Weekly Notes 38/2023

It's been a week of meeting friends and family. We kept it close for the first couple of weeks so we could get to know each other. Now that we are comfortable as a unit, we slowly have friends and family over

Echo, Pathu and Me
Old but my favorite photo Echo, Pathu and Me. They have been very very nice to Uma and I am very proud of them.
  • I recorded a small mobile screencast to demonstrate adding Surveillance cameras using the Every Door App. The YouTube version is in the post  Mapping Surveillance in Bangalore using OpenStreetMap. The post also has a link to a downloadable video file if you like that. 
  • I parsed the Bengaluru Safe City Project tender document—extracted the Proposed and Existing Locations of CCTVs Data, and created a  Map to explore the same. All and more details are on the Surveillance in Bengaluru project page.
  • The battery of my GoPro Hero+ went kaput this week. I had to get a new battery. It's a non-standard battery( at least, according to me, none of my other devices use it) and a pain to find and get one.  
  • One thing that I like about LLMs is how self-host-friendly they have become over time. In a year, it has become possible for technically savvy folks to run it locally. Apps like SpeechNote (GithubFlathub) make it just an install. Users don't have to know it's running entirely locally. GPU will become affordable in a couple of years, and we will have many more experiments in the self-hosting world—at least, that is the hope.

Note : Due to a weird bug in WordPress, the post content didn't update the first time but got published. I tried saving, but it failed. I had to enable the WordPress debug to figure out the error. The error was "WordPress database error: Processing the value for the following field failed: post_content. The supplied value may be too long or contains invalid data." But since this was a small post, I thought it must be something else. I doubted an emoji that I had cut and pasted. I removed the emoji, and I was able to save the content. 

The emoji character I was trying to copy-paste was U+1F449, its UTF-8 encoding is 0xF0 0x9F 0x91 0x89. As you can see, it's 4 bytes long, and in my Mysql column post_content was longtext, but it's collation is utf8mb3_general_ci. Allows a maximum of three bytes per multi-byte character. Hence the error. Now if I really wanted this emoji, I could have gone using HTML Entity way 👉 . Which is what you are seeing below as a right side pointing finger.


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