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UK Polls… May 19, 2019

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Whatever else the European Elections has seen matters in the UK take yet another bizarre turn on the Brexit path. Now one will read this:

An Opinium poll for the Observer found that the Liberal Democrats have narrowly overtaken Labour as the favourite party of remain voters, with 29% of the group now backing Cable’s party and 28% backing Labour.

Meanwhile, a wider poll found that the Lib Dems are set to top the poll in London and could even push Labour into third place overall in the European election.

The YouGov/Datapraxis poll of more than 9,000 voters, commissioned by the pro-remain Best for Britain campaign and Hope Not Hate, found the Brexit party leading in all other regions apart from Scotland, where the SNP leads.

It found that the Lib Dems had overtaken Labour, once the pollster had removed voters who said they did not know how they would vote, or would not vote. It put the Lib Dems on 17%, Labour on 15% and the Greens just four points further back, on 11%. The Brexit party was leading on 34% and the Tories were on 9%.

Of course it is essential to keep in mind that European elections will play out differently to a general election but one has to wonder at how this pummelling of voters traditional inclinations in respect of supporting their parties will play out in the medium term. There’s a fascinating graphic of the Opinium results further down the linked piece above in the Observer which shows that distinction between electoral contests writ large – with Labour ahead of the Brexit party in a general election but the Brexit party ahead of Labour at the European elections. But the first is the BLP on 29 as against the Brexit party on 24 and the second is Brexit party on 34% and Labour on 20. The Tories are a mere 12% in the Euro poll, behind the LDs on 15, but ahead in the GE poll on 22, with the LDs on 11.

Historical enquiries… May 19, 2019

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Thanks to the person who noted this. How it progresses matters is difficult to discern.

Weekend poll May 18, 2019

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Two polls, actually, their implications for the European and local Elections a bit diffuse given that voting patterns for both can differ from national polls.

RedC/Sunday Business Post

FG 28% -5

FF 24% +1

SF 13% -1

GP 7% +4

LP 5% NC

IND ALL 2% NC

SOL-PBP 2% +1

SD 2% NC

Aontú 2% +1

RENUA 1% +1

INDS 14% -2

The margin of error is 3%

Sunday Times/B&A

FG 28% NC

FF 28% -1

SF 19% – 2

GP 5% +4

LP 4% NC

IND ALL 3% -1

SD 1% NC

SOL-PBP 3% +2

INDS 9% -1

Margin of error is 3.2%

Any other details welcome. Not a lot to say other than that GP figure appears to describe a real phenomenon. And that LP ‘revival’ appears conspicuous by its absence. Inds not performing as strongly as one might imagine given the proximity of a local election. And FG must be wondering why they didn’t go to the polls for a GE last year, or the one before.

Moon Return… May 18, 2019

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The Atlantic is rightly sceptical of plans by the Trump administration to return to the Moon by 2024. As it notes, this is – in terms of the science and engineering ‘right around the corner’. And it continues:

To make that goal, NASA would need to launch astronauts inside a crew capsule (that is still being tested) on a giant rocket (that has never flown before) to a floating station around the moon (that doesn’t yet exist) and drop them to the surface in lunar-specific spacesuits (that don’t exist either). In Greek mythology, Artemis and Apollo are twins, but while the Apollo-era missions were fed with a massive budget, this new Artemis mission is off to a smaller start.
The Trump administration’s budget request, with that $1.6 billion tacked on, will go to Congress, which decides how much to give the agency. The money, officials say, will go toward boosting the work NASA is already doing, such as developing the crew capsule and rocket designed to carry astronauts toward the moon. But is it enough?

Apparently not. The injection of an extra $1.6bn is simply too little, even if replicated across four or five years. And there’s no guarantee that sum will be politically achievable since it must be taken from elsewhere in the budget.

I’d love to see humans back on the Moon in the next five years. I’d love to see a Moonlab orbiting around the Moon. But I wonder about this sort of approach.

That Tolkien film May 18, 2019

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I’d wondered what it was like, having caught sight of the poster in the window of the Savoy the other day. Here’s NFB’s take on it. Sounds interesting, though not sure it’s one I’ll see in the cinema.

There’s also a review by NFB of the POKÉMON Detective Pikachu film, which is to judge by the assessment much as expected, both good and bad!

Don’t forget… Raise the Roof Housing March May 18, 2019

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Repair, restore, reuse… May 18, 2019

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I love this stuff, an article that makes the case for how people can repair Apple products when they are seemingly at their end of usable life. I’ve mentioned this before, in relation to a number of devices – I’m still toying with the idea of resurrecting my old iPod Classic as an SSD device, though that I think will have to wait until next year so I can get some funds together for it. But – as I’m sure is true with many of us on here, there’s a real satisfaction in holding onto devices for as long as it is possible to keep them going.

Indeed one thing that struck me recently was, having an iPhone SE because it was cheaper, I like the form factor and I wanted something less-highpowered than more recent models, just how battery life seems to be ignored.

But there is a problem:

According to Nathan Proctor, director of the Campaign for the Right to Repair at the US Public Interest Research Group, this YouTube community is an integral part of a broader political movement that is attempting to wrest consumer agency from an increasingly consolidated electronics marketplace.
Proctor says that while in the past there was a legal balance between protecting manufacturers’ intellectual property and empowering consumers to tinker with, modify, and repair their own products, the rise of software in electronics has shifted power to manufacturers. Not only are the products more complex and harder to fix, the line between self-repair and hacking has become nebulous, meaning that manufacturers have been able to use digital copyright law to gain a legal monopoly over repair. This, in turn, has created a broader cultural anxiety around self-repair, a sense that when our devices malfunction, the problem can only be dealt with by so-called experts at a specific company.

And this strongly resonates with me, the idea that there is…

…a growing coalition of consumer freedom advocates, farmers, hackers, and environmentalists who are pushing for legislation that will allow consumers to fix what they own and empower third-party independent repair shops. In the US, so far 20 states have expressed interest in this type of legislative reform, and Senator Elizabeth Warren in March called for a national right to repair bill, which, while specifically made for farmers wanting to repair their own tractors, would have broad repercussions for all technology manufacturers.

While such legislation would be a victory for consumer rights, more fundamentally, Jones sees the right to repair as an integral step in making people less alienated from the production process. “What we’re giving up when we lose the right to repair is this sense of investigation and wonder and tinkering,” she says. “We’re made to see our devices as if they are these sacrosanct objects but really, they’re just a battery and a screen, something that a stay-at-home mom can learn how to fix in her dining room.”

Having fixed old iPhones and iPods I would say that one key thing to keep in mind is that it is not anywhere near as difficult to do as people think. It is time-consuming and requires concentration and focus, but that’s more or less that. Accept going in that it has to be conducted laboriously, and that it may not go as planned (screens are a pain not to crack, certain cables can be difficult to get to resit in their slots subsequently) but it is for the most part possible. And it is worth the effort.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… An Uncut Compilation CD from May 1999 May 18, 2019

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Found this recently at the bottom of a pile of CD’s. I presume some magazines still give out CDs with them but for a time they were a great way of discovering new music and new artists and indeed confirming that a band wasn’t great at all. Usually there were a few recognisable names on them with bands presumably being pushed by record companies.
This one isn’t too bad, has a number of artists I’d never heard of with the temptation of Primal Scream, Paul Westerberg, Oasis, Tom Waits and Mogwai on it. The Olivia Tremor Control are one group I’ve investigated further.

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Anthony Coughlan tells the story of the Wolfe Tone Societies May 17, 2019

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via The Irish Republican Marxist History Project
In 1963 to celebrate the bi-centenary of Irish republican Wolfe Tone’s birth, the Wolfe Tone Bi-centenary Directories was formed. It was decided at a meeting of the Directories in Dublin, July 1964, to disband the Directories and replace it with the “Muintir Wolfe Tone”, or Wolfe Tone Society.
When the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association was formed January 1967, the committee included Fred Heatley and Jack Bennett from the Wolfe Tone Societies.

Uh-oh… May 17, 2019

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I think CL linked to this in comments. Read it and weep.

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