What’s New In Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx Alpha 1?


A few days ago, our in-house Linux expert Chinmoy, reported the release of Ubuntu 10.04’s first Alpha. True to it’s predefined schedule cycle, the Lucid Lynx – as this version of the most popular Linux distribution is called – will be releasing in April 2010.

Even though the alpha is not recommended for general public because it’s still under early stages of development, the OMG Ubuntu blog stayed true to its spirit of interest in the operating system, downloaded it the system and ran down a complete what’s-in-and-what’s-not report of the release.

As per their report, the new Ubuntu will come with a decreased number of games, cutting short the number to just 5. The Update Installer gets a new button that when clicked, will update the Updater itself, so that a broken Update installer shall not cause problems for other installations. Amongst other things, the Software Center has earned itself breadcrumbs for smoother navigation and a new application called Byubo comes pre-installed. Although not revolutionary changes, the updates are worth checking out, as it is said, small steps makes up the complete run’.

Check out the complete list of changes on OMG Ubuntu!

Linux Mint 8 Helena x64 Edition Released

greenshot_2009-12-15_19-58-37Last month, we reported the release of Linux Mint 8, or Helena’. Today, their development team also released the 64 bit edition of the popular linux distribution for computers compliant with 64 bit processors. A quick heads up to all Mint enthusiasts, if you’re sixty-four bitted, get your download here.

This x64 edition of Linux Mint 8 is almost identical to the Main Edition but compiled for 64 bit processors (Intel Core 2 Duo, Intel Core 2 Quad, AMD Athlon X2 64 and all x86-64 compliant processors). It comes with all the improvements featured in Linux Mint 8 Helena Main Edition.

For Global Warming’s sake, use the Torrent download. It helps heating up less servers.

How to Add Funny Effects To Photos

Sometime back, we linked to several services and tools that let you transform decent people into mischievous wonders. The online tools allowed you to blacken anybody’s eye or add curly hair. Adding a long, witch-like nose or turning people into a Star Wars character is been made as easy as a pie, thanks to the internet and its marvels. Services like these keep popping up, each with its own star-factor. We’ve got two of these covered today.

Funtastic Face

1e9b7d9cc14251eeaFuntastic Face is the place to reach out if you need a cosmetic surgery. Seriously. This is the hub for all face related effects. Need an extra jaw, eye wear, hair, noses or if you’d like some punches on your eyes, they have bruises too. Everything is covered. The application is built with flash. Photos can be uploaded, snapped from a webcam or gotten off your facebook profile (login required). Check out how I adorned Brad Pitt. He looks attractive, doesn’t he, girls?


…is the place to get gross.On GrossOut, you can add all kinds of filthy slimes, nasty things, dirty bandages, patches to your beautiful faces. Or perhaps ruin somebody else’s. The app is flash material and you can take photos direct from your webcam i.e. if you wish to ruin your own face, otherwise, you can upload pictures from your computer. We selected Tiger Woods for our experiment. And look! The world still has his smile!myGrossOut

Linux Mint 8 Helena Released

Linux Mint 8 Helena Desktop

The popular Linux distro Mint’, known for its out-of-the-box working and preinstalled utility applications today released a major update. Moving on to version 8 now, the newest edition of the distro has been codenamed Helena, following the alphabetical naming scheme. Linux Mint 8 is based on Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala.

Apart from the regular edition, a new Universal Edition is also launched. The Universal Edition is available as a Live DVD and includes packages for several languages, thus enabling easy localization of the operating system. On the other hand, it won’t contain any proprietary audio or video codecs. This is done to to facilitate the distribution of Linux Mint in countries where software patents are enforceable. However, the Universal Edition will come with an extra feature that will allow the user to download all the missing codecs in one go.

Linux Kernel 2.6.31 has been put to use with this release and the system comes with Gnome 2.28 and X.Org 7.4. The spotlight of this update has been given to GUI modification and tweaking to make it more usable and productive. Several new nifty features have been added for better accessibility and computing experience. Apart from the that, major improvements have been made over OEM installation, possibility to ignore updates, configurable menu places, multiple selection in the Software Manager, new system tray File Uploader with support for drag and drop and mutiple files uploads.

[Download Linux Mint 8] We recommend you download using BitTorrent so as to avoid slow downloading speed caused be heavy load on their servers.

Monitor Public Torrent Trackers With Trackon

greenshot_2009-11-27_22-51-42Regular BitTorrent users should know that a public torrent tracker can get a fit of hiccups any time of the day. With recent incidents involving anti-piracy organizations shutting down public and private trackers, it has become increasingly difficult to find open and public BitTorrent trackers that still race through the wild. You never know when a perfectly fine tracker goes down and takes with it, your torrents, unless it’s got life support in the form of DHT.

Even though a torrent can function without using a tracker, taking help from DHT, tracker-less technologies are still bleeding-edge and aren’t mature. So, it is always recommended that a torrent lists one or several functioning trackers.

Trackon is a service to monitor the status and health of existing open and public trackers that anyone can use. Using the list from the website, you can choose the trackers you wish to list in your torrents, going through their status and health. You can arrange the list on the basis of uptime percentage, status and latency. In case you are looking for a safe SSL encrypted tracker, Trackon makes it even easier by listing the trackers that support it.

Trackon (pronounced as dragon, with a T) is based off the Google AppEngine and currently monitors 63 torrent trackers. It also employs an API, documentation for which can be accessed here. Trackon itself is opensource, and its code can be downloaded from here.

What is a .PLS File? How to Open .PLS Files?

Like previously mentioned playlist format M3U, PLS is also a similar file format standard for creating playlists in media players, but in fact is a much more expressive format than the other counterpart.

A PLS file can retain song cache information, like its length unlike M3U. Being just a playlist file, it does not contain any music files in itself, but rather point to music files stored elsewhere. The PLS file format is often used to redirect to Internet radio streams, for example, if you want to play a radio stream from Shoutcast, you can copy the PLS file url of the station from the site and play it in a desktop media player like Winamp, Foobar, iTunes or VLC. You will have to use the Add Location Or URL option in the media players to add the stream and listen to it.

PLS files are not supported in Windows Media Player, unless you install third party codecs, like the K-Lite Code Pack.

How to Open .M3U Files?

.M3U files is a common standard used in creating MP3 Playlists’. An M3U file is basically a plain text file that stores the location of different media that the mediaplayer should play. It is not the media file itself but rather a pin-pointing mechanism for them.

An M3U file simply tells the player where the real song track is located and in what order is the song list to be played. Originally, Winamp was the first player to support this format, but slowly with time, M3U has become the de facto format for media playlists. Mostly all desktop media players now support M3U playlists, and you can play and create playlists from within the application.

If you have an M3U file on your computer, you should be able to play it with any music player installed on your system. On Windows, just right click the file > Select Open As’ > Select the player you wish to play it with.

As made obvious, M3U files can’t be burnt to CDs and other devices as such because they just point to the original media. When transferring you songs from your computer to another device, make sure you transfer the real files instead of M3U playlists.

New Casio Cameras: EX-FC150 P&S And EX-FH25 Superzoom

Casio today announced two new digital cameras that supersede their previous models. The announcement was made in Japanese so we have to rely on Google Translator’s clemency to understand the press report. Thanks Google.

The EX-FC150, apart from the befuddling name, is a pretty good point and shoot compact. It is a successor to the equally wickedly-named EX-FC100 and features a new backlit CMOS sensor with 10 million pixels. The EX-FC150 retains  the 5x optical zoom and sensor-shift image stabilization from its predecessor. With a 2.7 inch LCD screen, the camera will also sport 720p video recording at 30 frames a second.


On the other hand, the EX-FC150’s big brother EX-FH25 is a superzoom camera. (Do you notice the similarity of names of these brothers? I assume their whole family has such out of the world names.) With a similar backlit CMOS sensor, the EX-FH25 can zoom upto 20x at 10MP. Like its younger sibling, it can also shoot 720p HD video at 30fps and both cameras can shoot video at a mouth-staggering frame rate of 1000fps at a mouth-shut resolution of 224×34.


You can find both of these cameras in the stores on November 27. We can’t tell you about the prices though, because that’s supposed to be surprise. Oh, no wait. Even Google Translator didn’t know that, so how can we?

Thanks Engadget and 1001NoisyCameras

openSUSE 11.2 Released With KDE 4.3 [Linux]


Yesterday, Novell released a  new core update to it prime Linux Distribution, openSUSE, raising the bar to 11.2. The new release brings with it several core updates, newer versions of Gnome and KDE, and numerous updated packages. The spotlight feature of this release has to be none other than KDE 4.3, which is regarded as a quite significant leap in terms of stability and speed from its previous versions.

opensuse kde desktop

openSUSE KDE 4.3

The KDE window manager now comes as default, although you can choose between Gnome and XFCE while installing the system. It comes with Gnome 2.28 and if you choose to get the lightweight XFCE environment, you will get the 4.6.1 version. Well, that’s enough of numbers to munch, the rest is all obvious and can be explained in one word: Updated’.

opensuse gnome

openSUSE Gnome 2.28

Networking support has been improved for the operating system and adding to that, 11.2 also comes pre-packed with social networking clients Gwibber and Choqok (Microblogging), so you won’t feel Twitter-less the moment you land on a freshly installed desktop. The desktop experience has been tweaked like never before and things have been made simpler and easy to find. Coming to things done under the hood, you can now encrypt you entire hard disk, take advantage of the newer and better EXT4 filesystem and manage remote openSUSE webservers with WebYast, that lets you administer your SUSE servers remotely.

openSUSE 11.2 is available in several options of KDE, Gnome, 32bit or 64bit. Grab your copy from here.

Via the openSuse News Blog. Thanks to LinuxCritic for the timely images.

How To Convert Flickr Metadata to Lightroom And Photoshop Presets

When you click a photo in this digital age, a lot of information gets saved, it’s not only the light that you have captured. Almost all digital cameras these days save extra information with your pictures. This extra information gives details about the type of camera used, exposure provided, focal length, white balance, shutter speed, aperture and several other tidbits about the picture taken. This information is called EXIF data which stands for Exchangeable Image File Format.

flickr-logo The EXIF data also contains the RAW conversion settings, stored when a photographers digitally process their pictures. These RAW conversion settings can contain details such as brightness, contrast, vignettes, white balance, temperature and several other options that can totally transform the images. So, if you copy this data from one picture to another, you can actually, in some way, give the second picture a similar look’ like the first one.

Using this idea, photographer and web developer Joe Smalley created an easy to use tool that will allow you to give a particular look’ to a picture, sourcing the EXIF data from a Flickr photograph. This is how he explains the process:

After quickly getting tired of copying settings across manually, I developed a tool which will output a Lightroom or Photoshop preset file based on the metadata found for that Flickr photo. Simply enter the full URL of the photo into the tool below and you’re away!

It is limited to photos which have metadata publicly available. Also custom point tone curve information isn’t converted- as the Flickr metadata page unfortunately doesn’t show all it.

The tool can be used to create dramatic transformations of pictures. If the look of the downloaded preset doesn’t suit the picture well, you can always tweak each individual setting manually.

Note: If the preset downloads as plain text or in a txt file, simply change its extension/save it as .LRtemplate (for Lightroom) or .ACR (for photoshop)

Convert Flickr Metadata to Lightroom/Photoshop presets