One fights the enemies of the state, the other serves and protects the people.

I sometimes quote this to people

There’s a reason you separate military and the police.
One fights the enemies of the state, the other serves and protects the people.
When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people.
– Commander William Adama, Battlestar Galactica (imdb)

painfully relevant, considering there’s military personnel on duty in our cities these days.

Visit Russia.

Why are we not going there more?

In a country covering nine time zones and one-sixth of the world’s land mass, stretching from the Pacific to the Baltic, from the Arctic to the Central Asian deserts, from near-medieval villages where people still draw water from wooden wells by hand, through single-factory towns and back to the blue glass and steel skyscrapers of the new Moscow — TV is the only force that can unify, rule and bind the people.


Ignore the fear striking your hearts at words like Russia, rule, bind and Moskow. And read the other parts. About time zones, wooden wells & futuristic New- cities.

Why is nobody I know going there?!

The answer is probably in the article itself. It’s a scary overview of Russian gov’t media control, molding the public through TV & media control with some poignant examples.
Who’d want to go to a country like that?
Pieces like this one remind me of how easily influenced large groups of people are. And remind me that we too are a large body of citizens, gobbling up media & seeing the wider world through a lense that’s shaped by agendas that we have no clue to or most of the time don’t even realize exist. And honestly even if we do realize, it’s hard to step away from it. If all around you is that image, there is no turning away. And even if there is, the cost is casting yourself from the society that does, en masse, subscribe to that image, those views, that idea.
There are people deciding what shows get made & shown everywhere. And a look into this scary Russia might as wel serve as a mirror to what we ourselves are subject to. Even in this very article, by the way.

So why is nobody going there? Because our society isn’t into Russia & likes to portray a scary otherworldly society where everything is bad and different and scary. Even though glimpses of their society, like a recent one of their export products, Masha & Bear, somehow seem to reveal a people much like us, with kids that like being entertained by a very funny little girl.

So next time you think about Russia, don’t think about the propaganda on either side, but realise that they’re all just people (almost quoting Sting here). And try something different. Try to name 10 positive things you know about Russia. And if you don’t manage that, realize that should be easy for a country that big, that many people, all living lives, in nine time zones.. There are, beyond a doubt, 10 things that are good about Russia. And if you can’t make that list? That probably says something about you. About us, because I can’t either.. About the culture we live in.

And wonder with me,
Why am I not traveling to Russia for my next globetrotting trip?!

De Android Bancontact app is super handig!

Een stukje hangouts conversatie ..

bcc app is nochtans suuuuperhandig
Mijn Babysit Aanvaardt BCC!!!!!!!

das obsceen
dat is waarom wij allemaal in tech werken

omdat IK dan niet meer ‘s nachts, moe, koud & te laat aan een bank moet staan om een nog te berekenen aantal euri’s uit de muur te halen en dan nog niet te kunnen passen

De bewuste Bancontact / Mister Cash app. (Wist je trouwens dat het niet “Bankcontact”, maar “Bancontact” is?! I checked op de bank kaart!!)

10 songs which played a major role in your life.

As with all things social media, sometimes you can’t escape the memes. As this one. I was asked about songs which played a major role in my life. It also says not to think too much, so I chose for that part & went for the experience. All these are important. Some for obscure reasons, some in different versions, but all, none the less, important.

Music was my first love & it will be my last. Fuck 10 songs, even this list of unknown length only touches some little years, nothing near the conclusive list.

Alanis Morisette – Ironic
Meat Loaf – bat out of hell
Police – Roxane
Phil Collins – the roof is leaking
The Police – 7 days
Maria Carey – emotions
Tori Amos – Smells like teen spirit
Counting Cross – Round Here
Paul Weller – You do something to me
Guns n Roses – November rain
David Bowie – Little Wonders
ELO – Mr blue sky
Screaming Jay Hawkins – I put a spell on you
Billy Joel – Uptown Girl
Wham! – Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go
Rene Froger – Een eigen huis
Wim Sonneveld – Het Dorp
Reef – place your hands
Oasis – Champaign Supernova
Marc Cohn – Walking In Memphis
Tracy Chapman – Fast Car
Leonard Cohen – Take this waltz
Aznavour – La Boheme

Being concise is sometimes an important excercise. In this however, just a frustrating waste of otherwise pure emotion. I don’t even know how much there are. Let me go make a youtube playlist!

Now, Since I went through that intense process of making The List (a list), I require you to listen to it’s entirety, it’s current 22 tracks of Life. This playlist will grow.

Send it to your chromecasts!!

A bit on Ello & making friends

I wrote this on the, spontaneous piece, but as writing something on a platform that has no reach (yet) is a bit senseless, it’s blog post time.

One thing I really Really miss about modern day social networks is the social aspect of meeting new people. Most of the tools SUCK for that. ICQ used to do that back when it was the first, MSN scrapped that feature. (yeah, that old) Facebook sucks, try talking to a new person, I double dare you. There’s some niche social networks that might in some way or form cultivate that, but going on Fetlife (nsfw) to make friends might be a stretch.
Twitter & G+ have a community that at least supports the idea, but it’s not really about making friends either..

Question is though.. Is anyone looking for a new way to make friends online? Facebook says no. The lean startup chat software example (can’t remember the name at all) says yes.. Sort of sounds like at least some people are..

Is going to do that any better?

A quick bit on Ello

There’s a new kid on the social media block and it’s called ello. Its minimalistic by design aesthetic and looks very smooth. Others say it looks clinical, and it’s been called the start of the Miserable Web.

There’s a new kid on the block and the writers smell blood. Everyone is putting in their 2 cents and lots is read into all sorts of things. The sad truth is though that its an incomplete set of features like many before it, names like diaspora & friendica come to mind. And there is still a long way to go to come near the smaller players, let alone the de facto leader, Facebook.

@desiknr on twitter:
There’s federated GNU Social,, Friendica, Diaspora. Somehow Ello gives me an dejavu.

It’s also not so cute as it seems.
The project is VC funded by FreshTracks Capital, says Aral Balkan in a recent blog post where he says goodbye to the service, hoping to stop it before it gets traction.
Honestly though. Nothing wrong with VC funding but it’s a long way from “we made a site & shared it with friends, now you can have it too! And some time we’ll let you pay small money for extra features” as they put it on their pages. The question lingers, how will this investment firm capitalise on their investment.

Is it a Facebook killer though? Moving all those users is not just about a better experience or a better set of features. Its impossible to seriously assess that with what we know now.

It looks though that is here to stay & planning to make a decent splash. And while you wait for that invite, log into as a reminder that Facebook is only king in part of the world.

Thinking about waiting for trains, online productivity tools, solutions & Smiles

Sitting in the station, waiting for the next train because I missed the previous one, what do you know, it was actually on time. I started wondering.. What if I pour all that time a day I spend waiting into blog posts? That should amount to a pretty interesting amount of blog posts..
Well.. A considerable amount of posts if nothing else..

So let’s look into that 🙂

Continue reading “Thinking about waiting for trains, online productivity tools, solutions & Smiles”

Ansible exit statuses

I need the exit codes for Ansible for reporting purposes.

The exit status or return code of a process in computer programming is a small number passed from a child process (or callee) to a parent process (or caller) when it has finished executing a specific procedure or delegated task.

Google can’t seem to show me information about the Ansible commandline exit statuses though. So I looked them up & here they are. The exit states were different in older versions, only the more recent versions are compliant with standard Linux exit behaviour.

Ansible exit 0
This includes “no hosts matched”.

Ansible exit 1
Something’s wrong.
Includes wrong options, missing arguments, errors in the playbook, ansible specific errors.

Ansible exit 2
Failed hosts

Ansible exit 3
Dark hosts

source: source code VERSION 1.7, bin/ansible file.

This should be in the Docs & if I ever figure out where to submit this & what hoops to jump through to get this in there, I will. But first some more work! And in the mean time, at least it’ll be on here..

Ansible-pull unknown hostkey.

I encountered an Ansible-pull “unknown hostkey” error.

Starting ansible-pull at 2014-06-03 11:17:00
localhost | FAILED >> {
    "failed": true, 
    "msg": " has an unknown hostkey. Set accept_hostkey to True or manually add the hostkey prior to running the git module"

After some digging around, turns out the latest Ansible has no such problem, but the installed “ansible 1.5.5” running the pull has. Apparently that used to be a bug.

Simple solution is obviously to upgrade, but why go for the simple solution. Turns out this ignores most of the options concerning host-keys, except /etc/ssh/ssh_known_hosts

That means that adding the repository ssh-key will enable you to pull the repository.

ssh-keyscan >> /etc/ssh/ssh_known_hosts

Fun fun.