Severed Fifth – “Nightmares by Design”.

Posted: October 17, 2010 in Uncategorized

Raise your fists up! Metal IS alive and well in the beast that is “Nightmares by Design”, the second album from Severed Fifth.

First things first, this isn’t a post “hero worshipping” Ubuntu / Canonical legend Jono Bacon. Whilst I undoubtedly admire Mr Bacon’s talents, be it Ubuntu or musically, I truly do think “Nightmares by Design” is AWESOME!

Pushing nearly 40 years old, I grew up loving “thrash metal” music! I listened religiously to, be it recorded or live gigs, to Metallica, Megadeth, Testament and Pantera to name but a few.  I was engulfed by the power of the music! After foraying into the music world myself, fronting a semi-successful punk metal band, I realised that there were certain souls who were just BETTER at making music than me, and who should be worthy of wider attention. Severed Fifth fit into that category.

In the days where musicians aim to gain stardom via TV shows such as X Factor (of which I must admit, I’m a bit of a fan), it’s hard for bands to make a breakthrough, especially when you’re a “thrash metal” band! OK, Slipknot and System Of A Down have achieved multi-wide recognition, but that’s certainly not without a huge slice of luck! Incidentally, both bands had huge underground followings before breaking it commercially.

So it was a great pleasure for me to hear Severed Fifth released an album of pure, authentic “thrash metal”. Sticking to what they (Mr Bacon) believe in and producing a real monster of a rock record! 11 killer tracks of pure metal, which for me, follows on from where Pantera left off and Slipknot sometimes go, is a full on, head-banging album, seriously worth international attention!

Seriously! Please listen to the album by going to the Severed Fifth website. Spread the word, and help bring “metal” back to the forefront! My personal favourite on the album is “Machines of War”.

PC Wolrd’s 12 Reasons to try Ubuntu 10.10

Posted: October 12, 2010 in Uncategorized

Having recently upgraded to 10:10 and being delighted with the results, I would urge all Ubuntu followers to do likewise (if you haven’t already done so). So imagine how interested and pleased I was, to read that technology retailers PCWorld, were recommending likewise!

PCWorld magazine’s Kathreine Noyes enlists 12 reasons for trying Ubuntu Linux:  “for those in the business world who haven’t yet tried Ubuntu, however, the reasons to download and give it a whirl are even more compelling”.

For the full article, click here.

Ten criticisms of Ubuntu 10.04??

Posted: September 2, 2010 in Uncategorized

Ubuntu may be one of the best operating systems around, but that does not put it beyond criticism, says Jack Wallen.

Jack takes a look at the following:

1. The new themes
2. The lack of Samba
3. No Gimp
4. New init system
5. No PayPal for Ubuntu Music Store
6. Nouveau drivers
7. New logo
8. Gwibber problems
9. No Google Chrome
10. Still no welcome screen

To read more click here. Personally, I did miss GIMP, but it didn’t take long to install! I dunno, you decide if Jack’s right.

Diaspora, an open-source alternative to Facebook will be launched on 15 September, the developers of the project have said.

Diaspora describes itself as a “privacy-aware, personally-controlled” social network. The open-source project made headlines earlier this year when Facebook was forced to simplify its privacy settings, after they were criticised for being overly complex and confusing.

The project, developed by four US students, raised $200,000 (£140,000). “We have Diaspora working, we like it, and it will be open-sourced on September 15th,” the team wrote on their blog.

The team said they had spent the summer “building clear, contextual sharing”. “That means an intuitive way for users to decide, and not notice deciding, what content goes to their co-workers and what goes to their drinking buddies. We know that’s a hard [user interface] problem and we take it seriously.”

The project was started by three computer scientists and one mathematician from New York. Their idea of building it gained momentum earlier this year during an intense period of criticism of Facebook, the world’s largest social network. “We want to put users back in control of what they share,” Max Salzberg, one of the founders, told BBC News at the time.

The team turned to the fundraising site Kickstarter to raise the $10,000 they thought they would need to build the network.

In the end the team raised $200,642 from nearly 6,500 people.

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, reportedly donated to the project.

The initial release on 15 September will be to “open-source” Diaspora, meaning that the team will make the underlying code available for anyone to see and modify.

Many believe that it will be difficult to challenge Facebook, which now has 500 million users and is currently estimated to be worth $33bn.

Google is taking on internet telephone companies like Skype by allowing users to call from its free web-based email service, BBC News has revealed.

The service allows users to make calls to landlines and mobiles from inside their Gmail account.

Phoning anywhere in the US and Canada will be free until the end of the year, while calls to the UK, France, China and Germany will cost 2 cents a minute. Until now Google offered computer-to-computer voice and video chat services.

“This is a real big deal because now hundreds of millions of Gmail users can make phone calls right from their Gmail page,” Craig Walker, product manager for real-time communications told BBC News.

“They don’t need to download an additional application or anything to start making really high-quality low-cost calls. For the user it means much more efficient and low-cost communications.”

The product link will appear on the left hand of the Gmail page within the “chat” window. A “call phone” option will pop up along with a number pad to let you dial the number of the person you want to talk to.

Google said money raised from international calls will pay for the free US and Canadian calls.

“What surprised me was that they actually said they hope to make money off the calls,” said Danny Sullivan, editor-in-chief of technology blog SearchEngineLand.

“Normally Google is like ‘We don’t know how we are going to make the money’ or ‘We will make money down the way, don’t worry about it’ and this stands out as a big benefit that they get actual revenue early on.”

Skype, which is the most successful internet phone offering, claims to have over 560 million registered users. The firm said 124 million used the service at least one a month while 8.1 million were paying customers.

The company is planning to offer shares to the public later this year. Observers said that it is too early to say whether companies like Skype should be worried.

Google hopes to roll the product out to users around the world soon

“Skype is a well known company in this place and they are almost like a verb in the internet calling world in the way Google is with search. You Skype someone. So I think there is some inertia there to get over and I am interested to see how Gmail users respond,” said Tom Krazit, senior writer with technology news site

“But you always have to worry when Google comes after what you do. They don’t do things half way and bring a lot of resources to any problem they try to tackle. It doesn’t mean you are doomed.

“Google’s product won’t work on your mobile browser so Skype has an advantage there but I don’t think it is a stretch to assume Google will come out with a mobile version pretty soon,” said Mr Krazit.

The company plans an eye catching way to get non-Gmail users to give the product a go. It is in negotiations with a number of university campuses and airports to install red telephone boxes around the country to give users the chance to dial and try.

Massive Changes to Ubuntu 10.10 Installer

Posted: August 25, 2010 in Uncategorized

The Ubuntu Installer receives a massive overhaul for the 10.10 ‘Maverick Meerkat’ release, since the installer is the first impression most users will receive from Ubuntu there has been a great deal polishing and refining.

To see all the changes and read more, please click here.

Ubuntu One Technical Aspects with Herald Sitter

Posted: August 25, 2010 in Uncategorized

Herald goes into some detail on the Ubuntu One implementation in Kubuntu.

He covers how it does authentication, how the libraries work as well as the user interfaces. It’s certainly educational if you’re interested in how the Ubuntu One client works. Herald also calls for help for more contributors on the Kubuntu Ubuntu One client.

To read Herald’s excellent post, click here.