Some updates, and a little “open sermon”

  • I’m in the unusual position of being inside, yet rugged up with a jacket and scarf with what feels like a cold. I can’t say I’m happy about it.
  • Upgraded WordPress here to 2.7.1 (Fedora 11 RPM rebuilt for F10) without too many hassles. It kept retrying the database upgrade(!) but disabling the plugins and a little bit of tinkering (clean cookies, rebuild config, even restarted memcached / set SELinux to Permissive) got it working. I suspect clearing memcached was the trick.
  • Sorry to my Planet readers for some cruft in the RSS, the Related Posts plugin needed to be *ahem* disciplined. It should be fixed now.
  • Loving the Leonidas release – the adventure during upgrade (died partway, restarted, left behind most of F10 for some reason) seems to have cleared out a lot of stuff I didn’t need or use and the rest is a definite improvement. Well done to all concerned!
  • Disappointed that our local news sources are running the front pages with soft non-news pap, when there’s rioting and apparent vote fraud in Iran. Their people are suffering and getting shafted, and you’re running crap about actresses doing nude scenes to get ahead…

To our dear Fedora users:  Please don’t attribute  malicious intent where it’s not warranted. I’ve had one comment here and just responded to a thread on fedora-list from users making some frankly melodramatic claims around how / why decisions are made and features disabled/changed/not kept up to date.

A large chunk of us are not on the Red Hat payroll,  we’re volunteers. Why do we do this? Because we enjoy what we do and are passionate about it. These users should remember that we use it too (“eating our own dogfood”) and want to deliver a top quality distribution.

However you can’t please all of the people all of the time – but just because a feature / change doesn’t suit you, doesn’t mean that the developer / packager  is out to get you

The distinct advantage of an open community is just that: it’s an open community.

If you don’t like a feature, suggest/contribute changes and/or send a patch. If the documentation is lacking, why not write up a how-to and publish it, help update the wiki or the distro documentation? Likewise if the art isn’t to your taste,  I’m sure the Art team welcome volunteers. If you’re fairly knowledgeable, share it with other users on the lists / IRC / forums.

A “This is broken, you guys suck and out to get us” attitude is not helpful, please let such attitudes die off.

Cheers,

A user, packager, infrastructure hacker and occasional developer (since Red Hat 5.1)

Can sanity prevail? Here’s hoping.

Christian lobby upset about Australian government backtracking on Internet Censorship

I’ve one word to say about this: good. The whole sorry mess that is the Australian net censorship debate has become an international embarrassment. It is not or will be feasible technically (something the august members of SAGE-AU have pointed out many, many times – and they should know) is wide open to abuse and scope creep – and has never been about “protecting children”, ever (let’s be honest here!).

There’s already “parental responsbility” and personal filtering software (for those that want it) to police kids’ online usage. Nationwide national filters are massive overkill for this – unless that wasn’t the *real* reason 😛

(I found the “if you’re against the filter you don’t care about the children/have something to hide” troll from the likes of Child Wise personally offensive, being an adult and a knowledgeable professional. “Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining” – Anon)

I’m also pleased to see that seperation of church and state still means something here (and did the pro-filtering  lobby really expect not to be cast aside by politicians when convenient for the latter? They’re pollies – CYA is their mantra and measure time in periods between polls!)

On other matters: I’ve spent a little bit of time getting the (thankfully few) bugs in my packages cleaned up (pyicq-t will appear for Enterprise Linux really soon, I promise you – CVS branches are pending), signed up for identi.ca (as “thatfleminggent” – I’m impressed with the XMPP/OpenID integration so far) and tinkered with a few projects that took my fancy – integrating FDS/”389″ into my local network, setting up Asterisk, continued learning some search engine voodoo for the GF’s website.

There will be a “thatfleminggent” package set for Leonidas, as usual I’m not 100% sure what form it will take and what will be retired / added.

Looking over Planet Fedora, I should probably learn a language or two as I think I’m missing some good non-English content 🙂

Yeah, He Did.

Chill, I got this
Chill, I got this

Barry, just don’t fuck it up, k? Please bro? That last yokel really screwed the pooch.

(pic courtesy of punditkitchen.com)

Three little pre-Christmas requests.

Dear Lazyweb,

I’ve set up icecast as an  IPV6-only experiment (the result of a half-drunken challenge from Mr Steven Lisson Esq.) and am streaming some Ogg Vorbis tracks off it with EZstream. Winamp and Totem Player (Linux/Gnome) work fine. Banshee (Gnome/Mono) and WMP however do not – WMP freezes and Banshee refuses to even start the stream. I can’t see why, even in the logs. Any ideas?

Dear Santa,

Please put lumps of coal in my office helpdesk operators’ stockings. They’ve been very naughty – they insult my intelligence, break things that work perfectly, don’t fix things that should and tell fibs about why things are down/unavailable/generally FUBAR. That’s bad, OK? It’s bad form to BS your systems admin I don’t want to LART them at this time of year, but if you don’t come through I will and it won’t be pretty.

Dear Stephen Conroy, Minister for Communications (or soon to be “MiniTru”.)

You remember Harold Holt, right? Do you like to swim? Have you considered following his example about taking a good vigourous swim and not returning? I’ll even organize the Chinese submarine to come and pick you up this time, they like your filtering ideas after all, perhaps you’d be better off with them.

Don’t worry about sharks either. They don’t eat politicians – out of professional courtesy of course.

Thanks,

Michael.

.bullshit

Tim Berners-Lee says the Internet is full of lies

He’s quite right in saying there’s a hell of a lot of unsubstantiated and downright erroneous rubbish out there – look around FreeRepublic or StormFront or RaptureReady or the Church Of Scientology for example (and despair for humanity) and his comments makes perfect sense.

But we’re not all Cecil Adams or the good folks at Snopes – I’d love to see them cloned but there’s no chance of that given the state of science funding – so we’re going to have to take another approach.

ICANN have recently pimped out top-level domains and while many have seen this as a bad move, suddenly it has advantages. How’s this for a proposal:

– Pass the hat around, register a .bullshit top level domain

– create 2nd-level “racist.bullshit”, “partisan.bullshit”, “psuedoreligious.bullshit” etc. DNS zones.

– Populate them like a DNS blacklist (“right hand side” style a-la rfc-ignorant.org for the techies reading) – assign them 127.0.0.2 and a text record explanation “stormfront.com Listed: Neo-Nazi hillbillies still smarting over the Civil Rights Act”

– Write a browser plugin to work in a similar fashion to SSL Extended Verification: Plugin looks up the domain on the various .bullshit DNS lists, if a match is found pops up an warning “Content on this site is likely complete and unadulterated bollocks: Take as seriously as 4chan threads” to warn the visitor that This Site Is Full Of Shit.

I see a great need. Who’s with me? 🙂

The idiots are running the asylum

U-huh, given the idiocy of the hicksville judges in Virginia (spam costs the recipient money and sure as hell isn’t free speech) and the self-aggrandising attention whoring of Leibermann (like a terrorist organization is going to put their how-tos on YouTube – it’s at best a stunt on the politician’s part, or the start of efforts by them to pressure YT into censoring more things they don’t like at worst) it’s understandable that the rest of the world would route around the US.

US Citizens, I beg of you to put the adults back in charge come your elections in November (not the Abe Simpson/Ma Kettle pairing on the Right, we’re sick of yee-haw shoot ’em up statesmanship) or the Rest Of The World will have to send you to the corner chair with the dunce cap until you do.

We don’t really want to, but if you keep doing stupid things like this, we will.

Quote of the Day…

From the comments on a TIME item regarding Jesus Christ’s “may-or-may not have been true or allegory” ressurrection  (via Metafilter)

I’ve already advised the Discovery Channel that if they air this I will cancel my subscription….they should be lucky that I don’t strap explosives around my waste.”

I don’t know what our fanatically-inclined but spelling-challenged friend had in mind, but all I can imagine is a turd wrapped in dynamite. Praise the Lord and pass ’em the dictionary.

(This post has, per longstanding internet tradition regarding spelling flames, at least one obvious spelling mistake)

A Wednesday Buffet…

Politics (sort of)

This method of verifiable voting looks very interesting, if a little complicated for it’s intended users (no such issues here in Australia, especially if you’ve ever seen our Senate voting forms). Ron Rivest really knows his stuff, being the inventor of the RC5 (and series) cryptographical digests and $DEITY knows the USA needs a secure voting system, given that the Diebold machines are notoriously hackable and thus can’t really be trusted to give an accurate result (or compromise by a party with a vested interest in the result.)

Tech Bits

To the Canadian guy who managed to reel off 200mb of my RPMs today: Shit, man – talk about a) massive overkill and b) using a teaspoon to dig a trench.

WGET is a decent tool, but it’s a bit like a ball hammer – it will do the job, but there are better alternatives even for older RedHat versions. cURL has more features than you’ll ever need and seems to be more efficient.

Better still for pulling RPMs is yum/smart (I no longer do apt-get per my Packages page) – you can at least pick and choose those you need. It’s not like you need all of my packages on both architectures (and dangerdeep must have taken AGES at 10k/sec.

Plus, if I wanted my repository mirrored, I’d offer rsync access (to authorised folks at least). While I don’t have a bandwidth cap, it’s a bit discourteous to flood a modest ADSL pipe like mine.

I’ve also determined the source of all the referrer spam down to a single /16 and tossed it into the firewall. If you’re on dip.t-dialin.net’s dialup pool….. you won’t see this post anyway, why am I bothering?

Seriously – the amount of pollution from that block is too much, so bye!

Life

Saw (but didn’t speak to, perhaps a good thing) an old girlfriend while exiting an inner-city eatery on Friday.

Wow. A lot’s happened in 6 years – at least for most people. She’s barely moved on and looks a little worse for wear too :-(. She’s still hanging around with a couple of folks that even in those days kept her down and told her how to think/look/eat/shit etc. She’s still in The Box, when the rest of us got out long ago.
I could say how glad I am to have moved on, or some comment about how she should have stuck with me and gone somewhere, had a better life – but it makes no difference and such talk is essentially useless. I know that she’s a great girl at heart and I hope that she finds her nature and path in life.