Pawel Debski – SW Development and other thoughts

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Protected: Bex Finch’s sleepwalker

Seemingly So

Bex Finch is an American photographer who specialises in environmental portraiture and self-portraiture. When her father was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease, she began capturing portraits, both of her father as his disease progressed and of herself coping with the reality of his condition.

“Sleepwalker’s self-portraits are an attempt to understand what he is going through: feeling increasingly lost, directionless, and disconnected from his surroundings, and living with the fact that it will only get worse.”

Bex Finch sleepwalker

Bex Finch sleepwalker

Bex Finch sleepwalker

Bex Finch sleepwalker

Bex Finch sleepwalker

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Written by Pawel Debski

2016/12/23 at 21:25

Posted in Uncategorized

Make Ubuntu play CD and DVD

As Windows 10 is unusable for me I decided to switch to Linux almost entirely. Therefore I’m testing various distributions and make different test subjects use them. I always thought that the biggest challenge would be a dumb user of an old auntie sort. Apparently not! Ubuntu works great for the gunea pig – fabulous. It works even better than new crippled Windows – my dear ginuea pig had Windows XP so far and on her old computer with just 3GB RAM and Core2Duo we had even no need for Lubuntu. And the user interface of full Ubuntu was a love at first sight for the lady. Congratulations to the Ubuntu team.

First challenge was with playing CD – the lady has a big collection of music CDs and the modern iPods and other devil inventions like buying music files on-line are absent from her soul. Unfortunately when she inserts a CD various applications dump core on her. In this case being on friendly terms with a sorcerer who controls devil forces helps.

I was well prepared to take-up the challenge – I had guest Ubuntu in VirtualBox already installed. I even had a USB CD/DVD drive and it took me a second to add it as a CD drive in my virtual machine.

Ubuntu storage settings - CD host drive

Ubuntu storage settings – CD host drive

But when I inserted a music CD the first obstacle appeared – I can see the files, but I cannot play the music – both Rhythmbox and Sound Juicer swear at me with error messages.

Is this a problem for a real hero? I bet not.

Quick Internet search revealed a “passthrough” option:

Ubuntu storage settings - passthrough option for a CD host drive

Ubuntu storage settings – passthrough option for a CD host drive

Astonished that an USB drive is added as a secondary IDE device? No wonder – all the fuss about about virtualization is that all different sorts of strange modern devices can potentially be presented in a well known and stable way to the guest systems. That’s actually a subject per se for the whole article.

Voilà – now Rhythmbox works like a charm. I can listen to the CDs and even make flacs out of it (Sound Juicer required). And what a nice surprise – it connects to the musicbrainz.org and downloads the CD description, song titles etc. Well, to say the truth, not much downloading but rather uploading – apparently Music Brainz collection of classic CDs is rather scarce. However if you google well there is an alternative solution with CDDB of freedb.org which is much richer, they say.

Now the second topic of my post – playing DVD. To make long things short – do not fight with Totem – just install VLC media player that’s available via Ubuntu Software Center. VLC Player has everything you need and worked for me from the first try.

Big yellow bro’s watching your phone…

After Lenovo scandals with notebooks’s BIOS autodownloading backdoor software we have now a series of spying and cyberwar

Big yellow bro’s watching your phone… (picture by The Hacker News)

Big yellow bro’s watching your phone…

acts from China targeting Android

Anyone heard about “Open mobile hardware initiative”? Leave your comments below…

Written by Pawel Debski

2016/11/21 at 18:09

US presidential elections 2016 and Russia

For some time I could not make up my mind in regard of US 2016 elections candidates and the actual involvement of Russia and Putin to influence the result of the presidential elections.

Hillary Clinton; Vladimir Putin; Donald Trump (Credit: AP / Andrew Harnik / Richard Shiro / Reuters / Ivan Sekretarev / Salon)

Hillary Clinton; Vladimir Putin; Donald Trump (Credit: AP / Andrew Harnik / Richard Shiro / Reuters / Ivan Sekretarev / Salon)

This article provides finally some insight on what’s going on: http://www.salon.com/2016/10/29/pwned-by-putin-how-the-russian-despot-ruthlessly-trolled-our-so-called-democracy/

Any comments welcome. I’d particularly welcome opinions from the other side of the Big Pond.

Written by Pawel Debski

2016/10/29 at 23:26

Pislam w Radio

Ze wględu na nienawiść wylewającą się mediów publicznych całą rodziną już jakiś czas temu zrezygnowaliśmy z telewizji, a radio w zasadzie na stałe przerzuciliśmy na jedną ze stacji komercyjnych. Nawet jesteśmy przyjemnie zaskoczeni poziomem programu. Po pewnym czasie zaglądam na moją ukochaną Trójkę i co widzę?

Pislam w radio - collage by Tomasz Lawnicki #kogoniesylchac

Pislam w radio – collage by Tomasz Lawnicki #kogoniesylchac

Kaczyści panoszą się na całego i tłamszą wolne media. Wraca komuna. Czy sytuacja nie za bardzo przypomina Niemcy w latach trzydziestych? Faszyści też zaczynali od opanowania mediów i poszukiwania wroga wewnętrznego.

Written by Pawel Debski

2016/10/23 at 16:29

Brexit gets serious – bye bye Britain

UK in Europe

UK in Europe (image courtesy of Wikipedia)

We’ve just had the Brexit referendum and I started to get the following messages from my service providers:

As you are aware, on 23 June 2016, the United Kingdom (UK) decided by referendum to direct its government to exit the European Union (EU). Since we currently host your data in the UK, we write to inform and assure you that we are already planning for a UK exit, even though the exit may not occur for years. First and foremost, we will continue to host data in locations subject to EU data protection laws. We recognize the importance many of our clients place on having their data hosted exclusively in such countries. Therefore, in the wake of a UK exit from the EU, we will ensure client data can be hosted elsewhere in the EU as necessary.

Hmm, apparently the Brits got crazy…

Written by Pawel Debski

2016/06/27 at 14:10

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , ,

North Korea involved in stealing money via SWIFT?

Symantec blog post SWIFT header

Symantec blog post SWIFT header

#FBI concluded that the #NorthKorea government was responsible for a #Lazarus #hacking group that has been linked to string of aggressive #attack s since 2009. Initially largely focused on targets in the #US and #SouthKorea. The group was linked to #Backdoor.Destover, a highly destructive Trojan that was the subject of an FBI warning after it was used in an attack against #Sony Pictures Entertainment. This #malware in turn shares similarities with the #code used to break into the #SWIFT #network and steal funds from a number of #bank s recently. It is of course possible that somebody duped poor #Korea ns, but having lived so many years under communist rule I do not want to believe that they are innocent as babes.

Read details on Symantec blog post here…

Written by Pawel Debski

2016/05/30 at 10:55