Reaction to riots around the UK…

I spent quite a while watching the coverage of the riots on TV last night and this morning. I also made a few angry posts on twitter. Not surprisingly I am still pretty angry about everything this morning. What follows will be a rather extreme rant about the situation. Look away if easily offended…

What were the recent incidents *not* about?

  • This is not a mass uprising. London has 12 million people and only a few hundred scum are doing this.
  • This is not a race-specific issue. I’ve watched the footage and the crowds are made up of people from all races. Roughly speaking, the mix reflects the racial mix of the area that is being attacked. Don’t use this incident to further your racist (positive or negative) agenda!
  • This is not political. We are not under the control of some unjust dictator and fighting for our political freedom. Likening this to the recent events in the middle east is offensive. Since when has looting a PC store or a phone store been political?
  • This is not about “the kids”. The age range of the people is mixed.

What should be done in my opinion?

  • They should announce a curfew. Being on the streets after that time means you accept the consequences of anything that happens to you. Good people will be off the streets, so you know if you see someone they are up to no good.
  • Police and army reserves should be mobilized. They should be issued with rubber-bullets given a “shoot first, ask questions later” policy.
  • If someone gets injured or killed as a result of the police/army action, tough! No claims. No law suits. No apologies. Tough! If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t be there.
  • We have loads of surveillance cameras on our streets. Faces from the footage should be placed on a website where the public can anonymously shop them to the police. I would encourage anyone who recognizes any people from the footage, or has information from any social network sites, to pass the information to the police and get these people off our streets.
  • Everyone identified should be prosecuted and get a custodial sentence. If it means cramming them into cells and “infringing on their human rights”, so be it. They gave up their rights when they decided to do this.
  • Stop putting “community leaders” on TV who try to justify this crap. I’m sorry, but as a disenfranchised man I do not feel the need to rob a new pair of trainers or a mobile phone. Some of the footage showed a group of kids talking and one said, “Let’s get some watches!” Nuff said!

This country is going to hell in a hand basket. We need to stop pussy footing about and get some authority back.



PS. If this stops me seeing Rise of the Planet of the Apes, I’m going to kick off… 🙂

Oracle Linux 5 Update 7 Available…

Over the weekend Oracle Linux 5.7 was released, as noted here.

Upgrades follow the normal path. Do one of the following:

  • Boot from the DVD and upgrade that way.
  • Replace the “/etc/yum.repos.d/public-yum-el5.repo” file with the new version here, remembering to enable the appropriate entries.
  • Amend your existing “/etc/yum.repos.d/public-yum-el5.repo”, adding the following new entry.
    name=Oracle Linux $releasever - U7 - $basearch - base

If you picked either of the last two options, you can upgrade by issuing the “yum update” command when logged in as root.

I’ve upgraded a couple of VMs running Oracle and everything seems fine so far.



Super 8…

I can see Super 8 getting really mixed reviews because it feels a little like The Goonies meet Cloverfield.

Personally, I liked it and could see past the odd cheesy bits, but I can also see why some would think it falls short. There is a very E.T. childlike feel to the film, which is hardly surprising as the lead characters are kids. There is also the Stand By Me coming of age aspect. All this is wrapped up with a bow made of some fantastic visual effects.

Cool film, but difficult to pinpoint the target audience they had in mind (in my opinion). I’m sure over the next few years I will watch and enjoy it several times, but I don’t think I will be buying it.



The Dresden Files: Ghost Story…

Ghost Story is the latest book in The Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher.

Spoiler Alert. Don’t read on if you are currently reading the series and haven’t got to this book yet. It’s hard to talk about the book without doing a bit of a spoiler.


At the end of the last book Harry Dresden died. At the start of this book he comes back as a ghost and is sent back to Chicago to help his friends. The fact that there is another book planned makes you think one of two things are going to happen.

  1. He will be so successful as a ghost version of himself he will be able to carry on in that capacity.
  2. He will somehow be ressurected.

This book is more predictable than any of the other books in the series, but that’s not a bad point. The outcomes of certain situations are predictable, but the journeys to those outcomes are far from predictable, which is half the fun. You are sitting there thinking, I know how this is meant to pan out, but how the hell is he going to get there? 🙂

It was a great story, and well deserving of its place in the series. I’ve now got a really long wait for the next book (Cold Days) to be released. 🙁



Captain America: The First Avenger…

I went to see Captain America: The First Avenger at the weekend. It’s kinda odd because there are lots of elements that make me think I should like this film, but I found it all a little dull. I actually found myself saying “Meh” as I stood up at the end of the film. That’s not a good sign.

I liked the intro to the story. All the stuff from the trailers. Skinny guy becomes superhero etc. I think that works really well and I was looking forward to him actually doing something useful. That’s where it all went a little flat really. Most of the stuff he did just didn’t seem very “superhero” to me. I know nothing about the Captain America comics or history, but he seems like a pretty lame superhero.

What didn’t help was the World War II setting. Being brought up in the UK means you are constantly bombarded films and references to WWII. Pretty much every day there is a WWII film on one of the channels. Not wanting to be disrespectful to the people that were involved at the time, but it has no relevance to my life. You might as well be talking about The Hundred Years’ War. In fact, I would go as far as to say that *most* war-related films don’t do anything for me. It’s just not a genre that really appeals. With that in mind, a lame superhero in a setting that turns me off was never going to hit home for me I guess.

A few bits of the plot seemed very “Indian Jones” to me. It felt a bit lazy in that regard. It will be interesting to see how Captain America stacks up in the 21st century as part of The Avengers film(s) when they are made. Maybe in a modern setting I will have a change of heart.