Fix Black on Black Highlighting in Evince

A Band-Aid for Google’s Search Tracking

There are some appealing aspects of Google. Namely it actually finds what you’re searching for. Often with uncanny accuracy. On the other hand, it frequently lies to you about what it’s doing, redirecting and rewriting links on the fly. Which I’m not a fan of. I have been using my hosts file to block googleadservices.com, but this is sometimes a hassle as links don’t really work transparently anymore. As I already run a server on my machine I thought, why not do the redirect myself. Here’s what I came up with, I have no experience with javascript so I’m sure this could be better in more than one way, but it does seem to work.  Please leave a comment if you see an improvement.

<html>
<head>
<title>Google Pagead Redir Test</title>
</head>
<script>
var prmstr = window.location.search.substr(1);
var prmarr = prmstr.split ("&");
var params = {};

for ( var i = 0; i < prmarr.length; i++) {
    var tmparr = prmarr[i].split("=");
    params[tmparr[0]] = tmparr[1];
}
var target = params.adurl;
target = target.replace("%3F","?", "g");
target = target.replace("%3D","=", "g");
target = target.replace("%26","&", "g");
window.location = target;
</script>
</html>

Accessing Journals from outside your Institution’s Network

I had been using the proxy for my university, which allows you to submit a link to get a proxied url, but I noticed in the status bar that it was really just adding a .ezproxy.stuff.morestuff.evenmorestuff to the url, and thought there might be a better way of doing this. A little googling found I wasn’t the first person to think about this. I found a few solutions, but the most elegant by far is to use greasemonkey to rewrite urls. I didn’t investigate the source of this addon too much, but it seems to work for me. And without going through the “this article is a bazillion dollars”, back button, submit url, get article for free dance.

Here’s the greasemonkey script: http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/42011

The Goldman Steady State Flow & Potential a Worked Example

I found this annoying, mostly because I couldn’t find an unambigious explanation in all my searching for the life of me.  After trying all the possible definitions I finally arrived upon the one that made sense.  I’m attaching it as a spreadsheet to this post in the hope that it is useful to someone in the future.

Goldman Steady State Example (Spreadsheet)

SphinuxOS now with 150% more speed

There is at the present a news story that is making big ripples in very small puddles. Namely some Egyptian coders claim to have a new OS which is 150% faster than linux, while using 1/3 the memory (depending on how you interpret their English). Being somewhat technically inclined I decided to give it a test drive. You can see a (long) video here, here are some of my first impressions:

Pros:
KDE
Comes with apt-get, sudo, some other Debian like things

Cons:
Huge image size (2.5gb)
Gparted without much guidance
Only KDE (no gnome, xfce, other)
Difficult to build packages (pkg-config is broken)
Lacks polish (firefox installed by default, but outside path)
Meh performance (in a virtualbox), would be a meh, but if you’re going to make fantastic claims I’m going to judge more harshly.

Meh:
Average download speed
Install is reasonably easy

Debugging lightdm

Lightdm is a nice display manager, which best I can tell does nothing other than provide a nice graphical login screen (someone correct me if I’m wrong). But I sort of built up my install from bits, and I hadn’t been able to get lightdm to work, so I was always starting xfce via startxfce4, and logging out via xfce4-session-logout (there might have been a better way to do that latter bit). But I decided to give it another go, and found that you can simulate lightdm via “lightdm –test-mode”, which told me that lightdm was starting then immediately crashing. Not terribly helpful. But wait there’s more, lightdm also accepts a debug flag, so “lightdm –debug –test-mode” told me something useful.

[+0.13s] DEBUG: Failed to load session file /usr/share/xgreeters/default.desktop: No such file or directory

Interesting at least, so I browsed over to that directory, and found that unity-greeter.desktop was the only thing in there. So I just symlinked from the only option to where lightdm seemed to be looking and voila, it started. You might have a different issue, but hopefully getting some good debug output will help.