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Clearly this is something that needs to be covered in more detail.

I spotted this article describing how to make Ubuntu send mailto: links through Gmail. It’s not wrong exactly, but I wanted to improve upon it a little. I have my own version which requires no external files, and all it needs is that you send your mailto: links through this command…

sh -c "firefox ''$(echo "$1" | sed -e 's/mailto:(//)?//' -e 's/?/&/' -e 's/&subject=/&su=/I')" custom-mailto-launcher "%s"

On Ubuntu, go to System -> Preferences -> Preferred Applications, change your mail reader to “Custom”, then put this line in. If you use another version of Linux, you’ll have to figure that part out yourself. Keep in mind %s is the variable and firefox is the default browser in my example.

Mine removes the “mailto” part a little better, and makes a hacky attempt to parse the subject/cc/bcc arguments these links sometimes have. Most importantly though, it’s a one-step process.

Edit: This is pretty outdated. Ubuntu still has the bad habit of installing GIJ though. I’ve had a lot of success just finding GIJ in Synaptic and locking it (Package->Lock Version) in an uninstalled state. This appears to only work within Synaptic, but it seems to recognize openjdk as the runtime and doesn’t break anything.

Maybe it’s my trust of open-source friendly yet proprietary companies, but when I use Java, I want it from Sun, not an open-source knock-off. For all the highlights of the open-source philosophy, there are times when something open-source is clearly inferior, at least at a specific moment in time. GIJ is a Java runtime that seems compatible, but makes Java dirt slow. Alternatives are still good for everybody in the end, so GIJ doesn’t offend me, but in Ubuntu’s Feisty repository, GIJ is required to run Eclipse. It’s maddening, it makes Eclipse run at a fraction of the speed, but to uninstall it is to uninstall Eclipse. At least until the people at Ubuntu notice this.

For now I can only offer a solution that shouldn’t need to exist. Make sure the package “sun-java6-jre” is installed, then add the line “/usr/lib/jvm/java-6-sun” is to the top of the file “/etc/eclipse/java_home” as root. Afterwards, Eclipse should be almost… too fast.

I’ve been playing the Halo 3 Beta for a few hours. It’s pretty slick. All the comments about it being ugly are silly. For one thing there’s a lot more stuff going on than in say, Gears of War, so it’s expected that things aren’t quite as loaded full of polygons, plus the areas are huge. It still looks very good in HD, and besides, the gameplay is what it’s about, right? Any whining about the delay is just that. Whining. Like everybody who wants to get ahold of the beta isn’t going to play it and eventually buy Halo 3 anyway.

There’s tons of new weapons, and most of the standard ones have been changed. The so called “noob combo” has been taken away from the hoards of people who like cheap shots, since the plasma gun doesn’t track like it used to. The Spartan Laser is going to be big. The sheer amount of strategy embedded in weapons and other items is astonishing. For example, the plasma gun will temporarily disable a vehicle when a charged shot is fired at one. Imagine dropping a grav lift before an obstacle, then an ally in a Mongoose drives over it, sending them over it and into enemy territory. Halo 2 had incredible balance between weapons and vehicles, and Halo 3 seems to take it further.

One level I played, Valhalla, a level reminicent of the very first campaign chapter in Halo 1, is wonderfully designed. For such a large area there’s tons of places to hide and paths to take. High Ground was very good too, while Snowbound was mostly boring.

I don’t have much to say that hasn’t already been said, but I will say this, it’s perfectly fine. No apparent screwups, just a sequel to a game. An incremental improvement on a working formula. There’s enough new weapons and ideas to keep everybody on their toes, but plenty of skills transfer over, what else do you need?