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Down Under

I see that I'm getting referral traffic from my Wikipedia entry, possibly from people who wish to see whether I really exist or not. Maybe I'm only a figment of my own imagination?

With ecrime 2008 finished, I've six months before I have to start working with the team on planning ecrime 2009 and inviting speakers to attend. This year was seen by many as the best yet - certainly the best attended - and took a tremendous organisational effort from everyone involved. I would really like to see the Home Secretary pay us a visit in 2009. To date, we have had MPs' Jim Paice, Vernon Coaker, Caroline Flint, James Brokenshire and David Davis and by the time it comes around again, perhaps government will have adopted a firm new policy on the subject?

Up and coming, I've got Milan, Talin and Frankurt conferences to work on, with the first of these coming-up very quickly indeed.

With strong winds forecast for tomorrow, it looks as if the banner-towing is out for tomorrow but the really big publicity stunt for next weekend has now been booked, with a large sheet banner to match, so I may yet be blogging on Her Majesty's pleasure.

My good friend, the head of the Australian Hi-tech crime unit has suggested that I go and live and work "down under." Now that's a tempting thought with summer still several months away and no swimming pool in the garden! "You can get a seaplane instead and sell tourist rides around Sydney harbour."

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A Christmas Tale

It’s pitch blackness in places along the sea wall this evening and I'm momentarily startled by a small dog with orange flashing yuletide antlers along the way. I’m the only person crazy enough to be running and I know the route well enough to negotiate it in the dark, part of my Christmas exercise regime and a good way of relieving stress.

Why stress you might ask. After all, it is Christmas Day.

True but I’ve just spent over two hours assembling the giant Playmobil ‘Pony Farm’ set when most other fathers should be asleep in front of the television.



I was warned that the Playmobil ‘Pirate Ship’ had driven some fathers to drink or suicide and now I understand why. If your eyesight isn’t perfect or if you’ve had a few drinks with your Christmas lunch then it’s a challenge best left until Boxing day but not an option if you happen to have a nine year old daughter who wants it ready to take horses by tea time.

Perhaps I should stick to technology but then, the instruc…

A Matter of Drones - Simon Moores for The Guardian

I have a drone on my airfield” – a statement that welcomes passengers to the latest dimension in air-travel disruption. Words of despair from the chief operating officer of Gatwick airport in the busiest travel week of the year. Elsewhere, many thousands of stranded and inconvenienced passengers turned in frustration to social media in an expression of crowd-sourced outrage.

How could this happen? Why is it still happening over 12 hours after Gatwick’s runways were closed to aircraft, why is an intruder drone – or even two of them – suspended in the bright blue sky above the airport, apparently visible to security staff and police who remain quite unable to locate its source of radio control?

Meanwhile, the UK Civil Aviation Authority, overtaken by both the technology and events, is reduced to sending out desperate tweets warning that an airport incursion is a criminal offence and that drone users should follow their new code of conduct. Yet this is not an unforeseen event. It was i…

An Ockham of Gatwick

The 13th century theologian and philosopher, William of Ockham, who once lived in his small Surrey village, not so very far from what is today, the wide concrete expanse of Gatwick airport is a frequently referenced source of intellectual reason. His contribution to modern culture was Ockham’s Razor, which cautions us when problem solving, that “The explanation requiring the fewest assumptions is most likely to be correct;” sound advice which constantly proves to be true.

A week further-on since Britain’s second busiest airport was bought to a complete standstill by two or perhaps two hundred different drone sightings, it is perhaps time to revisit William of Ockham’s maxim, rather than be led astray by an increasingly bizarre narrative, one which has led Surrey police up several blind alleys with little or nothing in the way of measurable results.

 Exploring the possibilities with a little help in reasoning from our medieval friar, we appear to have a choice of two different account…