Do Comrades Dream of Electric Proletariat?

by @edent | # # # | 1 comment | Read ~203 times.

For the benefit of those who are hard of thinking: I am not now, nor have I ever been a member of the Communist Party. One of the delightful things about living in Oxford is that there are a wide range of events going on. Events run by people who I like, run by people…

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Apartheid Boycotts

by @edent | # # # | 3 comments | Read ~168 times.

My father tells a story of when I was very young and helping him do the shopping in the local supermarket. As I started to lift apples into a bag, he told me to stop, "We don't buy fruit from South Africa," he explained. A woman near us in the aisle turned to him and…

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The Hardest Problem In Encryption? Usability.

by @edent | # # # # | 2 comments | Read ~599 times.

I have been reading a wonderful account of how The ANC in South Africa developed and used encryption to avoid persecution by the Apartheid regime. The article is a good 15,000 words and will take you some time to read. It is a fascinating account of how an ersatz encryption technology was developed by enthusiastic…

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ONS And Childfree Intentions

by @edent | # # | 2 comments | Read ~386 times.

I've written before about the difference between a person being childless and being childfree. It is a simple matter of intention. Those who want children but don't have them are childless - whereas those with no desire to procreate are childfree. This is quite an important distinction - and yet it is almost completely absent…

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The Infographic Election Is Coming

by @edent | # # # #

I'm sure that the Word Of The Year for 2014 will be Polinfographic - a hideous portmanteau I've just constructed of "Political" and "Infographic". Infographics are the content-lite, citation-free, colour-heavy spurts of marketing jizz which have replaced the sound-bite as the political parties' weapon of choice. Voters, apparently, can't remember such complex ideas as "Education…

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Perfect Christmas Gifts For Young Feminists

by @edent | # # # # | 2 comments | Read ~833 times.

Earlier this year, I went to the annual "Ada Lovelace Day" lectures at Imperial College. There, a succession of impressive ladies demonstrated that women are perfectly capable of participating in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths/Medicine) careers. We all nodded dutifully - and applauded the women who had pushed back the boundaries of science and science…

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Civic Hygiene

by @edent | # # # # # # | Read ~291 times.

Imagine, just for a moment, that the Government wanted to keep a record of everyone's sexuality. They need to know this detailed demographic data because it will be highly useful in civic planning. It will help them work out what provision needs to be made for sexual health services, how many children are likely to…

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Why You Can't Trust Government Provided Cryptography

by @edent | # # # # | 1 comment | Read ~108 times.

You should visit Bletchley Park. Seriously. It's the most amazing museum - dedicated to the wartime effort to crack Enigma; the Nazi cryptographic machines. The tour guides of Bletchley Park are full of fascinating stories. They can tell you how all the primitive computers work, about the history of each building, they know all the…

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Should MPs have to publicly display who pays them?

by @edent | # # | 1 comment | Read ~314 times.

There's a popular meme which resurfaces every so often. Politicians who have accepted campaign contributions should be required to to wear those "sponsor's" logos names during all official duties and visits to constituents. The size of a logo or name would vary with the size of a donation. This is often called the Nascar proposal…

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Strawberries and Teabags

by @edent | # # # # # | 9 comments | Read ~640 times.

David Cameron wants to block certain "pornographic" search terms. He joins a long list of MPs who simply don't understand what they're talking about - like Claire Perry, Andy Burnham, and Helen Goodman. I've talked before about my time working as an "Adult Material Classifier" for Vodafone UK. In short, my team and I used…

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