My bookmarks for July 23rd through July 30th

Here’s what I tagged on between July 23rd and July 30th:

Closing the Gates after Bill

[This is my BBC column from Monday – I forgot to post it here in all the week’s excitement (2gether08, New Media Awards, Shift Happens). You can read it on the BBC News website too.]

The publicity surrounding Bill Gates’ departure from Microsoft should not obscure the fact that he is still deeply involved in the company he founded in 1975.

Steve Ballmer, Ray Ozzie and Craig Mundie may now be in charge, but they were chosen by Gates, worked with Gates and are still answerable to Gates.  After all he remains company chairman and a major shareholder, and he will be working as an ‘advisor’ on special projects.

Gates also played a major part in setting Microsoft’s strategy for the next few years, as it continues to try to figure out how to convert its enormously profitable operating system and office software business into something that can generate money as we all move applications online and look for stripped-down, secure and reliable operating systems on our desktops, laptops and handheld computers

Continue reading “Closing the Gates after Bill”

Changing the Way We Think

[As ever, you can read this on the BBC News website, and Nick Carr has picked up on it]

In her recently published book ID: The Quest for Identity in the 21st Century, Professor Susan Greenfield brings her considerable expertise as a neuroscientist to bear on the question of whether and how our current use of computers is changing the way our brains work.

Greenfield argues that the visual stimulus we get from screen-based information and entertainment differs so markedly from that available to previous generations that certain areas of the brain, specifically those areas that are older in evolutionary terms and retain the capacity to alter as a result of experience, may be affected in ways that express themselves a changes to personality and behaviour.

It’s an interesting hypothesis, and one that has the virtue of being experimentally testable, unlike many other claims about the effect of modern living on human psychology.

Continue reading “Changing the Way We Think”

My bookmarks for June 7th through June 11th

Here’s what I tagged on between June 7th and June 11th:

I saw this…

Here’s what I’ve tagged on on %date%:

Who Pays the Paper?

[As ever, you can read this on the BBC News website]

If you live outside the United Kingdom then the BBC website at has a surprise for you, in the form of some prominent advertisements.

While the license-fee supported sites provided to the UK population remain free of ads, the BBC has started treating the web in the same way as it does the TV channels it broadcasts around the world by trying to generate revenue from them.

Continue reading “Who Pays the Paper?”

Tread softly, because you tread on our websites

[As ever, this is also on the BBC website, edited to take out the Yeats…]

Sometime in October a malicious program exploited a security flaw in the WordPress software I use to host my weblog and injected some extra commands into one of the widgets I use to add features to the site.

They opened up a connection between the blog and a site that tried to download a malicious piece of software to any site visitor unfortunate enough to be using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

Anyone who visited my site would have been prompted to install a clearly unwanted piece of software, although as far as I know nobody was affected. However I can’t be sure and hope that I didn’t unwittingly cause damage to anyone else’s computer.

Continue reading “Tread softly, because you tread on our websites”