Monday, December 21, 2009

Cyberbullying In The Name Of...

Sitting at my kitchen table (the warmest place in the house) fighting off the Christmas lurgy, I seem to have a more reflective take on the whole "Killing In The Name Of" vs. Joe thing (I forget the name of Joe's single). For me the whole campaign has some disturbing elements:
  1. Who are these people who set up this Facebook group? Do you know them? Do you know who they're connected to? Or their agenda? NO. Remember: "No-one knows you're a dog on the internet".
  2. I've been into what I would (perhaps pompously) refer to as "serious music" for over 30 years, and in that time I've never given a rat's arse who was number one because the singles chart has always been for kids and old grannies.
  3. Simon Cowell isn't evil, he's just tapped into a market that's out there - if you don't like what he does, then just switch it off.
  4. There have always been attempts by impresarios to control "the talent"; from the days of Tin Pan Alley, through to Chinn & Chapman, Stock, Aitken, & Waterman, and now Simon Cowell. And people who don't like what's on offer will find something else: The Blues, Bill Hailey, Elvis, The Beatles, Sex Pistols, or RATM.
  5. RATM are part of Sony.
  6. The charity thing looks like smoke and mirrors.
  7. When I step back from the hype, I get the bad feeling that one million people have just committed the biggest act of cyberbullying yet against an 18 year old boy. Live with that.
  8. Lastly, all of this reminds me of the Johnny Rotten quote "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?"

Monday, December 7, 2009

Alistair Darling, Are You Serious?

On the BBC's Andrew Marr show yesterday, Alistair Darling appeared to announce the cancellation of the NHS Connecting for Health IT program. He just slid it into the conversation without further reference. His reasoning was: "because it isn't critical to delivering front line services". I know that the CfH program is flawed, but this is monumental stupidity. A good IT system will give you control, improve accuracy, reduce waste, and increase productivity; in the case of the NHS, this means more time spent on treating patients. I believe that universal healthcare is essential to any civilised country, but I fear that without the implementation of new digital technologies the NHS will not be able to deliver this in the 21st century. And that's a problem for all of us.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Internet Predictions for 2010

They'll be coming thick and fast over the coming weeks, so I thought I'd get my 10 internet predictions for 2010 in now, with a nod to Spinal Tap:

  1. The big online retail phenomenon of the year will be carpet.

  2. The government will charge a universal broadband tax to be given directly to those poor, hard done by actors, directors, and pop stars.

  3. All internet content will be charged for, particularly this blog, with a premium rate for anything deemed 'unsuitable'. Eventually, all of the money in the world will reside with a handful of porn barons.

  4. Microsoft will finally admit defeat and decide the internet is not for them. Three months later they will announce a new, patented, product called the 'WINternet' which will cost 500 pounds per seat, will be incompatible with the current internet, and will be replaced by a new version every 3 years. And we'll all buy it.

  5. TV will become obsolete, as we all rush to watch (old) programs in a low-res postage stamp window on our computers.

  6. Orkut will be the social media application of choice.

  7. All government IT projects will be delivered on time and in budget, and will be really useful.

  8. Apple and Dyson will team up to add a portable vacuum cleaner to the iPhone - 'The iPhone that sucks'.

  9. 2010 will see the death of the PC (you have to predict this every year, it's a given).

  10. The election will be cancelled as 'too expensive for the public purse', to be replaced by a UserVoice forum.

  11. We'll all buy a government ID card.