I’ve spent something like nine hours this weekend trying to get my
MythTV box into a working state. I shall take a short look back over
the obstacles I’ve already overcome and the reasons why I’ve decided
that my sanity is worth more than ï¿½30.
Continue reading Knowing When To Quit →
So my hacky little python script to download bittorrent feeds in a more
scripting friendly manner is working perfectly now. A number of people
have mentioned that they think this would be a generally helpful thing
to have so I'm putting up a link to it here for anyone who wants to
play with it.
Here it is.
You'll need version 3.4 of bittorrent to use this script.
Continue reading Dirty Hacks’r’ Us →
Bashpodder, in case you are not already familiar with it, is a command line tool for downloading podcasts.
I like it because it's unintrusive and can be run from a cron job.
Which means when I get home in the evening I can just check today's
download directory and see what cool stuff I have to listen to.
Continue reading Bashpodder and BitTorrent →
So Scoble linked to some guy’s website which contains a hilarious (oh,
my aching sides) flash animation entitled How to Turn Your Windows
Desktop into Linux. Besides the obvious point of why anyone would use
flash to put up a page that’s mostly text with a couple of pictures,
bandwidth anyone?; this irritated the hell out of me because it
illustrates a trait all too common amongst computer users of all
stripes. Because they don’t understand another platform that platform
Continue reading Oh, Ha Ha Ha. →
Anyone who frequents newsgroups for any length of time picks up some
fairly random stuff along the way. So in an attempt not to lose all the
great bits of ephemera I shall post them here.
spectacular photos can be found here.
213 Things Skippy is No Longert Allowed to do in the Military
Strange and bizarrely funny list of exploits carried out by on Specialist Shwartz formerly of the US Army in Bosnia.
Continue reading Random Stuff →
Finally worked up the courage to un-lock the DVD drive on my PC. I
dislike the motion picture industry telling me from what regions I can
watch DVDs. It’s especiall irritating when considering that many fine
DVDs such as this and this are only available as Region 1. The fact that the MPAA feels I should have to jump through hoops in order to give them money has got to be corporate stupidity of the highest order.
Continue reading Region Free Firmware Goodness →
I was disturbed to read the following letter in this week's Private Eye.
Your reviewer of Richard Dawkin's latest literary fantasy The Ancestor's Tale
(Eye 1118) was correct to point out the religious aspects of Dawkin's effusions. Evolutionism is certainly more a faith than a science. There is still no fossil evidence. Recent advances in molecular science have shown the incredible and irreducible complexity of cell structure and programmed information that rules out any evolutionary progression. Evolutionists now cite cell mutations as a possible means of evolution – yet in all mutations studied genetic information is always observed to be lost. i.e. what what we observe taking place is actually the opposite of evolution. Discerning Eye readers not yet taken in by this false religious belief will wish to investigate the following more scientifically-balanced books: Evolution: A Theory in Crisis by Michael Denton or Darwins's Black Box by Michael Behe.
Obviously I'm not having a go at the Eye for printing this letter since it is evidence that they are giving all their readers, no matter
how loopy, a right to reply. This is a good thing and speaks well of the Eye. No, I'm disturbed because I thought these kinds of
fundamentalist nut-cases only existed in hell-holes like Alabama not within our own green and pleasant land.
This letter encompasses all the Creationist greatest hits. lets enumerate and discuss for fun and profit.
- Evolutionism, this is a favourite straw man of the Creationists. Claim that anyone who espouses evolution is actually a
religious nut just like them. Just to clear this up repeat after me, There is no such thing as Evolutionism. There is a scientific theory
known as Evolution by natural selection which talks about how species evolve. The exact details of this theory are still the subject of
massive amounts of research. Want to know more about evolutionary theory?
- No Fossil Evidence, this one's so wrong it's almost funny. There is in fact an overwhelmingly huge amount of fossil evidence. I can only assume this is one of those repeat something often enough and people will believe you kind of deals.
- Information is always lost, this is a riff on the old tune of evolution is in contravention of the second law of
thermodynamics. To start off I'll point out that contrary to what the author claims evolution has often been convincingly demonstrated in the petri dish. This EMBO report has a useful section entitled Evolution in the Laboratory. Anyway evolution doesn't break the 2nd law of thermodynamics although
it clearly breaks the fragile little minds of Cretinists. Talk Origins address this in their massively helpful FAQ.
- There are scientific alternatives, particularly insidious is the suggestion that there are serious scientists with alternative
explanations. Having read the Behe book I know this is not so (in case you are interested it was bought for me by my creationist grandmother). These are usually variations on the theme "God did it" clouded by some badly mis-informed pseudo science and careful avoidance of using the word God. For your edification here is a careful dismanteling of Behe's empty box. The evolution in crisis book was new to me so I had to look around for almost thirty seconds before a could find an answer.
After Blair happily started funding schools that teach creationism I am worried that this sort of thing may start becoming more common here in blighty. The only thing you can do about ignorance is to correct it when you see it.
Robert Scoble is crowing about the loss of one linux user to windows XP.
Now I sypmpathise with this Misanthropyst chap. Getting 802.11 stuff
working under linux is pretty damn hard. Mostly it's hard because
almost none of the hardware manufacturers will release info about their
cards let alone releasing drivers. Windows get's a free ride on this
because it's the dominant platform, if hardware companies don't release
windows drivers they don't sell any hardware. Scoble should be less
triumphalist, the day is fast approaching where failing to deliver
linux drivers will be a similarly fatal mistake.
As we are on the subject of ease of use I'm going to plug Project Utopia. To quote Robert Love "[It is] a grand scheme to improve the integration of the Linux desktop and end world
I also feel it's worth mentioning that Misanthropyst still uses linux to run his webserver. Good chap.
Continue reading Scoble Crowing Again →
a website that writes articles about Microsoft's less honourable
business practices was proudly displaying the following message today.
Active Server Pages error ASP 0126
Continue reading web site embarrassments →
In irate chap in the spectator has been bemoaning the state of british policing whilst
claiming that it is now illegal to carry a swiss-army knife. This
article has cropped up in a number of newsgroups, namely those under
uk.rec, whose inhabitants are in the habit of carrying knives for
entirely benign reasons.
Continue reading spectator article doing the rounds →