Alle Beiträge von Tobi

The Free Software Experience on Android (2)

Part 2: What you’re getting out of it

This is the second part in our Free Software on Android Guide. This time we’re taking a look at the great apps that are available on F-Droid.

NewPipe
Privacy friendly YouTube App

NewPipe is a great app for casual youtube viewing: It does not authenticate you against Google, therefore keeping your watchlist private. It also allows you to play the audio in the background or pop the video out, allowing you to use other apps simultaneously.

Drawback for some is that subscriptions don’t work as expected currently.

Download

F-Droid

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The Free Software Experience on Android (1)

Part 1: What you’re getting into

See also: Part 2: Nice Apps from F-Droid

Standard Android is bad: not only is its source not available, it also spies on you—through many apps that are often preinstalled by vendors or provides as well as the operating system itself.

Over the past year I’ve eliminated nearly all non-free (as in Freedom) components on my Nexus 5 and replaced them with Free Software—software that respects your rights and freedoms.

A word of advice: If you plan to free your device as well, there is no need to do it all at once. Start by replacing isolated programs one-by-one and your ride will be much smoother.

This is my blogpost about this topic. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

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Parsing DVB-T/S/C Teletext into plain text

Believe it or not, tens millions of people are still reading Teletext. The biggest provider of on-screen news, the BBC, has shut down its CeeFax in 2012, but many stations all over Europe still broadcast a teletext signal1. There even is a (semi-) regular Art Festival about teletext!

For those not in the know: Teletext, invented by the BBC in 1972/1974, is a digital signal, that puts a 40×25, 8 color character grid onto your screen. Rudimentary (pseudo-)graphics in the form of a graphical character set are available too. The information is sorted into pages (often called tables), from 100 to 899, and subpages2.
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Back to the Future: Using a DEC VT220 from 1983

vt220_transparent

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Back to the Future: Using a DEC VT220 from 1983
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I bought an actual serial terminal. It is many years older than I am, and can display 24 lines by 80 (or 132) colums of text.

My workflow is quite terminal centric: Work for Uni is done with vim over ssh, emails are read with mutt, and ncmpcpp provides the front end to my music. If it weren’t for the Internet, I’d ditch the display server without batting an eye.
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My three Weeks living with Ubuntu Touch

Ubuntu-smartphoneNexus-5-Ubuntu-Touch-small
Source: Cartmanland; BY-CC-Licensed | Source: Vinodh Moodley; BY-CC-SA-Licensed
When I was faced with wiping my Nexus 5 phone once again, I decided to install Ubuntu Touch. Here’s my experience after 3 weeks of it being my daily driver.

This is not the first time I had Ubuntu Touch on my phone: I tried it a few years ago using multi boot – but that doesn’t work any more on the Nexus 5, because the developer seems to have abandoned it. The Nexus 5 isn’t supported by Canonical directly either, so I had to get my installation from UBPorts, which is, as expected, beind in development from Canonical. Weiterlesen

How To Import VCF (VCard) in Ubuntu Touch

This sounds unbelievable, but is indeed true: You cannot import a .vcf file into Ubuntu Touch in 2016 – three and a half years after the first version of the OS was published!

This AskUbuntu thread is one of the only results – but it doesn’t work with .vcf files containing multiple contacts.

I botched together this little script, that splits up your VCard file and imports each contact into Ubuntu Touch.

You can run this using the Terminal App from the Ubuntu store / OpenStore or via adb shell from your computer. Connect your phone via USB and enable Developer Mode.

#!/bin/bash -e

# Ubuntu Touch import script for VCard Files, public domain.
# First parameter is file to be imported (e.g. `./import.sh my_contacts.vcf`)
CONTACTDB="Personal" # change this to Persönlich if device language is German

awk ' /BEGIN:VCARD/ { ++a; fn=sprintf("card_%02d.vcf", a); print "Writing: ", fn } { print $0 >> fn; } ' $1

for $VCARD in card_*
do
	echo "Importing: ${VCARD}"
	syncevolution --import ${VCARD} backend=evolution-contacts database=${CONTACTDB}
	rm ${VCARD}
done

You might have to change the variable $CONTACTDB to suit you language. The correct term can be found when clicking the gear icon in the Contacts app.

The awk command comes from this StackExchange thread – no copyright claimed.

Base65536: The (not very serious) Successor of Base64

Base64 is an encoding scheme, which allows the safe transmission of files between ascii- and EBCDIC-based computer systems, which were popular in the fifties and sixties. Although no computer today uses the EBCDIC character set, base64 is still used for encoding binaries on the internet. Email attachments are encoded this way, and sometimes you can find small images, which are directly embedded in the source code of the web page.

So what is base65536?

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Vessel.com – can this alternative to YouTube survive?

vessel-img
Screenshot of Linus Tech Vessel channel, © Linus Tech, Vessel
A little over a year ago, Vessel launched as an alternative video platform, trying to demonopolize YouTube as the quasi only option to upload videos professionally (i.e. earn money with your videos).
To get a foot into the market, they made deals with a lot of Youtube personalities to upload to vessel a week in advance and instead of showing users advertisements, either in the form of prerolls or sponsor spots in the middle of the video, they collect a small monthly subscription fee. Vessel boldly announced their launch in the form of sponsored YouTube videos giving away a full year of premium subscriptions to everyone signing up in the first month or so.
In March 2016 the free premium accounts expired, and I wanted to know, how many people are still watching on vessel now, compared to when they had a free premium account.
Sadly, Vessel doesn’t disclose a view count, or how many people have purchased a premium account after the first month. They do however have a ‚like-button‘ below every video and a comment counter. I decided to at least get a rough idea about their view count compared to last year.
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Creating a single PDF from web based epaper readers

Updated to work again (2016-11-08)

epaper-combined

I have a epaper subscription for the newspaper der Standard. The iPad app is good, the Android one good enough, but the web client, for the desktop, is an abomination.
You get to click throuh JPEG images, too small to read the text, and if you are interested in an article, you have to click a button, which opens a single page PDF. After reading, you go back to the awful web client, click the next page button, and the pdf one again.

There must be a better way, I thought, and so i made one.
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