Discussing software, the web, politics, sexuality and the unending supply of human stupidity.

Austin Cline has a false dilemma here. Will Intelligent Design hurt conservatism? No, it contradicts science and reason, and that's fine. It's all about the target audience, and American evangelicals have never been the sharpest knives in the drawer when it comes to science. History is going to be repeating itself...

I gave an interview yesterday to Ian Forrester for the Geek Entertainment TV (I think) about OPML. We discussed the Editor, OPML 2.0, blogging and so on. Lasted maybe ten or fifteen minutes. He's going to email me the results in a few weeks, and I'm sure that Amyloo might want to use it for the new Community site. That said, my visage may probably scare any potential users away... ";->"

I don't know, Dave. Apple may be marketing it strangely, but the ability to play MMORPG's on my Mac kicks ass. Try it, it's a neat piece of software.

Phyllis Chesler: "The reason that I have announced the death of feminism, which I agree is stark, is that from my point of view, looking at mainstream feminism in the west - in the universities, in the media, among academics and the socalled intelligentsia - there is a moral failure, a moral bankruptcy, a refusal to take on, in particular, Muslim gender apartheid. So you have many contemporary feminists who say, 'We have to be multiculturally relativist. We cannot uphold a single, or absolute, standard of human rights. And, therefore, we can't condemn Islamic culture, because their countries have been previously colonised. By us.' I disagree... instead of telling the truth about Islam and demanding that the Muslim world observes certain standards, you have westerners beating their breasts and saying, 'We can't judge you, we can't expose you, we can't challenge you.'" Right on!

Austin Cline has a review of a book called "The Holy Reich: Nazi Conceptions of Christianity, 1919-1945" by Richard Steigmann-Gall. It is an account of some rather vile theological responses to Nazism. It's rather sad, since the theologian who is always brought up is Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the protestant theologian who went to his death protesting the Nazi regime. It's always the evil atheists who kill people - but this book looks like it may provide all sorts of interesting material of Christian involvement in the Nazi regime. The difference, of course, being that if you a book of revelation, and you've got a wide enough interpretation, justification for vile beliefs becomes easy. If you've got a true moral conscience guided by reason, and the ability to inquire freely, this sort of thing becomes far harder to excuse.

Gordon Brown to release book. I have a feeling that "Speeches 1997-2006" will be both critically acclaimed and hiding the faces of hundreds of people on the Tube every day. Oh, and I can levitate. Seriously, isn't the act of giving speeches dead? Speeches is what Martin Luther King and people in movies do. Honestly, I can't remember one thing that Gordon Brown has said. All I know is that he's a rather boring, authoritarian Scot who carries a red box, with about as much charisma or good ideas as the rest of the Labour cabinet.

GPRS Filter: I worked out how much data I need to transfer in order to make my connection worthwhile. I have to transfer at least 256K to make the £1 a day worthwhile. That should take just under a minute and a half at full speed. Doesn't that tell you everything you need to know about mobile rates - that to use up £1 normally on Orange, it only takes 85 seconds. Considering how much blogging you get from me normally on the GPRS (which I'm on currently), both you and I are getting a very good deal from the £1 a day. The other thing I do is pre-load my reading experience - load up ten or fifteen articles to read and review while I'm on a fast connection.

Bootcamp lets you run Windows on a Mac. It works, goddamnit, it works! I have a drive on my Desktop called 'Untitled' which is NTFS formatted... I don't want to reboot though. Windows is a scary place, y'know...

I use a Mac

But I'm not an elitist. I don't even drink coffee.

I use a Mac because it works most of the time.

I use a Mac because the software is better.

I use a Mac because I like the operating system.

I use a Mac because I can use it for three weeks without the operating system dying.

I use a Mac because the alternatives suck far more.

I use a Mac because games aren't the most important thing in life - ideas are. Games are important if you haven't got ideas.

I use a Mac because Mac users get what they pay for.

ISP woes

Is there any DSL provider in the United Kingdom who are not a total bunch of shite?

I just want an Internet connection that works.

I've been using Freedom 2 Surf which has been getting progressively worse each month. They advertise an Uncapped service, which isn't always true. It's capped alright. When you hit 100Gb, boom, you're out.

This is what happened with my previous ISP, Plus.Net, which sucks an equal amount of monkey balls. They advertised a service which they didn't offer. I lasted four days with these arseholes, then left.

They had a practice of 'shaping' bandwidth, which is another way of saying limiting your bandwidth and not telling you. They'd 'shape' your bandwidth in such a way that you could download a BitTorrent at 150K a second (cool), but your web browsing would time out (even when BitTorrent wasn't running).

This had the strange advantage which was that if you wanted to cancel their service, you had to go on to their website and fill out a form. Due to their crappy service, it was actually impossible to submit that form because it would time out. You couldn't cancel the service in any way except by using their website. Shit, huh?

After that, I moved back to F2S, who I trusted. All back to normal. Until they started shaping traffic. Not violently and incompetently like Plus.Net, but they started doing so.

Then they started fucking around and kicking people off the service who actually tried to use the uncapped service which they'd paid for.

Now they've introduced this new suite of products, which are all really shitty deals (who wants to pay £14 a month, and then pay £1 for every gig you transfer?).

All these ISPs are booting people off who actually use their service. If people didn't want to use their service, they wouldn't buy it. They do a deal which basically says, once you cut through the legalese: I pay you money, and in return, you buy pipes and you connect me up to those pipes.

I don't want advertising, I don't want deals. I want to pay my money, and I want to use the pipes. If you can't handle the pressure, buddy, buy some more fucking pipes or get out.

ISPs need to stop jerking their customers around, and learn to live with the fact that they are utility companies. They aren't anything special. They are just a label wrapped around the same soap or dog food as everybody else is churning out. Only your brand is pissing customers off.

Okay, they may be the fringe, geeky customers. But they still pay money.

When I was using dialup, before Freeserve came on the scene, I used the same dialup provider for years. They had good customer service, helpful staff, were reasonably priced, had well-managed servers for both email and Usenet and had a bunch of BSD nerds working there. They didn't piss anybody off, they didn't have these stupid fits where they banned their customers. They also weren't god-damn AOL, so I could retain some pride.

Is there a DSL provider who (a) provides a reasonably-priced, unshaped, uncapped, un-fucked with connection who (b) treats their customers like customers rather than shit? 'Cos if there is, they sure are keeping themselves well hidden.

I've just seen Angus Deayton slag off the credit card companies on Sky One. Funny that, he slags off credit card companies now, and Barclaycard specifically. But just a few years back he was doing TV ads for Barclaycard. Hypocrisy, thy name is Angus. Would it be reductionist to say the charlie has affected his memory?

I just saw an advert about a television programme where they get celebrities to smash up cars. The same civilisation that has given us Shakespeare and David Hume now gives us celebrities crash testing cars on television. Love it. Hate it. It's always there, gosh darn it.

OS X on X86 has done 41,039 RC5-72 blocks. We've got a few to go until we can reach Win32 on X86, what with its 2,417,680,533 blocks submitted. We've got two processors though...