The recent weeks I use Twitter far too much. It’s like a car crash and I can’t look away. So I deleted the client now from my phhone
Mein Telefon brauchte gerade Überzeugung, doch @me_netzpolitik fortzusetzen und nicht The Clash abzuspielen
Switched off Jetpack on my blog and activated Piwik #datafleesUS
Manton Reece did a kickstarter for a software project on and a book about independent micro-blogging. I really like the idea since it means I can have a full feed of my (micro-)blogging on my blog and certain posts get cross-posted to Twitter. I do this via a plug-in because IFTTT just didn’t work for me. But I like this even better in the end.
The process is a bit cumbersome because I have to add a category for the micro-posts and in the WP-app this means going into two different screens. I will see if I will continue using that way. But from my understanding everything should become far more easier when micro.blog gets released 😀
Update: I am now using the iOS-apps Drafts and Workflow to post to Twitter and WordPress. It is less error prone than the plug-in way.
So, I noticed that I didn’t blog in quite a while and I need to change this. As always with a re-try in blogging I switched my blog (this time from static to wordpress) for reasons. I think I will never be happy with what is out there and I do not have the time to even think about writing something of my own. This post is quite personal – a bit about my diet and sports, my linux-travellings, retrogaming and pen&paper-RPGs.
What else is up with me recently. Well, after reading a book called “Fettlogik überwinden“1 by Nadja Hermann I decided that I have to do something against being overweight. I was still far from adiposity but I never would have wanted to get that far. I didn’t already like that I had to start L-size-t-shirts and that my pants-sizes increased but I didn’t bring up my will to do something against it. After reading that book my mindset changed. I lost 10kg2 in ca. 3 months and build up some muscles as well. Now I officially ended the diet but I still want to get down to a weight that I am jacked. Thus I still have to do something about it but after 3 months I already don’t want to count calories anymore and weigh all the food I eat. I am trying now intermittent fasting in a 16/8-rhythm. 16 hours of fasting a day (from 10pm to 2pm) and 8 hours of feeding. Last week I definitely snacked too much in the feeding time, this week I’ll try to reduce that.
In addition my sports-activities radically changed. A couple of years ago I went up to four times a week to karate-training. But after I got a minor injury in a competition, then my second child was born and so I didn’t went to training at all for ca 2.5 years. In the meantime I tried several bodyweight-programs but nothing for very long. And half a year ago I started going to Karate-training again once a week. Shortly after starting the diet though this completely changed. Now I am going to training twice a week, I go running 2-3 times a week and do bodyweight-training two or three times a week. Thus it is now 5-6 times a week sports for me and sometimes even on every day while one day involves very light training. I kind of have to make now training plans for myself. This whole thing takes up a lot of time even when my running/bodyweight-sessions are only 30-90 minutes3. This also means that I do not have that much time doing something else in my leisure time. I am not sure yet how I feel about this. My body likes it and it is better than watching Netflix and reading Twitter all evening.
I also changed operating systems in the meantime. You might remember me posting about Manjaro, Arch and Fedora. In the meantime used Qubes for a couple of months. It was great and probably secure but it had its flaws. For one I couldn’t get my optical drive working in the way I need it to because of technical limitations because of the security features of Qubes. And there was always a bit of a mental overhead where I want/have to do what. So I abandoned it. But I didn’t want to fiddle that much because my amount of free time is limited and so I gave Ubuntu another try. After my pretty bad experiences with 15.10, 16.04 is great. I installed it, the installer supports now even full disk encryption, and everything worked. No fiddling, nothing. It just worked. And it is still working. I am enjoying Unity4, play around with some other stuff and have so far no problems at all. I am surprised. This is the most Mac-like experience I ever had with Linux.
Podcasting is happening not a lot lately. Japanbezug, a German podcast about Japan I was doing, just needs too much time per episode. I don’t see me doing anything with it in the next months or even years. EMUI, the podcast accompanying this blog, is not doing anything either. I just don’t feel like podcasting at the moment. But I miss doing regular Retrozirkel-episodes. This has more to do with scheduling issues. The next episode will come.
I expanded my retrogames-collection by some nice titles and bought a GB Boy Colour. A Gameboy Color-clone with a backlit-screen. It is really excellent.
And I found a way to organize my collection better. Gameboy and Gameboy Advance-games are now in binders and I use the sheets used by trading card gamers to put the games in the binder. 9 GB-games per page or 18 GBA-games. For my NDS-games I find nice boxes by Hori which hold 24 games per box.
Right now I am playing Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story. A really nice RPG where you play Mario, Luigi and Bowser. But where I liked in the past when games were long, it is now a bit harder. Usually I play now only while commuting and so it is like 20-30 minutes per day. Luckily this game has a lot of save points but after 3-4 weeks playing I am like only half way through the game. I am already thinking about what to play next. Maybe Castlevania 1 or Super Mario Bros. 2 Lost Levels? Or will take the plunge into the Metroidvania-world and start playing Castlevania: Circle of the Moon? I also have a lot of Zelda- and Advance Wars games I like to play. Problems I didn’t have a decade ago when I could play several hours a day…sometimes it sucks to be an adult 😉
And now to the last topic: pen&paper-RPGs. Thanks to a very good friend I was part in a short L5R-campaign with some great people. It was really fun. But I had to trade the biweekly RPG-sessions to have another day of karate-training in the week. And I want to get better in karate and go to competitions. Maybe I’ll find the time to play or run a one-shot from time to time. Especially since I found out about a couple of japanese RPGs that were translated to English which have some great concepts. I really want to play those. And I miss playing Shadowrun. At least I can read Shadowrun-novels again since the old ones get re-released as ebooks and from time to time a new one appears. My favorite of the re-released ones is Burning Bright5 and from the new ones it is Shaken: No Job to Small. I can recommend both and I think even non-Shadowrun-fans might like them.
This post is now more than long enough and I won’t write about to-do-lists and minimalism. Maybe I post later about those. We will see. Have a nice day.
We all agree probably that DRM1 sucks and that we give more and more of our data out of our hands because it is convenient. Just recently I decided again to give Lastpass another try because it is far more convenient and better usable on Linux and in a cross-platform environment than the alternatives Keepass, Pass and 1Password. We also use Google Docs to collaborate, Dropbox to make our data easily available to all our device etc. In addition he says that you should only use free formats for music and video like ogg and only free software2.
Richard Stallman (RMS) says that you shouldn’t use DRM or “Software as a Service Substitutes” (SaaSS). SaaSS are services like Lastpass, Dropbox, Google Docs etc. The reason is that they violate your freedom to do anything you like with the software that you use via those services. Thus you do not actually know or check what the software does with your data. Dropbox could potentially just give some government agency access to your data with you not knowing about it. But I hope that they don’t do it.
Even so I find the ideas very good, I always think what it would entail to actually implement them. DRM is nowadays pretty much everywhere when you consume digitally delivered media. All the video streaming platforms like Netflix are using DRM because the media studios demand it. DVDs and Blurays are protected by DRM as well, even though it is nowadays circumventable. Movies in the cinemas are delivered today on encrypted hard disks with DRM on it. Youtube etc use patent-protected media formats, so you can’t use that. So no movies for you. The only way you could watch movies would probably be via TV. But often not in HD because that is nowadays usually encrypted, too.
Music streaming sites also use DRM because it is demanded from the licensors. Most music players only play mp3s or m4as. Some do ogg but the software on them is probably not free. The only way I could imagine to have portable digital music is by building yourself some music player that can play ogg. And then you buy CDs and rip them to ogg. But I have no idea which platform you could use. A Raspberry Pi uses proprietary firmware.
You could read some ebooks. There are publishers and online stores that sell DRM-free ebooks. It is not a lot but there are ways to get that way of entertainment. But I doubt that there is an ebook reader you could use. So in the end you’d probably could read them only on your laptop.
We do not need to talk about games, do we? Steam is out of the question. But there are open source games available. I just cannot remember any really good ones except maybe Nethack or Dwarf Fortress. Those are an acquired taste though imho. Ah, there is the Battle for Wesnoth which is quite good. If you know more really good F/OSS-games please contact me via the e-mail-address at the top of the site.
When you want to use a computer, you have a very small selection of computers available. There are not a lot of computers available which you can use with a free BIOS like coreboot or Libreboot. If I remember correctly RMS himself uses a Thinkpad X60 which is a laptop released in 2006. And I think you can use some free BIOS on a Thinkpad X200 or T400 which are from 2008. So only old computers for you.
And let’s not talk about smartphones. Essentially you cannot use one. A landline would probably be ok though.
And not using SaaSS takes away a lot of convenience. For e-mail I interpret it that you either have to run your e-mail-server or use only one from someone you trust and who allows you to fiddle with the source code if necessary. Well, actually it means you have to run your own e-mail-server. There are nowadays F/OSS-replacements for Dropbox and Bittorrent Sync. So you could replace that but you would need to run them yourself. There are several SaaSS that have nowadays F/OSS-replacements but they all would end up in you running your own server. And maintaining a server means that you have to know a bit more about computers and need to spend some of your leisure time maintaining it.
The ideas from RMS are great imho. But living them means that you have to give up a lot of convenience and ways of modern entertainment. It feels like setting yourself technology- and entertainment-wise back to the 80s or 90s. Since these ideas are pretty crass in their results voting with your wallet would mean it is only a drop in the ocean since it would be incredible hard to convince other people to do the same. I like to compare RMS’ way of living in terms of computers, DRM and SaaSS to vegans3. But I can far more easily imagine living vegan than living the technology way of life preached by RMS.
Update: There are apparently ebook readers that use free software.
If you want to run a laptop with Libreboot, have a look at their site which are compatible. nixCraft just released an article about shops that sell computers with Linux preinstalled or even with Libreboot pre-installed.
Digital Rights Management. The stuff that is responsible that you can’t watch content bought from iTunes on your beamer when it is connected with VGA or DVI, that you can’t give your friends your ebooks and that you can’t backup your DVDs or Blurays without breaking the law (at least in Germany).↩
Free as in freedom.↩
It is probably the morally right thing to do but you need to set some limits on your behavior that might take away some of the joys of life. I love steak.↩
I don’t understand how you could switch to Windows or OS X from Linux. Let’s start with OS X.
You actually can use it licensed only when you use hardware created by Apple. This means that you have to buy a high-end-computer even if your needs are satisfied by a computer that is far more on the low end. You have to pay usually a computer that costs at least 1000€. And don’t forget that warranty that costs at least 150€ to extend the warranty to 3 years. Since Apple-computers get more and more integrated, it gets harder to repair anything by yourself. And if stuff breaks, the repair costs are easily in the upper 3-digits area.
Since you bought that high-end-computer it can last you a long time. But if Apple decides that they do not want to support your hardware anymore, you won’t get any updates anymore and the only solution is to buy a new computer. If you also use an iPhone and you keep your computer with your old OS, it can happen that Apple updates iTunes in a way that it doesn’t run anymore on your old OS and you can’t sync your iPhone anymore. Just buy a new computer.
You know the comforts of a docking station? Welcome to a world with laptops that have depending on the model only one USB-port. You will find another solution and it will always involve plugging and unplugging stuff in your laptop. Need an external display? Well, welcome to the world of adapters since Apple laptops usually do not have standard outputs that are supported by the rest of the world outside of Apple. And those adapters aren’t cheap, even if you get one from a third parties.
Sure, you can get software like Photoshop. But Apple encourages the developers to always use the newest APIs which means that when your OS doesn’t update to the newest version, you won’t get updates. Or when you updated your OS, you need might need to get a major update for your software. Since software often costs money on OS X1, you have to pay an upgrade fee or buy completely new if it got released via the AppStore. And since open source software often uses cross-platform-toolkits and does not get ported natively to OS X, they suck in comparison to native apps and so you do not really want to use them.
If you are in the world of Apple, be ready that money shouldn’t be a constraint. Otherwise you might think about if you are worthy using products by Apple.
And if you install software from the AppStore and Apple does a fuck-up, all your software from the AppStore will break for a couple of days. But who cares?
Ever seen how Apple handles security updates? One time they published the solution for a critical problem for iOS first but everybody knew that it also existed for OSX. Thus your computer was at risk for a couple of days. They often also need some time until they publish updates. Apple prefers to deliver a bunch of updates in one big update instead of small incremental updates.
You decided to use Windows? It came with your computer and was preinstalled. Great.
Did you know that most malware is nowadays written for Windows? You now use the platform that gets attacked most often. Prepare yourself for defense, by installing Antivirus-software that rarely helps you. If you get malware on your computer, I recommend that you reinstall since you never know, if there aren’t any remains.
I hope you kept your install-DVDs or your recovery partition. If you don’t have any install-DVDs, try to get them from your vendor. And get all the drivers. If you have bad luck, your network driver is missing from a vanilla Windows and you cannot get your internet connection to work. Thus you need another computer to download that network driver for installing it. Depending on the vendor that is more or less cumbersome. That serial number by the way is nowadays fixed in your BIOS or EFI. And if you want to reinstall a vanilla Windows you have to change some text files and is as far as I know an undocumented process.
When you use nowadays Windows, you will get forced by Microsoft to use Windows 10, which is a privacy nightmare. After you set up all the privacy setting, updates can and will quietly reset them. So please check always.
Oh, updates. Microsoft regularly updates your system. Nowadays they even force them on you. That also means that your computer might say that you have to reboot now and that you can’t move that reboot to a later point of time. So save everything, interrupt whatever you are doing. That update right here, right now is more important than any work you do. Or you shut down your laptop instead of suspending/hibernating it for carrying it around. That can mean that you have to wait a couple of minutes or an hour or two until it shuts down while installing updates. Sometimes an installation of an update will also make your system unbearable slow for a couple of hours. And you cannot always tell the system when to update and you do not know how long it will take.
Sometimes those updates fuck up your system. Maybe some Microsoft-software breaks or some hardware doesn’t work anymore or your system gets into a bootloop. Who knows. Just wait until Microsoft releases the fix for the fix or reinstall your system.
If Windows stops to work you can always rely on the system events. Oh wait, you can’t. It seems that nearly nothing logs there and everything that logs stuff in Windows, spams the event logs often with unnecessary crap. So often logs are not usable for debugging your system. So you can google the problem and hope you find some solution. Sometimes it involves fiddling in the registry, a place you don’t want to fiddle because it can break your whole system. And those fixes are often about adding or removing values that are not documented and you have to hope that the people you get the fix from know what they do. Because you cannot read up on it. Or did you try already to reinstall some drivers? Troubleshooting Windows is unfortunately more often than not like walking with a blind fold and hoping no to fall down into a deep hole. Well, in the end you always can reinstall, can’t you?
You do not like the desktop environment you are using with OS X or Win or do not like the looks or the way Apple or Microsoft are going. Fear not, you always have the…oh wait, you do not have any choice. You are dependent on the choices Apple and Microsoft are doing for you. Want to try anything different or new? Tough luck.
Aren’t package-managers nice? Just type yum install package-name2 and it will install the software and everything you need. Well, not so with Windows or Apple. Often you need to get the software from some website with an installer or in the case of Apple you might get a disk image or an installer. Then install it. Who needs trusted sources? And when you ever need to reinstall your system, you have to get that stuff again if you didn’t save the original install-files. In the world of Apple there is the AppStore but more and more developers withdraw from it since Apple just makes it worth for them to stay there but makes their life harder.
And don’t let us talk about uninstalling software from OS X. Completely removing software can be a real hastle.
P.s.: I used OS X for over 10 years and I am still supporting several people who use OS X. In addition I administer a Windows-environment with 100+ Windows-clients and have to use Windows daily. Personally I use Linux for 1.5 years now. Everything I wrote here are experiences I made or have seen happening. I also got informed several times from other Apple-users that it is stupid to keep computers for more than 5 years – that’s where that worthiness-thing comes from.
Use what makes you happy, every OS has its up- and downsides. I am just getting tired to explain on a regular basis that I am actually happy with using Linux and the choices I made by using the distribution I am using which needs more fiddling around (Arch).
I just saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens a couple of days ago but from what I read on Twitter I actually expected something like the second coming. Unfortunately I got to see only a good movie (far better than the prequels, worse than expected) and so I thought I write about my thoughts.
Let’s start with Finn and the stormtroopers. I really liked that they showed more of a personal side of the stormtroopers like the two stormstroopers who notice on their round Kylo Ren raging around and decide to turn around. All in all stormtroopers got in this movie moved away from faceless foes to something with character. But as we know stormtroopers aren’t really good with shooting. At least in the old movies. And most of them are now not really that good, too. Except apparently when you work in sanitation. If I understood the movie correctly the battle and massacre on Jakku was his first battle. And before that he worked in sanitation. But he more or less understands pretty much immediately how different ship weapons work and when he uses a blaster, he hits. He is far better than the average stormtrooper displayed in the movie. The First Order really should all of the troopers put into sanitation. They seem to get a far better fighting training than the rest – whatever they fight when they clean.
And what was that scene on Takodana when a stormtrooper recognizes Finn on 30 feet away and throws away his blaster to fight him in close combat? He could have shot him? Were they bunk buddies and he took the traitorship that personal? Speaking about that scene I always thought that the light saber is the delicate weapon of a Jedi and needs a lot of training. But now everybody (except Finn is a force bearer as well who doesn’t really need training) seems to be able to fight with them without any problems…
Yeah for Rey. Finally a female force bearer who can use the force. And that far better than any Jedi. Anakin used it iirc for some precognition in the pod-race but Rey. Well she can read minds (when Kylo Ren tries to read hers), can manipulate minds and knows force levitation intuitively. No training necessary. After a bit of training she must be the master of all Jedi. In Star Wars VIII I expect her to be able to destroys planets with the force, if not Luke sucks as a mentor. In addition she knows all kind of tech as well. She lived her live on a desert planet, my guess is in the beginning as a slave and got through by collecting junk. And now she knows how to repair and handle space ships. Seriously?
And I do not think that she is a stronger lead than Leia or Queen Amidala. Both had more power and more leadership qualities and a head of their own. Rey just chased after the others more of the time. She rocked while doing so (because she is really powerful with the force and knows everything) but all in all I think Leia and Amidala were stronger women. Please convince me that she is progress in comparison to Leia and Amidala.
Kylo Ren is a joke. He is a teenage boy with anger issues…he destroys several times a lot of equipment because of his rage. And when he removed his mask I and others had to laugh because he looked more of a character from Twilight than from Star Wars.
Light sabers have now apparently the properties of a magic wand of Harry Potter because they “choose” to whom they belong. Rey sees visions with Vaders/Lukes light saber and when Kylo Ren and she force pulls the light saber it flies right past Kylo to Rey. Either she is even better than a trained dark side Jedi intuitively or the light saber chose her. The latter one makes more sense in the whole narrative unfortunately. But as we know she is a pretty awesome Jedi already without any training.
Harrison Ford has probably the first time in decades an age appropriate female playing partner (Carrie Fisher). 20 years ago they probably would have kissed at some point. But I guess they didn’t put that in there this time because Disney was afraid because they are just too old. And old people only hug, you know…
And what kind of mentor is Luke? His first trainee goes to the dark side and so he runs away to some place no one can find? Well Anikin was very whiny, too. Maybe it runs in the male side of the family. Oh yeah, and Han apparently ran away as well after Kylo went to the dark side instead of staying with Leia.
The characters were imho just too powerful. In the old Star Wars movie Luke didn’t know anything. He could fly ships but couldn’t fight a lot, doesn’t know anything about tech and needs a lot of training to use the force. Han Solo knows the millenium falcon, knows how to shoot and talk fast and a bit about tech. Chewbacca knows his tech and is strong. Leia is a leader, can fight but she cannot use the force at all but is a force bearer (and apparently never learned it). They were all heroes but not overpowered. In the Force Awakens it seemed to me that at least Finn and Rey are overpowered. Maybe Poe as well but he didn’t get enough screen time for this. He is a hell of a pilot though.
All in all I liked the movie and I cannot wait for Star Wars VIII (Rogue One?) but I cannot understand the hype :/
So, I won the Listserve and my mail went live today. The Listserve is a very interesting mailing list. When you subscribe to it, you enter a daily lottery to write a mail to the listserve. Thus it has very varied content and at least for me the mails are rarely uninteresting. I really recommend you to join it.
But here now the content of the mail for you to read, too. The mail is also mirrored here.
Tid Bits about Japanese
You know what is really hard? Cursing in Japanese. There are not a lot
of bad words in Japanese. If you want to insult someone, you do it
completely by using the wrong politeness levels. Japanese has different
levels of politeness built-in and you can measure the social status
between people just by listening to them (and even what their status is
compared to another person they are talking about). So when you want to
insult someone, you use higher status vocabulary for yourself and lower
for the other person. You use different words for “I” and “You” and if
you are Yakuza-style all the words start to end in “eeeee” 😉
Japanese has two syllable-alphabets and uses Chinese characters (Kanji)
as well. Until 2010 the standard set of Kanji to be used in
official documents, newspapers etc (the so-called “daily used
characters”) were 1945. In 2010 they increased that number by 196 new
characters (and removed 5) because all the people are using computers
and cell phones to communicate nowadays, thus writing by hand is not so
important anymore and adding more characters is therefore not that much
of a problem. What reading Japanese makes hard is that one Kanji in Japanese can have
up to 12 ways readings – depending on the word it is used in or which
syllables follow. In Chinese one character has one reading. The reason
is that for one Chinese and Japanese are very different languages with
Chinese being a tonal one and Japanese being a language that isn’t
tonal, thus characters got several usages. In addition there were
several phases words got imported from China and each time another
Chinese dialect was the base for the final Japanese reading. The consequence is that its hard to learn to read Japanese. And when you
need to use paper dictionaries, you use two dictionaries usually. One
character-dictionary and another one which is more like a traditional
one. With experience you get pretty good in guessing the readings, but
its always a lot of searching if the searched combination of characters
isn’t already in the character dictionary.
The origins of Japanese are unclear but it is probably an Altaic
language with relations to Turkish and Mongolian. The language closest
to Japanese is Korean. You can easily translate one language into the
other. What is most interesting is that they are grammatically very
similar but the lexic (the words) is totally different. I.e. the word
“to eat” is “taberu” but “meogda” in Korean. But when you get to words
loan from Chinese, someone who knows Japanese can get a lot of knowing
Kanji (Hanja in Korean) and what the Korean reading for the character
is. Korean also uses only one reading for a Hanja. But nowadays Hanja
are rarely used in Korean. But Korean has with Hangeul the best
“alphabet” ever. It’s easier to learn to read and write than any other
I’ve seen. Thanks to a king in the 15th century who ordered scientists
to develop an alphabet that is easy to learn for increasing alphabetism.
In the past there were times when people tried to get rid of Chinese
characters in Japanese but it never worked out. There was even a daily
newspaper completely in one of the Japanese syllable alphabets. I can
understand why. Japanese is far easier to skim when you have Kanji in
there. Unfortunately it takes some time to recognize this. That’s enough about Japanese. If you want to talk about Japanese, Japan
(especially politics or economics) or old video games (8-/16-bit), drop
me a mail.
Ich habe noch ziemlich exakt zwei Wochen bis ich meine Magisterarbeit abgeben muss. Sie ist noch nicht fertig, aber sie wird es diesmal werden. Natürlich muss sie das auch, aber die Qualität ist auch OK meiner Ansicht nach. Besser als eine reine Qualifikationsarbeit, aber auch keine 1. Den Qualitätsunterschiede zwischen dem recycletem Material aus dem ersten Versuch und dem neu geschriebenem ist deutlich.
Und heute habe ich erfahren, dass das Prüfungsbüro an dem Tag zu ist und ich jetzt per Post abgeben muss. Ich habe ein wenig Sorge, dass ich bei irgendeiner Formalität einen Fehler mache und das mir das Genick bricht. Aber eine persönliche Abgabe wäre nur eine Woche früher möglich. Und bis dahin ist die Arbeit noch nicht fertig. Vor allem hat dann mein “Lektor” noch nicht drüber gelesen. Nun gut, wird schon. Für die letzten zwei Tage habe ich Urlaub genommen. Am Montag drucken, am Dienstag abgeben. Da es jetzt über die Post geht, könnte beides am selben Tag passieren und ich hätte noch einen echten Tag Urlaub. Wenigstens etwas.
Die Arbeit hat mich einen Sommer mit meinen Kindern gekostet. Das schmerzt. Aber bald ist es durch. Und dann heißt es vorbereiten für die Prüfungen. Viel lesen und viel Übersetzen. Aber nicht mehr so viel schreiben. Mal schauen, dass ich den Prüfungstermin vor den Kindergeburtstagen hinbekommen. Dann könnte ich die entspannt angehen.
Nun gut, jetzt heißt es schlafen, um morgen den Tag wieder konzentriert durchackern zu können.