Thursday, October 25, 2012

At what age does prejudice start ?

Prejudice based on colour, class, disability, gender, looks, etc. At what age does it start?

Have a think about the prejudices you have today, the ones you inherited, the ones you suppress. I have them, I suppress them and feel they are wrong, but the programming is deep and goes back a long way, they are hard to recode. Think back to the age at which you acquired them, the times since then they were reinforced by adults.

To date, I have not seen such prejudice surface in the kids, they are young and it is refreshing to see them deal with everyone on equal terms. No doubt they will be exposed to some of my prejudices against politicians, estate agents, council officials and I very much hope they will be saved from exposure to the prejudices that I was exposed to in my formative years ( 8-18) around sexuality, race and class, which I have tried to exorcise from my being in my own falible way.

To me this is evidence that prejudice is environmental, not inevitable and it is our responsibilityas to what goes into that environment.

The next 5 years will be interesting to observe.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Who is at the centre of on line cookies

Having had Satallite broadband for 2 weeks now, I have become somewhat more aware of web browsing latency and I came across Firefox Collision. The image below is after about 10 days of browsing, visiting sites like Amazon, ebay, bbc, blogspot, typepad, etc all.

So who is at the centre of the part of the web in the lower right hand middle? A little more about them here.

Cookies are typically small, so I doubt they are soaking up much of my bandwidth, but I am paying a latency penalty as these cookies are downloaded, I have to wait as the packets do the 160,000 mile round trip (or there abouts).

Next step in the quest to improve latency is to block these people out. Seems there is a firefox plugin on the way, but will look for something else.

Some of the suggestions from googling "firefox speedup" have made a bit more improvement in browser performance. Had to get a accurate handle on which ones when you do them all at once and Firefox performance is highly subjective.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Satallite of love

Nothing to do with Lou Reed, but I really like our new place. Apart from the long term potential for salt damage and being face on to the prevailing wind, there is much to like. However, Broadband speed is beyond poor. So we now have in place 2 of the 3 elements which makes it viable to live and work from home in 2012.

  • 0.5 MB ADSL from our friends at B.T. Yes, you did say we would get 3MB and you have said sorry for being a little off the mark. And we know the money that you are getting from WAG for super fast broadband will make zero, zilch difference to the speed of our broadband. This does home phone and VPN sunray connection. Sunray is fine over this once it is logged in.
  • 0.5 MB ADSL business line from our friends at B.T. if they can ever get it working. Only been 4 weeks now. Will do voice and Vodafone Suresignal over this, plus a backup for vpn (not highly available as it is over the same pair of wires)
  • 8MB over Broadbandwherever Satalite Broadband which we have had for 2 weeks now used my the boss and myself for email, web, etc. 20 notes a month plus 600 quid for install which Welsh Assembly Government paid for. 
 So we can manage. The Satalite can't do vpn, so in effect it is not usable for real business use. I can't understand why WAG pay up for it, rather than hold B.T.'s toes to the fire.

What I have learend about Satallite is
  1. Don't even think of using it on Saturday morning, it never works
  2. Open up your TCP buffers. On OSX this was easy to find via Google, but well worth it
    • kern.ipc.maxsockbuf=16777216
    • net.inet.tcp.sendspace=1048576
    • net.inet.tcp.recvspace=1048576
  3. Install the satspeed plugin for firefox (and move to firefox from Chrome et al).
The last one makes a big difference.

Our next step is once the fast roll out happens sometime in the next 3 years is to find someone who gets fast broadband from B.T., offer to pay for their boardband and set up a wireless link (will need line of sight). So if you live in south Aberaeron, can see Aberystwyth from your house and want your Broadband paid for, give us a shout. Assumes fast broadband makes it to Aberaeron.

Meeting a candidate for the position of Police Commisioner

My 1st impressions were  very disappointing on meeting Christopher Salmon, the Conservative candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner for Dyfed Powys. My illusion was shattered that I would be meeting a character similar to Commissioner Gordon from the late 1960's Batman series that Andrew (currently 6) has been watching.  Maybe Christopher will evolve into that sort of character, if elected, and get a red telephone.

Actually I was very impressed by the man. He gets that there are problems in the way the police and public interact and appears to have a balanced view of both sides, being pro-police and pro-public while understanding the police have a very hard job to do and some members of the pubic can be real >insert appropriate phrase here<.

He seems to be modest, approachable, unassuming, interested in your story and perspective. Clearly the Commissioner role is political, but I am not convinced it needs to be party political role, indeed it is clear that no one really understands nationally how this role will fill out. Christopher  came across as liberal rural Conservative. One of my criticisms of the majority of local(and possibly national) politicians is their lack of experience of the wider world, not having been out and about. In my book, someone who has been an officer in the British Army in Northern Ireland, Kosovo and Iraq qualifies as having been out and about.

If he had stood as an independent candidate, I would be voting for him without a 2nd thought. The Thatcher legacy of the 1980's still seriously colours my voting judgement. That said Gordon and Tony had a similar impact for different reasons on my attitude to voting Labour, they were no less arrogant in their own way.

I have not meet the competition for the post of Commissioner, but by web footprint they seem to be a far more political individual and   does not seem to have a great track record of achievement. Her background as a Council Development Officer does not count as "having been out and about".

I know I have said for many years I would rather die in a ditch than vote Conservative. It might well be the ditch for me next month. So I hope Christopher gets the red phone, but the big difference with his late 60's parody  counterpart is that he would get to decide who the bat-person at the other end of the phone is.

To balance things out in party terms, I meet Paul James on Thursday who by reputation and word on the street is one of the hardest working and best liked councilors by those he represents. Nice chap.