Department of Chemistry

...California State University Stanislaus

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home News Feeds Planet Ubuntu
Planet Ubuntu
Planet Ubuntu -

  • The Fridge: UbuConLA 2015: Attendee Registration Now Open


    Attendee registration for UbuConLA 2015 has just opened. UbuConLA is the biggest Ubuntu conference in Latin America, and will take place at University of Lima in Lima, Peru on the 7th and 8th August. You can find more information about the conference here.

    Attendee registration is now open. You can fill out this form in order to register for the conference. Registration will only be open for the first 200 attendees, since the auditorium capacity is limited.

    We have a partnership with Hotel & Spa Golf Los Incas. For more information about room rates and hotel services, please go to the hotel page on our website.

    If you want to present a talk at the conference, please fill out the Call for Papers form.

    The schedule for the conference will be available on It will be updated with the final talk slots once the Call for Papers has closed and the speakers have been defined. You will be able to access a livestream of the conference sessions in the same website.

    If you have any questions regarding the conference, please send an email to See you in Lima!


    El registro de asistentes para la UbuConLA 2015 acaba de abrir. La UbuConLA es la conferencia de Ubuntu más grande de Latinoamérica, y se llevará a cabo en la Universidad de Lima, en Lima, Peru el 7 y 8 de agosto. Puedes encontrar más información sobre la conferencia aquí.

    El registro de asistentes ya se encuentra abierto. Puedes rellenar este formulario para registrarte en la conferencia. El registro se encuentra limitado a los primeros 200 asistentes, ya que la capacidad del auditorio es limitada.

    Tenemos una asociación con el Hotel & Spa Golf Los Incas. Para más información sobre tarifas y servicios del hotel, por favor ingresa a la página del hotel en nuestro sitio web.

    Si deseas presentar una charla en la conferencia, por favor rellena el formulario del Llamado a Charlas.

    El cronograma de la conferencia estará disponible en Será actualizado con los slots de charlas finales una vez que el Llamado a Charlas cierre y los ponentes sean definidos. En el mismo sitio podrá accederse a un livestream de las sesiones de la conferencia.

    Si tienes alguna pregunta sobre la conferencia, por favor envía un email a ¡Nos vemos en Lima!

  • Nicholas Skaggs: On Community Governance
    Recently the Community Council formally requested Jonathan Riddell to step away from his leadership role in the Kubuntu community. For many people this came as a shock. Who are the community council? Why would they have authority over Kubuntu and Jonathan? And what did he do to deserve this?

    These are all valid questions! To be clear, despite being a part of the community team at Canonical, I was not a part of this decision. Nor were my fellow team members apart from Daniel and Michael who serve on the CC. It's important to remember this decision came from the Community Council.

    For my part, I'd like to talk a little about the governance structure of ubuntu as I think it's important. Regardless of what you think about the decision, Johnathan, Kubuntu, or Canonical, I think it's a good idea we answer the questions of just who is the Community Council and what authority they have within the project. I've tried to present the facts about governance as clearly as possible here to the best of my ability, but I am happily corrected.

    Who are the community council?
    The are a group of volunteers who were elected by all of us who are community members. Mark sits as a permanent member and acts as SABDFL. He does vet out candidates, but anyone can be nominated. The elections are open and the most recent had several candidates to choose from. At the moment, two of the seven elected members (with Mark being the permanent 8th member) are Canonical employees.

    What does the community council do?
    One of the biggest responsibilities of the council are to act as a mediator and arbitrator for conflict between folks within the community. In addition, they help oversee the other councils, delegate responsibilities and ensure the community upholds the Code of Conduct.

    Why do we need a community council?
    The community council exists to help ensure the community has a way of dealing with conflicts, resolving disputes and making hard decisions when there is otherwise no clear majority or easy answer. They also are one of the primary ways the Code of Conduct is enforced.

    Should the community council have authority in this matter?
    In a nutshell, yes. As the ultimate upholders in Code of Conduct violations, the community council should have authority for any such violation.

    Should I blindly trust the community council?
    Of course not! They are a like any other elected official and abuse of power is something we have to deal with as humans. Respect the position and authority of leaders, but never grant them a free pass. And make sure you vote!

    So what about this decision?
    The decision made by the CC in this case is not an easy one. That said, while I don't agree with how this decision was communicated, I do respect the authority and position of the council to weigh in on these matters. This is important! These folks deserve our respect as volunteers who freely give their time to help ubuntu!

    I empathize greatly with the Kubuntu Council and community as such a decision seemingly has a large perceived effect. Perhaps the actual ramifications aren't as great as they appear? Perhaps not. I hope and trust Johnathan will continue working on KDE and kubuntu. My hope for Kubuntu is they emerge as a stronger community and continue to produce an awesome distro.

    And as for my opinion on if the CC should have made this decision? Remember being a sideline observer in matters like this that you intrinsically don't have all the facts. It's easy to point fingers and assume things. Hindsight also makes it easy to say you would have made a different decision or went about it a different way. I don't envy the position of anyone in the community council. As I've not personally had the pleasure of working with Johnathan anywhere near the extent these folks have I can honestly say I don't know. But the reality is my opinion doesn't matter here. Keep in mind ubuntu is a meritocracy, and while all opinions are welcomed, not all cast equal weight.

    So please respect the authority of our community governance structure. Respect those who serve on both councils. Not satisfied? We vote again on Community Council members this year! Think we should tweak/enhance/change our governance structure? I welcome the discussion! I enjoyed learning more about ubuntu governance and I challenge you to do the same before you let your emotions run with your decisions.

  • Scarlett Clark: Kubuntu: Statement from a not so important Kubuntu Developer.
    I support Jonathan Riddell

    I support Jonathan Riddell

    First, I hate drama, no I loathe drama.
    I have refrained from much more than the occasional social share up to this point.
    I do however, stand by our fearless leader (pun intended, Jonathan has never claimed to be the leader).

    As I sit here packaging what has to be my millionth package, I wonder..
    why do I work so hard, for free, in what has become such a hostile environment?
    For the following reasons:
    Jonathan: who has taught me so much and removed the barrier of entry for me.         (Took me well over a decade to get through this barrier), not to mention he has a heart of gold, I am having a hard time believing the accusations. I do however know his frustrations, as he was trying to get the information for the people affected by it.
    Kubuntu team: Every single one of them I consider family. Great teachers and great friends.
    Kubuntu community: Our wonderful community of users. Time to test! Extremely great bunch.

    It truly saddens me to see all this FUD being thrown around, by folks that up till recently I had great respect for.
    Couple things that do not sit well with me at all.
    1) Absolutely zero communication to the Kubuntu Council about the “issues” with Jonathan prior to the shocking “request”.
    2) The Kubuntu Council asked (repeatedly) for one thing: proof. This still has not been provided.
    So what was suppose to happen here? Evidently bow down, walk away and happily work away silenced.
    This is NOT the open source / FLOSS way. At least not to my understanding. Perhaps I have misunderstood the meaning all these years.

    The result of all of this… My motivation to dedicate every waking hour to my passion, open source software, is depleting rather quickly. At least in the corporate environment there is a paycheck at the end of the week.

    I will stick by Jonathan and the rest of the team until the bitter end, but not at the capacity that I was. So with that said..
    I will support our current releases with bugfix KDE releases. I have currently packaged 15.04.1 which is in testing, 5.3.1 Plasma is in the works.

    And yes, I will work on 4.14.3 for trusty, but it will take time as it has to be done by hand.

    I also want to make note that the super awesome folks at KDE are not affected by my recent woes, I will continue my Continuous Integration support!


  • Valorie Zimmerman: Challenges and opportunities
    Challenges are a normal part of life; and seeing opportunities is a skill all of us can get better at. This past week, though, has been something new.

    The Ubuntu community and philosophy has been home to me. The Ubuntu Code of Conduct is not just about individual conduct, but how we make a community. In fact, the first sentence is Ubuntu is about showing humanity to one another: the word itself captures the spirit of being human.[1] This is my kind of place, where we not only have high ideals, but live those out in our practice. And so it has been for many years.

    So it was a complete shock to get a secret email from the Community Council to me as a Kubuntu Council member announcing that Jonathan Riddell had been asked to step down from Kubuntu leadership. We (the KC) recently met with the CC, and there was no discussion of any issues they had with Jon. They never wrote to us asking for feedback or discussion.

    Jonathan's questions to the CC about a legal issue and that of funds donated to the flavors were not personal, but done on behalf of the Ubuntu community, and on behalf of us, the Kubuntu Council and the Kubuntu community as a whole. We are still concerned about both these issues, but that pales in comparison to the serious breach in governance we've experienced this past week.

    The Code of Conduct states: We expect participants in the project to resolve disagreements constructively. When they cannot, we escalate the matter to structures with designated leaders to arbitrate and provide clarity and direction.

    The CC did not follow this basic procedure. The Community Council is full of great people; a couple of them are personal friends. The CC was established after the Kubuntu Council, and while the KC consists of members nominated and elected by the Kubuntu Members, the CC candidates are selected by Mark Shuttleworth, and then elected by the Ubuntu Members. [2]All Kubuntu Members are also Ubuntu Members. I first stated that the CC is unelected, which is incorrect.[3] I regret the error.

    The fact remains that the CC did not follow the Code of Conduct in their procedure.

    We have had a number of emails back and forth during the week.[4] What has stood out to me is the contrast between their approach, and our own. They have focussed on their feelings (feelings about working with Jon), whereas we continue to point out facts and ask them to follow the Code of Conduct. Naturally, we all experienced emotions about the situation, but emotion is not a basis for decision-making.

    Of course, the members of the CC may perceive the situation entirely differently.

    I wish I knew how this conflict will work out long-term. The Council supports Jonathan, and continues to ask for resolution to the issues he has raised with the CC on the community list. We have done so formally yesterday.

    Jon is the person who brought KDE to Ubuntu, and Ubuntu to KDE, and has always functioned as a bridge between the two projects and the two communities. He will continue to do this as long as he is able, and we rely on his faithfulness for the success of Kubuntu. He is the magnet who draws new developers to us, and his loss would spell the end of Kubuntu-the-project.

    The CC did not follow the basic procedure and raise bring the issue they had with Jon to us, the Kubuntu Council. We await their return to this principle as we work to find a way forward. We are determined to find a way to make this work.


  • Daniel Pocock: Quick start using Blender for video editing

    Although it is mostly known for animation, Blender includes a non-linear video editing system that is available in all the current stable versions of Debian, Ubuntu and Fedora.

    Here are some screenshots showing how to start editing a video of a talk from a conference.

    In this case, there are two input files:

    • A video file from a DSLR camera, including an audio stream from a microphone on the camera
    • A separate audio file with sound captured by a lapel microphone attached to the speaker's smartphone. This is a much better quality sound and we would like this to replace the sound included in the video file.

    Open Blender and choose the video editing mode

    Launch Blender and choose the video sequence editor from the pull down menu at the top of the window:

    Now you should see all the video sequence editor controls:

    Setup the properties for your project

    Click the context menu under the strip editor panel and change the panel to a Properties panel:

    The video file we are playing with is 720p, so it seems reasonable to use 720p for the output too. Change that here:

    The input file is 25fps so we need to use exactly the same frame rate for the output, otherwise you will either observe the video going at the wrong speed or there will be a conversion that is CPU intensive and degrades the quality:

    Now specify an output filename and location:

    Specify the file format:

    and the video codec:

    and specify the bitrate (smaller bitrate means smaller file but lower quality):

    Specify the AAC audio codec:

    Now your basic rendering properties are set. When you want to generate the output file, come back to this panel and use the Animation button at the top.

    Editing the video

    Use the context menu to change the properties panel back to the strip view panel:

    Add the video file:

    and then right click the video strip (the lower strip) to highlight it and then add a transform strip:

    Audio waveform

    Right click the audio strip to highlight it and then go to the properties on the right hand side and click to show the waveform:

    Rendering length

    By default, Blender assumes you want to render 250 frames of output. Looking in the properties to the right of the audio or video strip you can see the actual number of frames. Put that value in the box at the bottom of the window where it says 250:

    Enable AV-sync

    Also at the bottom of the window is a control to enable AV-sync. If your audio and video are not in sync when you preview, you need to set this AV-sync option and also make sure you set the frame rate correctly in the properties:

    Add the other sound strip

    Now add the other sound file that was recorded using the lapel microphone:

    Enable the waveform display for that sound strip too, this will allow you to align the sound strips precisely:

    You will need to listen to the strips to make an estimate of the time difference. Use this estimate to set the "start frame" in the properties for your audio strip, it will be a negative value if the audio strip starts before the video. You can then zoom the strip panel to show about 3 to 5 seconds of sound and try to align the peaks. An easy way to do this is to look for applause at the end of the audio strips, the applause generates a large peak that is easily visible.

    Once you have synced the audio, you can play the track and you should not be able to hear any echo. You can then silence the audio track from the camera by right clicking it, look in the properties to the right and change volume to 0.

    Make any transforms you require

    For example, to zoom in on the speaker, right click the transform strip (3rd from the bottom) and then in the panel on the right, click to enable "Uniform Scale" and then set the scale factor as required:

    Next steps

    There are plenty of more comprehensive tutorials, including some videos on Youtube, explaining how to do more advanced things like fading in and out or zooming and panning dynamically at different points in the video.

    If the lighting is not good (faces too dark, for example), you can right click the video strip, go to the properties panel on the right hand side and click Modifiers, Add Strip Modifier and then select "Color Balance". Use the Lift, Gamma and Gain sliders to adjust the shadows, midtones and highlights respectively.