php 5.6 on CentOS 7 using puppet

CentOS 7 ships with php 5.4.16 but php is fast moving again so sometimes someone wants to use the new shiny version. The potentially best supported set of new software for CentOS and Red Hat is Software Collections (SCL) Here is how to set up SCL with puppet and have php 5.6 installed:

Different English

I have lived in and traveled to a number of countries, and every day as part of my work I deal with people from countries I have not even been to yet.  We speak English to each other, but it's not the same English, it's different, and some of the differences are huge and can cause some comical misunderstandings.  People are usually not really aware that parts of their local version of English are so unique, until they find this out the hard way. I'm outlining some examples that I have come across: England... Burgers and patties, and burgers. Everyone knows what a hamburger is, or often called simply 'a burger'.  Well, not really.   The Wikipedia description is 'a sandwich consisting of one or more cooked patties of ground meat, usually beef, placed inside a sliced bun'   That's all good and well, until you go to where English comes from: England. USA: What do you call that piece of meat inside of your burger? England: A burger. USA: So, you hav

logstash rule for PowerMTA accounting files

It turns out that the logstash, elasticsearch, Kibana (ELK) stack is also very useful for mail server logs from PowerMTA.  PowerMTA's main method of logging is to the accounting files, this is a CSV format file, and logstash has a CSV filter. To use the logstash filter on an accounting file:

Don't Pirate, Support Alternatives

People just consider the marginal cost of the media when they steal it and don't consider it as theft. But most of the cost is for the licence, you've stolen a piece of data, just like one can steal an idea or steal a name or steal a title. You don't deprive the owner of the item, but you do deprive him of the value of your extra copy. If I steal your idea without your permission and implement it and gain from it, without giving you your cut, then I have deprived you from those gains. What really disgusts me is when people justify piracy this way as their means to acquire material if they don't agree with the price and distribution mechanism. That's the same kind of thinking as that of a thief, a thief doesn't want to pay the price of something so steals it instead. That is bad for everyone. If one is really angry at the movie, music and software production and distribution industry or their prices and media, stop consuming their stuff.

We Don't Need No Population Control

Yes, the world can't sustain the current level of growth of population forever if everything else continued to be done in the same way. The reality is, everything else doesn't continue to be done in the same way. If we kept on using wood like we did 100 years ago, we would have run out long ago. It's not because we suddenly came to this realisation, it's because we ended up in a position that other materials are better and cheaper to use and used more of that instead. You know, economics.  Population growth through birth is also subject to the same economics, these things adjust themselves, it's beautiful. Starvation is not an issue of a lack of resources today, it's because of the lack of efficiency and distribution and horrible economic atrocities committed by the governments of some third world countries.  We produce more food than we consume, and waste some, yet people go hungry in other places. Just because the problem in these areas woul

Life in the First World, and London

You leave the house, with your car parked in the garage, where you could get to the garage through an inside door. Garage door opens electrically with motors.  You drive to work, you park in the parking garage underneath the office, get out and walk to take the lift up to the floor where you work.  After work you can drive past the ATM and get some cash out, and to the drive-through take out and get some food, and drive home, and park in the garage. When you go shopping, it's to a mall, where you can park. The mall has a roof over it, so when it rains the water doesn't fall onto your head when you move between shops, and has air conditioning so you don't break too much of a sweat doing your shopping in summer, or heating in winter. It's only when I moved to London that I realised this way of life is not obvious, and people spend much more time just getting the basics done like getting to work and back and shopping, and also less free time to spend w

Redistributing Wealth in the Eurozone

I find the dynamics of the expectation of countries having to bail out other countries in the Eurozone quite interesting. Normally, inside a nation, say France, you have wealth distribution since politicians and the public can, through taxes, take money from the rich in order to help the poor. This works where the notion exist that it's fair to take money from the rich, because the rich are rich because of luck or power, or whatever and the poor are those who are less fortunate. Now it gets interesting where you get the same dynamic in the Eurozone, where the countries that can't manage their economy well because of their bad policies, corruption, incompetence, etc. want to get financial assistance.  They want countries that have managed their economy well to bail them out. It gets extra interesting, since Germany is a country where wealth is not something that was created because of imperial conquest or the likes, or because of abundant natural resources. The