Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Fusion and religious nutters (yet again)

First the good news. They've finally decided where to site ITER. I'm a firm believer in fusion as a major part of the solution to the world's energy crisis. It has few of the drawbacks of existing power generation methods: it doesn't contribute to global warming unlike fossil fuels; it doesn't create unmanageable amounts of radioactive waste unlike fission; and it creates much more energy on a like-for-like basis than renewables. We can't get too excited yet, since it won't be ready to start operation until about 2015, and the first commercial plant isn't expected until about the middle of the century. However, at least they've stopped arguing about where to site the damned thing and are getting on with it.

Now the bad news. The religious nut brigade are trying to strike again. This time in Northern Ireland, with a so-called Christian organisation trying to get a gay pride march banned. With so much hate and anger already in Northern Ireland, there's really no need for any more. Since the organisation itself doesn't seem to have a website (surprise, surprise, I'm sure they think that the Internet is the tool of Satan) so I couldn't send them an abusive email, I decided to do something constructive, and sent an email supporting the parade to the Parades Commission. Mind you, the email address that they have published on their website was wrong, and I had to call them up to get one that I could use. So any (constructive) emails should go to

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Good news story about a bank

... and how often do you get to say that? The Co-operative Bank has recently asked the religious nutters Christian group Christian Voice to take their business elsewhere. I've ranted about this organisation before on this blog since they're the lot that tried to impose their moral views on us over the Jerry Springer: The Opera affair. It's nice to see a large organisation taking a moral stance for a change, and at the moment, I'm seriously considering switching my current account to them.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

The right to protest

Protesting within half a mile of the Mother of Parliaments can now result in a conviction under the Serious and Organised Crime and Police Act. Let's read that again: the Serious and Organised Crime Act is being used to remove a man who should be getting a medal, not being condemned as “an eyesore” for his four year protest outside Westminster. That single description shows the contempt which our masters hold us in.

The right to protest is vital to the functioning of democracy, but if our leaders say that we can protest, just not anywhere near them then what's the use? They need to see feelings of the people, listen and debate with them, rather than hiding in the ivory towers of the Palace of Westminster, protected by their concrete blocks and half-mile exclusion zones.

Copyright musings

David Rowan wrote quite a good piece in the Times about the “creative industries” (a phrase that I detest) and their use of copyright to stifle creativity. As far as I'm concerned, copyright is already longer than it needs to be to fulfil its purpose, which is to grant a limited-term monopoly on creative works in order to encourage their creation, and the lobbying of the Suits is lengthening it further to line their pockets and to the detriment of wider society.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Reasons not to have ID cards

I found this list of 10 reasons to refuse ID cards recently on The White Rose. It's mostly good, although some of the reasons do repeat themselves a bit, and the language is a bit paranoid at times, but the point is mostly well put across.

In other news, my geek factor has rocketed recently. Is this because:

  1. I've recently set up my own private Jabber server because I was getting annoyed that the server I used was rather unreliable (my new JID is raj <the-at-sign>, by the way, for any Jabber users out there);
  2. I got excited that I was able to remotely open remote windows from the new Linux box that I built recently at work on Windows through an XFree86 server that is now incorporated into Cygwin;
  3. I've codenamed the new project that I'm about to start at work ‘Bad Wolf’;
  4. All of the above.

Answers on a postcard (or a comment) please.

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