Profile cover photo
Profile photo
Gavin Panella
Italian father, English mother, born in Africa, living in Luxembourg.
Italian father, English mother, born in Africa, living in Luxembourg.

Gavin's posts

Post has attachment
Simon Peyton-Jones is such an engaging speaker. Watching this I felt my interest in and excitement to master Haskell rekindling (for some definition of master).

Post has attachment
An age ago my cousin Ale linked to this page to explain what his new job entailed... and I finally went through it today. Sorry dude. Better late than never :) It explains decision trees, training & test data, overfitting, and other interesting bits, and does it with style, beautiful visuals, and concise and clear text. There's also promise of a part 2 but it's not there yet.

Post has attachment
Like a back alley dope dealer, a former colleague sidled up to me on IRC. "Got some metal for ya. I know someone who's, ya know, involved. Wanna check it out?" Yes, as it turned out.

Post has attachment
I did some work to make MAAS's test suites run way faster. Essentially: split them up and run them in parallel. But MAAS is 5 years old and needed some special attention to get it working.

Post has attachment
I did some work recently to make MAAS's test suite much faster. I am far from the first to say it, but having a speedy test suite is important. The experience of developing MAAS before and after the speedup made me appreciate that acutely. This post explains why I started this work on MAAS. There's a follow-on post explaining how I did it.

Post has shared content
Today, Donald Trump marked Holocaust Remembrance Day with an order against refugees, and a statement that pointedly didn't mention Jews. It talks about horror inflicted on "innocent people;" it makes no reference to how those people were chosen, or why.

And given the executive order of the day, that omission seems far clearer of a message. Among other things, it bans all refugees for the next 90 days (at which point it may be renewed); bans all Syrian refugees indefinitely; and most significantly, bars all nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the United States, regardless of their visa status, for the next 90 days – the time required for the DHS to make a longer-term decision about this.

To clarify what this means, it means that anyone from one of those countries who is living in the US legally, even as a permanent resident, who was outside the country today cannot return for an as-yet indefinite period. (It may also apply to dual citizens, or to US citizens who were born in those countries; the text of the order is very unclear) I am personally aware of a few hundred people who are directly affected by this, at this stage: people who were out of town for one reason or another and are now separated from their homes and families. From some back-of-the-envelope guessing, I would say that there are at least 5,000 people who were affected today, possibly much more.

Rather impressively, even Dick Cheney described this as "[going] against everything we stand for and believe in."

On the radio today, they were talking about how Muslim communities are concerned about possible "civil rights issues" going forward, but they were rather limited in the concerns they raised. Korematsu is still the law of the land; never overturned, it held that the Japanese internment camps of the 1940's were legitimate exercises of executive power. Those won't happen tomorrow, because there's no extra PR vim in it, and it's still too soon; many people would remember and object. But two years from now, or three, when elections are starting to come up? Internment of nationals of various countries doesn't seem so far-fetched.

After all, Wednesday's orders around building a wall between us and Mexico included provisions to build and staff large detention centers next to them.

And both today's order and Wednesday's instruct the DHS to publish regular reports of crimes committed by immigrants, to remind us all of what we're being protected from. If you haven't read a report like this before, and your German is OK, look up back issues of "Der Jude Kriminell;" I added a scan of one below, although it's grainy.

Oh, the other picture? Those are eyeglasses. You can still see some of that pile at Auschwitz-Birkenau; they didn't keep all of it, they didn't have room. It's next to the giant pile of human hair, and the giant pile of baby shoes.

I just want you to remember what this day remembers.

2 Photos - View album

- Open Chrome, logged into my Google profile.

- Languages set to:

1. English (United Kingdom)
2. English (United States)
3. English

- Search for "google pixel" via the address bar.

- End up on — okay, since I'm in Luxembourg.

- First result looks good: "Pixel, Phone by Google – Made by Google".

- URL is

- Click "BUY NOW".

- Options are:

- Verizon
- Google Store
- Project Fi
- Best Buy

Mmm, this looks US-centric.

- Click "Google Store".

- End up at Language displayed is German, but prices are in UK Pounds.

- Back up to, scroll all the way to the end (it's a long page) and switch to "English (United Kingdom)".

- URL is now

- Click "BUY NOW".

- Options are:

- Google Store
- Carphone Warehouse
- EE

Ah, looks familiar to this British ex-pat.

- Click "Google Store" and end up on the German-with-Pounds page.

- Buy an iPhone [1].

[1] Not really. As if.

Post has attachment
Didn't like this on first listen: too discordant. Yeah, there's no logic to me. But it's a sonic Ceti eel larva. It has entered my brain, appropriated me as a disciple, and made me pony up real money for a copy.

Post has attachment
Bandcamp just told me about Saor's new album. Highland metal, bloody wonderful.

Egregious Web UX Error Made By People Who Should Know Better: Changing the language based on my physical location.

In the future I will download the local language as I glide through the docking tube from my spaceplane to the terminal, but it's 2016 and that kind of fancifulness is premature.
Wait while more posts are being loaded