The Record Industry's Decline

Stupidity, greediness, Bullying, artists exploitation, is what's really killing the music industry.

The Record Industry's Decline


SPOILER ALERT: and upon opening the sphere....

the Toclafane's secret was revealed...

the true toclafane was revealed!

lol dr who

Mwhaaa haaa haaaa!!!

Is social mobility a realistic prospect?

A couple of weeks or so ago - I found myself thinking how much I'd like to live abroad for a bit. I wonder if things like this:

Britain has "the lowest social mobility of any country you can measure”.

have had an unconscious bearing on that thought.

Ponderings on the Toclafane

With only three days to go now until the Doctor Who finale I've been driving myself near crazy with trying to second guess what the Toclafane could possibly be.

So far all we know as definite facts are:

The Toclafane is a Gallifreyian name for a fictional fairy tale creature much like the 'bogey man'.

They're very pally with the Master. Very happy to do his bidding and follow his slightest whims.

He calls them his children and as some of them talk with child-like voices. (One of the voices is by the very same actress who played the Gelth way back in series one – now is that a clue too, or just lazy casting?)

They're psychopathic, have absolutely no moral compass whatsoever. (The Gelth were about killing people so they could inhabit their bodies).

There's an awful lot of them.

That they're desperate to escape the darkness and the cold and having to run, and run, and run... might be a clue. (The Gelth wanted to escape their own impending devastation. Clue or recycled plot device? Are the Toclafane talking about the end of the Universe?)

To know what they are would break the poor Doctor's hearts. Obviously a very big clue.

From the preview:

Martha and two other people have captured one of the Toclafane and are taking a look inside. (This makes me presume that whatever they see in there has to be easily recognisable. A tiny human perhaps, or a brain, or a Dalek, or a chocolate orange...)

That there's an awful lot of -spaceships or rocket missiles or something out in the middle of somewhere and it looks like the Toclafane are guarding them. The write up for this episode talks about the Master setting up a Time Lord Empire. So basically he's building himself an invasion fleet. Oooooh.

[[[He's nothing but ambitious that Master. His 'to do' list must read: 1. Defeat Doctor. (Check.) 2. Take over Britain. (Check.) 3. Take over Planet Earth. (Check) 4. Build invasion fleet. 5. Take over solar system. 6. Take over galaxy. 7. Take a little nap. 8. Take over universe.
He was absurdly high-achieving in his last 18 months. But then he did have the Tardis – maybe he did a bit of naughty criss-crossing of his own timeline to get more things done.]]]

Other things that may or may not be relevant:

During the Time War the Master met the Dalek emperor and said he was so scared he ran away and disguised himself as a human. (Although it's important to bear in mind – he is a liar and a sneak.) But like the Doctor in 'Human Nature' -throughout his human life he must have had subconscious memories of his former lives and was working away long term at something. I very much doubt it was to save the human race – maybe the main reason he couldn't get the spaceship working because deep down he didn't really want the thing to work. He was unknowingly self-sabotaging. After he regained his full memories and pulling out the little bit of circuitry from the computer and sneeringly proclaiming 'Utopia' before legging it to the Tardis may well have something to do with something. Otherwise that was way too big a loose thread to leave dangling...

What was Utopia about exactly? Merely a long distance signal that lies beyond reality calling out to humanity saying 'hey there, come here'. Sounds more likely to be a trap. Could the present day Master have been sending out a signal into the far flung future to lure the last of humanity into a trap. Sounds like a Paradox machine would come in handy there. Although that begs how the question of how the last of humankind got put into those floaty little spheres?

So. Speculation time:

We know that Cybermen are all about taking out brains and putting them into robot bodies. Maybe they're ultra-futuristic cybermen? Except cybermen were never that hot on emotions. And cybermen were so last year. Or maybe the Gelth managed to take over their brains after the fact? Nah. That's too far fetched. Why would they follow the Master? Cybermen or the Gelth. Gratitude for being rescued from the darkness? Seems unlikely. Also the Gelth wouldn't break the Doctor's hearts particularly.

What would break the Doctor's hearts?

Well that really only leaves us with Time Lords or Humans -or even a mix of ...both

That the Toclafane could be all that remains of the Time Lords -that would definitely be heartbreaking.

And say, talking as in literally - the remains – possibly of those that fell in battle/or got captured by the Daleks in the Time War and the Dalek Emperor did to them what he told the 9th Doctor he did to the humans in 'The Parting of the Ways' -dicing and slicing and pulping them to put them into shiny new housings to act as slave soldiers? That would certainly put the shits up the Master and make him want to run away just to escape a similar fate. It would also suit his purposes in the wake of the Dalek's total defeat to make use of this new slave race of Dalek-ised Time Lords to create his new Empire. That would be pretty upsetting to the Doctor. But then they aren't very Dalek like. Why would the Dalek emperor want childlike slaves – when loyal Dalek-like slaves would be of more use to him.

Ahh, Empire. Now that reminds me. The Empire state building. Now didn't the Doctor leave all that Dalek genetics lab equipment hanging around at the end of that episode? Along with big chunks of Dalektainium metal at the very top there. Not to mention an awful lot of bodies – human-pig hybrids, Dalek-human-time lord hybrids lying around (The Doctor never cleans up after himself – have you noticed that? He defeats the baddy and just leaps into the Tardis and he's off. That's what got him into trouble in the first series. After 'the Long Game' if only he'd hung around long enough to help explain things – all those hundred years of chaos that led to Satellite 5 becoming the Game Station need never have happened. All those loose ends Doctor, you've gotta learn to finish a job properly.)

I digress anyway -if the Master could've gone back to the Thirties he could have had a lot of fun with all what was left over, but we know the Tardis was crippled so he couldn't go back to that time. But then maybe he didn't even need to go back at all – maybe he met up with Dalek Caan, who after his quick emergency temporal shift and who had meanwhile had a change of mind over the whole 'racial purity of the Dalek race' thing, and come around to the thought that maybe Dalek-human-time lord hybrids were a good enough idea after all. But say, even better remade in a nice compact squishy Dalek form and especially placed as the chewy centre in a new improved crisp outer shell? Deliberately genetically engineered to be kept at a retarded level of development in order to make them easier to manipulate? Who better to team up with to achieve that aim than a evil timelord rather than the annoying goody-two shoes one? Such creatures would be certainly be inclined to follow a timelord as their master.

Although that doesn't explain why these particular Toclafane should be afraid of the dark and the cold... and what the drift thing was that the Master had to generate to bring them through?

Argh. See what i mean about driving myself crazy...

Oh well, only two and a half days to go now....


Now we've reached the end of this year's season of Doctor Who - I'm wondering what the next Easter Egg might be, and whether we've seen it or heard it mentioned already - without knowing it?

Like they had the crafty 'Vote Saxon' poster in the next to last episode of Torchwood, and the Newspaper headline in 'Love and monsters'.

What I did notice was the Magpie Electricals logo on the back of Martha's tee vee set. I love little details like that.


A German's view on the Flickr censorship issue

and in a classic text book mistake in PR - there's still no word from anyone in Flickr or Yahoo as to what's really going on. Of curse the longer they keep schtumb - the more time they give rumour and paranoia to grow and grow and grow ... and further damage the flickr/Yahoo! brand. All that hubris... and the more it looks like Flickr sold out to exactly the wrong corporation and should never have moved out of Canada.

A German's view on the Flickr censorship issue.

Yahoo rebellion / Shareholders protest CEO pay, question direction of company

I don't like Yahoo! So I rather like hearing bad news about them.

One day I'll get around to writing that little piece on all the reasons why I don't like them that's been floating around my head for years now.

Yahoo rebellion / Shareholders protest CEO pay, question direction of company

and suddenly....

all the 'flickr censor' pictures fall off the 7 days interesting page. How curious. I mean Flickr wouldn't cens... not Flickr...


oh my - no - not flickr fixing things - because people were being deprived of their fix of flower macros, sunsets and kittens... not flickr. Not at all like some third world dictatorship quelling protests against their regime then.

Commentary in Salon.

"Mmmmmm - this hole we're in, maybe we can get out of it if we dig even deeper..."

48 hours after letting the sh*t storm blow and blow

Flickreenies finally get a sort of offical-ish response from staff member Heather.

The central problem is that Germany has much more stringent age verification laws than its neighboring countries and specifies much harsher penalties, including jail time, for those with direct responsibility (in our case, it would be our colleagues in the German offices and we're not willing to make a call that has that kind of consequence for them).

I think I read somewhere that a while back Yahoo got into lots of trouble over auction sites selling Nazi memorabilia.

link one.

link two.

link three.

So that might have a bearing on things. Hiving off Germany Flickr to looks to have serious -albeit stupid consequences. I knew Yahoo buying Flickr would be trouble.

I wouldn't have predicted this though. I'd feel sorry for the flickr staff if they hadn't brought it upon themselves - they should have stayed in Canada where they were safe.

Anyway it's entertaining seeing people's inventiveness in response to this in the last 7 days explore interestingness page.

infrared head

infrared head

updates on stuffs:

Stephen Bayley: You can't fool the British people with a logo and an instant brand.

safari for windows has glitch that could let attackers take complete control of the pc.
Oh dear. That's not very good is it mr. Jobs.

No doubt the fanboys will be rushing to it's defense. Except.. er, what would they be doing using Safari on a peecee anyway?

Three injured in Germany as squirrel goes nuts.

Yahoo/Flickr line up

Yahoo! opposes anti-censorship policy, while Flickr is blocked in China.

Flickr: not love, but censorship - German users highly annoyed.

Flickr = censorship, part II.

flickr are making asses of themselves again

After proclaiming how clever they were rolling out multi-lingual flickr there came a little twist in the tail...

"If your Yahoo! ID is based in Singapore, Germany, Hong Kong or Korea you will only be able to view safe content based on your local Terms of Service so won’t be able to turn SafeSearch off. In other words that means, that german users can not access photos on flickr that are not flagged "safe" ... only flowers and landscapes for germans ..."

you've all been *very* naughty

The next sting is that from now on if you want to pay for Flickr pro - you'll have to sign up with yahoo! Wallet. No more paypal payments accepted - so if you haven't got a credit card.... forget it.

I don't like Yahoo - they creep me out.

the railways in England...

...not quite ready for the internet age just yet.

Just been trying to book some train tickets for tomorrow. Groan. It's an exercise in frustration and heartbreak. First off - all the sites are difficult to navigate. Then they insist on you creating a user account (untick all the 'would you like us to spam you to death' boxes). Choose timetable - no, I do NOT want to travel all the way into London and out again thank you very much. That's taking two steps back to start going forward. Lame-ass. (The UK has this weird rail system that assumes anyone only ever wants to travel *into* London. Probably why that City is so stupidly over-crowded is that once people have travelled there they can't ever find a way of getting out again.) Choose ticket. Oh. Why can't I just have a cheap return - what are all these other options that are so phonemonally expensive that you'll need to take out a second mortgage to be able to afford? Why is it cheaper to buy a whole series of single tickets to get somewhere -even when you end up sitting on the exact same train - than it is to buy a bog standard return? This is insane. Thank you privatised railway system - you've made all our lives so much better and less complicated. Right buy ticket... oh hang on. I can only designate a set Station to pick my tickets up from ... but my station isn't on the list. There isn't even a station near me on the list I can use? Why can't I just book, pay for and pick up my tickets at my local station? No reason. Just can't. Only other option. Same day delivery. Why does it cost £10? That's extortionate! I'm led to believe Tesco only charge you a fiver to deliver a whole mass of grocies - how heavy is a few cards? Oh wait... type in my Postcode. Turns out they don't deliver in my postal area anyway. That was a good hour of my life totally wasted. Why wasn't it somewhere on the front page that I might be totally unable to buy tickets online?




(I'm currently giving Zooomer a little test run. Because ah, Flickr seems to be losing it's appeal for me at the moment. Well, I've recently posted some what I think are some really nice photos and so far hardly anyone has bothered to look at them. It's like people in Flickr land are only interested if I do something that's 'whacky' or toy related or funny in someway. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But... Um. Dunno. It's starting to feel limiting. I'm thinking if maybe I separate out the stuff onto other sites... Oh and there's the feeling I've got that somehow flickr isn't as entertaining and fun and shiny and friendly like it once was.)

Pentagon Confirms It Sought To Build A 'Gay Bomb'

Yeah, right. Look, As a species we need to take a serious look at these people who run the world. Because I think quite a few of them definitely need urgent psychiatric/psychological help... - Pentagon Confirms It Sought To Build A 'Gay Bomb'

Fujitsu UMPC

Mmmmm sexy looking --but way, way too expensive. But one day they'll be giving things like this out for freeeee...

You mark my words..

Fujitsu UMPC

A confession

I occasionally watch the kid's show 'My Parents are Aliens' because I really like their house. In this Beige Decade it's one of the few places left where you can see bright colours. Colours other than girly pink that is. (I hate girly pink and it's absolutely everywhere. It makes me quite nauseous seeing so much of it.)

Wish there were some links to photos of their house. To me it's the real star of the show. (The kids are obnoxious and annoying )I love how they do things like have brightly plastic 'flip-flop' sandals and pan scourers stuck to the walls for decoration.


OK. So now Macs have moved over to an Intel architecture... and through bootcamp and parallels can run Windows XP/Vista... and through iPods which sell more to Windows owners than they do to Mac owners - meaning iTunes is on more PCs than Macs ... now they're trying for the browser market. Um. Dare I mention that if it weren't for Steve Job's extreme control freakery PeeCees could easily run OS X too (OSx86) -after all OSX is only a more prettified front end for a UNIX variant.

So basically a computer is just a computer -with the only real choice being - which bloated already over-paid greedy capitalistic money-grubbing billionaire do you want to give your hard earned money to.

BBC NEWS | Technology | Apple announces Windows browser: "13 Apr 07 | Technology"

Nimbys decry cheap airlines

Soaring future for cheap flights?

You know - suddenly I'm detecting a particular theme rippling through the zeitgeist. It's the middle classes turning nastier and more selfish and more begrudging as time goes on. They're seeing more and more what was their preserve going to the lower classes and they can't abide it. Now they've got a new stick to beat everyone one they don't happen to like much - this pseudo concern for the environment. That it's noticeable that only a small few of them had before. (Or else we wouldn't be in this mess now would we?) So it's A-OK for rich corporate executives to swan to and fro across the world in half-full business class cabins (and run up huge expenses that eventually mean end customers have to pay more than necessary for whatever goods and services the execs represent) but it's not OK for completely full planes of proles to go on foreign holidays. Let the proles have their hols and the execs can do video conferencing instead, and the middle middle classes can go to Cleethorpes and Blackpool etc. for their hols. Then everybody is happy.

[There was a documentary on rubbish collection and recycling on Channel Four a few weeks ago. Burnt into my memory is that at one point where the film makers visited a recycling centre - and showed a whole line of 'Chelsea Tractors' queued up to dump off their recycling... can you say 'contradiction'.]

Taming Corporations Gone Wild

It's not any different in the UK. - Taming Corporations Gone Wild

Wireless energy

I remember reading in a biography of Nikola Tesla's life - that he was experimenting with broadcast wireless electricity. It's taken them a good few decades to even begin to catch up... what's that about?

BBC NEWS | Technology | Wireless energy promise powers up

Get this filth off our screens

The latest BB racism storm in a Tea cup... 'scandal' spiked | Get this filth off our screens.

Congressman Who Took Money From RIAA/MPAA Says Congress Should Cut Funding To Colleges

Worst Congressman Who Took Money From RIAA/MPAA Says Congress Should Cut Funding To Colleges.

Is it just me who thinks the RIAA are just a bunch of legalized scamming Mafia-style crooks?

It's just weird how this organisation ever got so big and ended up being so powerful. I'd love to know how much of (if any) these huge amounts of money they sue people for ever end up in the hands any recording artists... or does the vast bulk of it just end up in their bank accounts and in their lawyer friends pockets- and the pockets of dodgy politicians.

Please look away ... it's the 2012 logo

Oh dear. The whole fiasco lurches from one crisis to the next. Wolff Ollins ought to quickly give the money back as a amage limitation exercise.

Please look away ... it's the 2012 logo | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited Sport

London2012 Logo

andrew_robinson London2012Logo
Originally uploaded by W10
a better logo by Andrew Robinson

The innocence of the BBC

oh rly?


Graves to be re-used for burials.

Fortunately my family ha always preferred the 'being burnt' option.

Devon | Town poised for its own currency

Transition Town Totnes - Can You Imagine Totnes Beyond Oil?

today I've have been watching

Adam Curtis' The Century of the Self.
Downloaded from both the and google video.

I'd never heard about Edward Bernays before today. What an eye opener.

link one (NPRS). two. three. four.

Car adverts on TV

Um. Have you noticed how weird and surreal they've been getting over the years? Once upon a time all car adverts were pretty much the same – a car speeding down an totally empty road in the middle of nowhere – with nothing else but spectacular scenery. The irony being that for most people driving out in anywhere but a crowded city street or a long tedious highway is a rarity.

It took about 10 to 15 years for everyone to finally get bored of that. But now – just when it's hard to tell one silver coloured car from another... the adverts for them have got increasingly glitzy and ever stranger...

From a boring car driving along rather appealing giant clockwork toys, jelly desserts, washing machines, to a car driving along a series of mountains that all have moving eyes. To an elaborate animated light show with Beethoven played in the background to, strange warping glossy metal shapes that morph into a boring (usually silver) car, or a car which morphs into a break dancing transformer robot, or a boring SUV Chelsea tractor that morphs into a giant spider, alligator, etc. Now if they only actually did that – rather than it all being a torturous visual metaphor...

Truly spectacular to look at – all really good eye candy – but the product. A sorry ass car – something that people will spend a ridiculously large proportion of their lives sitting in traffic jams in. The human race is truly doomed.