I used to be totally against any form of censorship, but as I’ve got older and I have two young nephews I find myself becoming a bit of an old fuddy-duddy about it. I kinda want to protect their innocence as much as possible.
When I’m in the car with my nephews and the news starts I try to flick to a CD to avoid the talk about sex, drugs, rape and murder. Call me a coward, but I want to avoid the barrage of questions on those subjects and the whole can of worms they will open. I remember one such occasion when nephew number 1 asked me what they meant by, “found her body in a ditch”, after listening to the news on our national radio station (Radio1). Shudder…
I kinda like the idea of everyone taking responsibility for themselves on the censorship front. Having said that you can’t be with them 100% of the time etc.
So now on to the item that prompted this post…
My favorite advert at the moment is from Google. It’s one of those generic, “Use all Google products because they are hip and so by extension, using them makes you hip!”, type adds. Why do I like it? Purely because of the music. It’s a track called Traktor by Wretch 32, which I love. Why did it prompt this post? As with most hip-hop songs is contains some adult language and themes. So what did Google choose to censor? The words in bold were blanked in the add.
“My lifestyle’s terribly wild, but you’ll never catch me on the Jeremy Kyle show”
“Explosive, terrorist style. Don’t think I’m a blow I’ll get you therapy now woah”
“I ride this mothafucking beat like a tractor. I ride this mothafucking beat like a train”
“Zoom zoom down the rabbit hole. More women more alcohol here”
So “Jeremy Kyle” is censored, which I can understand because his show is truly worthy of the “Jeremy Vile” nickname. The word “terrorist” is censored, which seems a little odd to me. The song is not promoting terrorism, so it hardly seems worth messing with. What is surprising is that “mothafucking” (not my spelling) is not blanked. Well to be fair they do play some traffic noises over it, but it is still clearly audible in the chorus. Seems a little strange for an add that runs throughout the day, especially since this was blanked on the radio edit of the song. As for the last quote, I assume somebody at Google understood what that meant before they OKed it in a national advert right?
Censorship is a very tricky subject, because as this advert shows, we all have different opinions on what should (if anything) be censored.
I spent quite a while watching the coverage of the riots on TV last night and this morning. I also made a few angry posts on twitter. Not surprisingly I am still pretty angry about everything this morning. What follows will be a rather extreme rant about the situation. Look away if easily offended…
What were the recent incidents *not* about?
What should be done in my opinion?
This country is going to hell in a hand basket. We need to stop pussy footing about and get some authority back.
PS. If this stops me seeing Rise of the Planet of the Apes, I’m going to kick off…
I’ve had a Waterstones gift token knocking around since my birthday, so I ventured into town yesterday to see if there were any technical books I could spend my pennies on. There’s a pretty big Waterstones in Birmingham, so I thought I was in with a shot at finding something worthwhile in there. How wrong I was…
The place was full of “… For Dummies” books for old versions of Windows and Office, along with a vast collection of really old reference books. If anyone needs a “Teach yourself VB 5.0″ manual, you know where to go!
When it’s my money I’m spending I almost always buy from Amazon. Part of me wants to support real world book stores, but the truth of the matter is they are really crappy for anything other than the latest bestseller novels, which are still typically more expensive than the equivalent from Amazon.
In the end I bought Ghost Story, the new Jim Butcher book from The Dresden Files series. I’ll see if I can spend the rest of the cash on the Waterstones online store. Must tell family that if they want to waste money on birthday presents for me, they should do it on Amazon gift certificates.
A number of things to report on the fitness front…
I’ve switched some of my cardio sessions on the elliptical from regular interval training to Tabata Protocol. A little over 2 months ago Dominic Brooks pointed this out to me. I gave it a try then, but I wasn’t fit enough to cope with it. Now it is just a complete nightmare, rather than impossible. So general fitness is going really well. There are the obvious ups and downs, but I feel really good about things and I don’t find the gym daunting now. I know I’m going to survive.
I’ve backed off the weight training a bit. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, I was putting on too much muscle. I used to do weights as a kid and I guess the whole muscle memory thing is true. The tubby meat-head thing is not a look I’m interested in. Second, shifting a lot of weight was starting to aggravate my joints. I’ve had operations on my left elbow and knee and both of them have been playing up for a couple of days after doing heavy lifting. Those two factors combined seemed like pretty clear signals that weight training is no longer the right thing for me.
To replace the absent weight training I’ve been doing some circuit training, mostly using functional training exercises. It feels pretty good and isn’t freaking out my joints so far. I’m not a gym-class type of guy, but I figured I need some technique coaching, so yesterday evening I went to a kettlebells class. The bruises on my arms and shoulders this morning would suggest my technique is not quite right, but I’ve already learned a bunch of stuff, so that’s good. Two visits to the gym yesterday was not a great idea, but I’m glad I got off my ass and made it to the kettlebells class. It would have been very easy to leave it for next week.
As part of the functional training I’ve also started to do handstands again. I used to be pretty good at them, thanks to the yoga, but as I got heavier they got a bit scary and my center of gravity shifted somewhat. Now I’m hitting them pretty well and walking on my hands pretty comfortably. I can even pull out a few half-handstand-pushups on a good day. I was in the dance studio practicing handstands and someone asked me if I was a gymnast, which cracked me up. Is there a gymnastics for fatties competition I can enter?
Still another 30 years and 30 pounds to go…
My 9 year old nephew was making a Powerpoint slideshow today. I watched him regularly saving his slideshow using the menu and asked why he was not using the Save button, to which he replied, “Which one is it?”.
I looked at the toolbar and saw a button with a picture of a floppy disk. I don’t think he has ever seen a floppy disk in his life. I’m not surprised he didn’t associate this button with saving his slideshow.
I’ve seen articles suggesting that buttons with icons are not good for new users. This is especially true if the icons reference old technology they have never encountered.
You open a ticket and wait… When you do get a reply it tells you to send information you’ve already posted, or suggests you try some workarounds you’ve already listed in the ticket as having not worked for you. You get frustrated and write a blog post ranting about how terrible the support service is etc. I guess this could be a story about just about any internet support service I’ve had to use over the years.
Do you remember in the old days, before the internet was popular, when you phoned support lines? Do you remember how quickly some of these annoying issues were resolved by simply saying, “I’ve already sent that!”, to a real person at the end of the line? OK. I’ve conveniently forgotten to mention being put on hold for hours, but this is my blog and I’m allowed to have a totally biased opinion about things…
Imagine the joy of being able to rant directly at a real person again.
I’m not a major user of mySQL, but I’ve been a dabbler for quite a few years as I use it for my website.
For my day-to-day poking around I tend to use phpMyAdmin. I don’t always keep on top of phpMyAdmin upgrades, but today I upgraded to version 22.214.171.124, which comes with a new default theme. I know it’s rather shallow, but what a difference a pretty interface makes.
WordPress 3.2 has been released.
This is a big change and it is worth doing some testing before launching straight in. The minimum supported versions of mySQL and PHP have changed, so check your service can handle it using this plugin (Health Check).
You can read more about the changes in 3.2 here.
While writing this post in 3.2 I can see straight away that everything is much more responsive. No more waiting for the link dialog to appear etc.