this blog is girtby.net

Posted
17 January 2008

Categories
Cultcha Or Something

Tags

6 Comments

Music Insurance

Broadcast radio is changing. It's going digital, and with this change broadcasters are likely to start embedding watermarks in the audio stream (if they haven't already). Podcasters, and other internet music publishers are likely to do the same. Watermarks are inaudible markers that uniquely identify the broadcaster, and are also the key enabling technology of a great new business venture that I've just thought of, and will now share with you, in the hope that someone, if not me, implements it.

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Posted
03 January 2008

Categories
Verisimilitude Provocation

Tags
acma censorship content filter

0 Comments

Where's The Mandatory Filtering For Government Stupidity?

I'm still in holiday mode and have not spent much time online studying the reaction to the idiotic mandatory filtering proposals from the new Rudd government, but I expect this editorial published in the Australian is mostly representative. I disagree with none of it.

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Posted
20 December 2007

Categories
Nerd Factor X Verisimilitude Me Use Brain

Tags
lessig law code technology book

0 Comments

Code 2.0

Cover of Code 2.0 by Lawrence LessigSo I recently finished Lawrence Lessig's Code 2.0 and I am compelled to pass some sort of comment on it. Book reviews aren't really my strength, but this one definitely deserves attention of some sort.

First the easy stuff. This book is a new edition of an earlier book with the obvious title. The changes and updates have been through an interesting process whereby the entire text of the book was posted on a wiki and anonymous contributions were invited to produce the successor. This might make you a bit wary about the overall continuity and structure of the book but I'm happy to report this is not a problem at all. Follow the link above and you'll note that the entire text of the book is still available online, and indeed contributions are currently being sought for Code 3.0.

As you might expect from a Creative Commons founder, Lessig is putting his money where his mouth is by putting it all online under a CC license. Notwithstanding this, you'll probably want a paper version. I bought my copy through my usual source, the Book Depository (£8.40 shipped anywhere).

OK so it's already an interesting book, but what is it about? (You may be wondering) Let me see if I can do it some kind of justice.

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Posted
19 December 2007

Categories
Nerd Factor X Provocation

Tags
itunes windows ui

5 Comments

iDefend iTunes

Why do some Windows users hate iTunes so much?

I can't understand it myself. I think a lot of the angst directed towards iTunes is misguided. Or misinformed. Or overstated. Or just a matter of taste. Hear me out.

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Posted
10 December 2007

Categories
Nerd Factor X

Tags
nokia 6110 navigator phone hsdpa gps

2 Comments

The Claytons iPhone

Behold my Claytons iPhone. It's the iPhone I have when I don't have an iPhone. And in many ways it's better than the real thing (besides being non-vapourware here in Australia).

This phone is a Nokia 6110 Navigator. It replaces the Nokia N70 I bought, and wrote extensively about, a while back. Unlike last time when I did a detailed review of all aspects of the phone, this time I'm going to look at the two big features of the 6110N first, followed by a list of carefully selected bullet points relating to the rest of the phone.

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Posted
10 November 2007

Categories
Nerd Factor X Personal

Tags
router linksys adsl2 cable networking Home ethernet

3 Comments

Server Shelf

One of the main joys of home ownership is the ability to run Ethernet cable throughout the house without asking anyone's permission. For ages I have wanted to do this, and now I have. Behold.

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Posted
07 November 2007

Categories
Nerd Factor X Linkpimpin'

Tags
c++ development memory performance architecture

2 Comments

Required Viewing

If you're at all interested in computing technology you can't help but be amazed at the advances in CPU power over the last few decades, Moore's Law, blah blah blah. But a few seconds pondering this invariably provokes the question as to how long this party can last.

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Posted
28 October 2007

Categories
Nerd Factor X

Tags

2 Comments

Control, Oh!

So I'm brushing up on my shell-fu. In other words, working my way through the excellent and highly recommended From Bash to Z Shell, skimming the bits I know and experimenting with the bits I didn't know. Here's something I didn't know; you may not either.

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Posted
10 October 2007

Categories
Cultcha Linkpimpin'

Tags

2 Comments

Easier Than Stealing

Amazon recently opened their MP3 store (in "beta" of course). It is awesome.

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Posted
09 October 2007

Categories
Nerd Factor X

Tags
c++ wide finder boost benchmark

4 Comments

Wide Finder in C++

Have you been following Tim Bray's Wide Finder project? It's an exercise to express a fairly simple task in a manner that will scale across multiple CPU cores. Some of Tim's initial progress with Erlang, and other contributors in different languages, is quite fascinating.

Like Tim I was also amused at Pete Kirkham's C++ implementation which was purported to be shorter than an initial attempt by an Erlang expert (in Erlang obviously). However on closer examination it seems that Pete's C++ implementation was simply handling the I/O portion with simplified parsing and not the subsequent sorting.

So as another C++ coding Kata I decided to have a go. Whereas Tim's goal was to evaluate different methods of expressing algoritms for parallel computation, mine was a lot more modest: just get it running concisely in C++ and compare performance with the raw Ruby version. Here's what I came up with.

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