Archive for the ‘communications’ Category

If coffee commercials were honest

August 21, 2020

Brilliant spoof of promotion of crap undrinkable commodity coffee.

I like coffee, I enjoy coffee, but I am not addicted.

Coffee contains a psychoactive substance, caffeine.

The coffee plant is closely related to qat (there are many variations of spelling for example khat) often referred to as coffee’s evil sister. Qat is highly addictive and as a more profitable crop has replaced coffee in Yemen where for generations coffee grew on terraces and the port of Mokka grew rich on the export of coffee beans. WHO has a separate category for qat, US classifies as dangerous as heroin. Qat contains the alkaloid cathinone. The leaves are chewed or used as an infusion to produce qat tea.

Unlike it’s evil sister qat, coffee is a legal psychoactive drug.

I am bombarded every day with offers of coffee and coffee equipment I do not want.

No, I do not want Nespresso. Coffee from a Nespresso machines is vile undrinkable coffee. That is not to say the machine cannot make decent coffee, it can, just do not use Nespresso pods. A €60 Nespresso machine will make excellent espresso, but only if use third party pods.

I used to be bombarded daily by CoffeeJack, but since highlighting the many flaws, gone very quiet. They blocked me and deleted my critical questions. Er, blocked me, it was they trolling me with their promotions.

Nor do I wish to buy coffee from roasteries I have never heard of, that not once have I ever encountered in a coffee shop as guest coffee.

For me coffee is a drink to be enjoyed as would a good wine.  To be enjoyed at leisure served in glass or ceramic.

Good coffee does not need sugar or syrups or to be carpet bombed with chocolate. The over-roasted cheap commodity coffee served up by corporate chains does require to mask the vile taste of what would otherwise be undrinkable.

Fair Trade is a marketing scam to make middle class feel good and to never delve deeper into the exploitation surrounding coffee.

Fair Trade pays a tiny premium above the commodity price. There is no incentive for farmers to improve as they will not get a higher price for quality.

Talk to your barista, buy coffee that is Direct Trade, where farmers get a higher price for quality, where there is traceability back to origin.

And of course we never mention tax dodging that we structure our company across borders to avoid paying tax where we make money.

Imagine honest advertising for what masquerades as a bar of ‘chocolate’.

‘Chocolate’, a bar of fat and sugar, it would not be every palatable, nor sound too good in our marketing, so we add a little cocoa powder, though if we wish to be real cheapskates it will be flavouring, then we add palm oil or soy but keep quiet about the environmental damage, may be listed as emulsifiers, added to improve the texture, we could use coca butter but the alternatives are far cheaper and we have to have margins to pay for the advertising for you suckers, then additives as it kinda does not taste too good a bar of fat and sugar.

Next time you buy what you think is a bar of ‘chocolate’ please check the list of ingredients. If it ain’t cocoa solids, sugar, cocoa butter, maybe vanilla, but nothing else, then it ain’t chocolate.

Friday 13th Pepsi Trump Horror Show

December 13, 2019

The forest was shrinking, but the trees kept voting for the Axe, for the Axe was clever and convinced the Trees that because his handle was made of wood he was one of them. — Turkish proverb

Thursday night exit polls showed a massive swing to the Nasty Party. As the results poured in, exit poll confirmed.  I turned off the coverage, it was too depressing.

A nightmare.

A decade of the Nasty Party — zero hours employment, pay less than living wage, poverty, mass closure of libraries, food banks, serfs working for apps, human robots in Amazon warehouses, class warfare, mass transfer of wealth to the rich, tax dodging on an industrial scale, austerity, neo-liberalism, shock doctrine, NHS on point of collapse, disintegration rail infrastructure.

Labour offered a radical progressive future, a green new deal.

But hey what the fuck, let’s vote for Pepsi Trump.

What went wrong? Why did people on the doorstep say No Jeremy Corbyn.

Why?

Wherever Jeremy Cobyn went, he was greeted to rapturous applause, he related to people, in debates he was calm and measured, had good grasp of the issues.

The problem therefore was not Jeremy Corbyn. The problem was the perception of Jeremy Corbyn.

We had the most vicious smear campaign against Jeremy Corbyn. And it was not only the usual suspects, Murdoch and The Scum. It was fake-Left Guardian, too often the originators of the smears.

Then we had back bench MPs who thought they had a sinecure for life, wanted to back to the good old days of corrupt Labour, who spent their time sabotaging Labour, aided and abetted by the media, especially BBC News and fake-Left Guardian only too willing to grant them a soapbox.

Again we have to ask why?

Those in poser were scared shitless of radical change. The Deep State was under threat.

Had Labour a leader who would tinkle at the edges, policies that were businesses as usual, the choice of Tweedledum or Tweedledee but no real change, they would have been happy.

Therein lies the dilemma. Labour must not lose sight of the prize, dealing with tax dodgers, bringing in a fairer society, a green new deal.

In the meantime, take to the streets, direct action, form the resistance.

To those who say it was democracy, I suggest visit an exhibition in Berlin at the foot of the Berlin Wall which drawing upon Nazi archives shows how Adolf Hitler and the Nazis rose to power. Adolf Hitler was elected.

In Hungary and Poland, Fascists have been elected. They are shutting down a free press, destroying the judiciary.

When Pepsi Trump failed to attend the Channel 4 Climate Debate and in his place a block of melting ice, unnamed Tory sources threatened to remove the broadcast licence of Channel 4.

We have had Laura Kaunsberg and Robert Peston act and still acting as Pepsi Trump propagandists, drip drip drip of propaganda from unnamed sources. If not on record then do not regurgitate as news. Otherwise being played like a fiddle.

What of the climate?

Five more years of no action on climate. We have seen COP25 collapse with no firm commitment to cut carbon emissions by the levels required, zero carbon by 2030. The climate will not wait, the planet burns whilst corrupt politicians fiddle. What we can guarantee is cataclysmic chaos, brought about by climate change and the rapid deep cuts in carbon emissions that will have to be made.

The longer we leave action, the greater the impact, the deeper the cuts will have to be. How much more flooding, when do we act, do we wait until London is flooded?

I fear for this country. I also feel ashamed.

I know how they felt in US when Donald Trump was elected.

This article has been expanded on Medium under the same title Friday 13th Pepsi Trump Horror Show.

Changing a light bulb

November 15, 2018

What did you do today?

Changed a light bulb.

Somebody has to change out that lightbulb at the top of those tall TV towers!

This is tower climber Kevin Schmidt making the climb to the very top of the now inactive KDLT TV analog broadcast antenna near Salem, SD.

It was a beautiful fall day for a climb and the views are stunning!

Watch at 1080 HD in full screen to get a small taste of the experience.

Facebook is not a social network

April 10, 2018

Watching Mark Zuckerberg walk through the corridors of power escorted by Capitol Police was like watching a perp walk, when the police tip off the media. The only difference, he was not facing any charges (yet) and was not handcuffed.

Showing his usual contempt for facebook users he ignored questions fired at him by journalists.

Appearing on his first day before questions from a committee of politicians, it was as though Facebook had sent not a human but a malfunctioning avatar. Was this a human or an avatar representing Facebook?

He claimed facebook was inspirational. Claimed the credit for facebook for any action by democracy activists. Anything bad, that was bad actors. And yes facebook had made mistakes letting in the bad actors to play on their platform.

The only reason Zuckerberg was there was because of the collapse of facebook stock market value. He is still showing contempt for British facebook users by refusing to appear before a Parliamentary Select Committee, refusing any requests for media interviews.

Facebook is not a social network. Facebook is not a community. What we are seeing is not down to a few bad actors or facebook letting them gain access to their platform. Facebook exists to collect and abuse personal data.

The bad actor is facebook.

If Cambridge Analaytica is a bad actor, how many more bad actors, how many more facebook apps harvesting our personal data?

  • facebook has to be regulated
  • facebook has to be broken up, stripped of Instagram and WhatsApp
  • facebook has to be handed to the users

Users have to do their bit.

  • overwrite then delete all personal data
  • turn off location tracking
  • disable facebook apps
  • do not tag friends
  • do not use Instagram
  • do not use WhastApp

What facebook has engaged in is digital rape.

It beggars belief there are still facebook users who have not yet taken these very basic measures.  Are they naive or just plain stupid? Maybe they do not care about their own data security, but what of those they are connected to?  Their behaviour is equivalent in the digital realm to someone spreading HIV/Aids.

The People’s Internet

November 27, 2017

It is shocking that in a major American city like Detroit, a city that had two major car companies, 40% of the city lacks access to Internet.

Net neutrality is a big political issue. We cannot have a handful of companies controlling access to the Internet. That access has to be for everyone, rich or poor.

In Detroit, the Equitable Internet Initiative is building community-owned wireless internet infrastructure in towns that big telecom won’t touch. Hundreds of towns have built their own internet service providers. Rural communities are putting wireless internet antennas on top of mountains, grain silos, and tall trees. The fastest internet connections in the United States are provided by local governments, not big telecom. In Southern California, Tribal Digital Village is using unused television spectrum to deliver internet. All over the country, big telecom is being rejected and subverted, and you do not need to have a pile of money, an army of lawyers, or a degree in network engineering to take action.

In England in rural areas, local people are digging the trenches, laying fibre optic cable.

In Greece communities are building their own broadband network.

Postcapitalism, people are taking control of their own political, social, employment space.

Why is the Mail targeting Naomi Wu?

November 26, 2017

I put up with constant abuse and endless shit, I wake up to DMs and emails full of rape and more rape every day. I’d just like to share my builds and tech stuff without the constant condescending nitpicking. It’s very little to ask why not just show that small measure of respect? — Naomi Wu

Very strange that the Mail appears to be running a smear campaign against Naomi Wu.

Naomi Wu has wisely launched a preemptive strike, as did Charlotte Church when gutter press tried to dig up dirt from her neighbours

But why Naom Wu?

Smear campaigns have been launched against Charlotte Church, Russell Brand, Jeremy Corbyn for having the audacity to attack the tax-dodging oligarchs who own and control the media, even worse for daring to propose an alternative to neoliberalism and a fairer society.

The Budget has estate agents rubbing their hands with glee at abolition of Stamp Duty, which will lead to a hike in house prices in a stagnant housing market, no attempt to deal with tax dodging, tax hand outs to oil companies, the poorest third of society will be poorer, the richest third richer.

The media oligarchs are losing their grip. They smeared Jeremy Corbtyn, nevertheless he manged to win the Labour leadership twice, has turned Labour into the largest social movement in Europe, almost won the last General Election, and has had the government on the defensive ever since.

Where though does Naomi Wu fit into all of this?

Maybe she was confused with Naomi Klein?

We are now postcapitalism.

Do we have a future of low wages, zero hours, part time, temporary, soul destroying McShit Jobs? Deliveroo and Uber are but two examples of serfs working for apps, old fashioned exploitation by any other name.

Or do we have a future of open source, open coops, collaborative commons?

Naomi Wu is an innovator, designer, a passionate and articulate advocate of open source, sino:bit in addition to being a coding project for kids is to introduce at an early age the concept of open source, the first official certified open source hardware project in China.

is this why she is seen as a threat?

Every day Naomi Wu wakes to a torrent of abuse, threats of rape.

The last thing she needs, a smear campaign by the Mail.

It could of course be a journalist collecting background, prior to writing an article on the work of Naomi Wu, two side panels, one highlighting the abuse she receives, the other on how to deal with on-line abuse and cyber bullying. Plus a supplement on projects people can build.

But until that happens, until we start to see quality journalism, retailers will continue to pull their advertising from the Mail, Paperchase being but the latest to do so.

Media has a vital role to play, challenging corruption, informing democracy, and holding government to account. But less and less does it play that role, it acts as a megaphone for the corrupt, smears anyone who does expose corruption. 

To be a journalist is a dangerous profession, we see that with the number of journalists put in prison, killed. 

Journalists are put in danger when Donald Trump attacks the media. 

But we need to question when vile trolls like Katie Hopkins are granted a media platform, as the hate they espouse then becomes the norm, by granting her the oxygen of publicity all attention seeking trolls crave, it acts to normalise and encourage their behaviour.
 

Factory reset of Google Nexus 7 2012

April 21, 2017

A couple of years ago, I bought a Google Nexus 7 version 2012, one of the best tablets around, still is.

At the time I wished for the later 2013 version, but 2012 was all I had.

There was not a lot of difference in the specification, main difference was a higher resolution screen, a much higher resolution screen.

I later handled the 2013 version, it was not as good, I was therefore happy with what I had.

Th Android operating system wished to upgrade, I allowed, but then regretted, it was slower.

But then, a year or so later, I allowed it to update. It took all night, no sooner had it updated, than it wished for the next update.

It was a huge mistake, I ended up with a tablet that was so slow, it was unusable, an expensive piece of junk.

Why oh why does Google offer an Android operating system update that renders a Google Nexus 7 tablet unusable.

Not I noticed, a problem with 2013 version.

I asked around, no one knew what to do.

The only option appeared to be, implement a factory reset, but first, try this idea of clearing the cache. It seemed sort of to work.

This was a year ago, I had not used my tablet since the beginning of the year.
A long wait whilst 120 updates to apps.

But, any relief was short lived, I was back to square one, useless tablet, and the clearing of the cache no longer seemed available.

No choice other than a factory reset. This clears all apps, all data.

First screen shots of all apps, then Google back up.

Then go into settings and follow the procedure for factory reset.

But, not as I expected, it did not reset Android to original factory settings, I was still back to where I was Android 5.x.x but, I now had a very fast responsive tablet.

I was going to add apps one by one, as they were on the screen, but first Avira as it scans each downloaded app.

Android took over, automatically started download of apps.

I did not take note of how long this process took, other than it took most of the afternoon.

Google did warn connect tablet to power supply.

Some of the apps I would not have re-installed, as crap, but all were downloaded. Had I thought, I should have deleted before starting.

Maybe something to do later.

Also I would have preferred to download and install one by one.

I would then at least have discovered which was causing the problem.

Or maybe corrupted data.

Or could have been malware. Though I have periodically scanned the device.

Android 5.1.1

Telling the truth is a revolutionary act

January 22, 2017

In an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. — George Orwell

The Party told you to reject all evidence with your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command. — George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four

The point is that the attacks and the attempts to delegitimize this president in one day — and we’re not going to sit around and take it.  – Reince Priebus, White House Chief of Staff

The method for taking over the state and for it becoming a totalitarian police state, is always the same, and it’s always the identification of ‘the other’ as the enemy. In Trump’s case, it’s the Chinese, the Mexicans, and Islam – it doesn’t matter who it is. With Hitler, it was the Jews, the Communists, the Gypsies, anybody who had a physical deformity, or whatever it might be, the homosexuals – they were all lumped together. — Roger Waters

The resistance begins today. — Roger Waters

In Nineteen Eighty-Four, war is peace.

On Inauguration Day, the crowds in Washington were far fewer than for the Inauguration of Barack Obama. The anti-Trump protest, Women’s March, the next day, dwarfed that for the Trump Inauguration.

Estimates of the Women’s March put it at three times for the Trump Inauguration.  The Metro reported it carried three times as many passengers on Saturday as on Friday.

In cities across America, massive anti-Trump demonstrations.  No only in USA, across the world. There was a massive demonstration in Sydney.

But no, according to Trump the media was lying.

If Trump lies on the size of a  crowd, can we believe him on anything he says?

His White House press mouthpiece repeated the lie.  Repeated the lie and launched an unprecedented attack on the media.

When White House chief of staff threatens the media, says will not tolerate media questioning  legitimacy of the Trump presidency, this has shades of Nazi Germany.

What is he going to do, lockup up journalists as they do in Turkey, kill journalists as in  Russia?

In Mexico they have a phrase for Trump, Trump Eres Un Pendejo, Trump, you’re an arsehole.

Phileas Fogg travel app for Ayia Napa and Protaras

October 22, 2016
Phileas Fogg travel apps

Phileas Fogg travel apps

A couple of weeks ago I downloaded and had a play. I was not impressed.

Who wants an app that is advertising?

If being generous, a directory of generated content for which the contributor pays.

50,000 downloads has been claimed. Not true. 1000 downloads for Android. If we assume same for Apple, then a couple of thousand downloads.

But even if 50k, how many would see as worthless and delete?

The glowing reviews appear to be fake. No way is this a 5* app. And the names are all Greek, reinforcing impression of fake reviews

If assume a thousand downloads, five months May to September, that is omly 200 per month.

If nothing else, explains why no one has seen or heard of.

And of the thousand, myself and a couple of friends account for three.

Design is bad. Like something from the digital Dark Ages. And why lump together Ayia Napa and Protaras? These are two distinct areas and municipalities.

No mechanism that I can see for businesses to add content.

Very strange and suspicious someone going round selling content. Even more so a presentation, well actually hype, to which local businesses were invited.

Not the norm for apps. Spread by word of mouth or articles and reviews.

How would anyone learn of existence? From other businesses? Why would they direct to rivals?

To find places?

Let us assume at Windmills Car Hire. Do you say download app to find a coffee shop? Or do you say go to end of road, turn down opposite Nicolas Tavern to Fig Tree Bay, find on the left excellent Miyu Coffee, and next door excellent Nia Boutique?

Similarly, why would Windmills tell clients to find on app, when any information they require they can obtain direct by asking whilst in the office?

On the other hand to suggest follow us on twitter makes a whole lot of sense, as can then keep clients informed.

Categories are bizarre.

Coffee includes anywhere and everywhere serving coffee. Not restricted to coffee shops.

Fusion is Lemongrass, pan-Asian, all of everything, all of nothing, bearing little if any resemblance to the dishes the countries are claimed to come from. Fusion is not Olympus on the corner opposite Nicholas Tavern, they are Greek-Cypriot and international.

For Windmillls, maybe worth throwing away 75 euros, recovered with one car hire. For a coffee shop, a lot of coffees to sell.

Who is going to use an app to find somewhere to eat rather than simply walk down the street and see for themselves? Who is going to trawl through advertising? Who is going to trawl through advertising for Ayia Napa when they are in Protaras or vice a versa?

Businesses are already on the edge. Extra cash outflow is not going to help.

This will do nothing to halt let alone reverse the collapse of the tourist industry.

Far better is to establish a network of quality business. Find one get directed to others.

This travel app is something a kid could have knocked out over a weekend.

TripAdvisor does a far better job, with the caveat be very wary of fake reviews.


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