...making Linux just a little more fun!


This month's answers created by:

[ Anderson Silva, Amit Kumar Saha, Ben Okopnik, Dave Richardson, Kapil Hari Paranjape, Rick Moen, Thomas Adam ]
...and you, our readers!

Gazette Matters

Linux Gazette now on Facebook

Anderson Silva [afsilva at gmail.com]

Sat, 8 Aug 2009 20:59:32 -0400

I took the liberty of creating a Linux Gazette group, if you are a member, show your support by joining:


Ben, if you are on FB, let me know and I will make your a moderator (and add anyone else as such, as you request).



Still Searching

Can anyone with an Indian locale test these for me?

Jimmy O'Regan [joregan at gmail.com]

Thu, 6 Aug 2009 09:31:15 +0100

One of our users is complaining that our transliterator doesn't work; the few of us who have tested it all find that it works for us. Now, he says it only works because our locales are wrong(?). I'm just wondering if anyone other than him can get the incorrect result: i.e., that 'ा' fails to transliterate to 'ા' -- I reproduced the same test using standard tools belo, because they do the same thing as our transliterator.

---------- Forwarded message ----------

From: Jimmy O'Regan <joregan@gmail.com>
Date: 2009/8/6
Subject: Re: [Apertium-stuff] Source of trouble: "lt-proc -t" Hindi to
Gujarati conversion
To: vc9999999@gmail.com, apertium-stuff@lists.sourceforge.net

2009/8/6 Jimmy O'Regan <joregan@gmail.com>:

> 2009/8/6 Vineet Chaitanya <vc@iiit.ac.in>:
>> Source of trouble: "lt-proc -t" Hindi to Gujarati conversion:
>> The "i18n" file which is used for generating locales in the SuSE 11.0 and
>> Ubuntu 8.04 version puts Devanagari "maatra" characters under "punct"
>> category for LC_CTYPE!!!
>> So Jimmy, Gabriel and Jacob must be using some "non-standard" version of
>> "i18n" files for compiling their locales! :-)
> Seriously, so what? Why should that make the slightest bit of difference?


$ echo $LANG
$ echo राम|tr 'राम' 'રામ'
$ echo राम|sed -e 's/र/ર/g'|sed -e 's/ा/ા/g' |sed -e 's/म/મ/g'
$ cat s-op.pl
use warnings;
use strict;
while (<>)
$ echo राम|perl s-op.pl

Please try them all.

Our Mailbag

Privacy loss and embedded devices

Rick Moen [rick at linuxmafia.com]

Fri, 14 Aug 2009 10:52:56 -0700

----- Forwarded message from Rick Moen <rick@linuxmafia.com> -----

Date: Fri, 14 Aug 2009 10:48:10 -0700
From: Rick Moen <rick@linuxmafia.com>
To: conspire@linuxmafia.com
Organization: Dis-
Subject: [conspire] (forw) [Evals] Joey Hess In The News...
Joey Hess, to explain, is a Debian developer who worked with me at VA Linux Systems.

The bit about Palm, Inc. explaining that they're doing nothing that they didn't disclose intention to do in their Privacy Policy (http://www.palm.com/us/company/privacy.html) is worth noting, as this keeps coming up whenever someone discovers user-tracking measures in Google Android phones, Apple iPhones, etc.: Inevitably, there turns out to have been somewhat vague contractual language by which the company made sure it was covered. One of several possible morals: Read contract clauses carefully, and assume the other guy will abuse any right he/she claims to get you to agree to.

Example: Terms of use on Google Docs (http://www.google.com/google-d-s/intl/en/terms.html): Clause 11.1 says:

11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive licence to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This licence is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.

"Services" is defined elsewhere as "Google's products, software, services and web [sic] sites". So, in putting your own private data on Google Docs, you are granting Google, Inc. a licence to "reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute" your files anywhere on any of its sites provided Google, Inc. can reasonably claim it did so to "display, distribute and promote the Services". Forever: Its right to do so doesn't cease when/if you stop using the service, or even if you cancel your Google login.

Now, for context, I'm not trying to pick on Google, Inc.: Its Terms of Service are, in general, not only quite benign and enlightened but also written in a manner easy for non-lawyers to understand, which is commendable. My point is that, as eyebrow-raising as that particular grant of rights is when you find and comprehend it, the licence agreement as a while is a breath of fresh air compared to most such things.

[ ... ]

[ Thread continues here (1 message/6.87kB) ]

About using Linux

Sandra Davis [sandart3 at msn.com]

Thu, 6 Aug 2009 13:00:22 -0400

[[[ Sent, of course, as html mail. Sigh. -- Kat ]]]

Is Linux a web server such as Firefox? I have never used Linux, but I = have heard of it. Can you tell me why I would use Linux? I read some = about it on the site, but I would like to know why a personal computer = user would want to use this program.

Sandra Davis

[ Thread continues here (20 messages/28.18kB) ]

Coding a Simple Packet Sniffer

Nikola Tanev [nikola.tanev at ein-sof.com]

Wed, 26 Aug 2009 14:56:53 +0200

Hello Amit.

Your tutorial for coding a simple packet sniffer has been removed from http://www.ncsu.edu/it/mirror/ldp/LDP/LGNET//128/saha.html

Is it maybe possible that you send it to me via this e-mail

Thank you in advance

Nikola Tanev,


[ Thread continues here (7 messages/9.24kB) ]

Wicd Wireless on Boot

Carey Riley [crileyjm at gmail.com]

Sat, 8 Aug 2009 03:21:01 -0500


Do any of you use wicd? I wish to know how to automatically share the wireless on boot. At the moment, the connection to the wired setup is automatically done (by dhcpcd/wicd combination). But the wireless internet sharing has to be set manually.

Thanks in advance.

[ Thread continues here (12 messages/12.87kB) ]

auto-lower a window in X?

Todd Blake [tbblake at gmail.com]

Thu, 27 Aug 2009 15:58:41 -0400

I've been working on some scripts recently that spawn extra windows, and kill them off for the purposes of displaying images. What I can't figure out is how to programatically lower a window after I've opened it, without delving deeply into some C programming against X that would necessitate a major learning curve.

[ Thread continues here (3 messages/2.63kB) ]

Thanks to Ben Okopnik

Ben Okopnik [ben at linuxgazette.net]

Thu, 20 Aug 2009 13:45:46 -0500

[cc'd to The Answer Gang]

On Wed, Aug 19, 2009 at 07:42:42AM -0400, Chris Boucek wrote:

> Hello!
> I just wanted to pass a quick thanks to Ben Okopnik. His article on  
> gnuplot excited me more than discovering the ac command.

Thanks, Chris - always nice to get some feedback! As I recall, we've had a few articles on Gnuplot, R, and similar things since then - even a review of 'Gnuplot in Action' that I did a while back. Hope you have lots of fun exploring it.

* Ben Okopnik * Editor-in-Chief, Linux Gazette * http://LinuxGazette.NET *

New Release: apertium-nn-nb

Jimmy O'Regan [joregan at gmail.com]

Tue, 18 Aug 2009 05:50:54 +0100


We've just released a new language pair: Norwegian Nynorsk–Norwegian Bokmål, apertium-nn-nb. It's the first released automatic translator for Norwegian developed with the free and open-source Apertium machine translator engine. The pair will be available for testing at at http://www.apertium.org/index.php?id=translatetext .

In developing this system, we used the Free language resources Norsk Ordbank (a full form dictionary with morphological annotations, http://www.edd.uio.no/prosjekt/ordbanken/) and the Oslo-Bergen tagger (a Constraint Grammar disambiguator, http://omilia.uio.no/obt/). Both of these resources are released under the GPL as Free software. Although a lot of conversion work was involved, the availability of high quality Free data led to a much higher coverage (~88%) and accuracy than would have been possible otherwise.

In addition to the reuse and conversion of these existing monolingual resources, a lot of work was done on the translational dictionary (partly assisted by the tool ReTraTos which turns Giza++ corpus alignments into bi-dictionary entries), and we have added transfer rules to handle eg. the differences in passive verbs phrases, gender system and possessive noun phrases.

Future goals include handling simple coordination in possessives, improving the rule-based disambiguator along with retraining the statistical tagger, and of course expanding and improving the translational dictionary.

This language pair was developed as part of a Google Summer of Code (GsoC) project. For more information on Apertium and GsoC, see http://socghop.appspot.com/org/home/google/gsoc2009/apertium . Many thanks to mentors Trond Trosterud (University of Tromsø) and Francis Tyers (Universitat d'Alacant and Prompsit Language Engineering) for advice and help on development, and to the other members of the Apertium project; also to Paul Meurer (Unifob AKSIS) and Kristin Hagen (University of Oslo) for help on the GPL Oslo-Bergen tagger, and to various Wikipedia contributors for help on the translation dictionary. Many thanks to all those who developed the open-source tools and free language resources which contributed in developing this new translator.

For more details on development and the language pair, see http://wiki.apertium.org/wiki/Norsk


Vi har nettopp gjeve ut eit nytt språkpar: nynorsk–bokmål, apertium-nn-nb. Dette er den første automatiske omsetjaren for norsk som er utvikla i med Apertium – ein maskinomsetjingsmotor med fri og open kjeldekode. Språkparet vil vere mogleg å teste på http://www.apertium.org/index.php?id=translatetext?=nn .

[ ... ]

[ Thread continues here (1 message/5.45kB) ]

How much does it cost to go into hollywood studios

fairfieldschools@gmail.com [fairfieldschools at gmail.com]

Sun, 2 Aug 2009 13:08:53 -0700

How much does it cost to go into hollywood studios? Your insight into what would be the best way to proceed would be much appreciated. Any info much appreciated. Thank you in advance. Regards, Paul

[ Thread continues here (2 messages/1.17kB) ]

Talkback: Discuss this article with The Answer Gang

Copyright © 2009, . Released under the Open Publication License unless otherwise noted in the body of the article. Linux Gazette is not produced, sponsored, or endorsed by its prior host, SSC, Inc.

Published in Issue 166 of Linux Gazette, September 2009