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Britain's rapid return to Victorian morals

David Cameron may be pushing for opt-in "I'm a sicko" filters on British ISPs, and the Daily Fail might be rejoicing in a battle won, but what is the reality here? Is this perv-filter scheme a tacit admission that the government has utterly failed to do anything useful with such things as child pornography? So instead of attempting to stop it at source, they will require it to be blocked so you can't see it.
Children will still be abused. Rule 34 is still in effect. But all you stupid idiots jumping up and down for porn filtering on British ISPs will be able to free yourself of the worry because it will cease to exist at the end of British phone lines. In effect, by applying this filtering, you are burying your heads in the sand. Bad stuff will still happen to fragile and vulnerable people, only it will happen in a place far far away so you won't need to care.
Please remember that the next time you're watching the antics on Children In Need, you contrite Middle Class bastards...


Go on, indulge yourself!

The Catholic Church is having some big 'do' at the Rio World Youth Day and the Pope said that attendees would be given an "indulgence", something widely misreported in the press as a "get out of hell free" pass. This has since been extended to cover those who are unable to attend in person but participate via social media.

How morally bankrupt is the Catholic Church that it is basically bribing followers to take to Twitter and such for the event?

An aside:
For the Protestants, the deal is really simple. When you die your soul is judged. You join God and a whole lot of sexually-ambiguous angels in heaven, or you roast like a double whopper in the fires of hell.

It's never that easy for Catholics. If you are an evil person, you will probably roast - but the quirk with murderers being absolved on their death beds is because dogma has it that you are not sent to hell, it is you who must turn your back on God. The rest, in theory, go to Heaven. But you can't really have a newly-forgiven psycho-kiddie-murderer getting in a knees-up with the bi-curious angels because that would really lower the tone of the neighbourhood. So the Catholics have a third place. It's called "Purgatory" and it is intended for being the place where your soul is purified enough that you can enter heaven. A person in Purgatory will not be denied heaven (they won't go to hell), but they might remain in that wasteland of Godly punishment for hundreds of years.
This is where "Indulgences" come in. This is something you receive in order to reduce your time spent in Purgatory. The less time there, the closer you are to entering Heaven. An Indulgence is probably (incorrectly) called a get-out-of-hell-free because the Anglican group just don't have this concept.
And for tweeting about the Rio World Youth Day, you'll receive an Indulgence? Wow, how low the Catholic Church is stooping to offer those willy-nilly to people who......tweet. Jesus Effing Christ, full stop.

That said, I am a little surprised that the Church is willing to openly engage with that hotbed of sin, depravity, and kiddie-porn known as "The Internet". Maybe they, at least, have figured out that (YouTube comment writers aside), many of the horror stories are pure exhaggerations.


Livebox redux

The Livebox seemed to work for a few days. But on Sunday it needed to be restarted eight times.

So I did a test. I turned it off for ten minutes, mounted it vertically (with the cut-out corner to the top) and placed a room heater directly next to it. I set the heater to blow air (not heated, obviously!) straight into the box.

And, as you might expect, the Livebox then worked flawlessly.

Now all processors experience a range of temperature cycling. The average for a modern processor is 40-55°C depending on ambient. 50-60°C is about what your fan should attempt to keep the processor at. However when you do intensive tasks like playing movies and such, the temperature will rise to 60-70°C. For hardcore number crunching, you might hit 75°C, however by this time your CPU fan ought to be on max. It is around 85°C that throttling mechanisms will kick in.
This holds true for ARM processors as well. The likes of the Beagle and RaspberryPi will run at around 40°C (depending on ambient) rising under load. As those System-on-Chip (SoC) boards don't have a fan, and cannot benefit from a heatsink, it is not generally advised to run them hard for a duration without adding a cooling fan. I say a heatsink is useless as the thing is a Package-on-Package (PoP) design, where the memory chip is mounted directly on to the processor core. A heatsink will be cooling the memory and doing little for the core generating the heat.

Now it is to be expected that a modern WiFi card will have an onboard processor to co-ordinate its use. The reason normal browsing worked is because the data packets are small so the processor in the WiFi card does not have much work to do. Big downloads would fail because the processor would be running flat out, generating loads of heat. At some stage, this would trigger the WiFi card to crash in some way, which would knock out the WiFi connectivity; but it would do so in a way that would not be signalled to the Livebox's firmware, so it (the Livebox) would carry on unaware of a problem.

I do not know if this is by design (the WiFi cuts out until it cools down) or an actual fault. What I can say is that the living room was 28.6°C. That's warm, but this isn't exactly The French Riviera. Is it a hardware fault in the WiFi card, or a design fault of insufficient cooling? I don't know.

What I know, I'm reporting. This box has thermal issues. I had a hunch, but now I think I can say it is proven.


It's a boy

So the first born of the King and Queen to be is... male. It'll be another generation before there is a chance to bring gender equilibrium to who can inherit the Crown.
I would like to say "thank God it's been born, now I can get some peace and quiet" - but I have a horrible suspicion that this will be milked from all quarters for a while yet. I mean, seriously, what's the deal with the thousands of people in The Mall? There's a picture of a girl in The Daily Mail who looks the same sort of ecstatic that you might expect if she just found out she'd won the lottery [photo here, she's the one on the right, but you already guessed that, right?].
So let me spell it out simply. Somebody gave birth. It happens. A lot. Kinda necessary for our species to survive. Sweetheart, one day you too will probably give birth. Not so many people will cheer. Because... It happens. A lot.

I mean, Yay for a new member of the Royal Family and all, but... goodness, what a tizzy.


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Rick, 23rd July 2013, 00:17
Talking of Purgatory and such, there's a rather nice Breton curse. A true Breton must make at least on pilgrimage on the day of Saint Anne, or he will be cursed to travel around Brittany after his death, progressing only by the length of his coffin each year. 
If we assume, for easy maths, that a coffin is about two metres long, and that the Brittany coastline (not including the land boundary) is 2,700km (according to, then that ALONE will take... 
(2700 * 1000) / 2 = 1,350,000 years 
In other words, over six times longer than our species has even existed on this lump of rock (and probably longer than it will exist in the future). 
That's a pretty sobering curse.

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