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Zout van op zee?
2020-12-07 16:12 zoutopzee [permalink]
→ NWS: Strooizout op onze wegen komt uit Caraïben, Brazilië en Australië: "Het wordt met grote zeeschepen aangevoerd"
Tss, heb ik weer zo'n gek idee. Zou je kunnen in grote barges op internationale wateren ter hoogte van de evenaar, gewoon zeewater laten verdampen, zodat je het zout in droge vorm kan verschepen naar de industrie aan land om verder te laten verwerken? Zou dat economisch haalbaar zijn, maar vooral, zou die extra opstijgende waterdamp van invloed kunnen zijn op weerpatronen? Of het een goeie of slechte invloed is moet dan ook nog worden uitgezocht.
Of zou het beter zijn om het damp-water ook bij te houden? Het zuiver water laten neerslaan en apart verschepen? Met de verandering van het klimaat zou er wel eens grote groei kunnen zitten aan te komen in de handel in drinkbaar water...
Porter Robinson & Madeon - Shelter
2020-12-12 18:18 shelter [permalink]
→ Anime & Manga — What does (present) Rin mouth when she sees her father and her past self at the shrine?
Sad, no answer there. (Yet?) If you haven't seen what it is, go have a look first. It's only 6 minutes. Or read about it here or here. (I also feel a little sad I've only now learned about this. But it's all part of me getting to know anime much more since the pandemic, but that's another story altogether. I may post something about that sometime later.)
It really feels like there's no way that's all. You feel like you've seen a preview, a small taste of the big thing and you really want to see more, but there isn't. It takes some searching around to find that out, but apparently there really isn't. (Yet?)
So I watch and re-watch. Closely. Then wait a few days and watch again, hoping to pick up a few more things. It's really that good. I get that. A lot of attention to detail went into it.
But you do get questions about things. What does she utter when her dad and younger self leave the shrine? (4'15") You can guess, and artistically speaking, you can't be wrong. She's reaffirming memories that were lost before, after all.
What isn't clear to me and I find very intriguing, is the section right after she takes a bath (3'05"). Even when the camera changes (3'06") there's already all of devestation outside. She ventures out (3'12") in what looks to me like funeral attire. Is she mourning the loss of her home world? What's with the square lights, most white with a few red? Great shot with her resting in the tree! (3'17") Did she model this broken world for herself? Is she having a hard time after getting memories back since touching the swing (2'24")? I'm guessing it's by her design because it's only after that she unlocks the digital design of her old home village. (3'24")
Except the visit to the shrine and other flashbacks were before that. But she's not figured in light there, so it may be proper mental images. If her brain-interface would pick up on those to manifest them in her 'living realm', it would be a story-element of its own, and would lessen the strength of the revelation at the end. So I guess there's a lot more to touch upon there, and it really feels like there's much more to the story, but it's not supposed to be a full length series. So it's better to not want it to be.
But there's so much more anime to discover! And this is a great love-letter to anime in general. With the little anime I've discovered so far — really need to do a write-up about that! — I can suggest you watch Kanata No Astra if you like the 'astray in space' thing...
Soundcloud link to my profile
2020-12-18 12:55 catsc [permalink]
Look, I've added a SoundCloud icon to the header bar on the home page, with a link to my profile there: !
I don't intend to publish music myself though. It's just you can follow artists there that do. Like Du Tonc and Alex Cruz, just to name a few...
QuickReports: R.I.P. Lut
2020-12-18 16:26 invoicetemplates [permalink]
Oh my, I didn't know. I guess we'll see this more and more with one-person open-source projects, that people stop with the project for all kinds of reasons.
But about reports, I've made this really elegant thing at work to script the design of a report with just a few basic commands (line, text, image, matrix, block, repeat...) that allows you to write what the report should look like, and make lots of small alterations later. If you really need your reports just right, I've always found a graphical designer to introduce minor artefacts that you sometimes need to work around...
I know there are tons of similar things out there, like TeX and PostScript, and even HTML or MetaFiles, but it was grown out of neccessity and suffered "dogfooding" from the very start, which shows in its design and execution. And thanks to SynPDF, (or "Print to PDF" for that matter) you can just exports PDF's with it as well. So I really should take some time and re-do it on my own time and open source it... If I can make it even better and cleaner, I might introduce the open-source version as a replacement at work! (... Oh-oh!) (... or was it this one?)
Google is too big! Time to split it up in pieces.
2020-12-18 23:42 splitgoog [permalink]
I've tought and written before about splitting up Microsoft. With the recent lawsuits against Google, there's talk about splitting up Google. But how? My mind starts to wonder. If you would ask me, this is what I would say, based on what I know (which may not be the full picture, but I'm just trying to do the same to Google what I did to Microsoft before, let's see where it takes us.)
Products: online ads and banners
Revenue: price per exposure
Let's start with the cash cow. I know there's a bit if 'advertising' tied into 'selling' keywords with the search results, but I'm not considering that in this department. So specifically the online ads and banners shown on all kinds of websites, should separate into something independent. The sweet talk that proclaimed benefit from keeping it tied into the big mix is about being able to offer you more relevant ads, but we know what that means. Your e-mails and search queries go through a farm of computer centers, and you get advertisements for the stuff you just bought. (Or a brand of dental prosthetics you're orthodontist doesn't even work with...) So back to basics, one trustworthy entity you can call upon to fill a side-bar of your website to show a marketing message of some other company (that's not on your black-list). (Or perhaps that is on your white-list, but I guess you would have to agree to review newcomers soon enough or your percentage might suffer, or something...)
Products: anything Android
Open source and big companies are a complicated subject. If we stick to the basics, and perhaps compare to something different but somewhat similar, I still think an independant corporate identity could be the steward of the Android project and sell licenses to get permission to use the Android name, and get a hand on a curated build by the central authority of the project. If you really want, you can fork the project and roll it all yourself, but if you pay a reasonable price, you could get feedback if you're doing it right, get certifiers from the central authority to guarantee you the binding with your hardware devices is just right and is future-proofed for at least a version or three.
Products: Chrome, ChromeOS, (Fuchsia?)
Revenue: not for profit foundation
Department: Search engine
Products: search engine
Revenue: keywords auctioning
There's this story online of an ex-employee of a search service provider, that knew the end was near when fellow employees were using Google themselves. Search for it online, you'll find it. Google cut out the middle man and the search service market evaporated. It started with a thing called PageRank, but what it did was offer better results to anyone's search queries. If you take all the text on the web, and search for bits of text, you're off to one side of the ideal result set. If you think you could catalog all of the web in an extensive category system, you end up on the other side of the ideal result set. (And put a lot of effort in for limited returns.) You could try and build something intelligent that organically aims at this center sweet spot, but remember Goodhart's law. If you succeed, your new system will get gamed. In other words, SEO was born.
So the search engine part of Google living on its own could and should still offer to show 'paid for' search results on the keywords stakeholders select and/or organic statistics indicate as good candidates. Since there's money envolved, the engine needs to be transparent (of the crystal clear kind). In tune with the new spirit, it should be based on anonymity and respect privacy to a high degree. Even so, it could and should still actively promote societal inclusivity and combat (internationally?) criminal behaviour like enciting violence or popular misleading.
Department: Productivity Software
Products: G-Suite apps
It will need a new name though. I guess it started with GMail (which itself may be a response to Outlook Web Access) that hit a sweet spot for people in search of a low bar to clear to get started with e-mail, and also with established users that appreciate improved defaults in e-mail handling. (Yes, Outlook has a threaded conversation view, but not by default, I remember it was buried in the custom column sort group view something in Outlook 2000.) A logical extension was a calendar and the rest of the usual apps in an office suite typical attachments are made with (word-processor, spreadsheet, slide show). That it would all get delivered through the browser, now looks like an evolution that would have happened anyway. But it may be easy to take heavy-hitting modern browsers for granted these days. Anyway, their office suite has managed to catch up fast and is almost feature complete with most other office suites out there.
Department: Cloud Services
Products: anything cloud
Revenue: pay for what you use
It takes a lot of resources and effort to put up all this machinery in data centers to churn away and convert network traffic to and from storage. It takes a specific organisation to make it all work, and it's inceasingly done with a distance to what it is you're clients are actually up to. As a provider you've got a set of virtual machines running, and everything everywhere has the hell encrypted out of it. In the ideal case, you couldn't even get to know what you're clients are actually working on if you really wanted to, by design. (Though some find this too ideal.) What I noticed is that much of the cloud offerings out there like AWS and Microsoft Azure, are getting a lot of parity: for everything cloud, there's a roughly similar offering from each of the providers. In an ideal world, you can mix and match to your benifit, but since they're still tied to the data-centers they run in, we're still stuck in one of the silo's unless we pay extra to set up a dedicated link between them.
Being Google, the research that's been done ends up all over the place, or nowhere (Wave? Glass?). They start a thing called SPDY (pronounced "speedy"), and it ends up parts in HTTP 3 and part in a kind-of successor to TCP? They're building cars, and also a boat, or is it a barge?
To their credit, it's actually OK that Alphabet Inc. was created as a group with Google as a member. It opens up the endeavours thet get 'promoted' into members of Alphabet of their own for a possible future on their own, or under another corporate parent. One of these is "X", which apparently handles any undefined research going on. Anyway, things like that may be going on in any large young tech firm, so why not out of one of the newly formed ex-Google-chunks outline above.
And I'm sure I forgot some things that Google is also doing, but I think I've listed the most important things here.
Good to know: don't do except on e:Exception do ... raise e;
2020-12-28 13:29 dontraisee [permalink]
Good to know. At work, I inherited a smaller project. It started firing access violation errors reading from 00000000 (that tells you there's a nil pointer involved somewhere) at some address that didn't put me somewhere in the source code when I did Search > Find address in the IDE...
I was lucky I got the program running in a debugger when this happens, and the root cause was something completely different. (An SQL unique index constraint violation if you're really interested.) I got that fixed soon enough, but that didn't explain where the access violation comes from.
I followed the exception with the debugger, and before the exception was handled by anything that outputs like a logger or an error display, sure enough an access violation happend, but the debugger didn't show me anywhere else in the source code than it was already debugging, strange.
It took me a long hard look at the code before I spotted it, but with some luck you'll be able to spot what's wrong faster. The original author had the strange habit of writing exception handlers like this:
//important stuff here
on e:Exception do
//stuff to do in case of an exception here, (e.g. transaction rollback)
And they were all over the place. Nothing bad about that per sé, with raising the exception again, you can centralise the actual exception handling on the 'highest level' where all the calls are made. But while you're able to raise a specific exception if you create a new one*, apparently there's a difference between
raise e; and
raise; at least in this Delphi version I was on. Delphi handles the destruction of exception objects for you, and apparently that throws something off and causes the nil access violation somewhere deep inside...
*: Fun fact: Did you know that the Delphi runtime system creates an EOutOfMemory exception instance at the start of your programs, just to have it ready when it actually runs out of memory anytime later? Forgot where I read about that though...