Thursday, August 21, 2014

Review: Starry skies (Swedish: Stjärnklart)

“An apocalyptic novel and thriller in the same vein as Justin Cronin’s The Passage and The Twelve Technology has no immune system …”

Author and weblogger Lars Wilderäng writes and manages Cornucopia?, a blog that is rated as Sweden’s largest independent blog on economics, politics, financial issues, energy crisis and environmental issues. He has previously worked in the IT service industry but has for some years now but is now devoting his time to his family, day trading, writing and farming on his own small (?) holding. Newsigned Books has a interview with Lars Wilderäng here. A less frequently updated blog in English is found here and the Swedish version is here

His two first books  Midvinter mörker (Midwinter darkness) was his debut novel in the Military techno triller genre which was well received in Sweden and followed up by Midsommar gryning (Midsummer’s dawn). As I enjoyed these two books I was eager (well very eager) to pick up an pre-release copy of his latest book, “Starry skies”.

Starry skies is a thrilling start to his new realistic apocalypse trilogy (no vampires, “just” humans).  It departs from the techno thriller genre to enter a more civilian world that might reach a larger audience. Wilderäng has described similar events and prepping in his blog and understands that these kind of events can happen, and understands how todays high-tech society is very fragile when humanities support from our current technology is disrupted, such as sewage pumps… 

Wilderäng puts his characters through events that penetrates deep into the heart of our modern societies naïve trust of technology.  As a reader the horror of Wilderäng's tale lies not alone the described events, but with the  reactions of the individuals and groups that are described and how it changes the way they interact with one another. This is of course based on modern crowd-control strategies and psychology.

This is definitely the best Swedish book I have read in this genre, and is easily matches best sellers in the genre such as “One Second After” and “Lucifer's Hammer”, which means that I highly recommend Starry skies, and that it will be a harrowing experience that will make you see to your house, since it is a a trilogy of course it ends with a star hanger…

I end here with a quote describing the way population will shrink until it can be supported by the available technology: 
The power of population is so superior to the power of the earth to produce subsistence for man, that premature death must in some shape or other visit the human race. The vices of mankind are active and able ministers of depopulation. They are the precursors in the great army of destruction, and often finish the dreadful work themselves. But should they fail in this war of extermination, sickly seasons, epidemics, pestilence, and plague advance in terrific array, and sweep off their thousands and tens of thousands. Should success be still incomplete, gigantic inevitable famine stalks in the rear, and with one mighty blow levels the population with the food of the world.

—Malthus T.R. 1798. An essay on the principle of population. Chapter VII, p61.”

Now of course the year long wait starts for the next instalment, but remember: 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Business to Buttons

Videos och presentationer från den UX-konferensen Business to Buttons i Stockholm den 4 april finns publicerade på

"From Business to Buttons is the meeting place in Scandinavia for everyone who wants hands-on advice on how to generate business value by creating great user experiences."

Sunday, April 13, 2014

From Windows to Mac Part 1

or... How to be happy as a (java/scala) developer on your new fresh  Mac

Parts (one, two, three)

Although I have been using Apple Macintosh since 1994 (and NEXT) I have been mainly using Windows for developing and Mac for some home development and entertainment systems.

This is the tools I have started to use during my first months.


The most important thing first - the terminal. For a terminal I use ITerm 2, a terminal replacement that has some great features. Most importently a good fullscreen mode with tmux like split-panes  Split panes is a great thing when you are compiling/checking logs in different windows at the same time. This is great for development and operations work. 

Usually I have a full screen with three or so panes so I can se build status, logs at the same time.

ITerm shortcuts from Cheatsheet

It is also simple to move focus between the windows with the keyboard or mouse. I show some of these commands in the video below, for example:  Shift-⌘-Enter⏎. enlarges the current windows to maxsize,   


The fonts I mainly use (for coding and console applications) are:

Keyboard setup

To modify the default keyboard you can use Ukelele. Ukelele is a Unicode Keyboard Layout Editor for Mac OS X versions 10.2 and later.

I have a Swedish keyboard and I hava remapped some of the keys and removed the dead-key sequences for ^ and ~. I started with this keymap from Martin Wernestål  and I have remapped the caps-lock key as per A useful Caps Lock key

Mouse acceleration

Standard mouse acceleration on OS X is not great, SmoothMouse for OS X solves that problem. 

The Package manager

I use Homebrew and Appstore as package managers

Note that Homebrew Cask extends Homebrew and brings its elegance, simplicity, and speed to OS X applications and large binaries alike.

Installed brews 

These are my installed brews, I wont go into detail about them but have a look at the bold linked ones, you should have a look at if you don't know about hem already. Install with:
$ brew install <brew>

The following is a gist with my current "brews"

The Shell

I use Zsh with oh-my-zsh installed. I do not have so many specific settings but the below are the ones I have in my zshrc: 

plugins=(git brew tmux scala sbt github gradle mvn screen vi-mode java )
 #Jdk versions
alias setjdk16='export JAVA_HOME=$(/usr/libexec/java_home -v 1.6)'
alias setjdk17='export JAVA_HOME=$(/usr/libexec/java_home -v 1.7)'
alias setjdk18='export JAVA_HOME=$(/usr/libexec/java_home -v 1.8)'
bindkey '\e[A' history-beginning-search-backward
bindkey '\e[B' history-beginning-search-forward

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Sweden: Daily average temperature deviation from the normal, December 2013

SMHI Site 

The maps below show how much the average temperature for each day differs (in ° C) from the normal mean temperature for that day (average 1961-1990). The deviation graphs are based on observations from about 300 stations daily reports the temperatures.


Vetenskapsjournalisten Ann Fernholm granskar historien bakom våra kostråd. Aldrig tidigare har vi ätit så mycket socker som nu. Det kan vara orsaken till den pågående epidemi av fetma och diabetes som sveper över världen.

Liv med autism

Möt barn och ungdomar med diagnos inom autismspektrumet. Deras familjer berättar om utredningar, träningsprogram, skolformer, boendealternativ och om möten med läkare, psykologer, pedagoger och assistenter. Sorg, kamp och frustration speglas i programmen, men också hopp och förtröstan. Vi möter en rad pedagoger, assistenter och behandlare som säger sig ha gjort sitt livs yrkesval den dagen de började arbeta med barn och unga med autism. Föreläsare och forskare kompletterar de personliga berättelserna med teoretiska fakta. Medverkar gör bland andra Christopher Gillberg, professor, Gunilla Gerland, författare och utbildare, Bo Hejlskov Elvén, psykolog och föreläsare och Christina Renlund, psykolog och psykoterapeut.