Twitter: @ewenmcneill -- July 2020

Wed Jul 01 05:34:25 +0000 2020 (#)

Joy. The Twitter mobile (portrait tablet) web interface just suddenly changed to being more cluttered, and constant nagging to log in (fixed bottom of every page, not dismissible/scrollable).

Previously the portrait tablet mobile view was fairly clean to just read tweets 😢

Wed Jul 01 05:47:57 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

FTR example of previous interface from about a week ago (and a few months ago).

The top login bar used to scroll off the top (new top and bottom bars don’t) and there was no side bar taking up 1/6th of the width for three pointless icons (which also don’t scroll off screen).

Wed Jul 01 06:02:21 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

The Twitter mobile web landscape view has been terrible for a couple of years: small “advertising hole” with actual content you were trying to read (about half the screen is clutter).

Until this afternoon the portrait view was still pretty clean/easy to read. Alas, no more :-(

Wed Jul 01 07:23:09 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @EiaraDevops: We just published a great article on the planning and design that goes into our infrastructure, and how that shaped Cloud…

Wed Jul 01 22:59:32 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Packages for me outstanding in world logistics system: 0!

My last #Covid19 affected international order got delivered this morning (approx 30 days in USA, and 3 days in NZ). Tracking only worked the last 3 days.

Wed Jul 01 23:03:07 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

I’ve still got a bunch of things where maker is waiting on parts to be able to build/ship them, and more things where the retailer is waiting on stock before they can ship or accept orders.

But today is the first day in months I’ve got nothing waiting to be delivered 😃 #Covid19

Wed Jul 01 23:48:18 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @RealSexyCyborg

You’re a real life superhero!

Superheros spend a lot of time fighting against the evil in the world. It’s in the job description.

Sorry, I don’t make the rules 😂

Thu Jul 02 06:27:04 +0000 2020 (#)

This is a great write up on the technology behind hosting (a NZ focused Mastodon instance) in NZ. I’m surprised by how light weight the VMs are, but as a user it definitely all works well. Efficiency FTW!

Thanks for writing it up @aurynn!

Thu Jul 02 10:12:49 +0000 2020 (#)

“FOSSi Dial-Up: Tim Ansell - Fully open source manufacturable PDK for a 130nm process” (2020-06-30; about 1h + questions).

First of a series of online talks (coming) on the open process to design custom silicon.

Thu Jul 02 22:37:57 +0000 2020 (#)

It appears Microsoft now considers opening two links from a third party page “an automated process” that warrants blocking all access for an indefinite amount of time :-(

(No local proxy here — I think my ISP transparently proxies —tried a different browser in case of cookies.)

Fri Jul 03 01:26:22 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @BiancaJoanie: Good morning ☀️ A friend of mine shared this video of social distanced salsa and it’s how i’m tryna be.

Enjoy. https://…

Fri Jul 03 08:09:56 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @RealSexyCyborg: The policies you, with the power you have, could put in place now- in 5 to 15 years would see more talented women inspi…

Fri Jul 03 08:41:50 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @jillrouleau

Oh no!

I’m really sorry to hear that.

I was thinking “you don’t exactly live in a zero case state” at the beginning of the thread. But I’m still surprised/sad you probably don’t even live in a zero case household.

Hopefully your mild case also has mild/no long term effects 🤔

Fri Jul 03 21:17:53 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @CoolSWEng: Jon Bentley's long-lost DFORMAT, a program for typesetting binary data formats, has been reconstituted by Arnold Robbins and…

Fri Jul 03 21:19:05 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @dusttodigital: German musician Armin Küpper recently came across a set of large gas pipes while jogging. He returned with his saxophone…

Fri Jul 03 21:27:21 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @JamesDManton: Branched flow of light observed for the first time by Patsyk et al. (, in a simple soap film! It…

Sat Jul 04 21:25:04 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @svs

I’m really sorry to hear this news (but glad you did at least get to spend time with her in person the last few weeks).

Best wishes to you and your family.

Sat Jul 04 23:47:27 +0000 2020 (#)

This is a really cool back port (8086 to Z80) of Microsoft BASIC assembler source that was originally mechanically ported from 8080 to 8086 assembler (Intel designed them to be assembler portable).

Not complete yet, but open source and very promising! 😍

Wed Jul 08 07:19:30 +0000 2020 (#)

Good thread (⬆️⬇️ from QT).

I agree you can’t build technical controls, but you can and should build business process/legal controls to at least strongly discourage abuse of trust and have there be non-trivial consequences for (deliberately) being untrustworthy.

Wed Jul 08 07:23:25 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

It’s parallel to a person with privileged access stealing money (by fraud, or directly). You might not be able to stop them at the time, but it should be possible to investigate, and consequences like “you don’t get to be near other people’s money again” should follow.

Wed Jul 08 07:26:43 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Deliberately exposing known to be privacy sensitive data ought to have the same “not of good moral character” consequences as deliberately stealing money.

Which means you can’t have a bunch of jobs involving being trusted any longer. (In addition to any other consequences.)

Wed Jul 08 07:41:39 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @isomer: @ewenmcneill There's a reason that large company transactions require a two person rule. You need two signatures.

You can gen…

Wed Jul 08 08:46:20 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @isomer

And legal measures tend to call collusion “conspiracy”, which opens up charging everyone with all crimes committed by anyone.

So that’s any added advantage to making it harder to do something illegal alone/unrecorded.

Thu Jul 09 00:50:51 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @merxplat: Yesssss!! Build datacentres by the Manapouri power station instead!!!

Thu Jul 09 05:39:50 +0000 2020 (#)

TIL that a few months ago Ansible reversed their deprecation of hyphens (-) and dots (.) in inventory group names. By popular outcry.

AFAICT default still changed, but you can reallow them yourself. 👍

Thu Jul 09 05:43:44 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

This mostly matters for auto generated Ansible inventories (eg Cloud environment), and using DNS aliases as group names.

AFAICT original reason for change was to make shortcut template references (foo.GROUPNAME) safe, which they aren’t with hyphens (you need to use quoted key).

Thu Jul 09 06:10:18 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @RealSexyCyborg: I can't quite put my finger on it, it's almost like having the capacity to produce basic medical supplies is a matter o…

Thu Jul 09 06:38:38 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

My guess is they’re treating “not on the public electrical role” as “more privacy sensitive” than the historically public data 🤔

I do agree, it’s basically useless as a data validation check, beyond maybe “which of my details did I give” (for which I have a password manager!).

Thu Jul 09 07:08:20 +0000 2020 (#)

Sadly at the moment I’d guess “over” (rather than under) 500k excess deaths in the USA in 2020.

Which is horrifying; but so is seeing #Covid19 cases/hospitalizations going exponential again in many US states😢

I hope the states can turn that trend around, soon.

Thu Jul 09 07:12:19 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @farmgeek: The closure of Tiwai Pt will be a human tragedy if we don't look for just transition opportunities vigorously and quickly, bu…

Thu Jul 09 22:25:48 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @Danjite

32% is less than 50% (and less than 33% even), so a clear majority of (US) households paid their housing payments.

I’m... sure it’ll be fine... uh, maybe 😧

(!! I’d have guessed “up to 20%” prior to that article.)

Thu Jul 09 22:32:53 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @FloppyTotaal: We’re happy to reveal that Floppy Totaal has received funding from @StimuleerFonds for our first publication: ‘Floppy Dis…

Thu Jul 09 22:56:52 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @theavalkyrie

The .@1bitsquared Discord is a nice friendly electronics making community. Some FPGA focus, but there’s a Synth channel too!

Also the @SuperHouseTV Discord. Some home automation focus, but also open hardware/electronics/making.

Fri Jul 10 00:05:54 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @theavalkyrie

A lot of the Discord’s I’m on are at best semi real-time. There’s some bursts of live discussions, but generally I’m reading/responding to them maybe once every day or so.

90% of the forums I follow went to Discord. And possibly that influences how people use them? 🤔

Fri Jul 10 00:19:05 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @theavalkyrie

I agree the “walled garden” lack of external search/direct links is not ideal 😢

But I kind of see why “everyone” has moved to Discord: it mostly solves both live chat and “turn based” (non-live) discussion, at least for quieter groups, and all groups are in “one place”.

Fri Jul 10 00:27:49 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

You can set:


in your ansible.cfg to override the new default (and set never change/never warn).



in the environment.

No I have no idea why those are so different?! 🤷‍♂️

Fri Jul 10 00:47:08 +0000 2020 (#)

The good news is my ZX Spectrum ULA book arrived (from UK/France) much earlier than I expected.

The bad news is that it seems to have been in international shipping for a month in a thin recycled cardboard envelope. Which arrived (in NZ) damp 😢

Fri Jul 10 00:50:21 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Fortunately it seems like the thin cardboard envelope absorbed most of the water, the book cover got a bit damp, and the inner book pages seem to be dry.

So I’m hopeful it’ll be okay. (But hence opening immediately on receipt to give it a chance to dry out.)

Fri Jul 10 00:55:49 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Looks like it actually got sent 2020-06-10, even though I didn’t get a “shipped” notification until 2020-07-06. (Appears to have been drop shipped by print on demand publisher used by the author.)

So that’s a month Europe to NZ by package post, during #Covid19 (seems typical).

Fri Jul 10 01:07:54 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

In this case I ordered it direct from the (UK) author. I’d hoped they had stock, but wasn’t that surprised they needed to get more printed.

Book quality itself seems fine, so it’s pretty good print on demand if it is. (Maybe the author just ran out and had dozens printed?)

Fri Jul 10 01:10:17 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

I could have ordered it from a NZ reseller, but they all seemed to be drop shipping from the UK anyway (and taking a cut on the sale price), so it might have turned out about the same (maybe ex UK warehouse, maybe not).

Fri Jul 10 01:53:07 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @minxdragon: This one works as a photograph that stares into your soul and as a queer image. It is also reasonably photorealistic but I…

Fri Jul 10 01:57:43 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @theavalkyrie: Okay - if you're into hobbyist / independent electronics and related "maker" stuff and you're interested in helping build…

Fri Jul 10 02:16:07 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @attacus_au

Please consider this message encouragement to write scripts for @venividivenom :-)

Also I’ve loved all your “history and modern tech” crossover talks, several of which I’ve seen/watched multiple times 💚

Sat Jul 11 04:58:10 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @esden: Check it out: @tnt is exploring the newly released SkyWater PDK and other things related to the ASIC design tools and processes.…

Sat Jul 11 08:22:34 +0000 2020 (#)

“Full Mechanical: The Panel Switch - Dial Equipment Appreciation, Part 1” is an amazing detailed analysis of the electromechanical exchange side of dialing and connecting a call. 30+ minutes of sound by sound analysis. (Ongoing series; only part 1 now.)

Sun Jul 12 04:25:26 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @esden: @ewenmcneill @theavalkyrie As promised. I have moved the iCEBreaker forum and greatly expanded the categories. I spent time poli…

Sun Jul 12 05:33:12 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @slyall

Weekly report with infrastructure cost breakdown attributed to each internal product team? 🤔

With infrastructure team being attributed just the things that exist to spin up/monitor infrastructure requested (ideally would still be 1/nth charged back to each of the other teams).

Sun Jul 12 05:39:11 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @ChiefSciAdvisor: For anyone wondering how the test for COVID-19 actually works.

Sun Jul 12 07:27:20 +0000 2020 (#)

Virtual ToorCamp 2020 (late June): “Hardware Hacking Stage - Lab Demo: Reading ROM Optically” demoing reverse engineering a 1990s smart card (which was hacked years ago). Chris Gerlinsky (and John McMaster).

2h25m real time live demo, with commentary.

Mon Jul 13 05:48:46 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @minxdragon: I just wanted to know things. Some people see someone wanting to know as an opportunity and some as an opponent. I enjoyed…

Mon Jul 13 08:20:12 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @whitequark

Random thought from the networking side: can you maybe run 2x or 4x 10Gbps IP over TB3 over the same (40Gbps) cable? As a link aggregation? 🤔

That’s basically what 40Gbps links are on Ethernet switches... but I’ve never tried IP over TB3. (4x10Gbps limits each flow to 10Gbps.)

Mon Jul 13 08:56:23 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @whitequark

Yes :-)

I was basically wondering out loud whether that implementation detail leaked through to the IP over TB3 and someone decided to bind each IP path to one link in the bundle (to avoid subtle frame reordering).

But maybe just it’s 10Gbps IP and 30Gbps “for other things”?!

Mon Jul 13 20:59:24 +0000 2020 (#)

It turns out that writing to floppy drives needs a few control signals and a timing sensitive bitstream... and CRT controllers are good at generating a timing sensitive bitstream 😲

Very clever hack!

Mon Jul 13 21:07:14 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @scarybeasts: [blog] Weak bits floppy disc protection: an alternate origins story on 8-bit: I found an unusually…

Tue Jul 14 22:21:14 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @ISCdotORG: Microsoft DNS published a critical severity issue today.

Tue Jul 14 22:48:17 +0000 2020 (#)

TIL (via yet another new Slack) that opting out of Slackbot advertising channels (“Channel Suggestions”) is a paid feature.

The documentation implies it’s opt in (“opt to”), but really it’s on by default and cannot be turned off in free Slacks AFAICT :-/

Thu Jul 16 00:14:48 +0000 2020 (#)

My OrangeCrab FPGA dev boards arrived this morning, repackaged, with a note saying that they had been “Security Checked”.

“Contents: Orange Crab Case; OrangeCrab”.

No surprise why they got “Security Checked”! 😃

(At least they arrived, early even.)

Thu Jul 16 00:43:55 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @nickzoic


The comments on the GroupGet page are filled with comments of people being asked by their local customs authority for more info, etc. (Hopefully GroupGets learn from this that “Electronics Development Board” makes more sense on customs documents :-) )

Thu Jul 16 00:45:30 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

Technically “signature required”, but they still seem to be doing the “photograph as delivered” thing. (In my case I was holding it when they photographed it... not sure if that’s required.)

Thu Jul 16 04:02:53 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @pjf

After 3 days careful checking you’re now safe from bow envy? 🤔 😂

(I’ve loved the live tweeting of the adventure of finding out which bow is best!)

Thu Jul 16 05:57:15 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham


I backed for 2 of each and seemed to get just that.

Two boards definitely costs more than a board and a case, and maybe is more useful too?

I think the case model is online. But apparently it’s best resin printed (or injection molded) rather than FDM printed.

Thu Jul 16 05:58:20 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

And yes my package had a “security checked” sticker just like that. It wouldn’t surprise me if the same people did both packages :-)

Thu Jul 16 22:13:52 +0000 2020 (#)

Ah Slack, where Clippy the Slackbot starts over again every single time you join a new Slack with the same pointless noise, and cannot be muted or opted out from :-/

(And email notifications are all or nothing 😢)

Fri Jul 17 06:09:54 +0000 2020 (#)

Staying at 650km/h you say?! 🧐

Normally I wouldn’t point out a typo (although this one is pretty ironic!), but that’s from the second “corrected” email sent out 8 minutes later, after a submission where I said I didn’t want further email updates...

Fri Jul 17 06:17:15 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

AFAICT the second “corrected” email changes “link to come” to an actual link, and nothing else. (It’s hard to diff due to random reformatting.)

Possibly Friday afternoon just before implementation wasn’t the best time to send this out... 🤔

Old link:

Fri Jul 17 06:50:40 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @ExcitedLeigh: If you are doing fitout for a restaurant or something please, for the love of God, hire someone who knows the first thing…

Fri Jul 17 21:26:59 +0000 2020 (#)

I got very excited by this for a minute: 8GB (64Gb) RAM would be really useful for Linux on SoftCPU.

But it seems to actually be 8Gb (1GB) which is useful, but similar to some other boards. BeagleBone pin out could be handy though.

Fri Jul 17 21:36:56 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

FTR screenshot of the original Hackster tweet of the article I saw. And it looks like the article confuses the capacity too, saying 8GB in the intro and 8Gb in the feature list.

So much importance in one bit (capital versus lower case B) :-)

Sun Jul 19 22:03:21 +0000 2020 (#)

“Knights Unite” is a fantastic irregular sudoku puzzle solve, involving friendly (chess) knights who do not want to get lonely and must always “see a friend”.

Simon (of .@crypticcracking) does a brilliant job stepping through all the logic to solve it!

Mon Jul 20 01:47:09 +0000 2020 (#)

This ⬇️.

Quarantine for incoming arrivals protects those of us already here. We’re not paying for their time, just food/hotel, so they’re already contributing two weeks of their life to the quarantine cause.

Taxes pay food/hotel, they offer time, seems a fair split to me.

Mon Jul 20 01:50:32 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

There’s maybe an argument that it should be limited to, eg, once per person per 12 months (pay yourself if more trips). And maybe those with no NZ connection should pay their own way.

But for those repatriating, once, the existing split (taxes pay cash costs) seems fair to me.

Tue Jul 21 03:34:42 +0000 2020 (#)

TIL that if you’re using Ansible “|default([])” to coerce a variable to a list, when not defined in host_vars, you probably really want “|default([],true)”.

YAML defaults an omitted list to an empty string with:

foo: example:

(Ie foo.example=“”)

Tue Jul 21 03:55:06 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

This YAML default to string if the “list” is omitted interacts poorly with Ansible (jinja2) treating “+” as list concatenation if both sides are lists, and string concatenation if either side is a string. (A list plus a string leads to a really weirdly formatted string.)

Tue Jul 21 03:58:26 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

And that weirdly formatted string interacts poorly with Ansible “loop:” as it seems to lead to a single iteration pass, with the weird string.

Which can lead to template results you really didn’t expect. And break parsing of generated files.

It’s a rather sharp edge :-(

Tue Jul 21 08:36:52 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @pjf

I’m noticing that assembling the bed is sufficiently avoidant that the todo list gets other things added and done, but not so avoidant you’re doing taxes... 😃

Seems like it could be an approachable task after all... 🤔

Tue Jul 21 08:53:01 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @tloch14: Gamma: Always convert from sRGB to linear before doing any math on color ever. This explains why:


Tue Jul 21 09:24:39 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @esden: Such a fun and well put together video about magnetic switches. I love the excitement and obvious love for engineering and teach…

Tue Jul 21 23:50:36 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @Chris_Gammell: This week on @theamphour, I talked to @mithro about the recently announced open source PDK released by Skywater and Goog…

Thu Jul 23 01:33:49 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @AndrewMCrespo: Today on TV, the Deputy Director of the federal paramilitary force in #PDX discussed the infamous van video. He describe…

Fri Jul 24 06:19:04 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ExcitedLeigh

I think of Duff’s Device more as Chaotic Lawful, rather than Evil. It’s technical legal, but definitely chaotic 😃

(Chaotic Lawful is an alignment mix that passes the lexer but not the parser... which itself strikes me as Chaotic Lawful :-) )

Fri Jul 24 06:40:12 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

It’s inherited from historical paper based layouts. Which I suspect had a lot to do with retaining flexibility in page layout, as late as possible, when that was literally done by pasting on to a large sheet of paper.

With digital layout, and reflow, it just seems annoying.

Fri Jul 24 08:09:46 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @whitequark: i felt like doing something silly today, so i spent 12 hours painstakingly making an adapter for reading (some day, program…

Fri Jul 24 22:27:45 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @whitequark: the memory-prom applet can now automatically undervolt a decaying EEPROM until the thresholds get l…

Fri Jul 24 22:32:33 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon and @j_kaul

No, it’s just a bad layout (narrow columns on a narrow page). It barely works on paper where it’s easier to move to scan each section individually; on screen it’s just legacy busywork for the reader (auto reflow to readers width would be better); or just a single long column.

Fri Jul 24 22:35:38 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon and @j_kaul

I too almost always end up zooming in to read one column at a time (especially on eg a small tablet). Which then requires following a weird maze of “where does the text go next”, for no good reason.

AFAICT it’s a “because we’ve always done that” thing, carried on way too long.

Fri Jul 24 22:39:19 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon, @xssfox, @minxdragon and @xssfox

PDF is basically a container format. So it could be easy to convert to text, or it could be impossible to convert, depending on how the PDF was made.

There’s eg ps2ascii which sometimes works really well, and sometimes fails completely. Could be worth trying.

Fri Jul 24 23:30:47 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @BR3NDA

I wrestle them open the first time, sometimes involving prying, then defeat the anti-open lock by cutting off the tips of the anti-open plastic wedges.

It’s easier to pour that way. But you do have to get the top off at least once.

Sat Jul 25 04:17:04 +0000 2020 (#)

An interesting extended article about Patricia Crowther’s exploring and mapping of caves in Kentucky, which later led to the Adventure computer game, and then interactive fiction in general (eg Infocom).

Sat Jul 25 06:41:19 +0000 2020 (#)

Early computer network history: this part (from June 2020) is about UseNet and FidoNet. (The whole, ongoing, series is amazingly detailed, and I highly recommend it.)

Sat Jul 25 07:36:11 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @clinton_roy and @ExcitedLeigh

ComfyCon did questions submitted via one of the Slack channels, read by the session moderator (or the speaker if they were prepared for it). It worked really well.

That also allows, eg, the option upvoting questions via (emoji) reactions.

Sat Jul 25 07:37:54 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @clinton_roy and @ExcitedLeigh

One of the Discord’s I’m on has a bot they use to track a specific emoji reaction on comments, and promote those to another channel. So specific popular points are easy to find. Something like that would work quite well for identifying good questions I think 🤔

Sat Jul 25 07:39:35 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ExcitedLeigh and @clinton_roy


Honestly I’d just tell people “we’re doing it the same again this year, it worked so well taking questions online” :-)

(Relatively few tech people attend conferences with no tech devices...)

Sun Jul 26 06:15:12 +0000 2020 (#)

Finallly figured out how to solve my “what NZIFF films could I watch tonight” use case: go to the schedule list, scroll down lots, past the online premieres, find the “also streaming” list.

All the other streaming lists/schedules have “to come” items :-(

Sun Jul 26 09:04:05 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

While the NZIFF Online website(s) UI leaves a bit to be desired, I’m very impressed the iOS app, streaming, and AirPlay just worked flawlessly. I streamed a 2+ hour film, AirPlayed to my TV, perfectly, first time.

I’m glad to see sufficient streaming capacity was provisioned 👍

Sun Jul 26 09:09:42 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ExcitedLeigh

And also those let out early at an in person conference are often trying to go into their next room, while the previous talk is still going, causing noise/disturbance. Whereas swapping to another online stream is usually possible to do without disturbing those already watching...

Sun Jul 26 09:33:01 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @hroethgar

No, I decided that streaming means Video On Demand, not “premiere” to a schedule. Hence trying to figure out what was already available for VoD :-)

I watched “True History of the Kelly Gang”. Interesting movie, but the warnings about “True” and strobing are both accurate!

Sun Jul 26 22:09:12 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @Kristy_Viers: I thought I would share how I, as someone who is visually impaired use my iPhone.☺️

Mon Jul 27 00:51:34 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @hroethgar

At that pace (3x/day) I’m not surprised you need a firm schedule!

I think I’m aiming for about 5-7 films total (about 1/3rd of previous years) given the more limited selection and timeframe. And about 1 per evening. So “watch when I’m ready” is much more convenient.

Mon Jul 27 00:54:06 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @hroethgar

I also have about 20 years of habits that things watched at home should be “as I’m ready” not an external schedule. (Even when I did watch broadcast TV 15+ years ago, it was via recordings, watched when I was ready.)

Mon Jul 27 08:30:35 +0000 2020 (#)

My second #NZIFF online “film” was Rūrangi, which turned out to be a 5 part season 1, of a NZ trans/queer web series, premiering in the #NZIFF.

It cleverly covers a lot of gender/sexuality/small town issues, in a very Kiwi way.

Mon Jul 27 08:36:16 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

If you watch it as part of #NZIFF Online (this week) you also get to see a 30 minute panel discussion with the cast and crew (from the live premiere last night I think).

I loved the way they wove Te Reo (language) and environmental issues into it as well.

Mon Jul 27 09:24:56 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

Science says you should try putting it back to level and record how long it takes to readjust to “the new tilt” 😃

(For me, changes like that seem to take single digit days, with the urge to undo the “correction” strongest at the beginning.)

Mon Jul 27 09:33:07 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

The UI is definitely not ideal :-(

So far I’ve just “booked” VoD (2 day) rentals, and only immediately before I planned to watch them. Which has worked okay, give or take buying one at a time. (No idea what they’re doing with “premieres”; that just seemed too stressful.)

Mon Jul 27 10:05:34 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

Yeah :-/

Hence I’m doing the festival very differently this year: aiming to watch one film a night, and picking what that film is once I’m ready to watch something. From the “also streaming” list (starting to intersect with things I’ve previously wishlisted).

Mon Jul 27 10:07:54 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

I’m certain I’ll miss things I’ll want to see later. But that happened every year anyway.

Optimizing for a Greedy Algorithm “what’s the best thing I can watch as my film tonight” is at least a tractable problem... 🤔

Mon Jul 27 19:36:03 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @hroethgar and @__fincham

That premiere approach (screening time to 04:00 next morning) is actually a bit more generous than I expected (I expected “exact time or miss out”).

But I’m already finding “48 hours to watch” (VoD) sufficiently tight to not want to book in advance... so no premieres for me.

Mon Jul 27 19:42:48 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @hroethgar and @__fincham

It does seem like an odd mix of underconstrained (no set times, in N days) and overconstrained (limited, overlapping, availability). With many hundreds of free variables.

Which is a wickedly hard problem to maximize for 😃

(Hence I very quickly went for “sufficiently good”.)

Mon Jul 27 19:48:25 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

Well done in forming some sort of schedule!

Your schedule also implies some films are available well into next week, which I’d not expected (everything I’ve looked at seemed to vanish by about Fri/Mon).

Maybe I also optimize for “disappearing soon”, which I kind of am already.

Mon Jul 27 19:51:34 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

I do want to see “Kubrick by Kubrick” from your list too. That was one of the first I spotted and then realised wasn’t yet available, which started me on the whole “ well what can I watch now hunt”!

Tue Jul 28 00:53:17 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @hroethgar

Yes, I too have overdone it in previous years! Which is how I settled on “1 film per weeknight”, and 4-5 max in a weekend (ie approx 2 per weekend day).

And yes, most of the films will eventually show up somewhere else. Especially now with lots more online streaming.

Tue Jul 28 00:56:21 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @jlengstorf: git 2.28 just dropped with support for a different default branch name!

` git config --global init.defaultBranch main

Tue Jul 28 01:03:41 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon and @pjf

My local board game convention held its annual board game weekend online last month, mostly with Board Game Arena and video/voice chat per game group (Discord or Zoom). That plus text chat (Discord) for group scheduling worked really well.

Tue Jul 28 01:07:30 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Some Board Game Arena games are entirely free. The rest can be played providing at least the person setting up the game has a “premium” (ie paid) account, but other players can be free accounts.

It’s a surprisingly good web implementation, even for large/common board games.

Tue Jul 28 03:47:03 +0000 2020 (#)

TIL a HTTP to SOCKS5 proxy (in NodeJS) combined with the built in SSH (Dynamic, -D) SOCKS5 proxy opens up a useful range of additional possibilities. (There are other proxy adapters out there, that’s just the first one I got working.)

Tue Jul 28 06:41:13 +0000 2020 (#)

Hey @nzff, any chance you could fix the CORS/other HTTP headers so to recognizes the logged in session (on athome). And/or logging in (again!) on athome goes back to the film I clicked on?

Manually pasting URLs is frustrating 😕

Tue Jul 28 08:03:42 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @nzff

Yes, I’ve been clicking on the Watch Online links from the NZIFF site.

The problem is even when logged into athome site, the Watch Online link opens as if I’m logged out. Then if I click login on that athome page, it goes to top athome page after logging in. 1/2

Tue Jul 28 08:07:34 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @nzff

The only thing that I’ve found which works reliably is to cut’n’paste the athome link for the film into an already logged in athome tab. Then it recognizes I’m logged in and I’m at the film I wanted.

Hence the problem report for your web developers (Firefox 68 ESR, macOS) 2/2

Tue Jul 28 08:14:49 +0000 2020 (#)

My third #NZIFF Online film was “Kubrick by Kubrick”.

It feels a bit “radio with pictures” (due to being based on an audio interview?), and somewhat padded to be over 70 minutes. But I think still worth watching.

Tue Jul 28 08:18:41 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Of note, the NZIFF online “screening” (VoD) of “Kubrick by Kubrick” has both a viewership limit and a “watch within 6 hours of starting” special condition. So it may not still be available on Mon 2020-08-03.

(Rating is due to Kubrick film clips shown.)

Tue Jul 28 09:02:11 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @nzff


I guess that counts as “won’t fix” :-(

I’m unclear how your developers managed to support Chrome/Edge/IE/Safari/Opera and somehow break Firefox compatibility (as the other major browser core engine).

(FTR, Firefox seems to work but for the login weirdness.)

Tue Jul 28 09:04:47 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @nzff

Thanks for the prompt responses.

At least now I know “it’s not just me”, and how to work around the problem (which won’t be installing Chrome “because the website is ‘best viewer in Google Chrome’”).

Tue Jul 28 09:13:03 +0000 2020 (#)

TIL that the NZIFF streaming site somehow supports every major browser except Firefox. Including IE/Opera, with less usage combined than Firefox.

Even, apparently, for film purchases (I’m streaming from the iPad app, via AirPlay, which has been great).

Wed Jul 29 00:31:50 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @IanColdwater: Hello products that claim to be able to determine gender based on name, I would like to have a word with you

Wed Jul 29 04:40:22 +0000 2020 (#)

This ⬇️ (cw: #uspol)

I’ve seen multiple credible videos of each of two incidents in two different USA cities, this month.

The fact it’s happening in daylight, while multiple people are clearly recording, is even more worrying (ie they believe there will be no consequences).

Wed Jul 29 04:57:57 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @metasynthie: None of the nit pickers flooding my mentions will read this far, but for the record: an “arrest” requires proper arrest pr…

Wed Jul 29 09:18:26 +0000 2020 (#)

[cw: #protests HK]

My fourth #NZIFF film was “Hong Kong Moments”, which is a really well made documentary that provided a lot of context to the 2019 protests in Hong Kong, from many perspectives. Not always easy to watch right now, but I’m glad I did.

Wed Jul 29 22:25:06 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @minxdragon: Maybe I should create a classifier/ generator that assigns everyone a unique gender. That would be better than some bullshi…

Thu Jul 30 00:03:26 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @pjf

I guess one advantage of doing it immediately before an election is the Mean Time To Replacement stays relatively low.... 😂

(From memory National had a few 10s of MPs last election, so there’s probably a couple of 10s of National MPs left. But I lost count weeks ago.) #nzpol

Thu Jul 30 07:38:47 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @pjf and @brianwisti

And also the first 2-3 weeks of additional cases are “baked in” when you start lockdown, due to the incubation time, just waiting to be discovered.

As sad as this Victorian news is (😢😢), hopefully it’s the peak, (mostly) from pre-lockdown infections being found now 🤔

Thu Jul 30 09:22:29 +0000 2020 (#)

My fifth #NZIFF film was “Coded Bias” about machine learning algorithms, how their accuracy is uneven (across race, gender, etc), and the unevenness of impacts on different groups.

It’s a well made documentary, and I’m glad I watched it.

Thu Jul 30 09:25:04 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

The one additional observation I’d make is there’s a clear bias in the gender/race of those interviewed about the problems (different from those developing the tools). And I’m left wondering if that was a filming choice, or reflects who is addressing the issues. 1/2

Thu Jul 30 09:28:08 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

I’d like to think that there’s more than just people/groups directly adversely impacted by machine learning algorithms working on addressing those issues... but maybe it is just that group? 🤔

(Other than that the film covers a wide range of issues/contexts, which is great.) 2/2

Thu Jul 30 09:32:33 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @GyledC

I’m pretty hopeful a bunch of these films will end up on (general) online streaming sooner than in previous years. Because 2020!

So hopefully you’ll get a chance to watch the ones you’re interested in soon :-)

Thu Jul 30 23:45:24 +0000 2020 (#)

TIL there’s a mainstream OS, released in 2019, that doesn’t trust its own updates by default (the user is asked to manually verify the PGP keys to used to sign updates).

I’m... not sure what the user checking PGP fingerprints is adding to this process 😯

Fri Jul 31 08:18:33 +0000 2020 (#)

My sixth #NZIFF film was “Heroic Losers” (“La Odisea de los Giles”), an Argentinan small town heist movie, set against the background of their early 2000s financial crisis. It’s silly, and fun, and the “good guys” win in the end.

Fri Jul 31 08:24:40 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

The #NZIFF video on demand stops being for sale tonight (in 2.5 hours), but it may be possible to rent tonight and watch this weekend (in theory can purchase tonight and “watch within 48 hours”); I haven’t tried that, but might try it with another film “ending” tonight.

Fri Jul 31 10:09:01 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @hroethgar

I see :-/

I did end up purchasing an “ends tonight” film to watch tomorrow. Both the buy page and T&C say rentals finish 48 hours “after purchase”. And the app shows it as “Expires in 2 days” right now.

So if I can’t watch it tomorrow, I’ll be asking for my money back.... :-)

Fri Jul 31 10:19:18 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @hroethgar

Yes, it’s a particularly complex combination of rules!

I’ll report back if I can (or can’t) successfully watch it tomorrow evening as planned 🙂

(I bought it sufficiently late there’s no way way the system could believe I’m watching it by 23:00 tonight; doesn’t fit :-) )