If you have ever gotten frustrated by the process involved in giving directions, worry not. There is a startup focused on fixing precisely that!
I have recently had the honour of interacting with two very experienced developers who are working on an awesome project. The project is called MyDoorHandle and it allows people to instantly create and share “DoorHandles”, which contain location coordinates, route guidance, optional description and photos. As their website puts it:
DoorHandles are short, memorable weblinks that point to any physical location.
Whether you are an individual, business, event organiser or just want to share an address with others, share it with a DoorHandle.
I found this idea to be truly ingenious because it transforms the painful job of giving directions into a two-click task. For the developing countries and poorly mapped regions, the effect is tenfold: one no longer needs to look for landmarks, waste airtime on directions and so on – those with the app can do it in a few clicks and swipes. Those without it can just share the friendly web link to that location via SMS or any other means.
The guys took the time to craft a whole API (Application Programming Interface) for it, for those who want to plug the service into their app.
Take it for a spin! 🙂
Since Ubuntu One is closing (If you haven’t rescued your files, you should do so now, before their servers are shut down), I have been trying to download my data in a single archive, which failed due to an intermittent internet connection. Refusing to download file by file and after having done a little research, I stumbled upon a pretty neat method of plugging an FTP client into their cloud for better download management. I describe the steps below:
Open a terminal session by clicking on the Ubuntu button in the upper left hand corner, typing in “Terminal” and then clicking the “Terminal” icon
Run these commands in the terminal:
ln -s ~/u1ftp/u1ftp-0.1.zip u1ftp
You sould see “Listening on ftp://127.0.0.1:2121/” output to the terminal. Keep the terminal session open and open your home folder.
Click the File > Connect to Server… menu (This step is similar for other FTP clients)
Set the fields as follows:
Type: FTP (with login)
Username: Your Ubuntu One username (email address)
Password: Your Ubuntu One password
Remember this password: Checked
Click “Connect” and you should see a window pop up shortly with your folders and files on Ubuntu One. You can now copy files to and from here. If you want to bookmark this for future use, right-click on the entry in the left hand pane (“FTP as…”) and select “Add Bookmark”.
Ever since I have installed Ubuntu on my Fujitsu Ultrabook UH572, I have been using some workarounds to get the touchpad to work properly. Below you can find the steps I took. (Initially, the touchpad was not working at all, as per this launchpad bug report.)
1. Use sudo + your favourite editor to open /etc/default/grub
$ sudo nano /etc/default/grub
2. Add “i8042.notimeout i8042.nomux” to the line which says GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=”…”.
(For example, mine looks like this after the edit: GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=”i8042.notimeout i8042.nomux”)
3. Update grub.
$ sudo update-grub
4. [OPTIONAL:] Install and run “synaptiks” in order to customise things like multitouch, scrolling, etc.
$ sudo apt-get install kde-config-touchpad && synaptiks
The steps above suffice to get the touchpad to work on your next reboot. If you stop here, you may notice that the touchpad stops working after every Suspend -> Resume cycle. Typing sudo morprobe -r psmouse && sudo modprobe psmouse into a terminal every time will get it to work again but it would be nicer to have that automated. The steps below show how to do the automation bit.
5. Use sudo + your favourite editor to create and edit a new file at the location /etc/pm/sleep.d
$ sudo nano /etc/pm/sleep.d/restart_touchpad.sh
6. Enter the following code (or just download the gist):
case “$1” in
modprobe -r psmouse
7. Give the file executable access permissions.
$ sudo chmod +x /etc/pm/sleep.d/restart_touchpad.sh
After that, your touchpad should work without any further hacks or inconveniences. While steps 1 – 3 may be localized and only applicable to a handful of laptops, the steps 5 – 7 will apply to most situations whereby the touchpad stops working upon resuming the system.
Using ERB Syntax Highlighting in Nano terminal editor 🙂
I do not know anyone (and correct me if you do) that has some kind of access to a *NIX shell and does not use nano. I sometimes use the term “Holy Grail of Remote Development” but some (including myself…) find this funny.
What nano supports but is not enabled by default, is syntax highlighting. This would enable the user to get a more aesthetically pleasing result (and obviously, an easier front-end to work with) when editing code, processing these small (but annoying) bugs in code. Any code. Read on…
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Alternative title: “Ridiculous Internet Speed Comparison”.
Nevertheless, here is the result of a speed test performed on a VM hosted on Google Compute Engine:
And just for fun, here’s the result of the same test performed on my home network:
Blasphemous, I know.
I have just managed to get a Galaxy Gear for “testing purposes” – without purchasing a Galaxy Note 3. What I expected was at least a week of tireless googling and hours on XDA trying to find the right ROM while experimenting with hundreds of software configurations. Luckily, my prediction skills are WAY OFF – the Gear works with the Note 2* almost out of the box. It took me about 5 minutes to get started! So for those who are holding back on buying a Gear only because they have a Note 2 (or a similarly-featured Samsung device that’s not officially supported) and not a Note 3 or an S4, rejoice for i got thy back!
[DISCLAIMER: Your experience may differ! While I’d be glad to help you with the setup, I’m afraid you’d ultimately be doing this AT YOUR OWN RISK]
Step 1: Update your Samsung Account on the smartphone (I had to, before I got it to work).
Step 2: Activate NFC on the smartphone.
Step 3: Download and install the Watch Manager apk from this link.
Step 4: Touch the Gear’s cradle with the back of your smartphone and keep pressing “Next” until you’ve convinced the software that you’re serious about this thing! 😀
Step 5: Come back here and let me know how it went!
I particularly like the fact that the Gear allows one to take photos, record audio notes, as well as view appointments and control the music player. The weather widget is currently not working on my Note 2 but besides that I was able to get the full Gear experience.
* my Note 2 is running stock Android 4.1.2 ROM