We Have To Sack The Hypocrites

houses of parliament

Think for a moment of all those pious words about zero hours contracts, fairness, equality and the right to work uttered by our Members of Parliament.

Have you thought?

Right, now read this

MPs – including those ‘opposed’ to it – employ 151 people on controversial zero hours contracts.
Friday

MPs are employing 151 people on controversial zero-hours contracts, Parliament’s pay and expenses watchdog has revealed.

Scores of those casual arrangements are with Labour MPs, who have campaigned against the exploitation of workers not guaranteed a set wage or hours.

Conservatives issued 77, Labour 62 and the Lib Dems five – with MPs from the other parties handing out seven.

Unite union spokesman Steve Turner said: “It will appal ordinary people to discover that the country’s lawmakers are using ‘hire and fire’ contracts.

Continue reading

Ok, we have an opportunity in a week to hand these arseholes a final warning. If they don’t up their game by this time next year we sack them. Don’t be misled by those so desperate to keep the status quo they try to smear any alternatives as racist, homophobic or swivel eyed loons. anyone who supports the LiubLabCon is a fascist and if they say thery are not, they’re a hypocritical fascist. Simples.

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Do You Take Photographs? You’re Probably A Criminal

I’ve been going on a lot about the Trans – Atlantic Trade Partnership (TTIP) and how it is part of a plan to extend the takeover of the USA by Corporate Nazis to the rest of the world.

One of the main planks of the TTIP is the establishment of a framework for enforcing US patent and copyright law around the world. “how is that bad, surely writers, musicians and such deserve to earn royalties and inventors deserve to be paid for use of their innovations don’t they? You might well ask.

I agree, and as a writer I know I deserve far more that the occasional pittance I receive from people who use my work. But the TTIP and its Pacific twin the TPP are not about writers and artists, or inventors and innovators, they are about governments, global corporations and bankers.

What am I talking about. Well things like Nestle trying to obtain patent on fennel seeds which have been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years. Or this even more bizarre patent application which has, it seems, been granted by courts in the USA.

Taking a photo against a white background? Amazon owns the patent on that

from Blacklisted News

Today a photography blog unearthed another strange development in America’s ongoing patent train wreck: Amazon was recently awarded the intellectual rights to taking pictures of people in front of seamless white backgrounds.

Critics of the deal from the tech and photography worlds are split on what they see as the bigger affront: the gullibility of the US Patent and Trade Office, or the genius of Amazon’s patent lawyers.

The patent, which you can read here, was originally filed in 2011, and has the fittingly sparse title, “Studio Arrangement.” It takes five pages of dense text to explain the photographic innovation at issue. There is a diagram that, TechDirt points out, “pretty much looks like every photo studio in the history of photo studios.”

Continue reading

Google Plans Artificial Intelligence To Kill Human Jobs

artificial intelligence
(Picture credit: ibiblio.com)

Artificial intelligence, far from being a boon to humanity might easily lead to mass unemployment and social breakdown if computers continue in extending their capacity to replace humans in jobs, experts warned days after it emerged that Google had beaten competitors to buy a firm specialising in this kind of technology.

Dr Stuart Armstrong, from the Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford, issued his warning after news that Google had paid £400m for the British artificial intelligence firm DeepMind was revealed.

While Dr. Armstrong welcomed the internet search and advertizing giant’s decision to set up an ethics board to supervise the development and application of artificial intelligence, saying that such advances in technology carried a number of risks. Armstrong said computers had the potential to take over people’s jobs at a faster rate than new roles could be created. He cited logistics and administration as professions that were particularly vulnerable to the development of artificial intelligence.

Machines have already largely replaced humans in manufacturing while more and more sales functions are being carried out online. Only a few years after community High Streets filled with empty shops, now office developments are full of empty call centres. Dr. Armstrong also warned about the implications for uncontrolled mass surveillance if computers were taught to recognise human faces. “There’s a variety of short term risks for artificial intelligence, everyone knows about the autonomous drones”, he added.

Such concerns are often swept aside by “computer scientists” and media “experts” who are really just nerds so besotted with technology they hail every advance as a major step forward for humanity and never pause to consider that there might be a downside.

Some studies carried out by social scientists however have been looking into which jobs are the most vulnerable and there’s quite a lot of them in logistics, administration, insurance underwriting but ultimately a huge swathe of jobs are potentially vulnerable to improved artificial intelligence.” The Daily Stirrer has previously reported in this in ‘Will Humans become Redundant In Your Lifetime‘.

Such concerns have been reiterated by Murray Shanahan, professor of cognitive robotics at Imperial College London, who commented: “I think it is a very good thing that Google has set up this ethics board and I think there certainly are some short term issues that we all need to be talking about. “It’s very difficult to predict and that is of course a concern but in the past when we’ve developed new kinds of technologies then often they have created jobs at the same time as taking them over but it certainly is something we ought to be discussing.”

But will the nerds and the media wannabes allow discussion of what ought to be discussed? There’s an old adage that goes, “If you don’t use it you’ll lose it.” With a constant stream of propaganda from technology companies, academics and politicians brainwashing impressionable people into believing computers should be left to do the thinking because they are better at it than us, what will happen to our intelligence if we let computers do everything for us?

As computers become more intelligent while humans dumb down, they’ll stop being our slaves and become our competitors or worse. The race will be on to stay more intelligent than the machines and parents will have to select the right genes for their kids so that they stay ahead. Slaves to the machines, what a dystopian future we will be handing to future generations. We’re innovating ourselves into oblivion.

The DeepMind company was set up in 2011 by neuroscientist and former chess prodigy Demis Hassabis, along with partners Shane Legg and Mustafa Suleyman. The company specialises in intellectual property, namely algorithms and machine learning techniques for simulation, e-commerce and games. Phew, games; that’s a relief, I was beginning to think these people were a serious business.

Like Google’s other recent acquisition Nest, a major player in developing The Internet Of Things we are told although while they talk about developing intelligent fridges, microwave ovens and flat screen television their product portfolio to date is a thermostat which does exactly what analogue thermostats have done for over a century. Still while the nerds dream of the day when algorithms rule the world, they are not doing any real damage like developing new weapons of mass destruction for tyrants and war criminals to play with.

Deep Mind is also working in an area called Deep Learning which involves machines being ‘taught’ (nerds love to humanize machines, they mean programmed) to recognise patterns in massive aglomerations of data so computers will begin to learn how to recognise mundane objects such as cars, food items and possibly human faces.

Google anticipate using DeepMind’s expertise to improve the functions of its current products such as the Google Glass, the project that will stick Google’s ads and ‘suggestions’ in your face and generally distract you while you are driving a car, rock climbing, skiing, making love to your Google robot fuck buddy having a dump. The company also plans to extend its current artificial intelligence work such as the development of self-driving cars (so yo can get jiggy with your robot friend and simultaneously respond to Google’s ads and ‘suggestions’, while being driven to work, to distraction or to insanity.

Mao Tse-tung once said it is better to employ 1000 men to dig a ditch than to use one JCB and one man to dig the ditch, because if you employ 1000 men you put 1000 chickens on the dinner table for 1000 families instead of 1 chicken on the JCB driver’s table, and a pile of money in the JCB owner’s bank – or something like that. The evil old tyrant was on the right track.]

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An audience member was quickly on his feet to point out that the figure was misleading as people in zero hours contracts and part time jobs are classed as ‘in work’ to get them off the statistics. The young man could also have reminded the programmes studio and television audience that people who are out of work for two years are reclassified as ‘not economically active’ and removed from the unemployment register. Even if these people would love to work and …


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Forget The Official Statistics, This Is How Bad Things Really Are In America

We used to think of it as the land of opportunity, where anyone with a bright idea and a strong work ethic could succeed. Now as one disastrous Presidency followed another, it’s come to this:

How To Resharpen Your Disposable Razors
Original article at Activist Post

Anyone who shaves – and this includes men and their beards and ladies and their legs – knows two things. One, razor blades are darn expensive and two, a dull razor blade will cut you up and result in a big bloody mess.

For the past few months I have been doing some research, trying to learn how to increase the longevity of the common razor blade. One strategy that worked well was drying the blade with a hair dryer after each use. Good to know, of course, but highly impractical in a survival situation.

I recently learned of a new technique and after testing with three separate razors, I can attest to its efficacy.

Sharpening a Razor Blade Using Blue Jeans This method of sharpening a dull razor blade is so very simple that I am surprised more people don’t know about it.

1. Clean your razor in a little cup of soapy water. Let it sit for awhile so that all of the old goo and gunk float away.

What I did was spray some of my Tea Tree Wonderful in a glass and let the razor soak for about an hour. I could not believe the crud that came loose!

2. Dry your razor by shaking away then excess moisture the wiping it off with a towel (or in my case, a microfiber cloth).

3. Going in the opposite of your normal shaving direction, run the razor across some blue jean material about 20 times. This is called stropping. Remember, you want to run the shaver backwards! That’s it – easy peasy.

**********************

Austerity in the land of conspicuous consumption? They’ll be sorry they stopped buying print newspaper in a bit because the price of bog paper is going crazy over there.


By TwitterButtons.net

It’;s Official: Civil Servants Are Not Required To Do Any Work.

In a story about a German Civil Servant who admitted on his retirement he had done absolutely nothing for fourteen years (Read full Story) I saw the comment below from Henry Leonard:

“I went into an NHS body as a temporary auditor, told them they were wasting hundreds of millions and killing hundreds (if not thousands) of people every year. My audit report was never issued and my services were promptly dispensed with.”

Sounds about right.

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Don’t Work Too Hard – Nobody Appreciates You For It

This story came from The New York Times news paper

George Turklebaum worked as a proof readers for a publishing company in New York, he had been with the form 30 years and was said to be a very quiet, unassuming man who did not care much for socialising.

There was never an issue about George’s diligence however, his bosses and colleagues said he loved his work was always first at his desk in the morning and last to leave the office at night. More that that he seldom took a lunch or coffee break or wasted time talking to other employees.

One week however George was particularly uncommunicative. As usual nobody saw him arrive or leave and not only he did not get up from his desk during the course of any working day but he never even shifted his position.

None of his colleagues though it odd however, George was a quiet guy, they assumed he was absorbed in his task of proof reading medical textbooks.

Nobody though to ask George how things were going until a on Saturday morning a cleaner wondered why he was working through the weekend.

The post mortem examination reported that George had died of a heart attack, probably on the Monday morning and that is why he had stayed in the same position all week and why his bladder and bowels had never needed emptying.

Now we hear tales of how regimented American employees are these days and how intensely they pursue success so it is not surprising nobdy noticed George was not moving, they’d be too concerned with their own bonuses and career paths.

But he sat in that chair dead for a full working week. Did nobody notice the smell … and the fact that he was dripping.

The Whining Academy

Whining seems to have become a national sport. Politicians spend their time whining about the public’s lack of respect for them except for when they are busy embezzling public funds, cutting cash for influence deals with fake lobbyists, sucking up to dodgy donors, fiddling their expenses or boffing their secretaries.

Football Managers spend more time whining about other managers, the media, players, agents, match officials and the sweet FA than they do actually managing; Footballers whine because everyone finks they’re fick.

The postmen, ambulance crew, police, firemen and railway workers are all on a permanent whine festival; The only difference between BA cabin crews and the Jets they serve drinking is that the jets stop whining when they land. Even the Civil Servants had a little go at whining about the demands their easy life puts on them. They soon shut up when people pointed out that you can’t be underpaid for doing nothing.

Now the only group who enjoy a more easy life that civil servants are at it too. Yes, Academics are whining. Like the Civil Service these Ivory Tower dwelling kings of the easy life are a tad miffed that in these austere times they are being asked to explain what they actually do for their money.

The Academic community think is a monstrous imposition to be accused of having and easy life and asked to get some work done.

“Oh you unenlightened oiks,” they complain, “We exist for the education of future generation, know ye not that we are busy pushing at the borders of human knowledge, a task at which we must labour for four hours a day, three days a week, twenty eight weeks a year and for which we are paid peanuts and yet you have the temerity to accuse us of having an easy life. Calumny!” Unless of course they are science academics in which case they will say:

“Z = ΣA(a) + xF(2)/n:x(c) – √ ∞ * π”

or something similar.

It is not surprising academics get tatty when questioned, Boggart Blog must bear some responsibility for this. Until recently when anyone asked, “Yeah OK, boundaries of human knowledge and understanding and all that crap but what do you actually do?” they would evade the question and evoke sympathy by complaining it was unfair to question them because they worked for peanuts. Then one of our bloggers who shall remain nameless started to comment on Academics’ blog whines that in business there is a maxim, “if you pay peanuts you can only employ monkeys,” and asking in his or her most innocent fashion what that says about people who are prepared to work for peanuts.

Anyway to cut to the chase, a few days ago in the office we were sniggering over an a whiney article by a whining academic, Joe Moran who lectures on football pools philosophy at John Moores University. That is not the well respected Liverpool University but The University Formerly Known As Rodney Street Tech, Liverpool. Its most famous Alumni is currently President of The Maldives who graduated from LJMU in 1984, quite and achievement as it did not become a University until 1992.

Right so.

Joe Moran who lectures there is mightily pissed off at being asked to explain what he does to earn his salary and rightly so. He is a lecturer not a fiction writer. Furthermore Mr. Moran complained that he is fed of the way members of the public see academics as an aloof, condescending, self serving, self perpetuating clique.

Now I wonder where he got that idea from. Perhaps he has been watching the Michael Caine / Julie Walters film Educating Rita.

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A Little Bit Of Knowledge Is A Dangerous Thing

I know times are hard and people are setting themselves up as small businesses and that is all well and good, much better to work than to get depressed being fucked about by the Jobcentre, but you’d think people would choose something they knew about, or were interested in, or would learn about.

I came home the other day to find a flatbed truck in the cul-de-sac, the driver out talking to BBC and gesturing to my denuded Larch tree.
As I approached the chappie turned his attention to me, spotting that I was probably more of a mug than my offspring, probably on account of me being female.

“Just spotted your tree as we were passing and we can take it down for you if you like.”

“Why would I want you to take it down?” I enquired.

“Well because it’s diseased, it’s got no needles on it. I’d say it’s practically dead meself.”

“Do you know what species it is?” although obviously he didn’t know much anout it at all.

“Well it’s a conifer.” (He could have been helped here by the fact it is full of cones.)

“Ah,” I replied, “it is indeed a conifer, but it is a Larch tree and therefore a deciduous conifer.” he looked rather blank, or slightly more balnk than he had when I’d asked if he knew what kind of tree it was. I was tempted at this point to ask him if he knew what deciduous meant but I am not a cruel woman.

Instead I informed him that if he was passing again in 4 to 6 weeks time he would see my diseased, practically dead conifer full of purple flowers and new green needles.

Undaunted he asked if I had any other trees I wanted him to have a look at…

Stupid Criminal Of The Week Returns

It is with great pleasure we announce the return of the Boggart Blog stupid criminal of the week award.

In the early days of Boggart Blog we would feature this occasional series whenever we encountered a news story about a really stupid criminal. Somehow the idea was abandoned, perhaps because every intelligent criminal is unique in heir cleverness but all stupid criminals are stupid in the same way. That sort of thing tends to kill the joke. Or maybe it became necessary to have a higher education qualification to start a career in crime.

The first award in this fresh cycle goes to Laqad Yacoub (40) of Manchester who had been claiming disability benefits for several years citing back and leg problems as the reason he could not work.

The suspicions of Benefits Agency staff were aroused when somebody bearing the same name as and a very close physical resemblance to professional cripple Yacoub, whose severe disability benefit was awarded because he had difficulty walking even a short distance, was billed to appear in a music gig at Manchester Town Hall.

Investigators who attended the show discovered Yacoub had been moonlighting as a breakdancer for years.

More humour every day at Boggart Blog

A Degree Of Punishment

A charity that campaigns and works for prison reform has said that prison officers should be required to have a University degree.

Successfully completing a degree course in beating people lightly with iron bars, administering electric shocks and performing body cavity searches will give applicants the necessary skills to do the challenging jobs on offer in the prison service.

Being the very essence of enlightened liberalism Boggart Blog would take this suggestion even further. We suggest that as well as having written a ten thousand word thesis on why it is a very bad idea to leave ladders propped against the perimeter wall, wannabe officers should also be trained in handling fierce dogs and the most effective ways of swinging a baseball bat with nails through the end.

Our mole in the Department of Trade, Industry and Organised Crime tells us if the idea is taken up the only jobs available to people who do not have a degree will be digging holes and filling them in again on a Government welfare to work scheme.

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More humour every day at Boggart Blog

If you enjoyed our condensed version of Wuthering Heights (previous post) but found the Harry Potter film good but a bit long winded you will surely enjoy the saga of Boggart Blog’s own Boiy Wizard hero. Click this link to read Gary Trotter and the Portal Of Pleasure in seven very condensed volumes.