Thursday, 5 July 2018

Facebook A La Kafka

Today I have been banned from commenting or posting on Facebook for 24 hours.

What did I do? I violated their standards or in their words...

How did I do this? Well that was up to me to find out. I trawled through my posts and found a share from IMDB for Peter Greenaway's film "Drowning By Numbers" .

I love Peter Greenaway's films often soundtracked my Michael Nyman's excellent minimalist classical scores, and often full of nudity , sex , disturbing and sometimes gross images, black humour , often suureal and funny dialogue and great casts, in this case Joan Plowright, Juliet Stevenson, Bernard Hill, David Morrisey and Ed Tudor Pole. So naturally I wanted to share.

To that you go to IMDB , check in to wherever you want to be and make a comment.

That was what I did.

The image below is what I think (I can cannot be certain) transgressed their rules. If you zoom in to the lady in the pool, there is a suggestion of a female nipple.
Drowning By Censors

There was an opportunity to defend the post and say what had happened. I did this but Facebook just said I couldn't submit my response. See below. It's almost Kafkaesque the fact that there is no option to discuss this, and it's possible that this has happened to lots of people.

I accept that we don't want anything unaaceptable but I have subjected to skinned and mutialyet animals, gut and knives being used on people, violent hate videos, anti Muslim, anti immigrantt and inordinate profanities which all seem to be acceptable even when I complain.

I know mistakes are made but the can't be rectified if there is no mechanism to rectify those mistakes.

I know Facebook is "free" it's paid for by the barrage of advertising, and I accept that, it's like adverts that keeps commercial television and radio free.

I'm not going to kick up a fuss, just writing this to share my exasperation.

Why is the female nipple seen as such a threat, as Dave Allen said, what if they had chosen the nose to be so indignant about.

If you were to answer the door naked the first time I'd be surprised, the tenth time it would be "Coffee, milk no sugar".

Monday, 2 April 2018

WhiTunes? Security? Cookies?

Last night there was another update to iTunes. 271 Mb! Let that sink in. That's a lot of data to update software which I basically want to use to rip CDs and play music. That should require 271 Mb. That's 27 times the space on my first ever computer with a hard drive and when I worked at  Yorkshire water we were running everything on a mainframe with 4 Mb of memory. My phone has 48 Gb but does a hell ove a lot.

But iTunes, basically when you want to peruse your own colleection it's slow and directs you to the store and more often than not can't find artwork when you rip a CD. In is so full of periphery it can't actually do what it's supposed to.

The trouble is you never know what the update is, which is why I included the Eddie Izzard video.

This is like the version of Microsoft Excel that had a hidden built in Flight Simulator. No woner it needed so many discs to install. Total bloatware.

Then we have things like OneDrive and Google that connect to "The Cloud" to continually back up your computer which means that your machine is much slower especially if your internet connection is not that fast.

And another thing , why are cookies used ofr security. Cookies are fine for transient information, I don't mind seeing ads for cake if I've been searching for cake, but when Facebook contially asks me to remember my password in tree places every time I log on , as well as asking me if it can send Facebook notifications to my desktop before blacking out my screen before logging on. Because I do things with web sites I always clear cookies and history to make sure I'm working with the latest version.

Why can't sites store these preferences with other things like your name?

One the one hand we're continually warned about security, next were being told to let browsers remember our passwords and even stay logged in for quicker access (that's PayPal)

Right rant over and time for work.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Students... Grrrr

I have not had a rant for a while, in fact it's over a year,  and that's what I set this particular blog up for as I prefer to be positive, but every so often I want to rant about the bad things in this world. I was originally going to title this FVCK STUDENTS, but thought that may be even more inflammatory.

Don't get be wrong, I am not getting at students, in Newcastle they contribute to the economy, yes they can be annoying , congregate at the front of an otherwise empty bus or in front of a cash machine that you want to use etc etc

Basically its a lot of things, the most in your face being the continually erection of new Student Cell Blocks. Almost everywhere there is somewhere that can be built on these are going up. Now I wouldn't mind if these were being put up by councils for the benefit of students, but they're not , they charge students £500-£600 a month to stay here. This is private "enterprise" with the collusion of the government treating the students as cash cows. This is on top of the student loans which were introduced by Nu--Labour, then hiked by the Tories and LibDems , all people who had their education paid for (by the state or parents) showing their economic incompetence in education.

Now the government are talking about capping Student loans ... because ... the cost of recovering unpaid loans is become a burden. The thing is because wages have stagnated students can't even get a job that would enable then to repay the loan , let alone actually live.

Students should not be viewed as cash cows, but the current model , the government lends the students money (taken from the taxpayer), that is then paid to private "enterprise", then when students can't repay then the taxpayer loses out again.

I know my views are simplistic, but we should be building social housing (council housing with affordable rents not "affordable" housing) , student accommodation should be also similarly costed, and education should be FREE funded by the taxpayer.

Instead we have an economy where money is leaked away into offshore accounts while the country's infrastructure crumble....and I won't mention leaving the EU.....

Saturday, 21 January 2017

The World Just Became A Reality TV Show

Donald Trump is in The Whitehouse. We shouldn't be too surprised . Trump was on the Apprentice. If Simon Cowell stood for Prime Minister in the UK he'd win by a landslide, because let's face , most of the electorate are at a level where they will do what their rag of choice (The Sun,The Mail or Express in the UK, Fox News and The National Enquirer in the USA) tells them.

Many of his supporters laud him as a "businessman" ignoring his continuous failures and being bailed out (see here)

Making inappropriate sexual comments about girls as young as ten (see here)

Misogyny and Sexual Harassment of Women (see here)

Racist Harassment and incidents (See here) the Brexit vote endorsed the same in the UK

Mocking the disabled (See here)

Any one of these incidents would get me sacked but the electorate seem to view these as a benefit.

People say that it doesn't stop him doing the job, and all politicians are the same.

He claims he is going to create jobs when his own companies use non USA labour. (see here)

So being on the Apprentice qualifies you for US President (unless you are non white or a woman)

I've included PJ O'Rourke on Trump vs Clinton, he is Right Wing and voted Democrat.

Today is not a good day.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

I'm Finding It Difficult

A lot of people who I'd consider my friends , who I worked with, are singing the praises of  Donald Trump as a straight talker and a business man. When I say but what about the sexual assaults , the lurid sexual comments towards children, the denigration of disabled people, the racism, the misogyny, the bankruptcies , the fraud, they retort with "It doesn't stop him from doing a good job".

By the same token we could but Jimmy Saville and Gary Glitter in charge of a kindergarten class and Peter Sutcliffe in charge of a women's refuge.

Everyone mentioned in this post is vile and despicable, and Nigel  Farage belongs there for his racism, misogyny and idiocy.

If you have a good word for any of these just unfriend me on Facebook.

Pop Will Eat Itself are more appropriate by the second.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

2016 Year of The Brump

You can tell that my heart's not really in this blog because I hate complaining and whining but feel that I have to do this one about stuff that annoys the hell out of me.

Brump is my word for the car crash that is Brexit and Donald Trump.

The two big intertwined snakes of Brexit and Donald Trump's Victory have left me open to accusations that I don't know what democracy is and I should shut the f**k up and accept the "will of the people".

My counter argument is that the people who voted were blatantly lied to. When I point this out I'm told that people "should have known" that they were lies.  Well if you go and buy a Ferrari that is advertised as having a top speed of 300 mph, it gets delivered , and it wont top 30 mph because it only has a 500cc engine , what would you do? Should you have known?

Brexit promised immigration control, money for the NHS , more control and none of those are going to happen and in fact our government are selling off everything to foreign governments while still plunging the county into further debt. It's funny how austerity only hits the poor.

Trump promised to take on big business , bring manufacturing jobs back to the USA, build a wall, to keep out Mexicans but the electorate were wary that Hilary Clinton would just get into bed with bug business and the rich would get richer and the poor will get poorer.

I remember Margaret Thatcher once saying she wanted a "return to Victorian values" and for years I thought she meant no sex, no nudity, no swearing, but then I realise that what she really meant was that she wanted a slave underclass who didn't need paying because they would just kow-tow to their betters. That's what the Tory "Austerity" program is aimed at.

These two events (Brexit / Trump) have validated racist and homophobic opinions resulting in people being attacked and killed, the fall out from these events have proved that they are wrong.

And back to democracy. A vote should be based on truths and not the opinions of the best con men. Here's Wikipedia's definition.

Check out Adam Curtis' Hypernormalisation here which gives a good insight into why we are in this situation

OK That's it out of my system but we are in a bad place and I hope that the good and sensible ones among us can mobilize and do something about it.

Have a great day my friends.

Musically we'll go with Dick Gaughan's "World Turned Upside Down" and provide some amusing political insights from PJ O'Rourke.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Dark As The Dungeon

This morning I got up and it was still dark, at 6:20 it was still dark, and the Johnny Cash song "Dark As The Dungeon" came to mind, and I thought of the chorus:

"And it's dark as a dungeon and damp as the dew,
 Where danger is double and pleasures are few,
 Where the rain never falls and the sun never shines 
And it's dark as a dungeon way down in the mines."

And while the analogy of mining is there, this is a perfect analogy for the state of the low paid, unemployed, sick and disabled in most western societies. In the sixties and seventies people could aspire to buy their own own house , now with the destruction of social housing by the introduction of the "right to buy"  program , that is now beyond the reach of most people.

People with what are considered reasonable jobs struggle to make ends meet and are constantly spending time filing in forms in order to get help. When I was last unemployed, I was instructed to spend seven and a half hours a day looking for a job. How soul destroying, I didn't do that but did volunteer work and some work with a start up company, but not everyone can do the latter, especially if there a bills to pay and mouths to feed.

The proliferation of food banks and charities like Help For Heroes disgusts me, not because I don't think that these charities do great work but because governments allow companies to pay starvation wages, cut back benefits, send people to war to protect financial interests (anywhere with oil needs democracy) and then when they come back from war the government wash their hands and leave it to charities like Help For Heroes to look after them.

Corporation tax is much lower than income tax I believe , "entrepreneurs" like Richard Branson make money off government handouts via tax breaks and the like.

The Basic Income concept is an excellent concept. Everyone would have it, people who work would have significantly more. If the people at the bottom end of the income scale hade disposable income, the economy would have a huge boost. It doesn't matter that they spend money on beer, cigarettes , Sky TV, Crisps and chocolate, that would boost all those markets who would then have to employ more people to cope with the demand. A lot of people would go out for mor meals , the cinema , have more holidays.

Instead governments expect them to work for nothing, (their benefits if they are lucky) and spend time filling in countless forms, waiting for someone to look and decide whether they are a deserving case.

Right that's today's thoughts out of the way.