Screen shot of the Sixteen theme

Sixteen Merge

Screen shot of the Sixteen theme

The thing I feared since I fixed some issues in the wordpress theme I use for this blog: it was updated to version 1.3.0.5 without taking into account my bug-fixes [1][2], even though I posted links to them on the support page, so I had to do a merge of the changes, basically re-applying my changes on top of the new version.

The fact that the theme’s source code does not exist in some git repository is really a pain… If you need the patched files, just contact me…

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Frosta X fake Ikea instructions

Do It yourself design

Frosta X fake Ikea instructions

Saturday was quite windy and a bit rainy, as we had some guests, we went to the Schaudepot of the Museum für Gestaltung to see the exhibit on Do it yourself design.

As the title indicates, this was an exhibit about do-it-yourself designed and built object – mostly furniture – some bizarre, some quite smart. I really like things that were built out of Ikea wares, the exhibit even offered alternative assembly instructions for take away. I follow a blog with similar ideas: ikea-hackers

Museum für Gestaltung
SchaudepotToni-Areal
Pfingstweidstrasse 96

While the exhibit was not bad, I felt it was too small, more like a sampler than a real presentation on the subject, and there is way more to say about the subject and the Schaudepot is larger than the current exhibit.

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Transmitting data via QR-code

QR Code for post https://wiesmann.codiferes.net/wordpress/?p=25370

With all the talk about security, it is pretty hard to transfer information from your desktop computer to your laptop, like for instance passing a password from a desktop web application to an app on your phone. Using a password manager like Apple’s keychain helps, but when you have a web app on one side and a native app on the other, things are not so smooth, and you still have to trust that cloud storage’s encryption.

In theory, the solution is simple, generate a QR-code with the password, display it on the computer’s screen, scan it with phone’s camera and copy-paste the password from the QR-code reader to the destination app. To do this, you need the following to pass information from Mac OS X to iOS.

Now you can extract an item from the keychain and generate a qr-code from it (fish shell syntax):

qrencode -t ANSI256 (security find-generic-password -a account -s service -w)

This will look into keychain for service service with user-name account and display the corresponding password inside the terminal using ANSI escape-codes. Yes, we are using technology from the 70’s to generate a code designed in 99 in Japan.

█████████████████████████████████████
█████████████████████████████████████
████ ▄▄▄▄▄ █ ██▀▀ ▄▄▄▀▀▀██ ▄▄▄▄▄ ████
████ █   █ █  ▀█ ▀ ▀▄▄▀█▄█ █   █ ████
████ █▄▄▄█ █▀  █▄▄▀▄▄█▄▀▀█ █▄▄▄█ ████
████▄▄▄▄▄▄▄█▄█ ▀▄█ ▀ ▀ ▀ █▄▄▄▄▄▄▄████
████▄▄▀▀  ▄▀██▄█▄▀█▀ ▄█▄▄█▀ ▀    ████
████▀█ ▀  ▄ ▄ ▄█▀▄▀ ▄▀▀█▄▄ █▀██▀ ████
████▀▄█▄▄▄▄▀█▀▀▄ █ ▀▀  █▄▄▀▀▀▀█ ▀████
████ ██▄▀ ▄█▀█  ▀▄ ▄ ▀▄█▀▀█▀▄█▄▀ ████
████ ▀▀█▄ ▄▀▀▀ ▄ █▄▀  ▀▄▄▄▀ ▀▄█ ▀████
██████ ▄  ▄▄▄█▀▀ ▄ ▄█▀▄▀ ▀███▄▄▀ ████
████▄▄▄█▄█▄▄▀   █▀█ ▀▄▀▀ ▄▄▄ ▄██ ████
████ ▄▄▄▄▄ █▀██▀▀██▄█    █▄█  ▄█▄████
████ █   █ █▄▀▄█▀█▄▀ ▄█▄▄▄▄▄▄█▀█ ████
████ █▄▄▄█ █▀ █ ██ ▄█ ▄█▀▄███ ▄  ████
████▄▄▄▄▄▄▄█▄▄▄██▄▄▄█▄▄█▄█▄██▄█▄█████
█████████████████████████████████████
█████████████████████████████████████

The security command is pretty interesting and it is certainly worthwhile having a look at its man page, qrencode, the shell wrapper that comes with libqrencode also has interesting options, in particular UTF8 lets you generate a QR-Code as a sequence of Unicode characters, like the example on the side.

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Along with many hotels worldwide, we invite you to join us to conserve water and decrease the amount of harmful chemicals released into the environment by using your towels more than once, as part of the conserving for tomorrow program. Please hang your towels up if you wish to participate in the program. If not simply place the towels on the floor and the will be changed. As always, towels are automatically replaced after every guest checkout.

Towels…

Along with many hotels worldwide, we invite you to join us to conserve water and decrease the amount of harmful chemicals released into the environment by using your towels more than once, as part of the conserving for tomorrow program. Please hang your towels up if you wish to participate in the program. If not simply place the towels on the floor and the will be changed. As always, towels are automatically replaced after every guest checkout. ♻

In most hotels I visit these days, I can see a sign like the one in the picture, with basically the same message: if you want to keep the same towel for multiple days, hang it up, if you put the towels on the floor, the hotel staff will replace them.

I always hang up my towels, very often not so much because I think of that program, but mostly because hanging up is what you do with towels. Here is what I observed: even if I hang out my towels reasonably neatly, they get replaced nonetheless.

From what I have read online, participation into these environmental programs is low (less than 25%) and the only way to make people participate is to not mention the environment, but to tell people that everybody else is doing it.

It is very difficult for me to connect my experience with these numbers. First I don’t know if my observations are just anecdotical counter-examples, or that the hotel staff is so efficient at folding back the towels to fool me, so I don’t know in which bucket I fall. Second, the fact that social norms is a more powerful motivator than just plain common sense, or an appeal to the preserve the environment is a bit depressing and certainly does not resonate with me.

I understand that herd mentality is a powerful force, but invoking it in hotel is a bit weird: the nature of the place means that either the place, or the patrons will be pretty alien to me…

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