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Better sound on VirtualBox under Ubuntu

For quite a while I have been having a recurring problem with sound on a Windows guest OS under Virtualbox. After a while it will just hang up and when I restart the Virtualbox session under Ubuntu I will get an error message saying that the host’s sound system isn’t working. Since I don’t use Virtualbox that often I forget about it and moved on.

I know it has something to do with the Pulseaudio system on my Ubuntu set up but was a bit lazy to google for a solution. Anyway my sound was quite fine under Ubuntu so I didn’t mind it at all.

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Creating your own Gwibber theme

One of the social sites I like is twitter.com. I’ve heard about identi.ca but really haven’t tried it yet. Recently, I came across a twitter client that runs on Ubuntu that I liked a lot. It’s called Gwibber. It’s actually not just a Twitter client but also supports identi.ca, laconi.ca, digg, ping.fm, facebook and some other stuff.

It’s very easy to use and can handle multiple accounts so I’d probably try out identi.ca now that I use Gwibber. One of the things I like about Gwibber is that it lets you have your own customized theme. If you know basic HTML and CSS, it’s actually easy to customize.

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Futuristic Classrooms: “Pocketbooks” come of age

I remember as a child having to pull a bag filled with books going to school. When I got my first PC in the ’80s, I imagined a classroom where students are holding electronic “pocketbooks” that serves as their library of books, their electronic notebook / magic slate …

The recent news of a big deployment of Linux in schools got me back into thinking just how near the reality of my concept is actually unfolding. One thing caught my attention though, the deployment will use virtual Linux desktops using a CPU sharing scheme. The scheme that uses a single computer connected with several monitors is not something new but I wondered if it’s still feasible in this day and age.

After some checking and comparing alternative solutions and schemes, here’s what I found out — electronic “pocketbooks” are in.

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Site of the week: Stay at home mom learns Ubuntu

This weekend while surfing the Net, I came across a blog about an average Mom who started to learn Ubuntu. She was trying to rate how appropriate tagline “Linux for human beings” really is and it got me curious. I started to read her series of posts entitled “The Ubuntu Chronicles: The Saga of Amber and Ubuntu

What’s very interesting about Amber’s series of posts is that it gives some very good points on how well Ubuntu (Linux) has moved forward in terms of usability on the desktop. And some very good points which may very well help the community identify some improvement areas in terms of usability. Although I wouldn’t rate her as the average typical Mom, she has pretty much written things that provides some insight to how an average user might react to Ubuntu.

stay-at-home-mom-learns-ubuntu

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Better Ubuntu Linux bluetooth management with Blueman

l found (courtesy of Bigbrovar’s post, thanks) a piece of software called Blueman that provides better bluetooth management under Ubuntu Intrepid (it’s also available for other Ubuntu versions). It basicall replaces the current bluetooth manager under Intrepid.

What’s cool about blueman is that in addition to better bluetooth management under Ubuntu, it is also able to manage wireless broadband (GPRS/EDGE/3G) connections hand in hand with Ubuntu’s Network Manager. I’ve tried it on my Motorola RAZR mobile phone and it is able to setup HAL so that I can easily connect / disconnect to the Internet using Network Manager.

The last time I tried if my cell phone is supported by the Network Manager, I had to use the mobile phone’s cable to be able to connect to the Internet. If I wanted to connect to the Internet via bluetooth on my cell phone, I had to setup ppp manually. With Blueman, it’s done automatically for you. Great!

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List of supported cell phones in new mobile broadband feature of Ubuntu

Since the last time I tried out how to setup a 3G connection on Ubuntu Intrepid, I’ve been trying out other cell phones that works with the new feature in Intrepid to allow users to easily connect via their mobile phones.

So far I’ve tried the following GPRS/3G/HSDPA mobile phones and they work under Ubuntu Intrepid.

Current list of supported cell phones in Ubuntu Intrepid’s mobile broadband automatic connection feature:

  • Motorola RAZR (3G/HSPDA works with Network Manager using a cable)
  • Sony Ericsson 810i (3G works with Network Manager using a cable)
  • Nokia N80ie (3G works with Network Manager using a cable)
  • Nokia N95 ( will try out this week 3G/HSDPA works with Network Manager using a cable)

If you have made your mobile phone to work on Ubuntu Intrepid, please leave a comment so I can try and make a list of supported handsets. Thanks.

Step by step guide: How to write a Linux virus

Here’s something to think about. Geekzone has published a step by step guide on how to create a virus under Linux. I’ve always had the idea that viruses and malware is possible even in Linux and the only thing it’s not talked a lot about is because:

  • Makers of such things would rather concentrate on Windows which has a big user base
  • It’s harder to create such things on Linux

What do you think?

Firefox 3.0.6 has been released

Firefox version 3.0.6 has just been released to fix several security and stability issues. Update to the Ubuntu version of Firefox should be available soon. Some of the changes noted are:

  • In previous versions of Firefox, some users experienced a problem where parts of the screen were not properly displaying after Firefox was open for long periods of time.
  • Improved the ability for scripted commands (including those included in popular extensions like Adblock Plus) to work properly with plugins. (bug 438830)
  • Removed the client user ID from crash reports.
  • Fixed issues with the display of some Indic scripts.

The security fixes included in Firefox version 3.0.6 is listed below:

  • Directives to not cache pages ignored
  • XMLHttpRequest allows reading HTTPOnly cookies
  • Chrome privilege escalation via local .desktop files
  • Local file stealing with SessionStore
  • XSS using a chrome XBL method and window.eval
  • Crashes with evidence of memory corruption (rv:1.9.0.6)