Arnt Gulbrandsen
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2018-05-26

GDPR

There's a lot of hair on fire this week...

This blog, like my other websites, does not process your personal data (arguably my personal data constitute an exception). There are no cookies, no comment forms, no login, no third-party plugins or buttons or scripts, nothing, and that's the way I want it. There is a server log file with IP addresses, which I can't remember ever using and have no plans to use, either alone, by combining them with any other personal data, or by giving them to any third party. I don't actually know for how long those IP addresses are kept. Not at the time of writing and certainly not at the time of reading.

Have a nice day. Don't panic.

2018-02-05

More on the Jelly Pro smartphone

Another few weeks have passed.

I have made up my mind to ditch the Jelly and go back to a bigger phone, in fact I've made up my mind to that several times. And I've also made up my mind that I cannot possibly do that.

It's difficult. One one hand many things work so well on the Jelly. I have apps, for example Google Authenticator, on a device that is unobtrusively small and is not a timewaste magnet. On the other, data entry can be a pain. Last Satuday I wanted to know whether I had time to get to a shop before it closed, and I remembered the shop's location but not its name. I found it, which makes the Jelly qualitatively different from other small phones, but the data entry was impractical compared to a large smartphone.

2018-01-23

The tiny Jelly Pro smartphone

I don't buy a lot of hardware any more, and nothing out of the ordinary... but I have a credit-card-sized smartphone called Jelly (a Jelly Pro actually, with 2GB RAM).

A smartphone should be small and light, have a large screen and battery, be fast enough, and not have too many bugs. Obviously there's a conflict between overall size and screen/battery size. The Jelly is a very different compromise than most smartphones — most phones fit barely in a pocket, or only in some pockets, and provide large screens on which apps work well. The Jelly starts by fitting easily in any pocket, and makes the apps work as well as possible on a very small screen.

It succeeds on size: I can stick the Jelly in tight jeans pockets and sit down without noticing that it's there. (more…)

2018-01-16

A flooded bridge

This bridge isn't pointless. It's flooded. It could have been built higher, but why? During a flood it's a bridge to nowhere. It could have been built lower, but then boats wouldn't be able to pass under it. All very sensible.

And artful. Someone thought about how the bridge could look during a flood, and took the opportunity to make some art. During a flood there's something to catch the eye, and make the eye and mind pay attention in the way that is the core of art. I love that.

2017-12-13

The one-minute guide to implementing unicode email addresses

The unicode email address extensions are pleasantly simple to implement. Here is an overview of the RFCs and some notes I made while doing my first implementations; this posting is a very brief description of the protocol and format extensions involved. Despite its brevity it's nearly complete, because these extensions are so simple.

Mail message format: Using UTF8 everywhere is now permitted. Instead of using RFC2047 encoding, quoted-printable and more, messages can use UTF8 everywhere.

To: Jøran Øygårdvær <jøran@blåbærsyltetøy­.gulbrandsen.priv.no> Subject: Høy på pæra Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf8 Gørrlei av eksempler.

No encoding is necessary anywhere. The message above lacks From and Date, apart from that it's correct.

Sending mail using SMTP: The server advertises the SMTPUTF8 extension, the MAIL FROM command includes the argument SMTPUTF8, and the email addresses can then use UTF8.

$ telnet mx.example.com 25 Trying 2001:6d8::4269… Connected to mx.example.com (more…)

2017-08-17

Tokyo Martini

There are several drinks by this name around the web. The others are poor imitations, please disregard.

You'll need a green tea bitter: Vodka in which some green tea leaves have been steeped for a while. I prefer darjeeling leaves for a day, perhaps even briefer.

Make as a very dry martini with a few drops of the green tea bitter, and a thin slice of ginger. Enjoy.

I'm not sure which martini variant I like better, the Webster F. Street layaway plan or this? Try both.

2017-07-02

Optimal in the sense of "eyeball-grabbing"

My dictionaries don't list that as a sense of optimal, but this year they should.

The twitter account darkstockphotos depicts today's media style too well: loud, everything tuned to maximum. Here's the first photo I saw from darkstockphotos. Notice how it uses all three primary colours, almost the entire photo is a primary colour except the gun, which is both silver and black, also strong colours. The strongest possible colours, a sad face, and a gun: Can it be any louder?

We have a lot of metrics today. Publishers can measure audience response, and tune for maximum attention grabbing, and they do, oh how they do. I think the visual fashion in that photo is a result of that tuning.

When the web2.0 sites use audience response to choose what to keep on their home pages and what to drop, they're effectively publishing that which grabs attention, and more of that, and still more. The beneficiaries of this selection is those who make loud photos, loud music, anything loud. Colour! Breasts! (more…)

2017-05-16

I give up

The newspaper yesterday drove me over the edge. I admit it: The word hacker hasn't been usable for someone like me for a long time, I just didn't want to admit it.


A long, long time ago I had a keycard that didn't do what I needed. The keycard system was a compromise between what the organisation needed and what the keycard vendor could deliver, and it was mostly okay. Not 100%.

With my usual luck, one of the exceptions turned out to apply to myself. I couldn't get all the access that I needed while also being locked out of everything else. But I'm a hacker, so I poked around a little and made myself my own card, with enough access. Problem solved.

I didn't hide the card (you could see that it was homemade) (more…)