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Another batch of starlink sats launched

February 18th, 2020

Yesterday a rocket from SpaceX put another 60 satellites in orbit, upping the total launched to around 300. It is much bigger than iridium already. Iridium was a 77 satellite constellation put up by motorola in the 90's for satellite phone communications. I have thought about this starlink a lot and I think the price for access to this network should be either based on income, or GDP of a country, with optionally a fixed price for high income persons ie. 19.95 USD/mo or something. There is 3 billion+ people on earth that don't have Internet access and a majority of those are people who live on a few dollars a day. They should be given access that is affordable. So starlink could be making 3 billion dollars a month for all those 3 billion people paying 1 dollar a month. That's incredible profit as it costs 10 billion (my estimate) to put 40,000 starlink satellites up. That money would be recovered within the first year of operation. When it's available I'd like to partake in using spacex's starlink. It is skynet.

Now on to the astronomers who are going to get worse and worse starshots. I believe there should be a programme to put a few hubbles up to compensate them. And they already have a company that can do this for them. At reduced pricing. Noone has to lose their job here, although the value to humanity getting everyone access to the Internet outweighs astronomers hunting for planets in other star systems. Don't you think?


Free Julian Assange

February 18th, 2020

And please no extradition to the USA for Julian Assange. If it wasn't for wikileaks, we'd never know about the "collateral murder" video where innocent men, women and children were killed by an apache gunship helicopter in bagdad.

We'd also know less of other leaks that were important. Hasn't Julian suffered enough? Hasn't he made enough mistakes and paid a dear price already? If he was released today he'd still not be the same person he was 8 years ago.

Many prominent personas have already called for him to be released. I'm not prominent but I add my voice. Give Julian a ride home to Australia.


SLRN probably has a bad RNG

February 18th, 2020

Yesterday I was looking through the source of slrn (not released since 2014?) and found this:

static unsigned long fast_random (void)
	return (Fast_Random = Fast_Random * 69069U + 1013904243U);
This is an incredibly stupid fast random as it's not cryptographic. But I analyzed this second number and it looked like a timestamp. It was to the day 18 years ago when this timestamp was (more than luck for me?). I googled but could only find someone named Kaminski dying on that day of old age. Perhaps it has a different meaning.

The reason I looked at slrn is because I'm considering perhaps writing a simple NNTP server with security in mind. But slrn won't even work on it becuase it will be using TLS1.2 and possibly 1.3. So that's a dillema. Once the NNTP server would be done I would have used it for comments in this blog.


This webserver has now powersavings

February 17th, 2020

Good for the environment, I have switched on powersavings mode on this webserver. I had previously thought it was already turned on but it wasn't. The mail server has it turned on so maybe I mistook them. When the system idles it will do so at 1600 MHz and at high load it will adjust higher. It is the apmd -A mode if you know this. I also use this at home on my workstation. It also means more profit for my hoster, but ultimately the environment wins.


Regarding OpenBSD donations

February 17th, 2020

OpenBSD has released a statement that they took in roughly $692,000 CAD in last years donation campaign. I'm proud to mention that I contributed 1/500 of that and at least 1/70's of that for a private donor when counting that private donors contributed up to $100,000 CAD. I have already made up my mind how much I will donate this year and it will be around 50 EUR possibly donating it next month. This is a far cry from yesteryear but I'm poor and last year I had the money and this is what gives me joy.

I hope OpenBSD won't squander their money, but uses it to the best interest of the project. Perhaps hire half a dozen people for a year. These have to be the best and perhaps already OpenBSD developers that can take a sabbatical from their current job. If it means moving to Alberta I don't know if that'll work, but it would be an adventure for those elegible. Good luck to OpenBSD!


Opinion: Germany should not invest in classical Supercomputers

February 16th, 2020

I was just reading about a new Supercomputer in Berlin and Goettingen. And I'm wondering, who pays for the electricity of these 100,000's of cores? In germany when you're a high-wattage user of electricity it costs 15 cents per KWh (so 1/2 price and is subsidized by other consumers, who pay 30 cents per KWh), so do some estimates.. even then the electricity bill is going to be huge. Not to mention they use a coal powered generation plant to produce the electricity. Sorry there has to be a better way! But fear not! There is a solution, when there is need, there is innovation they say! If you invest in photonics research you can cut the powerbill on a truly photonic supercomputer and it should be 1000x faster and require less power. Further more a quantum computer is a nice thing to have it probably only uses electricity en-masse for the cooling and then is fairly fast. Use that until you figure out the photonics! What has happened to the german erfindergeist?


Nearing end of winter (2 weeks left?)

February 15th, 2020

The birds are already starting to build nests. Maybe I'll get a photo of one near my apartment. In beginning of march things will turn around here I believe and spring will be oncoming.


Working on a new side-project

February 7th, 2020

It's a mixer program for my Numark DJ mixer. The source is here. I posted some of this source to openbsd-misc a few days ago but it wasn't working then. At least you can select songs now and play them, but it doesn't mix yet. Not sure how I'll do that.


Goodbye UK

January 31st, 2020

You introduced a new term in language "brexiting - the act of saying goodbye and then hanging around" :-). Now it's for good though I already said goodbye once. New opportunities await you UK. You'll see. And maybe you'll want a union with Canada or someone. Megxit may make it possible as a liason. Although I don't know if Harry would like to see Canada and UK bonding. Whatever the future holds, I hope it will be brilliant.


SolarScale.DE expires tomorrow

January 31st, 2020

A long time domain of mine, solarscale.de expires tomorrow. I didn't want to keep paying for it. Thank goodness for the lesser spam I'll be getting. I had it almost as long as I had the domain centroid.eu. I always imagined it as a sort of coat with scales that are solar cells that produce electricity. There is a market for scales that are powered by solar cells which can grab that domain now. I don't care much who takes it as long as they respect my privacy as the previous domain holder. This means bouncing or discarding emails that may get to them in error. Goodbye solarscale.de.


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