DevSwift Bad Review – DevSwift.com

I’m so enraged by a developer I have worked with recently to create stripaudio.com
I was contacted by http://devswift.com/ to create the script on the back-end for Youtube conversions to audio format.

During the process of creating the script I did find it sometimes difficult to work with them because I seemed to know more about PHP than they did and sometimes had to help out with debugging, but I put this down to experience rather than a major issue with their capabilities.

Anyway, the script was delivered, payment was sent and all was good…. until I received messages via our facebook fan page (http://www.facebook.com/StripAudio) stating that the developer (DevSwift) had sold them a copy of the script for my site!

DevSwift then sold my script to the buyer for $1,900.

Upon find this out I emailed DevSwift the following:

Email 1:

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Andrew Storey Date: Mon, May 7, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Subject: Urgent – StripAudio script
To: Dev Swift

Hi
It has been brought to my attention today that you are selling the script that you developed for me for stripaudio.com – I believe you sold it to one person for $2000!
I require a response within 24 hours on this, failure to do so will result in me taking this up through the relevant legal channels for perusal.
Andrew

DevSwift then came online through Windows Live Messenger:

Conversation 1:

07/05/2012 22:36:43 DevSwift: Hello
07/05/2012 22:36:49 DevSwift: Just received your email. What is this all about?
07/05/2012 22:36:56 DevSwift: We have not touched the code since we’ve last worked with you.
07/05/2012 22:38:19 Me: http://www.xxxxxxxxxxx.com/convert/
07/05/2012 22:38:59 Me: Its not the latest version of the service as I have modified it myself therefore I know it hasnt been obtained elsewhere.
07/05/2012 22:39:29 DevSwift: I have NOT sold the code to anyone. I have no idea what’s going on here, who said I was selling this?
07/05/2012 22:39:53 Me: I won’t be giving that information out at this point.
07/05/2012 22:41:11 DevSwift: I’m not sure how this code got leaked, but I assure you I am not responsible nor have I been selling/redistributing anything.
07/05/2012 22:41:30 Me: I suggest you have a word with who ever you work with because its out in the open somehow and as far as I know scripts (original versions) dont just turn up.
07/05/2012 22:42:13 DevSwift: Unfortunately I do share my hosting information with quite a few staff members. However this is not how we operate.
07/05/2012 22:42:45 Me: Well I’m waiting on further details from my contact but this isnt looking good.
07/05/2012 22:47:22 DevSwift: By the looks of it, they are not running the script on their main page. Again, not sure how they got a copy but at least they aren’t using it commercially…
07/05/2012 22:48:33 Me: The point of me is that the code is out in the open. I don’t care how its being used. It is my property and in effect anyone that has a copy is in possession of stolen goods.
07/05/2012 22:48:41 Me: for me*
07/05/2012 23:02:41 DevSwift: I would like to know your contact – would help with tracking what happened here on my end
07/05/2012 23:03:22 Me: My contact isn’t really involved. I’m waiting on him confirming the details of the person who sold it to him.
07/05/2012 23:03:41 DevSwift: Please keep me informed.
07/05/2012 23:03:53 Me: I will.

Since this conversation, I received emails from the “informant” showing DevSwift’s complicity in this therefore I emailed with the following:

Email 2:

From: Andrew Storey Date: Tue, May 8, 2012 at 6:06 PM
Subject: Re: Urgent – StripAudio script
To: Dev Swift

I now have everything I need.
See you in court, the papers will be filed by my legal team within the next few days. This is going to cost me a bomb but for me its the principle. Say goodbye to any positive online reputation too.
The best thing you can do right now is to admit liability, recover any files and refund anyone that has bought stolen goods from yourself!
You’ve got 24 hours before this is taken further…

He then came on Windows Live Messenger again:

Conversation 2:

08/05/2012 18:10:09 DevSwift: Hello
08/05/2012 18:58:57 Me: hi
08/05/2012 19:01:29 DevSwift: I don’t understand what you mean by recovering the leaked files… they are not running them publically, how am I supposed to “recover” anything?
08/05/2012 19:01:42 Me: thats your problem.
08/05/2012 19:02:54 DevSwift: Obviously you know more than me…
08/05/2012 19:03:27 Me: Clearly.
08/05/2012 19:09:10 DevSwift: I would really like to get this worked out.
08/05/2012 19:13:31 Me: Well I think the first step is to actually come clean and admit what you’ve done. At least I’d respect you a bit more for doing that.
08/05/2012 19:23:30 Me: Theres really no point in denying it, I have the emails showing specifically whats gone on.
08/05/2012 19:24:42 DevSwift: I don’t want to admit to a fault on our side until I’ve done a full investigation of the situation. What can we make this do to go away? I’d offer you services, but you probably don’t want them.
08/05/2012 19:25:44 Me: What investigation do you need to carry out… you know what you’ve done. Come clean, theres no point in dragging this out longer than we have to. I have instructed the person you sold it to to delete the files and file what ever action they require to get their funds back.
08/05/2012 19:26:03 Me: So I guess the first thing you can do is refund the guy you sent my script to.
08/05/2012 19:27:21 Me: Although I believe you’ve sold it to two people.
08/05/2012 19:27:56 DevSwift: That is an absolute lie.
08/05/2012 19:28:05 Me: Which bit?
08/05/2012 19:29:22 DevSwift: I acknowledge possibility of the script was leaked to 99youtubemp3, and if that’s the case more people have it, than it was further leaked by them.
08/05/2012 19:29:53 Me: I have an email from the 29th March telling someone the min requirements for the script… it was NOT leaked.
08/05/2012 19:35:33 Me: Oh and I have conversations. The evidence is stacked against you. If you want to keep your reputation I suggest you start talking and speaking the truth.
08/05/2012 19:38:37 Me: ive got to go, going to a meeting. i will not be forgetting about this and I expect some sort of email from you in the next few hours max

I then received no further contact from DevSwift after sending these emails:

From: Andrew Storey Date: Sat, May 12, 2012 at 12:31 PM
Subject: Re: Urgent – StripAudio script
To: Dev Swift

Alright then since you’re ignoring me I’ll commence with the public reviews and statements about your services and what you have done, complete with emails and chat logs.
You can kiss goodbye to your reputation and by not replying you’ve made it so much worse for yourself. Bad move.

On Thu, May 10, 2012 at 4:23 PM, Andrew Storey wrote:

Are you just going to ignore me now? That wouldn’t be a wise choice!

On Wed, May 9, 2012 at 9:20 AM, Andrew Storey wrote:

So what’s your decision?

This is the email the interested buyer receievd from DevSwift upon enquiring on the min server requirements for the script. Their reply to this indicates that they were complicate with the distribution of my copyrighted material that I alone had full and exclusive rights to!

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: DevSwift
Date: Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 4:47 AM
Subject: Youtube to MP3 requirements
To: xxxxx xxxxxxxx

Hello,

Main server requirements:
– PHP and MySQL
– Remote MySQL access enabled so slaves can update remotely

Slave server requirements:
– SSH access with access to PHP and Linux Screen
– Linux Screen
– FFmpeg
– FLVTool2
– Memcoder
– Multiple IPs (optional, but recommended)

Regards

I have suggested that the guy who purchased the script from DevSwift to raise a dispute through PayPal or submit a charge back through his bank.
I’m also lead to believe that DevSwift have also sold my script on to other people who will also be using it illegally.

If you are a developer looking for someone to create a script or a unique service DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT use DevSwift services. They’re only interested in making money out of your good ideas and there is no such thing as retaining rights to the scripts they produce.


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10 Most Inspirational Home Offices

If you work from home or an extremely enormous nerd that loves having screens left, right and centre you’re gonna love this! I have gone round researching and trying to find some home offices that’ll make you go woaw, I want. Some of these home offices are pretty pricey, ranging from £2,000 upwards.

From what I see this would definately make you want to change your desk at home, maybe even buy a new computer! Who knows maybe you’ll see my home office online sometime… if your lucky!

Continue reading

New Government proposal for Dog insurance

In new proposals made by the UK government it would be illegal to own a dog without insurance on the animal. This is part of a way to tackle the growing fear of dangerous dog breeds.
Apparently this is a way the police can order a dog owner to muzzle or neuter any dog.

Over the past few years the media has been littered with stories about dogs attacking children and the elderly, some with intent, this is how ministers plan to address the issue.

I personally think this is a great idea, most people would be inclined to say this new law should only apply to dogs with tendencies for aggressive or violent behaviour, I don’t this is necessarily true.
Any dog regardless of size is capable of inflicting injuries, and as mentioned above.

This method may also go to some length in tackling the amount of stray dogs we have roaming the streets in various parts of the UK, however I do agree that it could make the problem worse, as already tight household budgets would need to be stretched even more. Some households may have to abandon their dog out of desperation.

Environment Secretary Hilary Benn said: “There is a lot of public concern about dog attacks, including the recent tragic deaths of young children, and about the rise in the number of so-called status dogs used to intimidate or threaten people.
“This is a serious issue of public safety. The government wants to hear what people think about the law as it stands and what more we might do to protect people from dangerous dogs.”

I think in the UK we have a right to wander the street without fear when ever a large dog (stereotype of course) walks by. This will give dog owners more incentive to ensure their dog is under control at all times.


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Is internet access a fundamental right?

Almost four in five people around the world believe that access to the internet is a fundamental right, a poll for the BBC World Service suggests.

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8548190.stm

As the above quote indicates, the majority of people throughout the world now consider internet access a fundamental right. It’s interesting that at one point access to water and food was considered a fundamental right, it now appears that internet access is on par with these two necessities in life.

I do believe that internet access should be accessible to all, be it at home or public library but I do not think it is a right. I think the internet has a lot to offer, not just for finding missing links in your ancestry, but also for education.
I remember when I was around 10/11 I had something named Encarta, this was an encyclopedia produced by Microsoft that you could install on your home computer. It was all the rage at the time, schools also had it to increase the learning resources of children.
Now however the internet has opened up (at least in Western Countries) the ability to access this information. There are now internet schools where children can learn without being in a school themselves physically. I do wonder however, that as the internet expands to accommodate our easy access to information, it has a knock-on effect in other areas such as social mobility. Children tend to spend most of their time indoors these days as they have everything that they could possibly need to entertain themselves within the 4 walls of their bedrooms. Children were once encouraged to “play out” with their friends, however in recent years parents have become increasing concerned about letting their children run free.

I believe that the internet is a luxury that should be obtained after food and drink. Currently their is a scheme for third-world countries to provide each child with a laptop capable of accessing the internet. I think that priorities should be kept in check, surely these children would benefit from a more stable infrastructure within their local communities rather than a laptop!?
It seems the Western World is trying to push the internet onto these developing countries before other aspects are taken care of, this I do not agree with.

We are in an information age, countries are no longer linked by letters/postcards. We’re part of a vast communication era, an era that is only going to get larger as the years go by. I can only hope that access to the internet comes after a persons ability to access real necessities in life i.e. food, water and oxygen ><
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I can’t walk, but I can drive…

For my dinner break I am allowed 1 hour, today I chose to go home for my lunch. When I’d finished my lunch at home I decided I’d nip to the petrol station to get some petrol (yes I’m stating the obvious).

The first petrol station I went to had no petrol until 3pm! What kind of petrol station is that?!
Anyways, not to worry as there is a petrol station opposite. So off I go to this other place. I pulled up into the queue and sat waiting for a few minutes, all the while mindful that I had to be back at work at 1pm, it was now 12:49. I sat, and I sat and then I saw a woman attempting to put petrol into her car. Nothing unusual there you think? Except this woman was on crutches and was having trouble standing to fuel up her car!
Eventually one of the staff had to go out to help her fill up because all the while the queue was getting longer.

I sat there as she drove off thinking, how can this woman be allowed to drive in the state that she is in? I find it hard to believe that due to her frailness she’d be capable of maneuvering her limbs in the car at such a speed should she be in a position whereby she needs to act quickly.
Things like this really do annoy me. Although I do not know this lady personally, she is potentially putting everyone else on the road at risk due to her ill health. I’m all for the immobile being mobilised, but surely she should have had a relative or friend drive her from point a to b if she really needed to travel.

Anyways, rant over! lol

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Simple PHP Page Protector

A couple of years ago I posted a way to protect a PHP page from access on the internet in an easy way.
I've spent around 15 minutes producing what I feel is a better version of the same script at the original post.
In order for it to work, you'll need a MD5 string, which you can get using the below box, just enter you password and then replace 6121904d3138741fb744fba85c276606 in the code, its quite self-explanatory.

<?php
session_start();
$_userpassword = "6121904d3138741fb744fba85c276606";
$_username = "pass";
/*DO NOT EDIT*/
if      ($_POST['pageprotector'])
        {
        if      (md5($_POST['pageprotectorpass']) == $_userpassword && $_POST['pageprotectoruser'] == $_username)
                {
                $_SESSION['bG9nZ2VkaW4p=']=$_userpassword; $_SESSION['bG9nZ2VkaW4u=']=$_username; header('Location:'.$_SERVER['PHP_SELF']);
                }
        else
                header('Location:'.$_SERVER['PHP_SELF'].'?wrongpass=1');
        }
if      ($_GET['pageprotectlogout'] == "1")
        {
        unset($_SESSION['bG9nZ2VkaW4p=']);unset($_SESSION['bG9nZ2VkaW4u=']);header('Location:'.$_SERVER['PHP_SELF']);
        }
if      ($_SESSION['bG9nZ2VkaW4p='] != $_userpassword && $_SESSION['bG9nZ2VkaW4u='] != $_username)
        {
        if      ($_GET['wrongpass'] == "1") echo "Wrong password";?>
<form action="<?php echo $_SERVER['PHP_SELF']; ?>" method="post">
Username: <input name="pageprotectoruser" type="text" /> Password: <input name="pageprotectorpass" type="text" /><input name="pageprotector" type="submit" value="Login">
</form><?php
        exit;
        }
/*DO NOT EDIT ABOVE*/
?>
 


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Managing a web development project – A Brief Overview

Last year I did a guest post on a web development/tech blog, pureelite.co.uk. Their blog and my post has been taken down as they’re focusing their efforts in a new direction so I thought I’d post my original post here as it has a lot of interesting information in it.

Managing a web development project

If (like me) you’re “into” web development, it is essential you understand the processes involved in managing a web development project successfully. Many new ideas and projects fail to get off the ground simply because they’re poorly managed. There could literally be thousands of unique and potentially industry changing concepts out there in the minds of genius’s, but if the idea is poorly executed or bad decisions are made from the outset, the only place you’re going is down, deep down.

I’m going to break down each individual process and milestone into bite sized pieces so that they’re easy to understand. From time-to-time I’ll drop in some examples of where I have achieved each goal and indeed the problems I faced when doing them.

In the beginning…

Through the years of running various web development projects I have been on both sides of the fence, both as a coder and a project manager. The most important aspect of any project or venture is identifying the goals. Many people sometimes incorrectly assume that “goal setting” is only for the positives of the project; however this is not entirely true. It is important to set goals for things your project will NOT do. This allows you keep on the straight and narrow throughout your project, as it can be tempting to get side-tracked.
When you have you idea for a venture be careful not to assume everyone will like it. Just because you’d find a particular service useful does not mean everyone in the world will share the same views. It is important that you get feedback about the basis of your project. Try not to get the feedback from close friends because they’re most likely to say what you want to hear. In essence, if you have an idea, just make sure you’re not trying to re-invent the wheel, there’s just no point.
As I mentioned earlier, one of the best ways to outline your project is to go back to basics and write a list. Divide your list into two sections, a section of “To do” goals, and “Do not do” goals.
For example, I ran http://www.fetchmp3.com and at the beginning of the project I did this process, one of the “do not do” goals was to avoid making revenue streams (such as adverts) cloud the vision of the user because in the past I have owned websites which become obsessed with making money to the detriment of the general users – the very foundation of any website’s success. Small things like that have allowed me to keep focused on the thoughts I had right at the beginning of the project, as it is easy to get caught up in the excitement and chuck advertisements in every location on the website.

Additionally it is important to identify your target audience, there’s little point in marketing a new brand of sugary sweets to health conscious adults. Knowing your audience and how you can manipulate them into using your service is one of the keys to the success of any project. Additionally you may want to think about how will they use the service? What advantages/disadvantages does my service have over a competitor (if there are any)?

All these kinds of questions will serve you well in your project moving forward. Just imagine yourself going to your website in a few months time, what would you expect? Would you re-visit the site? Is the service offered more a hindrance than a convenience? If you think of the answers to these kinds of questions BEFORE you start your project, you’re already one step ahead of the views of your audience who will ultimately be visiting the website in the future.

Starting your project

Once you have your project idea in mind and you’ve planned it as I mentioned beforehand, I find the best next thing to do is think of a name for the website you’re creating to give it an identity. There are many great tools out on the internet to help you think of that great name, one of my favourites is http://domai.nr – this amazing website shows you TLDs that are available for any given phrase, there are some really quirky names out there ready for you to register. Another great resource is http://www.domainsbot.com this is a domain name suggestion service. Just input a couple of key phrases for your website, and this amazing service will return relevant, targeted domain name suggestions for a variety of extensions.

Next you need to find someone to do the work involved in bringing your project to life, in code form. Unless you can do this yourself you are going to need someone reliable, professional, affordable and knowledgeable in all aspects of the required skills to realize your ideas. I have worked with MANY great programmers who have really added masses of value to my own creations, it is important to build up a trusting relationship between yourself and the programmer, they need to know your ideas inside out, presenting them with a detailed plan of your project and the features it will include will vastly increase both efficiency and enhance the service provided as they’ll know exactly what you’re after. Never produce a lax project plan to a programmer, because you’ll get a lot of what you don’t like in the end product. In addition to this, don’t be afraid to tell your programmer what to do. So long as you’re not rude or offensive there is no reason why your programmer won’t cooperate. It is important they know who is boss, and 9/10 most won’t any problems with this as they’ll want your project to succeed to the best of its ability, and ultimately, you, as the customer is ALWAYS right. One of the best ways to get contact details for a programmer is on forums like http://forums.digitalpoint.com and http://www.namepros.com – although both communities get a lot of flack, you’d be hard pushed to find a programmer without the aforementioned skills on either of those sites.

Keeping up the pace

It is important that you do not let your project drag. Always have a weekly plan and stick to it. Some projects I have worked on have dragged, and this ultimately creates resentment for the project as a whole. If you keep on top of the work in progress you can recognize any potential issues and resolve them in a timely manner, rather than deep seated problems appearing due to poor project awareness and a lack of good solid deadlines.
Although this may seem obvious, a lot of people tend to let planning and organization take a back seat once their project has started, I can’t stress enough the importance of those two vital aspects of any project. Unless you think cities are built automatically as soon as the planning stage has been done, this is one skill which will serve you well in the future if you can master.

Changing the goal posts

When a project is in development it is important to understand that adding new features may have a knock on affect to your project as a whole. Generally additional features/goals in a project will directly affect the cost and timescale of any given project. Both of these aspects should be investigated as in some cases, it is better to fulfill the original plan and then invest in any additions at a later stage. For this reason I request that all my websites are coded in a modular fashion. With http://www.fetchmp3.com ANY additional feature I asked to be created literally plugs into the website and starts working. There is no need for my programmer to skim through the 14,000 lines of code to manually add any given feature. It quite simply works, with minimal integration code required. Of course this is not suitable for all projects which is why I ask you consider this in depth. The last thing you want is your costs escalating for that killer feature.

Post Developmental/Pre-Launch Stage

It is a great feeling when your programmer advises you that everything is done, and that project which was once a figure of your imagination is now visible for all to see. Of course this is not entirely the end of the development stage. It is important that tests are done on the website, to check for broken links, bugs, error messages, bad spelling and grammar so on and so forth. All these small checks will make a difference to the end product. There is nothing more annoying than visiting a website only to find the features don’t work as intended due to a lack of testing at the development stage. If necessary employ someone for a brief period to give your site the once over, or better still ask on various web development forums for them to review your website and its features. 9/10 you’ll find people will report bugs and issues with the website which will allow you too greatly enhance the performance and accessibility of your website as a whole.

Launching your project

So this is the time you’ve been waiting for, the time to show the world your creation. Launching a website can be a nerve wracking event because essentially everything you’ve done previously has been in preparation for this event.
Once launched it is important to listen to feedback. It may be wise to have a contact us page on your website to allow users to contact you directly, to relay concerns of issues with the service you’re offering, but its not all doom and gloom, it is also a place for people to praise your site and offer ways to make your website better.
You should always listen to this kind of feedback, it is rarely biased and always valuable as your visitors are essentially what keeps your site online. Without them your site would be pointless.

Marketing and Promotion

Remember, unless you advertise your website no one will know its there. It always amazes me how many “web developers” just expect traffic to flood into their server as soon as they open the gates. Marketing and promotion takes time and usually a bit of money. It is important to be patient in this vital stage. I recommend a good search engine optimizer to enhance your search engine rankings. The better ranked you are in Google for a given search term, the more visitors that will be driven organically to your website. Organic traffic is always best – these are users which visit a website of their own free will, not through paid to visit/click programmes which only send you uninterested, fake traffic, and really? Who wants that?
Don’t be under any illusions, marketing and advertising is usually a long process. In addition it can take months to be indexed by Google and other search engines for specific key terms. Regardless of this, stick with it. I have been unlucky in the past and I have sold websites because I didn’t think they had a hope in hell of being successful, only to find a couple of months later it was earning $13,000 per month.

So yeah, that’s my roundup of how to manage a project. It’s fairly brief (yes! This is brief) but I feel I’ve given some useful tips on starting a new project and moving it from an idea into a workable, successful project.
If you have Twitter you can follow me http://www.twitter.com/papa_face I’ll be happy follow you back if you look interesting 😉

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Words of wisdom – Everybody’s Free

Every few weeks I remember a great 90’s song named “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” by Baz Luhrmann. I’m sure you’ve heard of it, but I thought I’d post it anyway to remind you.
It puts things into perspective for me, it makes me realise that there’s no point in worrying endlessly about a particular issue, you can either do something about it or move on to something else.

The original words for this song were written by Mary Schmich, a columnist for the Chicago Tribune.

YouTube Preview Image

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of 99…

Wear Sunscreen

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience, I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh never mind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you cant grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.You’re not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing everyday that scares you

Sing

Dont be reckless with other peoples hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss

Dont waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind; the race is long, and in the end, its only with yourself.

Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year old’s I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you wont, maybe you’ll have children, maybe you wont, maybe youll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. What ever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either your choices are half chance, so are everybody elses. Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, its the greatest instrument you’ll ever own..

Dance
Even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography in lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.

Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time its 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than its worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen…


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Covering of the face in public. Should it be banned?

Around one week ago I stumbled on a few videos which showed the MEP Nigel Farage of the UKIP (UK Independence Party). I’d be the first one to admit that I could follow politics a little closer which would allow me to make a more informed choice come election time. Having watched a range of UKIP videos, I am now a supporter of the party and agree with everything it stands for.
At one point I came across this video:
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I unusually left a comment on this video because my attitudes on the subject are rather strong:

Tomorrow 200,000 people could walk around towns and cities wearing a balaclava. That is a free choice, however I’d guarantee it would scare many people and cause a lot of unrest in the communities. This is referring to the security and safety issues regarding covering of the face.
If someone is wearing a vale, the last thing I personally want to do is approach them to ask them to remove it. It’s a barrier, both physically and mentally. Can’t people see this as a basic, fundamental issue?

I’d like to think I am one of the most liberal guys you’d ever meet, I believe that everyone has the right to an opinion however I also believe that people shouldn’t be pressurised into sharing the same attitudes. It should be entirely the decision of the individual should they chose to agree or disagree with a particular persons opinion.
So with that out the way, here is what I think about covering the face in any way, shape or form in public. Please note that this applies to anyone, not just ethnic minorities.
I believe that no one should be allowed to cover the space between the lower face and above the eyes when in a public place. I often hear it said by certain ethnic groups that they should be free to wear what they like and they’re happy to remove a veil or face covering in the instance of a security issue. However, this is a very weak argument.
The very basis of security means that we do not know when a particular criminal act will take place. If someone with their face covered snatches a handbag off a lady it becomes increasing difficult to identify the offender without being able to distinguish their facial features. If a law was put in place whereby covering of the face is made illegal, such instances would no longer occur without first arousing suspicion by others.
I do not agree that someone of a certain culture or background should be exempted from this because it presents a fundamental, basic security issue.
This is an practice I would like to see implemented for every man and woman in the UK and throughout the world indiscriminately.
Please feel free to share your thoughts on this important issue by leaving a comment.

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Sunday Thought

“You can believe something, this doesn’t mean it should be respected.”

I’ve been re-reading the masterpiece that is The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. In the book it describes how a church in New Mexico was granted permission to take hallucinogenic
drugs which are otherwise banned in other areas simply because they believed it enhanced their ability to understand God.
As Dawkins put it:

Note that it is sufficient that they believe that the drug enhances their understanding. They do not have to produce evidence. Conversely, there is plenty of evidence that cannabis eases the nausea and discomfort of cancer sufferers undergoing chemotherapy. Yet the Supreme Court ruled, in 2005, that all patients who use cannabis for medicinal purposes are vulnerable to federal prosecution (even in the minority of states where such specialist use is legalized). Religion, as ever, is the rump card. Imagine members of an art appreciation society pleading in court that they ‘believe’ they need a hallucinogenic drug in order to enhance their understanding of Impressionist or Surrealist paintings.

The right to free speech should be taken very seriously. A persons right to believe in a particular deity or supernatural being should also be taken seriously. What I object to, is a particular person or group of people however big or small should being given special treatment as a direct result of their intangible beliefs. A belief after all is not physical.

One rule for all or no rules at all.

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