Taking A Swipe At Skype

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

Skype_logo

No, it’s not me who is taking a swipe at Skype. I use Skype a lot for communicating with people. I find it particularly good for contacting friends in foreign lands, which you can do for free, but also for making paid telephone calls too.

I have been using it for over a decade, almost from it started, and long before it was bought by Microsoft. Although other flavors have arrived on the scene I stick with Skype.

It’s the comfort of familiarity, something I wish the nerds at WordPress would pay attention to instead of continually making smart-ass changes that no one has asked for or wants. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it guys!

But getting back to Skype, it has now become a victim of the snoopers – again!

This time it has been told it has to appear before a court in Belgium because it refused to hand over customer data following a request for assistance by the Federal Computer Crime Unit of the Federal Judicial Police (FCCU) in a ‘criminal investigation’.

Microsoft acquires Skype

Microsoft has been very sensitive to appearing to buckle under when requested to release information about its Skype users ever since it was alleged that it had changed the architecture of the communications software to make it more “wiretap friendly”, something which it has always denied.

Despite Microsoft releasing transparency reports stating that it had not handed over the content of any Skype conversations in response to regular law enforcement requests, privacy and security analysts remain unconvinced.

Unfortunately, as usually happens when the lawyers get to work, the fundamental importance of this case – which is government’s mania for trying to remove the right to privacy of its citizens – gets lost in spurious legal arguments.

cartoon lawyers

Now, instead of defending the right to privacy, the court’s time is being taken up with deciding whether or not a VoIP service like Skype should be treated as a telecoms operator in Belgium. If it is then it would have to comply with Belgian regulatory requirements for telecoms operators and release data to the snoopers.

I said earlier that the request by the Belgian snoopers is in regard to a ‘criminal investigation’ but the alleged crimes under investigation have not been specified, nor has the identity of the suspect or suspects.

It’s another one of those government catch-all phrases like ‘terrorist activity’ or ‘national security’ that are used as a cover for intrusions into people’s privacy whenever they feel like it.

government Snooping

The result of this Belgian case will be an interesting marker for future attacks on the privacy of Skype users. My guess is that if the snoopers win their case then Skype should brace itself for a multitude of similar requests from governments all over the world. If on the other hand the courts rules in favor of the privacy of Skype users then the government will simply put their hackers to work and try to get the information illegally as they have done and are doing.

So it’s another one of those ‘heads’ privacy loses and ‘tails’ the snoopers win.

.

=============================

.

Old Professors Never Die. They Just Lose Their Faculties.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

I probably should have said that they lose their faculties and end up as a pun.

In case you haven’t guessed it yet, today is another Pun Day.

So….

Enjoy or endure!

.

rofl

.

I call my house Lautrec

because it’s got two loos.

two loos

.

.

Beauty is in the eye

of the beerholder.

Beauty is in the eye of the beerholder

.

.

The UN. Bringing us all together

by ending conflicts around the world.

Peace by Peace.

The UN

.

.

Turns out my ex girlfriend Big Amy

had a secret husband.

If only there had been some clue.

Big Amy

.

.

Lawyers are like rhinoceroses:

thick-skinned, short-sighted

and always ready to charge.

rhinoceros

.

.

Hey girls,

get yourself a Fisherman,

they’re reel men.

Fisherman

.

.

How did I escape Iraq?

Iran

escape Iraq

.

.

My Dermatological Clinic

just wished me Merry Eczemas.

Merry Eczemas

.

.

My wife suggested I go for

acupuncture treatment to cure me

from making annoying timber puns.

I can’t see why that woodwork.

acupuncture treatment

.

.

Let me correct you –

the London Underground

is not a political movement.

Lancaster_Gate_tube London Underground

.

.

It’s ironic that discus isn’t a sport

that many people talk about.

discus

.

.

The Lawn Tennis Association’s website

has a fault they are having

problems with their server.

the_-lawn_tennis_association

.

.

Many Americans oppose any change

to The Second Amendment of the

United States Constitution.

They’re really sticking to their guns.

The Second Amendment

.

.

I ordered a whole duck at the

Chinese restaurant last night!

It was great until I got to the bill.

whole duck at the Chinese

.

.

Last night I dreamt I was

writing ‘Lord of the Rings’.

Turns out I was Tolkien in my sleep.

 Lord of the Rings

.

======================================

Did You Know? Facts, Facts And More Facts.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

Fact day again on the fasab blog.

Another twenty things you probably don’t know now, but not to worry, you will do soon if you read on.

Enjoy.

.

did you know1

.

Before Gmail, “G-Mail” was the name of a free

email service offered by Garfield’s website.

gmail-logo-transparent

.

.

In America the bonnets and caps of city fire hydrants

are painted certain colors to alert firefighters

to the amount of water pressure available from that hydrant.

fire hydrant

.

.

It isn’t water itself that conducts electricity,

but the impurities found in it.

short_circuit water and electricity cartoon

.

.

Richard Hollingshead of Camden, N.J., built the first

drive-in theater in his driveway.

The idea was inspired by his mother who was a large woman

who found the seats at regular movie theaters uncomfortable.

He made it with a sheet strung between two trees and

a movie projector mounted to the hood of his car.

drive-in-theater

.

.

Washington state’s Mt. Rainier is the tallest

volcano in the contiguous United States,

measuring nearly 14,500 feet in height.

It last erupted in 1854.

mount rainier washington us

.

.

Despite their menacing appearance and fierce name,

dragonflies cannot sting and are harmless to human beings.

dragonfly

.

.

When referring to China, make sure

to say the People’s Republic of China.

Leave off “People’s” and you’re talking about Taiwan.

china_taiwan

.

.

Approximately one quarter of the United States’

homeless population are war veterans.

(Shameful statistic!)

homeless_veterans

.

.

The inventors of bubble wrap,

Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes,

were originally trying to make plastic wallpaper.

bubble-wrap

.

.

The toilet featured in Hitchcock’s Psycho

was the first flushing toilet to appear on-screen.

psycho toilet

.

.

Frankincense, one of the precious items

the wise men gave the baby Jesus,

was actually an ancient form of chewing gum

Frankincense

.

.

The poinsettia is named after former

congressman and ambassador Joel Poinsett,

who introduced the plant to the United States in the 1800s.

Joel Poinsett

.

.

Peridots are the only gems that

have been found in meteorites.

Peridot August Birthstone

.

.

The longest jellyfish on record measured 160 feet,

more than half the length of a football field.

Jellyfish

.

.

All holly trees are gender specific – male or female.

Only the female holly tree bears fruit (berries),

and in order to do so there must be a male

pollinated tree within a two mile radius of her.

holly tree in park

.

.

Two-thirds of the world’s lawyers live in the United States.

LawyersProtectArtists

.

.

The Hard Rock Café got its name from a now-defunct bar that

appeared on the back of the Doors’ album Morrison Hotel.

Doors album cover Morrison Hotel - Hard Rock Cafe

.

.

When cranberries are ripe, they bounce like a rubber ball.

cranberry

.

.

Due to the “naughty” dancing of the can-can girls and

the scantily clad models on 1800s French postcards,

the British equated anything risqué with France.

In fact, that’s how the phrase “pardon my French” entered the vernacular.

can can dancers

.

.

Scott Joplin’s famous piano song, “Maple Leaf Rag,”

was not named for the leaf or for Canada:

it was named for the Maple Leaf Club,

a social gathering place in Sedalia, Missouri.

.

.

=============================================================

.

Did They Really Mean To Say That? Newspaper Headlines Nightmares, Part Three!!!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

Another mid-week selection of linguistic catastrophes in the form of newspaper headlines that went sadly wrong.

I bet the authors were congratulating themselves when they wrote them on how clever they had been.

Sorry (at them), but hurrah to us, they had quite the opposite result.

Enjoy.

.

.

np_dianastillalive

.

.

.

np_drycleanersworkingonsamespotforyears

.

.

.

np_dwis

.

.

.

np_federalagents

.

.

.

np_firmlosesairport

.

.

.

np_fishneedwater

.

.

.

np_funeralhomesbring

.

.

.

np_gascompanybehindbeans

.

.

.

np_helppeoplewithgas

.

.

.

np_homocidevictims

.

.

.

np_hospitalshiredoctors

.

.

.

np_housearrest

.

.

.

np_Kayakinghardwithfrozenwater

.

.

.

np_lawyersback

.

.

===============================================

.

aFrankAngle’s A-to-Z Challenge On Fasab

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

My blog friend Frank over at A Frank Angle came up with the idea of doing a post based on an alphabetical listing of a selection of his previous posts. An interesting idea and a good way to introduce more recent readers to some of the things they might otherwise have missed.

Of course, Frank couldn’t leave it at that, so he threw out a challenge for others to try to do the same for their blogs. And guess who couldn’t resist the challenge!

So here you are, for new and long term readers of this blog, a alphabetical journey through some of the files of Fasab!

Enjoy.

.

afaa2zbadge

.

A is for….

Awkward Moments, (Part One, Part Two and Part Three), a short series of amusing anecdotes of times when things didn’t go quite right.

.

B is for….

Banksters, one of my perpetual hate figures and the subject of numerous rants such as this one

Are The Banksters Guilty Of Treason Against The Nation?

.

C is for….

Classifieds, a long running series of funny classified ads that turned out rather differently to the original intent, for example Part Three and Part Fourteen

And also for factoids about Chocolate and Coffee which people seemed to enjoy

.

D is for….

Dogs. I make no secret of the fact that I am very fond of dogs, and German Shepherds in particular. You won’t get a better or more loyal companion and friend. I’ve done several doggie posts, this one has been the most popular,

Sometimes Dogs Know More Than We Give Them Credit For

And for Dear Abbey, no blog like this would be complete without a few letters from Joe Public seeking advice for some of their most disturbing problems.

.

E is for….

Education, the lack of, as evidenced by these student exam answers, Part One and Part Two

And also for Emergency Room, some amusing anecdotes from the medical world.

.

F is for….

Facebook, in particular the disastrous launch of the company on to the stock market which inspired the longest alliterated blog post title so far

Furious Flabbergasted Facebook Fools Face Frightening Falls From Fanciful Flagging Financial Flotation Farce

.

G is for….

The Great Escape, a short story aout an intrepid group of construction workers held hostage by Saddam Hussein before the outbreak of the first war with Iraq

And also for a Glass Of Milk being raised in tribute to Samuel J Porcello, the man who made Oreos what they are today.

.

H is for….

Has to be for The Late Great Mr Harry Meadows, an old fellow whose efforts to spice up life in an English nursing home didn’t quite work out as intended.

.

I is for….

I Miss Him, and I Miss Him Two, a nostalgic look back at some of the wonderful statements of President George W Bush.

.

J is for….

The Journey, an eight part story of an eventful and amusing journey from Dublin, Ireland to the Caribbean, by way of Miami, Florida. This was one of the first things I wrote for this blog and published before there was much viewing traffic

Dublin Airport,  –   Reconfigured And Stuck,  –   The Three Hour Stopover,  –   What Color Was It?   –  Just A Trip To The Mall,   –  Miami Twice, Lost In That Is,   –  Bags And Bags And Bags Of Bother,  and  Finally, I Made It!

K is for….

Korea, my take on the current posturing and politics concerning North and South Korea,

Is Obama Making A Bad Korea Move?

.

L is for….

A Long Love Affair, a short story about my own geeky love affair with computers during the past few decades.

And for Lost In The Fog, a short story about Tommy who managed to get completely lost in the field beside his house.

.

M is for….

The MilPost Blog Award, another thing inspired by Frank who was the first blogger to receive this prestigious award only given to those few bloggers who have posted 1,000 times or more on their blog. If you know of anyone who is eligible to receive it please let me know.

.

N is for….

Numbers, an on going series of factoids about numbers and their meanings and associations, that has surprised me in the numbers of people viewing them. So far the most popular number is Twenty-Three 23.

.

O is for….

One Small Step For Man, a tribute on hearing of the death of Neil Armstrong the first man to set foot on the Moon. There are differing views on how Mr Gorsky fared, but I hope he did okay!

.

P is for….

No, you’re all wrong. P is for my loving tribute to the wonderful invention knows as Peanut Butter.

.

Q is for….

Quiz Show Answers, a very funny and long running series about the dumb answers given by contestants on various TV and radio quizzes over the years. Like this for example,

It’s Monday And That Means Some More Quiz Show Answers

.

R is for….

Revenge Of The First Graders, part of a short series of guess the logo quizzes, apparently kids can recognize about 200 of these by the time they are ready for the first grade!

.

S is for….

Stupidity, one of the foundation stones of this blog. No one is immune, especially not politicians and lawyers.

.

T is for….

Tarzan and Travel Agents, both of whom made an appearance on the fasab blog.

.

U is for….

US Politics And Foreign Policy For Dummies, sometimes it takes a kid to show us how absurd the world of adults really is!

And ‘U’ is for Up, as in People Hardly Ever Look Up, Sometimes They Should!

.

V is for….

Versatile Blogger Award. Actually that should be ‘awards’ the first nomination from Alex way back when this blog was barely two months old, and subsequently from Sunny and Wendy. The Fasab blog has also been nominated for the Illuminating Blogger Award (Kenton), Sunshine Award (Wendy again) and the Kreative Blogger Award (Nabdip). My sincere thanks to everyone who though this blog worthy of nomination and I will get round to doing a proper awards page I promise.

.

W is for….

Word Play. Yes, you were right, just in the wrong place. I like puns and they feature almost every week somewhere in my blog. So like them, or hate them, or like to hate them, or even hate to like them, you’re sure to find some here.

Why Are Puns So Popular?

Word Play, Bad Jokes, Whatever You Call Them They’re Still Pun To Me

It’s Thursday And That Means Another Excuse For A Few More Bad Jokes

.

X is for….

X-rated, a steamy tension filled post about My Morning In Bed With Derek. Read it if you dare!

.

Y is for….

Your Country Needs You, a story about a friend’s unusual introduction to the military world.

And You’re Too Stupid To Own A Computer, about pc owners and technical helplines!

.

Z is for….

Zero, there are no ‘Z’ posts on this blog, unless the ones that put you to sleep reading them!

I suppose I could have used some of the quiz or puzzle posts, but that’s a bit of a cop out.

I hope this means that Fasab has yet to reach its zenith.

.

.

So that’s it, the Fasab A – Z. Feel free to click any or all of the links that take your fancy, and, as always, enjoy!

.

Frank has asked me to remind everyone that no nominations are required to take part in the A2Z challenge, so why not have a go. It’s a bit of work, but fun too, and it gives you the excuse to look over some of your old posts.
The details are on Frank’s blog. To go there, click here!

.

=================================

.

One For The Rod

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

How about a short story of love, betrayal, and revenge to end the week?

Enjoy.

.

The divorce had just become final and she was preparing to remove all her remaining belongings from what had been “their” house.

On the first day, she sadly packed her belongings into boxes, crates and suitcases.

On the second day, she had the movers come and collect her things.

On the third day, she sat down for the last time at their beautiful dining-room table, by candle-light. She put on some soft background music, and feasted on a pound of shrimp, a jar of caviar, and a bottle of spring-water.

When she had finished, she went into each and every room and deposited a few half-eaten shrimps dipped in caviar into the hollow centre of the curtain rods.

Then she cleaned up the kitchen and left.

On the fourth day, her ex-husband came back to the house with his new girlfriend, and at first all was bliss.

Then, slowly, the house began to smell.

They tried everything; cleaning, mopping, and airing-out the place.

smellyhouse2

Vents were checked for dead rodents, and carpets were steam cleaned.

Air fresheners were hung everywhere.

Exterminators were brought in to set off gas canisters, during which time the two had to move out for a few days.

In the end they even paid to replace the expensive wool carpeting.

Nothing worked!

People stopped coming over to visit.

Repairmen refused to work in the house.

The maid quit.

smellyhouse1

Finally, the ex and his new girl couldn’t take the stench any longer, and decided they had to move.

But a month later – even though they’d cut their price in half – they couldn’t find a buyer for such a stinky house.

Word got out, and eventually even the local realtors refused to return their calls.

Finally, unable to wait any longer for a purchaser, they had to borrow a huge sum of money from the bank to buy a new place.

It was then that she called her ex-husband and asked how things were going.

He told her the saga of the rotting house.

She listened politely and said that she missed her old home terribly and would be willing to reduce her divorce settlement in exchange for having the house.

He was so desperate to get rid of the unsaleable house, that he agreed on a price that was only 1/10 th of what the house had been worth.

And because he knew she could have no idea how bad the smell really was, he wasn’t going to give her any time to visit the place again.

The deal was good only if she would sign the papers that very day!

She agreed.

Within two hours his lawyers delivered the completed paperwork which she duly signed.

A week later her ex-husband and his girlfriend stood smiling as they watched the moving company pack everything to take to their new home…….

. 

……and to spite the ex-wife, they even took the curtain rods too!

.

Aren’t happy endings just great?

.


==============================

.

Punchy Punitive Punditry Today? – No, Just More Puny Pungent Puns!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

 .

Yes it’s another selection of those groan-making jokes carefully wrapped up in the thing we call puns.

Enjoy, if you can.

 

 

When fish are in schools they sometimes take debate.

 

What did the grape say when it got stepped on?

Nothing – but it let out a little whine.

 

A criminal’s best asset is his lie ability.

 

Be true to your teeth, or they will be false to you.

 

If you give some managers an inch they think they’re a ruler.

 

Gravity is studied a lot because it’s a very attractive field.

 

Old lawyers never die they just lose their appeal.

 

Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.

 

When women enter middle age, it gives men a pause.

 

Prison walls are never built to scale.

 

There was a guy who was fired from the orange juice factory for lack of concentration.

 

We were so poor when I was growing up we couldn’t even afford to pay attention.

 

I used to be a tap dancer until I fell in the sink.

 

When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, U C L A.

 

The poet had written better poems, but he’d also written verse.

 

There was a ghost at the hotel, so they called for an inn spectre.

 

Ancient orators tended to Babylon.

 

What do you call a melon that’s not allowed to get married?

Can’t elope.

 

For plumbers, a flush beats a full house.

 

Did you hear about the guy who sent ten puns to friends, in the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh.

Unfortunately, no pun in ten did.

 

=====================================