Archive for February, 2006

competition kills innovation

Thursday, February 23rd, 2006

Someday I may publish a history of how OSx86 was originally hacked to run on PCs.

Yet why aren’t we dual booting already? Money. Most of you are undoubtedly aware of “The Contest,” a 12,000 dollar pot that will be going to the first person to provide a viable dual booting method to the site’s owner. Also note the “onmac” network – and advertisements – that the contest has bequeathed to the once minimalist site as well… another interesting commentary on money.


he problem with the contest is that it encourages poor geeks (like me) who could use the extra cash (like me) to try their hand at fixing the problem. In theory this would speed up progress. But in fact it’s had the opposite, somewhat paradoxical effect – it’s slowed things down.


It’s all quite predictable – nothing is getting done because the sharing of information has stopped. Were there no contest, IRC channels would be full of dedicated developers sharing what they’d learned through trial and error, swapping ideas and encouraging each other. I’ve talked with some people who are very close to success… but their efforts are not public. As it stands, sharing what you’ve learned could cost you $12,000


This is exactly what is happening to the patent system in general and what has already happened to copyright (especially in realtion to DRM). People are putting an artificial value on the use of ‘their’ ideas and any utilisation of those ideas is being seen as a loss of revenue even when they have notmade any attempt to implement those ideas themselves.

The flow of ideas is steadily being dammed and innovation stymied for the sake of a few bushels of wheat.


Thursday, February 23rd, 2006

S t a t e m e n t   o f   P u r p o s e

BRING THEM HOME NOW! is a campaign of military families, veterans, active duty personnel, reservists and others opposed to the ongoing war in Iraq and galvanized to action by George W. Bush’s inane and reckless challenge to armed Iraqis resisting occupation to “Bring ’em on.”

Our mission is to mobilize military families, veterans, and GIs themselves to demand: an end to the occupation of Iraq and other misguided military adventures; and an immediate return of all US troops to their home duty stations.

The truth is coming out. The American public was deceived by the Bush administration about the motivation for and intent of the invasion of Iraq. It is equally apparent that the administration is stubbornly and incompetently adhering to a destructive course. Many Americans do not want our troops there. Many military families do not want our troops there. Many troops themselves do not want to be there. The overwhelming majority of Iraqis do not want US troops there.

Our troops are embroiled in a regional quagmire largely of our own government’s making. These military actions are not perceived as liberations, but as occupations, and our troops are now subject to daily attacks. Meanwhile, without a clear mission, they are living in conditions of relentless austerity and hardship. At home, their families are forced to endure extended separations and ongoing uncertainty.

As military veterans and families, we understand that hardship is sometimes part of the job. But there has to be an honest and compelling reason to impose these hardships and risks on our troops, our families, and our communities. The reasons given for the occupation of Iraq do not rise to this standard.

Without just cause for war, we say bring the troops home now!

Not one more troop killed in action. Not one more troop wounded in action. Not one more troop psychologically damaged by the act of terrifying, humiliating, injuring or killing innocent people. Not one more troop spending one more day inhaling depleted uranium. Not one more troop separated from spouse and children. This is the only way to truly support these troops, and the families who are just as much part of the military as they are.

Bush says “Bring ’em on.” We say “BRING THEM HOME NOW!” […]


23 February 2006
Stipe, Wainwright for anti-war gig
REM singer Michael Stipe, Rufus Wainwright, Public Enemy’s Chuck D and Bright Eyes are among the artists who will take part in ‘Bring ‘Em Home Now’, a concert in New York next month to mark the third anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq.
Billboard reports the concert will take place at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom on 20 March, with Devendra Banhart, Fischerspooner and Peaches also on the bill.
Proceeds from the concert will go to Iraq Veterans Against the War and Veterans for Peace. […] 

Gettin’ Above Yer Raisins

Thursday, February 23rd, 2006

Here are some images from the show at the Minnetonka Center for the Arts, “Gettin’ Above Yer Raisins,” which runs till March 15th.   I know alot of you couldn’t make it but at least you can see some of the images.

UK Trading Standards buffoons rebut Mozilla!

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006

Who could possibly be upset with the Mozilla Foundation for giving away its Firefox browser?

One of my roles at the Mozilla Foundation relates to copyright licensing. I’m responsible for making sure that the software we distribute respects the conditions of the free software licences of the underlying code. I’m also the first point of contact for licensing questions.

Most of the time, this job involves helping people who want to use our code in their own products understand the terms, or advising project members who want to integrate code from another project into our codebase. Occasionally, however, something a little more unusual comes along.

A little while ago, I received an e-mail from a lady in the Trading Standards department of a large northern town. They had encountered businesses which were selling copies of Firefox, and wanted to confirm that this was in violation of our licence agreements before taking action against them.

I wrote back, politely explaining the principles of copyleft – that the software was free, both as in speech and as in price, and that people copying and redistributing it was a feature, not a bug. I said that selling verbatim copies of Firefox on physical media was absolutely fine with us, and we would like her to return any confiscated CDs and allow us to continue with our plan for world domination (or words to that effect).

Unfortunately, this was not well received. Her reply was incredulous:

“I can’t believe that your company would allow people to make money from something that you allow people to have free access to. Is this really the case?” she asked.

“If Mozilla permit the sale of copied versions of its software, it makes it virtually impossible for us, from a practical point of view, to enforce UK anti-piracy legislation, as it is difficult for us to give general advice to businesses over what is/is not permitted.”

I felt somewhat unnerved at being held responsible for the disintegration of the UK anti-piracy system. Who would have thought giving away software could cause such difficulties?

However, given that the free software movement is unlikely collectively to decide to go proprietary in order to make her life easier, I had another go, using examples like Linux and the OpenOffice office suite to show that it’s not just Firefox which is throwing a spanner in the works.

She then asked me to identify myself, so that she could confirm that I was authorised to speak for the Mozilla Foundation on this matter. I wondered if she was imagining nefarious copyright-infringing street traders taking a few moments off from shouting about the price of bananas to pop into an internet cafe, crack a router and intercept her e-mail. […],,9075-2051196,00.html

And there you have it!!!!!!

Don’t look to Europe for help in the ID cards debate.

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006

Does this infringe european human rights legislation?

No European is against ID cards; they are all like battery chickens, completely inured to them, unable to see or understand what we are talking about.
Imagine going to the EU court of justice, and arguing against ID cards; each of the judges will absolutely have been issued one, and will have been carrying it all their adult lives. By saying that there is an argument against ID cards, they will be admiting that their own countries and citizens are not free. They will never do that.

The free British are alone on this matter, and it is up to us to demolish this nonsense.

That’s what happens when you get people from birth; you don’t even have to brainwash them, they are born into slavery, and know nothing different; in fact, they say that YOU are the one with the problem since you don’t want ID cards.

As for those actors, I would love to know what the response was to the question “are you going to make any more political films?”.

This part was interesting:

He says he was initially questioned at the airport’s baggage pick-up area and taken to a separate room when he demanded to know why.

What this does is send a clear message; if you make any kind of stand for your rights, you will only make it worse for yourself.

The pigs who carry out these on the spot interrogations know that there is zero chance that they will come to any professional harm if they misbehave. That is why they are so routinely cavalier in their treatment of the public.

If they knew that one out of place word or act of violence or out of procedure action could get them either fired or gaoled, they would be MUCH more careful, sadly, there is no chance of any such balancing legislation being passed. The only way you can resist these monsters is to starve them of their oxygen, which means the fruit of your work.

It goes without saying of course, that the only reason there is such outrage is because these guys are actors. What about he 40,000 other people wrongly detained under this new legislation? Where is the BBQ reporting on all of these people? There is not even a counter for this at BBQ (as if there would be!).

As for your shiny new passport AK, you are completely correct about the arbitrary expiration date. Also you should consider that ‘your’ passport does not belong to you, but in fact, belongs to HMG. It can be withdrawn at any time, and you can be made to renew it at any time, and of course, you will have to pay for the privelege.

Another interesting facet of these documents is the reaction of the brain dead bimbo behind the counter, who, upon seeing that your passport / drivers licence has expired, says “have you got any VALID ID?”. These retards deny you service because your card has expired, not realizing that the card is there to prove that ‘you are who you say you are’ the date on the card is irrelevant as long as its you in the picture.

People will become non-persons simply because their documents have expired, their identities expiring with them. The obedient staff who are ‘just following orders’ are the second rank monsters in all of this; a sigle one of them coming in contact (shop girls for example) with THOUSANDS of people, vetting them one by one, demanding ID one by one, multiplying the pressure to cave in geometrically.

The perfect response to this is, “if my identity expires just because my card expires, then all of my ‘responsibilities’ expire also, and I am not under any obligation to obey anything that I do not want to obey”.

ID rather not, thanks.

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006

Road to Guantanamo actors (left)

Actors (from left) Waqar Siddiqui, Rizwan Ahmed and Arfman Usman with Michael Winterbottom and detainee Rhuhel Ahmed

The actors who star in movie The Road to Guantanamo were questioned by police at Luton airport under anti-terrorism legislation, it has emerged.The men, who play British inmates at the detention camp, were returning from the Berlin Film Festival where the movie won a Silver Bear award.

One of the actors, Rizwan Ahmed, said a police officer asked him if he intended to make any more “political” films.


‘Excuse me sir, is that your beard? Come with me, please.’

The idiots stopping people like this do nothing but exhibit themselves as stoopid, blinkered bigots.

Feeling safer now?


I have been wondering about my freedom to travel in the near future. I just got a new passport, valid until 2016. Under current proposals, I won’t have to submit to the NIR until 2016 when I renew this passport. Voluntarilry, of course!

So when I get a new passport, I assume I will be able to opt out of ID carding, as the system is voluntary.

Except we all know I won’t be able to opt out, as voluntary is only a word bandied around to appease the spineless gimps on the Labour backbenches who apparently cannot distinguish between ‘voluntary’ and ‘must submit to data-rape if you apply for a passport’.

So, it’s voluntary unless I wish to leave the country.

So far so clear. Now, we all know I won’t be getting an ID card. But where does that leave me regarding international travel? Is my government, the people who serve me, going to keep me under ‘home-nation arrest’ until I let them scan my retina and sample my DNA?

Does this infringe european human rights legislation?

Is an passport any less of a valid travel document just because it has an arbitratry expiration date? One day in 2016 I can go where I like, the next I am a prisoner.

This post is vague. It was in my head as I couldn’t sleep last night.

Bu tit’s the thought that counts.

RSS feed is fixed: I broke WordPress

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006

As you know, our motto is “We are the best”. If you append ‘®’ and ‘™’ at the end of this in the ‘options’ the RSS generator chokes and throws up an error.

Now that I have removed the offending entities, RSS is flowing again.

The Death Rattle of the Dinosaurs

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006

Someone clever said:

It’s NOT stealing you fascist brainwashed cocktards! Stealing is me coming and nicking your car. To make a real world comparison, ED2k, BT etc… Is the equivalent of me making an exact duplicate of your car, without depriving you the use of it. So keep your real world bullshit comparisons to yourself.

Up the end of the 1970’s, the BBC used to regular pillage their archives for tapes and wipe whole chunks of shows. To fill the gaps in the archives, especially for their radio, they’ve used off-air recordings of shows. Copyright violation, clearly, that ultimately has proven beneficial.

What I find hilarious is the amount of stuff I’ve downloaded, that I’ve ultimately wound up buying. Had I not had the opportunity to do so, I would never have bought it. I own 200 DVD’s. A clear third were bought after downloading them first.

Reminds me of an old episode of a show called “Tales of the Unexpected”. It was from when i was quite young. This guy resurfaces his basement while his wife is away. His friends spend the whole episode saying “You buried your wife down there didn’t you? You killed her and you buried her.” For the whole episode, they’re on and on and on at him. Very much like the **AA constantly calling P2P users thieves… So at the end of the episode, what does he do? His wife returns, he digs a hole in his new floor, kills his wife, and buries her. He was brainwashed into it by his friends constantly badgering him. Eventually the lie became the reality.

You think that with the fucking industries saying we’re all pirates, that they aren’t basically causing people to say.”Well fuck it then” and fulfilling the lie?

And all you butter-wouldnt-melt-in-their-mouths types… You’re all fucking hypocrites. You ever taped a song off the radio? Photocopied anything?

Plus, all you hypocrites, care to explain how me taping a show off TV and giving it to a friend is ignored, but me capturing the show and letting the friend download it makes me akin to Satan?

From Digg

MPA press release provided to

“Razorback2 was not just an enormous index for Internet users engaged in illegal file swapping, it was a menace to society,” said Executive Vice President and Worldwide Anti-Piracy Director John G. Malcolm. “I applaud the Swiss and Belgian authorities for their actions which are helping thwart Internet piracy around the world.”

The MPA and its member companies, working with the local film industries, have a multi-pronged approach to fighting piracy, which includes educating people about the consequences of piracy, taking action against Internet thieves, working with law enforcement authorities around the world to root out pirate operations and working to ensure movies are available legally using advanced technology. “

Somehow, it appears to me that they have totally lost the propaganda battle. Everyone that matters understands that copying files is not in any way stealing, and each time the MPA, MPAA, RIAA take down a part of a service, it acts as a vaccination to the services, causing them to become stronger and more resistant to attack.

These attacks. and the infantile press releases that accompany them are the death rattle of these dinosaurs.

very cool video…

Tuesday, February 21st, 2006

…certainly if you are interested in guitar synths…which is probably only me, I know, but anyway, here it is

1977 guitar synth demo from a shop in sweden. My favourite bit is about 3.24 seconds in, not least as you can see his shoes quite clearly there.

The Enron Three Loose Appeal

Tuesday, February 21st, 2006

There is a very good write up of this in the Evening Standard whcih I will copy here; in the mean time, take this from The Independent:

The new laws were largely justified by the UK Government as a necessary response to the terrorist attacks of September 2001. Commentators have remarked on the irony that the first challenge involves the City and has nothing to do with terrorism. […] 

and this is a surprise to who exactly?

Robinson’s ‘Old Tom’ voted best winter beer in the land!

Tuesday, February 21st, 2006
“Old Tom from Robinson’s in Stockport was today named as the Supreme Champion Winter Beer of Britain 2005 by a panel of judges at CAMRA’s national winter celebration of beer.
The barley wine has an ABV of 8.5% and is described in the 2005 edition of the Good Beer Guide as a ‘A full-bodied, dark beer, it has malt, fruit and chocolate in the aroma. A delightfully complex range of flavours including dark chocolate, full maltiness, port and fruits lead to a long, bitter-sweet aftertaste’.”
And I should know, It’s at my local now.

A new blog for you to examine

Tuesday, February 21st, 2006

Just sent to me via email, this blog has some very tasty photo montages in it.

Camoflaged UFO / Light Blue Disc With White Aircraft Silhouette On Bottom

Tuesday, February 21st, 2006

Standing in large construction site on clear blue spring day. No clouds.

Noticed a strange object approaching from direct abeam. APX 2K ft. When object got close to over head angle I noticed that it was a blue disc with almost the same color of the sky but broken by contrast. On the bottom of this disc was a white silhouette of a small single engine aircraft. No protrusions, struts, markings, engine, prop halo or sound. Just a bland white silhouette on an obvious blue disc moving at a slow pace. there was no hindering noises.

I watched it slowly come and go constantly trying to readjust my perspective.

I was the only witness that had this perspective. I have thought about this for years. I became a professional pilot later and am now an International Captain for a Major Airline. I am convinced that my perspective was and is correct.

I have never in my long career over vast territories and continents seen another UFO.


You do know what this means don’t you? It means that if this story is true, that the occupants of this craft were like hunters in a duck blind, using camoflage to get close to their quarry.

This means that these particular people cared about the effect that a sighting would have on the the people on the ground. This is different from using invisibility (projecting the sky above on the undersurface of the disc), because the occupants are deliberately trying to mislead, and not simply hiding.

I have never read of a case like this ever.

RFID [is not equal to] proximity chip

Tuesday, February 21st, 2006

Mr Burnham said the radio technology was being introduced to meet international regulations enabling identity documents to be read by scanners at airports. It was “nonsense” to suggest the frequencies could be used to monitor people’s movements.

This kind of scaremongering is designed to whip up fears about the ID cards scheme. I hope people will see it for what it is.

George Monbiot doing his best Irdial impersonation. But he holds himself back too much. Although this bit is pretty good…

So the police won’t even have to be there. Someone sitting in a control room could fly a tiny drone (some of them are just a few inches across) equipped with a receiver over the heads of a crowd and, with the help of our new identity cards, determine who’s there.

The ID card debate seems to be boring the populus into submission. It, as many other issues, has been transformed into a neo-liberal dinner party discussion and taken as far as possible out of the context of most citizens futures. Nobody I speak to really cares, nobody shows any passion one way or the other. The ‘nothing to hide: nothing to fear’ response prevails. Tis the way of the modern world.

WW2 Era Cartoons

Tuesday, February 21st, 2006

A selection of clips from WW2 era cartoons; I would love to see them all complete.

no play today

Monday, February 20th, 2006

I had a look at a DS at the weekend, it’s not exactly a pretty object, it looks bulky and feels light and plasticy. Especially compared to a cerftain black shiny object made by evil people. If the next generation is more appealing I may be tempted

Perry Wiki

Monday, February 20th, 2006

Our aim is to accumulate extensive and up-to-date cider and perry related information and know how, with your help.

English drinks; drink them.