Twitter: @ewenmcneill -- October 2020

Thu Oct 01 08:08:44 +0000 2020 (#)

If 1980s home small synthesisers/keyboards is your thing, Keen on Keys (suggested in QT) seems to be just the channel for you: beautiful photography, lots of musical knowledge, clever playing, and great descriptions.

Thu Oct 01 21:40:16 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @TheFinnMK: So I turned @SimoneGiertz's nightmarish teeth wall into fresh, not-nightmarish music.

Full vid (with music theory breakdown…

Fri Oct 02 03:25:22 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @minxdragon: This thread is amazing. Sometimes rules are like genies wishes and you have to be super careful

Fri Oct 02 03:29:56 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @TrungTPhan: 15/ Design your rules and incentives carefully people.

As Charlie Munger always said...

Fri Oct 02 07:46:30 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @mattblaze: @KimZetter My day went from “what happens when an election management laptop is stolen” to “what happens when everyone runni…

Fri Oct 02 07:58:09 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @pjf

I remain concerned about this “one way... trip” to Adelaide 😬

Is there something about the Adelaide wildlife we’re not being told about?! 🤔


Fri Oct 02 23:43:51 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @richinseattle: We have an accidental canary in the coal mine. Actual production level hardware implants have been miscategorized in a w…

Sat Oct 03 01:10:30 +0000 2020 (#)

“Acedia: the lost name for the emotion we’re all feeling right now” from a few months ago (via a chain of tweets/blog posts, including Bruce Schneier).

Roughly an effect of monastic isolation.

Sun Oct 04 02:30:10 +0000 2020 (#)

Inspired by someone else’s photo a few weeks back I too ordered the #PyConlineAU shirt on a purple base shirt. It’s a great colour combination for the design 🐍

(And a conference shirt I can actually see myself wearing again 💚💙❤️💛🧡)

Sun Oct 04 02:50:03 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

Yes it’s a great design!

Due to online, they went with RedBubble (ie print on demand) so there’s a choice of backing for the design. Seems to ship from Brisbane AFAICT. Express shipping turned up in a week (the ex Melbourne items are still there :-( )

Sun Oct 04 03:32:55 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @jillrouleau

Chording keyboard combined with a pointing device: the retrofuture is here 😃

Sun Oct 04 03:35:31 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @mountain_ghosts: everyone goes "GET should be idempotent" but a lot of the time POST should be idempotent too

Sun Oct 04 03:41:55 +0000 2020 (#)

This ⬇️.

IMHO to the maximum extent possible actions should be atomic (eg transactions) or idempotent. Ideally both.

It makes it much easier to reason about what the error recovery step for any given failure should be (ie, try again, or abandon change).

Sun Oct 04 03:44:59 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Protocols like two phase commit exist to help make distributed changes atomic, through a set of repeatable (ie idempotent) steps. And have existed for decades.

I keep finding myself building idempotence on top of other APIs (then living with TOCTOU races 😢).

Sun Oct 04 03:45:12 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @ReinH: one cool thing about large scale production systems is that one-in-a-billion events happen every hour

Sun Oct 04 03:50:19 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

Based on my shipping experiments over the last 6 months it seems to really matter where things started (and when). It seems to cluster into “fairly quick” and “very slow” this year 😢

Since about June within NZ has been pretty good; just delays overseas and at the border.

Sun Oct 04 03:53:07 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

FWIW I too was surprised by one week for print on demand even with express shipping. I paid extra for express on that order because the previous ex Melbourne items had already taken over 4 weeks (standard shipping)... and it seemed like only express was moving at all.

Sun Oct 04 04:38:11 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @merxplat, @QEDunham and @tveastman

NZ only requires people to enroll, not to actually vote. Which simplifies the problem to detecting voting “at most once”.

In practice I suspect NZ does “good faith” and someone voted “at most once” for any given name, and calls that close enough.

Sun Oct 04 04:42:39 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @merxplat, @QEDunham and @tveastman

A side effect of this system (paper books, name crossed out with ballet number recorded to enable retrieval if required) is that it’s possible (if time consuming) for someone with appropriate access to determine how a given person voted (for a while; voting papers get destroyed).

Sun Oct 04 21:49:54 +0000 2020 (#)


(I understand why: international shipping is extremely variable right now, and conference hardware projects are Just In Time at the best of times... but “not for you” still reduces the excitement.) #lca2021

Sun Oct 04 23:06:31 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @jonoxer

If you squint at it “can’t ship for the foreseeable future” is just a really long shipping delay :-)

As I said I understand why it’s Australia only. Especially with y’all being based in Melbourne (which has been extra affected by logistics delays IME). It’s just sad is all!

Sun Oct 04 23:11:13 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @jonoxer

As a random thought, if there was a “click here to order PCB” / “click here to order parts bundle” from global manufacturers/distributors, available early enough, then possibly some countries could have user arranged group orders.

(Timelines are still tricky though 🤔)

Sun Oct 04 23:36:33 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @geekscape: Oh no @ewenmcneill … we’re truly sorry about those constraints ! We will be providing links for the major components (3 ite…

Sun Oct 04 23:36:47 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @jonoxer: @ewenmcneill ... we've thought of that and there is a Plan B! The design of the badge is specifically done in a way that it ca…

Mon Oct 05 00:28:21 +0000 2020 (#)

@geekscape @jonoxer

Also FYI the SAO badge add on standard got renamed a couple of days ago. I’m reminded of that by seeing the definition given in the LCA2021 announcement and being surprised to see the old word there.

Tue Oct 06 00:22:29 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

I think this particular non-idempotence (even after trying to check for it) is that the symmetric topology link was originally (auto-)added the other way around, so the check for it fails, but the link exists, so the “state: present” fails to add it.

I can’t even😔

Tue Oct 06 00:39:48 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @kiwibrew

Not SDN, no.

That’s Ansible configuring RedHat IdM (aka branded FreeIPA). IdM/FreeIPA is a clustered/replicated authentication/authorisation system. Hence the replication topology.

Tue Oct 06 00:51:59 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @ExcitedLeigh: Excel sucks, and the fact that we haven't built a better layperson-accessible functional reactive computing environment (…

Tue Oct 06 00:59:30 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ExcitedLeigh

One of my key insights from mathematics at university was the concept of turning a problem you don’t know how to solve into one you do know how to solve.

It feels to me like many “inappropriate” uses of Excel are basically that, solving a problem with known/available tools.

Tue Oct 06 01:02:23 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ExcitedLeigh

Possibly we need to reinvent COBOL or report generators in some modern (easier to use!) incarnation, that used better infrastructure underneath. Then teach “data analysis” to everyone with those tools.

Eg Pandas, Python, SciPy are half way there already.

Tue Oct 06 01:04:58 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ExcitedLeigh

Ironically Microsoft Access is basically this “database with approachable UI”. But it’s no where near as ubiquitous or well known (and has its own issues). But possibly worth mining for use cases? 🤔

Tue Oct 06 01:30:23 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @minxdragon: Don't use "he or she" or "s/he" use "they" it's simpler, cleaner and more inclusive. Thankyou.

Tue Oct 06 03:37:53 +0000 2020 (#)

Fascinating details on what “Ethernet Magnetics” are (transformer and signal recovery); unsurprisingly 10GBase-T is a lot more complex than 10MBase-T (10M had dedicated send/receive pairs, 1G/10G do subtraction of the sent signal).

Tue Oct 06 07:51:07 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @cczona, @ExcitedLeigh and @xfxf

I suspect it might make sense to do two tech checks, one say 4 to 5 weeks out to pick up “if you could borrow/buy X it’d help”, and another 1-2 weeks out to check “did that help” and fine tune.

Then there’s more time to make changes and the “final check” is hopefully quick.

Tue Oct 06 23:49:55 +0000 2020 (#)

This interview of Mark Barton is fascinating for details on early speech synthesis and early Internet experiments. (The ANTIC podcast is notionally Atari history, but ends up covering lots of early tech in interviews.)

Interview published June 2020.

Wed Oct 07 02:38:38 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @minxdragon: So this thread is the very best thing I have seen in the internet today and I am crying now ok bye

Wed Oct 07 02:39:29 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

That thread is amazing

Thank you for sharing 💙💚💙

Wed Oct 07 05:14:08 +0000 2020 (#)

I’m beginning to understand why CrowdSupply charges shipping per line item: I received 3 boxes for my two orders, all simultaneously handed to me by the courier.

Even the smallest box could have held everything (and its not like there was extra padding inside).

Wed Oct 07 05:17:53 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Ironically the third box contained just CS-ULX3S-07 (right angle pin sockets AFAICT) and was sent the same day as the large box. But belongs to the first order. (I’m now unclear if I’m supposed to have a CS-ULX3S-07 for my second order too.... 🤔)

Wed Oct 07 05:24:37 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Magic 8 ball says “seems likely”. There were two orders with “quantity pending: 1” on two line items, and only one shipment (separately!) of that line item with “quantity shipped: 1”.

I guess that explains the partially shipped notification I got :-)

Wed Oct 07 08:10:17 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @ktemkin: A few people have asked things in a vein of "why is USB3 so much more work to implement than USB2?", so I wrote up something a…

Wed Oct 07 21:50:23 +0000 2020 (#)

Thank you for your complaint which we will probably ignore (there isn’t even a ticket/issue number generated any more) :-|

I wish the NZ Government put at least some effort into enforcing AntiSpam laws against persistent NZ businesses 😢

Wed Oct 07 22:17:40 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Ironically the email distribution service (based in Australia) used by the persistent NZ business does issue support ticket numbers when you email them. So maybe they take it more seriously than the NZ Government. We’ll see.

Thu Oct 08 00:31:12 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Update: the bulk mail service replied to the ticket, pretty much at the start of their day. And removed my email address (again), and will contact their customer to remind them of better marketing practices.

Maybe this time the “unsubscribe” sticks.

Thu Oct 08 22:32:54 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

I strongly suspect this (very light) package that arrived out of the blue from CrowdSupply will contain the missing headers. Which got to travel the world by themselves...

(That’s 111g including item; 96g for empty box. 15g seems right for some right angle headers... 🤔)

Thu Oct 08 22:43:49 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Part number does seem to match the missing headers item. Apparently it was sent (Express) from the US 4 days ago. Which is pretty impressive for 2020. But sent just 3 days after the other items, for something crowd funded 6 months ago... I wouldn’t have noticed if they waited!

Fri Oct 09 00:45:42 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @MissReeeves: Today Year 2 learnt the importance of making instructions really clear and easy to follow. Who knew making a jam sandwich…

Fri Oct 09 00:45:52 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @DJCordhose: To my non-programmer friends: this is why programming can be hard, hard to estimate and take a long time, you need to be ve…

Fri Oct 09 03:22:09 +0000 2020 (#)

@tveastman FYI you got a shoutout from Cory Doctorow (for your “screenshots” quote) at about 1h7m into this weeks “Off The Hook” radio show/podcast (Cory was the guest for this week’s extended edition — 2020-10-07.)

So now it’s made it to audio too :-)

Fri Oct 09 03:57:47 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @Nate_pyon: The enemy is the patriarchy and toxic masculinity. Masculinity and maleness isn't inherently toxic. Treating it as such unir…

Fri Oct 09 03:58:04 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @RealSexyCyborg: Or if you define toxic traits as "masculine" that allows weak shitbags to validate their shitty behavior by labeling it…

Fri Oct 09 04:04:14 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @pjf

Two CSV parsing bugs (quoting or escape handling), two typos, one column header, and initial/full versions of two common genders.... feels roughly as confused as gender is as a concept :-)

Fri Oct 09 07:06:07 +0000 2020 (#)

TIL that MAME comes with a “universal” disassembler, for most of the CPU architectures that MAME supports. Seems to be mostly an internal tool, but handy for other uses too.

Via John McMaster, in an interesting ROM decoding video.

Fri Oct 09 07:43:01 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

The “zorrom” Python tool they use in the second half of the video is on John’s GitHub. (It almost works first run, it just looked like they had the byte order row/column swapped; individual byte values were correct.)

Fri Oct 09 22:48:50 +0000 2020 (#)

ANZ (in NZ anyway) are deprecating cheques 😮

After 2021-05-31 (~8 months) no cheques can be issued or deposited (including bank cheques!), except foreign currency cheques can be deposited.

Fri Oct 09 22:52:15 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Unanswered in their FAQ is how one makes larger payments (over the online limit, which is typically $1k-$10k), for those big purchases. I suspect it’ll be a challenge for car, house, etc purchases (all of which needed cheques when I last bought them).

Fri Oct 09 22:55:36 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

As best I can recall I’m down to around one cheque used a year (business dividend to myself, which is over $10k in a good year; worst case I can pay myself in $5k-$10k chunks).

So the 2.5 cheque books I have are unlikely to get used up before 2021-05-31 :-)

Fri Oct 09 22:57:43 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @jimmyishnz

Interesting. When I bought my house (only a few years before that) I had to get a bank cheque for many tens of thousands for the deposit and carry it to the real estate agent myself. It was a little scary!

(Rest, from bank loan, cleared electronically.)

Fri Oct 09 23:29:47 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @jimmyishnz

That makes sense.

From memory I asked my bank teller if I could electronically transfer the deposit, but it was obvious they didn’t expect/know how to do that. (IIRC I had online banking by then, but the limit was maybe $500 payments online; the deposit was... a lot larger 😃)

Fri Oct 09 23:40:22 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @fo0

Well wire transfer via fax is at least reaching the second half of the 20th century, so there’s hope :-)

(I used to support a mortgage broker for a bit, a decade or so back; their modem for fax sending was still on the critical path for some things they had to do! In NZ.)

Sat Oct 10 00:42:29 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @pjf and @minxdragon

I tend to listen to podcasts while out waking, for the same reason. Especially the ones that I’ve been “saving for later” because they’re a bit too distracting to play while working. It helps me feel like I’m achieving two things :-)

Sat Oct 10 03:31:12 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @trogs

Yes there’s a bunch of edge cases where cheques are useful. Dual authorisation online banking is definitely possible, and I think some banks offer that to businesses (one person prepares and authorises, second person logs in and approves).

Sat Oct 10 03:36:22 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @trogs

As for the online limits, part of the problem is that I don’t want my normal account/login to be able to send very large amounts (as risk mitigation).

But maybe once a year there are special transactions, which would be best handled by some better verified process... 🤔

Sun Oct 11 00:32:13 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @xleem

That sounds like a reasonable way to handle it (ie phone call as second factor).

ANZ have a note to the effect you can call to have your limit raised, but it’s never been obvious if that could be raised just for a single transaction (rather than permanently, which I don’t want).

Sun Oct 11 03:27:13 +0000 2020 (#)

@slyall FYI you got name dropped in an example from 2013 of an early possible electronic conference badge, in Jon Oxer’s SuperHouseTV livestream today. Starting about 56m50s into the stream. (Surrounding discussion is about the LCA2021 electronic badge.)

Sun Oct 11 03:45:14 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ktemkin

A developer I know is of the opinion one should “always stop work on a failing test”. Because it gives you an obvious place to start the next morning, and both a burst of “I did it” and a memory refresh of project state/other todos, as you do finish the obvious piece.

Sun Oct 11 07:11:38 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham


Technician effect appears to be reversed around you at present :-(

Sun Oct 11 20:34:01 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @ktemkin: well, LUNA enumerates as a USB 3 device on Linux ^__^

Sun Oct 11 20:34:30 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @ktemkin: The goal here is much the same as it is for the USB2 side of the LUNA library: you should be able to add USB functionality to…

Sun Oct 11 23:05:47 +0000 2020 (#)

“Free shipping over $100”

Challenge accepted 😃

Result: $100.85!

(They’re even all items I need, and cheaper than where I used to buy them in in-person shopping times.)

Sun Oct 11 23:08:59 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

The place I used to buy them has gone “appointment to enter business” for everything as best I can tell, even consumables. Plus an online store for some things.

But their online store charges their old retail price, plus shipping, ignoring the extra competition online... 🤷‍♂️

Mon Oct 12 05:15:13 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @k8em0: Amid all your other apocalypses, please pay close attention to the end-to-end encryption one.

The 1st time they did this (look…

Mon Oct 12 07:36:34 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @thomasbeagle: @k8em0 @ewenmcneill And now New Zealand and the rest of the Five Eyes, alongside Japan and India, announce that they too…

Mon Oct 12 21:34:53 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @MiramarMike and @martinkrafft

PyConline used Venueless, which worked quite well, and was an all in one open source solution.

Mon Oct 12 21:59:27 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @CivilLibertyNZ: Media release: Government's dangerous statement about encryption doesn't make sense:

Mon Oct 12 22:05:16 +0000 2020 (#)

“Ask yourselves whether you can achieve the same results while collecting less data” — a takeaway from the “Human Rights, Surveillance, and Power“ panel at #NetHui this morning.

Tue Oct 13 00:25:21 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ExcitedLeigh and @freakboy3742

Re NMIs, NZ has ICPs (InterConnection Points) and then (separate, related) meters (by meter serial number usually). Most ICPs have 1 or more meters (some are disconnected).

Re lightning talks, LCA2021 online will likely have lightning talks... Just Saying :-)

Tue Oct 13 00:36:16 +0000 2020 (#)

“Recycle A Device” to help find working (less than 10 year old, with a charger) devices (especially laptops) to find “a good home”.

Via #NetHui lightning talk

Tue Oct 13 05:26:54 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @pjf

Voting (early) in NZ: there were more poll workers than voters, no queue, largest delay was while they found my name in the electoral roll to tick off (approx 30 seconds).

And we’ve already (in early voting) had a larger turnout than that total turnout last election!

Tue Oct 13 05:29:03 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @pjf

NZ doesn’t do Democracy Sausage (and I couldn’t eat it I’d they did).

But I did successfully vote while wearing a butterfly mask 🦋

(* mask not required, but when would I ever get another chance to “justifiably” vote in a butterfly mask?! 😃)

Tue Oct 13 09:24:43 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @SueBursztynski

Food allergies, including common fillers in sausages. So basically I don’t eat any food without being able to read (or otherwise be sure of) the ingredients.

I do think it’s a charming Australian voting tradition though :-)

Tue Oct 13 19:27:37 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @thingskatedid: 💡FAQ about displaying stuff in a terminal

Tue Oct 13 19:29:27 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @thingskatedid: Q. Kate which terminal is that!? omg A. The terminal I use is called kitty.

Other terminals can…

Tue Oct 13 23:54:43 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ExcitedLeigh

So approximately “face detection” plus “frequency separation” plus “smoothing the low frequency layer” plus maybe a bit of red reduction?

Hair is definitely a much harder problem; perhaps automatic wig addition would be easier? (But maybe uncanny valley...)

Wed Oct 14 00:35:55 +0000 2020 (#)

While juggling so many different services for #NetHui I’m extra impressed how much easier Venueless and Discord make “break out into voice chat” for group discussions.

Wed Oct 14 07:54:44 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @pjf

Do you maybe need one of those “child proof” flexible gates? 🤔

Or a separate security screen, aka bird screen, that lets in the air but not unwanted visitors?

Because at this point it seems you’ve “invited them over the threshold” intentionally or not 😂

Thu Oct 15 20:52:52 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @linuxconfau: The LCA2021 Call for Sessions and Call for Miniconfs are open from now until 6 Nov 2020. This year, the theme is ‘So what’…

Fri Oct 16 02:19:16 +0000 2020 (#)

This Ansible code to handle delegated tasks of an action plugin appears never to have been tested when called without task_vars; the delegated case assumes there will be task vars which the non delegated case does not :-(

Fri Oct 16 02:24:43 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

This discovery is buried at the bottom of a Yak worth of shaving in debugging something in a vendor supplied playbook. I guess they haven’t tested that use case recently 😔

“TypeError: ‘NoneType’ object is not subscriptable” (which itself is hidden by “no_log: yes”)

Fri Oct 16 02:30:09 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

For anyone wondering, the only way to debug this appears to be to comment out that “no_log: yes”, then do something very old school to log the input to, eg, _configure_module() somewhere you can review, once you know vaguely where to debug.

Fri Oct 16 02:55:42 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

With some more digging this seems to be the Ansible role plugin work around for the issue, actually building and passing in task_vars instead of None.

But that change isn’t in the vendor supplied version of the role 😢

Fri Oct 16 03:30:30 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @linuxconfau

For certainty can you confirm the timezone that you plan to run #LCA2021 on?

UTC+11? (Ie to match AEDT) Or something else between UTC+8 and UTC+13 to split the difference? UTC+10h30 like PyConlineAU is half way 🤔😃

It’d be good if the timezone was clear on the website too 👍

Fri Oct 16 07:48:50 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @ms_mary_mac: @ewenmcneill @linuxconfau We will be working on AEDT. Will make sure we update the website to reflect

Fri Oct 16 08:09:38 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @pjf

Yeah :-/

I have really strong object permanence, but emotional permanence... Not So Much (tm). (Like the person you RTed, I’m unsure how much of the latter is brain wiring and how much is upbringing 🤔)

Thanks for RTing it!

Sat Oct 17 01:15:57 +0000 2020 (#)

I guess having a CDN that blocks requests from the Internet Archive is one way to avoid the NZ General Election voting page being archived...

(Not sure if it’s just today or just the ones I manually started the archive; there are other snapshots.)

Sat Oct 17 01:18:10 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

The IPs listed are the Vote NZ Imperva IP on the CDN and the Internet Archive fetcher IP.

(I assume “Error code 15” just means “Thou Shall Not Pass” :-) )

Sat Oct 17 02:43:53 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @merxplat

From memory per polling place results are published once the final results are confirmed. So you could perhaps go looking for correlations.

This time the early voting probably dominates, and things like shopping malls are more likely to be open longer and have higher totals.

Sat Oct 17 06:04:34 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @merxplat

Yes, a party affiliation versus referendum analysis, at polling place detail, would be an interesting thing to look at. I think in theory the data for it should get published. But it’ll probably take a few weeks.

Sat Oct 17 07:03:26 +0000 2020 (#)

One thing I do really appreciate about #nzelections2020 is how parallelised the vote count is. Nearly 20% of the vote count completed in 1st hour after the polls closed, despite a “higher than last time” turnout.

Sat Oct 17 07:14:18 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

I’ve found over the years that that the results website has way less content I find frustrating. Just saying :-)

(I’m warching YouTube videos about analogue synthesizers instead!)

Sat Oct 17 07:18:07 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

Currently I’m watching this one about the Berringer Cat. But I’m loving everything by Keen on Keys (he mostly does small home 80s synths).

Sat Oct 17 07:20:21 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @henrycooke

Is this a recent lock, or maybe just a “no campaigning on Election Day” thing? (Seems odd it’s still locked though, if it was elections laws. But it was still locked a couple of minutes ago when I checked.)

Sat Oct 17 07:28:49 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @economythomas


Thanks. That makes it an even more surprising choice! 😬

Sat Oct 17 07:30:27 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ktemkin

It’s sufficiently common among people I know/follow to be unremarkable that someone is dating more than one person (and everyone knows).

Yet it’s such a plot point for so many stories... :-/

Sat Oct 17 07:57:22 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

The other remarkable thing about the #nzelections2020 is it looks like about 8% of the vote went to parties falling below the 5% threshold and didn’t get a seat. But the two smaller parties likely to get in probably both got an electorate each and 8% of the vote each.

Sat Oct 17 08:00:57 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

That seems to be the explanation of how Labour’s current 50.5% of the (counted) vote turns into 66/120 seats (ie more than 50%).

If that gets confirmed it’ll be an interesting parliament: a non trivial single party majority for the first time in many years. #nzelections2020

Sat Oct 17 08:06:54 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

NZ First don’t seem likely to win an electorate or reach the 5% threshold. In which case their votes get ignored.

That would be the first time in 20 years that’s happened for them... so a first for NZ First in a way 😂

Sat Oct 17 08:09:01 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @katsugraphy and @__fincham


That seems a long time ago!

But first past the post on electorates did distort things differently, so maybe “clear majority across the whole country” was less common than I thought... 🤔

Sat Oct 17 08:11:53 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @Thoughtfulnz: For those not in New Zealand, it has just been election day (with 2 weeks of advanced voting)

We vote on paper.

Polls c…

Sat Oct 17 08:41:28 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

There was a brief moment around 53% count where it looked like maybe the Maori party might get one seat in #nzelections2020. (Which I thought I had screenshotted, but it refreshed first, so I deleted that tweet.)

Sat Oct 17 08:48:00 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Oh my Waiarkaki is currently “too close to call” (lead: 13!), and bounced back to Maori Party candidate leading so I could get a screenshot this time.

A few other seats are close enough they could change too (including some to Maori Party.) #nzelections2020

Sat Oct 17 08:57:46 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Sun Oct 18 22:12:06 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @rossalexwilson: “... 50 years ago the conclusion "pilot error" as the main cause was virtually banned from accident investigation. The…

Mon Oct 19 00:13:43 +0000 2020 (#)

TIL that 37GB is apparently not enough space to allow macOS (10.14.6) to repair the catalog of an (encrypted) time machine backup destination (Disk full error). So the “Invalid sibling link” cannot be repaired.

Mon Oct 19 00:15:33 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

My guess is what’s happened is that there was an incomplete set of writes to the encrypted external drive and that’s left something too badly corrupted to untangle. Possibly an unexpected directory loop.

Mon Oct 19 00:19:13 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

It’s one of two Time Machine backup destinations for this system, but I already had to restart the other one some months ago due to being unable to successfully clone it to a larger drive. So this is the one with the oldest backups on it.... 🤔

Mon Oct 19 00:21:31 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Ironically as best I can tell the final triggering cause was doing Time Machine backups and then rebooting to have a fresh system, then rebooting for a macOS system patch :-/

Possibly those last two reboots were too close together? 🤔

Mon Oct 19 05:21:34 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @angie_rasmussen: @ChuckWendig is correct. We have never achieved herd immunity for a viral pathogen through natural infection.


Tue Oct 20 06:00:12 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @dotMudge: In between my time at Stripe and my next gig the CITL team will be releasing more than 6 thousand software/security defects…

Tue Oct 20 06:00:31 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @dotMudge: Parker and Pat came up with a great way of dumping 20k code defects:

Qualified and reproducible bugs. Symbol and call traces…

Tue Oct 20 06:14:35 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @ktemkin: i just saw someone with “uses vi/vim” at the end their twitter bio and learned that my brain will try to parse anything with a…

Tue Oct 20 06:15:10 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @artemist0: @ktemkin

Tue Oct 20 06:18:41 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ktemkin and @artemist0

I did seriously consider doing so (vi/vim pronouns) for a moment there; they’re definitely pronoun shaped :-)

(30 year vi user, 15+ year vim user, so it would be fitting... 🤔)

Tue Oct 20 07:00:22 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @attacus_au

iPhone built in camera app (with iOS 13.7), and a couple of random examples to hand.

It seems to preview clickable banner with the usual iOS approach of showing the “relevant part of the URL” (ie typically main domain) or other contents. To open in relevant app, by QR contents.

Tue Oct 20 22:35:41 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @shipw and @attacus_au


Looks like you can do that on iOS 13.7 too (and iOS 12.4, but 12.x doesn’t do website previews).

Looks like iOS 13.7 will show full URL at the bottom of the preview (iOS 12.4 doesn’t). Cookie/login warnings can cover most of the preview... :-/

1st 2: iOS 13; 2nd 2: iOS 12

Tue Oct 20 22:46:29 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @RealSexyCyborg

You’re making a husky sized heat sink for Momo! 😍

Maxing out the Gifts and Acts of Service love languages 💝

Wed Oct 21 02:19:23 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @jillrouleau

Gardener? Chef?

(I hear you though. Today’s project involves Python controlled by other Python in Docker in a Vagrant VM. And needs a custom Python database library dependency inside all of that, because... that seems to be the state of the art 🤷‍♂️)

Wed Oct 21 04:10:14 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @jillrouleau

There’s a Python (3.8) venv on the Python controlling Python side (ie outside Docker).

No Kubernetes, or chroots (other than Docker) fortunately :-)

(I don’t think it’s a prize anyone wants to win...)

Wed Oct 21 04:34:55 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @jillrouleau

There are so many layers of abstraction these days it’s hard to know what is even real 😂

Wed Oct 21 05:57:58 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @TProphet

I too have grandparents from the Great Depression (including one who was windowed young and survived on little). So I’m familiar with “don’t throw anything out”, and 2 generations later it’s still my default for anything “possibly useful”. 1/2

Wed Oct 21 06:01:10 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @TProphet

I also usually try to buy things for the lowest cost, including lots second hand historically.

But at times, especially this year, I can persuade myself to explicitly optimise for other things such as availability (NZ has had lots of stock shortages this year). 2/2

Wed Oct 21 06:03:14 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @TProphet

So I think it’s possible to counter those learned habits. But it feels like after they’re ingrained habits every action counter to them requires its own explicit justification for why to optimise for something else other than “saving money” 🤔

Wed Oct 21 06:57:04 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @TProphet


Ironically Dick Smith stores disppeared entirely from New Zealand a few years back. It’s a necrobrand, selling random things online only now :-)

But other than that, thanks but no. I’ll stick with planning my orders weeks ahead! 😃

Thu Oct 22 01:56:32 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

Three nested layers of MIME attachments? Or three layer of PGP like onion routing? 🤔

(But yeah those instructions seem to have had insufficient s/postal/electronic/ mail translation!)

Thu Oct 22 06:54:53 +0000 2020 (#)

TIL that some US gay men successfully repurposed adoption laws as a way of having “family” rights when gay marriage/civil unions were not possible. Which is a cool hack, but sad it was necessary.

Very interesting interview in this podcast episode (link in quoted tweet).

Fri Oct 23 02:03:34 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @yaakov_h and @developerjack

I feel like “bug for bug compatibility” is probably involved here... 😃

(Changing APIs after they’re puzzled can be... tricky!)

Fri Oct 23 02:10:21 +0000 2020 (#)

I think this is the first push notification I’ve seen from the #NZCovid19 application.

I hope this won’t become a constant stream of reminders, but Labour Weekend does seem like a timely point to remind people.

Personally I never stopped; my last scans were yesterday.

Fri Oct 23 05:12:13 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @linuxconfau: A quick reminder that Call for Sessions and Miniconfs are open. Contribute to the conversation and get typing! https://t.c…

Fri Oct 23 08:08:33 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @RoMuscat and @bootrino

If the disks are hard sectored, or single density (FM) you’ll need the special drive and card.

If the disks are soft sectored, and double density, there’s a reasonably good chance a PC floppy controller can be made to read them (a bunch of CP/M disk transfer tools exist).

Fri Oct 23 08:13:16 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @RoMuscat and @bootrino

This site might give some good general idea of the controller (and maybe it’s actually one of these models). The second seems to be their own design for a S100 soft sectored controller, with schematics.

Fri Oct 23 08:54:53 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @bootrino and @RoMuscat

Aha! In that case I understand why you want to get the controller fixed :-) Hopefully it’s fairly simple to fix, as it should be basically all 74xx logic chips.

Looks like this is the board. Manual at bottom has timing diagrams and schematics.

Fri Oct 23 22:27:29 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @JayHulmePoet: St Nicholas' Church isn't just a thousand year old former cathedral.

St Nicholas' Church is a thousand year old former c…

Fri Oct 23 22:39:45 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @xor: I think it's worth understanding the difference between why a platform like Github would take things down under a “normal” DMCA ta…

Fri Oct 23 22:39:53 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @xor: Holy cow, the RIAA has gotten youtube-dl taken off Github. DMCA notice:

Fri Oct 23 22:42:42 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @micahflee: At the request of the recording industry, GitHub has removed public access to the youtube-dl repository, an incredibly usefu…

Sat Oct 24 02:17:07 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @xor: As anyone who has used youtube-dl knows, it is an extremely powerful and useful tool for format-shifting. It's super popular among…

Sat Oct 24 04:15:49 +0000 2020 (#)

One of the things I genuinely do appreciate about the 21st century is that I can take a random never used (USB) MIDI keyboard, plug it into a random computer, start a program I’ve never used (GarageBand), and everything I need to make music appears from the Internet.

Sat Oct 24 04:18:04 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

I know like 1 chord, never played keyboards, and have forgotten almost everything I knew about music theory. But somehow in tens of minutes I’m able to make something that sounds musical (very “work in progress”, but “has potential”).

Sat Oct 24 04:25:41 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

As someone who once spent a day transcribing a short tune (from sheet music) into a BASIC program, and has a reasonable idea just how much had to go right for today’s experience to happen (including the 10GB instrument patches download in minutes), it all still feels magical 🦋

Sun Oct 25 22:25:11 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @k8em0: Real world revenge against the dreaded “won’t fix”, accompanied by a DMCA takedown defiance, with a salty sprinkling of Streisan…

Mon Oct 26 02:44:12 +0000 2020 (#)

No Mozilla this is not how you handle updates: feature update: you can customize thing, but we’ve changed the default and removed the old version entirely and you have to customise folder colours one at a time 😔

(1st Thunderbird 68.10.0; 2nd 78.4.0)

Mon Oct 26 02:47:14 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Thunderbird 68.10 and 78.4 might seem a long way apart, but thanks to Firefox increasing its major version at least half a dozen times a year (so they can “justify” breaking addons, I guess), and Thunderbird being version synced to Firefox LTS, they’re one major release apart 😔

Mon Oct 26 02:51:34 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

TBH the forced bold headings in the folder view (for the folder location) are more visually distracting than the old version (bold only if new mail auto filtered to junk AFAICT). And that doesn’t even seem to configurable in the UI.

Mon Oct 26 04:45:10 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

Ah yes, the version dependency treadmill :-(

It seems like somewhere in the last 5 years everyone just decided to ship the “version dependency hell” that was once reserved for bleeding edge developers to... everyone. And stop updates of old versions entirely, to force upgrades.

Mon Oct 26 04:47:47 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

Sorry you had to deal with all of that. But glad that it sounds like you did make it work again in the end.

It’s pretty unfortunate that the world seems to have forgotten how to build stable platforms or how to do software maintenance which preserves backward compatibility 😢

Tue Oct 27 00:07:11 +0000 2020 (#)

I’m old enough to remember when shopping didn’t require giving your email address to everyone (and then fighting to get off their spam list that they added you to even though you said you didn’t want to be on it).

That’s probably the thing I miss most about shopping in person 😢

Tue Oct 27 08:48:56 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

Ooh that looks promising: it seems to be telling you that you can’t update the apps without going to the new minimum version. Which is good because you don’t want to update them!

Sorry about all the yak shaving that went into getting to that point though!

Tue Oct 27 08:51:40 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ExcitedLeigh

Rule 34 :-)

(And yes AO3 is where I’d expect to find Adam/Eve/Steve Slash...)

Happy reading!

Thu Oct 29 06:10:44 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @esden: Hey everyone. Today is the time to step up and support one of our best. Please consider donating to Whitequark's Patreon to enab…