How A Great Product Can Be Bad News: Apple, iPad, and the Closed Mac

Would you use this object if it came with restrictions? Photo — of a hacked Moleskin, ironically — (CC-BY-SA) Alexandre Dulaunoy. Apple’s iPad is here. It starts at $499. It’s a gorgeous, brilliantly-designed device that has the benefits of Apple’s cleverly-engineered, best-in-class developer tools for mobile. A lot are likely to sell. And unfortunately, to me that means bad news for the kind of creative computing we talk about on this site. To put it briefly, I think the new, mobile Apple is do[…]

via How A Great Product Can Be Bad News: Apple, iPad, and the Closed Mac

making gitk with Ubuntu 9.10 usable

If you happen to use gitk and Ubuntu 9.10 with desktop effects, you might notice that gitk and other tk-apps tend to look like crap (i.e. giant fonts, buttons, etc), rendering them useless.

gitk looking like crap
gitk looking like crap

I found the solution for this in a blog entry of the Navarra Group. All you have to do is sudo aptitude install tk8.5 and sudo update-alternatives –config wish (here you select wish 8.5 from the list).

gitk looking good again

Neat!

Zensur im Namen des Jugendschutzes: Stellungnahme zum Jugendmedienschutz-Staatsvertrag – Arbeitskreis gegen Internet-Sperren und Zensur (AK Zensur)

Am kommenden Mittwoch findet in der Staatskanzlei in Mainz eine Anhörung zum aktuellen Entwurf des überarbeiteten Jugendmedienschutz-Staatsvertrages (PDF) statt. Ergänzung: Es handelt sich dabei um einen Staatsvertrag zwischen den Bundesländern und wurde am 15. Dezember von der Rundfunkkommission der Länder für die Anhörung „vorgesehen“. Dazu haben wir beim AK Zensur eine Stellungnahme (PDF) verfasst, die den Entwurf in den meisten Punkten kritisiert.

via Zensur im Namen des Jugendschutzes: Stellungnahme zum Jugendmedienschutz-Staatsvertrag – Arbeitskreis gegen Internet-Sperren und Zensur (AK Zensur)

How Apple Does Controlled Leaks | Analysis | The Mac Observer

The way it works is that a senior exec will come in and say, “We need to release this specific information. John, do you have a trusted friend at a major outlet? If so, call him/her and have a conversation. Idly mention this information and suggest that if it were published, that would be nice. No e-mails!” The communication is always done in person or on the phone. Never via e-mail. That’s so that if there’s ever any dispute about what transpired, there’s no paper trail to contradict either par[…]

via How Apple Does Controlled Leaks | Analysis | The Mac Observer

Tracker goodness in Ubuntu Karmic Koala

As I noticed today, the desktop-search Beagle seems broken (again) in Ubuntu Karmic Koala. The most annoying thing is that nothing tells you that it’s broken. Only the fact that Beagle doesn’t index a thing, no matter what you change in beagle-settings, gives you a hint.

For some reason I don’t even remember I’ve been a bigger fan of tracker anyway for a while. Installing on a fresh Karmic works like this: sudo apt-get install tracker tracker-search-tool tracker-utils.

If you, like me, frequently use Deskbar, you might also want to install the package libdeskbar-tracker. This enables you to get search results from tracker as you type. If the tracker daemon does not start automatically, you can start it by hand running /usr/lib/tracker/trackerd. To all I know the tracker applet also refuses to start, untill the daemon is up and running.