woensdag 16 januari 2019

Mirror Android Phone on Linux

Getting you Android phone connected to a Linux box is not so difficult; install and run adb (android developers bridge) to swap files. Mirroring and controlling the device is a bit more difficult. Using scrcpy makes it possible.
How does that work? scrcpy installs a server on your phone and communicates with the Linux box over adb. This server sends a video stream to the  Linux box; all input (mouse and keyboard) events are captured, which makes interaction with the phone easy.
For installing scrcpy there are to possibilities:
- build the app manually;
- run a docker image

donderdag 10 januari 2019


The central conclusion from the documentary the Facebook Dilemma, that was recently broad-casted on TV, is that Facebook was too late and too slow in handling fake news, hate speech and fake accounts, manipulation and social conflict. It is interesting to see how Mark Zuckerburg defends his company by saying that Facebook is a tech company aiming at bringing people together. As a tech company Facebook/Zuckerburg pretends that tech tools will deliver the solutions for all, social and political, problems created by Facebook. The parallel with the movie about the creation of Facebook-The Social Network- is obvious. In that movie Zuckerberg, then a clumsy geek at Havard, created a computer program  for rating female students, hacking the database of the university. Perhaps compensating his own lack of social skills to get in touch with female students.

Media Company
The problem is that Facebook is not a tech company but a media company. Controlling the flow of news and information on Facebook is only possible by understanding the role of media in a democracy. At traditional media this role is in the hands of editors who check and filter the news before it is published. Facebook still not admitting they are media, hired thousands of censors checking the flow of information based on key words. Probably in the end aiming at complete automation by algorithm. I don't believe this will work for more than 2,5 billion users on world scale. Is too large and the social and political problems in all corners of the world are too complicated to handle by keyword searching censors. The best solution would be to break up Facebook in different sub-media for example by regions or by topic and in these sub-media the editors play a central role.
Secondly if Facebook acknowledges that they are a media company then they would be controlled by media law and can be hold responsible for publication. Now they escape this type responsibility and control by rules of freedom of speech.
The problems related to the content of Facebook, originate in the business model of Facebook and the design of internet. 

dinsdag 8 januari 2019


it is still holiday, so I play around a bit.... found some retro games from the nineties deep in desk drawer: Day of the Tentacle and Myst; these were the first interactive video games published in the nineties. My children loved playing with these games. But can you revive them?  Installing Win95 in a virtual box is a bot complicated. I discovered scummvm . Install it on a Linux box or a windows machine, and just play:

Myst caused some trouble because copying the data failed, probably some protection.....
Oh, even more convenient, play on a phone or tablet and get scummvm from the google app store.

dinsdag 25 december 2018

Re-opened my Wordpress blog: d3media

I forgot I used a Wordpress blog to write about digital journalism. I started on Blogger writing about data journalism. Now I have update my Wordpress blog  with Blogger content: D3Media
Here is the URL: https://d3media.wordpress.com/ 

Why? Wordpress gives more options to enhance the quality. I am looking for example to installing automated tagging, or installing a bot for content search.

zondag 23 december 2018


Holiday time.....now it is time to play around with.... what? I have an old camera Nikon P5100. Question: can I control that camera from a PC? I did want to create trouble on my training/work related laptop so I fired up my Raspberry Pi.
After a bit of Google browsing I found out that you can control a camera from a PC:

1. first you have to install gphoto2 on the pi; here is the recipe to install from scratch . To compile the whole thing takes a bit of time, but after a cup of coffee you are ready to.

2. Hook up the camera with a usb connection and open a terminal. Here is an overview of the commands to check if gphoto2 is working. Take care that the pi is not opening the SD-card of the camera through auto mounting removable media; turn that off.

3. Now you want to take some shots. This is how you that from the command line .

4. Of course you cannot remember all these commands with detailed option. Well there are scripts on github. Shooot is a very nice one.

5. Finally.. you prefer a GUI, use gphoto-bottle . BTW the P5100 is quite limited in use with gphoto2, no movie, no streaming, only shooting pictures in a time sequence. So better use a newer camera!

woensdag 12 december 2018


Voyant is an amazing tool for text analysis, just play around with it at: https://voyant-tools.org/  Just download or copy you text and push the buttons. That is a different experience form the coding I used to do in R. Disadvantage is that your texts are public on the web. Solution: run the Voyant tool on your machine. Of course use a docker container: https://hub.docker.com/r/sepastian/voyant-docker/  .
Start the container with:
docker run -d --name voyant -p 8080:8080 sepastian/voyant-docker:latest
And here is the screen running at http://localhost:8080/voyant/