A person’s investigation into waterboard!

Straight Dope Message Board – I waterboard!

As seen on Vowe’s pages here’s an incredibly brave person trying, the hard way, to decide for himself whether waterboarding is a torture technique. The post is incredibly powerful, and I can well recommend a read. My opinion is that it is an obscenity against humanity that such a technique is used by a supposedly civilised nation. The defense that their enemies do worse is weak. As Nietzche said “be careful when you fight monsters, lest you become what you fight” (err, I think that is a bit of a misquote there). Nobody can engage in such behaviour without being tainted. Did Torquemada add to Spain’s history? Going back to the post what enhances the poster’s credibility is that it appears that he’s actually a fairly strong Republican. Our world absolutely needs people like this. Ones that are willing to investigate issues and form opinions based on their research, and not to blindly follow the “accepted” views of their political affiliates. In fact I suppose that is true for all areas, but unfortunately in the areas of politics (and religion as a more extreme case) this is so rarely the case.

The squalid truth about Our Man in Uzbekistan and his belly dancer lover

The squalid truth about Our Man in Uzbekistan and his belly dancer lover | the Daily Mail

So a man gives all away as he cannot stomach the appalling abuses in the country where he works, and can no longer accept money from his employers who kowtow to the abuse. Surely such a man of principle should be looked up to? The Daily Mail says no, and instead tell the world about his belly dancer girlfriend. Could this be anything to do with the rich fuck, Usmannov, who wants to own Arsenal, and would rather we did not think about his apparently disgusting past.
Shame on the Daily Mail. Once again showing their quality of news. Scum.

Linux to OS X

It’s been 12 months almost in my new job, and those 12 months have seen a slow migration to having my MacBook Pro(MBP) as my main computing plaything. Previous to this I’ve always had a Windows laptop as a business machine and consequently for reasons not worth going over, my Linux workstation was my main machine. However, now the MBP has slowly, but surely surplanted it as my main machine.  Obviously for work but for personal stuff too.

I’ve spent nearly a grand this year upgrading the Linux box, and to be honest it was money poorly spent. OK currently once again I have a pretty fast machine: 3.6Ghz dual Xeons, 6GB Ram, reasonably fast graphics and a 0.5Tb RAID10 array, but even though it’s connected to a pair of Dell 24″ widescreen LCDs, I seem to spend much of my computing time sat in front of the telly with the laptop, placed where it’s named to be placed. Sometimes even in the local pub/cafe connected to the free wireless.

Furthermore now that I’ve got the 1.4TB ReadyNas+ as the central storage in the home LAN, and moved the DNS server over to the DD_WRT running WRT54GS , the machine does not even act as a server. 2 years ago I would almost get the Jones if the machine was down. Now I even turn it off sometimes. What a change!

I really enjoyed the upgrading, and I suppose this enjoyment from rebuilding the hardware is worth it. Although something that I did not enjoy was the money and time spent quietening the dammed machine, as working from a home office the constant hum is an annoyance.  My next challenge is that I really do want to get the machine booting from a RAID10 array though (small raid1 /boot partition with 2 RAID10 array’s for everything else). Perhaps having the MBP and other reliable storage will stop me panicking during some tricky rebuild, when I remember that my backup is quite old! Although there’s nothing quite like the live reshaping of a system, when you have no backup

Rss feed

Quite rightly so, a few people have castigated me for being lazy (that again) and not implementing rss feeds on my blog. Well a rainy day has prompted me to remove a few items from my todo list (bleeding radiators is next). So I looked into doing this. However, I assumed that a plugin would be available, but not there is not one available. How bizarre! Surely such a common task would have a bucketload of plugins to add. Well it appears that WordPress already has a load of default feeds available by default. What a maroon? I could have had a button to subscribe years ago…

Anyway here’s the links to the more common feeds. I’ll add the proper subscribe button later:





Now for central heating shennanigans!

Incremental backups using Rsync

Many thanks for Raj for pointing me to this great tutorial on making incremental backups using Rsync.

I’ve been using rsync for a while for backups now. First my Macbook Pro’s Docs and Scripts directories are synced with my Linux box’s (initiated by a Cron job on the Linux box). Then I irregularly backup my Home directory to a USB disc. I’ve recently moved this to the ReadyNas+ box, although its horsepower is a little slow for rsync over ssh. I read a few emails on the Linux Raid list a while ago intimating that rsync incrementals were possible by creating a hardlink to the previous directory backup and as a consequence only putting new files in the new directory. However, laziness has fought against motivation and it’s not got done.

This nice tutorial should fight against the inertia and make me do it.