Recent blog entries

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

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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.

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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。


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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 from

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

18 Dec 2016 mikal   » (Journeyer)

A Walk in the Woods

ISBN: 9780307279460
I found this tale of Bill Bryson walking the Appalachian Trail (rather incompetently I must say) immensely entertaining. Well written, interesting, generally exaggerated, and leaving me with a desire to get out somewhere and walk some more. I'd strongly recommend this book to people who already care about bush walking, but have found other pursuits to occupy most of their spare time.

Tags for this post: book bill_bryson travel america bush walking
Related posts: Exploring for a navex; Where did SUVs come from?; In A Sunburned Country; Richistan; Why American tech companies seem to get new technology better than Australian ones...; I should try to make it to then 911 exhibit


Syndicated 2016-12-17 22:41:00 (Updated 2016-12-18 08:07:41) from : Mikal, a geek from Canberra living in Silicon Valley (no blather posts)

16 Dec 2016 LaForge   » (Master)

Accessing 3GPP specs in PDF format

When you work with GSM/cellular systems, the definite resource are the specifications. They were originally released by ETSI, later by 3GPP.

The problem start with the fact that there are separate numbering schemes. Everyone in the cellular industry I know always uses the GSM/3GPP TS numbering scheme, i.e. something like 3GPP TS 44.008. However, ETSI assigns its own numbers to the specs, like ETSI TS 144008. Now in most cases, it is as simple s removing the '.' and prefixing the '1' in the beginning. However, that's not always true and there are exceptions such as 3GPP TS 01.01 mapping to ETSI TS 101855. To make things harder, there doesn't seem to be a machine-readable translation table betwen the spec numbers, but there's a website for spec number conversion at

When I started to work on GSM related topics somewhere between my work at Openmoko and the start of the OpenBSC project, I manually downloaded the PDF files of GSM specifications from the ETSI website. This was a cumbersome process, as you had to enter the spec number (e.g. TS 04.08) in a search window, look for the latest version in the search results, click on that and then click again for accessing the PDF file (rather than a proprietary Microsoft Word file).

At some point a poor girlfriend of mine was kind enough to do this manual process for each and every 3GPP spec, and then create a corresponding symbolic link so that you could type something like evince /spae/openmoko/gsm-specs/by_chapter/44.008.pdf into your command line and get instant access to the respective spec.

However, of course, this gets out of date over time, and by now almost a decade has passed without a systematic update of that archive.

To the rescue, 3GPP started at some long time ago to not only provide the obnoxious M$ Word DOC files, but have deep links to ETSI. So you could go to and then click on 44.008, and one further click you had the desired PDF, served by ETSI (3GPP apparently never provided PDF files).

However, in their infinite wisdom, at some point in 2016 the 3GPP webmaster decided to remove those deep links. Rather than a nice long list of released versions of a given spec, now points to some crappy JavaScript tabbed page, where you can click on the version number and then get a ZIP file with a single Word DOC file inside. You can hardly male it any more inconvenient and cumbersome. The PDF links would open immediately in modern browsers built-in JavaScript PDF viewer or your favorite PDF viewer. Single click to the information you want. But no, the PDF links had to go and replaced with ZIP file downloads that you first need to extract, and then open in something like LibreOffice, taking ages to load the document, rendering it improperly in a word processor. I don't want to edit the spec, I want to read it, sigh.

So since the usability of this 3GPP specification resource had been artificially crippled, I was annoyed sufficiently well to come up with a solution:

  • first create a complete mirror of all ETSI TS (technical specifications) by using a recursive wget on
  • then use a shell script that utilizes pdfgrep and awk to determine the 3GPP specification number (it is written in the title on the first page of the document) and creating a sym-link. Now I have something like 44.008-4.0.0.pdf -> ts_144008v040000p.pdf

It's such a waste of resources to have to download all those files and then write a script using pdfgrep+awk to re-gain the same usability that the 3GPP chose to remove from their website. Now we can wait for ETSI to disable indexing/recursion on their server, and easy and quick spec access would be gone forever :/

Why does nobody care about efficiency these days?

If you're also an avid 3GPP spec reader, I'm publishing the rather trivial scripts used at

If you have contacts to the 3GPP webmaster, please try to motivate them to reinstate the direct PDF links.

Syndicated 2016-12-16 00:00:00 from LaForge's home page

15 Dec 2016 glyph   » (Master)

Don’t Stop Tweeting On My Account

Shortly after my previous post, my good friend David Reid not-so-subtly subtweeted me for apparently yelling at everyone using a twitter thread to be quiet and stop expressing themselves. He pointed out:

Threads are being used to say things which might not otherwise be said.

If you only see threads from blowhards stop following blowhards.

— dreid (@dreid) December 14, 2016

I read this book based on the recommendation of Richard Jones, and its really really good. A little sci-fi, a little film noir, and very engaging. I also like that bad things happen to good people in the story -- its gritty and unclean enough to be believable.

I don't want to ruin the book for anyone, but I really enjoyed this and have already ordered the sequels. Oh, and there's a Netflix series based off these books that I'll now have to watch too.

Tags for this post: book james_sa_corey colonization space_travel mystery aliens first_contact
Related posts: Marsbound; Downbelow Station; The Martian; The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress; Starbound; Rendezvous With Rama


Syndicated 2016-12-10 21:16:00 from : Mikal, a geek from Canberra living in Silicon Valley (no blather posts)

10 Dec 2016 marnanel   » (Journeyer)

Jargon obscures

In 2012 the Bishop of Leicester wrote an opinion piece for the Guardian called "There is no place for homophobia in the church." Someone in the comments asked whether an imam would be writing an article called "There is no place for homophobia in the mosque."

There's a lot to say about that, but I want to point out something about jargon. Turning "church" into "mosque" shows that the commenter thought the bishop was talking about a building. But the article's context shows that the bishop meant "the community of all Christians". (I believe the Muslim equivalent is "Ummah"; please do correct me if I'm wrong.)

I hadn't even considered that the headline might mean there was no physical place for homophobia in a building. I suspect the bishop hadn't either. I wonder how much more of what Christians say is obscured by jargon and misinterpreted by almost everyone outside the church.
This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2016-12-10 20:40:12 from Monument

10 Dec 2016 Pizza   » (Master)

Improvements for newer Canon SELPHY models

About a year of so ago I added support for the newer Canon SELPHY printers (CP820, CP910, CP1000, and CP1200) into Gutenprint. Despite using the same media kits as their older siblings, under their plasic bodies they sported a new print engine that worked fairly differently.

Slightly different print sizes, a Y'CbCr image format, and, surprisingly, they appeared to be sane USB Printer class models and not require a special backend to handle communications.

Fast forward to last week, and it turns out that was a premature assessment. While the printers didn't require any special handholding to print a single image, they would lock up if one would send over two jobs back-to-back. Canon still can't implement proper flow control.

Time to reak out the sniffer and capture some multi-page jobs! A quick flurry of hacking later, and the 'canonselphyneo' backend was born. It brings along sane flow control, status reporting, and error detection on par with the selphyneo's older siblings.

I also discovered the 'L' print size was incorrect. All of this will will be in Gutenprint 5.2.12-pre5 or newer, but the current backend can always be grabbed from my selphy_print repository.

Oh, as I write this, I don't have the USB IDs for the CP820 or CP1000 models. I need those so they'll be recognized by the backend. Holler if you have one!

Syndicated 2016-12-10 02:30:20 from I Dream of Rain (free_software)

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