Sunday, 11 December 2011

Europe isolated


Is it he beginning of the end or the end of the beginning? Who knows where the UK/EU relationship will end. It has been an interesting week. Let's see what the PM says on Monday and if the 17 can act upon the vague deal in the very near future.

Because although this week has been entertaining for Westminster village the basic problem remains - Europe is drowning in debt. The UK is too but we aren't saddled with the Euro.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

New Iranian peace symbol revealed


Everywhere you go, they'll be watching you


It's true apparently - see here for some detail -

The cheeky monkeys. That data could make them a lot of money and could make your life very insecure eg recording passwords etc.

Big brother is watching you. At least it can
If it wants!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Phrase of the day - Tobin Tax

Wikipedia says - A Tobin tax, suggested by Nobel Laureate economist James Tobin, was originally defined as a tax on all spot conversions of one currency into another. The tax is intended to put a penalty on short-term financial round-trip excursions into another currency.

James Tobin's purpose in developing his idea of a currency transaction tax was to find a way to manage exchange-rate volatility. In his view, "currency exchanges transmit disturbances originating in international financial markets. National economies and national governments are not capable of adjusting to massive movements of funds across the foreign exchanges, without real hardship and without significant sacrifice of the objectives of national economic policy with respect to employment, output, and inflation.”

Tobin saw two solutions to this issue. The first was to move “toward a common currency, common monetary and fiscal policy, and economic integration.”

The second was to move “toward greater financial segmentation between nations or currency areas, permitting their central banks and governments greater autonomy in policies tailored to their specific economic institutions and objectives.”

Tobin’s preferred solution was the former one but he did not see this as politically viable so he advocated for the latter approach: “I therefore regretfully recommend the second, and my proposal is to throw some sand in the wheels of our excessively efficient international money markets.”

Tobin’s method of “throwing sand in the wheels” was to suggest a tax on all spot conversions of one currency into another, proportional to the size of the transaction.

Austerity in perspective

Balls - Nailed


Guido Fawkes spotted the following eloquent speech today - its so very accurate -

"Ed Balls popped up for a Five Live phone in. What’s the worst that could have happened? Well step forward Lee, a real life voter:

“It would be better for Labour and the country if you weren’t there… You were there in Treasury…you are the problem. When I hear you I just want to switch off because you have no credibility in what you say… the Labour Party would be better served, even if the message was the same, if it wasn’t coming from you, more people would listen. If you’re trying to get your message across it’s not working because you are tainted with what went before.”

Victoria Derbyshire summed it up nicely “What Lee is saying is you, Ed Balls, are toxic”."

Google Music - yet another provider


We have ITunes, Amazon, Spotify, Sony etc etc etc and now Google. Should help lower prices of multimedia content but it is a bit fiddly at times for the consumer. Which platform etc. ITunes has a big head start but we shall see.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

A Ken Classic

View on YouTube

Steve Jobs - Time Magazine - a safe bet


NBC Nightly News Anchor Brian Williams has nominated Apple cofounder Steve Jobs for Time Magazine's "Person of the Year" award.

Now who would bet against him winning? In the bag surely.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Thirsty - a billion people are

Statistics of the Water Crisis
updated 8/17/2011

Globally we use 70% of our water sources for agriculture and irrigation, and only 10% on domestic uses.

84% of the people who don’t have access to improved water, live in rural areas, where they live principally through subsistence agriculture.

Less than one in three people in Sub-Saharan Africa have access to a proper toilet.

Over half of the developing world’s primary schools do not have access to water and sanitation facilities. Without toilets, girls typically drop out of school at puberty.

443 million school days are lost each year due to water-related diseases.

Girls under the age of 15 are twice as likely as boys their age to be the family member responsible for fetching water.

Almost two-thirds, 64% of households rely on women to get the family’s water when there is no water source in the home.

In developing countries, as much of 80% of illnesses are linked to poor water and sanitation conditions.

Nearly 1 out of every 5 deaths under the age of 5 worldwide is due to a water-related disease.

By investing in clean water alone, young children around the world can gain more than 413 million days of health!

Half of the world's hospital beds are filled with people suffering from a water-related disease.

Nearly a billion, 884 million people do not have access to clean and safe water. 37% of those people live in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The average container for water collection in Africa, the jerry can weighs over 40 lbs when full.

The United Nations estimates that Sub-Saharan Africa alone loses 40 billion hours per year collecting water; that’s the same as a whole year’s worth of labor by the entire workforce in France!1

Research has shown that for every 10% increase in women’s literacy, a country’s whole economy can grow by up to 0.3%.

According to the World Health Organization, for every $1 invested in water and sanitation, there is an economic return of between $3 and $34!

1 in 8 people world wide do not have access to safe and clean drinking water.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

It's not all about the money

An annual income of £100,000 is enough to put a recipient comfortably within the top 2% of all earners, and the figure has become a key indicator that the recipient is a high-flier.

The BBC's Panorama survey of the best-remunerated public servants in 2010 took £100,000 as its yardstick - and it found that some 38,045 state employees take home that amount or more each year. Going by official figures, that leaves about 545,000 privately employed people earning £100,000 or more per year in 2010.

However apparently everyone at this level is still skint as guess what - they spend it. It's all relative you see. Plus lots get whacked on tax too, especially at the minute.

It's all ebbs and flows. Nought is what it seems. These figures are good for the politics of envy but not much else as there are too many other variables in life.

The EGF - A cause for concern


For both Greece and the UK. The Greeks may yet be on the receiving end of them and the UK must wonder how we have gone this far.

If you have don't know is - See the website and the FAQ section to be appalled -

Tuesday, 1 November 2011


Website of the week - for political gamblers


I accept it's a niche! - the Political Betting website comes up with some good money spinning points and the some good observations.

Quote of the day - re Greece


re Greece and the presumption they should stay in the Euro - "Well, if you're in the open sea clutching a boyancy aid and somebody turns up to "rescue" you in a ship that's on fire and full of explosives, the answer is not so obvious. Indeed, some might prefer to take their chances with the sharks."

PS - Peckforton Castle is incredible


I went there for a wedding the other week. Gary and Rachel chose wisely and had a fantastic time.

The falconry display is excellent too.

Peckforton Castle


Peckforton Castle was built in the middle of the nineteenth century by John Tollemache, a wealthy Cheshire landowner and MP. The architect Anthony Salvin designed it in the Gothic style popular at the time. In 1858 Sir George Gilbert Scott, the architect of many Gothic revival churches and of St Pancras Station, called Peckforton Castle "The largest and most carefully and learnedly executed Gothic mansion of the present." The Tollemache family continued to live in the house until 1939, which was the last time it was used as a family residence. During the Second World War it became a children’s hostel. During the 1970s and 1980s a number of films and TV programmes were shot here, including Doctor Who, the film Robin Hood starring Patrick Bergin and Uma Thurman, and the Treasure Trap live action role-playing game.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Friday, 28 October 2011

Proof directors are over payed

It's a disgrace really that over the last 10 years directors pay has shot up massively, making many very wealthy yet the graph shows the share prices of the FTSE 100 and 250 haven't gone up. Sickening isn't it. How do people justify it - old boys club voting themselves daft pay.

Autumn - 20 degrees? But November to be cold


Thursday, 27 October 2011

Euro zone comedy

View on YouTube

Photographic Competition 2011


It's a wonderful world for all 7 billion of us


Well hopefully. But the problem is there will be at least 2 billion more of us by 2050. Look at the population growth over the last two years.

World population in numbers

1 billion- 1804
2 billion- 1927
3 billion- 1959
4 billion- 1974
5 billion- 1987
6 billion- 1999
7 billion- 2011
Source: UN

Scary ehh.

Read this for more detail -

The stress on water management, food, minerals etc will cause many a war in the next 40 years as its already doing in many parts eg north Africa.

In the UK the population is also set to sore through immigration, birth rates and living longer.

So we can all expect to live in England's green and pleasant land OR more likely a concrete block.

I think it's the biggest issue facing the planet as it directly affects all others.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Lies, damn lies and DI Bob Campany



"Years ago, robbers would attend the Old Bailey wearing suits, and they still do, but too often now they masquerade as defence lawyers.

Quite often suspects make it clear they want to give their account in a police interview, but once they have spoken to their legal representatives they are almost without exception advised to make no comment

The legal advisers hide behind the caveat that they don’t want their clients to incriminate themselves, which roughly translated means they don’t want their client to tell the truth.

If they tell the truth, this negates their opportunity for a trial, stopping lawyers from earning a shed load of money.

There’s no reason not to give an account in police interview. Interviews are all video-taped anyway. If there is an aggressor in the interview room it is either the suspect or the lawyer or both.

A ridiculous defence at public expense

…courts have become so obsessive in their desire to ensure a defendant has a fair trial. Nobody doubts that principle but the need (sic) to be fair to victims, their families, witnesses...."

Right that’s the inaccurate, derogatory and untruthful comments over.

The words above were reported in an article in the Daily Mail where they interviewed DI Bob Campany after the conviction of Stuart Crawford. You can read the article here (this is probably the one and only time I link to the Daily Mail) HTTP://WWW.DAILYMAIL.CO.UK/NEWS/ARTICLE-2045791/TOP-OFFICER-BOB-CAMPANY-COMPARES-LAWYERS-ROBBERS.HTML#IXZZ1A2AN9YYF

SEE here for a response to this UTTER UTTER rubbish -

Oooops Apocalypse


According to the spectator the British Government is sitting on a paper loss of 35 billion quid on it's RBS and Lloyds rescue.

The credit default swap spreads Market indicates things will remain bleak - great!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Random fact of the day


£50 Note - there are 210 million in circulation worth £10.5bn.

The new note comes out in November

Words that no one really understands


Example one - quantitative easing or QE.

Apparently it's this - Central banks increase the supply of money by "printing" more. In practice, this may mean purchasing government bonds or other categories of assets, using the new money. Rather than physically printing more notes, the new money is typically issued in the form of a deposit at the central bank. The idea is to add more money into the system, which depresses the value of the currency, and to push up the value of the assets being bought and to lower longer-term interest rates, which encourages more borrowing and investment. Some economists fear that quantitative easing can lead to very high inflation in the long term.

Anyway I hope the extra 75 billion quid helps, but note the earlier 200 billion QE hasn't put a stop to all the economic chaos - it's global.

For way more detail go here -

T M Lewin - the never ending sale


I have never not seen a sale on their website. It's amusing.

Sent from my iPad

Preston bus station

There has been some recent discussion suggesting the building is a historical gem of the "brutalist" modernist movement and should be saved. - NOOOOOOOO blow it up as soon as possible. I have seen it on a grey day in Preston and it is soul destroying. Utterly soul destroying. Plus on a practical note I recall the bus station being miles away from the train station.

Only a photo taken from a kind angle on a sunny day can make it bearable and that's hardly "living" with it.


There is even a website for people trying to save it - - are they mad. They must be and they must not succeed.

Sent from my iPad

Steve Jobs 1955-2011

This day is very bad for his family, bad for Apple and bad for consumers. Wonder if he left a list of Inventions to work on for Tim Cook the newish Apple CEO. Remember also Tim Cook and the other bosses looked a little underwhelmed at the launch of the new iPhone this Tuesday. In hindsight they clearly new Jobs was seriously ill and so puts their efforts in a different light.

Jobs was phenomenal - his ideas and his drive were an incredible combination. I wonder if his spirit will live on at Apple.


Sent from my iPad

Tesco law goes live today


Will the Legal Services Act really change the face of legal provision? Err Yes - it certainly will. In years to come any straightforward will, probate, conveyance etc will be the done by banks or supermarkets legal departments. They will be able to do it cheaper due to scale etc. However they will not want to do complex wills etc. So solicitors firms will survive but I would imagine small high street practices doing run of the mill law may end up being stuffed - not next year but in 5, 10, 15 years time.

The big BUT is will people actually stop and consider you get what you pay for. We shall see.


Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The Daily Mails attempt to get ahead


Of the curve backfires!

Paid Content

A good blog for UK digital media news.

The Antennae Galaxies


A pair of distorted spiral galaxies about 70 million light years away in the constellation of Corvus (the Crow).

Ed Ex?


Have you seen the odds on Ed being leader of Labour by the next election. They are terrible. Poor bloke is in trouble already, but he simply doesn't look like a future PM. However the current favourite is Yvette Cooper - noooooooo. Please noooooooo.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Amanda Knox Appeal Upheld

Seems like Meredith Kercher was killed by one man who has already been found guilty.

The Court have decided that there were a lot of holes in the DNA evidence. Indeed more than that they appear to had said Knox and her partner are not guilty, not just successful in appeal.

The local scenes of crimes officers and police investigators have taken a pasting.

The Greek people's view


Of their own economy is rather bleak.

Rush Hour


Sent from my iPad

NHS family planning advice


Strasbourg Parliament summed up


Sunday, 2 October 2011


Powerful Tune

<object data="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"> <param /> </object>Get your own valid XHTML YouTube embed code

Alright Alright Amazon


I admit the Amazon Kindle looks okay, is cheap, has a better ecosystem than all but Apple and could make a go of it. A successful launch this week. People almost willing it on to be a decent rival to apple as there aren't any others. It's not a direct competitor to Apple but does the essentials eg Internet and mail, plus can link into Amazons books, DVDs etc.

Time will tell.

October 4th

iPhone 5 - Apple has finally issued media invitations for a special iPhone event to be held this Tuesday, October 4th at the company's Town Hall auditorium at its headquarters in Cupertino, California. The event is scheduled to begin at 10:00 AM Pacific Time. 

As noted by The Loop, invitations for the event carry the tagline "Let's talk iPhone" and depict iOS icons for Calendar, Clock, Maps, and Phone. 


Note the first icon gives the date, the second the time of the event, the third icon gives the location and the fourth icon suggests the event is about the iPhone. The tagline suggests it will include new voice recognition software. 

We shall see.

Eyewitness: The Charge

I saw this Guardian Eyewitness photo:

They look like they mean business but it's a slow charge.

Also look like they have been around forever.

It's tough in Helmand, very tough indeed

Read this interesting article -

Saturday, 1 October 2011

The heat



I'm posting via email!

Send us a photo from the email you registered with, and we'll resize and post it. Send a video, we'll convert it for viewing on the web. Documents get embedded. We do all the hard work. Send us anything, we'll make it look great.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

The latest tablet device to fail

Against Apple will be launched by Amazon next week. So far HP, Samsung, Blackberry and more have all failed with several withdrawing their devices and all discounting a lot save for Sony. Sony has a decent looking effort out on the Market but the software and ecosystem around it are hopeless and that's where Apple is killing the competition. Then again they where first to market by miles and have had the time to dig in and get further ahead.

Youview - er no I can't view

Where is this mythical youview telly box and when is it coming out. It looks like it will be released by March 2011. Over a year late. And an important year - a year in which Internet tv really caught on. It leaves you wondering that no matter how good this box is has it missed the boat. Lots of higher end TV's already have this sort if stuff built in.

The advert says - "YouView brings you all the plug-in-and-watch simplicity of Freeview, plus the UK’s leading Internet catch-up and video on-demand services.

That means you’ll get the digital TV you love, plus BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD, Demand 5 and SeeSaw, all instantly available on your TV, through one simple set-top box.

For the first time, your on-screen programme guide will go backwards in time as well as forwards. You can discover and watch great programmes whenever you want – even ones you thought you’d missed.

Of course, YouView will also have High Definition, as well as the choice of pay-TV channels and on-demand programmes from TV providers such as BT Vision and Talk Talk TV. It’s also a personal video recorder, so you can pause, rewind and record live TV whenever you like.

Basically, you’ll get all the best bits of 21st Century TV, without having to grapple with complicated technology or pay any TV subscription fees."

Even given its lengthy delay it does look quite good, doesn't it.