Something else. This week saw the Tories deploy yet another inflatable thinktank – rightly mocked here, here, here, and essentially everywhere blog is sold. Clearly “ResPublica” is hilariously vacuous, and where it’s not vacuous, it’s fucking frightening, as well as being weirdly reminiscent of Iranian revolutionary political thought according to Alistair Crooke. But it’s far…Read More If the seagulls follow the Tory, it is because they expect thinktanks will be thrown in the water
The affair of the stolen HadCRU e-mail should tell us a couple of things. The first is that this is why you should worry about privacy. If you do enough naive traffic analysis, not only will you find a pattern – people communicate in patterns – but you’ll be able to find something that you…Read More Links And Ties
After this post, I thought it might be useful to provide a visualisation of the data involved. I then realised I ought to do it rather better, so I collated the figures for all 47 names from the paper accounts into a spreadsheet and graphed them. This chart shows average monthly spending on mobile and…Read More do you want me to draw a bloody diagram?
We saw Rachid Taha and Vieux Farka Toure on Friday night, one of the few occasions when something held in the Royal Festival Hall actually felt like a proper gig. Taha’s shtick is somewhere between a Clash-influenced dub/punk mix and North African things like rai (it sez here – I wouldn’t really know to be…Read More we love dancing and…
Alex de Waal has an interesting post on the role of satellite phones, and specifically the Arabic and more importantly cheap Thurayas, in the wars of the Sahara today. He argues, in essence, that the capital requirements of being a warlord are coming down; if you don’t have a Toyota, you’re cannon fodder, if you…Read More long distance information, give me Goma, DRC
Over at James Nicoll’s blog: Cellphones don’t require landlines to be strung before they can be used and apparently people have been rather cunning about coming up with ways to use them to replace services they otherwise would not have access to: Some people carry just a card and borrow a phone when needed. Safaricom,…Read More what M-PESA is not
Stupidity about pirates. (Yes, this again. When will it end?) No doubt the usual suspects will already be drivelling about this story. Frankly, if you think the best opportunity to rescue the hostages was when they were between a tossing, fibreglass 40-odd foot boat and a 25,000 ton hijacked containership, using as your main equipment…Read More arr!
The iPhone worm is a thing of beauty. Not so much because of the technology involved, which is simple – although, since when has simplicity not been a good thing? – but because of the superb social engineering involved. Its designers demonstrated a perfect understanding of their target user population and came up with an…Read More iWorm – a truly social virus
Peter Beaumont goes for a Holt’s battlefield tour of southern Lebanon: Cruising through the serene green wadis that connect south Lebanon to the Litani river to the north, the commander explains what happened at the end of the last war. “We knocked out three of their tanks on the first day, as they tried to…Read More we flippin’ murdered them
Aaronovitch Watch reflects upon dinner with Denis MacShane. There’s an important point here, and one that was well made as a by-product of Nick Davies’ brilliant reporting on Operation PENTAMETER 2, a giant police sweep looking for prostitutes brought into the UK by force that failed to find even one. It turned out that the…Read More permanently operating factors