On other people’s behalf

Quite young I experienced how arguing on the behalf of another person was counterproductive, and while I cannot say that I have stopped doing it, I was suitably reticent.

I have tried to put my thinking into words but only recently have I gotten anywhere with it.

Because we can’t just keep quiet; sometimes other people need our help.

Like the Terry Pratchett quote from “The Wee Free Men”: “[…] someone has to speak up for them as has no voices.”

It is of course important that we in the process never suppress their feelings and wishes.

I try to meet these requirements when I speak on someone else’s behalf, and I hope anyone speaking on my behalf will try as well, to be:

  1. Factual
  2. Civil
  3. Emotionally neutral

(reminded by and paraphrasing from)

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LEGO Technic and System are not the same

Technic holes are slightly smaller than those of System. You can connect a single stud into a single Technic hole and a child can still take them apart. Any more than that and the resistance becomes too great and there is the potential for elements (and children) being stressed.

Also; there’s a design committee that must approve all new models which is a consequence of a promotional model that damaged the bricks.

There are many more examples in this document.

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Software developer or not

The difference between software developers and other people is the inherit distrust we developers have towards computer systems.

Like, for instance, when someone talks about electric scooters with electronic brakes. What I hear is, here’s an electric scooter that might suddenly brake, even at high speeds.

Lo and behold, multiple injuries, including a broken jaw.

This bug is supposed to be fixed with an update coming up. That does not mean there are no bugs left.

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A veritable spy thriller

Bellingcat’s investigation into the suspects in the Skripal poisoning is very interesting. They have found that the two named suspects are likely GRU officers and found a link to a third officer. While investigating this third officer bellingcat found that the official databases were being purged of every reference to him. When they found that the same was happening for the original suspects they got an idea:

While impeding our ability to find a photo match between Sergeev and Fedotov, this finding gave us the idea to look for other GRU officers who might be linked to the Skripal poisoning, in which case we could expect their data to not be available via the online tax tool. Indeed, we have identified one such additional GRU officer. This officer, notably, traveled to Bulgaria two weeks before Sergeev’s trip which coincided with the poisoning of the Bulgarian arms trader. Bellingcat and its partner publications are currently analysing whether this may be a fourth suspect in the Skripal case.

This seems like a rather obvious mistake, as anyone with cached data could do this. If this was fiction I’d expect it to be a double bluff.

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Vaccine as requirement for travel?

Costa Rica now has a measles outbreak, because an unvaccinated, but infected, tourist visited the country.

Measles is extremely contagious and even if you have been vaccinated you are not fully protected. Close, but not 100%.

Anti-vaxxers* are a first world problem, which makes sense. Only countries that have enjoyed a generation or more protected by vaccinations would be able to forget just how bad these diseases are.

So someone suggested that third world countries could impose a requirement on travelers; you must be vaccinated to visit our country. Costa Rica already require a Yellow Fever vaccination if you visit from a country where Yellow Fever occurs and could expand that.

Of course, that would impact the tourism industry and also those that are unable to be vaccinated.

*) I don’t know if the tourist were anti-vaxxers. There may have been a completely legitimate reason for them to not be vaccinated.

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And she did

And she did.


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I hope she wins

If nothing else, then in expectation of the speech she’d make if she won an Academy Award.

For some time I’ve enjoyed the works of Olivia Colman, in comedy and drama, and her befuddled acceptance speeches are a joy.

Like the two BAFTA’s she won in 2013:


Or BAFTA 2014


BAFTA 2019:


Golden Globes 2019:


Her credits also include Hot FuzzThe Lobster, The Night Manager (and that was another Golden Globe win) and the coming season of The Crown.


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Please sign this petition today

Many people have written extensively why the proposed articles 11 and 13 of the upcoming EU Copyright Directive are bad, worse and the worst, myself included.

Despite the opposition, the EU Parliament and EU Commission have decided on the possibly worst version of article 13 yet and are moving forward.

I don’t know if it will help, but please join me in signing this petition on change.org against article 13. Right now it is the largest petition ever in Europe and only a few signatures from becoming the largest petition ever, period.

Yes, we are forgetting article 11 now. Article 11 in the proposal is also bad (and stupid) but the new proposal for article 13 is so bad that it will effectively destroy the internet as we know it. Compared to article 13, the proposed article 11 which would make it impossible to discuss news articles on social media, is small fry.

Why is article 13 the worst?

Here are my posts about it, back when it was only bad: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. But smarter people than me have spent a lot of time looking into this. A couple of these are here:

The Final Version of the EU’s Copyright Directive Is the Worst One Yet


Europe Should Protect Independent Media in Copyright Reform

Article 13 of the EU Copyright Directive Threatens the Internet

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Frank Lloyd Wright’s gas station

Apparently Frank Lloyd Wright once designed a gas station.

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Listening to the music of Queen and watching the biopic about Freddie Mercury, this review from 1979 seems quite a bit off the mark:

What trips the group up, as usual, is the music.
more of the same dull pastiche
Queen may be the first truly fascist rock band. The whole thing makes me wonder why anyone would indulge these creeps and their polluting ideas.


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