Hacker Spaces

When in California last year I visited the NoiseBridge [1] Hackerspace. I was very impressed with what I saw, good equipment and very friendly people. The general concept of a “HackerSpace” is that it is an environment to support random creative projects. The first picture is a sign near the door which is clearly visible […]

How to Lose Customers

Bruce Everiss who is famous for being threatened with legal action by Evony has been writing about the supposed losses from game piracy, in his latest missive he copies the text from a number of blog comments without citing the original authors [1]. He copied my text without citing me as the author (which is […]

Three Monopolists


This afternoon I tried to unlock my old Three mobile phones for the purpose of getting cheap net access as described in my previous post [1]. I wanted to use Dodo 3G Internet (via the Optus network) for my parents which would cost them $139 per year and I wanted to use my old […]

Which is Better, Original DVD or Pirate MP4?

For a long time it has been obvious that in all cases anti-piracy technologies discourage purchases and in many cases encourage piracy. I first discovered the significance of this in about 1991 when I attended a public lecture by a senior employee of Borland and a member of the audience claimed that the Borland product […]

US Border Security

Making Light has a post about the Canadian sci-fi author Peter Watts who was beaten and jailed overnight without access to a lawyer by US border guards because he asked what they were doing [1]. Apparently one is supposed to cringe in fear whenever questioned by authority in the US, so much for “land of […]

New RFID Passport

Above is the picture of the RFID device in my new UK passport. The outer wire loop is 72mm * 42mm which is by far the largest RFID device I’ve seen. It appears that they want the passport to be RFID readable from distances that are significantly greater than those which are typically used […]

Who Should Edit Wikipedia and Where Should they Do It?

Cory Doctorow wrote an interesting little column for Make magazine about Wikipedia and the way that it “contains facts about facts” [1]. One of the issues with this is that you can’t (or at least shouldn’t) make corrections based on your own knowledge of a subject, you need to cite references. Cory gives a hypothetical […]

Computer Security and Political Censorship

I’ve just been disappointed to read about the DNI (Defence in the National Interest) web site closing down [1]. The final blog post says “In the meantime, I’ll leave everything up unless we start having more security problems“, but unfortunately they have had a number of security problems in the past. I doubt the ability […]

Mobile Phones Are Computers

One thing I noticed when I got my new LG U990 Viewty [1] mobile phone is the way the core telephony functionality has suffered while features for web browsing etc have been added. It seems that the core phone functionality (making and receiving calls and maintaining a list of names and phone numbers) has generally […]

Gnash and use of Free Software

There is currently a discussion on a private mailing list about whether some money from a community organisation should be used to assist the development of Gnash (the free software Flash player) [1]. The main reason for this is that there are apparently some schools that depend on flash web sites to such a degree […]