Twitter: @ewenmcneill -- October 2022

Fri Sep 30 21:51:36 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @xssfox

So “at least once” delivery, and “at most once” message display. Given some guaranteed “consistent and unique” element in the message metadata, that seems plausible to build. (Some mail clients do “at most once” display on message-id already to deal with “list and direct”.)

Fri Sep 30 22:07:21 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @Laughing_Mantis: If you wonder how I turn malware audio samples, and other data into music and sound aka #techtronica, here is a video…

Sat Oct 01 00:16:41 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @slyall: Thinking overnight about what might be involved with doing a conference adjacent to the new "Everything Open" conference that h…

Sat Oct 01 05:01:32 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @chrisjrn and @slyall

Thanks, that’s useful to know. I like PyConAU, and it’s seemed successful stand alone, so it’s good that’s not one of the things being absorbed into “Everything” Open.

(But it illustrates Simon’s point elsewhere that there’s a lack of info for what is being replaced.)

Sat Oct 01 05:15:57 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @netresec: L2 filtering can be bypassed by putting VLAN headers after the LLC-SNAP header in IEEE 802.3 Ethernet frames…

Sat Oct 01 21:45:59 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @ajdlinux and @slyall

Aha! That definitely explains the days of the week. Thanks :-)

Sun Oct 02 04:30:14 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @merxplat

I suspect metaphors seem the most accurate when neither the reader nor the writer know too much about the topics on either side of the metaphor… 🤔

Mon Oct 03 05:51:11 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @__fincham


No acoustic coupler?!

What kind of modern wizardry is this? 🤔

Mon Oct 03 06:48:42 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @xssfox and @__fincham

The grocery deliveries from local organics store always came in reused cardboard boxes. They have so* many delivery cardboard boxes and are always keen to get rid of them. Odd that supermarket deliveries aren’t doing the same: surely they too have endless spare boxes? 🤔

Tue Oct 04 04:07:13 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @pjf

Let me guess: Australia also is using the “She’ll Be Right Mate” Covid-19 management approach 😢

Tue Oct 04 07:46:53 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @xssfox

If I’ve guessed correctly that’s the eastern (harbour) end of the Jetty St/Wharf St overbridge, just west of the cycle/pedestrian spiral.

In which case it’s basically on/off ramp to/from State Highway 1, but I think a 50km/h section. So “fun”, but not impossible on foot.

Tue Oct 04 08:00:43 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @xssfox

Also there’s a give way sign for the on ramp bit, so traffic has to at least slow. And the off ramp bit mostly goes across the other ramp (to Otago Peninsular).

There’s only one pedestrian reason to use it (to use overbridge), and it looks relatively safe on foot TBH.

Tue Oct 04 08:03:56 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @xssfox

Also if you’re looking for a nice fairly flat place to run, I’d be looking more like around the University of Otago, and perhaps down towards the Octagon. Rather than the light industry / big box store area in South Dunedin.

(Or learn to love hills :-) )

Tue Oct 04 08:07:11 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @minxdragon: Same as it was after the invention of the camera, after smart phones and drawing tablets. The role of art is still to make…

Thu Oct 06 03:46:17 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @xssfox

FWIW I suspect if you have 5000 active IPs on AWS, the cost for the things using the IPs is probably going to be a couple of orders of magnitude higher than the record of IP…

… but still a very “interesting” billing model choice (flat base + N/MB storage seems more sensible).

Fri Oct 07 00:50:15 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @KO6YQ: "ISC DHCP Server has reached EOL" by @ISCdotORG - As announced last year, development ends for 25 year old code base of ISC DHCP…

Fri Oct 07 09:21:57 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @minxdragon: I would legitimately own this. I absolutely love it. It seems to be like a terrarium? Or a biosphere. The closer I look the…

Sat Oct 08 05:42:50 +0000 2022 (#)

Tech Tangents cloned a Philips CM-153 ISA LMSI card for the original Philips CM-100 (1x) external CDROM drive. From photos. Of a populated board. (One of the very few known to still exist. 2 sided, mostly 74xx logic, but still 😮)

Sun Oct 09 01:55:45 +0000 2022 (#)

TIL that Twitter was originally hosted by Joyent (a Illuminos, aka Solaris, cloud environment).

This (2022-04-25) Oxide podcast recording of a discussion between former Joyent engineers about early Twitter hosting is fascinating (CW course language).

Sun Oct 09 02:00:30 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @tveastman

“It’s summer here” — the “She’ll Be Right Mate” Covid Management program.

Sun Oct 09 02:03:16 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @tveastman

TBH I think the best case NZ Covid-19 response from here is that it’s treated like winter flu: once a year, autumn vaccination programme. Possibly combined with the flu vaccination.

Will this be sufficient. Of course not. 😔

Mon Oct 10 06:28:18 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @xssfox

“Who are you going to believe? The friendly voiceover, or your own lying eyes?“ 😃

Mon Oct 10 06:40:29 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

This is me too. Somewhat mitigated by being raised by journalists. So usually I can recognise when the sentence structure is creaking.

If I have time I might even manage to restructure it to be readable by “regular humans”. Which usually involves footnotes and/or postscripts.

Mon Oct 10 06:41:49 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @minxdragon: What else do I use it for? Dreams. It's quite fun to try and capture my dreams with AI. The process of drawing them out see…

Mon Oct 10 06:49:25 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

Wellington transport any% bus interchange 🤔

Wed Oct 12 04:38:29 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @Thoughtfulnz: NZCovid Status 12 October. The bad kind of roller coaster. Also, c.f. Wairarapa & Capital Coast/Hutt…

Wed Oct 12 04:53:06 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @RealSexyCyborg: Good thread via @amarkinthailand

Also why the "auntie" test is useful. If I can't pitch it to an older Chinese woman a…

Wed Oct 12 05:52:47 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @CivilLibertyNZ: New Zealanders have always rejected the idea that everyone should have their photos, fingerprints and DNA entered into…

Wed Oct 12 08:03:25 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @isomer

Someone I follow online genuinely used xonsh as their interactive shell: it allows arbitrary Python directly in the shell, plus some Bourne sh like features. Not used it myself, but it’s tempting.

(Tongue in cheek suggestion:



Wed Oct 12 08:21:47 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @LapTop006 and @isomer

If you use xoffsh then your processes never finish…. tempting 🤔

Wed Oct 12 08:24:57 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @isomer and @jlbec

FWIW, telnet (client, and protocol) originally had a line by line mode for input, which allowed local editing. ssh only ever implemented the character interactive model, but I can’t think of a good reason ssh couldn’t be made to work with locally edited line input.

Wed Oct 12 08:52:07 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @isomer and @jlbec

Given a smarter client (or client wrapper) all those things are achievable. In an “IDE wrapping CLI tools” kind of way.

Reimplementing emacs-style/vi-style line editing is just using readline or similar. Tab completion can be handled with server round trip (maybe plus cache).

Wed Oct 12 08:56:30 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @mjg59: Ah!

Wed Oct 12 23:44:40 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @isomer

Arguably En Space (U+2002) and Em Space (U+2003) should be in IFS. And maybe Thin Space (U+2009).

But NBSP (U+00A0), NNBSP (U+202F) should not.

I’m unsure about the rest.

Wed Oct 12 23:48:26 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @isomer

Also for security reasons, you might want to consider adding the LTR and RTL markers to IFS. There are fun TOCTOU confusions between editors and command line interpreters.

(I see your “local command line editing” project has grown to encompass Unicode 😬)

Thu Oct 13 05:52:47 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @RealSexyCyborg: Yep, Hong Kong is 6ACH and has really sound reasoning for that. Higher than that you're looking at diminishing returns,…

Thu Oct 13 06:04:08 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @RealSexyCyborg

NZ definitely contract traced multiple occurrences of Covid transmission to outdoor music festivals (back when NZ still did contact tracing). Duration of contact, close proximity, and umasked definitely added to it.

(Not aware of any traced to outdoor exercise at a distance.)

Thu Oct 13 09:11:54 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @venzann and @xssfox

I suspect the “hidden W” isn’t exactly a mistake: Countdown is a Woolworths related brand (previously/currently? owned by AU Woolworths.)

Also if you squint and pretend it’s cursive writing you can kinda see a lowercase c linked to an italics lowercase d 🤷‍♂️

Sat Oct 15 09:12:37 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @RealSexyCyborg

I think people, including journalists and politicians, really want to believe that widespread vaccination alone will solve the problem. Hence the “vaccinate more to great success” vibe.

It’s really inconvenient for them that reality disagrees on this point :-)

Sun Oct 16 08:55:08 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

I was wondering how that had gone, since AFAICT the only “I’m streaming” notification came just before I was heading out the door :-)

Looking forward to catching my up on how you got on!

Mon Oct 17 02:57:29 +0000 2022 (#)

TIL that the Ministry of Heath was tracking total #NZCovid19 hospitalisations in two systems, one for reporting to the public and another for internal advice. Which were allowed to get 25% out of sync in total counts 😬

(Good they owned up though 👍)

Mon Oct 17 03:03:24 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Hopefully the Ministry of Health’s opinion that the “best protection” against #NZCovid19 is getting vaccinated / boosted signals another round of #NZCovid19 booster vaccinations coming soon, as in most other western countries… 😢

Mon Oct 17 03:50:26 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @courtneymilan: I just saw a tweet in which someone was scoffing at COVID protections by saying “are you afraid of dying in a car accide…

Mon Oct 17 03:57:06 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

In related #NZCovid19 news it seems it will soon be impossible to buy RAT tests retail in NZ. A bunch of retailers who used to sell them are discounting for quick sale, often “in store only”, or out of stock.

If you want to buy some for “test at home before going out”, buy soon.

Mon Oct 17 04:53:47 +0000 2022 (#)

TIL someone actually did write a Unix (7th Edition) like kernel for the Z80: UZI.

(Something I always wanted to back when all I had was a Z80 based computer with 0.5MB of bank switched RAM. But never started.)

Mon Oct 17 04:58:08 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @pearofdoom

So far the RATs I’ve bought had late 2023 or early 2024 expiry dates. Which seems far enough away for now. Maybe by then we’ll be allowed to buy more…

(The ones I have seem to suggest -2C to 30C storage. Which seems unlikely to be exceeded indoors in Aotearoa.)

Mon Oct 17 05:16:05 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @xssfox


OTOH I guess that counts as “between flights exercise” :-)

(Hope you otherwise have an easy flight back.)

Mon Oct 17 06:29:13 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @GabeHockett: @anniierau did you show them possibly the greatest tiktok to exist

Mon Oct 17 06:55:07 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

It made for a nice length “after work, also doing other things” video.

And the short version seems to be “mostly works, but power on reset is tricksy”.

Mon Oct 17 07:36:20 +0000 2022 (#)

It turns out data representation matters in code. (Also many problems have been solved before, eg 1968 and 1996.)

Old and slow: Python set unions New and fast: bitwise set memberships checked with (bitwise) “and”.

~30 days wallclock time, versus ~500 µs.

Mon Oct 17 09:26:07 +0000 2022 (#)

Extremely cursed programming environment (do not implement!):

A visual programming environment where you connect blocks together with lines, and each block is labeled with a single Unicode glyph. You can add new blocks, identified by a unique Unicode glyph, to form macros.

Mon Oct 17 09:29:39 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

I’m serious: do not implement.

The world does not need a Visual APL / flow chart / Unicode mashup.

Tue Oct 18 03:52:38 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @xssfox

“Eventually consistent” 😬

Tue Oct 18 09:36:36 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @xssfox

Last time I had that problem I bought two different ones…

… not convinced this was the best solution, but it does result in having more lens caps than required rather than fewer lens caps than required. Just saying.

Wed Oct 19 02:24:32 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @RealSexyCyborg: That's the thing about Zero-COVID here- as effective as it is in saving lives, we make it 100x more difficult than it n…

Thu Oct 20 06:39:19 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @chrisjrn: The philosophy around community standards re. around infection control really shouldn't be any different to what we've demand…

Thu Oct 20 08:57:13 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @attacus_au

Less dramatically than aviation: health and safety of staff in most industrial situations has two forcing functions: 1. Unions (“fix it or we all won’t work”); 2. Government regulation (and or “Insurer” regulation; “fix it or it will be very expensive for you”)


Thu Oct 20 09:00:19 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @attacus_au

Places like Europe show that (give or take some over reach) Government regulation can improve priority given to InfoSec. But regulators are comparatively tolerant in most other countries 🤔

Not sure what the “union says so” equivalent is here. But it seems needed too.


Thu Oct 20 23:11:13 +0000 2022 (#)

IRD changes to GST records (2023-04-01) seem to imply you won’t need “Tax Invoice” on the records but you will need:

name trading name (if different) physical/postal address phone number email address NZBN URL of website

For the buyer. Less for seller.

Thu Oct 20 23:15:04 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

TBH being able to leave “Tax Invoice” off the record but having to record a NZBN, URL, legal and trading names, email and physical address for the buyer… doesn’t seem like an improvement 😔

(Maybe individuals without NZBN or website URL can’t buy things over $1000 now? 🤔)

Fri Oct 21 01:30:12 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @hroethgar: The good news for everyone except New Zealand where we’ll die waiting for the Labour government to supply them.…

Fri Oct 21 04:55:50 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @sigmas: Here’s just another boring #Tahoma fall color photo… it sucks to live in such an ugly place. #pnw

Sat Oct 22 03:00:30 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @cstross: This is the best musical instrument since the Furby Organ!

Sun Oct 23 20:51:47 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @Enezator: When musicians argue in Vivaldi language.

Mon Oct 24 05:19:29 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @ktemkin: one major danger of society traumatizing basically every non-neurotypical person: you constantly see people describing symptom…

Thu Oct 27 04:11:48 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @xssfox

Maybe next year we can have a cyber security month that isn’t just a breach announcement month 🤔

(Also February seems a long time ago. Did they only just realise 😬)

Thu Oct 27 06:54:01 +0000 2022 (#)

“/4/5” by Nahileon is an amazing variant sudoku: you get a single given 4, a 3x3 tile pattern of cells with a 5 in the middle of the tile, to place 7 times, and a two cell German Whisper line.

There’s one tile layout that works, then it solves uniquely 😮

Sat Oct 29 04:13:46 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @sigmas: Tonight's #Crescent #Moonset behind #SpaceNeedle in #Seattle. I wasn't planning on a moonshot, but when I saw that gorgeous moo…

Sat Oct 29 04:25:46 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @charlesarthur: Absolutely AMAZING story about how Mac OS X had to be tweaked so it could be certified as a “true Unix” - and stay for t…

Sat Oct 29 23:29:02 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @slyall

FWIW it is (or at least was) possibly to contribute to a Patreon without picking a tier (IIRC “all tiers” then scroll to the bottom for a “no tier” link). There was a $1 minimum anyway (maybe US$1 min), and beware card charges are non-trivial percentage.

Sat Oct 29 23:31:34 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @slyall

TBH anyone with a $20 minimum tier, who isn’t actively selling something via the Patreon, clearly doesn’t need my money.

US$3 / NZ$5 as a minimum I can understand. But I’m going to have to really like it/want to contribute. Or someone else gets the money :-)

Sun Oct 30 01:22:44 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @YouAreLobbyLud: This seems amazing. Belgium now requires, BY LAW:

1) public indoor spaces must display CO2 level 2) risk analysis and…

Sun Oct 30 01:25:11 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @sigmas: Here's a timelapse video of last night's #crescentmoon setting behind Space Needle in #Seattle. The still I posted yesterday is…

Sun Oct 30 06:53:26 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @Manawyrm: Another very ... creative use of technology:

Analog floppy sampler. 80 tracks of a 3.5" floppy get filled with a sample at 8…

Mon Oct 31 03:42:47 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @attacus_au

Bold of you to assume the verification criteria will stay the same. (I strongly suspect “willing to part with US$20/month” will soon be one of the most important criteria… 🤔)