A future for the Web

On Sunday I gave a talk at Common Europe 2007, a conference for users of IBM’s mid-range System i computers. It was an interesting audience, although I’m not sure what most of them made of my argument against US cultural hegemony online and in favour of an open but regulated Internet. But we have to try.

If you feel like it, you can listen to the talk (about 40 mins) here.
[audio:ibmtalk.mp3] or download it from here.

Panorama to ‘investigate’ wifi

Tonight’s Panorama on BBC1 here in the UK has the fair and balanced title ‘ Wi-Fi: a warning signal’ and is introduced on the BBC website as follows:

Britain is in the grip of a Wi-Fi revolution with offices, homes and classrooms going wireless – but there is concern the technology could carry health risks.

The Government insists Wi-Fi is safe, but a Panorama investigation shows that radio frequency radiation levels in some schools are up to three times the level found in the main beam of intensity from mobile phone masts.

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My del.icio.us bookmarks for May 20th

Here’s what I’ve tagged on May 20th:

Being Bill

[You can read this on the BBC News website, as usual.]

There’s a new widget on my blog, and I’m very pleased with it.

A widget is the general term for an item that someone else provides for you to embed in a web page, and my new toy comes from the online calendar service 30boxes.

It shows the next few events I’m planning to attend, and also links to the last three photos I’ve posted on the Flickr photo-sharing site, my last notification to Twitter and my most recent blog post.

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Open your laptops and begin…

It is exam time in schools around the UK.  My son, aged 14, has SATs all week, while my daughter has GCSE papers from next Tuesday onwards.  Some of her friends are locked in the art room for their practical exam today and tomorrow, others still have sore thumbs from last week’s textiles practical.

For the art exam students can take in material they have prepared in advance, like sketches and ideas, but in general anything that might be considered to give an unfair advantage is forbidden.

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How Microsoft is changing

[As ever, this is on the BBC News website too]

The long-delayed launch of Windows Vista and the associated Office 2007 seems to have been a success, at least financially.  In the last quarter Microsoft earned $14.4 billion and the company believes its sales for 2008 will be around $57 billion.

More people were buying Vista – or buying PCs that came with Vista already installed on it – than anticipated, although like any sensible company Microsoft will have pitched expectations at the low end of its real internal projections.

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