Unfortunately, upgrading to SHA-256 certificates will break Internet Explorer on pre-SP3 versions of XP in a horrible way. Users will get the IE Generic Page of Awfulness, making it look like your site is down.
On 16th June 2014, the Scottish Government finally released a draft copy of the Scottish Independence Bill. The Bill contains a copy of the transitional constitution for an independent Scotland, which is full of interesting stuff. I’ll try to pick out what I think are the most important bits of the Bill and comment on each one. I’ve abbreviated some extracts where the content is technical or just not very interesting. Despite that, this is a very long post. Don’t feel like you have to read the whole thing!
For the impatient, here’s what I found most interesting:
‘The people are sovereign’—sounds great, but doesn’t mean much
Parliament’s power to legislate is ‘subject to the constitution’—but it’s not clear what happens when it does something unconstitutional
Parliament is required to try and get nuclear weapons out of Scotland
In a fight between domestic and EU law, the EU always wins
Scots law which isn’t compatible with the ECHR is automatically ineffective
Most notably: there’s no indication as to how the constitution can be changed (other than by the people that are writing the permanent one)
Of course, fundamentally this document is all about votes: the referendum isn’t far away, and there are clearly clauses here that are designed to secure votes from particular people. I’ve tried to stay away from the politics as much as possible to concentrate on the law. Continue reading →
Recently I’ve noticed that, every so often, my iPhone spontaneously opens the app store page for some stupid game or other. It’s usually when I’m reading a blog with advertising on it, or looking at pictures of kittens. Sometimes it happens from Safari, and sometimes from apps serving their own content. It seems that I’m not aloneinfinding this annoying, and it looks like it may affect Android devices too. Worried (as others are) that this might be some novel strain of malware, I decided to do a bit of digging, which revealed that one of the embedded advertising networks is being an arsehole. Continue reading →
I’ve always had a latent interest in the law. Ever since my political awakening I’ve been fascinated by the invisible tendrils of a strange and powerful system that reaches into every aspect of life. It seems bizarre that only in recent years have its layers of rules, proceduresanddecisions been open to easy inspection. As a layperson I was attracted by the apparent cold logic of it all: every situation gets reduced to a result that is absolutely and provably correct and consistent (of course this is wrong, but more of that later).
For your amusement and, well, further amusement, I present a selection of feedback I’ve received on my little diatribe. Some are extracts from published comments, while others are drawn from those that fell below my very low standards for approval (mainly where a fake or invalid email address was given). Although I can’t claim to receive hate mail that ranks high on the Dawkins scale of fuckwittery, I hope this little selection makes for a smile or two.
I just wanted to warn all of my friends about something that has been occuring more and more lately, all through out the country. Groups of teenagers have been caught, in alarming numbers, playing a new and dangerous game called Spunkball. Spunkball consists of a group of teens in a car pulling up to a stop light, and looking around for a car stopped near by with an open window. When one is spotted, the teens shout, “Spunkball”, and throw a gasoline soaked rag that has been wrapped in aluminum foil threw the open window. On the outside of the foil is attatched a small fire cracker, with the fuse lit. When the fire cracker explodes, it shreds the foil, and the rag is ignited, causing a large flame that may catch the interior of the car on fire. Spunkball playing has already claimed two lives, caused uncountable injuries due to burns, and caused thousands of dollars in damage to automobiles. The best defense, say authorities, is to keep all windows rolled up when stopped at traffic lights, as only cars with windows down are being targeted.