The Stupid Reality of Terrorism - Header

The stupid reality of terrorism.

Hearing the recent news on terrorism has really been a shock to everyone, and I think I’ve rejected this thought because it’s genuinely just atrocious but this is all nothing more than killing. This is the brief.

  1. Terrorism is stupid
  2. Being tougher on terrorism is practically impossible
  3. Terrorism won’t stop.

I’ll go through these points clearly with structured paragraphs that will definitely not turn into a rant.

1. Terrorism is stupid

Hell yes it is. Think about it you radicalised idiots, you’re slaughtering innocent lives of people you never knew, people who had families, lifelong plans and the same raw human emotions you once had, and you destroyed that for what?

Nothing. That was worth nothing.

Islam has nothing to do with this either, Islam doesn’t promote this. Islam doesn’t permit the butchering of unarmed harmless people. You’re just being a self-righteous monster killing people that did nothing to you. Thinking your life is superior or worth more than someone else’s is disgusting, no human can ever determine another’s death.

Also, people kill so they can make a change to the world? wooooow, real smart there. I doubt you would be making a very good impression on yourself.

2. Being “tougher” on terrorism is practically impossible

Look Theresa, ISIS is causing quite the havoc. Cracking down on immigration and making international contact difficult is not gonna cut it. The only physical form of ISIS are the incredibly stupid mislead self-righteous idiots in Syria right now, but in the Western world? Well, it’s a movement.

Anyone can really “join” as there isn’t any formal structure behind it. Not that we know of. Literally anybody can run into the streets and yell whatever misguided preach they want, as long as they attract attention by killing others. There can be groups of people either connected by family, work, friends, a community or just one person. Anyone can do it, and the people who recruit I believe are found worldwide, not just Syria.

(Please do tell me if I’m wrong, I’ve just personally seen nothing that proves otherwise.)

So whilst people from abroad may be an issue, I believe we are slightly prejudiced here. There are issues within this country with those who suddenly change their ways, and we must prioritise looking more into that. And if you think about it, it’s stupid because they believe they have a message for the greater good, but they’re not really reminding us are they?

ISIS definitely exists. It’s just impossible to tackle because it’s not just a bunch of idiots in Syria, there’s people everywhere being radicalised like this.

3. Terrorism won’t stop.

It really won’t. Anyone can do it, they might do it because they think they’ll die a martyr and do it for the greater good. Some may do it because they think it’s the right thing. Some just want to conquer the world with their opinion. Some think they’re the right ones and others who don’t agree die. Some just think that scaring the authorities must mean that it is for good reason, like the Suffragettes or something. Though that’s highly unlikely.

It’s just stupid. And it’s become so normalised that any idiot can do it, regardless of the lost lives.

At this point I’m incredibly depressed thinking about the why of terrorism. But know this: fear never works, it only fires up Trump, and it only ward people away. So try it. We’ll be 4 steps ahead of you.

 

(apologies for any atrocious grammar or repetitive of the word stupid, it’s late at night and I get really passionate for some reason in the night – Nishat)

Dear Pocket.

Dear Pocket,
I absolutely love your website/app/God-sent-article-saving miracle, and I appreciate that you have a really minimal design to accent the wonderful dark theme that I can enable. I can neatly organise the things I either want to read for later or the things I wish to preserve for later reference, like an article on photography or further understandings on how the brain functions, and it’s amazing.

FACT: This blog’s permanent dark theme was inspired by Pocket’s version (please don’t sue me).

There’s a reason Pocket is widely used, and it’s due to its versatility when it comes to syncing to other platforms, reading offline or simply the ease it has on our eyes. If there’s anything you could change to enhance the experience of reading, it’s this:

1. Highlight quotes for future reference

I love that you can share a selected excerpt from what you read, but if you went one step further and allowed us to highlight the part to save (copying to clipboard would also be nice), that would be a huge gamechanger.

So whenever you return to said article, you can focus on what you previously highlighted. You could also have a board which has all of your saved quotes, like the clippings feature in a Kindle. It’s just a convenience thing and honestly, I’d love it.

2. Redirect tab links to Pocket instead of the original page

Bear with me here, you know how there’s a Pocket’s trending stories on the new tab page on Chrome?

I realised there’s always one Trump-related article in this section. That says a lot about his presidency.

There’s some really good damn articles that I want to read straightaway so I click the title instead of the ‘Save’ button. It redirects me to the original article, where I get bombarded by newsletter and “WHITELIST US ON ADBLOCK OR PAY £1.99” popups left, right and centre.

It’s a pain, especially in the night when I’m accustomed to reading with the dark theme on but instead I get blasted with blue wavelengths that chip away on whatever sleep I had in the first place. This is once again a convenience thing on redirecting articles straight to Pocket over saving it, entering the Pocket website and reading that way.

It would be great to have that in the options page.

That’s it.

Yeah, that’s pretty much it. No. 1 is something I think is a personal necessity, No. 2 is just a pet peeve really. Other than those little things, you guys are doing a great job. People are seriously missing out if they don’t use it.

If these changes do happen, I’m going to make a freak out blog, and that is a promise.

 

Best Regards,
Nishat

5 features every app needs.

Dear App Developers,
I would really appreciate it if you had incorporated these features within that sick app you’re dropping this year. These are just basic privacy and nice little touches, so if you do listen to me and basically what the internet is trying to tell you for the past oh I dunno, existence of apps, we will notice that. And we will praise you.

1. Privacy settings

Everything you know, you must tell me. The ability to see what dirt the app/company has on you is important, and it should be your choice whether you allow that or not.

And don’t try hiding it in the T&C jargon, I speak English.

I see that for safety reasons, you may need some of my personal details, but I want to know how much you’re snooping into. The fact that Snapchat saves your stories before that creep down the road does is a definite cause for concern.

2. Email me for confirmation!

When someone (or even myself) enters my Google account with another device, I instantly get an email on my recovery email and the email that got entered, saying that it has been accessed. I like that feature a lot, you can see the area and device used to enter at that specific time.

What would be better, though, is if you send a “confirm this entry” message to my recovery email (otherwise known as your backup email) just like LastPass does. It’s saved me from having important passwords nearly breached into and it gives a sense of confirmation.

Google does add a “Secure your Account” section but confirmation is both quicker and personally accessible.

3. Changing default email addresses

Trello does this nice feature where they allow you to add more email addresses, change the default one and enables the ability to redirect their subscriptions emails to another address, which is basically the icing on the cake.

Some other apps do this too, but it’s a rule of thumb that the more control you give the user, the better the experience. The balance needs to be there, though, but it works mainly because it is tailored to the user’s preference.

4. Show me the devices (I was gonna make a Jerry Maguire joke, but that would have made me sound old and JM week was a while ago too)

Now most popular apps do this, like Google and Trello. And this is helpful to keep an eye on who has control over you account, whether it’s with different devices or around the world.

The better addition would be the ability to revoke any devices if I want, like Trello – because Trello is amazing.

But if you are an Admin, a team leader or just a normal hipster being with a lot of iPads, you want that feature to make your account secure and away from prying eyes. It’s a little thing, but it helps.

5. Disability-friendly modes

So for people who can’t hear very well or have visual impairments, this would should be a vital one implemented into all apps however possible.

Here’s an infographic on the do’s and don’ts of design for those with disabilities.

BONUS: C U S T O M I S E

Tuck this little addition into your settings, and I’m sure people will appreciate the treat.

If I were you, I’d have different colour palettes that are compatible with your app so you don’t have hot pink text and illegible typefaces vandalising the project you painstakingly slaved away on.

Just give the people a little breathing space to make the app more comfortable to use.

And scene

Every little thing does actually help, and it does go noticed, and it does make life a lot more easier. If you add these, app devs, I appreciate you.

#MakeFlickrGreatAgain

Ever since March 2016, when Flickr’s greatest features were only available if you paid. The incredible Auto-Uploadr is gone, and I still damn miss it.

I think this was a business move, to accentuate the portrayal of Flickr being a photographer’s social network, not a backup to dump memes in. I see their point, but a hobbyist like me and my brother just can’t be bothered to spend £57.72 (during time of writing this blog) annually. And if you’re giving us 1TB of free storage, I’m sure people will still be committed to upload junk there – whatever clears up their phone at least.

Auto-Uploadr was such a huge convenience to us, and even though we have fast internet, the web upload tool is such a pain in the *** and it’s almost as if they purposefully did this to entice us to pay.

That’s why I’m enraged, because I’m trying to put up some of my best work and this uploader is screwing things up for me. It’s either the photos timing out, or the upload bar not moving a single inch.

I’ve literally waited a whole weekend for just 1 batch to upload. I’M SICK OF THESE DAMN STRATEGIC MONEY-MAKING MOVES ON THIS DAMN WEBSITE.

this blog, and how i feels.

Okay. Ever since I started this blog, I kind of wanted to experiment and play around with it, see how far I can go. It’s been 6 months, and I couldn’t be any happier.

With this sort of stuff, I get way too over-the-top and be a perfectionist when it comes to design and writing because I know I can do better. But recently, I just figured out the look I want on this website (which is rare taking into account my constant uncertainty when it comes to anything) and I smiled intensely, like a real goofball.

I never smile when I’m working on a project controlled by me. I never smile. (yes i do, don’t worry.)

But I feel good about this. Usually when I’m on a client job, I’m never happy about how my work looks, though my customers tend to be, and it leaves me on a bad note. With this blog, I feel otherwise. I feel…

 

I feel like this is a beginning of a beautiful digital era.

Nintendo Switch Reveal: Promising, but one BIG game-changer.

So, tons of people got invited to Nintendo’s event which revealed more on the Switch, a tablet-esque console with a docking station and JoyCons, and the upcoming games that will be supported. Honestly, I think Nintendo really hit the nail with this one, but there is one concern that scrapes at the back of pretty much everyone’s head.

 

…what about the games?

 

You see there’s so much I love about this concept. The whole modular, portable idea of seamlessly continuing from your TV to a tablet for travelling or just to show off is great. But as with Nintendo’s consoles, there’s not enough substance in terms of games. Sure, you’ve got the Mario games with a side of Pokémon and a lot of other very niche games that I missed out but it’s always put Nintendo on the side.

It’s good not to be included into the console war because you have the freedom of innovation without the risk of another big rig corporation getting in the way, but the games that you see on a PS4 compared to a Nintendo 3DS is more diverse and enticing and I’d pick it any day (unless nostalgia hits). Because there’s all sorts of games: indies, platformers, story, action, FPS etc.

That’s why it’s assuring to see the Switch having more compatible games, working with different companies like Bethesda, Activision, Epic Games and even Telltale dammit (I’m so excited for that one). But I hate to say this, it’s not enough. It’s a start, sure, but they can’t just have Super Mario Odyssey and then attempt to please everyone by throwing in Skyrim and a chance to play N64 games every month with a fee, just like Xbox Games for Gold and PS Plus’ free game system.

Miyamoto-san, you need more games!

In retrospect, it looks like also being the console war is also a good idea because you hunt for game devs to make more exclusives because exclusivity is what is making Sony the belle of the ball in the current console wars. jots idea down for a future blog post

But everything else is fine, though the JoyCons seem shifty af for me as well as the tablet battery but I appreciate the humble thumbsticks being offset. Arigatou gozaimasu!

winter.

The end of the year and the final season to a hellish 2016. We don’t have much long until 2017, and I’m rather glad it’s (nearly) all over.

2016 was the year Britain decided to leave the EU, Trump became President of the USA and…

We’ve also lost the many legends along the way: Bowie, Alan Rickman, Prince, Muhammad Ali and Castro. Then things like musically and fake-as-hell challenges began to terrorise us (although the Running Man Challenge is an exception).

In short, 2016 was pretty much a year of destruction, soon to affect the future generations.

On a personal level, 2016 was a hard uppercut to the chin shin shoryuken executed by Ken, followed by a few painful hadoukens and a finishing tatsumaki senpukyaku both mastered by Ryu and Akuma. Rykuma. If you don’t get those references, you’re what’s wrong with this world.

Last year, I watched a surprising turn of events that coincidentally foreshadowed the mental beating I would get this year. This robot right here became self-aware therefore, anxious. All whilst working hard to make money because, according to this world, that’s what really matters. shakes fist at the world 

But you know what? This year was a true message. 2016 is telling we need to get prepared for the next few chaotic years whilst we suffer an apocalypse affecting everything socially, politically, economically and (more importantly) environmentally.

Before I enlighten you with possibly the most upsetting news, here are some of my favourite memes.

Image result for arthurs fistImage result for when you play the whole village your mixtapeRelated imageImage result for current mood medievalImage result for renaissance memes

new bubble wrap is being made, except it doesn’t pop. Let that sink in.

PS4 Pro + PS4 Slim Announcements: WHAT DID I SAY?

I may or may not have said it in the previous gaming article about E3, but I expected Sony to whisper out a few announcements to keep tension.

On the 7th September, there was a Playstation meeting where they officially released details on two new consoles into the world of gaming. One of such was the PS4 Slim, a smaller console which consists of those 2 “sandwich breads”. Well that’s what I like to call them anyways.

The design, in my opinion, is a little weird but hey, it serves the purpose of being incredibly slim whilst maintaining, if not improving, the performance of the old trusty PS4. I am disappointed that they ditched the light bar though, I thought it looked nice. It’s coming out on the 16th of September. Plus. they’ve kept it simple for gamers on a budget as it has a nice pricetag of only £259.

Image result for PS4 Pro

SHUTUP AND TAKE MY MONEY.

But for the real deal, the 4K resolution, HDR and 3 sandwich breads, there’s the PS4 Pro. Most hype has circled around this console, which has rather unique design that I don’t really find appealing. It’s basically another sandwich bread above yet 2 pieces of bread. The light bar has found a new home in between one of those slices but I just feel uncomfortable with the official look.

Just looks bulky and one of those 3D renders of what people jokingly think the future consoles would look like. Come on Sony, they were playing you. If I preferred to pick one of the two, I’d choose Slim because it’s small, not too ugly and it’s cheap.

Moving onto controllers, they both have a new redesigned Dualshock 4 for extra convenience. One big aspect for me is the controllers; and if it isn’t up to scratch, I’ll shut you down for it e.g. how Xbox didn’t have a 3.5mm headphone jack, that was humiliating.

This controller looks good, and there aren’t many obvious differences except the touchpad and the light bar. You can now quickly glance at your controller to check the light bar instead of flipping your hand in an awkward direction just to see if the battery is dying or not. I like that idea, and if games put it to good use (like the light bar turns into a health bar or an ammo centre).

Also, the internals have changed, so it is more sensitive when it comes to tilts and motion.

Overall, they seem promising. The PS4 Slim is out next week whilst the PS4 Pro releases November 10th for £349.

The never-ending battle of games

Though the game medium has existed for a mere 50 years, it’s really made its stand in history with incredible visuals, immersive gameplay and unconventional plots. For the pre-2000 years, that was revolutionary.

But when the first GTA game released, it sparked a lot of controversy due to it’s gory pixelated violence. Games were breaking a wall of moral beliefs; introducing you to “what-if” situations. You had complete control of your choices and that still causes concern about gaming today.

A lot of shocking scenes in games had you question our beliefs, like the “No Russian” chapter in COD. The fact that you had a choice to shoot someone and you did ignited a war between gamers and overprotective mums.

The audacity the developers had to place these graphic scenes caused a decrease in revenue and just fuelled more hatred and discussion whether there should be some rules to regulate these types of games.

The fact that 8 year olds play COD and scream their heads off somehow represents the whole gaming community. It gives a good enough reason for your average white mom to say no and spit hate towards this whole industry.

Yeah, kids shouldn’t be doing that. But it doesn’t mean that you aim for the whole damn art of games. There is a lot more to this art form, the beauty of the soundtracks and visuals define a game, not the players. Penn says it best when he shuts down a bunch of really badly-informed mothers blaming violence on video games.

There are some truly moving games, and despite the graphics and the immersive effect it has on us. People watching gamers think it’s rather immature and just plain stupid. Play something like The Last Of Us, the Uncharted series, Telltale’s Walking Dead series or Red Dead Redemption. Violent games, sure. Emotional games? Hell yeah.

Sometimes it doesn’t even take a good linear story-based game to affect someone, it’s also the little things, like the button mechanics. A game like Assassin’s Creed: Revelations (the other versions suck) has really convenient and not too simplified parkour and combat mechanics and it honestly makes the whole game a joy to play.

I mean, the goal in AC is to be stealthy but if you’re playing for the thrill, fighting 10 guards head on will satiate that thirst.

But there’s a lot more beyond the game than just killing, believe me. If you’re skeptical, play one of the games I above or check out my Bucket List of Games mentioned otherwise you’d be a hypocrite and you can leave now.

Photography = time + money

Photography is a really expensive hobby that you have to invest tons of hours into. I feel that people underestimate that, and aren’t prepared to go through those hardships. But then again, I don’t blame them. There is work, school, family basically life smacking you in the face. It sucks, and I don’t think you could ever claim yourself to be a true photographer because there are no standards like that (in my opinion).

Even the simplest of things can spiral out of control, like getting a good camera bag.

sees a really nice bag, finds out it’s £140. oh well. nevermind.

What we can learn from Bruce Lee

“Be like water” is one of his many famous quotes, but Bruce Lee taught us a lot more than just that. I’m picking some bits out of this article because there are some parts that really reached out to me. I suggest you read the full post.

He was a very philosophical man, a person of integrity and peace. He believed that philosophy was a vital part of life, everyday and more. Lee kept a pocket notebook and took it everywhere with him to capture any ideas and reinforce the beliefs he established upon himself.

Willpower:
Recognizing that the power of will is the supreme court over all other departments of my mind, I will exercise it daily, when I need the urge to action for any purpose; and I will form HABIT designed to bring the power of my will into action at least once daily.

Emotion:
Realizing that my emotions are both POSITIVE and negative I will form daily HABITS which will encourage the development of the POSITIVE EMOTIONS, and aid me in converting the negative emotions into some form of useful action.

Reason:
Recognizing that both my positive & negative emotions may be dangerous if they are not controlled and guided to desirable ends, I will submit all my desires, aims and purposes to my faculties of reason, and I will be guided by it in giving expression to these.

Imagination:
Recognizing the need for sound PLANS and IDEAS for the attainment of my desires, I will develop my imagination by calling upon it daily for help in the formation of my plans.

Memory:
Recognizing the value of an alert memory, I will encourage mine to become alert by taking care to impress it clearly with all thoughts I wish to recall, and by associating those thoughts with related subjects which I may call to mind frequently.

Subconscious mind:
Recognizing the influence of my subconscious mind over my power of will, I shall take care to submit to it a clear and definite picture of my CLEAR PURPOSE in life and all minor purposes leading to my major purpose, and I shall keep this picture CONSTANTLY BEFORE my subconscious mind by REPEATING IT DAILY.

Conscience:
Recognizing that my emotions often err in their over-enthusiasm, and my faculty of reason often is without the warmth of feeling that is necessary to enable me to combine justice with mercy in my judgments, I will encourage my conscience to guide me as to what is right & what is wrong, but I will never set aside the verdicts it renders, no matter what may be the cost of carrying them out.”

He was diligent, and believed he had all control over himself, his emotions and thoughts. His positivity defined his purpose in life and therefore made him spend every day efficiently. I feel that scrolling through your email or social media feed is what we do as a nervous tick, waiting for something but we don’t know what that something is. But we would still scroll.

Keeping a pocket notebook is important. Writing things down on a physical notebook is proven to be more effective than typing it up. If you write down your affirmations, your goals in life and who you strive to be, you clear up your mind of stress, anxiety and confusion. You solidify your faith (whatever it is) and have the willpower over yourself.

Steve Jobs said that every day, he looks in the mirror and asks, “If today were the last day of your life, would you want to do what you are about to do today?” If the answer was no, he had to change something. There are lots of articles and posts on motivation and being happy, but these are the ones that have come to most use.

For more inspirations from the one and only Bruce Lee, check out the article I mentioned. It’s worth reading.

August

August: the time to get things done. I have a whole list of things I want to do but have never had the clock ticking on my side. Now it is, and I’ve got to get a lot done.

I have organised my tasks by separating them into either hobby-related or priorities. So far, that big list of jobs is gradually deteriorating and leaving no trace of worry behind. After a few more days, Nishat will be a free elf as she can sell those stupid games she hates, she can play whatever games she hasn’t finished (like Final Fantasy XII) and go around taking photos all in the next few weeks!

Although, life gets in the way. Responsibility tends to throw me off from a cliff into procrastination whilst I was happily trekking to ultimate relaxation. I can’t just relax because I have to do those normal everyday tasks that wouldn’t be so difficult if it wasn’t for people breathing down my neck.

People is what I don’t need.

One whole month of being all by myself, or a pet, would be incredible. I’d curl up with a good book whilst sipping Moroccan mint tea in my living room. I’d explore the depths of beauty in nature with my camera and maybe write an article about anything for The Guardian. Just the thought of it makes me smile, I hope heaven is like that.

August is a time of mixed feelings. Where responsibilty overrides my chances of getting things done, though I wouldn’t say that’s necessarily a bad thing. I go through I lot of mental hell that is self-inflicted and harsh, so I’m trying a new outlook. I want to find a goal in life; a reason towards why I have to earn a degree, get a job and just do what I’m doing now. My goal is just happiness. This month will just help me push further to reach that.