Quick tip: Making ssh agent work in screen sessions

The only annoying this I find in the otherwise indispensable GNU Screen is the fact that once you have launched screen (not resume) and have detached and logged off the first time, ssh-agent magic stops working in the screen sessions. Obviously this is because the next time you login, your ssh agent socket changes but the screen sessions still only have the location of the ssh-agent socket when you launched screen for the first time.

ISP data caps taken to court in US with very convincing arguments

We Indians have been cribbing about ISP data caps for broadband called very insultingly as Fair Usage Policy (FUP), but I have heard few making a very good case about why this is a bad idea for the market. And how the ISP’s justifications of minority data hoggers is a case of šŸ’©. But I just heard about a very good case being made against such data caps in the US broadband market.

Automatic folders for mailing lists using procmail

Here is a quick tip which I have gleaned from multiple sources which makes using procmail filters a breeze. I subscribe to dozens of mailing lists, and it really is somewhat of a chore to create filters for every mailing list I signup for so that mails for that list goes to a separate folder. However, it is possible to setup procmailrc in such a way that you really don’t need to update procmailrc for every new mailing list that you signup for.

microUSB cellphone charger becomes EU standard

The European Commission has put into effect a June 2009 agreement stating that major cellphone manufacturers should standardize their charging/data connection ports to the popular microUSB format. via blogtechnical.com Finally. It took over a decade (in Indian market) to get to this point. I wonder why it took so long. But I am so glad that already my Android phone, Kindle and bluetooth headset all use the same charger.

Android will be using ext4 starting with Gingerbread

Theodore Ts’o reports that … Starting with Gingerbread, newer Android phones (starting with the Nexus S) will be using the ext4 file system. Android Arena mentions one of the main advantages: YAFFS is single-threaded, which would have been a bottleneck when trying to record those full HD video clips, and save them to the flash memory, whereas Ext4 doesnā€™t have this limitation. Thus the new file system is more suited for usage with the multicore ARM-based chipsets that will be creeping into handsets and tablets next year.

Of cognitive surplus, and pigs in the digital age

Just a lighthearted reminder that, even if the lure of the connected digital world gets people to skimp on the Gilliganā€™s Island reruns, that doesnā€™t necessarily mean their replacement behaviors will be any more productive. They could instead bring an ever greater capacity for distraction and disengagement and slingshot precision. Via niemanlab.org Interesting article on how the Internet giveth and taketh it away. Our productivity, that is. Yeah, we all knew that, but this article gives out some interesting numbers.

Indian Open Standards policy finalized, with a major victory for the FOSS community

Amazing work by all the people involved! Venkatesh Hariharan reported on the Linux Delhi mailing list today: The open standards policy has been finalized and it incorporates many of the suggestions made by the FOSS community in India. In the previous draft dated 25/11/2009, our major objection was to section 4.1.2 of the policy which said. 4.1.2 The essential patent claims necessary to implement the Identified Standard should preferably be available on a Royalty-Free (no payment and no restrictions) basis for the life time of the standard.

Evaluating Posterous #review #webapp

I am trying out this post aggregator called Posterous. It allows you to use email for posting to many other sites where you post content, like Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, etc. It has a neat idea of specific email addresses like facebook@posterous.com for posting to facebook and likewise for others. You can even combine destinations, like [facebook+twitter@posterous.com](mailto:facebook%2Btwitter@posterous.com). For links to images, it inserts the image for you (I think), for videos, it embeds the video player in your posts(they say).

Restart/Shutdown your Linux machine using dbus

Ok. This is fairly trivial stuff for many of you, but what I found interesting is that the SystemBus lets you shutdown/restart/suspend/hibernate as an ordinary user. Of course, if you think of a desktop, that is a pretty basic expectation of what an ordinary end-user should be able to do. But when I think about a server, the thought that people can bypass a sudo while doing a shutdown makes me uneasy.

Regular expressions in Python by example

Every time I come back to Python from the land of Perl here at work, I need to re-learn how to use regular expressions in Python, as it is, IMHO, quite a bit different from Perl. Rather than trawling through the docs again, I made some online notes this time. Hope it is useful to somebody.