Search Results: "freee"

29 May 2021

Shirish Agarwal: Planes, Pandemic and Medical Devices I

The Great Electric Airplane Race It took me quite sometime to write as have been depressed about things. Then a few days back saw Nova s The Great Electric Airplane Race. While it was fabulous and a pleasure to see and know that there are more than 200 odd startups who are in the race of making an electric airplane which works and has FAA certification. I was disappointed though that there no coverage of any University projects. From what little I know, almost all advanced materials which U.S. had made has been first researched in mostly Universities and when it is close to fruition then either spin-off as a startup or give to some commercial organization/venture to make it scalable and profitable. If they had, I am sure more people could be convinced to join sciences and engineering in college. I actually do want to come to this as part of both general medicine and vaccine development in U.S. but will come later. The idea that industry works alone should be discouraged, but that perhaps may require another article to articulate why I believe so.

Medical Device Ventilators in India Before the pandemic, probably most didn t know what a ventilator is and was, at least I didn t, although I probably used it during my somewhat brief hospital stay a couple of years ago. It entered into the Indian twitter lexicon more so in the second wave as the number of people who got infected became more and more and the ventilators which were serving them became less and less just due to sheer mismatch of numbers and requirements. Rich countries donated/gifted ventilators to India on which GOI put GST of 28%. Apparently, they are a luxury item, just like my hearing aid. Last week Delhi High Court passed a judgement that imposition of GST should not be on a gift like ventilators or oxygenators. The order can be found here. Even without reading the judgement the shout from the right was judicial activism while after reading it is a good judgement which touches on several points. The first, in itself, stating the dichotomy that if a commercial organization wanted to import a ventilator or an oxygenator the IGST payable is nil while for an individual it is 12%. The State (here State refers to State Government in this case Gujarat Govt.) did reduce the IGST for state from 12% to NIL IGST for federal states but that to till only 30.06.2021. No relief to individuals on that account. The Court also made use of Mr. Arvind Datar, as Amicus Curiae or friend of court. The petitioner, an 85-year-old gentleman who has put it up has put broad assertions under Article 21 (right to live) and the court in its wisdom also added Article 14 which enshrines equality of everyone before law. The Amicus Curiae, as his duty, guided the court into how the IGST law works and shared a brief history of the law and the changes happening before and after it. During his submissions, he also shared the Mega Exemption Notification no. 50/2017 under which several items are there which are exempted from putting IGST. The Amicus Curiae did note that such exemptions were also there before Mega Exemption Notification had come into play. However, DGFT (Directorate General of Foreign Trade) on 30-04-2021 issued notification No. 4/2015-2020 through which oxygenators had been exempted from Custom Duty/BCD (Basic Customs Duty. In another notification on no. 30/2021 dated 01.05.2021 it reduced IGST from 28% to 12% for personal use. If however the oxygenator was procured by a canalizing agency (bodies such as State Trading Corporation of India (STC) or/and Metals and Minerals Corporation (MMTC) and such are defined as canalising agents) then it will be fully exempted from paying any sort of IGST, albeit subject to certain conditions. What the conditions are were not shared in the open court. The Amicus Curiae further observed that it is contrary to practice where both BCD and IGST has been exempted for canalising agents and others, some IGST has to be paid for personal use. To share within the narrow boundaries of the topic, he shared entry no. 607A of General Exemption no.190 where duty and IGST in case of life-saving drugs are zero provided the life-saving drugs imported have been provided by zero cost from an overseas supplier for personal use. He further shared that the oxygen generator would fall in the same entry of 607A as it fulfills all the criteria as shared for life-saving medicines and devices. He also used the help of Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940 which provides such a relief. The Amicus Curiae further noted that GOI amended its foreign trade policy (2015-2020) via notification no.4/2015-2020, dated 30.04.2021, issued by DGFT where Rakhi and life-saving drugs for personal use has been exempted from BCD till 30-07-2021. No reason not to give the same exemption to oxygenators which fulfill the same thing. The Amicus Curiae, further observes that there are exceptional circumstances provisions as adverted to in sub-section (2) of Section 25 of the Customs Act, whereby Covid-19 which is known and labelled as a pandemic where the distinctions between the two classes of individuals or agencies do not make any sense. While he did make the observation that exemption from duty is not a right, in the light of the pandemic and Article 14, it does not make sense to have distinctions between the two classes of importers. He further shared from Circular no. 9/2014-Customs, dated 19.08.2014 by CBEC (Central Board of Excise and Customs) which gave broad exemptions under Section 25 (2) of the same act in respect of goods and services imported for safety and rehabilitation of people suffering and effected by natural disasters and epidemics. He further submits that the impugned notification is irrational as there is no intelligible differentia rule applied or observed in classifying the import of oxygen concentrators into two categories. One, by the State and its agencies; and the other, by an individual for personal use by way of gift. So there was an absence of adequate determining principle . To bolster his argument, he shared the judgements of

a) Union of India vs. N.S. Rathnam & Sons, (2015) 10 SCC 681 (N.S. Ratnams and Sons Case) b) Shayara Bano vs. Union of India, (2017) 9 SCC 1 (Shayara Bano Case) The Amicus Curiae also rightly observed that the right to life also encompasses within it, the right to health. You cannot have one without the other and within that is the right to have affordable treatment. He further stated that the state does not only have a duty but a positive obligation is cast upon it to ensure that the citizen s health is secured. He again cited Navtej Singh Johars vs Union of India (Navtej Singh Johar Case) in defence of right to life. Mr. Datar also shared that unlike in normal circumstances, it is and should be enough to show distinct and noticeable burdensomeness which is directly attributable to the impugned/questionable tax. The gentleman cited Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Private Limited vs. Union of India, (1985) 1 SCC 641 (Indian Express case) 1985 which shared both about Article 19 (1) (a) and Article 21. Bloggers note At this juncture, I should point out which I am sharing the judgement and I would be sharing only the Amicus Curiae POV and then the judge s final observations. While I was reading it, I was stuck by the fact that the Amicus Curiae had cited 4 cases till now, 3 of them are pretty well known both in the legal fraternity and even among public at large. Another 3 which have been shared below which are also of great significance. Hence, felt the need to share the whole judgement. The Amicus Curiae further observed that this tax would have to be disproportionately will have to be paid by the old and the infirm, and they might find it difficult to pay the amounts needed to pay the customs duty/IGST as well as find the agent to pay in this pandemic. Blogger Note The situation with the elderly is something like this. Now there are a few things to note, only Central Govt. employees and pensioners get pensions which has been freezed since last year. The rest of the elderly population does not. The rate of interest has fallen to record lows from 5-6% in savings interest rate to 2% and on Fixed Deposits at 4.9% while the nominal inflation rate has up by 6% while CPI and real inflation rates are and would be much more. And this is when there is absolutely no demand in the economy. To add to all this, RBI shared a couple of months ago that fraud of 5 trillion rupees has been committed between 2015 and 2019 in banks. And this is different from the number of record NPA s that have been both in Public and Private Sector banks. To get out of this, the banks have squeezed their customers and are squeezing as well as asking GOI for bailouts. How much GOI is responsible for the frauds as well as NPA s would probably require its own space. And even now, RBI and banks have made heavy provisions as lockdowns are still a facet and are supposed to remain a facet till the end of the year or even next year (all depending upon when we get the vaccine). The Amicus Curiae further argued that the ventilators which are available locally are of bad quality. The result of all this has resulted in a huge amount of unsurmountable pressure on hospitals which they are unable to overcome. Therefore, the levy of IGST on oxygenators has direct impact on health of the citizen. So the examination of the law should not be by what intention it was but how it is affecting citizen rights now. For this he shared R.C.Cooper vs Union of India (another famous case R.C. Cooper vs Union of India) especially paragraph 49 and Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Association of India vs. Union of India, (1989) at paragraph 46 (Federation of Hotel Case) Mr. Datar further shared the Supreme Court order dated 18.12.2020, passed in Suo Moto Writ Petition(Civil) No.7/2020, to buttress the plea that the right to health includes the right to affordable treatment. Blogger s Note For those, who don t know Suo Moto is when the Court, whether Supreme Court or the High Courts take up a matter for public good. It could be in anything, law and order, Banking, Finance, Public Health etc. etc. This was the norm before 2014. The excesses of the executive were curtailed by both the Higher and the lower Judiciary. That is and was the reason that Judiciary is and was known as the third pillar of Indian democracy. A good characterization of Suo Moto can be found here. Before ending his submission, the learned Amicus Curiae also shared Jeeja Ghosh vs. Union of India, (2016) (Jeeja Ghosh Case, an outstanding case as it deals with people with disabilities and their rights and the observations made by the Division Bench of Hon ble Mr. Justice A. K. Sikri as well as Hon ble Mr. Justice R. K. Agrawal.) After Amicus Curiae completed his submissions, it was the turn of Mr. Sudhir Nandrajog, and he adopted the arguments and submissions made by the Amicus Curiae. The gentleman reiterated the facts of the case and how the impugned notification was violative of both Article 14 and 21 of the Indian Constitution. Blogger s Note The High Court s judgement which shows all the above arguments by the Amicus Curiae and the petitioner s lawyer also shared the State s view. It is only on page 24, where the Delhi High Court starts to share its own observations on the arguments of both sides. Judgement continued The first observation that the Court makes is that while the petitioner demonstrated that the impugned tax imposition would have a distinct and noticeable burdensomeness while the State did not state or share in any way how much of a loss it would incur if such a tax were let go and how much additional work would have to be done in order to receive this specific tax. It didn t need to do something which is down the wire or mathematically precise, but it didn t even care to show even theoretically how many people will be affected by the above. The counter-affidavit by the State is silent on the whole issue. The Court also contended that the State failed to prove how collecting IGST from the concerned individuals would help in fighting coronavirus in any substantial manner for the public at large. The High Court shared observations from the Navtej Singh Johar case where it is observed that the State has both negative and positive obligations to ensure that its citizens are able to enjoy the right to health. The High Court further made the point that no respectable person does like to be turned into a charity case. If the State contends that those who obey the law should pay the taxes then it is also obligatory on the state s part to lessen exactions such as taxes at the very least in times of war, famine, floods, epidemics and pandemics. Such an approach would lead a person to live a life of dignity which is part of Article 21 of the Constitution. Another point that was made by the State that only the GST council is able to make any changes as regards to exemptions rather than the State were found to be false as the State had made some exemptions without going to the GST council using its own powers under Section 25 of the Customs Act. The Court also points out that it does send a discriminatory pattern when somebody like petitioner has to pay the tax for personal use while those who are buying it for commercial use do not have to pay the tax. The Court agreed of the view of the Amicus Curiae, Mr. Datar that oxygenator should be taxed at NIL rate at IGST as it is part of life-saving drugs and oxygenator fits the bill as medical equipment as it is used in the treatment, mitigation and prevention of spread of Coronavirus. Mr. Datar also did show that oxygenator is placed at the same level as other life-saving drugs. The Court felt further emboldened as the observations by Supreme Court in State of Andhra Pradesh vs. Linde India Limited, 2020 ( State of Andhra Pradesh vs Linde Ltd.) The Court further shared many subsequent notifications from the State and various press releases by the State itself which does make the Court s point that oxygenators indeed are drugs as defined in the court case above. The State should have it as part of notification 190. This would preserve the start of the notification date from 03.05.2021 and the state would not have to issue a new notification. The Court further went to postulate that any persons similar to the petitioner could avail of the same, if they furnish a letter of undertaking to an officer designated by the State that the medical equipment would not be put to commercial use. Till the state does not do that, in the interim the importer could give the same undertaking to Joint Secretary, Customs or their nominee can hand over the same to custom officer. The Court also shared that it does not disagree with the State s arguments but the challenges which have arisen are in a unique time period/circumstances, so they are basing their judgement based on how the situation is. The Court also mentioned an order given by Supreme Court Diary No. 10669/2020 passed on 20.03.2020 where SC has taken pains to understand the issues faced by the citizens. The court also mentioned the Small Scale Industrial Manufactures Association Case (both of these cases I don t know) . So in conclusion, the Court holds the imposition of IGST on oxygenator which are imported by individuals as gifts from their relatives as unconstitutional. They also shared that any taxes taken by GOI in above scenario have to be returned. The relief to the state is they will not have to pay interest cost on the same. To check misuse of the same, the petitioner or people who are in similar circumstances would have to give a letter of undertaking to an officer designated by the State within 7 days of the state notifying the patient or anybody authorized by him/her to act on their behalf to share the letter of undertaking with the State. And till the State doesn t provide an officer, the above will continue. Hence, both the writ petition and the pending application are disposed off. The Registry is directed to release any money deposited by the petitioner along with any interest occurred on it (if any) . At the end they record appreciation of Mr. Arvind Datar, Mr. Zoheb Hossain, Mr. Sudhir Nandrajog as well as Mr. Siddharth Bambha. It is only due to their assistance that the court could reach the conclusion it did. For Delhi High Court RAJIV SHAKDHER, J. TALWANT SINGH, J. May 21, 2020 Blogger s Observations Now, after the verdict GOI does have few choices, either accept the verdict or appeal in the SC. A third choice is to make a committee and come to the same conclusions via the committee. GOI has done something similar in the past. If that happens and the same conclusions are reached as before, then the aggrieved may have no choice but to appear in the highest court of law. And this will put the aggrieved at a much more vulnerable place than before as SC court fees, lawyer fees etc. are quite high compared to High Courts. So, there is a possibility that the petitioner may not even approach unless and until some non-profit (NGO) does decide to fight and put it up as common cause or something similar. There is another judgement that I will share, probably tomorrow. Thankfully, that one is pretty short compared to this one. So it should be far more easier to read. FWIW, I did learn about the whole freeenode stuff and many channels who have shifted from freenode to libera. I will share my own experience of the same but that probably will take a day or two.
Zeeshan of IYC (India Youth Congress) along with Salman Khan s non-profit Being Human getting oxygenators
The above picture of Zeeshan. There have been a whole team of Indian Youth Congress workers (main opposition party to the ruling party) who have doing lot of relief effort. They have been buying Oxygenators from abroad with help of Being Human Foundation started by Salman Khan, an actor who works in A-grade movies in Bollywood.

2 February 2017

Paul Wise: FLOSS Activities January 2017




  • Debian: reboot 1 non-responsive VM, redirect 2 users to support channels, redirect 1 contributor to xkb upstream, redirect 1 potential contributor, redirect 1 bug reporter to mirror team, ping 7 folks about restarting processes with upgraded libs, manually restart the sectracker process due to upgraded libs, restart the package tracker process due to upgraded libs, investigate failures connecting to the XMPP service, investigate /dev/shm issue on abel.d.o, clean up after rename of the fedmsg group.
  • Debian mentors: lintian/security updates & reboot
  • Debian packages: deploy 2 contributions to the live server
  • Debian wiki: unblacklist 1 IP address, whitelist 10 email addresses, disable 18 accounts with bouncing email, update email for 2 accounts with bouncing email, reported 1 Debian member as MIA, redirect 1 user to support channels, add 4 domains to the whitelist.
  • Reproducible builds: rescheduled Debian pyxplot:amd64/unstable for themill.
  • Openmoko: security updates & reboots.

Debian derivatives
  • Send the annual activity ping mail.
  • Happy new year messages on IRC, forward to the list.
  • Note that SerbianLinux does not provide source packages.
  • Expand URL shortener on SerbianLinux page.
  • Invite PelicanHPC, Netrunner, DietPi, Hamara Linux (on IRC), BitKey to the census.
  • Add research publications link to the census template
  • Fix Symbiosis sources.list
  • Enquired about SalentOS downtime
  • Fixed and removed some 404 BlankOn links (blog, English homepage)
  • Fixed changes to AstraLinux sources.list
  • Welcome Netrunner to the census

Sponsors I renewed my support of Software Freedom Conservancy. The openchange 1:2.2-6+deb8u1 upload was sponsored by my employer. All other work was done on a volunteer basis.

30 November 2016

Chris Lamb: Free software activities in November 2016

Here is my monthly update covering what I have been doing in the free software world (previous month):
Reproducible builds

Whilst anyone can inspect the source code of free software for malicious flaws, most software is distributed pre-compiled to end users. The motivation behind the Reproducible Builds effort is to permit verification that no flaws have been introduced either maliciously or accidentally during this compilation process by promising identical results are always generated from a given source, thus allowing multiple third-parties to come to a consensus on whether a build was compromised.

This month:

My work in the Reproducible Builds project was also covered in our weekly reports. (#80, #81, #82 #83.

Toolchain issues I submitted the following patches to fix reproducibility-related toolchain issues with Debian:


strip-nondeterminism is our tool to remove specific non-deterministic results from a completed build. runs our comprehensive testing framework.

  • has moved to SSL. (ac3b9e7)
  • Submit signing keys to keyservers after generation. (bdee6ff)
  • Various cosmetic changes, including
    • Prefer if X not in Y over if not X in Y. (bc23884)
    • No need for a dictionary; let's just use a set. (bf3fb6c)
    • Avoid DRY violation by using a for loop. (4125ec5)

I also submitted 9 patches to fix specific reproducibility issues in apktool, cairo-5c, lava-dispatcher, lava-server, node-rimraf, perlbrew, qsynth, tunnelx & zp.


Debian LTS This month I have been paid to work 11 hours on Debian Long Term Support (LTS). In that time I did the following:
  • "Frontdesk" duties, triaging CVEs, etc.
  • Issued DLA 697-1 for bsdiff fixing an arbitrary write vulnerability.
  • Issued DLA 705-1 for python-imaging correcting a number of memory overflow issues.
  • Issued DLA 713-1 for sniffit where a buffer overflow allowed a specially-crafted configuration file to provide a root shell.
  • Issued DLA 723-1 for libsoap-lite-perl preventing a Billion Laughs XML expansion attack.
  • Issued DLA 724-1 for mcabber fixing a roster push attack.

  • redis:
    • 3.2.5-2 Tighten permissions of /var/ lib,log /redis. (#842987)
    • 3.2.5-3 & 3.2.5-4 Improve autopkgtest tests and install upstream's MANIFESTO and documentation.
  • gunicorn (19.6.0-9) Adding autopkgtest tests.
  • libfiu:
    • 0.94-1 Add autopkgtest tests.
    • 0.95-1, 0.95-2 & 0.95-3 New upstream release and improve autopkgtest coverage.
  • python-django (1.10.3-1) New upstream release.
  • aptfs (0.8-3, 0.8-4 & 0.8-5) Adding and subsequently improving the autopkgtext tests.

I performed the following QA uploads:

Finally, I also made the following non-maintainer uploads:
  • libident (0.22-3.1) Move from obsolete Source-Version substvar to binary:Version. (#833195)
  • libpcl1 (1.6-1.1) Move from obsolete Source-Version substvar to binary:Version. (#833196)
  • pygopherd ( Move from obsolete Source-Version substvar to $ source:Version . (#833202)

RC bugs

I also filed 59 FTBFS bugs against arc-gui-clients, asyncpg, blhc, civicrm, d-feet, dpdk, fbpanel, freeciv, freeplane, gant, golang-github-googleapis-gax-go, golang-github-googleapis-proto-client-go, haskell-cabal-install, haskell-fail, haskell-monadcatchio-transformers, hg-git, htsjdk, hyperscan, jasperreports, json-simple, keystone, koji, libapache-mod-musicindex, libcoap, libdr-tarantool-perl, libmath-bigint-gmp-perl, libpng1.6, link-grammar, lua-sql, mediatomb, mitmproxy, ncrack, net-tools, node-dateformat, node-fuzzaldrin-plus, node-nopt, open-infrastructure-system-images, open-infrastructure-system-images, photofloat, ppp, ptlib, python-mpop, python-mysqldb, python-passlib, python-protobix, python-ttystatus, redland, ros-message-generation, ruby-ethon, ruby-nokogiri, salt-formula-ceilometer, spykeviewer, sssd, suil, torus-trooper, trash-cli, twisted-web2, uftp & wide-dhcpv6.

FTP Team

As a Debian FTP assistant I ACCEPTed 70 packages: bbqsql, coz-profiler, cross-toolchain-base, cross-toolchain-base-ports, dgit-test-dummy, django-anymail, django-hstore, django-html-sanitizer, django-impersonate, django-wkhtmltopdf, gcc-6-cross, gcc-defaults, gnome-shell-extension-dashtodock, golang-defaults, golang-github-btcsuite-fastsha256, golang-github-dnephin-cobra, golang-github-docker-go-events, golang-github-gogits-cron, golang-github-opencontainers-image-spec, haskell-debian, kpmcore, libdancer-logger-syslog-perl, libmoox-buildargs-perl, libmoox-role-cloneset-perl, libreoffice, linux-firmware-raspi3, linux-latest, node-babel-runtime, node-big.js, node-buffer-shims, node-charm, node-cliui, node-core-js, node-cpr, node-difflet, node-doctrine, node-duplexer2, node-emojis-list, node-eslint-plugin-flowtype, node-everything.js, node-execa, node-grunt-contrib-coffee, node-grunt-contrib-concat, node-jquery-textcomplete, node-js-tokens, node-json5, node-jsonfile, node-marked-man, node-os-locale, node-sparkles, node-tap-parser, node-time-stamp, node-wrap-ansi, ooniprobe, policycoreutils, pybind11, pygresql, pysynphot, python-axolotl, python-drizzle, python-geoip2, python-mockupdb, python-pyforge, python-sentinels, python-waiting, pythonmagick, r-cran-isocodes, ruby-unicode-display-width, suricata & voctomix-outcasts. I additionally filed 4 RC bugs against packages that had incomplete debian/copyright files against node-cliui, node-core-js, node-cpr & node-grunt-contrib-concat.

7 August 2013

Keith Packard: Cursor tracking

Tracking Cursor Position I spent yesterday morning in the Accessibility BOF here at Guadec and was reminded that one persistent problem with tools like screen magnifiers and screen readers is that they need to know the current cursor position all the time, independent of which window the cursor is in and independent of grabs. The current method that these applications are using to track the cursor is to poll the X server using XQueryPointer. This is obviously terrible for at least a couple of reasons: These two problems also conflict with one another. Reducing input latency comes at the cost of further reducing the opportunities for power saving, and vice versa. XInput2 to the rescue (?) XInput2 has the ability to deliver raw device events right to applications, bypassing the whole event selection mechanism within the X server. This was designed to let games and other applications see relative mouse motion events and drawing applications see the whole tablet surface. These raw events are really raw though; they do not include the cursor position, and so cannot be directly used for tracking. However, we do know that the cursor only moves in response to input device events, so we can easily use the arrival of a raw event to trigger a query for the mouse position. A better plan? Perhaps what we should do is to actually create a new event type to report the cursor position and the containing window so that applications can simply track that. Yeah, it s a bit of a special case, but it s a common requirement for accessibility tools.
        detail:                    CARD32
        sourceid:                  DEVICEID
        flags:                     DEVICEEVENTFLAGS
    root:                      WINDOW
    window:                    WINDOW
    root-x, root-y:            INT16
    window-x, window-y:        INT16
A CursorEvent is sent whenever a sprite moves on the screen. sourceid is the master pointer which is moving. root is the root window containing the cursor, window is the window that the pointer is in. root-x and root-y indicate the position within the root window, window-x and window-y indicate the position within window . Demo Application Here s a short application, hacked from Peter Hutterer s part1.c
/* cc -o track_cursor track_cursor.c  pkg-config --cflags --libs xi x11  */
#include <stdio.h>
#include <string.h>
#include <X11/Xlib.h>
#include <X11/extensions/XInput2.h>
/* Return 1 if XI2 is available, 0 otherwise */
static int has_xi2(Display *dpy)
    int major, minor;
    int rc;
    /* We support XI 2.2 */
    major = 2;
    minor = 2;
    rc = XIQueryVersion(dpy, &major, &minor);
    if (rc == BadRequest)  
    printf("No XI2 support. Server supports version %d.%d only.\n", major, minor);
    return 0;
      else if (rc != Success)  
    fprintf(stderr, "Internal Error! This is a bug in Xlib.\n");
    printf("XI2 supported. Server provides version %d.%d.\n", major, minor);
    return 1;
static void select_events(Display *dpy, Window win)
    XIEventMask evmasks[1];
    unsigned char mask1[(XI_LASTEVENT + 7)/8];
    memset(mask1, 0, sizeof(mask1));
    /* select for button and key events from all master devices */
    XISetMask(mask1, XI_RawMotion);
    evmasks[0].deviceid = XIAllMasterDevices;
    evmasks[0].mask_len = sizeof(mask1);
    evmasks[0].mask = mask1;
    XISelectEvents(dpy, win, evmasks, 1);
int main (int argc, char **argv)
    Display *dpy;
    int xi_opcode, event, error;
    XEvent ev;
    dpy = XOpenDisplay(NULL);
    if (!dpy)  
    fprintf(stderr, "Failed to open display.\n");
    return -1;
    if (!XQueryExtension(dpy, "XInputExtension", &xi_opcode, &event, &error))  
       printf("X Input extension not available.\n");
          return -1;
    if (!has_xi2(dpy))
    return -1;
    /* select for XI2 events */
    select_events(dpy, DefaultRootWindow(dpy));
    XGenericEventCookie *cookie = &ev.xcookie;
    XIRawEvent      *re;
    Window          root_ret, child_ret;
    int         root_x, root_y;
    int         win_x, win_y;
    unsigned int        mask;
    XNextEvent(dpy, &ev);
    if (cookie->type != GenericEvent  
        cookie->extension != xi_opcode  
        !XGetEventData(dpy, cookie))
    switch (cookie->evtype)  
    case XI_RawMotion:
        re = (XIRawEvent *) cookie->data;
        XQueryPointer(dpy, DefaultRootWindow(dpy),
                  &root_ret, &child_ret, &root_x, &root_y, &win_x, &win_y, &mask);
        printf ("raw %g,%g root %d,%d\n",
            re->raw_values[0], re->raw_values[1],
            root_x, root_y);
    XFreeEventData(dpy, cookie);
    return 0;
Hacks in xeyes Of course, one common mouse tracking application is xeyes, so I ve hacked up that code (on top of my present changes) here:
git clone git://

9 August 2011

Matt Zimmerman: Where s your data center?

Thanks to the tremendous growth of social applications over the past five years, we have our pick of services for collecting, saving and sharing our experiences online. We each have collections of photos, contacts, messages and more, spread across multiple popular services like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, as well as many less popular services which address particular needs or preferences. We re also producing a wealth of exhaust data through our browsing history, mobile sensors, transactions and other activity streams that we rarely if ever examine directly. This ecosystem is becoming so complex that it s easy to lose track of what you ve created, shared or seen. We need new tools to manage this complexity, to make the most of the wealth of information and connections available to us through various services. John Battelle calls these metaservices , and points to growth in the number of connections between the services we use. I expect that this next age of information tools will center around data rather than services. Data is a common denominator for these online experiences, a bridge across disparate services, technologies, social graphs, and life cycles. Personal data, in particular, has this property: the only thing that links together your photos on Flickr, Facebook, Picasa and Twitpic is you. So where s your data center ? I don t anticipate the emergence of a single service where you do everything. There will continue to be innovation in the form of new and specialized services which meet a particular need very well. There won t be a single service which is everything to everybody. Instead, I foresee us wanting to track, save, use and control all of our stuff across the web. That s why my new colleagues and I are working to make that possible. There s open source code available on github, a vibrant IRC channel (#lockerproject on Freeenode), and lots more I d like to write about it. But it s time to get back to work for now

9 November 2010

Julien Valroff: I am a Debian Developer!

A few months after starting the NM process, I have just been accepted as a Debian Developer. My account name is simply: julien I have been a Debian user for about 10 years now, and have begun contributing to Debian in 2005. I have then been accepted as a Debian Maintainer in 2007. This post is mainly to thank: Also thanks to all people who have already sent their congratulations, it makes me very proud!

13 May 2008

David Welton: Restaurants, immigrants, and the popularity of various cuisines

A little off-topic exercise conducted in the "eye of the storm", when Ilenia and Helen were still in the hospital: A post on Seth Robert's blog brings up the idea that many Chinese restaurants were opened as a way to go into business without competing with native male workers. The post made the rounds of several other online journals. That was the push I needed to get up and go collect a few statistics of my own, regarding an idea I've been kicking around for a while. My theory is that the number of restaurants of a given type, divided by the number of immigrants from that country might be an interesting way of guaging the popularity of the cuisine in question. In order to simplify things just a bit, I actually used data from Italy, for the following reasons: Unfortunately, finding out the number of restaurants of various types is far from an exact measurement, and since this is a quick fun project, I just went for Yahoo search (they deserve credit for keeping their search API open when Google's was closed) results on terms like "Ristorante Turco" (Turkish), "Ristorante Messicano" (Mexican), and so on. This was the most expedient means of gathering information quickly, but this approach does present a number of obvious problems, listed here in the hope that someone without diapers to change and a business to run might come up with some good answers: That said, for a quick project, this approach seemed to work out ok, and the results appear credible. Obviously, the results also reflect people discussing certain cuisines, rather than an actual number of restaurants, but since it does reflect interest, we'll use the number in any case. Since the number of restaurants/interest in a type of restaurant was clearly not correlated directly with the number of immigrants, other factors must come into play. For instance, "ristorante giapponese" turns up 125,000 hits, but the stats say only 6873 Japanese nationals live in Italy. As above, hits don't mean actual restaurants, but clearly Japanese cuisine is not being popularized through immigration. Here's my guess: these statistics show, to some degree, what people in the host country actually like to eat. Food that tastes good means more restaurants. Things that aren't that popular mean few restaurants, even if there are many immigrants. To pick on one country, there are many Philippino immigrants in Italy, but very few search hits - and anecdotally, I've never seen a Philippino restaurant in Italy either, whereas even smaller towns like Padova have Chinese, Mexican (well, it's called that, even if it's a shadow of the real thing), Japanese, various Arab and middle eastern restaurants, and even a few less common things like Eritrean. And I know that many native and foreign restaurants employ Philippino cooks. Below is the chart I whipped up showing the number of Yahoo hits per immigrant. The Italian names shouldn't be too hard to figure out. A few tricky ones: Giordano-Jordanian, Giamaicano-Jamaican, Spagnolo-Spanish. If you're interested in numbers or source code, contact me. Immigrants and Restaurants