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Postings for July 2017:  (72 posts)
Thu, 27 Jul 2017 01:59:57 UTC

HDR photos: another example

Posted By Greg Lehey

The weather was dark and menacing when we went down to the house forest, just what we need as an example of HDR. Once again there are a number of options. Out of camera, HDR1, HDR2, 3 shot bracket, 5 shot bracket. Here's how they came out of the camera (or out of enfuse for the bracketed sequences): None of those look really good, but they're a starting point.

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 01:49:32 UTC

HDR software issues

Posted By Greg Lehey

My attempts at HDR comparisons yesterday have run into technical problems. To align the images, I first need to ensure that they're exactly the same sizeeven one pixel in either direction is too much for align_image_stack to digest: Images have different sizes. Normal-18mm-CW-3-3-0-1EV.jpeg has (3888x5184) pixel, while Normal-18mm-CW-3-3-0+1EV.jpeg has (3888x5186) pixel. This is not supported. Align_image_stack works only with images of the same size. So how do I ensure they're the same size? DxO Optics Pro is supposed to do that, but I've probably relaxed the requirement to improve image optimization. Never mind, ImageMagick's unambiguously named convert to the rescue: === grog@eureka (/dev/pts/32) ~/Photos/20170725/C 212 -> convert -geometry 3888x5184 18mm-CW-3-3-0+1EV.jpeg foo === grog@eureka (/dev/pts/32) ~/Photos/20170725/C 213 -> exifx 18mm-CW-3-3-0+1EV.jpeg foo File 18mm-CW-3-3-0+1EV.jpeg Date taken:     Tuesday, 25 July 2017, 12:28:49 Camera: ...

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 00:58:46 UTC

DHL tracking

Posted By Greg Lehey

I bought the tripod from B&H in New York, paying the high US shipping costs because the tripod itself was relatively cheap. It was shipped with DHL, who offered email notification of significant events. Watching the progress is interesting. On the positive side, DHL do a better job than most of displaying tracking information: Yes, it's upside-downyou can't expect that to go away in a hurryand the dates are specified without time zones, in this case significantly confusing the issue, but it's well laid out and legible.

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 23:41:41 UTC

Still more HDR investigation

Posted By Greg Lehey

I've been having a discussion about HDR imaging on the mu43 forum. I don't know why: the other people on the forum disagree with me completely, mainly without producing valid reasons for the disagreement. But there are a couple that may be valid, even if the reasons aren't presented. So: let's consider: How does automatic exposure work? I had claimed that it tries to preserve highlights as much as possible (Expose to the right, a term which may not be appropriate).

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 19:00:00 UTC

TLS Wiretap Fear

Posted By Tim Bray

There is a hot lengthy argument going on in the IETFs TLS Working Group which has been making me uncomfortable. Its being alleged that there is an attempt to weaken Web security in a deep fundamental way, which if true is obviously a Big Deal. Whats an IETF TLS WG? TLS is a broad term for the family of crypto and related security protocols that make the Web secure. You may have noticed that more and more web addresses begin with https: rather than http:, which is a good and important thing; TLS in action. The standards behind this good and important thing are hammered out by the Internet Engineering Task Forces (IETFs) Transport Level Security (TLS) Working Group (WG).

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 02:32:16 UTC

Typesetting units

Posted By Greg Lehey

Andy Farkas came up on IRC today with an interesting quote from Wikipedia: Later Apollo missions used Nikon F 35mm cameras with a special f1.2 aperture 55m lens in order to take photographs in low light conditions... He thought that could do with improvement. So did I: f/1.2, not f1.2. But he was really looking at the focal length, and 55 m really did seem rather long. Clearly it should be 55 mm. Or should it? Andy thought 55mm. And that's a question that's been in the back of my head for a while.

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 02:07:04 UTC

New network hardware

Posted By Greg Lehey

There's another issue with teevee: slow NFS mounts, is gradually beginning to make sense: after configuring the network interface, it takes nearly 10 seconds before it comes up. During this time the system attempts NFS mounts and fails. And, as I noted, this happened on tiwi before it, a machine with completely different hardwarein the box. It still connected to the same switch in the pantry, which has given me other cause for concern. So high time for a new switch. I don't really understand switch pricing. I can buy a 5 port switch for as little as $8.73 including postage from Hong Kong, as long as I like white.

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 01:59:36 UTC

teevee progress

Posted By Greg Lehey

More playing around with my teevee issues today. The colour difference on xterms proved to have nothing to do with bash: I had forgotten the .Xdefaults file, and that fixed that. It also made the window manager menus more legible, but it didn't change the font sizes in firefox. And to add to the list, mail isn't being delivered: That's not overly serious, since I don't really need mail from this system, but I suppose I should fix it. ACM only downloads articles once.

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 01:39:09 UTC

DxO fisheye

Posted By Greg Lehey

My Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 8 mm f/3.5 fisheye lens suffers from considerable chromatic aberration, and DxO Optics Pro doesn't have a profile for it. As a result, the best correction I can get is this (from the image shown below): But thanks to its simplistic approach to recognizing lenses (We don't need no steenking EXIF), DxO thinks that it's a Panasonic Lumix G fisheye, because it has the same focal length and maximum aperture. And it keeps nagging me to download the module.

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 00:19:59 UTC

Scanning old negatives

Posted By Greg Lehey

As I go through my 1964 diary, I'm re-scanning the photos I took at the time. I had already scanned them with the ill-fated Canon 9900F scanner, but I can do better now. Or can I? After letting the Epson Perfection 4990 Photo spend hours scanning the negatives, I ended up with: What the hell went wrong there? One of the scanner parameters? But which one? The settings in the scanner program are: Which are useful?

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 00:09:00 UTC

Hugin stitch problems: solved

Posted By Greg Lehey

For the past couple of weeks I've been puzzling about why my first panoramas two weeks ago didn't stitch correctly. Today I finally found out why. cpfind was finding control points on the end of the panorama bracket: That makes sense, and it's something I had been concerned about some time ago. The real question is why it didn't cause a problem before.

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 02:06:44 UTC

The web meets Dereel

Posted By Greg Lehey

A while back, while looking for builders, I signed up with an online business search site that promised me three quotes within a ridiculously short space of time. The results were meagre at best: no online reply, though one person who contacted me may have come from them. But they keep spamming me with more offers for things I don't need: From: hipages <> To: Greg <> Subject: Here's Dereel's Gutter specialist X-Mailer: Create Send Message-ID: <> Reply-To: Guttering and downpipes need to work correctly to protect your home in winter.

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 01:56:46 UTC

teevee: current status

Posted By Greg Lehey

So we have teevee substantially working as intended. But there are still some rough edges that I need to attend to, and it's worth noting them. Some are trivial, others less so. xterm background is the wrong colour. I think this is a bash prompt issue. I fixed this on another machine some time ago, but I forget where. NFS mounts are slow on boot. This is a race condition: it tries to mount the file systems before the network interface is up, and has to retry a minute later.

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 01:36:40 UTC

teevee network issues

Posted By Greg Lehey

So it seems that most of the functions of teevee are working correctly. Today I moved the disk with the recordings from tiwi to teevee, so I no longer need to have it running. That also means that I no longer need the switch in the lounge room, so I disconnected it and plugged teevee directly into the wall socket. No carrier! After some messing around, discovered that it would only work with the switch. Why? At one point I thought it might be a crossover cable issue, but it was the same cable, and just to be sure I tried a couple of different cables.

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 19:07:45 UTC

Google's BBR fixes TCP's dirty little secret

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

Networking geeks: Google made a big announcements about BBR this week. Here's a technical deep-dive: (Hint: if you would read ACM Queue like I keep telling you to, you'd have known about this before all your friends.) Someone on Facebook asked me for a "explain it like I'm 5 years old" explanation. Here's my reply: Short version: Google changed the TCP implementation (their network stack) and now your youtube videos, Google websites, Google Cloud applications, etc. download a lot faster and smoother. Oh, and it doesn't get in the way of other websites that haven't made the switch. (Subtext: another feature of Google Cloud that doesn't exist at AWS or Azure.

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 19:00:00 UTC

Android Auto

Posted By Tim Bray

I just had my first experience with Android Auto and I suppose there are lots of other people who havent been there yet, so a few words might be useful. Short form: Rough around the edges, but super-helpful. What with my job, I sometimes have to travel between Vancouver and downtown Seattle; all the options are lousy. Driving isnt my favorite but sometimes it happens. Recently I rented a car for the purpose; reserved the standard corporate-guidance minibox but they were overrun with summer tourists and, threatened with a long wait for the right car, I became That Guy you want out of your face.

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 13:14:50 UTC

Come see me at San Diego Comic-Con!

Posted By Cory Doctorow

There are three more stops on my tour for Walkaway: tomorrow at San Diego Comic-Con, next weekend at Defcon 25 in Las Vegas, and August 10th at the Burbank Public Library. My Comic-Con day is tomorrow/Sunday, July 23: first, a 10AM signing at the Tor Books booth (#2701); then a panel, The Future is Bleak,... more

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 02:34:26 UTC

MyNetFone escalation

Posted By Greg Lehey

For reasons that I don't understand, CJ Ellis has genuine issues with his VoIP connection with MyNetFone. I've been using them for years, and have had relatively few problems. But a couple of years ago CJ had a strange problem: incoming calls were diverted immediately to voice mail, and MyNetFone support claimedincorrectlythat the ATA wasn't registered. Outgoing calls worked normally. It took forever for them to fix it. Now CJ has a problem: incoming calls are diverted immediately to voice mail. Outgoing calls worked normally, but MyNetFone support claimsincorrectlythat the ATA wasn't registered. There's clearly something really strange in their configuration.

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 02:29:15 UTC

Hugin alignment issue

Posted By Greg Lehey

As planned yesterday, tried the instructions to solve the problem that I had earlier this month aligning panoramas. The issue was supposedly related to an incorrectly calculated focal length, and the instructions showed how to reset it. It didn't work. It recalculated the incorrect focal length, and the panorama still was a complete mess. Another thing to investigate more deeply. ACM only downloads articles once.

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 02:00:09 UTC

teevee: going live

Posted By Greg Lehey

So everything seems to be OK with teevee. Time to take it out of the office and connect it to the TV in the lounge room. I need to keep tiwi running along with teevee until I'm sure that everything is OK. That means new cables and stuff, of course. Where have all the power cables gone? Found some new ones, and even an additional power strip. That was the easy part. Next, Ethernet. Found my old 5 port Ethernet switch, but where did the power supply go? I was using it only a few months ago, until I gave up on TV.

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 21:39:28 UTC

Rudy Rucker on Walkaway

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Walkaway is my first novel for adults since 2009 and I had extremely high hopes (and not a little anxiety) for it as it entered the world, back in April. Since then, I’ve been gratified by the kind words of many of my literary heroes, from William Gibson to Bruce Sterling to the kind cover... more

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 03:55:13 UTC

Other mods for new teevee

Posted By Greg Lehey

Also addressed some other issues needed to get teevee to run in the TV environment. I'm starting a HOWTO page describing the modifications necessary. Today it was mainly how to ensure that X gets started automatically on boot: Log in automatically as grog. Modify /etc/ttys to contain: ttyv0 "/usr/libexec/getty autogrog" cons25 on  secure /etc/gettytab gets:       autogrog|al.9600:\         :al=grog:tc=std.9600: Ensure that ~/.bashrc contains: if [ "$HOSTNAME" = "teevee" -o "$HOSTNAME" = "tiwi" ]; then   if [ "`tty`" = ...

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 00:43:10 UTC

teevee: done?

Posted By Greg Lehey

It seems that teevee is now as good as ready to run. The only issue was with the remote control. Reading my diary entry for 23 November 2006 was instructive: it seems that in lircrc, lirc assigns every button to a specific program. To avoid search issues, I had put a copy in ~/.lircrc, and it contained entries like: begin      prog = mythtv      button = down      repeat = 1      config = Down  end It's understandable that's not going to talk to mplayer.

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 02:25:08 UTC

Sound on teevee

Posted By Greg Lehey

Now I have X up and limping on teevee, the next step is to get sound working. First problem: which driver? Tried kldload snd_driver, which loaded something like 20 drivers, none of which probed anything. OK, unload, try loading each in sequence. Nothing. No matter what I did, I didn't get a probe result. What is the sound hardware, anyway? === grog@teevee (/dev/pts/2) ~ 4 -> pciconf -lv hdac1@pci0:0:20:2:      class=0x040300 card=0xa1021458 chip=0x43831002 rev=0x00 hdr=0x00     vendor     = 'Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI]'     device     = 'SBx00 Azalia (Intel HDA)'     class      = multimedia     subclass   = HDA ...

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 00:21:13 UTC

X configuration: solved?

Posted By Greg Lehey

Installing FreeBSD from DVD is pretty straightforward: I have a second root partition on teevee's disk, so I can just install to that and ignore the rest. But there's an even simpler way: copy the disk image from eureso, my one-step-ahead VM. That would also help identify whether my messing around with ports installations last week had an influence. Did that and restarted X. No difference: still only 1024x768. But then I saw, in the log files: NVRM: The NVIDIA GPU 01:00 (PCI ID: 10de:128b) installed NVRM: in this system is not supported by the 304.135 NVIDIA FreeBSD NVRM: graphics driver release.

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 00:19:22 UTC

Which OS?

Posted By Greg Lehey

As planned, downloaded the lasted FreeBSD ISO image today. And then Peter Jeremy asked why I didn't download PC-BSD. OK, that makes sense: it's specifically tailored to a desktop, and it is based on FreeBSD, so I don't have any painful adaptation. But where is it? shows many links, all crossed out. You can still access them, but they're ancientthe latest one is based on FreeBSD 10.3 and was made in March 2016. Not a good sign. Then somebody pointed out that PC-BSD is an old, worn-out magic word, and it's now called TrueOS.

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 20:19:26 UTC

San Diego! Come hear me read from Walkaway tomorrow night at Comickaze Liberty Station!

Posted By Cory Doctorow

I’m teaching the Clarion Science Fiction writing workshop at UCSD in La Jolla this week, and tomorrow night at 7PM, I’ll be reading from my novel Walkaway at Comickaze Liberty Station, 2750 Historic Decatur Rd #101, San Diego, CA 92106. Hope to see you!

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 15:00:00 UTC

Four Ways to Make CS and IT Curricula More Immersive

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

My new column in ACM Queue is entitled, "Four Ways to Make CS and IT Curricula More Immersive". I rant and rail against the way that CS and IT is taught today and propose 4 ways CS educators can improve the situation. The article is free to ACM members. Non-members can purchase an annual subscription for $19.99 or a single issue for $6.99 online or through the Apple or Google stores.

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 13:46:16 UTC

Im profiled in the new issue of Locus Magazine

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow: Bugging In: Walkaway is an optimistic disaster novel. Its about people who, in a crisis, come together, rather than turning on each other. Its villains arent the people next door, whove secretly been waiting for civilizations breakdown as an excuse to come and eat you, but the super-rich who are convinced that without... more

Sun, 16 Jul 2017 23:46:41 UTC

X pain, continued

Posted By Greg Lehey

So where do I go from here with my X configuration issues? Do Linux versions have the same problem with this hardware? There's an easy way to find that out: the biggest issue is to identify a disk on which to install a Linux release. Chose Ubuntu 17.04, which took its time installing, notably a period of several minutes after I agreed to install third party drivers (thinking, of course, of the nvidia driver). But it installed, and came up out of the box, sort of: Ubuntu is trying to be a better Microsoftthey even use the term folderand it seems that they come up with a different window manager interface every release.

Sun, 16 Jul 2017 21:50:00 UTC

Still time to RSVP to NYCDevOps...

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

This month's NYCDevOps meetup speaker will be Martín Beauchamp talking about "Clos Networks for Datacenters". You don't want to miss this! Date: Tuesday, July 18, 2017 Time: 6:30 PM Location: Stack Overflow HQ, 110 William St, 28th floor, NY, NY Space is limited! RSVP soon!

Sun, 16 Jul 2017 19:00:00 UTC

On Password Managers

Posted By Tim Bray

It has come to my attention that people are Wrong On The Internet about password managers. This matters, because almost everybody should be using one. Herewith background, opinions, and a description of my own setup, which is reasonably secure. What is a password manager? Its a piece of software that does the following (although not all of them do all of these): Store your passwords in a safe way, protected by at least a password, which we call the master password. Make new passwords for you. Heres an example of a generated password: QzbaLX}wA8Ad8awk. Youre not expected to remember these.

Sun, 16 Jul 2017 02:33:35 UTC

DxO: We support your lens

Posted By Greg Lehey

Two months ago I discovered that DxO Optics Pro reports my Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60 mm f/2.8-4 as a Zuiko Digital ED 12-60 mm f/2.8-4.0 SWD. Why? Same focal length range, same aperture range. It must be the same lens. Who cares that the EXIF lens type code is different? My ticket on the subject was closed without action (or, as they put it, solved). My Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 8 mm f/3.5 fisheye lens is also not supported, as I noted most recently last month. Well, that was the case until today. Now I'm given the opportunity to download a correction modulefor a Panasonic LUMIX G Fisheye 8 mm f/3.5 (or, as they prefer to misspell it, 8mm / F3.5, or even H-F008E).

Sun, 16 Jul 2017 00:10:50 UTC

X: 25 years of pain

Posted By Greg Lehey

Chris Bahlo brought me my new GeForce 710-based display card today, so finally I can make progress with the new teevee machine. Put it in and booted. No display. Neither from the onboard chipset, nor from the new card. Took it out again and looked at the BIOSUEFI settings. Set for display board first, on PCI. There were also settings for PEG and PEG1. Clearly this board is PCIe (PEG), but which slot is which? And why should it make a difference? The probe output showed that the board was recognized: Jul 15 14:48:57 teevee kernel: vgapci0: <VGA-compatible display> port 0xef00-0xef7f mem 0xfb000000-0xfbffffff,0xc8000000-0xcfffffff,0xd6000000-0xd7ffffff irq 16 at device 0.0 on pci1 Jul 15 14:48:57 teevee kernel: vgapci0: Boot video device Jul 15 14:48:57 teevee kernel: hdac0: <NVIDIA (0x0e0f) HDA Controller> mem 0xfcffc000-0xfcffffff irq 17 at device 0.1 on pci1 ...

Sun, 16 Jul 2017 00:10:40 UTC

teevee: NFS mount problems

Posted By Greg Lehey

Apart from my X problems, I've been having issues where teevee doesn't mount NFS file systems on startup. It's some kind of race condition: mount can't look up the remote system name that early on in the boot. I've worked around the issue by putting eureka into /etc/hosts, but I don't like the solution. ACM only downloads articles once. It's possible that this article has changed since being downloaded, but the only way you can find out is by looking at the original article.

Sat, 15 Jul 2017 02:22:47 UTC

Australia Post: yesterday, no Monday

Posted By Greg Lehey

The display card that I ordered on Wednesday was sent with a tracking information sent to my eBay email address, so yesterday I was informed that it arrived in black hole Sunshine West the same evening at 20:19, and that it should be delivered on Thursday. This information continued until late evening, long after any hope of delivery had expired. This morning, as expected, it had found its way to Wendouree in only 32 hours, and was available for collection at NAPOLEON CPA. Estimated date of arrival? Monday, 17 July: I never cease to be amazed.

Fri, 14 Jul 2017 03:30:21 UTC

ATA fail!

Posted By Greg Lehey

Petra Gietz has just changed her [IR]SP from Telstra to Aussie Broadband, and she's very happy, maybe too happy in view of her limited experience after the changeover, which, however, was seamless. One issue: what about VoIP? While we were talking about, I looked at my ATA and discovered that the power light was indicating rederror! What caused that? I couldn't communicate with the device. I had a vague recollection of a similar issue last year. That prompted me to buy a second ATA, though I was never quite sure whether the problem was with the ATA or the plug-in power supply.

Thu, 13 Jul 2017 15:00:00 UTC

Free book: "Expanding Pockets of Greatness"

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

Companies don't make their "DevOps transformation" over night. Usually there is a small team that adopts devops practices and then, after proving their success, the practices spread throughout the company horizontally. However sometimes their success becomes an island. There is no momentum and the better practices fail to expand around the company. Growing devops practices within a company is not easy. It is especially difficult when it does not have management support, or the advocate does not executive authority. Some techniques for building momentum work, others do not. Earlier this year Josh Atwell, Carmen DeArdo, Jeff Gallimore, and myself sat down to write a list of techniques we've seen succeed.

Thu, 13 Jul 2017 02:36:16 UTC

Use NBN for high performance!

Posted By Greg Lehey

Somebody posted this anonymous image on IRC today: Clearly it carries a political message: up to 150,000 homes within a single week. Presumably that refers to the number of installations and not the number of destinations you can ping in that time, so I assume it comes from the National Broadband Network. But looking at the details is interesting. First, it's clear that this is a display from, a company with a not quite unblemished record (it refuses to believe that I'm in Australia, for example).

Thu, 13 Jul 2017 02:25:47 UTC

eBay: Yet another bungle

Posted By Greg Lehey

Mail from eBay today: Date: Tue, 11 Jul 2017 23:55:54 -0700 (GMT-07:00) From: To: Subject: Nicht autorisierte Nutzung Ihres Kontos ??? dringender Handlungsbedarf es gibt Anlass zu der Befürchtung, dass Ihr eBay-Konto ohne Ihre Zustimmung zu betrügerischen Zwecken missbraucht wurde. Wir haben Ihr eBay-Passwort zurückgesetzt. Wenn Sie Ihr PayPal-Konto mit Ihrem eBay-Konto verknüpft hatten, haben wir diese Verknüpfung deaktiviert, um Ihr PayPal-Konto zu schützen. Alle nicht autorisierten Aktivitäten, wie das Kaufen und Verkaufen, haben wir storniert und etwaige Gebühren wurden Ihrem Konto gutgeschrieben. Unten finden Sie eine Liste aller Angebote, die von uns entfernt wurden.

Thu, 13 Jul 2017 02:06:19 UTC

Radeon driver: should I care?

Posted By Greg Lehey

I still haven't been able to get teevee to run with the X radeon driver. I'm torn between ignoring the problem and trying to find out what's wrong. In favour of the former course is that I really want a display with HDMI output, and the motherboard doesn't offer that. So after some consideration I ordered an ASUS card with the GeForce 710 (a page that I could only find by second-guessing the URL scheme on their terminally broken web site) and passive cooling. That'll set me back $57, much less than the pain with the radeon driver. But it didn't leave me any rest.

Thu, 13 Jul 2017 01:53:33 UTC

Mouse: caught in the act

Posted By Greg Lehey

Why is my M705 MARATHON mouse vomiting all the time? Started moused with debug mode, which is very verbose. By the time I the problem recurred, I had: -rw-r--r--  1 root  wheel  27,283,039 12 Jul 17:11 mouse-vomit.0 The output is less than inspiring. Normally there's lots of: moused: received char 0x83 moused: received char 0x0 moused: received char 0x0 moused: received char 0x0 moused: received char 0x0 moused: received char 0x0 moused: received char 0x0 moused: received char 0x7f moused: assembled full packet (len 8) 83,0,0,0,0,0,0,7f moused: ts:  1460099 492117118 moused:   :  1460092 816280814 moused: flags:00000001 buttons:00000001 obuttons:00000000 moused: activity : buttons 0x00000001  dx 0  dy 0  dz 0 moused: mstate[0]->count:1 moused: button 1  count 1 moused: received char 0x87 ...

Wed, 12 Jul 2017 14:21:30 UTC

Talking Walkaway with Reason Magazine

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Of all the press-stops I did on my tour for my novel Walkaway, I was most excited about my discussion with Katherine Mangu-Ward, editor-in-chief of Reason Magazine, where I knew I would have a challenging and meaty conversation with someone who was fully conversant with the political, technological and social questions the book raised. I... more

Wed, 12 Jul 2017 01:49:35 UTC

SIM cards: pint in a quart pot

Posted By Greg Lehey

The credit on my old mobile phone SIM card (0401 265 606) runs out on Wednesday. I don't like the numberI can't even remember it easilyand I have another that I do like and can remember (0438 490 494), so it's a no-brainer to put that in the phone instead. Well, not quite a no-brainer. The new card was in my iPhone, and had thus been trimmed to Nano-SIM format. My old Samsung GT-I9100T (Galaxy S2?) takes a larger Micro-SIM format; So how do I put it in?

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 02:35:54 UTC

Mouse: caught in the act

Posted By Greg Lehey

My new M705 MARATHON mouse still vomits over innocent windows from time to time. Today an Emacs caught it and reported: <triple-drag-mouse-9> is undefined <triple-drag-mouse-10> is undefined <triple-drag-mouse-11> is undefined <triple-drag-mouse-12> is undefined <triple-drag-mouse-13> is undefined <triple-drag-mouse-14> is undefined How did that happen? With the exception of button 9, those buttons don't even exist! And according to the manual, triple-drag means that the button has been pressed three times in rapid succession and then dragged. Is this an issue with moused, or is it really a problem with the mouse?

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 02:29:19 UTC

teevee progress

Posted By Greg Lehey

Finished my comparison of the configuration files for LIRC today. One unexpected configuration detail was the driver specification. The startup file is /usr/local/etc/rc.d/lircd, and it contains: name="lircd" load_rc_config ${name} : ${lircd_enable="NO"} : ${lircd_device="/dev/lirc0"} ... command_args="-d ${lircd_device} --driver=dvico ${lircd_config}" run_rc_command "$1" The first four lines describe what parameters to load from the real configuration file: whether to start it at all, and if so, which device to open. And the driver? That's the --driver=dvico, and clearly it should be a parameter. But it isn't. At the very least I need to update the startup scripts.

Mon, 10 Jul 2017 18:09:27 UTC

Tom's speaking at Red Hat User Group Tuesday in Woodbridge, NJ

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

I'll be giving my talk "Stealing the Best Ideas from DevOps: A Guide for Sysadmins without Developers" at the Northern NJ Red Hat User Group tomorrow. If you are in the area, it would be great to see you there!

Sun, 09 Jul 2017 23:46:46 UTC

teevee: next step

Posted By Greg Lehey

I've been busy with other things lately, so configuring teevee, my new TV computer, has taken a back seat. I've given up trying to configure X with native resolution, and the next task (maybe the last) is to configure LIRC. Things didn't start well: I've mislaid the second USB receiver that I had planned to use, so I had to remove the one from tiwi. And, as half expected, nothing happened. Starting lircd was straightforward enough, and it recognized when the mplayer process started: === root@teevee (/dev/pts/6) /home/grog 6 -> /usr/local/sbin/lircd -n --driver=dvico --device=/dev/uhid0 lircd: lircd(dvico) ready, using /var/run/lirc/lircd lircd: accepted new client on /var/run/lirc/lircd lircd: initializing '/dev/uhid0' lircd: removed client lircd: closing '/dev/uhid0' mplayer said: MPlayer SVN-r37862-snapshot-3.4.1 (C) 2000-2016 MPlayer Team mplayer: could not open ...

Sun, 09 Jul 2017 02:12:22 UTC

Hugin detect failure

Posted By Greg Lehey

House photo day today, and a miserable start it was. It wasn't until I got inside that I discovered that light drizzle had marred many of the photos: Still, part of the point of taking this series is to show the garden in different weather situations, so I started to stitch it. But things didn't turn out the way I expected. This panorama preview should show something like the final panorama: What went wrong there?

Sun, 09 Jul 2017 02:07:05 UTC

eBay: Pay! Pay! Pay! Pay!

Posted By Greg Lehey

So I've decided not to sell anything on eBay again until people can convince me that they have their act together. So what happened over the last couple of days? No fewer than four inoices! 1848 N + 05-07-2017 DoNotReply_Billing@e To groggyhimself@le (  20) N + Your eBay invoice for June is now ready to view 1850 N + 05-07-2017 DoNotReply_Billing@e To groggyhimself@le (  20) N + Your eBay invoice for June is now ready to view 2095 N + 07-07-2017 eBay                 To groggyhimself@le ( 220) N + Your July 1,  2017 invoice is ready for download 2096 N + 07-07-2017 eBay                 To groggyhimself@le ( 220) N + Your July 1,  2017 invoice is ready for download Do they include it in the email?

Sat, 08 Jul 2017 03:12:57 UTC

GPS tracking with OI.Share

Posted By Greg Lehey

More playing around with OI.Share today to try to understand GPS logging. In fact, it's not difficult. All you need is documentation. I still don't have that, but I'm working on it. In the meantime, it seems that the app (or the phone) maintains a location log, and at some later point you can connect the camera and get it to update the EXIF information of the photos in the camera. That's how I managed this photo, for example: The image information (run mouse over the image) shows the coordinates, and the larger (small) image includes the link: Display location on map.

Sat, 08 Jul 2017 02:44:22 UTC

New Hugin

Posted By Greg Lehey

The newest version of Hugin, 2017.0, has been released. For once it was relatively trivial to update the port, and all seems to work. Hopefully it'll stay that way. ACM only downloads articles once. It's possible that this article has changed since being downloaded, but the only way you can find out is by looking at the original article.

Sat, 08 Jul 2017 02:04:02 UTC

More mouse fun

Posted By Greg Lehey

Mail from Daniel Nebdal about my mouse fun: the Logitech receivers are designed for both keyboards and mice, so there's no extra hardware cost involved in adding keyboard functions to mice. That makes sense. Still, I now have three mice, two of which have side buttons that don't work with X, at least not without some unspecified configuration. But I have a Microsoft laptop too, euroa, and the mouse I was using for that is a Logitech m705 (as it was called in the days before they grew up to be M705 MARATHONs). So why not try the J.Burrow comfort vole?

Fri, 07 Jul 2017 00:53:12 UTC

Mobile phone battery: wrong again

Posted By Greg Lehey

Last week I had ordered a replacement battery for Petra, and she came along again today with her phone. Six months ago I had managed to buy the wrong battery model, so this time I had been particularly careful, but it still made sense to check that it's the right battery before opening it. Again! How the hell did I manage that? It certainly doesn't help that Samsung has two different names for each model: the marketing name (Samsung Galaxy 2 à) and the name on the phone itself (GT-I9200T): Once again, it might fit, but this time I think I owe it to Petra to get the right battery.

Thu, 06 Jul 2017 19:00:00 UTC

July NYCDevOps: Clos Networks for Datacenters

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

This month's NYCDevOps meetup speaker will be Martín Beauchamp talking about "Clos Networks for Datacenters". Date: Tuesday, July 18, 2017 Time: 6:30 PM Location: Stack Overflow HQ, 110 William St, 28th floor, NY, NY Space is limited! RSVP soon!

Thu, 06 Jul 2017 16:34:52 UTC

How to write pulp fiction that celebrates humanitys essential goodness

Posted By Cory Doctorow

My latest Locus column is “Be the First One to Not Do Something that No One Else Has Ever Not Thought of Doing Before,” and it’s about science fiction’s addiction to certain harmful fallacies, like the idea that you can sideline the actual capabilities and constraints of computers in order to advance the plot of... more

Thu, 06 Jul 2017 07:05:22 UTC

NBN ready phones

Posted By Greg Lehey

I'm vaguely on the lookout for new cordless phones: the ones I have are getting a little flaky, and the one that is supposed to support Bluetooth is effectively useless because I can't adjust the volume. So while at JB HiFi and Officeworks I also looked at phones, without finding anything exciting. Except, maybe, the claims at Officeworks: NBN ready. What is there about a cordless phone that is NBN ready? I was going to ask, but forgot. I'll have to do so next time. ACM only downloads articles once.

Thu, 06 Jul 2017 02:05:34 UTC

More mouse fun

Posted By Greg Lehey

At Officeworks I found a mouse that I hadn't noticed before, because nothing in the description suggested that it had more than two real buttons (not counting the scroll wheel). But for $19 I bought a J.Burrows Wireless Comfort Mouse Black (is this a mouse or a vole?) , with the description: The J.Burrows Wireless Comfort Mouse is designed to make you more comfortable when using the computer. The shape of the mouse fits naturally in your hand to reduce the risk of injury and the design gives you greater control over your browsing with integrated buttons.

Thu, 06 Jul 2017 02:03:00 UTC

GPS tagging Olympus photos

Posted By Greg Lehey

On the way home, there were a number of photos that could have done with GPS tagging: the road works and the wildflowers. But how do I do that? Tried pairing with my mobile phone, which worked well in absence of other networks. And then? OI.Share has an Add Geotag function, but how do you use it? Selected it and was told that this will take a long time, but after about 30 seconds it seemed to be happy. Clearly that can't have anything to do with the photos I'm about to take, and I can't take them with the camera until I disconnect from the phone.

Wed, 05 Jul 2017 23:53:55 UTC

Shopping in Ballarat

Posted By Greg Lehey

Into Ballarat this morning for various things. First to Dorevitch for a blood test, which was something of a record: 4½ minutes from entering the facility to leaving it again. In other places I can wait up to an hour. Then dropped in to JB HiFi to look for mice, of which they had very few. While I was there, also looked for stereo amplifiers, which weren't much different from what they have on their web site. But I found out why: Stereo is an old, worn-out magic word: nowadays it's called 5.1, and the amplifiers are, if anything, less expensive: Still, more than I want to pay, especially since the user interface to most modern amplifiers is less than easy to use.

Wed, 05 Jul 2017 16:44:03 UTC

My presentation from ConveyUX

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Last March, I traveled to Seattle to present at the ConveyUX conference, with a keynote called “Dark Patterns and Bad Business Models”, the video for which has now been posted: The Internets broken and thats bad news, because everything we do today involves the Internet and everything well do tomorrow will require it. But governments... more

Wed, 05 Jul 2017 16:31:31 UTC

Interview with Wired UKs Upvote podcast

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Back in May, I stopped by Wired UK while on my British tour for my novel Walkaway to talk about the novel, surveillance, elections, and, of course, DRM. (MP3)

Wed, 05 Jul 2017 03:15:18 UTC

X config insights

Posted By Greg Lehey

I really don't want to untangle the can of worms that is the X radeon driver, but I feel I should. The first question: according to the documentation, the driver should be installed automatically. Clearly the documentation is insufficient, but is there more? It proves that the X port is a metaport: it just ensures that numerous subports (some of them themselves metaports) are installed. From /usr/ports/x11/xorg/Makefile (almost all of it): RUN_DEPENDS+=   xorg-apps>0:x11/xorg-apps \                 xorg-libraries>0:x11/xorg-libraries \                 xorg-fonts>0:x11-fonts/xorg-fonts \                 xorg-drivers>0:x11-drivers/xorg-drivers OK, clearly I need xorg-drivers.

Wed, 05 Jul 2017 03:05:01 UTC

Google location services, revisited

Posted By Greg Lehey

While I was trying to find out why Officeworks thought I was in Traralgon, I received a strange popup: Edit work address. Why work address? What does that have to do with work? Checking showed that it thought I was in Ballarat, in fact not far from where Google Location Services put me the week before last. Could that be part of the problem? In any case, for the first time I've found a way to tell the system where I am (something that I ranted about, and others didn't understand, last time).

Tue, 04 Jul 2017 02:02:21 UTC

ANZ security

Posted By Greg Lehey

We recently received new ATM cards, complete with an almost non-removable sticker saying that they first needed to be activated. I could do that online, so I braved the ANZ web site and did so for mine. Then it offered me the option of activating Yvonne's card too. OK, did that. All over and done with. Except that the card didn't work. It seems that their validation is broken. OK, try again. But this time I got the message: We are unable to activate your card online To activate an ANZ Credit Card or ANZ Everyday Visa Debit Card, please call 1800 652 033.

Tue, 04 Jul 2017 00:32:57 UTC

X on teevee, continued

Posted By Greg Lehey

So the motherboard graphics on the new teevee is an "RS880 [Radeon HD 4200]", so presumably I can use an ATI driver to run it at natural resolution. Where do I start? Yesterday I established that there's no obvious counterpart to x11/nvidia-driver, so off to read the manual. Yes, they're supported. The difference between the two is worth mentioning: AMD® Radeon 2D and 3D acceleration is supported on Radeon cards up to and including the HD6000 series. Driver name: radeon NVIDIA Several NVIDIA drivers are available in the x11 category of the Ports Collection.

Tue, 04 Jul 2017 00:11:46 UTC

Mouse pain

Posted By Greg Lehey

Yvonne and I have been using cheap wireless mice for the last three years, but it seems that they're gradually passing their use-by dates. Mine has taken to producing spurious clicks, resulting (usually) in copying of unintended text to the cut buffer. Today Yvonne's started producing button 9 events when any button was clicked. Time for replacements. But what? OfficeWorks has a large selectionI bought these mice therebut an absolutely appalling web site. After checking my location with Google Location Services, which thinks I'm in Ballarat (another story), it decided that I'm in Traralgon, 300 km away. More to the point, though, there is no information about the mice, just photos, prices and random other details: JB HiFi is just as bad.

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 16:40:00 UTC

Judging books by their covers

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

The subtitle of some of my books have recently changed to better reflect the contents. As a result the book covers have been updated. Titles and covers are, essentially, a billboard for the contents. We wanted to make sure they more accurately guide potentially readers to the book.

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 01:28:12 UTC

Blast from the past

Posted By Greg Lehey

While upgrading the ports on teevee, I saw:               pilot-link: 0.12.5_2,1 -> 0.12.5_3,1 That's doubly amazing. First, Pilot link is a program for communicating with Palm Pilots, and I haven't used one of them for decades (the last reference was 5 September 2001, nearly 16 years ago). So this port has been slipping by with every upgrade since then. The other thing is: why has there been an upgrade? Do people still use this stuff? No, it highlights one of the biggest issues with modern software, shared libraries: r444463 | sunpoet | 2017-06-27 23:46:53 +1000 (Tue, 27 Jun 2017) | 11 lines Update devel/readline to 7.0 patch 3 - Bump PORTREVISION for shlib change Changes: Differential Revision: PR: 219947 Exp-run by: antoine ...

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 00:10:41 UTC

Half-hearted system configuration

Posted By Greg Lehey

Did very little work towards configuring teevee today. Tried to build a new world and kernel, but it died with obscure error messages. It wasn't until I was looking for something else that I found this in /var/log/messages: Jul  2 13:34:06 teevee kernel: pid 2986 (c++), uid 0, was killed: out of swap space Jul  2 13:41:08 teevee kernel: pid 2975 (c++), uid 0, was killed: out of swap space And that wasn't surprising: I didn't have an entry for swap in /etc/fstab. And X? Am I really limited to the VESA drivers?

Sun, 02 Jul 2017 00:24:22 UTC

Towards a new teevee

Posted By Greg Lehey

Yesterday's issues with old TV series made one thing more important: bring tiwi, my TV computer, up to date. For reasons that I don't understand, the sound of some YouTube videos isn't reproduced correctly when I download the videos. Yes, I could try to find the cause and fix it, but it's an old, slow machine, the currently installed system is well over a year old: FreeBSD 10.2-STABLE FreeBSD 10.2-STABLE #0 r290972: Thu Feb  4 14:13:56 AEDT 2016  amd64 In these modern times, that's bad: it's too old for the Ports Collection.

Sat, 01 Jul 2017 23:52:20 UTC

Newtonian mechanics?

Posted By Greg Lehey

Yvonne has surprised me by taking a liking to the The Big Bang Theory TV series, apparently because the character Sheldon Cooper reminds her of me. I don't know whether I should be flattered. Yesterday we watched a series in which Sheldon tries to explain physics to Penny, the straight girl. In fact, it was Newtonian Mechanics. And clearly Sheldon didn't explain it in a way that a non-techie would understand. But that left me wondering. Clearly I understand Newtonian mechanics well, but what are the laws? How are they stated? The only one I could remember was For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.