Never Let You Go

This gallery of pictures from the World Press Awards is pretty moving. I don´t really need to say anything but I guess we should keep hold of those we love.

Marcos, 89, and Monica, 87, have been married and living in their apartment in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for 65 years. In 2007, Monica was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Since that moment, her husband devoted all his time to take care of her.

More here: http://www.worldpressphoto.org/photo/2012alejandrokirchukdls1-al?gallery=2634

Time to Roll

So its the beginning of a year and its time to take myself abroad again, a January tradition I started in 2008. I figured its always better to go to travel and see something when the weather (and country) sucks at home. The second obvious reason is more positive; England is nice in summer.

In 2008 I quit work (again) and went to Australia for LP´s wedding and then New Zealand, SE Asia and Europe coming back in mid-September. Less drastic and colder, I went East in 2009 to Poland and Eastern Europe to work and travel down to near the Balkans returning in August. 2010 involved a trip to pick up Linden in Berlin and head over to Israel and the Middle East until March. And Uni commitments in 2011 only allowed a week in Andalucia in February. But it was 22C 🙂

This year I’m going further afield again to a land of snowy mountains, blue ocean, dance and colonial towns. I’m staying with Gabriel in general but Claudia has already planned the first weekend away and friends have flooded me with information and contacts to make this trip a real special one. Colombia and Panama, I cannot wait. I’ll get stories and pics up  as quick as possible.

When I return via New York, I’ll have to get my head down fora few months until the summer in Oxford and a return to Uni which is now awaiting confirmation. Much thanks to those who gave me advice and the lawyer lecturer whose responses highlighted a danger implicit in law; that it must do others’ bidding. I’ll find a way.

See you soon 🙂

Sir Fred No More

So Fred Goodwin is just Fred Goodwin now. Btw this isn’t the butcher in Corrie. I’ve never really understood this anachronism. He’s been stripped of his knighthood meaning his children can’t get married in St Pauls Cathedral. Boo hoo. Ahh its so bloody British. Here we dent his pride and leave him with the all the money.

But really this is a symbolic measure, a singling out of one man and his bank which failed due to an over-aggressive and ill-timed takeover of ABN. Yet the whole system of lending, the lack of capital back up, the methodology of imagining wealth/asset value, the moral hazard created by an arrogant and flawed understanding of finance alongside wilful neglect by the regulatory leadership. And all in a totally unsustainable manner.

But for now that we’ve hung Fred out, I guess we can ignore all those problems. Until the next inevitable bubble and collapse.

Farewell Megaupload

The craziest part of this megaupload story is the boss of the file-sharing website himself. Built like a Spanish door, this German had been convicted numerous for various unconvincing scams as a young IT guy and then used his skills to develop a site based in Hong Kong which became a top 15 site in the world. Finally he was arrested in New Zealand where he rented a $30m house. And most bizarrely he’d changed his name to Kim Dotcom!

I’ve used megaupload numerous times to find films or music. I appreciate I’m not helping the problem but I go to enough gigs to pay part salaries. However the usual suggested connection to organised crime is missing here. These guys were mega-consumers too. They spent money given to them by advertisers. So the madam has been arrested while the prostitutes and the customers get to live another day.

It’s all part of a very concerted effort to control the internet now. The big companies are being cajoled into compliance. Facebook, Microsoft, Oracle and Google made little stand while Twitter recently announced it will start censoring tweets in certain countries (read China). China recently cut internet connections to areas of unrest in Tibet. News organisations are now charging for content and Netflix and Spotify will try to regularise film and music viewing.

But while the Feds are busy trying to help to secure US property and businesses, the rest of the fake DVDs are still being printed and sold across the world, China is busy hacking into US security, Israel is busy trying to shut down Iran’s IT systems, new download sites have popped up immediately and the official bad guys remain Anonymous and wikileaks…

The stakes are rising. Its gonna be fun to watch.

Update: This is brilliant. Anonymous released taped conversations of the FBI and British police discussing their own hacking efforts to find Anonymous. The hackers have hacked the hackers who sought to arrest them.