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a man slumped on his desk, from 'The Sleep of Reason Produces



Archive for the ‘Status: Somewhat Confident’ Category


For bots interested in 3D acceleration in Debian, modesetting edition

This is really for people searching for extremely specific search conditions. My TLDR; is: “Have you tried doing upgrading libgmb1?”

For everyone else (and to make all the keywords work). I recently magically lost 3D hardware acceleration on my laptop running X, which has an Intel HD520 graphics card buried within it.  It was a real puzzle what had happened — one day everything was working fine, and the next I had noticed it was disabled and I was running slooow software emulation. XWindows’ modesetting drivers should be able to use acceleration on this system just fine, at least after around Linux 4.4 or so.

I spent a lot of time staring at the /var/log/Xorg.0.log, and in particular these sad lines:

and, later

Those were the only clues I had. I got to that painful point where you search for every combination of words you can think of, and all the links in Google’s results glow the visited link purple of “you already tried clicking on that.”

Anyway, to cut my long story short (and hopefully your story too, person out there desperately searching for EGL_MESA_drm_image etc), I eventually find the answer in this thread about modesetting and xserver-xorg-core on Jessie/unstable, from the awesome and endlessly patient Andreas Boll:

> > If you use mesa from experimental you need to upgrade all binary
> > packages of mesa.
> > Upgrading libgbm1 to version 12.0.1-3 should fix glamor and 3d acceleration.

Tried it. Worked for me. I hope it works for you too!

Moral: everyone who is brave enough to own up to their problems on the Internet is a hero to me, as well as everyone who steps in to help them. Also, I guess you shouldn’t run a Frankendebian (even though everybody does).


circling around

Yes, I’m increasingly excited (with an estimated excitement half-life of eight days) about reading lots of academic papers. I always enjoyed hanging out at paper-oriented conferences like SIGCHI, when I was a teenager I would read Nature in the public library and imagined what it would be like to understand a damn thing in it. I remember someone asking Kevin Kelly (pbuh) what he was reading and he said “oh I only read scientific papers these days” which is such a burn. Clearly it is my destiny to read random academic papers and stitch an unassailable theory of life from them. Or at least spend a week lowering my respect for the entire academia.

Today, I read (which is to say skimmed), Cowgill, Bo, and Eric Zitzewitz. “Corporate Prediction Markets: Evidence from Google, Ford, and Firm X.” The Review of Economic Studies (2015): rdv014, and Rachel Cummings, David M. Pennock, Jennifer Wortman Vaughan. “The Possibilities and Limitations of Private Prediction Markets”, arXiv:1602.07362 [cs.GT] (2016). Look at me, I’m citing.

The main thing I learned is that Google’s internal prediction market worked by letting people turn their fake money won on the market into lottery tickets for a monthly prize (with another prize for most prolific speculator). Clever trick to incentivize people but not turn it into an underground NASDAQ or somesuch.

Meanwhile, I recalled last night the Enron Email Dataset, a publicly available pile of 500,000 emails from 1999-2004. Will it corroborate my evidence that subject lines get longer every year?


This is a steeper trend over the time period than my own corpus — 2.63 extra characters a year! I’m fretting a bit that it’s some artifact of a rookie statistical mistake I’m making, or the fact that there’s simply being more email over time. Someone who knows more than me on these matters, drop me a line — preferably a very long and descriptive one.

I’ve updated the code to include a function that can parse the Enron Depravities. You can get the latest Enron dataset here (423MB).


petit disclaimer:
My employer has enough opinions of its own, without having to have mine too.