Saturday, 30 June 2007

The Apple iPhone - the ultimate expression of style over substance...

Been keeping an eye on the tech news lately and all the trendy folk and apple zealots are foaming at the mouth to get a hold of the new 'iPhone'.

After carefully reading all the articles on it, i've come to this conclusion: It's utter bollocks.

Seriously, the technical 'prowess' of it is laughable. Utter, utter crap. It costs you $600 and for that, you get a camera thats worse than what motorola was using 2 years ago, a vendor lock in with AT&T (which means you cant use your OWN sim card or provider of choice), and it's not even 3G capable. Oooh it has wifi. Woohoo. The availability of free, public wifi, or even paid wifi networks outside airports, is very sparse indeed.

My Sony Ericsson K750i is about 18 months to 2 years old, yet it has a better camera on it and can do most of the things the iPhone can - it's got a media player on it, and even has a radio. The camera on it is a decent 2MP jobby with a flash thats capable of autofocus, zoom and video mode. It cost me the equivalent of $200 in a one off payment, on the network of my choosing (O2) and isn't applicable to a vendor lock-in.

Of course, intelligent people will probably have already realised that its mostly hype, but there are still hoardes of stupid people that will go out and buy it based solely on the shiny factor, or because their religion of choice (Steve Jobs-ism) demands that they do so, and evangelise about it until such time as the universe collapses in on itself.

These are the people you cannot win over, even with logic - they're worse than most women. I've seen true geeks won over by the fact that its shiny, despite their knowledge and admittance of its technical crappetry. Oooh i just made a new word...

Anyway, i've found something that pretty much sums up the morons that buy crApple products:

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Political Upheaval

So, after much consideration i decided to write down, on paper, everything that i think needs to be changed about the UK, in numerous area's. I've pasted it below for you all to see. However, out of all the policies that are outlined, what would you change, or add to the list?

Secondly, if you are from the UK, if a party with policies like this came into being, would you vote for them in the general election?


The Common Sense Party - List of Policies

Law & Order

* Change the Police 'service' back to a Police FORCE
* All legislation that protects criminals and affords them dodges and loopholes to be removed or curtailed
* All legislation that causes excessive bureaucracy and paperwork to be dealt with to be removed or curtailed - officers spend too much time filling in forms than catching scum.
* Drop all Diesel Astra's from the squad car lineup - they're slow. Get Police Package Dodge Chargers in V6 or V8 format - they're less than £15,000 and they're far better than the crap that comes from Luton.
* Require all squad cars to be ARMED with a pump action shotgun
* Officers to be given the option of arming themselves with the FN FiveSeven 5.7mm Sidearm - not a mandatory requirement, but recommended.
* Re-open Police stations, make existing ones 24 hour again with at least minimal staffing of 20 - too many incidents go unreported because theres little more than a telephone and a waiting list on the other end.
* More police patrols in all areas - bring back the beat cops
* Build at least two new maximums security prisons in remote areas away from population (Wales, North Scotland)
* All paedophiles to be given mandatory 25 year sentences at MINIMUM


* Allow teachers to discipline children by allowing them to at least shout at pupils who are disruptive or unruly
* Teach desperately needed life skills such as balancing bills, laundry, household maintainance, cooking etc
* Get rid of the examinations for primary school children
* Scrap GCSE's in their current form - include more relevant content, reduce the amount of coursework, concentrate on examinations more.
* Include more technical and scientific subjects at both A-Level and GCSE, make it a REQUIREMENT rather than an option. *Scrap the current AS/A level system, return to the old style of A levels, in which people chose 3 subjects, 4 at maximum to specialise in, rather than making it a requirement they learn 5 subjects in the 1st year and then specialising in only 3 the following year - AS levels on their own are pointless.
* Longer school day - from 9am to 3:45pm, two breaks one from 10:30am to 11am and another from 12:30pm to 1:30pm
* Require schools to provide extra curricular activities on top of regular class work
* Increase salaries for teachers, add 10% on top for inner city weighting
* Remove the requirement for school uniforms
* Remove state funding from faith schools, if you want your kid to go to a christian school, you pay for it, not the taxpayer.
* Restrict University Entrance to 20% of school leavers - too many kids use University as a dodge, and it subsequently devalues the degree.
* Remove University Tuition fee's - state fund university students tuition.

Economic Policy

* Secede from the European Union - far too much of our taxpayers money is being wasted subsidising foreign farming, when we need to be subsidising our own.
* Give british industry incentives to keep service sector workers in the UK and penalise those that insist on offshoring call-centres to fucking india
* Reduce council tax to a percentage of income, graded according to bands.
* Anyone past retirement age pays only a FIXED amount of £10 per month towards council tax. No more OAP's being jailed for not paying their £2000 bill.
* Restructure the income tax system, again, to a percentage of income, graded according to bands,
* Restructure national insurance by making it ONLY for use in paying for the Pension System and the Health Service. Separate it from other governmental income to ensure that it cannot be used to pay for other things.
* Write off all 3rd World Debts


* Re-nationalise ALL rail systems - bring back British Rail & London Underground - no more price gouging from greedy rail firms. Make it a not-for-profit operation.
* Re-nationalise ALL bus companies for all areas of the country. Make it a not-for profit operation.
* No more outsourcing to private construction companies for maintaince and infrastructure. Bring it back in-house.
* Increase the speed limit to 90mph
* Remove all speed camera's except for built up and urban area's, this includes coppers in laybys with gatso guns.
* Restructure the Road Tax system, cap the amount payable to 50% of current prices, remove the emissions banding system and replace it with three engine size bands - 2 litres or less, 2 litres to 3 litres and 3 litres or more. Remove all concessions for Hybrid vehicles as they are NOT environmentally friendly. Add concessions for biofuel capable vehicles of 10% reduction in cost.
* Scrap ANY plans for road-charging
* Re-introduce rolling exemption of classic cars from Road Tax. Instead of the rolling exemption applying to anything over the age of 25 years, make it applicable to everything over 20 years old.
* Drastically reduce the cost of fuel by reducing the duty to 15p per litre, and only charging VAT on the total cost of the fuel, instead of the current system whereby the duty is ALSO charged VAT in addition to the overall cost.
* Create a government controlled insurance department to provide an alternative to overpriced third party insurers - for THIRD PARTY COVER ONLY.
* Repeal the congestion charge in London and prevent the scheme from being adopted in other cities. People have a reason to be driving around in the city centre, they're not just doing it to be annoying.

Health & Safety

* Put them back into the position of an advisory and regulatory body, remove ALL powers of direct intervention. Too much H&S crap goes on these days, its unnecessary and impinges on personal liberties.


* Close our borders and ship back anyone that enters this country illegally. Refuse requests for asylum unless given a solid reason, ie, flight from religious persecution. We want to take this country back from the economic migrants. Those that wish to enter the UK and work must have a valid and worthwhile skill set, no more casual labourers.

Social Security & Benefits

* Restructure the benefits system to give only 8 weeks of unemployment benefit (at a minimum of £80 a week) for those that are unemployed. Those that still have not found work after 8 weeks will have their benefits reduced by 50% and after a further 8 weeks if they still have not found some form of employment will have their social security removed. They may NOT apply again until after they have gained employment and subsequently been made redundant. No more benefit scroungers and layabouts.
* OAP's given priority housing, minimum benefit payment of £120 per week.


* Instead of offering 100% free care, institute a system similar to that of the french, whereby the state contributes to 80% of the cost of the treatment from national insurance, and require people to take out a health insurance policy for the remaining 20% of the cost. This has the benefit of reducing the monetary burden on the NHS and would deter hypochondriacs and time wasters.
* Restructure the working hours of health profession staff to bank in more time off - healthcare is a stressful and demanding profession.
* Increase pay levels to more accurately reflect the value of the staff
* Reduce the amount of bureaucracy and middle management that occurs in hospitals.
* No more outsourcing of cleaning staff - go back to 'in-house' services that can be properly monitored. Many third party cleaning services skimp on cleaning, which consequently leads to outbreaks of e-coli and MRSA superbugs.


* Upgrade of the Trident SLBM missile system
* Institute measures that reduce our dependance on the United States military for nuclear warfare, including the power systems of ballistic missile submarines.
* Bring back national service for school leavers that aren't going to University, but expand it into all government service branches: Military, Police, Medical (Paramedics), Coastguard, Civil.
* Maintain a more hardline stance towards hostile nations. No more negotiations with countries that take our people hostage - like Iran did not long ago. Example being, if they take our people hostage, we take decisive military action, we dont send in diplomats.
* Increase funding, equipment and manpower to units on the ground that desperately need it.
* Drop the SA-80 assault rifle - too many flaws in the design. Replace with the H&K G36 (5.56mm NATO)

Monday, 25 June 2007

Night Shifts...and stuff.

Could there be anything more annoying than a Night shift? The only good thing about it, is that its quiet. But then after a week of it, you get very bored, very quickly. However, its the kind of bored that means you really dont feel like doing anything to rectify it. If you could be bothered, it would be apathy.

Still, my sleep pattern is totally wonky at the moment, i woke up at 3am this time, which means i'll probably fall asleep about 4pm, but i can't, as i have british gas coming round to put a Radiator back on the wall.

Yes, i know, this flat is falling apart, yes i still have to pay for, doesnt it? Our landlord is such a complete arse that every time you mention a problem with something, such as a rotting window frame, broken toilet seat, gutters uncleared, windows uncleaned etc - he disappears for a few weeks.

This time he 'disappeared' when the problem of the collapsing radiator cropped up, so I talked to the woman who lives downstairs in the other flat he rents out, and magically, when she phoned him, he was 'in'. What an utter bastard.

Thankfully, i haven't got long to go before i get to move out and go somewhere like wales, where the rent is less and the space is more :)

Onto the 'stuff' that was promised in the title....

Have you noticed that MySpace has become internet limbo? All the people seem to have upped and moved to FaceBook. Now i've been on FaceBook since before i was on MySpace, in the days when it was only open to university students and alumnus. Now, it's getting so widespread, that its become the MySpace replacement for many.

There are some good reasons for it really. The layouts are all identical, and low key, so the pages load quickly, theres no embedded flash crap, and only people that are members and within your chosen network (ie, London) can view your profile, so you dont get quite so many randoms popping up, and the spam comments just dont happen.

Obviously MySpace still has some alluring aspects, such as the fact you can indeed customise your profile, although i think this should be limited to people that have a clue what HTML is, and not to use those autogenerated profile views that seem to be quite common.

I wont leave either, i do check both on a regular daily basis as there are some people that either 'dont do myspace' or 'dont do facebook' in my friends list.

The spookiest thing about Facebook however, has to be the presence of at least a half dozen people i used to go to Primary School with. Yep - i havent seen these people for at least 14/15 years and they're almost unrecogniseable, all with jobs, wives and in some cases, kids.

Out of all the people i went to primary school with, i'm thankful i ended up in St. Chris when i did. The local secondary school was shite and i'd have ended up in some dead end job in Tesco's or something. Not to say thats the fate that befell everyone, but it was hardly career central...

Then there are the people i went to St Chris with, some of whom i haven't seen for 7 years. Thanks to both of these sites, i've met up with Richard Lewis, one of my best friends from 6th Form, who is now a Vegan and works at the BBC, and Anil Patel, who is an Estate Agent. Both of them live curiously close to me.

I had the option of attending an informal St Chris reunion the other week, but decided against it - i'll save it all for the proper formal re-union in a week or so.

Jesus, i just remembered, its in less than 2 weeks. Oh dear god....