KVM/libvirt: Moar Video Memory

I am running some legacy OSes (Windows 10, …) inside libvirt/KVM virtual machines and since I got my new 4K displays (hello Home Office), I was annoyed that I could not full-screen them on the large displays.

So finally I took some time to investigate and quickly (to my surprise) found the solution. As if we were back in the 1990ties, I did not provide the virtual machine with enough video RAM to properly go to the higher resolutions.

So changing the video settings in the domain XML from something like

      <model type='qxl' ram='65536' vram='65536' vgamem='16384' heads='1' primary='yes'/>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x01' function='0x0'/>

to something more like this

      <model type='qxl' ram='65536' vram='65536' vgamem='65536' heads='1' primary='yes'/>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x01' function='0x0'/>

(notice the „vgamem” setting) I can now run the legacy OS in fullscreen on my 4k display. Jay!

Hat tip to Staf Wagemakers for his blogpost „High screen resolution on a KVM virtual machine with QXL”.

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[Mittwoch, 20210324, 18:50 | permanent link | 0 Kommentar(e)

Nasenbohrertest vs. Lochkarte

Aus: „IBM Functional Wiring Principles”, 1960

Das da oben ist eine Lochkarte von ~1960. Die hat etwas mit Covid-19, den Nasenbohrer-Tests, ELGA und ÖVP, SPÖ und den Grünen zu tun und warum 300.000 Personen keine medizinische Versorgung vom österreichischen Staat bekommen.

See more ...

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[Dienstag, 20210316, 23:03 | permanent link | 0 Kommentar(e)

Links from 2021-03-15

Durgod retro mechanical keyboard

The Durgod Fusion has a 65% layout, comes in navy blue and beige; beige and orange; or beige, red and black—mmmmm, beige— and connects via USB-C, Bluetooth 5.0 or an included wireless dongle. It is $160.

Hello, gorgeous!

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[Dienstag, 20210316, 05:00 | permanent link | 0 Kommentar(e)

Links from 2021-03-06

Tech trustbusting’s moment has arrived

Most important, though, is restoring an appreciation for the importance of interoperability in preventing monopolies and promoting technological self-determination for communities and individuals.

Because such a sensibility can escape the legislative world and be enacted via fast-moving, easier-to-use policy tools. For example, we could (should!) make interop a feature of all government procurement rules.

No school district should buy devices for students without securing the right to sideload the apps they need on them – imagine buying 50,000 Ipads at public expense and then having Apple boot the app you rely on out of the App Store!

Likewise, no district should buy Google Classroom without securing a legally binding guarantee not to block interoperators who want to integrate other ed-tech services into the curriculum, with or without Google’s cooperation.

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[Sonntag, 20210307, 05:00 | permanent link | 0 Kommentar(e)

The Need For Solidarity Among All Workers

Cory Doctorow writes about „Bossware and the shitty tech adoption curve”:

The theory of the shitty tech adoption curve predicts that vendors use resistance from low-status subjects to find and remove rough edges from abusive technology, then move the smoothed-over tech up the social power gradient to higher-status workers.
Work-from-home (AKA „live at work”) is a perfect opportunity to refine the shitty technology of bossware, a bonanza for collaborators like „ActivTrak, Avaza, VeriClock, Boomr, Hubstaff, TSheets, StaffCop, Time Doctor, DeskTime Pro, TrackView, InterGuard and Wiretap.”
Pre-lockdown, these tools were already logging keystrokes, intercepting email, logging clicks, capturing still images and videos of workers at their desks, and transmitting workers’ locations in and out of work hours.

Bossware like Office 365 (which gathers exhaustive data on workers) deliver proprietary commercial intelligence to Microsoft – control-freak bosses trade the store to a convicted monopolist in exchange for worker surveillance.

Unsurprisingly, bossware is key to union-busting, with bosses using it to discover and punish union organizers in the workplace – at the very moment that tech workers are using digital tools to join unions.

Abusive tech starts with asylum seekers, prisoners, parolees; moves up to kids, people on benefits and mental patients; then to blue-collar workers, then white-collar workers, then everybody, even first class fliers being watched by seatback cameras.
Solidarity is the preventative and the cure: not just in empathy, but also in self-interest. We have to fight abusive tech wherever we find it, because if we don’t, we’ll have to fight it when it reaches us – and by then, there may be no one left to fight it with us.

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[Samstag, 20210306, 12:30 | permanent link | 0 Kommentar(e)

It's A Kind Of Magic

One of my favourtie authors, Charlie Stross, has posted a blog entry I highly recommend you to read in full!

modern CPU/GPU performance is ridiculous. … [a] framework which, on a new Apple M1 Macbook Air (not even the higher performance Macbook Pro) could deliver 900GFlops, which would put it in the top 10 world supercomputers circa 1996-98. In a scripting language inside a web browser on a 2020 laptop.

The point I’d like to make is that ready-trained NNs like GPT-3 or CLIP are often tailored as the basis of specific recognizer applications and then may end up deployed in public situations, much as shitty internet-of-things gizmos usually run on an elderly, unpatched ARM linux kernel with an old version of OpenSSH and busybox installed, and hard-wired root login credentials. This is the future of security holes in our internet-connected appliances: metaphorically, cameras that you can fool by slapping a sticker labelled „THIS IS NOT THE DROID YOU ARE LOOKING FOR” on the front of the droid the camera is in fact looking for. And in five years’ time they’re going to be everywhere.

I’ve been saying for years that most people relate to computers and information technology as if they’re magic, and to get the machine to accomplish a task they have to perform the specific ritual they’ve memorized with no understanding.

With speech interfaces and internet of things gadgets, we’re moving closer to building ourselves a demon-haunted world. Lights switch on and off and adjust their colour spectrum when we walk into a room, where we can adjust the temperature by shouting at the ghost in the thermostat, the smart television (which tracks our eyeballs) learns which channels keep us engaged and so converges on the right stimulus to keep us tuned in through the advertising intervals, the fridge re-orders milk whenever the current carton hits its best-before date, the robot vacuum comes out at night, and as for the self-cleaning litter box … we don’t talk about the self-cleaning litterbox.

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[Samstag, 20210306, 12:10 | permanent link | 0 Kommentar(e)

Links from 2021-02-28

Read this excellent article about the making of Zork, the iconic 1977 text adventure

Many puzzles (including that one) did have alternate solutions. But a player base consisting almost entirely of university hackers expected challenging problems: too simple, and they would have stopped playing. Today’s games are made for broader audiences used to far less friction.

sisters with transistors

SISTERS WITH TRANSISTORS is the remarkable untold story of electronic music’s female pioneers, composers who embraced machines and their liberating technologies to utterly transform how we produce and listen to music today.

The film maps a new history of electronic music through the visionary women whose radical experimentations with machines redefined the boundaries of music, including Clara Rockmore, Daphne Oram, Bebe Barron, Pauline Oliveros, Delia Derbyshire, Maryanne Amacher, Eliane Radigue, Suzanne Ciani, and Laurie Spiegel.

This is how we lost control of our faces | MIT Technology Review

In 1964, mathematician and computer scientist Woodrow Bledsoe first attempted the task of matching suspects’ faces to mugshots. He measured out the distances between different facial features in printed photographs and fed them into a computer program. His rudimentary successes would set off decades of research into teaching machines to recognize human faces.

Now a new study shows just how much this enterprise has eroded our privacy. It hasn’t just fueled an increasingly powerful tool of surveillance. The latest generation of deep-learning-based facial recognition has completely disrupted our norms of consent.

An Historical Collection of Found Paper Airplanes | Moss and Fog

We love the nostalgia and sense of discovery in this story of found paper airplanes. From the New Yorker Magazine, we read about Harry Everett Smith, a painter, filmmaker and collector. His paper airplane collection became thing of legend over the years, particularly because of his passion and interest in tracking down new ones. Jumping out into moving traffic, grabbing an airplane before it dived into a gutter, Smith put pride into his saving of these throwaway relics.

Collected between 1961 and 1983, a box of 250 planes was donated to the Smithsonian after his death, just a fraction of his total collection, but a fascinating time capsule nonetheless.

A New Mindful Mix: the LEGO Group releases a soothing soundscape created with thousands of LEGO® bricks - About us - LEGO.com LT

Today, the LEGO Group is launching LEGO® White Noise, a new playlist designed to help listeners find a moment of relaxation in their busy lives. The playlist is composed of a series of audio tracks created using nothing but the iconic sounds that the LEGO brick makes, sounds that are recognised by generations all over the world.

Each LEGO element makes a unique noise, which is why designers experimented with over 10,000 in their quest for the perfect soothing sounds. The result is a soundscape that includes tracks such as ‘It All Clicks’ which perfectly captures the joyous sound of two LEGO elements joining together, and ‘The Waterfall’ created by pouring thousands of LEGO bricks on top of each other.

How and why I stopped buying new laptops

In 2017, somewhere between getting my office and my website off-the-grid, I decided not to buy any more new laptops. Instead, I switched to a 2006 second-hand machine that I purchased online for 50 euros and which does everything that I want and need. Including a new battery and a simple hardware upgrade, I invested less than 150 euros.

If my 2006 laptop lasts as long as my other machines – if it runs for another 1.7 years – it will have cost me only 26 euros per year. That’s more than 10 times less than the cost of my previous laptops. In this article, I explain my motivations for not buying new laptops, and how you could do the same.

Dark Patterns at Scale: Findings from a Crawl of 11K Shopping Websites

Dark Patterns at Scale is a thorough collection of the high-pressure and deceptive tricks used on websites to get you to do things you didn’t intend.

Miley Cyrus’ NPR Tiny Desk Concert is anything but small

During the pandemic, musical artists have raised the bar on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts. Because they can’t actually perform from Bob Boilen’s "tiny desk" in NPR’s music office, they’ve been given carte blanche to imagine outside the box. The performances themselves are what you’d expect from these artists — terrific — it’s the sets that they’re having fun with.

Back in August, Billie Eilish and FINNEAS performed in front of a realistic cardboard cutout of Bob Boilen’s desk. Then, in September, Phoebe Bridgers used a green-screen to make it out like she and her band were playing from the Oval Office.

Enter Miley Cyrus. For her concert, she not only embraces the concept of "tiny" but makes her backdrop a personal statement.

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[Montag, 20210301, 05:00 | permanent link | 0 Kommentar(e)


„Leyrers Online Pamphlet“ ist die persönliche Website von mir, Martin Leyrer. Die hier veröffentlichten Beiträge spiegeln meine Ideen, Interessen, meinen Humor und fallweise auch mein Leben wider.
The postings on this site are my own and do not represent the positions, strategies or opinions of any former, current or future employer of mine.


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