Category Archives: News

What it says: stuff that’s relevant to the moment.

Brexit and other Fantastical Beasts

In two days, we elect a government. In the recent history of things, we’d normally be following our historical party affiliations, where a small number of marginal seats tip the balance between parties who pivot around a vaguely centrist axis where, whatever the outcome, most of us can live with it for another five years, the while employing the traditional British relief valves of dark muttering, sarcasm and cynicism. And so the world turns.

But not this time. This time, the stakes are far greater than a short-term opportunity for an elected government to tinker with the parameters of policy, income, debt and stimulus. This time, the stakes are no less than the future of both the UK’s place in the world and, as a consequence, the future of the UK itself. This is an election whose ramifications will play out, not over a five-year term, but over generations.

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Paris, Climate and the Ironies of Trump

This is aimed, in no small part, at my many friends in the US, who I see alternating between despair at their own ‘government’’s behaviour and angst-laden apology to the world for their current Liar-in-Chief. Please, folks, relax, a little at least.

Yes, the withdrawal of the US from the Paris Agreement will do damage – indeed, it already has – but that damage is less to the mitigation of anthropogenic climate change than to US influence in the world.

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New World, New Ways…

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Rewind: Sixteen years or so ago, I was interested in how we use software to help us solve the compound, iterative and ever-changing problems we face every day: juggling complex trip schedules, working out where we need to be and when to co-ordinate with our friends or colleagues and, of course, how we find out about stuff that we’d want if only we knew to ask for it. I’m still thinking about it.

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Backwards to the Future

This blog is in the process of being migrated, after a long period of neglect – a task akin to the move of a million Wildebeeste across the Serengeti, but without the crowd-wisdom of the Gnus – from a distinctly olde worlde co-located server running my own software mashup, which it’s been doing faithfully and reliably for the last nine years, to a very modern cloud instance running WordPress. As is often the case with such things, the new system lacks much of the functionality I built in all that time ago, so please bear with me whilst I finish moving blogs, papers and images over.  In the meantime, if you’d like to get in touch or make large donations, please contact me.

BBC vs ISP: The Irresistible Force vs The Immovable Abject

One news headline in particular caught my eye today, and it wasn’t the usual “Man Weds Goat” stuff, but one headed, “BBC and ISPs Clash Over iPlayer“, wherein I read with increasing disbelief the words of Simon Gunter of Tiscali, a well-known and largely unremarkable trans-national ISP. After reading same, I found myself provoked, stirred and in a state of generalised arghness. So the following may contain traces of rant.

Continue reading BBC vs ISP: The Irresistible Force vs The Immovable Abject

Sir Arthur C Clarke. 12 December 1917-19 March 2008

Sir Arthur C ClarkeThat’s two in one day: Anthony Minghella this morning and Sir Arthur C Clarke this evening. Two great people whose respective talents have entertained and inspired different but overlapping generations, with Anthony Minghella leaving us, far far too soon and Sir Arthur after a good innings and a long life. The quality of the rest of our lives has just dropped a tad. Continue reading Sir Arthur C Clarke. 12 December 1917-19 March 2008