FFmpeg Returns To The Official Ubuntu Repositories With Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet

Quick update for Ubuntu users: FFmpeg isn’t available in recent Ubuntu releases but that will change with Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet (currently under development, to be released in April, 2015).

FFmpeg is a free software project that produces libraries and programs for handling multimedia data. Due to conflicts in the FFmpeg community, FFmpeg was forked back in 2011 and the resulting project was Libav.
Since then, various Libav changes were merged back into FFmpeg, while Libav did its own development, ignoring any changes from FFmpeg, and as a consequence, many developers prefer FFmpeg. For more information, see these pages: 1 2.
Ubuntu replaced FFmpeg with Libav a while back  – for instance, Ubuntu 14.04 and 14.10 have only Libav -, but there’s some great news for those who prefer FFmpeg: with Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet, FFMpeg returns to the official Ubuntu repositories.
Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet currently has FFMpeg 2.4.3 (imported from Debian) and because both Libav and FFmpeg use the same library names, the new FFmpeg package ships with renamed libraries, like “libavdevice-ffmpeg”, “libavutil-ffmpeg” and so on, so the packages can coexist in the Ubuntu (and Debian) repositories.

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Google Contributor, a new monetization option for online publishers


By Vasudev Ram

I saw this via a tweet by GigaOm:

Google launches Contributor, a crowdfunding tool for publishers

Excerpts (shortened and partly re-worded) from the GigaOm article:

… Google Contributor, which is designed to allow web users to pay sites that they visit a monthly fee, and in return see no Google ads when they visit those sites.

the new feature is launching with 10 publishing partners, including Mashable, Imgur, WikiHow and Science Daily

the user who goes to the Contributor web site sees a list of participating web sites, and can decide to give them $1, 2 or 3 per month.

The site gets paid when the user actually visits it. The formula for payment is not specified in the GigaOm article.

Earlier, Google also launched a contribution system for YouTube video creators called “Fan Funding,” which allows viewers to donate anywhere from $1 to $500 to the channel of their choice.

Here is the Google Contributor site.

Based on the article, Google Contributor seems like a potentially good idea for web publishers, such as big sites as well as small sites and blogs. Time will tell, though, how useful it turns out to be. I signed up for an invite, and if I get invited, I’ll try it out and may write about my experience with it, here on this blog.

Update: Here is another article about Google Contributor, by NextWeb:

- Vasudev Ram – Dancing Bison Enterprises

Signup to be notified about new products from Vasudev Ram.

Contact Page

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Gis Weather: Highly Customizable Weather Widget For Your Linux Desktop

Gis Weather is a highly customizable weather widget which supports Gismeteo, Weather and AccuWeather, available for Linux and Windows. The app ships with optional Ubuntu AppIndicator / tray icon which displays the current weather.

Gis Weather

Features (most are for the widget only):

  • Supports the following weather services: Gismeteo.com, Weather.com, AccuWeather.com;
  • View weather for several days;
  • Detailed weather forecast for today and tomorrow;
  • Fast switching between cities;
  • Select the background and theme weather icons;
  • “Compass” with the wind direction, with adjustable angle of rotation
  • High wind highlighting;
  • Supports SVG and widget scale;
  • Ubuntu AppIndicator and tray icon;
  • 4 different widget presets;
  • Configurable units for temperature, wind, pressure, etc.;
  • Supports multiple instances.

Gis Weather can be used as a desktop widget only, as an AppIndicastor / tray icon or both.
By default, Gis Weather ships with 4 widget presets, which you can see below:

Gis Weather

Gis Weather

Gis Weather

Gis Weather

The widget is highly customizable, allowing you to change the widget padding, transparency, scale, lock its position, set it to be displayed on all desktops, select the number of days to show, customize the background, font, icons and much more and it offers complete weather information, including forecast, humidity and so on.

Here are a few screenshots with some of the Gis Weather configuration options:

Gis Weather

Gis Weather

Gis Weather

On the other hand, the indicator only displays the current weather. However,  the indicator does ship with a few options: you can change the weather icons and quickly change the location from the indicator menu:

Gis Weather

My Weather Indicator users will probably ask what’s the difference between Gis Weather and My Weather Indicator, since both come with desktop widgets and an Ubuntu AppIndicator. Well, Gis Weather is more of a widget which comes with an Ubuntu Indicator and My Weather Indicator is the other way around.
Why? Let me explain.
The Gis Weather widget is highly customizable but the indicator only displays the current weather while My Weather Indicator offers much more weather information in the indicator like the pressure, humidity, wind and so on, along with quick access to a 3 to 5-day weather forecast (depending on the weather service you’re using) and other useful info. Of course, My Weather Indicator comes with multiple widgets which should be enough for most users, but they aren’t customizable, at least not using a GUI. Also, the two support different weather services.
To sum up this comparison, both applications are great and it’s up to you to choose the one that suits your needs.

Update: it looks like using Weather.com as the weather service in Gis Weather 0.7.3 doesn’t work properly, reporting that an invalid location code was used so for now I suggest using AccuWeather.

Download Gis Weather

Note: The Gis Weather downloads page offers deb and Windows setup files for download for the latest Gis Weather version – 0.7.3, along with the source code; if you’re looking for rpms, you’ll have to download a slightly older version: 0.7.2.
Arch Linux users can install Gis Weather via AUR.

app seen @ Lffl.org

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realpath: It’s the real thing


I am apparently still suffering the unintentional side effects of my long-ago decision to dump everything from coreutils, bsd-games and util-linux back into my list. Because yesterday I realized I still had a zero-byte file for realpath hiding in my vimwiki folder. :(‘>>:(

These things are like rabbits. Turn your back and they’ve multiplied. O_o

realpath belongs to the coreutils family, and I am not being kind by suggesting it has no real function or can’t solve an issue. Remember when I prattled endlessly about basename and dirname? realpath solves some of the issues that I mentioned with those programs.

Here’s what it looks like in action:

kmandla@6m47421: ~/temp$ realpath test.txt 

kmandla@6m47421: ~/temp$ realpath .

Oh, K.Mandla. Thank you sooo much for showing that. Thank you sooo much for solving my existential crisis with realpath. K.Mandla, your grimy little blog is a fount of wisdom.

Hey, my little blog may be grimy, but at least it’s legit, original content. Can’t say that about a lot of Linux “news” sites. :evil:

Back to business: realpath, as you can see above, returns the path of the target you specify, or as the man page so verbosely explains, “prints the resolved path.” :

Before you close this tab, here’s one more example:

kmandla@6m47421: ~$ realpath sdb1

O-ho. What’s this? Well, I keep a symlink in my home directory that targets a mount point — with that, I can abbreviate mount /media/sdb1 to just mount sdb1, no difference.

realpath returns the real path :roll: of the symlink, rather than just its location in my home folder. Now we’re cooking.

realpath will accept a few flags, but they strike me as particularly discrete cases for links, and tune realpath‘s output more than I would ever need. Double-check them if you feel you may want them.

So there it is. And unless I’m mistaken — again — this really is the last title from coreutils.

I think. :/

Tagged: file, folder, path

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