Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Android: not-so-open open source

Google has just come through a searching examination of its claims to ownership of the Android mobile operating system, with one of the most aggressive tech companies in the US, Oracle, having gained nothing from a trial by jury.
Google was accused of both copyright infringement and patent violation; the former claim was upheld but the jury was unclear whether the unauthorised use could be covered by fair use or not. The patent violation charges did not stick.
What was noticeable during the trial, which ran for more than a month, was the fact that most tech journalism outlets appeared to be on Google's side.
(The US appears to permit an amazing amount of comment on an ongoing case, something that would surely be frowned upon by an Australian judge, but not a peep was heard from the astute Judge William Alsup who was in charge of the Oracle-Google case.)
Why is this so? It is because Google is still perceived as the company that, as it claims in its manifesto, does no evil? Or is it because Android is being touted as an open system?
How open is Android in reality? The system now runs on more than 300 million smartphones and tablets, made by all sorts of companies. It primarily targets the ARM platform, according to Christopher Neugebauer, a young Tasmanian developer, who presented a talk on Android to the island's LUG a couple of months ago.
Android has a Linux kernel at its core. "There's the kernel itself which talks to your hardware; there's a C library (in the case of Android, it's called 'Bionic' (most Linux distros use Glibc, from the GNU Project) which provides a useful interface to the kernel; and then there's the user space. The difference is that the userspace is an entirely custom one developed by the Android project, so it doesn't, for example, include X11 for drawing GUIs, but instead it uses its own custom layer," he says.
The Linux kernel, of course, is released under the GNU General Public Licence which says that any changes made to the code have to be released whenever the changed version is distributed. But when it comes to the other elements of Android, things do become a little murkier.
"There are only two licences at play in the source distribution of Android - the GNU GPLv2 (for the Linux kernel) and the Apache licence (for the Android userspace)," says Neugebauer. "There are also some other BSD-style licenses for libraries that are used in Android, but not developed by Google, but these don't matter as much, as simply providing a copyright message and warranty disclaimer is sufficient to distribute these.
"This situation is probably the single simplest licensing arrangement for a Linux distribution that I'm aware of. Consider a traditional Linux distribution - GPLv2 for the Kernel, LGPL for the C library, the Apache licence for a web server, GPL v3 for GNOME... the list goes on. The point is that most Linux distributions distribute software under many disparate licences, and these have existed with minimal fuss for a very long time.
"For Android, it's simple: everything except the kernel is there under the Apache licence."
"The biggest issue with licensing in the past has been the release of cheap Chinese tablets which haven't complied with their obligations for publishing kernel source under the GPL; (Kernel developer) Matthew Garrett did a lot of work back in 2010 on this subject."

HTC One S Snapdragon processor downgraded in some markets

The chronic shortage of Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processors means that HTC has been forced to fit the One S handset with an older chipset in some territories.
The Taiwanese has confirmed that the previous generation S3 processor occupy new handsets in the Asia-Pacific region (save South Korea and Japan) and in some European countries.
US and UK users aren't affected by the shortage, which has already delayed handsets like the Asus PadFone.
HTC says it will mark the One S devices featuring the S3 and the S4 so customers know which version they're receiving.

Pure processing power

In terms of pure processing power, the dual-core Snapdragon S3 is actually faster, clocked at 1.7GHz as opposed to 1.5Ghz on the Snapdragon S4.
However, the newer chip brings faster Adreno 320 graphics for gaming, supports 4G LTE connectivity and is kinder on battery life than the S3.
It is thought that the Samsung Galaxy S3 will, for its US incarnation, also boast the S3 chipset, rather than the quad-core version launched in the UK, because of the 4G LTE support.

Diablo 3 real money auction house “expected” to go live in Europe this Friday

Diablo 3
Get your Euros, Pounds and Rubles ready, folks. Diablo 3′s real money auction house will finally go live this Friday according to an in-game notification spotted by Eurogamer. The US real money auction house launched last night with minimum bids set at $1.25 and a maximum set at $250. Blizzard take $1 for every sale and a 15% cut when you cash out auction house earnings, expect similar rules for the European auction house.

It’ll be interesting to see what effect the cash auction has has on player habits, and the gold auction house. If you discover a truly incredible item, why float it on the gold auction house when you could stand to make some money form it in the cash auction house? Will the potential for profit make high level loot drops more dramatic, or will we end up in a situation where you can buy a new wardrobe for a fiver that’ll completely outshine anything you find in the game world? We’ll have to wait and see how the prices settle.
The real money auction house has been delayed several times recently amid the Error 37 controversy, legal problems in Korea and as PCGamesN report, a period of downtime in Asia recently to investigate reports of item duping. It’s been a difficulty launch for Blizzard so far, but errors with the cash auction house could directly mess with people’s money, making any future errors that much more serious. What do you think about the real money auction house?

Brasa OS 0.9 Released, Based on Debian Linux

Marcelo Marchi Negreira informed Softpedia about the release of Brasa OS 0.9, an open source operating system based on the Debian Linux distribution.

Brasa OS comes with a huge software repository and a lightweight graphical interface, providing superior performance.

"All additional packages are downloaded and compiled. [...] After installation users will have a simple system with a graphical interface, where they can install other packages, all with apt-build."

"If a package does not have the source code available, you can install the binaries, no optimized build, with the apt-get install command." said Marcelo Marchi Negreira in the official homepage.

Highlights of Brasa OS 0.9:

 · New customized artwork;
· New wallpaper manager: Nitrogen;
· Added Netbook installer;
· Added support for the Canon Lide 110 scanner;
· Overall improvements and bug fixes.

The following applications were updated in Brasa OS 0.9: Asunder, Audacity, BleachBit, Bluetooth, Boinc, Brasero, Calibre, Cheese, ClamAV, Conky-std, Docker, Fatrat, File-Roller, Adobe Flash Player, GIMP, GParted, hardinfo, ISO Master, KeepassX, Network-Manager, NTP,, PlayOnLinux, Privoxy, Shotwell, Shutter, Snort, Sun Java 6 Runtime Environment, Tint2, Tomboy, Tor, Unace, Unetbootin, Unrar, VLC Media Player, XSane, XScreensaver, and Wine.

Detailed installation instructions for both desktop computers and netbooks is provided by the developer on the Brasa OS homepage.

Brasa OS 0.9 is distributed as Live CD ISO images for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures. It is supported in Português and English languages.

About Brasa OS

Brasa OS is a Debian GNU/Linux based open source distribution designed to deliver a stable, fast and yet easy to use operating system, providing the basic tools necessary to customize it as you wish.

Being one of the fastest Linux distributions in the world, as the developer of Brasa OS says, it is a revolutionary operating system created to allow users to install packages for custom building, with the simple apt-build command.

Brasa OS V 0.9 - 32 bit - 10.728 KB
Brasa OS V 0.9 - 64 bits - 11.112 KB


the leading force

proudly presents
Krater (c) Fatshark

13-06-2012....Release Date <-> Protection...................Steam
RPG..............Game Type <-> Disk(s)......................1 DVD


Krater is a squad based roleplaying game set in a colorful
post-apocalyptic world. It combines the combat mechanics of action-rpgs
with the top-down view of the classic old-school RPG and RTS games

The game brings you far into the future of a post-apocalyptic Sweden
Once home to IKEA, Vikings and Minecraft, today its primitive
inhabitants scavenge the broken overgrown world for technological

At the rim of an impact site known as the Krater, three factions vie
for control over the wound opening up into the world below. Consisting
of an endless series of caves and tunnels filled with old world
treasures and perils, the Underside stretches into the depths of the
fallen Swedish civilization

You arrive at the Krater with your team of freelancers to take part in
the goldrush where people come back rich or don t come back at all


Unlimited Adventure - no matter how deep you crawl, there is always
more to explore in an open game world where randomized dungeons and
events are combined with more than 60 thoroughly designed locations and
200+ quests in order to create a vast gaming experience. Locations
range from small settlements with a handful of struggling inhabitants
to large urban areas like Solside City, a sprawling regional HUB where
you'll find all sorts of NPCs and services

Uniquely Persistent Characters - watch your team of odd personalities
evolve as they level up and gain new abilities, stat increases and
equipment, but also

Face the Consequences - your characters must cope with the dangers of
Krater - if not they will face the threat of permanent injuries or
even death

Craft Everything - from items, weapons, and gear to the abilities and
powers of your characters, you can craft it all with an extensive
crafting system

Co-op - Seamless blending of coop and singleplayer - use your
characters to explore an open-ended game world in single player
either by following the main story campaign or just free-roaming the
Krater (or a mix of both). You can at any time have your team join
up with a friend to take on one of the challenging co-op dungeons
All the loot earned and progress made is kept regardless of game
mode. And yes, your grinding efforts will be kept for the coming PvP
expansion as well!

Living title - the game comes from a long test phase with weekly
updates of the Steam build that has improved gameplay, added content
or new features. This will continue even after release and you can
expect free expansions that add or expand on game mechanics, locations
player characters and enemies

Visual appearance: The game uses the DX11 API (but it also support
DX10 hardware) to be able to use beautiful and varied environment and
character art. The enemy units are not all simple texture variations on
the same model, but sport unique meshes, animation sets and effects to
a large extent


1. Unpack the release
2. Mount or burn image
3. Install
4. Copy everything from the SKIDROW folder into the game installation
5. Play the game
6. Support the companies, which software you actually enjoy!

T-Mobile Galaxy S2 with Android 4.0 is the first with IPv6 support

Last night, T-Mobile and Samsung pushed out the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update to the Samsung Galaxy S2. Aside from bringing in all the new features of Android 4.0, it also turns it into a fully IPv6 capable device.
With the Android 4.0 update, the Galaxy S2 from T-Mobile becomes the first branded phone to support T-Mobile’s new IPv6 network for HSPA+ (and eventually LTE). While the unlocked Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus from Samsung both offer IPv6 support with Android 4.0, they are not officially T-Mobile devices (though the company does offer some support for them).
If you have a Samsung Galaxy S2 from T-Mobile and are running it on T-Mobile’s network, you can easily turn it on. By going into Settings, tap “More…” under the Wireless and Network category, tap “Mobile networks,” then “Access Point Names,” then tap on the item for T-Mobile’s network. It should be called “T-Mobile US.” This will bring up a list of options to configure the APN. Scroll down until you see “APN protocol” and tap that. Select “IPv6.” Press the menu key and tap “Save.” After that, restart the phone and you should have IPv6 access on the cellular data network.
To switch back to IPv4, just repeat the process above and select “IPv4” instead of “IPv6.”
Note that if you use this phone with AT&T and try to configure an AT&T APN for IPv6, it will not work. AT&T has not deployed IPv6 for subscribers to use on the mobile network.
Detailed instructions with screenshots are available and more information about the IPv6 network is available at the IPv6 user trial website.
Read more about last week’s World IPv6 Launch Day and the impending IPocalypse, and how The Pirate Bay is dodging the feds with IPv6

[REQ]Darkness Within In Pursuit for Loath Nolder

Darkness Within: In Pursuit of Loath Nolder este un joc foarte interesant de aventura , first person.Personajul principal in joc este Howard Loreid , un politist detectiv cu misiunea de a investiga si rezolva o crima a unui om bogat implicat in occultism. 


In Their 20th Year Of Glory, FairLight Released

Darkness Within: In Pursuit of Loath Nolder  (c)  Lighthouse Interactive

:   Supplied by: FAIRLIGHT            : : Release Date: 11/09/2007           :
Cracked by:  FAIRLIGHT              Game Type: Adventure
Packaged by: FAIRLIGHT              Image Format: BIN/CUE

CDS: 2                              Protection: N/A
CD1 archives: 46 x 15 MB            CD1: flt-rdwa.001 --> flt-dawa.046
CD2 archives: 41 X 15 MB            CD2: flt-rdwb.001 --> flt-dawb.041

System Requirements: Intel Pentium 1 GHz, 512MB RAM, 128mb Graphics Card

Game information:

As police detective Howard E. Loreid, players are tasked to solve the murder
of Clark Field, a wealthy man involved in the occult. At the top of your list
of suspects is Loath Nolder, a highly respected private investigator who
mysteriously abandoned his last case for reasons unknown. Rumor had it that
he ventured to several exotic places around the world. It remains a great
mystery as to why Loath Nolder disappeared so suddenly, resurfacing five
years later and resuming his investigations just as abruptly as he had left
them. Why does this venerated P.I. now sit on the other side of the law?

This seemingly routine investigation takes a dramatic twist as strange and
terrifying happenings begin to plague your psyche. You experience lucid
horrifying dreams and are tormented by paranormal happenings. Why do days
pass instead of hours when you sleep? What’s real and what’s not? As you
pursue fugitive murder suspect Loath Nolder, you must face dire truths
hidden deep within a haunting darkness and the recesses of your mind.


• Built-in Hint System with 3 Difficulty Levels – Players can choose to play
in Standard, Detective, or Senior Detective modes.
• Unique Inventory System – Utilizing the ‘thinking screen’ allows players
to collect and examine items, and thoughts. Clues can also be researched,
combined or used.
• Dynamic Puzzles and Features – Traditional adventure game puzzles are
complimented by deciphering dreams and underlining excerpts in documents
to garner critical clues.
• Enhanced Gameplay Experience – The proprietary game engine enables
compelling special effects and stunning visuals in a panoramic first
person game environment.
• Eerie Gameplay Atmosphere – An immersive experience is created by a
fascinating story, chilling real-time cut scenes, and haunting music.


Seems we made a mistake in using ISO in a CD release. So here is BIN/CUE
for all you people that demands it.

Installation Information:

Just extract the archives and burn/mount with your favorite software.
Install and play!

Running Chrome with less memory: disable extensions

In my last article on Chromium I explained how to add a command switch to the desktop icon's launcher tab to add a Purge Memory button to the task Manager. Browsers need memory, like memory and in fact love it. They don't give it up without a fight. I'm not belligerent by nature but it's my memory, I paid for it and I want it back. So, here's another trick in a similar vein to force Chromium to relinquish some more.
Now, it's unlikely you're using Chromium without having accumulated a shedload of extensions. Prudent housekeping dictates that you will have purged those installed on a whim and subsequently languishing, unused and unloved. Disable, or better still, remove them. The ones left behind are the ones we want to control. As before, right click on Chromium's desktop icon, select the Launcher tab add the --disable-extensions switch and close.

Now, when you start Chromium, click on the wrench (top right), select Tools from the drop-down menu and you'll see that the Extension menu entry has been disabled.

Open a new tab and type chrome:extensions in the location bar and you can confirm that there are none, or rather they have been disabled in this profile.

Well. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, so let's do a "before and after" shot of memory consumption with Task Manager.

Finally, you now have the option to run two Chromium profiles: one with extensions disabled (desktop icon) and one with extensions (main menu). Just not at the same time. Oh, and with extensions disabled Chromium will start much faster too.

Intel: ARM, Android far behind x86 when it comes to multi-threaded optimizations

The director of Intel’s mobile products division, Mike Bell, has leveled some interesting charges at the company’s ARM-using competitors in the Android smartphone market. Bell, an engineer who spent time at both Apple and Palm before moving to Intel, claims that the major smartphone players have done precious little work to optimize their software for multi-threaded environments.
According to Bell, Intel’s own investigation into the state of multi-processing support in Android turned up a number of deficiencies. Some of the problems can be traced back to manufacturing and the difficulty of controlling current leakage, but others point to poorly optimized thread schedulers and inefficient data structures.
“The way it’s implemented right now, Android does not make as effective use of multiple cores as it could,” Bell told The Inquirer. “I think — frankly — some of this work could be done by the vendors who create the SoCs, but they just haven’t bothered to do it.”
Intel is scarcely a neutral third party, but in this case, we’re inclined to take Bell at his word. His background is in engineering, rather than PR/product evangelism, and the comments themselves make sense. ARM and Android have become ubiquitous precisely because they allow Samsung, Qualcomm, TI, and Nvidia to reap the benefits of research and product development without being directly responsible for the implementation. Intel’s massive software development resources exemplify the opposite approach, and the company’s silicon is quite competitive with ARM devices.
Intel’s software advantage isn’t really x86 compatibility, at least not primarily. The company’s true ace card is the expertise of its software engineers and the scale of its development environment. The fact that its many forms of expertise revolve around the x86 instruction set is nearly incidental. Of its competitors, only Nvidia has much experience in low-level development.
The other reason we take Bell’s criticisms fairly seriously is that they make logical sense. It’s easy to forget that Android is a very young operating system. Dual-core phones are everywhere these days, but the first DC devices shipped less than two years ago. The kind of ultra-low-level optimizations Bell is discussing aren’t something Google can build for each and every device manufacturer — they depend on the specifics of the SoC and, in theory, would be custom built by the relevant OEM. Relying on Google may have worked to date, but it’s unlikely to be effective for much longer.
These type of optimizations become more important as core counts increase. It can be more power-efficient to use four slow cores rather than two fast ones, but only if the OS is efficient enough to leverage all four threads. If it isn’t, the consumer gets a slower device with worse battery life.
Intel smartphone roadmap 
More than anything, Intel’s comments are a sign that the company is deadly serious about matching and exceeding its competitors. Medfield demonstrated Intel’s commitment on hardware, but discussions of low-level software optimizations are a different animal. To date, other OEMs have gotten away with limited software customization thanks to ARM and Google. [[Our robot thinks you might like some software for only $14.95]] Everything we’ve seen to date suggests that Cortex-A15 and 28nm are the last low-hanging fruit vendors will see for several years. With Intel planning dual-core Clover Trail tablets for later this year and a 22nm Silvermont refresh dropping in 2013, the various ARM vendors will need to look to such optimizations to continue competing effectively.

MegaGlest: a fantastic, free software strategy 3D game

When the Glest team started "Glest" as a college project a few years ago, they probably didn't expect their game to go such a long way. While "Glest" stopped being developed a couple of years ago in 2009, it was forked in two different projects: GAE (Glest Advanced Engine) and MegaGlest (the game I am reviewing in this article). So, how is it? The answer is simple: this game is incredible, polished, enjoyable, addictive, smart, and plain simply fantastic.
A few years ago, the general consensus was that games could only be developed thanks to big investments, and that there could never be a really good games released as GPL. This theory was proved wrong several times, and I can say that MegaGlest is yet more evidence that fantastic games released for free can -- and do -- exist.

The game

Installation is the typical result of the (sorry) story that is the GNU/Linux package systems: in this case, you can download the MegaGlest binary for GNU/Linux, double-click on it, and follow the installation instructions. Nevertheless, installing the game is easy and straightforward.
About the game itself, in MegaGlest, you are part of one of the seven factions: seven factions, Magic, Tech, Indians, Egypt, Norsemen, Persian and Romans. After playing this game for several hours, I got to know the Tech faction and the Magic faction. The picture is clear: the Magic faction as probably more potential, but it's a lot harder to use and develop; on the other hand, the Tech faction is more about "quantity" than "quality", so to speak. Mastering all factions is probably quite hard, and strangely rewarding.

A typical game

I am not the best person to talk about a "typical" game. I will admit that I had my backside badly bruised by pretty much anybody I played with online. However, it can be summed up as follows: at the beginning of the game, you create a bunch of workers who will be used to harvest wood and mine for gold and rocks. You will also need a source of energy (depending on the faction, it could be "animals" or it could be "energy sources") and fighters (to attack other factions, and defend yourself). In order to produce fighters, you will need gold and other resources (which will come from the miners). So, in the end it's up to you to decide 1) When you have enough fighters to win 2) How much mining you should carry out to support what you create. You can also decide to send somebody out there to find out what the other ones are doing (you can only see parts of the map where your men have been). Or, you can create some warriors to stop your enemy's men (so that they can't see what you are doing).
MegaGlest can be played by several people in the same LAN, or even on the Internet with other players around the world. I have to say I didn't find much going on when I tried an Internet game. However, I blame my timezone for that.

Not just a game

MegaGlest is not just a game: it comes with a complete map editor, as well as a 3D model viewer. This means that users can create their own terrains and play them -- as well as create their own characters included with attach animations.
The possibilities here are immense -- so immense that several people out there have released "mods" of the game that include different worlds and possibilities.


If you like strategy games, or even if you don't like them, this is a game that might well lower your productivity or your home-presence quite dramatically. Drop me an email, I might see you around for a game!

TomTom confirmed as official partner for iOS 6 Maps

TomTom has announced it is providing the mapping data for Apple's new operating system, which was unveiled at WWDC this week.
Apple has shunned Google in its next iteration of its mobile platform, with a brand new mapping solution coming with iOS 6.
Engadget initially reported the possible partnership between Apple and TomTom, before receiving the following statement from the sat nav manufacturer: "TomTom has signed a global agreement with Apple for maps and related information."

The end of in-car sat navs?

The move by Apple to provide its own mapping software, along with turn-by-turn navigation, sees it follow in the footsteps of Google's successful offering on Android handsets.
However with more and more people now getting free access to navigation software on their phones, has TomTom seen the opportunity to ditch dedicated devices in favour of handset based solutions?
We've contacted TomTom to see where they expect the business to go, and we'll update this article once we hear back.

Prevent Ubuntu from asking a password after resuming from Hibernate or Suspend

When you close the lid of your laptop and Ubuntu is running, the computer goes into Suspend mode. Same goes for chosing Hibernate from the shutdown menu, when the laptop goes into deep sleep and consumes less power. When resuming from these two states, Ubuntu will ask you for your password. If you’d like to get rid of this password field, you need to launch gconf-editor and navigate to apps > gnome-power-manager > lock. There you’ll find a checkbox for hibernate and one for suspend. Uncheck these and close the Configuration Editor. Next time you resume from Suspend and Hibernate, you won’t be prompted for a password.
You can still manually lock your screen before closing the lid by using Ctrl+Alt+L.

How to Color Man Pages & How It Works

In this tutorial I’ll show how to get some nicely colored man pages by adding several lines inside the .bashrc file, explaining what the code means and how it works.

Except for the eye-candy, colors may help when it comes to clarity, although some prefer the default monochrome approach. At the start of this article there is the actual code which can be copied and pasted inside the ~/.bashrc file, and which can be modified depending on each person’s preferences. If you don’t care about what it does you can just insert it in ~/.bashrc, restart your terminal and start reading some man pages to see how it looks (e.g. man man). After this part I tried to explain how this code works and how to modify it in order to get new ‘themes’.

The code
For this tutorial we’ll be editing the ~/.bashrc file, which is a hidden file located in your home directory which gets read each time a new Bash instance starts up. Bash reads all the commands found in this file and executes them (hence the rc part, which stands for run commands).
We will edit this file and add some lines which specify certain colors for the $LESS_TERMCAP variables.

export LESS_TERMCAP_mb=$(printf '\e[01;31m') # enter blinking mode - red
export LESS_TERMCAP_md=$(printf '\e[01;35m') # enter double-bright mode - bold, magenta
export LESS_TERMCAP_me=$(printf '\e[0m') # turn off all appearance modes (mb, md, so, us)
export LESS_TERMCAP_se=$(printf '\e[0m') # leave standout mode
export LESS_TERMCAP_so=$(printf '\e[01;33m') # enter standout mode - yellow
export LESS_TERMCAP_ue=$(printf '\e[0m') # leave underline mode
export LESS_TERMCAP_us=$(printf '\e[04;36m') # enter underline mode - cyan
Don’t forget to reset your terminal after entering this code in order for the changes to take effect, e.g. type reset or exit and start up another shell.
This will mostly use magenta and cyan as the colors. Next, I’ll explain what these lines mean and how you can modify the colors.

Explaining it

As you can see, there are several variables which are assigned different values. As shown in the comments after the # sign, every one is used when needed. When text is in bold (double-bright mode), the formatting option is set to bold and the color magenta.
Let’s take, for example, the following line:

export LESS_TERMCAP_md=$(printf '\e[01;35m') # enter double-bright mode - bold, magenta

This line could be broken into this:
  • the environment variable LESS_TERMCAP_md will be assigned the value to the right of the equal sign
  • the right side says execute the command between the $( and ) characters, just like the older ` ` did
  • printf is a command similar with C’s printf and means “print with format”. The characters between the double quotes specify a color and a font style (e.g. in this case, bold and magenta).
The part that is inside the double quotes are format specifiers like bold, regular, or color to be used. More on these can be found on Wikipedia, here.

Color codes

The color codes are as follows:
  • 30 – black
  • 31 – red
  • 32 – green
  • 33 – orange
  • 34 – blue
  • 35 – magenta
  • 36 – cyan
  • 37 – white
Some other escape codes which you could use include:
  • 0 – reset/normal
  • 1 – bold
  • 3 – italic/reversed
  • 4 – underlined
  • 5 – blink
You can check this by typing in a terminal something like:

printf '\e[31m'
printf '\e[32m'
printf '\e[37m'
So, if we have something like printf ‘\e[01;33m’ it means enter bold and color yellow, according to the listing above.

What about ‘export’?

export is a Bash built-in used to assign values to variables in such a manner that any subsequent application that runs in that shell will be aware of the variable’s value. If, for example, we would simply assign a value to a variable, say MYVAR=”this is my variable” and we would then issue echo $MYVAR, we would see that the variable’s value will be printed. However, try to make a simple script which would echo it, for example:


echo $MYVAR

And then run it e.g. bash – you will see that the value is lost, not visible in the script. So this is where export is useful, because it will make any further script or application “see” the variable. When we invoke the man command, it will need to see the values for our LESS_TERMCAP variables.

More color schemes

Here is another color scheme:

export LESS_TERMCAP_mb=$(printf '\e[01;31m') # enter blinking mode
export LESS_TERMCAP_md=$(printf '\e[01;38;5;75m') # enter double-bright mode
export LESS_TERMCAP_me=$(printf '\e[0m') # turn off all appearance modes (mb, md, so, us)
export LESS_TERMCAP_se=$(printf '\e[0m') # leave standout mode
export LESS_TERMCAP_so=$(printf '\e[01;33m') # enter standout mode
export LESS_TERMCAP_ue=$(printf '\e[0m') # leave underline mode
export LESS_TERMCAP_us=$(printf '\e[04;38;5;200m') # enter underline mode

Samsung Galaxy S3 gets an early firmware upgrade

The best-selling Samsung Galaxy S3 handset has received its first over-the-air update, with UK users reporting a pair of firmware downloads.
The Android 4.0 device is not experiencing any issues, to our knowledge, but that hasn't stopped Samsung pushing out updates promising "Improved stability" and nothing else.
The 31.7mb download can be installed over Wi-Fi or 3G.
Slashgear is reporting, following the completion of the initial firmware update, that users are being prompted to download another smaller 15mb file, which also promises improved stability.

Taking care of business (TCOB)

The updates suggest that, even with no complaints from an already sizable userbase, Samsung may have spotted something its not completely happy with.
The company has enjoyed some incredibly good, almost Apple-esque feedback from users and critics, so it's good to see it staying on top of matters to ensure that remains the case.
If you haven't been prompted to download the upgrades yet, you can get them by visiting the software updates page within the Android OS settings menu
And, if you're still weighing up whether a 4.8-inch smartphone is really for you, check out our Samsung Galaxy S3 review.

Diablo 3 real money auction house has launched in the Americas

It is now possible to spend $250 of your hard-earned cash for something called a Horadric Hamburger, with the Americas region launch of Diablo 3′s real money auction house.
Currently, the maximum bid and buyout that can be set on any one item is $250, and there are plenty of items priced at that already. Since Blizzard takes a $1 cut on every successful auction, the minimum is $1.25. Players who want to buy and sell using a balance are, understandably, required to attach a authenticator to their account. Other options include using a credit card or linking a PayPal account.
Equipment sales come with a $1 deduction (taken by Blizzard from the sale amount). Sales for anything else—like gems, crafting materials, and gold—take a 15% deduction instead of the flat $1, presumably to avoid loopholes of selling those commodities in large stacks. Gold must be sold in quantities of 100,000 or more.
Any money made on the auction house is subject to a 15% withdrawal fee if you want to put it anywhere besides the balance (which can be used on the auction house, to pay for WoW subscription time and pets, or anything else directly linked to your account).
We have no word on when the real money auction house will be available in other regions aside from “the near future.”
“We are rolling out elements of the real-money auction house separately to ensure all of our players have the smoothest possible experience,” Blizzard claims. “We’ll have more information on the availability of the European real-money auction house and the remaining Americas currencies soon.”
You can read all the technical and financial details of the auction house on the official Diablo 3 site.