Can I own my identity on the Internet?


The ultra secure messaging app, Signal, requires a mobile phone number in order to sign up to it. This, as my friend Tom Morris, points out, is madness. People don't own mobile phone numbers. They are rented from mobile operators. Yes, you may be able to move "your" number between a limited set of providers […] Read More

Building an Internet Connected Fridge


The Internet Fridge is a standing joke among technologists. I was writing about them in 2002, and they still haven't appeared! So I'm going to show you how I built one. Stop giggling at the back! All I want is for my fridge to notify me if the door has been left over for more […] Read More

What Is "Internet Use"?


A former advisor to the Prime Minister was recently convicted on charges of downloading indecent images of underage girls. I don't want to go into detail about whether or not his punishment is adequate, but I would like to talk about this curious remark made by the Judge during his sentencing: beginning today and lasting […] Read More

Wildcard Email Domains and New TLDs


Nominet has, after much prevaricating, launched its latest money grubbing venture plan to revolutionise the UK Internet industry. Rather than having fusty old example.co.uk or example.org.uk businesses can go straight for example.uk - Mind = BLOWN! There are, of course, some obvious downsides to this plan. It's always been the case that people could register […] Read More

The Gun That Fits On A Floppy Disk


The 3D printed gun is now a reality. I don't have access to a 3D printer - but I've downloaded the plans out of morbid curiosity. While downloading the blueprints may not be illegal, any UK citizen who made and owned such a handgun could face arrest, according to the UK's Metropolitan Police. BBC News […] Read More

Preparing for the Collapse of Digital Civilization


While visiting the USA, I came across a delightfully bizzare TV show - Doomsday Preppers. For those who don't know, this pseudo-documentary follows the lives of certain... eccentric... families who believe that the end of civilization is coming and they better get busy preparing for that eventuality. Whereas you and I might keep a bit […] Read More

SamKnows Whitebox - Broadband Monitoring


Do you ever sign up for something, forget about it, then get pleasantly surprised when a parcel turns up at your door? No? Just me? Last year, I noticed that the SamKnows website were looking for volunteers to take part in their European broadband survey. The product is the rather uninspiring named "Whitebox". The SamKnows […] Read More

Why Didn't The Romans Invent The Internet?


In Terry Pratchett's book "Going Postal" he writes about the impact on the Discworld civilization of the semaphore tower. A new - but relatively basic - technology which revolutionises how people work, play, and interact. It changes the fortunes of the humble and the mighty. It is as useful for individuals as for nation states. […] Read More

"The success of smartphones comes at a price" errr, what?


I usually admire The Guardian's technology coverage (not least because they occasionally feature me!) but their latest article - The success of smartphones comes at a price - is ridiculously bad. It posits three arguments. More people are using smartphones to access the Internet than ever before. Smartphones are heavily locked down. Mobile Operators are […] Read More