Lair Of The Multimedia Guru

2021-03-20

Free rapid SARS-CoV2 tests (in Austria)

Since 15th march, everyone in austria can get 5 free rapid antigen selftests per month. When i first heared of the free self tests i thought, “i wish these where available half a year ago and shiped to everyone, one for every day, that would have safed lives”. One per week is better than nothing of course also now after the vaccines are increasingly available its a bit late.
I dont know if all austriawide are the same but the ones we got are simple lateral flow tests made by JOYSBIO (Tianjin) Biotechnology Co.,Ltd.
They came with 3 leaflets explaining not just how to do the test but also provide details about the tests performance.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael @ 20:42

2020-11-10

Bitcoins and Inflation

Just today on youtube i again heard people talk about how crypto currencies are special as some are not inflationary while everything else fiat (printing), equity (dilution) and precious metals (mining) are inflationary. That is, all loose value over time.
But this is in some sense, not actually true.
Bitcoins require a blockchain to be maintained and the key requirement for that is that any adversary can never have 51% of the computational power. That requires a continuous “payment” of computational resources / energy. Which ultimately has the same effect as payment though someone printing/diluting/mining. If the blockchain is not maintained with enough computational power then at some point it becomes economic for an attacker to do double spend attacks by modifying the blockchain.
Iam sure iam not the first realizing this. But bitcoins kind of suck due to their vast computational blockchain maintaince requirements which also end up increasing co2 emissions or waste energy if it used renewables. Id wish we had some crypto that didnt had this energy problem and properly maintained privacy, it would be cool in a world where governments try to always increase their power over citizens and what they own.
PS: No, this is not supposed to be a prediction of what the bitcoin value will do in the coming years, it could go up alot or down by alot i have no clue.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael @ 13:27

2020-05-27

How to misconfigure the xfce4-panel

  1. install a new xubuntu 20.04, move your stuff to it.
  2. Now you realize the taskbar is a lot crappier than years ago, its extra slow. And going over all GUI accessible options and messing with them does not help. But google will eventually lead you to a .config/gtk-3.0/gtk.css and XfcePanelWindow-popup-delay amongth others. So you copy and paste the example and change the popup delay to 0 or 1 millisecond. Who on earth would intentionally want a GUI to react with delay ?
  3. Now the panel appears quicker but it still doesnt disappear. Theres a autohide feature with 3 settings none really work and 2 opacity sliders, if one sets autohide to always and “leave” opacity to 0 it disappears quickly.
  4. After about 10 minutes of attempted use the panel drives you nuts by behaving in a hard to describe manner, it sometimes appears when you move the mouse to the edge (as it should) sometimes when the mouse just gets close (which is fun when there is something in that area other than the panel you want to click on) but is still far away from the edge. Again going over all GUI options and all text file options known, you find XfcePanelWindow-autohide-size but it doesnt make things better. And then suddenly you realize what is happening. You set opacity to 0%, so you change that to make it vissible, and here you realize the panel auto hides with a random delay (which you didnt see as it was quickly switching to transparent).
  5. Finally? you change XfcePanelWindow-popdown-delay to 0 and think all is well but after another 5min of attempted use you realize the panel is still alot slower than it was years ago and on slower hardware, its also eating alot of CPU.
  6. Setting all opacities to 100% and making sure no fancy effects are turned on (no none where on). Finally the panel is ok and you cant tell anymore if its as it was previously. Sure you could write code that renders that panel many thousands of times before it appears but you didnt write it and also dont have the time ATM and whoever wrote it had different priorities apparently … But you make a note on your todo “try/test window managers” but then again xfce works well enough so maybe you wont …
Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael @ 11:18

2020-03-22

Fake Amazon Gift Card

I bought some rather cheap bluetooth headphones, for listening to the news while doing other work (so sound quality doesnt matter). My normal headphones are with wires for security.
Did not try the headphones yet but in the package there was this card:

For a moment i considered to follow the instructions and after i get some 10 € (or not) edit my review to a accurate score and report them to amazon. But realizing that this card is not personalized at all not to a customer, not a product, not an order nor a seller. Also as the product was shipped by amazon the seller likely doesnt know who got a card and who doesnt of their customers. Maybe anyone has written a 5 star review and wants to try to get 10€ ;)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael @ 21:22

2019-05-23

EU elections 2019

A new EU parliament is being elected currently, (23-26 may depending on country). If you live in the EU and care about your future, you should vote.
Its only 1 in about 380 million potential votes. Not much effect you have but if you do not go then you have 0 and cant complain next time the EU passes a law that “noone” wanted.
You can check on saveyourinternet how your countries representatives and parties voted on the copyright directive. Looking at how politicians actually voted is better than listening and believing what they claim they will before an election.
Some related street Photography:

Leaning on a tree our nationalist party is campaigning.


A few streets onward, our greens are campaigning in the park with a picture of a tank.


Right Nationalist Party (FPÖ) giving out Chocolate and Flyers. Yeah they gave me some too as i passed by after taking this picture.


Right Conservative Party (ÖVP) posing for someone else taking pictures. I took one too.

Where are the greens, small left parties and our sozial democrats (SPÖ) ? I dont know, i didnt pass by any. I saw some campaign posters for the sozial democrats but forgot to take a picture, they IIRC called people to go to the election on it.

And some days later …

A vandalized campaign poster of the FPÖ. I think that was after a video was made public showing them discussing with russian oligarchs (or claimed to be oligarchs) about funneling money and contracts to them in exchange for buying a newspaper and manipulating elections with it. And also discussing how to move money around behind the “Rechnungshof”. Looks almost like a russian bear ripped the poster off.

Update 2019-05-24:

Finally run accross a SPÖ poster. Still no trace of NEOS and the other small parties but i also found a


Fox. It was faster than my camera liked.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael @ 11:30

2019-02-25

Copyright EU #6

On the 20th February the EU governments approved the current text, the way i understand it, it next goes back to the EU parliament for a final vote.
I ve found a quick summary of the problem with article 13 on youtube.
There are also numerous articles from the EFF and basically everyone else about the directive. So whichever news site/creator you like, chances are (s)he said something about it. The really interesting or should i say scary part is, ive yet to find someone except the politicians and lobbyists who push this to be in favor of this change.
So who will the winners and loosers of this likely be if it passes ?
The one thing that seems obvious is that if any variant of this pass, getting some content from a creator to a consumer will involve more laws, more regulations and more risk for intermediaries. Thus it will, in two words, cost more. Increasing cost for consumers, decreasing income for creators. And consuming more paper for the extra bureaucracy. Likely less diverse sharing platforms, less diverse content. It appears that almost everyone would be loosing a bit if this passes …
Btw i almost forgot, the next EU parliament election are very soon. If you live in the EU please vote, no matter if you like or dislike the EU copyright directive, vote for the party you believe is best.
If you want to know how the members of your parties voted about the copyright directive, thats available on https://saveyourinternet.eu/act/ (currently its the previous vote, iam not sure how this page will change after the final vote).

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael @ 20:29

2019-02-13

Copyright EU #5

Today the EU Parliament and council negotiators have agreed on a final Text. Next IIUC are the final votes of the various institutions.
I have not had the chance to fully read the text, just 1 page that was quoted on Twitter. So iam not in a position to really say what it means but what ive heared earlier today does not sound reassuring. Nor does it feel great that the public (like for example me) seems to basically depend on “leaks” from the law makers to know what is going on. Whats in the text, and so on. The EU should make their proposed texts and _ALL_ discussions fully uncut and un-delayed public.

Some sources of information: (the full text of the proposed directive might appear on these maybe)

Julia Redas Blog
Julia Redas Twitter
A short video about the situation yesterday
WBS (German lawyer) Discussing the yesterdays situation

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael @ 22:04

2018-09-10

Copyright EU #4

In 2 days (on 2018.09.12) The next vote on the copyright directive in the EU Parliament will occur.
Resources about the draft, which IIUC will be voted on are available on https://www.saveyourinternet.eu/resources/. If you live in the EU and feel that this proposal is bad you can use https://saveyourinternet.eu/ to contact your representatives.
There are also 252 proposed amendments, iam not sure these will be voted on or not (i thought they would but the timeline seems too tight to really do that).
Also there will be EU parliament elections in a few months. If you live in the EU and care about this, check how the parties voted on this directive and other directives that may affect you before you vote on who you want in parliament. Politicians of all parties are very dishonest, only by looking at past actions can one with any accuracy predict what they will actually represent. No politician would ever say they intend to vote in a way that the audience of the moment dislikes.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael @ 18:04

2015-01-12

Seagate barracuda

2 Days ago shortly after i woke up, i heared a squeek, klick, squeek, … noise from my computers. A quick run of smartctl didnt reveal anything majorly wrong, and the noise stopped for a moment. when it started again, i systematically tried putting disks in sleep mode with hdparm to identify which if any hdd was making these noises. But no hdparm command affected the noise, then slowly waking up, i realized that i actually had more disks in the box than i got results from smartctl, also a look in syslog confirmed that ata2 was not healthy, teh first failed command was at 12:25:54, ata2.00: failed command: IDENTIFY DEVICE, a minute later ata2: reset failed, giving up. Restarting the box and reconnecting the cables did not help either.
My last smartctl output of it from 2 month ago listed it at 20687 Power_On_Hours and 2504 Reallocated_Sector_Ct, none of the values was above their thresholds.
This disk was used for half my fate clients before i moved them to a more powerfull box and it itself was a replacement for a failing 1tb samsung disk, well ironically the samsung disk that the 1tb seagate disk should replace still works though with 3458 pendng sectors.
Iam not sure if iam imagining it but it seems like the quality of disks is getting worse each year
Though luckily this one had nothing important on it, or at least nothing i remember ;)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael @ 21:39

2015-01-06

WordPress spam filters

Many years ago the spamfilter i used for this blog was spam karma 2, it was free, it worked and it worked well. Sadly it hasnt been maintained or updated by anyone since a really long time, which did not improve its ability to keep spams away as spambots and spammers evolved. Also with each update of wordpress it started falling apart more until finally with the update to 4.1 spam karma 2 stoped working, assinging every spam a large positive karma value
So i enabled akismet and bad behavior which where already installed. If anyone has difficulty posting a comment due to them, please email me and ill try to look into it.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael @ 01:54
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