Boycotting Facebook users

(Please see http://saynotofreebasics.fsmi.in/ for background on this internet land grab by Facebook and their partners.  For a more enjoyable way to learn about this, hit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAQWsTFF0BM)


I have always been a bit of a crackpot in terms of rants and protests and taking a binary approach to things that upset me.

Age is supposed to mellow people.  Apparently I am not old enough.  Worse, I am getting younger (i.e., less mellow!)

I am stepping up my personal campaign against facebook in the following manner: until this "Free Basics" nonsense is completely gutted by TRAI (or if it is not gutted, then *forever*), I will not accept any personal (see footnote 1) communication other than via plain phone and SMS from anyone who is in the IT industry and also uses Facebook.
(For people who are not in the IT industry, I will only boycott those who are very active on FB.  Yes, that's subjective; can't help it.  As for how would I know if they are active, since I don't have a facebook account?  I plan to just ask them and take their response at face value.)

(One big question mark is whatsapp -- far too many people are on whatsapp for my liking.  But since I don't have it, these people are already constrained to communicating with me normally anyway...  so maybe I will simply treat this as a separate thing and not bring it into this equation.  For now anyway.)

1.  "Personal" mean this will not affect anything that could be called a "professional" or "business" communication, or something where money is involved, etc.  It also means gitolite support will NOT be affected; I consider that a professional thing too.  So why am I posting it here?  Just to have a URL to point people to... I'm not even posting it on my g+ because very few of my g+ contacts are "personal".

2.  If you want to comment on this post, note that the "oppose Facebook" idea itself is not up for discussion; there are many other places you can do that, with many people who know much more than I do and are working a lot harder to beat this nonsense.  If you want to comment on my specific form of protest, feel free to do so, as long as you understand that I am unlikely to go back on this stance, and may not respond immediately.  Or at all.


Elixir: Agent Fibonacci!

I got interested in Elixir when I had to help someone troubleshoot something called Hyperledger, and it seemed neat.  I've always wanted to try Erlang but had heard the statement "Erlang makes hard things easy, and easy things hard" so I had backed off.  (I assume it was the syntax...?)

Elixir seemed the best of both worlds so... let's take a look.

I'm now skimming through Dave Thomas's "Programming Elixir", and I found a pretty confusing example of using an Agent to maintain state (that's what Agent's do in Elixir) to compute a fibonacci number.  And it was, as I said, confusing.  Subjectively, this looks a *lot* cleaner to me:

# Fibonacci with an Agent

defmodule AgentFib do
  def sl do
    Agent.start_link(fn -> HashDict.new end, name: __MODULE__)

  def get(0), do: 0
  def get(1), do: 1
  def get(n) do
    f = Agent.get(__MODULE__, &(HashDict.get(&1, n)))
    if f do
      f2 = get(n-2)
      f1 = get(n-1)

      Agent.update(__MODULE__, &(HashDict.put(&1, n, f1+f2)))

n = String.to_integer(hd(System.argv))
AgentFib.get(n) |> IO.inspect


moved to google+

Update 2015-08-14: well it had to happen again... I am probably going to start using blogger again, at least when I want to post code snippets.  G+ sucks for that kind of thing...


Well it had to happen someday. I referred to it obliquely in
http://sitaramc.blogspot.com/2011/07/veracity.html but at that time I
did not expect to actually stop using blogspot.
There are in fact some advantages blogspot has. The blog-specific
search is one thing (G+ will search the whole world so you have to add
your name or something to make it focus on your "stream" or whatever
the heck they call it).
The URL itself is a big turnoff in G+. Compare blogspot's
http://sitaramc.blogspot.com/2011/07/veracity.html to G+'s
In fact the only reason I'm moving there is because my online world
has now pretty much reduced to git, gitolite, and related areas. And
most of those people are on G+. I reach, and am reached by, so many
more people there, it's an enormous difference from blogspot.


Microsoft makes .txt files dangerous!

This security update resolves a publicly disclosed vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user opens a legitimate rich text format file (.rtf), text file (.txt), or Word document (.doc) that is located in the same network directory as a specially crafted dynamic link library (DLL) file.
-- Microsoft makes .txt files dangerous

(Courtesy http://lwn.net/Articles/459240/ )


git for computer scientists -- my version


It's quite similar to the original, classic version, but extends the
whole thing to explain detached HEAD, and the difference between reset
and checkout


Fwd: Git - Authenticate from Active Directory....

India in general is very "age conscious" as in, "respect people [significantly] older than you".  But among Indians, Punjabis are particularly so.  Not unlike Japan and Italy [which I used to call our "country-in-law" at one time ;-)]

So anyway, I decided to shamelessly play on this; see the last sentence of the email below ;-)  It may not have any short term effect, but who knows...!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sitaram Chamarty <sitaramc@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Aug 9, 2011 at 11:07 PM
Subject: Re: Git - Authenticate from Active Directory....
To: [an obviously Punjabi name elided]

Although this link sounds like it is only about ssh, if you read it carefully it answers your question and it should help you: http://sitaramc.github.com/gitolite/doc/authentication-vs-authorisation.html

On a more personal note, I won't help anyone with Microsoft stuff.  I won't actively prevent gitolite from working with MS, but I will not actively help either.  For example, if someone sends me a write up on how to get gitolite to work with OpenLDAP, I will either add it to my docs, or link to it (whatever he wants).  But if you send me a document about how to make it work with AD, I will not do that.

Sorry if that sounds rude, arrogant, or whatever, but at my age (I'm close to 50) I'm entitled to my opinions, puttar ;-)



On Tue, Aug 9, 2011 at 10:49 PM, elided
<elided> wrote:
> Hi,
> A question on gitolite:
> I have git repository hosted on a Linux RedHat Enterprise machine.
> I am able to checkin/checkout using http (apache is configured for this).
> The users are setup using .htpasswd.
> I want to authenticate from Active Directory instead. Is this possible with
> gitolite?
> Also this access has to be given only to certain Active Directory users.
> If not, is this even possible?
> Looking forward to your response.
> Thanks
> <elided>



(WTF, mac idiocy!) oh yeah, about that "silky smooth OS X style"...

"git gui" and "gitk" are nice GUIs that come with git.  The latter especially is *very* powerful and even Linus uses it when needed.

GitX (http://gitx.frim.nl/) is what folks use on Macs.  Per its website, "GitX is a git GUI made for Mac OS X. It currently features a history viewer much like gitk and a commit GUI like git gui. But then in silky smooth OS X style!"

Nice.  Except, I learn while casually hanging around on #git, that you cannot open two GitX views on the same repo.

And this is not a GitX limitation.  It's damn well not a *Git* limitation, since the tools that GitX claimed to be "much like" don't have that limit.

No... it's apparently an OS X limitation not to allow GitX to open a repo twice.  Apparently a repo is a "document" so it "makes sense" to the poor brain-washed guy who told me this.

Damn... all the trouble Linus goes to avoid the need for locking, with stable objects and NFS-safe renames, and such.

And Mac OS X says "meh!"

Tell me again, why do *developers* use this piece of shit?


IE users stupid?


quote: "The comparison clearly suggests that more people on the higher side of IQ scale have moved away from Internet Explorer in the last 5 years," AptiQuant concludes.

I wish this were actually true, but sadly, it isn't very likely to be.  I call bullshit.

I do believe most IE users are seriously lacking **in information technology skills**, but even in my worst anti-MS rant I have never equated that with stupidity as a general trait.

My doctor uses IE.  My accountant uses IE.  99% of TCS' senior management probably uses it simply because it is the damn default and *they* didn't feel there was anything wrong with it.

In fact, I am coming to the opposite conclusion.  I suspect that most IE users are of the kind (see previous para) who would not even *bother* to visit an IQ measurement site.  And I am saddened that among Chrome/Opera/FF users, the more intelligent ones actually have the time to waste on trivial pursuits like "gee I wonder what's my IQ" (here's a hint: if you care, it's not high enough!)

And that doesn't mean IE is somehow being credited here.  It just happens to be the "incumbent", as they say in politics.



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I posted my comments on veracity there because a lot *more* of my gitolite/git contacts are there.


meta comment on blogs and g+: at some point we'll have to choose one; we can't update both.  I'd love to move to G+ for my blogging also, but it doesn't have a search box anywhere that I can see.  I depend on that a lot to find stuff I wrote about long ago, and without that I can't really make it the main outlet for my random typing!


Dijkstra endorses perl (well, I'm stretching it a wee bit... ;-)

Dijkstra quote: If we wish to count lines of code, we should not regard them as "lines produced" but as "lines spent".