ORG 3rd Birthday

The UK Open Rights Group has now been around for 3 years, and they have released their 2008 Review of Activities. It shows how busy the group has been, and also how much more they are needed. It seems that a week doesn’t go by when a CD isn’t lost or a laptop isn’t stolen… Continue reading ORG 3rd Birthday


I’ve not said much about the US election campaign swirling around me in my first few months living in the US. I’ve not felt confident enough to express my hopes. If you talk to me, I’ll explain who I wanted to win. But here, I don’t know - I think there are so many political commenters,… Continue reading Result

My American Fellows

Danny O’Brien describes his reaction to the current showbiz extravaganza that is the Democratic National Convention. I don’t really like writing about politics here, because I’m too inarticulate (basically I’m a Euston Manifesto type of guy, with all the “yes, but how?” vagueness that entails). But as an Englishman now living in San Diego, I’m… Continue reading My American Fellows

May 2008 London Election – ORG Reports

The Open Rights Group, with whom I used to volunteer, has published its report on the May 2008 London Election. It is also viewable here in a screenreader. The upshot is that ORG is still unhappy with electronic voting and counting, and with good reason. Their concerns, stated many times in the past, highlight that fact… Continue reading May 2008 London Election – ORG Reports

1966 Seaman’s Strike – Photos of Stranded Ships

I found these photos in my Dad’s stuff. In May 1966, a strike by seamen caused several cruise liners and other large ships to be stranded in Southampton Docks. My family were on holiday down there at the time, and they went on a boat trip around the docks. My Dad took these photos (click… Continue reading 1966 Seaman’s Strike – Photos of Stranded Ships

Sterile Platforms and Cheese Straws

Last night I joined M at the RSA for a fascinating and entertaining lecture by Jonathan Zittrain to launch his new book The Future Of The Internet: And How To Stop It. Sadly this purpose was rather undermined by the fact that they gave away free hardback copies of the book, which Jay-Z was then happy to… Continue reading Sterile Platforms and Cheese Straws

Phorm Targetted Advertising System Analysed, Found Wanting

Richard Clayton of the Security Research section of Cambridge University’s Computer Laboratory, and Becky Hogge of the Open Rights Group met with Phorm, creators of the Webwise targetted advertising system last week. Richard has since published his findings, and they make interesting reading, even if you (like me) don’t understand all the stuff about 307 redirects.… Continue reading Phorm Targetted Advertising System Analysed, Found Wanting

“Sorry, what can I do? Politics!”

A most interesting and fun evening was spent attempting to keep up with my old friend MV, both in walking speed and intellectually. We met at Liverpool Street for a drink and chat, and the first thing she did was to hand me a leaflet from a bunch of “Truthers”* called We Are Change. This group… Continue reading “Sorry, what can I do? Politics!”

My Knee-Jerk Politics

Approaching Tooting Station this morning, I saw two nice young people handing out leaflets. As I passed them, I smiled and took one, without stopping. I think I just caught the headline “Fair Deal For Tooting Station” and then I saw that horrible scribbly-tree logo, and the word “Conservatives”. I involuntarily blurted, “Oh! No thanks”,… Continue reading My Knee-Jerk Politics

Public Photography Petition

There are a number of moves promoting the requirement of ‘ID’ cards to allow photographers to operate in a public place. It is a fundamental right of a UK citizen to use a camera in a public place, indeed there is no right to privacy when in a public place. These moves have developed from… Continue reading Public Photography Petition