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Showing posts from 2002
2003 - The Year of Outsourcing?

The rain has stopped but there's a gale blowing in its place. Large grey waves are crashing over the sea wall and catching small children on their new bicycles. Walk along a little further into Margate and you'll see small knots of refugees "taking the air".

I'm reminded that my great-grandfather, Andrew Mac Ewan tried to take a fishing boat from here with other 'Little Ships' on a 'Day Trip' to Dunkirk, sixty years ago, to collect another kind of refugee. He was a remarkable man and a Hemingway-style character. Thwarted by my great-grandmother's threat to leave him if, as expedition engineer, he joined Ernest Shackleton's voyage to Antarctica, he did the next best thing and in the first days of the Great War aged 39, he became a volunteer ambulance driver in the Belgium army, - 5th November 1914 from his passport - Somehow he survived this early form of off-road driving to become a war photographer for the …
It Never Rains But..

Monday afternoon and I'm thinking of building an Ark. It's raining so hard that the garden path has become a small stream.

I went to visit my little Cessna aircraft at its farm strip home this morning. There's water up to its brake discs and doubt I could taxi it out of the muddy swamp it's sitting in, let alone risk taking-off on the grass runway, where my feet sink up to my ankles.

Nothing else to do but stay inside and write about security. You'll find Part 2. of my security report below.

Time for a New Model of Security

Part 2. of A Special Report on Information Security

In its ‘Technology Trends for 2003’, Red Herring Magazine concludes that software-based information security has been and will continue to disappoint. It states that “If software, the traditional approach to providing security, had been working, then businesses wouldn't have lost an estimated $1.7 billion to security breaches since the September 11 terrorist attacks. Software , by its very nature, is soft, it's easy to change, damage, or destroy. Chips, on the other hand, are made from hard silicon; a tougher nut to crack”.

The magazine points out that “Intel plans to include security features in its next generation of microprocessors. The company hopes these chips will ensure that computers are secure the moment they are turned on, thwarting a common hacker's trick”.

What Red Herring is referring to, is a well developed plan from the TCPA (The Trusted Computing Platform Alliance ) for the …
Trivial Pursuits

Staying with the subject of Lotus Development (an IBM company), can anyone else remember who almost bought them once upon a time, back in the Jurassic period of IT history?

Before IBM stepped-in to gobble-up Notes at the beginning of the Internet era (Lotus had overstretched itself against Microsoft), AT&T was a front-running candidate and I have my inaugural Sky News clip to prove it.

The earlier possibility at the end of the eighties, was Novell (remember them too?). I recall attending the party in Boston to celebrate the engagement between Novell's Ray Noorda and Lotus' Jim Manzi but the wedding was abruptly cancelled at the 11th hour. Whether this had anything to do with Novell's strong Mormon influence is anyone's guess and to be honest, I'm getting too old to remember.

I have one memory at about the same time, of sharing a Boston cab with a young man called Ray Ozzie, who, I think, had been attempting to convince the Lotus management team…
OS/2 - Now it's Time to Wave Goodbye

"Insurrection - An unsuccesful revolution. Disaffection's failure to substitute misrule for bad government" - The Devils Dictionary.

I almost forget and not with a bang but with a whimper, OS/2, the "Great Rebellion", finally died this month.

Still fresh in my memory is an argument with a friend of mine, a Vice President at Lotus Development, remember them? (www.Lotus.Com is dead too). He once told me that I was out of my "F***g mind" if I thought that business and the industry would support Microsoft's new Windows Operating System over IBM's much better and more reliable OS/2.

"But it's pretty", I said "and people would much prefer a graphical user interface over OS/2 rather sullen looking prompt".

It was Jim Manzi, the Lotus CEO, who told me that I was being "Unfriendly" in importing Ray Ozzie's 3-for-3 software that allowed Lotus 1-2-3 (OS/2 version) to run under W…
A Posteriori

I have writer's block, quite possibly because I haven't had a cup of coffee yet.

It was Samuel Johnson who said "No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money" and I have to admit that keeping the journal up to date and attempting to be witty on a Saturday morning can be a struggle!

Yesterday, I had my first experience of Windows XP (SP1) crashing, not once but several times. Now XP is not supposed to crash, its the product's unique selling point but I can tell you that it does and it can - corrupting the Registry in the process - and I haven't quite worked out why, because I haven't added or removed any software or hardware.

Another word to the wise is that's Symantec's very good personal firewall AKA, Norton Internet Security, blocks the 'Windows Update' feature in XP and does other strange things, such as preventing the editing of Blogger templates. Microsoft are aware of this, as are Symantec and at this time, Norton …
A Priori

The end of one year and the beginning of the next always witnesses a wave of predictions. Given the unpredictability of the world's stock markets, I'm quite surprised that nobody has attempted to second-guess the fortunes of companies in the technology sector by reading their different star signs?

Oracle has to be a Virgo and Microsoft shows definite Cancerian traits. But then, "economics", as someone once told me, "is a profession marginally less respectable than astrology" and he was probably right.

The technology sector should perhaps study its own weaknesses more carefully at this difficult time in its short history. There is an unfortunate tendency on the part of many large and successful IT companies to believe too deeply in their own propaganda. This is, after all, the engine which maintains the stock price, when market conditions are unfavourable.

If there is one modest and sometimes painful consequence of recession, then it's introspect…
'The unexamined life is not worth living' - Socrates
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The Top Ten Trends of 2003

"As the last few years have illustrated, trying to correctly identify future trends in technology is like peering into a crystal ball. Blindfolded. In the middle of an earthquake. The best you can hope for is not to get hurt by the flying shards of glass".

Very much the one to read. Red Herring magazine's technology predictions for 2003.

Don't miss it!

Definition: The study of human behavior connected to the emergence and evolution of the Internet in conjunction with the psychology of actions and interactions within a virtual or 'wired' society.

Carl Gustav Jung

Cyberchology is an expression conceived of by Simon Moores to describe the pathology of hacking and cybercrime. The term has now broadened its definition to embrace new patterns of social behavior, which appeared subsequent to the arrival of the Internet.

Such behavior may commonly include the following subjects when they impinge on the world of the Internet:

- Hacking & Information Theft

- Virus Authoring

- Virtual Relationships - (SMS/IM/Internet)

- Sexual Behaviour & Pyschology

- Internet Stalking

- Consumer Behaviour

- Political Expression
UK Online to Acquire Church of England

e-Envoy revealed as new Archbishop of Canterbury.

- Christmas sermon promises fully joined-up religion by 2005
- Single sign-on relationship to include all faiths
- Six thousand Churches to re-launch as UK Online Centres
- Sunday collections to be supported by Government Gateway
- New eMinister praises envoy's 'Digital Preaching' plan

"(e)vangelism entirely compatible with reformation" in Xmas message

The most surprising news story of all over the Christams holiday, was the discovery that e-Envoy Andrew Pinder and the Archbishop of Canterbury. Dr Rowan Williams, appear to be one and the same person.

A swift comparison of photographs of the two men appears to confirm suspicions that the Prime Minister's 'Broadband Britain' initiatiative contains a hidden spirtual agenda which will be revealed through the Office of the e-Envoy's UK Online service.

<img src="> <br /> <br />Sources close to the Cabinet Office have suggested that the apparatus of The Church of England will relocate to Stockley House in 2003 but that it will continue with its religious function, as an online service, under the the supervision of Office of the e-Envoy's Director of Communications, Bill Edwards. <br /> <br />The Government Gateway will be upgraded to deal with collections and the s…
No Turkey, Only Spam

"It is a very sad thing that nowadays, there is so little useless information"
Oscar Wilde

You might have though that Xmas day would offer some relief from the relentless plague of Spam but no, the usual offers of mortgages, loans, unusual sexual accessories and one email from someone called 'Niresh' who keeps trying to send me a virus; it is the season of goodwill after all.

The Christian world is grinding to a festive halt under the weight of turkey and Christmas pudding. All that is except that is for the business programmes on CNBC and Bloomberg which find themselves competing with 'Rudolph the Red' Nosed Reindeer and 'The King's New Beard' for an audience.

I have to admit, I did feel desparately sorry for my friends, anchors Emma and Geoff on CNBC this morning and even sorrier for anyone else who might be watching a business programme at 11:00 on Xmas day.

Time to return to the adventures of Rudolph, my dr…
Merry Christmas One & All

A very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year ahead for all my friends and readers everywhere.

Outside frantic last minute shoppers are stumbling around, mostly men, wearing a hunted look on their faces, reflecting a sudden ghastly realisation that Christmas Day is only hours away and they haven't any clear idea what gifts they should buy their wives or girlfriends. Buying gifts for women can be a risky exercise at he best of times, avoid clothes because this involves guessing at sizes but diamonds and Chanel handbags are always welcome if all else fails!

I can still vaguely recall the first presents I ever bought with my own money. I can't have been much older than eight and venturing into the village where we lived, I bought my parents a newspaper and a custard pie. I think I ate the pie on the way home but it's the thought that counts!

As I write this, I'm suddenly reminded that my parents used to take me around to all the Christmas pa…
Special Report - Moores on the Information Security Threat – Part One

Over the last three months, I’ve been looking closely at the question of information security and the Internet. I’ve collected the opinions of Civil Servants, MPs’, MEPs’ the Police, and leading experts from the different interests that divide opinion in the IT industry, Microsoft, IBM, Red Hat, Symantec and many more. When I mention my interest in the Public Sector I find reactions can be very different. With government as an important customer, The IT vendors are happy to discuss their own vision of the future for information security but in contrast, some parts of government have been rather less than enthusiastic, for reasons which will soon become clear.

If November was notable for the eSummit, a well-orchestrated celebration of progress towards the Prime Minister’s 2005 vision of joined-up government and ‘Broadband Britain’, then December offered a less well publicised but equally significant gathering in a qui…
Information Warfare & Security

Two book recommendations for the security minded ithis week. The first is Dorothy Denning's primer on the subject, 'Information Warfare & Security (ISBN 0-201-43303-6).

Denning is Professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University and an expert in both cryptography and data security. As a foundation text for any interest or work in this area, then this book, together with John Chirillo's excellent 'Hack Attacks Revealed' should be high on one's reading list.

Make an effort to visit the Tiger Tools Web page for more information or bookmark it as a definitive security resource for the future.

There Are No Secrets

Let's be honest, as long as someone inside the UK Foreign Office is leaking confidential memos to the Cryptome Web site, it is an entirely futile exercise for the Government to request that the Sunday Times, which keeps popping on to the Web to read the latest revelations, doesn't print the source of its information.

It hardly takes a degree in computer science to track down the offending Web site via one of the large search engines and in this case, it was a Foreign & Commonwealth Office report on the visit to the UK by Sergei Ivanov, the man on the right in the photograph; another retired secret agent described as "Putin's closest adviser".

What was as interesting as the discussion on Chechnya and Iran was the Russian view on 'Infomation Security'.

If I find myself in a Police cell over Xmas, then you now know why but according to the contents of the memo on Cryptome's US Web site, conveniently out of the reach of the UK co…
No Escape from the Vogon

I suggested to my friends at Microsoft last week that the company's larger-than-life President, Steve Ballmer does rather resemble a living Vogon 'Constructor Fleet Commander", as seen in the BBC television series of Douglas Adams' Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

Vogons, as I'm sure most of will recall, write the most awful poetry in the galaxy and like nothing better than reciting their verses in public. Of course, many of us have a hidden 'Vogon-like' quality to our personalities, a secret vice which the Internet and 'Blogging' only encourages.

Most recently, I entered one of my own efforts at writing Japanese-style verse, seventeen syllable Haiku, into the Guardian Newspaper's competition and to my surprise, they chose to publish it. With winter coming and three years into the 21st century, I was jarred by the pathetic sight of a homeless family camped in the subway under Charing Cross station.

Two children, two dog…
The Wright Stuff

“2003” says Ovum’s Richard Holway, “is not the year of revenue growth. It is the year of competitiveness and market share.”

We’ve had several years now of the larger IT vendors directing business towards the benefits of a new El Dorado, ‘Return on Investment’ (ROI) and many, if not most customers are still hacking their way through the jungle trying to discover if such a thing really exists or whether its simply wishful thinking on the part of the Financial Director.

Before Xmas, I was told that software companies had a very narrow view of ROI which failed to embrace the ‘Big Picture’ view of what constitutes a good return and what doesn’t. 2002, introduced the first evidence of a new conservatism on the part of customers, who had realized that spending as much of 40% of a company’s revenue on IT wasn’t demonstrating a proportional leap in profitability or an improvement in processes.

Of course, there were exceptions but 2002 was a hard year for many businesses and a…
Sponsor a Madman for Xmas

Over the years, and for different charities that include the NSPCC and Ravenswood, I have run across the Sahara desert, sponsored by Symantec, taken a mountain bike over the route of the Exodus with the support of Microsoft and climbed a mountain carrying an Apple Newton.

In 2003, if my exhausted physiotherapist allows, I'm looking for a new challenge, a new charity and a new sponsor. Are any readers interested in acting as sponsor?

Sale or Return on Investment

In my 'Though for the Day' on CW360 today, I mention that: "2002 was a year that had business concentrating on finding the real value in the systems that had been installed as a response to the Y2K threat"

I suspect that businesses are heartily sick of being lectured on ROI, by software companies, who after all, only look at 'Return on Investment' from a very narrow perspective. I'm told that measuring ROI is rather more of challenge than simply looking at software costs. It embraces people costs, capital investment and much much more and software represents the tip of a much larger and more expensive iceberg for the Financial Director, who heard a great deal about ROI three years ago and like the search for the Holy Grail, has still to find it.
Moores' Law - Revised 2003

Following last night's Microsoft Xmas party for the media, I decided to revise the original Moore's Law, defined by Intel's Gordon Moore to a new version which better reflects Microsoft's efforts around the .Net architecture. This has the raw information (i) increasing at the square of lines of new software code (c) or I=C2

As a consequence, .Net's stated ambition of seamlessly connecting all the information stuff in the world through your PDA or mobile phone, will never be able to keep pace with the information growth that its code generates as a by-product. Of course, this is more of a theory than a law but explains, in part, why my inbox remains constantly unmanageable, however had I might try.
Don't Forget the End of the World

A diary date for you is the 12th december 2012, which according to the Mayan Calendar is the date for the next cataclysm to befall mankind.

A Mayan date utilises three calendars. The third calendar, known as the "long count", is a continuous record of days that starts over every 5000 years or so. The current Long Count began in 3114 BC and end in 2012. With luck, we will have 100% eGovernment and Broadband Britain in place well in advance of this date allowing us all to follow the end of the world, as it happens, on UK Online but there remains some risk of the Carole Caplin story dragging on and eclipsing mankind's final moments on the front page of the Daily Mail..

Seven Days

To Christmas that is and most of my own shopping has been done over the Internet this year, including the large cuddly Timber Wolf for my small daughter from FolkManis in Germany. In return, rumour has it that said small daughter has noticed that her doting middle-aged father is smitten by the lovely Sophie Ellis Bextor. Of course I'm fickle, it was Dido last year and an angel from Surrey the year before. I'm reliably informed that an Amazon-sourced CD could well be among the pile of presents under the Christmas tree next week.

One interesting observation, is that according to my wife, none of the school mothers she knows, are risking a trip into central London with their childen this year for fear of a terrorist incident. Is it just the middle-class mums of Wimbledon who feel this way or is the worry - with a possible war with Iraq now only weeks away - more pervasive than we realise?
House Rules

I was asked into Portcullis House yesterday to meet the researcher for Chris Grayling (Conservative MP -Epsom & Ewell). It appears that my comments on NHS procurement in the Guardian and CW360 have stimulated some interest from the party in opposition and so I was asked for a view on the procurement process as it exists today.

We might now have an NHS IT Czar but we have a long way to go, I believe, before the procurement process is properly reformed and achieves the transparency that might reasonably be demanded of it. There are too many powerful interests competing for astronomical sums of taxpayers money and for projects, that at times, appear to offer relatively poor value.

Any small effort to find a spark of optimism is invariably dashed when I remember government's insistence on building the The Dome, against all reasonable argument. Does anyone really believe that better and more expensive IT will reform a chronically sick National Health Service? If you do, …
That Was the Year – That Was

Before I write a last column for 2002, looking forward to the coming year, the editor has asked me look back over the last twelve months and pick out two quite different stories that interested me most.

You know, there wouldn’t be a ‘Thought for the Day’ without ‘Blogging’, the Weblog phenomenon of 2002. This gives everyone the opportunity of publishing, well anything really, on a public Web site and millions of people now ‘Blog’ their opinions and diaries on the Web each day.

I started this year with my own Blog at and this daily exercise evolved into ‘Thought for the Day’. However, it strikes me that very soon, some IT news sites will start to incorporate Blogs into their content, if only because some rather interesting people are ‘Blogging’ away each day.

Take Alan Mather, the CEO (eDelivery) at the Office of the e-Envoy as one example. Alan is a man at the sharp end of e-Government and the Government Gateway is just one …
The New Barbarian Manifesto

My book recommendation of the week and mandatory reading or it should be, for anyone involved in the development or delivery of 21st century government, with or without the 'e'.

Written by London School of Economics Professor, Ian Angell, its a manifesto for the brave new world and the economic elite who will ultimately dominate our increasingly global society.

Don't miss it.
Cogito Ergo Sum

I watched a programme recently, where one of the world's most eminent neurologists revealed a fundamental flaw in our understanding of consciousness.

Very simply, we don't think and then act. We act and then think about acting about 200 milliseconds later.

To be honest, I lost some sleep over this as it presents a neurological equivalent of the famous physics 'interference' experiment, which should have bands of light cancelling each other out but doesn't.

You see, if the brain makes a decision and mind only appears to offer a commentary on our actions and is in fact, not responsible for them, then what, one wonders is?

In fact, this led me to thinking on the Zen connection, Eugen Herrigel's 'Zen & The Art of Archery', because what appears to be being described is something that has been known about since the dawn of eastern philosophy. One is 'conscious' the unconscious, 'It', when studying the different martial arts,…
Praise Indeed.

Alan Mather, the Office of the e-Envoy's Chief Executive (eDelivery) writes in his own very entertaining Weblog:

"If we were to setup a forum that had Phil Windley with his views on authentication, Dave Winer with his technology ideas (and developments in RSS), Jon Udell just because he knows lots of stuff, John Gotze because he set up the first government-related weblog and also because he understands the issues that face government, Simon Moores because he's been around the block on this stuff for a while, James Crabtree and Bill Thompson because they are Vox Politics and probably Vox People. And there are others too I am sure. So if we put them all in a "room", virtual or otherwise, and had them map out the things that are needed to deliver services that have the features that I outlined above, could we solve all of the problems that we face, deliver services that people want and see, finally, transformed government? Just a thought".

As a student of both Iaido and Zen philosophy, I was fascinated to read the following excerpt from Gregory Irvine's reference work on 'The Japanese Sword'. It seems that I can't escape from the real world even in the pages of post-medieval Japan.

Go Rin No Sho

A hacker who hire out for legal ‘cracking’ jobs, snooping for factions in corporate political fights, lawyers pursuing privacy rights and First Amendment cases and other parties with legitimate reasons to need an electronic locksmith.

In 1991 mainstream media reported the existence of a loose-knit culture of samurai, mostly bright teenagers with personal micros; they have modelled themselves explicitly on the historical samurai of Japan… Those interviewed claim to adhere to a rigid ethical loyalty to their employers and to disdain vandalism and theft practised by criminal crackers as beneath them and contrary to the hacker ethic; some quote Miyamoto Musashi’s ‘Book of Five Rings’, a classic of historical samurai d…
End of Days

Everyone can sleep safe this Xmas. I’ve been made an honorary Special Agent of the Office of Special (Computer) Investigations & Operations and have an authentic piece of brass to prove it.

You may have noticed, that there’s no such thing as an ‘ordinary’ agent; the runaway success of the X-files made all of us agents equally special and with my black Armani suit and my dark glasses, I’m looking forward to taking up the open invitation to Washington for a guided tour of the top secret facility which collects all Santa’s email.

This week, of course, I’m looking forward to 2003 and I’m going to ‘buck’ the doomsday trend, which had my wife asking whether wrapping the Terrier in cling-film might be protection against a possible VX Gas attack on Wimbledon Common.

IDC and other ostensibly responsible and informed sources, are predicting, that galvanised by a war against Iraq, a “A major cyber terrorism event will occur that “will disrupt the economy and bring the Internet t…
No Thought of Gattica

As 2002 moves towards its festive close, I've been asked to gaze, once again, into my crystal ball for the coming year. This week then, in my last three columns before Christmas, I'll try and make some predictions about the industry. In a year's time, you can look back and laugh at how far off-target I was.

Let's start with government. Not the continuing saga of Carole Caplin, the conman and No10, but rather with the progress of e-government towards its 2005 goal of universal everything.

Britain may be ranked second in the world as an e-economy, according to a recent report that focused on the G7 economies plus Australia and Sweden. However, there are small Middle Eastern states that you can find on that are streets ahead of the larger economies with many of their online projects.

Of course, they have certain advantages. They have tiny populations, lots of money and no emotional objections to the idea of every citizen carrying an ID…
The Scotsman’s Grip

I have been at the first e-crime congress in London this week, talking about IT security and business continuity planning and asking whether these represent core business functions a year on from 911. For many readers this may be a statement of the obvious, after all, Merril Lynch lost two datacentres that day but the statistics of apathy make grim reading.

If 97% of UK companies have been attacked or ‘threatened’ in some way, according to DCS Len Hynds of the National High Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU), then at least half the business community are not taking the risks seriously.

You may be familiar with the statistics from the DTI earlier this year. They had 44% of UK companies reporting malicious attacks with an average repair cost of £30,000, some as high as £500,000. Now, I take most of the statistics I see with a large pinch of salt but the most recent NHTCU figures suggest even more strongly that the problem is becoming worse and reflects almost geometric growth, m…
Pick-up a Penguin

Sony, it appears, is giving Microsoft cause for concern.

You may remember me telling you that the Linux OS is now available on the PlayStation 2.0. You can’t do much more than write programs with it today but the writing is on the wall – or screen - none the less. Sony has been ‘Penguined’ and there’s worse news to come. Sony has agreed to install Sun’s StarOffice on “many” of its computers and of course Sun is cheerfully writing Microsoft’s epitaph as a consequence.

It’s hard to say whether this is Sony’s revenge for the X-Box or whether the company simply feels that it can make its VAIO PCs more competitive if it leaves out the cost of Microsoft’s ‘commission’ on Office.

Although Microsoft would probably shrug this news off as being inconsequential, it’s hard to ignore the wider implications of a large PC manufacturer such as Sony breaking ranks and letting Microsoft know that its software is too expensive, in contrast with a single-user license for StarOffice.

Of c…
Sliding Around the Curve

Has the downturn fatally affected the IT industry's ability to innovate? Have we seen the last disruptive technology?

It might not be your normal choice of polite dinner conversation but this wasn’t a normal dinner. This was a small private dining room at Mossiman’s in Belgravia and Sun Microsystems’s Charles Andrews, Director of Product and Technology Solutions and Greg Stroud, Vice President of the UK Global Sales Operation had invited a handful of guests and Richard Holway of Ovum to think out-loud around the dinner table.

If we think the IT industry is in recession now, then wait until next year, because Ovum’s Holway believes it will become worse in 2003. There was a kind of inevitability about this he said, after all, IT has been growing at 4*GDP and by 2050, it would equal the domestic product and so we need to prepare ourselves for modest annual sector growth of around 2 ½ % in future.

This is not good news for those of us working in the industry. …
The Mandate of Heaven

eGov Monitor Version

“Parliament”, said my distinguished friend “has always leaked like a sieve”.

I’m researching the thorny issue of ‘Confidence in Public Sector Computing’ and we were discussing the dangers presented by the Internet. In his opinion, information security is an oxymoron, which has no place being discussed in a Parliament built upon the uninterrupted flow of information of every kind, from the politically sensitive to the most salacious and mundane.

With the threat of war hanging over us, I asked if MPs should be more aware of the risks that surround this new communications medium? More importantly, shouldn’t the same policies and precautions that any business might use to protect itself and its staff, be available to MPs?

What concerns me is that my well-respected friend mostly considers security in terms of guns, gates and guards. He now uses the Internet almost as much as he uses the telephone and the Fax machine and yet the growing collective t…
Attack of the Clones

Alright, I’ll admit it; I haven’t got a broadband connection at home.

Four PCs, three PDA’s two Playstations, two Goldfish and a Hamster named Eric but no BT OpenWorld, So why not?

It’s simple really; I use the Internet mostly for email and its mission critical. Dial-up works and although two tin cans and a piece of string might work equally well, I know that on those rare occasions the dial-tone disappears, BT will have it up and running within twenty-four hours. What worries me are the nightmare stories I have heard of Broadband customers locked-in their houses for weeks at a time, waiting for an engineer to arrive and fix the fault.

I’m sure it’s all exaggerated but can I afford the risk? One day, maybe but not just yet.

Last week, I attended the launch of the Asymmetric Threats Contingency Alliance in London. As the meeting was under Chatham House rules, there’s very little I can tell you about other than mentioning that Broadband entered the discussion.

I was…
Out of Africa

December has hardly begun and I’m going to be rich beyond my wildest dreams before the year has finished.

It must be a reward for all the good work I had been doing around eGovernment over the last three years because quite suddenly and quite possibly on a Cabinet Office recommendation, my inbox is filling with messages, claiming to come from the closest relations of Africa’s most famous despots.

It’s a mystery to me but apparently, I am “a reliable and trustworthy person” and among many others, the daughter and the wife of Julius Nyere respectively, the son of Sani Abacha and another son of Mobutu Sese Seko, are between them, seeking my help, in the re-investment of approximately $500 million which appears to be sloshing around central Africa in need of a new owner. Add to this another $500 million or so of Nigerian oil ‘Commissions’ and you’ll understand why all these generous people need my assistance or rather, the details of my personal bank account to help them mo…