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Postings for May 2020:  (17 posts)
Mon, 25 May 2020 03:43:20 UTC

Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town (part 04)

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Here’s part four of my new reading of my novel Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town (you can follow all the installments, as well as the reading I did in 2008/9, here). In this installment, we meet Kurt, the crustypunk high-tech dumpster-diver. Kurt is loosely based on my old friend Darren Atkinson, who pulled... more

Wed, 20 May 2020 18:56:10 UTC

The New York ISO C++ meeting is postponed

Posted By Herb Sutter

A few minutes ago, I announced to the ISO C++ committee that all our meetings originally planned for 2020 have been postponed. We had already postponed the Varna meeting originally planned for June 1-6, and earlier today INCITS (the U.S. national body) announced that it was banning all face-to-face standards meetings for the rest of … Continue reading The New York ISO C++ meeting is postponed →

Wed, 20 May 2020 18:50:44 UTC

Contact tracing with a Raspberry Pi Zero-W

Posted By Diomidis D. Spinellis

Contact tracing via smartphone apps has been widely touted as an important way to control and limit the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic. However, basing contact-tracing on phone apps has several limitations. Here are instructions for constructing a contact tracing device prototype with a Raspberry Pi Zero-W . The constructed device is compatible with the Apple/Google Bluetooth contact tracing specification. It runs the Epidose software, which is based on the DP3T "unlinkable" design.

Wed, 20 May 2020 05:42:47 UTC

Of feedback, and little things

Posted By Herb Sutter

I try hard to always ask for feedback on drafts of my talks and articles, and I always learn important things from the responses, including especially things I omitted but should include so as to pre-answer audience questions. Just like the best support call is the one the customer doesn’t have to make because they … Continue reading Of feedback, and little things →

Mon, 18 May 2020 19:00:00 UTC

Topfew Fun

Posted By Tim Bray

This was a long weekend in Canada; since I?m unemployed and have no workaday cares, I should have plenty of time to do family stuff. And I did. But I also got interested in a small programming problem and, over the course of the weekend, built a tiny tool called topfew. It does a thing you can already do, only faster, which is what I wanted. But I remain puzzled. [To those who are interested in Amazon or politics or photography, feel free to skip this. I?ll come back to those things.] What it does Back in 2016 I tweeted Hello "sort | uniq -c | sort -rn | head" my old friend, and got a few smiles.

Mon, 18 May 2020 15:14:07 UTC

Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town (part 03)

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Here’s part three of my new reading of my novel Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town (you can follow all the installments, as well as the reading I did in 2008/9, here). This is easily the weirdest novel I ever wrote. Gene Wolfe (RIP) gave me an amazing quote for it: “Someone Comes to... more

Wed, 13 May 2020 19:00:00 UTC

Meta Blog

Posted By Tim Bray

My recent Amazon-exit piece got an order of magnitude more traffic then even the post popular outings here normally do. Which turned my mind to thoughts of blogging in 2020, the why and how of the thing. Here they are, along with hit-counts and referer data from last week. Probably skip this unless you?re interested in social-media dynamics and/or publishing technology. Numbers In the first week after publication, Bye, Amazon was read somewhat more than 614,669 times by a human (notes on the uncertainty below). The referers with more than 1% of that total were Twitter (18.13%), Hacker News (17.09%), Facebok (10.55%), Google (4.29%), Vice (3.40%), Reddit(1.66%), and CNBC (1.09%).

Wed, 13 May 2020 02:41:42 UTC

Yet another teevee crash

Posted By Greg Lehey

There's something about the Covidly web site that browsers don't like. I've had to shoot down browsers on multiple occasions, but today things were worse than usual. On teevee the whole display hung, including the mouse cursor. The firefox process was using 100% CPU time, and I couldn't stop it: it was in STOP state. I thought that only happened when it was in a debugger, but clearly that wasn't the case, and sending a SIGCONT didn't help. In the end I had to reboot the system Yet Again. Is this hardware? That's what I thought last time. But it's looking more like a software issue now.

Tue, 12 May 2020 02:44:24 UTC

More weather station anomalies

Posted By Greg Lehey

For some weeks now I've had the internal unit for the weather station in the lounge room. On the one hand, the temperature in the lounge room is more interesting than in the office, but the real reason was to have a line of sight to the outside unit, in the hope that the communication would be better. The hope seems to have gone to fruition, but a couple of days ago I had a strange graph (blue line, obscured by the text; the bigger version is clearer): What kind of malfunction could have caused that spike round 16:00?

Mon, 11 May 2020 16:56:18 UTC

Rules for Writers

Posted By Cory Doctorow

For this week’s podcast, I take a break from my reading of my 2009 novel, Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town, to read aloud my latest Locus column, Rules for Writers. The column sums up a long-overdue revelation I had teaching on the Writing Excuses cruise last fall: that the “rules” we advise writers... more

Mon, 11 May 2020 02:00:03 UTC

Multimeter strangeness

Posted By Greg Lehey

Do the batteries for the gate opener have any charge? Yes, one has 13.13 V, the other 12.98 V. Why the discrepancy? I had measured the second one with the leads swapped, so it really displayed -12.98 V. For the fun of it, swapped the leads. 13.13 V. Both batteries read the same, but the multimeter showed a discrepancy of 150 mV depending on which way round I measured them. What can cause that? It's a cheap multimeter, but I hadn't expected that kind of issue.

Sat, 09 May 2020 05:03:39 UTC

Google Translate excels

Posted By Greg Lehey

So what does ?Las semillas son negras opacas, alargadas, de tamaño pequeño, con 18 a 25 g/100 semillas.? mean? I translate it as ?The seeds are opaque black, wide, of small tamaño, with 18 to 25 g/100 seeds?. What does tamaño mean? Put it through Google Translate, which for some reason chose the mobile phone version of the page, coming up with: The seeds are opaque black, elongated, small in size, with 18 to 25 g / 100 seeds. So does tamaño mean size? My not-very-good Spanish-German dictionary translates it as ?derartig, so groß, so klein?, suggesting ?thus?, but it seems that as a noun it does indeed mean ?size?.

Fri, 08 May 2020 05:13:56 UTC

Speaking at DevAroundTheSun

Posted By Herb Sutter

Next week, I’m honored to be part of DevAroundTheSun, a live 24-hour global event for COVID-19 relief that starts on May 12 at 12:00 UTC. It’s like LiveAid or Lady Gaga’s recent One World: #TogetherAtHome, but for developers. You can watch on Twitch and YouTube, and all the talks are relatively short at 25 minutes… … Continue reading Speaking at DevAroundTheSun →

Wed, 06 May 2020 19:00:00 UTC


Posted By Tim Bray

Boy, when your I?m-outta-here essay goes viral, do you ever get a lot of input. A few responses came up often enough to be worth sharing. This was via email, Twitter DMs, blog comments, and LinkedIn messages. All of which went completely batshit. So, some answers. But first? Thanks for the kind words! I had no notion how the world might react to a cranky old overpaid geek?s public temper tantrum. The world?s been astonishingly warm and welcoming. Apparently I hit a hot button I didn?t know existed. The crankiest geek on the planet couldn?t fail to have their heart warmed.

Mon, 04 May 2020 18:16:56 UTC

Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town (part 02)

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Here’s part two of my new reading of my novel Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town (you can follow all the installments, as well as the reading I did in 2008/9, here). In this installment, we meet Kurt, the crustypunk high-tech dumpster-diver. Kurt is loosely based on my old friend Darren Atkinson, who pulled... more

Sat, 02 May 2020 02:09:51 UTC

NBN outage!

Posted By Greg Lehey

A message arrived from Aussie Broadband yesterday evening after I had gone to bed: you have an unscheduled NBN outage! Well, it didn't arrive immediately, because we had an outage. But yes, there was one, about 25 minutes long. Impact on me: my IRC TCP connections reset, and I had to restart. More interestingly, though, this is the second unscheduled outage this (last) month. And the last scheduled outage was nearly 2 months ago, a real record. Have they just changed their reporting method?

Fri, 01 May 2020 00:18:25 UTC

Another teevee hang

Posted By Greg Lehey

X hung again on teevee this evening, again with messages that suggest hardware problems, either with the system itself or with the display card: Apr 30 18:58:52 teevee kernel: NVRM: GPU at PCI:0000:01:00: GPU-85983119-e9ef-ac66-6817-fbed5657b871 Apr 30 18:58:52 teevee kernel: NVRM: Xid (PCI:0000:01:00): 56, CMDre 00000000 0000045c 0001002a 00000007 00000000 Apr 30 18:58:52 teevee kernel: NVRM: Xid (PCI:0000:01:00): 56, CMDre 00000000 00000088 0001000a 00000007 00000000 Apr 30 18:59:03 teevee kernel: NVRM: Xid (PCI:0000:01:00): 39, CCMDs 0000000c 000090b5 It would be really nice to know what that means, but it looks almost identical to the hang I had three weeks ago.