Why Zidane headbutt Materazzi?

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Why am I always tired?
Why am I so tired?
Why am I always hungry?
Why am I always cold?

Why buy new?
Why Boxing Day?
Why be happy when you could be normal?
Why bring a child into this world?

Why Christmas?
Why can’t I sleep?
Why can’t we be friends?
Why can’t I get pregnant?

Why do we yawn?
Why do we dream?
Why do cats purr?
Why do we have Christmas trees?

Why England slept?
Why energy is needed to melt ice?
Why evolution is true?
Why eat?

Why Facebook is bad?
Why fish on Friday?
Why finance?
Why for the glory of Satan of course!

Why go to university?
Why get married?
Why Georgia lyrics?
Why Goldman Sachs?

Why House of Fraser?
Why have you applied for this position?
Why have JLS split up?
Why has Holly changed in Hollyoaks?

Why is the sky blue?
Why is the sea salty?
Why is Santa red?
Why is my period late?

Why Jailbreak Apple TV?
Why Jailbreak iphone?
Why JLS split?
Why JP Morgan?

Why KPMG?
Why kill brian?
Why Kun Aguero?
Why Kill Brian in Family Guy?

Why love matters?
Why live?
Why law?
Why lyrics?

Why men cheat?
Why men fall in love?
Why my kid is crying?
Why men pull away?


Why not?
Why not Edinburgh?
Why nations fail?
Why not associates?


Why Obamacare is bad?
Why Oxford?
Why outsource?
Why Orwell matters?

Why PWC?
Why people smoke?
Why poverty?
Why people cheat?
Why quit?
Why questions?
Why quotes?
Why qualitative research?

Why should we hire you?
Why so serious?
Why study law?
Why should we recycle?

Why the whales came?
Why thank you?
Why teach?
Why this kolaveri

Why UBS?
Why use alliteration?
Why Linux?
Why use a lens hood?

Why Vicky left Geordie shore?
Why volunteer?
Why vote?
Why vegan?

Why was Nelson Mandela imprisoned?
Why won’t my iphone charge?
Why was the Berlin wall built?
Why was JFK killed?

Why xbox one is better?
Why xmas?
Why xbox one is better than PS4
Why xbox one sucks?

Why you want to work for River Island?
Why you want to work for us?
Why heff to be mad?
Why you no?

Why zebras don’t get ulcers?
Why zoos are good?
Why zoos should be banned?

Why Zidane headbutt Materazzi?

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snowdrones

ImagePerhaps I read The Guardian website too much but all this Edward Snowden whistle blowing stuff troubles me.
So many people live their lives online. So many people conduct their business online. And all that time their information is being secretly monitored and recorded by machines and men we know nothing or anything about. We are being watched by snowdrones.
If you ring some companies they will tell you that the conversation is being recorded ‘for training purposes’. Or if you are  in a public library it may say that images are being recorded on CCTV. Presumably that is to let us know that you are being watched as it is important to know that information as a citizen of a free country.
Yet what Edward Snowden has been revealing is that information and data you thought private isn’t private because the US government can see it in the privacy of your own home. And not a word of warning!

‘If you are doing nothing wrong you have nothing to worry about..’

If Stalin had said that it would sound menacing and threatening as Stalin could determine what was right and wrong according to whatever he felt was right or wrong. If he didn’t like you and thought you a threat he would have you shot or shipped off to the Gulag as that was wrong according to Stalin.

Am I supposed to think it less menacing as the NSA or US Government are the ‘good guys’? Do we think the NSA, CIA, MI5, GCHQ  are less corrupt or tempted to misuse power than those in the Stasi or the Chinese authorities?
From a Christian point of view the hearts of all men and women are ill and broken. Do we think that the heart of an American government official or contractor is less corrupt than an Iranian or the baddies or terrorists?
Yet these secret technicians and computers are secretly collecting a flood of information that reveals so much about us as people and that seems to be OK with the US President and most of the government. The amount of information that the NSA could find out about me from my online activities is absolutely frightening. And it wouldn’t take some men with a van breaking into my home and bugging it. Presumably someone like Edward Snowden could tap a few buttons and find out something juicy. Maybe PRISM would be as easy to use as Amazon or Spotify.

‘If you are doing nothing wrong you have nothing to worry about..’

But who is defining ‘wrong’? And what is their definition of ‘wrong’? What will their definition of ‘wrong’ be in the future?

In the future could the government  see what you are doing online to see if an unemployed person is spending a certain amount of time at home online looking at appropriate job websites? Could they take away that persons benefits if they don’t send x hrs per week looking for work?
Or if you just don’t like the government and start kicking up a fuss online could they censor you? Could they see who you have been talking too as well and keep them quiet if they kick up a fuss. Who is going to define who is a threat to a countries security? Some secret people in secret intelligence organizations that we are supposed to trust?

This isn’t science fiction. Perhaps we have been blinded and dazzled into thinking that the internet is a tool of freedom without how we could be enslaved by it by the powerful. If you think you can trust the good guys, look at Google, Apple, Facebook who maybe we can’t trust as much as they say we can.

Image

too much information

‘The fact is, there are very few political, social, and especially personal problems that arise because of insufficient information. Nonetheless, as incomprehensible problems mount, as the concept of progress fades, as meaning itself becomes suspect, the Technopolist stands firm in believing that what the world needs is yet more information’

‘Attend any conference on telecommunications or computer technology, and you will be attending a celebration of innovative machinery that generates, stores, and distributes more information, more conveniently, at greater speeds than ever before. To the question ‘What problem does the information solve?’ the answer is usually ‘How to generate, store, and distribute more conveniently, at greater speeds than ever before’
This is the elevation of information to a metaphysical status: information as both the means and end of human creativity.’

Neil Postman,Technopoly p 61

lost in a cloud

I’ve just finished reading ‘What You Really Need to Know about the Internet’ by John Naughton and the main thought ringing in my ears is about the physicality of the internet, especially with regards to cloud computing and what that might mean for the environment.

Naughton writes
‘if you had an idea of cloud computing as something engagingly wispy and ethereal, think again: this is an industry with a heavy, industrial-scale environmental footprint’

I suppose that is the thing that I don’t often appreciate when I’m blogging or fooling about on the internet.
Whenever we upload a picture to Facebook or a video to Youtube that video/picture has to be saved in some physical loaction somewhere in the world.
Or whenever I write this blog and post it, it will be saved (as well as the autosave versions, any pictures etc.)in some physical location somewhere in the world.

The picture I have in my head is of a giant PC box hundreds and hundreds of feet wide (like a mega version of the one I can see in front of me right now) in various physical locations throughout the world. It is something that has escaped my attention as I’ve blogged, sold stuff online, Facebook’d, digitized so much of my life and uploaded it. I haven’t just been using my computer at home or the library computer with the energy demands of using those, but using data farms in different mysterious locations throughout the world.

For example Facebook are building a huge server farm 60 miles south of the Artic Circle in Sweden.
The reason? To be close to a large hydroelectric electricity source and because the Artic temperature is ideal for keeping the building cool. So it’s not just a case of me plucking stuff beautifully from the cloud and using it, it’s not just a case of it being clean, easy and quick. No, there are hidden mounted racks in vast warehouses that had to be extracted from the materials of the earth using dirty fossil fuels and then powered (and kept cool in many locations) by vast amounts of energy (and how much of that is renewable?).

As our mobile devices seem to get more beautiful and powerful we can be seduced into thinking that there is no dirt and cost involved. But the cost is there, it’s just hidden behind the cloud.

Surprisingly (well at least to me) Ireland has quite a few of these data centres. Google are building a major one in Dublin, Amazon and Microsoft have ones already and are looking to expand them.
The last time I checked Ireland wasn’t exactly a renewable energy hub, but maybe things have changed in the three years I’ve lived up here.
Perhaps these huge data centres are using Airtricity or something, but I’d be surprised if they are or even could. And that means the more people put stuff on Youtube or use Google+, the more pollution is released into the atmosphere and the more we contribute to global warming. Which means that even as I finish this post about how we contribute to global warming I’ve juist contributed to global warming. Time to think.

Seek Ye First the Kingdom of Google, and it’s search results

As an experiment I thought I would do a rough survey of the most popular things people are searching for on Google right this moment here in Northern Ireland

I’m not sure how the search settings work with regions (or if the suggestions are what people really are searching for or what Google has said people are searching for), or if they are sponsored.

All I’m going to do is type in a letter of the alphabet in and record the words that Google suggests for that single letter. The first one that appears at the top is in bold..

Argos – Amazon – Asda – Asos
BBC – BBC News – BBC iplayer – BBC sport
Currys – CBBC – cool maths games – Club Penguin
Debenhams – Daily Mail – Dorothy Perkins – DVLNI
ebay – easyjet – ebay uk – euromillions
Facebook – Facebook login – Flybe – First Trust
Google – Gumtree – Gumtree Belfast – Google Maps
Hotmail – Halifax – Homebase – HMV
IKEA – itvplayer – imdb – isohunt
jobcentreonline – John Lewis – Jet2  – jobs ni
Karen Millen – kayak – kwik fit – Killyhevlin
Lottery – Let Me Watch This – Lotto – Liverpool
MSN – Marks & Spencer – maps – moshi monsters
Next – New Look – Northern Bank – Nationwide
O2 – Odyssey – O2 surprises – Oasis
Potassium – paypal – property news – play
Queens – QUB – Qol – Quiz
River Island – Ryanair – Rightmove – RBS
SEEK – Sky – Sports Direct – Sky Sports
Tesco – Twitter – Translink – Topshop
UTV – Ulster Bank – UCAS – UK Top 40
Virgin – Very – Vue – Vodafone
weather – wikipedia – http://www.facebook.com – warehouse
xbox – xtravision – xe – x factor
Youtube – Yahoo – Yahoo Mail – Youtube Converter
Zara – Zoopla – Zumba – Zara UK

I tried this again this morning and all was the same except that SEEK, an Australian job site had completely disappeared. I found it sad though that it was there. Are people having to leave to find work in places like Australia, or wanting to leave?

A couple of other things to note.

Are people really using Google to search for Google?
Is there a big demand for cool maths puzzles out there?
What will be the next cool exercise regime after Zumba?

And why are people searching for potassium?