Chili Pepper Bruschetta

Today, I’d like to share a recipe for a hot “Bruschetta”. Frankly, I don’t really know how to name this but I think it tastes delicious. It consists exclusively of raw ingredients and is very hot. As far as I can tell, the product qualifies as vegan (but I don’t care).
Continue reading


Das nationale Interesse überwiegt

Although it is related to an international affair between the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States of America, this critique of a recent decision by the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany is written in German because I don’t feel comfortable expressing my juristic thoughts concerning this case in English. Reasoning about Germany’s constitution is best done in German because that’s the language the constitution and most literature about it is written in. (This is probably true for any nation state.)

Mit seinem Beschluss vom 13. Oktober 2016 (2 BvE 2/15, Pressemitteilung Nr 84/2016 vom 15. November 2016) hat der zweite Senat des Bundesverfassungsgerichts (BVerfG) die Anträge der Bundestagsfraktionen DIE LINKE und BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN im Organstreitverfahren zwischen der Bundesregierung und dem „NSA-Untersuchungsausschuss“ (bzw dem Bundestag) um die Herausgabe der sogenannten „NSA-Selektorenlisten“ entscheiden, dass „im besonderen Fall der NSA-Selektorenlisten […] das Vorlageinteresse des Untersuchungsausschusses zurückzutreten [hat]“. Der Beschluss – der aus Geheimschutzgründen ohne eine mündliche Verhaldnung zustande kam – überzeugt leider nicht. Der Senat scheint sich in erheblichem Maße von politischen „Sachzwängen“ überzeugen haben zu lassen. Bereits die im Beschluss angeführten juristischen Gegenargumente dürften die Argumente, die das Ergebnis stützen sollen, überwiegen. Dazu kommt, dass von letzteren meines Erachtens nicht alle unwidersprochen bleiben können.

Continue reading

Wrong Superhero – Why Apple doesn’t Deserve the Praise it’s Receiving

The “FBI–Apple encryption dispute” has come to an – preliminary, at least – end with the FBI announcing yesterday that they have no interest any more in Apple assisting them to recover user data from a seized iPhone that once was used by a terrorist. The FBI says that they have been able to recover the data without Apple’s help. Apple has received much public support for their opposition to provide software to recover the data from the phone. I believe that Apple doesn’t deserve this sympathy and is the wrong superhero to adore. Contrary to what they say in their press releases, Apple is not protecting their user’s freedom. Even though they might have put security measures into place that are distinguishing compared to those of other competitors, Apple’s products are mistreating their users just as any other product based on proprietary software. Sadly, there is no smart phone available today that runs exclusively on free software and gives control to the user instead of the vendor, which is why I don’t use or even have a smart phone.

The whole talk about the “FBI–Apple encryption dispute” is highly disturbing. Continue reading

int modulus(int n, int m) { return n < m ? n : n % m; }

Real Programmers will love this! (Except that they always knew…)

At CppCon’15, Chandler Carruth, lead of the Clang team at Google, gave a great talk titled Tuning C++: Benchmarks, and CPUs, and Compilers! Oh My!. The talk that is mostly live-coding and micro-benchmarking is both, informative and entertaining. Among other things, Chandler presents an optimized version of the good old modulus. Let n be a non-negative and m a positive integer. Then he proposes replacing n % m by n < m ? n : n % m because – after all – if n is less than m, there is nothing to compute.

What supposedly was meant to be a joke, proposing a dumb micro-optimization that actually makes the code run slower, turned out to be in fact an improvement. This is astonishing because it violates just about every principle we’ve learned about writing fast code. Continue reading

A Simple Script for Generating Printed Sheets With Your OpenPGP Fingerprint

For some time, I have used printed sheets with my OpenPGP key and a short summary of the most important commands needed to fetch it from a key server, check its fingerprint and sign it. These I handed to people who wish to use and potentially sign my key as a secure means of exchanging my key’s fingerprint. It turned out that people liked these sheets and I have been asked how to generate them. The versions I have used in the past were just hand-crafted TeX documents but for your convenience, I have now written a simple shell script that will generate such sheets. Here is an example.

In the most simple case, you can simply run

Continue reading