25 Dec 2010

There's No Suitable Title For This Except 'Sheffield City Council Leader Does Cringeworthy Video For Luxury Hotel'


He says he was unpaid.  Its still worthy of vomit.  Courtesy of Sheffield Politics and Sheffield Indymedia.  Go cynicism!  Its only fair to include his twatty defence:


Internal training video?  For what precisely?  How to be a tool?

22 Dec 2010

The Latest Conspiracy Courtesy Of Me

So when anger was directed at banks for the financial crisis over a year ago (Remember?  We're not angry anymore - its all fine) almost immediately after came the 'scandal' of MP's expenses.  The story was broken by the Daily Telegraph, owned by the almost-Bond-villains, the Barclay Twins, who live in an underground hideout in the channel islands that looks like this:




In the last week, Vince Cable has suggested he's looking very closely at christmas bonuses awarded to senior bankers and lo and behold, the Daily Telegraph release a story on him being stung by reporters saying not very much.  My tinfoil hat is firmly in cheek.



14 Dec 2010

Smartphones

Not really that keen on smartphones at the moment for a number of reasons.  Generally, when it comes to mobile technology, I'm a late-adopter.  Another reason is that, considering I'm on a computer at work, and have one at home, I'm not altogether concerned that the bits in between are filled with internet.

Another reason is that I would quite like a hackable (if not completely) free software phone.  And these do not really exist as such as things stand.  A few years ago, there was a lot of development of the OpenMoko Freerunner, however its still at a stage where you have to be really dedicated to its innards and coding.  I'm not there yet.

Google's Android runs on a modified version of the linux kernel, however its difficult to choose one which does not include proprietary firmware (as hardware manufacturers have not made this available).

In exciting news, there is now a new project called Replicant, which is a libre distribution of Android.  In addition to the OS itself, they also wish to compete with Google's Market for 'apps' (I hate that word) with a free (in price and freedom) repository of software.  If it ends up working, I might even invest in a Replicant phone.  Of course, it may not.

7 Dec 2010

He's A Busy Man, I'll Forgive Him

Ken Loach on Sheffield Occupation:


"Many people will have been greatly encouraged by you action. Your demands are entirely right. Now we need maximum unity in the struggle against the cuts. And a strategy that will give us some victories. The Trades Unions should step forward. ‘We are many, they are few!!’ Keep going, even if the occupation ends. Yours in solidarity"

Ken Loach on Bristol Occupation:

"Many people will have been greatly encouraged by you action. Your demands are entirely right. Now we need maximum unity in the struggle against the cuts. And a strategy that will give us some victories. The Trades Unions should step forward. ‘We are many, they are few!!’ Keep going, even if the occupation ends. Yours in solidarity"

Even the great need to duplicate sometimes.  Like a Warhol's factory of support.

3 Dec 2010

Technology and Hierarchy - A Metaphor

"...the allegorical use of the Reformation and the church [in terms of technology]
generates all kinds of clever comparisons. A typical description of
such comparisons might go like this: the Catholic Church stands in
for large, publicly traded corporations, especially those control-
ling large amounts of intellectual property (the granting of which
might roughly be equated with the ceremonies of communion and
confession) for which they depend on the assistance and support
of national governments. Naturally, it is the storied excesses of the
church—indulgences, liturgical complexity, ritualistic ceremony,
and corruption—which make for easy allegory. Modern corpora-
tions can be figured as a small, elite papal body with theologians
(executives and their lawyers, boards of directors and their law-
yers), who command a much larger clergy (employees), who serve
a laity (consumers) largely imagined to be sinful (underspending
on music and movies—indeed, even “stealing” them) and thus in
need of elaborate and ritualistic cleansing (advertising and law-
suits) by the church. Access to grace (the American Dream) is medi-
ated only by the church and is given form through the holy acts of
shopping and home improvement. The executives preach messages
of damnation to the government, messages most government of-
ficials are all too willing to hear: do not tamper with our market
share, do not affect our pricing, do not limit our ability to expand
these markets. The executives also offer unaccountable promises of
salvation in the guise of deregulation and the American version of
“reform”—the demolition of state and national social services. Gov-
ernment officials in turn have developed their own “divine right of
kings,” which justifies certain forms of manipulation (once called
“elections”) of succession. Indulgences are sold left and right by
lobbyists or industry associations, and the decrees of the papacy
evidence little but full disconnection from the miserable everyday
existence of the flock."



From Two Bits: The Cultural Significance of Free Software by Christopher M. Kelty.

The entire book (should you wish to read it) is here.

I Knew The Borrowers Were Real





I found one of their breadknives.

2 Dec 2010

Sheffield Occupied

Despite low temperature and some alleged attempts to freeze them out (through air conditioning)  the Richard Roberts building is still occupied.



I brought some sandwiches, snacks and drinks yesterday, and that seemed to go down well.  Today they had a visit from Radio 1's former diskette jockey Mary Anne Hobbes.