Attention Ubuntu One administrators / Canonical Server Staff

When your service over a period of several days is unavailable (or at least very flacky) for a number of users, it would really be appreciated if you would at least give some kind of acknowledgement of the problem, and a time frame for when you would expect the problem to be fixed.

A Twitter account that has last been updated July of last year and a wiki Status page that states “Service information available“, with latest updates from March last year is not good enough.

I enjoy my Ubuntu One file storage, but when a problem is happening for four days, without any information given to the users, I start looking around for alternatives. We all know they are out there…

(Yes, I did file a bug report…)

UDS Blog-o-Rama: My first UDS

So, I’m attending my first UDS in my hometown of Copenhagen.

As a non-developer my primary focus has been on the community track, but in general it has been exciting just to be around all the great people who make Ubuntu happen.

I think the most important thing I will be taking with me from this UDS is the use of Launchpad Blueprints for team-management. My understanding is that so far Blueprints have primarily been used by development-teams to track and manage their work, but there is no reason for LoCo teams and other teams to not use Blueprints.

Thanks to Randall for organizing this blog-sweatshop-o-rama :)

Photo by: Will Scullin

Have you seen my Facebook graph?

Isn’t it nice. Full of nodes and edges.

But seriously though, I have started an online course called Social Network Analysis, on Coursera.

If you don’t know about Coursera, this Ted Talk should give you an idea of how Coursera hopes to bring education to everyone through online education.


http://www.ted.com/talks/daphne_koller_what_we_re_learning_from_online_education.html

This is the second Coursera course I’m following. The first one was Algorithms, Part I, which I unfortunately didn’t finish in time. Apparently a hard deadline doesn’t mean what I think it means. You can (most likely) find my Coursera profile here.

I think the Coursera idea is fantastic, and I hope to dedicate myself to follow one course at any given time. (But who knows, maybe I will grow tired of it in a few weeks.)

Anyway, back to my Facebook graph. The image has been produced with Gephi, which is the primary tool that has been introduced in the Social Network Analysis course. I think it is a bit fun to look at the graph and think about how friends, colleagues and family are connected and how they arrange them selves, depending on the different settings of the graph-visualization software.

Would you pay for Open Source Software

Recently Peter Toft wrote a blog entry (in Danish) entitled Hånden på hjertet: Vil du betale for Open Source?, which roughly translates into
Honestly, would you pay for Open Source?

The blog post and the associated comments are all in Danish, but those who answered yes can be split into three groups (I’m generalizing a bit here, read the comments, if you want the details)

  • Yes, and I do occasionally. Either through one-time donations or buying merchandise.
  • Yes, and I have some sort of monthly subscription/membership, like jointhegame.kde.org/ or FSF.
  • Yes, but I don’t know where to throw my money.
    If I had to support the development of all the (open source) software I use, it would ruin me, because I use so many open source programs. If there was a central place I could pay, and have my money distributed, that would work for me.

I myself belong in the first category, mainly through merchandise purchases.
But I must admit that I do share some of the thoughts of the people in the last category. If I want to donate my money to pay for developer hours and I don’t want the hassle of shopping around, to locate and distribute money to all the many projects deserving support, where do I go?

So I would like to bring Peters question to the wider audience of Planet Ubuntu. (If you found this blog post through some other means, feel free to share your thoughts as well).

Would you pay for Open Source Software?

If yes, what would/do you pay for?
A specific product, monthly subscriptions, merchandise or something else?

If no, why not?
Is free the most important aspect of Free Software?
Are there to many places to throw your money, so you choose not to at all?

Would you be interested in donating to some sort of foundation, whose sole purpose it was to pay Open Source developers to work full time on what ever project they were working on?
Photo by: Philip Taylor

Happy World Blood Donor Day! #WBDD

Today, June 14, is World Blood Donor Day, and this years theme is Every blood donor is a hero.

I like the idea of being able to stand tall and say proudly that every three months I help save lives, even though I don’t wear a cape or similar hero-outfit.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Af0gk_kiGac&hd=1

I find that giving blood takes less that 30 minutes and is generally no hassle at all. My next donation is this coming Monday, and I’m already looking forward to the free juice and biscuits.

If you are not already a blood donor, please consider signing up.

New PGP key

I honestly haven’t used my PGP much lately, and I must admit that it took me a bit by surprise when my key expired December last year.
So I finally got around to creating a new one today.

You can fetch it here:
http://keyserver.ubuntu.com:11371/pks/lookup?op=get&search=0xEBAFDBAF742C8483

or get it right here:

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Version: GnuPG v1.4.11 (GNU/Linux)

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Quick Diaspora update

Just a quick note to other would-be Diaspora-pod-runners out there (since I couldn’t seem to find any info about this anywhere):
It is my experience that a pod needs 750 mb of ram as a minimum.

This is just my personal experience of what keeps my pod from crashing. It is very likely that I’m just a bad pod maintainer, and that you can in fact run a pod on much less.
Also note that of course the number of users, and their usage patterns will be reflected in the hardware requirements.

If this blog-post makes no sense to you what so ever, here is a cute animal:

Cute little foalCute little foal by Ernst Vikne

diaspora.compadre.dk: Status update…

Just a quick note that the Diaspora Pod I’m hosting at diaspora.compadre.dk is properly going to have more down- that up-time the coming time.

I don’t have much time to access the pod and try to get things working.

Feel free to use it when it is up, or look around for a more stable pod.
http://podupti.me/ seems like a good place to start hunting for a new pod.

Cheers
Søren

Marmelade

We have Jam in Denmark as well. We just call it Marmelade.

We meet at Carlton at 10 o’clock Saturday September third.

Anyone is welcome, no special skills required. If you would like to test the latest Ubuntu Oneiric Ocelot you should come by. (At that time Beta1 should just have been released for your testing pleasure.)
If you would like to work with translations, that is an option too. There will be people present with experience in that area if you need a quick introduction.
The jam is also a great opportunity to learn about working with bug work in Ubuntu, and how we use Launchpad to do bug-work.

If you happen to be somewhere else than near Copenhagen during the Global Jam, but still want to participate, take a look at the list over here, where all the jams from around the globe are listed: http://loco.ubuntu.com/events/global/1011/detail/.
If there is no jam near you, get in touch with your local LoCo team and talk to them about the possibility of having a jam. It doesn’t need to be big, fancy and 100 people. I know from experience that a few people meeting in a living room to jam can be a positive experience.

Image by: tyo.. The labels are actually in German, but I didn’t want to use more time looking through Flickr.

+1, Like and Flattr

After some mental back-and-forth I have finally decided to add a Google +1 button, a Facebook Like button, and a Flattr button to this blog.

You can see them in the right hand sidebar, and they look like this:




flattr this!

The arguments for (that finally got me) are quite simple: I wouldn’t mind more traffic to the site, and if someone out there finds the text and content I produce interesting enough to find it worthy of a donation, that would be fun too.
I don’t expect to become rich off the Flattr thing (I’m actually quite curious if any donations will be made at all…). I am also very interested in seeing if the two social-media-website-buttons will actually bring any (new) traffic my way, or if they are just a wast of space and pixels.

The arguments against are these:Alex Zanardi's Williams Formula 1 car, the FW21, on Fleet Street by Ben Sutherland, on Flickr

  1. I feel they make the site look cheap. This blog is not a formula-1 racing car, and as such should not have stickers from sponsors and similar pasted all over it. To be honest, that is my primary argument against. So, deep down, it comes down to my own vanity (on my blog’s behalf).
  2. The second thing is privacy of my viewers. Although browsing the internet anonymously this day in age requires the user to take many precautions (like using Tor or similar), I still feel that the average user should be able to visit my blog, without Google, Facebook or Flattr knowing about it. With the current buttons (on this site, and any other site that has them) Google, Facebook and Flattr will receive information about each and every visit to this blog. Furthermore, if the user is logged in to any of those services, those companies will have the user info connected to the particular visit. But since it happens everywhere else, I figure it’s cool here as well.

Feel free to share your thoughts on the use of these (and similar social media buttons) in the comments below.

Photo by: Ben Sutherland