Offline until April 9th

I’m shortly heading to London, and then via Paris to Havana, Cuba for a week’s holiday. I won’t be seeking out Internet connectivity, so it’s unlikely I’ll read any emails between now and April 9th when I’m back. My phone should work, so if you know the number you can try it if it’s urgent.

More when I get back.

Gone (to a )Digital (planet) 28 March

As I walked into studio C21 this afternoon for the first Digital Planet I heard Gareth over the talkback muttering “don’t say Go Digital… don’t say Go Digital” to himself.

And he didn’t. We managed the whole show without inadvertently referring to the old name, and instead luxuriated in the extra two and a half-minutes of time we now have available in our new 1530 slot – we get to go to the top of the hour, minus two and a half minutes for the news at the start of the show.

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If it’s good enough for Google..

Earlier this week the director of the BBC’s new media division spent a happy few days in Las Vegas.

As far as we know Ashley Highfield wasn’t trying to increase his budget for the soon to be launched myBBCplayer with some judicious bets at the roulette tables.He was there with representatives from Amazon, eBay and Myspace for Mix06, Microsoft’s massive new media conference.

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No DRM, no cry?

Earlier this week the Westminster eForum held a discussion on digital rights management at which Derek Wyatt MP made some interesting proposals about getting the British Library to lead the debate on how copy protection and rights management should be regulated and managed.

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Gone Digital March 20th

That’s it, then. No more Go Digital on the BBC World Service. From next week when the new World Service schedule starts we will be ‘Digital Planet’.

Some of the emails we had in response to our announcement of the change on last week’s programme were cynical, claiming that it was just a marketing-inspired rebranding. However I think it does go deeper than that, and marks a change in focus which will, over time, lead to significant differences in the sorts of stories we cover and the approach we take.

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Gone Digital: over and out

And so it goes. Next week is the last edition of ‘Go Digital’ on the BBC World Service, after four and a half years on air, encompassing shows from Tunis, Geneva, India, Kenya, Mali and – for me, anyway -Venice, California, Naples, Manchester and Cambridge.

From March 27th we’ll be ‘Digital Planet’, a name that is intended to reflect the importance of digital technologies to us all these days, with well over a billion people online, well over a billion cellphones in circulation, and a world economy that relies on computers, networks and a vast array of digital technologies.
I’ll still be there, I’m pleased to say, as the producers seem to like what I get up each week, and Gareth will be presenting as before.

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What’s up with the billblog

A word of explanation: the old machine that I called ‘bill’ and which lived with my friends at Verity Networks died a couple of weeks ago, so I’ve taken the opportunity to move my virtual home to a Linux installation hosted by Bytemark. You’re here now.

I’ve got a backup of the WordPress database from ‘bill’ but haven’t had time to get it transferred and uploaded – that will happen this coming wekend. And I’ll try to make sure that old URLs work and all comments are in place.

‘’ will point here and remain accessible, but it will more correctly be ‘’.

That’s about it..