stupidity

For those who care about SN9C10x based webcams

Webcam
Sonic-snap screenshot
Sonic-snap-gui screenshot
Note: Yeah, I'm abusing the latest Debian flamewar meme for some attention mongering. Sue me.

A few days ago, I have tested my cheap, crappy webcam I bought more than a year ago for the first time. Using the latest SN9C10x driver (which is already included in recent 2.6.1x kernels) worked fine, i.e., the USB webcam was recognized.

I tried running sonic-snap (site is currently down, try the Google Cache) in order to get snapshot images and/or videos off the webcam, which initially didn't work. But I soon found out what the cause of the problem was and created a trivial patch which fixed the problem for me.

Then, after I made myself look like an idiot by reporting a bug against a non-existing sonic-snap Debian package, I finally sent the patch to the upstream author. I'll probably ITP the package, though, as I might be using the webcam more often...

I also tested the webcam with Gnomemeeting for some videoconferencing fun, which didn't work at first either. After some stupid guessing and googling, I finally found out that you need to apt-get install libpt-plugins-v4l2, which is not installed by default (why?). Other than that (and apart from the really, really crappy image quality of the webcam), it worked really nice...

Here's the exact lsusb output for Google to parse, other people might be searching for this info:

Bus 003 Device 003: ID 0c45:602a Microdia Meade ETX-105EC Camera

Why you should read your log messages from time to time [Update]

I didn't notice this for months. I was only able to use ca. 900 MB of my 1024 MB of RAM. It only happened accidentally that I read through my logs and noticed this:

Dec 26 19:33:37 localhost kernel: Warning only 896MB will be used.
Dec 26 19:33:37 localhost kernel: Use a HIGHMEM enabled kernel.
Dec 26 19:33:37 localhost kernel: 896MB LOWMEM available.

After setting the "High Memory Support" kernel option to 4GB and a quick kernel recompile, I can now use my full RAM. Nice, eh?

Update 2005-12-31: Thanks a lot to all the people pointing out (via comments in the blog and emails) that there's a better way to do this!

EU adopts Big Brother data retention directive, ignores industry and civil society [Update]

Heise (and many other sources) report that the EU parliament has voted for the abysmal data retention directive, simply ignoring objections from the industry and the civil society.

The EU has turned into a police state where more than 450 million citizens are treated as criminals by default now! 1984 is a joke compared to this. We're all fucked! Bigtime!

Please, someone go out and sue the shit out of the fucking idiots who are responsible for this kindly remind the responsible politicians that this directive is a really bad idea!

Update 2005-12-15: OK, so I might have overreacted. My first answer to the accusations would probably be (abusing an unrelated quote from Jonathan McDowell): "I exaggerate for effect". But honestly, while it's not as bad as 1984, I really do think that this law will bring us all a big step nearer to a 1984-type horror scenario.

(via netzpolitik.org)

Last chance to fight EU data retention

On the 13th of December (next Tuesday) the European Parliament will vote on a Data Retention Directive. This directive is stupid, stupid, stupid (you cannot stress that enough)! More info on the Data Retention is No Solution wiki.

The Open Rights Group has an article on fighting data retention which outlines what you can do to (hopefully) stop this.

/me walks to the local Irish pub for some Guinness now.

French Government Lobbied to Ban Free Software

From FSF France:

Friday November 18th, 2005, French Department of Culture. SNEP and SCPP have told Free Software authors: "You will be required to change your licenses." SACEM add: "You shall stop publishing free software," and warn they are ready "to sue free software authors who will keep on publishing source code" should the "VU/SACEM/BSA/FA Contents Department"[1] bill proposal pass in the Parliament.

WTF? This has got to be a joke... Please tell me this is a sick joke.

(via MJ Ray)

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