philmophlegm: (Lego Rock Band)

You don't need this laptop.

Trying to understand the EU's actions against Apple and the Republic of Ireland.

It's not shocking that professional employers judge applicants for client-facing roles partly on their appearance and their dress. What is shocking is that not only do state schools not teach this stuff, they sometimes don’t like it when employers try to do it instead.

Useful smartphone test. When I last bought a smartphone, I read lots of reviews, but one question that was never asked was “How good is it at making and receiving calls?”, that is “How good is it at actually being a phone”"?”

According to the latest Rowntree Foundation definition, someone in the top 0.32% of global incomes is now "in poverty". Muppets.

British WW2 propaganda posters.

Think you're good at Lego building? This guy is better.

If you were an American games company raising funds on Kickstarter for a new family card game "that combines speed, hilarious gestures, and your silly side for 2-6 players, ages 6+", and you weren't that familiar with politically incorrect British playground slang, what's the worst name you could come up with...?

"Nobody ever got sacked for buying IBM" …but maybe in this case, someone should have been.

When I was an auditor, this sort of clever statistical analysis was called a logic check. This is a good logic check on why American police might treat certain groups differently. (Hat tip to ford_prefect42.)

Archaeological evidence of a major bronze age battle in northern Germany c.1250 BC.

philmophlegm: (orbit)
My main gaming PC ('Khamul') died this week. It was pretty old for a gaming PC - I'd been starting to think about upgrading when I was made redundant in 2013. In fact, it dates back to 2011 - five years old is pretty geriatric for a gaming PC, but it was a high end gaming PC when I built it and that accounts for its longevity.

When I opened it up, a chief suspect in its demise was immediately apparent:


(I bet you're wondering what those are, aren't you?)

Find out... )
philmophlegm: (Wrexham club shield)

The latest target of the PC police - Gilbert & Sullivan.

"Controversy as Chester Zoo opens 'Wrexham Scally Enclosure'". (I should point out that Homo Wrexhamius Scalliensis Chavus is pretty much confined to the southern part of Wrexham, not the nice bit where I’m from…)

Why Gandhi is such an asshole in Civilisation.

The Curious Case of the (Medieval) Weapon that Didn't Exist

Why you can't just have more quantitative easing to get rid of the national debt.

This is not a 512gb microSD card.

The worst football kits of all time. They’re all bad, but Colorado, seriously…?

This month's best headline is from an astronomy website.

"A lousy, stupid, no good, bad, law is being proposed."

Star Wars Episode IV in a single image. (OK, it’s a very big image, but still…)

Minimalist, anonymous rooms are probably not a good place to do teamwork.

"We all owe a significant debt to Richard Murphy." No, really.

I'm an only child, so I can't really relate to this. Nevertheless I thought it was a sweet film about growing up being “Player Two”.

Woman accidentally joins search party looking for herself.

Today's most widely misinterpreted piece of economics, from the IMF. There are two arguments put forward in the paper. The first is that there are risks associated with capital account liberalisation (allowing money into and out of the country with less regulation). The second is that although high public debt is bad for growth and welfare, for countries with excellent records of debt repayment, like the US, the UK and Germany, a “credible medium-term fiscal consolidation” makes more sense than a “fiscal noose today”. In other words, slowly bringing down debt as a percentage of GDP, not slashing everything to balance the budget as soon as possible. Now that’s pretty much what the UK’s current fiscal policy is. Still I suppose “IMF economists broadly agree with George Osborne” isn’t quite as good a headline as “You’re witnessing the death of neoliberalism – from within”. Seriously, this is a paper that says “There is much to cheer in the neoliberal agenda. The expansion of global trade has rescued millions from abject poverty. Foreign direct investment has often been a way to transfer technology and know-how to developing economies. Privatization of state-owned enterprises has in many instances led to more efficient provision of services and lowered the fiscal burden on governments”… and Facebook (and one of our less reputable newspapers) is full of idiots claiming that “we are witnessing the death of neoliberalism”.­

philmophlegm: (D&D Basic)

The best business schools now recruit people with both experience of industry and teaching ability. (…and so does my university, which is how I’m there. However, since the business school is only in its second year, it might be a while before we catch up with Harvard…)

Japan is more low-tech than you might think.

...and Sony has just finished making Betamax cassettes. (I bet there are still fanboys out there arguing that the picture quality is better than VHS.)

Not for the first time, I thought we'd reached Peak Guardian, but no!

The sad tale of the man who designed the Diamond Jubilee Barge.

Visiting every Toby Carvey in Britain with a blind photographer.

7 Deadly Sins of Worldbuilding (Actually, they’re more things you might like to avoid than really appalling sins, but hey.)

A really nice map of Expert D&D Module X1: The Isle of Dread

'Virtue signalling' is not virtue. Good point. (And I am aware of the irony of linking to this post using social media.)

philmophlegm: (ICAEW)

"NHS 111 to blame for rise in A&E attendances is a really dreadful explanation for something that did, in fact, not happen". (Thankyou Steer for a good piece of analysis.)

Ed Miliband thinks that an Italian who runs an American company and lives in Monaco should pay "his (British) taxes". This is a Labour policy I can get behind – get foreigners with no connection to the UK to pay all our taxes. Brilliant. I would totally vote for this policy. (When you think about it, it’s pretty much the policy that successive Greek governments have adopted for years…)

The German government uses Battlestar Galactica LARP (on an actual warship) to train diplomats.

Apparently women aren't rational. (This is the latest in a long line of what I like to call ‘pseudo-economics’ books that litter the shelves of high street bookshops. Just as you find history shelves full of books about secret societies and how the freemasons are looking after the Holy Grail until the aliens land, you will find books in the ‘Economics’ section written by the sort of people who think Adam Smith is a member of One Direction. Pfft.)

Hmm. We've been thinking we could do with a projector for the business...

Schoolboy suspended for saying he could make classmate 'disappear' with the One Ring. Actually, the funniest thing about this story is that there is a town in Texas called ‘Kermit’. *

The To Kill a Mockingbird sort-of-sequel. Should we be suspicious? Yes. No. Yes.

Rotherham Council, the council that allowed 1,400 children to be gang-raped and sexually abused by muslims, is to be taken over by central government until elections can be held.

Is Rotherham the tip of the iceberg? "How much does the Labour Party know about the stench of corruption, sexual malfeasance, public maladministration and greed, incompetence and pro-Asian bigotry emanating from Labour's heartlands?"

Or is the whole Rotherham problem simply a case of a "rotten borough"?

Top 10 'Things that Ed Balls Has Forgotten'.

"How Sci-Fi's Most Prestigious Awards Became A Political Battleground"

Bryan Henderson doesn't like the phrase "comprised of".

"Big accountancy firm accused of saving people money" I particularly love the phrase “in blatant accordance with the law”.

Adding up the wealth of the poor - the meme that refuses to die.

The World's Poorest Man.

The Information Commissioner's Office is the public body that enforces privacy and electronic communication regulations. Guess what they forgot to renew.

Random Guardian comment generator.

Today is the 40th Anniversary of Margaret Thatcher becoming leader of the Conservative Party. The Labour Party has never had a female leader, but it clearly knows how to attract female voters.

* Has anyone else read ‘A World of Ice and Fire’? Lovecraft references I can take, but Sesame Street…?

philmophlegm: (orbit)
...landed on my doormat this afternoon. One person on my LJ friends list should (I hope) be very pleased with the three page article about him.
philmophlegm: (911 (2))
1. Managed to get six tickets for the Oakland Raiders / Miami Dolphins game at Wembley in September (me, two friends and three friends-of-friends). 28 years a Raiders fan and this will be the first game I've seen in person. (Not counting a preseason game.)

2. Car passed MOT (well, it needed a headlight bulb). I'd expected that at least £2,000 of work would be needed. The dealer had some very rare and interesting 911s in including three GT3 RS models (a very fast, very hardcore 911). One of these, in white, with red trim and red wheels had the number plate FA51 LAP, which amused me. They also had an utterly gorgeous blue ducktail 1970s 911 that was almost mint. The service manageress reckoned it was worth £180k.

3. Had a very successful wander around secondhand bookshops in Exeter while waiting for the MOT results. Two Robin Hobbses (although one turned out to be a book I already had but didn't realise, the other was the third in a trilogy where I've read the first and have the second sitting on the to-read shelf), one Tad Williams (the first of his famous trilogy, whose name escapes me, but which I've heard good things about), one Michael Moorcock omnibus (about the only Eternal Champion series I don't have - the second Corum trilogy), David Brin's entry into the trilogy of other-famous-authors-do-Asimov's-Foundation (which will take me ages to get around to, but only cost a quid) and a non-Revelation Space universe Alastair Reynolds. None of the books cost as much as £2, so I call that a win.

4. My Dad has ordered fibre-optic superfast broadband from BT based on my advice and has got his current provider (the astonishingly shite TalkTalk) to fix his current 1mbps copper connection for the remaining two weeks until his fibre is switched on. They'll go from 1mbps to "Up to 34mbps". I have arranged to provide some IT education so that they will be able to make the most of their new superfast broadband. This may have to start at a very basic level. I don't know why, but neither of my parents seems to pick up IT skills without actual teaching. They've had a computer of one sort or another in their house since 1982 and a Windows PC since the 1990s, so you'd think they'd at least know of the existence of copy-and-paste...

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