## A Reader!

posted in: Random | 0

Academic publishing can sometimes be pretty much of a one way radio: You’re broadcasting but you never know whether or not someone is receiving – and if someone is receiving, what they make of it.

So I am happy that Dr Dominik Zink of the University of Trier took the time to read and kindly review my PhD Thesis in The Year’s Work in Modern Language Studies 79 (2019) 1, p 555 (published online on 28 March 2019 at https://brill.com/view/journals/ywml/79/1/article-p555_41.xml).

## How to Stream Music from Linux PC to iPhone over Wifi

posted in: Random | 1

There are endless possiblities to stream music from your computer to your phone over wifi, but few dedicated howtos that walk you through the process step by step.

# Option 1: UPnP

Universal Plug and Play (UpnP) is developed by the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) and has interoperateability in mind. See Make Use Of for a list of possibilities.

• Server: Subsonic

Client: pick one from http://www.subsonic.org/pages/apps.jsp. VLC also works as a client, see https://askubuntu.com/a/109083/80611
I use play:Sub, another $5 I also tried Gerbera • Add Gerbera-ppa. If you ar not using ubuntu (but, say, Debian or Bunsenlabs) see astarix for help. • Install Gerbera. apt-get said “Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages. Used aptitude instead (see here) • Failed. # Option 2: DAAP Easy, cheap, but flawed. • Server: Install Rhythmbox → open plugins → enable “DAAP Music Sharing” (obviously install if it is not there) → right click → properties → enter name and tick “Share my music”. Done. • Client: Install “Simple DAAP” from app store. Open, find your server, done. I keep getting error -1004 and even though the phone can see the server it does not connect. Since DAAP is a proprietary protocol invented by…Apple, you would expect that there are options. But as there’s no native app that can do it and Simple DAAP is the only lonely player in the field, there aren’t. Except of course you find a broken android phone, install Music Pump (costs) or DAAP media player (free) and in under the minute you’re dancing around the house streaming. Hat tip: Lifewire # Video Interestingly it was easier to setup video streaming than audio (use vlcstreamer, see upubuntu). ## It finally happened posted in: Random | 4 Seven years ago I worked as head of CorpCom in a software company and as it goes, the job did instill in me the strong urge to go back to academia. My idea was to write a PhD in my field of expertise on something that had a wider social relevance. I started by going to the library one or two nights a week and, once a window of opportunity presented itself, went part time. When I saw that »corruption in German literature« should work well, in 2011/2012 I took a sabbatical in order to write a proposal that would get me funded. After several applications and interviews in Vienna, Walferdange, Berlin and Munich I settled on Munich. So in June 2012 I began writing properly while commuting from Vienna to Munich every other week. My »office« was in the Arbeiterkammer library and the Ludwig-Wittgenstein-Lesesaal in the Austrian National library. In October 2015 I was ready and submitted the thesis. You should think there is a sensation of great relief when you finally hand the work of three plus years over to the officer, but somehow there wasn’t. My defense was going to be in February 2016, so I started preparing the three talks I had to give straight away. Now, with the defense out of the way, there still was no sense of accomplishment, because you have to publish in order to close the process. So off we go to finding a publisher, setting up the text according to the publisher’s style guides, resetting tables and trees because they don’t fit on the smaller pages any more, brainstorming a cover image with Marianne Vlaschits, test printing and changing the cover three dozen times because the digital printer does not approve of the background color. Then seeing the table of contents in a friend’s brand new book and going back to my own because I absolutely wanted one like it. And on and on. In the end, thanks to the knowledge, understanding and patience of the good people at UniPrint Siegen, there is a finished product that does make me happy – but still fails to deliver the wash of relief. Because now five books have to get to Munich university library, where the people are not happy. My books lack the title page the faculty requires. When that is adressed, I get told to contact the officer who received the first version in 2015 again in four to eight weeks for the certificate. Which I recieved two weeks ago. The End. Here it is: Jan Söhlke: »verderben, verführen, verwüsten, bestechen«. Literatur und Korruption um 1800. Siegen 2017, 284 pages. ISBN: 978-3-936533-81-1 For EUR 12.80 you can order the book at universi (Siegen University Press), you can download it from OPUS (Siegen university’s open access) for free or get it from the source while you’re here. The back cover reads Der von Max Weber für die Zeit um 1800 diagnostizierte Übergang von einem patrimonialen zu einem bürokratischen Herrschaftssystem ist mit Roger Callois zugleich faßbar als Wechsel vom aleatorischen zum agônalen Prinzip. Unter dem Vorzeichen der Korruption wird jener Übergang beschreibbar als Wandel von einem Paradigma der Kriecherei hin zu einem der Bestechung. Diese bisher kaum eingenommene Perspektive ermöglicht es, die sich wechselseitig bedingenden und durchdringenden moralischen, politischen, juristischen und ökonomischen Implikationen der Modernisierung freizulegen. Eine umfassende begriffsgeschichtliche Analyse der semantischen, historischen und sozialen Verfasstheit von »Korruption« bildet die Grundlage für Lektüren von Lessings Minna von Barnhelm, Kleists Der zerbrochne Krug und Schillers Der Geisterseher. Drei kanonische Texte werden so in einer überraschenden Konstellation neu lesbar – und lassen ihrerseits unser Verständnis von Korruption in einem neuen Zwielicht erscheinen. ## Mendeley Migration posted in: Random | 0 Alreet.Sometimes Mendeley content has to move. There’s no easy way to tell Mendeley that. So. 1. sudo apt-get install sqlitebrowser 2. cd ~/.local/share/data/Mendeley\ Ltd./Mendeley\ Desktop/ 3. sqlitebrowser <you@whatever>@www.mendeley.com.sqlite 4. Go to »Execute sql«-tab 5. update Files set localUrl = replace(localUrl, 'file:///old/path/‘, 'file:///media/new/path/‘); 6. click »Execute« (or F5 or ctrl+return) 7. click »Write changes« 8. Done. Easy, right? Thanks to 3.14a and jordi’s comment there. For related Mendeley grievances see khufkens, who can tell you how to sync Mendeley to your own server (instead of feeding Elsevier’s questionable pricing model). ## Connect Crunchbang Linux to Bluetooth Speaker posted in: Random | 0 I got myself one of these and after setting it up properly I must say that while I am a bit disappointed by the reach, I am very impressed with the sound quality for this kind of money (a white label apparently as »C26« sells under various brands and for different prices). Anyway, the whole setup was a true Linux afternoon, reminding me of my NDISwrapper-days, just like it was 2006 again. First, It took me a while to get crunchbang to discover the device and connect [1] (Blueman works much better as a bluetooth manager). Then apparently I manually needed to let pulseaudio know where to send the audio [2]. Atfer fiddling with some files, pulseaudio was broken, so I needed to reinstall [3]. Finally, the sound was much poorer than via my phone. I don’t know if I overlooked it or if loading rtirq changed something [4], but in the volume control center of pulseaudio there is a tab called »configuration« where I had to choose »High Fidelity Playback (A2DP)« to get decent sound (instead of »Telephony Duplex (HSP/HFP)« or »off«). Now most of the times it changes to the Bluetooth-device automatically once I switch it on and back when I switch it off. Sometimes not. But hey. The sources I used were these: 1. How to make pulseaudio bluetooth-ready: http://askubuntu.com/a/223203/80611 2. How to switch the sink in pulse audio: http://askubuntu.com/a/108882/80611 3. How to clean up after you screw up (which I did), i.e. reinstall pulseaudio: http://askubuntu.com/a/435221/80611 4. How to improve the sound once it works but reminds you of a telephone: http://askubuntu.com/a/520384/80611 and https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuStudio/rtirq ## German UNCAC Ratification is Lipstick on a Pig posted in: Random | 0 Abgeordnetenwatch.de has a good (if devastating) analysis of the German UNCAC ratification. It already is pretty sad that it took ze germans 11 years to cough up a law against bribing Members of Parliament so they would at last meet UN requirements. But now that they do, it is mostly lipstick on a pig: Das im Februar beschlossene Gesetz gegen Abgeordnetenbestechung ist weitgehend wirkungslos. Ein Staatsanwalt muss nämlich nachweisen, dass ein korrupter Volksvertreter »im Auftrag oder auf Weisung« gehandelt hat. Wer sich nicht allzu dumm anstellt, hat strafrechtlich nichts zu befürchten. The law against bribing of MPs is mostly useless as prosecution has to prove that a corrupt representative has been »either instructed or ordered« to act in a certain way. For the slightest chance of criminal liability under the new law, a parliamentarian would need to act in a pretty stupid way. abgeordnetenwatch.de: Bundestag ratifiziert UNCAC – nach 11 Jahren (29. September 2014) Some background can be found in my earlier post »Bribing MPs soon illegal in Germany«. ## Crunchbang on x200s posted in: Random | 0 Through a few very lucky coincidences I received a Thinkpad x200s a few days ago and set it up with Crunchbang which must have been the most straightforward os-installation ever. Two Three Four things though: ## Rawtherapee A slightly outdated version is in debian’s repositories, but if you want a newer one, go to »Kbyte’s Hideout«. Download .deb package and dpkg -i rawtherapee_<xxx>.deb If there are unsolved dependencies: apt-get install -f and then dpkg -i rawtherapee_<xxx>.deb ## Picasa Well. It still is the most straightforward programme I know for editing, simple retouches and exporting smaller sizes. I’m not happy with wine, I’m not happy with a google tool, but I cannot and cannot find an alternative (see here). Hence: before following the webupd8 tutorial I needed apt-get install libwine-cms:i386 After installation, use cd ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Google/Picasa3 && wine Picasa3.exe to launch it. If you would then create a script called »picasa« somewhere, say in ~/scripts containing the following: #!/bin/bash cd ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Google/Picasa3 &amp;amp;&amp;amp; wine Picasa3.exe exit 0  Picasa can then be launched from command-line with a simple »picasa« after a final sudo ln -s ~/scripts/picasa /usr/bin/picasa ## Clock To change the format from Hour:Minute open ~/.config/tint2/tint2rc and consult strftime-man to change to your liking. ## Change Key Bindings Keyboard shortcuts can be changed in ~/.config/openbox/rc.xml After saving, go to Openbox menu > Preferences > Openbox Config > Reconfigure. (Thanks, MysteryMember) ## Redecorating the place II posted in: Random | 0 After almost eight years using (and helping develop) Polypager, a very versatile and friendly content management system, and after three years of having Zenphoto manage my pictures, I finally decided I had to retire both and move to a different system altogether: a single one for text and images that would also treat my mobile visitors better (a third of my total traffic). Polypager’s strength clearly was in handling the database – it has foreign key capability and without the faintest complaint, Polly will display any mysql-database it is being fed. However, it was never built with serving images as a central part in mind. There is a gallery plugin in place, but my desires soon surpassed the capabilities. Zenphoto in turn is fantastic in handling text and images (and video by the way, which surprisingly posed the biggest hurdle in wordpress – the other was 301, but in the end Tony McCreath’s redirect generator helped). The problem with zenphoto is more an aesthetic one as the available skins are limited and don’t really meet my expectations. The one I hacked together unfortunately »grew organically« over the years until recently it gracefully started falling apart. Thus, today I make the move to WordPress and while I am at ease parting from Zenphoto, leaving Polly behind really hurts. So, thanks Nic for developing it and having me aboard, because in the process, I learned many a thing about distinguishing sensible feature requests from the other ones, about version management using svn and git, and also, in 2008, about how it feels to be at the receiving end of a proper hack. ## Bribing MPs soon illegal in Germany posted in: Random | 0 Finally the German Bundestag made a move and eleven years and three governments after the United Nation Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) was signed by Germany, it can now finally be ratified. Until now it had only been illegal to buy the vote of a member of parliament, other forms of corrupting them were fair game, which made it impossible for Germany to ratify the UNCAC – and put the country in very shady company: World map with United Nations Convention against Corruption ratifiers in green and signatories in orange (as of Feb 2014). Source: en.wikipedia.orgCC BY-SA 3.0 As the vote was paired with that one the considerable raise the MPs allowed themselves, I have the impression it somehow did not receive that much media coverage: ## Human Nascars posted in: Random | 0 Terence Eden has an article on the »Nascar Proposal«. The proposal that politicians should wear logos of who paid them in order to make lobbyism more transparent is not new, but Terence has gathered a couple of links to interesting resources and also makes an interesting suggestion: Sure, the probability that we turn politicians into real human Nascars is very low, but we have the potential of open data that could easily be coupled with some programming and a little graphic design skills. The resulting visualidation could at least make it very easy to understand the at times very complex linkages of politics and private sector. ## MTPFS FAIL posted in: Random | 2 My ubuntu 12.04 computer cannot see my Android 4.1.2 phone, instead I must install go-mtpfs and control it via command line. Thankfully, Andrew over at webupd8 provides all the necessary tools (all credit goes to him, for long version see there): sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/unstable sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install go-mtpfs Optional: sudo apt-get install go-mtpfs-unity Mount: go-mtpfs /media/MyAndroid Unmount: fusermount -u /media/MyAndroid Ironic that I should now need a special programme to mount my one Linux device on my other Linux device while windows works out of the box… ## Fabulous Fab and Obama’s Promise posted in: Random | 0 Gregg Fields from Harvard’s Lab writes on the prosecution of Goldman Sachs’ Fabrice Tourre. When the housing bubble burst, many lost a lot and few earned obscenely much through a security called ABACUS 2007-AC1 which Tourre helped engineer. At the time, he was a mere foot soldier and senior management had to and did approve everything. Fields asks, why the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) keeps going after the little fish and lets their fishmasters get of the hook rather easily. An unrelated article over at Techdirt asks what happened to Obamas election campaign promise to protect whistlblowers. The interesting bit from Obama’s ethics agenda read =&0=&: Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process. change.gov: Ethics Agenda Funny, innit? ## Prescription Drugs and Corruption posted in: Random | 0 Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics has an interesting, yet disturbing post on a forthcoming article on institutional Corruption, Pharma and prescription drugs (Light, Lexchin, Darrow (2013): Institutional Corruption of Pharmaceuticals and the Myth of Safe and Effective Drugs. Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, Vol. 14, No. 3, 2013). The highlights: • There is evidence that about 90 percent of all new drugs approved by the FDA over the past 30 years are little or no more effective for patients than existing drugs. • Every week, about 2400 excess deaths occur in the United States among people taking properly prescribed drugs to be healthier. • Prescription drugs are the 4th leading cause of death. • There is systematic, quantitative evidence that since the industry started making large contributions to the FDA for reviewing its drugs, the FDA has sped up the review process with the result that drugs approved are significantly more likely to cause serious harm, hospitalizations, and deaths. ## Network Sync posted in: Random | 0 I recently got my hands on a shiny eee-PC for surprisingly little money. As I am travelling a fair bit at the moment, the opportunity was more than welcome. Now, mobility comes at a price and the price is called »multiple instances of files«. When the files in question are your PhD, it has the potential for a fantastic nightmare. Most people use dropbox to tackle this, but for one reason and another, I neither want to use that, nor ubuntu one. I have owncloud [see here], and after resolving some issues, the sync client works, but I still would like to keep more data in tune then I could possibly channel through my shared hosting plan. Unison (via ssh) seems the way to go. Setting it up was a lot easier then I though. All it took was rbgeek’s exccellent article »File Synchronization Between Two Ubuntu Servers using Unison«. Falko Timme’s article »Setting Up Unison File Synchronization Between Two Servers On Debian Squeeze« at howtoforge was also helpful. Another insightful article is Chris Lale’s »Synchronising laptop and desktop files using Unison« at Sourceforge. One issue: normally your device gets an IP address automatically from your router. Unison settings depend on the IP address (for ssh connection), so if the IP address changes, Unison gets confused. Thus, we want a static IP address on the remote machine. Johnathan Hobson’s »Networking Tips and Tricks« are a good start. The settings that finally worked for me I got via chili555’s post on ubuntuforums. Using Netman’s GUI, I set: Method: Manual Address: 192.168.0.9 Netmask: 255.255.255.0 Gateway: 192.168.0.1 DNS Servers: 8.8.8.8, 192.168.0.1 Search domains: I understand little, but what I do understand is this: • »address« needs to be outside the router’s scope. Mine is configured to start at 10, so I picked 9. • »gateway« simply seems to be the router’s ip-address • »DNS-Servers«: no clue why 8.8.8.8, the other again seems to be router’s ip address You can easily determine the router’s ip-address and the scope for auto DHCP from the router’s admin interface. ## Other useful information and resources ### SSH ### Unison ### Alternatives [article started in January 2013; final, rewritten version from January 2014] ## Medical Practitioners cannot be Corrupt posted in: Random | 0 At the moment, medical practitioners in Germany can only be corrupt when employed by someone else. As long as they practice on their own, German law to date knows no way of finding them corrupt – even if pharmaceutical companies give something in exchange for the practioniners prescribing certain medication. The good news is that German health minister Daniel Bahr is about to change that. Update Nov 2014: The bad news is, that the bill did not pass the Bundesrat. And coverage is pretty much non-existent since then. ## Übermäßige Zeitungs-Begierde posted in: Random | 0 Ich muß […] bekennen […] / daß die übermäßige Zeitungs-Begierde / eine dermaßen schädliche Kranckheit sey / welche durch ihren Mißbrauch dem gemeinen Wesen viel Schaden bringet. […] Es ist nichts gewöhnlicheres / als daß die Bauren in der Schencke ein Collegium curiosum über die ordentlichen Post-Zeitungen halten / und durch den capabelesten aus ihrem Mittel selbige buchstabiren lassen / wenn man sie aber hernach […] fragen solte / was sie daraus verstanden / so würde es in nichts anders bestehen / als daß es weit rathsamer vor sie gewesen wäre / sie hätten […] mit dem Holtz-Axt an einem guten Eich Baume auf den Hieb gefochten / als daß sie die edele Zeit mit solchen Dingen verderben. Philip Balthasar Sinold, gen. von Schütz. In »Das Curieuse Caffee-Haus zu Venedig« (1698). ## Custom Shortcuts in Kile posted in: Random | 0 If you use Kile as LaTeX editor and if you find yourself typing the same code all over again – like a specific table environment, or a slide environment in beamer or whatever, why not create your own user tag and assign a custom shortcut? You can even decide where the cursor should be placed and what should happen in case text is selected while pressing your shortcut. It’s very easy and very fantastic: User defined Tags. ## Mining Data posted in: Random | 0 »Overview – through Hollerith Punch Cards« Motherboard has an insightful article on the history and future of Diaspora (an open source, distributed alternative to Facebook). The article is very long and alongside the Diaspora-narrative there are several other issues it focuses on. One of them deals with data mining, which – with Facebook as a regular dinner table subject – is touched upon frequently around here. The argument I hear most often when it comes to privacy issues is »I can’t see how this bit of information could possibly be vital or interesting to a third party«. The thing with data mining is of course the three-letter-word above »argument« lacks: now. Sooner or later someone might (or might not) come along who can see a relevance, even long after the information is in the open. And often it is not the data in itself that turns out to be explosive, but a new way in which it is connected to other harmless data. Or a new place it’s brought to. Here’s one fun example from the Diaspora-article: Last week, the Financial Times reported that a newly uncovered deal between Facebook and the data firm Datalogix allows the site to track whether ads seen on Facebook lead users to buy those products in stores, which is highly attractive intelligence for advertisers. (Datalogix does this by buying consumer loyalty data from retailers, and tracks in-store purchases by matching email addresses in its database to email accounts used to set up Facebook profiles, along with other account registration information.) The future implications of the email address mix-and-match is not fully clear yet (although for a start I think it’s of nobody’s business what I buy where). But there are other examples where the consequences are very clear. For instance someone disclosed his credit card number to both Apple and Amazon. Ultimately this led to the destruction of his digital life – email account takeover, twitter account takeover, phone wiped clean, computers wiped clean: proudly brought to you by small-scale data mining with a pinch of social engineering thrown in: Amazon tech support gave them the ability to see a piece of information — a partial credit card number — that Apple used to release information. In short, the very four digits that Amazon considers unimportant enough to display in the clear on the web are precisely the same ones that Apple considers secure enough to perform identity verification. And finally, my historian-friend’s favourite – and at the same time the most ghastly – data mining example of them all is how the 1933 census in Germany was later used to organise the deportation of Jews: But Jews could not hide from millions of punch cards thudding through Hollerith machines, comparing names across generations, address changes across regions, family trees and personal data across unending registries. It did not matter that the required forms or questionnaires were filled in by leaking pens and barely sharpened pencils, only that they were later tabulated and sorted by IBM’s precision technology. Edwin Black (2009): IBM and the Holocaust. Washington DC, p. 107. Update 4 Aug 2013: I recently learned about the Rosa Liste (pink list). This list was kept by the German empire and subsequently the Republic of Weimar to monitor male homosexuals. In 1933 the list fell into the hands of the new government which used it to go straight from monitor to murder. Case in Point: you never know what the meaning of any given datum is going to be in the future. ## Overheating Thinkpad T60 posted in: Random | 2 Since 12.04 my thinkpad (T60) regularly shuts down due to heat. I don’t like it and I am afraid of damage – to hard drives or to the system. The problem is described in many places and many different fixes, remedies and work arounds exist. Most of them lack proper documentation, so I am reluctant to try them. Even thinkfan, which is quite popular, scares me more than it helps. Here is a collection of relevant information I found: 1. Bug report at launchpad https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/751689 2. Show temperatures of all sensors cat /proc/acpi/ibm/thermal 3. Show Speed of fan cat /proc/acpi/ibm/fan 4. Thermal Sensors http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Thermal_sensors 5. List of ways to control fan speeds at Thinkwiki.org http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/How_to_control_fan_speed 6. Thread at askubuntu http://askubuntu.com/questions/178467/thinkpad-fan-control-error 7. Howto at NeoLocus http://blog.neolocus.com/2012/07/lenovo-thinkpad-x61-temperature-and-fan.html 8. Howto at thinkwiki.de [in German]: http://thinkwiki.de/Thinkfan For now I went with #7 (thinkfan howto by Neolocus), and I do hear a substantial difference in fan activity – but I am still scared. ## Top 10 Corruption Sentences posted in: Random | 0 Wall Street’s Corruption Currents turns two on Wednesday. As a way of celebration, they nominated the top 10 corruption related jail sentences. The winners are: 1. Joel Esquenazi 2. Rod Blagojevich 3. Viktor Bout 4. James Ibori 5. R. Allen Stanford 6. Jimmy Dimora 7. Matthew Ng 8. Albert “Jack” Stanley and Jeffrey Tesler 9. Jean Rene Duperval 10. Gerhard Gribkowsky More on the background on each of the cases in Samuel Rubenfeld’s article. ## Bibtex going openout_any = p posted in: Random | 4 Working with multibib, Bibtex started failing me after a recent reinstallation of texlive on xubuntu. On bibtex <project-path>/src.aux I got: bibtex: Not writing to &amp;lt;project-path&amp;gt;/src.blg (openout_any = p). I couldn't open file name &amp;lt;project-path&amp;gt;/src.blg' To get rid of the error, open texmf.cnf, which resides in /usr/share/texlive/texmf/web2c through sudo gedit /usr/share/texlive/texmf/web2c/texmf.cnf Then find the entry openout_any = p p is the paranoid setting. I changed it to r and it now works again (chapeau to dmj). [update 31 Jan 2013] If sudo is not an option and thus texmf.cnf can’t be changed, see Sini’s helpful comment below. [/update] If you want to learn about multiple bibliographies using multibib, there is a very good tutorial by peisistratos. Unfortunately it is in German, but I’m sure there are English ones out there, too. ## Can We Buy Your Loyalty? posted in: Random | 0 The US Dodd-Frank-Act was signed into federal law in 2010 and, according to wikipedia, it brought the most significant changes to financial regulation in the United States since the regulatory reform that followed the Great Depression. The Dodd-Frank-Act also introduced a »whistleblower bounty programme« (under Title IX, subtitle B). It means whistleblowers can get paid for releasing information, and today FCPA-Blog reports that the first one just took home a prize of US$ 50.000

It is startling that in a sense we are now trying to bribe people so they blow the whistle on corruption. The moral implications are interesting: not only will people get paid to abide by the law, but, after all, an employee (or agent) owes a certain amount of loyalty to the employer (or principal). There are corruption theories that define corruption exactly as not honouring that loyalty in order to achieve personal gain. But the economical implications are at least as intriguing: loyalty suddenly becomes a scarce commodity and it would not at all surprise me to see prices going up and going up fast. Apparently, a reward substantially helps people discover their loyalty to law (and their community):

since the SEC’s whistleblower program started in August 2011, the agency said it has received about eight tips a day. Using a conservative count, that means at least 1,600 whistleblower complaints have been filed.

Richard L. Cassin (5.9.2012): Six Lessons from the SEC’s First Whistleblower Reward. FCPA-Blog.

I don’t see why an even higher reward would not let them discover that in the end, their loyalty lies elsewhere altogether. Thus, it will be perfectly rational behaviour for companies to try to buy their agent’s loyalty back and have them shut up.

Now we have created a loyalty market, but acting on markets is what companies do all the time and should do best. When I look at the Wal-Mart bribery case, I doubt the community can keep up with the price development for long, at least when it comes to the important cases. Publicly available figures for Wal Mart de Mexico speak for themselves:

 Bribes paid in Mexico: US $24.000.000 Potential damage if fined under FCPA: US$ 6.500.000.000 Profit in Q2/2012 US $650.000.000 Profits made since paying bribes in 2005: US$ 12.000.000.000

Sources: 1, 2, 3
The interesting players in the corruption game obviously have a lot to gain, much more to lose, and a vault filled with spare cash. I doubt that the reward programme was a smart move in the long run – both ethically and economically, but we’ll see.

[update 5. September 2012, 19.30 h]:
Wall Street Journal reports on a study on retaliation against whistleblowers:

More than one in five employees who reported misconduct they observed to their employers perceived retaliation for doing so, according to a new study.

The study found 22% of American workers who reported misconduct to their employers in 2011 said they experienced retaliation, up from 15% in 2009.

C. M. Matthews (5.9.2012): Whistleblower Retaliation on the Rise, Study Finds. WSJ Corruption Currents.

With the (growing) stick well established, I’m excited about who is going to be the first carrot-company.

[update 2, 18 September 2012, 9.30 h]

## Cross-Distro Live-USB

posted in: Random | 0

Want to create a Fedora live USB from ubuntu or make a pen drive with ubuntu in Fedora? Sick of instaling liveusb-creator under ubuntu or usb-creator in Fedora?

Here is your way out: UNetbootin

1. Download
2. sudo chmod +x <downloaded file>
3. Optional: install p7zip and p7zip-plugins
4. ./<downloaded file>
5. Happy

## Strikethrough in LaTeX

posted in: Random | 13

Today I found a second way to achieve a strikethrough in LaTeX (what is done by »line-through« in css: strike out text). If you want to put a line across text, your choices are »ulem« and »cancel«:

## Strikethough in LaTeX using »ulem«

\usepackage{ulem} in the preamble gives you two ways to strike out text (and a couple more for underlining):

1. \sout{text to be striked out} for a horizontal line through text to be striked out (exactly like »line through«).
2. \xout{text to be crossed out} for many short diagonal lines crossing out the letters of the text to be crossed out

The problem that ulem affects some bibliography styles where otherwise italicised text is then underlined can be remedied through the »normalem«-option in the preamble: \usepackage[normalem]{ulem} (Thanks Fredrik!).

Ulem is part of MiKTeX and TeX Live but also available at ctan.

## Strikethrough in LaTeX using »cancel«

\usepackage{cancel} in the preamble gives you four different modes of striking through

1. \cancel{text to cancel} draws a diagonal line (slash) through its argument
2. \bcancel{text to cancel} uses the negative slope (a backslash)
3. \xcancel{text to cancel} draws an X (actually \cancel plus \bcancel)
4. \cancelto{〈value〉}{〈expression〉}` draws a diagonal arrow through the 〈expression〉pointing to the 〈value〉 (math-mode only)

You can get cancel at ctan.

## Results

Click on the image for pdf or download the source file – which looks like this:

\documentclass[a4paper,11pt]{article}

\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}

\usepackage{setspace}

\usepackage{ulem}

\usepackage{cancel}

\begin{document}

\sffamily

\doublespace

\textbf{Ulem:}

\verb+\sout{striked out text}+ renders \sout{striked out text}

\verb+\xout{crossed out text}+ renders \xout{crossed out text}

\textbf{Cancel:}

\verb+\cancel{canceled text}+ renders \cancel{canceled text}

\verb+\bcancel{b-canceled text}+ renders \bcancel{b-canceled text}

\verb+\xcancel{x-canceled text}+ renders \xcancel{x-canceled text}

\verb+\cancelto{<value>}{<expression>}+ renders $\cancelto{value}{expression}$

Cancelto also works with more complicated expressions:

\verb+\cancelto{\frac{num2}{den2}}{\frac{num1}{den1}}+ renders $\cancelto{\frac{num2}{den2}}{\frac{num1}{den1}}$

\end{document}

## Deny Internet in Ubuntu

posted in: Random | 0

I have phases in my work cycle, where I want to limit internet access to myself. Thus, I created a »work-user« and in the user’s properties I unticked the boxes

• Connect to internet using a modem
• Connect to wireless and ethernet networks
• Use modems

I thought that should do the trick, yet it didn’t restrict internet access to this user. I tried various other things to deny access to network and web and finally found something useful at ubuntuusers.org (German):

create a file in /etc/init.d (filename doesn’t matter)

sudo touch /etc/init.d/iptab-filter.sh

Open the file you created:

sudo gedit /etc/init.d/iptab-filter.sh

## ffmpeg-GUI

posted in: Random | 0

I was somewhat flabberghasted when I found out my mobile phone (Sony Ericsson Cyber-shot) was unable to play .mp4, .flv, .avi and what else I tried. It refuses to play all video formats save .3gp.

I was unable to convert to this with avidemux. Google quickly told me that ffmpeg could do the trick. But being unfamiliar with bitrates and stuff I was happy indeed when I found Mobile Media Converter, which is a neat and lean GUI for ffmpeg (Mac, Linux and Win). It even sports convenient batch process via drag & drop. Have fun.

## Fonts in LaTeX

posted in: Random | 0

In short: To avoid the standard pixel bitmap fonts and go for smooth, scalable post script ones, use one of the following:

\usepackage{palatino}
\usepackage{times}
\usepackage{bookman}
\usepackage{newcent}

or, for standard post script fonts

\usepackage{pslatex} or
\usepackage{ae,aecompl}

## Position:Absolute in LaTeX

posted in: Random | 0

In css there is the handy absolute positioning. Today I found out how to do it in LaTeX:

In the preamble

\usepackage{textpos}

In the document
\begin{textblock}{2}[0,0](8,1.5)
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet
\end{textblock}
The arguments are as follows:

\begin{textpos}
{<width>}
[
<left handle>,<top handle>]
(<leftmargin>,<topmargin>)

## World Wide Food Chain

posted in: Random | 0

This last weekend I understood a lot about the internet food chain: There are the smart guys and there are the monkeys. The smart guys find out how to crack a system. They publish their stuff and move on. The smart guys are too busy to play around.

As soon as the smart guys make the security hole public, the swarm of pimple stricken milksops with teenage angst who read what the smart guys publish come marauding. They upload a bit of this, toy around a bit in that and then claim they »hacked« something while they really only hacked their pants once more.

This way the smart guys don’t have to bother telling the people about their security holes (probably assuming backup copies and a restore script anyway; if this doesn’t exist – more valuable lessons learned): they have their monkey baggage to do so for them.

## Section Footnote in LaTeX

posted in: Random | 1

I left biting marks in the table on this one. I don’t know if it’s a general issue or just my document. Anyway:

I wanted to have footnotes from inside sections, subsections, and subsubsections. They work similar to footnotes in tables, you need to address them similar to this:

\section{Some Section in my Document\footnotemark}

\footnotetext{My boring footnotetext.}

Only, when I did it like this, it worked on some occasions, but not on others (reason for me biting the wood).

I finally found out that it did not work on all occasions where I did it exactly like in above example, but always rendered

TeX capacity exceeded, sorry [input stack size=5000]
However, it did work on all the occasions where I specified the (optional) short title for section/subsection/&c:

\section[Section in Document]{Some Section in my Document\footnotemark}

\footnotetext{My boring footnotetext.}

The optional shorter title appears — as far as I know — in the table of contents and in left-/rightmark. Also, Kile uses it to display the document structure, too. So if you have rather long titles (like I do) it is a good idea specifying a short one anyway. If not, I guess you can just as well repeat the full title in the optional argument if you need a footnote.

When using the starred variant (\section*{My merry section}), don’t provide a short title.

## Groucho Marx Job Application

posted in: Random | 0

After graduation naturally comes application. Now it seems that application naturally comes with frustration.

Each and every company knows exactly what they want to a degree that just saw me printing 14 pages of a single job description – the job being »PR nut«.

You must be flexible, proactive, and willing to work at unsociable hours as well as come with considerable experience. And, most important of all, you are willing to work for a monthly bag of rice and some mutton fat in this exciting times for this thriving company.

All this had me rather depressed until I spoke to my wise friend. He said it was all too similar to the famous Groucho Marx statement:

I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member.

Only the companies seem to have a slightly altered statement written all over their job descriptions:

We want somebody who is so qualified that they’d never work for us.

## »Might Make You Laugh«

posted in: Random | 0

Yesterday we arrived in London for a short holiday. In the early evening we were rambling the streets, not sure what to do. When at last we made our minds up and opted for cinema, a couple stopped us. Something was with their daughter, I did not quite get what, but it was the reason they couldn’t make it to the theatre. If we fancied to see »Absurd Person Singular« at the Garrick in fifteen minutes? He said it was a comedy and that it might make us laugh.

Given my theater experiences lately I honestly wasn’t too keen; but A. already had taken the tickets – and off they went in a great hurry.

So, unknown couple: thank you ever so much. It was a lovely play, indeed the first theatre experience I had in some ten years that was not only not dreadful but far from it. It did indeed make us laugh.

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