Wednesday, April 30, 2008

What is the Future of the WWW?

The year that Undercurrents began 15 years ago, the directors at the lab where the world wide web was first developed signed a document which said the technology could be used by anyone free of charge.

BBC News talks to some of the leading figures in the web community about their hopes for the future of the web.


June 18th –21st 2008 , Košice, Slovakia

We are pleased to inform you that the 14th International Festival of
Local Televisions will be held from June 18th to 21st, 2008 in Košice,
Slovakia. The festival is organized by the City TV Foundation.

We encourage you to enter your programs into the competition for the
Golden Beggar Award. We expect entries that reflect the life and fates
of people living in your place. We also welcome works that discover
serious problems of the present society like corruption, blackmailing,
minority and cross-border problems and children fates. The deadline for
programs to reach us in Košice is 26th May, 2008.

To select the category of your programme please use the following
category descriptions.

1. News
2. Documentary
3. Investigative Journalism
4. Entertainment
5. Children's /Youth programmes
6. Music
7. Animation
8. Young producer (category for young people who don´t represent any

In terms of length, films registered for competition should generally
not exceed 40 minutes. Therefore also very short ones, those less than
10 minutes long, are welcome. Please read the detailed instructions at

Programmes to be sent to:
City TV Foundation, Hutnícka 1, 040 01 Košice, Slovakia


You are also welcome to take part in the festival as a delegate. The
deadline for registration as a delegate is May 31th 2008.

You can register your programme and yourself as a delegate
electronically at from April 20th 2008.

All details on program and participation are available from April 20th,
2008 at http//

Please spread this message to all the people who might be interested in
our festival.

We are looking forward to meeting you in Košice in June.

Eva Dekanovska
President of the Festival
Phone : 00421 55 79 79 117, Fax : 00421 55 79 79 112,
Email :

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Kenny Everett show

A punchy start to any show! We may model our IPTV show upon this

The Lone Ranger.(Quantum Jump)

Blast from 1976

Rainbow Gathering

If you want to experience a true Hippy festival then check out the Rainbow gathering in Wales. They last for about 2 weeks (from April 27)

Rainbow Gatherings are temporary intentional communities, typically held in outdoor settings, and espousing and practicing ideals of peace, love, harmony, freedom and community, as a consciously expressed alternative to mainstream popular culture, consumerism, capitalism and mass media.

Rainbow Gatherings and the "Rainbow Family of Living Light" are an expression of a Utopian impulse, combined with bohemianism and hippie culture, with roots clearly traceable to the 1960s counterculture. Mainstream society is viewed as "Babylon," connoting the participants' widely held belief that modern lifestyles and systems of government are unhealthy and out of harmony with the natural systems of planet Earth.

The original Rainbow Gathering was in 1972, and national gatherings are held throughout the world.

The largest Rainbow Gatherings pose significant logistical challenges, providing up to 30,000 people with food, water, sanitation, medical care, and order in remote settings. Relations with law enforcement and local communities are frequently at issue. Media coverage is often unfavorable, focusing on drug use, nudity, and the countercultural aspects of the assemblage. Nevertheless, the Gatherings have proven durable phenomena for 36 years.

Directions to Rainbow in Wales on Tyle Crwn Woodlands:

Get yourselves onto the A470 5 miles north of Brecon.

Travelling southbound to Brecon - you'll pass a sign for 'felinfach'
and shortly after you'll see a pink cottage on your left. Do not take
the left hand turning immediately after the cottage, but take the next
left signed 'Tredomen'. Follow lane until small crossroads, turn left
there and follow single lane track until you come to open fields with
track running across and a green post box on the gate. Go through the
gate and down through the next gate into the woodlands. Welcome

This is a drug free, alcohol free, dog free gathering.

Bring love light and everything to keep you warm and comfortable.
Wellies and waterproofs essential - some access paths are pretty muddy
due to small cows!

Please bring dried food donations, tents, tools, tarps, balnkets,
spoon, mug, bowl, sleeping bag...and don't forget to put your magic in
the magic hat!!

The family here are super lovely and rainbow friendly, please show
them love and respect.

Please network this to anyone who wants to be part of the magic and
come celebrate beltane with the family. the gathering beins now!!

Fancy dress lead to armed reponse in Oxfordshire

A Police over response again.

Fancy dress lead to armed reponse
By Tim Hobden Oxford Mail

A party goer dressed as a chainsaw-wielding murderer believes police had a "sense of humour failure" after the force scrambled a helicopter and armed cops to collar him. Read more here

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Undercurrents videos- a selection

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Face of the future?

Airline passengers are to be screened with facial recognition technology rather than checks by passport officers, in an attempt to improve security and ease congestion, the Guardian can reveal.

Expect another shambles as the technology breaks down and lets 'terrorists' thru but holds up your granny as a subversive needing to be held in detention for 4 weeks.

Better to check out NO2ID, the campaigning organisation- a single-issue group focussed on the threat to liberty and privacy posed by the rapid growth of the database state, of which "ID cards" are the most visible part.

They say
'We aim to publicise the case against state identity management among the general public, in the media, and at every level in government. NO2ID's members are from all sorts of backgrounds and hold all sorts of opinions on other questions. They almost certainly include people much like you.'

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Helen gets funding for Surf movie

Helen from undercurrents has been awarded funding to make a movie about how climate change is affecting surfing. Following surfers in Wales over a year she can reveal the impact which our changing climate is having on beaches, the sea levels and temperature.

Monday, April 21, 2008

McDonalds junk food

A great Q&A with McDonalds junk food i found online today. Cheeky questions such as

Q.What is the average semen content of a big mac?
Q.Do the staff spit in a burger if you order plain?
Q.Why was the Macdonalds in Edgware Closed down? i Heard a rumor that it was because someone masturbated in one of the burgers. is this True?

McD actually answer them all..hilarious

Sunday, April 20, 2008

What is this?

Some say it is a Buckler, used for sabre sword training and that it is 300 years old. Do you have suggestions?
I put the phone in for scale

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Doctor Who Hears Voices

Rufus May appears in our film Evolving Minds so this will be interesting to watch.

"The Doctor Who Hears Voices tells the true story of Ruth, a junior
doctor, who has begun to hear a male voice telling her to kill herself.
Suspended from her job, she turns to clinical psychologist Rufus May who
is known for his unconventional approach to treating people with severe
mental health problems.

Although she admitted feeling depressed and suicidal to her employers,
Ruth knows they would have sacked her immediately if she had told them
about the voice."

*Monday 21 April
**Channel 4 *
*10:00pm-11:20pm *
Drama-documentary by BAFTA award winning film maker, based on a true
story. When junior doctor Ruth hears a male voice telling her to kill
herself she turns to Rufus May, a maverick clinical psychologist and an
expert in the field of severe mental illnesses, to overcome her problem
and find a way back to work.
Director Leo Regan
Producer Leo Regan

M for Merchandise (

The Outdoors Show (which is indoors) at Birmingham. We find what tools are on sale for Bushcrafters, meet wooden canoe makers, find romance in the woods and meet bushcraft instructors. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Don’t Drink from the Mainstream.

Don’t Drink from the Mainstream.
(How the article looked is on the right)
Here’s the note pinned on the studio door of Undercurrents productions in South Wales.
To do list for 2008

1) Make 10 new video series on topics ranging from Woodland skills to Technology reviews and from Political news to investigative documentaries.

2) Develop a desktop video player application based upon the open source software.

3) Launch an Internet Protocol Television Station which builds an open mass medium of online television.

Ps: Do it all on a minuscule budget

Alternative news organisation, Undercurrents does like a challenge. Born out of frustration in 1993 at the mainstream media’s lack of drive in reporting environmental issues, my colleagues and I searched for other outlets. After three years trying to convince BBC2 and Channel 4 to commission our documentaries, we decided to establish our own distribution. Rather than hanging around Westminster, our reporters immersed themselves in the vibrant counter-culture politics of the UK, giving us real insights into just how people were feeling about the future. While the mass media concentrated on apathetic youth, our cameras focused on motivated people intent on stopping a motorway destroying the medieval forests of Newbury or carving up the majestic Twyford Down. Many other reporters were too busy discussing the hairstyles of ‘eco-warriors’ to bother investigating the actual issues behind the tunnels and the tree houses.

Fast-forward to this century, to the floods, storms and record-breaking temperatures. Our climate is changing for the worse yet broadcasters are still very slow in appointing dedicated environmental journalists to provide consistent knowledge about the looming chaos. It is clearly up to the people themselves to get informed.

Years before the term ‘citizen journalism’ became fashionable, Undercurrents was training campaigners to make micro-documentaries using Sony Hi8 camcorders and twin JVC SVHS decks. Distribution relied upon the humble VHS cassette and a subscription model similar to magazines. Within 5 years we had sent out more than 30,000 videotapes, prompting Time Out to dub us "the news you don’t see on the news". By the end of the 20th century, we had succeeded in putting video cameras in the hands of people who actually had something useful to say, and giving them a platform to be heard from.

Undercurrents soon upgraded from our Sony Pd150s and invested in the handheld Sony HVR-A1E HD cameras and the shoulder mounted JVC GY-HD100. For the first five years of the 21st century we relied upon DVD and CD-ROM for distribution, even encouraging our subscribers to copy and distribute our discs under ‘copy-left’ licences to their friends worldwide with the understanding there would be no profiteering.

It was a great success, very little loss in quality leading to a few self-motivated people translating our films and widening the circulation further than we could ever have afforded. Our video archive is now one of the largest libraries of protest and social change events in the UK if not the world. We regularly licence our images to documentary makers such as Michael Moore and John Pilger. Our many clients include political comedian Mark Thomas and rock band System of a Down. While we supply dramatic images to Sky, ITN, and BBC News our camcorder images even appear in dozens of blockbusters, from Godzilla to Fahrenheit 911.

Today of course our DIY distribution is based around the Internet. Rather than paying for expensive streaming servers, we have decided to base it around the much more inclusive peer-to-peer technology of BitTorrent and peer caching LINK wikepidea. Designed in 2001, BitTorrent is a method of distributing large amounts of data widely without the original distributor incurring the entire costs of hardware, hosting and bandwidth resources. Instead, when data is distributed using the BitTorrent protocol, each recipient supplies pieces of the data to newer recipients, reducing the cost and burden on any given individual source, providing redundancy against system problems, and reducing dependence on the original distributor. Even the BBC have recognised the benefits of this path by shaping their i-Player around it. We are attracting subscribers daily by using Really Simple Syndication (RSS) video feeds. This is an invaluable system making it easy to subscribe and receive our latest content automatically.

Funding all this is of course is a sticking point, but our main drive is to ensure that ethical companies can make best use of the emerging technologies. In 2007 the audience for online videos in the UK rose to 21million, a dramatic rise of 28% over the previous year. So forget banner adverts, the smart companies want to embed their logos within relevant online videos. Earlier this month we signed a sponsorship deal with a progressive travel agency. will support our Bike2Oz series about the couple cycling the 12,000km to Sydney from Oxford highlighting the links between aviation and climate chaos.

While most corporations struggle to control the illegal distribution of their content with Digital Rights Management, we have decided to licence our work under Creative Commons licence allowing viewers to take our videos and change, screen or copy them figuring that a far and wide distribution is a huge bonus for our advertisers.

So things are heating up in the Undercurrents camp as we have spent the last year training presenters, video reporters and Final Cut Pro editors to make their own news from a wide range of perspectives.

Our VisionOnTV video player application, (based upon the existing Miro) will be released on April 1st 2008 with two ways of experiencing it in mind. First being a ‘lean back’ experience- i.e.: viewers can just sit back and enjoy the full screen high quality content. Once comfortable with the experience of viewing online Television, viewers will be encouraged to ‘lean in’- for the view-on-demand and begin to rate, tag, share, bookmark videos or just chat online about the issues being raised.

Developed under an GPL open source licence we will make the source code of VisionOnTV available granting anyone the right to use and develop it. This is what we view as progress when building the open mass medium of online television. We have a window of opportunity to keep IPTV open but there's a constant risk that large corporations will continue to build proprietary systems, which lock users into closed systems. By championing video RSS we hope we can help make a more level playing field. So our goal in some ways is to nudge the video industry in the direction of using open standards.

However creating an open TV network is only one of our goals.Climate change is real and people will never spontaneously take action themselves unless they receive social support and the validation of others. Governments in turn will continue to procrastinate until sufficient numbers of people demand a response. To avert further climate change will require a degree of social consensus and collective determination normally only seen in war time, and that will require mobilisation across all classes and sectors of society. The media has a huge role within that mobilisation and hopefully with the open solutions we are building, Undercurrents and VisionOnTv will play a vital role over the next decade. Undercurrents does like a challenge.

To download the VisionOnTV player go to
For more information about Undercurrents go to

Corporation tried to ban BBC Titanic story.

Documents from the BBC archive show how shipping firms and the government tried to block a 1947 radio play about the sinking of the Titanic. They were worried it would affect profits.Little change there then!

The Titanic was a British registered four funnelled ocean liner built for the transatlantic passenger and mail service between Southampton and New York.

Constructed at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Northern Ireland she was, at the time of her maiden voyage, the largest vessel afloat.

On April 10th 1912 the Titanic set sail from Southampton with 2,200 passengers and crew, four days later the Titanic collided with an iceberg and sank. 1500 people died and 700 survived.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Films about Sustainable lives wanted

ECOMOVE International, a non-profit-organization promoting environmental
media, has started a project in co-operation with EZEF, a
non-governmental-organization associated with the church development
service. In the frame work of this project a film series “A sustainable
Germany in a globalised world” will be compiled. On this background, we are
searching for films which should be used in education organisations in

ECOMOVE and EZEF are preparing a film programme including environmental and
social issues covering the following topics:

- Climate changes and environmental effects of globalisation
- Mobility and Traffic
- Utilisation/exploitation of natural resources (e.g. Water)
- Sustainable energy
- Sustainable visions and models / fair trade
- Opportunity and fairness in the process of Globalisation

We are currently in the process of selecting film and TV productions
focusing on the above mentioned subjects. Therefore we invite filmmakers,
producers and TV stations to submit relevant and qualified film and TV
productions to ECOMOVE International. The films could be in different
formats and genres (e.g. documentary, feature film, animation, experimental

We would be very pleased to receive films and recommendations that come
under any of the mentioned categories! Please send a preview copy of the
film on DVD to the address given below until May 31, 2008. ECOMOVE ensures
that any films submitted are used only after all relevant permissions have
been obtained.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us. Thanking you
very much in advance!

Best wishes,

Karina Juchelka
ECOMOVE International

Address for film entries:
ECOMOVE International
Im Gärtle 15
79104 Freiburg
Tel.: 0049 - 761 - 7669286
Fax.: 0049 - 761 - 7669285

Spoof Squatters newspaper

esho front page

MESHO, The 16-page tabloid spoof paper about squatting, homelessness and autonomous spaces is out!

Apeing the METRO masthead, watch out if you see what looks like a METRO on a tube train or bus - it might be a MESHO

Look out for MESHO in all the squatted/autonomous spaces opened up this weekend in cities across Britain.

Allegedly the paper nearly didn’t happen because three separate printers pulled out at the last minute fearing a legal comeback – or claiming they didn't have insurance. One excused themselves because they print METRO, before another finally obliged at the last minute.

What does MESHO mean? Well it looks like METRO but is an anagram of HOMES. So there.

Download MESHO on pdf (16 page, tabloid size, 4.7mb) at

A Squatter

Spoof Squatters newspaper

esho front page

MESHO, The 16-page tabloid spoof paper about squatting, homelessness and autonomous spaces is out!

Apeing the METRO masthead, watch out if you see what looks like a METRO on a tube train or bus - it might be a MESHO

Look out for MESHO in all the squatted/autonomous spaces opened up this weekend in cities across Britain.

Allegedly the paper nearly didn’t happen because three separate printers pulled out at the last minute fearing a legal comeback – or claiming they didn't have insurance. One excused themselves because they print METRO, before another finally obliged at the last minute.

What does MESHO mean? Well it looks like METRO but is an anagram of HOMES. So there.

Download MESHO on pdf (16 page, tabloid size, 4.7mb) at

A Squatter

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Y for Youth (AZ of Bushcraft)

The future of Bushcraft lay in the next generation so Andrew trains a group of young people in building a debris shelter, walking silently in the woods and how to use a knife. They also learn how to cooka nd eat worms!


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Campaigners win BAE-Saudi corruuption courtcase

The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade WIN BAE-Saudi corruuption
judicial review.

Court rules UK Serious Fraud Office termination of investigation illegal.

Thursday 10 April 2008

This morning at 10 o'clock, the UK High Court ruled that the Director of
the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) acted unlawfully when he stopped a
corruption investigation into BAE Systems' arms deals with Saudi Arabia.

The judgment was handed down in response to a judicial review brought by
Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) and The Corner House.

The judges described the SFO Director's subsequent termination of the
investigation on 14th December 2006 as a 'successful attempt by a foreign
government to pervert the course of justice in the United Kingdom'.

They were scathing about the arguments given in court for ending the

'It is obvious . . . that the decision to halt the investigation suited
the objectives of the executive. Stopping the investigation avoided
uncomfortable consequences, both commercial and diplomatic.'

Both groups would like to thank all those who have supported us throughout
the past 16 months in bringing this court case. It wouldn't have been
possible without you!

As we said in our statement read out at the press conference: 'This is not
just CAAT's and Corner House's case. It is yours too. It belongs to
everyone who is troubled by corruption, by the arms trade, and by the
misuse of national security arguments to protect the powerful'.

We'll post the judgment, press release, statement and analysis up on our
website as soon as we've recovered . . . We'll also send you a selection
of the media coverage.

But if you can't wait -- or would like to see pictures of today's press
conference -- please go to our dedicated judicial review website:

Climate Protest group find spy in their midst

Spies in our midst.

Piecing together evidence including photographs, reports from fellow students at Oxford and website profiles, protest group 'Plane Stupid' discovered the agent who was going by the name of 'Ken Tobias' is in fact 'Toby Kendall' who was captain of the athletics team at Wadham College, Oxford. Kendall went undercover in London Plane Stupid following last year's Climate Camp at Heathrow.

Accoring to Plane Stupid he made "elementary errors" as his career as a secret agent faltered at the first hurdle: "Due to his poorly constructed back-story and appalling acting skills. When Plane Stupid fed Kendall false information it was just 48 hours before sources in the aviation industry confirmed that the plans had been reported back to them".

The day after he was confronted, Kendall emailed Plane Stupid saying he "came into the group with a pure heart wanting to make a difference. I still of course hold my principles." Tamsin Omond, 23, a Church of England parish administrator, said today: "The aviation industry brought its special brand of bumbling incompetence to the task of spying on us. Their secret agent was more Austin Powers than James Bond though the question still remains, who paid the espionage agency?"

This isn't the first case of a spy being uncovered by activists in the recent past. The Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) was infiltrated by Martin Hogbin, see the enemy within from CAAT and BAe Spy Martin Hogbin and Mark Thomas by Mark Thomas and the 2005 CAAT Steering Committee statement on spying.

In the run-up to the 2005 G8 summit in Scotland, an American woman, known as Anna, contacted anti-G8 medics and various IMC's claiming she wanted to get involved with the protests. She was later identified in the set-up of the Auburn Three trial and turned out to be an FBI informant/agent. According to the FBI's own affidavit, "Anna" had been involved in gathering information on 12 separate cases in the anarchist movement.

Other cases of spys being caught include the case of the Oakland Police Infiltrators taking control of an anti-war group and the case of the Terrorism Task Force operative infiltrating a peace group in Fresno, see the Indybay article, What Have Peace Fresno Members Learned Since the Infiltration.

Ward Churchill, author of The COINTELPRO Papers, 'Documents From the FBI's Secret Wars Against Dissent in the United States' has documented the history of state infiltration of activists movements in the 1960's and 1970's and several of his talks on this matter are available online: [1] | [2] | [3].

Private spy contractors are very big business - the US spent over $43 billion on spy services in 2007 according to the Christian Science Monitor, "the bulk of money was spent on private contractors" and this figure doesn't include "billions of dollars spent by military services on intelligence". For more background information see the feature article Indymedia and British Intelligence Services.

UK Police arrest journalists despite their own guidelines!

Cops arrest the same photographer who helped put these guidelines together with the Police. We produced a film a few years ago about this but sadly Police still arrest the media.



1. The media has a legitimate role to play in informing the public and they will attend the scene of incidents. The presence of a photographer or reporter at an incident does not of itself constitute any unlawful obstruction or interference.

2. Journalists need to collect information about an incident as quickly as possible. Some of this information may seem irrelevant, unimportant or improper to an officer. However, as long as the journalist does not break the law, or interfere with an investigation, or cross a cordon, the police officer should not impede the reporter. Journalists who break the law will be dealt with in the same manner as any other offender.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Time Traveller?

Time just a viral advert

The blog of Hakan Nordkvist was the heart of aviral campaign. This is where he first came out as a time traveller, posted his evidence, talked about being approached by moviemakers and journalists.

Turns out he was just part of a clever viral advert

BBC do battle with Internet Service Providers

The BBC's iPlayer service has changed the nature of watching video on the web
"The iPlayer has come along and made downloading a legal and mass market activity,"

By using bit torrent filesharing software the BBC has angered the greedy ISPs. Hopefully this will open the way for people like us who are setting up internet TV using the same technology.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Bear Grylls Hotel room survival

How to survive in a hotel room. Top tips from the master of survival. How to find and cook tasty food, find a drinking supply and using towels in life or death situations.

More on