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Showing posts from March, 2010

Labour Loses the Digital Plot

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It's Gordon's new 'Big Idea', "Tens of thousands of public sector jobs could be scrapped in Jobcentres, passport centres and town halls as a result of the plans, which the government says will save £4 billion over four years.

The government wants everybody in the country to have a personalised website within a year and this clearly shows how out of touch they are with some simple realities of our internet society.
Having been around at the very beginning of UK Online, delivering on Tony Blair's 1998 vision through the Office of the e-Envoy, what Government is forgetting are two essential facts of life in our newly joined-up society.

The first is that 'Broadband Britain' only exists for those people who are lucky enough to live close to an exchange and even here in Thanet, out in the villages, it remains a challenge which has still to be resolved. The second and perhaps more important point that we've always known about, is that the poorer and more …

The Quick Secret to Making Millions

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"It's a fair cop", I said, standing in front of some 600 delegates and assembled police officers from as far away as New Zealand, Vietnam, Panama and Pakistan. "The blogger, Lord Matt of the 'Thanet Star' revealed last year that I'm involved in 'shady internet activities', gambling and casual sex websites and so I'm turning myself in to anyone who cares to arrest me."

Other than a few laughs from the audience, nobody stepped forward to put the cuffs on me but they know where I live and I expect the knock on my front door any moment now!

Back to business then and I wanted to share the attached screenshot for readers' attention.

It's the home page of a real website although you need a special invitation from a reputable serious and organised crime contact to be able to access it. Think of it as eBay with a powerful underground economy slant.



This is one of many such operations running-out of the old Soviet Union and with global link…

An Unwilling Passenger - One' Man's Story of the Great War

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A nice thank you note from Ian Hislop, along with the return of my great-uncle's book, which he has been reading 'Unwilling Passenger' Arthur Osburn's account of the First World War from the opening shots to the end.

Many readers will be familiar with Hislop's documentaries on the Great War and so I'm delighted he enjoyed this particular story: It's been out of print for years now and you may recall me writing that I managed to track down a copy in the United States on the internet via Abe's Book's. My thanks to Michael Child for pointing me in the right direction!

Here's a small excerpt:

"Quite a young girl. Without any stupid false shame, she coolly kept her thumb pressed on bleeding arteries whilst I got wads of gauze and tourniquets ready. Several times she went through the village to bring me warm water from a cottage and I thought that each time she would be killed. Later that day, she was killed. I found her body that afternoon when w…

Gone Cloudy

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Most of us will be familiar with the concept of new technologies arriving in ‘waves’, in the greater part driven by the inexorable progress of Moore’s Law, as computing power becomes ever increasingly available and powerful, with the rate of paradigm shift doubling every ten years and silicon-powered price performance every twelve months or so.

There’s been a great deal of talk of late about something called ‘disruptive shift’, a phenomenon which is being hastened by changes in rapid technology and the consequences of the worst global recession in generations. One good example, which many of us can relate to, involves Apple’s iPhone and the expression, ‘There’s an App for that’ in fact well over 100,000 now. This involves the movement of computing into the internet’s ‘network of networks’, global positioning data and cellular telephony.

The disruptive shift, in this example, is towards personal mobile applications and a new market, encouraged by Google and by Apple, which is springing…

Easy Jet

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Strangely enough the beach this morning reminded me of Saudi Arabia, almost thirty years ago, with the bright sunlight and the waves breaking gently on the rocks. In those days, we would wade out and drop over the coral reef into the deep water beyond and explore incredible diversity of marine life that waited for us offshore.

There was a time even when I used to dive on my own from time to time between St Mildreds Bay and West Bay on those unusually clear days that happen a few times each year but being hooked by an enthusiastic promenade angler one fine day, soon put me off the idea and I'm sure the seals keep their distance too.

Better late than never, I see that my feature in P1 Magazine has appeared, taking a Gulfstream jet into Milan's Linate airport in September. It was held over from the November issue but I'm quite pleased with the result and it's one-up from 'Top Gear' as the engines involved are a little larger and the top speed even greater too. Wat…