I finally visited StefanKrempl’s blog again, after an absence of probably two months or more. Reading the lastest news (English quotes, German commentary) reminded me of how communication continues to defy the mind. When I look at my own immediate surrounds, I feel awesome. When I learn about the world that I cannot see with my own eyes by reading the newspapers and blogs, the abyss of Realpolitik saddens me beyond words. The discrepancy between blessed joy in the company of loved ones, the satisfaction of creating and tinkering with your own hands, the despair when reading about all the injustice being perpetuated, and the revulsion at the capabilities of man – it just seems so much… Too much to really understand, to be one with it.
The world is too big to “grok” (Wikipedia:Grok). Nothing new there, I guess.
I guess it shows that I spent too much time reading the news today.
Wahre Hacker lassen sich vom Bildschirmrand eben nicht bremsen. Ich bin ganz baff, dass das so einfach sein soll. Kosmetikprodukte selber machen.
Und damit ich diese Links auch in Zukunft schneller finde: Kosmetik, Crème.
I find the details provided – including names and personal messages if you drill down – of the Wikimedia Fundraiser 2005 Q4 quite amazing.
DanielSchmidt schreibt über seine Ferien im Iran. Ich bin erst jetzt, beim Durcharbeiten meiner Mailbox auf Jahresanfang (wegen einem Hinweis von StefanBucher zum Thema ins neue Jahr mit leerer Inbox), mit dem Durchlesen seiner Notizen begonnen.
Das erinnert mich an meine eigenen fehlenden Notizen zu India 2005…
On 2005-12-25 we wanted to go and see The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005). It was sold out. The next Tuesday, we went again. Sold out. Today, Claudia felt like trying a third time, and I said that I did not. I was tired and feeling like those two failed attempts were like a sign.
Claudia convinced me to go anyway. I had to walk out after half the movie. I don’t like scary stuff.
I don’t recommend this movie at all.
I only walked out of two movies in my life. The other was Breaking the Waves (1996).
I think I’m going to give Rmail another try on Emacs. I’ll need MIME support and spam filtering, too.
sudo port install spamprobe
sudo port install fetchmail +ssl
Results in an error:
---> Fetching fetchmail
---> Verifying checksum(s) for fetchmail
---> Extracting fetchmail
---> Applying patches to fetchmail
Error: Target com.apple.patch returned: shell command "aclocal" returned error 1
Command output: aclocal: configure.in: 72: macro `AM_GNU_GETTEXT' not found in library
Some googling finds an email  describing how to fix it:
cd /opt/local/var/db/dports/sources/rsync.rsync.opendarwin.org_dpupdate_dports/mail/fetchmail/ sudo vi Portfile
Now replace the following line:
With this one:
system "aclocal -I /opt/local/share/aclocal"
Now it works.
For the moment, my .fetchmailrc file only contains the following:
defaults protocol pop3 mda "/usr/bin/procmail -d %T"
poll mail.thinkmo.de user "email@example.com" ssl
poll fencepost.gnu.org protocol apop fetchsizelimit 1
I needed to specify the MDA, because there is no service listening at the SMTP port. Therefore, fetchmail must deliver to procmail directly, and procmail will put the mails in my mail spool where Rmail will find them.
I use the fetchsizelimit 1 setting for fencepost because if I don’t, I get the following error:
fetchmail: cannot get a range of message sizes (1-4).
fetchmail: Klient/Server-Protokoll-Fehler beim Abholen von fencepost.gnu.org
fetchmail: Abfragestatus=4 (PROTOCOL)
The username and password are from my .netrc file. It turns out that Emacs’s netrc.el will only parse entries correctly if you put them all on one line:
machine mail.epfarms.org login alex password mu
machine mail.thinkmo.de login firstname.lastname@example.org password mu
machine fencepost.gnu.org login alex password mu
In my Emacs, I also reference my .netrc file:
(setq smtpmail-smtp-server "mail.epfarms.org"
How do I run fetchmail on a regular basis? Installing fetchmail also installed DarwinPortsStartup. That runs all executable scripts ending in .sh in /opt/local/etc/rc.d with the start parameter.
# start in daemon mode, poll every 15min
@reboot fetchmail -d 900
Integrate SpamProbe in .procmail:
SCORE=| /opt/local/bin/spamprobe train
| formail -I "X-SpamProbe: $SCORE"
Note the unusual path of the executable. You might have to change that.
All spam mail will end up in the SPAM mbox file, now.
Setup RmailSpamprobe in .emacs:
(autoload 'rmail-spamprobe-retrain-dwim "rmail-spamprobe" nil t)
(add-hook 'rmail-mode-hook (lambda ()
(define-key rmail-mode-map (kbd "$")
(define-key rmail-summary-mode-map (kbd "$")
This will bind the $ key to toggle spam/ham, retrain spamprobe, and deliver it again using procmail.
I also trained spamprobe on two of the ThunderBird folders I have: About 400 spam and 1880 from my archive of miscellaneous mails from 2005 – ie. no project-specific stuff.
For my MIME integration, I had to get the mimencode tool. It was not obvious where to get it. And there is no metamail in sight!
sudo port install mmencode
In the office without my MP3 collection, so I’m listing to Indie Pop Rocks on SomaFM.
Yesterday I checked in my
/ignore command for rcirc into Emacs CVS. I’m back in Emacs development!
Also submitted some patches for Rmail, the default mail reader in Emacs. I think I want to work on some interface issues. I really like Google’s “conversation” view, for example. And I prefer to code new user interfaces in Emacs than elsewhere!
I went to see Jarhead (2005) with a friend today. I liked it. Not too political. It certainly shows how crude soldiers are (no surprise), how crude drilling is, it reminds us of the bombing of the civilian fugitives by the allies (remember the fuel bombs that disperse fuel in the air and ignite it?). It also shows how you can go nuts without seeing any action, and it also shows how you can try and get a grip on it.
I recommend it.
I’m quite happy with my new mail setup: Fetchmail gets my mail and pipes it to Procmail (no local MDA). A procmail recipe pipes it through SpamProbe, and so it finally ends up in the folders RMAIL, SPAM (and LISTS for list administration). I read mail using Rmail in Emacs, and use rmail-spamprobe.el to correct mistakes SpamProbe is making. At the moment, there are some false positives (a few spam classified as non-spam every day), but I have high hopes. (More technical details at 2006-01-04 Software.)
I have RmailMime working, I wrote RmailConversationSummary, I use Gnus to connect to Gmane and read emacs-devel, don’t get a lot of email because I’m on no mailing lists anymore, no longer too involved in FreeSoftware activities… Mail life is back to good!
It looks cool.
TelePolis writes about the Bilmes/Stiglitz report The Economic Costs Of The Iraq War: An Appraisal Three Years After The Beginning Of The Conflict. 
Note that Wolfowitz is now head of the World Bank.
TelePolis also has an article about the current corruption scandal in the US, in English:
I rewrote my stylesheet to be “lighter”, after finishing the first four chapters of The Elements of Typographical Style by Robert Bringhurst. I’m using the StyleSheetTest page to figure things out…
Actually I’m still working on it.
Printing in Firefox is all messed up, but print preview from Safari works very well. The @media print directive is used to provide a different style when printing.
The RSS feed for this site is also styled.
Years ago, the CD player of my Denon D-G1MD broke down. I liked that little system because it had a MD player built-in, and at the time I really believed in Minidiscs. I felt the MP3 players were forcing me to waste even more time at the computer.
The replacement I bought was the Kenwood HM-DV7, which integrated DVD playback, but had a country code (in Switzerland these are not mandatory, so I was a fool for not buying it). Plus the technical gadget to simulate surround sound + subwoofer made for terrible sound quality when listening to music. And it had a lousy radio. I hated it. It ended up in the cellar. (You want it?)
I decided to replace the replacement system with a Sony DVP-NS590P. Code-free. It didn’t have an amplifier, so I hooked it up to the old Denon system. Since I wanted to listen to CDs with the system, I had to do that. It also meant that when I wanted to watch a movie, I had to either fiddle with the cables, or use the stereo. With both speakers to the right of the monitor, that spoilt half the stereo effects.
It also meant I had nowhere to hook up my Airport Base Station: When streaming music from my iBook, I had to fiddle with the cables again. I ended up not doing it.
All this time, I had my old, trusty other Denon D-F88 system in my bedroom: UPA-F88 amplifier, UTU-F88 tuner, UCD-F88 CD player, and UDR-F88 tape deck. It had good sound, worked, and was in good shape. And it had two free inputs: DVD/AUX and MD. I didn’t buy the MD component at the time – I bought that system before MD was my solution to timeshifting radio shows!
Anyway, I decided that I needed to shift the D-F88 into the living room so that I could hook up the Airport Base Station and possibly a portable MD or MP3 player. Being able to listen to CDs via that system, I could connect the Sony DVD player to the TV entirely.
Now I just needed a new system for the bedroom. It should be small, and simple. I rarely listen to music in the bedroom. Often it’s just radio anyway. I don’t need an integrated alarm clock. I used to use the D-F88 system as an alarm clock for years, but that was during my time at university.
I decided that a Tivoli Model One was stylish enough, small enough, and simple enough for me. It had one AUX jack for my MP3 player should I need it. No stereo required, and no CDs. Models two and three do that.
I like it.
CharlieStross‘s rant On the attention economy was a nice read. How spammers catch up, how spam filtering is an endless arms-race, where it is going to end, how advertisement and spam are just different points on the same slope, etc.
I also found an article on his site called “Inside the MIT Media Lab”:
Finally my mom got Skype installed, and we tried to chat, but the quality was horrible. Long delays, the sound failing half the time, sometimes our voices reduced to robot-speak…
Maybe if I get her to switch to AIM… (She wants me to install MSN Messenger 7.5) I had heard that AIM did not always work with iChat. But I found a German blog post saying that you need to install a patch for XP. And one of the comments said that the Windows XP box was hosed after that.  And GoogleTalk with voice only works on Windows. Argh.
Then again, I just realized that I was listening to InternetRadio. Ouch!
Interesting thought on John Walker’s page, where he talks about his Terranova project. If there was any intelligent life out there, they would already be here! Therefore, we must be the first… 
Strange how his pages seem full of the optimism of the generation that sent men to moon and dreamed of NASA and space conquest and all that. The next generation seems to be either money grubbers, or environmentalists. But nobody I know is interested in space exploration.
Maybe the universe is full of old civilizations, sulking on tiny planets, struggling with social and economic problems, looking up at the stars and waiting for that miracle-rescue team from outer space that will bring the cornucopia machines (universal replicators), the infinite power supplies, the instellar drives…
Worauf ich geantwortet habe:
Saw Nobody Knows (2004) some time ago. It was nice, but sad, and very long. Too long, actually.
TelePolis writes about the collateral damage done, eg. in Afghanistan.  The key question: Imagine the US would fire hellfire missiles from unmanned drones into German or French villages, suspecting terrorists to be there. Impossible?
Why is it possible in Pakistan, a so-called “ally”?
Anyway, 18 people killed, including 8 children and 4 women, they say.
I wonder how anybody could believe that doing so would improve US national security.
Today in the news:
One of the two systems needs reform, and I don’t think it’s Switzerland.
Life in Text Mode lists several command-line tools I did not know. This one I did not know: clacct (not that I’m going to start to do any accounting real soon now, since I’ve tried ledger and stopped using it again). There are also some that have counterparts in Emacs, therefore I do not need them (the calendar, the calculator, the todo-lists, the juke box). Anyway, all the pieces on one page. I should check my own SoftwareUsed on of these days.
I was planning on listing all the services I’d like to use one day for my own little three-person company, requiring no fancy IT infrastructure, and started collecting bookmarks and lists. A Life Online: living decentralised seems to be the current state of the art, so I’ll just link to them instead. And there’s stuff I didn’t know, too: Netvibes, NumSum, and Openomy.
Auf StefanBucher’s Blog habe ich gerade gesehen, dass es ein spontanes Treffen in Zürich gibt… 19:00 in der Reithalle.  Tja, da ich Montag eine Megasitzung habe, sollte ich ja zu normalen Zeiten fertig sein. Wenn ich alleine arbeite bleibe ich sehr oft bis neun oder später im Büro.
It still has rough edges, however, and we plan to include MIME into it. Right now, MIME is not included.
I found a link on John Walker’s blog When Islam Breaks Down to by Theodore Dalrymple. John Walker called it “one of the clearest statements of the inherent problems of Islam in adapting to modernity.”
Intrigued, I started reading. It was quite good at first. Then I started wondering. His description of the plight of girls and women in a conservative, patriarchial, and Muslim community is moving. But I found that some of his conclusions were not warranted by the arguments he put forth.
In the example above, what would be the girl’s greatest problem:
It seems to me that there is little cause to suspect her father’s religion to be the source of the problem.
Here’s another sort of jump he makes:
Here’s how I read it:
I’m not impressed.
There’s more crap about Christians and the Renaissance, ignoring the age of religious tolerance and scientific progress in moorish times.
There’s random association between the death penalty and religion, claims about Islam and “free inquiry”, etc.
I use BitlBee for instant messaging. Since voice chat didn’t work with my mother (using AIM and Skype on Windows), I can focus on text-only alternatives again. I’ve been using Bitlbee for ages. So long, in fact, that I don’t remember the passwords for half of my accounts anymore. Today I installed Adium – a multi-protocol client that uses the Gaim library and has a slick user interface on OSX.
See, I’m connected to five services:
But I remember only two passwords:
How do I hack my Bittlbee accounts file?
I can’t even change my ICQ password, because when I try to change it, I have to supply an Email address, and no matter which Email address I supply, it won’t work. AARGH!
I found a comment in the source file
crypting.c of BitlBee saying that you could compile an encode and a decode stand-alone binary! Hah! Ran a
make decode and noticed that there was an error during linking:
gcc crypting.c protocols/md5.c [...] crypting.c: In function `setpassnc': crypting.c:75: warning: implicit declaration of function `irc_usermsg' [...] ld: Undefined symbols: _irc_usermsg make: *** [encode] Error 1
Since I didn’t need the sources for anything else, I just deleted the offending line in the file and compiled it. And the result: It works!
It is scary to think that their command in chief is so incoherent as to appear demented.
S c a r y.
Started Kino, wanted to create a VCD for Claudia from one of her tapes. It seems that every single time I do this, something has changed. Maybe I should just have created a DVD instead of a VCD. Anyway, K3b required tools I did not have…
First I had to get VCDImager. It wouldn’t configure because I also need libcdio. Gah! Got libcdio 0.76, compiled, installed using
make install prefix=/usr/local/stow/libcdio. I had to
rm /usr/local/stow/libcdio/info/dir before I could
stow libcdio from my stow directory. (I added the only entry from that dir file to /usr/local/info/dir, of course.)
Problem not solved:
checking for libcdio >= 0.72... Package libcdio was not found in the pkg-config search path. Perhaps you should add the directory containing `libcdio.pc' to the PKG_CONFIG_PATH environment variable No package 'libcdio' found configure: error: Required libcdio library not found. Please get libcdio from http://www.gnu.org/software/libcdio/ and install it.
Grrrr! > ?
make install prefix=/usr/local/stow/libcdio for libcdio again and finding the following:
libtool: install: error: cannot install `libiso9660.la' to a directory not ending in /usr/local/lib
Ah… No stow for this sucker, eh?
Ok, will use a simple
And back to VCDImager. “No package ‘libcdio’ found”. Again!? That’s right. Use
make: Entering directory `/mnt/src/vcdimager-0.7.23/lib' if /bin/sh ../libtool --tag=CC --mode=compile gcc -DHAVE_CONFIG_H -I. -I. -I.. -I../include/ -I../lib/ -I/usr/local/include -g -O2 -Wall -Wchar-subscripts -Wmissing-prototypes -Wmissing-declarations -Wunused -Wpointer-arith -Wwrite-strings -Wnested-externs -Wno-sign-compare -MT info.lo -MD -MP -MF ".deps/info.Tpo" -c -o info.lo info.c; \ then mv -f ".deps/info.Tpo" ".deps/info.Plo"; else rm -f ".deps/info.Tpo"; exit 1; fi gcc -DHAVE_CONFIG_H -I. -I. -I.. -I../include/ -I../lib/ -I/usr/local/include -g -O2 -Wall -Wchar-subscripts -Wmissing-prototypes -Wmissing-declarations -Wunused -Wpointer-arith -Wwrite-strings -Wnested-externs -Wno-sign-compare -MT info.lo -MD -MP -MF .deps/info.Tpo -c info.c -fPIC -DPIC -o .libs/info.o In file included from info.c:28: info_private.h:33:23: cdio/cdio.h: No such file or directory info_private.h:34:21: cdio/ds.h: No such file or directory info_private.h:35:26: cdio/iso9660.h: No such file or directory In file included from info_private.h:36, from info.c:28: ../include/libvcd/types.h:24:24: cdio/types.h: No such file or directory In file included from info_private.h:36, from info.c:28: ../include/libvcd/types.h:62: error: syntax error before "lid_t" ...
A gazillion error messages follow.
WTF – where did the cdio directory disappear to? It turns out that the previous stow failure had left a symbolic link in /usr/local/include which did not get overwritten by the next install. The sadness.
I feel so tired.
Now the simple
make for VCDImager works,
make install prefix=/usr/local/stow/vcdimager works, a message tells me to run
libtool --finish /usr/local/lib, and it seems I’m set.
Of course I first forgot to rerun stow, which means that no binaries were on my PATH, and then I noticed another conflict for the dir file which I had to resolve.
At last, I could ask K3b to “Create New Video CD Project”.
Sad days. Even if you don’t read German, most of the links link to American newspapers, so if you follow them, you should get an interesting selection of articles.
Bla bla successfully dropped two precision-guided bombs against bla bla… Argh!
Hm, I wanted to collect some statistics via Google , but they’re only inviting people as their capacity grows. Damn.
I think the letter by Ali Abunimah, co-founder of the ElectronicIntifada, sums up the real problem:
Under these circumstances, Hamas would seem like the better alternative to me, too. Their religious fundamentalism may pose a problem later, but the current situation is a problem now.
We saw Good Night and Good Luck (2005) and Munich (2005). Both movies look at past events but their messages clearly apply to today’s situation: Both in the USA and in Israel. I liked both these movies and recommend them.
UriAvnery says about Munich:
ElectronicIntifada says about Munich:
I don’t really share these harsh criticism. The Palestinians killed are often shown as humane and likeable characters, and the naïve Mossad agents slowly realizing their errors and breaking seemed to stand for the whole Western world realizing the crime they have been supportive of all these years. Sure, the movie could have shown more humane aspects of the Palestinian side, but I don’t think that was the point. I didn’t see it as “Israelis are nice guys and Palestinians are dehumanized” – I saw it as “Palestinians are ordinary people and the Israelis are slowly loosing their mind”.
I can’t vote, because I’m not Swiss. But Claudia doesn’t care about politics, so I can propose something to her, which she then may or may not accept. I like the SmartVote website. There, candidates can answer questions about political issues, and citizens can do the same. The system then produces the list of candidates that seem to match your preferences best. Awesome. This is what it suggested for “Kreis 10”, and therefore the vote we’ll cast for the city council:
For the community council, I got a mix between Alternative List, Greens, and Socialist Party. I took the Alternative List, and replaced all but four names on the list according to the smartvote.ch report:
Eventhough I knew practically none of the candidates, I feel that at least I did not take an uninformed decision. At least my gut feeling we right in that I believed that AL and Grüne (Greens) were the parties that best represented my views, with the Socialists being close but too far to the center.
In Switzerland, the left is not left enough!
Not really about a book I read, but about books in general: Tim O’Reilly writes about a Microsoft ad showing a developer at his desk, with three O’Reilly books on the shelf behind him. It seems that Microsoft edited the image in order to remove the title image and change the book title of the O’Reilly books. 
I wonder why they did that. Afraid of too obvious copyright infringements?
From their press release:
I’ve long claimed that the Hamas (and other Islamic radical groups) are the only real alternative in Arabic countries, because they seem to be less corrupt, and they actually help people. Real help for real people. You can’t beat that, in a dictatorship or in an occupied territory, sliced and diced into little Bantustans. That these radicals take advantage of this head start and offer the kind of education they see fit to the young is just another testimony to the failing states that offer neither social services nor education to the needy. Since the governments from Syria to Morocco show no sign of reform, there’s little need for radical Islamists to change their course of action.
TelePolis writes about Hamas’ victory in Palestine.  I’m not surprised. Let’s hope they have learnt their lessons in the last few years and realized that people are mostly interested in fighting corruption, effective police, just courts, good education, and peace. They want their country back, but they don’t want rocket launchers and terrorists in charge of their government.
If Hamas manages to aggressively defend the rights of Palestinians, while actually building a working infrastructure, then I wish them the best of luck. The governments and NGOs threatening the new government with sanctions if it includes Hamas are ill advised: They helped a corrupt Palestinian government, overlooked all of Israel’s dirty tricks, and now they want to sabotage the democratically elected government?
As Uri Avnery said, “Israel must negotiate with whatever Palestinian leadership is elected by the Palestinian people. As in every conflict throughout history, one does not elect the leadership of the opponent - first, because the opponent will not accept this, and, just as importantly, because an agreement made with such a leadership will not hold.” (Mit Hamas reden!, To Talk With Hamas).
The ElectronicIntifada also wrote an article explaining the Hamas victory.  Essentially, they say that it is not “merely about the oft-cited social welfare network it oversees.” (Which is basically what I claimed.) Fortunately, Toufic Haddad explains and offers two additional arguments:
Based on this, Toufic Haddad concludes: “In fact, it is precisely through the consolidation of these first two criteria that Hamas’ social welfare networks become transformed from mere charity networks, into instruments for political mobilization. Hamas’ victory also exemplified that it is first and foremost the responsibility of the political party to serve its people and not the other way around.”
I agree with this analysis. Toufic Haddad also shares my point of view that the existing alternatives failed to provide any realistic suggestion for a solution to the problem: “At the same time, it must be noted that Hamas’ victory is equally as much a failure for the Palestinian Left, and other secular forces to articulate and organize an attractive alternative.”
Tonight I spend some time at the Bar Rossi a few dozen meters away from where I live. Flury’s Fury & Friends played a funky jazz that I enjoyed a lot -- Sergio Beresovsky (dr), Michael Flury (tr), Flo Götte (b).
At least the USA and Iran find themselves sharing some common grounds: They don’t want to grant consultative status to lesbian and gay groups at the Non-Governmental Organization Committee of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), according to HumanRightsWatch:
HumanRightsWatch comments on Guantánamo:
Ein Posting von StefanBucher hat mich wieder zu Frage geführt, ob es in der Schweiz eine Impressumspflicht gibt. In Deutschland gibt es Impressumspflicht, und deswegen hatte ich damals meine About Seite ausgebaut. Und JakobNielsen hatte ja vor einiger Zeit gesagt, dass eine fehlende “Über und” Seite ein häufiger Designfehler sei.
Die Situation in der Schweiz ist etwas anders: Es gibt ein Merkblatt vom Verband Schweizer Presse in dem steht, dass Medienunternehmen auf Anfrage hin ihren Sitz und den Publikationsverantwortlichen bekannt geben müssen. Zeitungen und Zeitschriften haben weiterhin eine Impressumspflicht. Also bleibt die Frage, ob ein Blog ein Medienunternehmen ist: “Medienunternehmen sind Unternehmen, deren Zweck die Veröffentlichung von Mitteilungen namentlich Radio- und Fernsehveranstalter sowie Zeitungs- und Zeitschriftenverlage.” Ich denke nicht.
It seems that the culture flatrate in France is being actively discussed, but that the law is being postponed… There’s still hope, however!
Heise meint hierzu:
Eine entsprechende Regelung über eine Abgabe auf Speichermedien gibt es in der Schweiz:
Was noch fehlt, ist die explizite Erlaubnis, das Kopieren auch via P2P Netzwerke zu erlauben. Denn “Privatkopie” meint meistens die Kopie für den Eigengebrauch oder den engen privaten Kreis, aber nicht das anbieten (“verbreiten”) auf P2P Netzwerken. Man darf also selber kopieren, aber man darf das Kopieren anderen aber nicht leicht machen. Skurril.
Define external redirect: rcirc Gnus rmail-spamprobe.el RockyDd bkhl RmailSpamprobe RmailConversationSummary RecentChangesCamp McBride BrianPalmer enberg JohnSullivan AlexanderPohoyda LesOrchard SeedWiki emacs-devel BitlBee JakobNielsen PierreGaston EmacsChannel HenrikEnberg rcircManual ERC EmacsW32 KathySierra RmailMime Rmail