Brexit Thoughts

Posted by Eric Stein - June 24, 2016 CE @ 14:38:09 UTC

So, Britain is either leaving the EU or renegotiating membership in it from a very bad position. Already markets are hurting badly and millions of people's futures are rapidly collapsing. Tons of people that voted for "Leave" have now been saying things along the lines of "I didn't think we'd actually do it" and "I was voting in protest, I didn't think my vote counted much".

This is a disaster. I am very sad for those few brits I know, seriously, I am.

Here in the U.S. we have got to make a choice this year between two um, options. Those options being:
I personally don't think that NATO and the UN are "obsolete" or "a game". With resources dwindling worldwide, and climate change (not just on our doorstep but inside the front room tracking mud on the rugs and carving its name into the doorjams with a bowie knife), we need unity in the world MORE than we ever have.

Remember, protest votes and "votes that don't count" can count. Be very careful what you do.
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Analyzing the Watching of the Counters: Wisconsin Government Accountability Board

Posted by Eric Stein - January 25, 2012 CE @ 07:56:13 UTC
If you're tuned into Wisconsin politics and on the Internet lately, you've probably seen the mesmerizing webcam installed at the Government Accountability Board. They're counting the Walker recall signatures in a secret location.

I've been running some video analysis software I wrote at Pumping Station: One for awhile, so when I heard about this from Tony, I just had to analyze the stream for activity data.

It's only been running for a little while tonight, so there's no interesting results yet, but I can't wait to see that change tomorrow when the GAB employees filter in.

It's time to count the counters.
Last Edited January 25, 2012 CE @ 08:08:13 UTC
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Spin... Spin... Click. Roulette for GitHub.

Posted by Eric Stein - December 18, 2011 CE @ 09:42:49 UTC
I'm tired of digging through the busy GitHub web interface, looking for issues on my projects to solve. If I don't really know which of my projects to work on or what to do, I'd like to see a few random issues I haven't solved yet. My subconscious really already knows what I'm ready to fix, or what I've got thoughts on. It just needs some prodding.

So, show me a few things I've been meaning to do. I don't care which one, I'm feeling lucky.
eastein@horus ~/dev/githubroulette :) $ ./githubroulette eastein 3
https://github.com/eastein/gitwrench/issues/2  handle repos with no remote master ref
https://github.com/eastein/floyd/issues/1      add !help command to IRC interface
https://github.com/eastein/psyched/issues/2    Notifications undefined behaviour with unstable clock
eastein@horus ~/dev/githubroulette :) $

If this intrigues you, check it out on GitHub.
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Talking about lidless at ChiPy

Posted by Eric Stein - November 15, 2011 CE @ 07:46:03 UTC
On Thursday I gave a talk about the motivation, internals, code, and architechture of my video-stream analysis software lidless at ChiPy. It's about 40 minutes with a few slow bits but if you haven't heard me go on at length about this project yet, here's your chance!



As far as I know, the only public installation of lidless is Spacemon, my installation of it at Pumping Station: One.
Last Edited November 20, 2011 CE @ 01:10:27 UTC
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Ten Thousand Ideas Under the Shower

Posted by Eric Stein - October 12, 2011 CE @ 16:49:48 UTC
Ksssssssshhhhh splutter scrub scrub scrub WAIT, THAT'S GENIUS! I'll remember that for sure. Nope, you won't.

We've all had ideas that come out of a clear sky in the shower, but really it's ideas that come out of a clear head free of distractions. However, they often go away like tumbleweeds before we really get to act on them.



It's easy to never lose an idea again.
Last Edited October 12, 2011 CE @ 16:56:34 UTC
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SVN? No. CVS? Nooo. Git? Yes.

Posted by Eric Stein - August 18, 2011 CE @ 06:27:03 UTC
I haven't yet moved over the project pages on my site to reflect it, but I do all my coding on github now (yeah yeah, slow on the uptake, I know). Today I imported a project from CVS (not mine, I just couldn't deal with Sourceforge or CVS) and another from a poorly laid out SVN repository (mine). Here are the incantations.

CVS

Oh, that's not nice. Get rid of that right now.
git cvsimport -v -d :pserver:anonymous@projectname.cvs.sourceforge.net:/cvsroot/projectname -o master -C projectname projectname

SVN

For SVN, you'll need a .authors file, which will look like this:
username = Joe Schmo <joe@example.org>

Skip the -T / bit if you have a nice trunk/ branches/ tags/ layout set up. If you don't because you're bad, leave it.
git svn clone --no-metadata -s svn://svn.example.com/projectname projectname -T / -A.authors
Last Edited August 18, 2011 CE @ 06:29:05 UTC
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Osama Dead: Fear Next To Go?

Posted by Eric Stein - May 2, 2011 CE @ 06:00:49 UTC
Tonight, we all found out that Osama bin Laden was killed by the CIA. Very little detail provided, and the announcement President Obama made was delayed for some reason. Nothing much was lost there, as the entire Internet was already alight with the news and speculation about the details. This person to person propagation of the news when it was breaking reminded me of no historical event so much as the violent events of 9/11/2001.

Neither event in a purely rational world would have had much impact. More innocent people die in car crashes in the US in a month than died on 9/11. Many jihadis die at the hands of the US who aren't Osama. However, it's the mindset of the populace that changes. In 2001, Americans felt vulnerable. We felt hurt. We felt like our place in the world wasn't what we thought it had been. We were shocked. Many of us were scared, at least for a while.

We immediately overreacted and allowed ourselves to be led into 2 wars, one of which merely using our fear as a way to cloud our reason. It's easy to let the fight-or-flight reflex take over in exigent circumstances, and that's what happened. In a way, the US created the monster that was Osama bin Laden; both literally in Afghanistan in the 1980s, and figuratively as a symbol of Islamic Extremism. When you put a man at the #1 position on the Billboard Chats of Violence for 9.5 years, it lends a certain impact to his message, even in opposition.

A quote has been making the rounds over the last few hours on the subject of Osama's death. I find it quite apt.
You are not free until you eliminate all your fear. The big opportunity after the death of Bin Laden is for us to eliminate fear. - S. Awad

Most of us have got past 9/11, eliminated fear already. I hope Osama's death will inspire the rest to put aside the manacles of fear that they've allowed themselves to be restrained with; and that more citizens of the world let fear go now than take up the flag of revenge. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. Well, if we can get past the past.
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Markdown -> Kindle

Posted by Eric Stein - April 11, 2011 CE @ 01:30:12 UTC
I've written a new project today, for publishing files quickly & easily to the Kindle. It's specifically for publishing Markdown formatted text files. More details on the markdown-kindle page.
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Jython: Love and Hate

Posted by Eric Stein - February 7, 2011 CE @ 06:26:02 UTC
From my experiences using Jython to work with the DyIO, I learned a fair bit about what it's like to work with Jython today. I ran into issues with older versions of Jython not supporting generator functions (yield syntax) so I upgraded to the latest (as of today), 2.5.2rc3.

The 'batteries' that I've become accustomed to with CPython - the standard implementation - mostly exist, but are subtly different here and there. I won't go into details, as I don't have a bone to pick. The issues I see here are that there are areas of the Python language/runtime that are not very precisely specified, and as such, will be implemented differently by other implementors. This results in modules written against CPython will often fail in strange ways on Jython.

In my work, I solved some of these issues by adding the CPython site-packages and python-support directories to sys.path, but that's not perfect, and could even result in errors in code built for the Jython platform initially. I would like to see a world where pure python applications will run on either without issues, but that's not the world we have today.

I originally intended to run my whole project on Jython as a learning experience and to evaluate its performance, but I ended up writing a simple TCP/JSON API (my preferred serialization library didn't run well on Jython, so I had to use JSON) to abstract away the parts of my project that required Jython into a separate daemon; I didn't want to run everything under Jython anymore as it was causing periodic headaches. Incidentally, for my application, it's useful to have that separation so as to not require local hardware.

In short, Jython saved me a lot of trouble and is a new and useful wrench in my toolbox, but I'm a bit disappointed in the level of CPython compatibility that it has.
Last Edited February 7, 2011 CE @ 06:29:53 UTC
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DyIO + Jython = <3

Posted by Eric Stein - February 6, 2011 CE @ 03:57:33 UTC
I've been working on and off (mostly off) on a project of mine for home monitoring called Ramirez. I need temperature and switch sensing ability. I'd tried a few things here and there with Arduino, etc, but that always meant writing my own communications protocol over the serial bus and I never got the enthusiasm up to get anywhere with it. The project I'm building needs the data to get to a full scale computer, not an embedded board, so I needed something that would let me do that easily.

I heard a few weeks ago from my friends at Neuron Robotics that their digital/analog I/O breakout kit called the DyIO was finally available! I remember a good ways back when they were designing this while we were still in school. It always seemed like a great idea, and I jumped on the chance to buy one. Before getting it Kevin gave me a few tips - including that it was possible to get it going with python code using Jython.

I started hacking on getting it to work with Jython tonight. I had a few issues trying to translate the Java examples to Python. However, Kevin was able to both fix a small bug I found in the Neuron Robotics Development Kit and help me get a small proof of concept running.

Proof of Concept


I haven't got the correct thermistors in from DigiKey yet, so I'm starting out with a simple digital in. In this example, I have plugged a switch into channel 0 on the DyIO module (pins are S and -) and connected the module to my Ubuntu laptop using USB.
eastein@numenor:~/dev/ramirez/mcore/plug$ cat jdyio.py
#!/usr/bin/env jython

import sys, time

sys.path.append('/home/eastein/nr-sdk/nrsdk-0.3.7.a-jar-with-dependencies.jar')

from com.neuronrobotics.sdk.dyio import DyIO
from com.neuronrobotics.sdk.dyio.peripherals import DigitalInputChannel
from com.neuronrobotics.sdk.serial import SerialConnection

if __name__ == '__main__' :
        dyio = DyIO(SerialConnection("/dev/ttyACM0"))
        dyio.connect()
        dig = DigitalInputChannel(dyio.getChannel(0))

        while True :
                print dig.isHigh()
                time.sleep(.25)
eastein@numenor:~/dev/ramirez/mcore/plug$ ./jdyio.py
RXTX Warning:  Removing stale lock file. /var/lock/LCK..ttyACM0
0
0
0
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
eastein@numenor:~/dev/ramirez/mcore/plug$

Where To?


Now that I've got a quick connection to the DyIO proofed, I'll be working more on the sensor history and eventing systems within Ramirez. Soon: madness such as text alerts when my fridge temperature goes out of normal parameters for too long or my front door opens when I'm not home.
Last Edited February 6, 2011 CE @ 04:00:59 UTC
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