8 Nov 2001 jtjm   » (Journeyer)


Busy, busy, far too busy, get some discipline into this chap, Sergeant Major... (with apologies to Monty Python for the gratuitous misquote)

Just got back from London (after Lecture by Singh (Code Book) at Royal Institution, meeting with Caspar of the Foundation for Information Policy Research and Greg Taylor of Electronic Frontiers Australia(EFA).

Lecture entertaining/interesting - Singh brought along authentic Enigma machine - first time I've seen one 'in flesh'. Good speaker- nothing really new on Crypto front (except for some details of the Code Book competition had not heard before), as audience presumed not entirely crypto-savvy. Singh gave pretty reasonable response to question about government crypto policy in light of September 11th ("they could ban use of all encryption and still wouldn't stop those who want to hide their activities- they'll just use steganography"). Caspar stunned self, Singh and at least some of audience by revealing (during questions) knowledge of work on quantum crypto that appeared to be news to Singh (or at least different take on a paper he'd heard of). Have to get details for later diary entry.

Learnt much (of workings of Australian and British political systems) from listening to CB and GT's conversation in pub post lecture. Whether feeble excuse for a memory will remember much of it tomorrow remains to be seen.

Campaign for Digital Rights

Returned from London to find 70 KB of IRC logs from tonight's CDR meeting waiting for me. Have skimmed through, and seems owe the collected stalwarts apology for being apparently crap and not getting done (m)any of the things said would at last's week IRC. Basically, had hoped to have some time for CDR last weekend, however, had two days of NTL cable-modem outage whilst on holiday (much of which spent on hold to NTL listening to about 24 bars of 'On Every Street' on loop), which meant the machine I was prepping for FIPR didn't get prepped at all until the morning was supposed to be delivering it. Hoped to finish prepping once it was in place at FIPR's head office, only to lose another day (Friday) when FIPR's ADSL line went down until Saturday morning. Spent Saturday foolishly trying to get 2.4.12-ac6(IIRC) compiled using Woody's default 2.4.12 .config (wanted ext3 support on box), only to discover that the Debian package maintainer had decided the later 2.4.x kernels would use initrd and hadn't bothered to make this obvious. 45 min kernel recompile time eventually forced me to give up on ext3 temporarily (after 3 attempts, fixing what looked the obvious causes for kernel panics of diff. sorts on boot, and much time wasted trying to find convenient docs on how initrd, make-kpkg and cramfs all work together) - so now running default Debian 2.4.12 kernel which for some equally bizarre reason has support for ext3 disabled, despite having every module known to man, and several probably not known to any but the likes of Linus and Alan Cox enabled . Believe have since hit on solution, and will try again when next have hour or two to spare in London.

Then spent Sunday configuring same machine remotely having returned home and grabbed reasonable night's sleep, and got mod_virgule installed on box late Sunday evening as small community/collobaration project management tool designed to assist FIPR in getting its volunteers active and 'gelled' (yeuch! - soap already on way to mouth) quickly. (With thanks to Telsa for patiently showing me round Advogato some weeks ago, without which explanation would probably not have either turned up here or ever realised just how useful mod_virgule could be to any volunteer based org (jury still out on whether will actually take off as hope will with FIPR - there may yet be something special about those gathered here that makes Advogato work but isn't replicated along with code - will let people know what comes of this experiment.

Monday - back to work(Zeus), more configuring of FIPR machine in evening, after great fireworks party at friends house in Cambridge

Tuesday - more work, met v. impressive new volunteer for FIPR in evening. Got some sleep thankfully.

Today, - much work, drove down to London for meeting mentioned above, back late, now writing this instead of going to bed like sensible fellow

Things promised, not yet done, but not forgotten

Links to Andre Hedrick's anti-DRM advocacy on CDR website, page of website for AiboHack (to add Softman-Adobe and European Patent Office 'we don't care what you think, we've just issued EU Directive allowing patents on software, business process, algorithms, wheels and fire, after closed door meetings to which we forgot to invite any but ourselves' revoltingness. Not to mention 110 things for CDR, and almost as many for FIPR.

Anyway -> bed. Need sleep.

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