Amazon Ads on Ubuntu

Canonical plans to integrate Amazon search results in the next release of Ubuntu 12.10. This is an unpopular move to most Linux users because most Linux users want an ad-free environment. I recently moved away from Ubuntu due to the fact that I have to deal with technical issues every time there is a new release. I have to constantly fight with issues that were previously resolved and now broken again with the latest release. The introduction of Unity just made things even worse. I hate Unity. That’s one good reason, I moved away from Ubuntu to Linux Mint and Mate, since Mate is based on Gnome 2. Now, with the introduction of Amazon search results, in Ubuntu 12.10, will result in more Ubuntu users moving away to other distros. Good luck, Canonical. I hope you think more about your user base, that what actually goes into your pocket books.

802.11ac

It just a matter of time before we start seeing 802.11ac wireless routers at home and everywhere else. Although, the 802.11ac standard still needs to be ratified, it is scheduled to be completed sometime next year, Linksys and Netgear have 802.11ac routers that’s available now. Computerworld has an excellent article about 802.11ac routers that’s definitely worth reading. Check it out.

Pluma Text Editor

I have been using Linux Mint 13 and Mate, a desktop environment forked from now unmaintained Gnome 2.  If you like to know more about Mate, visit the Mate Desktop’s website. Mate comes with Pluma, a text editor called based on Gedit.

Pluma is a text editor which supports most standard editor features, extending this basic functionality with other features not usually found in simple text editors. pluma is a graphical application which supports editing multiple text files in one window (known sometimes as tabs or MDI). Pluma fully supports international text through its use of the Unicode UTF-8 encoding in edited files. Its core feature set includes syntax highlighting of source code, auto indentation and printing and print preview support.

Install Google Chrome On Ubuntu and Mint

Installing the Google Chrome browser on the latest release of Ubuntu or Linux Mint has never been easy. Just head over to Google Chrome website and download the latest Chrome browser package. Google does a great job of detecting what OS you’re running. Google Chrome is available on Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora and openSUSE.

Download Chrome

Once you clicked on the Download Chrome button, you’ll have to choose whether you want to run 32 bit or 64 bit version of the Google Chrome browser. If you have 64 bit OS, you can take advantage of the added processing power by running the 64 bit version of Google Chrome.

GDebi Package Installer

Once downloaded, just head over to your Downloads folder. There should be a deb package. Mine was named “google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb.” Just right click and use GDebi Package Installer program to install Google Chrome. Click on the “Install Package” to begin the installation.

Menu > Internet > Google Chrome

If you have Google Chrome previously, you will see a couple of different buttons other than Install Package. You will see a “Reinstall Package” and “Remove Package” buttons. After the installation, the Google Chrome icon should be in the Menu system, most likely under the “Internet” sub-menu system.

Install Handbrake

Handbrake is an open source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded video transcoder, available for Mac OS X, Linux and Windows. I recently switched to Linux Mint 13 and the MATE desktop environment.

This article shows you how to install Handbrake on Ubuntu or Linux Mint.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:stebbins/handbrake-releases
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install handbrake-gtk

Capture Screenshots on Mac OS X

Capturing screenshots on the Mac OS is quite easy. You’ll just have to learn the commands. So, without further ado, here are the keyboard shortcuts to get you going.

How to capture an active Window

Command + Shift + 4

To capture an active Window, use the keyboard by holding the Command and Shift keys, and then pressing the number 4. You will see a crosshair with the screen axis numbers next to it. Press Spacebar to select the entire active screen. Click the mouse or the touchpad to capture the screen. If you want to just capture a small section of the active Window, hold and drag the mouse or touchpad, when you see the crosshair with the screen axis numbers when prompted. The screenshot will be automatically added to the desktop.

How to capture an entire screen

Command + Shift + 3

To capture the entire desktop screen, use the keyboard by holding the Command and Shift keys, and pressing the number 3. The screenshot will be automatically added to the desktop.

Kindle Fire HD 8.9 4G

I was just drooling over Amazon’s latest Kindle Fire 8.9 HD. The 32GB version sells for $499, while the 64GB version is a hundred dollars more at $599. With the Kindle Fire HD, you get a 9 inch screen with a resolution of 1920×1200 HD display. It’s built-in polarizing filter, and anti-glare technology, giving you rich color, and deep contrast, from any viewing angle.

See Video.

In terms of sound, the Kindle Fire HD comes equipped with Dolby audio and dual stereo speakers for crisp, booming distortion-free sound. It’s powered by a high performance 1.5Ghz dual-core processor with Imagination PowerVR 3D graphics core, for fast and fluid performance. At least that’s what Amazon claims. The wireless connectivity features a dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi for 40% faster downloads and streaming.

With the Kindle Fire HD, you have access to over 22 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, books, audiobooks, and popular apps and games such as Facebook, Netflix, Twitter, HBO GO, Pandora, and Angry Birds Space. It also has an integrated support for Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo and more, as well as Exchange calendar, contacts, and email. Skype video calls with the front-facing HD camera are free. You also get a free unlimited cloud storage for all your Amazon content.

If you can’t find a Wi-Fi hotspot. You can connect anytime using the Ultra-fast 4G LTE service. It’s limited to 250 MB a month for 12 months with a one-time payment of $49.99 – no monthly payments. That’s one year of service for $50 dollars. Also included is 20 GB of additional Cloud Drive storage for your photos and more, plus a $10 Amazon Appstore promotional credit. You can save hundreds of dollars in the first year compared to what you would pay for other tablets.

If $499 is a little too rich for you, there’s a Wi-Fi only version of the Kindle Fire HD for $299.

Or go with a 7 inch Kindle HD for just $199.

If you’re really in the market for a tablet, I suggest you wait for a couple of days. Apple is going to be introducing the iPad mini on September 12. Maybe. That’s the rumor. We won’t really know until that day what Apple has under it’s sleeve.

Who Will Be The Next Facebook?

Who will be the next Facebook? Wait! I’ll take that back. That doesn’t seem right anymore. A year ago, that might have been ok. Facebook as a startup before the IPO was quite a success, in terms of popularity, considering the number of users that have joined the social site. There were so much hype how much the company was worth.

Facebook as a company, after the highly anticipated IPO is quite another story. Facebook (FB) opened at $38 on IPO day. Today, a few months later, FB is faltering at $17.73. And it could go down even further. There doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. From an investment perspective, FB as a company is a major disappointment.

It’s a good thing, I don’t own any stock. Asking the question, who will be the next Facebook is no longer relevant. It has lost its meaning, luster, and it doesn’t really apply anymore. All this time, we should have been asking, who will be the next Apple.

Apple’s stock price has multiplied 56 times just the last ten years. Apple’s stock was a mere $12 a decade ago. If you have invested $100,000, you would have $5.6 million dollars today. That’s what you call a spectacular investment. For Facebook to get to even come close to what Apple has done is wishful thinking.

All along, we should have been asking, who will be the next Apple?

Install Alsa Audio Driver on Ubuntu

I recently upgraded to the latest version of Ubuntu, which is currently version 12.04. Version 12.10 is just a little over than a month away from being released. With my Ubuntu 12.04 install, I was experiencing some crashing issues with the Unity desktop which drove me nuts. I ended up taking some extreme measures.

I went and installed Xubuntu instead of Ubuntu. Xubuntu uses the Xfce desktop interface. It’s much simpler and quite stable, except for the sound. Why can’t I get a problem-free distro for once. The default PulseAudio audio driver in Xubuntu was stuttering, especially when playing Youtube videos. So, I ended up removing the Pulseaudio and installing Alsa instead.

So, here are the steps I took to get my sound working.

sudo apt-get remove --purge alsa-base pulseaudio
$ sudo apt-get install alsa

I also had to edit the /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf file. Add this line at the end of the file.

options snd-hda-intel model=generic

Save and reboot.