George V. Reilly

Review: Moriarty

Title: Moriarty
Author: Anthony Horowitz
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½
Publisher: Harper­Collins
Copyright: 2014
Pages: 309
Keywords: mystery
Reading period: 27 February–5 March, 2016

Pinkerton agent Frederick Chase arrives at Re­ichen­bach Falls just after Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty have plunged to their deaths. With Inspector Athelney Jones of Scotland Yard—­sure­ly one of Holmes’s most ardent stu­dents—he travels to London on the trail of an American master criminal, Clarence Devereaux. Devereaux’s gang is moving quickly and ruthlessly to seize control of the vacuum left by Moriarty. But not all is it appears and the American gang receive bloody setbacks. Could Moriarty be alive after all?

While I mostly enjoyed the book, I was ex­as­per­at­ed by continue.

Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving Time is hot garbage is a typical article you can expect to read this weekend condemning DST.

My own dislike of DST was boosted when I worked on calendar software at Cozi. We learned the hard way that we needed to test our latest software ahead of both the start and end of DST each year. That’s trickier than you might think. Setting the computer’s clock forward a couple of weeks, past the change of DST, is one thing; getting the changed time to last for more than a few minutes is another. Most computers ag­gres­sive­ly sync their clocks to a network time server, which can be tricky to disable.

I no continue.

Hillary Clinton "Misspeaks" about Nancy Reagan and AIDS

In an interview with MSNBC Friday, 2016 Democratic pres­i­den­tial candidate Hillary Clinton said that Ronald and Nancy Reagan helped start a national con­ver­sa­tion about HIV/AIDS. This is not exactly a bald-faced lie, but it is a gross mis­un­der­stand­ing of history and a mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the true gov­ern­men­tal neglect during the AIDS epidemic that killed millions worldwide.

—Mathew Rodriguez,

As I wrote on Facebook earlier today:

I’m really surprised by this. I expected Hillary Clinton to know better. It’s one thing not to speak ill of the dead at their funeral. It’s quite another to make such a profoundly wrong assertion. The Reagan White House’s negligence and homophobia was directly re­spon­si­ble for the growth of the continue.

Review: Mother London

Title: Mother London
Author: Michael Moorcock
Rating: ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Harper­Collins
Copyright: 1989
Pages: 496
Keywords: fiction
Reading period: 22 Feb­ru­ary–10 March, 2016

Mother London is well written and it has some fine scenes and three in­ter­est­ing characters. I wanted to like it but it never engaged me because the story goes nowhere. I rarely abandon books, but I gave up on this two-thirds of the way through.

Mother London follows three out­pa­tients from a mental hospital, between 1940 and the 1980s: Josef Kiss, a larger-than-life performer, David Mummery, a writer, and Mary Gasalee, a housewife who spends fifteen years in a coma, after the Blitz. All three seem to be psy­chi­cal­ly sensitive to the thoughts continue.

Fear of Public Speaking

It is often said that people fear public speaking more than they fear death. I certainly used to fear getting up in front of a crowd, though not to the point of death. Tonight I spoke about Fly­ing­Cloud in front of more than 100 people for half an hour at the PuPPy Meetup. I wasn’t nervous beforehand and I wasn’t nervous talking to the crowd.

I’ve been an active Toast­mas­ter for nearly 15 years and I’ve spoken at Toast­mas­ters hundreds of times. I’m used to a room of 15–25 people but not to a larger audience. Adam and I put our slides together late last week. We ran through it together once continue.

Irish Slave Myths Debunked

Boing Boing posted Irish slave myths debunked, a link to the work of Liam Hogan.

The indentured servitude that brought many Irish people to the Americas could be very harsh, but it wasn’t slavery. Slavery was brutal and often murderous, the children of slaves were themselves slaves, and the aftermath continues to affect their de­scen­dants even now.

FlyingCloud 0.3.0 released

I just announced the release of Fly­ing­Cloud 0.3.0 on the fly­ing­cloud-users mailing list. I’ll have more to say about Fly­ing­Cloud in future. For now, let’s just say it’s a tool that we use to build Docker images using masterless SaltStack.

I’ll be speaking about Fly­ing­Cloud at Wednesday’s PuPPy meetup.

psutil kill

From Python, I needed to find a process that was performing SSH tunneling on port 8080 and kill it.

The following works in Bash:

ps aux | grep [s]sh.*:8080 | awk '{print $2}' | xargs kill -9

The grep [s]sh trick ensures that the grep command itself won’t make it through to awk.

Here’s what I came up with in Python using psutil:

def kill_port_forwarding(host_port):
    ssh_args = ["-f", "-N", "-L", "{0}:localhost:{0}".format(host_port)]
    for process in psutil.process_iter():

Review: Deadpool

Deadpool is the role that Ryan Reynolds was born to play, the "Merc with a Mouth" anti-hero who breaks the fourth wall and breaks heads with equal facility. It’s very funny, very twisted, and very violent, and it fully deserves its R rating.

Wade Wilson, a former mercenary, has terminal cancer. He undergoes a treatment that not only cures his cancer and renders him capable of re­gen­er­at­ing quickly from any wound, but leaves him horribly scarred. The treatment was actually intended to turn him into a super slave. Wanting both revenge and a cure for his dis­fig­ure­ment, he suits up and tracks down his former captors, leaving dozens of dead henchmen in his wake.

As continue.

Review: Crack'd Pot Trail

Title: Crack’d Pot Trail
Author: Steven Erikson
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½
Publisher: Tor
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 208
Keywords: fantasy
Reading period: 16–28 February, 2016

A disparate group of necro­mancer hunters and artists are trekking through the desert. They’re out of food and the artists must compete not to be eaten by the strongmen by telling stories by the campfire. It’s the Canterbury Tales crossed with Scheherazade. The narrator shows how he skillfully and shame­less­ly ma­nip­u­lat­ed the various parties. His stories within stories sow doubt and dissension. There’s black humor and art criticism and enough suspense to keep you going, once you get past the in­ter­minable beginning.

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