Sunday, 28 February 2010

Lobby Group Says Open-Source Threatens Capitalism

Recording Industry Association of AmericaImage via Wikipedia
Wow! So here's me been using various flavours of Linux for nigh on a decade. Surprised the Feds haven't paid me a visit.

From Mashable:
Does advocating the use of open-source software make one an enemy of capitalism? Yes, according to a U.S. intellectual property lobby group.
The Guardian reports that the International Intellectual Property Alliance, a lobby group broadly representing the RIAA, MPAA and others, has requested that the U.S. government put countries including Indonesia, Brazil and India on the “Special 301 watchlist.” Special 301 is a report that concerns the “adequacy and effectiveness of intellectual property rights” around the globe. Being put on the associated watchlist effectively puts those countries on a shortlist of governments considered “enemies of capitalism” who aren’t doing enough to protect intellectual property abroad.
So come on comrades, dump whatever flavour of Windows or Mac OS you're using and start loving the penguin!

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Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Some things never change

High levels of unemployment, financial system in crisis, race to the bottom in terms of workers' wages, government plans to slash benefits, government seeking to introduce compulsory training for the unemployed and the requirement to work for your benefits.

Sounds like Thatcher's Blair's Brown's Britain?

Nope, it's actually a description of the economic and political climate in the 1920s/1930s taken from an article on the National Uneployed Workers Movement at the Glasgow Digital Library!

Seems like the capitalist system hasn't forgotten how to treat those who generate the wealth of this country, how tthey seek to pass the buck from those responsible to those vulnerable.

And neither should we.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Quote Of The Year

Frontispiece to the King James' Bible, 1611, s...Image via Wikipedia
Well it is only February!

There is an outfit called the 2011 Trust who look to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. Their 'About Us' blurb goes as below.


The 2011 Trust has been established to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible which was completed in 1611. There have been few more important single publications and its impact through history has been colossal.

Our aim is to celebrate its impact in history and on language, particularly in this country, but also throughout the English speaking world.

The Trust is hard at work developing projects which will include:

* commissioning new music and literature
* study days in some cities following James’s route from Scotland to London, focusing on the translation story
* lectures at Oxford and Cambridge, where the translators worked
* developing educational school projects
* publishing new texts
* discussions about similar values in the texts of the world’s major religions
* major exhibitions in London and around the country where the translations were made
* street culture projects

2011 will be launched at Hampton Court, where the translation was commissioned at the 1604 Conference. The year will close on 16 November 2011 with a service in Westminster Abbey where, in the Jerusalem Chamber, the final editing of the Bible was completed.

I hope that you will find something of interest in our plans. I would be delighted to hear from you if you have any ideas. Our website will be constantly updated and please do sign up to our mailing list.

Frank Field
Chairman
All well and good and I wish them well. The King James Bible is for me the easiest to read and understand of all the modern translations. There's just something about the thees and thous and words seemingly the wrong way round that, well sort of makes sense. At least to me.

So back to the quote of the year title, it actually comes from the contribution to the 2011 Trust from Richard Dawkins, he of the God Delusion. The copy on his page ends with the classic
"it is important that religion should not be allowed to hijack this cultural resource".

Too true Dicky, gotta keep them religious away from the KJV! You couldn't make it up.



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They Just Can't Help Themselves

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 02:  Conservative P...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
The latest wheeze from the Tories' George Osborne is to offer shares to the public in the state owned banks RBS and LBG. Apparently Oxbridge boy George is touting it as a "people's bonus" plan as a reward for the £850bn of public money used to prop up failing financial institutions.

It's expected people would be offered shares worth between a few hundred and few thousand pounds at a discount on the market price, with extra discounts for young people, low-income families and parents saving for their children.

So let me get this right, the government has used my money and assets (as a citizen of GB plc) to buy the banks and to make sure that the bankers get their bonuses. Then he wants to sell to me the very thing I've just bought? There's more morals in cafe full of Nigerian 404 scammers than in HM's Opposition at the moment. A case for the Trades Descriptions Act methinks.

But of course there will be money to be made. By those with the cash to 'invest' and by the banking institutions themselves. The usual suspects.

I'm no fan of Mr Cable but Vince does get it right with the following:

"Actively encouraging people on very low incomes to invest in a volatile share market beggars belief and shows just how removed the Tories are from everyday reality... A young couple on low income is more concerned with putting food on the table than speculating on the stock market." 
It's not difficult to see that the Tories still have this knowledge gap, that they think anyone who is of value has money to invest, travels first class and has a pile somewhere in the Home Counties or Scotland.

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Saturday, 20 February 2010

Links to other blogs and sites

Linked togetherImage by Caramdir via Flickr
Just realised that I'd forgotten to put back all the external blog links that I had before I bunged up a new template. Can't remember them all so I used Google to find out who was linking here and have now reinstated them.

If anyone is linking here and I haven't reciprocated then please do drop me a line at chrishall57@gmail.com and I'll do the honours.

Cheers!
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Friday, 19 February 2010

The Pain Of Andrew Stack

Crowd gathering on Wall Street after the 1929 ...Image via Wikipedia
If you haven't seen it on the news then follow the link here to OptimusNews.

Andrew Stack had had enough and decided to take his own life and to make a statement at the same time. Thankfully none of the innocent have lost their lives.

He did leave behind a testament which makes sad reading. Fox News.

Some of what Stack has written will strike a chord in the heart of many a person dealing with the aftermath of the banking bailout.

I remember reading about the stock market crash before the “great” depression and how there were wealthy bankers and businessmen jumping out of windows when they realized they screwed up and lost everything. Isn’t it ironic how far we’ve come in 60 years in this country that they now know how to fix that little economic problem; they just steal from the middle class (who doesn’t have any say in it, elections are a joke) to cover their asses and it’s “business-as-usual”. Now when the wealthy fuck up, the poor get to die for the mistakes… isn’t that a clever, tidy solution.

It's an interesting observation. As to whether it's true or not I don't know but it's certainly an observation that feels right.

He carries on:

The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.
The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.
How many Stacks will we see before we get a fair system in this world?
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