A tale of two Virgins

My daughter, a second year student at Royal Holloway, University of London, has just moved into her new student house Egham. She was offered a student-only deal of a 9 month contract instead of the usual 12 months. Meanwhile, my son Alex, who spent last year in the States and has now returned to do […]

Comment spam

I moved to WordPress on August 29th and one of the plugins which I was recommended to install immediately was Akismet from WordPress themselves. This turns out to have been a very smart piece of advice. In under a month I have 121 comments caught in its spam filter.  Now I appreciate what people who […]

The future for self-driving cars

In 2004 the US defence research organisation Darpa set cars the challenge of navigating a 150-mile desert course without drivers none of the cars finished and the two leaders only managed seven miles. Ten years on and Google’s tricked out Priuses have travelled over 700,000 miles around California without a single accident. And recently Google […]

The power of the platform

What is the key to allowing large companies to move fast? Build great platforms. I first heard this insight being persausively argued in Mark Zuckerberg’s interview with John Battelle and Tim O’Reilly at Web 2.0 in 2010 – an age ago in internet time.  In this clip he tells how he urges his people to […]

Now on WordPress

I’ve spent the day moving my site from Blogger to WordPress, hosted on GoDaddy. Apart from a little glitch when I corrupted a php file on an early template and had to reinstall, it all went remarkably smoothly. And I’m really impressed with the migration tools and also the huge range of excellent templates. So […]

Cambridge’s Area 51?

Something very weird happens each time I drive up a particular stretch of the M11/A14. My car’s radar system goes off line. This is the system which enables my car to spot approaching danger from overtaking cars, to warn about obstacles in front of the car (and even brake) and to automatically adjust the car’s […]

Invisible Carbon Dioxide

Two stories in the press today illustrate magnificently the size of the mountain we still have to climb to climate change awareness, let alone decisive action. First the FT writes about the resurgence of interest in coal in the UK by Australian investors, then the Guardian writes about the Labour Party’s commitment to tighten up […]

Reappraising my blog

I’m reappraising my blog. When I first started blogging on Thursday August 11th, 2005 the world was a very different place. I started initially as a living example of how easy blogging was during an RBI Editor’s Conference. It did an excellent job. So much so, that I kept blogging regularly to the largely internal […]

What really lies behind Google’s acquisition strategy

Last month I wrote about Google’s acquisition spree and was somewhat critical of the depth of the analysis. I promised a follow up on what I thought was possibly really going, so here it is – better late than never. When ever Google acquisitions get discussed it seems the explanation is always somehow connected to data. […]

Bringing internet access to the world

There was rather a poor article in the Observer today by John Naughton about Google and Facebook’s recent buying sprees. It wasn’t that there was anything particularly wrong with the analysis – it is just that it was lame, uncontentious and old hat. The main conclusion was that Google and Facebook’s recent purchases of drone […]