2012-07-29

[GNOME] PiTiVi for the future

I'm thrilled.  I just attended a presentation for PiTiVi and the current state of it  is delightful.  One of my favourite new features is minutely backups.  However, I'm also very pleased with the factoring out of a lot of GStreamer work to GST (GStreamer Editing Services).  Saving thumbnails, quick import, and quick generation (if the input and output formats are the same) are all awesome.  A big thanks to Jean-François Fortin Tam for all his hard work, and I look forward to the next release.

2012-07-26

[GNOME] Wifi at the Rialta

At first I thought it was poor wifi from the host that was preventing me from connecting, but thanks to Dan Williams' blog post, I'm glad to have a solution.  He mentions using dhcpcd, but I instead updated Fedora 17 dhcp packages using updates in koji (see redhat bug #662254, comment 18 to get to the koji task).

I finally made it to A Coruña today.  I took a bus from Madrid and enjoyed the scenery.  There's apparently a suburb called Rialta in A Coruña as well and my first attempt to bus to the hotel turned out to be quite the detour.  Whoops. :)  Now to sleep, and tomorrow, be productive. :)

2012-07-25

[General] The fascinating Marissa Mayer

I find Marissa Mayer's situation fascinating.  She's Yahoo!'s newest CEO, already rich beforehand (worth about $300 million the Internet says), competent and experienced (she's been with Google since about the start), and now she's also pregnant.  She intends on working through maternity leave: I'm curious how she'll handle it.  I expect: excellently.  I sort of have to assume that her child will not get to spend as much time directly with her in a day as some, but given that money is no object, she won't have to worry about drains on time that parents typically worry about, so she should still get to spend a nice amount of time with it, and have great help.

I really hope she manages to do something with Yahoo!  I've generally wished that Yahoo! would just stop writhing in agony and sell itself already.  I wonder if they still will, and to whom.  It's weird having someone who's intimately familiar with their top competitor now as their CEO.  I wonder how Google felt about it.  Perhaps Yahoo! will end up getting sold off to Google through her, though I'd rather see her transform it into something its own.

So neat.

[General] Engine Trouble

So, I'm supposed to go to a conference this week.  I was supposed to fly to Madrid Tuesday night.  I have some reasons to want to not go, mostly surrounding all the work I have to do, but last year's iteration was perhaps one of the best weeks of my life, so I wouldn't dream of turning it down.

The plane suffered technical difficulties and we spent 3.5 hours on the runway before being shuttled to hotels.  (Hello Hilton!)  While waiting, I realised that I wouldn't really mind if my flight suffered an unfortunate event, as long as it didn't prevent me from watching the end of the film I had started.  And indeed, I got through the credits shortly before the captain announced we'd be on a new flight in the morning. :D

[GNOME] Going to GUADEC?

My Air Canada flight to Madrid, along with a few fellow Gnomies, has been delayed by 10 hours (we fly in the morning), so I won't be making it to the pre-registration event and may be a bit late for the start.  :)

Even if it kills me

2012-07-24

[Microblog] Transient Thought

Tomorrow another flight, another adventure. I hope to share it with y'all if my equipment doesn't get stole.

2012-07-20

[General] Social Update

I had a guest from out of town for the past few days.  It was an interesting experience on many levels.  Also, I'm a bit frustrated that people like my friend can have such a difficult time finding food they can eat out of the home.  I'm a vegan by choice, but some people have very unfortunate, burdensome limitations to what their body can consume.  Rawr!

The other evening I sat at the river and watched lights dance on the water and insects causing ripples on its surface.  The odd fish popped up.  A friend stopped by and I got to have a good conversation with them.  They said something very important to me, that they thought I was mature and responsible in the 'I can handle life and challenges without falling apart.'  That meant a lot, as I've carried self-doubt for a while since another friend told me that 'I couldn't handle life', which had truth at the time, as I was crippled by stress.  Why, today, I even cleaned out my shop vac and its filter completely.  What horrifying mysteries I found within will go to the grave with me.  Also, I'm Samming a friend into helping me with their Frodoic task of eliminating fleas.

I've been busy with a paper for a class, providing support for my hometown museum's website (I helped them migrate it to Google Sites (feel free to ask why Google Sites :D)), the Google Summer of Code and preparing to go to GUADEC in Spain :D, so yesterday I relaxed a little and went to Microplay (my favourite video game chain) with a friend.  I haven't had time to play video games at home recently, but with the opportunity of acquiring a couple multiplayer titles this week at low prices, I am now the proud owner of LEGO Harry Potter (years 5-7) and The NEW Super Mario Bros.  I even actually played a very little of both yesterday.

Last weekend, I also spent two hours at Art in the Street in downtown Guelph.  I went a few years ago with a friend, and was sad to see it relatively poorly attended.  I think it was poor weather as well?  This time, though, the event was about 3x the size as previous, the weather was amazing, and I even attempted to buy a piece of art from a friend named Kat, who had just sold it when I approached.  Tears, all in my eyes.  That followed the construction of my amazing canopy for my bed, that still needs light stars affixed to its curtains.  CURTAINS CUT FROM THE NIGHT SKY!  And last week, I got to go with a friend to Student Health Services after they had an allergy scare.  ¡Ay, caramba!

I've had excellent, vivid dreams lately.  Last night I had a terrifying one about being at an airport and being unable to find my gate for my flight to GUADEC.  Quelle Horreur!

2012-07-15

[Microblog] Achievement

I give it a tug and the curtains come down.


2012-07-14

[Microblog] Transient Thought

Operation: Create Bed Canopy phase 1: SUCCESS!

2012-07-13

[Microblog] Transient Thought

Happy Friday the 13th.  Don't die!

2012-07-12

[General] Copyright in Canada

Here's an article on a group of rulings by the Supreme Court of Canada regarding copyright.  They concern instances of legal music distribution, like by video game producers, telecoms (Rogers music services), or stores like iTunes, and not piracy.  Rights-holders want money
  • each time a piece of music is streamed: upheld.
    • Presumably the streaming is "live", like a live broadcast would be.
  • each time a piece of music is downloaded: rejected.
    • Presumably the rights to provide the download were always paid for, so the act of downloading should not be subject to an additional fee. 
  • each time a video game containing their music is downloaded: rejected.
    • Presumably, the video game publishers have already paid for the rights to include the music in the media, so having it downloaded to the consumer shouldn't be considered 'reproducing' the music.
  • each time a song is previewed in an online music store: rejected.
    • The court felt this constituted research on the part of the consumer and served the purpose of encouraging sales rather than discouraging them.
  • for soundtracks including their work: rejected
    • The court felt that soundtracks were "categorically different from traditional sound records"
  • for photocopies of their work, like textbook pages in public schools: rejected.
I at first found the first two, with the distinction between online streaming and downloads, strange from a technical sense, but then when I understood the context of the streaming (e.g. Rogers music portal) versus the downloads (iTunes purchases) it made sense.

These I believe were all previously approved by a lower court and the Copyright Board and I find it preposterous that rights-holders got any traction on the idea that "oh, there was a copy of the work on this server, and now someone has done something to make it exist on this other computer, so we deserve money for that!" even when the rights to sell the works had already been bought.  It's blatant double-dipping and a bizarre perspective on data.  I'm sure they'd want royalties if I extracted music off a CD to my hard drive, or copied it from my PC to my phone.

i suppose I had thought that rights-holders would already have negotiated some deal to be providing previews of songs, but if I suppose if they had, music stores would have instances of tracks without previews, as some rights-holders would be ridiculous.  Perhaps the rights-holders feel that someone should straight-out purchase the song if they to hear it, rather than having a free preview letting them know they actually don't care to hear it further.

I find the soundtrack issue bizarre.  I wonder whether the point was that the other-media had already purchased rights to the music so they were free to market the soundtrack without paying further royalties, but I don't really see it that way myself.

I'm glad to see that the photocopying issue was decided that way.  I think that some teachers and professors are excessive in their photocopying, but textbook publishers are excessive in their pricing.  This already affected the University of Guelph, so hopefully this ruling will deaffect Guelph. :D

I'm generally a pessimist and assume that people like copyright-holders will generally get their way and continually increase their legal rights to money, either via extending the length of copyright terms, the context in which they deserve compensation, or the size of their compensation, so it's strange to see it not.  I expect they'll be persistent though, like those who've advocated PIPA, SOPA, ACTA, CETA, ETCETERA.

[General] Going overbird




So I couldn't really wait and my friend K had some free time so she dropped by to help me realise my plans.  We have 18 distinct flyers up there, and they're not all birds.  There are hawks, a cardinal, sparrows, a wood pecker, hummingbirds, a Fantail, and a few generic birds.  There's also 3 bats and a TIE fighter.   One bird is not pictured in the above two photos.  The concept I linked the other day also proposed suspending some from the ceiling but I need more stick tack for that. =D  More photos in my PicasaWeb/G+ album.

[General] The Fiddler on the Roof

The Fiddler on the Roof


 Image of Fiddler Crab from onemoregeneration.org.

[General] Chapters of my latest novel

The Wood Rose
The Copper Rose
The Iron Rose
The Obsidian Rose
The Carbon Rose

2012-07-11

[General] Dream

I woke up in a strange bed this morning and saw my friend A in front of me along with three doctors, only one of which would turn out to be medical.  She was quite excited that I'd awoken, as I'd apparently become quite the anomaly.  She looked a little different, and that's because, as it turned out, I hadn't seen her, or anything, for something between six and ten years.

It's not that I had been blind.  I clearly recalled seeing just fine just a couple minutes prior.  Rather, I had apparently suffered the impossible and jumped forward through time.

The consequences, personal and other, were bizarre.   At the time of my disappearance, only a few people had an inkling of what might have happened, based on circumstances that were only fuzzy in my head.  I had apparently been wandering through MacNaughton when I unwittingly triggered an amazing reaction.  Most of my acquaintance were never explained the circumstances of my disappearance, my father was told that I'd return (without explaining from where) at some point, and A was the only friend who knew.

It turned out that my friend A changed from Conservation Genetics to Theoretical Physics to try to understand what had happened to me, and she and two of the lab coated doctors around me had gotten their Ph.D.s studying the event, and they had concluded that I was likely to reappear.  Apparently it seemed the phenomenon would only apply forward in time, so the sanctity of history was safe for now.  And they had yet to reproduce the necessary conditions.

The world was slightly different.  Politics had trended towards the authoritarian, which concerned those around me, but I was more interested in what had become of my life.  Was my father still alive?  What had become of my best friends?  Old friends? Acquaintances from the time I disappeared?

That was in some ways the best part.  Contacting people, visiting people, googling people and visiting old websites trying to find old friends.  It was moving, reading thoughts people wrote about me even years afterwards.  It was awkward, trying to explain my absence to people who were angry with me for not saying I was leaving, while not indicating the true (top secret) cause.  It's always cool to feel loved, appreciated, and alive. :)

2012-07-10

[General] August Plans


So, there are two projects I want to do, but between the Google Summer of Code, my thesis, my last graduate course, a conference (in SPAIN!), and adventure, I won't have time until August.  However, I'm recording it here so I don't forget.
  1. Add the silhouettes of birds to my apartment.  I've drawn in what it will look like above.  I have black Bristol board already, and have used it to add some black stars for contrast to my growing wall of white ones (which circle my bed).  I'm going to recruit help and cut out a bunch of different unique ones and place them along the top of the walls, mostly flying, but some sitting (see the one perched atop the curtain rod?).  Some even suspended from the ceiling, (but not too low, as half the point of a tall ceiling is so I can swing sticks up high for iaido/jodo/kendo).

  2. Recreate whatsbetter.com.  That site doesn't exist any more, but it was one of my favourite sites.  It would basically have a large vocabulary of concepts and present you with two and ask you which one was better, THUS CREATING A TOTAL ORDERING OF ALL THINGS (both apples AND oranges) REFLECTING THE AVERAGE VALUE OF INTERNET-CONNECTED HUMANITY.  They had pictures with their concepts.  I don't have time to collect those (and I'm not sure what my bandwidth is) so I'm initially going to just start with words themselves, and I'm going to initially just take them from a dictionary file.  I'll try to provide a facility for people to add words or link words (when it's like a plural and a singular, and should be the same concept).  Maybe I can find a DB of unique concepts from some ontology. :) 

    Anyway, to make it a bit more interesting than the old one, I'll apply some machine learning to do clustering so you can see clusters (including the one(s) to which you belong) of ordering.  It will be amazing, I think.
Projects projects so many projects.

And maybe I'll add flora artwork to the base boards

[Microblog] Who is that?

Hooray.  I've just found Rilo Kiley on eMusic!

2012-07-07

[Microblog] The Faun, the Lamp Post, and the Wardrobe

"Richard pretending to be the Horned God, or the Faun from Narnia. Cute. ^_^" - comment on Facebook
This is not the first time I've been compared to Mr. Tumnus, though I don't quite have the ears. :D

[General] "What's a Vegan?"

Things that make you nervous when adjusting flight details over the phone.  It's kind of fun using Google while on the phone to help do the support person's job. :) happycow reports that VGML (Vegetarian meal) is also incidentally vegan.  Yay!  Now what do I eat while in Spain itself? :o

2012-07-06

[GNOME] Smoothing serialisation

Tomorrow I'll elaborate on some challenges, but for now I'll summarise the past two weeks
  • spent most of the first week on school stuff.  I'm a Masters student and thesis work doesn't really stop, so unfortunately, I ended up with meetings and some overwhelming stuff
    • I did get a letter to ebassi at the start and got to think about his wonderful response
  • spent the second week
    • designing tests
    • designing interfaces
    • creating tests
    • determining modifications required to pass tests
    • implementing modifications
I pushed them over the past few hours to git. :)

Current state of XML serialisation
  • a GObject can be automatically serialised if all you want is
    • to serialise its public properties.  Depending on how you handle an object's properties, this could be enough, as long as the internal logic isn't hiding anything that wouldn't restore itself when the same properties are again set.  I think this is similar to what json-glib serialisation automatically handles.
    • to serialise types that GValue can transform into strings, including enums, or objects that only contain one of these three.
What's coming this week
  • The interface you'll want to implement to manually handle parts of serialisation (e.g. non-public property data). I've been using thesis code to test this from the start.  I'm sadly not allowed to share my thesis code, but I'll be using general examples in the code I'll commit over the next few days.
Next two weeks
  • Collections, I want to have automatic support for a bunch
    • GList is hard, because its ParamSpec just calls it a gpointer, so I need to figure out how to identify it, but GHashTable gets to be a GHashTable.  
    • Gee's collections seem like they might be easier
  • ask glib people more about serialisation interface requirements for glib.  ebassi briefly mentioned the idea in the last e-mail, so I should get back to him with some more concrete questions.
Stuff to consider
  • Data other than public properties.  Is this desirable?  ebassi's response to my last e-mail the other week made me think it's not that desirable.  Right now I have tests for private properties (that fail) and public and private fields (that fail).  I sort of like the idea of automagically serialising as much as possible.
  • Merging with glib.
Note: I use "serialise" with -ise in my writing, but the code uses "serialize" through out.  

Tomorrow I'll talk about issues I ran into and a couple bugs I filed. :)  #vala and #gnome have been lovely, if a bit peaceful, for help so far.  So has looking at more source code for libraries than I ever expected. :D

2012-07-05

[Microblog] Transient Quotation

John Green concerning reading books and sharing experiences at Vidcon:
Of course even amid shared experience we're still alone.  Like I said earlier my Vidcon was unique and each reading of every book is unique.  But what a comfort it is to share readings and experiences; how lucky we are when we get to be alone together.
Indeed, realising that shared experiences were still also unique to the individual was monumental to me.  It is indeed lucky to be alone together.

2012-07-04

[Microblog] Transient Thought

Working with a Lord of the Rings marathon in the room.  Perhaps not my greatest plan.

[Technology] GTest

So, I'm using GTest for testing GXml's testing, and today I figured out how to prevent my entire test suites from being aborted when one test fails.

So, right now, instead of using g_assert () as I'm accustomed to in my tests, I use g_test_fail ().

Also, I'm setting g_log_set_always_fatal (G_LOG_LEVEL_ERROR); after g_test_init () (which sets it to include warnings) but before g_test_run (), because sometimes code I want to test uses g_warning () (like calling g_type_from_name () when you want it to return 0).

[General] I had a dream

I sometimes have epic dreams that become worlds I wish I could stay in and not return from, but all good things come to an end.

It started with me visiting my father's getting a phone call from an accomplice who just wanted to talk.  They then came over, helped create a mural on my bedroom wall (I currently have lovely duck wallpaper but I still had that on two other walls post-mural.  Then we squeezed oranges while watching my big brother play a new Mario game, with warm air coming through open windows.  Then my father had us drop off a package to the post office.  En route, a friend of the accomplice needed help at a shoe store in Owen Sound, and since that was a 5 minute walk away, we went and helped them colour-coordinate their shoes.  By then it was late, 11PM and all the buses back to my dad's were done for the day (there wouldn't be any, and now Owen Sound was again the true 10 hour walk it always has been).

Conversation got heavy in that tumultuous stomach sort of heavy but with the "this is good and important" and we concluded by deciding on an adventure so we walked to an aeroport at midnight and got a short flight to Newfoundland where we wandered to a bed and breakfast in the middle of a bat-filled coniferous forest whose beds were 4 feet high with canopies.  We made plans for the next day, to find a light canoe (we expected to find one <5kg), get water canteens, wear sun screen, bring a cat (there were a lot of cats at this B&B), bring my sword (except now I had a sharp one, and it was here, and we would need it to hack through jungle (?)), and rations (we hoped to find something like lembas bread from Middle-earth).

Planning turned into conversation turned into story-telling turned into me throwing my phone out the window (it was going off, but then still went off) turned into sleeping (if the alarm is off, it must be 6AM!) turned into waking up in real life to realise my actual phone was going off beside me actually.  Back to work.


2012-07-03

[Microblog] Andy Griffith

I love that man.  Matlock was my favourite TV show for a while.  I used to watch it at 10PM on Fox with my mother when I was still in elementary school.  I'm glad he lived.

2012-07-02

[Microblog] Noble maiden fair

I found the Brave soundtrack on emusic.  I really enjoy Scottish/Celtic/Gaelic music and very much the ones in the film.

[General] Tiny things



Click the photo to see the "Extraordinary Microscope Photographs" photo essay at the Big Picture: 19 wonderful images of our world at a very tiny scale.  Yay!

[Microblog] Canada Day results

I took today off all the work to celebrate Canada Day and it was a wonderful day indeed.   Wooow.

2012-07-01

[Microblog] Transient Thrill

Yay, sushi, dragon wings and horns, Frisbee, water parks and now fireworks and vegan cookies. Guelph is great.

[Microblog] Transient Transience

I've been walking barefoot to my apartment every day I go past the new water "park" by the city hall to let my feet get wet and enjoy the surprisingly-glass-free pavement of Guelph on my feet.

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I am aeronautical, vanship-style.  I am olympic and mythical.  I rest on my laurels.