Apparently there's going to be a massive shake up in the incapacity benefits system soon.

But I have one question:
just where the hell are all these millions of jobs going to magically appear from?

Because if there is so much easily available work around then why isn’t there zero% unemployment now? With masses of vacancies still begging to be filled? And if there are so many people in work -presumably all paying taxes and their NI contributions - how is there this ‘pensions crisis’ they keep banging on about? The plain fact of the matter is - there isn't.

In case you don't know any recent history - one of our most beloved *choke* *cough* *spit* leaders - Mrs Thatcher in the mid 1980s had the fantastic idea of closing down hundreds of coal mines - and in doing so devastated whole towns of mining communities leaving absolutely nothing in their place. Whole generations where simply left to rot -struggling by on the dole. For years and years the Tory Government sneakily allowed more and more people to go onto Incapacity Benefit - because they then slipped off the official Unemployment figures (which they were always fiddling with anyway - always downwards, downwards, downwards.)

Not only that -but in all these years the larger corporations have been increasingly outsourcing much of their workforce offshore to places like India and China -you know, the whole globalisation thing. For a long time I’ve thought the only thing the British did to make any money is to go around selling each other their houses and run up huge credit card bills, or else work in call centres selling loans and mortgages to each other. Especially since we don’t seem to actually make or produce anything to sell to the rest of the world. So I ask again - where are all these millions of new jobs that these older men and women who’ve been out of work for a long time going to come from? If the Government was making a case that the hours of the working week were going to be reduced by law (instead of being flaunted - isn‘t it the case we work the longest hours in Europe?) - then maybe there might be more work to go around? (I'll wager most business leaders/employers will insist that this couldn't possibly work. Not that any of them have ever bothered to try it or anything.)

I can’t help thinking this is another blatant case of our Government reacting to ‘public opinion’ (which really in essence amounts to what the news media decides to conjure up) without ever actually thinking things through properly. Another PR exercise that’s being made into what will prove to be an unworkable policy. There’s been an awful lot of those recently.
Back in mid-December I bought myself a ickle mpg player - it was only £40 and I couldn't resist. It's great. It acts just like a thumb drive you don't need a dumb media player monster thing to load it up with anything, although I think you can use Windows media player to load stuff onto it but I can't see the point. It runs on a normal AAA battery, it also records.

I gots me a dinky ickle wma/mpg-player - that makes me modern that does

and at the moment I am so glad I didn't bother looking at the iPod shuffle. Which I've never liked the look of. It's lucky Apple have managed to keep this latest debacle out of the press -after all the teething problems tthey had with the easily scratchable and breakable nano.
Some stuff on those proposed ID cards in the UK.

Good on the Lords
for wanting to know what the real proper costing of the card and it's database are likely to be, and for wanting to keep it voluntary. But it's only a small start on a whole range of questions that need to be asked about the scheme. Questions the Government keeps dodging every inch of the way. For instance the Government still hasn't said just how it's supposed to help stop terrorists in their tracks or prevent identity theft or even make the lives of UK citizens more secure and the running of their day to day lives in any way easier. I'm guessing that Tony Blair and his supporters in this scheme have somehow confused technology with out and out voodoo magic.

A Titanic project waiting for its iceberg.

IT industry prepares for the worst over ID cards

(In all this time I haven't read a single article anywhere by anyone who works in IT who thinks that ID cards are either a good idea or that they'll work. Which begs the question -just who is our Government talking to that makes them think the whole scheme is such a good idea? My paranoid fantasy is that President Bush has told Blair to bring in ID cards in the UK to see how it will pan out before the US government inflicts them upon it's own citizens.)
Here's an interesting link from Plasticbag (who disagrees with the article - but since Tom Coates is such a slavish mac-addict this is to be expected) on the iPod's less than brilliant UI design.
Wha..? iPod lessons?

I was led to believe that the biggest selling point of the wretched things was that they were easy to use by even the most brain-dead fashion victim.

Selfridges charging £65 for iPod lessons. They've obviously cottoned on to how easily a mac or iPod user can be parted from their money.
There's certainly some weird stuff on flickr.
I'm wondering what this is all about: Kulhanek_K's photos.