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Topics - Frenzie

DnD Central / Books I would like to read but (probably) won't
World of Walls : The Structure, Roles and Effectiveness of Separation Barriers

Example quote from conclusion:
It is argued in the previous paragraphs that the fences Ceuta and
Melilla will continue to influence negatively Morocco’s relations with
Spain and the EU. Spain’s policy to fence the two enclaves’ borders
reflects contradictory pressures in the region. While the Mediterranean
sphere has witnessed an increasing number of cultural and economic
cooperation projects in the last two decades, new physical and virtual
walls are being built in the region to achieve “Fortress Europe”.

The way I "read" books like these is to skim through intro and conclusion to see if there's a chapter I want to delve into deeper. I'd argue it's slightly better than reading the newspaper summary of a book.

The U.S.-Mexico border wall marks the fault line between two different
worlds. Regardless of how many billions of dollars will be spent on
the further fortification and militarization of the common border, illegal
cross-border activities will continue so long as there is a huge disparity
in economic prosperity, political stability and social security between
the two countries.
Regional integration and advanced partnerships may reduce the
attractiveness of emigration, but they cannot erase the American dream
from the mind of millions of Latin Americans who will continue to seek
new ways to reach the America El Dorado — regularly or irregularly.

The common denominator of new immigration policies taken
by the host countries in the last two decades is the linking between
immigration policy and border-control management on one hand,
and between the immigration policy and security issues on the other


Security concerns remain a main determinant of the current border-
control policies which aim at preventing infiltration of members of
armed groups, irregular migration, goods smuggling, drug trafficking
and other clandestine cross-border activities. In some cases, border
fortification reflects the desire to impose unilaterally the de facto border.


One of the paradoxes of “globalization” is that an increasingly
interconnected and interdependent world is simultaneously marked by
intensified militarization and fortification of national borders. Today,
some regions — whether in North America, the Mediterranean or some
Asian sub-regions — are being pulled in two different directions: one
toward more complementarity and integration (e.g., NAFTA, Union for
Mediterranean, ASEAN, SAARC) and another toward the erection of
further tangible and intangible border barriers.

Despite relentless efforts by receiving countries to prevent
unauthorized border-crossing by immigrants, drug smugglers
and dissidents, these groups have not been deterred. Rather, they
have adapted to the strategies designed to impede their movement,
developing new ways and means to circumvent such barriers.


Though military walls may reach some short-term goals by
destabilizing the enemy, armed groups can adapt to the new situation
by developing missiles that can exceed the height of these barriers,
by digging tunnels or by penetrating the enemy lines using forged
documents as has been seen in Palestine and Kashmir.

One thing the conclusion and therefore perhaps the book overlooks in my view on walls is that they might improve security short-term, but long-term the psychological distance between the two groups of people will only increase. They won't just be neighbors anymore, but people from the Other side of the wall.
Browsers & Technology / Fun New Intel Backdoor Exploit
My laptop is vulnarable.

Intel managed to make PCs as safe as Android.

Code: [Select]
Tool Started 21-11-2017 12:20:23
Name: [...]
Model: UX305CA
Processor Name: Intel(R) Core(TM) m3-6Y30 CPU @ 0.90GHz
OS Version: Microsoft Windows 10 Home
Status: This system is vulnerable.
Tool Stopped
Browsers & Technology / Proxydomo: continued development of Proximodo
Today I was happy to learn about Proxydomo, meaning Proxomitron's legacy is alive and well on Windows. On the downside the website is a touch Japanese, but they have a less well-maintained English page here.


windows10 64bitで動作を確認
たぶん xp / vista / 7 / 8.1 でも動くはず

Quote from: Google Translate
■ Introduction
This software is a local proxy filtering software
It is made using open source Proximodo for creation.

Confirm operation with windows 10 64bit
Maybe it should work with xp / vista / 7 / 8.1

The Linux Proxomitron alternative is Privoxy, for those who'd like to dabble in these things. You can chain it with Squid to get around idiotic browser behaviors.[1]
But when you press refresh we in the past have revalidated even fresh things (i.e. with a high max age) to check to see if they were still the most current.
Browsers & Technology / Video Editing
Have you ever done any video editing? Which software did you use?

Back in early 2004 my friends and I made a short film in high school. Although we were given access to a fairly powerful computer with Adobe Premiere, we decided on Windows Movie Maker because Premiere was too freakin' complex to figure out. Windows Movie Maker has (or had) some fairly severe flaws though, most notably in the hardcoded number of tracks.

I asked a YouTuber whose work I admire and she uses Illustrator and After Effects. Naturally this is a great combination, but for a one-time affair I don't want to spend any or at least not that kind of money. Besides, my preferred OS is Linux. I won't use Windows if I can help it. But Illustrator is a fantastic piece of software and I'm convinced After Effects makes a great companion to it.

The obvious free and open source alternative for Illustrator is Inkscape, a program with which I have close to a decade of experience (although I only use it intermittently).[1] but I've also heard good things about Krita. It's After Effects that I don't immediately know the proper alternative for. The Free Software Foundation has even called this a high priority issue.[2] Some quick testing suggests Kdenlive to be the best fit for my purposes.[3] Blender is significantly more complicated, while Pitivi is just a touch too simple. OpenShot looks really, really promising as well. In fact I like the GUI design better than Kdenlive, but in Debian I couldn't even get it to work (segmentation fault) while in Xubuntu it crashed on me twice while doing some basic testing, which doesn't exactly instill the trust to use it for real. To top it off, SVG support in OpenShot is fairly abysmal. Something as simple as making a part of some text a different color in an SVG doesn't even show up, so I'd have to export everything to PNG first in order to use it.

tl;dr I'm opting for Kdenlive. Do you think I missed anything or do you want to share some experiences? Let me know! ;)
See my first tests here and my most recent drawing here.
See an introductory video on Kdenlive here.
Forum Administration / Upcoming Upgrade
I don't quite now when yet as I'm still working on it, but within the month I'll be switching the forum software from Simple Machines to ElkArte.

I've already ensured we'll keep the features we know and love by porting them over or finding alternatives, like quick quote, bookmarks and first post on every page.

We'll gain a much improved experience on mobile devices, auto-saving drafts for posts, improved password security, as well as @mentions and likes.

When the software switch is done, you'll have to sign in twice to upgrade the safety of your password.
DnD Central / Open-access Linguistics
Five journals will start publishing their articles through

Free science. w00t! Anyway, this stuff was financed with public money, so I think it's only right that the public should have easy access.
Forum Administration / Spring cleanup
I deleted over 1440 supposed members last night, taking the number of member pages down from over 50 to 14.

  • Everyone who registered over 14 days ago and still hasn't activated their account.
  • Members who have 0 posts, were last online a month ago, and have a website URL in their account info.
  • Lastly, the same as the above, but without a website URL. In this category I hand-picked three legitimate users who once registered but never did anything else. If I overlooked you because I thought your username and e-mail sounded suspicious, I apologize. The spammers make life worse for everyone. If you fell victim to an unfortunate deletion, please keep in mind you only need to register to post, not to read. :)
Hobbies & Entertainment / Devs Play
There's a new YouTube series on the blocks. The first episode features Lion King:

Upcoming in the following weeks:
Earthbound (The Mother Trilogy) - Featuring Ben Burbank
Gauntlet DS - Featuring Anthony Vaughn and Geoff Soulis with guest Mike Mika
The Legend of Zelda - Featuring Brandon Dillon and Matt Hansen
Doom - Featuring JP LeBreton with guest John Romero
Psychonauts - Featuring Tim Schafer, members of the original development team, and special guest Stephen Kiazyk
Hobbies & Entertainment / Internet Archive Software Emulation
Two hours ago, the Internet Archive opened up its first MS-DOS straight-in-browser emulation. For example, you can now check out Castles that way. I used to play Arcade Volleyball with my friends.

Don't forget, this is on top of the already extant JSMESS emulation of over 600 systems. An example of that is Wordstar. I hope Microsoft Works 2.0 will come to the MS-DOS emulation, because I'm just not sure if I've got the actual program anymore myself, and if I do it's on a possibly deteriorating floppy disk.
DnD Central / We're back!
The dev subdomain was generating a 200% load on the MySQL server, which caused the hosting account to be suspended. Unfortunately I don't know what was causing it.
Browsers & Technology / Fluttering Clouds
I've got access to Microsoft Office 365 for business, so I figured I'd try that OneDrive thing today. Uploading a 365 MB file* is allegedly still going, even though it's been stuck at approximately 5% for over five hours now.** So much for my first and probably only experiment with the product. If you go American and closed-source, stick with Dropbox. It actually works.

* Not a joke! I compressed a 4 GB image and it ended up at 364.9 MB.
** Oddly enough, that's also not a joke. Admittedly it doesn't actually display a percentage but only a bar.
Hobbies & Entertainment / Loudness War
A definition from Wikipedia:
"Loudness war" or "loudness race" is the popular name given to the trend of increasing audio levels on CDs and in digital audio files since the early 1990s, which many critics believe reduces sound quality and so too listener's enjoyment. Increasing loudness was first reported[by whom?] as early as the 1940s with respect to mastering practices for 7" singles. The maximum peak level of analog recordings such as these is limited by varying specifications of electronic equipment along the chain from source to listener, including vinyl record and cassette players.

I found a website that allows you to check the dynamic range of albums before you commit your money:
Browsers & Technology / E-mail Software
What do you use? I've been using Icedove/Thunderbird for a while now. It just gave me this helpful message:

These improper connections? Which improper connections? What's improper about them? Sheesh.
Browsers & Technology / Less obvious Android uses
The other day I was musing about proper portable keyboards.
On a separate note, I came across this interesting portable keyboard. It'd work with my Android phone's USB OTG functionality, making it potentially useful in certain use cases. It'd be more pleasant to use than my netbook's keyboard, but on the other hand the netbook is definitely a lot more capable than my phone…

In my eyes the obvious answer is not a regular Android editing app, but rather something console-based. I decided to investigate just what exactly my phone does and does not support.

The good, my terminal emulator comes with:

  • Vim (and nano)
  • SSH
  • rsync

That's all you need for writing and syncing basic notes. But the dream, of course, is git. It seems the simple solution evades me because even though I have 120MB free on my phone's memory (and more on SD), it runs out of space while installing. So much for that plan. If I wanted to go in this direction, I guess I'd need a less elegant GUI option. Or perhaps a Debian chroot

Do you have any ideas or dreams about unintended ways to use your phone?
Browsers & Technology / Windows Frustration Thread
Because of my uneventful minor upgrade I decided to reintroduce Windows 7 on one of my disks for gaming purposes. But during installation, Windows kept complaining about not being able to find or use a "system disk" (read: bootable partition), even though I explicitly cleared out an entire disk for it to do with as it pleased. I tried preparing partitions in GParted, but no luck.

In a last-ditch effort I physically unplugged each and every one of my drives except the one on which I wanted to install Windows. What do you know? It worked. The bottom line: this kind of stuff is why I purged Windows from my system in 2011.
DnD Central / Mysticism
That's exactly what blessed Ruysbroek says. He puts a check on himself referring to church's authority. What's your reaction? I personally prefer uninhibited individual quest.

That's why a female mystic like Hadewijch is both literarily and mystically speaking more interesting than Ruusbroec. In fact Ruusbroec adopted several of her ideas without attribution, but that aside.