Solar power rebate

Submitted by naught101 on Mon, 06/30/2008 - 13:11

I don't usually like spruiking for the corporate media, but channel 7 is doing something good with their Sunrise solar panel petition. I don't make any comment on the rest of what channel 7 does - I usually avoid it like the plague.

But they're right, a means test on the solar rebate scheme is bloody stupid. There are lots of people out there who want solar panels, but for the rebate, you have to have the money upfront. Not many people on a median wage (~$25,000/annum) have thousands of dollars just lying around.

Oh... Petrol prices...

Submitted by naught101 on Thu, 06/26/2008 - 13:29

After months of wondering why Americans are always complaining about petrol prices, I finally figured out why.

This might seem obvious to some, but the solution everyone seems to come up with seems pretty stupid to me.

A Short History of Progress

Submitted by naught101 on Tue, 06/24/2008 - 18:08

I just read "A Short History of Progress", by Ronald Wright(1). Pretty gloomy, if you need any impetus to become either an activist, or completely depressed, this is it. Wright maps the rise an fall of numerous civilisations, and points out that our current technological and social trajectories are pretty similar really. The only real difference between us and the romans, outside of size of the supporting ecosystem, is that we've got evidence of collapse happening before.

Discussion about the semantic web

Submitted by naught101 on Tue, 04/15/2008 - 20:49

The following is a discussion from #swig on irc.freenode.org - the Semantic Web Interest Group. It's logged here if you don't believe me: http://chatlogs.planetrdf.com/swig/2008-04-15#T10-32-11. Edited slightly for clarity.

I think the semantic web is an extremely useful tool, but as I mention down the bottom, I probably would have agreed with Francis Bacon that cutting up animals in the name of science was a good thing at the time.

Dear Mr. Quinn

Submitted by naught101 on Mon, 03/24/2008 - 21:35

Daniel,

You argue that the major defining factor of population size is food limits. Australia (to give an example), currently has a birthrate less than 2 births per woman. We have an overall annual immigration, so our population is growing, but if we had no immigration, our population would be decreasing. Australia is a fairly affluent country: plenty of food, people are educated, well supported with social services, and generally feel secure. They don't need the added security of a large family (I don't claim that this is causal, but believe it may have some impact).

Post-Taker culture and other questions

Submitted by naught101 on Sat, 03/15/2008 - 13:51

I just finished reading Daniel Quinn's Ishmael for the second time (I previously downloaded the audio-book, which was amazing, but I think the book is slightly better). If you haven't read it, read it. I'd say it'd be life-changing for anyone wants to do something about the state of the environment but don't know where to start. For the ones how have already started, it's perhaps even more recommended. That said, the rest of this post won't make sense unless you already have read the book.

Ishmael answers a lot of questions for me - primarily the one that goes "if this isn't the right way, then what is?". But of course the answer isn't final, it isn't an end point, it's just an opening. It's another method of looking at things, and realising how much could change. Which basically means that it brings up more questions than it answers.

Why I use a non-commercial license.

Submitted by naught101 on Sat, 03/01/2008 - 11:54

There's a huge wave of open-licensing sweeping the 'net, and it's starting to get into the real world. This is definitely a good thing - freedom of information is a great. The most common licenses, such as the GNU FDL, or the Creative Commons BY-SA stipulate that anyone can use the works, as long as they acknowledge the author, and that they keep it free (usually by using the same license). The last tactic has been called "viral" by numerous capitalists, and they are correct, it is. Eventually it will take over the world, or at least a large part of it. I can't wait.

Creative Commons, and perhaps a few other licences, give people the option to license their work with a "non-commercial" (NC) clause, This is strongly derided amongst the free software movement particularly, as economic exploitation by a creator is considered a freedom and a right. This is argued well on the Freedom Defined wiki.

There are two main arguments against using an NC license, the first is economic, the second in a matter of compatibility. A third minor argument against the CC-BY-NC-SA, is an argument against creative commons itself. I will deal with these in the above order.

Recovering files on ext3 the easy and shoddy way

Submitted by naught101 on Thu, 01/10/2008 - 09:22

I just deleted about 100 photos from an ext3 external hard drive that I really would have preferred to keep. With shift+delete (do not pass the trash, do not collect $200). So I went looking for an answer.

If you've looked around the 'net for a way to recover files from an ext3 partition, you've probably found lots of people saying "it can't be done, because the inodes get wiped". Well that's true.