13 Oct

Use Skype – Go Directly To A Chinese Prison

A research firm recently revealed that eBay and TOM are colluding with the Chinese government to spy on users of Skype. Together they monitored user’s text chats and stored those containing politically sensitive topics like freedom, democracy, Tibet, opposition to the communist party and Falun Gong. They also track voice call participants. Presumably they turned this data over to the government and it’s impossible to track how that data has been used. I have to say that if this is true, and it seems to be, that once again one cannot trust private companies with your security, let alone states, which I gave up on years ago. Go open source, adopt trust networks, tunnel into private encrypted corners of the ‘Net but don’t trust the Man.

Read more at Michael Robertson’s blog.

03 Oct

I’ve been everywhere, man

Monday: up to Newcastle to start lecturing on the MSc Operations Management and Logictics, went well much to my surprise. Tuesday: lunchtime meeting re possible project, then 5 hours on train and car to Bognor Regis, where I started sorting my colleague’s ICT setup and then spent the night in the Royal Norfolk on Bognor sea front, which was really quite nice. Wednesday: More ICT, teaching the expenses system and setting up wifi printer/scanner. Then off on a slow train to Teddington via Clapham Junction (wow that is a bog station) and another hotel. Thursday: A very productive planning meeting for the Freightwise conference and then on a train to Doncaster to meet Ann. Then to see our grandson Kieran and give him his birthday present, which was the new Star Wars: Force Unleashed and a couple of light sabre add-ons for the Wii. Phew!

On Friday I caught up with my emails and drank a lot of tea!

27 Sep

Newcastle Visit Day

We had a great day taking Matthew and Laura to the Newcastle University Visit Day. Matt was still quite poorly from his operation yesterday but pulled together quite well at midday. He’s discovered just what weird painkillers Tramadol are.. It was quite interesting to me to see my own Uni, which I know very poorly since I am so rarely there, as a visitor. I’d really like to study there, and I am pleased to say so would Matthew. He is now coming round to studying Philosophy and he liked the staff and students he met from the department.

26 Sep

Matt has an Operation

Matt broke his thumb and is at hospital for an operation with Ann. All went well. They let him home specially since he is keen to go to the Newcastle Uni Visit Day tomorrow. Ann and I are driving them up.

26 Sep

eeePC and Twitter

I am setting up Phil’s eeePC for next week’s ICT trip, it’s lovely but the keys are just too small for my hands, I shall try and get a 10″ one next year. I have setup feeds from twitter to livejournal and facebook, so all I need now is to work out how to feed remember the milk from twitter. [I then decided the twitter to livejournal feeds were just not want you want on a blog.]

24 Sep

DB nears private sector

If all goes according to plan, the long-anticipated partial privatisation of Germany’s national railway will finally come to fruition by the end of this year. A 24·9% stake in the newly-established operating business DB Mobility Logistics AG is due to be floated on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

Target date is Nov­ember 5, although there have been suggestions that this might have to be delayed because of the weakening German economy and the global credit crunch. Nevertheless, Federal Transport Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee and Deutsche Bahn AG Chairman Hartmut Mehdorn are pressing ahead. Tiefensee, in particular, is keen to get the sale completed well ahead of the national elections scheduled for September 2009.

Read more: http://tinyurl.com/3f8ebm

09 Sep


No, not the computer kind. I have been down with a cold-virus since Friday. Coughing, sinuses etc. But, as always with me, a continuous painful headache, or series of headaches that wander all over my skull. My mate Simon has a weak chest and sinuses, it looks like I have a weak head when it comes to virii. I have been working using my laptop and keeping warm and topped up with blackcurrant and paracetomol drinks. I am sure it will lift soon.

06 Sep

Back to Work but now Ill

Been back to work with a huge bang! A week of seminars and meetings in the Netherlands. Great to see colleagues again and I feel good and confident about the RETRACK project. Delft is a lovely town, so very charming and yet living and vibrant as well. Sadly I was drowned in rainstorms several times and I have awoken today with my sore throat far worse, something heading to my ears and nose and my chest getting wheezy. I had my friends Simon and Andrew coming today but I decided I needed to be a good host and offer them the choice not to catch my illness. So I am on my own, Ann is in London, and despite my introverted tendencies I am quite lonely. Ah well. Bed and rest and I hope I shake it off.