I have been watching the Phorm debacle unravel for a few weeks now. For those of you that don’t know, Phorm is a tool that your ISP can use to track which websites you visit and then sell this data, so that advertising can be targeted directly at you. It’s like Royal Mail reading all of your correspondence, so that they can work out what junk mail is most relevant to you. Now I’ll readily admit that I am no legal expert, but surely this is against the law? I would also suggest that it is likely to cost the “Big Three” (BT, Talk Talk and Virgin) a lot of custom. They claim the scheme will be optional, but I bet it’s opt out and not in and I bet they make it really difficult to do. I hope this inspires a proper debate on the continued erosion of our freedoms.
On which note…
The Government wants to subject all young men to metal detectors and security checks in a pandering attempt to fight knife crime. The experts have suggested that this will just further alienate said demographic and will exacerbate the problem (they are right). Shock horror, hip hop has once again been blamed for the problem. If you want my freedom, you’ll have to climb over my base loving corpse and prise it from my cold, knife wielding hands. It is worth noting that a row ensued between my Mum and I, as she was completely unable to see how this would infringe upon the rights of the young, how you would never get away with forcing all women/gays/black people to submit to such tests and how Hitler garnered some of his initial political success by highlighting unpopular groups as the cause of the worlds ills.
I scrubbed them with a toothbrush, I used multi-surface polish, but I just couldn’t get my nuts clean and lets face it – there is nothing worse than dirty nuts.
Half an hour submersed in Coca Cola later and my nuts were cleaner than ever – I can fit them back on my car now.
When I started looking for new cars (and before I agreed to purchase “The Silver Bullet”) I checked the relative premium costs with my insurance company (shameless plug coming) Direct Line. I knew there would be an additional premium to pay, and the quoted £200 was within the realms of my expectations.
Now when you buy a car from Ford, you can get seven days free drive away cover on the condition that you get a quote from Ford Insure. Imagine my delight when a Catherine Tate character (the girl from the fast food place) answered the phone! “Can I get a quote for yourself?” Well yeah, duh?
Anyway, what do you think the quote was…£2580. I informed Catherine that this was about £1780 more than Direct Line and she asked: “so would yourself be interested in paying the extra money to be with Ford”.
Altogether now: errrrr…nah!
Slightly later than advertised (I’ll get to why later) here are my thoughts on Apple’s Time Capsule, although actually it’s not Apple’s, it’s mine. I paid for it. £199 for 500GB. I have no need for the 1TB model and the 500GB seems to be better value for money anyway.
The Time Capsule was easy to set up and installation consisted of plugging it into the power socket and flipping the switch! Airport Utility jumped straight onto the Time Capsule once I had joined it’s wireless network and walked me through configuring the device in a simple but not patronizing way. It even pointed out potential security flaws like allowing configuration over ethernet
I had read plenty of reports claiming that the Time Capsule produces a lot of noise, but I found it to make no more noise than any other hard disk. I also read plenty of reports stating that they spend most of their time on the edge of spontaneous combustion, that like the MacBook Pro, they would be uncomfortable to use on your lap for a long period of time. Why on earth would you want it on your lap? A complete non-issue – a bit hot, but it didn’t give me a tan!
The USB connection can be used for a printer or an additional hard drive, I’ve only tested it with the latter. Again, a complete cinch, the drive simply pops up in the Finder along side the Data drive (the non Time Machine part of the Time Capsule). The only problem here was that I was unable to copy my Time Machine files from the old drive to the Time Capsule (take note Apple).
The first backup takes forever! I cannot stress this point enough (and stress is definitely the right word). Whatever you do, ensure that the first backup is done over ethernet and that you don’t plan on using your Mac for the several hours that the backup will take. Interrupt it at your peril – it will start from the beginning again, except it will take even longer as it does some strange scanning business to see what you’ve changed (?!?). Now you see why this post was delayed – it obviously had nothing to do with Man Utd winning the Premier League, Grand Theft Auto IV, or my search for a new car. :-)
I don’t think there is a single product to rival the Time Capsule – other things are better at certain aspects, but nothing is as truly multi faceted as the Time Capsule. It’s pretty too, but then again it’s an Apple so what did you expect, even my Linux fanboy colleague Andy looked upon the Time Capsule with lust!
Surely this is the beginning of the convergence phenomenon?
Why does anything that is good get ruined? Think about the way in which MySpace, never really for me, but seemingly popular with everyone else, gained success and notoriety and was then feasted on by everyone as if they were piranha that had not fed for weeks. The result? A rotten carcass floating about the interweb, the foul stench of web-bots emanating from inside it. Sorry, I got a bit carried away there – anyway, you get the point. The same can be said of Apple Macs. All nice and shiny (and stable) until Pystar go and sell non-Apple hardware running OS X Leopard where the experience is diminished, not as God (or any other supreme cosmic… oh fuck it – you understand) intended it, ruined.
I’m a bit of a rebel. Not in the James Dean sort of way, more in the aliens and robots sort of way. What, you don’t watch Heroes? Erm… I like to think for myself, I don’t follow the crowd and I’m not afraid to stand out. One of the chief benefits of this is that I don’t feel obliged to listen to the same music as everyone else. In fact I am completely unable to listen to the radio since: I will rarely hear a song I like, if I do it will be censored to shreds and in between I will be subjected to Nickelback, Girls Aloud and Cold Play! Actually, my dislike of Coldplay stems from the political message they seem so eager to promote without offering a single argument…I digress. So I like music that is not mainstream, or music that didn’t use to be mainstream. Now my penchant for metal aside (A7X rock), I have been listening to hip hop since I was very young. I may have started with MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice, but I quickly became something of a connoisseur of rap and can now appreciate the difference between Wu Tang and Soulja Boy is something akin to comparing Cristal to the cheap sparkling wine on sale in ASDA.
What do you get if you combine the two ideas explored here. The Blackout Crew. A group (as in a collection of, rather than a musical reference) of blokes who seem to think that the subtle political messages of Public Enemy, the smoothness of Snoop Dogg, the non stop grime of Wu Tang and the lyrical wit of Jay-Z and Nas are not a required part of the hip hop recipe. No, just get a dance beat and say lots of words that rhyme over the top of it. Nice!