Tag news

Things that wouldn’t happen in Britain

From the BBC:

A group of rich Germans has launched a petition calling for the government to make wealthy people pay higher taxes.
The group say they have more money than they need, and the extra revenue could fund economic and social programmes to aid Germany’s economic recovery.

How cool is that.

Life imitates Ken Follett

As Charlie Stross points out, this story of the missing cargo vessel is getting more and more like a Ken Follett novel. To recap – a Russian cargo ship has gone missing, presumably hijacked by pirates. The Russians – and everyone else – are looking for it with warships, submarines, planes and satellites. And now there’s a theory going around that it was carrying a ‘secret cargo’, something ‘expensive and dangerous’ which it picked up at the shipyard in Kaliningrad…

Down with this sort of thing! Careful now!

An Irish cinema has been warning customers off seeing Bruno because "it’s particularly vile." If you phoned their showtimes answerphone, you get a message saying

Bruno is particularly vile. It leads to a hell of a lot of complaints from people who say ‘we didn’t think it was going to be that bad’. It is that bad – it will offend every prejudice in the book, believe me, so don’t come on after the film and tell us how horrible it was… One or two people have enjoyed it though.

The message has now changed, but you can hear the old one on Youtube.

Choice quote : "The Moynalty Virgins Club were in last night and they say it’s unmissable."

rapamycin – an anti-aging drug from the soil? Sounds familiar…

Intriguing stuff, especially for me – I’m on immunosupressants anyway, so a change in prescription might not be a bad thing. It does sound familar though – a drug from the ground, which has geriatric properties…

The spice must flow!

Chrome OS not a competitor to Linux, it *is* Linux.

A lot of people – including the BBC – are touting Google’s Chrome OS as a competitor to Windows and Linux:

The news could also be a blow to the open source Linux operating system, which had taken an early lead on netbooks, but then lost out to Microsoft’s elderly Windows XP. (BBC link)

Of course, this isn’t the case. Chrome OS is just another distro, albeit one backed by an enormous amount of dosh:

The software architecture is simple – Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel. For application developers, the web is the platform. (Google blog)

UPDATE: I note that the BBC has removed the paragraph quoted above.

It’s an interesting idea – a distro where the only app is the browser – but it’s not really anything new; it’s just another iteration of the thin client idea. Of course, it might be the right iteration this time.

It also rather goes against a lot of the ideas people like Alec and Adriana are coming up with – ideas of owning one’s own data are rather scuppered by every application running on some anonymous server somewhere. Maybe, after a while, users of Chrome OS will start to buy UI-less home servers to run their apps on and store their data.

Maybe we need a UI-less distribution of Linux, running Apache (or whatever) and a whole bunch of open source webapps – word processing, spreadsheets – and, of course, a Mine! server.

Only in Aberystwyth

A statue of Buddha built for a musical turned out to be so big that a partition wall had to be taken down to get it out of the door.

The 5m (16ft) gold-coloured figure could not be freed from the Drill Hall in Aberystwyth, Ceredigion.

police medic

M E D W A Y L A N D !

Apparently, Medway Council want to erect an enormous sign saying "MEDWAY" (a la the Hollywood Sign) overlooking the M2 Medway crossing. Blimey. Apparently they’re having trouble getting people to invest in the area because nobody knows where Medway is, although they may have heard of the five towns which make it up (from West to East: Strood, Rochester, Chatham, Gillingham, Rainham).

It’s their own damn fault for trying to plug Medway as a big brand when the idea of "Medway" didn’t exist when I lived there 20 years ago. At most you had the idea of the "Medway Towns." Medway is an ugly name that turns a disparate bunch of towns into a characterless and historyless urban conglomeration as I may have mentioned before.

er…

From the Department of Homeland Security:

We’re also actively monitoring travelers at our land, sea, and air ports. We’re watching them for signs of illness, and we have appropriate protocols in place to deal with those who are sick. Precautions are being taken to protect travelers and border personnel. Anyone exhibiting symptoms is being referred to an isolation room where they can be evaluated by a public health official before proceeding to their destruction.

(Cheers, Nick)

UPDATE: They’ve fixed it now, but there’s a note at the bottom detailing the change if you don’t believe me!

swine flu

Completely missed this, by the way, since I haven’t even looked at the news since Friday. This is a good thing, by the way – I’m normally an information addict, and it’s a good thing that a whole news item has happened since I last looked. As for me, no swine flu here, but I do think I have cad and bounder cold.

XKCD is bang on today.

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