Stand up

Feb. 16th, 2009 04:05 pm
ramtops: (Default)
I am blacked out: Stand up against "Guilt Upon Accusation" for New Zealand

"Join The New Zealand Internet Blackout to protest against the Guilt Upon Accusation law 'Section 92A' that calls for internet disconnection based on accusations of copyright infringement without a trial and without any evidence held up to court scrutiny. This is due to come into effect on February 28th unless immediate action is taken by the National Party."

Help youself to the image.
ramtops: (typewriter)
From BBC news comes the following:
All petrol and diesel which is sold at UK pumps now has to include at least 2.5% biofuels.

These renewable fuels, made from crops such as sugar cane or maize, have been added to fuel sold around the country.
I read this almost straight after reading George Monbiot's piece in today's Guardian.

A world going mad ...
ramtops: (no2id)
"We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to scrap the proposed introduction of ID cards".

sign here to add your name to a petition on the Downing Street web site. 433 names as I sign.

please pass it on.
ramtops: (alcatraz door)
Mr Reid said that ""move away from the traditional view that justice has to involve going to court"."

and towards a police state, presumably. More from the Guardian here.


Oct. 19th, 2006 10:33 am
ramtops: (typewriter)
please read[ profile] perlmonger's post here.

I support him 100% in this viewpoint, and I hope that anybody who knows either of us would know we would never do such a thing.
ramtops: (Default)
we just had a ring on the doorball, from a chap selling door to door from He had a van full of stuff, and we were interested enough to let him show us his wares.

he brought a heap of boxes to the house; he had salmon, tuna, hake and cod, and all the rest was ready-cooked. We don't buy - or eat - ready-cooked food, as we're lucky enough to have the time to cook most nights; and if we don't, we take something we've previously cooked from the freezers.

so he was a bit disappointed that most of his offerings didn't appeal. [ profile] perlmonger and I were interested in the fish; it seemed to be from reasonably sustainable sources, but we were concerned about freezer space.

and "it'll be ok if *you* organise it", he said to [ profile] perlmonger. I told him he nearly lost the sale by making stupid sexist remarks, and he was really quite taken aback. P pointed out that actually, it would in fact be much better if *I* did it. And I did, and 12 tuna steaks and 14 pieces of cod loin* are in there.

* I find it very difficult to think of fish loins, don't you?
ramtops: (typewriter)
further to this, Guy Kewney has written a posting on the subject.
Many surveys have suggested, regularly, that mature business buyers are actually deterred from promotions - exhibition booths, events and advertising - which assumes a 20-year-old male as the stereotype customer. These surveys are all nonsense, in the minds of the CF devcon organiser. Women don't exist; adult males are all sexually rampant and alcohol-fuelled. Muslims only pretend to be uninterested in getting drunk, and Real Programmers are either adolescent, or wish they were.
more here
ramtops: (typewriter)
please note: I'd be obliged if you'd read [ profile] perlmonger's post here either before, or after, you read mine. Or both. But read it and take note.

[ profile] perlmonger has posted about his e-mail exchange with the organiser of

what he didn't tell you was that I contacted him first. here's my exchange )
I wish I thought I had changed his attitudes one iota, but I bet I haven't. [ profile] perlmonger and I will probably be the butt of the joke at their Tequila Slammer party :)

Piers Cawley has linked to this in his own blog here.

edit 2:
so has Dave Cross.


Sep. 28th, 2006 10:28 am
ramtops: (candle)
I looked out of the bedroom window just now, and there was a hearse, containing a coffin.

it seems that one of the elderly couple two doors up from us has died, and I had no idea. I don't even know if it is the husband or the wife.

this strikes me as very sad - that someone located so close to us can die without us even being aware ...
ramtops: (no2id)
Ministers are preparing to overturn a fundamental principle of data protection in government, the Guardian has learned. They will announce next month that public bodies can assume they are free to share citizens' personal data with other arms of the state, so long as it is in the public interest.

more from the Guardian here.

to think that some people - not me, obviously - *voted* for these fuckwits.
ramtops: (alcatraz door)
PayPal has frozen Brit Mohammed Hassan's account and banned him from using the service if he refuses to fax the company a raft of personal information.

The online payments service told him his name is "similar to or a match to" a name on the US government's anti-terror assets freezing list.
. More from El Reg here.

ramtops: (alcatraz door)
so ... those arrested yesterday on suspicion of trying to blow up bombs have had their assets frozen. And the Bank of England has published their names on its web site. Amongst them is
PATEL, Abdul, Muneem
DOB: 17/04/1989
Address: London, E5

by my calculation, he is 17. And this confirms my thought that Section 44 of the 1999 Act (if brought into force in full) would automatically prevent reporting of any matter which might lead the public to identify a person under 18 as a potential defendant, victim or witness as soon as a criminal investigation has begun.

so this boy surely should be afforded the same protection.
ramtops: (typewriter)
[ profile] perlmonger and I have a standard set of phrases which we recite to news items - things like, oh, the mistaken shooting of people who unsportingly turned out not to be terrorists or, as last night, the spokesperson from Stoke Mandeville on the story about the infections there, to name a couple of examples.

it goes thus:
  • mistakes were made
  • lessons have been learned
  • it's time to move on
here's a new one, culled from Home Office minister Joan Ryan, on the outrageous increase in passport fees, taking them from £42 last October, to £66 this October (wish I could impose a price rise like that on my customers):
  • a price that must be paid
I'm damn glad I renewed my passport five years early in August of last year, so it's a price *I* won't be paying for a while ...
ramtops: (alcatraz door)
nor, indeed, do I want anything to do with Hotmail or Yahoo.

a good story here from

the thing that scares me the most about data mining is how quickly the people collecting the information will hand it over to the authorities if they're asked.

still, as I always say, The Innocent Have Nothing To Fear.
ramtops: (Default)
... that the innocent have nothing to fear. The guilty, however, had better look out.

this article, in today's Times explains how a serial rapist "was traced when DNA from his sister — taken in relation to a drink-driving offence — was matched to semen samples taken from the rapist’s victims between 1983 and 1986."

while I'm very pleased that this chap has been caught, and has pleaded guilty, why are they taking DNA from a drink driver?
ramtops: (elephant)
if you ever wondered just why investors are pouring so much money into these social web applications with nice rounded corners, you could do worse than read this article by Wil Harris.

none of it comes as a surprise to me, but then I'm a cynical old bat, who believes that there's no such thing as a free lunch.
ramtops: (typewriter)
A deer hunter who took his photographs to a supermarket for processing was shocked to find himself reported to police.

Although the sport is legal, Tesco gave his details to officers who questioned him for several hours. [...] Tesco has no ban on photographs of shooting and its privacy policy says: "We will never pass your personal data to anyone else", but it contacted the police without telling Mr Williams.
story here

"Belfast Child" |Glittering Prize: Simple Minds 81/92 | Simple Minds
ramtops: (tesco)
the always interesting George Monbiot has a piece in the Guardian today about the Office of Fair Trading and their approach to supermarkets.
After wriggling its way through every possible excuse for inaction, last week the Office of Fair Trading decided to launch an inquiry into the behaviour of the big grocery chains. It's about time. But alongside it we need another one: into whether the OFT, like almost everything else in this country, has itself been taken over by the superstores. The problem the competition authorities are investigating - the dominance of companies like Tesco and Wal-Mart - is the result of 25 years of regulatory failure.

more here
ramtops: (Default)
A Cincinnati video surveillance company now requires employees to use Verichip human implantable microchips to enter a secure data centre.
. More from El Reg here


Feb. 7th, 2006 06:53 pm
ramtops: (typewriter)
from the always excellent Snowmail, Jon Snow writes on the subject of Abu Hamza:
There's no doubting the odious nature of the utterances captured on video tape, but I must also confess a very slight concern about the extend to which he and his hook may have been demonised . My editor tells me that it's a typical wet liberal view (not for the first time).
which is pretty much how I feel. He's been here for 25 years - if what he did, and said, was so heinous, why did nobody deal with it sooner. If he didn't have a hook instead of a hand, and didn't wear a headdress, would people be so frightened?

why aren't we doing this with the Animal Liberation people, and the BNP?

I think, on balance, I'm not very happy with this verdict. But then I'm a woolly liberal too.


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