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Inside baseball: incorrect locales

Traffic backed up along 4th Street in Mission Bay

I figure while I’m here, and literally a few blocks down from where a huge baseball game is about to erupt, the analogy is apt. I didn’t know what a San Francisco Giant was, but now I’ve seen so many posters and jumpers and caps.

The photo above shows the building traffic along 4rd Street in Mission Bay to get to the ballpark. Fortunately the Muni has right of way here!

But anyway, to what this post is supposed to be about. Good thing I don’t normally get distracted. I noted today the Hugo frontmatter generator I wrote was inserting the timezone for Sydney (+10 UTC) into posts, instead of San Francisco (-7 UTC). Whoops!

This wasn’t an issue when Clara and I were in Japan or Hong Kong, because they’re close enough to Australia not to matter. But here, we only share half a day, meaning potentially as many posts have the wrong day.

This has now been corrected. Se a vida é.

Rubenerd Show 375: The Commodore 128 episode

Rubenerd Show 375

Podcast: Play in new window | Download

47:35 – Screenbeard, aka Josh Nunn, the lead writer and webhoster at The Geekorium, generously sent me his Commodore 128 in response to show 359! This episode is dedicated to him, and includes snippets of Clara and I wandering to an Australia Post parcel locker, and the official unboxing ceremony. We also talk about bubble tea. Recorded May 2018.

Recorded in Sydney, Australia. Licence for this track: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0. Attribution: Ruben Schade.

Released June 2018 on The Overnightscape Underground, an Internet talk radio channel focusing on a freeform monologue style, with diverse and fascinating hosts.

Subscribe with iTunes, Pocket Casts, Overcast or add this feed to your podcast client.

The Internet Archive Python CLI tool

If you’re used to the older FTP method of uploading material to the Internet Archive, you owe it to yourself and your password to try out their excellent Python command line tools.

To install the package on FreeBSD:

# pkg install python3 py36-internetarchive

Or using pip on FreeBSD to install:

# pkg install python3 py36-pip
% pip install --user internetarchive

Or on macOS with Homebrew:

$ brew install python
$ pip install internetarchive

Let’s confirm it worked:

$ ia --help | head 1
==> A command line interface to

Noice! Now we can configure:

$ ia configure
==> Enter your credentials below to configure 'ia'.
==> Email address: [..]
==> Password: [..]
==> Config saved to: /home/rubenerd/.config/ia.ini

Now you can upload, download, delete, search, view tasks, copy/move, and more. The syntax is simple:

$ ia <action> [options] <identifier>

More info is available with ia --help. If you fudge an argument or file path, it prints out inline instructions to help you out.

Which duck tape is best?

Link to Project Farm's video comparing duck tape

I have no idea how I ended up watching Project Farm’s video last night, and my need for these products is likely limited. But it was fascinating. For my global readers, the 72° he references is 22° celcius.

(As a technical point, I’ve also gone back to linking to videos over embedding. I don’t want people getting cookies, JavaScript, or other junk they didn’t consent to when going to my site. It also makes it faster).

Secular worldviews survey

Secular Worldviews survey

The Richard Dawkins Foundation retweeted this survey:

An international research team, including researchers from the UK, USA, Denmark, Finland, Czech Republic, Turkey, and Brazil, is conducting an online survey asking participants about their worldview, as well as a few demographics questions

Worth doing if you’re not religious, but may still be spiritual. I listed myself as a spiritual humanist/naturalist, though I forgot to list Haruhiism.

The @yaakov_h on the Australian ABC

The imitable @yaakov_h on Twitter, who’s avatar is far handsomer than mine, rendered this observation of my recent Australian ABC post:

@Rubenerd is that like an ATM Machine? 😉

Damn it!

ABC in this context referrs to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. My server stats indicate most of my readers are in North America, so I wanted to disambiguate it from the American ABC. Damn it, I did it again.

Privatising the Australian ABC

The big news in Australia has been the centre-right Liberal party’s peak council voting overwhelmingly to privatise the national broadcaster, the ABC. MPs were quick to assuage concerns, or attempt to, as Amy Remeikis reports:

“Good, bad or interesting, the ABC is part of the core, official fabric of the nation and should never be sold,” Fischer told AAP.

That’s not a lie. He should should never be sold, not that it wouldn’t ever be.

The energy and environment minister, Josh Frydenberg, addressed the issue on Sky News on Sunday. “The ABC is an iconic national institution, it provides valuable services to our regions and to our cities,” he said. “It is not going to be sold and it can never be sold.

This from the party that promised not to cut ABC funding. That was a lie. They have zero credibility.

“We now treat every Labor lie, every single one, no matter how absurd, as something that has to be categorically rebutted, every single time,” Turnbull said.

Pot calling the kettle, mate?

Another Bitbucket easter egg

They’re a bit more detailed now than the message I saw in 2015!

Counting objects: 12, done.
Delta compression using up to 4 threads.
Compressing objects: 100% (1212), done.
Writing objects: 100% (1212), 2.79 KiB | 952.00 KiB/s, done.
Total 12 (delta 9), reused 0 (delta 0)
remote: CCCCCCCCCC1''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''tCCCCCCCCCC
remote: CCCCCCCCCC,                                          ;GCCCCCCCCC
remote: CCCCCCCCCCi                                          tCCCCCCCCCC
remote: CCCCCCCCCCf                                         .LCCCCCCCCCC
remote: CCCCCCCCCCC,                                        :CCCCCCCCCCC
remote: CCCCCCCCCCCi                                        tCCCCCCCCCCC
remote: CCCCCCCCCCCf                                       .LCCCCCCCCCCC
remote: CCCCCCCCCCCCC;            iGCCCCCCCCCi;;;;;;iiiiiifCCCCCCCCCCCCC
remote: CCCCCCCCCCCCCC.            tLLLCCCCCt,:::::;;;;;;1CCCCCCCCCCCCCC
remote: CCCCCCCCCCCCCC:              .....,,,,,,::::::;;;tCCCCCCCCCCCCCC
remote: CCCCCCCCCCCCCC1                ......,,,,,::::::;LCCCCCCCCCCCCCC
remote: CCCCCCCCCCCCCCL                   .....,,,,,,:::;CCCCCCCCCCCCCCC
remote: CCCCCCCCCCCCCCC:                    ......,,,,,:1CCCCCCCCCCCCCCC
remote: CCCCCCCCCCCCCCC1                       .....,,,,fCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC
remote: CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCL                         .....,:CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC
remote: CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCL:::::::::::::::::::::::::;;;;iLCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC
   17105886..f4ef41b3  master -> master

No more Optus dialup

Steven Kiernan reported on the end of an era:

Optus is killing off its dial-up internet service – some 20 years after the carrier entered the Australian internet market, three years after Telstra announced it was retiring dial-up services, and two years after the Australian Bureau of Statistics stopped counting dial-up in its half-yearly report.

And direct from Optus themselves:

As we continue to build a network that’s fit for the future, occasionally we have to say goodbye to older technologies and products. As you have an Optus Dial Up Internet Service with us, we’re getting in touch to let you know that it will be closed from 15 July 2018.

Everyone's favourite short-tempered Railgun character

And two entirely pointless quotes from something else, and from here as well:

There is a BART Bike Station inside the Embarcadero Station offering bicycle commuters with a BikeLink card to use the secure bike parking facility that focuses on the exploits of Mikoto and her friends; Kuroko Shirai, Kazari Uiharu, and Ruiko Saten, prior to and during the events of A Certain Magical Index.

This news will surely impact Malcolm Turnbull’s Multi Technology Mix, the much-maligned alternative to Labor’s economies-of-scale FttP. Maybe he can use tin cans and string for rural backhaul instead; or some fast-moving coins.

For some pointless personal nostalgia, my first dial-up connection was with Pacific Internet in the mid 1990s. And it cost significantly more than a few coins. They became Pacnet, which was later bought by Australia’s Telstra. And Australia’s Optus is owned by Singapore’s SingTel. Then at some point we got StarHub Internet, not to be confused with Star World, which was on TCV before that also became StarHub.

And as another aside, Optus has had several logos since its inception, though like many companies of its vintage, its original logo was the better one. Can we all pretend mid-2000s logo refreshes didn’t happen?

Time to K56Flex my way out of here, maybe on a Muni RS-232 because I’m no phoney; or I could take a cablecar, unless I’ve been broadbanned from eating serial, or from parallel parking dial tones! I’ll stop now.

The Transamerica Pyramid

I’ve been tracking a list of my favourite buildings since I was old enough to read paper encyclopædias at school, then Encarta, then Wikipedia. I never thought I’d ever get to see some of them, let alone all, but Clara and I have been ticking them off!

Today we did number three, the Transamerica Pyramid! Clara is still in Sydney, but was able to explore with me through the wonders of Facetime and a decent LTE connection.

View of the building down from Montgomery Street

The 48-floor building was completed in 1972. The aforementioned encyclopædias I read as a kid claimed its unique shape was to help it withstand earthquakes, though Wikipedia claims it was Transamerica’s CEO John Beckett wanting light to permeate to the street below.

View of the triangular structures on the lower floors

I just think its visually fascinating, evocative of a modern day Giza pyramid. It was even the right colour under the right afternoon light, so cool. Warm, actually.

And speaking of colour, up close the surface is a mix of quartz and other stones. I never saw this view on those encyclopædia articles!

Nerdy closeup of the wall, showing the rocks

Ironically, the Pyramid of Khafre is number four. That might take a bit longer to get to.