Some of you may know what Blender is. It is an open source 3d modelling application which is starting to be used by professional film creators. The Blender foundation have created a film called Big Buck Bunny and a game called Yo Frankie!. They are both completely open creations. You can download all of the character models, and the whole film in its origional film for free, and change it how you like it. Now, however, they are creating their new film, and here is the trailer for it…
Archive for the ‘Windows’ Category
Use Ubuntu? Or any other Linux/open source operating system? Or just want to find out what it is all about? Bored of the election? Want to vote and then run away from it all?
Come and celebrate the release of Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) at Strathclyde University’s Union Lounge.
We will be having social time, demonstrations of the 4 official Ubuntu derivatives (including the brand new lubuntu), cds for you to take away, and there is a bar onsite so you can buy some beer or whatever you want to drink.
There is a map in this post, so if you don’t know where the Strathclyde Union is, have a look (if you are reading this is a feed reader, you may have to view the full post. Anyway, enough talk, here are the details, we hope to see you there.
Where? – The Lounge, level 5, Strathclyde University’s Union
90 John Street, Glasgow, G1 1JH
When? – Thursday 6th May from 18:00 to 22:00 (come for all or any of it, pop in at any time).
Thought I would do another blog post with lots of exciting tech news. So, here is what I’ve been seeing over the past few days.
- Amazon buys “TouchCo”. Touchscreen kindle in the works? One might wonder if they are going to be using this company for just that. The other question, however, is “If it is made, when will it be available in Britain?”
- Symbian is officially opensource. Symbian^2 (previously S60) is now open-source. It turns out the #symbiancountdown was the number of packages left until Symbian was totally open source. Well done Symbian. Now you need to step up and make sure than Symbian^3 is amazing and it better really step up and do what Symbian^2 hasn’t done. It needs to do a lot to be any good.
- JooJoo near launch. Fixes lots of problems that would make you not want an iPad (except the price).
- With or without you: Arm Ceo to Microsoft. The market will grow with or without Windows arm support. Good news for linux?
- Sonic 4 in production. A blast from the past, in high definition. Thats right, Sonic 4 is being made and will be available in the summer on PS3, xbox and wii. On PS3 and Xbox it will be in 1080p. Thats great!!!
- Apple yet again show how pathetic they are, by turning down an app because it is “not interesting enough”.
So, theres just a few bits of random news that I thought I would share with people. Have a great weekend guys!
No, but seriously, I did have a few thoughts about the usefulness of mono, and also the openness of it. So, I’ll take some points that have cropped up in the origional mono debate, and tell you what I think about them.
- “Mono isn’t open”
Yes it is. What is open??? Seriously, if implementing something closed in an open way is not open, then we are in a sad sad way. Does that mean that samba isn’t open-source? What about wine? Noone ever says they are closed source. As far as I know, mono is a completely open source language that is compatable with .net. Don’t tell me that mono is not open.
- “Mono is patent encumbered.”
DISCLAIMER: None of this is total facts. I am not a lawyer, and some of this is just my opinion and not fact. It is what I believe to be correct, but there may be something that isn’t.
Do you care about mp3s because of patents? If so, thats fine feel free to moan about mono. If not, then what is the difference? In many countries patents aren’t valid anyway. For example, as far as I know, in Europe, software patents do not count. So, if you aren’t in a country that has software patents then this is a non-argument.
If you are in the US, however, then you might be worried about this. Well, first of all, as far as I know the patents have never been proved. It is one of these patents that Microsoft say they have, but noone outside the company has seen them to prove they exist. Also, Microsoft have said that they won’t sue anyone that does anything with mono. Granted, this is not a legal agreement, but if they then go and sue someone, it won’t exactly look good in court. “So, you say that Microsoft said it was ok that you could use it? But now they are sueing you? How odd.” Patents are all about use. If you don’t work correctly with them they are unlikely to work.
- “Mono is very bulky.”
True. Mono is very large in the sense that it takes a lot of disk space. But, it doesn’t use much ram as far as I can tell. It is not a lightweight programming language, but noone is telling you that you must use it. Most computers nowadays can handle bulky things anyway. Your computer can run firefox, openoffice and compiz but you don’t want to run mono on it? That is a bit silly. What is the difference? The applications themselves don’t take up much space, it is just the language that takes up all the space.
- “There are no good applications built on mono.”
Gnome-do. Thats all I need to say to be honest.
- “Mono is useful for porting applications to linux.”
Tell me 1 application that has been ported to mono. Oh wait, you can’t? I can’t either. Now, I think it would be a fantastic thing to get people to port their applications to mono, for example mathcad would be great on linux, evernote would be fantastic. But, as far as I know nothing big has been ported. Its all very well and good saying that it is really easy to port applications to mono, but until someone big does it, it is not a reason to use mono.
In the end, I would love mono to be the go-to thing to port your .net application over to linux. I would love to have evernote on linux (don’t tell me it runs in wine, the new version doesn’t) and it would really put linux on the map.
Windows user: “I would love to use Linux but I can’t run ‘application x’ on it, it is written in .net” Linux user: “Yes you can, it has been ported to mono.” Windows user: “Ok, I’ll use Linux then.”
- Google and China
So, I’m sure you all know the details, so I will spare you the details. I will give you my opinion however. I think this is a great thing for Google to do. Now, I am not saying that it is good that Chinese people won’t be able to use google services. It is a good thing that Google are no longer just doing whatever it takes to get money. I’m not saying that Google are an amazingly moral company, but it is a step in the right direction.
I’m not sure how the Chinese government will take this, but I don’t think they will just ignore it. They won’t change their ways, but it is quite embarassing to have a huge company like Google to just up and leave when they aren’t happy with the terms of what they wanted anymore. It isn’t a huge thing that will make lots of changes in the world, but it might help.
- Gmail https
Looks like Gmail is using https by default now. This is very good. Means that gmail is fully encrypted. Who can say this is a bad thing, except hackers
- Youtube possibly using html5?
Youtube are redesigning there website, and are asking for your opinion. The most popular thing that seems to be dominating the poll is using html5 with ogg instead of the default being flash. Google officially replied to these and said:
We’ve heard a lot of feedback around supporting HTML5 and are working hard to meet your request, so stay tuned. We’ll be following up when we have more information. We’re answering this idea now because there are so many similar HTML5 ideas and we want to give other ideas a chance to be seen.
So, it seems that HTML5 with ogg will be implemented in youtube 2.0. We don’t know if it’ll be the default instead of flash, but at least it’ll be there. It sounds great doesn’t it.
- Nokia 5800 firmware update
Not many people will be interested in this, but the Nokia 5800 firmware has been updated to v40. It has features such as
- kinetic scrolling
- much better homescreen
- better sensitivity
- new screens for calls
So yeah, I can’t wait till I get this update for my phone. At least it’ll make the phone useable for the next few months, until I can get a new phone. It isn’t the best phone ever, but I’ll survive with these cool updates.
So these are just a few things that have happened recently. None of them get a post of their own, as I don’t have that much to say, but I felt that I needed to give them more than just a tweet.
Ok, so, in light of the recent year change, I decided it would be good to do my 2nd annual tech predictions. I also realised that this is the beginning of a new decade as well. So, because of this, I’m doing a bunch for the coming year, and a bunch for the coming decade. Obviously, the decade ones will be a bit more exciting, and probably a lot more wrong.
This year has been such an exciting year, that my ideas of technology, and what will happen in the future, are hugely different from what they would have been if I’d been looking 10 years into the future this time last year rather than just now. We all have different ideas, however, so please please let me know if you agree/disagree with what I’ve said, or if you have made some predictions of your own, let me know. If I get a lot of people telling me their predictions I may post a blog post about what I think about them, with links to your blogs and stuff, so that might be an incentive to comment. I want lots of comments on this blog post in the coming months, and even years as I have put the next decades predictions as well.
I think I said in my last post that I would have 10 predictions, well, I couldn’t keep it to only 10 for each, so there are more. But anyway, on with the predictions. Go through the jump to see them. (more…)
It is that lovely time of the year again. “The 50 random things of the year” are on the telly, podcasts are talking about what they want for the coming year, people are saying what a great year it was, how many fantastic things happened this year. And I am writing my predictions. Don’t think this is them though, I’m not releasing them until the early hours of Jan 1st (although that is GMT, so some Americans may see them before 1st Jan). This is, however, my review of the year. Looking at my predictions from last year and seeing how correct I was.
So, go have fun reading over what I said this year, and if you were better than me in predictions, let me know. They are over the jump. (more…)
I was inspired to write a blog post about computer security due to a number of things. The World’s Technology Podcast had a security episode a couple of weeks ago (and I got a mention last week actually because I emailed them about it), and also the news that there has been a piece of malware distributed on gnome-look.
This malware for debian based linux systems, I believe, required admin priviledges because it was distributed as a .deb file. The funny thing was, this isn’t a security flaw in linux. Well, I think it might be partly. Why don’t we have a system to allow .debs to be installed locally? That would get around this partly. It would mean it wouldn’t be installed by root, only by the user. This malware then had a script that ran and I’m not sure exactly what it did.
The point is, however, that it doesn’t matter how secure an operating system is, people will still get around the security really easily. And what is the reason for this? People. Human beings.
Now, I don’t think a computer I have had has EVER had a virus. Even when I was running Windows. Is this because I didn’t have the internet? Nah, don’t be silly…I’m posting to my blog now amn’t I? Was it because I’m such an amazing computer savvy person? Nah, at one point I hardly knew anything about computers. But I do have computer common sence.
There is a very common thing that people say…common sence is not common. Which is even more so true with computers. And so, for this reason, I decided to write a list of things to make your computer safe.
- Run linux – this might sound like a stupid thing to say, but linux does have slightly better ways of dealing with these things, and as of just now there are hardly any viruses, etc on it.
- Run a virus checker – even on linux and mac. It will serve you well. Yes, there aren’t many viruses yet, but there still are some. It only takes one to muck your computer up.
- Only install from the repos of your linux distro – these have been checked by plenty of people and are safe and do not contain viruses, etc.
- If you must run something that isn’t in the repos (very rare for most distros) then check it out properly before you install it. Talk to people, look at reviews. Think about whether it is reputable (the creator and the distributer).
- Don’t download pirated software – not only because it is illegal and stupid, but because many viruses are contained within pirated software.
- Dont just type in your password to give admin priveledges to everything – think about it. If you haven’t opened up your installer, then why are you being asked for a password? If you just opened up a file you downloaded and it wants your admin password, ask yourself why it wants it. Most programs DO NOT need your admin password.
- Update as often as possible – there will often be important updates in these.
If you follow this advice, then your chances of getting viruses will be greatly decreased. Security is partly in the hands of the developers, but it is also hugely down to you. A normal user. If you get a virus, it is probably your fault.
Ok, so, thanks to Shot of Jaq, I heard about OpenOffice Renaissance for Impress. This is basically a complete UI redesign. Now, we all know that Oo.o looks like rubbish. Whether or not the actual program works well, it looks terrible.
So, I’m going to try Renaissance:Impress, however this is going to be a post about what doesn’t work with OpenOffice in general before I try it.
- Office Imitator
The first problem with Oo.o is that it is an office clone. It is trying to be a free, open version of Microsoft Office. The problem with this is that it really should be an office suite, rather than an Office clone. You should never try and be a better specific application. You should always just make a completely different thing. You can tell by looking at Open Office that it looks exactly like Office. The way everything works is just the same as well.
Why would we try and be the same as something which doesn’t work very well in many different ways? And why would we want to look like a 5 year old version of it, never mind a new version of it? We need to be different.
- Impress presentation
Impress is a very important thing, because it is the only thing on linux that is in the powerpoint esq. However, it has no decent presentation modes. I want a presentor mode. No, not like powerpoint, maybe like the plugin that you can get for Oo.o, but actually it needs to be included in the default install.
- Slow at starting up
I’m not going to say that Oo.o is big or chunky or bloated. Its not. If you think it is, then don’t use an office suite. Office suites NEED to be large. They have so many functions and they are just so large. However, Oo.o takes a long time to start up.
So, here a few points about Oo.o. Now I’m off to try the Renaissance:Impress prototype. Comment if you have any other ideas.
Ok, this weeks video of the week is not actually called “but…freecell”, but it is my favourite quote from the video. This is a fantastic video. Yeah, ok, I don’t agree with everything in the video, but its still hilarous.
Oh, btw, there is quite a bit of swearing at the end. So, technically NSFW. Its only one word, just repeated quite a few times.
 I forgot to say…don’t let Windows make you feel sorry for it. It had its day