reddragdiva: (nice cup of tea and a sit down)
2014-11-05 07:33 pm

Mozilla's marketing plan for Chrome, part oh god why.

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)
2014-11-05 04:49 pm

Magento is exemplary ENTERPRISE-grade PHP.

From enterprise-1.14.0.1.tgz:

$ 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)
2014-06-03 10:59 am

Internet fundamentalism doesn't actually work.

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)
2014-04-25 11:55 pm

(adapted from Jake Kesinger)

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)
2014-04-06 01:24 pm

Nonweasel .co.uk registrar wanted.

  • SO LET US LOOK AT ANOTHER VIDEO FULL OF PEASANTS SPEWING THEIR HATE AND FEEDING MY QUEEN.

  • 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 .co.uk 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)
2014-02-08 11:48 am

Make your own mead at home.

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)
2014-01-31 11:53 am

So ... we're keeping the dog.

(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)
2014-01-21 11:44 am

Needed urgently: home for a lovely young dog in London E17.

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 — dgerard@gmail.com. Better than a shelter, which is where she will end up otherwise.

reddragdiva: (trolldad)
2014-01-06 10:10 pm

Bird wood cage.

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)
2013-12-23 10:21 pm

SigmaTel C Major Audio configuration help needed on Xubuntu, redux.

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)
2013-11-02 10:29 pm

Do the ostrich.

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.

reddragdiva: (domesticity)
2013-10-03 02:06 pm

Low profile. Serene inspiration.

I keep forgetting this thing is here. In the last couple of months:

[personal profile] arkady has quit her horrible job, and is MUCH HAPPIER! And we are thus broker. So she now has to make money as an artist. Which is, of course, rather difficult. But she is constitutionally unable to be anything other than an artist, so ... I get to be manager!

The T-shirts are actually selling, in small quantities — UK/Europe store, US/International store — and the Celtic-knotwork animals are quite popular (requests accepted). GO BUY A SHIRT. We're all supposed to live off T-shirt sales now, aren't we.

She's also drawing cute dinosaur pictures, and working on a dinosaur-themed children's book (with Freda's enthusiastic assistance). Or two.

The kitchen currently has about 70 litres of mead brewing. Selling it for money is, of course, highly regulated, and we'd need about £10k minimum starting capital. But partnering with already-licenced premises has no such problem. A is talking to a local indie brewery about doing something with them, probably mid-October when they have a vat free.

We have a kitten! The younger teen's ex-boyfriend rescued her from a guy in a pub, who was carrying this tiny baby kitten (we estimate around four weeks old) around saying how he'd breed from her in a couple of weeks and make his fortune. Not just bad and wrong, but bad and not even wrong. So we got her to the vet, wormed, kitten milk from a bottle. Her name is Arya and she's a bright and happy thing who is already brighter than Satin, who remains one of the thickest cats I've ever known.

My dad turned 80 in September. A painted this for him. (Kalbarri is where they retired to; this is the formation in the painting.)

Rocknerd got Slashdotted! Culture is not about aesthetics. Punk rock is now enforced by law. Of course, these days Slashdot is like being gummed by a senile newt. Reddit, now, that's a whole different kettle of dotting. Here's to WP-SuperCache.

You don't NEED a car, I use four shopping trolleys bolted together with an outboard motor. It's so much better. #geeksplaining

reddragdiva: (stress relief)
2013-08-04 10:58 am

Nothing can stop us.

Still got those monitors here. Also an Ikea folding camp bed. All luggable via public transport from E17 (though probably not all three at once). Free to first collector.

Freda is on holiday! So [personal profile] arkady has taken this fortnight off to play with her and I'll be taking next fortnight.

Yesterday we started six gallons of Christmas pudding mead, to be ready in time. Recipe up on Arkady's mead blog shortly. Update: And here it is. Start this ASAP if you want it ready in time.

How to get a magical flying unicorn pony: 1. Write "MAGICAL FLYING UNICORN PONY" in the spec. 2. Say you'll be using Agile. Work has gone "agile" with "scrum". Ops hasn't gone "scrum", though marking user stories for literary value and returning them covered in red annotations and a circled "F" at the bottom would enhance my day; we just have to write all requests to anyone else as user stories. "User Josef K. wants to achieve anything at all today so that life is not so amusingly futile." "User Simon wants you to do your fucking job so he doesn't have to apply the Etherkiller to your rectum." The Agile that works is Agile; the Agile that does not work is you getting Agile wrong. I wonder what next decade's silver bullet will look like.

Creationism is true! Dinosaurs are "easter eggs" left for us to find and be amused by.

Geeks who insist on the value of "unvarnished communication" mean they want to send it; they reliably hit the roof when they receive it.

reddragdiva: (geek)
2013-07-19 04:49 pm

SigmaTel C Major Audio configuration help needed on Xubuntu.

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.) It's still a pretty damn sweet piece of kit and we frequently remind her that she is the luckiest little girl ever to grow up in a house of computing machinery.

Given her fondness for advertising-filled Flash game sites of dubious provenance, I'd rather it wasn't running Windows. So 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.

Does anyone know of a sound control panel for GNOME or XFCE that actually lets me switch on and balance all speakers at once, as I wish?

reddragdiva: (Default)
2013-07-16 07:10 pm

Sinfonia to Cantata No. 29.

Free to fetch: two surplus working LCD monitors, London E17. 19" 1280×1024, 17" 1024×768, both pivoting. Email me at dgerard@gmail.com. Someone must want these things ...

It's too darn hot, like this is news. Weather like this cures me of nostalgia for Australia. It would be a little better if these Engrish had the faintest notion concerning air conditioning.

Work continues as apace as you would expect in a hot July. We're going Agile/Scrum. Probably the best bit of Aggle is how everyone gets an E-meter at their desk. The socialist realist posters are excellent too, Commissar!

Things you can't get in the UK: shade cloth for the garden. Anyone found anything like this or a substitute?

Freda does not like my cooking. She told her best friend's grandmother that I was a "bad boring baldy cook". Hmph! Cardboard and poo for her then! Separately, she explains to us that you wouldn't send cobras into space because they would bite the astronauts, who would die.

Essentially, the entire cultural-industrial-Congress complex must be destroyed, utterly, not one stone upon another, and the ground salted. (Not apropos anything in particular, but certainly a suitable ending for any message.)

reddragdiva: (domesticity)
2013-06-24 11:00 pm

Undead undead undead.

Moved, internetted. Mostly tweeting and neglecting to keep up with any other Internet commitments. I also have a shiny new Galaxy SIII Mini, which is nice for all sorts of things. Old landlord wants £540 of the bond and can fuck off.

reddragdiva: (domesticity)
2013-05-17 09:28 pm

Moving update.

Still not really Internetted, but we have severe delays obtaining our phone line (the account in the previous tenant's name is apparently still active, so Zen can't just grab it; agent is on the case) so [personal profile] arkady has paid a swingeing sum for a month's BT wifi. Which injects fucking ads in your HTTP stream. (Here's to HTTPS Everywhere.) I'll see if this works for working from home, which would make half-term somewhat less completely insane.

Moving stuff to the new house is a quart in a pint pot problem. We still have a Mac G4 with 22" Apple Cinema Display (ADC, so useless without this or similar Mac) to give away, or it goes to THE DUMP! Three Ikea GORM wooden shelves at old house for first taker. The older teen has two boxes and two bags of stuff to move, still waiting on the address it's to go to. I suspect a lot of stuff we did move is actually going to get chucked.

Freda likes the new house even if it's a lot smaller. It's also stupendously well-located for all sorts of things Freda does (school, Rainbows, church, friends). She also has a plasma lamp for a bedside lamp and nightlight.

My back hates me so much. Lots of codeine and a bottle of wine helps. Best thing for cleaning is some stuff my (old) landlord actually recommended, from the 99p shop: a mould removing bleach that contains caustic soda. Definitely the most noxious household spray I've ever met.

reddragdiva: (domesticity)
2013-05-15 07:14 pm

The fun is in full progress.

Can anyone get to E17 over the next few days (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) and help us with cleaning our old house? LOVE YOU LONG TIME.

We got the keys OK. Survived the day of box lugging with only a slightly screaming in agony back and one waffer-thin car crash. Here's to hire companies who rush to take care of all the details for you; I should only have to pay the £250 excess. Happy customer of Enterprise here, highly recommending them. (Pro tip: Always book online — if they don't have the size you booked in stock, you get a free upgrade.)

Internet will be patchy indeed. [personal profile] arkady and I have phones. Monday I'm back in the office. The phone line account for the previous tenant is apparently still active, so Zen can't just grab it; waiting for the real estate to ask the landlord to ask BT about that, tralala.

Also can't work out how to switch on the hot water. There's an immersion heater (= horribly expensive storage heater powered by electricity rather than gas), but there's also a gas boiler which has no power.

reddragdiva: (stress relief)
2013-05-12 07:27 pm

Moving house is made of cock and bureaucracy.

  • And the XFree86 Memorial Award for Community Management goes to ... GNOME, attempting to shake off those last straggling users, who are just a pack of trolls after all.

Moving house is made of cock and bureaucracy. Without the cock. One week till we have to be out of here and gone, and I hope to finally collect the damn keys tomorrow, at which point I hire a van and move as much as possible, getting the professionals in to handle the piano and whatever else is left. At which point we polish this place to perfection.

Apart from the delays, [personal profile] arkady has largely been ill the last couple of weeks, with a cold and a secondary infection. Recovering a bit now.

The older teen's room is finally being cleansed. Freda has adopted her sister's old netbook with a 19" monitor hooked to it and is delighting in having something faster to play her Flash games on than the ancient Mac G4, which is being adopted by [livejournal.com profile] hooverpig. The lounge is a sea of boxes.

I am exhausted. I want a magical teleport to this time next week when everything will be JUST FINE AND ALL DONE.