Category Archives: Gimpy internet nonsense

What I’ve been up to, week ending 2010-06-20

  • Off to the Belgian Beer Cafe. Belgian beer FTW. #
  • No Belgian beer available, so drank Australian beer as well. Which is nearly as good. Now #ebz o'clock http://fallenlondon.com/c/115119 #
  • RT @feral_pigeon peck at rob green's humble pie #
  • Amusing spammers are OK by me: RT @diamondauction But for my lawyer, I’d still be in prison. It went a lot faster with two people digging. #
  • Part of why I quit > RT @adambanksdotcom Dear media. When you advertise for an "experienced intern", you are now taking the piss @karasimsek #
  • Did anyone really think 'dumb Yanks' at 'USA wins 1-1'? Background v/@qwghlm is interesting http://bit.ly/aCKblg but joke is obvious anyway #
  • Cross about Tim Cahill's completely undeserved red card, having realised he'll miss #gha and so #aus will probably lose group. #hangtheref #
  • Most interesting match to watch so far, and the only one where the two teams abbreviate to palindromes #ned #den #
  • Punchline follows: RT @amyvernon How do you measure the ROI with geolocation. #twtrconure #
  • RT @johnb78 @AmyVernon with geolocation from 51.43ºN to 55.38ºN north-south, and 6.01°W to 10.27°W east-west. Hope this helps… #
  • If we're applying transitivity, and excluding hari-kiri, then based on #eng-#Jpn friendly and #jpn-#cmr fail, #eng have no chance. #
  • See also, my last tweet about Japan's insipid play. Maybe #eng have a chance > RT @thejimsmith Well, that'll show *me*, won't it? #worldcup #
  • Have any other transport geeks ever accidentally inspired pub confusion by asking for a pint of Bom-Bar-Di-Eh? #
  • "Honda and Matsui need to dominate". Luckily, Kawasaki and Sony are happy to play second fiddle. #worldcup #
  • The Japanese did win. According to my voodoo science, that implies England will get to the quarter-finals. #
  • So Google Calendar is broken in Chrome – I've had to fire up Safari to use it. #epicgooglefail #
  • RT @mpesce Apparently teh Fail Whale is one of the official logos of teh Whurled Cup… #
  • This is a masterpiece of the 'shorter' genre – Melanie Phillips' latest book, digested: http://is.gd/cPl7h (via @dnotice) #
  • Android sales now level with iPhone: http://bit.ly/9W68qi – also analysts *still* saying 'mcommerce works in Japan so will work elsewhere'. #
  • Coincidentally, this is exactly what they were saying when I worked in technology news in 2000-2002… #
  • RT @wallaceme: Ironically, people complaining about Vuvuzelas has now become an endless drone in the background. (via @mrpower) #
  • I don't want to be a neo-colonial dick, but why does every country apart from Ivory Coast say its name in either local or English? #
  • I mean, if the residents of said venue were to call it by its African name, then fair play, but why on earth do they insist on #civ? #
  • People are bastards and life is shit #sixwordnovels #thomashardy #
  • People are bastards and life is shit #sixwordnovels #charlesdickens #
  • People are bastards and life is shit #sixwordnovels #kingleyamis #
  • People are bastards and life is shit #sixwordnovels #martinamis #
  • People are bastards and life is shit #sixwordnovels #everyRussianauthor #
  • People are bastards and life is shit #sixwordnovels #everyIrishauthor #exceptFlannOBrienwhosgreatfun #
  • People are bastards and life is shit #sixwordnovels #ohandsamuelbeckett #not #
  • #allnightfreeboozefail – and other seven word Twitter taglines. #
  • Nearly bed, but #ebz first, obviously. http://fallenlondon.com/c/116869 #
  • Ignorant Brit alert: I'm actually shocked that it's only now we've admitted that #bloodysunday was a horrific, sick massacre of civilians #
  • Is news basically like Premiership football and professionally valuable information, or is it basically not? #isrupertmurdochanidiot #
  • Hehe: http://www.mcsweeneys.net/links/monologues/15comicsans.html #
  • Best Student Activity Ever: http://bit.ly/dlROCH (via @iamtef) #
  • Enjoying the #Tooheys adverts. "Changing a lightbulb for your nan, while she's in the bath, with her boyfriend", indeed… #
  • So today I didn't play any #ebz until 3pm, how restrained of me… http://fallenlondon.com/c/119501 #
  • My hopes for tonight: #ger (for #aus's sake), #svk (both generally, and for #eng's sake), and #eng (duh). #
  • If #ger can beat #srb 5-0 or more, that'd be particularly good. #
  • You misspelt 'funniest' -> RT @jgrindal http://imdb.to/aB7D1 – Saddest IMDB page ever (via @BigGibb) #
  • I've got a friend whose only listed IMDB role is as a dead child; sadly their character had a name so the entry doesn't work quite so well. #
  • I hope they upgrade #ebz soon, I've almost reached the level cap… http://fallenlondon.com/c/120933 #
  • Just put a bet on for #alg win or draw tonight – so either #eng win, or I get a wodge of cash to drown my sorrows… #
  • I should also point out that the bet in question is from a bookies' "One Free Bet On World Cup!" email, rather than my own cash money… #
  • I'm anti-death-penalty, but if people are going to have it, firing squads are both relatively painless and appropriately savage. #
  • Lethal injection's a cop-out – you're pretending that ending someone's life is a medical procedure, not a brutal-but-necessary (IYO) act. #
  • Anyone ever notice that you can't spell 'crucifiction' without 'fiction'? Well, as long as you spell the first word a bit incorrectly. #
  • This is a good, obvious, & *shouldn't be necessary*, & *one cries that it is in 2010* piece from Laurie re abortion – http://bit.ly/d3Q3m0 #
  • Specifically, you forget as middle-class educated grownup that whilst abortion is available on demand for you, that isn't what the law says. #
  • So my mum killed herself from post-natal depression: http://bit.ly/drtGlv – and even she would have given this lady a kick in the fanny. #
  • Bigoted moron of the week: http://is.gd/cUO41 (via @anattendantlord) #
  • Anyone know why #usa are listed above #eng in Group C, even though we've the same points and the same goal difference? #
  • Halfway up the mountains. No hillbilly action as yet… #
  • Thanks to @mudlarklives @mjturner1975 @griefoftwats @jonniemarbles for alleviating my footy ignorance. Although @pchallinor made me laugh. #
  • RT @siwhite0: England team visit orphanage in Soweto. "It's good to put a smile on the faces of people with no hope" said Mbutto aged 6. #
  • Loving the idiots abusing @dianainheaven. Do follow. #
  • Horne & Corden #horrorsketchshows #
  • A delightful weekend in the country. Now, RSS catchup and #ebz http://fallenlondon.com/c/123571 #
  • This is some fun, semi-pointful number-crunching: http://bit.ly/d7g5SR #
  • GO #NZL! Aces. Yes, I know it won't last, etc. #
  • This is brilliant – BP and the Axis of Evil http://ht.ly/20QCB (saw on RSS, reminded to Tweet by @thabet1979) #
  • Unsurprising but disappointing equaliser. #nzl 2-1 would be lovely but unlikely; do prove me wrong, the All-Whites… #
  • 1x offside goal, 1x dodgy penalty. I hope #nzl at least hold #ita to a draw, since that's what's deserved so far… #
  • Helen Keller -> RT @manipillai Who is the ref in this game? #nzl #ITA #
  • While England may be very very tenuously gripping to the off-chance of qualifying, nonetheless haha France hahahahahaha! #lagreve #
  • Oh fuck. I was following @sarahpalinusa as a @dianainheaven jolly parody. Clicked link, and realised was her verified account. #theendtimes #
  • Just found out Dermot O'Leary is on Twitter. For 2 seconds, I thought "yay, D O'L is on Twitter". Then I thought, "oh wait, D O'L is a dick" #
  • OK, so nearly everyone non-Maori in NZ is of British descent, right? So we could hire their keeper…? #
  • CLUE: don't. RT @LDN How to queue for Wimbledon tickets http://bit.ly/cdTPFR #
  • GO NZ! Absolutely best result of the World Cup so far. #
  • On #eng: @herring1967's point "the team were all playing like they'd all found out they were fucking each other's wives" has some relevance #
  • OK, so 'Toby Young is a dick' aside (TRUE), is there any difference between ConDem 'Free Schools' and Labour's 'Academies'? #

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Best comment evah

From the Awl, which you should read anyway, this short article:

“A bolt of lightning struck the ship capturing oil from the blown-out BP well in the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, igniting a fire that halted containment efforts in another setback for the embattled company in its nearly two-month struggle to stop the spill, the company said.” BP expects to resume operations later this afternoon, unless it is confronted by boils, locusts, lice and darkness, which it almost certainly will be.

…was followed by:

As a firstborn son I am very uncomfortable with this.

Good work, commenter HiredGoons. You win the Internets.

What I’ve been up to, week ending 2010-06-13

  • A bit of #ebz? Yes, a bit of #ebz. It'll be sunny tomorrow, perhaps I'll leave the house. http://fallenlondon.com/c/103864 #
  • Hehe. This is possibly the most excellent thing Gordon Brown ever did: http://bit.ly/cwBq6P #
  • I can't quite believe a) how expensive Camper shoes are, b) thatI bought some anyway. They're bloody nice though. #
  • Enjoyed sun. Won trivia. Missed @chrissiem. Was mostly a good day. Yay! #ebz http://fallenlondon.com/c/106110 #
  • Shorter NYT: "we all know US courts are crooked and vindictive towards foreigners, so best BP sells up to Exxon now" – http://nyti.ms/aXAduj #
  • Tasmania Coal Clusterfuck RT @mattwhatsit: Disaster name: last hols destination + hated fuel + favourite verb. Mine is Spanish Gas Wank. #
  • Just got emails from my UK and AU banks. UK bank excited about 2.8% savings rate; AU bank just reminding me about 5% savings rate. AU WIN. #
  • Spoiler: chap from Gorky's, not AFX or dead Manic: RT @Martin_Carr New Richard James video – http://bit.ly/9czKr8 #
  • Damn, this is a good article: http://bit.ly/an80UV #
  • Surely this breaches the ECHR? http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/europe/10269055.stm #poland #noncebashing #
  • This piece is good, putting some carbon myths into perspective (especially plastic bags and seafreight food miles): http://bit.ly/dd5QUi #
  • Good piece from oil veteran Tim Newman on future of #BPhttp://bit.ly/ae7iH4 – he may be wrong about PetroChina, tho' (see my comment) #
  • Angry Paul Krugman Is All Like, "Yeah, Whatever, THAT'S Cool" – The Awl http://bit.ly/aIStAQ #
  • For readers of @sontek's popular-but-wrong tweet – $1bn is total Limewire settlement. BP's costs from oil spill are forecast at c.$20-30bn #
  • Surprised to discover that Charlie Brooker's a poly drop-out – always assumed he was redbrick. Good work on landing Ms Huq, anyway… #
  • Time article on #Bhopal that fails to mention Union Carbide India was 49% owned by Indian gov't: http://bit.ly/akXre4 #hmmm (via#@tianran) #
  • (I'm not suggesting the US company escapes all responsibility – just, that fact is quite important in explaining India govt's behaviour…) #
  • Govt will still ignore advice, but a step up RT @gimpyblog Scientific advisors now allowed to disagree with Government http://bit.ly/cjZGdj #
  • Australia narrowly beats USA in much coveted 'least stupid applicants for UK nationality' stakes: http://bit.ly/dvOk0l #
  • Just got 100% on the online practice Australia citizenship test. Shame that's not the only qualification, really… ;-) #
  • Aus citizen test -> RT @hungbunny Question 1: You like sport, mate? A. Yeah. B. Fuck, yeah. C. Let's watch sport and crack open a tinnie. #
  • Coalition metric policy in 'fucking moronic' shock, assuming by 'shock' you mean 'predictable right-wing stupidity': http://bit.ly/cT2Tm0 #
  • #ebz Twitter seems to be down, so Christ know whether this'll work http://fallenlondon.com/c/108041 #
  • Apparently, Christ both knew and punished me with a typo. #
  • I'm not totally sold on this, but I like it nonetheless: http://don-paskini.blogspot.com/2010/06/i-agree-with-diane.html #
  • To Westfield, to buy lightbulbs and a sandwich #myglamorouslifeasafreelancer #
  • Haha, aces! RT @enderFP: Now BP has done it! They've killed FailWhale! http://yfrog.com/5oys1g (via @beaugiles) #kitchyinjokes #
  • Fine trollery with a serious point behind it – "My once-in-a-generation cut? The armed forces. All of them": http://bit.ly/bo9beL #
  • From the comments: 'replace all regular troops with special forces & assassinate any leader who tries to invade' – http://bit.ly/dqzcTh #
  • Yes, it's yet another salvo in the US government's efforts to steal UK pensions over nothing: http://bit.ly/bZ0PSj #supportBP #
  • If you're having trouble understanding what's going on in Thailand (redshirts, yellowshirts), this is a good summary: http://bit.ly/d2AmxD #
  • Bloody Boris again – just when you've started hating him for his actual London policies, he does something awesome: http://ind.pn/c4IzRV #
  • Today's installment of "wow, Tories really are just evil for fun": http://bit.ly/ceA2Nl (via @jamiepotter) #
  • Via @sunnysingh_sw6, we need a 'Maggie Thatcher, milk snatcher' style tag for Michael Gove & free school meals. 'Michael Gove, utter scum'? #
  • Great line from Diane Abbott: ‘Trident is a huge amount of money to spend defending us from the Tory press’ http://bit.ly/alpmx0 #
  • Good piece from Tim Newman on how the #BP response shows the US gov't behaving more like Russia: http://www.desertsun.co.uk/blog/?p=621 #
  • Disappointingly, this is not a #britpop cash-in computer game: http://games.teamxbox.com/xbox-360/2245/Blur/ #blur #notthatblur #
  • Obama bashes "British Petroleum". That's not BP plc's name. The only reason to say that is to stir up anti-British feeling (@mudlarklives) #
  • It'd be like a UK politician criticising HSBC plc by calling it "The Hong Kong And Shanghai Bank". #
  • Top story from #7News – Selma Hayek got scared by a snake. Yay keeping the populace informed. #
  • RT @infobunny: b/f has bought a suitcase that is so big I could fit in it. Oh. #
  • RT @mudlarklives BP should've stayed as BP Amoco: then we'd have "British Petroleum American Oil Co" and a big circle of finger-pointing. #
  • Just in case anyone's feeling happy, Peter Singer and David Benatar review life. Their verdict: 1*, wld not recommend: http://bit.ly/dxs5YB #
  • #ebz fix. Oh yes. Suffering from the whole 'sun' / 'work' dilemma, and picking the worst option… http://fallenlondon.com/c/110499 #
  • RT @mjturner1975 not keen on arguments 'it hurts your pension'. If one is to oppose US attacks on BP I'd rather look at impact on real GDP. #
  • Got a letter telling me to register to vote. I declined, as am filthy foreigner. Curious to see what would've happened if I'd said OK, tho'. #
  • I've never seen quite so many black guys doing the Time Warp. It's like Heaven all over again #thegaybarnotthemythicalafterlife #wc10 #
  • That was an amazing jump #wc10 #
  • It's weird – having previously only watched South Africans in London or playing rugby and cricket, I'd assumed they were white #wc10 #
  • Fucking go RSA! #
  • This isn't even funny, it's just aces: http://www.richardherring.com/warmingup/warmingup.php?id=2779 #
  • Hungover. Bleh. Football matches at midnight, friends in different time zones, & 2-litre boxes of red wine don't make for a good next day. #
  • #ebz Everything's alive there, or so the story goes. Coal burns with a long low moan, steel is forged … http://fallenlondon.com/c/112296 #
  • …and I tweeted today's EBZ update unedited, deliberately, because it was awesome and disturbing. #
  • Obvious England-USA soccer joke: "YOU'RE NOT SWIMMING, YOU'RE NOT SWIMMING, YOU'RE NOT SWIMMING ANYMORE" #
  • I think it's *entirely* possible to hold down both a job and an #ebz habit… http://fallenlondon.com/c/113612 #
  • Yes, I like this one > RT @tianran Whimsical but timely piece on the well worn theme: Is Pakistan like Israel? http://bit.ly/dgJMZg #
  • Aces! RT @Stefing Venn diagram of the day: http://thedailywh.at/post/687392543/venn-diagram-of-the-day-mathematical-reddit #
  • If #SVN were in any other group, I'd be hoping to see them through on 'plucky underdog' grounds. However, I'm not. #worldcup #
  • I do, however, hope that #SVN beats #ALG #worldcup #
  • I just managed to accidentally poke myself in the eye with a sock. This is perhaps my greatest unco WIN ever… #
  • RT @Glinner Lovely to see the British press rallying round a goal-keeper who must be feeling very nervous at the moment. #worldcup #
  • Agree w/@herring1967 that #alg and #svn both playing *way* worse than #eng or #usa yesterday – if we can't beat them, we deserve sent home. #
  • Clear-cut unAustralian RT @ChrissieM Is it wrong that I wouldn't be completely displeased if #GER beats #AUS tonight?@superopinion #
  • So with 1 game down for all, #svn leads group C, #usa/#eng 2=, #alg 4th. If this were to continue, I'd be amused, as long as #eng gets 2nd #
  • "In its first World Cup outing since gaining independence, Serbia" – hmm, that's one way to put it… #
  • RT @tomscott The Red Arrows give the Queen a very special birthday surprise: http://tomscott.com/queen/ (via @ianvisits) #
  • RT @chickyog Thatcher/Palin summit in full – Thatcher: 'Where am I? Who am I? Who are you?' Palin: 'Where am I? Who am I? Who are you?' #
  • Fuck me, Hewitt just beat Federer. #notfootball #nobodycares #
  • Yes, likewise: RT @anattendantlord "watching" football indoors while "working". well, not doing too well at either, to be honest #
  • Effective pension fund ownership as % of total company value for the FTSE100: http://bit.ly/9zNGYv #interestingifyoulikethatsortofthing #

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Why do browser cookies expire?

So, if I log into Gmail, Twitter, eBay, or my own blog on a computer, and opt to have my user information saved, then obviously I’ll want to log in using that information whenever I use those sites, for as long as I use the site and the computer is my computer.

If it stops being my computer at any point, even if I don’t reformat the hard disk, I’ll obviously delete all browser personal information.

So why on earth do Twitter and Gmail set their cookies to expire after a fortnight, and eBay in 24 hours? What possible use could there be in not just setting them to last forever?

It’s not a huge thing, obviously, as my browser still stores the passwords – but even causing me very, very mild annoyance seems bizarre when there is no benefit at all to me or the supplier from the mild annoyance caused…

What I’ve been up to, week ending 2010-06-06

  • #ebz The Stolen River that flows into the Unterzee – the one they used to call the Thames – passes thr… http://fallenlondon.com/c/98148 #
  • I wonder how many of the people fulminating about Laws are aware that if he'd come out and claimed for sharing with partner, he'd've been… #
  • …entitled to *more* money than he actually got. In other words, if you think the incident involves nicking taxpayer money, you're a tool. #
  • Good piece from @caronmlindsay on David Laws' resignation: http://ht.ly/1RXwu #
  • Meanwhile, Danny Alexander is getting shit for not only not doing anything morally wrong, but not even breaking any rules…! #
  • In Hell Freezing Over news, Iain Dale is right about something http://bit.ly/90Ht6N (via @mattwardman) #
  • Today's Word Of The Day is 'knoblolly': http://www.google.com.au/search?q=knoblolly (via @echobazaar) #
  • This piece from @flying_rodent is scarygood: http://tinyurl.com/33ntmrd #
  • The #mining #supertax advert is annoying. If Rio Tinto and BHP's shares are hit because $ paid to govt, the losers will be in London not AU #
  • (for non-AU readers: the govt wants to impose mining royalties, which would be a Good Thing; mining MNCs pulling out all the PR stops…) #
  • Via @daveraybould this is interesting, if not necessarily accurate – the IDF's version of the #freedomflotilla raids: http://alturl.com/6tyn #
  • SABMiller in "desperate World Cup cash-in press release" shock: http://bit.ly/ayPjlZ #theyvebeenplanningitfor6yearsFFS #
  • It'd be annoying to be @Martin_Carr. When I go out with former workmates I'm still friends with, nobody says "PWC REUNION ON THE CARDS?" #
  • Land-of-the-free-tastic fact of the day: it's illegal for an American to boycott Israel http://bit.ly/bXhGYq (via @sunny_hundal) #
  • We've now got @flying_rodent's excellent Israel's Biggest Enemy Is Itself piece republished on LibCon: http://bit.ly/coEqmA #
  • Fact of the day: the #freedomflotilla was originally going to be called the French Flotilla, but Americans objected. #
  • WW3 FTW! RT @LeonJaeger Turkey says more ships will be sent to Gaza, escorted by its Navy: http://bit.ly/92mpYm #flotilla #
  • Aaagh, I knew I shouldn't've read Mad Mel's take on #flotilla before bed. THE STUPID, IT BURNS… http://bit.ly/aRWfwL (via @CathElliott) #
  • Excellent piece on the parallels between Israel and North Korea: http://bit.ly/b5QKvQ #flotilla #
  • 9 News cameraman provokes "angry Muslim" footage by racially abusing member of the public: http://bit.ly/cBYOuJ #mediafail via @sunny_hundal #
  • Israel/North Korea update: rightblogger Mr Eugenides's defence of Israel is "Ah, but NK is worse". Srsly: http://bit.ly/bxCK8Z #flotilla #
  • I'm being followed by @LunaParkSydney. I find the concept of being followed by a funfair a bit disturbing. #
  • Aagh, #ebz have erased 2 days' progress due to a server disaster. SAME AGAIN! http://fallenlondon.com/c/96236 #
  • Ooops – Chinese World Cup promotional campaign is not made of win: http://bit.ly/9gQHiM #
  • Gonna be about 45 mins late to meet @chrissiem. Oops. And it's entirely my fault, *and* I know she doesn't have a working phone. Am bad man. #
  • Salon.com having a mobile edition is good. But redirecting mobile users who click regular article links to the mobile homepage is STUPID. #
  • Forgiven for lateness. Hurrah! Now home and #ebz-ing, of course. http://fallenlondon.com/c/97628 #
  • Dear Nokia: if I've got someone's mobile and home numbers stored in my phone, *which one do you bloody think* I want to send an SMS to? #
  • Number of mass gun rampages under Thatcher, Major & Cameron: 1 each. Number under Blair & Brown: 0 #justsaying #
  • I wonder if all the people blaming BP for the Gulf spill are going to sell their cars and ride bikes, or if they're just hypocrites? #
  • (I'm assuming here the spill is an inherent risk of deep-sea extraction rather than illegal behaviour by BP based on available evidence) #
  • If you oppose deep-sea extraction, that's just fine – as long as you're clear that the oil *will* run out rather soon without it. #
  • Damn, the bloke drinking an espresso on the Citi (AUS) "in my world" advert looks like a smug prat. Note to self: do not be in his world… #
  • We are stronger than Guido: http://bit.ly/b7tbd8 (yay). MENSA, Miller, Mailer, Plath and Pinter were sadly left out of the methodology. #
  • #ebz meh. http://fallenlondon.com/c/99058 #
  • Re London's mayor, I've been deliberately avoiding saying intemperate things like 'fuck Boris' up to now. Fuck Boris: http://bit.ly/bqXKB4 #
  • Yes. Awesome: RT @howespaul: A fantastic and very funny ad on the Resources Super Profits Tax – pass it on http://youtu.be/H4PcQfz0MfU #
  • I was distressed by the news that the # of temporary AUS visas was going to be cut by 50% – until I realised they meant visa *classes*! #
  • Daily Mail "are you posh" test: http://bit.ly/bYw51X – surely q11-13 are just "not being ignorant", though? (via @sarabedford) #
  • Pleased to discover that the Palace Hotel in Coogee is c.50x better than the Coogee Bay Hotel. #escalatorwin #
  • Can someone send me an email explaining what the fuck FourSquare does/is for? #confused #
  • This will be fun. Looking forward to the fireworks -> RT @libcon Peter Tatchell to present Pope documentary http://bit.ly/9TTi3J #
  • YES! This: http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2791 #
  • Saturday night in with #ebz – oh yeah, I rock. http://fallenlondon.com/c/101611 #
  • BEST THING EVER: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5qtoecVIo0 #
  • Worst article in ages: http://www.forward.com/articles/4184 – summary: "if you don't like Israel murdering people, you're an antisemite" #

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What I’ve been up to, week ending 2010-05-30

  • Haha, enjoying @BPGlobalPR – this is why having a real social media presence of your own is important… (via @Rooney83) #
  • I'm officially bored of factors driving premium product consumption. And it's bloody 9PM, and I'm not done for today yet… #
  • "The war may be staged, but the murder is real" #classicHoratioquotes #CSIMiami #
  • Boo! But g'luck. RT @jackschofield "after 25 years, I'm leaving the Guardian at the end of this month. I'll continue to write for Ask Jack." #
  • Watching a Kiwi doco about police – took about 5 mins to work out whether it was Aussie, UK or *other*. This describes NZ accurately… #
  • Some #ebz, then up early, then more work. Woo deadline week. http://fallenlondon.com/c/89488 #
  • If even half the Awl's take on Lost is right, I'm glad I gave up watching after a few episodes of season 1. Utter toss: http://bit.ly/cyKVjJ #
  • If true, I'm beyond comment. Tories are utter cnuts. RT @SamuelCoates Gary Newlove's widow, Helen Newlove, is being made a Conservative peer #
  • I don't support hanging, but I'd fully endorse it for the sadistic bastards in the CPS who brought this case to court: http://bit.ly/cBfgXN #
  • They're kids; they're playing a silly game; if you think that warrants a record as a sex offender, you are inhuman. (via @heresy_corner) #
  • RT @BBCLauraK Long term parly sq protester Brian Haw has been arrested <- @chickyog do I get points for this one? #
  • In other news, police confirm unicorns don't exist -> RT @libcon: Police finally deny England shirts were ever banned http://bit.ly/cJ4Z5g #
  • The Daily Mash is seriously on form re: the insane "kids playing doctors and nurses" show trial: http://bit.ly/aF6l6Y #
  • RT @intruth I had to quit my job manipulating the reproductive parts of flowers. I couldn't handle the stigma (via @msgracefh) #
  • RT @jtopper: I had no idea .jobs was a TLD. Research In Motion use it for their careers pages. http://rim.jobs/ Fnar. (via @dnotice) #
  • Work kinda done (for today). It's kinda late. Need an early night. #ebz and then that's it, as they say. http://fallenlondon.com/c/90931 #
  • Re anonymity for people accused of rape: worth noting that if LDs, Labour, PC, SNP and SDLP voted 'no' then it'd fail. #
  • Since Labour, PC, SNP and SDLP are likely to support 'no', it's worth lobbying your LD MP on this one… #
  • Speaking of insane laws, if you live in London it's probably worth reporting this to the Met to see what happens: http://bit.ly/c6V1wh #
  • This is aces: right-wing conservative Americans hate Muslims so much they've endorsed Sex & The City to annoy them: http://bit.ly/cGHDVh #
  • Really good explanation here of debt vs deficit vs cuts -> RT @jamesrbuk When chartporn goes wrong. http://is.gd/cpcrU (via @mudlarklives) #
  • WIN -> RT @ArmyofDave: Working on a book version of "The Human Centipede" in the style of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar". Sleep well, kids. #
  • Report editing proceeding like a steam train, oh yeah. #ebz then bed, then more tomorrow, woo! http://fallenlondon.com/c/92465 #
  • Jesus. The crow outside my window is the biggest I've seen. It's the size of a cat. And it's ripping tree bark off with its beak #thebirds #
  • Just set the smoke alarm off, having forgotten about my toasts. Oh noes! #breakfastfail #
  • I blame the crow. #
  • What the hell? "Foster’s has not flourished in the wine business" – well, apart from Wolf Blass, Penfolds and Rosemount http://bit.ly/aDUomm #
  • #Fosters demerger makes sense – wine would sit better in global spirits group, beer with global brewer. But who'll buy at current A$ rates? #
  • Enjoying editing someone else's report about alcohol marketing. The "health claims" section is particularly fun. #
  • I have not laughed this much at a film review in quite some time: http://bit.ly/aEWDha #satc2 #
  • The Apple Store in Bondi Jn still has no roof. The 9AM opening tomorrow will involve a serious night's work. I mean, *really* serious… #
  • Vodafact of the day: a friend worked on voda.au's roll-out as an IT contractor – job was so hideous he quit not only Voda but IT contracting #
  • Now he fixes mates' computers for petty cash – but as he says, he doesn't want to kill them or himself, so it's a step up. #
  • Feel rubbish. Have work to do. If I was employed, I'd call in sick #freelancewoes #middleclassdisasters #
  • I think I might be in love with two women at once: my excellent girlfriend, and also DCI Tennison. Hope this is OK. #reawakenedkidcrushes #
  • I thoroughly intend to rely on this in court RT @Helzbels Have few pints and the speed limit's 95mph. Excellent. #
  • Erm, yeh. "Nobody in the UK is poor because of the dole, so let's abolish it" -> RT @Old Holborn: Unchaining the poor http://bit.ly/9nqUv7” #
  • This man *is* a real journalist: http://bit.ly/c7qRrf – respect. #
  • RT @sadbearhandbook: I completely misjudged what waterboarding in Guantanamo Bay meant. I wonder if I can get my deposit back. #
  • In case you were worried, just to confirm the Tories *are* unspeakable bastards: http://bit.ly/aazD5n #
  • Feel like grim death. Consoling myself with #ebz http://fallenlondon.com/c/94437 #
  • My weekend is made primartily of ILL and SLEEP. This is irritating. although hopefully implies a week ahead of WELL. #
  • If you think there's anything wrong with what David Laws has done, you're a massive prat. http://bit.ly/bpwuBq #teacup #
  • Also, the Telegraph are massive bastards for releasing the evidence now, not to mention raving homophobes. Fuck them. Go Laws! #
  • RT @rockeye It amuses me that there's always more Eurovision commentary in my Australian stream than there is in my UK stream… #
  • Post-weekend, post sick-bed #ebz catch-up time, yay. http://fallenlondon.com/c/96982 #
  • CROWDSOURCING: has anyone paid using their own (ie not work, and not self-employed tax-deducted) money for a FT/WSJ subscription? #
  • Based on Twitter replies re FT/WSJ, the Times model *may* be a bit less shafted than I thought. I'm still tipping "shafted", though. #
  • Shit! Red Bull bosses will not be impressed. Good news for Button and Hamilton though… #gp #
  • RT at my dad's txt: Not sure what is F1 equiv of Alex Fergie's famous "hairdrier" bollocking, but Vettel & Webber will shortly find out #f1 #
  • This is good -> Chris Dillow @libcon The David Laws paradox explains why I'm on the left http://bit.ly/czUVLZ #

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Danny Finkelstein: not a journalist

Rory Cellan-Jones has a good article on the BBC site about Murdoch’s paywall. Well, I say “good”; being on the BBC site and hence subject to Strict Impartiality Etc, it’s far too neutral about the paywall’s prospects of success (which are zero). But it’s informative.

Most informative of all is the final proof that Times associate editor Danny Finkelstein is not, in any meaningful sense, a journalist:

I asked Danny Finkelstein whether it bothered him that from now on none of his journalism would “go viral”, with the risk that he’d be left invisible on the sidelines as the online debate raged through news sites without paywalls. “No,” he insisted,”I want my employer to be paid for my intellectual property.”

In my current role as a freelance market analyst, I want my client to be paid for my intellectual property, because I write reports that are only of interest to the people who pay for them. Those reports can fairly be categorised as intellectual property, and my relationship with my client can fairly be categorised as one of mutual commercial advantage.

As a result, I tailor the reports I write to meet the client’s brief as closely as possible (having used my experience in the relevant sector to ensure that we can agree a brief that helps their commercial objectives). When I find information that doesn’t help achieve this, I don’t try to include it in the output I pass onto my client, even if it’s interesting – why would I? It doesn’t help the main goal, of ensuring my employer is paid for my intellectual property.

This, pretty obviously, is not journalism. It’s the opposite – I’m finding things out selectively, based on a commercial brief, and the things that I do find out will be kept secret and used by people who’re willing to pay for them.

My blogging (at least, the data/analytical stuff I do on LC, and the transport stuff that goes up here) is journalism – I find out new things, whether previously unknown or hidden in plain sight, and then try and disseminate them as widely as possible.

If, when faced with the choice of “shout as loudly as possible so that as many people as possible can hear what you’ve found or what you have to say” or “back the boss in his plans to make more cash by stopping people from hearing what you have to say”, you pick the latter, then whatever you may be, you’re certainly not a journalist.

What I’ve been up to, week ending 2010-05-23

  • Wow, I managed to confine drunken lunacy to Skype last night – no visible online traces. #
  • Not another bloody ash cloud? Thor will, clearly, have his revenge. Hope they're gone by August… #
  • If you think teaching The Wire in university seminars is 'dumbing down', you're officially the dumb one http://bit.ly/a6j8rp #
  • #ebz The Starveling Cat! The Starveling Cat! Sits on your chest when you're sleeping flat! http://fallenlondon.com/c/81591 #
  • This is good: http://www.newscientist.com/special/living-in-denial #
  • Amused to see Lord Triesman forced to resign for saying things which *everyone knows to be true*. #
  • My gf has pointed out that I should contribute to #bandfoodpuns, but I can't actually think of any. Today is not a good day for me… #
  • Haha, #abbottfail – of course he's right, but *sheesh that was daft*… #
  • .@DMiliband @tugsandtost Forward not backward! And always twirling, twirling to victory. Sheesh, could you get any cheesier? #
  • Seriously, I've been out of the UK for a while; is this some kind of wind-up? http://bit.ly/a3hVMu – if not (probably anyway) I'm staying #
  • Quick blast of #ebz then bed, as I need to get up early tomorrow. Yes, me, sensible. Shocking! http://fallenlondon.com/c/82830 #
  • Because it isn't getting airplay on commercial radio #thatswhyyoursingle #isntsellingverywell #
  • I've never had to go to town in a hooded raincoat *and* sunnies before. Well, except when I auditioned for the Matrix #sydneyweather #
  • On the one hand, I'm sure the illumination of night CityRail trains deters crime and general badness. On the other hand, GRR TOO BRIGHT! #
  • Tea, #ebz and then bed. A good night. http://fallenlondon.com/c/84034 #
  • Comedy legal ruling of the day: http://www.workerscompensation.com/compnewsnetwork/blogwire/7887.html #
  • This is properly insane (via @bengoldacre) – really does make one feel slightly Littlejohn-ish http://bit.ly/9rVZJe http://dlvr.it/15ddb #
  • RT @chickyog Con-Dems to stop deportation of LGBT asylum seekers when 'at proven risk of imprisonment, torture or execution'. Bloody lefties #
  • Likewise. On reflection, DOH. RT @mePadraigReidy No one would have sex with me as a teenager cos it never occurred to me to ask them #
  • No. I literally can't. CITE? RT @juliebindel Can you believe the coalition intends to introduce anonymity for men accused of rape? #
  • See also RT @randomrightwingnutter Can you believe the coalition intends to give every terrorist a council house and gbp50k in benefits? #
  • Apologies @juliebindel – yes, they do. That's shitty. Links are brilliant, why not try them? p24 http://bit.ly/9xkg03 (link via @steff631) #
  • I think he misspelt "demonise" RT @libcon How to democratise Oxbridge http://bit.ly/bHolgX #
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide To Milton Keynes #lesserbooks #
  • The Reasonably Bearable Lightness Of Being #lesserbooks #
  • The Not Really Holy, More Just A Collection Of Old Laws, Stories And Proverbs Bible #lesserbooks #
  • For The Term Of Six Months, With Time Off For Good Behaviour #lesserbooks #
  • The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Embryo #lesserbooks #
  • Brief #ebz break http://fallenlondon.com/c/85846 #
  • The Diamond As Big As Quite A Big Diamond #lesserbooks #
  • The Rock Of Crack As Big As Quite A Big Rock Of Crack #lesserbooks #
  • Lib-left qn: why the fuck does the otherwise sane Dsquared have such a hard-on for the US federal justice system? http://bit.ly/cK5svw #
  • enjoying revolving restaurant japery with assorted sydney tweeps. Hurrah! #
  • A lovely weekend with @ChrissieM and crazy Sydney tweeps. Now a bit of #ebz before INFINITE WORK MONDAY http://fallenlondon.com/c/88214 #
  • Londoners are sunbathing. We've got the heater on. Them's the breaks, I guess. #
  • ACES! RT@catdonn "I was born, lucky me. In the land that I love. Though I’m poor, I am free" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4VdcMXVO_g #
  • ACES! RT @catdonn "I was born, lucky me. In the land that I love. Though I’m poor, I am free" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4VdcMXVO_g #
  • My blog is buggered, FYI – have asked the host about why: looks like their DB server is down, but I may have been spam-attacked again… #
  • Blog now fixed, within an hour of notifying the fault, on a Sunday. Mythic Beasts are ace hosts. #
  • "enormous social damage caused by computer misuse not recognized" > because it doesn't exist. Idiot. http://www.socialistunity.com/?p=4930 #
  • .@jackofkent PR campaigns that favour liberal outcomes are to be encouraged, surely? – PR's a tool for good or bad, not the enemy itself #

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Geeks miss point on Facebook

A silly XKCD today, suggesting that because sensible non-ubergeek people didn’t back open source file formats in the early 2000s, they now have no right to be upset by Facebook’s Doing Great Evil.

There are only two problems with this analysis:

1) Facebook isn’t doing great evil, at all, and if you think it is then you are a paranoid loony.

Facebook is making money by aggregating user data and selling targeted advertising. Well, yes – that’s what it’s for.

In other news, newspapers exist to sell adverts (with the content being a regrettable but necessary expense to persuade people to read the adverts), and retail banks exist to sell loans (with interest on savings being a regrettable but necessary expense to allow the loans to be made [*], and running current accounts a regrettable but necessary expense to acquire customer relationships). I’ve also got some studies on ursine defecation and Papal religion, if anyone’s unconvinced.

I signed up to Facebook in full knowledge that the company would sell aggregated user data to strategic marketers, and would do its best to target direct marketing to me, to the greatest extent that data protection laws would allow it to. In exchange for which, I’d be provided with a useful social networking infrastructure for bugger all money.

It doesn’t spam me, it doesn’t pass on anything to strangers that I’m not happy for strangers to see. This is win/win.

2) The only people who think Facebook is doing great evil are the same people who wanked smugly on about non-open file formats in 2003.

Well, that one’s not entirely true. Stupid peasants also think Facebook is doing great evil, because they think it’s a tool for murderous paedophiles to groom victims for their doom. But they can safely be ignored.

The people who’re stirring up the current fuss about Facebook privacy, &c &c ad nauseam are total geeks. Half of them weren’t even on bloody Facebook in the first place; and the ones who were are doing ridiculous grandstanding by actually deleting their accounts (rather than tightening their privacy settings if they’re worried that friends might forward stuff to other people, or something).

Meanwhile, normal people continue to use Facebook, hopefully with a little more awareness that posting “lolz I am so wasted, gunna pull a sickie tomorrow hehe” where people who disapprove of wastedness and/or pulling sickies might be able to read it is Unwise.

This is all to the good.

[*] some UK banks during the 2000s thought they could cut out this expense via much cheaper wholesale funding. This proved not to be wholly correct.

What I’ve been up to, week ending 2010-05-16

  • I suspect a lot of stupid lies are going to be told in the UK about fairer electoral systems over the next few weeks. #
  • So I re-edited the drunk piece from last night and published it (it's the OneWorld article that I auto-tweeted about 10 mins ago). #
  • Conclusion: I can still do some pretty decent analysis at 4AM – but I also tend to drift into irrelevant anecdotes and libel the French… #
  • RT @davidschneider: "Party like a rock star, look like a movie star, kill like the Death Star, collapse in on yourself like a dwarf star" #
  • Alleged #LabLib offer of AV by legislation, followed by a referendum on STV, would be ace. If Nick Clegg doesn't sign up, he needs shooting #
  • (note to Twitter police: he doesn't actually need shooting) #
  • Geek-crowdsourcing: #Australia and the #UK both use #DVB-T for #DTT, so why can't my UK-bought TV find any digital channels over here? #
  • I have a feeling it's something to do with frequency ranges (my TV asks me which country I'm in for setup, but Aus isn't an option) #
  • I'm hoping the #budget today includes measures that make the AUD fall back to AUD2.5/GBP for 2 weeks, and then recover to current levels #
  • My prediction: no Lib/Con or Lib/Lab pact; Tory minority govt; cuts passed by leaders' consensus (with some Labs and Libs voting against). #
  • Main price is that cuts lighter in Scotland, Wales or NI, in exchange for which Celts agree not to vote on England issues #
  • After a couple of years, the Tories will have a fight about Europe and the government will collapse. Then: more fun & games! #
  • Me at LibCon (erm, that's not a good abbrv this week, is it?) on the fallacy that The Markets require a strong gov't: http://bit.ly/985p8v #
  • This is good. http://thewanderinghedgehog.wordpress.com/2010/05/11/worse-than-a-crime/ #
  • I guess the question is, is anyone actually going to tweet about the #ausbudget, or just about which hashtag we're gonna use? #
  • Oh god. I seem to be following #ge2010 *and* #ausbudget. On the plus side, at least the latter will *probably* only take an evening to sort #
  • Watching the #2girls1cup episode of #Inbetweeners. TV WIN! #
  • Donate and RT, if you care about freedom of speech in the UK, or anywhere where UK legal precedents are considered: http://bit.ly/9I3IC7 #
  • (yes, I know it's technically England & Wales, and anywhere E&W precedents are considered – but Scotland definitely fits latter) #
  • For those who aren't politix geeks, BPS is actually how STV is known internationally. Wouldn't it be luverly if that became accurate? #
  • So, I was wrong about the horse-trading. And am rather angry with Mr Clegg. Posts at Banditry & LC http://bit.ly/aS8vmg http://bit.ly/9RXP5R #
  • In somewhat-overshadowed-by-UK-news news, red-state America has gone insane: http://n.pr/agUtw5 http://bit.ly/91ZC84 #
  • Instead of locking up child refugees, we'll lock up their parents and put them in care. W00t, massive Clegg win. Not. #
  • Pointless boondoggle that would never have made any difference to anything scrapped. Money-saving w00t, otherwise meh #IDcards #
  • If Sunny's sources are right here, then *jesus this sucks*: http://bit.ly/a7x27s – there will be no electoral reform at all. #
  • AV referendum won't pass as Tories will campaign against, and Lords 'reform' is just a commission that can be delayed forever #
  • AV referendum won't pass as Tories will campaign against, and Lords 'reform' = commission that'll be delayed forever, not a commitment #
  • Spectator in "not wrong" shock -> RT @James_Macintyre Spectator declared "victory" because Libs in "non jobs" and praises IDS appmt. #
  • Amused at (left-and-right) libertarian pantwetting over Section 10 of alleged Libservative pact, despite *nothing substantive*! Naivetastic. #
  • "without good reason"? FFS, that *always* just means "unless we say so". Have you lot learned nothing from, erm, all politicians ever? #
  • BTW, I'm talking about Section 10 (Civil Liberties) of the possible leaked Libservative pact: http://bit.ly/cdksD7 @bellagerens and others #
  • Notably missing from the supposed Libservative civil liberties manifesto: any commitment to retain the Human Right Act http://bit.ly/b6UAcW #
  • London buggered as an international air hub. Yeah, thanks. *looking forward to changing at Frankfurt every time I go anywhere* #
  • Whether or not you agree with him, Lord Adonis definitely one of the smartest people to have been in gov't lately – http://bit.ly/d6FPUo #
  • J Galbraith, who knows a lot more about economics than you, on why government deficits don't matter: http://bit.ly/cmcYVG #
  • (if Paul Krugman, or the ghosts of Smith, Keynes or Friedman, feel my last tweet is unfair, then I'll retract it. For anyone else, no.) #
  • Respect to Senator Scott Ludlam of the Australian Greens – a politician? Making total sense? Que? http://bit.ly/c6ls6c (via @NathanaelB) #
  • Damn, gmail is clever: just wrote "I've attached…" in a doc where I'd forgotten the attachment, and it stopped me from sending! #
  • #ebz The Starveling Cat! The Starveling Cat! Wraps round your throat like a cheap cravat! http://fallenlondon.com/c/76920 #
  • Things I need to stop doing while working freelance #1: counting time on things I dislike (housework, food shopping, fixing stuff) as work #
  • Obviously that's work time for "have I done enough work today yet?" purposes, not for billing purposes… #
  • More to the point, nobody wants to blow up NZ, but all foreign animals want to eat NZ animals because NZ animals are LAME. @monstroso #
  • NZ is the only country where a single individual (someone's cat) has caused the extinction of an entire species @monstroso #
  • Also, why did nobody tell me the awesome Mr Higson (@monstroso) was on Twitter? Only realised identity when clicked through after replying! #
  • Brought onboard for the label (and then kept well away from decisionmaking): Vince Cable #coalitionrhymingslang #
  • Inspired by @CulturalSnow, "twas brillig, and the Michael Goves did gyre and gimble in the wabe" #coalitionwhimsicalpoetry #
  • Token darkie = Baroness Warsi #coalitionrhymingslang #
  • Pass The Duchy On The Left Hand Side = Lord Strathclyde #coalitionrhymingslang #reallystupidpuns #
  • At least he didn't get in = Oliver Letwin #coalitionrhymingslang #
  • Pleased to note that, unlike most of the Cabinet, George Letwin is neither Right nor Honourable (yes, I know that's just cos he's not a PC) #
  • Public transport'll get hammered = Dominic Hammond #coalitionrhymingslang #richardsbrother? #
  • CORRECTION: Public transport'll get hammered = Phil Hammond #coalitionrhymingslang #richardsbrother #toryconfusion #
  • Working class empathy fail: http://bit.ly/c1OD1V – I've only ever lived in houses with small bathrooms; have used loo as loo, and sat in… #
  • …other rooms better-designed for sitting. I've never (as adult or as kid) had a bathroom with a chair. What the hell is Mangan on about? #
  • I've never done gov't consultancy work, but at my old place we had 6-month-grads billed out to HMG at gbp150 per hour @BorisWatch #
  • Oz TV is repeating all of #PrimeSuspect. This is awesome. Best line so far is, obviously, from Helen Mirren as DCI Tennyson: #
  • Boss: "if this missing persons case turns into a murder inquiry, we can spare an extra six uniformed police." #
  • Tennyson: "What, as pallbearers?" #
  • RT @MarkReckons Blogpost: Ken Clarke – the great political survivor http://bit.ly/9wZDmv #
  • Fuck, that was intense. Why doesn't ITV make amazing shit like that any more? Oh yeah, because #Tories sold it. #primesuspect #
  • Feel rubbish. Had a terrible driving lesson, due to said rubbishness. I'm sustained only by the fact that the evening will be lovely. #
  • Ah, Arkell vs Pressdram – my favourite resolution to a lawsuit ever: http://www.nasw.org/users/nbauman/arkell.htm #
  • *frantically changes sheets, empties bins, puts bag in hoover in doomed attempt to make new girlfriend think I'm not a total slob* #
  • Quick, someone market one of these to "fiat money will collapse" teabaggers! http://bit.ly/9icwil (via @thabet1979) #
  • If I had a pet otter, I would definitely name it "Rayleigh". #
  • …much as if I had a pet coyote, I would definitely name it "Don". #
  • #Crossrail's going ahead. Woo. Was slightly concerned the Tories were going to punish London for not voting them in… #
  • I can't think of a way to phrase the next tweet without sounding like a pervert. So I won't. #
  • Thanks for #FFs, @chickyog and @sunnysingh_sw6 #
  • Pleasant, if weird – Speccie piece supporting left-lib (ie "problem is poverty/lack of cohesion") view on migration http://bit.ly/bae5Qu #
  • Works for all religious-right types: RT @hangbitch: "Dorries loves all embryos, until they grow up to be poor people… #
  • I follow NI politix more than most Brits, and never heard of RE: RT @BelTel Reg Empey quits as Ulster Unionist leader http://bit.ly/dyvqoS #
  • Bare feet are by far the most effective, if not least painful, means of picking up broken glass. FACT. #
  • How the hell can someone who's politically aware opt for "Vince Cable's a useless twat" as a comment? #

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