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How Ubuntu Linux snuck into high-end Dell laptops (and why it's called 'Project Sputnik')
  • You needed: kernel driver, closed source userspace driver, GStreamer plugin, v4l2 loopback driver, v4l2 relay daemon copying frames from the GStreamer source into v4l2 loopback. Technically I could have made it work, I just decided not to.

  • What is your least favourite tea?
  • Oh yes, I completely agree with you! And it's in a large percentage of herbal/fruit mixes so they're out of the question for me. I wonder how it became so popular, isn't it sour for everyone else too?

  • How Ubuntu Linux snuck into high-end Dell laptops (and why it's called 'Project Sputnik')
  • Earlier this year I was given one of those XPS machines with Ubuntu and decided to install Debian on it. The camera driver was so bad - I can't remember technical details but you can't simply get it to run on another kernel, it was a mess of hacks to get it to work. I decided I won't get a camera driver. "We ship a laptop with Ubuntu" does not necessarily mean working Linux drivers.

    EDIT: To add insult to injury, the touch bar suddenly decided to stop responding to input. It's already bad enough to not have tactile feedback for Esc / Fn keys / Delete / Print Screen.

  • Fashion is a weird thing
  • No, I commute in jeans. Makes it super hard to find high-waist jeans that are narrow at the bottom and also have a certain degree of elasticity, so when I find them I buy a lot.

  • Fashion is a weird thing
  • I cycle, so I'm definitely not a fan of low waist jeans. I want my lower back to feel warm and covered.

  • Data privacy: how to counter the "I have nothing to hide" argument?
  • Well, maybe you are:

    • Planning a surprise party
    • Leaving a job
    • Trying to escape an abusive relationship
    • Famous
    • Writing a detective novel
    • A writer without a publisher
    • Searching about an embarrassing medical condition
    • Having a crush in someone
    • In the closet
    • A teenager with controlling parents
    • Having a hobby that's considered embarrassing or childish
    • Having a psycho stalker
    • Buying a present from Santa
    • A reporter who doesn't want to reveal their sources
    • Buying a toilet and you don't want toilet recommendations for the rest of your life
    • Lending your computer to someone, and you don't want your recommended videos to change
    • Under an NDA

    ... Or maybe you're talking with someone who's in one of those categories.

    We have to normalise privacy in order to keep these people safe. For instance, it's a stupid example but it works, if I always use private browser windows, my husband won't suspect anything when I'm looking for a gift for him.

    That's only the tip of the iceberg and it's not even touching some bigger problems:

    • You can be profiled based on your likes, social media posts, purchase history, etc, and maybe used for election results manipulation, or who knows what else. That's not a conspiracy theory, it has happened, see for instance Cambridge Analytica.
    • Maybe the political situation will change in the future. Oops, now your data is suddenly in the hands of a malicious dictator.
    • If you keep a backdoor open to let the "good and trusted" actors in, there's no way to not let malicious actors in as well.
  • Any open source wrapper for Facebook Messenger?
  • SlimSocial for Facebook works, it's just slow.

  • Privacy respecting location sharing?(find my friends)
  • I use this and you can preemptively create some groups you can share your location to, then turn those on. If this works for you.

  • Camping-style cold brew tea


    Camping-style cold brew

    We used a sencha flavoured with banana, mango, melon, etc:

    We left about two tablespoons of tea in 300ml of room temperature water for maybe an hour, then bought a bottle of cold water, emptied 300ml from it, and put the concentrate in. Very tasty and refreshing.

    Our plastic jug is old and has a lot of salt stains unfortunately, sorry for this.


    Throwback to when we got ~45mm of rain in 30min when camping

    Fortunately everything was safe. We just barely managed to collect all our things from outside (apart from the jug, which we left on purpose), and the tent took absolutely no water inside.


    Finally managed to combine cold tea with gong fu brewing

    Normally it takes two gaiwan-fuls to fill my mug. This time I brewed it both times with a bit less water, then cooled it down a bit by using another mug (pour it from one mug into the other, rinse the now empty mug with tap water, repeat), and at the end I topped it up with ice cubes.

    Using this oolong:

    As is the case for every cold tea, it tends to conceal a bit its more delicate flavours. However, this tea's aftertaste is thick and sweet with some milky flavours, so this is retained very well in the end result. The astringency is a bit more pronounced in the cold version, but it essentially goes from non-existent to very mild, so that's not a problem.

    Unfortunately I have to use a Mighty Mug when drinking next to the computer, in order to prevent spilling (I've had to change a laptop keyboard because of this), so you can't see the colour of the tea.

    I tried uploading pictures, but the server is giving out errors, so you can view them here:

    Couldn't get this wrong because there was only one option
  • Ah, no, this is some Internet slang, and oddly enough it comes from the first meaning. AFAIK, the second one doesn't exist in Japanese.

    Basically, "hahaha" in Katakana is written as ハハハ. If you line up enough ハハ's, it will look like a series of w's. In chats, they use w (from 笑い、warai) to denote laughter. If you line up enough wwww's, it looks like grass. That's how 草 ended up meaning LOL.

  • What those sayings actually mean

    Saw this one flying by on Discord.

    Image description: A 3x3 collage of literal versions of some popular sayings:

    Butterflies [drawing of a flying piece of butter]

    Hold your horses [photo of a farmer lifting a whole horse]

    Well in that case [drawing of a well inside an empty suitcase]

    Well said [picture of a hand holding a microphone to a well]

    Holy shit [picture of a hand pointing towards a toilet bowl with light emerging from it]

    No way [picture of a road that's suddenly getting cut off]

    Let that sink in [picture of a bathroom sink standing outside an open door]

    Well that sucks [picture of a vacuum cleaner poking out of a well]

    Okay this is crazy [drawing of 3 humans, the left one is named Okay, the right one is named Crazy, and the middle one is introducing them to each other]

    What are you doing today on July 4th?
  • Well, it's a Tuesday so that means I can get fresh fish in my local street market. Nothing much going on otherwise.

  • What are your favorite foods to cook on a campfire?
  • Tortellini with shrimp and tomato sauce (we use frozen shrimp), grilled fish, and basically any stir-fried food.

  • Interview with Senior Rust Developer in 2023

    Do you use RSS?
  • I use NextCloud News, it's super convenient and also syncs between my phone and computer. I use it for reading the news (playing hide and seek with one news site after another when they inevitably disconnect their RSS/Atom support), for the webcomics I follow, and for keeping up with friends' blogs.

  • Our summer home

    Chalkidiki, Greece. We don't spend the whole summer there, but go back and forth quite often.

    Help me to better grasp ~ていた and ~た
  • Not a native speaker, but nobody else has jumped in, so here's my understanding of it. Take it with a grain of salt because I'm not a native speaker. If you want I could ask my sensei for clarifications, I just would prefer to not bother her.

    These two phrases only have a different nuance, not technically a different meaning. The nuance is exactly what you described in what you consciously know. So you might use the 〜ていた form to say how it was safe for you to go on a hike, and the 〜た form to focus on the season change itself. It's not necessarily wrong to use them interchangeably.

  • A modest proposal


  • Women don't have balls, therefore they can't store pee, and that explains the longer queues in women's bathrooms. See you next time with a new episode of Troll Biology!

  • Has anyone else become super sensitive to cigarette smoke since the lockdowns?
  • Oh, that makes sense. Thanks a lot for your explanation! And wow, I wouldn't have guessed that the smell of smoke would be a risk to a military unit, though now that you mention it it also makes a lot of sense.

  • ナース



    Has anyone else become super sensitive to cigarette smoke since the lockdowns?

    In the distant past, I used to be able to sit down at a bar where people would smoke, and not mind at all. Then came the smoking ban, which made me find it unpleasant, but not a big deal. Then came the lockdowns, and I got used to breathing super fresh air all the time. Now I start coughing if someone outdoors smokes 5m away from me and the wind blows it in my direction. Does this happen to anyone else or is it just me?


    New kanji just dropped



    Best replies to「日本語、上手ですね」




    Who called it Ferris and not the Rusty Krab?

    okay I'll see myself out now


    Foxy electrical devices

    Source: with an omake in the replies! 😊


    The world stops functioning if there's no coffee

    This one is a bit tricky, in fact. What it means to say in English is "when the coffee is empty, we won't refill it".

    In Japanese, instead of こちらのコーヒーが it should say こちらのコーヒーは. With the は it's correctly implied that the こちらのコーヒーは refers to 終了になります, therefore "the coffee is over (when it's empty)". With the が, even though the mistake is obvious to an experienced speaker, it could be theoretically implied that こちらのコーヒーが refers to なくなり次第, therefore leaving the subject to 終了になります vague/dangling: "when the coffee is empty, [something else] is over".


    The future is dangerous

    この先 could be vaguely translated as "from this point onwards", which usually has a temporal meaning "from now on", but in this case it's meant to be spatial, "don't walk past this sign".




    "We are free"

    It wanted to give out a message of freedom, but the mistranslation ended up meaning "we are free of charge".

    Can't remember where I saw this picture, but it's definitely not one I took.


    Half-hidden 安全確認 looks like you have to wait for the queen

    Image source: