Planet maemo

Alberto Mardegan

We live in strange times. People are so filled with hatred and prejudices that their brain becomes unable to parse the simplest sentences. I take this issue to heart, because it could happen to anyone — it has happened to me before (luckily, only in private online conversations), where an acquaintance of mine accused me of saying things I never said. And it happens to famous people all the time. Guys, just because you hate person X, you should not skip over parts of their speech or suppress context in order to make it look like they said something terrible or stupid, when they didn't.

Now it happend to Richard Stallman, with a whole wave of hateful people accusing him of saying something that he didn't say. Let's start with the VICE article, titled "Famed Computer Scientist Richard Stallman Described Epstein Victims As 'Entirely Willing'", which insists in quoting only two words out of Stallman's sentence:

Early in the thread, Stallman insists that the “most plausible scenario” is that Epstein’s underage victims were “entirely willing” while being trafficked.

Except that he didn't say that. Why not quote the whole sentence? It's not such a long sentence, really! Just follow the link to the source, which provides a complete excerpt of Stallman's words:

We can imagine many scenarios, but the most plausible scenario is that she presented herself to him as entirely willing. Assuming she was being coerced by Epstein, he would have had every reason to tell her to conceal that from most of his associates.

Now, English is not my native language, but I read it well enough to understand that “to present oneself as” and “to be” are different expressions having very different meanings (and, in most context, actually opposite ones!). You don't need to be Shakespeare to understand that. You only need to either stop hating or, if you really cannot help it, at least stop projecting your prejudices onto the people you hate. Hate makes you blind.

It's sad to see otherwise intelligent people take stupid decisions because of such misunderstandings.

I for one, stand in solidarity with Richard Stallman and with the English language.

(please note that this is not an endorsement of everything Stallman might have said in the past; I don't follow him that closely, and it may be that he also happened to say terrible things in this very thread. I'm only commenting this very specific issue, and I know that in this very specific issue he's being wrongly accused)

Categories: english
Alberto Mardegan

Migrating to a new Mastodon instance

2019-08-20 14:39 UTC  by  Alberto Mardegan
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The wonders of improvised Mastodon instances: one node disappears after an outage caused by a summer heatwave, leaving its users no way to migrate their data or to notify their followers.

After about one month of waiting for the node to come up or give some signals of life, I've decided to create a new account on another instance. If you use Mastodon and you were following me, please forgive me for the annoyance and follow me again here.

Categories: amicos
madman2k

calibDB: easy camera calibration as a web-service

2019-08-09 16:13 UTC  by  madman2k
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Camera calibration just got even easier now. The pose calibration algorithm mentioned here is available as web-service now.

This means that calibration is no longer restricted to a Linux PC – you can also calibrate cameras attached to Windows/ OSX and even mobile phones.
Furthermore you will not have to calibrate at all if your device is already known to the service.
The underlying algorithm ensures that the obtained calibrations are reliable and thus can be shared between devices of the same series.

Aggregating calibrations while providing on-the-fly calibrations for unknown devices form the calibDB web-service.

In the future we will make our REST API public so you can transparently retrieve calibrations for use with your computer vision algorithms.
This will make them accessible to a variety of devices, without you having to worry about the calibration data.

Categories: News
madman2k

Beyond the Raspberry Pi for Nextcloud hosting

2019-08-09 15:45 UTC  by  madman2k
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When using Nextcloud it makes some sense to host it yourself at home to get the maximum benefit of having your own cloud.

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Categories: Articles
Alberto Mardegan

I was looking at TripAdvisor, some days ago. It's a very useful site, filled with user-generated advice and reviews, which has become almost a must for travellers. But I never like it when a private entity gets so much power over our lives (even if it's — currently — exercised in total fairness).

I would like to have a federated TripAdvisor-like network. I duckduckwent for a while, but I didn't find anything similar (if you know of some project of that kind, please let me know in the comments).

But thinking more about the issue, I realised that I probably wouldn't even bother to type my reviews into that site; I have a blog, so ideally I would like to have the option to write my review here, and then have the site import it. Technically, it could work with a webhook, or even a periodic check (real-time updates would not be a requirement here) over a URL I've linked to in my profile on that site. Then, in order for the posts to be imported, they would have to be entered in a standard format: maybe some keywords (or invisible HTML elements) could be used as markers for the content that need to be extracted from an otherwise ordinary blog post, or the relevant content could be replicated in a different format in the HTML headers (this, though, would require some additional work).

And while we are at it, why not extend this to other social networks? I use Mastodon, for example, and occasionally I send out a toot with a link to my latest blog post in there. But it would be much nicer if I could somehow set a special mark into my posts while composing them, to have them automatically tooted out on my account (this could probably be implemented as a standalone service, authorized to act on my Mastodon account — similarly to how the Mastodon-Twitter crossposter app works).

But I'm rather confident that I'm not the only one having this kind of needs, and that's why I'm writing this blog post: maybe someone out there has already found a solution, or has some more concrete ideas? If so, I'm all eyes!

Categories: english
Alberto Mardegan
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Categories: energia
Alberto Mardegan

Qbs and code coverage reports

2019-07-01 13:42 UTC  by  Alberto Mardegan
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You know that I'm not an early adopter. That's why it was only a couple of weeks ago when I decided to give Qbs a try, by using the good old Mappero (and its spin-off, Mappero Geotagger) as a test bench. Yes, I know that the Qt company is not going to maintain Qbs anymore in the future, but the little I knew about Qbs was enough to convince me that it's a project worth supporting. So, better late than never -- and hopefully the community (me included) will do a good job in keeping Qbs thriving.

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Categories: english
Alberto Mardegan

More than one year has passed since the initial announcement of my plan to investigate using a different backend for contact storage. If you want to get a better understanding of the plan, that mail is still a good read -- not much has changed since them, planning wise.

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Categories: english
madman2k

Ubuntu on the Lenovo D330

2019-05-13 17:03 UTC  by  madman2k
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The Lenovo D330 2-in-1 convertible (or netbook as we used to say) is a quite interesting device. It is based on Intels current low-power core platform, Gemini Lake (GLK), and thus offers great battery-life and a fan-less design.

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Categories: Articles
Alberto Mardegan

A critical view on the blockchain

2019-04-24 19:59 UTC  by  Alberto Mardegan
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At the beginning of this month I participated to the foss-north conference, in Gothenburg, and took the stage to give a short presentation of the blockchain technology. Given that my talk was somehow critical of the blockchain (or rather, of the projects using it without due reason) I was prepared to receive a wave of negative remarks, assuming that all the hype surrounding this technology would have infected a good part of my audience as well. I was therefore positively surprised when several people came to me afterwords to express their appreciation for my speech, appreciation that now makes me confident enough to share the video of the presentation here too:

I want to publicly thank Johan Thelin and all the other foss-north staff and volunteers who organized such a successful conference. They also managed to get the video recordings out in a surprisingly short time. Indeed, the above video is taken from the foss-north YouTube channel, which I recommend you to visit as there were a lot of good talks at the conference; the topics were so varied, that I'm sure you'll find at least a couple of talks of your interest.

Categories: blockchain
Alberto Mardegan

Ubports at the LinuxPiter conference

2019-03-13 16:07 UTC  by  Alberto Mardegan
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Last November I was invited to talk at the LinuxPiter conference. I held a presentation of the Ubports project, to which I still contribute in my little spare time.

The video recording from the conference has finally been published:

(there's also a version in Russian)

There was not a big audience, to be honest, but those that were there expressed a lot of interest in the project.

Categories: english
Andres Gomez

This is the first report about Igalia’s activities around Computer Graphics, specifically 3D graphics and, in particular, the Mesa3D Graphics Library (Mesa), focusing on the year 2018.

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Categories: 3D