Tuesday, November 28, 2006

And yet we're still here....

The human race is a remarkable thing. The world appears to packed to bursting with people so stupid that its a wonder they got through puberty.

Stories like this one are a shining example. Now the content of the story isn't really that dumb or funny, what I find particularly amusing is the use of the phrase 'Urban Gorilla Warfare'. The site is taking the piss out of a story they deem dumb while at the same time apparently suggesting that some hip-hop simians were involved.

There are thousands of tales like these though and, frankly, its amazing our race has survived at all. Especially when we have a weird habit of voting them into positions of absolute power.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I demand an Apology!

Because about 800 years ago the English settled in my home town as part of the on going effort to subjegate the Welsh with landed Norman gentry, this in turn resulted in the uprising of Owain Glyndwr in the 14th Century as the last Welsh Prince of Wales(which is a score for us, England has yet to have an English Monarch :p hehehe!). This resulted in my home town being razed to the ground due to its strategic importance to the English, and the fact that Owain had a bit of a tiff with his neighbour Reginald de Grey. Probably didn't return his matching barbeque set or something.

Clearly I may or may not have been related to someone involved in that traumatic and harsh period and so I deserve an apology from the British Government for something they have no control over. You know. Because it happened hundreds of years ago. And they weren't alive then.

So guess what story has wound me up today? Now regular readers (there's two, I counted) may be aware that I am not a fan of Bush's booty call but I have to speak up for Blair here. Why exactly should he be apologising? Firstly, the slave trade was never technically legal in this country, it just wasn't illegal until 1806 and slaves could actually win legal freedom well before that*. Coincidentally around the time that the whole dust up that preceeded the American War of Independence was starting, but that's another issue entirely.*

Point is, why should any goverment have to apologise for the acts of persecution and human rights abuses from centuries ago? Let me put it a different way ... 'WHAT'S THE POINT?!, WHY THE HELL DO WE LISTEN TO MORONS?!'.

I mean really! Children die of starvation every minute, 2/3s of the world population don't have clean drinking water, human rights abuses are actively supported NOW by our goverment, slavery is actively going on both as a business globally and as a cultural relic in many African tribes.....the list goes on. The point is this - There are things that actually matter going on in the world. So how abut this - all of the money, time and effort you've spent whingeing about something that a) happened over 200 years ago, b) has nothing contemporary to do with you and c) happened to someone who isn't you because you aren't 200 years old - all of that time and effort - how about you campaing about real things? Instead of manufacturing problems that aren't problems, instead of creating issues that aren't issues - how about you campaign about something that really matters?

Apologies for the rant but this irks me, people with nothing better to do with their time that they need to validate their pitiful existence by pretending that something that happened centuries ago has really scarred them. The slave trade was and is bad, a terrible thing that reduced the sum of human existence down to a commodity, to pile of cash and a shelf life, we all agree on that but....

If an apology is forthcoming, and it looks like common sense has prevailed and there isn't, I also expect apologies to Catholics for the deaths legally carried out by protestant Monarchs, to protestants for deaths carried out by catholic Monarchs, from the Egyptians to the Jews for the whole slavery thing, the Italians to everyone in Europe for the Romans treatment of them. Obviously Scandinavia has a lot to answer for, not least York. Then there are the areas that are now Austria, Germany and Hungary. They need to apologise to everyone that the Italians just apologised to, as obviously should the Muslims. The Mongols need to apologise to most of the world because they enslaved a lot of people, as did the Spanish. Anyone descended from the Aztecs and the Incas need to apologise to descendants of people in that region of the world who weren't - lots of slavery and blood sacrifice there. The Spanish in turn need to apologise to those people for wiping out their forefathers. The Turks should apologise to most people in mainland Europe but particularly Eastern Europe, who in turn need to apologise back.

Britain should apologise to everybody, if it's breathed we've beaten, killed and nicked from it.

Am I labouring the point, or can we just tell these people to either shut the hell up and campaign about something with value or stop pretending to care about 'sensitive issues'?

*Apologies for simplifying the issue here, this was running into an essay about various repeals, exceptions and precedents that was incredibly dull to anyone but me!

Friday, November 24, 2006


I don't normally like these but I'm quite pleased with the result of this one. Although Cartman is the best character I don't think he is something to aspire to!


Friday, November 17, 2006

Geek Chique

Ok my desire to buy a Zune wobbled the other day. Then I realised, all the stuff that the iBoys are whineing about are just software bugs that will be ironed out easily enough. It doesn't play nice with WMP, but the Zune software has all the features from WMP I like so it's still better than iTunes. And iTunes doesn't play nice with anything, not even iPods sometimes and they have been out for 5 years.

The Zune isn't as good as an iPod in that it isn't the finished article yet, the difference is that in order to get the finished article I am not going to have to buy a new Zune, I just download the updates.

Apart from anything else, if I get one a year before they are available in the UK I'll be in an exclusive club. I'll be King Geek! I don't care if it works or not! muahaahahaahhahahaahhahaah! Join the Social my arse! Give me Geek Cred!

My ticket to Geek Points.

Everything else aside, check out the User Interface, like the fact that the previous menu is displayed horizontally so there is no need to go Back then forward again when switching album.

Not sure I like the official commercials, with all the 'Cool kids', surely it's the job of Apple to sell form over function?

Trains, Planes and Automobiles

'Use Trains more, it'll help the environment'

'We need to get people out of their cars'

All things spouted by various people over recent years. And they are absolutely right. That's the thing though, they say the right thing and blame all the world's ills on these evil, selfish motorists that pootle about the place. It isn't an incorrect thing to say but unfortunately it's all just words.

To get people out of their cars and into trains you need to make the trains as economic and reliable as a car. Now I know there is traffic etc., but when encountered it can be either mitigated against or it's planned into the journey. No one goes on the M25 expecting it to be clear, that would be insanity. Now obviously you will never gett he flexibility of a car but I think all people need is a vague approximation.

Thing is, to go visit friends in Hull it's an £80 return journey that takes the best part of 6 hours each way. In a car it costs around 50 and takes 4 and a half. But that's beside the point, that journey I can cope with, it's Sundays that make my blood boil. I've lived here well over a year and have encountered a direct train to Leatherhead on a Sunday about twice. I think they replace a sleeper a week. I won't go into horrendous detail here as I know this is dull, I am leading somewhere I promise!

Now this weekend I am going to visit Hannah, I paid £16 for a pre-booked ticket to Leamington Spa (that is what you would pay for a one day travel card in London by the way). Next week is Peter's birthday which i attempted to book. They wanted over £60 for a journey I would normally pay about half that for and also over a 6 1/2 hour trip back on the Sunday and only if I leave at about midday. In total this would make my journey a little over 7 hours. This makes the journey unviable because I have things to prepare for the following Monday and a 7 hour journey journey the day before will not be condusive to a good presentation.

It appears that I am being charged an 'incompetent moron' tax for my return journey. 'We apologise for the delay to your journey and additional 3 transfers, inlcuding the 30 minute walk across the Swamp of Eternal despair. After defeating the multi-headed blood beast please bend over, so we can extract the extra charge for the additional 6 days you have spent on our service, in the only way we know how. You don't have a car do you? hahahaha! We can do what we like! You're our bitch!'

Basically people, we need some consistency. You could tell people the world will end in a fiery conflagration tomorrow unless they stop driving, if the trains are crappy they will get back in their cars and carry on about their business. And as much as I support the environmental stand point I can't blame them. Except for people who drive 4x4 cars in the city, they deserve to pay double what everyone else does and receive a sound beating after every pointless journey they make in their pointless, dangerous, badly driven Wanker-Wagons.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Linda Smith

Heard some great quotes from this sadly missed and very witty lady last night:

"I'm not religious, I get along with most people"

"I just can't help but think that if God wanted humans to believe in him he'd exist"


Zune Launch

Popular Media is annoying sometimes.

"It doesn't have a single standard iPod amenity: no games, alarm clock,
stopwatch, world clock, password-protected volume limiter, equaliser, calendar,
address book or notes module."

You can always spot quotes from iFanBoys, it's kind of like arguing with a religious fanatic. No matter what you throw at them, they will still beleive that Apple are some kind of golden Techno-Hippies who create perfect devices for the free thinking consumer who doesn't kow-tow to evil corporations. Well, you know. Except for teh fact that iBooks casings crack. And MAC OS X was riddled with problems. And the iBook casings discolour. And iTunes broke the only thing it did well - podcasts. And you have to dowload everything from iTunes in Apple's shitty, lossy format. And you have to do everythign Apple's way or not at all because their software won't let you. And you can only use Apple's iTunes and NOTHING else with your iPod, and if you find a piece of software that does recognise it you can guarantee that Apple already have them in court.

Who uses all those features listed above on their iPod? I didn't even know those features existed until he listed them, and I owned one!

Now don't get me wrong, iPods are good they really are but they don't suit everybody. Their slogan should be 'iPod - for people that don't know any better'. It indoctrinates into their way of doing things, which is fine for most people, I know not everyone looks for the same thing as me. If I was given one I would totally use it, the device is good for what it does despite iTunes sucking arse. It's just that whenever a new device comes out it tries to be an iPod in some way and the Zune isn't doing that, which is why I am getting one when I go stateside, all I need to know is if it works with Media Player or not, which hopefully it will!

Monday, November 13, 2006

New Blogger

OK so I am a geek but I am also lazy. Blogger has lost all my little icons and links since I moved to Blogger Beta, before I go on a mission to find out how to fix this - does anyone else know what the hell is going on?

[Edit] OK, I've kind of found what's going on though the layout is all screwy. My sidebar seems determined to expand witht he content instead of expanding to match the height of the main area. Also the positioning of the icons is all weird if they appear at all. I've been driven to actually do some work, I'll have another play when I get hopme, if i can drag myself away from Oblivion [/Edit]

Back in Black

Juts a shameless ad for Nick's new blog. I am hoping he isn't this informative all the time, but he has returned to the blogosphere, please validate his existence by visiting his blog.

woohoo! I just foraged smoked salmon and cream cheese croissants from a management meeting and also managed to snag a chocolate chip muffin. Go me!

Late Developer

You know how sometimes you get something and you're not sure what it does? I mean, you've got a vague idea what it's meant to be for but it doesn't appear to do what it says on the tin?

Well that's kind of the best description I can give for my brother Martin. I mean he's a lovely guy, clearly far nicer than me, but that's hardly difficult. I think he got the nice gene. As an older brother however, he's never quite filled the role. Now i am not being horrible, well only a little, what I mean is he never filled the 'Big Brother' role, rather he's always been more of a little brother. This is fine, a brother is a brother after all and some people don't get any! Some people have to put up with sisters, poor sods.

Anyway, so he's been pootling along quite happily at home working, getting engaged, getting an XBox 360 (git!) etc. Which is fine, except......well. Okay, I'm sure you are all thinking the same thing: "It's great that he is doing OK Matt, but I don't see anything in this for you? Surely he sees that you are due some kind of material gain from this relationship? Matt can't live on love alone for Chrissake!". And you'd be absolutely right to think these thoughts. Luckily he has awoken to the true way and is about to take over as publican at one of our locals back home. this provides me with a free bed above a pub. It's like poetry 'Free Bed above a Pub'.

Living the dream.

This helps in another area. Since time immemorial on Christmas day, my mum packs me my dad and my brothers (well one brother now) off to the pub while she makes dinner. Incidentally before you protest about the unfairness of it all, I have offered to cook Christmas dinner on numerous occasions but she has always refused - often violently. Anyway, she says 'Back by one for lunch' we say 'Logically, the pub closes at 3 - surely that would be a better time?'. An argument ensues and we always agree on 2pm. Why we bother with the argument is beyond me, but it can be fun. Invariably someone (usually my dad) is late for lunch.

Now I have proposed a solution that is finding resistance in the Mum camp, but lots of support from the Whiskey Soaked Wasters lobby. The proposal is this: we take my mother and all the dinner stuff to the large flat above the pub. She can cook the dinner in the pub we are drinking in, then no one will be late! Its' genius! Also she can partake of some gentle libations with us!

Who said I had no Christmas spirit?

Friday, November 10, 2006

Universal, BPI and The RIAAAAAA

These people annoy me. Universal will be getting an undisclosed sum from Microsoft for every Zune they sell, this is so they allow digital video downloads for the player. No one except for Disney will sign with Apple for numerous reasons but mainly pricing structure.

This is kind of beside the point, many years ago various music bodies tried to apply a license to devices that played music for spurious reasons and they were told to fuck off. Now, because people like Universal don't like digital downloads, they have applied the same logic.

We already pay a 'useless leech' tax on all CDs, DVDs and other stuff like that, now they want to tax the ability to play those things! At least Universal have some kind of relationship with the artists though, even though those artists won't see a penny of the proceeds. The fact is artists make their money from touring, not from album sales. The lion's share of those moneys go to the distributors, labels, manufacturing, agents etc. Oh yeah, and people like the British Phonograph Institute and the Record Industry Association of America.

Now what these people's main role appears to be is to keep recorded media at as high a price as they can manage, which is why the internet has proved such a pain in the arse for them. It took them years to cotton on to the fact that the internet is the present, not the future of media delivery. In the mean time, it was a handy thing to blame for the high price of CDs.

RIAA: "The internet means that only 7 people a year buy CDs, everyone else is a thief, that's why they are so expensive!".
The World: "errrm. What bout before the internet? Why was it so expensive then?"
The RIAA: "errrr........pixies! yeah, price inflating pixies....errrrrrm - Look! the Goodyear Blimp!".
The World: "What?! where?! there's noth...... hey! Were you trying to climb through the bathroom window?".
RIAA: "err...no?".

The fact is the very existence of these organisations drives the cost of the media up, they are slavering parasitic lampreys feeding off the work of others. They lurk about striving to validate their pitiful existence with spurious lawsuits and misinterpreted statistics If we din't have to pay for these worthless, vaccuous excuses for human beings then we'd likely see a large drop in Music prices.

I wouldn't mind if they weren't so full of shit, but they always use the line 'we must protect the artists and make sure they receive their royalties!'. When in fact all but the most successful of artists get woeful royalties. In fact the only reason that the lawsuit against Apple was dropped was because had the RIAA won, Apple would have set up a separate arm called 'iTunes Limited' and set it up as an exclusive distributor. They then would have allocated the money thusly: Service Maintennance, Apple Profits, Publisher Profits, Artist Royalties. No RIAA, no inflated production costs, no addition palm greasing to preferred distributors.

The RIAA were set to win that case, make no mistake. But a deal was done. Far from protecting the existence and income of artists, their sole purpose is to protect themselves. I am not being harsh when I call them parasites because parasites will damage the host in order to preserve their own existence, in this case at the expense of the artists they say they protect. Only the most successful receive the protection of these lamentable organisations but only so long as they turn a profit and onl so long as they tow the party line.

OK, so this isn't quite as light hearted as I'd intended.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Midterm elections that count?!

It's a historic day people, the Midterm Elections in America appear to mean something this year!

Bearing in mind that the incumbency rate in the House of Representatives is in excess of 90%. In fact, in 2004 the House had a 99% incumbency rate and the Senate a 96% incumbency rate.

So you can imagine my surprise when not only did the Democrats take the house, it looks very much like they got the Senate too. Now given the fact that they haven't done very much opposing in the last 6 years, this is a great result for the opposition. I mean, basically it has meant that the current Republican Guard have done such an abysmal job of running the country's affairs that the people of America would rather have complete inactivity than what they have now.

I really hope the democrats take the bull by the horns and use the power to at least do some damage limitation. Now I don't know the intricacies of the Upper and Lower houses, but I'm pretty sure it means the President can be told to fuck off whenever he proposes things like cutting Veteran's widows pensions, constitution defiling Patriot Acts or installing the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan as head of inner city Urban Development because he was his old college buddy.

Also Rick Santorum. I like Pensylvannia more and more with each passing week. Bless you all for ejecting this bigotted, elitist, fanatical piece of human flotsum from office. I won't ask how he got in in the first place, I will just assume some form of mass insanity swept the state. Basically this man is using up oxygen and resources that could be used on something more worthwhile. You know, like cockroaches or herpes. I am assuming the it's the state that votes for the Senator and they don't just vore for the party of course,.

On the plus side of Rick Santorum, there is a considered effort to make the word Santorum mean somehting very unpleasant, infact i was surprised to discover that it doesn't actually appear in the dictionary as I thought it was a real word. So well done the campaigners on that one! I won't go into it's definition here as you may have just eaten.

So this is a message to the Democrats. Stop letting John Kerry speak - put him in a room somewhere with some playdough or try and get him to join the other side, he'd fit right in because he's an idiot. Next, try doing something. You know, like your jobs, give Americans their freedoms back and try and stop this whole fear-mongering thing, life is pretty good. And for the vast amount of people it isn't good for over there? Make it better, do something about that whole Medicare thing. Take the 'no child left behind' crap that Bush came up with and make it workable. Now I don't know how much of this you can do with what you have but frankly anythign is better than your recent record. I check out C-Span and you people need to start with the opposing already, because it won't happen over here. We have one Right wing party in power that claims to still be left wing and believe in social responsibility while at the same time ensuring the decimation of East Timor, Turkish Kurds and various other minorities, and a Right wing party that is pretending to be left wing while they hide all the Daily Mail readers under the table.

Anyway, I digress. I hope the handful of Americans who read this set me straight on a few points, the more I know the more I can misrepresent that knowledge!

(Apologies for the delay and I promise not to be so serious in the future.....probably)

/* -----------GOOGLE ANALYTICS TRACKING CODE-------------- */ /*------------------END TRACKING CODE-------------------- */