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Petition: Remove United States District Attorney Carmen Ortiz from office for overreach in the case of Aaron Swartz.

Petition: Remove United States District Attorney Carmen Ortiz from office for overreach in the case of Aaron Swartz.

I ask my American friends, please sign this petition. The internet lost a great man this week due to a government bully. 

It’s also obvious to me that if this case should have been thrown out immediately when those involved dropped the charges and not pursued by the government. If any government is to assert the good of the people, they should understand what the good of the people is. And right now, the American, British and many other governments just don’t understand technology and maintain broken copyright laws that are constantly miss-used and miss-interpreted. And what has it come to? The death of one of the great influencers of the modern internet at a ridiculously young age. If you are going to prosecute based on copyright and “hacking” for the good of the people, then you first need to understand the factors involved. Copyright, technology (including what is/isn’t hacking) and what is “The good of The People”. I don’t know how to say what I want to say. I want to use the words “Don’t let another person die because of this” but I honestly don’t think those are the words to use. But I just urge governments, which are there to protect and maintain the good of the people, to sit down and think about what they need to do so. And in a world governed by technology and data, one of the first places to start is looking at how you can make sure law on technology and data is properly informed and truly for the good of the people.

Fuckups are happening time and time again right now. The Digital Economy Act. ACTA. SOPA. The people in charge need to know what they’re doing. I watched the live coverage of the the DE Act. One MP knew what he was talking about. One man. He stood up for common sense in a room of about 15-20 MPs and told them the truth. I quite honestly believe he informed them enough to vote against the act. But then the hundreds arrived AFTER the discussion and voted in it’s favour. It’s this behaviour that leads to the ill informed world of politics we have today.

It’s a sad sad time and I hope things improve soon.

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Musings On Relativity and Accuracy

OK. Just been watching this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tflf05x-WVI

It’s made me think. The race time measured by the runner is less than the race time measured by the observer. As the runner speeds up, the difference between those two times increases. So are there times that cannot be registered on the runner’s clock due to the jumps between steps in time of the observer? Just as with x=y^2. y goes 1, 2, 3, 4 and x goes 1, 4, 9, 16.

Of course, the answer is no because the universe is analogue, not digital. But there’s something about that that messes with my head a little. I blame modern computer science and it’s finite space view on things. Lets say x goes 1, 2, 3, 4 then y goes 1, 1.41421…, 1.73205…, 2.

Right. Lets take this one step further. In a computer, with a number like π you can’t store the whole number as it goes on forever. We have to store it in the number of 1s and 0s allocated so we have to approximate it. This is the reason (1/3)*3 often doesn’t come out as 1 on a calculator. But what if we had a computer that wasn’t bound by the number of 1s and 0s allocated to the number? Well then you’d be looking at an analogue computer. Now I’m going to take an analogue computer I know. This is called the Hartree Differential Analyser. This computer was mechanical. It used gears, rods and various other connections to calculate continuous equations. You didn’t just put in 5 * 5 and get 25. You would insert a graph of a line representing values of x for x * 5 and get a graph of the answers. Awesome! What’s the catch? Well you’re now limited by the mechanical accuracy of your machine, not it’s design. While this machine could theoretically give you a 100% accurate of any equation inputted, in practice it can’t. You can’t machine those gears to touch each other perfectly. There will always be a small gap between them where they can wriggle. Those jumps between what each 64bit number of then computer can represent has now become jumps based upon that wiggle in the gears.

So why am I talking about this? Every analogue system on this earth created by man has inaccuracies. They can provide constant calculation within a tolerance. They are, in some senses, still digital. This is at the man made macro level though. Lets say you could get past that. You now have inaccuracies at the molecular level in the movement of molecules in a substance (assuming greater than absolute zero temperatures). OK. Lets assume you could get past that. You now have inaccuracies at the atomic level. The vibration of the atoms. Depending on your measurements, the movement of the electrons around the nucleus may even have an effect. Lets assume you could overcome that. Lets assume an absolute zero system. I’m also going to assume that the fundamental particles don’t change but there may be another inaccuracy. I just don’t have the knowledge of what goes on there. Now your only possible inaccuracy is that within time itself and space itself. Of course, inaccuracies in space may arise through its bending caused by the mass of all the bodies within having an effect on each other but lets say we’ve taken those into account.

So here’s the final thing. The last thing that may cause jumps in the possible time registered on each device now we have them analogue and all the possible inaccuracies sorted. Are time and space truly analogue or do they have fixed values? That’s like asking can I throw a ball from here to there without it passing the space in the middle. If not, then we have infinite accuracies and that means the universe itself does not behave like any mechanical system I know. The universe is behaving more like a mechanical construct. The universe itself is not something that exists physically but merely as a continuous mathematical construct. Those, of course, I may be getting my ideas of what can be physical wrong and likely am. But lets say the universe is digital. A body can move from a to b without passing through the space in between. Now either the possible speeds something can move at, the distance between a and b and the time between two consecutive points in time are such that they always align up nicely and a body will merely jump between well defined speeds that are more accurate than the universe needs, or there are inaccuracies as to the body appearing in the wrong place between two times as it should be in the space in between. Now this can’t happen as physics would drift. Or more it can but is unlikely as the universe would probably collapse. Well. Maybe it will collapse but it just hasn’t happened yet. That’s a fun thought. Maybe the accuracies of space only have to be such that that collapse will take at least slightly more than the life of the universe?

I guess both of these possibilities give rise to a universe based purely on maths. Universe that are physical entities floating in a sea of conception. It bares the thought that the maths has to be at least accurate enough and nothing more. Just like the universe bashed rocks together until the atoms arrange such that they were accurate enough to sustain life for a period of time that is long enough and nothing more. Maybe before the universe, this conceptual aether bashed maths together until it were at a point where it is accurate enough to sustain the universe for long enough and nothing more. Maybe the universe will eventually bash those rocks together enough to sustain life permanently? Though the second law of thermodynamics would then pull some pretty glum faces and throw the decay of the universe at that god-like fish in the sea that is here. Then maybe that aether will eventually create a set of maths whereby the universe can exist indefinitely in steady state. Where the second law of thermodynamics has a sweat spot. 

Ok. So I think I’ve tortured math and physics enough now. I better get to bed soon. Oh. And the answer is it doesn’t matter if Usain Bolt jumps in well defined points in time because those points of time are more accurate than the physical universe needs them to be. Like your hard drive being bigger than it needs to be to hold Portal 2. Now have a mug of hot chocolate and get some rest.

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My emoticon dictionary

By request, here’s a dictionary of just some of the many emoticons I use. Hopefully it makes a little sense :)

:-)  Happy

:-(  Sad

;-) Wink

:-/  Worry

:3  Cute/cheeky kitty smile

:’-(  Crying

D-:  Shock

<3  Love

</3  Heartbroken

^_^  Eyes closed happy smile

^.^  “Oooooooooo” eyes closed happy smile

^_^/  Smiling and waving

\^.^/  Arms in the air chearing

:)-|–<  Just a random stick figure….

:-P  Sticking tongue out

XD  Corpsing-type laughing

X-P  Eyes scrunched closed and tongue out

X_X  Dead

O_o  Bemused

O_O  Shocked

O.o  Bemused, lips pursed/open slightly

B-)  Sunglasses. Cool guy

>:-|  Pissed off. Eyebrows brought down

>:-)  Evil grin

<.< Look left innocently/cheekily

>.> Look right innocently/cheekily

<_< Serious look left

>_> Serious look right

>.< Facepalm

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Matthew Herbert – One Pig

My review for Fuse FM of one of the most unique and inspiring performances I’ve ever seen.Image

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Anonymous

Right. So this one is gonna be a rant. I’m going to address a real bug-bare of mine. It seems we can’t go a week these days without hearing of the antics of “The hacking group Anonymous”. So why does this get to me? The Anonymous part. Anonymous is a term used to define those who post on the internet without the use of a nickname. In other words, those who post anonymously. And you know what, I bet that at least at some point you have all done that. I would be surprised if I knew anyone who regularly uses the internet and isn’t a member of anon in the truest sense of the word.

So who are these people identified as “The hacking group Anonymous”? In all honestly, they’re not. They’re many smaller groups who call themselves “Anonymous”. I guess the best way to describe this is that there are many who identify themselves as British. You may get small groups of those that join together and start hacking for what they believe the good of the British and, as such, identify themselves as British. Now if these groups were picked up by those outside the group, the news stories may be reported as “The hacking group The British”. Nobody has agreed they are happy using the term. They just do. Suddenly, all British people are hackers. This is exactly what has happened with Anonymous. What began as a technical term has become a name which means nothing. If you set out to find and arrest the hacking group Anonymous, you would just be looking for a subset of Anon who weren’t original enough to come up with their own name and exploit the dissorder of this large group in order to make themselves apear larger than they are.

So why does this get at me so much? Because Anonymous used to be good. This fascinating group of people would occasionally pull together through the dissorder to fight the bad in the world in good ways. Protesting against Scientology or finding details of animal abusers to hand over to the police. But at some point, the small group who break the law for what they see as good took the lime light. What used to be the common people fighting the evils of the world has now become a few using a title to hide and justify their terrorism.

Finally. A smaller annoyance but one I’ve pretty much given up on now. The use of the word ‘hacking’. Hacking is not breaking into systems. Hacking is modifying something beyond it’s original design or purpose. Adding a digital temperature display to your coffee machine. What the media terms ‘hacking’ is actually ‘cracking’. The circumvention of digital security to gain access and control of data and systems. I am a hacker. They are crackers.

Aaaaaanyway. Rant over :)

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SRA Con Round Up

So this past week I went to the Student Radio Assocuation Convention. I don’t really remember some of it but I shall patch together what I remember and what I can gleam from my little black book.

We arrived. I remember that. I had to run to get the train but I just about made it. We had a bakeoff on the train too. Not that we baked on the train. Northern Rail don’t provide ovens unfortunatly. But we did have people bringing baked goods. We had carrot cake with little carrots (which were fantastic), peanut butter brownies (which were amazing), chocolat chip cookies (which blew my mind) and pepermint creams (which weren’t baked). So all in all a good journey. I was actually happy that I didn’t feel ill from all the sugar too. Surprisingly, I wouldn’t feel ill from the alcohol later either. But I think my body told me after seeing Leane that I had no right to complain about my condition.

Image

The opening ceremony was an opening ceremony. You know how they are. They say welcome and then tell you to go off and do stuff. We clapped and then went off and did stuff.

The first event I attended was on Social Media. They told us we should all be using Facebook and Twitter. This was comforting as we use Facebook and Twitter. There were also a few interesting points on how to communicate over them and make the most we can. There was also some interesting talk on Audioboo. For those of you who don’t know what it is, it’s a bit like twitter for your voice. There were a few thoughts thrown around about it’s possible use for guest interaction. Something I might just have to look into for Fuse. Various other services were mentioned and there was the killer mantra “Get them. Keep them. Don’t piss them off.”. Best advice on social marketing I’ve ever heard.

We had a quick panal on The Future of Radio. It was interesting though focused largely on what the past of radio was like for 3 extremely cynical guys. So by far one of the best bits of the con. One of my only notes from that event was “Online restricted by royalties”. So true. Listen up to that if you work in the music industry, ok?

The next page in my book is random ideas. The top one is “Demo comp with industry judge”. No idea where I got that idea….

VCS. Ableton. MlxMeister. Serato. Yeh. I need to google them.

Great talk on OBs from a guy a couple of guys at the BBC. Loads of tips on how to make them sound as good as possible and some tech you can use. There was an interesting point about not making them sound too professional. With an OB, people expect you to sound like you’re outside and not just in a studio. Something I hold to myself. I also need to look into something called a Bluepack. A device that lets you use a decent mic over blutooth. There was also more talk about Luci Live. That software really does have quite the fan base building up :)

The talk on Production was quite interesting. If I’m honest, I didn’t actually know what producers did until I went there. Basically, they do everything the presenter doesn’t know how to or doesn’t have the time to do. A really bad way of putting it but I think it sums it up. One of the panalists described the job as being “Polyfiller” which I thought was pretty nice. Some interesting thoughts on how to make content too. “If I turned on at this time, what would I expect to hear?” was a very important point.

I wrote some stuff on the Events talk but haven’t a clue what it means….

The AGM was a blast. Pleanty of interesting questions posed by Dean including how good looking one of the Admin staff was. Loads of last clap compotitions. Even a couple of meaningful questions too at one point or another.

I can’t forget to mention the night events too. We had Dan winning his soundclash with an industry professional. I got to see our first station manager who I have to say is damn good looking. We had some good comments on a couple of our presenters in Demo Factor including one person who recieved the great compliment of “Lets move on. I’ll listen to it later.”. Some really wonderful music too. We had a 90’s/00’s moment one night and the best soundtrack to the event we could have asked for. Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen. Best feel good song I’ve heard in some time.

So all in all, I had an amazing few days down in Bradford. Well worth the trip. Thanks to all those who put on such a great event and even more so to the people around who made it such great fun. Gotta love my Fuse lovelies :-D

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Offense

So what I’m going to talk about today is offense. I’ve had a bit of a strange experience over the past few days. I’ve been at a convention. I had an absolutely fantastic time and loads of fun but I worry sone people have started to see me as a bit of a dick. The main thing that caused problems was something I said. That being “The Catholic church is an evil evil evil organisation.”. Now I won’t be discussing that point today as I’d just go on a huge tangent. Instead, i’m going to look at the views of myself and others to that statement.
So since high school I’ve mingled in groups that I’m starting to think are stranger than I thought. The groups I’ve been friends with have generally been equal parts atheist and religious but with a slight lean towards the atheists. My groups of friends have also had far higher than average numbers of gays and bisexuals (I feel I should note I fall into the second category more tk avoid misconceptions over the statement than anything else). So there has been quite the spread for controversy and discussion. It’s through this that I have grown to love controversial discussion and even enjoy it. Often have I discussed the possibility of a God and the role of religion. Although I now realise that earlier statement of mine serves little more than to demonstrate the diversity of my friends as I’ve not often discussed homosexuality aside from the times people have brought up their opposition to it. I find the discussion of the equality and morality of homosexuality akin to that of equal rights for women. So given my past experiences, I was somewhat surprised at the reaction I got the other day.

When I said what I did, I was met with “You can’t say that!”, “That’s generalisation!” and other such replies. Fine replies which I kind if wanted to discuss tbh but didn’t really get the chance to. I sort of don’t know if I should type this as it may be taken the wrong way but I think those I was with were uncomfortable with the discussion. I think they thought I was going to go on an atheist preach rather than a discussion. Though I think my choice of words were bad give I haven’t spoken to some of the people a huge amount and they may not know my intentions with that sort of comment. I think it may have been taken as an attempt to offend. Absolutely not. If I want to offend, I will will be clear about it. No. My intention was to start discussion. One I hoped, maybe even expected, would lead to an agreement to disagree. I can’t remember the last time I deliberately tried to offend someone. It’s just something I don’t do. Even around enemies, I will favour a well constructed argument over a slagging match as insults just don’t get you anywhere. So we were all left sat there in an awkward situation where I was trying to do my usual thing of explaining why I said what I had but to be met with further comments like the above.

Now I’m not trying to say I think badly or look down upon these friends. Not at all. But I more feel disheartened by the way things went. There seems to be a deep rooted instinct in many to avoid difficult situations. I really find this a shame as if these controversial subjects aren’t touched and discussed once in a while, how do we progress? Think of it as “I’ve come to these conclusions because of this. Do you have anything to add that might help tweak and refine those?”. It’s almost a scientific approach to my outlook on life. Every once in a while I look at what I have in front of me and gather further information and research to adjust my thoughts. And if need be, I’ll turn on a dime. I would much rather do this than look at ons book (my life experiences) and stick my fingers in my ears to anything to do with it. If you are believe something I say us wrong, please show me where. I ask you. If you think my opinion us completely wrong I would love you to correct me. I can’t refine my views and morals though from just “you can’t say that”. And neither do I expect to agree on everything. But if we understand where we stand then they makes things so much easier.

I should also say, I’m not writing this to say I’m annoyed at my friends. More that I worry for myself. I had some friends around that table I’ve really been kicking myself for making myself look like an arsehole in front of. I just hope this can reverse that a little. I guess this all comes back to my post on swearing too. If I am obviously aiming to offend then sure, take offence. But what good does it do to assume certain topics are offensive whenever brought up? I’m pretty much 100% of the time trying to make conversation or say something off the cuff when I make these comments. Please take them at face value rather than mapping my conversations to offense at the drop of a hat.

I’m sorry for any un-intended offence the other day guys. But I hope this post just let’s you know for the future. I also hope done people might decide they like my way of looking at this. Anyway I might do a proper post on offence soon when i’m less worrying about friends. I’m also probably going to do something on the sra convention soon. Now I’ve eased my worries slightly. :)

Love you guys
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