28 May 2012

G'bye Linuxtag 2012

Submitted by blizzz

As posted before, I spent the last week at LinuxTag in Berlin. For us (ownCloud) it was pretty good. It was our first appeareance there, hence we got a lot of interest and visitors. We got higher visibility through the two booths, i suppose, but especially because of our most recent ownCloud 4 release. All in all a good combination that made ownCloud overtake Ubuntu One in Google Trends (12 months view, click to enlarge).

Google Trends: ownCloud vs. Ubuntu One

During LinuxTag, Frank also gave an interview to Golem, a German online magazine, about features and the history of ownCloud and the company behind.

22 May 2012

This years LinuxTag is coming close! For the nth year in a row the German Kubuntu community will represent their distribution of choice at Europe's leading conference for Linux and Open Source. For the first time, also ownCloud will attend there, with a community and a commercial booth.

It will also be the first time for me not to be directly an the Kubuntu booth, but – thorugh my involvement – mainly there for ownCloud. We also just released ownCloud 4! We like to give you a look on our freshly baked version, meet us and drive us up the wall with questions.

22 Feb 2012

Getting ownCloud into UCS

Submitted by blizzz
First for those who do not know it yet: since start of February I am happily working for the free software (open source) project ownCloud. My main tasks are to integrate ownCloud into other products, for example into the Univention Corporate Server (short UCS). As the ownCloud project will stay under the AGPL, there will be no secret code behind. The basic integration consists of creating a UCS package which nicely installs into the server and does auto-configuration and joining the environment. The goal: after installing ownCloud via package management it is instantly available for the users. That means, the setup procedure runs automatically and the LDAP module will be configured, so that users may login directly after installation.
28 Nov 2011

Have you already heard about a search engine called DuckDuckGo? I am aware of it for, I think, far more than a year. And recently I have (subjectively) noticed a rising amount of posts related to DuckDuckGo, especially in the Open and Free Software Aspects (while I was writing this post, Linux Mint announced to start using DuckDuckGo as default search engine). It looks like more and more people are looking for an alternative to Google, which does not track users' data. I have had a critical view on DuckDuckGo before and still have it, though undoubtedly it has some positive facets.


To take away some illusions beforehand: DuckDuckGo is neither free nor open source software, but proprietary, and only some parts are open-sourced. Although i have not had a deeper look into the source, it pretty much looks like that the ranking algorithm e.g. is not open. They only stress the importance of inbound links, which is hopefully not a too strong ranking factor...

Nevertheless, the best way to get good rankings (in pretty much all search engines) is to get links from high quality sites like Wikipedia. Source
12 Feb 2011
So yesterday Nokia announced its strategic partnership with Microsoft. It brought quite a disturbance on the industry and users, especially the free software community. As owner and main driver of the Qt Framework and driver of the free and Linux based smart phone operating systems Maemo and MeeGo, of course Symbian too, this will have quite an impact on the development and future of those products. With Microsoft breathing down Nokia's neck it is clear, that it will not be bright in this context. And moreover there is also a social impact. Let's take a look on the different aspects one by one:


Qt as a cross platform framework has most value for Nokia. Though I am not sure if it is compatible with Windows Mobile 7, it would make sense to develop the compatibility. If only to write applications only once, for Symbian, MeeGo and that Win stuff. Symbian will still be used in the low price segment and MeeGo phones, computers i mean, are not abandoned, yet. Well, you can have your doubts on this [1]:
31 Dec 2010

27C3 Day 4

Submitted by blizzz

This has been the last day of a packed congress with amazing people and talks. Let me highlight the session I attented today, before i get to a short conclusion.

We come in peace, slogan of 27C327C3's slogan: We come in peace

Which freedom do you choose?

The very first and excellent session dealt with Political Philosophy in FOSS. Adam Obeng roughly introduced Politics (on power) and Philosophy (on thinking really hard) as well as their combination, which takes the methods of philosophy and the subject matters of politics. The main part followed, in which he discussed freedom as used in the most popular FOSS licenses GPL and BSD on this base. He was very good in making clear how hard it is to find a definition of desirable freedom, because there is always a hook. The GPL on one side uses a "focuses freedom", because it is focused on the people as a group. As a restrictive license there are rules, that need to be followed, like redistributing software under a compatible license (copyleft). BSD, on the other hand, focuses on the freedom of a single person: take it and do whatever you want. For a better comparison the gave the example of "The General Slavery License" where people needed to provide work measured in LOC or time. This could leed to great software, brings forward the freedom of all users, but limits the freedoms of the programmers.

30 Dec 2010

27C3 Day 3

Submitted by blizzz

So this has been the third day of 27C3 and as such three fourth of the conference have passed. Absolutely a pity on the one side, on the other i am looking forward to catch up with my sleep demand. At least i have not too much blood in my caffeinstream. Today, i enqueued to the people who toppled down one or two times Mate bottles, which causes the famous and original hacker conference background sound. The talks I attended this day were unlike the day before more society related. But read for yourself:

Daniel Domscheit-Berg on Iceland Modern Media Initiative at 27C3Daniel Domscheit-Berg on his talk about IMMI at 27C3

A look on 2010

The first appearance today made Constanze Kurz, Frank Rieger, Andy Müller-Maguhn and Andreas Bogk from CCC in giving a retrospect of 2010. When they presented the development of member numbers as first thing by tradition, they welcomed the CCC's (basically a German club) first member from India. It followed a long, but entertaining report of the months, including (besides other)

29 Dec 2010

27C3 Day 2

Submitted by blizzz

So, today I reexperienced that picking out talks that are more or less above my skill level in combination with a lack of sleep is not an ideal situation here. Nevertheless i am sure i can draw a picture of what has happened, even if not too extensively.

Number crunching with FPGAs

I made it just in time to this talk (problem: with only one consumed cup of coffee). I was rather curious on how things go ("for the masses" in the title gave that impression), but if you have no real knowledge in electro-technics it is a bit like magic. So, what Felix Domke did was to show how a DES cipher could be brute forced in a certain time (~1 week) with a certain budget (~1k €). Usual ways of doing so (e.g. with CPUs, GPUs) are too expensive as loads of them are used to achieve the goal in the specified time. So, what he did was to buy some used boards with FPGAs on ebay and program them. Therefore he made use of the project Copacobana - short for cost-optimized parallel code breaker. Furthermore he is interested in sharing the calculation power. An opportunity is the Dreambox receiver which is fitted with FPGAs and can be used while on standby.

28 Dec 2010

27C3 Day 1

Submitted by blizzz

In Berlin's winter the 27th Chaos Communication Congress started again at the bcc, next to Alexanderplatz. Hence the available amount of tickets was a lot higher than demand i am happy that i got a full ticket in the presale. And luckily, i made it through the unusual strong winter from my family, where i spent christmas, back to Berlin in time, thanks to two guys from Duisburg, who offered me a ride.

27c3 at bcc in berlin27C3 at Berlin Congress Center (bcc)

Just like last year, I want to sum up what i have heard and seen at 27C3 each day.

27 Oct 2010
Last weekend I hat some nice chats as well at Ubuntu Release Party in Berlin, as well as something like a talk circle. Out of those I like to share some application tipps with you:
  • style

    style is a command line utility that can analyse German and English texts and gives out a whole lot of statistics. Style differs among the parts readability, sentence info and sentence beginnings. From Camilla's point of view, who introduced this tool to us, the Flesch-value, which ranges from 0 to 100 (except for C language ;) ). This, some other rates and statistic information like number of long and short sentences are given and are useful to stylecheck your documents.