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Updated: 55 min 30 sec ago

Want a OnePlus One invite? Win one here!

Saturday 9th of August 2014 02:32:37 AM

Lusting after the seemingly unobtainable OnePlus One smartphone? Can’t seem to get your hands on an elusive invite? Well here is your chance! Due to the persistence and luck of The Mukt writers Isaac Rowe and John  we have (an) invite(s) to give away.

Here’s how to get a chance to win one.

Find the oldest piece of technology you have (ie, cellphone or computer) and take a picture with the device turned on. The older, the better! Post this picture on Twitter or Google+ using the hashtag #themuktgiveaway and tag us in the post. Use @TheMukt for Twitter and +The Mukt for Google+.

(function() { var po = document.createElement('script'); po.type = 'text/javascript'; po.async = true; po.src = ''; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(po, s); })();

Finally, follow us on the social media platform you posted your picture on. You don’t have to be a new follower to be eligible. All pictures must be authentic, and each user is limited to one entry. The contest is open!

Good luck and stay tuned for more giveaways!

The post Want a OnePlus One invite? Win one here! appeared first on The Mukt.

The easiest way to watch Netflix on Ubuntu based distros

Saturday 9th of August 2014 02:27:18 AM

NOTE: This is not officially supported, but as of writing it does work although YMMV, I have flickering problems for instance when I have a proprietary driver enabled that doesn’t appear when the open source driver is enabled.

Watching Netflix is possible on Linux however it’s made more difficult by Netflix insisting on using Silverlight from Microsoft. Below is a PPA for an application called netflix-desktop, it will allow you to watch Netflix in a Firefox browser that is being emulated in Wine to trick Netflix into thinking you’re using Windows.

To install enter the following commands individually:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ehoover/compholio sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install netflix-desktop

Before we can run the program we need to install Microsoft TrueType fonts, to do this enter the following command:

sudo apt-get install ttf-mscorefonts-installer

It will then ask you to read a license, press the right arrow key to highlight ‘OK’ and press enter

After doing so you will be presented with another screen, use the arrow keys again to navigate to ‘Yes’ and press enter again, that’s it.

Now go into the menu on your system and under the sound and video category you should see ‘Netflix Desktop’, this should open an emulated Firefox (using Wine) displaying the Netflix page where you can login to watch the content, you should see something like this:

To remove the program type:

sudo apt-get remove netflix-desktop sudo apt-get autoremove

Then to remove the repository type:

sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ehoover-compholio-trusty.list

The post The easiest way to watch Netflix on Ubuntu based distros appeared first on The Mukt.

Ubuntu updates 12.04 LTS

Friday 8th of August 2014 07:00:52 PM

The developers working on the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution have announced the release of Ubuntu 12.04.5 LTS, an update to the “Precise Pangolin” version. This update brings “security updates and corrections for other high-impact bugs, with a focus on maintaining stability and compatibility”. It also includes an updated kernel to allow for better installation on x86 architectures.

These improvements are inline with the goal of Ubuntu LTS (long-term support) releases, which are supported for five years in order to save networks from updating their servers every 6 months with the regular release of Ubuntu. This way, enterprises with a large number of servers don’t have to worry about the expense of updating all their systems for at least 5 years, and are ensured a stable experience.

The new 12.04.5 LTS update, announced on the Ubuntu mailing-list, is available for desktops and servers on Ubuntu’s website, and is available for other flavors of Ubuntu that have LTS releases. The update is now available as Kubuntu 12.04.5 (KDE Desktop on Ubuntu), Edubuntu 12.04.5 (education-focused release), and Ubuntu Studio (media-focused release).

Systems with 12.04.5 LTS already installed receive these updates automatically and don’t require a complete fresh install. Most users wanting to install Ubuntu on their systems might prefer the latest LTS, 14.04, but in the case that they have older architecture, the images for installation of 12.04.5 LTS are available here.

The post Ubuntu updates 12.04 LTS appeared first on The Mukt.

New algorithm can change weather inside a photo

Friday 8th of August 2014 06:18:08 PM

What do you do if you want to make a sunny photo rainy? You probably choose one of your favorite image editing tools to accomplish the task. But for people who are yet to learn the ins and outs of any complex photo editing software, there is a new algorithm which can help them edit photos according to 40 commonly changing outdoor attributes.

Developed by computer scientists from Brown University, the program enables users to change a suite of “transient attributes” of outdoor photos — the weather, time of day, season, and other features — with simple, natural language commands.

In order to teach the algorithm what these attributes look like, the researchers compiled a database consisting of thousands of photos taken by 101 stationary webcams around the world. The cameras took pictures of the same scenes in varying of conditions — different times of day, different seasons and in all kinds of weather.

The researchers then asked workers on Mechanical Turk — a crowdsourcing marketplace operated by Amazon — to annotate more than 8,000 photos according to which of the 40 attributes are present in each. Those annotated photos were then fed through a machine learning algorithm.

“Now the computer has data to learn what it means to be sunset or what it means to be summer or what it means to be rainy—or at least what it means to be perceived as being those things,” explained James Hays, Manning Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Brown.

Armed with the knowledge of what each attribute looks like, the algorithm can apply that knowledge to new photos. It does so by making what Hays refers to as “local color transforms.” It splits the picture into regions — clusters of pixels — and draws on the database to determine how colors in those regions should change with a given attribute.

To make a sunny photo rainy, for example, just input a photo and type, “more rain.” A picture taken in July can be made to look a bit more January simply by typing “more winter.” Sounds simple! Isn’t it?

The team is continuing to refine the program, and should be out with a consumer version of the program soon.

The post New algorithm can change weather inside a photo appeared first on The Mukt.

Ubuntu flies over the Antarctic onboard NASA ship

Friday 8th of August 2014 04:29:17 PM

NASA seems to be a fan of open source operating system Ubuntu. The Linux distribution built by Canonical has been spotted “flying” over an Antarctic region, during NASA’s Operation IceBridge.

Operation IceBridge is a 2009–2016 NASA mission that is aimed at monitoring changes in polar ice from a fixed-wing aircraft. Headed by Michael Studinger from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, the project uses airborne science instruments to get a three-dimensional view of Arctic and Antarctic ice.

The Ubuntu Linux distro was observed “flying” in a video made by NASA and posted by a user on Reddit.

“After an early morning weather briefing and takeoff from the sea ice runway at the National Science Foundation’s McMurdo Station, the NASA P-3 flew a survey that took researchers across the Ross Sea basin and back. The purpose of this mission was to set up a pair of parallel lines known as a flux gate that scientists can use to study how ice moves out through the Ross Sea,” says NASA in the video description.

In addition to the obvious Unity on the laptop, Ubuntu developer Michal Hall identified a number of other desktops in the video, like “a KDE desktop early in the video, a clear gnome classic/panels desktop on the plane, and also what looks quite a bit like a QtCreator window on another.”

The post Ubuntu flies over the Antarctic onboard NASA ship appeared first on The Mukt.

How to move a running program to another terminal using reptyr

Friday 8th of August 2014 03:35:36 PM

Switching running processes between terminals is a frequent problem faced by terminal-savvy users. Let’s say you fired 3 different time-consuming processes or tasks from three terminals at different times. All of them continue running parallelly till the process in your current terminal completes first. How would you bring one of the other two running processes to your current terminal without switching the terminal?

reptyr solves this on Linux – it can move a running process from one terminal and attach to another. It does a more thorough job of transferring programs than many other tools because it changes the program’s controlling terminal. This means that actions such as window resizes and interrupts are sent to the process from the new terminal. It is very useful for moving a long-running process into a GNU screen session. Watch this video to learn how reptyr works.

It’s worthy to mention screenify here – a small script to make processes talk to the current terminal. But it has issues like some processes still take inputs from the older terminal, resizing the new terminal doesn’t affect a ncurses based program or Ctrl-C won’t work in the newer terminal. There are no such issues with reptyr.

Run the following to install reptyr on Ubuntu:

$ sudo apt-get install reptyr

To attach a process to a new terminal, run the following:

$ reptyr PID

In case you are not sure how to get the PID of a process, here’s how to get it:

$ ps -ax | grep process_name for example, $ ps -ax | grep ssh

reptyr can also create a new pseudo-terminal pair with nothing attached to the slave end, and print its name out. To test this, run:

reptyr -l

If you are interested in knowing how reptyr works in the background, the author has written a blog post explaining the same.

The post How to move a running program to another terminal using reptyr appeared first on The Mukt.

We are about to find more about birth of the Sun

Friday 8th of August 2014 01:07:57 PM

A team from Monash university led by Dr Maria Lugaro and Prof. Alexander Heger have revealed that the stellar nursery that our Sun was formed in separated from the rest of the galaxy around 30 million years before the sun was formed.

Stars are formed in Stellar Nurseries, gas and dust condense under their gravity the a region of the condensing matter heats up to form Protostars, then if it contains enough matter and reaches 15 million degrees centigrade nuclear reactions cause hydrogen to fuse to form helium, the star then begins releasing energy, at this stage it is called a Main Sequence Star, which is the stage our Sun is at now.

The team found that “the final one per cent of gold, silver and platinum, were added to the solar system roughly 100 million years before the birth of the sun.

“The final one per cent of lead and rare-earth elements, such as those that make your phone, was added much later – at most, 30 million years before the birth of the sun.”

The team have said they now want to add more accuracy to their results by looking at other heavy radioactive nuclei.

The post We are about to find more about birth of the Sun appeared first on The Mukt.

Linus Torvalds is pissed at, starts a petition

Friday 8th of August 2014 12:35:23 PM

Linus Torvalds rarely gets upset over a wrong reason and has given him that reason. The creator of the world’s most dominant technology – the linux kernel – found that someone started a petition on using his identity.

Linus writes on his G+ page: “Somebody signed a Change.Org petition in my name, and using a really old email address of mine. So since I apparently had an “account”, I reset the password, and made a petition of my own. Change.Org – please change your dickish ways. Ok?”

Here is his petition:

People claiming to be a person they are not, and “signing” petitions on Change.Org as somebody else just makes Change.Org look bad when there are fake pseudo-celebrities out there.

Also, it results in more spam in my mailbox when people use my name and email to sign “me” up for random petitions.

And it’s just bad form.

Please verify email addresses before allowing people to use them. If somebody enters an email address, send a confirmation to that email that contains some kind of cookie that they need to verify that they actually have access to that email address.

Linus then suggested people on his G+ page:

Btw, in the spirit of that petition, I encourage people to sign up using some fake name and email (please, not mine, I get too much spam already).

Because petitions just look better if they are signed by the president of the United States, or perhaps Britney Spears. Or perhaps Bugs Bunny. I dunno. It depends on the target audience, I guess.

There’s really no better way to say “quality petition” than having it full of fake names and emails, agreed?

Go ahead and sign the petition with the most creative fake name possible to ensure doesn’t mess it up again.

Here come Vladimir Putin, Angela Markel, Barack Obama, Tim Cook, Satya Nadell…

The post Linus Torvalds is pissed at, starts a petition appeared first on The Mukt.

HP Slatebook price higher than expected

Friday 8th of August 2014 03:18:13 AM

HP’s Android powered lightweight notebook, deemed the Slatebook, is now available to buy, but at a price that might make some consumers balk. The laptop, which was first rumored about in April, and then confirmed in early June, is shipping from HP’s website for $429.99.

Most price speculation put the device at around $399, and considered the device expensive. Now that the official price is known, the unique device seems even less appealing than before. With HP’s Chromebooks ranging from $279 to $349, and LTE models available, the Slatebook looks woefully overpriced.

$430 and 3.71 lbs- Good fit for Android?

The Slatebook matches up in specifications with the HP Chromebook 14 on most points. Both have 14 inch displays, 3 USB ports, an HDMI output,  16 GB of storage, and weigh about 4 pounds. The Slatebook lacks a LTE option, as well as free Google Drive storage, but also has touchscreen support and an NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor with 2 GB of memory, rather than the Intel Celeron found in the Chromebook. So really, the only reason a consumer would pick the Slatebook over the Chromebook would be for Android.

The question remains: are price differences of up to $150 dollars worth it to get an operating system never designed to run on laptops? If someone really wanted Android, there doesn’t seem like much of an advantage for the Slatebook over, say, a $269 Nexus 7, which would give greater portability (which is huge, that’s what Microsoft pushed at the Surface Pro 3 event).

Google is actually pushing for more integration of Android and Chrome OS, leading some speculation that Chrome OS may be replaced. But Android is not ready for that yet, and the best approach is running Android apps on a Chromebook, as Sundar Pichai demonstrated at Google I/O. This sort of integration gets the best of both worlds, completely negating the advantage Slatebook claims of “All your favorite Android apps, now on a notebook”. With these advances by Google, Slatebook may be filling a need that doesn’t exist. What do you think, is it worth the purchase? Leave a comment!



The post HP Slatebook price higher than expected appeared first on The Mukt.

OnePlus One is capable of 60 hours continous music playback claims Qualcomm

Friday 8th of August 2014 03:15:45 AM

Qualcomm have announced on their blog big claims that the OnePlus One is capable of over 60 hours playback on a single charge.

Qualcomm were quick to add that the success of such power capacity during playback was largely due to their Snapdragon processor. The Qualcomm 801 processor contains a ‘Qualcomm Hexagon DSP’ “a technology block found inside certain Snapdragon processors” which works harmoniously with the One’s 3100mAH battery. Qualcomm suggest while other processors rely on CPU to playback media the Snapdragon is able to “funnel” the media through the DSP thus limiting battery consumption.

In addition to the success of Snapdragon combined with the One’s battery ability, Qualcomm also paid homage to CyanogenMod (CM) by suggesting CM was able to capitalize on Snapdragon’s abilities more than Google’s stock Android.

Its Cyanogenmod operating system is reminiscent of stock Android found in the likes of the Google Nexus 5, except it’s outfitted with even more features and under-the-hood optimizations that tap into Snapdragon’s immense bag of goodies

This was also a sentiment echoed by Steve Kondik, founder of Cyanogen

For supported audio types such as MP3 or AAC, the audio stream is sent to the DSP in large chunks without being decoded on the Android side. This allows the apps processor to sleep while the DSP decodes the audio and sends it to the codec. This results in an enormous power savings while listening to music, since the beefy quad-cores can power down.”

Qualcomm were so confident of the combined CM, One and Snapdragon approach that they decided to put it to the test by running the One continuous on audio playback. The findings suggest the One is capable of continuous playing for over 60 hours although did not provide any detailed numbers or description of ‘experimental’ conditions.

So what do you think? Do you own a OnePlus One? If so, what is the battery like? It’s pretty likely Qualcomm were not testing the One while under duress of the typical apps users have installed. So would the device be capable of replicating the findings in a real-life setting.

Are you up to the challenge? If so why not test Qualcomm’s claims and let us know. Try a full charge to empty audio drain and let us know if you get anywhere near their numbers. Although reports are strong about the battery life of the One compared to other devices it is unlikely to be as effective as the blog suggests.

Either way let us know your opinion in the comments below.

The post OnePlus One is capable of 60 hours continous music playback claims Qualcomm appeared first on The Mukt.

UK govt says Ubuntu’s Unity Shopping Lens compliant with Data Protection Act

Friday 8th of August 2014 03:14:27 AM

Two years ago Canonical was under fire for a new feature that brought advertisements to Ubuntu’s local search results. During that time the U.K. government’s attention was brought to this matter by a researcher and blogger named Luís de Sousa.

The feature in question was the “Unity Shopping Lens”, which adds advertisements when scanning the user’s computer in a kind of “enhanced” local search bar. This caused concern in privacy-minded individuals because of the fact that Unity does not just search for local results of applications, but also checks the internet for products that may be related to user’s search queries. The data is then sent directly to Canonical’s and Amazon’s servers which parses the information and then shows the results. This feature was then packaged by default after their release of Quantal Quetzal, and although some did not mind the Amazon results that would appear when searching for something, a few pondered if this was really the best way to enhance the user’s experience.

Luís de Sousa decided to question the legality of this feature in accordance to the Data Protection Act 1998 and started a petition, “For a Better Ubuntu” on the site Avaaz. After the petition was signed by 57 people, he decided to send it to Canonical in the hopes that they would address the privacy concerns over this seemingly intrusive feature. Canonical made no attempts to contact Mr. Sousa after the petition was sent, so he decided on going for a more formal route.

Mr. Sousa decided to contact the Information Commissioner’s Office in the U.K., which deals with “…promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals”. After the complaint about the Shopping Lens was sent, the ICO opened an investigation into the matter in December of 2013.

They finally contacted Mr. Sousa last week stating that, “Our role is not to investigate or adjudicate on individual concerns…” but that their main goal was to “…improve the current and future practice of the organisations we oversee…” in accordance to the Data Protection Act 1998. In the same letter the ICO then goes on to talk about how they believe that Canonical has done the best it can to inform users about their data privacy rights and that they do not consider there to be “…an opportunity to improve Canonical Ltd’s information rights practices…” which they will keep on file if future inquiries occur.

The post UK govt says Ubuntu’s Unity Shopping Lens compliant with Data Protection Act appeared first on The Mukt.

Google update Android L developer preview for Nexus 5 and 7

Thursday 7th of August 2014 09:52:27 PM

Shortly after Google’s I/O event we announced the release of a developer preview of the upcoming and hotly anticipated L preview. This was specifically for Nexus 5 and 7 devices and allowed users to get a taste of what L might eventually look like when it is released in the fall.

Today it seems Google have decided to update the L developer preview for both devices. This update is now available to download and install. Unfortunately it seems if you already have the previous preview running there are no over-the-air (OTA) updates available. Instead you will (like the new testers) have to manually download, flash and install. This of course is likely to wipe your device and data. So as always be smart and backup.

At the moment the updated preview is only available on the Nexus 5 (hammerhead) and Nexus 7 (razor) models and updates from the previous LPV79 version to LPV82C. It is not clear and there is no major information regarding what has changed in this update although it is presumed this will mainly include bug and performance fixes. Google did this morning release the SDK for Google Fit to their developer site and so it is presumed this update will include support for Google Fit.

If you do want to update to the current version than you can obtain the flash images by heading over to the developer blog. For those that do upgrade let us know what’s new or changed…if anything by leaving a comment.

The post Google update Android L developer preview for Nexus 5 and 7 appeared first on The Mukt.

Europe’s ‘Right to Be Forgotten’ ruling faces fresh criticism from Wikimedia

Thursday 7th of August 2014 05:43:56 PM

The controversial “right to be forgotten” ruling introduced by the European Union Court of Justice (ECJ) earlier this year has attracted fresh wave of criticism from the Wikimedia Foundation. The criticism comes hot on the heels of the release of the first-ever transparency report by the non-profit organization behind Wikipedia. The report gives an insight into the volume of government requests the Foundation receives for content alterations or take-downs from its various websites (including Wikipedia).

Google is said to have removed over 50 links pointing to Wikipedia content from its search results on European domains since the “right to be forgotten” ruling came into effect.

“We only know about these removals because the involved search engine company chose to send notices to the Wikimedia Foundation,” a joint statement published by Geoff Brigham, general counsel and Michelle Paulson, legal counsel for the Foundation reads. “Since search engines are not required to provide affected sites with notice, other search engines may have removed additional links from their results without our knowledge.”

The ruling, according to Wikimedia, “punches holes in free knowledge.”

It is “undermining the world’s ability to freely access accurate and verifiable records about individuals and events. The impact on Wikipedia is direct and critical,” added Lila Tretikov, executive director for the Wikimedia Foundation.

According to Tretikov, the ECJ “abandoned its responsibility to protect one of the most important and universal rights: the right to seek, receive, and impart information.”

In its sincere effort towards greater transparency, the Foundation has come up with a dedicated page where it aims to publish all of the notices it receives related to the “right to be forgotten” ruling.

The post Europe’s ‘Right to Be Forgotten’ ruling faces fresh criticism from Wikimedia appeared first on The Mukt.

Scientists can extract human speech from videos even if there is no audio

Thursday 7th of August 2014 05:43:08 PM

There is a saying in Hindi – ‘deevaron ke bhi kaan hote hain’, which translates to ‘even the walls have ears’. Soon, every object in your secret meeting room could be a listening device, if the researchers from MIT, Adobe & Microsoft have their way. For the research team has come up with a new technique of surveillance that uses a consumer grade camera and basically any object in a room to pick and eavesdrop on the conversation.

Conventional eaves dropping use high precision lasers to watch for vibrations caused by sound waves and convert those detected vibrations to be converted back to sound. The research team’s approach uses the same principle, but instead of using a sophisticated laser, they thought of approaching the problem by directly observing the object. Since sound travels in wave form and these cause vibrations in any object they strike, the team theorized that by observing the vibrations of these objects, the sound wave can be easily reconstructed.

In order to do so, the researchers played a rising tone in a room where different mundane objects like water, cardboard, a candy wrapper, some metallic foil, and a brick were placed. Each of these objects was photographed by a high speed camera using a low resolution of 700X700. The resolution didn’t matter as long as the camera was within sufficient range. Once the objects were photographed at high speed, the pictures were then passed through an algorithm that analyzed the photos to look for vibrations. The algorithm, using these vibrations, then re-produced the sound. The results were quite amazing, as some of the materials like the cardboard and the tin foil responded to almost the entire range of the sound.

The team then expanded the experiment to using a standard DLSR camera. During their experiment, they found out that a normal consumer camera doesn’t expose the entire sensor at one go, unlike the high speed cameras, but rather exposes it gradually line by line, progressively. So the researchers treated each of those lines as a full exposure and were able to extract sound the same way as they did previously. The system was also capable of picking up human speech too.

The only drawbacks of the system are that the camera needs to be very close to the object being observed. The team was able to squeeze out a range of four meters for the system, beyond which is failed to detect clear sound. Although, this can be solved, according to the researchers, by using a high powered zoom lens. The other drawback of the system is that the algorithm is computationally intensive. As such, even with a computer running at 3.2 GHz and having 32 GBs of RAM, the algorithm required more than two hours to process one capture. Hence the technology, even though it works, won’t be making it into a spy’s arsenal just yet.

The post Scientists can extract human speech from videos even if there is no audio appeared first on The Mukt.

Australian students create more efficient car than Tesla

Thursday 7th of August 2014 05:39:04 PM

Developed by a team of Australian university students, the Sunswift Eve is here to challenge the current king of electric vehicles (EVs), the Tesla Model S. Weighing just 700 pounds, this lovely-looking car can travel farther and faster than the Tesla Model S.

The eVe recently set a new world record for fastest average speed—achieving more than 60mph—over 500 kilometers (310 miles) on a single battery charge.

And if you still doubt its practicality in the real world, the vehicle can seat two people though sans the comforts found in today’s luxury cars.

It can be charged from a standard power outlet in your home in eight hours. You can choose to add an extra 2 hours of driving time, by parking the car in the sun for around eight hours. The 800-watt solar array will thus provide enough electricity to cover the average commute.

“We take no prisoners when it comes to making sure the car is as efficient as possible,” says Hayden Smith, project director for Sunswift. “Everything from the curves in the vehicle, to the tape we use, to the items we have in the car, is designed to keep it as efficient as possible.”

As it aims to meet the criteria for road registration by 2015, the team is mulling over carrying out a series of minor modifications like installing headlights, raising the vehicle’s height and remodeling the interior.
“Looking ahead, we’re going to focus on working on refinements like ergonomics, comfort, and convenience,” Smith adds. “We want the drivers and passengers to feel like they’re in a real car.”

If all goes as planned, the eVe will be the first road-legal solar-powered car in Australia.

Elon Musk, are you listening? What do you think of this promising concept car?

The post Australian students create more efficient car than Tesla appeared first on The Mukt.

Everyone is a maker: Adam Savage

Thursday 7th of August 2014 03:15:34 PM

I am not a maker. At least, I don’t consider myself to be. I’ve never gone into a workshop and emerged with a labor of my own hands beautiful enough to give to someone as a gift. If ever do build anything, it doesn’t work, or if it does, it breaks after a few uses (like this catapult, though it may be excused because its construction only lasted a few hours).

I bought an Arduino and thought I could build something cool with that, like an automated blinds system, but ended up blowing up a bunch of servos and shelving the project in frustration. I can’t program something awesome (not yet at least, but I am fixing that). I haven’t gotten around to the YouTube video series I want to start, or the sci-fi story lurking in my head.

I am not a maker.

It doesn’t have to be this way, I am told. I am told this by a disembodied voice coming from the feeble speakers of my iPhone 4. The voice tells me that it’s not too early or too late to learn anything, and failure is always an option. He shares stories of his failures, and lets me in on the refined process of making. He rejects my reality and substitutes it for his own.

The voice belongs to Adam Savage.

This voice, of Mythbusters fame, is joined by the less familiar but similarly interesting voices of Will Smith (not that one) and Norman Chan, formerly of Maximum PC. This is Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project, and along with everything else at, it showcases amazing things and the people who made them. Every week the hosts discuss topics from public speaking, exercise, and cooking, to ComicCon, screen adaptations and the latest science-fiction  flick. Despite their varying topics, all the episodes carry a theme. The theme is a passion for creating things worth creating and sharing them with fellow minds. The epitome of this is Savage’s keynote speech from MakerFaire 2014 in May, “The Ten Commandments of Making” (all of his other MakerFaire speeches embody this spirit as well). Here were his points:

1. Make something. Anything.

2. Make stuff that improves your life, either mechanically or aesthetically.

3. Don’t wait.

4. Use a project to learn a skill.

5. ASK. Ask for help.

6. Share your methods and knowledge and don’t make them a secret.

7. Discouragement and failure are intrinsic to the process..

8. Measure carefully.

9. Make things for other people.

10. Use more cooling fluid!

Unfortunately, this talk was very short, and brought up more questions than it answered (kind of like the podcast). I hoped to learn more in the extended Q&A, but that was mostly comprised of questions from children about Mythbusters. Fortunately, after hearing this it becomes apparent that everything on the podcast, no matter how far-fetched the topic, comes back to the theme of making. By making, what is really meant is learning by creating. And learning by destroying. And teaching by both these methods. There is no reason not to. Eight percent of success is showing up, why not go out and do something?

People are awesome. Everything is awesome. Just take a peek at Makerbot’s Thingiverse database. Each day, people create, innovate, and share. You don’t need a large fund or a workshop/man cave like Adam Savage. If I have learned anything from the podcast (disregarding life lessons derived from Savage’s stories or how not to conduct a segway from Smith) it is that there is no shortage of information out there to learn from.

This brings me to the subject of my subheading. Everyone can learn from this podcast. Just starting out, like me? Take inspiration from things like the MakerFaire speech and hope from stories of Adam’s failures. Know everything there is to know about craftsmanship? No you don’t. Think there’s no more to learn? Share what you have learned and receive knowledge in return.

I still haven’t built anything amazing. But that does not mean I am not a maker. In fact, writing this very essay is a start. From it flows many ideas, some that will come to realization, others that will be delegated to an Evernote notebook and forgotten. But I am starting. I am starting now.

I am a maker.

The post Everyone is a maker: Adam Savage appeared first on The Mukt.

Why David Slater is not the copyright holder of monkey selfie

Thursday 7th of August 2014 01:35:31 PM

There is an interesting copyright case going on at Wikipedia. A photographer named David Slater who went to Indonesia to shoot jungle there. Unfortunately one of his cameras was temporarily stolen by a female Macaque and ended up taking a lot of selfies.

The selfie reached Wikipedia where it got uploaded to its library under public domain.

The photographer now wants Wikipedia to remove that image saying, “That trip cost me about £2,000 for that monkey shot. Not to mention the £5,000 of equipment I carried, the insurance, the computer stuff I used to process the images. Photography is an expensive profession that’s being encroached upon. They’re taking our livelihoods away.”

The disputed photograph.

While, being a film-maker and photographer myself I can totally relate to David, we invest time and money to capture moments and then earn our livelihoods from our work. No argument there, but this case is different and David did not capture the work. The work was captured by the monkey so going by the general understanding of copyrights – Copyright belongs to who ever creates the work NOT to the one who ‘owns’ the tool to create the work. So monkey is the owner and not the one wholes camera it was. So here David is not the copyright holder, the monkey should be.

Lets’ assume David ‘rented’ or ‘borrowed’ a camera from someone to take this picture, does that mean the renting company or who lent David the camera would be the copyright owner of that image and not David?

I assume David would argue that even if he rented or borrowed the camera, since he took the picture he is the copyright holder. That is exactly the case here the money ‘borrowed’ (or stole) the camera and took some picture so she is the copyright holder.

David’s argument that he should be the owner would destroy lives of every creative person who borrows or rents equipment. If I rent a laptop to write my novel, will the renting company become the copyright holder of my novel? No.

I strongly support Wikipedia in this case. Since the ‘cameraman’ was not a human the image should belong to public domain.

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KDE Frameworks 5.1 released

Thursday 7th of August 2014 01:03:55 PM

The KDE Community has released Frameworks 5.1. KDE Frameworks is the evolution of KDE Libraries which is now extremely modular and optimized for Qt applications. This modular nature of KDE Frameworks makes is easy to use for Qt developer as now they can choose only those libraries that they need instead of having to install the entire set which would as one may say ‘bloat’ the system.

KDE Frameworks are 60 addon libraries to Qt which provide a wide variety of commonly needed functionality in mature, peer reviewed and well tested libraries with friendly licensing terms.

Many of the Frameworks are cross platform and have minimal or no extra dependencies making them easy to build and add to any Qt application.

Some of the notable new features of this release are:

  • KTextEditor: Major refactorings and improvements of the vi-mode
  • KAuth: Now based on PolkitQt5-1
  • New migration agent for KWallet
  • Windows compilation fixes
  • Translation fixes
  • New install dir for KXmlGui files and for AppStream metainfo
  • Plasma Taking advantage of OpenGL

I don’t think an average desktop user needs to install any Frameworks manually (these are meant for developer), instead as and when the distro deem fit may update the system, which heavily depends on the version of Plasma desktop running on the system.

If you want to run Plasma 5 on your system you can check out this article.

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First look at Moto 360 charging station. Do we really want it?

Wednesday 6th of August 2014 08:59:54 PM

Thanks to Mister Gadget today we received a first look at the new charging port for the upcoming Moto 360. Based on the images the docking station will consist of a small(ish) device which holds the watch in place horizontally and in the user’s eye view.

The device will remain illuminated (no indication of whether this feature can be turned off yet) while charging and the user will be able to see the, time, charging status and presumably incoming messages/notifications.

Overall the docking station looks to be a useful bedside addition. But how useful will it really be? Is wireless charging actually useful at all? Is a dock better than a charger? Why can’t we charge truly wirelessly? Without getting too bogged down in this I want to find out what people’s views are on the future of charging.

There is no doubt charging (as with all technology) is currently undergoing a revolution and makeover. Devices contain larger capacity batteries (although typically decreasing in physical size), are charging quicker than before and coming in many forms. Most devices can now be charged directly from the wall socket, via a USB socket (including through the TV) and now with the launch of Wearables, we are going to be inundated with dock charging stations.

Docking stations are not new.

When you first bought the original iPod it was not long afterwards that a dock was released for home use. You could connect your iPod, play your songs through its built-in speaker and charge the device at the same time. In fact nearly every hotel I visit there is always an iPod/Phone docking station. It’s now as complimentary as the tea and coffee. So why the sudden resurge and how practical are these ‘new’ docks.

Your watch is something you will always have with you. Yes, even more than your phone. If you are away for the weekend it is assumed you will have to pack the docking station too! Now although they are small they certainly are not as small as a simple USB cable is. Do you really want to carry a docking station with you? Will you need to have another one for work? We all keep a spare phone charger at work, don’t we? Or will the future involve every hotel we visit now also containing a complimentary watch dock as well as the iPod dock?

Where will it end?

This of course leads to the inevitable question of true wireless charging. In the futuristic world we now live in WiFi is everywhere so why can’t we have full wireless charging points? Why can’t every device at home simply charge off of my ‘local charging network’ or ‘WiCha’ or whatever clever acronym the tech Gurus decide to christen the technology with.

In short, are Wear docks simply a return to the tech state we were in five years ago or are they actually a step in the right direction? Do you want to see more docks or true wireless charging zones?

Let us know your thoughts and comment.

The post First look at Moto 360 charging station. Do we really want it? appeared first on The Mukt.

Digia spins Qt unit as a separate company

Wednesday 6th of August 2014 06:21:49 PM

As the adoption of Qt is increasing in commercial as well as Open Source projects the company behind the project, Digia, has decided to spin Qt unit as a new company.

Digia has been facing a resource challenge with Qt as 75% of the contribution comes from Digia employees. Qt has dual presence one at and one at and these two sites or two entities have drifted apart instead of coming closer. Now what is the difference between the two? Same as with any open source project and commercial product. is all about commercial offering whereas qr-project is all about the community.

It doesn’t stop there, even if the source code is same, the installer for commercial product is different from the installer for the community.

Lars Knoll, CTO of Digia and the chief Qt maintainer says, “In the long term, this split is helping nobody. The fragmentation actually weakens our ecosystem and makes it difficult to position Qt against competing technologies and tools. It also makes it very hard to speak with one voice and consistently highlight the benefits of the technology and product.”

Another irony of Qt is that since the two entities operates separately they end up competing with each other, which only damages the project.

So Digia has decided to merge and into a new website. They will offer single installer for commercial and community versions so it is easier for the users of community version to migrate to the enterprise offering. Lars says that this will …”also significantly simplify our releasing process. With these simplifications we expect to be able to deliver better tested and higher-quality packages to the whole ecosystem.”

The plan was discussed with the main Qt developers back in June at the Qt Contributor Summit and now the company is executing it.

Digia acquired Qt from Nokia, which under Stephen Elop’s leadership killed all major open source projects at Nokia to turn the once market leader into a ‘unit’ of Microsoft. Qt is one of the most used open source technologies around and its adoption is growing day by day.

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