On The Implausability Of The Explosives Plot

I read a really great article over on the Interesting People mailing list today: On The Implausability Of The Explosives Plot. It’s well-written, only slightly cynical, and – crucially – exhibits a knowledge of chemistry and basic security policy that seems to be beyond the entire research teams of the scaremongering governments of today’s Western world. Plus, it’s amusing. Enjoy.

On a not-unrelated note, if you didn’t see The Power Of Nightmares when it was broadcast and haven’t seen it since, you’ve missed out. Follow the link.

In Praise Of Dreamhost’s Backup System

I’ve been impressed, again, by Dreamhost, who provide hosting for this and many of my other websites. During a fit of stupidity, I accidentally rm -rf *‘d Abnib Gallery. For those of a less techy nature, I deleted it: pictures and site and all. Whoopsie.

So I thought: perhaps they have a tape backup or something. I filled in their support form, which asks lots of useful questions like “How much do you know about this?”, with options ranging from “I don’t know anything, hold me by the hand,” to “TBH, I probably know more about this than you do!” and a nice scale of rating the urgency, as well as indicating how many calls they’re dealing with right now and a link to an outstanding issues page.

Within half an hour I’d been e-mailed back by a tech support person, who explained in exactly the appropriate level of detail that hourly and daily backups (with grandfather-father-son fallbacks) of everybody’s home directory are made into their hidden .snapshot directory. I took a peep, and lo and behold there was my backup. Very impressed.

Now, if only they’d improve the reliability and speed of their Rails hosting, I’d offer them a round of oral sex.

Pissing In The Pool

Had a rather unusual dream last night: I found myself swimming at my dad’s local swimming baths, with him (as, in fact, I did the weekend before last for the first time in years – we used to do so weekly). The swimming was particularly easy going: I was going at a hell of a rate for very little effort. Later, I got out of the pool to go to the toilet, but was surprised to find that my urine was coming out in many very different directions and spraying all over the place. Eventually, I was able to deal with this by strategically standing in front of three urinals and having each stream caught by one. And that’s all I remember of it.

Really; kids – you don’t want to be in my head. I don’t get it, and you don’t too.