Wednesday 29 July 2009

Bozeman leading a new trend?

You may recall my post about the government of Bozeman, Montana demanding job applicants hand over their usernames and passwords for all websites they use (including Facebook).

This appears to be a similar case, in which a school has asked students to hand over their Facebook credentials. Apparently a number of students went on their phones and deleted their accounts, but one particular student did provide the school with her login information and they discovered she had been discussing the cheerleading squad's policies.

"The student was allegedly forced to sit out of various school activities and had difficulties arranging her academic schedule to avoid taking classes from any of the individuals who were both coaches and teachers. Her parents claim that attempts to discuss the problem with school administrators brought them no relief."

Once again, providing your login credentials is against Facebook's Terms of Service: "You will not share your password, let anyone else access your account, or do anything else that might jeopardize the security of your account."

There are people who think this sudden need to demand people's credentials is due to a lack of understanding of websites such as Facebook. For example, Bozeman's attorney did not appear to have considered creating an account for Bozeman in order to view people's profiles when this was suggested in an interview.

I personally hope that if the facts are as Ars reported (i.e. the school demanded students' credentials and actually logged in to their accounts to snoop on them) the district is forced to pay out. This erosion of privacy facilitated by websites such as Facebook cannot continue. It may be that this school and Bozeman are exceptions, but if more situations like this arise then the websites will have to do something about it. All the terms of service say is "If you violate the letter or spirit of this Statement, or otherwise create possible legal exposure for us, we can stop providing all or part of Facebook to you. We will generally try to notify you, but have no obligation to do so." This would not help in cases similar to Bozeman, or the Mississippi school.

Wednesday 8 July 2009

iTunes Festival London 2009: Fightstar + Young Guns

iTunes Festival London
Fightstar + Young Guns at the Camden Roundhouse
2nd July 2009

Stepping in at the last minute for In Case Of Fire, whose singer was under doctor’s orders not to perform, Young Guns were ridiculously energetic and frontman Gustav Wood exuded confidence, dashing from one side of the stage to the other, energizing the crowd. Despite not being familiar with their music, it was highly enjoyable and everyone seemed to be having fun. Young Guns’ vibrant live set definitely hails them worthy of their Kerrang! award nomination.

Fightstar played a set filled with fan favourites and singles. Although the band members were definitely on form, the spectators seemed fairly lukewarm and restive, until about halfway through the set when thrashing out the immense Palahniuk’s Laughter and Grand Unification (Part I) seemed to rejuvenate most people. The highly addictive Mercury Summer was well received and it was excellent to see Lost Like Tears In Rain rounding out the set. Vocalist Charlie Simpson and guitarist Alex Westaway returned armed with acoustic guitars for the encore, Amethyst, which was simply beautiful. Following this, the rest of the band returned to perform Deathcar, arguably one of the band’s best tracks and the perfect end to the night.

More pictures here.

I also saw Jack Penate with Golden Silvers but I haven't written a proper review of that. It was pretty fun though!

Friday 26 June 2009

Privacy invasion, much?

I refer you to the following article:

Basically the government of Bozeman, Montana is demanding people provide their usernames and passwords for websites such as Myspace and Facebook in their job applications.

I am amused at the amount of swear words littering the comments on that article. Ars Technica people are usually so much more civilised, just goes to show how pathetic Bozeman's government is!

Someone else has pointed out that this violates Facebook's Terms of Service:

4. Registration and Account Security

Facebook users provide their real names and information, and we need your help to keep it that way. Here are some commitments you make to us relating to registering and maintaining the security of your account:
6. You will not share your password, let anyone else access your account, or do anything else that might jeopardize the security of your account.

It is likely that other sites have similar clauses.

I am wondering if someone has just misinterpreted something here...surely they can't be asking for people's passwords? Why not ask for your house keys and have a look in there! Fair enough if they want to search for prospective employees on the Internet, since anything they do find and access is in the public domain, but this is just a step too far.

People are wondering if it's a trick question - if you do provide your passwords then you're an idiot so you don't get hired. Seems a bit strange to me.

Yet another person is saying that providing your Social Security number (which I assume is the equivalent of Britain's National Insurance number) to a prospective employee is surely even more dangerous than giving out a Twitter password, but I think they've missed the point. The number is to help prove you're eligible to work in the country. Nicking passwords off people is just not in the same league.

The interviewer [from a local news station] was wise enough to point out that there were far less invasive ways of obtaining access to some of this information, such as having Bozeman open its own Facebook account, at which point Sullivan [Bozeman's attorney] apparently said that might be worth looking into.

No, REALLY? Bunch of prats if you ask me.

Monday 22 June 2009

Utterly stupid.

Kate Moss has destroyed the only copies of a new batch of songs by boyfriend Jamie Hince's band The Kills.

An argument between the duo resulted in the model throwing her man's bag into a nearby swimming pool, not realising that it contained a laptop holding the only copies of six new Kills tracks. A devastated Hince apparently dived into the pool to try and salvage the equipment, through his efforts proved fruitless (Daily Mirror).

Either this is some ridiculous publicity stunt, or like a similar tale from Calvin Harris (who blamed Heathrow's Terminal 5 for losing the "only copy" of his new album), an excuse to get more time to write the album OR....Hince is a complete and utter idiot. If something is that important you BACK IT UP. For goodness' sake.

In other news...A-Level History students do not know what the words "despotic" means when used in conjuction with "Hitler". Seriously. WHY are you even bothering taking the exam? Surely they must have come across the word when learning about Hitler? Once mistook it for "weak" and wrote their entire essay based on what they believed the word to mean. Apparently they are going to protest about this. If anything, anyone who took M3 with Edexcel this session should be protesting due to the unfair inclusion of the trapezium rule, a C2 concept which people would have normally have studied a year before taking M3 or even two years, as we did. Especially given that the examiners failed to test candidates' knowledge of Newton's law of gravitation - why not ask a question about that instead of something already covered in AS Level Maths? Going back to the History paper, perhaps this is just a sign of the narrow range of students' vocabulary. Forget trying to introduce compulsory foreign languages at GCSE Level, we need to be educated more about the richness of the English language.

Thursday 11 June 2009


...also known as a time for me to pretend to revise and sit at the PC all day!

Everyone's been talking about Spotify (and if you're thinking "No, I jolly well haven't!" then you a) are just as barmy as me for using the phrase "jolly well" and b) haven't been paying attention to recent announcements about the growth of Spotify's catalogue) and so I figured I may as well try it out.

For the uninitiated, a less busy blogger than I would outline what Spotify is in three chunky paragraphs, but I don't have the time so I'll keep it short: Spotify is a free, legal music streaming service, made available to the public through the use of short adverts every 20 minutes or so.

Now I'm fairly impressed by the range of music on there, and it's a great way to sample an album before buying it. While I may have used for this purpose in the past, there's no denying that Spotify's catalogue is just a hell of a lot more extensive.

So, on to the music:

Jimmy Eat World - Futures: Listening to "Pain" was a right nostalgia trip back to 2004! I haven't heard this song for five years. The rest of the album is fairly good too.

The Bronx - The Bronx: People who are acquainted with The Bronx will be wondering "WHICH ALBUM?!" - I checked out the third one. The thing I find with The Bronx's music is that it's good, but it all blends together. Maybe I need to listen more carefully but I find it hard to distinguish between tracks.

Refused - This Just Might Be The Truth: A stonking great hardcore album. Excellent.

Esser - Braveface: If you like the singles then this record is a must. I know people go around saying this all the time, but I genuinely believe this is one of the better pop records released this year.

Lady Gaga - The Fame: Sadly the same can't be said for this album. Four or five songs in, my brain gave up and I stopped listening. That said, "Poker Face" is one heck of a great pop song.


As for the aforementioned exams...
M3: The worst exam I have ever done. Ever.
LTA4: Hamlet question wasn't very nice, John Clare one was excellent.
LTA6: A really nasty desensitised extract from a former nurse, but otherwise not too bad. (Which translates as: could have been a lot, lot worse.)
CPT4 and CPT5: Er. These papers were really short. Gotta be honest - I seriously lacked motivation since I don't need high marks in these two papers. That said, the fact I don't even have to pass English to get into uni was even more demotivating!!


....finally, go and vote:

My suggestions: Gallows, The Ghost of a Thousand, Gallows, Gallows. Er. Just please don't vote for a band that hasn't done anything this year (ahem, Lostprophets, as much as I love them!)

Currently listening to: Yourcodenameis:milo - They Came From The Sun. Checkitout.

Sunday 17 May 2009

Wimbledon's New Roof

There's poetic justice in the fact it's very gloomy in Wimbledon today, and it certainly looks like it's going to rain!

Here's a game for you guys - spot the difference!




Monday 27 April 2009

Gallows: Grey Britain


Grey Britain Release date: 4th May 2009

Grey Britain opens with the bleak sounds of the River Thames; a rising crescendo of strings unfolds and subsides into powerful guitars. Gallows are back, with a vengeance. London is the Reason is classic Gallows, matching the vibrant energy of debut Orchestra of Wolves with a darker timbre. The end of this song is spectacular, a frenzied mix of frenetic guitars and gang vocals. Leeches and Black Eyes are similar bursts of hardcore.

Next up is an anthem, definitely a stand out track on the album: I Dread the Night. A chaotic riff-laden concoction with pounding drums, this track certainly is “serious as a heart attack”. Carrying on in a similar vein, Death Voices gives way to a haunting piano and strings section. This leads well into Act I of The Vulture, an acoustic track where vocalist Frank Carter makes a temporary departure from his harsh-throated yells, singing tenderly instead. Following this tranquil interlude, Act II, a more intense, rockier version of the song, has a greater impact on the listener.

A wail of sirens signals the start of The Riverbed, one of the heavier songs on the album. This continues with The Great Forgiver, a severe detonation of hardcore. Biffy Clyro frontman Simon Neil makes an effective appearance on Graves, his ethereal vocals augmenting the overall timbre of the track. Chugging guitars on Queensberry Rules culminate in a evocatively grand ending. The forbidding strains of a string section paired with piano set the scene for Misery, offset by more gang vocals and heavy bass. Some excellent guitarwork on Crucif**ks is followed by a phenomenally beautiful orchestral section. This is an appropriately epic ending for one of the best rock albums of the decade; Grey Britain definitely lives up to the hype.

Sunday 26 April 2009

Quick Reviews

/iheartcc - Computer Club - Like Editors, but even duller.
/callingmayday - calling MAYDAY - My ears are yelling "Mayday", this is boring!
/fakeproblems - Fake Problems - Laid back ska-style rock music, not bad at all.
/vaughanking - Vaughan King - The music is beautiful but his voice grates.
/boysinaband - Boys in a Band - As rubbish as their name is, their music is pretty fun to listen to.
/theseasounds - The Sea - I just don't like this. Yuck.
/thisissharks - Sharks - Please, let nobody ever think to put "punk" and "soul" together in this way again.
/666hellmouth - Hellmouth - Just another metal band.
/remedyrocks - Remedy - Run of the mill classic rock, but a lot better than anything else on this list so far!
/copyhaho - Copy Haho - They have a song called "You Are My Coal Mine". That should tell you all you need to know about this lot. Actually I'm not being fair, I ought to say something about the music, so here goes: ordinary indie rock.
/holystate - Holy State - You can certainly hear the post-hardcore influences in this band's sound, pretty good.
/saveyourbreathband - Save Your Breath - Pretty decent pop rock!
/bridesmusic - Bridges - Excellent melodic hardcore.
/chewlips - Chew Lips - Solo is an excellent single.
/caloriesband - Calories - Foals-esque indie rock, quite good.
/defeater - Defeater - Regular hardcore, nothing special.
/titusandronicus - Titus Andronicus - What a horrid noise. My poor speakers.
/thejoyformidable - The Joy Formidable - Their 8 track album can be downloaded for free. Judging by the tracks I checked out, it's probably NOT worth it.
/goldkids - Gold Kids - Pretty decent. Being hyped a lot, not quite sure it's worth it but the music is more enjoyable than the rest of this list.
/shotgunriot - Shotgun Riot - Very good, nice and energetic.

I'm not in a bad mood or anything, I swear I've just heard it all before.

Sunday 12 April 2009


I have not abandoned this journal...merely taken a rest from writing. And so, on to the real subject matter.

A: I am never speaking to you again!
B: Oh good, less earache for me!

Uniqlo have brought out a range of jeans in 16 different colours! Wow! And guess what, you can look like a prat in 15 of them for the low low price of £24.99!