Two Days with Jolla Phone & Sailfish OS 2.

Jolla Phone.

Following tech news, you’d think that Android and iOS are the only mobile phone operating systems available1. But when you buy a new smart phone it doesn’t have to run Android or iOS, there are other options to chose from.

One of them is Sailfish OS, a Linux-based operating system. It’s the successor of MeeGo, an abandoned operating system created by Intel and Nokia. MeeGo had some success in a core group of tech-savvy users, but never managed to achieve main stream acclaim.

The same seems to be the case for Sailfish OS. Despite the fact that it’s been around for two and a half years now, it’s only officially available on a handful of devices that you’ve never heard of, like the Oyster SF, and the Intex Aqua Fish. The best known Sailfish OS phone is the Jolla phone, which was released in late 2013 as a reference device for operating system. Asked in January 2015 how many units Jolla had sold of their phone, the company’s head of communications, Juhani Lassila, had the following answer:

Unfortunately we can’t answer your question in details, since we are not disclosing total sales numbers in public. This is because we have several sales partners around the world, and we’ve agreed not to give this information out on their behalf.

So, based on this statement, and that I have yet to see a Jolla phone used by anyone in the wild, it’s safe to assume that the device hasn’t been a raging success in any market. But even if something isn’t immensely popular doesn’t automatically mean that it sucks salty chocolate balls.

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Fire Starter.

Two Firemen at House Fire by  Craig Myran Photography (https://flic.kr/p/oknwb7). License: CC BY-ND 2.0.

Let’s talk about smoke detectors, people.

You know those annoying things that start to make semi-regular, high-pitch beeps when you need to replace their batteries. But smoke detectors aren’t invented just to tick us off. They are there for a very good reason. As the name implies, they excel at detecting smoke, and most of us have at least one installed at home. Too much smoke inside your house is usually a very bad thing. You see, you’re absolutely terrible at breathing in thick, black smoke. No matter how many cigarettes you manage to puff through in a day, your lungs won’t magically start to accept smoke as the new O2.

Too much smoke and you’ll die. And dying is not good for you.

When I was a kid, me and my family woke up one night from the sound of a howling smoke detector. The freezer in our basement had caught fire, and the smoke from the fire was filling our townhouse apartment. But thanks to the wonders of the smoke detector, we got out safely, and the fire department saved the day. But who knows what might have happened if my parent’s hadn’t been safety conscious and installed the Magic Round Box? I might have been dead, Anniken would have been married to an alcoholic wife-beater, Vilde would never have been born, and this site would have been run by some other guy who would have posted his incoherent ramblings on an irregular basis.

So this episode with the fire, and the smoke, and the loud, loud beeping, and the fire department and me carrying the nasty smell of an electric fire with me for a month, has kind of stuck with me since. It’s the reason why we have smoke detectors installed on every floor1 of our house. If one of them detects that something is amiss, they all go off, and the fire department is notified immediately. It’s also the reason why when I’m outside and hear a smoke detector crying its loud wails, I try to find out why.

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August One-Liners.

Here are a few new one-liners I’ve added to the collection:

  • Your soulmate is currently working their way through several other soulmates before they finally get to you.
  • “The computing scientist’s main challenge is not to get confused by the complexities of his own making.” — E. W. Dijkstra
  • Call me anything you want except early in the morning.
  • I judge my day based on how many times I threaten to take my kids to the orphanage.
  • I don’t appreciate how quickly you agree when I admit that I’m imperfect.
  • Relationships are a lot like algebra. Have you ever looked at your X and wondered Y?
  • I find it ironic that the colors red, white, and blue stand for freedom until they are flashing behind you.
  • You have two choices in life: You can stay single and be miserable, or get married and wish you were dead.
  • No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationery.
  • The hardest part of dating a blind woman is getting her husband’s voice right.
  • The world would be a cleaner place if we gave blind people brooms instead of canes.
  • I’m starting to think I’ll never be old enough to know better.
  • I have the heart of a lion and a lifetime ban from the zoo.
  • Don’t worry about old age. It doesn’t last that long.
  • I don’t have gray hair. I have “wisdom highlights”.
  • My people skills are just fine. It’s my tolerance to idiots that needs work.
  • Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advice.
  • When they discover the center of the universe, a lot of people will be disappointed they’re not it.

How To White List JetPack Servers.

JetPack is a collection of WordPress power tools maintained by the WordPress creators Automattic. It will, among other things, provide you with site stats and analytics, automatic social network sharing, 24/7 uptime monitoring, and access to a high-speed content deliver network for images.

Many of JetPack’s features use the WordPress.com infrastructure, and to use it on a self-hosted WordPress install – like the one you’re looking at right now – the WordPress XML RPC interface has to be accessible to the WordPress.com servers. The problem with that approach is that XML RPC interface is one of the favorite attack vectors for WordPress hackers script kiddies. So the interface is ideally locked down and made inaccessible unless it’s strictly necessary to make it available.

To get JetPack to work properly it’s necessary to make the XML RPC interface accessible from the in-ter-net. But you don’t want every single Russian basement dweller to get access: Ideally, you just white list the JetPack servers.

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“Robopocalypse” by Daniel H. Wilson.

"Robopocalypse" by Daniel H. Wilson.In the not-so-distant future, robots are prominent. Most of the cars drive themselves, domestic robots that help around the house are commonplace, and our wars are more frequently fought by robots.

All is fine until the artificial intelligence (AI) Archos R-14 becomes self-aware, and starts to infect every connected device around the globe, from smart elevators in Japan to airplanes in the sky above Paris, and autonomous land mines in military warehouses across America. Archos’ grand plan? The elimination of human civilization, and the birth of a new ecology where the organic is being merged with robot technology. And when Archos starts his attack, it gets very ugly, very quickly.

“Robopocalypse” is written much in the same way as Max Brooks’ 2006 novel “World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War“, a book I read a few years ago, but never got around to review. They are both a smorgasbord of short stories set in a world facing destruction by a seemingly unstoppable force – runaway AI and zombies, respectively.

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