Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Big brother and all that stuff

It's all over the news. The government want to build a database of all phone calls, email messages and text messages. They want to be able to spy on all of our communications. That's not the interesting bit though.

What interests me more is the argument put forward by MPs and pundits who are anti the proposal. The one argument they use is that because of the recent security breaches, the government is not fit to hold this information.

Well WOH! Wait a minute. Their argument isn't that spying on us would be inherently wrong, it's just that HM-Gov are too incompetent to do it. This frames the debate nicely. Get enough people to use this argument, and that gives the government a way in. All they have to do is prove that security has been tightened (and they are working on that like crazy) and then they can have their database.

I say be careful of using security competence as an argument. This should be opposed because nobody wants it, apart from the inevitable stupid "if you've done nothing wrong..." brigade.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Aw Bollocks!!!!

Have you ever had a laptop with a touchpad?

If you have, you will know that it is possible to accidentally brush a thumb against it while typing. Now you would think that this would result in some pretty harmless results, like the floating cursor being moved a bit to the left or something. In the Murphy's Law universe, one of two things usually happens:

1. You find yourself typing on the wrong line. This happens in about 60% of cases. It's no biggie - you simply copy and paste the text to where it should be.

2. The accidental brush translates to: a. anchor the cursor, b. select all of the text of the huge message you have been typing, except for the first 3 words, c. press delete.

Have you noticed that? A single brush of the thumb and the whole bloody message is gone (apart from the obligatory 3 remaining words). If they can make a simple thumb gesture so meaningful, could they please design an operating system that does all of my work when I sneeze, pick my nose and cross my legs. Thank you.

p.s. you have no idea how careful I have been while typing this.