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In a meeting.

Dick Turpin - 7 hours 22 min ago
Why on earth would you take time out of your business to visit us for two and a half hours then during that time inform us we lost a deal we'd quoted for yet continue to waffle on about nothing of any value?

This should work?

Dick Turpin - Wed, 02/09/2015 - 16:52
This was an email from an IT Manager to us earlier today.

Customer: "Do you have any idea how Sage Line 100 is installed on a new PC to access a central server installation? I have tried putting the shortcut from another computer with the full path to this machine, but it gives me missing DLL errors. It then says try reinstalling the program."

Because shortcuts are programs aren't they?

Go and back the Mycroft Kickstarter campaign

Jono Bacon - Sun, 30/08/2015 - 22:42

Disclaimer: I am not a member of the Mycroft team, but I think this is neat and an important example of open innovation that needs support.

Mycroft is an Open Source, Open Hardware, Open APIs product that you talk to and it provides information and services. It is a wonderful example of open innovation at work.

They are running a kickstarter campaign that is pretty close to the goal, but it needs further backers to nail it.

I recorded a short video about why I think this is important. You can watch it here.

I encourage you to go and back the campaign. This kind of open innovation across technology, software, hardware, and APIs is how we make the world a better and more hackable place.

Automated twitter compilation up to 30 August 2015

David Goodwin - Sun, 30/08/2015 - 06:00

Arbitrary tweets made by TheGingerDog up to 30 August 2015

  • You can modify a reserved ec2 instance within its class/region without losing it … #TIL 2015/08/29
  • RT @kapilsharmainfo I need a suitcase just for this… #zendcon #elephpant #ZendConFace


  • FFS idiot neighbour. Please stop that burglar alarm. It’s waking the babies up! That’s the 3rd or 4th time this evening. 2015/08/29
  • RT Apple’s real profit margin comes from selling the tiny soul fragments they get each time we click on their User Agreement. 2015/08/29
  • Woo. Payday weekend. I’d almost forgotten. August seems to have flown by. 2015/08/29
  • Two consecutive kernel panics this morning. Same server. Different reason. Btrfs and cgroups may be having a disagreement (3.16.7-11) 2015/08/29
  • Will anyone notice I have washed the kitchen floor ? 2015/08/28
  • Hmm. I could go joy riding on these mobility scooters. Two unattended on the pavsment. Perhaps the owners have been bitten by zombies. Barnt Green, England 2015/08/28
  • Debian upgrading the version of PHP (beyond @dotdeb‘s) caught me out today.

    Package pinning time … 2015/08/28

  • Dishwasher repair 101 – course completed ! (Dispenser tray spring replaced). 2015/08/27
  • RT A child’s view on technology’s harm | Letters d.gu.com/Bz4x5l 2015/08/26
  • RT It is the last time to experience the future of the web world at (R)Evolution – bit.ly/1JQfEYp 2015/08/24
  • RT The most difficult “Hello World” of your life www.commitstrip.com/2015/08/24/the-most-difficult-hello-world-of-your-life/


  • RT Working from home


  • RT Great News! Conference & Tutorial tickets / Full Day and Half Day Tutorial tickets will be back on sale tomorrow! #PHPNW15 … Please RT! 2015/08/24
  • RT Denmark ban halal and kosher meat. Come on Great Britain. Animal rights should come before religious barbarism. 2015/08/24
  • RT Windows 95 is 20 years old today. You used 3.5″ floppies to install it. 13 of them.


dotdeb – apt package pinning

David Goodwin - Fri, 28/08/2015 - 10:22

As of last night, Debian Security released PHP 5.4.44 for Wheezy. Wheezy shipped with PHP 5.4.12 or something like that.

DotDeb is currently on 5.4.43, and if you’ve been using it based on the assumption that it has a newer version of a package over Debian, then an upgrade will leave your PHP install in a mess (e.g. no php5-gearman or php5-imagick).

To fix this, the following in e.g. /etc/apt/preferences.d/dotdeb will help :

Package: * Pin: origin packages.dotdeb.org Pin-Priority: 1001

This should make apt choose dotdeb packages over Debian, even if Debian contains a newer version.

i.e. stop apt relying on just the package version number, and previously dotdeb always had a higher one.

Ubuntu, Canonical, and IP

Jono Bacon - Fri, 28/08/2015 - 00:59

Recently there has been a flurry of concerns relating to the IP policy at Canonical. I have not wanted to throw my hat into the ring, but I figured I would share a few simple thoughts.

Firstly, the caveat. I am not a lawyer. Far from it. So, take all of this with a pinch of salt.

The core issue here seems to be whether the act of compiling binaries provides copyright over those binaries. Some believe it does, some believe it doesn’t. My opinion: I just don’t know.

The issue here though is with intent.

In Canonical’s defense, and specifically Mark Shuttleworth’s defense, they set out with a promise at the inception of the Ubuntu project that Ubuntu will always be free. The promise was that there would not be a hampered community edition and full-flavor enterprise edition. There will be one Ubuntu, available freely to all.

Canonical, and Mark Shuttleworth as a primary investor, have stuck to their word. They have not gone down the road of the community and enterprise editions, of per-seat licensing, or some other compromise in software freedom. Canonical has entered multiple markets where having separate enterprise and community editions could have made life easier from a business perspective, but they haven’t. I think we sometimes forget this.

Now, from a revenue side, this has caused challenges. Canonical has invested a lot of money in engineering/design/marketing and some companies have used Ubuntu without contributing even nominally to it’s development. Thus, Canonical has at times struggled to find the right balance between a free product for the Open Source community and revenue. We have seen efforts such as training services, Ubuntu One etc, some of which have failed, some have succeeded.

Again though, Canonical has made their own life more complex with this commitment to freedom. When I was at Canonical I saw Mark very specifically reject notions of compromising on these ethics.

Now, I get the notional concept of this IP issue from Canonical’s perspective. Canonical invests in staff and infrastructure to build binaries that are part of a free platform and that other free platforms can use. If someone else takes those binaries and builds a commercial product from them, I can understand Canonical being a bit miffed about that and asking the company to pay it forward and cover some of the costs.

But here is the rub. While I understand this, it goes against the grain of the Free Software movement and the culture of Open Source collaboration.

Putting the legal question of copyrightable binaries aside for one second, the current Canonical IP policy is just culturally awkward. I think most of us expect that Free Software code will result in Free Software binaries and to make claim that those binaries are limited or restricted in some way seems unusual and the antithesis of the wider movement. It feels frankly like an attempt to find a loophole in a collaborative culture where the connective tissue is freedom.

Thus, I see this whole thing from both angles. Firstly, Canonical is trying to find the right balance of revenue and software freedom, but I also sympathize with the critics that this IP approach feels like a pretty weak way to accomplish that balance.

So, I ask my humble readers this question: if Canonical reverts this IP policy and binaries are free to all, what do you feel is the best way for Canonical to derive revenue from their products and services while also committing to software freedom? Thoughts and ideas welcome!

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