reddragdiva: (flame war)
It's all [personal profile] arkady's fault. Posting there a bit, and some of it even makes sense out of context.
reddragdiva: (Wikipedia)

There’s a trope that KEEPS COMING UP in discussions with internet libertarians and/or anarcho-capitalists that fucking children, child porn etc. should totally be legal. Advocates can get quite incensed about it.

Motivations are an unholy blend of (1) the principle of the thing (1a) “children can totally decide for themselves! 12yos are famed for correct life decisions” (1b) “children are property, per Rothbard” (2) that the ‘berts in question are teenagers themselves and feel oppressed (3) that the ‘berts in question are mid-thirties or so and possibly not people you want within a mile of your social circles.

RationalWiki’s only ever “no just fuck off and never come back wtf moonmoon” hellban was after the webmaster posted his essay putting forth the libertarian argument for fucking children. (You can find it online, but not on RW kthx.)

So this is probably material for a RationalWiki article, because this trope KEEPS COMING UP. the problem is of course that this would involve (1) researching it (2) thinking about it in depth, neither of which appeals, so I’ve been avoiding it for a few years now.

(This is actually a distinct thing from Rothbard expounding upon how a free market in children would totally result in increased child welfare and not e.g. slavery.)

So, lazyweb! Has anyone else outside libertarian circles written up this trope as yet that i can crib from?

(If your very first reaction to this post is to expound upon the importance of whether we’re talking about adolescents or preadolescents, and you are neither, you may be part of the problem.)

reddragdiva: (post punk)

That’s the noise my hard disk started making on Sunday. You could hear the cry of AAAAAAAA from the stratosphere.

I have reaped the just reward of being sloppy with backups and lost three months’ work. Four songs, one good, one really good, one not so good, one which would have been awesome if I’d got more than the sketch down probably. I have an old source file for one, none for the others. but! I had MP3s of two of them! So more Diva Rose for you!

  • Resonant (demo) (vocal guide) - I really like this song and the bass and drum sound really work here. This is the vocal guide version (that’s not [personal profile] arkady singing, that’s FluidSynth general MIDI sound font “ahh chorus” 52). The keyboard line needs work. I have an old source file and get to rebuild it.
  • Heaven’s Circle (demo) (vocal guide) - this one I lost the source file for too. The vocal line here is not great and the bridge isn’t done at all, but I like the drums. Got a beat and you can dance to it. I’m thinking here of the sort of obscure ‘80s new wave 12" that you never heard of until Burning The Ground ripped it.
  • Heaven’s Circle (demo) (karaoke) - same thing without the vocal line. Do your own!

I like indushtral noises and Arkady is really a folkie, so probably we should do neofolk. Socialist neofolk of course: acoustic guitar with noises, glitches and stirring internationalist sagas of social justice. Late period Frank Tovey but with better tunes. Tumblr should be an excellent place to ascertain what terms and concepts crypto-and-not-so-crypto-fascists will find optimally triggering.

(yes I know Tovey did an LP with Boyd Rice I own a Boyd Rice CD and Re-Search #11: Pranks! and saw him live once if only he wasn’t enormously musically important and would stop talking like a stupid person’s idea of how smart people talk dammit)

(also the Fad Gadget-related articles on Wikipedia need a serious cleanup)

I now have Dropbox set up.

reddragdiva: (rocknerd)

After fiddling with music for ages, [personal profile] arkady and I have declared ourselves a band: Diva Rose, 'cos that's who's in it. (I wanted "The Diva Show" but it's taken.) Need a moody photo or two.

Two tracks are finished and up on Soundcloud right now. Both are instrumentals, because neither of us can work out how to write a lyric (which is annoying for two people who identify as writers). Have at 'em, actionable critiques are most welcomed. Cheers to [ profile] echo_echo and [ profile] deathboy for encouragement, which hopefully they won't regret.

These were done with LMMS (the cheap'n'cheerful Woolworths guitar of disco) and a bit of finishing in Audacity.

Arkady is an excellent musician and singer. I am neither, but thirty years' record collecting leaves a lot of ideas sticking in one's head.

I have maybe ten fragments that are looking good (better than these, if I can finish them) and about two hundred that are sketches and faff. Next quest goal: finish things.

reddragdiva: (geek)

The free E-meter at every desk is a valuable job perk! The Kool-Aid tasted a bit funny, though.

sprint: artificial crisis

end of sprint: abandonware

Scrum Master: CV credit for my planned escape to a new company

stakeholder: someone you can't get away with externalising your costs onto, because they can hammer a wooden spike through your heart

Project Manager: a job that no longer needs to exist in the astounding new world of Scrum! (Pay no attention to the project owners, product owners, story-writing users above you in the org chart or Scrum Masters behind the curtain.)

simplified: doesn't implement the actual business requirements

lightweight: doesn't implement the actual business requirements, but does so much more elegantly than the version that works

easy: project was born circling the drain (and doesn't implement the actual business requirements)

legacy: the version that works and implements the actual business requirements, though no sane human wants to touch it

user story: a valiant attempt to extract coherent requirements and bug reports; ends up being precise specifications for the wing feathers of the desired magical flying unicorn pony

velocity: a speed with a direction: skittering about following marketing's random hairpin turns

retrospective: blamestorm incoming!

stand-up: establishing blamestorm targets early

Inspect and Adapt: perhaps bong hits will fix my makefile

We'll put that on the backlog: ahaha fuck you

doing Agile wrong: noticing any of the above.

I do enjoy some of the jargon. empowered: do your own fucking job. "Could you just copy down these log files from these fifteen servers for me and put them on the shared drive? Thanks." "I'm sorry, I'm afraid you're empowered to do that."

Every good idea is turned into a bad one by the relentless management quest to Taylorise clue.

HT the Monastery

reddragdiva: (trolldad)

(Inspired by this euphoric fever dream of an infographic.)

  1. There will continue to be nothing that Bitcoin does better than existing systems, apart from money laundering and purchasing illicit goods.

  2. No, not remittances. The expensive bit of Western Union is in fact that last mile.

  3. It will remain difficult to turn your Bitcoins into conventional currency (which is the only reason there's such a spread between exchanges).

  4. It will get even harder to turn your conventional currency into Bitcoins, as any exchange not being run by blatant crooks puts you through the anti-money-laundering mill.

  5. The protocol problems will continue not to be fixed, unless most of the hashing power and Mircea "socks and cocks"* Popescu can be convinced to go along with the Bitcoin Foundation. No 20-meg blocks for you!

  6. 99% of current hashing power came online in 2014; this will be very price-sensitive, and much will go offline as the price drops, maybe coming back next hash adjustment.

  7. Miners will continue to sell their coins immediately to cover costs: we are circling equilibrium, where the cost of mining 1 BTC is about 1 BTC. The pool of money to pay for them comes from new Greater Fools.

  8. Transaction irreversibility will remain Bitcoin's sticking point, as speculators who are insufficiently computer-savvy keep getting burnt. "No chargebacks" will continue to repel customers and not attract businesses.

  9. More exchanges will get hacked and/or just take everyone's money. (So far just this year: BitStamp, 796, LocalBitcoins, EgoPay.)

  10. Everyone who bought in the last year and held is a bagholder. Their claims and speculation will get increasingly frenzied. Ask for numbers supporting all claims, particularly the ones in the above-linked infographic.

  11. The bagholders and gambling addicts will continue to be taken by obvious scams, e.g. the two Ponzi scheme sites in just the last month.

  12. Sidechains will continue to be vaporware and not in fact a thing that exists, let alone solves any problems. Bitcoiners will still talk about them as if they exist in the present, therefore you should ignore that altcoins are possible. Edit: OTOH, pettycoin might get finished this year.

  13. Altcoins will continue to be even scammier than the Bitcoin ecosphere, boggled as I was to realise this.

  14. The price is presently being held up by speculation and wishful thinking. No new reason will come along. The "fundamentals" are a castle in the air.

  15. Nobody actually wants smart contracts. They know that the plot of Dr. Strangelove is literally an unstoppable smart contract going wrong. Real customers want problems to be fixable when circumstances change, real companies want to retain the option of lawyering out of a stupid deal. The only people who would want smart contracts are businesses looking to screw over their customers even more than "mandatory arbitration" clauses do. This is about as appealing to customers as no chargebacks, for the same reason.

  16. Blockchains, even if by some remarkable wrinkle they turn out useful for something, will not lug Bitcoiners' 33 GB of SatoshiDice penny shavings with them. Bitcoiners will continue to bring up "blockchain technologies" as a reason to bother with Bitcoin regardless, because that's literally all they have.

    (Bitcoiners misunderstand that when a techie calls something "interesting" they don't necessarily mean "useful", "feasible" or "practical" — often they mean "what the hell even is that" or "I ain't even mad, that's amazing". The blockchain, particularly as implemented in Bitcoin, is very much the last.)

If you know nothing about Bitcoin and find the above largely confusing, here's the short FAQ and the RationalWiki article (which I started). I'm not such a fan.

* Technically this is blatant ad hominem, but it's definitely a post so amazing it should be linked anywhere his name is mentioned, ever. Archive link.

reddragdiva: (geek)

From a Hacker News thread on MongoDB. Someone asks "why use MongoDB?" I answer:

Same reason as MySQL: it's there, it's popular, it's the first thing that springs to mind. That it's shit doesn't factor in.


Arguably, MySQL/MariaDB has over the course of its life improved to the point where it is a reasonable product. I normally wouldn't pick it over PostgreSQL for a new project but it doesn't easily lose data any more, either, and it has good read performance with the default backend.


It's not an unmitigated disaster, true. But speaking as a sysadmin whose problem it is, it's still horrible to administer for something that turns out to be business-critical, and it pains me whenever a third-party useful thing pretty much requires it. (Typically PHP stuff where the paid developers hyperoptimise for MySQL, and there's hypothetical PG support which is actually half a volunteer.)


>Typically PHP stuff where the paid developers hyperoptimise for MySQL

That's quite true. My experience with MySQL comes from working with company intranet installations that didn't see that much traffic and some web apps, all with a high read-to-write request ratio. They all ran off a single DB server (some hardware, some VPS), so my administrative work was limited to automating fairly straightforward tasks with things like Ansible. I'm curious to hear an example of the kinds of problems you've run into with MySQL, since I assume you deal with more complex and larger-scale deployments. (And I'm looking for anecdotes to help persuade customers and developers alike to give Postgres a try.)


Nothing hugely complicated. Production Magento, Drupal and WordPress - we managed to outsource the WordPress, so now it's mainly now Magento, and that's much more horrible in itself than MySQL - one in-house tool that used to use it, some MediaWiki, and one really badly-behaved in-house tool that picked MySQL without asking us first.

Mostly we were bitten by long-running MySQL sillinesses:

  • its strange idea of UTF-8 (we call the MySQL version WTF-8 - see )
  • InnoDB's galloping disk consumption
  • the Debian/Ubuntu package's default stupid behaviour of putting all the InnoDB databases into a single file ibdata1 (I hope this is a Debianism and not something that's default in upstream)
  • ibdata1 never shrinking ever (bug #1341, open since 2003)
  • binary replication issues (e.g. bug #68892, which is fixed but that doesn't help older or distro versions)
  • several others I've mercifully obliterated the braincells that were holding them. But all of these were long-known issues that will never be fixed for one reason or another (backward compatibility with past mistakes, or they just can't be bothered).

Here's a good crib:

tl;dr MySQL: the Comic Sans of databases. Except Comic Sans has use cases.

If you have someone attempting to use MySQL internally, pick and choose from those issues and some from that "good crib" link.

Update: Apparently the single file for all InnoDB was standard upstream until 5.5. "This monolithic approach was targeted at machines dedicated entirely to database processing, with carefully planned data growth, where any disk storage allocated to MySQL would never be needed for other purposes." YES, BUT YOU NEVER GIVE IT BACK, SO THAT'S NOT ACTUALLY BLOODY USEFUL, IS IT NOW.

Update May 2015: Why MySQL is probably not WordPress's favourite database either. MySQL does in fact have a strict mode; you should be so lucky as to have your third-party software support it. (WordPress are working on this.)

reddragdiva: (geek)

Connecting to Google Drive as a CMIS provider (edit using a proper word processor, save to Google Docs) is something LibreOffice can supposedly do.

I've been trying for a while on Ubuntu, using (a) the Ubuntu distro 4.2, (b) a hand-compiled 4.4beta (with --enable-ext-google-docs) (c) Windows LO 4.2 under Wine and (d) the Windows 4.4beta under Wine, and I can't get it to work.

Assume I've read the HOWTOs. Has anyone here actually got this to work themselves? Not a link to a HOWTO, not reports someone else did, but you personally. How did you get it to work? Which version and platform?

(There's also a feature request to give this a decent interface. This would be a FANTASTIC feature to have working out of the box.)

Others have hit bug 72646. No successful reports as yet.

Update: One report of success on Windows, though not on Linux (though [personal profile] hellsop couldn't get it to work on Windows).

Update: HOLY CRAP I GOT IT TO WORK. Windows 7, LO 4.3 and 4.4beta. Tools->Options->General, set native dialogues. Open. Click "Servers ..." or just "..." at the top. Enter a name, set CMIS, set Google Drive, click the twisty arrow, enter username (e.g. and password, enter a master password, enter username again, click "OK". You should now have Google as a drive you can go to. You need to hit ctrl-S to save files, they don't autosave, but that's fiiiine.

LO 4.4beta for Windows under Wine 1.7 still doesn't work. I click the twisty arrow and it hangs. I'm presuming some obscure networky thing isn't implemented in Wine.

(Also on my Facebook, if you can see that.)

reddragdiva: (nice cup of tea and a sit down)

Fresh from the PR success of Eich as CEO, Mozilla tries again by coming out for Gamergate.

This one is an open-source software community clusterfuck. "Open Standard" is a sort of community-contributed group blog. They ran an anti-Gamergate article last week, so Gamergate barraged them with everything they could to get a pro-Gamergate article on.

The trouble is, Open Standard is editorially reviewed by a Mozilla employee. So yeah, this has editorial signoff. There were a lot of people around Mozilla who thought Open Standard was a terrible, terrible idea ...

The people behind this even contacted the stalker ex with a restraining order out on him, seeking his input.

Then @firefox retweeted the pro-GG article. Who runs @firefox is up in the air.

Mozilla also refused to block GG from using the Mozilla Etherpad as a forum for harassment planning. Jake Maul of Mozilla's first concern is not to be seen to be "'hating gamers', or 'supporting misguided Social Justice Warriors'." Never mind people being harassed out of their houses.

Mozilla's problem appears to be the Wikipedia/Wikimedia problem: there is literally nobody who can actually say "fuck these people" and make it stick.

So far @firefox has just responded "sorry community lol guess we stepped on our dicks" [1] [2]. A respondent notes "Well, it certain was a bold strategy to unite pro-GGers and anti-GGers to permanently switch over to Chrome."

"Women in danger of being murdered and the men who threaten to murder them. Where's the happy medium? Mozilla asks." I'm strictly an amateur at nonprofit PR, and I could still shit a better media strategy than these guys.

This is not a free speech zone for gators. Fuck off. Why don't you go read the extensively-cited RationalWiki article.

Update: Mitchell Baker says something that's approximately nothing.

reddragdiva: (stress relief)

From enterprise-

$ grep -r chmod .|grep 777
./downloader/lib/Mage/Backup/Filesystem.php: chmod($backupsDir, 0777);
./app/code/core/Mage/Compiler/Model/Process.php: @chmod($dir, 0777);
./app/code/core/Mage/Install/Model/Installer/Console.php: @chmod('var/cache', 0777);
./app/code/core/Mage/Install/Model/Installer/Console.php: @chmod('var/session', 0777);
./app/code/core/Mage/Install/Model/Installer/Config.php: chmod($this->_localConfigFile, 0777);
./app/code/core/Mage/Catalog/Model/Product/Attribute/Backend/Media.php: $ioAdapter->chmod($this->_getConfig()->getTmpMediaPath($fileName), 0777);
./app/Mage.php: chmod($logDir, 0777);
./app/Mage.php: chmod($logFile, 0777);
./lib/Zend/Service/WindowsAzure/CommandLine/PackageScaffolder/PackageScaffolderAbstract.php: @chmod($path, '0777');
./lib/Zend/Service/WindowsAzure/CommandLine/PackageScaffolder/PackageScaffolderAbstract.php: @chmod($path, 0777);
./lib/Zend/Service/WindowsAzure/CommandLine/PackageScaffolder/PackageScaffolderAbstract.php: @chmod($path, 0777);
./lib/Zend/Cloud/StorageService/Adapter/FileSystem.php: chmod($path, 0777);
./lib/Varien/Autoload.php: @chmod($this->_collectPath, 0777);
./lib/Varien/File/Uploader.php: chmod($destinationFile, 0777);
./lib/Mage/Backup/Filesystem.php: chmod($backupsDir, 0777);
./errors/processor.php: @chmod($this->_reportFile, 0777);

I can't say what we're paying for this standard of quality, but I can say that it's public knowledge that Magento is at least $13k/yr.

The Magento world doesn't seem to consider this in any way a problem. Every guide I see blithely says to 777 stuff in your bloody webroot. I CANNOT EVEN.

Also, storing money as floats is absolutely fine and defensible.

You know you've been working on Magento a bit long when you can hum along to bits of "Metal Machine Music" accurately.

reddragdiva: (geek)

There's an antipattern that Internet social sites tend to: people get nostalgic for the old times, and think that if they can just get rid of these annoying newcomers they'll get the old site back again just like they remember. The primary fallacy is that the reason it was interesting back then was that nobody knew what they were doing and what would come next; attempting to encase that in carbonite is unlikely to achieve the desired effect. The secondary fallacy is that they themselves are different people now.

(thinking of two example sites going through precisely this angst right now. And of another, where a Usenet newsgroup from 15 years ago just revived itself on Facebook, and it appears to be working precisely because we're different people now so it's interesting again and we don't know what happens next.)

Edit: Now a slightly longer pontification.

reddragdiva: (stress relief)

When they came for the patent trolls, I said "Hey, you guys missed a couple. See, there's one right over there." When they came for the RIAA, I said "Guess what they playlist in Hell, buddy!" When they came for the academic publishers, I said "Glad to see my tax dollars at work!" When they came for Elsevier, I said "I thought you got those guys last time you stopped by." When they came for the Business Software Alliance, I bought them a case of beer. When they came for the movie studios, I said "So, you guys hiring anytime soon?"

reddragdiva: (Default)

  • The horrible story of How The Woman Got Her Period.

  • Did you know web users are "design-starved"? Me neither. There's not enough Comic Sans in the world to deal with some people.

My domains are with 123-reg. Looks like that's changing. Suggestions for nonweasel registrars?

Three NewsTechnica in quick succession! Mozilla announces Javascript For Heterosexuals, New Wu-Tang Clan album available only as no copies at all, Pounding techno and shedloads of pills “exciting” new depression therapy. The trouble with writing more is that the actual news makes me want to stab it, not write about it.

Also, a pile of Rocknerd: February, March, April.

Things I swore I would never do again: accept a position on the board of a small charity. I am now on the RationalMedia Foundation Board of Trustees. And we have actual stuff to do! Fun times!

There may be no whiter musical style than Christian Rock Blues. Syncopation is on another planet.

reddragdiva: (domesticity)

By the way, here's the ghetto way to make mead*:

  • empty 5 litre plastic container
  • 1 litre cheap orange juice
  • 1 kilo honey
  • enough hot water to top it up to 4 litres (e.g. by washing out the honey jars)
  • two teaspoons brewer's yeast
  • cap it, shake it REALLY HARD to mix it up
  • balloon with pinhole to serve as airlock on top
  • leave for two months (Change balloon every couple of weeks.) Filter. Leave for another two months.

If you want to be super-ghetto and use bread yeast, start off two teaspoons yeast in a jam jar with two tablespoons warm water and one tablespoon sugar. Leave it to stand for 5-10 min until it starts frothing. Then put that in the above and proceed from the shaking step.

This sort of thing is why banning alcohol is futile.

See also: [personal profile] arkady's mead blog. Here's a two-litre three-week version.

* technically an orange melomel, but nobody cares

reddragdiva: (domesticity)

(Like that wasn't the completely predictable outcome. My life being a BBC1 sitcom. ITV1 on the worse days.)

Alba spotted [personal profile] arkady having a seizure 30 seconds before it hit — jumped up at her, grabbed her sleeve, steered her away from the road edge to a bus shelter, jumped on her to make her sit down, then the seizure hit. Just a quick one. She spotted one ahead of time a few days later, so the first wasn't a fluke.

Being able to spot seizures is a rare talent. Holy shit, the dog's got superpowers! We're already lining up proper service dog training. (Certification will be months away, obviously.)

Alba's a collie cross, so in one month she should be able to review Arkady's Tumblr and present her with the most amusing posts each morning, and in two months she'll have built a Dogecoin mining rig out of tinfoil and string.

The kitten is now trolling the dog. I think this counts as "getting along".

I shall, evidently, be guzzling antihistamines. (cough, hack, wheeze)

Now for the landlord ...

reddragdiva: (domesticity)

Update: We're keeping the dog. (Like that wasn't completely the predictable outcome.)

This is Alba. Alba is just under a year old; she's a husky/collie cross. Alba desperately urgently needs a new home as her owner, [personal profile] arkady's daughter, has been told by the landlord that she will be evicted if Alba isn't rehomed immediately. He is not prepared to wait until Battersea can take her in on 17th February.

She's currently in our small, cramped house, and this is basically infeasible. We need to find her a home as absolutely soon as possible, as in days (tomorrow would be good, yesterday would be better).

She's a lovely friendly dog, very smart and energetic, very playful, a bit boisterous to be around small children (needs some training) though Freda (6yo) loves her. Needs a lot more walking than she's been getting. She is also gorgeous and an utter chick magnet.

If you or someone you know can offer Alba a home, please email me — Better than a shelter, which is where she will end up otherwise.

reddragdiva: (trolldad)

Freda's been asking for over a year, so she got a fish tank and two goldfish for Christmas. Their names are Treasure (silvery-gold) and Binoculars (black, named for its bulgy eyes). She is delighted. And is very good with feeding time.

fish! )

My year-long experiment with Windows 7 is over, as Windows rot progressed to the point where its unreliability in sleeping properly was less annoying than the Toshiba brightness bug in Ubuntu. Feels good, man. I'm playing with LMMS again. FUCKING PULSEAUDIO AAAAAAAA yes, I should set up JACK if I'm going to do audio on Linux. But AAAAAAAA.

[personal profile] arkady is having a life for me. Shiny new cheap'n'cheerful drawing tablet. Leaving the house on occasion. She also has an original fantasy novel, Warlock, that she is posting as a weekly serial! So get subscribing in WordPress or by email.

(As well as the hot boy elf on boy elf fanfic action with arcing ropes of magical fluorescent jism[citation needed] in her spare time.)

(Also: when caught naked by burglars, edged weaponry carries the look off with style.)

reddragdiva: (geek)

Recap and extension of this post (or this one) from July:

Freda's computer is her mother's old Dell XPS M-170 gaming laptop. (This is identical to the Inspiron 9300 but with glowing blue bits on the lid.) I put Xubuntu on it. This works perfectly, including sound (SigmaTel C Major Audio) ... but controlling the sound is proving problematic.

There are three speakers: two tweeters in stereo at the front and a woofer in mono. In Windows, these all work together. (You can't change the balance per-speaker, but at least they all go.) In Xubuntu, the sound control panel lets me put sound out either the treble speakers or the bass one, not both at once.

I cannot find how to switch on and balance all speakers at once, as I wish.

I investigated various ALSA manipulations. PulseAudio appears to be deciding which output ALSA sends all sound to as hw:0,0. So no ALSA twiddling appears to have an effect — ALSA just can't see the separate outputs.

pavucontrol lets me switch either the mono woofer or the stereo tweeters on, but not both at the same time.

lspci line:
00:1e.2 Multimedia audio controller: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) AC'97 Audio Controller (rev 03)

Pulse, however, can tell there are two outputs and even identify them to me. It just won't let me switch on both at once.

So my problem appears to be how to tell Pulse that both speakers should be used as the sink. How do I do this? How do I find out how it identifies them? And where do I tell it?

reddragdiva: (geek)

I may be going to America in December to visit Wikimedia! Assuming my passport gets back from the Home Office before then, which I doubt. I sent it off to renew the Right of Abode certificate two weeks ago, and today I got the letter that they've received my application and taken my money. SLA is 95% of applications processed within six months. Yes, I should have done this months ago.

No more major hits to date, but I've been posting to Rocknerd a lot.

Jenkins' default UI puts "Build now" right next to "Delete project". To keep you agile, presumably. But the cartoon mascot is very well-drawn.