Marcello Barnaba Homepage (A Blog)

CouchDB 0.11 Invalid UTF-8 JSON: Solved

If your CouchDB 0.11 gives you the “Invalid UTF-8 JSON” error on every POST or PUT you issue to it, make sure that in your $prefix/usr/lib/couchdb/erlang/lib there aren’t leftovers from previous installations.

On our dev server, I found there two directories (“couch-0.10” and “mochiweb-r97“) from the old 0.10 setup that were causing this issue.

This applies if you upgraded from source, as you’ve probably did, because there aren’t too many packages of CouchDB 0.11 as of April 2010 :-).

Huge thanks to @couchdb for hinting me in the right direction after reading a report on the dev mailing list but I didn’t want to “remove and reinstall” because I like to understand what’s going on ;-).

Footnote: could this be the end of Hiatus? I hope so ;-p

Posted at 19PM on 04/03/10 | 1 comment | Filed Under: development

Doing something is always better than doing nothing

From the stage of web2.0 Expo 2008 in San Francisco, Clay Shirky talks about the social revolution carried by web2.0 into contemporary society, from TV to Wikipedia and World of Warcraft. And twitter still had to be globally recognized, in 2008.

Original video file and related discussion here (courtesy of Score: 5 (insightful)

Posted at 15PM on 06/12/09 | 0 comments | Filed Under:

Rails3: Better, Faster, Stronger

For those who understand italian, I’ve just published an article on on the upcoming Ruby on Rails framework release, version 3.0: the big news is the merger with another ruby web framework, merb.

Have a nice read! :-)

Posted at 14PM on 06/04/09 | 0 comments | Filed Under: development

It just takes one person to get the party started

  • The sad conclusion: «humans are such herd animals»
  • The good conclusion: «virality has always existed, it’s not an invention of Web2.0. Social networking is just a powerful tool for everyone that wants to change the world»
  • The mean conclusion: «how much does it take to get people from their computers to the real world after a virtual “heads up” by some “dancing man”?»
Posted at 10AM on 05/31/09 | 0 comments | Filed Under: number 42

E-Privacy 2009: Towards Global Control

The Recipe



Take the whole social environment, utterly unprepared to the media \(r)evolution happening in the last years, and let the hackers observe and talk/write about it. Bring in the lawyers, and let them recognize that “Houston! We’ve got a problem!”, whilst also they define it via lawspeak. Ask questions, and participate to interesting debates.

Now, deliver the 2007 big brother award to the Google Representative, let the sun dive in the hills, add a noticeable amount of Tuscany red wine, and get ready for the next day. Let the paranoia flow, while the hackers show how you can be traced and found via the cellular network and spied via wifi-networked cameras placed there for your safety.

Watch the undelivered Big Brother Awards 2009 sit on the speakers’ desk and suddenly put on sale on ebay, and go back home, where you read about, and watch, a video-edited interview to the italian PM.

Put everything into the fridge, and give your brain two days to metabolize it. Then write it all LOUD [ .. ]

continue reading >>>

Posted at 13PM on 05/28/09 | 1 comment | Filed Under: development politics

The best way to begin a new day

XFS internal error XFS_WANT_CORRUPTED_RETURN at line 295 of file fs/xfs/xfs_alloc.c.  Caller 0xc018066c
 [<c017fed0>] xfs_alloc_fixup_trees+0x1b0/0x2e0
 [<c018066c>] xfs_alloc_ag_vextent_near+0x31c/0x9c0
 [<c018066c>] xfs_alloc_ag_vextent_near+0x31c/0x9c0
 [<c0180187>] xfs_alloc_ag_vextent+0xf7/0x100
 [<c01824fe>] xfs_alloc_vextent+0x35e/0x420
 [<c019015d>] xfs_bmap_alloc+0x80d/0x12b0
 [<c0111254>] try_to_wake_up+0xa4/0xc0
 [<c02cf248>] schedule+0x308/0x5c0
 [<c01939c4>] xfs_bmapi+0x514/0x1470
 [<c0130069>] find_lock_page+0x29/0xe0
 [<c013013c>] find_or_create_page+0x1c/0xb0
 [<c01d9116>] kmem_zone_zalloc+0x26/0x50
 [<c01a2296>] xfs_dir2_grow_inode+0xf6/0x3c0

continue reading >>>

Posted at 10AM on 05/26/09 | 0 comments | Filed Under: number 42

Girl Geek Dinners Workshop @Apple Store, 16 May 2009, Rome

«Women! The knife grinder is here!» – Apart from funny jokes ;) the italian Apple Store together with Girl Geek Dinners Roma organized on May 16, 2009, a workshop about mobile lifestyle (focusing on the iPhone, of course).

Let’s start from the beginning: what are the Girl Geek Dinners? Linda explained to the audience (nearly 20 people) that a geek is a person passionate about technology in a broader sense: the GGD is a group devoted to aggregate women interested about the internet, new medias and technologic lifestyles. Women are often underestimated in geek communities, and this embarassing clichè generated a lot of discussion in the past, and it’s still unsolved (in my opinion).

The GGD italian group was born in 2007 in Milan, and then arrived to Rome in 2008, and is also present in Bologna and in the Marche and Emilia-Romagna states.

So, the GGD group tries to generate a “critical mass” of geek women, to abolish a stereotype that “computer programmers / power users” are only men: in GGD events boys listen and girls talk, [ .. ]

continue reading >>>

Posted at 15PM on 05/18/09 | 0 comments | Filed Under: number 42

The conceptual foundations and the economics network neutrality [Part 2] - 14 May 2009, Rome

This is the second part of my recap of the convention held in Rome on May 14, 2009, and hosted by the ICT consultants foundation Fondazione Ugo Bordoni.

In the first part I described the morning session, dedicated to the definition of Network neutrality, and how global economics can cope with it. The afternoon was dedicated to more technical talks, and I had the occasion to hear telcos spokesmen remarks over the current situation and possible future developments.

The first speech started at 2.15PM and was held by Prof. Vittorio Trecordi (slides available here). He introduced it by stating that net neutrality could possibly contrast with the economic development and security assessment, because of the wiretapping needed for the latter, tap that is strongly against [ .. ]

continue reading >>>

Posted at 01AM on 05/17/09 | 2 comments | Filed Under: politics

The conceptual foundations and the economics network neutrality [Part 1] - 14 May 2009, Rome

Neutrality – “Economy is dematerializing”

Solicited by a Facebook message sent to all the members of the – for a neutral Internet members on 6 May 2009, I stumbled upon this interesting event I had the occasion to participate, held in the 17th century Rospigliosi palace in the heart of Rome.

In this photo: Kenneth Carter and Stefano Quintarelli

The preface looked pretty good: professors, Ph.Ds, telco spokesmen and politicians speaking about the internet, its inborn freedom, and how to cope with this in a society where security measures are constantly increasing, and as such contrast in a virtual world with no barriers whatsoever. Furthermore, it’s a virtual arena in which everything can be free, not only information, and people is becoming accustomed to it [ .. ]

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Posted at 02AM on 05/16/09 | 0 comments | Filed Under: politics

Facebook Developer Garage 2009, Milan (Italy)

This is my recap of the first italian facebook developer garage, held in milan on April 23, 2009, and hosted by mikamai. The morning has been dedicated to developer sessions, the afternoon to marketing & communication ones. Some videos of the event are available here.

Morning: developer session

The first talk was held by James Leszczenski, facebook engineer, who presented the connect platform vision, mission, and values. interesting, besides the talk, for user participation: the audience was deeply interested about which information they get from facebook, how should they handle it, and which means connect does provide to match identities and find friends on an enabled web site.

Later I had the occasion to ask James about whether FB was inclined or not to adopt OpenID as an authentication method: [ ... ]

continue reading >>>

Posted at 23PM on 04/26/09 | 1 comment | Filed Under: development politics

A tweeting (geeky) parrot

I’m searching for a new pet. We already have two lovely cats, but after feeling how alive an house can be with many pets (after a beautiful night @ il quadrato mansion), I’m thinking about having another one to grow and love.

But, what kind of geek am I, if I don’t add a nerdy bit to it? So, after the brain twitter interface about which we talked about so much in the last days, this evening a quite random funny thought has stumbled into my mind: what about getting a grey parrot, grow it, learn it to talk, and letting him .. well, tweet his words using a speech recognition system put right aside its bar and linked to a twitter account? How weird would be that?! :D

Tweeting parrot

Thinking deeply, the weirdest thing is that in 2009, a tweeting parrot makes me think about a “parrot with access to twitter” .. and not a bird emitting its natural verse. Am I overloaded by this social media thingie? Should I take some vacation?

I guess. But not right now. The first italian facebook developer garage is right two days away..


Image courtesy of @ozjulian on flickr, CC BY-NC-SA

Posted at 23PM on 04/21/09 | 1 comment | Filed Under: number 42

Notice to all employees

( As read on full-disclosure )

Subject: Notice to all employees
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2009 13:06:14 -0500

Dear employees,

Due to the current financial situation caused by the slowdown
of the economy, Management has decided to implement a scheme
to put workers of 40 years of age and above on early retirement.

This scheme will be known as RAPE (Retire Aged People Early).

Persons selected to be RAPED can apply to management to be eligible
for the SHAFT scheme (Special Help After Forced Termination).
Persons who have been RAPED and SHAFTED will be reviewed under the
SCREW programme (Scheme Covering Retired Early Workers). A person
may be RAPED once, SHAFTED twice and SCREWED as many times as
Management deems appropriate.

Persons who have been RAPED can only get AIDS (Additional Income
for Dependants & Spouse) or HERPES (Half Eamings for Retired
Personnel Early Severance).

Obviously persons who have AIDS or HERPES will not be SHAFTED or
SCREWED any further by Management.

Persons who are not RAPED and are staying on will receive as much
SHIT (Special High Intensity Training) as possible. Management
has always prided itself on the amount of SHIT it gives employees.

Should you feel that you do not receive enough SHIT, please bring
to the attention of your Supervisor. They have been trained to
give you all the SHIT you can handle.


The Management

( I hope you enjoyed this :) There is also an USAF version from 1997 ).

Posted at 23PM on 03/02/09 | 0 comments | Filed Under: number 42 politics


This is, a weblog by Marcello Barnaba (@vjt) about technology, ruby, development, software, the internet, entertainment, politics, sociology, and the answer to Life, Universe, and Everything (42).