Archive for the Mobile Phone Category

Killed Someone Because Of Your ‘Mobile’?

Posted in America, Britain, Canada, England, European Union, Mobile Phone, News, Police, Teens, Traffic with tags , , , , on 01/01/2017 by floroy1942
Texting While Driving - Sheer Madness!

Texting While Driving – Sheer Madness!

These days people are addicted to their mobile phones. How often do you get someone who bumps into you in a shopping centre or on the street because their whole attention is on texting on their mobile? I see it almost daily, and the majority are young people. Drivers in town or on the motorway can often be seen on their mobile while driving, and it causes many accidents and deaths because their whole attention is not on the road.

In Britain alone more than 17,000 people were taken to court last year for using their mobile while driving, and that is only a fraction of those that do it. The number of accidents, and deaths on the roads has skyrocketed since the introduction of mobile phones. So what do we do about it?

I’m of the firm opinion that legislation should be introduced that prevents the use of mobiles while driving. There have been various attempts by governments to limit this situation, notably in California USA with fines, but are they enough? The British Department for Transport is pushing for all mobiles to be blocked when a vehicles engine is switched on. I think this is a good idea which could well save many lives.

I am sure that if someone needs to make a call they should pull over and turn off the engine so the phone will work again. Once the call has been made they can continue.

There is however one problem that must be overcome, and that is the use of navigation systems that are on many mobiles. I am sure however that this problem could be solved. The most important thing is to prevent incoming calls and using the phone to make a call.

It would not be difficult with today’s technology to have a small item installed in the car that will prevent incoming and outgoing calls, text messages and data. I believe the sooner these methods are installed the better it will be for road safety. It must be law that your car or truck have one of these items installed, with very severe penalties for those who do not.

The introduction of such a device on new cars would be no problem, but those already on the road must have it installed within a certain time limit. Those who do not abide by this rule must either receive a heavy fine or have their car taken away from them.

Road deaths have increased tremendously since the introduction of the mobile phone and it is easy to say that such measures are somewhat authoritarian, but just imagine how many lives would be saved. I am sure those people who have lost family members due to such an incident would agree.

When you drive it is essential to have your full attention on the road ahead of you.

The Pokomon Frenzy

Posted in America, Britain, England, European Union, Insanity, Mobile Phone, Modern World, News, Police, Teens with tags , , , , on 09/10/2016 by floroy1942
Playing While Driving - You could Kill Someone

Playing While Driving – You Could Kill Someone

I couldn’t believe what I read the other day about a Pokomon player waltzing into a stranger’s house. When questioned by the Police he said he was playing Pokomon and searching for monsters. This is not an isolated case for it has happened before.

There have been nineteen such incidents in Norfolk England alone in the past few weeks. The Police have registered assaults, driving offences, noise nuisance and thefts in July and August alone.

What is it with these fanatics who think they can do as they please just because they are playing a game on their mobile? Have our youth lost all sense of reason over a stupid game?

The Police have arrested people driving erratically while playing the game and it makes me wonder how long it will be before someone gets killed.

Roy.

Walmart Revisited

Posted in America, Britain, British Humour, Canada, England, European Union, Mobile Phone, News, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 19/04/2016 by floroy1942

For some reason Walmart seems to attract the strangest of people. Here is another look at their customers.

 

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I hope you enjoyed this. ‘Til next time!

Roy.

Apple Fleecing Their Customers?

Posted in America, Britain, England, Europe, Mobile Phone, Modern World, News, Teens, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 10/03/2014 by floroy1942

I have always known that Apple products are ridiculously expensive, but an article I read today really brings home how much profit the company is making on its goods.

iPhone 5S

iPhone 5S

The example given was for the Apple iPhone 5S 16G model which gives Apple a staggering 41.4% profit on each item sold. The production cost of this phone, which is sold in the UK for £549, is a mere £129. This includes the research and development costs, marketing and distribution, and VAT.

IPhone costProduction of the other models with greater memory capacity like the 32G and 64G versions give the company even more profit. The 32G model sells for £629, an increase of £80 for the extra memory, but the production costs are only £6 more than the 16G model. The 64G phone costs consumers an extra £160, at £709 with only a difference of £12 in production costs over the 16G model.

It used to be argued that Apple products were more stable and reliable than other manufacturers, but is that still true today? For many, to go that extra mile and buy an Apple product was worth it because they were superior to other models on the market, but those days are now long gone. With stiff competition coming from companies like Samsung, it is now more a question of getting value and reliability for your hard-earned cash.  In the past this has always been a good reason to buy from Apple.

I must admit that both my wife and I have iPhones, but there is now a big question mark over whether we will buy another one. My phone has been exchanged for a new one three times because of problems, and my wife has had hers changed twice. So to be honest, reliability is not a very good reason to continue.

There is little doubt that you cannot fault Apple on their product guarantee service, for there is no haggling or being brushed off with excuses, the item is exchanged for a new one on the spot. For this I applaud the company, for there are few with such a good reputation in this area. It can be argued however, that with such a huge profit margin they can afford to do this.

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs

In my view, since the demise of Steve Jobs the company has gone downhill in many ways, the most important being reliability. Apple is trying to pack too much technology into their phones. These days they can do just about everything except fry an egg.

It is a fact of life that the more technical things become, the more things can go wrong. I believe manufacturers should remain aware of this. But you see, it is the march of progress, and each company must come up with new gadgets to beat the competition. When I had my 3S phone I kept it for four years without a single problem, but ever since I upgraded I get problems, hence having it changed three times under the guarantee.

Too Much Technology Can Lead To Crash And Burn!

Too Much Technology Can Lead To Crash And Burn!

There can be little doubt that feeding the gadget hungry young people of today will continue with companies like Apple, and eventually we may well be able to fry an egg with the phone, but it will all come crashing down when people realise that reliability is also important.

Roy.

Website Causes Another Tragic Teen Death

Posted in America, Britain, Child Discipline, Children, England, Mobile Phone, Parenting, Teens, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 06/08/2013 by floroy1942
Bullied To Death At 14

Bullied To Death At 14

I was appalled today to read of yet another teenager who committed suicide because of abusive messages received over a teen chat website. What is it about today’s teenagers that makes them send cruel, heartless hate messages to others over the internet? It seems that bullying has reached new depths of depravity and hate that it is now driving young people to such depths of despair that it forces them to  take their own lives.

I refer to the case of 14 year-old Hannah Smith who was hounded to death through the website Ask.fm until in sheer desperation she hung herself in her parents home. According to reports, she was hounded for weeks prior to her death with messages urging her to kill herself. As you would expect, all the messages were anonymous and consisted of things like:  “u ugly **** go die evry1 wuld (sic) be happy.” –  “do us all a favour n kill ur self”. – “drink bleach” – “go get cancer” and “go die”.

Bullied To Death

Bullied To Death

There is no doubt that the internet can be a minefield for young children and teenagers who have not been properly schooled in  its use, and that goes for mobile phones too. Hannah is not the only one to have taken such drastic action to escape the anonymous hate of others on this particular website. A year ago  Irish teenagers Ciara Pugsley, 15, from Leitrim and Erin Gallagher, 13, from Donegal both took their own lives after being subjected to on-line bullying, and in April this year 15-year-old Josh Unsworth from Lancashire was found hanged in his parents’ garden. He had endured months of cyber-bullying on the website.

The website carrying these messages, Ask.fm which is Latvian-based, said in their Press release, “We are committed to ensuring that Ask.fm remains a safe, fun environment, and we have policies in place that empower our users to protect themselves and to invite our intervention when required. For example, all users can switch off anonymous questions in their privacy settings; and if they do receive a question that they don’t like or find offensive, they can block the user and decide to report the incident. All reports are read by our team of moderators to ensure that genuine concerns are heard and acted upon immediately. Ask.fm is fully compliant with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.” I must admit that if I were running the company, I would make it impossible to send anonymous messages.

Cyber-Bullying Statistics

Cyber-Bullying Statistics

It does seem that the website has the standard safeguards in place but it is clearly not enough, for the question remains, why didn’t Hannah turn off anonymous comments or block offensive users? I guess it could  be morbid curiosity as to what the writer would say next, but it is more likely to be that teenagers today are just not mentally equipped to handle situations like this. In this I feel that parents bear a lot of responsibility for not preparing their child on how to handle such things. Mind you, to be fair, in many cases the children do not tell their parents of such things. I must say though, that if my two children were teens today I would warn them of such things before they even started with the internet.

A Typical Example OF Cyber-Bullying

A Typical Example OF Cyber-Bullying

It is estimated that more than 50% of children today are subjected to bullying of one form or another, and with the proliferation of teen chat websites like Ask.fm there is much more opportunity to those who feel the need the bully others.

Experts say that parents should look for certain signs in their children’s behaviour like suddenly becoming withdrawn, not wanting to go to school, or when a child or teenager who normally gets good grades in exams suddenly starts failing them. Even simple things like a lack of appetite or having trouble sleeping can be warning signs for parents that their child is having mental problems. The thing to do then is sit them down and talk about it. Sometimes it is necessary to press them a little to get the answers you want, for it is natural for many teens not to want to talk about such things as bullying, be it at school or via the computer or phone.

In this short film it is amazing how many people move away because they do not want to be involved. A terrible symptom of our modern society.

Physical Bullying In School

Physical Bullying In School

With the number of suicides constantly on the rise, I feel that it is time for legislative action by governments who must pass laws applicable to all social internet sites that make the ability to send anonymous messages against the law, and that every message is traceable back to its source. But it does not end there, for parents must also carry their share of the load by properly supervising a child’s internet usage and ensure they know what the password is so they can check intermittently what is being passed back and forth. By doing so they may discover early enough if their child is being bullied, or in fact if the child is him/herself a bully.

To be bullied, either at school or over the internet can be a traumatic experience for those in our society who are least equipped to deal with it, and that is why parents should remain aware at all times.

Roy.

The Internet Speed Farce

Posted in Britain, England, Europe, Insanity, Mobile Phone, Modern World, Spain, UK with tags , , , , on 29/06/2013 by floroy1942

How fast is your internet? It came as no surprise to me that the speeds claimed by the internet companies bear no relation whatsoever to the actual. People like Vodafone, BT and all the others like to give us a rosy picture as to what speeds we can get, but thankfully, a European Commission has finally investigated these claims and are now telling us the truth: i.e. it’s a rip-off!

An Unmitigated Disaster

An Unmitigated Disaster

Here on the Costa in Spain my wife and I were assured by Vodafone that even though they advertise 30mb, where we live we would get at least 8mb with our ADSL broadband connection. So naturally you think, well, we can live we that and we signed up. More fool us! We have consistently got no more than 0.3 to 0.4mb! We have constantly complained about it but we might as well be talking to a brick wall for all the help we get. Here is a sample of recent speed test results:

TEST_DATE TIME_ZONE DOWNLOAD Mb UPLOAD Mb LATENCY MS
6/22/2013 1:11 PM GMT 0.38 0.07 39
6/22/2013 1:12 PM GMT 0.38 0.07 38
6/27/2013 7:03 PM GMT 0.26 0.07 49
6/27/2013 7:13 PM GMT 0.26 0.06 66

One of their ‘technician’s’, and I use the term loosely, told us the reason was that “our phone lines were dirty”! Those were his exact words believe it or not!

Vodafone Router - Rubbish!

Vodafone Router – Rubbish!

With the router supplied by Vodafone we are also supposed to get WiFi for the rest of the house, but do we? Do we hell! My wife sets her MacBook Air within two metres of the router and can’t get a darned signal! We complain, and once again the technician makes a house call but tells us there is nothing he can do and we need to buy a booster. So in effect we need yet another piece of equipment just to get a WiFi signal to travel six feet!

My wife found a write-up from Vodafone saying that they advertised 30mb because anyone living within 600 metres of the base station will get 30mb. Maybe, but anything over 600 metres and the speed drops like a stone.

Yes Dear, I know The Feeling!

Yes Dear, I know The Feeling!

This is just an indication of how modern companies are ducking the advertising regulations about truth in advertising. In a clothes shop, if one single item is sold with a discount of 50% they can legally put up large signs saying they give 50% discount.

The internet companies, as with all others, are also clever by using the ‘up to’ phrase that catches many people out. ‘Up to’ can mean anything from 1 byte per second ‘up to’ the figure they claim, and no-one will do anything to stop the lies.

The Commission found that across Europe, broadband speeds are on average 25% lower than those claimed by the Internet companies. That is a huge disparity in anyone’s language.

Broadband Speed Comparison

Broadband Speed Comparison

Those of us who are still relying on copper communication cables are fairing the worst, with just 63.3% of households getting anywhere near the advertised speed, and then probably only when you live across the street from the base station. Unfortunately, here on the Costa they have never heard of fibre optic cables and are still living in the stone age when it comes to modern technology. Most of the phone lines are owned by Telefonica who have a virtual monopoly in Spain, and to date they feel absolutely no compunction to update the systems. Hell’s bells, they have faster internet speeds in places like Ecuador, Bolivia  and Puerto Rico than they do here in Spain and that is mostly Telefonica there also.

It is interesting to note that the EU wants to get all households on speeds of at least 30Mbps by the end of 2013 and half on 100Mbps by 2020. Well all I can say is, so far as Spain is concerned – Good Luck with that! Dominic Baliszewski, from website broadbandchoices is quoted as saying, “Fast broadband is no longer a luxury and is now just as essential as a reliable electricity supply….”. I wish he would tell that to the internet companies, and in particular Vodafone Spain.

Francisco Román Riechmann, President of Vodafone Spain - Git yer finger out matey!

Francisco Román Riechmann, President of Vodafone Spain – Git yer finger out matey!

I am well aware that in the north of Europe, Vodafone is a valued company that provides a reasonable service to all its customers, but the hierarchy really need to get a grip of the useless, incompetent, and lazy individuals who work for their Spanish company, for they are an unmitigated disaster in every sense of the word.

They Can't Even Maintain 3G or WiFi For The Damned Phone

They Can’t Even Maintain 3G or WiFi For The Damned Phone

They cannot even maintain a reasonable phone WiFi service, including 3G, which goes off at the drop of a hat. We regularly have no signal for the mobile phone when we are out which can cause extreme aggravation and stress. Yesterday my wife was at the post office in Marbella to pick up some money and had stored the necessary number, required to pick up the money, on her phone. There we stood at the counter with the form filled in and guess what? No WiFi or 3G signal on the bloody phone. We were forced to leave the post office and go across the road to a cafe and use their WiFi to get a signal – in the middle of Marbella! Then we could go back in and join the queue again! The sheer incompetence of Vodafone Spain just cannot be adequately described.

Idyllic Really, Well It Would Be If They Provided Reasonable Internet Speeds!

Idyllic Really, Well It Would Be If They Provided Reasonable Internet Speeds!

Unfortunately for us here on the Costa, where we are there is no alternative company because they are the only one that serves our area, with the exception of the many WiFi companies that abound here for the holiday makers and who’s speeds are even worse. I guess we must hope that somehow the European Commission can find a way to shake the cobwebs out of this country and get it moving forward into  modern times. Mind you, I’m not holding my breath!

Roy.

Come Back Steve Jobs – Apple Needs You!

Posted in America, Britain, England, Europe, Mobile Phone, Modern World, Spain, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 21/05/2013 by floroy1942
RIP Steve

RIP Steve

I don’t know about you, but I think Apple has gone downhill like an uncontrollable landslide since Steve Jobs passed away. When he was alive, you knew instinctively you could trust their products as being extremely reliable, even if they were very expensive, but you got what you paid for. Nowadays, I’m afraid the Apple image has slipped drastically in my estimation, for they are not at all reliable these days.

iPhone

As an example, I had an iPhone 3S for a very long time and never had a problem with it, but ever since I replaced it with the 4S I have had nothing but trouble, and exactly the same goes for my wife who replaced her old phone with the iPhone 5. My 4S phone has been replaced free of charge a total of 3 times due to problems with it, and my wife’s 5 model has been replaced twice, also because of problems. A further example is that my wife has had to take her recently bought MacBook Air back to the shop three times so far to have faulty components replaced.

Despite all that hassle, we bought an Apple Airport Extreme a couple of days ago for her laptop to boost the almost non-existent Vodafone Wi-Fi signal we pay a fortune for, another bone of contention. Just two metres from the Vodafone box and she cannot get a reliable Wi-Fi signal.

The Airport box was described by the salesman in the Marbella outlet as very simple to install. So far so good! We spent three hours yesterday trying to get our two computers and my wife’s laptop connected, all to no avail. Today we tried again for a further three and a half hours, again without any progress.

Bloody Automated Answering Machine!

Bloody Automated Answering Machine!

In sheer desperation, my wife tried to phone the shop and spent the usual five minutes talking to an automated reply system (don’t you just hate those damned things), and when she finally got to speak to a human she was told she should press 2 and not 3. The woman on the other end could not redirect our call so she had to redial. Again with the bloody machine for five minutes before getting through, and shortly after she did, the phone went dead! Try again! It took another two tries before she eventually got through and was helped. After about fifteen minutes on the phone trying various things, she was told that the box may be faulty and we should change it at the store. ERRGGGH! I don’t know if all Apple stores are the same, but at this one we had to make an appointment just to change the darned apparatus, so I am waiting to see what happens this evening.

All Those Little Electrons and Things.....??

All Those Little Electrons and Things…..??

By this time our blood was boiling, and I realized we should both have stayed in bed for the day, if only for the sake of our blood pressure. Neither my wife nor I are computer illiterate, for we both know our way around in computer systems, even if we are not technically savvy enough to know what actually goes on inside, you know, all those little diodes and other things. We are both capable of changing boards and such when required.

When it comes to modern electronic gadgets of all types, I find that systems are becoming much too complicated for the average customer to handle. Even adding what should be a simple device is becoming more and more difficult. Whatever happened to ‘Plug and Play’? Even phones today are so complicated you need a Degree in Electronics just to operate all the functions.

Nice Helpful People In The Apple Store Marbella.

Nice Helpful People In The Apple Store Marbella.

We have been in the Apple store in Marbella many times, and I must say the staff are, on the whole, extremely polite and efficient which does them credit, but the ever increasing number of faulty products must be costing Apple a lot of money. I must also compliment Apple on their exchange programme, for they are quick to recommend replacement of the product under the guarantee without any hassle.

I have no idea if the current poor reliability is because they are all assembled in China, or just poor design. All I do know, is that we will be thinking twice before buying another Apple product, and if many people go through our experiences I can see Apple’s share of the market falling rapidly.

The Press and Morality

Posted in America, Britain, Europe, Human Rights, Mobile Phone, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 08/12/2012 by floroy1942

Do two such opposites as the Press and morality go together? From recent events it seems not in many people’s eyes.

Could He Have Done More?

Could He Have Done More?

The recent death of a man at Times Square station on the New York Underground photographed by a freelance photojournalist Umar Abbasi, and the disgusting headline and photo on the New York Times front page that followed, has raised a storm of protest about news journalists and photographers in particular.

Many are complaining that instead of continuing to take photographs, Abbasi should have done something to help the poor man who was pushed under the approaching train by an unknown person with whom he had previously been talking. Abbasi contends there was nothing he could have done to help the victim back onto the platform before the trains arrival in the station, but that he did operate the flash on his camera several times down the track to try and alert the train driver.

Tasteless In Extreme

Tasteless In Extreme

The New York Times was also heavily criticized for its poor judgement in making the incident a front page story with graphic photo’s.  I too find it most distasteful when the Press revel in the suffering of humanity, like that which we saw daily from places like Gaza during their recent spat with Israel. Bloody corpses and a father carrying the mutilated body of his daughter. The newspaper editors today seem intent on putting gory photo’s on the front page in an effort to attract more readers. The sad thing is, it works because people today love to see pictures of the suffering others – just so long as they do not have to witness it first-hand of course!

A Vulture Stalks Its Prey

A Vulture Stalks Its Prey

There have been many cases in the past where ‘the shot’ is more important than those under threat. In 1993 photographer Kevin Carter was awarded the Pulitzer prize for his picture of a vulture stalking a starving Sudanese toddler, but afterwards received so much criticism for not saving the child he committed suicide a year later.

Do We REally Need To See This?

Do We Really Need To See This?

The base desire to get that magic photo that will sell millions of newspapers is overpowering for many photographers today and they will do whatever is necessary to get it. We saw this with the death of Princess Diane in Paris all those years ago where the paparazzi were fighting with police and ambulance men to get close enough to photograph the inside of the car!

The Paparazzi Camp Outside The Hospital

The Paparazzi Camp Outside The Hospital

We see it daily at any big news event like when the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton was taken to hospital recently. I would describe photographers today as a pack of wild dogs, but that would be an insult to wild dogs. The pushing and shoving of photographers surrounding an important news event make a rugby scrum look extremely gentle and sophisticated by comparison.

Paparazzi 'Scrum'

Paparazzi ‘Scrum’

It always amazes me that after getting a good photo they still have to fight for position to take a hundred more that turn out just the same. When I photograph something I take one shot and if its good I end it, not keep the camera shutter clicking for about two minutes non-stop. The trouble is, these days with digital camera’s you can take a hundred or more photo’s, whereas in the old days you only had a limited supply before you needed to put in a new film.

Death Through Indifference?

Death Through Indifference?

The basic question here is: Should a photographer put down his camera and go to the aid of someone in trouble? Photographer Abassi was criticized for not doing that even though he maintains there was nothing he could do. That may be, but obviously, basic morality says he should at least have made an attempt, but he didn’t. For a professional photographer it is difficult to make a decision to forgo a possible Pulitzer Prize photo with the fame and money that comes with it, or to drop the camera and perhaps save a life or prevent someone getting badly hurt. Its a sign of how people and moral standards have changed today.

What Would You Do?

What Would You Do?

Don’t for one minute think that this dilemma applies only to Press photographers, for you or I could face the same situation at any time, on any day. Do you take the photo that could make you a lot of money but at the risk of serious injury or death of another human being, or do you drop your camera and perhaps save a life? I’ll leave you to decide!

Roy.

You Are Sharing More Than You Think On Social Networks

Posted in America, Britain, England, Europe, Human Rights, Mobile Phone, Relationships, Teens, UK, USA with tags , , , , , , , on 16/02/2012 by floroy1942

” My dog just crapped on the carpet” or “I woke up with a hangover this morning” are some of the ludicrous messages people share with the world on Facebook or Twitter, and to be honest, who the hell cares! Internet social sites have become a disease in today’s fast-moving world, and few people seem to be immune. But unknown to most, there are dangers in broadcasting to the world your daily life.

It has been revealed that most of these sites harvest your  personal information such as your entire address book, complete with names, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses without your knowledge. This seems to me a grievous violation of your civil right to privacy. To put it simply, download e.g. the Facebook or Twitter App on your phone, and the company has access to your private data, much of which it stores without your knowledge and consent.

This invasion of privacy is not confined to any one site, but seems to be a universal practice with most, if not all of them. The main culprit seems to be the “Find Friends’ apps that can be downloaded from phone manufacturers like Apple. This company has been criticised by two US Senators who have written to the company asking why this is allowed, considering it is against Apple’s own rules. Company guidelines state:  “Apps that read or write data outside its designated container area will be rejected.” They add: “Apps cannot transmit data about a user without obtaining the user’s prior permission.” Yea Right!

The excuse used by companies that feature this App say they only use the data to identify friends of the people using the service. Of course, ‘I am sure none of this information gets into the hands of advertising companies who want to send you ads all day long, and most certainly wouldn’t be used for market research’!

Twitter tells users that it “may customize your account with information such as a cellphone number for the delivery of SMS messages or your address book so that we can help you find Twitter users you know” and they inform iPhone users that they will “scan (?) your contacts for people you already know on Twitter”. Right! In today’s high pressure world I find it hard to imagine that is all they do for there is a lot of money to be made selling people’s contact data to advertisers and market research companies.

Are You Sure Its Safe?

Whether they do or not, I for one wouldn’t trust it as far as I can throw a 747. Private data should remain just that, private, and I am all for legislation that will totally outlaw these practices and  make the gathering of personal data illegal without the full prior permission of the user. Ever since the internet came along and greedy individuals found ways to make masses of money from it, our private lives have been in perpetual danger, and no-one is more susceptible to it than the users of Facebook, Twitter, and the like. These social websites have blossomed into multi-billion dollar entities over the past ten years, and there is little sign the pace is slackening.

Roy.

Another Shocking Prison Report

Posted in Britain, Conservative Party, England, Human Rights, Mobile Phone, Prison, UK with tags , , , on 22/12/2011 by floroy1942

Who is in charge of our prisons? It was revealed recently that bullying  and drugs are still rife in British prisons, which to be honest doesn’t say much for HM Prison Service. The report by the Prison Inspectorate named in particular HMP Erlestoke, near Devizes in which it said illegal drugs and bullying were ‘rife’ in the prison, a fact that shouldn’t surprise too many people.

Home From Home

It did concede that improvements had been made since the last inspection however, but it still makes me wonder why the prisoners run our prisons and not the wardens. I have many times said that in my opinion, the British penal system is far too soft, and rather than acting as a deterrent to crime it encourages it. Soft sentencing and prisons like five-star hotels is no way to turn criminals away from a life of crime.

We desperately need to get back to a system of justice that is to be feared by all who end up in its clutches, with no luxury accommodation, no sports and games gear, no TV and no perks like day release.

Life of Riley!!!

Insofar as prison drugs are concerned, any prisoner found to have taken drugs gets an automatic six-months added to their sentence, and anyone found to be carrying drugs into a prison gets to join the inmates for a minimum of six-months. It matters not if these are family members or prison staff, the rule is the same. Anyone guilty of bullying , or any other rule infraction gets an automatic three months jail time.

It is way past time the prison system was run in a proper way and the Prison Service stopped allowing the prisoners so much freedom and trying to be friends with prisoners just to keep them happy, and peaceful.

Prison Used to be a Deterrent

Each successive government has promised to be “Tough on Crime”. famous words uttered by Tony Blair when he aspired to be Prime Minster, but what did Labour do, they turned our prisons into a holiday camp, reduced sentences to a farce and started allowing prisoners out on ‘day release’ to help them “adjust to life outside”.

The Re-Offending Roundabout

Under the Conservative Ken Clark we have not seen any major improvements so far, in fact several times over the past year he has been completely on the wrong track. Shorter sentences, early release and ‘homely’ jails are not the way to cut re-offending rates.

Its one thing to accept European Directives on sentencing and prisons, which seem to work in most other European countries, but Britain has a unique situation where crime has long since spiralled out of control, and that requires harsher measures.

Fully Equipped Gym?

Ken Clark has been worried about the increasing cost of keeping criminals in prison, which with an 85,000 plus population is enormous, but there are better ways to save money, like getting rid of all the fancy frills enjoyed by prisoners, and make them work hard during their sentence. In the long term this is the best way of saving money, because if a prison sentence was feared by criminals they would have more incentive to ‘go straight’, and thereby the prison numbers would be significantly reduced within a few short years.

Current Prison Phones

News from a couple of weeks ago indicated there are plans to put phones in every prison cell in an effort to stop the smuggling of mobiles into prison. Now what sort of cock-eyed idea is that! At a time when money is tight some bright spark decided to lash out on phones in prisoners cells! To give all prisoners a phone just to stop the illegal use of mobiles is about as sane as giving thieves unlimited access to your property to prevent them stealing!!! Prisoners naturally prefer smuggled mobiles to the prison phone system because they cannot be monitored. Personally, I think a much cheaper and effective way of solving the mobile problem is for each prison to have its own jammer, and in that way no-one will be using a mobile while inside its walls.

While the Prison Service and the Ministry of Justice say that tight controls are necessary when allowing prisoners access to telephones, we all know that although intentions may be good, the system never works as it is supposed to and abuse and lax controls will eventually be the ‘norm’.

Prison Epidemic

Allowing criminals to have phones in prison is a dangerous game, because it means not only business as usual while ‘inside’, but also gives them the opportunity for stalking victims and threatening witnesses against them.

In my opinion, none of the measures I suggest are likely to be imposed because we have to deal with the Human Rights Lobby which is powerful in Britain, and these ‘holier than thou’ idiots will be up in arms at any such move. Well, that is until they themselves become a victim of crime and then they will change their tune. Perhaps a pompous HR follower would provide a burglar with tea and biscuits while he ransacked his/her home because the poor man is really deprived and misunderstood!!! Well, isn’t that the right approach for an HR dipstick???

Roy.

Over-Zealous Security, The Police, And A Little Girl

Posted in Britain, Children, England, Human Rights, Insanity, Mobile Phone, Modern World, Police, Political Correctness, Terrorism, UK with tags , on 11/10/2011 by floroy1942

When is a terrorist not a terrorist? Give some people a bit of responsibility, and in particular power, and they turn into all-knowing tin gods who love to throw their weight around. This can be most irritating when confronted with it, but the whole scenario becomes most annoying when the police become involved.

When Fun Turned to Fear For Little Hazel

The incident in question took place in Braehead Shopping Centre, near Glasgow. Chris White, on a day out with his 4 year-old daughter Hazel, decided to take a photo on his mobile phone of his little girl, enjoying the ice cream he had just bought her. This simple everyday act was immediately interpreted as breaking the Anti-Terrorist Laws by shopping centre staff who alerted the security.

Common Sense Should Be Vital

A security man came running over all hot and bothered, and threatened Chris White saying what he had done was ‘illegal’. Uninterested in his explanation that it was only a photo of his daughter eating an ice cream, the guard called the police. While his child cried in his arms, White was berated by the police, and told to delete the photo from his phone or it would be confiscated under the Terrorism Act. 

Eventually some common sense seemed to get through to the police officers, and one would presume the  security guard, and the incident was closed with Chris White being able to keep his phone and the photograph. As it turns out, the police do not have the power to force anyone to delete photo’s or confiscate a phone or camera without a court order.  

 

Strathclyde Police

Strathclyde Police did confirm that the incident had taken place and that ‘a full review’ would be carried out. Uhhuh!

So far as the shopping centre was concerned, it made no apologies for the over-zealous idiot in uniform but simply said it wanted to “maintain a safe and enjoyable environment” for shoppers. Yea right! Sanctimonious idiots!

In the meantime, Chris White, who is quite rightly fuming over the incident, has begun a Facebook campaign for people to boycott the shopping centre. Serves them right too!

Roy.

The ‘News of the World’ Suicide.

Posted in Britain, England, Europe, Government, Mobile Phone, Modern World, MP's, Parliament, UK, USA with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 10/07/2011 by floroy1942

When a newspaper decides to commit ‘hara-kiri’ you know there is something desperately wrong with the industry. So much has been written over the tabloid News of the World (NOTW) phone hacking scandal that there is no point in my repeating it, so let’s take a look more at why such a thing happened in the first place.

Fleet Street - Back When Reporters Were Honest

Up to the middle of the last century, newspapers were all about reporting the news as accurately and quickly as possible, and to get a ‘scoop’ was every editors dream. They reported the facts as they occurred, and usually without too much embellishment.

Then the inevitable happened, competition suddenly became fiercely contested when the ‘big money’ moved into Fleet Street and took over.

Since that time newspaper owners have become sharks in the aquarium, and the biggest on the block is Rupert Murdoch, owner of NOTW. He owns by far the largest share of all media reporting in the world. 

Richard Murdoch - Owner Of News International

His company, News International, owns 137 newspapers in Australia alone, 5 major ones in the USA, another 5 major papers in the UK plus 18 internationals. He owns 34 magazines, 23 TV channels spread between the USA and Britain, and 19 cable companies. Now he even wants to buy the UK TV channel BSkyB.

Murdoch has a stranglehold on news reporting across the english speaking world so we must all ask: Should one man be allowed to hold so much news reporting power? There is little doubt he has a great influence on the British political scene, especially during elections. It has been proven that biased reporting can sway the public to vote a certain way.

Over the years, with the arrival of king sharks like Murdoch, news reporting has steadily become worse as the business became more cut-throat. The idea of just reporting the news, along with journalistic integrity and honesty, went out the window when the drive to make money took over. The focus changed from pure reporting to the sordid task of generating profits at any cost, even to the extent of trashing people’s reputations. 

'Gotta Have A Scoop" Or My Ass Is Grass

Every newspaper reporter and editor is now hounded to get the ‘scoop of the century’ every day because that sells newspapers. To these people it no longer matters if the facts are correct, or even if the whole story is made up, as long as the front page story attracts people to buy their newspaper. This is true of all British newspapers, be it the trashy rags at the lower end, or those at the top.

We have been hit by a succession of scandals in Fleet Street over the years as one newspaper after another is caught out in a lie, or publishing incorrect information. If they end up in hot water over some report that was prefabricated or incorrect, they just print a small half column retraction a week later and its business as usual.

Breaking News - The Profumo Scandal

The story that gets editors salivating the most is a dark secret or scandal about some politician or other, for it allows their imagination ‘full rein’. We have only to look back at the Profumo case of 1963 where the newspapers went to town on the Conservative politician John Profumo for his ties to the prostitute Christine Keeler. During the 80’s and 90’s various Conservative MP’s evoked the ‘righteous’ wrath of Fleet Street, as did many Labour MP’s during their following period in power.

I will not deny that sometimes the attacks are justified and truly ‘in the public interest’. In the case of last years Westminster expenses scandal for example I, along with many others, feel that what the newspapers did was justified. That M.P’s fiddled their expenses to the tune of tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds is worthy of a hundred front pages, and Fleet Street certainly got the full milage out of that story.

These days you hardly ever read a ‘good news’ story in the newspapers because they cannot drag themselves away from the darker side of life. Good news does not capture the minds of ‘Joe Public’ and therefore affects sales.

When you look at the whole journalistic world today you should ask yourself: Whatever happened to integrity, morality and truth?

The simple answer is, these core values that used to be held so high by our forefathers, have died. They are lost in the cesspool of corruption, lies and the desperate need to sell papers.

Where The NOTW Is Headed

If you are one of those who believes everything you read in today’s newspapers ‘because it must be true’, then you are a fool, and perpetuate the downward spiral of a once mighty and respected profession into the black hole of oblivion.

There can be little doubt in today’s world that most tabloids are fighting for survival, for with the rise of computers and internet technology over the past two decades, their role has been severely diminished. This may explain their thirst for explosive scandal for they see this as the only way to survive. The more outrageous the story, so much the better.

For most people, the advantage of a newspaper is that you can take it with you and read it at the local coffee shop or during a break at work, which you cannot do with a computer. Until today that is!

The Future Of News Reading?

Now we see the market being flooded with tablets and smart phones that you can carry with you, so the role of the newspaper is likely to diminish even further. At some time in the future, the entire industry will have to change its focus as people come to rely more and more on their electronic gadgets and internet news channels.

Given the current state of the journalistic profession, that may not be such a bad thing, but it makes you wonder, will the evils of printed news be carried over to the internet? We shall see! 

Roy.

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