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Free K-12 Text Books

The CK12 project is developing free (CC by SA) textbooks for the K-12 market (with a current focus on the early years of high school) [1]. Their primary aim seems to be flex-books – text books that can be localised and modified to better suit the needs of the students. But of course there are [...]

Increasing Productivity through Clean Air

Kamal Meattle gave an interesting TED talk about using plants to produce enough oxygen to support people in sealed buildings [1]. The combination he advocates is Areca Palm for the living-room (four shoulder-high plants per person), Mother-in-law’s Tongue for the bedroom to produce oxygen at night (six to eight waist-high plants per person), and Money [...]

NBD and PXE Booting on Debian

I have a Xen server that I use for testing which is fairly lightly loaded. I considered making it diskless to save some electricity use (which also means heat dissipation in summer) and also some noise.

The first step is to setup a PXE server. This is reasonably well documented in the Debian Administration article [...]

Mail Server Security

I predict that over the course of the next 10 years there will be more security problems discovered in Sendmail than in Postfix and Qmail combined. I predict that the Sendmail problems will be greater in number and severity.

I also predict that today’s versions of Postfix and Qmail will still be usable in 10 [...]


I have just discovered an innovative Melbourne company that has apparently been running for five years. ReWine is a wine seller that sells bottles of wine and then refills the same bottles for a lower price [1] (a saving of $2 per bottle). There have been many schemes for selling various liquids in reusable bottles, [...]


The latest news is that the CEO of the new NBN (National Broadband Network) will receive a $2 million salary [1]. This has been defended as “the price required to secure the best person for the job“. The problem with this idea is that it’s not the first time that a multi-million dollar salary has [...]

The Lack of Browser Security

For a long time the use of HTTP cookies [1] for tracking the web browsing habits of users has been well known. But I am not aware of any good solution to the problem. A large part of the problem is the needless use of cookies, it seems that many blog servers use cookies even [...]

School Reunions

I’ve never understood the point of school reunions. The past students association of a secondary school can potentially be of some use when you are looking for your first job, but once your career gets started it seems to be of minimal benefit. But apart from that there is no direct benefit.

I didn’t enjoy [...]

Why you should maintain old URLs

Below is a message from the thanks file on my SE Linux play machine [1]:

Hello from San Juan, Puerto Rico! I just found out about this server by reading the SELinux book from O’Reilly. The book is pretty old (2004) and I’m glad to know the URL provided on the book still works! All [...]

Child Abuse and Censorship

In Australia we are currently in the middle of a long drawn out saga about Internet censorship [1]. In summary we have fundamentalist Christians wanting to prevent anyone from accessing X rated material, many clueless people wanting to “protect the children“, and most members of parliament totally ignoring the advice that is offered by everyone [...]