Twitter: @ewenmcneill -- February 2022

Tue Feb 01 00:09:12 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @aurynn

Intuos 5 generation perhaps?

From memory the small, medium, large from that model range used the same pen. And there are definitely Small ones for sale on TradeMe. (Link is $1 reserve, there are others around $100.)

Tue Feb 01 04:03:31 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @aurynn


The (fairly rapid) turnover of models / parts compatibly (and this availability) is one of the frustrating things about modern capitalism 😢

(Might still be worth a saved search on TradeMe, etc, for the thing you want. In case some trades up or never used it.)

Wed Feb 02 08:25:56 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @RealSexyCyborg: Shenzhen COVID like "I didn't hear no bell"😡 We'll see🥊 🥊 Cases still dropping, contact tracing is lighting fast and 1…

Wed Feb 02 08:42:27 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

From memory last time I tried (for a specific client), there was a way to force (on each message?) the Outlook Web Client to do a plain text reply, at which point interleaved quoted text worked fairly well. (In HTML / Rich Text it seems people resort to colouring :-/)

Wed Feb 02 08:45:12 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

Microsoft’s “only vaguely easy path” has been top posting with “every message in the thread since the beginning of time” quoted below “for context”. For a long time. On most of their clients, including the web client.

(I suspect many people don’t know different any more 😢)

Wed Feb 02 08:48:30 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

Yeah :-/ Seen that too.

Having additional blank lines between quotes and non-quotes seems to help some. But it’s tricky to get “right”.

AFAICT very little conforms to 1980s Internet email conventions any longer, and most mail clients get confused when encountering it 😢

Wed Feb 02 09:05:13 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

“Pragmatic”. I think the word you’re looking for is “pragmatic” 😃

I’d be interested to hear how your experiments go; I’m still sending quoted inline plain text to people using Outlook, so it’d be good to know if anything works better.

(I know some ticket systems get confused!)

Thu Feb 03 00:22:20 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

If your chip’s clock tree doesn’t get generated correctly (eg Google MPW-1 tooling oversight), and you end up with signal hold violations, there might still be a narrow window of voltage and timing where you can make parts of the chip somewhat work 😮

Thu Feb 03 06:56:47 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @farmgeek: 1,130 cases stopped at the border since Jan 1 this year alone (most of them Omicron). That's 1,130 possible new outbreak clus…

Thu Feb 03 08:17:33 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @RealSexyCyborg: Yes, your breasts are 100% artificial as specified, no you've never done anything to elicit prurient interest that woul…

Thu Feb 03 19:17:13 +0000 2022 (#)

Now that the #NZCovid19 booster dose interval has been reduced to 3 months (was 4 months), and they are launching a booster vaccination campaign in February 2022, perhaps we can finally stop calling 2 vaccination doses “fully vaccinated”?! 😔

Thu Feb 03 19:20:43 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Ironically they keep calling 2 doses “fully vaccinated” in the #NZCovid19 press conference announcing the change of interval from 4 months to 3 months, and a campaign to encourage people to get boosters ASAP 🤦🏻‍♂️

(Both PM and Director General of Health.)

Thu Feb 03 19:58:18 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @Danjite: Fascinating.

Electric #guitar differences meet the #scientific method.

A MUST watch for guitar nerds and especially produce…

Thu Feb 03 20:01:01 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @slyall

Yes, I heard that towards the end of the press conference. Feels like they’re going to make the change of conditions way too late to matter 😢

But having a “get your booster if you’re already ‘fully vaccinated’” campaign is just poor communication 😔

Fri Feb 04 03:46:38 +0000 2022 (#)

I’m not sure I want to know why “%” is an invalid character in a password on a website that will accept other “shift-NUMBER” characters in the password… 😔

Fri Feb 04 06:49:15 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @martinkrafft


Fri Feb 04 21:35:39 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @tithonium: I would go farther and say a podcast that requires you to use a specific platform is not a podcast, by definition. If it's…

Sat Feb 05 04:13:50 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Yes, you can run Linux on an 8-bit AVR, emulating a 32-bit/16-bit ARM CPU. Is it fast? Definitely not!

AVR ATMega1284p, 30pin SIMM for RAM, SD card via SPI.

(2012 blog post / much sped up video that still seems “slow progress” 😃)

Sat Feb 05 08:09:23 +0000 2022 (#)

It now appears likely there will be no home #Covid19NZ RATs in NZ (just testing centre RATs in Red Phase 2/3 to supplement PCR).

Except for one group: returnees isolating at home will be testing at home just with RATs it appears 😮

Sat Feb 05 08:10:19 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Seems like a big change to go from #NZCovid19 staff administered PCR test to leave MIQ to self-administered RATs to leave (shorter) home isolation, given the higher false negative rates of both RATs and self-administered tests and likely “contact during travel”.

Sat Feb 05 08:12:43 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

TBH it feels like the decision is there will be plenty of local cases of #NZCovid19, so why worry about possibly introducing a few more with travellers self-administered RATs giving false negatives.

(But that seems an easy way to quickly get new variants as they emerge 😢)

Sat Feb 05 08:13:18 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

For those overseas: by “fully vaccinated” in the #NZCovid19 self isolation screenshot (top of thread) New Zealand means “two doses of Pfizer” (or several accepted equivalents). Boosters not required/relevant (at least at present) to be “fully vaccinated”.

Sat Feb 05 08:14:36 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

(Tonight I really could have done with an edit button for recent tweets 😢 Deleting and reposting the whole thread for each change is time consuming and leads to more errors 😔)

Sun Feb 06 06:42:36 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @RealSexyCyborg: Okay, okay- you can't just bring up problems, you have to bring up solutions. Hear me out now- we get @RuthAmos a wig,…

Sun Feb 06 07:06:33 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @RealSexyCyborg

Just wanted to admire how perfect your tweet is, containing at least two layers of Internet culture, at least two layers of (Western) queer culture, and a picture perfect reference to a (Western) fairy tale (pun intended!), all in a couple of hundred letters😍

Mon Feb 07 05:44:17 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

I’d guess 99.8% of macOS users are using the “case preserving, case ignore on search” default file system. And probably nothing else gets tested. I’d expect anything Unix/Linux to expect to use consistent case, but anything from Windows probably expects “case doesn’t matter”.

Mon Feb 07 05:48:15 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

FWIW, I thought “case ignored” would bug me (after 20+ years of Unix/Linux first). But TBH in the last dozen years there’ve only been a couple of “that’s really inconvenient” / “that’s really confusing” situations.

Mon Feb 07 05:50:09 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

Pretty much I do “case consistent” for my own file usage (because Unix/Linux habits), and have trained myself. not to deliberately create combinations differing only in capitalisation in the same location. YMMV :-)

Tue Feb 08 03:36:06 +0000 2022 (#)

TIL the Ansible built in “package_facts” module (used to find out what packages are installed) also unconditionally overwrites the host variable “packages”, implicitly. (No “register:” needed, no ability to choose what gets overwritten.)

Tue Feb 08 03:39:02 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

That’s be less problematic if they’d chosen a “less likely to clash” name than “packages”. (Ie not one my client used as “the obvious one” for the list of packages to install on the host.)

Workaround: push/pop “packages” host var around the “package_facts” call. 😔

Wed Feb 09 06:07:21 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @slyall


There’s already a land tax: city and regional councils are funded by land tax (rates). It’s not even that small: for me rates is around 20% of my annual income tax, and maybe half of GST paid on purchases.

(Tenants in effect also pay rates/land tax, as part of the rent.)

Wed Feb 09 08:53:43 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @slyall

With the present housing market it’s over 50% land value anyway.

And any land owners renting out property will pass through to tenants, like rates are now. So I’d expect it to behave basically the same.

(Land owners of untenanted land might pay more; but also pay N * rates.)

Wed Feb 09 09:05:12 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @slyall

I do agree one could make it cost neutral to low income people, through Income tax/benefit offsets (as was done when GST was introduced).

FWIW my guess is a land tax would most impact middle income “own home” buyers, who can’t pass on cost and might not be left tax cost neutral.

Wed Feb 09 20:57:56 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @slyall

Encouraging efficient use of a limited resource (land) is definitely useful. It’d possibly also encourage rows of townhouses over, eg large backyards.

But “those with property” most affected might be first home buyers mortgaged to their teeth. Which may or may not be the goal.

Thu Feb 10 06:16:55 +0000 2022 (#)


The #NZCovid19 Vaccine Pass has actual security features but none of them are (a) “purple background” or (b) checkable with the human eye (that’s why there’s a verifier app/algorithm).

“Not verifying passes with app/algorithm” should mean “no vaccine passes” limits apply.

Thu Feb 10 06:18:42 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

FTR screenshot rather than quote tweet because it’s about the general principle, not the specific example. (Image description should already have text of tweets.)

Thu Feb 10 06:21:26 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @BR3NDA


“Sighting the pass and getting attached to irrelevant visual details” is very Security Theatre (tm).

Handy you were able to work around their colouring preferences on the spot.

Fri Feb 11 04:38:46 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @TProphet

In case it helps next time, in some situations like this it’s been “third party” cookies between various domains used by the same large entity (specifically to reduce information leaked between domains/trust between unrelated data).

So that’d be the first thing I’d test for.

Fri Feb 11 05:03:31 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @textfiles

In case anyone else wants to watch the “Jason Scott Film School” about (and spoiling) Brazil (and related Terry Gilliam films), there’s currently a “recent broadcast” on Twitch archiving it. Actually start is just before 6m into the stream.

Fri Feb 11 07:43:04 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @ExcitedLeigh

It feels like New Zealand is cheating for that challenge: there just aren’t that many cities.

My guess was “I can’t think of a NZ city I haven’t been to”… which turns out to be correct, by every modern (eg my lifetime) definition of NZ city.

Fri Feb 11 08:06:16 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @ExcitedLeigh

“Every polycule should expand until it contains at least one person without ADHD” 🤔

(This might result in a large polycule, but I’m not convinced that’s a bug… except maybe if someone insists on all cohabiting.)

Fri Feb 11 19:38:44 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @xleem: I really like this report about the Aug 9th power outage/grid emergency in NZ.

Fri Feb 11 20:45:55 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @SwiftOnSecurity: Running your own email domain is essentially a lifetime commitment

Fri Feb 11 22:24:02 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @Vordio: DAW made in Excel.

Sat Feb 12 06:05:11 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @helenleigh: Embedded FM is my favourite technical podcast. They have excellent interviews with all sorts of interesting people. I'd for…

Wed Feb 16 05:25:36 +0000 2022 (#)

Turns out in #NZCovid19 “Double Red” (Red Phase 2), people will be sent a long “you tested positive” SMS text, and expected to click on the link in it to provide a bunch of information 😮

Really hoping that doesn’t become a phishing method 😬

Wed Feb 16 05:28:24 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

FWIW ideally the text message would point people at a landing page on (or the top page), only, and it should be obvious how to find the correct form from there. Users can just type in their access code (cross checked with name/DOB). #NZCovid19

Wed Feb 16 05:35:07 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Apparently the #NZCovid19 “you’re positive, click here” text will come from 2328, same as the Covid-19 vaccination details. (Source: audio in video linked at top of thread.)

But phone numbers are not exactly difficult to forge these days 😢

Wed Feb 16 05:37:44 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

(At time of writing #NZCovid19 site finds only one reference to 2328, on the vaccination page linked above; and Google only finds there references to “text from 2328” in quotes. Hopefully it’s at least better documented before people need to rely on it.)

Wed Feb 16 06:12:38 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Apparently when self-supporting through #NZCovid19 “you might be asked to take some recordings like your heart rate and oxygen levels” 🤔

Heart rate maybe people can be expected to count/time, but oxygen levels?! A pulse oximeter is pretty specialised.

Thu Feb 17 04:05:37 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @ComfyConAU: IT IS NEARLY TWO WEEKS TILL OUR CFP CLOSES. We're still looking for talks, if you've never spoken before, and you want supp…

Thu Feb 17 05:12:30 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @RealSexyCyborg: It's curation: Women make up 28% of the STEM workforce 56.8% of all science teachers are women -but almost none of the…

Thu Feb 17 08:05:52 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @bunniestudios: As a test, I made a one hour video that walks through the Precursor tech stack, from hardware to root keys. I feel it's…

Thu Feb 17 20:45:53 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @ravenslofty

Possibly still worth doing a MPW shuttle run (the Google sponsored Sky130 one, or commercial version of that, etc) as proof of concept in ASIC. Then decide if it’s worth trying to do a larger commercial run, possibly crowd funded, based on interest.

Fri Feb 18 00:13:26 +0000 2022 (#)

Sign of #NZCovid19 Double Red (Omicron Red Phase 2): “Kia Ora. One mask-exempt person in store at a time. Thanks :-)”

(Opposite side of Wellington CBD from the current Parliamentary Zoo and Surrounds. New sign in approx last week AFAICR.)

Fri Feb 18 02:59:49 +0000 2022 (#)

#NZCovid19 cases: 2 days ago: +1160; 1 day ago: +1573; today: +1929. Second differential is ~400, on infections largely “baked in” already.

Even assuming just linear growth, that’s 7-8 days to hit +5000/day (apparently trigger to switch to Triple Red, aka Red Phase 3) 🤔

Fri Feb 18 08:14:33 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @TProphet

If banking is an “essential service” (ie by the structure of society it’s basically impossible to function unbanked) — we’re pretty much there, at least in my country — possibly there has to be a “bank for the otherwise unwanted?”

Presumably with the usual “high risk” catches.

Sat Feb 19 21:42:31 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @TProphet

How much cash you’d need to have withdrawn to trigger a “run on the bank” probably depends in part on the bank’s reserve requirement. That’s often much less than 10%: Canada, NZ, Australia have no reserve requirement; USA is 0% since March 2020 AFAICT.

Sat Feb 19 21:47:46 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @TProphet

There’s also Capital Adequacy Requirements, which currently (Basel III, 2020) look like they’re 8.5% in mix of tier 1/2 assets, and 2.5% buffer.

So at least theoretically managing to withdraw as little as 2.5% could cause bank to be seen as “at risk” 🤔

Sat Feb 19 23:51:37 +0000 2022 (#)

“Fun” new daily #NZCovid19 challenge: figuring out how much territory has been ceded to the occupation and is no longer usable by regular Wellingtonians 😢

(Due to Wellington geography, “Parliament and surrounds” increasingly pinches off many “northern CBD” travel routes.)

Sun Feb 20 07:19:01 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

To my surprise it took 2 days (rather than one) for the #NZCovid19 daily cases to get over 2500/day (+2522 today; still under +2000 yesterday).

So maybe second differential linear growth is ~300/day, so 8-9 days to +5000/day 🤔

Sun Feb 20 07:26:43 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Meanwhile in Shenzhen, China (pop ~12M, ie 2x NZ) they’re keeping (~primary) schools closed because of two dozen #NZCovid19 cases (highest in quite a while). And still testing everyone (symptoms or not, everyone) regularly, to track/manage outbreak.

Mon Feb 21 00:50:09 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Encouraging that ~2 weeks into the Parliamentary Occupation the Police have finally realised that, in order to have a defendable border to the occupation, you actually need a physical border, not just a few police standing in a line.

QT is🧵of videos.

Mon Feb 21 00:59:08 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @thomasbeagle: Big thanks to @byroncclark and @Te_Taipo for their work in helping us understand the Wellington occupation and the extrem…

Mon Feb 21 04:06:14 +0000 2022 (#)

As best I can tell the last few days each New Zealand has had more new #NZCovid19 cases per day than in all of 2020 combined.

Appears to be 2162 cases in NZ in 2020 (culmulative, all year), from Wikipedia data.

Tue Feb 22 03:18:35 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @pjf: Just a reminder that in almost all cases you can replace the words "the economy" with "rich people's feelings" and the statement w…

Wed Feb 23 23:28:35 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @CNC_Kitchen: Hacked together a motorized macro rail this morning. Still needs to be put on a proper PCB and some user-friendly software…

Wed Feb 23 23:47:49 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Unsurprisingly the Parliamentary Occupation site, “protesting” against #NZCovid19 precautions, is itself a high risk site (the only recent one actually in Wellington AFAICT).

TBH I’m surprised it took this long to happen, given how easily Omicron spreads.

Thu Feb 24 05:09:17 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Turns out it took 3 more days to get to over 5000 new #NZCovid19 cases in a day.

The “growth in cases” graph now “looks exponential” to a quick glance (it’s been exponential for a while, just lower numbers; and uneven testing/reporting bumping up today).

Thu Feb 24 05:46:16 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Unsurprisingly we’re moving into #NZCovid19 Triple Red tonight (ie Red Phase 3). Which basically reduces contact tracing/isolation requirements in order to try to “keep society functioning”. Fun :-/

Thu Feb 24 06:39:39 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @tveastman

It was pretty much inevitable that we’d rush from Single Red to Triple Red in a week, given Double Red kicked in at ~1000 cases/day, Triple Red at ~5000 cases/day, and exponential growth. (Even mere linear growth put it just over a week.)

Thu Feb 24 06:43:26 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @hroethgar and @tveastman

Following the NSW, Australia playbook, with a side of “more people are boosted so it’ll go better, right?” “Right?”

(I’m picking “not so much”. And both annoyed and unsurprised it’s come to this. NZ obviously “gave up” mid Delta outbreak, late 2021 😢)

Thu Feb 24 07:24:07 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @hroethgar and @tveastman

My strong guess is that they got updated modeling that showed they’d relaxed the Delta constraint steps too early and couldn’t catch up again. Combined with protests against useful restrictions.

So “we can beat it again” lost in cabinet. And here we are: “slowing” it :-/

Thu Feb 24 07:44:34 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @tveastman and @hroethgar

Cases and household contacts are required to isolate, which will help slow the spread some.

But yeah, I share your concern that hospitals will soon be overwhelmed, and probably stay that way for 2 months 😢

And am frustrated we following proven bad playbooks 😔

Fri Feb 25 04:50:36 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @tveastman

In Triple Red (ie now) they only plan to notify high risk close contacts. Quick supermarket visits, everyone masked, don’t seem to have been “high risk close contact”.

Beyond that, as others said, Triple Red assumption is “you could have been exposed anywhere, act accordingly”.

Fri Feb 25 09:27:50 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @crt0mega and @RealSexyCyborg

Naomi just causally drops top notch cyberpunk movie shorts into her reviews 😃

(Clip posted at the top of the thread starts about 7 minutes in.)

Sat Feb 26 03:11:10 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

#NZCovid19 Triple Red brings news that “Locations of Interest” aren’t even being tracked any more. That explains why 550 Contact Tracers are out of work overnight 😢

Locations of Interest: All Aotearoa 😬

Sat Feb 26 05:38:59 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @deviantollam: @SwiftOnSecurity huge thank you to @chaosaltar and others who responded... looks like the music was from the original ani…

Sat Feb 26 06:12:42 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @waxy: Multitrack breakdown of Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive": incredible how much went into the production, check out the isolated acoustic…

Mon Feb 28 05:53:52 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @eey0re: Ending arrivals' isolation requirement during the peak is correct, but because we're a plague country now. This is a mark of *f…

Mon Feb 28 06:16:40 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Yesterday (14941) and today (14633) each had more new #NZCovid19 cases than 2020 and 2021 combined (14118 cumulative cases).

“Half this week” is, I think, an understatement 😢

Mon Feb 28 06:26:04 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

For ease of review, screenshots of tweets/Wikipedia timeline #NZCovid19 counts that were referenced in previous tweet.

(Links to sources in previous tweet, to which this is a reply.)