Skip to main content
It Must be Monday

I notice that this weblog is doing funny things today. Either a glitch in the system or a glitch in my browser. The Guardian Unlimited appears to have lost its weblinks, so I'm losing traffic to the site.

I've been busy trying to catch up with a research project and I'm resting from Computer Weekly for a week, which may explain how thin this blog is at the moment. Lots of good intentions but too little time and to be honest, it's too hot.

A BBC News team traveled all the way from television centre to my house in Kent today to do a short interview. Surely it can't have been worth three hours of heat hell on the M25. We decided to shoot the interview just above the beach and I was amazed at how many people wandered up to interrupt and ask what we were filming. One boy in particular will go down in history for his antics. He decided to race his scooter around us, jumping it every few feet before parking-up beside us and banging it against some steel railings.

"Would you mind not doing that" asked the cameraman.

"What you doing then" asked the delinquent child. "ITV News"?

"No BBC News"

"Can I be on"?

"Only if you go away"

This went on for a while until he eventually lost hope and left, little knowing that he was very close to being the evening's top story, being filmed, buried up to his neck in sand in front of the advancing tide.

Whether the BBC has anything worth filming is another question. It was really about confidence in Internet security. Is there such a thing?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Mainframe to Mobile

Not one of us has a clue what the world will look like in five years’ time, yet we are all preparing for that future – As  computing power has become embedded in everything from our cars and our telephones to our financial markets, technological complexity has eclipsed our ability to comprehend it’s bigger picture impact on the shape of tomorrow.

Our intuition has been formed by a set of experiences and ideas about how things worked during a time when changes were incremental and somewhat predictable. In March 1953. there were only 53 kilobytes of high-speed RAM on the entire planet.

Today, more than 80 per cent of the value of FTSE 500* firms is ‘now dark matter’: the intangible secret recipe of success; the physical stuff companies own and their wages bill accounts for less than 20 per cent: a reversal of the pattern that once prevailed in the 1970s. Very soon, Everything at scale in this world will be managed by algorithms and data and there’s a need for effective platforms for ma…

Civilisational Data Mining

It’s a new expression I haven’t heard before. ‘Civilisational data mining.’

Let me start by putting it in some context. Every character, you or I have typed into the Google search engine or Facebook over the last decade, means something, to someone or perhaps ‘something,’ if it’s an algorithm.


In May 2014, journalists revealed that the United States National Security Agency, the NSA, was recording and archiving every single cell-phone conversation that took place in the Bahamas. In the process they managed to transform a significant proportion of a society’s day to day interactions into unstructured data; valuable information which can of course be analysed, correlated and transformed for whatever purpose the intelligence agency deems fit.

And today, I read that a GOP-hired data company in the United States has ‘leaked’ personal information, preferences and voting intentions on… wait for it… 198 million US citizens.

Within another decade or so, the cost of sequencing the human genome …

The Big Steal

I’m not here to predict the future;” quipped the novelist, Ray Bradbury. “I’m here to prevent it.” And the future looks much like one where giant corporations who hold the most data, the fastest servers, and the greatest processing power will drive all economic growth into the second half of the century.

We live in an unprecedented time. This in the sense that nobody knows what the world will look like in twenty years; one where making confident forecasts in the face of new technologies becomes a real challenge. Before this decade is over, business leaders will face regular and complex decisions about protecting their critical information and systems as more of the existing solutions they have relied upon are exposed as inadequate.

The few real certainties we have available surround the uninterrupted march of Moore’s Law - the notion that the number of transistors in the top-of-the-line processors doubles approximately every two years - and the unpredictability of human nature. Exper…