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GNU/Linux Free Software & Open Source Tutorials & Tips

How to fix Skype on Debian 64bits constant crashing

debian logo skype logo

If you use Debian 64bits and Skype you may run into some trouble installing it and running it, since there is no 64bit version of Skype, setup is a little bit more complicated. The debian wiki explains how to install Skype on Debian and points to some troubleshooting, but not the one I was having.

Once I upgraded to Skype 4.0.2.11 on Debian 7, I started to have lots of crashes, to the point that I couldn’t use the application anymore.

After almost two months of frustrating constant Skype crashes, I finally found the missing piece. The error I was constantly getting was the following:

*** Error in `skype': corrupted double-linked list: 0xe2ee83e8 ***

To fix it, install libpulse0:i386

sudo apt-get install libpulse0:i386

Even though the Debian wiki indicates you should install it if you have audio problems, you must install it to avoid constant crashing.

Categories
Photography

Fujifilm X-M1 mirrorless camera review

Fujifilm X-M1 mirrorless with 18-55mm kit lens and 50mm pancake lens

I had the opportunity to try out the Fujifilm X-M1 mirrorless camera for a week while visiting San Francisco and the Bay Area. I immediately enjoyed the small size and weight, being used to carry around my Nikon D7000 DSLR, switching to a small gear format was a noticeable change.

Fujifilm X-M1 mirrorless camera

The X-M1 has a 16.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS X-Trans sensor that creates very sharp images. It can record 1080p video but lacks an external microphone to get better sound recordings.

Fortune cookie at Great Eastern

What I liked

Coming from using a Nikon D700, the change was enormous. I’m used to have a big bag to store my DSLR, a couple lenses, a cleaning kit and extra memory cards. Also having either a long BlackRapid strap or, more recently, the wrist strap version, which means I’m carrying the weight of the camera at all times in my hand. All that weight at the end of a long photo walk is heavy. With the mirrorless camera, I had a small bag with an extra lens, extra battery, cleaning kit and extra memory cards, plus I got to store my sunglasses and still had room for more.

Fujifilm X-M1 with 50mm pancake lens

It all fits in a small bag

Small camera bag

X-M1 mirrorless camera fits in my hand

With its large screen, having a larger surface to view your shot is comfortable once you get used to not bring the camera up to your face. The Fujifilm X-M1 doesn’t have a viewfinder, so it’s all on the screeen. For most situations that is okay, but if you’re outside in a sunny day, even with the display set to brightest it feels uncomfortable. Also, you can’t have the camera turned on and ready to shoot at all times, since the screen will be always on and will train battery life. It doesn’t have a standby mode to quickly recover pressing the shutter button or some other quick way. It has an auto off timeout and to bring it back on, you have to turn the switch off and on again.

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You are not able to see the colors and exposition very well and the most hard to see in that situation is the focusing. I missed several shots because I thought it was focused but it wasn’t.

Unfocused sushi

Even though it has a focus notification turning green, you’re not sure if it’s focusing on the right subject. The good side of it is that you get to see the composition of your final image right there in the screen. When not under direct sunlight, you can see how your shot will be before pressing the shutter button the whole way. This eliminates the need for “chimping” and taking another shot.

On this trip I packed “light”. I didn’t carry my laptop, only my tablet and my phone and a docking keyboard for my tablet. The wireless transfers were a feature I appreciated because otherwise I would have to wait until I get back to get the images off the SD Card. The good part, is that you can transfer your photos to your mobile devices using the app. It needs WiFi, so if you’re on the road you can’t transfer your photos to your device right there. You need to wait to get WiFi to do it, unless you can create an ad-hoc wireless network. Oh and most hotels have a sign-in page after you’re connected to the WiFi, and it won’t work with those. There is no way to do the sign-in in the camera.

For a more professional and deep review of the camera, checkout Digital Photography’s review of the Fujifilm X-M1.

Here are more shots taken with the camera and all shots from my San Francisco visit post were taken with it too.

Garden

Table football players

San Francisco from Treasure Island

Bullets in the floor

Rock lady in San Francisco

Categories
Photography

Fashion runway photos at Intermoda Trends 2013 part 3

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For the fashion lovers, more photos from the fashion runway at Intermoda Trends 2013, (check part one and two). This time was a bit more challenging because of seating issues. I didn’t have front row seats so shooting from behind and between people’s seats was more difficult, but it also added a different view to some of the shots. Definitely not magazine looking shots, but still interesting and entertaining.

I wish I could say more about the fashion trends, but I’m a newbie on that and I don’t want to judge what I don’t know. I just love to take fashion and runway photos. The challenge of the whole event, timing the moment of the shot while models are quickly passing by and lighting constantly changing, is a great place to challenge yourself to take good pictures.

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Categories
Photography

San Francisco and the Bay Area through a mirrorless camera

San Francisco skyline and the Bay Bridge

I had the chance to try out the Fujifilm X-M1 mirrorless camera. All the images in this post were taken with it, no post processsing, and I think the results are of great quality.

Back in the Bay Area once again thanks to my job, I mainly visited Oakland, Fremont, Berkeley, Pleasanton and of course, San Francisco. Since my friend Basilio moved to California a couple months ago, I had the chance to stay during the weekend for some sightseeing and shopping.

I tried ramen for the first time at Japan Town, visited my favorite restaurant in Chinatown and at night we stopped at Treasure Island to take some city skyline shots. I love visiting San Francisco and the Bay Area.

Gabriel Saldana testing the Fujifilm X-M1 camera

Soldier at the Japanese fountain

Japanese ramen restaurant

The Tesla is closer than it appears

Light at the end of the tunnel

Alcatraz and sails

San Francisco Chinatown entrance

San Francisco steep street

Chinatown's dragon lamps

Chinatown trade mark

Chinese tamales

San Francisco Van Ness cable car

Old lady playing rock in the street

SF subway station

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Categories
Digital rights Law & Freedom

Rethinking social media privacy

Anonymous contre Acta à Rouen

I was an active Foursquare user back in the first years of it, and it’s been a while since I toned down my participation in it. A few years ago, my girlfriend questioned me on why I was reporting my location everywhere I went. What was my gain on it? How much value did I gained versus the risks and privacy losses? This applied to Foursquare and all the other social media networks, specially Facebook.

Giving some thought to what people post on social media networks, as individuals, there’s a lot of questioning as to why one does such things. They make it a game, addictive with lame rewards and “badges” with no meaning. They get supported by your friend’s peer pressure to go on and join and also to actively participate. If you’ve been an active user of a social network you know it’s hard to quit.

Some don’t even tell you that you’re being tracked while you use it, while you check that photo your friend added or replying to that family member that seems to have forgotten what email is and how it works. We empower the social media sites with content. We write for them, we upload for them. Make it rich in content and attractive to more people for them. They get to sell our content, brag about our ideas and scrutinize your activities and thoughts. And all we get is the social communication benefit. Now we are so highly communicated that we barely talk to each other while waiting in line at the bank or while your car is being washed. I’ve seen families that are so connected that they all stare at little screens at a very quiet dinner table.

By the time my girlfriend was making me think of a balance in my privacy, drug wars in northern Mexico reminded us all why we need privacy. Friends being kidnapped because it was easy to know where they were and who they hang out with. Our own free speech being used against us. Things got so bad (still are) that you could not talk about what was going on in public places. People had to create a language of silences and signs to discretely say what they wanted to say if they were in public. People got so used to it, that even in the comfort of their own homes they could not pronounce the name of the attackers.

Covered protester

Suddenly you’re being reminded that the world is not a happy safe place where you can shout out everything about you. That it is not about having something to hide, it’s about protecting yourself and those around you. You wouldn’t hide your family, but you also wouldn’t like them to be taken away from you. Although I do know people that did had to hide their family.

The problematic part is that leaving the social media sites is not an option. You’ll be like a caveman or outcast, missing on a now big part of your participation in the world for social or even business communication. Your social circles will almost demand your participation in them to stay in touch. Even if you leave and cease all participation, the social media networks will still know about you by what your friends post about you (photos, videos, comments, links). That’s why I have reached to the conclusion that the best answer to that is to moderate my participation in them.

I want to share this talk by Eben Moglen, lawyer of the software freedom law center and who help draft the GNU license among several other things. This talk is from 2011, and he used references to the KGB as examples because he probably knew that using the US government would be too unbelievable by most people at that time. Oh but times change, unfortunately not much for the benefit of freedom and anonymity.

Wow, this blog post was drafted on september 30th 2011 and was sitting idle without much changes or additions. I thought of deleting the entry, as I had no reasons to talk about social media privacy anymore. But times change…or maybe things just got worse, and there’s been a lot of mess with privacy lately.

Categories
personal

San Francisco Grant’s Tobacco shop closed

Grant's Tobacco shop closed

Grant’s tobacco shop, a historic landmark in San Francisco has closed. It was shocking to me to find out this way, walking all the way through market to suddenly have this sad view of the shop. I have good memories of the time I first encountered the shop, made new friends and had a great time. I was looking forward to have more of that nice time there on my visit to San Francisco.

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