Twitter: @ewenmcneill -- June 2020

Sun May 31 22:32:07 +0000 2020 (#)

Patreon post (to creators) about charging sales tax (ie GST in NZ) on many (but not all) pledges (eg, where some specific additional good/service is received in exchange for the payment). Apparently notice to Patreons payers going out 2020-06-01.

Sun May 31 22:35:04 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

AFAICT this extends the sales tax on digital goods/services that already exist for other things (and exist in EU/UK already) to some Patreon pledges in some more countries (including NZ)/USA states.

Looks like donating to support something free to all public may not be taxed.

Sun May 31 22:38:28 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @rajoyceUCB: @ewenmcneill Learned this watching post 2009 coup Honduras using aid from the US to create ever more militarized police. De…

Sun May 31 22:45:21 +0000 2020 (#)

It brings joy to my heart to open my front door in suburbia and hear a wide variety of bird song. I’m 10+km from Zealandia. And yet, especially in the last year, there’s been so much bird life, which is a joy after 20+ years of hearing hardly any pre/early Zealandia. 💚🎶🎵🦜💚

Sun May 31 22:50:06 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @bigshika: If you're in New Zealand and watching the news in the US: one thing you can do close to home is write to your local MP agains…

Sun May 31 23:31:33 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @gnat: Kiwis who care about #ArmsDownNZ, read this thread. And be sure to email your considered opinion to ht…

Sun May 31 23:34:32 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @dan_abramov: I’m perplexed by the replies defending police actions because of some “other side” doing something.

If someone commits a…

Mon Jun 01 00:01:41 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

I’m intrigued by where that Waimapihi sculture is, as I’ve not seen it before. Presumably fairly new.

I can tell vaguely where it must be from your photos before/after (assuming they were shot in order posted), and the background, but haven’t guessed exact location yet...

Mon Jun 01 00:07:35 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham


Interesting that it’s at Z Energy itself. It was obviously somewhere close to there, but I hadn’t expected it to be on site.

I’ll have to go explore sometime when I’m nearby 🤔

Mon Jun 01 00:31:56 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @hroethgar

Yes, this ⬆️

It’s sad that it’s necessary to worry about misuse of disease spread tracing data. But it definitely is necessary to worry about misuse of this tracing data.

I was genuinely pleased to see Apple/Google deliberately design to make misuse technically impossible.

Mon Jun 01 01:14:35 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @sciencegal_NZ: Korora (little blue peguins) coming ashore this evening. We could see the dark shape of the raft heading inshore. Then t…

Mon Jun 01 01:20:00 +0000 2020 (#)

This ⬇️

The whole thing feels like the Arab Spring, and more distantly like the fall of the Soviet Union, and the Berlin Wall. It’s honestly extra unsettling to see it in real time, all discussed in a language I understand 😢

(Sadly, I’m not hopeful for US Army helping 😕)

Mon Jun 01 02:37:34 +0000 2020 (#)

Really interesting thread on double sided floppy drive mechanics, and multiple ways repeated sectors can be used for copy protection (different contents, read timing, etc).

TIL that top/bottom tracks of double sided floppy are significantly offset from each other.

Mon Jun 01 03:31:14 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @ktemkin: PSA, since people always seem surprised by this:

A bunch of the more modern USB hubs support per-port power control, which is…

Mon Jun 01 04:26:45 +0000 2020 (#)

Apparently the latest (2020-05-26) macOS 10.14 security update (2020-003) brings back nagging to upgrade to macOS 10.15 (which discontinued support of lots of software, due to removing 32-bit support). Joy 😕

(I’m not the only one who ignored 10.15...)

Mon Jun 01 04:36:34 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

More details, via link in article in tweet above.

At a glance it looks like they’re trying to avoid ignoring smaller important updates indefinitely; but especially macOS 10.14->10.15 needs a way to say “not this year”. 🤔

Mon Jun 01 04:41:41 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Looks like someone found a way to remove the “red badge” on the settings icon, which might be a partial mitigation of annoyance. (Seems to happen if it knows about update but is ignoring it; mitigation is thus temporary.)

Mon Jun 01 05:08:51 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @thegrugq: Just want to remind people that the “war” rhetoric is not a useful framing. Wars are between armed belligerents. Here, no one…

Mon Jun 01 06:56:05 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @pjf and @minxdragon

Thank goodness! As someone with multiple allergies to common food ingredients I’ve been looking at your trip as “not sure I could emotionally cope without eating for 2 weeks”, since it looked very “you’ll eat what you’re given” and my allergy symptoms... would look bad right now!

Mon Jun 01 06:58:18 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @pjf and @minxdragon

(Really glad you made it safely back home. Looks like a very timely trip!)

Mon Jun 01 07:36:18 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

I trust you’ve seen some of Big Clive’s recent videos about these kinds of lamps? Getting ozone implies it’s at least vaguely useful, compared with some he tested! (Some of them were near-UVA at best.)

Also the banana ripening test he shows seems safer than burning yourself 😃

Mon Jun 01 21:55:39 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @notnotmillie: since it’s the first day of pride month, a reminder: - the first pride was a riot, which is what we commemorate each year…

Mon Jun 01 22:03:23 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @IanColdwater: 12) Read up on COINTELPRO and strategies that have been used by governments to create divisions and put down civil unrest…

Mon Jun 01 22:03:48 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @IanColdwater: Being in Minneapolis reading about what’s happening in other places in the US right now feels like what I imagine being i…

Tue Jun 02 00:32:29 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @thehill: #BREAKING: Trump announces immediate new measures, mobilizes military in DC: "If a city and state refuses to take the actions…

Tue Jun 02 00:32:33 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @pjf: Trumр has just deployed the military against the people of the United States.

"As we speak, I am dispatching thousands and thousa…

Tue Jun 02 00:37:03 +0000 2020 (#)

Well that’s quite an escalation 😮

And it’s happened even earlier than I expected.

I’m really concerned for my friends, and everyone I know, in the USA. (I’m even less sure there’s going to be a USA at the end of this year.)

Tue Jun 02 00:40:56 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @aurynn

For certainty do you want to collect/store credit cards directly (and deal with PCI compliance, etc)? Or are you looking for something that hosts the payment part/takes care of PCI compliance for you?

(I’m unclear on your meaning of “self-hosted” here, and thus what to suggest.)

Tue Jun 02 00:44:53 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @yaakov_h

Unsurprising given the last 10 years.

Law enforcement deployment of encrypted radio has been complicated for years by key distribution issues and lack of multiple vendor compatibility.

It is ironic though 😂

Tue Jun 02 00:48:55 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @aurynn

AFAICT you’re looking for a NZ hosted SaaS that processes monthly subscriptions with an admin interface. Unfortunately I don’t know of any NZ hosted.

Windcave (ex DPS, etc) are the main ones I’d check, as they’ve still got a large NZ team. Not sure if they do recurring billing.

Tue Jun 02 00:49:15 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @KamalaHarris: These are not the words of a president. They are the words of a dictator.

Tue Jun 02 00:51:26 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @merxplat: New Zealand has joined Tanzania, Papua New Guinea, Eritrea, and Lesotho as countries that have not reported a case of COVID-1…

Tue Jun 02 01:00:23 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @aurynn

And you really don’t want to do that. PCI compliance for recurring payments is a pain.

There are non-NZ hosted recurring payment SaaS systems. Chargebee, Shopify (with plug-in), etc, but I think those are, eg, in AWS.

Xero recurring invoices maybe?

Tue Jun 02 01:05:00 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @aurynn

FWIW my personal preferences are always:

Annual payment up front Monthly AP to NZ bank account Payment via site I already have to have card saved (eg Patreon) Saved credit card

Maybe I’m not the only one happy to pay a year up front? Especially if, eg, 12 mofor price of 11.

Tue Jun 02 01:08:06 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @aurynn

I think if Stripe is the only one touching the credit card data then only Stripe has to be PCI compliant. Same for any other payment integrator AFAIK.

Doing that (redirect to Stripe, Windcave, PayPal, etc) is common “path of least resistance”.

Tue Jun 02 01:14:59 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @aurynn

FYI this is what I could find quickly from Windcave. I know someone who works for Windcave in Wellington, but not where these solutions are hosted.

Other NZ processor I know is Paystation, owned by Trademe.

Tue Jun 02 01:19:32 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @aurynn

PayStation supports a bunch of shopping carts. But none I recognize as NZ hosted / doing saved card recurring payments, which wouldn’t require you storing card data (and thus PCI).

Tue Jun 02 03:01:58 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @thomasbeagle: I agree. Whether a police officer takes a weapon to a particular call out is an operational matter, whether all police ar…

Wed Jun 03 01:38:41 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @ReggieJennings_: For those that don’t see color, I hope you see this.


Wed Jun 03 22:46:35 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @apollo_50th: Aldrin: "Whether you realize it or not, today is the fifth anniversary of the first EVA in space performed by Ed White. We…

Wed Jun 03 23:09:32 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @softlyfike: i think everyone should read

Thu Jun 04 09:41:19 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @TProphet: If you're a large, public company, "lol fuck u judge hack the planet!!!" is probably not an advisable response to a subpoena…

Thu Jun 04 09:44:49 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @Viss: Here's my TL;DR on the zoom e2e squabbling:

Thu Jun 04 21:45:42 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @ktemkin: Can confirm that we wouldn’t be using ECP5s in our upcoming commercial products without these toolchains.…

Thu Jun 04 21:56:45 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @glowascii: Imagine if all our children had classes on communication, de-escalation, mindfulness? If it were like PE? (w/o the trauma :p…

Thu Jun 04 21:57:57 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @OlofKindgren: I have explained to @latticesemi several times that the open source tooling was their way into education and research whi…

Thu Jun 04 22:03:55 +0000 2020 (#)

I have a dozen Lattice iCE40 based boards in this room, and two Lattice ECP5 boards (with four more ordered).

3-4x any other FPGA vendor. Because of the Open Source tools, which only exist through bitstream reverse engineering. (All FPGA vendors fail to document bitstream😢)

Thu Jun 04 23:20:30 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @adamhrv: Almost ready --> use to redact faces in crowd. Designed for journalists+technologists to limit biometr…

Thu Jun 04 23:20:34 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @novysan: Using machine vision to combat machine vision. Automatically redact faces in a crowd to keep protesters safe. Amazing work by…

Thu Jun 04 23:46:09 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @eey0re: If armed NZ police who knew they were being evaluated still failed to keep records, just imagine how good they are at all their…

Fri Jun 05 06:56:40 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @pjf: Hey tech folks, these are hands down two of the best talks I have ever seen, and they are especially relevant at this point in…

Fri Jun 05 22:56:35 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @esden: You can do better @latticesemi I do not understand why you don't see this as an opportunity for your parts and your brand. Don't…

Fri Jun 05 22:56:53 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @timonsku: The only reason I'm looking at FPGAs again is because of the lean, fast and open source toolchains for @latticesemi FPGAs. Th…

Sat Jun 06 03:25:36 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @doeantlers: Black lives matter. No human being is illegal. Abolish the police.

Sat Jun 06 08:33:42 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @latticesemi: Thanks for pointing out a new bitstream usage restriction in the Lattice Propel license. It is not our intent to hinder op…

Sat Jun 06 08:38:57 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

‘Oops’ says Lattice about their new license term (against bitstream reversing) discovered a couple of days ago. Sounds like they’re fixing it (I don’t have an account/the software to check, but seems very promising) 👍

Sat Jun 06 08:47:10 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @nectarine808: A thread of positive change that is happening because of the protests:

Sat Jun 06 08:50:11 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @whitequark: All that said, I hope that Lattice will be at the front of the industry changing for the better, and we should work togethe…

Sat Jun 06 09:15:23 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @nickzoic: @ewenmcneill @LatticeSemi, if you want to make a real big market impact how about you open up your bitstream format and *spon…

Sat Jun 06 21:47:16 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @robholmesnz

I suspect crowd sourcing a list of which retailer is using what #Covid19 tracking system is the only way it’ll get done. I’ve not found any list anywhere, and didn’t even get any replies of specific stores.

Sun Jun 07 05:05:08 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @doeantlers: Happy gay wrath month.

Sun Jun 07 05:19:07 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @existentialcoms: At this point, the police aren't fighting to restore order, they are fighting to prevent reform. They are fighting to…

Sun Jun 07 06:08:10 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @riskybusiness: We’ve been kicking this around ourselves and figured “safelisting” is a decent substitute. Even though the terms blackli…

Sun Jun 07 06:34:41 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @robholmesnz: We've got a real problem. People are being naive if they think this is over. To open the borders we need to be ready to co…

Sun Jun 07 09:53:38 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @unrealfred: People are asking, “You expect cops to remain calm even when they’re being yelled at, threatened, or attacked?”

Yes. I exp…

Sun Jun 07 23:21:18 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @pjf: Woke up in Australia to see multiple counts of direct action getting results in the US.

US political systems work hard to suppres…

Sun Jun 07 23:23:59 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @20thCFlicks: Most Bristol take so far:

“They’re saying we should’ve gone through the proper channels to get im down. Well we tried tha…

Mon Jun 08 04:24:15 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @michelappleton: Zero active cases! New Zealand had its first COVID-19 case on 28 February. Today, 1504 cases and 102 days later, we are…

Mon Jun 08 04:25:21 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @farmgeek: We did it: Zero active cases. Hard to believe we had a peak of active cases (929) two months ago. Well done NZ for doing what…

Mon Jun 08 04:25:36 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @covid19nz: Today is a significant milestone as we announce that the last active case of COVID-19 in New Zealand has recovered. ⁣ ⁣ This…

Mon Jun 08 05:07:47 +0000 2020 (#)

Apparently NZ moves to #Covid19 level 1 tonight. But there doesn’t seem to be any good documentation of what “Level 1” means (now), just a twitter thread and some update posts on the Government Covid19 site implying some details 🤔

Mon Jun 08 05:14:49 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

As best I can tell the current NZ #Covid19 level 1 is “return to previous life, but somewhat stricter border controls remain, and contact tracing is still encouraged”.

But it’s even more vague than the (often changed) Level 4/3/2 descriptions 😢

Mon Jun 08 06:38:10 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @AlexandraErin: This is why we need vastly different approaches. The police as an institution is creating and exacerbating these situati…

Mon Jun 08 06:38:31 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @AlexandraErin: I've been reading cops on cop forums about the protests and the more I read.

It's not even the super evil stuff.


Mon Jun 08 06:38:56 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @mjg59: I read this and it's astonishing how close the parallels to the infosec "Oh, well they should have known that doing that would b…

Mon Jun 08 06:42:13 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @shanselman: Easily rename your Git default branch from 'master' to 'main' #blacklivesmatter

Mon Jun 08 08:02:24 +0000 2020 (#)

That’s going to be handy: The Wayback Machine now has a (beta) change analysis tool 👍

There’s both a rate of change and a “show differences” mode. The rate of change graph seems to work; I’ve struggled to get “show diff” working.

Mon Jun 08 08:03:47 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @mspowahs: I have abolished the police that were in your budget

and which you were probably saving for war crimes

Forgive me they were…

Mon Jun 08 09:12:24 +0000 2020 (#)

“Recovering the Lost Apollo 10 LM Software”: lost because the last known binary copy of exactly what was flown is orbiting the sun, and the final source version is gone.

Pieced together revision changes, cross checked by known bank checksums 😍 #Apollo50

Tue Jun 09 03:06:21 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @kiwistargazer: I'm relieved that good sense has prevailed, and we will no longer have ARTs. Next step: some concrete measures to addres…

Tue Jun 09 03:11:07 +0000 2020 (#)

I too am relieved to hear the New Zealand Police Armed Response Teams are not going to continue past the (completed) trial. And to hear that the NZ Police value the relationships with the communities they serve; that seems particularly important this year.

Tue Jun 09 04:26:25 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @HonestUniverse: Apparently the correct answer was Armed Response Teams #ArmsDownNZ

Tue Jun 09 04:33:15 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @ExcitedLeigh: I wrote A Thing about changing the default Git branch for new repositories created with 'git init':…

Tue Jun 09 10:34:51 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @Rippl_NZ: Also all businesses can now register for FREE if they sign up within the next 7 days.

#rippl #suppo…

Wed Jun 10 02:31:39 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @merxplat


MacPorts got a pass added (some years back) post install of anything that checks “will the other things that are installed still run?” And if the answer is “unlikely” those other things automatically get reinstalled/rebuilt.

Does HomeBrew not do that?!

Wed Jun 10 02:41:24 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @yaakov_h

I’m intrigued: if I understand you correctly you’re saying it means something like “don’t say ‘I swear an oath in front of my God’ and then fail to honour what you said you’d do/not do”?

(If so, wouldn’t be the first time a mistranslation took on a life of its own 🤔)

Wed Jun 10 02:58:40 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @yaakov_h

Thank you!

That’s the most detailed explanation I’ve seen. It seems like “not in vain” here is roughly meaning “an oath is always a serious thing” / “don’t do it lightly/about non serious things” / “don’t trivialize it”.

Wed Jun 10 03:12:29 +0000 2020 (#)

Random NZ #Covid19 level 1 observations (day 3): now redirects to (seems to be similar content).

A couple of days ago (start of Level 1?) the Vodafone network name changed from “Vodafone - Stay Safe” to “Vodafone - Stay Kind”.

Wed Jun 10 04:42:40 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ss2342 and @__fincham

Ironically some of the signs on the motorway are displaying a message to the effect that Public Transport is back to full capacity...

... which ISTR hasn’t been sufficient for Some Time 😢

(Maybe working from home continues to be a good idea? 🤔)

Wed Jun 10 21:53:27 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @RealSexyCyborg: Unbelievable, @ytcreators & @TeamYouTube are still insisting a bodysuit and a tank top are "too sexually suggestive". T…

Wed Jun 10 22:00:25 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @sophywong: Naomi is a legit tech creator who is often ignored and erased by some, targeted by others, because of her appearance and ide…

Thu Jun 11 23:39:00 +0000 2020 (#)

This ⬇️

I think “only support” is (somewhat) overstating it. But (non-violent) expressed anger seems to be by far the quickest route to get people to rexamine their opinions / create an environment where people feel safe speaking up in support.

Thu Jun 11 23:42:24 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Personally I think the only other way that societal change really happens is inter-generational change, where children thinking differently from their parents gradually come to dominate public opinion. Which takes N * 20 years (ie generations) for substantial change to happen.

Thu Jun 11 23:46:55 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @NitaTyndall

I too would like to preorder this book ⬆️

In passing,, seems to work as a site to crowd funding writing books (via pre orders as the advance). Just leaving that here in case your current publisher doesn’t see there’s a market from this thread... :-)

Fri Jun 12 08:08:25 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

In addition to being on a hill, with blind corners, it’s also the main route from a bunch of suburbs to the central city. I’d not do a U-turn at that point on a bike/in a car, let alone try it in a bus.

I’m guessing that bus driver hadn’t driven that route much...

Sat Jun 13 03:34:53 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @ktemkin: for reference, I’ve sometimes used Manager / Subordinate for busses like SPI; as:

Sat Jun 13 03:35:40 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @kylekotajarvi: A masterpiece was created in the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone today

#BlackLivesMatter #CHAZ

Sat Jun 13 03:39:46 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @mauerbac: are you a documentation owner? think about using more inclusive language. some suggestions 👊

Sat Jun 13 03:42:16 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ktemkin

I had a hunch for ages. And considered it confirmed a few months ago when both of you appeared in the same live stream camera view during lockdown 😃

Happy for you both!

Sat Jun 13 03:51:47 +0000 2020 (#)

Build your own Sudoku: as solved by Cracking the Cryptic.

Givens: some coloured boxes, and some empty circles, plus the rule that the numbers in the same coloured box sum to the value of the numbers you put in the circles. Somehow it all works out 😮

Sat Jun 13 03:53:49 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @merxplat: For New Zealand history, I really enjoyed the RNZ podcast Black Sheep -

It picks one person with a c…

Sat Jun 13 04:03:36 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

Buy another cheap one from someone else in the hope you feel less attached to that one?🤔

Sat Jun 13 09:22:02 +0000 2020 (#)

The New Zealand Doc Edge 2020 Online Film Festival has started (yesterday).

Some of the short films are fully sponsored and free to watch any time for the few couple of weeks.

The rest are specific few days, with paid tickets.

Sat Jun 13 09:26:46 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

You need a (free) account on their festival site to watch anything, including the free (fully sponsored) films. But I was able to get one to airplay to my TV after a couple of attempts: “A Broken Earth” about Taranaki oil & gas.

Sat Jun 13 09:42:55 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

In case it helps anyone it seems that I need to start the film playing on my iPad and then turn on AirPlay to my TV. Turning on AirPlay before starting the film seems to just lead to spinning “loading” cogs or errors (across two films now).

Sun Jun 14 00:54:13 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @ikasliwal: if you are an engineer and are feeling like a sad boi about changing your master branch name away from master because it cou…

Sun Jun 14 00:57:05 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @ComfyConAU: So if you didn't have #CyberChef handy yesterday, let me translate:

ComfyCon AU 2020: Summer Edition, coming soon?

Sun Jun 14 00:57:37 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @isomer: The modern ISO layer model: 1: Physical (WiFi/cat5/fibre) 2: Media Access (802.1) 2½: Media Virtualization (vlans/MPLS) 3: Loca…

Sun Jun 14 01:19:35 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @SeanDG: When I captured this shot of Ruapehu behind Paraparaumu, I couldn't make sense of it. But it's real. See next tweet for detail…

Sun Jun 14 01:52:44 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @andrewtychen

Interestingly this school seem to have switched to the MoH #Covid19 app somewhere in the last couple of weeks (since I last went past). Guess they decided on central notification 🤔

Photos are 2 of the 4-5 entrances to the school grounds.

Sun Jun 14 03:13:39 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @RealSexyCyborg: Well I can't build a CO2/O2 monitor in order to test disabled exhalation valves in N95 respirators with cleavage showin…

Sun Jun 14 07:11:52 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @GregDavill: I finally wrote up a blog post about my LED cube!

Sun Jun 14 20:56:30 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @spe_: as a one-liner for bash/zsh/fish:

mkdir -p ~/.config/git/template && echo "ref: refs/heads/main" > ~/.config/git/template/HEAD &…

Sun Jun 14 21:12:48 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @xpasky: @billygriffin22 @codervandal @natfriedman @Una @github I picked the names "master" (and "origin") in the early Git tooling back…

Mon Jun 15 05:32:09 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @RealSexyCyborg: Got a real brain twister for all of you today, see if you can guess which of these thumbnails are demonetized. It's a t…

Tue Jun 16 21:56:38 +0000 2020 (#)

Lots of promising news from a discussion with Lattice about Open Source support of their FPGAs, in the quoted thread. (As the thread says it’ll be baby steps. But small steps in a useful direction is great to see 👍)

Tue Jun 16 21:57:13 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @gojimmypi: @LatticeSemi wants to hear from you! They are open to discussion. Let's continue to grow this relationship. 12/

Tue Jun 16 22:08:38 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @sitehostnz: We’ve just posted to our blog “Keep Calm & Cache” our story about the small part we had to play in…

Wed Jun 17 03:10:52 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @polemic: I for one am sick of scrolling to "New Caledonia" in web forms. Time to be the only nation starting with "Ao-". Massive produc…

Wed Jun 17 03:14:16 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @tveastman

It appears the official USA solution is going to be “if you don’t measure it, it doesn’t exist”. Which I don’t think viruses buy into....

Apart from that, I also hope I’m wrong, but sadly I think you’re significantly lowballing the estimate (if we count “excess deaths”).

Wed Jun 17 07:22:25 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

I sylslog to a central server, write them all to a common log file, then run logcheck hourly over the common log file to email reports.

logcheck is basically regex search for patterns to match, and patterns to exclude. I match all, then exclude expected messages.

Wed Jun 17 07:25:42 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

If you want something more enterprisey than “grep | grep -v”, then the modern buzzword is probably a SIEM. Of which there are lots; I’ve not used any of them.

Wed Jun 17 07:27:29 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

I’ve always run logcheck hourly. If only to keep the reports at “short enough to read quickly” length!

I tweak the regexes periodically when I get bored of seeing the same noise log message every day (or worse, every hour) :-)

Wed Jun 17 07:39:11 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

FWIW when debugging things (eg file permissions) I will legitimately run “tail -f logcheck.log | grep ...” in a terminal window. And I know some ops staff at some of my clients so that permanently during the business day.

Maybe that’s something to feed into chatops? 🤔

Wed Jun 17 07:41:21 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

Also syslogng (and other modern ones) can do regex filtering internally, and pipe them to other things. If there’s a specific match list of “I want to know now” that’s possible something to forward to chat / a pager from there? 🤔

Wed Jun 17 07:44:03 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

One of my clients does feed monitoring reports (and maybe some log matches) into their IRC server. For passive keeping an eye on things. They’ve always got IRC open during the day, so it’s useful passive event monitoring.

Wed Jun 17 07:45:26 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

Yup more context is pretty much vital if you’re getting more than a few alerts.

You’ve invented a SIEM :-)

Wed Jun 17 21:40:58 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @DrJinRussell: If we shame and blame COVID positive visitors to NZ, we will create an environment where people will be reluctant to be t…

Wed Jun 17 22:00:27 +0000 2020 (#)

This type of “probably be okay” exceptions will be how we end up with a second round of community transmission and a second lockdown.

If we’re going to have “NZ is a #Covid19 safe zone” (Level 1), there has to be proper quarantine/checks on the way in from outside.

Wed Jun 17 22:02:33 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

TBH I think it’s only a question of “when” and “how long it lasts” for a second lockdown. Since there’s probably a couple of years of needing to be careful (before a reliable vaccine), and humans aren’t good at “being careful” for that long 😢

Thu Jun 18 01:05:20 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @RealSexyCyborg

Ironically New Zealand seems to be (now) mostly missing the “a staff member checks you’ve successfully scanned the QR code before you can enter” part. (I’m sure it still happens in some places, but many places with QR codes here don’t seem to check “scanned in” before entry.)

Thu Jun 18 08:59:13 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @RealSexyCyborg: Taobao has this whole incredible infrastructure so places way off the beaten track in rural China- but with unique good…

Fri Jun 19 01:38:26 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @gnat:

NZ needs a national conversation about what "reopening the borders" looks like, and what our layers of d…

Fri Jun 19 08:52:27 +0000 2020 (#)

The ALAN Parsers Project is a pun (backronym) that makes my heart sing 💜

Quoted thread and video linked within both recommended if you’re interested in how “everything is the way you look at it” when seen from an InfoSec point of view.

Sat Jun 20 00:02:16 +0000 2020 (#)

Oops! 8-bit (unsigned) quantity overflow (by 1) via the combination of a slightly mistuned luminance conversion function and rounding up.

That it could cause Android 10 boot loops took a few more factors. (Android 11+ doesn’t do a conversion here.)

Great thread!

Sat Jun 20 00:04:47 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Seems like another case of “blacker than black”/“whiter than white” problems, ie “unusually saturated” values.

Historically video signals, film exposure, etc had a notional black/white level which was a bit in from “full scale” as a margin for error.

Sat Jun 20 00:06:17 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

It’s a bit surprising that the edge cases (0,0,0 and 255,255,255) and some nearby values weren’t in the original conversion test suite though! Possibly someone thought they “couldn’t happen”... 🤔

Sat Jun 20 07:07:02 +0000 2020 (#)

Looks like an interesting conference schedule. “Live” is mostly early morning in New Zealand :-) But several look worth catching the recordings later.

Sat Jun 20 07:07:06 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @nnja: A lot of the talks tomorrow look fantastic, but I'm particularly excited about tuning in for this one.

> Through Programming I b…

Sat Jun 20 21:25:35 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @AlyssaM_InfoSec: I'm not real popular when I got to the store in my little conservative city wearing this.

Sun Jun 21 02:45:22 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @RealSexyCyborg: Algorithms inherit whatever bias the people who train them have. The people who created and trained this, trained it o…

Sun Jun 21 05:33:52 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @tyomateee: 演技も凄いし映像技術も凄い、全てが凄い

Sun Jun 21 05:37:15 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @BrunoLevy01: #femtorv32 #riscv on the ICEstick #fpga: yes, it can do 3D with 6kB of RAM (clipping, culling, but cannot display much mor…

Sun Jun 21 07:45:08 +0000 2020 (#)

Home (maskless) Photolithography for Homemade Chips, using a (modified) 1080p DLP projector and microscope. (Second video is an older one explaining the overall home chip making process.)

Via someone on Twitter (that I’ve lost).

Sun Jun 21 07:54:17 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @minxdragon: One of my main thesis questions is why do computers perceive gender and the answer is because people tell them to. Computer…

Sun Jun 21 09:32:46 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @filterfeeding: Oops, we put a UV light on the furbies and they love it

Sun Jun 21 21:39:09 +0000 2020 (#)

That’s an interesting mix of units!

Back of the envelope calculations suggests 10.6 cm diagonal (4.2”) is about 8.5cm x 6.4 cm (if 4:3), so about 55 sq cm. If it was 10 cents / sq cm, that’d be 550 cents, or $5.50. Presumably US$.

So $30-$40 is 6x-8x due to “market failure”.

Sun Jun 21 23:38:49 +0000 2020 (#)

Global post during the #Covid19 pandemic: 18-21 days from the UK to NZ via international “tracked” large letter post. Tracking stopped a week ago (10-14 days in) when it landed in Auckland; so 1 week to deliver within NZ, untracked.

Sun Jun 21 23:43:13 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

I have another KickStarter package sent late May via USPS (US to NZ) yet to arrive.

That one turns out to have been untracked from the beginning, in practice, as apparently USPS were no longer scanning tracking codes. Hopefully it arrives in the next couple of weeks... #Covid19

Mon Jun 22 02:19:29 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @pjf

In my experience brains like sunshine a lot :-)

(First day with sunshine in a week here, and most of the past week was either literally in the clouds or cloud level 100-400m above the ground; I live at about 200m above sea level, but it still shouldn’t be “in the clouds”!)

Mon Jun 22 02:28:43 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @merxplat

TBH I read “probably pretty good” from a New Zealander as a much higher praise superlative than “amazing” / “awesome” / “incredible” from an American 😃

“REALLY good” from a New Zealander is like an 11/10 with extra gold stars ✨

(Cultural context matters!)

Mon Jun 22 09:17:45 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @andrewtychen: Thanks to @BWB_NZ and a star-studded cast, we are publishing a book in August 2020! Shouting Zeros and Ones: digital tech…

Mon Jun 22 10:05:16 +0000 2020 (#)

“Kupe: Voyaging by the Stars”, from 1993, is well worth the time to watch if you haven’t seen it. Free screening (with a free account) for the next 2 weeks: part of the DocEdge film festival.

(Video is 16mm film via 1 inch video tape, recently restored.)

Tue Jun 23 00:11:22 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @jackrusher: My favorite historical site in the neighborhood is the house where Konrad Zuse built the world's first stored program compu…

Tue Jun 23 00:19:16 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @bogan: Hey all, a quick reminder that the @kawaiiconNZ Call For Cookery and Craft is still open - we are producing a book this year, an…

Tue Jun 23 00:52:25 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @slyall

Do you... work in a call centre?! :-)

Even by modern open plan office designs, that’s way down the “I can see why people prefer to work from home” end of the scale 😢

Tue Jun 23 01:07:29 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @slyall

Yeah :-(

Ironic how N minutes wasted per employee is “unmeasured” and thus does not count. But almost certainly costs more than the real estate in practice 😢

Tue Jun 23 22:00:06 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @RealSexyCyborg: I have contracts that require I provide millions of views a year on major platforms.

I'm ordinarily extremely good at…

Wed Jun 24 02:05:19 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @nnja

.@ComfyConAU ran a very successful live online conference back in April, using Zoom for speakers, YouTube Live Streaming for viewers, and Slack for audience participation (via text; they switched to Discord soon after con).

There’s a write up link in QT:

Wed Jun 24 02:16:21 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ExcitedLeigh

Yeah, I’m strongly considering the need to buy a current x86_64 model (to replace 6yo device) for that kind of reason. I only started actively using Macs because they were same CPU architecture as “everything” else, and thus running other OS in VMs was relatively efficient....

Wed Jun 24 02:21:29 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

Yeah, that was my first impression too: can I hide the side bar.

I get the impression a bunch of designers run their browsers full screen, 16:9. Which I... don’t. (I’m more likely to have two or more windows tiled across 16:9.)

Wed Jun 24 02:23:34 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ADuckIsMyFiend and @ExcitedLeigh

I’m guessing that “-None-“ is a placeholder for “you have to choose one, but we don’t dare pick a default”.... 😂

Wed Jun 24 03:00:44 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ADuckIsMyFiend and @ExcitedLeigh

That’s great! But not obvious from that screenshot, so I read the original tweet with different context.

Thanks for the clarification.

(My preferred title is also none, so I run into this “you have to pick one” elsewhere :-( )

Wed Jun 24 22:19:03 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @mramboar and @stewartsmith

“Stewart Smith’s Sixth-System Syndrome” :-)

Thu Jun 25 08:10:40 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @playswithf1re and @pjf

Yes, this ⬆️

Mortgage brokers are good at playing the “make the input acceptable to the bank process” game. And typically are (effectively) paid (much of?) their commission by the bank (for bringing a qualified customer).

Renting for N months first and moving on is good too!

Fri Jun 26 04:52:01 +0000 2020 (#)

TIL that gases in space sing to us in the many GHz to THz frequency range! 💙

“The Amp Hour 483 – An Interview with Adrian Tang” (from a few months back) is a fascinating interview, covering aside range of science and engineering.

Fri Jun 26 06:47:47 +0000 2020 (#)

Replacing (custom, unobtainium, high speed: 1GHz) silicon inverter with a small modern surface mount PCB. Parts 1 & 2 of N, so far.

Part 1 shows signal generator context. Part 2 shows RE and design validation, and is fascinating!

Sat Jun 27 00:00:35 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @justinesherry: Hey! Nerds! Special opportunity to watch the first ever documentary on Claude Shannon! For free online through Sunday, w…

Sat Jun 27 08:21:39 +0000 2020 (#)

If you know who Claude Shannon is (or like science films) you should see “The Bit Player” about Shannon’s life and research.

(For about another 24 hours there’s an option for zero cost streaming off Vimeo.)

Sat Jun 27 08:33:48 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @minxdragon: We also need to be careful with the world view we are teaching our AIs. I have been working on a talk about parenting AIs b…

Sat Jun 27 21:45:50 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @mattcen

FWIW I don’t recall ever seeing/hearing it was released about the 2019 Great Archive.

From memory a bunch of things that might have ended up in it got published elsewhere by speakers/tweeted out at the time. So that might be your best option 🤔

Sun Jun 28 06:45:45 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ktemkin and @Qyriad

Random thought: buy a pair of +3 (or less) “reading glasses” for close range soldering vision enhancement?

(I should possibly do the same; I’m normally around +7...)

Sun Jun 28 07:37:30 +0000 2020 (#)

OMG that’s awesome! I love that it’s got its own BTS built right in!

Content warning: contains a short period of strobing video (towards the end).

(Hat tip to .@developerjack for the RT where I found this.)

Sun Jun 28 08:14:17 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @tveastman

That’s also a very cute video, and good use of a green screen!

Sun Jun 28 08:18:45 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

I expect I’m going to keep seeing Python 2 for another 10 years, even on “new” things 😢

(I’m hopeful I’ll stop seeing Python 2.6 in production within 12 months; writing Python 2.6+3.5+3.7/3.8 compatible Python is a bit limiting...)

Sun Jun 28 09:22:19 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

EOL means “stopped changing”, so for some people that’s the start of “safe to deploy” :-)

(Realistically, I think Python 2.7 is going to have a very long tail of deployment. It’ll be interesting to see if the next round of Linux LTS distros drop Python 2.7 entirely.)

Sun Jun 28 09:58:33 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @tveastman and @__fincham

But AFAIK, it’s still possible to install from packages in distro? Which means people can still depend on it “being available” (if they have package dependencies)....

But yes, “not installed by default” is a huge step forward 👍

Sun Jun 28 10:00:36 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

“Gender is a slider” 💚

(I have nothing to add; just want to recognise this phrase :-) )

Sun Jun 28 21:21:14 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @jillrouleau

You’re welcome :-)

It’s not the first time I’ve seen strobe warnings, including on Twitter. But they’re still less frequent than they should be. (I think I’m still seeing most of the warnings on YouTube videos of creators I follow.)

Mon Jun 29 01:28:57 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham and @hollowaynz

There are some other services/projects around which implement the S3 protocol. Including some open source ones from memory. And I believe at least one NZ based Cloud with a similar object store.

(I too would tend to suggest direct upload to file store.)

Mon Jun 29 03:20:47 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

The other advantage of using something that speaks the S3 protocol on the server side is there’s lots of S3 client libraries/tools around for, eg, more automated uploads.

If you don’t want to do that, maybe look at those server implementations for “large file HTTP” tweaks?

Mon Jun 29 06:09:50 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

KPIs matter :-)

Aiming for “people like to use it” is a useful target, but not always consistent with “project awarded to the lowest bidder” 🤔

Mon Jun 29 08:04:43 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

The trouble with aiming for “don’t hate it” and missing... 😃

Mon Jun 29 08:50:21 +0000 2020 (#)

TIL that someone I know and another Gay Uncle in their family just officially launched @AYGUpodcast. There are 4 episodes so far (plus a Stonewall bonus episode) and I’ve only heard (most of) one so far, but it’s already earned a place in my podcatcher!

Mon Jun 29 21:16:11 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @RealSexyCyborg: The @unexpectedmaker was ripped off for $17,000! By Charmhigh- a Chinese pick-and-place machine manufacturer. The Maker…

Mon Jun 29 21:27:51 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @ohsummit: For too long we have used "Master" and "Slave" to describe hardware component relationships. This must change. As one step to…

Mon Jun 29 21:30:28 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @rosielanners: replace the entire British curriculum with this TikTok

Mon Jun 29 23:08:14 +0000 2020 (#)


My last outstanding #Covid19 affected international parcel finally got a tracking scan, a month after it was dispatched. It’s even in my country now :-)

(Until yesterday evening the only tracking available was “label created”!)

Tue Jun 30 01:59:30 +0000 2020 (#)

I’m always out of bed (a few) hours before noon.

But yes, s/coffee/tea/, s/depression/anxiety/.

Tue Jun 30 02:02:28 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @RealSexyCyborg: I don't even mind the demonetization or the login- I knew YouTube would do that. I just want to make it clear that it's…

Tue Jun 30 05:45:18 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @theavalkyrie

Step n: time travel back 50 minutes and put in to oven 😂

There’s a reason my meals are pretty much always slow cooker (8-10h, food magically ready later), salads (cut/serve, 10-15m), or reheated leftovers (10-15m).

“Cook 50 minutes” is the uncanny valley of meal preparation!

Tue Jun 30 05:51:39 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ExcitedLeigh

Which Mac Laptop are you looking at?

I need to replace my (mostly desk bound) laptop with... something, soon. And really want that something to have 32GB (my 6yo one already has 16GB RAM).

32GB RAM just seems to be pretty much “premium model” only 😢