I'm a self publishing author, free culture advocate, media artist and a mom. ⇐ Author page: http://laurel.russwurm.org/blogs/ • Libreleft Books http://libreleft.com ⇓—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— ⇒ just now my GNUsocial Instance is under construction (http://s.russwurm.org/laurelrusswurm) | email: firstname.lastname@example.org ⇑
Linux Fest Conference ~ Kitchener ON
Conestoga Linux Fest 2016Sat, January 30, 9am – 4pmLinux Conference on January 30th, 2016 at
Conestoga College Doon campus in room 1E05
$5.00 at the door
9:30->10:40: Bob Jonkman :: What is Free Software?
10:40->12:00: Randy Kolenko
12:00->1:00: Lunch (Pizza and Coffee :: A programmer’s favorite meal)
1:00->2:10: Ed Barsalou :: IOT Talk
2:10-3:20: Colin J. Mills :: LFS Educational?
4:00-4:20: Closing remarks.
Organizer: Colin J. Mills (cjm) E-mail: email@example.com
Conestoga College, Kitchener Ontario Canada. 2nd Year Software Engineer. Some additional info at http://kwlug.org/node/1015http://kwlug.org/pipermail/kwlug-disc_kwlug.org/2015-December/028762.html
***Note: It seems Google has quietly locked its calendar behind a registration wall; if you think you are sharing your calendar
(@BobJonkman is not pleased to discover the Watcamp local tech events calender he maintains has not actually been open to the public for some unspecified period of time...)
Kyosuke shared this.
Sol Laptop BluesI have a teeny tiny netbook so I can write when I'm away from home. Two hours was a good run for the battery in the beginning, but it's running slower now as batteries do. There are other issues, too; it is slow, there isn't enough oomph to play tiny bits of home video without juddering, and if I open two or more tabs in a browser it's likely to seize up. I'd been complaining about it a lot a year ago, and a Fediverse friend told me about a solar laptop that was pretty interesting. I was even more intrigued when Hosh told me it came loaded with Ubuntu (not my choice of OS, but far and away better than windows or mac) and the clincher was that it was a Canadian product. Like most people, I shop local when I can. One advantage of buying a high ticket item that doesn't cross a border means there are no customs surprises later. And, of course, supporting tech innovation in my home province is win-win, right?
Other netizens I know at home and abroad were equally interested. People like to find out from earl adopters. My friend Lydia's husband is in green tech, so naturally she couldn't wait to hear, and across the pond in Denmark Morton was just as interested, as was Hosh himself. One of big appeals was a battery supposed to run ten hours, but even if the performance wasn't that good, the computer's could be charged with its solar panels in the sun. For a writer, that means the freedom to spend a whole day writing in a park; or wilderness vacations without needing access to a wall plug.
Since I kept mooning over the Sol computer during NaNoWriMo... and after, my husband said he thought it would be the perfect Christmas present for me. Yay! So I ordered a top of the line machine, with all the extras and upgrades (except the one to windows!), and settled in for the 4-6 week wait.
I knew it was a young company, but it hadn't really sunk in that the lengthy wait was because the computer wasn't actually in production yet. But instead of arriving, there were delays. Technical difficulties. Fixing bugs. Needing to set things up with a distributor. Sure, these things should have been done before their online store opened, but I know myself that there are always things you didn't count on.
As the summer went by I emailed them, and even phoned the number on the web page. I had a bit of a turn when it was out of service, but I called the number for Wewi (the mother company). Nothing to worry about, the website hadn't been updated. And the guy I talked to (probably Wewi owner David Snir) offered me a refund then and there. I knew it was a startup, I wanted to support them, not push them into insolvency. And besides, I didn't want a refund, I wanted my solar powered laptop.
Then my husband decided to run for the Green Party in the federal election, I thought it could be at a chance for some extra publicity for Wewi, so I asked if a loaner might be possible for the duration of the campaign. There was no response at all, which made me nervous, but I had an election campaign to run. And when the election was over there was NaNoWriMo, so I didn't have time to chase after my new computer. Certainly part of that held the hope that the company would get its act together and send me my Sol.
But that wasn't to be. As the anniversary of my purchase approached, it was time to get serious about getting a refund. So I called, and worked my way through their voicemail contacts until I got to an actual human. He took my information and promised to get back to me, then suggested I call him again if I didn't hear back on Friday.
After hearing nothing on Friday, I called again on Monday. This time his line went straight through to voice mail. Next I spoke to the woman on the bottom of the directory; she tried to put me off, but I insisted I wanted a refund, and notification of it. The next time I called the only option the phone system was disabled, and there was no longer any way to speak to anyone. Next I called the Wewi company phone number, which took me straight to company owner David Snir's voicemail. I left him a message but he never replied. Then I sent him an email; no answer.
Today I wandered through the Wewi Facebook page and discovered I wasn't the only person who had paid for Sol Laptops in vain:
and more still on G+
I know I won't be so quick to buy into new tech in the future. This kind of business practices can't be good for the tech community. If you know anyone who is considering this, talk them out of it.
Possibly the worst thing is that even though the company wasn't shipping laptops, it kept updating the website, and now supposedly the next generation Sol is available. It certainly doesn't help to have the Wikipedia page lending credibility to these people. At this point it doesn't really matter any more if this can be chalked up to small business growing pains or if it was a con job from the start; either way, I'll be using my own wee netbook for some time to come. :(
Tupulpo likes this.Show all 11 replies
Speaking of solar-powered computing, instead: I do it relatively often; I have a portable panel about 60x60 cm (folded in half for carrying) and a 7Ah battery, both with handles (wouldn't do for a hike, but as long as you're not walking that much it's fine).
Any random laptop can probably be used for a decent amount of time, as long as the battery is already charged in advance, but the devices I usually use are:
* OpenPandora: a gaming handheld with a decent keyboard, GNU/Linux OS and a great community. It is small, but surprisingly efficient. I don't think they sell it anymore, but they are working on a successor and it's still supported by the producer. It has a *huge* battery for its size and only needs recharging from the solar panel when using wifi to get on the internet.
* Efika MX Smartbook: an ARM based netbook which came with Ubuntu from the producer: extremely light and with long battery times, Debian worked just fine on it. No longer produced, no longer supported and no longer upgradeable since there is no support in mainline kernel. Still works, sort-of, but you can't really trust it on the internet. It also was never really able to play videos under Debian because of the lack of proprietary codecs.
Nowadays I'm looking at the Arm64-based laptop that Olimex is working on: right now there is no mainline support, but AFAIK the sunxi community may be working on it. They are an established company, so they won't need crowdfunding, but there are still no infos on pricing etc.Elena I understand solar technology has been getting dramatically better. For me, a big part of the issue is portability.
Crowdfunding is certainly one way to go if you're looking for investors, but this company didn't present itself as seeking funding, but as a company that had already passed the investor/prototype stage and was already manufacturing these computers (having field tested them in parts of the world where electricity is sparse or non-existent. It presented itself as a tech company opening a retail division.
@joeyh The idea was that although the folding 4 part solar panel folds into the lid compartment, but not built into the comouter, it was attached by cable, (and you could order 2 different lengths, which I did). The user would take it out of the lid, and position it in the sun, on the other side of the room in a window, or even outside the room with the long extension cord... or out in full sun while I work in the shade. Since the solar panel isn't attached, replacing it (or the computer) presumably this component would be replacable and perhaps upgradable as solar technology improves even fast than it has in recent decades.
@Jason Self Its been over a year, at this point, I can't see what the credit card company could do.
2015-08-08T19:16:06Z via Identi.ca Web To: Public CC: FollowersDear Identicats:
Over the past year I've has less and less time to do my own things as political issues in Canada have been heating up. Since Identi.ca still doesn't federate with GNUsocial and I've not had time to set up shop on Friendica, yrs been hard finding time to make the trip here to post stuff (especially since it always takes me multiple tries to get the password to open the lock).
Canadian Politics 101
Canada uses a Westminsyer based winner-take-all "First Past The Post" electoral system, and over the years any checks and balances have been eroded to the point where we have next to none. When there is a majority government, as we have currently with the Harper Government, it's effectively a dictatorship. Because we have a multi-party winner-take-all system, its possible to win 100% of the poswer with less than 40% of the vote.
Our current majority has passed many dreadful laws, often bundled together in multi-hundred page omnibus bills that are rushed through parliament with little or no scrutiny. What little oversight the Office of the Inspector general applied to CSIS (our Five-Eyes partner) was dismantled via a single line in the 2011 omni-budget that had so many other dreadful things in it, no one really seems to have twigged to this, until after Mr. Snowden stepped up.
Most recently, in spite of masses of protests and petitions, both online and off, by Canadians from across the political spectrum-- including former Prime Ministers, the science community, the legal community and supreme court justices-- it passed Bill C-51, which effectively eviscerates our constitutionally protected civil rights found in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
We need to make our supposed representative democracy actually representative, which we might manage by adopting one of the proportional systems that have been recommended over and over again for Canada. [Ten Canadian Commissions, Assemblies and Reports that have recommended proportional representation
We do have two political parties -- both the Green Party AND our Official Opposition NDP -- pushing for this, and chances are good we will get it (unless of course the Harper Government manages a return engagement). I had intended to blog etc. in tandem with launching a #Pubslush crowdfunding campaign for my tantalizingly nearly finished second novel, but instead I will be marshalling what time and energy I have supporting my husband's campaign as the Green Party candidate for Kitchener-Conestoga. If you're interested in following Bob Jonkman's campaign:
Jonkman Microblogs: http://sn.jonkman.ca/bobjonkmangpc
and even *gasp*
Anyway, we're both still figuring out how to do this, so it's probable it may be a while before you see either of us in these parts.
LaurelGood luck to you, too, Ross. Although I've supported all the major parties at one time or another, the NDP is the one I've supported most. (The one time I argued in favor of strategic voting was when we lived in a place where the NDP actually had a shot and I discovered Bob was going to vote Green. That year we had both signs on our lawn :)
Although Bob is the smartest guy I know, it wasn't he who convinced me of the error of strategic voting, or even Scott Piatkowski's well made arguements... it was the time we were walking home from voting, complaining that neither of our votes would count, when our youngster (maybe in first grade) told us that since the people we vote for never get elected, maybe we would do better by voting for people we don't want, and then the people we do want might have a chance.
2015-08-08T02:38:32Z via Identi.ca Web To: Public CC: FollowersNOTICE: Charles Roth (aka @encycl )will be closing http://parlementum.net incl the TT-RSS site on 21 August, 2015.
Stephen Michael Kellat likes this.
Bill C-51 in Bullet Points"If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men,
I will find something in them which will hang him."
~ Cardinal Richilieu
At this point there is so much information online about Bill C-51 that it is really confusing for anyone who has heard bits and pieces but doesn't really know where to start.
I know I've added to the cacaphony because this dreadful law (that makes the Patriot Act look like a reasonable idea) should not pass.
Bill C-51 in Bullet Points is my attempt (my Coles Notes version) to simplify it down to the basics. I know I've missed stuff (like rendition) but when they are fast tracking bad law there just isn't enough time. With luck, this might even be my last word on the subject.The Canadian Senate will vote on Bill C-51 this week, and the Senators might yet prevent it from passing. Please contact as many Senators as you can to tell them not to undermine our civil rights.Here's a tool that makes it easy:https://stopc51.ca/#
- I was asked if the recent Ottawa tragedy would make it easier for the government to pass laws increasing Internet "vigilance"The reason I've became so political is because the majority government we have is effectively a dictatorship courtesy of Canada’s unfair winner-take-all electoral system.Although #Canada has had this unfair system for our entire history, until now Canadian governments have at least tried to give the appearance of representing all Canadians in spite of our unfair electoral system. We are meant to believe that whoever is elected will represent our interests in Parliament, even if we voted for someone else, which is what is supposed to make it a representative democracy.It might have worked that way in the beginning, when the only people who could vote were rich white men. After all, one rich white man is likely going to represent the interests of all rich white men. Things have changed since then. We have indoor plumbing, and automobiles, the Internet after all. And of course these days women and ethnic minorities and even poor people are entitled to vote (for the moment, anyway.)When Prime Minister Harper finally got a majority he first he tried to play along with the fiction that governments elected under our “First Past The Post” (FPTP) electoral system represents all Canadians, not just his own supporters.But lately this myth has been blatently exposed as Mr. Harper has been dispensing with even the appearance of democracy, by limiting debate, making question more of a travesty than ever before, and passing laws that sail through the committee process without so much as a change in punctuation, no matter how valid, if such change is suggested by any other party. Not because its the right thing to do, but because our broken system gives him the power to do it, and he can't help but flex his muscle.The reality is that our winner-take-all #FPTP electoral system gives him the authority to pass any law he wants any time he wants.Of course, such blatently undemocratic activity has certainly helped Mr. Harper's popularity to plummet. Since he will be required to hold an election in 2015, the Ottawa tragedy provides Mr. Harper with a golden opportunity for “spin” that could put him back in power for yet another term, as well as a pretext for more laws that will crush our civil liberties online and off.(You may well recall that Mr. Harper’s government has previously put forward such "Lawful Access" legislation which would grant the security services carte blanche to spy on every aspect of our lives without even a shred of probable cause by using child pornography as the pretext. We were fortunate that the public outcry stopped it then. This time it may prove unstoppable.)Mr. Harper must be increasingly concerned as the security services on his watch seem to act as though these things are law already.I myself find it distateful to have a government so eager to capitalize on the death of one young soldier at the hands of a disturbed individual.MUST WATCH: Jesse Brown interviews Glenn Greenwald LIVE from Ottawa on Saturday, October 25
It started as a conversation with a newcomer to Canada in the Fediverse.
Although the two way Twitter bridge has never worked for me, my Fediverse posts generally broadcast to the Twitter bridge. I took care to post bite sized pieces so that it would cross over coherently. As it happens, none of it made it to Twitter, so I had to repost it there as individual tweets. I reformatted the content to fit, (and made one fairly awful mistake necessitating a deleted tweet.)This issue is staggeringly important, so I wanted to make sure it appeared in all my social media. So I was going to restate it again, reformatted as a single post, on Identica, since pumpio still doesn't stretch to connection with the #Fediverse. This would effectively be a mini blog post, which I would be able to share the link to it on Facebook and g+But when I tried to log in on my netbook, through Firefox, even with every possible permission granted, although I could log in to Identica, there was no CSS, and when I attempted to post a note, it would launch me to the beginning of my activity stream, and when I tried again, the little whirlie just went around infinitely.So fine. I logged in with Chromium and it worked fine. Except when I was halfway through, I must have accidentally touched my cursor outside the "note" popup window and POOF, it's gone again.
Now I have to start over, but I've learned my lesson I will write it in gedit and copy it over; next time I'll post it on g+ ... or better yet as a Whoa!Canada post and just share the link on Identica.Nobody has time for this; thats why social media NEEDS to federate.
And it makes me sad.
B. Ross Ashley likes this.Show all 6 replies
I feel your pain. I also craft posts depending on the target universe, given the current status of things (not bugs but other kind of issues, as I'll explain…).
I sometimes get no css or problems in identi.ca, I think there is not a bug but network issues (timeouts, whatever). In any case, I think using a client is better than the web interface.
I usually post in pump.io, if it's less than 140 chars, it goes to my quitter account in the GNUSocial fediverse, and from there, TwitterBridge to Twitter.
If it's more than 140 chars, I manually publish a quit linking to the pump.io note. I first considered it was a pump2status bug (pump2tweet shortens the note), but now I better like this behavior, since my crafted short message is way better (hashtags, group bangs etc).
Sometimes it's not TwitterBridge failing, it's Twitter that transforms URLs to “t.co” links, and makes the note longer than 140, so it does not get posted. This is a Twitter bug and an antifeature IMHO, but each day I care less and less about Twitter, so…
Anyway, keep posting. We appreciate it!
“Pump.io has the worst UI ever for a social network.”
Pump.io is not just a web interface. It's your choice to limit yourself to it, but then you're not taking advantage of the possibilities of Pump.
“Nobody has time for this; thats why social media NEEDS to federate.”
Well, Pump is federated. There are many servers talking to each other. This post from a server different than yours is proof :)
As for federation between incompatible networks, well... http://www.w3.org/Social/WG
2014-10-24T00:38:37Z via Identi.ca Web To: Public CC: FollowersThe sad state of Canadian "Newsmedia" revealed by #JesseBrown
EXCLUSIVE: CBC "stonewalled" Snowden story, says Greenwaldhttp://canadalandshow.com/article/exclusive-cbc-stonewalled-snowden-story-says-greenwald#
Why I Don’t Support the Humble BundleShow all 5 repliesMatteo Bechini I'm sorry, I don't follow what you're saying. There is nothing preventing anyone from selling public domain works. Go into any book store and look for works by William Shakespeare; I guarantee the will ask you to pay for a copy of any or all of his public domain plays.
But creators trying to make a living aren't usually advised to dedicate their work to the public domain (with CC0 or similar). I use CC0 for public service stuff that I want to share.
It seems to me donations and crowd funding are far more suited to CC than © all rights reserved. Why on earth would I donate money to someone who is just going to create locked down work? I've spent my life paying for copyright works that I can't use for anything but passive watching.
Free Culture Film FestivalI was asked to put together a Free Culture Film Festival as part of KWLUG's Software Freedom Day activities today ~
Saturday September 20th, 2014.
This is what I came up with:
CHARADE (1963) #Direct To Public Domain
NEVER WEAKEN (1921) #Copyright Expired
HIS GIRL FRIDAY (1949) #Copyright Expired
Fleischer Animated SUPERMAN (1941) #Copyright Expired
SINTEL (2010) Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
SITA SINGS THE BLUES #CC0
Fleischer SUPERMAN: "The Billion Dollar Limited” (1942) #Copyright Expired
More information about #SFD in Waterloo Region can be found at http://kwlug.org/sfd
CC Salon in San Francisco: Public Domain FTW!Source photo: Philipp Henzler, CC0RSVP on Eventbrite
RSVP on Facebook
September 9, 2014
6:30 – 8:30 PM Pacific time
General Assembly, 501 Folsom St (1st and Folsom)
San Francisco, CA 94105
Public Transportation: Close to Embarcadero BART, Montgomery BART, or San Francisco Caltrain
Creative Commons, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and General Assembly are excited to announce an salon on Tuesday, September 9. This informal event will be a celebration of the public domain, with discussion on the cool things people are doing with it, why it’s under attack, and what we can do to fight for it. Before and after the discussion, we’ll have computers set up around the space with games from the Public Domain Jam.
Public domain for the win!
- Parker Higgins
- Anne Wootton
Pop Up Archive CEO
- Ryan Merkley
Creative Commons CEO
- Nicky Case
- Parker Higgins
For My UK FriendsIn BoingBoing Cory Doctorow writes "Snowden: #DRIP "defies belief," could have been dreamed up by NSA"
"What would our elections look like if we voted for the world we want to live in, rather than against something we feared?"Neither Liberal minority Premier Kathleen Wynn or NDP Leader Andrea Horwath made the slightest attempt to work together to implement Proportional Representation. Even though it would have benefiited both of their parties as well as them personally.
I assume Ms. Wynn is intelligent to occupy the position she does, and since she was on the ground for the LPO sabotage of Ontario's MMP referendum, she has a better chance than most to be able to comprehend how Proportional Representation works. But for all her talk of consensus building, she got to where she is in a Winner-Take-All system, and I suspect has the hubris to believe she can be re-elected and win a majority. Kim Campbell probably felt the same once upon a time.
The NDP is supposed to be the same party federally and provincially. Andrea Horwath's NDP has Proportional Representation as part of the Party Platform, yet if she's ever done even mentioned the words "Proportional Representation" I have not heard about it. And she probably thinks she will get to be Premier under the current system.
This is the man who would be King of Ontario
His policy has always has always been "my way or the highway" so he never factored in provincial governance when the Liberal majority slipped away. If he ends up in the driver's seat, he won't be a public servant, he'll be a boss.
Funny thing is, there *is* an alternative, called the Green Party. Both Federally and Provincially the Green Party has lost a lot of support over the last years, because people don't believe they can win. Most of the people who haven't given up on our unfair system in disgust have been voting "strategically," which is to say voting for somebody you don't want because you're afraid someone you hate will be elected.
Clearly that doesn't work. If we keep this up, we'll never get good government, things will just keep getting worse.
It's been a long time since the Green Party's only policy was the environment. They have some interesting ideas at the provincial level....
Call me crazy, but this seems a more credible financial savings strategy than Mr. Hudak's plan to increase home energy bills so corporations can get even bigger tax breaks.
I am quite pleased to note that I have a great green candidate ~ David Weber ~ running in the Kitchener-Conestoga riding. I know David a little from attending some of the same Fair Vote events. David is certainly committed to meaningful electoral reform.
If we get out and vote (and encourage people we think have given up to vote) and vote for what we want, we might actually get it. If enough of us vote Green, we may well elect some Green representatives to the legislature. Even so, they probably won't get a majority, but maybe we'll get a minority government.
And until we get Proportional representation, the only time we get democratic governance is with minority government.
This is one of my Tim Hudak photos posted on Flickr (and Wikimedia Commons with a CC attribution 4.0 license) so political bloggers have photos of politicians they can use... especially during elections!
You can find more of my political Flickr pics here:
Happy Victorial Day!Today Canadians celebrate our late great Queen Victoria with fireworks!
The poem I learned from my Mom when I was a kid was:
"The twenty fourth of May
is the Queen's birth day
If we don't get a holiday
we'll all run away!"
So I have been mightily annoyed to discover, as an adult, that they go out of their way so as to *not* celebrate it on the 24th.
(Oh, and just so you know, Queen Victoria was long dead by the time my Mom was born... I'm not *that* old :)
Making sense of HeartbleedI've changed my Identi.ca password.
I've been told that this XKCD comic https://m.xkcd.com/1354/ explains Heartbleed. It might be a miracle of clarity to tech folks, but to us non-tech people, it pretty much says "blah-blah-blah-blah".
The thing is, Heartbleed is just as dangerous to non-tech people as it iis to techies, because we are all using computers these days-- even my 83 year old Dad. And while tech folks have some hope of dismissing the boatloads of misinformation floating about (like Mashable's implication that Pinterest had anything to fear from Heartbleed) non-tech folks have no idea.
That;s why I wrote "Heartbleed and Passwords" in my techDITZ blog.
Please share with non-tech family & friends if you think it might help. I have used another XKCD comic in my article, but since I understand it, probably some of my readers will, too. At least somewhat :)
#Hearbleed #XKCD #techDITZ
Tobias Diekershoff likes this.>Ordinary people can’t fix the Heartbleed problem. It can only be repaired (or patched) by the people running SSL websites & servers.
Uh, wut? Ordinary people are running ssl websites and servers (namely the pump on nginx I'm using right now which was pretty easy to patch thanks to the kind Debian folk :)) Tee hee, not to dickwave or anything (lol, 'specially about this!) but if we were to have a village idiot contest,I'd so win....I'm pretty ordinary (if that).
jrobb likes this.
I *did* mention the EFF's "Bleeding Heart Club" link in the bit where I mentioned ordinary people running servers ;)
When I talk about "ordinary people", I mean the people who don't know what a server is. If my family and friends IRL are anything to go by, that's most of the people in the world.
*You* would definitely fall into my definition of a techie :)
X11R5 likes this.