Month: August 2007

CAPTCHAs that don’t work

One thing that I don’t like is blogs that provide no method of feedback. When I want to read something with little or no possibility of feedback I’ll read one of the many newspapers that are available. Craige McWhirter’s blog is one of them. The CAPTCHA system doesn’t work (I must have tried at least […]

Blogging Politics

Microsoft Hires University Drop-Out for Recruiting Campaign reports that MS has hired former Miss Australia Erin McNaught to sex up the computer industry’s geeky image and describes her as a “University Drop-Out” (later in the article it’s revealed that she deferred her course so she might end up completing it). Hiring her is supposed to demonstrate that IT careers have “gone […]


The Principles of Stupidity

We always underestimate the number of stupid people The probability of a person being stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person A stupid person is someone who causes damage to another person, or a group of people, without any advantage accruing to himself (or herself) — or even with some resultant self-damage […]


Plans for Future Posts

I have created a new blog page for suggestions for future posts. If you want to suggest future topics that you would like me to write about (or vote for topics that are already on my list) then please make a comment on that page. Also I now have enough post pages that they don’t […]


Tactical Voting

In response to a blog conversation on Planet Debian, Wouter Verhelst writes about voting tactics in which he claims that Instant-Runoff (wikipedia) (the method used in Australia to elect members of the house of representatives) is broken. I have read the Wikipedia review and neither it nor my previous understanding of Instant-Runoff leads me to […]


Two Questions for All Serious Free Software Contributors

What do you think is the most important single-sentence of advice that you can offer to someone who wants to contribute to the free software community? I intentionally didn’t mention what area or type of advice or what “contribute” means, interpret it how you wish and give multiple answers for different interpretations if that seems […]

Blog Memes

A common pattern in blog communication is referred to as a Meme. Here is one example of the commonly used definition of the term as applied to blogs. One common factor that doesn’t seem to get directly mentioned much when people define the term (but which always seems to be mentioned in passing) is the […]



I’ve created a page about translating my blog. Currently it has the following text: If you would like to translate any posts from my blog to a language other than English then please feel free to do so. I demand that any translations correctly cite me as the author of the original English version and […]


Housing Prices

The Sydney Morning Herald has an article about pre-fabricated houses from Ikea and suggests that they could solve the housing price problems. The article states that in the UK the pre-fab houses would be more than 25% cheaper than regular houses in the UK. Let’s assume for the sake of discussion that the introduction of […]


Real Servers vs White-Box

Many people think that white-box machines (IE the cheapest no-nam PCs you can buy) are suitable for use as servers. There are several factors that make white-box machines totally unsuitable for use as a server (and IMHO unsuitable for any other task). Firstly white-box machines are not designed. A set of parts are designed, some […]