2008-10-29

Apostrophe Abuse Overload



Argggh!

2008-10-23

Christian Voice kooks on the atheist bus

"People don't like being preached at."
!!!
"But in a twist which will have Christians in gales of laughter, the advertising campaign...is to be stuck on bendy-buses."
May I suggest first that said Christians perhaps need to get out more, and second that "gales of laughter" doesn't seem like a very Christian response?
"fellow humanists, not known for their generosity, wouldn't stump up the cash."
Aren't you guys looking a little silly now?

Press release.

2008-10-22

More Broccoli News

I'm not sure why this loathsome stuff is so much in the news these days.
You might not think it loathsome. Think again.

Programmatic VNC password setting

I had this problem recently: I was generating automatic VNC passwords via /dev/urandom, and needed to obfuscate them. Stupidly, vncpasswd is only interactive, and I wasn't in any kind of mood for hacking up the sources. A co-worker kindly pointed me to the solution:

printf "%s\n%s\n" "$PASSWD" "$PASSWD" | vncpasswd /tmp/vncpasswd

In my head, the use of getpass() means this couldn't work, but it does. It doesn't appear to be on Google, so I thought I'd mention it. Of course, as all know, the obfuscation done by vncpasswd is entirely pointless, but Xvnc at least will only take such "encrypted" password files.

McCain understands small business growth - he was one



Since I can't vote, I may as well trivialise the election by laughing at McCain say things like "Obama's supporters are saying some pretty nasty things about Western Pennsylvania lately. And you know, I couldn't agree with them more. I couldn't disagree with you. I couldn't agree with you more..."

Doddery old fool.

2008-10-20

What took you so long?

They've finally invented wireless power.

2008-10-19

Democracy*

Vote obstruction may yet decide the outcome of the US election. Scary.

2008-10-17

Ha ha ha ... ha?

Why aren't there any headache tablets in the jungle? Because of the continuing policy of price-fixing cartels within the pharmaceutical industry, making it nigh on impossible for decent standards of helathcare to operate in the developing world.
More.

2008-10-15

Vinyl space again!

After Habitat stupidly stopped selling the storage I was using for my records, I finally found
something suitable for the size of my flat:






















These are i-cubes. Not the most beautiful storage in the world, but I have expansion room again!

Following the US elections from the UK

I've never paid anything like this kind of attention to US politics before, and I'm most certainly not alone. Everyone here in the UK is talking about it. It's not just the hatred engendered across the world as a result of the Bush years that's causing this though. I think it's mostly a combination of the huge gulf between the presidential candidates this time around, plus the pantomime nature of the Palin-McCain campaign.

Last time the UK faced a choice as stark as the US faces, I was a toddler, and not quite precocious enough to have an opinion. I'm sure I don't need to mention that everyone in the UK are Obama supporters - we've decided already to vote for Obama come November, and technicalities be damned.

Watching the debates and news clips of the candidates has been completely unreal, from both sides. It's bizarre seeing Obama talking about "crushing" and "killing" terrorists as if it's perfectly normal liberal terminology. Over here that kind of language belongs to the far right. Compare it with Blair (who need I remind you is rather hawkish): "There is no meeting of minds, no point of understanding with such terror. Just a choice: Defeat it or be defeated by it. And defeat it we must."

It's also been entertaining watching Palin stumble along in her attempt to pretend she has any idea what's going on. "First Dude" is an amusing phrase, but it's still amazing she actually uses it herself. Her "expertise" on energy appears to amount to saying "drill baby drill" a lot. Somehow her ridiculous attempt to debate via the language of winking is considered a success. Whuh?

God knows the level of debate in UK politics is woeful, but you'd never get anything like this kind of pantomime. You'd never get ridiculous smears like the Ayers thing, Brown's wife's speech or not.

The UK did elect a London mayor entirely on the basis of his hair, though. Maybe that's the real problem with the US election at the moment: it really can't be decided easily on haircut.

2008-10-14

For shame

I finally conceded and set up mutt at work to be able to read HTML email. Perhaps it's time to move into management.

2008-10-13

Turning off Offensive YouTube popups

What the hell are they thinking? These awful popups have actually genuinely achieved
a new low: even pop-unders and nefarious crap like that have an obvious way to dismiss the advert.
Apparently it's also OK to just plaster them all over the content so you can't even see it.

You go to the arrow at the bottom right and click "Turn Off Annotations". These are Annotations
in the "Ministry Of Love" sense. Oh, you have to do that for every video by the way. Unlike the
volume control, which of course persists across all videos.

Obviously, YouTube want you to hate them.