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The Daily Mail’s betrayal of democracy

Posted by Kevin on November 5, 2016

If you value freedom and democracy, shun the Daily Mail – it has become nothing more than an instrument of Tory government that ignores the law of the land. This week’s front page is just the latest example. The background is this. Referendums do not create laws – only government can create laws. Laws come […]

Scaring the children, by MI5

Posted by Kevin on November 1, 2016

Those who correlate such things will have no surprise over Tuesday’s Guardian interview – the big guns are always rolled out just before contentious bills come before parliament for their final vote. The contentious bill is the Investigatory Powers Bill, likely to be law by January. And the big gun is Andrew Parker, the director […]

Incentivized hyperbole

Posted by Kevin on October 29, 2016

I laugh a lot these days. It’s the fail safe response of my CPS – my Crying Prevention System. After all, real men don’t cry, do they? But what can you do when every day brings a new absurdity that borders on insanity? Here’s an example from Ian Levy. He has moved from being technical […]

Algorithms, Arrogance and Collateral Damage

Posted by Kevin on October 29, 2016

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the future. It’s a complex subject that basically boils down to mathematics. Mathematical rules, or algorithms, process data and deliver decisions (actually, they deliver probabilities and we decide what level of probability constitutes a decision). Those decisions already control much of our lives, from something as simple as stop/go sequences that […]

What makes a PUP?

Posted by Kevin on October 28, 2016

I’ve been thinking about PUPs recently. Some people call them PUAs; but PUP (potentially unwanted program) has an onomatopoeic ring to it. These are the apps you choose because they say they do one thing, but then they covertly do other more damaging things. They are called ‘potentially unwanted’ because it is possible that you […]

The Jester dilemma

Posted by Kevin on October 23, 2016

The Jester is, for me, a huge moral dilemma. Hacking is against the law. Jester is considered to be a private pro-America individual cyber vigilante hacker. But is he? The FBI has huge success in tracking down and arresting the hackers they go for. I say nothing about the morality of their methods, only that […]

Support scams and Balance

Posted by Kevin on October 22, 2016

I believe in balance. All problems are caused by imbalance. Illnesses are caused by imbalances in the body; wars are caused by imbalances in the ether; and even support scams are caused by imbalance. I had another call from Microsoft’s computer maintenance department. I wasn’t feeling good. I am ashamed to say I told him […]

British Politics – a short guide

Posted by Kevin on October 19, 2016

Background It’s often thought that British politics is divided into the Left and the Right. This is not strictly true. The Left comprises the Labour Party; the Right comprises the Conservative Party – which are indeed, the two primary political parties. Beyond either is the extreme left (Marxists) and the extreme right (Fascists or British […]

IPB excuse #74

Posted by Kevin on October 19, 2016

Investigatory Powers Bill (IPB) in the Lords; from Hansard: Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb (Green Party) The amendment simply requires, first, a threshold of reasonable suspicion that a serious crime has been planned or committed and, secondly, a factual basis for believing that the targeted communications data will contain information relevant to the criminal investigation. This […]

IPB Excuse #73

Posted by Kevin on October 18, 2016

A new report from the government-backed Get Safe Online organization says that almost £11 billion pounds was lost to fraud and cyber crime in the UK last year. That translates to £210 for everybody over the age of 16. No, wait. It’s likely to be £523 each, because that’s the average for victims of online […]