YOz posts about the marginally insane way that the BBC isn’t using simple alternate spellings for iCan. I sometimes thing that marketing/branding is the attempt to defy common sense, in the hope that you’ll look so stupid people will remember who you are.
Dave Winer is a funny kind of guy.
First of all, he asks some pretty reasonable questions about TypeKey, the upcoming authenication/sign on system from those cheeky chappies at Six Apart. Fine – although perhaps a trip to the FAQ would have saved him some time (repeat after me: it’s not an API).
All well and good. These are questions that could, and probably should be answered.
Next day – a Sunday – Dave posts the following:
“The questions I asked yesterday are unanswered.”
Wow Dave, that’s a full 20 hours you gave them. Over a weekend. In fact, over Saturday afternoon and evening, when anyone sane is either shopping, watching sport, or fucking. Or preferably some combination of all three, although not necessarily at the same time.
So Dave goes from asking some reasonable questions to sounding like he’s trying to make a political point, in the space of 20 hours. Dave, the system isn’t even in beta yet: you can’t use it, you can’t play with it. So why are these questions so urgent that you need them answered IMMEDIATELY, before the end of a weekend, before you start getting snippy about it?
Next up, Tom C in his “cheeky chappy” persona comes along and smartly posts the same bunch of questions back – but about projects that Dave’s been involved in. I’m not sure how long Dave took to answer – was it the all-too-crucial 20 hours???? – but answer he did.
Except, of course, that he didn’t. Mostly, Dave said “hey, I don’t work at Userland anymore, what do I know?”. Which is a fair answer, but missing the point. While he was at Userland, did Dave push for any of the things that he’s asking or Six Apart now? Or is he simply using questions now to attack Six Apart, because – for whatever reason – he seems not to like them?
Had I simply read his original questions, I’d just think that Dave was, well, asking a few questions. But having seen his shrill “THEY HAVE NOT ANSWERED!!” comment, I’m lead towards believing that he was simply point-scoring. But why? I have no idea. I can’t see that Dave has anything to gain.
Anyway, Tom has seen fit to essentially apologise for asking those questions in the first place – or, as he’d put it, “back down gracefully”. I don’t see that as necessary. If it was legitimate of Dave to ask the questions of Six Apart, it was equally legit of Tom to ask them of Dave. Yes, of course, Dave isn’t responsible for Userland development anymore, but he was, once, and it’s worth asking questions about what exactly he did to promote the values that he’s now insisting on from Six Apart.
Further evidence (as if any were needed) that Yoz is a genius.
The county that was the site of the Scopes “Monkey Trial” over the teaching of evolution is asking lawmakers to amend state law so the county can charge homosexuals with crimes against nature, according to qa report in the SJ Merc. The Rhea County commissioners approved the request 8-0 Tuesday.
And people claim that the US and UK have a culture in common?
Tehran Times: US unloading WMD in Iraq. Claims the US has been spotted unloading WMD and long range missile parts in Iraq, in order to mysteriously “find” them again.
There’s something interesting about Parallel Youniversity. I just love that tag line: alternative news – government conspiracies – rave culture. But they really should add “ads by Google” to the end of it.
It kind of sums up everything that I didn’t like about the whole early 90′s thing: the attempt to marry counterculture with making a fast buck. It was at the heart of Wired, because, of course, Wired was nothing more than a continuation of hippy by other means.
Just read this
AH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
A HA HA HA HA HA
2lmc spool: You’re not big, and you’re not clever. If you’d bothered to do any research – and I know that such an idea is a bit beyond you – you’d know I left Dennis back in July 2003, a good three months before you posted.
I’ve recently been invoived in a deep argument on a mailing list over the thorny issue of speed cameras. Digging around, I’ve found an awful lot of information about them that never seems to get any attention, thanks largely to the government’s reluctance to take on the powerful and vocal motoring lobby.
So I decided to take a single news story, that’s fairly typical of the kind of thing that’s being published about speed cameras, and have a look at it. The story was chosen pretty much at random – but it repeats much of the blatant falsehoods that have become common currency in the debate.
BAN GREEDY SPEED CAMERAS
Feb 12 2004
By Jeff Edwards
BRITAIN’S leading policeman has slammed greedy forces who use speed cameras to raise cash.
So far, so good. I can’t really argue that this is an exclusive, thanks to young Mr Edwards phoning up “Britain’s leading policeman”.
Met Commissioner Sir John Stevens said in an exclusive interview: “I don’t approve of using speed cameras as money making devices. Their proper use is to lower accident rates.”
He also told the Mirror the public had a right to defend themselves and that he was prepared to quiz Royals and spy chiefs over the death of Princess Diana.
Sir John, 61, spoke out amid national outrage at the soaring number of cameras which land speeding drivers with a £60 fine and penalty points on their licence. He said: “I insist all Met cameras are deployed in places where there is a history of serious accidents.
Let’s ignore the bizarre reference to Princess Di, and look at two other elements from this section: “national outrage”, and Sir John’s insistence on placement in accident spots. Far from there being national outrage about cameras, a ‘poll of polls’ from Transport 2000 found that 74% of the public approved of the use of speed cameras. A Department for Transport poll found that 80% of people living in areas where cameras were being piloted agreed that “cameras are meant to encourage drivers to keep to the speed limit, not to punish them” – hardly a result that suggests national outrage.
Next there’s Sir John’s comment that “I insist all Met cameras are deployed in places where there is a history of serious accidents.” In fact, Safety Camera Partnerships (SCP), the bodies which place and maintain speed cameras, have a legal right to place cameras only in areas where there have been at least four fatalities in a 1.5km stretch, and where 20% of drivers have been exceeding the speed limit. This has been the case since 2002, but – given his other responsibilities – it’s perhaps not a surprise that Sir John doesn’t know the law.
“I’m not after people on a school run exceeding the limit by five miles an hour. I want to target the dangerous motorists and menaces driving unlicenced and uninsured.”
In fact, the Association of Chief Police Officers recommends that drivers are generally only charged when exceeding the speed limit by 10% + 2mph – 35mph in the case of a 30mph limit. So what Sir John says is, in fact, the recommended common practice. However, I’d question whether his example is a good one. People on school runs are most likely to be driving near schools, and often in a hurry – exactly the combination of circumstances that can lead to careless accidents. What’s more, the survivability rate of an accident for a child drops significantly between 30 and 35mph. At 35mph, a driver is twice as likely to kill a pedestrian than at 30mph.
The AA said: “This marks a sensible approach to traffic policing.”
Protesters claim speed cameras unfairly penalise safe drivers and have failed to curb the road death toll.
I’m sure they do, but without any kind of quote, who can tell?
In Hampshire, where motorcycle deaths have almost doubled in a year, six new cameras are netting police an estimated £30,000 a month in fines.
In fact, the police aren’t getting a penny from fines. Fines are split two ways: the costs for administering, placing and maintaining cameras goes to the SCP, with the rest going to the Exchequer. Neither the police nor local authorities get any revenue from speed cameras.
But the devices, which photograph cars from the front, cannot trap motorcycles as bikes do not have a front number plate.
I’m not quite sure of the logic here. According to this, speed cameras aren’t effective because a kind of traffic which they can’t catch aren’t being caught? What?
While drivers complain at too many cameras, a survey showed there were just six on 21 miles of Britain’s most dangerous roads.
Here, we just have a bit of lazy journalism. The survey referred to was by Autocar magazine and the RAC Foundation, but uses data gathered from 1997 to 2001. During this period, the national system of cameras was only in a pilot scheme phase – and most of the roads involved weren’t in the pilot scheme.
There are numerous articles like this, and the worrying thing is the government is doing nothing to counter them. All the information to show these “news” stories are baloney is there – but when will a government minister be brave enough to stand up and tell it how it is?
Another great idea: Downing Street Says…
essentially reposts the daily Prime Ministerial briefings in searchable blog form, with space for comments and links to related sites.