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David Blume
Tales told by an idiot.
Tales told by an idiot.

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There was a botched(?) suicide attempt by the park near my house. A man sped his car along the street towards a concrete wall at the end of a T intersection.

While the trunk of said "T" intersection has a stop sign which he sped through, the other road doesn't. And his car careened into two cars which were travelling at normal speeds in opposite directions. Somehow, his small silver car did end up behind the two other cars, despite hitting them from this side of the road (see the photo).

There are rumors about the severity of injuries, but they aren't substantiated yet.

Keep your eyes open. Drive carefully. Don't get road rage. You don't know what's going on with the other drivers.

I never intentionally set foot on the path to becoming a graybeard. However, I can't help but notice I have to reconcile with the differences in the following different *nix variants in my every day life:

DreamHost: Ubuntu
Raspberry Pi: Debian
Work: Fedora
Macintosh: Darwin
Windows: Cygwin

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One of my quirks? I handcraft the GET parameters for the local library's URLs to keep tabs on when new volumes of my favorite trade paperbacks come in. For example, here's a query for some of the trades I follow:

I guess you could call them artisanal links.

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If you encrypt a 7z archive with 7z's encryption, attackers can still navigate the hierarchy of the archive, it's only the compressed files within the hierarchy that are encrypted. So you can leave messages to the attackers in the names of the directories. I like to imagine the president having an archive of nuclear launch codes that he mis-named as, but left a message to the attackers like in the picture below. (A real picture of an encrypted zip file in Google Drive.)

If you want your encrypted archive to be opaque, you have to make the tarball first, then encrypt that in a second step. #security  

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One of the things that made my Dead Man's Switch trigger is that it stopped knowing what I listen to.

Up until April 29, 2013, the Audio Scrobbler scrobbled both what music I listen to, and what podcasts I listen to. (Scrobbling is making a note of what was listened to. It keeps a record.)

Then Apple split podcasts out of the Music app into its own Podcast app. (One of the most horrible Skeuomorphism abominations of all time.) This had the effect that podcasts would never be scrobbled again.

Fine. At least songs would still be scrobbled. Then Apple updated iOS breaking scrobbability of songs.

Fine. Sergey Pershenkov released QuietScrob, restoring the ability of to scrobble the songs I listen to, if not the podcasts.

Then, with much fanfare, released a new site. And neglected to turn back on the 1.0 API, and never announced one way or another whether it was coming back. (The 1.0 API included an RSS feed that my lifestream watched for the songs that were scrobbled.)

Fine, then I'd apply to become a 2.0 developer and get an API key. But, wait for it,'s "Get an API account" link is broken.

Shoot me now.

The good news about API keys? People are always posting their API keys in community forums or open source repo's. So I'm borrowing one until gets their ducks back in a row.

In the end, my lifestream keeps track of my music scrobbles again! Yay!

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For her birthday, Lillian took the family on a balloon ride with +Napa Valley Aloft Balloon Rides. They run a great operation, and our pilot, Jeff, was friendly and professional. We all loved it. Lillian's birthdays are the best!
Balloon Ride
30 Photos - View album

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This is what happens when code you wrote five years ago wakes up now and tries to interact with the new world. This is the true story of my 5-year-old #python  Dead Man's Switch triggering last week.

Oh, Damn it. This is the reason not to update software.

In 2010, I wrote a Dead Man's Switch, inspired by +Daniel Suarez's Daemon. One of the things it does is post to a couple of blogs. One is Habari, and one is Wordpress, and it uses the AtomPub API to publish to both since they share the API.

In 2012, WordPress not only deprecated the AtomPub API in v3.5, it removed it from the Core. I updated WordPress with each release, as many were security fixes. I didn't know that they removed the API that my Dead Man's Switch uses, so I didn't know I was breaking its connection with my DMS.

Luckily(?), my Dead Man's Switch triggered last week because I've been heads-down at work and at home, and it threw an exception when trying to publish to my WordPress blog.

Not only am I going to fix the connection to WordPress, I'll probably fix the handling of the error, because as it is, the one failure would block the continuation of the daemon's work. Nice to catch that, I guess.

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A while back, I read Feynman by Jim Ottaviani because Donald Knuth mentioned it on his Retirement page.

I've just enqueued Cory Doctorow's "Little Brother" and "Homeland" because that's what Edward Snowden was reading while in Hong Kong in Citizenfour.

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Is it OK to correct spelling when the article is about higher education? Mic Cullen writes "lead is buried" and I'm trying to let it go... But the conventional spelling is "lede".
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