Systemd again (or how to obliterate your system)

Ok, I have been silent about systemd and its being forced onto us in Debian like force-feeding Foie gras gooses. I have complained about systemd a few times (here and here), but what I read today really made me loose my last drips of trust I had in this monster-piece of software.

If you are up for some really surprising read about the main figure behind systemd, enjoy this github issue. It’s about a bug that simply does the equivalent of rm -rf / in some cases. The OP gave clear indications, the bug was fixes immediately, but then a comment from the God Poettering himself appeared that made the case drip over:

I am not sure I’d consider this much of a problem. Yeah, it’s a UNIX pitfall, but “rm -rf /foo/.*” will work the exact same way, no?Lennart Poettering, systemd issue 5644

Well, no, a total of 1min would have shown him that this is not the case. But we trust this guy the whole management of the init process, servers, logs (and soon our toilet and fridge management, X, DNS, whatever you ask for).

There are two issues here: One is that such a bug is lurking in systemd since probably years. The reason is simple – we pay with these kinds of bugs for the incredible complexity increase of the init process which takes over too much services. Referring back to the Turing Award lecture given by Hoare, we see that systemd took the later path:

I conclude that there are two ways of constructing a software design: One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies and the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies. Antony Hoare, Turing Award Lecture 1980

The other issue is how systemd developers deal with bug reports. I have reported several cases here, this is just another one: Close the issue for comments, shut up, put it under the carpet.

(Image credit: The musings of an Indian Faust)

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Gödel and Daemons – an excursion into literature

Explaining Gödel’s theorems to students is a pain. Period. How can those poor creatures crank their mind around a Completeness and an Incompleteness Proof… I understand that. But then, there are brave souls using Gödel’s theorems to explain the world of demons to writers, in particular to answer the question:

You can control a Demon by knowing its True Name, but why?

goedel-glabrezu

Very impressive.

Found at worldbuilding.stackexchange.com, pointed to me by a good friend. I dare to full quote author Cort Ammon (nothing more is known), to preserve this masterpiece. Thanks!!!! Read on for the full fun!

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SJW attitude in science

Recently, Eric Raymond, famous for is “The Cathedral and the Bazaar“, stepped forward to speak out against mixing social agenda, like equal treatment for everyone outside the white straight group, with meritocracy, the evaluation of one solely based on his/her contribution.

And without fail, the SJW side of the Internet didn’t take much time to munch down on Raymond like hungry wolves in a long winter: Coraline Ada Ehmke (should that recall Ada Lovelace?), Tim Chevalier, Matthew Garrett, just to name a few.

rastafari2

The arguments are quite easy to summarize: The meritocracy party proposes that “One’s contribution should only be evaluated based on the content and the quality”, while the SJW party asserts that in case the submitter as from a minority group, in particular everyone outside the white straight group, the contribution has to be accepted with higher probability (or without discussion) to ensure equality.

(Added here for clarification: A SJW is someone who puts the agenda of anti-genderization and anti-biasization (nice word) above all other objectives, often by quoting scientific results on existing – and not deniable – bias)

Well, I am a scientist, and I can tell you just one thing: I simply don’t give a shit for whether someone is white, black, red, green, red, straight, gay, a Rastafari or Pastafari (well, to be honest, I really give an extra 3 plus points to Pastafari!), really, I check their proofs. And if they are rubbish, they are rubbish. If they are ok, they are ok.

Let us for a moment assume that the world of research would work the same way as the proposed world of Ehmke, Chevalier, Garret, and all the other SJW: A lesbian female black is submitting an article to a scientific journal (first of all, as a referee I wouldn’t even know about her sexual interest, nor her color, nor her background in most of the cases), and the honest referee reports would dare to reject the paper due to technical and methodological insufficiencies. A very common case. Now, the average SJW (including the above named, according to their blog posts) would require us to be open and, well, publish a rubbish paper just because it is written by an non-white-non-male author.

What should I say … well … stupidity seemingly does not have a limit. Hopefully software projects around the world do not fall into this stupid trap, and continue evaluating contributions solely on their actual merit. This is all I am asking for, quite in contrast to the SJW groupies.

And this is also what Raymond is asking for – so I have not the slightest idea why anyone around this planet sees a need to step up and become noisy.

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Two videos that make you happy

Sometimes one feels down and troubled, and instead of a helping hand, watching videos that cheer you up can get you a long way. Two of my favorite videos are one of the “crazy Korean drummer” Kwon Soon Keun (search on youtube), and the election campaign video of Iceland’s Best party, founded by the musician and comedian Jón Gnarr, which won the election of the Reykjavík City Council in 2010.

Both pieces always make me laugh out loud, even after having seen them many times.

Kwon Soon Keun

Besti flokkurinn

Let me know what you are watching/listening when you need a cheer-up!

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Gaming: The Talos Principle

Over the last weekends I finally managed to finish The Talos Principle, all of its endings. Compared to the actual play time I needed for Portal 2, namely about 12 hours, The Talos Principle challenged me much longer, about 36 hours. An enjoyable ride through many different and stunningly created worlds filled with many many puzzles that need to be solved.

Combined with three different endings the games offers great fun for those who love riddle games. Continue reading

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An amusing lintian error — Lenna

Well, there we are, trying to build another round of TeX Live packages for Debian, just to realize that the lintian error that should have been downgraded to warning (or removed) is still around, due to doubts about the license. Ok. Well, anyway, but what I found is even more funny:

E: texlive-extra source: license-problem-non-free-img-lenna texmf-dist/doc/latex/reflectgraphics/lenna.jpg

which is about one of the most used images in images processing courses, Lenna:

who-is-lenna
Without comments, I just quote the lintian error … it is a whole lot of fun to read.

Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenna, https://www.debian.org/vote/2012/vote_002, #771191
Info: The given source file is cropped from playboy centerfold.

This image is a picture of Lena Söderberg, shot by photographer Dwight Hooker, cropped from the centerfold of the November 1972 issue of Playboy magazine.

According to Hutchison, Jamie (May–June 2001). “Culture, Communication, and an Information Age Madonna” (PDF). IEEE Professional Communication Society Newsletter 45 (3). (page 5 second column second paragraph), this image is distributable but not free.

Moreover, Lenna photo has been pointed to as an example of sexism in the sciences, reinforcing gender stereotypes.

Please use well known and free test image.

Please also submit md5sum, sha1sum, and sha256 of this file as a bug report for lintian.

How fortunate our generation is that we don’t have anything else to care about …

Anyway, back to rebuilding orig.tars, source packages, and binary packages!

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A ghost at JAIST

Today I got the booklet: JAIST Outline 2014-2015, and I found a very interesting table at the end of the pamphlet, listing the international staff members.

JAIST-international-staff

Reading through it, I wondered what has happened to me? An inquiry brought the answer, but I should have guessed…

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オーストリアの特色

(日本語のクラスの宿題なんですけれども。。。)

オーストリアの特色実はオーストリアは特色がない。特にウイーンに住んでいる人々は世界中で一番普通の人だと思う。もちろん、皆は自国をそのとおりに思っているようだ。その証明を書いてみよう!証明のためにどこでも人気な場所へ行って状態を述べると、皆はウイーンの「不特色」が簡単にわかるはずだ。この人気な場所は「ウイーナカフェー」というコーヒー店だ。

今日長い散歩で疲れた観光客の私達はお店を眺めて休憩を楽しみながら入って柔らかいいすに腰掛けてメニューを見てコーヒーとケーキを選んで、店員さんを待っている。〜待っている〜待っている。あれ?来ない?「すみません」とよんでもなかなか来ない。店員さんはドアーのとなりに立ってうっかりしている。私達は立って手を振ってまた「すみません」とよぶのに、店員さんはゆっくりこちらを見て、笑って、のんびりと台所に消える。のどが乾いた私達はとりあえず持ってきた水筒から水を飲んで待ち続ける。10分後結局他の店員さんが近づいて注文をとる。

となりのテーブルに座っている「現地人」は強い方言で説明してくれる。常連客じゃないんって、このテーブルの担任に待たなくちゃぞ。ーなるほど。

これは世界中で一番普通じゃないでしょう!

(先生が二人の直しを有難うございます。)

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