Friday, 26 June 2015

Glottal Stop or Globalisation

As discussed on a couple of occasions on this blog, it is something of a curse, as well as a blessing, to be a native born English language speaker. A blessing, because by it's by sheer number of speakers alone, it is one of the worlds lingua franca's, along with Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, Hindi, and Arabic, but also because it is used worldwide, rather than being locked in one geographical location such as China, its dispersal means it is now the primary world lingua franca, either as the worlds most popular first, or second language.

English Is A Lingua Franca?

Googles Microsoft Moment

It had to happen one day, but it appears that the 'sooner' in the expression 'sooner rather than later', is now .... Google have become an old I.T. firm. They have in fact reached what I am calling their 'Microsoft Moment'.

That is the moment when it has to maintain legacy software at great cost, or risk alienating huge numbers of users/customers .... because up until now, Google have been able to:

(a) Easily maintain older versions of its Android operating system, and
(b) Rely on the fact that its customers were constantly upgrading their devices to the latest, which meant the majority were no more than one or at most two versions of the OS behind the latest release.

However a security firm has recently identified exploit vulnerabilities in the 'webview component' of Android 4.3 (aka 'Jelly Bean'), and this discovery includes the other older versions of the android operating system. The 'webview component' is used to display webpages on all Android devices ... that is mobile Phones, Tablets and even Laptops.

They informed Google of this potential exploit vulnerability, expecting that the company which doesn't 'do evil', would announce a patch release date .... but much to their surprise, they were informed that only the latest two versions of android, version 4.4 (known as 'Kitkat') and version 5.0 (known as 'Lollipop') are now covered by the relevant security patches.

Preaching To The Converted?

The sight of Michelle Obama giving an impassioned speech on the subject of the achievement of hope and aspirations for women in a Western society, to a girls school in London should not have been incongruous.

She has after all given similar speeches to girls across the globe. However in this case it was in Tower Hamlets. .. a rotten borough of London, and her audience was 95% Muslim. The young girls wore conservative dress and head coverings, and the talk of the freedom to believe what they liked, do what they wanted, or marry who they wished, must have been almost laughable, if they had even understood the concepts.

The Future Of Britain?

Calais On My Heart

When Britain lost control of Calais to the French, and the 100 years war effectively ended, the monarch under whose reign this occurred, Queen Mary, on her death bed, told her family: "When I am dead and cut open, they will find Philip and Calais inscribed on my heart".

Well, now, there are UK politicians who may well be thinking much the same thing .... because of the running sore that is the illegal immigrants, queuing up outside Calais port to try to get into the 'land of milk and honey', and the best welfare benefits for asylum seekers in Europe, that is also known as the UK.

Illegal Immigrants Heading To UK

Friday, 19 June 2015

Exit The Shadow World

As part of the occasional disappearing world series of posts on this blog, that have covered everything from Castanet making in Spain, through travelling knife sharpeners, to Spanish onion selling in the UK (I even thought about having a post on Scottish footballers, but their recent revival made me drop it .... only joking people!), I am highlighting another dying art ... the Chinese puppet show.

Chinese Shadow Puppetry


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A middle aged orange male ... So 'un' PC it's not true....