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Name Marco Von Ballmoos
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Home page http://earthli.com/users/marco
Description

The (only) developer at earthli.com.

Contents

2243 Articles
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2 days Ago

Financing a modern government (French Edition)

Published on in Finance & Economy

I spotted the following citation in Notre Dame Cathedral will never be the same, but it can be rebuilt by Kiona N. Smith (Ars Technica):

“In a statement, French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron vowed to the rebuild the cathedral, beginning with a national donation program to raise funds for the effort.”

Did Macron just suggest using GoFundMe to fund the rebuilding of Notre Dame? Is France not collecting taxes anymore?

4 days Ago

In Which The Press Commits Suicide by Persecuting Julian Assange

Published on in Public Policy & Politics

Julian Assange has had his Ecuadoran citizenship revoked and has been forcibly removed from the Ecuadoran embassy where he’d been imprisoned for the last seven years. Had he set foot outside, the British authorities would have swept him up and packed him off to America. It took years of pressure and a regime change in Ecuador, but they finally got permission to go in and get him.

Making You Complicit

Why did they bother to get permission? Why didn’t they just go in and get him whenever they... [More]

No Sense of Humor

Published on in Quotes

“God is a comedian, playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.”
Voltaire

2 weeks Ago

Why use an IOC? (hint: testing)

Published on in Programming

Inversion of Control Pattern

The IOC pattern is the [I] in SOLID. It stands for “Inversion of Control”.

In order to make good use of this pattern, an application should adhere to the following rules:

  • Prefers composition over inheritance, exposing clear dependencies
  • Refers to dependencies via interface or protocol types with as small a surface area as possible Obtains dependencies through injection, preferably in the constructor

Components built in this manner are agnostic in their... [More]

Shooting McCoy

Published on in Public Policy & Politics

The article Saving Willie McCoy by Scott H. Greenfield (Simple Justice) includes a link to a body-cam video of the shooting of Willie McCoy. McCoy was found asleep in the driver’s seat of his car in the drive-thru lane of a Taco Bell. The police could clearly see a gun in his lap.

Willie McCoy OIS 020919 body camera video 2 by Mercury News (YouTube)

The first three minutes are largely uneventful. The officer notes that the magazine is not in the pistol, so the driver has at most one shot.

When he moves, McCoy’s first scratches his left arm with his right hand, as he seems to be waking up. The... [More]

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2019.5

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.

Robot Jox (1989) — 4/10... [More]

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2019.4

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.

Nikita (1990) — 7/10
... [More]

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2019.3

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 Putin Interviews... [More]

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]

1 month Ago

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]

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]

2 months Ago

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]

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)

3 months Ago

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.