Mozilla 3.1 to include Theora video support

[LWN reports]( that the OGG Theora video format will be supported in Firefox 3.1. I believe this is a game-changing move on the web. It will make it easier and cheaper to distribute video that will render on any OS running Firefox (because there are no patent royalties to pay). It will catapult the Theora video format into the mainstream.

An LWN reader [pointed out]( that Theora has traditionally lacked quality and performance compared to MPEG-4, but that it’s being remedied by the in-progress “Thusnelda” project.


I just discovered and installed the _xguest_ package for Fedora 8 and 9. Here’s what it does:

> Installing this package sets up the xguest user to be used as a temporary account to switch to or as a kiosk user account. The account is disabled unless SELinux is in enforcing mode. The user is only allowed to log in via gdm [or the fast-user-swiching applet]. The home and temporary directories of the user will be polyinstantiated and mounted on tmpfs.

Here’s how to install it:

yum install xguest

I hit a brick wall when I first tried it. I thought my machine was in SELinux Enforcing mode, when it wasn’t — it was in Permissive mode. I fixed it using system-config-selinux.

It’s possible to change what the xguest user can do using system-config-selinux. I’ve attached a screenshot showing what capabilities can be granted or revoked.

SELinux Administration for xguest user

Fedora 9 and the OpenJDK

Java development is getting easier under Linux because of Sun’s OpenJDK, which linux distributors like Fedora now include. No more need to go through the hassle of downloading it from Sun. Here’s how I installed it.

yum install java-1.6.0-openjdk-devel java-1.6.0-openjdk-javadoc java-1.6.0-openjdk-plugin

A downside is that the default fonts in some Java applications, like IntelliJ IDEA, look terrible. Fedora 9 includes the RedHat Liberation fonts, which stand in for Microsoft fonts. I went into IDEA’s configuration, and changed the default font from “Arial” to “Liberation Sans”. IDEA’s visual appearance is nearly, but not completely, _fontastic_ compared to what it was before.

Blog Infrastructure: Control versus Capitulation

I like to be in control of my destiny where my public website (and by blog) is concerned. That way, my content isn’t at the mercy of a third-party that may start charging to host my content, remove content, or stop hosting my content. I can call this control *self reliance*.

Being in control of my blog has its costs. I am the person responsible to make sure the blog software (wordpress) stays up-to-date, which takes time — valuable time that I’d rather spend doing something else (and usually do).

Most people I know that blog have already out-sourced the their blogging platform, whether they realize it or not. Should I capitulate (i.e. surrender control) and do the same thing?

In some sense, my ability to function in this high tech world requires that I rely on others. I rely on a third party to provide the blogging software (wordpress), host my web server (, another to provide bandwidth, another to provide a domain name ( On and on the list goes. I am not an island unto myself. My ability to succeed depends on being a part of civilized society.

I’d capitulate control of my blog, except that I still want a canonical location for my blog to live — one that is a little bit less subject to the whims of a single corporate entity. The best place is at If I need to switch to a new hosting provider or switch to a different domain name registrar, the canonical URL doesn’t have to change.

I’m not ready to capitulate yet. I like my canonical blog URL.