Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Babies and the common cold don't mix

My son Gabriel has had the pleasure of a cold for the last week, and it's certainly made him a miserable little bugger. And who can blame him - I've had (one assumes) the same cold, and it's made me a miserable big bugger, along with laying me out for the weekend. If my mother had not been visiting, I think we'd have had the archetypal weekend from hell.

Two things have been cycling through my addled brain all weekend. One - who the hell did I catch the cold from? Two - what is it that makes it socially acceptable to go out amongst the masses and spread your fsking plague germs around so that I end up catching your lurgy?

There's a few culprits, starting with my wife's mother who was so desparate to see her new grandchild that she came to the post natal ward in a flu mask "so that she wouldn't spread her cold". Not subtle! Then there's the selection of scummers and vagrants who travel on my beloved no. 50 into the centre of Brighton. Coughing your lungs up over the seats in front of you seems to be jeu du jour.

Of course, even in my workplace which is populated with intelligent hardworking folks, there's a collection of people who simply must attend even though they are visibly leaking fluids.

One would surmise that the elementary mathematics (1 person off for 5 days = 5 days of productivity lost; 1 person off 2 days, spreads cold to remaining 30 staff, who are each off for two days before struggling back in to work = 62 days of productivity lost) would be enough to persuade firms to persuade their employees to stay the hell away.

Are the lemsip adverts really that convincing? or is it the stories of doom and gloom in the Daily Mail about how many millions of pounds are lost every year to people pulling sickies?

Whatever the reason, one of you bastards gave me and my son their cold. Shame on you.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Junk DNA is IP circumvention

Postulate one: while in the process of copying (or otherwise cloning) coded media, one can state that some minimal subset of the whole (not necessarily a workable subset of the whole) cannot constitute a meaningful proportion of the original media, meaning that it cannot be classed as a copy. Take the canonical case of a single bit of a movie file. At some point, the sliding window will represent some meaningful proportion of the original work, much like a collection of grains of sand becomes a heap, but there is established law in many societies that dictates fair use cases of subsets of media considerably larger than a single bit.

Postulate two: one can create a second work, larger than the original coded media, but containing the original coded media. If large enough, the original coded media can be contained in a form that is difficult or expensive to extract without relevant information, and potentially virtually invisible without relevant information.

Postulate three: if one exposes the entirety of the second work, yet restricts the relevant result of a copy or clone to only the sections of the media that correspond to the first work, then one can be said to have not copied the second work at all (by only allowing a restictive selection) but actually given access to the entirety of the first work.

Is junk DNA an IP circumvention mechanism?