Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Music on showcase

Nothing like some tunes to set the mood!
Each week a new music style will be explored on the North Signal. To hush the tunes, simply click the stop button (the STFU button) on the music player at the top right of the page.
This week's vibes are courtesy of 

A cyber war and attack of the arseholes!

A cyber war and attack of the arseholes!
Just cutting through the headlines this morning and just finished a white paper on Cyber Attacks. Lo and behold in the news at fox.com is an article about the growing momentum in the US forces to consider a cyber attack on any targets that 'pose..significant threat' to national security could result in a military response. "If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks," is the take of one 'military official'. In truth all that is needed is the 'maybe' part. Deterrent.
For years governments have engaged in cyber attacks, but no one has dared make this threat. The brass and politicians MUST have known the severity of the threat to our way of life, so what gives? Here's my guess: The enemy have just achieved the capacity to do REAL damage and have just demonstrated it against Lockheed-Martin. So now that we can be attacked, as well as attack ourselves – it is an act of war! Unfair, you may say... but c'est la guerre, monsieur (et mme). What do you folks think a target (for hacking) would be that would justify a military attack in response?
And the arseholes... always a few of them.
Sometimes they're just ignorant, and other times evil.
Some puke kid in the Eastern Bloc hangs his pet dog, to see what it feels like (budding sociopath?) and another kind soul puts poison on a dog path and kills several pets in Yorkshire. The first guy is in police custody and facing a year in prison plus fines (maybe) and the other swine(s) is on the loose.
On the human to human side of savagery, yet another Muslim girl in the Europe has been killed (stoned to death) for dishonouring her family and religion – this time for winning a beauty contest!? This poor girl's death has resulted in arrests, but still no recognition by the soft powers in Europe of a pattern or problem. In fact the so called 'right wing' British tabloid makes all sorts of excuses for it, even listing OFFICIAL death sentences on a table next to the crime's details. What are we supposed to take away from such spin? That the USA is as bad as Muslim Honour killers for executing murderers? That China's execution of political prisoners is the equivalent of killing your own daughter for being pretty? Apples and oranges.
Is it just me or are some of the reporters seem to be arsehole apologists! Maybe it is just that they are too frightened to face the truth? Your thoughts folks!
Now it's on to some coffee, (real work) and then to some emails...

Monday, 30 May 2011

The Ripper Review #1 - Brink

Ripper in a good space..
The North Signal is happy to announce a new and fun feature of the site: gaming reviews by none other than my own epically addicted son: RoyalRipper. With years of gaming experience and a natural knack for it, Ripper is just the guy to deliver the goods on each new title he butchers.
A no-holds-barred NC17 rating of games that you may or may not want to drop half a yard on.
Stay Tuned in for The Ripper Review on The North Signal.

Ripper Review #1
Okay: Why the new format?
Why The North Signal?
It is about freedom to express, communicate, and understand.
We live in a world of self censorship.
A world governed by twisted notions of political speech in daily life. People of all walks of life, whether academics or professionals, military or civilian are constantly checked and controlled in what they say and even think. Even the most 'common sense' aspects of our lives are increasingly controlled in this way. 
This rapidly growing problem is infecting all facets of our lives.
An example?
Imagine being a student attending school at any western college and being asked what your opinion is on one modern hot-button issue, like say mass immigration.
Unless you actually hold the current 'politically correct' opinion on it, would you dare answer honestly?
Rhetorical question, really isn't it?
But think about it: Why not? 
Well, because if you did not posit your opinion 'correctly' you would invariably be labelled something nasty.
For open borders? TRAITOR!
Stemming the flow ? NAZI!
So what is the 'correct' answer? Don't worry, the 'instructor' will spoon feed it to you. The answer is no longer important. What is important is your ability to accept the correct opinion as required.
All sounds a little Orwellian, doesn't it?
But we, as free citizens of the west, have something that Winston (character from Orwell's 1984) did not have: The internet.
The world wide web and it's technological offspring. A potentially extremely powerful tool.
We can instantly communicate with people all around the world, almost completely uncensored. We can and we are using this technology to blast through the BS and gobbledygook. Right?
Or are we?
First let me state that the 'whole world' is not freely scouring the web, as much as the tech gurus would have you believe that. Their tablet PC's are neat, but the ideological stuff is a sales pitch.
Many countries have a severely restricted version of the web, and have the capacity monitor all of the local traffic within a region or nation. Examples would be China, Iran, and North Korea. Iran is taking further steps this week to create a 'Halal' (religiously pure-Islam) national internet that is isolated from the outside world entirely. While these nations and regions continue to keep abreast of hostile internet technologies (cyber attacks, hack etc) they do not provide the liberty of the web the Free Western nations do. This is not isolated or shrinking. More nations join the ranks of those that control web traffic all the time. It is a case of the draconian laws catching up with the tech.
Here in the civilized West, down under in Australasia and Polynesia, and in the Advanced (socially) Asian and African Nations we are afforded a virtual 'free run' online....sort of. In principal all these Dominions, Nations, States, and Provinces - whether they be Constitutional Monarchies, Republics, secular or religious; they all agree to that discuss, share, and interact is good.
Their dedication to the free flow of ideas is an ideal that unites them.
The reasons for the differences between the free nations and the other Bloc (and rogues) are almost countless and are well beyond the scope of this post. In these free nations, one would be hard pressed to find anyone but the most dedicated apologist defending the communist or Iranian position on this.
We love our 'free run', and the bodies that govern us provide, at least for the present and as long as you have the money.
This freer internet provides us, in turn, with the ability to break through all the political nonsense and get at the effects of our ideas. It allows us to hear more options. More solutions.
It allows us to share our opinions with the like minded and engage those opposed to our notions in debate and discussions. It is a tool we could use to protect our freedoms by exchanging ideas, while revealing truths that threaten those shared freedoms.
In many ways, it is like a massive international virtual commons or congress in which we are all are members and may say our piece, cast our vote, and state our minds. Within it's scope of powers the internet is a kind of MEGA forum!
While the internet provides a forum for most of us, many simply choose not to use it. At least they choose not to use it as such – a forum for interactions. Sure they may Blog, Tweet, and even make the occasional post on how they feel, or what they want for supper...but do they dare share what they really think?
Many do, surely. Many more do not.
The reasons? They are legion and mostly self imposed.
Part of it has to do with laziness. Idle minds. In a culture(s) where information is bought and sold as commodity, thinking is seen as a form of work. So why would anyone want to think on their time/day off? 'You think too much' is a popular expression these days. But do we? Spell check, iPhones, and laptops...does anyone even use a pen and paper anymore, let alone proof their own work?
Again I digress - another topic in it's own right. 
In my eyes, laziness and apathy are modern plagues: 'Affluenza'.
Another part of the silence is about the herd instinct: Belonging. It is easy to act stupid, and requires genuine intelligence to hold a meaningful / artful discussion. The majority of people can act stupid, only a minority may attempt any sort of display of smarts.So, for fear of seeming 'nerdy' or 'hurting' or 'gay' and being 'flamed' (bullied in text) a person who would otherwise state their minds will hold back, or worse still join the herd and tow the party line they know or feel to be wrong. For a 'real world' example of this consider the current fashion of purposely mispronouncing words to come off as 'thug' or 'urban'. Stupid is easy.
A great and growing part is self-censorship. 
'Politically Correctness' (or PC), that oxymoron that rules our lives.
Here's the core of the contradiction and madness: Obviously, politics are subjective – opinion based.
Opinions are just that - an opinion. 
So translated PC really means 'the correct opinion'. 
How does that sit? 
Not well with me.
There are many more factors contributing to the collective 'cyber-silence' of the masses, but these three are principal - very important. 
Of the first two, there is not much that can be done 'online'. This humble blog will not banish 'Affluenza' or conformity.
What we can hope to accomplish is to create a zone in which the third aspect, self censorship, is banished.
The North Signal strives to be a place where ideas and information are free to all.
How will we accomplish this?
By selecting the best authors and allowing them, as well as our guests, a profession anonymity should they choose it. They can write what they like without fear of a PC reprisal or being excluded socially online and offline. Flaming and personal attacks will be prohibited and controlled in the comments - while free and even crazy ideas will be given the opportunity to air themselves and be heard. Nor will the authors risk get fired/sacked or beat up at the school or pub. They will be as anonymous or open as they choose!
At The Signal there will be plenty of controversial, edgy, informative, and even fun topics covered.
The format will be all over the place – a real mixed bag.
Articles and review. Essays. Op Eds. Videos. Fiction and art.
Topics will include and exceed such issues as the headlines, trends, arts, sciences, music, sexuality, politics (and more sex?), gaming, humour, parenting, those crazy kids,  philosophy, military conflicts, terrorism, holy war, conspiracy theories, cults, strange phenomenon, and of course: CENSORSHIP.
ALL these topics will be open for discussion and interpretation; as well as your criticisms and arguments!
There are plenty who will shriek, sneer, ignore, mock, and deride the concepts shared above. More again there are those that are just too cowardly, thick or unlettered to get it at all... but for the rest of us who like to think and communicate with others that do:  tune in! 

From the True North Strong and Free to the world: The North Signal is now online!

Want to write for the Signal? Contact me at crusader.mxcix@gmail.com for details.   

Sunday, 29 May 2011

The North Signal is born!

Welcome Aboard! 
Thanks for checking out the new blog: The North Signal.
Here on these pages our author(s) will attempt to stimulate thought and discussion on a variety of fascinating and fun topics ranging from the Arts and sciences through to stories in the news, opinions, food, drink, video game lore, and even some really bad humour for good measure.
We hope to engage our readership in an entertaining, stimulating and frank fashion.
Welcomed are ideas of all types, shapes, and sizes and forms.
Jokes, articles, stories, debates, and rants. Comments, forums, and photos welcome.
The North Signal intends to be a breath of cool, fresh air - and so the ONLY form of communication banished is that of hatred. An absolute minimum of 'political correctness' would also be appreciated!

Anyone interested in authoring for The North Signal please contact me: