For quite a while now, I’ve been annoyed by the system notification
volume going to 100% on my Debian systems, regardless of my attempts to
set it to a lower level. For example, when I open the KDE System
Settings app, change something, then try to close the window, the sound
that accompanies the save/discard/cancel alert is always startlingly
I think I have finally found a fix: in your /etc/pulse/daemon.conf,
put in a line saying
flat-volumes = no
(You should find an existing comment “; flat-volumes = yes” that
indicates the default.)
You can make this new setting take effect in the current session
immediately without having to logout or reboot, by executing the
following as the currently-logged-in user:
(This kills and restarts the PulseAudio daemon for your user session.)
There are several discussions of the pros and cons of this issue online,
going back some years. For example, here
<https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1265267>. Also a mention
about the “flat-volumes” setting in the ever-reliable Arch Linux Wiki
A pretty sobering read
Qualcomm's first weapon against competitors: patent licensing terms
requiring customers to pay a royalty on every phone sold—not just
phones that contained Qualcomm's wireless chips.
Judge Koh draws a direct parallel to licensing behavior that got
Microsoft in legal trouble in the 1990s. Microsoft would offer PC
makers a discount if they agreed to pay Microsoft a licensing fee
for every PC sold—whether or not the PC shipped with a copy of
MS-DOS. This effectively meant that a PC maker had to pay twice if
it shipped a PC running a non-Microsoft operating system.
There’s a lot more--the article reads like a catalogue of gangster-like
tactics. All of which is perfectly all right under the US
interpretation of “Free Enterprise”, of course ...
Also, reading the details of how Qualcomm managed to sabotage Intel’s
efforts to develop 5G chips, it seems to me that Qualcomm is directly
responsible for the situation today where US companies are lagging
behind Chinese ones like Huawei in 5G capability.
If there is anybody else besides me who wondered what happened to Edge
TV, as of the beginning of this month it is no longer on Freeview, it
can now only be viewed as an online stream
In the last few days of June, there was a promo announcing that it
was going HD, but I don’t recall it mentioning that it was leaving the
MediaWorks chief executive Michael Anderson says the move is in
line with audience trends, which show people primarily consume
music videos online.
While that may be mostly true, personally I would go look for videos on
YouTube after seeing them first on Edge TV.
Apple’s TV+ streaming service is coming soon, followed by Disney’s one
Disney+ will break Sky's longtime near-monopoly on Disney content
in these parts. Disney says that, ultimately, Disney+ will be the
exclusive home of its content.
So to get a comparable range of TV content to that you currently have
free-to-air, you are going to have to subscribe to two or three or
maybe more different streaming services. The increasing multitude of
things to pay for isn’t about choice, but about no choice at all.
Part <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgNYQsdxlMw> of a series
reviewing an ARM-based device that is not a Chromebook. Seems to have
remarkable build quality for its price, offers versatility for those who
like to tinker, and the battery life and performance are also quite
reasonable. The main downside is some issues with multimedia in
browsers (e.g. YouTube).
This week’s “Listening Post” on Al Jazeera (viewable here
talks, in the latter part, about this new phenomenon of “open source”
journalism. My understanding is, the meaning of “source” here is not
that of “source code” familiar to software developers, but “source of
information” as understood by journalists.
That means getting information from public sources available to all.
Even a tightly-controlled society like China makes a surprising amount
of information freely available online--more than it really wants to
make available, sometimes. And this information can be pieced together
like a puzzle by perceptive investigators, to point to conclusions
which can be directly at odds with public pronouncements from
'Because some internet websites unfairly block browsers from accessing
their services, starting with Vivaldi 2.10, released today, the
Vivaldi browser plans to disguise itself as Chrome to allow users to
access websites that unfairly block them. From a report:
Vivaldi will do this by modifying its default user-agent (UA) string
to the UA string used by Chrome. A UA string is a piece of text that
browsers send to websites when they initiate a connection. The UA
String contains data about the browser type, rendering engine, and
operating system. For example, a UA string for Firefox on Windows
looks like this: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64; rv:71.0)
Gecko/20100101 Firefox/71.0. UA strings have been in use since the
90s. For decades, websites have used UA agent strings to fine-tune
performance and features or block outdated browsers. However, many
website owners these days use UA strings to block users from accessing
their sites. Some do it because they're not willing to deal with
browser-specific bugs, some do it because of pettiness, while big tech
companies like Google and Microsoft have done it (and continue to do
it) to sabotage competitors on the browser market.'
-- source: https://tech.slashdot.org/story/19/12/19/2041250
Dept. of Computer Science
University of Waikato, NZ
+64 (7) 858-5174
'Last month, the engineering department at Slack—an instant messaging
platform commonly used for community and small business
organization—released a new distributed VPN mesh tool called Nebula.
It's difficult to coherently explain Nebula in a nutshell. According
to the people on Slack's engineering team, they asked themselves "what
is the easiest way to securely connect tens of thousands of computers,
hosted at multiple cloud service providers in dozens of locations
around the globe?" And (developing) Nebula was the best answer they
had. It's a portable, scalable overlay networking tool that runs on
most major platforms, including Linux, MacOS, and Windows, with some
mobile device support planned for the near future.
Nebula-transmitted data is fully encrypted using the Noise protocol
framework, which is also used in modern, highly security-focused
projects such as Signal and WireGuard. Unlike more traditional VPN
technologies—including WireGuard—Nebula automatically and dynamically
discovers available routes between nodes and sends traffic down the
most efficient path between any two nodes rather than forcing
everything through a central distribution point.'
-- source: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2019/12/nebula-vpn-routes-between-hosts-pri…
Dept. of Computer Science
University of Waikato, NZ
+64 (7) 858-5174