What is going on in the UK? The place is turning into a police state but its citizens don’t seem to care.
The latest Orwellian nonsense to come from my home country is the arrest and imprisonment of a frustrated airline passenger who no doubt like the rest of the country was going a bit stir crazy due to the relentless snow that’s brought life to a standstill in the UK for the past 2-3 weeks.
So this guy sends a tweet saying that if the airport isn’t reopened he’s going to blow it up. Rather than do any actual police work, the cops just lock him up and confiscate his computers. No evidence of any real threat, just a dumb tweet. I know we’ve got to be careful about terrorist threats. I grew up in the UK when the whole country was at the hands of the IRA so I get it, but come on people, at least search his house to see if he actually has or has handled any explosives before you run his life into the ground.
Frustrated Passenger Gets Arrested for Tweeting Airport Bomb Threat – Paul Chambers – Gizmodo.
Once thought of as a “serious” news outfit, it seems The Times has thrown standards to the wind and is resorting to taking cheap shots at technology they so obviously don’t understand and lifestyles they so obviously can’t afford. Read more…
Gary Numan has added live dates in the UK throughout the Summer. Fans were notified via his NuMind network today of the appearances in advance of their public announcement on his web site. Read more…
OK, call me a fanboi if you like but data is data and it’s hard to argue with numbers like these.
PC sales in the UK slid by 5.1% in the first quarter of 2009 while Apple’s sales grew by 6.6% during that same time. This trend really puts into question Microsoft’s whole premise that Macs are too expensive for the average guy/gal (whoever they are). Surely if that were the case Microsoft would have gained market share based on the sale of cheap netbooks. Not so. Read more…
This is disturbing news to be reading over my early morning coffee. I could launch into a rant about nanny states and the crazy lengths to which the UK’s government seems willing to go to exert power un-necessarilyover its unwitting populous. I’ve done all that before so I’ll just leave it up to you to read the whole story after the break and make up your own mind. All I will say is that most of the privacy invasion going on in the UK these days makes anything that W did in the USA look like child’s play.
Scary stuff. Glad I emigrated all those years ago…
Video: UK Home Secretary delays 1984 by a few years.
This is typical British back-asswards thinking at its best! Don’t kick up a fuss about random searches: don’t kick up a fuss about being on CCTV from the second you leave your front door: don’t kick up a fuss about traffic cameras every 100 yards: don’t kick up a fuss about having all your internet communication logged and stored for years…. No….. But god forbid anyone should use a camera to take a picture of the streets in your home town so that it’s easier for people to find their way around strange places…. OMG!!! FUSS TIME!!!
I guess when you live in a police state and have no control over the important stuff, you latch on to any petty thing you can to assert some control.. Sad.
Brits want Google Street view shut down | Web Services | Macworld.
So, yet again, back in the day (ie. the early 80s) there was a seminal event on British TV called “Brideshead Revisited”. Seminal not only for it’s stunning narrative by Evelyn Waugh but seminal for it’s stunning production. Especially amazing as it was produced not by the venerable BBC but by that outcast of British broadcasting, “independent television”.
Recently, a feature film staring our beloved Emma made the rounds. Not a Summer block buster but a resounding success with those of us who long for that England lost. The movie did an admirable albeit abridged job of telling the story. However, tonight I went back and watched the original, 4×3’d, badly telecinied, showing age of it’s lineage.. There is a magic there that didn’t transfer to Cinemascope.
In the modern production, lost are the frailties of 1930’s society.. The subtle implications are tombstones which are more concerned with pace. The enchanting voice-over that graces the original is gone, only to be replaced by more graphic visuals that not only lose the intent of the original but trash the elegance of that so often awkward language used in its most mesmerizing of forms. Yesteryear was enchanted by Guilgud who lifted the mundane into the amazing with wit and seduction. How the Ryder’s ever seemed so human is a tribute to his skill and subtlety. Ever lost.
Trappings of transatlantic steam ships are gone. Preceded with the stark boring reality of the nether regions of the war. Ryder, a jaded downtrodden army officer, plucked from his tedium when he realizes that his company has taken up Brideshead as it’s barracks. From there the story unfolds like crisp linens on a warm Summer picnic table. Heavenly, intoxicating, troubling and provocative. Sebastian is almost an afterthought. He conducts the orchestra telling the story almost as if he isn’t the focus of the tale.
To watch “Brideshead” and to love it is to give yourself to a dream of a country proclaimed by its history as a bastion of morales and honor. Not really a role that old England ever played or deserved, however one that it cornered the market on and built the dream of so well.
Brideshead is a vision of an England I miss. One I never knew and one that barely existed for a chosen few who never realized what gems they held.
This is sad and shocking all at the same time. Doesn’t anyone in the UK have a right to privacy anymore? I totally get that when I’m in the street in London I am going to be monitored on CCTV cameras, but that’s because I’M IN PUBLIC. Now citizens sitting in their PJs sending email to their buddies over Facebook in the privacy of their own homes can’t expect to enjoy the protection of that privacy?
This seems like yet another massive bite taken out of the ever dwindling civil liberties in the UK. My old homeland is rapidly turning into the spookiest of Orwellian police states. Cameras everywhere, police with the right to stop and search at will, face recognition tracking your every move and now even your email and status updates are up for grabs!
Another aspect of this that I find worrying it that these overly zealous politicos consistently go after things that the average citizen uses but has no control over. It’s quiet surveillance. Would they have the same easy ride is they decided that in addition to storing all your web traffic they were also going to record all your phone calls, or open all your mail and take copies of it? Of course not, but the underlying principle is the same is it not?
Scariest of all is the fact that the UK citizens are not up in arms about all this. I notice a mood of resignation among my UK friends. There’s nothing they can do about it. You could try voting for people who value civil rights instead of the spooks who want to spy on you 24×7.
U.K. to monitor, store all social-network traffic? | Security – CNET News.