Monthly Archives: February 2022

  • New Turkish LibreOffice guide

    Yesterday the blog of The Document Foundation – the German non-profit organisation behind the free and open source LibreOffice suitereported on the release of a Turkish language guide for the productivity software.

    Cover of LibreOffice Turkish user guide
    Image courtesy of The Document Foundation

    The guide has been translated from the English Getting Started Guide by Ayhan Yalçinsoy, a member of The Document Foundation and Board of Directors deputy.

    Ayhan comments:

    I’ve been using LibreOffice since 2010. It makes me happy to support and contribute to this application that I use with pleasure. For this reason, I have been trying to contribute by translating the interface and help text since the day I started using it. I know that every contribution counts in the open source world.” says Ayhan. “I would like to thank Muhammet Kara for what he has done for LibreOffice here. I learned from him how I can contribute to LibreOffice apart from interface translation. I solved some easyhack issue with his support.
    After all these contributions, we established a certification team. We started the translation work for the LibreOffice Getting Started Guide 6.2 about a year ago, but for some reasons we could not continue. This issue remained in my mind. Finally, with the encouragement of Muhammet Kara and the sponsorship of TUBITAK/ULAKBIM, I completed the translation of Getting Started Guide 7.2.

    Ayhan is currently working on a Turkish guide for Calc, LibreOffice’s spreadsheet program and is also appealing for volunteers to help him with this task, as his ultimate aim is to make Turkish language guides for all of LibreOffice’s constituent applications.

  • NASA – Open MCT 2.0.0 has landed

    US space agency NASA is an extensive user of free and open source software (posts passim). Today German tech news site heise reports on the release of Open MCT 2.0.0.

    With version 2.0.0 has released an update of the Open Mission Control Technologies open source framework. Open MCT was developed at California’s Ames Research Center and is used by NASA as a mission control framework for data virtualisation on desktop and mobile devices.

    Screenshot of the WARP software showing a layout that includes plots, images, and other display elements
    Image courtesy of NASA

    NASA utilises Open MCT for analysing space missions and for planning and implementing experimental rover systems. Included in the latest release is a plug-in which enables adaptation of the framework to be used as an API from Angular to node.js, which is now supported. Critical bugs have also been fixed. Firstly, newly created items which shared a name with an existing object were not displayed in the tree structure. Furthermore, a faulty CSS selector prevented the correct mapping of plans in the timestrip display.

    Additional changes include two bug fixes and seven Open MCT maintenance and testing problems, including a display error in which a grid remained visible when the inspector was closed and an error message that popped up during client-side URL redirection. The project is working on four aspects on the maintenance side: the event generator has been adapted from the Angular-based legacy API for node.js and re-implemented.

    Besides its use for space missions with NASA Open MCT is an open source framework that could be adapted, according to the developers, for applications as varied as:

    • Monitoring of IoT devices;
    • Drones;
    • CubeSats;
    • Robotics;
    • High altitude balloons;
    • Electronic health monitoring;
    • Computer and network performance monitoring;
    • Enterprise data visualisation; and
    • Process control monitoring.

    More information on this latest release may be found on GitHub.

  • No Microsoft account, no Windows 11

    French tech news site Frandroid reports that there has been a very unobtrusive but significant change to the installation procedure for Windows 11, but one with major implications for users’ privacy and security.

    Since the launch of Windows 11, users of the home edition have been obliged to have a Microsoft account and an internet connection for the initial configuration of a machine if a fresh installation is involved. The company could soon extend this obligation to the operating system’s Professional edition.

    Windows 11 desktop
    Do I look like a Mac in this?
    Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

    This week Microsoft has released build 22557 to members of the Windows Insider programme. This is a rather ambitious new version of Windows 11 packed with new “features“, including a change in policy regarding Windows 11 Pro.

    As Microsoft wrote on its blog announcing the release:

    Similar to Windows 11 Home edition, Windows 11 Pro edition now requires internet connectivity during the initial device setup (OOBE) only. If you choose to setup device for personal use, MSA will be required for setup as well. You can expect Microsoft Account to be required in subsequent WIP flights.

    As you have read, Microsoft has stated in black and white that people will need to have an internet connection and a Microsoft account, even from Windows 11 Pro to enable a machine’s personal use (as distinct from business or educational use).

    As a matter of fact, Microsoft is stating what the obligation will be included in all future versions of Windows 11 in the Insider programme. It can therefore be assumed that this new constraint only affects the initial configuration of machines with versions of Windows 11 from the Insider programme.

    We will have to await the next major update of Windows 11 which incorporates the new features of build 22557 to check if having a Microsoft account has really become mandatory for the operating system’s Pro edition.

    The use of an online account has long been required by Apple and Google on iOS and Android respectively, but less so for Windows, since historically there has not been any Microsoft account to connect, much to the chagrin of the software publisher. Users are therefore not accustomed to such a requirement, which Microsoft has been trying to promote since the launch of Windows 8

  • Colston Four Road disappears

    What a difference a couple of days make.

    Just yesterday this blog reported on the unofficial renaming of Slaver’s Road in Easton, Bristol (posts passim).

    Today your ‘umble scribe ambled past the end of the road and observed the following where the “Colston Four Road” unofficial street sign had recently been installed.

    Here yesterday. Gone today. Note the screw holes where the unofficial sign was affixed.

    Officially changing a street name is a long, involved process in which an overwhelming majority of the property owners have to agree to a proposed change.

    Changes are much swifter in the unofficial world.

  • Toppled Road renamed

    Nearly half a year ago, your ‘umble scribe reported that Colston Road in Easton, a road named after Bristol-born slave trader, insider share dealer, financier, religious bigot and former Tory MP for the city had been unofficially renamed as Toppled Road (posts passim).

    On the other side of the road from the crudely painted Toppled Street on the side of a house, a new more official-looking street name sign has appeared in recent days.

    Colston Four Road
    The original street name sign is painted out as a token of the regard in which Eddie the Slaver is held locally.

    The new unofficial sign commemorates the acquittal by a Bristol jury of the so-called Colston Four who were tried for criminal damage when Colston’s statue in the centre of the city was brought down and dumped in the city docks during the course of a Black Lives Matter protest on 7 June 2020.

    Local residents have been uneasy for years about living in a street named after a so-called philanthropist who made his money from kidnapping, trafficking and exploiting to death thousands of unwilling Africans and have long campaigned for it to be changed, along with other reminders of the late Victorian Cult of Colston.

    Speaking to Easton councillor Barry Parsons yesterday, your correspondent asked him for an update on how the name change was progressing.

    He responded that the whole matter of street renamings was one of the topics handed over to the We Are Bristol History Commission, which has just recently issued its recommendations in respect of Colston’s statue, backing the general public view it belongs henceforth in a museum.

    However, any words of wisdom from the Commission regarding the fate of Bristol’s street names commemorating Eddie the Slaver have yet to be uttered and it would appear the matter has been (so to say) kicked into the long grass.

    In a final twist, the Bristol Post/Bristol Live is claiming that some of its less perceptive readers are “outraged at the change of name, with some actually believing the new sign has been erected by the city’s perfidious council, even though the sign’s design is clearly different to that used by the local authority, whose standard modern street name signs all include the first 3 characters of the road’s postcode

  • Resurrection in the Bible Belt

    North Carolina is one of the so-called Bible Belt states where the influence of evangelical Christianity is the strongest, according to Wikipedia.

    Faith can work miracles, we are told.

    And this is definitely the case in Mecklenburg County in the aforementioned state. It would seem the residents of the county (population: 1.1m) have an uncanny ability to rise Lazarus-like from the dead if the civil registry section of the county’s website is to be believed. 😀

    The person listed on the certificate is (2 choices) myself or someone else

    Your ‘umble scribe has yet to ask Fred Smith, the elected register officer for a comment. In 2008 Fred ran as a Republican candidate for governor but was defeated in the primary. Now he’s reduced to dealing with the deceased in more ways than one.

    One final thought: has the website been checked for accessibility for the no longer extant?

  • Another Downing Street resignation

    In addition to the five 10 Downing Street advisers that resigned from the service of party-time alleged prime minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson last week, there was one additional departure resignation from the same address that went unnoticed last week by the mainstream media and was only seen by those those who pay close attention to Twitter.

    Tweet alleged to come from Larry the Downing Street Cat announcing his resignation

    I fully sympathise, Larry. I would not be able to stand the lies, philandering, laziness, sense of entitlement, egotism and general sense of entitlement either. 😀

    The Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office has been in service since 2011. I wonder how many suitcases of booze the faithful feline has seen hauled over the threshold of that famous black door in 11 years?

  • Google and Microsoft finance open source security campaign

    A new initiative by the Open Source Security Foundation (OpenSSF) should improve the security of open source applications, German news site heise reports. The campaign, called the Alpha-Omega Project, is the result of negotiations at the White House between representatives of technology companies, US authorities and non-profit organisations. The initial funding of $5 mn. is being financed jointly by Google and Microsoft.

    Image courtesy of

    OpenSSF is organising the project in two parts – Alpha and Omega. In the Alpha section expert groups are analysing the security situation of the most-used open source applications to find and remedy vulnerabilities. This should train software operators and users in security awareness. In the Omega section a team of software developers is working on automated tests for over 10,000 distributed open source project to propose possible security measures to their user communities.

    Open source projects and libraries are widely used in software development. The Log4Shell vulnerability in the widely-distributed Log4j Java library recently showed how critical an attack can be. Even after a month and a half it still remains unclear whether companies have survived the worst. Users and companies should therefore investigate their own systems for vulnerable instances of the Log4j library and install current patches.

    More details of the Alpha-Omega Project can be found in the official announcement.