February 13, 2006

ID cards

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4707608.stm

Sweet Jesus and Mary chain! The House of Commons has passed the ID cards bill; people applying for passports from 2008 will be issued with ID cards – expected to cost anywhere from £90 to £300.

This is the latest in a worrying trend; recent changes and additions to the law include an extention to the time "terror" suspects can be held without charge (to twenty-eight days – though if Clarke gets his bastard way it'll be ninety!) and the power for police officers to arrest anyone for the slightest offence (though they don't have to charge you for a month!).

Everyone is now a potential criminal – anyone can now be arrested and held for a month without trial or charge. Sure, these powers could stop terrorism (well, non-state endorsed terrorism at least), lower crime, etc., etc.. But with more far-reaching powers like these, that can affect anyone and everyone, brings more chance of miscarriages of justice. I belong to the subset of humanity that would rather see a guilty man walk free than an innocent man lose x days/months/years of his life for someone else's crime.

Stepping back to the more immediate problem of ID cards – they won't work. That is, they won't do the jobs that their propenents say are the main reasons for having them; namely, combatting terrorism and stopping identity theft. You don't generally need ID to plant a bomb, or hi-jack a plane (the 11/9 terrorists managed to get on board the planes with perfectly legal ID. Keeerrazy!). As for stopping identity fraud – criminal gangs will almost certainly be able to make fake IDs. Of course, this does rest on your particular definition of "identity theft"; most defnitions include credit card theft/unauthorised use thereof. ID cards will not impact on this at all – you won't need your ID card to make a purchase with a credit card. We are then left with a rather vague and threatening definition – wholesale theft of our very personae! Very likely, I'm sure.

And then, of course, we have the rather more mundane and pratical failings of this whole Machavellian scheme. Biometrics are rather shite. They will improce, of course, but there will still be an error rate. How big this error rate will be remains to be seen – it may be 1%, 0.1% or 0.01%. That is, there will be insufferable problems for some proportion of the population – anywhere from 500,000 to 5000 people.
What about implentation? Knowing this government and it's obsession with hare-brained PFI schemes (see eyes passim… Read the Private Eye), it will be privatised: Jarvis and EID will bid on it, it will go to a consortium of banks and finance companies, it will be over-budget and over-due. It will cost the taxpayers ten to hundred times more than the government say it will, and it won't work.

In summary: Drink. Feck. Girls. Er…
I mean, ID cards bad, pineapples good.

For more information on ID cards, and how you can help stop them, please visit no2ID.


May 01, 2005

pp3l9w7

Follow-up to Yo–yo from Fido Dido (and his alt-rock space monkeys)

Alice!

Yo–yo

I don't like this day.

Bad from the two days before the start.

Down, tumbling down.

Down.

And so-on and suchforth…

Until!

>bazooks!<

>kerpow!<

Marmite on toast!

Straight forward the frogs launch the post-apocalytica, post-punk, post-everything, rock on towards the forest and the glade!

And then!


April 02, 2005

The protaganist is slightly annoyed

It's funny* how the mind makes connections that aren't there.

It has occured to me afore, and again recently, that I become uncharacteristically popular whene'er I become busy. People seem to want to talk to me more when I really should be doing something else. Is this something built into the universe? When I starting trying to do something that would render me unable to talk for some amount of time, be it revision, a film, playing guitar, or one of innumerable things, does this set in motion unseen cogs down at the very limit of the universe, beneath the Planck scale? Vibrations that emainate from my cerebal centre that propagate and cause people to have an irrepressible urge to communicate with me? I play a game for an hour, and someone I want desperatly to talk to comes online for the only time in a month, and is gone when I can talk. This must be proof! The universe moves 'gainst me! The entirety of creation, the eternity of the cosmos, the infiinity of time, the whole of Hegel's Idea exists only to cause me somewhere betwixt mild annoyance, and frustration?

No.

Not even as a little side-project.

It's a coincidence. But our minds aren't built like that. That's why clouds often look like animals or objects. The human brain is built to recognise patterns. Hence, wallpaper.

*anything that starts "It's funny..." then introduces something entirely without humour. This is a universal law.


March 28, 2005

Damn

Just heard the secret track at the end of "Open Your Mind" by The Music – way fuckin' cool. If only the rest of the album was like that.

Disclaimer: If you are offended by swearing, mayhaps you should grow up.


A couple of vague album reviews

My sister and her boyfriend came up this weekend, and they brought me some albums: Kasbian -Self-titled; Muse - Absolution; The Music - Welcome to the North; and I thought I'd post some form of mini-review on here. These three bands aren't my usual fare, I can't even think of a single song by The Music. I think Muse are alright - they've got some good songs at least; and Kasabian, I had only previously heard L.S.F., which I like immensely (In fact, I played it last time I DJ'ed at the Colly). Please bear in mind that a) this is pretty subjective, b) I've only listened to the albums once or twice, and c) I don't really do words, in general.

  • First up then, Kasabian. I was slightly disappointed with the album as a whole, it seems somewhat lacking. The songs are just a fraction away from being awesome, which is sometimes worse than just being bad – this could be an amazing album, but as a whole, it just doesn't have that punch in the vocals and bass that L.S.F. has. Possibly I wasn't playing the album loud enough. It'll probably get better the more I listen to it. Kasabian have a pretty unique sound, blending the recent trend of using synth guitar effects (The Killers esp., but also Muse, Kaiser Chiefs, etc.) with much darker overtones. Memorable songs: Reason Is Treason, L.S.F. (as if you didn't already know…), Butcher Blues, Ovary Stripe.

  • Muse now, for those still here. Having not really ever got into the previous Muse albums, I approached this one with a slight worry that I would find it mediocre as with Origin Of Symmetry and Showbiz. I had, however, already heard a few songs off it which I quite enjoyed, especially Hysteria (absolutely fuckin' A, I always turn this up loud when I listen to it). I think I can safely say after a few more listen-throughs, I will really like this album. Stockholm Syndrome has grown on me; I had only like the bridge and intro to it, and felt that the verse just was sub-par. Memorable songs: Time Is Running Out, Stockholm Syndrome, Hysteria, Endlessly.

  • The Music. Um. Easy Listening. Non-offensive. Not bad, but not something I'll be raving about either. Memorable songs: Bleed from Within and Breakin' kinda stick in your head…

That's it. If you want actual music reviews worth reading, go here: we want the airwaves back

Also, for those in the know, songs I have been learning:
Wish You Were Here, Time, Bike, Bombtrack, Sink Venice, Time Honoured Tradition, Born To Be A Dancer, and everything by Marcy Playground


March 22, 2005

Part two, where the protagonist visits the dentist

I came to with a bright light shining in my eyes. I tried to talk, but my mouth felt like it was full of metal. A face came into view, a face I recognised, but I couldn't quite place it. I seem to remember the last time I saw it, it being surrounded by a mane of golden hair; now those locks had gone. The face seemed to be talking in code, reeling off a list of numbers to an aide as thin mechanical fingers probed my mouth

"2, 4, 5, 5, 4, 2, 7, air"

Suddenly, he forced a kind of hose into my mouth, and blasted my teeth with compressed air. I fought an urge to run, knowing that before I got to the door, I would be dead.

"7 watch."

The aide suddenly got up and left the room, as a strange machine was brought into proximity with the side of my face. Risking a look, I saw that on the end of this machine, was a long hollow plastic tube, one face open, reminscent of the barrel of a gun. A piece of flat metal on the end of a plastic stick was forced into my mouth, and I was told to brace myself. The body the face was attached to walked into my field of vision, I saw it was dressed in a white lab coat, and made it's way to a panel on the wall. The man picked up some kind of control attached to the panel by a wire, and moved so as be as far away from the contraption pointed at my head as possible.

He pressed a button, and the room was filled with a loud high-pitched whine. The room plunged into absolute darkness as my head filled with searing pain.

Turns out, I need a filling.


March 20, 2005

Entry the first

I suppose I should come up with some kind of witty, eloquent introduction, but that would require effort. To those who know me, I need no introduction; to those who don't, um… [insert your own joke here].

For those still here, hoping mayhaps to catch a glimpse of my inner workings, I'm afraid you're in for a bit of a disappointment as this blog will be updated infrequently, and with contradictory and misleading statements. Or not. Or both. Or all three*. Instead, this blog may or may not contain traces of spotaneous musings and/or ramblings and rants. Already, I have confused myself. Until next time, I leave you with this to digest:

Top five bands of the week:

  • Smashing Pumpkins
  • Biffy Clyro
  • Modest Mouse
  • Kaiser Chiefs
  • Marcy Playground

This list is subject to change in half an hour.

*for those in the know, award yourself two points.


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