Pondering adverts – feedback sought! (Updated)

I’m considering putting some advertising onto the site using Google for older posts, using the “No Adverts for Friends” plugin which doesn’t display adverts to people who have commented, referred from various social bookmarking sites or on posts that are less than a month old.

But before I do that I’d like to hear readers views about whether or not they like the idea!

(Also remember that if you do leave feedback then you won’t see any adverts if I do put them up. 🙂 )

Basically I’m hoping to use any income from this to help fund the virtual machine that hosts this site, along with Auties.org (a website promoting the abilities of people on the Autism spectrum).

Update 1: Just to clarify, Auties.org will NOT have any paid advertising on it! Just this blog..

Update 2: Russell Coker left a supportive post on his blog in response to this.

Melbourne school uses KDE and Kubuntu for library kiosks

Westall Secondary School in Clayton South, Melbourne, has started using KDE under KUbuntu Linux to allow them to replace the 3.0GHz Intel PC’s they were using with older 2.1GHz PC’s, extending their lives and avoiding landfill. The systems use KDE’s Kiosk framework to let the staff lock down the systems for their library system. The 3.0GHz machines released from this role will be going back into the main school for teaching duties there.

In explaining why the school went for Kubuntu, Stefyn said the students responded well to CDs put out by the Ubuntu project. Many had tried Ubuntu at home, which led to a decision to provide a familiar working environment at the school as well.

They got help both directly from Peter Lieverdink and also from the Linux Users of Victoria. They are also encouraging students to experiment with Linux, with old PC’s as a prize:

During our last hardware cleanout, we challenged the students to create the best Linux install and customization, and the winners would get to keep the hardware once it was decommissioned.

and all that apparently unnecessary desktop bling helps to get attention, according to the schools IT manager and teacher:

The kids were rapt with Compiz Fusion and this scored magic brownie points, because even the magical Vista couldn’t compete with the graphics. This was a great step into having them explore the other functionalities of Linux

Great stuff!

Quote for the day

In 1969 Bob Wilson (later the first director of Fermilab) was called before a hearing of the US Congressional Joint Committee on Atomic Energy to answer questions about particle accelerators. In it Senator John Pastore demanded to know how such a device improved the security of America and Bob Wilsons response of “nothing at all” didn’t go down to well, and so he was prodded further.

His obituary from Cornell in January 2000 puts it like this:

“It has only to do,” Wilson told the lawmakers, “with the respect with which we regard one another, the dignity of men, our love of culture. It has to do with: Are we good painters, good sculptors, great poets? I mean all the things we really venerate in our country and are patriotic about. It has nothing to do directly with defending our country except to make it worth defending.”

I have to concur.

Australian “Open Source Industry & Community Report” published

So Jeff Waugh has announced the “Australian Open Source Industry & Community Report” has been published as a PDF (( or you can buy a hardcopy version )), hopefully the first of many.

Come and see what Open Source really does for Australia!

Our conservative projection of earnings suggests that the Open Source industry generates $500 million in revenue each year, with over 50% of that being directly related to Open Source.

The report is covered by a CC license:

The Australian Open Source Industry & Community Report is published as a freely downloadable PDF on the Census project website and is redistributable under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives license.

Patent Proposal

Erm, I don’t know quite what got into this person!

The purpose of this invention is to provide an improved method of proposing marriage to an individual. The method of proposing to an individual generally comprising the steps of meeting the individual; exchanging names with the individual; dating the individual (not necessary); drafting a government document having a proposal to marry the individual incorporated therein; and showing the government document to the individual. The government document may be a patent application. The patent application may claim the method by which the proposor will make a marriage proposal to the individual. The proposor could then use the method claimed in the patent application to propose to the individual. The patent application could be the actual marriage proposal.

Thankfully it’s rather restrictive on whom it applies to..

[0022] In the drawings, the method for a proposor to propose to an individual is generally referred to by the reference numeral 10. Method 10 generally comprises the steps of meeting an individual; exchanging names with the individual; drafting a government document having a proposal to marry the individual incorporated therein; and showing the government document to the individual. Preferably, the government document is a patent application. The patent application may claim the method by which the proposor will make a marriage proposal to the individual. The proposor could then use the method claimed in the patent application to propose to the individual. Furthermore, the individual is preferably named Ellen Renee Colyer (hereinafter “Ellie”) and the proposor is preferably named Ryan Thomas Grace (hereinafter “Ryan”). Ryan is more fully described as set forth hereinbelow. Ellie generally comprises a kind, loving individual who has not only been a large support for Ryan during many pressing times, but has also been a large influence on how Ryan approaches life (more so than Ellie will ever let herself realize).

…and the exact method is something that few people will (hopefully) try…

[0014] After drafting the government document, the government document is shown to the individual as generally defined by the showing step. The showing step may comprise placing the government document in a limousine where the individual can find the government document. The proposor could then arrange to have the limousine meet the proposor at a predetermined location where the proposor presents a diamond ring to the individual.

As geeky as the proposal may seem it appears to have worked!

[0045] In the ideal situation where Ellie accepts the diamond ring, Ryan should sign the patent application and deposit the patent application with the United States Postal Service. Preferably, the United States Patent and Trademark Office receives the patent application and, upon examination, issues a patent on the same.

The wedding reception will be a scream..

New Jersey Voting Bugs

Steve Bellovin reports:

Ed Felten has posted two articles describing bugs in New Jersey’s electronic voting systems. Briefly, the total votes for all of the candidates add up to more than the number of votes the machines believe were cast.

The voting machine company, Sequoia, has proffered an explanation of the bug, but Ed Felten points out in his second article that one of the tapes now analysed shows this to be inadequate as the total number of votes is more than the “public counter” which is the voting machines own total of the count. He writes:

Each machine has a “public counter” that keeps track of how many votes were cast on the machine in the current election. The public counter, which is found on virtually all voting machines, is one of the important safeguards ensuring that votes are not cast improperly. […]

The public counter is important enough that the poll workers actually sign a statement at the bottom of the tape, attesting to the value of the public counter.


The public counter says 105, even though 106 votes were reported. That’s a big problem.


Timewatch Excavation of Stonehenge

Beaker Pottery found at Stonehenge - (c) BBC 2008

The BBC Timewatch programme is covering the first excavation of Stonehenge since 1964 which started on March 31st and runs until April 11th. Their website has details of the background to the excavation, the experts that have organised it and daily video reports from the trenches (ahem).

For the first few days they’ve been going through the spoil from previous excavations which has been worthwhile in its own right, finding a hammer stone and a piece of beaker pottery that was missed before.

But now they’ve moved onto undisturbed layers so keep an eye on the site, it could get rather interesting!