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Play Machine Offline for 2 Weeks

I’m about to leave for San Francisco, so my SE Linux Play Machine is turned off and will remain off until after I return.

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New RFID Passport

Above is the picture of the RFID device in my new UK passport. The outer wire loop is 72mm * 42mm which is by far the largest RFID device I’ve seen. It appears that they want the passport to be RFID readable from distances that are significantly greater than those which are typically used [...]

Who Should Edit Wikipedia and Where Should they Do It?

Cory Doctorow wrote an interesting little column for Make magazine about Wikipedia and the way that it “contains facts about facts” [1]. One of the issues with this is that you can’t (or at least shouldn’t) make corrections based on your own knowledge of a subject, you need to cite references. Cory gives a hypothetical [...]

Killing Bankers

John Robb wrote an interesting post about running web sites to target corporations such as Goldman Sachs [1] (such as tracking where it’s employees live).

Naked Capitalism has an interesting post about US investment banks getting preferential access to vaccines [2]. In the comments section some people state an intention to deliberately infect Goldman employees [...]

Seatbelts and Transporting Computers

I’ve just read an interesting post at Making Light about seat-belts [1].

In Australia seat-belt use is mandatory, you can be fined for failing to wear one – and the police (who help clean up the mess when someone dies on the road) are apparently quite aggressive about enforcement. Even aside from the legal requirement [...]

Computer Security and Political Censorship

I’ve just been disappointed to read about the DNI (Defence in the National Interest) web site closing down [1]. The final blog post says “In the meantime, I’ll leave everything up unless we start having more security problems“, but unfortunately they have had a number of security problems in the past. I doubt the ability [...]

SCO Unix and Proftpd

I recently had the misfortune to be compelled to install Proftpd on SCO Unix. There’s nothing wrong with Proftpd of course, but everything is wrong with SCO.

LDFLAGS=-L/usr/ucblib ./configure –libdir=/usr/ucblib --enable-builtin-getnameinfo

To get it to compile the above ./configure line is needed. It uses /usr/ucblib because having the basic BSD sockets API residing in a [...]

Car Drivers vs Mechanics and Free Software

In a comment on my post about Designing Unsafe Cars [1] Noel said “If you don’t know how to make a surgery, you don’t do it. If you don’t know how to drive, don’t drive. And if you don’t know how to use a computer, don’t expect anybody fix your disasters, trojans and viruses.” Later [...]

Designing Unsafe Cars

The LA Times has an interesting article about problems with Toyota and Lexus cars [1]. Basically there are problems where the cars have uncontrolled acceleration (there seems to be some dispute about whether it is due to engine management or the floor mat catching the accelerator pedal). When that happens the brakes don’t work (due [...]

Laptop Reliability

Update: TumbleDry has a good analysis of the Square Trade report [0]. It seems that there are significant statistical problems in Square Trade’s analysis and a possible conflict of interest.

Square Trade did a survey of laptop reliability and wrote an interesting article about the results [1]. One thing to keep in mind when reading [...]