Asymmetric Latency


Engraving The Confusion of Tongues by Gustave Doré

I've just finished reading the most wonderful short story - Tower of Babylon by Ted Chiang. In it, he speculates on what would happen if The Tower of Babel were completed. For those unfamiliar with the legend, it tells of a people who tried to build a tower tall enough to reach the heavens. The […] Read More

Tales of the Algorithm: The Transparent Man


Scene: An airport. A few years from now. "I'm sorry sir, we can't let you on the flight until you visit the rest-room." I'll admit that it caught me off-guard. Surely the woman at the airline gate was joking? "Sir, two of the plane's toilets are out-of-order. At this time we're requesting all passengers void […] Read More

The Future Is About To Get Weird


Imagine, just for a moment, you could tell someone's most intimate secrets just by looking at them. Many year ago, when I was very young and you were even younger, I saw an advert in the back pages of some cheap comic. The implication was clear - SEE GIRLS NAKED! The reality was somewhat more […] Read More

What's The Next Phone Box?


As I scuttled through Piccadilly Tube Station last week, I noticed a relic of the past. Where once a dozen-or-so booths greedily gobbled up the loose change of passers-by - there now is a scar. What's the next thing which will be torn out of the landscape? Petrol stations are likely to remain - even […] Read More

Would You Shoot R2-D2 in the Face?


The most distressing movie moment I experienced when I was a child, was watching R2-D2 being shot by a TIE fighter towards the end of Star Wars. (Spoiler!) The sheer callousness of a "baddie" deliberately inflicting pain on a cute a loveable character is, I suppose, understandably upsetting - especially to a small child. I […] Read More

Rethinking Telephone Call Charges


The UK telecoms regulator Ofcom is attempting to simplify the way consumers are charged for telephone calls. (Disclaimer: I work for a company which is regulated by Ofcom. This is my personal blog.) To deal with the multitude of different types of phone numbers - each with their own unique cost - and the rise […] Read More

The Future Is Now - But Not Everybody Knows It


Several credit cards fanned out

In July this year, I spoke at the 25th Privacy Laws Annual Conference. One of the things I most love doing is causing an audience to gasp with shock. I was asked about how businesses should best go about protecting the privacy of the customers - somewhat provocatively I replied "Why should they? Customers don't […] Read More