Tuesday, 29 May 2018

What is GDPR again?

The General Data Protection Regulation – or GDPR for short, what does it mean for the normal guys and gals on the streets? Like myself for instance? First of all when you have waded through the thousands of messages asking you, nay plead with you to reply to agree to continue receiving messages which you might or not, have replied to; you will have found nothing has changed. You will still receive all these useless emails, especially on Gmail and including scams. One of the problems is that ordinary citizens, yes me included tend to put too much personal data on the web. Whilst I do not subscribe to Twitter or Facebook at all (yes, I am an anachronism) there are literally millions who will tell you all accompanied by loads of photos. So, what about protection then? Scammers and criminals will just laugh at the GDPR regulations. Governments can regulate whatever they want but in the end it will all depend on public acceptance and compliance. The best way to protect your data is NOT to give it in the first place. Or decide what can be seen and read and what not, what you can and will allow others to use (like email addresses). Furthermore do find ways to find out how much data is held about yourselves. Google will allow most of it to be deleted but you will have to search a bit about where it all is. If you are worried about Tesco or any other supergiant market holding all this stuff about what you like to eat, well bully for them I recently started to like potatoes again. Frankly it is of small consequence if they know I like black pudding, at least it might mean I will be able to get it locally! The main problem as always is - advertising. Businesses have found the Internet to be an exceptional way to advertise their wares and services. Whatever you have bought from Amazon will be recorded and you will receive adverts accordingly. Personally I do not mind too much because it keeps the wheels turning. But at the same time one would hope companies will treat your data with respect. 
The excerpt from Wikipedia about business probably says it all -  Business processes that handle personal data must be built with data protection by design and by default, meaning that personal data must be stored using pseudonymization or full anonymization, and use the highest-possible privacy settings by default, so that the data is not available publicly without explicit consent, and cannot be used to identify a subject without additional information stored separately. 
Let's hope it will work!

Monday, 28 May 2018

Fy ngŵr a'r brân

Shwmai, ychydig yn ôl fy ngŵr yn darganfod brân ifanc iawn ar ochr y ffordd. Anfoddus oedd e wedi cwympo allan y nyth adar. Wel, mae e'n tyfu iawn ar cig nawr, sgrapiau ac yn y blaen. Mae e’n barod hedfan ma’s yn fuan. Yn wir, dyma’r ffordd yr wlad. Mae fy ŵr (wyth oed) yn ymwybodol am natur, diolch hefyd i’r athrawon yr ysgol yng Nghymru. Tybed pryd y brân yn barod hedfan os fydd e’n dychwelyd i dweud helo!
Ar hyn o bryd dw i wedi ceisio I dysgu yr iaith iddyn nhw. Na, dim y brân, y fachgen wrth gwrs. Mae’n anodd dysgu’r iaith yn Ne Cymru, felly dw i’n ceisio defnyddio brawddegau a geiriau o fywyd ddyddiol. Dim yn ddrwg (neu dim yn wael?).
Hwyl am y tro.

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Who hates the English? What! Everyone?

One of the three newspapers I tend to read, the Sun not because of the sometimes interesting failures of celebrities but because of the few good columnists. Jeremy Clarkson, Trevor Kavanagh and the irascible ‘say it as it is’ Rod Liddle. Or even the Guardians’ political commentators who are so blatantly pro-Europe. Jeremy you might not like, his style is what I would call ‘funny acidic’ but nevertheless there are great insights. This Saturday’s Sun newspaper has him stating what I have suspected for a while – The world seems to hate Britain… but not as much as Labour does’. A very interesting statement. Poor Labour one has to feel sorry for ‘m. I don’t because some of that is very true. Labour hates the way politics are practised today. There is no if’s and but’s. It is the party line or rather the party leader’s views and to ‘eck with everything else. The party faithful always remind me of those starry eyed pubers looking at their wall photos of rock-gods. So, the question needing to ask is Why does everyone except the Dutch hate Britain? As the good Jeremy pointed out although not actually said it, just look at history. Apparently, although I haven’t heard or seen it, a BBC World Service survey found that almost EVERY country on Earth has a strong anti-British sentiment. Nice work BBC. It might have its roots in the now past British Empire when we just rampaged across the world, beating the French, the Spanish, stamped all over the Indians both in America and Asia, had a few fights with the Dutch, one win, one loss and one draw. That was about who could have the most salted herrings from the North Sea but seriously you can see where this sentiment has come from. Notwithstanding that empire bit, our starting the Industrial Revolution might have something to do with it as well. As one line in the article so blandly stated – a book was published in the US named interestingly ‘The Evil Empire: 101 Ways That England Ruined the World’. I suppose the author meant the steam engine burning billions of tons of coal ruining our atmosphere. Just wondering why he forgot to mention Mr Ford who made Detroit a cancer ridden, zombie town. Where? Yes, America, the US. So, in the end it is just the human failing, failing to get to grips with that most interesting and true statement ever made: Love thy neighbour as thyself. Just so you know, I am very glad I am Welsh. Diolch ac hwyl am y tro!

Friday, 25 May 2018

Artificial Intelligence or what....

Sitting at the computer tonight writing these probably most interesting words to some intelligent people. No, not the steroid addled ones, they are already a lost cause. But to you. I saw a most interesting but in a way boring film. Called – Singularity. A story about how mankind developed a super computer. But not just a computer but one that could make decisions. And guess what, although it was told to ‘solve’ all mankind ills, it quickly came to the conclusion that it was mankind itself that was the problem. An infection on this planet that had to be eradicated to save the planet. Yep, a most interesting train of thought since what are we doing? Yes, we are developing A.I (Artificial Intelligence). The question needing asking is – Do we actually know what we are doing?
If you say of course we do, then explain to me if AI takes hold would it mean a type of independence for machines. There would be no halt to developing their own ways and means. Could we possibly stop that? I do believe that we are actually manufacturing our own downfall. However, looking at the world today perhaps like in the film we deserve no better. Perhaps some advanced humans might in the end find a way to get to another world and leave this one to the machines. The question then is what would be the point of machines at all? In the realm of ideas such as this one could easily come to the conclusion that if AI is actually possible and can be ‘free’ why haven’t we seen extraterrestrial robots? Robotic lifespan would be counted in the thousands of years. Trips to other stellar systems would be a snip. I cannot help but think that life, even electronic life means much more than just electricity coursing along minute cables. Or bio-electricity making neurons jump about. Is life not about the gaining of knowledge? As has been said by many learned people before – life is about finding out why! Why there is life at all and for what purpose. Life in its most basic way is about food, and survival. But that cannot be all. If there is a God (and I believe there is) Earth or even the Universe is not just a garden for God to see all the interactions, the blood-letting, the killings but also the kindness, compassion and love. Can machines ever do that? Isaac Asimov said in a lot of his books about the robotic revolution – there needed to be robotic laws. There were if I remember well enough, three laws – First, a robot may not injure a human being or allow through interaction allow a human being to come to harm. Secondly, a robot must obey the orders given by a human being except when such orders would conflict with the First Law.
Thirdly a robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. Indeed good principles. But would the Russians keep to that? Or for that matter anyone trust the Americans today? Over to you and out. I am leaving for Mars tomorrow if allowed by my computer.

NB I do not hold or/and record any data from anyone.If you respond , great but I do not log any details. Only Blogger will hold data (such as email addresses and or names) and they will have to follow the European directives coming into force. 

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Wedding? What wedding...

Ah yes, the Prince and someone. Listening to the media, newspapers and TV a lot is made of the term - mixed race. What does that really mean? I am waiting for some reporter to ask - Is she human? For a country that tells everyone who listens how we have an integrated society we do make a lot of idiotic statements. Mixed race being one of them. Obviously we are not as integrated as we think! Well, I am proud to state I am of mixed race as well. I am of the Dutch race. But now the Welsh race and by conquest the British race. How more mixed can you be? Yes folks I am very mixed up!

Monday, 7 May 2018

Fibreglass a roof or think about politics

Now that the good and dry weather has arrived this Bank Holiday I might as well re-fibreglass my shed roof. Yes, friends I have a man-cave. Problem is you cannot move in this cave because I need to chuck out about half its contents! I ordered some flexible fibreglass from Northern-Ireland and resin and am still studying the directions! What is the air temperature, mix it in this percentage, too hot outside and it will set in seconds, too cold and it will not set at all. Ahhhh! Well, I must rub the area down and get on with it despite my wife’s misgivings. It beats having to scan newspapers and computers to find out the latest mistakes of our politicians. I suppose they are human but I am not sure any more. Perhaps the aliens landed yonks ago and we never knew (until now). It is worrying that as soon as one becomes a councillor all the promises made on the doorstep have faded away like morning mist under a hot sun. I have always been of the opinion that a local councillor is elected on local issues but apparently that is not true. They all follow party politics. The problem is that party politics rarely coincide with local issues. It is a fair point to ask, take development. If the developer(s) submit plans what are the criteria to look for? Surely local amenities, parking problems, traffic congestion, sewerage, possible problems with land contamination. But it seems that the only real issue looked at is the possible cash flow income to the council from business rates or council tax on individual houses. It apparently is accepted that parking, traffic etc is not a problem, inhabitants will adapt. Interesting, and these decisions then rest upon councillors that mostly haven’t got a clue about development. You might even say they are not fit for purpose. But I won’t go that far as I have to believe that in the main they are well-meaning. But all the same I hope that they would listen a bit more to those who elected them. As not all plans are really in the interest of the general public.

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Gwyliau - pam lai!

Cyn i mi gael fy hun yn ysgrifennu bost hwn ro’n i meddwl am fy nghwyliau! Beth am y tywydd, a ble? Yr Eidal neu Sbaen, cyfandir neu arfordir? Falle’n aros gartref? Fel arfer, mae’r tywydd yng Nghymru dim yn dda. Wel, yn ystod yr haf. Hyd yn oed, rhaid i ni fynd rhywle.
Gallaf gofio taith i’r Eidal llynedd. Y gogledd llynnoedd, ac wedi ymweld Fenis, Rhufain, Pisa a Fflorens. Wel, roedd yn olygfa. Rhaid i chi wneud hyn i anghofio am gwleidyddiaeth yn yr wlad hon. Ar hyn o bryd wi’n wedi ymuno Coleg y Cymoedd i ddysgu yr hen iaith (Cymraeg). Mae hi’n ddiddorol iawn. Wel, wi’n ceisio. Ond siarad am gwleidyddiaeth yma rydyn ni wedi cael Plaid Llafur dros yn fwy na ugain mlynedd! Dim byd wedi newid o gwbl! Heblaw mae pwllau’r glo wedi cau. Miloedd o cyflogwr yn ddi-waith ar unwaith. Roedd y broblem dim gwaith arall. Roedd y Plaid Ceidwadwyr yn euog ond roedd y Plaid Llafur yn euog hefyd am siarad heb wneud!
Felly, wi’n eisiau gwyliau yn fuan!
Hwyl am y tro.

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Dim ond yn meddwl - pam?

Gwleidyddiaeth, ydy’r math lleol yn argyfwng? Atebwch, IE! Yn Nonyrefail (fy nhgartref) datblygwyr yn dechrau safle newydd ar gyfer siopau newydd. Iawn ond beth ydy’r lleoedd parcio? Dim digon. Felly fe bydd siopwyr yn defnyddio y stryd lleol. Ond anfoddus mae’r strydoedd yn llawn eisioes. Beth am y swyddfa datblygu lleol? Ah, cwestiwn dda, maen nhw yn meddwl am treth cyngor. Ie, treth cyngor, dim safonau byw y trigolion lleol. Atebwch y cwestiwn hwn, pam ydy’r reswn rydyn ni ddim yn licio gwleidyddion? Dim ond yn meddwl!

Politicians not liked? Who said that!

Many a time, many different people have commented about the way politics is done in this country. The way decisions are made and carried out (or not!). One of the things amongst others is how people cannot seem to differentiate between national politics and local politics. This could easily been seen in the latest council elections in England. Even the BBC seemed to be confused and kept on talking about the national impact. Well no, these were local elections, elections for city and town councils, not national government! Obviously our communication channels needed to keep their schedules busy with trivia. Local elections are about people, the inhabitants of towns and cities who pay ever increasing council tax for seemingly ever decreasing services! But nobody even talked about that. Only the impact on the two main parties nationally. Indeed caring about people, it is something councillors need to remember. They are elected by the people for the people, locally. It is about the disbursement of services. It is not about their salaries or stipends or whatever they call it, it is NOT a job! It is a calling. It used to be local people who were elected because they had a desire to improve the environment, to improve the living standards of those who had elected them. To improve the infrastructure. Today we seem to get no better than party freaks. Just hell-bent on self advancement. A sad state of affairs and they wonder why they are not liked. I can tell them in a few words, you can no longer be trusted! You say one thing and do the opposite. In my locality there are problems of parking cars, clogged roads and a decaying infrastructure. Yet plans are presented by quick-buck developers that ignore basic design implications. Like when developers propose to build shops and it turns out that there are just about enough car spaces for the employees, where do they think the customers will, park? In the already overflowing streets surrounding? It is bad planning but all the planning committees seem to see is the quick buck, the coming council tax income. Sad and that friends is the reason councils, councillors and generally all politicians are not liked or trusted. Even though they might be good people. There it is in a nutshell.