Thursday, 23 June 2016

The Neon Demon

Wow... The Neon Demon is just amazing. A piece of art that is unconventional, intense, daring and transgressor. I would say that it borders the aesthetical perfection, with some parts that are just mesmerizing. Having watched it on the big screen (well, the screen of the small room of the lovely American Cosmograph, is not that big), there are a couple of sections that made me feel as if I were in the middle of a VJ session :-). This work of art combines the beauty of the image (and bodies :-) with the sick and grotesque with lunatic mastery.

Branding it of transgressor is rather justified considering that it portrays one of the most extreme sex scenes that I've ever watched on a "normal" movie (guys, we're talking about lesbian necrophilia!), but the whole feeling of the film is transgressor, fresh and addictive. Furthermore, there is a moral in the story, I would sum it up like "Obsessions with beauty can rot you to the bone". I don't feel like taking about the plot, this is just a total must film, a sensorial experience that is better to taste without previous ideas of its many flavors. I'll just add that I fully agree with this critic in the wikipedia article:

"A horror film is what The Neon Demon is (sort of). It’s set in the Los Angeles fashion world, and it’s the kind of movie in which models look like mannequins that look like slasher-film corpses, and corpses look like love objects. Beauty mingles with mangled flesh, and each fastidiously slick image seems to have come out of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me or The Shining or a very sick version of a Calvin Klein commercial. Every scene, every shot, every line of dialogue, every pause is so hypnotically composed, so luxuriously overdeliberate, that the audience can’t help but assume that Refn knows exactly what he’s doing — that he’s setting us up for the kill."

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Inherited Handles

This week, I came across with a rather weird issue, the fact that one network port can remain open after the process that opened it has finished. I've tested this on Windows, but the basis are the same for Linux.

The problem stems from the fact that when you create a new process, it can inherit handles from the parent process, socket handles in particular. In .Net this handler inheritance seems to depend on ProcessStartInfo.UseShellExecute. If you set it to false, handles will be inherited. Let's see an example of how we can get into trouble because of this.

IPAddress localAddr = IPAddress.Parse("");

   var server = new TcpListener(localAddr, 5555);
   // Start listening for client requests.
   Console.WriteLine("Press enter to launch notepad");
   Process myProcess = new Process();
            myProcess.StartInfo.FileName = "notepad.exe";
            myProcess.StartInfo.UseShellExecute = false;

   Console.Write("Press any key to quit . . . ");

The above code (compiled let's say as Test.exe) starst to listen on port 5555 and launches a notepad.exe instance. If you check with ProcessExplorer you'll see that Test.exe is listening on port 5555, but notepad.exe is not. You can also see with TCPView that the only process listening on that port is Test.exe. Now comes the cool part, exit Test.exe but keep notepad open. If we try to run Test.exe again we will get this exception:

So there is a process listening on that port. Launch TCPView and you'll see this:

So a non-existent process is listening on that port, nice... If from TCPView we try to kill the process there will be no effect, and what is worst, trying to close the connection will also do nothing. So basically, unless that you know that it's notepad.exe who is keeping the port as open (or at least making the OS consider it so), you have no way to release the port and put a new instance of Test.exe to listen on it again.

Sunday, 5 June 2016


Yesterday I was strolling around downtown in Toulouse when I came across the "Gay Pride Parade". I think it's the first time I see such "spectacle" live, and I got the same feeling that when watching it on TV, I don't understand it and I don't like it.

I'm not homophobic at all. I have a deep phobia for religious fanatics, gipsies that are part of the "gipsy culture", nationalistic/racist/xenophobic scum... but I have a deep respect for peoples sexual tastes and desires. As long as everyone taking part in a sexual relation/game/whatever is doing it voluntarily (for pleasure, power, money, or just out of boredom...) it's totally fine with me. This said, what's wrong with the "Gay Pride" thing?

First, I don't like it's festive tone. There are many places today where homosexuals are discriminated, imprisoned and even killed because of their sexuality. Of course the worst situation is in Russia, muslim countries and some African countries, but even in civilized Europe you still find cases of discrimination (years ago a part of the French society went just crazy against gay marriage...) So the topic is very serious. There's no reason to do a senseless party, but to do serious demonstrations, to boycott countries that pass homophobic laws, to "attack" their embassies, to confront politicians or religious leaders that promote hate and unequaility. It's time for that, not to parade the streets half naked kissing everyone... Those attitudes gain you disapproval rather than support.

On the contrary, I think it would be great to do a party/parade/whatever to celebrate sexuality and to annoy religious leaders and anyone wanting to regulate who, how, how often and why people have sex. But that would not be about being gay or hetero, it would be about sexuality. To do a "gay pride parade" is like doing a "hetero pride parade", it keeps the division between one form of sexuality and another.

Finally, a rather minor point. I don't like the use of the term "Pride". For me, pride is something you should feel for something that you have achieved thanks to your efforts. Being gay, hetero, black, white, Asturian... is not an achievement, it's something that for the most part you are born with, you get it for free. So you have to accept it and make others respect it, but the idea of being proud, well, it seems odd to me.