Monday, 25 April 2011

The Camping trip

It initially started well, we got down to Morfa Bychan pitched our tent and settled back to a relaxing chill out in our chairs.... Then Freya decided it was time to go to the beach (literally 200 yards from where we camped) so off we went, we were there for less than 15 minutes when it started to rain lightly so we started to make our way back, but it soon turned into a monsoon and the rain was coming down like stair rods, we eventually got back to our tent soaked to the skin.... At least it stopped the kids riding around on their trial bikes and quad-bikes.... and it rained and rained.... we eventually got to bed and the rain even put to death any other festivities going on including the thumping Bob Marley coming from somewhere around the beach....

Freya didn't have a very good night, looking back now she was having stomach cramps and woke up feeling very miserable for herself, we had a decent breakfast and waited around until the trials bikes started up again then decided to shoot off to Folly Farm, which was a complete wash out, not weather wise, just our poor Freya she was feeling very peaky, so eventually we ditched Folly Farm after about an hour and on the way back Freya threw up in the car, fortunately she gives plenty of warning and we got it all.... 

That decided it for us and we got back to the tent only to find even more bikers and chavs had descended on the beach, so we started to pack up the tent and left....

I think had Freya not been poorly we would have stayed because the weather improved, but when you've got a 3 year old there are certain things that come first... we got her home and her temperature rose to 39C at one point, we don't know what it was she had but by the next day it was on the way out.....

Anyway we have our camping gear to hand now and I'm sure this summer we will be out doing it again at some point....

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Free !!!

For a bit at least.... Sullen one and FOMO boy have been packed off to their dad's for five days, which should be nice for them, we were getting a bit worried he'd forgotten about them. Having said that we will miss them, I'm sure they will have a lovely time down in Bodmin, So we only have Xboxboy to get rid of at home and little foghorn Freya.... We are hoping to go camping for a few days if the weather holds.... only local and close to a beach but it should be a nice change.....

The weather over the past few days has been glorious it hit 24c here in Laugharne which for April is brilliant. The Laugharne festival went well from what I've heard, we bumped into a few famous people namely Lily Allens father (Keith) and Roland Rivron, when I say bumped into Andrea got her foot stepped on by Keith Allen outside the Rugby club, and we walked past Roland Rivron and his family and had that "is that who I think it is" moment as we looked at each other.....the kids were oblivious of course..... apparently there were other famous people in Laugharne over the weekend but I didn't see anybody else.... Neither Andrea nor I get star struck, I once gave directions to Pierce Brosnan in Laugharne he was looking for the boathouse, the only thing that struck me was how tall he was, next to me a short arsed Welshman at 5ft 9" ....sigh

Anyway getting back to the Laugharne Festival, We didn't pay to see anybody (being locals and very tight).... we did however sample the atmosphere around the various pubs, and had a good night at the Cross House Inn at the Grist with a Rat Pack Crooner who's name escapes me, but he was very good.

That about covered the Laugharne Festival for us, it was a very good atmosphere overall and no trouble.... well except at around 3am on the Saturday with a few drunks putting the world to rights outside our house... other than that it was very enjoyable.

Anyway that about covers the news from our end. My phone is still unusable, and I'm loving the nice weather :)

Till next time :)

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

UN Resolution 1973

Or to put it another way the current Libyan civil war, I suspect the recent announcement to send ten serving officers of the British Army and a similar ten from France to Libya to organise the rebels, will increase although it will fall short of an "occupation force" no doubt there will be soldiers out there using laser designators on selected targets. It honestly wouldn't surprise me if there are already "British troops" out there in a non official capacity.

I don't think the current no fly zone is working, hence the military guidance requirement, sure Gaddafi's forces have taken a hammering, but this guy isn't going to go without a very bloody fight. The situation is simply too fluid with very little to distinguish the "good guys" from the "bad guys" hence the recent friendly fire incidents...

Personally I think UK/NATO/France/US want more accurate intelligence as to what is actually going down on the ground at the sharp end, and the only way to ensure that is to put military people at the sharp end......

However it smacks of.... 

November 1, 1955 — President Eisenhower deploys the Military Assistance Advisory Group to train the ARVN (South Vietnamese Army). The rest as the saying goes is history.

Although Libya is not even in the same ball park as Vietnam, you would think lessons had been learned. It's a difficult situation and what do we as a nation think we should do? Turn our backs? Or try to minimise the death of innocent civilians?

It's a difficult call to make, and everybody knows that air strikes/bombing do not overly effect a war, of course it can demoralise the other side, but many times in the past it's been proven that air strikes alone cannot win a war.

Make no mistake about it the UK is getting dragged into this despite certain politicians saying there is "no mission creep"

But the really insulting thing underneath all of the "protecting civilians" banner carrying and jingoism is the real reason


It’s a plain fact and more cost effective to help rebels wage a war against a dictator than watch your country suffer financially with spiralling oil prices.

It’s very simple maths when you look at it cynically

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

It's starting

Apple is running scared it seems, as I predicted in a post a while back on here, basically they are taking Samsung to court over "blatant" copying of the iPad and iPhone. The fact that Samsung supply a LOT of hardware to Apple to make their iPad and iPhone including memory doesn't seem to matter.... This smacks of a company that can see their profit tumbling and are pulling out all the stops including legal ones to try and stop the erosion of their market.... but it won't work.... Android is too big to squash now. Apple has felt this downturn in profit first because they are smaller. Microsoft to be honest have never had a viable product porting their bloatware across to a phone that requires the computing power of a small planet to run it at any decent speed, so any erosion of their minuscule market share probably won't be felt as harshly as Apple's.

Lets face it you can have the best designed bit of kit on the planet but if its pegged at the wrong price it won’t sell next to something equally well designed but at the right price.

Android is approaching critical mass after which it will be impossible to stop and the only thing Apple can do is bring something else out that beats the competition at the right price point. But I can’t see that happening to be honest…..

Click to see larger road map

The ironic thing is that both the iPhone and the iPad run a variant of  FreeBSD, whereas Android is a fork of Linux which is clean in that Linux isn’t derived from any other operating system, but follows POSIX standards, it did adopt “some” features from Minix but it’s kernel is clean. So they come from the same stable so to speak.

In March Apple sued HTC alleging patent infringement over the iPhone. if that isn't a company running scared then I will eat my hat.... (if I had one)

I can see a bumpy ride for the likes of any company in the phone market that isn’t Android and eventually all that will be left are the crumbs that Android didn’t want

This Google trends graph shows that Android apps (blue line) have already overtaken iPhone apps I can see the blue line going way past anything Apple ever managed and that's even AFTER apple released the iPhone 4 to market.. it's just a steady decline for them.... hence taking Samsung to court...... too little..... too late a classic example of a company resting on its pricing their kit too high (consistently....) they excluded a vast swathe of the population and now it's coming home to roost with them......

Addendum:- Apple has just posted record profits for the iphone.... that may be the case, but considering Android phones outsold iPhones it's a drop in the ocean comparing one companies profits against several.... Apple would have to seriously sell some iPhones to compete with the Android market.... it's slowly slipping down the league tables, and when you throw in Apple sueing Samsung (their only serious tablet competitor) and their recent case against HTC.... they are digging in their claws to hang on to the emerging robot.....

Oh and look as of today 25th April "The Register" has reported the very same thing .... I'm way ahead of them ;¬)

Friday, 15 April 2011

It had to happen

I bought Andrea her new Android phone and the day after I walked into the corner of my desk (with my phone in my pocket) and completely smashed the display on my phone... all you can see on the display is a crazed multicolour pattern with nothing showing except what looks like a supernova explosion.... ahhhh well... I don't make a habit of destroying phones in fact my last one was lost by my wife which she replaced with this one..... but I can quite honestly say I've never "lost" a phone, and as far as I can remember this is the only one I've killed outright personally... it still works as in that it takes calls, but that's about it. My memory isn't good enough to remember how the menus worked and sending a text would be purely guess work, so it's a no go.

So for the time being don't expect any calls from me until I replace my phone... not that I ever made any calls on my phone, I'd say the majority of use I made of it was to send SMS messages.

We've had our first phone bill in our new house and after sitting down and hyperventilating for a short spell, I fired off an official complaint because we had been told that as long as the new house had a BT socket there would be no connection charge, and considering the BT Openreach engineer took all of 10 minutes to reconnect us on our old line and number .... £93 extra seems a little steep....So we shall see what my complaint produces. I'm very draconian when it comes to utility bills especially ones which are wrong, as the £512 one we got off British Gas for our last 2  months of electricity we allegedly used at our last address, it turned out they read the wrong meter and the bill was really £138, but had I not queried it and put my foot down when they rang to ask if we were paying it anytime soon, I asked for the final bill only then did it surface the bill was wrong and had we not queried it we would have been none the wiser.

on the Marathon front Andrea went out running last night for the first time in about 2 weeks because of a quad injury she seems to have managed it without crawling back into the house screaming in pain, so hopefully it's on its way to getting better. Living with an injured runner is like living with a heroin addict who can't get their fix.

The only other news is that my parents went away to Jersey for a week, and Andrea and I had been plotting to clear their back garden while they were away. Now my father is a hoarder, he's from the generation where nothing goes to waste, or that something will come in handy at some point, needless to say the "handy" things build up, and build up until you find yourself hopping and picking your way through the "handy" things in the back garden.... now we knew that this was not the "ideal" situation for my mother who likes nothing more than to sit in the back garden and relax with a cuppa, but when you've got old workbenches and bits and bobs strewn over every open bit of ground, it kind of detracts from the "relaxing" bit... So before they left Andrea "interrogated" my mother in the back garden asking what plant was what and saying things like "ohhhh this place needs a tidy" prompting my mother to spill the beans about what she would like done.... needless to say they left on the Sunday morning and we where there a few hours later digging and filling rubble sacks, all told we spent about 6 or 7 hours up there over the space of a week and filled 30 rubble sacks and got rid of countless brambles and bits and bobs.

We waited for them to come back, and eventually the phone rang with a very tearful mother, who seemed to appreciate her garden being sorted out... We wanted to do a lot more but what we might have liked she might not have liked, so instead we said if she wants anything else doing she only has to call us and we'll come up and strain some more muscles…

Life is good :-)

Wednesday, 13 April 2011


Or to put it another way, an operating system founded/forked from Linux for mobile devices, I myself have drooled over the HTC Desire phone (mainly because I can see the display), but thus far I haven't been able to justify the expense of getting one. I have however managed to get an Android phone for Andrea's birthday today, admittedly it's not from the HTC livery but the LG Optimus GT540.... apparently it's a mid range Android phone. She seems very pleased with it... The good thing about Android is no matter which Android phone you have the interface is very familiar, and the range of "Android Apps" is mind bending at over 320,000 of them, some are free others are not....want your phone to become a metal detector ? (your iPhone won't/can’t do that !!)

Make no mistake about it Android is the Apple iPhone killer, as of last month they outsold Apple iPhones for the first time, and it can only get better as phones beef up their CPU Ghz and memory capacity, Andrea's phone has a 600Mhz CPU and 130MB of storage built in but can be upgraded to 32GB for about £30...... 10 years ago that would have been a top end PC let alone a phone...

The problem with Apple's and Microsoft's closed source model is that you have to live with what they think is right for you, and for some people Apple or Microsoft is right for them, but for a growing minority it simply isn't…. including the price for the privilege. You "lease" software from Microsoft/Apple.... once you've finished with the software try getting a refund off them !!!! Linux isn't based on corporate gain once you experienced the freedom of Linux there is no going back. This is why Linux has had the media light shone on it and people are beginning to wake up to what Linux can do for them ...for free.

Long term Microsoft and Apple will have to radically change their business model to survive, once open source reaches critical mass there will be no stopping it, Desktop PC's and Laptops and now Phones powered by Linux have been increasing year by year, and now with the meteoric rise in Android phones it only shows how adaptable and reliable Linux is.

I personally would never go back to anything offered by Microsoft or Apple, to use an analogy it's like putting on a straight jacket to play a game of pool... with Linux you get the chalk and the pool cue and a pint, you just need some balls to switch from Microsoft/Apple that's all ;¬)

There are so many different ways to do things under Linux and once you start using it seriously it's like a light going on in your head....

Anyway I shall have to wait for my Android phone along with my Aston Martin DB9 and my private Caribbean island.....

Monday, 4 April 2011

Oh look

The latest and greatest computer virus infection
with not a visible Linux distro in sight
(Source Symantec)

Friday, 1 April 2011

Déjà vu

Cast your minds back to the early days when Afghanistan kicked off and the then USSR invaded and stamped down hard on the rebels.... Then remember how the United States supplied arms and expertise to the then Mujahedeen and ran a very successful guerrilla hit and run type war with the then USSR, and how the USSR eventually pulled out of Afghanistan due to heavy losses... and then remember how Osama bin laden (ex Mujahedeen fighter and leader) popped up who had been trained by the United States and went on to become enemy number one on the US hit list through his various atrocities across the world mainly aimed at United States interests.

You can't help getting a feeling of Déjà vu over Libya, although you can almost feel the lack of commitment with the United States over this ongoing power struggle, and rightly so, they've been tarred and feathered by Arab countries, such as Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. Hence them wanting to hand over control to NATO of the Libya situation, almost like they’ve picked up a hot potato at a barbecue. They are very stand offish...and so they should be.

I'm all for getting rid of despotic heads of state who have very little compassion for their own people and wouldn't think twice about murdering innocent civilians, I'm also all for democratic governments, where corruption is a thing of the past... but lets face it even the UK isn't immune to Politicians being caught with their hands in the Government coffers...So corruption it seems goes hand in hand with political power. 

Or in other words the more powerful you are the more you can get away with, or to quote Joseph Goebbels 

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."

Now old Mr Goebbels knew a thing or two about propaganda considering he masterminded taking in an entire nation and then as history records went on to wage World War II along side Mr Hitler.... now I'm not a fan of Mr Goebbels or any Nazi, but that quote above all, resonates even today within the halls of power.

Take the UK banks for instance, no I mean it take them and drop them into the Mariana trench and to make sure they don't come back up chain the Ark Royal to their feet and scuttle her... The banks have had a massive bail out because they were too "big" to fail and yet they are still handing out billions of pounds in bonuses to the very people who caused their bailout....and we (you and I) paid for that why are they rewarding utter failure ? Since when do you give a pat on the back for falling flat on your face? The logic fails.

Anyway getting back to the point of Libya, Libya only supplies 2% of all the oil in the world, yet the civil unrest (civil war?) there is costing everybody in the world dearly in increased fuel costs that in turn will force up the price of food, because it doesn't get to your supermarkets under its own steam, because as we know a camel coughs in the desert and petrol forecourts put the price of petrol up by a couple of pence...... and we are now over £6 a gallon or £6.21 a gallon to be precise ..... when you convert from litres to gallons if you're of a certain age it hits home how much petrol has risen....

Make no mistake about it the "intervention" in Libya is about stabilising oil prices, somebody somewhere is making obscene amounts of money on the back of the Libyan crisis and they will also make obscene amounts of money when the crisis is over by selling their shares in oil, and move onto the next big money spinner, our world has a vast parasitic element (the financiers and speculators) who's only purpose it seems is to make money off the back of other peoples misery.

There is a massive undercurrent of dissent building in this country. The recent demonstrations in London for instance and you only have to go on YouTube and watch a few video's about statute law vs common law and de-registration of vehicles from the DVLA, people are waking up (albeit slowly) to how we are slowly being hock tied with our freedoms, the Digital Economy Bill for instance, people do not know how far reaching this is in controlling what people can and can't do on the Internet, it's nothing to do with copyright or protecting it, it's about control. Similarly we can no longer protest at or blockade fuel depots its' against the law (statute law).... 

A prime example of control is a simple one did you know that you NEVER own your car? Even though you have paid for it ? The government own your car which is why if you don't tax or insure your car or declare it SORN then they can take THEIR car and crush it? The simple act of "registering" your car with the DVLA gives them title to it, it never belongs to you while ever it is registered with the DVLA....

The DVLA will of course give you statute after statute to back their claim on your car, but statutes are not the law, common law is the law and it has higher authority.

By registering the birth of your child you are making them subject to the statute laws of the land....and you can be fined if you don't...... but you've consented to that, just like you've consented to register your car with the DVLA.

Don't misunderstand me I'm not some raving anarchist hell bent on bringing any government to its knees, far from it I believe in democracy, fairness and honesty, but democracy has been tainted along the way and yes we elect our leaders freely, but it's what they do when in power that does the damage, chipping away at our civil liberties bit by bit.

Some of us are just walking blindly and unknowingly into less personal freedom like sheep trusting those who lead us, trusting that they are doing the right thing. When in a lot of cases they simply aren't. The devil is in the detail......

Anyway watch what happens in Libya over the next few weeks/years.... they never learn and it seems political memory is a bit shorter than that of a goldfish.....