Flash Player for Linux

I really hate Adobe’s stuff, I truely do.

If you’ve recently gotten screwed by the latest flash release, this post is for you. I know the update has been around forever, but it shows you how often I actually get on youtube or whatever to use flash.

If you’re using the RPM, stop right now. You fail.

If you’re using the .DEB, it might work. The deb is slightly less braindead than the RPM.

If you’re using Ubuntu you have your own set of issues to deal with and shouldn’t be fucking around on youtube anyway.

Everyone else – here’s what you do: The following is loosely based on the official adobe instructions. If you’re saying “I did follow them and I broke my firefox” you’re in the right place! It doesn’t work, at all, as it’s packaged.

Step 1: Go to the official website and get flash player. Or you can use this link, which does the same thing.

Step 2: As root, remove all previous versions of libflashplayer.so either through your package management application or simply ripping them out wholesale. find / -name libflashplayer.so will show you all the places it’s lurking.

Step 3: Grab the tar.gz version. Skip the deb, skip the rpm, skip whatever other crap you’re offered.

Step 4: As your user execute mkdir $HOME/.mozilla/plugins

Step 5: cd $HOME/.mozilla/plugins and then tar -zxvf $HOME/install_flash_player_10_linux.tar.gz

Restart your browser. You should be able to visit about:plugins and see shockwave flash and futuresplash. The reason we did it this way was because your user and only your user should have access to the flash.so so that if some weird remote exploit comes out, you don’t have to worry about polluting everyone’s shared libraries with your filth. More on the point if you ever have to write off your account entirely due to a remote exploit, we can ensure the only thing which the exploit can touch is your home directory. There’s no reason for adobe to be putting this in the shared libraries directory and more on the point I believe selinux doesn’t permit it’s execution anyway.

My guess is that Adobe either doesn’t know how it works or they want to prevent the forking of flash with competing products. If they make it so flash must be installed system wide then they keep the other forks of flash out of the system.

EA’s Online Pass

The long and the short of it: EA is playing games with content in terms of the “online pass”. For Battlefield 2, it was a few maps and the VIP Pass would get you them. Don’t have a pass? Pay up $12 and you can get the maps. Preorders also came with perks unlocked for high level players. There’s two problems I see with this system. One being that it’s not uncommon to have multiple gamer tags on an XBOX. I know my wife keeps one and I keep one. We got fed up with the permissions being different and this gamertag having something that the other gamer tag didn’t, so my wife doesn’t user her tag anymore. The net result is that MS loses their $50 a year. But, this was only for netflix or whatever, it never was really codified for games. Now there’s stories of people saying that they’re unhappy that two gamertags on the xbox have access to different content. Now as a parent, if my two kids wanted to play xbox and I either had to pony up $12 or save $50/year for a gold gamertag, it only makes sense to drop the one subscription. And, since a lot of the XBOX games don’t play with two people split screen against random strangers on XBox Live, it’s not like the lack of a second gamertag puts a dent in anyones gaming.

However, the vague threat of letting $50 subscriptions keel over a year later doesn’t really impress Microsoft – where I see the push against this coming from are services like NetFlix and GameFly and even the MS Games on Demand service. The games on demand service in particular doesn’t give you anything – even a manual. How are people supposed to get the codes? What happens when the game is $5 and the code is $12? Or for gamefly and netflix, does EA think people are really going to pay money to play online? Probably not. More on the point if I were gamefly, I would probably be suing EA for anticompetitive practises.

Maynard James Keenan and the Great Grape Gonspiracy

I mentioned Blood into Wine the other day – I decided to buy it having gotten one positive comment from someone and one e-mail telling me my comments didn’t work and I should kill myself and it happens to be decent.

I also would like to plug Caduceus. I’ve been sitting here far longer than I should at work paging through it (I’m up to 07/28/06) and having a blast reading it. The intro to the site is deceptive, wait until you see the vine come up onto the trellis and click on the book. Start from the beging. Click on the photos. Maynard is one of the people I would love to meet in real life. Yeah it’s a great artist and all that but he understands the purpose of The Great Work (emphasis on the last word) for what it takes to actually invest yourself in something. More on the point he’s got a wonderful sense of balance of nature to his vineyards. Some of them are graded, some of them are on the side of a hill, and when they found a mystery grape vine, they kept it. That grape vine has seen two world wars, the prohibition, “hippies and smelters” and now it’s his.

Reading this type of thing I tend to feel like I’m missing out on life by not owning a vineyard, but I suppose there’s perks to having more money than god. For one, Maynards tasting notes from literally around the world are interesting to read, if not terribly brief. But on the other hand he doesn’t come off being a wine snob. It’s something he’s interested in doing. To quote the journal, what other rock star owns a backhoe? Or what other rockstar has a subaru brat which has seen some real amature welding. Lord only knows.

My grandparents had grape vines growing around back, but I never remembered the taste. Not sure if they ever produced anything workable, certainly I don’t ever remember eating them. I do remember their back yard in the valley house being a total wash for the most part. I do plan on trying to grow grapes here, I think it would dovetail nicely into the beer brewing and the honeymead. If the cross pollonation happens the way Maynard suggests with growing fruit near the grapes, then the grapes grown in the backyard should be fantastic if we can keep the apple, pear and nectarine trees alive.

Anyway, if I’m ever in Arizona, I figure I’ll show up with my purple postal carriers hat and a shovel and see if he could use the help or if I’ll just become another paintball target.

Kagan and the Supreme Court

NY Times has a piece on Kagan. Grain of salt warning – they make her come off as really centrist, but lets also recall she was a holdover from the Clinton administration. The tobacco laws, the whole wine shipping issue, the “assault weapons” ban and such – she was a part of all that.

Things I do not like:

  • Don’t ask don’t tell – she wants to do away with it. Frankly the military is a lifestyle, and to quote R Lee Ermey, “I don’t think they would like it very much if they let me into the woman’s [housing], isn’t that the same thing?” Now I tend to think that relationships among a soldier and a civilian are different things, I feel the spirit of the law is to keep your sex and relationships to people who aren’t soldiers. Would it be appropriate to sleep with your boss? Now imagine that, for your job, not only did you sleep with your coworkers, but you had to bathe with them and spend endless amounts of time with them – literally years at a time. I’ve had shorter relationships than people I know on deployment. It’s not an issue about being straight or gay so much as it’s an issue about what is and is not appropriate in the workplace.
  • Same sex marriage versus constitutional theory – This is one thing a lot of people do which pisses me off. They swear to god they’ll uphold the spirit of the constitution, but then they say gay marriage is OK. I’m personally in the camp that if you want to marry a horse, and that horse is a guy, and you’re a guy, this is A-OK! Marry that horse and have a same sex marriage while you’re at it. Now she also wrote “there is no federal constitutional right to same sex marriage”. Now, here’s the problem for my military friends and family – she wants to do away with “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” but then she says “There’s no federal [issue] with same sex marriage”. Actually, there is a federal issue with same sex relationships and “states rights” only works when you’re not really interested in supporting someone’s rights. So either she doesn’t really believe in bullet #1 or she doesn’t believe in bullet #2. I personally don’t see the middle ground.

Things I do like:

  • The second amendment is an individual right.
  • Financing for Faith Based Groups – I don’t see what the problem is which people have here. People’s religion is very personal to them. If the Muslims got their own TV station paid for by the government, I wouldn’t watch it. But that’s just me. Point being you’re not likely to up and walk into a mosque one day just because the government is giving out greenbacks. That being said, I tend to think the government should fund things a whole lot less, including foreign aid.
  • Warrantless Wiretaps and Enemy Combatants – she’s sticking to the Bush interpretation of this which says if you’re donating money to Al Quaeda, you’re now a combatant and don’t have civil rights.

Updated Theme

Someone shot me an e-mail about blood into wine and mentioned they couldn’t comment on the blog.

You actually could, but you either had to be logged into wordpress or you had to click on the title first.

I’ve gone back to the “I like onions” theme since it seemed to work well. Plus I like onions.

Anyone Seen Blood Into Wine?

Looking for an honest review of Maynard’s Blood into Wine. For the sites who don’t know who he is or don’t listen to TOOL, the general take is that’s its a C-. There’s a lot of comparison to Sideways out there – Sideways making California more of a mecca for douches than it already is. It’s got about as much in common with Sideways as Star Trek did with Apollo 13. Yeah they both take place in Wine Country but so does every other movie set in California.

Blood into Wine takes place in Arizona, if you’re wondering. It has nothing to do with Sideways. Sideways was a cheap hack of Mondovino, which was a hatchet job of wine snobs. But on a more serious note, Sideways isn’t about wine, it’s about people who use wine. Blood into Wine, from what the interviews say, is actually about Maynard making wine.

That being said, anyone seen it?