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Name Marco Von Ballmoos
Member since
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Home page http://earthli.com/users/marco
Description

The (only) developer at earthli.com.

Contents

2412 Articles
99 Comments

5 months Ago

COVID Info (Single Source)

Published on in Science & Nature

The interview The Tip of the Iceberg: Virologist David Ho (BS ‘74) Speaks About COVID-19 (Caltech) includes the following:

Why different symptoms? Mutated strains?

No.

“This virus is mutating but it has mutated very little so far. There are differences but probably they are functionally not important, so that’s not the explanation for why you see different disease courses among the infected.”

Can you get re-infected?

No.

“Only one study was formally done and it is not a human study. It’s a macaque... [More]”

Surviving in a failed state

Published on in Finance & Economy

The article How to Survive End Times by Ted Rall (CounterPunch) discusses what kind of people are needed once society collapses or changes significantly, based on experience in Afghanistan.

“You make yourself useful in a failed state exactly the opposite of how you do in ours. In the United States in 2020, it pays to have excellent skills in one or two areas, to be the best at what you do in your specialty. Not in Afghanistan in 2000. Dangerous places work best for people who are renaissance men and women, those with a... [More]”

More Book Recommendations from Amazon

Published on in Books

I wrote Book recommendations from Kindle in October of 2019. Since then, the recommendations have not gotten any better.

The following three recommendations have been haunting me for a month.

 How to Retire on Dividends Her Cowboy Billionaire Best Friend Devious Lies

None of these makes any sense for me whatsoever. None of them comes even close to matching my reading history.[1]

The bodice-rippers are just generic recommendations; the investment book is particularly laughable right now, in our time of COVID-inspired free-fall and an attendant complete reworking of... [More]

Mordillo Idyll Puzzle

Published on in Miscellaneous

That’s six hours of quarantine time for 1000 pieces. We still have more puzzles of the same size, plus a pretty big lego kit (10242 − Creator: Mini Cooper).

Getting started with D3.js

Published on in Programming

 The programmable notebook Introduction to D3 by Arvind Satyanarayan (MIT Visualization Group) is part of a full course at MIT about Interactive Data Visualization.

The linked notebook uses D3.js, but previous classes in the course have dealt with Vega, which is,

“[…] a visualization grammar, a declarative language for creating, saving, and sharing interactive visualization designs. With Vega, you can describe the visual appearance and interactive behavior of a visualization in a JSON format, and generate web-based views using Canvas or SVG.... [More]”

Rust: from zero to pretty-well-versed in 30 minutes

Published on in Programming

I found the article A half-hour to learn Rust by Amos to be extremely helpful in learning the syntax and mechanics of Rust.

It starts out with the absolute basics:

let introduces a variable binding […]”

then takes you through

  • Modules
  • Blocks
  • Conditionals
  • Matches
  • Options
  • mutables
  • Copy/clone semantics
  • Traits
  • Generic parameters
  • Constraints
  • Macros
  • Enums
  • Lifetimes and borrowing
  • Generic lifetimes
  • Statics vs. owned vs. referenced
  • Slices and range literals (Index and IndexMut)
  • Results
  • Errors, panic and unwrap... [More]

“Flattening the curve” is only for rich countries

Published on in Public Policy & Politics

The article Why the Developing World Cannot Flatten the Curve with Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Beyond by J.P. Linstroth (CounterPunch) addresses the global inequality—not just that between classes/strata in first-world societies—that will doom many to the worst effects of COVID.

“when we speak of epidemics, and even pandemics like the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we must understand that medical care is unequal in our world today. We must understand that “power structures” control who gets medical care and who does not. We must... [More]”

Quick Link: On the Peace Accord in Afghanistan

Published on in Public Policy & Politics

The excellent article The Art of the Phony Peace Deal by Nicky Reid (CounterPunch) expresses strong suspicions that the co-called peace deal with Afghanistan that should see the removal of US troops is instead chock-full of the standard caveats and conditions that US loads upon its vassal states. The only real fix for America’s hyper-militarism begins at home, with its people no longer supporting it.

“Look, dearest motherfuckers, I don’t like to be the killjoy here, I really don’t. But when you cut deals with an empire... [More]”

The Long Weekend (An Optimistic Take)

Published on in Public Policy & Politics

Much of the world is in an unprecedented lockdown that has completely changed the face of the global economy. The gossamer castle of globalization has been put on ice—perhaps temporarily, but hopefully for good. We can at least hope that the extremely unequal and cruel form that it had doesn’t return.

An unprepared populace

This is a particularly trying crisis for a world full of people who don’t even understand the minimal basics of how their world even works. The world works smoothly... [More]

Quino 2020 Roadmap

Published on in Programming

Now that Quino 8.x is out the door, we can look forward to Quino 9.

Quino 8 is a very solid and stable release that has already been test-integrated into many of our current products running on Quino. We don’t anticipate any more low-level API changes, though there will be follow-up bug-fix releases.

There are a few larger-scale changes improvements and enhancement, outlined below (and noted in the roadmap).

Ready for Change

With this release, we’ve got more coverage than ever. Excluding... [More]

6 months Ago

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles (2016, read in 2020)

Published on in Books

Disclaimer: these are notes I took while reading this book. They include citations I found interesting or enlightening or particularly well-written. In some cases, I’ve pointed out which of these applies to which citation; in others, I have not. Any benefit you gain from reading these notes is purely incidental to the purpose they serve of reminding me what I once read. Please see Wikipedia for a summary if I’ve failed to provide one sufficient for your purposes. If my notes serve to trigger an... [More]

Unauthorized Bread by Cory Doctorow (2019, read in 2020)

Published on in Books

Disclaimer: these are notes I took while reading this book. They include citations I found interesting or enlightening or particularly well-written. In some cases, I’ve pointed out which of these applies to which citation; in others, I have not. Any benefit you gain from reading these notes is purely incidental to the purpose they serve of reminding me what I once read. Please see Wikipedia for a summary if I’ve failed to provide one sufficient for your purposes. If my notes serve to trigger an... [More]

A lucid summary of the 2016 and upcoming 2020 U.S. Presidential elections

Published on in Public Policy & Politics

The essay Hillary, Donald & Bernie: Three Who Would Make a Catastrophe by Nicky Reid (CounterPunch) is an extremely lucid and accurate summary of the 2016 and upcoming 2020 U.S. Presidential elections. Reid is an excellent and entertaining writer.[1]

The overall thrust is to present what she terms “conspiracy-theory-like” histories of the 2016 election, extrapolating to the 2020 election, which stars many of the same characters (e.g. Bernie and Trump). She starts with a warning that history isn’t fact and that entertaining... [More]

Quino v8.0.0: ASP.NET Core, Web Client 2, Culture/Language improvements

Published on in Programming

The summary below describes major new features, items of note and breaking changes.

The links above require a login.

Highlights

When [NotNull] is null

Published on in Programming

I prefer to be very explicit about nullability of references, wherever possible. Happily, most modern languages support this feature non-nullable references natively (e.g. TypeScript, Swift, Rust, Kotlin).

As of version 8, C# also supports non-nullable references, but we haven’t migrated to using that enforcement yet. Instead, we’ve used the JetBrains nullability annotations for years.[1]

Recently, I ended up with code that returned a null even though R# was convinced that the value could never... [More]

Eco on Writing

Published on in Quotes

“Writing is a way of revealing the contradictions of life that one would like to resolve. Writing fiction, like poetry, means simply to display those contradictions but not necessarily to resolve them. In fact, the reader, through his interpretive cooperation, decides what the story means.”

Queen of Chaos by Diana Johnstone (2015) (read in 2020)

Published on in Books

Disclaimer: these are notes I took while reading this book. They include citations I found interesting or enlightening or particularly well-written. In some cases, I’ve pointed out which of these applies to which citation; in others, I have not. Any benefit you gain from reading these notes is purely incidental to the purpose they serve of reminding me what I once read. Please see Wikipedia for a summary if I’ve failed to provide one sufficient for your purposes. If my notes serve to trigger an... [More]

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2020.5

Published on in Movies

These are my notes to remember what I watched and kinda what I thought about it. I’ve recently transferred my reviews to IMDb and made the list of around 1400 ratings publicly available. I’ve included the individual ratings with my notes for each movie. These ratings are not absolutely comparable to each other—I rate the film on how well it suited me for the genre and my mood and. let’s be honest, level of intoxication. YMMV. Also, I make no attempt to avoid spoilers.

The Irishman (2019)... [More]

Configuring .NET Framework Assembly-binding Redirects

Published on in Programming

After years of getting incrementally better at fixing binding redirects, I’ve finally taken the time to document my methodology for figuring out what to put into app.config or web.config files.

The method described below works: when you get an exception because the runtime gets an unexpected version of an assembly—e.g. “The located assembly’s manifest definition does not match the assembly reference”—this technique lets you formulate a binding-redirect that will fix it. You’ll then move on... [More]

7 months Ago

The Politics of Nativism on This is Hell!

Published on in Public Policy & Politics

The 1-hour podcast episode The politics of nativism by Daniel Denvir (This is Hell!) is well-worth a listen[1]. Both Chuck Mertz (the host) and Daniel express themselves well. Here’s one thought from Daniel about the pervasiveness of both overt and implicit racism, from about 50 minutes into the podcast:

“I think it’s a typical failing of liberal analyses to define racism as bad thoughts in people’s heads. This is why liberal elites in wealthy suburbs whose entire lives are organized around providing segregated, wealthy, white... [More]”

2019/2020 Movie Binge

Published on in Movies

As part of my standard year-end movie binge[1], I watched over 60 movies and seasons[2] in the last 5 weeks.

They spanned the years 1927–2019. I didn’t see any correspondence between year and quality—older movies aren’t necessarily better or worse than newer movies.

As expected, I liked movies with a good (or unique) story or characters—or something interesting that pulled me in. Terrible or stilted dialogue threw me off the most.

I watched everything in its original language—English,... [More]

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2020.4

Published on in Movies

These are my notes to remember what I watched and kinda what I thought about it. I’ve recently transferred my reviews to IMDb and made the list of around 1400 ratings publicly available. I’ve included the individual ratings with my notes for each movie. These ratings are not absolutely comparable to each other—I rate the film on how well it suited me for the genre and my mood and. let’s be honest, level of intoxication. YMMV. Also, I make no attempt to avoid spoilers.

American Me (1992) — ... [More]

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2020.3

Published on in Movies

These are my notes to remember what I watched and kinda what I thought about it. I’ve recently transferred my reviews to IMDb and made the list of around 1400 ratings publicly available. I’ve included the individual ratings with my notes for each movie. These ratings are not absolutely comparable to each other—I rate the film on how well it suited me for the genre and my mood and. let’s be honest, level of intoxication. YMMV. Also, I make no attempt to avoid spoilers.

Margaret (2011) — 9/10... [More]

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2020.2

Published on in Movies

These are my notes to remember what I watched and kinda what I thought about it. I’ve recently transferred my reviews to IMDb and made the list of around 1400 ratings publicly available. I’ve included the individual ratings with my notes for each movie. These ratings are not absolutely comparable to each other—I rate the film on how well it suited me for the genre and my mood and. let’s be honest, level of intoxication. YMMV. Also, I make no attempt to avoid spoilers.

Army of Shadows (1969)... [More]

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2020.1

Published on in Movies

These are my notes to remember what I watched and kinda what I thought about it. I’ve recently transferred my reviews to IMDb and made the list of around 1400 ratings publicly available. I’ve included the individual ratings with my notes for each movie. These ratings are not absolutely comparable to each other—I rate the film on how well it suited me for the genre and my mood and. let’s be honest, level of intoxication. YMMV. Also, I make no attempt to avoid spoilers.

Birdman or (The... [More]

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2019.15

Published on in Movies

These are my notes to remember what I watched and kinda what I thought about it. I’ve recently transferred my reviews to IMDb and made the list of around 1400 ratings publicly available. I’ve included the individual ratings with my notes for each movie. These ratings are not absolutely comparable to each other—I rate the film on how well it suited me for the genre and my mood and. let’s be honest, level of intoxication. YMMV. Also, I make no attempt to avoid spoilers.

Weekend (1967) — 5/10... [More]

Rebase Considered Essential

Published on in Programming

Fossil is a distributed Source Control Manager that claims to offer the same power without the complexity of Git. The article Fossil: Rebase Considered Harmful by D. Richard Hipp (Fossil SCM) is part of the documentation for the tool.

One of the main selling points of Fossil is that it does not support rebase. In the article, the author lays out the many ways in which rebasing causes no end of woes for developers using Git.

I’d heard of Fossil before and I’d even skimmed this document before. This time around, though, I... [More]

Air Travel to the U.S. (Software Errors)

Published on in Miscellaneous

The airline Swiss needs to work on tact in its e-mails. Or they need to work on their QA process.

Instead of a boarding pass, they sent the following mail in response to a check-in attempt.

“Your boarding pass(es) could not be issued because necessary data is missing or because the immigration status does not allow boarding.

“Please note that it is your responsibility to hold all necessary immigration documents for this international trip. Click here to enter or amend your data and receive... [More]”

Advanced CSS (blend modes and subgrids)

Published on in Programming

The article Z’s Still Not Dead Baby, Z’s Still Not Dead by Andy Clarke (24 Ways) is well-written, very interesting and taught me a few new CSS tricks of which I was unaware.

Granted, my work usually doesn’t call for fancy effects like those you can achieve with something like background-blend-mode, but it can happen. There’s not only background-blend-mode, there’s also mix-blend-mode and filter, all of which apply high-quality effects dynamically.

In the late spring, I had a two-month project where I had to use a lot... [More]

COP25 in Madrid

Published on in Science & Nature

The 25th COP (Conference of the Parties) or United Nations Climate Change conference (Wikipedia) has come to an end in Madrid. Other instances of this conference were COP3 in Kyoto (the first agreement that the U.S. agreed to and which the Congress completely ignored), COP 15 in Copenhagen (where Canada and the United States worked together to torpedo any agreement) and, of course, COP21 in Paris, with the much-touted Paris Accords that Obama signed and that Trump officially left—and which all other... [More]