Archive for February, 2010

Microsoft: Hate the Sinner, Not The Sin

In the wake of the Cryptome brouhaha with Microsoft over the publication of the latter’s “Online Global Criminal Compliance Guide”, all sorts of people have been complaining about Microsoft’s heavy-handed DMCA tactics, and how you’d really think they would know better than to try and bluff Cryptome, of all places.

Unfortunately, this has also brought out some anti-copyright activists – or more properly, some people who are masquerading as anti-copyright activists…
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Published in: 'D' for 'Dumb', Geekiness, General | on February 26th, 2010 | No Comments »

Dust in the Wind

Apologies for not posting anything yesterday… and nothing of substance today. I’m a bit… distracted.

I had to take my oldest cat to the vet yesterday, and, um… have a look for yourself:
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Published in: Meta | on February 24th, 2010 | 2 Comments »

Bruce Ivins, Polygraphy, and Special Interests

As you (probably) know, the Department of Justice released on Friday the “final report” for the “Amerithrax” investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacks. Much of the report details evidence against the late Dr. Bruce Ivins, who the FBI alleges was the sole perpetrator of the attacks.

I say “alleges”, of course, because Ivins was never actually convicted, or even indicted; he committed suicide before either had occurred.

Over the weekend, a lot of people on various websites have taken issue with parts of the investigation, the report, and its findings. Some of these folks lean rather heavily towards the conspiracy-theorist end of things, about which the less said, the better. Others have rather more reasoned and rational criticisms, and it’s some of these that need, I think, to be read with a fairly jaundiced eye.

Why? For the most part, they’re coming from people with axes to grind, or who represent special interests whose causes are furthered by taking umbrage at one or more parts of the investigation and its findings.
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Published in: Geekiness, General | on February 22nd, 2010 | 3 Comments »

Quitting While You’re A Head

James Cary, the writer of innumerable BBC radio productions – including the smashing good Hut 33, about assorted goings-on at Bletchley Park in 1941 – wrote an interesting piece the other day about the “curiously British” tendency to quit an endeavour (in this case, sitcoms) at your, or its, peak, using an assortment of TV and radio programmes to illustrate the point.

He implies rather strongly that it’s just a cultural difference between creative types on opposing sides of the big salty wet thingy east of Canada, but I suspect that’s not quite the whole story.
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Published in: 'D' for 'Dumb', Geekiness, General | on February 19th, 2010 | No Comments »

Good Old Qwest

Some time ago, I wrote about the nightly problems we’ve been having with our DSL service at home, which is, sadly, powered by Qwest. Every evening, speeds drop to… slower than dial-up, usually… and latency becomes a huge issue… and then things return to normal around 11pm or midnight, if we’re lucky.

Because we’re not end-user customers of Qwest – we use a local ISP, instead – getting this fixed has been an absolute nightmare, thanks to Qwest. How much of a nightmare? Let’s see…
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Published in: General | on February 17th, 2010 | No Comments »