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the foobar zone

The foobar zone is Nick Hilliard's home page. Here are some photos in case we meet some day.

  • Cooking some tasty sauce in Schull, West Cork, mid 1996, while on a fateful week-end away with friends.
  • Sitting on a bridge in Venice, late 1996. The bridge was not entirely comfortable.

The Fall of the House of Quinn

Driving up the N3, it was once hard not to be in awe at the scale of the Quinn empire. From Blanchardstown to Enniskillen, Sean Quinn's mark was never far away. Whether wind farms outside Ballyconnell, the corporate office in Dublin, the massive cement and glass campus outside Derrylin, or the insurance headquarters in Cavan town, his contribution to the economies of four entire counties was profound.

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Social tracking on the Internet

I recently watched Gary Kovacs' TED fascinating talk on web tracking. He's the CEO of the Mozilla Corporation.

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Fear and Loathing in the DNS

It's only occasionally that an article crops up which is so completely clueless that my hackles are raised. But some drivel in the online issue of The Weekly Standard has really hit rock bottom in terms of factual inaccuracy, idiotic bias and nationalistic tunnel-vision.

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Time Machine Backups to a Network Disk

Apple's Time Machine is a great system for managing client backups in a sensible way. Problem is, it depends on connectivity to a locally mounted disk, which doesn't really suit me. The reason it doesn't suit is because I don't want the constant hum of an extra disk drive while I'm working. Extra noise is bad. It also costs more to run, given that I have one or two servers powered up anyway.

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The Collapse in the Irish Housing Market

Like most of the rest of the country, I'm going to admit to having some pretty serious levels of scorn for the housing economics pundits - ok, so it's shooting fish in a barrel. I know.  But listening to all this trash on the airwaves about a slowdown here, and deterioration in market conditions there just makes my eyes roll. 

It's not a slowdown, or a deterioration or any other euphemism. It's collapse: complete and total collapse.

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Outlook IMAP error 0x8004DF0B

Microsoft Outlook 2003 Error 0x8004DF0B has been plagueing me for a long time.  I have a couple of clients using Outlook in a bunch of different offices, and connecting into more-or-less out-of-the-box Courier IMAP setups on FreeBSD, with client SSL enabled for both inbound (imaps) and outbound email (both smtp with starttls and Outlook's poxy smtps/465).

The problems started when I installed NOD32 Antivirus. On a fairly regular basis, the Outlook installation would start reporting the following error:

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When Regular Expression Filters Go Bad

Oops, Cisco rightly messed up this morning by publishing the home page of their web site without the letter 't'.  It's amusing enough to see their opinions on a "Daa Cener", but this was one better: the entire HTML source for the page was buggered up, not just the visible text.  Stylesheets went missing, images failed to load, links didn't work.

Of course, Cisco aren't exactly saying a whole lot about why this happened, but I'd give a fair guess that some poor webmonkey messed up a regular expression on some whole page output filter.  Oh dear.

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Terrorism link in bus depot fire shocker

I mean, what are these goddamn news agencies talking about in their stories about a fire in a bus depot, that makes it necessary to bring in the terrorist aspect?

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James Watson opens mouth, inserts foot - again

Looks like Jim Watson, Nobel laureate, has put his foot in it once more, this time for airing his views that black people are less intelligent than white. Oh dear. All scientists are nutters, aren't they?

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by Dr. Radut