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blog archive 2016

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9th December 2016 10.22 GMT permalink to this post

Whisper this: "Winter is coming".

Just a statement of fact that cannot be denied anywhere in the northern hemisphere at this time of year. Interestingly, that simple three word sentence that may be overheard, certainly in the english language, millions of times in everyday conversation, is owned by HBO it turns out. Be careful, especially if you choose to write it down or use it to describe anything online!

For avoidance of doubt then, I have it on good authority that winter is coming.

14th November 2016 11.52 GMT permalink to this post

Is this Lady for turning?

We have seen how a political movement can extremely effectively, efficiently and brutally murder the English language over the past couple of decades. I am thinking of the careless misuse of terms like 'Climate Change' and 'Global Warming' used to describe something other than the natural processes they refer to. This is a consequence of a nervous green movement failing to get its message across on the more accurately described 'Anthropogenic Climate Change/Global Warming', which was, in any case, also being used carelessly.

Now we are being subjected to a media barrage of the term 'Populisim'. It seems we are being asked to believe that recent democratic outcomes are the consequence of one cause or another, appealling to our base instincs rather than our intellect. We seem to have succumbed, en-masse and zombie like, to a form of hysteria that causes us not to be able to think for ourselves about the issues in any depth. Thusly, we are easily swayed by the idea that The Man is to blame for everything and we should vote for whatever 'He' doesn't want, at least according to the marketing machine selling the notion.

Ironically, this manipulative hogwash is being sold by the very same doomsayers who failed to get their way in the first place. Read my lips - we, the disenchanted masses don't believe you any more about anything. We carefully listen to alternative points of view and we research the issues thoroughly before making up our own minds. Then, and only then, do we cast our votes; not to piss-off The Man but to exercise our democratic right to bring about change. The machinery of the status-quo needs to get that, quickly, and oil up its cogs in a correct response, which is to turn the wheels forward and in a new direction. Now, Prime Minister, Now! It is basic physics. Use the momentum and use the mass of the opposition against itself.

9th November 2016 8.35 GMT permalink to this post

Political class given a kicking when it's down, shock!

Warning! The following contains words, which to be fully understood have to be read in full and in the order they are written.

The media elite and its toadying, pointy-elbowed acolytes are soon to be collectively seeking treatment for post-traumatic-stress syndrome, bless. The not remotely Brexit like decision by America to give the Trump machine a chance to change things from a hard-nosed business perspective, is interesting - not frightening. As is Brexit, an exciting opportunity to grow this nation without the permission of the dumbed down (and economically doomed) committee that is the EU. Of course, this would also be true for an independently represented Scotland, also not restricted by the dumbed down commitee mentality of the UK.

We, the people (subjects/citizens/nationals), are the nation (UK/Scotland) and when we make a democratic statement (Election/Referendum) under our current democratic system, that is that. You don't need many volunteers to gather enough fingers to point at every sorry Tory voter in Scotland but Scotland is goverened by the Tories in Westminster all the same. At the last general election the popular vote did not favour DC and his cronies but the streets are not littered with the aftermath and detritus of bloody protest. We rue but accept the result.

We are reluctant revolutionaries on these islands and rely on a heavily skewed media ellite to 'inform' and instruct us. That ellite does not handle well a rejection of its 'advice'. Currently, it is engaged in a massive brutal backlash, face-slap attack on us for making a choice they did not offer us. We are being treated like naughty children caught with our chocolate smeared fingers in the biscuit barrel between meals. They insist that we should sit on the naughty step and learn our lesson, literally and figuratively. No! You, our former masters must learn the lesson. We make our own choices now in this post printed newspaper, scheduled TV and organised political event era; us, collectively, not the poisonous, singular incongruity that is you, 'traditional' media and political 'establishment'!

The secret of our future collective success, on both sides of the pond, is for the former ellite to listen. A new glorious era of objective journalism might help free us from the insidious tyranny of propaganda, currently masquerading as news. We then might be able to see Brexit for the opportunity that it really is and Trump for something other that his current enemy of celebrity label. I would prefer to be informed by a neutral media than persuaded by an idiot film star when making my political choices.

I am angry. For too long now we have been played like badly tuned hurdy-gurdies, plucked and wound to distraction. Restore the principle of investigatve journalism for its own sake now and reject the political and profit motive that drives all reporting in the current mainstream. Free journalists from the bondage of press statement dictation and embrace a neo-literary information driven festival of creativity.

Embarrassingly, whole generations have grown up on these islands not knowing that our once great media, despite its less than subtley overt political leanings, sought out real news and information and raced to publish each new discovery. Even more shocking, it questioned everything it learned and sought a relatively balanced, and gloriously wordy, column inch filling conclusion of its own making. It is not too late to recover from the affliction that ails our media. I suggest their great epithany can be acheived by turning their, no doubt once well-learned, skills and careful detail seeking attention to the wildly unscientific scaremongering that is currently referred to (by them) as 'climate change'.

Practise on that easy to untangle deception and then start some real political reporting and analysis and allow us to make up our own minds, thank you. It will turn out that not everything reported about the president elect is crazy.

19th October 2016 9.22 GMT permalink to this post

Getting a grip

Matt Ridley's logical disection of the current state of consensus led non-science was delivered at the Royal Society Annual GWPF lecture on the 17th of October. Will enough people of courage read its plain and simple arguments to be persuaded to pause in their heroic, self-gratifying pursuit of Facebook 'likes'? I doubt it but it is worth the effort of making a link here just in case.

It's reality Jim but not as we know it. After decades of well woven and finely spun marketing, being away with the scientific fairies has become the norm. Getting a grip, sadly, requires more effort that most folk these days appear to be willing to make. If it can't be said in less than 144 characters, it will not be heard, no matter how real. Tweet, tweet, tweet, tweet, tweet, tweet, tweet tweet…

The link does have pictures, if that helps! Here's another, in case that helps too:

9th August 2016 14.39 GMT permalink to this post


Just a formal recording of my unease.

Careful people are busy somewhere dotting Is and crossing Ts in preparation for the next step and making shady deals, no doubt. What we, the electors and powermakers, will make of the outcome remains to be seen. Should we be dropping our trousers and bending over our barrels for a right royal shafting or can we breathe a sigh of relief? Do we need to activate our protest muscles during this quiet season and fire a warning shot across governmental bows? Is this country in safer hands now?

Questions is all I have right now. I did my bit with a cross in the right box. History will thank me. Recent history demonstrates that the establishment does not know us as well as it likes to think it does. The box I ticked did not ask if the UK should leave the European Union after everybody else has had time to think about it and have a rest and get the Olympics over with. The delay in asking the question was delay enough. It is time to lift your foot from the brake Theresa.

24th June 2016 08.21 GMT permalink to this post


When every vote counts, the establishment quakes in its boots. David, a question for you, what percentage of the popular vote put you in power? This is the strongest message in this country's history that enfranchisement in this country is broken. We are represented by a minority ellite driven only by self-interest. Their supporters stand out on the BBC results map this morning, except for Scotland and NI, where the rationalle is different.

Programme of events (in no particular order):

  • Tory party leadership election, asap
  • New PM from the leave campaign, Boris?
  • SNP call for independence referendum
  • Markets and pound stabilise
  • start of EU meltdown, which was inevitable anyway
  • call for change to UK electoral system
  • Sack the liars (especially on the remain side)
  • Rational folk will start to plan the restructuring of our institutions
  • finance directors of publicly funded bodies will draw up lists
  • statisticians will re-write history
  • climate doomsayers will poop in their pants
  • watch this space

A University of Reading professor was quoted on the radio this morning as accusing those who voted to leave of being irrational and acting on gut instinct. He would be interested in my gut instinct if he said it to my face.

As for Scotland; I hope the very difficult negotiations that will start today (in secret) will not force Scotland to join the Euro zone. I hope that a referendum will give three options: Independence in the EU, Independence out of the EU, remain in the UK.

As predicted, it's already getting ugly.

23rd June 2016 11.05 GMT permalink to this post

Watch this space

Here's a prediction:

England won't win the Euros. The other thing? Reallly can't call it, it's been ugly and some folk will vote in reaction to the ugliness, with their hearts. My fear is that the status-quo will be more atractive to the waverers. If they keep us in, it's not the end. We just need Farage to put a candidate in every seat in the next general election, which may be sooner than planned. UKIP will hold the balance of power, at least, on a leave ticket. Job done. If we have decided to leave, it's going to get even uglier. Then we'll get our country back.

Have you noticed that, more or less, the Remain fearmongers are the same pointy elbowed, screetchy fearmongers promoting the man-made-global-warming scam. They will all have to emigrate to the shredded EU rump to carry on preaching, fingers crossed.

6th May 2016 08.30 GMT permalink to this post

Democracy is dying

It is bad enough that across the UK (and the EU) we have to tolerate the disproportionate influence tiny pointy-elbowed minorities have over legislation and the economy, but it is far worse that a substantial proportion of the majority don't bother to have their say when opportunities do arise. I give you the, still to be concluded, Scottish parliamentary elections. Where were the 44.4%, the silent grey unknowns who seem content to accept the will of the 55.6% who did make an effort? "Ma vote disnay coont 'roon here anyways", doesn't wash in a propotional representation system! "I dinnay like whit ony ae them stawn fur", is irrelevant. One of them will, whether you like it or not, stand and they will vote in parliament on things that affect your life and change Scotland forever.

Anarchy is the system where you get to not give a shit! Democracy is the system where you get to choose, or where you get to be the choice, one or the other. Democracy does not equate to any kind of real freedom. You don't get to be left alone, not bothered to get on with your own shit; an isolated silo on a don't-have-to-care island. Your money contributes to how everything is paid for. Your vote decides how the spending is distributed. Not voting is wiping your arse with every single tax pound and flushing down the kludgy, hoping it comes up smelling of roses. Complaining that it smells of shit is as stupid as not voting in the first place. Choose! It is a responsibility given only to adults because only children get to get away with not liking any of the choices.

I understand the tactical Tory votes amongst those who have bothered but Green!, Fer Feck's Sake, Green! They want to rape our landcscapes and bugger our economy in the name of a totally invalid scientific confidence trick. Stupid, stupid, stupid people!

28th April 2016 11.45 GMT permalink to this post

The BBC tail is wagging the dog. Get down Shep!

A formal complaint has been sent to the BBC DG stating calmly and clearly where the BBC is failing the nation in declaring the Climate Change debate to be settled. The complaint also details where mistakes are being made and precisely where the bias lies. The BBC's response will undoubtedly confidently expose how high and deep the swindle goes because it will have no effect. The threat of legal action contained in the complaint may raise an eyebrow but, as we speak, fences are being constructed and impossibly high walls are being built and everyone that needs to be is being briefed.

If the green police are scanning this and and you have resisted the programming why not also have a look at this link (putting it all in scientific context), which is the basis of an important comment on the above Not A Lot Of People Know That link.

Anybody stumbling across this page may wonder why any of this matters. It is about saving science, not the planet, which is safe enough. Science has become corrupted by the funding model now destroying former places of enlightment and learning - institutions formerly known as Universities. The religious and extreme left-leaning political movement referred to, broadly, as the Green Movement has its sweaty grip around the throat of all main stream media, including much of the web. It is about the global redistribution of wealth but its misguided idealism is being right royaly shafted by a corrupt cabal of gravy-train riding carpet baggers. Most folk are content to be told what to believe and are wholly swayed by a perceived weight of biased media marketed evidence. They remain blissfully ignorant of the true nature of the argument and are relieved that they don't have to find out for themselves.

The debate is also about economic survival. Big Green intend to break the world's successful ecomomies with not even a basic grasp of the disastrous implications for the whole of humanity that their policies will have. The truth is messy and ugly and far from simple and way beyond spin-doctored headline explanations. Science, Humanity and Truth are currently collectively heading into Room 101 and the the Big Green machine has the only key. And yet, they are a tiny minority! Democracy is dead.

26th April 2016 11.05 GMT permalink to this post

2+2=5, sure as shit. Nothing to see here!

The Outer Party Doublethinkers are no longer a covert organisation. They now openly declare a right to demand purity of thought and opinion. The Times risks the horrors of Room 101 by saying it out loud. We will work ourselves to the bone to pay for energy, we will carpet our beautiful land with monuments to Big Green Brother, we do know what's good for us. We love our planet… we can save it… there is no dissent… we will die before we embarrass our betters…

22nd April 2016 09.01 GMT permalink to this post

USA to join EU, surprise announcement

The EU is so good for international security, financial stability and trade that Barack Obama is expected to announce a trans-atlantic treaty today, finally bringing the USA back into the European fold. Another 50 stars to be added to EU flag! EU population to double overnight. Putin ominously quiet on the eastern front.

8th March 2016 09.35 GMT permalink to this post

Business management, remodelled as the functional family

We are all over-familiar, by now, by the 'dysfunctional-family' social meme recklessly applied by the chattering classes across the virtual garden fence that Facebook private messaging has become. A grossly over-used term that fails to recognise the complex dynamic that a family unit is, however extended. How often have I heard it used from within glass houses, from which stones should never be thrown?

Desparately clawing my way back to the argument I am trying to make, the point is that the family unit is a much better analogy for the functioning business unit so often likened lazily and clumsily to a team, with its sporting analogy implications. A whole consultation industry, in-house training regimes and business school empires have been constructed off the back of the idea that we work better in teams. I delivered a lengthy polemic on this very subject back in the day. It has itched ever since and, being a keen seeker of solutions to the clichéd opportunities that 'problems' are, think I can now present a better model - the functional family. The team ethic is a tool available to a healthily functioning family. Isolating this tool is analagous to using scissors and paperclips because you can't be bothered making an effort to fetch the screwdriver.

What am I saying then? The successful business runs more like an emotionaly healthy family than any sports team I can imagine. The limited team model gives rise to frequent military grade suspension-of-disbelief moments in order to shoehorn some essential business mechanics into its studded boots, where delicate and lofty high-heel slingbacks would be more appropriate. Morphing any organisation's management structure into the various family roles provides boundless, fun-filled bonding session opportunities. Try it.

Teams in the workplace break, all the time, and management systems configured according to the narrow specifications presented by that model are very complex to repair. Families, within reason, are much more resilient, flexible and crisis-proofed. They do need to be nurtured, rather than 'rewarded' as a team-player, but they are more reliable than teams - look no further than Premier League for examples of the unreliable. Mature family members are experts in manageing and operating the life-systems they encounter. Roles in teams, even 'flexible' ones, cannot compete in the family league. Healthy families breed stonger, more reliable relationships and a level of commitment and loyalty that does not exist in the sporting world.

I sniff a consultancy opportunity.

26th February 2016 10.28 GMT permalink to this post

Large nail, large colourful mast

Dodgy Dave thinks he is clever, as do his puppet masters. Worse, they think we are not. After years of shady secret deals he presents the nation with a ludicrous non-proposal, rubber stamped in his recent sweaty, staged, phoney media frenzy.

Not one of the issues of most concern to his slippery faithfull and all but the looniest of lefty Channel 4 News acolytes has been addressed, not to mention, acknowledged. The pattern of relentless mis-infomation and scare tactics is very familiar to those of us previously occupied in the fight for Scotland, now enduring it once more. Again, desperately, we will resist in an equally epic struggle to claw back some sovereignty for this fragile United Kingdom. This time we have allies south of the border, for now. The SNP are a lost cause as far as Brussels is concerned. They serve a purpose though, which freedom fighters everywhere can take advantage of but they must loose this particular battle.

The loonies will lie, it's all they have. The rest of us will pray for backbone-strengthening unity and lethargy-easing snake-oil remedies to get the talkers walking on June 23rd. Just incase there is any doubt, as previously:

Who do you think you are kidding Mr…

For Pity's Sake!

18th February 2016 8.54 GMT permalink to this post

Just awake? Now, what's that smell?

Now is the time to get a grip, calm down dear, relax and actually start thinking. There are 1000s of folk available to help and they do it for free. They have no political motive and nothing to gain from lying to you. This example from Kenneth Richard via NoTrickZone shows how easy it is to understand and, if nothing else, should cause you to start considering doubting the high-priests of doom.

Show those hard working folks just a moment's respect because they have actually spent the time looking at both sides of the argument, crucially. The high-priests are not even allowing you the chance to know that there is an argument, never mind a valid counter-argument, scientifically speaking. Take a risk and just look. The link above is as good a starting point as any. You will discover first and foremost that the 'deniers' are not bad people and are as concerned for our environment as you are. There is so much good that can come from old-fashioned scientific sharing and cooperation. The money currently being spent in foolish and unscientific attemps to 'prove' man-made CO2 causes planet-threatening global warming, could be so much better spent, for the sake of progress.

Progress, development, evolution = good. Planet + Humanity = future. There are plenty of planets, in this galaxy alone, swarming with much more slowly evolving biospheres. We don't all have to be the same. Natural Selection doesn't have to be cuddly and pretty all the time.

8th February 2016 9.28 GMT permalink to this post

Philisophically speaking

At the centre of the Ingate soul there is a struggle, often given political voice on these pages but occassionaly expressed more explicitly. Our regular visitor will know that this has manifested in long rambling belief systems laid bare. It has given the world the fragile bones of an idealistic political structure and the kinds of polemic currently found in menu links above. It is a decades old search for meaning made available for the whole world to see.

Passing time and wind has honed this struggle and brought into focus a more concise view and it is this particular Ingrate's desire (again) to share.

I cannot let go of the idea that there is an intelligent cause but I have drifted away from pointeless complex ramblings about that Cause's involvement in any aspect of the minutiae of our lives. Instead, I now think of it as a very elaborate domino chain reaction. The key is in the design of the trigger itself, which contains all the necessary components; the aim being to recreate the outcome - self-replication. The Cause sets in motion the evolution of its own being, such that it will be inevitably capable of repeating the process as it dies.

It is the Cause (God) who is reborn as the universe is recreated following its end. The ending is designed so that that its rebirth will have a pre-determined nature that will result in the evolution of its own Cause. The fundamental nature of energy/matter/time contained in the singularity of the beginning has been pre-programmed to result in DNA, which will inevitably become God like.

The branch of the evolutionary tree that will achieve this pinnacle will exist somewhere in the universe and it will become aware of its purpose in time. This inevitability permeates existence with echoes of its creative, uniting positive nature, which we give many names. In this context, I trust that nothing matters beyond what each of us does in the here and now.

8th February 2016 9.01 GMT permalink to this post

Brexit ==> Scin + Indy = Scexit

As innocent bystanders, in the face of true horror, in a desperate struggle to make sense of what we witness, it can be difficult to formulate a simple sentence. So we ramble. The sight of the anti-Brexit campaign's latest desperate threat is horrific because its source is clearly the same as the NO source that so succesfully scared the people of Scotland into submission back in the day.

The Calais problem will move to Dover, they say; we will be financially destitute, they say, we will lose jobs, they say, we will be insecure, they say. At what level does this 'establishment' monster operate? It cannot be aligned with any particular political party. It is no doubt nestling somewhere between the moist thighs of big money and big power, having tossed a status-quo coin that landed on its tail. They have decided that they will have more power and wealth if we keep them in the EU. The price the rest of us may have to pay culturally does not bother them.

Scotland is in a dificult position because, to maintain an indepedence momentum, we need the SNP who are of the non-Brexit persuasion (Scin) and, therefore, currently allied with the hidden establishment monster. The irony being that, should the monster lose, the SNP will have a mandate to demand another referendum, which will then allow Calais to bypass Dover and head straight for Berwick, (or they might go via Scandinavia to Shetland). Fear not Scotland there will be a window of opportunity following a Yes vote to establish a Scottish government that does support Scexit. Having lots of cake and eating it is the Scottish way.

29th January 2016 10.18 GMT permalink to this post

Victory for democracy in Oxford

Pointy elbowed, shouty types attempted to assert their minority opinions in Oxford and have been put in their place. They were heard, the community was consulted, their 'demands' were refused. The BBC explains why here. It will be interesting to observe the future careers of each of these protesters and to see how their future history treats them. Not that anybody reading this will be around for that! The past cannot be errased; the opinions held in another cultural or historical context don't negate an individuals significance; burning books does not destroy their ideas. Cecil Rhodes and the British Empire were real and everything we have now, including a right to protest and vote, are born out of that history. Get over it!

25th January 2016 09.45 GMT permalink to this post

RIP Defender

The Land Rover Defender has been consigned to history. Now, maybe, I'll buy one! While I'm at, it's time I visited that new Harley shop, only 2 miles away. I might not be joking. The mid-life crisis has been on hold for too long; something's got to give.

A thing of beauty

20th January 2016 11.55 GMT permalink to this post

The Letter Box Study Group

Yours truely has a passing professional interest it matters postal and ears perked up when 5 live mentioned the Letter Box Study Group this morning. They are close to completing their 40 year quest to 'record the type and location of every British letter box in existence'. It is a laudable ambition and a vital heritage resource. It is timely in light of our recent post on attitudes to mail in this so-called electronic age. It seems they lifted the story from the Torygraph, where column inches are also given to some very real threats to this heritage.

A Lamp Post Post Box in Assynt

20th January 2016 10.29 GMT permalink to this post

Highway Hazards

It is time to stop the indiscriminate use of hazard flashers on the highways of Britain. It is dangerous. A moving vehicle, travelling at normal speed, no matter how big, ugly and smelly, does not represent a hazard until it attempts to signal at a junction but cannot because the hazard lights are flashing! The illegally parked vehicle, whether or not it is loading/unloading, does not represent a hazard until an approaching vehicle thinks it is signalling to pull out because it can only see the offside flasher!

If you have stopped in the middle of the carriageway and have no control of your vehicle, switch on your hazards. If you are moving exceptionally slowly (being towed, for example), switch on your hazards. If you have power and you are stopped on the hard-shoulder of a motorway, switch on your hazards. If in fast moving traffic and you see a major obstruction ahead, briefly switch on your hazards as you brake.

The only other occassion where it is OK to use your hazards, apart from testing your bulbs whilst safely parked, is when you want to cause an accident!

19th January 2016 11.23 GMT permalink to this post

Responsive Ingrates

We have finished 'upgrading' this wholly static (unhackable) corner of the interwebs so that it meets the requirements of the 'responsive design' movement. We were primarily driven by a desire to view our own pages on small screen handhelds without having to maintain separate sites or completley separate style sheets. Using the W3CSS approach achieves this. It is not necessary to restrict ourselves to the W3C designs but we more or less have, to save effort on our part. Fully removing all trace of the last incarnation of these pages was tedious and time-consuming (at least 50 person hours) but is all feels fresher and it is easy to maintain.

The most difficult task was changing our gallery page, which currently has 82 pictures. This, remember, is a static site with no server based application building the HTML/CSS on demand and no easy administration application for uploading the pictures. Each picture has to be embedded in the chosen mark-up with style sheet tags and associated text written (or copied). The structure of the original page did not lend itself easily to the task. Some 30 of those person hours were dedicated to the gallery page, which does include building newly scaled and watermarked pictures for fitting into the new layout. A useful list of tools used:

  • Gimp 2.8, 3 coming soon, for all photo manipulation needs
  • OpenStego, for digital watermarking of pictures
  • Hugin, a panorama stitcher that will enhance our gallery page
  • Arachnophilia, a web development workshop tool from Paul Lutus

Apart from the gallery page, we spent about 1.5 hours on each page, on average. The process improved with experience. The tools above helped because we are familiar with using them.

Incidentally, we are so used to using Firefox that we initially forgot to test the results in Internet Explorer, which did misbehave at first but not due to any obvious browser inconsistencies. There seemed to be a problem with the IE cache/hisory, which was only solved by a complete purge. Use Firefox with Noscript for maximum control and safety wherever your online travels take you.

19th January 2016 11.02 GMT permalink to this post

Windows 10, again

'Who will rid me of this troublesome priest?' echoes across eight and a half centuries as we struggle with the dictats of the Microsoft cleric. Published widely are many fiddles and fixes but are there no loyal knights willing to silence this contemptuous low-born upstart once and for all? Perhaps in Josh Mayfield, developer, we have found our saviour. He has created GWX Control Panel and we Ingrates will be trying it widely in a matter of hours. Results will be published here, soon.

Woody Leonhard's InfoWorld site offers more advice on the subject.

update 25th January

On an old (and painfully slow) Windows 7 machine GWX Control Panel appears partially effective and worth installing. On a windows 8.1 (faster) machine it is fully effective. We will monitor the situation.

11th January 2016 14.36 GMT permalink to this post

RIP Thin White Duke

8th January 2016 9.12 GMT permalink to this post

Active Screen Proof-Reading Blindness Syndrome

I don't know in which incarnation of this whine sheet it was but I have previously complained about how difficult it is to reliably see what is actually written on a light emitting page, like this one. As I am in the process of changing everything on this site, I have been particularly punctiliuos in the pursuit of perfection. To which end, I have been regularly re-reading posts as I fiddle with layouts and sizes.

Despite this, I am frequently finding typos, grammatical howlers and holidays in the logic of my not-so-carefully constructed arguments. I am choosing to conclude that this due to the aforementioned syndrome. May I humbly suggest that the brain does not so reliably interprete what is sees when looking at a light emitting source, compared to a light reflecting source. I don't have time to search for published papers on the subject but I will dare to venture that they don't exist.

A quick glance at the archives proves, taht (I'm leaving this one in, highlighted, as proof) evidence of this syndrome is nothing new. Despite repeatedly re-reading in Paul Lutus' excellent Arachnophilia editor and then viewing in a publisher before uploading to the server, I still don't 'see' the mistakes. It is often said in the workplace that one should print a document before passing it off as complete. It does prove true that many more errors reveal themselves on the printed page. Does the brain process the visible information differently from a light emitting source?

Time to randomly, double-blind compare results using e-paper and led e-readers both to write and read documents. Feel free to pinch my hypothesis all eager scientists out there. Or is it time to ask my GP about the ever worsening forgetfulness, carelessness and poor proof reading abilities?

8th January 2016 9.10 GMT permalink to this post

Slaying the Windows 10 dragon

Thank you to that excellent resource, The Register, for pointing us to a final solution to the windows 10 threat. It is still a job for all us senior citizen free help-desk providers but it is, essentially, simple. We know why Microsoft are in stealth mode but they really don't need to be. Windows 10 will (after 'service pack 1') be a popular OS. In the meantime full details of how to avoid its forced installation have been on MS's website all along, it turns out.

Addendum (11th January) 2106

The above doesn't work on any machine I've tried it on so far. I will investigate further.

7th January 2016 13.18 GMT permalink to this post

HTML5 is the Ingrate's new best friend

One page at a time, the ingrates are 'upgrading' this site to HTML5 as described in the post below. The leap had to be taken sometime but the trigger is a desire to be 'responsive to the viewport'. We don't want our pages to look substantively different however they are viewed. Using the W3css approach also saves a lot of maintenance and unnecessary third-rate 'design' effort.

In this context Scottish Sceptic's rant on web standards makes interesting reading. I recall, as was the general website building mood at the time, that quite the oposite was essentailly true more than 10 years ago. Nothing has changed. The ludicrous browser wars and the mess that made of the site developer tool-chain and training courses and online opinion has left a legacy, clearly.

W3C progress has been good but slow and browser developers remain cynical but at a professional level, very few site developers and designers have a problem with the existence of standards and would not hesitate to defend them. The biggest problem is the steepness of the learning curve and the confusion over the implications of each of the stages of HTML/CSS standards development but this is not insurmountable. Scottish Sceptic regularly demonstrates an abilty to reason on his web pages so getting his head round doctypes should not be beyond him. We suspect his problem is in inheriting someone elses work. Untangling the mess in somebody else's head or resulting from the use of criminally non-standards compliant legacy development software is a nightmare.

For his information, the <br> HTML element is standard across all versions of HTML. Only XHTML doctypes require all elements to be closed, which is annoying because he is right that it makes no sense to have to use <br></br> where <br> would do. HTML5 does not require the </br>, thank goodness.

In order to avoid proprietary hell we must maintain, improve and extend web standards. HTML5 is as good a way to go as any. I will test, stretch and fondle it capabilities before your eyes on these very pages as the weeks and months go by.

7th January 2016 8.30 GMT permalink to this post

2nd class communications from BBC

Making the news as only the BBC can, is their story about broadband outages on a small part of Skye. I am going to bet that a BBC executive owns or rents a holiday home for Christmas in that part of Skye. Homes and businesses the length and breadth of BBCland suffer from outages every day, often prolonged. It is not news, why is it this time? It is a phenomenon we could refer to as the 'BBC local news production abuse of power' syndrome, here gone national.

What is news, is that the BBC or some folk on Skye, and probably elsewhere in this third-world backwater excuse for a civilisation, think that there is a hierarchy of communications with the interweb at the top and post near the bottom. I'm not sure where they think face to face or telephone conversations lie on the spectrum. There are things we have to send by post, not least the things we use to communicate electronically, and there are things we can do online. During that holidaying, <wink>working from home</wink>, BBC exec's recent tragic iPad wi-fi outage, it must have been very difficult to <wank>remotely control</wank> the machinery of Botherment.

Hopefully, others similarly bothered by their failing businesses across the nation, will get equal attention on the Beeb. I suggest they set up a dedicated page on their webshite or on the red button. Sorry, I forgot, they are both on an austerement propaganda list. I suppose we can send letters to W1A 1AA asking for news of communications failures in the shires. A 2nd class reply should arrive in less than a week. Should be faster than the broadband repairs.

The businesses of the Dunvegan area were not having to downgrade their communications by having to 'resort' to using mail, they were upgrading to a modern reliable means of communication. 1st class, all the way.

6th January 2016 10.46 GMT permalink to this post

Made Frae Girders

Clever Irn-Bru promotion, worth a look.

6th January 2016 10.28 GMT permalink to this post

Long live Lemmium

I knew Lemmy, 30 years ago, professionally. He was real and his passing is premature. His chosen mode of expression and life-style went hand in hand; he was built for people. During the period I knew him, his heart had been broken and I'm not sure it was ever fully repaired. He was good company and truely a gentelman and a schoolbus, as they say. Lemmy wasn't the rock'n'roll cliché, he was original. Rock'n'Roll's heart is broken.

It is surely right and appropriate that the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry should name a heavy metal after him. Sign the petition here.

5th January 2016 14.32 GMT permalink to this post

Ingrate Makeover

Our little, unknown corner of the blogosphere is undergoing a phased makeover. This page is first; others will follow. We are subscribing to the 'responsive web design' call to arms. W3C make it easy here.

We need to make our pages work better on our smart phones, while keeping a layout that also works on our laptops, without any additional effort (apart from this initial set up). We don't even have to maintain or store the CSS! We might keep our archive pages in the old style for all you nostalgic types. It does mean we are using javascript for the menus and you will have to turn off styles if you want to see the menu links without javascript. It represents a disturbance in the force but we can live with it.

Cue the wolf-whistles.

ps This is the javascript:

function w3_open() {
    document.getElementsByClassName("w3-sidenav")[0].style.display = "block";
function w3_close() {
    document.getElementsByClassName("w3-sidenav")[0].style.display = "none";

It will do you no harm.

2nd January 2016 15.14 GMT permalink to this post

Chewing the cud & trimming the fat

John Allsop with, very much, a professional and commercial hat on wants to sell us the idea that we should attend his web-seminars, read his books and web pages. He has found a cosy new platform to sell his wears from, criticising how others sell theirs. He has a point and it makes a good read but…

What is the web for? In that brief post I generously suggested that we need to keep it simple and go back to basics. I really did mean 'We', us non-commercial, unmonetized bloggers and all those information providers doing it for free. Perhaps we need a new subdomain, separate and free from the www, leaving behind the steamy, sweaty money worshipers to scrap for the left-overs. Some suggestions:

  • (world-wide-information)
  • (world-wide-free - might be mistaken for an NGO)
  • (interest-information-instantly)

Time to go on a diet!

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