Lily Cole Fronts BBC “CEO Secrets” Series After Running Company Into Ground

lily cole

Who have the BBC got to front their new “CEO Secrets” series? Model, actor, and “entrepreneur” Lily Cole has been offering her “tips for business success”:

“Believe in what you’re doing and know why you’re doing it, so it’s very hard to run a business, and there’s going to be up and down moments, and in those down moments what pulls you through is, you know, inner conviction of knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing and believing in it.” 

Inspiring stuff.

In other news, Lily’s taxpayer-subsidised social network Impossible.com has reported losses of £256,000 in 2015 and £250,000 in 2014. That’s despite taking a huge £200,000 grant from the Cabinet Office in 2013. The site achieved just 45,000 visitors last month. Please, Lily, tell us your secret…

Oona King Quits Politics For Silicon Valley

oona

Oona King has ended her 25 year career in politics to work for YouTube in Silicon Valley, citing Jeremy Corbyn as one of the reasons behind her decision to leave Westminster. At a send off with Labour MPs last night, the Baroness was asked if the current state of the Labour leadership had made it easier for her to go:

“Yes, to an extent. I joined Labour because I wanted Britain to have a Labour prime minister. Until we change our leader I don’t think that’s a possibility. Anyone who believes in democracy knows you need a strong opposition. It’s desperately sad, not just for Labour, but for the country.”

She says the move to San Francisco is “an amazing opportunity to go where the most exciting ideas are coming from”. Well they ain’t coming from Jez or Owen…

New Uber Rival Tries to Get Unions Onside

DAVID ISHAG KARHOO UNIONS

Karhoo is the new challenger to Uber, offering a “marketplace” for existing minicab firms to compete for your lift. Announcing its expansion today in Parliament, a gathering of taxi firm operators, politicians, and even a GMB representative turned up to hear the British CEO Daniel Ishag talk-up the firm’s three to five minute wait time in central London. The GMB private hire drivers’ union is this week challenging Uber over workers’ pay in the Central London Tribunal. Acting as an aggregator for minicabs, Karhoo is seeking to get around all the difficult TfL regulations, letting cab firms sort it out for themselves. Karhoo handing out £25 gift cards for MPs in attendance doesn’t do them any harm, either…

Tory Social Media Campaign Begins

social media accounts

The first real social media campaign for a Tory election has had a lacklustre start, with just three accounts spawned across Twitter and Facebook so far. Theresa May leads the pack with a Nation-builder website Theresa2016.co.uk capturing email addresses for the all important final membership round. Facebook and Twitter pages complete the digital assets. May already boasts 649 Facebook likes and a whopping 4286 Twitter followers. The other candidates can’t afford to be left behind during the membership rounds…

Social Media’s Filter Bubble Driving Political Anger

filter+bubbles

Tom Steinberg is one of those internet gurus who actually does interesting and useful things and he is really on to something with his fears about the filter bubble:

I am actively searching through Facebook for people celebrating the Brexit leave victory, but the filter bubble is SO strong, and extends SO far into things like Facebook’s custom search that I can’t find anyone who is happy despite the fact that over half the country is clearly jubilant today and despite the fact that I’m *actively* looking to hear what they are saying.

This echo-chamber problem is now SO severe and SO chronic that I can only only beg any friends I have who actually work for Facebook and other major social media and technology to urgently tell their leaders that to not act on this problem now is tantamount to actively supporting and funding the tearing apart of the fabric of our societies. Just because they aren’t like anarchists or terrorists – they’re not doing the tearing apart on purpose – is no excuse – the effect is the same, we’re getting countries where one half just doesn’t know anything at all about the other.

It’s in the power of people like Mark Zuckerberg to do something about this, if they’re strong enough and wise enough to swap a little shareholder value for the welfare of whole nations, and the world as a whole.

Filter bubbles exist outside social media, Guido noticed that during the 2008 Ken v Boris campaign private car owners didn’t know anyone who was going to vote for Ken and those who solely relied on public transport were almost the reverse, they didn’t know anyone who was going to vote for Boris. That was a function of income to some degree. People associate with people like themselves in real life. As our information sources become ever more filtered and self-socialised this will mean that we live in our own social media echo chambers.

It seems that after every major political event people who have been living in a filtered world find it difficult to believe that their opponents won. Because we’re living in our own filter bubbles.

This is even more pronounced on the left because so many of them never read right-leaning media, whereas those of us on the right are more used to reading The Guardian, watching Channel 4 News, Newsnight et al. Is this a significant social problem? Or does it just mean that after elections the losers will be unpleasantly surprised?

See also Dr Max Wilson on the subject:

Germany’s Eco-Loons to Ban Non-Electric Cars

Would you rather

Following their disastrous and costly ban on nuclear power, Germany is doubling down on long-term anti-market greenery by mandating that all cars be emissions free by 2030. Rather than letting the market decide – as it has (mostly) with the vastly successful Tesla in the US – German lawmakers will force the switch with continued subsidies worth £3,160 per green vehicle. In 14 years time, you won’t be able to buy a proper Mercedes in Germany…

Labour Leave Launch Anti-Cameron Attack Adverts

leave

Labour Leave has launched a digital advertising campaign telling Labour voters to back Brexit to “wipe the smile off” Cameron and Osborne’s faces. Readers of left-wing websites such as LabourList are now seeing adverts appealing to them to vote Leave. Labour Leave say “a vote to Leave will surely lead to the toppling of Cameron and Osborne” and “could possibly lead to another General Election in the next 12 months”. If Labour voters want to get rid of Dave and George, they know what to do…

Computer Says No at Telegraph

tele

Missed your fill of Telegraph stories about men with two penises recently? As part of its ‘digital first’ focus the paper has implemented a disastrous new Content Management System, which fell over on six separate days in the last two weeks. The new “AEM Authoring” system, the baby of zany Digital Director Malcolm Coles, has required “emergency” work because news stories could not be uploaded to the site. Then came a further hiccup: “Editorial are currently experiencing delays when publishing content”. Journalists complained that their copy was unable to be published on June 3, 4, 7, 8, 10 and 11. On Saturday another problem arose: “Editorial are unable to create new articles”To be fair that could be down to the CMS, or it could be because they’ve fired half their writers…

Microsoft Buys LinkedIn for £26.2 Billion

msft+lnkd

LinkedIn’s 400 million users are worth some $60 each to Microsoft. The internet is not amused at the prospect of Microsoft-LinkedIn. Just as Microsoft’s purchase of Skype proceeded the explosion of rival messaging apps expect a surge when LinkedIn forces you to get a Microsoft login, use Outlook and becomes strangely incompatible with Apple products. It is the biggest tech deal this year and shows the game is not over in the tech bubble…

Leave Overtakes Remain on Facebook

Referendum likes

On the whole, Facebook often lacks Twitter’s faster political edge. Yet as shown by the general election, it matters far more…

While Remain always lacked Twitter* followers, it carried the edge regarding Facebook likes – until today. With Guido’s daily campaign report showing the two campaigns being neck and neck yesterday, it would appear that Farage’s (or Cameron’s) performance last night was enough to push some as-yet-undecided Facebook users over the edge, lending Leave 4,500 extra followers overnightArron Banks fans screaming “split campaign” should remember Guido only started tracking likes after Vote Leave got the official designation…

What does this mean? Facebook offers politicos the opportunity to appeal directly to users with targeted messages from their page. Using the vast array of data stored on each Facebook profile – likes, location, events attended – these posts can be laser precise while not subject to the clamour of Twitter’s left-wing echo chamber. If that isn’t convincing enough, the Tories chose to spend £1 million more than Labour on Facebook alone in 2015. Twitter wins columnists, Facebook wins votes…

*At the time of going to pixel @Vote_Leave has 53,946 followers and @StrongerIn has 35,256 followers.

MPs Emails’ Accessed by GCHQ

MPS EMAILS HACKED THERESA MAY

MPs voting on the Snooper’s Charter next week might be swayed to oppose Theresa May’s anti-privacy laws by the revelation that GCHQ are already accessing their emails. New documents released by Edward Snowden show GCHQ not only intercepts MPs’ communications – it also scans them in bulk using security software installed to supposedly filter spam emails. GCHQ has been able to skirt around strict rules governing the interception of internal UK communications due to parliament’s decision to switch to Microsoft Office for its email service. This means private emails sent by MPs are routed through servers in Ireland and the Netherlands, with each one being scanned and recorded by GCHQ. MPs should remember they’re governed by the laws they create…

H/T Computer Weekly

CCHQ Freeze MPs and Associations Out of Vote Source

vote-source

Tory MPs and local associations are seething after CCHQ blocked them from using the party’s Vote Source campaign software during the referendum. Vote Source is the Tories’ purpose-built database which allows them to target individual voters, a crucial campaign tool for any election or referendum:

VoteSource and the EU Referendum

Please read carefully:

In accordance with the decision of the Party Board – Access to the Campaign Section of VoteSource will be suspended during the EU Referendum Campaign.

Access to Campaigning will only be granted for Local By-Election activity.

Please contact your member of Field Staff to arrange this access.

This means the 142 Leave MPs and overwhelmingly Brexit-backing associations cannot run selections or export voter mailing and email data. Being frozen out of their own campaigning data has not surprisingly gone down like a cup of cold sick among Eurosceptic Tories, who are the hardest hit by the party board’s decision. The party is trying every trick to nobble Outers…

UPDATE: Mark Wallace at ConHome reports that the Remain campaign appears to have had access to voter data.

EU Wants Cultural Quotas on Netflix and Amazon Prime

marcel marceau

On-demand video services like Netflix and Amazon Prime have flourished under limited regulation, offering a wealth of content to users who were previously stuck with television schedules packed full of adverts. They are consummately pro-consumer. Naturally, the EU hates them…

The EU Commission is proposing to force Netflix et al to have cultural quotas. Eurocrat Andrus Ansip described lumping the services with a 20% European film quota as creating a “level playing field”. Out with popular and entertaining blockbusters and television, in with obscure Euro-art house. Vote Brexit, save Netflix and chill…

Hello @GCHQ

GCHQ says: “In joining social media GCHQ can use its own voice to talk directly about the important work we do in keeping Britain safe”. #ListeningToOurCustomers

We want GCHQ to be more accessible and to help the public understand more about our work. We also want to reach out to the technical community and add our voice to social media conversations about technology, maths, cyber security, and other topics where we have a view. We will be using Twitter to talk about our history, mission outcomes, languages, maths, cyber security, technology and innovation, job opportunities and as a way of signposting events, publications, news, blogs, and opinion pieces.

More realistically, it is becoming essential for recruitment when they are competing with higher-paying tech firms…

Milo & Mensch Go Snowflakey Over Facebook

MILO+MENSCH

Louise Mensch and Milo Yiannopoulos are getting worked up about the revelation that Facebook’s “Trending News” discriminates against right-leaning news sources. This means their outlets Heat Street and Breitbart are being denied traffic by Facebook. Facebook had kinda-sorta pretended that their Trending News function was an algorithm driven objective news curator. Gizmodo revealed that it was actually curated by left-biased human editors. 

Steve Hilton over at CrowdPac gives us a clue why that might be:

cp-fb

CrowdPac shows that Tom Stocky, Facebook’s VP of Search who is responsible for the “trending” feature, is a major donor to Hillary Clinton. In fact based on all his contributions the data shows that he is to the left of Clinton. CrowdPac says the rest of Facebook’s “content team” skews even further to the left based on previous donations to political candidates and causes. So now you know Facebook are probably not politically neutral.

Milo and Mensch are now demanding a meeting with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, presumably in a safe space, to discuss this suppressing of conservatives and libertarians after he invited “leading conservatives and people from across the political spectrum” to share their views. Zuck also denies Facebook is biased. 

So what if Facebook is left-of-centre? Are lefties entitled to a meeting with Rupert Murdoch to complain that the Wall Street Journal is right-of-centre? Louise tweets that even though Facebook is a private firm, “it is governed by terms of business that state objectivity and EU data law too”. No idea what she means by that, nor does Guido think publishers should be required to be even-handed. Guido isn’t in his equivalent “Seen Elsewhere” links.  If a private firm was required to be “objective” in editorial decisions, Guido would oppose that. A free press is not required to meet up to some illusory measure of “objectivity“. Milo and Mensch should stop whining like snowflakes about how unfair it is. Winners compete, not whine.

Taxpayer Funding More Pro-EU Adverts

Last week Guido noted that Downing Street was running adverts with a value of £135,000-a-week promoting Remain on gov.uk. Co-conspirators also report that if you Google “European referendum”, as many voters looking to make up their minds will do in the coming weeks, the government has bought the top result, sending users to their pro-Remain site. Links like these cost the taxpayer around 62 pence per click…

Top Tory Copper in MILF Porn Shocker

Paul Robinson PORN STASH

‘Ello, ‘ello, ‘ello, what’s going on here then? Humberside’s Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Paul Robinson used to be a Tory councillor before he landed the £45,000-a-year top cop job. At the time, fellow Tory and PCC Matthew Grove justified appointing his mate because he needed “someone who I have total trust and confidence in and who can fit this profile.” Jobs for the boys-in-blue…

As you can see above, Deputy Robinson’s Twitter ‘likes’ are bluer than a siren. The dirty perpetrator appears to have a penchant for MILF-themed porn, publicly ‘liking’ several photos of very x-rated pics. He also appears to be a fan of a dominatrix called Lady Sonia. Cuff him, boys…

Robinson has presumably committed a heterosexual version of Jack Dromey’s infamous error and forgotten his “likes” are there for all to see. Brings a new meaning to ‘roughing up the suspect’…

Uber, But For Brexit

whetstone

Isabel Oakeshott’s write up of working the room with Arron Banks at the White House Correspondents Dinner is filled with nuggets. She reveals the Uber app comms chief Rachel Whetstone is backing Brexit:

“Hovering at entrance to the 30,000-square-foot ballroom, we are surprised to bump into David Cameron’s former policy chief Steve Hilton, now US-based. He greets us exuberantly but his wife Rachel Whetstone looks like she’s swallowed a fly. She warms up when Hoey gets her talking about Brexit, saying she supports Out and wishes she could do more for the cause. Hilton keeps his powder dry but I know he was deeply unimpressed by Obama’s intervention in the debate.”

Whetstone’s grandfather Antony Fisher founded the IEA and the ASI. She is also of course married to Steve Hilton and is one of the PM’s closest friends…

Free Advertising Worth £135,000-a-Week For Remain Campaign

Having handed over £9 million of taxpayers cash for a propaganda leaflet, the Whitehall machine hasn’t stopped there. At the top of every gov.uk website – including the popular DVLA and visa information micro-sites – lies a banner advert for the government’s pro-remain EU referendum site.

eu ref ad

dvla eu referendum ad

How much would this cost in the real world?

Guido knows a fair bit about the online ad trade, adverts like that would cost around £10 per thousand impressions. Last week, gov.uk sites received a total of 13,500,000 pageviewsThat’s the equivalent of a £135,000 per week campaign donation from the taxpayer to the Remain campaign…



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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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