2009 archive

Dec 30 2009


Well I finally cracked and ordered an N900 on-line just before Christmas. Nokia had been promising since about August of this year that the device “might” ship in the UK around October. Since then, the release date has slipped, and slipped, and slipped (much to the amusement of an iPhone using friend of mine who …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2009/12/30/shiny/

Dec 12 2009

comment spam

I block comment spam aimed at this blog, and I insist that commenters leave some form of identification before I will allow a comment to be posted. Further, I use a captcha mechanism to keep the volume of spam down. Nevertheless, like most blogs, trivia attracts its fair share of attempted viagra ads, porn links …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2009/12/12/comment-spam/

Dec 12 2009

colossally boneheaded

David Adams over at OS News has posted an interesting commentary on Eric Schmidt’s recent outburst. Referring to Schmidt’s statement which I commented on below, Adams says: I think the portion of that statement that’s sparked the most outrage is the “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2009/12/12/colossally-boneheaded/

Dec 07 2009

privacy is just for criminals

I’ve mentioned before that I value my privacy. I use tor, coupled with a range of other necessary but tedious approaches (such as refusing cookies, blocking ad servers, scrubbing my browser) to provide me with the degree of anonymity I consider my right in an increasingly public world. It is nobody’s business but mine if …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2009/12/07/privacy-is-just-for-criminals/

Nov 29 2009

apple antipathy may be misplaced

Apparently the lastest release of the iPhone OS (v 3.1) has caused a few minor problems with WiFi and battery life. This has led El Reg to moan about the fact that you can’t downgrade the iPhone OS to an earlier version. I’m no great fan of Apple, but to be fair, this situation is …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2009/11/29/apple-antipathy-may-be-misplaced/

Nov 15 2009

system monitoring with munin

A while back a friend and colleague of mine introduced me to the server monitoring tool called munin which he had installed on one of the servers he maintains. It looked interesting enough for me to stick it on my “to do” list for my VPSs. Having a bunch of relevant stats presented in graphical …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2009/11/15/system-monitoring-with-munin/

Nov 11 2009

OSS shouldn’t frighten the horses

Since I first read that Nokia were adding much needed telephony capability to their N8x0 range of internet tablets I have been watching the development of the new Nokia N900 with much interest. It looks to be potentially the sort of device I would buy. Despite all the hype around the iPhone, I really dislike …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2009/11/11/oss-shouldnt-frighten-the-horses/

Nov 01 2009

a free (google) service is worth exactly what you pay for it

I note from a recent register posting that that some gmail users are objecting to the fact that google’s mail service has failed yet again. El Reg even quotes one disgruntled user as saying: “More than 30 hours without email…totally unacceptable. I’ll definitely have to reconsider my selection of gmail for my primary email account. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2009/11/01/a-free-service-is-worth-exactly-what-you-pay-for-it/

Oct 29 2009

call me by name, or call me by value

The old saw about “real” programmers versus the rest (known as “quiche eaters”) was originally summarised beautifully in the classic letter to the editor of Datamation in July 1983 entitled “real programmers don’t use pascal”. Similar religious (i.e. irrational, but deeply held) positions are taken around various other “lifestyle” choices, such as the equally classic …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2009/10/29/call-me-by-name-or-call-me-by-value/

Oct 28 2009


It would appear that I may have been unnecessarily concerned about the accuracy of the profiling data held on me by the commercial sites I use. In my inbox today I found the following email from Amazon: “As a valued Amazon.co.uk customer, we thought you might be interested in visiting our website dedicated to shoes …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2009/10/28/handbags/

Oct 18 2009

logrotate weirdness in debian etch

I have two VPSs, both running debian. One runs lenny, the other runs etch. The older etch install runs fine, and is much as the supplier delivered it. Until now I have not had cause to consider the need to upgrade the etch install to lenny because it “just worked”. But today I noticed for …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2009/10/18/logrotate-weirdness-in-debian-etch/

Oct 15 2009

where has my money gone

Like most ‘net users I know these days, I conduct most of my financial transactions on-line. But on-line banking is a high risk activity, particularly if you use the “default” OS and browser combination to be found on most PCs. I don’t, but that doesn’t make me invulnerable, just a slightly harder target. So attempts …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2009/10/15/on-line-banking-security/