Fascinating Algorithm: Dan Tepfer’s Player Piano Is His Composing Partner : NPR

I get it. On a subatomic level. I understand this. When he talks about learning to dance on a new planet.

But it needs to go further.

Apply machine learning and not only static simple algorithms?

Decrease latency between keyboard input and algorithmic output?

Apply styles? Harmonize? Randomize?’

Want one. But better.

Tepfer sees jazz as the pursuit of freedom within a framework — a premise that underlies his work with improvisational algorithms and a Yamaha Disklavier. He unpacks the project in this video.

Source: Fascinating Algorithm: Dan Tepfer’s Player Piano Is His Composing Partner : NPR

Watt-wise router migration

As part of a small project at work, I get to play around with this — shall we say electrically efficient — routing hardware. My reasons for switching (including having a virtualized router that was causing me some headaches) and install notes are basically the same as his, with a couple of exceptions:

  • I like to use ddrescue instead of dd for writing the install image to the USB drive, since it gives me a nice completion percentage and estimated time remaining. (I learned that some old USB drives I have are really slow.)
  • After installation, I tried multiple times to restore my existing configuration. The default console speed on my previous install was 9600, so that needs to be taken into account when connecting via USB serial console cable after the config restores and the device resets. I thought the dang thing was stuck.
  • I had some issues with DNS latency absolutely killing my install and upgrade times. Once I had restored the config, my DNS Resolver sources the /var/unbound/pfb_dnsbl.conf file created by pfBlocker, but since pfBlocker hadn’t been installed or run yet, DNS wouldn’t start, so I ended up installing it before the restore, and then manually running a force update after the restore. That fixed the DNS issues.

After some frustration with stability and latency connecting my virtual pfSense router to my cable and DSL modems, I decided to switch to a physical box. I selected the Netgate RCC-VE 2440 as my hardware platform, since it’s the same box that pfSense themselves use as their OEM bundle. It also checks all the boxes with a dual-core Atom CPU, four Gigabit Ethernet ports, and low-power fanless design. Here’s my first impression and installation notes!

Source: The Ideal pfSense Platform: Netgate RCC-VE 2440 – Stephen Foskett, Pack Rat

Google Privacy Inquiries Get Little Cooperation – NYTimes.com

This once again inspires me to remind you to USE S/MIME ENCRYPTION on any email you send that may have sensitive information in it. And by “sensitive information,” I mean information that you don’t want other people or companies to know about FOREVER.

Using email with S/MIME encryption is like having a safe deposit box at your bank. They store the items in a box in their vault (the encrypted email on their server) but it takes both of your keys to open it (theirs = server access, yours = private S/MIME decryption key). They know you have a box in their vault but they do not know the contents. Except whenever you don’t use S/MIME email encryption, it’s like allowing anyone at the bank to open your safe deposit box at any time and without your key. And I’m willing to wager that you almost never use S/MIME encryption on your sensitive emails.

Ask me how. It’s easy.

Google Privacy Inquiries Get Little Cooperation – NYTimes.com.

House Figures

Since I now have a small (but growing) network of sensors around my house, I thought I’d post a sample of the temperature data coming out of my garage:


I also have a light sensor integrated into a Digi Smart Plug and I’m logging the temperature and on/off status of my thermostat, with more to come….