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Postings for September 2017:  (17 posts)
Wed, 20 Sep 2017 04:12:50 UTC

Where in the world am I?

Posted By Greg Lehey

There's something funny about MediathekView: sometimes it doesn't find things that are listed in the Mediatheken, and sometimes it can't load things that I can watch directly, claiming forbidden (HTTP error 403). Why? One reason could be something that I've frequently observed: my network block (Class C) was allocated in Germany in the dark ages, round 1992. When I moved here, it moved with me, but much software still thinks I'm in Germany. In general it's a minor nuisancesome broken sites of Big Business decide to redirect to their German subsidiary when I access their site, for examplebut in this case it appears to tell the Mediatheken that they can display the contentif I use a Class C address and not the gateway address.

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 02:12:52 UTC

Intuitive error messages

Posted By Greg Lehey

I've mentioned in the past that I'm quite happy with the Mendhak GPS logger. It works well, while the corresponding function in OI.Share is fiddly to turn on, and it frequently turns itself off again for reasons that I haven't established. But today I had no logs at all. The entire directory was empty. But the logger was working: Only nothing got written to disk. Why was the message Gpx10FileLogger.write in red? Is that an even more polite way of saying failed, but I don't really want to tell you?

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 00:22:43 UTC

eBay: Unpaid bill

Posted By Greg Lehey

This time last week I bought a disk on eBay. Unlike just about everything nowadays, there was no PayPal option, so I had to pay by bank transfer. But this morning I received a mail message from the seller, and discovered that he had opened a non-payment case. How could that happen? No idea, but after checking my bank accounts, no transfer had been made. Either I forgot it (unusual), or the bank messed up, which wouldn't be the first time. There's no way to tell which it was any more. Either way, the seller was right that he had almost certainly not received any payment.

Sun, 17 Sep 2017 19:00:00 UTC

Photos of the Sky

Posted By Tim Bray

I mean No Mans Sky the game, which Ive been playing again lately. Its been accused of being mostly a platform for generating cheesy sci-fi book covers, but thats not true, and also I love cheesy sci-fi book covers, so this is mostly to show you some. With a few words on the game. Oh, just flying my starship over the landscape ofa planet I recently discovered and named. As one does. Updates No Mans Sky launched just over a year ago, preceded by a massive hype wave and followed by howls of disappointment when it fell short of expectations.

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 15:00:00 UTC

September NYCDevOps: Habitat in Production (Seth Thomas)

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

This month's NYCDevOps meetup speaker will be Seth Thomas talking about "Habitat in Production". Date: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 Time: 6:30 PM Location: Stack Overflow HQ, 110 William St, 28th floor, NY, NY Space is limited! RSVP soon!

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 01:28:31 UTC

Gmail: more intrusions

Posted By Greg Lehey

For reasons I forget, I accessed Gmail from the browser on my :0.1 display instead of the normal :0.2. Same browser (outdated firefox), same computer. But I still get a message: I suppose things are getting better: now at least it gives a (correct) IP address. But how does it recognize the device? It's the same one I use all the time, and so is the browser. I wonder if I will get new messages when I upgrade the browser. ACM only downloads articles once.

Mon, 11 Sep 2017 23:50:20 UTC

Strange umount issue

Posted By Greg Lehey

While making a regular backup to my external backup drive, I had a strange experience: at the very end, it didn't complete. Checking, I found that the backup drive was no longer mounted. But umount was the very last thing that happens in the script. Further investigation showed: === grog@eureka (/dev/pts/36) ~ 31 -> ps aux | grep umount root        3267   0.0  0.0   12384    1968  5  DL+   9:30am      0:00.41 umount /photobackup === grog@eureka (/dev/pts/36) ~ 32 -> ps alx | grep umount    0  3267  1364   0  31  0   12384    1968 biord    DL+   5       0:00.43 umount /photobackup So umount had umounted the disk, but it was still reading.

Sat, 09 Sep 2017 19:00:00 UTC

Canadian Tax Wrangling

Posted By Tim Bray

Our media, pro and social, echo with blasts of self-righteous anger over proposed legislation which would eliminate a few popular tax dodges. Weirdly, I see no-one arguing the other side; that the tax proposals are reasonable. I think Im qualified to make that argument, so I will. [If youre not Canadian, you can probably stop reading here.] The proposed tax changes Theyre summarized pretty well here. Basically, if you have a business and its incorporated  say youre a doctor, lawyer, contractor, accountant, that kind of thing  you can use your corporation for tax tricks, the effect being that you pay less tax on the same income.

Thu, 07 Sep 2017 23:07:07 UTC

The pain of online purchases

Posted By Greg Lehey

I've been buying things online now since the end of the past millennium, and it would be my favourite way to buy thingsIF. You'd think that by now people would have got their act together, but in fact, on reflection, there seem to be problems Every Single Time. Today I finally came to the conclusion that I needed a new lens, the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye PRO. What do they cost? B&H are my price benchmark: not necessarily the cheapest, but reasonable. They want US $999, but of course they're in the USA, so the very cheapest shipping is another $39.

Thu, 07 Sep 2017 02:25:17 UTC

Scary spam

Posted By Greg Lehey

Call from CJ Ellis today: Gmail was preparing to delete his email account: From: <> Date: 6 September 2017 at 13:04 Subject: Your account will be -deactivated To: Hello cjhimself, This is to inform you that your request on: 9/3/2017 1:30:15 p.m. to remove your account from server has been approved and will initiate in one hour from the exact time you open this message. Regards. ignore this message to continue with email removal or Please confirm if this is genuine as i have not made any such request.

Thu, 07 Sep 2017 00:38:28 UTC

How many car displays?

Posted By Greg Lehey

Last week ALDI had some special offers: a dashcam and a wireless reversing camera. I've had a reversing camera before, which connected to my GPS receiver, but it required running wires through the car, and I never got round to installing it. This one least obviates that problem. The reality, as so often with ALDI special offers, is different: the camera part can be mounted either wired to the reversing lights, or unwired with a switch. So when you want to reverse, you get out and press the On button. If it's wired, it only works when it's powered, either by the reversing lights or the tail lights.

Tue, 05 Sep 2017 19:24:44 UTC

Our technology is haunted by demons controlled by transhuman life-forms

Posted By Cory Doctorow

In my latest Locus column, “Demon-Haunted World,” I propose that the Internet of Cheating Things — gadgets that try to trick us into arranging our affairs to the benefit of corporate shareholders, to our own detriment — is bringing us back to the Dark Ages, when alchemists believed that the universe rearranged itself to prevent... more

Tue, 05 Sep 2017 19:14:47 UTC

Walkaway won the Dragon Award for Best Apocalyptic Novel

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Yesterday, I left the Black Rock Desert after Burning Man and my phone came to life and informed me that my novel Walkaway had been awarded DragonCon’s Dragon Award for Best Apocalyptic Novel! I couldn’t be more pleased. My sincere thanks to all the voters who supported the novel! By the way, published Party... more

Tue, 05 Sep 2017 00:40:12 UTC

More MyNetFone problems

Posted By Greg Lehey

CJ Ellis has problems with his MyNetFone connection again! It's the third time now: for reasons that nobody has been to explain, outgoing calls function normally, but incoming calls divert immediately to voice mail. This first happened two years ago, then repeated six weeks ago. CJ is non-technical and deaf, and has difficulties understanding non-Australians (including Yvonne), so I offered to talk to support for him. On each occasion the MyNetFone support people told me that the ATA (a Mitron MV1) was not registered. Wrong! The ATA was registered, otherwise CJ would not have been able to make outgoing calls, including the ones he made to report the problem.

Mon, 04 Sep 2017 17:00:00 UTC

AI for everyone - How companies can benefit from the advance of machine learning

Posted By Werner Vogels

This article titled "Wie Unternehmen vom Vormarsch des maschinellen Lernens profitieren k├Ânnen" appeared in German last week in the "Digitaliserung" column of Wirtschaftwoche. When a technology has its breakthrough, can often only be determined in hindsight. In the case of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), this is different. ML is that part of AI that describes rules and recognizes patterns from large amounts of data in order to predict future data. Both concepts are virtually omnipresent and at the top of most buzzword rankings. Personally, I think  and this is clearly linked to the rise of AI and ML  that there has never been a better time than today to develop smart applications and use them.

Sun, 03 Sep 2017 19:00:00 UTC

Murder at Adolfs Cottage

Posted By Tim Bray

I recently read Prussian Blue by Philip Kerr. Its good  a Fifties-Iron-Curtain spy thriller gracefully mashed up with a pre-war murder mystery set in Hitlers Bavarian country getaway, Berghof. Its a repeat appearance for Kerrs Bernie Gunther, an appealingly hard-boiled veteran socialist cop who finds himself working for National Socialist management. And yep, there are Nazis in this story; the real not tiki-torch flavor. A couple of mega-Nazis, Bormann and Heydrich, and some relatively minor odd fish like Karl Brandt and Gerdy Troost. Nazis are convenient for a novelist, because they are reliably evil and twisted, so he can economize on characterization and leave room for plot and atmospherics.

Fri, 01 Sep 2017 03:19:14 UTC

Android usage

Posted By Greg Lehey

One of the big issues I have always had with mainstream computers is that it's difficult to use more than a few programs at a time. Not surprisingly, mobile phone operating systems like Android are the worst. I find it really difficult to switch between the four or five apps that I use for camera and location services. So it's not surprising to see this statistic, which notes that most users don't use more than 3 apps on a regular basis: ACM only downloads articles once.