And will get broken as I continue to fuck with it. But still. Everything but Navbar 3 is real and live; these are otherwise-unedited iPhone screencaps.
And will get broken as I continue to fuck with it. But still. Everything but Navbar 3 is real and live; these are otherwise-unedited iPhone screencaps.
Remember back in 2003, when Vince Cable was saying that at some point the economy would collapse because of the amount of consumer credit?
Well, he was right then and he’s now saying that we could be up for another Brexit fuelled crash.
The former Business Secretary, who hopes to win back his former seat of Twickenham, says that a combination of declining consumer confidence, job losses and inflation has the potential to outstrip the economic storm of the previous decade. That, if you remember, was the direst economic crash since the Depression in the 30s.
For Britain, the economic weather is arguably worse than it was before the credit crunch. The pound has plummeted, which is driving up prices and trapping consumers in a vicious Brexit squeeze.
Consumer confidence was all that kept the storm clouds away. But with job losses at everywhere from Deutsche Bank to Nestlé, that confidence is going to drain away further.
The Chancellor clearly has no confidence in the economic strategy of the government, because he knows that leaving the single market and customs union has the potential to devastate the UK economy.
If Britain enters a second economic storm, it will be Theresa May’s economic storm. You can’t have a hard Brexit and a strong economy.
That is why it is vital that the general election produces a large increase in MPs who understand why it is essential to remain in the single market and customs union. That is why we need a large increase in the number of Liberal Democrat MPs to hold Theresa May’s disastrous hard Brexit government to account.
Someone with Vince’s track record on these matters needs to be taken seriously.
If you are after some more Vince wisdom, have a look at our report of his lecture to the Scottish Liberal Club earlier this month.
I finally got to see last week's episode of Doctor Who and while generally I liked it (at first I was wary of the premise for how Russell Davies it sounded, but it didn't do too badly with it), there was one thought I had during it that has stuck in my brain.
So I don't think this is spoilery but obviously opinions on what counts as a spoiler differ. I'd say this is in the "it contained the following general types of plot device" category, but I suppose that might be up for debate too.
Because I'd seen a lot of people's reactions to this episode already, I knew one of them went something like "you can tell white people write Doctor Who because when he asks Bill why she wants to go to the future instead of the past, her answer isn't just 'I'm a black woman.' "
Similarly, I can tell the show isn't written by immigrants because it inescapably hinges on the colonists' assumption that they can be happy all the time because they're headed to this utopia that's been built for them where everything is perfect.
Even if it had lived up to those utopian expectations, that would not have stopped grief being there.
Moving so irrevocably away from home leaves you grieving for everyone you left there. Except in some ways its worse because you know they're grieving for you too. Some people (if you're lucky, all of them if you're not) you will probably never see again, no matter how much you love them.
There'd be homesickness. There'd be nostalgia in the sense it was first intended, as a proper disease people even died from, as well as its colloquial meaning today. There'd be dreams about the voices of lost people. We're sometimes fine when contemplating the big things, but then cry because we remember the pattern on the dishes, the noise the door made when it closed, or the colors in the sky.
You couldn't have a colony without grief.
Cheer up, everyone! There’s only six more weeks of this to go. Forty-two days until we can watch David Dimbleby tell us what the exit poll has said, and if it’s anything like previous years, feel what it’s like to have the bottom fall out of our world.
Today’s unanswered broadcasting question: are Channel 4 going to be doing their own election special again this time? Because their 2015 effort managed to give us one of the most pointless hours of television ever broadcast. Some genius decided that they’d start broadcasting at 9pm, rather than waiting until 10pm like the other channels. Unfortunately, there’s a good reason why they wait, as polling stations are open until 10pm, so reporting restrictions still apply, which meant Channel Four had an election special that couldn’t really talk about the election much, and so turned out to be little more than an hour of people telling us things they might be able to start saying at 10pm…but by then everyone had turned to the BBC or ITV for the exit poll.
Anyway, best campaign suggestion for the day, and certainly much more interesting than anything else we’ve seen so far in this campaign:
Take that poster of Ed Miliband in Salmond's pocket, then make it Theresa May in Farage's pocket.
— David Whitley (@mrdavidwhitley) April 27, 2017
Will anyone try it? You’ll have to wait and see, but might get us a more interesting discussion than today’s experience of lots of people saying ‘mugwump’ repeatedly. Today’s also given us the news that Rachel Johnson, sister of Alexander “Boris” Johnson, has joined the Liberal Democrats, and in a week when everyone’s discovered the joys of looking different with FaceApp, given us plenty of pictures of the Johnson siblings looking like someone’s been running them through it.
One thing I have noticed over the first week or so of this election campaign is a lot of the assumptions people have about the potential result. For instance, there’s an assumption that Labour will win at least 150 seats because that’s a hard floor thanks to their vote piled up in safe seats. The problem I see is that FPTP elections have a tendency to shatter these assumptions on occasions, because they expect that voters will be following the same ebbs and flows as they always have done. There’s always a simplification factor to any assumptions about electoral behaviour, especially when it filters down into the media, but those assumptions and simplifications have proven to be reliable over time. Like so many other political trends, though, they work perfectly well right up until the moment they stop working, and very few failures get spotted in advance. No one expected Brazil to concede seven goals to Germany, but once they did it was quite obvious why it all went wrong.
So, if this is a ‘realigning’ election, and if voter behaviour is going to shift on a wide scale, then assumptions about hard floors and ceilings to party results could be on shaky ground. (They could be perfectly solid, of course) At the last election, the general assumption was that local factors would keep the Lib Dems around 20 seats, and there was no way the SNP would win over 50 seats in Scotland as that was just unheard of. Likewise in 1997, Labour winning over 400 seats was as unlikely as there being no Tory MPs in Wales or Scotland. (For lots more of this, look at Canada where every couple of years brings a national or provincial election that ends with one party wandering around dazed saying ‘that’s not meant to happen’) Sometimes voters – or the factors they base their decisions on – can shift quite suddenly on a national scale, and the first sign we get of will be ashen-faced politicians talking about to David Dimbleby about just how nice their hat tastes.
And finally, as always, time for Election Leaflet Of The Day, where we’re getting close to multiple choice, with two Tory leaflets (one from Wallasey, one from Scotland) being disqualified at the last hurdle for not being entirely clear as general election leaflets. That means we have a shock winner as the man known throughout the Liberal Democrats as Sir Simon Hughes-Is-Late has produced a leaflet, got it delivered, and had someone in the constituency willing to scan and upload it after it came through their door. Not much else to say about the leaflet itself but if we have to now get used to Sir Simon Hughes-Has-Done-It-Before-Most-Of-His-
Date: April 28, 2017
If not for Marie Harel, born April 28, 1761, brie might have no gooey counterpart. Harel, who’s credited with creating the first camembert in 1791, is said to have encountered a cheese whisperer at the Normandy manor where she worked as a dairymaid. According to legend, a priest (purportedly from the region of Brie) took shelter at Beaumoncel near Vimoutiers during the French Revolution, and he shared his secret for making the now-famous soft-centered cheese. Harel added her own signature, packaging the cheese in its iconic wooden boxes.
Like brie, camembert is made from raw cow’s milk, but without cream. The cheese is yellow in color, with an earthy aroma, creamy taste, and an edible white rind. Today, only camembert made from unpasteurized milk receives the designation Camembert de Normandie. The village of Vimoutiers, home of the Camembert Museum, boasts a statue of a cow — as well as one of Harel, who made such a delicious contribution to French cheese culture.
Our Doodle celebrates Harel’s 256th birthday with a slideshow that illustrates how camembert is made, step by step. It's drawn in a charming, nostalgic style reminiscent of early 20th-century French poster artists, such as Hervé Morvan and Raymond Savignac.
On Saturday, YES North East Fife organised a march across the Tay Bridge from Fife to Dundee followed by a rally in the City Square. It was well-attended for a local event – by hundreds, according to the precision journalism of the Courier. The weather was fine, and many motorists seemed to approve of the display, judging by the proportion of them sounding supportive horns – though in the interests of balanced reporting, I must admit that there was one car that went by shouting something incoherent and waving the Vs.
Once arrived in Dundee there were a few stalls, including one selling books by the speakers that had them to sell, a Scottish Green Party stall (with Maggie Chapman in attendance), and a stall for English Scots for Yes. English Scots for Yes seemed to emerge quite late in the last independence campaign, but I think what they’re doing is important. Although many English-born residents of Scotland voted Yes – and there are plenty English people in the SNP – they are out-numbered by their compatriots who voted No. I don’t think English Scots have anything to fear – if I did, I would be siding with them – but it’s clear that as supporters of independence we haven’t done a good enough job of convincing them that there is no beef between us. English Scots for Yes may help to change that impression.
Change of that sort is sorely needed when there’s nonsense going on like the news story that finally made it to the top of the BBC's Scotland page today of suspect chemical packages being sent to at least three Scottish locations. It’s been an emerging story since Tuesday, but has taken two days to get any profile. Stuff like this is happening because of people whipping up resentment against independence supporters – unionists so “obsessed” with their fear of a democratically driven readjustment at a national level that it’s all they can talk about in their council election leaflets, and a poisonous press. No-one could claim that independence supporters are all saints, but I honestly don’t think they’re the dangerous side in this.
There were talks from a variety of speakers, not all of which I was able to stay and attend, but I caught and enjoyed listening to Robin McAlpine, Billy Kay, Paul Kavanagh (The Wee Ginger Dug) and Lesley Riddoch. Three of the talks can be watched below, and if you’ve got the time I recommend doing that. I was a bit disappointed Maggie Chapman wasn’t among those speaking, since she was present, but I presume she had her reasons.
I don't have a list of changes for you yet, but most will fall into the following categories: things users have complained about to support volunteers, things support volunteers have complained about to developers, things denise has complained about not working the way she expects them to (and as we all know, The Boss is Always Right), and things that were printing warnings over and over in the production server logs, making it hard to spot when less frequent, more urgent errors were being printed. Oh, and also all the unused code I ripped out at the roots, which if you notice that, I did it wrong.
To sum up: we are rolling out a bunch of requested changes, so thank you all for your feedback!
If you're new to Dreamwidth and interested in tracking our development process, our commit logs are published to changelog and changelog_digest, and every month or so, one of our volunteers will translate those often-cryptic entries into witty, informative code tours! The most recent one was published on April 1, so we're about due for a new one. Hint, hint.
We'll update here again to let you know when the code push is imminent!
You know, I've been going back and forth on how bad I feel about the way we got Finn. Right now I'm firmly back on the "not bad at all" side, because apparently the kids told her that he got out while they were bringing in groceries, and instead of catching him or chasing him (and as an older dog, he just doesn't move that fast, even when people do bother to trim his toenails so they aren't digging into his feet!) they decided to finish with the groceries first. This task must've taken quite a while, because it was a good 45 minutes between Finn arriving at our door and them arriving at our door to ask if we'd seen him.
Honestly, it seems this is the bare minimum of responsible dog ownership. Just a day or two ago, I caught somebody's dog for them. The dog bounded into my arms, and I held her still as the owner trotted up. That woman had chased after her dog for three blocks! But they couldn't bother to get their not-very-fast dog before they brought in the potatoes? Potatoes don't go anywhere!
Finn, thus far, has proven himself quite enthusiastic about plain boiled potatoes, tomatoes (only in tiny quantities, which means I now have to hide my tomatoes away), green beans, and sweet potato. Moonpie is enthusiastic about... dog treats. Sometimes. Well, there's no accounting for taste!
We want to get Finn fattened up so he can have his surgery, so anything healthy that he's eager to eat, we're happy to give him.
It's gotten hot all of a sudden - it's 23 here at the moment (that's 76) and rather humid so that it feels hotter. I mowed the lawn for the first time all on my own. The result reminds me very much of the time my elder daughter, age approx. three, took her safety scissors to the curls at the front of her hair, kind of jagged and sloppy and frayed. (And it was heartbreaking to see her lovely curls on the floor.) I console myself with the fact that my neighbours have obviously been mowing for years and know how, whereas I simply don't have a clue....yet. Someday I will be a jedi master at lawns.
Saw my caseworker at Canadian Mental Health today....such a nice woman. I am so fortunate to have really excellent community help for my poor addled brain. Psychiatrist, therapist, case worker, doctor: I am so lucky to live in Canada and in this city.
The thing I'm working on now is learning to be gentler with myself. I need to get rid of the self talk that says "you're stupid" or "you're a failure" and replace it with "you're learning" and "look at all of the things you've accomplished today". I need to learn to look in the mirror and instead of seeing ugly and fat, and old, see a woman who has survived a lot of grief and turmoil and has the battle scars to prove it. Maybe, if I'm really lucky, some day I will see beauty.
SAN FRANCISCO—Uber's love for arbitration is well-known, and it has sought to move its disputes with drivers into that more private forum. Now the question is, will it be able to steer a case as big as the Waymo litigation in the same way?
Waymo, Google's self-driving car division, sued Uber in February, claiming that Uber engineer Anthony Levandowski stole thousands of files that were trade secrets. Now Uber is seeking to move most of the case out of court and into arbitration. Waymo, in turn, wants to keep the whole case in federal court.
Uber filed a motion (PDF) to compel arbitration in March, but most of the courtroom action so far has been about Levandowski himself. Levandowski, who is not a defendant in the case, has declined to answer questions about the allegedly stolen files. He has cited his Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination.
Now we’ve named our Bachelor of the Year, we thought it was time to unveil the Top 20.
The list, in association with Blued, was unveiled at an exclusive party at London’s Café de Paris on Thursday (April 26), complete with a performance from Sink The Pink and DJ sets from James Barr and Jodie Harsh.
We revealed that Charlie Carver, who’s known for his roles on major US TV shows including Desperate Housewives, had topped the list. The 28-year-old US actor came out last year in a touching Instagram post addressed to his fans, saying that he wanted to become the successful gay role model his younger self had needed.
But what about the rest? We’ve got sports stars, actors, musicians and a host of other familiar faces to take a look at.
Check out the Top 20 in descending order below – and be sure to check out the full list in our exclusive supplement available with our brand new June issue, available to download and in shops today (April 28).
20) Dean Atta
18) Oriol Pamies
17) Tyler Oakley
16) Jeffrey Wammes
15) Aritha Wickramasinghe
14) Ezra Miller
13) Nyle DiMarco
12) Deray McKesson
11) Anthony Varrecchia
10) Tommy Ga-Ken Wan
9) Glyn Fussell
8) Matthieu Jost
7) Gavan Hennigan
6) Jussie Smollett
5) Daniel Newman
4) Olly Alexander
3) Steve Grand
2) Amini Fonua
- Charlie Carver
Charlie Carver has been named Attitude’s Bachelor of the Year 2017, in association with Blued.
The 28-year-old US actor, best known for his roles as Porter Scavo on Desperate Housewives and Ethan on the MTV’s Teen Wolf, has topped our list of the world’s 100 most eligible gay bachelors.
The full list, in association with Blued, was unveiled at an exclusive party at London’s Café de Paris on Thursday (April 26), complete with a performance from Sink The Pink and DJ sets from James Barr and Jodie Harsh.
Charlie, who also appeared in Dustin Lance Black’s LGBT TV miniseries When We Rise earlier this year, came out last year in a touching Instagram post addressed to his fans, saying that he wanted to become the successful gay role model his younger self had needed.
As he appears on the cover of Attitude’s June issue – available to download now and in shops Friday (April 28) – the young heartthrob opens up bout his coming out journey, his hope to establish himself as a Hollywood force away from his twin brother Max, and his relationship with his late father, who came out as gay when Charlie was 12 years-old.
“For so long I’ve been linked to something, whether it’s been a brother or an institution, a boarding school, or I was in university or a show,” Charlie says.
“This is the first time in my life where I finally feel like a free agent.”
Photography by Leigh Keily
Styling by Joseph Kocharian
Grooming by KC fee at The Wall Group
Charlie wears Dior Homme
It's the end of another era for BlackBerry. Its last internally designed phone, the BlackBerry KeyOne, will be available for preorder in Canada on May 18 and released in Canada and the US on May 31. Unlike 2015's keyboard-equipped BlackBerry Priv, the KeyOne isn't a slider—its keyboard is always exposed, and as a result, it has a shorter and more squarish display than most modern smartphones. Like the Priv, though, the KeyOne runs a lightly customized version of Android (version 7.1.1, in this case) with some of BlackBerry's apps and services preinstalled.
The US version will only be available for the full unlocked price of $549 at first, but the Canadian version will be available for $199 with a two-year contract from Bell, Bell MTS, SaskTel, and Telus Business. The UK version is also available now from Selfridges for £499, with a Carphone Warehouse launch following on May 5.
Today Google is launching yet another Google Assistant feature: The Google Assistant SDK. This will allow developers to run the Google Assistant on their own hardware prototypes. While the SDK is only launching in "Developer Preview" mode today, this is presumably the beginning of a push for third parties to make their own consumer Google Assistant hardware.
Google says the SDK will allow any device to provide "the full Google Assistant experience." Together with the "Actions on Google" API that launched last year, developers can create their own voice commands and responses that can control the local device. Developers are also sent everything in text form so their software can see what's going on and react to it. To start listening, the SDK supports both the "OK Google" hotword and a button.
Right now, the Google Assistant is only available on some Android form factors (phones and watches) and products directly from Google, like the Google Home. The SDK should let it run on just about anything, though. Google suggests "adding smarts to a toy robot" or just getting up and running quickly on a Raspberry Pi.
First of all, Rachel Johnson, writer and journalist, welcome to the Liberal Democrats. Every media outlet is telling us that she has joined and some are even suggesting that she will be a candidate for the Liberal Democrats in this coming general election. The Guardian is feverishly speculating:
Johnson’s decision to join the Lib Dems is expected to infuriate her brother Boris, who has had a relatively marginal role in the post-Brexit negotiations so far.
She could not be reached for comment, while a spokesman for the Lib Dems declined to confirm her membership, citing data protection rules.
With just nine MPs, the Lib Dems have campaigned consistently against Brexit. Party rules insist candidates must have been members for at least a year. But if Johnson decides to stand, one option is the party not standing against her.
Of course, candidates are a state party responsibility and the length of time you have to be a member is different across the different state parties. The reports don’t say when she joined, so it is perfectly possible that she would be eligible in Scotland, for example.
Getting approved is another barrier, but not an insurmountable one. There was at least one candidate approval day last weekend, for example – and once you are approved you can stand anywhere in the country.
It’s also more than possible that the party might waive some of the rules if she were licensed for one election to contest a specific seat.
That would be a more likely option than the Guardian’s suggestion that the party wouldn’t stand against her if she stood somewhere.
I’d say it is most likely that this is all just speculation, but you never know. If I end up with egg on my face, so be it.
It is great to see that we are appealing to so many people, though, with our membership at over 100,000 for the first time in two decades.
Now we just need to mobilise them for our best general election campaign ever. There are so many ways to get involved – delivering leaflets, phoning voters, doorstep canvassing, sorting out the election freeposts, donating money. If you want to know the options available to you, have a look here. Also, if you are in the Newbies Facebook group, (now over 6000 strong), there is information that is really useful if you haven’t been involved in an election before. You can access it from the pinned post.
* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings
Harry Hayfield looks forward 7 days
So as there are no local by-elections this week, here’s the final part of my estimates for the local elections in Wales and Scotland.
As for the estimates for the English counties, I had a look at the by-elections in Wales since the referendum, tallied the changes on 2012 and noted if the council had voted to REMAIN or LEAVE and made the following observation. In REMAIN councils, the change was Lab -6%, Green -5%, Others -1%, Con unchanged, Ind unchanged, Lib Dem +1%, UKIP +2% and Plaid +8%. In LEAVE councils the change was Lab -16%, Con unchanged, Green unchanged, Others +1%, Plaid +2%, Ind +3% with the Lib Dems and UKIP both up 5%. A few days ago Prof Roger Scully of the Welsh Governance Centre at Cardiff University (him with his own Twitter parody account in the style of John Curtice) published a local election poll purely for Wales and I noted that the forecast results I was getting from that were pretty much in line with the forecast results I had been getting looking at the change by council’s view on the referendum, so therefore the figures published below are based on that poll (the details of which were tweeted by Britain Elects at the time)
Welsh local election voting intention:
LAB: 28% (-9)
CON: 26% (+13)
PC: 19% (+2)
UKIP: 8% (+7)
LDEM: 7% (-1)
OTH: 12% (-10)
— Britain Elects (@britainelects) April 24, 2017
Welsh Council Elections Forecast 2017
Blaenau Gwent: Lab 33, Ind 5, Con 2, Plaid 2 (Lab HOLD)
Bridgend: Lab 22, Con 15, Ind 11, Lib Dem 3, Plaid 3 (Lab LOSS to NOC)
Caerphilly: Plaid 39, Lab 29, Con 4, Ind 1 (Plaid GAIN from Lab)
Cardiff: Con 39, Lib Dem 16, Plaid 12, Lab 8 (Con GAIN from Lab)
Carmarthenshire: Plaid 52, Ind 13, Lab 7, Con 2 (Plaid GAIN from NOC)
Ceredigion: Plaid 23, Ind 11, Lib Dem 7, Lab 1 (Plaid GAIN from NOC)
Conwy: Con 30, Plaid 12, Lab 7, Ind 5, Lib Dem 5 (Con GAIN from NOC)
Denbighshire: Con 28, Plaid 10, Lab 6, Ind 3 (Con GAIN from NOC)
Flintshire: Lab 28, Ind 21, Con 12, Lib Dem 7, Plaid 1 (No Overall Control, unchanged)
Gwynedd: Plaid 54, Ind 11, Llais 4, Con 2, Lab 3, Lib Dem 1 (Plaid GAIN from NOC)
Merthyr Tydfil: Lab 24, Ind 5, Plaid 3, Con 1 (Lab HOLD)
Monmouthshire: Con 27, Lab 10, Ind 4, Lib Dem 2 (Con GAIN from NOC)
Neath and Port Talbot: Lab 41, Plaid 18, Con 3, Ind 2 (Lab HOLD)
Newport: Con 39, Lab 11 (Con GAIN from Lab)
Pembrokeshire: Ind 32, Con 13, Lab 9, Plaid 5, Lib Dem 1 (Ind HOLD)
Powys: Ind 33, Con 21, Lib Dem 12, Lab 6 (Ind LOSS to NOC)
Rhondda, Cynon, Taff: Lab 46, Plaid 20, Con 5, Ind 3, Lib Dem 1 (Lab HOLD)
Swansea: Con 35, Lab 24, Lib Dem 6, Plaid 2, Ind 3, Swansea Independents 2 (Lab LOSS to NOC)
Torfaen: Lab 13, Con 12, Ind 10, Plaid 8 (Lab LOSS to NOC)
Vale of Glamorgan: Con 32, Lab 8, Plaid 6, Ind 1 (Con GAIN from NOC)
Wrexham: Lab 17, Ind 15, Con 10, Lib Dem 6, Plaid 4 (No Overall Control, no change)
Ynys Môn: Plaid 12, Ind 11, Con 6, Lib Dem 1 (No Overall Control, no change)
Whilst I used the same method with Scotland (as all of the Scottish councils voted to REMAIN it was a much easier task) I could not make a forecast of the seat allocations thanks to the fact that Scotland uses the Single Transferable Vote to elect councillors, so this list of the councils shows the estimated vote share in that council area with the status based on which party is in the lead (as opposed to how many councillors may be elected). The change is based on Con +11%, Lab -6%, Lib Dem -1%, SNP +3%, Ind -5%, UKIP unchanged, Green unchanged and Others -3%
City of Aberdeen: SNP 34%, Lab 23%, Con 20%, Lib Dem 14%, Ind 6%, Green 2% (SNP HOLD)
Aberdeenshire: SNP 41%, Con 32%, Lib Dem 14%, Ind 10%, Green 2%, Lab 1% (SNP HOLD)
Angus: SNP 46%, Con 28%, Ind 19%, Lib Dem 5%, Lab 1% (SNP HOLD)
Argyll and Bute: SNP 32%, Ind 32%, Con 26%, Lib Dem 10% (SNP GAIN from Ind)
Clackmannanshire: SNP 48%, Lab 31%, Con 20% (SNP HOLD)
Dumfries and Galloway: Con 37%, Lab 23%, SNP 22%, Ind 13%, Lib Dem 3%, Lab 2%, UKIP 1% (Con GAIN from Lab)
City of Dundee: SNP 46%, Lab 24%, Con 22%, Lib Dem 8%, Green 1% (SNP HOLD)
East Ayrshire: SNP 41%, Lab 34%, Con 22%, Ind 3% (SNP GAIN from Lab)
East Dunbartonshire: SNP 29%, Con 27%, Lab 23%, Lib Dem 14%, Others 6%, Green 1%, Ind 1% (SNP GAIN from Lab)
East Lothian: Lab 36%, SNP 33%, Con 25%, Lib Dem 5%, Ind 1% ((Lab HOLD)
East Renfrewshire: Con 40%, Lab 25%, SNP 22%, Ind 10%, Lib Dem 5%, Green 1% (Con GAIN from Lab)
City of Edinburgh: Con 31%, SNP 29%, Lab 21%, Green 11%, Lib Dem 8% (Con GAIN from Lab)
Falkirk: SNP 42%, Lab 31%, Con 22%, Ind 5% (SNP HOLD)
Fife: SNP 34%, Lab 32%, Con 19%, Lib Dem 12%, Green 1%, Ind 1%, UKIP 1% (SNP GAIN from Lab)
City of Glasgow: Lab 40%, SNP 35%, Con 17%, Green 5%, Lib Dem 2%, Others 1% (Lab HOLD)
Highland: Ind 35%, SNP 29%, Con 16%, Lib Dem 12%, Lab 7%, Green 1% (Ind HOLD)
Inverclyde: Lab 38%, SNP 28%, Con 21%, Lib Dem 7%, Ind 6% (Lab HOLD)
Midlothian: SNP 41%, Lab 33%, Con 19%, Green 4%, Lib Dem 3% (SNP GAIN from Lab)
Moray: SNP 42%, Con 28%, Ind 23%, Lab 3%, Green 3%, UKIP 1% (SNP HOLD)
Na h-Eileanan an Iar (Western Isles): Ind 64%, SNP 26%, Con 11% (Ind HOLD)
North Ayrshire: SNP 39%, Lab 26%, Con 20%, Ind 14%, Lib Dem 1%, UKIP 1% (SNP HOLD)
North Lanarkshire: Lab 45%, SNP 37%, Con 16%, Ind 1% (Lab HOLD)
Orkney Islands: Ind 84%, Con 10%, SNP 5% (Ind HOLD)
Perth and Kinross: SNP 43%, Con 36%, Lib Dem 12%, Lab 6%, Ind 2%, Green 1% (SNP HOLD)
Renfrewshire: Lab 40%, SNP 37%, Con 19%, Lib Dem 3% (Lab HOLD)
The Scottish Borders: Con 35%, SNP 24%, Lab 18%, Ind 18%, Lib Dem 16%, Others 7% (Con HOLD)
Shetland Islands: Ind 85%, Con 10%, SNP 5% (Ind HOLD)
South Ayrshire: Con 42%, SNP 32%, Lab 19%, Ind 8% (Con HOLD)
South Lanarkshire: SNP 39%, Lab 36%, Con 21%, Lib Dem 2%, Green 1%, UKIP 1% (SNP GAIN from Lab)
Stirling: SNP 38%, Con 29%, Lab 22%, Green 6%, Lib Dem 4%, UKIP 1% (SNP HOLD)
West Dunbartonshire: Lab 41%, SNP 33%, Con 15%, Ind 8%, Others 3% (Lab HOLD)
West Lothian: SNP 44%, Lab 32%, Con 20%, Others 4% (SNP HOLD)
Am I right or am I completely wrong? Well, we shall know next week (including whether I have been successful in winning a seat on Ceredigion council) although looking at the forecast for the council this may be a rather opportune clip
And it’ll be a good one, too.
No, Theresa and Jeremy haven’t overcome their fear of Tim Farron. This is the Scottish Leaders’ Debate where Willie Rennie will spend an hour and a half at 8:30 pm on STV debating Nicola Sturgeon, Kezia Dugdale and Ruth Davidson.
From the STV website:
The Scottish debates are usually of pretty decent quality and you should be able to watch on the live stream south of the border.
* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings
Did you feel a sudden loss of Internet freedom in February 2015? That's when the Federal Communications Commission imposed net neutrality rules that prevent Internet service providers from discriminating against websites and other online services. And that's when Americans lost their Internet freedom—according to the current FCC chairman, Ajit Pai.
Pai, a Republican and former Verizon lawyer, opposed the net neutrality rules when Democrats held the commission's majority, and he quickly got to work dismantling the rules after being appointed chair by President Donald Trump. To convince the public that the FCC should eliminate rules it passed two years ago, Pai's office yesterday issued a press release titled, "Restoring Internet freedom for all Americans."
The press release says the plan to eliminate Obama-era Internet regulations "will benefit all Americans" by "boost[ing] competition and choice in the broadband marketplace" and "will restore Internet Freedom by ending government micromanagement and returning to the bipartisan regulatory framework that worked well for decades."
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
After the Cassini spacecraft plunged between Saturn and its inner-most rings on Wednesday, mission scientists waited anxiously Wednesday night for a message from the robotic probe that it had survived. Finally, at 2:56am ET on Thursday, Cassini made contact via NASA's Deep Space Network Goldstone Complex in California's Mojave Desert and sent back some preliminary data and images.
It had come through its initial close encounter with Saturn unscathed, flying to within 3,000km of the gas giant's cloud tops, where the air pressure is comparable to that on the surface of Earth. The probe also "grazed" the innermost, visible edge of Saturn's ring system by flying within about 300km. No spacecraft had flown so close to Saturn or these rings, so scientists weren't sure it would survive.
On August 26, the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) launched its first domestically constructed aircraft carrier from a shipyard in Dailan. The as-yet-unnamed carrier still requires much more additional work before it joins PLAN's fleet. But the ship's construction began less than five years ago (in November of 2012), and it only moved into full dry-dock construction in 2015. And China appears poised to churn out additional new aircraft carriers even faster based upon the experience acquired in this first homegrown carrier project.
In March, Zhu Chenghu, a professor at China's National Defense University, told China Daily, "China launching its first domestically designed aircraft carrier is a monumental step toward building a world-class navy. The valuable lessons learned from building a carrier from scratch will help China build more carriers faster in the future and enable them to reach combat readiness quicker."
For the sake of comparison, the US Navy's newest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald Ford, began construction in 2009, and launched in 2013; it is still undergoing outfitting and no commissioning date has yet been set. While the Ford is certainly a more complicated and much larger vessel than the new Chinese carrier, the US has been building aircraft carriers since World War II. China's only previous experience with aircraft carriers comes from work on the PLAN's first carrier, the CNS Liaoning—the rebuilt former Soviet ship that China purchased from Ukraine in the mid-1990s. It took nearly 16 years to complete the Liaoning, which was purchased under somewhat shady circumstances.
The tidbit comes from a talk Sakurai gave ahead of a Japanese orchestral performance celebrating the 25th anniversary of the original Game Boy release of Kirby's Dream Land in 1992. As reported by Game Watch (and wonderfully translated by the Patreon-supported Source Gaming), Sakurai recalled how HAL Laboratory was using a Twin Famicom as a development kit at the time. Trying to program on the hardware, which combined a cartridge-based Famicom and the disk-based Famicom Disk System, was “like using a lunchbox to make lunch,” Sakurai said.
As if the limited power wasn't bad enough, Sakurai revealed that the Twin Famicom testbed they were using "didn’t even have keyboard support, meaning values had to be input using a trackball and an on-screen keyboard." Those kinds of visual programming languages may be fashionable now, but having a physical keyboard to type in values or edit instruction would have probably still been welcome back in the early '90s.
LibLink: Vince Cable: We are heading towards a dangerous one party state and only a Liberal DemocratThursday, April 27th, 2017 01:55 pm
Vince Cable writes in today’s Independent of the dangers of the Tories being given carte blanche to do what they like as Labour disintegrates:
The Prime Minister wants an opposition-free parliament in which to pursue the extreme version of Brexit she has chosen. Her cruder – or more honest – supporters talk about “crushing the saboteurs”. Those of a more squeamish disposition talk about letting Theresa May (known by her activists as “mummy”) get on with her task without distraction.
In normal circumstances, the Labour Party would rally opposition to her plan. But they are compromised by the Brexit vote of many of their constituencies, and by the voting record of their MPs. And the leadership is a crippling liability, far worse than in 1983. Michael Foot was, at least, a fine orator and writer, a stalwart party loyalist. The latest episode in this tragic farce was the endorsement of Jeremy Corbyn by the more Stalinist of the two factions of the almost-defunct Communist Party of Great Britain.
But what difference could a strong contingent of Lib Dems make?
If a bullying, dominant, Conservative majority is able to indulge all its pet prejudices – scrapping species conservation and climate change measures; removing labour market protections; jettisoning human rights – it would then become extremely difficult to reach a free trade agreement with the EU based on the Single Market, since the Europeans are insisting that we subscribe to common regulatory standards. A powerful group of Liberal Democrats in the Commons, working with like-minded people in other parties and our strong contingent in the Lords, could stop serious damage being done.
That leads to the second, crucial, role for an effective opposition: if (or, more likely, when) the Government fails to achieve a satisfactory settlement with the EU and is faced with the choice of signing up on bad terms or “crashing out” of the union without agreement, there has to be a mechanism for the public to say “we voted to leave, but not on these terms”. When the Government finds itself in a deep hole it has to stop digging. That is why we insist that there should be a public vote on the outcome of the negotiations.
I am not a fan of referendums which offer binary choices for complex problems, but since we got to where we are through that route it is now the only way to call a halt, should that prove to be necessary. The European Union would itself undoubtedly welcome a rethink of this messy and nasty divorce.
You can read the whole article here.
* Newshound: bringing you the best Lib Dem commentary published in print or online.
It's going to be a busy year for racing games. At some point, we expect Gran Turismo Sport to finally arrive, Forza Motorsport 7 is on its way, and then there's Project Cars 2. The first Project Cars, which arrived a couple of years ago, was an uncompromising sim racer of the kind hitherto unknown on consoles. It was also fiendishly difficult, something fans seized upon as proof of just how good a simulation it was compared to, say, Forza. But here's the thing: just because a game is very hard to master, that doesn't necessarily mean it's accurate to the real thing. Reassuringly, that's a view shared by Rod Chong, COO at Slightly Mad Studios, the game's developer.
"If you look at sim racing as a whole, there's this misconception that it needs to be really, really difficult, or it's not a sim. This is not simulation, that's not reality," Chong told me. So it's heartening to hear that in the quest to improve the game's physics—particularly the tire model—Project Cars 2 should be both a more accurate simulation of real life but also a much more accessible game.