Why Do People Think Computers Will be Alive?


BrainSync_OverThinkingJon Rappoport, Guest

Waking Times

“Because, supposedly, one digital processing unit will eventually be able to manipulate zillions of pieces of information at a faster rate than all the human brains on the planet taken together…the result will be…what? And if that digital unit is sitting in The Cloud and every human’s brain is hooked up to it, the result will be…what? A person will be able to master French in five minutes? How does that work? Information can be injected like a drug and produce instant learning? Automatically? Perhaps this is a fantasy hatched at Disney World. Two machines can rapidly exchange data and programmed methods of analysis, but it so happens that humans are not machines, even if they believe they are.” (The Underground, Jon Rappoport) Continue reading

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HTML, CSS, Drupal, WordPress: Twenty Years of Progress


HTML, CSS, Drupal, WordPress: Twenty Years of Progress
By Sean Gabb

I built my first website in November 1995. It was just after the launch of Windows 95 and the first version of Netscape. For three years, I had been about half a dozen steps behind the cutting edge of the IT Revolution. It had been a matter of sending and receiving e-mails in raw Unix, and then in crude software packages with names like Elm and Pine, and of using a system called Gopher to download texts in atrociously-edited Latin or smutty, though often monochrome, jpeg files. Continue reading

Product Review: Jongo A2 Bluetooth/Wifi Adaptor for Music System


Pure Jongo A2 Wireless Hi-Fi Adapter with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

I have a niceish CD/FM/DAB/USB system I bought on E-Bay six years ago. I thought of upgrading it a few months ago, when I realised I hadn’t played a CD for years and that I mostly listened either to Radio 3 or to MP3 files played from a memory stick. I thought of something swish and expensive. Then I read about this. It helped that the device was advertised as British – though assembled in China – which tugged on my patriotic instinct.

The advantages of the device are that is was cheap, and easy to plug into my music system, and that I can stream the whole of my vast music collection straight from hard disk on the computer upstairs to my existing system, and control it via the notebook computer here in my writing room. A further advantage is that, if I ever buy something old but very grand from the 1980s, I shall be able to plug this in there as well.

The disadvantage is that you might as well put the instruction guide straight into the paper recycling box along with the packaging. I’m no fool with IT, but this left me scratching my head. I found it was easy to connect via Bluetooth to my mobile telephone, and to play music files from there. But, though I can get it to show on my notebook computer, I still can’t get the device to work with Windows 7.

For using it with the wireless network, I eventually puzzled out this procedure:

Get someone to press the WPS button on your router at the same time as you press the WPS button on the bottom of this device.

The red light then flashes green, and then turns green.

Follow these instructions from Microsoft to enable streaming.

That’s it. I haven’t yet shut down for the night and checked to see if it works the next morning. But the sound is wonderful. As said, I will eventually find something top of the range from the past that has no USB input, and that may not even play CDs, but that has phono inputs, and I shall be able to turn it into a modern streaming audio system.

I feel almost guilty to give it only three stars. On the other hand, there are only so many hours in my lifetime, and spending one of them on getting something to work that should have worked out of the box is rather poor in this day and age.

 

Queen Elizabeth-the-Useless failed in the execution of her Coronation Oath. But I expect we will all cry sincerely when she passes on.


David Davis

I am not always precisely in tune with my colleague Sean Gabb, regarding the failings of Elizabeth-the-Useless. Although he is quite correct in stating that she _could have_ blocked Rome, the SEA, Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon at any time when these were issues. On any one of these – and the earlier the more chance of success – The Queen could have refused to assign her signature to any of this pretentious socialist rubbish, could have forced a General Election, and prevented the Franco-Collectivisto-Gramscian re-Nazification of Europe, saving her own subjects hundreds of billions of Sterling, not to say even trillions, in the process. We might even have got our managed-fisheries back before they were destroyed utterly (ask my father, who worked in the 70s for the MAFF, and who is now dead.). And at least up to Nice, she might also have got away with it. It would have been wise to resist early on.

But she continues to continue to soldier on, probably because she reminds the masses of their favourite great-aunt (I also have one, my aunty Betty who is actually a real aunt for I am rather old now and who even looks and sounds like the Queen a lot, and is only slightly older) or Grandmother.

As the Queen is old, and as she is a woman, and as it is not suitable to impeach or charge women for high treason – at least not “directly” – I would like to cleave to the position that “The Queen has been very, very badly advised, continually, for 61 years, in the matter of her constitutional dealings with the Continue reading

The internet is making life difficult for ‘progressive interventionists’


By Mustela nivalis
Ever since the launch of the World Wide Web, people have been predicting that the internet will change politics for ever. See e.g. ‘The Sovereign Individual’ by James Dale Davidson and William Rees-Mogg (1997). It wasn’t until the start of ‘Web 2.0’ (personal blogs, YouTube, social media etc.) that this prediction began to come about. See e.g. the ‘Ron Paul Revolution’ and the success of ‘Tea Party’ candidates against the US-Republican establishment. And now the vote in Parliament which frustrated the plans of the British subsidiary of the US-UK military-industrial-media-complex, which has had and is still having repercussions all the way to their HQ in Washington, DC (among LRC circles aka as ‘Mordor’).
It’s the internet wot won it. I’ve been wanting to write up something along these lines for some days but have been busy. Thankfully Sue Cameron of the Telegraph has done the job for me. I slightly disagree only with one quoted statement: ‘And the vast amounts of online information mean that people are sceptical of what governments tell them and check up on it instantly.’ No: People have been sceptical of politicians for a very long time. The internet allows them though to find out much more easily than ever before that their scepticism is well founded. And it allows them to communicate this to each other and to the politicians themselves.
This means that in particular ‘progressive’ politics are in trouble. As the highly intelligent arch-interventionist Dan Hodges conceded straight after the vote: This is a catastrophe for progressive interventionism. (I’m inclined to think he has a decent streak: he didn’t use that deceitful oxymoron ‘liberal interventionism’.) Quite. And the internet is going to continue to be a catastrophe for people of Hodges’ ilk. Because with scepticism abounding and having an already and increasingly powerful communicative tool at its fingertips, progressives will have to make an increasingly better case than hitherto as to why what ain’t broke needs to be fixed. Or why we need to fix other people’s problems. Or they will need to explain much more clearly where we have the knowledge and skill from with regard to solving other people’s problems.
The internet is making life increasingly difficult for progressive interventionists. That’s the good news. The bad news is: It’s not enough to stop them. A necessary condition maybe, not a sufficient one.

Passing Over Eisenhower


by Smari McCarthy
http://c4ss.org/content/20395

Passing Over Eisenhower

The Internet industries of America may just have inadvertently had their hats handed to them by the military industrial complex. Now it’s up to Europe to provide an alternative to the surveillance state.

Almost all of the major Internet industry giants are based in the United States. The reasons for this are historical and economical. The tradition of strong entrepreneurship practiced in the US since their inception, mixed with their purchasing power and history of acquiring any sufficiently profitable venture or fascinating technology from abroad, has put the US into a prime position to be the global leader in provision of Internet services. Continue reading