Craig in feed form

The homepage of Craig Loftus's personal website. Containing a variety of personal creations and recommended items.

Open Data consultations – Answers to the Data... 2011-10-25

I am currently responding to 2 Government public consultations, the Data Policy Consultation on the form and role of the Public Data Corporation and the Making Open Data Real consultation on the "culture of openness and transparency in our public services". In this post I copy my answers to Chapter 4 of the consultation document, on charging for information, this was the section I felt most able to answer. I omit my answers to the other questions as I either skipped them or only gave cursory answers. The answers below are not particularly well considered either, but it felt better to contribute than to sit back and hope for the best.

Changing the S3 bucket region with Déjà Dup... 2011-10-13

Déjà Dup is a simplified back-up tool for Gnome that lets you use a variety of storage options for backing up your computer. However, its handling of Amazon S3 is a little simplistic as it does not let you set the region of the bucket that it will automatically create for you or use a pre-existing bucket. Amazon charges based on where data is sent and got from, so if you do not live in the US Déjà Dup will cost you extra. There is a bug report of course, but that does not seem to be getting attention, so below are instructions for a work around.

Letter to Nicola Blackwood MP on Theresa May’s... 2011-04-01

The following is a copy of the letter I sent to my MP (Nicola Blackwood, CON, Oxford West and Abingdon) regarding the comments in parliament made by Theresa May with regard to the anti-cuts protests in London on 2011-03-26.

Letter to Nicola Blackwood MP on site-blocking proposals... 2011-04-01

The following is a copy of the letter I sent to my MP (Nicola Blackwood, CON, Oxford West and Abingdon) regarding the proposal for a UK version of the US DMCA take-down notices.

Wireless on Shuttle XS35GT with Fedora 13 2010-09-21

Wireless won’t work out of the box on the Shuttle XS35GT with Fedora 13 because it does not include a kernel driver for the Realtek 8171 network controller. The instructions by Bill Giannikos for 8172 and 8192se controllers work for the 8171 as well… using the same driver as in the guide.

Google Books android script 2010-07-29

The script below lets you scan multiple book barcodes and add the books directly to your Google Library.

Digital Economy Bill Letter 2010-03-10

The following is a copy of the letter I sent to my MP regarding the Digital Economy Bill.

UK electricity consumption 2009-07-19

I recently got one of these household electricity display devices things and being the information fiend that I am I've started studiously recording how much electricity I use. That lead to the obvious question, How much is normal electricity consumption in the UK. The Internet did not provide me with reliable and consistent answer to this question, so after not inconsiderable rooting for information, I derived the answer from the most up to date available:

Coroners and Justice Bill: Clause 152 2009-03-03

My letter to my MP, Don Foster, regarding Clause 152 of the Coroners and Justice Bill.

Ever more blind 2009-02-19

For the last few days my eyes have been feeling strained and I've had a constant low-level headache. I'm usually pretty good at knowing what is wrong, and I was sure that my prescription was off.

Robotic shopping 2009-02-04

A new age has dawned. I have just experience my first trip to Sainsburys during which I did not once have to interact with a single pathetic meat bag. Truly the future is upon us. All that is left is for this pathetic meat bag to be replaced with shiny metal shopper-bot.

My first visit to the USA 2008-12-04

I recently visited the United States of America. For as long as I've held opinions on anything, I've said that US was somewhere I would be quite happy if I never visit. I now have to amend that statement. The US is somewhere I would be happiest if I never visited again.

Value in information or value in thought? 2008-06-25

Steve Culley asked (by email) for my views on an article in the Guardian titled, I Google, therefore I am losing the ability to think. A related article, Hits and misses, was contributed by Mansur Darlington.

An obsession with naming 2008-02-18

Why do people insist on naming everything? We seem to have an underlying need to give things unique names. We do this even for things which are not being explicitly marketed, are only used within one context and do not have to compete with other things providing the same function (Although I have just stated quite a few constraints on what I am talking about there are still quite a lot of things covered by it). Let me clarify what I am complaining about with an example:

Redundant statements 2008-02-08

In the papers and articles I read in the information management realm there seems to be a great love of stating the obvious. I would like to share some examples which have had me giggling at my desk this morning:

Information Cocoon 2007-02-17

I live surrounded by information I have carefully chosen to be compatible with my own beliefs and understanding – I live in an Information Cocoon and without meaning to be rude, I suspect you do too! It is something that is difficult to avoid, we have limits on our information gathering capacity in both time and money so why shouldn't we spend our time reading only what interests us and the authors/sources we tend to agree with or trust? The danger (and I don’t use the word lightly) is that we close ourselves off from conflicting opinions and facts presented by other sources. By only consuming mutually affirmative sources we increase the intensity of our beliefs/understanding and further skew the range of issues and topics we’re familiar with.

Freeing Information 2007-02-07

I'd like to share some thoughts I've had on restricting access to information (commonly referred to as Intellectual Property).

Neighbourhood Fix-It 2007-02-05

Be a good citizen and notify your council of graffiti, pot-holes, broken street lights etc. in your area with Neighbourhood Fix-It.

What am I reading? 2006-12-25

I've always enjoyed sharing what I've enjoyed reading, of my friends most if not all have probably fallen foul of this tendency of mine through being offered books or having a newspaper shoved under their noses. Why am I going into all of this now? Well, for some time I’ve been sharing items using Google's feed reader and it only just occurred to me that there isn't really any sense in doing it unless I'm going to tell people about it!? So here is my collection of shared articles.

Power of constraints 2006-11-03

I love the various little games that keep getting thrown up in semi-scientific contexts that show how complex (and at the same time simple) our minds really are, here is an example I enjoyed:

Phew, that took a while 2006-08-26

I've been working for quite a while on the launch of a new website for PhotoSoc.

New toys 2006-04-22

Over the Easter holiday I managed to find some time to tinker with a few new features for my website.

Seed Cake 2006-03-31

In an effort to shrug off some of the stresses of my current design project I decided to track down a recipe for a cake I’d had before at my Grans.

Spam 2006-03-06

I put a contact form up for my website, so that folk can get in touch with me. Instead, the sort of people I don't want to be associated with, started trying to use my form to send mass e-mails, and spam etc… as a result I had to take my form down for a little while, but it is now back up, with an extra layer of 'checks' added in.

Slow but inevitable 2006-02-03

I haven't been able to devote very much, if any time to my website for the last few months; the pressures of exams have kept me well and truely under the thumb. I do, however, hope to make some progress in restoring things to their proper form within the next two days… fingers crossed that things will go smoothly and that the requiste energy shall bubble forth, consuming me, and pursuing these weary fingers into action.

Welcome to .net-hood 2006-01-01

I've just purchased a new domain,, I intend to keep my as well, however, it is currently tied up with the utterly incompetent

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