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Tuesday, 27 January 2009

The decline of "News" sites.

Back when the Internet was but a fledgling mini beast waiting to explode on everyone the so called News web sites that have no dead tree parent soon became apparent in the eyes and minds of those with a technological bent.

Some have long since disappeared but some of those that where at the begining or came along just after are still around. Some of those still around are the worse for wear while the rest plod along as happy and snappy as ever. Those that are the worse for wear are surely to go the way of the Dodo like many before them.

For me it is sad to see formerly glorious News web sites, of the more technical flavour, fail to attract what once was a loyal readership. It is easy from a reader point of view to see those that are failing. The web site displays less advertisements. The user comment sections lay relatively empty. The  forum, should they have one, sees less and less by way of posts.  Their News  stories get evermore boring and shorter and often offer less by way of journalism and more by way of sarcastic commentary. Their head honcho moves onto  something else, usually a competing offering. Those five things are the main things that signify when a News web site is dying. Another thing is they get less and less by way of worthy submissions. But then again many of these News  web sites carry articles by the same person using a multitude of monikers so this one is harder to spot.

A new breed of, usually, Web 2.0 enabled News web sites make some of the longer standing News web sites look by comparison old and jaded as if those in charge are fast running out of ideas. While I am not an overly impressed with this whole Web 2.0 thing one has to agree, even if you hate it as much as i do, that it does make for some better looking web sites.

So, it is with a heavy heart that, while not mentioning any names, I wave a fond farewell to the, apparently (based on the totally none scietific method mention above), soon to disappear Technology News web site i have  read for years.

And so it goes.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Karoo WiFi.

Is as much of a joke amongst local people as their ADSL2 offerings. Karoo WiFi is available as part of ones contact with them but what they don't tell you is where their access points are. They are in fact extremely limited as their access points are mainly only avaiable in Queens Gardens on the edge of the town shopping are. Queens Gardens itself covers some 1000 square yards of space but the Karoo WiFi offering only covers approximately half of that. Excellent stuff that we locals have come to expect for our monopolistic telephone company.

In other news regarding my, and others, ongoing efforts to get Karoo, and therefore the companies Daddy company, to improve their dismal ADSL2 offerings they are now engaging in lies. Outright, unadulterated lies. They have been found to be fiddling their user inputs on whether or not people consider their flagship (Ha!) offering good or bad. How was this found out? Well, simply put there are moles within and these moles  are telling me that there are internal IP's showing as being from within their customer ranks. Of course, no-one outside the company ever sees a posting IP address nor do they see  headers of the emails that have been supposedly sent in from 'customers' who have praised the service offering .While it can be easily refuted by the company I will go with what the moles have said as that would be a typical compny thing to do. There will be some who will say I am bias against them but that misses the point entirely. The fact that they are reduced to doing something like this belies the fact that they consider their offering any good.

In further news the latest gaff from them is that when emailing an individual within their ranks one got back and auto-response email that had within it the claim that the email had not been read and 'helpfully' pointed one to a blanket email address where ones email is sure to get lost amongst the noise of other people complaining. Laughingly, once it was pointed out to them that this practice, or more precisely the line that said that the email had not been read was illegal they have now quietly dropped that part, and that line in particular, of their auto-response emails.

As a company they are terrible. As a provider of Internet connectivity they are terrible. In Customer Service they are terrible. In every conceivable way they are terrible. One has to wonder what with their share price dropping through the floor just how much longer they can stay away from a total buy-out. The problem with that however is who exactly could or would buy them out and if a company did would they be any better than what we suffer now? i mean, the only way they  could possibly improve the actual service is by redoing their ancient copper lines or by installing fibre to the home. Both of these are an expensive exercise which would would take a lot of money to implement which KC certainly do not have and it is unlikely, if a buyer even bothered to buy them out, would have either. As an aside who would I complain about! Seriously, no company is perfect in every way but to fail customers so specularly in every possible way as they do is astounding.

My moles have told me that while FTTH was tauted by a previous contact as being very very soon it is now firmly on the back burner as finances get ever tighter and is likely to stay on the back burner for the foreseeable future.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

The Intenets hidden joke.

If there is one single web site that causes none Microsoft laden administrators, and some hardened Microsoft  administrators, to laugh out loud is is "Shields Up!" from

The sheer scale of hyperbole on there aimed not at seasoned professionals but at the all American everyday common and garden Microsoft Windows users is simply stunning. Every facet of that web site is designed and created to scare the Hell out of  Microsoft Windows users. Take a look at  a snippet of text taken from within the "Shields Up!" process and you will see exactly what I see and that is pure unadulterated hyperbole.

"Solicited TCP Packets: RECEIVED (FAILED) — As detailed in the port report below, one or more of your system's ports actively responded to our deliberate attempts to establish a
connection. It is generally possible to increase your system's security by hiding it from the probes of potentially hostile hackers. Please see the details presented by the specific port links below, as well as the various resources on this site, and in our extremely helpful and active user  community." (any and all links removed to protect the innocent).

Now, I run a Usenet news service so of course 1 port is open otherwise noone would be able to connect to it and what is the use of a server if that be the case? So, that said I fail, with huge red banners proclaiming my failure. This is ridiculous but surely scares the uninitiated. If the average person sees something on a web site self proclaimed as the leader in all things security related says you failed the most basic of ping tests what are they going to do? Panic. That is what and that is what Mr Gibson wants them to do.

Some will say that the web site is not aimed at battle hardened administrators but that itself belies what the web site is all about and that after all is securing a connection. All over the site, which is designed in such a way as to scare people, he makes claims  and points out what people should do and some of that advice is plain wrong or if not wrong then ill-advised. As an example he states that to achieve true stealth mode one should disable pings. This is bad practice for anyone connected to the Internet be it via a router or a modem within a computer. A ping test ensures that the Internet runs  smoothly, by turning off pings it creates the illusion that there are huge black holes all over the place when in fact  the computer or router is sitting there connected to the Internet.

Hyperbole is what it is all about. The information a tools available should be taken and used with a large  dollop of salt. We seasoned and in some cases, mine included,  professionals know to ignore  the advice given. It would be better for the whole Internet is the web site did not exist but it does and while it does we will continue to laugh.

I suppose it serves a purpose for the paranoid but other than that I see no reason for its existence unless of course it is meant to be a joke in which case the joke is on us.

Be careful out there.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Karoo email.

In an effort to stifle customers  Karoo are now sending out the following email when a customer emails an individual within the organisation (all email addresses munged for obvious reasons).

"Thank you for your email.

So that we can ensure that your query is handled appropriately please
direct it to the relevant contact listed here.

***@***.com <mailto:***@***.com> 

This email has not been read.

Thank you."

Then there is the usual organisational bumph following that.

"This email has been scanned for all viruses by the MessageLabs SkyScan

Please consider the environment before printing this email.

The content of this email and any attachment is private and may be
privileged. If you are not the intended recipient, any use, disclosure,
copying or forwarding of this email and/or its attachments is
unauthorised. If you have received this email in error please notify the
sender by email and delete this message and any attachments immediately.
Nothing in this email shall bind the Company or any of its subsidiaries
or businesses in any contract or obligation, unless we have specifically
agreed to be bound.

KCOM Group PLC is a public limited company incorporated in England and
Wales, company number 02150618 and whose registered office is at 37 Carr
Lane, Hull, HU1 3RE.

118288 - KCOM UK Directory Enquiries. Calls will cost no more than 49p
connection + 14p per minute including VAT from a KC or BT landline. Call
charges from mobiles and other networks may vary. If you are calling
from a mobile you will now receive your requested number via text
message. You will not be charged for the text message."

Ignoring the crap at the end which nobody with any sense takes any notice of, let us consider the first part and why they are sending these email out as auto-replies.

My take on them are that they are designed and created in the hope that genuine customer emails get lost in the noise that such email addresses generate. This then enables them to claim that they never received the email. This has happened to me, and others, several times when being directed to a blanket email address.

While such blanket email addresses make sense for the organisation they make no sense whatsoever for the customer. As always it is the customer that loses out in this deal for the reasons stated in the above paragraph.

One such example was an ongoing conversation I was having with an individual with an @***.com email address. After some 40 odd emails to and fro suddenly the above auto response was generated to which I foolishly duly replied. After a wait of 10 days I then emailed the individual again who said that the previous email i had sent was never seen by her. After some investigation it turned out that the email referred to was 'lost'. Now, we all know that organisation never 'lose' emails but due to the fact that the person  claimed it was there was nothing I could do. I did try emailing the individual again but that ended up creating the never ending  circle of email sent, auto-response returned and so on.

So, if you ever receive one of these auto responses you now know why they do it. After emailing an individual I urge you to ignore what the email says and continue emailing the individual. While this may seem counter productive it will, hopefully, inform them that such a blanket email address is wrong for the customer.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Do you use the BBC web site?

I do. in fact I spend a lot of time on it visiting all the various bits dotted around it. Some hidden from immediate view while others are displayed in prominent and semi-prominent links.

My reason for asking is that I feel that some of it could be vastly improved. Take something like this as an example. Am I the only one who dislikes how they display each entry backwards to how people normally read? The entries on that page, as it is everywhere such things are displayed, start at the bottom with that first entry. As each successive entry is added they go up above the previous one until the last one which is at the top. It simply does make for a natural reading style.

Why they do it this way only they know as I have asked, via email, several times with no reply so it would seem that:
1) I will never know who made the decision to do such things backwards
2) I will never know why whoever it was that made that decision made it
3) I will never know why or who decided such a backwards reading style was a good idea.

Simply put it is not. There is, to me anyway, nothing more annoying than finding an article, or several articles as these things are, well, mini articles anyway, like this then realising it is coming to a close or has already closed and having to scroll down through several other days worth to start reading at the bottom. Some of such articles can be several days worth so scrolling takes a while. It is frankly bloody annoying not to mention arse-backwards.

I am aware that there are many, possibly  thousands, of people who start reading on day one and return as each successive days worth of text is added so to them  it may seem right and proper as it is laid out. To those people, and to the BBC, I say there are probably many more thousands, if not millions, who find such pages by accident many months after whatever it is the article covers who then find they can only read the various days worth of text by scrolling first down to the bottom, reading a page which means scrolling up to find that days start then down again as one reads a days worth of text then up to the next days start and so on. Down, up, down up, down up. It absolutely makes no sense.

So, BBC, if you see this then please for the love of all things correct turn these types of daily  articles the right way up. Then those the read the daily articles can read them as normal and those of us who find such daily added articles can read them as normal too.

In living memory eh?

In this BBC article we have the lib-dem leader saying "Today's school leavers could be the first generation in living memory "to end up worse off than their parents". No doubt it has been reported elsewhere but as the BBC is one of the most respected web site for news at all levels that is where I read it first.

Now, being as I am 48 years old at this time in my short stay on this planet I can well remember the problems of getting a job during the late 1970's. i left school during 1976 when jobs for young people where very hard to come by. Sure, things improved during the 1980's but it is that time during 1976 to 1980 i am referring to. A time when if you did manage to find a job you was lucky yo stay in it for more than a few months.

I myself had many such jobs during that time. Not all good jobs either but being from a family that viewed unemployment as something nasty not having one was not an option for me. So, I went from job to job always hoping the next one would last but they never did until in 1978 my Granddad got me a job at a local tannery which lasted some 21 years until my disability get the better of me and I took voluntary redundancy.

But for the leader of a political party to claim the current crop of school leavers as being the first generation in living memory to be worse off than their parents shows either he is too young to remember the late 1970's or he lacks the knowledge about that time. As one who lived through those times I can tell him this current crop is most certainly not the first to suffer through lack of jobs. Not in living memory and not ever.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Yet another Windows worm.

As news spreads of yet another massively spreading Microsoft Windows worm infects every machine it comes into contact with via several different methods such as USB sticks is it not time that Microsoft realises it has lost this game of cat and mouse?

As I am sure some of the more technological mined people know not all the blame can be laid at Microsoft's door but just as certainly some of it can. Microsoft's unending quest for an operating system, rotten at its core, to be an ease of use operating system the  doors that remain in the kernel core and DLL files are just as culpable as the user-base of it.

The new worm wreaking havoc on Microsoft Windows machines is called Cornficker (also known as Downadup and possibly other names as well) is a case of same old same old as far as the worm code is concerned as apparently it is a rework on some much older worm code base. So, why are we subjected yet again to an estimated 3.5 million Microsoft Windows machines being infected with a variation on a theme worm such as this Cornficker is?

There is one main reason why the infection is so quick and prolific and that reason is the general population not installing critical updates that became available as lng ago as last November. So, the blame game surely points at users. Yes? Well, yes and no. Yes because when Microsoft declares something as critical it is worse than that. They have regularly claimed some patch or other as being severe when the world plus dog knows it to be a very very critical hole indeed so when Microsoft say some patch or other it is  critical then it is indeed very very deeply critical. No because if Microsoft did it right they would force ALL critical patches onto user machines and not even give the user a sniff about doing it either. There are those who claim such a  strategy as that is open to abuse and that anyway Microsoft can't do this without the express consent of the machines owner as it could fall foul of various Laws governing remote access, and more importantly changing files on a remote machine which could be classed as hacking,

But those who create such a fuss about a forced installed patch are surely missing the point. For every one of those who complain about such a thing tens of thousands of machine get infected to create yet another botnet on the back of Microsoft's operating system. I have long held that the vast majority of compromised machines are compromised because of user incompetence. When I have build a machine for someone and at their behest installed a Microsoft operating system one of the first things I do is turn on auto updates. If, as is invariably the case, the machine comes back "because it is running slower now" the very first thing I do is check that auto updates are still set to on. Then I check the the virus and malware programs are still being run and still set to auto update their definitions files. Invariably it is these three things that have been turned off due to them "being an annoyance". So, that is a clear case of user stupidity and has nothing whatsoever to do with anything Microsoft may or may not have done.

So, in the end who should get the blame? Microsoft for not forcing such critical updates and patches onto people who know no better and also users for being stupd enough to turn off the very applications designed and installed to protect them from such things as this latest worm. Now, I have been building and using machines since before the very first IBM machines rolled into the general public view and, of course, I am acutely aware of user borne stupidity. For me though the blame lays half way between Microsoft and their users of.

One thing that is for sure over this latest mess is that once again Microsoft Windows, for all its stupid users, it shown to be the broken by design mess it really is.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Will they ever learn?

With reports going around that the MOD's navy  ships  computers have been infected with a virus (or two or three) will these people ever learn? Our Royal Navy ships computers run Microsoft Windows. What flavour I do not know but in all probability it is either Windows XP or Windows Vista. Yes, I could research and find out but all we need to know is two words, Microsoft and Windows. Whether XP or Vista really makes no difference. Both are easily infected.

As the latest virus  calamity strolls around the Internet infecting any and all Microsoft Windows machines it finds it should speak loud and clear to anyone using one of those operating systems that the design of Microsoft Windows is flawed at its very core. And yet, we continue to read about some large and small companies being forced offline because their machines have been infected with whatever is the latest in a long and boring line of viri designed to flush out the flaws and very well they do it too as this reports shows.

So, our Navy runs a known broken operating system that has a track record of being blown wide open on so called none critical systems. Tell those poor sailors that their email is not critical! Seriously though, critical or not that fact that it is well documented is all they should need to have known and know they surely did which makes it all the more surprising that they took Microsoft's word (and probably back handers) on security is frightening.

Microsoft and its operating systems are a busted flush. If, and I doubt they ever will mange to do it, they can clean up their broken operating systems they may still be around in years to come. However, if they continue to follow the same path they have always followed and people see more and more of these virus riddled systems of some high profile company or government department stories circulate then I cannot see a world in years to come where Microsoft still dominates.

More and more countries the world over and leaving Microsoft behind it is about time our country does the same.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Living in a box.

Living in a box, living in a cardboard box as the song goes. Well, more a case of living out of a box.

After some 18 months at our new place we are still unpacking boxes which where filled at the old, much smaller, house we had. It simply amazes me how we fitted so much into that much smaller house. So much, it would seem, that we can't, or haven't yet, found the space to fit it all in at this new, much larger, house.

The old place was a 2 up, 2 down house pretty common here in the U.K. The new house is a 4  bedroom place with a living room area twice the size of the living room and kitchen  areas combined at the old house which makes it all the more surprising we can not, or have not, yet  found the space here to unpack everything.

While not an excuse directly. my previously mentioned disability does not help matters either nor the fact my wife works as both these things mean it is hard to find the time to unpack the mostly hardly ever used stuff. One day....Maybe.

While most of the rooms are now decorated, they are all carpeted, there are still a couple where we have not planted a single lick of paint. Thankfully, as those rooms left were freshly plastered they do not look too bad. Again, my disability and my wife working make getting around to doing these last bits  difficult.

We will of course  finish it all eventually but they are not in our immediate sights. As each family birthday and Christmas passes more and more stuff gets added in spaces we had earmarked for one or more of the unpacked boxes which means another box or two does not get unpacked. Actually, neither is the unpacking of the remaining boxes in our immediate sights as everything we needed to be unpacked was when we first moved house. A box now and again was rifled as and when we wanted the stuff within over time.

I have always hated moving house and will always continue to hate moving house. Apart from the well documented stress associated with moving house these two mentioned parts of the act add to the hate i feel towards the act.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

The open world of yesterday.

It is often said that todays world is a global one. From business to the internet it is all global in nature. Or rather that is the nature of the beast. So, when we read about all the various countries with all their various border controls where exactly does this global world fit in?

We have seen many times where those from so called 'problematic' countries are denied access to some other country. This also makes a mockery of the global world in which we supposedly live.

Our financial systems, banks etc, are  global companies and look at what has happened to them. Part, if not all, of the worlds financial meltdown can be attributed to how the  financial sector played in the global world. There are other examples of companies that played in the global world who are now suffering because of it.

So, we live, as our own Prime Minister is want to say, in a global world and yet that global world for many people is a closed door.

A few years ago one could move between the various borders of various countries just as easily as one could walk the streets of ones own city or town. What exactly happened to close the global world door no-one really knows. We can surmise however that the U.S.A. being finally dragged screaming into the terrorist malee (we here in the U.K. had to suffer the U.S.A. funded IRA attrocities a long time before any real terrorist activity landed at the door of the U.S.A. but I digress..) was the catalist for the global world to be unattainable by some. And of course where the U.S.A. goes many other countries follow which closes more and more doors of the global world for some.

The world of today is only global because of the rise of the Internet. For all other aspects the world is no more global now than it ever was and for some never will be.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Pain Management.

This is not a moan. It is just a quick explanation of my personal health which goes someway to explaining why this blog is intermittent as I jump from mind state to mind state.

Since the quacks at the Pain Clinic I am attached to decided to change my medication I have never been at such a high level of constant pain as I am currently. Being winter as it is here right now does not help matters either.

The previous medication, while not perfect, in that it did not completely erase the pain, at least allowed me to control the pain I have 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Now, since they changed it I am a wreck. Both mentally and physically. It is hard to express how tiring pain can be on both the body and the mind but suffice to say it is extremely tiring on both. But, outwardly, apart from the walking stick I need for stability, no-one would ever know as I try desperately sometimes to keep it within the family. My wife is very supportive as are our children which is something I am very very thankful for.

The pain I have stems from a fall I had when aged 4. I fell 40ft out of a tree on to a rockery garden. This led to me being in traction for 2 years after which I had to learn to walk again. Years past and I played many sports such as football and rugby league and many others, even though after every game I was in pain I continued to play until I could no longer suffer in silence. I traveled the world and had been around it twice by the time I was 21 years of age. Mainly because my father took me on long trips where we would get onto land for anywhere between a few hours to several days. I had done many other things such as  water skiing, sky diving and bungy jumping amongst  all the things I had done. Maybe at the back of my mind was that later in life I would not be able to do such things.

By that time I was 28 years of age. Shortly after giving up playing sports, which was a hard thing to do for me as I enjoyed playing so much, I went to the hospital to find out why I was in constant pain. They did an MRI scan from which they discovered I had several slipped discs along my spine. After fidning this out I had keyhole surgery  during which they dissolved the discs and welded my lower spine. This allowed some years  to be relatively pain free.

After about 8 years after having had the surgery the pain started again. Another MRI scan revealed that the area where they had operated some years earlier was starting to fracture. A piece of fractured bone had lodged itself into my spine higher up my back. Added to this was the fact that that same area had become arthritic. All in all this meant a return to the pain i had suffered in my youth.

Fast forward to today and the arthritis has quickly spread to every joint in my body. This is  bloody painful and the pain is constant. Over the  course of the last 4 or 5 years they have swapped and changed the medication I am forced to take many times as they try to work out what medication is best for my personal circumstances. So far they have never managed to decrease the pain 100% but have, from my own feelings, manged to alleviate it by some 50% or so. At least they got it to a level where at a personal level I could manage what was left. Of course, there have been good days and bad days and more recently more bad than good.

Then they go and change my medication again to something they said was stronger than anything they had advised me to take previously. Sadly, for me, while it may well be stronger it certainly does not work. My pain levels have shot through the roof. I am duee to talk with then again soon and will be telling them I cannot continue on the present medication and hope that they put me back on what I was taking previously. I somehow doubt they will though as they expressed caution that it was damaging my liver. So, i guess it is wait and see what else they can come up with.

On a personal level I am within myself happy even though walking is particularly painful. My hands constantly shake which makes typing fun but doable. My gait is bent double and my right leg is all but useless at times hence the walking stick mentioned earlier. I try not to moan and by large I succeed but it is getting harder especially since they changed the medication.

Pain management is not just about the medication though. It is also a mental state which I think I succeed at.

Child protection.

No right minded thinking adult would ever consider hurting a child, much less their own child.

With seemingly the front line people, who have an undertaking to first and foremost protect the nations children from harm, not only from those outside the family circle but also the child's own parents, being in total disarray following some high profile,and not so high profile, cases where said front line people have neglected to do their duty, is it not time for a total and complete rethink on how we consider these things?

As a parent of five children myself I abhor any acts of real violence directed at children who cannot protect themselves and even though as a parent i can understand the why i cannot understand the how they can do it to them, much less their own child. With each new case that is highlighted in the press there are probably thousands of cases that go unreported. And that is a scary thought that all decently and right minded parents should never lose sight of.

As a nation we are seen as a set of compassionate people. But, it would seem, we love our pets more than we love our children. One of the major problems under the current  child protection scheme is not the scheme itself nor the rules and guidance which manipulate those scheme but is, as seen from my own eyes, a lack of people on the front line who are parents themselves. Many, many times I have seen social workers who are barely old enough to have children let alone actually have children of their own who have been on cases. This surely cannot be right.

There are many complex reasons underpinning why a child is in danger. Some of those reasons are never immediately clear. Some parents on the 'hit list' of suspected child abuse, at any level, go to great lengths to hide whatever it is that is a danger to their children and it is only one who is a parent themselves that will see through the smokescreen as they know what parenting is all about. It is hard to see how someone who has never had children themselves could ever see through these smokescreens but within the service itself there are many such people.

It is impossible, not to mention irresponsible, for any one to say they can fix what is so obviously broken in an easy and effortless way, though fixing it is what is needed as currently it is so obvious broken. There is much to moan about and not a lot that can be immediately fixed, but our legislators must endeavor to that aim. One thing that can be and should be fixed within the system designed to protect our children from harm from their own parents is to immediately and without question remove those from any position of first person contact without any parenting experience from within the system. While this by itself will not fix  the obviously broken system it will give  the system a boost in the eyes and minds of all  right minded parents around the country. It will also help to shore up the back feeling directed at such services.

Another thing that should be immediately remedied is the current thinking of try at all costs to keep families together even though the child within the family is known to be in some danger from its own parents. Instead any parent suspected, and more importantly properly and correctly investigated, should have their child or children moved out of harms way. While that is open to abuse it will ensure any child or children deemed to be in harms way will not be harmed. I am not for one second saying they should be moved into that other broken system  children's homes. No. They  should be moved into another family circle where children are known to flourish.

Two very simple ideas that should go a long way to fixing this problem area.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Karoo - A shot in the arm.

A while ago I mentioned taking our fight with the incumbent broadband provider for our area to the E.U. This is gathering pace since I set things in motion.

Of course, once I had blurted it out in an email to them they immediately cut off all level of contact. Total and utter silence is what is coming from their end. Even legal and proper questions to Customer Services go unanswered. Not  surprising I guess but slightly annoying for reasons I shall now explain.

They have both an AUP (Acceptable Usage Policy) and a venerable T&C (Terms and Conditions), like all companies as small as they are they try to cover every conceivable angle in as few words as possible while wrapping the whole thing up in big words. This creates documents that are at best ambiguous and at worse have no legal standing in a court of Law. They know this, of course, but the hope is that your average person never looks at said documents so that when your  average person crosses whatever line they, the company, can point at some ambiguous section and cut off said user. Over the years I have taken several steps to address the ambiguous nature of these documents all to no avail. Now the E.U. is on their tail and they too agree the  documents are too ambiguous and should  therefore be made more legible by your average person.

As to what action the E.U. can and will take I am not allowed to say in detail. What I can say is that the organisation will be looked into. That much is a given. What  will come of it I do not know but as they, Karoo, have annoyed me to this level I do not care as long as it costs them money and they are inconvenienced to the max.

Monday, 5 January 2009

A nice, gentle walk.

As Autumn has given away to winter the fields around here take on a very different look, not to mention smell as the various foliage gives off that winterly aroma. To my surprise Edward, my 12 year old son, asked if I would take a walk with him last night along the field trail we have walked many times since we moved here. The same trail we walk when we walk our dogs. A gentle walk on a cold and frosty January evening is good not only for the soul but also ones personal health.

He said he had been studying at school how plants, trees etc changed through the seasons and that he wanted to take a first hand look at those changes. Because we knew the paths so well he had decided that that would be the best way to go rather than we two looking for new, different routes to take and new, to us, fields to transverse. While taking this familer walk he could see for himself how nature changes from one season to the next. Autumn to winter he said was probably natures most violent change as the leaves on trees and plants die away to make way for new leaves on trees and plants come spring time.

Suitably enamoured by his enthusiasm with walking stick in hand we set about the walk at 6pm on a wild and windy, but dry, cold winterly Sunday evening. Off we walked down the road to the park area, down the side of where the park is there is a longish field. This field leads to an area free from mans meddling. In other words is it nature at its best. Free to grow as much as it likes and it does.

The whole area of fields is as unencumbered as a field can be so. It is here that my son decided was the best place for what he wanted to see. During our time looking at various flowers, weeds, bushes and trees we also saw some of the lowlifes that make such areas no-go for a lot of people. They did not bother us but the threat was always in my mind. As it turned out they were more interested in their glue or whatever it was that was amusing them than they were us two. Anyway, we carried on doing what we wanted to do as if they where not there. After 3 hours it was by now very dark and very very cold, because there is no lighting in that area very dark it was indeed. My son had the forethought to bring a torch which is how he managed to work in the dark. We also brought with us a digital camera, with flash, and a video camera both of which he used as he moved from patch to patch.

After 3 hours he decided he had seen enough and more importantly he had enough information for the homework he had been set before the Christmas holiday breakup. On returning home we were also very cold as the night air was starting to bite. After getting home he immediately headed for his bedroom, forgoing the hot pot of coffee my wife had made to complete his homework. Very quickly he told me to go away and leave him to it promising to show me it as soon as he was finished. He took the digital camera and the video camera so he had the information with him which he turned into words and pictures via the Open Office suite of programs on his Linux based machine. I know he is my son but the work he produced (which I read as soon as he made it available to me, which was later in the evening just before his bed time) was outstanding for his age group. Time will tell if his teachers agree as the work is to be submitted laater today on his first day back after the holidays. He said he should have his results by Wednesday so he will know what the score is. I can't see him getting any less than 90% but I am not his teacher (at school anyway).

It is nice in this day and age, an age where our youth is often daemonised to the point of total and complete mistrust from those from the older age groups, to see a child of that age actually doing something he plainly enjoys and something that does no harm to anyone. The fact he is plainly taking an interest in his environment is also surely a good thing.

A proud father I surely am.

Guilt by name association.

Maybe not guilt as such but certainly touched. For an example of what I am writing about see this BBC article. Read what it is about then look at the name of the guy who purportedly wrote it.

This sort of thing happens all the time, especially in the science world, but that does not make it any less annoying that it happens at all. Furtherance of ones own country, and by extension ones own countrymen, even those who lived centuries ago is something to be applauded, especially if the reason for said furtherance is previously an unknown fact or two, but again that does not make it any the less annoying.

No one, least of all myself, would disagree with the sentiments of that article but does any one outside of the science community really care who did what centuries ago? Does it really make any difference to what we do now, or how we look and use something, on a daily basis? While history as a subject was something I personally enjoyed at school and since leaving school linking ones own birth name and place to someone who purportedly furthered what science knew at that time is in my opinion a futile exercise in the extreme.

Which make it all the more surprising that the BBC can give up resources, money and airtime to such things, but do all that they have.

Look again at the authors name and  tell me you cannot see what I see. Am I really so cynical? Obviously I am but that alone does not make me wrong. Does it?

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Oh stop it!

Please. Stop it you are making me laugh so hard my sides are aching. What is it that is causing this? Climate Change. Global Warming. Call it whatever you like but please stop with the lies.

It has been proven many times that a lot of the problems various plant life, both surface and seafaring, has nothing at all to do with climate change. climate change itself has been proven to be something of a lie too. While the planet we live on may be getting warmer it is getting warmer because of a perfectly natural  weather  cycle. It has nothing to do with Man or what Man has done in the last 100, 200 or even 300 years.

I have said many many times it is all bollocks and now the proof is out there to back up my claims. The polar region has more ice now than at any time since records began and yet there are still those with a vested interest to keep the myth running who claim otherwise. And what is worse of all this is the governments the word over have fallen for the lies. Not too surprising i suppose given the collective intelligence of those we entrust with our countries affairs.

Still, at least you lot trying to keep the myth alive are giving me and other who like me can see through the lies a good laugh.

Friday, 2 January 2009


Yours in particular.

Have you noticed how much Government interference there is in your everyday life? They have cameras everywhere watching your every move. They are planning a huge database of every possible communication you can do. Email, telephone, mobile phones, web interaction all being stored so they know everything you do in your daily life. Combine the two together and you will get a very good map of what each and every individual does. It is  scary. Think about it for a second or two. Doesn't it scare you too? It should.

We are walking directly into a surfailence society where the government can and will track each and every individual.

on another level of interference by our government, who  are supposed to be serving us not watching us, we have various things happening. Take this BBC report as one such example. While no-one can say we  do not have an obesity problem it is not and never will be as wide spread as the government claims it will be but onward they go towards yet more meddling in peoples private lives.

The current government has done more to break down the privacy barriers of people than any other government in our history. Some they claim is to combat some hidden boggymen but mess with your mind they do and there is little you can do about it. Wake up now and rise up otherwise before you know what has hit you you will have absolutely no privacy from government level interference at all.

It not hard to imagine them putting cameras in your home so they can keep an ever watchful eye on what you get up to. It is but a short step for them to take and if you don't do something now it will happen before too long.

There has been many Laws squashed, passed or rehashed that take way another strip. And nobody appears to listen to those who are shouting against  them.

I fear for the future of my children in this country more now than I have every done.