Archive for December, 2011

Adding Applications to GNOME 3

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

A couple of weeks ago, I updated my home computer to GNOME 3. This comes with a new interface, called “Gnome Shell”, that requires some getting used to – it’s a drastic departure from the classic taskbar/start menu paradigm that we’ve all been using since Windows 95.

There are a few little annoyances (Virtual Desktops disappear when you close the last item on them – screw you, spatial memory!), but for the most part, I really like it now that I’ve gotten used to it a bit more.

Now, on to the point of this post; I was trying to run Kino, a video editing application, and it wasn’t showing up in the Applications menu for Gnome Shell. If you need to add something to Applications, you can either set up a .desktop file for it from the command line using a text editor or just use alacarte to do it simply through the GUI. Make sure the application is enabled in the alacarte menu editor, and it will appear in Applications.

Iran Drone

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

The recent capture of an American drone by Iranian forces has been a hot news item. Interestingly, Iranian engineers are coming forward with information on how it was captured. Rather than trying to crack the encryption on the command-and-control link to the pilot, they used spoofed GPS data to force its autopilot to land in Iran, all the while thinking it was in Kandahar. Nice hack.


Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Happy Chanukah. And Solstice. Longest night of the year. I’m in State College, PA, and its cold, and raining. Hope there’s a bar that has Wassail somewhere around here…

Katie and I will be in the Rochester-ish area Friday through Tuesday. Monday night will probably be our free-est night, if anyone’s around. Tuesday morning we’re heading southbound, again.


Monday, December 19th, 2011

Here’s a neat little add-on for Thunderbird: It allows you to add a “sticky note” to an email, so you can append a little bit of extra data to it.

School Blame

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Here’s an intensely depressing article on the Buffalo Public Schools from this week’s Buffalo News.

Of the students who started ninth grade in 2006, only 47.4 percent graduated in 2010—and that was down from 53.1 percent the previous year. (In New York City, 61 percent of the 2006 cohort graduated. Statewide, 73.4 percent graduated.) Just 3.2 percent of Buffalo’s 2006 cohort graduated with a Re-gents diploma with Advanced Designation, compared with 16.4 percent in New York City and 30.9 percent statewide.

The teachers have a union. The principals have a union. The superintendent and the administration have the School Board to back them up. Looks like the only people without any representation in this system are the students. No wonder they’re getting the shaft.

Wetten Dass?

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Okay this is in German so I have no idea what the premise is but it is pretty awesome.

Snowboard vs Mountain Bike

Gnome 3 Run Dialog

Monday, December 12th, 2011

If you enter a complete path in the Gnome 3 run dialog (such as /usr/bin/xclock), you may find yourself in a situation where the run box does not accept input but also will not go away. The rest of the desktop is grayed out, but usable, and the box is in the middle of your screen.

If this happens, a simple “killall -HUP gnome-shell” will relaunch the shell without the run box.

Apparently, this is a known bug. Hopefully it will get fixed eventually.


Monday, December 12th, 2011

I dug out my undergrad diplomas last night; I’m finishing my MBA in the spring, so I have to submit my paperwork for the new one and I couldn’t remember if I’d previously used my middle name or my middle initial. Might as well have them match, right?

Well, my first diploma has my initial, and the other one has my full middle name. So much for matching.

Also, neither one of them lists my actual degree program. Just “Bachelor of Arts”.

Is that unusual? That seems weird to me.

Ryno Electric Unicycle

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Neat. And, unlike a Segway, it has both a seat and a top speed higher than that of a toy store Huffy.

New Hampshire

Friday, December 9th, 2011

The New Hampshire primary is coming up fast. And, since it only costs $1,000 to get on the primary ballot in the Granite State, there are over forty candidates, most of whom you’ve never heard of because they are completely bonkers.

I’d definitely put a Vermin Supreme 2012 sticker on my car.