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Postings for April 2019:  (50 posts)
Thu, 25 Apr 2019 17:00:00 UTC

Expanding the AWS Cloud ? Introducing the AWS Asia Pacific (Hong Kong) Region

Posted By Werner Vogels

Today, I am happy to introduce the new AWS Asia Pacific (Hong Kong) Region. AWS customers can now use this Region to serve their end users in Hong Kong SAR at a lower latency, and to comply with any data locality requirements. The AWS Asia Pacific (Hong Kong) Region is the eighth active AWS Region in Asia Pacific and mainland China along with Beijing, Mumbai, Ningxia, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney, and Tokyo. With this launch, AWS now spans 64 Availability Zones within 21 geographic regions around the world, and has announced plans for 12 more Availability Zones and four more AWS Regions in Bahrain, Cape Town, Jakarta, and Milan.

Thu, 25 Apr 2019 05:10:51 UTC

Solar energy: enough!

Posted By Greg Lehey

I've spent the best part of a week thinking about how to process data from my solar inverter, and I think I'm on top of how to get it into a database. But that's only part of the story. What do I do with the data in the database? Do I want to create another page like the weather page? In principle the pretty displays that come with the inverter do most of that. So maybe it's time to step back and do something else. One thing that strikes me: what is using all the power? The daily reports (the ones that come in triplicate) confirm what Powercor keeps telling me: we're currently using about 38 kWh a day.

Wed, 24 Apr 2019 11:09:19 UTC

Tesla Full Self Driving ASIC

Posted By James Hamilton

Tesla hosted Autonomy Day for Analyst on Monday April 22nd beginning at 11am. The video is available at  It?s a bit unusual for a corporate video in that it is 3 hours and 52 minutes long but it?s also unusual in that there is far more real content in there than is typically shown...

Wed, 24 Apr 2019 03:04:58 UTC

Getting the most from solar power

Posted By Greg Lehey

I'm quite happy with the amount of power we're saving even at this time of year; the daily reports in triplicate from Spain show that I'm generating between 53% and 66% of my total usage. But it's worth thinking about how to ideally use the power. The algorithm used by the inverter is: Use power from the PV array first. If the PV array can't supply enough power, supplement from the battery. If the battery can't supply enough power, supplement from the grid.

Wed, 24 Apr 2019 02:28:43 UTC

More solar power software insights

Posted By Greg Lehey

More playing around with the solar power data stream today, and managed a partial conversion to an SQL INSERT statement, complicated by my lack of recollection of the syntax. But I'm getting there. The question remains whether I should do a proper parse of the JSON data, but I think I can get by without it. Other questions are more interesting: what do I do with the data? There's one record like this every second:       data: { "Devices": [ { "Id": "", "Pac": 1016, "SetPoint": 0, "Alarms": "", "Status": "On-grid", "SOC": 58, "VBat": 271, "PacGrid": 0, "PacBat": -4450, "PacPV": 5466, "FromPV": false, "Codes": "" }, { "Id": "", "W1": -18, "W2": 0, "W3": 0 } ] } All those numbers appear to fit into 16 bits, but there are quite a few of ...

Tue, 23 Apr 2019 01:58:31 UTC

Cracking the inverter data

Posted By Greg Lehey

Yesterday I investigated sniffing the traffic between the inverter and a web browser, in the assumption that it would be easier than recreating the requests needed for communicating directly with the inverter. But Jamie Fraser and Daniel O'Connor (on IRC) saw it differently. Jamie suggested using the developer tools (F12 on most browsers, it seems). I've seen them before, but never used them in earnest, especially not to analyse HTTP streams. OK, try it out: That's not immediately obvious, but none of the traffic I'm looking for appears there.

Mon, 22 Apr 2019 02:35:32 UTC

Solar electricity progress

Posted By Greg Lehey

We've been planning the solar electricity for well over 4 years, and much of the delay was due to procrastination on my part, coupled with a complete inability to establish contact with Simon Reid of BREAZE. Chris Bahlo didn't have that luxury: she has no grid connection, so she had to have it installed for her new house (also four years ago). Today she came along and we compared notes. She paid about the same amount of money as we did. For that she got 7 (count them, seven) solar panels and a lead-acid battery of unspecified dimensions. But since she's only generating 1.75 kW, and the average hours of sunshine here are round 3.5 hours, it's unlikely that the batteries would store more than 7.5 kWh.

Mon, 22 Apr 2019 01:37:57 UTC

Still more PV software investigation

Posted By Greg Lehey

Yesterday's network sniffing gave some insight into how the photovoltaic inverter communicates, but not enough. Spent some more time sniffing with ngrep and found: T -> [AP]   127..event: /ems/sse/ { "Devices": [ { "Id": "", "Pac": 1563, "SetPoint": 0, "   Alarms": "", "Status": "On-grid", "SOC": 31, "VBat": 265, "PacGrid": 0, "PacBat": 47, "PacPV": 1516, "Fro   mPV": false, "Codes": "" }, { "Id": "", "W1": -60, "W2": 0, "W3": 0 } ] }....EE..event: /e   ms/sse/ { "Date": "2019-04-21 11:43:01", "Phase": 1, "W": 5, "Pac": 1541, "PacDischarge": 107   , "PacCharge": 468, "PacPVBatt": 1117, "EMS_VBAT": 265, "EMS_SOC": 31, "WatDigitalInput": 0, "PacRev": 0,    "HWOutputs": 0 }....E4..event: /ems/sse/ { "Date": "2019-04-21 11:43:01", "Phase": 2, "W": 0   , "Pac": 0, "PacDischarge": 0, "PacCharge": 0, "PacPVBatt": 0, "EMS_VBAT": 265, "EMS_SOC": 31, "WatDigita   lInput": 0, "PacRev": 0, "HWOutputs": 0 }....E4..event: /ems/sse/ { "Date": "2019-04-21 11:43   :01", ...

Sun, 21 Apr 2019 02:13:38 UTC

More photovoltaic software investigations

Posted By Greg Lehey

Yesterday's investigations brought me to two partial conclusions: the web application on the inverter has serious bugs, and I don't have access to the configuration menus. I could continue trying to break in, but it's probably a good idea not to do anything until the people come to inspect it. That should happen this coming week, but considering that Monday and Thursday are public holidays, I'm not betting on it. So what can I do? Clearly there's a lot of information going out of the inverter. How about firing up a wireshark and seeing what's going on? First stop all the web browser sessions and then start one and watch what happens.

Sat, 20 Apr 2019 04:56:58 UTC

Understanding the solar electricity installation

Posted By Greg Lehey

So now I have a correctly functioning solar electricity system, and it seems to be doing its job quite well. All I need to do is tweak it a bit. One thing's clear: the web display provided by the inverter is Just Plain Broken. After some comparison, it seems that the ?PV Generation? and ?Grid Consumption? figures add up to the number in the middle with the house symbol. And the ?battery charge? figure below is not directly related; to get the house consumption you need to subtract that number (7306 - 2838 = 4468 W). The dates are ridiculously wrong. It's even counting in the wrong direction: yesterday was ?Saturday?, but now it's ?Sunday?, and today is ?Saturday?: And there are no useful statistics.

Fri, 19 Apr 2019 20:03:51 UTC

Halifax! I?m speaking at Atlseccon on April 24 (then Toronto, Ottawa, Berlin and Houston!)

Posted By Cory Doctorow

I’m coming to Halifax to give the closing keynote on day one of Atlseccon on April 24th: it’s only my second-ever visit to the city and the first time I’ve given a talk there, so I really hope you can make it! From there, I’m headed to Toronto, where I’m giving a keynote called The... more

Fri, 19 Apr 2019 04:46:53 UTC

X screen blanking again

Posted By Greg Lehey

Once again, eureka can't keep quiet. Blank the screen and it's back on again within seconds. What's causing that? I had had various programs under suspicion, but this evening I couldn't be bothered. Switch to X server 1, which doesn't have anything unusual running. But that didn't stop it. So what is causing this? I can't see any way that a program connected to one server can want to influence another server; there are few enough computers that run more than one X server. More head-scratching.

Fri, 19 Apr 2019 04:40:14 UTC

Apple: all your photos is belong to us

Posted By Greg Lehey

Getting hold of Daniel O'Connor's photos wasn't as easy as it sounds. In principle if you have an image in a web browser, you should be able to save it. But Daniel's photo is Apple. No, you can't just save it, you have to ask nicely by signing in with your Apple ID. OK, I can do that, since I couldn't find a way to delete it. Not so fast. First we'll send you an SMS to * ******70. Ah, that must be my normal phone that is always on auto-answer. Forget it. Apple, why do you always appear to me like a shyster after a quick buck?

Fri, 19 Apr 2019 04:33:23 UTC

Failed inverter

Posted By Greg Lehey

We talked a lot about inverters on IRC, of course. And Daniel O'Connor came up with a photo of a failed inverter, taken with his iPhone 6S: Where's the failed component? With that gradation it's hard to say. Got Daniel to tell me where it was and put it through DxO PhotoLab: Yes, nicely bent out of shape.

Thu, 18 Apr 2019 06:08:03 UTC

GPS time rollover revisited

Posted By Greg Lehey

Last week I discovered that my ?new? GPS navigator (less than 5 years old, anyway) had had a Y2K event and reset its date to August 1999. And that made me think: what would my ancient Garmin GPS2 GPS receiver do? Went looking, but couldn't find it. But coincidentally, because of the solar panel installation, I had to move the fridges out of the garage and into the shed. OK, take a look in the old cartons that have been there since we moved in... GPS receiver, a digital level and a whole lot of old important CDs that, for some reason, I haven't needed in 4 years.

Tue, 16 Apr 2019 18:05:02 UTC

Tor?s Ebook Club is giving away copies of my novel WALKAWAY!

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Every month, Tor Books’ free Ebook Club gives away a different novel to people who have signed up; this month, the selection is my most recent novel, Walkaway! Sign up between now and the 20th to get your free copy (this only works in Canada and the US; different publishers have the rights in other... more

Tue, 16 Apr 2019 04:36:50 UTC

Battery charging revisited

Posted By Greg Lehey

I've had a surprising number of issues with mobile phone batteries lately. Two different old Samsung phones needed new batteries. In particular, Petra Gietz' I9210 died a couple of months ago, though the battery wasn't that old. A replacement was dead on arrival. And then Petra recently told me that the third was also dead. There's something wrong there, and it's difficult to blame it on the batteries. Kept the phone and put it on charge, and by elimination discovered that one of the USB charge cords?and only one of them!?was defective. And the first of the three batteries wasn't so dead that it couldn't be recharged.

Mon, 15 Apr 2019 19:00:00 UTC

On Liking Beijing

Posted By Tim Bray

It?s complicated. No big city offers just one flavor. Beijing (only China?s third biggest) has plenty. I feel no need to go back (see Disliking Beijing) but I liked some. [This is part of The Surface of China series.] Dancing! Our headquarters was the Laurel Hotel; the district seemed to be called Jiaomen, and it was? nothing special. But it had street life, notably including dancing. There were three separate dance scenes within a couple of blocks. We?re talking about a ghetto-blaster on a stand on the plaza in front of a mall or apartment building, maybe a dance leader, and then a gaggle of couples with wildly varying skill, dancing apparently for pure pleasure.

Mon, 15 Apr 2019 02:29:00 UTC

eureka upgrade, day 2

Posted By Greg Lehey

Started pretty early in the morning trying to get eureka back up and running. Given the issues I had, started copying the old root file system to the spare /destdir partition on the new disk, so that I would have the files to compare, and if everything went wrong I could boot the old system from it. The obvious next thing to do was to get X up and running again. Which driver version did I need? That's described on the list. I have a GeForce 9500 GT and a GeForce GT 640. Which version of the driver do I need?

Sun, 14 Apr 2019 19:00:00 UTC

On Disliking Beijing

Posted By Tim Bray

Walking the Great Wall was fun, but Beijing is more intense, leaving me with strong and mixed feelings. There?s a lot to dislike, and on balance I can?t imagine wanting to live there. (But see also On Liking Beijing.) To start with, it?s flat and sprawling, built for cars not people, and the pollution is bad. We arrived on a nice sunny Monday and the air was pretty clear. But by week?s end it was gruesome. [This is part of The Surface of China series.] Bad air day. As they say in Green and Urbanist communities, if you build a city for cars, you?ll get cars.

Sun, 14 Apr 2019 04:30:03 UTC

Forced system upgrade

Posted By Greg Lehey

While processing my house photos this afternoon, the screen suddenly went black, to be replaced by a constant stream that I could only decipher by taking a photo: Ugh. " vm_fault: pager read error" doesn't look good. Some things still seemed to be working (the weather application beeped to say that it had once again crashed), but clearly it was reboot time. After reboot things still didn't look good: Apr 13 12:59:48 eureka kernel: ada0 at ahcich0 bus 0 scbus0 target 0 lun 0 Apr 13 12:59:48 eureka kernel: ada0: <SanDisk SDSSDHP128G X2306RL> s/n 134499401138 detached Apr 13 12:59:48 eureka kernel: g_vfs_done():ada0p2[WRITE(offset=21402058752, length=131072)]error = 6 ...

Sat, 13 Apr 2019 04:29:25 UTC

All bad things come in threes

Posted By Greg Lehey

Later in the morning Petra told me that she had heard a strange noise (click?) from my office, and thought that it might have been a power failure. Checked, and we were off the net! I didn't see any lights on the NTD. But while investigating, it was back again! No power failure after all, just a brief spell off the net. Whose fault? As time went on, that became clearer.

Fri, 12 Apr 2019 23:02:31 UTC

BSD man captured

Posted By Greg Lehey

Who's the most well-known BSD personality? Jordan Hubbard? Theo de Raadt? That depends on whether he's known for BSD or something else. From the NetBSD project we have proff, now better known as Julian Assange. And he's certainly in the news. What got me is how old he looks: He almost looks older than I, but he's only 47, young enough to be my son. I wonder what went on in the Ecuadorian Embassy. And will they reckon his 7 years' self-imposed imprisonment to whatever sentence he now gets?

Fri, 12 Apr 2019 15:41:01 UTC

Talking Radicalized with John Scalzi in the LA Times

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Ahead of our panel at the LA Times Festival of Books on Sunday, John Scalzi interviewed me about my new book Radicalized for his column in the Times. John tells the story of how I was the first writer he met after he embarked on his career — it was at the Toronto Worldcon —... more

Fri, 12 Apr 2019 04:27:49 UTC

Y2K for GPS navigators

Posted By Greg Lehey

My GPS navigator was behaving strangely today. The trip log to Ballarat showed the wrong date, 26 August 1999. And the time was off by a couple of hours. Hardware issues? Restarted the thing without any improvement. Back home, discovered that it had had its Y2K event: the GPS week count had passed 1024, and so it had gone back 1024 weeks in time. That doesn't explain the 2 hour time discrepancy. But what were the GPS designers smoking to limit themselves to 1024 weeks, somewhat shy of 20 years?

Thu, 11 Apr 2019 19:00:00 UTC

Fujifilm X-T30

Posted By Tim Bray

I bought the latest Fuji in Hong Kong. Herewith the how and why, and twenty-four Chinese-flavored photos as supporting evidence. Um, if you?re visiting on a less-than-fast Internet link, you might have to wait a bit for ?em. Sorry ?bout that. Hong Kong cliche #1. 35mm, 1/680, f/4, ISO 320.Some of these 25-story apartment buildings are walkups,and the flats still go for a cool million. Hong Kong cliche #2. [email protected], 1/340, f/7.1, ISO 320. Hong Kong Cliche #3. [email protected], 1/220, f/3.6, ISO 1250. These guys yelled at me to stop shooting, but with a camera small and fast enough you can get a couple before they notice.

Thu, 11 Apr 2019 02:21:43 UTC

How to annoy customers

Posted By Greg Lehey

So I've gradually come to terms with the wine that I bought online last month, and in the meantime the seller (McLaren Vale Cellars) has been sending me direct mail offering me what look like good choices of wine. OK, let's try some Shiraz. Put a dozen bottles in my ?Shopping Cart? and try to pay for it: Warning: fopen(/home/grog/ failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /usr/home/grog/ on line 1361 Can't open /home/grog/ OK, that's simple: do what it asks.

Thu, 11 Apr 2019 02:08:36 UTC

Manipulating journaled soft updates

Posted By Greg Lehey

A while back I set journeled soft updates on teevee:/, which caused a rather unexpected problem: # dump -2uf - / | nice bzip2 > /dump/teevee-FreeBSD/2/root.bz2 mksnap_ffs: Cannot create snapshot //.snap/dump_snapshot: /: Snapshots are not yet supported when running with journaled soft updates: Operation not supported dump: Cannot create //.snap/dump_snapshot: No such file or directory What do I do there? I can hear ?Use ZFS!? ringing in my head, but the obvious thing is to disable them again. But how? Tried today and ran into unexpected problems: Warning: fopen(/home/grog/ failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /usr/home/grog/ on line 1361 Can't open /home/grog/   Warning: fopen(/home/grog/ failed ...

Wed, 10 Apr 2019 13:18:29 UTC

San Diego! I?m keynoting the 40th anniversary of the Friends of the Public Library tomorrow (then: UCLA and LA Times Festival of Books)

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Tomorrow night (Thursday, April 11), I’m headlining a free event celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Friends of the San Diego Public Library from 7-9PM: it’s at the Central Library’s Neil Morgan Auditorium (330 Park Blvd., San Diego 92101). The tl;dr of my speech: “libraries as one of the few remnants of a world where... more

Tue, 09 Apr 2019 19:00:00 UTC

2,700 km

Posted By Tim Bray

That?s the distance from Hong Kong to Beijing, and if you?re on a train that cruises at 306km/h, you can leave at 8:05AM and arrive one minute past five in the afternoon. The train has a number and a Wikipedia entry: G80 (check it out for some cool pix of the train). I suspect that not that many readers have taken this, so herewith words and pictures. Hong Kong West Kowloon station is bright and new and huge. It?s faster than an airport but there are really a lot of stages to get through: HK exit, HK customs, security, PRC health, PRC customs, PRC immigration.

Tue, 09 Apr 2019 17:10:53 UTC

April NYC DevOps Meetup: Building a tamper-evident CI/CD system

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

The April nycdevops Meetup is Thursday, April 18. Doors open at 6:30pm! NOTE: The meetings are now on THURSDAY. Title: How to build a tamper-evident CI/CD system Speaker: Trishank Karthik Kuppusamy, Datadog, Inc TALK DESCRIPTION: CI/CD is critical to any DevOps operation today, but when attackers compromise it, they get to distribute malicious software to millions of unsuspecting users. We present how Datadog used TUF and in-toto to develop, to the best of our knowledge, the industry's first end-to-end verified pipeline that automatically builds integrations for the Datadog agent. That is, even if this pipeline is compromised, users should not be able to install malware.

Mon, 08 Apr 2019 01:41:39 UTC

Port upgrades

Posted By Greg Lehey

Hugin version 2019.0 is out, time to upgrade the FreeBSD port. And while I was at it, also finally committed a patch to upgrade enblend. And almost before I knew it, two email messages. First, errors: Date: Sun, 7 Apr 2019 07:07:27 GMT From: Portsnap buildbox CC: [email protected] Subject: INDEX build breakage ... make_index: /usr/ports/graphics/hugin: no entry for /usr/ports/graphics/OpenEXR Committers on the hook (CCed): antoine grog And then a fix: From: Antoine Brodin <[email protected]> To: ports-[email protected], svn-ports-[email protected], svn-ports-[email protected] Subject: svn commit: r498262 - head/graphics/hugin Author: antoine Log:   Unbreak INDEX Modified:   head/graphics/hugin/Makefile Modified: ...

Sun, 07 Apr 2019 20:34:43 UTC

Interview with the Left Field podcast about Radicalized and the EU Copyright Directive

Posted By Cory Doctorow

While I was out on tour with Radicalized, I recorded an interview (MP3) with the Left Field podcast (“A couple of socialists with a couple of beers. We talk about Canadian politics and current events around the world”). We covered a lot of ground, particularly around the catastrophic EU Copyright Directive and, of course, the... more

Sun, 07 Apr 2019 19:00:00 UTC

Visiting Buddha

Posted By Tim Bray

Its official name is Tian Tan Buddha but everyone in Hong Kong just says ?Big Buddha? and indeed it?s maybe the biggest tourist attraction. That?s OK, it?s worth visiting and you probably should if you?re there. I offer no insights about Asian religions but some possibly-useful tourist advice and a couple of pictures that make me smile. You can get a ferry from Pier 6 on Central over to Mui Wo on Lantau Island, where the Buddha is, along with both Buddhist and Christian monasteries, the new airport, Disneyland, and some damn nice hiking trails; I spent a pleasurable few hours on those a couple of decades ago.

Sun, 07 Apr 2019 02:04:55 UTC

NiZn and STF-8

Posted By Greg Lehey

I've had my Olympus STF-8 flash unit for over a year now, and I've hardly used it: it's such a pain to put on the camera. When I did so today to take the photos of the seedlings, the batteries were discharged. Discharged? Pretty much dead. All of them showed a voltage of 0.3 V or so. They're all Nickel-Zinc (NiZn) batteries, which I've been experimenting for over 8 years, and they should have a voltage between 1.6 V (discharged) and 1.8 V (charged). What happened? Put them in the charger. One just died, but the others charged again. My experience with NiZn has been that they discharge unevenly, so the voltages are very different on discharge.

Sat, 06 Apr 2019 22:17:04 UTC

Occupy Gotham: my essay about the class war at the heart of Batman

Posted By Cory Doctorow

The book Detective Comics: 80 Years of Batman commemorates the 1000th issue of Batman comics; my contribution is an essay called Occupy Gotham, about the terror of letting a billionaire vigilante decide who is and isn’t a criminal (featuring Lessig and Piketty jokes!).

Sat, 06 Apr 2019 19:00:00 UTC

The Surface of China

Posted By Tim Bray

What happened was, the girls are finishing Grade Seven so we walked the Great Wall of China. This actually makes perfect sense. By ?the girls? I mean my daughter and a schoolfriend; they?ve been in Mandarin Bilingual elementary and have learned quite a bit of Chinese. They may be at their maximum proficiency for a while, since their high schools? Mandarin offerings aren?t that great. So we (I mean the girls? parents) thought we should expose them to some Real Chinese. Except for none of the adults speak any, so we went shopping for tours and picked Walk the Great Wall of China.

Fri, 05 Apr 2019 14:14:10 UTC

Burbank! I?ll be at Dark Delicacies this weekend (then San Diego, UCLA, LA Times Festival of Books)

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Next week is my Southern California nonstop Radicalized and advocacy week: I’m starting with a signing at Burbank’s Dark Delicacies on Sunday at 4PM, alongside Leslie S. Klinger & Lisa Morton, who are signing their new anthology Ghost Stories: Classic Tales of Horror & Suspense. Next, I’m keynoting the San Diego Public Library’s 40th anniversary... more

Thu, 04 Apr 2019 22:58:32 UTC

Talking about Radicalized with the CBC: Privilege, atavism, techno-realism and seizing the means of information

Posted By Cory Doctorow

The CBC’s Ryan B Patrick interviewed me about my latest sf book, Radicalized and how the four novellas in it relate to struggles for liberation, racial justice, technological self-determination, inequality and a sustainable climate plan. Some of the stories in Radicalized are darker than the ones I’ve written in the past decade, reflecting my own... more

Thu, 04 Apr 2019 13:28:28 UTC

Video from my Radicalized tour appearance at Toronto Public Library?s Metro Reference Library

Posted By Cory Doctorow

As part of our spring 2019 lineup for the eh List series, Cory Doctorow discussed Radicalized, his timely novel on the social, technological, and economic visions of today and what society could be in the near, near future. Watch Cory Doctorow in conversation with Barry Hertz. This event was held in the Atrium of Toronto... more

Thu, 04 Apr 2019 02:15:46 UTC

Android from scratch

Posted By Greg Lehey

So I reset the phone and rebooted it. This time it seemed a good idea to write down the steps. First, even before anything else, it asked me if I wanted to restore from the cloud. OK, if that works, it's probably the easiest way. But first it needed to connect to the Wi-Fi network, which, for some reason, took several minutes. Why? And then it found: OK, that looks good (and makes me wonder why it thinks that this device is an ?unknown Nokia 3?)

Thu, 04 Apr 2019 01:35:10 UTC

Android: smart!

Posted By Greg Lehey

For reasons I don't understand, my Android phone ( keeps waking up, turning on the display, sometimes making a noise. It's not annoying enough that I have bothered to try to find out why. It does enough more annoying things. Today, though, it excelled itself. Noted a display ?NOKIA? on the screen (it is, after all, a Nokia 3). And it alternated with various error messages, tastefully not left there long enough for me to get really worried. One suggested that Android had crashed, but that was clearly so worrying that it didn't come again. The others looked like this: How about that, a real crash.

Wed, 03 Apr 2019 17:00:00 UTC

Halo Jakarta! An AWS Region is coming to Indonesia!

Posted By Werner Vogels

Today, I am excited to announce our plans to open a new AWS Region in Indonesia! The new AWS Asia Pacific (Jakarta) Region will be composed of three Availability Zones, and will give AWS customers and partners the ability to run workloads and store data in Indonesia. The AWS Asia Pacific (Jakarta) Region will be our ninth Region in Asia Pacific. It joins existing Regions in Beijing, Mumbai, Ningxia, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney, and Tokyo, as well as an upcoming Region in Hong Kong SAR. AWS customers are already using 61 Availability Zones across 20 infrastructure Regions worldwide. Today's announcement brings the total number of global Regions (operational and announced) up to 25.

Tue, 02 Apr 2019 18:16:15 UTC

Interview with My Summer Lair

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Another great podcast interview from my Radicalized book tour: this one with My Summer Lair (MP3) where host Sammy Younan and I discussed the book from a Canadian perspective (we recorded in Toronto) and really dug into some of the book’s themes.

Tue, 02 Apr 2019 16:40:11 UTC

Talking Radicalized, rum, writing, self-care and technological self-determination with Security Sandbox

Posted By Cory Doctorow

During my book tour for Radicalized, I recorded a podcast interview (MP4) with the Security Sandbox podcast (formerly Hacker Culture). Host Sean Sun and I carried on a wide-ranging, hacker-centric discussion that covered everything from the EU Copyright Directive to writing discipline to my recipe for ginger liqueur — and, of course, the new book.

Tue, 02 Apr 2019 01:16:01 UTC

Understanding Google Maps messages

Posted By Greg Lehey

Peter Jeremy, a Google employee, noted something that I hadn't about yesterday's problems with Google Maps: I had selected public transport, and that was clear from the error message. Clearly there is no public transport between Lauchröden and Eisenach. Is it? Isn't it? The error message was: Sorry, we could not calculate transit directions from "Eisenach, Germany" to "Lauchröden, 99834 Gerstungen, Germany". What is there in that message that says ?public transport?? The only possibility would be ?transit?, but that doesn't have any such meaning, outside Google at any rate.

Mon, 01 Apr 2019 23:08:31 UTC

Socal! I?ll be in Burbank on April 7, San Diego on April 11 and UCLA on April 12

Posted By Cory Doctorow

I’ve got a couple of hometown appearances coming up, including a rare west-side event: on Sunday, April 7 at 4PM, I’ll be at Burbank’s Dark Delicacies for a final signing in their old store before they occupy their new digs around the corner, and then I’m taking off my writer hat and putting on my... more

Mon, 01 Apr 2019 02:25:58 UTC

Geography and Google Maps

Posted By Greg Lehey

Chris Bahlo over for dinner this evening, and we discussed the issue of the Encyclopædia Britannica for Arne Koets. Chris mentioned where he lived (Yvonne had just said ?Neufünfland?, but Chris knew where he lived: in Lauchröden. Where's that? Based on the name, I guessed somewhere in the middle (between the coast and the Alps), and that proved to be the case: in Thüringen. Google Maps to our aid and showed us that it's a little to the west of Eisenach. How far? Huh? It's only 10 km away. I've seen that between countries in Central Asia, but not between towns in Germany.

Mon, 01 Apr 2019 01:52:55 UTC

Web browser key bindings, again

Posted By Greg Lehey

I've never liked firefox, but I've stuck with it because I was able to set Emacs key bindings, something that Chromium is too polite to offer. But now it seems that even support for the old version has gone away: firemacs is no more, it seems. The "official download" page has gone away. Dammit, are all these browser makers trying to annoy me even more? What about Opera? Yes! It has a (well hidden) setting: Advanced/Shortcuts offers an ?Emacs .2?, which gives many Emacs bindings. Oh. It did in version 12.16, but clearly that was too useful, so they've removed it in 12.16.

Mon, 01 Apr 2019 01:49:38 UTC

Android resets ring tones?

Posted By Greg Lehey

I'm puzzled about the fact that my Android ring tones have reset twice now. Out looking for references on the web, and found them, many and varied. This page probably has the best overview, but I still don't know what to do with it beyond confirming that Android has issues with this configuration item.