Is it just me or is there a touch of irony here?


I have watched with interest over the last three weeks or so the reaction of the Chinese relatives of those on board the missing Malaysian airliner. I’m sure everyone who has watched their grief unfold has been touched by the scenes of anguish as they inevitably came to terms with the death of a loved one. I’m certain, for the first few days at least, they were all hoping against hope that the plane, its passengers and crew would be found safe and well.

I have a problem now though with the protests taking place in Malaysia about the lack of information they were given on the days following the plane’s loss. Am I missing something or do these people not come from a country where information they could, some would say ‘should’, have is restricted on a daily basis by their own government?

Internet censorship in the People’s Republic of China is conducted under a myriad of laws and administrative regulations. Amnesty International once noted that China “has the largest recorded number of imprisoned journalists and cyber-dissidents in the world” and Paris-based Reporters Without Borders stated in 2010 and 2012 that “China is the world’s biggest prison for netizens.” (A new word for me but I can guess what it means!) The size of the Chinese Internet police in 2013 was reported to be 2 million.

How ironic is that?

Sunglasses in March?

I suppose it’s possible that I have eyes with a greater than average resistance to the sun’s glare. Even on the sunniest of mid-summer’s days here in the UK I rarely need to wear sunglasses. Occasionally when I’m driving towards the sun I feel the need to put them on (not that I have a pair in my car!) but generally I can get through a whole British summer without the need for my ‘shades’. When I do need them for my holiday of course I can never find them as I haven’t worn them for 50 weeks!

So here we are in late March. The sun isn’t strong yet by any means. So why is it, when I pick my son up from school in an afternoon when the sun has only just about managed to force its way through thick clouds, that half the parents in the playground are wearing sunglasses? Do they all have hangovers? Are they all hiding bloodshot eyes? Or are they merely trying to get the maximum use out of a fashion accessory they paid an ‘arm and a leg’ for?

Some people with Seasonal affective disorder (apparently there are about 2 million in the UK) feel the need to hire light boxes during the winter to stimulate their hypothalamus (allegedly) and bring them out of their lack of sunlight induced depression. Others, as soon as the sun finally comes out after a cold, wet and windy winter decided to screen their eyes from sunlight presumably in case they get cheered up too early in the year!

What a strange world we live in!

Technical Help Required!


I am posting this in the hope that someone somewhere has the technical knowledge to help me (or more correctly my 10 year-old son!)

My son owns an Asus Nexus 7 currently running Android Version 4.2.2. It isn’t his one and only form of electronic entertainment but it certainly plays an important part in entertaining him when he is away from home. For those who don’t know, Minecraft parties seem to be very popular amongst his peers at the moment!

Up until he downloaded the Version 4.2.2 upgrade his tablet was running extremely well. In fact, until then I would have recommended a Nexus 7 to anyone. However since that fatal day we might as well use it as a door stop as it has developed a totally debilitating screen malfunction.

Judging by the various threads on Android and Nexus forums the latest upgrade of the Android software is conflicting with the screen that Asus used in the Nexus 7. (I have read all the rest of the comments but most of them are meaningless techno-speak to me!) Apparently Google, who for uninitiated write the Android OS, have been asked to fix the bug and they say it’s the fault of Asus for fitting a screen that’s incompatible with their software. Likewise Asus have been asked to fix the problem and they have blamed Google for writing software that conflicts with their hardware. Deadlock!

There are horror stories amongst the posts of Nexus owners who are lucky enough to have one still under guarantee. One has returned six tablets only to find that each one has eventually developed the fault presumably through automated OS updates. Another has posted  “Google you seriously took something I loved and have turned it into something I hate“.

None of this helps my 10 year-old son who now has a tablet that doesn’t work! Does anyone out there have a ‘not too technical fix’ for this problem? I fear if I return my son’s Nexus to Asus they will simply send it back and refer me to Google. Alternatively does anyone know how to put Google under pressure to fix this?

Any suggestion would be gratefully received.

PS For the benefit of the Grammar Police (I admit to being a member myself) I realise the plural of forum is fora but it just didn’t read well!