When a two year old crawls into bed and says she wants to sleep more with Mummy and Daddy, what she means is she wants to wait until you’ve dozed off again so it’s double the fun prodding and poking you in the eye.
Double take of the day was while reading this comment on BoingBoing. The discussion is about an Economist article that contradicts a lot of the ‘green shoot’ nonsense spouted during budget week, and predicts darker times ahead.
Now I’m no particular fan of the Economist, but here’s the comment in question…
We could assess the likelihood of this happening, if we chose, by the simple step of auditing the loan tapes underlying a fair sample of sub-prime securities, to determine the prevalence of missing documentation, misrepresentation and prima facie fraud. Such a study would constitute minimum due diligence and that fact that one is not underway is a very bad sign.
Umm… Is it really true that after everything that’s happened over the last 18 months no-one’s even begun trying to find out who owes what to whom? Surely that can’t be right… Can it?
Finally plucked up the courage to upgrade my main machine to Jaunty and it was an absolutely painless process. Even VMWare is working fine after the kernel upgrade, and that’s the first time that’s ever happened.
I still get a 20-30 pause between the gnome login screen and the desktop appearing though. Something that’s been installed and removed in the past is bugging it out, and the only error I get is a gnome-desktop-panel timeout one. The problem is that this has been related to a Compiz/Nvidia bug – which isn’t the one I’ve got. A clean install is probably the only way to fix it.
This post is purely to help anyone who’s happened across this site while googling for a Zambian Visa form. You see, despite the generally helpful nature of everyone I’ve spoken to about the great twitter/fundraising experiment that is LearnAsOne, I’ve been a bit worried I wouldn’t actually be let into the country.
The Zambian High Commission in London has a lovely website which explains that you can apply for a Visa by post and get it within five working days. Perfect. Only the link to download said visa form is broken. I tried calling the embassy about… ooh… 100 times over 14 days, only to be met with the most perfect phone IVR, which directs you first to the Visa desk, then to the main reception, then to the original menu, and then hangs up on you. It never, ever connects you to a human being.
Never mind, I thought, I’ll just email them explaining there’s a problem with their site, so they can fix it. Two day’s later the email is bounced, server unknown.
I had a couple of meetings in London today, so put off sorting this out until I could see them in person. As luck would have it, the M4 was closed. After three hours of sitting in a slightly lower holding pattern around Heathrow than I’m used to, we gave up trying to get into the capital and turned around to drive home. Sorry Earth Day, I am fail.
Fortunately, Steve from LearnAsOne did make it to the Embassy, and they provided him with a working link. So anyone who’s found this post looking for a Zambian Visa request form, click here. Don’t all thank me at once.
More updates at LearnAsOne. I spent a good portion of the weekend finishing off the research and writing a series of blog posts for the main site to go up on a daily basis before Steve leaves for Zambia in two weeks. The first went up last night.
Click on the picture to read it.
Meant to post this last week, and no doubt I’ll get round to a proper write up with correct branding on the LearnAsOne site at a later date, but here’s a quick personal thanks to Dave and Alex at Kaizo who’ve helped secure a donation from Flip of one video camera for the first school building project.
If everything goes according to plan, the camera be a vital part of the ongoing work LAO does, enabling the first school to post regular video updates to the site as and when new equipment and books arrive. Or if they just want to say hello, of course. This whole charity-meets-social-media thang is as much about making and maintaining relationships as it is all the fundraising and transparency issues it addresses.
Steve at LAO is working to very limited budgets at the moment, so not having to buy a camera is enormously useful.
Personal update on the project: plane tickets are booked, essentials bought* and am slowly putting together a list of stories I want to write while I’m out there. The first couple of features post-trip are lined up, and I’m helping Steve and a PR chum to put together a press release to try and tempt more outlets into covering the story. If you’re a major news outlet and would like to cover said story, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
* This involved walking into an Army surplus store and asking for a rucksack that doesn’t look remotely related to the military. Wearing khaki or camo is almost certainly a bad idea, and not in the usual fashion disaster sense.
Now, I’m all for believing that companies like Nike and Starbucks et al are cleaning up their act – although whenever I see news about it there’s an instinctive shit filter that pops up. But that they are now the most ethical companies on the planet? I guess that depends on your definition of ethics.
Still, this list has to be a big pot of fecal fluid. Look at the list below and guess which hippy traders are conspicuous by their omission, and which people made the cut. I’m deliberately sticking to large, well known global corporations.
American Apparel or Nike?
HSBC or Triodos/Co-op/Kiva/etc?
Pepsico or Ben & Jerry’s?
Cisco or – controversially – Mitel?
I could go on, but I’m starting to feel physically sick. I guess that the list is headed by two arms manufacturers should probably give you a clear warning that it is inherently worthless, but someone, somewhere is buying this filth. You can bet that the next press release you get from one of the semi-conductor manufacturers on there says ‘Most ethical company 2009′ as a badge of pride. And if they repeat it enough, for too many people it will become true.
Embarrassingly, I had no idea he was such an accomplished coder. This really is a great app, which filters out stories from potential news stories as well as highlighting @ replies, retweets and auto-loading pics. And, there’s a mobile version too.