(mis)adventures in software development...

18 February 2015    Technology

Electronic Graffiti

Knighthood fail, leadership fail, and many online activism fails.

Australian politics is weird at the moment. More so than usual.

We have a conservative Prime Minister so incompetent and unpopular that even conservatives are having some pretty intense buyers’ remorse.

His own backbenchers even tried to get rid of him. But he survived, so the country is still stuck with Tony Abbott as PM. For now.

Tony Abbott survives to gaffe another day, and if past performance is any indicator of future performance, there will be more gaffes to …


02 February 2015    Technology

The Who Hacked Sony Story

The recent Sony hack was notable for many reasons, not least of which is how devastatingly successful it was — hackers managed to get hold of huge amounts of sensitive data.

But one aspect that intrigued me in particular was the way it was reported, and how different angles of the story were emphasised (or de-emphasised) by different media outlets.

Obviously this story would be of some interest to those technically inclined, especially those working in areas of technology or cybersecurity …


12 January 2015    Technology

Hello 2015, and goodbye online freedom and privacy

Some cheery predictions for 2015

It’s that time, as the new year gets underway, and memories of New Year’s hangovers recede, where many a second-rate writer wastes many words attempting to predict what’s ahead for the new year.

Since describing my blogging attempts as “second-rate” would be exceedingly generous — and with slim chance my online ramblings will have anyone of sane disposition mistake me for a writer — I feel I have little credibility to lose by throwing my contribution into the mix …


30 November 2014    Web Development

Upgrading to pelican 3.5

Upgrading to Pelican 3.5 and Python 3.

I recently updated my Pelican blog setup, going from Pelican 3.3 to Pelican 3.5. I skipped Pelican 3.4, mostly by circumstance rather than intention — by the time I got around to upgrading, Pelican 3.5 had been released!

Although I wasn’t in any great rush to upgrade anyway, as I was rather diligently procrastinating the task of reinstalling the Linux box I’d been using for my Pelican work, and this is something I wanted to …


28 November 2014    Technology

Metadata karma

The government did a couple things I found really disturbing recently.

Well, actually, that seems like a ludicrous understatement given recent events in Australian politics.

Recently, everything this government has done has been disturbing on some level.

For the sake of brevity however, if nothing else, let’s consider just two for now: the mandatory data legislation introduced in recent months; and the prosecution of 21 year old student Freya Newman for uncovering evidence of a secret scholarship awarded to …


25 November 2014    Technology

We all have something to hide

We all have something to hide from mandatory data retention.

The Australian government recently introduced mandatory data retention legislation, and in the debate that followed, I heard a radio talkback host admit he wasn’t overly concerned by the prospect, on the grounds that if you don’t do anything wrong you have nothing to hide.

He couldn’t be more wrong.

Thinking “I have nothing to hide” is naive when it comes to mandatory data retention, and represents a failure to fully understand the implications.

Data retention is usually …


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