Month: March 2009

Censorship, Piracy, and Movie Ideas

Flame has written a satirical post about the different methods used to try and prevent unauthorised use of copyright movies and the distribution of illegal porn [1]. He has also written an amusing rant about how offended he was by the false advertising of an erotic movie [2]. I think that both these issues need […]

Liberty Politics

Inhaling Petrol Fumes

Tonight at 6PM the channel 7 news will have a special report about the dangers of inhaling fumes while filling cars with petrol. I’m blogging now because based on past experience I expect almost no technical content in the report and that the advert for the news show contains everything that is useful. The advert […]


Links March 2009

Cory Doctorow has written a column for The Guardian titled “You shouldn’t have to sell your soul just to download some music” [1]. One really interesting point he made was “The same companies that spent decades telling lawmakers that they were explicitly not the guardians of the morality of the young that they couldn’t be […]


Linux Powered Battle Droids

Flame has written some ideas about building Linux Powered Battle Droids and demonstrating them [1]. It seems to me that the biggest problem with having a battle of a similar nature to Robot Wars [2] is creating a safe arena. Getting an area the size of a basketball court fenced off with bullet-proof plastic is […]

Misc Computer

Feeds and Banning from Planets

Stewart Smith has written about the removal of a blog from Planet Linux Australia [1] due to publishing a list of URLs that the Australian government wants to censor. The first point I want to make is that even if you had a list with thousands of entries that are not likely to offend anyone […]


Choosing a Server for CPU Intensive work

A client is considering some options for serious deployment of some CPU intensive work. The options that are being considered include cloud computing (Amazon EC2 [1]), virtual machines (Slicehost [2] and Linode [3]), and purchasing servers to install in racks at various locations. I can’t disclose the criteria that will determine when each of those […]

Misc Computer

Dear Magazines – Please Publish Your Adverts Online

When reading a magazine I often see an advert for a product that I want to buy (or recommend that a client buy). This is of course expected as the advertisers put a lot of effort into targeting their adverts to the people who read such magazines. However I often decide that I want to […]

Misc Computer

The Cost of Car Crashes

An article from 1999 suggested that car crashes caused a financial loss in OECD countries equivalent of 2% of their entire economies [1]. An article from the Sydney Morning Herald in 2001 gave a conservative estimate of the cost of a road fatality at $1.5 million [2], it also notes that due to different analysis […]

Cars Politics

Hyperthermia and Children in Cars

Bruce Schneier writes about the risks involving children abandoned in cars and cites an article about the tragic deaths of children in hot cars [1]. One unfortunate error that he made was to not cite the following from the end of the last page of the Washington post article he cited [2]: In hyperthermia cases, […]


Lobbying for Free Software

I am not aware of any Linux Users Group (LUG) being active in informing it’s members of how the policies of the various political parties compare with regard to free software and the other issues that are of interest to most members. I believe that this is a grave mistake. Shortly before an election there […]