Tuesday, January 20, 2009 

BBC gets goatsed - again.

You'd think that the BBC would have learned, having been goatsed in the past, but apparently not. Asking for readers to have a go at designing a favicon for the BBC News Magazine, Steven from Coventry tells of his inspiration:

I wanted to show someone using their hands to open the BBC and see inside.

Enlarged ever so slightly, here's Steven's effort:

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Friday, April 04, 2008 

Why are we cursed with politicians this stupid?

Sex offenders' e-mail addresses are to be passed to social networking sites like Facebook and Bebo to prevent them contacting children

Under government proposals, offenders who do not give police their address - or give a false one - would face up to five years in jail.

Anyone spot any flaws in this plan? Oh, yeah, so we did, over a year ago. Unity said at the time:

The entire proposal is a complete shambles and clearly advanced and put forward by people who haven’t got the first fucking clue how the internet really works.

Back then this plan was put forward by John "Dr Demento" Reid, and it's now being continued by "Wacky" Jacqui Smith, whose advisers seem as ignorant and clueless as Reid's previously. Surely they realise that you can get a new email address within minutes, thereby bypassing any blacklist? Anyone could give their real first email address happily to the fuzz and then use any of however many different accounts to set-up separate profiles on social networking sites.

Hopefully, "they" do actually realise this and are only going ahead with it because the usual suspects on the Scum and Mail are just as ignorant about the internet as they are, providing an "illusion of safety" that'll shut the gibbering paedophile hunters up for a while. Quite apart from its effectiveness, it's also a draconian policy which will make it even more difficult for convicted "sex offenders" to rebuild their lives, and 30,000 of them will be affected by this, no doubt including such notorious perverts as the man who had sex with his bike in his room. Then again, perhaps an excellent punishment would be to restrict sex offenders to "just" MySpace and Bebo: that'd be enough to drive anyone crazy.

I also just couldn't resist this from the Scum's website:

Along with all the others in the pod, no doubt.

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Thursday, July 05, 2007 

Cameron in still being an idiot shocker.

Do music lyrics really contribute to a broken society? Actually, scrap that, we know full well what David Cameron really means. Are rap/hip hop lyrics really contributing to a broken society? Are the black kids (because we all know that white kids don't listen to rap/hip hop, and again, they are whom Cameron is more than obviously targeting) that listen to rap/hip hop songs then going out, having listened to the violent, misogynistic, materialistic lyrics, and decide that it's a jolly good idea to form gangs and go out on rape and pillaging sprees?

Dear old David Cameron sincerely thinks so. Not content with making himself look like a complete idiot last year by claiming that Tim Westwood was destroying the moral core of our society by playing other people's records, he yesterday returned to the theme,
this time in a bizarre address to the British Phonographic Industry. He apparently proposed, in return for the industry heads taking into account his belief that music lyrics are helping to create a regressive counter-culture, that the copyright for sound recordings should be extended from 50 to 70 years, something the Gowers report of last year opposed and which the BPI has been lobbying heavily for. I posted on that last year, and Tim similarly lays into Cameron here.

While Cameron claims in his speech that he is most definitely not calling for censorship, legislation or the banning of content, as he is after all a liberal conservative, it's more than apparent that he'd certainly rather that such music didn't exist, which ought to show just how intolerant of artistic freedom, or at least musical artistic freedom he is. He wouldn't call for the "banning" of books or ask the publishing firms to consider their responsibilities when distributing literature which contains explicit violence or horror, and while I wouldn't put it past him to call for similar restraint from the film industry, he doesn't seem likely to do it anytime soon. No, the targeting of the music industry is because it's an easy scapegoat, and due to the fact that most of the music Cameron dislikes comes from the United States, few artists and producers are also going to challenge his hypothesis.

In any case, to suggest that it's just one genre of music that has a problem with troubling lyrics is a nonsense. The various offshoots of metal have more than a reputation for misogyny and violent imagery, although maybe it's because that those within that music sub-culture are almost entirely white that Cameron doesn't have a problem with it. He also hasn't referred to the surge of "emo" bands
which so excised the Daily Mail last year, scaremongering about how angsty middle-class kids were being indoctrinated with self-hatred and arm-slashing, again probably because its adherents tend to be hideously pale.

More than anything, Cameron has picked on song lyrics because it's something he thinks he understands. This is a man who hasn't ever had to spend a day on the streets of inner London or other cities, except for the cameras. His only other idea for dealing with a "broken society" has been to promote the family, which is all well and good except that it similarly ignores the reality on the ground: you have to deal with what is there, not what you wish was. Most of all, it misses the point. He's blaming the lyrics for having an influence on society rather than person that might have been influenced by them. For a man who supposedly wants to promote personal responsibility, blaming the artist rather than the perpetrator only shows up his continuing political bankruptcy.

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Friday, May 11, 2007 

47 Blears later.

Sometimes, you wonder if you're on the same left as the others who proclaim to be "progressive" are. How on earth is it possible that I supposedly share the same political values and goals as these more than 47 members of the undead?

You at least have to hand it to Cameron for that insult. The description when applied to these brain-chewing decomposing throwbacks could not be more apt. Hazel Blears, a woman without a single idea of her own, without the slightest clue to how to deal with someone with a grievance except spit the same old platitudes back at them over and over again, someone who most probably loses Labour another thousand votes every time she appears on any political programme, who clearly doesn't know what to do if anyone so much as points out the complete vapidity of her entire belief system, a person who could test the patience of Ghandi with her half-baked whimpering, and still she and 47 other similarly deluded idiots for Labour think that she could honestly bring more voters in through her down-to-earth lack of any discernible talent or substance whatsoever. I suppose that's all right though, because according to Cosmo Landesman, that's what people like now. Maybe we can get Blears on Big Brother masturbating with a beer bottle. Or on seconds thoughts, let's definitely not.

Fair's fair, the deputy leadership of a party in terminal decline isn't that taxing a job, and it's hard to imagine anyone being worse than John Prescott, but I'd rather have a lying, shagging, ex-union semi-proletarian who can't get his words out right, but who clearly has a soul and a definitive ideology than this bag of dyed red hair and approximately sixteen braincells,
all of which contain only Labour's greatest achievements over the past 10 years, those being hospitals up to their eyeballs in debt thanks to PFI, and tackling anti-social behaviour, which Labour itself created by giving an 81-year-old woman and vulnerable suicidal people badges of honour while destroying civil liberties and creating a surveillance society.

Labour was once a party which counted the likes of Nye Bevan, Ernest Bevin and even Hugh Gaitskell amongst its members. Today it's reduced to Tessa Jowell, Chris Bryant, Ruth Kelly and someone called John Heppell, who thinks this about Blears:

We need a deputy leader who can inspire, enthuse and lead. I have no doubt that Hazel can do all three.

Indeed. Straight to an inevitable Tory victory.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007 

Someone save us from these idiots.

Unity has already said a lot of excellent stuff on this subject, but this is possibly the most ignorant and idiotic scheme this government could have come up with. As you might have guessed, it's to do with sex offenders and paedophiles:

Sex offenders could be forced to register their e-mail addresses and chatroom names, the government says.

Home Secretary John Reid said he may make paedophiles put online identity details on the Sex Offenders Register.

Mechanisms would be set up to "flag up" approaches by them to sites popular among youngsters, he told the BBC.

As if the case yesterday of the three men who were given indeterminate sentences for plotting online wasn't worrying enough (yes, they needed to be dealt with, but the sentences given for talking about kidnapping, rape and murder when no offences other than possessing child pornography took place and when the men had not even met were out of all proportion with other comparable cases) then this comes along. Surely Reid and his advisers realise that you can get a new email address and change your alias on a myriad of sites within a matter of minutes?

Apparently not.

He told the BBC: "If we did that we would then be able to set up mechanisms that would flag up anyone using those addresses or those identities to make approaches and contacts through some of the very popular internet spaces which are used by kids."

Right. Say for instance a paedophile used the alias "lensman" (I've stole this from the film Hard Candy) in chatrooms, was convicted of a sex offence and was put on the register. Under Reid's plans "lensman" would therefore be potentially flagged, probably through NetNanny type programmes or voluntary ISP schemes, and as a result would either be blocked or a warning would be flashed up. Not only would this not stop "lensman" from changing his alias, but others who used this alias would then be potentially flagged as being untrustworthy at best. Most internet aliases used are far from original, and potentially hundreds, if not thousands of users across the world can use the same one. "lensman" is an example of this. Browsing just a couple of user sites, we come across different lensmans. Here's one on MySpace. A different one on Last.fm. Another from YouTube.

Online paedophiles also usually use names that are likely to appeal to those who they're targeting. As a result, children themselves could come under suspicion or have their own use of the internet limited. This may be an attempt to make the internet "safer", but it's also one which potentially cripples it.

It's a scheme that is so utterly unworkable that you have to hope that some of the more technologically savvy among the Westminster village point out just how ridiculous this is. It doesn't help however when you have so-called "experts" talking rubbish:

Child internet safety expert John Carr, of children's charity NCH, said: "This is a very welcome move.

"It will mean that we can extend the Sex Offenders Register regime into cyberspace and that will be a great comfort to many people."

It may be a comfort, but it's a false one. It's full of more holes than Wolfowitz's socks.

Prof Allyson MacVean, director of the John Grieve Centre for Policing and Community Safety at London's Metropolitan University, said police should be able to search sex offenders' homes and computers.

"Internet addresses are so easy to make up and it doesn't give any sense of who the person is or where their location is," she told the BBC.

She said this was why the police needed access to sex offenders' computers without needing to apply for a warrant.

Now we're mixing up sex offenders and paedophiles again. Believe it or not, there's a difference between the two. If the police are so concerned about some predatory paedophiles using the internet, then they should be banned from using the internet altogether at their homes. This would be easy enough to do with the help of BT. It wouldn't stop them using internet cafes, the houses of friends or libraries, but it would be something of a reassurance.

Update: To be slightly clearer, blocking broadband is easy. BT could have a list of numbers where broadband shouldn't ever be enabled. Blocking dial-up and the numerous numbers of different ISPs would be more difficult. Offenders could try and get a new number in order to get around this, and we'd have to depend on BT's bureaucracy to stop it. It could also be got around by using a mobile phone as a modem, as Vodafone I think are offering now, if at extortionate prices, or simply by using a mobile phone for the internet, although the technology doesn't come close to that provided by PCs. Lastly, those banned from the internet could attempt to steal a nearby person's unsecured wireless connection, if one was available.

None of this is to take the civil liberties arguments into blocking the use of the internet entirely, and whether such banning would constitute punishment after a sentence has been served into consideration.

End Update.

It's already far too easy to smear someone as a paedophile. This scheme would not just make it easier, it would also mean that it would be next to impossible to prove your innocence if you're unfortunate enough to share your internet alias with one of these modern day witches.

I'll leave the final words to Unity:
The entire proposal is a complete shambles and clearly advanced and put forward by people who haven’t got the first fucking clue how the internet really works.

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Thursday, November 23, 2006 

David Cameron: Yeah, he's still an idiot...

Kids, David Cameron likes you. He wants to be friends with you. He knows where you hang out. He wants to be like you. A little like that strange old guy in the duffel coat who hangs around by the swings. Smells like old wet newspaper, probably has a drink problem. Like that guy, Cameron just wants to be loved; that he comes across to everyone else as being a strange man that you should never ever go off with doesn't occur to him.

Hence his fatuous, hilarious attempt on Comment is Free to get down with kids. As part of the launching of sort-it.co.uk, he's come up with the biggest load of stringed together nonsense you may ever read in your life. It quickly becomes apparent that he doesn't have the slightest clue what he's talking about.

Right now, our political culture is undergoing unprecedented transformation. The old answers will not work in a new age, and political parties need to understand the forces that are stirring within society if they are to keep being relevant.

Yes, you've figured it out. We don't like being lied to. Congratulations.

There are two fundamental and mutually dependent factors that are contributing to this shift. First, we are in the early stages of the internet revolution, and evolving with it is a whole new age of political communication and engagement. A generation of people is rejecting more traditional mediums and forms of interaction in favour of an environment where they are in control.

Before, politicians and the mainstream media believed that when we talked people listened. Now, there are 57m blogs - that means 57m new newspaper editors. Every minute, 15 new user-generated videos are uploaded on to YouTube - that means 450 new news items during the time of an evening news bulletin.

Have you ever actually read a blog Dave, other than perhaps Iain Dale's or ConservativeHome? Why don't you click the next blog button up there at the top of this page and see where it takes you? I just clicked it about 20 times and not a single one of the blogs was about politics. Millions of those blogs may have been started, then probably never updated again. The amount who write about politics and update daily or even every other day is miniscule. The vast majority are full of personal vanity crap, the stuff that only their friends would ever be interested in. And yes, I realise that I'm a horrible hypocrite.

As for YouTube, well, just go to the home page. The top featured video currently is:
Yea im double jointed in alot parts of my body and idk i found out some of the weird stuff i can do decided to record it and yea...im not really proud of it so i wore some weird mask i found in my room....enjoy

99% of the videos are pure crap. Surely your advisers told you this, right Dave? You might want to hug these people uploading their cat falling into a pond, but they don't want to embrace you in return.

People are talking back, and as much as this is exciting and liberating, it is also a challenge. Politicians need to find new ways to communicate with this ever-expanding political class, and work with them to find the best solutions to the problems in our country.

Second, and linked to this, we need to understand that young people are not disengaging themselves from the political arena. In fact, the reality is that they are getting more involved than ever before. Social networks such as MySpace and Bebo bring together people not through common geography, but through common interest.

Again Dave, have you ever looked at MySpace or Bebo? They're the equivalent of a new layer of hell. Every single fucking person thinks it's a brilliant idea to have a song on their page which blasts out at you, making you both jump a mile and want to strangle them at the same time. Animated GIFs also seem a brilliant idea; it's like we've gone back to the days of Geocities. Plus, they don't bring people together through common interest; they're purely there for those who know each other in real life or at school to share their photographs, where they're going out, etc.

Right, so we've established that you don't know what you're talking about, can we get to the point now?

This week, we will be launching "sort-it", an innovative and provocative internet-based campaign designed to encourage young people to think about their own social responsibilities. The first issue we have chosen is personal debt, but many more will be addressed in the months ahead, such as racism and homelessness.

Well innovative and provocative it certainly is. Cameron and his old buddies in PR have got some poor perma-tanned guy to wear an outlandish suit to represent how he's the "tosser" inside young people, the instinct to splash the cash and worry about it later. Presumably tosser is used as "wanker" is just that bit too rude. As with everything that comes out of Cameron's mouth, he and they haven't thought this through. Their thinking seems to be thus:

Hey kids, we want you to engage and listen with us, but first you've got to prove just how responsible you are! Do you spend money like water? Do you snort cocaine, a drug that impoverishes and makes the lives of people in other countries miserable? Do you need some help? Well, we can provide that, but first we've got to point out just what a tosser you are! Sort yourself out! We may be old, not know anything about anything and all have directorships with the companies that give you the credit, but that doesn't mean we can't offer you hopeless advice when you'd be better off going to the Citizens Advice Bureaux!

Dave leaves us with some of his favourite mysticism:

There is an old Chinese proverb: "Tell me and I will forget. Show me, and I will remember."

Or there's that other one: Go to bed with itchy bum. Wake up with sticky finger.

You know Dave, instead of trying to get into bed with all the young people you so obviously adore, you could perhaps do your job as leader of the opposition. Such as challenging Blair to bring the troops home from Iraq instead of just holing them up in a barracks where every passing jihadi or Ba'athist can come and plant IEDs and mortar the base. What we actually had was Hague doing his Churchillian "we shall not be moved" act, wondering whether even this pathetic half-measure withdrawal might encourage those opposed to the British presence to up their attacks. You could demand that there be a free vote on Trident renewal, as Jack Straw tonight said that the vote would be whipped. Oh, I forgot, your line is that it must be renewed, even if it costs £75 billion, so we can expect that free will won't reign on your side either. You could go against the instincts of your party and pledge to introduce proportional representation, which really would give the power back to the people, giving them the opportunity for their voice to actually be heard and their vote counted. What we have now is a government elected with a large majority, when only 22% of the electorate voted for them. We deserve better than this.

Get the picture Dave? No one's going to vote for you based on how much you want to shag their leg, like a too friendly Jack Russell. They care about policies, how you're going to be different to Labour. Your speech last night about Brown and Reid playing politics with terrorism was a lot better than this woe-begotten shambles. In your own words, sort it out.

Related (and better) posts:
Ministry of Truth - Bunch of Tossers
Guido - Who is the real inner tosser?

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