An aggregation of our Blog Roll, made up of acmqueue authors.   more

Postings for June 2019:  (35 posts)
Mon, 24 Jun 2019 15:54:08 UTC

?I Shouldn?t Have to Publish This in The New York Times?: my op-ed from the future

Posted By Cory Doctorow

I was honored to be invited to contribute to the New York Times‘s excellent “Op-Eds From the Future” series (previously), with an op-ed called “I Shouldn’t Have to Publish This in The New York Times,” set in the near-future, in which we have decided to solve the problems of Big Tech by making them liable... more

Mon, 24 Jun 2019 13:04:40 UTC

My Atlseccon keynote

Posted By Cory Doctorow

In which I tie together infosec, monopoly, corruption, human rights and conspiracy theories

Mon, 24 Jun 2019 03:44:24 UTC

Focus stacking revisited

Posted By Greg Lehey

It's been some time since I discovered some flowers at the east end of Grassy Gully Road, and I've been meaning to take some focus-stacked photos of them since then; I now have three cuttings in various states of decay. In the meantime, I have a number of other issues: the problems with my Olympus STF-8 macro flash unit and focus stacking, the failure of my Viltrox JY-670 Macro Ring Lite, the arrival of the RF-550 ?MacroLED Ring Flash? and the availability of new firmware for my Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II. Today I finally got round to trying out what I had planned to do when the LED ?flash?

Sun, 23 Jun 2019 02:11:08 UTC

Google messages revisited

Posted By Greg Lehey

A bit of finger trouble switching tabs on one of my firefox instances today, and I got this message: OK, two questions: why do I need a ?supported? browser, and why did I only get this message today? Off to try on another instance (firefox tries very hard to ensure that I only run one instance, but it doesn't understand X displays). Oops, wrong password: I hadn't logged in to Google since the repair of my Nokia 3 phone 4½ months ago, and of course I had changed the password.

Thu, 20 Jun 2019 03:26:58 UTC

eBay guaranteed delivery

Posted By Greg Lehey

Bought some more wine online today, and got the usual confirmation. Well, relatively usual: Guaranteed delivery: Tue, 25 Jun Your order has been processed. Please expect it in 7-10 working days if you live within metropolitan areas or at least 14 working days if you live in Australian regional centres and outside metropolitan capital cities. It'll be interesting to see what happens, and what recourse I have if the guarantee has to come into operation.

Tue, 18 Jun 2019 02:09:57 UTC

FreeBSD under VirtualBox, simplified?

Posted By Greg Lehey

Installing a FreeBSD system used to be a significant undertaking. 21 years ago I did an all-day tutorial at AUUG 1998 and didn't even finish installing the base system. No way I want to do that again. The standard way to install a system used to be to get a DVD image and install from that. But who uses DVDs any more? USB? While I was looking, I found a collection of virtual machine images, including one for VirtualBox. Just what I need! Download it and install. First step: install X, Emacs and Bash. WHAT? The virtual machine image was just big enough for the files that it contained.

Tue, 18 Jun 2019 02:00:01 UTC

Hugin bug on FreeBSD

Posted By Greg Lehey

I still haven't resolved the Hugin startup bug that was reported against FreeBSD nearly 2 months ago. It's puzzling: Hugin crashes on startup with one complaint too many. After the usual Gtk bitching and moaning, he gets: (hugin:6057): Gtk-WARNING **: 19:18:30.940: gtk_window_present_with_time() should not be called with 0, or GDK_CURRENT_TIME as a timestamp, the timestamp should instead be gathered at the time the user initiated the request for the window to be shown zsh: segmentation fault (core dumped)  hugin The problem is, nobody else does. Thomas Modes of the Hugin project says that the function gtk_window_present_with_time() isn't called from Hugin, but of course it could be called internally.

Sat, 15 Jun 2019 05:26:56 UTC

Panic! on teevee

Posted By Greg Lehey

While watching TV this evening, the screen went blank. Only relatively briefly; then I got a startup display. teevee had paniced! That almost never happens. It had been up for 47 days, thanks mainly to the solar electricity system. What caused it? Jun 14 21:34:09 teevee savecore: reboot after panic: page fault Jun 14 21:34:09 teevee savecore: writing core to /var/crash/vmcore.4 OK, that shouldn't happen, so it's worth a look. === root@teevee (/dev/pts/8) /var/crash 4 -> kgdb /home/obj/eureka/home/src/FreeBSD/svn/stable/11/sys/GENERIC/kernel.debug vmcore.4 GNU gdb 6.1.1 [FreeBSD] Unread portion of the kernel message buffer: Fatal trap 12: page fault while in kernel mode cpuid = 1; apic id = 01 fault virtual address   = 0x0 fault code              = supervisor read data, page not present instruction pointer     = 0x20:0xffffffff829d83a4 stack pointer           = 0x28:0xfffffe010f85c720 frame pointer ...

Sat, 15 Jun 2019 03:56:14 UTC

More web page mods

Posted By Greg Lehey

From time to time I quote web pages, which don't always play nice with the their title. For example, the NOAA Solar Calculator has a heading ?ESRL Global Monitoring Division?, which doesn't help much. And when I quote from my diary I get (for example, for this month) ?Greg's diary--June 2019?. That could be easier. Each article in my diary has its own URL fragment (the part after the # symbol), a coding of the date and time when the article was written. For some time now they have had their own title, like this one, ?More web page mods?. Why not put that in the window heading?

Sat, 15 Jun 2019 03:49:41 UTC

Offending Christians?

Posted By Greg Lehey

Yesterday I wrote: I personally liked ?EVIL? (?Electronic Viewer, Interchangeable Lens?) , but it seems that that is too whimsical for Christians and people with no humour, ... A gentle rebuke on IRC from a Christian participant. Yes, that's valid. I have nothing against most Christians, just the militant kind who tell me how to live my life. Like most adherents of other religions, most are good people. Sadly there are too many people of any religion who use it like a weapon and thus do discredit to their religion.

Fri, 14 Jun 2019 02:21:49 UTC

Fixing CJ's DID

Posted By Greg Lehey

Called up MyNetFone support today to ask about changing the DID for CJ Ellis' phone. This time I timed things. 3 whole minutes of various announcements, and then the confidence-inspiring male voice ?currently our wait times are?, then in a stressed female voice ?25 minutes?. So I was able to request a callback, which took another minute, because they were too polite to assume the number on which I called (one of their numbers), and then they wanted to read it back to me and get me to confirm. It didn't help much. They didn't call back, so after a couple of hours I took another look.

Thu, 13 Jun 2019 03:19:32 UTC

More VoIP pain

Posted By Greg Lehey

Call from CJ Ellis today. But his name didn't pop up on the phone; instead I saw a number starting with 09, an internal number used by MyNetFone. And he was complaining that people would call him but just get voice mail. OK, he now has two lines. Was the external number (which, I discovered, is called a Direct inward dial or DID) attached to the other? Got him to call me on it. No, still a (different, clearly) 09 number. Config issues with MyNetFone? Found my way into CJ's page on their web site. Yes, now he has not two, but three numbers, and the DID is attached to his old Mitron Analogue Telephone Adapter.

Thu, 13 Jun 2019 03:04:27 UTC

Focus stacking again

Posted By Greg Lehey

So I still don't have any good image series of the Schlumbergera. For the fun of it, tried stitching the ones I had, with the unsharp stamens. The results, stitched with Zerene Stacker were interesting: one (?PMax?) looked quite good, the other (?Dmap?) was singularly useless: The ?PMax?

Wed, 12 Jun 2019 19:00:00 UTC

Go Creeping In

Posted By Tim Bray

I?ve seen the inside of the Google and Amazon tech stacks. There are common threads that run through them and also, I bet, through most BigTechCos. Here and there down the stack is a lot of C++ and vestigial remnants from earlier days, Perl or PHP or whatever. Out in front of humans, of course, JS. But in between, there are oceans and oceans of Java; to a remarkable degree, it runs the Internet. Except for, here and there, you find a small but steadily increasing proportion of Go. If you want to know what?s going on at Google, go follow Brad Fitzpatrick.

Wed, 12 Jun 2019 03:27:39 UTC

More focus stacking

Posted By Greg Lehey

It's been a while since I did any serious macro photography, but now our Schlumbergera is flowering, and it cries out for focus stacked photos of the flowers. But how many? Once again, it's just plain guesswork. I set it up with the closest part of the flower at 25.5 cm from the M.Zuiko Digital ED 30 mm f/3.5 Macro?once again the optically better M.Zuiko Digital ED 60 mm f/2.8 Macro was just too long?and erred on the side of caution with 200 shots at f/5.6. That proved to be correct: it stopped after 57 shots with focus at ?. But the shots weren't sharp.

Wed, 12 Jun 2019 01:22:26 UTC

Another Android GPS check?

Posted By Greg Lehey

Last week I went to a lot of trouble to try to decide whether my new tablet had a GPS receiver or not. But after thinking about it, it occurred to me that I had had issues with OI.Share, which wouldn't install on a device without a GPS receiver. Is that still the case? Tried downloading. ?This app may not be optimized for your device?. But it installed, and of course it couldn't find my camera. Take me to the Settings menu? OK. But it couldn't find that either; presumably the tablet has hidden the Settings menu somewhere where OI.Share can't find it.

Tue, 11 Jun 2019 05:07:37 UTC

NFS problems

Posted By Greg Lehey

Watching TV this evening, we finished one programme and tried to watch another. === grog@teevee (/dev/pts/8) /spool/Series/Matula 441 -> mmp Matula---Der-Schatten-des-Berges-20180330-211500.mp4 bash: /home/local/bin/mmp: Input/output error === grog@teevee (/dev/pts/8) /spool/Series/Matula 442 -> df Filesystem          1048576-blocks      Used     Avail Capacity  Mounted on /dev/ada0p4                 64,456    40,374    18,925    68%    / devfs                            0         0         0   100%    /dev /dev/ada0p2                 64,456    53,785     5,514    91%    /destdir /dev/ada0p5              5,568,407 5,359,841   152,882    97%    /spool linprocfs                        0         0         ...

Tue, 11 Jun 2019 04:49:18 UTC

ATA issues

Posted By Greg Lehey

CJ has now received a new Analogue Telephone Adapter, a Cisco SPA112, with which he is well pleased. It worked out of the box, and now people answer the phone much more quickly than before. I tried to explain that the answers didn't depend on the ATA, but it seems that maybe they did: previously the connection would drop on occasion, and I don't trust the ring tone to really correspond with a ring at the other end. I had suspected the power supply, since I had lent him an alternative, and he hadn't had any problems with that. My alternative supply only delivers 12 V at 1.5 A, whereas his old Mitron MV1 (MNFMV1?)

Mon, 10 Jun 2019 18:35:56 UTC

Competition can fix Big Tech, but only if we don?t make ?bigness? a legal requirement

Posted By Cory Doctorow

I’m all for making Big Tech small again and fixing the internet so that it’s not just five giant websites filled with screenshots from the other four, not to mention doing something about market dominance, corporate bullying, rampant privacy invasions and so on. But a persistent thread in the past year’s efforts to “fix the... more

Mon, 10 Jun 2019 03:03:32 UTC

Photo processing confusion

Posted By Greg Lehey

After processing Chris Bahlo's photos, Yvonne came to me with a problem: the photos weren't all there when she tried to put them through Ashampoo photo optimizer. Why? She had processed 24 photos, and there were 24 photos there. No, half were missing. OK, more checking, and discovered that though there were 24 images, some of the images had been created from the wrong source image, photos that she had processed earlier. This is in the convert target, where I convert from the original image in the orig subdirectory to an image in the main directory. The mapping is described in the file Makejpeg, where the entries look like: 20190608_134405_DxO Ride-9 0 20190608_140257_DxO Ride-17 0 26081524_DxO Ride-8 0 26081536_DxO-1 Ride-37 0 The first column is the name of the source file (implicitly in orig), the ...

Mon, 10 Jun 2019 01:59:06 UTC

File archives in the Microsoft space

Posted By Greg Lehey

Chris Bahlo took some photos of a ride that she, Melanie and Yvonne went on yesterday, on her Samsung SM-G930F phone (why does Samsung have phone descriptions that have nothing to do with the marketing name?) . They were on Google Drive, another Google offering that I find hard to navigate. A total of 26 photos and 4 videos. How do I download them? Simple: double click with the on the minuscule little fingernail image to the left of a file name, or on the file name, wait 4 seconds, and you get a popup: Select Download and it loads the image for you.

Sun, 09 Jun 2019 19:00:00 UTC


Posted By Tim Bray

This buzzword has been echoing round the corners of Net conversation, not loud yet but the voices are those that have seemed smart in the past. I joined in a few months back by acquiring a Super Commuter+ 7 e-bike from Trek Bikes. Count me among the converted. I concluded what will probably be the last episode of my Jaguar Diary with ?It makes me happy? but a new car isn?t a life-changer?. Well, I?m here to tell you that an e-bike is. And I suspect this whole Micromobility thing has legs. Two electric vehicles. I?ve biked to work intermittently since I started at AWS in late 2014.

Sat, 08 Jun 2019 05:49:40 UTC

Finally! Power feedin configured!

Posted By Greg Lehey

Email from Powercor today: Date: Wed, 5 Jun 2019 04:58:49 +0000 (GMT) From: CitiPower and Powercor <> To: "" <> Subject: Notification of works completion for 29 STONES RD, DEREEL VIC 3352 Message-ID: <> And the content? None. Ah, it's ?multipart/alternative?, except that there's no alternative to HTML. But that doesn't matter, because it's doesn't say much more than the Subject: line and the request number. My meter is now configured for power feedin, only a little more than three weeks after application and 7 weeks after installation.

Sat, 08 Jun 2019 05:23:00 UTC

New sprinkler controller

Posted By Greg Lehey

On Wednesday I received a new sprinkler relay controller, this time with a housing: But that was all that came with it. No instructions of any kind! How do I use it? I had sent a message to the seller and received the reassuring reply: Sorry for troubles caused to you. We will contact our supplier for help. Please kindly wait 2-3 days, thanks. Don't worry, we will be responsible for this issue. Tips:1.We need to deal with thousands of emails every day,in case we forget to inform you,kindly please remind us 2 days later,thanks for your understanding!

Fri, 07 Jun 2019 18:46:48 UTC


Posted By Benjamin Mako Hill

I’d like to use “sinonym” as another word for an immoral act. Or perhaps to refer to the Chinese name for something. Sadly, I think it might just be another word for another word.

Fri, 07 Jun 2019 02:54:31 UTC

Phone GPS accuracy

Posted By Greg Lehey

I've been moaning about the inaccuracy of the GPS receiver in taskumatti, my current Nokia 3 phone. How about some comparisons? The new tablet proved to be a non-starter in that respect, since it doesn't have a GPS receiver. But what about talipon, the old Samsung GT-I9100T? Tried that out today, with both phones next to each other in my shirt pocket. The results were surprising but inconclusive. First taskumatti, then talipon: The first is from taskumatti, and the second from talipon.

Thu, 06 Jun 2019 05:19:17 UTC

On the move again

Posted By Greg Lehey

Following Donald Trump's tweets yesterday wasn't easy, especially as Twitter has decided that it doesn't like my firefox. OK, there are other alternatives, bringing with them typical silly messages: Date: Wed, 05 Jun 2019 03:30:29 +0000 From: Twitter <> To: Greg Lehey <> Subject: New login to Twitter from Chrome We noticed a recent login for your account @Twit. Device: Chrome Location: Traralgon, Victoria *Location is approximate based on the login's IP address. If this was you Great! There's nothing else you need to do. Traralgon is one of the more popular locations, probably because Aussie Broadband is located only 12 km from there, close enough for Twitter.

Thu, 06 Jun 2019 03:46:27 UTC

Another Android device!

Posted By Greg Lehey

ALDI had a 10.1" Android tablet on offer today for the attractive price of $100 (or, as they put it, $99.99). OK, that might be an interesting alternative to my aging car GPS navigator, so I got Yvonne to pick one up for me. What features does it have? The packaging and minimal instructions are far too polite to irritate me with technical details. Clearly it doesn't have a phone?it doesn't have a SIM card slot?and that's almost a reason to reject it anyway. But still, how about trying it out? Does it have a GPS receiver? On IRC, Jari Kirma was sure that it would have, but I've had one from ALDI before that didn't.

Wed, 05 Jun 2019 03:39:54 UTC

Moving around

Posted By Greg Lehey

I've done a lot of travelling in the last few days?just ask Google location services. While looking for something on the web, I was given a price in New Zealand dollars and a phone number to call, also in New Zealand. But that's gone now. Now I'm in South Yarra. How does it make these mistakes? Yes, the GPS receiver on my phone is pretty useless, but it's not that bad. Why can't I set the location myself?

Tue, 04 Jun 2019 14:53:30 UTC

Next nycdevops meetup: Kubernetes Informers (Wed, June 19)

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

Robert Ross (a.k.a. Bobby Tables) will be the speaker at the next nycdevops meetup on Wed, une 19, 2019. Full details and RSVP info: NOTE: Different day and location! Title: Staying Informed with Kubernetes Informers Speaker: Robert Ross (Bobby Tables) from FireHydrant Date: Wed, June 19, 2019 Location: Compass, 90 Fifth Ave, New York, NY 10011 Kubernetes state is changing all the time. Pods are being created. Deployments are adding more replicas. Load balancers are being created from services. All of these things can happen without anyone noticing. But sometimes we need to notice, however, for when we need to react to such events.

Sun, 02 Jun 2019 03:49:20 UTC

More phone smarting

Posted By Greg Lehey

The whole affair with Brana was made worse by my Android ?smart? phone. I've come to the conclusion that it is next to useless for making phone calls. The first pain came when trying to contact the vets. Hit a recorded message saying that they were closed and specifying an emergency number to call. OK, we can do that later. Hang up. How? Press the ON/OFF button? Wrong, fool. That doesn't turn it off, but it does get rid of the correct screen from which you can hang up. So I got the opportunity to test Tim Bishop's suggestion from yesterday: swipe downwards from the display at the top.

Sun, 02 Jun 2019 03:26:37 UTC

A use for high-speed links

Posted By Greg Lehey

This month I have increased my Internet link speed from 20 Mb/s down, 5 Mb/s up to 50 Mb/s down, 20 Mb/s up. It doesn't really seem to make much difference: for most things, including video downloads, the limiting factor is upstream. Downloads from ARD run at between 184 kB/s (1.5 Mb/s) and 700 kB/s (5.6 Mb/s), while downloads from SRF run at between 1.2 MB/s (9.6 Mb/s) and 2.65 MB/s (21.2 Mb/s). The extra $10 for the higher speed just aren't worth it, and next month it's back to 20/5. But today I found a case where it does make a difference, uploading photos to DigitalOcean: s3cmd sync /home/grog/public_html/Photos/20150503/big/ s3://lemis/grog/Photos/20150503/big/ -P --delete-removed upload: '/home/grog/public_html/Photos/20150503/big/driveway-nw.jpeg' -> 's3://lemis/grog/Photos/20150503/big/driveway-nw.jpeg'  [1 of 19]  12288363 of 12288363   100% in    8s  1483.51 kB/s  done upload: '/home/grog/public_html/Photos/20150503/big/garden-centre.jpeg' -> 's3://lemis/grog/Photos/20150503/big/garden-centre.jpeg'  [2 of 19]  14733364 of 14733364 ...

Sat, 01 Jun 2019 22:44:10 UTC

A theme: Simplifying C++ (& CppCast podcast)

Posted By Herb Sutter

This week I was happy to join Rob Irving and Jason Turner on their great CppCast podcast. I chose “Simplifying C++” as the theme, because all of the active work I’ve chosen to do on C++ these days is on the common theme of simplifying how we teach, learn, and use C++… the “C++ UX” … Continue reading A theme: Simplifying C++ (& CppCast podcast) →

Sat, 01 Jun 2019 04:08:09 UTC


Posted By Greg Lehey

It's been a while since I installed ON1 Photo RAW 2019.5, which gave me headaches with claimed missing OpenGL 3.3, but I had established that I could start it if the display was the native monitor rather than my standard rdesktop. OK, the free trial is running away, so time to see how it works. Surprise, surprise. It wouldn't start on dischord even on the native display. So I had to start it on euroa, the laptop. One of the nice things about ON1 is that it comes with lots of videos, and I had looked at the basic ones. But even so, I couldn't work my way round the menu system.

Sat, 01 Jun 2019 03:26:36 UTC

Phone smarts

Posted By Greg Lehey

Mail from Tim Bishop and Oliver Musch today about my problems answering an Android phone. Tim noted from the screen shot that a call was pending. All I saw was: But what I should have seen was in the top left-hand corner: The lightning deflecting off the old-fashioned handset clearly means that a call is incoming. As Tim says: Pretty sure if you swipe down from the top of the screen there'll be something in the notification area that'll let you answer the call.