1. Sorry… WHAT?

    So this bloke, Richard Benyon, wants to cull a protected wild bird, to protect another, farmed, bird, so that his mates can kill the second bird with guns.

    For “sport”.

    Oh yeah. Richard Benyon is David Cameron’s “biodiversity minister”.

    Sources: RSPB and George Monbiot.

  2. Where have I heard that before?

    "Too often debates about AV are less like political arguments, and more like scientific discussions, where people get lost in a language of proportionality and preferences, probabilities and possibilities.

    "Of course, some of these things are important. But for me, politics shouldn’t be some mind-bending exercise. It’s about what you feel in your gut - about the values you hold dear and the beliefs you instinctively have. And I just feel it, in my gut, that AV is wrong."

    Prime Minister David Cameron, April 18, 2011

    "That’s where the truth lies, right down here in the gut. Do you know you have more nerve endings in your gut than you have in your head? You can look it up. I know some of you are going to say, ‘I did look it up and that’s not true.’ That’s ‘cause you looked it up in a book. Next time, look it up in your gut. I did. My gut tells me that’s how our nervous system works."

    Comedian Stephen Colbert, April 30, 2006

  3. Defenceless

    Daily Star journalist Richard Peppiatt quit his job yesterday, citing his disgust at the paper’s exaggeration, fabrication and demonisation of Muslims in an epic resignation letter directed at owner and porn baron Richard Desmond.

    Plenty of others have dissected the letter and the accusations therein. But I want to focus on the Daily Star’s hastily prepared rebuttal, which is a textbook example of the art of spin and non-denial denial.

    Richard Peppiatt worked purely as a casual reporter at the Daily Star for almost two years.

    As Richard says, despite being a “casual reporter”, his byline count was “almost 850”. I can confirm that a database check lists over a thousand, but that may contain some double-counting.

    Recently he became unhappy after he was passed over for several staff positions.

    That’s a laugh. “Several staff positions”? It’s well known that the Star relies heavily on freelancers, from reporters to subs and even senior production staff.

    He refers to a Kelly Brook story: in fact, he approached and offered the newspaper that story, vouched for its accuracy, and then asked for and received an extra freelance fee for doing so.

    In his letter, his recollection of the Kelly Brook incident is slightly different. The jury is out. I know who I’d rather believe.

    Since he wrote his email we have discovered that he was privately warned very recently by senior reporters on the paper after suggesting he would make up quotes.

    Hahaha! Here are some scenarios that would fit that description:

    • "Made-up quotes are forbidden. They detract from the serious nature of our news-gathering and reflect badly on our lofty ethics."
    • "Don’t get caught."
    • "These made-up quotes are crap. Make-up some better ones."

    Which one is closest to reality? Up to you.

    Regarding the allegations over the paper’s coverage of Islam, he was only ever involved in a very minor way with such articles, and never voiced either privately or officially any disquiet over the tone of the coverage.

    …”a very minor way”…

    220111call    220710call

    160610call    170510call

    160310call    060210call

    270110call    091009call

    280909call    250609call

    150609call   070708call

    Just some of Richard Peppiatt’s “very minor” work for the Daily Star. (click thumbnails to embiggen)

    But for sheer chutzpah, the last part of the Desmond defence takes the biscuit.

    For the record, the Daily Star editorial policy does not hold any negativity towards Islam and the paper has never, and does not endorse, the EDL.

    Again, make your own mind up…

  4. Gone

    RIP guardiantalk.

    Unplugged (without notice) at 1730GMT on Friday, February 25, 2011.

    Several burning questions remain unresolved, chief amongst which are:

    • Israel or Palestine?
    • Mac or PC?
    • Kitten or penguin?
    • Height of Kenneth MacKellar?
    • What did Boo do with all those biscuits?

    Seriously, though. It was Web 2.0 in miniature. It was a community. There were births, marriages and deaths. One early denizen even got a proper obit.

    I hope it’s all archived somewhere.

  5. Yesterday’s News Tomorrow

    Everybody’s least favourite media mogul Rupert Murdoch finally launched his “game changing” iPad app, The Daily, yesterday.

    Looking slightly uncomfortable, the grizzled near-as-dammit octogenarian shuffled on-stage clutching Steve Jobs’ baby and announced that, having eliminated the costs associated with producing newspapers – “the ink, the paper and the trucks” – he could “pass the savings on” to you, the customer.

    At this point, I should tell you that, later, I am going to reveal the exact date you will start saving money if you use The Daily for all your news.

    But… before we get to that, let’s look at the product.

    The Daily (AppStore link, but so far not available in the UK) is a “digital newspaper” for which you pay 99¢ a week, or 14¢ a day. You download it to your iPad in the morning whenever you get up and can read it wherever you want, even if you are out of range of a web connection.

    The next morning Whenever you get up, you download a new issue and off you go.

    In other words, it’s just like a newspaper, but with added whizz. Like video and animated graphics and stuff.

    However, like a newspaper, it’s static. As the day gets old and things happen across the world, The Daily stays the same. It doesn’t update to reflect breaking stories. The way any news website does. If 9/11 happened, you’d have to wait until tomorrow’s 14¢ download to get The Daily’s take on it.

    So, aside from the video and wizzy animated graphics, it’s just like a newspaper – out of date as soon as it’s printed published. In fact, TheDaily editor Jesse Angelo sees it as a plus:

    Angelo said..: “I don’t want another site that’s constantly updating.”

    At least it’s cheaper.

    Not so fast…

    You have to have an iPad to read it. That’s $499 at least. Let’s call that the Initial Cost of Ownership (ICO). After that it’s 14¢ a day to download The Daily.

    Compare that to one of Rupert’s existing offerings, the 50¢-a-day New York Daily Post (I’d have preferred The Sun, but The Daily is, so far, US-only).

    The Daily:

    • ICO: $499
    • Daily: $0.14

    NY Post:

    • ICO: $0
    • Daily: $0.50

    How long would it take before you, the “customer”, were saving money if you swapped your daily NY Post for The Daily?

    thedaily vs nypost

    November 20, 2014. A mere one thousand, three hundred and eighty-six days later.


    • You buy an iPad just to read The Daily (I know, I know. Angry Birds.)
    • The Daily and the NY Post are 24/7/52 publications.
    • The Daily and the NY Post prices remain the same.
    • I haven’t made any massive arithmetical mistakes.

  6. Virtuoso.

    It doesn’t get better than this.

  7. United States of Fickle

    Hillary Clinton then:

    "During his visit to China in November, President Obama held a town hall meeting with an online component to highlight the importance of the internet. In response to a question that was sent in over the internet, he defended the right of people to freely access information, and said that the more freely information flows, the stronger societies become. He spoke about how access to information helps citizens to hold their governments accountable, generates new ideas, and encourages creativity. The United States’ belief in that truth is what brings me here today.”

    Hillary Clinton now

    "I have directed that specific actions be taken at the State Department, in addition to new security safeguards at the Department of Defense and elsewhere, to protect State Department information so that this kind of breach cannot and does not ever happen again.”

    Make up your fucking mind, woman.

  8. So cool..

    I’m not even going to pretend to care what this court case is all about.

    But if you scroll down to the otherwise deathly dull paragraph 105 of the judgement, you’ll see that some geek, somewhere, isn’t paying for his* drinks.

    WTF, I’ll save you the bother.

    Bravo, that clerk. My admiration you have.

    (ht @major_clanger)

    *Of course it’s “his”.

  9. Yes, yes, yes. →


    Watts Martin’s analysis of the migration toward “app console” hardware:

    The model we’re moving toward, though, is premised on the idea that computers shouldn’t require routine tech support. Again, look back at game consoles: an Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 is a fully programmable computer with networking capability, offline storage, removable media, the whole shebang, yet all of that is invisible to the user. What file system does a Playstation use and what directories does it put your downloaded games in? The correct answer is: “Who gives a shit?”

    And if what you do with a computer is spreadsheets and flow charts and word processing documents and slide presentations, web browsing and media watching and game playing, even recording music and editing photographs and writing text adventures, there’s an excellent case to be made that you should not have to give a shit about any of that, either. But right now—no matter what platform you’re using—you kinda do.

    Not only do I think he’s correct, but this is a great migration for the industry.

    Think of how many people are so afraid of their PCs that they only do the bare minimum with them and never venture into unknown territory because they’re afraid of “breaking” their computers. How many of them recently bought iPads and have become much more confident and adventurous with usage and applications, since Apple tricked them into thinking that the iPad isn’t a computer?

    (Source: chipotle)

  10. No alarms and no surprises.. 2

    That Tory new media strategy in full:

    "La la la la la la.. not listening!"

    Memo to Iain: Your guys are in charge now. Grow the fuck up.