UFSO whitewashes whilst accusing Britain of a whitewash.

Regarding this article posted by University For Strategic Optimism which for all intent and purpose is not a University, is not strategic in any shape and shows no effort to promote optimism, instead seemingly being some WordPress.com based (as this site is) cheerleaders of the cuts choir.

I’m also struggling to find any evidence of a Dr. Sofia Himmelblau every existing, with entries on Google only showing the UFSO site itself (UPDATE: and within 15 minutes of posting this article, this site)

This is a screenshot of their site on August 11th at 3:32AM UK Time (Click all images for full size versions)

Here is the image that they used for the article’s header:

And here, care of the wonder @robmanuel, the founder of the website B3ta, on Twitter and posted to Twitpic is the original image:

How convenient for them that the cropping of the image would remove every trace of multiculturalism in the picture. You have to wonder about the intentions and honesty of a group are when the photo they use to highlight their point that the clean up movement after the riots is a mostly white and race led has been digitally altered to remove black people.

Rob Manuel, discoverer of this (as he, or rather the back of his head actually features in the photo being used) has responded via Twitlonger. I’m including his response underneath

This post makes lots of interesting points that I could partially subscribe to but it’s rather let down by the photo. I’ve noticed this because I’m in it. I’m the guy in the middle at the bottom of the frame with red hair.

It’s become a bit of a famous photo but there’s something missing: two black guys who were standing directly behind me.

The photo on your site has been cropped to the pixel pretty much not to include these guys. This is pretty damn odd in post talking about race with a hash tag #riotwhitewash making the accusation that this was a mostly white affair sticking two fingers at the BMEs.

All I can say really is my intention at turning up wasn’t consciously racist and I don’t believe subconsciously, but there’s something actually sort of I don’t know what, not racist exactly, but certainly propagandist about cropping the black guys out of the photo and then writing a post saying it was all too white.

Now I’m sure there’s a defence here. Maybe you were sent the image already cropped, and I’m besmirching your good name without knowing the facts. Maybe you thought it was aesthetically better without these narratively inconvenient people dominating the lower frame, but really what I’ve found fascinating about this whole thing is how this photo gets twisted to fit the political agenda of the writer. (The Daily Mail does the same thing and I’ve been appalled how they’ve used these pictures to fit their tory supporting pro cuts horror show.)

And if you’re interested in the actual moment rather than how the photo has been used for random bits of propaganda – people were doing a broom mexican wave out of bordom because no one was allowed to do any cleaning because the cops still had the street blocked.

Anyway too many words. I’ve made a pic to make it clear of the bit that’s missing from the photo. Sorry if I appear stroppy but this has irked me. http://twitpic.com/645wg2/full

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Apple’s new subscription service – an anticompetitive problem?

Apple’s new subscription system is a really dangerous move by Apple. It has the potential to be anticompetitive, and to allow Apple to compete unfairly on pricing against direct competitors in the markets of hardware, software and content. Here’s an example of how:

Spotify is installable on a range of devices, and comes pre-installed on HTC devices.
Currently you can subscribe to Spotify in the UK and access it on your smartphone via their website by signing up for £9.99 on their website.
If they want to continue being able to do this for iPhone users, they now have to offer the ability to subscribe directly from the iPhone app, and when someone does this give 30% of that to Apple.

So now, instead of taking £9.99, Spotify now take £6.99 and Apple take £3.00.
In order for Spotify to maintain their take at £9.99 for a subscriber via the iPhone, they have to increase their price by 43% to £14.29. This means Spotify gets £9.99 and Apple now get £4.30

But maybe you don’t use an iPhone. You use an HTC handset with Spotify pre-installed on it and you’ve been really happy with your experience at £9.99

Spotify can’t sell you access for £9.99 though, because Apple insist that prices have to be the same or less as access via other platforms. So now, as an HTC user you now HAVE to pay £14.29 in order to get exactly the same access that you used to have for £9.99 directly because of Apple’s pricing clause.

HTC and Spotify, or Spotify or any hardware manufacturer for that matter… In fact, Spotify or any mobile phone provider cannot put together a pricing deal for free access for a few months to its service. 3 in the UK offer 3 months free Spotify access for contract holders with some of their devices. This offer could be interpreted to clash with Apple’s same price or less clause for iOS apps. Spotify could by Apple’s terms, have to offer the same deal for iOS users.

Then of course, Apple could finally launch their cloud access to your music on iOS devices after they purchased Lala. They could price it at £9.99 themselves, and negotiate better margins than Spotify have for access to content due to their sheer size and power in music sales. They take 100% of that £9.99 charge, but they’re forcing Spotify to charge more to get the same take, or forcing them to earn less money per transaction than Apple to compete on price, and Apple gets a cut of that too!

I can’t see Apple getting out of this one without someone, somewhere getting involved. I’m looking at you, European Union…

Evolution Made Us All

Evolution Made Us All from Ben Hillman on Vimeo.

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