Oh wow. I’m following @Rob_Marshall for quite some time now but this one beats it all. “Wolf At The Door” is an interpretation of the siege of Stirling Castle in 1304.

There’s also a production video beside the rendered images and a lot of background information on the siege itself. Fiddling with Blender myself I’ve quite some understanding about the process involved so I can’t stress enough how freakin awesome this work is:

https://bobmarshall.co.uk/portfolio/stirlingcastle1304/

Featured Image © www.bobmarshall.co.uk as of Bob Marshall’s Non-Commercial Image License Agreement

Dieser Tage dem Housekeeping zum Opfer gefallen: Die Parteizugehörigkeit zur

Mit dem Wegfall meiner 4-stelligen Mitgliedsnummer 34** erinnere ich mich gerne an die Anfangszeit. Die für mich so wichtigen Kern-Themen sind inzwischen in der Gesellschaft angekommen, womit sich meine Gründe für mein damaliges Engagement erledigt haben. Ich bin davon überzeugt dass vieles deutlich schlimmer hätte kommen können.

Inzwischen ist immerhin ein gewisses Bewusstsein für Datenschutz und Privatsphäre entstanden, was sich in Gesetzen wie dem (DSGVO) niedergeschlagen hat.

Wer sich nicht mehr erinnert, wie die Netz-Politik damals in Deutschland aussah, kann das Gedächtnis zum Beispiel im Archiv des AK-Zensur.de auffrischen.

Übrigens: Ich bin sogar weiterhin mit dem Parteiprogramm ganz einverstanden. Trotzdem fühle ich mich nicht mehr zugehörig und habe den Anschluss verloren. Damit ist das alles wieder bei Theater angekommen – und hier findet man den höchsten Unterhaltungswert gerade anderweitig *zwinkersmiley.

Most Linux users know some systemd by now. There is systemd stop $someservice and systemd disable $someservice. If you think that’s all one has to know about systemd you’re missing out on a lof of features. That’s not the story for today tho.

Some services tend to come back even when disabled and stopped. Socket services come to mind. This is e.g. the case for rpcbind starting a portmapper service on tcp/111 that can be used for a DDoS reflection attack. There are various ways to deal with this from uninstall to firewalling or to mask this service. Since everbody on Linux gets to pick their own poision I decided to use mask to make sure this can simply no longer start without having to break dependencies by removing it or fiddle with the firewall:

systemctl stop rpcbind.service
systemctl mask rpcbind.service
Created symlink /etc/systemd/system/rpcbind.service → /dev/null.
systemctl daemon-reload

A masked service can not even be restarted manually any more. It’s dead in the water as long as this symlink exists.

Read more on this from Poettering himself:

http://0pointer.de/blog/projects/three-levels-of-off

Visited Berlin / Germany for the to learn more about the . We changed plans last minute and went by train to the camp when we found out about the new and kinda cheap from Stuttgart to Berlin.

Tram station in Berlin

The itself has been a blast. The location was the office grounds of Mozilla Berlin and we were even offered a tour to take a good look at it (and it’s coffee machines).

The group was a very mixed bunch from various places. Some even took planes over the ocean to visit the camp on the continent. It’s nice to put faces on people I only knew from reading so far and I’m grateful for this chance.

Tantek Çelik speaking

The first day was all about getting to know the people. Organizer Tantek Çelik invited everyone to speak up and introduce themselves and their websites so we got a lot of examples of itches already scratched with principles.

We also learned about the OptOutTools project from the keynote speaker Teresa Ingram with the bold claim to work on AI capable of detecting misogyny online. It’s browser extention is designed like an ad-blocker or personal firewall where the user can decide how much of offending text may be displayed (or even none at all). Undetected phrases can be added to the filter to train it even more as well.

This resulted in a lof of discussion about intented and unintended side effects and how and in what ways speech will change and how people will try to break it. Detecing e.g. hate speech by AI is a goal even FB was (officially) not able to tackle so far. I’m very curious if and how this succeeds so I’ll keep an eye on their GIT repositories.

Learning about RFC 6920

Parallel other talks were held in various rooms. This way I learned about the proposed RFC 6920 on Naming Things with Hashes or a quick introduction to held by David Shanske. There were also some less technical discussions. Two teenagers attented to the camp as well so we had a talk about what’s in for them on the and we learned about TikTok dances. Some did their very first TikTok dance this day. So perhaps we’ll soon see a or provider for .

The evening was all about finding food for a group of ~15 people. That wasn’t an easy task. Berlin is an ever changing city and all restaurants were packed or gone for good. The online informations are sparse on this and way to often badly out of date. We were about to give up on this when we found a really small store that switches to some sort sort of food place in the evenings usually only visited by the local neighbourhood. They threw a bunch of tables together for us and somehow we all squeezed into it. Such a cozy and friendly place. I loved it and that night became a really short one for us.

The next day was about getting things done – a hard task beeing sleep deprived from the travels and short nights before.

While some just offered assistance others had more pratical goals in mind. This ranged from setting up a new enabled blog to hacking on gallery systems, location visualisation or in my own case on my provider for Okuna.io.

It’s really nice to see how other people work and get their projects done. Everybody has some very personal workflow here and I enjoy peeking over people’s sholders and catch a glimse of this.

In the end everybody got a chance to show what was achieved or learned. I got my prototype for backfeeding reactions going and used the chance to show this to the audience off the record without the cameras going. Okuna is still in closed beta so I’m sensitive on this topic. As mentioned I always have some invites to give away. I’d love to see more IndieWeb users on Okuna as well. I’ll need lab rats testers for my bridge soon anyway 😀

That was a great weekend and we met some awesome people at the camp. Of course we also snatched a bunch of new stickers and we ate as much candy from the stashes @MozillaBerlin as we could. Always fun to let the inner Geek run wild on such events 😉

One of the things about I love most is it’s flexibility. This may astonish some but I am gaming on my Linux system for approximately 15 years by now. Situation for improved a lot lately but it was always possible to keep myself distracted 😉

So one of the games I just love to play is XCOM (UFO series). I don’t think I skipped any part and Terror From The Deep will always have a special place in my heart. Anyway, when XCOM was relaunched and eventually ported to Linux by Feral Interactive in 2014 I thought I couldn’t have been happier. Firaxis Games topped this in 2016 with XCOM2 and Feral Interactive once more got the job for the port.

Sadly with all the expansion sets it takes quite a toll on the required hardware. Huge fan of all sliders on maximum and see how it goes and while my box can mostly keep up I notice that I run out of RAM towards the end of the game fast and my machine starts swapping. I’ve 16GB RAM and this game eats it away like children their candy.

I’ve got additional 4GB of swap installed on slow spinning rust disks (legacy) so I notice the moment it starts swapping like hitting a wall. After another frustrated restart of the game I paused for a moment. I don’t know why this games needs so much RAM and frankly I don’t even care. Maybe I’m spoiled nowadays since stuff tends to “just work”.

So I decided to throw more power at it but RAM is expensive and I usually have enough of it for my daily work (or other games). I did get a decent SSD (Solid State Disk) recently tho so it’s to my rescue:

swapoff -a
fallocate -l 16G /games/swapfile
mkswap /games/swapfile
swapon /games/swapfile

…and that’s it. I stopped my previous slow swap partition(s), created a new swapfile of 16GB size on my SSD, formatted it as swap partition and activated it. Now I tabbed back into my game and enjoyed the rest of the evening. Let it swap. The SSD can keep up with it. Not minding a few more seconds during loading screens 😀 I’m considerung to add the activation sequence to my “gaming mode” script.

I’m dabbling in for some years by now when I decided to go full electric in 2016. My reasons didn’t change much and it’s time for reflecting on the topic.

The beginning was rough for various reasons. Our local car dealer f*cked up so we shred the initial offer. When we looked around for another dealer we got a recommendation 50km away from home. This one knew his trade, the car and enough of this brand new internet tech to send us a new contract within the hour. Impressed by this we finally ordered our ZE40 .

Fun didn’t last long tho. We were simply unlucky with the AC/DC converter. It was busted within days and we didn’t see the shiny new car for another ~three weeks.

That was kinda disappointing and I worried for several weeks whether this was really a good decision. There was however no further trouble after this incident for years. I started to get to know the car better due to my daily commuting, experienced various recharging challenges, poked around on the car’s CAN bus, installed a charger at home and… bought another .

This time a used ZE model from 2014 with the smaller battery. It was meant to replace our T3 van, that did see daily action until that for shopping, local errands and family taxi. Today it’s mostly used by my wife and parents-in-law leaving their old ICE car to rust as well. This unplanned acquisition was a direct result of our experiences with the ZE40.

It’s like a virus and spreads. Once you try there is no going back. are plain fun, elegant quiet and there is this tingling sensation of experiencing the future early. I tinkered a lot on my combustion cars, especially the vans, in my life. And I don’t miss a thing. Whenever I’m back in an traditional ICE car it feels like yesterday. It’s noisy, everything shakes and rattles and it smells of fumes.

It’s a great bonus that there are no fumes emitted at the eye height of my children.

Beko Pharm

This isn’t even about environment considerations. It’s a great bonus that there are no fumes emitted at the eye height of my children, of course. I won’t go into the regulars’ table talk about the negative aspects of . They apply to any mobility and “alternate facts” on this topic are debunked on various scientific essays on the net. We all know that cars are and will never be “good” for the environment. We’re countryside. This is as good as it gets.

So yeah, as I mentioned we’re in the countryside. Black Forest to be specific. We get snow here. And this is another plus for the . While the old 2014 edition has apparently ~5° less heating capabilities Renault really did their homework starting with the next editions. The older one could really need a seat heater while the new one has enough power that this is no issue. Both don’t need ice scraping though. Pre-heating (or pre-cooling in the summertime) is key here. This can be done by timer, remote, or, if you feel really lucky, by app. This is luxury!

The had to prove itself as transporter as well. It is simply amazing what can be loaded into this small car. It’s an underestimated space miracle. Especially when the backseats are removed (or at least folded down). I wasn’t sure I could fit everything inside on my first trip to Ikea. So I had to go inside twice to get the rest from the list 😀

Needless to say that excursions are also absolutely no problem. My website is proof of this since various articles and galleries here are the result of trips we used the for. Winter, summer, weather, distance, whatever. Chargers or outlets are everywhere, and in most cases we stopped because of the kids needing a break or when we arrived at our destination, and not because the car needed a recharge. So while we ate, or checked out cool locations, the car recharged having nothing better to do at such times anyway. We never stranded and while we carefully watched the available miles and capacity in the beginning we basically stopped caring about this at all. We know it’s always enough [for us].

Battery lifetime. It’s a gamble. I know the datasheets, the promises, the waranty. As a programmer and tinkerer I poke at such things. So here is today’s values for the SoH (State of Health) for our batteries:

  • ZE 22 kWh (rented) 39.086 km 97% SoH
  • ZE40 41 kWh (bought) 31.392 km 97% SoH

That is within the expected degrading curves and I’m not worrying too much about this. Just checking it regulary with the CanZE app in the hope to find broken cells early. Usually it’s bad luck if this happens at all. Otherwhise the batteries are doing a decent job here and it’ll probably be years before my 41 kWh battery will see it’s second life as buffer storage. Especially since I didn’t drive nearly as much as anticipated. My work situation changed and I got a lot of home office reducing the need to commute greatly.

So yeah, after several years and plenty of commuted miles to the office, customers, excursions and trips I’d never go back to an ICE. This was the right decision and even cheaper in the long run compared to any of my old cars. The ZOEs are up for any daily challenge for a family of four and even some occasional car sharing.

And yet – sometimes I’m reminded that this is “just” a french car. Seals of the cooling system e.g. suck (and this coolant is freaking expensive). The software, connectivity services (app) and especially the shipped TomTom is/are awful. That includes the scheduled ripoff for programming the RDKS each time. The headlights are really bad and from all EVs I tried over the last years the ZOE has the worst speedup, antenna, power usage and fewest assistants. Cruise control is decent tho. There are better cars. Better EVs. Mayhap even the new ZE50 out now.

Went for a walk with my family today. What was meant as a short walk resulted in an two hours excursion. The forest is an awesome place to be in autumn. While not yet frozen over the winter it’s still rich of life and beautiful colours.

Even the continious rainfall could not ruin this. We had good jackets [that could not quite keep up with my medieaval Pileus (hat)] and boots. Such a long walk was also quite an adventure for the children who somehow managed all of this without [the usual] complaining =)

Visited the horticultural show in Heilbronn 74072 / Germany. It’s amazing how the city could look with more green here and there… and way less cars.

An electric mobil parcel station beside a charging station.

There were a few things of particular interest for me. The first thing is that is is obviously possible to have bees within a city and _many_ people walking right next to the beehive without angering the bees. Didn’t know this is possible.

Bee hives right next to people visiting the show. Some could even be opened to check on the bees.

Next was this FarmBot. It’s a opensource CNC farming machine that basically anyone with some skill can rebuild. It uses some 3d printed assets but the rest is kinda off the shelf stuff. Sadly I got no good picture of it since this late in the year it was not in use any more but the website has all the fancy presentations:

https://farm.bot/

Unexcepted was a group of people on rafts demonstrating the historic trade of Timber Rafting. I’m not sure but I think this particular group is also from Schiltach that I visited several times before. Nice icing 🙂

Historic Timer Rafting

I’m surprised that I found interesting stuff at all. Not much into gardening so it was a pleasant surprise to find so many points of interest on the show. We were even short of time in the end without seeing all of it. Sadly it’s the end of the season so there won’t be further chances for this. Was a great day and I finally did see the finished Experimenta from the outside. Last time I visited it was still under construction.

https://www.buga2019.de/de/index.php

I was late for this party anyway but getting off isn’t that easy.

Cleverdevil has some good pointers on freeing yourself from Facebook but the suggested tool fb-export requires an AccessToken for the Graph API Explorer. For this one has to set up a developer account with Facebook.

That’s not freeing [for me]. That’s entangling even more because this step requires a phonenumber or credit card with Facebook. A step I managed to advert so far.

So yeah, I guess my quest goes on. This may work for others tho.

https://github.com/danburzo/fb-export

https://cleverdevil.io/2018/freeing-myself-from-facebook

Visited the 8th Dobler Spectaculum at Dobel 75335 / Germany where we got to hang out with friends from Die Schlegler e.V. – means we were sitting around in their camp, ate their food and relaxed while everyone else was working.

Just kidding – we helped as well, of course, but ran for the hills when a storm approached 😉 It was nice to hang out on a medieval market again. Something I haven’t done a lot in a very long time.

https://www.dobel.de/gaeste/veranstaltungen/8-dobler-spectaculum-id_1158/

http://www.schlegler.de/