Wednesday, 31 October 2012

openSUSE 12.2 on a Samsung R510, almost perfect out of the box!

Had the brightness function buttons worked...but the solution is very simple.

Just  add acpi_backlight=vendor to the boot loader and the brightness buttons will now work as intended, controlling the backlight.

This will also apply to other Samsung Netbooks/Laptops.

On the subject of openSUSE 12.2, I have to say it is a very nice release.

Everything seems to be working, it is fast and nippy!

The two months of extra stabilisation have really paid off, I find it annoying when a distribution that has an emphasis on stability such as openSUSE or Ubuntu is released in a too much of a buggy state.

But we must meet the release schedule....

In the case of a community project, is meeting the release schedule more important than providing users with a better experience?

I think we can safely say no, and if the release schedule has to be delayed in order to provide users with a better experience it should be done without question.

Putting the users first is what makes a true community project, so well done openSUSE.

You fulfilled one of your guiding principles, to make users happy.

One comparison I always make when using a Linux distribution is how speedy / responsive it feels when compared to Windows 7, with concern to openSUSE 12.2 I am having a hard time deciding.

That's a good thing if you ask me.

I don't expect the battery time to be better as some Windows drivers have better power management features, such as the Intel display driver which allows you to adjust the power setting (High performance / lower power consumption) and create a profile when using the battery / mains power.

I have yet to poke around in the Intel Linux driver / kernel module, maybe an equivalent setting is there.

I noticed KDE no longer provides a battery time estimate, a decision made by the KDE team. See here for further information -

Essentially it was too inaccurate, which I would have to agree with. Even Windows is inaccurate for that matter.

There must be something to complain about?

Works well, looks really good, the artwork in 12.2 really goes that extra mile but there is no point making things look good if the end result is not going to be practical.

Try editing your kernel boot entry at start up, that really nice light green background does not go well with the light grey text. It is a struggle to read certain parts.

I was feeling too lazy to set up a VirtualBox but this photo of my laptop screen gives a good idea.

Overall, my first impressions of openSUSE 12.2 are positive and it is a distribution worth trying at the very least. And if it remains on my R510 till the end of the year, I would award openSUSE 12.2 best distribution of 2012.

You did a good job on this one openSUSE Project!

Friday, 19 October 2012

First thing to do after installing Ubuntu 12.10, protect your privacy!

Protect your privacy!

By default Ubuntu 12.10 will record all your keystrokes / search terms when using the Unity Dash and send it to their servers and other third parties.

Personally I think this really sucks.

There can be no doubt that they anticipated many users will remain oblivious to this change / practice,  such users will therefore have their privacy compromised.

Even if it is out of their own ignorance, ie because these users did not read the manual, where privacy is concerned there needs to be solid boundaries.

Canonical Ltd relying on a 'unless you opt out' style Legal Notice (see below) is just not good enough.

Searching in the dash -
Legal notice This search function is provided to you by Canonical Group Limited (Canonical). This legal notice applies to searching in the dash and incorporates the terms of Canonical's legal notice (and privacy policy).
Collection and use of data
When you enter a search term into the dash Ubuntu will search your Ubuntu computer and will record the search terms locally.
Unless you have opted out (see the “Online Search” section below), we will also send your keystrokes as a search term to and selected third parties so that we may complement your search results with online search results from such third parties including: Facebook, Twitter, BBC and Amazon. Canonical and these selected third parties will collect your search terms and use them to provide you with search results while using Ubuntu.
By searching in the dash you consent to:
the collection and use of your search terms and IP address in this way; and
the storage of your search terms and IP address by Canonical and such selected third parties (if applicable).
Canonical will only use your search terms and IP address in accordance with this legal notice and our privacy policy. Please see our privacy policy for further information about how Canonical protects your personal information. For information on how our selected third parties may use your information, please see their privacy policies.
Online Search
You may restrict your dash so that we don’t send searches to third parties and you don't receive online search results. To do this go to the Privacy panel and toggle the ‘Include online search results’ option to off. The Privacy panel can be found in your System Settings or via a dash search. For a current list of our selected third parties, please see
Although most changes are likely to be minor, Canonical may change this legal notice from time to time, and at Canonical's sole discretion. Please check this page from time to time for any changes to this legal notice as we will not be able to notify you directly.
How to contact us
Please submit any questions or comments about searching in the dash or this legal notice by contacting us at the following address: Canonical Group Ltd, 5th Floor, Blue Fin Building, 110 Southwark Street, London, England, SE1 0SU.

Those that for whatever reason remain unaware of this change / practice, the legal notice serves to protect Canonical Ltd, allowing them to legally exploit such users.

Ask yourself, why does Canonical Ltd choose to collect data by default?

Answer, because they know the vast majority, if not all users would never optionally choose to submit data that may potentially compromise their privacy.

The "unless you opt out" approach never goes down well with anyone, it is a commercial practice that causes nothing but headaches and controversy, Verizon anyone??

If you would like to opt out and prevent Ubuntu 12.10 collecting / sending your data to Canonical Ltd and their partners, run the Privacy application and change the settings.


As stated in the Ubuntu 12.10 Legal Notice, turn off the setting, "Include online search results"

Well played Canonical Ltd!