Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Flashing Question Mark

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  • HORansome,

    That's a nice example, actually, of what a lot of Conspiracy Theorists believe. Brian L. Keeley's `Of Conspiracy Theories,' published in the Journal of Philosophy (which is probably the premier philosophical journal) argues that there is something to such arguments; Conspiracy Theories are hard to falsify because most Conspiracy Theories predict the presence of Disinformation, data that has been fabricated to show that the Conspiracy Theory is false.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 441 posts Report Reply

  • Jimmy Southgate,

    While I haven't used Time Machine to rescue a dying hard drive, I did use it when I recently bought a new drive for my lappy & had to reinstall everything.

    Quickest and simplest migration I have ever done. I just told it that I wanted it to back up my documents & my apps. Took about an hour or so to do.

    Then swapped the drives in the lappy, started the OS X installer and part way through it asked if I wanted to restore things from a Time Machine backup.

    About an hour and a half later tops my computer was back exactly as I remembered it, albeit with an extra 200 gb of free space.

    Wellingtown • Since Nov 2006 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    You would have thought that the artists behind the Creative Freedom Foundation might have designed a better site; or is it some sort of retro early 90s thing?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Scared of EMP? Offsite backup. Use all that free web space THEY want you to have. Encrypt if you are paranoid.

    Scared of disk crash? Redundancy. RAID or the Mac equivalent. It's been round a loooong time.

    Scared of your kids getting stalked on the net? Rather that than ITF, IMHO. Personally, I find the most common stalkers on the net are kids. Kids very quickly learn that you can't take anything for granted in cyberspace, and use that to experiment with being someone they aren't, with far less qualms than an adult does. But that's the new world, and I figure it's better to try to understand it than to hide from it.

    Back when I used to chat to strangers online, when it was new to me, in the mid 90s, I remember a girl who credibly claimed she was 14 relating to me about some creep trying to pick her up ITF. I expected to hear a sad and sordid tale of exploited childish innocence. But no, her story was about leading some old guy (late 20s) on about being 16, arranging a meeting with him, and then checking him out from a distance with a friend, taking a few photos, and never speaking to him at all. Kids just aren't as foolish as they may seem, nor as innocent.

    I'm sure her dad would have been extremely unhappy about what she did. Which is why he never found out.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Harris,

    You would have thought that the artists behind the Creative Freedom Foundation might have designed a better site; or is it some sort of retro early 90s thing?

    The latter, I think. Matt Holloway is one of the best web people I know, so you can put money on it being deliberate.

    Waikanae • Since Jul 2008 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    On firewalls-

    If anyone is interested in a good firewall that can now be virtualised it might be worth giving these guys a visit:

    http://www.untangle.com/

    I have used the free produc tin bridge mode on a small via micro for over a year - 2 re-boots to date.

    Disclaimer; I really, really don't kow these people but was damn impressed by a free open-source product like this.

    If this post doesn't really live here please do delete, move elsewhere as applicable.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    Scared of disk crash? Redundancy. RAID or the Mac equivalent.

    Two weekly-rotating firewire drives taking a constant Time Machine feed from from my MBP. A further firewire drive running Super Duper which runs every morning (and which I used just yesterday to boot back into 10.5.5 when 10.5.6 nuked my built in iSight).
    Daily download of database backup from my site in the US.
    Daily backup to a second server on my site.
    Offsite backup of the database daily to a third party provider.
    Flash drive hooked to Karren's iMac, running Time Machine.
    USB drive hooked to a Mac Mini in the lounge running Time Machine.

    Paranoid? Maybe.
    Burned before? Twice.

    I applaud the concept of RAID but it's done little to

    save

    my sorry

    arse

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • Jarrod Baker,

    I have an Apple TV and like it despite all its shortcomings, but it is a pain to re-encode video from codecs that aren't Apple-supported.

    With a little bit of, uh, "coaxing", an Apple TV can be made to decode any sort of content you like, and to stream it from anywhere on your local network - in my case both from a USB drive attached to an Airport Extreme, and from external drives attached to other computers on the network.

    Of course, you can do the same thing with your console of choice, but that's no good if someone else would like to use that console for something weird and outlandish like gaming.

    Also: I really like the Apple trailers functionality.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 32 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    David, all sounds good. I wouldn't endorse RAID particularly, was just talking of boot disc mirroring technology. For Apple, I have no idea what they have.

    Personally my disc mirrors have saved both my data and huge downtime, as you don't have to reinstall your machine.

    But I've heard plenty of horror stories too. The worst is when the uncorrupted drive decides to mirror the corrupted one. Your highly redundant backup process is not paranoid, it is wise.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    David, all sounds good. I wouldn't endorse RAID particularly, was just talking of boot disc mirroring technology. For Apple, I have no idea what they have.

    Unless you have a Mac Pro, or an X-Serv, they have nothing. It's hard to mirror disks in a system that can only hold one disk at a time :P

    Really, something like Time Machine is the way to go. RAID gives you availability, by keeping multiple live copies in the system in case of a disk failure. It doesn't, however, ensure accuracy or accessibility of data. ZFS is good for in-system accuracy and availability, but doesn't protect against physical destruction of the system and also isn't widely available outside FreeBSD and Solaris.

    My solution is weekly rotation of flash drives into my safety deposit box. It's not perfect, but I know they're secure and I know that they're current-ish.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Sophie Wilson,

    ordinary folks need a box that very simply bridges their internet video onto their TV.

    A bit late to comment but on a slightly related note I was just reading Tobie Kerridges fantastic paper on movement networks which riffs on a similar concept of connecting household items for a purpose.

    I wouldn't mind a sleek, standardised media centre that won't take up half the living room (and power sockets). I recently had the luxury of living with geeks that chipped an old xbox and connected to all 5 of our computers' video+music. It could also play live streams of tv and radio (admittedly random international channels from obscure countries). Sadly it wasn't able to play youtube nor pick up RF so I couldn't watch Dancing With the Stars nor the election coverage...

    ; or is it some sort of retro early 90s thing?

    I thought it was grousely designed and pretty retro esp with the gorse poking out of that ugly 90's striped graphic. Fantastic cause too.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2007 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Hey, thanks for posting that paper. It was great.

    How about a steampunk styled computer where the cogs and wheels run faster as you make it do more work?

    Or a system that senses how busy you are and fills your space with flaming torches accordingly.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    Never engage with tweeny girls.

    I've found music a life saver with young female cuzzies in the family. When the 13 yr olds find out that you genuinely like and own some Kanye and Dizzee Rascal (as compared to their parents) they warm to you and you have something to talk about. One of the 16 year old cuzzies decided to do an assignment on the Ramones because she'd heard some at a party and liked the look and sound. She was over the moon to discover we had the first 5-6 albums, book references and a DVD or two. I've since managed to push her on to all sorts of classic punk such as Television and Wire.

    I find it strange when parents my own age or even younger diss their children's music, setting up that whole generation gap thing, it can be a great way to keep in touch.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 949 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    A bit late to comment but on a slightly related note I was just reading Tobie Kerridges fantastic paper on movement networks which riffs on a similar concept of connecting household items for a purpose.

    Like this?

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Adrian Ross,

    "Arse", Mister Brown; we're not Americans.

    I'm fairly sure you don't mean to refer to Apple being too far up its own donkey, vivid though the image is.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2008 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    "Arse", Mister Brown; we're not Americans.

    Oh, for heaven's sake... You're not one of those gits who writes to the Listener about the faulty (ie non British) pronunciation on National Radio, are you?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    "Arse", Mister Brown; we're not Americans.

    I read this first as "arise" (Arise, Sir Russell, Baronet of Point Chevalier) and then as a Father Ted reference.

    I think I have had too much sun today.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Sophie Wilson,

    Andrew, you won't believe the number of hours I spent as a kid trying to rig my house like that, much to the annoyance of my mother!

    It isn't really a light-switch-turns-the-toaster-on-which-turns-the-shower-on affair but admittedly the technology he talks about could at the very worst, turn your house into a bit of a Motion Master ala Rainbows End...

    Rich: How about an iLawnmower where you can download your excess lawn and download it to the compost heap?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2007 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Oh joy. The police spied on unions too.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    When you're calling someone out, it helps if you spell their name right ...

    Besides, it's still early in Bali ...

    Ta Russell.

    Actually I'm in transit in a lovely hotel room in KL after being rather appallingly, and incompetently, treated by Malaysian Airlines and missing my sisters 50th birthday party in NZ thus which I am mightily pissed off about. Writing a letter to them right now is #1 on my list.

    But Matthew, I'm not quite sure what you want of me apart from to say that I'm sympathetic and supportive of this (and signed the petition and joined the FB page). But really, I've been vocal and made my position quite clear here and in a variety of other online places so I don't feel the need to be forced to re-justify anything to keep anyone happy, least of all you.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Sophie, I run a battery electric mower that does instantly download the lawn to compost. It's called mulching ;-)

    I have to say, I love that mower.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    "Arse", Mister Brown; we're not Americans.

    I'm fairly sure you don't mean to refer to Apple being too far up its own donkey, vivid though the image is.

    Well, I'm glad it moved you to register to post, but in an American context, I think "ass" is appropriate.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I've found music a life saver with young female cuzzies in the family. When the 13 yr olds find out that you genuinely like and own some Kanye and Dizzee Rascal (as compared to their parents) they warm to you and you have something to talk about.

    I came back from London for the summer of 88-89 with a cassette of freshly bangin' house tunes. I dubbed it off for my cousins and they were the toast of their high-school party scene for the next year.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    but the company was (as its critics often contend) too far up it own ass to do that.

    ass or arse, I think of the up-the-a**ness as insecurity as often as not. Reading Macworld on a plane last night, my other half leant over and said 'why are they so insecure?'. The first few pages were full with relentless Mac vs. PC stories, or 'why I'll never go back to a vista machine', 'how I gave up on XP and smashed my Dell' type pieces. It is odd indeed, and I'd never encountered such until I started reading Mac mags and forums.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    I came back from London for the summer of 88-89 with a cassette of freshly bangin' house tunes.

    I came back from London in late 85 to find that certain friends of mine were running nightclubs off the cassettes I'd been sending for three years.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

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