Monthly Archives: April 2008

Funny wireless network names

I saw these amusing wireless network names on my way into Manchester to meet Paul Robinson the other week.  Not had a chance to post them until now.

My wireless network is less imaginatively named ‘foo’.

How did they not sell? How?

I despair of eBay, and the internet in general. How did these not sell? How?

8 mouse balls

I mean, who wouldn’t want 8 mouse balls, especially when posed so artfully.  They are pleasantly rubbery, quite heavy; obviously good quality. Someone missed a bargain today, they really did.


Dear ‘People who run the site’,

Your website makes my eyes bleed.

Thank you.

Metal/Explosive/Weapon Detectors on the London Underground

I am posting this a a blog entry because I can’t see an obvious way to leave comments on Sam Clark’s blog where he wrote about the subject of metal detectors on the London Underground (LU).

Boris (and everyone else who promotes the idea of detectors) seems to be ignoring the fact that whilst creating a target with the size of queues they will undoubtedly cause, the scanners will only deter the most incompetent terrorists.

Why? Because the LU is a huge, open system.  You can simply climb a small fence and from there get to any other part of the system. Securing the stations alone will not make a difference, and will almost certainly lead to a false sense of security which could put travelers in a worse situation than before as their guard will be lowered.

You could solve this by securing the entire of the underground system; closing it off, but that is going to cost an astronomic amount of money and will only be as reliable as the least secure part of the whole system. Or you could spend the money on gathering better intelligence, more policing and maybe starting to solve some of the fundamental problems that drive people to terrorism.

People who advocate detectors at LU stations either don’t understand the security situation, or are only interested in the “fell good” response the suggestion would have with the public.

There are a couple of good quotes from Geoff Dunmore, operational security manager (March 2006) for LU:

“…the network would not be the right environment for the technology.”

“Basically, what we know is that it’s not practical”

“Finally there’s also the risk that you actually create another target with people queuing up and congregating at the screening points.”

Slightly naughty


Wlll: “My name is Anne van Kesteren and contrary to what many people think, I’m a male.”
Wlll: The internet needs more laydees.
Wlll: 3D laydees that is.
ciaran29d: :|
Wlll: ones who can program Ruby
Wlll: And are hot.
ciaran29d: heh
Wlll: And slightly naughty.
Wlll: You get the idea.
ciaran29d: like, they use PHP?
Wlll: No, that’s just bad.

Penetrating Wagner’s Ring

Really, who thought “Penetrating Wagner’s Ring” was a good title for a book?

Penetrating Wagner's Ring

The reviews are great:

As implied by the title, this collection probes deeply into Wagner’s vast Ring piece. Accusations of anti-semitism make Wagner’s Ring a sensitive area today, but it continues to offer pleasure to many. This is a masterful work of musical scholarship that deserves a place on any sturdy shelf. No doubt it will influence appreciation of Wagner’s Ring for many years to come. Among the highlights is the revealing chapter on the many characters than Wagner has managed to cram into his Ring. Also covered are the brass instruments that Wagner designed specifically for insertion within the Ring. There will always be those who are opposed to musical analysis (just the same as there will always be those who resort to juvenile humour, regarding the title). They will say that Wagner’s Ring is ‘violated’ with excessive force of scholarship. For this reviewer, however, Wagner’s Ring remains quite intact and is indeed tightened by the exploration. In short, this stimulating venture in and out of Wagner’s Ring has resulted in a seminal, fluid output.

More amazon weirdness.


I was entertaining my wife yesterday evening with some witty banter on the subject of RSpec and was most annoyed that she wouldn’t stop laughing. As we all know RSpec is deadly serious so I couldn’t understand what could cause her such paroxysms, perhaps she had become ill of the mind; a raving loon? I made a mental note to check her dosage.

It turns out that she was only half-listening to me and having no idea what I was talking about (she is not a software developer) thought I was talking about something called ‘Arse-peck’. Last time something I said caused her to laugh this much was when I told her there was a UNIX utility called ‘ping’.

I really should get out more. At least that’s what my wife says.