my father wanted to know what kind of car i drive; apparently the soobies aren't exactly common in austria? - at least that was his excuse for not associating my answer ("2006 forester") with anything. well, here you are:

 soobyroo mk2 soobyroo mk2 soobyroo mk2 soobyroo mk2 soobyroo mk2 soobyroo mk2
[ published on Tue 18.03.2014 18:45 | filed in interests/au | ]
 2014_01_30-feels_like_undefined-000.jpg

the elevator billboards in the office building lobby have not shown the correct weather screen a single time during our four months there. mind you, the stock tickers are current down to the milli-cent, but the weather? "feels like undefined".

i on the other hand feel reasonably good about work, what i do and who i do it with. sure, the last five months have been pretty busy and occasionally quite stressful but that comes with working in a small startup.

it's nice to be able to make a difference; the downside is of course that you do make a difference, whether you want it (e.g. having a stroke of genius) or not (e.g. having a bad day slogging through hard-to-grok undocumented complex tangles).

but i'm not complaining, except that i'm often too tired come saturday morning to even consider going flying - and that, combined with the vagarities of the wind & weather isn't ideal...

[ published on Sat 15.03.2014 21:25 | filed in interests/au | ]

I use strong crypto wherever I can, and naturally for email also. All email I send is either PGP signed or signed and encrypted with one of my keys.

If you receive email from any of my addresses without signature you should doubt its authenticity!
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Sun 09.03.2014 01:44 | filed in interests/crypto | ]

"Sie, mein Herr, sind ein Scheißschweizer."

[ published on Sat 22.02.2014 11:37 | filed in interests/anti | ]

too bad that the bastards in power will likely not give a damn...

[ published on Tue 11.02.2014 18:43 | filed in interests/anti | ]

more specifically: this V. Nuland person, diplomatic underling now known best for spindoctoring and being a nekulturny pissant needs to have more European High Culture :-)

[ published on Sat 08.02.2014 09:33 | filed in interests/anti | ]
 opmantek newspaper

sure, it's just an article in the local rag (quality: above Krone but way below derStandard) and they got a few minor bits wrong, but nevertheless not bad for opmantek.

[ published on Thu 06.02.2014 07:39 | filed in interests/au | ]

Have a look at one of this year's obfuscated C contest winners:

This entry weighs in at a magical 4043 bytes (8086 nibbles, 28,301 bits). It manages to implement most of the hardware in a 1980's era IBM-PC using a few hundred fewer bits than the total number of transistors used to implement the original 8086 CPU.

Actual source code, screenshots of it running autocad etc. here.

Some people definitely have too much time and/or too much spare brain power - I'm envious :-)

[ published on Mon 06.01.2014 17:31 | filed in interests/comp | ]
 new car in pieces


click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Sun 15.12.2013 12:01 | filed in interests | ]

With the new job I tend to do my bicycle runs much later, usually after dusk or at night. That time of day has its own special challenges: occasionally I get mobbed by bats and flying foxes, one of the trails is full of frogs or toads if I'm really late, and oh, there are lots of homo sapiens automobilis who are blind as bats.

Since the number of the damn saps who pass me much too close is a lot higher at night I decided to replace my dinky red flasher with a Really Annoying Red Light.

So I spent the grand sum of $22 on a set of "Tioga Dual Eyes", and the better light seems to help - it's really bright and obnoxious, might not be good for epileptics but that's SEP. Very much recommended.

[ published on Sun 08.12.2013 18:35 | filed in interests/au | ]

decent and cheap aldi-brand chewing gum? completely gone.

great rice crackers with lots of seaweed? no longer sold.

feta, danish or greek style? history.

i'm somewhat underwhelmed by aldi au's recent product policy...

Update (Fri 29.11.2013 21:22):

oh, and and what marketdroid genius decided to rebrand the aldi sausage as "bërrk"?

 boeark

extra points to them for the guts - or maybe somebody just had a bad attack of the röck döts?

anway, somehow i don't think it's sound commercial procedure to associate your comestible product with the sounds of somebody hugging the toilet after a long and alcoholic night...

(still, the product is quite good - just don't try to pronounce the trademark.)

[ published on Fri 29.11.2013 20:55 | filed in interests/anti | ]

The web setup of the local $male_sheep bank cretinly (not quite a typo) fits their namesake's pattern.

Yet another bunch of dimbulbs who insist their customers have to laboriously go hunt and peck on an onscreen 'keyboard' to enter their passwords, because it's for the gasp Extra Securrrriteeee!

Imagine all the ATM keypads were replaced with giant Twister mats on the sidewalk, so that people have to hopscotch their PIN in public: ridiculous - but roughly as 'secure' as the damn onscreen keyboids.

We hates them, oh we do - with a mouth-frothing passion.

Fortunately the combo of jQuery and greasemonkey makes a decent anti-foaming agent, and I'm stubborn enough to not give up easily.

Here's the result, my small but nifty userscript which I'm sharing just as usual; a goodie that makes the pain go away and lets you use your ten fingers as they were intended.

(I find jQuery actually pretty fun to program with - if only it didn't involve EczemaScript...)

Anyway, enjoy the fruits of my labour and don't get fleeced :-)

[ published on Sat 09.11.2013 19:07 | filed in interests/comp | ]

a brazilian female geek has developed conductive makeup and eyelashes to make your visage into an input device.

I'm so looking forward to somebody repurposing this idea for an _out_put device; just imagine the fun that can be had if you could shockprod people remotely...

[ published on Thu 17.10.2013 12:08 | filed in interests/humour | ]

I find Charlie Stross' book series "The Laundry Files" absolutely hilarious.

It's a wild and wicked mix of Lovecraft, a bit of computer science, general IT, Dilbert, the BOFH, Deighton - and maybe Aleister Crowley.

Highly recommended - if you're somebody who appreciates the BOFH stories, Acts of Gord or Dilbert.

(Btw, not recommended - at least not by me: Accelerando. I couldn't stand it.)

[ published on Sun 13.10.2013 13:36 | filed in interests/humour | ]
 angry birds, oz edition

On today's 26km cycling loop I had 4 swooping attacks - a new record :-/

[ published on Tue 24.09.2013 17:47 | filed in interests/au | ]

Ten days ago I returned from a 5874km road trip that took us through the archetypical parts of the QLD outback and up to (but not into) the Simpson desert: starting at the Gold Coast we went west to Quilpie and Birdsville, then north to Boulia and Winton, looped back south to Charleville and on to Bourke, followed by a trip to Sydney and finally a solo drive back home along the coast.

Sorting through the pictures and notes was tedious, and I'm happy that the write-up of this travel report of sorts is complete (and I'd love to travel out west again any day).
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Mon 02.09.2013 21:18 | filed in interests/au | ]

is upon us. Unfortunately that's also magpie swooping season - as I was reminded of today: two substantial attacks by two separate birds in two different areas (one I knew of from last year on Markeri Street, one new bird in the bushes off Bermuda Street). The first of those almost sent me in the ditch: no warning, just a thunk against the side of my helmet.

Damn birds. Neither of the two spots is easy to avoid on my 26km "standard" route, so it looks like I'll have to rethink the route for the next 2-3 months.

Alternatives: none, because the normal folk remedies do not work, riding without helmet is illegal here and I'm certainly not going to cycle with an afro wig over my helmet :-)

[ published on Thu 29.08.2013 17:04 | filed in interests/au | ]

Ingredients: one drive south to a place called Minnie Water in the Yuraygir National Park, good company, pretty good weather (it did rain but it wasn't very cold), and gorgeous scenery. Mix well and enjoy.

 trulsons wintertime camping trulsons wintertime camping campsite minnie water minnie water beach north minnie water beach north rabbit proof fence rabbit proof fence beach north of minnie water sea eagles above minnie water beach sea eagles above minnie water beach toys on the beach trulsons on the beach trulsons on the beach pano granite lookout washpool national park walking towards wooli walking towards wooli walking towards wooli pt on the beach beach towards wooli beach towards minnie water rutile sand pano wooli beach
[ published on Wed 31.07.2013 12:37 | filed in interests/au | ]

Not my car, of course - that's a 4-cylinder boxer (maybe opoc in the future?) - but my computer infrastructure is now using IP version 6 (except a few embedded/legacy boxes which don't support it).

Changing everything over was a bit interesting; both my local ISP (Internode and the colocation operator where my servers live (Silver Server) offer IPv6 addresses but for the local ISP there were a few hoops to jump through: PPPoE for the DSL, and on top of that you need DHCPv6 to activate the IPv6 Prefix Delegation.

So far, so unspectacular - except that the state of DHCPv6 in debian is pretty lousy: the standard ISC daemon doesn't work on PPP links, full stop; the dibbler thing is reported to not do prefix delegations; the wide-dhcpv6-client is not pretty and a bit under-documented but can be made to work - and that's all the offerings.

I find it interesting that so far the spammers and the scammers don't seem to be interested in IPv6; after a week I've yet to see a single spam attempt coming from v6 addresses (my yearly average is 3 spams per minute).

[ published on Sun 07.07.2013 13:12 | filed in interests/comp | ]

In the beginning Oz was cursed with British bread: white, without form and void; and darkness was on az's face. And moldy spirits were hovering over the bakery shelves.

Then az said 'Let there be Rye!'; and there was rye bread. And az saw the rye bread, that it was good; and az divided the Real Bread from the White Crap.

 fresh rye bread fresh rye bread

Life would be so much less nice without my bread maker and decent ingredients.

[ published on Tue 18.06.2013 21:55 | filed in interests/au | ]

(sorry for the untranslatable title :-))

So Reuters polls 835 yanks online, and extrapolates 835 bots' answers to 'Nearly half of all Americans' - great work! snort

Inferring a "credibility interval" of +/-4% from a sample this tiny is pretty creative use of statistics.

Anyway, 47% of those 835 bots are, in the words of Benjamin Franklin, complete idiots ("those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.") - and that's what nearly 100% of all the az's on the internet say.

[ published on Wed 12.06.2013 11:39 | filed in interests/anti | ]

the fable of the #debian channel is fun to read (but unfortunately also quite true).

[ published on Mon 10.06.2013 19:43 | filed in interests/debian | ]

Damn. I just read that Iain Banks died. No more Culture novels with their lovingly madly named ships, no more Wasp Factory greatness. I'll miss his grandly scoped books.

[ published on Mon 10.06.2013 11:42 | filed in interests | ]
st_girons_roof

Very tech-head I know, but I find the beauty of this much more uplifting than the superstitious hogwash that goes on beneath that barrel vault.

There's a nice set of photos of this church on flickr.

[ published on Wed 29.05.2013 12:06 | filed in interests | ]

yesterday the mailman brought the portable usb battery that i had ordered. the box it came in (i'm surprised there even is a box) has some hilarious examples of pretty incompetent translators at work.

 get rid of children

i like the statement 'this product should be keep out of children.' :-) reminds me of conny when she was very little, insisting that baguettes are best eaten sideways.

 conny-baguette.jpg
[ published on Tue 21.05.2013 10:48 | filed in interests/humour | ]

In New Zealand software is no longer patentable.

This is pretty good news and a welcome development, especially when you contrast it with less great news, like the never-ending war of the Content Cartel against everybody else: for example, have a look at the Trans Pacific Partnershite, where NZ is apparently also involved.

Not-NZ-related but also on my big fat hate list is the undead CISPA, the Completely Idiotic Spying and Persecution Act...

 Say no to this Typical Protectionism Project! I wish CISPA was less like Bela L.
[ published on Fri 10.05.2013 13:50 | filed in interests/anti | ]

as of this moment, and after an unwelcome parting gif^W^Wbit of extortionist bank fees i'm now the undisputed, debt-free owner of my house: i finally paid off my home loan and got the house and land title transferred.

it's a good feeling not to owe anybody anything *happy* :-)

Update (Tue 30.04.2013 20:47):

"ANZ's profit swells" it said in the news, and no surprise: this bank's greed knows no bounds.

To close a paid-out home lown and get the title to your property back you have to pay them:

  • $160 as "Production Fee".
  • another $160 as "Lodgment Fee".
  • and $137.10 as "Government Registration Fee"

oh, and by the way, the registration fee doesn't mean that the title is actually transferred do you; no sir, we do no such thing: for that purpose we recommend you lodge your documents ASAP and by yourself with the Land Registry Office, for another measly $152.10. WTF - what did i pay you $137.10 for, then?

disgusting bloodsuckers!

[ published on Tue 23.04.2013 16:39 | filed in interests/au | ]

...on yourself: that's what it feels like doing an in-place migration of your computer from 32-bit debian to the 64-bit version. you transplant the libraries and the linkers, and hope that you match up enough 64-bit binaries with their libs and linker just in time so that the patient don't die from anaphylactic shock.

i really don't like reinstalling numerous boxes from scratch, losing all my configuration magic, so i decided to try making the changes in place, on the "live object".

it's a pretty tense exercise; there are numerous situations where you're a single keystroke away from a totally hosed system. in the end i didn't have to boot my rescue media, not even once (but having a static busybox saved me twice, as well as knowing about ar vx whatever.deb...)

debian is really cool but of course there's no automation for that kind of operation so you have to hold apt and dpkg's hands quite a bit to clean up your mess, but it's doable and even fun (once it's done :-) and i've got four more boxes to mangle...)

[ published on Mon 29.04.2013 10:45 | filed in interests/comp | ]

This second post of this year is not about a hack but about a fairly nifty contraption that I just completed building.

In the local flying club we've had pretty bad experiences with our wind stations in the past. But with the lay of the valleys around our flying sites the local wind conditions often aren't even close to what the publicly accessible coastal stations report, so we really needed something to be done.

So I decided to build a new wind station for the club. Being a believer in the KISS principle I wanted it to be simple and robust, and as self-contained as possible: no grid power, no fixed-line Internet comms, no nothing. As usual I'm presenting my experiences and code here for anybody interested in building their own.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Mon 21.01.2013 16:14 | filed in interests/tinkering | ]

...is almost as good as flying like an eagle. Especially when it's a mellow fellow like this one: today Andrew and I were enjoying a late arvo soar above Beechmont when a substantial wedge-tail joined us from below, effortlessly closed in and, after some lazy circles with/around us, disappeared into the sunset :-)

 eagle above my wing eagle above beechmont andrew and eagle above beechmont andrew and eagle above beechmont
[ published on Wed 24.04.2013 23:37 | filed in interests/flying | ]

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