Sunday, 23 June 2019

Ransomware again in Florida? Seems so...


According to BBC News a Florida town has decided to pay some half a million quid to hackers who had made their systems unusable. If this is true and not ‘fake’ news purportedly put on the web by some friendly Russian or Chinese web manipulators, it shows an incredible lack of cyber management. One could easily say – Hey what happened to the back-ups then? Not backups that are attached to your mainframe but kept separate? Even I do that. I backup all the time but use a single USB drive that is kept somewhere else, away from the main system. On top of that I will have access to four separate backup dates at all times. Once a month I keep the latest on yet another drive. Yes I know I am paranoid but it works. To heck with ransomware, if it comes, hello just re-install the OS and use one of the backups for all your precious personal data! I know it works because I have had to use it a few times due to my own mistakes. So, sorry Florida town if you did not bother to use the simplest of work safety practices you deserve to be sacked. It is frightening to think how data amassed by such a council can fall into the hands of criminal groups. On top of that to pay money to such groups is an affront to public responsibility. I will now drown my sorrows and have another tot of rum. Cheers.

Being thrown out is not so bad...


It sure is funny how people react to men ushering out ladies from a meeting to which I suppose they were not invited. Yes, this is about reports of an ecology protester infiltrating a meeting at which the Chancellor of the Exchequer was the speaker. It is funny to read the lady now complains about being manhandled, widely now shown on the media. TV, newspapers.. Yeah, sure she would be, dragging this out (sorry about the pun here!) for maximum effect to whatever her cause is. Indeed, I do believe we should be more assertive about the need for environmental issues to be highlighted. After all it concerns every living being, plants, or animals on this planet! But she was not invited and therefore ejected. Yep, with some force. She must have expected that, surely. Let’s be fair, if you march in anywhere to which you are not invited or even welcome, you can expect to be asked to leave in no uncertain terms. You cannot really complain. So, why would the man apologise, the lady appeared to resist quite busily! Obviously being thwarted in her attempt to throw something at the Chancellor? For all we know she could have carried a weapon of some sort, although where in that skimpy dress I don’t know. So, well done the guy for throwing her out, he should be awarded the Military Cross for Valour, but that wont happen because we have become politically correct! That says some can do whatever they want to do in the name of ‘humanity’ and that we, the ‘great unwashed’ shut it. It is a strange world.

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

War on drugs... about time?


Well, well, well, the reports in the media now tell us that many politicians have taken drugs in their youth. No, really? It seems endemic with the ruling classes and not to forget the rich upper middle classes who sent their children to those private schools where drugs are so common that they are now are thinking to build hospitals close by so that collapsed noses can be repaired quickly and without fuss. I have always believed from well into my youth in the Dutch capital that drugs were NOT OK! Frankly it shows very clearly the degenerative effect. Taking drugs in your youth will make you a politician in later life. It is becoming clear, isn’t it, that there is a rule for us clodhoppers and a different rule for the ‘hoi-polloi’. I am sorry but drug-taking to me is an affront to society and the world. It may have escaped your notice but drugs in all forms and yes that includes tobacco, are detrimental to health. Alcohol is slightly different, in large quantities it acts as a drug and also is pretty detrimental to health, but in small amounts it can be beneficial to overall health. The health effects of an occasional glass of wine or a tot of whisky before going to bed are well known.
It is remarkable how many people ‘try’ drugs, it does not mean they will be ‘druggies’, just try it for the fun and ‘everyone does it’ pressure. However, I am not going to declare war on drugs, I do believe however that everyone of us humans should have enough intelligence to stay away. We simply need to clean up human behaviour and certainly those who want to be an example, to lead us, need to be drug-free. It is a lot to ask, I know but we must start somewhere.
In fact, if we want to have a proper and well-governed society by 2050 we need to seriously take to task quite a few problems. Plastic, refuse, air pollution, water fouling, land degradation (deforestation), drug use just to name a few. This is what I want to hear from our politicians, it is time to look at our world as one unit. A Russian Eskimo or a Chinese is as human as I am. Those that have a faith should remember the demands it poses. Any that believe in death as a way to get power is not fulfilling its creed. Human life on this planet has not been particularly peaceful. In fact we have been and are guilty of misunderstanding what life actually means. The interactions, the preciousness of life in a mostly empty universe. It is time to re-think our raison d'ĂȘtre!

Ed: Empty universe? Listening to Brian Cox on the BBC it is teeming! And I suppose we mean intelligent life. Well, what is intelligence, not here on Earth, me thinks. No, the universe is a lot of 'space' with here and there some fungus on a round rock. Some fungi have developed a taste for weapons because it doesn't like its neighbours. Oi, do I think we are a fungus? You decide!

Ed2: Think about it, do not start by just coalescing space to a little ball  within our solar system in it and all around a few interesting stars. Space is EMPTY! The nearest star is 4 light years away. That means its light takes 4 years to get to us as a speed of some 300,000 kms per second. So work it out. The nearest galaxy is Andromeda and  2.5 million light years away and it is part of our local group of galaxies. Sorry Brian - space is empty as far as humans are concerned! With obviously here and there a fluffy few bits of a light fog. This makes it all the more important to view our life here on Earth as precious. All life. Forget interstellar travel, it is not possible. We might however visit a few of the solar planets, that means the Moon and Mars and possibly Titan, the rest are pretty inaccessible. It is nice to dream and unless humans will develop into something now unknown, like a thought transference method of travelling, I would say - Stop dreaming.

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Plastic? What is that....


The rumblings about our waste plastic are getting louder! A BBC programme with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall – Monday 10/6/2019 named War on Plastic was an absolute eye-opener as to what is really happening with our waste plastic. It is NOT recycled at all. It is just baled and shipped over to Asia, in this case Malaysia. A plastic bag that I use every week, every day to collect our household’s plastic milk bottles, glass and all other plastic waste was shown. Locally it is Rhondda Cynon Taf council, supplying plastic bags for our plastic waste to be collected because WE RECYCLE IT it says. No it shows they do not, they sell it on to a company or companies that ship it far away. I have often thought – what do they do with all these empty containers, left empty after Chinese goods, mostly all made of plastic, have been unloaded here to feed our insatiable appetite for trash? Ah, I begin to understand – some entrepreneur found a way – ship these bales of plastic waste in empty containers back to China or now Malaysia.
There is a big moral question here – are our hallowed politicians and political bodies like Rhondda Cynon Taf pulling the wool over our eyes? It seems so. And it is not just RCT but more bags were shown – virtually all supermarkets, other councils and more. So, to me and my jaundiced eye, councils resell or just dump it to a collection company who takes it away. Out of sight. Out of mind. There is me thinking my council tax goes partly to pay for the recycling effort. All they do is just sort it, keep what they want, glass probably and metals and plastic is baled and whisked away to poison people far away. Hypocritical? You judge. Frankly we are all to blame for allowing supermarkets and the like to pack everything in plastic. We certainly need very fast action, by everybody, consumers and authorities alike.
Otherwise we are just poisoning everything on this globe! The epitaph on the collective gravestone will simply say – Thanks a lot, humans. Grand job.

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Ann Widdecombe for PM? Yeah good call...

It was reported (on national BBC’s Teletext) that Ann Widdecombe had some of her theatre appearances cancelled as a result of her ‘homophobic’ comments. In this case her opinion on homosexuality meaning that in the far distant future a medicine could be found, made, discovered that would ‘heal’ homosexuality. Rather an interesting viewpoint and ripe for a very long TV discussion, me thinks. There are however a few things to consider here, firstly – what about freedom of speech? Are we now going to pander to the opinions held by smallish pressure groups? Or the liberal soft middle-class elite? I think perhaps it is time to define ‘freedom’. Secondly we need to have a good look at the whole PC issue. The trouble with political correctness is that instead it working for the good of all, it only works for a very few. Ann, we all know her cherished religious views, is a most outspoken person I know with some very interesting viewpoints that command some  respect. A lot of people including myself have basic views on human behaviour. It should not be forgotten that we are animals as well, meaning mammalian, having the same basic instincts as all other animals, mammalian, avian or reptilian.
The problem comes with the social veneer we have developed, although it fails often. Friends, let’s get real, Ann just opened her mouth, it’s her opinion, so what? Anyone died as a result? Has Putin and Trump resigned because of it? Has Brexit finally been completed? No? The Eiffel Tower collapsed? So, keep our heads together and start looking at more pressing matters! The Lord knows we have so many in the UK still to solve.

Monday, 3 June 2019

A bit of a reality check? Perhaps....


Just wondering at the moment whether we actually have sane politicians in this country? I mean the continual snide remarks levelled at the American president. OK, you might not like the man but he is a serving Head of State and not just any old state at that! He is not my favourite person either but if I had to talk to him or about him I would remember that to negotiate a successful outcome to a problem or situation, I might have to forego one or more cherished opinions. However, when I hear the wonderful UK politicians like Bercow and Khan performing, what it is they try to achieve? It all smacks of a total misjudgement of political nous. Perhaps it would be better if Bercow was made to resign forthwith as I cannot see how and why a serving Head of State is not allowed to speak in that hallowed rat-infested building. Moreover Mr Khan should take the President’s words to heart, London has a big violent crime problem and unfortunately for him, he is in charge. So get on with it Khan and do what people voted for you to do.

Sunday, 2 June 2019

On our merry way we go....


Whoa, I was hoping to have a nice easy Friday at the end of this month of May. But then I bought the Daily Express (a UK tabloid newspaper) and read Frederick Forsyth’s article. To say the FF is a Brexiteer is probably an understatement but nevertheless it made interesting reading because he was right. You might be a Remainer but the facts are correct, Theresa May has been a bumbling premier having made some atrocious judgements and mistakes. For myself I am asking – where do we get these people from? Eton? What are they teaching at Eton? At Oxford University? Even so, her ‘negotiations’ with Brussels must go down in history as an example of how NOT to negotiate. They obviously do not teach that at Oxford. Actually I just wonder why she bothered at all. The problem now is how to catch up with all the things in the UK that need sorting out but have been put on the shelf because madame was too busy trying to come up with more fudges to her ‘deal’. Who were her advisers? As FF pointed out – we have cohorts of cowards running the government, who run away at the earliest opportunity when things go astray. FF said that we need a complete change of politics, something I have said before as well. Reform the Commons, there are too many yes men and women, abolish the Lords and instate a voted-for second Chamber. Install proportional representation immediately. Reform the tax system so that corporations pay a fair amount. Reform the judicial system. Life to mean life, perhaps even re-install the death penalty. It might be prudent to investigate whether a national service model would or could be good for the nation. All 18 to 20 year old's to serve, male and female. I am not just talking about military service although that could be one way in addition to other tasks. Environmental, and medical are issues needing help. This to be paid work of course, and persons with high educational standing, students in the sciences could be free from such service. Well, just a few thoughts, I wonder how many will come to fruition in the future? We certainly do need change!