Working around Docker's COPY command copying as root using GNU M4

I’ve been working with Docker a lot recently, and have been switching to non-root users within the Dockerfile using the USER instruction (not for security reasons, but in order to test software not as root). As a result, I’ve been suffering a little from this issue - essentially, files copied into a Docker image using ADD or COPY are copied with the owner as root, irrespective of the ownership outside the Docker image.

Tesco Are Clever Again

I got a new Clubcard from Tesco again today. On the back of the key fob version is a phone number and and an ID number. If your cards get lost, the finder is exhorted to call the number to arrange for your keys to be returned. Who knows if it would work, but it’s an potential extra benefit for little cost to me - since I’d put the key fob tag on anyway.

Fraport Badness

Normally I find Germany to live up to its reputation for competence and organisation. Today’s trip through the bureaucracy of Frankfurt airport, however, has been marred by duplicate security checks, far too many passport and boarding pass checks, annoying queues, and unclear instructions at the gate - and I haven’t even got on the plane yet! I’m not impressed. Perhaps Frankfurt is suffering from the Heathrow disease of being just too big for its boots.

Wagamama Authorisation

Two recent visits to Wagamama (outstanding noodle bars - give them a try if you haven’t already) have uncovered a strange habit: when asking for the bill, it’s brought immediately to your table, with a slip asking for the tip and a signature. Once this is filled in, your credit card is taken away briefly - presumably to be swiped. But no further signature is required, and even more surprisingly no PIN number is requested.


I’ve noticed that my blog’s been splogged - unsurprisingly, using one of my film reviews that contains some ‘adult’ words (see here for the NSFW copycat). Does this mean I’ve made the blogging bigtime? I’m still only at Technorati rank 147,804 - although (in a not-at-all-sore-loser fashion) I feel the same about Technorati as Richard does about Sun - what exactly is the point?

Spiegel vs. BBC

Fascinating. This 2-day old article regarding a German plane bomb plot made the front page of the Der Spiegel website, but never came anywhere near the front page of the BBC one (this eventually made an appearance, hidden away). Perhaps British folks are expected not to care about German travellers? Maybe alleged terrorist threats are now that commonplace? Or is the BBC just not quite as capable as it many believe it to be?

Illiberal Hampshire Police

Firstly we learn that owning knives in Hampshire is wrong. Or maybe it isn’t; but the police only seem interested in gathering them anyway. Then we discover that the police are targeting signs that others find offensive. I’m not convinced this is a good use of my tax money. But accordingly, I would like to politely request that Hampshire Police remove the following signs across the county, which I find offensive:

Liquid Relaxation

For anyone who hasn’t heard, there are new EU-wide regulations on hand baggage - which have the effect of slightly relaxing the rules that were in place at UK airports (although there are still plenty of awkward gotchas). The implication of this, of course, is that either the original terrorist threat has subsided (although it would be nice for the security ‘services’ to explain why), or that they panicked and couldn’t handle the situation they suddenly found themselves in.

Woolwich from Winchester

Just before a trip to London a few days ago, I inserted my Woolwich card in an ATM near Winchester Station. I hit the ‘balance on screen’ button, and saw ‘your card issuer has declined your request’. A bit mysterious. I don’t normally keep much money in that account, but obviously I still wanted to make sure that someone wasn’t in the process of stealing it. So I phoned up the ’lost and stolen’ line on the back of the card and explained the problem.

Speakers from a Van

When I was at Imperial not so many years ago, there was a story in Felix, the college newspaper, about local ruffians selling knocked-off speakers from the backs of white vans in the South Ken area. At the time, students were advised not to approach them and to inform the police. I thought not much more of it, apart from it being a slightly bizarre way of fencing. However, I recently read a story in Seth Godin’s book, All Marketers are Liars, which cast a new light on this.