Toblog

1. v. The act of writing a weblog or 2. n. Toby’s weblog.

Passing the buck

David Miliband, Yesterday in Parliament:

I point out to Conservative Members that every previous amending treaty, Labour or Tory, has been presented to and passed by Parliament. That is our job and we should get on with it.

Interesting this. Is David implying that the job of Parliament is to pass every amendment to the European Treaty? Now, I may be missing the point here, but isn’t the job of parliament to debate and then decide to pass the amendments or not? Isn’t this democracy?

Published on 2007/10/10 at 11:36 by Toby, tags , , ,

For those of you that have missed out

…on recent events on the Internet, Chicken Yoghurt has an excellent jumping off point.

The interesting thing, of course, is that due to Schillings’ actions there are now significantly more people who know about Craig’s book Murder in Samarkand (paperback here) and who will have read his allegations against Usmanov.

Whoops… I don’t think that Schillings will be putting this in their online case history.

I do wonder why fasthosts apparently pulled the whole server account. Did they know it would get this reaction?

[11:29] Ouch. It’s just hit Boing Boing.

[2007-09-26] Double ouch. It’s hit Slashdot now. Yes, Schillings have excelled themselves this time…

Plus c'est la meme chose...

Charles Babbage

…plus ça change.

A quote found whilst reading the excellent Language Log. Charles Babbage, referring to his conversations with MPs:

On two occasions I have been asked, ‘Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?’ I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.

Our current government clearly still thinks that technology has all the answers no matter the quality of information introduced to it. It is our duty as technologists to inform and educate those that we pay to rule us. Whether they listen or not is another matter.

[09:18] Updated to fix some grammar issues.

Published on 2007/04/20 at 06:40 by Toby, tags , ,

Reid's Reality

So, John Reid has proposed that we force paedophiles to register their e-mail addresses and chatroom names on the sex offenders register. I know, I said I wouldn’t comment on the obvious idiocy of this but it is irresistible.

It isn’t just me that has commented on how unenforcible this idea is. It is typical of this managemental government that they come up with what probably sounds like a good idea to someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Most people, though, when the reality is explained to them will back down. Not so these guys. These guys have such courage and belief of their convictions and understanding that they force through these ideas into law where they will sit gathering dust as the paedophiles use more technology, move around chat rooms, social networking sites, free mail providers and whatever the future of communications holds for us.

I think that it is interesting that these musings of Reid have come at a time when there are rumours of Downing Street using two email systems. Perhaps they can point out to John-boy how easy it is to set up other online identities.

This government came into power before the Internet really hit the mainstream. They have had plenty of time to get used to it and there are some notable exceptions but by and large they have continued to be techno-averse. They have shown on repeated occasions that they can’t manage IT projects, they can’t manage NHS projects and they can’t manage their own departments. These guys need to go and go soon before they manage us into an even greater mess.

All that said the Evil Bit sounds like a great idea, don’t you think?

Published on 2007/02/06 at 18:38 by Toby, tags , , , ,

Lets have a mass debate

Notwithstanding the appalling and overused pun in the title, this is a serious post. Yesterday I heard someone (I can’t remember who – being on earlies absolutely kills my ability to see through rage when listening to the radio) use the following phrase in reference to the gay adoption media storm that we currently have:

“No matter how you feel on the matter, it is good that this is giving us a chance to have a proper debate”

No. Shut up. This invariably is said by the party who is losing an argument and is playing for time. The last thing that they want is to have a proper debate as then they would be exposed as the idiotic, hypocritical, uninformed and, frankly, worthless people that they are.

A case in point: How many times have members of our what I hesitatingly refer to as government have used this phrase in the last calendar year?

As for the gay adoption row? Show me valid data that it is a bad thing, and not just:

  • some stuff that is based on rumour that you heard at some point.
  • and some study that was performed in the 1970s that, by the way you described it, sounds incredibly dodgy1.
  • telling me that being gay is forbidden by some book written relatively soon after events of 2000 years ago and basing every one of your arguments other than the above made up and outdated studies on that.

…and I might listen. Until then please go away.

1 If someone knows about this study could they let me know – I would be interested to find out about it.

[17:59] edited for overranting – the book in question wasn’t written 2000 years ago.

Published on 2007/01/25 at 14:44 by Toby, tags , ,

The Database State Looms Large in Scotland

Since 2001 in England the police were given the power to keep the DNA of arrestees even if they are innocent. This is clearly an insane inversion of many principles of justice that England once used to be proud. My friends know well that this is the sort of issue that turns me into a Real Life Devil’s Kitchen Swearing Ranter. I have, however, decided that this blog is going to be relatively calm and swear word free so you are going to have to imagine me in a state of vein throbbing apoplexy right now.

Until now this idiocy has not encroached into Scotland. Over Christmas the nanny state-ers have well and truly got their teeth into the news agenda. There has also been a call to give children in schools ID cards to prevent them from being forced to hand over their lunch cards. For me the fact that the current system fails in this way is a pretty big implication that it is not well thought out from the ground up. Rather than chucking more money and invasive technology at it perhaps now would be a good time to look at different ways of managing feeding children in school.

Still, I suppose it is good to know that some of the kids actually want to eat school food…

Update 2007-01-05: Bruce Schneier has commented on this too.

Published on 2006/12/27 at 20:58 by Toby, tags , , ,

TCSOTD 2006-12-04

And while London Burns
… ‘a compelling collision of thriller, opera and guided walk’

A petition ‘To publicly acknowledge that there is a massive discipline problem in many State Schools and to give teachers and Headteachers the necessary powers to enforce discipline and to deal effectively with problem pupils and their parents.’

22 ways to overclock your brain

The making of a Father Christmas

John Bolton quits UN post

The results of Microsoft Asia’s RSS Usage Survey

Contributors to today’s TCSOTD: Jess

Published on 2006/12/04 at 00:01 by Toby, tags , , , , , , , ,

TCSOTD 2006-11-28

Alan Freeman dies

Charlie Stross on Litvinenko poisoning
… ‘The point is, someone with access to fresh Polonium 210 (read: less than a year old, hot from the reactor) decided to use it to bump off an enemy. And the terrorism alert status hasn’t risen a notch? Pull the other one.’

Abu Hamza Loses Appeal

Labour facing cash flow problems

The Big Opt Out

EU nations ‘knew about CIA jails’

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