Romeo and Juliet fossils

This is a tech blog, but I couldn’t resist posting this image of fossils of lovers in an embrace. They are supposedly 5000 to 6000 years old.

Archaeologists in Italy have discovered a couple buried 5000 to 6000 years ago, hugging each other. And as if by cosmic design, this fossilised pair was found in Mantova, only 40 kilometres from Verona — the city where Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet carried out their star-crossed romance.

fossil lovers

Read more here.


Phone thief repents after 21 text messages

A purse snatcher in China returned a cell phone after the owner sent him SMSes. Its a little touching, considering the note he left for her while returning the stolen property.

Pan Aiying, a teacher in the eastern province of Shandong, had her bag containing her mobile phone, bank cards and 4,900 yuan ($630) snatched by a man riding a motorcycle as she cycled home on Friday, Xinhua said, citing the Qilu Evening News.


But on her way out on Sunday morning, she stumbled over a package that had been left in her courtyard only to discover it was her stolen bag. Nothing had been taken.
“Dear Pan: I’m sorry. I made a mistake. Please forgive me,” a letter inside said.
“You are so tolerant even though I stole from you. I’ll correct my ways and be an upright person.”

Read more here.

Using T-Mobile’s Wireless Internet freely

T-Mobile and Windows Vista have got together to give new Microsoft Vista customers free complimentary T-Mobile Hotspot usage until April 2007. Laptop owners with Linux, Microsoft XP or MacOS will still have to pay (unless they do what I have written below).

T-Mobile’s wireless Internet at Starbucks or Borders generally costs $9.99 for one day unlimited use or $29.99 and above for monthly usage.

If you do not have Windows Vista, yet want to use T-Mobile’s Wi-Fi freely, follow the steps:

1. Change your user-agent string to show this:

Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 6.0)

To change your user-agent string in Firefox, you can try this Firefox extension called User Agent Switcher.

Add a new entry and make it look like this:

I do not know how to spoof the user-agent in other browsers like IE, Opera, Safari, etc, but there should be a way.

2. Test if your browser is spoofing Vista by clicking here.

You should see this:

Vista and IE 7

If you see your regular operating system (and not Windows Vista), it means you have not entered the user-agent string correctly. In that case, repeat step 1.

3. Go to T-Mobile’s Vista signup page here. Create an account for yourself and browse the Internet freely at any T-Mobile Hotspot like Starbucks or Borders!

Installing Beryl on Xubuntu

I installed Beryl today on my 64-bit Xubuntu. I have a Compaq Presario R3370 notebook with AMD64 and nVidia 440 graphics card. The install was very straightforward and I found most of my information here and here.

Note – this works only on nVidia graphics cards and XFCE.

Here is what I did to get Beryl on my newly installed Xubuntu Edgy Eft.

1. Add the Beryl repository in /etc/apt/sources.list

Append this line to sources.list:

deb edgy main

Run this command from the console

wget -O- | sudo apt-key add –

2. Update and upgrade

apt-get update

apt-get upgrade

3. Install the packages

sudo apt-get install xserver-xgl libgl1-mesa xserver-xorg libglitz-glx1 beryl emerald emerald-themes

Beryl is now installed.

4. To configure Beryl to startup, create the file /usr/bin/

sudo emacs /usr/bin/

Add these lines:

# Start up Xgl and Xfce
# Run Xgl server on :1, on top of normal X
Xgl :1 -fullscreen -ac -accel xv -accel glx:pbuffer &
# Tell subsequent X programs to access the Xgl server at :1
# Start Beryl
# Start Xfce
exec xfce4-session

5. Give execute permission to

sudo chmod 755 /usr/bin/

6. To add a menu item in the login screen, create the file /usr/share/xsessions/xgl.desktop

sudo emacs /usr/share/xsessions/xgl.desktop

Add these lines:

[Desktop Entry]

When you login to XFCE, you can select Beryl by clicking on Sessions.

Here are a couple of screenshots of Beryl I took earlier.

Beryl (ALT+TAB)

Beryl (Tooltip)

I will update this page when I get screenshots of the Beryl Cube effect.