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Last time we had #, some of the dough got wrapped around a diced apple (one quarter of a big apple per roll).

I think this is going to happen every time we have pizza, at least as long as renetta apples are available (probably not very long, since they are a winter variety).

David de Groot 𓆉 reshared this.


apparently, the # shortage may not be caused by hoarding and stupidity

Charles Stanhope reshared this.

This article is presenting a sensible argument. But dang, it could've so easily been explained in two sentences.
The point they make about people using more, because they are at home is valid, but reading that article you'd think there weren't hordes of hoarders at the beginning. They certainly exist where I live!
The stores here were selling out for a few days, but quickly adjusted their truckloads. There was supply every day. After a few days they weren't ever selling out.
Hoarders turned to flour next, but that's fixed, so now there is no yeast! Or isopropyl.
Plenty of bog roll though! :-)



I did this one of the first days of the lockdown, but I only took pictures a couple of days ago a sami-style leather pouch from an old (and quite ugly) leather jacket¹ and some red felt I had around:

I browsed through a number of search results for “sami style leather pouch” and drafted my own (very simple) pattern; I'm afraid I've lost the links I used.

My SO mentioned that it looks like pouch of gold coins from fantasy games, but the real contents are much more preciooouuuusss:

(the biggest, heavier steel washers I could find in the local DIY stores, that I use as pattern weights)

¹ that I got for free under the menace “if you don't come to take this (and other perfectly working things, including some almost-new garments) I'm going to throw everything away”


>> Who led the digital transformation at your company?
>> A) CEO
>> B) CTO
>> C) CIO

> Chief Officer of VIDeoconferencing


Inspired by an article that @Fabio wrote, I spent this afternoon configuring an nginx to serve video streams.

Almost everything works, except that apparently my letsencrypt configuration has broken (aaargh). Well, it can still be used with a non-matching certificate until I get to fix it.

And then I tried to install OBS Studio, and discovered that my laptop is too old, and it doesn't even try to load.

maybe. I'm not sure if I have the motivation to go down that sinkhole.

At the moment I don't really have plans for any kind of streaming; it was just something cool to do together-ish with the lug.
I guess I will be able to watch a more professional-looking streaming of @Fabio making gnocchi than the one he did via jitsi :D
that's why I spent time looking on how this work, obviously


An explanation of some social dynamics that is definitely worth reading even if formatted horribly.
I think I did mention that it was formatted badly :D

thanks for the dump :)
You absolutely did mention it! I just couldn't believe how bad it was!
Then I got more interested in extracting the information than in actually reading it for a while, because... I'm like that.


I have family and friends who work in the NHS and other health sectors that feel exactly like this.


The crones huddled in their secluded hut, brewing merrily.

They startled as a voice called from the entrance, "Are you well?"

"We are," said one.

"For now," said another.

"Supplies are running a bit low," mentioned the third.

"I can fetch what you need," offered the voice.

"What do you wish in return?"

"The secret to your health."

They agreed, gave the list and it was fulfilled.

"So what is your secret?"

"Wash your hands; now go."

# # # # #


Non sai che server # scegliere? Su metti il nome della stanza e poi il isto ti assegnerà il server più libero #



Decided to keep a local copy of reference essentials just in case anything disconnects us. All of Wikipedia, Wikibooks, Project Gutenberg's eBooks, and some Linux distributions. That's it there, on my pinky.

The world may be terrifying these days, but it's still kind of amazing.





debian social


# # # # and .... more?
The Debian social team aims to run a few services under the domain. Our goal is to create a safe space for Debian contributors (whether their project members or not) to share what they're doing in the project and to showcase their work, collaborate with others and share knowledge. Just like planet Debian, it's completely fine for these platforms to have a personal touch, however, our goal is not to create any kind of social network per sé.
You can read it here!

# #



A seguito dell'ennesimo decreto governativo per il contenimento del # ci troviamo costretti a rimandare # 2020 a data da destinarsi.
Ci scusiamo per il disagio.
Continuate a seguirci per aggiornamenti.



#InCoWriMo wrapup...

# has finished, time for a bit of wrapup.

On feb 20th I had written 21 letters, which a) was my bare minimum objective b) meant that I was perfectly on time. Then SnowCamp happened, and it was great, but it also meant I just stopped writing (aaahhh, too many things to dooooooo. ugh, post-conference blues).

Yesterday at the last possible minute I finished one letter and a handful of postcards, so I'm at 25; I still have two letters I really want to write anyway, and then I don't know if I want to look for two other things to write, even if I'm late, or just be happy with 27.

I've also started three correspondences that will hopefully continue beyond February (yay!).

And now, back to the regular avatar…


# in #: ILS mette disposizione di tutti , che si aggiunge a e altri.

Wikimedia Italia usa Jitsi per riunioni interne, lezioni a distanza e piccoli seminari, sempre con grande soddisfazione di tutti.
Schermata principale di Jitsi in


I hear tech folks saying that RSS is dead, and people on social media saying that blogs are dead.

The problem with this is twofold:

- RSS is doing just fine, and not even remotely dead

- Blogs are doing just fine, and are not even remotely dead, either

There's this strange sort of defeatism around. "Well, we lost, so what can you do". Um, not undermine things that still work and are actively being used? Support them as well?


Y'all, imma issue a challenge:

Before buying a thing on Amazon, take just two minutes to see if it's available elsewhere online.

There's very often another seller that is price competitive, and free shipping is super common these days.

If you still wanna buy from Bezos I'm not gonna stop you, but it's worth at least checking for alternatives. Divesting yourself can be easier than you might think.


It's #

First letter delivered, and I may have changed my avatar a bit for the season :)

(and doing this feels wrong, as if I was sharing publicly a symmetric encryption key…)


Capitalism is quietly erasing the idea of private property. All products are effectively becoming rentals, and the companies can revoke your right to use them whenever they feel like it. It's becoming increasingly difficult to actually own anything. Media is streamed, and devices are locked from the users.

It's hilarious how all the things people were afraid of happening under communism are actually happening under capitalism.


So I was recently asked why I prefer to use free and open source software over more conventional and popular proprietary software and services.

A few years ago I was an avid Google user. I was deeply embedded in the Google ecosystem and used their products everywhere. I used Gmail for email, Google Calendar and Contacts for PIM, YouTube for entertainment, Google Newsstand for news, Android for mobile, and Chrome as my web browser.

I would upload all of my family photos to Google Photos and all of my personal documents to Google Drive (which were all in Google Docs format). I used Google Domains to register my domain names for websites where I would keep track of my users using Google Analytics and monetize them using Google AdSense.

I used Google Hangouts (one of Google’s previous messaging plays) to communicate with friends and family and Google Wallet (with debit card) to buy things online and in-store.

My home is covered with Google Homes (1 in my office, 1 in my bedroom, 1 in the main living area) which I would use to play music on my Google Play Music subscription and podcasts from Google Podcasts.

I have easily invested thousands of dollars into my Google account to buy movies, TV shows, apps, and Google hardware devices. This was truly the Google life.

Then one day, I received an email from Google that changed everything.
“Your account has been suspended”
Just the thing you want to wake up to in the morning. An email from Google saying that your account has been suspended due to a perceived Terms of Use violation. No prior warning. No appeals process. No number to call. Trying to sign in to your Google account yields an error and all of your connected devices are signed out. All of your Google data, your photos, emails, contacts, calendars, purchased movies and TV shows. All gone.

I nearly had a heart attack, until I saw that the Google account that had been suspended was in fact not my main personal Google account, but a throwaway Gmail account that I created years prior for a project. I hadn’t touched the other account since creation and forgot it existed. Apparently my personal Gmail was listed as the recovery address for the throwaway account and that’s why I received the termination email.

Although I was able to breathe a sigh of relief this time, the email was wake up call. I was forced to critically reevaluate my dependence on a single company for all the tech products and services in my life.

I found myself to be a frog in a heating pot of water and I made the decision that I was going to jump out.
Leaving Google
Today there are plenty of lists on the internet providing alternatives to Google services such as this and this. Although the “DeGoogle” movement was still in its infancy when I was making the move.

The first Google service I decided to drop was Gmail, the heart of my online identity. I migrated to Fastmail with my own domain in case I needed to move again (hint: glad I did, now I self host my email). Fastmail also provided calendar and contacts solutions so that took care of leaving Google Calendar and Contacts.

Here are some other alternatives that I moved to:Migrating away from Google was not a fast or easy process. It took years to get where I am now and there are still several Google services that I depend on: YouTube and Google Home.

Eventually, my Google Home’s will grow old and become unsupported at which point hopefully the Mycroft devices have matured and become available for purchase. YouTube may never be replaced (although I do hope for projects like PeerTube to succeed) but I find the compromise of using only one or two Google services to be acceptable.

At this point losing my Google account due to a mistake in their machine learning would largely be inconsequential and my focus has shifted to leaving Amazon which I use for most of my shopping and cloud services.

The reason that I moved to mostly FOSS applications is that it seems to be the only software ecosystem where everything works seamlessly together and I don’t have to cede control to any single company. Alternatively I could have simply split my service usage up evenly across Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple but I don’t feel that they would have worked as nicely together.

Overall I’m very happy with the open source ecosystem. I use Ubuntu with KDE on all of my computers and Android (no GApps) on my mobile phone. I’ve ordered the PinePhone “Brave Heart” and hope to one day be able to use it or one of its successors as a daily driver with Ubuntu Touch or Plasma Mobile.

I don’t want to give the impression that I exclusively use open source software either, I do use a number of proprietary apps including: Sublime Text, Typora, and Cloudron.


scene: inside valhalla's brain.

home economy manager> I know that # is near, but you can't buy new stationery until you've used up the one you have. Not even if it's cheap, you no longer have space to keep it
some other less wholesome part of me> making doesn't count as buying, right?
home economy manager> well, since you're using things you already had in the stationery bag…

(I had a 2015 sponsored calendar together with stationery and other paper “in case I ever decide to do something with it”)


I'm tired of these dishonest diatribes trying to argue that Social Media provides no value to the world.

Tell that to the grandparents who have been able to keep in touch with their grandkids on a daily basis instead of the way it used to be: whenever they could manage to get on the telephone or visit.

Tell that to the marriages that happened because people were able to connect.

Tell that to the businesses that started because people were able to easily network.

Tell that to the families split across the world who can keep in touch (like my wife's uncle and his family in Germany, who she would only ever see for a week every 5 years when they came back to the USA to visit)

We wouldn't be here if Social Media sucked. No, we just don't like the corporations extracting their own value from our lives. We're here because we want the power back, and we finally have the tools to do it.


finishes writing a letter.

looks at the calendar.

I guess it's time to start to work on the list of people I want to write to for # (and to see if I have enough stationery, but I probably do :D )


About one year ago, my father gave me and @Diego Roversi a cheap laptop he had bought at a supermarket and found out it wasn't suited to his needs (plus it didn't have enough disk space to install the latest windows upgrades, or something like that, I don't remember the exact details).

We didn't really have a need for it, the only part that was potentially interesting (touchscreen and tablet mode) didn't work with linux, nor did the sound card, and overall the process to install linux on it made us discover how low quality the thing was, but we ended up using it to watch movies with an usb sound card.

Then the last time we tried to turn it on (to show a countdown for the new year) it didn't. Opening it revealed a dead battery. Glued down to everything else. And it didn't start without a battery connected. And when trying to unglue the battery it started to break, so my SO stopped before burning down the house.
At this step, # mode ended and scavenging for parts started, but most components were covered by the glued-down battery, trying to dismantle the screen resulted in cracked glass and the only thing we could save are two magnets and a handful of screws.

We didn't buy the thing. We didn't need the thing. We knew it was bad, but still this is irritating. Extremely irritating.
It sounds like it worked exactly as designed. Unfortunately. :(
it did.

except for the fact that we aren't going to buy a new one to replace it (but I suspect my father did).

OTOH, reading point 3 of the proposed solutions and comparing it with the place I'm getting my dependencies from (distributions):

For example, package discovery sites might work to find more ways to allow developers to share their findings.

check, there is room for improvement, but the principle is there and is being used

Build tools should, at the least, make it easy to run a package’s own tests.


More aggressively, build tools and package management systems could also work together to allow package authors to test new changes against all public clients of their APIs.

check, as long as those clients are also available from the same source

Languages should also provide easy ways to isolate a suspect package.

this one isn't done, but the idea is that suspect packages don't get there in the first place. YMMV on what counts as suspect, however.




Dear fediverse,

does anybody know of instructions on how to light an oil lamp (the kind with vegetable oil) with flint and steel, and no matches (not even the old, non self-igniting, type with sulfur)?

I've found how to light fires (lots of resources), a couple of instructions on how to light candles that aren't going to work with a lamp, articles and videos about oil lamps in general, but nothing on the combination.

I can't believe that before the invention of sulfur matches people had to light a full fire (or ask some fire to the neighbors) in order to be able to light a simple lamp…

Stefano Costa reshared this.

It is my understanding that lamps were generally used to go into a location other than the main room with its fireplace. One would use a wood taper (long, thin) to take fire from the fireplace in order to light the oil lamp so it could be light carried away.
its even worse! Flint and steel seems to be a Viking-age technology like Chinese sulphur matches, in the Iron Age the "two stones" and "two sticks" methods seem to have been popular
except for cultures with burning glasses or fire pistons, the world before the late 19th century was a world where the easiest way to make a fire was with another fire.
I'm not that sure about fire pistons: from what I've seen they seem to also involve the same steps as flint and steel, except with the tinder being ignited by heated air instead of sparks.

I've only seen fire pistons online, but they don't seem that much faster than flint and steel, assuming that somebody is trained in using them.
to my knowledge fire pistons were a Southeast Asian thing, most cultures did not have them. The things which is special about them is that they make fire without fire and are pocket-sized.
There are finds of firestrikers from the roman era, although it seems that the stone-on-stone method was still used (yesterday evening I found a literary quote that was mentioning both stone-on-stone and stone-on-steel as methods to light a fire, but I can't find it again :( ); it's likely that firestrikers were more expensive and thus at first only available to the richer parts of society (iirc they started to be widespread during the middle ages).
I could not find any when I researched the subject, but I am an Achaemenid historian not a Roman imperial historian. The ones on that site are unsourced, but their history of the acciarino (firesteel) has a few possibilities which might be worth looking into; there is also a rumour about the military site of Oberaden
I have updated the post with a paragraph mentioning the passage in Luctretius and the National Museum in Copenhagen.


These days I'm re-reading a book on the history of math I had read ages ago.

The aim of the book is to present an overview of current (at the time it was written, in the 1970s, plus an appendix from the 1990s) modern math and it's pretty good at it (that's the reason why it was recommended to me when I was in high school and my math teacher found out I had plans to study math at the university).

Because of this, it is reasonable that it's skipping all math development from cultures that didn't have a direct influence on modern math: it claims so in the introduction, apparently recognizing that those developments were significant, just outside the scope.

But then, every. single. time. the author gives a judgement on something, it's cringeworthy. When the europeans in 1600 and 1700 developed calculus with no formal basis and without even recognizing the need for one it was liberating; when arabs did the same with algebra it was a lack of formal capabilities. No. just no. did you even *read* what you're writing???

Luckily, most of the book is maths and that part is enjoyable, I should just skip the end of most chapters…
@Charles Stanhope it's “Mathematical Thought from Ancient to Modern Times” by Morris Kline

(in an italian translation, and I've just realized that the original book only reaches the 1930s and the appendix written in the 90s that brings it a bit more up-to-date is from the italian editor. It was ages since I read it, and right now I'm still at the 1700s :) )
Thank you! I see has a copy (without the appendix), and it looks like I have some used book options too. I may dip into this over time. I will keep your warning about the author's biases in mind as I do.


Bad picture is bad, but...

I didn't exactly lit a #fire, but at least I got some embers from #FlintAndSteel (I was indoors, so I couldn't light kindling)

I watched the following two videos to get from "one spark every 100 strikes" to "one spark every 5-10 strikes, and sometimes they even get on the char cloth" (sorry for the youtube links)

The big hints from those videos were:

* keep the flint at 45° to the striker
* if you're missing the flint often, you are using the right movement :)


Developer-driven software distribution is a bad idea, which is why I dislike things like Flatpak.

Having distro maintainers involved in the process and installing your software from a free software distribution like Debian or FreeBSD is a much better distribution of power. The packages can be tuned to suit their environment without the developer having to repackage it for every distro, and the distro maintainers can keep out anti-features like telemetry and advertising.

The middleman may seem annoying to developers, but embrace the model and it'll work for you. Landing packages in your favorite distro isn't actually that hard, and the rest of the distros will follow. If you're an end-user who wants to see some software available for your distro, look into packaging and volunteer - it's easy.

I'd recommend following the link to read the full thread
Well, the original post recommended getting software *into* (from, for the user) the distributions, with the distribution maintainer as middleman, not just packaged as .deb (or .rpm, etc.) from a third party repository; those skip the middleman are just as bad as flatpak (and even worse, as you have to install them as root).
Having thought about it more generally, I think there are two dimensions - technical and social. IMO, a major part of the value behind trustworthy distributions like debian is that they have proven to maintain certain curatorial standards with software they include. I don't see why something like this (i.e. the middle(wo)men) might not happen with Flatpaks too. One could be using Flatpaks coming from a trustworthy curated pool with PGP signatures and hashes on everything.
Having that said, I certainly wouldn't want to have distributions replaced with Flatpaks. For now I consider Flatpaks just a little better alternative to "curl ... | sudo bash" if there is no proper package available. (And I wouldn't want to be installing `git` or `curl` with Flatpak for sure).
I don't see any technical reason why there couldn't be a trustworthy source of curated flatpacks, but wouldn't that be basically a distribution repository?

Yes, programs wouldn't have to be patched to work with different versions of their dependencies, but flatpacks would have to be regenerated every time a dependency has a security issue, so I'm not convinced it would be easier for the maintainers.


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Opening raw images with feh

Up to debian buster, feh was able to open the thumbnails inside my .cr2 files using Imlib2 directly; this has stopped working in debian bullseye, but I've found that there is a way to open them properly using dcraw: it only requires adding --conversion-timeout 5 (or any other suitable positive number) to the command line to enable the use of external programs.


feh 141140-img_5195.cr2

results into various errors including feh WARNING: 141140-img_5195.cr2 - No Imlib2 loader for that file format


feh9 --conversion-timeout 5 141140-img_5195.cr2

prints 141140-img_5195.cr2 is a Canon EOS 1100D image. and shows you the preview you wanted :)

And this shaves the neck of the yak, now I can proceed with the original task...
Ruling The World, I suppose...

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