Brief News

2021-03-14: Revision Party online again this year

2020-12-19: The ESP32-S2 will include a RISC-V core for power management

Word on the street, no sources.

1914-02-17: When advertising was not bullshitting you.

"MEN WANTED: FOR HAZARDOUS JOURNEY. SMALL WAGES, BITTER COLD, LONG MONTHS OF COMPLETE DARKNESS, CONSTANT DANGER, SAFE RETURN DOUBTFUL. HONOUR AND RECOGNITION IN CASE OF SUCCESS. SIR ERNEST SHACKLETON"

2020-09-09: Big Systems in Shocking Anti-Social Scandal

The only new thing enabled by our bigger systems is big data, which is largely a process of finding patterns that will fool or exploit the user/subscriber/customer.

2020-11-19: David Molloy, BBC Technology reporter

David Molloy claims to think that sending one less email per day will have a positive impact on the environment. How can a technology reporter put their name to such meaningless crap. I mean, really David Molloy? I don't even know where to begin. This is embarrassing.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-55002423 David Molloy, paid to be stupid.

2020-11-15: I am having homemade meringue and fresh whipped cream.

My life is blessed.

2020-11-09: My most beautiful poem

Myriad poems lack this essential beauty.

2020-11-02: Data Brokers and Marketplaces

There's a whole world of data trading that forms the basis of the harvesting economy outside of the obvious huge players. This would make an interesting area of investigation, just to build a picture of how things work. I have already seen one site that's kind of an eBay for data, where harvesters can peddle their ill-gotten gains to data-hungry buyers, there must be many more but since they are B2B, they don't advertise widely. However they do advertise. Must get digging!

2020-10-31: Mark Jenkinson MP (Eejit)

There's a row in the UK over offering free school meals, via vouchers, where the tories are generally against it. Mark Jenkinson MP opposes it because, he claims, a miniscule (his word) number of people in his constituency abuse it and trade the food for drugs. And for this reason, he would prefer to deny the overwhelmingly non-miniscule number of children who would benefit. He's either dishonest about his reasons, or stupid about his reasoning. He could also simpy be a hideous individual, though I think more likely stupid or dishonest. I wonder, if he has children, how well fed they are.

2020-10-24: Phrenology discredited research shows

Sorry to tell you folks with a large cranium that it infers nothing about your intelligence or other form of superiority, except perhaps heading the ball in a football match. Any apparent supremacy that has historically been attributed to phrenological characteristics is no longer considered valid. Yet, you were so fucking sure, weren't you? All it took was some pseudo-science to flatter your ego, and you were bound to buy into it. It was all bollocks. Not like melanin, now that's real science.

2020-10-08: Metropolitan Police - quite shocking racism.

British athlete Bianca Williams was stopped by police for 'looking black in a fancy car'. Her baby was in the back, and it seems that the child was entered into a Met-run database that stores information on children who have 'become known to the police for any reason'. Shocking. There was no reason to stop her in the first place, and her child has absolutely fuck all to do with the police. I'd be livid.

2020-10-08: Poor Jack, I feel your pain!

Jack hates the poison that is the YouTube recommendation algorithm. I think I feel every bit of Jack's anguish.

2020-09-30: Champion The Wonder Horse - Crap!

The Kids BBC show Waffle The Wonder Dog led me to Champion The Wonder Horse. Made around 1955, periodically shown on British TV until 1993, it was shit! I mean, really shit. The absurd crap we filled childrens heads with astonishes me.

2020-09-25: What about the Stone Roses, BBC?

The BBC News site just 'revisited the 90s' with Oasis dominating with their product-placing, stereotypically Manc Indie, yet really middle of the road crap. One reference, in name only, to the Stone Roses, about halfway down the page, without showing any real respect to their enormous contribution to the whole Manchester indie scene. Inspiral Carpets? Zilch!

2020-09-20: A good review of Pinephone

I want to get a Pinephone. More accurately, I want to ditch Android, and Pinephone is the best replacement I can find. Blair Vidakovich wrote up an excellent overview of his experience with the Pinephone Community Edition, having tried a whole bunch of Linux-based distributions on it. It has both tempered my expectations and made me want one more!

2020-09-20: Here's one reason science can be confusing

I was looking up the heaviest metal found on Earth, which led me to Osmium in the platinum group metals. I found the following paragraph, which shows the range of names and acronyms used for this group. It struck me that much of naming in science is inconsistent - you often don't realise this until you've learned the subject after fighting through the terminology. In other words, too late!
"The platinumgroup metals abbreviated as the PGMs alternatively, the platinoids, platinides, platidises, platinum group, platinum metals, platinum family or platinumgroup elements PGEs are six noble, precious metallic elements"

2020-09-19: IRC logs are now read locally

The IRC logs that I make available here are now taken locally from my own bouncer, rather than hitting makeworld's server for them. The main benefit is that I can filter out meta-lines ('***') and still be left with full conversations, since sometimes the abbreviated list on makeworld's server would contain almost all meta lines (e.g. if there was a netsplit).

2020-09-17: I have an atom feed, but it hasn't shown on capcom yet.

I have an atom.xml file that seems to be valid, but nothing is showing up in CAPCOM. Not yet sure why.

2020-09-04: Jemserv Gemini Server in Java

It was mentioned that the JVM was entirely unrepresented in Gemini space, and so I couldn't resist redressing the balance. Since the runtime consumes ~90MB of RAM, it's going to have to offer some astounding feature before even I, the author, use this myself.

2020-08-28: I discovered IndieWeb, and it's weird!

There's nothing even moderately substatial. The website has a lot of text, but it's largely vacuous other than a few paragraphs on setting up a web site. If I were more cynical, I'd think its aim is to hijack the concept of a simpler, more diverse web, and then fuck it up before it gains any traction.
By contrast, Gemini's official homepage offers a concise specification, a meaningful FAQ, a list of clients and servers, proxies for accessing the sites, a link to a search engine to find stuff, links to aggregators to find stuff. The list goes on.

2020-08-28: Twitter feeds via Gemini Client

My Gemini repository on GitLab (see last news item) has twitter2gmi, a JavaScript (nodejs) script that accepts a list of twitter users and generates a gemtext file with the last 40 tweets for each tweeter. It also creates a summary index file with all tweeters' last few tweets.
I have found it a distraction-free way to keep up with the handful of twitter accounts that I read periodically.

2020-08-27: Headline suggested by visitor, experts shocked

In other news, a headline suggested by an anonymous source was inadvertently sent to press by a careless worker. Asked for comment, the publisher said "I'm shocked". Angry activists took to Twitter to express their outrage, though none seemed to know what they were angry about. Asked for comment, none were able to form a coherent sentence, instead spouting random hashtags and trigger words.

2020-08-26: I may have just improved my proxy

Now my proxy now passes all tortures. I have put it on Gitlab, linked below, though there's no user-interface and no docs yet. You just specify the gemini URL as a url= parameter to the proxy CGI script.

2020-08-25: I may have just written a proxy

I have written a web to gemini proxy in Bash and Awk to run from CGI. The edge-cases just seem to keep coming, and I have to choose between tedium and mediocrity. I'm leaning towards mediocrity. It works, but does not fare well on some of the torture tests.

2020-08-22: From Scotland With Love - King Creosote

Film assembled from old footage that tells a story of Scottish cultural change over time. Virginia Heath, Grant Keir, music by King Creosote. This is a beautiful touching film, the music and imagery go perfectly together, and it gives some wonderful insights into years gone by.

2020-08-19: Flags help feign loyalty. A fair trade for conformance

How many people feign loyalty and patriotism by using a flag in their portrait photos? You might be forgiven for thinking only highly patriotic people are intelligent enough to hold high positions. Or it might be that people only get into high positions if they're willing to at least feign devition to their country and flag. I find it all a bit creepy - cult-like.

2020-08-18: exam algos may mix correlation with causation

The UK has used algorithms to assign exam grades to studens, since they couldn't actually sit their exams this year. There has been a lot of discontent, because I suppose nobody agrees with the criteria on which the algorithms are based. This is an opportunity to drive home to youn people the dangers of using algorithms to make life-changing decisions for people (big or small). It's not that algorithms are a bad thing, it's that there's not enough transparency regarding their implementation.

2020-08-13: Gemini over LoRa, an idea...

2020-08-12: The thunder has stopped. Its quiet.

2020-08-06: Autogenerated Word Pool

My make_site_words.sh script auto-generates pools of words on the site. This helps me remember the growing list of stuff I am putting on Gemini. If anyone wants the scripts, they're largely the sitemap stuff, but the wordpool script isn't up yet, so ask on IRC(kevinsan).

2020-08-05: We now have a sitemap, auto-generated by the script below

I'm losing sight of .gmi files that are shielded by index.gmi, a sitemap was needed.

2020-08-01: If China having data is threat, why not gov?

If we read concerns that China 'has our data', then we should be at least as concerned about any other entity having our data. It begs the question - what can China do with our data that is so bad? Because the answer will apply to anyone else with this data.

2020-07-29: Is Britain a racist country?

An absurd question, but is typical of news opinion piece headlines, the BBC comes to mind in particlar. The answer is of course "No, but there are *some* profoundly racist people here". Not least, within the BBC - all discussions around race seem to polarise to 'us' and 'them'. There must be enough people in that organisation to point out the obvious stupidity, yet it seems not.

2020-07-28: Ben Lawers is shrouded in cloud

I'm reminded that not all climbs to the summit are rewarded with the glorious views across Perthshire; sometimes all you get is a cloud blowing in your face with gale force.

2020-07-18: Im going to do a web2gmi funnel for Firefox. Stay tuned

Then again, I might not. It depends on how much stuff i think might be worth bringing to port 1965.

2020-07-16: We now have a searchable Vim FAQ, see the homepage.

What this shows is that structured plain text can be processed very effectively. Plain text is powerful.

2020-07-15: I now have a news feed to post to.

2020-07-15: Deedum Android Client - really quite good. Supports tabs and bookmarks.