Monday, December 6, 2010

Feds crack down on copyright infringement

The story about the German kids who managed to hack into the computers of various celebrities is quite fascinating. Obviously the celebs are no better than the rest of us when it comes to "click this link, omg this is too freakin' amazing" -> spyware.

What struck me the most in this article though was this following paragraph:

The alleged crime came to light only when fans of Kelly Clarkson, another targeted singer, tipped her off about unreleased music available on the internet. She informed the police, triggering an investigation involving the FBI and the German Federal Police Service. 

What the hell does FBI have to do with investigating possible copyright infringement? That's like sending fully armed US marines to retrieve a bicycle that the neighbor kid stole. Absolutely fucking ridiculous.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Data Retention Directive lie

The Swedish politicians have tried to convince the public that the implementation of the Data Retention Directive (DRD), the massive surveillance scheme that would make the DDR blush, is aimed at fighting organized crime, terrorism and such.

Well, the cat's finally out of the bag: Infamous Minister of Justice Beatrice Ask wants the police to be given access to any surveillance data (the positioning of your cell phone, your e-mails, text messages, calls...) on suspicions even of petty crimes that only warrant a fine. That means that the police could use the DRD surveillance machine to track you down and prosecute you for urinating in a public place, littering, or probably more realistically: For illegally downloading music or movies on the Internet.

Is this really the society we want? Don't you wish you didn't vote for a totalitarian government in this year's elections?

Other thoughts on the subject: Sysadminbloggen, opassande, Henrik Alexandersson, Full Mental Straightjacket.

Picture: mandiberg

Friday, September 24, 2010

A double standard is better than no standard

I figured this would be a more cheerful way of presenting news & views, this time the "Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act", a bill proposing that the US Department of Justice can shut down any site that is accused of being involved in copyright infringement.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Common ground

There we are! Seems Sverigedemokraterna (SD) and the currect Government have even more in common than we thought. SD too, apparently, want to ban art and culture that can be deemed offensive by some.

So up until now we've got:
1. No respect of basic human rights
2. Less artistic freedom (as mentioned above)
3. Harsher punishment for committing victimless crimes
4. Moving away from the assumption that one is innocent until proven guilty
5. Even more surveillance

Plenty of common grounds to build a new government on. I think this might work out very well in the end.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Miljöpartiet selling out

I guess anyone who believed in Miljöpartiet's election promises on surveillance is feeling pretty ashamed today. Only 3 days after the elections a representative of the party, Isabelle Lövin manage to vote - brace yourself - in favor of the positively insane Gallo report, a report named after its equally insane (or completely corrupt) creator, Marielle Gallo. Read Isabelle Lövins pathetic excuse here. Notice how she uses a clearly fake petition signed among others by deceased filmmakers, to justify her vote for increased surveillance and oppression.

The report, for those of you unfamiliar with it, states on one hand that we don't know enough about the effects of file sharing (clearly all the independent research done over the last couple of years is irrelevant, as it doesn't support the view of the entertainment business), and on the other hand that this doesn't matter at all and that ISP's should be forced to monitor the users for illegal file sharing activities, and also risk liability should they not take action in a manner acceptable to the entertainment industry. In other words, legislation first, facts second. My oh my, if every industry could order oppressive legislation just like that...

Oh yeah, and the report also states that file sharing may lead to health risks. Really. That's just  how insane it is, and how dumb Isabelle Lövin and the other pathetic bastards voting in favor of this report are.

So, by voting in favor of this report, let's have a look at how this is honoring  Miljöpartiet's election promises, made only 3 days ago:

Att staten inte ska ha möjlighet att registrera och övervaka all internettrafik i Sverige. Right, we'll let the ISP's do the surveillance instead, and threaten them with liability if they don't cooperate.

Skapa en balanserad upphovsrätt och avkriminalisera fildelning för privat bruk.
Umm, yeah, a balanced copyright legislation is exactly what the Gallo report is all about...

Of course, traditional media refuse to pick up on this. Instead they're publishing a story on how 70% of Swedish voters have confidence in the politicians. Yeah, I wonder why.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The aftermath

This year's election was truly a choice between the bubonic plague and cholera. After four years of suffering we already knew how cholera felt, and the public seemed to think suffering from this disease was better than exchanging it for the bubonic plague. Interestingly enough even the right-wing party Sverigedemokraterna (SD) made it into the Riksdag, probably due to public frustration and great PR by the other parties as well as the media.

The election result gives us a situation where the cholera non-socialist Alliance is forced to cooperate with parties from the bubonic plague socialist coalition or indeed SD, out there on the far right of politics, which the Alliance has already denied.

To be honest I'm not sure I understand why the Alliance is so hesitant to cooperate with SD. Sure there are differences, mostly ideological, but if the last four years have showed us anything it's that the Alliance are experts in leaving their ideology at home before going to work. So, in practical politics the Alliance and SD aren't really that far apart. Sure, whereas SD nurture a fear and loathing of non-European immigrants, the Alliance nurture the same fear and loathing of all Swedish citizens. Equality, although a perverted one. Still, there are plenty of areas where I'm sure these two can cooperate: The views on crime, on human rights...

Looking forward to another four years in the dark ages.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The single most important question that hasn't been answered

Sweden's first Ipred lawsuit ends up in the European Court of Justice. That's hardly a surprise. What is a surprise to me though is that what I consider to be one of the most important questions in this case hasn't even been touched by the courts:

How did the anti-piracy agency, Antipiratbyrån, manage to legally break into a secure server in order to gather evidence? And furthermore, do the courts find illegal activities to be perfectly ok when performed by representatives of the entertainment lobby?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Enforcing hands-free for car phone use is useless

Sweden is the only European country where using a hand-held cell phone while driving isn't illegal. All other countries require hands-free equipment. Now the lobby organization Motormännen demans similar legislation in Sweden. The questions is, why?

According to studies the distraction of talking on the phone is what causes undesirable behavior in traffic, not whether or not you're holding the phone in your hand. There are no facts to support banning the use of hand-held phones in favor of hands-free equipment.

Motormännen point out that between 10-20 people die or are severely injured in car accidents every year because of phone use, both talking and texting. First of all, between 10 and 20? The difference between those number is way to high to tell anything, really. Second, there is a huge difference between talking on the phone while keeping your eyes on the road, and writing a text message. Combining these two activities in the statistics is just plain wrong.

Let me point you guys to this report (PDF) prepared for the European Commission in June 2009:

Hands-free versus hand-held?
Studies indicate that the use of hands-free phones causes as much
important driver distraction as the use of hand-held phones
. Some studies show that in-car telephone
conversations while driving can impair drivers more than listening to the radio or talking to passengers.
An epidemiological study of crash involvement found that mobile phone use was associated with a greater
likelihood of crash than passenger carriage and increasing numbers of passengers


Effects of texting?
Many young drivers admit to the largely illegal activity of texting while driving. Text
messaging has a detrimental effect on safety-critical driving tasks
such as lane-keeping, hazard detection
and the detection and appropriate response to traffic signs.

There we are. So stop with the bullshit and focus on the facts. If you want to ban phone conversations in cars then by all means do so, but stop pretending that everything will be fine if we just use hands-free equipment. In all fairness, Sweden appears to be the only country in Europe that hasn't based a law on pure propaganda. That's probably a first, and they deserve credit for that.

From the mouth of a true populist

The election campaign is drawing to an end, and with the socialist coalition getting increasingly desperate, we're seeing more and more lies, or in this case half-truths, appear. According to Thomas Bodström of Socialdemokraterna a socialist government will tear up the much debated FRA law. That's all good, but he "forgets" to mention that a socialist government will then replace it with another, similar law. He also conveniently "forgot" to mention that he actually came up with this law back in 2005, then it was basically handed over to the current government who implemented it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

You know there's no hope when...

...even a non-socialist government is happy to keep the second heaviest tax burden in the world. So ladies and gentlemen, this years general elections are basically a choice between either high taxes and restriction of your personal freedom, or high taxes and restriction of your personal freedom.

Hmm...this'll be a tough one.

Of course being an immigrant I can't really complain, can I? I could always move along when things get too rough.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

We can't prosecute an entire generation (although we'd love to)

We'll let the entertainment industry do the dirty job instead.

Man, those word will come back and haunt that vicious bastard for a long, long time.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Another police officer on Hollywood's payroll?

We all know the story about Jim Keyzer, who was on Hollywood's payroll while investigating The Pirate Bay.

Now entering the stage: The anti-piracy boss of the Swedish police, Paul Pintér, of course with affiliations to the entertainment industry. Anything else would be considered weird in this country, I guess. Congratulations, Paul, seems you're doing a great job on behalf of your employer. Whoever that is.

Friday, August 27, 2010

A lot to look forward to on TV this fall...

My God, this fall is bound to go down in history as the most pathetic one so far when it somes to TV entertainment. At least here in Sweden. As if seeing Anna Anka make an ass of herself on a regular basis last year wasn't enough, TV3 are not only continuing with a new season of their shockingly bad show Svenska Hollywoodfruar, they're actually adding another show, Svenska New York-fruar! Yes, it's exactly what it sounds like: Same crap, new city. I think I just threw up a bit in my mouth.

And as if that wasn't enough, other TV channels are pouring out similar crap at a stunning pace: Kanal 5 has a show called "Skånefruar" lined up for us, which I assume is about a pitiful collection of housewives who live in Skåne. Does anyone even care? And TV4 Plus plan to torture the viewers with an equally pointless show, "Ladies på Östermalm". Yes, it's just as boring as it sounds.

And if you haven't completely overdosed on this freak fest of botox-injected, brain-dead women with no ambitions in life apart from marrying rich, there's always Kanal 5's main feature, the brilliantly clever reality show "Kungarna av Tylösand", where the viewers can watch a bunch of retards getting drunk and acting like animals. Now that's good entertainment, Kanal 5.

I guess most sane people will have to rely on DVD's, The Pirate Bay or perhaps even books to get through this fall without permanent brain damage.

Monday, August 23, 2010

How to make an ass of yourself

Congratulations, Karin Rosander. Great appearance.

An epiphany

Social democratic politician Thomas Bodström suddenly realizes there is such a thing as personal integrity.

A moron without a cause

Centerpartiet politician Fredrick "It wasn't me" Federley seems to get away with literally anything. The latest news on this buffoon is that he's letting the taxpayers pay his taxi bills. No, not just taxi to and from work, but rather late-night trips to and from pubs and nightclubs, labelled "meetings" on his expense reimbursment. Sure, I guess they're meetings of some kind, although not of a very political nature... My personal "favorite" is this:

Efter två timmar hemma hämtas han av en taxi som kör honom till en adress i en söderförort klockan 04.52. En timme senare, 05.40, är han hemma igen efter ännu en taxiresa.
”Övrigt”, står det på taxiräkningen. 

I guess there were no labels for "Casual sex on taxpayer's expense".

The really sad part here is that apparently Federley is recommended to use taxis as his primary means of transportation for security reasons. The problem is, this complete moron uses all kinds of social media to let everybody know where he is and what he's doing at every given moment, which kind of ruins the whole security argument.

Photo: Politikerbloggen/private

Some refreshing political reading

If you're like me, sick and tired of ridiculous election banners and flyers that make absolutely no sense, and instead you want to read some serious politics, let me recommend "Det sovande folket" by Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt. Apparently not too easy to get hold of in your local book store, but luckily there's always the Great Library in Alexandria The Pirate Bay. You can download the book here.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Staten och kapitalet, revised version

This really says it all. Nevermind the stupid flyers and posters littering your mailbox, this is spot on.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Socialdemokraterna grasping at straws

I swear I thought this was just a joke, until it appeared on the front page of every major newspaper in Sweden. The socialist democratic party, Socialdemokraterna are really grasping at straws when they make it an election promise to introduce butlers/concierge services and at the subway stations in Stockholm, apparently to give people the option of doing something useful while they're down there in that miserable pit on their way to and from work. Like picking up their laundry, returning a book to the library, get your pre-ordered food-basket delivered, and so on. They've even created their own website with this nonsense.

I don't know about you, but I'd prefer not spending my time in that urine-stinking, overcrowded dungeon. And if I have to, I try making my visit as brief as humanly possible. Life is too short to be miserable, so how about Socialdemokraterna made it a bit faster and more enjoyable to get to and from work instead? Yes, I'm talking about proper roads, where you can get to work in the privacy of your own, climate controlled, quiet and comfortable car, whenever you want to. Now that's an election promise I could stand behind.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Why you should nurture your employees

I'm not saying the spectacular JetBlue flight attendant resignation was caused by this, but there are a few paragraphs in this USA Today article that should be an eye-opener to a lot of businesses:

It also casts a spotlight on a broader anger felt by many workers who are fed up with jobs in which pay raises, if they exist at all, are smaller or less frequent than they were a few years ago and with the threat of layoffs looming constantly, some workplace specialists say.

Slater did what many workers fantasize about and may do with increasing frequency — albeit with less showmanship — once the economy rebounds. "I don't think we should be surprised that once the economy starts ... picking up, there's a massive relocation of workers who want out as fast as they possibly can," says economist Joel Naroff, president and chief economist of Naroff Economic Advisors.

"That's the warning that I don't think businesses really recognize: You can pull this off now because there isn't really an option, but once there's an option, it's going to be payback time," Naroff says. "You're going to be losing some of your best people."
Obvious to most of us, but apparently news to the big corporations: You can't continue abusing your employees forever just to increase your share value. The moment the economy picks up you'll lose your best men. And women.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

UK police goes DDR

Speaking of eerie remnants of the DDR, the UK police seem hellbent on creating an informer society based on the same principles: If you believe your neighbours are behaving in a non-comforming way, report it to the police. Combined with the CCTV insanity going in there we've got pretty much a modern day DDR. A country where surveillance and informants make everyone a suspect:

The ad was part of a campaign for a police anti-terrorist hotline. It described a man who "likes to keep himself to himself", doesn't have a bank card and keeps his curtains closed, before advising that "this may mean nothing, but together it could all add up to you having suspicions".

You'd better not be a loner who doesn't like his neighbours peeking through the windows. If, in addition, you usually rely on cash rather than credit card, you're a potential terrorist.

This is the United Kingdom. This is 2010. For fucks sake.

Google are not big fans of anonymity

I have to admit I choked on my morning coffee when I read this eerie article on Google CEO Eric Schmidt's views on privacy and anonymity.

I mean, what the hell? Is this Schmidt guy some DDR era reject who fled to the US after the fall of the Berlin wall? His thoughts sure are very similar to those of the DDR regime.

"Privacy is incredibly important," Schmidt stated. "Privacy is not the same thing as anonymity. It's very important that Google and everyone else respects people's privacy. People have a right to privacy; it's natural; it's normal. It's the right way to do things. But if you are trying to commit a terrible, evil crime, it's not obvious that you should be able to do so with complete anonymity. There are no systems in our society which allow you to do that. Judges insist on unmasking who the perpetrator was. So absolute anonymity could lead to some very difficult decisions for our governments and our society as a whole."

And my favorite part:

According to ReadWriteWeb, Schmidt said of anti-social behavior, "The only way to manage this is true transparency and no anonymity. In a world of asynchronous threats, it is too dangerous for there not to be some way to identify you. We need a [verified] name service for people. Governments will demand it."

In other words bye bye freedom of speech, hello self-censorship and thought control. And Google are not about to stand up for people's rights, it seems, which is really scary considering the amount of data this guys have collected on practically every Internet user in the world. Whatever happened to that "don't be evil" catchphrase?

I guess the first thing you could do to protect yourself against Google is installing the GoogleSharing Firefox plugin, which will prevent Google from tracking your searches and what websites you visit. And if you need to open a Google account I would seriously consider using some kind of anonymization software when logged on to that, so it can't be traced to your regular IP address. Of course you'll have to remember to always run the anonymization software whenever logging into the Google account. I'm no Internet security expert, but those seem like two good starting points.

Photo: Mikey G Ottawa

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Public service going commercial

So, apparently the Swedish public service television broadcaster SVT will now be featuring commercials. Fine by me, as I assume this means we won't have to pay that annual public service fee? If we are, what exactly are we paying for?

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Americans are officially crazy

It's pathetic enough that the American movie industry feels the need to make Hollywood versions of the Millenium trilogy (because clearly they believe the Americans are unable to watch a European movie w/subtitles...). But this really blew me away:

Dessutom skriver tidningen nu att det finns planer på att alla skådespelare i filmen ska bryta på svenska.

Apparently the director wants the actors to talk with a Swedish accent througout the movie? I guess the American version of the movie will be set in Sweden as well, just to make it completely and utterly corny. Well, if they're looking to make a comedy out of it, they seem to be on the right track.

Wall Street panic following CEO resignation

So HP's CEO Mark Hurd resigned on Friday following a sexual harassment allegation. Fine. But am I the only one finding it a bit odd that the HP stock would plunge almost 10% on this news? Has the future prospects of this company really changed that much just because the CEO resigned?

The stock market is increasingly becoming a freakin' casino. My suggestion is we move Wall Street up to Las Vegas while we're at it.

Yoko Ono on the future of the Beatles

This is rich. According to Yoko Ono there will be no digital sales of Beatles songs. Apparently she's got a better idea for distributing music in the 21st century: Selling CD's! Clearly the 60's and 70's brought too much pot-smoking. If nothing else this shows why the existing copyright legislation needs to be changed. Had Yoko not owned the commercial rights to the Beatles' music, everyone would be able to make legal digital copies of their music and spread them throughout the world.

Well, Yoko, don't hold your breath, I won't be buying any of those "best of" or "remastered edition" CD's any time soon.

Photo: Caio do Valle/Public domain

Friday, August 6, 2010

Lies, lies, nothing but damn lies., the IT business equivalent to Se & Hör, has an article today on how some of the political parties stand on various IT related issues. The problem is they've just sent out a bunch of questions and asked the parties to answer. Well, you get what you ask for, I guess.

Let's go through some of the Q&A's, ok?

2. IPRED. Vill ni upphäva Ipred-lagen (som gör det lättare att hindra olaglig fildelning)?

JA: Vänsterpartiet, Miljöpartiet, Centerpartiet.
NJA: Socialdemokraterna.
NEJ:Folkpartiet, Kristdemokraterna, Moderaterna.

Centerpartiet voted for the IPRED law only a year and a half ago. Why would anyone believe that they've suddenly changed their mind? And why a "nja" for Socialdemokraterna? They too voted for the IPRED law, even on an EU level. These two political parties have absolutely no integrity in this matter and are obviously just on a desperate hunt for votes.

3. FRA. Vill ni upphäva FRA-lagen (som gör det lättare att övervaka internet och telefon)?

JA: Vänsterpartiet, Socialdemokraterna, Miljöpartiet.
NEJ: Centerpartiet, Folkpartiet, Krisdemokraterna, Moderaterna.

So, Socialdemokraterna who actually came up with the entire FRA-law back in 2005, and handed it over to the subsequent government are suddenly opposing it? Yeah, right. What they fail to mention is that they simply want to create a slightly different FRA law. Same shit, new wrapping. Socialdemokraterna don't have a shred of credibility in this matter.

4. LOGGNINGSLAGEN. Tänker ni rösta ja till att införa datalagringsdirektivet (som tvingar internet- och teleoperatörerna att spara uppgifter om hur deras kunder kommunicerar).

JA: Folkpartiet, Kristdemokraterna, Moderaterna
NJA: Socialdemokraterna, Miljöpartiet.
NEJ: Vänsterpartiet, Centerpartiet.

Wait, what? Centerpartiet have already decided for the data retention directive, back in 2009. Again, why would anyone believe they've suddenly changed their mind? And a "nja" from Socialdemokraterna again? What the hell? They are the only party in the red/green coalition who are still strongly in favor of the data retention directive. Nja my ass.

It would be refreshing if IDG, instead of just printing these answers would follow them up with these parties, asking them why they're answering "yes" when in real life politics they are clearly "no", and vice versa. That would be much more interesting.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

More copyright insanity

Apparently The Beach Boys' record company, Rondor Music (which is - surprise surprise - owned by the "fine" people at Universal Music Group), holds the copyright to the phrase "I wish they could all be California girls", so no other artist can use that phrase in his or her songs without the risk of being sued. This phrase is known from the song "California Girls" which was released in 1965. Yes, 45 years ago. And still the record company insists no one else is permitted to utter these words without the risk of being sued. I guess I'm next in line then.

I'll let Rondor Music get the final punch here, as the following piece of insane logic speaks best for itself:

"Using the words or melody in a new song taken from an original work is not appropriate under any circumstances, particularly one as well-known and iconic as 'California Girls.' Rondor Music…is committed to protecting the rights of its artists and songwriters, and with the support of the writers, that is exactly what we are doing."

(E! Online)

SVT Play expiration date

Few things annoy me as much as media corporations try to strangle culture in any possible way. I thought this behaviour would be limited to the large, multi-national corporations, so color me surprised when I tried out SVT Play, the on-demand streaming service, the other day. Now mind you, SVT is public service TV, funded by the taxpayers. And believe it or not these incredible weasels have the nerve to put an expiration date on the material available on their site! Are you freakin' kidding me???

Sure I could understand this with movies or shows that have been bought with certain licensing conditions, but the thing is SVT is doing the exact same with the material they produce themselves.

As a public service broadcaster SVT should be forced to release all material they create into the public domain. That's only fair as the public has paid for it.

(Filed under "...and you still wonder why people pirate?").

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Burqa in school: Who the hell aced that exam last week?

There is a debate in Swedish media these days on whether to ban the use of burqa in school, for both teachers and pupils. The latter one seems to be the most infected.

Those opposing the ban point out that it violates the personal integrity of the pupils. Fair enough, I'm all for personal integrity as you may know. However what I want to know is, if anyone can hide their face at school, how are teachers expected to know who was hiding behind the veil on last weeks math exam? Was it Lisa, who belongs in this class or perhaps her older math-genious sister Vera?


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Diplomatic immunity

I was driving along E18 outside Stockholm today at around 9:30 am, on my way to a customer meeting, when a complete maniac in a dark blue Volvo V70 2.5T almost hit me doing a poorly executed maneuver in which he squeezed in between myself, in the right lane, and another car driving in the left lane, only to continue his journey of insanity. The speed limit on this part of the road is 70 km/h and this complete moron was doing at least 110-120. Enough to lose your drivers licence and get sentenced to jail.

Why this insane behaviour, you might ask? Easy. The licence plates were blue and had the license number BT002B. In case you don't know, that spells diplomatic immunity. This raving lunartic could do whatever he want, speeding, causing accidents, killing innocent people, and there will be no legal reprecussions against him.

Now I do understand the reason for diplomatic immunity, don't get me wrong. In some countries a diplomat could risk all kinds of nasty stuff if he or she weren't immune to prosecution. However I do have a problem with this beeing a carte blanche for people like the driver of this Volvo to do whatever they want without there being any consequences.

How about any legal matters would be transfered to the homecountry of the diplomat, and he or she would be subject to his or her country's laws - by default? Sure the system opens up for that possibility, but how often do you actually see it being used?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Internet Wars: Wikileaks vs The Pentagon

The Internet Wars for dummies (or those who just don't have time to read up on the subject).

Thursday, July 29, 2010

5-year-old suffers "injury to his reputation"?

A five year old boy was wrongly accused of stealing a bag of crisps at a Lidl store in Dublin, and won 7,500 Euros in damages. Fair enough, being wrongly accused of a crime can be pretty traumatic, and at that age you're pretty sensitive. Apparently he's also suffering from stress and inconvenience. All good reason to award damages.

What amazes me though is that these damages weren't awarded due to any of that, they were awarded for "defamation of character". Apparently this little kid had "suffered injury to his reputation". Say what? What reputation can this kid possibly have at the age of 5? Is he frowned upon by the other kids in kindergarten? Unable to get a job? Estranged by his neighbors?

Come on.

Photo: DJO Photo

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Blizzard ripping off Starcraft 2-buyers?

The computer game Starcraft 2 was released today, and color me surprised when I noticed Blizzard is actually selling the downloadable version of the game for 59.99 Euros (mind you there are virtually no costs involved with this kind of distribution!) on their website, whereas you can get pick up the dvd's from any number of game stores considerably cheaper than that: sells it for 48.00 Euros. sells it for 59.99 Dollars, also around 48.00 Euros.
Most computer stores in Sweden sell it for around 42.00 Euros.

Please tell me that the 59.99 Euro pricetag for downloading this game from was a mistake that has been corrected by Blizzard now. If anything it should be a way below 40 Euros.

Photo: Screenshot from game.

The dual-watch man

Speaking of celebrities, or rather semi-celebrities, the former boyfriend of Heidi Montag, Spencer Pratt showed up smiling to the paparazzi wearing no less than two watches. What's up with that? Is it some strange way to keep track of two different timezones? Perhaps the watch on his left wrist shows Pacific Standard Time and the one on his right wrist shows Eastern Standard Time?

If so, here's a newsflash for you, Spencer, there are watches out there that will show two timezones. That way you can keep track of your time without looking absolutely clueless:

Breitling Aerospace
Tag Heuer Chronotimer
Victorinox Chrono Classic XLS MT

to mention a few.

Photo: Alloverpress

Monday, July 26, 2010

Brittany Murphy died from mold?

It appears mold might have been a contributing factor to the death of actress Brittany Murphy and her husband Simon Monjack. Unfortunately mold is a common occurrence in a lot of poorly constructed houses, but I'm surprised that a $7.25 million Hollywood Hills mansion would be so infested by it that it killed its occupants!

Let this be a warning to the rich and famous: Do spend some of your fortune on proper building maintenance. It could be the best investment of your life.

Photo: Unknown

Friday, July 23, 2010

Abusing copyright

Well I guess it's pretty obvious now why Swedish politicians are so reluctant to change today's destructive copyright legislation. The Christian Democratic party, Kristdemokraterna, for instance, are abusing the copyright legislation by registering catchphrases and slogans such as "Verklighetens folk", "the real people".

Remind me again, why the f*ck should anybody at all be able to copyright a phrase, a sentence, a collection of words that are used in everyday speech?

Clearly a revision of the copyright legislation is desperately needed. Unfortunately we can't rely on the traditional political parties to take any action as they're too busy taking advantage of it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

No room for Internet censorship in a democracy

"There's no room for Internet censorship in a democracy. The EU should impose Internet censorship."

In other words, the EU should not be considered a democracy. This might not be what Folkpartiet politician Cecilia Wikström meant to say, but it's the message she's communicating in this letter, where she promotes Internet censorship as a means of fighting child pornography despite of her own reasoning that censorship will have little or no effect. That's like saying "we know banning action films from TV won't stop the violence, but we still want to do it". Why?

What's with these Folkpartiet Cecilias who are hellbent on Internet censorship without being able to present any credible argument that it is in fact a good idea? Stop hiding behind the ridiculous "think about the children" tactics and just come out and tell us who's paying you to stick to a stance that you don't even believe in.

The alternatives to Internet censorship have been discussed a million times before, so I won't go into details, but keywords are due process, shutting down and prosecute the offenders if they're found guilty. That's the way of a democracy.

Photo: Wikimedia.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Politicians against freedom

This is (according to Europaportalen) the shameful list of MEP's who voted for the infamous Smile29 declaration in the European Parliament. This is a list of individuals who want to crush your right to privacy completely by making it impossible to surf the web anonymously. That's the entire purpose of this utterly revolting declaration, according to its creator, Tiziano Motti.

Shame on you, haters of freedom and democracy.

Konservativa EPP (198)
Janos Ader, Ungern
Gabriele Albertini, Italien
Magdi Cristiano Allam, Italien
Laima Liucija Andrikiene, Litauen
Roberta Angelilli, Italien
Antonella Antinoro, Italien
Elena Oana Antonescu, Rumänien
Alfredo Antoniozzi, Italien
Pablo Arias Echeverría, Spanien
Sophie Auconie, Frankrike
Jean-Pierre Audy, Frankrike
Pilar Ayuso, Spanien
Georges Bach, Luxemburg
Raffaele Baldassarre, Italien
Burkhard Balz, Tyskland
Paolo Bartolozzi, Italien
Elena Băsescu, Rumänien
Regina Bastos, Portugal
Edit Bauer, Slovakien
Christophe Béchu, Frankrike
Sergio Berlato, Italien
Sebastian Valentin Bodu, Rumänien
Vito Bonsignore, Italien
Piotr Borys, Polen
Jan Březina, Tjeckien
Simon Busuttil, Malta
Alain Cadec, Frankrike
Wim van de Camp, Nederländerna
Antonio Cancian, Italien
Maria Da Graça Carvalho, Portugal
David Casa, Malta
Carlo Casini, Italien
Pilar del Castillo Vera, Spanien
Giovanni Collino, Italien
Lara Comi, Italien
Michel Dantin, Frankrike
Joseph Daul, Frankrike
Mário David, Portugal
Anne Delvaux, Belgien
Luigi Ciriaco De Mita, Italien
Albert Deß, Tyskland
Tamás Deutsch, Ungern
Agustín Díaz de Mera García Consuegra, Spanien
Herbert Dorfmann, Italien
Frank Engel, Luxemburg
Sari Essayah, Finland
Rosa Estaràs Ferragut, Spanien
Diogo Feio, Portugal
José Manuel Fernandes, Portugal
Carlo Fidanza, Italien
Santiago Fisas Ayxela, Spanien
Karl-Heinz Florenz, Tyskland
Carmen Fraga Estévez, Spanien
Gaston Franco, Frankrike
Michael Gahler, Tyskland
Kinga Gál, Ungern
José Manuel García-Margallo y Marfil, Spanien
Elisabetta Gardini, Italien
Salvador Garriga Polledo, Spanien
Jean-Paul Gauzès, Frankrike
Marietta Giannakou, Grekland
Luis de Grandes Pascual, Spanien
Mathieu Grosch, Belgien
Françoise Grossetête, Frankrike
Pascale Gruny, Frankrike
Andrzej Grzyb, Polen
Cristina Gutiérrez-Cortines, Spanien
Enikő Győri, Ungern
András Gyürk, Ungern
Małgorzata Handzlik, Polen
Ágnes Hankiss, Ungern
Esther Herranz García, Spanien
Jolanta Emilia Hibner, Polen
Jim Higgins, Irland
Monika Hohlmeier, Tyskland
Danuta Maria Hübner, Polen
Salvatore Iacolino, Italien
Ville Itälä, Finland
Carlos José Iturgaiz Angulo, Spanien
Iliana Ivanova, Bulgarien
Peter Jahr, Tyskland
Lívia Járóka, Ungern
Sidonia Elżbieta Jędrzejewska, Polen
Elisabeth Jeggle, Tyskland
Filip Kaczmarek, Polen
Jarosław Kalinowski, Polen
Sandra Kalniete, Lettland
Othmar Karas, Österrike
Ioannis Kasoulides, Cypern
Martin Kastler, Tyskland
Tunne Kelam, Estland
Dieter-Lebrecht Koch, Tyskland
Lena Kolarska-Bobińska, Polen
Eija-Riitta Korhola, Finland
Ádám Kósa, Ungern
Georgios Koumoutsakos, Grekland
Andrey Kovatchev, Bulgarien
Jan Kozłowski, Polen
Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, Grekland
Werner Kuhn, Tyskland
Eduard Kukan, Slovakien
Alain Lamassoure, Frankrike
Vytautas Landsbergis, Litauen
Giovanni La Via, Italien
Constance Le Grip, Frankrike
Peter Liese, Tyskland
Krzysztof Lisek, Polen
Veronica Lope Fontagné, Spanien
Antonio López-Istúriz White, Spanien
Petru Constantin Luhan, Rumänien
Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska, Polen
Astrid Lulling, Luxemburg
Monica Luisa Macovei, Rumänien
Bogdan Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, Polen
Marian-Jean Marinescu, Rumänien
Clemente Mastella, Italien
Barbara Matera, Italien
Gabriel Mato Adrover, Spanien
Iosif Matula, Rumänien
Mario Mauro, Italien
Hans-Peter Mayer, Tyskland
Jaime Mayor Oreja, Spanien
Erminia Mazzoni, Italien
Nuno Melo, Portugal
Íñigo Méndez de Vigo, Spanien
Alajos Mészáros, Slovakien
Miroslav Mikolášik, Slovakien
Francisco José Millán Mon, Spanien
Gay Mitchell, Irland
Elisabeth Morin-Chartier, Frankrike
Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė, Litauen
Tiziano Motti, Italien
Cristiana Muscardini, Italien
Mariya Nedelcheva, Bulgarien
Rareş-Lucian Niculescu, Rumänien
Angelika Niebler, Tyskland
Lambert van Nistelrooij, Nederländerna
Jan Olbrycht, Polen
Csaba Őry, Ungern
Alfredo Pallone, Italien
Georgios Papastamkos, Grekland
Maria do Céu Patrão Neves, Portugal
Aldo Patriciello, Italien
Alojz Peterle, Slovenien
Markus Pieper, Tyskland
Bernd Posselt, Tyskland
Hans-Gert Pöttering, Tyskland
Konstantinos Poupakis, Grekland
Jacek Protasiewicz, Polen
Hella Ranner, Österrike
Herbert Reul, Tyskland
Dominique Riquet, Frankrike
Crescenzio Rivellini, Italien
Zuzana Roithová, Tjeckien
Licia Ronzulli, Italien
Paul Rübig, Österrike
José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Spanien
Potito Salatto, Italien
Marie-Thérèse Sanchez-Schmid, Frankrike
Amalia Sartori, Italien
Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, Polen
Algirdas Saudargas, Litauen
Marco Scurria, Italien
Czesław Adam Siekierski, Polen
Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris, Italien
Csaba Sógor, Rumänien
Renate Sommer, Tyskland
Bogusław Sonik, Polen
Catherine Soullie, Frankrike
Peter Šťastný, Slovakien
Theodor Dumitru Stolojan, Rumänien
Emil Stoyanov, Bulgarien
Michèle Striffler, Frankrike
László Surján, Ungern
Alf Svensson, Sverige
József Szájer, Ungern
Salvatore Tatarella, Italien
Nuno Teixeira, Portugal
Eleni Theocharous, Cypern
Róża Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein, Polen
Marianne Thyssen, Belgien
László Tőkés, Rumänien
Rafał Trzaskowski, Polen
Traian Ungureanu, Rumänien
Vladimir Urutchev, Bulgarien
Alejo Vidal-Quadras, Spanien
Jarosław Leszek Wałęsa, Polen
Manfred Weber, Tyskland
Anja Weisgerber, Tyskland
Iuliu Winkler, Rumänien
Corien Wortmann-Kool, Nederländerna
Anna Záborská, Slovakien
Pablo Zalba Bidegain, Spanien
Paweł Zalewski, Polen
Iva Zanicchi, Italien
Artur Zasada, Polen
Milan Zver, Slovenien
Tadeusz Zwiefka, Polen

Socialdemokratiska S&D (60)
Magdalena Alvarez, Spanien
Luis Paulo Alves, Portugal
Francesca Balzani, Italien
Luigi Berlinguer, Italien
Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Litauen
Rita Borsellino, Italien
Victor Boştinaru, Rumänien
Salvatore Caronna, Italien
Alejandro Cercas, Spanien
Sergio Gaetano Cofferati, Italien
Silvia Costa, Italien
Rosario Crocetta, Italien
Francesco De Angelis, Italien
Paolo De Castro, Italien
Robert Dušek, Tjeckien
Edite Estrela, Portugal
Richard Falbr, Tjeckien
Elisa Ferreira, Portugal
Monika Flašíková Beňová, Slovakien
Iratxe García Pérez, Spanien
Eider Gardiazábal Rubial, Spanien
Louis Grech, Malta
Zita Gurmai, Ungern
Jiří Havel, Tjeckien
Edit Herczog, Ungern
Ramón Jáuregui Atondo, Spanien
Maria Eleni Koppa, Grekland
Stéphane Le Foll, Frankrike
Jo Leinen, Tyskland
Bogusław Liberadzki, Polen
Antonio Masip Hidalgo, Spanien
Guido Milana, Italien
Katarína Neveďalová, Slovakien
Justas Vincas Paleckis, Litauen
Pier Antonio Panzeri, Italien
Antigoni Papadopoulou, Cypern
Mario Pirillo, Italien
Gianni Pittella, Italien
Vittorio Prodi, Italien
Teresa Riera Madurell, Spanien
Edward Scicluna, Malta
Olga Sehnalová, Tjeckien
Joanna Senyszyn, Polen
Debora Serracchiani, Italien
Adrian Severin, Rumänien
Peter Simon, Tyskland
Brian Simpson, Storbritannien
Monika Smolková, Slovakien
Georgios Stavrakakis, Grekland
Gianluca Susta, Italien
Hannes Swoboda, Österrike
Csaba Sándor Tabajdi, Ungern
Zoran Thaler, Slovenien
Patrice Tirolien, Frankrike
Patrizia Toia, Italien
Kathleen Van Brempt, Belgien
Derek Vaughan, Storbritannien
Kristian Vigenin, Bulgarien
Henri Weber, Frankrike
Janusz Władysław Zemke, Polen

Liberala Alde (32)
Liam Aylward, Irland
Catherine Bearder, Storbritannien
Cristian Silviu Buşoi, Rumänien
Chris Davies, Storbritannien
Luigi de Magistris, Italien
Marielle De Sarnez, Frankrike
Pat the Cope Gallagher, Irland
Nathalie Griesbeck, Frankrike
Marian Harkin, Irland
Filiz Hakaeva Hyusmenova, Bulgarien
Stanimir Ilchev, Bulgarien
Vincenzo Iovine, Italien
Metin Kazak, Bulgarien
Wolf Klinz, Tyskland
Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, Tyskland
Ramona Nicole Mănescu, Rumänien
Gesine Meissner, Tyskland
Louis Michel, Belgien
Norica Nicolai, Rumänien
Kristiina Ojuland, Estland
Siiri Oviir, Estland
Vladko Todorov Panayotov, Bulgarien
Antonyia Parvanova, Bulgarien
Frédérique Ries, Belgien
Niccolò Rinaldi, Italien
Hannu Takkula, Finland
Michael Theurer, Tyskland
Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Spanien
Giommaria Uggias, Italien
Viktor Uspaskich, Litauen
Adina-Ioana Vălean, Rumänien
Gianni Vattimo, Italien

De Gröna (5)
Francois Alfonsi, Frankrike
Malika Benarab-Attou, Frankrike
Michèle Rivasi, Frankrike
Werner Schulz, Tyskland
Michail Tremopoulos, Grekland

ECR (30)
Robert Atkins, Storbritannien
Adam Bielan, Polen
Lajos Bokros, Ungern
Tadeusz Cymański, Polen
Ryszard Czarnecki, Polen
Peter van Dalen, Nederländerna
Nirj Deva, Storbritannien
Derk Jan Eppink, Belgien
Hynek Fajmon, Tjeckien
Jacqueline Foster, Storbritannien
Marek Józef Gróbarczyk, Polen
Malcolm Harbour, Storbritannien
Michał Tomasz Kamiński, Polen
Sajjad Karim, Storbritannien
Jacek Olgierd Kurski, Polen
Emma McClarkin, Storbritannien
Marek Henryk Migalski, Polen
Miroslav Ouzký, Tjeckien
Mirosław Piotrowski, Polen
Tomasz Piotr Poręba, Polen
Struan Stevenson, Storbritannien
Ivo Strejček, Tjeckien
Konrad Szymański, Polen
Charles Tannock, Storbritannien
Valdemar Tomaševski, Litauen
Oldřich Vlasák, Tjeckien
Jacek Włosowicz, Polen
Janusz Wojciechowski, Polen
Roberts Zīle, Lettland
Zbigniew Ziobro, Polen

Vänstern GUE/NGL (14)
Lothar Bisky, Tyskland
Cornelia Ernst, Tyskland
Takis Hadjigeorgiou, Cypern
Jacky Hénin, Frankrike
Elie Hoarau, Frankrike
Jürgen Klute, Tyskland
Jaromír Kohlíček, Tjeckien
Jiří Maštálka, Tjeckien
Marisa Matias, Portugal
Willy Meyer, Spanien
Miloslav Ransdorf, Tjeckien
Vladimír Remek, Tjeckien
Helmut Scholz, Tyskland
Kyriacos Triantaphyllides, Cypern

EFD (14)
Bastiaan Belder, Nederländerna
Mara Bizzotto, Italien
Mario Borghezio, Italien
John Bufton, Storbritannien
Lorenzo Fontana, Italien
Claudio Morganti, Italien
Jaroslav Paška, Slovakien
Fiorello Provera, Italien
Oreste Rossi Italien
Nikolaos Salavrakos, Grekland
Giancarlo Scottà, Italien
Timo Soini, Finland
Francesco Enrico Speroni, Italien
Niki Tzavela, Grekland

Grupplösa (18)
George Becali, Rumänien
Slavi Binev, Bulgarien
Andrew Henry William Brons, Storbritannien
Philip Claeys, Belgien
Diane Dodds, Storbritannien
Bruno Gollnisch, Frankrike
Nick Griffin, Storbritannien
Jean-Marie Le Pen, Frankrike
Marine Le Pen, Frankrike
Krisztina Morvai, Ungern
Mike Nattrass, Storbritannien
Franz Obermayr, Österrike
Nicole Sinclaire, Storbritannien
Francisco Sosa Wagner, Spanien
Csanád Szegedi, Ungern
Claudiu Ciprian Tănăsescu, Rumänien
Corneliu Vadim Tudor, Rumänien
Frank Vanhecke, Belgien

Hjälpfonden - beware

Got a call last night from someone who introduced himself as Daniel and told me he worked for an organization called Hjälpfonden. Apparently this is a non-profit organization working to raise funds for cancer and diabetes research.

The problem is, Hjälpfonden are nothing but a big scam, and far from non-profit, with only 4% of the funds going to actual research and the rest getting lost somewhere along the way. Another newspaper reports that in 2007 only 1 out of 25 donated million kronor went to research, making it probably the most inefficient organization in the world. Unfortunately that's just the tip of the iceberg, as they also pretend to cooperate with various organizations, like Karolinska institutet and Diabetes Center Karolinska, while in fact these organizations want nothing to do with Hjälpfonden.

When I voiced my concerns about this organization this little prick Daniel just hung up immediately. Obviously he didn't learn manners at home.

To add insult to injury I'm in the NIX register, meaning I have explicitly said no thank you to any sales call to my private phone number. Most companies and organizations honor the NIX register, as they're obliged to do so, but of course scam artists like Daniel and Hjälpfonden don't care about such minor details.

Here's some more info on Hjälpfonden, and why you should be equally rude and just hang up if they call you:

90-konto stoppas - miljoner borta
Varning för Hjälpfonden
Akta er för Hjälpfonden!

Hell, googling Hjälpfonden should give you enough to read.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Stop leaving messages!

You would think in 2010 we wouldn't have to dial a number and listen to a recording of a message someone left while we were unable to answer the phone. There are so many options out there. Seriously, there's nothing more annoying about modern communication than seeing that you have one missed call and one text message containing the words "someone left you a message. Dial 888 to listen to it". AAARGH.

If I don't answer the phone, please send me a text message or an e-mail instead, or why not pinging me on my instant messenger, if I'm online. That way I can get in plain writing whatever information you want me to have (you know, which number to call you on, what address we're supposed to meet at, those things that would otherwise require me to find a pen and paper and start to write things down, and of course I wouldn't manage to get it all on the first listen, so I would have to press "2" to get the message repeated...).

Thank you so much for understanding.

Photo: TheGiantVermin

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Svanberg puts foot in mouth - get the t-shirt

BP Chairman of the Board, Carl-Henric Svanberg, really put his foot in his mouth yesterday when he proclaimed that, not to worry, "BP cares about the small people" (and apparently, so does Obama...). Way to sit there on your high horse and look down, Svanberg.

I won't really spend any more time on that moronic statement from "the invisible man", but I'll definitely be getting myself one of these:

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

M$ Office goes free - why should you care?

Microsoft have finally launched a free version of their Office suite. Actually there are two versions, a web-based one, and a regular one. Why should anyone care?

We're already got Google Docs for our web needs, and we've already got Open Office or Lotus Symphony for our off-line needs. All of them are easy to work with, ad-free and work on a number of operating systems and browsers.

Microsoft Office, on the other hand, isn't. They've managed to infest the applications with ads (really???), and I can only presume that the regular version is only available for the Windows operating system, excluding all Mac and Linux users.

So why bother when there are better options out there?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Telia charging for an encrypted experience

There are few things that annoy me as much as outrageous fees and taxes. Road tolls on old narrow roads, additional "recreation fees" on top of the $250 a night you pay at that resort, and here's another one for you:

My cable provider Telia has the nerve to charge me 500 SEK per year in encryption fees! Yes, they are in fact charging me, the customer, for crippling their own service with encryption making it impossible for me to watch the cable channels on more than one TV at a time. Unless I buy a second decryption card, which will incur other fees, of course.

This is just as ridiculous as having Skatteverket (the Swedish equivalent to the IRS) sending me an invoice together with my tax return to cover the costs of processing it.

P.S. Yes, I know this is a common practice among TV providers, but that doesn't mean it's not outrageous.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Ban studded winter tires and brakes

Miljöpartiet, that bunch of no-good tree-huggers who are only out to make life more miserable for the average Swede, or so it seems, have announced that they would like a ban on studded winter tires in the entire city of Stockholm. Apparently creating chaos on just one street isn't enough.

What these morons fail to realize though is that car brakes, when used, emit an equal amount of polluting particles. So why not simply ban the use of car brakes as well, while you're at it? If any motorist is observed using the brakes he or she should be presented with a shockingly high fine, as well as a damn good beating. That'll teach those bastards to pollute the fresh Stockholm air.

Or you could do the smart thing and introduce a tax for using studded tires, making it possible for those who need such tires to actually travel to Stockholm without stopping along the way to change tires - provided they pay the mandatory studded tire tax. That way the use of studded tires will decline, the city will make some money out of it, and we won't be plagued by yet another stupid ban.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Poor British bastards

Apparently the Brits will be getting "their own Reinfeldt" according to Swedish prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt himself.

What have those poor bastards done to deserve even more surveillance and oppression?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Pleading incompetence

I've heard about pleading ignorance, but pleading incompetence, and actually getting away with it? Seriously? The Swedish Security Service has unclear rules on how to treat surveillance material (isn't that the main part of their job?), and to add insult to injury the employees are so incompetent that they can't be held responsible for their actions:
Lind pekar ut oklara beslutsordningar samt brister i interna regler och kompetens på Säpo, men han bedömer att inga tjänstefel begåtts.

Juristens Funderingar has a few more thoughts on the subject.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

This site is "optimized" for users within the USA

That's what they call it these days...
Because clearly no European user would be interested in any American music. And obviously we wouldn't want to promote that music to fans around the world anyway. They could end up buying a CD or some merchandise, or even - God forbid - go see an artist in concert.

The entertainment mafia just never ceases to amaze me.

Since when is religion an ethnic group?

A poster by an obscure political party, Skånepartiet, has caused some controversy with the overly sensitive muslim community, as it depicts a nude prophet Mohammed with one of his 9 year old brides by his side.

Now what I don't get is how this is could be considered agitation against an ethnic group, and thus a criminal offence? Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't Mohammed in fact have a 9 year old wife, making this poster more or less historically correct? And since when is a world religion equal to an ethnic group? If it is, I guess posters depicting Jesus Christ in various less flattering settings should suffer the same fate? Come on, take a chill pill and focus on what's important instead.

I'm taking my chances here, hoping I'm not persecuted for showing Jesus Christ in an epic light sabre duel with Santa Claus.

Photo: mootrealm

May 4: The day against DRM

So, apparently today is the day against DRM. Every day is a day against DRM in my world, and I'm proud to say I haven't bought a DRM-infested product in years.

Nevertheless I wholeheartedly support any kind of awareness campaign against this evil. So, in addition to a total boycott of the media industry, I signed the iPad DRM petition. How about you?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Gumball - what's the fuss about?

The infamous Gumball 3000 race has finally (?) reached Swedish soil. And I have to admit I was a bit disappointed when I read about it in Swedish newspapers SvD and DN: The maximum speed recorded through Skåne was 148 km/h, merely 38 km/h over the speed limit, on what I presume were pristine motorways with minimal risk of incidents. Not really what you'd expect from 300 supercars piloted by a bunch of crazy millionaires, and certainly nothing to get worked up about, like Jan Sanberg from NTF does:

– Det är ju helt befängt, bra att polisen har koll på dem. Men man kan ju undra vad det är för personer som utsätter andra bilförare för den här sortens risker, säger han till 

Come on. As if your average Volvo V70 doesn't do the same speed down E6... Give the millionaires a break.

Photo: tonylanciabeta

Joined Twitter

I can't really be bothered to blog about all the little annoyances out there, some of them simply don't require a long blogpost. So I finally caved in and joined Twitter, as a way of venting my frustrations within the limits of 140 characters. Hell, sometimes a sarcastic remark is enough. Of course some matters are so frustrating that they might even require a blogpost AND a twitterpost. You can see my twitter feed on the right, should that be of any interest.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

UN abandons human rights - embraces copyrights

There's really no other way to interpret this statement. The United Nations has sold out to the entertainment mafia, abandoning ideals of human rights enforcement and instead embracing the tyrannic fight for stronger copyright enforcement. I'm using the word instead because these two rights don't go very well together. A tighter enforcement of copyright does mean sacrificing human rights.

Way to go ruining your credibility, UN.

Found the link through futuriteter.

You want some plague to go with that cholera?

The upcoming general election in Sweden is already turning into quite a bizarre spectacle, with 5 months left of campaigning.

The socialist coalition are working incredibly hard on ruining people's economy, making what kan only be defined as threats to increase taxed across the board should they be elected:
  • Increased income tax (as if 56,7 percent isn't enough...)
  • Increase fuel taxes (because clearly, in an effort to make it less profitable to work only raising the income tax isn't enough, the actual travel to work should also be punished!)
  • Increase the payroll tax (you didn't think only the employee should be punished for working, did you?)
  • Increase alcohol and tobacco taxes (God forbid you should be allowed to enjoy a drink after a hard day's labour)
  • Restore the hopelessly outdated wealth tax (making sure companies as well as people move their wealth abroad - we don't want those rich bastards living in socialist Sweden!)
  • Restore the arbitary and unfair housing tax (also known as the "Stockholm tax", because obviously it should be considered a crime to live in or near such an expensive city and spend all your money on that several million kronor mortgage)
  • Introduce a new "energy" tax on the horribly polluting hydropower (well, actually the reasoning seems to be that the energy companies have a healthy profit, and the socialist coalition feels its only natural to introduce special taxes to get a bigger share of that profit - I guess a phone company tax, a lawyer tax or a property broker tax is next, and we all know who will get the bill in the end - the consumers)
Meanwhile the non-socialist coalition, "Alliansen", are hell-bent on finding new ways to strip the public of the last shreds of personal integrity and freedom:
  • Random drug tests in school (clearly giving the police mandate to perform drug tests on kids without parent's permission wasn't enough)
  • Publishing pictures of suspected criminals (because apparently the stigmata of sending purple letters to the families of suspected sex buyers wasn't enough...)
Not to mention all the disgusting laws that have been passed already during the last 4 years.

Of course, the socialists aren't friends of freedom and integrity either, supporting the new and oppressive laws that have been passed during the non-socialist government, the FRA-law, the data retention directive and the Ipred-law. They've even suggested every kid in school should get a "personal police officer" watching over them, making sure they don't do any mistakes (you know, being out partying on a Saturday night), and accepting any incriminating information they might have on other kids, in effect creating a society based on fear and squealing.

So the question is really, would you like some plague to go with that cholera, or is cholera enough? I'd like neither, thank you so much.

I noticed blogger Ravenna shares my views on some of this insanity. A post well worth reading.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Oops...I made a mistake

Well, color me embarrased. Here I was ranting about the delayed delivery date of my new phone, and it turns out it's at the post office at this very moment, ready for me to pick it up only 2 days after I placed the order. I don't know why PC City wanted to scare me like that, putting expected delivery dates next week in my confirmation mail, but I guess an apology is in place nevertheless.

Sorry, PC City! I'll try to ignore the expected delivery date next time and be a bit more patient.

To fly or not to fly

I guess the last week's turbulence (no pun intended) over the volcano on Iceland is good for one thing: It clearly shows which airline carriers are serious and thrustworthy, taking care of their travellers, and which ones are merely a joke that should be avoided whenever possible. According to this article on SvD the list is as follows:

The good:
SAS - covering costs for travellers within the EU for an indefinite period of time, and 48 hours for travellers outside of the EU.
Lufthansa - covering costs for travellers for an indefinite period of time, worldwide.
British Airways - covering costs for travellers for an indefinite period of time, worldwide.

The bad:
Ryanair - as expected, violating EU regulations and cover no costs at all.
Finnair - takes the Ryanair approach, violating EU regulations and covering no costs.
Air France - only cover costs for travellers who were en-route and got stuck in Paris???

So, there you are. Food for thought when booking your next holiday.