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Wendy Cockcroft
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Wendy Cockcroft

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So I Wrote To My MP

Hazel Blears is my MP and I wrote to her to complain about the surveillance, etc. This is her response.
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Public official scapegoats. News at eleven...
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Wendy Cockcroft

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So when it grows up it will be Cathulhu?

- +Vernon White 
trying to get in the mood to get work done but either  #cthulhu  kitten doesn't want me too ... or I need coffee.
or a nap
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Remember how Chevron told Ecuador to get bent over the pollution of the Amazon?

Now imagine a similar case where we live. Is that okay?
Toxic partnership: A critique of ACC-CEFIC proposal for #TTIP [pdf] - "to slow regulatory developments at all levels"
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Welcome back, Wendy! 
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Yes, Benghazi matters. But so do these. Pray explain the sound of crickets chirping when I bring this up.
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I was finally goaded into creating an article -- let me know if anything is missing or wrong:
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Have her in circles
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Wendy Cockcroft

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Corporations are people, my friend

So why do they get away with malfeasance, then? This is unacceptable. #TTIP
                                  How corps are scavenging profits from EU’s countries - important piece on #ISDS; #TTIP will make this much worse
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Oh !
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Us V Them, The Old Divide & Conquer Strategy

As an Irishwoman, I'm painfully aware of the efficacy of the Divide & Conquer strategy - it's what handed my country to the British on a silver platter. The effects are still with us.

When I stopped posting here about six months ago due to having little time to be here, I had noticed the sharpness of the divide between people who were nominally liberal and nominally conservative, whose affiliations were based on whether or not they supported a particular party.

Now I'm back, just for today, and I'm seeing the divisions are deeper than ever before, with the Right portraying anyone deemed to be on the left/liberal side as a threat to the nation, while the left/liberals cling to their talking points as if Snowden didn't happen.

The actual bad guys

The real problem is not that there's a left/liberal or a right, but that people believe these tropes are "a thing" and that they are a threat to Our Way Of Life. Karl Rove's characterization of Democrats as appeasers opposed to heartland morality has been so successful that the Democrat party has moved to the right to prove their loyalty to the nation. The results can be hilarious at times, as commentators on the right turn intellectual somersaults trying to frame the Obama administration as "socialist" every time it adopts a right wing policy. The actual bad guys are the corporate donors who have bought the politicians and persuade them to make laws to benefit them.

Obama - all about the Establishment

When I joined in the efforts to promote President Barack Obama in the last election, it was as the best of the worst, not as the right man for the job. As time has passed I've been keeping up with the news and found that he's been persecuting whistleblowers, pushing FTAs that could damage the economies of the nations involved, and going along with the surveillance state instead of shutting it down. He's all about the Establishment, and Hillary is no better. I'm disappointed, to say the least, but not all that surprised, the indications were there.

So what are you cheerleading, Dems?

I see many posts from Progressives cheerleading a president who has thrown a little red meat to the base but done little to stop the wasteful wars on drugs and on terror, and who has been reluctant to rein in the NSA and other bad actors. If he's not progressive, why support him? He can't serve a third term, it's unconstitutional. What he's doing is not okay. You need to call him out.

The "right" Right

Those of you who subscribe to Republican principles should remember it's the party of Lincoln and Eisenhower. It was always about freedom and justice for all. Unfortunately, you've got few representatives who are worth promoting. I liked Chris Christie for a little while, but then he blotted his copybook, as we say over here. Why aren't you pushing for candidates who are worth voting for?

A viable alternative

Let's be promoting the other political parties that are around, and talking about them and their policies until one of them stands out enough to be worth plumping for in the next election. The current positions of both main parties aren't really working for the rest of us. To be honest, a more nuanced approach, where people are empowered to think (and provide) for themselves, is the way forward. Those people you disagree with aren't necessarily the enemy — you'd be surprised at the amount of common ground you have with them. I've found that if you make a good enough case for your position, you can actually win them over. Don't let the Establishment divide us by pitting us against each other, let's work together and find candidates to represent us outside of the choices they give us. That way, we can have a government that is truly by the people, for the people.

Or you can keep recycling the same political cartoons and tropes, and continue to perpetuate the same old stereotypes. You decide.
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Nice to see you back!
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Wendy Cockcroft

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TTIP - Beware The Corporate Menace

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is one of the most important developments in EU-US relations since WWII. Those in favour claim it will create hundreds of thousands of jobs and boost GDP on both sides of the Atlantic. But is this true? And what are the hidden risks for European citizens?
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Please share this far and wide. We have the opportunity to make a difference. Again.
Support Strong Privacy And Civil Liberties In Europe

If you live in an EU country, you have an opportunity to affect the laws passed by the EU Parliament. Remember when we flattened ACTA by asking people to contact their MEPs? This is a golden opportunity to taste sweet, sweet victory again.

Use Glyn's template or put your own message in, but don't let them vote our rights away on Wednesday.
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ATX: The W Hotel Apiary
I'm happy to see some of the new highrises downtown push the envelope on sustainable design. ~ +M Sinclair Stevens 
#atx   #keepaustinweird 

Via +M Sinclair Stevens 
Walter Schumacher, of Central Texas Bee Rescue, has started a new apiary atop the W Hotel in downtown Austin. The honey these bees produce will be used in the hotel’s bar and restaurant in specialty cocktails, desserts and appetizers.
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...kewl idea.
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Wendy Cockcroft

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Historically, the best practice for loading CSS has been to combine all CSS into a single file and load it in the <head>. This turns out to be a performance issue on mobile. If your combined styles are large, painting is blocked on the download of the entire sheet. On mobile, an external stylesheet loaded in the head can easily add 1 to 2 seconds of additional latency to render time. Even an empty external stylesheet will add 500ms of render latency on 3G in the best case.

The proposed technique to address this is to inline the "critical CSS" needed to style the above the fold content on mobile directly in the head of the HTML, and to load any additional CSS needed to render the below the fold from a cacheable, external stylesheet. The amount of CSS needed to style the above the fold on mobile tends to be small (a few kB) so is a perfect candidate for inlining.

I wrote an article in the PerfPlanet calendar talking about the benefits of inlining the minimal CSS needed for initial render ( In addition, +Stoyan Stefanov recently wrote about his work to make the Facebook Recommendations plugin faster ( One of the key optimizations was inlining the CSS to avoid the render-blocking network round trips that result from loading external CSS in the head.

It turns out that it's hard to efficiently load external sheets without blocking painting. Using a plain <link> tag in the HTML will definitely block rendering, and it can block rendering even if that <link> tag comes after your above the fold content.

An easy way to avoid blocking painting is to add the stylesheet to the document after the first paint has occurred. For instance, loading the sheet in a requestAnimationFrame callback will make sure that content paints before the sheet starts loading. The big drawback here is that the stylesheet starts loading quite late. It would be better to have the option to start loading that external stylesheet very early in the page load, so it becomes available as soon as possible.

So our technique should:
1. start the load of the stylesheet early, and
2. not block layout/painting while that stylesheet is being loaded

Drawing on the standard async JavaScript snippet that is used to load many async JS libraries, and making use of the fact that smart browsers don't block rendering on stylesheets with non-matching media types, I've been experimenting with the following snippet:

var l = document.createElement('link');
l.addEventListener('load', function() {''; }, false);
var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(l, s);

If you are familiar with async JS snippets, this should look mostly familiar to you. The key differences for CSS are the 2 lines:'defer';
l.addEventListener('load', function() {''; }, false);

First, we're setting the media type to something that will definitely not match. We're using 'defer' here to document what we are doing, but we could as easily use 'foo' or, as +Scott Jehl does in his test ( 'nonsense query weeee!'. Second, once the stylesheet has finished loading, we flip the media type back to a matching type (in this case the empty string) so the stylesheet matches and styles are applied. This allows us to avoid blocking layout/painting while that sheet is being loaded.

Scott's work shows that this technique is not likely to work in all browsers. Specifcially, IE (even IE 10) blocks rendering on non-matching stylesheets. This is pretty sad. It seems that Firefox has the same problem. I'd like to come up with a snippet that works across all browsers. Scott's looks like it is solving similar problems but I'm hoping to come up with a snippet that's about the size of the standard async JS snippet, and eCSSential is a bit larger.

I'm hoping we can come up with a technique for loading stylesheets w/o blocking painting that works in all popular browsers. Do you know of a way to accomplish this in a cross-browser fashion?

+Paul Irish +Ilya Grigorik 
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Have her in circles
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Web designer and developer, administrator, writer
Web design, front-end development, WordPress, Joomla, CSS, HTML, office admin, creative writing
  • Wendy Cockcroft Web Design
    Web designer, 2011 - present
    Building websites from scratch is my main speciality, but I work with WordPress and Joomla too. I build on the 960 Grid system using HTML and CSS using open source programs and hand coding. If you have a forum, blog, gallery, or other PHP-based program you need to have the theme matched to a static website, that's my particular skill. I design logos, banners, and artwork for the websites I build. If you want to jazz up your social media accounts I can provide templates, banners, and other graphics, and advise on making the most of them. I can also write the content and manage your website and social media accounts.
Your website - your way. Manchester-based web designer.
I'm a freelance web designer and writer based in Manchester, England.


My skills are web and computer based. I make websites and templates for social media profiles. I love the internet and spend so much time either using it or writing about it that I've learned a lot about how it works and how it can work for you.


Content writing is part of the service when building websites. SEO is one of my skillsets and I know enough about it to give you a good start. Blogging is one of those things I advise people to do and I occasionally guest post on Techdirt and Digital Business.

I've started to publish my creative writing. See my novellas and other work on Smashwords. Canterville's Quest and The Marconi Men are available now. I do the cover art myself.


Recent experiences have convinced me to become a political activist — mostly because I love the sensation of kicking A and hearing the resulting squeal, let's be honest about this. Allegiances include digital rights, environmental, and human rights groups. Recent successes include SOPA/PIPA, CISPA, and ACTA being pulled down or rendered harmless. This was in association with a coalition of partner activist groups that include the Internet Freedom Movement, where I am one of the admins. I'm also involved with This Good Earth and Skills 4 Jobs.

Philosophy, religion and politics

I'm a right-of-centre Pirate/Green Party supporter who believes in personal responsibility and a strong work ethic while recognising that universal healthcare and fully subsidized education are the keys to economic success on a personal and national level. My approach to these is informed by pragmatic rationalism and traditional Judeo-Christian ethics. This means I'm a painfully honest problem-solver unafraid of admitting when I'm wrong and willing to dump anything that doesn't work. And I'll help you if you ask me — but don't be surprised if I check you out to make sure you're on the level.
Bragging rights
Guest poster at Techdirt and Digital Business. Made the banners for the Google Plus pages This Good Earth and Skills 4 Jobs.
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