A Connected Life And Its Downfall On Society

internet downToday it finally sunk into me just how much of my life is online these days. My router went on the blink, and my wife needed the internet connection for work with no instability, so she ended up hardwired into the modem. It then sunk into me that there was almost nothing I could do without the internet.

I couldn’t watch TV.
We have a WiFi-enabled ‘smart’ TV, which we use almost exclusively to watch Netflix on. No internet = no TV, so there was a 52” object that was functionally useless sitting in my lounge.

I couldn’t work.
A lot of what I do is based upon online things, so I need that connection to spark a connection, a conversation. What’s more, with my engineering background, I’m a detail and data-driven writer, so I am constantly referencing things. Being unable to reference really stifles my creative juices, and stymies my ability to bash out almost anything (something like this being the exception)

I felt disconnected.
For the last year, I (and indeed my whole family) have lived without cellphones (a post about that will be coming up soon[ish]) so I’ve already felt a little disconnected when I’ve been out and about. I had kept a tablet (a Samsung Galaxy tab3 7.0) and my wife had her Galaxy S3, but they were WiFi-only. Without WiFi they were essentially turned into ‘not the best eBook reader’, mostly because they were limited to titles I already had on there – mostly finished because I had known I could grab more on-demand until then. Continue reading…


K`Tetch’s Panels at Dragon Con 2015

Dcon logo 2015Yes, I’ve been kinda quiet about this year’s Dragon Con, at least on here. Truth is, I’d only just finished off processing all the videos from last years convention, which came to 21 videos totally 22 hours. You can find the playlist with them all here.

After the 8 of last year, I’ve cut down to save my voice and my sanity, to a more standard 4.

Of course, throughout it all I’ll still be beavering away in Hilton 201, making sure that the EFForums track runs smoothly (as befits the track’s Assistant Director) Continue reading…


Religious Freedom and First Amendment Ignorance

religious symbolsThis morning, Rowan County, Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis declined once again to issue wedding licenses on account of her ‘religious beliefs’. Her refusal stems from an assertion that issuing permits to those wishing for a same-sex marriage violates her beliefs. Under a Supreme Court ruling back in June, the restrictions on marriage were found to be an unconstitutional infringement on equal rights.

So why is Ms. Davis making her stand, and on what grounds? Well, she’s claiming a 1st amendment stance based on her religious convictions, which leads us to a problem that seems endemic across America, especially when it comes to religious matters – most Americans do not understand what the First Amendment does and does not protect. Continue reading…


NO to 10 Years Imprisonment For Copyright Infringement

The UK Government (via it’s misnamed “Intellectual Property Office”) just held a consultation on copyright infringement. In comparison to previous ones, this one was simple, and had only one question.

Should the maximum custodial sentence available for online and offline copyright infringement of equal seriousness be harmonised at 10 years?

Please justify your answer and support with evidence where possible.

Continue reading…


Why Are People Still Getting Basic Science Wrong?

OK people, is “Science” education just a frivolity, or are there really that many people that slept through science in the 3rd grade and never woke up again? I’m serious, there’s a desperate lack of basic science education that’s being celebrated and lauded as if it was a good thing, even the most basic of things.

Over the past week, two science topics have got my pulse racing on social media. The first was a post by NPR on June 29th that had the headline “Don’t Believe in Evolution? Try Thinking Harder”. My quick comment of

“silly headline. If you don’t believe in evolution, you’re not thinking at all”

started a bit of a snowstorm of people who don’t understand simple things. Things like ‘evolution is not abiogenesis’ (abiogenesis is ‘origin of life’) or that evolution has been extremely well tested in both models and the lab, and been observed happening (what do you think antibiotic resistance is?) are somewhat par for the course, but absolutely basic things like ‘theory is not a hypothesis’. Also, side note – first comment on an NPR story means your notifications will go off constantly for days. Continue reading…


Bittorrent’s DHT And Its DRM Problem

torrentsOver this past month, I’ve been researching a few topics based around BitTorrent, and I’ve come up on one point that I remember well, but which was never adequately explained for people. That was the controversy in 2005 around BitComet and the private flag, especially with version 0.60. It may seem an odd time, almost 10 years later, but it’s actually a key part of the history of Bittorrent, and one that’s always been badly reported (if at all).

Continue reading…