Tuesday, December 27, 2011

[HoM] First Two-Time Moron!

There is just something stupid about people sometimes. They act without thinking, they don't check facts, and they believe they're always right, despite evidence to the contrary. It's bad enough when this happens once, but for it to happen twice is incredibly bad. Yet it HAS happened, as a previous Hall of Morons entrant decided to try and confront the person he believed blackened his name.

Unfortunately for him, he failed badly, AGAIN.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A SOPA Plea to Rep. Austin Scott [GA-8] [UPDATED]

One of my friends passed on to me this letter that they had written to their representative on the Stop Online Piracy Act (HR 3261). It was sent Thursday December 15th 2011, to the office of Representative Austin Scott, of Georgia's 8th District.

UPDATE: He responded

Friday, December 9, 2011

REAL Copyright Theft

Rogue Websites don’t Obey DMCA notices, is the claim we’re seeing now about the new SOPA and Protect-IP laws. Yet there’s a flipside, as the penalties – CRIMINAL PENALTIES - for filing a false notice are ignored. Who watches those that watch for copyright infringement?

Monday, December 5, 2011

[HoM] I wrote this guide on this topic I don't know...

There are idiots everywhere, but not many make pumpkins look smart. If you're going to write a guide, for instance, then you REALLY need to know your topic. If you don't know your topic, then DON'T WRITE A GUIDE BOOK ABOUT IT. Often it makes you look stupid, but on occasion, can cause a LOT of problems for those that follow it, expecting things to work.

There are many such guides, this is just one that caught my eye.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A SOPA Supporter is Just A WIMP

If there's one thing that makes US Politics amusing, it's the sheer effort that is put into legislation, or at least the legislation's name. Wrap a bill in a catchy backronym, even if it is the opposite of the bill, and it is almost certain to pass!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Three Policies to Rule Them All

In March of this year, Rick produced his 'Pirate Wheel'. A system that tried to set out his view on what the Pirate Party stands for. I, myself, had my own version, one that was based on 3 legs or pillars, without which there is (in my opinion) no stable support.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pumpkin Carving 2011

There can be nothing better, or more satisfying that a pumpkin carving. You can either carve through, or on, and it seems a tradition at this time of year.

In fact, it seems that carving 'on' is becoming more popular than through, perhaps because of the ability to deal with details, it lasting longer, and perhaps most importantly, no need to hollow it out!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

[HoM] But I'm connected to over 350 seeders...

What do you do when people just won't listen to a word you say? When they're so concerned that they are in the right, because they tried one test (used to diagnose a different issue) and took it as confirmation that they had no problems. Me, i get mad, but I apologise here and now for that. I lost my temper, but I didn't lose my mind.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Muon1 Presentation at Dragon*Con 2011

Frequent readers will know of my work with the Muon1 project. One of the things I do is cover the PR aspect of it, where I run the twitter feed (@muon1) the facebook page, and the unOfficial blog. I also create videos showing the best designs. Occasionally, though, I'll do something else. Sometimes it'll be the press releases, and very occasionally, it will be a presentation.

Just over a month ago, I noted I was giving a presentation on Muon1 as part of the science track for Dragon*Con. For those that didn't make it (for one reason or another) here is the presentation in full.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A USPS-FedEx Race!

A week or two back, I mentioned I was having some problems with my daughter's phone. The second one luckily was NOT broken, but when I was boxing them up to send back, I had the thought “I wonder which one would get back sooner?”

There was only one way to find out. Post them as close to the same time as possible, and see which one got back to Verizon the quickest. Was it the USPS flat rate system, or the FedEx 2 day return? Let's see.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Bittorrent Panel at Dragon*Con

I've been a little quiet in the past few weeks, as I rcoup from Dragon*Con and deal with some other things that have come up.The audio recording of my Bittorrent panel is now up!!!!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Verizon's Phones Playing Up

I've used LG cellphones for the past few years, because I've found they always work well. I currently have an EnV2 that is almost 3 years old, and works perfectly. That reputation has taken a bit of a hit in the past 2 weeks, after dealing with an LG Cosmos phone.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Panels at Dragon*Con 2011

In a few days time I'm off to Dragon*con 2011. It's a science fiction convention, but more as well. I will be giving two panels there, one on Muon1, and one on Bittorrent.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Why Knowing Your Own IP Matters

There are some things you should just know, especially when torrenting. When it comes to troubleshooting, there are some things you absolutely MUST check first. This includes, but is NOT limited to... YOUR OWN IP ADDRESS.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I Won’t Do My Job, Give Me a Better One

Three of the current front-runners for the Republican presidential nomination are big on their fiscal conservatism, yet there's one area they're not so conservative on – their own salaries. All three are advocating 'business' positions to problems, but missing one vital fact. Were they in the private sector, all three would have been fired already.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Another Week, Another Idiot With BitTorrent Settings Issues

Yet another idiot inducted into the hall of morons, who doesn't understand his settings, and can't be bothered to read the help file to understand what they do.

This is taken from the µTorrent support channel, #utorrent on Wednesday August 17 2011

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Make Him Download From Me!

Yes, it's time for another touch of idiocy. This one comes from the Pirate Bay's IRC channel, a good source to pick up rumors relating to bittorrent. There have been many similar ones in other channels, but none quite so blunt about what they expect.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Consequence of No Consequences

As the smoke clears after riots in several cities in the UK, including my own home city of Liverpool, the underlying question has to be asked 'why did this happen?' While some will pass it off as 'they just want to rob', that overlooks the question of WHY.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Muon1 Best Designs - PhaseRotA

Part 4 is the other new design at the time, PhaseRotA. Like ChicaneLinacA, it starts with the SolenoidsOnlky decay channel, but instead of a chicane and a linac, it uses a phase rotation system.

The best design was 0.785352% and was again by Sobi of Team Seti Germany.

This piece is cross-posted from the unOfficial Muon1 Blog

Web Sheriff Upset at Losing Potential Business Tools.

The Infamous Web Sheriff, John Giacobbi, has today posted an impassioned plea on HuffPost today, about how some aspects of the Digital Economy Act not being implemented are really bad. Of course, he forgets that the law as it is, isn't killing the industry now.

Monday, August 1, 2011

testing, please ignore


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Muon1 Best Designs - ChicaneLinacA

In part 3, we move away from just the solenoid channel, and on to a more expansive simulation. ChicaneLinacA takes the design of SolenoidsOnly, and expands on it, adding a magnetic chicane, and a linac.

The best design was 0.988441% by Sobi of Team Seti Germany

This piece is cross-posted from the unOfficial Muon1 Blog

The New Terrorism, Part 2 – Countering

In the first part, we identified that terrorism is widespread, but in the guise of 'anti-terrorism'. In this part, it's time to discuss how to deal with things.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The New Terrorism, Part 1 – Identification

Across the western world, a new form of terrorism is breeding. It strikes fear into citizens, it attempts to change civilization as we know it, and it attacks and assaults people on a daily basis. It's name? “Anti-terrorism.”

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Dabbling With Android

In an attempt (Brave, foolhardy or otherwise) to better myself, I'm attempting to learn how to code for the Android platform.

This will be quite a challenge for me, as aside from some c++ coding when I did my degree, in the late 90s, I've not done anything like this since my Dragon32.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Muon1 Best Designs - Solenoidsto15cm

Originally posted at the unofficial Muon1 blog

In the second part of our series, we look at Solenoidsto15cm. This was the second lattice, and the first time that a change in the design paramaters had happened, without needing a new version of the client.

The best design was 13.369790% by Shish of Team Free-DC

Friday, July 15, 2011

Muon1 Best Designs - SolenoidsOnly

Originally Posted at the unOfficial Muon1 Blog

In the first part of our ongoing look at the best designs from each lattice, we start with SolenoidsOnly. This, the first lattice of the 4.3 branch of clients started by simulating only a decay channel, a step back from the v4.2x clients. And started in March 2003.

The best design was 16.047507% by PIT-V of Team Seti Germany

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New Muon1 Lattices

And now, 2 new lattices for the Muon1 Distributed Computing project. As noted over at the Muon1 Blog, the new lattices replaces two that have plateaued over the last week, giving tweaks to hopefully bring things along andbreak out of any local maximums.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Firefox5, Opera 11.5 Compared (pt2 - Win7)

source: technovore 
In part 1, we have a quick look at browser performance in Windows Vista. Here in part 2 we're going to look at performance under Windows7, just as we did in April. Part 3 will deal with Ubuntu.

Muon1 hits 25 Million-Billion Particle Timesteps

The Muon1 project hit another milestone recently. Last year I posted about it hitting 20 quadrillion (or Million-billion) particle timesteps, well less than 11 months later, it had added another 5 Quadrillion to that number. a 20% increase in work in less than a year!

BitTorrent Turns 10

Internet protocols and 'systems' are either hit or miss. They last for ages, or only a few months. The web, email, IRC, all things that have lasted, eXeem, Google Wave, hardly any time at all. In the fast paced world of the web, it's often the frantic turnover that kills a new product, especially when it's launched into the middle of a rapidly developing area by a lone developer. BitTorrent has made the grade, as it today celebrates it's 10th birthday.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Firefox5, Opera 11.5 Compared (pt1 - VISTA)

source: technovore 
It's been only 3 months since the release of IE9 and Firefox 4 and yet here we are again. This time, with two new browsers, Firefox 5 and Opera 11.50, both with new rendering engines. I've split things into three parts. This first part is on Windows Vista browsers, the second on browsers under Windows7, and the third will focus on Ubuntu 10.10 browsers.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Red Flag Act and P2P

Today, my good friend Rick Falkvinge in his op-ed over at TorrentFreak posted about the Red Flag Act. For those that don't know, it was a protectionist law enacted in 1865 to slow down steam traction engines, ostensibly because they were a threat, but in reality because they were encroaching on the profits of existing big business. A law to restrict new technology because it was threatening the profitability of the old, gee that sounds familiar!

Friday, June 24, 2011

25 Years of Computing

CC-BY by liftarn
As this publishes, it will be exactly 25 years (give or take a few moments) since I got my first computer. Oh how much has changed in that time.

June 24 1986, 6am (UK time) and I awoke with eagerness and boundless enthusiasm. Running downstairs, a huge box is waiting. Well, when you're 6, a large box looks huge, but waiting it was, with a bow, and a big “Happy Birthday” on it. Inside was something that has had a profound change on my entire life. My First Computer.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A New Western Theocracy?

If there was one stand out recommendation on the Hargreaves report on copyright in the UK, it's that legislation should be made based on evidence, not belief. It sounds obvious, but with an ever-increasing swathe of issues, laws are written based on feelings, beliefs and opinions, rather than actual facts. So, the question is, when you start making laws based on beliefs, at what point are you a theocracy?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Good Photography on the Cheap

Photography can be a rewarding hobby . Yet not everyone can afford an expensive camera to take their pictures. Good photography, however, doesn't always need the best camera though, as even cheap digital cameras can give good results, if handled properly. So, here are some examples of pictures taken using cheap cameras, or even cameraphones.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

TPB Raid - 5 Years On, Still Going Strong

It's now been 5 years since the Pirate Bay was raided by Swedish police, after extensive 'urging' by US trade groups and politicians. 5 years of wrangling to take down that bastion of piracy, that cocker-of-snoots to the influential and rich, and that distributor of torrent files and magnet links (and NOTHING ELSE!)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Andrew Orlowski: Drunk, Unethical, or Just Plain Crap?

In the old days, reporting was easy. You took the facts of the story, and arranged them into a nice pleasant format that makes for easier reading. Nowadays, however, “Journalism” means taking a set of facts, discarding those that don't fit with the story you aim to write, and then writing a piece of prose that fits the story you want to tell. It's editorialising, it's writing 'fact-based fiction', but it is NOT Journalism.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

With Love, to Tery

I've had several pieces I've worked on, and ready to go over the past few days, but I've been unable to finish them, or concentrate on them at all. On Friday, a dear friend, who was not only a shining example of goodness ,a good friend, and in many ways a surrogate mother, died.

Friday, April 29, 2011

More Muon1 Information

I guess this will also become the semi-official Muon1 blog, at least for now.

There are some common questions that are asked about Muon1, including 'what is it about', 'why should I bother?', 'what's so special about it?' and 'what does it do?'

So let's answer them, shall we?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

µTorrent 3 Beta Released – Goes Backwards

I've been a long-time user of µtorrent. I've been helping out with basic support int heir IRC channel for ooh... years. However, with recent developments, I may be moving away, and I'm not the only one. Recent builds have added more 'features', but have broken core ones in doing so, and the UI has been tweaked, to the disadvantage of power users, for issues that don't actually happen.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

IE9 v Firefox4 Round 2 - Windows7

A week or two ago, I looked at a number of browsers, and compared them all. While it was done with my standard method on windows Vista, Windows7 is now more dominant. It's also in many cases 'faster'. So, Could browsers be written so as to unlock potential in Windows7 that isn't there in Vista? That would clearly be the case with Internet Explorer 9, which isn't even offered for XP, because of it's reliance on newer versions of windows. So, let's see if the version of windows really does make a difference.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Muon1 v4.45 Released

At long last, Muon1 has a client update. Version 4.45 went live 2 weeks ago, and carries some significant upgrades. Along with a better, more stable graphical mode, it's accuracy has also been significantly improved.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Browser Benchmarks: Firefox4 Vs. IE9

The launch of Firefox 4 has be heralded with much pomp and circumstance, and a great gnashing of teeth over which is better. Mozilla upped the ante over Microsoft last week, claiming to have smashed a download figure for IE9. Download figures aside, which is the best?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

AT&T Equates IRC to Bot-Nets, suggests WEP

One of the more interesting things that happens in the tech world, is when companies do something unusual, and on a topic which they should know better. Sometimes, it helps them sell an agenda, or cut a cost, but all too often, it's the result of a misunderstanding by a non-technical person. Such is the case here with AT&T and IRC.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Aussie Piracy study is “Fantasy work”

What do you get if you take one study of estimated data, aggregate it, then use that to generate data on another country on the opposite side of the world? If you're the content industry, you call that 'an anti piracy study' and if you're a politician, you might call it 'evidence proving the need for more laws'. Personally, I call it utter crap.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Hey Pirates, Why the Vitriol?

A post on the 1709 blog last week asks why P2P users have such anger at organisations that represent artists, and who create the content they share. The p2pers must blame someone, and who better than the fat-cats, is the suggestion there, but is it really that simple?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

US's First Pirate Party

It's finally happened, and the US has it's first official Pirate Party. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts approved the Massachusetts Pirate Party for inclusion on the ballot earlier this week, meaning that it's the first place in the country where you can 'vote pirate'

Monday, February 21, 2011

Muon1's Facebook page

I've only mentioned Muon1 in passing before, when it reached it's 20 Quadrillion particle-timestep milestone last year. however, I'm a strong supporter of Muon1, as I believe it's a massive step forward in distributing computing. Now you too can show your support by joining its facebook page.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

USTR 301 Submission 2011

As I mentioned yesterday, the deadline for the USTR Special 301 was today, in fact it just closed. So I thought I'd share my submissions with you, of course.

Monday, February 14, 2011

USTR 301 deadline looming

Some of you may have forgotten, but the deadline for the upcoming US Trade Representative Special 301 report is coming soon. The report, required under the 1974 Trade Act, reports on trade barriers to US business due to Copyright, Patent, and Trademark (C/P/T). In addition, a submission on ACTA will also close at the same time.

Monday, February 7, 2011

America, Fighting Terrorism with Terrorism

Tomorrow, there will be a domestic terrorist attack on Capitol Hill. It won't be the first, and it won't be the last either, as legislation that strips away rights from both citizens, and non-citizens is pushed through the US Congress. Tommorow, it'lll be reauthorizing aspects of the USA PATRIOT Act that are due to expire, and it does this in the name of "fighting terrorism". The sad irony, is that the entire Patriot Act itself is quite literally a domestic terrorist act.

Monday, January 24, 2011

US Pirate Party's Data Protection Failure

One of the core tenants of the Pirate Party movement, is personal privacy. In fact, to quote Rick Falkvinge, “Five years ago, when I founded the Swedish and first Pirate Party, we set three pillars for our policy: shared culture, free knowledge, and fundamental privacy.”.But what do you do when a Pirate Party doesn't follow those three core principles? That's the question that now occupies the US Pirate Party.

Friday, January 21, 2011

UK ID Cards Are No More!

In the last ten years, governments have fallen over themselves to try and obtain more information about their citizens. Sometimes it's databases, or new regulations, or cameras, but the one thing they have in common is that they can be used to identify you, and track you. Today is a positive step then, as in the UK, it's the last day for the “UK Identity Card” - after midnight GMT tonight, they will no longer be valid for use at all.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

UK Speedtraps Not For Safety

In the UK, speedtraps, GATSO's, speeding cameras - call them what you will - have been marketed as a way to reduce road deaths, by reducing speeds at accident blackspots, and thus increasing safety. However, a Magistrates Court in Grimbsby has charged someone with wilfully obstructing a policewoman in the execution of her duty for slowing people down. The crucial point? He was slowing them before a speedtrap.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Where Torrents Infringe

There's been a lot of action targeting torrent websites, especially in recent months. It seems that part of the problem is that people don't understand, a lot of the time, what's going on with sites. It's also clear from some filings, that the agents and courts don't either.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Jabba the Hut's Pirate Prohibition

It might not seem like a particular surprise, that the African nation of Tunisia – better known to many as Tatooine – has arrested pirates. However these aren't your 'Knock-off Nigel' types selling DVDs that are in prison, but Pirate Politicians, arrested for having a political view different from the ruling government.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Rick Stepping Down as Piratepartiet Leader

(This is a copy of a post first published at Ricks site, which I've reprinted here)

I spend a lot of my days on the intertubes, and often find myself discussing, and/or promoting the Pirate Party ideology, often ending in an suggestion that the person join their local party. Most of the time, they've heard of the Pirate Party, but maybe 20% of the time, they think it's Sweden only. Piratpartiet has (if you'll excuse the marketing talk) 'international brand awareness' in the techie group, but now it needs to embrace the other 90% of the electorate, because the issues are not just confined to those 10%, but affect everyone.

5 Years of Pirate Partying

Today marks the 5th birthday of the Swedish Pirate Party, Launched at 20:00 (8pm) on January 1st 2005, in five years it has spread globally, to parties in over 40 countries, with elected representatives in 4 countries at present, it's been an exhillerating first 5 years.

SuprNova Relaunches

One of the big names in early torrenting was Suprnova.org. What the Pirate Bay is now, Suprnova was then, and it's enforced closure was the catalyst for the popularity of Miniova, TPB, isoHunt, and a whole host of others. So now, in this recently released promo-video, suprnova, once more under the control of Sloncek, is relaunching as a video portal.