yes #max_user_text 32768 minimum_size 300 draw_shades no draw_outline no draw_borders no draw_graph_borders yes default_shade_color black default_outline_color white default_bar_size 150 5 default_gauge_size 20 20 imlib_cache_size 0 draw_shades no alignment middle_right gap_x 15 gap_y 15 border_inner_margin 10 no_buffers yes uppercase no cpu_avg_samples 2 override_utf8_locale no default_color ffffff color1 ffffff color2 cccccc color3 000000 color4 FFAA00 TEXT ${font UbuntuBold:bold:size=11}${color4}Info ${color2}${hr 2}${font} ${color1}Date ${alignr}${color2}${time %a,}${color}${time %e %B %G} ${color1}Time ${alignr}${color}${time %T} ${font UbuntuBold:bold:size=11}${color4}System ${color2}${hr 2}${font} ${color1}Hostname ${alignr}${color}${nodename} ${color1}${sysname} ${alignr}${color}${kernel}-${machine} ${color1}CPU ${alignr}${color}${freq_g}GHz ${color1}Loadaverage ${alignr}${color}${loadavg 1} ${loadavg 2} ${loadavg 3} ${color1}Uptime ${alignr}${color}${uptime} ${color1}Cpu Temperature ${alignr}${color}${acpitemp}C ${font UbuntuBold:bold:size=11}${color4}Processors ${color2}${hr 2}${font} ${color1}Core 1 ${alignr}${color}${cpu cpu1}% ${cpubar cpu1} ${color1}Core 2 ${alignr}${color}${cpu cpu2}% ${cpubar cpu2} ${color1}Core 3 ${alignr}${color}${cpu cpu3}% ${cpubar cpu3} ${color1}Core 4 ${alignr}${color}${cpu cpu4}% ${cpubar cpu4} ${font UbuntuBold:bold:size=11}${color4}Memory ${color2}${hr 2}${font} ${color1}Memory ${color}${alignr}${memeasyfree} / ${memmax} ${color1}Currently ${color}${alignr}${memperc}% ${membar} ${font UbuntuBold:bold:size=11}${color4}Filesystem ${color2}${hr 2}${font} ${color1}/ ${color}${alignc}${fs_used /} / ${fs_size /} ${color}${alignr}${fs_free_perc /} % ${color}${fs_bar 5,300 /} ${font UbuntuBold:bold:size=11}${color4}Networking ${color2}${hr 2}${font} ${if_existing /proc/net/route wlan0}${color1}Ip ${color}${alignr}${addr wlan0} ${color1}AP ${color}${alignr}${wireless_essid wlan0} ${color1}Signal ${color}${alignr}${wireless_link_qual_perc wlan0}${wireless_link_bar 10,100 wlan0} ${color1}Download ${alignr}${color}${downspeed wlan0}${downspeedgraph wlan0 10,100} ${color1}Upload ${alignr}${color}${upspeed wlan0}${upspeedgraph wlan0 10,100} ${color1}Total Down/Up ${alignr}${color}${totaldown wlan0}${color1}/${color}${totalup wlan0} ${else}${if_existing /proc/net/route eth0}${color1}Ip ${color}${alignr}${addr eth0}…

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Installing Ubuntu on Toshiba Z930 Ultrabook

Since I have been really happy with the performance and mobility on the Toshiba Ultrabooks (see previous blog entries) I have now chosen to stay with a tried brand and uprgrade to the Z930 i7 model. Unfortunately this now comes with added hurdles by our good friends at Microsoft in the form of UEFI and the pre-installed disaster that is Windows 8. Instead of totally wiping the system as I did with the Z830 model I decided to install next to Windows 8 as lots of people have reported problems with the UEFI bootloader and the BIOS if you start messing with the pre-installed partitions (specially the EFI partition). EDIT (2013-06-10): It turns out that Ubuntu works just fine without the factory partitions (which I found out accidentally & not necessarily planned ... see cautionary note at the end of this article). The important part is the "Fix GRUB bootloader" section below as the unit refuses to boot without that step. Hat tip and thank you to the boot-repair developers ! Install procedure Resize Windows partition I resized the Windows partition in the Windows Control Panel (after I spent considerable time actually finding the damn thing in that crazy Metro UI) and removed all the Windows Crapware that comes pre-installed with this thing (such as Norton Security, Microsoft Office and other annoying ad-ware). I decieded to use 200GB for the Ubuntu system leaving roughly 40GB for Windows. Boot off the Ubuntu 13.04 USB Keep F12 key pressed on power up…

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FreedomBox + RaspberryPi = FreedomPi

I have been watching progress on FreedomBox ever since watching a video of Eben Moglen a few years ago. Turns out that that they recently announced the availability of their 0.1 preview release. As part of this there is one component that is extremely useful for RaspberryPi users (funnily the co-founder of RasperryPi is also called Eblen by first name - go figure) out there concerned about increasing snooping of private information by governments and corporations for a variety of reasons. Meet 'freedombox-privoxy' This software combines the functionality of the Adblock Plus ad blocker, the Easy Privacy filtering list, and the (HTTPS Everywhere]( website redirection plugin into a single piece of software to run on your FreedomBox. Combining these different plugins into software for your FreedomBox means that you can use them with almost any browser or mobile device using a standard web proxy connection. Best of all this has already been made available via the Raspbian repositories ( so the install is extremely simple. sudo apt-get install freedombox-privoxy Note: make sure that you have the 'contrib' branch in the Raspbian repositories enabled in /etc/apt/sources.list deb wheezy main contrib non-free deb-src wheezy main contrib non-free Kudos to James Vasile for the technical work ! To get some more idea on the usage of privoxy you can check this article.

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OpenVPN – forward all client traffic through tunnel using UFW

By default OpenVPN only routes traffic to and from the OpenVPN Server. If you need all traffic from a client through the OpenVPN tunnel there are several options listed in the OpenVPN docs ( Since I don't have any control over the server in some cases I needed a client side solution. As I already have ufw running with Ubuntu I wanted to use the existing software. Here is how to configure ufw to enable routing all traffic from your client machines through the OpenVPNĀ Server. Forwarding policy Change default forward policy, edit /etc/sysctl.conf to permanently enable ipv4 packet forwarding. (Note: This will take effect at next boot). sudo vim /etc/sysctl.conf # Enable packet forwarding net.ipv4.ip_forward=1 UFW config And then configure ufw in /etc/default/ufw sudo vim /etc/default/ufw DEFAULT_FORWARD_POLICY="ACCEPT" UFW before rules Change /etc/ufw/before.rules to add the following code after the header and before the "*filter" line. Match the IP/subnet mask to the same one as in /etc/openvpn/server.conf. sudo vim /etc/ufw/before.rules # START OPENVPN RULES # NAT table rules *nat :POSTROUTING ACCEPT [0:0] # Allow traffic from OpenVPN client to eth0 -A POSTROUTING -s -o eth0 -j MASQUERADE COMMIT # END OPENVPN RULES Enable OpenVPN Open openvpn port 1194 sudo ufw allow 1194 Start UFW sudo service ufw start

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Connection Android 4.x MTP mass storage to Ubuntu 12.x

The ability to connect Android 4.+ devices to Ubuntu using the USB Mass Storage interface has always been a pain. With Ubuntu 13.04 a new MTP back-end (gvfs-mtp) is going to be introduced, but I have had some issues with the 13.04 Beta so I found this backport PPA to Ubuntu 12.04 and 12.10 sudo add-apt-repository ppa:langdalepl/gvfs-mtp sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install gvfs sudo apt-get upgrade Kudos to Phillip Langdale for the work and maintaining the PPA !

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Enabling the watchdog timer on the Raspberry Pi

Turns out that the Broadcom BCM2708 chip on the RPi has a hardware watchdog. This can be very useful if your RPi is located remotely and locks up. However, this would not the preferred method of restarting the unit and in extreme cases this can result in file-system damage that could prevent the RPi from booting. If this occurs regularly you better find the root cause of the problem rather than fight the symptoms. Enable Watchdog Kernel Module echo 'bcm2708_wdog' >> /etc/modules sudo modprobe bcm2708_wdog Install Watchdog Daemon sudo apt-get install watchdog chkconfig chkconfig watchdog on sudo /etc/init.d/watchdog start sudo vim /etc/watchdog.conf # Uncomment the line watchdog-device = /dev/watchdog # You might also want to uncomment max-load-1, or add something like "max-load-1 = 24" to reset your Pi if the load average exceeds 24 in any 1-minute span. sudo /etc/init.d/watchdog restart The watchdog daemon will send /dev/watchdog a heartbeat every 10 seconds. If /dev/watchdog does not receive this signal it will brute-force restart your Raspberry Pi. If you are feeling adventurous you can test the setup by launching one of the fork-bombs you can find out there. Just make sure you don't have anything of importance running. : (){ :|:& };: Thanks to gadgetoid for the original tip !

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Dropping the wires on the Raspberry PI

Testing the RPi for some remote sensing application I needed to use a wireless connection as it would have been a pain to reach with an Ethernet cable. Parts Raspberry Pi Series B 512MB Raspbian 3.6.11+ Kernel Comfast 802.11n - Realtek RTL8188CUS WLAN Adapter Install WPA Supplicant sudo apt-get install wpasupplicant See Check for the USB adapter sudo lsusb This should show output similar to this (depending on your USB adapter) Bus 001 Device 004: ID 0bda:8176 Realtek SemicondRTL8188CUSuctor Corp. 802.11n WL:AN Adapter Generate PSK Key If you want to use the cleartext PSK you could probably skip this step. wpa_passphrase YOUR_SSID YOURCLEARTEXTWPAKEY This should show output similar to this: network={ ssid="YOUR_SSID" #psk="YOURCLEARTEXTWPAKEY" psk=c885c4288a0c68b989289586cb075c0ccd1729d2c035820d02ed813fc729f317 } Edit network configuration sudo vim /etc/network/interfaces auto wlan0 allow-hotplug wlan0 iface wlan0 inet dhcp wpa-ssid "YOUR_SSID" wpa-psk c885c4288a0c68b989289586cb075c0ccd1729d2c035820d02ed813fc729f317 Finish off sudo shutdown -h now Unplug ethernet cable Power up the RPi and you should see another wireless DHCP assignment on the router

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