Month: September 2008

RSS Aggregation Software

The most commonly installed software for aggregating RSS feeds seems to be Planet and Venus (two forks of the same code base). The operation is that a cron job runs the Python program which syndicates a list of RSS feeds and generates a static web page. Of course the problems start if you have many […]


Software has No Intrinsic Value

In a comment on my Not All Opinions Are Equal [1] post AlphaG said “Anonymous comments = free software, no intrinsic value as you got it for nothing”. After considering the matter I came to the conclusion that almost all software has no intrinsic value (unless you count not being sued for copyright infringement as […]


A Revolution Done Right

Amaya writes about the fact that the political process in many countries is extremely flawed and is failing their citizens [1] (although she doesn’t actually express it in that way). She asks how a revolution can be done right. If we look at the historical record, after the French Revolution came the Reign of Terror […]


The Problem is Too Many Remote Controls

I am often asked for advice about purchasing TVs and consumer electronics. Not that I am any great expert in those areas, but my general experience in specifying and purchasing electronics goods in related to my computer work does translate to other areas (and I know where to find advice on the net). As part […]

Misc Computer

Laptop Computer Features

It’s not easy to choose a laptop, and part of the problem is that most people don’t seem to start from the use of the laptop. I believe that the following four categories cover the vast majority of the modern use of mobile computers. PDA [1] – can be held in one hand and generally […]

Misc Computer

Not All Opinions Are Equal

It seems to be a common idea by non-bloggers that the comment they enter on a blog is somehow special and should be taken seriously by the author of the blog (everyone is a legend in their own mind). In a recent discussion one anonymous commentator seemed offended that I didn’t take his comments seriously […]


Fixing execmod (textrel) Problems in Lenny

I’ve just updated my repository of SE Linux related packages for Lenny [1] to include a set of ffmpeg packages modified to not need text relocations (execmod access under SE Linux). I haven’t checked to make sure that I fixed all issues in those packages, but I have fixed all the issues that prevented Mplayer […]


Noise in Computer Rooms

Some people think that you can recognise a good restaurant by the presence of obscure dishes on the menu or having high prices. The reality is that there are two ways of quickly identifying a good restaurant, one is the Michelin Guide [1] (or a comparable guide – if such a thing exists), the other […]

Misc Computer


I recently wasted a bit of time reading some right-wing blogs. One thing I noted was the repeated references to news reports about young women from an Islamic background being beaten (and in some cases killed) by their fathers (and other male relatives) for not conforming to some weird cultural ideas that some people associate […]


Execmod and SE Linux – i386 Must Die

I have previously written about the execmod permission check in SE Linux [1] and in a post about SE Linux on the desktop I linked to some bug reports about it [2] (which probably won’t be fixed in Debian). One thing I didn’t mention is the proof of the implication of this. When running a […]