Who knows best?

The EU this week approved a law to standardise mobile phone chargers, in an attempt to eliminate e-waste through incompatible chargers and cut costs to the consumer.

http://mobile.slashdot.org/story/14/03/14/208254/eu-votes-for-universal-phone-charger

In theory it sounds like a good idea. In practise? All the major manufacturers have converged on micro USB except Apple, who have already said they’ll supply an adaptor rather than ditch their lightning connector. You’ll struggle to find a non iPhone made since 2009 (when the legislation was put forward) that doesn’t use micro USB. In short, it worked, without the law demanding it, merely suggesting it.
I am a bit of a tech geek, it’s a subject I know about, and the flaws in this plan are glaring. If everyone is doing it anyway, why make it law? If it’s law, what happens when the next tech standard comes along and we want to upgrade? Apple’s lightning connector might be different to the USB ones, but it has major advantages, the plug is reversible, and the data transfer is much faster.
Mobile chargers
Honestly, when was the last time you saw any of those chargers on a new phone?

I’ve started to see a pattern. Governments legislating things like this always seem like a good idea unless I know anything about the subject, at which point the legislation is suddenly short sighted and inappropriate.
Legislating 101: start with a good headline and work backwards.
Extrapolating out from the data  I have and my experience, I can only logically conclude that all legislation that aims to force this sort of control on us is stupid and inappropriate, be it standardised phone chargers, emission laws, or the shape of bananas.
Legislators who make these laws rarely seem to have a background interest in the subject matter; that seems reasonable. Most people aren’t interested in most things. Politicians are interested in politics, getting re-elected, covering up their latest scandal. They’re never going to properly understand even 10% of the issues they vote on, so why are they there?

I’m going to thing about if there’s even a point to voting while I sleep in my house that isn’t on fire from dodgy electrics and hasn’t been blown up due to dodgy gas fittings. Damm legislation.

Posted in Blog, politics, tech

On why I hate Tesco (today)

Today we had to go to Tesco, as usual I found this spiritually unfulfilling. Every time I leave that place I am blessed with more reasons for hating Tesco.

Image

Today’s list (in order or occurrence)
1) They got me in the store (at this point they have already won)

2) £1 trolley fee for being a customer.

3) Not having a pound coin on me, this being 2013 and all.

4) Cash point to get £10 out

5) 5 minute queue at the customer service point to get change

6) No £5 notes, so change all in pound coins.

7) While following Melanie around the shop, try to use eBay app to buy a keyring trolley token while the kids re-enact the star wars saga.

8) Tesco’s free wifi (in exchange for a complete download of your phones browser history I assume) hijacks my data and asks me to sign in with my clubcard.

9) Faraday cage effect of the tesco store means there is no phone signal

10) Try and sign in to the free wifi, have to enter 20 digit clubcard number.

11) The web portal page has infinite redirect loops.

12) Finally get a login, (i’ve entered my clubcard about 5 times at this point)

13) account locked out due to too many devices registered (thanks to the redirect loop)

14) Reset cache and cookies

15) reset account and reregister

16) repeat, hit infinite redirect loops again

17) account locked out again

18) repeat until we’re at the checkout.

19) Am in a queue (4 checkouts out of 30 open) behind morally reprehensible people who took a baby trolley with the special seat that for some reason doesn’t require a pound coin. This at least gives me a perverse British satisfaction in taking the moral high ground.

20) Hate humanity (and their lack of respect for the clearly defined trolley hierarchy)

21) return home with food, but no bread.

22) repeat.

23) Forget to buy trolley token in relief at being home

24) repeat again next week.

I guess that really just boils down to crap wifi and charging for trolley’s, but it feels better to make it 24 points of rage. Anyway, what happened to us all boycotting Tesco? Wasn’t that a thing? I feel like it should be a thing. Tesco and voting, boycott!

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Theresa May and the copyright stratagem.

UK home secretary and chief coat collar strategist has ruled that a UK citizen who set up a link search engine, a google or bing if you will, should be extradited to USA corp on charges of being a meanie, despite being a meanie not being against UK law. Link

Sontaran

USA corp has stirred it’s magic spoon in a bowl of fictitious numbers and decided that Richard O’Dwyer might have cost US business interests 50p by collecting and organising links to material hosted by youtube.

Theresa May

Head busybody May was reported as saying, “look, if you’ve done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear. Except extradition to the US on charges that would never stand up to basic scrutiny here.

“What? No, you can’t see my internet history under a freedom of information request, I fail to see what you would have to gain from that. Besides, I keep my internet history in an offshore account where it is not subject to UK laws.” Link

I’d better stop writing, in the distance I can hear sirens. I may have jaywalked earlier. I also think I didn’t come to a complete stop at a stop sign, and don’t know how to recite the alphabet backwards. Orange jumpsuits don’t suit me! If they try to  send me to Guantanamo, please do a better job than this!

Theresa May

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Posted in Blog, news, politics

The trials and tribulations of Moonpig.com

Tuesday was my little brother’s birthday so, like any good older brother, on Monday I sat down, logged onto Moonpig and started looking for a card that summed up the right tone I wanted to convey. I was in luck! They had exactly what I wanted. Well, they would have if my brother was an alcoholic and I was staging an intervention and wanted to get him into AA.

I had a few other options left, but one of them involved the many cards that accuse the recipient of being a sex offender. An old sex offender, because my brother’s birthday must mean I want to mock his ageing years. Ageing seven years behind mine, but still ageing and therefore ripe for piss taking.

I found myself browsing the Jewish section and he almost received a Mazel Tov Bar Mitzvah card with the Star of David on the front, which may be out of place, neither of us being Jewish, but wasn’t as embarrassing as the non Jewish alternatives. I don’t think my brother has ever aspired to being on the cover of OK magazine so there’s a whole other section of their website brushed aside in one fell swoop.

After pausing on the Diwali cards (I never looked in the Holy Communion section, I may have missed something there, do people get Holy Communion cards? I thought it happened every week?), I settled on an age joke card. At least I’m only accusing him of existing in the same relative place of existence as the rest of us, not destroying his life and the lives of loved ones.

That took far too long. Before arriving at this I got the checkout stage with a custom made card with no picture and the caption “this page intentionally blank” before getting here.

It wouldn’t be complete without some customisation would it? For a start he’s not called Bruce.

It’s funny because he’s old, and instead of the bat mobile there’s a mobility scooter, and in his youth he had a bat mobile. And the implication is of course that I think you’re old, despite being younger than me, but, it was either this or a card accusing you of being an alcoholic, or a sex pest. Anyway, happy birthday and all that, you ancient drunkard.

It’s surprising how much work you have to put into these things isn’t it? Happy Birthday Bruce.

Watch out for my funkypigeon.com review next year.

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Big Fat Tory Wedding: Review

The Big Fat Tory Wedding programme is often labelled as prejudiced or unfair, but what it actually does is attempt to give us a peek into Tory lifestyle, customs and beliefs which are often very different to our own.

There is often a perception that the Tories are reclusive. There’s no merit to this. Tories are often to be found hanging around fundraisers and yacht parties. However, this doesn’t mean that the Tories are inclusive – outsiders are often shunned and there is a strict code as to who is allowed into their circle. The show explains the strict financial targets and birth lineage needed to be a true Tory. Despite the stereotypes that they are all about money, if you are “new money” or the “wrong type of foreign” you will not be allowed to be a real Tory.

Tory Life
The male Tories have unusual bonding rituals. The programme shows them descending upon an unsuspecting restaurateur and ordering all the caviar. Despite their high spending the owners are not happy as the Tories soon consume too much Bollinger and the Bonsai tree centre pieces bear the brunt of their excitement.
There isn’t much known about Tory women, some question whether women are even allowed to be true Tories, in recent years there have been a few allowed to mix with the menfolk, but they are a rare sight. Tories prefer their women to be quiet and out of sight.

Tory Sites
The arrival of a group of Tories often causes concern for the locals. These locals are concerned that the Tories will move into their local library and close it down. They have heard rumours that the Tories closed down a charity for blind orphan children at the last town they were in because it was not profitable enough and there are rumours of a Local Health Authority being taken in the night, stripped down and sold back to patients in need.

Tory Religion
Despite this seemingly outlandish behaviour Tories are often very proactively concerned about the religious and spiritual well being of others. They hold traditional family values in high regard and scorn any outsider (or “peasant” to use the Tory vernacular) who ends up a single parent. Such a fate is surely a punishment from God for being poor. Punishment is swift and brutal.

These Tories certainly seem like an odd bunch, but it certainly appears that their customs and beliefs seem incompatible with most normal civilised society, for which they seem strangely unapologetic, trying to pin the blame for their anti social behaviour on the poor and disabled.

The Tories are currently putting on a performance art piece about their society. Surprisingly it’s been signed for at least 5 years. It’s currently showing in Westminster but its affects can be felt countrywide.

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Abbotgate

AbbotGate? Seriously? That annoys me as much as people saying they’ll try 110%. It’s 120% annoying.

Not your typical racist.

I think Dianne Abbot is as racist as I am black. Which I’m not. And there ends the amount of opinion I’m allowed to have about the matter, as a white person, except to say that I think it’s telling that the media only seems to take notice of a black woman’s opinion under these circumstances.

So instead I’m going to tackle a side issue. The gate suffix.

Watergate was an actual place. It was not a scandal about water. Therefore, scandals should only be allowed to be a “gate” when a word with the gate suffix is an actual real word. Not just appended to any old word.

20120105-181951.jpg

To help with this I have provided some examples below. Enjoy.

Police screw up Stephen Lawrence case. InvestiGate

The wife said “turn left”, but claims she said “right”. We’re referring to the incident as navigate.

I saw a copper kick a man in an already broken leg, papers are calling it castiGate

Rebecca Black was accused of lip-syncing, The scandal is being called FriGate

MP’s found smoking in the House of Commons. FumiGate

Footballer in lovechild shocker. surroGate

MP’s accused of not hiring minorities in segreGate scandal

Churches being forced to use budget roofing materials after new lead tax. corruGate.

Columbus mislabels native Americans after missing India and landing in America in a scandal called “circumnaviGate”

Fury as President tries to close the deficit by selling one of the states. DeleGate

MP caught buying “sexual enhancement products”. ElonGate

Fluoride being added to water supplies. ColGate (HT @mmeguillotine)

… The MP denied he has proposed to his mistress. Papers are calling it neGate

An MP was found in possession of bestiality pornography, it’s being called tailGate

There have been allegations of corruption of the watergate hotel. Papers are calling it “Nixon resigns shock”

I’ve written loads of these, I’m getting tired now. It’ll be called. defatiGate

But at the rate I’m going some people will call it profliGate

There’s just too many, as if someone opened a floodGate

That’s it, I’m addicted to “-Gate”. I’ll call this condition gate-AHOLIC

Here are some more words ending in gate. See how many you can do.

aggregate
abjugate.
Ablegate.
Abligate
abnegate
Abrogate
abrogate
Adjugate.
Adrogate
Alligate
arrogate
Bijugate
centrifugate
congregate
delegate
Deligate
Denegate
Derogate
divagate
Evulgate
Indagate
Irrigate
Irrugate
instigate
interrogate
Levigate
lichgate
Litigate
lychgate
mitigate
Obligate
Obrogate
propagate
relegate
Runagate
subjugate

As much as I hate -gate, I’d love to see one of those words in a Sun headline.

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The Labour government were intrusive, the Tories are taking it to new creepy levels.

In my misspent youth I worked in a cinema. I would spend 8 hours a day standing near TV screens that ran a 10-20 minute loop of adverts and film trailers. That was one of the worst aspects of that job, worse than smelling of popcorn, worse than the customers, as the DVD would only be swopped out on a monthly basis. New video loop day was a good day. Thankfully I wasn’t enduring this mental needling while worrying about my health on a hospital bed…

While he tries to dismantle the cornerstone of our nations health, a national institution that the world looks upon jealously, Andrew Lansley has decided, in a move that would be more fitting in a Doctor Who episode, to have a video loop of him, every 2-5 minutes, beside every bed, telling the unwilling occupant, “that your care while you’re here in hospital really matters to me.” Creepy. If David Tennant heard that, he’d promptly pull out a sonic screwdriver and start looking for the Dalek plot. Trying to pose as someone who actually cares is a cynical move, that, while in no way beyond the tory party, is a surprising one, that seems calculated to drive the staff to new levels of impotent rage and helplessness while they battle cuts, pension reductions, and an uncertain future.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-15833704


Meanwhile, Michael Gove is stamping his personal beliefs on his department, education. Our schools are all being sent a special “anniversary edition” of the King James Bible, with a forward writhed by Gove himself. It’s bad enough when bands re-issue old albums, but for a government to re-issue a bible? What you have here, is a government issue bible, being sent, unsolicited, to all schools, regardless of their wishes, the beliefs of the pupils, the beliefs of the teachers and at presumably great cost, as they are having to print their own editions of this bible. Of course this fits naturally with Cameron’s vision of a big society, because not enough charity groups try to give bibles to impressionable young children as it is, so it’s vital that the government steps in and helps here. I can’t think of a better use of that money or resource.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/nov/25/michael-gove-king-james-bible

As a rebranding exercise, it seems misguided. I’m not sure what’s worse, Nasty Party or Creepy Party. At least I could trust the Nasty Party not to be up a tree with a pack of doughnuts and a pari of binoculars (unlike Labour). As it stands I’m had expecting them to do something dodgy like force job seekers to work for multi billion companies like Tesco under threat of losing their job seekers allowance if they don’t. Oh, wait. Because we all know business’ are hurting and need our help, especially Tesco’s. And there’s nothing that is more urgent in this country than stacking those shelves that job seekers could be doing instead? No? Everything good? Lovely. I guess we’ve nothing to worry about then, as Tesco’s empty shelves are the nations most pressing issue. Good job Cameron et al. Almost makes me wish I’d voted for you. Oh wait, thanks to Nick Clegg I sort of did….

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Posted in Blog, politics