The BiasedBBC Question Time Chat may be returning!

Some excellent work by our very own Julio has produced software which seems suitable. We’ve tested it behind the scenes and now it’s time for the Public Beta trials.

You can find it here.

We would be very grateful if you could take a look. Leave any feedback in the Comments themselves and we will read them. At certain times today we’ll be replying to them real-time in the chat too.

There’s a Registration link on that page which you will need to use first. Standard disclaimers apply … we don’t know, care, check, remember or outright give a rat’s scrotum about your registration details.

Please give it a go and let us know what you think!


Breaking: Mandela Dead

This is going to make Diana’s death look like The Man Who Never Was. There’ll be at least a month of enforced national mourning, including the public stoning of anybody wearing a tie that isn’t black. A one-off tax to pay for the erection of gilded statues of the great man in every London Borough.

The BBC will disappear up their own backside. Mandela is lucky he’s going to miss it.

Question Time 16th May 2013

On the Question Time panel this week – Philip Hammond, Chris Bryant, Charles Kennedy, FT journalist Gillian Tett and television producer Peter Bazalgette.

Please join us over on the livechat server from 10:30pm UK time.

To address some of the issues from last week’s livechat we’ll be running a beta copy of their next version of the chat software. So be aware that it will solve some problems but may bring out others. Hopefully we’ll be joined by the head developer of the project, Paul, who is going to see how his software runs under real-life conditions.

Question Time LiveChat

The Question Time livechat last Thursday was quite promising. There were some teething problems as you’d expect with new software. The chat window needed refreshing for most people every now and then – more for certain people in certain browsers than others. The LogIn/Out button was also in a slightly awkward place. One or two things outside of our control too; emailed passwords stuck in spam filters for example.

To address the issues raised, this week we’re going to run a beta version of the chat software’s next update. Hopefully it will iron out some of the issues. We’re going to be joined by one of the development team who will observe the performance of the chat so if you get issues please include browser type/version and other relevant details in comments so that he can get an idea of what is going on. Remember that it is a beta release of the software so there will be both known and unknown flaws in it still. But for us it is going in the right direction and we are lucky to have the ear of their dev team at this point in the project.

Please head over there before Thursday, make sure you can log in (or create an account if necessary) and try it. If you took a look last week, it still might be worth a look at the differences. Please leave any feedback either here or over there.

See you on Thursday for Question Time!


When Impartial Experts Aren’t

If you tuned in to today’s ‘More or Less’ looking for an impartial broadcast spiced with facts then you had more chance of being run over by a yak. Radio 4 gave over the first ten minutes of the program to the subject of EU withdrawl. One of the main points we were asked to take away was an apparent validation of Clegg’s claim of 3 million job losses if we leave. Podcast

The unchallenged ‘impartial expert’ they used to assess the pros and cons of withdrawal and the accuracy of the figures was Professor Iain Begg of the LSE European Institute. The same Begg who is stridently pro-EU and sits on the advisory council of The Federal Trust for Education and Research which campaigns for the UK to be part of a federal Europe. Who wrote a paper for the LSE in 2009 stating that the economic crisis created compelling reasons for the UK to join the EU single currency [how’s that theory working out for you, eh?]

This wasn’t pointed out or his impartiality challenged as a single contributor. Of course this happens all of the time these days and this is merely another example. But as Scottish and EU referendums draw nearer we need to know more than ever who is paying the wages of the so-called “impartial experts” on our screens.



Question Time LiveChat 9th April 2013

It’s a long overdue welcome back to the Question Time LiveChat.

We’re going to try a new application instead of CoverItLive, which now charges heavily. Please try out the new software on a Test chat session here. The session for the Question Time chat this evening is here.

Question Time comes from Coventry; a city which dates from 1945.

On the panel we have former Shadow Home Secretary, David Davis MP; Business minister, Jo Swinson MP; Shadow Education Minister, Tristram Hunt MP; the hideous Germaine Greer; and Jerry Hayes, criminal barrister and former Conservative MP. Don’t let that fool you – self confessed “on the independent left of the Conservative Party” he was described as Ken Livingstone’s favourite Tory and said that he couldn’t be a Blairite because New Labour wasn’t right-wing enough.

We’ll kick off at 10:30 over here so please make sure you’ve created an account and had a practice if you want to here.

Return of the Question Time LiveChat

Firstly, my apologies for this having taken as long as it has.

For those who don’t know the history, the QuestionTime LiveChats were run using CoverItLive. They decided to bring in a new charging scheme which caught us (and many others, including Guido) in its net, so we dropped it.

Having tried out a variety of alternatives; some free, some with a small cost, we think we’ve found one that’s not too bad.

There is a trial version installed over on another server called so that if we break it when we’re testing, the main site is not affected.

Even if you haven’t taken part in the LiveChats before, we’d be grateful if you could head over there for a few minutes, create an account on that machine (option at the bottom of each sidebar) and give it a go please?

Please leave any comments in the LiveChat session over there. I’ll leave it active for a few days to give everyone a chance to play.

Thanks in advance


The Flanders Mare

Stephanie Flanders, has notoriously has slept with both Ed Milliband and Ed Balls. She is “nauseated” by Conservatives. So she is ideal as the Economics Editor of the BBC then.

“In his speech Cameron talks about the NHS but can they tell us how many of the Cabinet have private health insurance?!”

So Stephanie … do you?

We know you send your two children to public schools so it’s not as though being a hypocrite is out of character….

EDIT: It appears that Flanders has stealth edited her post to shift the comment on to an unverifiable “viewer contribution” hence two screenshots of the same post showing different text. Nice. And can’t be checked of course.

At least on Biased-BBC we document our edits.

Prime Minister’s Questions 12th September 2012

Today Biased-BBC will be hosting a LiveChat for Prime Ministers Questions at 12 noon UK time.

There are two reasons for this. Firstly, although CoverItLive were always commercial at the medium to top volume of their market they have decided to charge everyone now, regardless of size.

Their concession is a sliding scale of charges, but it would still impose a financial burden on the site and we decided to look for an open source version as a replacement.

We will test the proposed solution today.

The second reason is that we think that the server load issues that have may have been at least mostly resolved. This will be a test of the server too. If it dies during the event then it will show that I still have more work to do alongside the hosting company. Please do not be completely surprised if there are problems.

Although this software doesn’t look as polished as CoverItLive there are a vast amount of extra things we can configure behind the scenes. Your input would be fantastic.

Guests can contribute anonymously but will have unique numbers assigned. I’ve turned the Country flag option on for a bit of colour. I think I’ll leave the ability to change your name turned on this time. But there’s a lot in this app. It allows private side chatrooms for example running parallel with the public discussion. That’ll be off this time around.

I’d like to thank David (@DVATW), Billy Bowden (@OnTablets), Max Farquar (@maxfarquar) and David Mosque (@DavidMosque) for their help testing this and for their advice.