Paper task management – the Corbinizer as A4

I have always been struggling with task management. Always. And will always do. I have tried a lot of things, paper based, digital (starting on my Apple Newton, over to the Palm III, V, various mobile phones, Blackberry and now iPhone and Android.

But somehow I have learned over the years that I need the totally simple stuff or else it will fail.

Seems I am not alone ;-) I stumbled across the Corbinizer, a very simple but nice approach. More explanations here.

However, the usual Le Sigh after downloading it. It doesn’t fit on A4, it uses Letter. So I opened my Inkscape, fiddled around a bit and created the A4 version which is attached to this blog entry.

Remember, the Corbinizer is Copyright 2014, All Rights Reserved by Brandon Corbin.
The Corbinizer is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerceial License.

Let’s give it a try. Print it at 100% and make sure “shrink to fit” is NOT selected.

CorbinizerA4

GPG, subkeys, the genius of it!

#geekporn Today it made “click” in my head. I finally understood the use of subkeys in GPG. The genius of it!

You create your GPG-key on a truly safe machine (ideally a machine that has no connection to the network, runs a minimal and trusted OS (Linux, I personally use Fedora) and create subkeys for signing and encryption. You export your key to a safe device (USB Stick, SD card) and store it offline.

Now you can safely delete the master key from your keyring and carry ONLY the subkeys in your keyring on machines or mobile phones that you use to encrypt/decrypt/sign. So should your keys become compromised, you can revoke the subkeys, take out your masterkey again on a truly safe machine and generate a new set of subkeys for encryption and signing.

NOTE: You cannot sign other keys with this stripped down keyring as you need the master key for that.

And these new subkeys are still identified via the same keyID as that comes from the masterkey. So you can keep the masterkey longterm and swap out the subkeys every year or whenever you think they are compromised.

Source

Edward Snowdens letter to German government/Authorities

Edward Snowdens letter to german government/authorities

Background: German member of parliament, Hans-Christian Ströbele (Greens) met Edward Snowden in Moscow on 2013-10-31. They talked for 3 hours and Mr. Ströbele came back to Germany with this letter.

“To whom it may concern,

I have been invited to write to you regarding your investigation of mass surveillance.

I am Edward Joseph Snowden, formerly employed through contracts or direct hire as a technical expert for the United States National Security Agency, Central Intelligence Agency, and Defense Intelligence Agency.

In the course of my service to these organizations, I believe I witnessed systemic violations of law by my government that created a moral duty to act. As a result of reporting these concerns, I have faced a severe and sustained campaign of persecution that forced me from my family and home.I am currently living in exile under a grant of temporary asylum in the Russian Federation in accordance with international law.

I am heartened by the response to my act of political expression, in both the United States and beyond. Citizens around the world as well as high officials – including in the United States – have judged the revelation of the unaccountable system of pervasive surveillance to be a public service. These spying revelations have resulted in the proposal of many new laws and policies to address formerly concealed abuse of the public trust. The benefits to society of this growing knowledge are becoming incresingly clear at the same time claimed risks are being shown to have been mitigated.

Though the outcome of my efforts has been demonstrably positive, my government continues to treat dissent as defection, and seeks to criminalize political speech with felony charges that provide no defense. However, speaking the truth is not a crime. I am confident that with the support of teh international community, the goivernment of the United States will abandon this harmful behavior. I hope that when the difficulties of this humanitarian situation have been resolved, I will be able to cooperate in the responsible finding of fact regarding reports in the media, particularly in regard to the truth and authenticity of documents, as appropriate and in accordance with the law.

I look forward to speaking with you in your country when the situation is resolved, and thank you for your efforts in upholding the international laws that protect us all.

With my best regards,

Edward Snowden
31 October 2013″

That HP/Microsoft “study” on the Linux Migration in Munich? Hm.

With the help of Google translate and my infinite wisdom I translated the statement of IT@M, the IT service company owned by the city of Munich. DISCLAIMER: This NOT an official translation. This is my personal translation. The original text in german is linked from here.

I published (with permission) the original statement here.

HP study produced on behalf of Microsoft on the LiMux migration

(01/22/2013) Under the intriguing title “[Mayor of Munich] Ude has wasted millions on Linux machine?” Focus Money Online reported on a study that HP made on behalf of Microsoft. The study allegedly proves that the city didn’t save in the tens of millions Euro by switching to OpenOffice and LiMux, but actually paid far more.

Karl-Heinz Schneider, head of the municipal IT service IT@M:”Of course we want to deal with this criticism. I have asked Microsoft to share the study with us. What I could gather so far from press articles however raises a considerable amount of doubt on the validity of the study and its findings.” The study does not take into account the licensing costs that would be incurred for using Microsoft products. Schneider: “This simply drops seven million into the void – which is quite the biggest saving we had.”

The claim that no new versions of Windows and its application would have been needed is simply not true. Schneider: “A major trigger for the decision to put our operating system architecture to the test was precisely the announcement by Microsoft to drop support for Windows NT – the operating system that was used as a standard at the city of Munich at that time. A migration to a new operating system was therefore inevitable. ”

The claim that the city would have compared the cost of a current Windows 7 with a ten year old version of Linux is also simply wrong. Schneider: “Of course we have been gradually optimizing LiMux over time. The current version is far away from the original version and can stand a comparison with Windows 7.”

The study also falsely claims that one in four city computers still run on Windows as none of the specialized procedures can be migrated to Linux. Schneider: “It is true that not all business applications can be migrated to Linux. But that is ‘not all’ and not ‘none’. All web-based business applications can be used without any migration costs under LiMux and most of the procedures that are tightly integrated with Microsoft can be accessed with standard technologies that are also used by the Linux client.

Finally the number of remaining Windows machines in Munich that the study claims is too high. Instead of the claimed 75 percent, we have already moved 13,000 of the planned 15,000 machines to LiMux – that’s almost 87 percent. ”

Original german version published in the 2013-01-22 edition of Rathaus Umschau – Page 8 and 9

Munich: That HP/Microsoft study has a few problems, we guess.

[UPDATE: My english translation of the statement now here]

Reproducing the statement of IT@M – with permission from the press office of the city of Munich.

IT@M in eigener Sache

HP-Studie untersucht im Auftrag von Microsoft LiMux-Umstellung

(22.1.2013) Unter dem reißerischen Titel „Hat Ude Millionen für Linux-Rechner verschleudert?“ berichtet Focus Money online über eine Studie, die HP im Auftrag von Microsoft angefertigt haben soll. Die Studie belege angeblich, dass die Stadt durch die Umstellung auf LiMux und OpenOffice keinen zweistelligen Millionenbetrag gespart, sondern sogar draufgezahlt hätte.

Dazu erklärt Karl-Heinz Schneider, Chef des städtischen IT-Dienstleisters IT@M: „Selbstverständlich werden wir uns mit dieser Kritik gerne auseinandersetzen. Ich habe deshalb Microsoft sofort aufgefordert, uns diese Studie zur Verfügung zu stellen. Was ich bislang der Presse entnehmen konnte, wirft allerdings erhebliche Zweifel an der Aussagekraft der Studie auf.“ So lasse die Studie die Lizenzkosten, die beim Einsatz von Microsoft-Produkten angefallen wären, von vorneherein unberücksichtigt. Schneider: „Damit lässt die Studie den Löwenanteil der Einsparung in Höhe von fast sieben Millionen Euro einfach unter den Tisch fallen.“

Auch die Behauptung, beim Verbleib auf der Windows-Schiene wären überhaupt keine neuen Versionen erforderlich gewesen, trifft nicht zu. Schneider: „Ein wesentlicher Auslöser für die Entscheidung, die BetriebssystemArchitektur auf den Prüfstand zu stellen, war ja gerade die Ankündigung von Microsoft, den Support für das damals als Standard bei der Stadt eingesetzte Windows-NT-Betriebssystem einzustellen. Eine Migration auf ein neues Betriebssystem war also unvermeidlich.“

Unzutreffend ist auch die Behauptung, die Stadt hätte die Kosten einer aktuellen Windows-7- mit einer zehn Jahre alten Linux-Version verglichen. Schneider: „Selbstverständlich ist der LiMux-Client sukzessive optimiert worden. Die aktuelle Version ist mit dem ursprünglichen Client zu Projektstart nicht mehr zu vergleichen und braucht einen Vergleich mit Windows 7 nicht zu scheuen.“

Falsch ist darüber hinaus die Darstellung der Studiie, jeder vierte StadtRechner laufe noch auf Windows-Basis, da „alle Fachverfahren nicht auf Linux migrierbar“ seien. Schneider: „Richtig ist, dass nicht alle Fachverfahren auf Linux umgestellt werden können. Da wurde offensichtlich aus einem „nicht alle“ ein „alle nicht“ gemacht. Alle web-basierten Fachverfahren können ohne Umstellungsaufwand unter LiMux genutzt werden und die meisten Verfahren, die eng mit Microsoft integriert sind, können über andere Standardtechniken ebenfalls vom Linux-Client aus benutzt werden.

Auch die Zahl der verbleibenden städtischen Windows-Rechner ist zu hoch gegriffen. Statt der in der Studie behaupteten 75 Prozent haben wir bereits jetzt 13.000 der geplanten 15.000 Arbeitsplätze auf LiMux umgestellt – das sind knapp 87 Prozent.“

Source: Rathaus Umschau, 2013-01-22 – Page 8 and 9

BREAKING! Deutsche Verleger haben eine Erweiterung der robots.txt vorgeschlagen!

Der Vorschlag wurde mir geleakt von einem befreundetem DevOps in einem ungenannten Verlag.

# robots.txt zu http://www.bild.de/

User-agent: Google-Crawler*
Pay: /* {PayPal:SpingerVerlagLSR@bild.de:0.05€/click}
Free: /404.html
Free: /500.html
Pay: /erotik* {PayPal:SpingerVerlagLSR@bild.de:2.50€/click}

Es wird bereits über erweiterte Sytax diskutiert. Unter anderem ein Promo: mit Datumsangaben für Freicrawlertage.

Ach ja, wer Sarkasmus und Ironie findet darf es behalten.

6 things to know about patents, the short form.

Basic Patent Knowledge #0: The patent system has a long history. It’s fundamental task is to incentivize sharing of knowledge. Not protection of the innovator as many people assume. It is a deal with society. In exchange for full disclosure of your invention, you get a limited monopoly (20 years typically) to exploit your invention commercially. After the 20 years your knowledge enters the public domain.

Basic Patent Knowledge #1: A patent does NOT protect the innovator. It protects the one that filed the patent. It’s called the first-to-file doctrine and is used almost everywhere on this planet now.

Basic Patent Knowledge #2: A patent is a regional right. Typically limited by country borders. So to patent something globally you need to file a lot of patents at a lot patent offices in a lot of countries. That can become quite expensive.

Basic Patent Knowledge #3: A patent is presumed to be valid without a doubt. Even if you can prove that the patented thing existed before the patent was filed (in US 12 monthe before it was filed) you still need to go for an all-out invalidation process to overcome the presumed validity. This can take a long time and again is very expensive.

Basic Patent Knowledge #4: In some jusridictions (Europe as an example) the non-commercial use of patented technology is perfectly OK. Only infringement on a commercial scale causes damage.

Basic patent knowledge #5: A patent is an exclusive right. There is no rule that you must license it to others. There’s also no rule that you actually must produce something that uses the patented technology. Thus you can file a patent, sue anyone that infringes and refuse to license it at all.

Bettina Wulff schmeckt lecker nach Hähnchen -For the Lulz

This is a blog entry that you can safely ignore. The background story is quite interesting. Wife of former german Bundespräsident sues Google for adding keywords to the search bar when typing her name. There were (wrong) rumours of her having been an escort girl etc.

Long story short – we now try to Googlebomb her name to auto-add “tastes like chicken” when you type her name.

Shoutout to Senad Palic for bringing this to my attention!

Slic3r on RHEL6, 64 bit – HOWTO

As one of my hobbies is 3D printing, I have built an eMaker Huxley 3D printer last year. It is fun, teaches me a lot and I try to keep the setup up2date. So recently I upgraded the Sanguinololu to use a 1284P CPU and put Marlin on it. I added a LCD Display and a rotary encoder so it now runs completely standalone.

To create the files to print, you need to slcie/skein 3D models to GCODE. I started with Skeinforge for that but have switched to Slic3r recently.

I am a big fan of Slic3r and like to keep up with the latest devlopments. So I typically build it myself. In order to do that, you need to have quite some requirements satisfied. Here the short form for building Slic3r on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, 64bit – the OS on my current laptop:

First some RPM packages that are needed:

sudo yum install git wxBase wxGTK wxGTK-devel wxGTK-gl dbus-devel expat-devel cpan

As Slic3r is a perl program, we need quite some CPAN stuff:

sudo cpan Boost::Geometry::Utils Math::Clipper Math::ConvexHull Math::Geometry::Voronoi Math::PlanePath parent Moo Module::Build::WithXSpp dbus-1 XML::Twig

Now let’s fetch Slic3r:

git clone https://github.com/alexrj/Slic3r.git

And now we should be able to build Slic3r:

perl Build.PL

Future updates should be a simple

git pull; perl Build.PL

Time to slice some files from thingiverse.com!

TNP/IP and TNP/ISP – Braindump of a solution #needhelp

A candidate plan for a decentralized, distributed network that can complement and eventually replace a lot of proprietary stuff we use nowadays.

This is a braindump. I am hoping to find people that understand what I am talking about and are willing to get this started and participate in the discussion and implementation. Will offer beer and pizza in Munich.

My weird plan is called (since 5 minutes ;-) TNP/IP – The Transnational Protocol running on the Internet.

The short form:

  • Everything is pure JavaScript
  • Everything is Free Software, AGPLv3
  • It is modular
  • It is liberal in both input and output.

It can run on a raspberry pi or similar cheap hardware. It implements the needed standards (TBD, but for sure Jabber, SMTP, IMAP, Statusnet and RemoteStorage AKA unhosted)

Rationale: Using a single language approach we can avoid the need for expensive hardware requirements. Speed is not the big problem, freedom is.

By using webID or a similar approach this becomes your personal data engine.

The other part of the solurtion is TNP/ISP – the hosting service open standard. The only thing it does is run DNS servers (and possibly offer a caching service when your box is on limited bandwidth).

The DNS config of your domain is for free. The caching service would come at a cheap rate.

You will be free to chose whatever ISP you trust, as long as they implement the TNP/ISP standard.