rolisz's site

Data and Goliath

Data and Goliath

Bruce Schneier is a well known American security researcher, who has written several books about this topic. Data and Goliath is his latest book about it. I bought it last year, but I only got around to reading it last month (one more win for the reading goal for the year \:D/). First ob­ser­va­tion: while the book is thick, with 383 pages, a third of it are notes, so it's not that long actually.

While I've heard about various privacy issues and about the mass sur­veil­lance revealed by Edward Snowden, I never really did anything about it. I had an adblocker installed, but that was just because continue.

Good bye, Alida


I’ll miss your funny quips. I’ll miss the long dis­cus­sions we used to have about about the craziest topics (like the dif­fer­ences in mentality between people who are interested in the humanities versus the sciences). I’ll miss going to eat greasy, yummy food with you (Chez Papa was reeaaallly good. And just as unhealthy). I’ll miss your en­cour­age­ments. Even though you had leukemia and had been through an awful lot of suffering, you still had the energy to lift others up and give them advice.

You were a brilliant girl, who turned many heads and then put them in their proper place. In just 22 years of continue.

Searching for something?

This post is "cu dedicatie pentru Ciprian de la Bistrita", who has asked for a search feature for some time now

I didn't have a search on my blog for quite some time, because it's a static website, without any dynamic backend (except for comments, but those are well isolated, on a subdomain). But Javascript and the browsers are getting more and more features every day, so it's now possible to do all of this clientside. You just have to go to the search page (also linked in the menu).

I had three options:

  • Acrylamid has a builtin feature that builds up at com­pi­la­tion some continue.

Two years at Google

Collage of last two years

A bit more than two years ago I was anxiously heading towards the reception of the Google Zurich office. I didn’t know what to expect, but I was very excited. One year ago, I was oncall, dying of heat in my home. Today, I am on my last oncall shift as an SRE, rejoicing that it’s not too hot and that I finally have some quiet time to clean out my bookmarks and my inbox.

The last one year was very different from the previous one. The list of new ex­pe­ri­ences continued, but not all of them were positive. There was the weird re­al­iza­tion that I continue.

My desktop setup

It's been 5 years since I posted anything related to the kinds of tools and apps I'm using. It's also been a year and a half since I bashed Linux last time. While the more I use computers, the more I hate them (and not just in the way most people "don't like computer", but because I learn more and more why things are bad and just how truly awful they are), I've come to a fairly stable setup for my home desktops, with which I am fairly happy.

As mentioned in my last Linux post, I've started using ArchLinux. It's fairly stable, except for when I try to continue.

How to make a selfie time-lapse video

Mostly for future self reference, but also in case somebody else wants to do something similar, I'll write down the steps I took to do my selfie time lapse video.

First step: take daily pictures. I recommend about 0.3-0.5 seconds per picture in the slideshow and you want to have at least 30 seconds of video, so that means at least 60-90 photos. Pro-tip: do them in as similar way as possible every day. Especially the distance to the camera is important. You'll thank me soon enough.

After you gathered all your pictures together, you want to align them. I did this in GIMP. You open the program continue.

50 Days of Roland

For a long time I wanted to do the kind of video where you take one photo every day and then you show make a slideshow of them, like this one. Today is the day where it finally happened, even if it contains only 50 days worth of data!

The images are from the 1st of May until the 17th of July. I usually took two pictures every day, one in the morning and one in the evening. But I also travelled a lot, so I don't have photos from every single day.

What gave me the incentive to finally do this project was that I wanted continue.

Evaluating goals

The first half of the year has passed, so it's time to see how I did on my goals that I had set out for it. Sorry the post is late, I was travelling for the last two weeks.

I described using two techniques for helping achieve goals. One of them was pre­com­mit­ment, which I did in the form of announcing here on the blog. This seemed to not work too well for me, because some of my goals ended up being completely untouched. I'm not sure why, but I think that it's because I made it through the blog, it increases the psy­cho­log­i­cal distance between continue.

The Rise and Fall of the Yahoo Messenger Empire

Yahoo Messenger logo

Back in my days, in Romania, Yahoo Messenger was "the thing" to be on. Everyone had it. It was the most popular Instant Messaging platform by far, for almost ten years, while MSN, AOL or ICQ were pretty much unheard of.

Sometimes, people would send messages saying something among the lines: "Yahoo Messenger is closing, unless enough people send this message to all their friends, to prove that it's still popular". Well, now this is almost true, but only the first part. Yahoo Messenger as I have grown up to know it, will cease to work starting August. It will still live in a weird web ap­pli­ca­tion, continue.

Nice time in Nice

View from the Club

Because I had such a good time in Paris last month, I just had to go again to France, this time to the French Riviera, to hear the beautiful French language again :X:X. Or maybe it was just an SRE offsite. Who knows?

It was really exciting to go there. It reminded me of the various physics and pro­gram­ming com­pe­ti­tions that I went to in high school. Going on a plane where more then half the people were like minded nerds and spending some days talking to most exotic geeky stuff? Sounds like great fun!

We stayed at Club Med Opio en Provence, which is half an hour's drive away continue.