Goodbye Twitter – you were useful for (quite) a while.

After getting rid of my Facebook account a long time ago, finally, I have decided to pull the plug on Twitter as well. I have become increasingly wary of the changes of the platform as it seeks for a way to monetise it's user-base. The timeline has increasingly become infested with annoying ads and no way of getting rid of them. Since Twitter effectively killed the whole app ecosystem with their changes to API rules and banning anything that became useful to a substantial number of people. Another major annoyance has been Twitter's insistence in seeing itself as a 'media platform'. The last thing I need is another media consumption time-sink. The changes I.M.O. is completely misunderstanding their initial user base. While most 'media' people always complained about 140 characters, it served a purpose. Since Twitter started messing with the timeline (letting some algorithm decide what I might find useful) I have been toying with the idea of letting go of my Twitter account. The last straw was the last Australian federal election which really hit home what a toxic echo chamber this platform has become. Even though I have never followed any serving politician it was hard not to get drawn into some of the 'discussions' being a person interested in Agriculture, Environment & Energy policies and following a few accounts in those interest areas. I have better (more productive) things to do than being sucked into hyper-polarised #auspol threads (and frankly - when reading some of the replies…

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Installing Ubuntu Phone (Touch) on Nexus 7 LTE

Add SDK repository sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-sdk-team/ppa sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install ubuntu-device-flash Enable USB Debugging on the device Make sure you have developer mode enabled (see http://developer.android.com/tools/device.html if you are unsure). Navigate to Settings > Developer options Enable USB Debugging. When a device is connected, you will be prompted in Android to authorize it. Unlock Bootloader adb reboot bootloader fastboot oem unlock fastboot reboot Check that you have the right device adb shell grep ro.product.name /system/build.prop > mydevicedata \ && adb shell grep ro.product.device /system/build.prop >> mydevicedata \ && adb shell grep build.id /system/build.prop >> mydevicedata ro.product.name=razorg ro.product.device=deb ro.build.id=KTU84P Check which channels are available ubuntu-device-flash --server="http://system-image.tasemnice.eu" query --list-channels --device=deb ubuntu-device-flash --server="http://system-image.tasemnice.eu" query --list-channels --device=deb ubuntu-touch/ubuntu-rtm/14.09 ubuntu-touch/ubuntu-rtm/14.09-proposed ubuntu-touch/utopic ubuntu-touch/utopic-proposed ubuntu-touch/vivid ubuntu-touch/vivid-proposed ubuntu-touch/devel (alias to ubuntu-touch/vivid) ubuntu-touch/devel-proposed (alias to ubuntu-touch/vivid-proposed) ubuntu-touch/ubuntu-rtm/devel (alias to ubuntu-touch/ubuntu-rtm/14.09) ubuntu-touch/ubuntu-rtm/devel-proposed (alias to ubuntu-touch/ubuntu-rtm/14.09-proposed) In my case I am going for the currently stable 'ubuntu-touch/vivid' channel. Install Ubuntu Touch ubuntu-device-flash --server="http://system-image.tasemnice.eu" touch --channel="ubuntu-touch/vivid" --bootstrap References Ubuntu Devices: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Touch/Devices

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Finding a private location check-in service

Foursquare decided that it was too hard for them to compete with location services like Yelp and split their app into two separate apps. Whilst that might make sense to the 4Square CEO and his VC masters, it makes no sense from a users perspective. Foursquare can be a bit of a battery hog already, and having 2 apps to open and "annoy" you with notifications is not an improvement by any means. And if I wanted Foursquare to be Yelp - I would have used Yelp in the first place. So no - I do not want to install another separate check-in App (called Swarm). One battery hogging location app was enough.    by  leogaggl  The other argument used by 4Square's CEO is that he didn't want users confused about the "gamification" aspects of 4Square. I personally think that this is highly patronising to the Foursquare user base. I am sure most users would be able to work out what it is useful for. Since I have always used 4Square mainly as a means to get some analytics of my movements and historic record of where I was at what time (I always downloaded my checkins to Thinkup on my own server) I was trying to find something that would fit the same use case. Meet Ushahidi (http://www.ushahidi.com/) - an excellent geo-coded "reporting" service developed in Kenya. I have been following this project for years already. Dynamic Timeline Track your reports on the map and over time, filter your data…

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Turning the Toshiba Z830 into a Ubuntu Ultrabook

EDIT: Here are some tweaks if you install 12.04 (Precise Pangolin). Since I will have to do a fair amount of traveling in the next year I was in need of upgrading my trusted workhorse of Toshiba Qosmio F60 to a more portable option that will be easier on the shoulders during long travels. After doing some research into which of the major manufacturers offer the best support for a Linux based Operating System it came down to a final two: the Intel i7 variants of Samsung Series 9 and the Toshiba Z830. Thanks to these sites for some useful content: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/HardwareSupport/ http://www.linlap.com/wiki/toshiba+portege+z830-10f http://blog.stevenocchipinti.com/2011/12/toshiba-portege-z830.html http://www.bestultrabooks.co/ In the end it came down to Toshiba having full-size VGA, HDMI and Ethernet connectors at the rear of the unit (no need for carrying adapters) and getting a very decent price rebate for the Toshiba. The first and only task in the included Windows 7 OS was to create a recovery USB drive using the Toshiba included utility (on the desktop). You need a 12GB USB stick (found out the hard way after buying an 8GB version with the unit on advice of the sales guy). After booting from a USB stick created from the Ubuntu 11.10 ISO (http://www.ubuntu.com/download/ubuntu/download) with Ubuntu Bootdisk Creator (or alternatively UnetBootin) I opted to wipe the whole SSD drive. If you are not sure that you want to stick with Ubuntu it might be safer to try running from USB or dual-boot. Note: you need to use the USB3…

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Alternatives to Google Adsense

Due to a recent absolute Customer Service failure with Google Adsense I have done some research on the alternative to Google Adsense as a content-sensitive mobile and web advertisements. We are currently reviewing the following services: http://www.adbrite.com/ http://chitika.com http://www.admob.com/ https://pubcenter.microsoft.com/Login http://advertisingcentral.yahoo.com/publisher/index http://www.clicksor.com/ http://www.infolinks.com/ http://adhitz.com/en http://buysellads.com/ Once we have some results I will update this post. Please add your comments should you have any (good or bad) experiences with similar services. Hat tip goes to the following listing pages to get started: http://generoustroopers.com/websites/the-biggest-list-of-google-adsense-alternatives/ http://www.tech-faq.com/alternatives-to-google-adsense.html

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GoogleApps (Gmail) as default Ubuntu mail client

Keeping mail on a local machine does not make sense when working across a large number of different (vitual) devices. As a GoogleApps user I have long preferred browser based mail client as my default. Unfortunately this is not yet a very straight process on most Operating Systems and Ubuntu is no difference. Edit: all the commands need to be run with root privileges. so either run "sudo su" or prefix all with "sudo " (thanks to Paul for the comment below) Remove Evolution (thanks to Grant Likely for the comment below) apt-get remove evolution evolution-indicator Install Gnome-Gmail apt-get install gnome-gmail Create entry for gnome-gmail using your preferred text editor and copy the following into the created file: vim /usr/share/indicators/messages/applications/gnome-gmail #insert this line /usr/share/applications/gnome-gmail.desktop Edit this file: /usr/share/applications/gnome-gmail.desktop and add the following line: MimeType=application/mbox;message/rfc822;x-scheme-handler/mailto Update desktop database for Gnome Gmail to be recognised as an email program: update-desktop-database Go to System Settings --> Preferred Applications and choose gnome-gmail as the default e-mail client Log out for the changes to the indicator to take effect (or kill gnome-indicator process).

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Ubuntu – the ‘old man’ experiment

Recently my father, who has so far not wanted to have anything to do with computers, decided to change all of this with age 67. While initially surprised (and remembering the comments I got when sitting in front of computers as a teenager instead of working on the family farm), I quite liked the idea. It's a great to see him still wanting to explore and learn new things. Unfortunately since there is approximately 17.000km between us, there was a limited amount I could do to help him get set up. So my eldest sister (as she always has to do) ended up having to help out instead. Finding hardware was the easy part and very cheap these days (and since it was bought online I could help with the technical aspects). However the machines in that particular shop came as white-boxes without an Operating System (which is a good thing in my book). So rather than forking out another 90 or so Euro for Windows Vista, which I personally dislike with a passion, I suggested her to download Ubuntu and give it a try. If things did not work out you could always get it later. While I personally have a very pragmatic approach to OS selection and no particular 'religious' views when it comes to Linux, I do generally choose an Open Source alternative over a Proprietary system all other things being equal. I was a bit worried about people not being familiar with it, but in the…

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