Sequences game

I made a new game for by website at http://mathewpeet.org/, you can play [here].

In the game you have to say what is missing from the sequence presented to you.

I will be grateful for any suggestions for sequences I can add.

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Microsoft propose internet license

Microsoft have proposed that governments should introduce licensing for internet use. I see this as an admission from Microsoft that they are not able (or willing) to write a secure operating system. Companies and individuals should consider migrating to alternative systems.

Either that, or they have a thing against free speech.

Google search “Islam is…” Censored?

I wanted to add this as a comment to the blog posting at Science Blogs: Pharyngula but I can’t comment there with out registering (as I found after typing out the reply as I have written below).

The story points out that after typing “Christianity is”, “Hinduism is”, “Atheism is” etc in the google search field, will result in a list of further options, some of which are negative, however for “Islam is” this doesn’t occur.

The author claims that google is being sensitive about Islam, however I think the problem may be more to do with the difficulty of guessing what it is people want to search for.

To quote what I wanted to post:

Hi, interesting, but…

I think this is more to do with the word is and the ending ist.

With my spelling “Islam is” could well be confused with “Islamist”.

It seems any word I tried which can have an “ist” ending has this problem. Doesn’t seem to be censorship, nothing to see here, move along please.

Here is an example, try typing “Alarm is” and you run into the same problem.

You can find a list of words ending ist by searching the web. I think any of these that are also words without ist will exhibit the same behaviour.

Examples with no suggestions from google.com:
Absurd is
Alarm is
Anticapital is
Cornet is
Czar is

These words have results with is and with ist ending.
Consumer is
Creation is
Dada is
Defeat is
F is
Governmental is
L is
M is

This word suggests results that don’t have ‘is’
Chart is — this suggests Chartism and other results (Nothing ‘Chart is …’)
Dual is
Gradual is
Harp is
Ideal is
Ocult is

Find any more examples?

check_html_recursive script to check website html validity

I made a dodgy bash script to check the validity of the web pages on my site http://mathewpeet.org. There is probably a better way to do this since the validator is open source, but I couldn’t see how it worked easily, any advice there welcome.

The script makes a list of directories under the root directory specified and then checks index.html in each directory according to w3.org validator. Status of each file is printed to screen, and error reports are sent to a readable text file.

These are the contents of the file check_html_recursive ;

#!/bin/bash
# Copyright Mathew Peet 2009, please use and modify
# but leave some credit
#This script checks if the pages are valid html or not, and puts errors in ~/bin/errors.txt

myfiles=`find ~/www/mathewpeet.org/ -name 'content' -exec dirname {} \;`
#myfiles="/home/user/public_html/"
for x in $myfiles
 do 
    y=`echo ${x:32}`       #takes sting after nth character
    echo checking index in $y directory
    `w3m -dump http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http://mathewpeet.org/$y/ > ~/b
in/temp.txt`
    popo=`grep "as XHTML 1.1!" ~/bin/temp.txt`
    echo $popo
    opop='Errors found while checking this document as XHTML 1.1!'
    if [ "$popo" != "$opop" ]; then
       echo "ok?!"
    else
      `cat ~/bin/temp.txt >> ~/bin/errors.txt`
       echo "$y/index.html does not validate as XHTML 1.1"
    fi
    echo ""
 done
echo "Any reported errors written to ~/bin/errors.txt (hopefully)"
echo "remove temp.txt"

Honest Spam

I just received the most honest spam, subject line “[[utf-8] Phishing] – You’ve received a question about eBay item: @NEW designer DKNY latest watch with diamond spring 08@ (110243158561)“.

Either this spam is filtered and marked as phishing, but still allowed into my inbox, which I don’t understand.

Or the spammers are really using ‘Phishing’ in their subject line… maybe this saves time in finding people to dupe.

Return of the best computer system?

Could it be true that the amiga is going to return? Amiga Inc are selling a PPC based computer, running amigaOS4. The amiga operating system is one of the lightest systems, and is popular for hand held devices. PPC is one of the most effiecient processors due to it’s reduced instruction set and not being based on x86. PPC was doing very nicely for macintosh until they decided to DUMP it.

For a price tag of $500 dollars maybe some people are going to have a play. One natural market may be the fabled ‘thin client’ since there is a good history of building software layers above the amiga operating system for embedded/handheld systems.

Annoucment discussed on technology news site.

Sadly I’m assuming this is all overhyped and I will be left wondering how it got mentioned on the BBC website. Otherwise i’m ready to buy one, I remember my amiga fondly, that’s were I learnt how to use a mouse.

Read the original announcement from amiga.com Amiga Inc will be making two new machines, one consumer entry with price around $500 and another power design with price around $1500.

How-to Install Openoffice2 on Debian Stable

You are running Debian stable, because you prefer the stable Debian tree. It runs great, there is just one problem: the software is a little bit outdated compared to other distributions. That is where backports come in.

This was something that caused me a great amount of trouble in the past, I worked out how to do this and then the backports site changed shortly afterwards. Now it is fairly simple if you can follow the correct instructions.

You have to follow the instructions link on backports, it’s important not to click on the HOWTO link, because this leads to a blank page, you will then wrongly conclude you aren’t going to find any help.

Using backports.org is very simple:

1. Add this line

deb http://www.backports.org/debian sarge-backports main contrib non-free

to your /etc/apt/sources.list.

2. Run apt-get update

3. All backports are deactivated by default. If you want to install something from backports run:

apt-get -t sarge-backports install “package”

This is a lot better than the previous solution which required the use of pinning for each package you wanted to select, this seemed a lot of bother compared to the usual use of dselect. There are instructions on use of pinning on the backports site.

Now that we know how to install a package, the only problem left is to work out the name of the package that provides openoffice2.

I managed to work out this from reading the Contents of the backports repository in my browser. For i386 architecture this can be done by looking inside this file: http://backports.org/debian/dists/sarge-backports/Contents-i386.gz
The other option is to try and guess the name of the package. 🙂

I should have been able to guess the package name was openoffice.org-common. Which I installed apt-get -t sarge-backports install openoffice.org-common