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:

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 overnight. […] 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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