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GNU is Not Unix

Journal Journal: GPLV3 License problem

The FSF has often believed the "obnoxious BSD advertising clause" in the original BSD license was a problem.

That's a fine opinion. Imagine my surprise when I had cause to investigate a GPLV3 license peculiarity, which allows a developer to do the exact same thing! Between section 5 and 7, it allows a gui developer to splatter advertising over a GPLV3 product, and require that you not remove it. The issue cropped up a few months ago for the excellent project.

I refused to believe it. I was always under the impression that a user could do whatever they wanted with a GPL project, as long as they offered the same rights to whoever they gave a copy too. Sadly the FSF disagree, at least according to their wonderful team of volunteers.
Section 7 of GPLv3 is, I believe, an attempt to balance the needs of authors and recipients/users

I was always under the impression the GPL was about protecting rights of users, above all else, it seems that under v3, that's no longer the case. A shame, but in future I'll have to be very careful about the difference between free licenses (gplv2, modern bsd, etc) and non-free licenses (gplv3).

User Journal

Journal Journal: Co-incidence?

I havent watched Mastermind for years, but the other day we sat down to watch it. I warn the ball and chain that I wouldn't be able to answer any of the questions, unless "Star Trek" was the specialist subject.

Imagine my shock when somebodys specialist subject was "Star Trek: TNG"! What are the odds?


Journal Journal: Fingers Crossed 1

My faithful router, a P233 with a 512MB Hard drive, is still running. I installed debian on it back last september, however the hard drive was so old and knackered it could barely fsck. The motherboard was from the bottom of a cupboard, the fans whirr at 5 times the normal volume, and I dread every reboot. I daren't write anything to the hard drives, apt-get wont run, and last time we had a power blip, I lost the entire /etc directory, and then some! Fortunatly I'd made several backups on my other computer of the config files, so I was back up and running within half an hour, however theres more problems,

"top: error while loading shared libraries: /lib/ invalid ELF header"

I cant believe it's lasted this long. The HDD is knackered beyond belief, but it's only got 4 more weeks to go... Fingers crossed, this stallwart of a machine, thats transfered dozens, maybe hundereds, of gigs of data over its dying bus, thats being running 24/7 for 9 months, in a damp drying room, using a case and PSU from a P133, plodding along, dropping every port except ssh from a machine at Exeter University.

Just 4 more weeks to hold on....

User Journal

Journal Journal: September Eleventh 2

The two most annoying words in the world. "In this post september eleventh" environment, yadda yadda yadda. There's such things as overusing a phrase!

Journal Journal: WTF? Flash adverts? 6

Please tell me I'm too drunk to be serious, however I could swear I just saw a flash advert for "Sun's Special Web Event". Perhaps I'm out of the loop, but Hemos said - NO Flash playing Ads.

Ironically I search for the announcement of subscriptions, and at the top of the page was a flash advert - Screenshot.

"Hey you're in windows!" Yeah, I know, I'm up at the edit suite, and premiere isnt available on linux (yet), and macs arent available on our budget.

"Hey, you are listening to "Ballard of Bilbo Baggins" by Spock. Yeah, I know. We used it in a production, and it's still on the winamp playlist.

User Journal

Journal Journal: No +2? 13

Not got plus two for your karma? Same here.

Why? Slashdot's changed - have a look under "preferences, comments". See that box saying "Karma Bonus (modifier assigned to posts where the user has good karma)"?

If you value the opinions of good posters, set it high, +3 maybe. If you only like trolls, set it to -6.

I dont know why it doesnt default to +1 though.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Elections dicussion at exeter university 5

This discussion was sparked by this thread on xnet. We arent allowed to use xmedia to promote any candidates, and some how this means that we cant discuss them. It's a gracious shame. If you want to reply without fear of being censored, post away. Discussions of individual candidates is not allowed, however I cant delete or edit any replys to this message.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Long lengthly rant about Xmas traveling 3

WARNING: Long and lengthly rant for the sole benefit of me:

Ryanair Probably^WDefinatly the worst airline in the world. Ever. Of course, December is a bad time to travel on public transport anyway.

Let me start at the begining.

The plan: Meet parents at gatwick airport, drive down with them through france/germany/austria to Venice, get the boat to Igominitsa, Greece.

Thursday 12th December, 03:30
Rise and shine after 3 hours sleep. Wash and grab my rucksack. I had over an hour to do a 40 minute walk, no problem. Set off.

Thursday 12th December, 04:10 Realise I forgot the car registration document my parent needed. Run back with a 25kg pack on my back.

Thursday 12th December, 04:25 Book taxi as I get registration document

Thursday 12th December, 04:35 Get in taxi, screech off at ludicrus speed.

Thursday 12th December, 04:42 Arrive at coach, jump on board, plenty of time spare!

Thursday 12th December, 08:00 Arrive at Heathrow Airport, get breakfast

Thursday 12th December, 08:50 Depart Heathrow on coach to gatwick.

Thursday 12th December, 09:20 Realise I need a passport!

Thursday 12th December, 10:20 Arrive Gatwick

Thursday 12th December, 10:40 Meet parents, give them the car registration document

Thursday 12th December, 11:20 Get train back to Exeter

Thursday 12th December, 12:00 Sit at Clapham Junction for 45 minutes

Clapham Junction is the worst station I've ever been to. Cant leave the station as I only have a through ticket. One (overpriced) shop with questionable hygine, toilet costs money! 20 fscking pence to use the bog! No wonder the stairs smelt that way!

Thursday 12th December, 12:45 Escape on train to Exeter

Thursday 12th December, 16:30 Get to Exeter

Thursday 12th December, 16:45 pop into bank, attempt to extend overdraft, however my branch (Altrincham) is engaged, so I have to "come back tommorrow"

Thursday 12th December, 17:30 AM, arrive back home after a wasted day and £80.

Friday 13th December, 10:00 AM. Wake up late, get passport, run down to bus station.

Friday 13th December, 10:45 AM. Get bus to Heathrow (Deja-vu?). Very busy as all the students are going home!

Friday 13th December, 15:00 Get to heathrow

Friday 13th December, 15:40 Leave Heathrow, en-route to stanstead for 18:50 flight (bus due in at 17:20, leaving an hour before checkin closes)

Friday 13th December, 17:30 Driver phones up company, overhear him say we are 2 hours behind schedule. Itallian girl next to me in tears about missing the flight.

Friday 13th December, 18:50 Finally arrive at stanstead. Find Ryanair Customer "Service" Rep. Tells me that the flight's closed, its your fault, go wait in that massive line.

Fair enough, it is my fault, however she was unbelievable rude, especialy to said girl who was still almost in tears.

Friday 13th December, 19:20 While waiting for the ticket desk, avoid tabloid reporters doing an article on how bad Ryanair is.

Friday 13th December, 19:25 Arrive at front of queue. Ask about options (which I know from phone calls home on the bus). Next Forli flight would cost me £50, and was exactly 24 hours later. Flight to "Venice" would be £30, however no chance to meet parents (who are en-route to "Bologna" Forli). Decide to pay £112 for flight to ancona. While deciding, word comes round that the Forli flight was canceled, and was heading back to the gate (bad fog).

Customer Service offer me next nights flight for no charge, but wont transfer the £50 ticket to the morning Ancona flight. Stay with ancona.

Friday 13th December, 20:25 Get word from home that parents have managed to contact my girlfriend, and found out I'm on the morning ancona flight. (Their mobile was dead)

Saturday 14th December, 02:30 still playing Civ 2 on laptop camped on floor of stanstead airport. Havent had any word from Ryanair, no apology to other Forli travellers that are still at the airport, no offer of food/accomodation vouchers.

Saturday 14th December, 05:30 Check-in opens. At least my baggage wasnt over the pathetic 15kg (33lb) limit.

Saturday 14th December, 07:50 Plane leaves 20 minutes late, a 90mph tailwind gets us to Italy on time.

Saturday 14th December, 10:50 CET (Italy time). Arrive at Ancona. Amazingly my bag made it this time (unlike summer).

Saturday 14th December, 11:20 Clear security with only a brief glance in my hand luggage (noone asking if I had any "drax" this time)

Saturday 14th December, 11:25 Meet parents, leave for boat

Saturday 14th December, 12:00 Get on boat. Hurrah.

Sunday 15th December, 05:30 EET (greek time) Arrive in greece

Sunday 15th December, 08:00 Arrive in Fterno

Sunday 15th December, 08:30 Did I mention taking the cat over? I dont think I did. Cat escape from house, gets lost on hillside.

Monday 15th December, 05:30 Alarm on mobile goes off, wake up, throw mobile across room. Hear meowing. The cat is back (we thought he'd gone for good)

What a journey. Now Ryanair, aside from Rudeness, not allowing to transfer flights after they canceled it, and not offering even a cup of tea in compensation, didnt do anything wrong. However this was the second time I've traveled with them. The first time (July) they lost my bag, refused to deliver it to my destination (or nearby airport), and wouldnt offer any compensation. Eventually they managed to get it to greece, however by then I was driving back through Italy. Eventually picked it up at Venice Marco-Polo 3 weeks late. No compensation at all.

Now of course I'm going back. Heres the plan

Monday 30th December, 05:30 EET (greek time) Wakey Wakey

Monday 30th December, 06:00 Leave Fterno

Monday 30th December, 08:30 Arrive ignominitsa

Monday 30th December, 10:00 Boat leaves igominitsa for Venice

Tuesday 31st December, 06:30 CET (Italy time) Arrive Venice

Tuesday 31st December, Morning, walk arround Venice in "Heavey rain"

Tuesday 31st December, 14:00 Leave for Marco Polo Airport

Tuesday 31st December, 14:30 Arrive Marco Polo, check in

Tuesday 31st December, 16:30 Plane Leaves for Bristol

Tuesday 31st December, 17:25 GMT (UK time) Arrive Bristol

Tuesday 31st December, 18:30 Cleared Customs, get transfer to train station

Tuesday 31st December, 19:15 Arrive Bristol Temple Meads

Tuesday 31st December, 19:50 Leave Bristol on train

Tuesday 31st December, 20:48 Arrive Exeter St Davids

Tuesday 31st December, 21:30 Get home. Celebrate new year with girlfriend

User Journal

Journal Journal: Firefighters terrorise the UK 17

Are the firefighters right to hold the country to ransom for more money?

The fire strike in Wales has seen its first casualty after an elderly woman died after a blaze at a house in mid Wales

Three elderly people have died in house fires as the UK's first national firefighters' strike in 25 years continues.

The first deaths, and probably not the last. But why are firefighters holding the country to ransom like that? For a political motive. They want a 40% pay increase.

But percentages dont say much really do they. Lets look at the figures and compare it to a university graduate.

Typical Firefighter:
Starts work at 16, earning £4 an hour flipping burgers. Total income £8300 p.a.

Joins Fire service at 18, after earning £16,000. Spends next 4 years training (and being paid £17,000).
Becomes fully trained at age of 22. Total Earnings to date: £84,000

Fully trained at age of 22, earns £21,500.

By the age of 30, lifetime earnings are £256,000

Compare to average student.

Starts A-Levels at age 16. Starts Uni at age 18. Graduates at Age 21, or 22.
Starts earning at age 22.
Graduates with average of £5,300 debt. (In my case for sure this is way higher)
Graduates with average wage of £13,700
After 5 years, expects to be earning £26,300
At age 22: Total lifetime earnings: -£5,300
At age 23: Total lifetime earnings: £8400
Over next 7 years, assume generous average wage of £26,300. Total lifetime earnings: £192,500

To match a firefighters total wage at age 30, a graduate would have to earn £28,500 a year, every year, from graduating after a 3 year course.

Instead the average graduate earns £63,500 less then a firefighter by the age of 30.


there arent many firefighters dying. Over 12 years, there were 5 firefighter deaths in London, with approximatly 6500 personel. Thats a 1 in 15,600 chance of dying each year as a firefighter in London. Over a 40 year carreer theres a 1 in 400 chance of dying in the line of duty.

If you smoke, you have a 1 in 4 chance of dying from smoking by the time you each middle age.

Admittably there is only a 1 in 100,000 chance of dying in a normal job each year, or arround 6 1/2 times less likely then a firefighter. However that doesnt include deaths on roads of people like Sales reps, taxi drivers and other high risk professions.

Are the firefighters right to hold the country to ransom for more money?

No, they're not.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Houdini 1

Ahh the wonders of creating Smirk's U.S.S Endocrine in houdini.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Adobe Premiere

Hmm, in some ways it sucks (resource hog, drops frames on DV capture when DVIO doesnt, sometime decides it wont play clips at >3fps), but in other ways it's ded gud (edit in 1/10th of the time, plenty of funky things that we cant normally do).

Time will tell. I've just ordered a nice big 80GB 7200rpm hard drive though - that should give enough room for most editing tasks (5-6 hours of DV), but I can always add another later. £85 + vat isnt too bad for a place we have an account with.

BTW, Instead of spending £100 on a 2.4Ah camera battery, I've decided to spend £10 on a 7.2Ah 12V lead acid battery. Buy a nice rucksack, and unlimited power! Hopefully. It's worth a shot anyway.


Journal Journal: SG1 back!

OK, just not gone. It's been renewed for another season. I admit I've only watched 4 episodes today (Deadmans switch, demons, Redemption Pt 1, Redemption Pt 2), but it still rocks 100 times as much as enterprise, and at its best it's miels better then TNG and DS9 at their best. Best show ever.

Slashdot Article

User Journal

Journal Journal: Yeay

Eleesa's here! Hurray!

Trouble is its still to hot here in Exeter - even with the winidow open!

Trouble is its either die with the window closed or listen to the freight trains all night long. Sadly we have to choose the later.

Oh well, 180 hours to greece!

P.S. Got an xtv tshirt today, great stuff. Got a few new DVD's too (Fail Safe, Dr. Strangelove and SG20.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Student support

finally got arround to moaning to warrington student support people. They still want me to pay full tuition fees next year, giving me £1400 to live on from October through July. £140 a month, or £33 a week.

My rent alone is £47 a week next year.

On a good note though, eleesa's back tommorow!

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Work is the crab grass in the lawn of life. -- Schulz