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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

2586 Articles
101 Comments

Yesterday

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2021.4

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 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.

Schitt’s Creek... [More]

Links and Notes for June 25th, 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 They are intentionally succinct, else they’d be articles and probably end up in the gigantic backlog of unpublished drafts.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.

Table of Contents

... [More]

Links and Notes for June 18th, 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 They are intentionally succinct, else they’d be articles and probably end up in the gigantic backlog of unpublished drafts.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.

Table of Contents

COVID-19... [More]

2 days Ago

Links and Notes for June 11th 1st, 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 They are intentionally succinct, else they’d be articles and probably end up in the gigantic backlog of unpublished drafts.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.

Table of Contents

3 weeks Ago

An interview with corporate-political prisoner Steven Donziger

Published on in Public Policy & Politics

This is an excellent interview with Steven Donziger, who’s a corporate/political prisoner in America. He is an American lawyer who was instrumental in helping an international team get a multi-billion-dollar judgment against Chevron in Ecuador for their poisoning of the environment and reckless endangerment of indigenous peoples.

The interview starts at 28:00.

Lawyer Steven Donziger Under House Arrest for Suing Chevron by Useful Idiots (YouTube)

Ecuador’s indigenous peoples won the judgment, and courts everywhere in the world but in the U.S. have recognized it. Chevron will... [More]

Upgrading iOS on MacOS

Published on in Technology

You would think that the latest version of MacOS would work seamlessly with the latest version of iOS during an upgrade.

I had my iPhone plugged in to my Mac to charge. I noticed on the phone that it wanted to upgrade the OS, but figured I’d do the upgrade through the Mac so I could use the keyboard and mouse to navigate.

Suspiciously, MacOS did not seem to be aware that there was an upgrade pending for the phone. I refreshed the status and then it noticed that there was an upgrade and... [More]

Apple Music Can’t German

Published on in Technology

I’m a former Google Play Music user. I’ve recently moved to YouTube Music.[1], which is not very friendly for people with large playlists:

  • It doesn’t pre-load the entire list; you have to scroll to see more entries
  • You can’t search within a playlist
  • You can’t multi-select items in a playlist, making management nearly impossible. You have to copy or move each song individually.

All of these things make managing a library a pretty big hassle. It’s like they’ve never heard of my use case before.
... [More]

C# 10 Features

Published on in Programming

The article Introducing C# 10 by Ken Bonny discloses some incremental but very welcome changes to the C# language in the iteration that will be released with .NET 6 in November.

In no particular order:

  • field in property accesses to manipulate the backing property without having to define it. This is a welcome improvement that will clean up useless boilerplate for properties that need to do something with the value before storing it (e.g. field.Trim())
  • The required keyword for properties in any of the... [More]

MacOs Big Sur (11.3.1): Initial Impressions after a month

Published on in Technology

 I finally upgraded to MacOS Big Sur[1] after waiting over nine months. I’d grown quite comfortable with Catalina. My only complaint was an occasionally flaky wireless connection, which seems to be better in Big Sur.

As for Big Sur, there are a lot of smaller improvements. The control panel is nice. The Bluetooth menu is better. The notification center is better, overall.

I thought I’d hate the more rounded look, but I really don’t. I like it. I find the new style more immediately legible and... [More]

Handling Dependencies in Functional Languages

Published on in Programming

Out of curiosity, I looked up how dependency injection works in functional languages. I stumbled upon this amazing article series—Six approaches to dependency injection by Scott Wlaschin (F# for Fun and Profit)
—that presents five different techniques—from very simple and easily applicable to more complex, but potentially robust.

The article series applies various abstraction techniques to a program that reads input, processes it, and writes it out again. The reading and writing are impure operations and should be abstracted... [More]

Strategic Acting in Football

Published on in Sports

 I caught the last 30 minutes of Chelsea vs. MCI in the Champions League final last week. It showed both sides of football. Both sides played absolutely brilliantly and it was a nail-biter right up until the last seconds.

It also showed what’s wrong with football — the team in the lead started strategically chewing the scenery on several questionable “contacts”. As a long-time hockey fan, I think it’s just shameful and unnecessary to flop around to defend a lead.

The team was... [More]

More bullshit from an American president

Published on in Public Policy & Politics

I honestly don’t remember what Donald Trump’s message was, but I happened to read the latest letter from an American president—this time it’s Joe Biden.

“My fellow American,

“[…]

“A key part of the American Rescue Plan is direct payments of $1,400 per person for most American households. With the $600 direct payment from December, this brings the total relief payment up to $2,000. This fulfills a promise I made to you, and will help get millions of Americans through this crisis.”

The U.S.... [More]

Links and Notes for June 4th, 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.

Table of Contents

Links and Notes for May 28th, 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.

Table of Contents

1 month Ago

Drosten’s prediction: 100% immune (vaccinated or infected, take your pick)

Published on in Science & Nature

Virologist Christian Drosten was very good on his weekly podcast, (88) Impfmission possible by Das Coronavirus-Update von NDR Info (Apple Podcasts). In this episode, he lays down the cold facts: COVID will become endemic in the west. Get vaccinated or get COVID. There is no choice (C).

An English translation follows the German citation.

At 48:00,

Christian Drosten: Jeder wird immun werden. 100%. Nicht 70% oder 80% sondern 100% in der Bevölkerung werden unweigerlich—ich würde mal sagen, in einem Fenster das von jetzt noch so anderthalb Jahre... [More]”

John McWhorter interview

Published on in Philosophy

This was a great interview with John McWhorter: ‘The Idea That America Is All About Despising Black People? That’s Fantasy.‘ by Nick Gillespie (Apple Podcasts) He recently wrote a book called Nine Nasty Words: English in the Gutter: Then, Now, and Forever. I haven’t read it, but I’ve read several essays of his. In one of his essays, he named “The Elect” as the keepers of a new religion online.

The interview was illuminating, with a lot of it transcribed below. Gillespie is a good interviewer, preferring to get out of the way... [More]

Links and Notes for May 21st, 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.

Table of Contents

Overpromising or false advertising?

Published on in Miscellaneous

I spotted this box of “lane Ground Biscuits” at the local grocer’s.

 lane Ground Biscuits overpromises

It may, on the surface, look like a box containing a bag full of pre-crushed cookies. I assume that that’s what “ground biscuits” are. This box was on the shelf next to other boxes of “biscuits”, with a picture of what looked like…cookies.

So far, so good.

What the company that makes it thinks it is, is

“[…] all you need […] to free your imagination and to enjoy in infinite possibilities to be creative, to have fun... [More]”

Links and Notes for May 14th, 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.

Table of Contents

2 months Ago

Links and Notes for May 7th, 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.

Table of Contents

Don’t believe your eyes

Published on in Technology

“A lie goes around the world three times before the truth has got its pants on.[1]
Mark Twain

Mirriad is a real company with a realtime tool that allows editors to place content into video streams. This tool can be used for anything (e.g. covering up a mustache that an actor has for another movie, as they did for Henry Cavill in a Superman movie), but their demonstration video shows how they’re selling this tool: as a way of injecting advertising and product placement in existing content.

The short video Mirriad... [More] (Vimeo)

Abby Martin and Eugene Puryear on AFRICOM

Published on in Public Policy & Politics

Abby Martin of the Empire Files interviews the incredibly well-informed Eugene Puryear on AFRICOM and U.S. interests on the continent of Africa.

A Guide to US Empire in Africa: Neocolonial Order & AFRICOM by Empire Files (YouTube)

At 15:00:

Eugene: They did not want Lumumba […] the country starts to break apart. […the Belgians] tracked down Lumumba, they captured him, and then they executed him. And they then instituted a regime that was maybe one of the most brutal, kleptocratic, resource-extraction regimes in the history of the 20th century. […]

“The role of the U.S.... [More]”

Thoughts about Chomsky’s thoughts

Published on in Public Policy & Politics

The article “Marx’s Old Mole is Right Beneath the Surface” by Noam Chomsky, David Barsamian (Boston Review) is one in a long series of interviews of Noam Chomsky by David Barsamian over the years. I found it kind of interesting as a jumping-off point for some thoughts of my own.

January 6th

Chomsky comes down very strong on characterizing the attack on the Capitol on January 6th as a coup.

“First of all, it was explicitly an attempt at a coup. They were trying to overthrow the elected government: that’s a coup. As for those who... [More]”

Links and Notes for April 30th, 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

“Open letter” demands end to UK pandemic restrictions as official figures confirm COVID-19... [More] by Julie Hyland (WSWS)

Earthli now uses the UTF8 encoding 🍾

Published on in earthli.com

Earthli started out in 1997 on an Apache 1.2.x server running on a Windows desktop in my office cubicle in New York. I set it up at the time with PHP 2.x and MySQL 3.x.

History

The default encoding at the time was to use the latin1 character set, which mapped to Windows-1252 and roughly corresponds to ANSI, which is somewhat standardized, but is platform-dependent for some characters (hence the moniker).

Over the years, I migrated to PHP 3.x, then 4.x. The migration to 5.x was a lot of work... [More]

Jane McAlevey: Union Wizard

Published on in Public Policy & Politics

The podcast Behind the News, 4/15/21 by Doug Henwood (Apple Podcasts) includes two interviews. The first half is an interview with Meagan Day and Micah Uetricht about Sanders’s legacy (which was OK), but the interview with Jane McAlevey about “why the union lost to Amazon in Bessemer” was absolutely top-notch.

McAlevey discusses in no uncertain terms how obvious it was that the union was going to lose the vote against Amazon in Bessemer:

  • They didn’t have the votes; they either knew it or they were even more incompetent than... [More]

How much is too much Fentanyl?

Published on in Public Policy & Politics

The article The Movie Follows the Script by James Howard Kunstler (ClusterFuck Nation) included the following about George Floyd’s intoxication level.

“The trouble is what’s not in the indelible picture: Mr. Floyd’s prodigious ingestion of the world’s hardest narcotic, fentanyl, at a level likely to cause death, plus methedrine, plus THC, on top of a 90-percent blockage of a coronary artery, and other cardiopathies, and Covid-19, all according to the official medical examiner.”

I’d already read this claim a few times and had heard... [More]

Google’s Age Verification Data-Collection Strategy

Published on in Technology

I recently followed a link to a video on YouTube that was supposed to demonstrate the madness of Japanese wrestler Jun Kasai. I was unable to view the video because it was age-restricted and I had not yet verified my age for my Google account.[1]

Google helpfully offered a couple of ways of rectifying this issue.

 Google's Age-verification Options

That escalated quickly.

I want to ask incredulously “do people really scan their driver’s license and send it to completely unanswerable company like Google?” or “hey scan and send... [More]

Assigning Disparaging Identities as a Social-media Weapon

Published on in Public Policy & Politics

Back in November, I listened to this Joe Rogan interview with Tim Dillon and Alex Jones. Tim Dillon is pretty funny. Joe’s going on about taking a UFO to Alpha Centauri and the evolution of humanity and Dillon interrupts him to say “I’m not even allowed to go to an Applebee’s, Joe. … I live in California. I’m barely allowed to leave my house.” … later he says, quite poignantly, “I think we should be humans as long as we can.”

Joe Rogan Experience #1555 − Alex Jones & Tim Dillon by Joe Rogan (YouTube)

Very near the end of this 3:10:00 show, Joe wraps things... [More]

Links and Notes for April 23rd, 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

Communicating the potential benefits and harms of the Astra-Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine (University of Cambridge)

“The... [More]”