What better way to spend a slow weekend than by writing another blog engine? Plenty, actually, but that’s what I did
anyway. The result of this work: Mebe! This blog is now powered by a wonderful mix of
Elixir and Phoenix. It has all the features that Laine
had, with the addition of an actually working Disqus comment system. It’s also search engine indexable, which I thought
I didn’t care about, until I didn’t have it anymore. Not that I’m aiming for tons of visitors, but writing about some
tech problem I have fixed is kind of pointless if no one can find the post by googling for it.
Unicode versions 7 and 8 have added many new emoji to the standard. These emojis first became available in mobile phones
and are supported by default on modern Android and iOS devices. OS X also has a builtin emoji input method. As such,
emojis are beginning to appear on IRC too and it’s useful to be able to see them.
I love listening to music. I carry my music collection wherever I go (in the form of an MP3 player), be it work, school
or vacation. My last.fm profile logs tens of tracks every day and can probably creepily
accurately pinpoint when I’m at work, alone at home or travelling from place to place. With this said, listening to
music at home has earlier been somewhat of a chore – or at least I feel like it now.
Since I’m pretty often on the move with my laptop, I grew tired of having to pull the audio cord from the living room
stereo receiver every time I wanted to listen to something. And when I did listen to something, I often alternated
between the living room and the kitchen, where nothing was playing. Sometimes I resorted to putting the receiver in the
living room at full blast to kind of hear it everywhere in the apartment – sorry neighbors.
It seems Sweden has managed to do what other countries have long been attempting — they have eradicated the use of
Comic Sans in their government’s official communications. How? By
inventing their own font
called Sweden Sans (scroll down
a bit on the page) and mandating its use on all official branding. And it looks pretty damn cool.
So cool, in fact, that I just had to put it to some use so I made it the default heading font on this blog. Granted it
looks kinda silly because the rest of the site is very plain, but I’ll get there some day when I have an excess of free
time. In the meantime, our western neighbours were kind enough to include all the necessary web font formats and even
example CSS in the download.
But I’m still missing something. Though it’s mentioned in the example texts, there’s no download for Sweden Mono Sans.
If it was available, I’d probably try it out in my terminal instantly — if only just because of morbid curiosity.
I also think Finland could follow this example and come up with a font of our own. A font that would gather the whole
nation as one and make us forget our petty differences. A font already etched into the hearts of millions of Finns.
Maybe we can start here:
Earlier this morning it was reported that
Lenovo is installing adware to their new laptops.
This piece of adware is called SuperFish, and it basically MITM’s your connections — including secure ones — and
inserts ads into webpages you visit. This in itself should be alarming and is an extremely scummy thing to do, but now
things have taken a turn for the worse. Yes, it can get even worse.
Since Lenovo has installed a root CA of their own on the computer, they can basically make your browser trust any site
they want by using the CA to create certificates for them. But now everyone can. A
people have already extracted the private key from the
adware app and bruteforced the terrible, inexcusably bad password. A password of only 7 characters in length, consisting
of nothing but lowercase a–z characters. komodia. Really, that’s it right there.
So now anyone can create certificates that new Lenovo machines automatically trust. Shame on you, Lenovo.
And yes, I know Lenovo is not directly responsible because they didn’t make the adware, but they shouldn’t have
added some in the first place. At the very least they should have had oversight, because this is complete buffoonery.
Hopefully some heads will roll as a result. This race to the bottom where laptops are preinstalled with bloat in ever
increasing crappiness must stop.
In case you are using a Lenovo computer and want to check if you are vulnerable, try
going here. If you get a security warning from your browser, you are safe. If not,
douse your computer in some holy water and go make an angry call to Lenovo support.
I had some free time this weekend, so I decided to pick up on an old piece of code I wrote back when I started learning
Elixir. It’s a URI parser I called Nurina (the word nurina is Finnish and means
grumbling or complaining — it sounded funny and it contains the word URI). It’s not really a well put together piece of
code but more of a learning excercise. I also decided to avoid using regular expressions entirely and instead used
pattern matching to parse the whole URI — an additional challenge.
I removed my old blog at nicd.nytsoi.net today and pointed Nginx to serve a permanent redirect to this site instead.
The old blog served me from my days on the once free webhost 3rror.com, to my first webhotel and
from there through three different VPS installations to where we are now. When I started, WordPress wasn’t the
household name it now is and the web was very different. I wrote for years about stuff I saw, did and felt…
And I’m glad the blog is gone. Because that shit was embarrassing. Funny how your opinion of your own cleverness changes
when time passes. Also I got fed up with updating WP every two weeks and fearing that the next time I visited, it
would’ve been replaced with greetings from my friendly neighborhood hacker group. Aaand I had stopped posting somewhere
Pitot — my SailfishOS GPS/GLONASS speedometer app — has reached a state where I’m confident to
release it for others to use. You can download the RPM in
the BitBucket repository.
Some screenshots showing the basic functionality below:
Some notes about the accuracy when using with the Jolla phone:
It takes a long time to get a location when you are moving. This is due to the phone’s GPS
being pretty bad. I don’t know of a way to alleviate it in the app.
Jolla’s speed readings come rounded to around 0.25 m/s. So for example when walking, the app
will report 4.5 and 5.4 km/h but nothing in between. To my knowledge this cannot be changed
from the app either.
The app is feature complete and I’ll just wait until QtPositioning is allowed in Harbour to publish it.
There’s still one little problem, the font is really jagged and ugly. I tried following a Jolla
employee’s instructions in setting the text’s renderType to Text.NativeRendering but it seems to
have no effect. I’ll take a better look at that later. (Also the logo is quite ugly, but I’m bad at
graphics, so any help on that would be much appreciated!)
If you encounter any problems, I’d appreciate bug reports or even pull requests in the BitBucket