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Robert Ancell
Works at Canonical Ltd.
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Robert Ancell

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Nice work on the case design!
 
This is what I've been working on for the past two years!  I'm very proud to announce +Endless  is launching on kickstarter today. Grab yours while it's hot!
Endless Team is raising funds for Endless Computers on Kickstarter! The computer for the entire world.
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But its going to be less than $80 for a Chromebit. This is a bit DOA.
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Robert Ancell

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Yay, +Inbox by Gmail now works in Firefox. :)
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"We can't choose a world where the US gets to spy but China doesn't, or even a world where governments get to spy and criminals don't. We need to choose, as a matter of policy, communications systems that are secure for all users, or ones that are vulnerable to all attackers. It's security or surveillance."
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Right. The argument “people might independently discover flaws” applies to all encryption technologies, not just explicitly backdoored ones.

That said, knowing that a technology is backdoored makes it a more juicy target. Although even there I'm not sure that necessarily matters; even though researchers discovered that EC_DRBG was probably backdoored, no one knows how to find those numbers.

This is a relevant point for the shouldn't argument, though. Particularly since it means breaking encryption doesn't necessarily mean breaking the mathematics; simply suborning a sufficiently high-clearance NSA employee, or penetrating their network, gets you access to the backdoor.
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Robert Ancell

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The recent growth in Mozilla Location Services over the last month has been incredible! This service provides a way to get your approximate location by checking the cell towers or WiFi access points around you (no GPS required). At https://location.services.mozilla.com you can see more stats and the coverage map. Have a look at your area and see how good the coverage is. If you're keen to add to the service download the Android app, plug your phone into a car charger and use it while driving (or walking or biking). It's actually quite a fun excuse to discover more in your local area.
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There's support for uploading stats directly in Geoclue.
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Robert Ancell

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While it's been an open secret that the Internet seems to be a no limits war zone it's kind of shocking to see when the evidence starts to come out. I'm sure all those involved know that they couldn't do these things without being found out eventually. I wonder if information like this and better detection systems will start to limit what's fair game.
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It's an imperial mindset. They believe they are justified in dominating the whole world, playing by their own rules. 
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Robert Ancell

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Here is an antipodal picture. It consists of two images taken on the opposite sides of the planet (with margin of error of one to two percent). The images were taken about two months apart.

Thanks to +Jukka Laurila and +James Henstridge for working the camera.
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love the idea!
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Robert Ancell

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May require some previous knowledge of the Dune books...
 
... witch whispering they tried and died goodnight arrakis, goodnight sietch tabr goodnight spice flows everywhere. Thank you for reading Goodnight Dune! You can download the full sized illustrations here. Please make a donation to keep Goodnight Dune online for free! Support Goodnight Dune.
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Good, except not sure why the Bene Gesserit are rabbits....

(Because there are rabbits in Goodnight Moon. OK....)
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I wrote some more apps for Ubuntu Phone
In a previous post I talked about the experiences of writing my first five applications for Ubuntu Phone. Since then, I've written three more. As before, all these apps are GPL 3 licensed and available on Launchpad. What's new is now you can browse them onl...
In a previous post I talked about the experiences of writing my first five applications for Ubuntu Phone. Since then, I've written three more. As before, all these apps are GPL 3 licensed and available on Launchpad. What's ne...
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Awesome work! Hopefully you will soon be able to animate the dice in 3D.
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Robert Ancell

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Back in the day I'm fairly confident I would have discovered something like this installed on my computer. These days however, not a chance. I'm too old, too tired and too lazy to go digging through the registry just because.

And that ladies and gents, is why I love Ubuntu. I don't have to worry about this stuff because the Security team are there to make sure it can't happen, the Desktop team are there to make sure it doesn't happen and the community are there to find and flag these things if they do happen. Not to mention upstream teams doing exactly the same, adding yet more layers of checks.

They do these things so I don't have to.
More power to the user.



Superfish may make it trivial for attackers to spoof any HTTPS website.
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Robert Ancell

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Any skilled icon makers looking for an Ubuntu Phone project to make an icon for? I've recently published a little application [1] that allows you to send morse code using the flash on your camera. The current icon probably took me a minute to make :)

My idea for the icon was some sort of representation of a signal lamp [2], but any better ideas welcome. The icon would need to be 256x256px PNG (with SVG source if possible). One thing to watch out for with Ubuntu Phone icons is they are shaped into a rounded rectangle so check the icon has appropriate margins for that. The project [3] is GPL3 licensed so GPL or compatible CC license please.

Think of the fame of being attached to such a prestigious app!

Thanks!

[1] https://appstore.bhdouglass.com/app/com.ubuntu.developer.robert-ancell.morse-sender
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signal_lamp
[3] https://launchpad.net/morse-sender
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We now have a new icon, thanks +Sam Hewitt!
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Robert Ancell

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+Daniel Foré and the +elementary project are really nice people and if this is the way SPI behaves that is not acceptable.
 
So I just got a call from a guy claiming to be the director of Software in the Public Interest. Which I guess is a non-profit organization. But it felt like a really aggressive sales call. He started off with some very heavy negging and I was just trying to get him to explain what his proposition was.

It sounds like normally their business model is to find indies who could be taking in a lot of money, but currently aren't. So they say, "Hey we're a legal entity that can accept money on behalf of you". They charge a percentage for this of course and that's on top of regular payment processing fees.

And I said, but we're already a legal entity, so I'm not sure I'm interested. And he was really adamant that we needed to be associated with a non-profit to succeed. And at this point this guy is definitely yelling at me to the point where I asked him if he could please lower his voice.

It was very uncomfortable. I really wanted to just hang up.

But I basically said, "Okay thanks, I'm not sure I'm interested but if you want to continue in email that would be great?" and his response was, "no what I'm going to do is go blog about how poor your product is".

So hey nothing like being extorted by a non-profit amiright guys?
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+Michael Hall I hope this is just an isolated incident and an example of poor communication. Based on what I have previously heard about SPI they seem like a good organisation. They've been publicly called out for bad behaviour and it will be a good test to see how they respond as an organisation.
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Robert Ancell

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Only just found out about https://appstore.bhdouglass.com - a web based application store for Ubuntu Touch apps. This is a really slick website and provides a really good browsing interface compared to the current Ubuntu Store scope. Nice work +Brian Douglass!
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Software engineer and involved in Gnome.
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  • Canonical Ltd.
    2009 - present
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