Archive for August, 2010

Ubuntu Tweak 0.5.6 Ready for Testing

Ubuntu Tweak 0.5.6 has entered the testing ppa:  https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-tweak-testing/+archive/ppa.

This new version adds a feature called Reset Setting. This means that if you don’t like the effect you get after doing some tweaking, you can go back.

After every resettable option, there will be a reset button. The tooltip will tell you the default value when you mouse over it. You can reset to the default value by just one click.

There is another new feature to back up, recover and rest your desktop settings. Here is a screenshot of the Desktop Recovery section:

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Ubuntu N-imal

First, I want to apologize for the pun. No less than Mark Shuttleworth is responsible. 😉

Shuttleworth announced today that the name of the upcoming Ubuntu version (11.04) is Natty Narwhal. As he explained, “The Narwhal, as an Arctic (and somewhat endangered) animal, is a fitting reminder of the fact that we have only one spaceship that can host all of humanity….” He further explained, “Being a natty narwhal, of course, means we have some obligation to put our best foot forward.”

In other news yesterday, Canonical announced the release of uTouch 1.0, Ubuntu’s multi-touch and gesture stack. With Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick, Ubuntu will support multi-touch screens.

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Security Concerns

Yesterday, after many years of safe web-surfing, I did something stupid. I clicked on one of those cute little ads for to get an answer to an IQ test problem. (I used to use Adblock Plus and think I will have to go back, as much as I believe in supporting the sites I use.) What happened next was a mini-nightmare.

A totally unwanted web page came up in my browser. When I tried to kill it, it started opening windows and more windows. I was able to close Firefox, but when I ran Bleachbit to clean up the Firefox database I kept getting error messages.

Since I didn’t know what (besides Firefox) was affected, I reinstalled Ubuntu. Because I test alphas, I have the steps to a reinstall down to a science. 🙂 However, I want to warn anyone else – if you don’t know what an ad leads to, don’t click on it. Even though Linux is safe, Javascript, the browser, and flash aren’t so much.

To keep myself from clicking on something unintelligent again, I have installed Adblock Plus. I will just have to turn it off on the one political website where I actually want to see the ads.

While on the subject of security, I want to admit one more bone-headed thing I did, in the hopes it will save others from making the same mistake. For almost 4 years, I used Linksys, set up without a password, to attach to the family wifi network. I only found out that my internet connection was being hijacked when someone downloaded an illegal TV show and got my internet cut off. Needless to say, the next time we set up a router, it had a password.

If I save one person from making my mistakes, being embarrassed in print will be worth it. 😉

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Maverick Meerkat Alpha 3

Maverick Meerkat Alpha 3 was released on August 5 as scheduled. The best way to get it if you already have Lucid (Ubuntu 10.04) installed, is to type “update-manager -d” (without the quotes) into the Run Application bar (Alt + F2). If you need a fresh install, ISOs and torrents are available at:

http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/releases/maverick/alpha-3/ (Ubuntu Desktop, Server, and Netbook)
http://uec-images.ubuntu.com/releases/maverick/alpha-3/ (Ubuntu Server for UEC and EC2)
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/kubuntu/releases/maverick/alpha-3/ (Kubuntu Desktop and Netbook)
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/xubuntu/releases/maverick/alpha-3/ (Xubuntu)
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/edubuntu/releases/maverick/alpha-3 (Edubuntu DVD)
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/ubuntustudio/releases/maverick/alpha-3/ (Ubuntu Studio)
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/ubuntu-netbook/ports/releases/maverick/alpha-3/ (Ubuntu ARM)

It goes without saying that you should not install Maverick Alpha 3 on a production machine. This is a good time to pay attention to the standard warning. The Maverick Alpha 3 ISO hosed my computer. If I could figure out what program blew up, I would loooove to file a bug report. 😉

The full notice on Maverick Alpha 3 is here.

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Ailurus 10.07.6 Is Now Available

Ailurus 10.07.6 has been made available in the regular PPA repository. It now works for Maverick as well as earlier versions. Ailurus contains tips and tools to make Ubuntu-ing easy and enjoyable, even if you are just starting out.

As pointed out by Homer Xing in an article for Ubuntu Geek, Ailurus now has support for saving and loading installed software and for disabling the GNOME login sound, along with user-friendly messages if software failed to install or the network is down. A great deal of new software has been added as well, including Celestia (a 3D astronomy simulator), Backintime (an incremental backup tool sup[porting scheduling), DeaDBeeF (a new music player), and Fatrat (a feature-rich download manager).

To install Ailurus, simply run these commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ailurus
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ailurus

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