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Posts by Jon

Thames Valley Science Park plans go on display

A science park in the Thames Valley has been in the cards for a while, with planning permission first granted back in 2010. I’m really looking forward to seeing it made real. I’ve been living and working in the “Thames Valley tech corridor” along the M4 since the year 2000, but the original research and development work has always tended to be done elsewhere. The new park is putting its plans on display today.

Lord Carlile announces split from “boring” justice

Lord Carlisle recently announced his firm decision to split away from traditional notions of justice, declaring that he now finds the foundations of British law, which he committed to as a young man, to be “boring”.

Under his proposed laws, tired and outdated ideals such as living our lives as a strong, free and united nation would be retired. In their place, there will be a new policy of splurging out on fancy new technology with more superficial appeal. Lord Carlile is joined by a tiny number of fellow peers in the belief that their sheer self-regard will overcome the mathematical impossibility that less secure infrastructure will produce a more secure country.

Despite historical evidence suggesting that a desire to keep tabs on every citizen is the sign of an insecure nation with a tendency to poor economic judgement and unnecessary war, the group of Lords are confident that it is different when people like them do it. Read more

It’s alive!!

After a long break, I’m reviving this site. Had a problem with the backup, so a lot of content is going to have to be restored (probably manually) from original drafts. If anyone wonders why new content pops up with old dates, that’s why – it’s actually old stuff. Bear with me, caller, we are working to restore the service…

Excellent dancing at The Lyndhurst tonight!

I know what you’re thinking, punk. You’re thinking “did the band get six encores or only five?” Now to tell you the truth I forgot myself in all this excitement.

But being this is Fully Twisted, the most powerful band in Reading and will shake your ass clean off, you’ve gotta ask yourself a question: “Do I feel lucky?”

Well, do ya? Do ya, do ya wanna? Wanna go where I’ve never let you before?

(with apologies to Clint Eastwood and Franz Ferdinand)

Tips for gigging with a dep musician

My band is set to do a gig with a just-for-one-night replacement drummer, which is an interesting thing to contemplate the first time around. My advice to the guys who were wondering how well it would work was: Read more

The Lib Dem disciplinary process is a Harassers Charter – it needs to change

The long running sexual harassment story in the Lib Dems has crawled across a milestone from one phase to another. Having failed to reach a clear conclusion, the Lord Rennard story will sadly carry on to the detriment of all involved. At the heart of it all is the party’s disciplinary process (such as it is), and the culture surrounding it. In adopting the standard of “proof beyond a reasonable doubt”, we Liberal Democrats would appear to consider ourselves equal to a criminal court. This is an arrogant conceit; it cannot be left to stand.

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Being safe, sound and free: surveillance needs monitoring, too

Privacy is something we take for granted. We lower our voices, close doors and curtains, and simply expect that trusted friends and colleagues would not think to reveal private information. Even trivial things, that are perfectly legal, can be embarrassing. They can be damaging to our reputations and livelihoods. They can provide dirt for mud-slinging, affecting processes from civil claims to democratic elections. Until the human race is entirely free of prejudice and unconscious bias – don’t hold your breath – this will remain the case. Make no mistake, mass surveillance is counter to the nation’s interests.

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The importance of trust

The importance of trust
3 Jan 1845

Paddy Ashdown has inspired an editorial via an interview in The Times today (Links: £), on the subject trust. I largely agree with the point being made – trust is important. This is a non-partisan point. Trust is part of the fabric of society. If you are of Thatcher’s “no such thing as society” view, then as she said shortly after that, “life is a reciprocal business”. However, The Times goes a bit astray if it meant to actually engender trust.

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2013 – The Good, The Bad, and The Funky

As 2013 draws to a close, I am hoping to use the break to kick-start the writing habit. Here’s a few brief reflections on the year gone by, from Mandela and economy, to tales of abuse, to gigs and gadgets. For those who don’t get to enjoy the break, especially those suffering floods or worse – may 2014 be kind to you.

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#TwitterSilence and #InspiringWomen

Caroline Criado-Perez received an all-too-common wave of abuse and rape threats for her campaign to having a woman on a Bank of England note. This weekend just past, there were a couple of Twitter hashtags to protesting the abuse of women online: #TwitterSilence and #InspiringWomen.

Twitter is a commercial service, not an open medium. When the idea to just not tweet for a day popped up in whatever article I was reading (#TwitterSilence), it caught my eye. Not using a company’s product, a company that will have extremely good traffic monitoring – that company just might notice! Twitter did indeed respond to the issue, after the idea of a #TwitterSilence was put out there. Maybe it worked, maybe not. The same issue saw a lot of commentary, some who didn’t like the idea of a day’s silence. So some people stayed quiet for a day, some chose instead to praise #InspiringWomen, some just tweeted as normal. Everybody wins!

Hopefully, Twitter will successfully find a mechanism that isn’t as slow, heavy-handed, and famous-cases-only-please as relying upon police intervention to deal with viciously abusive behaviour online.

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