Skip to main content
A Change of View

For want of anything more exciting, other than completing my tax return, I’ve just flown over to Lydd for a coffee and to load up on fuel. Pretty grey and miserable over there but the landing fee is now only £8.00 and the new runway 21 /30 is smooth enough to play billiards on.

Small and rather bossy co-pilot aged nine.

On the way back, the weather opened-up into one of those spectacular North Kent winter days; dark glasses required. This small area where I live on the Isle of Thanet enjoys different weather to the rest of Britain at times, perhaps something to do with it being a peninsula, with sea on both sides?

I’ve just filled-up my first logbook, which in General Aviation terms, gives me a relatively respectable five hundred hours of experience on over a dozen aircraft types. Mind you, there’s always something new to learn and flying, while appearing mundane, always has its little surprises if you err on the side of complacency.

My first piece for Pilot Magazine appears on January 16th and now I'm looking for another experience and aircraft to review. Lydd Air have kindly offered me a co-pilot seat on one of their Trislanders, perhaps on the newspaper-run to Jersey. A one O'clock in the morning departure sounds great but may require an intravenous supply of black coffee.

As far as I can see, the world is on vacation this week but I worry that someone I know will have been caught up in the disaster in the Indian Ocean. Lots of people in the IT industry will have headed in that direction for Christmas and I hope that all returned home safely.


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…