Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Creeping surveillance - alarming update

I am still thinking about the issues raised in my previous post. Today however I want to quickly draw attention to this article: Police fingerprinting. The basic problem is that I think within a few years we'll lose the right to not be fingerprinted (assuming they don't simply arrest you and take them anyway). Also how soon before they extend this to DNA?

Even more alarming is the fact that it will all be linked to the national identity database.

Dangerous times - for the innocent.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Deadline culture

As a student, I can inform you that we live in a world of deadlines. There is no respite. Virtually every single area of life has a deadline from your interactions with the government to returning library books. Yet if you look at society, deadlines are responsible for much of the pressure and stress, depression and misery. Higher targets, lower expenses, closer deadlines: these are all factors which worry people.

However who really benefits from deadlines? I can't think of a single person. All it means is we end up having to work faster. Sometimes this is a good thing, but often deadlines are excuses to not do a great job. Whilst they might have a short term motivational impact for some, long term they are counter productive.

Sadly however there are few alternatives, but I certainly think that if you are in a position of determining or enforcing a deadline, consider the above carefully.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Why does Google log my search enquires when I'm blogging.

Since the beta upgrade every time I log into blogger, I am also logged into This means every time I make a Google search whilst logged into this site, my search terms are being stored. I am not happy with this development.


Sunday, November 05, 2006

News on November 5th

There isn't really any direction to today's post. I'm just going to write a bit and see where it leads. I found something entertaining at Brainbashers. A selection of "simple" puzzles. I've also been keeping up with the news. The main headlines aren't that great, but look a little below the surface and there is a lot of interesting things going on. Normally I'd provide links to the stories, but I think I'll just hint at them and perhaps it will inspire you to go hunting for knowledge. There is some very controversial Linux news at the moment. A scientific report has arrived indicating Britain may have to change its national favourite take away. China has declared it will offer more aid to a certain continent, although I don't know whether I regard loans as "aid". There were several blackouts across parts of one continent. I'm sure there are lots more interesting things to uncover, so its worth exploring.

Today is also special because it is Bonfire/Guy Fawkes Night. Unfortunately, whilst most of us love them, fireworks have become extremely expensive and this spoils a lot of the fun, having the knowledge that the pathetic sparkle you just set off cost £20 or whatever you paid. It does seem a little like burning money, or to be more precise exploding money. Of course there is always the option of going to a show, but they often cost quite a bit to get in and the quality varies.

Regardless, enjoy your evening and remember the legal time limit for fireworks on November 5th is midnight, so there is plenty of time to have fun. If you'd prefer an evening inside I refer you back to the first part of this post and also suggest you may also enjoy Cyber fireworks


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Britain really is "surveillance society"

It annoys me that today the BBC has on its main page a story about state surveillance when for a long time the media (and yes the bbc is included in this) has failed to give coverage to the important legislation or raise a debate with the public at the key moments. But today they have decided something the Information Commissioner said is worthy of the front page. How fickle.

Still any raising of awareness of this issue is good and certain newspapers have given this fair coverage:

The Times

Other newspapers have given the story less prominence:
The Sun
(based on website position)

Maybe what they really should be covering is which political party put us in this position...

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