Categories
Politics

Council spends £36,000 worth of tax money on games.

Tameside Council decided that in order to encourage people to access services, they would buy property in the online gaming world in Second Life. The property which would be worth about 10Million in game was intended to help people in the whole world access council services in Tameside.

In addition to the island and town hall, they forked out on a musume and horse statute. The virtual town hall may have been a unique and innovative way to get the public to interact with the council but certainly not worth the cost! The most surely dont need a statue to do it either.

With very little intrest (not surprisingly) being shown amongst the global population of Second Life (which according to figures rate it as including duplicate accounts by the same person as of 2007 to be around 10 million worldwide. What percentage of that comes from the Tameside council area?

References
The Register
How Stuff Works

Categories
Politics

Freedom of speech first.

Writing in the mirror, Sue Carroll questions weather or not Facebook should be defending free speech. She’s writing in regards to the controversial “RIP Raoul Moat – You Legend” group which the author had taken down not facebook. I’m not going to look at that in any detail.

She however does make an interesting point about the freedom of speech and if facebook should always stand by it, and the simple answer is yes. Freedom of speech is paramount to any civilized people. Think back to 1984 by George Orwell and you will notice that the freedom of speech being lost takes us to dark miserable places.

She further comments on if they would allow pages like RIP Adolf Hitler, well, given that there is a RIP Saddam Hussein page, I would not be surprised if they would.

References
Mirror
Amazon

Categories
Politics

United States to say no to Justice

“The whole history of the world is summed up in the fact that, when nations are strong, they are not always just, and when they wish to be just, they are no longer strong.”

-Winston Churchill

The Extradition Act 2003 (c.41) of The United Kingdom has problems. The leaders of the Liberal Democrats and Conservative Parties in the coalition both acknowledge this. They want it changed.

Controversy

There have been a number of issues with the act. It took 3 years for the United States to bow to pressure from our little island and actually ratify the bill. This suggests that the US Goverment is not as interested in Justice being that they are a super power and think they can do what they want.

Moreover, The USA only needs to have a suspicion in order to justify the request of extradition, most other treaties require at least reasonable suspicion. This may have been due to the UK having equally low requirements against the United States. It is in the intrest of justice that this be resolved in both directions – a revisal of the treaty would be able to do that.

The most concerning fact is that they may extradite on the grounds of actions taken by UK Citizens Inside the UK that had a ramification on the US. This could be extended to the point of extraditing in cases where a crime was not even commited in the UK! This surely cannot be allowed by any country.

Scales of Justice Reports from US Goverment officials seem to be suggesting that the US belives that the treaty is completely fair, in that way that only can be sumerized by The Prime Minister in Love Actually:

: I love that word “relationship.” Covers all manner of sins, doesn’t it? I fear that this has become a bad relationship; a relationship based on the President taking exactly what he wants and casually ignoring all those things that really matter to, erm… Britain. We may be a small country, but we’re a great one, too. The country of Shakespeare, Churchill, the Beatles, Sean Connery, Harry Potter. David Beckham’s right foot. David Beckham’s left foot, come to that. And a friend who bullies us is no longer a friend. And since bullies only respond to strength, from now onward I will be prepared to be much stronger. And the President should be prepared for that.

The United States wishes to extradite Gary McKinnon for hacking into their computer systems. The crime was commited here, and as such should be tried in the UK under UK law. Furthermore, given the US law includes penalties such as Death, extradition to the United States should be viewed as a last resort and even then only when strong evidence exists. In the case of Mr McKinnon, a legall recognized mentally ill person, this should be enough reason to justify denying the US extradition.

If the newly elected Goverment wishes to keep themselves in power, now would seem like a good time to put the foot down. We are in Europe, let us grow stronger special relationships with those that are just hours away and let the Super Power stand alone.

References:
ComputerWorld
The Telegraph
Wikipedia – Extradition Act

Categories
Politics

Lord Kinnock on Lord Mandelson!!!

Well isnt that intresting, not long ago Lord Mandelson was featured here in his capacity of the Internet Villian of the year. Now a fellow Lord has lashed out at him too! Lord Kinnock whom was infulentual in Mandelson’s early career has implied that he is but a shadow of what he once was. Must be damning to hear that as a Lord.

Photograph of Lord Kinnock

Lord Kinnock, who employed Peter Mandelson as Labour’s campaign co-ordinator for the 1987 general election, said: “I take some responsibility for Mr Mandelson because I gave him his first significant job.”

He added: “And he was very good. I would say that at the time he came out of the top drawer.”

Categories
Politics

Unemployment Down but is the Jobs listed up?

In the UK, the Office of National Statistics is perhaps one of the most perculiuar departments of any goverment agency. In effect it is their job to take all the information the goverment has, file it in some dark database (and probly lose a copy in the process) and come to a conclusion.

Graph They estimate that employment is up and they estimate that unemployment is down.

So whats the problem with this, its good news isnt it?

  1. These figures are estimates.
  2. These figures are statistics.
  3. These figures are based purely on official goverment knowlege.

Estimates and statistics and information is a three way sword. Take out the statistics and you have an estimate about the information you have!

Categories
Politics

The Battle of Britain ‘began over Orkney’

“Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”

-Winston Churchill

I just read an article by Stephen McGinty on the Scotsman website. Apparently an author has suggested that the famous Battle of Britain has been mis-recorded by historians. The author is claiming that it began over the Island of Orkney. Consequently it was the Scots that first defended Britain’s interests during that war. 

Categories
Internet Politics

Lord Mandelson awarded Internet villain of the Year 2010!

Internet Villain of the Year 2010Many of you will remember that the British Government signed into law an act of parliament recently most commonly referred to as the Digital Economy Act.

I like many of you people were disapproving of the government meddling in affairs they know too little about. But I am happy to hear that he has been declared the Internet Villian of the Year!

It seems that every time the government brings in legislation to stop illegal copying of files it leads to higher levels of copyright breach than it solved.

It is good to see that several organizations including BT are already opting to fight this in court and even our new deputy Prime Minister has called for it to be repealed. There may be hope for this new government after all.

Lord Peter MandelsonSo this year the award of Internet Villian of the Year goes to Lord Peter Mandelson. Being the ‘brains’ behind the Digital Economy Bill it definately sounds like he deserves his award.

References:

ZDnet
; ZDNet ; ZDnet