Category: admin

Open newslist 4

Looking in my notebook:

1) A substantial piece on JW Mason’s Disgorge the Cash (as requested) and John Seddon’s Freedom from Command and Control, plus Simon Head’s Mindless. You know you want it.

2) Two case studies on this post, and the House of Commons Defence Committee.

3) Steve Levitt, radical scepticism, and responsibility in economics (like so)

4) Someone wanted thoughts on 50 years of BASIC. This is interesting.

5) ‘Kippers. This contains some truth, but not enough, and a variety of pollutants.

6) Christopher Clark. I have three things to say about The Sleepwalkers but I suspect I’ve already said them.

7) So the Soviets built a third Kirov hull and weird combined nuclear and oil machinery, and instead of the weird 80s battleship, built a mammoth SIGINT listening post on top. After years swinging round the buoy, she’s just being scrapped now. If you read my series on Richard Aldrich’s book on GCHQ, you’ll know that the UK considered building such a ship in the 1960s, based on either a carrier or tanker hull, nuclear-powered, and accommodating the equivalent of one of their big overseas stations. Question: did we ever really intend to do it, or just to troll the USSR? Clue.

Owt else? Material, as always, is here.

TYR open newslist, the first

I like this idea of Andrew Gelman’s, under which he publishes a weekly blog post with a list of potential topics and invites readers to comment on which ones he should blog. So much so, I think I may introduce it myself.

1) I recently read Orlando Figes’ Natasha’s Dance and also Svetlana Alexeivich’s La Fin de’l Homme Rouge. I have a sketched-out joint review.

2) If you follow the Stiftung on twitter, he’s been talking about intelligence/surveillance/reconnaissance as a deterrent to the Russians doing anything else to Ukraine.

3) Also on Ukraine/Russia, everyone involved keeps getting their phone calls tapped and released, probably by Russia but quite possibly by nonstate actors. SIGINT proliferation is a major issue.

4) A music post.

5) I need to review a biography of Gertrude Bell. It wasn’t very good.

6) Why don’t more people vote FN?

Ideas may be found here: for TYR, and for AFOE.

An opportunity that may never come again

OK, so here’s your chance to be me for an evening.

I have two tickets to the last-ever Belleruche gig, at XOYO on the 13th of November. Unfortunately, I will be in Dubai. I’m out fifty quid. The successful candidate, having passed the programming test, quiz set by the readers of Jamie Kenny’s blog, simulator checkride, etc will be expected to a) uphold the ethos of Harrowell and b) not get me barred. Beyond that, knock yourself out.

Blogcast: a self-binding admin notice

Things I’d like to post in the near future:

A Critique of Pure Reason, James Reason – if there was nearly a run on Barclays yesterday, would we know?

Perhaps some more on the pathological firm – this is dependent on me working out whether the rest is worth writing.

Celebrating the genius of William Langewiesche – I was once asked at an interview for a journo job who I admired. I said Robert Fisk. I hadn’t yet noticed that Patrick Cockburn’s reporting is better, and I don’t think I’d read any Langewiesche. It was the Financial News and they gave me a telling off because Fisk was apparently weak on facts.

Design considerations and engineering requirements for m-health apps, from a pro-patient perspective – I am regularly horrified by this, and I think a rant might do it some good

My favourite aeroplane in 200 words for Hushkit – I’m planning something influenced by Erik Lund’s awesome blog, but I think it’s going to need writing and then cutting down.

Others: Something on AFOE about the fragmentation of the right, swinging off UKIP, the UMP fiasco, and a rather fantastic Le Monde profile of Alain Orsoni.

Admin: The move is here, at last

Our long national nightmare of bifurcation is over! Thanks to this guy for fixing the WordPress Blogger importer, the Ranter is moving. Our new home is here – you’re looking at it. Comments please in the new blog. I’d like to recommend Suffusion, not so much a WP theme as an HTML5-based design toolkit.

To-do list: fix the old picture and download links (should be one SQL statement), fix links forward and back within the blog, import the WordPress-only comments, do something about ManyEyes charts and the like, do something about the Blogger- and WordPress.com-hosted images, eventually tackle the problem of restoring the old Enetation comments (yes, I have backups). Faintly terrifying how much cruft has accumulated over the years.

Much of that TDL ought to be simple, if only WP can be relied on to output the same post title given the same input (i.e. just a question of replacing y.w.c domain names with h.o.uk ones). No doubt we’re going to find out. Similarly, if WP can be trusted to ignore all duplicate content, it ought to be fairly easy to get the TYR 2.0 comments – although I would be happier if I could find a way of exporting the comments only.

One upshot of this is that the older versions of the blog are no longer going to be updated, and I’m going to close comments in order to avoid creating more migration work.