# Ancient history: DEF CON 9 Talk on Quantum Computers

Sunday, November 21, 2021

I wrote a little email screed to a friend about the risks to bitcoin from advances in quantum computing and was reminded of a paper I presented at DEF CON 9 back in 2001 on Quantum Computing, back then limited to 8 qubits.

The remotely relevant bit was what I really hope someone (other than me) will call “Gessel’s law” (after Moore’s law: P=2(y/1.5)) on the power of quantum computing, at least once, as I believe it may have been the first presentation of the formulation: P=22(y/2)

How did my predictions hold up over the last 20 years?

I estimated a crossover within about 10 years, or 2011.  D-Wave claimed to offer a quantum computer 15x faster than a classical computer in 2015, 3-4 years later than I predicted.  Google claimed quantum supremacy in 2019.

In 2020, D-Wave claimed to have a quantum computer with 5,000 qubits, slightly ahead of my prediction of 4,096 by 2021 back in 2001.

Posted at 16:37:44 GMT-0700

Category: uncategorized

# Tagging MP3 Files with Puddletag on Linux Mint

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

A “fun” part of organizing an MP3 collection is harmonizing the tags so the datas work consistently with whatever management schema you prefer.  My preference is management by the file system—genre/artist/year/album/tracks works for me—but consistent metainformation is required and often disharmonious.  Finding metaharmony is a chore I find less taxing with a well structured tag editor and to my mind the ur-meta-tag manager is  MP3TAG.

The problem is that only works with that dead-end spyware riddled failing legacyware called “Windows.” Fortunately, in Linux-land we have puddletag, a very solid clone of MP3TAG.  The issues is that the version in repositories is (as of this writing) 1.20 and I couldn’t find a PPA for the latest, 2.0.1.  But compiling from source is super easy and works in both Linux Mint 19 and Ubuntu 20.04 (yay open source!):

1. Install pre-reqs to build (don’t worry, if they’re installed, they won’t be double installed)
2. get the tarball of the source code
3. expand it (into a reasonable directory, like ~/projects)
4. switch into that directory
5. run the python executable “puddletag” directly to verify it is working
6. install it
7. tell the desktop manager it’s there – and it should be in your window manager along with the rest of your applications.

sudo apt install python3-pyqt5 python3-pyqt5.qtsvg python3-pyparsing python3-mutagen python3-acoustid libchromaprint-dev libchromaprint-tools libchromaprint1
tar -xvf puddletag-2.0.1.tar.gz cd puddletag-2.0.1/
cd puddletag
./puddletag
sudo python3 setup.py install
sudo desktop-file-install puddletag.desktop


A nice feature is the configuration directory is portable and takes your complete customization with you – it is an extremely customizable program so you can generally configure it as fits your mental model.  Just copy the entire puddletag directory located at ~/.configure/puddletag.

Posted at 15:19:01 GMT-0700

Category: AudioHowToLinuxPositivereviewsuncategorized

# Ruby config options fail

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Ruby is a horrible nightmare language, like almost all modern languages. They try to be so clever and modular, but end up making a maintenance hassle as various modules come and go, dependencies break, and the developer community moves on to the next shiny thing that claims to be the best thing to happen to programming since C.

Oh well.

If you get a bunch of "invalid option: --no-rdoc" errors, it is because sometime in the last few years --no-rdoc and --no-ri were depreciated in favor of --no-document. And, apparently, just recently builds started barfing on the deprecated errors. Building universally with these options is a pretty standard thing as it vastly improves build time and the rdoc system is a whole big kettle of annoying weirdness you just don’t need to wade through.

Now Ruby, being oh-so-clever and friendly, has all sorts of places where these might be set universally or semi-universally. The references will tell you about /.gemrc and /etc/gemrc, but only by doing a grep -FrHIis 'no-rdoc' * at / did I find these sneaky little bastards:

basejail/usr/ports/sysutils/vagrant/Makefile:RUBYGEM_ARGS=      --no-ri --no-rdoc -l --no-update-sources \
basejail/usr/ports/Mk/Uses/gem.mk:RUBYGEM_ARGS+=        --no-rdoc --no-ri
basejail/usr/ports/devel/ruby-gems/Makefile:DOCS_VARS_OFF=      RUBY_SETUP_OPTIONS+="--no-ri --no-rdoc"
basejail/usr/ports/devel/rubygem-io-like/Makefile:DOCS_VARS_OFF=                RUBYGEM_ARGS+=--no-rdoc

After converting those to the “new” “better” “shiny” version of the config option string did my gems build.

Posted at 06:33:18 GMT-0700

Category: uncategorized

# A utility for disabling Windows 10

Sunday, June 19, 2016

While there may be people who actually like Windows 10, there are also many people who aren’t interested in fully exposing every part of their digital life to for-profit mining as means of offsetting Microsoft’s declining profits in the desktop OS business, and if you’re one of those, fighting Microsoft’s truly viral (and malware) marketing techniques is quite a hassle.  It appears there may be an easier way.

Micrsoft has finally provided an “easy” way for people to turn off windows OS update (e.g. from 7.x or 8.x to 10) from happening automatically and without user intervention (and frequently in outright defiance of clear user intent because profits first!)

The short form for people who are comfortable with some of the internal workings of Windows is:

Search for "edit group policy" and open the editor then follow the selection cascade as:

Local Computer Policy -> Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates
-> windows Components -> Windows Update


The longer instructions are at this link: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3080351

Easy, no?

I suggest doing this and then downloading and installing the following program.  It will pretty much do the same thing but it also checks to see if Microsoft has already kindly filled your hard disk with malware without your permission and offers to delete it:

https://www.grc.com/never10.htm

Note that my previous posts about removing specific “updates” are still relevant.  The above should prevent windows 10 from auto-updating but Microsoft has been pushing updates with “telemetry” to Win 7 and Win 8, which are also spyware and are tracking you and reporting your usage patterns back to Microsoft without telling you or asking you.

Welcome to the new economy: you’re the product.

Posted at 13:56:56 GMT-0700

Category: uncategorized

# Protein Ratios in Food Bars

Thursday, July 4, 2013

I’ve always been annoyed by the way food nutritional content is reported. It isn’t hard to find a food item with 1,000 calories per serving that claims to be be “high” in iron because it has 5% of the US RDA. The ratio of the RDA of iron to calories would be 1:10. You couldn’t eat enough to get the full allowance of iron in a day and you’d become a human blimp trying.

In an age of obscene abundance, the trick is not so much getting the minimum nutritional value, but getting it at the minimum caloric cost. I looked through some reviews of “good” protein bars and popular ones on Amazon and tabulated the nutritional data in Excel and then computed the ratio of grams of protein to three bad things: kilo-calories, grams of saturated fat, and dollars of cost. Thus, higher values are better. It is interesting to see a huge range in all three values. Sadly, it is common to get closer to the maximum recommended value of saturated fat per day than calories, meaning that eating only enough calories of these “healthy” bars will result in increased risk of disease compared to normal, “unhealthy” food. That’s pretty inexcusable.

I’d like to change the way nutritional labels are printed from hard to read tables presenting only favorable values to simple bar graphs of all basic, essential nutrients, all of which would always be included so that empty calories foods would have a big red block of bar graphs pointing to the left indicating a food that had better be a pleasure to eat to compensate for the lack of nutrition.

But back to food bars: the ratio of protein to calories is a good way to select a food bar for healthy people. Finding one with the best ratio of protein to saturated fat can be important for some people and avoiding the worst ratios is good for everyone. Finding the most protein for your dollar may have merit as well (though prices are just Amazon prices and may vary significantly by outlet).

The Excel table for your editing pleasure protein bars.xlsx

Posted at 11:55:41 GMT-0700

Category: uncategorized

# Fall weather is arriving…

Sunday, September 23, 2012

It only got to 47.5C today according to our new roof-mounted weather station.  It seems to be about 3 degrees cooler away from ground level, but we’re still down about 4-5 degrees from peak temperatures.

Posted at 18:18:19 GMT-0700

Category: uncategorized

# Nom Nom Leg

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I came home to find that Tortuga, one of the stray cats that’s adopted  us, had developed a nice open wound on her forelimb. When I left two  weeks ago it was a bit swollen, presumably abscessed, and then drained.  I’m sure it was really gross. Anyway, the cat just couldn’t get  enough licking that yummy puss and had turned the wound into a nice open  sore.

The vet gave me some antibiotics and antiseptic cleaning solution and  this lovely and stylish Elizabethan collar that Tortuga clearly just  loves to wear. Her thought bubble probably reads something like “once  this collar comes off and I can get my teeth around your neck, you  better sleep lightly.”

Posted at 20:14:26 GMT-0700

Category: photouncategorized

# Fuzzball

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fuzzball

Posted at 00:28:00 GMT-0700

Category: uncategorized

# 3 capitals

Monday, May 10, 2010

Interesting bit of trivia, @phragments, how one can drive through the three capitals: but one only takes 90 seconds…

— Sent from my mobile device

Posted at 12:46:34 GMT-0700

Category: uncategorized