Friday, December 17, 2004

Punish the good.

Look! This is the level of sophistication we have running the UK:

Despite the only publically-owned rail service's punctuality increasing by 5%, "the transport secretary, Alistair Darling, has insisted that the service will be put out to tender for a private operator in the new year."

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Emergent BBC.

Interesting things today: Book on Emergence looks intriguing, and a follow-up post to Wikiproxy, explaining how the BBC are taking it on-board, rather than suing the pants off Stefan. Beans.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Spam and anonymity

Salon have an expose on how spammers work, but you have to watch an ad first, so jump to this Slashdot comment instead.

Every story I read about spammers actually tends to impress and intrigue me. This one reveals a) just how anonymous they can be, and b) the extent to which reputation-based networks are used amongst affiliates.

In some sense, spammers are the first real high-profile (as in mass broadcast) demographic to grasp the concept of organised anonymity, with social engineering techniques generally being far more "efficient" in tracking them down than technical procedures. And, I figure (in my cypherpunk hat), if spammers can make it work, then why not any other similarly-motivated group? Sure, it's more effort than average, but it's not that much more. Again, of course, the real weakness will be human.

Most people hate spammers, but are they a living example of a future free from government?

Self-help on the telly

PublicTechnology report that the NHS Direct Digital TV channel goes live this Thursday, which I'll be interested to see after working for 3 years in the DTV thingy and see it go mostly nowhere. (Another great opportunity, like 3G, missed through stupid business models...) Can the benefits of the scheme (which, IMHO, is a jolly good idea in principle) overcome the combined turgidity and clunkiness of (my*) DTV's user interface and slowness? Is it even being released onto NTL? More to come... I hope.

* I'm aware that dependent on the platform they've chosen, the interface and speed with which the system operates may vary considerably...

Friday, December 10, 2004

Dance into the danger zone

"'There won't be much Christmas cheer in your workplace if your winter wonderland turns out to be a danger zone'"

Thursday, December 02, 2004