The Net – Good for Literature

A recent news article has Doris Lessing (a Nobel prize winner for literature) claiming that the net has “created a world where people know nothing” [1].

However the Internet is a great tool for learning for people who choose to use it in that way, for example I have learned many interesting things from reading […]

Blogroll – Bad Social Networking

A common feature in blog software is a Blogroll, this is a list of links to blogs which are associated in some way with the blog in question – most commonly it’s a list of blogs run by friends of the blogger in question.

Now in the case of friends with very similar interests (IE […]

Planet Debian Piracy

The site is copying the entire Planet Debian feed for the purpose of splogging. I’ve sent one DMCA take-down notice for one of my pages (hopefully they will go through and remove all pages that were illegally copied from my feed). Other people who have non-commercial use licenses for their blog feeds may want […]

The Meaning of Godwin’s Law

A widely cited unofficial rule on the Internet is known as Godwin's Law [1]. In it’s original form this rule states that “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one“. Mike Godwin noted that “overuse of Nazi and Hitler comparisons should be avoided, because it robs […]

Creepy Social Networking

Cory Doctorow wrote an interesting article about social networking [1]. One of his points is “Imagine how creepy it would be to wander into a co-worker’s cubicle and discover the wall covered with tiny photos of everyone in the office, ranked by “friend” and “foe,” with the top eight friends elevated to a small shrine […]

BoingBoing and Licenses

Today I was thrilled to see that Cory Doctorow (who among other things wrote one of my favourite Sci-fi novels [1]) copied one of my blog posts on to [2].

Then I reviewed the licence conditions (which had previously been contained in the About Page and is now a post on my documents blog […]

Everyone Should Blog

At this month’s meeting of the Linux Users of Victoria [1] I gave a talk titled Everyone Should Blog (unfortunately the title was missed in the meeting announcement). I’ve been meaning to write about this but was finally prodded into writing by a ProBlogger post about overcrowding in the blog market [2]. Darren (the ProBlogger) […]

Better Social Networking

When was still cool I signed up to it. It was an interesting research project in skill metrics (determining the rating of people’s coding skills by the votes of others and weighting the votes by the rating of each person), and it was nice to be rated Master soon after I joined. I still […]

Blog Ethics

Reporters Sans Frontiers (AKA RSF AKA Reporters Without Borders) has an interesting document about blogging [1]. They are specifically focussed on blogging as a way of reporting news. Their definition of a blog states that it is “a personal website” (there are many corporate blogs run by teams) and that it contains “mostly news” (most […]

WordPress and Thumbnails

I have just had a lot of trouble with Thumbnails on one of my blogs. It turned out that I had to install the package php5-gd and restart Apache before thumbnails would even be generated. The package php5-gd (or php4-gd) is “suggested” by the Debian WordPress package and it’s not a dependency, so the result […]