Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Screensaver strikes back at spammers

Scotsman.com News:



"A way of turning the tables on internet spammers was announced today.



"New software allows recipients of spam to band together to target known websites behind the messages."



Zoz

Monday, November 29, 2004

Star Letter - "Millegnium bugworry"

You would of thonk cunputer progranggers would of leerned sumpin from their ordures at the end of the second millegnium but not a bit of it. We still allow but four charactears for the year!! What will happen after 31st of December 9999? Does agnybody care? No.

A Prograngger


Israel shocked by image of soldiers forcing violinist to play at roadblock

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports



"The incident was not as shocking as the recording of an Israeli officer pumping the body of a 13-year-old girl full of bullets and then saying he would have shot her even if she had been three years old.



"Nor was it as nauseating as the pictures in an Israeli newspaper of ultra-orthodox soldiers mocking Palestinian corpses by impaling a man's head on a pole and sticking a cigarette in his mouth."



Read this Sharon and Bush!

Zoz

Friday, November 26, 2004

Don't outsource the computing for a whelk stall to them

Why killing 80,000 desktops is worse than careless - ZDNet UK

"It comes back to the nature of these contracts -? EDS are sitting there at some kind of central control centre and the idea is that its much more efficient to that [sic] they have trimmed it all down to have someone sit their [sic] and do everything remotely. They have pressed a button to try and update a few machines but have made a mistake a [sic] sent out this patch to sixty thousand out of eighty thousand -? they have all received the patch, the patch has killed the machines and there has been no easy way back to revive them."

This is the drain all of your hard-earned money is poured down, while you sweat with debts you can't afford to pay. Why does the government pay billions of pounds to companies like EDS and Fujitsu for systems that don't work reliably, or in some cases are not even delivered?

Simon Moribund

Blind prejudice

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | 4x4s 'should carry health warning'



"'They're really Satan's little run-around,' NEF's policy director Andrew Simms told BBC News."



This is just blind prejudice. Look at cars by Mercedes, Jaguar and look closely at buses and lorries if you want to control pollution.



While the biggest 4x4s are ridiculous and unreasonable, modest ones like the Toyota RAV4, Honda CRV, Suzuki and others are not out-of-keeping with other family cars, and are comparatively fuel-efficient.

Zoz

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

"Confirming the kill"

karmalised: "...even if it's a three-year-old."



It's so frustrating and infuriating to read these reports and to be unable to do anything whatsoever about them. The selfish actions of people who don't give a damn about anyone only themselves, will be the death of all of us. And the worst thing about it is, it's not really worth living in this world anyway. This is Hell we're in. To walk out of Hell is to enter Heaven.



Zoz

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

No reporters no sporters

Reuters



"WINDHOEK (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's government has turned down applications by British media organisations to cover England's cricket tour, an England team spokesman says."



Whatever happened to solidarity? If Zimbabwe won't allow British sports journalists in, it would seem asinine for the national cricket team to go.

Zoz

Detailed account of the shooting in the mosque

Kevin Sites Blog (via Yellowslip)



"It's time you to have the facts from me, in my own words, about what I saw -- without imposing on that Marine -- guilt or innocence or anything in between. I want you to read my account and make up your own minds about whether you think what I did was right or wrong. All the other armchair analysts don't mean a damn to me."



Kevin Sites is the cameraman who filmed the incident. It's not quite as simple as it would seem from a short report on the 10 o'clock news. It's both better and worse than that. There were people left to die in the room, other people who might just have been "re-shot" and others more of a threat than the one who was killed in cold blood.



I don't buy Sites' agonising about how they are trying to be "the good guys." It reminds me of the attitude of the invaders in the film Mars Attacks. I understand that he is anguished about the possible backlash arising from his principled dedication to journalism. Other lives might be jeopardised. But the guilt is not rightly located in Sites' conscience, it should fly from there to somewhere in the White House - if it can find a conscience to land on there.



Zoz

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Send in the Tommywagons

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Britain: a nation 'in grip of drink crisis'



"The American 'super-cop' brought in by the Home Office to cut Britain's crime rate warned last night that the nation's binge drinking culture was spiralling out of control and fuelling an epidemic of violence outside pubs and clubs that threatened to overwhelm the police.



"In his first major interview the former Boston police chief, Paul Evans, described scenes he had witnessed in the early hours of the morning in city centres across Britain as chaos. 'I'm not sure it can get much worse,' he said, in response to police fears that new licensing laws allowing 24-hour drinking would lead to increased violence."

Zoz

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Apologies for electing Bush for the first time

Sorry Everybody

A hundred thousand apologies from the Herald too, just in case we ever did anything wrong, though I'm not aware of ever having made a mistake. Ed

Hypocrisy

Scotsman.com News - Latest News - Israeli Army in Bid to Rescue Gaza Weapons Smugglers



"Israeli military sources said the tunnel collapsed while an unknown number of Palestinians were digging toward an Israeli army outpost near Rafah. Officials said the army would help in rescue efforts."



Since when do they give a damn about the lives of Palestinians, let alone weapons smugglers? They don't, it's nothing but hypocrisy and pretence. If they thought the world wasn't watching, they'd leave them to die.

Zoz

Central Stupidity Agency

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | CIA memo urging spies to support Bush provokes furore



"The new US director of central intelligence, Porter Goss, told CIA staff this week their job was 'to support the Bush administration and its policies in our work', stirring a new controversy over the future of the agency."



Too stupid to know the difference between upholding the law and the constitution of his country, but placed in charge of the Central "Intelligence" Agency. This is a sign that the regime of dolts who have control over us, is installing its own paragons of stupidity into more positions of power, or that they are not stupid but wilfully perverse, reckless and dishonest.

Zoz

Give people their titles

Reuters: "Hassan's body may have been found"



Why are defendants in criminal trials accorded their titles, Mr Huntley and Ms Carr, for example, while somebody like Margaret Hassan is referred to as "Hassan"? Surely we can speak a little more respectfully of her, as Mrs Hassan or Margaret Hassan. It sounds terrible and hard-hearted the way reporters talk about her.

Zoz

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

They want to control you

Guardian Unlimited Politics Special Reports Blunkett seeks to calm ID card fears



This is all about politicians and their paper wielding militia, the bureaucrats, seeking to get control over the general public. First they want to tag you, and then it's only a question of which slaughterhouse they will send you to, or which rights they accord or withdraw. The biggest laugh they will have is when they force us to pay for them. To hell with their cards and controls. We should tag them and monitor their voting, meetings, moonlight jobs, business deals etc. Start from the principle that every citizen is free, within the law. Stop treating us like livestock, and instead concentrate on eliminating the bureaucracy with well-designed professional systems for the 21st century. It's a matter of efficiency, but also of goodwill - and the present British junta shows little sign of either, unless you count mealy-mouthed hypocrisy and parroting of focus-group drivel.



Zoz

New Bible translation returns to Hebrew roots

Reuters: The Five Books of Moses, Robert Alter



[...]

"A professor at the University of California at Berkeley, Alter says since he has never found a biblical translation that he liked or could recommend to his comparative literature students, he decided to do his own, starting with the story of Genesis and ending with the death of Moses."



[...]

"Alter said his task was to find the English equivalents of the Hebrew. 'Hebrew is filled with concrete images. For example, the King James translates the famous lines of Ecclesiastes as 'vanity of vanities ... all is vanity' but the closest word in English to the Hebrew is 'vapor, vapor, all is mere vapor.'



[...]

"Alter said he was especially pleased with restoring all the "ands" back in a passage where Abraham's servant is sent on a mission to find a wife for Isaac and encounters Rebekah:



"And she came down to the spring and filled her jug and came back up. And the servant ran toward her and said, 'Pray, let me sip a bit of water from your jug.' And she said, 'Drink, my lord,' and she hurried and tipped down her jug on one hand and let him drink. And she let him drink his fill and said, 'For your camels, too, I shall draw water until they drink their fill.' And she hurried and emptied her jug into the trough, and she ran again to the well to draw water and drew water for all his camels."



Ossian

A curse on the kidnappers

May the loathsome kidnappers who murderered Margaret Hassan go to the hell they believe in. If there was some way I could send them there right now, I'd do it without hesitation.



Zoz

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Bernard Cornwell in Willesden



The bestselling author gave us the lowdown on how to succeed in writing. Just take a template and change the names in it, and Bob's your uncle.

I think I wrung a few nervous laughs out of the audience with my portrayal reading of Cloco the Clown.

Ossian


Spin doctors eventually persuaded Michael Howard to tone down his conference speech.*

*Merciful hour! Is this politically correct? Ed.

Monday, November 15, 2004

The Herald will get the Olympics for London 2012

diamond geezer: "London loves the world. We're a multicultural global city, where people from all nations gather together to take on underpaid overnight cleaning jobs in high rise offices. You can travel here by air, by boat, by rail, or in a secret compartment in the back of a container lorry. And we're knee-high in tourists already so a few more foreign athletes should fit in perfectly."

Diamond Geezer is on top form there. With this kind of help and the backing of the mighty Willesden Herald, the decision is in the bag. It will be the 'sden wot' done it again, in the words of our crap catch phrase.

Go for it, plebs. As Diamond Geezer points out, they need this sort of thing to make them redevelop the East End. Or at least to concrete it over.*

*Is this a good thing? Ed

When we left for Fallujah town

After Thomas Hardy

When we left for Fallujah town,
    A thousand miles abroad,
    The dust was on the road,
And flarelight lit the desert round
When we left for Fallujah town
    A thousand miles abroad.

What we would bring Fallujah town
    While we should soldier there
    No mullah could declare,
Nor did the commandant write down
What we would bring Fallujah town
    While we should soldier there.

When we drove from Fallujah town
    With murder in our eyes,
    All marked with mute surmise
Each frozen stare and somber frown,
When we drove from Fallujah town
    With murder in our eyes.

Ganache

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Double exposure*



All of Fallujah is under control, and the election is in the bag. "It's a turkey shoot."

*1. Eight-year-old Ismail Jamal is looked after by his brother at a hospital in Fallujah, Iraq (via Karmalised)
2. At the same time that chemical weapons are being fired into Fallujah (phosphorous, which acts like napalm) Tony Blair dines at the White House.

(One of the main justifications always given for the war was the use by Saddam Hussein of chemical weapons against Iraqis.)

Zoz

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Chemical weapons used on Fallujah

U.S. drives into heart of Fallujah



"Some artillery guns fired white phosphorous rounds that create a screen of fire that cannot be extinguished with water. Insurgents reported being attacked with a substance that melted their skin, a reaction consistent with white phosphorous burns." (via Follow Me Here)



Zoz

Friday, November 12, 2004

Time to revive the roadmap



Shimon Peres: "With the passing of their father, the Palestinians have a chance to emerge"

Shimon Peres on Yassir Arafat

Times Online - Comment



"Arafat enjoyed the love and respect of his people. This love was dear to him. He lived a modest life and wanted little for himself. He lived for his people."



I think this a touching and balanced article, it shows understanding and goodwill. It's only a pity Peres is not leading Israel today.



Zoz

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Ha bloody ha.

Guardian Unlimited Books Extracts Book extract: The Men Who Stare At Goats by Jon Ronson: "discordant sounds and apparently random music played to him during all-day interrogation sessions"



I can't understand the semi-amused, matter of fact tone that's evoked in response to the outrages perpetrated in our name by the military.



Why have we accepted these depravities with so little anger? Is it because we're so utterly impotent - slaves to the slaves of Bush? If the sight of hooding and abuse of prisoners makes people like me very angry, imagine the reaction on the victims' side. But you know who will have to pay. Yes, you and me - and the poor bloody infantry.*



*Does "infantry" mean army of children? It might as well. (I mean they are all somebody's children.)



Zoz

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Last bear shot

Hunters kill last brown bear: "Hunters have shot dead the last female brown bear native to the Pyrenees, condemning the species to extinction and causing an 'environmental catastrophe' for France, the government said."

Zoz

Time off for drunk killer from Mrs Injustice Hallett

Amy Gonzales was killed on her way home from church on Christmas Day: "Allowing Smith's appeal, Mrs Justice [sic] Hallett concluded: 'We do not wish to add in any way to the pain and grief of Amy's family. We have borne very much in mind the devastating impact on them.'"



What a depressing judgment, and crass expression.



Zoz

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Frustration and despair

Telegraph News Charity 'distressed' for hostage aid worker: "A newly released video of Margaret Hassan, the aid worker kidnapped in Iraq, has prompted Care International to say that it is 'profoundly distressed' by her condition."



It is so frustrating that one cannot do anything to help this woman. It makes me feel both homicidal and suicidal. I want to kill the kidnappers with my own hands. At the same time I am depressed to be a member of the same species. How can any man treat a woman in this way, regardless of religion, politics, or anything else? Those are not men.



What a day. More Bush and therefore more Blair and therefore more torture and violence for all of us. Those smirking, rapacious, negligent, conniving, lying shysters.



Zoz

Monday, November 01, 2004

"Eradicate amateur poets and post-moderns"

Guardian Unlimited Books | News | Pinter's poetry? Anyone can do it: "[Don Paterson] ... calls for total eradication of amateur poets and of 'postmoderns'.

Paterson accuses the former of 'infantilising' the art of poetry. 'Many people feel that, armed with a beermat, a pencil, and a recent mildly traumatic experience, they are entitled to send 100 pages of handwritten drivel into Faber or Cape.'"

Ossian

Chronicles: Volume 1 by Bob Dylan

Guardian Unlimited Books | The digested read: "Lou Levy, top man at Leeds Music Publishing, took me up in a taxi to West 70th Street. Outside the wind was blowing.

'Columbia have high hopes for you,' he said.

I'd met John Hammond at Columbia the previous week.

'Howdya get to town?' he asked.

'Jumped a freight train.'

It was pure hokum. But who wants truth, when you can buy the dream? "

Ossian