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Hell in a handcart Uncategorised

Bloody fireworks

According to the Evening Times, 70 shit-scared pet dogs have been found roaming the streets of Glasgow this week already, freaked out by the constant barrage of fireworks. We’re lucky – Megan, destroyer of shoes, isn’t scared of anything – but our in-laws’ dog is bloody terrified of the things, and this time of year means weeks of terror for him (and a lot of work for everyone around him – scared dogs are capable of amazing things when they’re determined to escape).

It’s not just the ASBO element that’s responsible, either. They’ve been going off in gardens for several days now, as people celebrate key events on the calendar such as, er, Tuesday. It’s just a bit of fun, apparently. No harm done.

Bollocks to that: it’s really not funny, and it’s really not fair. Maybe dog owners should unite, wait for the culprits to leave for work/school/whatever the following morning, and pelt them with several weeks’ worth of dog shit. It’s just a bit of fun! we’d cackle. No harm done!

Categories
Bullshit Hell in a handcart Technology

ID cards will cost £5.4 billion, and I’m a fecking pixie

Tim does a lovely demolition of the government’s latest made-up numbers for the cost of ID cards:

Quick numbers. 48 million or so adults, each having the card, the computers, the readers, the database, the taking of the biometrics etc etc etc. 5.4 billion?

112.50 per person over a decade? With all the changes that have to be made as people move house? Alter their details? That includes the costs to the individual as well as the system itself?

Categories
Bullshit Health Hell in a handcart

Smoking bans, again

Looks like the Scottish Executive isn’t the only group of politicians acting like complete and utter bastards over smoking:

the Department of Health is considering a Westminster council request that it should be allowed to create smoking “exclusion zones” outside bars, restaurants, clubs or workplaces so those caught smoking there could be punished.

[Via Tim Worstall]

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Hell in a handcart

Is it because they is white (supremacists)?

Didn’t see this in the papers:

A FORMER British National Party member has been accused of possessing the largest amount of chemical explosives of its type ever found in the country.

…62-year-old retired dentist David Bolus Jackson, of Trent Road, Nelson, was charged with similar offences. It has been reported that police discovered a rocket launcher, a nuclear biological suit, chemicals and BNP literature.

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Hell in a handcart Uncategorised

Pay as you throw

Councils plan to charge people if they throw out too much rubbish – but if you don’t throw out much, you’ll get a discount on your council tax.

What a brilliant idea!

Here’s how it will work. You want to pay less council tax, so you reduce consumption, reuse what you can and recycle the rest. That way, come collection day your bins are nearly empty and you get a nice reduction in your council tax.

Or do you?

*evil cackle*

Not if I leap your garden fence at 3am and shove all my crap in your bin, you don’t!

Bwah hah hah!

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Hell in a handcart Uncategorised

Shooting fish in a barrel

An American mother of four wants Harry Potter books banned from libraries.

Referring to the recent rash of deadly assaults at schools, Mallory said books that promote evil — as she claims the Potter ones do — help foster the kind of culture where school shootings happen. That would not happen if students instead read the Bible, Mallory said.

The article says:

Laura Mallory, a mother of four from the Atlanta suburb of Loganville, told a Georgia Board of Education officer on Tuesday that the books by British author J.K. Rowling, sought to indoctrinate children as Wiccans, or practitioners of religious witchcraft… the books are harmful to children who are unable to differentiate between reality and fantasy.

I agree. Rather than expose children to fantasy, I think we should teach them that their every move is being watched by a giant bearded super-being who lives in the sky.

Categories
Hell in a handcart Media Music

Let’s start a b(r)and

The relentless march of advertising into music isn’t exactly new (although it’s still annoying: witness the increasing use of video screens to blast adverts at rock gigs, something that was previously confined to pop gigs such as Girls Aloud) but this represents a new low: Honeyshot have been put together by Saatchi and Saatchi as a vehicle for brands. As Popjustice puts it:

In spite of parading a level of pop integrity that makes Steve Brookstein look like Stephen Malkmus, we thought this might have been quite interesting – after all, most of the people working in advertising have better and more exciting ideas than most of the people working in pop marketing.

We were wrong. The single, ‘Do It’, is alright and the girls themselves seem perfectly likeable – but the band is shit, their video is shit, their website is shit, their styling is shit. The whole thing is just a shower of shit.

Popjustice goes on to give the whole thing a well deserved kicking.

Categories
Hell in a handcart Technology

If you need exemptions, the whole thing’s bollocks

Mr Eugenides is angry about the government’s plans for a children’s database, which will track every single child in the country. Today, it’s because of the news that the super-secure, uncrackable database will have special exemptions for kids of celebrities, because otherwise there’s a risk of kidnapping. As he quite rightly points out:

If this database is so secure, why do certain extra-special moppets’ records need to be roped off from the rest of them? Because it won’t be secure at all.

And of course, the database – which will specifically identify vulnerable children – will be a fantastic tool for kiddie-fiddlers. Mr Eugenides quotes Professor Ross Anderson:

“There will always be bent insiders. If you connect all these systems up and if you’ve got over a million professionals needing to access this every day it will all get out. Paedophiles for example can use the database to find out which children in their neighbourhood are vulnerable and where they live.”

I’ve written about database nonsense before, but here’s a quick summary: whenever there’s a big database of personal data, it’s abused. Here’s an example from 2004:

Misuse of the Police National Computer (PNC) by officers is undermining public confidence in the police’s ability to handle data, according to the deputy chair of the police complaints commission.

Speaking on 15 July, 2004, John Wadham said that the failure to retain and pass on data is a “misconduct” issue for police, as much as the misuse of PNC data which has been a “consistent problem” over the last 20 years.

Wadham referred to cases where officers have misused the PNC to find information on a partner’s estranged husband, to check out a daughter’s boyfriend or to gain evidence for civil proceedings. He said there is a “perennial problem of data being sold to private detectives”.

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Hell in a handcart Media

Scotland.come off it

Christ on a bike, if these are the best Scots sites the Sunday Mail could come up with then the country’s in worse shape than I thought.

The Sunday Mail couldn’t resist the temptation to put their own site in the list, presumably because it’s the only way anyone will say anything nice about it. It’s a truly horrible, unfriendly disaster that I’d suggest was the work of blind, crack-addled baboons if such a claim wasn’t unfair to blind, crack-addled baboons.

Anybody want to suggest scots sites that *don’t* suck? I’ll offer Hidden Glasgow for starters.

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Hell in a handcart

Ryanair: we’re shit and we’re about to get worse

Ryanair’s really, really keen to let its passengers use their mobiles during flights.

Ryanair said yesterday that it is close to a deal with a telecoms company that will install kit into its fleet of aircraft to enable passengers to use their mobiles while on board. Though use during takeoff and landing will not be permitted, passengers will be able to make calls or send texts in the air. This autumn, BMI and TAP Air Portugal will trial a similar service.

The move is another Ryanair wheeze to increase the amount of money it makes from its customers. It is also still looking to introduce in-flight internet games and gambling.

Given that flying Ryanair is already pretty unpleasant, and that any time I fly budget I seem to be sharing a plane with thick, loudmouthed drunks, the thought of mobiles adding to the general clamour inside the aeroplane is a superb advert for Ryanair’s more expensive competitors. Would you pay an extra £20, £50, £100 to be spared endless loops of the Nokia Theme and the bellowing of pissheads? I would.