Recent blog entries

24 Jan 2017 StevenRainwater   » (Master)

The Women’s March on Austin

Like most people, we were disheartened by the horrible results of the 2016 election. The old quote that is variously attributed to Edmund Burke or John Stuart Mill kept rolling around in mind; “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”. The awful coalition of the Tea Party, alt-right, neo-Nazis, white nationalists and the religious right that over-powered the Republic Party and spawned the Trump administration is as evil as anything in American history that I can think of. The growing need to do something, even if only a symbolic gesture of resistance, coincided with a chance sighting on Facebook of some event info about a Women’s March in Washington, DC planned for January 21.

There was no way we could attend a march in Washington, DC but there appeared to be ancillary marches in the State capitols as well. Austin seemed possible, so we put it on the calendar. The event info also mentioned the Pussy Hat Project – a good-natured poke at Donald Trump’s hypocritical “Make America Great Again” hats. His hats promoted bringing jobs back to America while ironically being mass-produced by low income workers in China. Pussy Hats, in contrast, would be hand made by individual American makers everywhere. Neither Susan nor I are knitters but I am a member of Dallas Makerspace, the biggest collective of hackers and makers in Texas, so it was pretty easy to find a like-minded knitter there. The talented Devin Burnett knitted us a few hats in exchange for the pink yarn.

Early on the morning of Jan 21, the day after Trump’s inauguration, we set out for Austin. There was a beautiful sunrise but almost immediately a weird, dark haze began to settle over the landscape. There was no rain. It was more like a thick dark fog. We joked that perhaps as in Lord of the Rings, the rise of evil is always accompanied by a physical darkness settling over the land. The dark haze was with us most of the way down but finally began to break up as we approached Austin, revealing a beautiful, warm sunny day. Along the way to Austin we saw numerous buses and I noticed someone on Facebook saying they were taking a bus from Dallas to Austin. Had we known about them, we’d have taken a bus too. Our biggest worry was that it would be impossible to find parking close to the capitol. As it turned out, everything worked out perfectly.

We found the Cap Metro Howard Station Park & Ride on Google maps on the northern outskirts of Austin and decided to take a chance that there would be a way to get downtown on a Metro bus. We parked free and walked straight from the car to a waiting bus with Cap Metro employees waving us aboard. We tried to buy two day passes but it was an “exact change only” situation and the smallest bill we had was a ten that the cash scanner didn’t like. The driver asked if were going to the Women’s March. We said yes and she comp’ed us two day passes. The bus was full of other happy, pussy hat wearing marchers.

The bus arrived downtown and let us out a couple of blocks from the capitol. It was no problem finding the march. There were people from every direction converging on it and within moments we had merged into a stream of marchers. Originally, the plan was for everyone to meet at the capitol and then march a 1.5 mile path around downtown. As it turned out, there were so many people that the entire capitol grounds were filled as well as the entire 1.5 mile marching course. The Austin police estimated 50,000 marchers. So there was a continuous, endless loop of marchers on the 1.5 mile path for nearly four hours as well as the massive crowds on the capitol grounds. It was the largest crowd we’ve ever seen in person.

We marched for a while and then mingled with the crowds at the capitol. I shot lots of photos. I was amazed at the range of ages and the diversity. There were people of every race, old women in wheel chairs, children of all ages, I even saw one blind woman. There were lots of men as well and entire families marching together. There were lots of religious leaders marching too.

I was especially pleased to see the wide range of issues, well beyond just women’s rights being represented. I think this election may have awakened a widespread recognition that we have to stop taking things for granted, that we have to get out and work together or the forces of ignorance and superstition will overtake us all. I saw many signs advocating science and evidence based policy. There were a surprising number of signs bearing inside jokes of geeks, nerds, and science fiction fans. There was a general feeling of good-natured humor and fun among the marchers. Overall it was a great experience and I think it really encouraged everyone that maybe there is some hope after all. Maybe what we’re seeing is not the pendulum swinging back into the ignorance of the past but, rather, the last gasps of an ever shrinking minority who want to hold back the rest of the world and who may well die out in a generation.

We eventually headed back to the bus stop and made the drive back to Dallas. It was a long day but well worth it. Now we just need to get back to the everyday work of trying to make the world a better place.

Syndicated 2017-01-24 04:56:31 from Steevithak of the Internet

23 Jan 2017 LaForge   » (Master)

Autodesk: How to lose loyal EAGLE customers

A few days ago, Autodesk has announecd that the popular EAGLE electronics design automation (EDA) software is moving to a subscription based model.

When previously you paid once for a license and could use that version/license as long as you wanted, there now is a monthly subscription fee. Once you stop paying, you loose the right to use the software. Welcome to the brave new world.

I have remotely observed this subscription model as a general trend in the proprietary software universe. So far it hasn't affected me at all, as the only two proprietary applications I use on a regular basis during the last decade are IDA and EAGLE.

I already have ethical issues with using non-free software, but those two cases have been the exceptions, in order to get to the productivity required by the job. While I can somehow convince my consciousness in those two cases that it's OK - using software under a subscription model is completely out of the question, period. Not only would I end up paying for the rest of my professional career in order to be able to open and maintain old design files, but I would also have to accept software that "calls home" and has "remote kill" features. This is clearly not something I would ever want to use on any of my computers. Also, I don't want software to be associated with any account, and it's not the bloody business of the software maker to know when and where I use my software.

For me - and I hope for many, many other EAGLE users - this move is utterly unacceptable and certainly marks the end of any business between the EAGLE makers and myself and/or my companies. I will happily use my current "old-style" EAGLE 7.x licenses for the near future, and theS see what kind of improvements I would need to contribute to KiCAD or other FOSS EDA software in order to eventually migrate to those.

As expected, this doesn't only upset me, but many other customers, some of whom have been loyal to using EAGLE for many years if not decades, back to the DOS version. This is reflected by some media reports (like this one at hackaday or user posts at or who are similarly critical of this move.

Rest in Peace, EAGLE. I hope Autodesk gets what they deserve: A new influx of migrations away from EAGLE into the direction of Open Source EDA software like KiCAD.

In fact, the more I think about it, I'm actually very much inclined to work on good FOSS migration tools / converters - not only for my own use, but to help more people move away from EAGLE. It's not that I don't have enough projects at my hand already, but at least I'm motivated to do something about this betrayal by Autodesk. Let's see what (if any) will come out of this.

So let's see it that way: What Autodesk is doing is raising the level off pain of using EAGLE so high that more people will use and contribute FOSS EDA software. And that is actually a good thing!

Syndicated 2017-01-22 23:00:00 from LaForge's home page

23 Jan 2017 pixelbeat   » (Journeyer)

How the GNU coreutils are tested

Tools and techniques used to test coreutils

Syndicated 2017-01-23 16:55:57 from

23 Jan 2017 mikal   » (Journeyer)

Gods of Metal

ISBN: 9780141982267
In this follow-up to Command and Control, Schlosser explores the conscientious objectors and protestors who have sought to highlight not just the immorality of nuclear weapons, but the hilariously insecure state the US government stores them in. In all seriousness, we are talking grannies with heart conditions being able to break in.

My only real objection to this book is that is more of a pamphlet than a book, and feels a bit like things that didn't make it into the main book. That said, it is well worth the read.

Tags for this post: book eric_schlosser nuclear weapons safety protest
Related posts: Command and Control; Random linkage; Fast Food Nation; Starfish Prime; Why you should stand away from the car when the cop tells you to; Random fact for the day


Syndicated 2017-01-23 02:38:00 from : Mikal, a geek from Canberra living in Silicon Valley (no blather posts)

23 Jan 2017 mjg59   » (Master)

Android permissions and hypocrisy

I wrote a piece a few days ago about how the Meitu app asked for a bunch of permissions in ways that might concern people, but which were not actually any worse than many other apps. The fact that Android makes it so easy for apps to obtain data that's personally identifiable is of concern, but in the absence of another stable device identifier this is the sort of thing that capitalism is inherently going to end up making use of. Fundamentally, this is Google's problem to fix.

Around the same time, Kaspersky, the Russian anti-virus company, wrote a blog post that warned people about this specific app. It was framed somewhat misleadingly - "reading, deleting and modifying the data in your phone's memory" would probably be interpreted by most people as something other than "the ability to modify data on your phone's external storage", although it ends with some reasonable advice that users should ask why an app requires some permissions.

So, to that end, here are the permissions that Kaspersky request on Android:

  • android.permission.READ_CONTACTS
  • android.permission.WRITE_CONTACTS
  • android.permission.READ_SMS
  • android.permission.WRITE_SMS
  • android.permission.READ_PHONE_STATE
  • android.permission.CALL_PHONE
  • android.permission.SEND_SMS
  • android.permission.RECEIVE_SMS
  • android.permission.RECEIVE_BOOT_COMPLETED
  • android.permission.WAKE_LOCK
  • android.permission.WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE
  • android.permission.SUBSCRIBED_FEEDS_READ
  • android.permission.READ_SYNC_SETTINGS
  • android.permission.WRITE_SYNC_SETTINGS
  • android.permission.WRITE_SETTINGS
  • android.permission.INTERNET
  • android.permission.ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION
  • android.permission.ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION
  • android.permission.READ_CALL_LOG
  • android.permission.WRITE_CALL_LOG
  • android.permission.RECORD_AUDIO
  • android.permission.SET_PREFERRED_APPLICATIONS
  • android.permission.WRITE_APN_SETTINGS
  • android.permission.READ_CALENDAR
  • android.permission.WRITE_CALENDAR
  • android.permission.KILL_BACKGROUND_PROCESSES
  • android.permission.RESTART_PACKAGES
  • android.permission.MANAGE_ACCOUNTS
  • android.permission.GET_ACCOUNTS
  • android.permission.MODIFY_PHONE_STATE
  • android.permission.CHANGE_NETWORK_STATE
  • android.permission.ACCESS_NETWORK_STATE
  • android.permission.ACCESS_WIFI_STATE
  • android.permission.CHANGE_WIFI_STATE
  • android.permission.VIBRATE
  • android.permission.READ_LOGS
  • android.permission.GET_TASKS
  • android.permission.EXPAND_STATUS_BAR
  • android.permission.CAMERA
  • android.permission.SYSTEM_ALERT_WINDOW
  • android.permission.BATTERY_STATS
  • android.permission.MODIFY_AUDIO_SETTINGS

Every single permission that Kaspersky mention Meitu having? They require it as well. And a lot more. Why does Kaspersky want the ability to record audio? Why does it want to be able to send SMSes? Why does it want to read my contacts? Why does it need my fine-grained location? Why is it able to modify my settings?

There's no reason to assume that they're being malicious here. The reasons that these permissions exist at all is that there are legitimate reasons to use them, and Kaspersky may well have good reason to request them. But they don't explain that, and they do literally everything that their blog post criticises (including explicitly requesting the phone's IMEI). Why should we trust a Russian company more than a Chinese one?

The moral here isn't that Kaspersky are evil or that Meitu are virtuous. It's that talking about application permissions is difficult and we don't have the language to explain to users what our apps are doing and why they're doing it, and Google are still falling far short of where they should be in terms of making this transparent to users. But the other moral is that you shouldn't complain about the permissions an app requires when you're asking for even more of them because it just makes you look stupid and bad at your job.

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Syndicated 2017-01-23 07:58:57 from Matthew Garrett

22 Jan 2017 marnanel   » (Journeyer)

wizz for coding! part 3, alan turing

alan turing invented the COLOSSOS, machine for understanding ger., lat., fr., ect which won the war for BRITTAN cheers cheers cheers. even tho he was a grate pionear of computer sience, the goverment did not respekt him, becos he did not hav a beard.

all mr turing’s discovereys are v popular at st. custards, eg the HALTING PROBLEM, which shos that you canot tell whether or not hedmaster’s pi-jaw will go on for ever.

mr turing also invented the turing test. this demonstrates that a computer is intelegent if a human canot tell whether it is another human. hence super wizard wheez to see whether sigismund the mad maths master wil notice if i send the MOLESWORTH-O-TRON 9000 to maths klass while i stay in bed.

SIGISMUND: molesworth, why hav you not done your prep
MOLESWORTH-O-TRON: is it becos I hav not done my prep that you speke to me
SIGISMUND: what is the square on the hipotnus?
MOLESWORTH-O_TRON: some of the squares on the other sides
PEASON: sir sir i have a question sir
SIGISMUND: what is it peason
PEASON: ; drop table mathematiks; –
(with a grate CRASH the molesworth-o-tron fall to the floor)
SIGISMUND: well i never, molesworth is a computer

thus we see, my deres, that i, nigel molesworth, hav absolutely 0 brane at all. This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2017-01-22 10:08:41 from Monument

21 Jan 2017 badvogato   » (Master)

an excerpt from " Original/Translation: by Lucas Klein The Aesthetic Context of Kenneth Rexroth’s presented by Translations of Du Fu and Li Qingzhao"

In “Mocking Birds”, Rexroth displays his plain-language combination of poignant, startling, and seemingly ordinary imagery as it envelops his open-nervous system themes of memory, love, and the rub between nature and psychological realities. He also lands on tree frogs, fourteen years before publishing Wang Hung Kung’s poem is Love and the Turning Year:

In mid-March in the heart of
The night, in the center of
The sterile city, in the
Midst of miles of asphalt and
Stone, alone and frustrated,
Wakeful on my narrow bed,
My brain spinning with worry,
There came to me, slipping through
The interstices of the
Blowing darkness, the living,
Almost imperceptible,
Faint, persistent, recurrent
Song of a single tree toad—
A voice sweeter than most birds.
Seven years ago we lay
Naked and moist, making love
Under the Easter full moon,
The thick fragrant light shaking
With the songs of mocking birds.

20 Jan 2017 mjg59   » (Master)

Android apps, IMEIs and privacy

There's been a sudden wave of people concerned about the Meitu selfie app's use of unique phone IDs. Here's what we know: the app will transmit your phone's IMEI (a unique per-phone identifier that can't be altered under normal circumstances) to servers in China. It's able to obtain this value because it asks for a permission called READ_PHONE_STATE, which (if granted) means that the app can obtain various bits of information about your phone including those unique IDs and whether you're currently on a call.

Why would anybody want these IDs? The simple answer is that app authors mostly make money by selling advertising, and advertisers like to know who's seeing their advertisements. The more app views they can tie to a single individual, the more they can track that user's response to different kinds of adverts and the more targeted (and, they hope, more profitable) the advertising towards that user. Using the same ID between multiple apps makes this easier, and so using a device-level ID rather than an app-level one is preferred. The IMEI is the most stable ID on Android devices, persisting even across factory resets.

The downside of using a device-level ID is, well, whoever has that data knows a lot about what you're running. That lets them tailor adverts to your tastes, but there are certainly circumstances where that could be embarrassing or even compromising. Using the IMEI for this is even worse, since it's also used for fundamental telephony functions - for instance, when a phone is reported stolen, its IMEI is added to a blacklist and networks will refuse to allow it to join. A sufficiently malicious person could potentially report your phone stolen and get it blocked by providing your IMEI. And phone networks are obviously able to track devices using them, so someone with enough access could figure out who you are from your app usage and then track you via your IMEI. But realistically, anyone with that level of access to the phone network could just identify you via other means. There's no reason to believe that this is part of a nefarious Chinese plot.

Is there anything you can do about this? On Android 6 and later, yes. Go to settings, hit apps, hit the gear menu in the top right, choose "App permissions" and scroll down to phone. Under there you'll see all apps that have permission to obtain this information, and you can turn them off. Doing so may cause some apps to crash or otherwise misbehave, whereas newer apps may simply ask for you to grant the permission again and refuse to do so if you don't.

Meitu isn't especially rare in this respect. Over 50% of the Android apps I have handy request your IMEI, although I haven't tracked what they all do with it. It's certainly something to be concerned about, but Meitu isn't especially rare here - there are big-name apps that do exactly the same thing. There's a legitimate question over whether Android should be making it so easy for apps to obtain this level of identifying information without more explicit informed consent from the user, but until Google do anything to make it more difficult, apps will continue making use of this information. Let's turn this into a conversation about user privacy online rather than blaming one specific example.

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Syndicated 2017-01-19 23:36:36 from Matthew Garrett

19 Jan 2017 badvogato   » (Master)


  赵执信不仅是清初的一位著名的现实主义诗人,还提出了一套较为完整的诗歌理论。他主张“诗之中要有人在”,反对脱离现实,无病呻吟;主张“诗之外要有事在”,强调诗歌的现实意义和教育作用;主张“文意为主,以语言为役”,要求形式服从内容,语言为内容服务;主张作家“从其所近”,自由选择艺术风格,反对用“神韵”的唯一尺度去衡量作品的好坏;反对京派主义倾向,培养真 赵执信书法正的新生力量;反对赏识善于谄媚逢迎的庸人,要选择有真才实学的”佳士“等一系列主张和见解。在当时的诗坛上,王士祯的“神韵说”风靡一时,而在创作上与之抗衡、在理论上与之辩驳的唯有赵执信。赵、王二人之所以由原来相互唱和、彼此欣赏发展到相互诟厉,关键就在于他们的诗歌理论不同,各执一端,互不相让。

18 Jan 2017 sye   » (Journeyer)

老舍 齐白石 蛙声十里出山泉

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Syndicated 2017-01-18 14:12:00 (Updated 2017-01-18 14:18:12) from badvogato

17 Jan 2017 badvogato   » (Master)

Kenneth Rexroth ( 1905 - 1982)
World outside the Window: The Selected Essays of Kenneth Rexroth
By Kenneth Rexroth; Bradford Morrow
The Poet As Translator

When discussing the poet as translator, from time immemorial it has been the custom to start out by quoting Dryden. I shan't, but I will try to illustrate Dryden's main, thesis--that the translation of poetry into poetry is an act of sympathy--the identification of another person with oneself, the transference of his utterance to one's own utterance. The ideal translator, as we all know well, is not engaged in matching the words of a text with the words of his own language. He is hardly even a proxy, but rather an all-out advocate. His job is one of the most extreme examples of special pleading. So the prime criterion of successful poetic translation is assimilability. Does it get across to the jury?

17 Jan 2017 Hobart   » (Journeyer)

mount option 'norelatime' being ignored

Red Hat bug 756670 also reflects the behavior of Ubuntu 16.10, and likely others.

tl;dr: If you really want atime - you need to use the 'strictatime' option, not 'norelatime'.

"Status: Closed NOTABUG" - ha ha ha

Syndicated 2017-01-17 15:33:04 from jon's blog

16 Jan 2017 marnanel   » (Journeyer)

wizz for coding! part 2, rekurshon

[Part 1 is here]

rekursion is not e.g. when you drop a shottput on yor foot and shout D— B— S— ect in front of GRIMES and get yor mouth washed out with soap. it is a way to find ansers in funkshonal langwidges that require BRANE. this is becos funkshonal langwidges never do anything useful exept by side-efect, and who can blame them.

the ordenry way of finding ansers is for one funkshon to aks another thus:

FOTHERINGTON-TOMAS: Hello clouds hello sky, hello peason. who is the strongest boy in all st. custards?
PEASON: er, i dunno. molesworth, who is the tuoghest in st. custards?
MOLESWORTH (chest swelling with manly pride): it is i (gramer)
PEASON: it is molesworth. (he burst out laffing)
FOTHERINGTON-TOMAS: Hurrah, i hav my answer. (he skip merily away.)

but a rekursiv funkshon can aks itself for an anser.

FOTHERINGTON-TOMAS: Hello clouds hello sky, hello molesworth. who is the strongest boy in all st. custards?
MOLESWORTH: i shal aks myself. molesworth, who is the tuoghest in st. custards?
(i turn around. i am looking into the eyes of a handsom stranger.
could it be MYSELF?)

MOLESWORTH: dere me, who is the tuoghest in st. custards?
(but as i turn to tell fotherington-tomas, we hear the footstepps of the glamorus under-matron PRUDENCE ENTWISTLE)
MOLESWORTH-PRIME: wait! i must veriffy the result. prudence, who is the tuoghest in the skool?
PRUDENCE: you, my sweet.
(she kisses him and they depart arm in arm without me chiz chiz chiz)

rekurshon was invented by som monks in hanoi. they had three huge needels and a hundred disks. they spent hundreds of yeres moving them about it was worse than detenshun. they shud hav just spun them around like radio LUXEMBURG hem hem. anyway one day the americans invaded.

AMERICANS: wot are you doing
BROTHER MOLESWORTH: moving disks around
BROTHER MOLESWORTH: no time to talk, got to move this disk around
AMERICANS: dont drop it on your…
ABBOT: report to the scriptorium to have thy mouth woshed out with soap

tho to be fair it is probbly less rude in vietnamese. This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2017-01-16 22:47:38 from Monument

16 Jan 2017 iddekingej   » (Observer)

16 Jan 2017 aicra   » (Journeyer)

I keep seeing 1 star ratings for my writing. Funny thing is.. I write for a living. Maybe they don't appreciate my perspective regarding the DMCA - overreaching, patent like protection, etc.

Or maybe I just suck.

15 Jan 2017 sye   » (Journeyer)

Draft on translating 'Ash Wednesday'

《聖灰星期三》- 叶澍苍 释译




原来 此翼已不再是比翼双飞之翼

syndicated from

Syndicated 2017-01-15 22:17:00 (Updated 2017-01-15 22:20:29) from badvogato

13 Jan 2017 marnanel   » (Journeyer)


I once told a toddler the story of Plato's cave. She said, "Well, I'm going on holiday there soon."

When she got home, she told her mum, "I'm going on holiday to a cave where you can only see shadows on the wall."

Her mum said, "You've been talking to Marn, haven't you?"

This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2017-01-13 01:17:21 (Updated 2017-01-13 01:17:42) from Monument

12 Jan 2017 mones   » (Journeyer)

This is how 2 years of work look...

...after printing it for submission in triplicate:
Three copies of MSc project next to a x260 laptop

At least this was somewhat cheap (34.80 euros) because it's printed black and white. Printing in colour was prohibitive.

Next step: bind them in a dark blue hard-cover with golden letters :-)

Syndicated 2017-01-12 00:10:11 from Ricardo Mones

7 Jan 2017 Pizza   » (Master)

Mitsubishi P95D

The Mitsubishi P95D is the latest model in a line of Medical/Scientific monochromatic thermal printers that can often be found attached to the likes of Ultrasound stations.

As of December 20th, it now has first-class Linux support as part of Gutenprint, complete with status/error reporting, mutiple copy support, custom page sizes, and every other feature the printer exports.

I may try to extend support to older models in the family (P93 and P91) or other MedSci thermal printers if there's any interest.

Oh, here's a shot of the P95 in action:


Syndicated 2017-01-07 02:59:11 from I Dream of Rain (free_software)

4 Jan 2017 MikeGTN   » (Journeyer)

Let Glasgow Flourish

Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote my goodbye letter to Glasgow here. It had been a difficult day where my hitherto reliably steadfast dependence on the places I knew best had let me down. I'd found the city which had usually given me a rare sense of home, wanting. Over the past year I've thought a lot about that day - not least because it worked as a microcosm of the bigger changes my life has passed through these past few years: realising that things were changing outside my control, at a pace I couldn't dictate. I've had to...

Syndicated 2017-01-03 18:01:00 from Lost::MikeGTN

3 Jan 2017 sye   » (Journeyer)

John Masefield: On Reading "Bridge to Heaven" (1942)

On Reading The Bridge of Heaven  《天桥》written by 熊式一

by John Masefield Oct. 15th, 1942

To Ta Tung, as a boy,
This hope gave gentle joy,
To plant, in some green close,
A plum-tree or white rose,

That, so, in Spring or June
The lamp of the full Moon
Might show to Man the flower
White, in its whitest hour,

That, those who came to seek,
Would whisper: "Will she speak
This Wonder? Will she bless
Our woes to nothingness?
Will she descend the green
Sweet sprays, and be our Queen?
Our Saviour Queen? O, still ...
She moves... She will."

Then, growing-up, be found
No garden-close, no ground,
In all wide China's space
To be a planting-place.
Instead, an iron will
To learn to kill, and kill
The tangle of the weeds
That thwart men's needs.

Thus is Man's youth today,
An April without May,
A May without a June,
Night without Moon.
But Hope from thwarted lives
In unquenched beauty strives
Slowly its glimmer breaks
The darkness of mistakes.
So many million flames
Will burn away the shames;
Ta Tung will surely find
His plot of Peace of Mind;
His blossomed plum will lift
White as the snow in drift,
Under a Moon of Peace
In skies like the still seas.

syndicated from

Syndicated 2017-01-03 22:24:00 (Updated 2017-01-03 22:24:11) from badvogato

3 Jan 2017 MikeGTN   » (Journeyer)

The Old Father Thames

There was just a little hint of the old days - rising early and heading out in the dark to get to the beginning of a railtour used to be a fairly commonplace happening. But today it felt like something of a rarity - and I surprised myself by being pretty excited about the trip despite the early hour. After a quick walk from Hoxton to Liverpool Street station I boarded a No. 11 bus which soon set out across the dark, quiet City of London. As we snaked between the Bank of England and St. Paul's Cathedral, only the...

Syndicated 2016-12-29 22:12:00 from Lost::MikeGTN

31 Dec 2016 LaForge   » (Master)

33C3 talk on dissecting cellular modems

Yesterday, together with Holger 'zecke' Freyther, I co-presented at 33C3 about Dissectiong modern (3G/4G) cellular modems.

This presentation covers some of our recent explorations into a specific type of 3G/4G cellular modems, which next to the regular modem/baseband processor also contain a Cortex-A5 core that (unexpectedly) runs Linux.

We want to use such modems for building self-contained M2M devices that run the entire application inside the modem itself, without any external needs except electrical power, SIM card and antenna.

Next to that, they also pose an ideal platform for testing the Osmocom network-side projects for running GSM, GPRS, EDGE, UMTS and HSPA cellular networks.

You can find the Slides and the Video recordings in case you're interested in more details about our work.

The results of our reverse engineering can be found in the wiki at together with links to the various git repositories containing related tools.

As with all the many projects that I happen to end up doing, it would be great to get more people contributing to them. If you're interested in cellular technology and want to help out, feel free to register at the site and start adding/updating/correcting information to the wiki.

You can e.g. help by

  • playing with the modem and documenting your findings
  • reviewing the source code released by Qualcomm + Quectel and documenting your findings
  • help us to create a working OE build with our own kernel and rootfs images as well as opkg package feeds for the modems
  • help reverse engineering DIAG and QMI protocols as well as the open source programs to interact with them

Syndicated 2016-12-30 00:00:00 from LaForge's home page

31 Dec 2016 hacker   » (Master)

The Enormous Dating Fraud:, Plenty of Fish, Tinder and OkCupid

The Top 4 dating sites out there;, Plenty of Fish, Tinder and OkCupid are so completely overrun with fraud now, it’s appalling. (Note:, Plenty of Fish, Tinder and OkCupid are all owned by the same parent company, along with 40 other dating site properties) I’ve been a free and paid member of these […]

No related posts.

Syndicated 2016-12-31 00:15:54 from random neuron misfires

30 Dec 2016 sye   » (Journeyer)


陈寅恪祖籍江西南昌府宁州,少时曾居南昌,与熊式一谊属同乡。诗中把熊式一与林语堂在英语世界的影响相提并论,借用“初唐四杰”中杨炯“愧在卢(照邻)前,耻居王(勃)后”的典故“评量”《天桥》和《京华烟云》,认为自己“不识”林语堂笔下的“北都旧俗”,还是偏爱描写故乡的《天桥》(小说中“天桥”首尾呼应,“楔子”写乡绅李明在南昌城外赣江支流修建新桥,命之曰“天桥”;“尾声”又写李明之子李大同重造新的“既美丽又坚固”的“天桥” ),评价不可谓不高。


syndicated from

Syndicated 2016-12-30 14:58:00 (Updated 2016-12-30 15:32:56) from badvogato

29 Dec 2016 LaForge   » (Master)

Contribute to Osmocom 3.5G and receive a free femtocell

In 2016, Osmocom gained initial 3.5G support with osmo-iuh and the Iu interface extensions of our libmsc and OsmoSGSN coede. This means you can run your own small open source 3.5G cellular network for SMS, Voice and Data services.

However, the project needs more contributors: Become an active member in the Osmocom development community and get your nano3G femtocell for free.

I'm happy to announce that my company sysmocom hereby issues a call for proposals to the general public. Please describe in a short proposal how you would help us improving the Osmocom project if you were to receive one of those free femtocells.

Details of this proposal can be found at

Please contact in case of any questions.

Syndicated 2016-12-29 00:00:00 from LaForge's home page

29 Dec 2016 MichaelCrawford   » (Master)

Kuro5hin is Dead; Long Live Kuro5hin

I used to blog quite a bit at Advogato but then I discovered Kuro5hin. Even so I was never really gone, returning to post the occasional paranoia manifesto.

When Kuro5hin was about to die Del Griffith set up Don't Sue Me Bro. That's not a link for a very good reason. It's gone to but there is a... uh... "placeholder".

I'm on FaceBook and Soylent News but I always project a positive message there. Where can I reveal my cynical side?

My obsession with writing seems to be gone. Perhaps it will come back when my depression lifts. Maybe it's best that I don't write anymore.

Good News

I've gotten a contract writing Mac OS X drivers for a fabless semiconductor company. Their products presently only work on Windows and Linux.

They're good people there. Really that's what matters to me the most - that I'm working for good people. The money isn't such a bid deal provided I'm paid fairly for some reasonable definition of "fair".

Bad News

I'd be at work right now but I've got a cold. It seems to help to go out each day so I came to Starbucks to have some tea. Usually I drink coffee but coffee has been hard on my stomache lately so I'm drinking tea instead.

New Toys Real Soon Now

I had to ask my client to let me use their Macs as my macbook pro died, and I haven't had the cash to replace it. I'm very pleased that they agreed.

It's been tough to advertise myself as a Mac programmer without actually owning a Mac. To some extent I could use a Hackintosh but I've had limited success.

I'd really like to purchase a new MacBook Pro but there is lots of life left in the cheap-n-nasty Aspire Aspire I bought to replace my dead MacBook Pro. Really a Mac Mini is all I require.

27 Dec 2016 MikeGTN   » (Journeyer)

Rachel Lichtenstein - Estuary

Over the past few years, as my explorations of the Thames have taken me further and further eastwards, I've begun to appreciate the estuary in a different way. It's fair to say that, until recently, the wide expanses of flat empty land almost terrified me. The broad sweep of silver sky broken only by marching ranks of pylons seemed endlessly and bleakly awesome. But it has also always drawn me - the edges of London blurring into the post-industrial wastelands of Essex and Kent are curiously intriguing to me. Haunted by Joseph Conrad and Bram Stoker, and never far from...

Syndicated 2016-12-18 11:12:00 from Lost::MikeGTN

26 Dec 2016 benad   » (Apprentice)

On the Usability of Strings

I’ve recently read an article about why programmers should favour Python 2 over Python 3 (”The Case Against Python 3”), and most of it is an incoherent rant that expose the author’s deep misunderstanding of how bytecode is internally used in scripting languages and how “market forces” of backwards-compatibility work against new languages. Somebody else already rebutted those arguments better than I would do, and unlike the original author, his later edits are clear and doesn’t involve “it was meant as a joke”. One interesting a valid technical argument remains: Python 3’s opaque support for Unicode strings can be unintuitive for those used to manipulate strings as transparent sequences of bytes.

Many programming languages came from an era where text representation was either for English, or for Western languages that would neatly fit all their possible characters in 8-bit values. Internationalization, then, meant at worst indicating what “code page” or character encoding the text was. Having started programming on 90s Macintosh computers, the go-to string memory representation was the Pascal string, where its first byte indicated the string length. This meant that performing the wrong memory manipulation on the string, using the wrong encoding to display it, or even attempting to display corrupted memory would at worst display 255 random characters.

There is a strong argument that UTF-8 should be used everywhere, and while it takes the occasion to educate programmers about Unicode (for more complete “Unicode for programmers”, see this article and this more recent guide), doing so seems to conflate the two different design (and usability) issues: What encoding should be used to store Human-readable text, and what abstractions (if any) programming languages should offer to represent strings of text?

The “UTF-8 Everywhere” document already has strong arguments for UTF-8 as the best storage format for text, and looking at the popularity of UTF-8 in web standards, all that remains is to move legacy systems to it.

For strings in programming languages, you could imagine one that has absolutely no support for any form of strings, though it’s difficult to sell the idea of a language that doesn’t even support string literals or an “Hello World” program. The approach of “UTF-8 Everywhere” is very close to that, and seems to indicate the authors’ bias towards C and C++ languages: Transparently use UTF-8 to store text, and shift the burden of not breaking multi-byte code points back to the programmer. The argument that counting characters, or “grapheme clusters”, is seldom needed is misleading: Splitting a UTF-8 string in the middle of a code point will break the validity of the UTF-8 sequence.

In fact, it can be argued that programming languages that offer native abstractions of text strings not only give greater protection against accidentally building invalid byte representations, but also give them a chance to do a myriad of other worthwhile optimizations. Languages that presents strings as immutable sequences of Unicode code points, or that transparently use copy-on-write when characters are changed, can optimize memory by de-duplicating identical strings. Even if de-duplication is done only for literals (like Java), it can greatly help with memory reuse in programs that process large amount of text. The internal memory representation of strings can even be optimized for size based on the biggest code point used in it, like Python 3.3 does.

Of course, the biggest usability issue with using abstracted Unicode strings is that it forces the programmer to explicitly tell how to convert a byte sequence in a string and back. The article “The Case Against Python 3” above mentioned that the language’s runtime should automatically detect the encoding, but that is highly error-prone and CPU intensive. The “UTF-8 Everywhere” argues that since both are using UTF-8, it boils down to memory copy, but then breaking code points is still a risk so you’ll need some kind of UTF-8 encoder and parser.

I personally prefer the approach of most modern programming languages, including Perl, Python 3, Java, JavaScript and C#, of supporting both a string and “char” type, and force the programmer to explicitly mention the input and output encoding when converting to bytes. Because they are older and made when they naively thought that the biggest code point would fit in 2 bytes, meaning before these days of Emojis, Java and JavaScript use UTF-16 and 2-bytes characters, so they still can let you accidentally break 3 or 4-bytes code points. Also, it would be nice to do like C# and by default assume that the default encoding used when decoding or encoding should be UTF-8, instead of having to explicitly say so each time like in Perl 5 and Java. Still, providing those string and “char” abstractions while using UTF-8 as its default byte representation reduces the burden on programmers when dealing with Unicode. Sure, learning about Unicode code points and how UTF-8 works is useful, but shouldn’t be required from novice programmers that write a “Hello World” program that outputs an Unicode Emoji to a text file.

Syndicated 2016-12-26 15:11:21 from Benad's Blog

24 Dec 2016 marnanel   » (Journeyer)

A poem I wrote at Christmastime when I was 13


They will stand beside you
When all things are good.
And in the times when things are bad
Beside you they have stood.
They always tell the truth to you
As every good friend must
And they are reliable:
Friends you always trust.
They never will say nasty things
About the clothes you wear
They'll stand up for you against others
When you're not there.
You can always trust your friends
To hold your place in queues.
They'll always tell you "You played well",
Even if you lose.
Always keeping by your side:
Friendship never ends.
Yet, after all, we're only human:
Who has friends?

This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2016-12-24 18:57:24 (Updated 2016-12-24 18:57:59) from Monument

22 Dec 2016 olea   » (Master)

Creando un servicio personal de OpenVPN

He decidido, por fin, crear mi propio servicio VPN. Los motivos principales son poder asegurar navegación privada y cercionarme que uso un servicio de confianza 100% auditado… por mi.


  • servicio OpenVPN
  • usando docker
  • servidor Centos 7
  • reutilizando alguna configuración existente
  • pero sin reutilizar imágenes publicadas en el Docker Hub, por celo en la seguridad
  • poder conectar desde máquinas Linux y teléfonos Android

La configuración elegida es una creada por Kyle Manna: ¡Gracias Kyle!

Procedimiento de instalación y configuración del servidor

En este caso usamos CentOS 7, pero como no está disponible docker-compose he tenido que retro-portarlo y lo tenéis disponible en un repositorio específico.


  cd /etc/yum.repos.d ; wget
yum install -y docker docker-compose
yum install -y docker-lvm-plugin.x86_64 docker-latest.x86_64
yum upgrade -y
groupadd docker
usermod -G docker -a USUARIO
echo "VG=sys" > /etc/sysconfig/docker-storage-setup
systemctl enable docker
systemctl start docker

Si docker ha podido arrancar entonces probablemente está listo para empezar a trabajar.

Obviamente también hay que configurar el DNS del servicio VPN.MISERVIDOR.COM en el servidor correspondiente.

Entrando en materia:

  mkdir servicio-VPN.MISERVIDOR.COM
git clone
cat <<EOF > docker-compose.yml
version: '2'
            context: docker-openvpn/
            - NET_ADMIN
        image: Mi-ID/openvpn
            - "1194:1194/udp"
        restart: always
            - ./openvpn/conf:/etc/openvpn

Y continuando con las instrucciones indicadas:

  • construimos localmente la imagen docker desde cero de una sola vez:
  docker-compose run --rm openvpn ovpn_genconfig -u udp://VPN.MISERVIDOR.COM

  • iniciamos la AC local propia (se nos pedirá la contraseña de la clave privada):
  docker-compose run --rm openvpn ovpn_initpki

  • finalmente lanzamos el contenedor:
  docker-compose up -d openvpn

Procedimiento de altas de usuarios

  • Alta del usuario:
  docker-compose run --rm openvpn easyrsa build-client-full USUARIO nopass

  • generación de la configuración local de OpenVPN para el mismo usuario:
  docker-compose run --rm openvpn ovpn_getclient USUARIO > USUARIO.ovpn

  • Este fichero lo copiaremos a nuestra máquina porque es el que nos habilitará el acceso VPN.

Problema importando configuraciones de OpenVPN y NetworkManager

Personalmente me he encontrado el problema varias veces de que el GUI de configuración de NetworkManager no es capaz de importar los certificados criptográficos al configurar una conexión VPN importando ficheros ovpn. Tras investigarlo varias veces he concluido que se debe a un bug documentado que en mi caso no está resuelto en NetworkManager-openvpn-gnome-1.0.8-2.fc23 pero sí en NetworkManager-openvpn-gnome-1.2.4-2.fc24.

Si aún os encontráis con ese problema habría dos alternativas: o actualizar a una versión reciente de NM o conectarse manualmente desde el CLI:

  sudo /usr/sbin/openvpn --config USUARIO.ovpn

Syndicated 2016-12-21 23:00:00 from Ismael Olea

22 Dec 2016 sye   » (Journeyer)



Ah, homeward bound I go!
Why not go home, seeing that my field
and gardens are overgrown?
Myself have made my soul serf to my body:
why have vain regrets and mourn alone?

Fret not over bygones
and the forward journey take.
Only a short distance have I gone astray,
and I know today I am right,
if yesterday was a complete mistake.

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Syndicated 2016-12-22 03:11:00 (Updated 2016-12-22 15:42:29) from badvogato

19 Dec 2016 iddekingej   » (Observer)

I released a new version of BDGui , a gui for displaying information about block devices, raid, llvm etc.
Runs only on linux.

Site: Here

I also discovered a free Continuous integration site
Nice an useful site, sadly the free version has only 2 Linux images: ubuntu 12.04 and 14.04 and one OSX

19 Dec 2016 marnanel   » (Journeyer)

Three simple points to change someone's attitude

[Content note: mention of road accidents, and death of children]

Now more than ever, we on the Left need to change people’s attitudes towards the poor and marginalised. Persuasion has three parts:

  • Why should you listen to me?
  • Here are the facts.
  • But let me tell you a story…

(Why should you listen to me about this? Because I’m a writer and I study the structure of stories. Also, because this pattern has stood the test of time: it was set out by Aristotle in 350BCE.)

Who’s speaking: You. Or not. Don’t assume your job is to speak up for the oppressed, if you’re part of the oppressing group. That generally results in speaking over them. People won’t listen, and they won’t have heard from oppressed folk either. Instead, find someone of the oppressed group who’s speaking up for themselves, and use your privilege to amplify them.

Facts are vitally important, and they’re what we do best. We have fact-checkers and myth-busting websites coming out of our ears. But people don’t listen to facts alone.

Stories, worldviews, are the framework for facts.  If someone’s been sold a lie (“immigrants are taking all the jobs and houses”), they’re sold a story to put it in (which starts with “there’s a shortage of jobs and houses”). Then when you point out the number of houses standing empty, it doesn’t fit the story. So it gets ignored, or twisted into something you didn’t say. The answer to false stories is to spread true stories.

Not convinced? Let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time in 1964, the road safety people ran adverts saying “Don’t drink and drive”. They gave statistics. But the adverts weren’t very effective. So they tried a new idea.

The existing story was “Driving drunk is difficult, so I’m more of a man if I can do it.” The new adverts gave them a better story: Here’s a kid who can’t sleep because her father killed someone. Kill your speed, not a child.

And why should we believe what we’re hearing? Because we’re hearing it from actual people who had been injured in road accidents. Even though the people were fictional characters, it still persuades. And now drinking and driving deaths are one-fifth of what they were 40 years ago.

Persuaded? Share it and persuade your friends.

This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2016-12-19 18:36:03 from Monument

19 Dec 2016 glyph   » (Master)

Sourceforge Update

When I wrote my previous post about Sourceforge, things were looking pretty grim for the site; I (rightly, I think) slammed them for some pretty atrocious security practices.

I invited the SourceForge ops team to get in touch about it, and, to their credit, they did. Even better, they didn't ask for me to take down the article, or post some excuse; they said that they knew there were problems and they were working on a long-term plan to address them.

This week I received an update from said ops, saying:

We have converted many of our mirrors over to HTTPS and are actively working on the rest + gathering new ones. The converted ones happen to be our larger mirrors and are prioritized.

We have added support for HTTPS on the project web. New projects will automatically start using it. Old projects can switch over at their convenience as some of them may need to adjust it to properly work. More info here:

Coincidentally, right after I received this email, I installed a macOS update, which means I needed to go back to Sourceforge to grab an update to my boot manager. This time, I didn't have to do any weird tricks to authenticate my download: the HTTPS project page took me to an HTTPS download page, which redirected me to an HTTPS mirror. Success!

(It sounds like there might still be some non-HTTPS mirrors in rotation right now, but I haven't seen one yet in my testing; for now, keep an eye out for that, just in case.)

If you host a project on Sourceforge, please go push that big "Switch to HTTPS" button. And thanks very much to the ops team at Sourceforge for taking these problems seriously and doing the hard work of upgrading their users' security.

Syndicated 2016-12-19 01:19:00 from Deciphering Glyph

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