Banditry

Infinite fighting with websites, all the time

For someone who isn't a professional webmonkey, I seem to be spending scary amounts of time both in my job and at home being forced to deal with ridiculous amounts of web-based nonsense. Ho hum. With more wood-touching than a tree fetishist in the Black Forest, it looks like I've got everything, both work-wise and … Continue reading Infinite fighting with websites, all the time

On learning from your mistakes

The Metropolitan Police and the CPS, yesterday: The Metropolitan Police have apologised to Colin Stagg, who was wrongly accused and jailed for the murder of Rachel Nickell on Wimbledon Common. Assistant Commissioner John Yates said "mistakes were made" and added: "It is clear that he is completely innocent." The Crown Prosecution Service has also written … Continue reading On learning from your mistakes

In which your host doesn’t forfeit his life

So, my decision a year ago to stake my life that house prices wouldn't fall by more than 20% in 2008 appears to have been vindicated. That's just as well. And I'm still projecting house prices from Jan 2008 - Dec 2012 to outperform the base rate (OK, the base rate cuts have helped with … Continue reading In which your host doesn’t forfeit his life

Note to debt doomsayers

When someone buys a country's government bond, the government needs to pay it back on a specific date. If the government refuses to do so, there will be a total collapse in international confidence in the debt of the country and of all its banks, companies and residents, a currency crisis, and generally a wide … Continue reading Note to debt doomsayers

Why we aren’t all doooooooooooooomed

A commenter at CiF, against all odds, cites some relevant statistics: Financial services which - some people fondly believe - is "all we do nowadays" made up only about 5% of the economy at their height, (rather less now, methinks), whilst industry accounts - according to that CIA thing everybody else seems to be quoting … Continue reading Why we aren’t all doooooooooooooomed

‘None of the above’

Mark Wadsworth highlights a new political survey called Take The Quiz. Along the lines of the utterly pointless Political Compass, but slightly more worthwhile [*], it takes (paraphrases of) manifesto commitments and other policy statements from the major UK-wide [**] political parties, and asks you to pick the one you most like / least dislike … Continue reading ‘None of the above’

Hacking mobile phones is hard to do

This Wired piece about some techies who discovered a major flaw in the DNS systems that underpin the Internet, and co-ordinated a mass surreptitious effort to fix it, is worth reading if you like That Sort Of Thing. However, there's one aspect of it which strikes me as utterly bizarre: "The first thing I want … Continue reading Hacking mobile phones is hard to do

Save, borrow, whatever

So the fairly essential cuts in interest rates are hitting savers. As a net saver, I can only say this is a good thing. There are approximately four sorts of people in the UK, financially speaking: 1) people with no assets or liabilities. "The poor". 2) people with houses and mortgages. "Hard-working families". 3) people … Continue reading Save, borrow, whatever

Constitutional clarification

Parliamentary privilege, as traditionally viewed in the UK constitution, grants MPs freedom of speech on what they say within the House of Commons. It doesn't: a) give them the right to run spies in the civil service; or b) cover what they say or do outside of the House of Commons. Its relevance to the … Continue reading Constitutional clarification