Wednesday, December 24, 2014


If the lower classes are having to work three jobs, it's because of the scarcity of housing, not self-driving cars. Most poor people's biggest monthly expense is rent. An oversupply of housing would go a long way towards helping them.

Of course, the landowning classes will never allow this. We haven't really moved on since the middle ages.


from lizard's ghost

Saturday, December 20, 2014

John Milton, Paradise Lost (X.743–5)

Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay

To mould Me man? Did I solicit thee

From darkness to promote me?

from lizard's ghost

Saturday, December 13, 2014


Take two groups of people. We'll call group A the "Bears", and group B the "Foxes".

The Bears had a strong natural interest and affinity for computers. They were tinkering and playing with them despite society's mockery that they were pathetic nerds. When they found out you could make great money, well, that was just a bonus.

The Foxes joined because they were told the industry was super rad and it paid really well. The Foxes were given advantages like additional Fox-only scholarships, special Fox-quotas in good engineering colleges, and lots of blogs praising Foxes and telling them how special they are, how they bring unique Fox-only insights to the table, and that The Bears have a conscious/unconscious agenda against them.

Now ask yourself, which group would you expect to have more longevity in the industry, the Foxes or the Bears? What would a company have to do to keep more Foxes? Maybe special privileges, like conferences the companies could send the Foxes to that would tell the Foxes how great they are, promotion programs to ensure more Fox visibility, quotas for Foxes in senior management, etc. But the Foxes are still leaving in higher numbers so clearly the industry has a bias against Foxes, so funding for Fox-only programs must increase, until the number of Foxes is equal to Bears (and if eventually there are more Foxes then Bears, that's just great!) What about the Bears? Well, the Bears better sit down, shut up, and remember that they are just Bears and there is nothing unique about a Bear. Some Bears internalize this and start advocating for the Foxes themselves.

And so it goes.

from lizard's ghost

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

moma bought a 3d printed dress

Nervous System's custom-fit dress is an intricately patterned structure of 2,279 unique triangular panels interconnected by 3,316 hinges, all 3D printed as a single piece in nylon.

The Museum of Modern Art has added the dress and the software that generated it to their permanent collection.

Kinematics Dress - 3D-printed gown in motion from Nervous System on Vimeo.

from lizard's ghost

Saturday, December 06, 2014

say we need a smartphone with a little bit more processing power...

from lizard's ghost

Friday, December 05, 2014

your favourite bird

from lizard's ghost

He founded, created the Ogg container, and helped write Vorbis and Daala.

he's tired of explaining to people(about 24/192 sound) that..

With use of shaped dither, which moves quantization noise energy into frequencies where it's harder to hear, the effective dynamic range of 16 bit audio reaches 120dB in practice [13], more than fifteen times deeper than the 96dB claim.

120dB is greater than the difference between a mosquito somewhere in the same room and a jackhammer a foot away.... or the difference between a deserted 'soundproof' room and a sound loud enough to cause hearing damage in seconds.

16 bits is enough to store all we can hear, and will be enough forever.

discussion at ,

Some people buy $500 wooden knobs to make their volume pots sound better. (or was that a hoax? i can't tell anymore)

Some people buy small pyramids to elevate their cables off the floor, some people buy mats to put onto your CDs before putting the CD in a player (, some people buy $1000+/meter digital interconnect cables (, some people buy $7200 power cords ( and $350/m HDMI cables (

Self-styled audiophiles are, by and large, idiots with way too much money plagued by magical thinking. Developer bullshit has nothing on them.

and the best comment..

Oh sure, your rips may be perfect at the bit level, but how do you know that they're free of sub-bit quantization that isn't detectable by electronic circuits but can be heard by the human ear?

This sub-bit jitter and interference can travel along with a digital file and sneak right past your ordinary bit-level error detection and correction, no matter how lossless you make it. That's because these errors aren't visible in the bits. They occur at a deeper and more subtle level, in between the bits.

Even if you prove mathematically that two files contain the exact same bits, you can't prove that the human ear won't hear any difference, can you?

from lizard's ghost

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

butch walker - bed on fire

from lizard's ghost

your exchange mail admin can totally wipe your phone

but ms just bought accompli( , but u can still use

or entirely separate thing..for ppl who're doing billing in their apps.. apparently groupon uses but yea, there's others like , , ...

from lizard's ghost

Friday, November 28, 2014

i really just want to buy dragon age inquisition on steam

but since EA will only release it on origin, i'm thinking of instead..

and neither , , , nor are helping..

from lizard's ghost

Thursday, November 27, 2014

using accunetix/webcruiser on other people's websites is illegal..

Eighteen of the 44 counts in Salinas’ indictment, for instance, were for cyberstalking an unnamed victim. But each of those charges was based on Salinas merely filling out a public contact form on the victim’s website with junk text. Every time he clicked “submit” had been counted as a separate case of cyberstalking.

Another 15 counts of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in Salinas’ indictment were tied to websites he had targeted in an alleged hacking spree; in some cases he was charged multiple times for different alleged hacking attempts of the same site over the course of just minutes. In each case, Ekeland says, Salinas had merely scanned the sites with commercially available vulnerability scanning tools like Acunetix and Webcruiser.

In his final plea agreement, the only remaining one of those 44 felonies to which Salinas actually pleaded guilty—downgraded to a misdemeanor—was a computer fraud and abuse charge for repeatedly scanning the Hidalgo County website for vulnerabilities. Prosecutors argued the scans slowed down the site’s performance.

from lizard's ghost

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Kisima Ingitchuna (never alone)

from lizard's ghost

about augmented reality

recently i came across


which made me wonder if

is a thing of the past..

from lizard's ghost

my actual problems that shops rarely solve

  1. do u have this or something similiar in another color/size/$attribute?

    and then they don't have it in stock and then

  2. do u have this in stock at your other store?

  3. when will this be restocked?

  4. can u reserve 1 unit for me?

other than when i'm at mustapha i'm not totally sure i have issues with

from lizard's ghost

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

so long and thanks for all the fish..

Since we launched MXAlerts almost 3 years ago, a lot has happened. We've come across new challenges in email monitoring, added many new features to our system and with that, grown our customer base. We’re proud to announce the latest round of enhancements to MXAlerts including:

* Support for Gmail/Google Apps monitoring
* Performance statistics
* Enhanced monitoring logs
* Improved Geckoboard integration

To support this investment, we are no longer able to offer the MXAlerts free account after December 8, 2014. The good news is that you can continue using our services for as low as $59/year, and if you act before 12/1 you’ll save 20% off that price. For less than 13 cents a day, you will have access to all our premium features, including:

* 5 minute monitoring interval
* Enhanced monitoring logs
* Performance statistics
* Geckoboard support
* and more.. see full feature list here

from lizard's ghost

Sunday, November 09, 2014

perhaps, perhaps, perhaps..

perhaps google+ or google now or facebook can , after some time of monitoring my commuting patterns, suggest to me people who live and work nearby to me?

perhaps we can share cab to work.

perhaps if we're going to share cab, then google can go one step further and not limit the cab sharing to similiar start and end points..pickup and drop off points along the way are ok too.

perhaps uber/sidecar/lyft can go even further..and ask private vehicle owners who share similiar commute patterns as cab passengers whether they would let them hitch a ride..perhaps for a fee...

from lizard's ghost

Friday, November 07, 2014

ad-bots pitching services and wares to automated web-crawlers


vinbreau 8 hours ago | link

I envision a future where a significant share of the advertising market is comprised of automated ad-bots pitching services and wares to automated web-crawlers. There's something obtusely philosophical about that and what it says about us, though I am not sure what that is.


arbitrage 8 hours ago | link

William Gibson could probably give you some ideas on what that says about us. He started writing about this fictionally decades ago.


wernercolangelo 8 hours ago | link

Or Stanislaw Lem


klipt 8 minutes ago | link

Or Douglas Adams in the Dirk Gently books.


readerrrr 6 hours ago | link

Really? Could you share the titles.


pessimizer 7 hours ago | link

Or Frederick Pohl and Cyril Kornbluth

(Or Alvin Lucier:


pavel_lishin 7 hours ago | link

Charles Stross, too.


aaronbrethorst 8 hours ago | link

Somewhat related:


twrkit 7 hours ago | link

reminds me of Google Will Eat Itself:


from lizard's ghost

Thursday, November 06, 2014

cause and effect

on the phenomenon of bullshit jobs

the art of not working at work

from lizard's ghost

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

addicted to bass

from lizard's ghost

Monday, November 03, 2014

ideas are cheap

  1. i dont know if its too high tech for now. but look at buying/selling/renting property online. its like simlim price lists, not amazon. you can only check. cannot transact. why?

    can the agent be automated away?

    what do the agents do that are manual/physical?

    the property viewings? can those be acheived with a webcam thing? a video? a drone quadcopter?

    possibly a electronic lock that allows the owner to open the door remotely instead of passing physical keys to the agent might already be quite interesting?

  2. for some reason i find this to be a really intrigueing thing..

    can be adapted to all sorts of other things that people blog about.

    for games there seems to be

    but there must be other niches?

    audio gear? arduino components? food (blog your recipe or what u just ate, sell ingredients or vouchers to the restaurant)?

  3. really. it costs what, 2k to put a 1/2 page ad on a magazine or something?

    how much does it cost to advertise on a taxi?

    how many people see the taxi?

    why not private cars?

    the cheapest private car now is probably ~25k for 2.5 yrs left on coe.

    i dont see why the budget car owner would not consider carrying advertising to offset the 1k+/mth the car is costing him/her.

    i imagine a rear bumper ad at $100/mth might already be quite attractive. its not as distracting to the owner as putting stickers over the entire car, but in heavy traffic the driver behind cant help but see the ad on the rear bumper.

    but yeah, enforcing the ad sticker to remain on the car would be hard..

from lizard's ghost

Friday, October 31, 2014

veruca salt, bodies.

from lizard's ghost

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.

  • asimov.

shakespeare: The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool

Socrates: "I know one thing: that I know nothing."

W B Yeats: "The best lack all conviction, and the worst / Are full of passionate intensity."

Bertrand Russell: "The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt."

Charles Darwin: "Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge."

the Tao Te Ching: "To know that you do not know is highest. To not know but think you know is flawed. ... The sages are without fault, because they recognize the fault as a fault".

Romans 1:22. "While claiming to be wise, they became fools."

Rom 12:16 "Do not be wise in your own estimation"

from lizard's ghost

nfc are everywhere!

there's samsung tectiles..

sony smarttags..

all sorts of stuff from tagstand..

moo makes nfc business cards..

but yea, be careful..

from lizard's ghost

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


and omg! its real!

from lizard's ghost

Saturday, October 18, 2014

the tor network

from lizard's ghost

Monday, October 13, 2014

able gamers, special effect and 1 button bayonetta

and What Super Smash Bros. 3DS looks like with varying types of colorblindness..

"Take Bayonetta for example. Many developers would think that the core mechanic is executing complex combos. But it's not," Hamilton said. "The developers abstracted it out a bit, and [realized] that what makes the game fun is the feeling of successfully pushing your motor skills to the limit ... So they included a wide range of difficultly settings, going all the way down to a single button mode." As a result, he added, Bayonetta is, quite unexpectedly, the most accessible game of its type. Its developers understood that the point was empowering players, and that can be scaled to people of just about any ability. If someone only has the physical ability to hit one button, they could still play and get roughly the same challenge/reward balance as everyone else. For quadriplegics, that button can be mapped to a microswitch, eye motion trackers or a wide variety of other pieces of technology. The core of what Bayonetta attempts to do remains in tact regardless of input device.

from lizard's ghost

Thursday, October 09, 2014

one more parity bit please!

from lizard's ghost

oh, the cloud

what cloud? where got cloud? its just a bloody url the stupid router checks to see if there's internet connectivity isn't it? but for some reason it actually shuts down its own dns service when there isn't..why???!!!

and btw, why not use ntp and/or dns as connectivity checks?

from lizard's ghost

more succinct version of 'golden key' idea, by bruce schneier

Ah, but that's the thing: You can't build a "back door" that only the good guys can walk through. Encryption protects against cybercriminals, industrial competitors, the Chinese secret police and the FBI. You're either vulnerable to eavesdropping by any of them, or you're secure from eavesdropping from all of them.


from lizard's ghost

stole this entire post from keybase 'cos i think its a keeper, sorry.

The Horror of a 'Secure Golden Key'

by Chris Coyne 10/08/2014

This week, the Washington Post's editorial board, in a widely circulated call for “compromise” on encryption, proposed that while our data should be off-limits to hackers and other bad actors, “perhaps Apple and Google could invent a kind of secure golden key” so that the good guys could get to it if necessary.

This theoretical “secure golden key” would protect privacy while allowing privileged access in cases of legal or state-security emergency. Kidnappers and terrorists are exposed, and the rest of us are safe. Sounds nice. But this proposal is nonsense, and, given the sensitivity of the issue, highly dangerous. Here’s why.

A “golden key” is just another, more pleasant, word for a backdoor—something that allows people access to your data without going through you directly. This backdoor would, by design, allow Apple and Google to view your password-protected files if they received a subpoena or some other government directive. You'd pick your own password for when you needed your data, but the companies would also get one, of their choosing. With it, they could open any of your docs: your photos, your messages, your diary, whatever.

The Post assumes that a “secure key” means hackers, foreign governments, and curious employees could never break into this system. They also assume it would be immune to bugs. They envision a magic tool that only the righteous may wield. Does this sound familiar?

Government or Apple employee in the year 2015

Practically speaking, the Washington Post has proposed the impossible. If Apple, Google and Uncle Sam hold keys to your documents, you will be at great risk.

In case you're not a criminal

Perhaps the reason the WaPo is so confused is that FBI Director James Comey has told the media that Apple's anti-backdoor stance only protects criminals. Unfortunately he's not seeing beyond his own job, and WaPo didn't look much further.

Apple’s anti-backdoor policy aims to protect everyone. The following is a list of real threats their policy would thwart. Not threats to terrorists or kidnappers, but to 300 million Americans and 7 billion humans who are moving their intimate documents into the cloud. Make no mistake, what Apple and Google are proposing protects you.

Whether you're a regular, honest person, or a US legislator trying to understand this issue, understand this list.

Threat #1. It Protects You From Hackers

If Apple has the key to unlock your data legally, that can also be used illegally, without Apple's cooperation. Home Depot and Target? They were recently hacked to the tune of 100 million accounts.

Despite great financial and legal incentive to keep your data safe, they could not.

But finance is mostly boring. Other digital documents are very, very personal.

Consider: she deleted her pics long ago...we'll get to data permanence in a bit.

So hackers have (1) stolen everyone's credit cards, and (2) stolen celebrities' personal pictures. Up next: your personal pics, videos, docs, messages, medical data, and diary. With the Washington Post's proposal, it will all be leaked, a kind of secure golden shower.

There is some hope. If your data were locked with a strong password that only you knew, only on your device, then the best hackers could get nothing by hacking Apple's data servers. They’d look for your pictures but find an unintelligible pile of goops instead.

To begin to protect yourself, you need the legal right to a real, working password that only you know.

Threat #2. It Protects You From Foreign-government breaches

As it stands, the NSA, China, Russia: anyone could be inside Apple, Google, and Microsoft, quietly collecting data, building dossiers on anyone in the world, harnessing the system normally used to answer "lawful" warrant requests. This is a different kind of risk from what we've seen with Home Depot and Target, because we can't see how often it's happening.

Even if you trust the U.S. government to act in your best interest (say, by foiling terrorists), do you trust the Russian government? Do you trust the Chinese? If a door is open to one organization, it is open to all.

The government's tool can be stolen or copied

Again, this can only be solved with a real, working password that only you know.

Threat #3. It Protects You From Human Error

Did you know: On June 20, 2011 Dropbox let anyone on the site login as any other user? On that day, anyone could read or download anyone else's documents. Will this happen again? Can laws against data leaks protect us? Of course not. Laws, policy, even honest, well-meaning effort can't prevent human error. It's inevitable.

When you host your data and your keys "in the cloud", your data is only as strong as the weakest programmer who has access.

On a technical tangent, a proposed solution to this -- and threats 1 & 2 -- involves your device having half of a key, so a bug wouldn't expose your data to anyone, unless they also got your device. (Security on iOS7 worked this way.) This failed for users because phones, computers, and tablets are thrown away, shared, sent in for service, refurbished, and recycled. Old devices are everywhere and easy to acquire. Apple recognized this and fixed it in iOS8.

You must be allowed to throw away your data without hunting down every device you've ever used.

The only solution is a real, single password that only you know.

Threat #4. It Protects You From the future

This is the greatest threat of all.

Our cloud data is stored for eternity, not the moment. Legislation and company policy cannot guarantee backups are destroyed. Our government may change, and what qualifies as a "lawful" warrant tomorrow might be illegal today. Similarly, your eternal data might be legal today and a threat tomorrow.

What you consider cool today might be an embarrassment or personal risk tomorrow. A photo you can rip to pieces, a letter you can shred, a diary you can burn, an old flag you can take out into the woods with your friends and shoot with a bb-gun till it's destroyed and then have a nice, cold beer to celebrate. Cheers to that.

But memories in the cloud are there forever. You will never be able to destroy them. That data is backed-up, distributed, redundant, and permanent. I can tell you first-hand: do not assume that when you click "delete" a file is gone. Take Mary Winstead’s word for it. Bugs and tape backups often keep things around, regardless of the law or programmer effort. This is one of the single hairiest technical problems of today.

Instead, how can you burn that digital love letter, or tear up that digital picture? The only answer is to start with it encrypted, and then throw away the only key.

You need the legal right to use software that makes you the sole owner of that key.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The above are all practical threats to good people. Still, even if you're sitting back feeling immune to embarrassment, hackers, foreign governments, bugs, dystopias, and disgruntled employees, there are still deep, philosophical, human considerations.

Consideration #1 - The invasion of personal space should be detectable

Even if you have nothing to hide in your home, you'd like to know if it's been entered.

In general, when your personal space is invaded, you want to know. Historically, this was easy. You had neighbors who could watch your doors, maybe some cameras, maybe an alarm system. You licked your envelopes. An intruder - legal or not - was someone you could hope to catch.

Therefore - in the absence of a breach - you could believe your home was not entered by the police or a criminal. This felt good. It even made you like your government.

When Apple built iOS8, they took the stance that your data qualifies as personal space. Even if you host it in the cloud. For someone to break in, they have to come through you.

Consideration #2 - Our cloud data is becoming an extension of our minds.

Beyond all the technical considerations, there is a sea change in what we are digitizing.

We whisper “I love you” through the cloud. We have pictures of our kids in the bath tub. Our teens are sexting. We fight with our friends. We talk shit about the government. We embarrass ourselves. We watch our babies on cloud cameras. We take pictures of our funny moles. We ask Google things we might not even ask our doctor.

Even our passing thoughts and fears are going onto our devices.

Time was, all these things we said in passing were ephemeral. We could conveniently pretend to forget. Or actually forget. Thanks to the way our lives have changed, we no longer have that option.

This phenomenon is accelerating. In 10 years, our glasses may see what we see, hear what we hear. Our watches and implants and security systems of tomorrow may know when we have fevers, when we're stressed out, when our hearts are pounding, when we have sex and - wow - who's in the room with us, and who's on top and what direction they're facing*. Google and Apple and their successors will host all this data.

We're not talking about documents anymore: we're talking about everything.

You should be allowed to forget some of it. And to protect it from all the dangers mentioned above.

You should want all this intimate data password-protected, with a single key only you know. You should hope that Google, Apple, and Microsoft all support this decision. More important, you should hope that the government legally allows them and even encourages them to make this decision. It's a hard enough technical problem. Let's not make it a legal one.

In conclusion

Is Apple's solution correct? I don't know. It needs to be studied. But either way, they should be allowed to try. They should be allowed to make software with no backdoor.

Is the Washington Post's "secure golden key" a good idea? No it isn't. Whether it's legally enforced or voluntary, it's a misguided, dangerous proposal. It will become more dangerous with time.

Honest, good people are endangered by any backdoor that bypasses their own passwords.

-Chris Coyne (comments welcome )

from lizard's ghost

whats this song?

and yet another one man hero effort...i thought banished was it...

from lizard's ghost

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

yahoo not shellshocked

Howdy, Hacker News. I’m the CISO of Yahoo and I wanted to clear up some misconceptions.

Earlier today, we reported that we isolated a handful of servers that were detected to have been impacted by a security flaw. After investigating the situation fully, it turns out that the servers were in fact not affected by Shellshock.

Three of our Sports API servers had malicious code executed on them this weekend by attackers looking for vulnerable Shellshock servers. These attackers had mutated their exploit, likely with the goal of bypassing IDS/IDP or WAF filters. This mutation happened to exactly fit a command injection bug in a monitoring script our Sports team was using at that moment to parse and debug their web logs.

Regardless of the cause our course of action remained the same: to isolate the servers at risk and protect our users' data. The affected API servers are used to provide live game streaming data to our Sports front-end and do not store user data. At this time we have found no evidence that the attackers compromised any other machines or that any user data was affected. This flaw was specific to a small number of machines and has been fixed, and we have added this pattern to our CI/CD code scanners to catch future issues.

As you can imagine this episode caused some confusion in our team, since the servers in question had been successfully patched (twice!!) immediately after the Bash issue became public. Once we ensured that the impacted servers were isolated from the network, we conducted a comprehensive trace of the attack code through our entire stack which revealed the root cause: not Shellshock. Let this be a lesson to defenders and attackers alike: just because exploit code works doesn’t mean it triggered the bug you expected!

I also want to address another issue: Yahoo takes external security reports seriously and we strive to respond immediately to credible tips. We monitor our Bug Bounty ( and security aliases ( 24x7, and our records show no attempt by this researcher to contact us using those means. Within an hour of our CEO being emailed directly we had isolated these systems and begun our investigation. We run one of the most successful Bug Bounty programs in the world and I hope everybody here will participate and help us keep our users safe.

We’re always looking for people who want to keep nearly a billion users safe at scale.

from lizard's ghost

Monday, October 06, 2014

bash-chef, inspeqtor monitoring

from lizard's ghost

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Thursday, October 02, 2014

so reddit is trying to end remote work

chuckcode 4 hours ago | link

Seems like a lot of great open source software projects are run almost completely with remote teams - linux, git, apache, R, python, etc. have a lot of "remote" developers.

Why do so many companies discourage remote teams? Hard to ignore the fact that you can get access to a much larger pool of developers and often for lower cost. Is there something fundamentally different about software development for a company vs opens source. Are the open source projects managed better/differently in some way to make these remote worker projects succeed?


judk 1 hour ago | link

Open source projects have better managers than reddit.


from lizard's ghost

from hit #1 on @HackerNewsYCBot for a while today (thanks HN!). Traffic up 100x. I was dumb enough to ask our developers if we could handle it. This is what they sent back

from lizard's ghost

Thursday, September 25, 2014

its probably good for your moral character..

from lizard's ghost

mostly cgi

Exploit details: The way this bug is exploited is anything that that first sticks some Internet parameter in an environmental variable, and then executes a bash script. Thus, simply calling bash isn't the problem. Thus, some things (like PHP apparently) aren't necessarily vulnerable, but other things (like CGI shell scripts) are vulnerable as all get out. For example, a lot of wireless routers shell out to "ping" and "traceroute" -- these are all likely vulnerable.

from lizard's ghost

cirque du quadcopter..

from lizard's ghost

can some designer verify this?

from lizard's ghost

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

a business plan

Bought my chair years ago, luckely my carpenter doesn't come by once a month to ask me money for every time i sat in his chair (there is a counter build in)under the argument that he (or most of the times a greedy somebody else, but he who bought the 'legal' right) made it so many years ago and that was such hard work that he wants to be paid for it for the rest of his life, so he can sit on the beach.

Oh, and he also used poor quality paint, and the contract states that you have to pay him every year to repaint it and you are not allowed to do it yourself or force him to use quality paint....he can take away the chair any time you do not comply.

  • from a steam review for "The Mighty Quest For Epic Loot"

from lizard's ghost

the difference between terry and linus

see what fellow programmers say about him and his os

and the actualy videos -

from lizard's ghost

Monday, September 22, 2014

you're not the only fatty - over the past 20 years or more, as the American people were getting fatter, so were America’s marmosets. As were laboratory macaques, chimpanzees, vervet monkeys and mice, as well as domestic dogs, domestic cats, and domestic and feral rats from both rural and urban areas. In fact, the researchers examined records on those eight species and found that average weight for every one had increased. The marmosets gained an average of nine per cent per decade. Lab mice gained about 11 per cent per decade. Chimps, for some reason, are doing especially badly: their average body weight had risen 35 per cent per decade. Allison, who had been hearing about an unexplained rise in the average weight of lab animals, was nonetheless surprised by the consistency across so many species. ‘Virtually in every population of animals we looked at, that met our criteria, there was the same upward trend,’ he told me.

from lizard's ghost

Sunday, September 21, 2014

grades are a function of how you do scoring, not how good the kid is

girls tend to get better grades than boys -

there's no statistically significant difference between male and female grades -

from lizard's ghost

Thursday, September 18, 2014

the world's default mail server

fedora wanted to remove it

openbsd is removing it

from lizard's ghost

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

a good idea

leni536 1 hour ago | link

Just put a smart card chip and the pin code entering mechanism on the card (or authentication token. It doesn't necessarily need to be a "card"). This way you don't have to trust the ATMs. (Or any other device you don't control. How many times do you buy stuff using your credit card?)


artr 21 minutes ago | link

Commonwealth Bank in Australia does something like that. They have a feature in their iOS/Android app that lets you withdraw cash without a card. It generates a code on the phone and also sends you a 4 digit code via sms. Then you enter both codes to their nearest atm. Good for when you've forgotten your card or the atm looks dodhy.


from lizard's ghost

google maps mmorpg dream.2

its not that far fetched actually..this was 2008!

from lizard's ghost

launching today, mathematica online

or alternatively(?),

from lizard's ghost

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

maybe they just need to open source their implementation and stop blabbering

which key? what key? how is key exchange accomplished? how is key management done?

from lizard's ghost

Monday, September 15, 2014

from one second to the next - werner herzog

from lizard's ghost


All sorts of people tell me about their memories,

about all the things I left in the playground called Earthbound.

From the tiny safety pins, broken pieces of colored glass to the withering leaves.

When I ask them, "how do you remember so much?"

With their eyes gleaming, they say,

"I love that world so much I remember everything about it." I reply right away saying "me too."

Ah hah! That may be it.

Maybe I wanted to make a playground.

A playground filled with things no matter how small or unwanted,

they would all be kept dear in people's hearts.

It looks like all my friends from around the world have discovered the theme to the game as they were playing – even though I didn't think I gave it one.

That's right, that's something I also wanted to do all along.

  • Shigesato Itoi

from lizard's ghost

Friday, September 12, 2014

a bank that seems to get it

tech outage post mortem..

who are they?

from lizard's ghost

Thursday, September 11, 2014

cow sense

from lizard's ghost

a space monkey bites the dust..

Founded in 2011, the company has raised only $2.7 million of venture capital in a Series A round led by Google Ventures in 2012 as well as raising $349,625 in a Kickstarter campaign last year.

from lizard's ghost

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

unfortunately i run a antispam gateway on my edis vps..

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You can log in with your email address and your email password to meet your personal settings there.

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from lizard's ghost

Monday, September 08, 2014

Living in the Fantasy Land by Yukihiro "Matz" Matsumoto

from lizard's ghost

a personal journey : stephen hawking

from lizard's ghost

how complex systems fail

How Systems Fail

Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000 by R.I.Cook, MD, for CtL Revision D (00.04.21)

Page 1

How Complex Systems Fail

(Being a Short Treatise on the Nature of Failure; How Failure is Evaluated; How Failure is Attributed to Proximate Cause; and the Resulting New Understanding of Patient Safety)

Richard I. Cook, MD

Cognitive technologies Laboratory

University of Chicago

1) Complex systems are intrinsically hazardous systems.

All of the interesting systems (e.g. transportation, healthcare, power generation) are

inherently and unavoidably hazardous by the own nature. The frequency of hazard

exposure can sometimes be changed but the processes involved in the system are

themselves intrinsically and irreducibly hazardous. It is the presence of these hazards

that drives the creation of defenses against hazard that characterize these systems.

2) Complex systems are heavily and successfully defended against failure.

The high consequences of failure lead over time to the construction of multiple layers of

defense against failure. These defenses include obvious technical components (e.g.

backup systems, ‘safety’ features of equipment) and human components (e.g. training,

knowledge) but also a variety of organizational, institutional, and regulatory defenses

(e.g. policies and procedures, certification, work rules, team training). The effect of these measures isto provide a series of shields that normally divert operations away from


3) Catastrophe requires multiple failures –single point failures are not enough..

The array of defenses works. System operations are generally successful. Overt

catastrophic failure occurs when small, apparently innocuous failures join to create

opportunity for a systemic accident. Each of these small failures is necessary to cause

catastrophe but only the combination is sufficient to permit failure. Put another way,

thereare many more failure opportunities than overt system accidents. Most initial

failure trajectories are blocked by designed system safety components. Trajectories that

reach the operational level are mostly blocked, usually by practitioners.

4) Complex systems contain changing mixtures of failures latent within them.

The complexity of these systems makes it impossible for them to run without multiple

flaws being present. Because these are individually insufficient to cause failure they are

regarded as minor factors during operations. Eradication of all latent failures is limited

primarily by economic cost but also because it is difficult before the fact to see how such

failures might contribute to an accident. The failures change constantly because of

changing technology, work organization, and efforts to eradicate failures.

5) Complex systems run in degraded mode.

A corollary to the preceding point is that complex systems run as broken systems. The

system continues to function because it contains so many redundancies and because

people can make it function, despite the presence of many flaws. After accident reviews

nearly always note that the system has a history of prior ‘proto-accidents’ that nearly

generated catastrophe. Arguments that these degraded conditions should have been

recognized before the overt accident are usually predicated on naïve notions of system

performance. System operations are dynamic, with components (organizational, human,

technical) failing and being replaced continuously.

How Systems Fail

Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000 by R.I.Cook, MD, for CtL Revision D (00.04.21)

Page 2

6) Catastrophe is always just around the corner.

Complex systems possess potential for catastrophic failure. Human practitioners are

nearly always in close physical and temporal proximity to these potential failures –

disaster can occur at any time and in nearlyany place. The potential for catastrophic

outcome is a hallmark of complex systems. It is impossible to eliminate the potential for

such catastrophic failure; the potential for such failure is always present by the system’s

own nature.

7) Post-accident attribution accident to a ‘root cause’ is fundamentally wrong.

Because overt failure requires multiple faults, there is no isolated ‘cause’ of an accident.

There are multiple contributors to accidents. Each of these is necessary insufficient in

itself to create an accident. Only jointly are these causes sufficient to create an accident.

Indeed, it is the linking of these causes together that creates the circumstances required

for the accident. Thus, no isolation of the ‘root cause’ of an accident is possible. The

evaluations based on such reasoning as ‘root cause’ do not reflect a technical

understanding of the nature of failure but rather the social, cultural need to blame

specific, localized forces or events for outcomes.


8) Hindsight biases post-accidentassessments of human performance.

Knowledge of the outcome makes it seem that events leading to the outcome should have

appeared more salient to practitioners at the time than was actually the case. This means

that ex post factoaccident analysis of humanperformance is inaccurate. The outcome

knowledge poisons the ability of after-accident observers to recreate the view of

practitioners before the accident of those same factors. It seems that practitioners “should

have known” that the factors would “inevitably” lead to an accident.


Hindsight bias

remains the primary obstacle to accident investigation, especially when expert human performance

is involved.

9) Human operators have dual roles: as producers & as defenders against failure.

The system practitioners operate the system in order to produce its desired product and

also work to forestall accidents. This dynamic quality of system operation, the balancing

of demands for production against the possibility of incipient failure is unavoidable.

Outsiders rarely acknowledge the duality of this role. In non-accident filled times, the

production role is emphasized. After accidents, the defense against failure role is

emphasized. At either time, the outsider’s view misapprehends the operator’s constant,

simultaneous engagement with both roles.

10) All practitioner actions are gambles.

After accidents, the overt failure often appears to have been inevitable and the

practitioner’s actions as blunders or deliberate willful disregard of certain impending

failure. Butall practitioner actions are actually gambles, that is, acts that take place in the

face of uncertain outcomes. The degree of uncertainty may change from moment to

moment. That practitioner actions are gambles appears clear after accidents; in general,


Anthropological field research provides the clearest demonstration of the socialconstruction of the notion

of ‘cause’ (cf. Goldman L (1993), The Culture of Coincidence: accident and absolute liability in Huli, New York:

Clarendon Press; and also Tasca L (1990), The Social Construction of Human Error, Unpublished doctoral

dissertation, Department of Sociology, State University of New York at Stonybrook.


This is not a feature of medical judgements or technical ones, but rather of all human cognition about past

events and their causes.

How Systems Fail

Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000 by R.I.Cook, MD, for CtL Revision D (00.04.21)

Page 3

post hocanalysis regards these gambles as poor ones. But the converse: that successful

outcomes are also the result of gambles; is not widely appreciated.

11) Actions at the sharp end resolve all ambiguity.

Organizations are ambiguous, often intentionally,about the relationship between

production targets, efficient use of resources, economy and costs of operations, and

acceptable risks of low and high consequence accidents. All ambiguity is resolved by

actions of practitioners at the sharp end of the system. After an accident, practitioner

actions may be regarded as ‘errors’ or ‘violations’ but these evaluations are heavily

biased by hindsight and ignore the other driving forces, especially production pressure.

12) Human practitioners are the adaptable element of complex systems.

Practitioners and first line management actively adapt the system to maximize

production and minimize accidents. These adaptations often occur on a moment by

moment basis. Some of these adaptations include: (1) Restructuring the system in order

to reduce exposure of vulnerable parts to failure. (2) Concentrating critical resources in

areas of expected high demand. (3) Providing pathways for retreat or recovery from

expected and unexpected faults. (4) Establishing means for early detection of changed

system performance in order to allow graceful cutbacks in production or other means of

increasing resiliency.

13) Human expertise in complex systems is constantly changing

Complex systems require substantial human expertise in their operation and

management. This expertise changes in character as technology changes but it also

changes because of the need to replace experts who leave. In every case, training and

refinement of skill and expertise is one part of the function of the system itself. At any

moment, therefore, a given complex system will contain practitioners and trainees with

varying degrees of expertise. Critical issues related to expertise arise from (1) the need to

use scarce expertise as a resource for the most difficult or demanding production needs

and (2) the need to develop expertise for future use.

14) Change introduces new forms of failure.

The low rate of overt accidents in reliable systems may encourage changes, especially the

use of new technology, to decrease thenumber of low consequence but high frequency

failures. These changes maybe actually create opportunities for new, low frequency but

high consequence failures. When new technologies are used to eliminate well

understood system failures or to gain high precision performance they often introduce

new pathways to large scale, catastrophic failures. Not uncommonly, these new, rare

catastrophes have even greater impact than those eliminated by the new technology.

These new forms of failure are difficult to see before the fact; attention is paid mostly to

the putative beneficial characteristics of the changes. Because these new, high

consequence accidents occur at a low rate, multiple system changes may occur before an

accident, making it hard to see the contribution of technology to the failure.

15) Views of ‘cause’ limit the effectiveness of defenses against futureevents.

Post-accident remedies for “human error” are usually predicated on obstructing activities

that can “cause” accidents. These end-of-the-chain measures do little to reduce the

likelihood of further accidents. In fact that likelihood of an identical accident is already

extraordinarily low because the pattern of latent failures changes constantly. Instead of

increasing safety, post-accident remedies usually increase the coupling and complexity of

How Systems Fail

Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000 by R.I.Cook, MD, for CtL Revision D (00.04.21)

Page 4

the system. This increases the potential number of latent failures and also makes the

detection and blocking of accident trajectories more difficult.

16) Safety is a characteristic of systems and not of their components

Safety is an emergent property of systems; it does not reside in a person, device or

department of an organization or system. Safety cannot be purchased or manufactured; it

is not a feature that is separate from the other components of thesystem. This means that

safety cannot be manipulated like a feedstock or raw material. The state of safety in any

system is always dynamic; continuous systemic change insures that hazard and its

management are constantly changing.

17) People continuously create safety.

Failure free operations are the result of activities of people who work to keep the system

within the boundaries of tolerable performance. These activities are, for the most part,

part of normal operations and superficially straightforward.But because system

operations are never trouble free, human practitioner adaptations to changing conditions

actually create safety from moment to moment. These adaptations often amount to just

the selection of a well-rehearsed routine from a store of available responses; sometimes,

however, the adaptations are novel combinations or de novocreations of new approaches.

18) Failure free operations require experience with failure.

Recognizing hazard and successfully manipulating system operations to remain inside

the tolerable performance boundaries requires intimate contact with failure. More robust

system performance is likely to arise in systems where operators can discern the “edge of

the envelope”. This is where system performance begins to deteriorate, becomes difficult

to predict, or cannot be readily recovered. In intrinsically hazardous systems, operators

are expected to encounter and appreciate hazards in ways that lead to overall

performance that is desirable. Improved safety depends on providing operators with

calibrated views of the hazards. It also depends on providing calibration about how their

actions move system performance towards or away from the edge of the envelope.

Other materials:

Cook, Render, Woods (2000). Gaps in the continuity of care and progress on patient

safety. British Medical Journal320: 791-4.

Cook (1999). A Brief Look at the New Look in error, safety, and failure of complex

systems. (Chicago: CtL).

Woods & Cook (1999). Perspectives on Human Error: Hindsight Biases and Local

Rationality. In Durso, Nickerson, et al., eds., Handbook of Applied Cognition. (New

York: Wiley) pp. 141-171.

Woods & Cook (1998). Characteristics of Patient Safety: Five Principles that Underlie

Productive Work. (Chicago: CtL)

Cook & Woods (1994), “Operating at the Sharp End: The Complexity of Human Error,”

in MS Bogner, ed., Human Error in Medicine,Hillsdale, NJ; pp. 255-310.

How Systems Fail

Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000 by R.I.Cook, MD, for CtL Revision D (00.04.21)

Page 5

Woods, Johannesen, Cook, & Sarter (1994), Behind Human Error: Cognition, Computers and

Hindsight,Wright Patterson AFB: CSERIAC.

Cook, Woods, & Miller (1998), A Tale of Two Stories: Contrasting Views of Patient Safety,

Chicago, IL: NPSF, (available as PDF file on the NPSF web site at

from lizard's ghost

the okcupid blog

cbhl 8 hours ago | link

I really enjoyed reading OkTrends posts, but having near radio silence for three years (apart from one post last July) followed by a full-on PR blitz for a new book (comes out on Tuesday) makes me a little sad.

This piece almost makes it sound as if Rudder has been blogging based on OkCupid results this whole time... and if you go to the OkTrends site, you see huge inline placement for Rudder's new book.

beloch 7 hours ago | link

OKTrends went dormant when OKCupid was sold to the company that operates I don't know what Rudder's involvement with OKCupid was after that, but he was no longer one of the owners. He might have still worked there, but kept his blog silent under pressure from management.

shawndrost 6 hours ago | link

The blog went silent b/c Christian was put in charge of everydamnthing at the OKC office as Sam (the old CEO) moved up after the acquisition. I don't think there was any pressure from management, which would have been dumb -- the blog was a great asset to OKC/Match aside from that one post that they deleted for obvious reasons.

(Source: I used to work at OkCupid Labs, one of the things that Sam went on to do under Match, where he is now CEO.)

tgb 4 hours ago | link

What was the subject of the post that was deleted? (Is there an archive of it?)

Edit: from other comments:

CDRdude 4 hours ago | link

The title of the post was: "Why you should never pay for online dating". This appears to be a rehosted version of it:

chimeracoder 5 hours ago | link

I used to work at OkCupid, on OkTrends.

You're not the first person to propose this question - there's a comment like this almost every time OkCupid makes the front page - and here's what I wrote the last time[0], which I think explains it well:

There were a number of factors. A bit part is that, in 2010, there were 2.5 people working full-time[1] on doing research for OkTrends, which allowed us to research, write, and publish posts much more often.

The blog posts took a lot of work. "The Real Stuff White People Like"[2] took almost two months of my time, plus some from Max and Christian as well. (Much like the product design process, since we didn't start each post off with a clear end result in mind, not all the work was visible in the final product).

I left to go back to school. Max ended up taking on more responsibility for other data/stats work, which slowed the pace a bit, and he left at the beginning of 2012 to do his own stuff. And Christian became in charge of running OkCupid after the acquisition, which meant he had even less time then he did before Max and I joined.

People asked me for the last three years whether the reason OkTrends hadn't posted since 2011 was because of the acquisition and whether Match shut them down and I had to tell everyone "No, trust me, they're still around! It's just a coincidence!". Thankfully I no longer have to. :)


[1] 2.5 full-time means: Two of us full-time, as well as Christian, though he split his work time between OkTrends (the blog) and other stuff.


from lizard's ghost

"When I was forced to use Windows..." or "Back when I used Windows..." or "Whenever I have to use Windows..."

people who say those things use these:

from lizard's ghost

mdk3 in a box?

Deathentication / Disassociation Amok Mode

This is used to kick clients from an AP.

In this case I created a txt file with the AP MAC and used this as the blacklist.

echo 00:13:D4:09:32:60 > mdk3test.txt

mdk3 mon0 d -b mdk3test.txt -c 1 -s 250


This didn't actually kick my client off as an aireplay attack with sufficient packets would have done, but it effectively stopped all communication between the AP and the client.

from -

in a box?

from lizard's ghost

Sunday, September 07, 2014

ALS ice bucket challenge and wikipedia

Infographic: Ice Bucket Challenge Raises ALS Awareness Around the World | Statista

You will find more statistics at Statista

from lizard's ghost

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Friday, September 05, 2014

experience the power of a bookbook!

from lizard's ghost

Thursday, September 04, 2014

google maps mmorpg dream

i await the day google has finished 3d mapping the entire world. so that i can play skyrim-google maps edition. or something like that. wasd movement and mouse aiming(aim what though? camera? ha, its a screenshot!), e to jump and spacebar to interact. with mumble or teamspeak built in. and game lobby.

maybe i shall login to the vietnam server and play the hcmc map or something. and buy things from shops that have marked up their goods and services on the map just like some in-game vendor. if she's online we might even speak over the game chat.

too bad i probably can't buy bbq lady's fingers that way. or maybe she can send a thermos of streetside pho by fedex/dhl and i could have still-hot pho next morning.

from lizard's ghost

google maps feature request

add a button to the phone app that marks my location on the map. a small red dot perhaps. then display all the red dots as a map layer - a cab hailing heat map.

from lizard's ghost

i think i might donate to their kickstarter

the dream

and the response

from lizard's ghost

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

i thought the amount of 'mesh' traffic goes up with the number of mesh nodes..

It's not a traffic [bandwidth] problem, really. You have two basic kinds of wireless mesh networks: infrastructure mesh, and ad-hoc mesh. With the former, you can design the network so that each directly-connected node has a dedicated channel and you preserve full bandwidth across the spectrum. You also have only a few gateway nodes so your network updates are very few. With the latter you might be using one channel in half duplex to communicate with whatever nodes are closest to you and propagate joins/parts throughout the network. That will have less bandwidth and be slower to communicate as you add nodes, partly due to number of additional hops.

If the number of nodes who deal with routing increases, that's more nodes that need to be informed of each join/part, so technically it takes longer to update the network. But if the joins/parts are few and the signal is strong, this is a rare event. More nodes can make the whole system faster, or it can make the whole system slower. It depends on the implementation. But there's not a constant flow of mesh routing data that multiplies with nodes; that bandwidth used is tiny.

from Lizard's Ghost

good job, singapore dnc

Register by SMS

Send an SMS with the message ‘DNC’ to the following numbers:


78772 Express registration on all 3 Registers

78773 Express registration on No Voice Call Register only

78774 Express registration on No Text Message Register only

78771 Guided menu for all options (including to deregister)

Note: You can only register the number that you SMS from and normal SMS charges will apply.

from Lizard's Ghost

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

optimistic consistency

This document describes Tsync (pronounced "sink"), which provides transparent synchronization across a set of machines for existing files and directories. A transparent synchronization system makes keeping a set of files consistent across many machines---possibly with differing degrees of connectivity and availability---as simple as possible while requiring minimal effort from the user and maintaining security, robustness to failure, and fast performance.

Traditional synchronization tools, such as the popular Rsync and Unison, require that the user manually synchronize her files after changing them. Moreover, these tools are designed to only synchronize a pair of hosts: if the user wishes to synchronize N machines, then she must run the tool N-1 times. Not only is it inefficient to unicast the same data N-1 times, but the user is also burdened with remembering to restart synchronizations that are interrupted and manually recovering failed hosts.

Tsync will solve the problem of providing transparent synchronization under the assumption of optimistic consistency. Optimistic conistency assumes that the same file is not modified on two hosts at the same time. In the Tsync usage model, the user writes a simple configuration file, similar to /etc/exports, describing which directories should be synchronized, and listing one or more other hosts that are part of the Tsync group (although this list does not have to contain all the hosts in the group). The user runs the Tsync daemon, tsyncd, on each machine in the group. Then when the user creates/modifies/deletes files on one machine, those changes are automatically propagated to all the others. So if the user were to add a bookmark on her machine at the university, it would be reflected on her desktops at home. Even if not all of the computers are connected at the same time (such as if her laptop were powered off), then the next time the disconnected machine regained connectivity, it would automatically learn about the change and update itself.

A synchronization system for widely distributed hosts faces scalability and reliability challenges. The system must gracefully scale to accommodate tens or even hundreds of hosts. Of course, to make managing the system simple, the user cannot be required to manually configure each host with every other host. Hosts must have a way of learning about other hosts, as well as efficiently distributing control messages and data to all other hosts. Furthermore, the system must automatically adapt as hosts are powered off, lose connectivity, or crash, and must rapidly re-synchronize these computers when they re-join. Similarly, adding new hosts should be a simple process, and they should rapidly be brought up-to-date. The design of Tsync uses peer-to-peer and overlay techniques to provide scalable and efficient mechanisms for transparently synchronizing many hosts. Tsync organizes a user's machines into an overlay network with a tree topology. The overlay network, through probing and a root fail-over protocol, ensures that each node remains connected with all other connected nodes. The overlay network also provides a scalable means by which a Tsync node can learn about other hosts, besides the bootstrap host with which it was configured. The tree topology allows any Tsync host to efficiently multicast a message to all the other hosts. The overlay also handles authentication and encryption: hosts authenticate each other using RSA-keys, and all data is encrypted using TLS.

from Lizard's Ghost


i can't wait

here is a user guide

from Lizard's Ghost

Sunday, August 31, 2014

learning, emoji, bayesian or frequentist

The scientific research on learning styles is “so weak and unconvincing,” concluded a group of distinguished psychologists in a 2008 review, that it is not possible “to justify incorporating learning-styles assessments into general educational practice.” A 2010 article was even more blunt: “There is no credible evidence that learning styles exist,” wrote University of Virginia cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham and co-author Cedar Riener. While students do have preferences about how they learn, the evidence shows they absorb information just as well whether or not they encounter it in their preferred mode.

Follow the way of the emoji and you will mourn the moment when you finally open your heart to the person who has meant the most to you. But you will also learn how much easier it is to get out of an unwanted date (flames + person running + heart broken in two), resign from a rubbish job (paper and pencil + briefcase + lit bomb + pink-sweater-girl waving goodbye + wine) or arrange to go out on the town (multiple possibilities, suggesting that this is what it's all about). Roland Barthes would have had a field day.

You have a coin that when flipped ends up head with probability [Math Processing Error] and ends up tail with probability [Math Processing Error]. (The value of [Math Processing Error] is unknown.)

Trying to estimate [Math Processing Error], you flip the coin 14 times. It ends up head 10 times.

Then you have to decide on the following event: "In the next two tosses we will get two heads in a row."

Would you bet that the event will happen or that it will not happen?

from Lizard's Ghost

Saturday, August 30, 2014

writing skills

writing skills

from Lizard's Ghost

a submarine cable map

from Lizard's Ghost

Friday, August 29, 2014


on ifttt using api token instead of using userid/pwd to access pinboard..

" I'm happy to drive to their office and implement it myself if they feel they lack the resources."

on work-for-hire projects..

"You ask a developer to do work for you, they do the requested work, and you pay them. If you don't like the work, you end the relationship. But you still have to pay them for their time."

from Lizard's Ghost

reminiscence. if i were a carpenter.

from Lizard's Ghost

3d printing as a service

works in sg even...

from Lizard's Ghost

Thursday, August 28, 2014

but you know,for 30 cents, my post office delivers my parcel by tomorrow..

According to a story this week in The Information (subscription required), the company’s 16-month-old Google Shopping Express service loses big money on every one of its same-day deliveries (it charges $5 per delivered order from one of its retail partners after a free six-month trial period). The story says Google spends “multiples” of that and tries to make it up on volume, or, more properly, by encouraging consumers to “to search for products on Google and thus boost revenue from retail advertisers.”

from Lizard's Ghost

zelda himself said

"[These are] the sort of people who, for example, might want to watch a movie. They might want to go to Disneyland," he said.

"Their attitude is, 'okay, I am the customer. You are supposed to entertain me.' It's kind of a passive attitude they're taking, and to me it's kind of a pathetic thing. They do not know how interesting it is if you move one step further and try to challenge yourself [with more advanced games]."

Miyamoto's comments mark the first time a Nintendo executive, and a longstanding member on its board of directors, has publicly outlined intentions to shift away from casual customers.

from Lizard's Ghost

printing as a service.2

why not a website that people who own 3d printers can register their location with. then let customers send them things they want printed. then collect later. or have them mailed over?

some bidding process might be required. ebay is probably best equipped to do this. just needs to add location to the seller.

from Lizard's Ghost

work in sweden!

er, no, actually this..

from Lizard's Ghost

a cab hailing dream


1. geolocate me. or i specify a pickup point. and time.

2. i specify a destination.


a. geofence. 5km radius. list of all pickups. sorted by proximity or user ratings. or magic. show top 5 or 10 only.

b. selects me. or up to 3 pax.

c. puts up a price for the trip. 0.2btc perhaps. and how long the offer stands. 120s perhaps.


3. select 1 driver. agree or disagree to share the trip with other pax. the more pax sharing the ride, the cheaper it is for each.


d. gets notified whether each pax agrees to the trip. accepts the drive or not.

e. picks up passengers.


4. once driver is in passenger proximity. 100m? deduct from btc stored in wallet.

5. once passenger is in destination proximity. 100m? pay driver.

6. option to tip driver.

from Lizard's Ghost

we never tell them what to do

4.Recipients use the transfer to pursue their own goals

Recipients use transfers for whatever is most important to them; we never tell them what to do. An independent evaluation of our work in Kenya by Innovations for Poverty Action found that recipients use transfers for a wide variety of purposes that on average generate large income gains. Common uses range from buying food to investing in tangible assets such as housing and livestock to investing in children's education.


from Lizard's Ghost

3d printing, ikea and motorola

So how DO I buy a printer then?

A fair question to be sure. Well, here are some pointers:

  1. Educate yourself Each minute you spend learning about 3d printing and 3d printers before you commit to buying one will save you a nerve or two in the long run. Don't fall for the catchwords.

  2. Listen to the experts There's a vibrant community on Google+ about 3d printing. Lots of them to be exact. And also a lot of very good blogs. There's a good chance that when a suspicious printer appears some of the bloggers will react and warn people.

+Richard Horne , +Jeremie Francois , +Whosa whatsis , +Nicholas Seward , +nop head , +Thomas Sanladerer are some of the people you should follow. It's amazing how much good info you will get from these guys.

  1. Read the forums RepRap forums, Ultimaker forums, Printrbot forums... there's lots of places with knowledgeable people willing to help.

  2. Find reviews The best way of knowing if something is worth your money is to see the other users' experiences with it, free of all the corporate and marketing BS.

  3. Don't take news portals seriously While 3d printing news portals like or are a good source of latest info, think of them more like the celebrity pages in the papers. They will usually publish whatever info they get from manufacturers, without checking the facts or offering any critique, so not a good place to find crucial information on how to best spend your money. Every printer seems really cool and packed with features if you read about it on those sites. All in all - good to stay in the loop, but to be taken with a grain of salt.

  4. Avoid Makerbot My final piece of advice - do us all a favor and do not give Makerbot your money. They are the exact opposite of what the global 3d printing community stands for and works towards.

Now that you're done with this take a look at Jeremie Francois' excellent rundown of what you'll run into when you do buy a printer and try to do something with it.

Every year, CGSociety goes to SIGGRAPH, one of the premier conferences on innovation for the computer graphics and VFX industries in the world. In 2012, we watched as Martin Enthed, the IT Manager for the in-house communication agency of IKEA, gave a short presentation. He told us how their visualisation team had evolved from the use of traditional photography for the IKEA catalogue to a system today, where the bulk of its imagery is CG. I remember leaving the auditorium (which was packed) thinking, “Those natural-looking photographs in the IKEA catalogues are amazing. I can’t believe they're mostly CG. It’s incredible.” It was such a great presentation that we went and saw it again in 2013 when it was an official talk, and figured you guys might like to know how IKEA did it - what they had to build and innovate to get their still images to look so real. So we made a time to catch up with Martin, and asked him how and why IKEA decided to make the leap from traditional to digital.

Motorola began as Galvin Manufacturing Corporation in 1928, just before the Great Depression, founded by a 33-year-old native of Harvard, Illinois, named Paul Galvin. Its small offices stood on Chicago’s West Harrison Street, a dozen blocks from the Loop. Two years later came the company’s first big breakthrough: commercializing the first mass-market car radio by figuring out how to eliminate static interference from under the hood. But success didn’t come easily, says Paul’s grandson Chris Galvin, who ran Motorola from 1997 to 2004. Paul was a serial entrepreneur, and two previous ventures of his had flopped. “The company’s success,” Chris explains, “was born of failures.”

from Lizard's Ghost

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other specific laws and how to follow them:

When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Leviticus 1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Leviticus 15:19-24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

Leviticus 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Leviticus 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?

Leviticus 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Leviticus 19:27. How should they die?

I know from Leviticus 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

My uncle has a farm. He violates Leviticus 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? - Leviticus 24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Leviticus 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your devoted fan,


from Lizard's Ghost

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


When I'm serious about programming I use Common Lisp. When I'm serious about connecting with other people I use English. Many people seem to confound these pursuits and end up with languages that compromise weakly between talking to people and talking to computers. -

from Lizard's Ghost

Monday, August 25, 2014

island wide coverage 2

so 600 APs is waaaaay underestimating the problem.

if each AP can connect 100 devices, then something like 60000 APs will be needed to connect 6000000 devices.

some of those devices, specifically android phones for now, can actually work as nodes in the commotion mesh.

imagine every* router sold on the island were running commotion , and many people install it on their laptops and PCs, and some even install it on their phones. it'd be nice, though i doubt it'll happen, if some isp/telco even runs it on their cellular base stations.

* ok so thats probably not going to happen**. but what if someone offered to flash routers to commotion firmware for free? will more than 60000 people take up the offer? i think mesh networks are probably limited to a few hundred nodes before the mesh metadata is too much for them to be useful, actually. so those 60000+ APs will have to be split into smaller geographical zones.. which is not as nice as 1 giant network for the entire island, but is probably useful anyway.

in fact, what would it look like if every android phone on the island were running the commotion app?

**what if 1 of the telcos actually did that? say, if m1 actually turned every router and android phone they sold into part of a mesh, and perhaps even made their cellular base stations part of it, what would the result be?

from Lizard's Ghost

island wide coverage

i still occassionally dream that people can free themselves from the telco/isp oligopoly.

the dream usually revolves around ~600 wifi APs.

i think perhaps is a way to start.

from Lizard's Ghost