Computer Security and Forensics conference, ACSF 2008

Web ComputingJuly 9th, 2008
post #115 

Tomorrow I’ll be at The Third Conference on Advances in Computer Security and Forensics .

Purely for research purposes. Hopefully there’ll be lots of useful insights that will inform my current work. We will see, updates as and when.

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Deciphering the mysteries of publication in RedDot CMS…over coffee.

post #114  July 9th, 2008

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Reading my MSc interim report

post #113  July 8th, 2008

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Thinking about coffee and my dissertation

post #112  July 8th, 2008

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Fiddling with QR codes on my ancient mobile

post #111  July 8th, 2008

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Drag n’ Drop captcha updated

phpJuly 7th, 2008
post #110 

I finally have this released into production environments which will no doubt help me to improve it. There’ve been some updates to the mechanism to dissociate image filenames from the puzzle fields.

Next I need to make the names more variable, and perhaps cache them and generate random permutations. Accessibility remains a concern.


Silbury TV

generalJuly 7th, 2008
post #109 
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Some time ago, the chaps over at Eternal Idol asked me to compare English Heritage’s extensive write-up1 about Silbury Hill with the BBC’s Silbury - The heart of the hill.

On second viewing its clear the show has less to do with the Hill than I’d previously thought. Rather it uses the Hill -aptly- as a jumping off point for a whistlestop tour of the complex, making a couple of stops for reconstruction footage before closing with a possible date for the mysterious mound’s construction. With that in mind it’s difficult to compare infotainment telly with comprehensive analytical survey.

“We can’t say that the Beaker People built Silbury Hill”

the show stresses the importance of Beaker folk to Silbury and their influence on changing times in Britain. Mike Parker-Pearson explains common Beaker burial techniques, with accompanying 3-D clip while Mary-Ann Ochota is shown some typical examples of Beakers found in the British Isles.

It must’ve been the Beakers then? Yet they conclude that: “We can’t say that Beaker people built Silbury Hill”.

We can say “In view of the amount of evidence for Beaker activity within the Wider landscape it is surprising that no beaker evidence comes from the mound itself.” (Analytical survey, page 69)

The striking thing is that the survey is more entertaining. Full of the detail archaeos, students and amateur megalith botherers like myself would love, but laced with references to anecdote and folklore, the old petrol station at the foot the Hill, countless stylised depictions and descriptions through history, and even attempts to make Silbury into a garden feature!

I’m currently reading Mike Pitts’ Hengeworld, and came across this interesting little statement which puts some perspective into the BBC show’s obsession with foreigners “who swept across Europe with their fine pots, loosing arrows into the air”[2]:

“it would be true to say that though Beaker People can still be found in books or heard about in guided tours, for the past twenty years or so few practising archaeologists have believed in them. Instead the fine pots and other artefacts are thought to be a still visible manifestation of some lost fashion, ritual practice or social phenomenon that spread from one community to another, subtly changing as it passed.” (Pitts, page 88).


  1. The investigation and analytical survey of Silbury Hill. Archaeological Investigation Report Series AI/22/2002.
  2. Pitts, M. Hengeworld. Arrow Books. 2000. Archaeological Investigation Report Series AI/22/2002.

The Bangles at Carling Academy, Liverpool

generalJuly 4th, 2008
post #108 
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Bassist Abby Travis

Rogue Chuck at 1940s Weekend

observationJuly 2nd, 2008
post #107 

Fearless Chuck enters the battlefield

Megameet 2008

history / prehistoryJuly 1st, 2008
post #106 

Searching for Megameet on Flickr I got 1060 results, mainly to do with shiny cars and people running. I’d argue we have a stronger claim on the word. This year’s Mega(lithic)Meet went really well, the weather more or less held for us to meet at Avebury’s Cove and in addition to those well met last year, there were a few more faces to put to usernames.

That morning we’d arrived in Avebury hoping to locate those few stones that showed areas of tool polishing from before they were dragged to their current location. We found two examples, one from reading and the other by examination. Before long however we were being shown an even older aspect of the circle’s history - one of our party was a geologist, and guided us to a stone within the monument that displayed evidence of its formation, an area of petrified wood clearly visible in the upright sarsen.

Taking advantage of the weather a clutch (or is that a scatter?) of us headed off up the Herepath to seek out a circle previously unseen by most of us but known to our guide Moth. More accurately the remnants of a Bell Barrow known as Penning or Avebury Down Stone Circle.

Penning or Avebury Down Stone Circle / Bell Barrow

We had brought a copy of Pollard and Reynolds’ book Avebury, Biography of a Landscape to help us locate the polisher marked stones, and the cover of the book shows a map of the area as drawn by the Reverend A.C. Smith in 1844, which has many areas marked as ‘Penning’ (The Pennings, Penning, Waydens Penning) which I assume goes some way to explaining this barrow’s modern name. Sadly its location isn’t on the cover.

Overall a day of discoveries, renewed friendship and new acquaintance which ought to be repeated more often.