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On the UK Gay Marriage consultation

A lot of people got rather upset over the week about the apparent u-turn on the Tory government's commitment to having proper civil marriages for same-sex couples, one that isn't just a stick on, additional relationship form to prevent rocking the boat of more conservative folk. I certainly agree strongly with the trans communities that the plans treat transpeople in an extremely unfair way, invalidating previous marriages (one activist describes it as "confiscating") on transition and refusing to re-recognise their marriages after transition is complete. However, there are fundamental flaws to the whole gay marriage argument that totally disregards more vulnerable LGBT people and more importantly, turns a blind eye to the problems still experienced by gay folk in general.

There is a misconception out there that people "gain rights" by marriage. This is not the case: ask any hetero couple and they will tell you that certain responsiblities are conferred a…

Trolls, Sock Puppets and IP Addresses

A bit more than 20 years ago, a very decent old college friend got a series of nuisance calls regularly on the phone.  As her old man worked in Telecom, it seemed the most sensible thing to do to complain to the Poll-Iss, get the number traced and catch the vagabond with nothing better to do.  Surprisingly enough, it turned out to be a kid on the same street.  I think he WAS actually charged, at least for a minor offence anyway.

I also recall the total persecution we as kids inflicted on one poor lady Muinteoir who lived next door to my Mum's good Irish Countrywomens Association friend.  The teacher was the constant victim of what in Dublin we call "knick knacks" - basically knocking on the door and running away.  After being tortured at school, eventually it followed her home.  Except that there wasn't a kid in the school, myself included, who could resist the urge to take even a tiny tap on the way by and flee.  Nowadays I guess you'd have security cameras or s…

SysAdmin 101: Typical Power related symptoms - or TG4s Leinstergate for Dummies

If you are a sysadmin, and probably on call for at least some nights and weekends, one thing you need to learn very fast is about data centre problems, hardware problems and typical patterns.

Basically power and network problems have very similar symptoms.  If you've got a multi-level service or application that maybe consists of a database sitting on a Linux or Unix cluster, served out by a Windows cluster based application, all of it sitting on shared storage, you'll see typical alert patterns.

Power:
When power fails, you generally notice two things - everybody, everything loses access.  Applications elsewhere that depend on this or monitor it go ballistic.  Network alerts indicate loss of link.  This is important for the next type of alert.  Users cannot access the application, but this often is secondary to the fact that they are scrambling with their powered down PCs in the dark anyway.  Some data centres may go into generator modes as secondary power kicks in.  With th…

10 Films I love

In no particular order

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the desertThe MissionVertigoDr Zhivago (David Lean's version)Barry LyndonGoldfingerA Clockwork OrangeDon't Look NowSweet CharityThe Producers (1968 version) A few others I toyed with including were A Room with a View, 2001: A Space Odessey, Bladerunner, The Fifth Element, La Cage aux Folles, Torch Song Trilogy, Quadrophenia, Velvet Goldmine, Ghandi, The Matrix, The Italian Job, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Naked Lunch, Its All Gone Pete Tong, Walk on Water, The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Heavenly Creatures, Some Like it Hot.
The list is interesting.  I definitely have a penchant for the following: gay filmslarge scale epicsfilms from about 1965 to about 1985films set in Italymusicals and films about music I definitely seem to shy away from the dominant US-based film set. I definitely am not pushed by war, violent, slapstick, gangster or most horror of thrillers. My sci fi tastes are very much not in the h…

self portrait

Image
self portrait
Originally uploaded by lff12

Why Plan B is just wrong

I notice "Claiming Our Future" is now moving on to "plan B."  Plan B, in case you haven't already heard it, is basically a rehash of plan A. I.e. hands off our fat cat public sector and semi-state/grant-aided salaries.
This time though, the attack is on "austerity."  This is terribly trendy nowadays.  What "austerity" really is, is not spending money you don't have.  Of course, what COF wants the government to do, is to dip even deeper into the private sector pension fund and national pension reserve, and spend spend spend.  On themselves of course, to keep their salaries bloated.  Its laughable, because they really should be called "stealing YOUR future" because its younger people whose future they are mortgaging to the hilt to pay for their fat cat lifestyles.

Nothing to see here, move along now.

Ireland & the Global meltdown: a reading list

Global Meltdown for Dummies: A reading list

It struck me very strongly while listening to the "debates" on the Fiscal Treaty in Ireland that many people not only just don't understand the mechanics of what has happened over the last 10 years, they are also a year or two out of date. This is being readily exploited by political groups and other lobbies who are attempting to manipulate public concern for their own ends. The rise of Sinn Fein IRA is a particularly dangerous manifestation of this, and for this reason, I think people need to make a better effort to inform themselves.

Sadly, much of the Irish commentary has been as exploitative as the politicans: once excellent commentators such as Shane Ross, David McWilliams and Eddie Hobbs are not as transparent as they once were. Hobbs remains the most pragmatic of the 3, he is upfront about his own fee based practice, although I would treat his investment advice with a pinch of salt. (Not that he is wrong, but don't…

The Referendum

I have to admit I've entirely switched off on via so called fiscal treaty. Yet I will most definitely be voting in favour of it. Why? Because I believe we should not spend so much money that we have to borrow so much in the first place.Paying secretaries in the public sector a premium of 50% just for being there, the legendary salary markups in the energy companies, the absence of a real performance assessment, these have driven costs to unsustainable proportions.
For those working in that sector, the best reality they can hope for is a pay freeze lasting 10 years or less.As for the nonsense of a so called stimulus package, every single stimulus in the world has been a failure and just added more debt to be paid off by future generations. The sad reality is that pumping any extra cash into the current system will go to the winners, not those who actually need it.Finally, I question the integrity of the anti treaty organisations. Don't start me on libertas, they are just so cr…

10 Things I hate about dating

I have 10 gripes.



1. Having no real profile to speak of, or one that indicates your only interest is watching TV

2. Having no photo, and refusing to send one on when asked nicely

3. Profiles that indicate a cultlike committment to the ghetto that is dyke culture - with only interests being the L Word and Lip Service, and only pubs visited gay bars

4. Text speak, bad spelling and misuse of punctuation, or worst of all, no punctuation at all so every single paragraph sounds like one long sentence which ultimate sounds like the rantings of a psychotic madwoman which is probably what you are anyway

5. Photographs of pets, nature, soft toys, cars, sunsets. Especially annoying is ones you didn't take yourself.

6. Very obvious pervs. There are other sites for you. Go find.

7. Chatting incessantly for months, even years without ever agreeing to meet. Thats just time wasting.

8. Sending on your google talk, windows live or email information because you are too stingy to par for the site y…

Pervs

Reading some Susie Bright, I have to say that I really enjoy her work. And while I gotta say, I'm 100 per cent not anti-male per se, but I do think she slightly misses the point on male perverts who are obsessive about gay women. Ok, I also strongly believe that such a position isn't biologically determined, or even "normal", but the product of several decades of persistent brainwashing from the mainstream porn industry, trying to differentiate itself from what is a terribly common product.
The reason I feel this way is because I remember male reactions of 20 to 25 years ago. Disgust, a real threat to their masculine identities, and pity were common. This gradually gave way to the internet pervert. Guiltily wanking away while imitating female behaviour, it has - sadly - become the norm now for most gay women online to assume that any overt sexual overture is coming from a pathetic, lonely, 60 year old male with the maturity of a 12 year old. This is a shame, bec…

The joy of 3g

I recently moved home, and am delighted to say that after 13 years of suffering am overjoyed to at last free myself of the shackles of Eircom (or eirCon as they are better called).  For the last 20 years since Ireland's pretend deregulation started, eircom have not only continued to gouge the public with the most expensive and most backward telecoms in Europe (my former client, who shalll not be named, was horrified to discover that an identical network line costs 10 times more down South than up North - if ever there was a case against reunification, this has to be it).  The worst for techies like myself has been not only the dearth of networked services, and their extreme costs, which as above, run into multiples of identical services in other countries, but also non availability and quite frankly, shite quality of existing services.Back in my last years in Cork, when I had to have home broadband in order to work on call rotas, I was shackled to eircon for home phone.  In those …

The High Dependency Support model

Its not often I talk about work, as my clients and their clients identities need to be respected and confidentiality kept to, but I can't really help discussing the problems of the models we have come to know and love.

Many companies now, in terms of IT support, follow either the broad ISO20000/ITIL model or some form of similar models. Whats really critical, however, is not your model, but that what you use and pay for not only covers your needs and your customers needs, but has sufficient and appropriate support, whether you provide it through your own staff or buy the services elsewhere. Training and education is also very important, and I cannot stress enough the criticality of managing your estate in realtime, with full, up-to-date support contracts, proper cover for critical applications and services, and that your staff, contractors and external providers are kept informed on these and any changes.

Its not difficult to implement a proper change control process. Many years a…