Friday, June 26, 2009

The Right To Be Uncensored

OK. Maybe it's time to be get a little more serious about this Internet censorship in Australia. I guess a few more protests wouldn't be a bad idea.

Senator Conroy! It's time to wake up. It appears you don't really get it. It is obvious that ISP-level filtering, specially a retarded blacklist method, can never stop people accessing illegal contents. Deny it or not, countries like China and Iran have invested way more than what you have or going to spend on that; still people find a way around it. Either Mr Conroy is getting technical advice from a bunch of retards or he assumes the rest of us to be stupid.

On technical side, keeping a blacklist of a few thousands URLs in a network with more than billions webpages is a joke. On the other hand, packet inspection doesn't seem to be practical with current technology; not only it severely impact the network speed, it'll a hard job to identify what content is actually illegal. Even humans have arguments over it, how would we expect a set of rules and algorithm serve us better?

But, the opposition to the plan is not only a technical but has a far more fundamental ethical aspect. I don't think it'll be long before pro-censorship people begin asking government to filter harmful conversations in instant messaging networks and mobile phones, assuming the plan won't suddenly extend its coverage to political information. I'm sure some can find certain political debates harmful to kids under 15!

Unless we want to end up in a situation like what see in Iran, we shouldn't accept any mandatory censorship of information in a free society. Misuse of such system doesn't happen right from the first day but when influential individuals or group from within and outside country find it necessary. I'm not sure if Senator Conroy or those rallying behind him are willing to take any responsibility for what this nation may suffer as a result of their short-sighted plan.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Yum on Steroid

If you are a Debian user, you would know what a joy is to use apt-get or aptitude specially when those are teamed up with bash-completion scripts.

In contrast, Yum on Fedora has a poor performance and is sometimes annoying. On Fedora 11, bash completion for Yum is virtually impractical to use as it's unbearably slow. It sometimes take up to two minutes for the prompt to return to life.

I don't know much about Yum and my lack of knowledge could be at least partly responsible for the poor performance of this particular setup.

Fortunately, Yum has quite a few plugins which I found some significantly improving its speed. In particular, I have installed rpm-warm-cache, updatesd and refresh-updatesd. It'll surprises you just to see how much faster Yum gets with these plugins and one wonders why these aren't installed by default.

A shot of plugins to keep it going for now:
yum install yum-updatesd yum-plugin-rpm-warm-cache yum-plugin-refresh-updatesd

Saturday, June 20, 2009

You are not alone!

Don't give up! Yesterday, indeed was one of the darkest days of our revolution; the day Khamenei stood on the footstep of the very dictator he fought against before. He promised the same violence and bloodshed that once Pahlavi's regime did to men and women of this land.

What seems inevitable today, I truly hope, be avoided and we don't lose any of our dearest brothers and sisters. But those in Iran who think they are any more powerful than Shah, should know the people who have tasted freedom once will never go back to dictatorship.

I kindly requests from all freedom loving people of this planet not to recognised Iran's government as it is now. Any government that ignores and threatens to brutally suppress a significant (if not majority) portion of its nation is not a legitimate government.

Iran, you are not alone. No matter, what they do to you brave boys and girls, men and women of this great nation, you will not be forgotten. We will be with you till you get what you deserve.

Truecrypt on Fedora 11

Since Truecrypt doesn't officially provide RPM packages for Fedora, you are left with a choice of either compiling your own from the source or using openSUSE RPM (I read somewhere that it would work though I haven't tried it myself).

Well, I chose to compile version 6.1a of Truecrypt on Fedora 10 which worked pretty well. I used these instructions from Penguin Enclave but perhaps for a bug in Truecrypt code, compiling it on Fedora 11 failed.

Fortunately, the version 6.2 has resolved the issue and now it can be easily compiled. Please refer to Penguin Enclave's original post for instructions with the only modification being patching of Common/SecurityToken.cpp:
diff -urN truecrypt-6.2-source.orig/Common/SecurityToken.cpp truecrypt-6.2-source/Common/SecurityToken.cpp
--- truecrypt-6.2-source.orig/Common/SecurityToken.cpp    2009-05-10 17:38:36.000000000 +1000
+++ truecrypt-6.2-source/Common/SecurityToken.cpp    2009-06-20 18:05:33.873119148 +1000 
@@ -657,8 +657,8 @@ 
-            TC_TOKEN_ERR (CKR_NEXT_OTP) 
+//            TC_TOKEN_ERR (CKR_NEW_PIN_MODE) 
+//            TC_TOKEN_ERR (CKR_NEXT_OTP) 

#undef        TC_TOKEN_ERR 

Truecrypt 6.1 Install Guide for Fedora 10
Bug 496423 related to compilation of Truecrypt on Fedora 11
Truecrypt official website

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Don't sleep Iran!

Sadly, truth is often bitter. We often don't wanna know about it and hope for the best. I think this is why we vote every now and then despite the usual mismanagements and undelivered promises, hopping tomorrow would be different.

All this time, we could have asked for more but we never asked. Perhaps, we preferred a peaceful life, so peaceful that we felt asleep while some was taking away our very hope. Regardless of election result, ban on protests and strong use of force to suppress the opposition indicates we are almost at the footsteps of a dictatorship.

I'd never recognise such election but like or not, other countries will do just like Russia and China. You've heard it right, all those governments that doubted us every single time and used to call our system a dictatorship, now respect our "democracy" and refrain from involving into our "internal affairs"; one suspects of a secret deal between Ahmadinejad's and other superpowers.

Don't sleep Iran. Not this time. If we don't stand for our freedom, nobody will and we won't get back what we lose today four years later.

Mousavi1388 twitter
Mousavi1388 Flickr photo gallery
TPM photo gallery 1
TPM photo gallery 2
A very interesting article on current political situation in Iran

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Audio over HDMI

After a bit of discussion on fedora-test-list, reading this bug report and trying out a few parameters from here, I finally got audio over HDMI from my M1330.

I have added following to /etc/modprobe.d/alsa.conf:
options snd_hda_intel model=dell-3stack
I needed pavucontrol to actually select HDMI output profile.

The front audio jacks still don't work but I guess I'll get back to them after mid-year exams.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The unfriendly television!

If you happen to have a Samsung Series 6 LCD TV, you probably have already found out that not all the features work out of the box for a Linux user. Fortunately, the fix is easy after a bit of googling.

I was able to get its DLNA working with MediaTomb after adding following lines1 to its configuration file (thanks to crappylogin for sharing the code):
<custom-http-headers ><add header=" Streaming" /> 
<add header=" DLNA.ORG_OP=01;DLNA.ORG_CI=0; 
DLNA.ORG_FLAGS=01700000000000000000000000000000" /> 
and this to mappings tag:
<map from="avi" to="video/mpeg" /> 
Also, X on Fedora 11 doesn't seem to get EDID unless HDMI cable is attached while the system boots. Again, workaround is simply adding correct Modelines using xrandr. Here are Modelines for Samsung LA32B650:
"1920x1080"  148.50  1920 2008 2052 2200  1080 1084 1089 1125 +hsync +vsync 
"1360x768"   85.50  1360 1424 1536 1792  768 771 777 795 +hsync +vsync 
Despite this little annoyance, the TV is a joy to use. It can play contents from a DLNA server as well as USB flash or HDD and has a comprehensive codec support.

I haven't spent much time on it yet but if you are interested, you can download source code of its firmware here.

Links: & amp;t=10992 & amp;st=0 & amp;sk=t & amp;sd=a & amp;start=45