Having recently been given her very own digi-quango, dotcom ingenue Martha Lane-Fox has taken to airwaves and newspapers to berate the public for not using the internet enough. The web-travel-agent-turned-biznovation-wonk is appalled there are ten million Brits who have never used the internet, according to her staff's research …
£22bn can be generated by people talking to each other online? She thinks lifetime earnings can increase over £10,000 just by being online? Only if we can all start some dumbassed cheap-o holiday website, perhaps. The woman is delusional.
Please carry on and drop digitally inclusive storylines into Eastenders, though, it can only improve the show after all...
Is she really that dumb?
Paris, 'cos she may be a blond bimbo, but she could surely do better.
Does that include more web-cams of a "dubious" nature?
So clearly an initiative funded by this idiot government - propagandise to the lower classes by running storylines on soaps.
But why stop there?
Why not propagandise on other staple stereotypes of the lower class, like fag packets, cheap booze or "The Fast And The Furious" DVDs.
a classic article
This is why I love the reg, where a tide of cynicism washes waves of bitterness over tin pot IT people basking in their own glory.
Why should they?
As someone who has been using 'the internet' for 20 years, (yes, long before 'Bill Gates invented it') I can fully see why some people do not and will never want to use it.
And I don't simply mean the old.
Love the "Beta" stamp on the navbar of that website. Really brings it in to line with other modern websites.
....something like a half -hour slagging off tiscali maybe? Nah! -would have to be after the watershed! DRM? Peggy mitchell's discussion on TCP/IP routing? Or if you want to get controvertial, the Butchers switch to .... Linux: (Just shows they were born bad!)
Clive Sinclar and Kraftwerk
Now that's a Crap time show i may watch.
...and another thing
ITV still use silverlight, don't they?
Yeah but no but...
"...claiming that enormous economic benefits would be had by all if refuseniks would just fall into line."
Probably true. Conversely, the same would happen if we all used the same brand of toothpaste. What's your point?
So long, freedom.
I personally love using the internet, but some people don't, or only use it for a few specific things. Let 'em be.
Not everyone wants to shop online, have five social networking pages, three blogs, a twitter account and surf porn. Apart from the first and the last, most of it is seen as "fucking geeky" by many. And they're probably right.
Get 'em online and then lock 'em up?
'Coz the first thing they'll do is download as much free content as they can: films, music, etc.
Bill Gates didnt invent the Internet. We all know it was really Al Gore.
More public money being wasted
The elderly need to be able to pay for heating in the winter rather more then they need Internet access.
Other poor folk may also have more pressing issues than buying holidays online and who will be paying for their broadband?
Perhaps the government also have more pressing issues to consider like a huge deficit, not helped by redirecting public funds towards their mates for things like "Digital Inclusion".
exclusively given to the BBC?
No ... the correct terminology is "the BBC has exclusively learned" or possibly "the BBC can exclusively reveal"
Basically it appears any press release/wire news report is now portrayed as "BBC News has learned that ..."
And they can save
Between £300 & £500 pounds per year using their PC to track down the lowest prices. It's a nice idea but Matha, No! Go and live on benefits and then work out the economics of doing this.
When you are on a low income then the fact that you can buy a a turnip at Aldi 2 miles away, for 10p compared to the12p at the corner shop is not the significant differentiator in cost, it's the 80p bus fare each way. When you are rich then you tend to ignore your procurement costs as a part of the total, you just hit the sales price. When you are poor, everything counts, transport, broadband and so on, let alone the £250 for the laptop.
BTW. I listened to the Radio 4 interview. Sadly the interviewer didn't really challenge her very much on detail, but I don't think she really understands being poor.
10 million have never been online - that could be a number plucked out of thin air. Even if it wasn't, the chances are that it consists of people that have no interest, no equipment or are unable to get online due to other issues such as lack of mental capacity to use the Internet.
But once again, it is an example of "Nanny knows best" - it doesn't matter that we are up to our ears in debt to the extent that our children will be paying it off, lets just waste another few million so that they can say that they are trying to do something.
Our government is increasingly out of step with reality - are they next going to debate how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?
Who exactly will make money?
Surely the economy will lose money if people shop online and purchase bargains? All that lost spending! Especially if they're buying from companies in the Channel Islands or abroad.
I think the key figure here is not the £22.6bn that will be generated for the economy but the £1bn the government will reportedly save if all business is done online and government offices and job centres are replaced by websites and staff by online forms (The Reg seems not to have noticed that part of the story). Even though they'll need to keep a few staff for the elderly/disabled and those who've sold their computers to buy drugs, they'll still save huge sums that'll more than make up for Lane Fox's salary.
Brookie, 20-odd years ago
Gordon Collins wrote some software on Alan Partridge's ZX81 and they had to come to some arrangement over selling it.
Better title would have been...
Politicians still don't understand the Internet. They put her in charge of this money waster! Why not me???
Possible soap opera plot lines...
Ok, how about someone spending the entire episode on hold trying to get through to their ISP's help desk. Will they get through? Dum, dum, dum-dum, da-da-dum...
Or maybe them getting through and then they and the call centre operator trying to convince each other that they're speaking the same language?
Or perhaps them getting a threatening letter from a law firm accusing them of illegally downloading hardcore porn...?
Why would the proles want to get online? For most people the limit of online use involves reading e-mails. A lot of people don't like online shopping because they like to handle the products and would like to get out of the house once in a while. News the proles (if they get it at all) will probably get from TV news programs. Everything else is piped in over the idiot box. And of course the problem with e-mails is when you receive 1 e-mail a month from the grandkids, but it is supplemented by 20 a day about pr0n, penis enlargement or viagra, you quick give up on it.
Of course MLF's ridiculous £20bn is a complete joke. You can't magic up money from nowhere. If the proles spent that much online it would come out of other areas, like the high street.
But then, I always remember MLF as an idiot at university. She's now the same idiot, but with lots of money after being really lucky with venture capital.
.....a few thoughts
Having internet access in 1999 was then rare and even my mates where impressed when I announced that I had internet access (even if then it was only dial-up used for mid night sessions of R6:RS). Its now changed so much that the government want everyone on there, just in case those without are missing something... that being internet shopping / farcebook and twatter.. whoppee doo....
Does that mean soon that those without... can claim a 'Broadband Benefit' to top up their housing/council tax/income support/unemployment benefit at further cost to the taxpayer? And how they going to means test it?
Quite clearly those without means to access the net either wont want it or dont need it.
Wasn't Dirty Den caught doing something in an internet video chat that he shouldn't have a few years ago?
There is already access for all...
Its at the local library.
WHY IS EVERYONE USING THIS WORD ALL OF A SUDDEN
How much of that will end up in Nigeria when the Lads from Lagos get their hooks into 4 million proles?
If they want a new plot-line for Deadenders, have Peggy trying to get hold of the fortune left by a long lost Mitchell killed in a ghastly car crash on the Sagama Expressway.
Because they're crawling out of the woodwork to justify their existances before someone tries to do away with them in the name of saving money.
PS no need to shout ;-)
Lots of negativity here.
She may be a wonk, doesn't mean she doesn't have a clue. Sorry about the double negative.
I have probably saved £1000 in the last couple of years by using t'internet - car insurance, white goods, gifts, books, Ebay, plane fares etc. It all adds up. This is something that the poorer segments of society is missing out on if they don't have internet access (although they wont get the same level giving their buying power is less, unless you have 8 children and live off the state and can afford more new stuff than I can)
Of course MLF's figures are probably plucked out of the air, but there is some truth in there somewhere.
I would guess than within 15 years, if you are not online in some form or another, you are going to be a third class citizen, unable to function day to day. (If we are not all third class by given the state this country is in)
Get rich quick
Oh Martha, please share with us how will endless surfing for porn, playing online poker and buying useless crap on eBay make these poor people rich?
> "The Fast And The Furious"
I loved that film.
PricewaterhouseCoopers is a bunch of gibbering monkeys
"A report she commissioned from PricewaterhouseCoopers..."
Looks like PricewaterhouseCoopers will cook up anything. Drop some cash, get some garbage wrapped up nicely and then parade it around. Will PricewaterhouseCoopers evolve into the Ministry of Truth?
The UK's internet already sucks arse! I don't want another four million contributing to yet more botnets, slowing down an already crap infrastructure and adding yet more contention.
John G - WAH old people WAH
Guess what John? I don't give a flying fuck about old people. They have a minimum income guarantee of 10k a year, free public transport and prescriptions, free dental and eye care, cheaper utilities, housing benefit etc etc. They had their whole lives to save for retirement. What about the disabled? We have no such guarantees. Most of us are given around 4k a year, that has to cover rent, utilities, medication, food, bills, transport to hospital oh and did I mention that most of us have no housing or income related benefit entitlement? Apparently 4k a year is 'high income', unless you're old. Then you can go on tv pissing and moaning about your poverty from one side of your mouth, while arranging your next foreign holiday/bingo night with the other.
local govt funding shortfalls versus frontline services
I find this proposal as distasteful as anyone, not least as my chronic RSI means 'e-services' are extremely inconvenient for me to access, however, if you look at the local and central govt tax-take since, say, Lehman, it's a nightmare, and if they can shrink wage spend through getting more people to access services online, then that's for the good.
Yes, yes, I know that govt spending shouldn't be shrinking in a recession, but, we've been all living like kings on boom-time monies and when the economy is back doing well then the discipline will have to occur.
The only problem is that local govt tend not to procure en masse but hire expensive consultants to put up simple web-pages etc and do flowcharts of reorgs etc, town by bloody town. Local govts should purchase their web-based services together, in fact, they should centrally hire some good IT people on permanent contracts to design and code them - one template for the whole country. That'd be an efficiency bloody saving.
An easy way to force more people on the 'net would be to stop allowing idiots to pay their utility bills at the local post office.
I had to duck out at lunch the other day to do a warranty return and the 40 odd person queue was made up almost entirely of cretins paying their bills.
Haven't those morons got better things to do than stand in queues to pay their bills?
How they generate this bollocks
They look at what people are spending over the internet, average it and then multiply by the 10M that don't use the internet. In the process they ignore a few points:
1) Money people spend through the internet means money they are not spending elsewhere therefore there is no gain.
2) Those not on the internet are probably lower income anyway so their spending is less.
Most governments build stupid correlations like this.
eg. High speed broadband creates more employment.
1. There is a reasonable correlation between number of employees a company has and bandwidth the company uses.
2. Therefore, if we double the bandwidth available to a company they will double their staff.
3. Therefore if we give everyone fibre we'll have full employment.
is that a black helicopter i can hear?
get them all on teh interwebs, then we can monitor their coms!
In 50 years time there will be very few people about who have never used the internet compared to now. Lets just wait until then, let natural selection take its course, and ditch the non-job Digital Inclusion Cszar (are we in Russia pre 1919?).
Dun break the law
Well i suppose there is less chance for these 10 million refuseniks being extradited to the US from their bedroom.
Where's my DVD
Stay indoors, shop online, oh poo there's a postal strike heh
@AC 12:56 GMT
Save 1 bn? Now that Gordon has signed up to the Lisbon Treaty, we can save a hell of a lot more than that - we don't need a govmint or civil service in Westminster any more!
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