A few excerpts from The Invisible Committe's latest article

Posted:
Tags:  31C3 FuckoffGoogle invisiblecommittee planet-debian

Just sharing some points from "2. War against all things smart!" and "4. Techniques against Technology" by The Invisible Committee's "Fuck off Google" article. You may want to get the "Fuck off Google" pdf and watch that recent talk at 31C3.

"...predicts The New Digital Age, “there will be people who resist adopting and using technology, people who want nothing to do with virtual profiles, online data systems or smart phones. Yet a government might suspect that people who opt out completely have something to hide and thus are more likely to break laws, and as a counterterrorism measure, that government will build the kind of ‘hidden people’ registry we described earlier. If you don’t have any registered social-networking profiles or mobile subscriptions, and on-line references to you are unusually hard to find, you might be considered a candidate for such a registry. You might also be subjected to a strict set of new regulations that includes rigorous airport screening or even travel restrictions.”"

I've been introduced to following observations about 5 years ago when reading "The Immaterial" by André Gorz. Now The Invisible Committee makes that even clearer in a very few words:

"Technophilia and technophobia form a diabolical pair joined together by a central untruth: that such a thing as the technical exists. [...] Techniques can’t be reduced to a collection of equivalent instruments any one of which Man, that generic being, could take up and use without his essence being affected."

"[...] In this sense capitalism is essentially technological; it is the profitable organization of the most productive techniques into a system. Its cardinal figure is not the economist but the engineer. The engineer is the specialist in techniques and thus the chief expropriator of them, one who doesn’t let himself be affected by any of them, and spreads his own absence from the world every where he can. He’s a sad and servile figure. The solidarity between capitalism and socialism is confirmed there: in the cult of the engineer. It was engineers who drew up most of the models of the neoclassical economy like pieces of contemporary trading software."

Comments

Things to celebrate

Posted:
Tags:  debian life planet-debian

Turning 35 today, then I get the great news that the person whom I share my dreams with has just become a Debian member! Isn't beautiful? Thanks Tássia, thanks Debian! I should also thank friends who make an ideal ambience for tonight's fun.

Comments

A few words on the recent Brazilian elections

Posted:
Tags:  2014 brazil elections planet-debian

The Brazilian presidential election was exceedingly intense this year. Among many inferences that we can make by following the news and investigating data from the voting results I'd like to share this one, which in my opinion reflects quite well the vote preferences in the country.

First, let me introduce you "Belágua", a small town located in the Northeast region of Brazil. It has 6,524 habitants, 3 buses and 2 hospitals. According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), the income per person in Belágua is $146 BRL (or U$59) per month. Believe it or not, it used to be much less. Actually, the city reported in 2013 the highest economic jump in the country, rising more than a thousand positions in the ranking of GDP per capita (from position 4,991 to 3,849). This recent growth was consequence of the social welfare program of the Brazilian government, which also boosted artisanal and manioc flour production. This federal assistance is called "Bolsa família", which benefits 1.814 families in Belágua.

"Bolsa Família currently gives families with per-capita monthly income below $140 BRL (poverty line, ~$56 USD) a monthly stipend of $32 BRL (~$13 USD) per vaccinated child (< 16 years old) attending school (up to 5), and $38 BRL (~$15 USD) per youth (16 or 17 years old) attending school (up to 2). Furthermore, to families whose per-capita monthly income below $70 BRL (extreme poverty line, ~$28 USD), the program gives the Basic Benefit $70 BRL per month."

(from Wikipedia)

Contrary to what many of my middle-class friends believe, and as you can calculate yourself, this little amount of money does not offer anybody a luxury life. It does not make anybody stopping working, nor stopping looking for paid job (but yes, it makes people to start saying NO to forced labor, which is amazing, right?).

/images/belagua.jpg

Belágua, where Dilma got 93.93% of votes (photo by Clarissa Carramilo / from G1)

Also, Belágua has no much physicians around because doctors in Brazil usually wouldn't live in a such city. But now Belágua population can be treated by foreign doctors imported by the recently launched program "Mais Médicos" (More Physicians for Brazil), which hosts two Cuban doctors 15km away. Finally, Belágua people have light, due to the "Luz para Todos" ("Light for All") program.

It's not surprising that Belágua has re-elected the party which has motivated these changes. For 2014 presidential election, Belágua people gave 3.558 votes (93.93%) to Dilma Rousseff (candidate of the current government, from a left-ish party), against 230 (6,07%) to Aécio Neves (from the right coalition), being the city with the largest amount of votes for Dilma, proportionally, followed by "Serrano do Maranhão" (93,75%), which is located in the same region.

On the other hand, the city which gave, proportionally, the largest amount of votes for Aécio Neves has a population of 5,564,635 habitants, where most of citizens are not Brazilians, not yet. Miami, located in US, was the city where Brazilian residents would elect Aécio by 7,225 votes (91,79%), against 646 (8,21%) for Dilma, followed by Atlanta/US (89,47%) and Houston/US (89,22%).

/images/miami.jpg

Miami, where 91,79% of Brazilians voted Aécio (photo by Marc Averette / from Wikipedia)

It's so clear that we do what people call "selfish vote". In general, we don't care about which party has better proposals for the society as whole. Rich people will go against any serious social equality proposal, which will necessarily be followed by higher taxes on their fortunes. As middle class citizens, we care about dollar rates, because we want to get cheaper iStuff from Miami. We're also very upset by the fact that new apartments are being built without that small room in the back, which has been used to accommodate a subservient housemaid who, until last year was not even legally considered a worker.

Those people from Belágua, who used to live in extreme poverty for decades, serving as slaves, they mostly care about having something to eat. Now they eat, so they can think better, they can work, they can sell what they produce in their little yard. And like middle-class and rich citizens, they will give their vote in exchange of what they think is better for them. The big difference here is, if we ask Belágua people why they voted for Dilma, with no embarrassment they will make it very clear, that's because her government has provided them lots of benefits. Asking the same question for most Brazilians in Miami, Atlant, Houston or São Paulo, you'll get not only a bunch of allegedly moral/altruistic reasons, but they will also try to delegitimize in many ways the votes from those marginalized citizens. You'll never get the real reasons from them. They will even try to convince you that whoever receives federal assistance should automatically lose right to vote. Such a statement may seem ridiculous, however it has been very present recently. Actually, such hate speech is happening right now. While I'm writing this post about 2500 people are protesting in São Paulo streets, asking for an immediate military coup because they don't agree with the elections result. These people keep pushing the limits of ridiculousness.

Dilma won with 51.64% of valid votes, a very tight result. The country is clearly divided, mostly by hate, unfortunately.

Comments

New gadget

Posted:
Tags:  coffee planet-debian
/images/supercoffee.jpg

Solid, energy-efficient, nice UI, wireless, multiple output formats and hmm... can you smell it? :)

Comments

'WDTCR' was not declared in this scope

Posted:
Tags:  attiny watchdog wdtcr

Tutorials on microcontroller ATtiny will push you to use WDTCR definition. It has been switched long time ago to WDTCSR, according to ATtiny24/44/84 Datasheet. I hope this short post may save some of your precious hacking time.

Comments

HOPE X ical for schedule

Posted:
Tags:  hopex ics planet-debian

As Adirondack (train line MTL-NYC) is not Internet-friendly for RSS feeds I can't profit of my ~11h travelling to check this huge schedule in the way I want to, (= having a timetable view including room, description and speakers). HOPE X has just released a pdf and a xls (wtf??), but these contain only titles and room.

So I've coded an ics generator to process their feed. The result file is available at http://acaia.ca/hopex.ics and should be up to date with the original RSS.

Comments

Little garden project

Posted:
Tags:  garden montreal planet-debian

After three years living in Montréal we're still amazed by the fact that here we have er... seasons!!

I believe that things have a special beauty when they don't last the time we want them to last, and seasons are all about it! (some people will exclude winter here) Anyways, taking pictures may give them more lifetime without compromising too much their beauty. And sharing them here and there is somewhat sharing our happiness, which might be a good balance in the end :)

/images/01.JPG

At the time we moved the garden was just a single white thing...

/images/02.JPG

then we realized that it provided some chairs, a table and a compost container, yay!

/images/03.JPG

But the grey ground was something to be fixed...

/images/04.JPG

so we hacked it and got some land :)

/images/05.JPG

Few months later and it's finally becoming chard, beets, carrots, spinach, berries, cheries, okra, tomatoes, basil, potatoes, sage, agastache and a saskatoon berry tree!

Comments

On losing contacts with old friends

Posted:
Tags:  facebook google hangout planet-debian web xmpp

In 2010 I decided to stop using my google account. In 2011 I decided to leave facebook, twitter and other $cool stuff. This was a hard decision. Not because email migration was annoying, nor because I liked to do social networking. It's hard because most of friends depend on either google or facebook to chat. Since I moved to another country, phone calls and presencial meetings have been substantially reduced.

So we keep in contact by using IRC and XMPP. I have good friends who use IRC, mostly Debian people, which is great. I also have lots of friends and contacts not using IRC. In the past they used ICQ, then moved to MSN and now they are using google talk and facebook. I used to explain them that we could talk by using their google account and my Jabber account due to an open standard called XMPP. I enjoy having short conversations in random times, which sometimes takes hours and helps us to keep affectionately connected.

It used to work so well. Now it seems to be gone. I've noticed that I can't connect anymore with contacts using google talk, probably because google has finally put into action their decision to abandon open standards for instant messaging.

I'm not going to list here all the good things that happened in my life when I stopped using all this crap services. But I have to admit that it really hurts to see my contacts disappearing day by day, feeling like my friends are being devoured by these companies, with zero critical sense. You'll say that good friends won't disappear like that if they are good friends. I agree, but the convenience of having people from one-click distance in random hours a day makes a difference, mainly when physical distance is a blocker.

Comments

Introducing Radio Pyo: live python music!

Posted:
Tags:  music planet-debian pyo python radio

Radio Pyo is now online as a beta experiment. All the compositions are made entirely with Python and Pyo. They mostly have pseudo-random music sections, so technically speaking the chances that you listen to the same song twice are very little :)

I'm contacting the composers in order to make all the sources available in a public repository.

Here's a template with some rules for those who want to submit a composition (for now it's just about sending the script to tiago at acaia.ca):

radiopyo-template.py

#!/usr/bin/env python
# encoding: utf-8
"""
Template for a RadioPyo song (version 1.0).

A RadioPyo song is a musical python script using the python-pyo
module to create the audio processing chain. You can connect to
the radio here : http://radiopyo.acaia.ca/

There is only a few rules:
    1 - It must be a one-page script.
    2 - No soundfile, only synthesis.
    3 - The script must be finite in time, with fade-in and fade-out
        to avoid clicks between pieces. Use the DURATION variable.

belangeo - 2014

"""
from pyo import *

################### USER-DEFINED VARIABLES ###################
### READY is used to manage the server behaviour depending ###
### of the context. Set this variable to True when the     ###
### music is ready for the radio. TITLE and ARTIST are the ###
### infos shown by the radio player. DURATION set the      ###
### duration of the audio file generated for the streaming.###
##############################################################
READY = False           # Set to True when ready for the radio
TITLE = "Song Title"    # The title of the music
ARTIST = "Artist Name"  # Your artist name
DURATION = 300          # The duration of the music in seconds
##################### These are optional #####################
GENRE = "Electronic"    # Kind of your music, if there is any
DATE = 2014             # Year of creation

####################### SERVER CREATION ######################
if READY:
    s = Server(duplex=0, audio="offline").boot()
    s.recordOptions(dur=DURATION, filename="radiopyo.ogg", fileformat=7)
else:
    s = Server(duplex=0).boot()


##################### PROCESSING SECTION #####################
# global volume (should be used to control the overall sound)
fade = Fader(fadein=0.001, fadeout=10, dur=DURATION).play()


###
### Insert your algorithms here...
###


#################### START THE PROCESSING ###################
s.start()
if not READY:
    s.gui(locals())

Thanks to Olivier Bélanger and Jean-Michel Dumas for all the code!

Comments

Mon petit Jean marchant

Posted:
Tags:  DIY arduino ga1a12s202 hc-sr04 robot servo

I got this cute little walker by following these instructions. It's a simple 3 servo robot controled by a light sensor, mapping light intensity with speed. To avoid beating his face against the wall Jean uses an ultrasonic sensor which also gives him a fancy big-eye look. So smart uh? :) The code doesn't differ much from that one mentioned above. I've just taken these pictures before he gets disassembled, after all I can't afford a microcontroller for each fun I have on this arduino-world thing.

Comments