Understanding the Higgs

NASA’s daily astronomy blog explains what the Higgs Boson is and why it matters:


Downloading PDF Documentation for ReadTheDocs Projects

Every Python developer is familiar with Read The Docs‘ beautiful HTML documentation for numerous open source projects. However, few developers know that Read the Docs hosts PDF versions of every project’s documentation.

Here, for example, is the url to Django-Tastypie’s PDF docs:


You can replace django-tastypie with the slug for any Read the Docs project.


Hide Google Plus Notifications on Google and Gmail

Tired of Google aggressively pushing Google Plus? Don’t want to share your search results with friends?  Not feeling social while you read your email?

I wrote a tiny userstyle to hide Google Plus notifications on Google and Gmail. I’ll update it as necessary.


VLC Illegal Under ACTA?

VLC  uses libdvdcss and ignores region codes.

From the final version of ACTA:

5. Each Party shall provide adequate legal protection and effective legal remedies against the circumvention of effective technological measures that are used by authors, performers or producers of phonograms in connection with the exercise of their rights in, and that restrict acts in respect of, their works, performances, and phonograms, which are not authorized by the authors, the performers or the producers of phonograms concerned or permitted by law.

Considering that region codes are an arbitrary software restriction, surely they aren’t considered an effective technological measure. Or are they?

Without prejudice to the scope of copyright or related rights contained in a Party’s law, technological measures shall be deemed effective where the use of  protected works, performances, or phonograms is controlled by authors, performers or producers of phonograms through the application of a relevant access control or protection process, such as encryption or scrambling, or a copy control mechanism, which achieves the objective of protection.

Do you notice something funny about that definition? It removes the criteria that effective technological measures be effective. Bypassing region codes might be legal, depending on how broadly you interpret the above, but playing encrypted dvds on Linux is out of the question.

Stop ACTA. More here.

If you are reading this on Planet GNOME, follow my blog directly. This is my last week on PGO.


Goodbye Planet GNOME

I have been a Planet GNOME blogger for almost three years now. Every post has been a pleasure. I learned some truly odd and interesting things, like how to strangely pass parameter in C and how the kernel reads shebangs.

For over two years PGO has put up with my oddities, like buying AskJeevesMom.com and writing poems about Mars, and discussing interplanetary CDNs. I never received warnings to stay on topic or to get my act together, but I can’t say I never feared it. All those fears were unfounded. The GNOME community is the most friendly and welcoming online community I know. #gnome-hackers was my home as a teenager and I don’t think I heard a dirty word once. The GNOME community simply rocks.

Knowing that my posts end up on PGO has always made blogging seem like a bold and glorious undertaking, though I felt a midget among giants. My posts end up on the same page where HP blogs and Mark Shuttleworth announces and incredible kernel hackers post all sorts of things I don’t understand, but maybe one day will.

Tonight I’m saying goodbye because in three weeks my blog will be removed from PGO and I support that decision.

You see, my blog was once about GNOME and Linux. When I was added to PGO in 2009, I was a new and passionate GNOME user who blogged about Zeitgeist. Today I use OS X and occasionally GNOME 2. I used to be passionate about FOSS, but nowadays I’m a student and I’m just happy if I eat two meals a day, preferably with a cup of fresh squeezed orange juice, assuming that isn’t over-budget, but of course it always is.

It has been a pleasure. If you want to follow me, subscribe to my blog’s RSS feed, follow @aantn or plus me - or even just email me. Do people still use RSS? I still use email. You can even send me an old fashioned letter with a cookie inside, but you’ll have to email me for my address and I can’t promise to eat the cookie. Okay, I wont eat it. But I’ll stay in touch and hopefully some of you will too.

So long and thanks for all the fish.

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