Ubuntu & GNOME 3 for non-geeks!

So I have now installed Ubuntu Linux w/ Gnome-shell (GNOME 3) on 2 new laptops this week (one for myself & one for my husband, Kevin) and am now in the process of trasferring files from another laptop, before formatting & installing ubuntu on it (this one owned by one of my best friends J who is tired of Windows and all its problems with viruses, spyware, adware, etc).  Its actually something I’ve always wanted to do, but never actually had the chance to (ie, nobody’s been brave enough to let me :p).

Assuming they don’t have many/any complaints, I think I’m going to start pushing a bit harder for peoples’ old hardware to build systems to give away with linux (likely Ubuntu running either GNOME 3 or XFCE depending) on them – either for free to those who simply *need* computers, or for super cheap – $10-100. Has anyone else ever done this? Any ideas for printouts/handouts/etc? I’ve been trying to wrack my brain for what ‘basic’ stuff is not included on Ubuntu but which people will likely want; my list so far: Skype, Calibre, Evolution, Chrome. Any other suggestions?

I’m also now planning on moving my old desktop (currently running Xubuntu 11.04) into my boys’ room (I have two boys, oldest will be 5 in March, youngest is 2.5), and letting them play with it (it will be heavily locked down, and not connected to the web). Kevin thinks it’ll be destroyed, and it very well may, but they have to learn on something, you know? And I’d much rather that be an old desktop than a laptop, as I suspect the desktop is much more likely to stand up to abuse 🙂 This means I will shortly be going back through linux games and finding good, fun, *easy* ones for them to play – once again, any suggestions?? (Not really looking for educational ones either – just good, fun, and above all easy games! 4 yr olds are easily frustrated :p)

Pissed off Penguins!

Good news! Pissed off Penguins (http://filmsbykris.com/pop/) has been fully funded through Kickstarter – a total of $2811 was raised, passing the target goal of $2500 set by Kris Occhipinti. It looks great, and I for one am super excited to play it in another month or two when the first alpha/beta is released!

SOPA & NDAA

First off, in case you haven’t heard, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has passed both houses of congress with huge majorities and Obama has now said he will sign it. This is absolutely terrifying. Why? Because it codifies into #USA law indefinite detention, of anyone and everyone the president *accuses* of being a terrorist, or even merely supporting:

http://www.salon.com/2011/12/16/three_myths_about_the_detention_bill/

It simply cannot be any clearer within the confines of the English language that this bill codifies the power of indefinite detention. It expressly empowers the President — with regard to anyone accused of the acts in section (b) – to detain them “without trial until the end of the hostilities.” That is the very definition of “indefinite detention,” and the statute could not be clearer that it vests this power. Anyone claiming this bill does not codify indefinite detention should be forced to explain how they can claim that in light of this crystal clear provision.

So basically, assuming Obama truly does sign this in the coming days, anyone the president *accuses* of terrorism, can be held indefinitely. Accused. Not convicted of being, but merely *accused*. This bill passed the US Senate 93-7. Ninety-three to *seven*. So much for freedom in the USA.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/10/sopa-hollywood-finally-gets-chance-break-internet

Next up is SOPA – Stop Online Privacy Act. Sounds noble, doesn’t it? Its aim? Stop piracy Though of course there is absolutely no way to do this. If it passes though, we will end up with a corporate shell for the internet, at least in the USA. Companies will be able to (once again) merely accuse a website of infringing on their copyright, and thence force ad services (Google, Facebook, etc), and payment processors (PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, etc) to stop funding you. It will essentially force anyone who allows posting of content to constantly monitor & censor what is being posted. No more Youtube. No more Facebook. But we might stop a tiny bit of privacy.

SOPA & NDAA

First off, in case you haven’t heard, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has passed both houses of congress with huge majorities and Obama has now said he will sign it. This is absolutely terrifying. Why? Because it codifies into #USA law indefinite detention, of anyone and everyone the president *accuses* of being a terrorist, or even merely supporting:

http://www.salon.com/2011/12/16/three_myths_about_the_detention_bill/

It simply cannot be any clearer within the confines of the English language that this bill codifies the power of indefinite detention. It expressly empowers the President — with regard to anyone accused of the acts in section (b) – to detain them “without trial until the end of the hostilities.” That is the very definition of “indefinite detention,” and the statute could not be clearer that it vests this power. Anyone claiming this bill does not codify indefinite detention should be forced to explain how they can claim that in light of this crystal clear provision.

So basically, assuming Obama truly does sign this in the coming days, anyone the president *accuses* of terrorism, can be held indefinitely. Accused. Not convicted of being, but merely *accused*. This bill passed the US Senate 93-7. Ninety-three to *seven*. So much for freedom in the USA.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/10/sopa-hollywood-finally-gets-chance-break-internet

Next up is SOPA – Stop Online Privacy Act. Sounds noble, doesn’t it? Its aim? Stop piracy Though of course there is absolutely no way to do this. If it passes though, we will end up with a corporate shell for the internet, at least in the USA. Companies will be able to (once again) merely accuse a website of infringing on their copyright, and thence force ad services (Google, Facebook, etc), and payment processors (PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, etc) to stop funding you. It will essentially force anyone who allows posting of content to constantly monitor & censor what is being posted. No more Youtube. No more Facebook. But we might stop a tiny bit of privacy.

Pissed Off Penguins (POP)

Kris Occhipinti is currently raising money on Kickstarter to fund Pissed off Penguins (POP), an Angry Birds style game built using the Blender 2.6 Game engine. It looks pretty cool, and I for one am excited. If/when completed it will be released under the GPL He’s raised just over $1700 as of writing – his goal is $2500.

I signed up to contribute, and am really hoping this all works out. My boys (2 & 4.5) both love Angry Birds, and this looks like lots of fun. And I for one would much rather support an Open Source/Free Software project than keep paying for dozens of new versions of Angry Birds on various platforms. Lets make this happen!

And just for the record? Even if the whole project never comes to fruition? At least we got tux in a bat suit! My boys will be in love. Especially the little one – he *loves* batman!!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1384519763/pissed-off-penguins