Earlier today, Torrent Freak published an article detailing the number of take down requests that Google receives and acts upon, in the previous week, they report
Google received DMCA notices from 5,407 copyright owners and reporting organizations requesting the removal of 5,310,080 URLs spanning a total of 37,413 domains.
Obviously, I have been exposed to the copyright maximalist’s constant propaganda at #lab13 and further with the press coverage of the Select Committee, so its great to see this reported. The Torrentfreak article ends,
Last weekend, I went to see “If Only”, a play by David Edgar about the politics surrounding the formation of the coalition and a subdued appeal for the political parties to rediscover their identities; identity destroyed by triangulation.
Triangulation is a political strategy used mainly by social democratic parties and the US Democrats, of moving to the right and forcing your opponents to differentiate themselves by moving further to the right. It’s extremely cynical and extremely dangerous. However, if it’s just about winning, it clearly worked for a number of years for the Labour Party, isolating the Tories under the leadership of Major, Hague, Howard and Duncan-Smith. The danger in this strategy is that many of those who genuinely agree with the policies abandoned have no-one to represent them in the national political debate; the left in society become politically voice-less. A further danger is that neither the acolytes of triangulation nor their supporters believe in what is being said and promised by politicians, it reinforces the slur that all politicians are liars by making it the truth.
I went to see “This House” earlier today. It’s the story of the Labour Whips who kept the Wilson and Callaghan government in power for 4½ years, without a majority for much of the time, from 1974 to 1979. It brought back many memories as I had joined the Labour Party in 74 and of course much of my politics was learned and established in the next 10 years.
It’s not actually very political, although it rehearses the Stonehouse affair, the Nationalisation of Shipbuilding and Aircraft Manufacture, when Heseltine waved the Mace and got his nickname of Tarzan. It also mentions the Rooker/Wise rebellion which led to the indexation of income tax allowances and Audry Wise’s arrest at the Grunwick picket line. Reg Prentice and the Militant get a small piece as Prentice crossed the floor to obscurity, reducing Labour’s Majority by two.
It reminded me of the importance and divisiveness of Scottish and Welsh devolution on British and Labour politics over the decade. Ultimately, it didn’t have time to deal well with Gerry Fitt & Frank MacGuire, two Nationalist and in the case of Fitt, Socialist MPs representing Northern Irish seats; while the drama around Alf Broughton’s condition, made a better story, it was the failure (over the previous 5 years) to address Northern Ireland that led to the Nationalists failing to support the Labour Government in the Vote of Confidence that ended the Government. Macguire was a rare attendee at the House of Commons, who flew over to abstain.
The scenes in Parliament around the furore caused by the passage of the Nationalisations further reminded me of the Wilson speech to Labour’s Conference in 1975 broadcast by the BBC in it’s Harold Wilson retrospective earlier this year. I only heard the first 10 minutes or so, but he cataloged the achievements of the first year and half in Government, which even today are substantial. They changed people’s lives, for the better, and weren’t reduced to resolutionary impotence. I meant to capture the speech so I could revisit it and share with people but despite being a big IT consultant, my personal IT isn’t good enough to rip iplayer streams. It’s a disgrace that as a tax payer; I paid for it to be made, I paid for it to be broadcast, but I can’t use it when I want because the BBC won’t put their owned content online for us all. They say it’s to protect foreign revenue but the real reason is that Murdoch & Sky can’t compete with free and forever.
It’s our history, we shouldn’t put up with it.
Last weekend, I finally finished the NWN User Authored Module, “Agrenost, Beneath the Cobbles”. I have been playing it, as I do very sporadically, for a couple of months. A very atmospheric and as far as fantasy fiction goes, believable module that had me returning week after week.
I took a Rogue/Thief through; as pretty much recommended, but I think they come into their own with the later rule sets and NWN usually rewards the flexibility of a rogue, however in this game, unusually you have up to five companions, as you can see, and they pretty much fit into the ideal party, although I was not provided with a healer and didn’t multi-class to take any levels of cleric. The companions below seem to be a fighter, paladin, monk, mage and fighter/thief. The adventure takes you through and below the slums, merchant’s quarter and docks of Agrenost, a city at the edge of an empire and suffering from invasion by an undead horde.
I thoroughly recommend this module and it just shows there’s still life in this venerable game.
Now, shall I start NWN2, or look for a new NWN module
I have over the last two days advanced my Mage into and up the Luskan Host Tower_in Neverwinter Nights. This is the first time I have played a Mage, as those of you who follow this thread know, and there are some interesting differences in playing one as opposed to a fighter type, in particular, Rimardo Domine is, much easier to defeat and the brazier entrapping Nymphithys much harder, For more, see Playing a Wizard.
Back to my desk in the City after 10 days off, spent with family and friends. I am looking forward to work, but also getting back in touch with friends I havn’t seen in a while. After Xmas we went to the Aldershot Games Store and bought a couple of board games which we have been trying out over the last week. These include “Touch of Evil“, evil monster hunting in the American colonies, “Pirates Cove“, aarrr! and “the War on Terror“, which we havn’t played yet, described as Risk for cynics by the store people, who have always been really helpful.
I have now finished the demo, and it remains good looking and still seems to be a story rich, puzzle, travel and discovery game. The puzzles can be quite simple and at times quite linear; you can only do the right thing. I was also frustrated that objects only become usable as the story unfolds to require them, you can’t clear a room. I am not sure if we’ll buy it. See also the previous blog post Nicopolis, and Other Games at this site, which have links to the demo and author sites.
This is now leaking out and was reviewed in Empire’s January 2007 edition, where they gave it 5*’s. It certainly made me want to get it. I still need to get a second copy of NWN and the guys & gals at rpgdungeon recommend the Platinum Edition. Gamespot review NWN 2 here.
NWN 2 is now on sale at Amazon (.co.uk).