Posts Tagged ‘patents’

2012w38

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

Patent / Copyright madness

Automated copyright enforcement really seems to work well… NOT!

And Apple is up to no good as usual…

Patent trolls trolling around, but it would seem not without a fight :)

Oh, and if you were thinking of setting up a service which required a login, and you thought you’d protect people’s accounts well, then that might be patented…

Programming

Through this reddit thread (referencing it both for source and because the comments in there are relevant) I was lead to this post sometime this week or last.

And this weekend, while doing the weekly write-up, I re-read the post, and started thinking, because I kindof feel that my own hobby projects very easily fall victim to this. They get shot down because I start thinking of how much stuff I would have to rewrite (things I’ve already solved in previous projects, but never put down the time to make generic enough to reuse) or figure out, and it just takes my edge off wanting to sit down and do it.

But then it struck me, what help me get reinvigorated, what helps me come over at least that hurdle: A moderately quiet place, time enough for a conversation, a good (programmer) friend, and optionally a beer.

Broken gets fixed. Shoddy lasts forever — I wonder, does this mean that, if something is shoddy and you want it fixed, the correct action is to break it? ;)

git

I found myself wanting a way to have a central repository react to pushes based on what branch was pushed (I am working on a script at work, which some of my colleagues are beta-testing for me).

Whilst I develop a new feature I need a way to push that potentially buggy version of the script to a path where the testers can find it, while using a completely different path for the stable version which everyone else could use without any big risk of it messing anything up.

What I ended up with was this:

#!/bin/sh

read _from _to _branchPath
_branch=`basename $_branchPath`

if [ "$_branch" == "develop" ];
then
    cd /path/to/local/repository/on/server
    unset GIT_DIR
    git pull
    git checkout develop
    cp -f ./scriptname /path/to/beta/test/directory/
fi

Two questions on Stack Overflow helped me out tremendously: This and this (and as always, pesa was a big help too)

And since I agree with this post (namely that vimdiff would be a great diff viewer for git) I went ahead and followed the instructions of that post :)

vim

Using vimwiki to track time sounds brilliant. It’s almost enticing enough for me to look into vimscripting to help out. Yet another project I’d like to spend time on :S

Being that paranoid soul I am, and now that I can also call myself a tester, I realize I’ve become even more aware of how many different entry points there are which needs to secured, such as vim’s modelines (protip: use secure modelines

From this post I learnt about license-loader, which I need to look into.

awk

I found this post to be an excellent intro to awk, I am going to spread this around whenever I need to show anyone the basics :)

Misc

This post about 52Hz made me kindof sad :/

On the other hand, this post filled me with some hope.

I think it could be beneficial if this site was more widely distributed, so here’s me doing my part.

Finally, this post was pretty cool, and I immediately thought of at least two people I know who would get a kick out of reading this. :)

:wq

2012w29

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012
Copyright

So apparently just looking at an (web)article of a newspaper (or any web page containing copyrighted content) could mean you are infringing on that publishers copyright… do newspapers actually want to commit that kind of suicide?

I couldn’t decide whether to put this post under “Copyright” or “Censorship” since it involves the MAFIAA using the DMCA to silence things… in this particular case, it would seem, their members own marketing campaigns… With friends like the MAFIAA, who need enemies? :)

Patents

Portable electronic device, method, and graphical user interface for displaying electronic lists and documents now, how could this not apply to every type smartphone, pad, dumb-phone or, for that matter, laptop, in existence? How can such a patent even be granted?

Censorship

Censored by copyright for protesting being censored by copyright, somehow I don’t think that this was how laws were intended to be used when humanity first came up with the concept of rule of law…

Who would have thought that filtering the net may affect more than the specific group targeted by the filter? That’s impossible right?

Surveillance

Facebook is being creepy as hell as usual.

Apparently, Microsoft’s SkyDrive comes with some strings attached

Society

The European Commission intends to make open access all research findings funded by Horizon 2020. This is nice :)
Dunno if EC or UK was first, but UK is thinking along the same lines.

On the other side of the spectrum, i.e. not so nice, if things really are as dire as President Obama would have people believe, wouldn’t the responsible thing to do then, be to secure the infrastructure the hell up, instead of passing laws which any would-be imaginary-or-real terrorist would ignore?

I mean, one of the most idiotic plots in “24” was that nuclear power plants could be remote controlled over the internet. Or in Die Hard 4, that with a couple of taps on a keyboard, the bad guy could redirect a whole bunch of gas to go to the same place at the same time, building pressure, making big badaboom…

Now, if the infrastructure in fact support doing this, remotely, then those who put that in the specification, and those who produced it, and those who installed it, should all be found and tried for dangerously criminal negligence.

Of course, if the end game is to hollow out personal privacy and spy on your own citizens, then it would be better to nibble away on their rights through more new and ineffective laws, which can always be extended later when proven (through a real enemy, someone just being curious, or a false flag operation) not to work.

Justice Department sues telco for daring to challenge its secret demands for private information.

Activism

Targeting Shell with a fake PR campaign. I wonder how long it will be until lobbyists have bought an amendment to some law labeling this sort of activism as terrorism…

Join the Internet Defense League and make sure the internet never loses. Ever. Or, put another way, Rescue the lolcats from the evil clutches of the internet hate league!

Services

Blooie lets you chat online with people who like what you like I am just a tad bit sceptical about this one…

On the one hand, getting in touch with people who like what I like, Free Software, Programming, vim, etc. etc. Great! Buuuuut, how is this not willfully and intentionally putting yourself inside a filter bubble, and only exposing yourself for the types of opinions you yourself already hold? If two people say the same thing, isn’t one of them redundant? I remain a little unconvinced.

Command line

At work this week I needed to get a file from server1 to server3, and the only connection between the two was through an intermediary server, server2. Oh yeah, the only way to communicate between the servers where ssh. Sure, a three step approach was possible (scp file server2: ; ssh server2; scp file server3: ) but the file on server1 could get updated at times, which would mean yet another upload, so a simpler process was needed, a shell script with something along the lines of this:

cat $file | ssh user@server2 "ssh user@server3 \"cat > $file\""

Thanks go to pesa for coming up with the solution.

Programs

TMSU is a program which allows you to tag your files, and then perform queries on the tags, filtering out all files not tagged according to the queried constraints. Neat!

ownCloud is getting more interesting with every passing day.

I never really thought about the fact that you could do lots of things with locate such as adding flags, or configuring directories or files to disregard.

I found an expect-like utility named empty. Funnily enough I found it by checking out the examples of the Zenity fork: Yad.

Cuttlefish: Execute actions when specific events are triggered.

I am also currently trying out this vim statusline.

Throught this question I learnt about fold.

Development

Really nice ELI5 article about how flood fill works, using Zombies and Cats, and Python.

Reading this post and seeing the example resume I agree that what catmoon ponders about would be pretty cool.

Of course, the program should know what skills I have, and only select the relevant out of that set, based on the skills extracted from the job listings. At least that’s how I’d design it, as there is no good reason to lie about what you know and don’t know.

And now I finally grasp how two create quines!

When you screw up, and commit sensitive data to a git repository, this seems like a rather good way to handle it.
Oh and of course, if that sensitive data was a password, CONSIDER THE PASSWORD COMPROMISED AND CHANGE IT!

I had heard about the “Rosetta Code” before, but never got around to checking it out until this weekend, which is when I found this rather intriguing piece of Perl code.

I have to admit to being rather impressed about what one can do with html/css/javascript and some javascript libraries these days.

And although very cool, I still have yet to find a personal use for PhantomJS :/

Text books used in education should be written like this.

Other news

RasPies can now be ordered in bulk.

Here’s to the misfits.

Dunno what it’s good for, but it is pretty.

Stochastic, nerdtastic restaurant bill splitting.

Astronomy Picture of the Day har a pretty sweet image this week.

:wq

2012w21

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

Since I always try to end things on a positive note, let’s start with the… hrmmm, “less positive” things first:

Before reading this thread please note that patents on trajectories probably DIDN’T kill this satellite, but come on… patentable trajectories?

UK police will start, or already has started, copying the contents of detained suspects’ cellphones, and will be keeping those contents regardless of if any charges are ever pressed…

With that out of the way, let’s check out these really cool things I found:

Eldy seems to be a nice project aimed at making computers more suitable for elderly. And it even has a tarball for installation on GNU/Linux :)

sipml5: The world’s first HTML5 SIP client.

If you have a dataset with subjective ratings, and some known preferences, could you use that to discover other brands of scotch you might enjoy?

Start sending dates the correct way, i.e. ISO8601.

MomentJS seems to be the JS library to handle all your datetime needs.

This was a pretty cool idea: 3D QR codes only accessible at certain times of day

Perhaps this should be spread around more to decrease the risk of misunderstandings?

And finally some programming-“related” things:

Programmers are optimists: This can be read as a quip about the deficiency in programmers with always overestimating their abilities and underestimating the problem, but the last lines paint the post in a somewhat different light ;)

Funny quotes about programming languages :D

:wq

2012w11

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

This week has been filled with all sorts of fun and challenging stuff.

For one, I used Wireshark to (successfully) diagnose a problem for the first time :D

The problem was an overly restrictive iptables rule on the system I was trying to connect to, but boy did it feel good to identify and solve that problem on my own.

I also managed to squeeze in time to write scripts to two work buddies so that they didn’t need to perform overly repetitive and very error-prone tasks by hand. The one script even needed a little bit of Expect-scripting, which I’ve been aching to hack some more.

I also found out about vim‘s :e # (to try it out, open a file in vim, then :e someOtherFile followed by :e #)

I found a very pedagogic explanation about how quicksort works, which made me start thinking and wondering about algorithms in general again, even to the point of investigating quicksort further.

I also found this post which makes a fair point: IFF you are going to rely on a web service (in other words, a SaaS you are probably better off getting hooked up with one charging money for it.

Not that I could ever conscionable recommend anyone using a SaaS as this is bound to lock you into dependence of that provider, but sure, I get that some (most?) would rather throw money at it than learning (learning is scary, and you don’t have the time right?) to set up your own service.

Furthermore, I can’t really decide whether the author is being disingenuous or illiterate in naming this stance an “anti-free-software movement”. It is unclear if s/he meant “anti-gratis-software movement” or if s/he is actually feeling threatened by free software. Had there been a comment field on that “blog” I probably would have spent the two minutes required to ask, but since there isn’t one, I won’t bother, and on pure principle, if I ever need a bookmarking-service, I’ll just make sure to stay clear of that one, just in case s/he actually was taking a jab against free software.

Yes, I am petty and vindictive at times, shit happens.

Whilst toying with the idea of modifying my homepage a bit, a site wide change, I realized that it might make a lot of sense to rewrite it so that it is, if not template-based, at least modularized. But I guess I’ll continue thinking about that before making any changes.

A funny thing I just thought of out of the blue the other day was that with some sites, like LinkedIn and probably Facebook and others, there are options for giving these services your email account username and password, so that they could log in, check your contact list, and hook you up with other people you know.

But I am pretty sure that most email providers license agreements state (no, I haven’t checked, but it would be foolish of these mail providers not to) that it would be a violation of said agreement for the user to disclose their account password to anyone else.

Then again, I don’t really understand people who would use those tools, but I guess there are even more people who wouldn’t understand why I chose not to…

A very interesting read about the Batman and the Joker. Those who know me can probably guess what character I voted for.

I’ve also been thinking about the prospect of storing binaries in some sort of version control, mostly because I have a friend who is into game development/modding, and doing so without version control. And that has bitten him in the ass more than once now.

And since I am nowadays a git convert I naturally started looking there, and found this, which lead me, among other places, here. Haven’t tried it yet, but it is definitively an interesting idea.

And now that I have begun working with Wireshark, tcpdump seems to be a good next step.

Finally, yet another reason why the patent industry needs to change.

:wq