Posts filed under 'Rants'

Rapidswitch, consider yourself dropped

78.129.202.0/24 is now permanently dropped into the bit-bucket, thanks to unrelenting comment spam spewage from this Russian cesspool.

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April 18th, 2008

Those crazy Sudanese Muslims

So, after allowing the children in her class to name their teddy bear ‘Mohammed’, teacher Gillian Gibbons is to be jailed for 15 days for insulting religion. The school’s director, one Robert Boulos told the AP news agency this classic piece of arse-covering verbiage:

“It’s a very fair verdict, she could have had six months and lashes and a fine, and she only got 15 days and deportation.”

Oh, that’s alright then!

Naturally, the irony is that by sentencing a hard-working committed teacher over such a trivial matter, they have done far more to insult Islam, and once more cemented the idea that Muslims are, on the whole, well, really touchy.

However, now you too can own your very own Mo-Bear as listed on Ebay, so get bidding!

Just remember, this bear isn’t named after the Prophet Mohammed, the illiterate camel salesman with a penchant for pre-pubescent girls and killing men, women and children. No, not the Mohammed who heard voices from invisible pixies, murdered indiscriminately and some of whose followers also have a fondness for blowing shit up, usually themselves and anyone around them.

No, not that Mohammed.

That would be an insult to teddy bears!

 

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1 comment November 30th, 2007

Windows Home Server – Microsoft screws the (developer) pooch

Frankly, Windows Vista strikes me as just XP with some makeup on and a whole heap o’ DRM technology added. I can dual boot it on my pc but frankly there is no compelling reason for me to use it so far.

Windows Home Server (WHS), however, is an entirely different kettle of fish. This is a product I want, and I want it now. Although in all my uber-geekdom I can easily build a Linux box with most of the functionality offered by WHS the whole package looks slick enough to make me want to use it. As soon as I get around to building a new server for it I’ll be purchasing a copy.

Plus, as a software developer I’ve got several ideas for WHS addins that will be of use to me and potentially other people so I eagerly logged onto MSDN to see if I can download a copy for development purposes, because, you know, you really don’t write code and test it on a production platform. Not there. Oh well, it has only just gone to RTM perhaps they’re taking their time.

Apparently not, for some insane reason they’re not going to put WHS on MSDN. Since there is zero chance I’m going to buy an additional copy for development purposes after Microsoft already have taken lots of money for the MSDN subscription, I guess that my home server addins will simply have to wait until they get it through their corporate heads that as a developer I may want to use my Microsoft Developer Subscription Network subscription to develop software for, arguably, their most interesting new product for several years (much more exciting than Vista, by a long shot).

They tried a similar thing with the Expression products, arguing that developers never write html or do graphics so they don’t need access to them. After a while sanity reigned and I have a hope that this also happens with WHS sooner rather than later.

But I’ve been wrong before…

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1 comment August 15th, 2007

Blow up Rushdie, he wrote a book, apparently!

Once again, some followers of the religion of peace are strapping on suicide socks and blowing off their feet.

Salman Rushdie, noted serious author and Booker Prize winner, has received a knighthood, so from now-one will be Sir Salman. Naturally, some people in Pakistan (where 50% of the population can’t read) don’t approve of this, because he once wrote a book they didn’t read like, The Satanic Verses.

Iran has said this award demonstrates ‘Islamaphobia’ among British officials. Odd, I think threatening to murder an author because of some supposed slight against an illiterate businessman with a fondness of 9 year old girls born in the 6th century is more likely to promote ‘Islamaphobia’ than any book will.

‘Awarding one of the most hated persons within the Islamic world indicates Britain’s hostility towards Islam and will put that country against Islamic societies,’ Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini said.

Yes, deeply conciliatory words from that bastion of freedom, tolerance and women’s rights, Iran.

Pakistan’s Minister for Religious Affairs, Ijaz-ul-Haq said that the award will provoke Muslims to commit suicide bombings, telling parliament:

Britain should immediately tender an apology to all Muslim states failing which the Muslim world should cease diplomatic ties with Britain

He continued:

[Britain’s decision] will encourage people to commit blasphemy against the Prophet Mohammed

And more:

The West is accusing Muslims of extremism and terrorism. If someone exploded a bomb on his body he would be right to do so unless the British government apologises and withdraws the ‘sir’ title,” ul-Haq said.

Yes, that will show the non-Muslim world that their particular brand of sky-pixie worship should be tolerated. Nothing like threatening authors with bombs to make the world a more tolerant place.

Here’s a clue, if Muslims don’t want to be treated as pariahs then perhaps they should shut up the more vocal members of their sky-pixie club when they insist on spouting contemptible rubbish.

But please don’t murder me, Allahu Akbar!

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June 18th, 2007

Physics teaching is going to hell in a handbasket

When I was a lad in school, back in the days of yore (ie, the late 1980s) I wasn’t really enamoured with many of the subjects I was taking at ‘O’ level (the precursor of GCSEs) and then ‘A’ level.

However, I absolutely loved physics. I loved the precision, its predictive powers and how, well, sciencey it was. With the right equations you could work out everything from the path of a cannon ball to the energy produced when matter falls into a black hole.

In short, it rocked my physical world.

I didn’t realise this at the time, naturally, but although I wouldn’t go into a career that requires me to use physics every day, it did finely tune my bullshit meter and give me the apparatus to see through nonsense and woo quickly. For example, someone told me that using a mobile phone would literally cook their brain, as if it was in a microwave oven. My bullshit meter immediately went off and after a quick scribble on a piece of paper to work out the wavelengths involved, it was apparent that the human head is simply too small to even interact on any meaningful level with the radio signals involved.

So you can imagine how disheartened I was when a physics teacher called Wellington Grey announced that the new GCSE physics curriculum is basically dumbed down to the point of insanity.

Already universities here in the UK are having to give new students remedial maths lessons, now they’re going to have to teach remedial physics for those poor souls who want to take a hard science in further education.

This is why more people than ever are taking ridiculous ‘soft’ subjects like Media Studies instead of the old, tough subjects like Maths, Physics, Chemistry et al – why do all that hard work when you can sit around for four years watching TV and still get a degree at the end?

Now the UK government, through its education policies, is determined to produce several years worth of physics-ignorant kids who don’t know F=MA but do know that global warming is a really bad thing, m’kay.

But, what the hell, if you make the exams easier more pupils will get a higher grade and then the government can crow about its achievements in education!

I really wish I was just being cynical.

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1 comment June 9th, 2007

Abandon your kids, meet the Pope

This is not going to be a popular opinion, however…

Frankly, I’ve had enough of the parents of Madeleine McCann. Firstly they abandon their children while they go to eat (checking in every hour hardly qualifies them for parents of the year), three year old Madeleine is abducted and hasn’t been seen since.

In other words, it’s an everyday story of really stupid parents, with some poor kid getting the worst of it. But, judging by the coverage in the media anyone would think that their parents are the second coming of jebus and shining examples of piety and good parenting.

Now, they’ve met the Pope, presumably in some way to get more leverage over their invisible sky-pixie in finding their daughter, the self-same invisible sky-pixie who let their daughter be abducted in the first place. Their non-existent sky-pixie to boot.

Don’t get me wrong, in no way would I want anyone to go through the agony of losing a child in this way, but I’ve seen precious little comment about just how irresponsible these two were in leaving their kids alone, in a hotel with creche facilities which they chose not to use, while they went out to eat.

I really hope the kid is found alive and well, though the longer this goes on the less likely this is, if similar past events are any guide.

As to her parents, life sometimes teaches you very hard lessons, and they need to learn from this one.

 

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1 comment June 1st, 2007

Bigots demand the right, in law, to remain bigoted

This is an interesting one, on many fronts. The Catholic Church is demanding exemption from anti-discrimination laws so their adoption agencies aren’t forced to allow homosexual couples to adopt. They say it is against their beliefs to adopt children with homosexuals, and since the Bible is pretty consistent with its disdain for gays, I can’t argue with them on that one.

However, there is quite a telling phrase from the Archbishop of Canterbury (Anglican, not Catholic) “rights of conscience cannot be made subject to legislation, however well-meaning.”

Hang on a minute, rights of conscience are always being legislated against, and in many cases it’s the religious community demanding the laws in the first place.

For example, there are laws against discriminating against women, different races, the handicapped and so on, yet I have met people who sincerely think black people are inferior and should be removed from the country, or that women should be barefoot and pregnant in the house looking after the kids, not working, or that the handicapped should be euthanised for the greater good. These people hold these views as a matter of conscience, yet they are prevented (as far as possible) from acting on those views by law.

There are also laws that discriminate against other groups in society, smokers, drinkers, drug users, criminals etc.

So what’s the difference? Why can you discriminate against one group of people and not others? It’s simple – women, the handicapped, homosexuals and different races have no choice in what they are! You don’t choose to be a woman, or black, or gay; you choose to take drugs, or smoke, or steal cars. Discrimination against people over that which they have no control of, and in no way effects what they’re trying to do is wrong.

But, some may argue, colour-blind people aren’t allowed to become pilots, and they have no choice over that, but they are stopped from being pilots because they couldn’t do their job; similarly gay couples should be disqualified from being adoptive parents because, by their definition, gay people can’t be good parents.

The trouble with that argument is there really isn’t any good evidence to show that gay couples are inherently bad parents, whereas a colour-blind pilot is a danger to themselves and others. There are plenty of single-parent families who are doing fine, and probably an equal number of couples in dysfunctional relationships causing far more harm, even though they meet the church-approved criteria.

So I propose this: anyone who is going to indoctrinate children in any religion should be prevented from become adoptive parents.

Religion is not something you’re born into, you choose your religion, or, in the overwhelming majority of cases, you are brainwashed into a religion based upon the beliefs of your parents. I view the latter as a form of child abuse, as does Richard Dawkins and espouses this view in his excellent book The God Delusion. Indoctrinatin children into believing that an invisible man in the sky is looking over their every action, and that other people who believe in different invisible men in the sky are evil (or at best, deeply misguided) and actively discourages critical thinking in later life. It’s that kind of power over children that the Jesuits used to lust after (“Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man.“), and, in another context, allows people to willingly blow themselves and others up in the name of some non-existent god.

Frankly, I view that as being much more damaging to a child’s future than what their adopted parents do in the bedroom.

January 25th, 2007

A pox on Netcathost!

I blogged earlier about blocking some ip ranges to prevent comment spam, but the Russian-owned, Italian-spam-spewing range expanded to get past the two ranges I had originally blocked.

So, Netcathost,  your whole range is now a welcome and permanent fixture to my firewall deny table, all packets from 195.225.176.0/22 are forever banished into the ether.

Up yours spammer.

 

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October 31st, 2006

Spam, Spyware and Scum

[Since I missed yesterday’s post, I’ll put up two today]

I’ve had to disinfect a laptop that was infested with spyware, not the most pernicious variety – the majority of it was hopelessly amateurish – but highly annoying nevertheless.

Pop-ups were flying, search engines co-opted, dozens (and I do mean dozens) of extraneous processess were starting at boot time and making the whole pc practically grind to a halt.

Most of them were fairly easy to remove, however one remained incredibly stubborn, and took several hours to finally purge. But I managed it.

So, makers of Look2Me and WinAntivirusPro, if I ever meet you I shall remove your kneecaps with a screwdriver.

Then make you eat them.

And when you shit out your kneecaps that I made you eat I’ll make you eat it so you shit out the shit that was your kneecaps.

Then, perhaps, you’ll feel a quadrillionth of how you deserve to feel.

1 comment October 8th, 2006

Orwell would enjoy this Vista

I do so enjoy PR-speak, in a recent release about the anti-piracy features of Windows Vista Cori Hartje came out with this corker:

Reduced functionality mode has been a part of the initial Windows XP product activation process for retail and OEM (original equipment manufacturer) installations since its launch, and, similarly, Windows Vista will have a reduced functionality mode but one that is enhanced.

(emphasis mine)

Enhanced reduced functionality? Double plus ungood!

It wouldn’t really be an issue if WGA in XP had been a rousing success, but I’ve seen at least three machines that were perfectly legit fail the WGA check, including my own, and one of those wouldn’t even get past the login screen and had to be re-installed (ironically using the same ‘invalid’ key). In the case of Vista, reduced functionality includes logging the user off after an hour, no matter what they’re doing at the time.

Naturally, this wouldn’t be a problem if Microsoft had a history of not utterly screwing up their anti-piracy schemes, alas this is not so. If Vista thinks that you’ve been tinkering with the anti-piracy measures, it’ll immediately have a hissy fit and demand reinstallation.

I’m probably not going to be first in line to install Vista in any case – my experience of the betas has been less than stellar – but I feel that MS have gone just a little too far in this case, because, naturally, the pirates will crack SPP within hours and it’ll be the legitimate customers, once again, being inconvenienced by this.

I, for one, don’t like being presumed guilty and constantly being forced to prove my innocence.

 

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October 5th, 2006

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