It Is About Pictures

The interesting thing about most hobbies or past times is the passion of those that follow them, that can be generated over the smallest things that most often are not essential to the particular pursuit and this seems even more amplified by the attitudes developed by social media use. It doesn’t really matter what the particular pursuit is, most seem to require the purchase and use of ‘kit’ of one kind or another and inevitably with that comes what “is in or out of fashion” as far as such ‘kit’ is concerned.

This piece ‘focuses’ (forgive the pun), on my passion for photography but it applies to many other “hobbies” too. Continue Reading →

Time to Pause and Think

For those interested in such things, there is a background dispute going on between Apple and the FBI with regard to the former helping the latter to unlock a phone belonging one of those involved in the San Bernardino shootings where 14 people died. The only person who has said anything interesting was Bill Gates and even then what he said was misrepresented by negligent reporting.

What he actually indicated was that “We need to have a discussion about these issues” and he is right because once again we have society coming face to face with an issue that didn’t exist before our “digital age” and new thinking is required. Continue Reading →

Mobile Phone Companies

My basic question when it comes to mobile phone companies lies in whether they are smart or just totally stupid ? I ask this question because of “offers” that my mobile phone provider keeps texting me which are so obviously stupid that I cannot even imagine a sentient life form even concocting them in the first place.

Of course this silly behaviour is indicative of a flawed mindset on the part of the “management” likely supported by the ever incompetent “marketing people”. However it raises some interesting broader issues about both jobs and employment going forward. Continue Reading →

Volunteers in a Changing World

There was a news report on the BBC website concerning the use of unpaid volunteers in mainly the Police service. Obviously this is set against the background of public spending cutbacks and the impact this is having and going to have in the future on Policing. Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34697149

However perhaps the whole concept of volunteering needs to be looked at in a totally different light, rather than ‘cost cutting’ and more an essential way of building social cohesion at a time when the “world of work” is undergoing a radical transformation. Continue Reading →

The Digital Merry Go Round

The recent problems surrounding the data compromise at Talk Talk an internet service provider have hit the headlines heavily over these past few days and frankly this is not a bad thing. True for Talk Talk it is not the sort of publicity that they would wish because along with all their irate customers, this is the third time something like this has happened to them in a year.

So its all their fault then ? Well NO it really isn’t and a situation like this is a good thing to get people to stop, think and change their own behaviour because as we become ever more dependent upon the internet, we also need to take a far more responsible attitude towards it as users, laying back and “leaving it to others” will never be good enough. Continue Reading →

Replacing Trident

Not just because of Jeremy Corbyn or the SNP but looked at rationally, one might properly conclude that replacing our nuclear deterrent is an act of total madness. To spend such vast amounts of money on such a hideously obscene weapons system that we as a Country would never resort to as our first strike weapon must be total nonsense and hardly worth any debate before we cancel the whole thing and opt for unilateral nuclear disarmament.

Or is the above the whole story and does it make sense ? Continue Reading →

What Were They Thinking ?

I personally found much of the treatment of BP by the US legal system following the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to be totally shabby and lacking in any sense of ‘justice’. It was clear that BP because it was a “foreign company” was going to be treated far more harshly than any American corporate would be under the same circumstances because in these situations the US Courts are totally xenophobic.

Plus US politicians just can’t resist the chance to attack “Johnny Foreigner”, to make them look strong to the electors and because we, non US citizens don’t have a vote there, a cheap and easy win for them. Continue Reading →

Extending the Idea of Volunteers

In an earlier post ( http://baldysblog.co.uk/2014/12/06/us-oaps-can-help/ ), I was looking at sustaining the NHS as an affordable public service and specifically caring for the over 60s which had led me to ponder the use of using unpaid volunteers in certain roles specifically getting the fit over 60s to help care for the ailing over 60s. Since then I have had a couple of other ideas where it might be possible to both increase the efficiency and reduce the cost of another major area whilst tackling other social problems.

So this post looks at using volunteers in the provision of Defence but set against the background of the current and projected global situation and in particular the impacts on youth employment. I hope it makes for interesting reading. Continue Reading →

Technology and Ageing

I suspect that until physical infirmity finally dominates your day to day life, at a concious level we don’t really feel that we are old providing our brains are fully functional. In fact for me the first time I realised I was degenerating physically was “the tea towel test”. You use a tea towel, reach over to put it on a worktop and for some strange reason, it ends up on the floor ! When this repeats itself you come to realise that whilst your brain still functions well enough, your physical reactions are no longer fully synchronised with it, concious adjustments are now required.

But the other area lies in technology when you realise that “They are no longer thinking about people like me…” Continue Reading →

Time to Look Again at ID

With a general election in the offing, the question of Internet voting has risen its head once again but the big problem with it lies in “verification” by which I mean, is that a valid vote, is that an actual individual who is entitled to cast their vote electronically ?

For people like the Speaker of the House, Bercow to gaily indicate that it will happen in 5 years, is entirely stupid because he is seriously underestimating one of the key elements that makes any democracy valid, “That the count itself can be trusted”, even the most repressive countries have elections based upon one person one vote, but it doesn’t make them a democracy and there have been abuses of postal voting. Continue Reading →