Apple TV

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on an Apple TV and I managed to buy one at GHC in town today. Yaaay! I took some pics of the unboxing, for all you Apple obsessives, just click the pic above for the gallery.

The installation was the usual Apple breeze. Plugged in the power, plugged in the HDMI lead and… that’s it. When the Apple TV booted, it came up on my telly (via my AV amp) and I set the language and screen res:

Then I synced it to my Macbook Pro and had a cuppa while all my vids and podcasts and some of my music library was transferred. I had to cherry-pick what music was transferred because the Apple TV has a 40 gig hard drive and my music collection is now at 209 gigs. And, yes, it is all legal!

My first impressions is that this is an extremely well thought-out and designed bit of kit. No big surprise there as it’s an Apple product. But the Apple TV is even slicker than normal: it’s iPod slick. Apple have made this a pretty foolproof media hub. Yes, you could argue that this means they’ve left out some potentially uselful geekier functions but I think they made the right decision. I don’t think this gadget will intimidate anyone. In fact, it’s user interface is definitely easier to navigate than most TVs and video recorders I’ve had.

The sound quality is far better than I get by running a bloody long lead from my Macbook Pro to my amp. Music sounds more spacious, stereo definition and placement is more precise and dynamic bandwidth seems greater too. The picture quality is equally impressive. Of course, if you feed the Apple TV low-res podcasts or YouTubed vids, it can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear and you will see jaggies and blocking. When you view some of the HD film trailers from the Apple site, that’s when you can see possibilities of this little gizmo. It’s making me itch to rip all my DVDs!

I’m going to try some other experiments with it tomorrow but so far, brilliant! 😀

Lancet Editor: Our Government Are War Criminals

Our Glorious Leader

This Labour government, which includes Gordon Brown as much as it does Tony Blair, is party to a war crime of monstrous proportions. Yet our political consensus prevents any judicial or civil society response. Britain is paralysed by its own indifference.

At a time when we are celebrating our enlightened abolition of slavery 200 years ago, we are continuing to commit one of the worst international abuses of human rights of the past half-century. It is inexplicable how we allowed this to happen. It is inexplicable why we are not demanding this government’s mass resignation.

Two hundred years from now, the Iraq war will be mourned as the moment when Britain violated its delicate democratic constitution and joined the ranks of nations that use extreme pre-emptive killing as a tactic of foreign policy. Some anniversary that will be.
· Richard Horton is a doctor and the editor of the Lancet
(Source: The Guardian)

Today is a beautiful, sunny day. The top news story at the moment is the 15 British soldiers being held by Iran. Blair has already lodged a complaint. Apparently, he doesn’t like it when Iran kidnaps British citizens and holds them ilegally. When the US does the same, he doesn’t say a word.

I have a feeling of un-reality. For the past four years I’ve been writing and marching, protesting against what I feel is the single most evil act the British government has carried out in my lifetime. I’ve been part of a movement that includes millions of other Britons.

And yet… our mass media consistently under reports this huge political protest at the same time as it hushes up the mass murder that we have carried out in Iraq.

I often get emails complaining about my branding of Blair and his cohort as war criminals. I’m exaggerating, these writers claim, we haven’t killed thousands of Iraqis. Why do I keep calling the leader of our nation Butcher Blair? Things like this happen:

On Sept. 27, the Guardian published a front-page photograph of Tony Blair, a prima facie war criminal, his arms outstretched, his grin fixed. Beside this was a headline, “Charm and eloquence. But a missed chance.” Beneath this, Polly Toynbee wrote: “There were some damp eyes dabbed with hankies and men blowing noses. ‘Don’t go,’ someone said.”

Polly Toynbee appears to be in love with Blair. The man can pre-emptively attack a non-aggressor nation, can lie to Parliament and connive in the slaughter of 655,000 innocent people and she still swoons when he makes a cracking speech.

Surely this is the same level of insanity as the worship of Hitler? Maybe back then people just ignored their suspicions about where their Jewish neighbours had disappeared to and thanked Adolf for a great economy? Did life just carry on for the average, non-Jewish German much as we carry on today, distracted by a media full of footballers and reality TV fodder, never tackling the crime we’re a party to?

The rubbishing of the Lancet report, the best scientific estimate we have so far of how many Iraqis we’ve killed, is part of a systematic program instigated by Blair and New Labour to deny and hide their war crimes.

The fact that we have a war criminal in Number 10 should be the top news story today and every single day until he is removed from office and put on trial.

Why I Still Love Hip Hop (Part 4,192)

Sweatshop Union
Sweatshop Union – thank fuck for this band!

Following on from the previous post, this sums up how I feel at the moment:

The whole world’s a sweatshop, a fascist regime
With billions of parts, working as a massive machine
The goal, keep the masses, passive between
Cash, limosines and other fabulous things
But we gotta wake up and notice it’s a load of shit
It’s all about ownership, it’s all in who’s controllin’ it
Not bout the gold you get, not bout the clothes you’re in
It’s not about oil, but we’re killing each other over it
Like a Doberman, chomping on a cat
It’s a new world order, and they’re bombin on Iraq
And it’s so fucking heartless, the whole country’s starving
And yet, they’ve been targeted as a threat regardless
This all started in days prior to ours
They arrived from the stars, and survived in the dark
Now it’s time for the hearts of men
To march against it
And realize that the cycle starts and ends with…

Us, we’re the ones that pay for the bombs
Us, we built the planes that they’re on
Us, It’s insane all of the ways they conned us
But we can change it today, it’s just all on
Us, we’re the ones that pay for the bombs
Us, we built the planes that they’re on
Us, It’s insane all the ways we’ve been conned
Into killing millions of innocent people, but it’s all on…

Trust me friends, it could never just be us, or just be them
Sometimes I think it just depends, it’s just pretend
You can never trust a trend
Don’t rub your eyes, I’d rather you to just listen, look up to them?

Tell me, who the fuck are they?
When did they ever give a damn about what you say?
For what you stand, that’s why you gotta trust me man
Trust a Bush? That’s like saying trust Saddam
But for real, you gotta love the fam
Ask his dad the ex-prez how many drugs he ran
So trust us, this shits about to flood the land
Cause government hands can no longer plug the dam

So fuck the news, fuck the critics, fuck their views
And if you sit and let it happen then fuck you too

It’s up to you, I can’t tell you what to do
But touch the truth, and don’t just judge the few
But judge…

Us, we’re the ones that pay for the bombs
Us, we built the planes that they’re on
Us, It’s insane all of the ways they conned us
But we can change it today, it’s just all on
Us, we’re the ones that pay for the bombs
Us, we built the planes that they’re on
Us, It’s insane all the ways we’ve been conned
Into killing millions of innocent people, but it’s all on…

(Source: Sweatshop Union)

As I’m typing this, The Twang have just started playing on the telly. What a fucking contrast…

655,000 – MoD Adviser Agreed

Iraq Slaughter
The “liberating” bombs of the US and UK forces – apparently completely harmless to Iraqis.

The British government was advised against publicly criticising a report estimating that 655,000 Iraqis had died due to the war, the BBC has learnt.

[…] the Ministry of Defence’s chief scientific adviser said the survey’s methods were “close to best practice” and the study design was “robust”.

Another expert agreed the method was “tried and tested”.
(Source: BBC News)

Please read the article, linked above.

Having read that, we can see that:

…a memo by the MoD’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Roy Anderson, on 13 October, states: “The study design is robust and employs methods that are regarded as close to “best practice” in this area, given the difficulties of data collection and verification in the present circumstances in Iraq.”
(Source: BBC News)

So, at the same time as Blair was rubbishing the slaughter figures in the mainstream media, the Ministry of Defence’s own Chief Scientific Adviser was confirming their probable validity.

Remember, this was a peer-reviewed report, published in The Lancet. Nevertheless, both Bush and Blair delcared it faulty. Based on what? Their own scientific reports? Their own advisers? No.

Their denial of our slaughter in Iraq was based purely on political agenda. As much as Nazis deny the Holocaust, New Labour and US neocons deny our mass murder in Iraq.

So, we’ve helped kill 655,000 Iraqis. I know, even as I type this, that someone is sitting there, about to send me another bizarre email claiming that Iraqis are only killed in sectarian violence – cluster bombs and missile strikes apparently pass through them like a warm summer breeze. This is time for me to repeat the following:

I’ve had five separate emails lately, complaining that I’m exaggerating by attributing 655,000 Iraqi deaths to the invasion carried out by the US and UK.

This proves how the big lie our mass-media has been spinning has won. Obviously it’s a “fact” that most of these people were killed in sectarian violence. It’s common sense, isn’t it? After all, every day brings news of yet another hideous bombing.

So what about this report? :

The first scientific study of the human cost of the Iraq war suggests that at least 100,000 Iraqis have lost their lives since their country was invaded in March 2003.

More than half of those who died were women and children killed in air strikes, researchers say.
(Source: The Independent)

Hmmm… more than half? Isn’t that the majority killed by us?

And here’s another report:

Coalition troops and Iraqi security forces may be responsible for up to 60% of conflict-related civilian deaths in Iraq – far more than are killed by insurgents, confidential records obtained by the BBC’s Panorama programme reveal.
(Source: BBC News)

Hmmm? 60%, eh? That would be the majority of civilian deaths in Iraq.

Of those deaths, 60% – 2,041 civilians – were killed by the coalition and Iraqi security forces. A further 8,542 were wounded by them.
(Source: BBC News)

And that’s just in the official figures kept by the US-installed puppet regime!
(Source: Right Here)

Look, I know it’s not easy to accept that your country, the US or UK or any of the “liberating” nations, is guilty of mass-murder. I know it would be far more comfortable to believe that your taxes weren’t being spent on shredding innocent people. But even if you put your hands over your eyes and ears, those 655,000 Iraqis are still dead. According to the best scientific study, since the illegal invasion of Iraq, we have killed 2.5% of the population of Iraq.

They were killed by our rogue governments, our war criminal leaders. Then, those governments started and continue to maintain a highly successful propaganda campaign to hide their crimes.

Has it worked on you?