Japanese cyber-attack alert system Daedalus

Japan’s new cyber-attack alert system “Daedalus” made headlines a few months ago for its futuristic looks which are said to be modelled after the cyberspace scenes from Ghost in the Shell (攻殻機動隊), a famous manga and anime series. Daedalus is a product of Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) that scans the so-called “darknet”, parts of the internet where IP addresses are not supposed to be used. It consists of a blue sphere and several circles hovering around it, as seen in these screenshots and this video of a live presentation at Interop Tokyo 2012. According to this report by DigInfo, the blue sphere represents the internet, whereas the circles stand for IP addresses belonging to organisations in Japan. If packets are sent to the black parts of the circle, i.e. to unallocated IP address space, an alert is triggered, showing a red “kei” (警) character… [...]

Fix flickering Ubuntu-mono-dark keyboard icon in Gnome Shell

I’ve always been a big fan of Gnome Shell since its release in 2011. However, one thing that always bothered me was the Gnome icon set, specifically the folder images. In contrast to the rest of Gnome Shell, which looks very clean and modern, the folder icons of the default Gnome icon theme look a lot like 1990 :-) I therefore prefer sticking with the default Ubuntu icon theme, or rather Ubuntu-mono-dark to be more precise, since its monochrome tray icons work great with the rest of Gnome Shell. However, since the release of Precise Pangolin, which ships with Gnome 3.4, I’ve noticed a problem with the keyboard icon, which appears next to the user menu in the upper right corner when you use input methods like iBus. Right after you log on, the keyboard icon starts jumping around, changing size every few milliseconds. This usually stops at some point, but still, it’s a major annoyance and enough to put a few people off using the theme I imagine… [...]

How to run GIMP in a single window

gimp-singlewindow_th2.pngIf you are as excited about the upcoming release of GIMP 2.8 as me, then it’s probably for the new single-window mode that will debut with GIMP’s next release. GIMP, the “GNU Image Manipulation Program”, has traditionally used a very unique interface consisting of a workspace and two floating toolbars. By far one of the most controversial design decisions in the open source world, this has lead to the creation of a number of forks which tried to combine all of GIMP’s windows into one. Finally, though, starting with version 2.8, a single window mode will find its way into the official GIMP version. If you don’t want to compile the latest development branch of GIMP yourself, but still want to run GIMP in a single window, there is a nifty little script that allows you to do just that: GIMPBox… [...]