Variety wallpaper changer on Ubuntu 14.04

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After upgrading to Ubuntu 14.04, I noticed that Variety, the desktop wallpaper changer I’m using, stopped updating the desktop wallpaper (xfce here), although it continued to change the photos (by updating the application’s indicator icon).

So, I started looking into the details and I found that I had to change two lines in ~/.config/variety/scripts/set_wallpaper script.

Before:

xfconf-query -c xfce4-desktop -p /backdrop/screen0/monitor0/image-path -s “” 2> /dev/null
xfconf-query -c xfce4-desktop -p /backdrop/screen0/monitor0/image-path -s “$WP” 2> /dev/null

After:

xfconf-query -c xfce4-desktop -p /backdrop/screen0/monitorLVDS/workspace0/last-image -s “” 2> /dev/null
xfconf-query -c xfce4-desktop -p /backdrop/screen0/monitorLVDS/workspace0/last-image -s “$WP” 2> /dev/null


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Duplicity fails on 3GB /tmp

Backup application Duplicity has just filled up my /tmp, located on / partition with 3GB free space, during verification of a full backup and, finally, reported ‘failure’!
After quitting Duplicity, I have 1GB less free space on my / partition.

I wonder how much bigger the /tmp space need to be…

—-

Update [2013/11/19]:

I’ve found the ‘lost’ GB into ~/.cache/deja-dup directory [naturally] (or /root/.cache/deja-dup if it runs under gksudo), but I still don’t know why 3 GB of temporary space are not enough.


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“Hidden” gems of VLC

Today I found out the power of the “Devices” items in the VLC application.
With that I mean the option to record:

  • a videocast with the computer’s camera [Video capture]
    Video effects, although can be seen on screen, are not recorded.
  • the usage of some application through its window (or the whole desktop, if you like) [Screen capture]

Audio capture didn’t worked for me; maybe it’s a configuration thing or a conflict, since video recordings had also no audio at all.

[Article copied from a Drupal blog I used to have; now deleted]


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“Bad request Error 400” for GMail on Firefox

For the last 2-3 days I had an unusual situation to deal with. Whenever I tried to visit my GMail account using Firefox, the response was:

Bad request
Error 400

 At first I checked with the other browsers (Chrome, Opera and Midori) I have installed on my system. All connected without reporting anything.
Then, my next guess was misbehaving addons, but as I tweeted:

So, what is wrong with #GMail on #Firefox today? “Bad request Error 400” (even with all addons disabled)
— A. P. Tsompanopoulos (@aptlogs) March 22, 2012

Since that approach didn’t helped either, I decided to remove the GMail-related cookies. I used the “Remove cookie(s) for Site” addon and it deleted 78 cookies I had for GMail.

Unfortunately, I don’t know which cookie was the “bad” one, but after deleting them I was again able to reconnect without problem.


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No editor toolbar on WordPress

Just a quick note for me and anyone else with a similar problem:

If the rich-text editor on a WordPress blog is not displayed correctly (i.e. no visible toolbar or no access to writing area — I recently had both symptoms) then the problem might be an incompatible library used in a plugin.

For my case, the solution of the problem was to deactivate the “Spelling & grammar” box of the JetPack plugin by selecting “Learn more” at first and then “De-activate”.


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Think like a virus!

Not related to L.A.M.P. technologies, but a useful quote to remember if you are a net admin:

As a network administrator, you have to think like a virus.
How can I get into a network?
Which points are the most vulnerable?
Once in, what’s the easiest path to destruction?

From the “Windows sources” magazine, July 1997 issue, page 158, “NT admin> Stop network attacks” by David Chernicoff


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How to hide “Mark all as read” in new Google Reader

With the new redesign of Google Reader (the Google+ look-alike), I’ve noticed a new annoying behavior today.
The “Mark all as read” in now a button that takes and keeps focus. This means that if you press it once with your mouse and, then, go to another group of posts and press space to view the next page, you ‘ll end to mark all posts in that group as read!!! [because the “Mark all as read” button has got the focus]
The easier work-around solution I’ve found is to hide that button and use Ctrl-A Shift-A [edited] whenever I want to use the [main] functionality. I know that by hiding all options I miss the option to mark all older than a date as read, but I can live with this instead of marking as read all posts by mistake.

Since I work with Firefox and use Stylish Stylus, this hiding is easy. Just add a new recipe, name it something like “hide mark all in GReader” and insert the following in it:

@-moz-document url-prefix(http://www.google.com/reader), url-prefix(https://www.google.com/reader), url-prefix(http://google.com/reader), url-prefix(https://google.com/reader) {
span#mark-all-as-read-split-button { display: none !important; }
}

and enable the Stylish Stylus recipe when you want to feel safe.

How to hide the new Facebook news feed

In case you are using Firefox and you want to hide the new Facebook right-column news feed, here is a quick hack.

  • At first, you need to install Stylish Stylus, if you don’t have it already.
  • Add a new blank style with the following lines in it and give it whatever name you want.
  • Energize! 😉

The code:

@namespace url(http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml);

@-moz-document domain(“facebook.com”) {
.fbFeedTickerStory { display: none !important; }
}


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How to forward a Google+ post to your email inbox

While we ‘re still waiting for the full Google+ API to be available in public, I recently asked in twitter for “an easy way to save GooglePlus posts for later reading or archiving” and this is the solution I found since then:

  • Go to Google+ and create a new circle.
  • Add in this circle one of your email addresses, that has NOT a Google+ account; just the email. In case you don’t have a second email address, either create one or use the plus-enhanced mode of the one you already have (if your provider accepts this mode), i.e. something like username+gplus@email.provider.tld (given that your email is username@email.provider.tld, you should add “+gplus” (or something similar) just before the “@” sign — replace “username”, “email.provider.tld” as appropriate).
  • From now on, when you find something interesting, you have to share it with this new circle and, since the one member of the circle has no Google+ profile, the interesting post will land into your email box.

Update [2011/09/21]: this technique comes handy also when you want a copy of your posts into your email box. You just have to include the “me” circle as a recipient of your posts, along with the other circles or people.

With this trick you don’t need an RSS feed for your posts [although I think that Google must implement this as a feature, IMHO]


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    Re-enabling Google FriendConnect gadgets

    In case you see blank boxes in your Firefox, instead of Google FriendConnect (GFC) gadgets, you can try searching the configuration window of the HTTPS Everywhere add-on. For me, it was the GoogleServices option, which I had to deactivate in order to re-enable the GFC gadgets.

    HTTPS Everywhere Preferences window

    It took me some time and several deactivations and reactivations of my add-ons while trying to find the culprit and I found it.


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