µblog - archive for 2022-07

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Saturday, 30 July 2022

Plot point in the early 2000s crime show I’m watching is someone dropping their mobile at a crucial moment, the battery popping out, and they have to put it back in to call back. That doesn’t happen anymore.

Friday, 29 July 2022

FLOSS Two Minutes Hate List

Thursday, 28 July 2022

If there’s something HN knows even less about than science fiction it’s (Western European) infrastructure.

Wednesday, 27 July 2022

Vague idea: collective sleep/dream diary.

Monday, 25 July 2022

HN: building more nuclear power will solve global warming

Real life: summer heatwaves due to global warming affects the cooling capacity of nuclear power plants, causing them to shut down

HN: just release near-boiling water into the rivers, it will be fine

Sunday, 24 July 2022

Netflix lågpris-översättare skrev “Richard Bestick” som “översättning” till namnet “Richard Cutler”…

LOL if you’re banned from Fleanode, you’re directed to email kline@freenode.net. Ironic, considering http://kline.sh/

Saturday, 23 July 2022

CruisingTheCut on Youtube: The deepest, highest, longest canal tunnel in Britain

Timothy Snyder: Self-Rule and Survival

Lär mig mycket om Danmarks geografi genom gamla avsnitt av “Mordkommisionen” (“Rejseholdet”). Minsta småstad har hemska brott.

Friday, 22 July 2022

The White Queues of Dover

BBC: Dover traffic: Port declares critical incident over long queues

French border controls have been blamed for the delays of up to six hours.

(my emphasis)

One persistent irritant of Brexit boosters is the idea that their actions won’t have any consequences to them. They want border controls for people entering Britain, but it works both ways - and it’s weird to demand that France, a country Brexiteers hate and fear, should spend public funds to alleviate their entirely self-inflicted problems.

Thursday, 21 July 2022

How Checkers Was Solved

Poking my nose into the empty run-down, rat-infested shack that is Freenode reminds me you can buy a domain name but you can’t buy a community.

Elden Ring progress

Reached level 90 tonight, got Death’s Poker. The demi-human mob summons are my new best friends. I’m doing good work with Great Stars and Lion’s Claw, the Lordsworn’s Greatsword with Flame of the Redmanes, and finally Magma Wyrm’s Scalesword, which rocks.

Wednesday, 20 July 2022

MS teams changed the reaction emoji style and I don’t like it

Wasted time()

In more places than I care to count in my Perl code, I’ve wanted to output the current time and/or date.

The way I’ve done it is by using the built-in function localtime (or its UTC variant gmtime). From the manual:

Converts a time as returned by the time function to a 9-element list with the time analyzed for the local time zone. Typically used as follows:

#     0    1    2     3     4    5     6     7     8
my ($sec,$min,$hour,$mday,$mon,$year,$wday,$yday,$isdst) =

So what I’d do, depending on what I’d want, was to copy the above definition into my code, then output (say) a ISO 8601 time like so:

printf("%04d-%02d-%02dT%02d:%02d:%02d\n", $year+1900, $mon+1, $mday, $hour, $min, $sec);


So what I found out last month was Time::Piece.

This provides an OO wrapper to localtime and friends, so the above code becomes

my $t=localtime;
say $t->datetime;

And the kicker? It’s been around since… 2001.

10 most popular Wikipedia URLs from Hackernews, 2012-2022

HN loves Wikipedia links. Here are the ten most popular from the last decade!

  1. Year 2038 problem (34)
  2. The original cobra effect (24)
  3. Eternal September (23)
  4. Hyper Text Coffee Pot Control Protocol (23)
  5. Lindy effect (23)
  6. List of lists of lists (23)
  7. Dunning–Kruger effect (22)
  8. List of cognitive biases (22)
  9. Timeline of the far future (22)
  10. Jevons paradox (21)

(1.2% of HN submissions match ‘%wikipedia.org%’)

Tuesday, 19 July 2022

Crimes against Transhumanity

Interesting essay by Charles Stross. Namechecks Linda Nagata and Ken MacLeod, as well as the brilliant Lena.

As usual don’t read the comments.

Monday, 18 July 2022


An interesting take on hosted microblogs: https://prose.sh

Of course I prefer to roll my own but if you’re not a hacker like me this might be a good choice 😉

Markdown rocks

I don’t care what the haters say, Markdown is awesome.

Here’s some whiner complaining about the lack of

admonitions, figures, definition lists, citing blockquotes, footnotes, table of contents

With the exception of figures (which the blog engine I based this on fixes) I have zero need of any of that stuff. And if I did I’d create a couple of Emacs macros to insert the required HTML.

I guess that feature list is part of AsciiDoc, and AD dead-enders are salty their favorite lightweight markup language lost. Boo hoo. Create a popular blog engine that support AD instead of whining that others only support MD.

The Paris Pneumatic Clock Network

Cool piece of tech I did not know existed.

Sunday, 17 July 2022

Just random HN fascism


What is more interesting is whether we can identify cases where clear civilisational collapse was arrested or reversed by change of strategy by the leadership of that civilisation.[…]


Weimar Germany

Saturday, 16 July 2022

Kinda funny that Polestar is running ads mocking Tesla/Felon.

No greenwashing
No conquering Mars
No compromises

No. 2 Polestar

It’s obvious that Polestar believes there’s a big market of people who want an electric car but don’t want to drive an ad for Fusk.

Friday, 15 July 2022

TIL: Chinese numerals

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_numerals

There are two sets of characters for Chinese numerals: one for everyday writing, known as xiǎoxiě (traditional Chinese: 小寫; simplified Chinese: 小写; lit. ‘small writing’), and one for use in commercial, accounting or financial contexts, known as dàxiě (traditional Chinese: 大寫; simplified Chinese: 大写; lit. ‘big writing’). The latter arose because the characters used for writing numerals are geometrically simple, so simply using those numerals cannot prevent forgeries in the same way spelling numbers out in English would. A forger could easily change the everyday characters 三十 (30) to 五千 (5000) just by adding a few strokes. That would not be possible when writing using the financial characters 參拾 (30) and 伍仟 (5000).

Origin: this lobste.rs submission which points to a mini-essay published in a GitHub issues.

Tim Bray:

And remember, the ML model is never on your side; its primary agenda is the agenda of whoever paid to have it built.

The Digital Typewriter and the Unnecessarily Costly Pursuit of Focus – or – The Astrohaus Freewrite and the Unquestionably Awful Predicament of Romanticizing the Typewriter

someone’s not happy

Next, you need to be a writer (or at least aspire to write). Why is that not first? Well, think about it: everybody wants to write the great American novel, but not many will put in the work. In my opinion, aspirational writers must be driving Freewrite sales because most working writers don’t have time to deal with the bullshit functionality of the device.

So the audience of the Freewrite narrows from: Disposable Income > Aspirational Writers > Assholes who Romanticize Old School Typewriters.

Wednesday, 13 July 2022

It’s amusing to see the rabid Fusk fans who howled with glee at the prospect of their daddy using his iron fist to enforce “free speech” on Twitter now yelp in indignation at the suggestion he should actually honor the contract he signed.

Tuesday, 12 July 2022

Russ Jones (@RussInCheshire), “This Week in Tory”.

Thread starts here

  1. In a stunning return to form, prognosticator of prognosticators Jacob Rees-Mogg, that disturbing merger between The Child Catcher and the concept of rickets, predicted Boris Johnson would remain as PM for 20 years
  1. Johnson resigned the same day


  1. But to prove they’re all completely different to the widely-hated Boris Johnson, every single candidate backs Johnson-era austerity for the poor, tax cuts for the rich, illegally shipping people off to Rwanda, removing your human rights, and trashing international law

Spider-Man: No Way Home

Forgettable. Maybe the next reboot will last more than three movies…

Monday, 11 July 2022

Always funny when someone mispells “rogue” as “rouge”.

Saturday, 09 July 2022

Salt tax

I was aware of the gabelle in France, but did not know about the salt tax in China or in British India.

I guess that salt is a popular commodity for taxation because it’s essential for food preparation, relatively compact, and doesn’t spoil. And the production areas are relatively easy to control.

The gabelle in particular was crazy, and cited as a proximate cause of the Revolution.

In 1773, along the Loire River, which separated the regions of Brittany and Anjou, with respective salt prices of 31 sous and 591 sous, over 3000 soldiers were stationed in response to the massive amounts of smuggling that took place.

UK crime shows usually have really negative depictions of defense lawyers and journalists. I wonder if it’s a general hard-line law-and-order attitude that criminals shouldn’t get off using smart counsel or something else.

UK press does seem to pretty shite though.

Friday, 08 July 2022

Hackernews is still down but the API is up and it’s really doing good things for my new queue.

Well sure Gavin, imagine your beloved HN will win now it’s down for the second time today.

lobste.rs Will Become an Echo Chamber

BTW if kicking transphobes and fascists out leads to an echo chamber, it’s an echo chamber in which I want to stay.

Melon Husk chokes

There will not be a deal. Maybe I will hie my sorry ass over to the birdsite again now.

Between this, Abe getting assassinated, and HN being down it’s been a tough day for alt-right dudes all over the world. Hopefully the trend continues.

Thursday, 07 July 2022

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Figured I’d catch up on this one. The Sam Raimi aesthetic (complete with obligatory Bruce Campbell cameo) is a refreshing twist on the candy-colored MCU, but the plot barely holds together. It’s also funny to see how the MCU is slowly edging up against the parody phrase “the fate of this universe–and an infinity of other universes–is at stake!”

It’s Thursday, and the internet’s worst people are in a tizzy about the Georgia Guidestones being attacked and demolished, and Lennart Poettering getting a job.

Wednesday, 06 July 2022

< varjag> british politics is byzantine af
< varjag> it's like one of those board games in which the author clearly 
          invested too much effort

Thor: Love and Thunder

The kid and I saw this this evening. Not too bad, the Thor part of the MCU franchise has increasingly leaned into the more humorous area for a while. Helmsworth is excellent as the hunky god with the heart of gold.

I did not recognize Christian Bale as the Big Bad (an excellent choice, btw), and definitely did not recognize Russel Crowe hilariously sending up his Gladiator persona as a chonky irascible Zeus.

Update reading up on the backstory of Gorr the God-Butcher, I find this hilarious (for Swedes) passage:

The first symbiote, All-Black, is an ancient amorphous weapon originating from the evil Knull.

Tuesday, 05 July 2022

The term “gilded age” is pejorative

I happened to listen to a podcast where someone remarked that a recent development was good, and we were living in a “gilded age” of said circumstance. However, the term is pejorative - it refers to the process of gilding, where a very thin layer of gold is placed on base metal, thus making it seem more valuable than it actually is.

From el WP:

The Gilded Age, the term for the period of economic boom which began after the American Civil War and ended at the turn of the century was applied to the era by historians in the 1920s, who took the term from one of Mark Twain’s lesser-known novels, The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today (1873). The book […] satirized the promised “golden age” after the Civil War, portrayed as an era of serious social problems masked by a thin gold gilding of economic expansion.

Now you know.

Monday, 04 July 2022

It bugs me no end that 0 is a false value in C, Perl, PHP etc. but a succesful exit code in Unix is 0 and not some “true” value.

My humor has been described as xeric.

Q: what do you call a thirsty priest?
A: a xeric cleric.

Thinking of writing an extremely dyspeptic diatribe on why decentralization is a useless shibboleth but don’t really have the energy.

Maybe I should farm it out.

Sunday, 03 July 2022

AI rights and human rights

(Proposed reply to https://lobste.rs/s/umicte/give_up_github#c_gsnu7v)

Nearly all legal systems maintain a bright line between humans and other creatures. A severely disabled person, or someone in a coma, is arguably less conscious or capable than a trained chimpanzee, but they retain rights that the chimpanzee doesn’t. I don’t see any difference in the future between humans and artificial general intelligences. They will be treated as tools, or intellectual cattle, and the corporations that provide the infrastructure for them will retain complete control over their labor.

Friday, 01 July 2022

Jack Womack:

Once again remembering the NYT reviewer who dismissed my book Random Acts by noting that I seemed to imagine history happened overnight.

I’m a big Womack fan but I literally cannot re-read his books because they’re too depressing and prescient.

It’s sobering to realize that statistically I might die before Trump and thus not have the opportunity to tramp the dirt down on his grave.

Rise of the Newest Alt-Tech Platform: Substack

Storyful’s analysis of 100 accounts found that many influencers de-platformed for driving COVID-19 misinformation moved to Substack and now freely proliferate on the platform. There, they have continued to spread false narratives around COVID. The platform also serves as a playground for some of the most influential extreme actors to spread conspiracy theories, particularly high volumes of misinformation around the 2020 US election which is continuing. White power narratives are less influential, yet present, with white supremacist group Europa Invicta free to promote its ideology while others push anti-semitism and conspiracies around white genocide and the Great Replacement theory.


  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2022 3 8 14 23 126 44 47 15
2021 21 7 15 7 8 14 1 3 13 13 4
2020 16 13 18 9 7 10 2 7 11 3 18 8
2019 5 21 10 7 23 13 8 10 11 6 12 6
2018 14 28 24 10 9 7 18 7 14 4 7 2
2017 13 26 15 14 21 13 3 13 7 7 25 18
2016 21 56 35 28 36 27 17 8 28 21 13 6
2015 16 10 32 13 11 14 4 16 33 34 44 11
2014 16 37 9 18 17 12 23 28 42 24 9 12
2013 67 88 44 50 33 23 18 19 51 52 47 37
2012 22 56 10 54 95 48 42 48 42 54 36 60
2011 63 41 51 54 38 37 45 31 66 35 23 19
2010 152 188 129 154 111 117 53 115 114 125 102 89
2009 234 246 270 280 270 278 106 164 224 199 186 147
2008 45 121 135 178 146 154 158 154 145 151 133 169
2007 3 1 44 76 38 30 27 79 110 182 68 30
2006 23 14 5 2 10 6 1 12 11 12 4 13
2005 1 1 12 8
2004 1 2

Generated on: 2022-08-16T18:52:18+00:00

Copyright © Gustaf Erikson 2004–2022. All rights reserved.