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Last Build Date: Fri, 28 Apr 2017 00:38:55 +0000


Verification: I can’t even

Wed, 18 May 2016 21:02:00 +0000

I can’t even – and neither can they… Yes folks, it’s back again! The Queen’s Speech today promises yet another Mumsnet/Mail pleasing crackdown on one-handed websurfing – age verification! Ha, brilliant – so obvious – all we have to do to send the kids back to the era of damp grotmags in the bushes is […]

Open platforms

Thu, 31 Mar 2016 10:14:30 +0000

How do you make something freely available so that anyone can use it, but also build sustainable businesses on top of it? It’s an aspiration that drives Wikipedia, innumerable open web projects and, in recent years, the thrust of releasing UK government – and government-funded/subsidised – data for reuse. It’s also a complicated balancing act […]

Twitter’s not ageing. You are.

Mon, 21 Mar 2016 13:44:23 +0000

Remember the first day at school? You made all those new friends? You didn’t really have to do anything after that, for 5 or 7 years or whatever. They were just there. Your relationships with your peers changed, you got older, then you all left, and that was largely that in terms of it being […]

Biting the bullet

Fri, 18 Mar 2016 11:57:16 +0000

Shall we just do it? Just build it and get this over with? We have it anyway, don’t we? Just in a distributed and not-very-accountable way. So why not do it properly? The stuff I wrote yesterday about registers is just a part of a vastly bigger story about information, people, and government. [tl;dr of […]

Registering a concern

Thu, 17 Mar 2016 23:04:31 +0000

I’ve got out of the habit of blogging. The problem with that is that posts grow, anyway, inside my head. If they aren’t tended, they tangle furiously, and before you know it you’ve got Sleeping Beauty’s garden to hack through before you can get anywhere. Then a wise man said: “start small. iterate.” So I […]

What you probably won’t get to vote for

Wed, 06 May 2015 20:57:41 +0000

It took me a while to work out what was bothering me about the election campaign. Of course it’s also what’s been bothering me every day, in relation to politics. The issues that we’re told will decide the election? The policy building blocks from which any government must inevitably build its castle? The NHS, the […]

“No excuses”: in memory of Adam Bojelian

Fri, 27 Mar 2015 11:59:03 +0000

This week, I lost a force for good in my life. I want to say a few words about him, and why that was. It’s possibly unlikely that the untimely death of a 15-year-old stranger would have great significance for a 47-year-old man who’d never met him. But not if that young man was Adam […]

MOT status check: a five minute business case

Thu, 25 Sep 2014 11:18:23 +0000

I have just written this business case in five minutes. Go on, knock it over! [Spoiler: the update lower down is where it gets knocked over, in some style!] Problem: Millions of people have no idea when their MOT expires. If they’re lucky, their local garage sends them a reminder based on the last test […]

No exit?

Fri, 19 Sep 2014 12:13:19 +0000

It’s the morning after the poll before. I’ve just read an interesting James Ball piece on why the lack of exit polling was a Bad Thing. At first I thought it was going to be a journalist’s lament that journalists were being deprived of bones to pick over in that difficult bit between being allowed […]

Saturday live and kicking

Mon, 15 Sep 2014 13:18:30 +0000

It’s quiet at Broadcasting House on a Saturday morning. Once you’ve found the right entrance, a security pass is pushed into your hand, then you’re led up to an empty corridor – reminiscent of a thousand council offices – to wait. Tired buns and tea, a nervous tricklepee, then with the clock terrifyingly close to […]