Friday, 26 March 2010

Gwibber – some intial thoughts.

I started using Gwibber yesterday as an alternative to Tweetdeck. Tweetdeck is a lovely app but getting AIR apps to run on 64 bit boxes requires effort and I keep losing the URL on how to do it properly. (I know)

Anyway as Canonical are pushing Gwibber, I thought I'd run it for a day and see how I got on. Here are some of my (constructive, I hope) comments.

Integration with the desktop

You can now tweet or update your statuses etc from the notification area. I'm sure that this sounds like a Good Thing in a meeting but the reality is you have a 20 character window in which to type or paste your pearls of wisdom. This, in itself, is bearable, but you would still have to remember which social networks you have enabled and which ones you have disabled - leaving you open to all kinds of inappropriate social interaction. It's not going to go away as a feature, but I would personally AVOID, AVOID, AVOID using it.

The must have integration feature that is missing is being able to dock Gwibber to the notification area. When new notifications arrive and are being acknowledged, the mouse pointer will be in that part of the screen anyway, so a quick click a few cm away would bring Gwibber to the fore making for happy users. Please implement.

Look and feel

It's harmless enough on the eyes. Some of the text takes up too much screen real estate and could be a little smaller. I notice that there are two themes installed from the get-go, so I am guessing that it will be skin-able to one's taste. I'll investigate further if I feel the need.


The Facebook feed Message filter is too noisy for me. Can you add a Status Update notification filter as well as the Message filter too? It is in the Facebook API.

I do not have an imax for a screen nor is my monitor spotless nor is my eyesight perfect

Can you really tell which one of these accounts is enabled and which is disabled at a quick glance? Really? Good for you. Srsly, can you overlay a red cross or something over the disabled accounts?

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

UK only tor exit nodes

In light of last night's Panorama I thought that I'd investigate setting up onion routing to only exit in UK exit nodes so that I could enjoy UK-centric content with the benefit of a degree of anonymity.


Is very simple for debian-type systems. Simply follow the instructions here.

Configuration for UK only exit nodes:

Edit file /etc/tor/torrc and insert these lines at the end.ExitNodes {GB}
StrictExitNodes 1
NumEntryGuards 6
KeepalivePeriod 60
NewCircuitPeriod 15
Restart torsudo /etc/init.d/tor restartThat's it. It works like a charm.