Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Au revoir, not goodbye

As the final days of 2004 dawn, I must leave my adopted home and travel once more to the Forty Shades of Green. So a final round-up of the past week or two: the Walrus III Christmas party went well. A good number of people turned up and all enjoyed themselves, as did I. This was my combined Christmas/Hogmanay event since I tend to spend the whole holiday season Over the Water. Christmas will be quiet, since my sister will only be over for a few days due to work, I'll have no Internet and little music (at least until I get myself one of these) but at least I'll have some books to keep me going.

Fare ye well, my faithful readers, I'm looking forward to my return already :-).

Monday, December 20, 2004

Music industry threatens aid organisation

This is absolutely pathetic. Australia's Music Industry Piracy Investigations have 'asked' the International Red Cross to freeze money in a trust fund donated by the makers of Kazaa. "It would be incredibly disappointing if we had to sue them," says a representative. Understatement of the century, you little... Suing the Red Cross would certainly divert money away from their vital work across the world, leading to unnecessary deaths, meaning that the music industry would actually have blood on its hands.

I can't believe that they're stooping to these depths. Actually, I can believe it very much but that doesn't stop me being incredibly angry about it. I doubt that there's a lot that the Red Cross can do but give in, if it doesn't want its valuable funds having to be diverted to fight a petty and cruel legal case. It's especially galling when you consider that Sharman hasn't yet been found guilty of breaking any law.

In other news, it seems that our trustworthy govenment is destroying emails not to prevent any future embarrasments, oh no, not at all. Oh, and an Indian judge has jailed the head of Ebay India ( for someone auctioning a pornographic MMS, despite the fact that the item was pulled as soon as the company was made aware of it. Does nobody understand anything vaguely technical any more?

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Blunkett resigns

/me does the happy dance. Seriously, I'm rather chuffed that he's gone. Although his successor, Charles Clarke, says that "there will be continuity between David's approach and mine," I hope that he'll take a second look at the ID card scheme and seriously amend it, although realistically speaking, the government has invested too much face in it to scrap it completely. And before we all start feeling sorry for Mr Blunkett, remember this is the guy who won the dog poo on a stick award for his "prolonged and vicious" attack on the right to privacy in the UK.

Closer to home, today saw the election for rector of the University of Glasgow. I acted as a polling officer for part of the day and then helped count the ballot. The turnout was disgraceful, with less than 2000 of the 23,000 strong student population bothering to turn out (less than 9%). In the end, Mordechai Vanunu was elected. Personally, given that he's under house arrest and not supposed to talk to foreigners, I'm not sure that he's the best choice, but the student body has spoken. Or something. You can also see the BBC coverage of the story.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

ID card FAQ

An excellent FAQ on the Government's proposed Identity Cards Bill can be found at the Privacy Internation website. Very informative and worth a read. In other identity cards news, now that the Tories are supporting the bill, it looks like there's only one major party left that I can vote for (not that there was, realistically, any other choice anyway...)

Monday, December 13, 2004

Microsoft lectures on fair trade...

... and ends up with its foot in its mouth, egg on its face and other such metaphors, as this Register article demonstrates.

In other news, I've recently discovered the excellent Ghosts of Albion on the BBC website, which is well worth a listen/watch, my only complaint being that they split the episides into too small chunks. Each act should have been a single Flash/Realplayer clip.

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