Ben Sturmfels

Ballarat, Australia

Free software activist who loves riding bikes and flying kites. Lead developer at

  • 2021-04-10T01:51:02Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Got up before light to move 8 hives of bees with Dad. It's become a really fulfilling hobby, even just for the time spent we spend together.

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  • MediaGoblin community meeting this weekend

    2020-05-15T02:44:42Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Join us at 8am Sat May 16 UTC-4 (aka 12pm UTC)

    Looking ahead after our recent 0.10.0 release!

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  • MediaGoblin 0.10.0

    2020-05-04T06:59:29Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    We just released MediaGoblin v0.10.0 including subtitles and multiple video resolutions!

    Michele Montagna likes this.

  • 2020-04-29T01:32:04Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Working towards the release of MediaGoblin 0.10.0 later this week. Nearly there!

    MATTEO BECHINI, Splicer, McClane likes this.

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  • MediaGoblin: We're still here!

    2020-04-07T04:01:39Z via Pumpa To: Public, Christopher Allan Webber CC: Followers

    It's been a little quieter in MediaGoblin -land over the last few years, but work continues! Here's a project update.

    hammerron, Distopico likes this.

    Anything installable via snap packaging yet?

    Stephen Michael Kellat at 2020-04-07T18:12:26Z

    Snap packaging isn't on my radar right now, but if you know anything about this we'd be happy to have you involved!

    Ben Sturmfels at 2020-04-08T23:27:14Z

  • Aug 30/31 Workshop: Contribute to Free and Open Source Software

    2019-08-20T00:41:51Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Have you ever imagined yourself coding on a Free Software and Open Source project? We'll help you get started in this mentored workshop

    Amitai Schleier likes this.

    .. event expired? .. old post by the looks :-(

    looks like an interesting festival though .. but too late for me to catch any of it, I'm in NSW

    Michael at 2019-09-05T11:05:49Z

    Yes, it's a shame that the page is automatically taken down. I used their event listing as the primary page due to limited time.

    Ben Sturmfels at 2019-09-06T22:38:37Z

  • 2019-08-19T02:06:47Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Gnome offering to save my GPG key passphrase forever seems like it's tempting me into bad security habits. My GPG is relatively important to me, and unlike lesser accounts that I use a password manager for, I commit this passphrase to memory. What do other people think of this?

    At minimum, I'd like to say "never ask me to save this passphrase".

    Ben Sturmfels at 2019-08-19T02:08:52Z

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  • 2019-08-17T13:06:01Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    The cat's away so I'm learning to crochet

    Jason Self likes this.

  • Running a new X230T with Coreboot

    2019-08-16T01:14:45Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    My good friend Damien Zammit has ported CoreBoot to the Lenovo X230T and provided me with one of these machines. I'm super happy with it; it's significantly more powerful than my X200, more cores, more memory, better 3D graphics performance, DisplayPort, USB3, great battery life, better screen, but still very compact. I can compile big Guix packages like qtwebkit in the background while I'm working without any issues. I didn't realise, but the tablet screen is actually a proper Wacom tablet with a pressure-sensitive stylus. Super useful for annotating PDFs, but who knows, even some art?

    zykotick9 likes this.

  • 2019-06-18T06:28:18Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Slightly creeped out that my accountant's Windows laptop is showing an animation of an eyeball and "looking for you..." while it attempts to to do facial recognition on an empty chair.

    Sarah Elkins, McClane likes this.

    McClane, McClane shared this.

    Just "my accountant" + "Windows laptop" is scary enough 😅

    JanKusanagi at 2019-06-18T12:19:55Z

    I'd like it to be different, but at least in Australia, the systems are so heavily stacked in favour of proprietary and SAS accounting tools that I imagine it would currently be nearly impossible to be an a professional tax accountant using free software.

    The Australian Tax Office is in the process of rolling out processes where you must report payments to employees monthly online. I need to investigate, but I suspect I won't find any good news.

    Meanwhile, I do all my business bookkeeping with Ledger which works well for me!

    Ben Sturmfels at 2019-06-20T01:59:37Z

    » Ben Sturmfels:

    “[...] I need to investigate, but I suspect I won't find any good news. [...]”

    Yep, I wouldn't have much hope...

    JanKusanagi at 2019-06-20T14:05:41Z

  • GNU Guix reached version 1.0 today

    2019-05-03T00:11:33Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    This is one of the #freesoftware projects that's most inspiring to me at the moment and that I use every day

    martinho, McClane, dowie, nukem and 1 others likes this.

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    The big 1.0! 😆

    JanKusanagi at 2019-05-03T02:13:28Z

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  • 2019-04-25T00:51:39Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    From the noise, I have a feeling that the podiatrist next door has started a side business in medieval torture. Or blokes just aren't good with pain.

    McClane likes this.

    It might be the first option.

    You know, some "medieval experience", for tourists 😆

    JanKusanagi at 2019-04-25T14:28:19Z

    Ben Sturmfels likes this.

    Neighbors on both sides of me (townhouse, shared walls) are doing home construction involving drill noises, and have barking dogs.  No screams, though.

    Sarah Elkins at 2019-04-28T16:27:01Z

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  • 2019-03-25T22:57:25Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    OMG, I didn't realise that Emacs has state of the art encryption built into message-mode. Just type your email and hit C-c c-r

    McClane likes this.

  • 2019-02-21T23:29:21Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Spent a fun morning playing with robots with the Caledonian Primary School grade 1-2s

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  • 2019-01-25T00:52:39Z via Pumpa To: Public, joeyh CC: Followers

    @joeyh is this like what you do?

  • 2019-01-21T06:45:50Z via Pumpa To: Public, Karl Fogel CC: Followers

    @Karl Fogel: What words would you use for the opposite of "free of charge" when specifically talking about price and not about software freedom? Eg. I installed the "pay to download" plugin for WordPress.

    McClane likes this.

    McClane, McClane shared this.

    Hey, Ben.  Are you talking about situations where the bits are freely licensed but a particular distributor is charging you a fee to copy from them as a source?  If so, I try to do what you do above: attach the fee to the verb (the act of copying) not to the thing being copied -- as long as the fee really is imposed only by that source, and is not part of the licensing terms for the bits themselves (because in the latter case, obviously it is not free software and so there is by definition a software freedom non-freeness going on too).  So, assuming the former: "convenience fee for copying", or "trusted-source copying charge", or something like that -- the best phrase will depend on the context in which it's being used.  I think there can't easily be one set phrase that works in all circumstances, precisely because the fee is specific to the verb -- to the particulars of *this* copying situation as opposed to some other way of obtaining the bits -- and not specific to the bits themselves, which would be more or less the same whatever source they're obtained from.

    Er, is that useful?

    Karl Fogel at 2019-01-21T22:44:53Z

    Thanks Karl, that is useful. Yes, the situation is freely licensed software, but there's a fee to copy. May also include access to a private updates channel and support eg. WooCommerce for WordPress.

    Ben Sturmfels at 2019-01-22T21:13:09Z

  • 2019-01-21T06:38:12Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    I'd totally misjudged WooCommerce, the e-commerce module for Wordpress, assuming that it was proprietary. Turns out that the free of charge base shop and all the pay to download plugins are GPL v3 licensed free software. I'm seriously impressed.

    McClane likes this.

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  • What are your favourite piano songs?

    2019-01-10T23:27:36Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    I'm starting up piano lessons again as an adult and really enjoying it! I'm looking for ideas for some new favourite songs, so if you played/play, what songs do you always go back to? My top 3 are probably Wedgewood Blues, Chariots of Fire and Brick by Ben Folds Five.

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    Show all 6 replies
    I haven't played this, but I've sung it! (with the Washington Metropolitan Gamer Symphony Orchestra):

    Sarah Elkins at 2019-01-13T02:47:49Z

    Hmm, it doesn't show a preview.  It's not a rickroll; it's a piano rendition of the Dummy! song from Undertales, a little ragtime fun, showing the keys to hit as it plays.

    Sarah Elkins at 2019-01-13T02:49:16Z

    I'll have to give it a go, thanks!

    Ben Sturmfels at 2019-01-13T13:08:13Z

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    Yes, that's it.  A *lot* of fun to sing, looks fun to play (I had one year of piano lessons in my teens).  Enjoy!

    Sarah Elkins at 2019-01-13T16:28:53Z

  • 2018-11-05T00:53:34Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Why doesn't #Python use significant whitespace in it's data structure literals?

  • ClojureScript loves

    2018-10-26T01:10:35Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    I've spent the last three weeks or so on my first work related project in ClojureScript (ie. JavaScript in Lisp). Overall I'm very enthusiastic about the platform, but it's been gruelling to get all the tooling working, learn the new idioms and to wrap my mind around But let's start with the good. I love hyphens in variable names (eg. purchase-order). ❌ likes this.