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Russell Coker: BTRFS Status Dec 2014

Fri, 2014-12-05 19:27

My last problem with BTRFS was in August [1]. BTRFS has been running mostly uneventfully for me for the last 4 months, that’s a good improvement but the fact that 4 months of no problems is noteworthy for something as important as a filesystem is a cause for ongoing concern.

A RAID-1 Array

A week ago I had a minor problem with my home file server, one of the 3TB disks in the BTRFS RAID-1 started giving read errors. That’s not a big deal, I bought a new disk and did a “btrfs replace” operation which was quick and easy. The first annoyance was that the output of “btrfs device stats” reported an error count for the new device, it seems that “btrfs device replace” copies everything from the old disk including the error count. The solution is to use “btrfs device stats -z” to reset the count after replacing a device.

I replaced the 3TB disk with a 4TB disk (with current prices it doesn’t make sense to buy a new 3TB disk). As I was running low on disk space I added a 1TB disk to give it 4TB of RAID-1 capacity, one of the nice features of BTRFS is that a RAID-1 filesystem can support any combination of disks and use them to store 2 copies of every block of data. I started running a btrfs balance to get BTRFS to try and use all the space before learning from the mailing list that I should have done “btrfs filesystem resize” to make it use all the space. So my balance operation had configured the filesystem to configure itself for 2*3TB+1*1TB disks which wasn’t the right configuration when the 4TB disk was fully used. To make it even more annoying the “btrfs filesystem resize” command takes a “devid” not a device name.

I think that when BTRFS is more stable it would be good to have the btrfs utility warn the user about such potential mistakes. When a replacement device is larger than the old one it will be very common to want to use that space. The btrfs utility could easily suggest the most likely “btrfs filesystem resize” to make things easier for the user.

In a disturbing coincidence a few days after replacing the first 3TB disk the other 3TB disk started giving read errors. So I replaced the second 3TB disk with a 4TB disk and removed the 1TB disk to give a 4TB RAID-1 array. This is when it would be handy to have the metadata duplication feature and copies= option of ZFS.

Ctree Corruption

2 weeks ago a basic workstation with a 120G SSD owned by a relative stopped booting, the most significant errors it gave were “BTRFS: log replay required on RO media” and “BTRFS: open_ctree failed”. The solution to this is to run the command “btrfs-zero-log”, but that initially didn’t work. I restored the system from a backup (which was 2 months old) and took the SSD home to work on it. A day later “btrfs-zero-log” worked correctly and I recovered all the data. Note that I didn’t even try mounting the filesystem in question read-write, I mounted it read-only to copy all the data off. While in theory the filesystem should have been OK I didn’t have a need to keep using it at that time (having already wiped the original device and restored from backup) and I don’t have confidence in BTRFS working correctly in that situation.

While it was nice to get all the data back it’s a concern when commands don’t operate consistently.

Debian and BTRFS

I was concerned when the Debian kernel team chose 3.16 as the kernel for Jessie (the next Debian release). Judging by the way development has been going I wasn’t confident that 3.16 would turn out to be stable enough for BTRFS. But 3.16 is working reasonably well on a number of systems so it seems that it’s likely to work well in practice.

But I’m still deploying more ZFS servers.

The Value of Anecdotal Evidence

When evaluating software based on reports from reliable sources (IE most readers will trust me to run systems well and only report genuine bugs) bad reports have a much higher weight than good reports. The fact that I’ve seen kernel 3.16 to work reasonably well on ~6 systems is nice but that doesn’t mean it will work well on thousands of other systems – although it does indicate that it will work well on more systems than some earlier Linux kernels which had common BTRFS failures.

But the annoyances I had with the 3TB array are repeatable and will annoy many other people. The ctree coruption problem MIGHT have been initially caused by a memory error (it’s a desktop machine without ECC RAM) but the recovery process was problematic and other users might expect problems in such situations.

Related posts:

  1. BTRFS Status March 2014 I’m currently using BTRFS on most systems that I can...
  2. BTRFS Status April 2014 Since my blog post about BTRFS in March [1] not...
  3. BTRFS Status July 2014 My last BTRFS status report was in April [1], it...

Andrew Pollock: [life] Day 309: Seaworld

Fri, 2014-12-05 15:26

My friends Alec and Christine were holidaying on the Gold Coast with their daughter Eloise this week, and I'd made plans to rendezvous with them at Seaworld for the day.

Sarah dropped Zoe around in the morning, and we departed not long after, with a side visit to the post office to clear my post office box.

We arrived at Seaworld just after 10am, and Alec and Christine were already inside and had secured some seats for the Seal Detective show. They saved us some seats and we joined them.

After that, we tried to watch the dolphin show, but they had to cancel it because someone had managed to trip over a stroller that was past the stroller parking area and had injured themselves. It seemed like quite the incident management, with a lot of Seaworld people descending on the scene, and erecting screens around the injured person. I have no idea why they weren't able to quickly move them and proceed with the show.

We grabbed some lunch and had the obligatory ride on the Vikings Revenge Flume Ride (that thing is such a Seaworld institution). It was getting hot, and Eloise was a bit tired and cranky from a full week of vacationing, so we decided to go back to their hotel and have a swim in the pool.

Zoe wanted to take the bus back with them, so I drove back to the Marriott and availed myself of their free valet parking, and we had a swim. The Surfers' Paradise Marriott certainly has a very impressive swimming area. We had lots of fun.

We ended up staying for dinner before heading back. Zoe fell asleep in the car on the way back despite my best efforts to prevent it. She had quite a meltdown when I had to get her out of the car when we got home, so I had to basically get her into her pajamas and pour her into bed and she fell back asleep easily.

It was a really nice day out.

Binh Nguyen: Music Production and Experimentation - Part 2

Fri, 2014-12-05 10:32
A follow on from:

http://dtbnguyen.blogspot.com/2014/04/music-production-and-experimentation.html

I've recently been working on music as an alternative hobby/career as has been indicated by the contents of this blog.



For an idea of some of the stuff that I'm interested in, please checkout my YouTube profile. There may be some remixes and some original stuff coming out in the near future via this avenue (some of the lower quality productions/samples are likely to go out via YouTube while the higher quality stuff is likely to go out via other outlets).

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwVJG67iHHPbmBxuHVbyOlw/playlists

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwVJG67iHHPbmBxuHVbyOlw/feed 

Compression as opposed limiting to reduce impact of increasing volume and limiting effect.

http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/dynamic-processors-compressorslimiters.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_range_compression

http://www.audio-production-tips.com/limiter.html

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jun99/articles/mixcomp.htm



Some interesting information on creating Vinyl effects in Ableton.

http://www.musicsoftwaretraining.com/blog/how-to-create-a-vinyl-effect-in-ableton/

https://forum.ableton.com/viewtopic.php?t=2463

http://www.afrodjmac.com/blog/2013/09/21/free-ableton-live-pack-91-vinyl-scratcher-effect-plus-delay-modes-tutorial

http://www.afrodjmac.com/blog/2012/05/09/ableton-live-pack-56-vinyl-crackler

http://www.synthtopia.com/content/2012/05/11/ableton-live-vinyl-crackler-rack/



If you've ever heard electronic music you'll have heard strange electronic, vocal sounds before.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vocoder/

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/electronic-music-instruments-electronic-music-production/567980-what-best-sounding-software-vocoder-if-such-thing-exists.html

http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/tutorial_vocal_removal_and_isolation.html

http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Vocal_Removal_Plug-ins

http://audionamix.com/



Listen closely to a lot of modern music and you'll realise that a lot of it contains multiple drum machine synthesisers with often clever overlapping and layering.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drum_machine

http://www.attackmagazine.com/features/top-ten-classic-drum-machines/

http://www.sweetwater.com/c643--Drum_Machines_Modules

http://electronicmusic.wikia.com/wiki/Drum_synthesizer



Despite what I had previously thought about building modern electronic music it's not that easy.

http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-House-Track

http://news.beatport.com/how-to-write-a-hit-house-track-10-top-tips/

http://www.musicradar.com/tuition/tech/26-house-production-tips-486841/

http://www.edmproducer.com/writing-melodies/

https://www.samplemagic.com/details/72/the-secrets-of-house-music-production

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Song_structure_%28popular_music%29

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirty-two-bar_form

http://www.wikihow.com/Produce-and-Write-Dance-Music

http://emusictips.com/2008/08/top-10-signs-your-electronic-music-is-amateur/

http://www.howmusicworks.org/910/Writing-Songs/Song-Structure

http://www.sommercamp.at/workshop2010/Songwriter/Writing_files/craftofSongwriting.pdf

http://dougashdown.com/An%20Introduction%20To%20Songwriting.pdf

http://www.songwritingfever.com/books/getstarted.pdf

https://garyewer.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/8-tips-for-writing-a-song-bridge/

http://homerecording.com/bbs/general-discussions/singing-vocals/how-do-you-write-bridge-song-structure-general-152631/

http://www.learneverythingabout.com/lyrics/song-structure-bridges.html

http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Bridge-for-a-Song

http://www.satoshitomiie.com/?p=766

http://www.learneverythingabout.com/lyrics/song-structure-bridges.html

http://www.soundstosample.com/blog/pro-tips/progressive-house-production-tips



Building software synthesisers for profit using Reaktor and other software.

http://basicsynth.com/

https://www.dubstepforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=63293

https://www.udemy.com/build-a-synth-in-reaktor/

http://software-tips.wonderhowto.com/how-to/build-basic-modular-synth-reaktor-5-1-295767/

http://www.sonicacademy.com/Training+Videos/Course+Overview/Learn-How-To-Make-a-Synth-using-Native-Intruments-Reaktor.cid2095

http://www.synthtopia.com/content/2009/02/26/very-basic-modular-synth-made-in-reaktor/

http://www.nireaktor.com/reaktor-tutorials/building-a-basic-reaktor-synth/

http://www.synthedit.com/



Some notes that should keep your stuff from sounding amateurish.

http://www.nonalignmentpact.com/2008/09/telltale-signs-that-youre-amateur.html

http://www.hometracked.com/2008/02/05/auto-tune-abuse-in-pop-music-10-examples/



Sound effects feature heavily in modern music. Keep up with your reading.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phasing_%28music%29

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phaser_%28effect%29

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitcrusher

http://electronicmusic.wikia.com/wiki/Bit_crushing

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dither

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chorus_effect

http://www.sae.edu/reference_material/audio/pages/fullindex.htm



Some interesting software synthesisers/VST's out there.

http://boscomac.free.fr/

http://www.phuturetone.com/

http://www.vintagesynth.com/

http://freesoftsynth.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_synthesizer

http://www.musictech.net/2013/09/software-synths/

David Rowe: SM1000 Part 8 – Video and Beta CAD work

Fri, 2014-12-05 08:30

Over the last few months Rick KA8BMA has been working steadily on the schematic, PCB, and enclosure CAD work for the SM1000 Beta. This is now complete, the Beta PCBs have been made, and the first 2 Beta units are being hand assembled by Edwin at Dragino. Rick and I will test these, then kick off the Qty 100 Beta run which I estimate will be on sale in January.

I’m a bit intimidated by the mechanical CAD work required to make an enclosure, but Rick has stepped right up and done a fine job designing a bent metal case comprised of two U-shaped halves. This can be economically made in small quantities. This sort of case is more suited to the “small box on the desk” form factor, but that’s OK for now. It still has an aperture for the internal microphone. Click for larger images.







Last week I visited VK2 and gave a talk at the ARNSW Home Brew Group meeting at Dural, on the NW edge of Sydney. I had a very pleasant day with Peter Marx who was kind enough to drive me there and record the talk. As well as the standard intro to Codec 2 and FreeDV the second half covers the SM1000.

Andrew Pollock: [life] Day 308: Christmas shopping in the city

Thu, 2014-12-04 22:26

Zoe managed to slip and fall on her bottom trying to get out of bed at midnight last night. I resettled her back in her bed and she was up for the day at a delightful 5:45am.

I thought we could take the bus into the city and do some Christmas shopping.

After a lot of procrastinating, we finally got out of the house, and managed to walk straight onto a bus, which was pretty good timing.

Our first stop was Officeworks to get Zoe's Kindergarten transition statement (which I'd received the previous day and was absolutely fantastic) copied, and then we dropped into biome to attempt to look at PlanetBox (unsuccessfully, they were all out of stock).

Then we headed over to the Myer Centre, to check out the Santa offerings. I was on a quest to find a real bearded Santa, as all of Zoe's original Santa photos were with real bearded Santas (except for last year, which was a major disappointment). I got lucky, and the Myer store Santa had a real beard (or as it turned out, one of them did).

Myer runs a pretty tight ship with their Santa, and it turns out the reason they have him sequestered away in a tiny room, is they actually run two Santas in parallel, and having him out of sight helps to not ruin the illusion for the kids.

After the photo, Zoe went and had lunch with Sarah, and I did a spot more Christmas shopping and grabbed some lunch myself.

After Zoe was reunited with me, we made our way back to the bus and headed home.

After we got home, we just chilled out at home until Sarah picked Zoe up.

BlueHackers: Gender Acceptance

Thu, 2014-12-04 14:38
A very nice example of gender acceptance by parents. Public acknowledgement in this way is awesome – well done to them! And I figure the “tidy your room” is pretty much a “all is fine and normal, getting on with it” statement. Awesome.Source: Courier Mail (Brisbane AU, December 2014)

Craige McWhirter: Craige McWhirter: Managing KVM Console Logs for Nova

Thu, 2014-12-04 14:28
Update

It turns out that this DOES NOT work around bug 832507. Please do not use this thinking that it does.

There's a problem with console logs. That was a hard sentence to word. I wanted to say a number of versions of it but each made it sound like the problem was with either OpenStack, Nova, libvirt / qemu-kvm. I didn't particularly feel like pointing the finger as the solution appears to need to come from a number of directions...

So the problem is that it is entirely possible when running KVM hypervisors with OpenStack Nova to have the compute nodes disks fill up when instance(s) console logs get a little chatty.

It's not a desirable event and the source will catch you by surprise.

There's currently no way to manage these KVM console logs via either qemu-kvm or via OpenStack / Nova so I wrote manage_console_logs.sh (github) (bitbucket) to do this.

manage_console_logs.sh operates as follows:

  • Creates a lock file using flock to ensure that the script is not already running.
  • Checks the size of each console log
  • If it's greater than the nominated size it's truncated using tail.

That's it. A pretty straight forward method for ensuring your compute node disks do not fill up.

You should schedule this via cron at you desired frequency and add a monitoring check to ensure it's doing it's job as expected.

linux.conf.au News: Keynote Session - Q&A with Linus Torvalds

Thu, 2014-12-04 11:28

Way, way back in 2003, at LCA in Perth, there was a Q&A session with Linus Torvalds, Bdale Garbee and Andrew Tridgell. It’s time for a follow-up so at LCA 2015 in Auckland it’s going to happen!

The Q&A session is scheduled for 09:00 am Friday, 16 January 2015 and will be moderated by Bdale Garbee with the assistance of Andrew Tridgell.

Helsinki-born Linus, who simply calls himself a Software Engineer, was the principal force behind developing the Linux kernel. It all started from an initial usenet posting in August of 1991 and made what has proved to be a historic debut with the release of version 1.0 on March 14 1994.

In June 2003 Linus started working for Open Source Development Labs. After merging with the Free Standards Group it became the Linux Foundation where Linus continues to work as the project’s coordinator and is Chief Architect of the Linux kernel.

In 2005, after criticism for his use and alleged advocacy of BitKeeper, proprietary software for version-control in the Linux kernel, Linus wrote a free-software replacement for BitKeeper called GIT which is now the most widely-adopted version-control system for software development.

Linus is an accomplished diver and in 2011, frustrated with the lack of decent divelog software on Linux, he developed Subsurface (http://subsurface-divelog.org/) an Open Source divelog program that runs on Windows, Mac and Linux.

We know that there are a number of beautiful diving spots not too far from Auckland...

The LCA 2015 Auckland team would like to thank the Linux Foundation for their assistance in making this possible.

Glen Turner: TFTP server, Fedora 20

Thu, 2014-12-04 10:37

The major system management tools have altered in recent Fedora versions, so the long-remembered phrases no longer work. Here is how to install and make available to the world a TFTP server.

$ sudo yum install tftp tftp-server $ sudo cat <EOF >> /etc/hosts.allow in.tftpd: ALL EOF $ sudo firewall-cmd --add-service tftp $ sudo firewall-cmd --permanent --add-service tftp $ sudo systemctl enable tftp.socket $ sudo systemctl daemon-reload

Test with:

$ sudo cp example.bin /var/lib/tftpboot/ remote$ tftp server.example.com tftp> get example.bin tftp> quit

Use cp rather than mv so that SELinux sets the correct attribute on the file.

Consider that between Fedora 14 (2010) and Fedora 22 (2015) the package installation command, firewall configuration and init system configuration of this common systems administration task all change. I wonder if that invalidation of years of practice accounts for some of the opposition to those changes.

Sonia Hamilton: Building the development version of Terraform

Thu, 2014-12-04 10:30

Instructions on how to build the development version of Terraform.

First you need to install Go, I have a script for this that would be easy to adapt for your needs. It installs Go, but also downloads some common projects (go-bindata, lint) and my own projects (gosnmp, evaler).

#!/bin/bash ## install go tgz=go1.3.3.linux-amd64.tar.gz url=https://storage.googleapis.com/golang/$tgz if ! [ -f /var/tmp/$tgz ] ; then cd /var/tmp wget $url fi if ! [ -d /usr/local/go ] ; then sudo tar -C /usr/local -xzf /var/tmp/$tgz fi ## setup dev directory structure mkdir -p ~/go/{sonia,thirdparty}/{bin,pkg,src} cd ~/go/thirdparty/src #--------------------- read -p "Install third party repos? (go-bindata, lint)" if [[ $REPLY =~ ^[Yy]$ ]] ; then if ! [ -d github.com/jteeuwen/go-bindata ] ; then go get github.com/jteeuwen/go-bindata/... cp ~/go/thirdparty/bin/go-bindata ~/bin fi if ! [ -d github.com/golang/lint ] ; then go get github.com/golang/lint/golint cp ~/go/thirdparty/bin/golint ~/bin fi fi cd ~/go/sonia/src #---------------- read -p "Install soniah repos? (gosnmp, evaler)" if [[ $REPLY =~ ^[Yy]$ ]] ; then # do 'git clone' not 'go get' so origin is writeable dir=github.com/soniah if ! [ -d $dir/evaler ] ; then mkdir -p $dir cd $dir git clone git@github.com:soniah/evaler.git cd - fi dir=github.com/soniah if ! [ -d $dir/gosnmp ] ; then mkdir -p $dir cd $dir git clone git@github.com:soniah/gosnmp.git cd - fi fi

A common pattern in Go (which my setup script demonstrates) is to split your code from thirdparty code. This requires configuring your shell (~/.zshrc, ~/.bashrc):

export GOPATH=~/go/thirdparty:~/go/sonia export PATH=${GOPATH//://bin:}/bin:$PATH

Then you need to follow the Terraform instructions for building, that is:

$ cd ~/go/thirdparty/src $ go get -u github.com/mitchellh/gox $ cd ~/go/thirdparty/src/github.com/hashicorp/terraform $ make updatedeps $ make dev # put the binaries somewhere in your path, eg /usr/local/bin $ sudo cp bin/terraform* /usr/local/bin

OpenStack miniconf: OpenStack ATC meetup at linux.conf.au 2015

Thu, 2014-12-04 09:26

The OpenStack miniconf at linux.conf.au next year is targeted at deployers and operators of OpenStack — it is not a developer meetup. Therefore, we’ve decided to run a developer meetup the Sunday before linux.conf.au.

Details and signup for that event are at — https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/linuxconfau-2015-openstack-atc-meetup-tickets-14765282357

Thanks to Catalyst for agreeing to host the meetup.

Binh Nguyen: Memorable Quotes - Part 8

Wed, 2014-12-03 20:10
A follow on from:

http://dtbnguyen.blogspot.com.au/2014/12/memorable-quotes-part-7.html

- George Clooney, likewise, has a right to be heard, and his work monitoring the human rights situation in Sudan is entirely laudable. But the rarefied atmosphere that fosters stars' idealism often makes them terrible politicians. They think that because they've played a part on the big screen, it can be replicated in real life. Clooney plays an art hunter in The Monuments Men, so he suddenly thinks he's qualified to talk about the Elgin Marbles. But because his life is actually detached from the realities of the world, it is probably just as well that he never runs for anything. If he won, the results could be disastrous.



Consider the example of Arnold Schwarzenegger. When he ran for Governor of California in 2003, Arnie ran as a superhero - the Governator. He took the press aboard the Total Recall bus to the Orange County fairgrounds to illustrate his opposition to the state's car tax. In front of a giant steel wrecking ball, he said, "In the movies, if I played a character and I didn't like something, you know what I did? I destroyed it." Then the wrecking ball fell on to a car. "Hasta la vista, car tax!" he cried.



Arnie won the election and he repealed the car tax. It cost $5 billion in revenues and nearly bankrupted California. Life, it seems, is not like the movies.

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/movies/why-dont-you-just-shut-up-and-act-george-clooney-20140213-32jue.html?google_editors_picks=true

- "No one looks at the waterfront of Brisbane ... and feels deeply moved by the grace and sweetness of the scene," de Botton writes in the post.



"While most people find the centre of Paris wonderful and others will delight in the winding streets of Siena, no one on the planet responds deeply to the brutal cross-city expressway and chunky, stained office blocks."

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/travel/australia/philosopher-and-author-alain-de-botton-backtracks-on-bagging-brisbane-as-ugly-city/story-fnjjv0rb-1226868172391

- "Efficiency is lack of wasted movement," says Cox, "and if you're on the customer end, what that looks like is precision."

http://robbreport.com/xojet/articles/alternative-approach

- Yet suits are nothing more than symbols: empty expressions of wealth and authority. They were first worn by middle-class British dandies trying to pass themselves off as aristocrats, and I'd argue that nothing's changed in the 200 years since. Every time we don a suit, we clad ourselves in a veneer of "respectability" (it's not as though we do it for comfort). And, in doing so, we tell ourselves, and everyone around us, that what we wear is what matters, not what we think, say or do.

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/blogs/public-sector-informant/every-time-you-dress-to-impress-at-the-office-you-demean-yourself-20140505-37rn7.html- Once China is capable of launching three warheads simultaneously, the magazine said that a single DF-41 missile would be capable of wiping out three American cities in one go. With other strategic offensive weapons such as the JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missile and the DF-31A intercontinental ballistic missile, China will be able to gain more of an advantage in arms limitation talks with the United States.

http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?cid=1101&MainCatID=11&id=20140626000172

- An ultra-conservative Egyptian cleric has said that watching football matches is unacceptable in Islam because it is a distraction and "destroys nations".



Yasser Borhami, a founding member of the main Salafi movement in Egypt, the Salafi Call, sparked an outcry when he said spending time watching the World Cup games in Brazil was "a disaster that makes me very irate".



He claimed that it was a distraction from religious and worldly duties, ultimately leading to "the destruction of nations and peoples".

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/15/egyptian-cleric-yasser-borhami-says-watching-football-destroys-nations

- "...he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. ... We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Coming

- To put it in prospective for you fellow Ozbargainers, Half the Earth's population earns less than US $500 a Month, and out of those about half again ( 2 Billion ) earn under US $200 per month, over a Billion do not even earn US $100 a month, and most have to work for 45 to 60 hrs.+ a week in bad conditions. Most headphones are made in countries with low wages. A few dollars worth of plastic, steel, copper etc. some R & D, packaging and paper. The rest is marketing, wholesale, duties/tax and big retail mark-up. If you got this far, that was my late night rant. Holland just beat Mexico in World Cup, happy now :-)

https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/150868

- Courts have rules of evidence, for very good reason. These rules have been developed over many years and are designed to ensure that judges and juries make the fairest decision possible. The problem is neither we, nor the media, follow any such rules. That means that bits and pieces of information about each of us - parts of the story when there might be many versions, often completely untested - are passed on every day. In normal daily life we call it gossip.



Sadly, some investigative journalists get away with being paid to publish this sort of stuff, irrespective of whether innocent people are damaged along the way. They would say they are only doing their job, working to shine a light on bad things that do happen. When they do in fact shine that light and wrongdoers get their due, we should all cheer. The trouble is that often, in digging to find the dirt and shine the light, they chuck a fair bit of mud.



Shorten has had a rough time of it. He can be grateful for the decency shown all around. Perhaps he will insist the same courtesies are extended by his team on future occasions. But don't hold your breath.

http://www.smh.com.au/comment/imagine-if-tony-abbott-had-been-accused-of-rape--20140829-109zcr.html?google_editors_picks=true

- "In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists."

 - Eric Hooffer

https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=17031103&authType=name&authToken=pgeZ&trk=prof-sb-browse_map-name

-  Feces - its exact composition varies widely depending upon the diet and health of the defecator, but broadly speaking fecal matter consists of water, inorganic salts, food residues, amino acids and digestive enzymes, cellulose and fiber; mucus, blood, bacteria, and parasites are also commonly present. We have seen no reports of any scientific study undertaken to determine the health effects of customary shit-eating, but from the standpoint of contagion it is probably not a great deal more (though certainly it is not any less) dangerous than the consumption of semen, menstrual blood, etc., all of which, as noted above, may be risky.

http://www.baymoon.com/~btoak/faustus/fluids.html

- Nixon's fake craziness -- what he privately called his "madman theory" -- may have had a lasting effect in Moscow. A decade later when Ronald Reagan first took up residence in the White House, the Soviets were so sure the new president was dangerously irrational that they put their own forces on high alert expecting an imminent nuclear attack.



It's doubtful anyone worries about Obama doing anything crazy. Contrary to what Nixon believed, sanity should be a good thing, right? Maybe, but is Obama's caution also why the Russians and, perhaps, the Chinese, have no compunction about defying him?



It's a tough, crazy world out there and, though we wish humanity would grow up a little, it still seems as if we are stuck playing the foolish games of high school on a global scale.

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/topoftheticket/la-na-tt-barack-obama-too-sane-20141112-story.html

- I'm also guessing you don't literally believe, as the Bible states, we should put people to death for being magicians, saying God doesn't exist, adultery, homosexuality, working on the Sabbath and worshipping graven images.



Why? Because I think, deep in your heart, you know the Bible is not the literal word of God but a series of texts compiled over many centuries by a huge, disparate group of clever men.



And I'd suggest you also recognise even the Bible has to move with the times and, what may have been laudable 2000 years ago - like selling your daughter into sexual slavery (Exodus 21:7-11) - is not so cool in Australia in 2013.



So let's be clear: this has nothing to do with the word of God and the Bible - it's merely how you're interpreting it, and your interpretation on this issue, I suspect, is based on one thing alone.

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/executive-style/culture/all-men-are-liars/that-doesnt-sound-very-christian-to-me-20131115-2xjfm.html

- "We write to you because we believe that the ABC has a particularly important role in presenting religion both in its own right and as an integral part of modern Australian society, thanks to the high-quality specialist religion programming provided by both television and radio."



They write: "We believe the faith and values we hold will always occupy a central part in the formation of our Australian national identity. Further, an understanding of religion plays a crucial part in grasping today's ever more complex social and political developments both in Australia and internationally ...



"It has never been more important for Australians to have access to content that builds a deeper understanding of the role of faith in the lives of individuals or society, as demonstrated in last month's G20 interfaith summit.

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/religious-leaders-unite-to-plead-to-abc-board-20141202-11yh2j.html- Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité, French for "Freedom, equality, brotherhood",[1] is the national motto of France and the Republic of Haiti, and is an example of a tripartite motto. Although it finds its origins in the French Revolution, it was then only one motto among others and was not institutionalized until the Third Republic at the end of the 19th century.[2] Debates concerning the compatibility and order of the three terms began at the same time as the Revolution.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libert%C3%A9,_%C3%A9galit%C3%A9,_fraternit%C3%A9- This may seem counterintuitive given this is home turf for the nation's greatest political minds. State Circle syndrome hits those who forget Capital Hill exists for all who are not on it, rather than the other way around.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/only-labor-cant-see-abbott-was-on-money-with-electoral-funding-u-turn/story-fn8qlm5e-1226654786822

- "If we want to survive in this competitive context worldwide, then we must strengthen Europe and that also means that even the biggest countries in the EU will not be able to stand alone. So, strengthening the idea and the substance of the European integration is key. We need more Europe, not less", he concluded.

http://www.incyprus.com.cy/en-gb/Top-Stories-News/4342/35276/rebuilding-trust-in-cyprus-banks- "She's going to get me out. I am acting as an individual - I am taking responsibility for improving my lot." And that - though not by murder - is what Damian did. He got a degree - almost unheard of in Newarthill - and went south to Brighton.



Today he is a well-known and talented writer, and what he calls a salonniere (presumably the feminine is intended). He holds social gatherings in Shoreditch House, London, in which the quality of wit, words and wisdom is sharpened by conversation. He is an entrepreneur of the world of letters. And there he was, standing before us in the great hall of Dartington - poised, funny but modest, a credit to the opportunity society which Thatcher encouraged. Do read his book.

http://www.dnaindia.com/world/1861595/report-the-boy-from-motherwell-inspired-by-margaret-thatcher

- "Innovation at the technology frontier is quite different in nature from catching up technologically. It is not something that can be achieved through government planning," it said.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/10186546/China-defies-IMF-on-mounting-credit-risk-and-need-for-urgent-reform.html

- "I've been blessed to be able to do something that I love for over 40 years and have always enjoyed the challenge of change,"

Gary England

http://www.newson6.com/story/22914095/gary-england-named-vice-president-at-griffin-communications

- "We need to make more things, design more things, have more technology and sell more things overseas. We are beginning to see that happen. We need now to go further and faster."

David Cameronhttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10197738/David-Cameron-Immigration-is-constant-drain-on-public-services.html

- The president spoke of the importance of striking a balance between "secrecy and the right to know" but said he would make no apologies for trying to protect classified information that could put citizens at risk. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/us-politics/obama-acts-on-tax-benghazi-scandals/story-fngeyb4x-1226645107296

- Just over 98,000 Britons live in Germany, around a third of them British soldiers and their families. Berlin has a particularly strong pull for artists - Turner Prize winners Douglas Gordon and Susan Phillipz live here, as does Tacita Dean. The German capital's appeal combines history, generous cultural subsidy, and - until rents started to rise recently - cheap spaces to live and work. The city's attraction to laid-back, creative types is further enhanced by the fact that you rarely see a suit here; the bankers are all in Frankfurt.

...

In Swabia, Germany's prosperous south-western corner, the saying goes: "Schaffe, schaffe, H?usle baue" - literally, "work, work - and build a little house."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/10206103/What-we-can-learn-from-the-Germans.html

- US leadership on the world stage is not about empty platitudes, amply displayed recently by Barack Obama in Berlin, or meaningless, feel-good initiatives of the kind rolled out by the White House during the president's tour of Africa. American leadership should never be a cynical PR exercise aimed at boosting a president's popularity abroad or accommodating the whims of foreign governments. It must always be based on a clear-cut understanding of what is in America's vital national interest. And therein lies the heart of the failure of the Obama doctrine. A president who believes in apologising for his country, appeasing his nation's enemies, undercutting US national sovereignty, and sidelining America's traditional allies, cannot hope to operate an effective foreign policy, one that commands respect both at home and abroad.

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/nilegardiner/100227825/the-obama-doctrine-is-a-huge-failure-because-it-isnt-based-on-us-interests/

- "There's no magic bullet that's going to rapidly devalue the dollar and make things easier for struggling businesses in the immediate future."

Dr Henry cautioned against attempts to counteract currency market forces and push the Australian dollar lower, saying a flexible floating exchange rate had been key to the nation weathering international financial turmoil.

Instead, he urged Australian companies to look at how they could better integrate themselves with the rest of the region.

"Australian businesses need to learn from others, and that means that many businesses who once defined themselves as Australian must now begin, if they haven't already, looking at themselves as regional businesses, either through becoming part of regional supply chains, partnering with similar or complementary firms overseas, or even moving some components of their business to Asia," he said.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-20/henry-warns-of-grim-fiscal-reality/4210786

- "Remarkably, it appears that the very genetic adaptations that allow the diamondback moth to cope with these natural compounds also allow it to detoxify the insecticides used against it,"' Professor Gurr said.

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/environment/animals/scientists-crack-super-moths-survival-secret-20130114-2cptn.html

- "The reality is at the end of the day there is no different approach. It's all the same: it is what is the tool that allows customers to do what they do best."

http://www.forbes.com/sites/oliverchiang/2011/02/28/facebook-investor-peter-thiel-palantir-is-the-next-facebook-or-google/print/

- To use a Churchillian phrase, the man was a riddle and a mystery inside an enigma, and by extension so too the secretive state he presided over.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19341954

- Snowden's cache has unveiled the existence of a veritable alphabet soup of programs - with code names including Prism, Tempora, xKeystroke, Muscular, Pinwale, EgotisticalGiraffe, Stormbrew, Fairview, Oakstar, Mainway, and Nucleon - all aimed at harvesting, storing and analysing as much of the world's electronic communications as can be scooped up.

http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/who-is-monitoring-the-covert-operations-of-the-worlds-spy-agencies-20131206-2ywpt.html

- Only about 1 in 1,000 Web readers clicks on the average display ad. On Facebook, that number is closer to 1 in 2,000, according to Webtrends. Even ads sent by unsolicited postal mail generate a response rate that is many times higher, according to published industry numbers.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-facebook-display-ads-20120525,0,4871607.story

Binh Nguyen: Memorable Quotes - Part 7

Wed, 2014-12-03 19:49
A follow on from:

http://dtbnguyen.blogspot.com.au/2014/12/memorable-quotes-part-6.html

- "There was a poll recently on the favorability of everything in American life," he told a gathering in the Russell Senate Office Building, upstairs from his office. "The favorability numbers of Congress ranked just below a colonoscopy. So we are trying to raise it at least above that."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/dana-milbank-john-mccain-the-maverick-is-back/2013/07/22/eacdecc2-f30b-11e2-ae43-b31dc363c3bf_story.html?tid=pm_pop

- "My strength and weakness is I enjoy being in the arena," he said, quoting his hero, Teddy Roosevelt. "I like the fight."



That's good news. The important thing is not where McCain has been but that he's back. He's needed more than ever.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/dana-milbank-john-mccain-the-maverick-is-back/2013/07/22/eacdecc2-f30b-11e2-ae43-b31dc363c3bf_story.html?tid=pm_pop

- "Some of the guys who come from pure science and maths backgrounds are used to solving a problem and it works," Patrick Boyle says. "They think they can find a formula that will perfectly describe how the market moves. That is the philosopher's stone - it is utterly impossible." The danger is that in only seeing numbers and patterns the human dimension is forgotten.



After 16 years in the City, Simon Jones is now planning to go travelling. "A quant can earn up to seven figures," he tells me, "but sometimes I do wonder whether I contributed positively to society."



And what does he conclude? He pauses. "I was working with the best of the best," he says. "My bank employed the brightest engineers, chemists and scientists - and we were all working together to get richer. The chemical and physics and health industries are worse off because of what we do because I tell you this: if there was a pay bonus structure similar to what we had in the City for curing cancer, we'd have found a cure for cancer."



I find that sad and a little bit frightening. So, I ask, quants: good or bad? Jones looks at me and says, "Humans just found a new way of being greedy."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/10188335/Quants-the-maths-geniuses-running-Wall-Street.html- According to a phenomenon known as Zipf's law, the second largest city should be half the size of the largest, the third largest a third of the size, and so on. But this doesn't hold true in Britain, where there are a surprisingly large number of very small cities. Birmingham is Britain's second largest city, but it's less than a seventh the size of London. If the regions want to be more successful, they must learn to grow their cities.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/10188204/Why-Britain-needs-its-little-cities-to-grow-up.html

- The greatest challenge faced by America is not foreign technology from countries that are not democratic, but from our own idealistic and naive opposition to these programs. And these programs cannot be quickly reassembled when the error of not maintaining them is discovered too late.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/prism-collection-documents/?hpid=z1

- It is clear that the European Parliament elections next year will be make-or-break the future of the EU. We must realize that the time of the sovereign national state is over. We have to dare to admit that Sweden is dependent on the rest of Europe and that we have everything to gain from more in depth cooperation, also when it comes to security and defence.



I am convinced that a more in depth cooperation with our Nordic and European friends will guarantee both security and an effective defence.

http://www.thelocal.se/49150/20130723/

- "To stem the evangelical growth is not his goal. Francis is more of a pastor, more humble, more of a prophet who rediscovers the church of testimony, coherent with the fundamental values of the Gospel," said Teixeira.



This is in sharp contrast to a church which in the past decades had been characterized by "splendor, doctrinal hot air and seen as a repository of the single truth," he added.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hFWBd6ELIpEq1NGsZykUNzOVyo5g?docId=CNG.2b599a31130f2e66dc5fa6961075201e.4e1

- While the movie Contact, based on Carl Sagan's book of the same name, popularised the idea of aliens dozens of light-years away picking up an old telecast of the 1936 Berlin Olympics that was unintentionally transmitted into space, our civilisation has become quieter to any outside observers in recent decades. As our civilisation makes the jump from analog to digital, communication is increasingly carried by fibre-optic cables and relatively weak mobile phone repeaters rather than powerful broadcast transmitters. Rather than spilling out messy radio transmissions, Marcy posits that alien civilisations would use something much more precise and efficient than radio waves to stay connected, and lasers fit the bill. At the Keck Observatory, he hopes to spy an errant beam flashing from a distant star system, an observation that would be strikingly obvious on a spectrum.



This shift to new ways for finding E.T. is in part due to the failure of traditional SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) to pick up radio signals from deep space. Federal funding for SETI projects ended in 1995, but private benefactors have stepped up to support the search for alien radio transmissions, including Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who has sunk more than $US30 million into a giant radio telescope array now under construction northeast of San Francisco.



Nevertheless, the silence underscores the question once posed by Nobel prize-winning physicist Enrico Fermi: If intelligent life is common in the galaxy, "where is everybody?"



Marcy admits that this so-called "Fermi paradox" poses a powerful counterargument to the prospect of success for any search for extraterrestrial intelligence. But what if, even if the chances are vanishingly remote, he is successful? More disturbingly, what if (as some respected physicists fear) he finds a Death Star?



"The first thing we do is transmit a message to them that says, 'We taste bad.' "

http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/hunt-for-alien-spacecraft-begins-as-planetspotting-scientist-geoff-marcy-gets-funding-20130724-2qibc.html

- Apple is not seen as the really cool company any more. Steve Jobs is dead, and to paraphrase Lloyd Benson's famous comment to Dan Quayle: "I knew Steve Jobs, Tim, and you're no Steve Jobs."



The parallels with Microsoft, which announced equally disappointing financial results last week, are many. Both companies redefined the industry - Microsoft in the 1980s with MS-DOS and in the 1990s with Office and Windows, and Apple in the 2000s with the iPod and iPhone and in the 2010s with the iPad..



Both companies had at their peak a market capitalisation exceeding God's (Apple at one stage nearing a trillion dollars). Both companies had charismatic and visionary founders who were replaced by functionaries.



In both cases, the companies became arrogant through their own success. The ancient Greeks called it hubris - such a blind faith in one's past glories that you cannot believe it will ever end.



Well it has.

http://www.itwire.com/it-industry-news/listed-tech/60834-steve-jobs-where-are-you?-apple-loses-its-shine

- "To brush aside America's responsibility as a leader - and more profoundly - our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who are."

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/24/us/politics/us-urged-to-adopt-policy-justifying-intervention.html?_r=0

- "Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice, and is never the result of selfishness." ~ Napoleon Hill

You don't need to have a 100-person company to develop that idea. - Larry Page

"If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulder of giants." John Quincy Adams

"Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who would be affected by it." - Marian Anderson

"With this endless parade of distractions and political posturing and phony scandals, Washington's taken its eye off the ball," Mr. Obama told an audience at Knox College, in Galesburg, Ill., the site of his first major economic speech as a young senator eight years ago. "And I am here to say this needs to stop. This needs to stop. This moment does not require short-term thinking. It does not require having the same old stale debates. Our focus has to be on the basic economic issues that matter most to you -- the people we represent."

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/25/us/politics/obama-to-restate-economic-vision-at-knox-college.html?_r=0- "This growing inequality, it's not just morally wrong, it's bad economics," he said. "Because when middle-class families have less to spend, guess what? Businesses have fewer consumers. When wealth concentrates at the very top, it can inflate unstable bubbles that threaten the economy. When the rungs on the ladder of opportunity grow farther and farther apart, it undermines the very essence of America, that idea that if you work hard, you can make it here."



He called on Republicans to pick up his economic proposals and to pass legislation overhauling the immigration system. He also scolded Republicans for trying to undercut his health care program and argued that it would expand coverage and trim costs.



But he also challenged members of his own party to stop defending outdated government programs and resisting change.



"I will be saying to Democrats, we've got to question some of our old assumptions," he said. "We've got to be willing to redesign or get rid of programs that don't work as well as they should."

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/25/us/politics/obama-to-restate-economic-vision-at-knox-college.html?_r=0

- "Unfortunately, opportunities for upward mobility in America have gotten harder to find over the past 30 years. That's a betrayal of the American idea. And that's why we have to do a lot more to give every American the chance to work their way into the middle class," he said.



He concluded: "That's why we don't call it John's dream or Susie's dream or Barack's dream - we call it the American Dream. That's what makes this country special - the idea that no matter who you are, what you look like, where you come from or who you love - you can make it if you try."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/barackobama/10200850/Barack-Obama-warns-American-dream-is-in-danger-of-becoming-a-myth.html

- "The Vietnamese have learned from their own history that we all have no permanent enemies, only friends yet to be made," he said.

...

"There will never be a matriculation from dictatorship to democracy if we stand with the dictatorship," said Congressman Chris Smith from New Jersey. " So I say 'meet with presidents like Sang who was not elected by the people as we all know ... meet with him, argue with him, but don't enable him, don't walk around smiling, having so many photo ops that the plight of the dissidents gets lost."

http://www.voanews.com/content/vietnamese-president-in-washington-seeking-new-relationship/1709661.html

- She believes the pull towards terrorist activities is a mental health issue.



"There is a lethal four part cocktail that draws people toward terrorism that involves a group, an ideology, social support (either on the internet, or through a teacher or authority figure) and individual vulnerability - often these people are suffering post traumtaic stress.



"It's all about community health; in conflict zones you see groups taking advantage of vulnerable grief stricken people."

http://www.smh.com.au/world/terrorist-whisperer-helping-nsw-police-20130725-2qmvi.html

- Let's be clear. People smugglers are brokers of slim chance. For their market to exist they need two things: human misery born of violence and persecution, and they need a product to sell. Australia is that product - a land of ''hope, reward and opportunity'', as the current Liberal Party slogan so neatly says.



Rudd's shamelessly rightward policy shift has infuriated his opponents and has been done under the moral cover of stopping deaths at sea. As covers go, it's a solid one.



But the political opportunism of Labor's capitulation should not be used to obscure its potential to solve one of the country's most intractable problems.

http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/dont-let-political-opportunism-hide-an-idea-that-may-work-20130722-2qewr.html

- He called his friend "brilliant", and said Jack's latest research on medical devices could help save the lives of many people. "In this world full of people fearfully complying and worrying, very few people are crazy enough to challenge the rules, to approach life in an unconventional paradigm and to speak up to contribute to change this world," Suiche said.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/jul/26/hacker-barnaby-jack-san-francisco-dies

- One of my favourite sayings comes from the late American futurist Roy Amara: "We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run."

http://www.itwire.com/2012-06-01-13-40-03/browse/c-level/56422-exponential-growth-versus-linear-thinking

- There are people who tell me I've helped him. Mental health experts who say that the simple act of being someone's friend can change his brain chemistry, improve his functioning in the world. I can't speak for Mr. Ayers in that regard. Maybe our friendship has helped him. But maybe not. I can, however, speak for myself. I can tell you that by witnessing Mr. Ayers's courage, his humility, his faith in the power of his art, I've learned the dignity of being loyal to something you believe in. Of holding onto it, above all else. Of believing, without question, that it will carry you home.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0821642/quotes

- Either we shape the future or we allow ourselves to be shaped by it.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/in-depth/pm-extends-nbn-for-remote-areas-including-280m-satellite-dish-contract/story-e6frgaif-1226424552945

- We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life,_liberty_and_the_pursuit_of_happiness

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Liberty

- Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Benjamin_Franklin

- In the US, taking a risk and failing is not the end: there is honour in getting back up. Bankruptcy offers a new chance, and the culturally favoured response is to keep fighting. American economic dynamism owes much to this forgiving attitude to risk-taking.



Europeans regard insolvency with a much darker moral taint. To go bankrupt has traditionally been to be branded untrustworthy - a shame to hide by leaving business for ever, even (once upon a time) by taking leave of one's life. This still shows up in such archaic rules as Ireland's 12-year bankruptcy period (which is finally being reformed).



Paradoxically, this cultural allergy to failure leads not just to less risk-taking, but to policies that bail out those that do take big risks and lose. Europe finds the idea of default so intolerable that, in the current crisis, it has preferred to cover the debts of the bankrupt. It suffers as a result.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/2493b90c-f51c-11e2-94e9-00144feabdc0.html

- "By using a coding contest to find the best talent, we'll be able to quickly spot the engineers with the X factor -- the 5X programmers who are 5 times more productive than the average engineer," Said Soren Harner, VP Engineering at BigCommerce. "They are the polyglot master craftspeople who want to create something brilliant. More specifically, we're looking to find great talent in a range of languages including Clojure, Ruby, CoffeeScript, and PHP."

http://www.itwire.com/it-people-news/recruitment/60255-just-like-survivor-competing-for-a-job

- Ignorance helps to breed fear. Practically every so-called security measure taken since then has only ratcheted up the fear index and just provided what well-known security guru Bruce Schneier calls "security theatre".http://www.itwire.com/opinion-and-analysis/open-sauce/60279-the-land-of-the-free-and-the-brave-and-24-hour-snooping

- There's nothing inherently wrong with noticing achievements - when they result from moxie and grit. A person who, through effort and will (not luck or talent or some other accident of birth), transcends the norm to do something amazing is worthy of celebration. The average passer-by who runs into a burning building to save someone is a hero; a firefighter who draws a pay cheque, received training and consciously chose the job is not.

http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/celebrity/lets-excise-this-celebrity-cancer-20130727-2qqvs.html

North Korea has too many horrors to describe -- gulags, starvation, forced reverence of a demented leader -- but Internet access would speed the end of the regime. The utter lack of knowledge about the outside world there keeps a lid on dissent and domestic strife. North Koreans for the most part live in a total information dead zone, told they are lucky even as they endure food shortages and freezing winters without heating. The fact that it could all be undone with the flip of a switch is both maddening and heartbreaking.http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/05/eric-schmidt-kim-jong-un-could-turn-on-north-koreas-internet-if-he-wanted/276008/

- "Politics are not about magic but rather a combination of strategy, coherence and passion"

http://theworldoutline.com/2013/07/hollandes-handbook-on-how-to-land-in-safer-waters-solutions-for-economic-recovery/

- Russian aerospace companies have demonstrated an ability to outpace US aerospace manufacturers in terms of delivery of an operational capability and also the diversity of the capabilities of their weapons systems. The cumbersome US acquisition system, and marketing rather than technology driven aerospace industry, put the US at a distinct competitive disadvantage in rapidly adapting to an evolving threat environment.

http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-NOTAM-300309-1.html

- "Most of the fighters we have available today with vectored thrust, the Su-30MKI and MKM, can perform these maneuvers," Bogdan tells Aviation Week. "Where this aircraft is different is that it has more thrust, so when it performs the 'bell' maneuver, it can stand still, with afterburning on, and can sustain flight at 120-140 kph."

The emphasis in "supermaneuverability" runs counter to much Western air combat doctrine, which stresses high speed, the avoidance of the slower "merge" and tactics that do not lose the aircraft's energy. Bogdan, however, says supermaneuverability can be essential.

"The classical air combat starts at high speed, but if you miss on the first shot--and the probability is there because there are maneuvers to avoid missiles--the combat will be more prolonged," he says. "After maneuvering, the aircraft will be at a lower speed, but both aircraft may be in a position where they cannot shoot. But supermaneuverability allows an aircraft to turn within three seconds and take another shot."

However, Bogdan adds, "you have to be careful using that weapon. It's like a sniper--you can't shoot many times from the same spot because you disclose your position."

As for the doctrine that energy should be conserved, Bogdan notes: "The theory of air combat has always evolved. In the 1940s and 1950s, the first priority was height, then speed, then maneuver and then firepower. Then with the third and fourth generation, it was speed, then height and then maneuver. Supermaneuverability adds to this. It's the knife in the soldier's pocket."

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_06_24_2013_p33-589854.xml

- This is a well-researched and fascinating book, despite the blinkers. And it ends with a note of caution for those of us liberal historians who might otherwise naturally place ourselves on the "open government" rather than the "secret state" side of this argument. The more "open" government becomes - in the sense of its written records being available to everyone - the less likely our governors are to write things down. That will seriously cripple future historians and anyone wanting to find out how government works. For this reason, as Moran puts it, if WikiLeaks is permitted to reveal all, "society will have paid a very high price indeed for Assange's crusade". Whether that price outweighs the benefits of rulers having to act responsibly, because the people are watching them, is the central issue here.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/jan/10/classified-secrecy-state-christopher-moran-review

- Cooper writes: "Crime doesn't stop at the Channel. Criminals don't stay within national borders. There are an estimated 3,600 organised crime groups active across Europe, involved in drugs, human trafficking, online child exploitation and theft.

"Cross-border crime is likely to keep increasing whether we are in the European Union or outside it. That means the police need a clear framework for legal and effective co-operation across borders - and for ministers to ditch it is crazy."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/jun/11/tory-eurosceptics-david-cameron-eu

- "Walk softly and carry a big stick." Teddy Roosevelt



"The more that is disclosed about what's known about espionage activity in Australia or operational aspects in counter-intelligence, the more that our opponents, people who are engaging in espionage, will know about our capability and know about the methods that we have for detecting espionage or cyber threats."

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-28/government-urged-to-come-clean-on-foreign-cyber-threat/4716978

- "We cannot allow an imbalance of the system of strategic deterrence, reduction of the effectiveness of our nuclear forces. Therefore, the establishment of military-space defense will remain one of the key areas of military construction," Putin said at a recent meeting on the state defense order in St. Petersburg.



The President is convinced that Russia should take into account the development plans of the armed forces for the first, so-called preemptive strike. To reflect such strikes, we need high precision, non-nuclear weapons.

http://english.pravda.ru/russia/economics/10-07-2013/125077-high_precision_weapons_russia-0/

- Russia's new Yars, Topol-M and Bulava ICBMs are unvulnerable to the US missile defense system. The commander of the Russian SFM said that it was best for the enemy to destroy the missile during the initial part of its flight, when it gathers speed. The missile separates later, which makes it harder for interceptors to detect the missile in a whole cloud of fake targets.



Russia's state-of-the-art ballistic missiles have the shortest boost phase of the flight - this phase is much shorter than it was with older missiles. "At this short part of the flight the missiles perform active maneuvers, which makes it impossible for interceptors to plan the attack.



"We conducted the tests to evaluate and confirm the nuclear safety of Topol warheads. The results of the tests showed that even in case of most complicated breakdowns, fires or explosions, the nuclear explosion of the warhead is excluded," Karakaev said.

http://english.pravda.ru/russia/politics/19-12-2011/120016-russia_monster_ballistic_missile-0/

- Therefore, European CEOs and entrepreneurs called on the European Commission to open the Internet, "so that everyone is able to send and receive the content, run the applications and use the services of their choice, on the device of their choice."



They also consider that network management should be keep to a minimum, as well as discrimination in the treatment of Internet traffic. "Network access providers must be prohibited from blocking, degrading, hindering," they explained.



The group concluded their letter saying that transparency and facilitating switching "are important but insufficient to protect the open Internet."

http://www.neurope.eu/article/european-entrepreneurs-ask-net-neutrality

- "Of course there's an element of information-gathering in international naval drills, but this works both ways," he told The Cable. "I'm sure it's not beyond the wit of the US Navy to choreograph exercises where China's role does not involve access to sensitive information about US or allied capabilities."

"Chinese participation in RIMPAC will presumably focus on seamanship and non-warlike activities, rather than high-end combat drills or live-fire exercises," he continued. "The United States and allies have long called on China to make use of standard modes of operational communication to prevent incidents leading to conflict. It would be absurd to lock China out of exercises aimed at advancing precisely that goal." 

But Chabot sees the invitation as a strategic and diplomatic misstep. "We don't need to be provocative with China, but I think we keep rewarding really bad behavior," he said. "China's blatant stealing of U.S. technologies, their hundreds of cyber attacks on U.S. industries and government agencies. It's all pretty much ignored." http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/06/04/congressman_obama_is_letting_china_steal_us_military_secrets

- In a statement published by WikiLeaks late on Monday, Mr Snowden accused the US president, Barack Obama, of "using citizenship as a weapon".



"Although I am convicted of nothing, (the United States) has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person," he added. "Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum.



"Their purpose is to frighten, not me, but those who would come after me."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/10155407/Edward--Snowden-says-he-risks-the-death-penalty-as-escape-routes-narrow.html

- Raytheon's slimmed-down spy blimp is a spin-off however, from a much larger and highly-secretive Pentagon project. Among other high-tech, privacy-killing tools currently under development is the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency's (DARPA) Integrated Sensor Is Structure (ISIS) program. As conceived by the agency, ISIS will be a high-altitude autonomous airship built for the U.S. Air Force that can operate at seventy thousand feet and stay aloft for a decade.

Washington Technology reported that Lockheed Martin won a 400 million dollar deal to design the system. "Under the contract" the publication revealed, "Lockheed Martin will provide systems integration services, and Raytheon Co. will furnish a high-energy, low-power density radar, Lockheed Martin officials said."[38] Operating six miles above the earth's surface, well out of range of surface-to-air missiles, the airship will be some 450 feet long, powered by hydrogen fuel cells and packed with electronic surveillance gear and radar currently being field-tested by Raytheon.

While serious civil liberties' issues inherent to such programs have been swept under the proverbial carpet, huge funding outlays by Congress for Pentagon's "black" budget operations demonstrate the hollowness of President Obama's "change" mantra. Like much else in Washington, administration rhetoric is (if you'll pardon the pun) so much hot-air meant to placate the rubes.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-economic-crisis-and-the-pentagon-s-black-budget/23422

- In the month following Edward Snowden's leaks about U.S. government programs collecting information from phone and Internet companies, some U.S. citizens seemed unsurprised and resigned to being monitored. According to a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center last month, 56% of Americans think the collection of telephone metadata is acceptable.

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/07/04/tech/web/restore-nsa-protests/?hpt=te_t1

- "The internet is a glorious organism, a vast piece of connective tissue that binds us all together. It's surprisingly intimate. Yet, it's also a place where people imagine that they don't have to be held to account in the same way that we are when we talk face to face. And for governments, it's become a spying machine."

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/entertainment/information-and-deception-20130704-2pf8b.html?google_editors_picks=true

- Native to South America, the red fire ant organises itself into two types of social structure - one with a single queen in a colony, the other with hundreds. Though they are the same type of ant, the workers of either group will kill the queens of the other, the researchers wrote.

http://www.smh.com.au/environment/animals/supergene-link-to-ant-social-system-20130117-2cw49.html

- "Overexposure of security and intelligence activities can damage, and damage badly, state security and that is why in every debate we must not underestimate the security interest," Mr Netanyahu said in remarks communicated by his office.

"And in the reality in which Israel lives, it must be a central interest," he said in a thinly-veiled criticism of the media frenzy provoked by Zygier's case.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/mark-dreyfus-rules-out-inquiry-into-asio-over-ben-zygiers-jailing-death/story-fn59niix-1226580223823

- "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness" is a well-known phrase in the United States Declaration of Independence.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life,_liberty_and_the_pursuit_of_happiness

- It would be silly to take any one of these incidents too seriously. But it would be equally silly to ignore them. We spent the 1990s enjoying the fruits of post-Cold War prosperity, the early 2000s fighting the war on terrorism. We are intellectually, economically and militarily unprepared to contemplate Great Power conflict, let alone engage in the hard work of renewing alliances and sharpening strategy. But History is back, whether we want it to be or not. Happy New Year.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/anne-applebaum-china-and-russia-bring-back-cold-war-tactics/2013/12/25/f65939d6-6bef-11e3-aecc-85cb037b7236_story.html

- "I was being judged by people who had less knowledge than me, so what was it truly worth? I gave Michelin inspectors too much respect, and I belittled myself. I had three options: I could be a prisoner of my world and continue to work six days a week, I could live a lie and charge high prices and not be behind the stove or I could give my stars back, spend time with my children and re-invent myself."[7]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marco_Pierre_White

"The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.."

- John Milton, Paradise Lost

http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/1031493-paradise-lost

"If you don't engage the scientific community constructively, and try to look for newer horizons, you will never able to develop science and technology," says Ajey Lele, research fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses in Delhi. Referring to India's Mangalyaan orbiter, he says: "It is not only the 'Mars moment' will give you results; the entire process of learning will give you a certain amount of development."

http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/asian-powers-open-new-chapter-in-space-race-20140104-30at2.html

- Creativity alone does not foster innovation, nor do abstract scientific or mathematical concepts. Innovators also need to know how to render those creative ideas into working products that can be put into use.

http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/01/stem-needs-a-new-letter/282973/

- " 'I can't feel bad about being who I am, just like the girl next to me can't feel bad about being who she is,' she says. 'Because a rose can never be a sunflower, and a sunflower can never be a rose'."

http://www.perthnow.com.au/entertainment/kerr-pow-whack-for-air-apparent-as-miranda-gets-slated/story-e6frg30l-1226217169279

- All Barinas are Suzuki Swifts. Barina is Italian for Cardboard Faecal Container.

https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/133234

- "I'm called 'the poorest president', but I don't feel poor. Poor people are those who only work to try to keep an expensive lifestyle, and always want more and more," he says.



"This is a matter of freedom. If you don't have many possessions then you don't need to work all your life like a slave to sustain them, and therefore you have more time for yourself," he says.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20243493

- If we look at His divine side, it's hard to imagine God not smiling at some of the absurdities of the world.

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/deeper-walk/features/28558-jesus-was-funnier-than-we-think

- And anyway, can you get any more retarded than licking your own pussy?

http://forums.govteen.com/general-curiousity/272776-can-girl-lick-herself-2.html

- On April 8, 1998, Kelly was arrested on three misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct, including one charge on violating noise ordinance for playing his own music extremely loud from his car while singing along.[111] Prosecutors from the district attorney's office dropped the first two charges on May 7 and the noise charge on July 22 that year.[112][113]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._Kelly#Personal_life

- Your panties tell you if someone's hot. Your heart tells you if someone's cute. Your mom tells you if someone's handsome.

http://www.reddit.com/r/AskWomen/comments/1hfc9z/what_makes_a_guy_hotsexy_rather_than_cute/ - http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/g/george_w_bush.html- http://politicalhumor.about.com/od/bushquotes/a/dumbbushquotes.htm

- Just FYI....I notice during a regular doggy-style position, if I lift one leg up and plant my foot flat on the bed, I last longer. Pretty much the proposal(marriage) kneeling position.

http://www.pegym.com/forums/premature-ejaculation-forum/32926-my-ejaculation-has-trigger.html

- In Germany, a country that can't produce the talent or children it needs, the unemployed are in very high demand.

http://www.psmag.com/navigation/business-economics/germany-unemployment-better-employment-74434/

- "The government always knew best and the people were kind of stupid. I think still a bit of that is lingering on," said Michael Breen, author of The Koreans: Who They Are, What They Want, Where Their Future Lies.

...

''New media and social networking services like Twitter have emerged as new political tools for anti-government and left-wing people,'' said activist Chang Yeo-kyung. ''The government wants to create a chilling effect to prevent the spread of critical views.''

http://www.smh.com.au/world/wired-koreans-on-web-watch-20120813-244tn.html

- Big Mobile managing director Rob Hall said while we punch above our weight in other categories at Cannes, in mobile Australia is far behind. "The penetration is here, consumer usage is here, brands are just so far behind where the consumers are," he said. "Innovation is almost dead in the mobile industry here."

http://www.adnews.com.au/adnews/the-cowardly-client-australia-too-scared-to-innovate/google_editors_picks/true

- .... capitalism had the singular virtue of rewarding people who had chosen the correct parents, or had been lucky in business ...

http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?570150-Where-I-read-Tom-Clancy-novels-at-random-starting-with-Rainbow-Six/page4

- "Just as ant colonies do things that are far beyond the abilities of isolated insects, cities achieve much more than isolated humans," he writes. "Cities enable collaboration, especially the joint production of knowledge that is mankind's most important creation. Ideas flow readily from person to person in the dense corridors of Bangalore or London, and people are willing to put up with high urban prices just to be around talented people, some of whose knowledge will rub off."

http://www.theage.com.au/comment/abbotts-biggest-broken-promise--to-build-our-cities-well-20140421-zqx73.html

Stewart Smith: Running skiboot (OPAL) on the POWER8 Simulator

Wed, 2014-12-03 15:26

skiboot is open source boot and runtime firmware for OpenPOWER. On real POWER8 hardware, you will also need HostBoot to do this (basically, to make the chip work) but in a functional simulator (such as this one released by IBM) you don’t need a bunch of hardware procedures to make hardware work, so we can make do with just skiboot.

The POWER8 Functional Simulator is free to use but not open source and is only supported on limited platforms. But you can always run it all in a VM! I have it running this way on my laptop right now.

To go from a bare Ubuntu 14.10 VM on x86_64 to running skiboot in the simulator, I did the following:

  • apt-get install vim git emacs wget xterm # xterm is needed by the simulator. wget and editors are useful things.
  • (download systemsim-p8…deb from above URL)
  • dpkg -i systemsim-p8*deb # now the simulator is installed
  • git clone https://github.com/open-power/skiboot.git # get skiboot source
  • wget https://www.kernel.org/pub/tools/crosstool/files/bin/x86_64/4.8.0/x86_64-gcc-4.8.0-nolibc_powerpc64-linux.tar.xz # get a compiler to build it with
  • apt-get install make gcc valgrind # get build tools (skiboot unittests run on the host, so get a gcc and valgrind)
  • tar xfJ x86_64-gcc-4.8.0-nolibc_powerpc64-linux.tar.xz
  • mkdir -p /opt/cross
  • mv gcc-4.8.0-nolibc /opt/cross/ # now you have a powerpc64 cross compiler
  • export PATH=/opt/cross/gcc-4.8.0-nolibc/powerpc64-linux/bin/:$PATH # add cross compiler to path
  • cd skiboot
  • make # this should build a bunch of things, leaving you with skiboot.lid (and other things). If you have many CPUs, feel free to make -j128.
  • make check # run the unit tests. Everything should pass.
  • cd external/mambo
  • /opt/ibm/systemsim-p8/run/pegasus/power8 -f skiboot.tcl # run the simulator

The last step there will barf as you unlikely have a /tmp/zImage.epapr sitting around that’s suitable. If you use op-build to build a full set of OpenPower foo, you’ll likely be able to extract it from there. Basically, the skiboot.tcl script is adding a payload for skiboot to execute. On real hardware, this ends up being a Linux kernel with a small userspace and petitboot (link is to IBM documentation for IBM POWER8 systems). For the simulator, you could boot any tiny zImage.epapr you like, it should detect OPALv3 and boot!

Even if you cannot be bothered building a kernel or petitboot environment, if you comment out the associated lines in skiboot.tcl, you should be able to run the simulator and see the skiboot console message come up that says we couldn’t load a kernel.

At this point, congratulations, you can now become an OpenPower firmware hacker without even possessing any POWER8 hardware!

Stewart Smith: skiboot/OPAL versioning

Wed, 2014-12-03 15:26

skiboot is boot and runtime firmware for OpenPower systems. There are other components that make up all the firmware you need, but if you’re, say, a Linux kernel, you’re going to be interacting with skiboot.

I recently committed doc/versioning.txt to skiboot to try and explain our current thoughts on versioning releases.

It turns out that picking version numbers is a bit harder than you’d expect, especially when you want to construct a version string to display in places that has semantic meaning. In fact, the writing on Semantic Versioning influenced us heavily.

Since we’re firmware, making incompatible API changes is something we should basically never, ever do. Old kernels should must boot and work on new firmware and new kernels should boot and function on old firmware (and if they don’t, it plainly be a kernel bug). So, ignore the Major version parts of Semantic Versioning for us :)

For each new release, we plan to bump the minor version for mostly bug fix releases, while bump the major version for added functionality. Any additional information is to describe the version on that particular platform – as everybody shipping OPAL is likely to build it themselves with possibly some customizations (e.g. YOUR COMPANY NAME HERE, support for some on board RAID card or on-board automated coffee maker). See doc/versioning.txt for details.

You may wonder why we started at 4.0 for our first real version number. Well… this is purely a cunning plan to avoid confusion with other things, the details of which will only be extracted out of my when plied with a suitable amount of excellent craft beer (because if I’m going to tell a boring story, I may as well have awesome craft beer).

Andrew Pollock: [life] Day 307: Kindergarten, startup stuff, swim class

Wed, 2014-12-03 10:25

Zoe woke up at 1:48am. Something about not liking the colour of her bed (we're back at that one again). I didn't have the energy to try and put her back to bed, so I let her jump in with me.

Zoe ended up having a big sleep in, I think until around 7am. I let her sleep, since I figured she needed it, but coupled with some spectacular procrastination, it meant we needed to drive to Kindergarten.

I had an appointment at 9:30am, so I didn't get started on my real estate licence coursework until after 10am, and I wasn't feeling particularly motivated. I managed to procrastinate my way through finishing off last week's unit and got it in the mail by the time I had to pick Zoe up.

I'd shifted Zoe's swim class to this afternoon to free up Thursday for a day trip, but the class wasn't until 4:45pm. After a bit of TV, we headed off anyway. Zoe wanted to ride her scooter, and wanted me to rollerblade, and as we had plenty of time, we took a more indirect route.

Even with all that, we still had an hour up our sleeves, so we stopped off at the park for a play. We ran into Flynn, who Zoe met at her pre-Prep afternoons at school, so that was nice.

We went to swim class, and I ran into the parents of one of the girls from Zoe's Kinderballet, so I had a bit of a chat with them while Zoe had her swim class.

After that, we headed back home. I gave Zoe a bath while dinner cooked, and that got everything back on schedule. We actually ended up with time up our sleeves, so we sat out on the balcony and watched the fruit bats taking flight at dusk.

linux.conf.au News: Speaker Feature: Michael Homer, Andrew Cowie, Beau Johnson

Wed, 2014-12-03 07:28
Michael Homer Grace: an open-source educational programming language

3:40pm Friday 16th January 2015

Michael has a long-standing interest in programming languages and language features that help programmers say what they mean. He has spent the last three years designing and building a compiler for the Grace language, and participating in the design and evaluation of the language itself. He has worked on the GoboLinux distribution and is also interested in education, package management, JavaScript, the web, and data storage.

For more information on Michael and his presentation, see here. You can follow him as @michaelhomer and don’t forget to mention #lca2015.



Andrew Cowie Vaultaire: a data vault for system metrics, backed onto Ceph

3:40pm Thursday 15th January 2015

Somewhat unusually for a free software hacker, Andrew Cowie was an infantry officer in the Canadian army, having graduated from Royal Military College with a degree in engineering physics. He saw service across North America and a peacekeeping tour in Bosnia. He later ran operations for a new media company in Manhattan and was a part of recovering the firm after the Sept 11 attacks. He regularly consults on crisis resolution, change management, robust architectures, and (more interestingly) leveraging Open Source to achieve these ends.

Andrew currently looks after the engineering group at Anchor Systems, where lately he's been working on scalable distributed systems, building server side code in Haskell and doing as little JavaScript as possible.

For more information on Andrew and his presentation, see here.



Beau Johnston Making code run fast on all the things (with OpenCL)

10:40am Wednesday 14th January 2015

Beau is a PhD Candidate at the Australian National University and freelance code-monkey. He has an interest in OpenCL, OpenGL, OpenCV, creative naming conventions and image processing. He has developed for iOS, Android, OSX, Linux and a micro-CT machine.

In his free time he likes to play boardgames, lawn bowls and badminton.

For more information on Beau and his presentation, see here.

Binh Nguyen: Memorable Quotes - Part 6

Wed, 2014-12-03 06:19
A follow on from: http://dtbnguyen.blogspot.com.au/2014/12/memorable-quotes-part-5.html

- As a society, we subliminally hold ancient prejudices. The woman must be at least complicit in any rape and even the instigator, by dressing or acting provocatively, by not being sufficiently wary, by incautiously walking down a deserted street in the night or the day, by getting drunk, by leaving a party with a guy, by accepting an invitation, being too nave, trusting, sexy. Merely by being women, we're alluring, and worse: we're temptresses. With this course of reasoning, the burka seems a reasonable solution.



In societies like ours that accept rape myths - acquaintance rape happens because of "mixed signals", rapists can't control sexual urges, women lie about being raped, women invite rape by their actions or their dress - men are more likely to commit rape because these beliefs make it seem almost acceptable.



At my trial, the serial rapist's attorney read his deposition. In it he said he'd have a few beers, then break into women's houses and "cause a little mischief". I've no doubt that is exactly how he thought of his crime. I've no doubt many rapists think the same of their crimes: "Na, na, na, na, na." Stop whining; what's the big deal? The rapist was asked if he had anything he wanted to add to his deposition, and he ran on for an hour. Among other woe-is-me statements, this is the most memorable: "These women are ruining the good name of my family."



How dare we cause all this trouble?



How dare we not?

http://www.dailylife.com.au/news-and-views/dl-opinion/why-i-didnt-scream-when-i-was-being-raped-20130730-2qwle.html

- The ultimate problem is bigger than that. As we discovered during the financial crisis, whenever there is a serious difficulty, and these globalised experiments go wrong, the burden of averting anarchy falls back on the nation state and its taxpayers. It will be exactly the same if the internet ever freezes in some unforeseeable manner, or transcontinental energy infrastructure is blown up by the next generation of terrorists. In a crisis, when globalisation fails, we will turn to our nation's government and expect it, with our hard-earned money, to help.



That certainly should not mean bigger government. But small-government conservatives have traditionally never believed in the idea of no government. The need instead is for a stronger, more effective, truly independent-minded state.



I fear the status quo involves just accepting the numerous downsides of globalisation, and seeing it as like the weather, a force it is impossible to restrain even a little. This means stumping up for ever larger repair bills after the next storm.



In a different context, David Howell's host in 1961 argued against defeatism and despair by saying that we do have considerable scope to influence the direction of events, if only we have the guts. Which politicians will be big enough to really stand up to the corporate giants and to tame them? As JFK put it: "Things do not happen; they are made to happen."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/internet/10214068/Globalisation-has-a-darker-side-and-its-a-challenge-to-us-all.html- "In modern times, because war is all the time on television, people see this and can't take it. There are limits. There is a price you pay," then-deputy prime minister Dan Meridor said in 2011, remarks echoed recently by Israeli officials and officers.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/26/us-syria-crisis-israel-arms-idUSBRE94P05Y20130526

- Times will change, people will change, values and morals will change in the digital world.

Those issues included ''21st-century laws'' on online privacy, freedom of information and government transparency. ''Many people see Iceland as a kind of laboratory for democracy,'' she said. ''We have to live up to this reputation.''http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/internet-activists-turned-pirates-sail-into-icelands-parliament-20130429-2iota.html

- In light of the continuing sequestration fight, the minutes of one National Security Council meeting in 1960, the last year of Eisenhower's administration, give an idea of what he might have thought of the current morass:



"He believed it was the duty of military officers to get along with less if at all possible. He realized it was also the duty of military officers to ensure the military safety of the U.S., but he believed that no absolute assurance on this point could ever be given."



What Eisenhower shows us today is that while we cannot completely assure safety given any amount of spending, we can definitively show what that spending could otherwise accomplish. And that is valuable.http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/16/what-would-a-fighter-jet-buy-60-years-after-eisenhowers-speech/

- "The parasite wants to survive in the host without killing it, so it needs to know how many [parasites] there are and when the best time is to leave the host," he said.http://www.theage.com.au/technology/sci-tech/malaria-parasites-thrive-by-talking-20130515-2jmph.html

- "It's not just the skills that they bring; it is also the attitude that they bring."

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/bringing-the-right-stuff-20130804-2r7dd.html

- ''What I fear, if you can call it that, is that we, as a species, take the safe road and don't try to exceed our limits.''



Mr Tamits is similarly philosophical. ''I'd rather die looking upon Earth from outer space than to be on my deathbed thinking I could have had my chance.''

http://www.theage.com.au/technology/sci-tech/one-way-only-reality-check-for-our-favourite-martians-20130804-2r7mb.html- Talk is anything but cheap. Mr. Obama and his administration would do well to remember that at a time when the world has enough existing problems to deal with, when we need statesmen to be magnificent negotiators and diplomats, and when snubs are antagonistic and destructive.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/08/07/mr-obama-should-have-met-with-putin/

- France's president may be a 'child of 68,' a man whose ideals are rooted in another era but times have changed and he has to play the card he has been dealt.



Or else, he'll be history, just like the protagonists of that fateful day 200 years ago -- just without the glory.

http://www.gulf-times.com/Mobile/Opinion/189/details/360939/Libert%C3%A9,-%C3%A9galit%C3%A9-...-r%C3%A9alit%C3%A9

- "The idea that we can influence the trajectory of the politics is foolish," Cook said. "But to have not been consistent in emphasizing our own values in this situation is a mistake. We should stick to the principles of democracy and recognition for the rule of law."

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/egypt-challenges-obamas-arab-spring-philosophy-19989050

- But this, in Westminster, is something new: a group of parliamentarians, some of them, like John Redwood, Peter Lilley, Andrew Tyrie and Graham Stringer, senior and experienced, prepared to abandon all caution and declare an all-out war on the evidence. Listening to the debate on Tuesday, I had the sense that they were undergoing an initiation test, like Mara gang members acquiring a facial tattoo. To show you are a true believer, you must disfigure your political record by reciting a ream of nonsense in parliament. So, with a heavy heart, I find myself going in again.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/16/can-mps-resist-flat-earth-love-in

- Beware the FALSE PROPHETS and TROLLS that look to draw you in to fruitless conversation....One will lead you from the true path and the other is always hungry!!! :)

Never approach a Bull from the front, a Horse from the back, or an Idiot from any direction

http://www.f1technical.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=455832&f=4#p455832- "One of the big things that differentiates Formula 1 from almost all other sports, with perhaps the exception of the Americas Cup, is that combination of man and machine," he argued.



"You can have a great car with an average driver and you won't win, a great driver with an average car you won't win. It's about both.

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/news/formula-1-newey-warns-f1-risks-stagnation-122105292--f1.html

- Christmas is a time for love. As a Christian, I believe it begins with the redeeming love of God, but if you don't share my faith you will still probably agree that Christmas without love is not Christmas at all.



I have no intention of spoiling Christmas for one of my children, nor any of my nieces and nephews, by giving them a present they're not going to enjoy. It's all about the love, Senator, not the politics.

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/comment/the-hermit/giving-girls-dolls-causes-domestic-violence-rubbish-20141202-11yhuv.html

- I'm also guessing you don't literally believe, as the Bible states, we should put people to death for being magicians, saying God doesn't exist, adultery, homosexuality, working on the Sabbath and worshipping graven images.



Why? Because I think, deep in your heart, you know the Bible is not the literal word of God but a series of texts compiled over many centuries by a huge, disparate group of clever men.



And I'd suggest you also recognise even the Bible has to move with the times and, what may have been laudable 2000 years ago - like selling your daughter into sexual slavery (Exodus 21:7-11) - is not so cool in Australia in 2013.



So let's be clear: this has nothing to do with the word of God and the Bible - it's merely how you're interpreting it, and your interpretation on this issue, I suspect, is based on one thing alone.

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/executive-style/culture/all-men-are-liars/that-doesnt-sound-very-christian-to-me-20131115-2xjfm.html- "They cry during the national anthem, they cry at the end of extra-time, they cry before and after the penalties," said technical director Carlos Alberto Parreira.

http://www.smh.com.au/fifa-world-cup-2014/world-cup-news-2014/brazil-coach-luiz-felipe-scolari-summons-psychologist-to-camp-20140703-zsu1p.html

- Commander William Adama: There's a reason you separate military and the police. One fights the enemies of the state, the other serves and protects the people. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0407362/quotes - "We're using missile defense to protect our civilians, and they're using their civilians to protect their missiles"

https://plus.google.com/+LeslieP/posts/eKnY1gVhrbh

- Richard Feynman once said, "I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics."[48] According to Steven Weinberg, "There is now in my opinion no entirely satisfactory interpretation of quantum mechanics."[49]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_mechanics

- "In these cases where there is an unjust aggression, I can only say this: It is licit to stop the unjust aggressor. I underline the verb: stop. I do not say bomb, make war, I say stop by some means. With what means can they be stopped? These have to be evaluated. To stop the unjust aggressor is licit," Francis said about airstrikes, according to a transcript by America magazine.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2014/09/16/977/

- "Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore." - Andre Gide

"By changing nothing, nothing changes." -Tony Robbins

http://www.seek.com.au/job/27563592- "There's nothing wrong with the car, except that it's on fire."

Murray Walker

http://www.f1technical.net/

- Anyone who dreams of a better world knows that a civil society runs on trust. We need to be able to assume that our fellow citizens appreciate the value of mutual respect and those qualities of kindness, compassion, care and concern that distinguish the much-vaunted ''civil societies'' from the rest.



But trust is more than a personal, private matter: it starts at the top. We need to feel confidence in the integrity of our institutions, whether political, legal, religious, commercial or cultural. We need to be able to trust our leaders, above all. In spite of our cynicism, and regardless of how often we might have been disappointed, we (and our children) still look hopefully to them as examples of probity, charity, loyalty, integrity and decency.

http://www.smh.com.au/comment/budget-2014-is-this-the-australia-we-really-want-to-be-20140516-zrevn.html?google_editors_picks=true

- Capitalism is a process of creative destruction, as the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter famously put it. Lumbering, seemingly unassailable corporate giants eventually wither, elbowed aside by fresher, hungrier start-ups; modern technologies disrupt long-established industries; and, perhaps most terrifyingly of all, once-useful skills become redundant, replaced by new roles, jobs and opportunities.



It's scary but it works. Change has been with us since the Industrial Revolution ended centuries of debilitating human stagnation. It is painful in the short-term but rewarding for society over the long-term, fuelling rising living standards.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jobs/10889934/Open-your-companys-doors-and-let-the-machines-in-the-economy-depends-on-it.html

Binh Nguyen: Memorable Quotes - Part 5

Wed, 2014-12-03 03:55
A follow on from: http://dtbnguyen.blogspot.com.au/2014/11/memorable-quotes-part-4.html - "The problem with trying to disabuse someone of a conspiracy theory is that any argument you make becomes part of the conspiracy, so I don't know if it's possible to convince the Chinese that it's not about encircling them," she said.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/10/us-korea-usa-china-idUSBRE93903U20130410   - M: Today I've repeatedly heard how irrelevant my department has become. "Why do we need agents, the Double-0 section? Isn't it all antiquated?" Well, I suppose I see a different world than you do, and the truth is that what I see frightens me. I'm frightened because our enemies are no longer known to us. They do not exist on a map. They're not nations, they're individuals. And look around you. Who do you fear? Can you see a face, a uniform, a flag? No! Our world is not more transparent now, it's more opaque! It's in the shadows. That's where we must do battle. So before you declare us irrelevant, ask yourselves, how safe do you feel? Just one more thing to say, my late husband was a great lover of poetry, and... I suppose some of it sunk in, despite my best intentions. And here today, I remember this, I believe, from Tennyson: "We are not now that strength which in old days moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are. One equal temper of heroic hearts, made weak by time and fate, but strong in will. To strive, to seek, to find, AND NOT TO YIELD."

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1074638/trivia?tab=qt

http://www.mi6community.com/index.php?p=/discussion/4601/tennyson-the-key-to-understanding-skyfall-contains-spoilers/p1- When someone is bluffing with chips, their actions are often stilted and visibly precise, with a notable pause to think before they are carried out. Look for his responses that don't appear to flow naturally; these are the ones that should require further examination. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/cycling/lancearmstrong/9812142/Lance-Armstrong-on-Oprah-expert-panel-analysis.html

- the doctrine, developed after Rwanda's genocide, that the international community must act if governments fail to protect their own citizens. The Henry Jackson Society, a UK think-tank, has also argued that legal authorisation from the General Assembly could be based on the "Uniting for Peace" resolution of 1950, which was used to overcome the Soviet Union's obstruction at the Security Council in the Korean war.http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d52fe084-ac15-11e1-a8a0-00144feabdc0.html

- "We can't wait for growth, we must go find it," Hollande said.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-28/hollande-presses-french-to-embrace-social-revamp-to-spur-growth.html- "The euro zone has long since stopped being a brotherhood for increasing prosperity and mutual stability. It has transformed itself into a school of gladiators in which everyone fights for his own advantage and his survival."

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/german-press-reaction-to-cyprus-bailout-a-891018.html

http://www.globalresearch.ca/criminal-act-the-european-unions-financial-looting-of-cyprus/5328989- "Peace, like air and sunshine, is hardly noticed when people are benefiting from it," Chinese President Xi Jinping noted in his opening speech at Boao. "But none of us can live without it."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-22062589

- "We turned the inside of our tent into a circus. 'Cause inside of our circus, we cannot be injured. Inside of our circus, we cannot be touched."

http://www.hark.com/jarhead/we-turned-the-inside-of-our-tent-into-a-circus

- The fact that the polls now seem to be locked into an easy Coalition win on September 14 has meant that the prospect of Anthony John Abbott, Prime Minister, has finally to be confronted as emerging reality rather than a possible future scenario, so the punters are reluctantly turning away from the easy pickings of the carcase of the Labor Party to take a few cautious sniffs at the fresh meat of an incoming government. And, by and large, they are not too keen on the smell.

http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4657092.html

- But leadership, especially for someone who has achieved that level of power, requires three elements: It must communicate a clear vision and a commitment to its realization; it must mobilize and inspire others into action; and it must produce results."

http://spectator.org/archives/2013/05/07/turning-on-obama

- "He may be a sonofabitch, but he's our sonofabitch."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/13/syria-post-superpower-era-obama-indecision

- Today's nugget of investing wisdom comes courtesy of a refreshing post from Joshua Brown of The Reformed Broker.



So often in investing, people feel the need to break out fancy trading equipment, glue themselves to their computers all day and employ a host of complicated math equations to make the best decisions.

 Not so, says Brown:



"The fancier the math one uses to justify an entrenched investment opinion, the more obscure and arcane the indicators employed, the more desperate and wrong that person is," he writes.



"We don't resort to algebraic equations when we're on the winning side of a trade and confident that we have gotten the broad strokes right. It is only when our backs are against the wall and the core beliefs we've publicly held have proven to be ineffective or incorrect that we resort to mining for "new" data from decades ago to re-prove our original thesis. This is more about saving face and nursing a bruised ego than it is about making money."



In fact, as an individual investor, you may have insights that the professionals who get paid to trade could never possess.

http://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/smart-investor-heres-math-rule-213716691.html

- "In some ways the devastation is beautiful. There is regrowth and regeneration, it's part of nature and relative to the debate about global warming and climate change."

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/art-and-design/censored--images-of-our-ugly-truths-natural-and-manmade-20130525-2n3s1.html

- Intrusive government regulations and high costs, uncompetitive labour agreements that lock in above market wage increases, and insufficient volumes for economies of scale all played a significant role in Ford's demise. Another important factor is excess capacity in the global car market due to foreign government subsidies.

http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4709208.html

- A newspaper comes out once a day and needs to be put together differently every time. It can no longer be used to find out what's going on, except by a rapidly diminishing group of people who don't really want to know what's going on.

...

Newspapers must be reinvented to be sort of daily magazines, bought for reading rather than finding things out, and that should have happened years ago. Websites need to be fast-moving, constantly updated, accurate sources of information and analysis.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-06-19/kohler-newspapers-should-be-quarantined-from-the-web/4079498- The glory of mountain climbing lies in the fact that success is never guaranteed.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/01/opinion/the-right-way-to-do-the-hillary-step.html?_r=0

- "Things are changing way faster than they were in the 1970s or 1980s with technology, capital and talent available everywhere in the world, which was not the case then. This is making the lack of action, vision and priorities a much more difficult thing and a much bigger sin than before."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/10093809/France-worse-off-than-UK-in-the-1970s-Axa-chief.html

- "Whenever destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is men's protection and the base of a moral existence. Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper. This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values. Gold was an objective value, an equivalent of wealth produced. Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it. Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims. Watch for the day when it bounces, marked, 'Account overdrawn." -Ayn Rand

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article40712.html

- "We are not engaging in a purely material enterprise, we are engaging in a human enterprise which will promote peace and mark a major step for civilisation".

http://www.neurope.eu/blog/towards-european-public-space

- But leadership requires more than an unusually elevated dose of political vitamins: it requires a disciplined intellectual framework that can shape an understanding of the past, underpin mastery of the present and guide the search to enlarge the future. Lacking that, no number of resurrections can transform persistent failure into enduring success. To believe otherwise is to court ultimate disaster, with nothing but disappointment along the way.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/kevin-rudds-real-record-as-pm-speaks-for-itself/story-fn7078da-1226678687731

- "We seem to be standing by --and, frankly, asking -- for perfectness in science,"' Sullivan wrote in the 2007 CNA report. "People are saying they want to be convinced, perfectly. They want to know the climate-science projections with 100 percent certainty. Well, we know a great deal, and even with that, there is still uncertainty. But the trend line is very clear. We never have 100 percent certainty. We never have it. If you wait until you have 100 percent certainty, something bad is going to happen on the battlefield. That's something we know. You have to act with incomplete information. You have to act based on the trend line. You have to act on your intuition sometimes."

http://www.livescience.com/38167-national-security-impact-of-warming-climate.html

- "We don't don't get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life. Life is brief, and then you die, you know? We've all chosen to do this with our lives. So it'd better be damn good."

http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130711092924-13518874-the-10-secrets-to-becoming-a-fortune-500-ceo

- "You need brilliant minds to write good reports. But you also need efficient practitioners to apply those recommendations," he said.

http://www.france24.com/en/20130521-france24-interview-french-education-elite-schools

- In his book Mother Earth and Mankind, celebrated historian Arnold Toynbee wrote that if the Chinese remain mindful of their past and future, "they may do a great service, not only to their own country, but to the whole of mankind at a critical stage in mankind's enigmatic course."

http://theconversation.com/china-can-teach-the-west-about-tackling-climate-change-15902- Wall Street fails to understand the compounding power of a viral feedback loop. Hence, traditional financial firms underestimate the global demand for Tesla automobiles and related products. Most Wall Street firms are linear thinkers, and they do not understand the non-linear mathematics of viral feedback loops. Consequently, their linear models miscalculate the power and impact of viral marketing.



So get with the loop.

http://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/asset-manager-heres-goldman-sachs-210219090.html

- In an age dominated by economic fears and corroded by loathing for politicians, the irreducibles of life make the health service the sole arena where the visceral issues of love, birth and death bind parliamentarians and the people. The NHS, a conduit through the no man's land separating the governing and the governed, is not the creaking relic of Tory myth.



Its problems are not, at heart, poor management or regulation (though neither help) but that it is being asked to do too much with too few staff. And yet, with demography and demand stacked against it, it accounts for 9.6 per cent of GDP, compared to 17.9 per cent in the US for far worse care. Some golden future of privatisation is a neverland sustained only by the erroneous notion that private services offer better and safer treatment. The public, who queue at GPs' surgeries, who languish in A&E and who, too often, see their parents or grandparents condemned to live and die like cattle, know all of this.



That is why the battle for the NHS is so bitter and the prize for offering a 21st-century settlement so immense. Ed Miliband is sitting on the big idea which might just save the health service. He should back it.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/10182988/The-NHS-is-not-a-creaking-relic-whatever-the-Tories-may-say.html- Political memoirs are their own thing. There is inevitable self justification, sometimes outright delusion. There is record setting and score settling, foes touched up, fellow travellers flattered.



Some are stagey and allegorical, their true purpose all too transparent - the text is a bridge to life on the speaker's circuit after politics, a crude marketing exercise. Some hold back, constrained by dull instincts, cramped rooms, cut lunches and wooden formulations. Some are gossipy and gonzo, like Bob Carr's magnificently picaresque romp through the foreign affairs portfolio published earlier this year.



The best contributions tell the truth, or if not the truth (a vexatious and flexible concept, given history's tendency to be somewhat in the eye of the beholder) - then at least truth according to the person providing the story. The reflections are authentic, and ring true. There is an attempt to interrogate events and emotions and experiences.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/24/julia-gillards-memoir-insightful-unflinching-revealing

Andrew Pollock: [life] Day 306: Running, Kindergarten visit, Christmas party

Tue, 2014-12-02 21:25

After helping out with Saturday's New Farm parkrun by being the timekeeper, I felt additionally motivated to get out and go for a run again. It was overcast and cooler this morning, so that helped. I managed to get out and running pretty early.

Annoyingly, my phone decided it had a completely different idea of distance than reality (I think it decided my approximately 7 km run was 20 km, which was very annoying) so the record of the run is pretty much useless. I hope this isn't a sign of further problems with Android 5.0 on my phone.

After that, I pottered around home for a bit before getting ready to go spend a chunk of time at Kindergarten. I had to pick up some stuff from the supermarket on the way, and I ended up getting there a bit later than I'd intended, but it seemed to work out well with the schedule they were running to at Kindergarten.

I've been wanting to go and spend a day with Zoe at Kindergarten all year, it's just taken me until the second last week to get my act together and make it happen. I know some of the mothers had done baking and stuff with the kids, but I thought that I could do something technological instead. I'll go into all the technical details in another post.

I had a really fun morning with all the kids. Initially it was just with the kids from Zoe's unit, but after all of them had had a bit of a turn, Zoe's teacher asked me if I wanted to do it with the kids in Megan's unit as well, so I moved over to the other classroom and they all had a turn too. It was lovely to properly meet all of the kids, especially the ones I didn't already know by name.

I stuck around until Zoe had lunch, and then left when they had their rest time, and went home for a bit of a rest myself. Zoe was super happy that I was able to spend some time there.

I drove back for pick up time, and we just hung out at home afterwards.

It was my Thermomix branch Christmas Party, and I'd booked the same babysitter that had nannied for me previously. That seemed to work out pretty well.