About Martin Graney

A senior web software dude living and working in Amsterdam. I focus on the back-end of web development. "If you see what I have written, I have done it wrong."

I am still going to Japan on vacation

Torii at sunset

This is curenty a relatively bold thing to say.

As tempus is want to fugit it is likely this post will lose both its impact and meaning very quickly.

Japan has suffered its biggest earthquake ever. It triggered a huge Tsunami that wrecked even more damage, death and destruction.
Currently over 10,000 are dead and further 10,000 are missing.
It is a horrible tragedy.

And on top of this there has been an accident at a nuclear facility north of Tokyo that has pumped radioactive Iodine into the environment.

So why on earth would I still be going to Japan on vacation?
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5 simple tips to staying a little safer online

The Web
The web has been likened to the wild west, a lawless and truly anarchistic place.
But most of the problems people encounter online are caused mostly by their own behaviour and attitude rather than any inherent nastiness of the technology.
Widespread digital iliteracy leads many to think they are safe when they are not and to fear things that are totally innocuous.

Below are 5 simple tips to help you stay a little safer online;
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My atheism is an informed choice

The Grauniad online has a bunch of articles about “Can we choose what we believe”.
This is a rather interesting question.

Especially if, like me, you believe you have little conscious choice in what you believe.
[That entire sentence, and most of this discussion, is a nightmare of circular language!]

I got to the question via PZ Myers blog post linking to the Grauniad article by Harriet Baber.

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Technical people can never be creative…. WTF?

“What you need to learn is that being creative is not enough in this business. You have to become technical. Creative people are born creative – you’re lucky. Technical people however can never be creative. It’s something they’ll never get. You can’t buy it, find it, study it – you’re born with it. Too many creative people don’t want to learn how to be technical, so what happens? They become dependent on technical people. Become technical, you can learn that.
If you’re creative and technical, you’re unstoppable.”
- Robert Rodriguez (emphasis mine)

This quote was sent around work at precisely the wrong time.
The Tech team had been working for 16 hour days, and in some cases 30 hour days, for a total of three weeks without a break, scrambling hard to meet hard deadlines.
The entire tech team almost walked out.
[By this time we were too exhausted to move ;)]
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… and Hitchens isn’t helping matters either – Stating the case for justice

Well, not as much as he could.

In his piece in Newsweek, calling for the Pope to be brought to justice for his complicity in the paedophile scandal he had this to say;

The so-called Vatican City, a political nonentity covering about 0.17 square miles of Rome, was created by Benito Mussolini in 1929 as part of his sweetheart deal between fascism and the papacy. It is the last survival of the political architecture of the Axis powers.

This is, of course, an ad hominem attack against the legitimacy of the Papal State.

Hitchens should really know better than to use the failed rhetorical device of the Christian vox populi against itself.
Unless he is using it in a veiled attempt at irony, it has no real purpose in his piece.
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Fisking Fitzgerald – Dawkins gets under the skin (…again)

I stumbled across this attack piece on Huffington Post.
I find it slightly surprisingly for a left-leaning organisation to publish such a blatant a attack piece directed at Richard Dawkins.
And it is such plainly daft, anti-atheist, bigoted nonsense that it deserves a thorough fisking.

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Airlines are a bunch of ****s

I know how a lot of people are feeling at the moment with the huge ash cloud causing flight delays across Europe.

I had a similar experience in January when I became snowbound at Manchester Airport in the UK and my flight was canceled.

But now, thanks to the bbc, I now know that KLM screwed me royally.

If a flight is delayed, there are strict European rules in place, which mean that the airline is obliged to supply meals and refreshments, along with accommodation if an overnight stay is required and you have a confirmed return booking.

Now, I had a confirmed return booking and KLM operatives refused to pay for a night in a Hotel.
They claimed, incorrectly it now seams, that they could not pay for my night in a hotel.

I can only assume that the reason they refused was the following;

However, if you are on the outward leg of a journey, this will not be given.

I am British and so maybe my British accent gave the staff the entirely incorrect assumption that I was on an outward leg.

I freaking live in Amsterdam. I am a freaking expat. I was returning home!

If any expat is reading this and is delayed don’t let it happen to you.
Demand your rights and get those arseholes to bloody well pay.

[For more information print this out in advance before flying.]

BTW, I have complained about being shafted.
Let us see how bad KLMs customer service really is.