Skip to main content
The Face of Neglect

I’ve been neglecting my WebLog over the last month. The reason of course is that I’ve been much busier than usual with different project and the summer months appear to carry the heaviest workload, perhaps because clients would prefer to have projects being completed while they are away on vacation.

Monday found me at Parliament all day and a Westminster vagrant between meetings with MPs. I’ve been invited to attend a meeting chaired by Michael Howard on the 15th which should be interesting. It seems that I’ve been so busy working that I forgot to pursue my application for inclusion on the candidate’s list for the next election. This is now closed, so any immediate possibility of a future in politics has passed me by, for now at least.

Anyway, I have to visit Brussels on Friday and Lyons next week. For the former, I’m going to try and fly myself, as it’s only ninety minutes from here as the crow flies, although having to stop at Calais to clear the European border control is at best an irritation which will add a good half hour to the overall journey time from the Kent coast.

For Lyons, a visit to Interpol, I’ll use British Airways out of Heathrow, the only workable solution to get me there in time for lunch. It would take four hours or more in my Cessna 150, so flying in Eurostyle is the only other solution as the train for some unknown reason only runs from Lille at 15:00.



As an example of my new, downshifted lifestyle, I cycled thirty-five miles along the North Kent coast to Whitstable and back today and this evening I’m feeling the effects. It’s a great mountain bike ride along the sea wall and the cliffs along the ‘Viking’ and ‘Saxon Shore’ trails beside the coast with some wonderful scenery and a brief stop for fish and chips in Whitstable town centre with it’s many different fish restaurants and even a Tapas bar. Whitstable is becoming very fashionable these days and using a bicycle to explore its narrow streets is by far the best way of seeing it.

On a final note with a technology theme, I’ve given my daughter a mobile phone, the first evidence of growing up. Having lost her briefly at the airfield on Sunday during the fly-in – she was off with a bunch of other children at the stables – I decided that phoning would be much easier than shouting. I may live to regret this decision though!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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 Nature of Nurture?

Recently, I found myself in a fascinating four-way Twitter exchange, with Professor Adam Rutherford and two other science-minded friends The subject, frequently regarded as a delicate one, genetics and whether there could exist an unknown but contributory genetic factor(s) or influences in determining what we broadly understand or misunderstand as human intelligence.

I won’t discuss this subject in any great detail here, being completely unqualified to do so, but I’ll point you at the document we were discussing, and Rutherford’s excellent new book, ‘A Brief History of Everyone.”

What had sparked my own interest was the story of my own grandfather, Edmond Greville; unless you are an expert on the history of French cinema, you are unlikely to have ever hear of him but he still enjoys an almost cult-like following for his work, half a century after his death.

I've been enjoying the series "Genius" on National Geographic about the life of Albert Einstein. The four of us ha…
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…