Svetlana Belkin: Tomnod: Crowdsourcing in Use to Find the Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370
Over the last few hours, I tried out Tomnod, a (fairly new) crowdsourcing site that uses live satellite images for users to search for clues of what happened. This time it is the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 that occurred on March 8, 2014. I gone through about 260 maps plus two of the maps that others have shared (6060 and another one that I don’t remember) and I found nothing minus the plane like object in the 6060 map that is posted on iCNN.
This crowdsourcing idea is a neat one but there are suggestions that I want to give to the developers of it, some of them I have seen from others:
- Have a way to view the tags that you have tagged and what other users have tagged
- Zooming functions are a must
- Have a way to allow users to switch from large map to large map
- Have a homepage that has the link to the map
- Use that homepage to explain the project
- Also have a “News” page
I hope that this project will help them to find the plane and everyone. Please pray for them.
Valorie Zimmerman: Prospective GSoC Students: Now is the time to submit proposals
Greetings to all you students we've been talking with in IRC (#kde-soc and your chosen team's channel(s)) and on the mailing lists. By now, hopefully you have met and talked with your teams, and begun formulating your plan for GSoC, with advice from your prospective mentor(s).
I hope you have followed Myriam's advice and done your homework. If you have worked on some junior jobs, have your KDE developer credentials, joined the necessary lists *including KDE-soc*, you have a good foundation built.
Pro-tip: always check out the links in the /topic of your IRC channels. The #kde-soc channel topic is particularly rich.
Many prospective mentors hang out in that channel, but not all. Us admins are there as often as possible as well. I'm always willing to help edit a proposal for grammar, spelling, organization, formatting, etc. And I can be brutally honest, so if you ask my opinion, be aware that I won't waste your time with anything but the truth.
Now is the time to log into melange, and submit your proposals. If you have not yet had a team member vet your plan, give them the link to your melange proposal and ask. Don't waste their time with mere ideas; you need a clear plan of action, and a realistic timeline.
Go, go, go!
Tony Whitmore: Have you processed the pictures?
In 1991 I had some photos published in Doctor Who Magazine. Fast forward 23 years and 293 editions and it’s happened again.
I was asked to photograph Nicholas Briggs (voice of the Daleks, Cybermen, Judoon and more, executive producer at Big Finish and all round good egg) interviewing David Graham. David was one of the voice artistes who created the Daleks’ grating staccato delivery back in the 1960s. He has had an amazing career, appearing on screen in Doctor Who, The Avengers, The Saint and plenty more. He was also the voice of Parker and Brains in Thunderbirds, and is Grandpa in Peppa Pig.
So on a Monday morning back in January I found myself stood outside David’s flat in a rather nice area of London. Nick and David were already mid-interview (I was bang on time of course! They must have started early) so after David had made me a cup of tea I sat quietly a took some candid photos of them chatting. Then we carefully re-arranged David’s furniture to create an impromptu space for photographs and I broke out the speed lights and softbox. Figuring out how to make the available space work is something that I have learnt from my wedding photography. I think the photos capture the gentle good humour that was bouncing between Nick and David. Nick’s write-up of the interview is a funny take on the morning. It’s fascinating to read his take on the conversation.
You can read the interview and admire the photos in the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine, which is a Dalek special. It’s at newsagents now, or available online: Doctor Who Official Magazine issue 471 (April 2014) – Dalek Special
Thanks to Tom Spilsbury and Nick Briggs for asking me to take the photos, and the DWM team who made them look fantastic. It was a very enjoyable way to spend a morning!
Martin Pitt: Creating a local swift server on Ubuntu for testing
Our current autopkgtest machinery uses Jenkins (a private and a public one) and lots of “rsync state files between hosts”, both of which have reached a state where they fall over far too often. It’s flakey, hard to maintain, and hard to extend with new test execution slaves (e. g. for new architectures, or using different test runners). So I’m looking into what it would take to replace this with something robust, modern, and more lightweight.
In our new Continuous Integration world the preferred technologies are RabbitMQ for doing the job distribution (which is delightfully simple to install and use from Python), and OpenStack’s swift for distributed data storage. We have a properly configured swift in our data center, but for local development and experimentation I really just want a dead simple throw-away VM or container which gives me the swift API. swift is quite a bit more complex, and it took me several hours of reading and exercising various tutorials, debugging connection problems, and reading stackexchange to set it up. But now it’s working, and I condensed the whole setup into a single setup-swift.sh shell script.
You can run this in a standard ubuntu container or VM as root:
sudo apt-get install lxc
sudo lxc-create -n swift -t ubuntu -- -r trusty
sudo lxc-start -n swift
# log in as ubuntu/ubuntu, and wget or scp setup-swift.sh
Then get swift’s IP from
sudo lxc-ls --fancy, install the swift client locally, and talk to it:
$ sudo apt-get install python-swiftclient
$ swift -A http://10.0.3.134:8080/auth/v1.0 -U testproj:testuser -K testpwd stat
Caveat: Don’t use this for any production machine! It’s configured to maximum insecurity, with static passwords and everything.
I realize this is just poor man’s juju, but juju-local is currently not working for me (I only just analyzed that). There is a charm for swift as well, but I haven’t tried that yet. In any case, it’s dead simple now, and maybe useful for someone else.
Jonathan Riddell: KDE Frameworks 5 Alpha 2 is Green
Scarlett has been working hard on packaging KDE Frameworks 5 Alpha 2 and the build status page shows a sea of green (the only yellow is when a framework is asking for a package which doesn't exist yet). Just in time for Plasma Next to get its Alpha release this week coming :) Grab the KF5 packages from the experimental PPA for Kubuntu Trusty.