Saturday, December 29, 2007

see ya later ... Netscape

All around the web candles are being lit for the once great browser we call Netscape. As sad as it sounds, we all take comfort that its legacy will live on thru Mozilla Firefox.

My earliest memory of Netscape was in college queuing up at the university library waiting for my turn to use the internet in 1994. On a 486 PC running Windows 3.1, I used Netscape and browsed the internet for the first time. My first ever download was Star Trek TNG icons and wallpapers from a gopher site I can no longer remember. Geeky huh ?

Here's a quick round up of the news, "obituaries" and "eulogies" around the web ....

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Check your Gmail filters .... and I mean NOW !!!!

Before anything else, login to Gmail now and check your filters and POP Forwarding settings and make sure there aren't any strange filters or e-mail address you don't recognize.

I read an incredibly alarming item from digg today about how an unscrupulous hacker stole someone's domain name by hacking into the person's gmail account.

David Airey, the victim, tells his story and the on-going saga to get his domain back in this blog post. If you're a freelancer, your website is your life, I can just imagine the emotional distress he is in.

According to the blog post, Google has already fixed this but the fix will NOT remove filters or settings that have been added or changed by the exploit, so I say again, check your Gmail account now.

Details of the hack can be found in

Monday, December 24, 2007

Holiday greetings and how Starbucks saved a man's life

I found this touching story from digg about how Starbucks saved Michael Gill's life.

Who is Michael Gill, you ask ? Go ahead, click the link and find out.

I think it's a fitting story to share this Christmas because it's about hope in time of great tribulations and finding happiness in the simplest things.

Happy Holidays everyone !!!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

NVIDIA Driver 169.07, Compiz and OpenSUSE 10.3

I left my PC to update overnight and I was surprised this morning after a reboot that Compiz isn't working anymore.

It seems the OpenSUSE updater upgraded the Nvidia drivers to version 169.07 but it broke Compiz in the process.

After some exhaustive googling I found the solution in this blog. It's in Italian and it seems meant for Ubuntu users but the code snippets were easy enough to follow and they worked for me on OpenSUSE 10.3

After installing the updates and rebooting, I noticed that compiz wasn't working anymore so I manually executed compiz from a gnome terminal and got this error ....

“No GLXFBConfig for default depth”

The solution according to M0rF3uS’ Ubuntu Blog is to execute the following in your terminal

LIBGL_ALWAYS_INDIRECT=1 compiz -–no-libgl-fallback -–replace ccp &

Alternatively, if you use fusion-icon to launch compiz, open the file


and locate the line with compiz_args.

edit it so that it looks like

compiz_args = [’–replace’, ‘–sm-disable’, ‘–ignore-desktop-hints’, ‘ccp’, ‘–no-libgl-fallback’]

Then, open a terminal and execute


UPDATE: This latest version of the NVIDIA drivers fixed the function keys that control the brightness on my T61. This means that I don't have to exit X windows anymore to adjust the brightness.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Microsoft Philippines sued for Piracy!

I dugg the story on one of the earlier news breaks ...

At the time I thought that it was probably an honest mistake on Microsoft Philippine's part.

Well, apparently, it wasn't.

From reading the most recent Inquirer article it seems that Microsoft was fully aware and even "tried to resolve the copyright dispute" as the title says.

It's also apparent that whatever Microsoft was offering to the university to resolve the dispute must have been unacceptable (to put it mildly) for it to actually go so far as to sue Microsoft Philippines and to name Microsoft Corp. in the US as a respondent.

Out of curiosity, I visited the university's website at While it's not as famous as it's neighbor from a few blocks away (DeLa Salle University) the university has been around since 1946.

The article says that "Microsoft Philippines Inc. is disappointed", I think and believe the proper term is stunned that a little known university would challenge them in court and sue them for something that they are, ironically, staunch advocates.

I would dare say that if Microsoft Philippines was dealing with DLSU, UP or Ateneo, the story would be very different.

On the other hand, it could be a huge malicious publicity stunt but an incredibly risky one at that, even if they have Estelito Mendoza as their lawyer, because, all things considered, they're not suing just any company, they're suing the company that made the Internet Explorer browser, the spreadsheet application (MS Excel) and word processor (MS Word) that you and many people around the world use, and a company that has been known to exert "influence" on governments and entities.

I'm rooting for the underdog here.

Any person or organization should think twice, thrice and ten times before thinking of challenging a giant with vast resources such as Microsoft. To step forward and sue is either incredibly foolish or admirably principled. I hope they are the latter.

As a final note ...

The article also quotes a statement from Microsoft Philippines ...

" .... For all intents and purposes, this is a purely local matter which does not involve Microsoft Corporation, ... ”

I seriously beg to differ because if Microsoft loses this case, they will also lose the "moral pedestal" to demand companies to abide by intellectual property and copyright laws.

So the world will be watching, reading and listening in anticipation of what "Goliath" will do to "David" and if "David" can slay the giant or whether he will just give up in the end.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Why Not Forums : Our local version of TED

They could probably do a better job with the website, nevertheless, I can only describe this forum as the local, proudly Filipino, version of TED.

I wouldn't be surprised if it's patterned after it. Their tag line "Think New Thoughts, Share Big Dreams, Do Brave Things" isn't that far away from "Ideas worth sharing" , if not a bolder, stronger more inspiring statement.

It's the 2nd time for this forum, the first having been held last Sept 27. Our Awesome Planet's Anton attended and wrote a review of that event. Apparently he wasn't all that thrilled with the line up of speakers. Nevertheless, I got wind of Why Not Forums 2.0 from his most recent blog entry to date and the line up seems much better this time around.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Pulse Audio the "Compiz for Audio" on OpenSUSE

Fedora 8 made waves with Pulse Audio when it was released. It was such a hit that other linux distributions are following suite. OpenSUSE 10.3 users (yours truly included) can now install Pulse Audio using the one click install.

So what's the big deal over Pulse Audio ?
  1. With Pulse Audio, you can run multiple applications (e.g. skype, pidgin, flash video on firefox, Banshee) that use sound and you can hear them all at the same time, even go so far as to control the volume for each application.
  2. Works with or over existing audio systems like ESD for Gnome and aRTS for KDE.
  3. From : "PulseAudio can route audio from multiple sources to multiple sinks, both locally and over the network. You can use it to combine multiple soundcards into a single virtual device, to forward music from one PC to another, or to share a single microphone as an input between multiple PCs." Cool !!!
It was an easy installation, the one click install did most of the work for me, although I still had to do a couple of additional things to get it to work. If you happen to have OpenSUSE 10.3 with GNOME, use the one click install and try the following to get Pulse Audio up and running :
  1. After the one click install completes, login as root and edit /etc/group and add all the users who will use Pulse Audio on your system to the pulse group.
  2. Reboot your system
  3. Login as a desktop user, in the Gnome Control Center click Sessions.
  4. In the Startup Programs tab click Add
  5. Type PulseAudio Server on the name field.
  6. Type pulseaudio & on the command field.
  7. Locate and run the PulseAudio Device Chooser from your Application Browser
  8. Logut and then login again.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

YUI 2.4.0

On the heels of the release of ExtJs 2.0 comes YUI 2.4.0 and it comes packed with some interesting (at least to me) stuff like :
  • charting control/widget
  • it's own css selector engine (about time !)
  • json utility
Is it me or is YUI starting to look more and more like dojo ? I hope Yahoo doesn't do a "dojo" and separate the widgets into their own code base with it's own branding, frankly "Yijits" or "Yuidgets" sounds ridiculous :-)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Ext 2.0 stable release is out

A pleasant surprise today.

Ext 2.0 has graduated from RC1. The "stable release" is already available for download at

There's a new file called CHANGES.txt which outlines the changes between 2.0RC1 and 2.0 stable.