I am slowly beginning to grasp the concept of “walkability.” It’s not about whether there are wide sidewalks (although there better be). Spending my second week in California I realize the absolute key part is whether you need to cross multi-lane streets/roads every 50 meters. Nothing kills the joy of walking around than having to stop all the time.

(hint: in Amsterdam you can usually just walk through the street without paying attention to lights, because there’s either no traffic, or the traffic will let you do that)

It also helps if I’m not the only pedestrian within a 5 mile radius. The other day a lady in a huge SUV pulled over to ask if everything’s ok because I’m walking down the street; she thought my car broke down and I needed help. 🤦🏻‍♂️

Steven Levy for The Wired:

Stallman affair touches on something else: a simmering resentment about the treatment of women by the scruffy brainiacs who built our digital world, as well as the Brahmins of academia and business who benefited from the hackers’ effort. With the Epstein revelations that resentment has boiled over.

It’s incorrect to think that the controversy around Stallman’s CSAIL emails is about “political correctness” or that his opinions have been “mischaracterized”, as he himself puts it.

Decades of silencing critics that were pointing out creepy behavior towards women have to finally come to an end. It has nothing to do with his achievements or contributions to free software, nor does it diminish them. Great works do not grant immunity.

It’s about being held accountable.

Luxembourg is my favorite place on Earth.

dotGo 2019

A couple of weeks ago I went to Paris to attend dotGo (thanks, MessageBird!), one of the biggest Go conferences in Europe. dotGo lasts only one day, and it’s single-track, but it’s a solid offering with great organization, excellent venue and awesome talks. I realize I sound like a dotGo commercial, but as a former academic I remain amazed at how much better professional conferences are, and in the case of dotGo we’re talking orders of magnitude.

DNS and domain registration services generally suck. GoDaddy people hunt elephants. Hover is okay, but has mediocre customer service (personal experience) and bad web interface (objective truth). There’s tons of bad domain registrars out there. But amongst them, there are people that know their shit and know it well, and they don’t try to scam or bullshit you.

What follows is an unpaid advertisement for ISNIC and iwantmyname.

I own a couple of domains, and amongst them is piotrkazmierczak.com. piotrkazmierczak.com used to be my primary email domain, but recently more and more often I have to spell my email address to people, and if it’s Dutch people I’m talking to, and my email is in piotrkazmierczak.com domain, things aren’t as smooth as they should be. So I intended to simplify things, and bought piotr.is, which I now use as my primary domain. It’s shorter, simpler, better. And it’s Icelandic.

Some of you may not know this, but Icelandic domains are controlled by ISNIC, aka “Internet á Íslandi hf.“ ISNIC is the registrar and keeper of rules, of which there are many. Not only when it comes to registration, but also technical ones. ISNIC also has a clunky web interface that it forces its clients to use.

And you know what? I ❤️ these people. They are smart. Their rules are sane. Their website contain no idiotic javascript and no advertisements. Their technical support is smart af. They don’t bullshit. The internet needs more people like ISNIC.

And then there’s the other domain registrar I use, they’re called iwantmyname.com. And despite the somewhat ridiculous name, this Wellington, NZ-based company is hands-down the best general-purpose domain registrar I ever used, by a fat margin.

Again, like in the case of ISNIC, the web interface of iwantmyname.com contains no adverts, no heavy javascript, and no bullshit. Their support is absolutely brilliant. Every support email I got was full of technical depth and to the point; I was always amazed. They don’t try to trick you into buying additional services.

iwantmyname.com is a small business. Just look at them. They run on Perl, Erlang, and FreeBSD. They have opinions, which are actually well thought-through. And they all hail from Wellington, NZ.

Is there something about remote, slightly too-windy and too-rainy places that makes good network engineers? Is there something about these places that makes people setup companies/institutions that customers actually want to love and send flowers to?

And if yes, how do I get to move there? 🤔

We sold our car today

Most of you probably don’t know, but about 5 months ago, Karolina and I bought a beautiful, red, 2013 Seat Leon coupé. We sold it today, because of our upcoming move to the Netherlands where we won’t need it, and also because it’s a major hassle moving a car to NL (a proper European federation cannot happen soon enough). It was our first car and despite the fact that we’re both pretty left-leaning, bike-riding, train-loving hippies, we were surprised how much our car–a petrol-burning, city-clogging thing–grew on us.

ECM is finally streaming, and I'm here to tell you what's good

As some of you might have heard, the legendary Munich label ECM finally jumped on the streaming bandwagon. Yes, Manfred, I wholeheartedly agree that the beautiful music your label publishes demands to be listened on CDs and LPs, but these are harder and harder to take on a plane. With iPod Classic not sold anymore and iTunes morphing into Apple Music, music lovers will soon be left with only 3rd party solutions to keep actual music files on their smartphones.

“And the Weak Suffer What They Must?”

I always slightly disliked Yanis Varoufakis. Strike that, actually I always thought he’s a bit of a clown. Motorbike-riding, leather-jacket-clad, attention-seeking, populist, arrogant clown. Worst of all, he was part of that annoying movement of European politicians that rejected the narrative I believed in, namely that: One must always pay ones debts.1 EU and its institutions always know what they’re doing. Countries must be extremely careful with public spending and apply strict austerity measures when facing economic difficulties.