Video suggestion: Is the EU worth it or should we end it?

Video-Suggestion: "Is the European Union worth it or should we end it?" from Kurzgesagt.

I am clearly on the site of "it is worth it".
It gave us more then 70 years of peace and forms one of the biggest economic, scientific and union. We have a huge cultural and social variety that makes the union sometimes bureaucratic and complicated but also unique and liveable.

No generation before us could experience such a enormous wealth, education and safe world as we can.

#PulseOfEurope

Ever heard of Pulse Of Europe?


#PulseOfEurope is a counter-movement to the growing right-wing populism, to the hostility towards the EU. After Brexit, Trump and growing radicalism it's a movement against the growing hatred and fear.
For details go and visit their motivational page (in multiple languages, including English, German, French)

I just saw that they are meeting in Innsbruck at Anna-Säule every Sunday at 14:00.

You can click here to go to OpenStreetMap at the given coordinates.

Benchmarking tool - Flops

Flops is a nice tool for benchmarking floating point operations of a CPU.

Under Arch Linux i had some problems compiling it, because the static linking towards openmp was not working properly. I've made a fork, fixed the issue by removing the -static flag (and replaces -std=c++0x to -std=c++11) and a pull request in the hope, it will be included in the mainline soon.


The tool itself is quite nice to compare the throughput of FLOPS on a CPU. It measures it under perfect conditions so be aware that the everyday performance will be lower.

Still: Nice tool 🙂

Why I think, that SteamOS should become more popular

In a nutshell

  • You can build your own hardware
  • You have the freedom to choose between a high-end gaming PC or a low budget living room console, even cheaper than a PS4
  • Microsoft's UWP is bad for the consumer, since it want's to destroy competitors instead of competing with them
  • Since Vulkan more Games will be available on Linux, this will bring some freedom to the games to chose the operating system that works better for them.

SteamOS is a Linux-based platform for Steam. I think that's a great step forward in order to bring the gaming market closer to the Linux platform than any approach before. And let me explain to you, why this is important.

Advantages of SteamOS

I'm running Linux on a daily basis. And for that I would be more convenient for me to have more native games running in my Linux Steam, than to force me to reboot Windows.

Apart from that, you can build or order your own Steam Machines. They allow you to build your own consoles and media centres based on real PC hardware. They might be more expensive than a PS4 or XBox, but they can be also MUCH MORE powerful in terms of performance. In other words - You gain the freedom to choose the hardware that you want. Wanna go for a complete 4k 60 FPS machine? Go ahead! Or just wanna have a casual machine, even cheaper than a PS4? Also that's possible.

Why Microsoft's UWP is bad

This is not a rant or MS bashing. Microsoft has done a lot of good things and empowers new technologies. But their strategy in building up their own monopole with UWP is bad for the consumers and their partners.

Universal Windows Platform is a new Runtime for Windows, that claims to unify programs for all Windows platforms. Sounds good up to now, but it intrinsically also binds every program to the Windows Store. This is a new form of the Trusted Computing platform, that has failed already several times in the past. So if programs are not "trusted" by the Windows store, you cannot run them. That is bad, since other Platforms, like Steam, then cannot install Games without the "permission" of the Windows Store. That is terrible! You just lost control over your computer.

"The risk here is that, if Microsoft convinces everybody to use UWP, then they phase out Win32 apps. If they can succeed in doing that then it’s a small leap to forcing all apps and games to be distributed through the Windows Store. Once we reach that point, the PC has become a closed platform. It won’t be that one day they flip a switch that will break your Steam library – what they’re trying to do is a series of sneaky manoeuvres. They make it more and more inconvenient to use the old apps, and, simultaneously, they try to become the only source for the new ones."

Tim Sweeney, PC Gamer

I don't like the approach here - It's not that Microsoft brings something new out that just works better. No, they did a major screwup with DirectX 12, where they focused on the Marketing and not on the actual Technology. This is why Vulkan gained so much popularity and may outpower DirectX 12. At least I hope so, because that would be a game-changer in the battle of the operating systems. And the winner in this case is the consumer, because he can chose between two different platforms, what suits him better.

If Microsoft would really bring something totally revolutionary and big on the table, that outperforms all of the competitors the case would be different. But they are not. They are trying to destroy better technologies to bring make their own product shine brighter.

 

Of course, this is just my humble opinion, and I could be wrong.

Vortragstipp: Spiegelmining

Einen Einblick, welche Schlüsse aus Metadaten zu ziehen sind, und welche Informationen aus einem Datensatz von 100.000 Spiegel-Online Artikel gesammelt werden können hat David Kriesel auf dem 33C3 präsentiert. Die Ergebnisse sind online unter folgendem Link einsehbar: http://www.dkriesel.com/spiegelmining

Link zum Talk auf media.ccc.de

Sehr spannend!

33C3 - Day 2

Good morning Hamburg! It's 10:00 in the morning an I am walking through the Apothekergarten towards the Congress Center. It's quiet on the streets.
In this moment I realize, that it's the time after Christmas. It's winter. It's the time of the year, where a lot of people took holidays to recover from the year, to reflect about all the things that have happened and that are going on. It's a time of peace.

Apothekergarten with the Frank-Hertz tower

Be excellent to each other!

I'm here at the 33C3 - The 33rd Chaos Communication Congress. It's awesome! 🙂

People here are very friendly. Due to general "Verpeiltheit" I've forgotten my Lenovo power supply unit. Also the nearby Saturn has none of those on stock (that's a shame! You have a Lenovo section but such crucial elements not on stock?!?)
Fortunately, since it's quite common I always find a way to charge it - From a huge power back with a lot of special adapters to some friendly people who borrow me their supply.
Lesson learned: If possible, always prefer a device that is quite common, so you can borrow equipment to and from other people.

 

There are still a lot of things going on. Stay tuned and remember: Be excellent to each other 🙂

Evernote wants to read your notes

Evernote recently announced, that some user's note will be subject to a machine learning process.

Although they claim to stuck to their Three Laws of Data protection, but the update is, that a Evernote employee may read your notes in order to check and validate the machine learning algorithms.

I personally do not like to have a machine read through my notes. There are other applications, where this might be useful, but not for my notes.

You can opt-out from this program in your personal settings.

In your personal settings in the Browser you can opt-out from this services

 

[UPDATE]

It seems that Evernote has changed the strategy to opt-in.

As a reminder: you can always encrypt part of your note using a password. Unfortunately you cannot encrypt a whole note or notebook at this moment.