Were early travel bans effective against the spread of Covid-19?

Evidence from previous pandemics, and early simulations generated after the beginning of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, suggested that travel bans are a common political tool for alleviating public anxieties, but have only limited effect in delaying international spread of the Covid-19 virus. However, other models projected that travel bans could be highly effective. As . . . → Read More: Were early travel bans effective against the spread of Covid-19?

GNOME session save and restore

Save and restore your GNOME Shell desktop active running application windows and their positions across multiple workspaces using an automated command line script. Synopsis:

To save your session, press Alt+F2 or on a terminal:

>session save

To restore your session, press Alt+F2 or on a terminal:

>session restore

To restore your . . . → Read More: GNOME session save and restore

Thunderbird: Highlight row on focus

I use the keyboard a lot. For many years now, Thunderbird’s default theme (probably inherited from the desktop, which does the same thing on many dialogues) has had a little quirk that is slightly less conducive to keyboard use: It does not highlight the row with focus. Here is an example:

This way, I . . . → Read More: Thunderbird: Highlight row on focus

https and the browser conspiracy

While Google promotes HTTPS Everywhere, browsers have been working with a certifying authority oligopoly for many years promoting and enforcing an industry based on perception.

https: The good and the bad

The ‘s’ in https stands for ‘secure’ and indicates use of the SSL or TLS protocol. The SSL protocol serves 2 primary purposes:

Verification: . . . → Read More: https and the browser conspiracy

The Introspection Illusion

 

Decision Awareness

In the early 1980s, Benjamin Libet, a neuroscientist at the University of California in San Francisco, conducted a series of pioneering experiments designed to study properties of conscious awareness. By this time it was already known that signals from the motor cortex region of the brain travel through the nervous system to . . . → Read More: The Introspection Illusion

HTTP DDoS: “Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1)”

Our servers were attacked recently by a constant stream of HTTP POST requests. The requests were coming in from a large range of IP addresses, at a rate of about 5-10 per second, with random POST data. However, all the requests had the same UserAgent, they always accessed the non-www form of the same domain, . . . → Read More: HTTP DDoS: “Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1)”

Shell escaping in Perl

Shell Escaping:

There are several methods for escaping special characters in the Linux shell:

Double quotes: Double-quoted strings require escaping of only a few characters. Example: >echo “Some String: &>|\”\$’\`\s\\” Some String: &>|”$’`\s\ This method is useful as long as the string contains few or no characters that are special to the shell. It also . . . → Read More: Shell escaping in Perl

GNOME session save and restore

A newer version of this script is now available.

This script is used to save and restore a desktop session.

Why this script?

Some desktop managers do offer some session management features. Under GNOME it may be possible to run gnome-session-properties manually and turn on “Automatically remember running applications when logging out”. However, some GNOME . . . → Read More: GNOME session save and restore

Prevent GNOME screensaver during full-screen Flash videos

While movie players (such as VLC) prevent the GNOME screensaver from activating during movie playback, playing Flash videos does not affect the screensaver, which means having to move the mouse occasionally, or turning off the screensaver while watching YouTube videos and the like.

There is no perfect solution to this, but using a script, it . . . → Read More: Prevent GNOME screensaver during full-screen Flash videos

utf8::decode() may actually unset the UTF-8 flag

According to the documentation, the utf8::decode() function should generally set/turn on the UTF-8 flag for a string that contains multi-byte characters. However, apparently, there are circumstances under which utf8::decode() may not only not set the flag, but may actually unset/clear/turn off the flag for a string that contains multi-byte characters.

The following script contains 4 . . . → Read More: utf8::decode() may actually unset the UTF-8 flag