Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Not bought, but sold out in the UK (and proud!)

Having once had green hair, and still having the word "punx" tattoo'd on my arm (yes it's sad and cliche I know, but I was young and stupid like Paris Hilton and that video) there will always come a time when one should "sell out" as it were, so I figure, why do it in a small way? Surely better to go out in style?

So what better way could there be than to lose my cherry as it were to that paper of record, The Times. Can I just say thanks to the comment editor, Danny Finkelstein and his colleague, Robbie Millen for giving me the opportunity.


I won't reproduce the whole thing here, as you can read it on their website and add to the ever increasing bandwidth of the Internet that the Government will never seriously be able to monitor.

Now you must excuse me, this sell out has to open a bottle of Bulmers and enjoy himself as he watches a penalty shoot-out!

37 comments:

David said...

Jolly good show! Congratulations, well deserved.

Anonymous said...

Is this going to be in the paper or just on the net?

Either way, congratulations and well deserved it is too!

Liz said...

Brilliant, and really well deserved! Congratulations.

kinglear said...

Dizzy - your cartoon self looks cheerier than the photo.Well done.

Al said...

Congratulations! What a coup!

Whenever something awesome comes along I feel I should write a lot, but there's never much to say. Top job, sir! I raise my hat to you!

Al said...

Also, some other things. I approve of the green hair (who wouldn't!?), although I tut at the tattoo...

That is a quite awesome photo they've got of you. Was it professionally done? It's amazing how good photos can be created (I don't mean to be offensive to the previous pictures I've seen of you, but it just looks so... columnisty :))

Boyce said...

Well done Dizzy!

Tory Bear said...

The cartoon of you on your banner and your photo are uncanny...

congratulations

Anonymous said...

Fair dos fella, we all have to earn a crust and you have written one of the most consistently interesting, thoughtful blogs I have followed over the past year or two. Your work deserves a larger audience.

Mr Eugenides said...

Good job, and good piece.

dizzy said...

The picture was taken with a webcam!

William said...

anonymong @23.11 well said!
Please, Dizzy, keep your independence of mind because the argument over the EU is not over by any means, Parliament notwithstanding. I think the "Elephant in the Room" story will run for some time. This will be interesting, indeed vital, for all Tories/UKIP over the next year or so.

William said...

Oops and you are no longer a Tory according to your biog. Is this so or a requirement before the cherry popping by the MSM?

haddock said...

well done Dizzy, now perhaps a political party might sign you up to advise on policy?

Blue Eyes said...

The Times is obviously moving upmarket!

Grendel said...

Excellent and well overdue recognition.

Congrats.

Anonymous said...

Nice article.

But what will they do instead that is practicable? Once this lot nail their colours to the mast, they seldom totally back down. Want to hazard a guess?

Benedict White said...

Dizzy, well done! Alas the "have your say feature" limits the length of replies so I will reply in full here:

Dizzy, there are two issues here. The first being "do we want to live in a state that wants to hold this sort of data" and the second of "is it technically feasible".The answer to the first has to be no.

The answer to the second is also no, as you point out.

The largest aggregator of centrally collected data on the internet is currently either Google or news net. The latter can aggregate gigabytes per day of shared data and can grow, but a petabyte of data in a day?

You could of course merely track the pages people visit and where emails were sent, but you would be adding billion of records a day, assuming the ISP's actually proxy my SMTP connection. What about anonymous proxies?

How is this data actually going to be searched?

I have built databases to go to millions of records, but billions a day? That is truly nuts.

dominicall said...

Congrats Dizzy.

Have read with great interest your intelligent blog and can only say that your debut in MSM is thoroughly deserved.

All the best and keep up the great work.

JuliaM said...

"The cartoon of you on your banner and your photo are uncanny..."

Heh! It is indeed. Congrats on your article.

Daily Referendum said...

Well done Dizzy!

dreamingspire said...

Note, it should be traffic data only (legal restriction). We are already on the route to keeping months of email traffic data at ISPs, but web access traffic data takes us into a new dimension. Why not log all phone text messages as well? (Perhaps they already do that.)

dizzy said...

As it happens they are proposing to store the 57 billion or so a year of sms messages too.

Travis Bickle said...

Great article Dizzy.

Trouble is, rather like scientists and concensus, the more government IT projects go over budget and fail to deliver the more they manage to allow themselves to be convinced that the next project will solve all their problems.

As they say fools and someone else's money are soon parted.

Henry Crun said...

Well done Dizzy.

Two things:

1. Oh, so *that's* what you look like.

2. If I may be so crass to ask, how much?

dizzy said...

That is a tad crass, and yes, I look like the cartoon!

Dougthedug said...

I don't think the government intends to log the content of all the phone calls, webpages, emails and SMS messages.

Phones calls and SMS messages are already logged by the phone companies for billing.

A large proportion of internet users go out via ISP proxies so their browsing is already recorded.

Mail servers keep logs.

A big database to put all these together centrally is not impossible though on the past performance of Government IT projects we've got little to worry about apart from the fact that Labour are a bunch of control freaks and will be in power for the next two years.

dizzy said...

Actually, if you read the reporting of this across the media, it is not about just tracking information, it is about content too. After all, knowing X sent an email to Y is utterly meaningless unless you have the content too.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations are in order. I've been reading this blog for some months now and it's on my essential reading list. Bally well done.

Dougthedug said...

"it is about content too"

In that case the government will be trying to store a significant chunk of the world's webpages, all the SMS messages sent and received in the UK, all the emails sent and recieved in the UK and information on phone calls. As you say, not feasible.

However:

"knowing X sent an email to Y is utterly meaningless"

Not really. If you're trying to build up information on some individual's contacts or group of friends it can easily be used to build up a picture of a social group, an activist group or a terror cell. Phone records will give the same information and browsing information can be used to gain information on political views, religious views or sexual tastes.

Of course the clever terrorist learnt a long time ago that communicating via technology meant that conversations and information went on a detour through GCHQ and Langley first.

This database is about surveillance of the general population and legal activist groups not terrorists and even if it is just used to store information on who, where and when it will still be a significant invasion of privacy.

It may be that the fallback position will be logging source and destination for phone calls, emails, SMS and web browsing. The old, "propose something huge and then fall back grudgingly to what you wanted in the first place", trick leaving opponents feeling they've won a victory.

Henry Crun said...

Dizzy said: That is a tad crass,...

Must have been a few bob then. In the spirit of crassness, was it enough to finance a season ticket at Goodison?

dizzy said...

hah!

Henry Crun said...

dougthedug said: "Not really. If you're trying to build up information on some individual's contacts or group of friends it can easily be used to build up a picture of a social group,"

Fuck me, the govt really don't get it, do they. They don't need a database all they need to do is subscribe to Facebook or Myspace and find out about everybody and their mates.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Well done.

DiscoveredJoys said...

Presumably the data would count as personal data, and therefore everyone in the UK could ask for a copy of the data held about them under the Data Protection Act.

Although I propose this as a spoiler tactic against Big Brother, there is a practical side too. If your email account has been hacked, or your ISP's spam catcher has stopped emails from reaching you, you have no idea if the information recorded against your email address is correct or has been affected by a malicious hacker or spambot.

The Heresiarch said...

Just like to add my congratulations. "Yet another blogger signed up by the mainstream media". Not the first, hopefully not the last, but certainly one of the finest.

Blogging is now one of the very few ways to break into the media if you're not a trustafarian or your name's not Coren.

dizzy said...

"Oops and you are no longer a Tory according to your biog. Is this so or a requirement before the cherry popping by the MSM?"

That has been like that since December and you are the first one to notice. You don't get a prize though.