Raspberry Pi – London Tube Status

I just added a new Raspberry Pi section.

Complete with details on how to make a London Underground Status Board.

London Underground Tube Status Display


Fresh New Look…

This site was really in need of some Tender Loving Care. To try to rectify that I have given it a nice new theme.

I will also attempt to add a bit more content. I am sure I have lots that would be of benefit to others.


Netflix is now available in the UK – No Linux Support

Today I noticed that Netflix is available in the UK.

Unfortunately it seems that because it requires Microsoft Silverlight, it will not work with Linux. Not even with Moonlight.

When will people learn that we don’t want encumbered by DRM.

I will be terminating my membership straight away.


UK LoCo Christmas Dinner @ Dans Le Noir

Thanks to Alan Bell for organising a wonderful Christmas dinner at Dans Le Noir last night. It was a wonderful venue and the food was amazing. I never realised how dark, dark could really be.

I would recommend this restaurant to anybody.  Also remember, this is the only restaurant  where you can get away with eating with your fingers and licking your plate when you are finished. As it is so dark, who would ever know.

I was however, slightly disappointed that some of the other members of the podcast team couldn’t come. Maybe to make up for this, they should all be blindfolded while recording the next podcast.  Just a suggestion 😉

The Register Hacked (DNS Hijacked)

I can’t believe it.

I would never have thought that one of my favourite tech news sites could ever be hacked. Yet a few minutes ago I captured the following screenshot when browsing.

Come on guys, what is going on?

The Register Hacked

The Register Hacked

*Updated – 10:00pm 4th September 2011

After further investigation, it seems that The Register’s website was not hacked as such, but rather the DNS for that domain has been hijacked.

The bad A record IP appears to be instead of which is a rackspace server where the register is hosted.

If you go to all-nettools.com and do a nameserver lookup you’ll see the register has the following nameservers now:

theregister.co.uk. 86129 IN NS ns4.yumurtakabugu.com.
theregister.co.uk. 86129 IN NS ns2.yumurtakabugu.com.
theregister.co.uk. 86129 IN NS ns1.yumurtakabugu.com.
theregister.co.uk. 86129 IN NS ns3.yumurtakabugu.com.

Which isn’t right.

It should probably look something like:

theregister.co.uk nameserver = ns1.theregister.co.uk
theregister.co.uk nameserver = ns2.theregister.co.uk
theregister.co.uk nameserver = ns3.theregister.co.uk
theregister.co.uk nameserver = ns4.theregister.co.uk
theregister.co.uk nameserver = ns5.theregister.co.uk
theregister.co.uk nameserver = ns6.theregister.co.uk

*Updated – 11:00pm 4th September 2011

It appears that ups.com has also been hacked.

ups.com Hacked

ups.com Hacked

*update again… Sites that have also been defaced include



betfair.com defaced

betfair.com defaced

vodafone.com defaced

vodafone.com defaced

telegraph.co.uk defaced

telegraph.co.uk defaced

*Updated – 7:15am 5th September 2011

The Guardian have interviewed the Turkish hackers that instigated the attack on the various high-profile websites. http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/sep/05/dns-hackers-telegraph-interview

*Updated – 8:10am 5th September 2011

The Register have now posted an article explaining a little about what happened.


HTC Desire will not get the Gingerbread update

HTC have announced that the HTC Desire will not get the Gingerbread update. It turns out that the design of the HTC Desire was fatally flawed. The article at the URL below effectively states that the Desire does not have the required RAM to run Android 2.3 + Sense UI at the same time.


I am not happy about this. I now find myself unable to upgrade my phone without shelling out a huge amount of money. The reason for this is that in the UK now, it is standard practice for phone companies to lock customers into 2 year contracts. I still have 1 whole year to wait before I can get a phone that I can update. I originally opted for the HTC Desire because it was the top rated Android phone on the market. That and the fact that Samsung phones, at the time, where not known for upgrading their phones to the latest release of Android. I now wish I had made a different decision. I didn’t think I would ever say this, but at least Apple don’t do this kind of thing. They keep their customers phones updated for a significant time. HTC sort yourselves out. You have lost me as a customer.

** Addendum **

HTC have now hastily retreated on this announcement, which is not surprising.


Interestingly Dan Lynch of Linux Outlaws fame made the following observation. Which is also a very good point.

“More worryingly for me, when did HTC decide that doing all their corporate communication via Facebook was a good idea? What next, a Geocities site or perhaps a MySpace page? They could do away with their website all together and just use 3rd party platforms.” – Dan Lynch (http://danlynch.org)

I agree completely. HTC, Please get your house in order.


Ubuntu Manual Project – Position Openings

Ubuntu Manual Header Image

What is the Ubuntu Manual Project?

The Ubuntu Manual Project Team is responsible for the Getting Started with Ubuntu book. This a comprehensive beginner’s guide for the Ubuntu operating system. It is written under an open source license and is free for you to download, read, modify, and share.

The manual is aimed at new users of Ubuntu to help them become familiar with everyday tasks such as surfing the web, listening to music, and scanning documents. With an emphasis on easy-to-follow instructions, it is suitable for all levels of experience.

Available positions

We are currently trying to fill the following roles:

These missing roles have meant that the project has not moved forward as we would have liked.

How to apply for these roles

Please provide responses to all the questions below and email them to jobs@ubuntu-manual.org.

  • Full name
  • Contact email address
  • Role you are applying for
  • Describe any relevant experience you have in as much detail as possible
  • Describe why you think you should be considered for this position
  • What you would do in this role (e.g., how you would improve the release process or how you would engage the community

The closing date for applications is Friday, 11 March 2011 at 20:00 UTC.

Project leader

The Ubuntu Manual project leader is responsible for guiding and directing the project. The project leader’s responsibilities include:

  • Promoting the project in the community.
  • Recruiting new project members.
  • Scheduling regular meetings.
  • Release Planning.
  • Motivating project members.
  • Providing vision (and blueprints) for the project.

The project leader should have the following qualifications:

  • Be Self-motivated.
  • Good at managing people.
  • Have a firm grasp of American English.
  • Be able to guide and direct the project.

Editor in chief

The editor in chief is responsible for the overall quality and content of the manual and ensures that it is published in a timely fashion. The editor in chief manages the chapter editors and authors. The editor in chief must commit to the following duties for the duration of the release cycle (approximately six months):

  • Check spelling, grammar, writing style, and factual accuracy.
  • Track changes between previous and current Ubuntu releases and ensure that the current edition of the manual reflects those changes.
  • Motivate and coordinate with the chapter authors/editors to contribute in a timely fashion.
  • Provide regular status updates to the mailing list.
  • Ensure proper attribution for text that has been copied from other (CC-licensed) sources.
  • Maintain the list of credits (authors, editors, translators, designers, etc.).
  • Verify that all screenshots and graphics are correct.
  • Gives the final go-ahead to publish the online and print versions of the manual.

The editor in chief should have the following qualifications:

  • Be Self-motivated.
  • Good at managing people (namely chapter authors and editors).
  • Have a firm grasp of American English.
  • Fully understand the Ubuntu Manual Style Guide.
  • Be able to run alpha and beta releases of Ubuntu.

Additional Information

Please note that we are a community project, and these roles are unpaid.

Review: Learning Perl by Randal L. Schwartz, Tom Phoenix, brian d foy

O'Reilly Learning Perl 5th Edition Cover

In summary buy this book if you want to learn Perl. Simply put, this is the best book I have ever found to teach you Perl. I first read a version of this book in 1999. It was a good book then, that has matured and gotten even better over time.

This book covers everything that you need to know to get you started with Perl. Perl isn’t the easiest language to learn, but this book explains everything as simply as possible. Even the chapter on regular expressions.

This particular edition covers Perl 5.10, which has now been replaced by Perl 5.12 (This book was written 2 years ago). That doesn’t really matter as this won’t impact on you. Perl 5.12 is mostly a bug fix release, which adds few new features.

One of Perl’s strengths is CPAN (Perl’s on-line module library). The book does have a chapter dedicated to it, but it only covers a handful of modules.  I would have expected the book to cover a few more of the more common ones. This may just be me being a little picky.

The last chapter of this book is really useful. It is called “Beyond the Llama”, and gives you all sorts of information about where to go to learn more. This book is just the beginning…

Please note: I did receive a free copy of this book via the O’Reilly Blogger review programme.

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program

Perl: My Favorite Quotes

I recently found a few Perl quotes that I particularly like. I thought I would share them with you too. I hope you like them.

“Perl: The only language that looks the same before and after RSA encryption.”
– Keith Bostic

“PHP is a minor evil perpetrated and created by incompetent amateurs, whereas Perl is a great and insidious evil, perpetrated by skilled but perverted professionals.”
– Jon Ribbens

“Python is basically executable pseudocode, and if that’s the case, then Perl is executable line noise.”
– Randall Munroe

There are more programming related quotes here.

Review: Programming Python by Mark Lutz

Programming Python 4th Edition Cover

It has been a long time coming, but finally this book has been updated. With the 4th edition comes a big change. This edition has been updated to ONLY cover Python 3.x. This is a great book and will make a great addition if you want to learn more about developing applications with Python.

You should note however,  that this book is not a Python reference guide. It is written primarily as an advanced tutorial that is a follow-up to the Learning Python book. Therefore it does not cover any aspects of core Python. For that you would be better of looking at Learning Python.

This book is over 1600 pages long. This makes it particularly heavy. I do not recommend that this book be kept anywhere that it can fall from. It will hurt if you happen to get in its way.

There are a couple of omissions that surprised me. In the chapter on GUI programming. I expected there would be more on using either PyGTK or PyQt. They are mentioned, but that is it. tkInter is covered instead. Personally I have not seen TK used for quite some time.  Most of the applications that I have seen use PyGTK (mostly because I use Ubuntu). Another omission is that there is no mention of Quickly. Which is a framework that allows you to develop applications quickly.

Please note: I did receive a free copy of this book via the O’Reilly Blogger review programme.

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program