Sunday, 31 October 2010

Back to the Future?

East Belfast movie maker George Clarke was going through a Charlie Chaplin box DVD set about a year ago when he noticed, right at the beginning of a clip he was watching, a woman walking by looking for all the world as if she were chatting on her cell phone/mobile/handy.

It seems replaying it and zooming in did nothing to alter that impression either.

So - could it be a sneak preview of a futre Dr Who companion?

One with the DR's special tweaks that lets cell phones work accross time?

Or maybe a member of security staff from the USS Enterprise quietly chatting with the ship on her communicator whilst it was on an adventure in the past. Who knows could the man in the hat be a shot of a heavily disguised Spock with a hat covering his ears and eyebrows...

It is not likely it could actually be a current cell phone running on the current systems. They require an extensive infrastructure to make them work, with a network of arials to allow them to connect through to the provider's exchange and route the call on to the recipient.

Still there are other possible explanations - maybe time traveler with a walkie-talkie..

Of course there is the alternative that it is just coincidence, or someone who is hard of hearing, or even a hoax, by whoever put the original DVD together, we all saw Forest Gump at famous historical events, computing has moved on since that movie was made.

Even so, it fires the imagination dosn't it?

Monday, 18 October 2010

Quote of the day

Dane - Geld

It is always a temptation to an armed and agile nation
To call upon a neighbour and to say: ~~
"We invaded you last night-we are quite prepared to fight,
Unless you pay us cash to go away."

And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
And the people who ask it explain
That you've only to pay 'em the Dane-geld
And then you'll get rid of the Dane!

It is always a temptation for a rich and lazy nation,
To puff and look important and to say: ~~
"Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
We will therefore pay you cash to go away."

And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
But we've proved it again and again,
That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
You never get rid of the Dane.

It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
For fear they should succumb and go astray;
So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
You will find it better policy to say: ~~

"We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
No matter how trifling the cost;
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
And the nation that pays it is lost!"

Rudyard Kipling

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Spin me right round baby, right round

One of the few legitimate functions of government must surely be defence of the nation, or what is the point of it at all?

No it seems the UK State is reneging on even that basic duty. The coalition Government is attempting to spin a poorly though out attempt to save money as only an 8% cut in defence spending.

This is not really the case of course, but why did we ever expect honest dealing from politicians. When all is taken into account it is at least a 15% cut.

This after years of sustained, one can't help but suspect, essentially ideologically driven government neglect - and despite spin to the contrary, continuous real cuts in defence spending, even in a time of actual war thanks to the previous government.

It was to be hoped that things might have changed with the removal of the incompetent Labour administration but no.

These reductions from a government that is for some insane reason ring-fencing foreign aid budgets in preference to maintaining a credible defence capability, a government that seems to be surrendering the UK's ability to project any credible force globally.

One might be tempted to wonder if this is part of some cunning backdoor pro EU defence force thinking - but alas suspects it is more just simple lack of foresight, incompetence and a lazy hope that the US can take care of the bad guys out there for us (that seems prevalent in so many governments throughout the world) - whilst of course looking down their noses at the US for being willing to actually grasp the nettle.

It isn't as if the UK is unable (despite successive governments discouragement and denigration of them) to produce brave men and women ready to fight and chance dieing in the nation's interests.

Nor is it there is not the know-how and skills to equip them.

Or even as if there isn't the will within the population.

As usual it is politicians who fail to actually reflect the will and desires of the people.

So tell me - How does this 'democracy' stuff work exactly?