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Links September 2010

Kevin Stone gave an interesting TED talk about the biological future of joint replacement [1]. Using stem cells and animal tissue which has been prepared to destroy the chemicals that trigger immune responses the tissues can regrow. Replacing joints with titanium and ceramic lets people walk again, regrowing them with Kevin’s methods allows them to [...]

Is Pre-Forking any Good?

Many Unix daemons use a technique known as “pre-forking”. This means that to save the amount of time taken to fork a child process they will keep a pool of processes waiting for work to come in. When a job arrives then one of the existing processes is used and the overhead of the fork() [...]

My Squeeze SE Linux Repository

deb http://www.coker.com.au squeeze selinux

I have an Apt repository for Squeeze SE Linux packages at the above URL. Currently it contains a modified version of ffmpeg that doesn’t need execmod access on i386 and fixes the labeling of /dev/xen on systems that use devtmpfs as reported in bug #597403. I will keep updating this repository [...]

Preferring Low Quality and Microsoft Software

Is Low Quality in Italian Academia related to the choice of Low Quality Software?

Diego Gambetta and Gloria Origgi wrote an interesting paper titled “L-worlds: The curious preference for low quality and its norms” [1]. The paper describes how in Italian universities (and large portions of Italian life) there are covert agreements that both parties [...]

How to Start Learning Linux

I was asked for advice on how to start learning Linux. Rather than replying via email I’m writing a blog post for future people who ask such questions and also to get comments from other people which may provide information I missed.

Join a LUG

The best thing to do is to start by joining [...]

Raw Satire Usually Fails on the Internet

Sarcasm and satire usually don’t work on the Internet. One cause of this is the lack of out of band signalling via facial expression or tone of voice. Another issue is the fact that in real life people usually know something about the person who they listen to while on the Internet it’s most common [...]

Optimising the How To Vote Process

I previously wrote about my experience handing out How To Vote (HTV) cards at the federal election a couple of weeks ago [1].

One comment noted that at one polling place “all the volunteers for different candidates had combined into a single team, handing out all the cards together“, which makes sense. There is some [...]