Ajax Going Under

So you have a single point of failure for the Australian automotive industry, with Ajax Fasteners making parts that not one, not two but three different car companies (Holden, Ford and Toyota) based here are dependant on.

Now they pressure that company to cut costs so they can keep competing, and eventually that company goes under.

Given that the three car companies literally cannot keep building cars without the parts they make and will have to stand down workers (Ford say they may need to do this on Wednesday, less than 2 days from now) they would be falling over themselves to keep it going.

But no, they’re actually fighting over how much each of them will pay to keep it going and I’m starting to wonder if the fact that Ford say they’ll need to stop production before the other two is part of what’s going on here. It certainly wouldn’t hurt Holden or Toyota if Ford lost a few days or a week of production whilst they kept going..

Odd Comment About Spam

I was very puzzled to see Russell Coker write:

Therefore the only acceptable method of dealing with spam is to reject it at the SMTP protocol level. Currently I am not aware of any software that supports Bayesian filtering while the message is being received so that it can be rejected if it appears to be spam, it would be possible to do this (I could write the code myself if I had enough spare time) but AFAIK no-one has done it.

I’ve been doing exactly this with Postfix, amavisd-new and SpamAssassin for many years now with great success, rejecting spams at the SMTP level via Postfix’s pre-queue content_filter mechanism using SpamAssassins Baysian filtering, anti-spam rules and blacklist support.

Unfortunately because Russell is using Blogger and requiring people to register I can’t leave a comment for him (as I’ve no desire to sign up for an account with them just to leave a comment).

Update: Corrected link to point to the actual post on Russells blog that I’m talking about!

Fallout from the Israel/Hezbollah/Lebanon war ?

Seeing that the 1982 Israeli Invasion of Lebanon resulted in the creation of Hezbollah I’m now pondering what the result of the 2006 invasion will be.

Having watched tonights news on the ABC and seen what’s happening with people returning to the south of Lebanon to confront the devastation I’m wondering whether this will result in Hezbollah winning the next election in Lebanon ?

That would really put a cat amongst the pidgeons in the region, but given the results of Israels interventions in the West Bank and Gaza I wouldn’t be that suprised..

Israel Attacks UN Aid Convoy

Israel says it was never authorised, the UN says it was.

Either way it is a breach of article 9 of the 1864 Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armies in the Field to attack aid workers bearing the Red Cross symbol.

Art. 9. The personnel charged exclusively with the removal, transportation, and treatment of the sick and wounded, as well as with the administration of sanitary formations and establishments, and the chaplains attached to armies, shall be respected and protected under all circumstances. If they fall into the hands of the enemy they shall not be considered as prisoners of war.

Art. 20. The personnel protected in virtue of the first paragraph of Article 9, and Articles 10 and 11, will wear attached to the left arm a brassard bearing a red cross on a white ground, which will be issued and stamped by competent military authority, and accompanied by a certificate of identity in the case of persons attached to the sanitary service of armies who do not have military uniform.

Intel, AMD and ATI

Interesting article about the whole AMD+ATI deal at InfoWorld, including speculation that open sourcing the specs for the ATI graphics drivers once more (which mysteriously closed around the time ATI got the X-Box contract from Microsoft) could help AMD+ATI in the market place; especially given that Intel are already doing so..

I also wonder whether we’re suddenly going to see Intel pressure Apple to shift from ATI to nVidia..

SBS: Insight: Understanding Autism

Well tonight the SBS Insight program “Understanding Autism” was on tonight, and Donna and myself were on talking about how we live with Donna’s autism.

One question I didn’t get to ask was going to be this:

Why, if we hear that people with autism react so very differently to different treatments with one helping one child and then for another child it has no effect (or makes things worse), do we continue to assume that there is just one thing called autism ?

Some children improve on gluten free diets, some don’t. Some improve on cassein free diets, some don’t. Some respond well to ABA, some become phobic because of it. Some are intolerant to salycliates, some have no problem with them. Etc, etc, etc..

To me, as a physicist, it makes sense when you change different variables on the same thing and it reacts differently then it usually is not the same thing!

So, to me, it makes good sense that there are multiple underlying issues (multiple autisms) that are causing symptoms that look similar.

A final plug – Donna mentioned the website we built almost a year ago now for people on the spectrum to advertise their employment skills to the world – it is called auties.org – go visit and hire someone with autism!

The Parable of the Tulsa

In the beginning was the Xeon, and it was 32-bit.

Then Intel moved over the face of the Xeon and created Nocona, which was 64-bit, and Intel thought it was, well, OK.

So Intel took Nocona and added more L2 cache, and thus begat Irwindale. Intel saw Irwindale was good, but Opteron was still better.

So Intel was wrathful and split Irwindale asunder internally, creating Paxville DP, with dual cores.

Intel looked at Paxville DP and said unto itself “still not enough cache!” and soon more cache grew within the Paxville DP and thus begat Tulsa.

Thus endeth the lesson, from the book of Wikipedia, Chapter Xeon..