Monday, December 17, 2012

Amusingly Unacceptable Android App

I decided to play around with an office app on the Android, and Kingsoft looked good with over 45k reviews and an average review of 4.6 The terms of use had one agreement with Google Analytics. The other is shown below:

I don't think I really need this app after all.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Improve Your Hosts File for Christmas

Opera has a nice feature that one can selectively block advertising. When I do my daily once-over of web sites I visit, I do it in Opera, and then delete all private data. However, for whatever reason, ads from regularly escape Opera's block content feature. However, this site violates my if it moves or makes noise, kill it policy. Adding this to the hosts file does the trick:

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Serious Deficiency with Caja 1.4

Caja 1.4 is missing the media properties tab. I've installed Thunar and thunar-media-tags-plugin and this provides the functionality, but with a clunky interface. With Thunar, I can right-click a file and choose the audio tab, but thre is nothing useful there other than the properties button. Clicking properties provides one with actual audio properties. 

I saw a suggestion that installing nautilus might be an alternative, but it looks like that causes zeitgeist to also be installed, which is not something that belongs on a supposedly lean, supposedly somewhat secure desktop.

Nice Little Improvement in LibreOffice

Now when adding a word to the dictionary, LibreOffice just adds the word, without forcing the user to choose dictionaries. Going back to Star Office, there were usually two dictionaries by default and the choice of which to add a word to seemed arbitrary. Then for the past few years, the default configuration had just one dictionary, but still forced the user to choose the only choice. Now, with just one choice, LibreOffice assumes the only choice is the one the user wants. Yes. Keep the common case fast.

It's still not a very good dictionary application, being hopelessly bad at offering possible corrections. Ispell is very good. No other dictionary comes close.

My Preferred Firefox Extensions

  • CS Lite Mod (1.4.8): cookie management
  • Download Statusbar (0.9.10)
  • HTTPS-Everywhere (3.0.4)
  • NoScript (2.6.3)
  • Padlock (0.5.0)
  • Web Developer (1.2.2): reliable referer blocking
Useless crap Ubuntu adds to Firefox that is easily disabled, but not so easily uninstalled: 
  • Global Menu Bar Extension
  • Ubuntu Firefox Modifications

Friday, December 7, 2012

Mate 1.4 on Lubuntu 12.10

Simply follow the instructions at, except replace "precise" with "quantal."

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Clementine and Guayadeque, Close, but not Quite

I continue to have issues with Rhythmbox 2.96 on Ubuntu and Mint (Mate in both cases) and I will give up on it if I find something better, or maybe they'll finally get around to addressing some of these bugs. It doesn't see new songs added to the library reliably, if I force it to rescan the library it crashes, and it often stops between songs for no explicable reason. A lot of these problems have been around for awhile, which makes me wonder if development or support for Rhythmbox is weak. The last straw was that it seemed to be missing three songs from the Roxy Music "Street Life" album, both on my desktop at home and at work, and the files were there and fine--at least so far as Totem was concerned.

I just tried out Clementine, and with lots of features disabled it looks clean and seems to work well. However, I don't see how to display songs in order of least recently played to most recently played. However, Clementine did show the songs that Rhythmbox was "missing," and I now suspect the issue was that Rhythmbox was categorizing them as Bryan Ferry songs, not Roxy Music. Clementine was smart enough to include them in the Roxy Music search.

Double-checking with Rhythmbox, they are indeed under Bryan Ferry and not missing. So this is not a new Rhythmbox bug.

Guayadeque is promising, but it forces a listening model on the user. Also, I can't get it to use the screen efficiently. If one doesn't keep a bunch of useless crap on-screen, instead there's a big blank area. If there is discussion of layout, saving layouts, restoring layouts, etc., why isn't the layout configurable? I might have another look in the future.

Please don't mention Banshee. It's got too many features I don't need, takes forever to load, takes forever to search a large library, and so far as I can tell does nothing well.

Upshot: I'll keep using Rhythmbox since I don't have time to mess with Guayadeque right now. I'll uninstall Clementine. I'll keep Guayadeque to mess with in the future.

2.96 might be an oldish version of Rhythmbox, but it's what's in the Mint 13 repositories, and there's no sense in wasting much time tweaking a media player--it works or it doesn't  In the next OS upgrade (later this month for me), it'll either work or it won't.