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

The (only) developer at earthli.com.

Contents

2647 Articles
101 Comments

9 months Ago

You just don’t get it, man

Published on in Quotes

The article ”That’s Why It’s Poetry” by Eugene Volokh (Reason) commemorates the recent death of Lawrence Ferlinghetti with a wonderful story, not directly about Ferlinghetti, but about one expert witness’s testimony at his trial for obscenity for having published Howl. It wasn’t so long ago in America that people were being prosecuted for obscenity.

That trial was in 1957. Just over 60 years later and it seems kind of far-fetched to think we may see the like again. The goal is to sanction unsanctioned[1] ideas, to keep... [More]

Joe Rogan interview with Ira Glasser, former head of the ACLU

Published on in Public Policy & Politics

I listened to the 2-hour interview #1595 – Ira Glasser by Joe Rogan (JRE Library) and took a bunch of notes as I listened. I’ve cleaned them up a bit, but most of them are stream-of-consciousness and may be a bit repetitive.

People have more ability to reach others than they ever have in the past. To that end, Twitter has become more like a public commons, where everyone can set up their soapbox.

First off, and obviously, private conversations should not be monitored. (Glasser expressed the same opinion.) There is no... [More]

COVID-19 updates with Herr Doktor Christian Drosten (de)

Published on in Science & Nature

Vor einem Jahr habe ich zum ersten mal von Herr Doktor Christian Drosten erfahren. Heute höre ich nahezu wöchentlich seinen Podcast mit Moderatorin Korrina Hennig auf Staatssender NDR mit. Er ist beruflich Virologe und kann sich sehr gut nicht nur über das Thema sondern auch die mit der Pandemie damit verbundenen gesellschaftlichen und politischen Themen diskutieren und verständigen lassen.

Coronavirus-Update #76: Astra-Impfstoff viel besser als sein Ruf by NDR Ratgeber (YouTube)

Bei 00:46:57 wird die berühmte Astra-Impfstoff-Studie aus Südafrika diskutiert mit Schwerpunkt... [More]

Links and Notes for March 12th, 2021

Published on in Notes

Below are links to articles, highlighted passages[1], and occasional annotations[2] for the week ending on the date in the title, enriching the raw data from Instapaper Likes and Twitter. They are intentionally succinct, else they’d be articles and probably end up in the gigantic backlog of unpublished drafts. YMMV.

[1] Emphases are added, unless otherwise noted.
[2] Annotations are only lightly edited.

COVID-19

The Test of Our Endurance by James Graham (CounterPunch)

“A woman on Twitter can’t get it straight. ‘We’re supposed to... [More]”

Links and Notes for March 5th, 2021

Published on in Notes

Below are links to articles, highlighted passages[1], and occasional annotations[2] for the week ending on the date in the title, enriching the raw data from Instapaper Likes and Twitter. They are intentionally succinct, else they’d be articles and probably end up in the gigantic backlog of unpublished drafts. YMMV.

[1] Emphases are added, unless otherwise noted.
[2] Annotations are only lightly edited.

COVID-19

Dr. Osterholm’s Warning: COVID Hurricane on the Horizon by Vincent Emanuele (CounterPunch)

“The data are clear now that there... [More]”

Links and Notes for February 26th, 2021

Published on in Notes

Below are links to articles, highlighted passages[1], and occasional annotations[2] for the week ending on the date in the title, enriching the raw data from Instapaper Likes and Twitter. They are intentionally succinct, else they’d be articles and probably end up in the gigantic backlog of unpublished drafts. YMMV.

[1] Emphases are added, unless otherwise noted.
[2] Annotations are only lightly edited.

COVID-19

The last time I by Maria (Crooked Timber)

“I have so much. I have my parents so I have human touch. I have my parents,... [More]”

TIHI: SmartGit’s new “Discard to Stash” Feature

Published on in Programming

This a quick note for anyone else who’s downloaded the latest version of SmartGit (20.2.3 #16150) and is seeing mysterious stashes that they know they haven’t created.

There’s a new feature called “discard to stash” that is enabled by default.

 Discard to Stash selected by default

What this does is to stash every time you press + Z to discard changes. I understand that this is a failsafe “just in case”, but I kept ended up with a dozen stashes I had no use for. On balance, I’d rather have the tiny risk of wanting changes... [More]

A spammer’s cry for help from hell

Published on in Fun

At Encodo, we recently turned off comments on our web site because we hadn’t gotten anything useful in years. Instead, we’d gotten a ton of spam comments that had gotten past the captcha included with Umbraco.

Several years ago, we switched from earthli WebCore, which has a home-grown captcha with math that seems to stymie the robots and spammers much more effectively. Now we’re kind of stuck with Umbraco and its patchwork CMS.

At any rate, there are comments to delete now, because some are... [More]

Just because your party’s green…

Published on in Design

…doesn’t mean you have to use light-green text on a white background.

 Die Grüne Partei

10 months Ago

Kindle recommendations: 2021.1

Published on in Books

Since my Kindle regularly provides me with what I consider to be bizarre recommendations, I’ll just name this series of posts about them.

Though these books aren’t for me, I’m honestly glad that people are reading books. I am a bit worried that they’re reading books generated by an AI, but as long as they’re happy…

As for these books? I feel like I’m watching the awakening of an a digital mind, trained on and simultaneously stunted by the questionable quality of human literary achievement... [More]

Fielmann: an online-store safari

Published on in Design

The Fielmann eye-ware online store looks very nice. I’d bought glasses at the branch in Winterthur. They were great, with really good people with good advice. They have excellent prices. Their online prices are very good as well. They set me up with an account with my prescription, so I could order more contact lenses anytime.

Finding the online store

I returned to the site recently and found it to be very nice-looking, but considerably less friendly. It was subtly pushing me to use the app... [More]

Take allies where you can get them

Published on in Public Policy & Politics

I jumped in on the thread Jimmy Dore says something objectively correct about how Democrats are making people fight for a one time payment, when other countries support their citizens, and Sam Seder has a fit about it whining about Senate process. (Reddit) the other day.

One comment accused Dore of being a grifter, which is an exceedingly odd charge. It’s most likely that that person has never seen or heard Dore and was just regurgitating what they’d heard from someone else who’d never seen or heard... [More]

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2021.2

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 1600 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.

Unorthodox (2020) — 8/10... [More]

Talking ‘bout the poor

Published on in Public Policy & Politics

This episode of Chapo was a discussion with Liz and Matt Bruenig about population-control policies on both sides of the aisle in America. Liz, in particular, was quite eloquent and biting in her criticism of elite hatred of the poor.

Child FACTS Credit feat. The Bruenigs | | Episode 498 FULL by Chapo Trap House (YouTube)

At 37:00, they discussed how both parties sought to avoid “encouraging fertility among the bottom quintile”, ending with a proper critique of what’s wrong with Bill Gates running the world for us.

Liz Bruenig: All of this talk about what would happen in terms of... [More]”

Vetting information sources

Published on in Public Policy & Politics

This is an interesting discussion by Eleanor Goldfield and Lee Camp on their Common Censored podcast. It ranges across different topics, but the part I found the most interesting was about vetting information sources.

They did a good job of citing a Grayzone article by Ben Norton that got to the bottom of a concerted misinformation campaign about the purported Chinese genocide, for which evidence is vanishingly scarce, despite the opposite appearance in the mainstream press. But then Goldfield... [More]

Links and Notes for February 19, 2021

Published on in Notes

Below are links to articles, highlighted passages[1], and occasional annotations[2] for the week ending on the date in the title, enriching the raw data from Instapaper Likes and Twitter. They are intentionally succinct, else they’d be articles and probably end up in the gigantic backlog of unpublished drafts. YMMV.

[1] Emphases are added, unless otherwise noted.
[2] Annotations are only lightly edited.

COVID-19

The dominance of the UK variant of the coronavirus threatens a massive surge in cases in the... [More] by Benjamin Mateus (WSWS)

Section 230C1/C2: A debate on continuing utility

Published on in Public Policy & Politics

This is an informative and interesting debate between Eric Goldman and Eugene Volokh[1] about whether section 230C has outlived its usefulness. That is: is the protection for corporations and platforms sacrosanct no matter their size, power, and reach? Or do we have a problem when a small handful of companies control the channels of broad communication made available to people today?

Does the Government Have the Right to Control Content Moderation Decisions? by UCLA School of Law (YouTube)

I’ve included a transcript of the closing arguments, starting at 53:45.

Eugene made a sort of pre-closing... [More]

The Science of Free Will and Behavior

Published on in Science & Nature

The podcast episode 134 | Robert Sapolsky on Why We Behave the Way We Do by Sean Carroll (Wondery) was a really interesting introduction/look at the science of free will as described in far greater detail in his book Behave (which I have not yet read).

 Robert M. Sapolsky's BehaveI’ve included a partial transcript of the parts that I found the most interesting. The following comes from the end of the episode, where they both did an excellent job of summarizing the preceding discussion’s points as well as pointing out logical conclusions for e.g.... [More]

Chapo Trap House mourns the death of the King of Twitter

Published on in Public Policy & Politics

This episode is ostensibly about what social media is like in the yawning absence of Donald Trump on Twitter. It’s not just that, but those parts are pretty funny. I include a partial transcript after the video—mostly of Matt Christman (whose voice I recognize and whose comments are the pithiest). He has an excellent and moving rant at just over 45 minutes in that is amazingly eloquent considering he did it extemporaneously.

PermabannedPresident45 | Episode 488 FULL by Chapo Trap House (YouTube)

The episode’s cold open has them rewriting the famous Tears in... [More] (Wikipedia)

A fair trial of J.K. Rowling

Published on in Public Policy & Politics

I found this 90-minute analysis of J.K. Rowling’s participation in the trans-gender discussion to be fair and enlightening. I hadn’t paid the years-long online battle much attention and figured there was a lot of deliberately elided context as well as exaggeration and straw-manning involved. While there is that aspect, there isn’t just that aspect.

J.K. Rowling by ContraPoints (YouTube)

One nice example is from about 27:00 into the video. She addresses the disingenuousness of just “stating facts”. She asks the important question... [More]

A matter of degree

Published on in Quotes

“Everyone is self-centered; the radius differs.”

Unbreakable / Unverwüstlich

Published on in Quotes

“There’s this famous story about Sonny Barger, the old Hells Angel who woke up from a coma after a motorcycle accident. And the nurse said to him, “Well, I hope you’ve learned your lesson, Mr. Barger.” He said, “Yes, I did.” And she said, “What’s that?” He said, “I can do anything and survive.””
From a Daily Show interview by Doug Henwood

Jimmy Dore on tightening of the “liberal” censorship noose

Published on in Public Policy & Politics

This is excellent coverage of CNN literally saying that Congress should force tech companies to shut down their competition because “there are YouTubers with a larger audience than daytime CNN” and that cannot stand.

CNN Panel’s OUTRAGEOUS Call To Shut Down YouTube News by Jimmy Dore (YouTube)

He starts with old footage of Noam Chomsky teaching his students that standing up for freedom of speech means nothing if you’re only willing to defend speech with which you agree. If you’re for censorship of opposing views, then you’re not for freedom of speech—in any way.

They... [More]

A breakdown of programming languages used in a week

Published on in Programming

In one recent week, I realized I’d been working in many different areas and on many different projects, so I took an inventory.

For one project, I reconfigured a program with Delphi Pascal, using Delphi 7 (it’s a very old, legacy solution) to run on my local machine instead of in a VM that had swollen to 120GB. For that project, I also used SQL on SQL Server, running in a Docker container that I’d configured with YAML. The solution has several products, among which you can switch, so I wrote a ... [More]

Links and Notes for February 12th, 2021

Published on in Notes

Below are links to articles, highlighted passages[1], and occasional annotations[2] for the week ending on the date in the title, enriching the raw data from Instapaper Likes and Twitter. They are intentionally succinct, else they’d be articles and probably end up in the gigantic backlog of unpublished drafts. YMMV.

[1] Emphases are added, unless otherwise noted.
[2] Annotations are only lightly edited.

COVID-19

Why You Should Take Any Vaccine by Zeynep Tufekci (Insight)

“Here’s the other real and current problem. We don’t have... [More]”

How to ask the Internet

Published on in Quotes

“This is a well-known internet phenomenon: The best way to get the right answer is not to ask a question, but to confidently assert the wrong answer.”

Beating Bufferbloat

Published on in Technology

The article 2021 Prediction #4: WiFi 6 is a bust (for now) as Bufferbloat returns thanks to ISP greed by Robert X. Cringely takes up a topic that he’s written about quite a bit over the last decade: bufferbloat. This symptom of a bad connection shows up as excessive buffering and excessive latency when streaming video (or a lot of data). Basically, the connection will continually fail and restart until it stops altogether as the router gets all snarled up. The following definition is from Wikipedia, which has even... [More]

Links and Notes for February 5th, 2021

Published on in Notes

Below are links to articles, highlighted passages[1], and occasional annotations[2] for the week ending on the date in the title, enriching the raw data from Instapaper Likes and Twitter. They are intentionally succinct, else they’d be articles and probably end up in the gigantic backlog of unpublished drafts. YMMV.

[1] Emphases are added, unless otherwise noted.
[2] Annotations are only lightly edited.

COVID-19

Dr. Michael Osterholm warns of massive spring surge of coronavirus in the US

““The surge... [More]”

Pushy Apps

Published on in Design

These are just two examples of the inundation of UX frustration on any given day.

TacX

TacX asks every time I start the app whether it can use my personal data for a feature that I never use.

 TacX Requests Data

The language is not only supremely awkward but inspired in its use and non-use of punctuation (why ellipses rather than etc.?)

“To use live opponents, we will need to share some of your personal data, such as but not limited to you name, profile, picture, speed, watt/kg, what workout you’re doing,…... [More]”

Links and Notes for January 29th, 2021

Published on in Notes

Below are links to articles, highlighted passages[1], and occasional annotations[2] for the week ending on the date in the title, enriching the raw data from Instapaper Likes and Twitter. They are intentionally succinct, else they’d be articles and probably end up in the gigantic backlog of unpublished drafts. YMMV.

[1] Emphases are added, unless otherwise noted.
[2] Annotations are only lightly edited.

COVID-19

Post about listening to scientists by Arnold Schwarzenegger (Facebook)

“Dr. Fauci and all of the virologists and epidemiologists... [More]”