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Hacker School, part 2

Posted on Mon Sep 8 20:45:00 CDT 2014

I just withdrew my application to the Hacker School.

I am going to drink some and watch a movie. Tomorrow I'm going to start searching for companies interesting enough to catch my attention, or interested in having me do Haskell work.

And that is pretty much all I'm going to say about it.



Posted on Tue Aug 26 12:30:00 CDT 2014 by Savanni D'Gerinel

In which Washburn attempts to defend me from the dangers of my mouse.


Communication Fragmentation

Posted on Wed Aug 20 16:30:00 CDT 2014 by Savanni D'Gerinel

By "communication fragmentation", I refer to the massive overwhelming tidal waves of ways to communicate with people.

I hate it.

It's not that I dislike being able to communicate with a lot of people, it's that I have to check ten or more different locations! I've tried limiting down to just a few, tried teaching people who want to communicate with me to look at those few, but it doesn't really work. And the worst part is that I'm really an emailer. I don't much like the super-short-form communication, and broadcast-style communication, encouraged in Facebook, G+, and the other modern systems.

But, Google has decided I'm a spammer. I basically can't reliably email anyone I don't know. I can't even email the mailing lists at the Hacker School, which I'll be attending in just a month. My emails automatically go to Gmail spam or get rejected as a "bulk sender". Since Google has no "customer support", I don't know that I'll ever be able to resolve this, either. And so, when I send a thorough, thought-out email to someone, I don't know if the lack of reply is because it got spamboxed, they haven't checked their email in a week, or because they haven't been able to answer yet.

Obviously, as much as I love email, email is dead. At least, it is for me.

So, is anyone working on a reliable replacement? Preferably something more resistant to spam-bombing than email was, and with an easier time of verifying sender identities. I could come up with a scheme for such a system, but why bother when gaining adoption would be almost impossible?


From a Garden Party

Posted on Wed Aug 20 08:00:00 CDT 2014

All four of these pictures are some old ones from my previous HDR work. The only thing they have in common is that they are all from a party that I went to some years ago. I wanted to get them back up, though, because I like all of them.

I really miss having a working HDR toolchain. I'm getting closer to having something working with Illuminance, but it's taking forever.


Portland, 2011

Posted on Wed Aug 13 08:00:00 CDT 2014 by Savanni D'Gerinel

I took over six hundred photographs during a week when I visited Portland in 2011. These are the ones that have survived, being interesting enough that I processed them long ago.


Friends, 2013

Posted on Wed Aug 6 08:00:00 CDT 2014 by Savanni D'Gerinel

A group of my Toltec friends, all from a party back in 2013. I was just getting the hang of my new camera at the time and remain pretty pleased with how these pictures turned out. The white balance is not actually off in these pictures, as I wanted to capture the effect of the sodium-vapor lamps that light the area around the old Cheer Up Charlies.


Flags, 2014-07

Posted on Sun Jul 13 20:30:00 CDT 2014 by Savanni D'Gerinel

New Flags

Home, 2014-07-13, f/4.5, ISO 400, 1/100s, 25mm

My old set of flags finally bit the dust. There is damage on one of them that I can't stop, and it gets worse every time I fly them. This set took only an hour to cut, fold, and color, and then they had seven hours for the color to cure. They dried in less than fifteen minutes. I hope to get my hands on a sewing machine some time in the next couple of days and want to have these ready to fly by Friday.

In case you are wondering why there has been no new HDR photography in a long while...

Luminance-HDR is now totally broken. Every image I generate with it has a precise square of discoloration in the middle third of the image. This is not a problem with my camera, as I have actually gotten the same results from photographs I took a few years ago on my old camera. This is the most mysterious of all bugs, and it has ended my patience with Luminance.

My own software is not complete. I have the math problem set up, but get back the wrong answer every time. I may have to start munging the answer to get it right. In the interim, I'm going to track down the source for pfshdrcalibrate and get it compiled. I'll revive my old toolchain, which really did serve me well for a couple of years.


Change of plans... again

Posted on Wed Jul 2 10:45:00 CDT 2014 by Savanni D'Gerinel

Plans change. Mine are changing generally faster than I like. But for the last year I have been having trouble figuring out where to go next and what to do next. Admittedly, the simply physical "where" I have a handle on in that I am heading for Oregon, but whe bigger picture "where" was invisible to me.

Today, a change of plans.

I will, instead of heading to Oregon, spend this autumn in the Hacker School in New York.

You can't see me, but I'm trying not to just explode right now.

I have a whole checklist of things that I have to do to see to it that my life is properly preserved while I'm gone. I'm not taking everything with me, and it occurrs to me that this may be yet another opportunity to figure out what is important for me to keep and what else I should get rid of.

I also think I do not want to continue living out in the woods of Texas for the remaining months. I'm paid up through the end of this month, but I kind of think that I want to spend August and September actually inside of Austin. Something I will need to look in to, really.


Known flaws of the email infrastructure

Posted on Sun Jun 29 13:45:00 CDT 2014 by Savanni D'Gerinel

My email address is not secret. I have it on my About page. But there is a problem. Most everyone I know uses Google for email. A few people use Yahoo. I can't reliably send email to either group. There may be other groups, too.

Almost every email that I send out is a multipart email. The first part is the actual text of my email. The second part is a cryptographic signature that can prove almost absolutely that I sent the email.

If you are a Yahoo user, you likely see only a blank email with an attachment. Yahoo has never handled the PGP/MIME standard correctly, even though RFC2015 is almost twenty years old and RFC3156 is almost fifteen years old, I've known Yahoo users who assumed that I was sending out viruses.

If you are a Google user, you likely will not see my email at all. Google, whether malice or incompetence, has decided that PGP-signed email is spam, and so almost every email I send to a Google user ends up in their spamboxes. Sometimes, through text messaging or face-to-face conversation I can get such a user to dig through their spambox and then try (sometimes unsuccessfully) to train Google that I am not a spammer. But that generally makes it impossible for me to initiate contact with a Google user.

I have no idea what Hotmail and other web services do. I can only hope that maybe they are smarter.

The thing is, I am following internet protocols. I am following long-standing well-established standards. And these services punish me (and you, for that matter) for using these protocols that make the internet work better for everyone.

So, if you wish to communicate with me via email, please take pre-emptive action and do whatever it is that it takes to make your service believe that emails from my email address are valid. Given that there will soon be far fewer ways to contact me on the internet, this is rather important.


Queerbomb, 2014

Posted on Fri Jun 20 18:00:00 CDT 2014 by Savanni D'Gerinel

Described to me, frequently, as "Gay Pride as it was before the corporates got it". I've never been to Pride, only to this. And this is fun and awesome. Maybe I can instigate something like this in Oregon if Pride turns out to be as bland as everyone says it is.

Incredibly difficult shooting conditions. Moving crowd. Dim light. Moving me. It's a miracle I got anything that I'm willing to publish.