21 December 2011

Explaining SOPA

A lot of people are concerned about SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act. There are plenty of pages that say that it will destroy the Internet, but very few that explain clearly exactly why. It has also become clear that the politicians writing the law have no idea how the Internet actually works. So here is my attempt to explain it all. Let me start by explaining DNS, using a situation that doesn’t involve computers, that hopefully anyone can understand. ... Read more

20 December 2011

Log all the things!

I’ve tried to keep a diary a couple of times, but the habit never stuck. A few months ago I realized that what I really wanted was something like a cross between a time log and a journal. It had to be digital and searchable, because the main reason for wanting it was to be able to answer questions like: How many days have I spent outside the USA in the last 5 years? ... Read more

7 December 2011


You may be familiar with SnowSaver and RedPill, two popular Mac screensavers I wrote. I recently signed up as a Mac developer, with the intention of making my screensavers available on the App Store. After some technical hurdles, I submitted my first screensaver, and it was rejected on the grounds that it didn’t provide enough functionality to be worthy of the App Store, because it was just a screensaver. I appealed the rejection, pointing out that there are already screensavers on the App Store. ... Read more

21 November 2011

Broken Britain

I’ve written before about my perception that the UK took a drastic turn in the wrong direction during the 1970s, and that it has been deteriorating ever since. My perception is that the UK now has political and economic problems worse even than the USA. This is not a popular opinion, particularly among those who still live in the UK. Some accused me of callousness, but I have friends and family in the UK. ... Read more

20 November 2011

Liverpool Football Club and torture

Something I learned this month: Phillip Morse is the co-owner of Liverpool Football Club. He also runs a company called Richmor Aviation, which supplies chartered jets. Between 2002 and 2005, a company called Sportsflight contracted for use of a Richmor jet. They chartered a number of flights for “government personnel and their invitees”, as the president of Richmor put it in court testimony. The flights went to various places. One location which frequently appeared on the flight plan was Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. ... Read more

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