Please enjoy jwz mixtape 228.

Posted Sun Jun 13 16:57:46 2021 Tags:
Diver Nearly Swallowed By Humpback Whale

"I was in his closed mouth for about 30 to 40 seconds before he rose to the surface and spit me out," Packard wrote. "I am very bruised up but have no broken bones." [...]

"To be clear, the whale did not want him in its mouth," Kerr added, comparing the situation to an open-mouthed biker accidentally inhaling a fly.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Posted Sun Jun 13 06:06:50 2021 Tags:

Anti-corruption crusaders in Guatemala have been charged with crimes that are incredible.

I can't imagine that anything could motivate those influential people to intentionally found a political party and list a dead person as participant. Why not find a living supporter to list instead? I conclude the charges must have been fabricated.

Posted Sun Jun 13 00:00:00 2021 Tags:

Chip factories in Taiwan are having trouble getting enough water, as Taiwan suffers form a drought. Global heating will lead to more and worse droughts there.

Powerful countries should not allow their manufacture of any critical product to be concentrated in one region or a few regions. Such centralization leads to vulnerability — to various kinds of problems.

The way to reduce the vulnerability, to threats of many unrelated kinds, is to disperse production.

Posted Sun Jun 13 00:00:00 2021 Tags:

Right-wing Italian prohibitions want to repeal the law that allows making deals with informants in the Mafia. They want to have their cake (long prison sentences) and eat it too (get confessions and convictions).

Posted Sun Jun 13 00:00:00 2021 Tags:

In Britain, smokers overall give more support to discouraging smoking than to protecting the right to smoke.

Tobacco is death for the smoker, as well as disgusting for everyone else. I wish I could magically help everyone quit. Nonetheless, I oppose prohibition of tobacco, on grounds of personal freedom.

Posted Sun Jun 13 00:00:00 2021 Tags:

*The Biden Administration Is Routinely Sending Mexican Children Back to Danger, Report Finds.*

Posted Sun Jun 13 00:00:00 2021 Tags:

Right-wing trumpery: running ads on Facebook for Green Party candidates in the hope of dividing Democrats, and pretending not to be who they really were.

Posted Sun Jun 13 00:00:00 2021 Tags:

The UK has received the suggestion to fill a shortfall in funds for universities from low-income graduates, by reducing the income threshold above which they must repay their student loans.

That sounds like the sort of soak-the-poor plan that Tories would love.

Posted Sun Jun 13 00:00:00 2021 Tags:

The Sri Lanka pollution ship disaster can be traced to the country's debts, which forced it to lease its ports, long term, to foreign investors that didn't care about safety.

Posted Sun Jun 13 00:00:00 2021 Tags:

The UN official in charge of food aid accuses the Eritrian army of starving people in Tigray.

Posted Sun Jun 13 00:00:00 2021 Tags:

US citizens: call on Biden to fire and replace one of the USPS board members, to assure the firing of DeJoy.

Posted Sun Jun 13 00:00:00 2021 Tags:
"Ultimate Slip 'N Slide" Production Shut Down Over Explosive Diarrhea.

The upcoming TV competition series has shut down indefinitely after up to 40 crew members fell violently ill during production on a remote ranch in Simi Valley, California. The outbreak of "awful explosive diarrhea" left people "collapsing" on set and "being forced to run into port-o-potties." [...] According to an insider, many original crew members are reluctant to return to the shoot and blame the production for not ensuring that fresh, clean water was used on set.

Plus side, maybe Ow My Balls will get picked up for a full season.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Posted Sat Jun 12 17:23:49 2021 Tags:
I always enjoy it when people tell on themselves with their font changes, making it clear that they have sent a hastily-edited form letter rather than a sincere one-to-one communication. Here's what a recent email looked like when viewed in Mail on iOS:

And here's what it looked like in Mail on macOS. The difference is more subtle, but the text of [MAJOR METROPOLITAN AREA] is still smaller (capital letters are 25px instead of 28px).

Also one of them is Arial and the other is Helvetica. Now, I know what you're thinking -- normally when someone makes that distinction you know that you're dealing with some kind of font-hipster super-nerd. This is true. But when they're side by side, sometimes even normal people can tell them apart!

Here's an easy way to screw up like this on macOS:

  • Compose an email in
  • Format / Make Rich Text.
  • Type stuff.
  • Open and copy stuff.
  • Paste.

You will almost certainly get different fonts, because you didn't do "Paste and Match Style".

"Make Plain Text" also works, because nobody needs to see the damned fonts in your damned email in the first place (sorry not sorry).

And it's not just Apple; the Google and MICROS~1 tool sets all fuck up in nearly identical ways. Besides the highly visible breadcrumbs that they reveal through this kind of font fuckery, view source also reveals many other edits. You tend to get a new DIV or SPAN every time you paste something or join paragraphs, and that reveals clues about your editing process, information that you probably didn't intend the recipient to have.

I guess it's unsurprising that the people writing these rich-text editors screw up in this way -- it's probably inconceivable to them to be concerned about the on-the-wire representation of the data they are emitting, beyond whether it displays correctly for them personally. For other examples of this lack of craftsmanship just look at how pathetically every mail reader encodes quoted-printable -- a format intentionally designed to be readable by humans in the raw, but now universally treated as a binary blob. Or the criminally incompetent manner in which they all convert HTML to text/plain in multipart/alternative. Or, gestures wildly at the entirety of XML and JSON.

But the font size changes are surprising, because it's so obvious. It makes you look like you screwed up. Surely people have complained about this. And by "people" I mean "people who matter", you know, wealthy clients.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Posted Fri Jun 11 17:47:30 2021 Tags:
XScreenSaver 6.01 is out now. This is an X11-only maintenance release, so there are no macOS, iOS or Android packages this time around.

The 6.00 refactor of the X11 XScreenSaver daemon has so far proven to be very stable and secure! The bugs fixed in this release are relatively minor. However:

  • If you are using 6.00, I strongly recommend upgrading to 6.01.
  • If you are using 5.xx, I strongly, strongly recommend upgrading to 6.01.

Sadly, due to recent catastrophic decision-making on the part of certain Linux distros, I was forced to add the following section to the XScreenSaver manual:


Wayland is a completely different window system that is intended to replace X11. After 13+ years of trying, some Linux distros have finally begun enabling it by default. Most deployments of it also include XWayland, which is a compatibility layer that allows some X11 programs to continue to work within a Wayland environment.

Unfortunately, XScreenSaver is not one of those programs.

If your system is running XWayland, XScreenSaver will malfunction in two ways:

  1. It will be unable to detect user activity in non-X11 programs. This means that while a native Wayland program is selected, XScreenSaver will think that you are idle, and may blank the screen prematurely.

  2. It will be unable to lock the screen. This is because X11 grabs don't work properly under XWayland, so there is no way for XScreenSaver to prevent the user from switching away from the screen locker to another application.

If you are aware of some way for XScreenSaver to reliably detect user activity under Wayland, do let me know. Maybe there is some dbus/systemd signal that I have missed?

Now that the XScreenSaver 6.x daemon has been sandboxed and massively reduced in size, it might be plausible for someone to rewrite xscreensaver.c to speak Wayland instead of X11, to run inside the Wayland compositor, and then to launch the X11 programs xscreensaver-auth and xscreensaver-gfx as needed. But that someone will not be me.

Previously, previously.

Posted Wed Jun 9 16:34:45 2021 Tags:
One of life's simple joys is pointing a video camera at a TV. We should all do that more often. We recently got a screaming deal on this gargantuan 75" TV, so we turned it into an instagram trap under the main stairs. I think it's going to be very popular! "What software does it use?" None, it uses none software.

Video feedback works better if it stays in the analog domain, as with 30+ year old camcorders and CRTs rather than that four letter word "HDMI", but one does what one can.

Hey, here's an interior decoration project maybe one of you could help us out with. The Green Room, that room to the South of the Lounge that you enter from the stage-left stairs, has always been less inviting than we'd like. People treat it as more of a hallway than as a place to hang out. I think it could use a bunch of overstuffed thrift-shop couches and chairs -- really gaudy stuff -- and also a shitload of chandeliers. It has a surprisingly high ceiling, and I think that filling that space with dozens of chandeliers might look pretty cool.

So, if you are a person who already has the hobby of frequenting thrift shops and estate sales, I'd love to give you a small monthly budget for broken down chandeliers and couches to dress up that room. (The couches, I assume, won't long survive contact with the enemy and will need to be periodically replenished.)

Posted Sun Jun 6 17:34:46 2021 Tags:

Planet Debian upstream is hosted by Branchable.