Tag Archives: bus

stream of consciousness

23 Aug

London

the following is a long rambling post written over two days. 
21.8.13 wednesday
I joined zurker, thinking it is like a blogging platform, but have realised now that it is a social network. I used to think they are the same, but it seem not so.

Its format is that it is owned by its users, who get shares either by being active there or buying them in cash.

But I think investors who joined are not the best communicators and mavens, to attract other people to the site.

face book attracts people to join in as their friends are in there.
And it makes money from advertising.
Zurker says it will not allow advertising… but I think that is not a good business model. Advertising is the only way if u are giving away the product free… good examples are free newspapers like the evening standard. They are able to increase their circulation, and that makes advertising with them attractive to businesses; It is a win win situation for the paper and advertisers and readers.
The downside is that the news is biased towards the advertisers so u wont get any articles critical of them. And the newspaper’s viewpoint will be bland and mainstream to please everyone. don’t expect any investigative journalism. And it is quite possible that any one who don’t advertise with them may not be mentioned at all or if mentioned it will be in a small item hidden in some corner of the paper.

Zurker may be more liberal in what is allowed to be posted. I asked if naked pictures can be posted and was told no problem with it. That was in its early days, not sure if they will allow it now. I hope they will keep it openminded. Maybe now no overtly sexual pictures might be allowed though I don’t see why not. As long as the pictures are of adults, it should be allowed. Though if u allow it, it might attract only porn pictures and it would be difficult to monitor those not to mention it might make the site full of porn.
zurker must be different from face book, in its nudity policy, otherwise why would anyone leave face book? give a lot more freedom to post things that would be taken down by other social networks, as long as it is legal.

What to do with those who live in countries that censor nudity. That would be the problem for it might get zurker banned from there. Even if zurker censors naked pictures from users in those countries , and risk being criticised for it, they can receive these images from overseas users so I don’t know if they will get into trouble for viewing them. Legality is a minefield that is why I think all those international social networking sites ban nudity outright. That way they don’t have to contend with any legal issues.

I think that may be why face book will not allow naked pictures… not even of nursing mothers exposing breasts. So maybe when zurker goes public in about 10days time, and people get to know that it will have a more openminded attitude to nudity maybe people will be attracted to it. At least that is what zurker hopes as it can only grow by cannibalising face book users.

If it markets itself as a social network site that allows naked pictures…. I wonder if that is enough of a attraction or will it just attract voyeurs and exhibitionists. Though there is nothing wrong with voyeurs or exhibtionists, in my opinion. But a social network site full of these people will make it very unbalanced.

Tumblr , bought by yahoo has many blogs with lots of naked pictures with hard-ons and sex; at least the gay ones that I see. but that website is a blogging platform, and not considered a social network.
The zurker organiser had pointed out  that they are two different platforms and they cannot be compared like for like. I don’t see why… but then I am ignorant of the differences between a blogging platform and a social network.

Another member of zurker wrote in the comments there that wordpress can be used as a social network ‘with a few pluginsd.’
I am afraid to ask him what he meant for fear that I don’t understand his reply haha.

yahoo in the past had killed the yahoo groups by removing naked pictures from them… even those groups that cater to naturist. It effectively killed yahoo groups. Perhaps the new management of yahoo will learn from that mistake and not repeat it with tumblr.

What it has shown me , after being a member of zurker , is that I don’t like social networking… I should have suspected this when I discovered that I don’t like using face book , but it takes zurker to make me realise it is not my thing. I prefer blogging because u can control the amount of interaction.

So far no one had spammed my blog , perhaps wordpress has blocked them; but it is easy to block any gets through wordpress.

Whilst with social network it seems difficult to block other people, judging from all those stories of people being bullied and committing suicide.

Why don’t those bullied people just block the bullies from posting or sending them messages? Maybe because their very existence depands on other people being able to message each other easily without people blocking them.

I can remember a time in the past when emails first started, there was no effective way to block spam, until spam became such a problem, that they added very strong spam blockers. My gmail hardly get any spammers.

Now it is very easy to block spam in your email. Outlook express (or they call it live mail now…they keep changing its name) allows me to delete and block emails without opening them and reading them.

Sometimes I would go into hotmail and type in the @ and block whole domains. Haha. I am ruthless that way.

I have sometimes been tempted to block @yahoo.com because I don’t have anyone who uses it, and I get quite a lot of spam from them.
How have the mighty fallen. I can remember a time when yahoo was king of the roost.

All in all, I think life is better with the internet and broadband being available and now can be had everywhere in central London for free. Today I read in the Westminster newletter that Westminster council is giving free wifi broadband in that central London area from oxford st to parliament square.

Its too bad I live just outside that area, near the tate Britain. Though I think they might block sex websites, or maybe not. One thing though , your battery power better be long lasting as there wont be any sockets to plug in. unless you live in that area.
I will be looking forward to the day they extend it to the tate Britain, then I can get rid of my landline. I only keep it for the free broadband included in the call package.

You can get free online in all the libraries in Westminster. They even provide sockets to plug in your devices in case your battery runs out. And this is free to anyone, residents or not. One big caveat I have with them is that they block gaydar and other sex websites if u use the library computers to get online but if u use your own it is ok.

With all that news of the govt using the terrorist act to intrude into our private lives, stopping and detaining people at the airport like that guy from brazil who is the partner of a journalist who was involved in the leaked snowden I daresay whatever we do on the internet is monitored.

I always thought this uk govt is liberal , but it seems the fear of terrorism is making them intrude into our lives.

Perhaps we should let the govt know that our liberty is more important and if the fear of terrorism make us lose our liberty , that is too high a price to pay.
So as a side effect; maybe we should accept that we might get bombed now and then and people will be killed. After all if the govt has gone killing others in foreign wars, ( no matter what the reason it is a fact that usa and uk had been killing and disrupting regimes in Afghanistan, Iraq. In the past these aggressive acts have been confined to countries overseas, but this time they did not reckon on the fact that those guys can fight back by bringing the war back to the united states and uk).
That is the big game changer in our times. That countries like usa and uk no longer can conduct foreign wars with impunity but expect to be attacked in their home countries too.

In the past, uk and usa can bring war to other countries causing a lot of hardships to the people living there; and the inhabitants in uk and usa are relatively unaffected and are free to live on without any personal consequences. Not any more.

I expect we should not complain if they get their revenge by bombing us in uk and usa. And I suppose we should tell the govt that rather than lose our liberty and have our freedom curtailed by very intrusive anti terrorists laws, I for one will accept being killed in a bomb here. That is a price we all pay for the govt being so aggressive and making war with other countries.

I think a further development will be foreign countries hacking into uk and usa computer systems and causing havoc. With computers being used for everything nowadays, it is inevitable that they will be prime targets for terrorism.

I read that the emerging countries like Malaysia, Thailand , may start getting weaker currencies. Indian rupees already feels the pinch. When I visited it long ago, in the 90s, it was 60rupees =£1. Now it is 100 rupees =£1.
It is a good time to visit India, as the tourism money can stretch further.
It seems it is because the usa is so powerful, if it sneezes, these countries catch a cold. All the usa is planning to do is to curtail quantitative easing (what this means it seems is that interest rates in usa rises and so govt bonds become more attractive to buyers so that they shift their investment from those emerging countries and take their money out). Even the threat of it is enough to bring the other currencies crashing.

Malaysia , Thailand currency has also got weaker. It is now above the 5ringgit =£1 level. Still not as good as the 6-7ringgits =£1 when I was there last time, so long ago.

22.8.13 thursday

Just got a call from a friend who wanted to visit me in London on sunday. I said sure he can. And he said the national express bus cost £9 one way.
The megabus train fare is £15 one way…such a big jump from my £1 fare. I booked it 6weeks in advance, and there are still £1 fares for oct. If he chose to go by train on sept, the megabus train fare can be had for £8 one way.
I had a look at the national express website and found that if he wait from 3rd sept onwards, the busfare could be had for £5 one way. Why he cannot wait is a mystery to me. But I have noticed it is quite common amongst people here in uk to be so impatient. They want it and they want it NOW!

To me a saving of £8 for the return tickets would be worth it esp as there is no hurry or urgency what date I travel. I mean he is coming from Bournemouth to London, where the weather is not really important to enjoying London; unlike if he were heading from London to Bournemouth where good weather in a seaside town is rather crucial to whether u have a good time or not. As it is he is fighting with all the bank holiday crowd and the inevitable price rise around that period.

Ah well, perhaps that is why he is poor. Haha.

Don’t you think from this example, ‘that if u are poor, you have made yourself poor‘; is very true. I believe it is a true saying. I tend to say ‘his soul wants it’.

London’s congestion charge

16 Feb

London
15.2.13 Friday

The London congestion charge is 10yrs old.

It does seem amazing how time has passed. 10yrs since it first began.

I think it is successful, because of the money that London gets from all those people coming in who want to use their car. Anyone who does that is rich. I don’t care what they say, if u drive into London during the congestion hours, you are rich.

By definition.

If it is part of your work, then your company should pay for it. Or your work is so well paid that the charge makes up a very small percentage of it.

So it is a great scheme. I think every city should copy it. It brings in about £940million for 2011 for London transport.
http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/moodys-report-tfl-jan-2012.pdf
Revenue from fares about £2,900million (£2.9billion)for 2011.

I keep hearing of London air being polluted. I don’t see it,or feel it; the sky is blue, and the air smells nice, and I don’t get my nose clogged up. So where are all the pollutants coming from? It seems nitrogen particles. Definitely coming from vehicles? If so, I say lets charge them an arm and a leg for any vehicle which is emitting such things. That should clear them from our streets. And provide another source of revenue.

I noticed the bus system has really improved. The frequency has increased for both weekdays and weekends and routes have been extended.

Once u reach the maximum for the day, £4.20 and that is only having used 3bus trips , you can take any bus trip for free after that.

Granted one single fare is £1.40 now. So just taking two trips( for a return), is £2.80. Most of London can be reached on this cost as a single fare is for the whole route.

Of course, i am biased. haha.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/congestion-charge-has-cost-drivers-26bn-in-decade-but-failed-to-cut-traffic-jams-8496627.html

more inane ramblings

31 Jan

London

The tube closes at about 12.40am now… and that is rather early for a big city that purports to be trendy and vibrant.

Clubbers will have to go back by bus, or taxi, which does not sound great if u are a tourist to London.

I think if I were to be clubbing I too would be rather miffed at not being able to take the tube. It is quicker to get back on the tube than on the bus which stops so often.

When I was younger, I drove into London for a night gay clubbing, and I could do that because traffic was so much less than now. Now I think of it those were really great days, where it was a pleasure to drive into London, easy to park, free too, and I can just hop into the car after the club and drive back . I don’t drink so I could drive back.

But now … if those who drive are telling the truth, it is murder to drive into London for a night out.

So if they succeed in getting a deal with the unions about closing the tube 1 hr later it would be lovely.

It wont affect me of course as I live in the centre of London but also I don’t go late clubbing anymore.

It is one of the paradoxes of life, where when I was younger, I live in the suburbs of London and have to drive in to go clubbing, and don’t mind doing it.
Whereas now I am older, and not interested in clubbing, and just when I live right in the centre and can walk to all the gay clubs, I could not be bothered.

The times have moved on also. Before, gay life centred round gay clubs and pubs before the internet made it so easy to meet guys now.

 

But bear in mind that I am a minority in not liking clubbing.

I think when you are young, clubbing is an important way of interacting with others and with friends. And you will build up friends in the clubs if u club often enough. The buzz of being in a big club, dancing among so many, with lots of others all enjoying themselves is tremendous and being young u have the energy to stay up late.

And if u like to drink,or take drugs it is more fun doing it with others.

And you now have the drug taking to enhance the experience. I mean not only alcohol , but the others like ecstasy, meth crystal etc. I am no expert in those other drugs, or even alcohol, haha. Just getting what I know from reading blogs about it and talking to friends who have taken these things.

Sarah who commented on my blog says she finds it funny that I jump from topic to topic without any rhyme or reason. I am glad she is not put off by it.

This blog is a random and meandering blog of my thoughts and doings. Hope it provides inadvertent amusement, even if it shows me in a poor light, and people find it amusing to see me blundering around re inventing the wheel, as when I find something that everyone knows for ages, and which I have just discovered and getting so excited about it. Haha.

I am sure readers will be indulgent and just be amused at it, and realise that we all get excited when we find something, whether it is shoes, or beanies, or ideas or insights, and want to tell everyone to find they all know it already. Haha.

For eg, a friend recently told me that volunteering is not all it seems. He tells me that many organisations are using it as an excuse to lay off their paid workers, and replacing them with unpaid volunteers.

And these organisations don’t pay their workers all that much either and because they are short staffed, they impose on their workers. Asking them to come in on their days off because there is no one to do it. And not pay overtime either.
I have a friend who told me he had this friend who works for an old folks home, and is constantly phoned on his day off to work because they are short staffed. And he don’t get paid overtime either.

Maybe everyone knows this. Haha. But it is only now that I became aware of it.

Things are never black or white , are they? Here u are thinking u are doing good by volunteering and u find that u may have put someone out of a job, granted it is a low paid job and maybe u might be doing a favour to that person in that they might be forced to go find another job which pays better, but that is unlikely to be the case for most of these laid off workers.

It is a paradox of life that people want to work in jobs that don’t pay them enough to live on. U would think if the job does not pay enough for you to live on, you will refuse to work there and get a job that pays u enough. But that is not the case. Instead u work in 2 or 3 low paying jobs.

I see all the supermarkets are reducing their check out staff and adding more self help machines, so that source of jobs is going to go. I think it a real cushy job being a check out person. U don’t even need to think, just swipe the goods and the machine will even tell u want change to give back. Haha. But that kind of job is going to go.

People in new york have 2 or 3 jobs. At least that was what I found out when I used to go there regularly(in the late 90s) for Christmas shopping long ago. I met a guy there who told me that was what he does to make ends meet, because each job pays so little. Now I know u must not generalise from just one encounter but I figured that these people with 2-3jobs cannot be so rare that I can meet one of them in my visit to new york. Right? So it must be common to have 2-3 jobs.

If that is the case so long ago, I think it must be more so nowadays in new york. Is it so in London do u think? I have not met anyone who works in 2 or 3 jobs in london. And this is living here for more than 20yrs. So maybe it is not so dire in uk , because there is the safety net of social benefits unlike in usa. Or maybe more likely, I have not heard from these people because people here don’t talk about it.