Friday, 11 December 2009

Exploring New Nepomuk Features in Mandriva Linux 2010 |

Interesting and detailed article on Nepomuk, the semantic desktop technology that is already part of the KDE platform: two of the "driving forces" behind the project, explain the Nepomuk features and also those that have already been introduced in Mandriva Linux 2010. One of the many signs of tight connection between Open Source and innovation...

Posted via web from Signal 2 Noise

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Official Google Mac Blog: Google Chrome for Mac goes beta!

I recently installed Chrome on my Mac, and I have to say that it starts really fast (detectably faster than Firefox, for sure...) I still can't adopt it as main browser, since I'm too addicted to Firefox extensions (and at the moment nothing can beat the wonderful extensions system of that browser).

However, extensions are growing also for Chrome. Let's wait and see. If I'd have a good extensions for blog posting, as Scribfire, just to start... ;)

Posted via web from Signal 2 Noise

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Google Chrome OS Use Cases

Google didn't do a good job at explaining the intended use of Chrome OS and many people wondered if Google's operating system is an alternative to Windows. The goal is to build "an operating system that provides a fast, simple, and more secure computing experience for people who spend most of their time on the web".

Nice and brief article that can help to put the new Google OS in the right perspective. Briefly, this OS can't be seen as competitor to most used operating system: it simply lacks a lot of features to allow such kind of comparisons! Conversely, it came with a number of peculiarity that can be very interesting in selected fields, such as (just to say one) netbooks.

It may be taken as an excellent example of the intrinsic flexibility of linux, don't you think so?

Posted via web from Signal 2 Noise

Friday, 20 November 2009

Google Chrome OS and Canonical

So 2010 looks set to be a very exciting year. In addition to delivering Ubuntu experiences with both existing and new OEM partners, we will be working with Google on Chrome OS based devices.


It's certainly an exciting thing that Google OS is taking shape. I think that the simple fact that a huge company invest on linux, far from being a problem for the open source community, can bring some new perspectives and some fresh new air on the linux world. And it's certainly needed, IMHO. Even more good, is discovering that Ubuntu is working with Google in this project...

Posted via web from Signal 2 Noise

Monday, 26 October 2009

Ubuntu 9.10 Feature Tour | Ubuntu

Ok, as many others, I'm eagerly waiting to update my Ubuntu box. Ubuntu is surely a great distro, no doubts. Anyway, if I can move a critic to the webpage presenting the features of the new system... well, it could be this one: did you realize that almost 90% of the item presented are NOT specific of Ubuntu, but common to almost all modern linux distributions?

I mean, Email and chat (Empathy, Evolution), Internet (Firefox... could you imagine a linux distro without it..?), Photos (F-Spot...).

Admittedly, the purpouse of the page is also to present Ubuntu to people that are not "geek" or linux experts. Anyway, why not to stress a bit more the specific Ubuntu features?

Just my two cents... ;)

Posted via web from Signal 2 Noise

Friday, 23 October 2009

Windows 7's latest fan: Linus Torvalds

No doubt, one of the man who is capable of continuous surprises (and a good sense of humour, together with the precious ability of "not taking himself too seriously", which I do like a lot) is Linus Torvalds... ;-)

Posted via web from Signal 2 Noise

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

KDE - KDE 4.3.2 Caizen Release Announcement


"The KDE community has fixed over 10,000 bugs and implemented almost 2,000 feature requests in the last 6 months. Close to 63,000 changes were checked in by a little under 700 contributors..."
These are numbers quite impressive ;-)

Overall, I think that both Gnome and KDE have reached a really good level of maturation. Linux on desktop is getting every day a more robust and realiable option...

Friday, 25 September 2009

Wallpaper selection for the upcoming Ubuntu

Nifty Fifty Blur
Inserito originariamente da orb9220
Linux is about choice, indeed.. and what better of getting the possibility to choice a pleasant wallpaper for your Ubuntu box?

And what if the images you find already included in your brand new Ubuntu have been choosen in a context which involved a lot of passionate users (and photographers), via a submission in a Flickr group?

As reported in the Kenneth Wimer blog, "the results of the flickr submissions is simply amazing. 639 members submitted 2001 photos. Selecting the images to include in Karmic was a big task, and if there were more free space on the disk, I would add more....".

Isn't it great to see that a linux distribution is a product really built upon the free contributions of many, many people? :-)

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Tell your cat NOT to download Amarok for Mac...!

Please be aware that no stable version of Amarok for Mac OS has yet been released. This means those builds are FOR TESTING PURPOSES ONLY. There is no official support for them. These builds might be unstable, have bad side effects, kill your cat, start WW IV or even worse, may not work at all. You have been warned!

Well, I receipt the kind warning. At any rate, why on earth does Amarok for Mac should kill my cat?? Ok since I actually haven't a cat, I can assume I can proceed without concerns... apart from this reference to a WW IV... :-)

Posted via web from Signal 2 Noise

GNOME 2.28 Released

Today, the GNOME team has released GNOME 2.28. It builds on the solid foundation laid out by all the previous releases, and adds in a number of new features and improvements, on top of all the bug fixes and performance improvements, of course.

That's great! Just hope to have it soon available in the updates of my Ubuntu boxes...

Posted via web from Signal 2 Noise

Sunday, 20 September 2009

The very first bug in Ubuntu... the most critical?

A few days ago, just to do something, I wandered on putting my nose in the Ubuntu bug: it always gives me a good feeling to see how the faults are not hidden but rather exposed and solved with the help of the community ... one thing I like about Linux, absolutely.

Another possible consideration revolves around the complexity of the modern operating systems ... a complexity that is reflected in the large number of bugs (though of different sizes: admittedly many of them are not "critical"): for example, the quoted bugs page in Ubuntu lists more than sixty-five thousand bugs... and I have no reason to believe that other systems like Windows or Mac OS X may have a different story. At most - perhaps, as a matter of fact, I have not investigated - bugs will be less visible ...
But the thing that turned out to be really funny (to me and my son Andrea, who had come to see what I was doing early in the morning) happened when we searched for the very first bug in Ubuntu: here is what we have found ... (in passing, have I already said that I love linux for its playfulness?)

Bug # 1 in Ubuntu: "Microsoft has a market share Majority"
Majority Microsoft has a market share in the new desktop PC marketplace. This is a bug, Which Ubuntu is designed to fix ....

I'd suggest you to take time to read carefully the specifications of this annoying bug., which include the details of how to reproduce the bug ( "Visit a local PC shop..."), what happens ("note that the majority of PCs for sale have software 'not free' preprogrammed ") and so on ...

One might ask who submitted the bug .. ah, a certain Mark Shuttleworth ..

I do not know if the name tells you something ...:-)

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Google Reader, still growing...

Step by step, Google Reader keeps growing and evolving.. recently I noticed a small but useful improvement, in the "mark read" section.

Namely, it's now possible not only "mark all read", but also to mark as read all the feeds older that one day, one week or two week. Very useful if you have a lot of feeds and you're away from your computer for a while. In this case, you probably cannot check all the updated feeds, but choose to check only the most recents.. once again, well done Google ! ;-)

Posted via email from Signal 2 Noise

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Playing Monopoly, online...

Finally, after several tries that revealed themselves as nothing else than frustrating, last night I managed to interact with the servers of the new online game Monopoly City Street at a speed good enough to really play (by the way, I am in the game with the nick marcolinux, in homage to one of my favorite operating systems).

I must say that, despite its simplicity, since the first announcement, I felt quite interested in this curious online version of the classic game "Monopoly" ... The most intriguing thing is the chance you have to play on a virtual scenario as big as .. the whole world! As a matter of fact, the choice to rely on Google Maps was a nice thought indeed.

While from a technical standpoint the basic idea of this mash up, i.e. to make Google Maps "playable", is nice and certainly worthy of being further developed, it also must be said that - from an organizational perspective - the "launch" occurred, in my view, not in the best way, perhaps underestimating at a certain degree the potential interest of the game, or at least the peculiar issue of "newness": the consequence was to have, for many hours, servers too busy, and too many gamers detectably unsatisfied. It had been better, perhaps, to deal with a slowly growing traffic, perhaps relying on the classical mechanism of "invites" (remember the opening of Gmail..?). To be honest, in this case not even this strategy would be satisfactory, as the first to play would have clear advantages over players entered a second moment (if not else, more roads to choose from, to buy them).

Now however such "imperfect" start - with someone who could play and someone else who could not - has created a large number of requests for a "fresh start" , a new beginning that would reset all game situations. Needless to say, you easily understand that some people are happy and who is not at all ...

Personally, beyond the interest on the specific game, I am also intrigued to observe the development of the project, and even more to watch at all the "social" buzz that it has already generated (discussion groups, social networking, etc ...). Moreover, all in a very short time, if you think about it!

So, yesterday I went to sleep with my purchase of fourteen streets, some in Rome (Piazza S. Agostino was my first purchase, which is still among my properties), others in Ravenna (only because I have found still much to buy there)

Admittedly, the dynamics of the game is pretty simple (at the moment) ... But, as my son Simone says, "it excites me a lot when I buy a road, because then I realize that I'm the only one to own it, in the whole world ...!"

Beyond all other possible considerations, how can I say he's wrong ...? ;)

Thursday, 20 August 2009

My desktop

Just played a bit with my account on account, yesterday. Well I got the impression that Virtual Computing is getting more and more "usable" each day: it's not a simple experiment any more, it's something that you can really start to use, even if for simple tasks.

It's quite funny to close a desktop (say) at work, and reopen it at home, on a different computer, to find exactly the same configurations!

Now, if I only could open a bash shell ... I know, I'm asking too much (for the moment)...

Posted via web from SegnaleRumore Express

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Jolicloud, a cool new OS for your netbook ?

Still looking for a good linux distribution for my eeepc 701 4g, since unfortunately it seems that the native Xandros OS does not offer automatic upgrade to recent releases of many important softwares (as Firefox, Openoffice...): too bad that Asus now is promoting almost only Win XP! . So far I tested Easy Peasy and eeebuntu.. now I am quite excited to test Jolicloud, a rather peculiar distro, focused on social web... let's see... :)

Posted via web from SegnaleRumore Express

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

The observation of the Perseids

Today even the homepage of Google presents a very special image, because this is the proper time to observe  the Perseids meteor shower. Indeed, though the period in which you can see them in the night sky extends from late July to about August 20, the "peak" for the probability to see them is exactly on the night of August 12. The Perseids shower happens because the Earth passes  through debris from the Swift-Tuttle comet.

The special logo that appears today on the homepage of Google

If you want more detailed information, you can refer to the NASA website, which also offers some advice for the best viewing.

Friday, 7 August 2009

KDE - KDE 4.3.0 Caizen Release Announcement

I'm looking with renovated interest to the new releases of KDE project. I switched to Gnome when KDE arrived at the "famous" 4.0 release, also because I was not satisfied from the user experience of the new desktop. Gnome offered me a simple but more usable enviroment, I soon discovered.

Now, not that I'm not satisfied with Gnome, but I'm tempted to switch again in the other direction (or at least, at giving a try), since the recent improvements - as the so called "Social Desktopo" seems indeed quite intriguing... well, after all, the beauty of linux is the possibility to choose, don't you think ?

Posted via web from SegnaleRumore Express

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Google names Chrome OS partners

The reactions from the Linux crowd were mostly positive. Sometimes, however, they seemed to show the same nervous optimism that my dog gets when he sits panting and grinning by the door, wondering if he's going to be invited on the car trip.

Interesting article on Google OS and the various reaction...

Posted via web from SegnaleRumore Express

How We Know Chrome OS Will Be A Hit: Steve Ballmer Doesn’t Think So

There are a lot of questions out there about Google’s new Chrome OS. Since little is actually known about it, the most interesting questions right now tend to be about Google’s overall strategy in making a new OS. And if such a strategy will actually work. We tend to think it will, and that belief got a huge boost in the arm today as Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has finally come out and mocked the idea.

Admittedly, a bit facetious, but it's nevertheless an interesting and pleasant reading..

So, if you was wondering if the new operating system from Google is going to have a bright future, or conversely if it's only a bad move, now you finally have a way to make up your mind ;-)

Posted via web from SegnaleRumore Express

Monday, 13 July 2009

Posterous vs. Tumblr: A Head to Head

Interesting article focused on a detailed comparison between the two mini-blog services Tumblr and Posterous: topics covered are Posting Option, Customization, Community, Integration, Extras and Goodies and also The Celebrity Factor. Of course, the concluding section is "And the Winner is..." (guess who..!)

Posted via web from SegnaleRumore Express

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

KDE - KDE 4.3 Beta 2 Release Announcement

It's nice to see that the KDE project goes forward! I'm a Gnome user at the moment but I've been with KDE for several years. Who know, I could come back in a future. Or even better, I could use both of two (who knows....) . After all, the great thing is that in linux you truly have the possibility to choose........

Posted via web from SegnaleRumore Express

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

My Ubuntu 9.04

My Ubuntu 9.04
Inserito originariamente da mcastellani
I should admit that the upgrade to the most recent version of Ubuntu wasin my case a nice surprise. First of all, it took place in a really
simple and unproblematic way. Second, after the reboot of my system (a"not-so-new" Acer Aspire 3634 laptop) I discovered with pleasure thatthe "suspend mode" was now fully supported!

Another "out-of-the-box" nice suprise (which came completely unexpected) was the gained "two finger" scrolling mode in the touchpad (I can now scroll long pages with the coordinate movement of two finger, in the same way Max OS works). Really a great feature, enough to make me prefer the boot with linux in respect to Windows ;)

I just want to stress that all this took place without abstruse operations from the command line: this is surely a good thing, since for too long has been suppose that Linux was good for "geek" people and not for the majority of "normal persons"; I mean, persons who mainly use the computers to work or play, but normally do not dream at night (or, every night...) how to install the latest GNOME test release just got from the CVS repository.. ;)

I did appreciate also the new notification system (ok, it seems has been copied from Max OS.. but if something is good, why not to copy it?), working with a semitransparent window that opens at the top right of the desktop. Very useful, and I just discovered applications that take fully advantage of this new feature.

Overall, my assesment is (as you can easily guess) quite positive.
Let's admit, linux on desktop has done many step forward in recent years (and I can certainly say it since I am following it from a good amount of time...). In my opinion, if the hardware is properly recognized and managed (which in passing may still be a problem in many cases, since modern computers came with a lot of different devices, microphones, sound, graphics, 3D accelerations.. in many cases with proprietary drives) nowadays a computer (or laptop, or netbook) with a modern version of linux correctly installed, is not second to any other alternative, including not only Windows but also Mac OS X...

...what do you think, I'm exaggerating ? ;-)

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Orange (or lemon) juice and microblogs...

Reflecting on the different models of microblogs (those websites where you send frequent status updates, usually no larger than 140 characters), it seems to me that there is, beyond the subtle distinctions between the various platforms, a basic distinction can be made between two types of conversational models: one in which you can add actual comments to a given status, and another where you can only comment by "answering" with another status message, addressed to the person you want to respond.

Undeniably this latter model is by far the dominant, being adopted by Twitter (and in quite similar manner, also by the most recent, absolutely the first in terms of user base, when compared to all competitors. The "problem" (if we want to call it in this way) is that Twitter was not born as a tool for conversation: conversely, are the users themselves who invented the basic outline of "response", in adopting the convention now widely known to precede the username with "@" to indicate that a certain status is in response of the status of the given user.

Twitter itself has many advantages and peculiar characteristics, but here I want just to highlight how the conversational model is adopting may sound restrictive in many cases. Just an example, to clarify my point: let's suppose that - taken a beautiful day by a irrepressible curiosity - I write down in my preferred microblog the question "do you prefer orange or lemon juice?"

If I am in a Twitter-like microblog, each user will respond with a message in his own microblog, with a link to my question. My dear friend (so to say) Ciccio Baciccio - which closely follows all my status updates - will see, however, only those responses whose extenders are by chance also his contacts. Those of others (which I do not reply directly to my turn, then producing a link to them) are not visible at all, for Ciccio Baciccio. He can't even guess their number. Not a great problem, ordinarily. Unless he is interested, for some reason, to the full spectrum of responses to my important question, regardless of who is the sender of the items.

On the other hand, on a "conversational" platform, all the answers collected so far would be present, sorted by time, appended to my original post. And readily available, without having to "jump" from one site to another, in addition. Imagine a post that collects enough feedback (here is an example in Jaiku, or another in Qaiku), how might it became a complex thing in Twitter (for the latter of course I can not put a link, bacause is not contained in one page only).

This is not to say that one approach is necessarily better than the other: instead, it is conceptually different (it's not correct to compare apples with pears, as they also teach at school).

Anyway ... it is also true that everyone knows how frustrating is trying to reconnect the wires of an extended conversation on Twitter, or also keep tracks of what happened if by chance you has been away for a while ...

What do you think about it? Can it be a real problem for Twitter, or the model for which the replies and the posts belong to the same category, will win anyway? After all, not always the "best solutions" are the ones who win (I am lead to think of the history of VHS vs. Betamax, for instance, or of the diffusion of Windows compared to OS X and Linux...)

Derived from an original post in Italian (with a little help of Google Translator)

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

To Cambridge

Walking in Cambridge
Inserito originariamente da Edivaldo de Oliveira
Ok, I'm (more or less) ready. Tomorrow I'll fly to London, and then to Cambridge, to spent a few days (till Saturday) working with collaborator on the pipeline for the software of the satellite GAIA, to be launched in a couple of years.

Hope that the days I'll spend in Cambridge will be useful for my work, and even (why not) I hope to have also the possibility to walk around a bit and to explore the landscape... To Cambridge, then!

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Our Galaxy, in the infrared

One of my preferred sources for stunning astronomical images is surely APOD (Astronomical Picture of the Day). It certainly does a good job in making you aware of the fact that almost every day there is something interesting from the world of astronomy - something that even (let's say) ordinary people (without a specific scientific knowledge) can admire...

The image of Galactic center in infrared. Clicking on the image takes to an enlarged version (truly beautiful, but be careful that it may be heavy to load on slow connections)

Credit: Hubble: NASA, ESA, & D. Q. Wang (U. Mass, Amherst); Spitzer: NASA, JPL, & S. Stolovy (SSC/Caltech)

As an example, some days ago I stumbled upon this picture, very beautiful indeed. This image is really intriguing since is in fact made by a collection of several hundreds of different images. What we can see here is the center of our own Galaxy, in the infrared band. Since infrared is not blocked by the heavy concentration of dust and gas of the central zone of our Galaxy, as the ordinary visible light does, it is much more indicated for this kind of researches.

The image that appeared on the APOD website and here reproduced is actually made by a composition of more than two thousand images, taken by the instrument called NICMOS on board of the Hubble Space Telescope. The field of investigation does extend for about 300 and 115 light-years, in the two directions, and it has been taken with a resolution so great that even structures large about twenty times our Solar System turn out to be visible...!

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

What's in a name?

What's in a name? Well, after some (let's say) deep thinking (and some tests to discover what's still free at the rather crowded blogspot domain) I chose patch.panel while I was browsing wikipedia (in English, of course) looking among terms of informatic science. To quote the wikipedia entry "A patch panel or patch bay or jackfield is a panel, typically rackmounted, that houses cable connections. "

Admittedly, there is not particular reason for my choice; I simply stumbled upon this word and I liked it since is a term that can easily lead you to think about connections, even in a broad sense: i.e., connections between words, between concepts, or even, between different branches of knowledge.

If I'll keep on with this little experiment, in fact, my intention (you guess?) is to talk about my principal interests: among these, in no particular order, I should include the keywords astronomy, computers, linux, mac os, music, creative writing... Other will follow, as soon as I recall them ;-)

Briefly, Patch.panel deals with connections. So I felt it could be adequate for my little blog ;-)

Tuesday, 6 January 2009


Hello, this is just a little blog where I can freely experiment in writing my thoughts in English. Which, in passing, it's not my first language, as you can easily understand if you read my posts ;-)

My first language is italian, the language of my principal blog, which you can find here.

So, have a nice stay. Do not be afraid of comment to correct my rather poor grammar, by the way!