RogerBW's Blog

Election, Terrorism, Revolutionary Communism 08 June 2017 - 5 comments

I can't help noticing an obvious historical parallel which I haven't heard people talking about.

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Dear 3D print customers, please just use OpenSCAD 24 March 2017 - 2 comments

My customers on 3dhubs use a variety of software packages to build the models they send me; in theory, anything that produces files in obj or stl format will work. Some are definitely better than others.

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Farewell to systemd 22 May 2016 - 6 comments

I tried to give it a fair shake. Really I did. But systemd has now annoyed me to the point where I've been removing it from the systems for which I'm responsible and bringing back sysvinit.

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More Internet of Things 09 April 2016 - 3 comments

A recent news item on Revolv home hubs made me want to revisit my feelings on the Internet of Things.

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Why not a root shell? 09 February 2016 - 3 comments

Many modern Linux systems assume that you will never have a root shell. Instead, you are expected to prepend "sudo" to every root-type command.

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Internet of Things 28 December 2015 - 4 comments

This has been a year when "Internet of Things" devices became relatively mainstream. Oh dear.

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A utopian vision for electric cars 29 October 2015 - 2 comments

I have an idea for a relatively simple change which would remove some of my objections to the use of electric cars. This is less blatantly utopian than the last one.

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A utopian vision for transport 19 September 2015 - 7 comments

Driverless cars, quite apart from privacy concerns, are solving the wrong problem. Here's what I want to build to replace the majority of transport infrastructure. It is unabashedly utopian.

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The Tournament Mentality in Gaming 25 June 2015 - 4 comments

There's a certain mentality in games (particularly wargames, but others too) which seems to be associated with tournament play.

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The Wreck of the Liberal Democrats 11 June 2015 - 3 comments

The obvious story of woe of the recent General Election in the UK is that of the Liberal Democrats, who lost 66% of their vote share and 85% of their parliamentary seats compared with five years ago, leaving them about as much of a political force as the DUP. What went wrong?

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Does Free Content Drive Out Good? 28 May 2015 - 4 comments

Gresham's Law famously states that "bad money drives out good": if there are two currencies available, people will tend to hoard the one they trust and spend the one they don't. I think there's a different but allied process going on with items that are "good enough" driving out of the market ones that are good.

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Who Is David Fitton? 07 May 2015 - 5 comments

The Wycombe parliamentary constituency has been Conservative since 1951. It has often had candidates from obscure parties, but since 2001 there's been an Independent: one David Fitton.

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Ruining My Childhood 11 March 2015 - 5 comments

It has become fashionable to claim that a remake or reinvention of a favourite book, film or whatever from when one was young "ruined my childhood". And inevitably it has also become fashionable to dismiss such overblown nonsense. I think there is potential for a useful middle way.

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A Modest Proposal About Numbers 12 February 2015 - 8 comments

A small change to our numbering system would make daily use of numbers remarkably easier.

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The RogerBW Manifesto (2015 edition) 20 January 2015 - 13 comments

It's election season here in the UK – for the first time, since we've moved to fixed-term Parliaments, a protracted American-style election season rather than a few short weeks. These are the things I'd try to do if anyone were daft enough to put me in charge; they're also promises that would encourage me to vote for people who made them.

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Thanks, Google! 20 December 2014 - 1 comment

It was really useful to be able to plot arbitrary data onto a zoomable map. The only service to offer this was Google Maps; indeed, it was the last thing for which I was using any Google service.

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Why chain hotels don't need to try 19 December 2014 - 2 comments

Having recently had a truly appalling meal at a hotel that rhymes with Hark Hinn Hottingham, and heard more horror stories from people who were actually staying there, I thought about hotels' incentives to make things pleasant for their customers… and couldn't come up with any.

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How accounting rules distort real life 22 November 2014

Accounting rules have perverse effects on real life. Here's an example dear to my heart.

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Con Crud, Air Conditioning, and Legionnaire's Disease 16 October 2014 - 5 comments

Why does every large convention now seem to have an associated disease, the "con crud", generally a respiratory tract infection?

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The Origins of Homœopathy 11 July 2014

Homœopathy has some very strange ideas. But where did it actually come from?

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Why I have no smartphone 21 May 2014 - 4 comments

A reader expressed surprise that I don't use a smartphone.

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Have you opted out of care.data yet? 20 January 2014

(Readers not in England, if any, please ignore.)

Have you even heard of care.data?

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