Computer Science: Theory and Application: C++ Performance: Common Wisdoms and Common “Wisdoms”

submitted by /u/IrinaZair
[link] [comments] DBIx-Class-EncodedColumn-0.00014

Automatically encode column values Dancer2-0.200000

Lightweight yet powerful web application framework

Colossal: New Felted Toy Specimens by Hine Mizushima


When you think of cuddly stuffed animals made from textiles the top candidates would probably include teddy bears or bunny rabbits. Perhaps lower on the list would be squids, cicadas, and sea slugs, and yet Vancouver-based artist Hine Mizushima has chosen these unusual creatures as the the subjects of her wildly popular hand-creafted felt toys. Her one-of-a-kind plush critters have been displayed in galleries around the world and she’s turned many of them into prints which she sells on Etsy and Society6. You can see some of her latest work on Behance.










"Jeanie is actually 100 percent correct in her assessment that Ferris has been cut way too many breaks in life and should be held to a higher standard. In Ferris Bueller's Day Off, she's not just a petty, jealous sibling, she's a female voice of reason raging against a society that demeans her and disregards her opinions." - On the 30th anniversary of Ferris Bueller's Day Off, a reflection on the overlooked Jeanie Bueller.

TwitchFilm: VIGILANTE DIARIES: Check Out This Gallery Of Images From The Action Flick

Christian Sesma's upcoming action flick Vigilante Diaries hits cinemas and iTunes on June 24th. It will be quickly followed up by On Demand, DVD and Blu-ray on July 5th.    We have been given a massive collection of key set images to share with you for the first time anywhere. Peruse to your hears content below.    Jason Mewes stars as an in-your-face filmmaker known for his web videos of an urban avenger known only as ‘The Vigilante’ (Paul Sloan). But when The Vigilante terminates a creep with deep connections, it’ll trigger a live-feed bloodbath between the Armenian mob, Mexican cartels, a rogue team of Special Forces commandos, and an international black ops conspiracy that’s about to make things very personal.    UFC legend Quinton...

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Slashdot: Ubuntu Phones To Feature Wireless Display Support With OTA-11 Update

prisoninmate writes from a report via Softpedia: The moment you've all been waiting for is almost here, as you will no longer need a cable to connect your Ubuntu Phone to your TV or a supported LCD monitor. Canonical will soon release the OTA-11 software update to supported Ubuntu Phone devices implementing the Aethercast (also known as Miracast or Display Casting) technology that provides Wireless display support to all devices, with the exception of Meizu PRO 5, which already comes with built-in wireless display functionality. Some other features of the OTA-11 update include: the adoption of the NetworkManager 1.2 network connection manager, an updated VPN feature with username and password authentication support, a pre-loaded Home Scope which will allow for a faster startup, multiple application windows, and subtitles in the header. In addition, the positioning in location service has been greatly improved, Dynamic Grid Unit (DGU) support is now available, and many bugs have been fixed (squashed). You can view a list of the devices that support the OTA-11 update here.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Recent additions: servant-swagger 1.1

Added by phadej, Tue May 31 12:52:38 UTC 2016.

Generate Swagger specification for your servant API.

Instructables: exploring - featured: Cotton Disc Flowers That Look Real

Cotton discs can be found in each home nowadays, because they are indispensible when it comes to cosmetic purposes. It turns out that these cotton discs as well as cotton swabs can also be used for creative purposes and this is exactly what I’m going to demonstrate in this Instructable. A few days a...
By: Mary Simons

Continue Reading »

Recent additions: intero 0.1.13

Added by ChrisDone, Tue May 31 12:47:26 UTC 2016.

Complete interactive development program for Haskell

Instructables: exploring - featured: DIY $20 Camera Slider

Camera sliders can be very expensive and if you have just splurged on a high quality video camera or other video and/or audio equipment you may not have the money for a professional slider.In this tutorial I will teach you how to build your own camera slider so you can experiment with a camera slide...
By: Vloglife

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Instructables: exploring - featured: LED Cloud Light

This bright and versatile cloud light can be large or small, color changing or white, and hung from the ceiling or stand alone! Made mainly from paper lanterns and cotton batting, the cloud is easy to assemble and lightweight. Lights are small and battery operated so that the cloud may be hung from ...
By: KatyJessica16

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Bifurcated Rivets: From FB


Bifurcated Rivets: From FB


Bifurcated Rivets: From FB

So good

Bifurcated Rivets: From FB


Bifurcated Rivets: From FB

Useful for webby types

Recent additions: hw-rankselect

Added by haskellworks, Tue May 31 12:43:40 UTC 2016.

Conduits for tokenizing streams. Date-Manip-6.54

Date manipulation routines

Instructables: exploring - featured: Reclaimed Cedar Fence Post Bed Frame

The goal of this project was to create a very strong bed frame using only scrap material. You should easily be able to find all of the materials (or alternatives) on craigslist. You can also do this build using new materials from your local hardware store. This saves on some work but adds cost and d...
By: BrendanG6

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Planet Haskell: Jan Stolarek: Installing OCaml under openSUSE 11.4, or: “the compilation of conf-ncurses failed”

Recently I decided to learn the basics of OCaml and I spent yesterday installing the compiler and some basic tools. On my machine at work I have a Debian 7 installation, while on my home laptop I have openSUSE 11.4. Both systems are quite dated and ship with OCaml 3.x compiler, which is five years old. Obviously, I wanted to have the latest version of the language. I could have compiled OCaml from sources – and in fact I have done that in the past to compile the latest version of Coq – but luckily there is a tool called OPAM (OCaml Package manager). OPAM can be used to easily download and install desired version of OCaml compiler. As the name implies, OPAM can be also used for managing packages installed for a particular compiler version.

The installation process went very smooth on my Debian machine, but on openSUSE I have run into problems. After getting the latest compiler I wanted to install ocamlfind, a tool required by a project I wanted to play with. To my disappointment installation ended with an error:

[ERROR] The compilation of conf-ncurses failed at "pkg-config ncurses".
This package relies on external (system) dependencies that may be missing.
`opam depext conf-ncurses.1' may help you find the correct installation for your 

I verified that I indeed have installed development files for the ncurses library as well as the pkg-config tool. Running the suggested opam command also didn’t find any missing dependencies, and the log files from the installation turned out to be completely empty, so I was left clueless. Googling revealed that I am not the first to encounter this problem, but offered no solution. I did some more reading on pkg-config and learned that: a) it is a tool that provides meta-information about installed libraries, and b) in order to recognize that a library is installed it requires extra configuration files (aka *.pc files) provided by the library. Running pkg-config --list-all revealed that ncurses is not recognized as installed on my system, which suggested that the relevant *.pc files are missing. Some more googling revealed that ncurses library can be configured and then compiled with --enable-pc-files switch, which should build the files needed by pkg-config. I got the sources for the ncurses version installed on my system (5.7) only to learn that this build option is unsupported. This explains why the files are missing on my system. I got the sources for the latest version of ncurses (6.0), configured them with --enable-pc-files and compiled, only to learn that the *.pc files were not built. After several minutes of debugging I realized that for some unexplained reasons the configure-generated script which should build the *.pc files (located at misc/gen-pkgconfig) did not receive +x (executable) permission. After adding this permission manually I ran the script and got five *.pc files for the ncurses 6.0 library. Then I had to edit the files to match the version of ncurses of my system – relevant information can be obtained by running ncurses5-config --version. The only remaining thing was to place the five *.pc files in a place where pkg-config can find them. On openSUSE this was /usr/local/pkgconfig, but this can differ between various Linux flavours.

After all these magical incantations the installation of ocamlfind went through fine and I can enjoy a working OCaml installation on both of my machines. Now I’m waiting for the “Real-world OCaml” book ordered from Amazon (orders shipped from UK Amazon to Poland tend to take around two weeks to arrive).

new shelton wet/dry: Finally, we marry to make a nice feeling permanent. We imagine that marriage will help us to bottle the joy we felt when the thought of proposing first came to us.

{ Storm Thorgerson, cover for Pink Floyd’s album Wish You Were Here, 1975 | US release, UK release } For Pink Floyd’s 1975 triple platinum Wish You Were Here album, Capitol Records execs headed to the L.A. offices of Stunts Unlimited. Ronnie Rondell, 59, a veteran of TV shows such as Baretta and Charlie’s Angels, was [...]

Recent additions: hlwm

Added by hpdeifel, Tue May 31 12:06:33 UTC 2016.

Bindings to the herbstluftwm window manager Devel-CCompat-C99-VariableLengthArrays-0.001

tests support for C99 variable length arrays

TwitchFilm: Review: WARCRAFT Should Please The Fans

(Damn, I wouldn't mind playing this as a videog... oh.) Once upon a time (1992), videogame developer Westwood Studios released a science fiction game called Dune 2, in which battling armies had to balance resource management with fighting, and almost by accident the Real-Time Strategy genre was invented. Dune 2 was fun to play, addictive as hell and very successful, so it didn't take long for copycats to appear. Among the best of those was Blizzard Entertainment's fantasy-themed Warcraft: Orcs & Humans from 1994, which started a franchise of its own. A few years later, with the rise of the Internet and online gaming, Massively Multiplayer Role Playing Games (MMORPGs) like Ultima Online and Everquest became all the rage. In 2004 Blizzard Entertainment released an...

[Read the whole post on]

Recent additions: persistent-sqlite

Added by MichaelSnoyman, Tue May 31 11:54:06 UTC 2016.

Backend for the persistent library using sqlite3. Prima-1.46_5

a perl graphic toolkit

Open Culture: Free: Download 5.3 Million Images from Books Published Over Last 500 Years

Dance Records of the Month 1917

Back in 2014, we brought to your attention an image archive rivaling the largest of its kind on the web: the Internet Archive Book Images collection at Flickr. There, you’ll find millions of “public domain images, all extracted from books, magazines and newspapers published over a 500 year period.”

At the time, the collection contained 2.6 million public domain images, but “eventually,” wrote our editor Dan Colman, “this archive will grow to 14.6 million images.” Well, it has almost doubled in size since our first post, and it now features over 5.3 million images, thanks again to Kalev Leetaru, who headed the digitization project while on a Yahoo-sponsored fellowship at Georgetown University.

Records of Big Game 1910

Rather than using optical character recognition (OCR), as most digitization software does to scan only the text of books, Leetaru’s code reversed the process, extracting the images the Internet Archive’s OCR typically ignores. Thousands of graphic illustrations and photographs await your discovery in the searchable database. Type in “records,” for example, and you’ll run into the 1917 ad in “Colombia Records for June” (top) or the creepy 1910 photograph above from “Records of big game: with their distribution, characteristics, dimensions, weights, and horn & tusk measurements.” Two of many gems amidst utilitarian images from dull corporate and government record books.

1912 Book of Home Building

Search “library” and you’ll arrive at a fascinating assemblage, from the fashionable room above from 1912’s “Book of Home Building and Decoration,” to the rotund, mournful, soon-to-be carved pig below from 1882’s “The American Farmer: A Complete Agricultural Library,” to the nifty Nautilus drawing further down from an 1869 British Museum of Natural History publication. To see more images from any of the sources, simply click on the title of the book that appears in the search results. The organization of the archive could use some improvement: as yet millions of images have not been organized into thematic albums, which would greatly streamline browsing through them. But it’s a minor gripe given the number and variety of free, public domain images available for any kind of use.

American Farmer Library 1882

Moreover, Leetaru has planned to offer his code to institutions, telling the BBC, “Any library could repeat this process. That’s actually my hope, that libraries around the world run this same process of their digitized books to constantly expand this universe of images.” Scholars and archivists of book and art history and visual culture will find such a “universe of images” invaluable, as will editors of Wikipedia. “What I want to see,” Leetaru also said, “is… Wikipedia have a national day of going through this [collection] to illustrate Wikipedia articles.”

Museum of Natural History 1869

Short of that, individual editors and users can sort through images of all kinds when they can’t find freely available pictures of their subject. And, of course, sites like Open Culture—which rely mainly on public domain and creative commons images—benefit greatly as well. So, thanks, Internet Archive Book Images Collection! We’ll check back later and let you know when they’ve grown even more.

Related Content:

Download for Free 2.6 Million Images from Books Published Over Last 500 Years on Flickr

Old Book Illustrations: Free Archive Lets You Download Beautiful Images From the Golden Age of Book Illustration

The British Library Puts 1,000,000 Images into the Public Domain, Making Them Free to Reuse & Remix

The Getty Adds Another 77,000 Images to its Open Content Archive

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

Free: Download 5.3 Million Images from Books Published Over Last 500 Years is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

BOOOOOOOM!: Artist Spotlight: Kazuhiro Hori


Paintings by Japanese artist Kazuhiro Hori. More images below.

Computer Science: Theory and Application: Question regarding high core count CPU's and L3 Cache bottlenecks

I'm not a computer science major, but I use MPI for research frequently. Intel and AMD have been dramatically increasing core counts on their high-end Xeon's. Best case is the E5-2699 v4, with 22 cores and 55mb L3 cache. I have hard time seeing how a 55mb shared cache could ever keep 22 cores adequately fed, especially if used for distributed memory computing. Is there something I'm missing, or is this a marketing ploy?

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BOOOOOOOM!: Illustrator Spotlight: Can Çetinkaya


A selection of work by Ankara, Turkey-based illustrator Can Çetinkaya. More images below.

MetaFilter: Shocking!

Lightning strikes at 7000 frames per second. [SLYT]

BOOOOOOOM!: Illustrator Spotlight: Seungpyo Hong


A selection of work by Seungpyo Hong, a Korean illustrator based in London. More images below.

Hackaday: Fight That Tesla Envy With A Tablet Dash For Your Car

[Aykut Çelik] uses some strong words to describe how he feels about his VW Polo’s current radio set-up. Words like, “useless,” are bandied about. What is a modern man supposed to do with a car that doesn’t have built-in navigation or Bluetooth connectivity with phones? Listen to the radio? There are actual (mostly) self driving cars on the road now. No, [Aykut] moves forward, not backwards.

To fix this horrendous shortcoming in his car’s feature package, he set out to install a tablet in the dash. His blog write-up undersells the amount of work that went into the project, but the video after the break rectifies this misunderstanding. He begins by covering the back of a face-down Samsung tablet with a large sheet of plastic film. Next he lays a sheet of fiberglass over the tablet and paints it with epoxy until it has satisfactorily clung to the back of the casing. Afterwards comes quite a bit of work fitting an off-the-shelf panel display mount to the non-standard hardware. He eventually takes it to a local shop which does the final fitting on the contraption.

The electronics are a hodgepodge of needed parts: An amplifier, to replace the one that was attached to the useless husk of the prior radio set; a CAN shield for an Arduino, so that he could still use the steering wheel buttons; and a Bluetooth shield, so that the Arduino could talk to the tablet. Quite a bit of hacking happened, and the resulting software is on GitHub.

The final assembly went together well. While it’s no Tesla console. It does get over the air updates whenever he feels like writing them. [Aykut] moves forward with the times.

Filed under: Android Hacks, car hacks

MetaFilter: Citizen Khan

Behind a Muslim community in northern Wyoming lies one enterprising man—and countless tamales.

programming: I Have Created 50 Games in 2014

submitted by /u/iamkeyur
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Electronics-Lab: Arduino Lightning Detector


This is an Arduino tutorial on how to detect lightning from far away.

In this tutorial, we will build a lightning detector using an Arduino Uno, a few resistors and some jumper wires. Most lightning detectors often cost too much for the normal hobbyist, however this does not mean one cannot enjoy lightning detection and the physics behind it. In this tutorial, using a surprisingly simple circuit we will be able to detect lightnings from around 10-20 km away, which is to say the least impressive.

Arduino Lightning Detector – [Link]

The post Arduino Lightning Detector appeared first on Electronics-Lab.

Electronics-Lab: AutoResetRRR – Automatically reset routers/cameras/servers


“bogdan” published a new project, a device able to automatically reset your router, camera or server.

AutoResetRRR is a kind electronic frustration reducing device: it cuts the power periodically to devices that can go nuts (routers, net cams, servers), but it does give a heads up. If all is well, they can shut down safely and start back up. If not, the power cycle can fix a thing or two.

AutoResetRRR – Automatically reset routers/cameras/servers – [Link]

The post AutoResetRRR – Automatically reset routers/cameras/servers appeared first on Electronics-Lab.

Slashdot: Microsoft Will Stop Spamming Android Users With Office Ads In The Notification Tray

An anonymous reader writes from a report via BetaNews: The notification tray in Android serves a very specific purpose. There's a clue in the name -- and it's nothing to do with advertising. Android user Thom Holwerda was upset this week when Microsoft Office for Android started to spam him with ads for apps he already had installed. There are many questions here, one of which is why is Microsoft ignoring Google's guidelines and using the notification tray to display ads? Thom, from the website OSnews, found that the copy of Word he had installed on his Nexus 6P was spamming him with ads for Excel and Powerpoint -- which he was already using. Mark Wilson from BetaNews contacted Microsoft and they said, "Our team is actively investigating the occurrences of these notifications." After pressing further into the issue, a Microsoft spokesperson said, "Microsoft is deeply committed to ensuring that we maintain the best possible experience for our customers in addition to complying with all applicable policies. We have taken the action to turn off these notifications. This update will be reflected in the coming days." In other semi-related news, users can now remove the 260-character path length limit in the Windows 10 build 14352.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

programming: Guardian of the GPL: Online advertising is becoming “a perfect despotism”

submitted by /u/hargikas
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New Humanist Blog: Beyond the cringe

The rise of humour drawn from awkwardness and embarrassment reaches a new zenith with two American programmes.

MetaFilter: Who'd have thought the invigorating face-slapper could be misused?

Inventions of Mine That Have Been Misused for Evil Purposes by veteran silly-person Jack Handey from The New Yorker's Shouts and Murmurs department

Hackaday: Motorized Music Box Cranks Out Stairway to Heaven

[Bokononestly] found a lil’ music box that plays Stairway to Heaven and decided those were just the kinds of dulcet tones he’d like to wake up to every morning. To each his own; I once woke up to Blind Melon’s “No Rain” every day for about six months. [Bokononestly] is still in the middle of this alarm clock project right now. One day soon, it will use a *duino to keep track of the music box’s revolutions and limit the alarm sound to one cycle of the melody.

stairway-musicbox-alarm-clock[Bokononestly] decided to drive the crank of the music box with a geared DC motor from an electric screwdriver. After making some nice engineering drawings of the dimensions of both and mocking them up in CAD, he designed and printed a base plate to mount them on. A pair of custom pulleys mounted to the motor shaft and the crank arm transfer motion using the exact right rubber band for the job. You can’t discount the need for a big bag ‘o rubber bands.
In order to count the revolutions, he put a wire in the path of the metal music box crank and used the body of the box as a switch. Check out the build video after the break and watch him prove it with the continuity function of a multimeter. A clever function that should at some point be substituted out for a leaf switch.

We’ve covered a lot of cool clock builds over the years, including one or two that run Linux. And say what you will about Stairway; it’s better than waking up to repeated slaps in the face.

[via r/engineering]

Filed under: 3d Printer hacks, Arduino Hacks

Open Culture: 10 Most Popular MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) Getting Started in June: Enroll Free Today

june 2016 moocs

Like everything else these days, education has become a 24/7 affair. Yes, things are slowing down on college campuses this summer. But, on the internet, it’s full steam ahead. This June alone, over 300 free MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are getting underway. They’re all neatly catalogued by the education web site Class Central, which also tracks the most popular MOOCS offered each month. What’s hot in June? Find the top 10 below. And don’t hesitate to enroll in any of the courses. They’re all free.

Personal Finance Planning
Purdue University via edX
Manage your money more effectively by learning practical solutions to key investment, credit, insurance and retirement questions.
Bookmark | Next Session : 15th Jun, 2016

Nutrition and Health: Food Safety
Wageningen University via edX
Learn about bacteria, pesticides and health hazards present in food.
Bookmark | Next Session : 1st Jun, 2016

Islam Through Its Scriptures
Harvard University via edX
Learn about the Quran, the central sacred text of Islam, through an exploration of the rich diversity of roles and interpretations in Muslim societies.
Bookmark | Next Session : 1st Jun, 2016

History of Graphic Design
California Institute of the Arts via Coursera
This condensed survey course focuses on four major areas of design and their history: Typography, Image-Making, Interactive Media, and Branding.
Bookmark | Next Session : 20th Jun, 2016

Big Data: Data Visualisation
Queensland University of Technology via FutureLearn
Data visualisation is vital in bridging the gap between data and decisions. Discover the methods, tools and processes involved.
Bookmark | Next Session : 27th Jun, 2016

Microeconomics: When Markets Fail
University of Pennsylvania via Coursera
Perfect markets achieve efficiency: maximizing total surplus generated. But real markets are imperfect. This course will explore a set of market imperfections to understand why they fail and to explore possible remedies, including antitrust policy, regulation, and government intervention.
Bookmark | Next Session : 6th Jun, 2016

Single Page Web Applications with AngularJS
Johns Hopkins University via Coursera
Do you want to write powerful, maintainable, and testable front end applications faster and with less code? Then consider joining this course to gain skills in one of the most popular Single Page Application (SPA) frameworks today, AngularJS
Bookmark | Next Session : 20th Jun, 2016

Machine Learning: Clustering & Retrieval
University of Washington via Coursera
A reader is interested in a specific news article and you want to find similar articles to recommend. What is the right notion of similarity? Moreover, what if there are millions of other documents?
Bookmark | Next Session : 15th Jun, 2016

Introduction to Engineering
University of Texas at Arlington via edX
The application of knowledge to design and build devices, systems, materials and processes in engineering.
Bookmark | Next Session : 8th, Jun, 2016

Social Norms, Social Change
University of Pennsylvania via Coursera
This is a course on social norms, the rules that glue societies together. It teaches how to diagnose social norms, and how to distinguish them from other social constructs, like customs or conventions.
Bookmark | Next Session : 20th Jun, 2016

For a complete list of courses starting in June, click here.

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10 Most Popular MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) Getting Started in June: Enroll Free Today is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

silk and spinach: Agile: it’s not just about the development team

Last week Andy Longshaw and I ran our “Agile: It’s not just about the development team” workshop again, this time at XP2016. You can read Andy’s report, and see the posters created by the participants, here. This time we had 90 minutes, which felt a lot less rushed than the 60 minutes we had at AgileManchester last year (read Andy’s report of that run here).

Workshop in progress

Workshop in progress

We have run this workshop four times now, twice at conferences and twice as in-house training. Each time generates great discussion around how the non-software parts of the business need to change their strategies in order to support, cope with and capitalise on a highly agile development team.

Electronics-Lab: USB to RS485 converter


Marko Pavlin has published a USB to RS485 converter. He writes:

Testing of sensors with RS485 using PC without proper interface is not possible. Since RS232 interfaces are very rare, the interface should be hooked to USB. The interface between USB and RS485 can be soldered with one of the many FTDI interfaces with added RS485 driver, or bought as assembled module. There is always the third option. I made it from scratch.

USB to RS485 converter – [Link]

The post USB to RS485 converter appeared first on Electronics-Lab.

Electronics-Lab: Optically Isolated LPT Breakout Board for CNC & Routers


Optically isolated parallel port  break out board designed for Hobby CNC, Routers and Motion controller, This Board is an easy solution to drive stepper Motor driver through PC parallel port, The Board is compatible with various CNC software specially made for LPT port data output. The board has been tested with MACH3 CNC software.   All outputs are optically isolated and inverse, all inputs are optical isolated and can be used as emergency switch, limit switch, home switch and feedbacks. The Opt coupler and inverter require power supply at both PC side and output side. USB connector and CN5 Screw terminal provided for PC side power supply input and CN4 for output side power supply 7 to 36V DC.

The board has 12 output pins that can control various devices such as stepping motor drivers, Plasma Torch, Pump for coolant, spindle, 5 Input pins are provided for limit or home switches, feedbacks, Emergency switch.  All inputs has 470E for TTL Voltage input required driving the inputs.

Note: For 24V inputs replace R10, R12, R13, R15, and R16 with 2K2 Ohms.


  • Supply 7V to 36V DC output side of opt-coupler
  • 5V DC for PC side
  • 25 D SUB Male Connecter for PC LPT Port Interface
  • High Speed Opto-coupler s 6N137 on all outputs
  • PC817 Opto-coupler for Inputs and Output Controls
  • On Board USB Connector for Supply from PC or other source
  • All Outputs are buffered and optically isolated
  • All inputs are optically isolated
  • Screw Terminals for all outputs and inputs
  • On Board L317 Regulator for 5V DC
  • Heat sink for regulator

Optically Isolated LPT Breakout Board for CNC & Routers – [Link]

The post Optically Isolated LPT Breakout Board for CNC & Routers appeared first on Electronics-Lab.

Slashdot: Russian Online Trolls Resist The Light

Rick Zeman writes: Since the beginning of the public Internet on Usenet and now following on comment boards worldwide, live the trolls, the online creatures dedicated to stirring up trouble with their versions of online flaming, fact-twisting, and overall being a menace to online society. Russia, by paying state-sponsored trolls, has elevated the troll to the level of professional propagandists spewing the party line. In neighboring Finland, a country again precariously balanced between Europe and the Russian bear, Finnish journalist Jessikka Aro's investigations have opened a new front in the (dis)information war (Warning: source may be paywalled) where "'There are so many layers of fakery you get lost,' said Ms. Aro, who was awarded the Finnish Grand Prize for Journalism in March," reports the NYT. All because "A member of the European Union with an 830-mile-long border with Russia, Finland has stayed outside the United States-led military alliance but, unnerved by Russian military actions in Ukraine and its saber-rattling in the Baltic Sea, has expanded cooperation with NATO and debated whether to apply for full membership." The NYT article explores many of the actions that the Russian propagandists use to keep Finland out of NATO, and some of the more indefensible ones directed personally at Aro. She says, "They get inside your head, and you start thinking: If I do this, what will the trolls do next?"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

MetaFilter: Skepticism Refocused

When "Rationalism" makes you dumber: Scientific American writer John Horgan's recent talk to a large skeptic conference was cut short when he called for turning skepticism towards "hard targets" such as psychiatric drugs, medical overtesting and militarism, and away from "preaching to the choir" rants against the paranormal and superstitious.

He also condemns belief in "sciency" hype like "the Singularity" or claims that the origin of the universe or human consciousness will soon be scientifically understood.

: Confusions of the aged

Markets sometimes freeze. We saw that with devastating results in the market for mortgage-backed securities starting in 2007. Trading collapsed because people didn’t know how to value these assets properly. Holders of them don’t want to sell because they think they’re being lowballed, while buyers don’t want to offer more because they don’t think it’s worth any more. The lack of transactions sometimes make things worse, because without recent trades it’s even harder to evaluate how much these assets are actually worth, making the problem worse. So sometimes the default ends up being inaction. In the case of these securities, the ones who were left holding the bag ended up eating all the losses.

But this is a blog about tea. The reason I brought this up is because there’s a bit of a freeze going on nowadays as well in the market for aged oolongs in Taiwan. If you’ve been reading this blog for a long time you would know that I started seriously exploring this genre of tea beginning in 2007. Back then it was quite easy to find good aged oolong for a reasonable price. Unfortunately, that is no longer true. It’s harder now to come by decently aged (20+ years) oolongs for prices that are still pretty reasonable. People have been trying to hype up the market in recent years, leading to rising prices. China’s entry into this, of course, is a big factor, as with almost every other asset class on this planet. Chinese buyers are buying up old tea for no reason other than to have something different, and in this case they’re driving up prices here as well, just like with puerh.

There are some differences though. The first is that aged oolongs have no labels to go by, no cake shape to ponder, no wrappers and neifei to identify the tea. This means that one bag of aged oolong, at least from looks alone, don’t always look very different from another bag. Experienced drinkers can tell some clues from the dry leaves – their shape, their colour, their smell – that give you hints of what the tea is like, but for most people, this is pretty hard to do without a lot of contact with a wide variety of aged oolongs. It’s not easy. The lack of packaging means that unlike puerh, it is hard to say “I have this 30 years old competition grade oolong” that will easily convince another, probably less experienced buyer. The tea does all the talking and one is best to ignore any kind of information given to you by the seller.

This means that there’s always going to be a ceiling to the price of aged oolong – without the assurance of any kind of packaging, and with the wide variety of states in which an aged oolong can present itself, it is very hard for the common drinker to know what they’re buying, which means that people aren’t willing to pay a lot of serious money for it. Except in one case, that is – old competition teas. If you have a box of unopened 30 years old competition tea from Lugu, for example, it’s going to be worth some serious money. A jin can easily be $1000 USD or more. If the box doesn’t look like it’s been through a couple hurricanes, you can readily sell it for good money.

This creates a dilemma for the seller though. On my recent trip to Taiwan I talked to an owner of an old tea shop. He recently sold a bunch of these old competition teas to a collector/vendor for about $1200 a box each. Thing is, he has a couple bags of this tea left that is from the same year, but how should he price these? He wants to get the same money from selling these as he got from the boxed ones, because, as he claims, the tea is the same. I looked at the tea – it looks fine, smells fine, but at the price he’s quoting, it’s far too expensive. He even brewed some for me, just for sharing. It was decent, but honestly nothing too great. I’ve gotten far better, even in recent years, for a lot less money. Out of the packaging, aged oolongs just aren’t worth that much.

So instead he has these two aged oolongs he sells at a more pedestrian price (about $250 USD/jin) but which are really no good at all – it’s got a moldy smell and just isn’t very pleasant to drink. Because of the prices he was able to sell his other teas at, however, he has good reason to feel this is perfectly reasonable. I can see why, although I honestly don’t think anyone should buy these aged oolongs at these prices.

I also encountered a tea farmer who sold some family aged teas for a similarly high price, partly because the family is somewhat famous in the Dong Ding area. So, even for his 5 years old tea that barely tastes like aged anything at all, he also wants the same high price. What is someone supposed to do with that?

There’s also the aforementioned old tea competitions now – new competitions of aged teas. So instead of selling to random people, many vendors simply prefer to enter their aged oolong into these competitions. If the tea is decent, then they’re pretty much guaranteed at least a low ranking in these, which means getting official packaging, which also means that people then are much more willing to pay a higher price for the tea. So why sell it at all? Since the category is aged tea, just enter some this year, enter some next year, until you run out of your supply. It’s really pretty easy to do.

In the meantime, there’s an endless parade of stuff that is subpar – sour tea, badly roasted tea, moldy tea, stuff that isn’t really aged but pretending to be, etc. The possibilities are endless, and many of them are being peddled as aged oolong. Some of them make their way to Western vendors, at prices that are quite high but at qualities that are not. Many others are being sold locally at shops that tell a good tale. Either way, the consumers suffer. It’s too bad, but it’s all too common.

So, unlike some years ago, finding good aged oolong is no longer easy. It’s possible, but prices are now higher, and the quality is generally lower. When you find the good stuff, the vendor often doesn’t even want to sell. I guess that’s true almost universally for all things tea in the past ten years. It’s just sad to see that this is happening to the type of tea that I love to drink.

Hackaday: Hackaday Prize Entries: Inventing New Logic Families

One of the favorite pastimes of electronics hobbyists is clock making. Clocks are a simple enough concept with a well-defined goal, but it’s the implementation that matters. If you want to build a clock powered only by tubes and mains voltage, that’s a great skill tester. A relay-based timepiece is equally cool, and everyone should build a Nixie tube clock once in their lives.

For [Ted]’s Hackaday Prize entry, he’s building a clock. Usually, this would be little cause for celebration, but this is not like any clock you’ve ever seen. [Ted] is building this clock using only diodes, and he’s inventing new logic families to do it.

Using diodes as logic elements has been around since the first computers, but these computers had a few transistors thrown in. While it is possible to make AND and OR gates using only diodes, a universal logic gate – NANDs and NORs – are impossible. For the computers of the 1950s, that means tubes or transistors and DTL logic.

For the past few years, [Ted] has been working on a diode-only logic family, and it appears he’s solved the problem. The new logic family includes a NOR gate constructed using only diodes, resistors, and inductors. The key design feature of these gates is a single diode to switch an RF power supply on and off. It relies on an undocumented property of the diodes, but it does work.

Although [Ted] can create a NOR gate without transistors — a feat never before documented in the history of electronics — that doesn’t mean this is a useful alternative to transistor logic. The fan-out of the gates is terrible, the clock uses about 60 Watts, and the gates require an AC power supply. While it is theoretically possible to build a computer out of these gates, it’s doubtful if anyone has the patience to do so. It’s more of a curiosity, but it is a demonstration of one of the most mind-bending projects we’ve ever seen.

You can check out a video of the diode clock below.

The HackadayPrize2016 is Sponsored by:

Filed under: classic hacks, clock hacks, The Hackaday Prize Comic for 2016.05.31

New Cyanide and Happiness Comic

programming: Want to spell check? Read the fine print

submitted by /u/abcrink
[link] [comments]

All Content: Chicago Underground Film Festival 2016 Preview


Running from June 1-5, the 23rd Chicago Underground Film Festival (CUFF) uncovers cinema selected to surpriseand occasionally unsettle. 

Eleven features and nearly ninety shorts by experimental, documentary and narrative filmmakers come to Chicago from Argentina, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, India, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, UK, United States and Viet Nam.

The intrepid five-day event offers 25 alternative programs on two of the four screens at the Logan Theatre, 2646 North Milwaukee Ave. Admission is $10. Mainstream fare currently playing on the other two screens at this neighborhood venue includes “Keanu” and "Captain America: Civil War.”

Presented by the non-profit Independent Filmmaker Project–Chicago, CUFF goes outside the lines of “underground” and “independent” drawn by the orthodox. The less than doctrinal guidelines for festival entrants invite “films and videos that dissent radically in form, technique, or content from the `indie’ mainstream … that challenge and transcend commercial and audience expectations.” Putting “indie” in quotes like that is CUFF’s way of distancing itself from such dated specimens as “sex, lies, and videotape” (1989) and “Man Woman Film” (1999).

CUFF director and co-founder Bryan Wendorf lets jurors of his non-competitive fest invent their own one-off categories, like last year’s 3-Point Lighting Award for Innovative Technique and Poseidon’s Trident Award for Experimental Mythologies.

The 2016 jury is on the mark. Jeffrey Bowers curates video at Vimeo and VICE. Rebecca Hall, a co-founder of the Northwest Chicago Film Society, works at the Gene Siskel Film Center. Spencer Parsons is a long-time CUFF entrant who’s programmed Cinematexas International Short Film and Video Festival, and teaches media production at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Novelist Tim Kinsella is a singer and mainstay of the Chicago band Joan of Arc.

One of two world premieres this year is the highly recommended “Tony Conrad: Completely In The Present,” directed and edited by Tyler Hubby [pictured above]. This Opening Night documentary on June 1 (8pm) has a special $20 admission that covers an after-party at Elastic Arts Center with live film performances. The subject—a minimalist musician, experimental media artist and art school prof—planned to receive his Lifetime Achievement Award, but died April 9th at age 76.

Hubby will attend and show his feature debut. He screened his shorts at five earlier Chicago Underground festivals. The San Francisco Art Institute grad began filming Conrad in 1994. Hubby’s day job in Los Angeles is editing documentaries. Among past subjects: the mentally ill artist and musician Daniel Johnston and the Icelandic Phallological Museum. He’s also cut making-of shorts about “Basic Instinct,” “RoboCop” and “Starship Troopers.”

During a FaceTime interview—with a “Kill Your TV” postcard in sight behind him—Hubby recalled how Conrad’s analytical aesthetic carried over to his fashion sense: “He’d buy clothes he didn’t understand.” He once asked about Conrad's pink pants. Always a prankster and deconstructor, the artist answered: “I don’t understand them. But I’m going to wear them and come to an understanding of them.”

Nine of Conrad’s shorts, including “The Flicker” (1966) screen June 2 (8:30pm).

In the 1960’s Conrad split rent on the Lower East Side with Welsh musician John Cale, who’d soon go onto the Velvet Underground, and with underground filmmaker and performance artist Jack Smith. Conrad made the soundtrack for Smith’s “Flaming Creatures,” a film notorious for its gender flux and transgressive eros.

Smith’s drag and camp sensibilities resurface in Luther Price’s self-referential star vehicles. Made in the nineties, these Super-8mm efforts evoke the sixties films by Smith and Andy Warhol. This Boston filmmaker is scheduled to attend both the festival and an opening of an exhibition at Mana Gallery of Contemporary Art, where slide carousels will project his photos. Price’s “Clown” (1992) and “A” (1995), digitally restored by Anthology Film Archives, screen on June 4th (8pm). They are tedious and ambiguous parodies of trans-style nostalgia that I cannot recommend. 

The best feature I previewed is “The Sky Trembles and The Earth Is Afraid and the Two Eyes are Not Brothers.” The only fest film projected in 35mm, it screens on June 2nd (7pm). Nine 16mm prints are in the line-up too. Ben Rivers’ exquisitely shot experimental narrative observes a film director exit a shoot in the Atlas Mountains. He is played by Spanish director Oliver Laxe, who lends Rivers footage from a feature Laxe was making—set in late medieval Morocco. The out-of-place character falls prey to bandits who outfit him a robe sewn with clanking lids from tin cans. They make him dance, and then sell him. This allusive allegory of Orientalist payback derives from Paul Bowles’ 1947 short story “A Distant Episode.”

“The Love Witch” boasts a look not typically yielded by underground budgets. Anna Biller is busy as producer, director, editor, composer, art director, set decorator and costume designer in this feminist take-off playing June 2nd (9pm). A knock-out witch on the run relocates and casts fatal love spells. “Guys can’t handle their emotions too well,” explains one witch. “That’s why they don’t like heavy conversations.” The outcome is an affectionate homage to exploitation cinema, though less surreally cynical than her “Viva.”

Reflexivity is de rigeur at CUFF. “Director's Commentary: Terror of Frankenstein” by Tim Kirk is billed as “metafictional tragicomedy.” Scheduled for June 3rd (9pm), this curious, if uneven, exercise appropriates “Terror of Frankenstein.” As we watch that 1977 feature on the screen, we listen to what is supposed to be an unedited recording session for a DVD commentary track. The director, screenwriter and star reminisce about the shoot and the lurid headlines that ensued. Ghastly revelations ensue about monstrous murders after the shooting stopped. This almost works as a radio drama, despite lines like “That’s hard to imagine how high somebody would have to be to cut off their own head.”

Many shorts do better at deconstructing facets of cinema, ranging from celluloid and its scratches, to continuity and Walt Disney. Check out "16mm Sound Film” by Aaron Kutnick; “Over & Over” by Michael Fleming; “Discontinuity” by Lori Felker; and “Rabbit Season Duck Season” by Michael Bell-Smith. 

The abiding underground agenda guiding this festival of provocations surfaces in the short “Chums From Across the Void” (June 3rd, 8:30pm) by Jim Finn, who screened “Encounters With Your Inner Trotsky Child” here two years ago. In the guise of a guided mediation for Past Leftist Life Regression therapy, his latest film contains a voiceover that counsels: "Without money in the prime material plane of corporate capitalism, you are like a horse with opposable thumbs lead by cave dwellers deeper and darker down into the Earth until there is nothing more to see. There you are left cold alone to die or to continue on with your life such as it is.”

Slashdot: Microsoft Removes 260-Character Path Length Limit In Windows 10 Redstone

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Softpedia: Windows 10 build 14352, a preview version of the upcoming Anniversary Update (also known as Redstone), comes with an eagerly awaited change that Microsoft hasn't yet announced publicly. The 260-character path length limit in Windows can be removed with the help of a new policy, thus allowing you to run operations with files regardless of their path or file name. While this new rule is not enabled by default, admins can turn it on by following these instructions. Launch the Registry Editor by clicking the Start menu and typing "regedit.exe," and then navigate to the following path: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Group Policy Objects\{48981759-12F2-42A6-A048-028B3973495F}Machine\System\CurrentControlSet\Policies. Look for an entry called "LongPathsEnabled," and if it does not exist, simply right-click Policies, select New DWORD (32-bit), name it "LongPathsEnabled" (without the quotes), enter value 1, and you're good to go. The description of the preview reads, "Enabling NTFS long paths will allow manifested win32 applications and Windows Store applications to access paths beyond the normal 260 char limit per node. Enabling this setting will cause the long paths to be accessible within the process." While the Windows 10 preview build 1452 has been made available last week, according to Windows Central, a Microsoft team member says that the company could released Windows 10 Mobile build 14352 for Insiders on Tuesday, May 31.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Disquiet: They’re Parts, Not Whole

The track’s title mixes a cold date stamp with an ambiguous sentiment, and in turn “160515T01 the saddest morning glory” summons up a series of overlapping textural source segments. These include plucked string instruments and pulsing drones and some deeply echoing woodwind and sequences of held notes, among other aural delicacies. Those held notes, like the overall piece, travel at too slow a rate to be considered collectively as a melody, as of a piece. They’re parts, not wholes. The whole here is more experiential than developmental, less a matter of something that changes as it goes and more a matter of some things that illuminate each other through proximity. A seemingly rote drone gains rhythm when contrasted with an even more placid tonal companion; a semi-prominent rhythmic element recedes when faced with a more capacious contrast. Recorded by Leonardo Rosado, “160515T01 the saddest morning glory” is slow and subtle, evenly paced and emotionally remote, and utterly beautiful.

Track originally posted at More from Rosado, who is based in Göteborg, Sweden, at

Hackaday: The Foghorn Requiem

Foghorns have been a part of maritime history since the 19th century, providing much needed safety during inclement weather to mariners out at sea. Over time, their relevance has slowly reduced, with advanced navigational aids taking over the task of keeping ships and sailors safe.

The sounds of the foghorns are slowly dying out. Artists [Joshua Portway] and [Lise Autogena] put together the Foghorn Requiem, a project which culminated on June 22nd 2013, with an armada of more than 50 ships gathered on the North Sea to perform an ambitious musical score, marking the disappearance of the sound of the foghorn from the UK’s coastal landscape.

ship_layoutUp close, a foghorn is loud enough to knock you off your shoes. But over a distance, its sound takes on a soulful, melancholy quality, shaped by the terrain that it passes over. The artists tried capturing this quality of the foghorn, with help from composer [Orlando Gough] who created a special score for the performance. It brought together three Brass Bands – the Felling Band, the Westoe Band and the NASUWT Riverside Band, almost 50 ships at sea and the Souter Lighthouse Foghorn to play the score.

horn_preparation foghorn_controller

Each of the more than 50 vessels were outfitted with a custom built, tunable foghorn, actuated by a controller box consisting of a TI Launchpad with GPS, RTC, Xbee radio and relay modules. Because of the great distances between the ships and the audience on land, the devices needed to compensate for their relative position and adjust the time that they play the foghorn to offset for travel time of the sound. Each controller had its specific score saved on on-board storage, with all controllers synchronized to a common real time clock.

Marine radios were used to communicate with all the ships, informing them when to turn on the controllers, about 10 minutes from the start of the performance. Each device then used its GPS position to calculate its distance from the pre-programmed audience location, and computed how many seconds ahead it had to play its horn for the sound to be heard in time on the shore. The controllers then waited for a pre-programmed time to start playing their individual foghorn notes. The cool thing about the idea was that no communication was required – it was all based on time. Check out the video of the making of the Foghorn Requiem after the break, and here’s a link to the audio track of the final performance.

This is a slightly different approach compared to the Super Massive Musical Instrument that we posted about earlier.

Filed under: musical hacks

Slashdot: ASUS Unveils $599 Home Robot 'Zenbo'

An anonymous reader writes: In addition to the razor thin ZenBook 3, Asus unveiled a cute talking robot for the home at this week's Computex trade show in Taipei. The robot, called Zenbo, is priced at $599 and is pitched as a personal assistant that can help look after elderly relatives or read stories to the kids. It's about two feet tall and rolls around on wheels, with a display that can show animated faces or be used for making video calls and streaming movies. When asked, "Hey Zenbo, is it true you can take pictures?" by ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih, the robot replied with, "Yes, I can take photographs." Zenbo took a photo of him on stage with the audience in the background when Shih told it to. The robot doesn't have an official release date yet, but developers can sign up for a software kit to build applications for it now.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

IEEE Job Site RSS jobs: Industrial Research Chair in Energy Systems for Smart Cities

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Simon Fraser University Mon, 30 May 2016 18:39:45 -0700

Hackaday: Cable Butchering For Logic-Level Serial

Early PCs and other computers had serial ports, sometimes as their main interfaces for peripherals. Serial ports still survive, but these days they are more likely to have a USB connection into the main computer. However, when you are working with a microcontroller, you probably don’t want a proper RS232 port with its plus and minus 12 volt signals.

You can get converters that specifically output logic-level signals but you probably can’t pick one up at the local office supply store. They might, though, have a normal USB to serial cable. [Aaron] had the same problem so he hacked into a cable to pull out the logic level signals.

On the one hand, hacks like this are a good inspiration for when you have a similar problem. On the other hand, you probably won’t wind up with the same cable as [Aaron]. He got lucky since the board inside his cable was clearly marked. Just to be sure, he shorted the transmit and receive lines to see that he did get an echo back from a terminal program.

Unsurprisingly, you can also repurpose an ESP8266 to perform this same task. Or, you can use a cable as an I/O device.

Filed under: Microcontrollers

BOOOOOOOM!: Artist Spotlight: Lowell Boyers


A selection of meditative paintings by artist Lowell Boyers. More images below.

Planet Haskell: Philip Wadler: Speaker's Trust removes all trace of Leanne Baghouti

Leanne Baghouti, a British-Palestinian won her local round of Speaker's Trust "Speak Out" competition with an impassioned talk about Palestinian human rights. Her talk, and all sign that she had won the competition, were later deleted from the competition web site.

A colleague characterised her talk as "full of anti-Semitic and aggressive material from sources in the Middle East". I watched the video, and heard nothing anti-Semitic. It is a word that should be used with care.

Speaker's Trust has released a statement regarding the matter:
“There are two fundamental rules that are made explicit during the training: the speech must have a positive and uplifting message – in fact this is one of the core terms of the agreement with the Jack Petchey Foundation [and] a speaker should never inflame or offend the audience or insult others and this, by definition, means that propaganda is ruled out absolutely from the outset… Speakers Trust and Jack Petchey Foundation judging panel decided unanimously against sending Leanne Mohamad through to the next stage and she will not be speaking at the Grand Final. These were precisely our concerns.”
And another:
Our primary duty of care is to the young people we work with and we cannot tolerate any form of insult or abuse. We are concerned and saddened that Leanne’s experience has been less than positive.
Leanne Mohamad is the Redbridge Regional Final winner and there has never been any suggestion that she should be disqualified. Almost 190,000 young people have spoken out over the years on any topic which they feel passionately about and none has ever been banned from the process or silenced.
We are, however, a small charity without the capacity to moderate comments 24 hours a day and it was considered essential to protect Leanne by temporarily suspending the regional video over the bank holiday, until we were able to consult with her school and family.
Of 37 talented regional Champions only fifteen can be voted through to the Grand Final. This selection process took place on Saturday 21st May based on standard judging criteria and without any external influence or input.
The general “rules” of effective public speaking are guidelines to help speakers to create a speech that will connect with a large and diverse audience and every speech was judged on its own merits. At the heart of what we do lies the determination that all of our young speakers, irrespective of background, race or creed, should be able to speak out in a safe and supportive environment.

TwitchFilm: Details on Jennifer Kent's Colonial Nightmare NIGHTINGALE

After rounding up award after award on the festival circuit, and a solid international commercial release, how is Jennifer Kent following up her hit horror picture, The Babadook?  According to a lovely interview done by Monica Tan at The Guardian, Kent has been courted by Hollywood, but has been quite picky about what she does next. (I love her motto for picking scripts, "What would David Lynch do?") And that is to stay in Australia and make a realistic period piece on Tasmania in the 1820s titled Nightingale. The Nightingale is about the “pointlessness of revenge”, Kent says. A 21-year-old Irish convict called Claire chases a British soldier through the rugged Tasmanian wilderness, bent on revenge for a terrible act of violence he committed against...

[Read the whole post on]

Quiet Earth: The Quietcast: Paul Sloan talks Vigilante Diaries & I am Wrath

[Editor's note: You can now subscribe to Quiet Earth's podcast on iTunes or via RSS!]

On this episode of The Quietcast I talk to Paul Sloan, the writer of both the John Travolta revenge film I am Wrath and The Vigilante Diaries. Not only did he write the films, but he appears in both and even plays the lead in the latter. The dude is on a role.

Sloan will be no strange to long-time QE readers. He penned the science fiction thriller Siphon, a still unproduced screenplay that I loved and rev [Continued ...]

TwitchFilm: Palahniuk's LULLABY Headed To The Big Screen

Chuck Palahniuk´s Lullaby is poised to become his latest work to hit the big screen with a  crowd-funding campaign eyeing to raise at least $250 000 to see the world´s unlikeliest serial killer on the screen. Lullaby - written to help the author to cope with the tragic death of his father - was published between medically-laden sex addict satire Choke and confession of the “desperate” artist in Diary. All the way back in 2008, Palahniuk revealed Swedish director Rolf Johansson was set to adapt Lullaby which should have hit screens in 2010. Film productions are notoriously whimsical so it is no surprise that Johansson is no longer helming the project. The project is being currently developed by Portland based independent director, Andy Mingo, who...

[Read the whole post on]

BOOOOOOOM!: Artist Spotlight: Sherie’ Franssen


A selection of paintings by California-based artist Sherie’ Franssen. More images below.

Perlsphere: All about the new Test2 framework and how it will help your tests

The new Test2 framework has been released after a couple years of development. I wanted to find out about what this means for users of Test::Simple and Test::More, so I chatted with the project leader, Chad Granum (exodist).

Andy Lester: So Test2 has just been released after a couple of years of work, and a lot of discussion. For those of us who haven’t followed its development, what is Test2 and why is it a good thing?

Chad Granum: The big changes will be for people who write test modules. The old Test::Builder was tied to specific generation of TAP output. That’s been replaced with a flexible event system.

It all started when David Golden submitted a patch to change the indentation of a comment intended for humans who read the test. The change would help people, but meant nothing to the machine. I had to reject the patch because it broke a lot of downstream modules. Things broke because they tested that Test::Builder produced the message in its original form. I thought that was crazy, and wanted to make things easier to maintain, test, and improve.

Andy: Test::Builder’s internals were pretty fragile?

Chad: That is true, but that’s not the whole picture. The real problem was the tools people used to validate testing tools. Test::Builder::Tester was the standard, and it boiled down to giant string comparisons of TAP output, which mixes messages for the computer’s use, and messages for human use.

While most of the changes are under the hood, there are improvements for people who just want to write tests. Test2 has a built-in synchronization system for forking/threading. If you modify a test to load Test2::IPC before loading Test::More, then you can fork in your tests and it will work in sane/reasonable ways. Up until now doing this required external tools such as Test::SharedFork which had severe limitations.

Another thing I want to note is an improvement in how Test2 tracks file+line number for error reporting purposes. As you know diagnostics are reported when a test fails, and it gives you the filename and line number of the failure. Test::Builder used a global variable $Test::Builder::Level which people were required to localize and bump whenever they added a stack frame to their tool. This was confusing and easy to get wrong.

Test2 now uses a Context object. This object solves the problem by locking in the “context” (file + line) when the tool is first called. All nested tools will then find that context. The context object also doubles as the primary interface to Test2 for tool writers, which means it will not be obscure like the $Level variable was.

Andy: I just counted 1045 instances of $Test::Builder::Level in my codebase at work. Are you saying that I can throw them all away when I start using Test2?

Chad: Yes, if you switch to using Test2 in those tools you can stop counting your stack frames. That said, the $Level variable will continue to work forever for backwards compatibility.

Andy: Will the TAP output be the same? We’re still using an ancient install of Smolder as our CI tool and I believe it expects TAP to look a certain way.

Chad: Extreme care was taken to ensure that the TAP output did not change in any significant ways. The one exception is David Golden’s change that started all this:

  Ok 1 - random test
    # a subtest
    Ok 1 - subtest result
Ok 2 - a subtest

This has changed to:

  Ok 1 - random test
# a subtest
    Ok 1 - subtest result
Ok 2 - a subtest

That is the change that started all this, and had the potential to break CPAN.

Andy: So Test2 is all about possibilities for the future. It’s going to make it easier for people to create new Test:: modules. As the author of a couple of Test:: modules myself, I know that the testing of the tests is always a big pain. There’s lots of cut & paste from past modules that work and tweaking things until they finally pass the tests. What’s different between the old way of doing the module testing and now?

Chad: Test::Builder assumed TAP would be the final product, and did not give you any control or hooks into everything between your tool and the TAP, as such you had to test your final TAP output, which often included text you did not yourself produce. In Test2 we drop those assumptions, TAP is no longer assumed, and you also have hooks in almost every step of the process between your tool and the final output.

Many of the actions Test::Builder would accomplish have been turned into Event objects. Test tools do their thing, and then fire events off to Test2 for handling. Eventually these events hit a formatter (TAP by default) and are rendered for a harness. Along with the hooks there is a tool in Test2::API called intercept, it takes a codeblock, all events generated inside that codeblock are captured and returned, they are not rendered and do not affect the global test state. Once you capture your events you can test them as data structures, and ignore ones that are not relevant to your tools.

The Test::Builder::Tester way may seem more simple at first, but that is deceptive. There is a huge loss of information. Also if there are changes to how Test::Builder renders TAP, such as dropping the ‘-‘ then everything breaks.

Using Test::Builder::Tester

  test_out("ok 1 - a passing test");
ok(1, 'a passing test');
test_test("Got expected line of TAP output");

Using intercept and basic Test::More tools

  my $events = intercept {
    ok(1, 'a passing test');

my $e = shift @$events;

ok($e->pass, "passing tests event");
is($e->name, "a passing test", "got event name");
    [__PACKAGE__, __FILE__, 42, 'Test2::Tools::Basic::ok'],
    "Got package, file, line and sub name"

Using Test2::Tools::Compare

    intercept {
        ok(1, 'a passing test');
    array {
        event Ok => sub {
            call pass => 1;
            call name => 'a passing test';

            prop file    => __FILE__;
            prop package => __PACKAGE__;
            prop line    => 42; 
            prop subname => 'Test2::Tools::Basic::ok';
    'A passing test'

Andy: What other features does Test2 include for users who aren’t creating Test:: modules?

Chad: Test2’s core, which is included in the Test-Simple distribution does not have new features at the user level. However Test2-Suite was released at the same time as Test2/Test-Simple, and it contains new versions of all the Test::More tools, and adds some things people have been requesting for years, but were not possible with the old Test::Builder

The biggest example would be “die/bail on fail”, which lets you tell the test suite to stop after the first failure. The old stuff could not do this because there was no good hook point, and important diagnostics would be lost.

It’s as simple as using one of these two modules:

  use Test2::Plugin::DieOnFail;
use Test2::Plugin::BailOnFail;

The difference is that DieOnFail calls die under the hood. The BailOnFail will send a bail-out event which will abort the current file, and depending on the harness might stop the entire test run.

Andy: So how do I start using Test2? At my day job, our code base has 1,200 *.t files totalling 282,000 lines of code. Can I expect to install the new version of Test::Simple (version 1.302019) that includes Test2 and everything will “just work”?

Chad: For the vast majority of cases the answer is “yes”. Back-compatibility was one of the most significant concerns for the project. That said, some things did unfortunately break. A good guide to what breaks, and why can be found in this document. Usually things that break do so because they muck about with the Test::Builder internals in nasty ways. Usually these modules had no choice due to Test::Builder’s limitations. When I found such occurrences I tried to add hooks or APIs to do those things in sane/reasonable ways.

Andy: Do I have to upgrade? Can I refuse to go up to Test-Simple 1.302019? What are the implications of that?

Chad: Well, nobody is going to come to you and force you to install the latest version. If you want to keep using your old version you can. You might run into trouble down the line if other Test:: tools you use decide to make use of Test2-specific features, at which point you would need to lock in old versions of those as well. You also would not be able to start using any new tools people build using Test2.

Andy: And the tools you’re talking about are Test:: modules, right? The command line tool prove and make test haven’t changed, because they’re part of Test::Harness?

Chad: Correct. Test::Harness has not been touched, it will work on any test files that produce TAP, and Test2 still produces TAP by default. That said I do have a project in the works to create an alternative harness specifically for Test2 stuff, but it will never be a requirement to use it, things will always work on Test::Harness.

Andy: So if I’m understanding the Changes file correctly, Test-Simple 1.302012 was the last old-style version and 1.302014 is the new version with Test2?

Chad: No, Test-Simple-1.001014 is the last STABLE release of Test-Simple that did not have Test2, then Test-Simple-1.302015 was the first stable release to include Test2. There were a lot of development releases between the 2, but no stable ones. The version numbers had to be carefully crafted to follow the old scheme, but we also had to keep it below 1.5xxxxx because of the previous maintainers’ projects which used that number as well as 2.0. Some downstream users had code switched based on version number and expected an API that never came to be. Most of these downstream distributions have been fixed now, but we are using a “safe” version number just in case.

Andy: What has development for this been like? This has been in the works for, what, two years now? I remember talking to you briefly about it at OSCON 2014.

Chad: At the point we talked I had just been given Test-Simple, and did not have any plans to make significant changes. What we actually talked about was my project Fennec which was a separate Test::Builder based test framework. Some features from Fennec made their way into Test2, enough so that Fennec will be deprecated once I have a stable Test2::Workflow release.

Initially development started as a refactor of Test::Builder that was intended to be fairly small. The main idea was to introduce the events, and a way to capture them. From there it ballooned out as I fixed bugs, or made other changes necessary to support events.

At one point the changes were significant enough, and broke enough downstream modules that I made it a complete fork under the name Test-Stream. I figured it would be easier to make Test::Builder a compatibility wrapper.

In 2015, I attended the QA hackathon in Berlin, and my Test-Stream fork was a huge topic of conversation. The conversation resulted in a general agreement (not unanimous) that it would be nice to have these changes. There was also a list of requests (demands?) for the project before it could go stable. We called it the punch-list.

After the Berlin hackathon there was more interest in the project. Other toolchain people such as Graham Knop (Haarg), Daniel Dragan (bulk88), Ricardo Signes (rjbs), Matt Trout (mst), Karen Etheridge (ether), Leon Timmermans (leont), Joel Berger (jberger), Kent Fredric (kentnl), Peter Rabbitson (ribasushi), etc. started reviewing my code, making suggestions and reporting bugs. This was one of the most valuable experiences. The project as it is now, is much different than it was in Berlin, it is much better from the extra eyes and hands.

A month ago was another QA hackathon, in Rugby UK, and once again Test2 was a major topic. This time the general agreement was that it was ready now. The only new requirements on the table were related to making the broken downstream modules very well known, and also getting a week of extra cpan-testers results prior to release.

I must note that at both QA hackathons the decisions were not unanimous, but in both cases there was a very clear majority.

Andy: So what’s next? I see that you have a grant for more documentation. Tell me about that, and what can people do to help?

Chad: The Test2 core API is not small, and has more moving pieces than Test::Builder did. Right now there is plenty of technical/module documentation, but there is a lack of overview documentation. There is a need for a manual that helps people find solutions to their problems, and tied the various parts together. This is the first part of the manual docs for tool authors.

Test2::Suite is also not small, but provides a large set of tools for people to use, some are improvements on old tools, some are completely new. The manual will have a second section on using these new tools. This second part of the manual will be geared towards people writing tests.

The best way for people to help would be to start using Test2::Suite in their tests, and Test2 in their test tools. People will undoubtedly find places where more documentation is needed, or where things are not clear. Reporting such documentation gaps would help me to write better documentation. (Test::More repo,
Test2::Suite repo)

Apart from the documentation, I have 2 other Test2 related projects nearing completion: Test2-Workflow, which is an implementation of the tools from Fennec that are not a core part of Test2, and Test2-Harness which is an optional alternative to Test::Harness. Both are pretty much code-complete on GitHub, but neither has the test coverage I feel is necessary before putting them on CPAN.

Andy: Thanks for all the work that’s gone into this, both to you and the rest of those who’ve contributed. It sounds like we’ll soon see more tools to make testing easier and more robust.

TwitchFilm: The Director Of SICCIN And MUSALLAT Delivers Fresh Horrors With ÜÇ HARFLİLER 3

Though audiences abroad may not be familiar with the name of Alper Mestçi he has quickly become one of the dominant forces within Turkish genre film. Having started as a writer Mestçi first appeared on the feature scene with 2007 horror effort Musallat, winning notice at home and abroad for his feature debut and launching a career that spans eight features as a director. And the latest - Üç Harfliler 3 - features plenty of what caught the eye in his earliest work. You want local religion, superstition and folk tales rolled up into a dark phantasmagoria of spooks and scares? Because that's what Mestçi does best and there's a whole lot of it on display in the trailer for this latest effort, a trailer...

[Read the whole post on]

LLVM Project Blog: LLVM Weekly - #126, May 30th 2016

Welcome to the one hundred and twenty-sixth issue of LLVM Weekly, a weekly newsletter (published every Monday) covering developments in LLVM, Clang, and related projects. LLVM Weekly is brought to you by Alex Bradbury. Subscribe to future issues at and pass it on to anyone else you think may be interested. Please send any tips or feedback to, or @llvmweekly or @asbradbury on Twitter.

The canonical home for this issue can be found here at

I've been moving house this weekend, so do accept my apologies if you find this issue to be a little less thorough than usual.

News and articles from around the web

Pyston, the LLVM-based Python compiler has released version 0.5. The main changes are a switch to reference counting and NumPy compatibility.

I don't want to become "C++ weekly", but I think this audience appreciates a fun use of C++ features. Verdigris is a header-only library that allows you to use Qt5 without the moc preprocessor.

The call for papers for the 3rd workshop on the LLVM compiler infrastructure in HPC has been published. The deadline for paper submission is September 1st. The workshop will take place on November 14th in Salt Lake City, and is held in conjunction with SC16.

On the mailing lists

  • Vivek Pandya, a GSoC student working on interprocedural register allocation has shared a weekly status report.

  • Rafael Espíndola has proposed creating a bitcode symbol table.

  • There's been some updates on the progress of open-sourcing PGI's Fortran frontend.

  • Elena Lepilkina has proposed some enhancement to FileCheck. Some questions were raised about how useful the proposed extensions will be. Sergey Yakoushkin provided more background on how these features are used in a commercial codebase. As Elena notes, these features don't need to all be upstreamed at once (or at all), and are mostly independent.

  • Lang Hames has posted a heads-up about upcoming breaking API changes for ORC and MCJIT.

  • Sean Silva has kicked off a discussion on the state of IRPGO. You might ask what is IRPGO? This is profile-guided optimisation performed through instrumentation at the LLVM IR level, as opposed to FEPGO where instrumentation is added by the frontend (e.g. Clang), prior to lowering to IR. Sean would like to make IRPGO the default on all platforms other than Apple at the moment (who may require a longer deprecation period). A number of followup comments discuss possibilities for ensuring all platforms can move forward together, and ensuring a sensible flag exists to choose between frontend or middle-end PGO.

  • What exactly is a register pressure set? Both Quentin Colombet and Andrew Trick have answers for us.

LLVM commits

  • New optimisations covering checked arithmetic were added. r271152, r271153.

  • Advanced unrolling analysis is now enabled by default. r270478.

  • The initial version of a new chapter to the 'Kaleidoscope' tutorial has been committed. This describes how to build a JIT using ORC. r270487, r271054.

  • LLVM's stack colouring analysis data flow analysis has been rewritten in order to increase the number of stack variables that can be overlapped. r270559.

  • Parts of EfficiencySanitizer are starting to land, notably instrumentation for its working set tool. r270640.

  • SelectionDAG learned how to expand multiplication for larger integer types where there isn't a standard runtime call to handle it. r270720.

  • LLVM will now report more accurate loop locations in optimisation remarks by reading the starting location from llvm.loop metadata. r270771.

  • Symbolic expressions are now supported in assembly directives, matching the behaviour of the GNU assembler. r271102.

  • Symbols used by plugins can now be auto-exported on Windows, which improves support for plugins in Windows. See the commit message for a full description. r270839.

Clang commits

  • Software floating point for Sparc has been exposed in Clang through -msoft-float. r270538.

  • Clang now supports the -finline-functions argument to enable inlining separately from the standard -O flags. r270609.

Other project commits

  • SectionPiece in LLD is now 8-bytes smaller on 64-bit platforms. This improves the time to link Clang with debug info by 2%. r270717.

  • LLD has replaced a use of binary search with a hash table lookup, resulting in a 4% speedup when linking Clang with debug info. r270999.

  • LLDB now supports AArch64 compact unwind tables, as used on iOS, tvos and watchos. r270658.

programming: I made a program that recognizes Rubik's cube and shows how to solve it using augmented reality

submitted by /u/chocomanEU
[link] [comments]

Open Culture: How to Spot Bullshit: A Primer by Princeton Philosopher Harry Frankfurt

We live in an age of truthiness. Comedian Stephen Colbert coined the word to describe the Bush administration’s tendency to fudge the facts in its favor.

Ten years after the American Dialect Society named it Word of the Year, former president Bush’s calendar is packed with such leisure activities as golf and painting portraits of world leaders, but “truthiness” remains on active duty.

It’s particularly germane in this election year, though politicians are far from its only practitioners.

Take global warming. NASA makes a pretty rock solid case for both its existence and our role in it:

97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree: Climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities. In addition, most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position.

In view of such numbers, its understandable that a suburban Joe with a freezer full of factory-farmed beef and multiple SUVs in his garage would cling to the position that global warming is a lie. It’s his last resort, really.

But such self-rationalizations are not truth. They are truthiness.

Or to use the old-fashioned word favored by philosopher Harry Frankfurt, above: bullshit!

Frankfurt–a philosopher at Princeton and the author of On Bullshitallows that bullshit artists are often charming, or at their very least, colorful. They have to be. Achieving their ends involves engaging others long enough to persuade them that they know what they’re talking about, when in fact, that’s the opposite of the truth.

Speaking of opposites, Frankfurt maintains that bullshit is a different beast from an out-and-out lie. The liar makes a specific attempt to conceal the truth by swapping it out for a lie.

The bullshit artist’s approach is far more vague. It’s about creating a general impression.

There are times when I admit to welcoming this sort of manure. As a maker of low budget theater, your honest opinion of any show I have Little Red Hen’ed into existence is the last thing I want to hear upon emerging from the cramped dressing room, unless you truly loved it.

I’d also encourage you to choose your words carefully when dashing a child’s dreams.

But when it comes to matters of public policy, and the public good, yes, transparency is best.

It’s interesting to me that filmmakers James Nee and Christian Britten transformed a portion of their learned subject’s thoughts into voiceover narration for a lightning fast stock footage montage. It’s diverting and funny, featuring such ominous characters as Nosferatu, Bill Clinton, Charlie Chaplin’s Great Dictator, and Donald Trump, but isn’t it also the sort of misdirection sleight of hand at which true bullshitters excel?

Frankfurt expands upon his thoughts on bullshit in his aptly titled bestselling book, On Bullshit and its followup On Truth.

Related Content:

Noam Chomsky Schools 9/11 Truther; Explains the Science of Making Credible Claims

Young T.S. Eliot Writes “The Triumph of Bullsh*t” and Gives the English Language a New Expletive (1910)

Stephen Colbert Explains How The Colbert Report Is Made in a New Podcast

Ayun Halliday is an author, illustrator, and Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine. Follow her @AyunHalliday

How to Spot Bullshit: A Primer by Princeton Philosopher Harry Frankfurt is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

Open Culture: Noam Chomsky on Whether the Rise of Trump Resembles the Rise of Fascism in 1930s Germany

No matter where you are in the world, you must by now be well-acquainted with the political chaos in the United States. No one can confidently predict what’s going to happen next. A certain privileged few still find the situation amusing; a certain few have found a tremendous opportunity to increase profit and standing, embracing the madness by embracing Donald Trump, the celebrity real estate mogul some on the right have dubbed their “Great White Hope.”

A column last week by the far-right nationalist Pat Buchanan— whom Trump once denounced as a “Hitler-Lover”—ran with the idea, expressing the paranoiac fantasies of thousands of white supremacists who have rallied behind the Republican nominee. Rhetoric like Buchanan’s and David Duke’s—another supporter Trump once disavowed (then famously didn’t, then eventually did again)—has demolished the “Overton window,” we hear. America’s racist table talk is now a major party platform: the proverbial crank uncle who immiserates Christmas dinner with wild conspiracy theories now airs grievances 24 hours a day on cable news, unbound by “political correctness” or standards of accuracy of any kind.

Granted, a majority of the electorate is hardly thrilled by the likely alternative to Trump, but as even conservative author P.J. O’Rourke quipped in his backhanded endorsement of Hillary Clinton, “She’s wrong about absolutely everything, but she’s wrong within normal parameters.” There’s nothing “normal” about Donald Trump’s candidacy. Its freakishness enthralls his adoring fans. But the millions of Americans who aren’t among them have legitimate cause for alarm.

Comparisons to Hitler and Mussolini may have worn out their usefulness in elections past—frivolous as they often were—but the Trump campaign’s overt demagoguery, vicious misogyny, racism, violent speech, actual violence, complete disregard for truth, threats to free speech, and simplistic, macho cult of personality have prompted plausible shouts of fascism from every corner.

Former Republican Massachusetts governor (and recently rejected Libertarian vice-presidential candidate) William Weld equated Trump’s immigration plan with Kristallnacht, an analogy, writes Peter Baker in The New York Times that is “not a lonely one.” (“There is nobody less of a fascist than Donald Trump,” the candidate retorted.) Likewise, conservative columnist Robert Kagan recently penned a Times op-ed denouncing Trump as a fascist, a position, he writes, without a “coherent ideology” except its nationalist attacks on racial and religious others and belief in “the strongman, the leader (Il Duce, Der Führer), in whom could be entrusted the fate of the nation.”

On the liberal left, figures like former labor secretary Robert Reich and actor and Democratic Party organizer George Clooney have made the charge, as well as columnists in the New Republic and elsewhere. In the video above from Democracy Now, Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto compares Trump to Hitler, and Columbia University’s Robert Paxton—who has written articles and a book on his theory of fascism—discusses the possibility of Trump-as-fascist.

At the top of the post, Noam Chomsky (MIT professor and author of the new book, Who Rules the World?) weighs in, with his analysis of the “generalized rage” of “mainly working class, middle class, and poor white males” and their “traditional families” coalescing around Trump. (Anyone who objects to Chomsky’s characterization of Trump as a circus clown should take a moment to revisit his reality show career and performance in the WWE ring, not to mention those debates.)

In Chomsky’s assessment, we need only look to U.S. history to find the kind of “strong” racialized nativism Trump espouses, from Benjamin Franklin’s aversion to German and Swedish immigrants, who were “not pure Anglo-Saxons like us,” to later parties like the 19th century Know Nothings. Perhaps, as John Cassidy wrote in The New Yorker last year, that’s what Trump represents.

The history of nativism, Chomsky goes on, “continues into the 20th century. There’s a myth of Anglo-Saxonism. We’re pure Anglo-Saxons. (If you look around, it’s a joke.)” Now, there’s “the picture of us being overwhelmed by Muslims and Mexicans and the Chinese. Somehow, they’ve taken our country away.” This notion (which people like David Duke call “white genocide”) is

Based on something objective. The white population is pretty soon going to become a minority (whatever ‘white’ means)…. The response to this is generalized anger at everything. So every time Trump makes a nasty comment about whoever, his popularity goes up. Because it’s based on hate, you know. Hate and fear. And it’s unfortunately kind of reminiscent of something unpleasant: Germany, not many years ago.

Chomsky discusses Germany’s plummet from its cultural and political heights in the 20s—when Hitler received 3% of the vote—to the decay of the 30s, when the Nazis rose to power. Though the situations are “not identical,” they are similar enough, he says, to warrant concern. Likewise, the economic destruction of Greece, says Chomsky may (and indeed has) lead to the rise of a fascist party, a phenomenon we’ve witnessed all over Europe.

The fall of the Weimar Republic has a complicated history whose general outlines most of us know well enough. Germany’s defeat in WWI and the punitive, post-Treaty of Versailles’ reparations that contributed to hyperinflation and total economic collapse do not parallel the current state of affairs in the U.S.—anxious and agitated as the country may be. But Hitler’s rise to power is instructive. Initially dismissed as a clown, he struggled for political power for many years, and his party barely managed to hold a majority in the Reichstag in the early 30s. The historical question of why few—in Germany or in the U.S.—took Hitler seriously as a threat has become a commonplace. (Partly answered by the amount of tacit support both there and here.)

Hitler’s struggle for dominance truly catalyzed when he allied with the country’s conservatives (and Christians), who made him Chancellor. Thus began his program of Gleichschaltung—“synchronization” or “bringing into line”—during which all former opposition was made to fully endorse his plans. In similar fashion, Trump has fought for political relevance on the right for years, using xenophobic bigotry as his primary weapon. It worked. Now that he has taken over the Republican Party—and the religious right—we’ve seen nearly all of Trump’s opponents on the right, from politicians to media figures, completely fold under and make fawning shows of support. Even some Bernie Sanders supporters have found ways to justify supporting Trump.

But Trump is “not Hitler,” as his wife Melania claimed in his defense after his supporters swarmed journalist Julia Ioffe with grotesque anti-Semitic attacks. Although he has an obvious affinity for white nationalists and neo-Nazis (see his activity on social media and elsewhere) and perhaps a fondness for Hitler’s speeches, the comparison has serious drawbacks. Trump is something else—something perhaps more farcical and bumbling, but maybe just as dangerous given the forces he has unified and elevated domestically, and the dangers of such an unstable, petty, vindictive person taking over the world’s largest military, and nuclear arsenal.

Perhaps he’s just a tasteless, cynical con-man entertainer using hate as another means of self-advancement. He has non-white and Jewish supporters!, his voters claim. He holds “corrupt and liberal New York values“! say conservative detractors. These objections ring hollow given all Trump has said and done in recent years. His campaign, and the response it has drawn, looks enough like those of previous far-right racist leaders that calling Trump a fascist doesn’t seem far-fetched at all. That should seriously alarm any honest person who isn’t a far-right xenophobic nationalist.

Related Content:

Noam Chomsky Defines What It Means to Be a Truly Educated Person

Noam Chomsky Slams Žižek and Lacan: Empty ‘Posturing’

How to Spot Bullshit: A Primer by Princeton Philosopher Harry Frankfurt

Rare 1940 Audio: Thomas Mann Explains the Nazis’ Ulterior Motive for Spreading Anti-Semitism

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

Noam Chomsky on Whether the Rise of Trump Resembles the Rise of Fascism in 1930s Germany is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

Open Culture: 4 Simple Ways You Can Personally Reduce Your Risk of Getting Cancer

A quick public service announcement. According to a new study published in the journal JAMA Oncology, we have a good measure of control over whether cancer rates actually rise or fall. And if we take four practical steps, we could see cancer rates decline by as much as 40-60%. Here’s what the new study recommends:

  • No smoking. It’s that simple. (Bill Plympton’s “25 Ways To Quit Smoking” video above offers some light-hearted ways to rid yourself of that bad habit.)
  • Drink in moderation. One drink or less per day for women; two or less for men. Not more.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight, a Body Mass Index between 18.5 and 27.5. Learn how to calculate your BMI here.
  • Exercise often. During a given week, exercise moderately for at least 150 minutes, or vigorously for at least 75 minutes.

There are no great revelations here. It’s common sense really. But maybe you could improve in one of these areas, and maybe now is the time to get going.

You can find more details on the study in this press release.

And, just for good measure, eat well (no processed foods) and get a good night of sleep.

Follow Open Culture on Facebook and Twitter and share intelligent media with your friends. Or better yet, sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox. And if you want to make sure that our posts definitely appear in your Facebook newsfeed, just follow these simple steps.

via LA Times/WaPo

Related Content:

Why Sitting Is The New Smoking: An Animated Explanation

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John Cleese Explores the Health Benefits of Laughter

Walt Whitman’s Unearthed Health Manual, “Manly Health & Training,” Urges Readers to Stand (Don’t Sit!) and Eat Plenty of Meat (1858)

4 Simple Ways You Can Personally Reduce Your Risk of Getting Cancer is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

Michael Geist: Why Telecom Transparency Reporting in Canada Still Falls Short

Canadian telecom company privacy practices were back in the spotlight this month with the release of a transparency report from Rogers Communications. The report provides new insights into how much – or how little – Canadians know about when their personal information is disclosed to government agencies.

For Rogers customers, the good news is that recent changes in the law, including court decisions that set limits on the disclosure of mass data from cellphone towers and that protect Internet subscriber information – are having a significant effect. Law enforcement agencies are still able to obtain data on hundreds of thousands of people, but warrantless access to basic subscriber information has stopped.

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that the latest Rogers report is the first from the company since the release in 2015 of telecom transparency guidelines that garnered support from the federal privacy commissioner, Industry Canada, and the telecom sector. The guidelines attempt to provide a common framework for disclosure so that the public will be better able to compare privacy protections and policies among Canada’s major telecom companies.

The Rogers report (along with a similar report recently released by Telus) demonstrates a much-needed willingness to defend customer privacy in cases where the companies believe law enforcement has overreached.

Despite some emerging privacy friendly practices, however, there is still room for improvement. According to documents obtained under the Access to Information Act, during the development of the guidelines, many companies resisted recommendations from the privacy commissioner to include specific detail on warrants for subscriber information.

For example, Rogers noted that certain details would require significant system changes and it therefore urged that those details be made optional. Similarly, SaskTel argued that “customers are interested in the broader question of disclosure rather than minute detail.” Multinational companies such as Google and Microsoft emphasized the need for Canadian guidelines to be consistent with global standards given that those companies release data for dozens of countries.

While current reports would benefit from more fulsome disclosure, astonishingly, some companies have yet to release any transparency reports. The list of transparency holdouts include Bell, Canada’s largest telecom company.

The problem lies with the non-binding approach to transparency disclosures. After an industry-wide meeting organized by the privacy commissioner held in April 2015, Rogers noted that “it was indicated at this meeting that any guidelines adopted would fall short of regulation, but would regarded as more substantive than voluntary guidelines.” Yet if the non-regulatory approach does not work, it falls to the federal privacy commissioner to take action.

Canadian privacy law requires all organizations to be accountable for the personal information they collect, use, and disclose. Given the standardization of transparency reporting, there is a strong argument that non-disclosure represents a failure to meet the accountability requirements found in the law.

Even with the potential for enforcement action against transparency holdouts, another major shortcoming will remain: the government and law enforcement agencies themselves. The documents indicate that the privacy commissioner recognized the need for those agencies to participate in the transparency process so that Canadians could also learn about requests for their information from those doing the requesting.

However, the government agencies rejected the request. Public Safety Canada, speaking on behalf of other departments, indicated that transparency was important but that it was not prepared to join the discussion at that time. Interestingly, Rogers appeared prepared to accept a mandatory reporting requirement, but only if a similar obligation was placed on requesting bodies, such as law enforcement.

That position opens the door to fixing the current weakness in the transparency reporting system. Telecom reporting consistent with the guidelines should be made mandatory and given the Liberal government’s commitment to openness and transparency, it should be ready to add disclosure of government requests for personal information to the list of transparency reforms.

The post Why Telecom Transparency Reporting in Canada Still Falls Short appeared first on Michael Geist.

Michael Geist: Telecom Transparency Reporting Guidelines Need Clarity

Appeared in the Toronto Star on May 30, 2016 as Telecom Transparency Reporting Guidelines Need Clarity

Canadian telecom company privacy practices were back in the spotlight this month with the release of a transparency report from Rogers Communications. The report provides new insights into how much – or how little – Canadians know about when their personal information is disclosed to government agencies.

For Rogers customers, the good news is that recent changes in the law, including court decisions that set limits on the disclosure of mass data from cellphone towers and that protect Internet subscriber information – are having a significant effect. Law enforcement agencies are still able to obtain data on hundreds of thousands of people, but warrantless access to basic subscriber information has stopped.

The latest Rogers report is the first from the company since the release in 2015 of telecom transparency guidelines that garnered support from the federal privacy commissioner, Industry Canada, and the telecom sector. The guidelines attempt to provide a common framework for disclosure so that the public will be better able to compare privacy protections and policies among Canada’s major telecom companies.

The Rogers report (along with a similar report recently released by Telus) demonstrates a much-needed willingness to defend customer privacy in cases where the companies believe law enforcement has overreached.

Despite some emerging privacy friendly practices, however, there is still room for improvement. According to documents obtained under the Access to Information Act, during the development of the guidelines, many companies resisted recommendations from the privacy commissioner to include specific detail on warrants for subscriber information.

For example, Rogers noted that certain details would require significant system changes and it therefore urged that those details be made optional. Similarly, SaskTel argued that “customers are interested in the broader question of disclosure rather than minute detail.” Multinational companies such as Google and Microsoft emphasized the need for Canadian guidelines to be consistent with global standards given that those companies release data for dozens of countries.

While current reports would benefit from more fulsome disclosure, astonishingly, some companies have yet to release any transparency reports. The list of transparency holdouts include Bell, Canada’s largest telecom company.

The problem lies with the non-binding approach to transparency disclosures. After an industry-wide meeting organized by the privacy commissioner held in April 2015, Rogers noted that “it was indicated at this meeting that any guidelines adopted would fall short of regulation, but would regarded as more substantive than voluntary guidelines.” Yet if the non-regulatory approach does not work, it falls to the federal privacy commissioner to take action.

Canadian privacy law requires all organizations to be accountable for the personal information they collect, use, and disclose. Given the standardization of transparency reporting, there is a strong argument that non-disclosure represents a failure to meet the accountability requirements found in the law.

Even with the potential for enforcement action against transparency holdouts, another major shortcoming will remain: the government and law enforcement agencies themselves. The documents indicate that the privacy commissioner recognized the need for those agencies to participate in the transparency process so that Canadians could also learn about requests for their information from those doing the requesting.

However, the government agencies rejected the request. Public Safety Canada, speaking on behalf of other departments, indicated that transparency was important but that it was not prepared to join the discussion at that time. Interestingly, Rogers appeared prepared to accept a mandatory reporting requirement, but only if a similar obligation was placed on requesting bodies, such as law enforcement.

That position opens the door to fixing the current weakness in the transparency reporting system. Telecom reporting consistent with the guidelines should be made mandatory and given the Liberal government’s commitment to openness and transparency, it should be ready to add disclosure of government requests for personal information to the list of transparency reforms.

Michael Geist holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law. He can be reached at or online at

The post Telecom Transparency Reporting Guidelines Need Clarity appeared first on Michael Geist.

All Content: Of Men and War


Making its national premiere on PBS tonight after first playing the Cannes Film Festival in 2014, "Of Men and War" provides a different perspective of PTSD than we often see from American stories about war. Directed by Laurent Bécue-Renard, who dedicates the film to the WWI experiences of his grandfathers, "Of Men and War" is not the type of Iraq soldier film one may expect. It does present intricate experiences of PTSD, but does so with distance. 

Our entry point to their lives is their trauma, the way they share their own stories behind sunglasses and brand name clothing, or how we simply listen to them in a quiet conference room with a few fellow Iraq veterans. They're introduced without names or a background about their homelands or specific operations; we know more about how they got to veteran home Pathway more than anything else. These men are then bonded by their traumatic experiences with death—causing it or witnessing it. Their body language is as revealing, as those listening sit, stunned. 

Bécue-Rernard goes for an ultimate realism when collecting these stories, his camera just one of many gazes in the room during these scenes. His framing is not claustrophobic, and any discomfort the soldiers may have in sharing their stories doesn't seem to come from the idea that they're being filmed. Poignantly, when the sessions end, the veterans get up and walk out, gaze staying inside the conference room. We very rarely hear what they talk about on their smoke breaks. 

Through the subject matter of their monologues and various footage from them in the outside world, a few common thematic threads emerge. Family is one key entity, in how these veterans deal with their PTSD while at home resuming as normal a life as possible, one man completely silent while his girlfriend tries to keep him mentally present, talking about a new home and starting a family. With some of its lighter moments, "Of Men and War" keeps us in check on the highs and lows with its editing, as when footage of a wedding is followed up immediately with another veteran talking about killing himself. 

But though he strives for as natural a depiction of trauma as possible, Bécue-Renard can prove to have a slightly heavy hand with the smallest details, which can be too much for such a delicate topic. The editing often runs close to speaking for its subjects, like when reaction shots of veterans reacting to minor stresses (screaming babies, Christmas carol music stopping) end abruptly. Even the music feels wildly out of place, with swirling woodwinds seemingly pulled out of a 1960s Georges Delerue score.  

Fascinated to a limit by the image of trauma, the movie lacks a full vision. Even in the third act, when arcs start to be fortified regarding the veterans' past, present and future, the emotional effect is cold. By withholding information for so long and generalizing them as recurring faces in a room, its different representations of trauma are mixed together in one stew, even though we're talking about extremely specific, life-changing experiences. Bécue-Renard brings his own brutality to the topic, one that isn't needed in a movie about PTSD, by putting us at odds with feeling his subjects' pain, or only studying it. 

Computer Science: Theory and Application: Starting my Thesis soon and I am looking for material in the field of AI and Music

Hello reddit,

I am entering my second year of my master studies in the coming months and I am a Artificial Intelligence focused Computer Science major. I have picked to do a thesis, and I have an extensive musical background which I would like to try and include in my research. I also have a second degree in mathematics, although I'd rather do a study within the field of AI with music, rather than AI and mathematics.

I am mainly trying to see if anyone knew where I might be able to start looking. I am aware there is work being done in this field, however little it is. I'm kind of just googling random subjects trying to get a hit. I figured it might be a shot in the dark, but if anyone is able to provide me with more information on any studies in these two fields or papers which I might benefit to look through, I'd gladly give them a read. I'd like to have my topic chosen by the end of this summer so that I may spend two semesters working on the thesis as opposed to just one.

Thanks again reddit for any and all responses!

submitted by /u/ryuhphino
[link] [comments]

Penny Arcade: News Post: On Demand

Tycho: Flatev is like a Keurig, but instead of squeezing out an opaque, coffee-adjacent ichor, it microbakes tiny corn disks.  That’s sort of the form factor, now: tools for living, contained within deployable ammunition. In this case, you know, Tortilla Bullets.  Maybe not just tortillas always, though.  Maybe other things our species desperately needs. I spent most of the weekend testing out an interesting PC configuration for VR, which really means I fucked around for hours and hours, but that’s neither here nor there: the main things I determined were that I love…

Penny Arcade: Comic: On Demand

New Comic: On Demand

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal: Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Come back to my place

Hovertext: Somehow, I feel like this comic says something deep about my generation.

New comic!
Today's News:

Daniel Lemire's blog: Enough with the bogus medical studies!

Every week, we hear about how eating such and such food gives cancer, or how working out can save you from a heart attack. If you have been reading these studies with attention and changing your life to follow their recommendations… you have been wasting your time and you have possibly harmed yourself.

Feynman famously described a common phenomenon which he called cargo-cult science. True science is a fantastic tool that has taken us, in a couple of centuries, from superstitious fools to a highly advanced civilization. Almost all major advances in the last two centuries can be linked with science. So people want to appear to be doing good science… but they are much less concerned about actually doing good science, when they even know what it is.

What is science? As Feynman wrote, it is the belief in the ignorance of experts. It is the idea that our intuition, our good sense… are not enough to tackle the world. We need objective measures. We often need mathematics. We often need hard logic. We need repeatable experiments capable of falsifying theories.

We need these things because we are easily fooled. Science acts as some sort of “software update” for the brain. You train your brain to rely on objective, verifiable facts, and hard logic… instead of impressions.

One of the core ideas behind science is that authority-based arguments should be rejected. So if Professor X from Harvard University or MIT says something… it is not scientific to believe her because she is from Harvard, or because she is a professor. It is similarly unscientific to believe something because it has appeared in a prestigious journal. It is not even scientific to believe something because of a “consensus”. (Hint: there was a widespread consensus that the aeroplane was “impossible” before the Wright brothers came along.)

Let me take this further. Believing something because impressive people say it must be so is the illustration of pre-scientific thought. And this means that every time you hear that a study by impressive people proved something new, you should doubt… you should doubt automatically, without even thinking.

How do we determine what is true? That’s one of the core lessons of the scientific revolution: it is much harder than you might expect. We are feeble creatures that very easily fall prey to bogus arguments. We must relentlessly seek incontrovertible evidence. There is no shortcut.

The real question is not how to make your mind about what is true… that is easy, your brain will eagerly accept many things as true given a chance. The hard part is to keep on doubting. We are just not wired for constant doubt, we are “believers”.

Many people do not really understand what science is… and this includes fully trained “scientists” who receive government research grants and train other scientists. What they do understand, however, is how to speak and act like a scientist. It looks like science, but it does not give the same result. That’s what Feynman calls cargo-cult science.

When it comes to medicine, we invest a lot of money in medical research. Several times more than any other type of research. Secondly, lots of real people can end up suffering needlessly if the research is wrong.

Is medical research wrong? Yes. But that’s not the most tragic part. The real problem is that much of it is pure cargo-cult science. And well funded at that. Cargo-cult science does not merely lead to the wrong ideas… it actively sets us back.

What are the problems?

  • Most work is based on observational studies

    Just watching and taking notes is not science. It is valid scholarship, as long as you report it as such. But it gets reported as “science” instead which is misleading.

    There is nothing wrong with historians who tell us that Vikings once traveled to North America. It is interesting. It is scholarship. But it is not science. It is an observation.

    Don’t get me wrong. Scholarship is precious. We know, for example, that women live longer than men. Cataloging such facts can help us… but it is not science. Our ancestors knew exactly where the stars were. They knew a lot about the seasons. Their high priests observed, cataloged… but they did not know about science.

    When you hear that exercise has been shown to reduce your risk of cancer… that’s (usually) a flat out lie. What actually happens is that scientists take a group of people. Then they ask them whether they exercise. Then they ask whether they have cancer. And then they run the statistics. “Oh! See, the people who say they exercise also less often say that they have cancer.” So far so good, but you have merely observed, you have not done any science. You have done nothing that is above what scholars routinely did in the pre-scientific era.

    All you can show with observational studies is an observation. Nothing else. It can be a lot, but it is not science.

    It could be that when Joe complains about his knee, it rains. That does not show that complaining about one’s knee brings the rain. Nor does it show that the rain brings pain to one’s knee. It is an observation, not science.

  • Small effects are greatly exagerated

    Even when scientists actually do science… they do not use the proper tools to avoid being fooled or fooling others. In fact, they often appear to seek to fool us.

    Suppose that you are treating patients for cancer. The average survival rate is 9 months. All patients die within 3 years. You give them some pill and the survival rate increases to 10 months, but all patients still die within 3 years. It is progress, but a small progress. If the pill costs 100k$ and makes you twist in pain for 3 weeks, maybe it is no progress at all.

    However, it is not how most studies will present it. They will choose a short window. Say a year. Maybe 60% of all patients die within a year. However, with the extra month offered by the pill, only 40% of all patients die within the year. Then the study will conclude that the survival rate has been increased by 50%. I kid you not.

  • They report selective effects

    Without even looking at the numbers, I can tell you that people with high-risk occupations have a lower cancer mortality. Why? Because they die younger. So, there you go… I got a cancer prevention technique: choose a high-risk occupation. Of course, this reasoning is silly. But that’s often how medical studies are presented.

  • So how to keep cancer free? You will hear things like “eating well, exercise, keeping your weight low, eating broccoli, avoiding red meat, getting tested repeatedly”. But if you actually look at the numbers, mostly, there are two factors that have an effect worth noticing on your risk of having cancer: your age and whether you smoke. Your risk of having cancer grows up exponentially with age. If eating bacon increases your cancer risk, it is by a tiny amount. What about early diagnostic? Again, a nice idea, but, in general, it is a waste of time to get regularly tested for cancer. You won’t live an extra day.

    What about heart attacks? Age and gender are basically the things you need to watch, assuming you are not smoking. Again, your risk grows up exponentially with age. Also, men are three times more likely to have a heart attack than women. Why? We don’t know. Smoking is often considered like a really bad habit. It is true that it doubles your risk of cardiovascular diseases. However, aging from 40 to 90 multiplies your risk of cardiovascular diseases by 100.

    So, how do you stay healthy? By staying young. Sadly, we don’t know how to do prevent aging. Yet.

    Demonizing hamburgers is a dangerous distraction.

    Note: I am not a medical professional. Consult your doctor if you have questions. While you are at it, ask her if she knows about cargo-cult science.

All Content: Roger's Favorites: Werner Herzog


We will continue to highlight filmmakers and actors that Roger championed throughout his career. Click here for a full table of contents for our "Roger's Favorites" entries. Below is an entry on filmmaker Werner Herzog, who will be honored at the Guggenheim Symposium at the AFI DOCS film festival in Washington D.C. on Friday, June 24th. Herzog will also be offering an online master class in filmmaking this summer (click here for more info).

In a blog post written in 2008, Roger acknowledged how his site contained a great deal of articles about the revered German filmmaker, Werner Herzog. “In my mind there can never be too much,” he admitted. “He and a few other directors keep the movies vibrating for me. Not every movie needs to vibrate, but unless a few do, the thrill is gone.” Roger often included Herzog’s 1972 classic, “Aguirre, the Wrath of God,” on his list of the ten greatest films ever made. In his original four-star review of the film, Roger hailed Herzog as “the most austere of the new German directors, the one most concerned with characters trapped at the extremes of alienation and madness.” He dubbed it “an obsessive film, about obsession” in which “Herzog finds images to make the river journey an almost physical reality for us.” When Roger started his Great Movies series, “Aguirre” was one of the first titles he inducted, calling it “one of the great haunting visions of the cinema.” In 2010, Roger viewed the film one shot at a time with Herzog and Ramin Bahrani at the Conference of World Affairs in Boulder, Colorado. The experience was so profound, it caused Roger to ponder whether he had really ever seen the film at all.

Of course, “Aguirre” is just one highlight in a career that is loaded with them. In his Great Movies essay on Herzog’s 1974 picture, “The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser,” Roger explored the filmmaker’s ability to “find extraordinary individuals who embody the qualities” that he wants to evoke. Rather than depending on acting in the conventional sense, Herzog “is most content when he finds an actor who embodies the essence of a character, and he studies that essence with a fascinated intensity.” His Great Movies essay on “Heart of Glass” (1976) is particularly chilling, as the film causes Roger to reflect on the seemingly dire fate of our planet. “Some images are complete without translation into words,” Roger wrote. “‘Heart of Glass’ strikes me as a film of such images. From it I get a feeling that evokes my gloom as I see a world sinking into self-destruction, and feel I am lucky to be old because there may not be another lifetime's length of happiness left for most people on this planet. For most of my time here there was still rose-colored glass.” One continuously senses that Herzog’s work had a spiritual impact on Roger as well as an intellectual one. 

Another of Roger’s favorite Herzog films, “Stroszek” (1977), received a Great Movies essay as well, in which the critic called it “one of the oddest films ever made.” He recalls a story from the film’s DVD commentary in which Herzog ended up personally shooting the picture’s infamous footage of a dancing chicken, since his crew members refused to film it themselves. “The chicken is a ‘great metaphor,’ he says—for what, he's not sure,” Roger wrote. “My theory: A force we cannot comprehend puts some money in the slot, and we dance until the money runs out.” Roger also greatly admired Herzog’s approach to adapting the iconic story of “Nosferatu the Vampyre” in 1979. He considered it “the most evocative series of images centered around the idea of the vampire that I have ever seen” since F.W. Murnau's “Nosferatu” (1922). “English permits ‘vampire movies’—but a ‘nosferatu movie?’” Roger wrote in his four-star review. “Say ‘vampire’ and your lips must grin. The other word looks like sucking lemons. Perfect. There is nothing pleasant about Herzog's vampire.” In his Great Movies essay on “Nosferatu,” Roger affirmed that the film couldn’t be confined to the horror genre. “It is about dread itself, and how easily the unwary can fall into evil,” Roger wrote.

At the Telluride Film Festival in 1981, Roger was immensely disturbed by footage from a documentary-in-progress directed by Les Blank about the latest film from Herzog, which looked like a “suicide mission.” The film was to be called “Fitzcarraldo.” “If Herzog survives and ‘Fitzcarraldo’ is finished, the production will be one of the most extraordinary achievements in the history of movies—regardless of the quality of the film,” Roger predicted. Sure enough, when the film was released the following year, Roger awarded it four stars, declaring it “a movie in the great tradition of grandiose cinematic visions.” Though he admitted that “Fitzcarraldo” was flawed and meandering, it still was a film he “wouldn’t have missed for the world.” He expanded on these thoughts in his Great Movies essay on the film, in which he called it “imperfect but transcendent. This story could not have been filmed on this location in this way and been perfect without being less of a film.” For the record, Roger also gave Blank’s 1982 documentary, “Burden of Dreams,” four stars as well, hailing it “one of the most remarkable documentaries ever made about the making of a movie.”

One of the most intriguing aspects about Herzog’s work is how his documentaries often appear to be more staged than his narrative features. In his three-star review of the documentary, “Where the Green Ants Dream” (1984), Roger discussed the strangeness of how nothing in the movie was “based on anthropological fact. The beliefs, customs, and behavior of the Aborigines, for example, are not inspired by research into their actual lives—but are a fiction, made up by Herzog for his screenplay.” He also reflected on Herzog’s belief in the “‘voodoo of locations,’ in the possibility that if he shoots a movie in the right place and at the right time, the reality of the location itself will seep into the film and make it more real.” This was certainly true of “Fitzcarraldo,” and in a 1984 interview with Herzog, Roger told the director, “I keep thinking that someday I will have to write your obituary. […] You seem to seek out danger almost deliberately.” Herzog replied, “I am not seeking danger. I am just seeking my stories.”

Herzog’s curious approach to documentaries was analyzed even further in Roger’s three-and-a-half-star review of “Little Dieter Needs to Fly” (1998). “Herzog sees his mission as a filmmaker not to turn himself into a recording machine, but to be a collaborator,” Roger wrote. “He does not simply stand and watch, but arranges and adjusts and subtly enhances, so that the film takes the materials of Dengler's adventure and fashions it into a new thing. […] It takes art to transform someone else's experience into our own.” During an interview at Telluride that same year, Herzog said, “The weakness of cinema verite documentaries is that they can never go any deeper. They can only reach the surface of what constitutes truth in cinema. Deeper truth can only be found in poetry, because then you start to fabricate. The world is simply there. It is what men find in it and bring to it that is truth. I am in search of the fathomless.” At the beginning of the article, Roger observed that “there is no such thing as a casual conversation with Werner Herzog. When I run into him at a film festival my heart quickens, because I know I am going to be told amazing things, all delivered with the intense air that we are sharing occult knowledge.”

Even when Roger wasn’t over the moon about a particular Herzog film, he always found elements in them that were worth cherishing. In his three-star review of the documentary “My Best Fiend” (2000), Roger said the film “suffers a little by not having footage to cover more of Herzog's sharpest memories,” yet “as a meditation by a director on an actor, it is unique.” Roger gave the same star rating to “The White Diamond” (2005), which he said earned “its place among the other treasures and curiosities in Herzog's work.” And for 2010’s “My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done,” Roger wrote one of his most gleeful three-star reviews, calling it “a splendid example of a movie not on autopilot. I bore my readers by complaining about how bored I am by formula movies that recycle the same moronic elements. Now here is a film where Udo Kier's eyeglasses are snatched from his pocket by an ostrich, has them yanked from the ostrich's throat by a farmhand, gets them back all covered with ostrich mucus, and tells the ostrich, ‘Don't you do that again!’”

When Roger loved a Herzog film, he felt compelled to share it with the world. At the 2004 installment of Ebertfest (then called Roger’s Overlooked Film Festival), Roger invited Herzog for a screening of his 2002 drama, “Invincible,” and a lightly edited transcript of their marvelous onstage conversation is available to read here. “There are countless movies about preludes to the Holocaust, but I can't think of one this innocent, direct and unblinking,” Roger wrote in his four-star review of “Invincible.” “[It] was a singular experience for me, because it reminded me of the fundamental power that the cinema had for us when we were children. The film exercises the power that fable has for the believing. Herzog has gotten outside the constraints and conventions of ordinary narrative, and addresses us where our credulity keeps its secrets.” Roger also loved Herzog’s 2005 documentary, “Grizzly Man,” which he said was “unlike any nature documentary I've seen.” The film centered on Timothy Treadwell, a bear enthusiast who ironically did not tread well (or smartly) among his favorite species. “I have a certain admiration for [Treadwell’s] courage, recklessness, idealism, whatever you want to call it, but here is a man who managed to get himself and his girlfriend eaten, and you know what? He deserves Werner Herzog,” wrote Roger in his four-star review.

When Herzog remade his own documentary, “Little Dieter Needs to Fly,” as a narrative drama, “Rescue Dawn,” in 2007, Roger was struck by how the film was “perhaps the most believable that Herzog has made. For a director who gravitates toward the extremes of human behavior, this film involves extreme behavior, yes, but behavior forced by the circumstances.” Roger gave the film the same star rating he bestowed upon “Little Dieter” (three-and-a-half), and admired how “Herzog makes no attempt to pump this story up into a thrilling adventure. There is nothing thrilling about dysentery, starvation, insect bites and despair.” When Roger discovered that Herzog had dedicated his latest documentary, “Encounters at the End of the World,” to him upon its debut at the 2007 Toronto Film Festival, the critic wrote Herzog a letter that beautifully encapsulated what the filmmaker had meant to him over the years. Herzog, Roger wrote, is “a man whose life and career have embodied a vision of the cinema that challenges moviegoers to ask themselves questions not only about films but about lives. About their lives, and the lives of the people in your films, and your own life.” When the film was released the following year, Roger gave it four stars, and said that it was clear how much the director loved his human subjects in the film, since they, like Herzog, “have gone to such lengths to escape the mundane and test the limits of the extraordinary.”

In one of their last conversations, Herzog told Roger about his unslakable curiosity regarding the human condition. “As you would understand the very nature of physical matter by putting it under extreme temperature, pressure, or radiation, similarly human beings would reveal their nature under extreme conditions,” Herzog said. “The Greeks have a proverbial saying I always liked: ‘A captain only shows during a storm.’” A year after their chat, Herzog made one of his funniest movies, “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans” (2009), which earned four stars from Roger. He declared that Herzog and his star, Nicolas Cage, were “born to work together” since they are “both made restless by caution.” To Roger, the film was “not about plot, but about seasoning. Like New Orleans cuisine, it finds that you can put almost anything in a pot if you add the right spices and peppers and simmer it long enough.” When Herzog experimented with 3-D in his next documentary, “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” (2011), Roger noted in his three-and-a-half-star review how the director used “3-D as a way for us to enter the film's space, instead of a way for it to enter ours.” Later that year, Herzog released the last film Roger would review before his death in 2013. It was “Into the Abyss,” a film about a man on Death Row, and Roger wrote in his four-star review that it “may be the saddest film Werner Herzog has ever made.” The last line of Roger’s review would end up being quoted in the film’s trailer: “In some of his films [Herzog] freely shares his philosophy and insights. In this film, he simply looks. He always seems to know where to look.”

Better Embedded System SW: Top 5 Embedded Software Problem Areas

Several times a year I fly or drive (or webex) to visit an embedded system design team and give them some feedback on their embedded software. I've done this perhaps 175 times so far (and counting). Every project is different and I ask different questions every time. But the following are the top five areas I've found that need attention in the past few years.  "(Blog)" pointers will send you to my previous blog postings on these topics.

How does your project look through the lens of these questions?

(1) How is your code complexity?
  • Is all your code in a single .c file (single huge main.c)?
    • If so, you should break it up into more bite-sized .c and .h files (Blog)
  • Do you have subroutines more than a printed page or so long (more than 50-100 lines of code)?
    • If so, you should improve modularity. (Blog)
  • Do you have "if" statements nested more than 2 or 3 deep?
    • If so, in embedded systems much of the time you should be using a state machine design approach instead of a flow chart (or no chart) design approach. (Book Chapter 13). Or perhaps you need to untangle your exception handling. (Blog)
    • If you have very high cyclomatic complexity you're pretty much guaranteed to have bugs that you won't find in unit test nor peer review. (Blog)
  • Did you follow an appropriate style guideline and use a static analysis tool?
    • Your code should compile with zero warnings for an appropriate warning set. Consider using the MISRA C rule set (Blog) and a good static analysis tool. (Blog)
  • Do you limit variable scope aggressively, or is your code full of global variables?
    • You should have essentially zero global variables. (Blog)  
    • It's not that hard to get rid of globals if you look at things the right way. (Blog)

(2) How do you know your real time code will meet its deadlines?
  • Did you set up your watchdog timer properly to detect timing problems and task death?
    • The watchdog has to detect the death or hang of each and every task in the system to provide a reasonable level of protection. (Blog)
    • How long to set the watchdog is a little trickier than you might think. (Blog)
  • Do you know the worst case execution time and deadline for all your time-sensitive tasks?
    • Just because the system works sometimes in testing doesn't mean it will work all the time in the field, whether the failure is due to a timing fault or other problems. (Blog)
  • Did you do scheduling math for your system, such as main loop scheduling?
    • You need to actually do the scheduling analysis. (Blog ; Blog)
    • Less than 100% CPU usage does not mean you'll meet deadlines unless you can verify you meet some special conditions, and probably you don't meet those conditions if you didn't know what they were. (Blog
  • Did you consider worst case blocking time (interrupts disabled and/or longest non-context-switched task situation)?
    • If you have one long-running task that ties up the CPU only once per day, then you'll miss deadlines when it runs once per day.  But perhaps you get lucky on timing most days and don't notice this in testing. (Blog)
    • Did you follow good practices for interrupts?
      • Interrupts should be short -- really short. (Blog) So short you aren't tempted to re-enable interrupts in them. (Blog)
      • There are rules for good interrupts -- follow them! (Blog)
    (3) How do you know your software quality is good enough?
    • What's your unit test coverage?
      • If you haven't exercised, say, 95% of your code in unit test, you're waiting to find those bugs until later, when it's more expensive to find them. (Blog) (There is an assumption that the remaining 5% are exception cases that should "never" happen, but it's even better to exercise them too.)
      • In general, you should have coverage metrics and traceability for all your testing to make sure you are actually getting what you want out of testing. (Blog)
    • What's your peer review coverage?
      • Peer review finds half the defects for 10% of the project cost. (Blog)  But only if you do the reviews! (Blog)
    • Are your peer reviews finding at least 50% of your defects?
      • If you're finding more than 50% of your defects in test instead of peer review, then your peer reviews are broken. It's as simple as that. (Blog)
      • Here's a peer review checklist to get you started. (Blog)
    • Does your testing include software specific aspects?
      • A product-level test plan is pretty much sure to miss some potentially big software bugs that will come back to bite you in the field. You need a software-specific test plan as well. (Blog)
    • How do you know you are actually following essential design practices, such as protecting shared variables to avoid concurrency bugs?
      • Are you actually checking your code against style guidelines using peer review and static analysis tools? (Blog)
      • Do your style guidelines include not just cosmetics, but also technical practices such as disabling task switching or using a mutex when accessing a shared variable? (Blog) Or avoiding stack overflow? (Blog)

    (4) Is your software process methodical and rigorous enough?
    • Do you have a picture showing the steps in your software and problem fix process?
      • If it's just in your head then probably every developer has a different mental picture and you're not all following the same process. (Book Chapter 2)
    • Are there gaps in the process that are causing you pain or leading to problems?
      • Very often technical defects trace back to cutting corners in the development process or skipping review/test steps.
      • Skipping peer reviews and unit test in the hopes that product testing catches all the problems is a dangerous game. In the end cutting corners on development process takes at least as long and tends to ship with higher defect rates.
    • Are you doing a real usability analysis instead of just having your engineers wing it?
      • Engineers are a poor proxy for users. Take human usability seriously. (BlogBook Chapter 15)
    • Do you have configuration management, version control, bug tracking, and other basic software development practices in place?
      • You'd think we would not have to ask. But we find that we do.
      • Do you prioritize bugs based on value to project rather than severity of symptoms? (Blog)
    • Is your test to development effort ratio appropriate? Usually you should have twice as many hours on test+reviews than creating the design and implementation
      • Time and again when we poll companies doing a reasonable job on embedded software of decent quality we find the following ratios.  One tester for every developer (1:1 head count ratio).  Two test/review hours (including unit test and peer review) for every development hour (2:1 effort ratio). The companies that go light on test/review usually pay for it with poor code quality. (Blog)
    • Do you have the right amount of paperwork (neither too heavy nor too light)
      • Yes, you need to have some paper even if you're doing Agile. (Blog) It's like having ballast in a ship. Too little and you capsize. Too much and you sink. (Probably you have too little unless you work on military/aerospace projects.)  And you need the right paper, not just paper for paper's sake.  (Book Chapters 3-4)

    (5) What about dependability aspects?
    • Have you considered maintenance issues, such as patch deployment?
      • If your product is not disposable, what happens when you need to update the firmware?
    • Have you done stress testing and other evaluation of robustness?
      • If you sell a lot of units they will see things in the field you never imagined and will (you hope) run without rebooting for years in many cases. What's your plan for testing that? (Blog)
      • Don't forget specialty issues such as EEPROM wearout (Blog), time/date management (Blog), and error detection code selection (Blog).
    • Do your requirements and design address safety and security?
      • Maybe safety (Blog) and security (Blog) don't matter for you, but that's increasingly unlikely. (Blog)
      • Probably if this is the first time you've dealt with safety and security you should either consult an internal expert or get external help. Some critical aspects for safety and security take some experience to understand and get right, such as avoiding security pittfalls (Blog) and eliminating single points of failure. (Blog)
      • And while we're at it, you do have written, complete, and measurable requirements for everything, don't you?  (Book Chapters 5-9)
    For another take on these types of issues, see my presentation on Top 43 embedded software risk areas (Blog). There is more to shipping a great embedded system than answering all the above questions. (Blog) And I'm sure everyone has their own list of things they like to look for that can be added. But, if you struggle with the above topics, then getting everything else right isn't going to be enough.

    Finally, the point of my book is to explain how to detect and resolve the most common issues I see in design reviews. You can find more details in the book on most of these topics beyond the blog postings. But the above list and links to many of the blog postings I've made since releasing the book should get you started.

    Electronics-Lab: Elektor GREEN Membership @ 50% OFF – exclusive for Elab visitors


    Elektor is more than a magazine, it is a community of active electronic engineers eager to learn, make, design and share surprising electronics. If you would like to join this community by purchasing a yearly membership you may consider this exclusive offer. Elektor, offers 50% discount on yearly membership on all visitors. To benefit from the offer just enter E-LAB16 code on this form. The offer is valid for Elektor GREEN Membership and costs US $37.50 (€34.00 / £24.48) for a year.

    What you get: 

    • 6 Editions of Elektor Magazine (132 pages each) in PDF format
    • Free access to all PDF editions of Elektor Business Magazine (approx. 6 per year)
    • Unrestricted access to the Elektor 2000 – present day archive (thousands of articles!)
    • Full access to over 750 Elektor Labs projects
    • A minimum of 10% discount on all products at

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    Enter coupon code E-LAB16 on this page and join the Elektor Community at a special low price!

    The post Elektor GREEN Membership @ 50% OFF – exclusive for Elab visitors appeared first on Electronics-Lab.

    Perlsphere: Perl 5 Porters Mailing List Summary: May 25th-29th

    Hey everyone,

    Following is the p5p (Perl 5 Porters) mailing list summary for the remainder of the past week. Enjoy!

    May 25th-29th

    News and updates

    Additional grant reports by Tony Cook. Over 35 total hours and approximately 14 tickets were reviewed or worked on, and 4 patches applied.

    Tony also published his entire April grant report. Over 71 total hours and approximately 40 tickets were reviewed, and 3 patches applied were applied.

    Dave Mitchell finished the work on Scope::Upper, making it pass all of its tests. Kent Fredric provided a tarball with all of Dave's patches, in order to test it.


    New issues

    Resolved issues


    The conversation around the possible deprecation of continues.

    The conversation around the usage of strcpy in locale.c continued.

    Vincent Pit notes on the conversation about a compile-time indirect method call check that the current implementation of the indirect pragma is not suitable for core. Abigail is not in favor of having it in core at all. Zefram hints at Sub::StrictDecl.

    Father Chrysostomos opened Perl #128242 to discuss the idea of providing aliasing on the right hand side of a my statement. There are many questions about this and there's even the possibility of introducing a new character for this new type of ability. I recommend reading comments by Zefram provided here and here.

    In Perl #128241 Father Chrysostomos suggests handling the situation of a regex with a variable that ends up to be empty: /$empty/. Because it is then equivalent to //, it will do something different than what usually is expected. The threads of conversation on the topic are here and here.

    Aristotle Pagaltzis agrees an unused POSIX symbol does not need a dedicated deprecation cycle since it isn't used anywhere in CPAN.

    Planet Haskell: Philip Wadler: Omar Barghouti banned by Israel for travelling for supporting BDS

    Omar Barghouti, a Palestinian living in Israel, has been denied the right to travel, for no reason other than that he is an effective supporter of BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions). Glenn Greenwald interviews him in The Intercept.
    Despite having lived in Israel for 22 years with no criminal record of any kind, Omar Barghouti (above) was this week denied the right to travel outside the country. As one of the pioneers of the increasingly powerful movement to impose boycotts, sanctions, and divestment measures (BDS) on Israel, Barghouti, an articulate, English-speaking activist, has frequently traveled around the world advocating his position. The Israeli government’s refusal to allow him to travel is obviously intended to suppress his speech and activism. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was one of the world leaders who traveled last year to Paris to participate in that city’s “free speech rally.” ...

    Sarah Leah Whitson of Human Rights Watch told the Electronic Intifada that “Israel’s refusal to renew Barghouti’s travel document appears to be an effort to punish him for exercising his right to engage in peaceful, political activism, using its arsenal of bureaucratic control over Palestinian lives.” She added: “Israel has used this sort of control to arbitrarily ban many Palestinians from traveling, as well as to ban international human rights monitors, journalists, and activists from entering Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.” ...

    Barghouti: Many people are realizing that Israel is a regime of occupation, settler colonialism, and apartheid and are therefore taking action to hold it to account to international law. Israel is realizing that companies are abandoning their projects in Israel that violate international law, pension funds are doing the same, major artists are refusing to play Tel Aviv, as Sun City was boycotted during apartheid South Africa. ...

    We live in a country where racism and racial incitement against indigenous Palestinians has grown tremendously into the Israeli mainstream. It has really become mainstream today to be very openly racist against Palestinians. Many settlers and hard-right-wing Israelis are taking matters into their own hands – completely supported by the state – and attacking Palestinians.

    s mazuk: Video

    programming: I programmed a computer vision application to solve algebra

    submitted by /u/einsteinoid
    [link] [comments] Comic for 2016.05.30

    New Cyanide and Happiness Comic

    Disquiet: What Sound Looks Like

    The chapel bell at Fort Ross, founded by Russians in 1812 safely between Mexican and British outposts on the coast of California north of Bodega Bay. It has a sweet tone, and you can almost see the thick, slow-moving waveforms as it fades to silence over time. But be on your guard while taking photographs, as some pre-adolescent may lean in and ring it like it’s an Olympic event just when your eardrum is most susceptible to intense pain.

    An ongoing series cross-posted from

    s mazuk: Photo

    Trivium: 29may2016

    Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal: Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Good Genes

    Hovertext: I just wish your sister would settle down one day and emit some self-replicating positronium assemblages.

    New comic!
    Today's News: Comic for 2016.05.29

    New Cyanide and Happiness Comic

    OUR VALUED CUSTOMERS: BIG madness. Coming soon...

    s mazuk: design-is-fine: “Silver Streak" electric iron, 1940. Pyrex...


    “Silver Streak" electric iron, 1940. Pyrex glass, steel, plastic, rubber. Via artsmia

    s mazuk: gingercatsneeze: 1. Ah Fai was a chief animator for...


    1. Ah Fai was a chief animator for McDull’s animated features. He’s super cool. Ultimate senpai. 

    2. Previous post on breakdowns right here 

    Some thoughts on acceleration and force

    I presented this in the order of how I slowly understood the trick of delivering force - first an abstract concept of impact taught by Ah Fai, then a more complicated discovery on the acceleration pattern, last back to a more abstract concept of breakdowns

    Like I’ve previously stressed, 2D animation is everything but one single approach. There’s no one rule that rules them all, but interchangeable ideas with math, or physics, or music, etc. There’s no “perfect” animation either, but what is perceived as organic and dynamic. E.g., using the Fibonacci numbers to animate didn’t bring me a perfect animation! On the other hand, a tiny change in the pattern could already make the feeling of force so much more powerful. 

    Not so much of a tutorial than a personal experience. I hope you find this interesting hahaha 

    Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal: Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Do Humans Have Feelings?

    Hovertext: This comic was posted in order to increase my social status, acquire wealth, and thus improve the reproductive fitness of my offspring.

    New comic!
    Today's News:

    All Content: Holy Hell


    "Holy Hell," a documentary by Will Allen, is an account of an American religious cult as told by a filmmaker who was right in the middle of it in the 80s, and whose skills were put in service of glorifying it. Much of it consists of video footage generated by Allen when he was a member of the Buddhafield, a homegrown religion led by a man named Michel. 

    Imagine you'd purchased a ticket to an evening with a filmmaker, during which he played some of the video footage he created during his time in a cult, and talked about the circumstances and about his overall experience. That's fine insofar as it goes—it might even be a fun (though perhaps slightly disturbing) night out—but it doesn't really add up to a compelling nonfiction feature, a format that requires some shape, a narrative spine, and a point beyond "here is this strange thing that happened to me once."

    Something seems off from the opening moments of the movie, which juxtapose images of Allen's stint as Buddhafield's house director with footage from his childhood as a precocious Steven Spielberg-wannabe, shooting low budget knockoffs of blockbusters like "Jaws" with a Super 8mm camera. (I wouldn't have minded seeing some of those films at length, honestly; they look utterly charming.) It feels a bit too much like a clip reel, advertising Allen as a filmmaker and a nice person. 

    He talks about coming of age as a gay man and how his mother failed to support him, and then suddenly we skip ahead and he's in the cult. We don't get much sense of how he ended up there, exactly—I mean the dramatic arc of it, the line you can trace from childhood to that moment. Nor are we given enough information and insight to understand what the cult is like on a day-to-day level—what its rules and beliefs are, what the experience of life is like there. Mostly we're looking at footage of people experiencing some sort of rapture in nature. It could be an evangelical Christian group where hands are laid on the body; it could be a bunch of post-hippies tripping somewhere; it's all rather fuzzy. So is Michel, though as the story unfolds we at least get a strong feeling of of how petty, vindictive and controlling he was. (Cult leaders aren't generally known as well-adjusted people.)

    Throughout, there's a frustrating sense that a potentially fascinating and unsettling experience has been glossed over. At times Allen seems to be protecting himself from harsh judgment; as Michel's chief PR architect and keeper of legend, executing his requests, he is complicit in some of his former leader's worst behavior, but we don't get a clear sense of why he keep saying yes to his demands, beyond the need to kowtow the leader's charisma. In a first-person documentary where the main character is the storyteller, we really need to get a sense of how every major life choice originates in the storyteller's psychology and personal experience.

    We are never really privy to the depth of remorse and shame Allen surely feels at having helped burnish the image of an obviously disturbed and very destructive man. At times, the movie seems to be turning away from its subject, as you might strategically turn away from a guest at a party that you would rather not talk to. This is curious. This film's very existence amounts to an apology and an explanation, or at the very least an inquest into the self. But that should've come across much more strongly, to the point where it was hard to look at the movie because it made us feel incredulity and embarrassment at the weirdest, darkest, most inexplicable parts of our own experience. "Holy Hell" should have dug a lot deeper and told its story with a lot more finesse. What happened? Maybe, after all these years, Allen was still too close to his subject? Comic for 2016.05.28

    New Cyanide and Happiness Comic

    Penny Arcade: News Post: Aftermarket

    Tycho: I have had tons of Star Wars ships for awhile, but nobody to play with really; they sit beautifully on the shelf, LIKE MY DREAMS.  Is that too much?  Is it the capitalization, or the twee sentiment?  In any case, X-Wing is a neat game with robust genes - so robust, in fact, that its systemic brood is multitudinous.  Star Trek: Attack Wing, for example, is the same bones, but virtuously and uniquely executed.  Dungeons And Dragons: Attack Wing I haven’t played, but incorporates ground combat; it might be unfair and superficial to include Plaid Hat’s Tail…

    Disquiet: What Sound Looks Like

    The spot in this paperback musical dictionary where the word “ambient” might appear.

    An ongoing series cross-posted from

    new shelton wet/dry: The mind, the music breathing from her face

    An Israeli start-up says it can take one look at a person’s face and realize character traits that are undetectable to the human eye. Faception said it’s already signed a contract with a homeland security agency to help identify terrorists. The company said its technology also can be used to identify everything from great poker players [...]

    Quiet Earth: Gambling Debt Turns Family Road Trip Upside Down in BOREALIS [Trailer]

    One of the highlights of last years VIFF was Sean Garrity's hybrid road trip/family dramedy Borealis. Jonas Chernick wrote the script and stars as Jonah, a gambling addicted father whose daughter Aurora (Joey King) is suffering from a condition which has led to her vision deteriorating.

    With only a short window of before his daughter goes completely blind, Jonah decides the time has come to take Aurora on a road trip to see the Northern Lights but his gambling problem? It's come to bite him in the ass. He owes $50K and Tubby (Kevin Pollak) and his sidekick Brick (Clé Bennett) are determined to collect. Whatever it takes.

    Garrity is a talented filmmaker and Chernick's script is a wonderful blend of comedy and drama peppered with great father/daughter moments that don [Continued ...]

    Perlsphere: Perlbuzz news roundup for 2016-05-27

    It’s been a while since has been up and running. Time for me empty the queue of the last two years of Twitter postings.

    These links are collected from the
    Perlbuzz Twitter feed.
    If you have suggestions for news bits, please mail me at

    Colossal: Minimalist Aquariums Filled With 3D Printed Flora by Designer Haruka Misawa


    All images via Haruka Misawa.

    Designer and founder of Misawa Design Institute, Haruka Misawa (previously), has designed a series of minimal aquariums titled “Waterscapes” that include 3D printed objects inspired by undersea plant life. These works mimic coral and other aquatic flora that small fish use as hiding places, yet are all manufactured digitally. The objects are ones that would normal topple or crumble because of their own weight, yet because of their underwater location are able to exist as buoyant additions to the aesthetically pleasing fish homes.

    Within the series Misawa has also designed bubbles of air within the aquariums that allow plants to thrive at the center of her creations. These meta environments appear like miniature fish bowls within larger aquariums, with plants floating at the top of the inner enclosures. These works were displayed recently in Taiwan in an exhibition titled “Waterscape” and you can see them in action in the video below. (via Design Milk)











    The Geomblog: The Man Who Knew Infinity

    I generally avoid movies about mathematicians, or mathematics.

    I didn't watch Beautiful Mind, or even the Imitation game. Often, popular depiction of mathematics and mathematicians runs as far away from the actual mathematics as possible, and concocts all kinds of strange stories to make a human-relatable tale.

    Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it defeats the point of talking about mathematics in the first place, by signalling it as something less interesting.

    So I was very worried about going to see The Man Who Knew Infinity, about Srinivas Ramanujan and his collaboration with G. H. Hardy. In addition to all of the above, watching movies about India in the time of the British Raj still sets my teeth on edge.

    To cut a long story short, I was happy to be proven completely wrong. TMWKI is a powerful and moving depiction of someone who actually deserves the title of genius. The movie focuses mostly on the time that Ramanujan spent at Cambridge during World War I working with Hardy. There are long conversations about the nature of intuition and proof that any mathematician will find exquisitely familar, and even an attempt to explain the partition function. The math on the boards is not hokey at all (I noticed that Manjul Bhargava was an advisor on the show).

    You get a sense of a real tussle between minds: even though the actual discussions of math were only hinted at, the way Hardy and Ramaujan (and Littlewood) interact is very realistic. The larger context of the war, the insular environment of Cambridge, and the overt racism of the British during that period are all signalled without being overbearing, and the focus remains on the almost mystical nature of Ramanujan's insights and the struggle of a lifelong atheist who finally discovers something to believe in.

    It took my breath away. Literally. Well done.

    All Content: The Do-Over


    Steven Brill’s “The Do-Over,” the latest in a multi-picture deal between Netflix and Adam Sandler, starts like a real movie. At first, there’s a sense that it’s something at least greater than the half-star abomination that was last year’s “The Ridiculous Six.” This feeling doesn’t last long. By the time this unfunny, sexist, homophobic, stupid movie has reached the hour point, any goodwill created by the set-up is long gone. At one point, I checked the time code on Netflix and saw that the movie had over forty minutes to go. I visibly winced.

    The set-up is OK (at least when compared to the increasing laziness of Sandler’s recent output). Sandler plays Max, a smooth-talking guy who runs into an old friend named Charlie (David Spade) at a reunion. Charlie’s life is a mess. His wife Nikki (Natasha Leggero) is sleeping around (with Sean Astin), his kids hate him, and he’s just generally miserable. Reuniting with Max turns him into a goofy teenager again, having fun and avoiding his depressing reality. When Max decides to fake their deaths so they can start over in Puerto Rico, Charlie doesn’t object for long. Of course, they can’t party it up in their new identities for long without the need for a convoluted Happy Madison plot, and that’s when armed men show up and they get involved with the widow (Paula Patton) of one of the men whose identities they stole. Narratively, it’s a film that gets markedly dumber with every passing minute.

    “The Do-Over” is the kind of film in which two essentially 50-year-old men (Spade is 52 and Sandler is 49) are riding around on a yacht when they spot a few bikini-clad ladies on another vessel. If you’re playing Sandler Mad Libs at home, you instantly know that Adam is going to ask the women to flash them. They oblige, but then ask Spade’s character to return the favor by dropping his trousers, after which they laugh at his dick. Sandler then shoots the women with a flare gun. And the cherry on this Bad Scene Sundae comes with the following in voiceover, “I couldn’t believe it. I was having the best time of my adult life.” It’s one of only about three times I laughed out loud while watching “The Do-Over,” but not for the reasons Sandler wanted.

    I use this example not just to point out the incredibly low level of humor in “The Do-Over,” but to note how structurally, tonally disastrous the whole thing is. Like that scene, almost every moment has multiple punchlines. Charlie and Max decide they have to get tattoos and piercings to match the dead guys. Charlie finds a stud, thinks it’s for his ear, and then learns it’s for his tongue. That’s the joke. Then we get a wide-eyed shot of it going in. Then we get the swollen tongue the next day. Then we get a scene of him eating a popsicle, unable to talk. Imagine a stand-up comedian who just piles on to one lame joke after another, repeating the punchline with a few words changed. The rhythm isn’t there. It feels desperate, almost as if the deal that Sandler worked out with Netflix required that he be paid by the minute. How else to explain the fact that this film is 108 minutes long? (And it feels twice as long as that.)

    There are really brief spots that work, most of them courtesy of the fearless Kathryn Hahn, who shows up as Max’s crazy ex. Hahn has the comic timing to make nearly anything work, even this disaster. I wish I could have followed her into a better movie. Although her arrival is right around when most people will realize how sexist this whole thing is. Almost every female character is there to be screwed or to screw the guys over. Or both. This is how Sandler’s brand has always portrayed their female characters, but it’s just increasingly depressing. When the climax of the film features a catfight set to Madonna’s “Crazy For You,” in slow motion, I shouldn’t be surprised, but that doesn’t make it any more forgivable.

    For years now, Adam Sandler has been making movies to bankroll his vacations. That’s why most of “Just Go With It” takes place in Hawaii. “Blended” actually shot in South Africa. Sandler gets his buddies together, finds a studio to pay for them all to take a vacation, and loosely “writes” a movie set in his chosen destination (screenwriting credit goes to Kevin Barnett and Chris Pappas). This time it was Puerto Rico, and Sandler puts in the same degree of effort as his disastrous theatrical “Vacation Comedies." You’d think by now that someone would figure this out. Maybe the studios did and that’s why Sandler ran to the remarkably open checkbook of Netflix. Maybe one day, they’ll read the script before they book the plane tickets. Or at least make sure he's got one.

    : Competition trouble

     photo C0B91405-5B83-48F6-9BB0-8C36D5E45169.jpg

    Many of you know that in Taiwan, they have tea competitions. The basic idea is that farmers would submit sample teas (ranging from 5 jin to 20 jin – one jin is 600g, depending on where, what, etc) for the competition. These got started by 1930 or so under Japanese rule. These days, some allow multiple entries while others only allow single entry per member of whatever association is holding that competition. The teas are judged anonymously, and then after multiple rounds of tastings a winner is declared with multiple winners of lower ranks underneath. Some teas are thrown out as not being good enough (and returned to the farmer). The teas that win a certain grade will then be packaged in sealed containers inside sealed boxes with dated labels, and then they would be returned to the farmers to sell.

    The whole thing was supposed to encourage farmers to up their game and create better teas, and top winner for the big competitions, like the Lugu Tea Farmers Association one, could fetch prices of over 30,000 NTD (about 1000 USD) per jin in that special packaging. Compared to a normal price or about 3-4,000 NTD a jin for a top grade Dong Ding tea, that’s a big upgrade. For those 20 jin of tea the farmer is making 10x the normal amount. It also helps his sales for other stuff. Farmers who win the top prize can get a big wooden plaque to commemorate the win, and they frequently hang these in their shop to showcase their abilities. Some have so many they just stack them on the side of room because they don’t have enough space to hang all of them.

    So this is all great right? Well, not so fast. There are troubles beneath the surface, some of which were topics of conversation between myself and some tea farmers/sellers that I have talked to in the last week I spent here in the middle part of Taiwan. The first is this: what you see is not really what you get. For example, when you see teas coming out of the competition for the Lugu Farmers Association, does it mean that all the tea came from Lugu? No, not at all. Many entries, if not most, use teas from higher elevation as the base for their entry. In fact, if you use local Lugu tea, you’re probably going to lose because the low elevation tea from Lugu simply don’t stand up to the much higher quality teas from higher areas. The thickness of the tea, the aroma, etc, are not up to normal judging standards. In other words, you can’t compete. So, when you end up with, say, Lugu Tea Farmers Association competition tea, know full well that the tea might be Dong Ding style (higher oxidation and roast) the base tea is probably not from the area.

    Then you have the silly part – many (though not all) competitions allow multiple entries. So what happens is that a farmer can enter the same tea multiple times. This has a cost – when you submit 21 jin of tea, they only give you back 20 jin + 200 grams. They take a bit of the extra as a bit of profit, plus whatever entry fee they charged. Today someone told me that he entered a competition with ten entries, all with the exact same tea. Why? Because you never know. With just one entry, if you got unlucky and the 3g sample they picked out from your bag isn’t so great for whatever random reason, then you will get kicked out in a flash. If you were unlucky and got lined up (randomly) between two really good entries, then your tea is going to look bad in comparison. For his ten entries, he said three got rejected and the rest, some scored higher and some scored lower. It’s all a crapshoot to a certain extent. The top prize is going to be excellent, the top few levels are going to be pretty good, but there’s still a fair amount of randomness in there.

    As a buyer, there’s definitely some value in these competitions – like I said, the quality of the tea that won a high level prize is going to be pretty good. You also need to pay through the roof for that – it’s going to be expensive, more than the normal stuff anyway. At the lower grades (three or two plum blossoms, for the Lugu competition) they are going to be comparably priced to the normal price for these teas. It’s a bit of an assurance, in some ways.

    At the same time though, there are problems. First of all, you don’t really know exactly what you’re getting – unless you happen to be with the guy who made the tea, you’re not going to get to sample it. So you’re buying blind, really. There’s also that price premium, which for a normal drinker is really not worth paying – you can usually get good quality tea for less money if you know what you’re doing. Of course, since all oolongs look similar, it’s quite hard to do in practice, especially when it’s through multiple layers of middlemen and repackaging. People buy competition tea partly for this assurance. Partly though, it’s also for gifting – when you gift someone a box of unopened competition tea you’re basically telling them exactly how much you paid for the tea, since the prices are set.

    There’s also the even more confusing competition for things like aged oolong. Here it’s really a crapshoot – you don’t even know what style of tea you’re getting. There are so many possible permutations – original roast level, age, area of origin, etc – none of which will be apparent to you (or anyone else, for that matter). It’s one thing to have aged competition tea from the past that are now old, it’s another to have a competition for aged tea. Unless you can sample from the source (that’s what the extra 200g is for) buying aged oolong competition tea is a fool’s errand.

    Quiet Earth: Trailer for Chris Sparling's Home Invasion Thriller MERCY

    [Editor's Note: Be sure to join us on Facebook for news and contests and even more discussion of awesome movies, books and TV!]

    Chris Sparling (Buried, ATM) returns with a new horror film called Mercy. The film, produced by XYZ Films (The Raid), was picked up by Netflix last year, which is awesome because that means we won't need to jump through hoops to find it when it finally comes out.

    Netflix's last major horror acquisition was another home invasion thriller, Hush which premiered on the streaming service last month.

    When four estranged brothers return home to say their last goodbye to their dying mother, Grace, hidden motivations reveal themselves. The family’s alr [Continued ...]

    OUR VALUED CUSTOMERS: Realizations...

    Colossal: Ingenious Hand Puppet Capable of Pointing, Grabbing, and Talking

    Puppet designer Barnaby Dixon spent the last 1.5 years developing this amazing little hand puppet that includes mechanisms traditionally found on a marionette. When operated using two hands the figure seems almost lifelike and is capable of pointing, grasping small objects, and even talking. In another video Dixon experiments with the puppet’s various dance moves. (via Neatorama)


    Quiet Earth: Listen: Mel Brooks Talks How SOLARBABIES Got Made

    Fans of 80's genre fare will certainly be familiar with the post-apocalyptic oddity, Solarbabies. But for the uninitiated there's a really good chance the Mel Brooks produced science fiction family film that blends the world of Mad Max, the sentimentality of E.T. and the sport of rollerblading together completely passed by unnoticed.

    Either way, this is a red letter day for all. In a recent episode of the "bad movie podcast" How Did this Get Made, the show dug deep into the film's many strange choices. Now, the gang behind the podcast have even pulled in Mel Brooks to talk more in depth about the project.

    You can hear that conversation below.

    From Blazing Saddles and Young Franken [Continued ...]

    Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal: Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - A Bug's Life

    Hovertext: As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself to be a REAL BOY!

    New comic!
    Today's News:

    Penny Arcade: Comic: Aftermarket

    New Comic: Aftermarket

    Perlsphere: YAPC Newsletter #8

    In this issue

    • Registration deadlines approaching

    • Keynote address: The Dark Art of Boatbuilding and Project Management -- A salty look at projects, people and customers

    • Sponsor Spotlight: cPanel

    Registration deadlines approaching

    • Book your room now! Conference rates are only available until June 1st! After June 1st rates return to the standard hotel rate with no guarantee of availability. Rooms are limited! Reserve yours today! And if you have trouble reserving this room, this news post may have some helpful tips for you.

    • YAPC::NA::2016 Conference passes are still only $250, until June 4th. After June 4th a Late Enrollment fee will also be assessed. Don’t hesitate! Get your passes today!

    Keynote Address: The Dark Art of Boatbuilding and Project Management -- A salty look at projects, people and customers.

    We are pleased to announce keynote speaker, Art Eaton. A Perl developer and Florida native with experiences growing up in a ship yard, Art has an entertaining and useful message for us all. Taken from the viewpoint that all efficient industrial processes are identical at their core, he examines the IT industry from a boat builder's perspective.

    This talk is all about running a successful, professional, and happy boatyard where people find value and comfort in their jobs, the quality of work is high, and customers know what they are getting for their money.

    ...sort of. Art will be applying business experience gained from his marine engineering, medical, military and IT backgrounds to present you with a sea story about project management with which people in all industries can identify.

    Sponsor Spotlight: cPanel

    The cPanel & WHM software package is an easy-to-use control panel that gives web hosts, and the website owners they serve, the ability to quickly and easily manage their servers and websites. Developed in Perl and working in the SCRUM development methodology, cPanel seeks highly motivated development team members in our Houston location. Visit for open positions.

    Want to sponsor YAPC?

    The best way to sponsor YAPC is through a sponsorship to The Perl Foundation. By sponsoring TPF, not only do you get recognition for your support of YAPC::NA, but you are also recognized as a sponsor of our regional Perl Workshops, our Outreach Program for Women, beginner training initiatives, and our grants programs for an entire year. It really is the way to get the most value for your sponsorship money. Find out more by visiting or by contacting .

    Disquiet: Uploaded: My Resonance FM Set

    Earlier this month I put together an hour-long set for the excellent Resonance arts broadcast network (aka That set has now been archived at by Fari Bradley, the Resonance presenter who invited me to do it. There are thorough details on what plays in the set in the initial post here. The music is, in order of appearance, by Vladimir Conch, Cullen Miller, Erika Nesse, Julsy, Marcus Fischer, Stabilo (Speaker Gain Teardrop), North Americans, Yasuo Akai, nystada, Bassling, William Boldenreck, Scanner Darkly, Toàn, and R Beny.

    Tea Masters: Spring 2016, the legend of Lishan Oolongs

    Da Yu Ling, former tea plantation
    Last year, I reported about the fact that the tea plantations on Da Yu Ling are returned to the government as their leases expire. The tea trees are uprooted and the death of Da Yu Ling can only mean that its legend will continue to live on in the memory of tea drinkers. Like for great painters/sculptors, it's with their death that prices really soar, because their production is now limited, finished, but the demand continues to grow with the mystic. And since it's possible to age great high mountain Oolong for 30 years, there will still be billionaires (and patient tea lovers) enjoying a spring 2015 Da Yu Ling Oolong in 2050! 
    Da Yu Ling, former tea plantation
    Each high mountain produces Oolong with a different character. Da Yu Ling's power and purity explain its appeal and reputation. While the power comes mainly from the altitude, the purity probably comes from the very fact that has led to Da Yu Ling's demise: growth on public land that wasn't intended for agriculture. Since the surroundings were protected forests, each plantation could grow its tea trees in very natural conditions.
    Da Yu Ling, 97K
    Lishan Oolong, spring 2016
    Lishan has a more typical development: lots of small parcels of plantation wherever possible, in order to take advantage of the considerable fame of the Lishan name. The better plantations are located outside the village, of course, at a slightly higher altitude and with better surroundings. This year, I have selected this Oolong from a 2400 meters high plantation, harvested on May 9th. For me, this was an experience of ultimate elegance.
    Lishan village
     Tsui Luan Oolong, spring 2016
    Things are pretty crowded near Lishan, but this is still not enough to provide all Taiwanese, Chinese (and a few Western) Gao Shan Cha lovers with tea. That's why nearby mountains that reach or approach the 2000 meters mark are often simply packaged and marketed as Lishan Oolong. This is the case with the Tsui Luan (翠巒) mountain. It reaches 2100 meters and is located very close by in a western direction. However, despite this proximity, these spring Tsui Luan leaves harvested on May 8th are very different. Very green. Their energy is much more similar to Da Yu Ling than to Lishan, IMO.

    Tsui Feng, spring 2016
    There's another mountain that is very popular and often lumped together with Lishan: Tsui Feng, 翠峰. It is located south of Lishan, on the other side of the He Huan Shan pass, near the Cing Jing farm. At 1900-2000 m, the elevation of Tsui Feng is a little bit lower than Tsui Luan, but it produces very similar sweetness than Lishan. This year, its chaqi is particularly powerful, even though it starts very slowly and unfolds over several minutes.

    Conclusion: The spring 2016 Lishan, Tsui Luan and Tsui Feng are 3 distinct top High Mountain Oolongs. Which one will be your favorite?

    s mazuk: oneterabyteofkilobyteage: original url...


    original url

    last modified 2000-06-14 18:10:21

    “nextel auction”

    OCaml Planet: OCamlCore Forge News: Odepack 0.6.7 released

    Improved error messages and documentation. Comic for 2016.05.27

    New Cyanide and Happiness Comic

    Ideas from CBC Radio (Highlights): Imprisoned by Profit: Media & Democracy - Palagummi Sainath

    A conversation with Saint Francis Xavier University's Coady Chair in Social Justice for 2015, along with excerpts from Palagummi Sainath's lecture, Media and Democracy.

    Computer Science: Theory and Application: CompSci Weekend SuperThread (May 27, 2016)

    /r/compsci strives to be the best online community for computer scientists. We moderate posts to keep things on topic.

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    LaForge's home page: Keynote at Black Duck Korea Open Source Conference

    I've been giving a keynote at the Black Duck Korea Open Source Conference yesterday, and I'd like to share some thoughts about it.

    In terms of the content, I spoke about the fact that the ultimate goal/wish/intent of free software projects is to receive contributions and for all of the individual and organizational users to join the collaborative development process. However, that's just the intent, and it's not legally required.

    Due to GPL enforcement work, a lot of attention has been created over the past ten years in the corporate legal departments on how to comply with FOSS license terms, particularly copyleft-style licenses like GPLv2 and GPLv3. However,

    License compliance ensures the absolute bare legal minimum on engaging with the Free Software community. While that is legally sufficient, the community actually wants to have all developers join the collaborative development process, where the resources for development are contributed and shared among all developers.

    So I think if we had more contribution and a more fair distribution of the work in developing and maintaining the related software, we would not have to worry so much about legal enforcement of licenses.

    However, in the absence of companies being good open source citizens, pulling out the legal baton is all we can do to at least require them to share their modifications at the time they ship their products. That code might not be mergeable, or it might be outdated, so it's value might be less than we would hope for, but it is a beginning.

    Now some people might be critical of me speaking at a Black Duck Korea event, where Black Duck is a company selling (expensive!) licenses to proprietary tools for license compliance. Thereby, speaking at such an event might be seen as an endorsement of Black Duck and/or proprietary software in general.

    Honestly, I don't think so. If you've ever seen a Black Duck Korea event, then you will notice there is no marketing or sales booth, and that there is no sales pitch on the conference agenda. Rather, you have speakers with hands-on experience in license compliance either from a community point of view, or from a corporate point of view, i.e. how companies are managing license compliance processes internally.

    Thus, the event is not a sales show for proprietary software, but an event that brings together various people genuinely interested in license compliance matters. The organizers very clearly understand that they have to keep that kind of separation. So it's actually more like a community event, sponsored by a commercial entity - and that in turn is true for most technology conferences.

    So I have no ethical problems with speaking at their event. People who know me, know that I don't like proprietary software at all for ethical reasons, and avoid it personally as far as possible. I certainly don't promote Black Ducks products. I promote license compliance.

    Let's look at it like this: If companies building products based on Free Software think they need software tools to help them with license compliance, and they don't want to develop such tools together in a collaborative Free Software project themselves, then that's their decision to take. To state using words of Rosa Luxemburg:

    Freedom is always the freedom of those who think different

    I may not like that others want to use proprietary software, but if they think it's good for them, it's their decision to take.

    Disquiet: Disquiet Junto Project 0230: Design I


    Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto group on and at, a new compositional challenge is set before the group’s members, who then have just over four days to upload a track in response to the assignment. Membership in the Junto is open: just join and participate. There’s no pressure to do every project. It’s weekly so that you know it’s there, every Thursday through Monday, when you have the time.

    Tracks will be added to this playlist for the duration of the project:

    This project was posted in the late afternoon, California time, on Thursday, May 26, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, May 30, 2016.

    These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at

    Disquiet Junto Project 0230: Design I
    Interpret a graphic score (never before performed or realized) from the mid-1970s.

    These are the steps for the project:

    Step 1: View the graphic score, by Glenn Sogge, at the following URL:

    Step 2: Record a piece of music that interprets the score as a work of musical notation.

    Step 3: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

    Step 4: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

    Background: The score was provided by Junto participant Glenn Sogge. Here’s a bit about his background: “I had finished my BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago a couple years before. I had begun my studies at Northwestern University before that. I studied with Frédéric Rzewski at SAIC and had taken a music & theater course with Berio at NU. The periodical Source was a major inspiration as were the compositions of Cage. Being the son of a sculptor and wood worker, I suppose the interconnections of the plastic arts (space, time, materials) have always been an influence. With a smattering of jazz in my history, improvisation was important so open ended scores that gave the performers room to explore were of special interest. This piece was probably done in the last year or so before I stopped composing for about 35 years (I got seduced by computers and programming among other things.) My son facilitated my reentry to the world of electronic music with a Minibrute last summer and I have been burnishing the bits like crazy since then.”

    Deadline: This project was posted in the late afternoon, California time, on Thursday, May 26, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, May 30, 2016.

    Length: The length is up to you, though between one and three minutes feels about right.

    Upload: Please when posting your track on SoundCloud, only upload one track for this project, and be sure to include a description of your process in planning, composing, and recording it. This description is an essential element of the communicative process inherent in the Disquiet Junto. Photos, video, and lists of equipment are always appreciated.

    Title/Tag: When adding your track to the Disquiet Junto group on, please in the title to your track include the term “disquiet0230.” Also use “disquiet0230” as a tag for your track.

    Download: It is preferable that your track is set as downloadable, and that it allows for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution).

    Linking: When posting the track, please be sure to include this information:

    More on this 230th weekly Disquiet Junto project — “Design I: Interpret a graphic score (never before performed or realized) from the mid-1970s” — at:

    The graphic score is by Glenn Sogge, more from whom at:

    More on the Disquiet Junto at:

    Join the Disquiet Junto at:

    Subscribe to project announcements here:

    Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:

    Planet Haskell: FP Complete: weigh: Measuring allocations in Haskell

    Work motivation

    While working for various clients that needed fast binary serialization, we had discovered that the binary and cereal packages are both inefficient and so we created the store package.

    In the high-frequency trading sector, we had to decode and encode a binary protocol into Haskell data structures for analysis. During this process it was made apparent to us that while we had been attentive to micro-benchmark with the venerable criterion package, we hadn't put a lot of work into ensuring that memory usage was well studied. Bringing down allocations (and thus work, and garbage collection) was key to achieving reasonable speed.

    Let's measure space

    In response, let's measure space more, in an automatic way.

    The currently available way to do this is by compiling with profiling enabled and adding call centers and then running our program with RTS options. For example, we write a program with an SCC call center, like this:

    main :: IO ()
    main = do
      let !_ = {-# SCC myfunction_10 #-} myfunction 10
      return ()

    Then compile with profiling enabled with -p and run with +RTS -P and we get an output like this:

    COST CENTRE       MODULE no. entries  ... bytes
    MAIN              MAIN   43  0        ... 760
     CAF:main1        Main   85  0        ... 0
      main            Main   86  1        ... 0
       myfunction_10  Main   87  1        ... 160

    (Information omitted with ... to save space.)

    That's great, exactly the kind of information we'd like to get. But we want it in a more concise, programmatic fashion. On a test suite level.

    Announcing weigh

    To serve this purpose, I've written the weigh package, which seeks to automate the measuring of memory usage of programs, in the same way that criterion does for timing of programs.

    It doesn't promise perfect measurement and comes with a grain of salt, but it's reproducible. Unlike timing, allocation is generally reliable provided you use something like stack to pin the GHC version and packages, so you can also make a test suite out of it.

    How it works

    There is a simple DSL, like hspec, for writing out your tests. It looks like this:

    import Weigh
    main =
      mainWith (do func "integers count 0" count 0
                   func "integers count 1" count 1
                   func "integers count 2" count 2
                   func "integers count 3" count 3
                   func "integers count 10" count 10
                   func "integers count 100" count 100)
      where count :: Integer -> ()
            count 0 = ()
            count a = count (a - 1)

    This example weighs the function count, which counts down to zero. We want to measure the bytes allocated to perform the action. The output is:

    Case                Bytes  GCs  Check
    integers count 0        0    0  OK
    integers count 1       32    0  OK
    integers count 2       64    0  OK
    integers count 3       96    0  OK
    integers count 10     320    0  OK
    integers count 100  3,200    0  OK

    Weee! We can now go around weighing everything! I encourage you to do that. Even Haskell newbies can make use of this to get a vague idea of how costly their code (or libraries they're using) is.

    Real-world use-case: store

    I wrote a few tests, while developing weigh, for the store package: encoding of lists, vectors and storable vectors. Here's the criterion result for encoding a regular Vector type:

    benchmarking encode/1kb normal (Vector Int32)/store
    time                 3.454 μs   (3.418 μs .. 3.484 μs)
    benchmarking encode/1kb normal (Vector Int32)/cereal
    time                 19.56 μs   (19.34 μs .. 19.79 μs)
    benchmarking encode/10kb normal (Vector Int32)/store
    time                 33.09 μs   (32.73 μs .. 33.57 μs)
    benchmarking encode/10kb normal (Vector Int32)/cereal
    time                 202.7 μs   (201.2 μs .. 204.6 μs)

    store is 6x faster than cereal at encoding Int32 vectors. Great! Our job is done, we've overcome previous limitations of binary encoding speed. Let's take a look at how heavy this process is. Weighing the program on 1 million and 10 million elements yields:

       1,000,000 Boxed Vector Int     Encode: Store      88,008,584     140  OK
       1,000,000 Boxed Vector Int     Encode: Cereal    600,238,200   1,118  OK
      10,000,000 Boxed Vector Int     Encode: Store     880,078,896   1,384  OK
      10,000,000 Boxed Vector Int     Encode: Cereal  6,002,099,680  11,168  OK

    store is 6.8x more memory efficient than cereal. Excellent. But is our job really finished? Take a look at those allocations. To simply allocate a vector of that size, it's:

       1,000,000 Boxed Vector Int     Allocate            8,007,936       1  OK
      10,000,000 Boxed Vector Int     Allocate           80,078,248       1  OK

    While store is more efficient than cereal, how are we allocating 11x the amount of space necessary? We looked into this in the codebase, it turned out more inlining was needed. After comprehensively applying the INLINE pragma to key methods and functions, the memory was brought down to:

       1,000,000 Boxed Vector Int     Allocate            8,007,936       1  OK
       1,000,000 Boxed Vector Int     Encode: Store      16,008,568       2  OK
       1,000,000 Boxed Vector Int     Encode: Cereal    600,238,200   1,118  OK
      10,000,000 Boxed Vector Int     Allocate           80,078,248       1  OK
      10,000,000 Boxed Vector Int     Encode: Store     160,078,880       2  OK
      10,000,000 Boxed Vector Int     Encode: Cereal  6,002,099,680  11,168  OK

    Now, store takes an additional 8MB to encode an 8MB vector, 80MB for an 80MB buffer. That's perfect 1:1 memory usage! Let's check out the new speed without these allocations:

    benchmarking encode/1kb normal (Vector Int32)/store
    time                 848.4 ns   (831.6 ns .. 868.6 ns)
    benchmarking encode/1kb normal (Vector Int32)/cereal
    time                 20.80 μs   (20.33 μs .. 21.20 μs)
    benchmarking encode/10kb normal (Vector Int32)/store
    time                 7.708 μs   (7.606 μs .. 7.822 μs)
    benchmarking encode/10kb normal (Vector Int32)/cereal
    time                 207.4 μs   (204.9 μs .. 210.3 μs)

    store is 4x faster than previously! store is also now 20x faster than cereal at encoding a vector of ints.

    Containers vs unordered-containers

    Another quick example, the Map structures from the two containers packages. Let's weigh how heavy fromList is on 1 million elements. For fun, the keys are randomly generated rather than ordered. We force the list completely ahead of time, because we just want to see the allocations by the library, not our input list.

    fromlists :: Weigh ()
    fromlists =
      do let !elems =
               force (zip (randoms (mkStdGen 0) :: [Int])
                          [1 :: Int .. 1000000])
         func "Data.Map.Strict.fromList     (1 million)" Data.Map.Strict.fromList elems
         func "Data.Map.Lazy.fromList       (1 million)" Data.Map.Lazy.fromList elems
         func "Data.IntMap.Strict.fromList  (1 million)" Data.IntMap.Strict.fromList elems
         func "Data.IntMap.Lazy.fromList    (1 million)" Data.IntMap.Lazy.fromList elems
         func "Data.HashMap.Strict.fromList (1 million)" Data.HashMap.Strict.fromList elems
         func "Data.HashMap.Lazy.fromList   (1 million)" Data.HashMap.Lazy.fromList elems

    We clearly see that IntMap from containers is about 1.3x more memory efficient than the generic Ord-based Map. However, HashMap wipes the floor with both of them (for Int, at least), using 6.3x less memory than Map and 4.8x less memory than IntMap:

    Data.Map.Strict.fromList     (1 million)  1,016,187,152  1,942  OK
    Data.Map.Lazy.fromList       (1 million)  1,016,187,152  1,942  OK
    Data.IntMap.Strict.fromList  (1 million)    776,852,648  1,489  OK
    Data.IntMap.Lazy.fromList    (1 million)    776,852,648  1,489  OK
    Data.HashMap.Strict.fromList (1 million)    161,155,384    314  OK
    Data.HashMap.Lazy.fromList   (1 million)    161,155,384    314  OK

    This is just a trivial few lines of code to generate this result, as you see above.


    But beware: it's not going to be obvious exactly where allocations are coming from in the computation (if you need to know that, use the profiler). It's better to consider a computation holistically: this is how much was allocated to produce this result.

    Analysis at finer granularity is likely to be guess-work (beyond even what's available in profiling). For the brave, let's study some examples of that.

    Interpreting the results: Integer

    Notice that in the table we generated, there is a rather odd increase of allocations:

    Case                Bytes  GCs  Check
    integers count 0        0    0  OK
    integers count 1       32    0  OK
    integers count 2       64    0  OK
    integers count 3       96    0  OK
    integers count 10     320    0  OK
    integers count 100  3,200    0  OK

    What's the explanation for those bytes in each iteration?

    Refreshing our memory: The space taken up by a "small" Integer is two machine words. On 64-bit that's 16 bytes. Integer is defined like this:

    data Integer
      = S# Int#                            -- small integers
      | J# Int# ByteArray#                 -- large integers

    For the rest, we'd expect only 16 bytes per iteration, but we're seeing more than that. Why? Let's look at the Core for count:

    Main.main48 = __integer 0
    Main.main41 = __integer 1
    Rec {
    Main.main_count [Occ=LoopBreaker] :: Integer -> ()
    [GblId, Arity=1, Str=DmdType <S,U>]
    Main.main_count =
      \ (ds_d4Am :: Integer) ->
        case eqInteger# ds_d4Am Main.main48 of wild_a4Fq { __DEFAULT ->
        case ghc-prim- @ Bool wild_a4Fq
        of _ [Occ=Dead] {
          False -> Main.main_count (minusInteger ds_d4Am Main.main41);
          True -> ghc-prim-
    end Rec }

    The eqInteger# function is a pretend-primop, which apparently combines with tagToEnum# and is optimized away at the code generation phase. This should lead to an unboxed comparison of something like Int#, which should not allocate. This leaves only the addition operation, which should allocate one new 16-byte Integer.

    So where are those additional 16 bytes from? The implementation of minusInteger for Integer types is actually implemented as x + -y:

    -- TODO
    -- | Subtract two 'Integer's from each other.
    minusInteger :: Integer -> Integer -> Integer
    minusInteger x y = inline plusInteger x (inline negateInteger y)

    This means we're allocating one more Integer. That explains the additional 16 bytes!

    There's a TODO there. I guess someone implemented negateInteger and plusInteger (which is non-trivial) and had enough.

    If we implement a second function count' that takes this into account,

    import Weigh
    main :: IO ()
    main =
      mainWith (do func "integers count 0" count 0
                   func "integers count 1" count 1
                   func "integers count 2" count 2
                   func "integers count 3" count 3
                   func "integers count' 0" count' 0
                   func "integers count' 1" count' 1
                   func "integers count' 2" count' 2
                   func "integers count' 3" count' 3)
      where count :: Integer -> ()
            count 0 = ()
            count a = count (a - 1)
            count' :: Integer -> ()
            count' 0 = ()
            count' a = count' (a + (-1))

    we get more reasonable allocations:

    Case                Bytes  GCs  Check
    integers count 0        0    0  OK
    integers count 1       32    0  OK
    integers count 2       64    0  OK
    integers count 3       96    0  OK
    integers count' 0       0    0  OK
    integers count' 1      16    0  OK
    integers count' 2      32    0  OK
    integers count' 3      48    0  OK

    It turns out that count' is 20% faster (from criterion benchmarks), but realistically, if speed matters, we'd be using Int, which is practically 1000x faster.

    What did we learn? Even something as simple as Integer subtraction doesn't behave as you would naively expect.

    Considering a different type: Int

    Comparatively, let's look at Int:

    import Weigh
    main =
      mainWith (do func "int count 0" count 0
                   func "int count 1" count 1
                   func "int count 10" count 10
                   func "int count 100" count 100)
      where count :: Int -> ()
            count 0 = ()
            count a = count (a - 1)

    The output is:

    Case                Bytes  GCs  Check
    ints count 1            0    0  OK
    ints count 10           0    0  OK
    ints count 1000000      0    0  OK

    It allocates zero bytes. Why? Let's take a look at the Core:

    Rec {
    Main.$wcount1 [InlPrag=[0], Occ=LoopBreaker]
      :: ghc-prim- -> ()
    [GblId, Arity=1, Caf=NoCafRefs, Str=DmdType <S,1*U>]
    Main.$wcount1 =
      \ (ww_s57C :: ghc-prim- ->
        case ww_s57C of ds_X4Gu {
          __DEFAULT ->
            Main.$wcount1 (ghc-prim- ds_X4Gu 1);
          0 -> ghc-prim-
    end Rec }

    It's clear that GHC is able to optimize this tight loop, and unbox the Int into an Int#, which can be put into a register rather than being allocated by the GHC runtime allocator to be freed later.

    The lesson is not to take for granted that everything has a 1:1 memory mapping at runtime with your source, and to take each case in context.

    Data structures

    Finally, from our contrived examples we can take a look at user-defined data types and observe some of the optimizations that GHC does for memory.

    Let's demonstrate that unpacking a data structure yields less memory. Here is a data type that contains an Int:

    data HasInt = HasInt !Int
      deriving (Generic)
    instance NFData HasInt

    Here are two identical data types which use HasInt, but the first simply uses HasInt, and the latter unpacks it.

    data HasPacked = HasPacked HasInt
      deriving (Generic)
    instance NFData HasPacked
    data HasUnpacked = HasUnpacked {-# UNPACK #-} !HasInt
      deriving (Generic)
    instance NFData HasUnpacked

    We can measure the difference by weighing them like this:

    -- | Weigh: packing vs no packing.
    packing :: Weigh ()
    packing =
      do func "\\x -> HasInt x" (\x -> HasInt x) 5
         func "\\x -> HasPacked (HasInt x)" (\x -> HasPacked (HasInt x)) 5
         func "\\x -> HasUnpacked (HasInt x)" (\x -> HasUnpacked (HasInt x)) 5

    The output is:

    \x -> HasInt x                      16    0  OK
    \x -> HasPacked (HasInt x)          32    0  OK
    \x -> HasUnpacked (HasInt x)        16    0  OK

    Voilà! Here we've demonstrated that:

    • HasInt x consists of the 8 byte header for the constructor, and 8 bytes for the Int.
    • HasPacked has 8 bytes for the constructor, 8 bytes for the first slot, then another 8 bytes for the HasInt constructor, finally 8 bytes for the Int itself.
    • HasUnpacked only allocates 8 bytes for the header, and 8 bytes for the Int.

    GHC did what we wanted!


    We've looked at:

    • What lead to this package.
    • Propose that we start measuring our functions more, especially libraries.
    • How to use this package.
    • Some of our use-cases at FP Complete.
    • Caveats.
    • Some contrived examples do not lead to obvious explanations.

    Now I encourage you to try it out!

    Quiet Earth: Award Winning LANDMINE GOES CLICK Hits DVD in May

    Terror Films recently announced it had acquired the North American DVD rights to the award winning thriller Landmine Goes Click, from director Levan Bakhia. The film, which was previously released on most major VOD platforms by Gravitas Ventures in November of 2015, has been met with positive reviews since its debut.

    On May 31st, Terror Films will begin its first phase of the DVD release with Family Video, currently the largest movie and game rental chain in the United States, boasting over 775 stores across 19 U.S. States and Canada.

    Landmine was an official selection at Shriekfest 2015, where it won the "Best Thriller Feature" Award. It also screened at the Telluride Horror Show, Fantasporto, Atlanta Underground Film Festival, Diabolique International Film Fe [Continued ...]

    new shelton wet/dry: The Committee to Protect Journalists / 2016-05-31T13:55:47