Busybox Creators Sue Monsoon Over GPL Violation

Here’s the jist of things:

Busybox, the guys who make a single, small, optimized package which contains a total of 17 useful GPL tools bundled into one. From their website:

“It provides minimalist replacements for most of the utilities you usually find in bzip2, coreutils, file, findutils, gawk, grep, inetutils, modutils, net-tools, procps, sed, shadow, sysklogd, sysvinit, tar, util-linux, and vim.  The utilities in BusyBox often have fewer options than their full-featured cousins; however, the options that are included provide the expected functionality and behave very much like their larger counterparts.”


Monsoon, who makes consumer devices primarily for home multimedia users which are close in function to the SlingBox. They decided to take busybox and use it, without releasing source code as required by the GNU Public License. That’s a shame. I guess we’ll finally see the GPL proven in court in the USA for the first time.

“We licensed BusyBox under the GPL to give users the freedom to access and modify its source code,” said Erik Andersen, a developer of BusyBox and a named plaintiff in the lawsuit filed Sept. 19 in Manhattan Federal District Court. “If companies will not abide by the fair terms of our license, then we have no choice but to ask our attorneys to go to court to force them to do so.”

I the best part of the BusyBox website is the Hall of Shame where they list prior violations – a total of 18. That page is no longer updated, instead they refer violators to the Software Freedom Law Center which files suit on their behalf.

The lawsuit, “Erik Andersen and Rob Landley v. Monsoon Multimedia Inc.,” case number 07-CV-8205 (PDF), will be heard by Senior District Judge John E. Sprizzo of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

I think this image pretty much sums things up:



Do You Submit Articles Or Make Insightful Comments On Digg? Enable Shouts From Anyone.

 You’re likely thinking, “Why the hell do I want to do this?  I’m gonna get a ton of spam!”

Actually, you’re not.

Instead, you are going to make more “Mutual Friends”, and even if you don’t submit articles on digg, this will benefit you.  If you make very informative and in-depth replies to submissions, you’re going to meet people and make friends.

Thanks to the new digg “social network” features, users have been able to communicate among themselves instead of on Facebook or other places.  Digg doesn’t allow HTML in a shout, so spammy links are not going to be a problem.

Here’s how to do it:

1.  Click My Profile at the top of the screen.


2.  Press Settings.


3.  Select the radio button that says Allow shouts to me from…. Anyone.


4.  Press Save.

That’s it, you’re done.  Now monitor your profile page for shouts from people who would like to be your friend.  The more mutual friends you have, the more diggs you get on comments and submissions.

To prove this works, if you want more mutual friends, send me a shout and I’ll add you as a friend.


How to Install Adobe Flash Player for amd64 / 64-bit on Debian Etch

Alrighty, so I switched operating systems – again, this time I’m trying out Debian 4.0r1 aka “Etch” after deciding that Zenwalk is for metro-sexuals. First things first right? Gotta get my YouTube working, Firefox Plugins installed, etc.

The following guys made this possible: DIP Consultants and Weiqi Gao.

Unofficial nspluginwrapper & ia32-libs-gtk packages for Etch

First things first, as root:

  • Add repository to sources.list:
    • echo “deb etch main” >> /etc/apt/sources.list
  • apt-get update
  • Install the keyring so you’re not bothered with key/verification warnings:
    • apt-get install markybob-keyring
  • apt-get update once more
  • Install what you want:
    • apt-get install ia32-libs-gtk nspluginwrapper

If you’re looking to install Flash in a 64-bit browser:

  • Do *every* step listed above, then the following as a *user*, not root:
  • wget
  • tar -zxf install_flash_player_9_linux.tar.gz
  • mkdir ~/.mozilla/plugins/
  • mv install_flash_player_9_linux/flashplayer.xpt install_flash_player_9_linux/ ~/.mozilla/plugins/
  • nspluginwrapper -i ~/.mozilla/plugins/
  • Start/restart iceweasel/firefox/whatever
  • Enjoy, Etch 64-bit users, from the guys at 🙂

The underlined bit is my contribution, for some reason it does not exist by default, probably since the switch to Iceweasel. Honestly I don’t get the point of changing the name and stripping the logos from the browser, everybody knows that Mozilla is NOT going to start charging people for use of their trademark logos. Google would have a hay day and clean some house at Mozilla Foundation.

Damn Debian and their “Social Contract.” It’s silly if you ask me.

On a side note, I did goto the screening of Pirates of the Great Salt Lake tonight, and I thought it was a smart and funny movie that doesn’t have any blazingly obvious flaws.  I rate it 4.5 out of 5 “ARRRGS”

Linux Windows

The REAL Fix For Comcast BitTorrent Throttling

First, a little explanation may be needed as to what is happening in between our computers, Comcast and the Internet.
Comcast is using a packet filtering platform called Sandvine. This platform is a at its core, a Quality of Service system that has legitimate uses, such as giving high priority to Xbox Live communications and VOIP packets. 

Unfortunately, Comcast has decided to use Sandvine (some say illegally) to impersonate us and send a reset packet (known as an RST flag), which is exactly like the Chinese goverment filters the internet!  (PDF)

TorrentFreak hinted on August 22nd, is that someone was working on a fix for Comcast users.

“…we know that at least two BitTorrent client developers are including this fix in their next update.” –TorrentFreak 

It’s two weeks later, where is the fix!?  And just exactly how do you find out if you’re being throttled by Comcast?  And how can we figure out how to avoid this traffic shaping?


Mini Zenwalk Review

Alrighty… Zenwalk.

How about a stream of consciousness review for “zen computing”? That seems fitting to me.

By the way, the iceweasel spellchecker underlines EVERYTHING as being spelled incorrectly, so excuse the mistakes.

Nifty auto-partition, OK text mode installer. Packages chosen by default, gnome, iceweasel, icedove, lilo configured properly. Booted into XFCE, and BAM no DHCP. Lots of hunting later, I find it under System / Zenpanel. Enable DHCP for IP, DNS, etc, everything working. Still looking at 1280×1024 desktop. 2 “videoconfigure” later, still not working. Manually edit /etc/xorg.conf and add resolutions, working great, but compositer still not working despite detection and use of nv driver. gnash required to display some items, Xarchiver wasn’t able to successfully unzip a Tried to open a PDF, defaulted to Evince, which threw up an error stating that the file had an invalid MIME type.

Deep breath. Ahhhh. This is definitely “Zen” for Linux users – but not in 2007. Maybe in 1999. 1.5 Opposable Thumbs down.

I’m not gonna say all negative things about this one. I give it a total of 0.5 Thumbs up for fantastic full-out beautiful dolphin-ized themes for XFCE and bootsplash.


Dolphins used as mascots only work in one place, and that’s in Miami. Even then it’s kinda metro-sexual.

I bet there was some manager out there who sent the art team a memo that read something like this:

From: “Manager Promoted For Prodigious Incompetence”;
To: “Artsy Team Mailing List”;
Subject: New Mascot Idea.

Hey guys,

I think we should use a dolphin for our logo. Yeah, that’ll do. And make it YELLOW! ASAP Over and out, 10-4 good buddy.


Pirates of the Great Salt Lake Screenings In Six Cities On Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Whew, my first real off-topic post.  I’ve been waiting for the screenings to begin, and I’m finally going to be able to see the movie in Salt Lake City on Sept 19th – International Talk Like A Pirate Day.

I’m already an Associate Fan Club Producer for the film, having donated money and purchased the DVD in advance.  This is really a great opportunity to promote an indy film that is really hilarious.

Trailer is after the bump, as well as the email anouncement I received.


Ubuntu Forums Firefox Plugin – Finding Answers To Stupid Questions Was Never So Easy

Attention Humor Disabled Digg Visitors, the tagline of this article is actually a joke!  HDDV is a serious disease which effects approximately 23 million Digg front page visitors per month.

I remembered awhile back that I had installed a plugin for the Steam forums that gave me a little menu item up at the top inbetween Tools and Help in Firefox that allowed easy navigation of the Steam forums. I thought about it for a bit and thought,

“Hey! Why not make one of those for the Ubuntu forums?”

Well thankfully someone else already has. I present to you, the Ubuntu Forums Menu for Firefox.  If you don’t have Firefox already, click the button below and install it today!

Install and then goto the Addons settings in Firefox. Click Preferences:
screenshot-add-ons.pngCheck the appropriate boxes:
screenshot-ubuntu-forums-menu-settings.pngMenu at the top:
ubuntu_forums.pngRight Click Context Menu:
ubuntu_forums_context1.pngThis is an “insanely great” plugin. Kudos to Adam Smith.

Linux Rant

Trying out Gutsy Gibbon Part 2

I ran the following commands (again)

sudo sed -e ‘s/\sfeisty/ gutsy/g’ -i /etc/apt/sources.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

12:12 AM Started downloading.

12:30 Installing all the packages.  Downloading from the Gutsy repositories at 6MB/sec didn’t take a long time.

12:42AM I’m concurrently downloading Linux Mint while all the packages continue to install.

12:46AM DONE.  Reboot.

2:45AM Ohsh!t… Houston we have a problem.  I’m gonna rant here for a second.  When I use the brand new awesome thing that smells of a combination of fresh horse manure and burning hair called “Screens and Graphics Preferences” and I select my monitor as shown:


Notice the little description text that shows that I’m choosing an LCD screen that ONLY displays in a native resolution of  1680 by 1050?

Now, see the list of available resolutions once I save that setting:


Where the hell is the 1680 by 1050 option?  NOT THERE!

Now, I know somebody is going to say ‘oh well just go and edit the xorg.conf file and you should be all set.’  Here is my preemptive response:

When is the last time you had to edit the registry in Windows to add a resolution option?

I rest my case.


Microsoft Tried To Give Me $20,000 Of Software

Ever heard of the MSDN Academic Alliance?   I never have until I took a class at the local college.  Apparently everyone who takes any sort of Computer Science class gets enrolled in this Microsoft program at this institution.

Check this out:

MSDN Academic Alliance

That’s the list in it’s entirety that I can download for free from my school.  I ran some numbers, and the retail value of all of that is more than $20,000!  That’s more than I’ve spent on tuition so far. 

Ridiculous!   20 Grand worth of software and I can’t even use it… I would need to buy another computer to make use of this stuff, and the girlfriend probably wouldn’t approve of that.


Digg “Linux Nation” for Thursday September 13th 2007

I saw a post over on Diggnation forums saying that Diggnation doesn’t cover enough Linux articles.  Well here’s the solution:  Make a list yourself!  Here’s a list for the past week with my own comments.  Buy me a beer (located at the end of this post) and I’ll think about making it into a weekly video.

  1. PC World refuse to repair hardware fault, because of Linux
    • Update:  Linux does not actually void the warranty.  Problem has been fixed.
  2. Fix a Frozen System with the Magic SysRq Keys
    • Alt and SysRq (Print Screen) and then typing REISUB will reboot Linux properly after a crash when the commonly used Ctrl-Alt-Backspace or function keys don’t work.  Great Tip! 
  3. OOXML: nice little standard? [PIC]
    • OOXML is well documented.  🙂
  4. Microsoft starts a “Get the Facts” campaign…against itself
    • Vista TCO is lower than XP.  I don’t believe that for a second!  This appears to be Microsoft doing what they do best, sponsoring surveys and such to get the results they want to be able to publish.
  5. Valve recruiting Senior Engineer port Windows-based games to Linux
    • This is great news.  Surely a job posting is not a news release, but now there is some hope that Valve will be porting Steam and their games to Linux.
  6. Vietnam Says Buh-bye to Microsoft Office, Chooses
    • 20k upgrades to Office 2008 is more expensive than  Who knew?
  7. AMD Releases 900+ Pages Of ATI GPU Specifications
    • With these specifications, ATI drivers will likely improve in quality on these specific GPUs.  ATI/AMD driver hackers rejoice!
  8. Latest VirtualBox 1.5 runs Windows apps directly on your Linux desktop
    • VirtualBox Windows Emulator has a new version, still looks like Win95, but works well.  This does seem a little bit better than running in VMWare since you can run the program in its own window which is decorated by your window manager.
  9. AMD: GPU Specifications Without NDAs!
    • Same story as number 7.  Dupe!
  10. Lenovo Interested in Linux, Opens Poll for Distro
    • Surprise!  45% of all surveyed want Ubuntu supported on a Levono Thinkpad laptop, then secondarily they want Debian with 11%.
  11. How Linux is being subverted.
    • Somehow, somewhere, whenever a company that does business with Microsoft (in this case, Novell) they’re up to some evil plot and want to take over the world.  I don’t quite think this is true, but it’s a good headline.
  12. IBM dives into development
    • IBM is paying some people in Beijing to work on  Not a big deal IMO.
  13. Ubuntu Linux Training Software that runs on Windows and Mac only
    • Hmm…. so lemme get this right:  Some folks decided to make training materials for Ubuntu (which they have no relation to as far as i know) and sell it for 89 pounds a pop?  Go them!  Minor problem, it doesn’t run on Ubuntu.  Well… maybe next time guys.
  14. Super-Easy Ubuntu Setup From Windows – For Windows Users Eager To Try Linux
    • Goto and install it if you’re running Windows.  I might tie this into my article about distributing Linux via physical medium.
  15. Edit PDF Files For Free With PDFedit -OpenSource PDF Editor (Ubuntu Feisty)
    • PDFEdit is actually pretty terrible.  The GUI is total shitty and nearly unusable.  I can say this with much certaincy since I actually tried to use it last night for my Tux Mask.  Using a graphical editor and exporting to PDF from actually works MUCH MUCH MUCH better.  PDFEditor is not worth the time spent downloading it right now, in my opinion.

So there you go, 15 articles that made the biggest splashes on this week and a short summary of each.