GMail Desktop Notifications in Chrome

Google just released GMail desktop notifications for Chrome browsers. The latest feature will notify GMail users if they have a new email or a chat message. The new feature will alert users even though they’re not looking right at GMail. The latest wrinkle to GMail requires Chrome, and users are logged in to Gmail or to Google in general. This latest feature will not work with any other browser. Google said the notification feature is set to “on” by default, although mine was turned off. To turn it on, just follow these instructions provided by Google:

Chat notifications are enabled by default, but you can disable them in your Gmail settings. To enable or disable email or Chat notifications, follow these steps:

  1. Click the gear icon in the upper-right corner of Gmail, and then select Mail settings.
  2. On the General tab, select the option you’d like in the Desktop Notifications section. You’ll be able to turn Chat notifications on or off, and can also choose to turn email notifications off, receive notifications for all incoming email, or only those Gmail marks ‘important’.
  3. Click Save.

Twitter Set To Launch

Twitter is set to launch its own photo sharing service called The new service will compete with Twitpic, Yfrog, Instagram and Flickr. The announcement is expected to be given Wednesday at the D9 conference at Rancho Palos Verdes, California. This is according to the Guardian. It will be interesting service since most people are already using Twitpic and Yfrog. Will it catch on?

Linux Kernel Big Jump to 3.0.0

If you’ve been a fan of Linux, you probably have seen the miniscule version changes from one Linux kernel to another. As an example, there was a recent version change from to The current stable version of the Linux kernel is version 2.6.39 . So, what’s the reason for the big jump to version 3.0.0?

Well, nothing. It’s just the the Linus Torvalds and his kernel development team decided to jump to 3.0.0 to coincide with the 20 year anniversary of Linux. That is all. There has been big discussions about versioning within the kernel development team. Linus Torvalds finally decided to go with version 3.0.0. Here’s an excerpt from his email.

I decided to just bite the bullet, and call the next version 3.0. It will get released close enough to the 20-year mark, which is excuse enough for me, although honestly, the real reason is just that I can no longer comfortably count as high as 40.

The whole renumbering was discussed at last years Kernel Summit, and there was a plan to take it up this year too. But let’s face it – what’s the point of being in charge if you can’t pick the bike shed color without holding a referendum on it? So I’m just going all alpha-male, and just renumbering it. You’ll like it.

Now, my alpha-maleness sadly does not actually extend to all the scripts and Makefile rules, so the kernel is fighting back, and is calling itself 3.0.0-rc1. We’ll have the usual 6-7 weeks to wrestle it into submission, and get scripts etc cleaned up, and the final release should be just “3.0”. The -stable team can use the third number for their versioning.

So what are the big changes?

NOTHING. Absolutely nothing. Sure, we have the usual two thirds driver changes, and a lot of random fixes, but the point is that 3.0 is *just* about renumbering, we are very much *not* doing a KDE-4 or a Gnome-3 here. No breakage, no special scary new features, nothing at all like that. We’ve been doing time-based releases for many years now, this is in no way about features. If you want an excuse for the renumbering, you really should look at the time-based one (“20 years”) instead.

Read the rest of Linus Torvalds message here.

HTC pays Microsoft $5 for every Android phone

Something is definitely wrong with this picture. Microsoft gets $5 for every Android phone sold by HTC. Microsoft has been suing manufacturers that install Android on the devices they sell. The $5 fee Microsoft makes from HTC is based on the deal agreed upon by the two companies. No details were given as to what Microsoft patents were violated by the Android OS. Read the rest of the story.

Out of Synch at the Moment

I just installed a plugin called Twitter Tools to make my tweets at Twitter or any Twitter-based third party application to show up as posts on this blog. My posts and tweets are out of synch at the moment. So, give it a little time to catch up a bit. This should work in a few hours. Or maybe in the next few posts. My previous tweets that were not posts were just recently added as blog entries. It’s fine as it is. I didn’t think it was going to posts all the tweets in the past. Technology. Love it and hate it, at the same time.

Update: I decided to not use Twitter Tools because I was seeing duplicate posts. I deleted the duplicates. It’s a good thing it was only a couple of dozen posts. It’s not Twitter Tools fault, since I was only using a portion of the plugin, and that is, to post tweets on my blog. This might not be an issue if I use all the features of the Twitter Tools plugin, but I have another plugin that does it quite admirably..

Leaving Out the PHP Closing Tags

Typically, you will open and close PHP files like this:

// php code here

Recently, I was introduced to another way. You leave them out!

// php code here
/* end of php file */

It seems a little weird at first leaving out the PHP closing tag. Feeling a little exposed and naked? It will take a little getting used to this way of closing out PHP. Somehow, it just doesn’t seem normal. This was done mainly to avoid the extra characters at the end of the file. You normally get a warning that headers were already sent or you cannot modify header information, if you have extra characters at the end of the PHP file.

I realized that you can only do this with certain files that end with PHP. For files that end with HTML or Javascript code, you will still need to close PHP further up the chain, otherwise the sky will fall on your head, and you don’t want that to happen. So, what do you think of think of leaving out the PHP closing tags?

Fuel PHP

I recently started looking into Fuel PHP. As much as I love CodeIgniter, it’s far from perfect. I’m more than curious if Fuel PHP can offer anything new to a glut of PHP frameworks that is already out there. There is Zend, CakePHP, CodeIgniter – which is my current favorite at the moment, and now Fuel. I was introduced to Fuel because some of the main supporters of CodeIgniter are now working with Fuel.

Here are some details from Fuel’s website.

Fuel is a simple, flexible, community driven PHP 5.3 web framework based on the best ideas of other frameworks with a fresh start.

The framework was started in late 2010 by Dan Horrigan then shortly after the team grew to include Phil Sturgeon, Jelmer Schreuder and Harro Verton. The team has decades of PHP experience between them and have all been involved with Open-Source projects such as CodeIgniter, PyroCMS, ExciteCMS and DataMapper ORM to name but a few.

April 1st, 2011 was the date of the first feature frozen Release Candidate, marking Fuel as ready to be used for development of new projects. v1.0 final is not yet ready but the only changes will be bug-fixes.


Grub: Signal Out of Range Ubuntu 11.04

I recently installed Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal on my desktop system. It’s a multi-boot setup along with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS and Windows XP.  One of the first things I’ve noticed after the install was the Grub menu is no longer visible. I’m getting a “signal out of range” error.

The Grub menu still works however. If wait long enough, after 10 seconds, the default Ubuntu 11.04 installation is launched. Choosing another option is like throwing darts in the dark. You don’t really know what you’ve selected until after the operating system is launched. The “signal out of range” error means Ubuntu has selected an incorrect screen resolution or refresh rate for Grub.

You can correct this by installing the “Startup Manager” and choosing the correct resolution. I’ve set my resolution to 1280 x 1024 and 24 bits. After setting the correct setting, you will need to reboot. The Grub Menu should be visible. If not repeat the process until the menu appears.

Startup Manager


Could Chrome Replace Firefox in Ubuntu

Reports have been confirmed that Firefox performance in Linux is considerably slower than in Windows or the Mac. So, why is Firefox performance slow in Linux? It seems to be a matter of priority. Less priority that is. Firefox developers have been focused on Windows, addressing issues where the majority of Firefox users are based.

Mozilla seemed to place less emphasis on Linux development. Mozilla is aware of these issues and are trying to fix them. Potentially, Canonical can replace Firefox with Chrome if performance continuous to be perceived as slow. Mozilla can potentially lose millions of dollars if this were to happen.

Mozilla receives millions of dollars from Google for making Google Search the default search engine for Firefox in Ubuntu. The growth of Firefox have slowed down considerably as Chrome continues to eat away the browser market share. I wouldn’t be surprised if Chrome becomes the default browser in the future, not only because of performance, but because it makes perfect sense.

After all, the Chrome browser is the centerpiece of the Chrome OS.