Freesteel Blog » 2010 » June

Saturday, June 26th, 2010 at 11:22 am - - Whipping 1 Comment »

I was talking to someone about the issue of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), and it appeared I had neglected to write it up on my blog.

There was a Making better use of Energy Performance Certificates and data: Consultation that closed on 25 May 2010.

On 13 May I submitted the following response:


Monday, June 21st, 2010 at 7:23 pm - - Vero 4 Comments »

Further to the Vero Sellout, I have been trying to make the figures add up.

According to the 30 page document:

The value [of £7.19million] attributed to the existing issued and to be issued share capital of Vero is based upon the 37,261,166 Vero Shares in issue on 17 May 2010, the 2,600,000 Vero Shares which are the subject of options granted under the Vero Share Option Schemes and the 1,232,820 Vero Shares which are the subject of the Warrant [all at 17.5 pence].

This adds up, because (37261166+2600000+1232820)*0.175 = 7191447.55

But what’s this Warrant?


Friday, June 18th, 2010 at 9:14 pm - - Vero 2 Comments »

I’m unlikely to do justice to the published machinations and financial jiggery-pokery going on with the fictional entity known as Vero Software Plc.

Let’s be clear, I am not referring to the their software, history, products, officework, and daily commutes and screen computer work that a number of human beings do to earn a living, which undoubtedly do exist.

This is a question of the impenetrable corporate legal incantations and gameplay done among absentee owners and fincancial wizards that merely determins who sits in the boss’s seat and directs the workers in the coming months and years.

As they say on 17 May 2010 in a 30 page document:


Wednesday, June 16th, 2010 at 9:09 pm - - Dear Louise

Dear Louise Ellman,

I note that you did not cast your vote in Parliament on 8 June 2010 on the issue of whether to include the Trident nuclear missile system as part of the Strategic Defence Review, whilst you did vote a few minutes later on another motion.

Can I assume that this was an abstention?

As I recall you explaining once, the Trident nuclear missile system is part of the UK’s defence against an undefined threat in an “uncertain future”.

If it is part of the UK’s “defences”, what possible reason is there for not including it in a Strategic Defence Review?

Can you confirm that you lack complete confidence that the case for this nuclear weapons system will stand up to the scrutiny of a review?

Yours sincerely,

Julian Todd.

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010 at 8:43 pm - - Dear Louise

Dear Louise Ellman,

Shortly before your re-election by the voters of Liverpool Riverside, you were kind enough to speak at a somewhat rowdy hustings in the Methodist Christian church in Toxteth.

To one of the questions put to you, I distinctly remember you stating that there was “no blockade of Gaza”.


Wednesday, June 16th, 2010 at 5:44 pm - - Whipping 1 Comment »

Yesterday Transport for London made a data dump of various locations and links to their traffic cameras, station locations, and so on.

A quick and effective use of some of the data is CheckMyRoute by Stefan Wehrmeyer that shows you all the CCTV traffic-cams on the route between two points in London.

This makes use of the googlemap’s route-finding function to thin out the awesome overload of camera locations you would otherwise see if you plotted them all at once.

It’s an attractive application because it’s an end product, rather than a stepping stone to the big solution of getting all data structured all ways so it can be used everywhere all the time for everything.

Over on ScraperWiki I’m workling towards this big solution by parsing the self-service cycle hire locations. The data allowed me to plot the following attractive map — as a byproduct.

View Larger Map

This map is not an end in itself. It’s just to prove I have the data. The pins are coloured according to whether the hire locations have under 20, between 20 and 30, or more than 30 listed under “Capacity”.


Tuesday, June 15th, 2010 at 8:28 am - - Cave

Becka got a lift up to Yorkshire on Friday night with another caving buddy. Unfortunately he had to go to the Matienzo caving 50th anniversary party in the evening, which meant she was going to be short changed.


Saturday, June 12th, 2010 at 11:32 am - - Machining 2 Comments »

Ran into many of the usual suspects at Mach2010 in Birmingham yesterday.


Tuesday, June 8th, 2010 at 2:09 pm - - Weekends 1 Comment »

This Max Wind-Cowie dude at the wank-tank Demos has come out with a publication: Civic streets, the big society in action which includes questionable stats decorating some amazing corporate PR marketing speak, like:

End ‘brand deserts’

Mainstream, high-street corporations should be encouraged to pursue corporate social responsibility through ‘doing’ – by expanding their presence to deprived areas in order to deliver jobs and confidence, and reduce the stigma of ‘brand deserts’…

Much has been written about the negative effects that brands can have on deprived people and communities. The sense of dissatisfaction that can spring from being presented with strong, aspirational brands to which one does not have any hope of access is very real and can be incredibly damaging to individuals’ wellbeing…

Of course, it is important to strive to ensure balance, but we should not actively prevent large, mainstream corporations from extending the benefits that they provide to poorer communities – we should embrace their potential to deliver economic and social change and to bring high-quality, affordable produce into the hearts of deprived areas.

The newspapers gleefully reprinted this rubbish.

Wind-Cowie’s twitter feed is: Myscular Liberal. A very recent post states:

Great article from Melanie Phillips on why Cameron needs 2 be more robust in defending #Israel

The words “great article” and “Melanie Phillips” are so incompatible, I had to check it out:

David Chamberlain and the reprise of historical infamy

For those who still don’t get it, let me spell out just why the response by Cameron, Clegg and Hague to the Turkish terrorist flotilla incident is so despicable and so terrifying. At a time when much of the western world has turned itself into a kind of global Nuremberg rally – this time with not Jews as people but as a collective people being singled out for attack while those who are gathering to destroy them are appeased, rewarded and strengthened — the British government has refused to defend the Israeli target of this appalling reprise of historical infamy and has instead placed itself squarely on the side of this truly diabolical inversion of reality and justice.

The convoluted pieties of Cameron Clegg and Hague, professing to support Israel’s need for security while denouncing it for defending its troops from kidnap and butchery, constitute in fact the most stomach-turning hypocrisy. For these men are not merely condemning Israel for its flotilla interception which, although undoubtedly botched, nevertheless saw Israel under attack from Islamists – you know, the kind which Britain and America are killing in their thousands in Afghanistan and elsewhere, along with countless civilians about whom no-one ever says a word because no-one cares a tuppenny damn if Israel isn’t in the frame — but are also calling for an end to the blockade of Gaza.

And so on, including the regulation Hitler reference that appears in every one of her articles.

This apologist for Tesco’s also retweets from a fellow neocon Tim Montgomerie:

RT @TimMontgomerie: The ugly truth about the “aid agency” that attempted to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza

That’s a link to the pure propaganda site Terrorism-Info.IL (Israel).

Montgomerie also mentions among his other favoured articles this one:

Krauthammer: Israel’s blockade is doing to Gaza what JFK did to Cuba; stopping a deadly enemy acquire lethal weapons

Charles’ Krauthammer’s statements on Gaza were featured on The Daily Show last week, which is why his name caught my eye. Here is the amazing clip from Murdoch’s Fox News:

Krauthammer: The fundamental deception here is the use of the word “Humanitarian”. As we say, humanitarians don’t weild iron clubs and would have killed the Israeli’s had the Israeli’s not drawn their pistols in self-defence.

But there’s a larger issue here.

What exactly is the humanitarian crisis that the flotilla was addressing? There is none. There’s no one starving in Gaza. The Gazans have been supplied with food, social services, education by the UN for 60 years, in part with American tax money.

This is high-grade, unadulterated, unashamed lies and propaganda. Not spin, not opinion, but lies.

It fits with my MP’s categorical statement that “there is no blockade of Gaza”. It’s just a little local difficulty that’s happening in the waters off the coast.

Meanwhile in the real world, the dead bodies were returned:

Israel was tonight under pressure to allow an independent inquiry into its assault on the Gaza aid flotilla after autopsy results on the bodies of those killed, obtained by the Guardian, revealed they were peppered with 9mm bullets, many fired at close range.

Nine Turkish men on board the Mavi Marmara were shot a total of 30 times and five were killed by gunshot wounds to the head, according to the vice-chairman of the Turkish council of forensic medicine, which carried out the autopsies for the Turkish ministry of justice today.

The results revealed that a 60-year-old man, Ibrahim Bilgen, was shot four times in the temple, chest, hip and back. A 19-year-old, named as Fulkan Dogan, who also has US citizenship, was shot five times from less that 45cm, in the face, in the back of the head, twice in the leg and once in the back. Two other men were shot four times, and five of the victims were shot either in the back of the head or in the back, said Yalcin Buyuk, vice-chairman of the council of forensic medicine.

The findings emerged as more survivors gave their accounts of the raids. Ismail Patel, the chairman of Leicester-based pro-Palestinian group Friends of al-Aqsa, who returned to Britain today, told how he witnessed some of the fatal shootings and claimed that Israel had operated a “shoot to kill policy”.

He calculated that during the bloodiest part of the assault, Israeli commandos shot one person every minute. One man was fatally shot in the back of the head just two feet in front him and another was shot once between the eyes. He added that as well as the fatally wounded, 48 others were suffering from gunshot wounds and six activists remained missing, suggesting the death toll may increase.

What does this say about some wingnut’s lunatic concern for the poor and their “brand deserts”? Not a lot.

Except it sheds light on his general level of intellectual dishonesty in relation to his ideological fetishes. Inconvenient reality clearly doesn’t get in the way for him.

There’s no need to waste any time on his useless output.

Sunday, June 6th, 2010 at 1:55 pm - - Kayak Dive

Camera clips have finally been edited and uploaded. Quite relaxing. The rest here is for my own records.

Friday 2 April 2010 – Drive down Liverpool to Land’s End, arrive at caravans at 11pm. Weather looks horrid.