Give it time…

April 15th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

Teh Guardian:

Gordon Brown insisted today that he would reject calls to quit because he was taking the correct “long-term decisions” for Britain.

In an interview with Sky News, the prime minister said that he was “staying in the job that I mean to continue”.

“These are long-term decisions. They do not necessarily make you popular overnight,” he said.

“I think people will see over time that these are the right decisions.”

Like a hostage, over time sees that their captor is a lovely person really.

Thanks Charlton

April 11th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

With the demise of Charlton Heston, I’ve scored some points.
Which puts me in second place (along with 6 other people).

Right. Now to bump off Tony Benn.

Blair/SFO: Grow a fucking spine

April 11th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

The Guardian:

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) acted unlawfully in dropping an investigation into alleged bribery in an arms deal between BAE Systems and Saudi Arabia, the high court ruled today.

In a stunning victory for the activist groups that launched the legal challenge, the two judges said Tony Blair’s government and the SFO caved in too readily to threats by Saudi Arabia over intelligence sharing and trade.

Lord Justice Moses and Justice Sullivan, using some scathing language, rejected the SFO’s argument that it was powerless to resist the Saudi threats.

“So bleak a picture of the impotence of the law invites at least dismay, if not outrage,” they said.

“Had such a threat been made by one who was subject to the criminal law of this country, he would risk being charged with an attempt to pervert the course of justice.”

In my learn’d opinion, the judges came to the right decision. Hooray.

Later in the article:

The judges said the SFO decision was unlawful but made no formal orders for further action – something they will consider at a further hearing. It is believed the most likely course will be that the SFO will have to reconsider its decision.

In a brief statement, the SFO said it was “carefully considering the implications of the judgment and the way forward”.

There should be only one course of action for the SFO to take. That should be to reopen the investigation.
Along with prosecuting Blair for being a pussy and open a waranty for the arrest of the Saudi who made the threat, ready for when he comes to see how his aeroplanes are doing.

Self Mutilation or just nail biting

April 10th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

I can pack in smoking easy, so wtf is it with nailbiting?

my finger


April 9th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

Now then,how about this for an idea? I haven’t worked out any details (and probably won’t) yet, so I am expecting to be ignored/told I am in dreaming etc:

What about instead of banks and building societies stopping 100% mortgages, which people may be able to afford, and need because of being unable to save for a deposit because of, say paying rent, or the government giving grants which will have to be repaid, and so make getting a mortgage even more expensive, or ‘shared equity’ which isn’t really owning your own home at all, but some other entity owning half, how about capping the multiplier for working out how much of a mortgage one can get?

So instead of banks lending upto 5x the borrowers salary, which means that their children are till paying it off when it comes time for them to get their own mortgage, the limit is capped at, say 1.5x main earner and 1x second earner, you know like it used to be, when you and I were kids.

This would have to be done gradually so as to minimise the shock to existing homeowners* but end result would be to drop the prices down to realistic levels so that most people could afford them, even the poor old first timers.
Once the prices had stabilised again the cap on the multiplier would keep the prices inline with wage increases and stop the runaway increases that are seen at the moment.

It’ll never work though, cos’ the banks won’t be able to squeeze every last drop of money out of anyone wanting to own their own pile of bricks.

*declaration of interest: I am one of those people with a fucking big loan called a mortgage, so this isn’t me thinking of someway I could afford a house. I would lose out due to the drop in equity of my property.

Statp0rn: It’s simple FFS!

April 3rd, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

Paul stated in this post:
“The data above is for unique users.”
Having a look at the graph (not saying anything about the % of market share as I do not know how big the market is) it is labelled:
“…measured by visits, based on UK usage”
Visits are not unique users.
Guido stat bollox

Iain has done exactly the same. In this post said: “March saw 239,368 unique visitors, when the accompanying screen shot shows visits. Visitors and Visits are not the same.
And again in this comment he does it again: “Google Analytics uses the term Visitors… Google counted 239,000 for me in March”.
No it didn’t. it counted 239,000 visits!!
Dale stat bollox

Both of these jokers keep saying unique visitors or absolute unique visitors but their screen shots clearly show the figures are actually visits.

Iain, Paul, if I can work it out then you really have lost.
Stop being gits, you’re just embarrassing yourselves now.

Brain Gym

April 3rd, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

I just watched Newsnight.
They had a story about Brain Gym. It’s exercises to get the blood flowing and to improve the ‘electrical circuits’ in the body and brain to improve learning.
Schools pay for practitioners to come in to the school and be a ‘consultant’ advising on how to implement it. It is a load of shite. And we’re paying for it.

I have only just heard of it. Ben Goldacre at Bad Science has heard of it previously:

Is there anything else I can do to make blood and oxygen get to my brain better? Yes, an exercise called “Brain Buttons”: “Make a ‘C’ shape with your thumb and forefinger and place on either side of the breast bone just below the collar bone. Gently rub for 20 or 30 seconds whilst placing your other hand over your navel. Change hands and repeat. This exercise stimulates the flow of oxygen carrying blood through the carotid arteries to the brain to awaken it and increase concentration and relaxation.” Why? “Brain buttons lie directly over and stimulate the carotid arteries.”

Now, I’m waiting to be impressed by any kid who can stimulate his carotid arteries inside his ribcage, but it’s going to involve dissection with the sharp scissors that only mummy can use.

Update: Here Bens’ post about the Newsnight feature<

And this is news…?

April 2nd, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

Why is this news? A woman pretending to be a man gets pregnant.

Not inPhorming customers

April 2nd, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink


Trials of an online ad system carried out by BT involving more than 30,000 of its customers were potentially illegal, says a leading digital rights lawyer.

BT has said it trialled a prototype of Phorm, which matches adverts to users’ web habits, in 2006 and 2007.

The company did not inform customers that they were part of the trial.

Nicholas Bohm, of the Foundation for Information Policy Research, said tests without the knowledge of users were “an illegal intercept of users’ data”.

A spokesman for BT said the firm had no comment about the legality or illegality of the 2006 test.

It then goes on to say more testing will happen soon, but BT is asking people this time.

A thought has just occurred, and it’s just a small one. In these reports, it goes on about ‘users’ can opt out. I don’t imagine there are many single user computers about. So it will be computers that are opted out or not. I can’t really imagine the opt out with be easily found or the opt out status changed, for someone borrowing a computer for example.
We need to be very wary.

Do no evil

April 2nd, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

The Guardian:

YouTube, the video-sharing website owned by Google, yesterday came under attack from MPs after admitting that an error in its review procedure meant it had failed to remove footage apparently showing a gang rape.

Pressed by the culture, media and sport select committee to explain how it dealt with offensive and illegal material posted to the website, Google’s vice-president and general counsel, Kent Walker, said human error had been to blame for footage of an apparent gang rape being viewed more than 600 times before it was removed.

“Our reviewers review a lot of material and in some cases simply just make a mistake,” he said. “The initial flag was reviewed and the individual reviewer had reviewed a huge number of materials and did not take it down promptly.”

I’m not very technical, but I can imagine there is no way possible that every video uploaded to Youtube can be vetted for unsuitable material.

…but John Whittingdale, the Tory MP who chairs the select committee, which is conducting an inquiry into harmful content on the internet and in video games, said: “Your corporate slogan should not only be ‘do no evil’, but take an active role in preventing others from doing evil.”

WTF? What can Google do apart from take down offensive stuff that it finds? Ican’t stop people making the videos, or dictate what people look for on it’s search engine. Does this John Whittingdale want Google to monitor who buys video cameras and phones and then keep an eye on what people do with them?
What it can do is have a procedure for removing/filtering out unsuitable content.

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