Friday, April 19, 2024

Friday Links 24-12

fibre network distribution boxes with cables on a wall
Both leadership podcasts about managers and coaching are excellent. 

The post about remote work is also interesting. People are different, so are organisations.


The future of work? "The manager as a therapist" [Podcast] - I think I used that line before. I am not sure if this is a good thing.

Extras #24 - Building High-Performing Teams Through Coaching - with Steph Yiu [Podcast] - interesting stuff from Automatic. I would love to see that kind of support in all companies. 

The remoteness of remote work - well-balanced and personal view on a companies remote work phases. 

Principal Engineer - according to this, mainly about business skills.


Docs as code is a broken promise - I agree. Writing stuff should be as easy as possible. Workflows for code are not optimised for that.


How Swiss women won a landmark climate case for Europe [Podcast] - The Guardian

The biggest climate case that ever was [Podcast] - The Europeans

Why are electric scooters, mopeds and rickshaws booming? [Podcast] - because they are better.

Snow in Peril: The Impact of Climate Change on Ski Resorts in the Pyrenees - the Grandvalira marketing speaks of a 5% sales loss. They are probably optimistic.


Does tiny living impact wellbeing? - apparently not!

After 30 years, Critical Mass is still fighting for cyclists on London’s roads - if you can, join one in your city!

Technology can save you from red light runners - I would argue tech could help with many things drivers do wrong.

Random Networks

The Rise And Fall Of The LAN Party - I missed that part. It started with not networked home computers and didn't do computers in the high of the LAN parties. Looks cool. 

Hidden 3D Pictures - finally some "hidden" pictures that are easy to see. 

Can You 3D Print Cassettes? [YouTube] - yes, just the case. 

@countleaves - play text adventures on Mastodon - currently HHGG

Abortions in first 12 weeks should be legalised in Germany, commission says - I didn't realise that abortion was illegal in Germany. There are numerous exceptions to make it accessible to most people.

Friday Links Disclaimer
Inclusion of links does not imply that I agree with the content of linked articles or podcasts. I am just interested in all kinds of perspectives. If you follow the link posts over time, you might notice common themes, though.
More about the links in a separate post: About Friday Links.

Friday, April 12, 2024

Friday Links 24-11

Amiga Kickstart boot screen

Some cheerful urbanism news this week. It is especially great to see how Paris is progressing.

For a fun nerdy read, have a look at the tic-tac-toe implemented in printf, or the floppy history.


How to measure your cloud carbon footprint [Podcast] - nice open-source tool.

Backdoor in XZ Utils That Almost Happened - Schneier weighs in too.

The Turing Police say "X Wins"  - tic-tac-toe implemented in a single printf. 

Notes on how to use LLMs in your product. - as always, a good summary from Will.


Taylor Swift's Two Private Jets in 2023: Where Did They Go? [YouTube] - two? 

Tenth consecutive monthly heat record alarms and confounds climate scientists - this really isn't news any more. 

Human rights violated by Swiss inaction on climate, ECHR rules in landmark case - go KlimaSeniorinnen!

TIL: Most Teabags contain plastics, and release micro plastics in large amounts when brewed - I am now 2% plastic.


End of the Line? Saudi Arabia ‘forced to scale back’ plans for desert megacity - nobody really believed this would happen? Do cities created by rich people ever work?

How do the dolmuĊŸ and minibus systems work in Istanbul? | With Geert Kloppenburg  [YouTube] - one way of having flexible public transport. 

Spain to end 'golden visas' granting residency to investors who spend €500k on housing - it was not widely used, but it is good that they stop it. 

French Revolution: Cyclists Now Outnumber Motorists In Paris - this was a pretty quick change overall. 

Campaigners hail “historic” EU cycling declaration - it remains to be seen if this changes anything.

Beyond Bike Lanes: What Really Impressed Us About Cycling in the Netherlands [YouTube] - the Netherlands are still showing the way.

Random Floppies

The Rise and Fall of 3M’s Floppy Disk - amazingly, I never had a computer with proper 5 1/4 floppy disks, only with 3 and later 3 1/2 disks.

583. Are We Living Through the Most Revolutionary Period in History? [Podcast] - mostly depressing. 

GNU Stow 2.4.0 released - I switched to using this for my dotfiles last year, and I just now learn that I know the maintainer. 

How to Build a Small Solar Power System - this goes straight to the to-do list.

Friday Links Disclaimer
Inclusion of links does not imply that I agree with the content of linked articles or podcasts. I am just interested in all kinds of perspectives. If you follow the link posts over time, you might notice common themes, though.
More about the links in a separate post: About Friday Links.

Friday, April 05, 2024

Friday Links 24-10

Heisenberg's indeterminacy principle formula.

Two weeks of links, which includes a collection from the xz debacle. I loved reading these, as this is a good combination of spy story and technology postmortem. If you want to read an overview, read the timeline post. 

Good podcasts this week: about the Heisenberg principle, and the silencing of climate protesters in the UK. 


Getting real with Employee Experience [Podcast] - two good interviews with people active in the area.

Mentorship, coaching, sponsorship: three different — and equally important — tools for developing talent - good summary of the three aspects of staff development.

How do we evaluate people for their technical leadership? - measuring knowledge work is hard.

Jack Shit - systems over work. 

Part 1: Burnout Is A Thousand Tiny Self-Betrayals - I first read it as victim blaming, but it is true that it is mostly in your hand.

Reflection: When was your team last together? - sadly, in a fully remote and distributed company, this is really hard. 

TBM 277: Bring Back Fun - “Having fun building stuff that has impact”


xz backdoor

GNOME 46 puts Flatpaks front and center - I don't like it!

mini-announcement: I've decided to publish Yotta. - very cool minimalistic system.

AI is boring and stupid and maybe that's OK - "Sometimes boring and stupid is still really useful. "

What We Know We Don't Know [Talk] - "Nothing is real, we don’t understand what we’re doing, and the only way to write good software is to stop drinking coffee. Burn it all down. Burn it to the ground."


The silencing of climate protesters in English and Welsh courts [Podcast] - is the UK becoming less democratic? I think this answers the question. 

Plant-heavy ‘flexitarian’ diets could help limit global heating, study finds - it is a lot easier to get people to become flexitarian than vegetarian or vegan. And the numbers make a difference.


Mobility Debate at COAC: What is Barcelona missing? - I agree with all of this, especially about the congestion charge and superblocks.

Random Uncertainty

Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle [Podcast] - another lovely episode from In Our Time.

We have a right to repair! (Interview) [Podcast] - history and challenges of iFixit. 

‘We can’t find a single German or European applicant’: Deeptech startups feel bite of talent shortage - Germany making progress difficult.

All billionaires under 30 have inherited their wealth, research finds - is anyone surprised?

Best printer 2024 - just get a brother laser printer

You Can Now Follow President Biden on the Fediverse - I am not on Threads, but now some accounts from there are arriving at Mastodon. 

Cannabis users celebrate relaxation of laws on personal use in Germany - finally! This will also change Europe.

EU investigates Apple, Meta and Google owner Alphabet under new tech law - the EU is doing good work in this space at the moment.

Friday Links Disclaimer
Inclusion of links does not imply that I agree with the content of linked articles or podcasts. I am just interested in all kinds of perspectives. If you follow the link posts over time, you might notice common themes, though.
More about the links in a separate post: About Friday Links.

Thursday, April 04, 2024

Sharing a monitor between Linux & Mac

Desk with two monitors and laptop
For my new job, I (annoyingly) have to use a silly MacBook. For everything else, I have a nice, beautiful desktop running Fedora.

I looked into KVMs to share my monitor and keyboard between the two computers, but couldn't really find something reasonably priced and functional. 

Synergy/Barrier/InputLeap for keyboard sharing

I have used Synergy before to share keyboard and mouse between Linux computers, and this was already a good step. There is a fork for Synergy on Linux called Barrier, which now has been forked again to InputLeap. It also allows copy & paste between systems.

This brought me half to where I wanted to be, but I was still restricted to the tiny laptop screen on the Mac. 

DDC monitor input source switching

Both of my monitors are connected via DisplayPort to my desktop. I now connected the right monitor also via HDMI to the Mac. This already allowed me to easily switch between the input sources with the monitor's on-screen menu.

While researching a new monitor, which has a build in KVM, but only comes with software for Mac & Windows, I found out that you can control most monitor functionality via DCC. 

This includes things like brightness, contrast, rotation, and most importantly the input source. 

For Linux, you can use ddcutil and your window manager keyboard shortcut settings. For me, it is these two commands, your monitor and sources may vary.

ddcutil -d 1 setvcp 0x60 0x0f # display 1 -> displayport

ddcutil -d 1 setvcp 0x60 0x11 # display 1 -> hdmi

On OS X you can use BetterDisplay, this is a pretty nifty tool to control all kinds of aspects of your display, definitely worth a look. It also supports keyboard shortcuts to change input sources.

BetterDisplay screenshot

There you go, easy-peasy and for free. I hope that helps someone, or me in the future, when I forget how it works.