Tuesday, July 22, 2008

gene pool diversity and stuff of all kinds

so cycling into the computer lab today i noticed that there are
no two bikes the same in the cycle rack outside. this is remarkable. indeed, I noticed in gatwick airport last week that (aside from little old couples of american tourists traveling around) there were no two bags the same on the whole carousel.
then I relaized that on 5th avenue last week in NYC there were no two tourists with the same camera!

And yet I notice in the conference that almost all the laptops were from a gene pool of 3 (macbooks, ibm thinkpads, and dells).

then thinking back a couple of weeks, i recall that there were no two tents the same in glastonbury.

why is that, peg, I pray? what makes laptops special??? eh?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

his facebook fell on an eyewateringphone

so today I notice "11 of my friends have added the face book applcation to their iphones"

amazing - so 11 people i have as "friends" on faceboo kobviously just bought iphone 2s and there's a sucker born ever hour:)


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

nationalize congested resources?

vint cerf has mused - he suggests thinking about
nationalizing or at least thinking about
nationalizing the internet - wahay!!

I am a fan - i think we (the british) should nationalize the whole internet - we could definitely run it better than the americans. actually, more seriously treating the transmission infrastructure as a common good, like spectrum, and allowing licensees to operate it might not be a bad model at all, but the main problem is what I saracstically refer to above - that of under whose jurisprudence/diction ???

meanwhile, heathrow airport has never let me down - that is to say it has never allowed my flight to land on time - the claim it is congested seems to be the standard excuse - how can a circuit switched, hard deadline scheduled resource be congested? come on - get real guys - BAA over sold the resource - this is basically a criminal offence as I understand it. we have mathematical proofs that this must be what they are doing. time to shut them down and let someone more competent (the NHS, the british navy, the european commission - hey no-one could be worse) run it.

Monday, July 07, 2008

piracy hysteria in the EU

today the eu meps vote on the Telecom Packet bill thing - this is a barking mad set of measures to increase regulatory controls over what can and cannot be done on the Internet. Aside from the usual waste of time and money this involves, it is symptomatic of the government agencies wishes to be "seen to be doing something" rather than "actually being effective" about things. As has been commented elsewhere,
if there was any evidence that a musician had actually gone broke because of online music distribution, one might have more sympathy, but when one is bombarded with unskippable advert for unscrupulous agencies that support profiteering music and film companies, every time one lawfully buys a cd, dvd, or goes to the cinema, one is hardly likely to be sympathetic to these scum.

breach of copyright is not theft. repeat after me. Unless you can prove a loss (either of an item you had before, and don't have now, or of possible revenue) then copying
may constitute a crime, but it is not theft in the sense of the English language common understanding of the word. P2P is not piracy. P2P users might be software engineers using bit-torrent to send out new versions of Linux or other commercially viable products (even Cisco IOS:) or they might be ~attoo or iPlayer or other legitimate users of P2P for media distribution.

use of anonymization and encryption are not terrorism. I might just want privacy. just like I do when i want to do banking on line. or whistle-blowing.

It is not up to a government agency to decide when an activity constitutes illegality by looking at my content to do so. but that is not the main issue - the problem here is that the governments here want to legitimize the routine spying on my activities by commercial agencies to protect them against possible (rare) commercial losses.

pretty soon now I will have to disguise all of my network activities as tax returns (and MPs expense claims) so that there is enough cover traffic from accidental government data privacy breaches to cover my legitimate private communication:)

Thursday, July 03, 2008

write only: BBC Have Your Say Glastonbury bias!

I just got back from Glastonbury and look at the BBC's "Have your say" audience participation web feedback site - it is astounding - it is massively dominated by people who clearly hadn't actually gone to Glastonbury - for example, t he discussion (if one can glorify a bunch of rants about Amy and Jay-Z as such)) is almost 100% dominated by an agenda set by the press before the event - let me list stuff that I talked about afterwartds with friends who went

1. free unicycling lessons for kids

2. pedal powered phone recharging

3. Pint of Wherry for 3.20 (40p cheaper than London or Cambridge pubs)

4. Fine (cheap) local Cider, and pasties. And Thai, and French and Mexican food (typical lunch for 4 pounds). All in English breakfast (Sub-Aqua club) for 4 quid.

5. Hilariously bad (not Amy who was ok) - Brians Jonestown Massacre - several songs had to leave out band members as they obviously hadn't heard them before - violin player and welsh wife were bemused to say the least.

6. stuff that was just neither here nor there - e.g. Amy, Jay-Z, Neil Diamond (actualy, I'm a Believer was a really nice suprise - forgot he wrote that too!) - just not arguable

7 completely brilliant stuff people didn't mention on the bbc site: The National, Manu Chau, Suzanne Vega, Eric Bibb, Joan Armatrading, the Subways, the Raconteurs, Groove Armada, Vampire Weekend (actually I dont like the last two, but I have to admit they were good) + stuff about 2 people mentioned that was stellar: Leonard Cohen's entrance reciting the opening lines of Dance me to the End of Time, Mark Ronson, Massive Attack (lite show, and both with some good guest vocals) and the zutons - also pretty repsectable performances from the Kings of Leon (even if I dont like them) and Goldfrapp....and the Verve and ....oh i dunno it just beggars belief people stood at a stage and watched stuff they didn't like when there were more than 10 other things to do elsewhere in less than 5 mins from the same place -not even including the dancing til 5am, oh and crowded house getting the whole of the audience to do a wave to knock down the band from back of pyramid amphi to the front....oh, and buddy guy, oh, and....and...and ...

8. Shangri La rock n roll revival bar in wrecked aeroplane, Trash City art

9. Avalon Cafe all day fine pizza and other homemade and folk music and jazz

10. the weather.

and a lot of other good stuff (amusing side shows almost everywhere all day

for 155 quid - this is awesome - people whingeing about 2 bands they didn't like or see had 9 other stages to go to and no mud to stop them. what idiots. or liars (e..g if they weren't there).

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

freedom of information and CCTV and mobile phone location

more on location services:

couldn't we use CCTV footage in the UK?

all we need to do is to have people blog where they are roughly(as per cell info, as in the Barabasi et al Nature paper of infamous repute), and then demand CCTV footage under the freedom-of-information act
this would do 2 things.

1. really annoy the CCTV owners2
2. allow people to video blog their lives for free

wouldn't that be cool?

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misery me, there is a floccipaucinihilipilification (*) of chronsynclastic infundibuli in these parts and I must therefore refer you to frank zappa instead, and go home