Contact Info / Websites
So, as of May 26 2012, European Law now dictates that websites in the UK should make it very abundant to users that if they're using cookies in any shape or form on said websites, to notify their users that they're doing so.
The common pattern so far has to been to display an in-page popup/popin, explaining the changes. What happens when you accept this great news, and how do the websites remember your choice? That'd be a cookie, then.
Cookies are not the devil and can contain all sorts of trivial and sometimes sensitive information, but they are more commonly used for good than bad.
I'm not going to go into detail, but for example, if you show an interest while online shopping on popular websites for "televisions", that site might then present you with suggestions of popular televisions on subsequent visits.
Third party advertising companies might use them to tell their servers that you have already seen one ad they have, and to display another next time they show you one of their ads.
THE most laughable though, when it comes to comments I have seen on social media websites on this matter are along the lines of "This is a good move, I hate being spied on". The majority of those people making the comments have more than likely checked the "remember me" option on those websites, so they don't have to log in each time they come back to their favoured site. I wonder how they're remembered. Oh yeah, that'd be a cookie, then.
It's not clear to me as a citizen of the UK (and European Union) when I might be in breach of this law, either. For example - let's say I own a business based in the UK and I have a website. What happens if the website I have is registered to a domain name service outside of Europe and the website is also hosted on server(s) outside of Europe? What happens if the domain name service I use is IN Europe, but the site's content is hosted outside of Europe?
Also, many website owners may not know they are in breach of this law, whether or not they're explicitly setting any cookies themselves. Will sites using google analytics need to declare that they're using cookies? Who knows.
Will this drive companies in the UK from having their content hosted on servers in the UK? Again, who knows. Can't be a good thing shoving these prompts down peoples' faces, though - and those already paranoid about blowing up their computer because they're using the Internet aren't going to be reassured by any of this. Most decent browsers allow the user to control what cookies are set, leave that choice in their hands.
Anyway, this trumps all of what I've written so far - the committee that decided this was a good idea fail to comply with their own law. Awesome.
Can't be bothered to go any further back than that. Oh and if you're wondering what cookies get set on those pages on accepting cookies, the name is ckns_policy if you want to remove it.
Punishment for websites in the UK that fail to comply with this law carries a maximum fine of 500,000.00 GBP = 781,966.28 USD (as of writing). Nice.
Time for a quick plea for you all to help my friend's band out. I met him at University and haven't seen him in 15 years, but we've been in touch over email and whatnot for a while.
He and I used to be involved in a music society at Uni. He's got an unbelievable voice live. I got a message from him earlier asking if I could vote for him to play at the Edinburgh Hogmanay (New Years Eve Party). As far as I can work out, all you have to do is click the FB like link or Tweet about it, as I didn't find any vote links - please let me know if I'm missing them. Here's the link:
I've attached a video for you as well. If you like that stuff, please go to the above link and "vote" for it. If you don't, don't. I really ought to get him to upload some stuff to the Audio Portal. Anyway...
Thanks guys and girls.
I'm off to eat a late dinner.
I forgot to mention - there's only a couple of days left for this AND everyone who does vote will get a free copy of their latest EP (presumably as a download or whatever).
Goldfish 11:32 pm
I need a shave
but my razor is busted
Jim 11:33 pm
could be worse....
I shit like 10 times today
my asshole feels like it's done ten rounds with Mike Tyson wearing sand paper as boxing gloves
Goldfish 11:34 pm
Follow up to this post. Again, probably won't be much interest to most of you, so skip this wall of text if you're not bothered.
Early this morning, I received a knock at the door. I missed it, as I was half asleep. I opened the front door and there was the replacement recycling box I'd ordered, 3 months after ordering it.
I was pleased, but a bit irritated that they hadn't left a note through the door to say that it'd been delivered as per my request - that way, if they left the box and some other thieving scumbag came along and took it, I'd at least know that they'd tried to deliver it.
A couple of hours later, I heard the letterbox have something pushed through it. It was a note saying that the box had been delivered and I was puzzled as to why the two things had happened separately - opened the door and there's another box waiting for me. Haha. What clowns.
Here's a draft of a letter that I was going to send off today had they not gotten at least one box to me.
Dear Sir / Madam,
I recently received my Council Tax statement for the year, and, whilst most of it makes sense, there is one thing that perplexes me. It is not the amount that is attributed to the Fire and Rescue services, or the Police service. Those are all worthwhile services and are critical in times of need. It's the whopping amount that's attributed to the Council that's bothering me. I would like to know exactly where that money goes to. Maybe you could send me some literature on that, so I can throw it in the green recycling box that I don't have.
Twelve weeks ago, I called to request a replacement green recycling box after mine had gone missing. I was told, "We'll get that to you right away". After waiting two weeks or so, I called again after it had not arrived. And then again several times after that (two of those calls told me that the replacement box would be there within the week - so much for that). Each time I've called, the people have been very courteous and polite, but that's not the point. They don't seem to know what's going on any more than I do.
The last few times I've called, the excuse has been, "Oh, we had bad winds in February and a lot of people have been asking for replacements, but we don't have any in stock". Bad winds?! Really?!? It takes over two months for something like this to get sorted out?
Another excuse has been, "The manufacturer hasn't been able to get enough stock to us". Again, really?!?
This is rudimentary economics when it comes to public sector services: if demand outstrips supply, order more. If the manufacturer can't deliver what you need, get a different manufacturer. I figure if I had the time and inclination in the duration I've been waiting, I could have:-
- designed my own box
- caught a merchant ship to Taiwan
- had the box made
- caught a merchant ship back with the box I'd had made
and I'd have done all of that before the Council have done anything about this.
If I go to a restaurant and order a meal, I get the meal and then pay for it. With the Council Tax, it's the other way around - I'm paying for a service I'm expecting and just not getting it - and there is nothing I can do about it, other than complain.
I don't want to hear anything more about "winds" or "being out of stock". That is nothing to do with me, I'm a client. Furthermore, if Japan can recover as well as it has so far from a Tsunami in less than a month, it beggars belief that I am still waiting for a plastic box after over two months.
The irony of all of this is that if I send my cheque off for the money I'm being charged twelve weeks late, I'll probably have received a court summons by then and may even have had to have attended court. I doubt that the Judge would accept "I went to post it, but it was windy and blew away... and when I went to get another envelope, they were out of stock" as a valid reason for not paying.
SORT. IT. OUT.
I couldn't really be bothered with writing anything else here for a while, but someone suggested I should. I doubt many of you are going to be interested in this, so just ignore it if you're not.
Where I live, I have to pay what's called "Council Tax" - it's mandatory and I pay 25% less than most other people in my neighbourhood, as I live alone. Still, it works out at around $1,300 US per year.
That covers services such as; road maintenance, Police, Ambulance, Fire and Waste Disposal. The latter of which is what my gripe here is about.
We get three waste receptacles - a large black bin (trash can) for domestic waste, a large green bin for garden waste (that can be recycled), and a small green box for recyclying; tin cans, paper, cardboard, plastic.
My green recycling box went missing over a month ago and I've been onto these people on the phone four times since, asking where my replacement is. All of the people I have spoken to have been courteous, but none of them seem to know what's going on.
Now I'm not some hippy who trudges around the place pressing people to better the world by being "more green minded", but I do believe that all trash should be put into the right place, where it can be.
In fact, certain busy bodies were trying to push a law over in the UK that would force people to put their trash in the right bins, and they even went so far as to suggest that video cameras should be placed in those bins to record the activity of those people.
In my opinion, they hadn't really thought that one out well. I mean, what's to stop people swapping these bins or from someone masking their identity with a Balaclava or something like that?
I suppose the same sort of thing happens with suggestions for NG now and then - people just don't think things through. "HAI GUYS, I HAVE A GREAT IDEA..." Well, no, you don't, because it's flawed in many ways that you just didn't think about.
I dread to think how many trees have gone to waste to produce the rubbish that comes through my door and that's what bothers me. I can't get rid of what should be going into my recycling box without feeling extremely guilty. This is not a small-scale problem, either - the amount of absolute garbage that comes in paper format through the letter box is ridiculous. I can't get rid of it fast enough on a weekly basis, never mind having to wait for this damned replacement box for what will be five weeks this week.
Could go on and on about this, but I won't... If you got through this, well done. If not, I told you you wouldn't be interested from the start.
My Niece has been taking all the limelight in my recent posts, so I thought I'd make a new one based around an old friend - my sister's cat, Charlie.
I don't have dialogue with my Niece yet, she's not old enough to walk or talk, she just eats, sleeps and poops at the moment, so there's not much going on when I go there.
Charlie is much more personable. He doesn't attack my niece or anything, he gets up and does what he wants to do for the day. There's a cat flap at the back door and he lets himself in/out whenever he wants to and lets himself back in whenever he's done doing what he wants.
The only naughty thing he does now and then is bring dead frogs back in. My sister and brother-in-law live close to a river, so the frogs are in abundance around there.
Tom also has a cat called Charlie, and he looks very similar to my sister's.
Tom's got a cute pic of his cat slumped over Dan's monitor, when he was working from Tom's old place, if I get that, I'll update this post with it for comparison shots.
Here's a picture of my buddy, he's slumped in front of a coal burning fire.
Quick note... My sister had her baby a week or so ago - 9 pounds 6 ounces and nearly 2 feet in length (big baby!).
I now have a niece. Haven't met her yet, I've had a bad cold for the past few weeks and don't want to go over there and pass it on.
Here's a picture.
I have a sister who's just over two years younger than me. It's fair to say that she and I didn't get along too well when we were growing up (not to any severe extent), but that changed once she came to visit me at University.
I guess it's because she was thrown into an adult-ish environment and she was treated as an adult by myself and all my peers.
Since then, we've had our minor fallings out, but nothing major, and now she's the "voice of reason".
Anyway, she's married, and (at time of writing) 8 months pregnant, expecting a baby girl. I'm looking forward to it, I'm going to spoil that child rotten. Shwoo!
BTW, "Jj" is what my sister called me when she first started talking. She couldn't say "James". I'm going to encourage the baby to go by the same name, until she's old enough to call me something rude.
Ok, so I'm in Philadelphia at the moment, at the Newgrounds office. It's been a hectic weekend, what with WizardWorld (three day conference - I made it the first couple of days, but was so tired on Sunday that I skipped that day. I feel bad about that, as I wasn't around to help out AND I'd promised a guy on one of the stalls opposite newgrounds' booth that I'd buy a Bobba Fett print...)
I was trepidatious about coming out here for two reasons:
1. I hate flying. And I'm really under-stating that. I HATE flying. On the list of the things I would least likely want to do, next to dying, would be flying (shwoo, that rhymes).
2. I knew that there'd be fans coming into the convention and other fans hanging out at the office for the duration of the convention.
Now, that might sound weird / obnoxious, but what I mean by this is that many people who I knew were coming out here I'd already had dialogue with online and gotten along wiht great. I was nervous that I'd come across totally differently in person, or the people I knew I'd be meeting would be different to how I imagined them to be. And I'm just not good at meeting people for the first time. I shyed away from doing that at the conference. Anyway...
As I met Tom for the first time, despite having known him for nearly 7 years before that online, he admitted to me that he'd felt like that - like we got on great online, but maybe we wouldn't get along in person and that could ruin any chance we had of getting along online again afterwards.
I shouldn't have worried, though. The guys I've been spending time with this past few days are honestly the most kind, balanced, well-humoured, friendly bunch of folks you could ever expect to find yourself in the company of. The flight was ok, too.
A bunch of guys (other than staff members) have stayed on at the office after the conference. Timmy stopped by yesterday after the conference ended. Tomamoto left earlier on today. The others (I won't list them because I'll miss someone out and then feel bad about it) are leaving (with the exception of HappyHarry) throughout the week. I wish we'd all got a bit more time to spend together, but there's always next time, amirite?
Finally, summary of WizardWorld below.
Is anyone, other than me, disappointed that there haven't been more MTV unplugged releases on CD/MP3?
For those of you who were born after all of this happened, in the early nineties, there were a series of sessions:-
Nirvana, Eric Clapton, Pearl Jam, Neil Young, REM, Stone Temple Pilots, etc.
Pearl Jam recently re-released "Ten", a re-mastered version of their album, which includes a DVD of their MTV unplugged session - but still no CD to listen to.
Once Kurt Cobain had died (perhaps even before that), the sessions from Nirvana unplugged were immediately released to CD. Clapton's unplugged session was also released.
I'm wondering what's stopping the rest (other than the record companies who own their asses) from releasing the other material that was produced in these shows.
With the digital age as it is, times are harder for the record industry more than they ever were when it comes to them making some money, so it seems to me like a good time to release these recordings in formats that we can listen to.
I maybe alone, but anyone with me? Also... I miss the unplugged stuff. I wish MTV would bring that back, or some other show would take up where they left off. Jools Holland's show would be a good start.