[sticky entry] Sticky: PSA: Using OpenID

Jan. 8th, 2020 03:36 pm
pseudomonas: Dragon from BL manuscript of C14 French Ḥumash (Default)
If you just have a LiveJournal account and want to leave comments on my Dreamwidth journal or (assuming I've authorised you) read locked entries, you can do that without giving Dreamwidth a password or any personal information except an email address. Here's how:

1. Go to the main Dreamwidth page
2. Follow the "Log In with OpenID" link
3. In the "Your OpenID URL" box, put yourusername.livejournal.com. For example, if I wanted to log in with my LiveJournal account, I would type "pseudomonas.livejournal.com".
4. Click Login.
5. Click "Yes, just this time" or "Yes, always" when LiveJournal asks if you want to validate your identity.
6. The first time you log in, you'll see a message "Please set and confirm your email address". Click the "set" link and follow the instructions.
7. You'll get an email from Dreamwidth containing a link. Follow the link to confirm your email address.
8. Follow the instructions. You should now be able to leave comments.

(text stolen from [personal profile] tim)

Dreamwidth's privacy policy

Alternatively, if you want a DW invite code, I have plenty, even if I don't know you, just click on HYAT7NJCGVFWZAAAAHGP - no need to ask permission - and comment here (screened) afterwards to let me know so I can put a new one up.


Nov. 7th, 2014 02:03 pm
pseudomonas: (eyebrow)
Copied from a rantlet I made in a comment elsenet, agreeing with the proposition that the "tomatoes aren't really vegetables" is just silly

I get really* cross about the fruit/veg thing

a) Clearly (to my eyes) the botanic definition of a fruit is only tangentially relevant to the culinary definition. We can do this. We have polysemy, we have shades of meaning. It's OK.

b) Even if the botanic definition were useful, why would "fruit" not then be a subset of "vegetable" (which would presumably be defined as something like "all edible plant (or plant-and-fungal) matter")?

c) Even if fruit were not a subset of vegetables, why on earth would you assume that fruit and vegetables have got to be disjoint? Just a miserably narrow gastronomic outlook?

d) Why do people always go on about tomatoes, and not cucumbers, mange-tout, pumpkins, courgettes, aubergines, rhubarb, and so forth?

* for a small value of "really"
pseudomonas: Dragon from BL manuscript of C14 French Ḥumash (Default)
[[Category:Things You Can Do With A Bassoon]]

(there is a somewhat more sedate interpretation here)
pseudomonas: Dragon from BL manuscript of C14 French Ḥumash (Default)
How good one feels when one is full — how satisfied with ourselves and with the world! People who have tried it, tell me that a clear conscience makes you very happy and contented; but a full stomach does the business quite as well, and is cheaper, and more easily obtained. One feels so forgiving and generous after a substantial and well-digested meal — so noble-minded, so kindly-hearted.

It is very strange, this domination of our intellect by our digestive organs. We cannot work, we cannot think, unless our stomach wills so. It dictates to us our emotions, our passions. After eggs and bacon, it says, “Work!” After beefsteak and porter, it says, “Sleep!” After a cup of tea (two spoonsful for each cup, and don’t let it stand more than three minutes), it says to the brain, “Now, rise, and show your strength. Be eloquent, and deep, and tender; see, with a clear eye, into Nature and into life; spread your white wings of quivering thought, and soar, a god-like spirit, over the whirling world beneath you, up through long lanes of flaming stars to the gates of eternity!”

After hot muffins, it says, “Be dull and soulless, like a beast of the field — a brainless animal, with listless eye, unlit by any ray of fancy, or of hope, or fear, or love, or life.” And after brandy, taken in sufficient quantity, it says, “Now, come, fool, grin and tumble, that your fellow-men may laugh — drivel in folly, and splutter in senseless sounds, and show what a helpless ninny is poor man whose wit and will are drowned, like kittens, side by side, in half an inch of alcohol.”

Jerome K Jerome
pseudomonas: "Cambridge" in London Underground roundel (cam)
So, does anyone know anyone who might be interested in renting a nice two-bedroom (or one-bedroom, one-study) flat off Histon Road in Cambridge from about the end of September/beginning of October? (I'd much rather let to a friend or friend-of-friend, and I'd rather not have to deal with any Bastard Letting Agencies).


Apr. 23rd, 2014 11:41 am
pseudomonas: Dragon from BL manuscript of C14 French Ḥumash (Default)
It has been pointed out that today is not ecclesiastically speaking St George's day. The dragon breathes easier.

dragon safely in mug of tea


Apr. 6th, 2014 08:02 pm
pseudomonas: Dragon from BL manuscript of C14 French Ḥumash (Default)
I found out last week there was a Welsh dinosaur called Pantydraco. How could any red-blooded pun-prone Anglophone resist?

pseudomonas: Dragon from BL manuscript of C14 French Ḥumash (Default)
I wonder if my reaction to sniffing noises constitutes misophonia*. Basically, the sound of someone sitting there sniffling (for instance when they have a cold but no tissues) brings out approximately the same level of reaction in me as the sound of someone retching continuously does in (as I understand it) more or less everyone. Headphones & loud music are quite useful when it's a colleague sitting at the next desk :(

*Not to be confused with misophagia, which is eating tasty tasty fermented soya and rice paste.
pseudomonas: Dragon from BL manuscript of C14 French Ḥumash (Default)
Bit of a long shot but: I might be shaving the biggest yak ever by building a better spell-checker. Does anyone know any good resources (reviews, research, whatever) into what the current state of the art of spell-checking is?
pseudomonas: Dragon from BL manuscript of C14 French Ḥumash (Default)
Is there a website which rates consumer-grade router/modems by how few known vulnerabilities they have (or are estimated to have by people who know about estimating This Kind Of Thing) and how quickly patched they are?
pseudomonas: Dragon from BL manuscript of C14 French Ḥumash (Default)
Yesterday I went to my GP surgery for a routine appointment. Since I was there anyway I asked to opt out1 from care.data (FAQ).

I found that:
* my GP surgery had never heard of care.data.
* they assured me that they would never share my details without my explicit consent
* they were rather shocked when I showed them the leaflet that I'd had through the door. The reception manager I spoke to hadn't had a leaflet through her own door.
* they'd not had any training or guidance on how to deal with people who wanted to opt out.

Worse still:
* for people that had asked to opt out, they'd been opting them out of summary care records2 instead. I discovered this when they gave me a form to opt out of that, and insisted that this must be the thing I'd been referring to. I do not want to opt out of summary care records.

I have submitted an FOI request to the Department of Health here.

ETA: I have contacted the HSCIC on 0845 3006016 and reported the matter; they will contact my GP. Please do the same if you find another GP practice that's not been informed.


1 I don't think that the scheme is awful in principle; I'm basically pro medical data being used to improve future healthcare (after all, that's kinda my job) — but I'd rather not be an early-adopter until I've had time to research more about the implementation details.
2 Summary care records enable electronic sharing of medical details between clinicians.

Comments note: I really don't want this to turn into a discussion on whether it's right that medical records can be used for research on an opt-out basis or whether Jeremy Hunt is the Antichrist; there are plenty of other fora discussing that. I'm concerned with the implementation of the opting-out here.


Jan. 26th, 2014 02:37 pm
pseudomonas: Dragon from BL manuscript of C14 French Ḥumash (Humash)
This icon is from this page of a C14 pentateuch with Onkelos' commentary in the left margin. The text is Genesis 25; the dragon sits atop verse 19 which has nothing whatever to do with dragons; its tail holds the first word of the verse ("and these").

Thanks to the British Library for releasing many of its images under a Public Domain "license"! (non-binding but polite reuse request)
pseudomonas: Dragon from BL manuscript of C14 French Ḥumash (Default)
I have been playing around with word lists and scansion, and getting into double-dactylic words. Having noticed "chirrupy" and "syrupy", I thought a one-word-per-line verse was indicated.


Chickily, stickily,
Hydrophilicity —
pseudomonas: Dragon from BL manuscript of C14 French Ḥumash (Default)
Little aubergines, on the hillside; little aubergines made of aubergine;
Little aubergines, on the hillside; little aubergines all the same;
There's a purple one and a purple one and a purple one and a purple one
And they're all made out of aubergine and they all look just the same.
(repeat until asleep)
pseudomonas: Dragon from BL manuscript of C14 French Ḥumash (Default)
O2, in common with just about all mobile companies, has blocking. Unlike most, they helpfully provide a URL checker http://urlchecker.o2.co.uk/ where anyone can check if a URL is blocked. update: that page has been taken down "to ensure it's fit for purpose and provides transparent info to [O2's] customers".

There are three levels of blocking:

Open Access - what people who've asked for "no filtering at all" see.
Default Safety - what people who've signed up without expressing preferences see.
Parental Control - what people who've actively asked for a child-friendly device see.

Now, O2's Parental Control is a funny old thing. It allows http://www.mcdonalds.com but blocks http://www.childline.org. To be honest, it blocks most of the internet apart from a tiny number of mostly corporate sites. It allows amazon.co.uk but blocks amazon.com. We may never know why - this is all done by their unspecified third-party partner (rumour has it that this is probably Symantec).

Wikipedia seems to be an interesting case - it's allowed, but certain pages are blacklisted. This is all done very shoddily, if the URL checker is to be believed. So https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penis is blocked but https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penises is allowed, even though they both go to the same damn page1 Also, they block Penis but fail to block Clitoris2

The choice of which pages to block on Wikipedia is interesting. A bit of playing around revealed that there wasn't much consistency; it looked like, rather than applying a classifier to every page, someone had made a list of a few pages with titles that seemed dodgy to them, and had called it a day. This seemed an ideal opportunity to find out what the spirit was behind the blocking, especially since they kindly tell us what the category of nastiness is.

Wikipedia has a nice list of the 5000 most visited pages. I ran them through the checker3 and made a list of the aberrations, sorted by category. Pages in more than one category will appear twice; if they're blocked in one and not in the other, they're still blocked to the user.

cut for longish table )

Notice that their "lifestyles" category has only three items within the top 5000 Wikipedia pages4. What these have in common is left as an exercise for the reader. Whether that falls foul of the Equality Act 2010 is left as an exercise for the reader who knows about English law.

Notice also that for instance the list does not include the following top-5000 pages: Asexuality, Celebrity_sex_tape, Child_pornography, Homosexuality, Human_sexuality, List_of_female_porn_stars, List_of_Masters_of_Sex_episodes, List_of_pornographic_actresses_by_decade, Masters_of_Sex, Pansexuality, Pornhub, Pornographic_film_actor, Pornographic_film, Pornography, Revenge_porn, Same-sex_marriage, Same-sex_marriage_in_the_United_States, Sex, Unsimulated_sex, YouPorn ... and that's just in the top 5000 out of 4 million. Anyone who thinks the filter is effective is going to be very disappointed. And those are just some of the sex-related pages - they make no attempt to block pages about war, death, torture, or other potentially distressing subjects. Again, speculation about the mindset behind this is left to the reader.

This all reflects very badly on O2; but I think we should assume that the other ISPs are every bit as incompetent, until they present us with evidence to the contrary.

If anyone would like to help me with a similar but more extensive project for TalkTalk, BT or Sky, has a line with one of those ISPs, a willingness to give me SSH access to something at your end (probably helps with that bit if you're a wee bit tech-y), and a preparedness to turn the dreaded filters on for a bit, please let me know in the comments.

I've been ranting about this at more length at [twitter.com profile] pseudomonas


1 Note as an aside that the URL checker claims to be able to tell the difference between the two httpS URLs. This is very worrying if it's true, but my suspicion is that it's not and the URL checker is just shoddily written and assuming they're plain http.
2 Perhaps because they had problems finding it.
3 Actually, I misinterpreted how the URL checker dealt with encoding and ones with brackets, punctuation, apostrophes, and diacritics got skipped. Sorry.
4 Since you asked and to save you a click or two, "Bisexual" isn't in the top-5000 list of pages, but that Wikipedia page is indeed classified as "lifestyle".
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