Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cinnamon a GNOME 2.x style desktop

This afternoon while searching for more information about this ACTA mess i came to a site featuring Linux Mint's new desktop interface codename 'Cinnamon', a Gnome 2 looking desktop built on top of Gnome 3.
Is this a step backwards? Cinnamon interface looks and works a lot like the popular Gnome 2.x interface, but it’s built on top of the Gnome 3.x interface. 
How is that going to work? Time to ask mighty Google for enlightenment, the first images weren't that impressing but being a geek i couldn't say no to try a new window manager so i installed it on my Ubuntu 11.10 using this instructions.
After a couple of commands on the terminal and a few minutes i was ready to go, the first thing you notice is the clean desktop featuring only the bar on the bottom as you see in the picture.

Standard Cinnamon desktop.

Not impressed? well, neither was i to be honest, but as i started to poke around i quickly realized that it's actually pretty nice, fast, and well organised, the menu window is big and is neatly arranged, on the far left you have your favorite applications, in the middle the different software categories and by hovering the mouse over any of those categories you have on the far right the applications corresponding to that category.

Menu window

AND here's this particular thing that i love on G3: when you move the cursor to the top left corner you have an overview of all the open windows :-)

Overview of all open windows
This combination of old school G2 interface on top of the actual G3 is well made, practical, productive and very nice to work with. Clement Lefebvre, lead developer of Linux Mint and his team created Cinnamon because many people, including Linux’s father Linus Torvalds don't like the new Gnome 3.x interface.
Among the new features that the now official stable Cinnamon 1.2 includes are desktop effects, desktop layouts, a new configuration tool, and applets as well as a variety of bug fixes and other improvements.
Overall, many of the changes aim to reintroduce a level of customisability that numerous desktops have lost in recent years, Lefebvre said.
Cinnamon is available as a download for the mayor Linux distributions on their website.

Friday, January 27, 2012


You think SOPA and PIPA were bad? Get ready for ACTA, this is SOPA and PIPA on steroids, imagine a global filter that allows you to see only what it wants you to see, imagine your ISP being allowed to monitor you and keep track of every website visited, every file downloaded and every bit of information you share, send and/or receive, IMAGINE your ISP could REPORT you to the authorities because you downloaded something that MAY be illegal and the authorities WILL have the right to raid your house, check your computer and put you in prison should you have an illegally downloaded song or any bit of 'dangerous' information whatsoever, this is ACTA, please watch the video and don't just think 'it won't affect me' because it will affect us all.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Megaupload is down, what's next?

The FBI shut down the Megaupload platform and put it's owner Kim Schmitz and his associates in prison and they're facing prison sentences. 'Finally' some say, 'bad move' others call it.
What is exactly Megaupload? 
Megaupload Limited, better known for its closed websites including the top-15, is an online Hong Kong based company established in 2005 that ran a number of online services related to file storage and viewing (source: Wikipedia, the whole article is here).
Are such services illegal? Theoretically not, such services are used by millions of users everyday to storage legal and/or personal data, backup physical hard drives and to be able to access important data whenever needed from any computer.
Practically, these services are often misused for illegal distribution of copyrighted data such as movies, music, games, etc. Once a user uploads a file to a filehoster, this file becomes an 'address' which can be called from any PC and the data can be downloaded again.
Most filehosters can not always control all the data being up/downloaded, alone Megaupload was clicked an average of 50 million times a day, about 4% of the world's Internet traffic, with such a data volume, trying to keep control of every file is like a drop of water falling over a hot stove.
How do filehosters earn their money? The basic hosting service is free, for a monthly fee users get for example faster up/download speed. Megaupload had around 150 million registered users, that alone brought the company around 175 million dollars. Alone Kim Schmitz, head of the company is said to have earnt around 42 million dollars last year!
Will Megaupload's customers be prosecuted? 
This is because of the huge amount of data probably impossible, there will be for sure enough illegal data to do so, but i don't think they could probably prosecute 150 million users, Washington said about this that they will concentrate on the people responsible for Megaupload.
The servers used to storage data in the US were shut down but Megaupload being a Hong-Kong based company, has many other servers spread around the world, which means the impact on the Net will be minimal, besides, many users who traffic with illegal data upload the same file(s) on different filehosters so if one goes down, the file is only a search away.