Juan Valencia's Website

Changes and thoughts

License change

Since yesterday, the contents of this website which are not attributed to others are given under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license. Yes, I removed the NonCommercial clause, this means that you can take the contents of this website and make derivative works and sell them, provided that you give me proper attribution and that you distribute it under the same terms. I do hope that if someone other than me profits from the contents of this website, he or she would share some of that back as some form of donation, if only for ethical reasons, but I am aware that this is not necessary under this license. And, for a different license with different permissions you can always contact me and we could talk.

This makes the contents of this website approved for Free Cultural Works. Although this website is young, it will grow, and I hope to share here much more than technical guides, so I think it is a good idea to define my position on this early on. I do like the free exchange of culture, and I do hate how the public domain has been eroded in the last decades and how governments, under the influence of industries, want to make the sharing of culture appear as something that is wrong. I believe that by the free exchange of culture is how society advances, and in some cases great advances in technology are given by the natural desire to share, such as p2p and open source.

More privacy

I do not longer utilize StatCounter. I originally used StatCounter mostly because I didn't want to use Google Analytics and Google AdSense at the same time, I didn't like the idea of leaving all in the hands of a single company, even if I like Google, but I do need the statistics to have an idea of how the website is doing. But now that I have traffic and that this is growing, I didn't feel good of send the data to StatCounter, don't get me wrong, I like it, I think it is a good service, but I feel that I should keep the statistics of who visits me for myself, for privacy.

I decided to try Piwik for now, an open source web analytics tool. And I activated a plugin for anonymize the last byte of the IP addresses of the people visiting this website. Piwik's aim is to become an open source alternative to Google Analytics, it utilizes PHP and MySQL. My host, Dreamhost offers it as a one click install, the version that they have available is the 1.1.1, however from within Piwik I was able to upgrade to the new version, 1.3, with a few clicks.

Support

I believe that by creating value for others, I will be fairly compensated. I do not know exactly how, but, however small, this website has already generated a little revenue for me. If I had the means, I wouldn't put ads at all, but since I don't, I am trying to achieve a good balance between advertising and keeping a fast comfortable website. You are unlikely to ever see this website full of animated colorful banners around the entire website with a narrow column of text in the middle, leave alone multiple pages for an article that could easily fit in one.

I will keep the Google advertisings, albeit only textual ones to don't interfere that much with the site.

Flattr

Since some months ago you may have noticed that I also joined Flattr. Flattr is a social micro-payment system, it is intended to not only share content, but also to share money among the creators of the content. It is like a "Like" button, but when you like something you are actually giving a small amount of money to the creator of that content. It is an interesting idea and I hope that it catches on, that is one of the reasons why I am promoting it. The only way in which you were able to support websites is by the advertising or by donating money directly to the website, but this donations were not micro-payments, they had to be substantial.

Flattr works like this: The user defines a monthly sum, of at least two euros, and then he or she can "flattr" things, this things may be text, pictures, video, audio, software. At the end of the month, the money that you donated is equally distributed between all the things that you flattered, and those whom created those things get their cut. If you don't flattr anything in a given month then the money is given to a charity. Say, you donate 12€ and set a monthly sum of 3€, then you can flattr anything that you like for the next 4 months.

One of the founders of Flattr is Peter Sunde, of The Pirate Bay's fame. Some organizations, projects and services that joined Flattr include Wikileaks, NoScript, phpmyadmin, gpl-violations, givv.org, torrentfreak.org, techdirt.com and many others.

Random thoughts

By the beginning of April one of my computers died, ultimately resulting in loss of time, and of course this primarily impacted my personal projects, including this website. A bad month for that to happen, as I am preparing for the release of Slackware 13.37 and that computer was precisely the one that always had exclusively Slackware, I was using it to make my SlackBuilds.

This year I also joined Script Frenzy (Down at the moment of this post due to the major outage of Amazon EC2 which also took down services such as Reddit) so I had to setup LaTeX and Vim to write a screenplay. And I am going to a cinematography workshop, not related at all with the screenplay that I am writing for Script Frenzy but it's funny how things work out. I do have quite a few material to finish and publish in the website, but probably there won't be a lot of new content during the month of April as it is a crazy busy month, but in May I expect to complete the MySQL and PHP/Python series that I was writing, hopefully I will have the Slackware guides done (Vanilla Install, LVM install, Encrypted LVM install), most likely I will publish the Screenplay that I am writing during this month (together with a how to write screenplays in Linux, using LaTeX of course) as well as some works from the cinematography workshop (however bad they turn out to be) and talk about the tools available in Linux for video edition, and very likely I will write about the problem of finding music to use in home-made videos with the crazy copyright climate in the world.

The unavailability of works to build upon is actually one of the reasons for learn how to do clips and if in the future I find out that I have any musical talent, I will make music too, and release it under permissive licenses, so there is more content upon which others can build. It is going to be a very busy end of April and a very busy month of May.