Google Backs Brexit Britain With £1 Billion Investment

Google has delivered a vote of confidence in Brexit Britain by confirming it will establish a new headquarters in the UK, creating 3,000 news jobs investing and £1 billion in the UK economy. Chief executive Sundar Pichai tells the BBC:

“The UK has been a tremendous market for us. We see big opportunities here. This is a big commitment from us – we have some of the best talent in the world in the UK and to be able to build great products from here sets us up well for the long term.”

Remain supporting media are already reporting this is “despite Brexit”…

New Apple Mac Book Has Unlimited Data Retention Capability

book

The new Apple Mac book has been released today, and Techno Guido can bring you a first look at its impressive new features. Good news for users of current Apple products as there is no longer a need to worry about battery life, it offers unlimited data retention, as well as an anti-glare screen, all touch-based interactions, comes with Apple Care warranty and works with a normal pen, too. It’s cheaper than past MacBooks, retailing at just $300. Sorry to get your hopes up – it is alas a $300 Apple Mac book, not a MacBook…

Hancock-Up: Superfast Broadband’s 0% Success Rate

hancock-up

Digital minister Matt Hancock has emailed MPs to update them on progress being made with superfast broadband in each of their constituencies. It has been less than a stunning success in North Cornwall, where the £3 million funding has not been well spent:

“Your constituency is located within the Cornwall project. The project has been allocated over £3.0m of government funding for Phase 1 and/or 2 of the Superfast Broadband Programme.

In North Cornwall Constituency the BDUK scheme has made superfast broadband available to 0 more premises.

Average take up of superfast broadband in the BDUK Cornwall project area is 0%.”

Instead of sending the awkward North Cornwall email to North Cornwall MP Scott Mann, Hancock mistakenly sent it to Labour’s John Mann. Guaranteeing it would be publicised in superfast time…  

Owen Jones Meets a Unionised Worker

owenjonestweet

You spend your entire adult life defending unionised workers and what do you get to show for it? Last night poor old Owen Jones was nearly knocked off his bike by a dangerous black cab driver, who then wound down the window and told him: “I f***ing love it when you cyclists die”.

jones-tweet-2

By contrast last night Guido took an Uber home in peace, no grief from any self-entitled unionised loudmouth…

Labour’s Nonsensical Plan to Enshrine Uber Ruling

uber-apps

Labour are seeking to enshrine Friday’s hotly-contested ruling that Uber drivers are workers entitled to various benefits from the owners of the app. Shadow Culture minister Louise Haigh has put down an amendment to the Digital Economy Bill to enshrine the ruling, despite it still being subject to an appeal from Uber. Haigh’s amendment potentially affects other companies which use apps in similar ways, meaning thousands of other people would become ’employees’ of the apps they use. For example, self-employed black cab drivers who use Hailo or Gett would become employees of their apps. This is a completely nonsensical proposal from Labour: someone could be logged into Uber, Hailo, Gett and Deliveroo at the same time and be eligible for a minimum wage from all of them…

Leave.EU-Backed Raheem Had Little Real Support, Despite Social Media Lead

raheem-twibons-ahead
The social media profiles of UKIP’s leadership candidates show Raheem Kassam was far ahead of his rivals before he pulled out this morning. The best indicator of online campaign support was the twibbon, where supporters add a campaign slogan to their social media profiles. Raheem had 1,326 twibbons, dwarfing leadership favourite Nuttall’s 214 – and yet all the signs indicate that Nuttall will win. Despite the online support Kassam admitted this morning that one of the reasons for quitting was he couldn’t raise enough money: “While we raised enough for our deposit, and got over 200 assentors to my nomination, we could not raise enough for this to be more than a digital campaign run from SW1”. What does this tell us about the relative importance of digital campaigning?

This has implications for Leave.EU, the pro-Brexit campaign group set up by multi-millionaire businessman Arron Banks, which backed Raheem. Leave.EU claims their huge social media reach* helped create “an extraordinary mass movement, drawing in swathes of voters neglected by the main political parties.” Banks has hinted that this will be the kernel for a new “people’s movement”. Banks is confusing “likes”, “follows” and casual clicktivism with active support. Leave.EU bought Facebook “likes” essentially by buying traffic.

Digital campaigns which enable commitment; donations, offline meetings, phone banking and membership drives do actually achieve something. Campaigns which generate clicks, petition signings and social flag counts are just virtue signalling. The casual easy click is no more substantive or permanent than what is trending online at any moment. Guido speaks as someone who garnered a million signatures and emails in one campaign, Banks has not got the beginnings of a popular movement, he has captured the virtue signals of a moment…

*As Dominic Cummings rightly points out, Facebook’s algorithms mean that Leave EU’s half-a-million “likes” are just a form of digital dick-waving, they achieve nothing in terms of visibility or extending reach. Leave.EU has less than half as many Twitter followers as @GuidoFawkes

Steve Hilton’s Start-Up Named & Listed Foreign Workers

hilton

Steve Hilton was appalled by Amber Rudd’s foreign worker list idea, blasting it in the Sunday Times as “divisive” and “repugnant“. So he’ll be pleased Downing Street have since said that no numbers will be published and the proposal may be voluntary anyway. Odd, however, that Steve hasn’t raised his moral objections to this issue in the past. As CEO of Crowdpac in the States, he must be familiar with the American HB1 visa system, which requires firms to disclose how many foreigners they employ, imposing new rules and restrictions when certain thresholds of foreign workers are met. For example Hilton’s Crowdpac applied for several of these HB1 visas over the last few years and publicly disclosed the foreigners’ personal details. It ain’t that shocking a proposal if Hilton’s own start-up complied with more strenuous rules Stateside…

Surely Shameless Shami Won’t Sellout on Surveillance

shami2

All eyes on Labour’s new Shadow Attorney General when the House of Lords votes on Theresa May’s Investigatory Powers Bill this week. Last year, when she was a principled defender of civil liberties as director of Liberty, Shami strongly opposed the Snooper’s Charter. She said last November:

“Our every move is already tracked by CCTV cameras, but if the draft Investigatory Powers Bill becomes law, we won’t be safe from the prying eyes of the government and the police.”

In February she added:

“The Government needs to pause, take stock and redraft. The case for unprecedented powers to bulk hack, intercept and collect our private data has not been made.”

Labour are now briefing that Shami will follow the whip and abstain on the vote this week. Is there anything Baroness Chakrabarti won’t say or do in exchange for her gong?

The Question People Are Asking Before Labour Conference

See you in Liverpool!

Militant Cabbies Boast How They Forced Khan to Cave

sadiq

Militant cabbies who vowed to blockade Trafalgar Square have boasted how their threats forced Sadiq Khan to give them everything they wanted. Last week the London mayor conceded almost every single one of the cabbies’ demands, as well as imposing punitive regulations on Uber. What might explain the timing? Well, the militant United Cabbies Group were threatening to bring London to a standstill this week unless Khan caved in. It would have looked pretty bad for the Mayor given he’s off making friends in America at the moment. The capitulation came and now United Cabbies Group have cancelled the blockade as “the Mayor brought forward his announcement because of the pressure of a demo”. London could have a Mayor who stands up to union intimidation, instead he gave in to blackmail so his photo op in the States wasn’t ruined…

LibDems Looking At Japanese Nerd Porn

freaks

Yesterday in Brighton a top LibDem resigned for arguing careers officers should suggest prostitution as a line of work for voters’ daughters. Today they are focusing on the real issues: Japanese cartoon porn. The party has published a policy document calling for laws to be softened on extreme animé porn known as “hentai“, the Japanese word for “perverted“. Hentai is famously the preferred personal viewing option of nerds around the world, featuring mythical tentacled creatures and Japanese schoolgirls. Which LibDem wants to declare an interest…

The policy document also has this great clause on tiger sex:

“in 2010 a man was sent a pornographic video purporting to be of a tiger and a woman engaging in a sex act but which turned out to be a man dressed as a tiger – a fact that was only uncovered in the courtroom”

In unrelated news, an event this afternoon asks: “Will 2080 be the year we get the next LibDem Prime Minister?”

Khan Caves in to Taxi Unions

khan

Sadiq Khan has caved in to the taxi unions and awarded black cab drivers a staggering £65 million taxpayer subsidy, 100 new taxi ranks across London and the installation of 90 highly expensive rapid chargers, which electric private hire vehicles will not be allowed to use. At the same time the Mayor is forcing new red tape on private hire drivers, including “advanced driving” and written English tests which black cab drivers will not have to take. So how did the taxi unions end up getting everything they wanted?

Khan’s “action plan” contains 27 measures, almost identical to the 28 measures in the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association manifesto. The day before the plan was published the Deputy Mayor for Transport took part in a photo op with the head of the LTDA. Sadiq himself met the head of the LTDA on his hundreth day in office. By contrast Uber has not been consulted on any of the new measures – indeed the Deputy Mayor for Transport has ignored two invitations to meet Uber drivers. It’s notable that the LTDA are the only people outside City Hall and TfL in today’s press release – it’s clear that they have been heavily involved in drawing this up while private hire firms have been shunned. Sadiq promised he would be a Mayor who doesn’t give in to vested interests. Instead he’s capitulated to the taxi unions. Rather than level the playing field by reducing regulations on cabbies, he’s slapped red tape on the innovators who make travelling across the capital so much cheaper and easier for passengers…

Telegraph Digital Chief Admits Deliberately Trashing Brand

The video above shows Telegraph digital guru and “SEO consultant” Malcolm Coles speaking at the Brighton Search Engine Optimisation Conference last week. Coles admits – even boasts – that he has deliberately diminished the Telegraph’s brand in the pursuit of clicks from Google searches. It is what Telegraph readers and writers have long suspected, but it’s quite something for the loathed Coles to say it on camera:

Coles: “Click through rate is another important thing, so what we have to think about is a good headline.”

[The headline “Bow down to Kate Middleton’s new baby” comes up on the screen]

Coles: “This is a terrible headline for the Daily Telegraph, which is a quality news organisation. But it was amazing! It shot to the top of Google! And stayed there for ages… It’s not great from a brand point of view, but from a click though rate… getting these slightly quirky headlines in the news box means they tend to stay there for quite a long time”

Coles goes on to explain that the Telegraph has published a staggering 13,000 of those annoying “What time is?” articles, another trick to boost your Google juice. A newsroom veteran who watched Coles’ speech tells Guido:

“We’d always assumed Coles and [editor, Chris] Evans were blind to the damage they were our doing our newspaper in the desperate pursuit of numbers. Now we know it was a deliberate strategy.”

The video has gone down like a cup of cold sick in the newsroom…

European Commission Hates Tax Competition

apple-jobs x540

Apple has been in Ireland for 36 years, pictured above is Steve Jobs at the opening of Apple’s Cork campus in 1980. The idea that Apple Ireland is some kind of boilerplate operation is nonsense, it employs some 6,000 staff. The Irish Development Agency estimates a further 18,000 jobs depend on Apple, it adds many millions to the Irish treasury every year. When it completes the €850 million Athenry data centre Apple’s investments in Ireland will total over a billion euros. 

Ireland wins foreign investment for three reasons; the highly educated, young, English speaking workforce, the pro-business, low-tax environment and that it is an entrepot to Europe. The European Commission despises the high-growth, low tax competitor on the periphery of the European Union. Ireland knows that it is the trump card played to foreign investors. Instead of competing, the EC wants to snuff out the low tax competitor.

Apple's Cork Campus

Officials in Brussels have long complained about Ireland’s tax competition, that Twitter, Google, Apple and other US tech giants prefer to put their European HQs in Dublin rather than on the continent. Only Luxembourg competes on tax (e.g. Amazon, Guardian Media Group and AOL/Huffington Post). So far Guido has not noticed the Commission going after Juncker’s homeland…

Apple itself argues

The European Commission has launched an effort to rewrite Apple’s history in Europe, ignore Ireland’s tax laws and upend the international tax system in the process. The opinion issued on August 30th alleges that Ireland gave Apple a special deal on our taxes. This claim has no basis in fact or in law. We never asked for, nor did we receive, any special deals. We now find ourselves in the unusual position of being ordered to retroactively pay additional taxes to a government that says we don’t owe them any more than we’ve already paid.

The Commission’s move is unprecedented and it has serious, wide-reaching implications. It is effectively proposing to replace Irish tax laws with a view of what the Commission thinks the law should have been. This would strike a devastating blow to the sovereignty of EU member states over their own tax matters, and to the principle of certainty of law in Europe. Ireland has said they plan to appeal the Commission’s ruling and Apple will do the same. We are confident that the Commission’s order will be reversed.

In 2009 the Commission during the Lisbon II Treaty referendum guaranteed not to interfere in Ireland’s tax affairs. The EU has no tax competency, so it is instead using competition policy to extend its reach and claiming that this is “illegal under EU state aid rules, because it allowed Apple to pay substantially less tax than other businesses. Ireland must now recover the illegal aid.” In fact all businesses in Apples circumstances are treated the same under Irish tax law. This ain’t over…

Choking the McChicken: X-Rated Content Trends on Facebook

CHOKING THE mcchicken sandwhich]

Facebook was embarrassed over the weekend after it replaced its human editors with an algorithm, which then allowed a fake news story to appear on the site’s “trending” sidebar. It gets worse. Trending on Facebook yesterday was an x-rated video of a man performing a sex act on a McDonald’s McChicken sandwich – choking the McChicken, if you will. Previously Facebook’s trending stories were monitored by a team of real people, who could filter out fowl content like this. This weekend the algorithm was set loose to decide what should trend. With predictable results. I’m not loving it.

Corbyn’s Digital Democracy Guru Supports IRA’s Armed Struggle

rich

Who is the man behind Jeremy Corbyn’s “digital democracy” launch today? Meet Richard Barbrook, a mate of John McDonnell and academic at the University of Westminster who describes himself as a “cybernetic communist” and wrote the book on “Cyber-Communism”. And it gets a lot more sinister than that…

Photos on Barbrook’s Facebook page show he regularly wears the badge of Óglaigh na hÉireann. Translated as “soldiers of Ireland” and bearing the words “undefeated army”, it has been used by numerous armed republican groups including the Provisional IRA, the Continuity IRA and the Real IRA. More recently, it has been the name of an IRA splinter group which has carried out attacks on the police and army since 2009. In the photo on the left Barbrook can be seen wearing the badge. The photo on the right is a close up in which Barbrook is wearing the same badge. He has been tagged in the photo by a friend.

barbrook

The father of Jeremy Corbyn’s new digital campaign is a self-proclaimed communist who supports the IRA’s armed struggle – he believes in bombing democracy…

Voting Has Begun

security codes

Guido’s co-conspirators have been sent their electronic security codes, confusingly the two-part security codes were both sent in the same email, which seems like a pointless waste of time from a data security point of view. Appropriate somehow…

jezza-2016

Anyway, online voting is commencing. This is a momentous time for the future of the Labour Party.  You know what to do…

MP’s Social Media Expenses Paid to Labour Crony

RUTH CADBURY TECH

If an MP had spent a whopping £7,000 of taxpayers’ money on top tech gear, “comms management” and social media training, you would expect to see some results. Ruth Cadbury billed the taxpayer for a Macbook Pro, an iPad Air 2 and an office full of new computers, as well as funnelling £2,575 to former Gordon Brown SpAd Caroline Badley to teach her, among other things, how to use social media. Your money well spent? After the social media splurge Ruth has a measly 680 Facebook followers, just 5,000 odd Twitter followers, and a grand total of zero YouTube subscribers. Is this taxpayer cash actually being spent on anything or is it just lining the pockets of a Labour crony?

Susan Sarandon Takes Over Owen Smith’s Website

susansmith

Well, this is weird. If you log on to Owen Smith’s website and click on any of his “issues“, every webpage that comes up is accompanied by a picture of Susan Sarandon. Guido missed that endorsement and has reached out to the Hollywood A-lister and Oily’s team to see what is going on. Smith’s campaign does have a Thelma and Louise feel to it…

thelma

Toby Perkins: “I Love to Show My Body”

perkins Looks like Labour MP Toby Perkins has been clicking on dodgy links…

UPDATE:

[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Dr Alexander Kogan, the app developer who originally harvested the Facebook data, said…

“I think what Cambridge Analytica has tried to sell is magic and made claims this is incredibly accurate and it tells you everything there is to tell about you. But I think the reality is it’s not that. If you sit down and you really work through the statistics and you think what does a correlation of point three means, those claims quickly fall apart. And that’s something any person with a statistical background can go and do.”

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