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Fire in my building, Uranus is off

August 15th, 2012

There was a fire in my building. But I'm OK. Also my computers survived other than getting a coat of soot. The fire department said I had to shut my servers down until everything is settled after they let me into my apartment. However my newly migrated sources (from sourceforge) are offline for the time being. Sorry for any inconvenience.


Left Sourceforge

August 14th, 2012

I left sourceforge.net, as I was playing around with viewvc and realised I can have my own repo served from home. The advertising on sourceforge also made me a bit mad, but what can you do it's their business model. They did agree to be targetting their ads less on my pages but it was too late for them. I have the capacity to be serving my projects without advertising and thus I'm gonna go for it. If you're looking for my projects based at sourceforge check out my cvs repository that includes commit history of everything dating back to 2002. Also the project pages that I created over the years are now found off my open source site here. That's the big news for now.


Public letter to Sourceforge

August 11th, 2012

Date: Sat, 11 Aug 2012 20:40:37 +0200                                           
From: "Peter J. Philipp" 
To: sfnet_ops [at] geek.net
Cc: me
Subject: advertising a bit too much                                             
Take a look at this: http://ipv4.goldflipper.net/private/ad-trash.jpg
Where is there room left for my project?  Please tone down 1 of those           
ads (preferably the one on the bottom) or I will move my project offsite        
which is a shame since I've been a member for 10 years now.                     
I intend to make this a public letter by placing it on my blog.                 


The distance of mars today

August 7th, 2012

With xephem and gimp I managed to get the angle between mars-sun-earth and with a bit of trigonometry I solved how far Mars is currently from us. I used the cosine formula from this page to help me. Here is the manpulated image with gimp. I determined the angle to be 78.25 degrees.

Then I got the mean distances between sun and earth (151.7 million kilometers) and sun and mars (229.7 million kilometers). So then I had a,b and C and want to solve for c (so c^2 = b^2 + a^2 - 2ba * cos(C)). And the distance I calculated was 248.1591965 million kilometers. So then light speed between earth and mars would take 827 seconds given that lightspeed is approximately 299,792 km per second. That's 13.79 minutes!


Why landing on Mars may not be a good idea (for humans)

August 5th, 2012

Mars may be toxic. So what do you do? I have a "backup" plan for landing humans on mars. Instead of landing them on Mars itself, a craft lands on the moons Phobos or Deimos. This puts them so close to mars that a round trip time with communications between any point on mars is likely less than 500 ms. So if you think back to the movie "Avatar" there was a human commanding an avatar and sensed what the avatar sensed. I propose that we do this with robotics that land on mars instead of humans. While the humans are getting comfy on the moons (little gravity unfortunately) and controlling the robots they will have almost instant feedback of what a robot sees, hears and feels. I think this will be enough quarantine to explore Mars even if it harbours biological virii that could wipe out the human race when brought back to earth on a human. Something to think about anyhow.


Why I don't trust the ITU

August 4th, 2012

The Internet is a dream come true for both techs and non-techs. It revolutionized communication costs big time. This is why I do not like hearing about the ITU wanting control of the Internet.

This article from the BBC writes the following: The ITU is hosting a conference in December in Dubai to which representatives from 178 nations have been invited to review the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITR). The ITR is a 1988 treaty which set out rules for how traffic should flow between different telecom networks, and how to calculate charges for traffic exchanged between carriers in different countries.

This is why I don't like the ITU because the ITR is mainly out of date. It's people that made the Internet happen and people that drove costs down. And they did this mainly from 1995 onwards. A 1988 treaty could not have conceived of the explosiveness of the Internet's expansion.

Finally I'd like to say we're more than just customers to a telecom (who is a member of the ITU), we are the Internet. Right now as it seems to me the Internet is controlled by the US but it's in good hands. The ITU would tear us apart and raise costs.


Five technologies of the future

August 2nd, 2012

Here are 10 Futuristic Technologies That Will Never Exist.

I kinda laughed reading this and thought I'd create my own that will exist. Here, then, are five technologies that I predict will make it in the future.

  1. Quantum Computers
  2. There is a lot of people working on these now with semi-successful attempts. I believe in the next 10-15 years we'll see the first desktop quantum computers.

  3. Artificial Intelligences
  4. In the future there may only be 2 types of programs. Operating Systems and Artificial Intelligences. The latter can program you anything you wish, from a game (interpreted or compiled) to a complex astronomy program.

  5. Lunar Space Elevator
  6. Unlike the Earth Space Elevator the LSE has a lot more going for it. No thunderstorms, no atmosphere that eats away at the fibres. The LSE is almost a perfect invention. And there can be 2 of them, one at the near side and one at the far side of the moon.

  7. L5 rotational space stations
  8. You know those wheels that rotate in space? Well when the LSE is finished these will also be easier to do. Mining on the moon will likely make these possible. They will be constructed of iron or steel rather than light alloys.

  9. Pseudo Time Machine
  10. If an event happens on earth and you want to look back to see the events that happened just prior you can. By placing earth observing telescopes very far away, so that light travels on the matter of hours to their mirrors you can create a "Way-back-machine" and it's due to the laws of physics (speedlimit of light) that this works.


Cloudcracker, does it make economic sense?

July 30th, 2012

Came across this from a heise.de article. And I'm thinking...this is such a waste of resources. It's contributing to global warming quite possibly just to crack a silly password.

Perhaps we need "cloudbroker" an entity that corporations sign up to and they broker access to a corporations system considering the data that would be used for a crack. It would save the economy money for one and you could give it a certain amount of penalty before the broker rats on the cracker, and then the corporation is alerted.

Now if the cloudcracker was powered 100% off-grid by solar panels, I'd like the idea.

There may be a good side to this however. If enough people use such blatant climate-killing services perhaps they will introduce low-cost, low-power quantum systems sooner than later. At that point all crypto would be mute anyhow and cryptosystems would live a renaissance most likely.


Donated 50 euros to OpenBSD

July 13th, 2012

I've been in contact with some OpenBSD developers the last few days and they managed to create a patch in the kernel that I needed. I promptly wrote Theo a transaction for 50 euros. The money should go through in the next few days. Thanks to Claudio, Henning, Otto, and if I didn't mention your name a thanks goes out to you as well.


A bit disappointed with dspam

July 6th, 2012

In May of 2011, I identified an issue with the FreeBSD mail server for the company I work for. Dspam was coring on signal 8 repeatedly. I investigated the issue and produced a workaround, it is written about here.

So then when doing upgrades just recently I noticed the signal 8's were back on the FreeBSD port, and also on the newest version of dspam. So I put my patch to good use again and the signal 8s disappeared. All in all I'm a bit disappointed that my "hint" to dspam development did not see a concrete fix and I'm sure others must be having these problems as well.


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