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Friday, May 22

Today I will be mainly feeling anger

My oldest mate's marketing company has just gone under after eighteen very successful years.

It wasn't killed by the recession, as this report says, or by losing business from playstation, but by the banks.

About six weeks ago, with no warning, their bank cut their overdraft down to 10% of what it was. They couldn't get any credit from anywhere else, not from any other lender and there is nothing either local or national government had set up to help small businesses like theirs.

And they had business. Despite reports of major cuts in marketing budgets they had been gaining clients (it was a youth specialist, one of the first to be set up).

So twenty jobs have gone entirely because of the bank's malfeasance and with no help whatsoever from a government which bails out banks and has yet to prosecute any of the criminals in them but has done nothing for thriving small business hit by a credit crunch their billions is alleged to be helping end.

This makes me extremely angry, especially as he has weathered a series of major hits, including a huge fraud against him, the sorts of ups and downs that end many small businesses, and come out stronger through sheer hard work and bravado. He deserves better.

It really is time a few of those b(w)ankers were strung up as an example to others.

Thursday, May 21

Going Richard II on the moats

Daily Show spikes MPs expenses and John Oliver gets on his horse for jolly old England and defends the English right to a moat, 'to encircle ourselves with a trench of murky ooze'.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
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Cute animals: Need a break? Whack-A-Kitty!

No adorable liddle kitties were hurt in the making of this video ...

Music: Postscript: The big fat gay collab

These things are obviously hitting a nerve. A nerve which says f***k you. In this case, French.

Oh jeez this is fabulous!

Wednesday, May 20

MPs expenses goes quackers

The news that, beating the moat cleaning expenses, an MP charged a duck island to expenses makes me go all quackers.

And think of Scrooge McDuck.

Comment is superfluous. Scrooge McDuck meets Pink Floyd.

And here's something to cheer up Sir Peter Viggers:

Tuesday, May 19

Your emissions are killing me

These two maps show, firstly, the world in terms of carbon emissions and, secondly, the world in terms of mortality as a result of climate change.

They come from a study published in the Lancet (pdf / more).

Humbled somewhat?

In an editorial (registration required) the Lancet identifies:

  • an astonishing lack of knowledge about how we should respond to the negative health effects of climate change
  • we have an immense task before us to address the inadequacies of health systems to protect people in countries most at risk
  • technologies have to be developed out of greater research investments into climate change science, better understanding about how to deliver those technologies in the field, and a more complete appreciation of the social and cultural dimensions into which those technologies might be implanted
  • there is a political challenge in creating the conditions for low-carbon living
As a leading foci for discussion on health, the Lancet is calling for nothing more than a bringing together of the disciplines of disease, food, water and sanitation, shelter and settlements, extreme events, and population and migration in this challenge.

And it says:
Too many doctors have been silent for too long about the importance of climate change to the future of health and health services.
HT: Ezra Klein

Monday, May 18

My fave Twitter client

After casting around for a good Twitter client for the desktop I have settled hard on Twitzap.


  • updates automatically (and you can set how often it does this)
  • allows tweets even when Twitter is down
  • allows you to set up channels really easily to follow one person or a group or a search term / hashtag
I tried Tweetdeck but it kept fighting with my Firewall and their website offered little help. I also really wanted something running in my browser and not eating up more resources. Plus I really didn't like the interface.

Another service I really like is twittertise. Ostensibly an advertising client (gulp) it does allow you to 'pre-tweet'.

As I've noticed that people can miss tweets (I do), it's useful if you need to throw out a question or promo something to be able to set up a retweet over a few days or at different times. It's obviously a tool for abuse as well but like most things it has it's angel side as well it's demon one :]
Paulie draw my attention to Mashable's list of tools for managing multiple accounts.

Sunday, May 17

Watch 'Us Now' online

The British film about about the power of mass collaboration, government and the internet, which has been exciting interest amongst egovernment circles and was shown at the end of the Gov 2.0 camp held in Washington recently, is now available to watch for free online.

In his student flat in Colchester, Jack Howe is staring intently into his computer screen. He is picking the team for Ebbsfleet United's FA Trophy Semi-Final match against Aldershot . Around the world 35,000 other fans are doing the same thing, because together, they own and manage the football club. If distributed networks of people can run complex organisations such as football clubs, what else can they do?

Us Now takes a look at how this type of participation could transform the way that countries are governed. It tells the stories of the online networks whose radical self-organising structures threaten to change the fabric of government forever.

Us Now follows the fate of Ebbsfleet United, a football club owned and run by its fans; Zopa, a bank in which everyone is the manager; and Couch Surfing, a vast online network whose members share their homes with strangers.

The founding principles of these projects -- transparency, self-selection, open participation -- are coming closer and closer to the mainstream of our social and political lives. Us Now describes this transition and confronts politicians George Osborne and Ed Milliband with the possibilities for participative government as described by Don Tapscott and Clay Shirky amongst others

IDAHO 2009: One Voice, One Message, Heard Around the World

This is a global video mashup for International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia 2009.

359 people from 48 countries took part in massive global web video project to mark the IDAHO 2009.

IDAHO was founded by a black French scholar and activist, Louis-Georges Tin, as a first truly global initiative, he says:

We are overwhelmed and, at the same time, humbled by this torrent of enthusiastic support that has poured in from all four corners of the world since we kickstarted the video project in April. People have made the effort to go to such places as the Statue of Liberty, the Great Wall of China, the Sydney Opera House, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Merlion, the Petronas Twin Towers and the Eiffel Tower to shoot their video, contributing to the spectacular visual feast you see in the mashup.