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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

2116 Articles
93 Comments

1 month Ago

Friendface is about love and companionship

Published on in Fun

Mark Zuckerberg was worried that Congress wouldn’t understand his message, so he had his team whip up a helpful, instructional video to take things down to Congress’s technical level.

“It’s like a petri dish filled with friendship germs.”

Friendface | The IT Crowd S03E05 (YouTube)

2 months Ago

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2018.2

Published on in Books & 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 almost 1200 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. YMMV. Also, I make no attempt to avoid spoilers.

Madeo (2009) — 8/10
This movie starts out with Madeo dancing in... [More]

The Forever War by Joe Haldeman (1974) (read in 2018)

Published on in Books & Movies

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

Ten Days That Shook The World by John Reed (1919) (read in 2018)

Published on in Books & Movies

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

Industrial Society and its Future by T...odore Kaczynski (1995) (read in 2018)

Published on in Books & Movies

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

Adults in the Room: My Battle with the...anis Varoufakis (2017) (read in 2018)

Published on in Books & Movies

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

Margaret Atwood: the Price of Fame

Published on in Books & Movies

Margaret Atwood published The Handmaid’s Tale in 1985 (I read it in 2015). Last year, Hulu aired a television series based on the book.

So, now, poor Margaret is famous, taking opprobrium from the new feminists who hadn’t even been born when Atwood was already fighting for women’s rights. She is also in rarified company: since a TV show now accompanies her book, she can be thrown into a list alongside Fifty Shades Freed (the last entry in the well-known feminist trilogy), the latest Maze Runner... [More]

Escalating Assange’s Torture

Published on in Public Policy & Politics

 If nothing else, Julian Assange’s continued imprisonment lays bare the West’s hypocrisy about rule of law and about human dignity. Whatever you may feel about Assange’s journalism or views or connections, the man has not been charged with a crime but is a de-facto political prisoner in the heart of London. His jailers would almost certainly prefer to drone-bomb him but they certainly seem satisfied with the stalemate that results in him rotting in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

They are... [More]

File-system consistency

Published on in Programming

The long and technical article Files are hard by Dan Luu discusses several low-level and scholarly analyses of how common file-systems and user-space applications deal with read/write errors.

  • How theoretically consistent is the file system?
  • How well-documented are patterns that guarantee consistency?
  • How well-understand are these patterns in the communities using them?
  • How do common applications (e.g. source control, databases, etc.) use these patterns?
  • Are these applications guaranteeing consistency?... [More]

3 months Ago

The scandal of mining currency with energy we don’t have

Published on in Technology

From the article New botnet infects cryptocurrency mining computers, replaces wallet address by Dan Goodin (Ars Technica)

“Records show that the attacker-controlled wallet has already cashed out slightly more than 1 Etherium coin.[1] The coin was valued at as much as $1,300 when the transaction was made. At the time this post was being prepared, the records also showed that the attacker had a current balance of slightly more than 1 Etherium coin and was actively mining more, with a calculation power of about 2,100 million... [More]”

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2018.1

Published on in Books & 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 almost 1200 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. YMMV. Also, I make no attempt to avoid spoilers.

Oh, Hello On Broadway (2017) — 8/10
Nick Kroll and John Mulaney... [More]

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy (2017) (read in 2018)

Published on in Books & Movies

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

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (1997) (read in 2018)

Published on in Books & Movies

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

The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin (2017) (read in 2018)

Published on in Books & Movies

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

The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin (2016) (read in 2017)

Published on in Books & Movies

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

In Denial

Published on in Quotes

“And they would not believe me precisely because they would know that what I said was true.”
James Baldwin (cited in Ministry of Utmost Happiness, Page 314)

MacOS System folder is huge

Published on in Technology

I noticed that when I emptied the trash in High Sierra, I didn’t see a corresponding rise in available space in the status bar of open Finder windows.

I opened “About This Mac” to the “Storage” tab. Here I could see that my System was using 70GB.

 Huge system (not mine)

A search turned up the article macOS High Sierra – Huge System Storage (Apple Support), which explains that High Sierra introduced a feature called local backups for Time Machine (About Time Machine local snapshots (Apple)).

It does pretty much what you would expect it... [More]

4 months Ago

Keep fighting

Published on in Quotes

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2017.8

Published on in Books & 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 almost 1200 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. YMMV. Also, I make no attempt to avoid spoilers.

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) — 5/10
I’m too old for this movie.... [More]

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2017.7

Published on in Books & 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 almost 1200 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. YMMV. Also, I make no attempt to avoid spoilers.

Star Trek: Discovery S01 (2017) — 8/10
This is the latest series... [More]

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2017.6

Published on in Books & 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 almost 1200 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. YMMV. Also, I make no attempt to avoid spoilers.

Joe Mande’s Award-Winning Comedy Special (2017) — 5/10
This was... [More]

Books read in 2017

Published on in Books & Movies

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine (2010)

by Michael Lewis

This is the book on which the movie was based. My review in that link was extensive and I liked the book just as much. Lewis really did a good job outlining the players, explaining the financial instruments and their holders, inventors, connections, weaknesses and ramifications.

It’s an extremely financially technical book and will prove a challenge for many to figure out what’s really going on. Lewis emphasizes several times... [More]

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller C...atrick Rothfuss (2007) (read in 2017)

Published on in Books & Movies

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

The Secret History of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost (2016) (read in 2017)

Published on in Books & Movies

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

The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss (2011) (read in 2017)

Published on in Books & Movies

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

American Gods by Neil Gaiman (2002) (read in 2018)

Published on in Books & Movies

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

Small Mac Notebooks, January 2018 Edition

Published on in Technology

Use Cases

This evaluation is for a machine that is excellent at the following tasks:

  • Photo editing with Photos
  • Playing HD movies
  • Using Word processors like Pages and Word

The following tasks are not a priority:

  • Playing high-powered 3D games
  • Video editing

Requirements

  • Must run MacOS[1]
  • Must be relatively quiet (fan noise only in extreme usage scenarios)
  • Long battery life (6+ hours)
  • Lightweight/portable/easy to store in most bags
  • Sturdy (doesn’t feel plastic-y or cheap)
  • High-quality... [More]

5 months Ago

Magic

Published on in Quotes

From somewhere in The Expanse, season 2:

“When I was a kid, I thought the stars were magic. I made up all sorts of ways they might work. Children are stupid, though. My father disabused me of the notion and explained what they really were. I was even more fascinated. What’s the moral of the story?Just because you can’t figure something out doesn’t mean it’s magic.”

Recycling of e-waste at only 20% worldwide

Published on in Science & Nature

The article Just 20 percent of e-waste is being recycled by Scott K. Johnson (Ars Technica) provides a good overview of the global recycling situation, based on a recent report from the United Nations’ International Telecommunication Union.

As you would expect, amount of recycling and waste produced per region differs considerably.

“Africa, for example, accounted for only about five percent of the total e-waste generated—roughly zero of which was recycled. Europe and Russia combined to generate about 28 percent of the world’s... [More]”

The Story of Jerusalem

Published on in Public Policy & Politics

President Trump did something supposedly unprecedented recently: he acknowledged Jerusalem as the de-facto capital of Israel and vowed to move the U.S. embassy there.

When I heard this, I wondered what the uproar was about, since I was sure it wasn’t the first time I’d heard something like this. I couldn’t quite place my finger on it, though. I couldn’t remember whether it was Bush or Obama who’d said something similar, or whether they’d said it during their campaign or as President.

Granted,... [More]