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Name Marco Von Ballmoos
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Home page http://earthli.com/users/marco
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The (only) developer at earthli.com.

Contents

2417 Articles
99 Comments

9 months Ago

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2019.15

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 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.

Weekend (1967) — 5/10... [More]

Rebase Considered Essential

Published on in Programming

Fossil is a distributed Source Control Manager that claims to offer the same power without the complexity of Git. The article Fossil: Rebase Considered Harmful by D. Richard Hipp (Fossil SCM) is part of the documentation for the tool.

One of the main selling points of Fossil is that it does not support rebase. In the article, the author lays out the many ways in which rebasing causes no end of woes for developers using Git.

I’d heard of Fossil before and I’d even skimmed this document before. This time around, though, I... [More]

Air Travel to the U.S. (Software Errors)

Published on in Miscellaneous

The airline Swiss needs to work on tact in its e-mails. Or they need to work on their QA process.

Instead of a boarding pass, they sent the following mail in response to a check-in attempt.

“Your boarding pass(es) could not be issued because necessary data is missing or because the immigration status does not allow boarding.

“Please note that it is your responsibility to hold all necessary immigration documents for this international trip. Click here to enter or amend your data and receive... [More]”

Advanced CSS (blend modes and subgrids)

Published on in Programming

The article Z’s Still Not Dead Baby, Z’s Still Not Dead by Andy Clarke (24 Ways) is well-written, very interesting and taught me a few new CSS tricks of which I was unaware.

Granted, my work usually doesn’t call for fancy effects like those you can achieve with something like background-blend-mode, but it can happen. There’s not only background-blend-mode, there’s also mix-blend-mode and filter, all of which apply high-quality effects dynamically.

In the late spring, I had a two-month project where I had to use a lot... [More]

COP25 in Madrid

Published on in Science & Nature

The 25th COP (Conference of the Parties) or United Nations Climate Change conference (Wikipedia) has come to an end in Madrid. Other instances of this conference were COP3 in Kyoto (the first agreement that the U.S. agreed to and which the Congress completely ignored), COP 15 in Copenhagen (where Canada and the United States worked together to torpedo any agreement) and, of course, COP21 in Paris, with the much-touted Paris Accords that Obama signed and that Trump officially left—and which all other... [More]

Marco’s Old Links

Published on in Pages

Bernie Blindness and the U.S. hatred of Socialism

Published on in Philosophy

Bernie Sanders is doing extremely well in the campaign for presidential election in the U.S.

And he should be doing well. His basic message is:

Lets stop fighting over table scraps; instead, let’s get a real meal—take it, if we have to—stop being dicks to each other for four years, and see what happens.

There is still almost a year to go until the election in 2020. The campaign is already more than a year old. I can’t think of another country that starts campaigning more than a couple... [More]

Books read in 2019

Published on in Books

This year’s list of books and reviews and notes got a little bit out of hand. As I’ve done in other years, I’ve included my notes and review of each book in this article as well as linked a separate article which includes the same notes and review, as well as citations and rough notes. So, this article weighs in at about 64 pages.

This was a big year, with 32 books and long essays/novellas/papers documented here, including seven long books about climate change and humanity’s future (2 in... [More]

Rape: From Lucretia to #MeToo by Mithu Sanyal (2019) (read in 2019)

Published on in Books

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]

Hate Inc. by Matt Taibbi (2019) (read in 2018/2019)

Published on in Books

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]

Falter by Bill McKibben (2019) (read in 2019)

Published on in Books

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]

No Silver Bullet—Essence and Accident ... P. Brooks, Jr. (1986) (read in 2019)

Published on in Books

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]

Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth b...kminster Fuller (1969) (read in 2019)

Published on in Books

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]

Does anyone have the right to sex? by Amia Srinivasan (2018) (read in 2019)

Published on in Books

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]

Laudatio Si’ by Pope Francis (2015) (read in 2019)

Published on in Books

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 Peripheral by William Gibson (2014) (read in 2019)

Published on in Books

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]

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2019.13

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 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.

Hardware (1990) — 6/10... [More]

10 months Ago

Joker (2019)

Published on in Movies

This is a fantastic and realistic super-villain origin story. It was beautifully crafted with a great soundtrack.

Hopelessness personified

Think of the simplest object in your apartment that gives you joy. Arthur Fleck didn’t have a single thing like that. His life was a misery at home, a dingy apartment filled with his mother’s madness and sadness.

When I got home from the movie, I dumped my remaining peanut M&M’s into a ceramic pumpkin. It made me think that Fleck didn’t have anything that... [More]

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2019.12

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 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.

IT (2017) — 7/10
This... [More]

CO2 output per year continues to increase

Published on in Science & Nature

The article Here’s how much global carbon emission increased this year by Scott K. Johnson (Ars Technica) includes some sobering, if utterly unsurprising charts.

Not Even Close

This first chart is the most sobering one: it shows that we’ve most likely[1] slowed our CO2 production from 2018 to 2019. But we’re still increasing. That is, it’s a positive development, but not nearly enough.

 % increase in fossil-fuel usage

We need to get to zero CO2 emissions by 2050 (or maybe even 2040) in order to avoid completely nightmarish scenarios. With the CO2 we’ve... [More]

Deleting GarageBand files

Published on in Technology

In the Storage Manager[1] on MacOS, there are several categories on the left-hand side, each showing the amount of space used for that category. I noticed that, for whatever reason, I still had the GarageBand base files installed. I haven’t ever used this application, so I had no qualms about deleting these files to recover 2GB of space on my SSD.

When I clicked “Remove GarageBand Sound Library”, the system asked for administrator credentials.

I entered my credentials but the credentials prompt... [More]

Everything Belongs to the Future by Laurie Penny (2016) (read in 2019)

Published on in Books

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]

Cumulus by Eliot Peper (2016) (read in 2019)

Published on in Books

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 Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Wa...d Wallace-Wells (2019) (read in 2019)

Published on in Books

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 Rich are not Better

Published on in Finance & Economy

The article Mark Zuckerberg is a Rich Jerk by Dean Baker (Beat the Press) takes issue with the media’s love affair with plumbing the depths of billionaires’ minds.[1]

“It is bizarre that so many people look to the country’s billionaires to tell us how the world should be constructed or think that these people have any great insight into such matters. Being a billionaire means that you were successful at getting very rich. There is no reason to believe that billionaires have any more insight into major policy issues than anyone... [More]”

Framework Design: Programming Paradigms and Idioms

Published on in Programming

The discussion React in concurrent mode: 2000 state-connected comps re-rendered at 60FPS (YCombinator) is illuminating mostly in that it shows how ego can impede productivity.

Ego-driven design

Ego can also be that thing that drives a talented programmer to create something of use to the rest of us, but that’s honestly a very rare case. More often than not, the best case is that a developer improves their skills—and perhaps learns to be more humble instead of shooting of their mouth about how “easy” it... [More]

Thoughts on Atomic/Utility CSS

Published on in Programming

The article In Defense of Utility-First CSS by Sarah Dayan on January 15th, 2018 (Frontstuff) is very long[1], so I’ve summarized a bit with notes and thoughts.[2]

I don’t really care about being pedantic without first knowing some facts. What are the requirements?

Requirements

  • Can I quickly make a precise change to a single component?
  • Can I make a global, thematic change?
  • How quickly can I make changes?
  • How maintainable is the result?

If atomic/utility CSS can deliver these things, then it’s probably a fine tool. But—spoiler alert—it... [More]

Silently and Very Fast by Catherynne M. Valente (2011) (read in 2019)

Published on in Books

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 Big Heat: Earth on the Brink by Je...nd Joshua Frank (2018) (read in 2019)

Published on in Books

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]

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2019.11

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 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.

Rotten S02 E01 (2019)... [More]