Friday, 31 January 2020

Where's the earthquake then?


What a disappointment! So, yesterday 31 January 2020 I was waiting for the inevitable ‘aardbeving’ or in English ‘earthquake’ or even in Welsh ‘daeargryn’. I am still waiting. No flashes in the sky, in fact at 23.00 hrs it was pretty quiet in town. Nothing stirred. What am I talking about? I am talking about the UK having left the EU (European Union). Oh yes, we are cast adrift, the island that comprises three distinct groupings, England, Wales and Scotland will now float away at the mercy of the wild waves of the Atlantic Ocean. We are the new Atlantis. But will we sink under the ‘woelige baren’? The wild waves? No Siree, we will not! In fact, I believe this is the very beginning of the collapse of the idea to make a superstate like the US of A! It will not be long before other countries begin to look at how the situation now developing will ’pan’ out. France is on tenterhooks, it has plenty on social unrest, high unemployment, high prices for household commodities. It is a wonderful country France is, except for the French as they say. I am an avid watcher of a TV prog called ‘Escape to the Chateau’. In that a past British lieutenant-colonel Richard ‘Dick’ Strawbridge and family bought a derelict chateau somewhere in the Loire district. Sometime about five years ago and now busily decorating and repairing the whole edifice including moat. It turns out that quite a number of British couples are buying up these derelict castles. So, yes sorry Frenchies, we are buying up France and there will be a great place for you to move to, Scotland! Just joking. But as you will note reader friends, a bit of dare, money and a plucky attitude you can renovate anything if you like it enough. Why leave a history such as French history and leave these edifices to rot away? Yes, they are costly to main, ask ‘Dick’. In fact this argument will resound in almost every country on this planet. We should be proud of our collective history, learn from past mistakes. Anyway, we left the EU now, so Monsieur Dick will have a problem. To become a French national or a difficult Brit not really wanted. But you know, money talks and his and his family’s business operating out of the castle is already quite a money spinner benefitting local businesses. Yes, that is the old British shopkeepers attitude!

In the meantime, we will have a year, probably more, to negotiate the proper deal. We have left but we still do not know the details. Let’s get on with it and do a deal which will fit all sides.
I’ll drink to that! Yep, French cognac, that’s my baby!

Sunday, 26 January 2020

To be 'woke' or not to be 'woke', that's the question


You can read and hear a lot about PC. PC stands for political correctness, you know it when you can no longer use the words ‘black’, ‘white’, to describe the colour of people. Nor can you say someone is a lesbian or homosexual, even if they openly promote that way of living. Politicians are pretty busy explaining to all and sundry how we, the ordinary unwashed (can we still say that?) should live. The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) has been so busy promoting leftie liberal views it has fallen off the catwalk. Most people now have begun to question its values as a totally independent body. In my view it is no longer and therefore the law in this country should ban the BBC TV licence fee and drop this tax. We see so many idiots now promoting their leftie liberal views. Anyone who has a different view or opinion should be hauled before the courts and is definitely a racist. There is another term now ‘wokeness’, first of all I could not get it but I take it to mean as New York poet Raven Cras explains on Bravity: 'The phenomenon of being woke is a cultural push to challenge problematic norms, systemic injustices and the overall status quo through complete awareness. 'It requires an active process of deprogramming social conditionings focusing on consistent efforts to challenge the universal infractions we are all subjected to,' she adds.  
Wow, some explanation that is. Why don’t we just say ’Aware of the fashionable trends and completely agreeing with it’. So a woke person agrees with transgendering people, any fashionable sexual deviation, and whatever you may think. Obviously as per the usual it is mainly in the corrupt western world that these things are seemingly important. To be ‘woke’ means you agree with everything, and you haven’t got a brain to think. Much like the BBC then and oh yes, nearly forgot, the Labour party hierarchy.
There is not much left of the hierarchy, most are in denial about the last election results, some even seem to think they didn’t lose. Great policies they thunder, we are the party that looks after people. OK then, why are they so poor at economics? Is it because they think hand-outs will ensure people voting Labour? Obviously not. It has been Jeremy’s great failure not to understand the people’s determination to call an end to the Brexit question, even though they might not have wanted to leave the EU. Well, we now know the result. So, thinking back to some of those wonderful Sunday mornings with Andrew Marr’s ‘woke’ questioning of even ‘woker’ political luminaries and apparent dislike for everyone else including the PM, what am I going to do now? By the looks of it, I’ll wait until the Conservative honeymoon period is over and see what’s left of all those wonderful ideas and promises. Besides having a look at Rebecca Wrong-Daily, sorry Rebecca Long-Baily, another ultra-left politician. The only thing I would agree about her views is her idea to abolish the House of Lords. As she said or is reported to have said, ‘It is completely unacceptable for an unelected body to decide on country-wide issues and policies’. Well, she is not wrong in that. So, good luck to her.

Saturday, 18 January 2020

Computer/Network security and WebRTC

I was looking at security for my network set-up. Made aware that there is yet another security problem but this time with browsers. It is called WebRTC. Actually it is a process that provides browsers and mobiles with real-time capability and so supposedly 'enriching' the experience. Yeah, but it also comes with a problem. First of all, if users use a VPN it is possible that the 'real' IP address is leaked. Web browsers tend to implement WebRTC in such a way that it allows them to send requests to so-called STUN Servers which will return your local and public IP address. The requested results are available in Javascript, making them much more accessible. It is not the VPN  we are using but it is with the browser (Firefox, Chrome and a few more). It is called a Web leak. Can we do anything? Yes, we can. Most of us use Firefox and this allows us to stop WebRTC as most of us don't really need it. Type "about:config" in the Firefox address bar (without the apostrophes), scroll down and look for the entry - 'media.peerconnection.enabled' and change the value from true to false. This will stop the possible WebRTC leaks. To check whether your set-up does 'leak', do the following. Use the tools that are available - Browserleaks will check for WebRTC leaks with their leak test tool.
In the case of browsers where WebRTC can’t be disabled, you need to use third-party browser add-ons or extensions to solve the problem. If you use Chrome, download uBlock Origin or use the available Chrome extension. It is the same solution for Opera although use the Opera extension and not Chrome's. Or you can change to a VPN service like ExpressVPN that have a built-in rule. I must say - stay away from free VPN services. Why? Well, even if you do all the browser set-ups the data that you still provide will be used on a commercial basis and sold.
By the way - even mobiles (Android) suffer from this so do the same for your mobile!
Lastly, everyone ought to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network), and in doing so, hide your real IP address and even come from a different country. There can be some interesting quirks that if you do change to a 'foreign' server you can get replies and websites in their language. But I find generally speaking that this is rare. Have fun.

Yes, what about the planet?


Got a bit fed up with Brexit yet? Don’t worry there will be plenty more to come as the REAL negotiations are to start soon. Whether we will complete these before the end of the year is floating in the sky like a wispy cloud. Let’s hope it will not rain.
Anyway, there are more pressing problems around, the biggest is the planet warming up and resultant pressures on the environment. Now it ought to be understood that this concerns the whole planet, all over and everywhere, not just in the UK. First of all we need to start to persuade countries and its leaders to take this seriously. The time for prevarication is over. As David Attenborough stated in one of the recent interviews ‘It can no longer be denied that the planet is in trouble and humans are the reason’. Worse, it is expected that most of Africa will be uninhabitable with as a result enormous pressures to the northern countries to take in hundreds of thousands if not millions, of displaced people. Although this sounds the good thing to do, it will come with social pressures of enormous size. Australia had its hottest year on record and it is not likely to get better, in fact it is an upward spiral. Let’s not start thinking in this country, the UK, that we will be immune. A solid, long time during drought can set fire to us just the same and has done in the past. Presumably will do so again in due course.
It seems that people including governments have little idea what needs to be done and how to do it. There are rumblings about cattle farming, waste disposal, plastic fouling of the oceans, cars, diesel in particular and land use. It has to be remembered that our whole existence is dependent on transport, one way or another. It is also one of the main reasons of carbon dioxide proliferation. Another problem is how the environment itself reacts to a warming climate. More algae growing that emit methane. It is said that a metre of UK river emits as much carbon dioxide and methane now as driving a car for 60 miles.
Well, I suppose we will have to look at car, van and lorry driving. Moreover, air transport needs a very hard look. Holidaying in Majorca is great in one way but it just puts another nail in the collective coffin. It needs stopping. If you need a holiday, stay at home in the UK and walk, in that way you will also help the local economies. Yes, it will be hard but if we want our children and grandchildren a decent life it will have to be done!

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Y Byd Newydd? Wel, dw i wedi cael lygad newydd....


Cefais llawdriniaeth ar fy llygad (newydd cyn y Nadolig) a galla weld wella nawr. Roedd y broblem cataract. Gallaf weld sgrîn y cyfrifiadur eto! Gobeithio pawb wedi mwynhau y dathliadau dros y Nadolig diwetha. Eleni byddwn yn gobeithio bydd Brexit wedi’i gorffen. Ac hefyd bydd y Plaid Lafur yn dod o hyd rywun arwain ddod â rhywfaint o synnwyr yn ôl. Yn y cyfamser mae angen i ni ddechrau sgwrsio am y sefyllfa y byd. Mae’r amgylchedd yn benodol. Mae’r broblemau gyda plastig, baeddu’r moroedd, a phridd, rhaidd iddo atal nawr.
Dw i wedi sôn am y bosibilrwydd defnyddio yr aniadal Sahara tyfu bwyd eto. Mae angen llawer o dŵr ond dw i’n credu mae dŵr dan y tir. Bydd y technoleg cyfoes yn gymorth.

Monday, 6 January 2020

The new decade now starting...


The new decade has finally started. What a year it has been, what with all the Brexit hubbub and political unrest. It has been fun. At least we have not descended in open warfare, at times it looked like the whole UK would disintegrate and frankly that might still happen. Anyway enough of the politics, there are more pressing things floating around.
But first of all I want to wish everyone who reads the blog to have a prosperous and happy 2020! In fact I wish everyone a good and healthy 2020.
We need to remember that we are in a war as well, an environmental war in which the human race is the baddie. If we are thinking about what is happening in Australia at the moment we might think about what can happen in Europe and Asia as well if draught gets a foothold. If the tundra dries out because of rising temperatures it is entirely feasible that very large fires could start there. I am aghast that generally speaking we are just oblivious to what we are doing to the planet we all depend on! Locally you will notice and that is in only a very small part of Wales, the rubbish thrown around, mainly by young people. These are the selfsame people you will see on the streets of the cities protesting about climate warming. Showing a complete misunderstanding of the situation. We must stop asking nature to solve the crisis, yes it is a crisis and change our attitudes. I would if I was PM, seriously look at house building. It ought to be obvious by now that indiscriminate building and concreting over the UK, moreover to allow access to the Green Belt, is completely the wrong way. We need proper coherent plans, to look at brown sites (erstwhile now unused industrial sites) for re-development and that’s just for starters. We need different types of industry, no plastics manufacture, no petrol or diesel engined cars. A different approach to transport systems. Lorries to be banned from cities and towns. Electric buses and trams. We need a look at how we produce food, our agricultural capabilities must be increased a hundredfold. Less cattle more fruit. Orchards to be supported. It will take time to do all of that but the processes must be started now! We also urgently need to look at how we are governed. There are already signs that the Civil Service is going to be looked at. The pally-pally system needs dismantling and hard-nosed well-educated people put in charge. The fact that a Civil Service can halt or delay and often does, policies being carried out must be stopped forthwith. Well, we’ll see what is going to happen but the signs are good. Let’s hope that it will not just fade away into obscurity as it has done so often in the past.