..to Blogger. Why? It is less buggy, faster, provides control over HTML, has a better UX (User Experience) and other benefits associated with Google’s focus on good code and common sense design principles.
In the interests of simplicity and efficiency, am ceasing to communicate using any other messaging services (WhatsApp messenger, Skype etc) and switching exclusively to Google Hangouts.
Despite Google’s (as yet) inexplicable decision to cease support of XMPP (messaging protocol), Hangouts is quite simply the best executed messaging system out there and comes highly recommended.
Just as when choosing a phone, laptop or car, it is wise to be ridiculously fussy about selecting products that are intelligently conceived – not just aesthetically pleasing. As with many other of their properties, Google are light years ahead of alternatives because they are staffed by some of the most intelligent humans on this planet. (I met one a few years ago outside a restaurant in Kensington after a fire broke out in the kitchen, but that’s another story!)
Hangouts value proposition
- The client runs on almost all devices, including those without phone numbers. One of the flaws of the otherwise superb WhatsApp app is that it requires a phone number (& therefore a sim card) to operate, and not just for authentication. Like Skype, Hangouts happily works on data only connections or WiFi without the need for a cellular/mobile connection in the case of the later.
- Hangouts runs in the browser within the Gmail interface, so you can continue a conversation on your desktop. But that’s not all, it gets better…
- If you fire up and login to Hangouts on multiple devices and begin to text chat with someone, you’ll notice that as you type, the text appears in real-time on each device, as does anything the other party is typing! (Very much like collaboratively editing a Google docs page or spreadsheet where you see the other parties changes appear instantly.) This means you can jump from one device to another and continue the conversation seamlessly, great if you leave your desk in a hurry mid conversation. Just grab your phone or tablet and continue chatting.
- The video conferencing is outstanding – as evidenced by the live Hangout with Elon Musk and Sir Richard Branson yesterday afternoon. That said, as my team know full well, physical face to face meetings are still the only way for that sort of thing, but technically, Hangouts video conferencing is very impressive. No lag or dropouts.
Right, time to erase all chat apps except Hangouts from my devices!
Am aware that Hangouts does not run on some platforms, but truth be told, and I base this on factors beyond the scope of this post, Google will be around for a bit yet, unlike others who appear to have their head(s) buried in the sand with regards to their mortality.
Chat back club: Download, login, chinwag!
Update – Feb 2 2014: Epic fail. No one wants to use Hangouts, so stuck using inferior messaging systems. I think this is because Google’s Android Hangouts app is rubbish so it puts people off.
As predicted in this blog and in various comments I have made on the Internet over the years, the use of disproportionate thuggish repression against decent citizens by the nefarious energy industry sponsored authorities has finally begun.
Meanwhile, the headlines are about overseas repression and celebs. Hence with the exception of the aforementioned polite well educated protestors, the increasing majority has been so dumbed down by over a decade of trashy 24 hour television that they lack the enlightenment, resources and drive to even be concerned about such matters, never mind do anything about it. And that dear reader is precisely why the ‘system’ allows such abhorrent processed programming to brainwash the populace. It’s the opposite of communism. But it provides the powers that be the same control.
A few years from now, if the effects of poisoned ground water begin to take effect, and our national cancer rate ups from it’s current 40% in the areas effected, you’ll know why and who to blame. And no, it’s not an ageing population!
Which begs the question: How much money is being spent by the energy companies on using solar energy to provide power to whole buildings and communities as has been proven successful in various trials and private enterprises in the UK and abroad? Zilch. Why? Because (unless you’re a visionary social entrepreneur), it is hard to commoditise solar energy.
Fight frack club: Same as usual, don’t spend your money on energy you disapprove of. Consider supporting Greenpeace who appear to be remarkably effective at keeping the spotlight on causes green.
There will be much more on this abuse of power against decent citizens in my (massively overdue) ‘WW4′ post. We are closer to a corporate dystopia than you think. It’s just not blindingly obvious yet.
The other day, we went to see Superman – Man of Steel (excellent for multiple reasons). We intentionally arrived at the cinema late to avoid the trailers that previous experience indicates they would be full of spoilers, Alas, I was not late enough and arrived before the trailers started, so I closed my eyes and tried to block my ears (pointless, the sound was very loud) and we were shown trailers for the following new releases:
- Pacific Rim
- World’s End
- The Wolverine
- And another I cannot recall
The trailers were very long and gave away key plot points from each movie. In fact, they were so long and detailed, the trailers were more like mini movies, providing a story and entertainment in just a few minutes! All aspects of surprise or any reason to see the movie were ruined, and so whilst I cannot speak for others in the theatre, I no longer have any incentive to see any of the movies. I am also angry at having spoilers thrust in my face without prior warning, unlike say IMDB where people are thoughtful enough to display *** SPOILER ALERT *** at the top of their reviews. Yes, we could have come into the theatre even later, but it is not always clear what time the features start. The time on the timetable is when one can enter the theatre for the chosen movie, not the feature start time of course.
When I was in the US, this sort of dumbing down was common, just as in some Hollywood movies they will show a scene featuring the Eiffel Tower, and then superimpose “PARIS, FRANCE” at the bottom of the picture! If anyone in the cinema does know that the Eiffel tower is not in Paris, never mind that Paris is in France, then there is something fundamentally flawed with the American education system.. This explains why such dumbing down of the populace with extended movie trailers is necessary in the first place!
I enjoyed Superman without seeing a single trailer or preview, and it may be in part why I enjoyed it so much.
Can the movie industry start to be considerate and treat it’s audience with respect please?
Fight back club: Easy, do not pay to see a movie spoiled by trailers.
See this and then that. (Sorry, both paid links.) One refers to the ‘problems’ associated with ‘too much’ solar energy overloading the grid (#excuses), the other, that the government is to arrange power blackouts in the UK to save energy. You could not make it up!
The once cash rich energy industry has had years to invest in low maintenance, clean, sustainable energy. They have not. Why not? Because resources like shale gas (obtained through as yet unproven fracking) will make those who invest in it a fortune very quickly. So they have resorted to the oldest trick in the book, fear, to persuade (frighten?) the British public to back shale gas. No matter that with cancer effecting more and more people today already and concerns about access to clean drinking water by farmers, the energy companies (read, The Government and their paid off ministers) are more than happy to choose a path whose consequences will include both using huge quantities of potential drinking water and pollution of the ground water in the locality, rather than more ethical, viable and clean alternatives.
Here we are in 2013 (‘the future’) and we have crusty greedy visionless people running our lives in such a manner that make the clean, almost utopian (without the dystopian!) future we were promised and worked hard at engineering college to bring about far off, or even, simply doomed. It is almost as if our leaders want to keep us (who is ‘us’ is another debate!) repressed and with as little hope and freedom as possible. Reminds me of the 70s, but what makes it worse, is that today, as recent events have proven, we’re all being monitored 24/7 (both ‘on the street’ and online), so trying to protest against such policy will lead to the authorities arresting people before they even get marching. Freedom? Puh! (At least abroad they still have the freedom and passion to revolt.)
A degree in economics is not required to know that energy is what effects the price of all else, from food to clothing to building materials, not to mention your actual electricity bill. Yet the government is holding us hostage by forcing us to accept quick and dirty solutions, rather than take a more long term approach that will neither pollute or require expensive exploration.
Fight frack club: Just as you may choose not to buy your clothing from sweat shops or your bananas from a dictatorship, so, find out where your energy is sourced from, and if it isn’t clean, shop elsewhere. I’m doing my part by researching (and possibly developing) practical clean energy solutions, such as storing solar generated energy close to where it is needed, for on demand access, no grid or over fed politician required.
A quick task for you – do it right now, before it’s too late. View the home pages for all the leading British broadsheets…
- Daily Telegraph (Fairly conservative, so no surprise there)
- The Guardian (Liberal, so this is out of character)
- The Independent (Almost communist, so no idea what to expect)
- The Daily Mail (I don’t think they even care about climate change or pollution, but they do care about celebs doing cocaine deals according to their headline as I type this)
…and you won’t find a single mention of the matter covered in an email I just received from one of the most effective green organisations to exist world-wide that I may well give a lot of money to one day:
The vote was this afternoon and was amazingly close. But we lost.
MPs have just rejected a clean power future – and I thought you’d want to be the first to know.
It’s been a tense few days as we waited for MPs to vote on a clean power target in the Energy Bill, and it’s not the outcome we all wanted.
But there is a silver lining.
Thousands of us told our MPs to back clean electricity, and as a result the rebellion against George Osborne’s dirty, costly dash for gas continued to grow steadily right up to the vote.
We lost by just 23 votes. That’s the third closest vote since the election. If just 12 more MPs had switched sides, we’d have won.
Osborne may have won this round, but the Energy Bill will now go to the House of Lords. There will be another vote, which gives us another chance to secure our clean energy future.
The battle for Britain’s energy future is far from over.
Over the next few days, we’ll be thinking about where to take the campaign next. But right now we’re recruiting for our core volunteer lobbyists – the people who go and challenge their MPs face-to-face, in their constituency offices.
We need as many of these volunteers as possible to make sure we get the political impact we need. You’ll be trained for free and given all the support you need to become an effective lobbyist – for the good guys.
Let’s use today’s news to make us stronger. Volunteer for the Greenpeace lobbying network now.
P.S. In two days, 21 people will be sentenced for occupying one of George Osborne’s dirty gas power stations. Some of them are facing prison sentences. Follow No Dash for Gas’s Facebook page for updates.“
This is a disgusting move by the government, in particular George Osborne, who is an unethical hopeless chancellor so in bed with old-n-dirty energy, when I received this Greenpeace email on my phone whilst driving (automatic, voice control, hands free, Mr. Jobsworth), the despondency made my shoulders drop at the wheel, and I slowed down to sulk.
Let’s see now:
- Algae blooms are choking our oceans world-wide
- Jelly fish are doing the same and spoiling our beaches as well as killing off fish
- The ice caps are melting such that they are cooling the gulf stream hence the whacky weather
- Most importantly, quick-n-dirty fracking that is to power the US and UK economy from now on will pollute groundwater (the quakes are not worth worrying about) causing unknown illnesses in the near and distant future
- Germany has designed superb bird friendly wind turbines, yet we have chosen not to buy and install them, nor their ultra efficient next generation solar panels.
But Osborne and his minions will be so wealthy, they will, like the bad guys in most Bond movies and Ben Elton’s visionary 1989 book, Stark, be up to their bank accounts in industry backhanders, so will ‘flee to the hills’ if things get nasty, and that Dear angry frustrated disillusioned reader is why the vote went the way it did. They just don’t care.
As ABBA once said, “Money makes the world go round.” Actually, it may stop it.
Fight backhanders club: Simples, don’t buy any energy sourced from fracking.
Since starting this blog, and the evidence will show, I have never used or referenced external blogs, articles or other to source opinion or content. I was taught to “Find out for myself”. Either way, I have always taken an interest in exploration and research, or in this case, investigation – sometimes intentional, other times, by accidental discovery, as is the case today.
That said, when it comes to my core observation that Britain (and perhaps the rest of the civilised world) is slowly degrading itself in such a manner that it’s losing it’s dignity, sense of purpose, confidence and therefore, honor, I have been wondering: Is this simply because too few care or have the time to oppose it (after all, most of us have enough day to day problems to deal with than to rise up/write a letter/blog) – or is it all part of something intentional?
I learned yesterday, it may well be the latter.
The barrier to credibility within the non technical aspects of Vision Aforethought is my lack of a political education. I only took an interest in all this after being victim of or observing unacceptable behaviour by the state’s ‘workers’, or jobsworths as we call them here in middle England. Further, I also could not help watch in horror as our television and society dumbed down exceptionally quickly, with all that goes with that. However, in the last few months, I have begun to learn about specific political concepts that are intentionally used to re-engineer society, often to the benefit of just a few.
Whilst reading the comments on a newspaper website yesterday (yes, I’ve forgotten which one already), I came across this post by a blogger I’m assuming is based in the USA. What he discusses is fascinating, if not worrying, although those of you with a political education may already know of it. Draw your own conclusions, but it checks all the boxes when it comes to what’s going on today.
No wonder the British PM is on holiday, he has pressed the big red button, and is letting the virus ridden autopilot fly us to wherever…
Flight back club: Explore and you will eventually find.
How about ceasing paying benefits (a concept I was not even aware of until the press coverage recently) and instead, give those who desire to go to college or University a free education, just like it used to be. Through my work I am meeting enthusiastic young people who are unable go to college or University because they cannot afford it and/or do not want to be saddled with debt – an honorable sensible attitude that no one should attempt to alter. Most of these people intensely detest social media, reality TV and the general dumbing down of our nation, and are upset and scared that they have no career path. I don’t blame them!
From walking around our city centres, Britain appears to have created a huge underclass (not to be confused with the honorable working class!) who rather than contribute to society and our economy, suck from it, and therefore, have (in part) bankrupted the nation causing immense harm to those decent people who want to be all they can be.
Which begs the question, who created this mess, and why? (That question is a tease because this blog has been warning that dumbed down media & education, health & safety legislation, no win no fee lawyers and dystopian social engineering would lead to this mess which takes all that is worst about trash American culture and condenses it into a small overpopulated island with the result our town centres are an embarrassment. Compare to the recently discovered colour footage of London from the 1920s.)
The solution is several fold:
- Compulsory national service (I did the equivalent when young: Was in the scouts and attended various out door activity centres where we were made to do some fairly tough activities, including: Sleeping outdoors with no tent, climbing tall brick walls, crawling through muddy ditches in the rain, etc etc.)
- As initially suggested, with the exception of the elderly and real disabled (not frauds), simply switch off the benefits system and force people to work and/or club together as family units to help each other so they can gain some dignity. Elephants do it, so can humans, and we have opposable thumbs to our advantage!
- Repeal the dystopian health & safety laws that are ironically ruining children’s health and giving people excuses to be sham victims.
- This one is controversial because it may seem fascist and undemocratic, but how about banning children from using social media, watching reality TV and consuming junk food? We ban smoking so why can’t we ban those other toxic concepts? (My bro and I were banned from TV and junk food as children and are very grateful.) And if we’re prosecuting older men who have abused the young in the past, why can’t we prosecute the creators of anything that is harmful to young people and adults alike, junk food and reality/celebrity TV included? If these people are too poorly educated to know what is good for them, then selling or giving them such rubbish should be illegal, no? What am I missing here?
- Invest the money saved to provide a good education that gives people the knowledge and skills to earn a living and educate family with dignity.
It gets worse! I was just reading an article about how the underclass is wrecking the lives of young people who are born into a hellish no chance lifestyle, when up pops a 30 second video commercial for a television ‘program’ entitled ‘Honey Boo Boo’, to be shown on TLC.
And what does TLC stand for? The LEARNING Channel! Sure about that?
Fight back club: As above.
Since starting this blog, I have repeatedly hinted at examples of the significant missuse and pointlessness of CCTV, never mind it’s significant breach of personal privacy and sense of space. Those who support it have to date, completely failed to prove it has any use or that it isn’t misused.
Whilst I spend my life thinking about, designing and developing cool technology, and would prefer to spend my time on those subjects, it has been real world experiences that shocked me into writing about matters beyond my regular remit and education. The first was several years ago when I drove into Putney, London, taking a left of Putney High Street to park on a minor road. I pulled in on the left and parked in a legal spot. I then went about my business.
A few days later I received a penalty charge notice from the council to say that I had driven up a one way street. Apparently, (and a first for me), the small side road was one way, and yet I had not noticed the signs. (I drove back and they were tiny and I photographed them.) Fair enough, I had made an error, that on a main road could have been dangerous. But it wasn’t the fact I was not even being given a chance to explain (a separate issue) that stunned me into disbelief, it was the fact that to backup their claims, they presented a series of colour thumbnail photos showing my car driving up Putney High Street, PRIOR to me making the left turn.
The issue is, why was my car being photographed or video recorded prior to an offence or alleged offence?
If they had presented a photo of my car in the parking space, that would have been understandable.
This was a huge breach of privacy and made me think, how much of our vehicular travels (and even pedestian travel) is recorded?
So I began to sit up, take notice and blog accordingly.
I have mentioned this above incident before, so I’ll move onto the matter of the day…
Whilst taking a break from work just now, I read that the authorities have released CCTV footage of a little girl the day she was murdered. It shows her in a leisure centre. There is more footage of the accused too. Which begs the question, why was a leisure centre recording young children going about their day? Who watches the video? And even if it isn’t being viewed, why was it kept for so long!? To be perfectly frank, why are their cameras in leisure centres, hotels and other locations where people are going about their privacy business?
If it was because there had been a spate of thefts and they were trying to catch the thief, and the police installed a temporary camera (as they did on my father’s premises once, and caught the thief too), that is understandable – it is a limited time installatio and monitored by no one until the next crime, and then used to catch the criminal, removed and no doubt erased after prosecution.
It seems that the UK is full of creepy people, but it’s not the ones who commit the crimes that are the issue (there will always be creeps), it is the fact that we are ALL obviously being recorded – in colour – as my own Putney experience and the footage of the little girl show.
The fact is, the CCTV didn’t stop the crime, and it never will, because unless the authorities install cameras everywhere, back allys, foot paths – and even monitor the cameras connected to some contemporary TVs, the criminals will simply choose a camera free location! And if the cameras are hidden, that is even worse, because then we won’t know we’re being recorded, yet another major breach of privacy, trust and sense of space.
All said, what should be of concern is not the above, it is the total capitulation of the British public and now after the Boston bombings, the Americans too, to this dystopian behavior whose motives are sinister and worrysome.
Image credit: The Geek Hideout
I have already written about my experience in Oxford where I came across an innocent young lad laying in a pool of his own blood after being assaulted in public. A homeless man then cradled the lads head and I called 999 for an ambulance. They then put me through to the police whose response summed up just how useless this country has become. “Yeh mate, we’re watching it all on CCTV.” My mental response involved expletives, but was tempered to “Well, it may be better you get out here onto the street ASAP.” (5 minutes later the ambulance and police arrived, and I left upset and appalled.)
A few months later, I witnessed and photographed 9 police officers pulling over a significant number of cars off St. Giles for exceeding the pointless on that area of road 20mph speed limit. No police officers patrolling the heart of a city that lives on drugs and alcohol, but plenty making a nice little earner for the council from innocent hard working motorists, taxi cab full of passengers included. (The aforementioned photo is on a prior VA post.)
In other news today, UKIP have shocked the UK government and Lib Dems. I wonder why?
Because as this blog has been screaming for years, Britain has become a repulsive cowardly greedy dystopian illusion, sugar coated with vast debt and state run pomp that fools everyone into believing everything is just peachy, when it is certainly not, even if the sun is out and smartphones are amazing. Whilst I didn’t vote today because I’ve lost faith in the lot of them, this national weakness and subservience to technology, ‘health and safety’, ‘human rights’ (hah!) and for profit law and order has ruined the country and people have rightfully had enough, so are pushing the HELP! button and praying for change.
The bottom line is that all this is going to end in tears, and that is a major understatement. Hate to toot my trumpet, but the record will show that Vision Aforethought has been spot on every time, and whilst it would be great to be right when it comes to positive predictions and analysis, on this issue, I so hope for everyone’s sake I’m wrong, whether it be because those in charge undo the eradication of common sense on their own – or people revolt and rip it all out by force if necessary.
Fight back club: Looks like it’s started!
Above I refer to having photographed some police pulling over motorists in Oxford, an act itself that could be viewed as being a breach of privacy. However, a) They saw me taking the photo and did not object. b) I blurred out all faces and number plates before publishing the image. c) The original photo is secure on my hard drive and inaccessible to anyone else, and in fact, could be deleted. However, I believe what I witnessed was both morally and legally questionable and needed proof before I commented on the matter. I did not take the photo BEFORE the incident, only during!
Oh, and one more thing, why are young people who don’t know better allowed to use social media? It’s a toxic, nasty medium in the wrong or immature hands.
One of the reason’s I’m bullish on what I refer to as ‘reality optimisation’ is because it takes crusty old concepts that are poor value, unprogressive and greedy, grabs them by the ankle and smacks them on the behind. We have AIRBNB, who offer an alternative to pricey hotels, whilst filling in your unused spaces, as opposed to most online services that are purely virtual. Then there is UBER who turn any qualified driver into your own efficient on demand ‘taxi’ service. No wonder the taxi companies and some cities tried to ban them, unsuccessfully thankfully! (My experience of taxis in all nations has been unpleasant: In USA, a passing taxi driver saw me park accidentally in a poorly marked bay and called the police who took my car away, and same taxi driver then arrived back on the scene to take me to the car pound. In London, on the day of the tube bombs, my drive who I had just given £30 robbed me of my smart phone. There are those who intentionally slow down in advance of GREEN lights such by the time they arrive at the lights, they have turned the same colour as your face, red.. Let’s not talk about the taxis in Italy or Egypt, it’s way too terrifying!)
But what Google are doing is going to bring about the greatest change. Their driverless vehicle technology, that to date has never failed, the mind boggles at it’s potential. For starters, unless you don’t trust it or find automated transport creepy, it renders the taxi and even other reality optimisation services obsolete too: You’re out on the town, a little tipsy, fire up your smart phone and use the voice control* to hail your own self-driving ride or automated UBER car.
Those who dislike driving or are unable to drive can do the same, in particular the elderly who when suffering ‘moments’ may cause an accident, whilst an automated vehicle is unlikely to err. If a software bug or mechanical failure occurs backup systems will probably take over or the vehicle will be programmed to stop or pull over unti the problem is remotely diagnosed and fixed, or the repair droid arrives.
Fight back club: Reject the old way!
*That will hopefully know it’s still you, even you are slurring your speech…
Just returned from seeing Oblivion, a visually utopian movie that has a very original plot, even if the multiple references to other movies shows lack of imagination, unless done out of respect? Anyway…
<Minor conceptual spoiler within>
…the movie (or is it film?), is, like most of the apocalyptic dystopian efforts of this forthcoming summer, one of those that makes you think about what it is like to be human and question our potential future.
</end spoiler alert>
Oblivion is very relevant to goings on in the world today, and one of those things that has since the mid 1990s (when I woke up) made me wonder if Hollywood is either very visionary or in cahoots with the powers that be to prepare us for our inevitable future, from the exaggerated (but accurate to date) effects of climate change in The Day After Tomorrow to the guilty until proven innocent reversal of non French law in Minority Report.
- The Boston bombs and more recent but nipped in the bud just in time potential attack on a train from Canada to New York bring up the issue of increased surveillance – with one senator calling for armed drones in (US) cities. #omg #yikes #wrongtarget
- Advances in health and biotech makes it possible for parents to have babies at increasingly older age(s), not to mention flawless designer babies – a legal non repressive alternative to the ideals of Nazi Germany.
- Increasingly effective artificial intelligence and data mining technology (related!) mean that our gadgets know more about us than we do and can deliver pre-emptive information before we seek it. But to whom?
- Many other similar or related issues that like the above have already been discussed around the world.
You dropped a cigarette – Prepare to die!
So, Dear sentient human, do we take the above concepts to their inevitable conclusion – because we can – or like when offered a line of Charlie by a controlling manipulative fiscally motivated ‘friend’, calmly depart the room head held high and continue as we are, relieved at having walked away from a potentially regretful uncertain future?
Fight back club: Wisely choose, human.
P.S. I went into Oblivion having for the first time ever in my movie viewing history accidentally known about a major plot ‘twist’ in advance. That thanks to clicking a link in a gadget blog comment without noticing a not very clear “Spoiler alert” warning. Fortunately, this didn’t ruin the movie that much because it had enough going for it anyway unless you don’t like TC.
P.P.S. In 1993, whilst living in the US, I started to write a short story predicting the misuse of drones. Work meant I didn’t complete it, but I think you’ll get the idea from the completed text.
Yesterday I took time out to ‘attend’ Lady Thatcher’s funeral. When I say, attend, I mean mingle with the crowd and pay my respects to a woman who finally, people are realising was misunderstood. This for reasons that explain a lot about what causes conflict in the first place – too little information or poor communication.
The whole day was fantastic, starting with a train journey that I had planned to spend working on my laptop. I was sitting opposite two nice and interesting people, one from Vodafone and the other Microsoft, (with my Apple and Android machinery copiously spread over the table!), so the whole journey was spent discussing all manner of things Apple Microsoft Google, with me making the case that solutions are what people want, not just sparkle.
Headed to St. Paul’s and after using the articulating display on my camera to watch the arrival of the coffin (that other shorter people behind me found invaluable too!) and do some people watching, went to mingle and people watch outside the front of the cathedral – just as I did last year or so at the (equally dignified) Occupy (London) protest. Surprisingly there were very few protestors and only one person with a megaphone who had strategically positioned himself near the BBC outside broadcast unit to ensure his message (that we are all sheep) was heard. He did have a point – more on that another day!
© 2013 Taikitso
As the news media have already mentioned, a huge majority of people (probably 1000:1) were pro Thatcher and very dignified. I think they embarrassed and surprised the ‘opposition’ whose arguments just didn’t wash in today’s modern, clean, fairly democratic social entrepreneur world free of union thugs unreliable cars and frequent power cuts. What was uplifting was the healthy debates going on amongst groups of 3 or 4 people, some of which I recorded in full HD and will be posting on my YouTube channel, having already received permission from the participants. There was no violence at all (just a few tempers slightly frayed, but soon tempered by the crowd) and the sunshine made it all the merrier, if that is the correct term! The intellectual debate and respect shown by most renewed my own faith in society and the future.
Mrs T would have approved.
If only those protesting or feeling aggravated would turn their attention to matters of the day: Sustainable clean energy (and fight fracking), thuggish wardens, national infrastructure – then their lot will get better, employment included.
Incidentally, this was a photographer’s heaven and there were a lot of them, from all over the world. Most pros with their huge heavy DSLRs and me with my equally capable more agile Sony NEX. Yes, that is a Canon AL-1 35mm film camera in the lady’s hand (above)! Her digital had run out of memory. #backup
Quiz: What is this? Taken after the event whilst walking from St. Pauls to Charring Cross Station
© 2013 Taikitso
With so many issues to be dealt with, and me tied up with work and family etc, it is time to delegate.
Vision Aforethought needs someone to do very part time research and if you have the skills (WordPress, css, html, php etc), assist with the actual blog design/code too.
For example, two pertinent matters:
- Research the complete cost of installing and maintaining all the equipment (barriers, ticket machines, cameras etc) associated with fee based parking at hospitals in the UK, and of course, any salary/bonuses paid to wardens/for hire parking attendants.
- Find out why the </ol> tag on this post keeps vanishing causing the numbers on the news feeds to turn into un-numbered bullet points after item 1.
Your reward will be a small payment per task – probably not more than three or four per month. This is not going to make you rich, but may be suited to a conscientious student or professional who shares the values that this blog highlights or anyone else interested in old school respect based liberty and new school social entrepreneurship related technology.
How to apply
Comment below or considering there may not be a way to make contact privately using the WordPress commenting system, try (temporarily?) following my moans, groans, raves and giggles @oflife and perhaps we can DM?
You will not be responsible for the actual content of this blog and consequences thereof.
“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”
- Teddy Roosevelt, 1910.
For over 15 years, been keen to suggest to another entrepreneur or have my company develop a service that displayed the news in such a way that each story was ordered and scored by importance. With few exceptions, the media tend to headline based on the immediacy, voyeuristic or short term ‘shock and awe’ value of a story, rather than it’s long term threats to a significant portion of the population and/or social stability. So, whilst in full on creative/achievement mode both on a personal and professional level, here’s a sample mockup feed based on the news TODAY only:
A few name ideas
- PNN – Priority News Network
- NBP - News by Priority
- NBI – News by Importance
- NBT – News by Threat
- Etc! Any ideas?
Mockup example news feed
As of Friday 12 April 2013 – 23:21 GMT only
- Deaths by Bird Flu in China (NBC News)
- 5/90 - Seriousness based on the Spanish Flu outbreak over 80 years ago. Positive contribution, population reduction = more parking spaces down town. (Humor.) If this was a real feed, NBI would need to seek multiple sources of educated opinion as to whether the threat was genuine rather than scare mongering. Slow incubating viruses are the most dangerous.
#birdflu #virus #h7n9 #h5n1 #flu #medicine #contagious #outbreak #apocalypse
- Funeral of Lady Thatcher (BBC)
- 50/60 - Could re-ignite class based civil unrest, initially in the UK, then abroad. Benefit, provides release to some, posthumous positive role model for others.
#politics #society #margaretthatcher
- North Korea may launch missile to avoid losing face (BBC)
- 30/40 - Little danger unless of an accident and the missile hits a built up area triggering a conflict. Benefit, may force the world/USA to resolve the North Korea issue once and for all, to the benefit of all sides.
#politics #war #northkorea #nuclearweapons
- Bionic hands (CNN)
- 75/5 - A positive development that could improve the quality of life for those who have lost the use of one or more limbs or appendages. Only threat, misuse as a weapon – strangulation etc in the event of stronger than nature technology.
#medicine #medical #technology #robotics #cyber
- Celebs engage in activities (Daily Mail)
- 1/100 – Positives, increase sales of the same newspaper that focuses on some issues close to this blogger’s heart. (Not kidding!) Negatives, provides ongoing reasons for women to gossip, embarasses the people mentioned, further reduces the intellectual capacity of those addicted to such stories such that they fail to grasp the importance of those higher up the NBI feed.
#society #celebrities #schadenfreude #voyeurism
Of course, if there is an Earthquake or other disaster, this would immediately appear at the top along with any government advice/contact numbers etc, something that occurs in the regular news media anyway, so on that count, there is little need for change. Further, in a real feed, those tags below each story would act as hyperlinked filters.
Sorry! WordPress is breaking my html, each story is supposed to be numbered, from 1 to X, where X is the number of stories. The last </ol> tag keeps vanishing! Why? So annoying! #halp #html #wordpress
No, not on the level of a true despotic state, but thought I would bring the following to your attention:
On Wednesday I had the pleasure of meeting a top class individual for a business meeting. We got talking about the incredible behaviour of some people after the death of Mrs Thatcher. Before he knew anything about my own causes or this blog, he mentioned that the other day he was in the car park of a well known middle class supermarket that until this moment, I held in high regard. He was surprised to discover they had recently introduced fees for parking. The on the spot fine for staying longer than 1 hour and 30 minutes was £60. So the days of having a friendly chat in the supermarket café are over unless you want to pay to pay – if you get my meaning. Anyway, my colleague had recently seen a pensioner struggling with his bags as he put them into his car at the aforementioned supermarket. A traffic warden (I like to call them, thugs for hire), came up to the old man. Rather than assist him, the warden issued the elderly man with an on the spot penalty charge. No questions asked.
For what you may ask? Spending more than 90 minutes shopping for free? Shop lifting?
No. Because his car was slightly over the white line dividing up the parking spaces.
No doubt a mix of a basic accident – he is a human – and perhaps, age.
My colleague who was witness to this was disgusted and begged the thug, sorry, warden, to leave the man alone, but of course, £60 to the VERY nasty companies slowly buying up our land for parking spaces is quite a nice little earner, so the thug refused to walk away.
Not long ago, assuming one had to pay to park to shop, (which one didn’t in most locations), a warden or policeman would simply politely inform the motorist of their offense and allow them to be ‘on their way’. As my own experiences since returning from the US validate, these people are quite simply after money. The law, ethics, fairness, common sense do not come into play. It is a cold hard fascist behaviour that is traumatising and financially crippling people who are already vulnerable. And that is before we even discuss clamping companies and their dubious ethics and intentionally small signage and hidden cameras.
From what I understand, my colleague has kept the contact details of the pensioner so we may try to help him fight the fight, and I for one, will try to setup a section on this here blog to document countless examples of this behaviour (and name names if legally ok) of which I have been slowly building up a library based on newspaper articles and listening to others who I either overhear (happens quite often) or who contact me. Some of what has been going on is abhorrent.
Fight back club: Fight back and refuse to pay
This fee based parking has already taken over our hospitals and is the sort of thing that those idiots dancing in the street the other day aught to be protesting against. It is not capitalism, or socialism, it is pure evil and greed. Note that for my part I refuse to pay to park at hospitals or supermarkets and always look for a free space nearby if a hospital, and in the case of a supermarket, will will not longer offer them my custom. I want the right to shop for as long as I like, without stressing about over staying my parking. I know full well that if I leave my car there all day, it will probably get damaged or vandalised, so I don’t need a greedy self serving dystopian entity telling me to pay to pay or pay to offer support at a hospital. (Much more on the latter in due course – the lie I was told by the hospital I questioned on this was laughable.)
Oh dear, the (far) left wing have done themselves well over the last few days and shown their true colours in their appalling response to the passing of a woman whose ethics, character and purpose were way above that of her detractors.
RIP. Sadly, due to some appalling misinformation put out by the toxic left over the last decade or so, this remarkable woman’s achievements have been swept under the carpet, and the few issues that did tarnish her reputation (taking away school milk, poll tax) were not as they appeared – something I only discovered after doing my own research.
I have planned for a while to publish a dedicated ‘Vision Aforethought > On’ page about Mrs. Thatcher, to inform younger people why she was so important (for women’s lib as much as any ‘right wing’ values) and why she should be a hero and mentor to those out there today who wish to achieve great things in a considerate manner, as opposed to the (innocent) no hopers that now populate our city centres thanks to a generation of liberal values driving our society. Very sad that she will not get to read my page.
How many people are aware Mrs. Thatcher introduced a number of green policies, not a very popular concept back then?
Am proud to have lead the mock elections at school, where my “Jim didn’t fix it, Maggie will!” campaign saw her win our mock election prior to winning the real election. She then turned this country around from a grey, strike ridden ‘damp’ mess, to an industrious nation (I am talking the 80s here) that saw the British personal computer revolution amongst other things create a whole generation of skilled IT workers and world class businesses. She also closed down old school dirty industries (coal, unreliable engineering plants) and whilst this was unpopular at the time, it was visionary, because she saw the flaws in our country that were holding us back. If she had not done what she did then, things would be FAR worse today.
Mrs Thatcher was very trusting and well meaning. Therefore the ventures of hers that failed (IE, Delorean) were no different than a parent trusting a child with too much pocket money and reaping the consequences. This is one of the most significant problems with being in a position of leadership, you may mean well, but your underlings/trustees/backers/partners/associates/fans/HANGERS ON and/or enemies will often exploit you or pull the rug from under your feet for any number of reasons (politics/greed/ego/envy), whilst others will simply screw up – as is human nature, in turn causing the leader’s reputation to be sullied.
Pity that many in the IT/Geek community don’t appreciate Lady Thatcher or (common sense based) conservative values, but once I get my page up, (no propaganda, just the facts, Maam!), hopefully some will feel enlightened. Note that products like the superb Raspberry Pi, BBC Micro, Sinclair etc are all brainchilds of her ideology.
A very sad day, and if the BBC or other leftist publications try to discredit Lady Thatcher, they will receive hell and damnation from this blogger and no doubt others who understand her importance to this world, including the down trodden and repressed. Oh, and she was uncorrupt too, unlike so many today who have their fingers in various jars.
Right back club: Read. Write. (= Research prior to forming opinion.)
Note that most experienced entrepreneurs I know are big fans of Lady Thatcher and were inspired by her, as I was.
BTW, my politics are all over the place. Each party has pros and cons.
Dr. Marty Cooper of Motorola made the world’s first mobile phone call on April 3 1973. The concept of a portable communications device that relieved people of the shackles of wired technology is significant in how it has altered society as much as it has business.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was another revolution in communications that took things to the next level?
Normally Vision Aforethought is primarily focused on issues outside the scope of my work, but after deliberation with my crew (intellectual property professionals included who often say “Alex, just get out there!”) and some thinking, the time has come to use social media to announce our ideas as soon as we can, in particular if it is unlikely we will patent the concept for whatever reason.
This blog also attempts to actually deal with matters it discusses, whether it be forwarding design proposals to our transport authorities or suggesting ways in which you, dear reader, can fight back against the march towards dystopia.
In this case, the subject is a frequent subject of VA, (clean) sustainable energy, and in particular, less reliance on the grid. For a while now, behind the scenes, my employers mathematics intern and I have been discussing my several year old idea of using solar (and other local clean energy sources, such as small wind turbines) to charge large capacity batteries (preferably next generation capacitive types as evangelised by Elon Musk) that would be located in your own home or premises to provide an alternative/backup to the grid – or one could consider the grid being the backup! The batteries would be constantly trickle charged and used to power an increasing number of devices and appliances as the power to price ratio improved. Meaning, currently, whilst we can charge and power low energy devices such as mobile phones using solar energy or solar charged batteries, such devices uses a tiny proportion of the energy of even the most basic home appliance. Consider just ONE low energy LED light bulb, possibly the lowest energy consuming ‘fixed’ item in your home or business. That draws about 5 watts. A regular mid power light bulb, 40 watts, a laptop or modern (low energy!) TV or monitor, 30 to 60 watts. And if we take things further, a kettle or toaster, anything from 1000 to 3000 watts! And then there are heaters and white goods, with the fridge that silent yet ‘deadly’ invention that has been quietly eating away at your electricity supply for a lifetime! (Think about it, the fridge is the ONLY device or appliance in your home that is ALWAYS on.)
We have along way to go before it will be practical to use batteries to totally extract oneself from the grid, but as with anything like this, baby steps are what count. In one of our family homes I have switched the whole house to LED lighting and one porch light is 100% solar powered, using a built in lithium battery trickle charged during the day. It is quite interesting to consider that if civilisation does collapse, that one light will remain in action until it’s components wear out! (The switch to LED lighting has recuced the energy bill by 40%).
My employer is researching how to bring about a practical realisation of the off grid powered premises, and as I type this, I am claiming this to be my idea, although the execution will be what counts, so if someone else does it first, so be it, the world will benefit!
Note that Toshiba have developed a compact nuclear reactor for use ‘in the home’. However, one does not need to dwell on the safety issues.
When a lad, our parents would, like most middle class families, send us on exchange trips to stay with families abroad. I remember visiting some close friends and their extended family up in the lovely hills above Alsace. As is French custom (and something we should get back to here), at meal times, we would all sit around a large table and enjoy a long lively meal, with the odd bottle of heart warmer shared between us, – kids included!
I shall never forget the respectable Grandma of the family. She hated having her photo taken. So much so, when a camera was raised to the eye to capture the bubbly scene, she would duck under the table – or even get up and leave altogether. At the time, I thought this odd, it was decades before the Internet and social media, but years later, I understand. Her reasons were not my business, but totally justified. All said, at the time, this was a very rare reaction.
As my photography and videography hobby (and use to document the history of my business) progressed and social networking services blossomed, some people, understandably, became more sensitive to being recorded. I have in fact been told off for taking what were even innocent photos as part of my hobby or as evidence of something. The former one can understand, being we all like to control our image online (I don’t publish photos online unless given permission) or simply don’t want our lives to be documented, in particular if we’re compromised at the time. (Drunk, kissing an unofficial ‘partner’ etc.)
No matter what the reasons, like all sentient beings, most of us have and value our personal space – and have a God given right to do what we like in that space with the assumption that we are innocent of any wrong doing and that after whatever we have done or said, no evidence of that period in time, beyond foot prints should be left behind for others to examine. And only then with good intention.
I saw what you did there!
…and it’s all being archived
As this blog has covered countless times, in particular here in the UK, and some of this appalling behaviour thankfully lead to the Leveson enquiry, the way that CCTV footage (such as in hotel corridors) and people’s voicemail recordings where consumed by others for gain (newspaper sales/voyeurism) is what happens when ones life is recorded or ‘spied’ upon without your express permission.
With the advent of drones (a technology I took much interested in when young, dabbling in robotics and model aircraft – and more recently (1993 – ooh, twenty years ago!), writing a short story predicting their misuse on the battlefield) and image processing technology so advanced, it can be used to spot a face in a crowd of thousands from a mile away, it is now too easy for authorities to over extend their counter terrorism policy to such an extent that (as some councils in the UK have proven) they will be tempted, as will the media, to spy on people in a manner similar to that predicted in Minority Report.
Like many, I find this unacceptable, because beyond the breach of privacy, any dubious entity, a large corporation in particular, could easily tap into footage and use it to monitor protestors who don’t like what said large corporation is doing to the planet and get up to no good.
A few months ago, I coined the phrase, right to Live A Life Unrecorded, or LALU, and believe this is a priceless right that should be defended to the hilt.
If those members of the public supporting surveillance have a problem with this, then they should move elsewhere and start a new society based on such dystopian principles. I think we should invest as much money that is being put into this technology into huge sustainable energy ventures so that we can stop acquiring our energy sources from areas that need our military to defend that in turn upsets the locals (whose culture is diametrically the opposite to ours) to such an extent that they send the very terrorists over that these drones are supposed to hunt down. What a mess we are in. The ‘bad guys’ are winning in a way.
Update: June 10 2013 – Well, in view of revelations of 9 June 2013, that may go down in history as when the right to LALU got a tad more exposure, hopefully, things will change such so that, to quote, those “with nothing to hide” may be assured that if a 3rd party offers a politician/member of the security services/NSA insider a nice little bank hander that our photos/confidential business documents/communications/personal diary/browsing habits cannot and will not, under any circumstances, ever be released to a 3rd party without the express written permission of the owner – namely, YOU, in particular if any of that content has been erased. And if such information does cause embarrassment or other harm to the ‘owner’, then that person or entity will have full recourse to seek significant damages for any harm caused, and be offered legal advice for no fee. Don’t forget, the whole point of my argument is not to stop the security services from going after those breaking or planning to break the law, but to ensure that it is both illegal and impossible for the public to ever suffer as a result of flaws or corruption in the system. Fair dinkum?
Fight back club: Defend your right to Live A Life Unrecorded, (#LALU). United Nations: Can we update the law such that the citizen has to give permission to be recorded and is made aware of precisely what is recording them, position of cameras, drones etc? Service providers - Succinct clear text in your T’s & C’s please. (Note, my employer has for over 15 years clearly displayed our privacy policies and complied with US and UK data protection laws.)
My concerns over all this do not stem from any personal paranoia I am technically competent enough (and am advised by those with significant understanding of online security) to ‘wear protection’, however, like others who have a conscience, it ha been shocking and upsetting to learn of the misuse of personal information for profit by those who have no right to do so.
In business, smart companies know when their core market is threatened and act accordingly. Some of the world’s best known brands started out producing things that have little to do with their current product portfolio. For example, Nokia started out in rubber. Rank made movies, but eventually diversified into bread! Hence, Rank Hovis McDougal! There are many other examples of this, including to a less extreme extent, Apple, who saw the end of the PC era (error?) and invested in the iPhone and latterly, the iPad. They win, we win.
What a contrast to big energy. It is 2013 (the future!) and today, we are not surprised to hear, that energy prices are going to rocket over the coming years because we failed to invest in alternatives.
I sit here watching Arsenal get thrashed by Bayern Munich and the very first sponsor logo to appear before the game was Gazprom. Yes, we won the cold war, but now the West has been pawned by the very countries we clandestinely fought for over 40 years because they have their hands on our balls.
If we had done what smart business does, we would have taken our oil war chest and invested it on a Manhattan Project scale in sustainable energy technologies. Initially, this blog praised (having suggested it a while back) the UK Government recent investment in graphene, but when you think about it, the amount provided is a drop in the ocean to that invested in a single fracking test drill and many other short termist (more harmful) concepts. Solar panels made from graphene could be mounted on all large buildings to provide a large enough percentage of our energy to make up for the rising costs associated with our migration to foreign owned gas.
Yes, the green movement (of which this blogger is part of) killed off nuclear energy with a little help from Chernobyl and Fukushima, (the one carbon free source that could keep prices down), but that is no surprise, – nuclear also killed itself by failing to invest in safer cleaner alternative (nuclear) technologies, always choosing the least expensive at the start path.
So why didn’t we invest in sustainable energy when we could? Because even allowing for the failure of nuclear, the people who own our energy are so wealthy, even a quadrupling of prices would make no difference to their lives. And the politicians are in bed with the same people so you know that nothing will happen, unless you do something about it.
My employers forthcoming (albiet delayed) venture, lifemachine.com (@lifemachine) will suggest a robust but gentle path to a sustainable way of life and business, because you have always been free to harness that great big ball of fire up there.
Fight back club: Why wait? Mount your own solar panels and gradually get more and more of your household and business electrical and electronic items off the grid. Even if the initial investment hurts, you will be independent of price rises and so can at least plan your cashflow. And best of all, solar panels last a long time, so you’ll be able to rely upon them for decades.
I don’t mention wind farms, because there are so many issues with wind turbines, although new bird friendly designs positioned off shore – as the UK government has proposed to their credit, are a viable option too.
My previous post co-incidentally coincided with yet further revelations that the food we take for granted is not always what it appears. At the end of the post, I hinted at the monopoly that is the global credit industry. But that pales into insignificance when it comes to the huge corporations that produce (and that is the word) our food. Have a read of this from The Guardian, including the comments below, and then return here.
As you read this, growth driven companies like Monsanto and Nestlé are about to do all they can to get the Chinese and other to date, healthy cultures, hooked on the processed garbage that is in part responsible for the huge increase in diabetes in the West, and of course, interference in the way farmers farm. Yes, using GM foods to bypass pesticides is the lesser of two evils, but the issue is that much of what we produce is not even necessary for humans to live, and a tad worse for us than horse meat, that is in fact healthier than beef. Most of the corn is used to produce corn syrup and other high carb glycemic ’foodstuffs’ that have been the bastion of the awful American diet for the last half century. Hence their weight problems, and later in life, various related ailments that are costing the country a fortune, making it one of the unhealthiest nations on Earth. Their reliance on popping pills for every mental and physical ailment is a sure indicator of so many problems, it is impossible to know where to start. The structure of society has a lot to do with the former.
The solution to all these issues is simple, don’t live a lifestyle that profits these companies or the ‘values’ they attempt to pursue through political manipulation. On the financial side, as I learned yesterday, this is difficult. There is no alternative to paying for online services and products using anything other than a credit or debit card, owned by the oligopoly that is the two major brands. Diet wise, the vegetarians and ‘cave man’ diet fans (this blogger included for the latter) have been right all along. Buy your meat, fruit and veg locally, ensuring you know where it came from (unless your supermarket can prove where it sources its produce – Waitrose do this), and of course, for your good health and longevity, stick to unprocessed foods, such as nuts, rye bread, open seas caught fish etc. Eating less for increased mental clarity is quite enlightening, something I experimented with in California to great success. #thezone
Fight back club: As above! Don’t forget, if we don’t act now, we cannot complain when in a decade or so, if not sooner, this whole planet is one automated dystopian hell that differs little from that foreseen in several visionary science fiction movies.
*Thanks to Daniel Lewis for introducing me to the word that is the title of this post.
A while back, whilst still residing in the US, I penned a short, (incomplete) satire on the ridiculous politically correct nature of Northern California culture. The laws and attitudes were (are!?) so embarrassing and lacking in common sense, it drove some of us bonkers. (It was one of the reasons I left.) Of course, this has been happening here in the UK over the last decade or so, where trash TV and other programming focused entirely on humiliating people en masse (The Hunger Games was spot on) is fine, but anything with a religious or ethical bent is frowned upon.
This is a reminder of the fact this all started in the US, and appears to be spreading beyond selfish ‘distant*’ California to the rest of the country. (*Many of my European and Asian colleagues commented on the fact that Californians appeared distant. IE, they were/are so involved in their careers and lives that whilst outwardly friendly at the start, they then withdraw. I am wondering if there is a connection?)
I would rather have Jesus on my wall than Simon C on my TV.