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Robbed. Camera gone.

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We got robbed in Barcelona the day before yesterday. It happened a little after 23:00 hr on the Passeig de Colom. We could have lost more, but in the end it was just my Canon EOS 60D with the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens attached to it.

We filed a report at the police station on Carrer Nou de la Rambla with the serial numbers of the devices. We believe we have identified one of the two robbers — the one who had confronted us from the front. I must say that the police were friendly and helpful, and they had people who spoke good English.

But that is not the point of this blog post.

Thanks to my friend, Arjun, we figured out that the EXIF data has the serial number of the camera and the lens embedded in it; and if, like me, you upload your photos to Flickr, you can easily see all the metadata even if you do not have any fancy photography software at hand. This makes me wonder if it is possible for websites like Flickr or Facebook or Imgur to flag uploads originating from a tainted device. Client-side programs could do this too. I guess, this needs some kind of stolen cameras and lenses database, which could be tricky. Does something like this exist?

Anyway, I will leave the details of my stolen camera and lens here to leave a trail in the sands of the Internet.

  • Serial number: 1881125429
  • Internal serial number: WB0778966
  • Lens serial number: 0000124725

Written by Debarshi Ray

15 December, 2013 at 13:37

Infinite scroll back in Empathy

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The Nokia N9, N900 and other phones have popularized the idea of scrolling upwards to incrementally retrieve your chat history. Now you can have it on GNOME too, via Empathy. The code is now in Git master, so you can either grab it from there or wait till GNOME 3.8 is released in March this year.

Internally, it works using the TplLogWalker API that was recently added to telepathy-logger, and by adding a #prepend node to each of the Adium themes provided by Empathy. Currently it is not a part of the Adium specification. So if you are a vendor (eg., Ubuntu) shipping your own themes, then you should update them accordingly.

There is room for further improvements to the user experience, but it works and it can be very addictive once you get used to it.

Thanks to Guillaume Desmottes, Xavier Claessens and Nicolas Dufresne for all their reviews.

Written by Debarshi Ray

21 January, 2013 at 18:22

Posted in Blogroll

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The VoIP stack in GNOME 3.6.2

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GNOME‘s VoIP stack based on EmpathyTelepathyFarstream (formerly Farsight), Libnice and GStreamer received a bunch of fixes for GNOME 3.6.2 which significantly improves voice and video calling over Jabber or XMPP as compared to what it used to be in earlier GNOME releases.

If you are an end-user you can expect voice and video calls between Empathy clients on both ends to be much more stable. There are still a few oddities here and there, but you should be able to place and receive calls much more reliably now.

Voice calls between the proprietary Google Talk client and Empathy should also work, but if you are looking to place a video call then make sure you have the H264 encoder and decoder for GStreamer 1.0. Typically they come from gst-plugins-ugly and gst-libav respectively. Trying to place a video call without H264 support will not cause it to be gracefully degraded into an voice or audio only call. This is something that we need to address in the future. So, if you don’t have the H264 codecs then you should explicitly choose to make an audio call.

If you are a distributor or packager, then please make sure that you are shipping the following releases that were made for GNOME 3.6.2:

  • empathy-3.6.2
  • telepathy-gabble-0.16.4
  • telepathy-glib-0.20.1
  • farstream-0.2.2
  • gst-plugins-good-1.0.3
  • webrtc-audio-processing-0.1

So, go ahead and try it out, and let us know if it breaks.

Written by Debarshi Ray

15 January, 2013 at 15:10

Posted in Blogroll

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GNOME Photos: a preview

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Last weekend, in the spirit of perfection being the enemy of good, I rolled out the first preview tarball of GNOME Photos. Based heavily on Documents, it is the latest in the set of Finding & Reminding applications for GNOME 3.

Written by Debarshi Ray

20 November, 2012 at 05:05

Posted in Blogroll

Left Orkut

with 2 comments

So I deleted my Orkut account today. I do not intend to return.

I have a Facebook account, but I do not really use it. Maybe I should get rid of it too.

Phone calls and post cards are so much better than long winding forwarded emails supposedly aimed at making someone feel special for one reason or the other.

This is not an attempt to paint Orkut, Facebook, forwarded emails or those who like to use them in a bad light. I am just a misfit.

Written by Debarshi Ray

6 March, 2010 at 04:47

Posted in Blogroll

Hello world!

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I have just moved in here from http://debarshiray.multiply.com/.

Written by Debarshi Ray

7 January, 2010 at 00:53

Posted in Blogroll

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