Obviously this would happen

A bitter public feud has erupted among the family of the late French rock star Johnny Hallyday after two of his children challenged his will, which leaves his entire reported €100 million (£89m) estate to his fourth wife.

Hundreds of thousands had gathered to mourn the death of the crooner they called “the French Elvis” at his funeral last month in which President Emmanuel Macron delivered a eulogy that moved many to tears across the country.

But weeks after the huge show of national unity, “Johnny” came back to haunt France after his 34-year old daughter, the actress Laura Smet, announced she was challenging the will because it failed to leave her anything.

Nothing causes family rows quite like inheritance, eh?

To defend Oxfam

And does he really think the world would have been a better place without the work development agencies have done, including the lobbying that has, for example, resulted in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and country-by-country reporting that are designed to hold the world’s multinational corporations to account when no one else has been able to make that demand?

Kiddie fiddling’s not so bad when the people doing it support the idea of mine. Invented by me.

Sigh

The practice is called wigging: stuntmen don wigs and women’s clothing to resemble female actors while filming risky action scenes.

Camera angles, special effects and editing preserve the illusion that it is a pulchritudinous star leaping off a building or driving through a window rather than a man in drag.

Audiences may not know or care but stuntwomen do because it means less work for them.

One is now mounting what is believed to be the first legal challenge to wigging. Deven MacNair, a Los Angeles-based stunt performer, is planning to sue a production company and Hollywood’s acting union over a male colleague performing a stunt in drag instead of giving the job to a stuntwoman.

“The practice is so common,” she told the Guardian on Wednesday. “It’s historical sexism – this is how it’s been done since the beginning of time.”

The answer is to insist that the act of donning a wig makes one a woman. For in this modern age there is no other definition is there, just the claim?

No Telegraph, really, just no

Thousands of government websites have been hijacked by hackers to mine cryptocurrency, in a process known as “cryptojacking”, it has emerged.

The sites, including the Information Commissioner’s Office, the Scottish NHS helpline and the Student Loans company – along with hundreds of other central and local government sites – appear to have been running a power-pinching program that uses visitors’ computers to mine cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum.

No, the websites aren’t hijacked. They’re infected. They’re not using the servers to mine, they’re using visitors’ computers.

Sigh. You’d think the young shavers would get this part of the world right, wouldn’t you?

They’ve gone quite rigid with the shock

Time for an Epipen methinks:

Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit stories have enthralled generations of children with their tales of warm camaraderie and gentle mischief.

But a new film adaptation of the much-loved classic has prompted a furious backlash and calls for it to be withdrawn from cinemas because the protagonist and his furry friends deliberately pelt an allergic man with blackberries.

Allergy UK said the film, due to be released in the UK next month, “mocks” allergy sufferers and trivialises a life threatening condition.

Carla Jones, the charity’s CEO, said: “Anaphylaxis can and does kill. To include a scene in a children’s film that includes a serious allergic reaction and not to do it responsibly is unacceptable, as is bullying.

“Mocking allergic disease shows a complete lack of understanding of the seriousness of food allergy and trivialises the challenges faced by those who live with this condition, particularly parents who live in fear of their child suffering a life threatening reaction.”

No such thing as bad publicity as long as they spell the name right, eh? Wonder how much the film’s producers paid for this?

Chomp, chomp, chomp

Ministers have launched an investigation into claims that foreign aid officials brushed off allegations of child abuse committed by aid workers.

Priti Patel, who ran the department until November, writes in the Telegraph that the Oxfam prostitution scandal is only “the tip of the iceberg” but that her own officials had “dismissed” her concerns when she raised them.

Oxfam, one of the world’s largest charities, is facing mounting criticism over its handling of sex allegations, but has denied it tried to cover up the use of prostitutes by workers who were supposed to be helping victims of a major earthquake in Haiti in 2011.

Oooh, look, the left is eating itself.

Not thatr I actually know this but my guess so far. Save the Children told on Oxfam and the tarts in Haiti. Oxfam then told on StC and Jo Cox’s widower. So StC told on Oxfam and Chad. And someone’s now stirring further.

An interesting assertion

The assault by shadow chancellor John McDonnell came as he pledged total, “permanent” and cost-free renationalisation of water, energy and rail if Labour won power at the next election.

The logic goes like this. Government can borrow more cheaply than the private sector (well, most often, not always).

Buy the companies with the cheap money, the dividend income more than covers the interest costs, free money!

Well, OK. But did it actually work out that way last time around? Actually, no, it didn’t. The nationalised industries were less efficient. Less profit that is, for any given level of charges and or quality of service. We can tell this because both profits and levels of service have risen since privatisation.

At which point the question becomes well, what’s the balance between that lesser efficiency and the cheapness of financing? Past experience of nationalised British companies doesn’t favour the financing side of that equation, does it?

Good question

Interestingly, it comes from one of the commenters, not the Senior Lecturer:

Here I think, we get to the nub of the issue. Assuming we are intent upon taking this forward.

Let us ignore what precise figure we will accept as ‘full employment’. The number is not arbitrary, but by for example, raising the pension age, or the school leaving age it can be shifted substantially at a stroke. Also there will always inevitably be a degree of churn at any given time and that is not only inevitable, but necessary.

In terms of developing policy it is pointless to speak of ‘full employment’ without considering what we are going to accept as ’employment’ and how its ‘fullness’ might be achieved.

An extremely useful definition is to look at it the other way around. As Marx said, if we’ve got full employment, no more than frictional unemployment, then labour compensation should rise in line with productivity.

Thus, if labour compensation is rising in line with productivity we’ve full employment…..we quite obviously haven’t had in recent years, we’re about there now.

About that modern slavery

Nearly 200 migrant workers who were ‘rescued’ by anti-slavery police yesterday were back at work on the farm today.

It comes after at least 100 of the workers descended on Camborne Police Station, Cornwall, last night to protest their boss’ arrest at RH Scrimshaw and Sons at Bosahan Farm.

The huge crowd of workers gathered in anger stating they were not victims of slavery and worked in good conditions — and could earn up to £250 a day.

They were part of a group of around 200 people found when police swooped on the site yesterday morning.

Right

Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed that the three arrested men were aged 68, 49 and 41 – and one was not 61 as earlier released.

Now, about those 100,000 Vietnamese tarts in the nail bars…..

This might be the only prosecution but do we think it’s the only case?

A serial fraudster has been jailed for 21 months after he pretended his wife and son were killed in the Grenfell Tower fire in a “despicable” attempt to pocket £12,500 set aside for victims of the disaster.

Anh Nhu Nguyen was pictured beside Prince Charles and gave TV interviews posing as a survivor of the disaster, in which 71 people died. He did not live there but at an address in south-east London.

Well, boo hoo, eh?

Fruit and vegetable farms across the UK were left short of thousands of migrant workers in 2017, leaving some produce to rot in the fields and farmers suffering big losses.

More than 4,300 vacancies went unfilled, according to new survey data from the National Farmers Union (NFU), which covers about half the horticultural labour market. The survey, seen exclusively by the Guardian, shows more than 99% of the seasonal workers recruited came from eastern Europe, with just 0.6% from the UK.

Since the vote to leave the European Union in 2016, growers have warned repeatedly of damaging labour shortages, with recruiters reporting that Brexit has created the perception among foreign workers that the UK is xenophobic and racist.

The government, which has pledged to reduce immigration, has so far rejected calls to reinstate a seasonal agricultural workers scheme (Saws). Facing uncertainty over labour, some farmers have begun moving their production overseas.

The NFU labour survey found that an average of 12.5% of vacancies went unfilled in 2017, the first time there has been a shortfall since the survey began in 2014. The proportion of workers returning to work in the UK after previous years is also dropping fast, from 41% in 2016 to 29% in 2017. The fall in the value of the pound after the Brexit vote has also helped make the UK less attractive.

It’s the last sentence there which is important.

So farmers will have to raise the wages they offer. So sad, eh?

Where has this woman been this past five decades?

In this moment of brave truth telling and female empowerment, it’s time to address one topic that’s been missing far too long from our conversations around sex: female pleasure.

There is a large and thriving industry – has been for decades – talking about female sexual pleasure.

Shannon Bledsoe is the executive director of global non-profit organization WCG, which is partnering with actress and activist Jessica Biel to launch Trystnetwork.org, a sex positive online resource.

Just another competitor trying to get on the bandwagon then.

Really, not a surprise at all

I’m a little shocked that this hasn’t been happening more:

Engineers at Russia’s top nuclear research facility have reportedly been detained after they attempted to mine bitcoin on its computers.

Several employees at Russia’s nuclear centre in the city of Sarov have been detained after making “an attempt to use the work computing facilities for personal ends, including for so-called mining”, a spokeswoman for the centre, Tatiana Zalesskaya, told Interfax news agency.

Various governments have huge chunks of computing power. I would expect (recall, I spent some time in Russia, I have a view of the use of govt assets driven by experience) more of this to have been happening.

Not much longer and he’ll die

A gangster has gone three weeks without a bowel movement in an alleged attempt to stop police finding drugs he swallowed.

Not from exploding though.

As a recent case explained- assuming he’s still eating that is – it will all end up coming back up the neck. For the poor unfortunate who was supposedly in “care” this meant aspirating it and dying.

Yes, it is actually possible to drown in your own shit.

Idiot business idea

I’m just finishing off my first draft of a trade book (ie, here’s a small flat fee Tim, give us 50,000 words) on business models.

An idea arises.

So, lots of amputees out there.

Drop shipping is becoming more of a thing. Internet sales are becoming more of a thing.

So, combine the two.

You, the customer, go around these drop shipping sites (or you, the business, sign up to every drop shipping site in the country). Order is paid for, drop shipped to business site.

Seamstress adjusts the clothing according to the specific needs of the amputee. Properly done, well sewn. The amputee having sent in pictures of the state of the limb so that proper measurements are known. Instead of trouser legs being pinned up and the like.

Then adjusted clothing is sent on to customer. Margin charged for seamstress. This should be (note, should be) lower than the cost of taking to a seamstress out in meat world, search costs lower and so on. Margin is gained on the original drop ship plus on the adjustments.

Original marketing to start at least would be pretty simple. There are various organisations aiding amputees after all.

If this actually works you can send me some money.

And my real point

This is the great argument against state or similar control of technological experimentation. Not that the state or similar body will be more or less efficient at producing an output. But that it will constrict the paths taken, and thus leave us poorer. Political direction leaves every maniac with a grudge the power to prohibit. While the market, on the other hand, lets the maniacs get on with seeing what works.

Stealing a point made here one again

That Elon Musk has stuck a used car up in the Van Allen belt is seen by those mature in the ways of business as a blindingly good piece of advertising.

The rocket had to be tested and no one’s going to put anything valuable on the first shot of a new lifting platform, so why not add $50,000 of old banger to gain worldwide exposure? Seriously, why not? Other such tests of other rockets have been, in the past, simply festooned with scrap metal – and no one watched a live stream of them.

To the sort of people who produce The Guardian, however, this is an outrage. They seem to see it as an argument that individuals, even rich ones, simply shouldn’t be the people off exploring space. That it is something that should be done by “states, communities and united peoples”, in common: