Twitter: @ewenmcneill -- September 2019

Sat Aug 31 22:32:39 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @girlgerms: Hey all - this was the talk I gave at CrikeyCon (if you haven't already seen it) and I'm giving an extended version of this…

Sun Sep 01 00:50:46 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @windyoona: New blog post! Capturing PAL video with an SDR (and a few dead-ends)

Sun Sep 01 01:31:49 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Looks like there are still @purpleconNZ tickets for everyone left in wave 3 if you haven’t got yours yet.

And if price is an issue @purpleconNZ have at least one waiporoporo ticket to give a way — contact them for more details. (A few people have sponsored waiporoporo tickets.)

Sun Sep 01 10:18:30 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @kawaiiconNZ: What better way to celebrate the upcoming spring than with... A fresh list of radical hackers speaking at Kawaiicon! Don't…

Mon Sep 02 02:09:19 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @purpleconNZ: we have had a number of people generously donate waiporoporo tickets - if you are underemployed* and ticket price is stopp…

Mon Sep 02 05:44:52 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @rob_rix: An axiom that has served me well in my career:

If you don’t know how you fixed it, you didn’t.

Mon Sep 02 21:01:50 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @merxplat

Just your everyday downtown art festival 😃

Wed Sep 04 05:43:20 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @telemooon: This is 水写纸, it's meant for calligraphy practice. I've never seen anyone use its strange properties for animation and I'm gi…

Wed Sep 04 05:54:33 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @merxplat

“Arrive promptly if you would like to have a seat”?!

(I’m now wondering how data driven the “deferring deploying additional seating” has been: are there statistics on the number of MPs who would have attended if they were sure they wouldn’t have to stand….)

Wed Sep 04 05:56:17 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @purpleconNZ: we also still have a number of funded tickets, if that'd help you attend please send an email to https://t…

Wed Sep 04 06:02:01 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @iansltx: @gravislizard @donatj It's kinda amazing that one of the big capacity improvements on DOCSIS 3.1 is "we dropped the hacks from…

Wed Sep 04 06:13:17 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @rmi: @aurynn fair warning that I am stealing “women+omg” for future use and/or possibly campaigning for it to become a legally recognis…

Thu Sep 05 01:46:51 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @tveastman

“Millennials need additional stimulation due to growing up online, which is why they play videos back at 2x. This affects our play duration times, so let’s increase user stimulation by playing two videos simultaneously.”

Also increases distraction from words on the screen. Win!

Fri Sep 06 05:55:31 +0000 2019 (#)

The “Two Generals” problem seems to be extra complicated when there are three generals and international shipping involved.

(On a positive note I now have 2 instead of the 0 that I had two months ago. 1 of them arrived a month ago…)

Fri Sep 06 07:54:56 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @bigjsl

FWIW, Chorus is a wholesale (layer 1/2) provider, and those prices look like wholesale ones. At a glance end customer retail as Internet access is about 2-3 times as much.

But yes broadband access speeds in NZ are much improved since a decade ago!

Fri Sep 06 22:07:18 +0000 2019 (#)

It seems likely this is why my colo server recently upgraded to the Ubuntu 18.04.03 kernel 4.15.0-60 has kernel panicked half a dozen times overnight 🙁

I’m very glad I set reboot on kernel panic after the first lockup.

Sat Sep 07 00:31:39 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @DylanReeve: @zorinlynx The modems at one of New Zealand's largest ISPs around 1995.

Sun Sep 08 06:16:14 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

I think one could safely generalize that to “don’t ask people about their genitals”.(Especially, but not only, at professional events.)

Sorry to hear about your experiences 🙁 What you describe sounds very much like bullying/trolling, and quite inappropriate. Written CoC or not.

Sun Sep 08 06:27:45 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

It’s supposed to be difficult to MITM TLS connections 😃 I’m kinda relieved that extends to Client Hello.

Sorry about your legacy client code that doesn’t want to play nicely with newer TLS servers.

Are you able to rebuild the clients with newer TLS libraries?

Sun Sep 08 07:49:16 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

Ah, the “it’ll be hard to fix the clients” problem. At least you’ve found a proxy workaround for now (with stunnel). And don’t have to resort to binary in place patching something (at least not right now 😃)

Sun Sep 08 23:26:22 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

After 50 kernel panic restarts over the weekend (every 75-90 minutes), I’ve now installed the proposed update (4.15.0-62) on my colo system as a work around. Bug (with one line fix) seems to be impacting systems doing NAT.

Suggest avoiding Ubuntu 4.15.0-60 if you’re doing NAT.

Mon Sep 09 04:01:50 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Ubuntu kernel 4.15.0-62 seems much more stable than 4.15.0-60. That one line change (variable initialisation) really helps 😃

Up 5h15m. I haven’t seen an uptime that long in days!

Mon Sep 09 05:35:19 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

Yeah, it’s a “good” bug.

Frustratingly, when I went looking for the upstream commits, it looked like they’d backported a 2018 change, but overlooked backporting the (also 2018) two line fix for that 2018 change. Which seems to mean same issue hit upstream and LTS a year apart 🙁

Mon Sep 09 05:36:08 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @bendechrai: Are you going to #purplecon? I need your help!

I'm planning on bringing nail varnishes and a load of decals for the aesthe…

Tue Sep 10 04:18:06 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @pjf

Yeah, it’s like that 💜

Easier != Easy.

With a fixed timeline, you’re doing Agile estate management 😃 Solve what you can in this Sprint, starting with the most urgent. The rest can wait.

Emotional processing will also happen in batches. It’s just part of the process. ❤️

Wed Sep 11 08:17:05 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @kylerankin: Disappointed that FF is giving Cloudflare user DNS resolution data by default via DoH. I trust my ISP but if not, I'd use a…

Wed Sep 11 08:22:43 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

“GECOS”: be careful in naming things because the names might stick around for decades after anyone remembers why they’re named like that 😃

Wed Sep 11 23:55:11 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @purpleconNZ: we too still have some tickets to give away, just send an email or DM ^_^

Wed Sep 11 23:58:27 +0000 2019 (#)

This is a particularly fun Marble Machine X build video — with a team effort there’s an entire instrument finished, including interchangeable notes 💜

Thu Sep 12 07:26:37 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @megjohnjustin

TIL the answer I was looking for to donate on Patreon without “purchase extras based on income”/“cash you have” is: click “Become A Patreon”, scroll to the end of the tier list, click “Make a Custom Pledge”, enter amount and confirm. (And if desired turn off post notifications.)

Thu Sep 12 20:55:26 +0000 2019 (#)

That’s actually Firefox 60.9 ESR released 2019-09-03. Your browser detection is broken @southerncross. And/or you’re blocking 10 day old browser releases, “for security” 🙁

Thu Sep 12 20:59:14 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Their complaint form blocks cut’n’paste too, presumably also “for security” 😂

And requests lots of personal information just to report a browser detection issue 🙁

Sat Sep 14 00:39:55 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @merxplat: I don't know who needs to hear this, but:

If you ever feel the need to publicly question whether pedophilia isn't as bad as…

Sat Sep 14 02:22:38 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @merxplat: If languages and institutions founded on some guy having a bright idea in the 90s don’t have a real generational change in le…

Sat Sep 14 02:25:01 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @sarahmei: We shouldn’t #cancelstallman because his ideas are abhorrent.

We should do it because he has acted in abhorrent ways,


Sat Sep 14 02:56:58 +0000 2019 (#)

Practical demonstration that music is just a well timed sequence of something happening the right number of times per second.

(Short video of IBM 1403 line printer producing music, and a great detailed writeup of how it works.)

Sat Sep 14 23:34:09 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @mssocks: The 3 genders

Sun Sep 15 02:16:00 +0000 2019 (#)

Programming productivity tips. Notionally for ADHD, but I do most of these myself to reduce cognitive load/increase productivity even without an ADHD diagnosis.

Highly recommend narrating code with comments containing all context you’ll need later 👍

Sun Sep 15 02:43:25 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @slyall: Sysadmin Miniconf has be accepted for in January 2020 on the Gold Coast

Details about previous Minicon…

Sun Sep 15 06:17:10 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @southerncross

I’m starting to think Southern Cross haven’t fully thought through this blocking “old” browsers thing: IE11 (on Win10) and Safari 11.1.2 (on OS X 10.11, no updates available since a year ago) are both acceptable 🧐

Maybe they just don’t understand Firefox version numbers 😂

Sun Sep 15 07:15:04 +0000 2019 (#)

I wonder if this means @ANZ_NZ will finally offer TOTP (app based) or hardware token (eg, YubiKey) based 2FA? It seems someone in the comms team thinks good 2FA matters. (Hint SMS based 2FA is fairly easily bypassed, WebAuthn or TOTP is better.)

(FTR, subject is as received!)

Sun Sep 15 08:02:43 +0000 2019 (#)

Same packaging? Well that’s a missed marketing opportunity! They could have said “diet”, and “now with 30% fewer calories” 😂

Sun Sep 15 08:03:22 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @AstroKatie: If someone tells you their pronoun is “they,” just use “they” when you refer to them. This is not difficult; they are liter…

Mon Sep 16 09:46:21 +0000 2019 (#)

I’m particularly loving this UnNamed Reverse Engineering Podcast episode. It’s filled with lots of old school RE and using FPFAs to get a clock accurate view on things happening inside a device. It includes lots of war stories of big for bug C64 recreation. 💜

Mon Sep 16 09:54:04 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @purpleconNZ: friends, allies, you can use this link to our schedule to temporally anchor yourself in this harsh and turbulent world. no…

Tue Sep 17 05:44:04 +0000 2019 (#)

Thread. This is a post in the middle of the thread, but a key point. The whole thread is worth reading if you care about Open Source Hardware: it’s got lots of reality written by someone who understands Western OSH and how Shenzhen works.

Tue Sep 17 05:44:37 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @RealSexyCyborg: All that is required to push Westerners out of our OSH ecosystem is our native tongue, we can use that and still meet e…

Tue Sep 17 05:52:42 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @fsf: Richard M. Stallman has resigned as FSF president and from the board of directors:

Tue Sep 17 05:53:00 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @mjg59: If you care about the future of free software, this is the most important time to get involved in the last 25 years.

Tue Sep 17 07:04:19 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @bitsavers: A project I've wanted to do for a LONG time. Disk reading in the analog domain. First trace, with a Fluxengine and Saleae ht…

Wed Sep 18 08:33:26 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @xor: Important to note that Improving our community doesn't bring back the good people who left or were pushed out. We have to continue…

Thu Sep 19 02:03:30 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @migueldeicaza: Thomas take on rms departure from the FSF. Thomas spent years working with him, he was the GNU Hurd architect, alongsi…

Thu Sep 19 22:17:39 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @Foone: So if you want to use a USB floppy drive, you use a USB protocol called the UFI: Uniform Floppy Interface.

What's UFI? A way to…

Fri Sep 20 09:30:50 +0000 2019 (#)

TIL that some cameras reproduce the human eye’s red cone sensitivity curve better than others. Which affects how well they can capture violet in a similar way to how the human eye sees it. (I also wonder how much difference the built in UV filter makes.)

Fri Sep 20 09:57:54 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @aallan: @pjf I really have to finish writing that article on ‘programmer archeologist’ being the only serious technical profession go…

Fri Sep 20 23:01:00 +0000 2019 (#)

Really interesting BTS series of Adam Savage touring and talking to the makers in the Smithsonian’s various exhibit workshops.

Each about 30 minutes long.

Sat Sep 21 02:24:19 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @oe1cxw: The only good thing about Brexit is the existence of this video. BAHFest London 2017 - Matthew Allinson: Making sense of the un…

Mon Sep 23 05:31:07 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @AbstractCode: This is the kind of reason you need diverse teams. To cover the use cases some of us are privileged enough to be able to…

Wed Sep 25 05:55:10 +0000 2019 (#)

TFW you have to delete the “$” from every row of a form involving money, because while the front end developer understands “$” relates to money, and shows valid form totals, the backend developer has never heard of this “unexpected character” 🙁

(N lines, all cut’n’paste. Sigh.)

Wed Sep 25 06:26:34 +0000 2019 (#)

The Tested “Hands On with the Tilt Five AR” video has lots of interesting discussion of how the tabletop AR system works. Projection onto a special “reflect 180 back to origin” board is a clever solution (with lots of custom parts to make it work).

Fri Sep 27 07:42:35 +0000 2019 (#)

I also stayed in Sonada earlier this year (same conference). Individual staff seemed helpful, but overworked. The organisation seemed rather disorganised. Sonada seemed like it was treated as a “remote satellite” residence separate from where most of their staff were based.

Fri Sep 27 07:51:45 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

I was assigned/checked into a Sonada block where the staff hadn’t been told it’d be used that week. As were a few others arriving in the next couple of days. So unsurprisingly it wasn’t particularly ready for use when we arrived. (FTR, we had booked/paid 2-3 months in advance.)

Fri Sep 27 07:56:06 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

The staff I encountered there were surprised I was there in that block. But did their best to make it work out. It seemed to me at the time (Jan 2019) the “coordinated effort” part of a well managed team was missing.

It’s very sad to hear of the death undiscovered for weeks 🙁

Sat Sep 28 00:35:58 +0000 2019 (#)

Interesting history of the evolution of creating doubles on film through the 20th century (with a wee bit on the flexibility allowed by digital editing at the end). Split screen/rotoscoping got complex towards the end of analogue effects!

Sat Sep 28 23:16:11 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @purpleconNZ: a leaf flutters down from a tree you'd been browsing 🍃 you catch it before it touches the ground, and

✨ a miracle occurs…

Sun Sep 29 03:11:10 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

I think there’s s trend to fix the world in ways that people proposing it feel “this is a minor inconvenience, I can do that”.

But “minor” is relative to each person’s situation, and the cases where it’s not “a minor inconvenience” often get ignored as “affecting few people” 🙁

Sun Sep 29 03:16:31 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

Which on re-reading it is just different words for what you said 😃

So “I agree” and it’s important to recognize the impact on “the few” inconvenienced can be large, and best identified by listening and believing those who speak up of issues with “plans for everyone”.

Sun Sep 29 03:19:03 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @robinhouston: I think it’s time for a thread on the cultural history of this tweet. (1/?)

Sun Sep 29 06:49:49 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @axi0mX: EPIC JAILBREAK: Introducing checkm8 (read "checkmate"), a permanent unpatchable bootrom exploit for hundreds of millions of iOS…