Thursday, 22 April 2010

Popularity Contests

Imagine the worst thing that could happen to you. Yes, absolutely right. You are a multi-billionaire with the world almost completely at your feet. You have paid to install your man in the position at the top of the government, and for some reason, the voters think that you shouldn’t get your way after you paid all that money. They think they have a right to pick who they want. Unfathomable, I know.

In the UK right now there is a race on. A race for the top.

It’s election time.

Some brief history. Labour have been in power for a long time. Since 1997. Before that it was the Conservatives, or more colloquially, the tories. I was not even alive the last time the Liberal Democrats were in power.

There are three people in charge of these three parties. Gordon Brown is in charge of the Labour party, the party most likely to fall from power. David Cameron is in charge of the Conservatives, and has for a long time been the front runner in taking pole position. Nick Clegg is in charge of the Liberal Democrats, now poised to do considerably better than they were predicted to.

Now back to our nightmarish society. You are a multi-billionaire media mogul. You own several newspapers in the UK, and a lot of TV channels. You have in the past, judged the political climate, and come up with your winner. You pick David Cameron, as you know Gordon Brown and the Labour party are on the way out. It’s obvious. That leaves two parties left. The Lib Dems have around 16% support on a good sunny day, and the tories pick up around 40% of the vote, way outstripping the Labour party.

You have your winning horse. You back the Tories. You even meet with the Tory top dog and basically tell him that as long as the business climate in the UK remains favorable for you, that he will win with the support pledged by your news outlets. Basically, you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.

Let us not forget that democracy is a far from perfect method. A perfect method would be a meritocracy. Democracy is a popularity contest. It’s the political equivalent version of Miss World. Really. That is what you have signed up for.

A newspaper shouting out that one guy is the good guy and one guy is the bad guy is just a way of manipulating said popularity contest. We call them elections.

This is just the situation we find ourselves in until about a week ago. Everything was running to plan. The public were being fed perfectly good ‘versions’ of the truth. The Tories were in first place, Labour were second and the Lib Dems were taking up the last position.

Then the unthinkable happens. Someone lets the public listen to what they have to say. It’s like someone doesn’t want your carefully laid out plans to succeed. Who would do such a thing!?

A Political debate occurred. A Televised debate. They have been having them in the US for years. Decades. We are still catching up in the UK.

Shamefully, the public watched this ridiculous notion of democracy in action. Then, horror of horrors, they started to have opinions.

This angered Rupert Murdoch our imaginary multi-billionaire, as the public started to like the Liberal Democrat leader much, much more than the guy you wanted in the top spot.

What to do, what to do?

Got it!

Use your prodigious media outlets to attack this Liberal Democrat leader as much as possible. Throw as much muck as you can find and hope desperately that some of it sticks. Maybe that way, some people will believe the crap and lies you are publicizing.

The two best possible outlets you could use are The Sun, ‘Britain’s biggest selling newspaper’ (probably nothing to do with the breasts on the third page) and the Daily Mail, also called the Daily Fail by anyone with a brain.

Lo! Behold! Stand in rapture at your glorious prediction come to life!

The day of the next televised debate, the headline of the Daily Fail is something obscure about the leader of the Lib Dems making Nazi slurs against Britain! Read no further! Make a snap judgement that the Lib Dems are bad! Back the Tories! Subtext your heart out!

Obviously it turned out to be a ‘news scoop’ from 2002. 8 whole years ago, where Nick Clegg said that the UK could not rely on past glories and that to have a better economy than Germany, we would have to pull our socks up, so to speak.

NAZI! NAZI! OBVIOUS NAZI IS OBVIOUS!

The Nazi’s would tell you what to think! They were evil! Completely unlike Rupert Murdoch our imaginary multi-billionaire media tycoon.

What could possibly adorn the front page of The Sun? Perhaps some glowing review of the Lib Dem party leader? Of course not. This is the greatest threat to our imaginary multi-billionaires choice for top man. Sink him!

“Clegg on his face” Do you see what they did there? They used his name to make fun of him. Like this. Rupert the Murderer-is-a-Cock. Do you see what I have done there?

If you read The Sun or The Daily Mail a lot, then the chances are you do not.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Equality

Why would you want equality amongst your fellow men? Why?

Maybe you are answering this question with your internal monologue. Perhaps it goes something like this, were I to be a part of your imagination.

GAME OVER: Why would you want equality amongst your fellow men?

INTERNAL LOLALOGUE: Because I have a very good set of morals GAME OVER.

GAME OVER: Where didst thou acquire said moral base you sir/lady?

INTERNAL LOLALOGUE: Why I am good natured and benevolent towards all men GAME OVER. Why do you ask?

GAME OVER: It just sounds like you are religious.

INTERNAL LOLALOGUE: I am. Didn't you know that religious people have better moral foundations than others?

GAME OVER: Obviously not.

Yes, that's right people. The Pope, the head of the Catholic church on Earth, has decided that equality must be wrong. Or at least, that it must not be law, as that would force it to hire gay people for senior church positions.

Really?

Really.

In fact, they go so far as to state that "In some respects it actually violates the natural law upon which the equality of all human beings is grounded and by which it is guaranteed."

Now being a being of reason, I must state that there is no 'natural law' upon which the equality of all human beings is grounded. Mother Nature is a bitch. I mean she will kill you off in a second. If there is a natural law of any kind, it is survival of the fittest. Not even the one that is really that good at cardio either. The fittest means the beings that are most able to adapt to change.

Homosexuality is actually very prevalent in nearly all species on earth. So that cannot possibly be the "Natural Law" that the pope is referring to. I mean he really does not like those homosexuals does he? Maybe it is some other natural law that only the worthy and the Godly can know?

If any of you have any insight into this, please send your answers on a postcard to P.O. Box 463

How do they get away with this crap anyway? If a leader of the free world pulled some crap like that, then they would be hounded out of office as if they were an England Football Captain engaged in shagathon in the offices if the Holy See in the Vatican itself!

Friday, 4 September 2009

Slave Labour

This is the goal of any business.

People seem to forget that businesses exist to make money. That is the only reason they exist. No business exists to make the world a better place. Not a one.

If they did, they would go down quicker than if you told Rush Limbaugh you had donuts for toes.

True there are some organisations that are working to make the world a better place. They are called 'Non-profit Organisations'. They are not businesses, they are organisations.

Businesses exist to make as much money as possible, for as little, or, if possible, no effort. They are there to return money to the investors, or shareholders in a greater amount than they have been lent by those same investors. If you think for one second that your business is different, think again. There is no business the world over that will not get rid of you the moment that you stand in the way of them and their bottom line.

It is entirely possible to actually make money out of nothing. This is possible by exploiting all revenue streams for any given product, idea, strategy etc. If it exists in any form (non-corporeal included), someone can make money out of it.

This is no different in my current profession.

News today reaches me of a 'competition' put forth by the Playstation Network online sector of the Sony Corporation. The competition, seems more like ritual ridicule in the lens glared through by the world than an actual reward.

Allow me to explain.

Sony, or more specifically, the PSN network, has put out a casting call. They want YOU to be in their next 'big thing'. This big thing is a reality TV show that will document all the hopefulls getting together to try and win a contract at the Sony Playstation games testing 'facility' in San Diego as a 'professional' games tester.

Yes you heard it. You too could soon join the exhalted ranks of games testers the world over. You could have a DREAM JOB. as the PR releases have proudly proclaimed.

Allow me to enlighten you as to what it is actually like to test video games for a living.

Imagine the worst game you have ever played.

The worst part of that game.

Only that part of the game.

8 hours a day, five days a week.

Amazingly, people are actually flocking to this comeptition, but I confess, it is not their fault. They are born in America, and no-one really has a choice about where they are born do they?

The competition is available only to those who are aged 21 and over, and who have the ability to work and live legally in the United States.

That's not racism, I'm told. It's Xenophobia.

The best part is, in order to see this train wreck of a program, you actually have to pay.

Yes, you heard it. Not content with acquiring a small number of slaves to do this job for them, and all the wonderful 'buzz' this activity will draw from salivating fanboys who follow without question Sony's every move and debacle, they are after even more money.

For a nominal fee, probably around the £5 mark, you can watch an episode of this 'vehicle', but only if you have already paid the initial £300 for a PS3 to watch it on.

Yes. That is correct. You can only watch this if you have paid a minimum of £300. This program will not be available on the tellyvision. It will not be available in a retail outlet near you. You must go out and buy a PS3 (you already have my condolences), make sure you have an Internet Service Provider, and then pay for, what can only be described as, well crap really. The worst kind of crap. The crap you have paid through your arse for, and then found out that the crap gave you an STD.

As my friend said, "The losers should get QA contracts. The winner should get a job in ANY OTHER INDUSTRY."

I must agree with him too, as QA is not something you aspire to. It is something you fall into accidentally, and then realise that it's been 10 years since you last got laid, and you can recite the theme tune to Marioworld by heart.

Don't do it kids.

Monday, 17 August 2009

False Advertising

Lies.

That is what flase advertising is really. It is the intentional deception of people or persons with a view to getting them to do something that they would normally not do under those specific circumstances.

Playstation 3 developers are no strangers to this. In fact it seems almost normal that they wheel out some kind of "In-game footage/screenshot" at the E3 press conference that many many months later (indefinately if the Sony Press lads have their way) they are revealed as being nothing more than an 'artists redition'.

What we in the trade would call 'bollocks'. It's a technical term that, so if you don't understand it, then fear not.

Sony and their developers are not the only the only ones guilty of such a thing. The Republican Party of that nation of actual crazies are guilty of such crimes against the common conciousness too. In point of fact, them and their news channel (Weasel? Stoat? Fox? Fox.) have been recently expousing the probelms with 'communist/socialist' medicine. They have been misleading the public on a truly epic scale.

The scaremongering has even reached the point where they are having to return to flogging the same old dead horse. Terrorism. Yes, apparently, the National Health Service of the UK is actually a recruiting tool for terrorism. The NHS may be many things, free, occasionally lethal, breeding ground for MSRA, free, beuracratic, smells like root beer, but it is most certainly not a recruitment ground for terrorism.

It makes no difference about the levels of beuracracy for system of healthcare, terrorism will breed wherever there is a repressive regime, like the nation of actual crazies. They know all about repressive regimes. they have had loads of their own terrorists killing their own people, but for some reason just want to put it all on the Arab/muslim world. They claim to topple them, but really they are just installing their own one.

I say Arab/Muslim, but what I really mean is Muslim. The Christians of the actually crazy nation do not understand the Muslims. This makes them afraid. Afraid enough to dress up a war against them as a search for weapons that never existed. Afraid enough that they need to stay at war just incase the enemies they made when over there (They dispanded the Iraqi army, who then became 'insurgents', just like those insurgents against the British, Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Adams etc) would dare to do something so stupid as rebel against their puppet government.

False advertising should come with a death penalty attached. What could possibly go wrong?.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Contracts

As with most things in life, my main gripe lies with those that do not use the gifts they have been given from day one. "What could such a gift entail?" I hear both of you ask? Allow me to expand 'ponst my previous point.

Reasoning.

That miniscule voice in your head that shouts at you to not do stupid things. Yet you ignore it. It's almost as if you actually want to ignore it. I mean Chariman WOW!

Let me give you one such example of stupidity.

You are going to get a new mobile phone. You are very excited. This new piece of technology has a 6 megapickles camera and it has all the bells and whistles that your old piece of 'junk' (I say junk, the technology you choose to discard is actually fathoms ahead of most things in the developing world, but taking that into consideration and still deciding to chuck it would make you an asshole, so you conjecture that not taking that into account at all and deciding to ignore such human tragedy will still make you cool with your mates. Thats what's important after all eh?) did not have. You are, I reiterate, very excited.

You go into the Carphone Warehouse or whatever fancy suits your needs. You are so happy to have this new piece of 'awesome' that you just sign away whatever they ask for.

This is where the lack of reasoning comes into play.

You just signed on the dotted line. You did not read the contract. You are legally bound into something you may or may not have any idea about.

Who does read contracts these days? It's a well known fact that contract makers are contractually bound (by their own obfuscating contracts) to make such things as obfuscating as possible. That means that they are legally obliged, by the terms and conditions of their contract of employment, to make things as confusing as possible to you. Encouraging you to 'just sign on the dotted line' as much as possible. Mobile phone carriers actually make their own employees entrap you through your own neglingence. A negligence that you have subscribed to by allowing such obfuscating terms and conditins to exist for so long in such a form.

"What could possibly go wrong?" I hear my subconcious tell me?

Well allow me to enlighten you.

Things like 'data plans'. Whereby such mobile phone carriers have the ability to charge you for 'services rendered' for allowing your mobile phone to carry data all the way from the world wide web (the clue here is that it is WORLD WIDE) all the way back to your phone, which is presumably, somewhere on the world. The intelligent amongst you will realise that 'data plans' are all bunkem. You do not need a 'data plan', you just need the effing data. There is no 'plan' about it. To recieve data via text message, it costs FOUR TIMES as much as to recieve data from the Hubble telescope.

Yes.

You heard right. Mobile phone carriers are charging you four times as much to recieve a message from a friend in THE SAME TOWN/CITY as you, than what you would pay to recieve data from something ORBITING THIS PLANET.

"Oh but GAME OVER, the signal has to bounce off of a satellite orbiting Earth" I discover you saying. STILL this makes your mobile phone carrier TWICE as greedy as NASA. NASA being a government institution setup in the times before mobile phones and having launched the Hubble in 1990.

USE YOUR REASONING.

1990.

Really? It takes 4 times the cost to transmit a paltry amount of data by any ones recognition (even those in the third world laugh at 10k) than it does to recieve data from a space telescope?

Maybe you are getting what the Anglicised amongst us call 'price gouged'.

You are being taken for a ride.

This should come to no suprise from ur American cousins though. I mean really. You think that 'not reading the terms and conditions' is a bad thing?

America bases it's laws on this very ideal.

Don't read them.

Then sign away.

Really, I kid you not. The Congress (bless their cotton socks) are now being petitioned to *actually read the laws they are about to sign up to*.

Seriously.

The 'leader of the free world' as they adorably call themselves, are actually considering reading the mobile phone contracts that got them into such trouble in the first place.

I pity you guys. I know Obama promised "More open government and more tranparency" and I'm sure that one day, more than likely after his term(s) have ended, that you will have them. But you really need to be reading that data plan for now. You really do.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Angels and... Just Don't

I am not trying to make this area of the Internet into a movie review site, but unfortunately people keep releasing utter trite dressed as movies. If they stopped, surely we as a race could then use movies to actually educate people in the matters of life, the universe and everything.

I have tried to warn Hollywood but, strangely, only received restraining orders from the studios I attempted to contact. It's almost like they don't want to know. It's the "I can't hear you so there is no problem" defense again.

Hollywood is guilty of using this defense more times than 'duck butter' was mentioned late at night in the Neverland Ranch. It has been used recently in the Pirate Bay trial, where record labels hired lawyers to shut down a site that they said "Allowed users to search for links to torrents for copyrighted material". It's not like there aren't others. The record labels just wanted to go for the flagship site. The one that couldn't afford lawyers as good as theirs. There is, in fact another site, much bigger and more popular than the Pirate Bay that allows this sort of thing.

The chances are you have heard of this site. Before I tell you what it is, bear this in mind. The ability to search for copyrighted material was the only charge the RIAA and MPAA could bring against the Pirate Bay, due, mainly to the fact that Sweden has sane copyright laws. The other site that allows this IS known to you. In fact the chances are, you have been there several times already today. Can you pin it down? Here is a hint.

www.google.com

Yup, that site allows you to search for links to copyrighted material too. But you won't find a lawsuit in the works from the MPAA or the RIAA. Oh no siree, that's not how bullies and sycophants work. But enough of this, onto Angerlols and Demunz. If you have not seen it, then read on for the spoilers so that I can save you two hours of your life. You will thank me for it later.

So, here is what happens. Serial novelist Dan Brown auctions off first novel to highest bidder after success of Da Vinci code. Tom Hanks' career is revived and reprises the role of the Symbologist. The Fonz's friend is brought in to direct the movie, to make it more 'serious'. Ewan MacGregor is brought in as the Pope's Son (not actually an oxymoron strangely) to add the popularity of the recent Star Wars tragedies. All in all, what could possibly go wrong?

Well the possibility that Dan Brown is not actually a scientist in any respect of the word probably should have been addressed. In all seriousness, he has proposed that the Vatican had first dibs on the LHC. Not the Large Hadron Collider that we all know and love, but one that follows this workflow.

LHC + Vatican 'scientists' = Anti-matter... Profit?

Now I'll admit that at the beginning of the film they were speaking French far too fast for me to understand what was going on, but I knew it was the LHC from the buildings they showed at the start. They then repeatedly mentioned the ATLAS and CMS detectors. Something all technologists, I would hope, are familiar with. Dr. Brian Cox certainly is. The Vatican 'scientists' (actually an oxymoron) make anti-matter by colliding protons together, then, well, that part is not explained. The anti-matter just sort of "arrives" in a container. One that is immediately stolen, and used as a bomb threat. Now the fact that this is all rowlocks should not alarm you. It is after all, a Dan Brown novel, made into some semblance of a film. It's the ridiculous inconsistencies throughout the film.

At one point, we are told the anti-matter containment field's batteries will power down after 24 hours, then later on that 'cold reduces battery power'. It makes you wonder why the anti-matter is origionally contained in a room near-bursting with liquid nitrogen valves. Surely that is quite dangerous?

The Vatican 'scientists' have obviously not watched enough movies either, as anyone that has ever watched a violent movie including the use of retinal scanners will be familiar with the age old trick of just removing someone's retina to grant access. The Vatican, amazingly, falls prey to this near-ancient idea.

I want to go on, but time is short, and so is my lunch time.

I will sum it up thusly though.

Ewan MacGregor's the bad guy. He doesn't want "science to have creation" i.e. find the God particle (Higgs Boson). Now despite the fact that Science already has the creation, in a provable, factual not "believe this because I say so" kind of way. He also gives his OK to the project in the first place. He wants it all to happen. It's like not wanting to give your neighbor some apples, then planting an apple tree in your garden, specifically so that the fruit falls into his backyard.

-1/10

Monday, 8 June 2009

Valves

It's been a while since I updaetd this backwards section of the internet, so I thought I would give both you lucky readers a treat and mysteriously update for no apparent reason other than I finally have some spare time on my hands.

So, on to the topic at hand. Valves. Valves are great, and most probably a lost technology upon the youth of today. Valves were used in the creation of televisual units the world over. All TV's contained them, and now we have brushed them aside in the never ending march towards the Normandy beaches of our technological futures. All but some that is.

Some of us embrace the valves. Some of us like Dilinger and Lemon D. Dilinger and Lemon D spent an entire year of their lives dedicated to valves. So much so that the fruit of their labour was even named after valves. They were interested in the valves for their unique properties. Those properties being firmly rooted in the realms of BASS.

Dilinger and Lemon D made the Valve sound system. This is something HUGE. It will only fit into three 7.5 ton lorries. It commands respect.

A little background to the sound system. The terrible two (Dilinger and Lemon D) spent as previously stated, a year finding the right parts, testing them all out, then building first in theory, then in practise, the worlds only drum and bass sound system.

I recently had the opportunity to experience said sound system in the UK. I do not even have the words to describe it. Unfathomable is one of the words I do not have. Amazing is another.

My only problem was getting in. As someone well past their prime, I do not need to show ID on such a regular basis that I carry it around with me, certainly not in the UK anyway. Sweden and their ridiculous alcohol age verification laws are another matter. It was my fault though. It did say "ID Required" on the ticket in really really small letters. I should have seen those. Obviously I got to the queue and discovered that there was no entry without ID, as advertised on the ticket. So, off to the bus garage I went, looking forwards to the next three hours travelling to pick up my passport and get back to the gig.

It was worse than I could possibly have imagined. The valve gig was at the Indigo O2, the kind of place they put acts that are never going to hit the big time, come back to play at the O2 Arena, and see how gipped they were on the changing rooms the first time around. Girls a-frikkin-loud were playing at the O2 Arena, and they had obviously just kicked out the hordes of screaming pre-teens dressed in a menagerie of flashing devil horns and cowboy hats. What suprised me most was the quantity of ladies older than myself that were present.

Perhaps they rely on them to sell the full set of tickets, I mean there can't be THAT many pre-teens that like Girls-a-Loud? Can there? Either way, I was on a bus that was basically made of oestrogen. Oestrogen wheels, oestrogen seats, even oestrogen tailpipe (make of that what you will). All of them, to a man (?) singing despicable trite tunes like some blood-sung chorus of harpies.

An hour. An earth hour I had to endure this girlish nightmare, only to be delivered into an even stranger situation.

I am at Waterloo station, seeking my bus route home. I find it on the map and arrive in time to get the last bus home, Darwin knows how I am going to get back this way. There are two men arguing at the bus stop as I approach them. One is screaming at the other in Polish. The other, is screaming back at the Polish guy, except in Russian. They were both swinging wildly at each other. All the punches were falling half a foot short of thier targets as they were both steadfast in their commitment to not moving an inch despite the extra reach it would give them.

I had to get past them to view map, so walked gingerly round them, ducking blows where appropriate. As I approached the map, one of them turned, eyed me and declared me a "Curva". Now that is not such a nice word. In fact it would not normally be permitted on this blog with the exception that it is not an English word. I gave the man in question a quizzical look, and then he said without a shadow of an accent "Oh I'm terribly sorry, that was very rude of me".

Shocked was not the word, taken aback was two and a half. I perused the state of this youth before me. He must have been no older than 21, and he bore the markings of someone who had been on "Having it Large". There was dried blood pasting the skin below both ears, gravity obviously having been inverted through 90 degrees at some point based solely on the wonderful right angles the blood made. Like dried russet bugger-grips. He also had a slit throat. I kid you not, this mans throat was exposed for all the world to see. Well, the bits inbetween the staples holding it together were. I could see this man's larynx.

NHS job. Or at least it was that or home surgery. We exchanged a few pleasantries and some cigarettes. His girl had left him and he was so upset he tried taking his own life. In the 24 hours since though, he had had a revelation and decided to live out his years profitably, whatever that means.

The bus arrived, I moved the two Easterners about 8 inches nearer towards one another each, and got on it. They did not start trading blows immediately, but I like to think I helped them thrrough a tough spot.

The rest of the return to the gig went entirely without incident. A cab was called and mounted. Ridden and paid for. When I got back to the gig, the line had magically disappeared, proving that given enough time (3 hours), even bouncers can process through 150 people. I arrived, presented my passport on top of my ticket, and they took the ticket and waved me in. No-one looked at my passport. No-one cared that I was obviously over 18 anymore. It was just when there were lots of kids to impress that they wanted to check my ID.

Ridiculous. Ineptitude, many other words can be used to describe the security at the O2 event.

I was searched. I was searched by the only man I think could kill a T2000. Huge was not the word. Wall-like in his stature is doing the man an injustice. He made a very thorough (not as thorough as they would have at an airport or policestation) search of me, and declaring me fit for purpose allowed me entry. At no point whatsoever did he take heed of the opaque white plastic bag that I was carrying. It could have contained guns, knives, nukes, sharpsticks. Any number of Alien busting hardware could have been in there. Fortunately for me it was just some silk and 4 pairs of earplugs.

The rest of the evening also pased without incident. So my closing statement is thusly.

If you ever, EVER, get a chance to see and hear the valve sound system, then do so. It is something you will never forget. The tinitus won't let you.