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Julian Bond
Emperor's Clothing Consultant, Edge Detector and mildly cynical Brit
Emperor's Clothing Consultant, Edge Detector and mildly cynical Brit


Official Updates from Google about G+

There haven't been any more as of 8-Jan-2019.

It's 3 months today since the initial announcement from Google on 8-Oct-2018.

It's just under one month since the expediting announcement from Google on 10-Dec-2018 that chopped 4 months off the sunset date.

It's 2 months until the G+ API closes on 7-Mar-2019.

It's 3 months (ish) until Google Plus closes in April 2019. We still don't know the exact date.

We still don't know the actual mechanics of what happens on the date G+ closes. Will it go read only for a while? Will all G+ URLs return 404? Will Takeout remain available for a while?

As far as I can tell there's been no announcement about what's going to happen to G+ integration into Blogger. That's profiles, comments, widgets, share buttons and so on. There's nothing on the official Blogger blog and nothing in the Blogger product forums.

There's been no announcements about bugs, fixes or changes to Takeout. Although Google has been silently updating and breaking it.

There's been no announcement about how long Takeout will be available to download G+ content.

There's been no attempt to contact G+ users direct.

There's no indication within G+ that G+ is closing down. You would expect some kind of header warning message but there's nothing.

There's nothing in the G+ Help pages to indicate that G+ is closing down.

People are still arriving in the G+Help community saying "Is it true G+ is closing down"?

There's been no clarification and answers to all the many questions people have about the G+ Sunset and it's ramifications. Even trusted support people are having to say "we think that, maybe, we hope, etc". And this is about major issues such as whether publicly visible Profiles will survive or what happens to photos attached to G+ posts.

So that's 2 blog posts. 2 posts about the API. And that's the sum total of Google's official communications about closing a platform used by millions.

Is Google just ignoring us, hoping we'll go away?
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2018 - Music of the year - The Best List of "Best of" Lists


Review sites

As usual, The Quietus win the prize for the gratuitously obscure, obscurely gratuitous and downright frightening noise. Gazelle Twin ‎– Pastoral is their #1 pick. I can recommend "Better In My Day". Scary, but brilliant.

Of the main blogs, I'm particularly fond of Headphone Commute's approach broken down into 10 categories posted on successive days. Music For The Film Behind Closed Eyelids, Music For Bending Light And Stopping Time, Music For Crawling Through Abandoned Cities, and so on.

Some artists that need a special mention
Black Josh - Yung Sweg Lawd
Demuja - Loads of it. All good
DJ Ciderman - Disco for lonely heart
DJRum - Portrait with Firewood
Harrison BDP - More loads of it!
Galcher Lustwerk - 200% Galcher
Grant - 003, 004, 005, Theory of Movement
Jon Hopkins - Singularity
Kawuku Sound - Kawuku Sound
Kruangbin - Con Todo El Mundo
Ludwig A.F. Röhrscheid - Velocity, Exhale
Project Pablo - Come To Canada You Will Like It
Ross from Friends - Family Portrait
Skee Mask - Compro
Yadava - It rains here

Memorable gigs
Banoffee Pies, Hackney and Farr Festival
Galcher Lustwerk, Farr Festival
Baltra + Demuja, Jazz cafe
Bradley Zero b2b Hidden Spheres, Five Miles.
DJ Python, Cambridge

Honourable mentions for hard work
Baltra, Demuja, Banoffee Pies, Bradley Zero for living on the road
Lobster Records for distribution services to the LoFi community
Demuja, Grant, Harrison BDP for producing large quantities of quality music
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It's "State of the World 2019" time again on The Well, led by Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky with a side order of James Bridle, Tiffany Lee Brown and Jake Dunagan.

You read. Is good.

Bruce Sterling always brings an international perspective to a discussion that does have a tendency to get dragged back to the USA. He's got some trenchant things to say about Brexit and compares it with what's going on in other countries on the edge of the EU. Like Ukraine.
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There is no Orderly No-Deal. There is a truly disastrous No-Deal with a small amount of mitigation that won't actually help.

The whole idea of an "Orderly, No-Deal Brexit" is dangerously delusional. It needs to be taken off the table once and for all.
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Do you know where your data is now?
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Can you buy these in IKEA?[1] Of course you need a clean wood floored old Gym and a hipster bicycle to complete the picture. This is 2018 London after all.

Reminds me of a post from a couple of years ago about "Migrant Architecture" or perhaps that's "An Architecture for Migrants".

[1] On a "Buy 1, Donate 1 free" deal.
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There are only four diagnoses left. Theresa May is:-
- Delusional, psychotic and in urgent need of help
- Focused purely on her own short-term survival
- A sleeper agent for a hostile government committed to the destruction of the UK
- Totally incompetent


There are only four diagnoses left. Jeremy Corbyn is:-
- Delusional, psychotic and in urgent need of help
- Focused purely on getting power in the short-term
- A sleeper agent for a hostile government committed to the destruction of the UK
- Totally incompetent


Here's what the adults are saying.

And even Cabinet Ministers are calling for The Slaughter Of The Unicorns[1].

And so it has come to this.

[1]What a great name for a movie involving Fava Beans
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It doesn't get much simpler or clearer than this.

What really scares me is just how many people (voting public, not MPs) think NoDeal is a valid option. They're being lied to and believing it. Again.

The idea that NoDeal is an option is dangerously and catastrophically delusional. It MUST be taken off the table.
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I feel slightly sick. This was from Mar 2018. Nothing has changed except the timescales have gone out the window.
I've just stumbled across the Hertford & Stortford CLP Labour Party newsletter.

I'm going to quote the section on Brexit in full because it's quite a reasonable summary of where we are in early March 2018. One sentence stood out though under "known unknowns" (sic!).

"(c) After the May Local Government elections the Labour Party will revise its position on Brexit"

Ah, politics and the pursuit of power. Donchajusloveem! The Labour Party is so busy trying to get itself elected, it's sidelining the big problems. It's somehow persuaded itself (cough, Momentum has persuaded it, cough) that an overtly anti-Brexit stance will hurt it in the polls. So it won't do that until the May 2018->Mar 2019 window when there's no elections scheduled.

here's the text
Brexit: Seven months to go?

Here are the milestones:
1. Phase one written agreement March 2018
2. Phase 2 agreement October 2018
3. Departure from EU institutions 29th March 2019 (D-day)
4. Transition phase/implementation of any deal , not later than December 2020

And here are the variables:
(a) The EU four freedoms, the body of social, technical and commercial regulations, the European Court of Justice (ECJ), security, EU trade agreements, single market and customs union, air traffic, passporting, and EU institutions (commission, parliament, council)
(b) The UK redlines are no single market, no customs union, no free movement, no ECJ oversight, freedom to set UK trade deals, soft Irish border

The UK does not appear to have a position apart from a fall back ‘no deal’ exit from all of the EU variables above, and a World Trade Organisation (WTO) basis for trading.

The phase 1 agreement was fudged in December 2017, i.e. the divorce settlement, end of free movement (EU and UK citizen status) and the Irish internal border. The EU requires the agreement in writing (no fudges) at the end of March (milestone 1). Only the divorce settlement at £39 billion may be definite, citizens rights are contentious and a soft Irish border is impossible without either the EU or the UK or both compromising on the variables. The EU has made it clear what it expects to include in the agreement (see It is not clear how the EU will react if agreement cannot be reached on the phase 1 issues.

The phase 2 agreement is about to start negotiation. Although D-day (departure day) is March 2019, any agreement has to be approved by the 27 national governments, the EU Commission, and the European Parliament. This approval is estimated to require the six months October 2018 (milestone 2) to March 2019 (milestone 3). The UK Westminster Parliament and the devolved Assemblies potentially have the
opportunity to approve the agreement although the Government has warned this may not be possible in time to influence the outcome of phase 2 (milestone 2). A key part of phase 2 negotiation is the transition (implementation) phase after milestone 3. This is currently highly contentious but may end up as exit from the EU institutions, but retention of the other EU variables with the ability to negotiate (but not sign)
trade treaties. Reese Mogg, as leading Brexiteer, refers to this as a ‘vassal state’ and might force the Government to drop the transition phase. The EU, in the absence of a UK position, has produced a position paper “Transitional Arrangements in the Withdrawal Agreement” It is not clear what will happen
if one or other or both of the agreements are unacceptable or require further negotiation so that the EU approvals are not received by D-day.

The EU has indicated that it would welcome the UK’s return to the Union although stopping Brexit might require the approval of all 27 EU nations. If this were to take place before milestone 3 then Brexit could simply be stopped. If it takes place before milestone 4 (if there is a milestone 4) then the UK could simply
rejoin the EU institutions and continue in a (diminished) membership. If it takes place after milestone 4, then the UK would join the list of countries seeking access to the Union and could be required to join the Euro as the price of re-admission.

Within the EU, there is a common negotiating position and strong resistance to ‘cherry-picking’ and ‘having cake and eating it’ approaches to modifying this position, although the UK lives in hope.

Within the UK, the known unknowns are:
(a) There is no customs union of any form
(b) Theresa May’s government might be replaced by a strongly pro hard Brexit administration
(c) After the May Local Government elections the Labour Party will revise its position on Brexit
(d) Passage of legislation embodied in the UK Withdrawal Bill and other bills may falter
(e) The Tories may call a General Election

The Government has already indicated that it will not remain in the customs union but might be a member of a customs union; however some Brexiteers are opposed even to this. No customs union (option (a)) is a significant barrier to trade (and to the Irish Border). The “customs arrangement” suggested by the UK is ill-defined and may be unacceptable to the EU. Option (b) is a possibility if the Tories can agree a replacement leader. The signs are that this could move the Government even further to the right and to a definite hard Brexit position. Option (c), if it happens, might result in the Government (even with its DUP backed majority) being unable to pass key legislation. Resistance to parts of the withdrawal legislation can be expected, for example the ‘Henry VIII’ powers that give the Government a virtually blank legislative cheque, or omissions of key aspects such as worker’s rights and environmental issues. However, failure to provide a legal framework post Brexit (option (d)) would have a nuclear impact on the UK so that Labour might press for amending rather than outright blocking of legislation.

The Tories would not want to risk losing a General Election (and maybe having a soft or no Brexit) and would seek to avoid option (e), although they might be tempted to risk it after D-day (milestone 3) on a “job done, don’t spoil it” platform but before the end of any transition period. Labour would then get the blame for the expected problems that would follow milestone 4.
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