I am coming round to the view that the Leveson enquiry was a stroke of genius

in a time of endemic stupidly.

Really it has been more successful that I could possibly have hoped, and not just in a criminal justice sense.

I think one of the un-anticipated legislative changes for the future will be vehicle and driving licensing

So below are a bunch of links that have some details about recent-ish autonomous and integrated driving technologies.
Each individually is interesting, Volvo working on mesh networks to provide "Linked" vehicles, google is developing autonomous vehicle decision making and route finding, the US Black Box bill makes data collection mandatory, and ubiquitous.

Basically what I am saying, is that TAKEN TOGETHER, all these technologies converge to create a world where in 10 years un-crashable, self driven vehicles are the norm in a crazy futuristic madness. It would be mostly electric, mostly quite boring etc.

But some of the implications are interesting. 

1) How do you steal a car, when all the cars and all their owners know exactly where it is at any time?

2) If its almost impossible to crash, why bother with drink driving laws?

3) Fuck it, might as well let kids drive themselves to school....

123-reg and google reviews, I think someone needs to "Quit making stuff up"

So the 123-reg.co.uk nameservers stopped working for a period today, not totally surprising as they have been pretty poor as a domain host, all things considered.

zero-day exploits, my finest serverfault.com moment (according to the points table)

A question was asked on serverfault about responding to zero-day exploits, and I managed to pitch in with a slightly pontificating answer

However it caused me to hit to 200 a day reputation limit, so it seems it is definitely the sort of thing that chaps on serverfault.com like to read.

So here is my currently highest scoring answer in all its glory...

reverse engineering the placebo effect

I've read about this one a few times before, but this blog chats about some of the studies that suggest various biological pathways involved in producing the placebo effect:
  • Researchers treated a group of people who were expected to show a placebo effect for pain tolerance, except for one important difference: people were also unknowingly administered naloxone. Unlike the first group, the placebo effect on pain tolerance vanished: people did not have a significantly increased pain tolerance.
  • These results suggest that after being “conditioned” with an opiate drug like morphine, people were capable of producing their own natural opiate-like chemicals that bind to some of the same receptors as morphine. These are called the brain’s endogenous opioids, a class that includes well-known natural painkillers like endorphins, which are released for example during exercise.

  • Researchers had known opioids were involved in pain tolerance, but these studies were amongst the first to show they can be involved in the brain’s placebo response to pain.

log-splitting within a virtual-host in apache

If like me, you see nginx as a flash in the pan newcomer (released in 2004) and mod_balancer as entirely everything one would require in a load balancer.

Then you might well have some Apache config files that have grown over the years into vast monstrosities of Alias and ProxyPass, then no-one understands what they all do.

I think the inevitable next step after "cancer management" is cartoonish monstrosities

"First Gene Therapy Successful Against Aging-Associated Decline: Mouse Lifespan Extended Up to 24% With a Single Treatment"

So the future is nearly here. Again. (Its getting boring now. Just tell me when its safe to take up smoking, please.)

Software domains/industries with translatable solutions?

Recently I was looking into some ideas for a project based around the idea of collecting body data from customers, and using it to either generate visualizations of fashion, or to make recommendations based on body-type and fit.

After a bit of research (googling), it was pretty obvious that there is a lot of technology and software around the subject of biomechanical modeling for medical and academic purposes, that might be possible to re-purpose for some retail fashion ends.

If Java and RDBS/SQL are like 2 rival empires, then ORM is the UN.

Or maybe Java and SQL/RDMS are like 2 parents in divorce court, and ORM is their fucked up child?

Responsible adult?

I think someone with some spare time should start a "coalition party" which runs campaigns on the basis that both the conservatives and the labour party are demonstrably incompetent and should be at all times chaperoned by a responsible adult. i.e. Menzies Campbell

What's in a photo?

While doing some research for another blog post it struck me that I could quite unfairly slap-in any image that suited my purposes, but that might display the subject in a quite unflattering light and I have almost unbounded (within the limits of copyright and photoshop) scope for naughtiness.
I've included copies of the images under the principle of "Research and Private study" of Section 29 of CDPA 1988 with links-back and acknowledgement in the Notes & References.)

I started writing some ideas for a post about the first episode of a BBC 4  radio programme called "The prisoner and the Bishop" by the Rt Rev James Jones, the Bishop of Liverpool, and as I've decided on a more structured approach for the article than previous efforts, this involved some research.

In order to create some visual impact I'm going to try to incorporate at least one chart or photo. I also wanted to get a sense of whether the reverend was an old style godist, whether he was Jeans and t-shirts down with the kids type, or some other as yet to be discovered species of senior institutional religionist.

So I proceeded to the web (google image search) to see what was available.

google image search (original)