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New Lamps for Old – Light Changing and Burglary

A few weeks ago I had a guy from “enviro saver” visit my home to replace incandescent globes with CFLs. The original plan was to deliver a water-saver shower head as well but he told me that because I have solar hot water there are no renewable energy certificates in installing a shower head so [...]

Bad Math at TED is a site that is known for very high quality content. Unfortunately on occasion they do get things wrong.

Rob Hopkins in his talk at TED Global 2009 claimed that 1 liter of oil “contains the energy equivalent of five weeks of human labor by 35 strong people” [1]. Now Rob has made a [...]

How to Setup Bittorrent

The first couple of times I tried to setup Bittorrent I had a lot of trouble. Here is a basic summary of what you need to do:

btmakemetafile.bittorrent test.iso

The above command will create a metafile named test.iso.torrent. Note that the server name (in this example can be an IP address and any [...]

Rationing of Health Care

Peter Singer wrote an interesting article for the New York Times which makes a good case for rationing health care on the basis of a ratio of the amount of money spent to the health benefits provided [1]. It’s obvious that given a finite amount of money to spend on health-care and a limited portion [...]

DRM and Rogue Employees

ZDNet has an interesting article about Amazon unselling books to Kindle owners [1]. Apparently the books Animal Farm and 1984 were added to the Kindle list by unauthorised people (Engaget has the original story [2]). So Amazon decided to just remove the books from the Kindles and refund the purchase price.

Amazon has stated a [...]

I’m Not a Fan

Fandom is something that has never made sense to me. If a sport such as football interested me then I would play it. Being good at something is not a requirement for participation, in fact my observation is that amateurs who kick a ball around for fun (without even keeping score) appear to enjoy it [...]

Respecting the Audience

Currently there is an ongoing debate about a joke that was made during a lecture about free software. I have previously written about why I think it’s inappropriate with regard to children in the audience [1]. For those who are interested in following this mess Matthew Garrett has written an interesting follow-up post with some [...]

Links July 2009

Katherine Fulton gave a TED talk about the future of philanthropy [1]. She started out well with an overview of some of the technical methods, but I felt that the ending was lacking. At the end she made an emotional appeal for people to be philanthropic, it seems to me that you can’t easily convince [...]

Hating Microsoft

In mailing list discussions I’ve seen Windows users get rather unhappy when people talk about “Hating Microsoft“, this often includes claims that it’s supposedly “unprofessional” to hate one vendor. Some go as far as to claim that it’s a good idea to avoid hiring someone who says that they Hate Microsoft – not that I [...]

Sex and Lectures about Computers

I previously wrote about the appropriate references to porn in lectures about Computer Science [1]. It seemed that by providing a short list of all the appropriate ways that porn could be mentioned in a lecture some people might get the idea that the infinite variety of other potential ways that porn could be mentioned [...]