Frisk #164

Spin the bottle, it’s Frisk #164! That, as you well know, was the number of cards available for the 1989 game ‘Baseball Talk’, in which collectors would place oversized baseball cards on a little plastic talkbox to hear facts read out about players’ stats and skills. It was also the model number of a much-underrated executive saloon from Alfa Romeo. (Oh, and stick ‘Alfa 164 Procar’ into Google Images, it’ll rock your box.)

Biometric voting
It’s been quite entertaining watching Tango-flavoured misanthropy cheerleader Donald Trump getting all flustered about illegal voting, hasn’t it? Something else to bluster in ALL-CAPS about. Perhaps he should take a lesson from Nigeria, where their fresh new biometric system appears to be nigh-on fraudproof.
Eggheads from the Electronic Development Institute have come up with a nifty portable voting machine; it’s hand-held and solar-powered, and quickly checks voter identity in three ways – by ID card, by fingerprint, and by facial recognition. This eliminates miscounts and multiple votes in one fell swoop, and all the data is stored in the cloud so there’s no point stealing the machine. So it’s much easier for the democratic process to deliver the person for whom the people actually voted.
(Although, er, that doesn’t always work out for the best… say no more, our editorial policy demands we wear an apolitical mask. Everything’s fine, everything will always be fine.)

Premier League Periscope
The thing about everyone having little devices in their pockets that can instantly send video to the devices in everyone else’s pockets is that, for organisations that are really tight on media control, it’s very hard to keep an eye on what people are up to. If you’re sitting at home watching the match and you see an impressive goal, and then tweet a short clip of that goal to show your mates, you’re in breach of copyright, and a SWAT team will immediately smash your door down and chinook you off to a remote island with no other human life or wifi.
The Premier League have been very clear that they’ll take legal action against fans sharing match footage online… but what about matches that aren’t televised? During last weekend’s Manchester City vs. Crystal Palace game, one enterprising Blues fan live-streamed the whole match on Periscope, and 139,000 people tuned in to watch – ten times the attendance at the ground.
The Premier League’s official response has been to reassert that they’ll take action against any fans who broadcast their games. Key word there is ‘fans’, of course. The ones regularly spending the money. Rather than finding an appropriately modern digital compromise, the answer is just ‘No, stop it, or we’ll ruin you’. Interesting.

Les Cuistots Migrateurs
If you pay any attention to the right-wing media (which, of course, you shouldn’t) then you could easily be forced into the opinion that refugees represent a sort of homogenous shuffling mass of unwanted interlopers rather than, y’know, actual unique and distinct human beings who happen to have been tragically displaced by conflict. So it’s heartwarming to hear about projects like Les Cuistots Migrateurs – a French company that hires refugee chefs to prepare and share the native dishes of their homelands.
The company caters for official lunches, dinners and buffets as well as running street food pop-ups and what-have-you, and people are encouraged to put refugee chefs in touch with them in order to help increase understanding and empathy in French society. Seems like a good place to start – everyone enjoys a decent feed.

Daniel Bevis, Senior Knowledge Editor

8th February 2017