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Archive for September, 2018

Samsung delivered another Android update for the Galaxy S7 yesterday, this time incorporating the security patches from September 1, 2018. Belgian S7’s are now able to run G930FXXS3ERI4.

I’m happy since it seems things are speeding up in the Samsung software division. Still, I’ld love to get a bit more info about the exact content of the updates.

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Samsung delivered a software update G930FXXU2ERH7 to the Galaxy S7 a week or so ago; I am just a bit late to install it. This time there is no change to the security patch level – we’re still on the August 1, 2018 lebel. So I do wonder what the update really contains.

For those of you who think there is such a thing as “artificial intelligence”, how about this tidbit? Android saved the screenshot nicely, and added that it “estimates” that the picture has something to do with the Spanish city of Burgos… Sure, buddy!

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Yes, a Bugatti Chiron with just 5.3 hp does exist. It weighs about 1500 kg and is made (almost) exclusively from… Lego™ Technic – including the power train, consisting of 2304 little electric motors from the Technic line. The fact that it can actually be driven is quite impressive…

But I wonder: buying all those bricks is going to be very expensive, should you want to try and build one yourself. How about 3D-printing them?

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Speaking of the vote in the European Parliament yesterday, he writes:

Today, in a vote that split almost every major EU party, Members of the European Parliament adopted every terrible proposal in the new Copyright Directive and rejected every good one, setting the stage for mass, automated surveillance and arbitrary censorship of the internet: text messages like tweets and Facebook updates; photos; videos; audio; software code — any and all media that can be copyrighted.

Luckily, we’re talking “proposal” here; the fight for better copyright legislation continues (and Cory can tell you when and how ;-).

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I wrote about the need to press the European Parliament to disapprove Article 13 of the proposed EU Copyright Directive; the vote will be taken on September 12th, 2018. So it’s not too late let your MEP know how you stand on the matter!

The #SaveYourInternet website will make it easy for you to start: just pick any country, fill in your email address and press a button to mail a standard message to a selection of MEPs. If you want to, you can edit the message sent, so feel free to add your own argumentation (just remember that this fight won’t be won with slurs, insults and threats).

Not convinced? Here’s a message from the Chair of the Wikimedia Foundation, explaining why copyright is no longer a subject for large-scale publishers and for-profit corporations:

Much of the conversation surrounding EU copyright reform has been dominated by the market relationships between large rights holders and for-profit internet platforms. But this small minority does not reflect the breadth of websites and users on the internet today. Wikipedians are motivated by a passion for information and a sense of community. We are entirely nonprofit, independent, and volunteer-driven. We urge MEPs to consider the needs of this silent majority online when designing copyright policies that work for the entire internet.

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We’re six years later, and I still haven’t gotten around to any kind of “Tinkering With The Raspberry Pi“. That does not mean that I still have to write down the production numbers from our solar panels by hand, however. The Asus eeePC, running Xubuntu and a bit of software a former colleague of mine and I hacked together, takes care of that. In doing so, it constructs a number of text files: one for each day, listing the current production in Wh every ten minutes, and one for each year, detailing the total production for each day. The backup of these files is made every day by a tool called ‘grive2‘ (but I’ll write about that later).

The setup works fine, almost all the time. But somehow the SMA Sunny Boy gets confused and creates ‘yearly’ files for years other than the current calendar year. Those files are utterly useless and clutter the hard disk as well as the backup, so I decided to get rid of them automatically. To prepare for the first days of a new year, the script should also be able to leave the file for the previous year in place – there may be two valid ‘yearly’ files in January, should I fail to archive the old year on New Year’s eve or on Jan. 1st.

To exercise my *nix shell skills, I decided to do that in ‘bash‘ rather than extend the current Python tools.

As is my habit, I decided to start with a demo script that does what I want on dummy data. For demo purposes the JDoodle website is a great resource, at least for ‘bash’ scripting (I did not try any of the 67 other languages available on the site). This allowed me to work on the code on my Mac-with-big-screen, and take the necessary screenshots for this post.

Here is the code I came up with:

Click on the image to get it in the form of a PDF file,
ready for copy/paste operations.

Nothing spectacular, as shown by the output. Now all I have to do is turn this into a little non-demo script and add it my crontab on the eeePC… Come and see in six years or so ;-)

PS. I’m just dabbling in bash scripting, so if there are better solutions for my problem, don’t hesitate to explain them to me, please.

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Just like in 2017, my iPad Mini crashed yesterday. When I picked it up, wanting to catch up my personal email, all I saw was the Apple Logo – for several minutes. I tried shutting it down, but that wasn’t easy. Any attempt to resulted in a new boot cycle. In the end, I succeeded, but it took me more than hour to finally turn it off and launch DFU mode.

From there on, it’s a simple matter to have iTunes massage the machine back into working order. And then you can restore the backup you made – you do make backups from time to time, don’t you? One important tip: if you want to encrypt your backup on your local hard disk, don’t forget to write down the password you use ;-) Otherwise you can spend another hour trying all the passwords you might have invented when taking the backup!

When all that is in the past, the Mini is back as it was – I’m relieved. But I do wonder: iOS may be a reasonably stable operating system, but why does it go bonkers from time to time? The Mini did not fall, did not get bent, did not lie in the sun nor in a freezer, it just lay untouched on my desk the whole day, connected to a charger…

For the record, these are, in my opinion, the best instructions about entering DFU mode: “DFU Mode” on the iPhone Wiki. Thanks for helping me out!

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