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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

2265 Articles
93 Comments

5 months Ago

The Worst is Yet to Come by Peter Fleming (2019) (read in 2019)

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 in reminding me of 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... [More]

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Tw...y by Ted Snyder (2017) (read in 2019)

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]

Spectre is here to stay: An analysis o..., Toon Verwaest (2019) (read in 2019)

Published on in Technology

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 in reminding me of 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... [More]

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman (2017) (read in 2019)

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 in reminding me of 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... [More]

When’s the Revolution?

Published on in Public Policy & Politics

Each new indignity reported from the States leads to this question. When are U.S. Americans going to shake off their parasitic elite? When will they wake up from their Soma coma?

The article On Our Knees by Missy Comley Beattie (CounterPunch) poses the same question as she considers the 2020 candidates.

“Dear God, I shake my head with no, no, no, no, and at the risk of being accused of ageism, I say, “Biden is too old.” So is Sanders, so is Trump, and so is Hillary Clinton—and yes, she has threatened to enter the field if the... [More]

6 months Ago

Eine Kurze Geschichte der Menschheit b...val Noah Harari (2011) (read in 2019)

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]

Words to live by

Published on in Quotes

“To make your passing easier on loved ones, why not be an asshole your whole life?”
Oglaf

Capitalism’s Achilles Heel

Published on in Quotes

“I think we’ve found the weakness of capitalism: it believes its own grandiose bullshit.”

Thousand-year–old Sea Hag

Published on in Miscellaneous

A lifetime ago, I knew a guy named Chris Jannuzzi. I worked with him at Logicat. I wrote software; he wrote content; we worked together. He was in a band. He was a musician. He might still be.[1] I learned a lot about music from him, his deep love for James Brown and his band, for example. I first heard of Vince Guaraldi from him. Gained an appreciation for vodka gimlets, on the other.

He gave me a song, once, that he and his band had written and recorded in the pretty amazing studio that he had... [More]

7 months Ago

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2019.2

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

The Orville S01 (2017)... [More]

American Foreign-Policy, in a Nutshell

Published on in Quotes

“America: You can’t get mad at us for what we do because we haven’t thought about the consequences.”

Skeptical about the stories from Venezuela

Published on in Public Policy & Politics

I wrote the above several days ago, but held off on publication to avoid jumping the gun. A few days later, I still agree with my my initial reaction. I’ve added a few footnotes here and there.

When you’re as old as I am, have paid attention long enough and have read enough history, you’re morally required to be skeptical about the stories we hear about Venezuela.

But people are suffering! We have to do something to help them! Their government is killing them—whether through ineptitude or... [More]

Can you put a price on that?

Published on in Public Policy & Politics

As noted in SOTU 2019: President Camacho holds forth, one of Trump’s giant applause points was when he said, “Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.” The best parts of America are the socialist bits. Even the worst parts are socialist: members of the military live in a socialist paradise, with every part of their lives—room, board, insurance, etc.—paid for by the government.

The strongest opponents of socialism are the ones who live the most socialist... [More]

SOTU 2019: President Camacho holds forth

Published on in Public Policy & Politics

 So, the State of the Union 2019 finally happened. If you just read the transcript, it’s a speech which any other President could have given. Go ahead: read the first few paragraphs of it in Obama’s voice—it will seem perfectly natural. This isn’t a “Trump” speech, it’s an “American president” speech—given by the imperator of the world. The speech and its implications exist independent of the figurehead—it is an expression of the State, of the Empire.

My notes below are taken from the 2019... [More] (C-SPAN)

Controlling Sanders for 2020

Published on in Public Policy & Politics

I’d originally earmarked the article It’s Bernie Bitch! by Amber A’Lee Frost (The Baffler), but discovered that it’s been unpublished by the Baffler. They got cold feet that this level of endorsement was contrary to their charter as a certain type of organization—a type that is prohibited from expressing a political opinion.

Leave aside that it was clearly Lee’s opinion being expressed and not the magazine’s. It looks pretty gutless, on the surface. If you’re interested in the back-and-forth, Here’s the Pro-Bernie Sanders... [More] by Jake Johnson (Common Dreams)

Rumination on culture and learning

Published on in Philosophy

Americans are deliberately deluded. They are steeped in propaganda, but are also heavily complicit in their miseducation. They throw themselves into their miasma of disinformation with elan.

Regime Change in Venezuela

For example, the charge for regime change in Venezuela is not only in full swing, but has culminated in the replacement of the president by an unelected—and unknown—man.

~230~ Venezuela Fake Coup, Truth About Kamala Harris, & Yellow Vests by Redacted Tonight (YouTube)

Lee points out several salient characteristics of the target of a U.S. regime change:

  1. The country... [More]

Apple logins

Published on in Technology

There are many places where you can authenticate on MacOS. I think the following list is comprehensive.

  • MacOS
  • App Store
  • Messages
  • FaceTime
  • iCloud
  • iTunes

Each of these logins can actually be different, believe it or not. Most of the time, they’re not, though. Apple prefers if you just use the same account for everything.

If you, for historical reasons—purely hypothetically, understand—have more than one account, you might log in with inconsistent accounts.

Normally, it doesn’t really... [More]

Has working on Linux Distros has gotten more rewarding?

Published on in Technology

I saw in the news today that a new version of the Alpine Linux distro is available. It made me wonder whether those who work on distros like Alpine—that a few years ago would have been more rarely used—are excited at the uptake in usage for containers.

Working on open-source software has always had a bit of altruism bound up with it: if you don’t get compensated—most interpret this as remunerated—then why do it? There are a host of reasons to work on something, besides getting paid for... [More]

Designing an online resumé

Published on in Design

 It had been three years since I’d updated my resumé. To be clear, I’m not looking for a job[1]. I’m very happy at the company I (partly) own, Encodo Systems AG.

I see my resumé more as a description of my career than as a document with which I can get hired. As a partner in a company, it’s good to have an up-to-date profile handy, e.g. for including in RFPs.

One step was to write down the history of my more-recent projects and skills. In addition, though, I wanted to update the look and... [More]

Evolution takes eons

Published on in Science & Nature

I am in no way doubting evolution. I am simply admitting that my mind cannot truly encompass the chasm of time required to build this creature incrementally.

Iranian spider-tailed viper tricks bird by SciNews (YouTube)

h/t to The Lure of the Spider-Tailed Horned Viper by Jason Kottke.

MacOS iCal and Reminders

Published on in Technology

tl;dr: If your birthday-calendar appointments don’t show up on your MacOS iCal, try turning it off and on again (rebooting the machine). That’s what eventually worked for me. For the full story and more tips, read on.

A little while back, I enabled iCloud synchronization for my contacts. That didn’t go so smoothly on the first try: the MacOS desktop that had most of the information was actually erased because Apple doesn’t seem to understand what “sync” means.

Using a backup, I was able to... [More]

NYT gives a shout-out to Encodo

Published on in Fun

The NYT Saturday Crossword today looks very similar to the Encodo logo.

We did the puzzle justice by filling it out from the middle outwards—perfectly balanced.

We made it another few clues before things drifted apart.

James Tobin on the ‘paper economy’

Published on in Quotes

I found this quote in the tooltip of XKCD #2101[1].

“I [suspect] that we are throwing more and more of our resources, including the cream of our youth, into financial activities remote from the production of goods and services, into activities that generate high private rewards disproportionate to their social productivity. I suspect that the immense power of the computer is being harnessed to this ‘paper economy’, not to do the same transactions more economically but to balloon the quantity and... [More]”
James Tobin on July 1984

Using Unity, Collab and Git

Published on in Programming

If you’re familiar with the topic, you might be recoiling in horror. It would be unclear, though, whether you’re recoiling from the “using Collab” part or the “using Collab with Git” part.

Neither is as straightforward as I’d hoped.

tl;dr: If you have to use Collab with Unity, but want to back it up with Git, disable core.autocrlf[1] and add * -text to the .gitattributes.

Collab’s Drawbacks

Collab is the source-control system integrated into the Unity IDE.

It was built for designers to be... [More]

Roubini on Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain

Published on in Finance & Economy

The following citations are from an interesting talk/paper, Testimony for the Hearing of the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Community Affairs On “Exploring the Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Ecosystem” by Nouriel Roubini on October 2018 (U.S. Senate Banking Committee) (sub-titled: Crypto is the Mother of All Scams and (Now Busted) Bubbles While Blockchain Is The Most Over-Hyped Technology Ever, No Better than a Spreadsheet/Database).

He had good foresight in 2007, but I’m surprised to see how confident he is about the current system in that paper... [More]

Finding deep assembly dependencies

Published on in Programming

Quino contains a Sandbox in the main solution that lets us test a lot of the Quino subsystems in real-world conditions. The Sandbox has several application targets:

  • WPF
  • Winform
  • Remote Data Server
  • WebAPI Server
  • Console

The targets that connect directly to a database (e.g. WPF, Winform) were using the PostgreSql driver by default. I wanted to configure all Sandbox applications to be easily configurable to run with SqlServer.

Just add the driver, right?

This is pretty straightforward for a... [More]

QQL: A Query Language for Quino

Published on in Programming

In late 2011 and early 2012, Encodo designed a querying language for Quino. Quino has an ORM that, combined with .NET Linq provides a powerful querying interface for developers. QQL is a DSL that brings this power to non-developers.

QQL never made it to implementation—only specification. In the meantime, the world moved on and we have common, generic querying APIs like OData. The time for QQL is past, but the specification is still an interesting artifact, in its own right.

Who knows? Maybe... [More]

Breaking Changes in C#

Published on in Programming

Due to the nature of the language, there are some API changes that almost inevitably lead to breaking changes in C#.

Change constructor parameters

While you can easily make another constructor, marking the old one(s) as obsolete, if you use an IOC that allows only a single public constructor, you’re forced to either

  • remove the obsolete constructor or
  • mark the obsolete constructor as protected.

In either case, the user has a compile error.

Virtual methods/Interfaces

There are several... [More]

Version numbers in .NET Projects

Published on in Programming

Any software product should have a version number. This article will answer the following questions about how Encodo works with them.

  • How do we choose a version number?
  • What parts does a version number have?
  • What do these parts mean?
  • How do different stakeholders interpret the number?
  • What conventions exist for choosing numbers?
  • Who chooses and sets these parts?

Stakeholders

In decreasing order of expected expertise,

  • Developers: Writes the software; may *change* version numbers
  • Testers:... [More]

v6.0: .NET Standard & Authentication

Published on in Programming

Note: this article was originally published at Encodo.com at the end of October, 2018.


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

The links above require a login.

Overview

At long last, Quino enters the world of .NET Standard and .NET Core. Libraries target .NET Standard 2.0, which means they can all be used with any .NET runtime... [More]