Good bye Android ? Hello Ubuntu ! Not yet unfortunately …

As a long-term Ubuntu user I am extremely interested in what Canonical and the Ubuntu community are doing on the mobile front. Their convergence strategy (I am testing Snappy Core on IoT devices as well) seems very well thought through and once the the Meizu MX4 phone was released I got myself an invite and ordered a unit. It took a while to ship and then also had to make it's way down under as Meizu only ship to Europe (and Asia I believe). Having played with Ubuntu on the phone a while ago on an old Nexus 4 as well as a Nexus 7 unit it was a much more pleasant initial experience and I was really hoping to make this my day-to-day phone. After the initial excitement and a few days of use (including with my main SIM card) however it is clear that we're not at this stage yet. I am quite prepared to forego some conveniences I got used to on CyanogenMod (Android) over the years, but at this stage there are just too many things not working consistently. On the surface most of the critical components are there, but there is just too many bugs and inconsistencies in heavy usage left to make this a solid experience unfortunately. The single button hardware also doesn't seem to work with the UI as in a lot of places you are searching for a back button and there ain't one. And to my surprise the browser feels pretty…

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Finding Notebook Hardware for Ubuntu – 2015 Edition

Unfortunately it is still much harder than necessary to find notebook hardware to use with Ubuntu (or other Linux variants). This blog is full of past experiences (some of them quite time-consuming) on finding notebook hardware that will work without too much fiddling. This short note is to document my recent research on that front to help others who want to do the same (as there doesn't seem to be a lot of good current info around).    by  TAKA@P.P.R.S  There are some vendors that do ship with Ubuntu, however they are generally all based in the US and their pre-sales communications are pretty horrible (I am talking to you ZaReason - still waiting for reply email as well as tweet). Then there is Purism Librem, but unfortunately they have still not shipped their 15" version and I need a tool now. The jury on this is still out and I don't really have the time to be a guinea-pig. Maybe next time (as I like what they are doing) ... There was one option from one of the top-tier manufacturers (Dell XPS 13 - Developer Edition) which ships with Ubuntu. But as - per usual - NOT in Australia. However there was a lot of conflicting evidence I found that the Windows Version had some issues with current Ubuntu versions (Dell ship 14.04 LTS - which makes sense from their point). I ended up buying the Lenovo X1 (3rd Generation) and after the install of Ubuntu I have to say…

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SShuttle – quick and temporary VPN over SSH

Every once in a while you find a gem. One of these for me is SShuttle - until now I have not known about this one.    by  Stephan Geyer  Sometimes you need to quickly forward all your traffic via a remote server quickly. And while you can do all of this manually using OpenSSH it's not a quick one-step process (https://help.ubuntu.com/community/SSH/OpenSSH/PortForwarding). Dynamic SOCKS5 proxies are great if all you need is browser traffic, but there is always software that won't play ball with SOCKS. Use-case: I just been trying to get Ubuntu Make to install Eclipse IDE and the local AARNET download mirror is just refusing to cooperate (https://github.com/ubuntu/ubuntu-make/issues/90). A quick forward to a remote VPS fixed the issue without headaches Install sudo apt-get install sshuttle Run sshuttle -r username@servername.tld 0.0.0.0/0 -vv That's all - it sets up routing & iptable rules transparently and removes them after use. Kudos goes to https://github.com/apenwarr - thank you. A VERY useful utility !!! Source link: https://github.com/apenwarr/sshuttle

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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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CyanogenMod 12 on Sony Xperia Z2

Just a quick update of the previous article on "Sony Xperia Z2 upgrading to CyanogenMod 11". One thing is that CM now included the custom recovery and you do not need to download any other custom recoveries ! Download the CM 12 ZIP file for Sony Xperia Z2 (sirius) and extract the 'boot.img' file Download link: https://download.cyanogenmod.org/?device=sirius Get the device into fastboot (bootloader mode) fastboot -i 0xfce flash boot boot.img fastboot reboot Install CyanogenMod Choose the “Install zip from sdcard –> Install from sideload” option adb sideload cm-12-20150219-NIGHTLY-sirius.zip After the install has finished choose the “Reboot system now” option.

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Vodafone LTE mobile data on Cyanogen Mod

I have had some issues recently with getting LTE (4G) connectivity on the Vodafone Australia Network using CyanogenMod 11 on multiple devices (http://forum.cyanogenmod.org/topic/92919-no-4g-signal-on-vodafone-au/). Turns out that it was an APN issue after all. The APN provisioned by default when the Voda SIM card is inserted (vfinternet.au) does not work for the LTE Data Network. It works with GPRS & WCDMA, but fails to connect when the phone is set to prefer LTE (4G) Networks and they are actually available. It means that the handset will loose mobile data connectivity altogether. There are various APN Settings floating around on the interwebs, but any I tried previously did not fix the issue. Ater needing to call Vodafone support for another device (on GPE Stock Android) that was experiencing the same issue I got given these APN Settings: Settings --> Mobile Networks --> Access Point Names APN Name: Vodafone AU APN URI: live.vodafone.com Leave all other settings at default (for MMS settings see the link to VF Support below). I have tested this for 2 days and works beautifully. The correct APN settings can be found here: http://support.vodafone.com.au/articles/FAQ/APN-Settings

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Sony Xperia Z2 upgrading to CyanogenMod 11

Contrary to my normal inclinations not to buy anything but Stock Android phones I ended up with a Sony Xperia Z2 in a hurry over the weekend (it's a long story...). It appears to be quite a decent handset (with a pretty good camera actually) and one of the main reason to choose this over the other options was that is was one of the few high-end devices which already had a CM snapshot rather than just nightly releases. However similar to their colleagues at Samsung the Sony people also opted to stuff all sorts of crap-ware bloat onto the Android base OS. It appears not to be as bad as the Samsung (who are the kings of crap) mods, but for somebody used to the clean Android experience it's just very annoying. So I opted to flash it straight to CyanogenMod.    by  epct414  Prerequisites You need the Android SDK installed and on your Path - see one of my other posts on how to do this. Get Bootloader Unlock Code Another annoying step which is not required with Google Nexus series. http://unlockbootloader.sonyericsson.com/instructions You will need to enter and confirm your email (WTF?) and need your IMEI number and at the end of the process you will get an update key that is required below. Put phone into bootloader (fastboot) mode Insert one end of the USB cable into your PC. Turn off the device and wait at least 5 seconds. Press and hold the Volume Down button and plug…

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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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ARD Mediathek offline viewing on Ubuntu

Since I am a bit of a sucker for German "Krimis" as well as some their excellent documentaries I like to watch ARD Mediathek IPTV. However there are several problems with this when you live at the opposite side of the world. ARD has a block for any films that are 15+ years outside of 20.00h-6.00h GMT+1. Which makes it pretty much impossible to watch at a reasonable time in Australia. I also like to watch these things on the plane which requires download of the media files. Install JSON Parser sudo apt-get install jq Download script wget https://github.com/leogaggl/media/raw/master/download_mediathek.sh chmod +x download_mediathek.sh Usage ./download_mediathek.sh -f save_as_filename.mp4 -q 3 MEDIATHEK-URL The -f and -q parameters are optional. -f filename.mp4 (or full path + filename to save in different directory). Defaults to original filename -q quality setting from 0 to 3 (where 0 is lowest and 3 highest quality). Defaults to highest quality Please leave a comment if you find any issues or log an issue on GitHub. NOTE (2014-07-06): If you are only interested in the Tatort series I suggest you look at this script by Felix Knecht (see comment below)

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Upgrading Nokia X to CyanogenMod 11 (via Ubuntu)

The Nokia X seems to be a nice piece of hardware for just around $125 AUD. Nothing spectacular in terms of computing power, but much better build quality than your average cheap Chinese Android clone. I have always been a fan of Nokia hardware until they decided to commit suicide by firstly adding CEO Stephen Elop and ditching all of their software for Windows Mobile. The problem with the device out of the box is that is has a horribly butchered version of Android. And by horribly I mean way worse than the usual bloat and crapware that poor Samsung, HTC or Sony users are normally subjected to. Hopefully this is only Nokia's first step to a more open platform, but I wouldn't hold my breath on that one. Before committing to buy this device I made sure that I could flash it to CyanogenMod as soon as it arrives. Sidenote: I purchased from Mobicity AU - which turned out to be a big mistake. Do yourself a favour and go somewhere else unless you have weeks to wait. Boot Mode - Nokia X Nokia Recovery Mode: 1. Turn off your device 2. Press Volume + and Power Button 15 seconds Dependencies If you haven't got the Android SDK or tools yet you need to install sudo apt-get install android-tools-adb android-tools-fastboot USB Configuration sudo vim /etc/udev/rules.d/51-android.rules #add the following line SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", ATTR{idVendor}=="0421", MODE="0666", OWNER="plugdev" sudo service udev restart vim ~/.android/adb_usb.ini #add at the end of the file 0x0421 sudo adb…

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