Online privacy is your problem

In which the data you give out is your data to protect.

Depending on who you ask cookies are either essential to the operation of the internet, or the most evil thing that has ever been created because of privacy…PRRRRIIIIIVVVVACCCCCYY…issues. This always surprises me because nobody else spends money trying to track us, thankfully all those payments on our cards or CCTV cameras aren’t keeping an eye on us. I really struggle with what the issue is here. A lot of companies and websites make their money through advertising, and better knowledge of their customers means better sales (and ads) and means they keep their marketing costs down. We live in a society which demands that the web is free (both financially and politically) yet do not want in any way to pay for it. Can you do without the internet, and you know live like they used to do in 1995?

Will I be changing my privacy settings? Unlikely. Most of the data is anonymous, and let’s be honest most of us are lackadaisical with our privacy anyway. Unless you are in living in a dictatorship there are not evil conspirators using your data for nefarious means, and if you were under one of these regimes then targeted advertisements is the least of your privacy concerns.

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Not a smartphone

In which I have to press buttons…buttons!

I don’t really want to say much about how my current phone stopped working, let’s just say if Android is a great operating system to mess around with then I perhaps played a little too rough and may have broke it’s software. Say what you like about Apple’s ridiculously fragile devices and their tendency to crack faster than a vegetarian in a bacon factory, but that software is locked down tight. It barely let’s you change a ringtone let alone the whole OS.

So while my phone awaits an assessment of the problem (which currently consists of it not turning on and refusing to charge) I have been left without a smartphone for the first time since the G1 was launched (which by my reckoning and a quick Google search is four years). I have had to buy a dumb phone, or as my Mum would call it…a phone, to still be able to receive calls and messages but as I didn’t want to spend a fortune I stumped up $15 for an Alcatel OneTouch. Which is a bit of a misnomer as this is technically one touch more than the screen can handle – it has buttons…buttons! What is this? The mid-2000′s? Continue reading “Not a smartphone”

Addicted to Minecrack

In which I try to not become addicted to bashing green blocks.

Now that I’ve nearly sorted out all my photos, retagged my music and rewrote a load of posts I find myself with a little free time. I have plenty of life improving tasks I could undertake but instead I am being drawn back to a game I promised I would never get into because I could see it was a time sink.

I already know what games like Football Manager or The Sims can do to a person’s time and did not want to get drawn in again. I still fight against the urge to play one more game or stop a digital avatar from using the toilet.

I see the icon there for Minecraft and think to myself, don’t build a rabbit hole to enter.

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Prince of Denmark

In which I ask questions of skulls regarding the number of buzzing insects.

I hail from Shakespeare country, yet my total knowledge of the Bard’s work only really consists of Macbeth and Romeo & Juliet (and they were only because they were the choices at GCSE English). To me Othello is a game played with black and white counters and the Tempest is an arcade game by Atari. Didn’t Iambic Pentameter play Rugby for Wales?

So recently when it was suggested that I should read Hamlet I thought why not, I’d heard The Lion King was loosely based on the play and I love that film. So off to a bookshop to find a copy of the tragic tale of the Prince of Denmark.

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Do you hear the people sing?

In which we will live one day more at these barricades of freedom.

Once a year we have to make sure Mrs G goes and sees the longest running musical in the West End. For as many years as she has lived she has seen Les Miserables.

Les Miserables Students take over a funeral
So that would be a small number of times then, eh Enjolras?

So once a year I get to go to New York, and I also get to see Les Mis but not necessarily in New York. This now means a trip down to Lahndan and pay half of the mortgage for a seat in the heavens behind a column.

It’s also my favourite piece of musical theatre and I was pretty happy with the movie version, not that Liam Neeson one as they didn’t even include “Do you hear the people sing”. Instead it seemed to be 19th Century version of ‘The Fugitive’ where some guy is on the run from the police but decides to hide by making a lot of money, becoming a politician and then being an adoptive dad. A bit like ‘Diff’rent Strokes’ but with urchins instead of Gary Coleman and no Marius screaming “What’chu talkin’ ’bout, Enjolras?”

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Turn off reality television

In which I watch people who are famous because people once watched them.

I hate reality TV, for one it is totally misleading. It depicts nothing of reality at all, unless of course everyone else lives in a house of Heat-magazine wannabees, on a desert island, cooking and dancing for judges. Perhaps I live in the crazy world?

Reality TV is ‘rule by the mob’, it reinforces the trope that ‘mean is best’ and being nice is a weakness. It’s a study in nastiness, a modern version of the coliseum but this time we throw the idiots to the lions (who are bordering on idiots themselves).

A reality TV show is the domain of the attractive, “you’re a crazed racist? Oh it doesn’t matter you’ve got big breasts we forgive you”. Woe betide the ugly person though who happens to mention they once sneezed without covering their mouth…that is a crime punishable by tabloid hanging.

So here is my suggestion for a reality show…ladies and gentlemen I present: “I’m a nice person dancing on a desert island let me cook for you.”
I'm a nice person dancing o na desert island let me cook for you

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Not-Heroes : Frodo Baggins

In which Frodo fails to make the sacrifice he set out to make.

Returning home from the end of the last Hobbit movie Me and Mrs G had “that argument” again. Mrs G and me rarely argue, I would like to put this down to the fact we are very similar in beliefs and temperament so we have some kind of harmonious relationship, or it may just be that I’m right all the time.

Religion, politics, we are fine with even when we have polar opposite views. We accept that the other person has reasons why they would take the position they do. There is only one thing we can’t ever seem to see eye to eye over and that is whether Frodo Baggins is a hero.

Before I give considered reasonings I should do this in a scientific manner by presenting my hypothesis, so here we go.

Frodo Baggins is not a hero because he fails in the heroes quest, the task he is assigned he fails and then does not make a large enough sacrifice to redeem himself. Continue reading “Not-Heroes : Frodo Baggins”

Playlist of my week

In which I decide to shuffle rather than repeat.

The past few weeks have been a little stressful, there have been some moments where I have wanted to cave someone’s head in and other moments that have had me feeling that life is grand. Thankfully I can listen to music most of the time to keep me calm and provide a soundtrack to my life.

The soundtrack to my life

Trying to choose five songs that have kept me sane over the weeks is a tricky task, my music library has over 20,000 *ahem* legal tracks and as a result of the choice spend more time skipping songs than listening to them. Still, I think the following five pretty much sum up how I’ve been feeling this week.

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Oh the places I’d rather not go

In which I look at the world around me and wonder if it is worth saving.

I’ve been very lucky to go to some amazing places, and I can’t think of many locations I have been to that I wish I had never gone. Even Paris, it was not to my liking but I am still thankful I got to go once (although being married to a Francophile I have the feeling I will be going to the City of Love again).

There are very few places I wouldn’t like to travel to; everywhere has a certain quality that piques my interest. Despite this I can think of a select number of locations that I would rather not have to go to if I can help it.

They all have one thing in common, they are a little closer to home than you would imagine.

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The inflatable boy and other jokes

In which I stand side by side with comedy greats, and they ask what am I doing there.

Comedy is a very subjective thing, what I find funny and what you find funny may complete polar opposites. For example I like well written situation based comedy with genuinely funny actors and actresses, that isn’t afraid to introduce new themes and push the boundaries. And you may hate ‘My Family’.(THAT IS A JOKE…NO ONE LIKES MY FAMILY! – For an American Audience imagine that My Family is replaced with “Two and a Half Men”)

I thought I would tell you a joke, but I can’t seem to think of one, so instead how about I show you some of the great exponents of comedy?

So here are a few of my comedy greats (with evidence).

Continue reading “The inflatable boy and other jokes”