Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Pause for thought

While around the intrawebs last week I spotted this meme that held my attention for a good while probably because I recognize the universality of the experience. It sure matches my own because in the strive for perfection it's easy to forget how we get there, that in order to build say a house from a box of Lego, you need to find what best fits where but you learn from that. And other people are on the same trip, maybe playing catch up to you so it can be tempting to either do things for them or worse still berate them for not having learnt from an experience they never had.
The last line gets to me -I'll be honest here - because I've come from situations where people have put you on  a God like level and yet although it may true to say I'm relatively wise, I remain Human, imperfect in every single action but above all Thankful for my being alive and that of others.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Internet child safety Summit Meeting

Today government demanded representatives from internet service providers and search engines were to attend a meeting by the Culture and Media Minister to discuss 'child abuse images' online.
This has come about as it was suggested in two high profile child abuse trials the persons concerned had such images on their computers and smart phones.
None of us wants images of child abuse to be freely circulating by it because we find it disturbing  and mainly is a record of actual abuse (or taken in the context of) but already there appear to be some limits leading to a BBC technology expect predicting a "Dialogue of the deaf".
The first is an many politicians do not  appear to be able distinguish between what an Internet Service Provider  is - a provider of internet connection - and what a search engine is - a means of locating often using tags in posts specific data on the web - such as websites.
The significance is that a search engine merely lists what is out there and may have 'safe search' options excluding certain terms, however of itself it doesn't restrict access. An internet provider may apply,  if ordered, a block to its users of sites  such as Pirate Bay that host copyright material sites plus sites deemed illegal, or possibly harmful.
One problem with the latter category is deciding what in fact IS harmful and a few years back the following image was blocked from wikipedia and is not allowed on ebay although it is legal in the UK and several hundred  thousand people own it.
That is the cover of the 1970 album Blind Faith, the model (pre teen) was permitted by her parents to pose (they were present) and it has been legal ever since then but the Internet Watch Foundation and CEOP disagreed and had it blocked from UK ISP's for a period but available in the rest of the World.
See the problem?
The other thing is, if any blocks are applied are applied at the ISP end, it is quite easy to install a 'Proxy' to tell it you aren't in the UK (and NOT on your isp) defeating it. One level above this would be to install the US navy browser TOR that effectively uses encryption bouncing  internet traffic through relays hiding your location and what you're looking at.
This is available for Windows.
Tor project
At the supply end there are many encryption packages for text and images used often in countries where internet censorship is common place yet information and pictures need to be gotten out. There's no reason to suppose those who spread such images  aren't already using such techniques (it usually only the most naive who don't).
I seriously doubt anything of great significance will be achieved today although automatic tagging on images may assist removal from the most accessible sites by aiding identification of duplicates and that I'd welcome.
When it comes to 'adult porn' I really think the .xxx mandated approach would work if you had to set your browser to accept that domain so you could lock them off children's smartphones or laptops.
I also feel the only really safe option is for parents to use safety settings on browsers setting limits to suit their children's age and to talk about keeping safe online. It's your responsibility.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Stay cool

More hot stuff in a a week that's been pretty hot and humid here while I've been struggling with hayfever.
If you like stay cool, look cool and maybe get some sun on you the following summer short mini dresses may appeal:

The first is an Aztec print, the second a lovely floral print

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Zed Zed Top Complete Studio albums (6-10-2013)

The biggest boogie band on planet earth? Probably these Texan rockers I'd say.
Just arriving through the door will be this box set  recently issued by Rhino/Warners that has the first ten albums (Self titled to Recycler) by the band seing them through classic blues boogie to their synthesizer reborn era of the mid 80's.
What makes this set particularly appealing  even though the discs are held in just card replica sleeves in a card outer box is that for the first time every album from Z Z Tops first album through Tejas will be issued in their original mixes on cd for the very first time.
In the early cd era (1987) Warners and Bill Ham, ZZ Tops producer, decided to issue  6 early albums in a 3 cd set called the ZZ Top Six pack back to back and the replaced the original drumming with a machine and edited a number of the songs.
In the opinion of many fans making 70's songs sound mid 80's in this way was beyond a travesty and even when separate cd issues were done these mixes remained in print although in 2006 Fandango! and Tres Hombres were remastered from the original recordings with bonus tracks but Rhino didn't follow though until now.
For years fans made do with their original London and later Warners re-issue vinyl with some even digitizing them and making available as unlicensed downloads

This is how they look in the box. Note how they look like small scale vinyl lps with Tres Hombres and Tejas being gatefolds.
For this set the mastering from 2008 of Eliminator and 2006's Fandango are used, slightly altered clones are used of the original Deguello and El Loco masterings and straight re-issues of Afterburner and Recycler with the remainder freshly mastered.
As you can see on the rear of the box is a list of the albums with song information and a thumbnail of each album.
For the modest £22 including mailing  it simply has to be the best news in eons for digital fans of this band.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Get your skates on!

The hottest tip apparently in fashion for Summer is skater skirts.
This is a pretty nice example from Miss Selfridge with a pretty floral pattern, and pleats in a 40cm length.