IPFS

The InterPlanetary File System is a peer-to-peer distributed file system that seeks to connect all computing devices with the same system of files … [which] could be seen as a single BitTorrent swarm, exchanging objects within one Git repository. IPFS attempts to address the distribution problems associated with centralised (client-server) file sharing, such as HTTP. It is composed of components which implement existing concepts: Distributed hash tables Block exchanges Merkle DAG Read: https://hackernoon.

Cryptography

From Greek κρυπτός, (kryptos) “hidden, secret”; and γράφειν (graphein) “writing” (or cryptology, -λογία, (-logia), “the study”, cryptography is a branch of information processing which studies techniques for secure communications over an untrusted channel, and of “cracking” such communications. Modern cryptography includes: encryption and decryption; authentication & authorisation; data integrity and confidentiality. “Classic” cryptography almost entirely revolved around encryption and decryption: creating cyphers (paired algorithms, usually with a key) to turn plaintext into cyphertext; some early work also involved hiding the message (steganography).

RAM, Vista, Ubuntu, sleep

The replacement RAM for my new workstation “curiousity” finally arrived yesterday, stuffed through the letterbox by the friendly neighbourhood courier to fall upon worn rental-property pile like the softest rain on virgin soils. I don’t normally get things delivered to my home address, since I’m always at work and the security entrance usually keeps the best delivery-people stranded beyond the glass; this time I was lucky that our neighbours are gutting their flat, so all the doors were propped open for the tradesmen.

Generation Turbines for rainy parts of the world

Here’s a thought: how much electricity could you get from a turbine generator placed inside an adapter roof run-off downpipe in a place as consistently rainy as Scotland? Would it be enough to trickle-charge a battery system for running throughout the day? What about if the house was kitted out with low-voltage appliances only? Is it even worth trying? Personally I think there’s a potential for both water- and wind-driven turbines around here — it is so windy and so rainy that it almost seems a shame to waste all that energy!

Is there such a thing as bad luck?

I’m really quite a skeptic, but this last week has me wondering whether bad luck is actually some physical phenomena that I just don’t know about. It has certainly seemed so in the last week – we seem to have caught “bad luck” like most people catch colds, and we’re only just starting to shake it off. First, I got an email back from Canonical/Ubuntu telling me that I didn’t even make a first interview for the Web Engineer role I went for – bummer.

Bad luck old chum

After a bit of bad luck, it turns out that I didn’t actually get the Canonical job – what a pity! I’ve also had a few days off work, so not done any Python coding, but I am playing with Subversion and installing all I need to try some development for the Nokia 770 so it’s not all bad.

Something useful for work downtime – Bazaar, Python

So I’ve applied for a job with Canonical, that wonderful company that (in cooperation with the community of course) brings us Ubuntu. In an effort to brush up my development skills I’ve now installed Bazaar and Python on my (Windows) workstation. In theory, this means I’ll be able to learn something useful during lunchtimes and the inevitable weekend conference calls. I’ve done a little Python before, but it’s been a while and I wasn’t exactly a guru even then.

LPIC-1 – Certification is fun!

Finally started my training for LPIC-1. This is going to be fun! Okay, more information: after a long talk with Dee last week, I decided that I needed to get into a career that was more closely aligned with my passions – namely GNU/Linux, open source software, GNOME, Ubuntu and especially hardware and embedded systems. Now, there’s a few opportunities here in Edinburgh for exactly this kind of thing, but my work history is completely as a Java developer and so convincing people that I “know” Linux is not the easiest thing to do.

PulseAudio

On Friday night I watched a presentation about PulseAudio, an open source and cross-platform sound server which could well finally bring decent desktop audio to GNU/Linux and other open systems. With PulseAudio you get “Compiz for sound” – mixing and redirecting of multiple channels (finally!) with individual (and remembered) volumes, hot-plugging of sound devices and the ability to direct audio streams to different devices, including networked devices. Even better, it provides a number of plugins and compatibility libraries so existing software doesn’t need to be modified and recompiled.

Ubiquitous music preferences

I’ve been using the very good AMSN instant messenger client to chat to my family and friends overseas, mostly because it’s the only open source client I could find that lets me use the webcam sharing features. This seems to work quite well, even on my aging Toshiba laptop and over an 802.11b wifi network — I can both send and receive webcam streams from people using *huck* Microsoft MSN Messenger, although there were some problems with being able to send a video stream from one of the newer messengers (my darling sister couldn’t find the option to switch it on, which makes me wonder why there are so many different “official” versions of MSN Messenger, when none seem to offer anything more than the cross-platform AMSN can.