Tag Archives: planet-ubuntu

RSS Reading – NewsBlur

Bye Tiny

Some recent hacking attempts at my site had convinced me to reduce the number of logins I had to protect on my personal site.   That’s what motivated a move from the -still- awesome Tiny Tiny RSS that I’ve been using since Google Reader ended.   I only follow 13 sites and maintaining my own install simply doesn’t make sense.

* None of the hacking attempts appeared to be targeting Tiny Tiny RSS ~ but then again I’m not sure if I would have noticed if they were.

Enter NewsBlur

My favorite site for finding alternatives to software quickly settled on a few obvious choices.  Then I noticed that one of them was both Open Source and Hosted on their own servers with a freemium model.

It was NewsBlur

I decided to try it out and haven’t looked back.  The interface is certainly different than Tiny (and after 3 years I was very used to Tiny ) but I haven’t really thought about it after the first week.   The only item I found a bit difficult to use was arranging folders ~ I’d really prefer drag and drop.   I only needed to do it once so not a big deal.

The free account has some limitations such as a limit to the number of feeds (64), limit to how fast they update, and no ability to save stories.   The premium account is only $24 a year which seems very reasonable if you want to support this service or need those features.  As of this writing there were about 5800 premium and about 5800 standard users, which seems like a healthy ratio.

Some security notes: the site get’s an A on  SSLLabs.com but they do have HSTS turned explicitly off.   I’m guessing they can’t enable HSTS because they need to serve pictures directly off of other websites that are HTTP only.

NewsBlur’s code is on Github including how to setup your own NewsBlur instance (it’s designed to run on 3 separate servers) or for testing/development.   I found it particularly nice that the guide the site operator will check if NewsBlur goes down is public.  Now, that’s transparency!

They have a bunch of other advanced features (still in free version) that I haven’t even tried yet, such as:

  • finding other stories you would be interested (Launch Intel)
  • subscribing to email newsletters to view in the feed
  • Apps for Android, iPhone and suggested apps for many other OSes
  • Global sharing on NewsBlur
  • Your own personal (public in free version) blurblog to share stories and your comments on them

Give NewsBlur a try today.  Let me know if you like it!

I’d love to see more of this nice combination of hosted web service (with paid & freemium version) and open source project.  Do you have a favorite project that follows this model?   Two others that I know of are Odoo and draw.io.

Once your organization get’s big enough…

it’s harder to keep everyone on the same page.  These are two emails I got from Mozilla in the last month.

Short Story:
MDN (their Wiki) is requiring everyone use a GitHub account now.
While add-ons.mozilla.org (addon authors/reviewers) is requiring everyone use a Firefox account now.
(Bugzilla can do a local account, a Persona account, or Github)

Just to be clear, this isn’t an issue specific to Mozilla, but I’d expect them to support OpenID more if their Persona initiative failed.

Aug 18
“Dear MDN contributor,

You are getting this message because you use Persona to log in to your account on MDN.

We are discontinuing Persona as a sign-in method. If you want to keep access to your account, you must link your profile to a GitHub account.

If you do not have a GitHub account, you will need to create one.

If you do not link your profile to a GitHub account by Oct. 31, you will not be able to log in to MDN using your current profile, create or update pages, or update your profile. We recognize that this is an inconvenience, and we apologize.

If you have questions, please let us know. You can also read more on MDN about this change.

Thank you,
The MDN Team”

July 28th
“In February 2016 we turned on Firefox Accounts as an authentication source for addons.mozilla.org (AMO). Since then, 80% of the developers who have visited AMO have migrated their account to a Firefox Account. We are writing to remind you to migrate your account as well.

We urge you to do so in the next few weeks, when the migration wizard will close and you will no longer be able to log in using your old AMO credentials. You can start the migration flow at https://addons.mozilla.org/users/login today.

After migration closes, you can still log in to your AMO account, but first you’ll have to create a Firefox Accounthttps://accounts.firefox.com/ using the same email address you use for your AMO account.

Sincerely,
The AMO Team”

When should i386 support for Ubuntu end?

Are you running i386 (32-bit) Ubuntu?   We need your help to decide how much longer to build i386 images of Ubuntu Desktop, Server, and all the flavors.

There is a real cost to support i386 and the benefits have fallen as more software goes 64-bit only.

Please fill out the survey here ONLY if you currently run i386 on one of your machines.  64-bit users will NOT be affected by this, even if you run 32-bit applications.
http://goo.gl/forms/UfAHxIitdWEUPl5K2

Ubuntu 16.04 LiveCD Memory Usage Compared

The latest Ubuntu LTS is out, so it’s time for an updated memory usage comparison.

1604MemoryCompare

Boots means it will boot to a desktop that you can move the mouse on and is fully loaded.  While Browser and Smooth means we can load my website in a reasonable amount of time.

Takeaways

Lubuntu is super efficient

Lubuntu is amazing in how much less memory it can boot in.  I believe it is still the only one with ZRam enabled by default, which certainly helps a bit.

I actually did the memory usage for ZRam to the nearest MB for fun.
The 32 bit version boots in 224 MB, and is smooth with Firefox at only 240MB!   The 64 bit boots at only 25 MB more (251), but is needs 384 MB to be smooth.

If you are memory limited, change flavors first, 32-bit won’t help that much

Looking just at “Browser and Smooth” because that’s a more clear use-case.  There is no significant memory  difference between the 32 and 64 bit varients of: Xubuntu,  Ubuntu Gnome, Ubuntu (Unity).

Lubuntu, Kubuntu, and Ubuntu Mate do have significant deltas, which let’s explore:
Kubuntu – If you are worried about memory requirements do not use.
Ubuntu Mate – It’s at most a 128MB loss, likely less.  (We did that to 128MB accuracy).
Lubuntu 64 bit is smooth at 384MB.  32 bit saves almost 144 MB!  If you are severally memory limited 32-bit Lubuntu becomes your only choice.

Hard Memory Limit
The 32-bit hard memory requirement is 224 MB. (Below that is panics)
The 64-bit hard memory requirement is 251 MB.  Both of these were tested with Lubuntu.

Check out the 14.04 Post.   I used Virt-Manager/KVM instead of Virtualbox for the 16.04 test.

Extras: Testing NotesSpreadsheet

Xenial Wine-development Debian backports

If like me, you like having the latest version of Wine, I’m providing a very simple backport of the Debian Wine packages in this PPA:
https://launchpad.net/~bryanquigley/+archive/ubuntu/wine

This won’t likely ever have the stable wine versions in it; it’s just the wine-development (1.9.xx series) package.   I’m hoping to be able to get some of the versions tested in this PPA made available as updates to Xenial.